Doctor Who t-shirts are all the rage. We even sell a few Doctor Who inspired tees right here at 604Republic. But the internet is crawling with hundreds of creative, and beautifully designed Doctor Who t-shirts. Here’s the top fifty we’ve managed to uncover:
Downloadable Content is the Anakin Skywalker of video gaming. A small addition which was meant to make things even better, but instead destroyed the good we already had.
Light sabers and X-Wings are okay, but what Star Wars really needs is an annoying kid!
It should have been great. If you like a game, pay for more game! That is exactly what the entire video game industry is for. For the gamers. Unfortunately the industry only heard the word “pay” and the rest was just the noise of a cash register opening and closing. Potential awesomeness hasn’t been so crippled by beancounting since an accountant decided that monster trucks would be cheaper with regular sized tyres. The idea of DLC has been destroyed so thoroughly it’s actively ruining the original games. They couldn’t screw you harder for money without legalizing sex work.
The first few attempts at DLC were disasters, but were forgiven as early mistakes. Which was like saying “it’s just the wind” at the start of a horror movie. In 2006 the true intentions of DLC were heralded by “horse armor”. Bethesda’s Oblivion was a giant open-ended role-playing game. Bethesda’s horse armor was an insult they wanted you to pay for. The content was a virtual paint job for a fake horse, and just to make sure they were calling you stupid, the horse armor didn’t even armor your horse. It just changed its color and cost $2.50.
This was massively, publicly mocked and very quickly undone, and certainly not still available for sale right now. Because that would mean we were all stupid. Bethesda backed off and started offering updates which actually included gameplay, but people should have stayed suspicious. That offer wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t accidentally released by an intern wackily slipping on a banana peel and hitting the keyboard. That was a precisely calculated mercenary raid to find out much shit the players would put up with. And the answer was “more than the New York sewer system”.
Since then we’ve suffered through more ridiculous offers than Jack taking his cow to the market. You can now pay to level up your character (instead of playing the game), to start the game with better weapons (because screw difficulty curves), or even to paint your gun a different color (because setting fire to your own money is too much effort). You can spend real money on fake game money, or magical ingredients, or even for clothes for your Xbox icon. It’s like someone is trying to make “exchanging cash for goods” divide by zero.
Why did DLC go so badly wrong?
The problem is that while games are worlds of wonderful fantasy, game production is a world of brutal reality. Making video games is the exact opposite of playing them. The company spends all its time working and worrying money and doing all the things we play games to forget about. Putting in extra effort for less money simply doesn’t make sense for them, and the result is even worse than horse armor. Because at least horse armor required extra effort from the developers. And companies decided that extra effort was too much effort.
The result is a video game Hannibal Lecter: they chop chunks off their own game and then feed it to itself through its own online store. Instead of creating extra content for the games, companies mercenarily dismember them and holding what’s left hostage for money. If a character did that inside the game, they’d be the bad guy. It’d be your job to hunt them down and quicktime their face off. Outside the game you just give them more money.
The most obvious example is “Day One DLC” , content available to buy on launch day, and a stupider oxymoron than a cow trying to out-think a sausage-making machine face-first. Because it’s also shredded and sold for cash. Day One DLC is by definition ready at the same time as the game, aka it was part of the game. Often it’s already on the disc you just paid for, but you have to pay more to play that bit. Some companies explain that it makes sense to develop the bonus material in parallel with the main game, how it’s an optional purchase, how it offers levels of experience, and various other things that are also calling you a moron and hoping you fall for it.
You could believe that the development team worked extra-hard just before game launch, in the same way you could believe in Santa Claus: you’re gullible and it’s a scam to make people pay for toys. In the weeks before release a development team couldn’t work harder if they were downloaded into titanium robot bodies. The result is games getting smaller and more expensive as larger chunks are carved off and charged separately.
The worst example of this was Street Fighter x Tekken. Capcom proved that they equate “how beloved a franchise is” with “how much we can rip these suckers off”. The last thing to pull itself to pieces so hard for money was LEGO. Capcom have long experience with ripping people off for minor updates. They were making DLC before that was even a thing. Street Fighter II Turbo was a minor character updated released for the price of a full game. So was Super Street Fighter II. So was every Street Fighter which didn’t have a new number or Greek letter in its name. Which may explain why they’re being such pricks about more recent DLC – they’re annoyed that they can’t charge the price of a full game for it like they used to. (Or, in the case of Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, still do.)
Hey, you liked Dead Rising 2? Why not pay for it again! Now starring a slightly different sprite, Frank West, as cosplayed by Jason Statham!
In a game where people have mastered every form of combat known to man, the game itself chose “nagging”. It’s impossible to get through a single menu without being harangued for paid updates. You had to pay for extra characters, for extra costumes, for extra gems to boost your character, everything. You used to be able to choose different colors, but in this game they even stole different colors to make more money. That is the exact plot of a My Little Pony villain. And that still wasn’t their most ludicrously villainous crime.
This one was so stupid they backed off and made colors free, but you still need to go to the store to get each set. Consider it a pilgrimage to how stupid they think you are.
They added Day One DLC which you couldn’t buy on Day One. Eight extra characters were imprisoned on the disc, and you weren’t even allowed to buy them until the PS Vita version of the game got them first. The PS Vita version which didn’t even exist yet, and wouldn’t for several months. They screwed up your money-making scheme so hard that buyers aren’t even allowed to give you money. Delaying characters for the handheld version of an arcade fighter is launched like delaying a spaceship until the pilot’s kid finishing learning to pee standing up.
These weren’t minor bonus characters like Birdie or Gon. These were series staples like Blanka and Bryan Fury. If you don’t play those games, imagine buying a tuxedo and walking out of the store, only to find your crotch flapping in the breeze because groins are an optional extra. Then not being allowed to buy the missing bits.
Look like fun? Then wait half a year and pay twice!
Capcom actually made players hold out their money, begging for permission to buy characters who were already part of the game in the first place. That’s not even training a dog, that’s how you train a sado-masochistic submissive dog that you hate. When you’re refusing to even let people give you money to play your game, you may have forgotten what your job is.
Companies aren’t just getting away with this, they’re shoveling out so much crap that they can offer the ultimate scam, the “Season Pass”. This is where you pay money now and just hope that the company will make content worth it later.
DLC makes so much money many companies don’t bother to charge for the game any more. A horde of “Free 2 Lose” infest the internet, lazy flash disasters which claim to be “Free 2 Play”, but
a) the usual exchange rate is three days of play to earn the same rewards as one dollar
b) those rewards are “this grey box turns red, but you need another week or two dollars to turn it green”
c) people actually play this
d) depression with the state of humanity.
It’s a perfect reversal of the capitalist dream, where you pay more to make things better. Because someone has already combined the above to make things even worse. Dead Space 3 is a big-budget sequel to an established franchise. And no franchise has undergone so much brutal slaughter since Hellraiser. And just like Hellraiser, the original was destroyed by sequels made only for the money. As well as turning an atmospheric survival horror into a co-op buddy cover shooter, DS3 is a big-budget game which wants you to pay for weapons. The word is “microtransactions”, and you should treat that word like garlic at a vampire dentist’s.
Hold on, I’m getting my credit card!
You’ve already paid for the game, and now you have three energy bars as you fight the battles: your health, your ammunition, and your bank balance. Even Pokemon never directly connected your credit card to the outcome of the fights.
This is inevitable. People have already paid for these powerups, and a corporation’s job is to make money, not feel bad about how stupid their customers have gotten. But like any giant evil boss, their new weapon also has a fatal weakness. These DLC donations to the executive bank balance assume an always-on internet connection. And that same connection allows you to pay companies which don’t even have executives.
For less than the price of the Gears of War color schemes, you can buy the most beautiful role playing game of the last decade. For less than a single Street Fighter’s alternate costumes, you can explore an entire galaxy of interstellar combat. We’ll always buy the big games, because they’re rather a lot of fun. But the next time you’ve offered the chance to give a corporation free money, remember that you can buy an entire game instead. A game that remembers that you’ve already paid for it, and that you don’t want to be reminded of real money while you’re playing.
Usually on Versus, opponents fight each other based on similar personalities and characteristics. But sometimes, all you have in common with someone else is a name. Luckily, that’s more than enough reason to fight to the death!
Today, we bring you the battle of Megatron, the evil Transformer, and Megatron, the NFL wide receiver who’s an overall pretty decent guy. But he’s in for the fight for his life, against a homicidal robot with tons of firepower and an unquenchable thirst to destroy all humanity.
Decepti “Megatron” Con
As Seen In: The Transformers
Created By: The Quintessons. Or, if you want to be boring and technical about it, Hasbro.
Named For: It sounding awesome. What cool 80’s kid wouldn’t badger their parents into spending $19.95 on a piece of plastic called MEGATRON?
Notable Strengths: Evil and tyrannical, with no regard for human or robotic life. Shoots lasers from his eyes. Has a cannon for an arm.
Notable Weaknesses: Not much for strategy; prefers to just yell and fight and shoot, hoping for the best. Blindly arrogant. Employs Starscream, who constantly challenges Megatron’s authority at the worst possible times.
Most Badass Moment: Killing Optimus Prime, a rarity in children’s entertainment. Rita never killed the Power Rangers. Shredder never made soup out of the Turtles. But Megatron actually murdered the good guy! For a little while anyways.
Least Badass Moment: Getting his ass kicked by a can of spray paint.
Calvin “Megatron” Johnson
As Seen In: The National Football League
Created By: His Mommy and Daddy
Named For: Having gigantic hands, just like the robot. Yes, that’s a true story. A fellow player nicknamed him Megatron because of his big-ass hands. In that case, why not just call him Andre The Giant? That guy was legit bigger than half the Decepticons anyway.
Notable Strengths: Incredibly strong and fast, with gigantic hands and a 45-inch vertical that would be the envy of damn near every NBA star not named Jordan.
Notable Weaknesses: Plays for the Detroit Lions. That’s like roasting the most delicious Thanksgiving turkey ever, and sticking it on the table next to a bunch of week-old Big Mac Extra Value meals.
Most Badass Moment: Making the cover of Madden ’13, which prompted everybody to scream AGH, MAAAAADDDDENNN CURRRRRSE. He’s having his best year ever, and just shattered the record for most receiving yards in a single season. That should kill any Curse talk until next year, when everyone will start braying about it again like nothing ever happened.
Least Badass Moment: Scoring a touchdown but spiking the ball while still in motion, thus having it ruled an incomplete pass. Silly Megatron: you’re supposed to hold onto the ball, get up, go a stupid dance with it, and THEN spike the damn thing.
This battle would purely be 1-on-1, which neither side would bitch about. The Decepticons are classically horrible at the whole being-evil thing, and the Lions are so bad that even people who hate football know they suck.
Now, on the surface, Megatron The Robot should crush Megatron The Footballer, being a giant robot and all. However, for those envisioning another Bambi vs. Godzilla, bear in mind that immediately squishing puny humans into a tasty pulp just isn’t dramatic enough for a megalomaniacal robot overlord.
No, this battle would involve Robot Megatron shooting endlessly, while Johnson just ducks, dodges, and runs and runs and runs. He’d basically employ the old Muhammad Ali rope-a-dope method. Keep moving, let his opponent run out of ammo, and go in for the kill.
But how? Even sans firepower, Megatron’s still a huge robot. Luckily for Johnson, he’s a pretty stupid one. His arrogance, pride, and hatred is shockingly easy to exploit; all Johnson would need to do is start taunting him about, oh, anything. His past failures, Starscream, how dumb he looks in the Michael Bay movies, and whatever else comes to his head. Megatron would almost certainly lose it and begin throwing random shit in a blind rage.
This would allow Johnson to do what he does best: catch shit. All Metal Megatron has to do is chuck a large rock, or a camera, or a piece of the goal post, and Flesh Megatron will catch it with his apparently robot-sized hands, and throw it right back at his foe. Repeat several times over, and the robot should soon be busted beyond repair.
Of course, there’s one other issue here: Johnson’s too damn nice! He goes to work, plays better football than almost anybody, and then goes home. No bluster, no scandals, no braggadocio, no nothing. Just football. That’s not going to be enough if your goal is to troll an evil robot into chucking weaponry at you.
So Johnson will need to do some pre-fight training. He’ll have to find somebody who’s great at inciting rage through taunts and biting comments. But it’s face-to-face, so YouTube commenters and 4Chan trolls need not apply. Instead, he’ll have to hire a proven real-life troll, like Chad Ochocinco, to fire him up. Ocho would work tirelessly to turn Johnson into a trash-talker extraordinaire, capable of making even the most hardened robot see red.
Unfortunately for robot aficionados everywhere, Calvin Johnson has this one in the bag. Megatron is just too pigheaded to win much of anything. Even when he managed to kill Optimus Prime, he damn near died himself in the process.
Also, spray paint. Yes, we’ve mentioned that already, but it’s ridiculous enough to mention again. Nobody’s winning a battle to the death if they’ve already proven they can’t stand up to The Krylon Touch. And until Johnson tears his ACL thanks to a horrible wiffleball attack, then the only thing the Decepticon will win at, is finding the stupidest possible way to lose.
Two perfect things can’t exist on the same planet without them clashing or having sex. It’s why the phrase “an unstoppable force meets an immovable object” was invented, and also why Jay-Z and Beyonce were destined to breed for thousands of years. However, since this is a Versus, the two perfect things of choice will go with the battling route. Those hoping for the more loving option will simply have to wait for a link to my fan fiction. So, without any sort of introduction, we take you to the Tokyo HyperDome, for WRESTLEMANIA DCCVII. Your main event is a war for the ages, one whispered into the wind for generations.
HULK HOGAN VS MECHAGODZILLA!
As Seen In: Saturday Night’s Main Event, Suburban Commando, No Holds Barred.
Catchphrase: “What’cha gonna do, brother, when Hulkamania runs wild on you?”*
Origin Story: Has always existed. Came into the public eye when he broke Iron Sheik’s Camel Clutch and became WWF Champion, thus inventing the word “celebrity” as we know it today.
Best Known For: Blond hair, 24 inch pythons, slamming 1,700 pound Andre the Giant in front of thirty billion screaming Hulkamaniacs.
Notable Strengths: Can harness the power of Hulkamania. At a certain point, punches will only make him stronger. Leg drops. Can slam any opponent, no matter their size, if he gets to the proper energy level.
Notable Weaknesses: For a short time, betraying America (or Hogan himself) will make Hogan confused enough for enemies to land hits on him.
Best Moment: Former patriot, Sgt. Slaughter, allies himself with Saddam Hussein, and wins the WWF Championship. Hogan thinks this is complete bullshit and beats Slaughter at Wrestlemania VII for the title. Peace is established in the Middle East forever. Oh wait…
As Seen In: Every Godzilla movie with the word “Mechagodzilla” in the title.
Origin Story: Sometimes created by the government, but most famously created by the asshole Black Hole Planet 3 aliens who, in order to conquer the world, decided to go with the irony of building something that looked like earth’s mightiest defender, rather than the obvious space bomb.
Best Known For: Beating the hell out of Godzilla five times, sometimes dresses up like Godzilla to mess with everyone.
Notable Strengths: Finger missles, laser breath and eyes, knee rockets, chest laser, force field, flight.
Notable Weaknesses: Prone to having his head ripped off. Later versions of him ran out of energy after a while, so he’s a badass within a certain timeframe.
Best Moment: An atomic Eiffel Tower almost occurs when Mechagodzilla is approached on one side by a peeved Godzilla and on the other by a consistently under-whelming dog/idiot King Caesar. Mechagodzilla spun his head around to use his eye lasers, while shooting finger missiles forward, effectively knocking down both attackers.
Entrance Themes: Hulk Hogan would enter the fray to the familiar strains of “Real American,” while Mechagodzilla enters to the sound of his own rocket feet.
Preparation: Mechagodzilla does karate poses. Hogan is unimpressed and rips off his shirt, throwing it across Mount Fuji and into a lucky child’s hands (and heart.) Hogan flexes and motions for the crowd to cheer harder. The crowd, dead and dying from Mechagodzilla’s recent attack, have bigger concerns and remain unresponsive.
Opening Moves: It starts off with a grappling game. Hogan has the flexibility of a baseball bat’s corpse, but that’s still slightly better than Mechagodzilla’s. After pushing him back and delivering a few clotheslines, Hogan throws Mechagodzilla outside the ring. He then motions for the crowd’s support.
Somewhere, an inconsolable mother screams for her child to awaken.
Long-Range Advantage: Mechagodzilla re-enters the ring as tentatively as the Planet 3 aliens will allow him to, and then launches an eye laser at a charging Hogan. Hogan falls, but gets back up quickly, only to receive finger missiles to the chest. Hogan is down. Mechagodzilla begins his barrage and pushes Hogan back into a corner. Mechagodzilla initiates the very technical plan of making sure that Hogan doesn’t punch him by blasting him with every weapon in his arsenal, point-blank.
Busted Open: Hogan takes a laser to the forehead and starts to bleed. He does this gratuitously, and more than any normal human ever should. Mechagodzilla takes this chance to lock on a sleeper hold and Hogan seems unable to fight out of it. He comes close to passing out.
Special guest, Cyndi Lauper, is at ringside. She seems completely nonplussed about everything going on.
The referee, Mothra, holds up Hogan’s wrist. It falls.
Hogan’s wrist drops again. Outer space beings prepare their earthling-rape kits.
Hogan’s wrist drops out of Mothra’s grip and his hand nearly hits the mat, but he suddenly raises it high and begins to shake his fist. He elbows Mechagodzilla and breaks the grip. Mechagodzilla activates his force field and Hogan does a “No, no” finger wave in Mechagodzilla’s face.
Hulkamania has kicked in. Not even God can save Mechagodzilla now.
Hogan starts to hulk up and the fate of America is looking pretty fucking good.
Interference: Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase and Cowboy Bob Orton rush down to the ring, but Hogan quickly dispatches Orton with a clothesline. Hogan then grabs DiBiase and Mechagodzilla and bashes their skulls together. DiBiase goes down and Mechagodzilla’s head comes off. The Planet 3 aliens, having seen the previous pay-per-view, retreat back into space.
Finish: Hogan throws Mechagodzilla against the ropes and as Mechagodzilla runs back towards him, Hogan drops the robotic lizard with a boot to the neck, since the face is not an option at the point.
Hogan delivers a running leg drop to Mechagodzilla and covers him. Mothra, knocked out at sometime during the brawl, is replaced by Rodan, who makes the three count. Hogan celebrates the win by throwing Rodan out into a crowd, which has gathered around Tokyo to wonder when they’ll finally get a break. Hundreds are crushed.
Hogan flexes some more and exits, while “Real American” plays again.
Vince McMahon asks Mechagodzilla to take a four month hiatus, so that the writing team can think of a better gimmick for the machine. They settle on “ninja,” and “Shin Obi” soon debuts. The reaction is mixed.
*There is no correct answer to this.
Sony’s PS4 launch event wasn’t just the Emperor’s New Console – hordes of people excitedly singing the praises of something that doesn’t exist – it was the Emperor’s New Empire. Sony have made their standard mistake of assuming they’ve already won the market before even launching the product, and immediately crippling it to make more money. If Sony entered a 100 meter dash they’d get ready, get set, and then stroll off the track to sell spectators exclusive photos of their 1st place finish.
The main point of the event was seemingly to publicly announce that they knew that three plus one is four. That was the sum total of the engineering development on display, since they didn’t actually have a PS4. They just wanted to let the world know that there would be one, and that any PS3-owning suckers should get ready to buy it because their old games won’t work anymore. One of the few hard details available was that the PS4 will not have any backwards compatibility. Just in case any traitorous fans were thinking about buying the wrong Sony product this year.
The PS3 did the same thing. Early versions had backwards compatibility, giving players access to the PS2 library, aka “the greatest game collection in existence at the time.” It’s hard to overstress just how utterly Sony won the PS2 console generation. They were kings, no, pharaohs, ruling a land deserted of any serious competition from the towering peak of a vast stack of games. People scoffed at the idea of “those people who make Windows” trying to be gamers. The only thing an Xbox seemed good for was blue-screen-of-death jokes. It would have taken a determined, multi-billion dollar hardware effort to throw Sony off the top spot. And that’s exactly what Sony did.
The PS3 came out with all the giant fanfare of a Zeppelin launch, and each unit cost about the same. And moved off the shelves at about the same speed, which is to say that “speed” was entirely the wrong word and the Zeppelin was going down in flames. In response Sony stripped out the backwards compatibility. Allegedly to bring the costs down, but that was like saving money by refusing to stock toilet paper on the Titanic. They needed to boost PS3 games sales figures to look like they weren’t losing the console battle, and that meant that anybody buying other Sony games was buying the wrong Sony games. It’s not so much the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, as much as the right hand desperately scrabbling for grip to pull the company up from a cliff while the left hand hits it with a hammer.
The PS3 was also apparently incompatible with the incredibly popular DualShock 2 computer, and buyers were told that DualShock was old school and they should buy a Sixaxis. Until the next year, when the DualShock 3 was made available and suddenly DualShock was profitable. I mean cool again. Sony’s target market is the guy from Memento. Or maybe a goldfish living in an Atlantean bank.
The masterpiece of their failed attempts at monopolizing themselves was the Utter Media Disaster, aka the UMD, the proprietary format for the PlayStation Portable. The hardware was so badly designed that hacked consoles actually ran faster than legal ones, but so torturously designed that the hackers would buy one legal game each because even a hacked console simply ran faster if it found one. Even when it was playing installed games. It didn’t matter if that disc was the game you were actually playing, as long as it proved that you’d paid Sony some money the system worked better. That’s not a victory for anti-piracy, that’s hardware proof that Sony design decisions are now electronically disconnected from gameplay.
Which is why the PS4 will play PS3 games. You just need to buy them again. The New York event didn’t even prove that the PS4 could play PS4 games, instead showing rendered videos and hoping that we all fall for that for the millionth time, but they announced plans for a download service where you can buy all your favorites again. You might recognize this from the Sony Blu-Ray. You won’t recognize it from the Sony UMD, because gnomes don’t exist and so nobody paid full price to watch a movie on a PSP’s tiny screen. Especially since those UMDs were designed specifically so that you couldn’t output video from the PSP to a real screen. Someone needs to explain to Sony that purchases aren’t like orgasms – it’s not a good thing if you make the other person do it multiple times.
And that download service? It’s being built by the same company that created PlayStation home, who thought that paying to artificially queue for games which should never have insulted a bit of binary code was a good idea. Even if it’s working when you want to play, and miraculously lets you use your own console without forcing a half-hour update first, converting games for emulation is difficult and expensive. Which means they’ll mostly convert games so popular that they already have sequels on the new console. Because gods know we need yet another God of War. We wouldn’t hold out hope for obscure titles like Killer 7. It’s more likely to be the top ten games of each year, probably released at about the same speed as they were originally made.
The upshot? The PS4 doesn’t even exist, won’t until the end of the year, and it already makes PS3 games look obsolete. Ensuring a full year where no-one will buy a console which only recently clambered out of its billion-dollar hole. It takes some balls to come out and tell the world “all our latest and most-advertised games will be useless soon!” It also takes some balls to be caught having sex with a casserole – not everything driven by balls is good, and now no-one wants anything you’ve made.
When you hear something like “Doom,” the first thing you imagine is a man gunning down Hellspawn, locked in a quest to blast imps and save his flesh. You’d be hesitant to imagine something like a sergeant telling you the best way to stroke a demon horse with your touch-pen. The people who made these games weren’t hesitant to dream that impossible dream. They took the game series they were working on and shot for the stars, or at least for the awkward middle.
Mortal Kombat: Special Forces
Mortal Kombat is a fighting series based around the art of pulling out spines. I know that there’s a convoluted mythology of tournaments and Chosen Ones, but once you’re playing, the obvious objective becomes to cram buttons repeatedly into their sockets until your Lizard Man eats the head off a Thunder God. In the long history of the series, I honestly doubt that anyone has said “Man, you know what would make a great Mortal Kombat game? Fucking not this!” “What was that?” a Mortal Kombat developer woke up saying to himself, replying to the voices that only he hears. Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is a platformer, taking Jax and placing him in a quest to stop a gang from getting their hands on a powerful artifact, and from the way the game plays, he also has to fight the game’s mechanic s too. The camera will follow him around and then suddenly leap up a wall, as if it’s terrified of being caught in this stupid mess, and Jax’s punches resemble the writhing calisthenics of a senior citizen’s swimming class. The story doesn’t make up for the abominable everything else either. One of the primary antagonists is No Face, an explosives expert who lacks ears, a nose and hair, and if the people behind Special Forces were trying to come up with a classic Mortal Kombat character with this guy, they might as well have just tried to buy the rights to M. Bison and called it a day.
Batman: Gotham City Racers
The perfect formula for Batman video games has been released to the public in the form of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. If you disagree with this, I’m sorry for all the other stuff you’ve probably been wrong about in your life as well. However, to get to something that perfect, there had to be a lot of trial and error. One game that was 95% Error and another 95% Why? is Batman: Gotham City Racers. Now, I know that 95% plus 95% is an impossible 190%, but Gotham City Racers has enough shit in it that it takes on the poor qualities of another whole game. Thanks for your martyr cause, Gotham City Racers. If you don’t believe me, play the damn thing and then attempt to dodge a bomb. I’ll give you some achievement points for the endeavor: 20G: Utter Futility.
Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts
Usually, when not doing a total switch in genres, but simply adding new aspects, video game developers will ease into it, giving you only a bit to test the audience reaction. In this case, the new things were vehicles and rather than play it safe, the makers of Nuts and Bolts went all out, making a game that was mostly driving/piloting, with a little bit of grunting bear and annoying bird added in to make it recognizable.
The surprising part? It totally works. Nuts And Bolts makes creating and controlling new vehicles an engaging practice. Usually, when I need to build something car-related, I’m left scratching my head, wondering why the hell a “Nitro” is. Nuts And Bolts alleviated my fear of having to painstakingly decide what I wanted my hood to look like by giving me the option to easily construct floating tanks, literally. The story isn’t that memorable, but it’s not about the narrative here. My drunken roommate repeatedly yelled “WE HAVE TO GET THE PAYLOAD!” while playing it, so, as long I can fly my makeshift, clunky rocket plane in peace, I’ll take that.
The early Godzilla games for systems like the Nintendo and the Gameboy were side-scrolling exercises in masochism. You’d guide something that looked sort of like Godzilla and his friends as they battled their way through things that looked absolutely nothing like enemies. The later Godzilla games, such as Destroy All Monsters: Melee, Save The Earth and Unleashed, are awesome fighting games.
Super Godzilla is somewhere in between these. You are the unlucky person given control of Godzilla, or rather, for the most part, Godzilla’s blue dot, as you guide him haphazardly through buildings and land mines until you collide with an enemy. There’s not a lot of strategy to this half of the game, as it’s pretty much a dull adventure of leading Godzilla through the maze that is Japan until you wind up on a sector that has King Ghidorah or Battra in it, and then crashing him into every damage-causing thing in his way until he hits his foe. The damage caused by buildings and mountains don’t really matter at that point, though. Godzilla moves like there’s a secret, invisible player beside you, pressing for him to go backwards, so by the time you’ve reached an enemy, you’re happy to lead him into suicide.
After this, you fight (?) enemies in one on one combat, where you send Godzilla towards a bad guy, punch the bad guy (unless the bad guy chest bumps you, Godzilla’s Achilles heel, which sends him scooting backwards), and then back up, filling your energy meter enough to pull off attacks. The higher the energy meter, the more powerful of an attack you can launch.
I know what you’re thinking: That sounds terrible. Who would make a game like that? Why can’t the fight against Mechagodzilla be fun? To this I answer, I don’t know. To design a game like it, the creators of Super Godzilla apparently knew a lot of things that we didn’t know, and will probably never learn.
Online gamers have existed way before either Call of Duty or Halo (shocking, right?), and although competitive play continues to evolve, one thing’s remained constant—those trash talking, junk food gorging, tough guy impersonating gamers still fall into one of several categories:
We’re talking “What’s afk mean?” amateurs here, the kind who have kill to death ratios of 1-50 or play Starcraft II as if they’re running the campaign in tutorial mode. These guys are greener than chlorophyll and—if on your team—can frustrate you to the point where you’ll ask yourself, “Would it hurt any worse if I violently lodged my head through my computer screen?” Probably not. But in the words of the immortal Helen Lovejoy, you should “think of the children.” If not them, then at least Bambi. Come on… her mom died. Celebrity counterpart: Chris Klein in Street Fighter.
Boom! Headshot. Boom! Killing streak. Boom! Bullshit. You’re sitting there, wondering how L33tKillZ_92 got you through the wall for the seventh time in a row with just one well-placed shot. You don’t suck that bad do you? Well you probably do but something still doesn’t seem right. That’s because it isn’t. Either this guy’s consulted Lance Armstrong for illicit services, or the admin is even more lazy and incompetent than the French cycling union. Celebrity counterpart: Lance Armstrong.
No, not the green, furry kind that still live under your bed; the anonymous, protected-by-the-veil-of the-internet kind that make it their mission to ensure both you, and everyone else, are as miserable as Donald Trump was after the presidential race election. Trolling can include—but is not limited to—team killing, back stabbing, game delaying (old school Starcraft players will understand), and of course, everyone’s favorite: spamming unforgivingly loud Miley Cyrus music that’s designed to make your ears bleed. Celebrity counterpart: Charlie Sheen before getting axed from “Two and a Half Men”.
They don’t care if you’re having a bad session, even if your mother just died. To them it’s all about perfection. These guys are more hardcore than Jenna Jameson on a porn set. If you botch a single objective, you’re done. If you ask a wrong question, you’re done. If you can’t keep up and aren’t versed in the game world’s lingo, you’re done. Joining these games always leads you to wonder why you ever bother in the first place. After all, if you want to experience the exact same quantifiable level of abuse, you can simply go to work and get paid in the process. Celebrity counterpart: Christian Bale on the set of Terminator Salvation.
They’re like Cheerios: bland but abundant. Gaming to them is meant to be a hobby and not a way of life, which automatically implies they’re unlikely to still be a virgin, like most gamers. Casuals aren’t a threat to you or other gamers unless they happen to attend your school and, while looking up cheats for GTA IV, accidentally stumble upon a cosplay site featuring pictures of you dressed up as your favorite MMO raid boss. Outside game counterpart: Paul Rudd in any movie.
Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t the same as elitists. Though they share similar characteristics—ego, narcissism, and some strong B.O. as a result of few showers—stat padders are like a pro golfer’s caddie: sure, they might have some reputation on the greens, but at the end of the day no one’s really impressed. It’s tough to take guys who lug someone else’s gear around seriously, just like it’s tough to take someone who hides behind his entire unit and picks his spots seriously. These players spend more time fawning over their record and making sure everyone’s aware of it than they do actually playing the game. Outside game counterpart: Mark Messier during his twilight years.
They unleash condescending words and phrases that you didn’t even know existed or were possible, sanctifying sailors and construction workers. These guys are cut from the same cloth as trolls but rate slightly lower on the dickhead meter, restricting their juvenile, imbecilic behavior to mere remarks. Sticks and stones may break bones but their choice words are certainly designed to make you feel more miserable than those nights you come home and cry yourself to sleep after another failed date. Outside game counterpart: Muhammad Ali during any pre-fight conference.
The concept of playing a game for pure enjoyment is foreign to these people, who run numerous accounts to finance said numerous accounts. Buoyed by their tireless bots, these jaded souls bring everything down to a monotonous grind. Game farmers run mining schemes so elaborate and complex, they cause Charles Ponzi to roll over in his grave in envy. Outside game counterpart: Bernie Madoff… after he became Bernie Madoff.
Screaming into your mic, typing in caps lock, and posting inflammatory remarks disparaging their mothers in the hopes of generating a response all accomplish nothing. You’re not sure if they’re blind, deaf, or simply ignorant of the fact that the keyboard can be used as more than just a controller. Typically, not having to put up with excessive rhetoric is a good thing, but when your team keeps losing matches or rounds because several players fail to communicate effectively, or at all, that’s when you slowly start to lose your sanity and transform into the angry German kid. Celebrity game counterpart: Kevin Smith as Silent Bob.
POWER TRIPPING ADMINS
The biggest scum of the online world. In a position of authority for the first time in their life, they wield that virtual gavel rather liberally—and with extreme prejudice—as a result of all the crap they took in high school. These dudes hate everyone: you, your doctor, Mother Theresa, Neil Patrick Harris, even your dog. Trying to get them to change is like preaching monogamy to a Mormon—don’t waste your breath. Celebrity counterpart: Denzel Washington in Training Day.
Collector’s editions are economic intelligence tests: very cheap if you pass, because you didn’t buy them. A collector’s edition means spending more money for the same game with a load of useless trinkets. You’re basically buying gifts for your favorite game characters, spending extra money in the hope it will make Master Chief love you more.
“Halo 3 Limited Edition” sold the exact same game in a fancier box. The only people who play with boxes are cats and infants, and if you gave either an extra twenty dollars they’d eat it. Which would still have been a better use of your money. Because this box tried to make things cool by combining Halo discs with Mission Impossible, because they self-destructed.
The Limited Editions disc-holding boxes were so useless they couldn’t even hold discs. Legions of players found their brand new game scratched worse than DJ Angry Cats. It was bad enough that they’d spent money for a shinier box when the disc was going to spend the next month inside their Xbox anyway, but now you’d swear the box was jealous. Either that or karma finally noticed that people were paying extra for video game boxes and decided to take action.
What’s the first thing you do with a Batarang? You’re now either imagining throwing it at the Riddler or wondering “What’s a Batarang?” Both options lead to fun answers, unlike the Arkham City Colllector’s Edition. Which advertised a 14” Batarang and then permanently attached it to a stand so you couldn’t hold it. The Joker isn’t that much of a dick about giving presents. We knew we wouldn’t be allowed to use a razor sharp chunk of awesome projectile – that’s why we play video games instead of reality in the first place – but this plastic trash couldn’t even be picked up.
The whole point of Batarangs is proving that Batman is so cool he can beat machine guns with a novelty boomerang. A Batarang on a stand is like a Unicorn on a hot dog’s ingredients list: they’ve taken something wonderful, removed the whole point, and then made it boring.
Perfect Dark Zero
If your new spouse started stabbing you on your honeymoon it wouldn’t turn love to hate as painfully as Perfect Dark Zero. It was a worst prequel than The Phantom Menace, and had similar effects on the intelligence and toughness of the main characters. Perfect Dark was one of the most beloved console shooters ever made, the sequel to GoldenEye, the game that taught the world that “console first person shooter” wasn’t an oxymoron. It was so good at shooting things for fun that when James Bond left, they realized they could do without him. And after 5 years of development, Perfect Dark Zero burst forth like an alien incubating inside your chest. But ruined things for more people.
Releasing a collector’s edition of PDZ was like blinding someone and offering them an autograph: insulting and they couldn’t enjoy it anyway. By far the worst bonus disc content was a “Development Team” feature, a painfully automatic musical slideshow featuring photographs of the development team. That would have been an awful extra for a good game, but in this it was like a dialysis machine flipping you the bird.
The Collector’s Edition was released in a special hardened metal box. We can only presume this was so that video evidence of those responsible for this travesty would survive a future apocalypse, so that humanity could send agents back in time to prevent it. Because if Perfect Dark Zero had been half as good as a Perfect Dark sequel should have been, humanity would have enjoyed world peace as everyone agreed the game was more fun than real fighting and the machine war would never have happened.
Call of Duty: World at War
World at War had a lot of problems. It was made by Treyarch back when Call of Duty games were alternately made by two companies and Treyarch was “the other one.” With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward had just redefined the meaning of shooting, finally dragging the series out of endless World War II sequels, bringing it into the modern age in terms of narrative, weapons technology, and game mechanics. Then Treyarch said “We’re just going to go back to World War II again.”
The collector’s edition included a “double experience” week, paid proof that people who gave Activision more money gained unfair advantages in the multiplayer game. But it also included a modern art masterpiece. They bundled an representation of the entire idea of collector’s edition crap into the collector’s edition, an gift of intellect so valuable no-one could quite believe Activision had been so generous. “I cannot believe this shit” were the exact words of many proud new owners, when they found that the edition included a special water canteen which couldn’t be used to hold water.
The canteen was glued shut. In a masterpiece of meta-mockery, the canteen came in a special foam-padded box with a label specifically stating that you can’t drink from it. “Look!” it laughed, “even the canteen’s own box can hold things properly, but the canteen can’t! ” That’s the sort of self-mocking riddle which would make the Sphinx commit suicide. Not only were you paying for something which didn’t work as part of the game, you were paying for something that didn’t work at all. It was just ballast to bulk up the price of the box. If couldn’t have been a more insulting cash grab if it was a note from Activision saying “How much do you love us? Plz write it as a number, between your credit card number and signature!”
Things that anyone can do are both a blessing and a terrible curse for the human race. On one hand, it gives people the chance to be equal, which, unless you’re a pig named Napoleon, is a great idea. On the other hand, it gives an unlimited amount of ways for something to be ruined. In this case, it’s the International Movie Database (IMDb), a massive collection of entertainment facts and news that anyone can edit. And, as history has proven, movies are, for better or for usually worse, things that people can interpret whichever way their crazy minds choose.
These plot summaries that sound nothing like the actual movie definitely put the “any” in anyone.
“Forrest, Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low IQ but good intentions. He is running through childhood with his best and only friend Jenny. His ‘mama’ teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, starts a ping-pong craze, create the smiley, write bumper stickers and songs, donating to people and meeting the president several times. However this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny. Who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone.”
Some stories are so…storied that they require more than one entry to explain. An example of this is Forrest Gump, which took three, though the first of these was the most notable. They open the description with “Forrest, Forrest Gump,” leading anyone who hadn’t seen the film to think that the user was either a bad editor or Forrest Gump had a James Bond way of introducing himself. They put the character of ‘mama’ between apostrophes, as if you’re supposed to be unsure of whether she’s actually Forrest’s mother or not, and any moment she would actually pull off her face skin and reveal herself to be the old miner, and she would’ve gotten all that ping pong money too, if not for those meddling kids.
Along with making “Dan” and “Bubba” seem like Forrest’s sidekicks and listing Forrest’s accomplishments like they’re making a grocery list, they refer to the scenes where Forrest ran across the country as “inspires people to jog,” which is the most literal definition of anything ever. If this user was asked to write about the symbolism in “Huckleberry Finn,” they’d tell you simply that rafts were usually made of wood.
“For Marion Crane, it’s been quite an eventful day. The day before, she had stolen $40,000 from her employer’s client, packed her bags and driven all day on her way to join her paramour several hundred miles away. Now, she is taking a relaxing hot shower after her long day’s journey. The remoteness of the motel suit her purposes perfectly. The only sounds heard are the chirping of the crickets, the splashing of the water, and her humming contentedly as the hot needles of water caress her aching shoulders. Written by filmfactsman”
Psycho takes a whopping four summaries to explain fully, because people saw that there was a previous summary and decided that they could make it seem like even more of a baffling piece of work. filmfactsman takes special care not to fall into the trap of making his words accessible and chooses the hip route – he describes the shower scene in aching detail. There is not one mention of Norman Bates, and it effectively turns Psycho into what Alfred Hitchcock initially intended for the film to sound like – the first ten seconds of a woman’s body wash commercial.
“A commercial deep space towing ship, investigating a suspected SOS, lands on a distant planet. The crew discovers some strange creatures and investigates.”
This plot summary is an expert exercise in minimalistic story telling. I’m uncertain what it stands for, but “and investigates” has to be an acronym for something like “The robot is a liar, that guy’s chest is about to be exploded and this whole voyage will go to shit.”
“The peaceful community of Amity island is being terrorised. There is something in the sea that is attacking swimmers. They can no longer enjoy the sea and the sun as they used to, and the spreading fear is affecting the numbers of tourists that are normally attracted to this island. After many attempts the great white shark won’t go away and sheriff Brody, with friends Hooper and Quint decide to go after the shark and kill it.” Written by Sami Al-Taher
According to user Sami Al-Taher, the shark that is attacking Amity Island prevents the people on the beach from being able to enjoy “the sea and the sun as they used to,” which is putting the threat very lightly.
Fisherman: Man, it’s such a nice day at the beach.
Deputy Hendricks: I know! It would be incredible if we didn’t have to dredge out any more severed limbs and hear more screaming. But you’re right. Almost perfect day!
“Mumbai’s Police Sergeant Srinivas and his Superior detain and interrogate a suspect by the name of Jamal Malik, who they suspect of cheating a popular Indian TV game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati?” (2000). They have evidence that Jamal has had no formal education and has been a career-thief as a youngster, and are determined to question him using any method to find out how he even came close to winning anything. Written by rAjOo”
This plot summary proves that if you watch the first ten minutes of Slumdog Millionaire, you have every right to assume that it will probably end up kind of like Hostel did. rAjOo never made it past the opening scene, and thus partly ends his summary with “determined to question him using any method.” You’ve already included “interrogate” in this entry, rAjOo. There’s no way that Jamal isn’t going to have a screwdriver in his chest by the end of this film.
“Aladdin, a street urchin, accidentally meets Princess Jasmine, who is in the city undercover. They love each other, but she can only marry a prince.”
The person who wrote the description for Aladdin probably knew that film had a lot to do with things like the genie and a Jafar, but those weren’t a big concern when you have a mission to make the film seem like a dull romance. Oh, Aladdin must be a prince? That’s almost a maliciously boring way to end a plot summary, considering that the DVD cover beside it features a hulking, ecstatic blue spirit and a turban-wearing sorcerer gesturing violently. I know that certain details are better left as a surprise, but if I’d never seen Aladdin before, I wouldn’t want to watch it based on this description. The Aladdin just to the left, though? I’d watch the hell out of that.
And I don’t know of a weirder way to explain Princess Jasmine going into the city, disguised as a poor person, than to say she is “in the city undercover.” Does she work on the Agrabah Police Force too? I take back what I said about the plot sounding boring. Secret Agent Jasmine would make a fantastic movie.
“Beginning innocently enough with a murder, James Bond finds himself investigating Auric Goldfinger, a gold dealer who the Bank of England suspects is stockpiling huge amounts of gold bullion. However, he soon uncovers a far more sinister plot called Operation Grand Slam and has a fair bit of bowler-hat-dodging to do from Goldfinger’s manservant, Oddjob.”
Because my brain has been so polluted by a society that likes something because of that something’s objective un-likability, I can’t tell whether this writer was being sarcastic or not. Sure, James Bond makes it certain that the every morgue in Britain will be well-staffed, 24/7, but can you begin with something like a murder and use the words “innocently enough”? The two main killings at the start of Goldfinger are a man getting electrocuted in a bathtub (after which, Bond says “Shocking. Positively shocking”) and a woman who suffocates to death because she’s completely painted gold.
I’m no coroner, but there a thousand different words that could describe those murders that aren’t even in the realm of “innocent.” If I was forced to examine either of those bodies, my automatic first hunch would be that somebody used to absolutely hate the charred/shiny mess on the examining table.
The second intriguing thing about this summary is the mentioning of “bowler-hat-dodging.” I know that James Bond villains tend to lean towards the ridiculous, but I’ve never read anything that seemed less imposing. He throws hats? That’s nice. What about sweaters? Can James Bond handle those?
Like the old days of territorial wrestling, there used to be Gods everywhere. Many of these Gods were not to be fucked with, lest they smite you with thunderbolts or drown you in a gigantic tsunami. They were worshipped out of pure fear. Also, these were ancient times, where the iPad hadn’t been invented yet, so there wasn’t much to do aside from kneeling at one temple or the other. But still, fear mostly.
Some Gods, however, seemed to be worshipped out of pure pity. These are the Gods that, quite frankly, you could pound into dust with your mere mortal hands.
Momus, Greek God of Criticism and Blame
Take an annoying YouTube troll and give him immortality. He is now Momus, whose entire shtick is to find fault with everything, no matter how tiny and insignificant it may be. In one tale, he resorted to telling off Aphrodite for having squeaky sandals, making him the all-powerful deity equivalent of that singer who dissed his ex for making noise when she walked. Momus was so bad, Zeus sent his ass into exile. Amazing; the guy with unlimited thunderbolts, and a hot temper, lost patience with the guy who laughed at him for having too much human sex.
So he would clearly attempt to mock you to death, berating you for your big nose, and how your cooking is just so awful. Ignore him. Cut off your ears if you must! Because once his mockery is silenced, all that’s left is a laughing weakling who will probably mock your punches, even as they’re knocking out his teeth one-by-one.
Geras, God of Old Age
Well, truth in advertising. Geras is a shriveled-up old man, with hardly any meat on his bones. He does have gigantic balls though, for some unexplained reason. Ancient religions were odd like that, giving huge genatalia to their deities, even if they never used them in any myths. Guess they just wanted to show us what they could do to your women at any time.
Geras can also grab you and curse you with Jack disease, making you just as old as he. So the strategy is simple: steer clear of him and pelt him with rocks from afar. He’s clearly not fast, requiring a cane to get around like any stereotypical old wheeze, so you shouldn’t have any issues here. Just don’t bother to attack his junk. Clearly that’s where his true strength lies.
Dionysus, Greek God of Wine
You don’t become a God of Wine without endlessly sampling your product, and Dionysus is no exception. He is the drunken God, rarely seen without a glass in his hand. He’s also the God of Ritual Madness and Ecstasy, which makes him a wild-and-crazy drunk. Those guys can either be real easy to knock out, or royal pains in the ass.
It doesn’t help that Dionysus has an actual weapon: a wand that can destroy all who oppose his ability to act eternally drunk and stupid. But fret not; just offer him some extra-potent wine, laced with Bacardi 151 or pure Everclear. Don’t worry, his liver’s shot; he won’t know the difference. Once he’s good and stinking drunk, it’ll become a lot easier to grab the wand and use it against him. If its powers won’t work, you not being a God and all, just beat him senseless with it. When he wakes up with Excedrin Headache #215, he’ll blame it on his latest hangover.
Ptah, Egyptian God of Craftsmen
This guy seems all-powerful at first glance. He did create the world, after all, and in his brain no less. Ever wish you could just dream of something and have it magically appear in front of you? We’d be happy if we could do that with steak or money. This guy did it with an entire universe.
But that doesn’t mean he’d be any good in a fight; the man severely handicaps himself with his fashion choice. See his body? That’s a tight shroud, which all but mummifies him. His arms are stuck in permanent T-Rex Mode, and we all know how effective those were. Basically, he’s reduced himself to a glorified punching bag. What’s more, his scepter is incredibly easy to grab and beat him half to death with. Blunt objects to the head tend to ruin anyone’s day, immortal or not.
Aura, Titan Goddess Of The Breeze
Seriously, the breeze? The gentle zephyr that ruffles your hair on a pleasant April morning? The Greeks created a God for THAT? Man, they REALLY needed video games back then. Or basic cable. ANYTHING.
So just bring a light jacket to the fight and you’re all set. Understand though; she will try to fight back, especially if you’re a man. Aura was raped by a fellow God, and she reacted by murdering countless men and eating her own children. So she has some anger issues. But it’s all bluster: she lost her strength as punishment for the whole child-eating thing, and is stuck with a power a child recreates when cooling down a bowl of macaroni and cheese.
Just pick her up and toss her back into the lake that Zeus imprisoned her in. If she keeps fighting back, and you don’t want to hit a girl, call him. He has no qualms about doing so. He’s kind of a dick, really.
Bes, Egyptian God of Pregnancy and Childbirth
Shockingly, the Pregnancy god is a guy. A short, fat ugly guy who can’t stop sticking his tongue out everywhere. That’s definitely what the ladies had in mind. Bes is the protector of pregnancies and the entertainer of young children, but he looks like he can easily be booted away, like a football in a hurricane. This fight would be over in seconds.
With the other Gods, they may have been easy to beat up, but at least they vaguely looked like Gods. This guy’s nothing more than a glorified garden gnome, with no weapon, has no real powers to speak of, and he’d probably scare away as many children as he’s supposed to entertain. Doesn’t this guy have ANTHING that makes him worthy of immortality?
…oh. Nice one, Bes. Well, that does explain all the pregnancies.