ps238principal (ps238principal) wrote,

IRQ will return as soon as I'm not tending to work and/or children...





Anyone who was awaiting another Interrupt Request should seek help will have to wait 'till later on Monday or Tuesday, depending on how the day shakes out. For a stand-alone substituted (with a heads up on NSFW language), Spoiler Warning has posted its second-anniversary episode. I can only aspire to such greatness. Back to my lame excuses, I had some family-time and what have you to keep me off the streets (and the computer), so I was unable to record and edit like I'd hoped. That said, I'm amazed at how similar Skyrim is to Fallout, and when comparing the two I start to think that what Phil & Dixie said so long ago about game settings wasn't pretty much on the money. I'm not saying there aren't differences in overall play, but there are quite a few thematic and mechanical ones:

- In my opinion, both series are post-apocalyptic. One is more obvious, having taken place after a nuclear war, but those ruins in Skyrim weren't always ruins. It seems that fantasy of all stripes requires ruins to be present, otherwise the heroes would have to get real jobs or take part in huge wars to get access to cool weapons and other random loot. Not to mention that the ruins in Skyrim were built by a more advanced civilization, since it'd take one with lots of spare (or bored) engineering capacity to make huge stone doors that sink into the floor and work thousands of years after they were built.
- Lights that last forever. In Fallout, lights are atomic powered. In Skyrim, I suppose they could be magic torches and sconces. Either way, most of your typical dungeon o' doom is brightly lit.
- Junk everywhere and immortal food. Keeping with the post-apoc thing, you could spend years in either game just collecting cooking utensils, tableware, and empty bottles left behind by long-gone people. Also, the vegetable you just gleaned from some farmer's field is just as apparently fresh as the one that you pulled from a container inside an underground complex sealed up centuries ago.
- Stupid, stupid NPCs. Nobody seems to get that as a wizard/gunner, running ahead of me is pretty much a bad idea for everyone involved.

I'm also noticing that both game series do tend to dislike my playing style which is driven more by finding places on my radar rather than by being told by someone to start a quest chain that leads me to a given area. If there are no locks on the door (or ones that I can't pick), I'll probably stick my nose in and mess up whatever the place was built to do for a given storyline. I can't help it if breaking & entering is more interesting than what a guy on a throne has to tell me about possible opportunities in state-sponsored robbery and killing, right?

Given that someday I'll have to help my kid "learn stuff," I thought I'd post a video I ran across that may help anyone out there trying to memorize the U.S. Presidents (because history is important, yo). It's a fairly easy to remember melody which, while kind of long, does contain a few facts about the Oval Office occupants. The real reason I'm putting this out there is to allow a few other songs that might come in less handy, but are funnier:

- Of course one was sung the Animaniacs.
- If you just need one President, They Might Be Giants do a ditty about James K. Polk (the audio is apparently an out-of-print B-side, not the album version).
- And back to cartoons for a more recent (if unhelpful) song by Lola Bunny, who seems to have a history book from a much more interesting timeline. Also, Charles Nelson Reilly would probably have given the best State of the Union addresses ever.

I think we can see why "serious" songs about Presidents kind of died out decades ago; the masses need names and dates to pass their history quizzes, and writing "I Like Ike" usually gets you nothing, grade-wise.

Let me preface this next thing by saying I don't have an iPhone, nor do I have any stake in "Bad Robot" productions other than I like their shows/movies in general. Anyway, an iPhone owning friend of mine got this nifty Action Movie FX app, which lets you turn your camera videos into the latest clip from a Michael Bay production. A quick sample can be seen here, though my friend sent me one he took from the passenger seat of his car where he filmed the driver, then looked ahead at the road where it appeared that another vehicle crashed in a fiery explosion right in front of his bumper. The potential for practical jokes centered around the idea of "and this is the last thing we found on his phone" abound. It looked pretty good, and if nothing else, you can become your own Roger Corman and sell your output to SyFy, so it's technically an investment.

Though I've said I probably won't be in on the Mass Effect 3 release, I'm passing along a trailer for Mass Effect 3: Team Special Fortress Forces. Okay, so I'm snarking a bit there, but it looks like you have class/race abilities that are pretty common (tank, sniper, stealth, soldier, etc.) though I can't tell if it's a team-based RPG or campaign scenario or if you can also have some others playing similarly-matched bad guys. I dunno what the crossover market is between those who like single-player RPGs/shooters and those who go in for team-based ones, but maybe it's hoped that the usual bad NPC A.I. will drive people to see if humans are any less prone to jump in front of you while you're firing a weapon at full auto. :)

- I'm sure a great many superhero collectibles have been experimental ideas floated by various marketing departments that were okayed on a Friday night right before it was time to hit the bars, but the X-Men Mutant Play Shave Set is one of such amazing absurdity that I think I'd love to have on my shelf. Plus, if I ever needed to shave my mutant, I'd be ready.
- So I'm thinking that we could solve a lot of our energy problems by making something that generates power via things cats get into fights with. The epic score really makes the video for me.
- To show we're not all heathens, here's some artistic-type stuff that's pretty interesting in concept. A Japanese art student printed images of the skeletons of eight endangered species on translucent paper and then folded them into appropriately shaped origami animals.
- It's been some time since I posted a Maru the Cat video, but I thought this one was sufficiently amusing. I wasn't sure what a Kamakura House was, and I get the impression it's a dome-like enclosure made of snow.
- Splitman is a game where you have the power to survive division into copies of yourself. Thankfully, the villain in this sprite-like platformer has put spinning saw blades all over the place.
- The reasoning is that if you thought you were contributing to the death of a fish, you might use less water to wash your hands. While this might also discourage hand-washing in general, a beverage machine next to this contraption would probably do a lot of good business as well.
- I don't drink much, but I'd try something called an Alien Brain Hemorrhage at least once.
- Before the internet was created to show Batman doing awesome stuff like fighting sharks with lightsabers, there were some really great Bat-trading cards in 1966.
- Mostly because I'm a sucker for all things Mitchell & Webb, here's their comedy sketch "Attic Junk." I'd watch a M&W cartoon show, if anyone at the BBC, Cartoon Network, or Adult Swim is reading...
- This may be interesting for the future: Some companies are trying out forgoing resumes and opting for other evaluation methods, like asking for your web presence. I'm either a major hiring target or completely unemployable, I think.
- Possible good news on the Green Arrow TV series front. A character list shows a "Dinah Lance," which is the alter-ego of the super-heroine Black Canary. Just a love interest or gateway to that Justice League some have dreamed of?
- Here's a "whoa, deep" concept: Use a camera and computer to play music based on the rings of a tree as you spin a disc cut from the trunk.
- Some of these have been here before, but it's not every day I run across a collection of Daleks you can eat.
- It's neither Christmas or Halloween, but I had to share This is Aperture, a mashup of Portal with The Nightmare Before Christmas.
- I think it's been three years since the last installment, but The Several Journeys of Reemus, part 4 was worth the wait for a funny fantasy point-n-click adventure game.
Tags: fallout, mass effect 3, presidents day, skyrim, video games
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  • 16 comments

kevinbunny

January 30 2012, 07:59:39 UTC 2 years ago

Ah, yeah.. Was going to send you the link to This Is Aperture, but I got distracted by rabid hamsters and forgot.

samson_of_5

January 31 2012, 21:08:12 UTC 2 years ago

That song made me happy today. I needed that.

ps238principal

February 1 2012, 08:10:39 UTC 2 years ago

Aperture Science would like to discourage any rumors that our Personality Core technology is in any way related to plastic balls with small animals inside running for their lives. The similarities may be numerous but Aperture's products contain at least 15% more science per spehere!

- Cave Johnson

Sean Sarff

January 30 2012, 14:47:01 UTC 2 years ago

Man I haven't seen that animaniacs president song in forever. I find it funny that after all the years deprecating the song and Ford that he'll always be remembered as the president that fell out of Air Force One. I have to wonder if Stephen Spielberg bothered to update his song what the new lyrics would say about Bush and Obama. I imagine for Bush something like, "he made up funny words a lot."

Also love that last line about the press distorting everything you say.

ps238principal

February 1 2012, 08:11:58 UTC 2 years ago

That's the trouble with presidential history songs; their accuracy is 8 years, tops.

I also wanted to put up the Presidents Birthday song by Heywood Banks, but there wasn't even a good audio link to be had. It contained the lyric "for some unknown reason, Grover got elected twice..."

Anonymous

January 30 2012, 16:37:46 UTC 2 years ago

The Order of the Stick held a Kickstarter drive to fund making reprints of back issues. They reached their goal of $57,750 in just 2 days! I would totally fund a Kickstarter drive by Aaron Williams to have him reprint all issues of Nodwick, PS238, and Full Frontal Nerdity in COLOR. I'm sure other people feel the same way. I'd give him at least $350 to have a full set of his comic collections in color.

ps238principal

February 1 2012, 08:14:07 UTC 2 years ago

That... might be an idea.

I already have a nice set of photoshop filters that do the "flatting" of comic art (filling every enclosed white space with color that can be easily selected with the magic wand tool), so colorization might not be all that hard.

I shall consider this mightily!

captaingeek

January 30 2012, 17:19:23 UTC 2 years ago

Modern World evolves into Gamma World evolves into D&D/Standard Gaming Fantasy World Evolves into Modern World. History repeats itself.

Look at Thundarr. 8-)

ps238principal

February 1 2012, 08:23:00 UTC 2 years ago

Heh. That reminds me of a theory that Disney's Aladdin is actually a post-apocalyptic world circa about 11,989 AD.

benchilada

January 30 2012, 17:51:00 UTC 2 years ago

I'm still tempted to go back and buy that X-Men shaving kit....

ps238principal

February 1 2012, 08:20:33 UTC 2 years ago

I'd buy one to look at on my "shelf o' weird" and then break open a second one for my kid to use so I could take photos. Because he's totally a mutant.

Anonymous

January 30 2012, 18:53:46 UTC 2 years ago

I still say the reason the dungeons in Skyrim are lit is because of the bandits that are already there and that you have to kill when you enter them. Is that really so hard to see? Well, ok, that doesn't explain the dungeons with no bandits and a bunch of draugr. Maybe the draugr lit the torches and braziers? Although, in most dungeons, you *will* come across some dead adventurers or "expedition" members, so mostly, it's "explained" how the dungeons are lit.

ps238principal

February 1 2012, 08:16:01 UTC 2 years ago

The ones where I come across others that got ahead of me often make me wonder why there was still loot to get and why all the traps weren't sprung. :)

However, the loot thing kind of got "explained" by a dungeon where two adventurers tag along, talking about getting loot/treasure, yet they never stop at a single chest or search any corpses. I was convinced they were imposter adventurers, but I think it turned out they were just not very bright.

gillsing

January 31 2012, 01:12:00 UTC 2 years ago

I like Ike and his itty-bitty A-bomb.

The Fallout/Skyrim thing reminds me of all the complaints that Fallout 3 would just be 'Oblivion with guns'. I guess that goes both ways, with each new game being a stepping stone for the other series.

ps238principal

February 1 2012, 08:19:28 UTC 2 years ago

And there are pretty significant differences, especially in character advancement. There also seems to be a lot less talking in Skyrim than in Fallout. I mean, usually a named NPC will give you some kind of taunt or dialog choice before you have to enter combat, but most of the ones I've come across pretty much start with the killing right away.

I think it's mostly the visuals and play style. The bandits are really starting to remind me of the Fallout raiders, with all of the plank bridges on old ruins and the piecemeal armor, the mohawks, etc.

I'd almost like to see a Fallout game that uses the "if you use a skill, you get better at it" system of advancement, but that wouldn't really be true to the previous games.

Anonymous

January 31 2012, 02:55:51 UTC 2 years ago

I prefer Johnathan Coulton's "Presidents" song, myself. You can see at at the tube of you here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdUUywIsIGI