Sunday, June 30, 2013

Resident Troll: Guys? Did You Hear? Girls Don't Like Game of Thrones Because it's Icky!

So I found a thing.

My first reaction to the headline was something along the lines of:


Because it was pretty much ridiculous. I'm a girl. I like Game of Thrones. Yes I admit, I like things that most people consider male oriented, but if I can get my mom to watch six episodes of a show in one sitting, it can't be an all boys club.

Because I love analyzing things bit by bit, let's go through this article, for funsies. We can start with the headline.

"The reasons she throws shade on your medieval man show"


Let's move on.

"Game of Thrones ranks somewhere on the Girl Dislike scale between NASCAR and that National Geographic show where the guy sticks his hand in a catfish’s mouth."

Oh, hahahaha, I get it. The author is doing that thing where girls are supposed to like barbies and guys play with action figures. Riiiiight. Good job, mate. Very creative. Game of Thrones is one of those boy things like vidya games and the ESPN.

She goes on (did I mention the author is actually of the female sex? Well, that's a thing) to begin her list that explains why girls dislike GoT.

"We hate gross things. Know what’s gross? Screwing your sibling."

This is where my face is something like: 


It's pretty much like a trainwreck. Once you start looking, you can't stop. Apparently the thought that incest is unacceptable is a gender specific assumption? Maybe guys are just into that? I don't know. I don't have a penis, and thus I cannot properly judge. My vagina is clouding my judgement.

"It’s hard to follow. Brilliantly developed storylines are great, but whipping out a dry erase board and Venn diagrams to figure it all out isn’t our idea of a good time. Unless we’re talking about soap operas. Those are perfectly fine."

This is where I go from embarrassed for the author to slightly enraged, because


I can't. Honestly, if you watch and you pay attention, it's not hard at all. Soap operas however? OH MY GOD THE DRAMA AND THE ROMANCE AND THE BETRAYAL--

oh wait that's all very familiar to me, that happens in this little show called game of thrones holy shit. Except, you know, the acting isn't shitty, and the writing is actually good.

"It reminds us of the kids that used to play magic cards in the cafeteria. And people who go to Renaissance festivals. Eating a giant drumstick and drinking out of a goblet is cool, just not every Sunday night for three months straight."



I guess girls can't play "magic cards" or go to Renaissance festivals...

"It’s all naked chicks. In addition to the actual ladies of the night on the show, there seem to be a lot of...unofficial ladies of the night on the show. This is why guys love it, we get it, but we can do without seeing topless wenches in loin cloths."


First of all: I guess lesbians don't exist in this woman's world. Secondly, I love naked chicks, man. And I'm not a lesbian. But honestly, if you really hate naked chicks so much it keeps you from watching a show, there's likely an issue.

The author goes on to question how men like it considering all the castration and amputating, then starts her list of suggesting how to get your lady into Game of Thrones. She also tries to justify her previous claims by saying plenty of girls do like Game of Thrones which... I don't even know why she wrote the article if she knew such a fact.

So how do I get my girl into Game of Thrones, you ask? 

"Tell us about the romantic crap. Yes, latch onto that one fraction of a second in that one episode that made her go “awwww.”"



I love me some romance, but this comment still feels like an insult to my intelligence. 

"Downplay the incest thing."



I don't... how? The 'incest' thing sparks a fucking war that the entire show centers around. When she asks what GoT is about, you pretty much have to mention the incest thing. 

"Tell her about Sir Loras. Girls love gay guys."



Stahp.

"Assure her that Peter Dinklage’s character is a Boss (and don’t bring up the thing about his disproportionately big wang.)"



If you're trying to attract chicks, why wouldn't you go on about his disproportionately big wang? Some chicks like that.

IN CONCLUSION?

IF YOU'RE A LADY OR A NOT LADY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING GAME OF THRONES.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Steamworks: The Last of Us Review

Hey Gang,

So about a week and a half ago, Naughty Dog's new title The Last of Us hit game stores. This addition to ND's absolutely gorgeous portfolio was a highly anticipated game that reviewers have been unanimously approving of. I'd preordered the game but wasn't actually able to purchase it until this past weekend.  The Last of Us is a 12-18 hour game (depending on how long you take to search game environments) which is set 20 years after the impending zombie apocalypse and focuses primarily on Joel, a 40-50 year old smuggler and his convoy, Ellie, who is a 14 year old girl. For my spoiler-free, generalized review, keep reading; for a more in-depth, spoiler riddled review, please continue to scroll down after reading the spoiler-free review.

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:

Overall I have to say the story in this game is good. Sadly, not great; but good. It seems to be following that common formula we've been seeing in video games recently where you play as a smuggler or an escort with a sentient cargo trying to escape a place or an event (one could say with a more than decent amount of accuracy that this game is basically Bioshock Infinite except on the ground and with zombies). And even if you don't take that tired formula into consideration, the game is still very predictable. You can tell when something bad is going to happen, when there's a jump scare, or who's going to live and who will die. The only variable in the game that I wasn't completely sure about was whether one of the main characters would come out dead in the end.

I do have to say this game looks graphically crazy good. The art is phenomenal, the characters are both relatable and likeable (or easily hated, if they're a villain), and combat took an interesting twist from previous similar ND games (*cough* Uncharted). I also have to admit the game scared me quite a bit; I played the game completely in the pitch black of my basement (I was trying to immerse myself into the game, and that definitely helped). Another feature I thought to be a great idea was exploring a zombie apocalypse environment 20 years after the fact instead of doing the typical time span which is usually located in 0-3 or 4 years. Clickers are one of scariest monsters I've encountered, however they sort of lost their fright value when I could craft a few molotovs (also when I upgraded my shotgun a bunch).

Crafting is something I must comment on. To summarize the crafting system used in The Last of Us, Joel and Ellie would go around the map encountering and collecting supplies, such as rags, alcohol, sugar, adhesives, blades, and explosives. Once you had enough of a certain material, you could craft items like health kits, shivs, molotovs, smoke bombs, etc. I have to say that this is probably my favorite feature of the game, and I really hope ND finds a way to work this into their next Uncharted title. Not only was it challenging and fun to find supplies, it was very often crucial to my survival.

Overall I think it was a decent game. Do I think it was all it was chalked up to be? Sadly, no; I didn't find the story to be quite as good as everyone said it was going to be. But do I think it's worth your money? Absolutely. Whether it lived up to its hype or not, it was still an awesome game that zombie lovers, survival fanatics, and shooter gamers will love. On my final note, I guess I'm trying to say it wasn't great, or as good as people said it'd be, but it's still worth checking out while it's hot and current.

8/10

Peter, The Steamworks

FULL REVIEW:
Look guys, I said it once, but I'll say it again just in case you didn't get the memo. From this point out, I WILL BE TALKING SPOILERS. IF YOU WISH TO KEEP THE ENDING, OR ANY OTHER REVEALS A SURPRISE, PLEASE STOP READING:

Ah, there. It's always fun trying to warn people of spoilers. Anyway, moving forward:

I have to say I'm upset with the ending. I want to know what happens to Ellie and Joel, and Naughty Dog has already stated that while there may be discussion at the studios to start a sequel, they have absolutely no intention to even touch Ellie and Joel again. Naughty Dog feels they've told the story they needed to, and they wanted to make sure we had our resolution by the end of The Last of Us. The thing that makes me mad is; it didn't provide any resolution for me at all. What of the Fireflies? They aren't all dead, and surely there's another superior that wants to find Ellie. Do they ever find her? What of the settlement they're headed to? Yes, last Fall the place was starting to get electricity, but Joel's brother mentioned they were dealing with raids. From the look of the settlement in the last shoot of the game, we can't tell if it's running or if it's not. And what of Ellie and Joel? I don't believe for a second Ellie believed Joel was telling the truth about the Fireflies. I also don't believe that she wouldn't either take some sort of action if she didn't believe him or if she did, would have eventually figured out the truth.

I could go on and on about more open strings ND left dangling in the wind, never to be answered from the sound of it. Sure, maybe we'll get a Easter egg in a future sequel if we even get one, but I doubt we'll get a status report on Ellie and Joel. I feel, if this is the route they wanted to take, and they never wanted to continue Ellie and Joel's story, that they have completely failed on this part of the game. With the chaotic world Ellie and Joel live in, I have no doubt in my mind they didn't live on to have long happy lives and die of old age. And if they did, I feel that to be poor storytelling. Normally, I wouldn't mind if we were getting a direct sequel or even an "interpret it your own way" sort of deal, but ND feels they've addressed it in the game. I'm sorry but I disagree entirely. 

That was really my only qualm that contained spoilers. Just some food for thought...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Red Viking: My update on life as we know it!!

Hay everyone on the internet!!! Just wanted to give you a quick update on some things that happened to me and also an apology.

I'll do the apology first.
recently I have been dealing with college stuff and graduation things so I haven't been up to date on my posts but i'm here to tell you some good news too.

The good news:
I've recently ran into a but load of money and managed to spend it all!!! but it was all for you guys! I bought an iBuyPower revolt that is the computer that the MLG circuit uses and customized it so that it would fit in my budget and that i would get what I needed out of it. conveniently enough for me they had a sale for independence day so i was able to get more out of my money. so I spent a nice $924 on a computer (that i will review maybe? so look for that) I also received a gift card for amazon and bought a new microphone so that you can hear me better my deary, so look forward to some LP's and some podcasts or something. I don't know man anything is possible. any way I'll see you later. Be sure to keep up on our shenanigans and follow us on youtube and your social media sites. bye!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Resident Troll: Thoughts on Comics

Yup, it's back. Be happy. Be glad. Be sad. Cry. Don't cry. Do whatever you like, but also read this, because I took the time to write it. As we know, Gabby's time is very valuable.

(No it's not.)

Anyway, I picked up some comics on Wednesday, and I was pretty much super satisfied with what I grabbed. Today I'm going to talk about THE MOVEMENT #2, ULTIMATE COMICS: SPIDER-MAN #24, and FABLES #130. I might actually start going with the guys to pick up comics, so I might actually have to assemble a pull list. Things that should be interesting.

Let's start with The Movement. Spoilers ahead.

THE MOVEMENT #2: I think this came out last week, but I'm going to talk about it this week anyway. It was okay. I love Gail Simone, but sometimes her work is hit or miss. That's pretty much how I feel about this title. I'm not one hundred percent sure what's going on, but I'm sure once the arc is wrapped up I'll get something. What is a little bothersome is that she talks about un-benching characters, but they're all rather minor and niche ones. That's fine of course--I like Tremor--but it's not quite as big of a deal as we'd all want it to be.

I have a love/hate relationship with the art in this book. It's not terrible, but it's trying to be way grittier than it is. I'm not a fan of all the extra lines that look like they're like there for the sake of dirt--it ends up appearing sloppy to me. I kind of want to see the characters out of costume as well, but that's a bit much to ask for the second issue, which I understand. One thing I do like about the art, though, is that there is no Greg Land syndrome. Each character has a distinctive style, and ethnicity--regardless of coloring--is apparent in the pencils. All in all it was a decent read--but I'm hoping it gets better. The characters obviously don't know what they're doing, but I hope the writer on the book knows what she's doing.

ULTIMATE COMICS: SPIDER-MAN #24: There are two reasons I began reading Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. I saw caps of Sara Pichelli's artwork on Tumblr, and I heard that Cloak and Dagger were going to be in the upcoming issues. Cloak and Dagger happen to be two of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe--mostly because of their dynamic. Sure, a lot of their stories are cliche and overdone, but they're just extremely interesting for me.

This issue, really, was their backstory in the Ultimate U. It flashed in and out from the past and the present, and the dynamic between Cloak and Dagger is still the same that I love. I actually wish that the story of these two happened to be the one in Earth-616, because it's definitely less melodramatic.

Miles still struggles with things as they are. He's at a restaurant with his father when it's attacked, and Gwen Stacy just happens to work there. She talks to Miles, tells him he should kick the whole Spidey gig back up, which he's given up ever since his mother pulled an Uncle Ben. He refuses to help, and Gwen yells at him, but it really does make sense for Miles to quit as Spidey. At the end of the issue, it does look like he's close to returning to being Spider-Man.

Ultimately, this issue doesn't progress the story much, but it was a great read for me. I feel like this title is Bendis at his best. If you don't like Cloak and Dagger, though, you're probably not going to be a fan.

FABLES #130: Let's take a moment to just admit that you'll be hard pressed when it comes to finding a comic that has better covers than Fables. They're consistently great, and one of my favorite parts is that the entire thing is a work of art--as opposed to other books that happen to be art, then the title of the book stamped on top of all of it.

I was originally upset that this was a one-shot as opposed to simply moving onto the next arc, but this issue more than made up for the wait. It was also needed--last issue had some rather heavy material, whereas this one is light and rather funny. I had so much fun reading this (really, ask Peter, because I annoyed him as I was reading it out loud). Junebug is such a great character, the best thing about child characters in books. Her parents are definitely on the slow side, but you can't really blame them because they used to be blocks of wood.

Junebug and her family move into the Fables castle and she decides to explore. She goes on a spree of annoyance, until she almost gets herself killed. That was probably my favorite part, where she's harassed by the rats--they talk like Gollum and it's great.

All in all, it's such a fun read. Honestly, I can't pick which issue was my favorite of the week--Ultimate Comics Spider-Man or Fables. Both were pretty much just what's great about comics.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Slightly Redder Red: Muh Halo

Yes, I'm aware the following article can or can not be based completely on bias.

So despite all the extreme consumer backlash regarding the Xbox One I've been hearing about from nearly all of my video gaming compatriots I go to school with, no one seems to be saying they'll purchase a PlayStation 4.

WHY.

Why do you complain about getting fucked in the ass so much but still pay a giant burly man four hundred ninety nine dollars to do it?

WHY?

Halo. I've never seen such voracious brand loyalty since the release of the iPhone 5. The fan commitment to Halo has been astronomically huge, people have been buying the books and following fan created media since its release on the original Xbox, and now it seems that Steven "Highest Bidder" Spielberg is going to make the fans crave even more. This 1984-esque machine that's committing the used games genocide is receiving sales based on the fact it has one game. Halo 4 honestly wasn't even that good, even my Halo crazy friends agree with me. Shouldn't you be loyal to Bungie, the people to created it, not Microsoft, the people who are selling it?

In my own defense, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of Deus Ex: Human Revolutions; it was my favorite game of 2011 before I started playing Dark Souls in 2012, and when the Director's Cut of the game got announced I had all but guaranteed Square Enix my money. When I heard it was only coming out for WiiU, did I rush to my local retailer to buy the console, or else be deprived of muh Deus Ex? No, I sucked it up and realized I'd much rather look at the consoles as a whole then buy the WiiU specifically for Deus Ex

When the drooling masses stop listening to Microsoft's puppet show in which the skull of Bungie is used as a hand-puppet spitting shitty one liners like Rodney Halo-field, please tell me.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Project Better Dolphin Team: Humble Bundle 8 Contest Winner!

Our very own Peter from the Steamworks recorded the drawing for the contest:


Congrats to the winner (the code for the bundle will be emailed to you in the next coming days), and thank you all so much for participating in our contest! If you didn't win, don't fret; we'll be having more before you know it. We've definitely learned a lot from host this contest, and we hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks again, and stay tuned!!

Project Better Dolphin

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Steamworks: Comic Roundup 06/12/2013

Hey Gang,

So as many of you comic readers know, today, like every Wednesday, and entire stampede of comics from varying companies like Image, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and so many more were dropped into retail stores. For a full list of releases for today, click the hyperlink. Obviously, it'd be near impossible for me to sit here and give you a little recap on every item on that list and to give each a rating, so I'll be talking about the comics on my pull list today, which were Avengers Assemble #016, Guardians of the Galaxy #003, and The Walking Dead #111 (Comics that I also read that came out today are Thor God of Thunder #009, Nightwing #021, and Batman #021, however I'm not caught up on those yet, so I will not be recapping them. However, if you were looking for a Batman Zero Year recap/review, I'm almost positive Chazz from Shatterblog! will want to talk about that, so be on the lookout for a possible post from him). Pretty much everyone on the blog reads comics and had something coming out today, so if I'm not talking about something you want to hear about, there is a decent chance someone else from PBD will write a post that contains what you're looking for. Obviously, spoilers will entail in the following reviews, so if you haven't gotten to read these and wish to, STOP READING. Time to get started!

The Walking Dead #111:

Can I take a second and talk about how sick I am of the Negan story? Maybe it's just me, but the story has been going on for way too fucking long. I've been actively pulling The Walking Dead since issue #100, and for the past 12-14 issues we've just been getting Negan story. Don't catch me the wrong way, I love Negan as a character ... well sort of; I have mixed feelings for him. In some ways he's one of the greatest villains ever written (in my humble opinion); it's beyond easy to instantly hate anything this guys does. It's gotten to the point where his name is mentioned and I all I can think about is wanting to kill him (even more than Joffrey from Game of Thrones ... which by the way, while we're mentioning Game of Thrones... WHY ROB WHY?!?!... I hate this show for stealing my emotions...). That being said, he gets worn out rather quickly. I can't tell if it's because of how evil this character is, or the way he's written, or if it's simply been too much time, but his sadistic charm is starting to wain. My hate is turning into annoyance, and the story is starting to bore me. I swear I keep reading the same issue over and over again.

However, what really makes this issue interesting at all is Negan's sudden appearance in Rick's hood. I absolutely love his interaction with Olivia (by love I mean it renewed my hate for him ... no I'm not into non-consensual sex), and his scene with Spencer was pretty fucking twisted. However, I have to say if anything. Negan is clever and logical. I think this scene could have made a bit more of an impact if the scene with Olivia happened with a character we were more attached to. Pretty much the entire rest of the comic, however, was unneeded filler. I've been waiting for an epic showdown for at least five to eight issues. Sadly, I'm predicting at least another 3-5 before we get what we've been patiently waiting almost a year for. This story's done, Kirk. Start a new story line. Build on the entire "Rebuidling Humanity" complex... I like this... but this Negan situation has to be resolved, one way or another.

6.5/10

Guardians of the Galaxy #003:

Before I begin, I must say I wasn't really invested in Guardians of the Galaxy with the first two issues. It was nice being able to read some Tony Stark (I don't like any of his writers, with the exception of Guardians and Avengers Assemble), and I got to learn a bit more about this mysterious force I had only heard mentioned. This issue completely pulled me in. While the council meeting in the beginning was vaguely boring, it quickly picked up the pace with Tony Stark's humor and Groot's amazing appearance. I also have an undying love for Rocket Raccoon; if I had to assault a force of enemies threatening my life with a buddy, he'd be up there. The art by Steven McNiven is fucking phenomenal and is clear and vivid. The comic ended on a cliff hanger and a  very interesting note, which left me already waiting eagerly for the next issue. All in all, I have little to no complaints; can't wait for more GotG!

8/10

Alright gang, that's it for my Comic Roundup! I hope you enjoyed your comics of the week as I generally did. Don't forget to enter the Humble Indie Bundle Contest we have running; all you need to do is comment on the post with a way we can contact with, and you'll automatically be entered into the drawing! Don't forget, the deadline for that is THIS SATURDAY (June 15th, 2013), so get that in ASAP. There's literally no reason for you not to.

Peter, The Steamworks

***So I was supposed to have Avengers Assemble up and reviewed, but there's been some technical difficulties with that. There seems to be no relevancy between issues 14, 15, or 16, so I'm beinning to think maybe I pulled the wrong comic or something? I haven't read the annual yet so I'm assuming what I'm missing is in there. I'll update you guys ASAP!***

Monday, June 10, 2013

Slightly Redder Red: WHEN YOU WALK AWAY

YOU DON'T HEAR ME SAY
PLEASE
OBEY ME
DON'T GO
SIMPLE AND CLEAN
IS THE SHDASIHDAJASDAPJDASPDA
ADAHIOADSJASPLA


KINGDOM HEARTS THREE CONFIRMED FOR PS4 TITLE



Slightly Redder Red: EA Conference 2013

Let the evil unfold....


So the conference started with stupid wubs, and then led into the Plants Versus Zombies third person shooter, which looks kawaii as hell but repetitive. It runs on the new Battlefield engine for some stupid reason. Then the Popcap guy started talking about Peggle 2 and left the stage, with me wondering if he's being serious.

Titan Fall or whatever just looks like a literal copy of Brink and Blacklight: Retribution and Halo mushed together. Then they started jizzing over their new engine and saying the next few games were on the Frostbyte engine.

I couldn't care less about Need for Speed. The multiplayer looks like standard drop in drop out, although they called it revolutionary. It makes me wish I was playing Burnout: Paradise. I will admit, the graphics were good. But then they started advertising the Need for Speed movie, and since that's not video games I don't approve.

The Dragon Age: Inquisition reveal was really shitty. They talked for a minute and then played the trailer for the game. As soon as it was over they played EA SPORTS. IT'S IN THE GAME, which no one who watches E3 gives a shit about. I liked the random black guy with dreads doing spoken word about sports video games, though.

They're going into so much detail about all the new mechanics being put into their sports games to prove REALISM, like dribbling technology and feet technology.

For some reason Drake is making an appearance. He talks about football. Not American football, I mean futbol. 

UFC is getting a huge spotlight because of the deal they made last year. I really don't care.

Battlefield 4 reveal was honestly the highlight, and I don't even LIKE Battlefield. 64 playtesters playing a cool looking map. Graphics were the same as three, but the environment destruction and teamwork looks okay. I can't hate the whole "tablet integration command mode thing". I DID hate that they were playing on PC, but pretty much every playtester that was on stage was using an Xbox controller.

Wanna know what's better than BF4? MIRROR'S EDGE 2, NIGGA. I guess I have to stop boycotting EA for one game. 

All in all, I'd give the conference a D.
 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shatterblog!: In a Tidal Wave of Mystery Review

This is a big week for music for me! Two of my favorite bands, The Limousines and Capital Cities both released new albums. I will be reviewing Capital Cities first full album, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, for all of you today.

I really enjoyed all of Capital Cities' EPs. All the best songs from those made it onto the album. I don't know what the average number of already released songs on a first album is, but I must admit I did feel there wasn't enough new content to justify the purchase price. Only 5 of the 12 songs had actually never been released before, so long time fans of the band may want to skip the full purchase and just grab those songs. That being said, the songs from the EPs are fucking excellent. Starting the album with "Safe and Sound" was an obvious choice but it really paid off. The flow of the album is really good, and the first new song, "Farrah Fawcett Hair" (featuring Andre 3000, yes you read that right) is definitely a quality way to kick off the new content. The album is generally the alt/electronica high energy stuff we're used to, not much deviation. Of course being the first full album one does not expect them to be experimenting with their sound a whole hell of a lot yet. Every song is catchy, once Capital Cities gets stuck in your head the only way to force it out is with a bullet (not that you'd want to). The lyrics are a lot of fun, nothing too deep but not all music needs to be.

In a Tidal Wave of Mystery is a really strong first album. Despite the lack of new content, the high quality of the songs from the EPs and the memorableness of certain new songs like "Farrah Fawcett Hair", "Origami", and "Chasing You" more than make up for that. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fun semi-pop electronic type album. If you've been loyally buying the EPs since the beginning, you may consider just picking up the new songs but they're well worth it. It's just a light, fun album and listening to Capital Cities makes you want to dance. That's generally not my speed but this album is a pretty good exception. 8.25/10.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Steamworks:Thoughts and Impressions: Adventure Time Season One


Hey Gang,

It seems a surge of content has found its way to the blog. Us writers of PBD are trying to get our shit together and find more ways to amuse you. I'm pleased to announce that Pete's Bit is slated for June 18th, 2013 re-release, and I couldn't be more excited. NYCC Press submissions also open this summer, and our blog will once again attempt to get our hands and a few to bring you some great content from the con. Regardless of press passes, you can be sure that you'll receive a boatload of exclusive coverage of NYCC. As always, we're super hyped for the con, and we're all hard at work on cosplays and other con preparing nonsense, so definitely check up with the blog in the next coming months for tips and tricks for coning and what to expect. I've also been thinking about bringing back Pete's Magical Playlist, so be on the lookout for that as well. Lastly, I just traded in my iPhone 4 in exchange for a new Samsung Galaxy S4, so be sure to watch out for a tech review (I haven't decided whether that'll be a review I cover on Pete's Bit or on a written post, so be on the lookout
for that).

Anyway, that's enough announcements for now; today I'm here to bring to you my thoughts on the first season of the Cartoon Network exclusive Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. The first season of the show is very whimsical, enchanting, and hysterical. While at first glance the show appears to be no more than a kid's show, the program is great at being simultaneously entertaining, inappropriate, yet kid friendly (at least on the surface). Finn, the 12 year old protagonist who seems to be the only human left on the planet, wanders the land with Jake, his best friend dog who has magical powers that allow him to stretch insurmountable lengths. Throughout their adventures they meet an endless amount of side-characters which including Princess Bubblegum, a genius candy princess who Finn crushes on, Lumpy Space Princess, a princess from Lumpy Space (who is also my favorite character on the show), Marcelene, an edgy vampire chick that feasts on the color red, and Treetrunks, a tiny, utterly adorable yellow elephant obsessed with apples (my second favorite character).

Among these side characters, Finn also meets antagonists such as the Ice King, an evil wizard that rules the arctic realm and steals princesses in hopes of marrying one. In the first season there seems to be no real evidence of an overarching story; it generally seems each 12 minute episode contains its own story that can, however, draw from past events and seems to keep some sort of continuity. The great thing about this show is, you can jump in at any time. Sure, it might be helpful to see the episode where Finn and Jake first run into the Ice King to learn exactly what drives him, but it's really not all too difficult to pick up who's important, who's evil, or what's relevant in later episodes.

While I've heard things change in the following seasons, the only thing I really dislike about the show is there's not really a story. As I said before, there are contained stories in each episode, but I like a bit more complexity in my TV shows. I understand it's a show aimed for children, hence why there might not be complexity when they're first trying to get it off the ground, but from what I've heard of later seasons, I feel like this would have been an excellent time to set up a story or environment to build on. The voice acting is phenomenal, with a smallish-sized cast of voices giving words to practically hundreds of different characters. The art style is simplistic most of the time, however still great, and it's really great seeing all the distrubing characters and environments brought to life.

All in all, I'd definitely recommend it to a friend. The show is simply odd and it's fun to watch and wonder why the hell we'd give this to our children. The show is practically an acid trip without the trouble of taking drugs. The show immediately had me pulled in with little to no extra effort on its part, my favorite episode being when Jake gets the Lumps.

Alright Gang, that's all the content I have for you today. Hope you have a fantastic Monday!

Pete, The Steamworks

P.S: Don't forget to check out our Humble Indie Bundle Contest!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Project Better Dolphin Team: Contest Time!

Hey gang, and happy summer! In celebration of the beginning of June and all the good things that come along with it we have decided to do a giveaway!


We have highlighted the excellent Humble Indie Bundle before, and hopefully some of you picked it up. This time, we will be giving away a gift copy of the Humble Indie Bundle 8! This bundle includes some of Chazz's favorite indie games: Proteus, Dear Esther, Hotline Miami, and Thomas Was Alone, as well as some he has wanted to play like Awesomenauts, Capsized, and Little Inferno. It also includes several soundtracks. This is a really awesome bundle and we are all pretty hype to have a code to give away.

Just leave a comment on THIS POST and keep an eye on the blog on June 16th, they day after school ends for Peter and Chazz. To celebrate, the winner of this contest will be announced early morning/afternoon EST. Good luck!

UPDATE!
The wonderful folks at Humble Bundle have added EVEN MORE games to this excellent bundle! On top of the games listed above, you will receive Tiny & Big in Grandpa's Leftovers, Intrusion 2, English Country Tune, and Oil Rush, along with more soundtracks! I also didn't make it clear (though the Humble site does) these are all Steam compatible and multiplatform (Windows, Linux, Mac).

The revised and expanded Humble Indie Bundle 8 lineup!

Shatterblog!: Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why'd You Steal Our Garbage!? Review

Hey everybody, wanted to get a review up so we have some actual content. Recently I got into Adventure Time, which I did not think would happen but it turns out I really enjoy the show. After watching several seasons I decided to track down a copy of Hey Ice King, Why'd You Steal Our Garbage!? for the 3DS. I remembered seeing a positive review somewhere so I figured it was worth a go. After a lot of searching and requisitioning help from a friend working at GameStop, I managed to get a copy.

The gameplay takes two forms. There is an overworld map to wander around on, going from zone to zone. These zones are linked by stairs or passages, which is the main gameplay mode. It's side-scroller beat-em-up type combat with loads of familiar enemies from the show. The actual gameplay is really simple, with one button linked to your normal attacks and the other special moves performed  by Jake who is in your backpack. You can also use cool items (also recognizable for fans of the show) in combat. As you go through the dungeons and overworld, you unlock new abilities such as Jake's Ear Shield or a downward falling stab. You also learn travel type powers that let you transition to the next zone. Basically, the Land of Ooo is divided into 4 main sections: Grasslands, Candy Kingdom, Red Rock Cliffs, and the Ice Kingdom. In each zone you have to collect a certain number of special quest items, fight a boss, rescue a princess made of the garbage the Ice King stole, then turn return with the final quest item to learn a new transitional power. The first of these allows Jake to transform into a bride, and more unlock later in the game.

The graphics are a pretty cool mix of retro/16-bit with the show's unique artwork. In 3D the foregrounds and backgrounds look really great, which I did not expect. In my experience with the 3D it has largely been annoying/distracting. The soundtrack is mostly chiptunes type music, with some exceptions. For example, the  village of tough guys has a song that simply repeats the words "Drink, fight, be manly!" which is pretty funny. The song even has it's own theme, which is a modified version of the shows theme. There isn't much actual spoken dialogue but when there is the actual VAs from the show do everything. The sound effects are mostly lifted from or based off the show. The entire game is really just full of fanservice and it's lovely.

Dungeons, bossfights, and combats are all pretty solid. The dialogue and jokes are amazing and the fact that the writing is all done by Pendleton Ward really shows. There are some truly great lines (make sure to try to enter the first temple before you get the sword! Trust me on this one). The biggest complaint is the length. It took me around 6 hours to beat the game, and I went fairly slowly. While it offers a New Game + mode, it's repetitive enough to begin with that it isn't terribly re-playable. The only collectibles are 12 chests with Level Up stars hidden throughout the game. There are some hidden items but none of them are really exclusive. Pretty much everything drops from enemies at some point. I also didn't find the items to be terribly useful besides the regenerative ones. They were amusing mostly, not helpful.

Overall it's a good game. I was sad when it ended so quickly, but it was a really fun ride. I recommend it to anyone who loves the show. 8.75/10.



Slightly Redder Red: Evil Friends

I'm a huge fan of Portgual. The Man, and have been since my friend let me borrow their Satanic Satanists album about two years ago, and my faith in them as artists has been incredibly reaffirmed after listening to this album all the way through.

Evil Friends, the band's seventh album if I'm counting correctly, is a psychedelic trip I love going on. It's melodic, heavy, and the words are written with hypnotic prose that I can't help singing to myself almost everywhere I go. John Gourley always stands out with his "I wonder what the kids are going to interpret this as?" writing style. The album was produced by Danger Mouse, and although I'm not a huge fan of his work I can understand why people would be. This album actually inspired me to look into Broken Bells.

The album starts off incredibly strong, the first song Plastic Soldiers serving well as an introduction to the rest of the songs. The second, third, and fourth songs, the third being the title track, is definitely my favorite place on the album, you will remember those three songs and the order they're in for the rest of the your goddamn life. The rest of the album is just as memorable, especially Sea of Air and Purple Yellow Red and Blue. Sometimes, when I listen to CDs, I see some songs as filler. The entirety of Wasting Light after Rope serves as a good example. But like the rest of Portugal. The Man's albums, there really isn't a bad song on here. Everything works together to create an incredible experience. Try it, buy it, take it home. Definitely my favorite album by them.


You can preorder it on iTunes after listening here. You'll want to. It comes out officially Tuesday.