New Mutants, what happened!

Maaaaattt and I tried to go to the movie theater Friday and it was great: we were just spaced out and had to wear masks when going into the theater itself. If we skip the masks, it would be a fucking AWESOME experience as it is a completely non-crowded theater by design. I recommend going to see movies now before things get back to normal as you will not have crowds.

However, our attempt to see New Mutants failed as Mother Nature had other plans. A GIANT supercell went over the top of the movie theater before floating angrily out over the lake and knocked the power out all over the area, including the theater.

And, of course, it was right when the movie was starting to get interesting.

As far as I can tell seeing only about half the fim, New Mutants is a horror movie with super heroes, which due to my love of BPRD (Hellboy), Call of Cthulhu and CMON’s The Others, is right up my alley.

And who is not a fan of Magik?

FUCK OR FIGHT.

Dr. Squatch is damn good soap

This is not an advertisement, but it’s going to read like one. I will readily admit, I totally fell for the Dr. Squatch video ad years back fronted by comedian James Schrader as it was hilarious and subsequently started up a small soap subscription. I want to say a couple things because I think it’s an EXPENSIVE but excellent product.

First, I don’t think about soap, well not until now. I grew up with Irish Spring, Ivory and Yardley’s of London soap as a kid as an adult I would just get those bottles of ‘soap’ from a pump and never thought about it.

Of course, special soaps were for womenfolks! When you see the little soap places at the mall or at county fairs or farmers markets, it’s ALWAYS marketed to the women. Therefore, I never thought about this type of soap as a guy except as gifts for gals and me mum –and it all smells super girly anyway. The Squatch stuff is marketed specifically, and humorously, towards men. Never having thought about it before, I figured, what the heck. This turned out to be a good marketing ploy to fall for, the shit is GOOD and I did give a few bars to my mom even though they are MANLY SOAPS.

The Dr. Squatch stuff showed up and smelled great. I used it for a week or so and while still thinking about soap, called it already as the best bar soap I’ve ever used. Skin doesn’t feel all dry (I never noticed before that it was, but it was) after or later in the day. It has great lather, and a good variety of (manesque) smells. All of the bars were great, but the Pine Tar made everything in the shower black for a bit, so I wasn’t the biggest fan of that one. Some of the bars last longer than others, but generally they last awhile. It sorta depends who else is using your shower. My kids get in there and I think they lather up with the shit for a LONG period of time because that’s what this soap wants you to do: lather the shit out of yourself, which, thinking about soap for probably the first time in my existence, is likely the mark of good soap.

That said, it’s 6$ PER BAR. This is expensive. Realistically I’d like to be paying about 3$ per bar of soap, but I really cannot fault the quality of this stuff. Try it– and you probably don’t ever need to think about soap again.

Lastly, this is a gaming blog so for me to take the effort, as fucking lazy as I am, to post about soap, I have to say I REALLY like the soap and when I use of my favorite scents down to a nub and it falls to the floor of the shower, sometimes, I feel sad. Otherwise, I pretty much will never think about soap again other than which scent to grab next.

Virtua Fighter 5 turned 10 last month

Wow. 10 years. I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface yet with this fighter and I have played it a lot. I still ALWAYS have my Xbox 360 connected to a TV in the house for this game alone (and a few others). Granted, right when this came out I had my second kid crawling around, so there hasn’t been much time for serious fighting game play or practice.

I first played Virtua Fighter 2 in the arcade at the University of Florida (and later at the arcade in Madison, WI) and waited EAGERLY for it to come out on consoles. I could never get anyone to really play it with me a ton, and in the later 90’s we had TOBAL 2 which eclipsed everything. While I followed the series, I didn’t get into it again until VF4, which is amazing. The Kumite mode in that game really pushed it over the edge, where you go to different arcades and compete in different tournaments and the AI of the players follows the styles of various real people!

To put it in the most basic terms: VF5 is the greatest fighting game ever made.

  • It’s very easy for new people to pick up (it only has three buttons!!!) and at the same time it is by far the deepest fighter I’ve ever played. Please see this essay on closed and open stances if you disagree.
  • It’s not combo heavy. Like King of Fighters / Samurai Shodown, it’s got combos, but they are difficult to pull off and don’t dominate play.
  • Every character is like a new world of gameplay. The difference in playing even Brad Burns vs Jacky, which in many other games would be almost palette swaps, is like the depth of the ocean. Let alone exceedingly different characters like Aoi and Wolf.
  • It’s not a defensive, footsy game. Tekken and Street Fighter are footsy games. They are good games, but the footsy is really an annoying part of the game to me, especially in Tekken where you can full screen combo off a low kick.
  • There are no tiers. Certainly there are character tiers at high level play, but you, my friend, will never notice them. If you get good with a character, you will be able to fight vs every other character. The last tournament I watched had a Jeffry (low tier) vs Akira (highest tier) IN THE FINAL.
  • It has not been eclipsed by any other 3D fighting game. DOA and Tekken, while of course more popular at this time, are SHADOWS compared to Sega’s masterpiece. I like DOA 5 and 6, I think they are way more fun than Tekken, but I did the TASTE TEST with my kids and some neighbor kids and VF won out 100%. The only game that came close, for me (and notable others) was, of course, Tobal 2.
  • It’s fast and it’s high damage. Rounds can last awhile or be over quick. This isn’t due to people being caught in endless combos like the Anime fighters, but due to general high damage of all the characters. Again, like King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown.
  • Creative play. The core thing about Tobal and VF compared to a lot of fighters is their ability for players to play a single character in many different ways. Watch a mirror match up in VF and you won’t see the same play-styles or even the same moves. It’s insane and very different from a lot of the 2D fighters where you have your bread and butter comboes that you see constantly (and supermoves)
  • NO meters, no super moves. Only one character has a meter-equivalent and that’s Shun, who gets drunk. All a character’s moves are available to use at all times otherwise. VF proves you don’t need that shit (though it is fun in 2d fighters) to have the best fighting game ever.
  • Counter Picking – this is a big thing in King of Fighters and Street Fighter. Ryu beats Ken, Ken beats down everyone else. This is also a big part of Tekken. This has no part in VF, again, because VF effectively has no tiers.
  • It has only three buttons

People still play, there are tournaments going on even now. This is from just the other day.

Watch in high level play in VF that the players keep their characters right near each other at all times. Look at ANY other fighting game and there’s a lot of long/medium play and when characters get close in it usually means someone is instantly full screen comboe’d. This is because the players are testing their Yomi vs what the other players will do with the whole guard, attack, throw rock paper scissors.

Platforms. VF5 has not been officially ported to the PS4 or XBONE. You can play it on PS Now (yuck) or buy it on the XBONE as a backwards compatible game. I believe most competitive play is on the PS3 still. So like Tobal 2 (the subject of another post) this is a game you have to work at getting to play.

So get your PS3, Xbox 360 or Yakuza on the PS4 and play some Virtua Fighter!

Great article by Virtua Kazama

“The Shimabara Rebellion of 1637” by Takato Yamamoto.

Shimabara Rebellion – The Christian Uprising that wasn’t One

Excellent essay on the Shimabara Rebellion– I became interested in this based on the painting by Takato Yamamoto, of which there is no complete online version to look at.  Needless to say, the pieces that are out there are amazing.  Where is this full art? Private collector?

[AF030LP] Remixes

There is a lot of good electronica out there, too much to consume really (and of course, a lot of crap). If you are looking for a good compilation, the AF030LP (great name hey?) from the Analogical Force label is excellent with a track from Wisp, and one from Venetian Snares. Both of those are great, but they are not even the best tracks on the record!

Link to buy or take some sample listens.

I found the best new name for the Redskins

The Washington Warbonnets.

I don’t give a shit about football. I’d convert all the football stadiums into soccer ones or better yet, Australian Rules Football if I could. Football is boring, commercial driven and so very static (but has a good draft system, I’ll give it that).

However, in this era of let’s call it political overcorrectingness, people are offended by everything and the Washington Redskins fell to the offended mob recently. They are working on a new name. I get it, at first blush it certainly seems offensive– but then you see interviews with Indians that don’t mind the name at all and especially the logo and branding, which is frankly REALLY fucking cool. Indians interviewed like the representation of native Americans in professional sports. I think they should have it, just like the Celts, Vikings, Saxons, Trojans, Spartans, on and on.

This is so badass…

So in coming up with the name, I thought at first it was imperative to follow what has worked in the past really well: pick a TRIBE name like the ‘Noles or Fighting Illini. We all know the Comanches, the Iroquois, the Apache and the Araucanian (look them up, geez), among many others, have become LEGENDARY in their ferocity as warrior cultures and would fit perfectly as team names. We yell GERONIMO! when jumping off stuff. This is homage to great warriors and a term of endearment and great respect. Every time a kid asks “why you yelling that” and you explain it to them, it retains in our cultural memory the history of these great and terrifying people and their story and struggles against the early forces of globalization.

But which tribe do you pick? The Blackfeet were involved in the original logos, but what about all the tribes in the DC area? The Pohantan empire was there when the first settlers arrived, there’s the Mohicans, Delaware, Sioux, Cree, on and on and on. I think for this team, it’s too tough to choose just one and we need a logo and name that is more general, but also isn’t perceived as racist in our current ULTRA sensitive climate.

And aside from all that, we want a cool name and a cool logo. I found it when driving up north last week. I saw a road called Warbonnet road and there it is, simple, effective, iconic.

WASHINGTON WARBONNETS.

Problem Solved.

Casmir Pulaski

With the juxtaposition of the current frenzy of historical revisionism, iconoclasm, iconoclast trolling and let’s not forget base traitors who deface statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, along with July 4th, the date we chose to celebrate throwing off the yoke of Feudalism (the final signatures weren’t there until October though), I feel compelled to do a bit on a lesser known, but critical figure in American history: Casmir Pulaski.

Casmir Pulaski was a disposed, banished second-son Polish noble who joined the American Revolution and died via GRAPESHOT in the battle of Savannah. This alone would be enough to have statues and revere the guy, but this is overshadowed by some of the other things he accomplished.

First off, he joined anti-Russian confederation in Poland and actively campaigned, mostly defending fortresses and getting his ass kicked, getting captured, and almost court-martial-ed. It was said that the only thing he was interested in was fighting the Russians, and was wholly reckless and didn’t obey orders. Pulaski even went on to join the war with the Ottomans vs the Russians a few years later, which ended poorly for him and he ended up in France in debtor’s prison. He was found by Benjamin Franklin who recommended him to Washington as an asset to the Revolution. He started as a cavalry officer and then a General of the Continental army’s tiny and wholly shitty cavalry–which he attempted to bring up to Polish standards of training and discipline. He’s called the Father of American Cavalry and man, at that time, we needed one.

Under Washington, he performed a successful rearguard action that likely saved Washington and his army from capture and destruction, and possibly saved Washington’s life. Washington was an expert-retreater (hey, don’t knock it, it’s how Fabius defeated Hannibal after all) so this was a critical event.

Later in the war he was leading a cavalry charge that was beaten off, and he was hit by grapeshot, which, like slivers of the true cross, seems to be in quite a few different museums around the South!

Pulaski is one of only eight people who have been granted honorary citizenship. The Freemasons have claimed him and there seems no doubt, despite the lack of paperwork, that Pulaski was a Mason based on the fact that Franklin and Washington were, of course, Masons as well.

Lastly, and I am not sure about all this, is the conjecture that he was actually a woman based on a skeleton that was found that might be his. He didn’t drink and had no interest in women, which is likely explained by something much more common if you catch my drift, than a man pretending to a be a woman or having some odd chromosome condition.

While Pulaski died in Georgia, many statues of him are in the Midwest in Chicago, hopefully people actually look up who he was before tearing them down or realize that coming out of over a thousand years under the grip of iron fisted feudal lords, the framers of the Constitution and the people that fought to get us STARTED on our path to Liberty and Freedom are to be revered, and not held to the modern standards of ethics and conduct, modern ethics that their lives and dedication allowed to evolve. Of course, in DC, the people have already proven that they are fucking imbeciles.