You know, you know where you are with, and you know you're with Korea.
(Consider the alternative.)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sometimes I lie, but you can't sweat the small stuff in life, so everything will be alright in the end (even after I listen to the forthcoming Day and Age). This is about being clean, shooting from the hip, and fucking the dog; all of which are -as you know, dilapidated reader- activities I occasionally partake in. Get ready for the funky bleu cheese of honesty. Probably.
1) I haven't read Sparkles' review of the new Killers album, and I refuse to do so until after the disc's official release. He has this nasty habit of acquiring* the 'Special New Guinea Edition' of an album, writing a review, and, subsequently, adversely affecting my initial listening experience. A while back, an ailing coworker of mine responded to my query about his health with a resounding 'You know what? Fuck my intestine,' and that's what I say to you, Mr. Eion Frobes.** You're like that guy's lower intestine, and it's time you got flushed out. I'm tired of being the one that gets fucked.*** (But you're still my hero.)
2) No squid in the upcoming Watchmen film? Daddy doesn't like it when you fuck with his side dish.
3) I can't break, but I can sink. I'm talking about billiards, jerkoff.
4) Recently, I helped move several hundred Christmas trees of all sizes (ranging from petite to mammoth) into a parking lot, and I did this because I wanted to help. No lie, so there's nothing to come clean about, right? Not quite. Hours later, someone asked me if I were sore from all that lifting, pushing, pulling, and licking, and I scoffed in response to her inquest. Total lie. I'm sore like I was after giving some billy goat a rim job in last year's Masta Ace Day parade, and my fragile bravado was, ultimately, a foolish display meant only to demonstrate my grinding machismo.****
5) Hey, Red Lobster, you know I love you (and your signature Cheddar Bay Biscuits) but you best recognize that your garden salad is a disgrace. Why bother offering something other than your spectacular Caesar salad, when that 'other' is such a dookie? Take a seat, smoke a cigarette, and drop that load, Red.
6) Someone's been burning like a silver flame, and JIKKO is her name.*****
7) I do try to answer people's questions succinctly, but sometimes my brain doesn't connect with my tongue, while my heart becomes one with my lungs (as in filled with cigarette smoke, you know), and thus it's ridiculously easy for good intentions to wander away. But my thoughts, my thoughts; they may wiggle, but they do not writhe. Anything beyond that is merely extraneous.
8) Hyperlinks and asterisks are a zombie's best friends.
9) I love Kimochi as much as anyone:
(We're already walking, correct?)
* Like Somalis to a supertanker.
** Word to your ex-wife's impressive spelling ability.
*** Which, incidentally, wouldn't be so bad if it were more Still Loving You, and less the usual, oh-so-brutal Rock You like a Hurricane.
**** Send in the clowns. No; send back the clowns. Okay; send them in backwards.
***** Yeah, baby, she's got it.
Posted by Kmork at 1:31 PM
I'll be thirty-three years old in three years, and by that time -- unless, knock on wood, I meet my untimely-yet-perhaps-deserved demise -- I'll have lived a third of my life abroad, in South Korea. (That's three threes, if you're scoring at home.) We just call it Korea over here, by the way. Adding the preposition "south" is as pointless as ordering a tuna FISH sandwich.
To paraphrase the older Gordie Lachance, Eleven years, man. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.
At thirty-three, I'll be eleven years removed from my senior year in college, and eleven years before that my fifth year in grade school. It's unsound to compartmentalize your life -- because existence doesn't follow chapters -- but it's what keeps us sane, I believe; in much the same way sleep helps us divide our days and memory serves to sort the everyday from the exceptional. So now's the time: to document as best I can the third chapter of my life, before the killjoy phantoms of age steal my recollections and bury them forever.
If I make it to sixty-six, I'll write a follow-up. I promise.
Let's take a walk.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:37 AM
Thursday, November 20, 2008
(Don't worry, Kmartian will come around. This isn't anything new.)
Do you know
that The Killers have released three studio albums in four years, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs only two? I mention this because The Killers' newest, Day and Age, is only a scant 10 songs long. And yeah, I'm a little mad at the fact -- a little at The Killers, a lot at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. If you're going to release a 10-song album filled with tracks that average just over three minutes, don't make me wait so long, okay? And those songs better be great, every one of them. If they're not, I'm going to be a little pissed off. And I'm going
to have to call Iowa to make sure Kmart didn't pull a Choi Jinsil. (Too soon?)
Come to think of it, I can forgive the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Show Your Bones was short, sure, but it was solid. This is where I can't forgive The Killers. Day and Age? Short, yes; a perfect game? No, sir.
My appetite ain't got no heart.
Day and Age listens like a baseball starter pitches after only a day's rest: it starts out intimidating as hell, business as usual; but it starts to lose its heat around the fifth inning. It manages to get out of a bases-loaded, no-out sixth, but after that the away team -- mediocrity, in this case -- starts tacking on runs and catches up. By the time we reach the first extra inning, our beleaguered hurler is so spent that he ends up blowing the game in remarkable, shameful fashion.
Get 'em next year.
Since I'm a firm believer in retribution, here's my short, half-assed review of what I honestly do think is a very good album. You'll have to wait for the Sparkles-Kmart podcast, however, to hear me explain why.
Losing Touch: Just as good as "Jenny was a Friend of Mine" and "Sam's Town" as far as album openers go. No, Kmart! Put down that knife!
Human: A song Black Bolt can't relate to.
Spaceman: Shark jump, or whimsy? Regardless, it's fun. Why so serious?
Joy Ride: Joy ride!
A Dustland Fairytale: Brandon Flowers should probably stop playing the piano. Not now but right now.
This is Your Life: It's about eating the same sandwich every day and smoking too much. It's like they know me!
I Can't Stay: I can't listen.
(Seventh inning stretch: I'd probably sell my soul for a propulsive "When You were Young" song. Not going to happen. Lamentable. The sun is beating down my neck.)
Neon Tiger: A neon tiger? I'd like to see that!
The World We Live In: Korea just bought half of Madagascar for free! No, really.
Goodnight, Travel Well: Flashbacks of "Everything is All Right," times a million.
[Edit: One day later, I realize how fucking wrong I was about that assessment. Even though I take umbrage with the incorrect usage of a comma rather than a semi-colon or period, what a great song!]
Is it possible for an album to be milquetoast and awesome at the same time? If so, Exhibit A, ladies and gentlemen.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:09 AM
It would have been far better had I sewn my mouth shut, pulled up the hood of my sweatshirt, and avoided Sam's Town entirely; but there was so much I wanted to say so poorly, had no hood to pull over my head, and that town is the town we built from shit. That's when yester met day, but even at its worst, it's the kind of memory I'd hate to cast away.
This is what makes sense to me.
Posted by Kmork at 12:44 AM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Some thoughts (mostly basketball related), as I question for the nth time why Q-Tip called himself The Abstract when he should have been called The Straightforward:
I realize I'm biting myself here, but there's a reason the guy's name is Tracy. Dude is fragile like Mr. Glass, and not just physically. The mind tricks the body, body thinks the mind is crazy, and all that...Terry Porter, COY?...I'm digging that D'Antoni has turned the Knicks into the basketball equivalent of mashing the buttons on a Super NES controller in a game of Street Fighter...Iverson as a Piston has lead me to believe that a situation can be (Nene) hilarious, intriguing, embarrassing, awkward, captivating, deceptive, and self-deceptive all at the same time. It may, in fact, be the weirdest basketball situation I've ever seen, yet nobody's talking about it. And I understand; because it's like staring at the sun during an eclipse: fuck the short term, I want to bear witness! Even if I go blind, I might find the answer...Is Gilbert Arenas the KRS ONE of hoops? More like Canibus...I wish Darvin Ham was still in the league and playing for the Grizzlies for a potential "Ham and Mayo on Roy" headline when Memphis plays Portland...Charlie Ward called Larry Brown stubborn...
Tomorrow's headline(s): Reggie Theus to coach Kevin Martin in Hang Time spin-off. Show's name: Sacremento Kings...Oklahoma Thunder change name to the similarly singular Oklahoma Crab, world rejoices...Lebron tells Jay-Z, "That's a one-hot-part-ownership every four-year average." Beef ensues.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 6:55 AM
Monday, November 17, 2008
After months of hunting, scrounging, and stealing, I've uncovered the most unflattering depictions of our contributors available: yearbook photographs. Remember how you used to watch horror movies with fingers over your eyes, as if to filter the frightening imagery? It's time to break out that ability once again.
Proceed with caution, and note that I've purposely omitted the date in which each picture was taken, as that would have been an unethical disclosure.
Posted by Kmork at 1:52 PM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The other day, I was perusing an online forum and came across a link, which led to this. That's cool, I guess, but then YouTube has to go and start recommending videos to me based upon recent selections, which means I've been bombarded by numerous girly pop videos within the past twenty-four hours.* Hindsight, you are powerful indeed.
* Totally superfluous, being that I've already seen most of them ten times over.
Posted by Kmork at 12:12 PM
I suppose, in naming the newest Bond film, the producers cribbed from -- ahem -- the Castlevania series of video games as well as from the Bourne movies. I can't wait for 007: Ammunition of Anger to be released in 2011, three weeks after Castlevania: Harpsichord of Hemorrhoids debuts for the Nintendo DS Anti-Gravity.
Is the new Bond film any good? I think so. Is it dumber than a bag of hair? No doubt; but what Bond film isn't? Is it poorly shot and does it rely on mindnumbfuckingly annoying shaky-cam in lieu of actual adept action direction? M-O-O-N: that spells yes.
How, then, can I recommend the movie? Because for as long as I've lived James Bond movies have always been either passable or suck. Usually suck. It's both a head-scratcher and a hat-tip how and why EON Productions have managed to sustain credibility and keep the Bond franchise alive for so long.
Word to Elton, never underestimate the power of a brand. The Bond franchise is the cinematic equivalent of Pavlov's dogs. "Shaken, not stirred," hooray! James beds a comely girl in danger/femme fatale, yippee! I could go on. The point is that it's safe to stick with the familiar when in comes to Bond. And I get it to a degree. After all, no one wants Spider-Man to be an overweight plumber from Michigan. But after nearly two dozen films, it's probably a good idea to stray from the formula, yes?
Apparently no, if you follow the general critical and audience consensus. That's not the Bond I know. He's too intense, not laid back enough. Plus, where's Q and the nifty gadgets?
Again, I get it. And I don't. Because while Quantum of Solace is by no means a great Bond film, it's a pretty good follow-up to Casino Royale (with cheese), easily the best 007 flick ever made*. I think, more than anything, audiences don't like the movie because they either didn't see Casino Royale or they saw it so long ago that they don't remember the plot. It's confusion and frustration more than anything that is turning off moviegoers, because, word to CSI, they're used to Bond in doses, not as an ongoing plot that stretches over from film to film. Mix that with poor direction -- Marc Forester does action like venomous snakes give blowjobs -- and you have what appears to be a disappointing film.
It is disappointing, and for a variety of reasons (see: exploding desert hotels**); but by no means is it a bad movie. Daniel Craig deserves the majority of credit for that. He keeps hypnotizing me with his azure eyes.
* Just admit it.
** If I'm ever in the Bolivian desert and I wander across a hotel(!), I hope every room isn't equipped to explode. Also: I hope I have my Master Card and my Orange Crush.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:27 AM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I love Sparkles. Not in the way that Winston Smith loves Big Brother, but more in the way Will Smith loves his dog in I am Legend. Let's face it; Will Smith loved that dog. But there is another, darker side to this analogy. See, eventually, circumstances may (will) make it necessary for me to hold Sparky down, put my hand over his snout and squeeze the life from his furry little body.
I am of course referring to the ongoing dialogue about fucking Castlevania or whatever it is. It is enough to make me nostalgic over the PK-27, the Idealjetsam In-Rainbows review and/or demand more incest fanfiction.
What made it worse was that some weeks ago he said he would never write about his fantasy basketball team.
Hold A and B to draw a line in the geek sand, man.
When Sparkles decided to ditch our recent fantasy basketball draft to either:
1. Walk his dog
2. Play that video game of his
3. Masturbate furiously to pictures of Aya Kiguchi
4. Each of the above are synonyms
I decided that he needed some comeuppance. What Sparky doesn't know is that come the evening of the draft, I spent a good 10 minutes convincing someone to take Dwyane 'Moms cant spall' Wade with an early pick to deny him the only real pleasure a man of his level of sport's bigamy can ever have: Fantasy points. When it came down to it, the manager wasn't all that fussed whether to take Wade or not. He just thought it would be a good idea to fuck with Sparky.
Our leader then proceeded to draft all the black players from the entire Utah/Houston rosters via autopick.
Obama didn't even campaign in those motherfuckers.
That fact that all of this predated the posts about Transylvania is irrelevant. What is important is that this blog used to mean something. And by that I mean it used to mean nothing at all. And in not meaning nothing, it didn't mean discussions about Castlevania and Nintendos.
Anyhow, have a Kimochi.
Posted by denz at 3:19 AM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Today we're going to talk about the worst of the worst. The game that brought me to the brink of forsaking the Castlevania series forever.
That's right, I'm talkin' 'bout you, Castlevania Adventure, you unwanted stepchild of a third wife.
In this horrid, monochromatic paean to anal beads, you play the role of Christopher Belmont, out to destroy Dracula (like every other Belmont is asked to do in diligent fashion). You'll do just that, albeit with the speed of Methuselah. Watch and see.
You're too slow, Chris, not to mention that in this game, there are no special weapons (knife, holy water, boomerang, stopwatch, etc.) to rely upon. A player could obtain a whip that shot fireballs, but a single hit from an enemy would downgrade your weapon.
You only have three lives to complete all four (count 'em, four) levels of this shitfaced game, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't littered with make-this-jump-or-you-die platforms to hurdle past.
The music wasn't terrible, but there is little to save this game (if anything). Just writing about this mess is likely to cause an aneurism.
Get the fuck away from me, Castlevania Adventure!
Posted by Kmork at 9:11 PM
Sunday, November 09, 2008
I love you. Words cannot express. You and me are like Gollum and the One Ring; like Richard Hagstrom and the Word Processor of the Gods; like Lion-O and his badass Sword of Omens. Word to LeAnn Rimes, you light up my life. How do I live without you?
We first met in August of oh-seven. You were under glass, within a white box that hid your ice-blue revelation of beauty. From the moment I held you in my hands and caressed you, I knew we were meant to be together.
Honey, I don't tell you this often enough: I've never stopped loving you. My passion might wane from time to time, I may neglect you for a few months...but I'll always make it up to you. Always.
We share so many great memories together. You made me love again. You were with me when I killed Dracula. When I toppled the despotic reign of a fucked-up dragon-turtle thing. When I discovered that math can be fun if it involves puzzles that reveal pictures of animals and shit. When I stopped the oppressive annexation of our planet by alien overlords. When, disguised as a flaxen-haired youth, I picked up sword and shield to rid the world of darkness. When I became the fastest plumber alive.
Baby, can you dig your man? He's a righteous man. So, too, are you a righteous bitch. I mean that in the most complimentary way, trust me. Because you make me the man I am today. Word to Amber Waves, you are a mother to all who need you. To me, you're a bacon tongue kiss mixed with sauteed mushrooms and blowjob. (You bring out my inner poet, too.)
Relationships are built on many things, the biggest of which is communication. Sugar, no matter how long we're apart, no matter how long I leave you sitting alone on my shelf -- or under my bed, or on top of my microwave -- you're never out of my thoughts. Not even for a minute. The true measure of a relationship is union; and we go together like a subject and a predicate make up a sentence. With you in my life, my days are Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Perpetually.
Does that sound weird? Whatever, I mean it. Because you never let me down.
You wear dresses. The one you're wearing right now, Order of Ecclesia by Armani, shows off your legs, your chest, your hair. Your hair. God, your hair.
We've had a rough patch, Sweetheart, and we probably will again. But regardless of the hardships we may face, I'll always return to you. I am your boomerang. Bet.
Dracula's back. Oh, so you've heard. Ain't nothing to it but to do it, then. Hop on, Angel. We ride, or we die.
Don't fear the reaper. Baby, take my hand.
Bonnie and Clyde. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Salt and pepper. Salt-N-Pepa. Push it real good.
They may make them newer. They may make them sleeker. But they sure as hell don't make them like you.
They never will.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:34 AM
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
You know what, I kinda hate Q-Tip, the guy who once fantasized about cold yanking the plug on R&B. Rappers, like point guards, age in dog years, and dude hasn't dropped an album since 1999's Amplified, a.k.a. the album that disillusioned me so badly that I moved to Korea. After dropping 3 classic, 1 good-not-great, and 1 "what the fuck happened?" albums with Tribe, Tip tried to go mainstream. And let's face it: hip-hop and crossing over into the mainstream from (arguably) the underground go together like a lit cigarette and a gas pump.
I suppose it worked, though, for a month or so; Amplified -- which might not even be the disc's title; trust me, I don't care enough to check -- went gold (I think), and "Vivrant Thing" got a lot of play around my parts, much to my chagrin; mostly because it's an annoying tune, but also because "vivrant" ain't no country I've ever heard of. Do they speak English in vivrant?
There was also the persistent rumor that Tribe was going to reform. Probably best they didn't. Name me one hip-hop duo or group that dropped an undeniable classic after breaking up and reuniting and I'll buy you a donut, mister.
And while Phife released the noteworthy The Ventilation in 2000, I have never craved a Q-Tip solo album. Tip has one of the most recognizable and easy-on-the-ears voices in hip-hop, but for me he always needed Phife's insulin to lower the blood sugar level of my listening ability. It was fine for him to have, like Phife, a song or two of his own on a Tribe album, but a whole album? You can't handle that shit on strong sober, man.
That's why I wasn't too disappointed when Tip's last solo effort, Kamaal the Abstract, was shelved years ago. But he's back, and if all the shit I've read on the Internet is true*, The Renaissance is a return to form.
I'll be the judge of that. (And the jury. And the executioner.)
Johnny is Dead
Sounds like vintage Tribe, or rather vintage tribe circa the Ummah. Which I can handle...until the overly loud and terribly conceived singing kicks in, that is. This song is like a bacon double cheeseburger on a urine-soaked bun. Tip raps like Alan Houston comes back, too. Plus the song's title is a Dead Zone-level alarm bell (my brother's name is Johnny, you see). Johnny, wear your seatbelt and prophylactics!
A relationships-and-sports analogy. How high-concept! Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit, but when you try to update your style to match today's (poor) tastes, it rarely works. The old soul sample, a la Kanye West, keeps interrupting Tip's verses like my dog barking when I try to get busy with my girl. I have a feeling this is going to be one bad idea after another. Smiles and cries.
This better be about popping boners on the bus. (Sadly, it isn't.) Can a man, namely me, literally kill a song? I mean, if will.I.am can be a hologram on CNN, anything is possible, right? This chorus is going to give me nightmares of the waking up to find out that the last two years of my life have been a dream and I'm still living with my ex-wife variety. And the scratching at the end is like wrapping bacon around a piece of dog turd and calling it an hors d'oeuvre. Also: Greg Nice wants credit for Tip ripping off his signature delivery.
Q-Tip thinks he can harmonize. I like being pleasantly surprised. I'm not. "Well the bell has rung because the time is here." Truer words...I don't even know why I'm bothering with this garbage. (If you thought to yourself, "Because you have nothing else to do with your time, Forbes," you're exactly right.) Shit, if I were a professional music cricket I'd probably stop listening right now and crib off of other reviews. That's how bad this shit is. Bad? Well, maybe not. Mediocre as fuck? Definitely -- which is worse. It's like Q-Tip came over to my apartment and started telling me anecdotes about the time his car broke down and he needed a new fan belt. (Yes, it's exactly like that.) I'd rather he shit on my television and anal rape my dog with my Wii remote, because then I would at least have something to tell others about and make Kmart cry. This album hates me.
You can go fuck yourself.
We Fight/We Love
I don't even have the will to spew vitriolic hyperbole all over this one, I really don't. The Miami Heat won today. Mario Chalmers recorded 9 steals. Nine!
If this song is good, I promise to not masturbate for a year.
Again with the interrupting soul samples. Barring those and the dumb-ass chorus, this could have been a good song. It's like the Kwame Brown of hip-hop songs. Halfway through, the beat switches up for the better. Has a spaghetti western feel to it, which is okay, and Tip actually stops being lazy-corny with the lyrics (make no mistake, though, there are some cringe-worthy dimes on this one, too).
Dance on Glass
There's a big difference between Midnight Marauders and muzack. The former being actually good, for one.
Life is Better
Norah Jones should stick to starring in shitty Wong Kar Wai movies. My life is definitely not better for having heard this POS. Two minutes in, Tip's verse actually begins, and he kills it. Really. It's just too bad that such a phenomenal love letter to the pioneers and hall-of-famers of hip-hop music is ensconced within such a fucking horrible song. Ironically, it does more to hurt the culture than help it.
I'm resisting the urge to stick two-pronged forks into each of my ears.
I can almost stomach this. Almost. "T.R.O.Y." it definitely isn't. Again, if you're going to dedicate a song/novel/film/basketball game (shame on you, 'Melo) to a passed loved one, at least make it good.
Comments: I'm shocked by how bad this is. It's boring like talking to a corpse, and, worst of all, it makes me feel like I'm interned at the Hip-Hop Home for the Elderly and Criminally Past Their Prime. I promise, the next time you read a review on this site, it won't be of a rapper or hip-hop group I used to dig when I was younger. Because all I'm doing is setting mice elf up for disappointment.
* How can it not be?
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 6:03 AM
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I'm not sure how my life will be affected in any immediate way should Barack Obama win tomorrow (today, for you early risers in the Western Hemisphere). Will Triscuits taste differently? Probably not, and I hope they don't. Will I have peace of mind and a feeling of hope? Yes. Because -- and I know I'm viewing this US election as I've viewed every other one I've been alive for: as an outsider, a red-headed stepchild from a northern clime -- I still don't believe that America is willing to accept, to elect, a black president. With Obama projected to win by a large margin in every non-biased poll (if that's possible; I dunno) I've come across, I'm still rather dubious. And I'm far from the only one.
This may sound infantile, this will sound uninformed, but I believe that unless one knows the ins and outs of specific political issues and campaigns, one should vote for the candidate he or she likes, whom he or she intuitively gravitates toward. For me, politics -- American politics in particular -- is an iron ball of yarn* ten times the size of Jupiter with the answer at its core.
For me, thinking of politics as sport and choosing a side to root for keeps me from going insane like the kid in Stephen King's "The Jaunt."
For me, Barack Obama becoming president of the United States represents change in the sense that it's no fun to have your life monopolized by an empire or a dynasty, and Bush's presidency has been an eight-year downer of bad, for American citizens and the rest of this planet's populace. If McCain wins -- and like it or not that's a very possible, maybe even likely, outcome -- there's no way I can take four years (at least) of hearing, reading, or thinking the name "Sarah Palin." I'm likely to shoot myself in that scenario. I, you, we need a breath of fresh air.
For me, no matter how right or wrong it is to support someone solely based on his race (presidential hopeful = good, wife murdering ex-NFL star = bad), I would love to see a black president. If it happens, it'll be a pinch-me moment -- probably my life's defining pinch-me moment that didn't involve a free Radiohead album to download off the Internet.
Then again, I fear a comeback. Normally, I love comebacks. In comedy. In sports. in careers and Lee Hyori. But if McCain pulls a Giants to Obama's Patriots, I might just holler. That's a euphemism.
There's a very real excuse for me, you, we to feel paranoid. We've been living behind a curtain of fear. Obama as president-elect won't change that immediately; but I do believe, i do hope, that it will reverse this tide of...bad (not bad meaning good).
(Devil's advocate: if/when Obama wins there will be riots in major metropolises.)
Rock and roll.
* Excuse both the oxymoron and the second paragraph's hypercorrection
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:20 AM
Monday, November 03, 2008
October may have come to its timely end, but love for the Castlevania series transcends all constraint. With that in mind, I treat you, defrocked reader, to a collection of gameplay footage, taken from several entries.
I'm going to start from somewhere in between, because that's where the juice really flowed for the series. This is not to say that the current crop of Castlevania games is a paltry bunch by any means, but I would contend that they are a different kind of Castlevania (and that's not an inherently bad thing). The N.E.S. games, alongside others from the 8-bit era, were great, but the game systems lacked the capacity to present a (more) detailed world that could suck a player into its fold.
The 16-bit glory days, for your viewing pleasure.*
(Super) Castlevania IV: Simon Belmont, whip in tow, going for blood against Dracula's henchmen, in a remake of the original 8-bit icon. No gratuitous display of Mode 7 graphics, thankfully (which was something the Super N.E.S. excelled at excessively displaying), but you can catch a glimpse of some fancy abilities involving the whip itself. It's a pretty sight.
Castlevania: Bloodlines: The first, and only, Castlevania game to appear on the Sega Genesis. Fifteen years ago, I thought this game was rather entertaining, but it certainly hasn't aged well. In this title, players had the option to select a character that wielded a spear, which, you know, should explain the spear. Also, I'd like to apologize in advance for the giant moth boss.
Akumajō Dracula X Chi no Rondo / Dracula X: The last of the traditional Castlevania games, in which the hero would traverse through several horizontally -and vertically, if you want to get technical- scrolling stages (no backtracking allowed!) with a limited number of lives and 'hearts' to use for secondary weapons. The guy in blue is Richter Belmont, and he knows how to handle a horse-drawn carriage. The video was lifted from the TurboDuo incarnation of the game, as it is superior to the Super Nintendo version in virtually every regard.
* If you're unfamiliar with the concepts of 8-bit and 16-bit, then you should have just glossed over this post. Forgive me?
Posted by Kmork at 10:19 PM
Have you ever removed a skin tag with nail clippers? No fun, folks; or least that's what I've read.
Live blog: the girlfriend just informed me that
it's against the law in Korea for two people to get married if each of their siblings is married to the other's. Far out. Me being the inquisitive bastard I am, I have to ask, "Why?" Incest by association?
Hi ~ My name is Pigi. Pigi and Pogi: small and so cute mini pigs. Is that my ice cream?
I wish I was in Tijuana, eating barbecued iguana.
Nicholas Cage named his son Kal-El. How original-stupid. I, keeping with the theme of naming my offspring after obscure comic book characters, shall name my son Beta Ray Bill. The world rejoices, small African children clap gleefully. (Please don't take my gregarious attempt at humor seriously: my girlfriend is currently riding the University of Alabama, and I -- word to Iggy Pop -- am a passenger. I ride.)
Heavenly shades of night are falling.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:34 AM
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Although I live in Seoul, once or twice a month I make a pilgrimage to Bundang, my Mecca. Invariably, the next day I'm forced to take The Subway Ride of Shame home, because my girlfriend lives across town and I have no other choice but to take the train (take the train) from Jamsil. This, as you can probably gather, isn't pleasant, what with me looking and smelling, almost literally, like shit.
About a month ago, after a night of carousing in the 'Dang, I was standing on the platform at Jamsil Station, awaiting my aforementioned 40-minute-long Chinese water torture session with the Seoul Metro when I noticed an advertisement for the Cirque du Soleil's Alegria, performing in Seoul from October 18. I immediately -- or as immediately as my alcohol-riddled mind would allow me to -- called my girlfriend and told her we were going to see it, not because I actually wanted to go, but because I thought she'd enjoy the novelty of attending a world-renowned performance, if not the performance itself.
I, you see, am an ignoramus. I believed the Cirque du Soleil achieved its fame more from artsy-fartsy tedium disguised as deep art than from being genuinely interesting. Certainly, Alegria's Wikipedia entry helped verify my belief thusly:
The main theme of Alegría is the misuse of power, whether by kings, tyrants or dictators - but it is also about hope and perseverance. Through a glimpse of the horrors of our past and the great possibilities of our future, the show is intended to inspire us to be better individuals and to work together with our fellow man.
I'm not sure how some dude running around in a bird costume effectively conveys that theme, but whatever; because for all the pretentious tripe Cirque du Soleil spouts in its literature, they more than make up for it in actual spectacle. Cirque du Soleil's art isn't in its subtext, it's in what meets the eye -- and Christ on a bicycle is it amazing.
As I've said, I wasn't exactly looking forward to the show. I wasn't dreading it, of course, but I certainly wasn't looking forward to two-plus hours of -- I imagined, for some odd reason -- interpretive dance and makeup. And that's why I was pleasantly surprised (like a motherfuck) upon seeing what I've dubbed The Coolest Thing I've Ever Seen in My Life Apart From Naked Women.
I won't describe Alegria in detail, not because I'm lazy on a Sunday evening (though that plays a part), but because you truly have to be there, and none of my adjective-strewn, hyperbole-ridden praise can do it justice. If you live in Seoul or somewhere nearby, see the show before it leaves town. Trust me.
(And while I refuse to comment on the performance as a whole, you, Constant Retard, must know this: despite their feminine appearances, I thought the two Chinese synchronized contortionists were men, because, even from 15 meters away, I thought I could clearly see their male genitalia -- until, that is, I realized the girls could bend themselves backwards far enough that their pubic bones pressed up against their Lycra suits.)
I sat with my mouth agape, in awe, for two hours.
Cool; I fucking saw that.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 4:14 AM
Saturday, November 01, 2008
The ninja costume looked great, Andrew, and it was the envy of all around you, especially that dude in the cop costume. He was so jealous that he decided to slap some handcuffs around your wrists; not because he was a genuine police officer, and not because you tried to remove* the taser from his utility belt, but due to nothing less than pure, unadulterated jealousy.
Alcohol is your friend, boys and girls.
* Confiscate, steal, acquire: whatever.
Posted by Kmork at 4:21 PM