Links that will be dead and not twitching anymore by the time you click on them

September 8, 2015

These crazy assholes are about to finish their 13th Final Fantasy in a row

Meanwhile, these insane fuckers are still trying to control a game of Dark Souls through text input:

And you also may as well know that the next iteration of the Pokemon games have been announced under the monickers “Pokemon: Crazy Asshole” and “Pokemon: Insane Fucker” respectively (with Pokemon: Batshit Assfuck coming out in the following December):

One of these links is erroneous.

God fucking damn it, I love  If you’ve never seen a video on, well then fucker, this will probably be the last text-based blog entry you’ll ever read.  Imagine; a network of thousands of gamers broadcasting live, the video games they are playing right this moment, with live chat among viewers, and it’s all fucking free.  It not only exists, but it’s been around for years, and is a valuable commodity to today’s hooked in gamers.  Mom, Dad?  Do your kids like video games?  Good.  They are going to find online personalities that you yourself find unbearable.  Keep an eye on that shit, I know I do.  My kids watch Stampy & Squid, Derpy Dude (I think his name is Summy?), and Zak fucking Scott.  Anyone else, I sit down and watch three or four videos of their shit to make sure my kids not only understand the content, but learn to use all the swear words.

One of these sentences is not true.

Still, it has been pretty amazing to log into a chat room and participate in the very political and psychological experiment that has been Twitch Plays Dark Souls (aka #twitchplaysdark).  Much like the original text-input game, Twitch Plays Pokemon, we were in utter chaos for awhile, and eventually learned to cooperate, and the streamer programmed all these extra dope features into the community interface, so we have been more successful anyone could have forseen.  Bosses, minibosses, hazardous terrain, and menus have all been conquered by the hive-mind, advancing the story and creating its own memetic lore along the way (raise your flongers! in salute to the pool god! etc!)

I’ve been taking dozens of screenshot throughout the run, and really need to put them up somewhere.  Imgur?  Picasa?  Geocities?  Anyway, I have a bunch, and can probably tell you what’s happening hive-mind and story-wise just by looking at it.  Fuck, Dark Souls is such a brilliant game.

That reminds me, I had a terrible relapse back into the world of Dark Souls.  Fortunately, this time I was able to finally defeat the last enemy and claim victory over the game. Unfortunately, upon completion, I immediately started a new character and began the sequence of torture and adventure once again.  Fortunately, I was able to blaze all the way through the game with her, too, and win the prize without ever stopping at a bonfire, using an estus potion, or even powering off the Xbox.

One of these sentences is an out and out lie.  I would never ever harbor, let alone purchase another corny-ass console made by them.

Well, gotta go help the helpless twitch stream out of the Painted World, so see you around.  Look for me on the stream – I go by the handles @leisuresuit*****, @solarstink*****, and @whatthefuckhaveidonewithmylifeiusedtoplaytoomanyvideogamesbutstreamslikethisseemtobesayingthatidontplaynearlyenoughimeanfucktherearetwopeopleracingtofinishallgoddamtwelveconsolefinalfantasygamesandivebeenplayingthesamegameofnineforlikethreeandahalfyearsandalsoviandvandohfuckimnevergoingtofinishanyofthesegamesami*****

(One of those is not one of my actual usernames.)

Stream on, streamers.  If you have a channel you’d like to promote, link it in the comments and I promise to check it out and say something rude but poignant in the IRC.

Voodoo Dragonomics

July 13, 2015

I have now officially played Dragon Quest X more than any other MMORPG. Usually I steer clear of games of this genre because they make me isolated, moody, and obsessive. But there’s something about this one that has drawn me in without making me a complete infected penis hole. For one, I can share it with my son who has a character of his own. As a father who can’t help but spoil his child, I hook him up with weapons and gold through the game’s postal system and in exchange, he learns how to read and recognize more Japanese characters when we play together. Second, it’s on the Wii U, so I am not tethered to a stationary screen like I was with World of Warcraft and Vendetta Online. Thanks to the miraculous and downright inexplicable technology of the Wii’s wireless gamepad, I can level grind in bed if I wish, and it doesn’t take a genie or a candle on a cake to make that wish come true, although that latter did play a catalystic role in reacquiring the game (happy birthday to my old ass).

If you go back to July of 2012, you’ll find an entry up here about buying this game for the first time, right when it came out, for the Wii. Incredibly enough, the characters that we created way back then survived, even after months and years of inactivity. And imagine my delight and surprise when upon rejoining the online world I was notified that I had 40,000 gold to collect – KATUNK (that’s the sound of a sack of gold hitting the counter). I wasn’t sure what for at first – dismissing the idea of interest accruing on the meager sum I had stored in the bank, and doubting highly that Square Enix simply rewards their players with in-game monetary gifts for simply not deleting a character from their servers. But a fortune is a fortune, and like a bumpkin winning the lottery, it took me all of one week to squander my newfound wealth, and here’s how I did it.

Crafting, crafting, crafting. After buying myself the most luxurious armor that my level 24 thief could equip, I re-dedicated myself to that noble pursuit of blacksmithing weapons for other players in the game to use. However, in order to make this job a source of income, one must needs spend thousands and possibly millions of gold investing in the recipe books and components needed for the items to be crafted and then sold in the online marketplace. For a game that only has a user base in Japan, the amount of commerce that takes place in this game is fucking staggering, and kind of requires an explanation of its own. It is probably not that dissimilar to other games’ user-run marketplaces, but is a goddamn marvel of ingenuity that hints at strange impossible plutarchian economies that would make any real life economist shit with anger, envy, madness, and above all, respect at its near perfect sustainability.

On my day-to-day delvings, I’ll go into that marketplace looking for some kind of, oh let’s say Silver Ore, which is an actual ingredient needed to make mid-level weapons. It’s a common enough item in the right areas, and many (technically most) of the game’s players have no use for it but to sell it. Sure, blacksmithing is a common profession for characters in DQX, but there are other jobs out there, and it is the other players who make clothes, food, and enchantments who see metallic components found lying around in the field the same way I see cotton plants: stray gold. People collect this shit while they’re out fighting monsters, then bring it back to town to sell. Inventory space is severely limited, so you have to get rid of it, and computer-run item shops won’t give you jack shit. This is why it’s standard to sell the things you find in the online marketplace, because you can undercut any shop run by NPCs, and usually have no problem finding a buyer as long as you price your stuff smartly. This is key to both generating gold and clearing out that precious holding space.

Now, my silver ore is being sold in various quantities by literally hundreds of other players, and you can even sort the listings by cheapest per-unit price. This list updates every time you access it, but you can be assured that the cheapest per-unit priced items will be snatched up almost immediately after being posted, even if it’s just a couple of gold less than the standard price. Say silver ore costs on average 240 gold per unit. Some smart guy puts two on the market for 460, or 230 per unit. That’s not a bad price, I think, considering, and so I select it and make my purchase when suddenly, the little creep behind the counter is like, ”Uh oh – looks like someone has already purchased that! Tough luck. Don’t hate me, bro.” This happened again and again and again one night when I was on a crafting spree. It’s almost a minigame in itself, browsing through the item lists, trying to find the aberrant cheap stuff and button smashing that A, praying to some weird petty god that you get the message, “Here you are – thank you for your purchase.” You start to think that if only you could apply this to buying and selling shit in real life, you could be… I don’t know. Some kind of tycoon motherfucker or something. But probably not. Remember, I went broke doing just this.

Now it’s hardly a given that you’ll make back your money just by collecting the pieces. When the components are purchased and the recipe is known, the actual mini-game of hammering out the product begins. One must remember that love and care, or at least care is needed for the process of crafting, or else you will fuck it up and churn out a sub-standard product that sells for poop, or perhaps a completely irredeemable glob of slag that is worth less than poop. This mini-game is rigged so that cheaper items are easier to make, which is kind of fucking brilliant when you think about it (think higher DCs on accurate hammer strikes in my blacksmith’s case). One could easily crank out 20 shitty swords with a small investment, but these are the questions that the crafter must consider: Are people really going to buy them? At MY prices? Is it worth it? And what is life, anyway? It soon becomes obvious that the returns on low-level items are shitty in terms of gold and experience, meaning that only by moving up, up and up can one expect to make an actual profession out of this hobby. And by hobby, I mean timesink. Christ, I haven’t even killed a slime anywhere in this article yet.

My problem is that I need crafting experience that will allow me to craft the higher level weapons, and I haven’t found my perfect price-margin that will let me continue making weapons AND turn out a profit on them. The demand for weapons is always there, but the components needed to make them sometimes end up costing much more than the standard selling price for the weapon itself. I took goddamn nearly 8,000 gold out of my bank account to buy two “wind cutter wings” for this new set of Falcon Claws, only to discover that such claws were selling for a mere 6,000 in the marketplace – and mine even had a two-star rating, which means they were some kick-ass artisan masterpieces. Luckily, my character uses claws, so I ended up using them myself to farm gold in the more traditional way while stocking up on components to nickel and dime my way back to wealth.

I can be a right stupid fuck when it comes to figuring this kind of thing out on my own, and learning to correct this flaw can be an expensive endeavor indeed.  Want to hear how I set fire to 17,000 gold with one careless, caustic fart?

Every crafting profession requires a tool of some sort. The tailor needs a needle, the cook needs a frying pan, etcetera blah blah, and each of these trade tools has a limited number of uses before it breaks and your have to buy another one. It’s like income tax, I suppose. Now I’m a blacksmith, so one day I was thinking, hey, I’ll just forge my own crafting hammers! The fucking things are ridiculously expensive, after all, and like the pothead who decides to grow his own weed, I went out in search of the necessary components for this project without doing any intelligent or discerning research at all. I ended up buying a recipe book for a Platinum Hammer that cost over 17,000 gold, and I was like hot dog, now I’m set. That’ll save me tons in the long run. It was only after my crazy purchase that I discovered I have to be at a crafting level of 28 to make this fucking thing. This was nearly 10 levels in the future, meaning probably half a million gold for parts, and at least 10 days if I work at it every day. The silliest, most premature purchase ever, right? Well, it gets worse. I discovered soon after this that tool crafting is a completely separate profession from weapon crafting, and that I would have to change jobs and start over from level 1 if I ever really wanted to make this fucking thing which I don’t. Are you serious? Fuck that, I’m just getting into my own right as a weapon maker, so let the tool makers make hammers for me, and I’ll just keep the bragging rights that my character knows how to make a platinum hammer even though I will never actually bring the filthy thing into reality. Anyway, that was 17,000 gold down the goddamn fucking toilet – there is no refund on recipe books that your character has read. They pretty much evaporate into light as soon as you read them.

Half a year of awesome nothingness

July 9, 2015

Since acquiring the Wii U last Christmas, I realize that I haven’t written a single article for this goddamn blog. That was nearly seven months ago. It’s just that fucking good.

All right, no shit I’m unmotivated. Not just because this shit goes mostly unread, but I haven’t done any gaming that I could truly consider epic in a while. The games, they are fun and more beautiful than ever, but my enthusiasm toward them has somewhat dwindled in the face of life, as I suppose it must for every exhausted bi-polar middle-aged alcoholic drone just trying and mostly failing to make ends meet. Do you forgive me yet?

Well, EpicuziplayiT, as 99% of your reading audience, no, I do not. Get your shit together, pal. Write something like you give a fuck. You can pull your life out of the toilet later.

Right. Um. Video games R fun and somefing.

And what games would those be, Epi? Can I call you “Epi?”

I guess so. And let’s just list the acquisitions here because I need to remind myself.

Mario Kart 8


Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Bayonetta 1&2 for Wii U

Dragon Quest X Online for Wii U

Pikmin (Gamecube)

Metroid (3DS Virtual Console)

Shadowgate Remake (Steam)

Half Life 1 (Steam)

The Stanley Parable (Steam)

Portal 2 (Steam)

The Dig (Steam)

Bioshock Infinite (PS3)

Whoa, wait, you got Bioshock Infinite?

Yeah man. For like $5.

Whoa! How is it?

Well, it’s like pretty good. I don’t know, I only played a couple hours of it.

What the fuck?! How were you even able to put it down?

Shut up, fuckhead! I’m not having a conversation with you anymore. Let me make clear that I’m not playing anything to the hilt at the moment. I’m fucking working and looking after my family all the time, and when there’s time for games, getting into hyperkinetic shooting matches with endless hordes of patrioracist zealot fuckholes simply isn’t my idea of unwinding. I barely have the energy to Smash, motherfucker. But Smash I do, because it’s an important ritual, and the best game I’ve got. Here, I’ll rave about Smash for a minute.

Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U is fun as shit, and Smash is Smash as ever. The connectivity is so good that I can even play online with my original Smash crew who live scattered all across the globe. It’s a tradition that we’ve been at since the first iteration on the 64, and I’m extremely pleased with how Nintendo has encouraged us to keep at it all these years. I fucking love those guys. Okay that’s it.

Other than that, I’m mostly just gaming to distract me from the grim ponderings of reality and abject catatonia, although there is an item in that list of games that’s gotten some special attention and is about to get some serious coverage here because I’m paying out the ass for it, and want something to remember it by when I finally hang it all up. It’s about to get Dragon Questy as fuck up in here, people, so buckle up your cursed belts and get ready for slime time.

Ghosts of Christmas future and the ectoplasm they leave behind

December 9, 2014

The Wii U is at last coming to House EpicuziplayiT this year. December.. 25th, I think it is? Yes, well, the unit sits giftwrapped up on the top shelf of my closet, not to be seen by the light of day until we can frame that jolly old drow in red for breaking in and bestowing it upon us. I go to the closet and touch it through the paper sometimes. It gives me comfort.

The New Wii U comes with Motion Plus-equipped Wii Controllers (the magic wands, them – never call them Wii-Motes). I have one already, but it’s an original Wii Controller that wears a big black condom with the Motion Plus unit built into the base, plugging into the nunchaku port. I hope it’s compatible enough to play games with on the Wii U. It goddamn certainly should be, right?

This controller’s name is Kip Swinger

We bought that, er whingding? Boondoggle? What’s that word? It can’t be “dongle,” can it? That’s stupider than “wii-mote.” Fuck it, whatever it was, we bought it expressly to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It is looking possible that the accessory (yes, that will do), which cost upwards of $20, will now end up being used for more than that one game, so thank you Skyward Sword, for letting us have a second controller on the Wii U! And hey, you were a good game! Twice! Damn thing kinda makes the controller sticky, though.

Looking for something to play, I realize I don’t want to play anything on the Wii right now. Maybe I hate motion controls, maybe I’m seasonally affected, I don’t know, and kinda just can’t wait to put that Wii U touchpad in my hands or in my lap. That’s a fucking device, right there, that is. Smashing-on-the-Shitter-type tech.

Smash. Wii U Smash also comes to house Epicuzi this December, probably this weekend, though we’ll have nothing to play it with. It is of utmost import that we become indomitable at Smash. It’s already out in the States, and my greatest rivals on the planet are already in training! Fuck! Come on, brain, you’ve been studying nothing but Dark Souls and Monster Hunter so far this winter, and what have you learned?

Distance, timing, and patience?

It’s true – these are all invaluable considerations that will prove advantageous even in the chaotic fray of an eight-person Smash battle. But tell me this, Uzi, what are you doing with those two games that you’re NOT doing with Smash right now?

Uh, playing them?

Fool! You’re constantly pressing your upper boundaries! Every day the enemies of Dark Souls get stronger and you somehow manage to overcome them. Every day you hone your blades sharper against the claws of the Monsters of MH3rd whose HP bars just get bigger and bigger and bigger! How long has it been since you even Smashed?

It has been awhile, I won’t lie. Short of utterly disgracing myself in the final Smash Brawl tournament at Space Station last month, I’ve put in almost no time at all. You know, my kid is playing Yokai Watch on the 3DS all the ti…

Fool! Your opponents in Smash grow stronger by the day, and you’re not even practicing against bots. You’re not playing Brawl, you’re not playing Melee, oh no! You’re blogging and playing with your goddamn self! Good Christ, your dick must be at 7000% by now.

I… I’m so ashamed. I should be Smashing now.

Fool! You…wait, that’s right, yes: you should be Smashing now.

So I pull out the 3DS to do some Smashing. I have to save my son’s paused game of Yokai Watch 2, and goddamn, if this kid isn’t playing this one in the epic spirit of this blog: 312 hours clocked on his game file so far. I put it away in the 3DS travel case and take out Smash, and notice Animal Crossing sitting patiently in there, too. I can only wonder how Lasagna Town is faring without me right now. The cockroaches in my house must be the size of sleeping bags. I’d visit and clean up, but you know, after that haunting and awkward dialogue with myself just now, I am compelled to go online to remember how a human Smashes.

I’m sore that I can’t use my main, Ness, because network lag makes the PK Thunderbolt nigh unusable. I die. I come in fourth. Third. Second. Fourth again. God damn it, online players are good. These controls, I tell you… perhaps..

Hey! The 3DS is a Wii U controller, isn’t it? At least for Smash it is! The Wii U will like it, and they will be pals. The data that swirls back and forth between them will be some of the 1 and 0s that define my kids’ childhoods. There is no question of compatibility; we were all made for each other. Wii U, we can’t wait to welcome you into our home, and only hope that you will let us into your heart.

I need a shot at redemption

November 27, 2014

At some point, we determined that our species is worth saving

At the cost of every other piece of life on this planet.

John Marston was probably thinkin’ this or some old shit his daddy taught him as he scurried about his ranch on the back of a black stallion with a streak in its mane the color of the moon.

Moments later, he was mauled by a pack of wild boars by the light of the actual moon. Once conscious and back in his room John picked up some repeater ammo from the trunk by the bed and wandered around his house admiring the furnishings and trying to remember where all the rooms was. It’d been a while since he lived here. Whoops! He saw his wife and switched to the ‘fist weapon’ (I know you ain’t brandishin’ that ol’ revolver in the house, John Marston!).

He stepped outside and saw with dismay that it was still the middle of the night. There was one mission left and it was from his son, Jack, but I gotta come between goshdarngin’ five o’clock a.m. and 6:05 or whatever. It’s many hours until dawn and I think, “Let’s go to Mexico!” But no, I gotta finish this goddamn game already. Once complete, I decide, I’ll be free to go to Mexico. Hell, I’ll take the boy to Mexico with me and let him get drunk without his mom porin’ over him all the goddamn time. Feedin’ him books or some nonsense. Nah, nah, she’s a good woman and I love her. Good ol’ gal been through a lot. Fuck it, I’ll take the whole fuckin family with me to Mexico. I’ll even take her old man, the chiseling drunk ass piece of… well, I shouldn’t talk bad about her pa, neither.

Fuck it, I’m going to Mexico alone. Right now. Shit’s almost 11:00 at night. Come on now, lil’ dogies, let’s have one last ride into the tequila sunrise. He set off on his steed once again and decided to avoid the boars this time. Instead, he found himself soon shot to death trying to save a woman from being hanged. God damn it, he thought as he fell off his horse and died.

(Shit I love this game, and I am going to miss it when it’s over, but I can tell already that I will play it again. Next in the series is Dead Nightmare, the zombie version of RDR, already installed and ready to go.)

Now it was fuckin’ midnight. Will this long ass night ever end? asked John, awoke in King’s er, Thieves Landing with a freshly patched gunshot wound from his failed heroics on the road. Still plenty of time to get to Mexico, he thought, and continued riding south, over the Butter Bridge, and into Diaz Coronas.

Nice night. Nice night for shootin’ these coyotes, he said aloud as he gunned down a pack of the beasts and left their corpses shivering on the desert road. Holy shit, mang; he realized, I’m in fuckin’ Mexico! Now, where to go? Torquemada was a piece of shit on the borderlands to the east, but Casa Madrugada had class like the lambada. He’d go there. Maybe play some poker before the sun goes up. Then, at 6, 7 latest, he’d stagecoach that shit home and be in time fer supper.

Where was you? She would ask.

Out, he’d say. A man’s gotta provide for his family. I once remember a drug dealer in Mexico or New Mexico said sunthin’ like that once.

What are you talking about in frunt of our boy, John Marston. Jack don’t wanna hear that silly shit about you going to Mexico. Ew, you went to Mexico?

Shut up woman. Hmm, maybe better not mention the drug dealer and what John thought was just some friendly man-to-man advice at the time. The boy needed advice like a bull needs a pair of horns, he thought. Huh. He’d probably better not tell his wife about the beautiful whore he was now seeing up the road, either.

As John approached the gate to Casa Madrugada, he witnessed yet another NPC conflict, this time between the whore who’d been standing at the gate, and a crazed-looking man in a sombrero. If John didn’t do somethin’ quick… well hell, the the madman was already chokin’ her, so John got down off his horse, and once down, he was already STABBING her.

“Hay, like git off ‘er n’ stuff,” said John in his gringo tongue, but to no avail. The madmang lifted his knife again, and


The volcanic pistol went off three times and all three bullets had found their mark. The madman was dead in a pool of blood, but John had also accidentally struck the woman herself in her brand new stab wound with the first shot. “Sorry, ma’am,” he said, and the woman screamed and ran off beyond the gates of town and up the mountain peak pass. What happened next was nothing more than another tale of John Marston trying to the be hero, and this time fucking succeeding, cuz that’s what John Martson does. And done did do. As best he could.


“Ma’am, where’d ya get off to?  I will take you to safety even if I have to hogtie you with a lasso.”

(That’s right, I played through this game as a paladin this time around, and found it to be a rewarding, “Right” way of doing things, but then again, I never finished it when I was playing the Black-Hearted “Prick” John Marston all those years ago when it first came out. “Grand Theft Horse,” one of my friends called the game, and I laughed, because hell yeah, no company has made stealing cars as fun as Rockstar. The horseplay they promised with Red Dead Redemption turned out to be some of the most fun one could have on a console.)

Back at Casa Madrugada, the madman’s blood stain still greeted all passing through the town’s gate, but the body had been taken away. John hitched his horse up at the inn or whatever these folk called it, had two drinks at the bar, and lost $20 at Liar’s Dice. Interressin’ game, John thought. I would have paid $30 in game dollars for a lesson like that. Whoop, is that the time? 6:00 a.m.? Holy shit on the dot. One more drink fer the road. Tequila? Hell yep. John left the bar with a reel in his step and jumped up in the shotugn seat for the long ride home. (Meanwhile, I’ve got to take my shower before work, so I’ll just let the let the dude drive me the whole way there while I type this and do that.)

When I get out of the shower, John is back in Casa Madrugada and I start asking all the local folk what the fuck happened, and why was I not back up at my ranch? “Accident on the road senor. You passed out dead, but we brought you back to life.” Sheeit, John thought, is there still time? He hopped the closest stage coach, chose home as his destination, “Casa,” he said, “Mi casa, por favor senor and stuff,” he tried, and the coach driver laughed, and then John held a gun to his head. “Fast travel, motherfucker,” he said, and the horses took off.

It was nigh on to dusk by the time he reached home. I can still make it, John said as he dashed off toward’s Jack’s cabin on the edge of the farm. The stagecoach driver took off, yelling “Yoo-Hoo” or something in his native tongue, happy with whatever shitty money John gave him. Come back between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., the game said. It was a quarter after eight in the evening. God damn it, guess I’ll jist have to put it off until tomorrow, John decided. Wonder what’s happenin’ in Armadillo tonight?


Sunset from ma screen door or sunthin’

Monsters and the Monsters that Hunt Them

November 21, 2014

By jove, I think I may be getting better at these goddamned video games!

In direct continuation from this week’s unexpected post, I am happy to announce that I have successfully slain Dragonslayer Ornstein and the vile Executioner Smough. In that order, too, which people will tell you is the wimpy or wasteful way to go about it, but I actually wanted Smough’s fat man grotesquerie armor, so I am not torn up about any so-called “lost opportunity” for the haughty dragonslayer’s gear.

Ratshit Cookie finished the battle at level 58 wielding a +2 crystal halberd, which is probably about to break. Now able to teleport at will across Dark Souls’s lush country of death, we return to Firelink Shrine to plot our next adventures…

So I’m proud of that.

Another recent happening on the EpicuziplayiT front is the bestowing of long-awaited props upon the Monster Hunter series. It’s been there as long as I can remember, and recommended for nearly as long a time. I could never get into it, for reasons both real and imagined. Mostly it’s the fact that you have to collect thousands of crappy little items, catalog them, and then turn them into gear, which is the only way you can “level up.” Bones, fluids, seeds, bullets, skins, grasses, and fuck, what a lot of weapons and armor there is to make. How could one possibly collect it all? The answer is, you can’t, and accepting that is the first step that I could never take until now.

Monster Hunter 3rd for the PSP showed up last weekend at Book Off used for ¥280, which is now actually ¥10 cheaper than a beef bowl at Matsuya. There are certain games that eventually sell for these ridiculously low prices when they make too many on initial release, or subsequent titles render them irrelevant. Dragon Quest VIII was one, and I still remember buying it in the store in Tennoji (or was it Abeno?) all those years ago for ¥1000 and being worth more joy than a barrel full of drugs and monkeys. If only all games scaled in price when the new ones came out.

Being a hunter, it can be a bitch. You’ve got to manage all kinds of shit like money and cats, cook your own meat for stamina, and keep careful track of your inventory to make sure you have enough potions or empty slots to store dinosaur dung. That said, the game is incredibly colorful and fun as hell. Taking what I learned from Dark Souls about combat, I’d say I’m much better off than I would be otherwise. You can’t get up in the monsters’ faces like a bad birthday surprise and hack them to pieces because it just won’t work. The things are tanks that are capable of taking a full minute’s worth of assault while unconscious and still retain the energy to chomp you a new mudhole.

As for the great hurdle of mentally dealing with the vast amount of materials to gather, I just send everything to my nigh-bottomless box and the weapon smiths will tell me on the same screen both what they need and whether I have it. At the moment, they tell me that I must needs find a good source of something called “bearlight ore” and I’ll soon be in possession of a weapon that looks leagues ahead of anything I’m carrying. It’s a pipe. It plays battle songs and knocks monsters to their asses. I wants it, and will not rest until it’s mine.

Toot toot, motherfuckers. It’s the Season of the Monster.

Dark Souls, Dark Room, Bright Home

November 19, 2014

Hey, you want to know what games be fucking epic cuz i play them? Yeah, well, that’s the theme of this here fucking my blog so okay:

Dark Souls is damn epic, not only cuz i play it, but damn what a lot of motherfuckers there are on the Internets and Elsewheres who know how to do that what I do nots. There are two, at least two separate wikis that cover the whole-ass game, with narry a detail neglected. Folks on Youtubes be showing off just how great their own game is with their techniques, builds, and damnable speed runs that make us all look like garbage. Redditors are always on the ready with their helpful if not condescending advice be for noobs, but mostly just there to spoil the whole fucking game for anyone with an ear foolish enough to be listening.

Well hell, it’s not as if I have 700 hours to play Dark Souls just because I want to get good at it, right?  Or do I?  Maybe just enough to talk some shit? Well, aiight.  I am currently at war with the Les Enfants Terrible, Slough and Berndawort. No wait, Heckyl and Schmeckel. Whatever, those two huge douchebags up in Anor Londo who I will now try to but probably never kill.

I have to eject the Ducktales DVD from my PS3 and put it into the Dark Souls case. Dark Souls and Ducktales — now that would be one hell of an epic crossover. As it was, this past month, we played both games separately, and then watched the very first 7 or 8 episodes of Scrooge McDuck simultaneously managing his nephews and nemeses. Watched and played a whole bunch of Yokai Watch (2), too.  Being the father of an Epicuzi Jr. is well, awesome.

My PS3 seems louder than before. Could it be that the game is actually.. hurting the unit? As punishment for all my deaths? Or could it be that it’s just 6:00 a.m. and everything sounds fucking loud in a dark living room?  As I load up Ratshit Cookie, Level 55, I think about what weapons I’ll use this time. Nah, what I’m really thinking about is how Motoi Sakuraba’s (Golden Sun, Baten Kaitos, Smash Bros.) soundtrack is tits as ever. I give it five tits out of tits.

(Dude Miyazaki, director of DS was highly inspired by the look and feel of the manga Berserk, and made it fucking look great, I might add.)

6:30:  There’s no way I am going to kill those two fuckwads, so I’d better do some grinding for souls, which will provide the numbers and practice necessary to take on the wretched twosome.  I begin by beating the fuck out of the Londonian Silver Knights (each has their own page in each wiki), one-handedly using a  Zweihander (German for “two-hander,” get it?)  to smash them flat as pancakes, or “pancaking” they asses.

I am currently undead, but I don’t fret. I’m going to visit my friend the Blacksmitch and forge this gargoyle helm deeper. I look like Dead Guts.  I look good…aaand a silver knight deals me a deathblow. Fuck I suck at this game sometimes. Now I gotta go back and get my stuff. Hope it’s on the way to the Blacksmitch.

My other Tamagotchi is a Hollow

My other Tamagotchi is a Hollow

Woke up in a campfire, upped the stakes by popping three humanities – not even turning back into a human yet. More silver knights.  Archers.  Spearman.  Swordy-swords.  I switch up to my badass Halberd and try a new poke-and-parry style.  Holy shit, I actually time a parry-riposte against a spearman.  Success: got everything back and upgraded a bunch of shit on the way. Humanity count: 3.

Yes, I got all my shit back and a little extra shit. Met Smitty, the Giant Blacksmitch. Upgraded the fuck out of my Guts armor, Baldur’s sword, and a Crystal Halberd for reasons not entirely determined (I hear those things are hard to repair except by upgrading). Trekked back to the campfire and oh, and I came back to life, too. This means that I’m at a good place, so I better get dressed and go to work before I do something stupid like die again.

It will have to wait until next time when me and Sunny D. set off to take down the unlikely twins, Ethel and Bethel or whoever the fuck..

Hmm. I just thought of a wickedly hard-to-make Halloween costume set for my kids next year

I am the Yokai Watcher on the Wall

September 16, 2014

Years from now, a generation of Japanese men and women will be fondly reminiscing about the summer of 2014 as the Summer of Yokai Watch 2. Heard of this game? You will. It met the 2 million-unit sales mark less than a month into its release, and that is probably important, but I’m much more impressed by the game itself and everything it encapsulates about being young in Japan during summer vacation.

In this game, you play a Japanese fifth-grade boy or girl whose summer vacation has just begun, and your main quest involves doing all the things that Japanese kids do on their month and a half-long break between the first and second semester. Now what is that exactly? Well, catching bugs, going fishing, and street festivals play a big part in this, but also going to visit your relatives out in the boonies is a very real, if not stereotypical part of the Japanese childhood experience. Somehow, Level 5 has translated all of this and more into a cohesive game that makes goofing off in your town just as worthwhile as fighting monsters. And if you’ve ever spent time in a Japanese town, you’ll see just how immaculately they have managed to recreate damn near everybody’s childhood here with a fully-interactive environment more realistic than even the metropoli of Grand Theft Auto. I fucking love it.

Whenever I move back to the United States with my family (no matter how much I’d love to do just that, let me tell you) I am inevitably going to miss my life in Japan, and I think it will weigh even heavier on my wife and children who were born here. But I know that whenever I need the flavor of being alive here in this crazy country, I will always be able to jump into a game of Yokai Watch 2 and be magically transported back with wizardry that would make Doraemon blush.

As for the meaty questy part of the game, you have the very Pokemon-esque task of catching and cataloging the many monsters you encounter. These are the titular Yokai, a word which refers the mythical creatures of Japanese folklore. For anyone up on this, either through traditional tomes or other expositions into the Yokai world such as Ge Ge Ge no Kitarou, the familiar faces of the single-eyed umbrella ghost or the lady with the long neck are easy to place. If you’ve studied Japanese and can piece together the linguistics of the Yokai’s pun-heavy names, you will feel a sense of satisfaction and amusement at their clever, if not groan-worthy nomenclature. But for most of the Western world, you’re pretty much fucked, and the Yokai all going to look like just, well.. fucking Pokemon, making it all too easy to dismiss the game as a big rip-off of the successful Game Freak formula.

But they’re not Pokemon. They’re sentient spirits of the Yokai world which overlaps our own human world like something out of an Algernon Blackwood story. The Yokai affect our pliant human minds and manipulate our actions without us even knowing about it. Are spacing out today? Perhaps there’s a Wasurenbo invisibly clinging to your head, chewing on your memories and making you forgetful. Are you falling asleep at your desk? It’s not because you stayed up all night drinking and playing Smash – there’s likely a Baku lurking somewhere in the room and lulling you to sleep so it can eat your dreams – yum! Did you get the urge to clean up your house? No, you’re not on speed – there’s a Katazukerai somewhere making you obsessively need to straighten everything up!

If you had a Yokai Watch on your wrist, you’d be able to see these things, and start taking measures to get rid of them, typically by summoning a different Yokai with counteracting powers. Once defeated and befriended, the Yokai are yours to summon at will, although honestly in this game, you’re mostly making six-member parties to auto-fight other groups of Yokai. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s Pokemon for Japanese people who are sick of Pokemon.

It’s not difficult to see why this game has so far had very little traction outside of its country of origin, because it’s just so goddamn Japanese in that you have a set of very real settings and traditions and lingo that struggle for purchase outside the native mindset. When they bring this game over to the States and beyond, it’s going to be like trying to market igloos in the Sahara, but I’m convinced that Yokai Watch is a real opportunity for people around the world to actually learn something interesting and real about Japan. At the very least, it will give them something besides their snide and tired mumbles about tentacle porn and used panty machines to invoke when discussing Japan on the internet. A daunting task, but god damn, how noble.

How I’d love to be part of that elite squad of localizers, deconstructing the names of the Yokai, rechristening them with shiny new Westernized monickers, and researching all the ancient and modern lore to tell their tales in tasty little bite-sized blurbs for the Yokai Encyclopedia you build in the game. A dream job, eaten by a Baku, egged on by whatever Yokai is responsible for making me need to keep these go-nowhere teaching jobs and drink all this fucking alcohol every night. Fuck it, I’m going fishing.

Snaking Bad

July 9, 2014

I suck at Metal Gear Solid games. Love them to death, but I suck at them, and somehow you just know there’s going to be a big heaping bubbling septic tank of criticism coming, so let’s put our feet up (knees above the waist) and let me take my own dump before I empty the whole thing into the ocean of collective thought to disperse and mutate the aquatic plantlife.

Metal Gear Solid 4 – yes, FOUR as in the one that came out six years ago – is a 12-hour movie you watch between a dozen 25-minute sessions of gameplay. It’s unconventional to say the least, but I suppose this makes it impossible to call it a short game.

Oooh that felt good. Let’s squeeze out another.

This movie, then, is about Snake the old fart ninja who wins every battle in spite of his bumbling, and yet manages to lose every war in spite of being a psycho badass. Infiltrate the enemy’s camp? Good job, your nemesis kills everyone and gets away. Make contact with the enemy scientist and kill a boss? Awesome, your base of operations is compromised. Every chapter so far ends like the Empire Strikes Back, and the prize for completion just gets worse and worse. Something makes you think that if Snake had just gone to a Cubs game that day he’d have had a better chance of seeing victory.

Plop ploppity plop plop plop.

It always drives me nuts that they say you should avoid conflict and try to sneak around instead of engaging the enemy. We all know that this is fucking impossible. Even with radar marking the positions and vision fields of the enemy soldiers, you’re going to get spotted, and it’s going to be a bloodbath. Not to mention that there are like 100 different types of weapons and dozens of accessories for them. And picking up weapons give you money to buy – more weapons! So basically they included and programmed all this useful heavy shit, and you’re supposed to ignore it all. Fuck that. Give me a P-90 and let me kill all these stupid assholes, please Santa Claus?

Courtesy flush. Let’s wipe up.

If you can filter out all of the stupid crap that annoys you about MGS (I’m not even going to get into the retarded flophouse of its controls), you’re left with a pretty awesome and powerful game. Basically, don’t listen to anyone on the radio, shoot everyone with a silencer, and have snacks and drinks at the ready in case it’s time to watch another goddamn cutscene. Nukes and robots, the modern war machine and its economy, stealth, weapon, and nano tech all mix together to make a killer batch of Grandpa Cigarette’s 21st Century War Time Cookies that you can dunk in blood. It’s great fun when you win, neck-stabbingly frustrating when you lose.

It would be a good game to take to a deserted island (off the coast of Alaska). If you put all other games and a good part of your life on hold, I have no doubt that you could become intimately familiar with the stages and patterns of the enemies and work your way up to the rank of Big Boss by being a slick motherfucker who never gets caught. Hell, you might even find a way to take down the bosses using Playboys or other non-lethal means, but it will take time. Time that the egotistical designers believe you should spend on their crazy-ass game. Time you could be using to polish up your Smash technique, learn a new language, have sex with a human, wash your pets, or otherwise live. Most games are like this, and it’s good of Konami to include nearly endless content in challenge form. But I suck at Metal Gear games, and they will never fail let me know that any victory I achieve will always glow pathetic next to Hideo Kojima’s big smart awesome and wonderful guy accomplishments.

Somebody open a window.

You may kill the slime

June 7, 2014

It’s turning out to be a bad weekend for RPGs. Which sucks, because this is ostensibly the best time to play them – 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday with my family sound asleep. Frankly I’m surprised I didn’t scream and wake everyone up when those Mandoragoras killed me in Final Fantasy IX just now.

I picked up FInal Fantasy IX again because I thought that my save file was at the very beginning of Disc 2. While it is very near the beginning, it has none of that Disc 2 intro stuff that I was counting on for orientation. Where are we in the story? What are my current goals and party members? And what the fuck did I name everybody this time around?

Doesn’t matter. I bit it in less than ten minutes and have no desire to pick it up again until, perhaps I’m on the plane taking me back home this summer for a month’s worth virtual reality in the good old US of America. Plenty of time to get refamiliarized with everything on Iifa’s green Gaia then.

I was supposed to be playing Dragon Quest V, but in my haste to get the hell out of work for the weekend, left the 3DS charging in my desk where it sits now.

Nice game, that. It’s healthy to play Dragon Quest games. I wanted to get VIII for the phone, but $30 is kind of a fucked up ridiculous well not really because it’s great but I can’t justify it because I already have the game for PS2 price. You should buy it, though. Especially if you played the non-Japanese version, because when you did that, you got a shitty version of the game.

The Western localization of Dragon Quest VIII for the PS2 featured voice actors, which for Dragon Quest games is fucking blasphemy. You’re not supposed to hear the voices. When you talk to someone or even read text in ANY OTHER Dragon Quest game, you hear a range of tones going bloop and bleeb and THAT’s the voice. It’s like a compass for your imagination to work with and hear the words in your head. It’s part of the Role-Playing Experience(™) to imagine things for yourself. In a big, big world, your character on the map is obviously a grossly enlarged representative version of your tiny self. Each step you take is like half a mile in reality, and each battle, though executed with menu commands is actually a rollicking fracas with jumping and swearing and the clang of steel. Dragon Quest has a tradition of sound effects for these things, and they’ve remained unchanged since 1986, motherfuckers. So cut the shit and don’t assume we want to hear the profanity of human speech when stabbing slimes in the ass.

Right, so I didn’t buy it. But DQV for the DS can be reliably found at a reasonable price, and I bought such for such one rainy Saturday night last month and got caught back up in the Zenithian saga again. This game is unique in that at a certain point you are forced to marry one of three women who will bear your child who will take up the sword in a kind of Dragonballsy epic fashion. Interesting story mechanic, but could the choice possibly be any more aggravating?

Here are the maidens from which you have to choose:

Bianca: You go adventuring with her early in the game when you’re still a child. And she’s blonde. Balanced melee fighter / spellcaster.

Flora: Hair of blue. It is revealed that she is kind. Strong spellcaster, weak defense.

Debra: Debra is Flora’s black-haired bitch-ass bitch of a bitch sister. Strong melee fighter. Not featured in the original Dragon Quest V, so you think I’d rally against her very programming code for that fact alone.



Ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Debra Cuziplayit.

Truth be told, I didn’t want to marry at all. I didn’t think it was a particularly good time to be wedded, what, in the middle of my epic quest and all. I slay and bleed every day and stay at shady taverns every night, and it’s no way to start a family. But I suppose if you look at it from the standpoint that you didn’t have a choice whether or not to fight monsters in the game – you either do it or you don’t proceed – getting married is really not so different from killing a slime.

So here I sit, not playing any RPGs, thinking how best to make the time go by. Hey wait, that’s right! I have a family! I’m going to cook some bacon and wake their ass up.



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