The Monks

Watching SpikeTV's "Deadliest Warrior" and they're pitting Shaolin Monks against Maori Warriors. But seeing as the Shaolin were a pacifist order, wouldn't "Deadliest Warrior" be an insult to them?


The Beenox conundrum

For those not in the know, Beenox is the developer who is currently at the helm of the Spider-man franchise. A license owned by Activision and currently in the process of being milked and ruined in the Activision crap crank machine.

Not that I mind them cranking out Spider-man games. At least in theory. I love Spider-man and playing games with him as the main character are like Kryptonite to me. I just can't seem to resist them, even though I know they're ultimately going to fall short of expectations.

But really, what do we expect? These aren't really "gamers games" now are they? These are games designed to appeal for the under 10s. Games meant to get the kiddos to remember moments from the movies or afternoons playing with whatever action figure features Spidey's likeness these days. They aren't meant to be for the hardcore. This ain't Arkham City folks.

After an afternoon and an evening playing the new Amazing Spider-man game, I can't help but feel a bit let down. It's not really even Beenox's fault at this point. I honestly believe that they are trying to make a Spider-man game that will appeal to all of us. But Beenox doesn't get what gamers want. Gamers, at least gamers I know and associate with, would rather fail on their own than play a game that does all the work for them. Gamers would rather have a set of mechanics that allows for them to pull off amazing things, not have a magic "hold my hand" button that makes you look amazing while barely doing any of the work. I'm talking about "Web Rush" in case you don't know. Look up the videos if you aren't following me on this. It's essentially a "be badass" button that has the ol' webhead flip, jump, wall-run, and dive to any point you dictate after pressing the right bumper. And for what it is, it works OK. Not great. Not all that exciting. But the barrier to entry is low and I guess that's what we've allowed to happen. We've let developers hold our hand so long that they don't know how to make anything else.

Many of us fondly remember Spider-man 2: The Movie: The Game. And for good reason. The web-swinging mechanics in that game were unmatched before or since. They gave you an engine to perform amazing feats if your thumbs were nimble and your hands were skilled enough. It was exhilarating in every way to pull off a solid line with Spider-man's web swinging. Everything else in that game was busted though. In anticipation of the new Amazing Spider-man game, I dug out my PS2 and played SM2 for the better part of a day. Fighting bad guys was as formula as it can be. The random crimes were repetetive and the voice over was phoned in and flat. For all intents and purposes, the game doesn't work. Except for the one thing that works so very very well. The swinging. I spent hours just swinging around SM2's virtual world and I know many others did as well. And because it was all based on skill rather than "hard cloud theory" and "web rush". Not everyone was tough enough of course, and the game catered to them as well. There was an "easy swing" mode for those not interested in learning the game. Those who just wanted a tangential movie experience without a lot of effort could have exactly that and more power to them. It's the fact that the games developers gave us the choice, that is why we still remember it to this day.

Beenox, for their part, have made a decent super-hero game this year. It's not the worst of the Spider-man games that I've played (Friend of Foe, I'm looking at you here). I just wish that someone would come along and realize that Spider-man is primed to get his Arkham City. A game that balances great combat, which is almost there in ASM, and great web mechanics like SM2 with interesting visuals, maybe something like Ultimate Spider-man from the PS2 era. A game that uses stealth options like the Noir segments from Shattered Dimensions and gives us the option to really master the mechanics like we did oh so long ago. I guess until then, we'll just have to keep settling. Or, Heaven forbid, skip a few games so they get the message? Nah, that'll never happen. :P


Double Fine!

Today is the end of the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter thingy. In case you haven't kept up with things, these guys asked for 400k and are well past the $3,000,000 mark. With a few hours left, who knows where the final number will end.

I wanted to do something to commemorate the moment, so here it is. :)

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Halo 4... WOW!

I don't like being cynical. It isn't fun and the only benefit is that when things go pear shaped you can be that douchebag who says; I knew it all along. I see the appeal, but it's not really something I ever longed for. Of course in this day and age we're all cynics to a degree. At least those of us who spend time on the internet seem to be. So I've been harboring this secret cynicism, scared of what direction the next Halo game might go.

In case you missed it (though I doubt anyone reading this would have), Monday was the first good look we've had at Halo 4 and the structure of 343i's up and coming first entry in the Halo saga. And I. Am. Dumbfounded. (On the off chance you missed it, head here: [link] )

The first thing that stood out to me was the music that played in the videos background. All at once amazing and fresh while still managing to be distinctly Halo. It's not an easy thing to do. Making something as boundless and epic as Marty O's scores from the first 5 entries in the Halo games is not something one should take lightly. And it's clear to me that they have not taken anything for granted. The music cascades with the action we've seen. Every note seems to be begging to tell us a story. And the best part is that none of it, not a single bar, feels like it's retreaded material. It all feels new and fresh and done with care. This alone is enough to get me excited for Halo 4. (Not that I needed a push mind you).

Beyond that we got our first look at Spartan-4's. This may be the most exciting thing of all. With the S-3s all but wiped out and John being the last active duty S-2, it's good that they are moving forward in this regard. John will always be the anchor of the Halo games for me personally, but that doesn't mean I don't want other interesting media to consume (like a zombie snacking on your brains). This opens up the canon to all manner of interesting possibilities. And when they said they are working in a narrative justification for Reds fighting Blues I about dropped my jaw. I LOVE the attention to detail that Halo's stewards are showing off here.

I know a lot of people are sentimental for Bungie. God knows I've shown them infinite love in the past. But for me, I was a Halo fan first, and a Bungie fan second. While I'm interested to see where they go and what they do, it's always been my secondary concern. Second to who was going to be taking over my most beloved gaming franchise. I for one, am happy with the team at 343i. I'm eager to see where they take us next. And I'm eager for this Holiday season to get here so I can start my next adventure behind the Master Chief's visor.

The videos I've seen tell me that this new game is going to focus on the Chief's origin and character more than in the past. That is fantastic news. And everything I have seen (which admittedly isn't much) leads me to believe this is going to be one hell of a game in both single and mutliplayer. Halo is the only mutliplayer I bother with and I can't wait to get my Battle Rifle on again!

*This entry copied and reposted from my Deviant Art blog


Whiskey Shots 4 "Challenge Day"

I'm not really looking forward to tomorrows BRICKED! finale. It's been a well of great material. But there's plenty of good stuff in the Giant Bombcast too so if I make another one of these, it'll probably be based on something the guys say in that broadcast. Or maybe something from the GDC coverage.

But for now, here's the last BRICKED related Whiskey Shots. Enjoy it. OR ELSE!


Whiskey Shots 3 "Case of the Mondays"

I enjoy the "I love Mondays" segments they do each week here at GB. I really do. But that opening bit needs at least 10 seconds trimmed off of it. I'm as big a fan of Ryan Davis as the next Whiskey Media subscriber. But I can't figure out why that opening bit takes a full 25 seconds. Unless....


Whiskey Shots :::UPDATED:::

This isn't really Giant Bomb related per se, but it is Whiskey Media related. I've talked a time or two about The Amazing Test: Bricked on I am a bit of an AFOL anyway and it's fun watching their little competition. It also let me to make this:

Hope you enjoy it. :)


Following the Twitter accounts of Norm, Will and Gary, I've noticed a little trend. It's also apparent in the Tested Podcast that Gary has a Lego "problem". I think he's somehow addicted to Danish plastic bricks. See what you think:

I know they did a jokey "intervention", but it may be time for the real thing. :P



Whiskey Media/Futurama mashup :Updated with Matt Elfring

UPDATE: This is pretty darn late and hardly relevant since the Whiskey Media thing has been crushed under the weight of the buyouts and all that, but I've gotten to know Matt Elfring (Comic Vine's InferiorEgo) in recent weeks and realized he was a tragic omission from this. So to correct that error on my part, here is Matt Scruffy: InferiorJanitor

Matt Scruffy, InferiorJanitor

Finally got around to adding Norm (Normz McKenzie, The original Lego worm) and Tony "G-man" (Elzar... or I guess Gee-Zar). Here is what will most likely be the final version. I took out all the nameplates. They were a little distracting and since we're nearly at 20 characters, it'd be almost impossible to keep them in and have this retain any kind of artistic flow. I also took out the cheap "Will Smith" gag on Will's T-shirt and changed it to the Death Star. Regular Tested viewers will probably get it, if not then I suggest you Google "The Amazing Test: Bricked" and get in on the fun. Today's episode had some especially good banter between the guys. (i.e. they mentioned my Futurama thread and made me a happy nerd) (woo).

If any Whiskey person was left out, it's not intentional. I've been a regular visitor to the site less than a year and if you aren't a Quick Look regular, I may be unaware of your unique contribution to the sites. Please hit me up either on Twitter or a PM here and we can talk about it.

Hope you like it!

If you'd like to use this image as a wallpaper, this should fit nicely with any widescreen monitor:

If you don't have a widescreen monitor... it's 2012. Upgrade damn it!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------UPDATE ENDS-------------------------------------------------------

Original post from here on out:

I'm not even going to try and explain how the inspiration for thiis one came about. But I still wanted to show it off to people who might appreciate it. So here is my Futurama/Giant Bomb mashup drawing. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Other characters that did not make the cut:

Alex Navarro/Morbo the News Monster as "Navorbo"

Matt Rorie/Scruffy the Janitor as "Rorry, the Janitor"

Patrick was going to be Hermes instead of Nibbler originally. But once I got the idea of Nibbler with Patrick's hair in my head I had to draw it. :P

Any of the girl characters as... Seriously, are there just no girls at Whiskey Media or am I not hitting the right site? I usually stick to Screened, GB, and occasionally Comic Vine. Help me out here community!

Also, before some smartypants shows up to tell me I misspelled Gerstmann's name on the jar, I'm aware of it. It's an intentional gag. Not a very funny one in retrospect, but intentional nonetheless.

If people like this one, I may make another with some of the left out characters. Not sure what kind of time I'll have in the next few weeks as I just recieved a new assignment, but who knows. I'm open to suggestions if you have clever mashup ideas. Feel free to leave a post.

Other places to see things I've done:

Deviant Art portfolio

YouTube channel

Say "Hello" on Twitter


Someone asked if I had a version of this that could be used as a Wallpaper. At the time, I did not. But rearranging the layers and stretching out the background weren't much trouble, so I made a Wallpaper version. Anyone who wishes to do so, feel free to download it and use it. I also added "Navorbo" and a user suggestion; Sara Leela based on Comic Vine's Sara Lima. Hope you like it. :)

Uploaded here, but also kept on my Deviant Art page. LINK

:::Some suggestions from fellow Whiskey fans and a couple by Alex Navarro (Navorbo himself) and here is the latest version:::

Deviant Art link if you'd rather view it there: LINK


Added these new versions of the wallpaper in 2 formats. These contain all the current characters (for now). Hope you enjoy them. :)

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