Saturday, March 18, 2017

Update: What's Going On Right Now?

Hey. In the slim chance that you check back here to see if I've done anything lately, I've got some stuff to say.

For the past two months, I've had a draft entitled "Update: Will." It's set to be my final farewell to this blog, but at the same time, I'm too scared to start writing it. I don't know if I'd regret it or not. And so it sits, empty, to be posted one day, be it in two months or two years.

First of all: no, I don't want to abandon this site. But there will be a lot less going on here. This was a labor of love since I was 12. I'm 16 now, and I don't know how to feel about leaving the old stomping grounds behind. 

I will say that my attention has focused a lot on the other blog, Unfunny Guy. Allow me to explain a bit.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Thought to Chew: Memory

I've been playing a lot of Color Splash lately, and as a disclaimer, I will say upfront that yes, I very much enjoyed it. The gameplay might be a bit rough around the edges, and I'll probably address that at some point, but everything else about the game is endearing and charming. There are three amazing prongs to it- beautiful artistic choices, a profound sense of humor (especially for a Mario game), and a phenomenal soundtrack. If there's one thing that a game can sell me on the most, it's music, and while Color Splash is definitely the most well-rounded game in terms of having consistently good music to match the circumstances of the game, there's one piece of music that I think is better than all of it combined.

The song is "Memory", Rather, it's four songs. The early ones are light and contemplative, with simple piano notes accompanied by the ticks of a clock and a rotating film reel. We get a cinematic, sentimental vibe, an immediate contrast to the otherwise cheerful optimism the game radiates.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Dear Game, Don't Patronize Me

To think it only took a whole month to revert back to proper content, and by that I mean content pertaining to the actual point of this blog existing.

For the past few days I've been playing a lot of Yoshi's Woolly World, a game I got last year but never opened because I've been so preoccupied, but I digress. It's a genuinely good game with amazing music and an excellent post-game difficulty curb to everybody who thought Yoshi games couldn't possibly make you want to pull all of your hairs out one by one in a masochistic exercise of frustration and insanity (a slow, painful descent might I add.) Or maybe I just suck. Honestly, that's a perfectly valid explanation too.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Introducing the Legacy List (200 Articles)

200 Articles. Over the course of the past 3.5 years, I've written 200 articles.

Of those, I'm proud to say at least 20 are moderately passable.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016 List

Here's the list of the articles for the videos I discussed over the past two weeks. If I can say one thing, though, it's that I'm really looking forward to just talking about video games, okay?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Favorite Video of 2016: Day 15: Time Friends

"We're not friends. We're time friends."
As per last year, I'm starting and ending with Olan. It's been established that I admire the guy, I know, so let's just talk about the video. Why did I decide to declare this my favorite video of the past year?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 14: Hong Kong | Scamalot

"Yes, there are Kit Kats."
Here's a bit of a different choice.
To the uninformed, James Veitch is a British comedian who gets a lot of scam emails, but instead of ignoring them, he responds to waste the scammer's time and confuse them. Now, he puts them all up on the Internet to enjoy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 13: Isabelle Ruins Everything

"Basically, what I'm saying is there's a lot of people in jail now." "We don't even have a jail!" "We had to build one, and nobody wanted to help, so I had the police force them?"
Here's a nifty little disclaimer!
I liked the video. I found it not connected to the channel, and thus I have no opinion on hotdiggedydemon. Seems nice enough in candor, though. (I do get that this video is a bit of an outlier in his school of shock comedy, so I'll just look at it at face value.)

Typically, the worst thing we can see out of leaving Animal Crossing for a few months is a few missing villagers and a wasteland full of weeds. The last thing we would expect to find is a failed communist experiment but alas, here we are.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 12: Between Two Ferns: Hillary Clinton

"Critics have questioned some of your decision making recently, and by you doing this show I hope it finally lays that to rest."
"Oh, I think it absolutely proves their case. Don't you?"
2016 was a weird year for things to return: BriTANick came back with two shorts, Thomas Gore of Balloonshop may have made is big comeback, and then there's this, the long-awaited return to Between Two Ferns, with Hillary Clinton no less.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 11: Fire Man

"We're fire fighters! We fight fire."
"Yeah, and I fight fire with fire!" 
"...That just makes more fire."
I love TomSka's sketches, I really do. I will say that I've long outgrown the asdf series- its randomness generally meant the absence of a decent joke aside from "Wow, that was weird"- but all of his sketches are able to explore a scenario fully fleshed-out very quickly. Fire Man is probably a prime example, clocking in at just over a minute.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 10: This Thumbnail is a Butt

"But we should be trying to make content that matters." "Whatever, Ms. Greenpeace, Tom Shoes-wearing NPR totebag."
A few days back I complained about how a CollegeHumor video I really liked had an awful name. That issue is remedied in "This Thumbnail is a Butt." It's just, uh, not as obvious from the get-go.

The whole conceit is that Zac pitches an idea at a pitch meeting that's not really an idea so much as a way to get the job done without thinking about it. The video serves almost as clickbait commentary: we do, quite frankly, get our a** handed over to us in the video, just not in the way that we would presume for our unhealthy click habits.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 9: Cats Review

"Much like video games and tacos, all the promotional material makes 'em look way better than they really are."
Yes, I will take any excuse to talk about cats, but the video was good too, so it's not a one-sided farce to shoehorn in cat talk.
It's a two-sided farce to shoehorn in cat talk.
I imagine it would be really hard to explain the appeal of this video. Basically, it's some guy pretending to review the entire species of cats as if a product review (with his alleged plan being to review every animal by 2088), giving pointers as to the do's and don'ts. For instance, buy them in place of lions. Just as a general rule of thumb. Also, if shipping cats, which is remarkably easy, don't forget to poke holes in the box so they can breathe.

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 8: Super Mario Bros. Super Show #2

"He's a true American, Italian, made in Japan hero!"
If you want to see a slightly-worse but still bad write-up on a more orthodox PBG episode, I did one last year.
I will say this much: as burned out as I get from video game reviews nowadays (I don't hate them, it's just that my scope has widened a bit more), PBG videos always carry the promise of being something more than that, something special. I suppose he was the first reviewer I found online back in 2013 and served as a gateway, but it certainly helps that he's inherently likable, has good timing, and can pace a video- all pretty crucial elements to what he does.

It shows how well he's able to perform all of these components when he does something different with the formula- this time, he discusses a TV show- and put it through the cycle without making it anything less. if anything, I'd argue that the format allowed for more entertaining bits as PBG grappled on to the show's rapid pacing to create a more involved video chocked full of great little beats.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 7: If Adult Cereal had Mascots

"Soon it will be mine, every bite bursting with responsibility, nutrition slopping off of every spoonful."
I will put out this much of a disclaimer: the concept of "If ____ was ____" is so tired at this point that I'm generally unforgiving of it. It's a matter of plugging some concept into such an overused framework that the result is usually uninspired and manufactured, meaning that little thought was put into its conception.

However, I did appreciate "If Adult Cereals Had Mascots" for at least attempting (and succeeding at) doing something original with the formula. Honestly, if CollegeHumor had chosen a better title, I would be much happier, but hey, they have to get views, and by following the sh*tty industry standard, that's how they reel 'em in.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 6: Awkward Photo Hands

"Wow, Nat! Your hands look very occupied and not weird in this photo!"
The success in Nat's videos are that she manages to find the commonalities that every person has and find humor in it. Yes, I know there are thousands of "OMG SO RELATABLE" videos and posts all over the Internet, but Nat finds something that we never think about but are simply wont to do, and it's a range not just limited to basic white people (with all due respect to basic white people, I suppose).

Friday, January 6, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 5: The Foul Line

"I can't just leave Earth. All my friends if- alright, I'll do it."
If there's one thing I've noticed throughout this list, it's that I have an odd appreciation of intense elevation and scatted miscommunication, but I digress.

I think the first thing that struck me about the short was that it was made after a three-year drought by BriTANick, a sketch duo that I pretty much missed out on. The idea that they would make a new video was pretty much out of question, so to see it thrown out of left-field, and not as a half-baked reminder of their existence, was great. (I assume the release of "The Foul Line" and their other short, "The Faux Pas", was somehow linked to their eventual hire as writers on SNL, but that's wild speculation.)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 4: So This is Basically Pokemon

"You're finally 10 and that means you're ready to go off on a nationwide journey with gangsters and mobsters! Now that you've got your twig with eyeballs by your side, it's totally safe."
While a lot of opinions towards what I watch on Youtube have been evolving, my appreciation for JelloApocalypse remains the same year after year.

As someone who enjoys Pokemon, at a certain point, you just kind of accept it for what it is, but all it takes is for Jello to come in and mock the crap out of it for you to notice that the games really don't make that much sense at all. No, it doesn't make sense that once you become 10, you're thrown out into the world to be torn to shreds. No, it doesn't make sense that punching the dark would deal massive damage. But yes, it is racist that there's been a gym for every type but Dark. ("Learn more about racism at your local library.")

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 3: Pokerap

I wrote a bit about Neil Cicierega last year in discussing his Hobbits video, and I bring that up solely because of a desperation for more views. (That's a joke. Just not a good one.)
I think the pattern is in the fact that both videos rely on tampering with the names of source material to invoke delightful convolution, which leads me to an important point that I think is key to all of Neil's work: you don't have to appreciate the source material to appreciate his content to some extent. You don't need but a basic understanding of Harry Potter to understand Harry Potter's Puppet Pals, and you don't need any understanding of the Hobbits at all to enjoy his Hobbits video.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 2: How to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps!

While I usually try to stick to content not made by professionals and not following a run through Sundance, I'll make an exception.
The video starts off simple, with the guise of presenting tips to losing weight before hitting you with a curveball: "Step 3: Get Your Heart Broken." And this is when the meat of the short commences.
We see our main character (Beck Bennett from SNL) struggle through the break-up, pushing back his feelings, hitting the gym daily, and eventually getting over it, even when suffering through the woes- all done with chirpy narration because it is taking the form of a self-help guide. The result is something genuinely funny while also playing with your emotions. Sure, the comedy can get subdued, but it's all in the touches and how Beck's character deals with his world collapsing around him before attempting to reconstruct that keeps it functioning.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 1: Family Pizza Meeting

"If I find out one of ya'lls is goin' fresh, I'm gonna shove a hockey puck down ya throat!"
And now, back to subpar content!
While last year I set out to make a masochistic, 31-day list, this year, I'm halving it and subtracting 1.
The main issue is that I'm leaning less on Youtube as a form of entertainment - that's not to say there aren't certain channels I gravitate towards, but I've kind of gotten over the daily process of checking as many times as possible throughout the day. Basically, long story short, I've never felt so detached from watching Youtube and yet, never so content.
That's probably why most, if not all, of these entries are from the first half of last year.
And, as per tradition, we're starting with Olan Rogers.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

INTERVIEW: Kanekiru Talks Art, Pokemon, and Blobfish

Finally, a new interview!
In brief, Kanekiru (or Kane for short) is a digital art wizard, creating masterful digital paintings inspired predominantly by anime and manga, and most recently, she rose in prominence through her works related to Pokemon Sun and Moon. Although admitting she's not the most well-versed in video games, I've found her work to be so captivating that I just had to ask her if she'd be interested, and thankfully, she obliged! So, without further prefacing, here it is!
First of all, who are you?
Hello, I'm Kane! I'm currently a hobby artist attending my first year in a uni for computer science.
How did you get into art? Likewise, how did you develop your artistic style? 
I was first drawn into art by he visual aspect. As a kid, I found the way animated movies were made to be so interesting. It was just so enticing how the process of figures drawn by humans were capable of moving and relaying stories through a lively visual appeal. The illustrations in books also got me hooked because, as a visual person, it helped me to see what was also being read.
It's pretty obvious my style involves the general anime/manga style that Japan (and now other Asian countries) have developed. I think it's too early for me to consider my work to have a distinguished style that other famous anime artists have, but so far I've been picking nits and pieces of styles I like and have experimented with, and have tried creating my own.

How much work goes into executing your art? 
It honestly depends on what I'm going for. The range could be 8-40 hours. I'm a detail-oriented person, so my work tends to have a lot of detail.
My process is a bit messy compared to a lot of other artists. I usually have a terrible sketch with quick coloring to get an idea of how the overall piece will look. However, sometimes the end product will look completely different! The next thing is lining, but since it's a long process for us artists, I get impatient and start coloring if a fair amount of the lines are complete. Coloring is my least favorite part as I'm still trying to think of the technique and light source, and thus, takes the longest to do. At some point in this stage, I complete the lines in order for the piece to look more organized. As I'm jumping back and forth on different parts and stages of my piece, I also work on the background so that the entirety is more cohesive and logical with the rest of the elements. When I'm close to done with general stuff, I spend time focusing on little details to add the context of the piece.