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            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Sunday Soapbox: When Bad Crosses Over Into Good

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Well this week turned into something a little different than intended when Riddles’ infamous banner made the first few days explode into madness. The rest of the week just couldn’t live up. Not even the best Scatter Storming in the existence of both storms and scattering. Either way, if nothing else, this theme week exposed that I essentially only talk in Star Fox 64 quotes. I’ll be frank in admitting that there isn’t much of an editorial hidden within the addictively terrible one-liners from that game, but it was interesting to hear Riddles tell me that he didn’t really care for the 7 minutes he played of the title. He panned it for archaic controls and obviously didn’t love it enough to start quoting it daily like I do.

His next point was to accuse me of seeing the game through a thick nostalgia lense. While I’d never deny that nostalgia is a significant part of my love for the game, I also have massive nostalgia for games like Mario Kart 64, and when I return to that game, it simply doesn’t hold up anymore. The same could be said for Pilotwings 64, and Wave Race 64. Still, when I load up Star Fox 64 again, the same pacing is there, the same deceptively deep on-rails strategy is there, and – of course – the one liners are exactly how I remember them. Some quotes are built up and exaggerated to an extreme point to which the original sounds bland and forgettable. It’s strange, but every line in that game is just so quotable, and so memorably articulated that I’m never let down when I play the game again. What’s even more bizarre is that it’s obviously not very good voice acting, but I don’t think I’d have such fond memories of the title or have as much fun replaying it if every moment wasn’t so fucking quotable.

Like I predicted, I don’t have much to say, and therefore haven’t said much in this crater of a Sunday Soapbox, but to make it up to you all, I leave you with the greatest comic ever drawn. Thank you VG Cats.

Lazy Saturdays #04

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Christ. What another lazy goddamned Saturday.

It’s probably just because I’m unemployed, but this whole Lazy Saturdays thing has become sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ever since I started it as a feature, every Saturday has been a dull, droll, and mindless affair. Usually involving me sitting at my apartment. By myself. Such is life, though; or, at least, such is the life of Oliver “Riddles” Motok.

I saw Iron Man 2 a few days ago. I don’t actually, uh… remember much about it, but I seem to remember liking it. Not as much as the original, perhaps, but it was an enjoyable experience. Definitely check it out if you’re an Iron Man fan.

Oh yeah, and I watched Aladdin yesterday! In HD! For the first time in years! God, that movie is timeless. It’s also one of the few good things Robin Williams has ever done with his life.

Ubisoft Bitches About an 81% Metacritic Ranking for Red Steel 2 – Sometimes, I really hate numerical review scores, and this is one of the reasons why. Gamers, media outlets, and publishers alike have all gotten spoiled. Really fucking spoiled, in fact, as evidenced by this statement from Ubisoft’s Jason Vandenberghe:

Let’s start here: if you clicked that Metacritic link back there, you know that (as of this writing) our average rating is hanging out at a solid 81%. Anyone in the industry will tell you: that doesn’t suck, but it ain’t the bestest ever. It’s the kind of number you need to be in the running for serious sales, and given the nature of the market we are releasing into, etc, blah blah blah, it’s pretty darn acceptable, but of course you always hope for more. It’s what Metacritic calls “generally favorable reviews”, but it’s closer to “mixed” than we’d prefer.

Ingrates. They’re all ingrates. Why is it that these days, a game has to score a 90% percent or higher to be considered worthy of a shit? I feel like it’s a trend that’s come along with the current console generation. 81%, for all intents and purposes, is an excellent aggregate ranking, especially when you consider the fact that the original Red Steel was flat-out panned by the gaming press. Grow the fuck up, Ubisoft. And everyone else.

Are You an Apple Fanboy? Well, You Can At Last Have True Love - I’m gonna go ahead and chalk this up as a solid 8.1 on my weird-shit-o-meter. (Cookies for whoever catches the reference.) This summer will see the launch of a dating site called Cupidtino. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “Cupidtino?” Latina women, of course. Or men, I suppose. But no. Cupidtino is a dating site designed for Apple fanatics. Here’s the site in a nutshell, according to “Mel,” one of its co-founders:

Essentially we’re hoping to do to dating sites what the iPhone did for smartphones. We want to create a simple, clean, uncluttered and Apple-esque experience. The profile page will not only show your typical “dating” features, but also highlight your Apple-ness – things like “when did you become a Mac?” and icons for the Apple products you own. We’re also thinking about an AppStore like “approval process” for profiles, which will require that your main photo must be posed with an Apple product or in an Apple retail store.

Sound… creepy to you? Yeah, me too.

Check Out this Trailer for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – It’s no secret that I’ve been intrigued by this game. And I gotta say, this first trailer doesn’t disappoint. Lots of gameplay, showing off combat, platforming, and Ico-esque partner mechanics. Really neat stuff.

Wow, sorry, this is much later than I anticipated. I got, uh, distracted for a while. My lazy Saturday is suddenly not so lazy. Unfortunately, though, I’m exhausted. Because… in the last 60 hours or so, I’ve slept for 8.

Signing off,

-Riddles

Oh the memories…

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Remember when Oliver Motok used to post content on this site? Those were good days.

Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah! #007

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Alright! I’ve got a busy-ass day, so let me go break-neck speed through this shottily researched news.

Koticked off.

Infamous Activision CEO, Bobby Kotick has finally responded explicitly in regards to the drama at Infinity Ward. He announced that the number of employees that left Infinity Ward has reached 35, and he expects more still to leave. Kotick stayed diplomatic in stating, “We are obviously disappointed about this, and we wish we could have convinced some of these talented people to stay”. He got a little more personal, however when talking about Jason West and Vince Zampella. His words below.

The decision to terminate the two Infinity Ward executives was not done lightly, and it was not done to deprive them of their bonuses nor is it done without a great deal of deliberation about the consequences.
I personally consider the two of them friends, and their conduct was a compromise of our friendship, which was equally disappointing. Once we began to understand what had occurred, there was no grey area. There was nothing to allow us to retain their services as talented as they might have been.

Interesting that he tries to play victim here although he slyly doesn’t address why so many Infinity Ward employees are leaving. Perhaps the opinions of 35 plus people might tell a different side of the story. Mr. Kotick had a great marketing direction for his comments, but it’s hard to not tell that he’s not very happy with the whole situation.
(IGN)

The man LOOKS like a "Tippl"

To Infinity Ward and Beyond!

Staying in this vein, it’s interesting to note that Activision has confirmed that the rebuilding Infinity Ward is indeed working on another Call of Duty game. On the same financial call that produced Bobby Kotick’s comments, Activision COO Thomas Tippl stated, “We have not yet confirmed the individual plans for next year, we usually don’t do this at this time; we are very focused on our communications right now about the releases for this year. What we have said is that Infinity Ward is working on a Call of Duty title and you’ll hear more details as we advance through the year.”

Note that there was no mention of the Modern Warfare name. I don’t think it’s safe to assume anything about that franchise at this time. Although in that same call, Tippl said that Infinity Ward should have another map pack available for Modern Warfare 2 in the Fall. Who knows what’s going to happen in this previously predictable franchise.
(IGN)

We’ll Get Our FFIX Soon!

Fuck, I’m amazing with puns. Anything, this is pretty much non-news, but it’s about Final Fantasy IX, so of course I’m on it. Square Enix confirmed on the official Playstation Blog that Final Fantasy IX is coming to the PSN “soon”. Nope, no release date beyond that, but I can’t imagine it will take very long. Long live Zidane!

Anyway, I got shit to do! That’s it from me!

Scatter Storming. Issue #028

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Ah, someone wants to play -

-Who are you guys?
-We’re Star Fox
-You’ll never defeat Andross!!

-You did it! I was worried for a moment

-We’re heading out. All aircraft report.

-I’m fine, you okay over there, fox?

-It’s quiet, too quiet…Be careful, it’s a trap!

-Location confirmed, sending supplies

You’re becoming more like your father -

-Do a barrel roll!

-You’re becoming a better pilot!

-If I’m going down, I’m taking you with me!
-AAAAAaaaAAaAAAAA
-Never give up my son
-Father?

-Never give up, trust your instincts!

Ah-ha! Thought you could hide from me, ‘eh? -

-Escaping? I don’t think so!

-Something’s up ahead. Look’s different!

-I guess you’re good for something!

-Don’t party just yet!

-Slippy’s not such a screw up after all!

Can’t let you do that, Star Fox -

-Andross has ordered us to take you down!

-Andross’ enemy is MYYYyyyy enemy

-Daddy screamed REAL good before he died!

-Annoying bird! I am the great Leon!

-Hold still and let me shoot you!

-You can’t beat me! I’ve got a better ship!!

-Stick to the pond, froggy!

What’s Wrong? Is that it?

-I guess I should be thankful

-Star Fox, we are in your debt. I would be honored to have you as part of the Cornerian…
-Oh no, sir. We prefer doing things our own way.
-It’s time for us to go now.

-Sorry to jet, but I’m in a hurry

Hey! Look! Listen! #53 – Quickie Edition

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Contrary to what people such as my own roomate may be saying, I am not dead. And, hopefully, this article will prove that. We all had a good laugh, yes, but we will return to some form of normalcy now.

Except for that banner. It’s staying. That’s what you get for complaining about the original one. Enjoy being flipped off all week, fuckers!

Ahem. Unfortunately, there’s really very little news to report on today; but we’ll do our best to dig something up.

Kratos Returning to the PSP

Yep, it seems Kratos has another story to tell after all. A prequel story, but a story nonetheless. God of War: Ghost of Olympus will take place right after the original God of War, and will show Kratos’ ascension to the God of War’s throne.

Sounds a bit like a milking, but then again, people did love the previous God of War game on the PSP. (I never played it.) If you want a full description of the press release, Kotaku has it right here. I don’t feel like trying to paraphrase it; it’s rather lengthy.

Cryptic Facebook Message Hints at Assassin’s Creed 3?

Well, uh, again… the story is the headline here. On the official Assassin’s Creed facebook page, Dr. Warren Vidic leaves the message: “It is the time of our rising. A new age enters and a great battle looms. Templar destiny is at hand and waiting for you. – Dr. Vidic”

This could be a hint at an E3 reveal. Seeing that Ubisoft has already confirmed Assassin’s Creed III for this holiday season, it wouldn’t come as a surprise.

The Force Unleashed II Given a Release Date

I didn’t play too much of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, but I liked what I did play. It was a solid action game, and as a Star Wars fan I enjoyed it. Now, in another announcement via Facebook, The Force Unleashed II has been given an October 26 release date.

Star Wars fanatics, rejoice! Let’s hope they address a few of the original’s weaknesses. The game was good, but it certainly was not perfect. (Kotaku)

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Being Optioned for PS3 Release?

Huh. How weird is that? According to GamePro, a Konami rep at a recent Peace Walker press event was gauging interest in a PSN release for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Would you rather have Peace Walker on your PSP, or downloadable via PSN?

Me, I’ve never even played Metal Gear so I don’t care too much either way. This summer, though…

Alright, well, that’s all I’ve got, fellas. If you take nothing else away from this, at least remember that I’m not dead. Really, I’m not. And I repeat: that banner’s going nowhere. Get used to being flipped off! Ba-haha!

Was that redundant? It probably was… ah well. Later!


It had to come to this….

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

I’m sorry. I had to intervene. I had to infiltrate. It had to come to this….

First off, many don’t know me any more than the illusive “admin” of Riddlethos.com. Beyond that, I’m known as Charlie Weingartner — Riddles’ (Oliver Motok) roommate.

Yes, that is my knee in the photo

Until this point, I’ve not played much more than a behind-the-scenes role on this website. But for every man, there comes a point in life where you cannot further stand down. You MUST stand for your convictions, and make them heard.

Today, Tuesday May 4th, 2010, I’ve reached that point. Call in the feds (or Mounties if you’re from the land above)!

As proclaimed by dear and close friend Lusipurr’s cry “Kill him,” something had to be done.

Riddles’ shameless “Awesome One-Liners Week” banner has sadly, in truth, ended his life. Culminating at, and cultivating his death sentence by creating such an atrocious attempt at graphic design, with aide of CS5 Photoshop (provided by yours truly), his life had to come to an end.

Oliver Motok, ??? - ???

I cannot, and further more — for my protection — will not go into any more details of our tragic friends death. But, I will assure you that this is NOT some measly April Fools prank. Riddles attempted at such hilarity around that time of year by “virtually-offing” our beloved Ethos, but it was merely a vain attempt at a poor, and an embarrassing form of comedy.

But the proclamation must be made. I’ve destroyed Riddles; incinerated him to an unrecognizable point so his soul can never do harm again. Graphically, or otherwise.

We shall dearly miss him, but hopefully his life insurance will be enough to cover this month’s rent.

Riddles, we love you… but enough was enough. As always, I love you endlessly for leaving me behind your PS3, PS2, XBox 360, Wii, 42″ HDTV, and minimal Blu-Ray collection. The rest was burned with your lifeless corpse.

Cheers,

May there be beer wherever you are now.

Breaking News: Incredibly Shitty Banner

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

A glimpse at the monstrosity

If you thought today couldn’t get any more full of fantastic, mind-blowing newsawesomeness, then think again! Not only did we all get the heavenly word of black Wiis packaged with Wii Sports Resort and Wii Motion Plus, but now comes news that hit video game blog, Riddlethos.com, has just produced its ugliest banner to date. Known for its trying-too-hard-to-be-funny approach to video game news, Riddlethos is run by Oliver “Riddles” Motok and Ethan “Ethos” Pipher, two nobodies with zero journalistic experience, and no qualifications to have any say about anything. The pair try to desperately cling on to their minor internet celebrity by maintaining a silly hook on their site in the form of “Theme Weeks”. To represent these themes, a new banner is posted every week. While the banners were at one time designed by outside artists, these artists wisely figured out that it was a waste of their valuable time and talent. Thus, the task was left to the incapable Ethos and Riddles. Never has that incapability proven so true as this week.

Yes, this week Riddlethos.com sprouted such a hideous growth on its face that some speculate that it will never recover. “I fear for the future of the site,” said co-founder and super-stud Ethan Pipher, “Riddlethos has had some real shitty shit, but this is shittier than any of the shitty shit I’ve ever seen.” The man then proceeded to say “shit” in excess of 57 times before stumbling off to get another bowl of ice cream.

May be too graphic for young eyes

The doom heralding didn’t end there, however. When shown the banner in question, Lusipurr of Lusipurr fame exclaimed, “[Oliver] produced this abortion?” After confirmation, Lusipurr didn’t hesitate to add, “Kill him.” While the current progress of Oliver’s murder is unclear, Lusipurr made sure to speak in defense of Oliver’s character and talents. Below is a collection of Lusipurr’s remarks.

Every person on Earth is born with at least one talent, one skill, one ability that sets them apart from everyone else. A unique feature, if you will.
And then there’s Oliver Motok.
Proof that every rule has its exception.
You might say his complete lack of any talent whatsoever is his skill–he serves as evidence for us that there is a God. And that God is occasionally very sadistic and vindictive.

The unsuspecting public wasn’t able to uphold the same brand of articulate composure. “OMG, that banner is horrible,” states banner victim, Ferchu, “that banner is in my nightmares, it haunts me , it follows me , WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??!” The horror didn’t stop there, however. Unprepared citzen, Breaka666 had chilling words of his own when he told this reporter than he “[doesn't] usually say epic fail but here [he believes] it’s appropriate.” He then graciously linked to a picture of Homer Simpson.

Even Star Fox can't save the day

Will this tragedy have a happy ending? Will Riddlethos.com finally see its just and overdue demise? Or perhaps by next Tuesday, Riddles and Ethos will have satisfied their collective ADD by moving on and letting the Nightmare Banner dissolve into the ether of overplayed jokes. Nobody knows. But I think we can all agree with Julian “SiliconNooB” Taylor in saying that “Wow, that is one fucking ugly banner!”

HOLY FUCK, NEWS ALERT!!~!@!!!E!1

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

This cowboy'll buy a black Wii. Will you?

STOP THE PRESSES, ASSHOLES!

Yes, it’s finally happened, folks. In a press release just sent out from Nintendo, they confirmed that starting MAY FUCKING NINTH every single Wii console now comes bundled with Wii Sports Resort and Wii Motion Plus! There’s no WAY this was super-overdue or anything! And if that wasn’t enough: impress your friends! Buy a black Wii that everybody’s been talking about for years and years! FINALLY!

Despite my *ahem* very minor sarcasm, this is actually interesting news, especially noting that Nintendo didn’t wait until e3 to announce it.

AMAZING UPDATE:
Famed commenter and noted Australianist, SiliconNoob has asked if this NEW AMAZING deal will go for the current low low price for $199! UNBELIEVABLY HE IS CORRECT! ($209 in Canada)

It finally happened!

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Hey Einstein, I'm on your side!

Maybe it’s because he worked so hard on that Sunday Soapbox logo, or maybe it’s because every hot streak needs a disaster to help the world make sense again, but Riddles finally made a hideous banner. Yes folks, after my inconceivably horrendous Forza 3, Curious Riddles, Pokémon, and infamous lost Bioshock 2 banners, my partner in crime has joined the ranks of bad photoshopping to bring you all this week’s Theme Week banner!

Whether or not it was intentional, I’m still chalking this one up as a victory for my ego. As for the rest of you? Expect me to quote Star Fox 64 more than usual for the entirety of the week.