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            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Best Riddlethos of 2010 – Scatter Storming

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Riddlethos went through some tough times in 2010. It’s tough to follow up the first year of anything, and websites, ‘twould appear, are no different. But, despite the glaring lack of structure and consistency that plagued much of Riddlethos’ sophomore year, one thing held true: every few weeks or so – give or take – I’d write a HLL, and Ethos would write a Scatter Storming. Lameish came on the scene later in the year to provide marginally more structure, but up to that point, those two features were pretty much it – and thus, we honor them.

5 – Scatter Storming #021

This issue has a few points of significance: first off, it’s the first Scatter Storming Ethan wrote after my tragic but inevitable departure from Toronto, so the words are permeated with a sort of dejected sadness that can only be born from a lack of Riddles in one’s life.

Second, and perhaps more importantly (though not to my ego) this was the first scatter storming to feature the now-familiar “magazine-style” cover design. Y’know, with the cheesy headlines and the cute little barcode on the bottom left corner. Good stuff, really. We’re used to it now but when he first rolled it out, I was rather impressed.

Anyway, it’s a solid Scatter Storming. Ethos has the ability to talk about games and the gaming lifestyle in a very casual and relateable way, as is evidenced by his God of War II blurb. He then proceeds to whine about his lack of games, only to realize that he has a hefty backlog that he could be working on. To avoid sounding like a spoiled asshole, he quickly offers his readers a non-pizza.

Only to take it away a paragraph later.

4 – Scatter Storming #031

Heh. More sleepy rambling from Ethos. One of the things that Ethos is best at is “fake funny.” In Scatter Storming #31, he’s too tired to come up with any actual comedy. So what does he do? He comes up with fake comedy. Like swapping out the first letter of a word with another letter. Is it funny? No. Is it hilarious? Yes. Oh yeah, and this issue also introduced the infamous memetoks. A bunch of memes focused on me, using a picture of myself that I used to like. I used to like it a lot, actually. I thought it made me look beautiful and pensive and intelligent. NO LONGER.

3 – Scatter Storming #37

This one’s kinda scary. Ethos tells us all to go “eat a fuck.” That’s scary. And that’s why I chose it. Not because of that single line, but because the entire issue is just… angry. Angry and miserable and vindictive. It’s not a side of Ethos we see very often, and I won’t lie: I soaked it up like a dried-out sponge. I feed off the misery of others. It’s not often I get to feast on the misery of Ethan Pipher. Let me tell you, it’s some of the best misery this side of the black market.

2 – Scatter Storming #42

And this one made the list because it’s just a damn good issue. It’s the longest Scatter Storming ever written for the site, making it clear that Mr. Pipher was possessed of some notable inspiration at the time. And, in a first for the series it features more than one cover. In fact, my friends, it features no less than three.

Ethos really does have a remarkable ability to make his writing both entertaining and accessible. I’m not sure where else I could read a story about someone trying to buy a game and be so entertained. Scatter Storming may not be a showcase for “professional” gaming journalism, but it’s the sort of thing that Average Joe Gamer can read and go “hey, I totally get that.” It’s something that I’m not quite so good at, since I’m frankly not great at relating to people.

Oh yeah, and this issue also has a total comedic win in the form of an exclusive review for my city of MURFREESBORO. If you missed that one, you definitely need to give it a second look.

1 – Scatter Storming #30

A nice, even number to award the first place position of 2010. It was also a rather easy pick. Ethan wrote many good Scatter Stormings in 2010, but he only wrote one standup comedy show review. And it is, by far, the greatest standup comedy show review you will ever read. In a way, Ethan sort of lucked out by seeing that thing, because it’s not often that somebody is given the opportunity to review… something like that. Actually, we all lucked out. Me, you, and everybody else who read the thing. You haven’t read the thing? Then read it. Right now.

18 days into the month of January, and I’ve finally posted something of substance. Like we repeatedly said, the Best Riddlethos awards are going to happen. Even if they span over the entire month of January.

3DS tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I think amidst all the non-award madness that’s been going on here, I forgot to tell you all that I’m flying out to New York today to check out the 3DS tomorrow.

I have no idea how much I’ll be seeing, how much I’ll get to play, or how much will be embargoed, but I promise that anything that I am allowed to tell you, I will tell you.

Anyway, Riddles tells me that he’ll finally post some awards while I’m gone. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Well, here’s a picture of the 3DS with How To Train Your Dragon in the top screen for some reason. I mean, I know the reason, but whatever. It’s a good movie.

Best Riddlethos of 2010 – Hey! Look! Listen!

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

It’s here! An award! It took us two weeks, but fuck it, I don’t care. At least I have something to show for it. It’s the first step in coming out of a anti-social and anti-productive cocoon I’ve created for myself the past few weeks.

I’ll admit, it’s cozy in there. There’s Mushi-shi, there’s amazing Starcraft II matches, and sunflower seeds. Lots of sunflower seeds.

But somebody has to kickstart this website, and it’s apparently not going to be Riddles, so here I go! The best 6 Hey! Look! Listen!s from 2010. I was going to choose ten, but then I realized that’d be about a third of all of them, so I just chose the ones that I really, really liked. That ended up being 6.

Here they are in exact order from awesome to most awesome.

The drunken genius behind HLL

6 – Hey! Look! Listen! #42

Perhaps it’s a backhanded compliment, but it’s a bit of a given now that Riddles knows how to report. I’m not going to mention in each blurb that Riddles can write an article about video games. It’ll be redundant. No, what makes this column special is the undercurrent that takes place in each one.

Riddles pretends to be closed off, but it’s easy to tell what sort of time he’s having in his life just by reading his apparent “news” column. This one got an award for the opening blurb. The rest is standard good reporting, and he has better openings, but this one deserves a nod. Plus, the thing has 30 comments. That’s on the higher end for Riddlethos.

5 – Hey! Look! Listen! #67

Despite the fact that Riddles mis-labeled this one as #68 (I fixed it), his most recent HLL is also a great one. He goes on several impassioned rants, shows his not-praised-often-enough gaming industry knowledge, and even starts talking about scientific discoveries for some reason.

This all isn’t to mention the two final stories in which he pokes fun of a ridiculous EA exec and then can’t hold back laughing at Nintendo. So much so that he breaks the website a bit. It’s very lengthy, but it’s a truly great read and showcases a lot of Riddles at his best.

Just goes to show that no matter how depressed Riddles gets about his life, he still has the talent to be a great writer and journalist. Also that he doesn’t need a depressingly hilarious opener to provide a great HLL.

4 – Hey! Look! Listen! #43

Riddles got his start in online journalism by latching onto insane figureheads and tearing them apart. He was known for this in Currents at RPGamer, and it has since become a soft spot for him. The highlight of this issue is when he gets the chance again with some Australian psycho.

Although it’s just text, you can feel Riddles’ eyes light up and his fingers gain inspiration.

The bonus is that the article is also a journey through many beers for our friend Oliver, and that just adds an irreplaceable tone we’ve come to expect from the feature.

I'm sure you do, buddy.

3 – Hey! Look! Listen! #54

Yes yes, this is a great article and everything. Blah blah, Riddles doing his thing and doing it well. But the real reason for this edition of the long-standing series getting an award is Riddles’ Zelda-centric rant at the end. The rant itself is vintage Montok, but nothing tops the imagery he conjures at the end. I’m not going to spoil it for you. Re-read this gem again. Right now.

2 – Hey! Look! Listen! #66 – Your Prompt Attention is (not) Required

Oh man, I love this one.

It’s the penultimate HLL for the year, and it’s chock-full of goodies.

First is his opener. His sheepish explanation for the title of the thing followed up by an update into his electric bill. It’s this sort of mundane ridiculousness that makes me laugh out loud while reading.

Why the hell is he talking about his bills? And it’s not just that, it’s the sort of removed hopefulness with which he presents it. As if he’s aware that nobody should care, but he’s still hoping that somebody does, yet would never admit that. It’s terribly amusing and a staple of the series.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. He kicks off the bulk of the article with an endearing defense of Canadians, and stating that jokes at my country’s expense rings on hollow ears to him, but then just one story down he proceeds to show complete ignorance of Canada by asking “what the fuck is Remembrance Day?”

Genius.

1 – Hey! Look! Listen! #59 – I Miss My Desk

It may be a little surprising that my pick for #1 isn’t as filled with hate or self-deprecation as some of Riddles’ other best work.

No, I’m taking this opportunity to point out The Murfreesboronian Mofo’s editorial abilities. Riddles and I don’t always agree, but I am continually impressed by his ability to meticulously outline his reasoning when he has a strong opinion. In this issue, we see two stories presented by Riddles followed up by his obvious need to let his side out.

Riddles may be a favourite punching bag of ours, but he is a child of the gaming industry. He knows it in and out, and he knows where he stands. He is able to embrace all that he loves while vehemently standing against what doesn’t sit well with him. He has no problem calling bullshit; something that I seem to have more trouble with.

I don’t necessarily fully agree with his stand against THQ (as evidenced by the comments), and I fully support his Medal of Honor speech, but in both cases I’m eternally grateful for Riddles’ irreplaceable brand of opinionated responses to the ever-changing video game landscape.

Riddles may be master of the rant, but a single concise paragraph vaulted this issue to #1 in this belated award. Enjoy.

Limbo

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Still an awesome game

No, not talking about the game this time. I’m talking about this website, and the current state it happens to be in.

I’m here not to apologize, but to inform you all that things will be back on course in due time. We still fully plan to go through with the Best Riddlethos awards. So, if you were hoping you’d be spared them, I’m sorry to crush your dreams.

Ethan’s had a difficult past week, and I’ve been working a lot. And now I’m actually somewhat sick which is just… fantastic.

Ahem. In other news, I re-bought Dead Space for the PS3. Why? Not sure, I think partly because my friend has my Xbox 360 copy, and partly because I’m becoming like Ethos.

Oh, wait, I remember now. The Plasma Cutter. If you have a Dead Space save file, then you automatically get the Plasma Cutter in Dead Space 2. And while I completed the original Dead Space on 360, I fully intend to buy Dead Space 2 for PS3… soo… you can probably get the picture.

But man, I’ve been replaying Dead Space for the first time, and it’s still awesome. I can’t wait for 2.

Although this trailer, replete with Smashing Pumpkins, sorta rubs me the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Pumpkins, but uh… this trailer kinda makes the game look like Iron Man in Space.

That’s all for now. I hope the lot of you are enjoying your 2011 thus far.

Hasn’t been an easy weekend

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Sorry guys. Personally, a bit of a difficult weekend.

Just came back to finally post the Best of HLL I spent 5 hours researching the other day. But then my mouse did this stupid this it’s been doing recently that requires me to turn off my laptop and unplug it for it to work. Apparently this also makes Chrome not open up all the pages I had open previously. I lost my top 10 picks.

I’m aware that I should have written them down elsewhere, but I did not.

I don’t care, there’s no way we’re NOT posting all appropriate awards. I don’t care if we have to extend this week by another 7 days, goddamn it! I’ve been so out of it, I haven’t even been playing video games recently.

I beat the Costume Quest DLC I guess. That was fun. I also tried Pac-Man Championship Edition since everybody’s been jerking off to that. It was cool.

Other than that, I’ve been watching an anime called “Mushishi”. It’s really cool. Completely separate story each episode and practically no returning characters except for the main traveler character.

Anyway, apparently Oliver’s been working or something? Ugh.

Anyway, despite ME being the sad one instead of Oliver for once, I do have some very exciting news regarding a video game preview I’m very likely to go to. I’ll announce it once it’s fully confirmed. Until then, whatever.

So…much…research… (the sequel)

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Yup, I’ve spent 5 hours straight sifting through old Riddlethos posts. I’ve got stuff to present to you all, but not yet. So until then, here is me today as a high cat. Although I’m not a cat and I’m not high. Still…close enough.
stoned
Hmmm, does this entry feel familiar?

While you wait…

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

While Riddles and I do mad research, read the stupid debates we have to distract ourselves.

Also, in case you’re not a power-nerd like us:
WW = Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
SoT = Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Welcome to Best Riddlethos of 2010 Week!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The Riddlethos boys

2010 was an interesting year for Riddlethos. We experienced a bunch of growth in terms of readership and structure of the site, but at the same time our second year was a lot like a band’s follow-up album. It’s just difficult to match the excitement and response of the initial effort. We had highlights in the occasional packed Theme Week and addition of Lameish, and lowlights in the form of far too many bursts of less content and diminished inspiration.

However, above these hardships rises the ridiculous, opinionated, unique, and unstoppable nature of Riddlethos. Riddles and I love our baby and its new, unexplained, deformed growth named Lameish.

With this – the most masturbatory of all weeks on the internet – the three of us look to honour the best and worst of this year in Riddlethos.

And who knows, maybe the pat on the back will just be enough to break the sophomore slump.

I don’t have a schedule for the awards, and to be honest, there probably won’t be anything significant until the weekend, but just look at last year to get a basic idea.