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by Ethos

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?”


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.

Scatter Storming. Issue #042

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

It has been over a month. That is FAR far too long for any human being to go without a Scatter Storming. If you’ve been experiencing shortness of breath, paranoia, and/or excessive and violent vomiting, then this is your cure.

Plus, how could I let a week with such an awesome acronym as this go without a Scatter Storming? I couldn’t. I mean seriously, just pronounce it. SACITSTOW. Sack-its-toe. Best thing Riddles has done all year.

Speaking of all year…

…Er, I’m starting to ramble, so I might as well begin.

Best Riddlethos of 2010 Awards

Of course we’re doing it again this year. If you don’t remember last year’s masturbation fest, we spent a week devoted to praising ourselves for the best articles we thought we had written.

The only problem was that the task took a lot more effort than we expected, and this year we have twice the content to sift through. We’re starting earlier, but I’d like to get some fan feedback too. Do you guys want to vote? If you do, do you want a shortlist or the full spectrum to vote from? Putting that aside, do you guys have any ideas for categories? Last year we had…

  • Top 5 Hey! Look! Listen!s
  • Top 3 Scatter Stormings
  • Top 5 Theme Weeks
  • Top 10 posts by both Ethos and Riddles chosen by the other
  • Riddles’ Arbitrary Banner Picks
  • Lameish is new to the site, what sort of say should he get? Have there been enough Call Me Lameishs to justify a category? WHAT TO DO!??!?!?

    The Sly Cooper Collection

    The Journey There -
    If you follow me on Twitter (Riddles doesn’t, the prick), you already know that I had a bitch of a time trying to find the Sly Cooper Collection. Talk about under the radar. There was no word about it after its small announcement until a quiet release date was set for November 9th in late October. Come November 9th, a closeby EB Games told me that the computer told them November 10th. The girl was reasonable, however, and told me that she’d sell me one if they were sent any. She checked and there were none. No matter, I thought. I’ll go to the Gamestop near my house tomorrow.

    I did that and the guy there said they while they DID have them in, his computer told him November 11th was the streetdate and so he refused to sell me one.

    Fuck you, I thought. But I said nothing except a sarcastic “thanks” and left the store. I called the other store that I could convince myself was close enough to visit and talked to a very confused girl who didn’t know what the crap I was talking about. At one point she asked me if I was looking to buy a system bundle. I really don’t know how she arrived at that from “The Sly Cooper Collection”.

    The point is that I didn’t get one that day either.

    The one by my house sold it to me the next day, but it’s always bizarre when it’s that difficult to spend your money on something you’re actively looking for. It makes me wonder how many copies the game could possibly sell.

    Fortunately, despite the sketchiness of its availability (it wasn’t just me, even IGN had a hard time finding it), the collection is awesome and way more polished than the extremely disappointing Sands of Time glitchiness that Riddles accurately described.

    Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus -

    Platinum’d! Granted, it was even easier than Ratchet & Clank to platinum, but still. It is a very fun game, but there were a few things that make it obvious that it’s 8 years old and the first title in a series.

    First of all, even in HD, the models look terrible during cutscenes. Overall, the game is extremely pleasant-looking, but the production values of the in-engine cutscenes are a little cringe worthy. Sly’s voice being the only exception.

    Apart from visuals, the physics and collision detection feel distinctly last-gen. I definitely died (or at least didn’t make a jump) many times when it wasn’t the fault of a lack of skill. To compound that, death comes very easily. By that, I don’t mean that the game is difficult – it’s definitely not – but that when Sly gets occasionally hurt, he instantly dies. There are a few exceptions to this, and late-game upgrades soften this a little bit, but it is a frustration when bad collision detection causes an instant death and you’re thrown back to the beginning of the level.

    But don’t let me paint the wrong picture, Sly Cooper’s first outing is also a blast. It’s vibrant, varied, humourous, stylish, and – quite simply – fun.

    Sly 2: Band of Thieves -

    I’ve just started this, but I can instantly feel the improvements in terms of visuals and controls. The game looks fantastic and Sly controls like a dream in comparison to the original title. I’m not sure yet if I’m sold on the switch from straight platformer to Infamous/GTA/Mario/MGS hyrbid, but I’m appreciating the gameplay improvements. It also looks like it’ll be a cinch to platinum. Hot.

    Oh, but I don’t like Murray’s new voice. Far less personality. Boo.

    Murfreesboro Review

    It sucks.

    Rare Nintendo Glitch

    I wish this was a clever pun that had to do with Rareware, but it isn’t. It’s actually just a description of a glitch I witnessed while my super hot girlfriend was playing Super Mario Galaxy. We had already beat Galaxy 2 together (I’m talking 241 stars) and so she’s been playing the first one by herself.

    She’s tearing the game to pieces, but the game decided to fight back in a very hilarious way.

    During one of the many Bowser fights, the king of Koopas made a menacing jump like he usually does. Only this time, he didn’t stop jumping. He just kept flying into space.

    I must say that watching Bowser slowly float away with an angry look on his face was a very funny image. Erika wasn’t so jovial however, pleasantly stating, “fuck you, Bowser. Come and fight me like a real man, you big pussy.” Not making this up, folks.

    Anyway, I know that glitches in most modern games like Fallout: New Vegas are more common than pathetic lives in Murfreesboro, but Nintendo glitches are practically unheard of, so I thought it was worth mentioning. Also, I think it’s hilarious and adorable when my super sweet girlfriend runs her mouth like a sailor.

    Speaking of not actually Rareware

    I’ve been playing Donkey Kong Country! Now that reviews are out, I can tell you guys that. I’m about 5 worlds in and apparently 38% complete, although I’m sure that percentage relates to everything including the impossible collectibles.

    Seriously, I’ve only got 100% of the KONG and puzzle pieces in one of the levels I’ve played. And I’m relatively good at finding shit and I’ve been looking. Because of The Sly Collection, I’ve been a little distracted, but I still hope to beat (not 100%) it tomorrow and get up a review at the same time. Lameish also got a chance to secretly play it with me, so expect his far less written and more far entertaining Call Me Lameish on Monday.

    Hell, if that’s all the case, maybe we’ll make next week Gran Turismo 5 Week since god knows that Riddles won’t be smart enough to play one of the greatest platformers ever made.

    “Oh yeah, I hear it’s good,” he’ll say. “Maybe I’ll get around to it,” he’ll say. “I’m glad you like it,” he would say were he polite enough. But that’s the most we’ll get out of him.

    Fuck it, let’s do this.

    I declare next week as Gran Turismo 5 Week!


    Back to the PSP

    Now that I’ve given Abe80 his PSP back (I never did beat all three stories of Birth by Sleep), and now that 4 Heroes of Light has started reusing locations (boo, the game was so good before that…), I’ve gone back to my PSP Go. Man, what a great design. I’m sad to hear that the PSP 2 will apparently be a giant. I’m aware that the PSP Go is a massive failure, but I genuinely prefer the design.

    The point is that I’ve returned to Lunar after fuck knows how long. It’s still great. REALLY easy though. And it takes a lot for me to say that, I generally like easy RPGs.

    Riddles Sucks

    We’ve been too nice recently.

    That’s all, folks!

    I need to make the covers before this Starbucks closes! Look forward to a Donkey Kong Country Returns review tomorrow. That is if I’m able to beat it by then!