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            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

The One that Got Away 2010 – Ethos

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Gran Turismo 5

I play a lot more video games than I used to. Not that I put in more hours, per se. If that is true, it would be a minimal increase. I mean that I way play more titles in any given year than I used to.

I used to pick up any major first party Nintendo release (see: Mario, Zelda, Wave Race), any major Final Fantasy entry, and precious little else with a few exceptions. The rest of my time was spent on replaying Ocarina of Time and FFIX.

One of those exceptions seemed to be the Gran Turismo series. I loved the detail present in every facet of the game. I – perhaps surprisingly – liked the challenge, and loved slowly working my up to better cars and more interesting races.

I actually fell off the series for a bit. I purchased – but barely played – Gran Turismo 3, and never touched 4. Still, I was looking to get back into the series.

However, Nintendo had a surprising year end with Donkey Kong and Epic Mickey, and then Sly Cooper came around and turned out to be awesome, so time and money didn’t seem to lend itself to Gran Turismo 5, despite dedicating a theme week to the game.

I know I have Forza 3 and it’s really good, but I would truly like to try out GT5 for myself and have a real opinion on the series for the first time in a while. Especially because this one seems to be splitting the masses. This is the generation for the fall of the Japanese greats, is it not?

Runner up: Fallout: New Vegas

Yesyes, I barely played Fallout 3. Also, I stunk at it. But I did really like it. The mood was great, the size of the world was daunting, and the writing and RPG mechanics were good too. I considered New Vegas to be a bit of a second chance. I missed my second chance.

Sunday Soapbox: Great Expectations

Monday, November 29th, 2010

So after a 6 year build-up, Gran Turismo 5 finally exploded out of Polyphony Digital’s loins into the face of the public. Some gobbled it all up while others felt it tasted a little bitter or stale. Either way it created a small mess that has all but subsided for now.

But moving away from the ejaculate imagery, game hype is an interesting topic. The quotes I pulled from that IGN review were not the exception, they were the rule. Many people could truly not understand how a game that was in development for 6 years could possibly not be perfect. 8.5 from IGN (a very good score, mind you) and an 8.8 industry average was somehow cause for revolution and an endless volcano of anger.

This might be the extreme, but even in more reasonable people a more subtle version of this rationale exists. Take the Riddlethos community, using Final Fantasy XIII as a prime example. The first proper HD Final Fantasy game, a four year wait, and a very lackluster end result. This was difficult to swallow initially. Even the largest detractors of the game now were forgiving and optimistic in first few days of its existence.

Of course, that’s not a perfect example as it did take a while to realize that the game truly was nothing but a tunnel for the vast majority of its length.

But this is not a Final Fantasy soapbox. The point is that expectations and hopes that a game will be fantastic creates very interesting emotions in the player when the product is either not very good or not widely critically acclaimed. A player almost feels emotionally violated; like her pride is directly linked to the quality of the title or the perceived quality.

I think about games that I was excited for that didn’t let me down: Shadow of the Colossus, Majora’s Mask, Final Fantasy XII, Mass Effect 2. I think about games that did let me down: Twilight Princess, Final Fantasy XIII, Wind Waker, Brutal Legend. It makes me wonder if I should shift the way I get excited for future titles: The Last Guardian, Skyward Sword, Kingdom Hearts III, even Versus XIII.

Like some Soapboxes, I don’t have a grand sweeping point. I’m just curious in the way you all handle hype. While my hype has sometimes not allowed me to fully appreciate a game until later, and I’ve been guilty of being forgiving to games I wanted desperately to like, I ultimately enjoy the fact that I get excited for games. It reminds me that I love this industry and that no other indulgence gets me excited like an impending anticipated title. I guess all I can hope for is to be better prepared for a potential disappointment.

Gran Turismo 5 Reactions (via IGN’s review)

Friday, November 26th, 2010

I thought this was a good excuse to show Venom

Dear Internet, I love you.

I know I hijacked this week to be Gran Turismo 5 Week because Lameish was going to post a CML review of Donkey Kong and I’d already played the game, so I wouldn’t have much to talk about (I don’t think there’ll be a text review). And while Lameish DID post a CML, I’ve held off on Gran Turismo so far. Partially because I’ve been out seeing musicals, partially because I realized that owning Forza 3 and GT5 might be overkill, and partially because of money. Still, I have a soft spot for the series and I’ll probably pick it up eventually, so I don’t want to ignore it on its very own week.

So what better way to celebrate than to select comments from IGN’s review of the game in which they awarded the title an 8.5; around the average score for the title around the industry. I choose IGN because their readers tend to be the most entertaining. There are approximately 2000 comments on the review at the time of this writing, so I will not be able to choose the best, but I will choose the best ones that I see so you don’t have to sift through that bile.

Let’s start off with some of AD-SNEAKY’s poignant words.

Well i have never been a fan of GT but since all the promotion and THE great graphics, I told myself, “you know what lets give it a shot”, and like some of you guys said, I wasn’t expecting less then a 10 out of 10…I always say to my self don’t go by what other people say until you try it your self. LET ME BE THE JUDGE OF MY OWN LIFE!

I love that after playing it, he wasn’t expecting LESS than a 10 out of 10. Was he expecting more? And then he starts rebelling by the end, as if internet reviews are chasing and suffocating him.

Madman300 adds

Wow. 6 years od development and it`s not a perfect 10?

Sound logic. And great spelling.

We all know that gingervitous69 isn’t one to not weigh in!

I love how people keep making the EXACT same commment towards fanboys. The truth is, that an 8.5 for this game is like a 15 for a Forza game.

Oh! So now we know the truth!

And then Robotron2084PS3 had the GALL to say THIS!

even as a GT player from day one,i must call this a fair review.

Oh wait, that’s no fun. Back to the haters!

I believe that colossimaster123 has the best bid for final word.


(note: this comment does not include Greg miller, he’s the ONLY person on IGN who knows how to review a game, unlike THESE BIAS MOTEHRFUCKERS!!!!!!)

ANY 360 FANBOYS OBJECT ME, I’LL FUCK YOU ALL TOO!!!! BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’LL SHUT UR FACES DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*note that the “fucks” were ****’d out in the actual post. I added them back in. No other changes made*

I can’t follow that up. I just wish PS3FTW was an IGN commenter.

Welcome to Gran Turismo 5 Week

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

I’m following through on my promise. Perhaps I have yet to beat and review Donkey Kong, but if that happens, it’ll be the only thing I have to post about the game. More important is Gran Turismo 5. The 5 stands for announced 5 years ago.

Okay, it doesn’t, but it’s been that long. It’s releasing tomorrow, I hope it rocks. I think Forza 3 was really good, so Gran Turismo has competition for the first time.

Refresh the page, enjoy the new banner, and look forward to cars and shit.

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!

    Scatter Storming. Issue #040

    Sunday, October 10th, 2010

    All right! I have a lot of ground to cover, so I’m going to dive right in.

    Sony Holiday Preview Event

    Infamous 2 -
    This was the game that I was most excited to play. It was one of the few titles at the event to have a 2011 release date, so I felt lucky that it was even there. I only had 10 minutes with the game and I walked away sadly underwhelmed.

    Firstly, the demo was the previously only cinematic moment when Cole needs to take down a helicopter. So the content was not new to me, except for the new old Cole. That was a small let-down.

    Secondly the game seemed to run like crap. I haven’t played Infamous since just around when I bought my PS3, so I forget how that game performed, but I feel like even if it wasn’t amazing, it was definitely better than this demo.

    Thirdly, it felt very claustrophobic. There was lots of impressive action all around me – people running and screaming, the environment collapsing around me, limos trying to drive away from me – but I felt like I could never see the things I wanted to. When I had to chase after said limo, I had no idea which direction I had to go in. Once I lost sight of it, I had to wait until it gave me a “mission fail” screen to try it again. Maybe I missed a mini-map or something, but I’m usually pretty adept at picking that sort of thing up.

    Fourthly, I hated the melee combat. This complaint is probably the one that is most likely to carry over to the actual game, as my other complaints can be chalked up to my short time with the game, and the fact that I was playing unfinished code. The reason I didn’t like the melee was largely because of the focus on it. Cole is about his electrical powers, I don’t care about smacking things with a stick. I have Batman for that sort of combat. I especially don’t care for a slow-motion shot every third time I take out an enemy. It is overkill.

    Finally, I disliked how powerful Cole was. This is something that The Broken Finger and I agree on. I loved the progression of powers in the original Infamous, and if Cole starts out with his hover move, electrical grenades, zap move, plus a massive thunder tornado, I fail to see how he can progress from there. Like I mentioned, this could be a result of playing a demo, and so all of these options might not be available to me off the top. Plus, maybe there’s a point soon after that when I lose all my powers and have to regain them all again (think: God of War). I’d be more than okay with that.

    And that is, sadly, all of my thoughts on Infamous 2. I didn’t get an excited feeling to be playing Infamous again, and I didn’t find many redeeming qualities beyond being able to climb buildings faster and being able to grind along more things for quicker transportation. I’m aware how misleading demos can be, so let’s hope that that was the worst experience I’ll ever have with the game.

    Jetpacks as cool as they look

    Killzone 3(D) -
    Let it be said that my only experience of Killzone is the demo of Killzone 2, which I didn’t like at all. It seems like Killzone just doesn’t jive with me, because I felt the same way with Killzone 3. Now, let it be said that in this pre-alpha code, the game looked brilliant, and the 3D was pulled off very nicely. However, I’m pretty sure I just don’t like Killzone’s gameplay because I didn’t have a good time.

    I’m aware that I’m just not very good at shooters, but when I wasn’t able to look down my scopes or take cover or crouch, I failed to see the strategy involved in trying to avoid being shot by the Hellgast. But hey, if you’re into Killzone, you’ll probably love this one. You’ll definitely love the visuals. And I’m not going to lie, the jetpack was fantastic.

    Gran Turismo 5 -
    This is another game I tried in 3D, but with less success when compared to Killzone 3. Granted, the only GT5 units were in arcade-like car seats with gaming wheels, so the viewing angle was shit. But when I got in the non-3D unit, I loved my experience. As to be expected, the game looked brilliant, and it controlled like a dream.

    That is to say that I crashed a lot.

    But GT5 is the ultimate simulation racing game, so that’s to be expected. Although I really liked Forza, Gran Turismo just has its own very unique feel and I felt giddy behind the wheel again. This demo was, surprisingly, my favourite of the event.

    I accept

    The Rest -
    Keyboard is very difficult in Rock Band 3, even for experienced pianists, Sonic 4 looks and plays great, and apparently there’s some sort of multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood? I didn’t play it, but I watched people assassinate each other. It looked frustrating. Oh, and I played 2 minutes of God of War: Ghost of Sparta. It was a carbon copy of the original God of War. I was on a boat, I was killing skeletons. I lost interest fast.

    Oh, and I played LittleBigPlanet2, but I honestly played so little, and there is so much in that game, that I truly feel like I could not define a proper difference at this point. I played a mini-game, so that was different. I’ll have to wait for a proper demo or hands-on to talk about this one.

    Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs

    I love this underrated series. However, the jump from 2 to 3 doesn’t seem as big as the original to the sequel was. They made so many things better with Shadows of Almia, it appears as though Guardian Signs is more of the same with the added Pichu and mini-games gimmicks. Both I could do without. Still, the games are fun, and it’s interesting strategy to decide which Pokémon to keep, and to note where you’ll be able to come back later. I also like that “S” ranking is far more difficult to obtain in “battle”, but the rewards are much bigger. I’ll discuss more in the Sunday Soapbox and potential review if I beat the game quick enough. As is, this Scatter Storming is going on long enough and I’m not even done yet!


    Hey! You! Guys! Yeah! You! Click the “Upcoming” tab. Notice the change? Yeah, it’s not much, but now we give little explanations and teases for the future Theme Weeks. This is to help alleviate confusion and because who doesn’t love a good pitch? We hope to add more to that page soon, including some sort of content schedule. But I’d like a higher level of consistency before going ahead with that. Also look forward to a proper TV review format in the coming days. I’d like to talk about The Office and how after 3 pretty bad seasons, it’s looking pretty excellent again. But more about that later, I’m already over a thousand words. Peace!


    Hey! Look! Listen!

    Friday, December 4th, 2009

    Oh hey there. Remember Riddles? He doesn’t! He’s probably crying in some lost corner somewhere wondering where and who he is. That’s the absolutely only explanation I can think of why he didn’t come up with a Hey! Look! Listen! last night. But that’s okay, because there’s a wealth of news that I’m more than happy to bring you. So I, your temporary host, Ethan “Ethos the Great” Pipher, will guide you through the bizarre and depressing world of video games.

    What I imagine the dude looks like

    What I imagine the dude looks like

    Man Completes World of Warcraft

    Let’s start with the most depressing thing. Some sad sap recently “beat” World of Warcraft this week. Wow. WoW wow, even. I suppose he should be congratulated, but I just feel like crying. Especially because I feel I’m going to get the honour for Final Fantasy XIV when it comes out next year. MMOs are the games you’re not supposed to beat. (Destructoid).

    White Knight Chronicles Gets North American Release Date

    Took them freaking long enough. February 2. Still, with Mass Effect 2 and FFXIII, this one would need rave reviews for me to pick up. And looking at the reception in Japan, I’m not holding my breath. (IGN).

    InFamous Sells Well Later and Opens Up DLC to Everyone

    Infamous sold modestly when it first came out, but whether it was all the buzz, or people waiting to buy a slim, the numbers have jumped from around 200 000 at its release to 1.2 million now. To bring attention to this, Sucker Punch has dropped the price and is going to be releasing DLC that was previously only available as a pre-order incentive. It’s some “gigawatt” move or something. You power up the Delorean, I think. I don’t remember. I’m not terribly interested in that part of the story, so you can read the article if you are. (IGN).

    Gran Turismo 5 Demo Coming This Year

    Yessssss. This excites me, although with Forza 3 being so awesome, I have to admit that my enthusiasm is a little tamer than it would have been. Still, it’s nice to see all these games like Final Fantasy XIII and Gran Turismo 5 show that they are, in fact, going to be released before I die. Presumably anyway. Maybe Riddles is MIA because he’s come up here to kill me. (IGN).

    KateBowmanMass Effect 2 Discs

    SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!?! I used “2″ twice! Because it’s Mass Effect 2, and it’ll be on 2 discs! WOW, I’m incredible. But it’s true. On the PC, it just means a 2 disc install. On the 360 it means you’ll have one (and only one) disc swap at one carefully chosen point in the game. I’m sure some people are grumbling, but I don’t care about the swapping one bit. Although it does likely mean that the game will be longer. I know that’ll make some happy, but I loved the length of the last game, so I’m lukewarm on that thought. Either way, that’s the story. Oh yeah, and there’ll be a 3rd disc of bonus stuff if you get the Collector’s Edition. (IGN).

    Done! That’s better than Riddles’ typical pile of shit, right?

    Morning Thoughts

    Thursday, September 24th, 2009
    I'm just greedy, I'll admit it.

    I'm just greedy, I'll admit it.

    Well like Riddles said, TGS has been a rampaging disappointment so far in terms of the megatons we gamers live for. I know that TGS is a little different than E3 in that news trickles out a lot more even during the show unlike E3’s burst of announcements before the show. But still, it’s a little sad that the biggest news for me is that Final Fantasy VIII is on the PSN…and I think only in Japan as well. And that’s good news for me not because I want to play it but because it makes it very likely that Final Fantasy IX will also come out in the near future.

    But dude! Kingdom Hearts III! It’s about time! KHII came out almost FOUR YEARS AGO in Japan, I think it’s time we started the hype train for the official sequel. The two portable offshoots are almost out, and if KHII is any indication, we won’t even get III until 2 years after we first hear about it, so make the goddamned announcement! And Sora and Kairi better be at least 18 and fucking each other’s brains out at this point. Jesus Christ.

    Oh well, at least we know that Gran Turismo 5 isn’t coming out until March of next year. That gives me legitimate time to spend with Forza 3.

    Tokyo Game Show 2009: Sony’s Presser was Boring

    Thursday, September 24th, 2009

    Yeah, I’ve got your attention NOW, don’t I? Welcome to the start of Riddlethos.com’s sure-to-be-ridiculous Tokyo Game Show coverage.

    That’s not to say we’ll be breaking our backs to bring you every little piece of news, but if something catches my fancy I’ll be sure to share it with you. Such as, say, Sony’s press conference. Like the title implies, it was… really boring. Or rather, reading Kotaku and IGN’s liveblogs was really boring. Kotaku’s was almost an exercise in comedy; it was written over an iPhone, and the translator left about three quarters of the way through. IGN’s was more, ah, streamlined; nonetheless, it was still boring because nothing remotely interesting was announced.

    Just to give you the gist of it: Gran Turismo 5 was given a release window of March 2010, Yoshinori Kitase showed off Japan’s girly-looking FFXIII PS3 bundle, Capcom demonstrated an upcoming version of Resident Evil 5 that will feature support for Sony’s utterly pointless motion controller, boring shit for Home was announced, and some kinda community feature is coming to the PSP. There’s more of course, but the stuff I left out is even less interesting than the above.

    To say the least, I was unimpressed. I’m tired and I can’t muster the energy to bring you more, ah, detailed coverage at the moment. Look for it tomorrow. For now, I leave you with a picture of a Final Fantasy XIII-themed PS3 that YOU can’t have. BAHAHAHAHA.

    Pink. Why pink?

    Pink. Why pink?