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by Ethos

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!

    Hijacked!

    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!

    Alright, well…

    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

    I thought that Riddles would be posting a HLL today, so I was holding off on my Scatter Storming. No dice, eh Riddles? Oh well, I’ll still give you all my Scatter Storming tomorrow, but for now know that I’ve been playing Red Dead and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. Still, the thing about GTA is that it looked interesting, but it also looked like it got boring fast. I’m definitely very far from final judgement, but I can’t deny that I’m definitely enjoying myself so far, and I’ve been impressed with the dialogue.

    Oh god

    Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

    A picture of me.

    See, I’ve played a bunch of Sands of Time, and pre-wrote my Scatter Storming for tonight to make sure it would go up. Riddles? He promised me a HLL on the phone and then proceeded to not even issue a “delayed” or “cancelled” notice on the site. Yes, he has a new job, but I’ve worked 28 hours these past three days, and I’ve managed to post on the site, start the PoP challenge, and prepare adequately for my Scatter Storming tonight so all I have to do is go home and photoshop the cover. (Expect it around midnight EST).

    At least I’m not so worried about the PoP challenge anymore! I’m not slowing down though.

    Oh the memories…

    Saturday, May 8th, 2010

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

    See?!

    Sunday, March 28th, 2010

    I promise a Riddles soapbox update and look… nothing.

    I should never have trusted him, we were so consistent with these Sunday Soapboxes.
    Riddles is an asshole.

    Anyway, I beat FFXIII today. I truly could have cared less about the ending. What a missed opportunity with that game. I’m going to try and review it for tomorrow. Although I personally quite enjoyed the game, I have to warn you that I don’t think I’m going to give it an overwhelming score. The biggest spoiler I can give is that it will very likely earn the lowest score on Riddlethos yet. The Blue Dragon reviews don’t necessarily count.

    Scatter Storming. Issue #024

    Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

    ss024I’m in a bizarre anti-social mood, so let’s just dive in.

    Out of the field and back into the tunnel -
    Although Pokémon has been taking up most of my time, I’ve been making an effort to play Final Fantasy XIII too, since I quite enjoy a lot of the game, and if I beat it this week it might still be relevant to review it. Still, while the game is getting harder and harder (Lightning’s not a good enough Sentinel yet, and I often refuse to put Snow in my party, so that doesn’t help), it’s a little annoying to be plucked from the expanse of Pulse and dropped back into somewhat of a tunnel. Sure, there are more branching paths and whatnot, but game really does need more dicking around.

    Despite all that, I’m excited to beat the game and go for completion since you can continue your save after beating the final boss, a nice change. It’s no New Game Plus, but it’s something.

    Thank god for slow game season -
    Seriously, I’m the most broke I’ve been in a very, very long time. I had to trade in for FFXIII and SoulSilver, and I hate trading in games. I don’t think there’s a game I want until Splinter Cell: Conviction, and I shouldn’t be so broke by then.

    Seriously, I have to deal with this asshole? -
    Check out the comments in Riddles’ little “revenge” post. What a little diva. I get that he quit his job and he’s having a bit of a life revolution, but Riddlethos and I shouldn’t have to suffer his little rebellion. We should be benefiting from it! We’re not the crazy oppressive mom, we’re the cool hip dad! Seriously, there’s just two of us, it should be easy to follow the simple rules we’ve laid out. Ones like “ONE MOTHER FUCKING OFFICIAL REVIEW PER GAME”. Argh, sorry, I love the guy, but I’m hoping a public rant will open up his eyes. He’s supposed to be the conservative one, remember?

    Clarification on the 3DS -
    Absolutely nothing is official yet, but IGN has a great article explaining three different technologies that the 3DS would likely choose between. I mean, it’s already been chosen, but you know what I mean. We have to wait until E3 for the absolute word, but what’s the internet for if not rumours and speculation?

    That’s that. Modern Family time.

    Welcome to Ethos Presents: Pokémon Silver Madness Extraordinaire Week!

    Sunday, March 21st, 2010

    Told you! I love this site, and I’m reviving it. Casting Raise and then Curasa. Wrong series though, I should rather say that I’m taking this site to the Pokémon Centre! It’s never been a secret that I love this stupid series, but I’m not holding back this week. I have Pokémon SoulSilver and I’ve purposefully held back so that I could let it all out if I had the chance. Lazy Riddles has definitely given me that chance. This is my week, and my site. Suck it, Montok!

    Sunday Soapbox: Why Riddles Sucks

    Sunday, March 21st, 2010

    soapboxArgh, can’t I take a short break once in a while? I even did the leg-work. I was able to snag a preview copy of God of War III for a weekend, so I beat it in that time and had a review prepared for day one of this disastrous week. Our stats were up, our Final Fantasy XIII Week content was great, I thought it was all set. Wrong. I tell my sandbag of a partner, Riddles, that my girlfriend is coming into town for a few days and I won’t be around so much to provide supplementary material. He says that makes sense anyway since I’ve already beat the game, and he’ll be able to provide more real-time impressions. Great, right? Well the material for this week speaks for itself. I don’t know what his excuse is, I don’t want to know. I’m sure it’s something like “well, I was lonely without you, Ethos, I was too busy crying to write anything about God of War III even though I’ve been playing it.” Psshaw.

    Well guess what? I’m back and I’m taking over, baby. Riddles didn’t want it to happen, but now he doesn’t get a say. Next week will be “Ethos Presents: Pokémon Silver Madness Extraordinaire Week!”, and the banner will be FUCKING HIDEOUS. That’s what you get when you abandon such a beautiful baby like Riddlethos.com.

    Yes, this barely qualifies as a Sunday Soapbox, but this also barely qualified as a theme week. See you all next week when Scatter Storming and content in general will return.

    Scatter Storming. Issue #023

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010

    ss023Wow, Riddles is fail. I stayed up extra late for the mother fucker because he promised he’d be around at a certain time so we could do those IMpressions that I promised last night. Now I just look like an asshole! Granted, midnight typically isn’t late for me, but it has been recently, and Riddles knew that, so don’t hold back your hate.

    Obviously this is a Final Fantasy issue, so there’s no need to hesitate.

    I don’t find Vanille that annoying -
    I needed to get this out of the way right off the top. I mean, I agree with Riddles that she sounds like she’s perpetually having sex, but that’s not so bad, right? And when compared to Rikku, Vanille is a godsend. At least Squeenix isn’t obsessed with giving terrible hooks to these characters. Remember Rikku’s unforgivable “Yunie, y’know?”. Goddammit, it makes me want to kill babies just thinking about it. Anyway, Vanille’s far from my favourite, but she’s not so bad.

    Dude, the battle system is fucking awesome –
    Excepting recently when I’ve been killing it a bit more easily, the battle system is consistently engaging and fun. I noticed something that I think is the reason why I love it so much. In a game like FF9, the battle system itself is pretty boring really. Now, it never really bored me because I enjoyed seeing the payoff from my leveling and the decisions I made with equipment and abilities and such. The battles were payoff for working the backend. The fantastic thing about FFXIII is that not only is there still that noticeable difference in battle for tinkering with the backend, but the battles themselves take quick reactions and deep strategy to master. It’s a beautiful balance. If you power-up the wrong roles or don’t construct a key paradigm, you’ll find yourself fucked in battle. However, if you made fantastic choices in the menu systems but make a few grave errors in battle, you won’t survive either. The result is easily the most engaging and satisfying battle system ever created. Pogo came to watch me play for a bit, and I took 10 seconds to try and explain something without pausing, and I was very quickly slaughtered. No longer are battles part of a larger grind to manage overall HP and MP until the next inn, but rather individual efforts. It brings you into the moment and makes the game perpetually exciting.

    vanilleYeah, there’s something missing -
    Although I’m enjoying the cast and story, and immensely enjoying the battle, paradigm, and crystalium systems, I have to mirror what everybody else is saying in that there does just seem to be something missing. And I’m actually okay with the linearity and lack of towns, but there isn’t even a sense of different cultures. It’s fine that there’s only humans, but Final Fantasy has been so great at representing diversity, and while Cocoon has a rich culture, I’m surprised and disappointed to not have more insight. Also, while I say I don’t miss towns, I do miss what they represent: gathering information. While I’m enjoying the datapad, or whatever it’s called, I do miss picking up that sort of insight from the scattered comments of NPCs. They also provide quirk and personality to the world. So although I’m thoroughly enjoying the game, I am missing that extra layer of depth.

    The music’s a mixed bag -
    While it’s not a soundtrack I’d import the sheet music for, I’ve been very impressed with a lot of the music. It can be moody, unique, and very effective. Yet once in a while, there’s a track that comes on and I have to mute and unmute the sound to make sure it’s actually coming from the game. I think it’s Sazh’s theme, actually, because it usually props up when he’s diving into his past. Bad, bad choice.

    That’s enough for me! Back to the game!

    Scatter Storming. Issue #020 “Exit Classy”

    Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

    ss020Here it is, folks. The end of another 10 issue run of Scatter Storming. We all hoped it wouldn’t happen. People ran screaming in pain through the streets because of this feature’s continued existence but still it presses on. While this 10 issue run was supposed to have “classy” as the theme, it definitely deviated from that on a few occasions. Still, I’d like to pretend that I was more consistent, so I’ve made one final simple and clean cover for this twentieth issue. However, I still haven’t really played any games. The Olympics are liquid crack and I had to prepare for Doofus McDoofus’ arrival. Actually, speaking of that dude, maybe I’ll dedicate this issue to him.

    A day of firsts -
    After Riddles’ first flight on a plane, he arrived for the first time in a different country, made his first trip on public transit, had his first Volcano Crunchwrap from Taco Bell, made his first purchase with Canadian dollars, and thus had his first pocket full of loonies and toonies. All was looking up for our young friend until…

    BAH HA HA HA HA HA HA! -
    Apparently Riddles couldn’t handle his first flight of Canadian stairs. Yup, after I told him that the bathrooms were downstairs, I hear him wander off, then silence, then CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK “Ow”. All I can say is that I wish I had cameras installed in my house to capture that wonderful moment.

    Oh wait, I can kinda talk about games! -
    I watched Riddles beat Bioshock 2 and then watched a fair amount of the online play. The single player looks like a lot more fun from a purely visceral standpoint. There are more enemies, more powerful enemies, and more ways to take them all out. Unfortunately that seemed to, in turn, shift the focus to combat. At least in the final stages. While there were some undoubtedly strong moments in the final few hours, and while I didn’t have the context of the rest of the game, Bioshock 2 seems to fall apart in an even worse way than the original did at the end. Not from a lack of potential either, from what I can tell. But Riddles will no doubt cover all of this in his impending review that will overshadow this Scatter Storming edition anyway.

    Also, multi-player -
    Right, I mentioned the online multi-player. It seems cool. Nothing more really to say. It has some cool ideas that all tie into the single-player mechanics which is neat, but while it copies some of Modern Warfare 2’s strong points, it doesn’t seem to be able to compare to the experience overall. And when you have the choice between good online multi-player and excellent online multi-player, there’s really no reason to not choose the latter unless you have a strong preference for setting.

    What? No picture post? -
    Yeahyeah, I know the “10th Issue Extravaganza!!!” had a few celebratory MS Paintjobs at the end of it. However, just because the style rotation happens every 10 issues, doesn’t mean each time it happens it’ll be a celebration. It was just a happy coincidence last time. Also, there’s a lot of content planned for this very special week so suck it up!

    That’s it, there’s the review outline below to peruse and Riddles sure-to-be epic Bioshock 2 review coming soon, plus even more content later on, so here’s my exit and the exit of classy Scatter Stormings. At least for now…