chronovore: (magnum)
The following kind of requires that (a) you're older than about 35 or so and (b) interested in the fairer sex. But not necessarily.

Out of these unattainable women from old music videos, who were the hottest?
  1. Mannequin chicas from Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love
  2. Checkerboard twins from Tom Petty's Don't Come Around Here No More
  3. Stop hotpants lady, coveralls girl, and/or pageboy wig lady from Young MC's Bust A Move
  4. Tawny Kitaen from Whitesnake's Here I Go Again
...And don't get me started on Girls On Film. I almost added Adam Ant from his own Stand and Deliver, but didn't want [ profile] chernobylred  to spend half the day trying to figure out how to vote more than once.
chronovore: (Default)
Pre-completion review of Brütal Legend: It's very good, despite a couple of serious missteps. (Full disclosure: I have several friends at Double Fine, some of them very dear to me, and I am very clearly biased.)

The first misstep is the demo version of the game; it doesn't really show the game off for what it is. It touches only on two aspects of the core experience: epic, gorgeous, heavy-metal inspired environments, and third-person mêlée combat. There's a driving sequence that might as well be on rails, and a boss fight in an arena.

In actuality game is an open-world/driving action game (a la Grand Theft Auto), featuring story progression missions which usually focus on real-time strategy gameplay (think Warcraft). There are side-missions which consist of skirmish-level RTS with fixed unit resources (no resource management, but RTS controls apply), races, hunting, and a very occasional mission which focuses on using Team-Up powers in a new context. The depth of the gameplay is primarily invested in the RTS sequences, but the bulk of the time in singleplayer is in driving/exploring the world, and non-Stage-Battle missions.

This is really the second misstep: The game stops teaching the player about the complexity of the RTS portion of the game right about the point where it's needed the most. The game is fastidious about teaching the player how to attack, defend, drive a car, all stuff that could have been pretty well handled through trial-and-error. It doesn't teach the player about managing overall unit "Load" or improving their Stage (increasing their tech level). It gives very brief instruction on sending only a portion of massed forces out with individual orders. There's a really smart, complex game, an RTS reconsidered particularly for the controller-driven console market, but it isn't successfully conveyed to the player.

In fact, I'd been cruising through the singleplayer with nary a hiccup until "Dry Ice, Wet Graves" at which point I became seriously frustrated. The learning curve took an immediate turn for the vertical, leaving me running directly into a wall. I played it several times before looking up some strategy guides online, at which point it became fun. More fun that it had previously been, in fact -- a sudden insight into its depth of gameplay is all it took.

Part of me wonders if the expectation or hope was for BL to become a primarily multiplayer hit. Similarly to the way Halo smoothly brought multiplayer FPS genre to consoles, perhaps the desire was to bring RTS to the same audience. So far the attempts to do that have been overly complex; despite some clever button-chording, Universe at War and C&C Red Alert still focus on a tremendous complexity and depth, slavishly following the model of PC-based RTS games, allowing for homogeneous or heterogeneous unit grouping and orders. BL takes all of that and says "b'bye" and allows the AI to determine most unit behavior. This relegates the player to telling bulk groups where to go, thus freeing the player from unit-level micromanagement and replacing that activity with directly assaulting the enemy with their highly mobile, reasonably powerful avatar.

Imagine you're playing Warcraft or Starcraft, and your unit selection pointer, that gloved fist can travel over to the opponent's side of the map, dispelling fog-of-war as it moves, and then can begin flicking, snapping at the enemy units directly. Your "pointer" can diminish or destroy your opponent's forces. All I can say is "YAY!" Harrassing enemy troops is great, though if you linger too long your character can be destroyed, basically just resetting it to your own stage and awarding 50 Fans to your opponent.

Also, there should be a KLOS 95.5 sticker for The Druid Plow. Or whatever Schafer was listening to when he was in high school. But it was KLOS for Los Angeles, though I embraced my metalhood much later in life.

Along with having a fresh take on the RTS, the game tells an epic story through gorgeous cutscenes, fantastic voice acting and animation, and some spot dialog from interacting with the entourage at various points on the tour... er, "quest." On that animation thing, the facial animation is just spot on, start to finish. I recall some great stuff in Psychonauts as well, but much of this feels like a Pixar movie made for metalheads. Nothing's melodramatic and overblown, just believable, moving scenes with surprisingly endearing characters.

But artistically the thing that really gets me going is the world itself. I don't want to distract from what DF has accomplished with the RTS and story, but as an ex-world designer ("once and future world designer"?) I am very impressed with the world itself. Interviews prior to launch have mentioned they want the world to feel like it could be a heavy metal album cover, no matter where you look. I didn't know how they'd pull that off, but it's there. In spades.

More hours have been spent just tooling around and looking at the world than playing the game. I've looked for the "completion" items like Dragons and Legends and metal ViewMaster things, but I actually sit there in awe when the vista view is happening, and panning around the landmark for a larger view. These landmarks are all composed to make the world look like those old album covers which were so evocative of the feelings that the music brings. These need to be given away as wallpaper on the official site. They're gorgeous. They're so pretty in fact that I don't want to play the story missions, because I just want to drive around and absorb the feeling of being in the world. I was driving in my hot rod around the cliffs when the weather changed to a stormy night. Blue lightning flashed and lit the whole world in a stark, cerulean blue hue. Rain poured down as I tried to drive as close to the cliffs as possible, all the while the storm raged. It was just insanely beautiful.
chronovore: (OMFG)
Earlier I railed against The Dollhouse. I take it all back.

...Actually, no. I stand by everything I said about the first five episodes. I was completely right; the series just improves a lot with episode 8, and the last two episodes (11, 12) are really good. There's a -lot- of thought-provoking science fiction happening in there, and a reasonable amount of literary depth.

So I'm in for Season 2. I'll watch it regularly, enthusiastically. And if Joss stabs anyone in the fucking chest, I'm going to fly to cali and headbutt him.
chronovore: (magnum)
With Jobs Scarce in Japan, Women Become Professional Flirts -

Even before the economic downturn, almost 70 percent of women ages 20 to 24 worked jobs with few benefits and little job security, according to a government labor survey. The situation has worsened in the recession.

For that reason, a growing number of Japanese women seem to believe that work as a hostess, which can easily pay $100,000 a year, and as much as $300,000 for the biggest stars, makes economic sense.

Even part-time hostesses and those at the low end of the pay scale earn at least $20 an hour, almost twice the rate of most temp positions. (emphasis mine)
Yes, except in the temp positions the job description is not "tolerate encourage sexual advances from the boss or client."
chronovore: (Default)
Microsoft, Cray Unleash $25K Mainstream Supercomputer | Gadget Lab from
In an effort to make supercomputers mainstream, Microsoft and Cray teamed up to produce the Cray CX1, the "most affordable super computer Cray has ever offered." Unveiled Tuesday morning, the CX1 will run a new version of Microsoft Windows on either 32 or 64 Intel cores, and the desktop will carry 4 terabytes of storage, according to a GigaOM story.
chronovore: (Default)
Why is it that Maggie Gyllenhaal looks like an old lady, but Cameron Diaz, who looks like Karl Malden, looks sexy to me? Is it just memories of the Spider-Man Underoos from the first Charlie's Angels movie?
chronovore: (magnum)
Oddly Enough | Reuters | They had sex WHERE?:
ROME (Reuters) - An Italian couple who were caught having sex in a church confessional box while morning Mass was being said have repented and made peace with the local bishop.

The couple, in their early 30s, were detained by police earlier this month after they had made love in the confessional box in the cathedral in northern Cesena. They were cautioned for obscene acts in public and disturbing a religious function.

Their lawyer said they had been drinking all night and realized they had gone too far.

The lawyer told the area's local newspaper on Wednesday the couple met with the local bishop on Tuesday night, asked for his forgiveness and that he had given it.

Last week the bishop celebrated a "Mass of reparation" in the cathedral where the confessional box incident took place to make up for the sacrilege.
I think they were just trying to save; they could indulge in sin and then IMMEDIATELY be forgiven.

new bliss

May. 29th, 2008 11:56 am
chronovore: (NSFW)
Gotta say, I am loving the Savage Lovecast, the podcast version of Dan Savage's weekly sex advice column, Savage Love. Here's the main page at The Stranger (Seattle, represent!) and an iTMS link for subscription.

Now if there was only a freakin' podcast for Dr. Drew and Adam's Loveline, I'd be vicariously stoked for quite a while.
chronovore: (NSFW)
from a dan savage response:
As for feeling like a pedophile, HB, there's nothing pedo about a 19-year-old bi chick in Disney-princess underpants. A little girl in those panties is innocent and darling. A sexually active 19-year-old in those panties is ironic and daring. (A quick poll of straight men—or man, as the sample size was small—also revealed that 100 percent consider 19-year-old bisexual girls in Disney panties "sexy as fucking hell.") So when your boyfriend eats your pussy through a pair of your new Disney underpants—when he filters your vaginal secretions through an image of Jasmine or Ariel or Belle—he will not only be helping you assert your right to sexual fulfillment despite your mother's disapproval, HB, but helping you deconstruct a patriarchal hetero-normative discourse that reifies female purity and holds up female undergarments as moral status markers.
chronovore: (NSFW)

Some lovely, creative clothing/art pieces on display at Artifice Clothing, including one sassy, latex-clad nun, modeled by the lovely [ profile] slinka. [via coilhouse]
chronovore: (Default)
La Laque - (seeqpod results) Les Critiques:
If you speak French, don't tell me what the story is. If you don't speak French, the sky's the limit...whatever story that pops in your head will be erotic, erotic and draped in shadow
- Cityzen Magazine
chronovore: (furious)
It's my BIRTHDAY, right?!
Send me presents of music and video, of photos and text. If it's something you made, all the better. I DEMAND TRIBUTE AS YOUR ELDER.

Er, and and if I'm not your elder, indulge me anyway. I'm fragile at this age.
chronovore: (Default)
Shave your head in the shower with a wet razor, first with the grain and then against the grain.

I'm in this business for the monsters. My single favourite monsters are the beastmen in The Island of Doctor Moreau. I love the octopoid creatures and the giant swine spirit in William Hope Hodgson. I have a lot of time for pig monsters. I've always liked being terrified of monsters from underwater coming up, like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. There's a picture of Beatrix Potter's Jeremy Fisher with the trout about to bite his foot and he hasn't seen it yet. Completely terrifying.
This much I know: China Miéville
China writes about his'self and the genre at The Guardian UK (thanks, [ profile] rev_e )
chronovore: (NSFW)
The Moneymaker: a short film with interviews of adult film actors and actresses about how they got into the business. Ends with a pretty, but boring music video that happens to show just how different from their street appearance teh pr0nstarz look in movies.


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