With a lot of crazy extra work hours as of late, and trying to work on some holiday stuff I haven’t had the time to write as much as I’d like. But I was a guest over on the Well-Red Mage’s podcast recently. We had a nice in-depth discussion about Street Fighter II, it impacts on the fighting genre, arcades, and we also had numerous tangents. I also got the chance to mention a number of other fantastic people you ought to check out. It was a fun experience I was happy to be able to be a part of. If you missed it, you can check the link below. And do be sure to visit The Well-Red Mage. They do some great reviews and other articles on their blog.
Well, they’ve done it again. A while ago I was once again tagged by Red Metal to answer a few questions. Unfortunately for me, life was a bit busy and I was also playing through a lot of Astral Chain to get out the review. But I’m ready now! so here we go. These are fun so I hope you enjoy them. And give Red Metal a follow. They put out some rather in-depth long-form reviews.
Here are the questions I get to answer:
- Have you ever been involved in an emergency situation (e.g. a burning building/an earthquake)?
- What is the worst film you’ve ever seen in theaters?
- What is the best film you’ve ever seen in theaters?
- What is the strangest method by which you discovered a work you enjoy?
- What do you feel is the greatest compilation of collected works in your collection (of games/films/music/books/etc.)?
- Have you ever re-experienced a work you enjoyed a long time ago only to determine it has not aged well?
- Have you ever re-experienced a work you hated (or were indifferent towards) a long time ago only to warm up to it?
- What is your favorite opening theme to a television show?
- Excluding Western comic books, what series with a single, ongoing narrative do you feel has (or had) gone on for far too long? In other words, I’m not counting shows or other forms of media with entirely self-contained episodes such as The Simpsons or anthological works such as The Twilight Zone with this question.
- Have you ever been invested in a series only to be heartbroken when it was cut short with no resolution?
- Do you prefer hardcover or paperback books?
1.) The closest thing I can say I’ve come to an emergency situation is coming home as a kid to find our home had been broken into. If it’s never happened to you, it’s an awful feeling. Not only did someone potentially take some of your most prized possessions, the feeling of violation really takes a toll on you. You feel your stomach sink completely out of yourself. You fear they may be around somewhere. Your mind really goes to dark places. Even though the second time there was evidence they were scared off by our arrival and they dropped something they stole from a previous robbery we still feared they may come back. It sucks and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
2.) The worst film I’ve seen in theatres? It’s probably a bit cliche to say at this point. But I’m going to say Mac And Me. You can find all of the YouTube rants in existence to go over how bad it really is. But even seeing it on TV isn’t nearly the same. Again, I was a kid. My Father thought, “Hey my kids liked E.T. this is being advertised as an E.T. like, let’s go see it.” When you’re a kid going to the movies is a thing of wonder. Even a mediocre movie is something you don’t experience the same way at home. We all came out kind of disappointed we’d essentially seen a 90-minute product placement vehicle with an uninteresting and sometimes incoherent story. While it isn’t the worst movie you’ll ever see, it isn’t good, and it’s made worse in a theatrical setting.
3.) By contrast, this is a very hard question. Because I grew up at a time when a lot of good things were coming out. Star Wars, Back To The Future, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. There were tons of great films. But I’m going to say The Last Starfighter for a few reasons. Is it the *best* movie I’ve seen? No. And from a critical standpoint, it might not be the best I had going to the movies. But from an entertainment standpoint, I think it probably was with The Neverending Story right behind it. I can still vividly remember the day I went to see it. We had been pretty good all week, and my parents had a little extra to have a family day out. We went to Chuck E. Cheese (this was at a time when the food wasn’t completely terrible and they had actual arcade games. Have you ever taken your nieces or nephews to one these days? It’s ticket redemption prize machines. Where is Berzerk? Where is Pac-Man? Hell, where is Street Fighter II?) After that we went to Toys R Us where I got a Roton for my Skeletor to grind heroes into gibs with. Then met my Aunt for dinner and saw The Last Starfighter on the big screen. And any child of the 80s will tell you, alien Robert Preston showing up to tell you that getting the hi-score on a spaceship rail shooter meant that you got to defend the universe from an army of reptoids with bloodlust was one awesome scenario. And even rewatching it today is one hell of a fun time. Sure there are some hokey moments. But on the whole, it’s a pretty fantastic popcorn movie. Perhaps since they tagged me to answer these questions Red Metal should revisit the movie and write about it?
4.) The strangest method I’ve discovered an awesome piece of work? Probably the day I left on the TV as background noise on my day off several years ago now. I heard a funny line of dialogue and before long had become an instant fan of Regular Show.
5.) Best compilation? That’s tough to say because while a lot of them are great they come with some baggage. I’d love to say Unreal Anthology, as it gives you every major Unreal and Unreal Tournament entry as well as a partial soundtrack album. But, UT2004 is missing a major bonus content patch. It also came out ahead of UT3 so that game isn’t in the box. I guess in lieu of that I’m going to say the Metal Slug Anthology on Nintendo Wii. It truly does include every game in the series up to that point, the emulation is rather good, and it costs far less than buying each entry digitally on storefronts. It’s certainly cheaper than getting a working Neo Geo and all of the cartridges.
6.) I wouldn’t say they haven’t aged well, but their control schemes have been far surpassed so it takes some time getting reacquainted with them and for this spot, I’ll say Rare’s two groundbreaking console shooters Goldeneye 007, and Perfect Dark. Still fantastic games, but having spent decades on mice, keyboards, gyroscopic controllers, and thumbsticks these games take some getting used to. Other N64 shooters fared better using the D-pad or C- buttons as a stand-in for WASD, and the thumbstick as a mouse.
7.) A game I changed my mind on for the better? Again, going back to Frogs & Flies. My Grandmother gave it to me one year for my birthday as a child. I faked a smile and thanked her but inside I was disappointed by the lack of killer robots, spaceships, and lasers. But later that night after all of the other toys and games had been played I fired it up. Only to find that it is one of the most surprisingly cutthroat and challenging multiplayer games ever made. Even today you may think it looks primitive and the premise bland. But Frogs & Flies is amazing. Pure one on one competitive bliss. Honestly, if an updated version showed up tomorrow I wouldn’t think twice about trying it out.
8.) This is a two-way tie because they’re both so great. He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe because it’s MOTU. It sets up everything you need to know in 60 seconds, and that Shuki Levy penned music is just great. Right next to He-Man is Magnum P.I. You can put that Mike Post music as a backdrop to anything and it instantly becomes awesome. Don’t believe me? Put it on while doing your dishes. Driving to work. Taking out the garbage. Vacuuming. Dusting. And it was one of the coolest shows ever made to boot.
9.) I don’t know any serialized show has gone on too long, as long as someone behind it still thinks of compelling stories within the scope of its universe it’s fine. Really this question is about jumping the shark moments where things even betray the series in question with something so over-the-top it’s not even believable by its own standards. I don’t watch much TV these days though save for some Pro Wrestling, and reruns. And while there are some stupid things in Wrestling programs, it’s not enough to want the operations to stop doing shows altogether. Just to wrap up the bad stories, and get better bookers to tell good ones. That said, I personally do not see the fascination with these Reality TV shows.
10.) Who hasn’t? Nearly anyone who played the two Half-Life games and their episodic add-ons will know this pain. I can also throw The Conduit and Conduit 2 into this category. I enjoyed both of these and although the latter began to veer into the very silly, I still kind of wanted to see where High Voltage Software was going to go with it.
11.) I’m of two minds. I like Hardcovers. They hold up better. They stick out nicely. But Paperbacks are smaller, cost less and allow you to have more books in a smaller amount of space. I guess it depends on the book and if it’s tied to a series I’m heavily invested in or something that just really captured my imagination and got me to really love it.
And I suppose with that I’ll come up with some questions for a couple of people.
1.) When you’ve had 1 hour of sleep and need to do a full-time shift do you reach for: Coffee, tea, soda, or something else to stay awake and why?
2.) What is a video game/series you really wish had more attention than it does and why?
3.) Pair your favorite game with a proper wine or beer.
4.) Pick one game that came out “Before your time” that you think looks interesting and tell us why.
5.) Pick one game that is outside of your comfort zone that you think you might be willing to check out.
And I nominate:
Whoever takes up the challenge, I await to see your responses!
“Come tuhgethaaaa… right naaahoooww…. over Final Fantasy.” The crystals call, NPCs! We’re currently looking for interested writers for a new community event centered around the Final Fantasy franchise. This is going to play out similarly to the recent Zelda project led by NekoJonez (check out the community hub for that). Here’s my contribution […]
The world of game blogs, and fans of game themed comedy comics lost another outlet earlier this week. What’s Your Tag? was probably not on your radar, but it should have been. Particularly if you enjoyed internet comics in the vein of Penny Arcade, the late Shortpacked, or VGCats. As is the case with most web comics it wasn’t a huge outlet with millions, and millions of readers. But it also had its own identity. The crude art style coupled with some crafty jokes made for a pretty unique feel.
Even if you didn’t agree with an underlying message in a particular strip the effort would still garner a laugh. Sometimes the strip would go for an obvious joke, but even then pull it off without making you roll your eyes. One of the funniest strips made fun of Assassin’s Creed Unity’s buggy launch. Most infamously was a bug that never loaded parts of character models. Leaving disembodied eyes, and tongues floating where heads should have been. Again, while it’s true a lot of people were laughing at this misfire, What’s Your Tag? made a joke that worked.
The strips mainly centered around two characters; Mileson, and Khafka. Each week they would find themselves in a gaming themed situation, leading to a punchline. On paper that might sound like Penny Arcade clone #5,689,769,023. But the humor was different. They may have also been making gags centered around gaming. But reading What’s Your Tag? felt a bit more like reading the Sunday comics from the paper twenty years ago. It had the word play of The Lockhorns, the sarcasm of Garfield, and the dryness of The Wizard Of Id. All of this topped with a dab of the silliness you’d find in a 15 minute Adult Swim short.
But beyond the comics, the site would publish game reviews. Most of them well written, with an honest look at the pros, and cons of the game in question. They focused most of their reviews on console releases, but there was the occasional PC release. Unlike the strips, the reviews didn’t evoke a lot of comedy the way one might expect from some video content producers. These were delivered in a traditional sense.
The staff will all go on to do other things. Founder Miles Dompier has focused on a new venture called Life is garbage, where he produces videos centered around silly things. Silly things, and Mountain Dew. You can’t discount the Mountain Dew. Bradley Keene has been keeping his own reviews going over at Cheap Boss Attack. He’s also gotten a few collaborations going with The Buttonsmashers. There haven’t been major announcements from the other members of the site, but that doesn’t mean they won’t go on to do great things.
What’s Your Tag? will surely be missed. If you followed it, hopefully you’ll follow these talented people in their new endeavors. If you haven’t, but now your interest has been piqued, check it out while the site is still up.