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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Into the Darkwood.

I learned something today. I learned that there's a way to engineer stereo sound to make me think there's someone in my kitchen. This is a game that sneaks up on you. Sure, there's some jumps involving traps and roving bands of dogs but it reeeeaaaaaly takes it's time getting under your skin in other ways. Which, considering it's top down, sprite based, look I didn't know that was possible. How much drama or mystique can you create from a satellite's perspective?


It's a survival game, so you've got errands to run in this otherworldly nightmare forest. Scavenge wood and fuel/assorted eldritch goodies, then board up your safe house to wait out the night. That's when the sound design truly shines. It goes for the obvious scares first. Heavy footfalls and shaking chains. Disembodied whispers and angry sounding shadow monsters. And then... just when you think you've got Darkwood's number...a polite, continuous, knock at your front door. Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock.

F**k you, Darkwood. You're amazing.

That feeling when $300 magically appears in your account...,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/193y9mwpptjm1gif.gif

Apparently I had been so well behaved, credit card wise, I got my deposit back. Ladies and gentlemen... I REALLY needed that.

We should all play Bioshock Infinite one more time.

*Politics Abound*

I once lost a debate when I used the factions of New Vegas as a metaphor for America. Mr. House was the cold, unfeeling, oligarchy. The New California Republic the beleaguered, but well intentioned, democracy. Caesar's Legion... the end game of the republican party. Back in 2011, I was essentially calling republicans proto-fascists and it did. NOT. GO. WELL.

My, how the worm has turned.

It's been a hell of a few weeks. I try my best to keep my political animal locked away from this blog but I just can't right now. I am appalled. No administration shakeup is going to restore any amount of  my faith in the executive branch because fish always rots from the head. But my mind keeps turning to why this has all happened and funnily enough, video games had the answer. Infinite was in production for too long and it's plot gets away from it in the end. But it did something truly special before becoming the Booker'n'Liz show. It saw the future.

Republicans aren't villains. Or rather, they didn't used to be. They were rural folk with different ideals. They wanted a hands off, low maintenance, approach to government. They wanted to vote for their team and go back to their lives. It would be wonderful if that's all it took to make a government by the people, for the people. Wouldn't it? But a wise man once said "The price of peace is eternal vigilance." So times changed. The tea party was swept into power and the only thing they had to do to get reelected was yell at the other guy.

The sad fact is, there are mountains of power to be gained by burning our republic down. When you only check into politics during election time you run the risk of begin taken in, not by civil servants, but by carnival barkers. People who fan the flames of prejudice with half truths and vicious lies just to get what they want. An iron coalition of the faithful.

When you close your eyes and just believe everything will work out, you wind up with dictators. People who abuse and starve their citizens because an attack on their tyranny is an attack on their ego. It has happened here and you bet your ass it was wrapped in the American flag. But back to Bioshock...

Colombia is a wonderful place until you peak around it's corners. Indentured servitude, a militant police force, toothless propaganda trussed up as news, and active repression of intellectual curiosity. What I always loved most about Infinite is that it only appears to be republican heaven from a distance. The soft focus and fantastical elements only obscure the real history tearing it's way out. A "better" time never existed. Not for all Americans, anyway.

So anyone who tries to tell you this current administration is making America any better, they don't want a representative democracy. They want a cruel, hollow, imitation with them back at the top. They want Colombia:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Crackpot Book Club: Jingo

I've been tearing through the work of Terry Pratchett for the last few months. I've become a huge fan bordering on disciple. He's so charming and so understated. He waits for you to get lulled into a false sense of high fantasy satire then BAM. He dumps a bucket of ice cold humanity all over your head and you love him for it.

America has had a rough week and I think I have just the thing. A proverbial mug of calming tea with a bitter aftertaste. I'm only a few hundred pages into Jingo (city watch) and from that title you can guess where it's going. It's about being good police in a time where citizens are taking up arms for selfish, deluded, causes. It stares racism down and laughs in it's face the way only the English can. So polite... yet so brutal. It's helping me through a difficult time in the American south and I'm going to shut up now and let it speak for itself:

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.

-Terry Pratchett

Thursday, August 10, 2017

C&C episode 84: Our EMOTIONS!!!



The table is being set for the return of Hannibal.

American Gods was... ok. Splitting the book into 2 seasons was a bad idea mostly because there was barely enough material for the first. That and the last half of the book is the weakest. It's just not Gaiman's best work at the end of the day. I got the sense that he doesn't think much about American culture even though he tried REALLY hard to appreciate it. All the American gods are pale intimations of their international betters and all the new gods are essentially villainous. I mean, you don't see technical boy boosting AIDs research through crowd sourcing, do you? Anansi was the sh*t, though. It was like Orlando Jones was waiting his entire career for that speech.

So thank christ the talks for Hannibal's resurrection are moving forward. This was Fuller's most inspired work by far and it deserves another chance at an ending. Hopefully we'll get some closure for Bedelia at the very least.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cinematography of Preacher Vol. 2

Back by popular demand: season 2 episode 8. You keep the Hitchcock homages coming and I'll do my part, Preacher.

Monday, August 7, 2017

So I gave Warframe a shot...

Sometimes the randomizer hits gold. So help me if I'm tacky, when in Rome. is not for everyone. It's free to play for a reason, if I had dropped more than $20 on it I'd be pretty bummed. But it is absolutely free and it is interesting enough for me to spend a weekend with. It's destiny on speed. You walk faster than most games sprint, the aiming is flawless, and the jumping/light platforming is smooth as silk. Though enemies are bland turtle people that look and sound like sh*tier versions of Andromeda's already underwhelming rock jerks.

This here bag? She's mixed, but did I mention the roguish class has Max Payne's strafe jump but with a jet pack? You can just glide around corners going 60 mph and reasonably pull off head shots. I'm already having more fun than I did with Destiny. People rag on that game's storytelling but Warframe makes it look like Doctor, f**king, Zhivago.

But it's free. Sooooo free. $5-$20 for new costumes and weapon skins, so the ethical kind of free. But it really makes you appreciate games like Borderlands who put so much more effort into WHAT you're shooting even though Warframe makes it more fun to actually do that. Shooting, that is.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thrones was pretty good tonight!

And it gives me an excuse to bug everyone with a cruelly forgotten Queen song:

Yeah! How you like me now?!

I'm sorry Beddy, but the headboard connectors were drilled in at an angle and... you just frustrate me sometimes.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The manliest thing I've ever manned.

99.9% MAN SWEAT. 00.1% anguish tears.

Moving sucks. Especially if you can't afford for someone to take apart your stupid fancy bed for you and you have to beg your dad for help. We gave up last night when his electric screwdriver got fritzed; but by god I was going to take apart all the load bearing lug nuts before we tried again tonight. I did it. The last lug alone took me 28  soul crushing minutes, but I finally got the f**ker. Now we can load these 3 easy pieces into the truck and be done with it. There's no way putting it back together could be MORE complicated.


Who am I kidding? I can't stay mad at you, Beddy.

C&C Ep: 83

Ok, the geisha/spiderbot fight wasn't half bad.

I was absent this week, busy buying my sister drinks for getting an interview at JOHNS HOPKINS so we can listen to it together. Pyre sounds neat and yes, Ghost in the Shell is a rank mess. I can't wait to hear all the ways Chance and I agree.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Cinematography of Preacher

People just ain't talkn' bout' Preacher like they should. To me at least. It's like the perfect storm of Tarantino and Breaking Bad. It's got an air of violent immaturity but it sobers up when it needs to. What it says about faith and particularly evangelicals walks a fine line of respectful disobedience.

But more to the point, I think its the best looking show on TV right now. Thrones is looking more and more exhausted while Preacher is hungry and eager to prove itself. These screen shots are all from a mid season placeholder episode. Keep that in mind. 


Where the hell is Ruth Negga's Emmy?