Saturday, November 22, 2008

In case you were wondering...

....pronounced WOO-BIN has been turned into a recurring feature on the new Armagideon Time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What is a man?

I'm not the type of person who throws around the term "favorite" lightly. My interests are in a constant state of flux, and today's treasure could very well end up in the day after tommorow's discard pile.

There are a few constants, though, and if I was forced at knifepoint to pick a "favorite videogame of all time," the honor would go to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Even a decade after its release, the game's mix of classic 2D platform action/exploration and RPG elements can keep me captivated for hours at a stretch. Everytime Halloween season comes around, I set aside whatever overhyped next-gen title I'm playing at the moment and dedicate myself to some old-school monster whacking at its finest.

The game isn't entirely flawless, though. Konami did a lackluster job in localizing the title for English-speaking audiences, which is most painfully apparent in the voiceovers which accompany SOTN's big dramatic moments.

The worst of the lot occurs during the prologue mini-level, which recaps Richter Belmont's confrontation with Dracula at the end of Dracula X, the previous entry into the series. What was supposed to convey high drama and theological commentary, ended up sounding like outtakes from the worst LARP session ever.

With no small amount of goading from fellow Castlevania fan Chris Sims, I decided to deliver my own hyper-localization of the dialogue exchange in honor of Halloween.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

About That Thing

Sorry for the hiatus. AT's Halloween Countdown and the end of October "consolidays" have stretched me to the limit.

Tune in Friday for a special Halloween post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Of Late I Think of Kilby Street

Welcome to scenic Hammond Square!

I once got into an argument here with a hopelessly lost traveller. He thought it was smart to piss off the only guy out and about and willing to help him at two in the morning, and responded to each step of my directions back to the highway with a sarcastic comment. I eventually quit trying and sent him off on his merry way in the opposite direction he wanted to go. For all I know, he's still doing circles around Winchester Center like an automotive Flying Dutchman.

That stray thread of memory has nothing to do with today's topic, in which my old neighborhood gets some police blotter recognition.

Hammond Square! (Sorry about the rustling newspaper sounds and pops on the microphone. I was too preoccupied with thoughts of Fable 2 to manage even my modest standards of quality control.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Do You Cay-ah?

Missing Persons - Words

Featuring Dale Bozzio's unmistakable Medford accent.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Special Delivery

The street is in my blood.

(Okay, it's actually gravel in my kneecaps, the legacy of a bad scooter wipeout on Beech Street in 1987.)

An Important Message!

(The source material.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Resurrection Mary Sunshine

When I was a sophomore in high school, I paid a visit to a book liquidation warehouse that briefly occupied a back corner of the East Woburn industrial park on Washington Street. Any hopes I had concerning stacks of beautiful and cheap books were quickly dashed upon stepping inside the place.

I'm hardly retail manager material, but even so I have to question the logic of renting a few thousand square feet of space for the purpose of shifting dozens of pallets of programming guides for the TI-99/4A and hundreds of copies of the 1968 edition of the Kelley Blue Book. I ended up leaving with just two remotely interesting items plucked from the dollar bin (though I've since regretted not picking up the coffee table book about The Spinners I saw there).

One of the books was an "encylopedia of modern wars" so unashamedly Anglocentric that it dedicated sixteen column inches to the Great Franco-Anglo Slapfight of August 17, 1662 while summarizing the American Civil War as "The North fought the South over slavery and the North won." The other book was the 1974 edition of The Hitchhiker's Field Manual, subtitled "The Complete Guide to Hassle-Free Thumb-Tripping in North America."

The title and publication date say it all -- the book is a handy source of freak-friendly information on thumbing it (which is to transporation what Russian Roulette is to gun safety) across Nixonian America, full of such nuggets of practical wisdom as "beware of rednecks with axe handles" and "don't try to bribe an Idaho state trooper with a dime bag."

The manual also features a detailed state-by-state breakdown of hitcher-friendly and hitcher-adverse locales. (Berkeley = Good, Alabamba = Bad.) It was this cryptic passage from the entry covering Massachusetts that convinced me to purchase the book:

Freaks Beware!