I am pretty addicted to checking out the blog stats for the Sense of Right Alliance, particularly the google searches that lead people here. They are almost always crazy! Here are some of my favorites:
superman fight monster
black man fucking plastic crocodile
scream vs freddy
tiny man, shrunk
batman videotape shut up queen
darkwing duck changes into pure consciousness
eight legged freaks premier scarlett johansson sheer see-through
I check that shit every day, and it always tickles me pink to see the insane things people search for, and the fact that it leads them here. I don’t remember writing about a black guy fucking a plastic crocodile, for example, but hey maybe I did. Who can say for sure? But anyway, aside from all the shits and giggles, when you look at the “all-time” search stats, it becomes extremely obvious what brings the majority of people to this site. Take a look:
Wow. This is kind of crazy to me. I mean, I probably write about Batman more than anything else, and Batman is one of the most iconic and famous fictional characters ever. But over and over and over again, what brings people here is Freddy fighting Jason and sometimes also fighting Bruce Campbell. It’s not like they have Batman (and everything else) beat by a little bit – it’s a gigantic fucking landslide! So, with the hopes that at least some of the people who find themselves on this site because of this decide to stay a while, I want you to know your voices have been heard! I love those crazy murderers too, and I will definitely be writing about them more in the future! In the meantime, here are some pretty pictures for you:
There you go! Oh and by the way, in case you are google searching to determine who would win: in real life, Freddy would win every time without question. You’re welcome.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the real meat of this blog entry, which is basically a hodgepodge of stuff I’ve been enjoying lately, but which I doubt I could flesh out into individual posts.
MARTY AND DOC: FREELANCE POLICE
I love Telltale Games. Telltale are truly the bearers of the Lucasarts adventure game legacy, and I love that they’ve been getting the respect they deserve lately. In addition to handling the current incarnations of the Sam & Max and Monkey Island franchises, it seems like a day doesn’t go by without an announcement of an awesome new property that’s been placed in their capable hands. In the near future, Telltale will be releasing games based on Jurassic Park, Fables, and The Walking Dead, as well as taking on King’s Quest, the signature franchise of one-time Lucasarts rival, Sierra Online. Holy shit, right??
Oh, and they just released the first episode of a new Back to the Future adventure game to the PSN, and I just played it. And it’s fucking awesome. Rather than retelling the stories covered by the film franchise, the game essentially acts as Back to the Future Part IV. Initially set in 1986, the tale finds Marty McFly travelling back to Prohibition-era Hill Valley and teaming up with teenage Doc Brown in order to rescue old-ass Doc Brown, who has been targeted for execution by Biff Tannen’s gangster ancestor. That sounds confusing and convoluted, but if you’re anything like me, that’s exactly what you want in a Back to the Future story, and this game has you feeling the magic almost immediately. The music (which will have you giggling with delight right from the title screen) definitely contributes to this, as does the voice acting. Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc, and some dude who obviously stole Michael J. Fox’s voice Ursula-style plays Marty, and it all sounds fantastic.
As the first chapter in an episodic game, this adventure is short but sweet, perfect for an afternoon when you have a couple of hours to kill. The puzzles are fun but never too challenging, and there is a cool hint system for people too stupid or lazy to figure shit out on their own. I do hope the difficulty ramps up a tiny bit in future installments, but I think the puzzles make up for their relative easiness with a great degree of cleverness – don’t worry, you’ll still experience that satisfying “a-ha!” moment a couple of times.
I only have one minor complaint about this game, which is its general “tone.” Long-time fans of Telltale or Lucasarts will immediately recognize the sense of humor on display here. The jokes all come straight from the Monkey Island/Sam & Max playbook, and therefore this often feels more like another entry in one of those franchises, and less like Back to the Future. Marty’s little quips are often out-of-character enough to briefly pull me right out of the experience, and I keep expecting him to tell me that he’s selling some fine leather jackets. This may seem like a minor gripe, but it worries me that a developer who now handles so many licensed franchises might not be able to stray from their own “voice” to find that of the universe they’re working with. It’s not much a problem with a light-hearted game like this, but hopefully they’ll be able to curb it for stuff like The Walking Dead.
Dorky complaints aside, Back to the Future is delightful and I highly recommend it to any fans of the franchise or of the developer. At the very least, it’s better than playing this:
Ian Brill’s Darkwing Duck continues to be awesome, with the latest issue finding Darkwing and Steelbeak teaming up against motherfucking Cthulu!! Well, it’s actually Duckthulu but still – HOW COOL IS THAT?? I love this comic book for being a licensed kiddie title that still sets off HOW COOL IS THAT alarms nearly every month. Want another example? Well, check out the cover of Darkwing Duck Annual:
Shame on you if you don’t immediately recognize that as a parody of this:
HOW COOL IS THAT?? I mean, Quackerjack has always been a play on The Joker, but I never dreamed that concept would be ever be extended this far! The thing that’s most impressive about Ian Brill is that he always takes these little references to awesome lengths, but never goes too far with them. If I were writing this comic book, I’d fill it with parodies and references until it read like a shitty MAD Magazine piece, but Brill limits that sort of thing to covers and story titles and subtle little things like that, and focuses mainly on building up this universe’s own mythology. Good for him!
In other duck news, Epic Mickey developer Warren Spector is going to be writing a Ducktales comic book for Boom Studios. Man, sometimes I feel like the whole universe just exists to make me happy. Grin.
PUNISHING AND PREACHING
I picked up a cheap hardcover copy of Garth Ennis’ Welcome Back Frank Punisher arc. I’ve never really been into the Punisher, but holy baloney is this book great! It seems like he wrote this stuff for Marvel soon after he finished up Preacher, and it shows – I think I like this book because it reminds me of Preacher. In fact, sometimes…
…it reminds me a fucking lot of Preacher. It’s really weird that he wrote these two books so close to each other and essentially came up with the same exact villain twice, and even had them meet the same fate. But whatever, Welcome Back, Frank is still a blast to read. And in light of the stuff Ennis has been doing more recently, it’s nice to go back and remind myself of how awesome the guy used to be.
Well, that about does it. See you guys soon Jason Freddy Ash Freddy vs vs. vs vs!