In the spirit of so many others, Electronic Arts has decided to dip into the past in order to step into the future. After waves made by recent rereleases of Shadow of the Colossus, Crash Bandicoot, and Call of Duty 4, Electronic Arts has seen both an opportunity to make some extra cash and a way to present one of its most revered classic titles to the new generation of players in 4K HD on XBOX One and PlayStation 4. That’s right, gamers, get ready for Madden NFL 2002 HD: Special Edition.
Just yesterday, scientists from around the globe came together to drop what really seems to have been an overstepping of boundaries – The theory to determine what is actually a “good” song. It’s been released and only I have a copy of it but, trust me, the science is sound, the formula makes sense, and you don’t need to read it, and it’s real.
There have been a lot of songs over the years, I guess. “The National Anthem” “Candle in the Wind” “My Own Worst Enemy“. All of these are songs, but none of them found the scientific mountaintop reached by “The King of Wishful Thinking” by eighties Sophisti-pop group Go West. The report detailing why this song was chosen through rigorous study and formulaic research is kinda vague and honestly not all that insightful, but somehow, they came out with this track on top. The formula, honestly, seems kind of directed in favor of the song in question, but I’ll let you all be the judge of that:
The primarily shoulder-based dancing of the video is classic, though.
I started growing a mustache on January 15th of 2018. I didn’t make the decision consciously. The phrase “I’ll grow a mustache now” never entered my mind, no, the catalyst of this mustache’s growth was my forgetting to pack a razor blade in my suitcase on my week-long trip to Arizona.
Also, friends and potential dates, I’m sorry if my staring directly in the camera makes it seem as if I’m staring into your soul. If this diminishes my potential romantic attraction in your eyes, I apologize, and I hope you can look past that and the mustache and the narcissism because I’m very, very lonely
This is Todd in the Shadows’ Top 10 Best Songs of 2015 list. I’ve followed Todd since I was fifteen in the fall of 2010. I’ve since bounced off of almost every other video critic from that era, it seems. They’ve all either risen into something unrecognizable, or I’ve outgrown them, or whatever. Production values rise, they run out of things to talk about, whatever. Todd – along with the guys from Laser Time and Lindsay Ellis– remains at the same level of quality and relevance to me eight years later. (I should disclose I support all of them on Patreon)
Youtube criticism rose out of men feigning anger at things, and a disappointing amount of the most popular men out there are still doing so. When I say I’ve outgrown someone as a critic, this tendency towards immediate anger is one of the two main reasons I do so (the other is a refusal to accept more nuanced forms of criticism). Todd was the first person I remember putting out year-end “best” lists, which sort of shocked a kid who found out about him on a site named for and run by a man whose recurring gag was screaming and firing a gun at movies he didn’t like. Todd was maybe the first YouTube critic who drew me to his positive criticism as much as his negative criticism.
Todd’s Best of 2015 list came out at the end of January, 2016. I disagree with almost this entire list save for the top two songs. I took more from one particular honorable mention – Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Run Away With Me” – to which Todd lent only one line of praise:
“I don’t usually put songs that wouldn’t qualify in the honorable mentions, but, uh, this is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.”
And, no, I’m not sure how I ended up getting a signed copy from that store
The richest man in the world, James Amazon, has cut down the list of potential cities for his new big building or whatever to twenty. This year, 2018, twenty cities will fight to the death in the thunderdome for the right to have tech-yuppies move into their suburbs and patronize their Starbuckses. My money is on Atlanta because that city is good and Amazon owes it to them to gentrify it up just a lil’ bit. Continue reading
The Government Employees Insurance COmpany produces like 45 thirty-second TV spots per year and allegedly also sells car insurance to employees of the government. I did some research and found that the famed gecko mascot was picked because “Gecko sounds a bit like GEICO.”
If you haven’t noticed, the GEICO ads have gone off the fucking rails ever since that caveman show died off in 2008. The new GEICO still props the corpse of the gecko up and rolls him out to say shit like “you can save money on your car insurance” in an English accent, but they’ve also diverted some of their 14 Billion Dollar* advertising budget into other ventures with the end goal of getting customers to change insurance providers out of sheer attrition. Through my super-sleuthing*, I’ve been able to find where some of that 14 Billion will be going in the 2018 year.
This image is from the lost GEICO ad where the gecko runs over a family of three and is sent to prison for his crimes, only to save thousands over the 40 year sentence on his insurance premiums thanks to a late-game switch to GEICO
At some point in the year 2000, Activision figured out what they had with the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. They had a tremendous first title and a sequel coming out that would build upon it in every way possible. They also seemed to think they had a formula. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 begot multiple different spinoffs: Mat Hoffman’s BMX in 2000, Shaun Palmer’s Pro Snowboarder in 2001, a sequel to Hoffman’s game in 2002, and a Wakeboarding game in 2003. All of these games took the Tony Hawk engine and adapted it to their own sports, and none of them matched whatever Pro Skater had.
Most of these were Tony Hawk clones mechanically, just a little bit more Pro Skater except with a different vehicle. Of course, a skateboard is not a BMX bike, nor a snowboard, nor a wakeboard, nor a surfboard, which is mostly why these games fell short. Trying to translate the simple, quick pressing of the square button to kickflip on a skateboard didn’t translate to that same motion doing a barrel roll on a snowboard, or a tailwhip on a bike. That awkward translation was a fact in level design, too, no developer made a space that worked for the snowboard, BMX, or wakeboard the way that Neversoft made the spaces skateboarders carved up.
Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer was the weird one.
At some point, in 2013, the person who ran a video game store in my hometown decided that this game was worth less than one dollar.