The Craziest Jaws Cash-ins

Buy the Jaws towel, thoughtfully pre-dyed yellow so that your terror pee doesn’t embarrass the bloody chunks of your family!

The only towel to keep you dry by scaring you out of getting wet

The only towel to keep you dry by scaring you out of getting wet

And that’s not even nearly the stupidest item of Weird Jaws Merchandise. You can also assemble the entire sea out of jigsaw pieces, celebrate Brody’s alcoholism, and behold the most blatant case of intellectual property theft outside of Shia LaBeouf.

More terrifying to the company's copyright lawyers

More terrifying to the company’s copyright lawyers

Now go be terrified by tubas! Or failing that, find out why sharks must be masters of disguise.

The Saga of Splatoon

My original ode to Splatoon is extending into a saga. The more I play the more I love it. I’ll have written the Inkyssey by the time I’m done and I’ll enjoy every second of it. Especially in the (dank) light of ridiculous complaints about the original piece. Like those who insist that every point is erased by pretending there’s a functional difference between modern first- and fixed camera over the shoulder third- person shooters.

"This might SEEM like a wasteland of desaturated murk, but if you look closely you can make out that we're looking over his scapula! Checkmate!"

“This might SEEM like a wasteland of desaturated murk, but if you look closely you can make out that we’re looking over his scapula! Checkmate!”

If they want to get technical they should talk about how precision console shooters are a contradiction in terms. Easily a cursor is what we invented mice for. Sharpshooting with a thumbstick is like performing heart surgery on a unicycle: you can learn to get precise enough, sure, but it’s awkward and clumsy and people are doing to die more by accident than intent. Splatoon is the first truly console shooter, the first to invent a weapon mechanic which works with that level of control.



Other reasons I love it:

  • Enemy players who “hide” and let me paint half the map to get close so that they can “surprise” me.
  • Including a ranked mode for those Stockholm Syndromed players who still need the risk of wasting entire games on zero result so that their little numbers and letters feel more important.
  • The steering skill and reflexes of Roller Chicken. Feint straight down the line then that little sideways shimmy like you’re judo-throwing them into an ink vat explosion.
  • XP and gold for the losing team so that even a team of idiots is just a new game mode where you extract as much value as you can. (Nothing like a spawn with four paths and three teammates all taking the same one.)
  • Enemy players with the most splats and the least points.
  • Ink-sharking: roller, squid backwards around a corner from a range enemy, and when they follow RISE UP LIKE A BRIGHT PINK JAWS! (And speaking of ridiculous Jaws…)
  • The next round of Dark Souls feels dark and oppressive again instead of “Gritty game rendered in a gravel quarry flooded by a sewage leak #3,432,843.

Now, if only someone would render de_dust2 so that we could finally colour that place in…

Thunderbirds, Star Trek, and Showing Not Telling

Improved graphics give us a reason to remake, but retelling the exact same story with improved graphics is the work of obsessively nostalgic fan-projects instead of new releases. Altering something fundamental allows old and new fans to enjoy wondering what will happen next.

Thunderbirds pulled that off as an incidental detail in the very first action scene. A child’s father plummets toward his death, and Virgil decares “No-one is losing their father today”, and you just know. It’s the perfect change for the series. Jeff Tracy was the commander in the original series, the powerful paterfamilias, the wise old authority figure. Removing him is the perfect plot change. The Tracys have learned his ideals but can struggle with the experience, and you’ve get a powerful plot hook to take them places trying to discover the truth of what happened.



Compare this to Star Trek where Spock, allegedly the smartest character in the text, takes an entire scene to carefully explain that blowing up an entire planet might have changed the timeline. Twice, because his older self did it as well. They had two different versions of the same character carefully explaining that changing the timeline might make things different instead of pointing at each other and shouting “Duh!” That scene spoon-feeding us the details took longer than spoon-feeding us the entire rubbled remains of Vulcan. We didn’t think things were going to go as before, with Kirk and Vulcan eventually Pon Farring it up in spacesuits, stomping around the cloud of asteroids which used to be a planet unable to hear the fight music because of the total vacuum.

"Also, hinging our entire plot on you just happening to wander into the exact right cave on a random world is not logical."

“Also, hinging our entire plot on you just happening to wander into the exact right cave on a random world is not logical.”

I could adore the new Thunderbirds and hate the new Star Trek for twenty more pages. So I picked out the best two and wrote them up:

The most glorious nerdiness ever made.

Speeding in the most glorious nerdiness ever made.

Terry Gilliam Apologises for Escape of Nigel Farage

Animator and member of Monty Python Terry Gilliam today apologized for the escape of Nigel Farage.


“I was animating a satire about ridiculous political beliefs, and one day I left the studio without gluing him down.” explained an abashed Gilliam. “The next morning he was gone. I just didn’t think such a blatant parody of human behavior could do much damage.”


Farage now has a successful career of leading UKIP and standing at precisely 90 degrees to every camera at all times. The comic basis for his existence continually shines through with ridiculous claims, satirically bad policies, and an inability to resist turning every leadership contest into a farce.


Farage’s brother Conrad Pooh distanced himself from the political movement, explaining that he didn’t want the army of solid chunks of brainless skull-matter that danced to his tune sullied by association.


More political news:

Enjoy the Ultimate Energizing Diet Fad!

Some people say you shouldn’t add anything you can’t spell to your body. I’m not sure exactly how they said that while constantly reminding themselves of pyruvate dehydrogenase, adenosine triphosphate, and the presumably hypnotically-induced mantra of “adenine-guanine-cytosine-adenine-thymine” they must constantly incant to make sure they don’t forget a bit, causing their cells to disappear or die because of their anti-magical* thinking. But they still said it, which is why I offer to help with my incredible 100% Chemical-Free Raw Natural Diet.

*anti-magical: deliberately NOT using complicated words they don’t understand, in order to reduce their own abilities BELOW standard.


Fixing Furiosa: The Improved Mad Max Comic

The Mad Max Furiosa comic is worse for the women involved than Darth Vader’s Guide To Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.

Step 1: Introduce her to your co-workers!

Step 1: Introduce her to your co-workers!

I’d point out the problems but that’s already been done in great detail. At least now we know how the movie avoided the awful obsession with rape, sexual abuse, and total male domination which usually dominates such stories. It funneled those flaws into the comic, in the same way Twins split Schwarzenegger’s flaws into Danny DeVito. But without the humour. That’s how bad this comic is : a humourless sex-offending Danny DeVito.

It couldn’t have missed the point of Fury Road harder without being misspelling the title. Which would have improved it, because then it could pretend to be the sex-obsessed schlock ripoff it seems to think it already is. It could have spent its forty pages poking at women’s crotches like crosses between unopened Christmas presents and unexploded bombs without damaging the good name of the franchise.

And that good name is Imperator Furiosa.

Anyone who’s watched the movie could write a better story in twenty minutes. And having thought that, I couldn’t resist following through. I gave myself 1200 seconds and a glass of Jura to see what I could come up with. Obviously the result isn’t a real script, because that’s a gigantic amount of work and I’m not being paid for this. It’s just a rough sketch of one of the infinite number of ways the comic could have gone instead of “all women are catty caricatures who get grapes without the g“. I’m doing this so that it gets out of my head, lets me get on with paid work, and lets me pretend this is what was written instead.

But seriously, Imperator Furiosa spending the night before the convoy writing the 16-Point Manual for War Rig Carburettor Maintenance would have been a much better book. And truer to the characters.

[Page 1]
The green place. Beautiful and lush, no-one else can be seen, no sign of humanity at all. Absolutely idyllic with an unreal quality, as if it’s heaven, a hope, or the last good memory of a child who grew up in hell. Of course it’s all of those things.

Continue reading

How Splatoon Will Save Shooters

An online squad-based shooter on the Wii is more adorable and less expected than kittens performing a piledriver. Splatoon is being mocked by hardcore gamers as a silly underpowered gimmick for children. You know, the same way the Wii was. Back before it was bought by every single person on the planet. One of my earliest positive career memories was getting triple-pay office temping during a bank holiday, which meant the bosses weren’t in, which meant I got 300% pay for playing Doom for eight hours. And Splatoon is even more fun.

splatoonMy latest Cracked column is an ode to this rainbow bursting across the bland rubble of modern online shooters. I still mourn the migration from Battlefield 3,I’m overexcited for Overwatch, my custom shooter mode is GoldenEye John Woo mode (Facility, DarkBots on a team against me, slow motion with pistols and shotgun only), and I’m telling you: Splatoon is the most exciting shooter on the market.

For more first-person action:

The Real Online Shooter Classes

The Counter-Strike Guide to Grammar

your-a-fagThe Dark Side of Duck Hunt

Surviving Smash TV with Four Fantastic Twin Stick Shooters

Father’s Day and Darth Deadbeat

Darth Vader was the ultimate deadbeat dad. Angry, abusing the mother, and he didn’t even know he had kids because he’d stormed off to take a promotion at the job which consumed his life. Then decades later, when the job is going badly and he still hates his boss and he’s not half the man he used to be, he suddenly starts trying to convince total strangers who just happen to have some of the same genes that they’re totally meant to have a great life together. And even that can’t stop him being the same aggressive prick right up to that point. One which thinks the sheer amount of bullshit he’s subjected everyone too entitles him to more consideration.

"Just a hand? Pff, when I was your age I'd lost all four of my limbs."

“Just a hand? Pff, when I was your age I’d lost all four of my limbs.”

Then he breaks out the ludicrously large gifts. “How about an entire galaxy, eh son? Huh? Big galaxy just for you.” And even when that fails he still ups the awkwardness ante with the excruciating embarrassing attempts to use someone who already hates him to get in touch with other siblings who literally can’t stand the sight of him. “How’s your sister, eh? Did she like that torture droid I got her?”

And the asshole still gets his happy ending. But not for his sake. Those who survived him can heal easier if they decide he turned good at the end, appreciating his final nobility but only doing while burning all evidence that the asshole ever existed. I’m surprised they don’t have a restraining order against his Force Ghost.

If you want some worthwhile movie fathers, behold Bryan Mills, Big Chris, and the ultimate action parent: John Matrix.

fathers day

Or the worst father figure in video games in Nightmare Mode: Metroid Betrayed Itself

There are hentai which start at this point and remain truer to the source material.

There are hentai which start at this point and remain truer to the source material.

Martini Day: James Bond Hates This One Simple Trick!

June 19th is Martini Day, aka “The 170th best excuse to enjoy a Martini so far this year“, and it’s the one day everyone can easily outperform 007. Because the  vodka martini — shaken, not stirred — is the worst thing you can have a bartender do to that cocktail short of drinking it an hour before serving it warm.

"Classic martini by Ken30684" by Ken30684 - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

(Source: Ken30684)

I like to think that Bond is actually an athletic idiot, his perfect style the result of an overtaxed support team providing his clothes, his cars, even his conversation over wireless relays. The skilled brains are far too valuable to risk in the field so they hook through through an expendable series of athletic drones. Idiotic violence savants happy to parrot everything they hear while waiting for the next excuse to smash things. If they weren’t secret agents they’d be football hooligans. And the one place Bond is allowed to exert his own choice, he screws it up. Imagine him applying that taste to everything else.

  • “Vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.”
  • “Kobe steak, well done, not rare. Burnt actually. With a little dish of ketchup.”
  • “Aston martin, beige, not silver. With leopard skin seats.”
  • “I’ll leave this YouTube video windowed, in standard resolution, so that I can read the comments.”

I think the drink’s an MI6 Psyop. They’re checking how many people will do something because they’ve been told it’s cool in stark defiance of every sense. Once we hit a critical percentage of poorly poured mixed drinks they’ll enact a sinister Phase Two, so please, Drink For Freedom with these helpful articles!

Better Bond Cocktails from Connery to Craig

I use my al-q-holic expertise to design better drinks for each actor to take the role. Why Brosnan drinks gin, the liquid Moore, and what makes Craig the toughest?

Why Vodkatinis Are Actually a Good Thing

If someone says the prefer gin, they’re right, but only because everyone who chooses their own drink is always right. But if they say vodkatinis shouldn’t exist they’re saying there should be less drink in the world and that way isn’t even madness. Enjoy the original Kangaroo cocktail and find out how it leapt around the world.

The Glory of Gin

Yes, vodka is useful. So is a hammer but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t rather listen to somebody playing the piano.

The Martini Infinity

Cocktail recipes are only starting points. And starting points lead everywhere fun. The range of ratios includes the alcoholic antimatter, the Oppenheimer, the inverse and even the infinite. Find your favorite by enjoying the search!

The Martini Madness Experiment

Some youthful arrogance in the silly insistence on gin as an elite instead of as an option, but I punish myself with ginfused jalapenos and the appalliquid that is the Bacontini. Which only prove that mistakes bring wisdom. And are tremendous fun.

The Worst Jurassic Park Game Ever Would Have Been The Best Movie

I drill through the amber of history to extract The Strange History of Jurassic Park Games over at Den of Geek today. (Wait, this isn’t amber, it’s just old console plastic which has gone strangely yellow after years in the attic.)

jurassicgamingHere I want to share some extra material I had to cut for space. Jurassic Park: Trespasser was one of the most tragic cases of reaching for the stars, then chopping off your arm at the elbow because you didn’t have time to buy gloves. Revolutionary new systems were developed almost exactly far enough to create problems no-one had ever seen before, then rushed out the door before the bailiffs could confiscate them. The most spectacular was the brand new AI system with internal variables which would give the dinos unique behaviour you could learn, avoid, or even provoke. Except it didn’t work, and the dinosaurs all just stood there doing nothing. Up against a deadline, the developers just jacked all the virtual dinosaurs’ aggression counters to maximum, so that the revolutionary A-Inos just mindlessly attacked, charging directly at humans in easily-defeated straight lines. That’s not just a movie, that’s every AI movie PLUS DINOSAURS.

Read more about Trespassare and many more mad games in The Strange History of Jurassic Park Games