Category Archives: Humor

Future Game of the Year? Pit People (Closed Beta) by The Behemoth

Starting a quest battle at Tinkletown, where Whizz Kid tries to win an election against mayor Rump Trumpet by violent means.
Starting a quest battle at Tinkletown, where Whizz Kid tries to win against mayor Rump Trumpet by violent means.

These are my and my son’s thoughts on Behemoth’s Pit People, based on the September 2016 closed XBOX One Beta (my son was given a key for it so we all got to play).  Ohhh, and our thoughts are happy thoughts.  I don’t know who these people are at Behemoth, but I love them.  As my son said, “It’s as if they got in my brain and made the game based on what they found.”  (At the end of this post is a gameplay video with commentary by the both of us.)

Unlike Behemoth’s previous platformer (a type of game I don’t like and won’t bother playing) Battleblock Theater, Pit People is a turned-based strategy game (Behemoth describes it as “face-paced, turn-based, co-op adventure”).  And it’s a very entertaining one.  Behemoth games have always been the *ultimate* in quirkiness, cuteness, and in-game humor.  So while I haven’t played their past games (I’m now definitely going to give Castle Crashers Remastered, a five-star “2D arcade adventure” game on XBOX One*, a go), I loved watching my son play Battleblock Theater because it was so refreshingly quirky and funny (it is bloodier than Pit People seems to be–a plus for the new game).  Only Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare comes close.

But could Pit People be awarded “Game of the Year” by anyone (there are many groups and publishers that give the honor)?  Maybe not, as the award seems to always go to big money-makers by big developers, and Behemoth is a small independent developer.  Perusing video game awards given in the past, I’m amazed The Behemoth has never won any.  Maybe they just aren’t “serious” enough . . .  But Pit People could be a game-changer, right?  I hope so.

When breaking up a wedding is a good thing--the groom wants to feed his FRIEND the cupcake to his bride and guests. A critical hit display is captured.
When breaking up a wedding is a good thing–the groom wants to feed his FRIEND the cupcake to his bride and guests. A critical hit display is captured.

Anyway, about the game.  You start with a couple of characters and quickly get a couple more, but have to recruit more in order to move on to the main quest.  After that, you can keep recruiting and are given the option to build many teams.  Since the game is in Beta, I don’t know if the numbers of things will remain the same, but your in-game book provides stats and they currently say:  55 areas/sites to find, 1003 unlockable items, and 94 quests.  The number of quests is not the reality, as far as I can tell, since all but the main quest line quests can be done over (many times), and they get harder.  A pleasant surprise:  when I failed a quest and went back to it, the enemy characters actually moved into different positions from the first play-through.

As usual, the story and narration in the game are superb.  A giant bear, basically a Satan figure (your battle sign is a haloed and winged happy face, your enemy is a horned red face), has crashed to earth and caused havoc, raining down big liquidy globs of green bear blood.  As you travel about to accomplish quests (main, sub-, and found) or to explore and fight random enemies, you encounter all kinds of weird and funny lands (“Cavity Falls,” filled with goodies, the “Lair of Lady Ladylegs,” filled with . . . a large lady spider thing, and so on) populated by wacky enemies (bulgy-eyed unicorns, slug women (Gorgons), giant troll mothers . . .).  There are “famous fries” throwing sticks, swords made of dentures, swordfish, and toilet brushes (not together, mind you), and strange shields made of bacon, luggage, pain-reliever capsules—you name it, even a celery stalk helmet.  There is a ton of entertaining dialogue throughout the game that is both written-out and, instead of standard voice-overs, verbalized as gibberish.  The different characters have different types of voices, adding to the humor and “outside-my-own-world” effect of the game.

This latest Behemoth game happily features player co-op mode as well as player vs player and player vs AI in the PIT.  We haven’t tried the co-op yet, but playing in the PIT can be fun and quite rewarding.  When playing against AI in the “Unfair Co-op,” which is HARD and meant to be UNFAIR, the point isn’t so much to win as to gain things, like exclusive loot and experience points.  Did I mention that there are cupcake healers in the game?  No?  They lob their frosting at you for your yummy refreshment; my favorite cupcake has orange frosting and a decorative skull.  I know what I want for Christmas now, IF Pit People is released that soon (no word on its release date yet).

* It isn’t only available on XBOX One, but it has a five-star rating there.

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Epic Gnome Battle during GW2 Beta! Goats for the Win!

The Garden Warfare 2 Beta is still on, and in this 5 minute video my son catches the end of a super long battle for the gnome–where he’s able to win it for his zombie team while being a . . . goat!  The session was the longest he’s ever experienced playing Garden Warfare, and perhaps that’s a tribute to plants and zombies being more balanced in the newer plants vs zombies game.   Here’s the video, but we also have a post that goes over the changes we see, and our impressions of them, from Garden Warfare to Garden Warfare 2.  We hope you enjoy both!

Garden Warfare 2 Beta, Changes and Impressions

GW2, command area for plants
At the central command center for plants.

The Garden Warfare 2 Beta, or more like a pre-release frenzy fest, is happening from January 14th to 18th, 2016.  The game’s release is scheduled for February 23rd.  I’ve written positively about the original Garden Warfare here,  since it’s a “clean” fun game that Christians might enjoy.  But what of Garden Warfare 2?  Well, we’re playing it and these are some of our impressions; they are necessarily limited to the parts of the game included with the BETA, which are the multi-player mode and small amount of backyard play only.

A note on the categories below.  Good, Neutral, and Sad/Questionable relate to changes to the new game from the original game.  And, since there seem to be lots of changes, not all are written about here.

The Good
  • Zombie changes.  Not all zombie changes are good, in our opinions here.  But there are good ones (the Yeti Chomper is sooo cute!).  Captain Deadbeard is funny and has a parrot that he can use for distance attacks, just like the Cactus does with vegetle drones in the original Garden Warfare.  The scientist has some fun and detailed variants, the mathematician and the zoologist.  The zoologist, especially, is crazy-funny and detailed, with its porcupine gun, living Koala riding piggyback, and prairie dog coif.  The scientist, according to my son, is now easier to use/control, too.  Another new zombie is the Imp with his Z7 Mech, which together are a fun wink at Titanfall.  The imp is a really fun addition to the zombie team.

Continue reading Garden Warfare 2 Beta, Changes and Impressions

The Nug King, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Descent DLC

I knew I missed something in the new The Descent DLC playthrough I did for Lingering Trees, but, being busy doing other things, I waited a bit to go back and try and figure it out.  OK, so I did figure it out, and I found about the best part of the DLC.  The Nug King with his nug minions.

The King is accessed from an area that looks inaccessible on the fourth map (Forgotten Caverns) down in the deep.  But first, to get to that area on map 4, you have to walk to it from map 5 (Bastion of the Pure).  Travel to the farthest area on the left side . . . it looks like an undiscovered area, but it’s jut that it goes back “upstairs.”

Bastion of the Pure map
Bastion of the Pure map. Travel to the west to go back up to the Forgotten Caves map.

Once you’re back on map 4 (Forgotten Caverns), go left and then south toward the big chasm.  When you reach the chasm, look to your left, and along the wall there’s a rock that has some writing on it.  It says something like, “only those who believe can cross.”  I can’t read it now because the dialogue ceases to exist after you find your way across.  Anyway, from that rock, just start crossing into the chasm on faith, and . . . a green bridge forms in front of you.

Forgotten Caverns map
Forgotten Caverns map. Travel west, and then south, to the chasm that’s for believer’s only.

I won’t say more, but let you enjoy the Nug King for yourself if you haven’t yet.  But, for anyone interested, I have an episode about it up at YouTube.

Escape from Internet Savagery; Heal and Laugh

Hello!  We (my family and I) started a new forums board for the internet weary, and we’d love to have you visit and join if you like.

It’s a fun place, a place to find encouragement and stories showing the amazing goodness possible in the human being.  Ordinary conversation can be had, too, and we even have a shout box (live chatting).  It does not have the same domain name as here since we wanted it open to all people, and if any non-Christians there want to know more about Christ, all the better.  We had a forums board associated with “withchristianeyes” and it just didn’t get much traffic.  There are other Christian boards on the internet and sadly, there is a lot of aggression there.  Ours was to be aggression-free, but people just didn’t like that!

So, why am I doing another board that is also a save haven from aggressive trolls and the like?  Well, I want a place like that, so it seems very likely that others want that too.  I’m on
Twitter and it’s sad how many absolutely unpleasant people there are on there.  I don’t try to follow such people, but even many everyday tweets by people are mean-spirited.  Christ calls us to love and respect people, not hammer morality* into them or tell them they’re stupid simply for being in another political party (!).  There are incredibly close-minded and vicious people in whatever party.

So, the forum is called Nice World, A Narcissist-Free Environment.  As you might surmise, we like things a bit tongue-in cheek, and the language isn’t all proper there.  We hope you enjoy being at the place!  Here is an image of what a small part of it looks like right now.  We made it only a couple of days ago, so more boards (thread groups, not necessarily sections) are sure to come.  Thanks for checking it out!

Nice World Forums

* When someone accepts Christ and is reborn, the Holy Spirit will change them to be more in alignment with God’s will.  Christ and rebirth comes first, then change.

Garden Warfare: The game for Christians (and others) who prefer bloodless mayhem

A shooter even your mother could love.

Update:  While this article is still relevant, I have a newer article that is more game-descriptive and where I will continue to add new material as new game additions come out.  There were major additions in July and August, and there will be yet more in August.  Please see that article for details.  Garden Warfare (PvZ):  Hosting, False Flowers, and that Bomb Carrying Gnome

Update:  A free DLC with significant new game content came out on April 15, 2014.  The article linked below contains new content information.

Update: If you to want to find out more about Garden Warfare after reading this little post, you can take a look at my newer, detailed article.  I wrote it after having played it a good deal and investigating it some more: Garden Warfare (PvZ):  Hosting, False Flowers, and that Bomb Carrying Gnome

Update:  Free DLC (via automatic download) will be available March 18, 2014.  It adds a new map, new game mode, and lots of extras for the characters.

The wildly colorful and chaotic, as well as constantly delightful, Garden Warfare is now out!  This new everyone-rated third person shooter is based on the fun and popular “casual” game, Plants vs Zombies, and isn’t shy about comparing itself to Modern Warfare It is currently available for XBOX 360 and XBOX One, and comes out for PC on June 30th.  (It is published by EA–and there is a note about this company at the end of this post–and was made by subsidiary PopCap.)

A popular reviewer summed the game up:  “Garden Warfare is a surprisingly good third-person multiplayer/cooperative shooter. A refreshing light-hearted twist on class-based multiplayer games, with the depth and polish that you would expect from usual suspects in this genre.”  (Visit the linked page for his excellent review.)

My son, who plays third-person shooters but is getting a bit tired of them (he’s already regretting buying COD Ghosts), was more than happy to try this game out, however, and he loves it.  I like colorful things done well, and odd humor, so I love it as well.  I don’t like playing third-person and I’ve never been into “shooter” games, but still, this is fun.  The characters move in cute ways, have gestures, make fun noises, and have a surprising number of unlockables to change appearance.  When someone vanquishes you you get to see a slow-mo of them seconds afterwards, which helps to see all the different characters and their diverse and often hilarious get-ups.

There is no blood, gore, sex, or cursing–and muting fellow players is easy–so it’s all just extreme “duck-shooting” chaos, “gardening,” explosions, avoiding tunneling zombie-eating plants (Chompers) or flower power death rays, shooting yourself out of a cannon to get to the last part of a map, and so-on.  The three levels of game play, as well as the variety of characters and their numerous options, makes for continually complex and fresh gaming fun.  (A note on bugginess–we have played it on the 360 and haven’t noticed the bugginess, at least so far, reported by players on XBOX One.)

It’s technically possible for you to play by yourself in Garden Ops mode, but unless you’re really good, you won’t get far nor get as many rewards as you could playing with others; the game is made to play with with a small group (and this can be in private with friends only), in Garden Ops, or a large group, in public multiplayer mode.  Of course, you need XBOX live to play the game.

There are many maps (I love the first one that includes a very bright and homey trailer park) and types of game play, such as just shooting it out, defending your garden, or defending multiple bases, etc., and oodles of unlockables.  Just one example of the fun-being-a-kid aspect of this game is the manner in which customizations are had: you buy packs of “stickers” to open the surprise inside.  These look like packs of real-life game cards, like for Pokemon, that you buy at the store.

Besides customizing the eight basic classes of characters, there are powerful variants to each character that can be purchased via sticker-pack too, as well as items like spawnable plants and zombies.  Who can’t but love an “outhouse zombie,” the zipping “garlic drone,” the goofy yet impressive “robotic zombie head,” or the giant corn cannon that releases explosive popcorn?  So if you’re looking for a “clean” game that easily rivals, if not improves upon, the popular shooters out there, I don’t think it could hurt to give Garden Warfare a try.  Enjoy a sampling of game images, below (these official images actually don’t do the game justice, and I will add screen shots from a video feed when I have them).

Chomper ready to chomp.  http://www.ea.com/garden-warfare/images
Chomper ready to chomp. http://www.ea.com/garden-warfare/images
Disco zombie with deadly disco ball move.  bit.ly/1cFDFS1
Disco zombie with deadly disco ball move. http://bit.ly/1cFDFS1
A mad scientist, apparently having teleported.  http://bit.ly/MXQZok
A mad scientist, apparently having teleported. http://bit.ly/MXQZok

A note to Christian readers (and those who try to only buy products from reputable companies):  For anyone who’s come here looking for something satanic to avoid, this might be a tough choice; I was loathe to buy an EA game myself.  I get views to my blog daily from readers looking for something satanic, and in this case, Garden Warfare’s publisher EA (Electronic Arts) might be considered evil.  However, Garden Warfare was developed by PopCap, the makers of the Plants vs Zombies series for some time now.

I haven’t done a ton of research on PopCap, but from what I know, they seemed like a good company prior to their purchase by EA.  This happened in 2012, after which “EA and PopCap” fired 50 employees.  Besides that wonderful move, EA has a bad reputation among many gamers for these reasons (it was voted the worse company in America two years in a row), and others on this page–do scroll down to the lawsuits and such.  April 26, 2014 update:  I missed a good article on this subject earlier, but better late than never; EA is the Worst Company in America, Now What?

[This post was updated and expanded on March 11, 2013]

______

Another great review (besides Fanboy’s, above):  Review – Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare will have you surrendering to the silliness

At the time of this writing, the Garden Warfare wikia page was up but many subpages were not:  Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

Warning! Labels, menus, and other ESL hilarity

Maybe you don’t buy many products that are made overseas so you don’t know the delights of “English as a second language” labeling.  But for me, I love reading them to see what unintentional humor crops up.  It’s like watching Jay Leno’s “Headlines,” but without having to stay up so late.

For instance, I received a Hello Kitty travel mug recently for my birthday, and this was on the warning label:  “WARNING!  After filling hot liquid into the mug, please avoid to cover the lid immediately and avoid to shake the mug in order to prevent hot liquid spitting out via the drink hole.”  The other side of the label, providing tips for use, was written better, although it had the same silly warnings that so many products seem to need these days (“Do not microwave . . . do not carry mug into bag when its filled with liquid . . . Always check to make sure your lid is secured before drinking . . . “).

There’s a site where you can read all kinds of “English as a second language” labels, signs, menus, writing on clothing, etc., that people submit.  It is always fun, and I often find things that made me laugh harder than I had in a week or so.  It’s Engrish.com.  Here are some examples – enjoy!

german-type-sexual-harassment10054-Slip-And-Fall_largebeware-of-missing-footbacteria-pot-monstersvirtual-boringgod-jesus japan robot toyGod-Jesus robot toy sold in Japan in the 1980s.  The toy gave a yes or no answer to any of your questions!  So, while Jesus isn’t given a bad name, it seems like our God is viewed as some kind of psychic talisman . . .

A Study in Empathy . . . Poor Paul

I just wanted to share this comic image here, after it’s languished in my files for a while.  I hope you get a laugh out of it if you haven’t seen it before.  When I first saw it, I couldn’t stop laughing for some time.  =D

Paul's Thorn (Redjaw Cartoons version).
Paul’s Thorn (Redjaw Cartoons version).

“Screw Calm and Get Angry” Quotes

Ebury PressScrew Calm and Get Angry is a little chunky hardcover published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC (Kansas City 2010).  Little chunky books are just so hard not to look into, to savor,  to roll in one’s hands like a lollipop in the mouth.  So yeah, I enjoyed it.

Even though this book isn’t new, I just saw it for the first time last month.  Here are some fun quotes from it, and don’t worry if you are offended by one, since you’ll find another you agree with (the quotes are from a whole range of political, religious, and philosophical views):

How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.  Adolf Hitler

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.  Aesop

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing.  Albert Einstein

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.  Elie Wiesel

Start off every day with a smile and get it over with.  W.C. Fields

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.  J.K. Galbraith

Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.  Samuel Butler

Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.  Cynthia Nelms

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.  Ambrose Bierce.

You can’t say civilization don’t advance . . . for in every war they kill you in a new way.  Will Rogers

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that he didn’t trust me so much.  Mother Teresa

If you wake up and you’re not in pain, you know you’re dead.  Russian proverb

Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique, and not too much imagination.  Christopher Isherwood

It is only by not paying one’s bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.  Oscar Wilde

The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing.  Perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight-of-hand that was ever invented.  Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin . . .  But if you want to continue to be slaves of the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers continue to create money and control credit.  Josiah Charles Stamp

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.  Stephen Leacock

Criminal:  A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.  Howard Scott

Money:  There’s nothing in the world so demoralizing as money.  Sophocles

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.  Mark Twain

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.  Aldous Huxley

A life spent in constant labor is a life wasted, save a  man be such a fool as to regard a fulsome obituary notice as ample reward.  Georgy Jean Nathan

I like work; it fascinates me.  I can sit and look at it for hours.  Jerome K. Jerome

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.  Gore Vidal

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  Ronald Reagan

Politics, N[oun].  Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.  The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.  Ambrose Bierce.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.  Albert Einstein

Funniest or Weirdest Searches to My Blog in 2012

The dark side of Hello Kitty?  (Author photo)
The dark side of Hello Kitty? (Author photo)

I don’t know about you, but one of my little enjoyable pastimes is to read the searches that have led people to my blog.  Most are pretty straightforward and it’s obvious why the person decided to check one of my posts out.  Others are just unexpected and funny, and still others seem too general or off-the-subject; of the latter, I’m glad the person visited.  I wish very much that these people (anyone who visits here, really) would leave comments or questions – that would be fun!

“the samarathon woman”  She probably was in good enough shape to run a marathon after constantly lugging around jugs full of water in the middle of hot desert days.

“stormcloak officer armor revealing”  Really?!

“adam lanza christian fanatic”  Why not “adam lanza muslim fanatic”?  Just wondering . . .

“christian poem on the tongue”  (No comment . . . ha ha, perhaps they’re referring to James chapter 3, which has some very harsh words regarding the use of our tongue in conveying lies, evil and hurt.)

“butter my heart three person’d god”  This has made me laugh out loud more than once.  Of course, it’s supposed to be “batter” my heart, not butter my heart . . . makes me feel like a turkey being prepared for God’s oven.

“hellokitty skyrim”  I wonder what they’re looking for?  Knowing Sanrio, they’re working to contract something with Bethesda, surely.

“skyrim 1800s”  ?!??!  Seriously?

“evil bible king’s famous instrument for telling time”  If anyone can explain this one to me, I’d be grateful.

“can christians play skyrim” (“skyrim seems like a bad game for christians”)  CAN they?  Do they need permission from some pastor?  You know what’s bad for Christians?  Living in this world with so much evil in it!  I’m not questioning God’s motive for having us live in this world, I’m only making a point.  Skyrim is a game, and by today’s standards, a quite clean one that actually enjoys playing around with religious ideas and culture, and the complexities of people and politics.

“how women should play skyrim”  =D  Well, they could ask . . .

“god is evil quotes”  Just weird and sad; glad they stopped by, though.  But then again, maybe they were simply doing some research.

“what do christians think of hello kitty story”  Is there a story?  If I knew the story, I could form an opinion.  As far as I know, Hello Kitty is simply a very successful product venture.  There are some unsavory HK products out there, but if some people want to abuse the cute feline, that’s their business.

“short intellectual quotes”  Out of all the pages the searcher must have gotten from this search, I’m surprised they found my page url . . . and actually stopped by.

“religious poems for dads that died”  I know it’s perhaps morbid to call out this one, but it still made me laugh a bit.  How can you give a poem to a dead person?  Did they want poems about dads that died, or a poem for the children whose dads died?  My dad died when I was young and it was completely devastating; I never thought of writing any type of poem about it.

“unthink christmas card”  Not sure about this one . . . but please, don’t unthink Christmas, unless it’s the commercial aspect of today’s holiday.

There’s a search that, even though it’s from more than a year ago, I still remember and consider the oddest one to lead someone to my blog (my old blog, which DID have a recipe for a great sandwich on it), so I just wanted to share it, though it’s adult material (sort of!):  “Is there a good sandwich that can make up for bad sex?”  Well, a pile of McDonald’s fish filets (with some fries on the side) just might do it for me.