If You Voted Trump, You Are Not Going To Like This Post

As you know, humans, I like to try and keep it pretty light here (Editor’s Note: well, relatively speaking…) shut it you, I am NOT in the fucking mood right now. (Editor’s Note: yeah, I know.) I like to talk about my boys, I like to talk about my cats, I like to talk about my games – hell, I’ll even admit what a pathetic personal life I tend to have. Sure, I take the occasional shot at the flaming dumpster full of dog shit that occupies the White House currently, but I try to keep it to a minimum…for me.

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Please come back. Please. I will literally sacrifice as many lives as it takes.

But then after two years in the making, Robert Mueller delivered his report on the Trump election. Now, I know some might say “EWE, you’re just a salty liberal angry that Mueller exonerated the Presi- ARRRRGGGGHHHH!” And after I was done setting them on fire, I would respond to their writhing, screaming form that no, that is not the case. You see, I don’t know that Mueller exonerated Trump. I know that Mueller prosecuted and convicted a whole bunch of Trump’s circle of a whole lot of shit. But I don’t know anything about what Mueller concluded in his report, and neither does anyone reading this because the only thing we’ve gotten is A FUCKING FOUR PAGE SUMMARY FROM TRUMP’S HAND-PICKED CRONY AG!

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Clearly an innocent man.

Let me try to put this into perspective. I have read Darwin’s Origin of Species. If you were to ask me “what did Darwin conclude in Origin of Species?” and I were to respond with a note card that said “Darwin said that humans are just shaved apes” then you would not, in fact, know what Darwin had fucking concluded. You would just know what I told you. And to make this EVEN MORE FUCKING RIDICULOUS, Barr has now also said that he will not release the Mueller report until the White House has had a chance to make edits to it. Well why the fuck haven’t I thought of that before?! Attention courts: going forward, I’m afraid that we won’t be able to introduce any evidence into trials until myself and my client have been able to fucking edit it in order to remove anything that might make us look bad. And in order to even BE attorney general, Barr has to be, ostensibly, an attorney – so he fucking knows better, he just doesn’t care! (Editor’s Note: calm down, your blood pressure is going up.) You know, for once you’re right…I think I need some music or something to help me relax.

Whew…that is so much better. Now, what were we talking – oh fuck, that’s right. Listen, fleshbags…I have tried very, VERY hard to be patient with you. I have, against my better judgment on more than one occasion, refrained from summoning an army of hellspawn to just depopulate your species from the earth. But SOME of you – probably the ones that have not read this far – are making a quite compelling argument for me to stop holding myself back. So if you have some of those in your life, just remember – there are 6 billion of you on the planet. It won’t miss a few here and there. Because this…

And while Richard – and I – may not care whose side we’re on…you meatbags will. – EWE

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The Elder – and Younger – Scrolls

Ho there, adventurous humans! Gather ’round and here a tale of magic and mysticism…of warfare and wonder…of evil and, um, pretty much more evil. Yes, I speak of the founding of the fledgling group of mercenaries and traders known as Murder and Mayhem Inc.

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Yes, mortals, what this means for those that don’t know is that my eldest spawn, Beefer (Editor’s Note: Not only does he not hate the nickname he’s had since birth, but he actively uses it as a handle online) managed to convince me to join him in playing The Elder Scrolls Online. As someone who has put many, MANY hours into MorrowindOblivion, and Skyrim – not to mention Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 (or as a wise woman once said, The Best Fallout) – I’d heard good things about the MMO chapter in the Elder Scrolls saga. So, with a new expansion on the horizon, Beefer convinced me that this was the best time for me to join him in Tamriel and journey the land together, questing and battling foes as father and son. Until I played with him for the first time, whereupon he had me follow him to a shadowy shrine, turned around, and drained my blood, inflicting me with vampirism. “Hey, cool, I really CAN turn others into vampires at this level!” Whereupon, he left to go fight endgame monsters that I couldn’t even look at without dying.

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In fairness, what else would Evil Wizard Esq be but a Vampire Sorcerer?

Thus, it was left for me to begin the long path to joining my treacherous little Beef in the upper echelons of killing ability. Fortunately, ESO is a dream to play. The combat and questing combine the best of Elder Scrolls style with slight twists on the modern WoW MMO formula. Positioning and active aiming of your abilities is generally required, but is not difficult thanks to crosshairs on the HUD as well as smart hit detection by the game engine itself. You can play in both first- and third-person, but generally I find it much more advantageous to play in third-person, as there are so many ground effects to avoid and battlefield variables to be aware of that the zoomed-out, or even over-the-shoulder third-person views are far less frustrating than the first-person. There are a myriad of classes that at first seem to fall within the standard tank-healer-dps trinity, but with the dozens of different skill trees in the game, can all become self-sufficient while also remaining viable for group play. Really, I can’t say enough about the character customization – it is superbly balanced and fun to play around with.

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But the true icing on the cake is the questing. While world building and lore have always been a strong suit of the Elder Scrolls, and Bethesda games in general, they absolutely outdid themselves with ESO. Quests are leveled to your experience level – no more picking up quests at level 10 and then finding them not worth completing a few levels later. Instead, the enemies and rewards are tailored to your characters ability at the time they are encountered and it makes it so much more immersive when going through the dozens of quest lines available in every zone of the game. And you’ll want to go through them because every zone is a treat for the senses – absolutely beautiful, with fantastic ambient audio, music, and voice acting.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed my time thus far in ESO and cannot wait to keep exploring its nooks and crannies. If you are a fan of Elder Scrolls games, MMOs, high fantasy in general, or any combination of them, I encourage you to give it a try. It is free to play once you purchase the game itself, but it has an optional subscription that if you find yourself enjoying the game is well worth the price – giving all content updates as well as various premium perks and rewards on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

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Until next time, see you in Tamriel, humans! – EWE

Persona 5 Father/Son Run – Better Parenting Through Demonology

**WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR PERSONA 5**

Greetings, humans – it’s been far too long, and while life offers no guarantees, I hope it is not so long again after this.  And I will leave that at that.

Now, what does a malicious mage like myself get up to in the many months since we’ve met?  Who is to say for sure (Editor’s Note: well, possibly some of those villagers…but I don’t think you left them in any condition to talk, actually), ahem – Editor’s flattery (Editor’s Note: I wasn’t complimenting you…) FLATTERY aside, I did engage in one particular activity that I can share with you here that quite intrigued me over the last couple of weeks.  You see, several weeks ago my eldest, redheaded clone pointed out that when I had initially completed Persona 5 when it released on the PS4, he had not been able to watch most of it at that time.  He seemed intrigued in the gameplay systems as well as the standard SMT storyline of carving your own path through the world to rage against the gods and your opposed humans to grab your destiny with your own two hands.

But the decisions being made moment to moment are what really brought us closer together.  Because as you may understand, between the holidays and then some early January scheduling strangeness, they were able to more freely pick and choose time to spend with me.  And since my big Beefer has been with often lately, he was able to help establish our personality for our avatar and how he interacts with his social links, er, I meant “Confidants.”  For example, it took no time at all for us to agree strongly that Ryuji is a loud, tasteless, useless piece of garbage and gleefully try to envision scenarios in which we could get him destroyed.  There were the long discussions about who the best female confidant was and why we should have our character date her as opposed to anyone else.

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And then there was watching my young boy, my growing little man, who claims little interest in school topics, show genuine curiousness about the various demons, gods, and mythological figures that filled out the Persona Compendium.  He and I loved checking online for more info on whatever the latest god we had tamed and the abilities now at our command.  From there would be stimulating back-and-forth conversations regarding the occult, Judeo Christian demonology, Japanese youkai and spirits, and others.  It truly is amazing seeing an intellect that reminds me so much of what I once was, but sharper, growing and learning and becoming even greater than I could have dreamed.

We were not, however, able to come to total agreement in choosing between clearly fellow nerd love interest Futaba:

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…and more mature, and darker punk rock back-alley doctor Tae Takemi.

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Honestly, it’s a great problem to have, choosing between those two.  But even better has been the last 130 hours of game time – laughing at the insanity, freaking out at the ever increasing audacity of the villains, and concocting new ways to save our friends.  Until finally, on the day we were faced with having to destroy God himself in order to preserve the freedom of humanity, we sat in awe as the main character we’d created ourselves manifested powerful demon lord and destroyed the divine.  We were still talking about it when I had to take him home to do homework.  About about the bonds the main character forged with his true companions to sustain him.  About how outside of one another, they didn’t care what others had to say about what they felt called to do.

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So for any of you parents that believe videogames are a waste of time, I openly mock you – because while you are busy denigrating something you don’t understand, you are also losing a valuable tool to connecting with your own children!

Until next time (Editor’s Note: unless in his frustration he summons a meteor to annihilate us all), I will take my leave and see you soon! – EWE

High Crimes & Misdemeanors

Good evening, humans!  How fare you this night?  What’s that – me, you ask?

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That about sums it up.

Yeah…the mind and body weren’t very cooperative today.  Since my normal response to lack of cooperation (Editor’s Note: …i.e., setting the offending party on fire…) yes, that, didn’t seem appropriate seeing as how it was MY mind and body, I just had to grin and bear it.  Well, bear it – grinning being decidedly not my thing and, frankly, very disturbing the few times I’ve attempted it.  I’m fairly sure it has something to do with the horrific, Lovecraftian monstrosity that I call my face.  Regardless, despite the mental and physical fog, a particular piece of lunacy leaped out to pierce the shroud and assault my mind, common sense, and sense of basic decency (Editor’s Note: and you know that’s really a low bar coming from EWE!) exactl- hey, watch it!

Upon seeing this, my immediate, gut reaction was something like:

Goddammit

Upon further time to process the Senator’s comments and stance, however, my calmer, more nuanced response was:

Goddammit

You know, this is going to sound selfish and petty, but…why do I have to do this?  Why?  For fuck’s sake, it is 2018 – why in the hell do I need to waste a single iota of my time and energy explaining why it would NOT, in fact, “be hard for senators not to consider who he is today” if Kavanaugh, a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States, sexually assaulted a woman in high school.  And is lying about to this very day, displaying no remorse or recognition that his conduct was improper.  Why do we even have to fucking HAVE this discussion?  What in the actual FUCK is wrong with you miserable sacks of watered-down carbon that this is something that even needs to be addressed whatsoever?  (Editor’s Note: Sorry – he’s a little cranky tonight.)

Listen, what a lot of people may not know (although you’d sure think a goddamn sitting Senator would know it) is that Supreme Court Justices are open to impeachment and removal for “high crimes and misdemeanors” much the same way as a President.  And that, short of the Justice retiring voluntarily or dying, is the only way they come off the bench.   With that kind of job security comes a high standard of behavior that we hold our Justices to.  This means that if Bill Clinton can be impeached over a white stain on his intern’s dress, while Kavanaugh is alleged to have teamed up with a fellow classmate to sexually assault and attempt to rape a young woman, then that should damn well disqualify him from even being considered for placement on the Court in the first place.

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Which brings me to Orrin Hatch.  You pathetic, sniveling, arrogant, senile son-of-a-bitch.  You actually said, to national media, with a straight face, that even if Kavanaugh’s accuser is telling the truth, he should still be given serious consideration for the Supreme Court based upon “who he is now?”  Well, Orrin, let me give you a little insight into that point of view.  If you assume that his accuser is telling the truth, then Kavanaugh is someone who committed sexual assault, and possibly rape, in his late teens.  When confronted with this fact, his response has not been to acknowledge his wrongdoings, admit them, illustrate how he has changed and grown, express remorse, or otherwise demonstrate anything in the way of character development.  His response has been to deny any wrongdoing on his part, deny even being present, and call his accuser a liar.  So, Orrin, if under your scenario his accuser is telling the truth, and Kavanaugh continues to deny any responsibility, that not only makes him a sex offender but a liar.  And that doesn’t sound even remotely like someone that should be placed on the highest court in the country, even to a feeble-minded simpleton like you, does it, Orrin?  Because if it does, then not only should Kavanaugh be swept out of Washington and back under whatever dark hole he crawled out from under, but maybe you and your fellow slime that place party line over good of the nation should join him there. – EWE

For the Fe-liance!

Welcome to Sunday, humans!  And what better way to celebrate than to completely ignore whatever mindless nonsense the fluorescent troll-mander-in-chief has spewed all over himself this weekend and instead get back to something more fun.  So what’s on the menu tonight?

First off, after quite a hiatus, I’ve returned to World of Warcraft just in time for the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth.  After being monumentally disappointed in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, I skipped the Legion expansion entirely, and so I’ve got that entire expansion of content to work through in addition to BfA’s content.  Fortunately, Dracollia and my sons all decided to hop back into Azeroth along with me, and the boys’ mom hasn’t stopped playing since we both started back in the days of Vanilla WoW.  So I’m not going back alone!  But in order for us to coordinate, we decided to form our own small guild – and thus was the Feline Mafia born.

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Meeeeeeoooooowwwwww!

In terms of other games I’m currently playing, I’ve actually been putting more and more time into a game on my phone that my oldest son turned me on to by the name of Alchemist Code.  The game itself is a free download, with available in-app purchases.  At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking this is a typical gatcha-style anime-based Japanese cell phone game aimed at making a quick buck on American cell phones, but this assessment does it a huge disservice.

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Unlike many other similar games, which feature a fairly standard style turn-based tap battle system, Alchemist Code is a full-fledged SRPG, in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea.  In fact, both of these references feel particularly appropriate – because while you can see from the image above that the main story and vibe of Alchemist Code is very much in the vein of the political machinations of Final Fantasy Tactics, the game regularly engages in crossover promotions with popular anime and game franchises, pulling in popular characters and storylines from universes including Fate/Stay, Phantom of the Kill, and most recently Disgaea.

In terms of SRPG gameplay, I would say that it plays most similarly to the PSP classic Jeanne d’Arc.  Party size is initially limited to four (with an optional fifth “mercenary” character that can be hired with currency) and two characters placed in reserve that will sub in automatically upon the death of a party member.  Each party member can be developed into multiple classes and skillsets from a master pool of points, gems, and currency.  While there is the usual option to use real money to purchase gems or currency to advance at a more rapid pace, I have not put a single cent of real money into the game and I have not felt held back once – advancement still happens at a nice pace without feeling throttled.

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All in all, I have to give Alchemist Code the highest marks – it truly is everything that a mobile game should be.  No up front cost, no strings attached for players that don’t wish to, or can’t afford to, pay for advancement, but deep gameplay and story hooks that are enough that I have found myself tempted more than once to break my personal rule of not using real money to buy fake money in mobile games.  If you have an iPhone or Android device and are a fan of SRPGs, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to give it a try.

And if you play WoW and find yourself on Khaz Modan, consider causing trouble with the Feline Mafia! – EWE

Ongoing Segment: WTF Did He Say Now?!

Alright, after last night, a decision needed to be made.  I mean, I wasn’t going to just turn this blog into a full time discussion into the insane syphilitic ramblings of Donald Trump (primarily because I would quickly reach the point of just annihilating all of you fleshbags out of frustration), but at the same time, I knew there was just going to be too much material for me to NOT address on a fairly regular basis.  So compromise I reached was to introduce a new recurring segment: WTF Did He Say Now?!  Now, technically, I suppose we could use this segment to highlight an outlandish statement from ANY public figure, but let’s face it – they’re just about all going to be from the glowing orange shitbag of moronic hatred and stupidity.

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Yeah…this tool.

Speaking of which…this absolute gem of skull-fucking insanity assaulted the world today:

This infuriates me on two levels.  There is the immediate impact of this shriveled sack of shit dismissing the deaths of 3000 people as not happening simply because he doesn’t want to take responsibility for the failed relief efforts that led to them.  That is obvious.  But there is also a broader problem with this statement that makes me want to set fire to random things – the cockgobbler-in-chief’s regular practice of simply denying reality and creating and embracing an alternate, fictional universe as his official version of the truth.  And then the further bolstering of this by his cronies and sycophants and supporters, despite the glaring and obvious evidence that what they are touting is in direct conflict to the OBVIOUS FACTS.  To illustrate this another way, let me offer a comparison chart of our most recent presidential administrations.

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This wasn’t a political plot by Democrats to make you look bad, you pathetic pissant.  This was an independent study that looked at deaths that took place over the six month period following the hurricane that struck Puerto Rico that could have been avoided had electricity and infrastructure been restored.  In other words, deaths that were directly a result of damage caused by the storms.  So they WERE, in fact, the death toll from the storms.  All 3000 of them.  The Democrats didn’t kill them to make you look bad.  The mayor of San Juan didn’t fake their deaths because she doesn’t like you.  They died.  Because of the hurricane.  And your administration’s botched and failed response to it.  You own that.  Whether your addled, senile, barely functional brain can comprehend that fact or not, it doesn’t change the fact that it happened on your watch.  It was your responsibility, and you failed.  Nothing you say, nothing you do, no tweet, no bluster, no hashtag, no lawsuit, no ranting can change that.  President.  Trump.  Failed.  And 3000 people died.

Now…we’ll lighten things up next time, kiddos.  I haven’t forgotten how to write about nerdy shit, and I’ve been doing a whole damn lot of it while I’ve been gone, I can tell you that.  So next time should be a lot more upbeat.  You know, unless Orange Julius Caesar says something stupid again…but what’re the odds of that, right? – EWE

Vacation’s Over, Humans!

That’s right, mortals!  Your vacation, my vacation, EVERYONE’S vacation is done!  For the first time in CENTURIES (Editor’s Note: well, years, but still…a long time) yes, A LONG TIME, I decided it was time to give myself a break.  An actual, honest-to-evilness break – from work, from writing, from everything but relaxing.  And you know what?  IT…WAS…GLORIOUS!!!

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I spent an entire week waking up when I wanted, hanging out with my sons, reading, gaming, finally playing laser tag for the first time in my life (it is just as fun as I always figured it was), and oh did I mention, NOT WORKING.  It was, quite frankly, the single best week for my mental health that I’ve had in recent memory.  So yes – I’ve been away.  You’ve all been free to rebuild your little villages and prosper and whatnot.  But guess what, kiddos?  DADDY’S HOME!

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We’ve got lots and lots to talk about and get caught up on!  The Game Night! streams will of course be coming back – Beefer, Dracollia and Special Buddy in particular are itching to grace your eyes and ears again (Monkey is a little more meh on the whole stream thing).  I’ve watched and read and played so, so many things to share with you all.  In particular – if you have Netflix, consider if any of the following apply to you: Did you grow up during the 80s?  Were you a Voltron fan?  An anime fan?  An action cartoon fan in general?  A mecha fan?  Just a fan of well done animated series?  If any of these apply to you, and you have Netflix, stop what you are doing, and binge every minute of Voltron: Legendary Defender.  If you don’t have Netflix…subscribe to Netflix, and then binge every minute of Voltron: Legendary Defender.

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This is a modern reboot/retelling of the Voltron saga, but for those of us that watched the classic show when we were young (Editor’s Note: well…younger, anyway)…ahem, fear not, because the producers at Dreamworks did as well, and while Legendary Defender serves as an homage to that tale, it is not slavishly beholden to it, and the modern characterizations of the familiar characters both ring true and yet are fresh and avoid being dull retreads of a bygone era.  After a couple of full season releases, the show opted for the growing “half-season” method of release, with each season consisting of a single-digit number of episodes that comprise approximately half of an entire season’s story arc.  Season Six just released on Netflix and having watched the entire series twice now, it stands as a fantastic example of a licensed Netflix Original Series done right.  Even the occasional filler episodes include a bit of plot advancement, as well as lighthearted character moments that don’t feel like a chore to slog through just to get to the next “important” episode.  While some of the plot twists may feel like they are telegraphed at first, in reality the writers, animators and voice actors do an absolutely amazing job breathing such life into the different characters that you truly will be second guessing yourself and your predictions over and over again as the series progresses – and that’s a sign of a job well done.  To say much more would risk giving away twists that you deserve to experience for yourself – now go form Voltron!

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There will be more from here, boys and girls – so many games, good (Dragon’s Crown Pro) and…less my cup of tea (Prey).  There will be books – including my finally, inevitably crumbling to the siren song of the audiobook in the car…which has seen me basically consuming a new non-fiction book every few days, not counting what I read with my eyes, and that’s all just my pleasure reading, not my work-related legal research and writing, to say nothing of black magic, blood magic and curses (Editor’s Note: Uh, just ignore those last few…).  There will be wrestling talk – for what it’s worth, currently NJPW is the best wrestling on the planet and the only thing WWE has coming close as a whole is NXT.  On the main roster, they’ve got Styles, Bryan, and Rollins – and you give Vince and his “creative” time and they will goddamn find a way to fuck those guys up too, no matter how much talent they have.  Don’t believe me?  Go talk to Shinsuke Nakamura…or Asuka…or Sami Zayn…or Finn Balor…or literally any tag team.

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And there will be legal and political talk of course!  Like for example, I hear some citrus-fruit-based life form and his helper monkey/former-NYC-mayor have somehow formed the theory that, in a society that is literally founded on, among other things, the concept of nobody, NOBODY being above the law, the living orange can pardon himself.  That he’s incapable of committing a crime, and that even if he did, he can somehow pardon himself from that crime.  Now, I will engage in a more in-depth look at this at a later date, but for brevity and blood-pressure’s sake, let me just sum up briefly this way: no, no he cannot pardon himself, and anyone that tells him that he can, or that goes on television and advocates that he can, should not only be bounced out of the practice of law immediately, but should – and I honest to cats can’t believe I’m saying this – be liable to the poor orange bastard for damages, because he’s not a lawyer, and if he relies on advice so incredibly, recklessly, shit-stormingly stupid as being possibly true, then they should go down for it every bit as hard as he does for not having the goddamn spine to tell him the fucking truth. – EWE