Friday, March 23, 2012

Pandas, Pandas Everywhere.

Finally, the NDA on the new World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, has been lifted! Information has begun pouring down like beer down a brew-master's chin!

Ooooh, so excited! I've loved Pandaren since Chen Stormstout popped up in Warcraft III, and I've been waiting for them to be playable since Burning Crusade ( Draenei, I can finally take you off notice. Use this newfound freedom wisely.) Initial impression bullet points, HO!

1. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. Blizzard said so. So when the drunken Chinese panda men roll down hills in a ball? Don't laugh, or you'll violate the ToS. Seriously, you guys.

2. Oh god the animations! So smooth, so expressive! Every thing these big roly-poly buggers do is just so full of life and energy. Whiiiich unfortunately just shows how aged the rest of the character models are. Double edged swords, ahoy! I'd love a more expressive female orc, but if Blizzard puts her under the microscope again they might realize the horrible, unforgivable mistake they made of actually making a strong muscular female character, and try to sexy them up. Blech.
3. EVERYTHING IS SO BEAUTIFUL. The environments, the textures, the half naked baboon men, everything is just pure eye-candy. Me rikey, me rikey rots, audience-san. THIS IS NOT A JOKE.

And, of course, the most important issue of all. What do female Pandaren look like. This is the what I've been agonizing over since September. Hey, your children's future is important to you, chubby panda women are important to me. God bless America. 

The good news? They are absolutely adorable, they are amply chubby as a panda woman should be, and I want to be in a swimming pool full of them right now. Now you know a little bit about me. Plushies, Blizz? Plz k thx. 

The best thing about them, and a great use of that new found animation wizardry, is that their butts jiggle as they run. This fact alone has added at least five years to my life span, and the universe is about 10 percent more at peace now. And as an unexpected bonus, Blizzard tossed in red pandas in the female customization options, with a tail modeled and textured exclusively for them. GJ, Blizz, you dun' good.

Don't waste time reading this drivel, just watch it for yourselves! Here's Simon and Lewis of the Yogscast playing through the Pandaren starting area:

And for the more Technical types, here is the always amazing Jesse, Crendor and Pride breaking down the press release:

And in a blatant attempt to feel less like I'm leeching off of much more talented people, here's a picture of my life-size National Geographic red panda plush I got from a flea market for ten bucks: 

Ni Hao, panda-sans! 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bantor Lives!

So. I just watched the latest episode of Transformers: Prime, Operation Bumblebee Part 2.  For one reason or another, Ratchet was all hopped up on happy juice, and starts rambling about how he created the fuzors. My heart stopped, and then the most wonderful double-rainbow miracle occurred. I quote: "Just ask Bantor! He was all mandrill 'til I put a little tiger in his tank!"

O. M. G.

Not only did Jeffery freakin' Combs even say his name, but someone involved with Transformers remembers Bantor, AND there's the tiniest, most microscopic chance a version of him is running around the Prime universe. Suck it, Silverbolt! I just can't believe my baby 'Bot is all grown up and got his first nerdy reference...*single tear*

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Fae-Folk Remembrance day!

Yay! St. Patrick's, the only Holiday I never get to celebrate, because I'm not Irish and don't drink! Thus, I choose this day to remember the Fairies and Leprechauns, the Brownies and Redcaps, without whose complete dickery our lives wouldn't be nearly as miserable and hellish. I salute you, you horrible manipulative little bastards.  

Any excuse to draw a chubby, drunken Leprechaun woman. Sometimes you have to make your own fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Dull Safety-Scissor Edge of Technology

With all of the buzz around the PS Vita flying around, and a sudden attack of nostalgia for the Jak series, I found myself dusting off ye' olden Portable Station of Play. "I'll just play Daxter for a minute!" I said, oblivious to the craven depraved orgy of memory sticks and UMDs to come.

Thus in the spirit of being timely and topical (HA!) I present to you not only a PSP wallpaper, but the OFFICIAL  ORK KLEAVAGE PLAYSTATION PORTABLE WALLPAPER!!!

  Now you, too, can represent a website you've never heard of on a console you never use! You're welcome.(Pro-tip: If I actually meet a stranger both using a PSP and using this wallpaper, I will grant them the kingship of England) Now, I'm off to hoard 8gig memory stick pro duos before they become valuable. (HA!) I will build the ultimate outdated piece of hardware! Then they will forsake their fancy touchscreens and cameras...back in my day...grmblllgrmbl...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mandalore in Mandoli

Strap on your non-firing rocket jet packs. Fortune calls. 

Everybody loves Mandalorians. Lucas knows it, Dave Filoni knows it, and now Lego knows it, hence the Mandalorian Battle Pack. A handful of Boba Fett clones (not those clones) and enough space-kit to level a small planet for about thirteen bucks? You could do a hell of a lot worse. A Gungan battle pack for instance... hahaha, no, I'd trip an orphan cripple for a platoon of heavily armed Gungans.

The first thing you should take note of is how vastly superior the actual building kit bits are in this set over the Snowtrooper pack. Stationary blast-shielded laser cannon trumps dinky flick fire missile any day of the week. And that giant tripod mounted beast! I don't know what it is, but I'm pretty sure it could blow a hole in a rancor on the next moon over.  And AND you get a speeder that's actually canon, and pretty dang slick. This veritable glut of death dealing plasteel goes a long way towards making this feel like an actual value, and not just an excuse to sell four Boba Fetts in a box. This is pretty much the norm for the Clone Wars battle packs, and when the results are this nice I'm all for Lego stretching their wings a bit. Just because it's not "canon" doesn't mean it's bad.

Speaking of Boba Fett, these murderous soldiers-of-fortune aren't just repaints of the old Boba Fett minifig like I expected. The helmet and jet pack are separate pieces, allowing for EXCITING HEAD-TURNING ACTION! Just like the real thing! The helmet is also removable. Never remove the helmet. Just don't. You never read this. Another nice feature of the new helmet is a plug for range-finders, so you can customize your individual troops to give 'em a bit of personality. Well, theoretically since this set doesn't give you any, but the potential is there!

I've really enjoyed what The Clone Wars has done with modern Mando's. The struggle between the average citizens who wish for peace and structure, versus the Deathwatch extremists who refuse to give up the ol' massacre-for-hire gig helps these guys feel alot less like a faceless army of Boba Fett's. (Not to mention I have an unhealthy infatuation with Satine. DEM DELICIOUS PLAIN FEATURES) 

Fun fact: Deathwatch wasn't created for The Clone Wars. They've been around since the Episode II prequel comics. Mr. Filoni does his homework.