Friday, February 27, 2015

Dragon's Dogma: Precious Memories Scrapbook

I just discovered the greatest thing: you can export screenshots from Dragon's Dogma to Facebook. If you've never played Dragon's Dogma, then A). You don't know what you're missing and B). This game was MADE for dramatic screenshots. The entire game is spent crawling all over giant cyclopses and griffins, clinging on for dear life. But don't let me tell you, let me show you.
 



 This is Helfried, agile rogue and daring monster slayer, accompanied by her adorably robust mage companion, Rosette.




This is Helfried scrambling up the back of a cyclops, desperately trying to knock off it's helmet and expose it's sensitive eye. That's not a cut scene, that's gameplay. You have to crawl on these big beasts Shadow of the Colossus style and poke at their giblets before they can grab you and chomp at your giblets. 

Hello!

You can also grab and toss just about anything. My preferred method of handling the undead is lobbing them off the nearest cliff face.

This is an ogre. Ogre's enjoy trying to grab and eat women, and slamming into you ass first on narrow stair wells. Ogres are dicks.

Suddenly, buffalo wrangling!


And a swingin' beach party! One of my favorite parts of Dragon's Dogma is the way your armor gets drenched when you get wet, as well as grabbing npcs and tossing them in the ocean.

You know in the midst of all this cyclops violence, it's hard to reconcile the fact that I actually like cyclopses, and don't want to poke them in the eye. How about a happy cyclops?


There. Now I don't feel so bad about that cyclops eye in my inventory...
 









  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow! And Pictures! At the Same Time!

FINALLY. I almost didn't think it would happen, but sure enough life dumped frozen joy on us once more and I have an excuse to play with toys AND get frost bite. Those fingers were worth it...








Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Beast Mothers: Betrayal in the House of Bats!






As the sun set over the South American jungle-scape, great flocks of bats crowded the skies over a stony ruin deep in the forest. Three figures sat around a granite table lined with a woolen blanket and clay bowls. Hulking furry beasts stuffed into evening dresses and golden jewelry, the bat mothers had gathered to discuss territorial boundaries. Hog-Nose's fleshy nostrils twitched.

"Vampiras, your perfume is intoxicating"


"Thank you, dear Hog-Nose. Your bangles are simply to die for" the sinister flash of her elongated fangs didn't escape Hog-Nose's beady black eyes.


"And Fruit-Eater, the refreshments you've procured for us are lovely. I appreciate that you have accommodated our carnivorous diets, I know you find it distasteful"


"Anything for my dearest sisters." Fruit-Eaters gaze lingered for far too long. Hog-Nose's stomach sank. It was all too easy to see what was coming. She spoke up.


"Pleasantries aside, we should discuss why we gathered here. Vampiras I understand you have grievance-"


"I simply want what is rightfully mine! Why should my children scrabble over the empty plains and the fruit eaters get the forests to themselves? The trees are clotted with warm blooded beasts, and cool damp places to squeeze into-"


Fruit-Eater slammed a leathery fist on the table, toppling a bowl of mosquitoes.


"Your children spread disease! Your filthy hemovorism would upset the precious balance of the forests! If you would simply change-"


"A change that would take millions of years! I cannot simply stop drinking of blood! Fruit does not grow in the dry lands, only hoofed prey! Hog-Nose, tell her."


"Well, my own children feed on the plentiful insects. Perhaps-"


"Mosquitoes!" Fruit-Eater interjected "You eat hemovores yourself! Careful, or you will become as wretched as she."


Vampiros pointed a long clawed finger across the table at her sisters


"I knew you could not see reason. That is why I have had my children attach themselves to the supporting pillars of this ruin. Concede the forest, or I will drop this stone upon you!"


Fruit-Eater gasped, Hog-Nose merely sighed.


"You cannot kill us. You know we are immortal Vampiras, just as you are."

"But I can trap you here for centuries, while my children usurp yours."


Fruit-Eater grinned. "You could sister, if you could stay awake long enough! I dosed the wretched blood I brought you with frog venom. It cannot kill you, but it will paralyze you. Your body will lie motionless while it repairs itself.I'm surprised you are conscious even now."

Hog-Nose's brow furrowed. "I took the liberty of exchanging all the bowls you brought with food I had gathered myself."


"Traitor! You would poison us both and move your own children from the dark of the caves!"


"No! It was done to avoid a situation exactly such as this! The two of you revel in dramatics like children. If you don't stop this crazed play acting, one of your species will die out. Not from malnourishment or disease, but negligence! You have to see-"


Vampiras leapt from her seat and unfurled her great wings. "I have heard enough poisoned words from the mouth of traitors! Farewell, sisters, and good riddance!" A barely audible clicking
emitted from the back of her throat, and the floor beneath them began to quake.
 

Fruit-Eater grabbed Vampiras 'round the neck. "You mad fool! You'll be trapped here with us, I'll be sure-"
 

The stone walls tumbled down with a great sundering roar. The storming den of crumbling rock filled the jungle for what seemed like hours, then fell silent as quickly as it came. The only sound that remained was the frantic screeching of bats.

                                                 ....

Tapir was jostled from her sleep by a furry clawed hand.She jumped at the sight of the beastly silhouette before her. Her groggy brain reeled in fear, then slowly recognition dawned on her. It was Hog-Nose. She was covered in a layer of dust, a tattered cocktail dress, and too many bruises and scrapes to count.


"What happened to you?" Tapir rubbed at her still blurry eyes.


"Family" Hog-nose let the word hang ominously in the night air.


"Your sisters tried to kill each other again?"


"Yes"


"C'mon. Let's get you cleaned up." She looked at the tattered linen draped around her bat friend's shoulder.


"Shame about the dress. It was nice. We'll have the monkeys steal you a new one. It's the least we owe you for playing nurse-maid to those psychos." Tapir wrapped a stocky arm around Hog-Nose's waist, and the bat let out an exhausted sigh.
 

"That would be nice."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Safari ltd. Platypus




Hey guys. Platypuses are weird. Am I amusing you yet? Do you see the wit in my observational humor? Good. Because millions of years of specialized evolution isn't funny. No,the life and death struggle for dominance of a niche ecosystem isn't funny. It's ADORABLE.


This is the Safari LTD. Platypus figure, and I'll just say this upfront: It's the best platypus on the market. No other company has managed to capture the flat, chubby little proportions of a semi-aquatic monotreme. The pudgy little cheeks to the fuzzy slap-tail, it's all there. Honestly, Papo is the only competition, but it's offering is permanently swimming. Semi-aquatic mammals can't get down like that. The paint on this Safari model is gorgeous as well, with a dappled brown coat, and a slick glossy belly.



Fun aside, platypuses are the only members of their genus left on earth. They're the result of EXTREMELY specialized evolution in an isolated ecosystem. Australia broke off from the rest of the continental land mass and stranded the species that lived there. That's why Australia has so many species that are completely unique to that continent: They had no way to leave, and evolved into unique niches. To put it into words: Australia is weird.  

  

There was also a three foot long platypus relative named obdurodon that went extinct millions of years ago, but if you put this guy next to a 3-4" action figure, it totally works! It's like two animals in one, if you really stretch the truth. What value! I've actually taken to mounting Mega Bloks Halo Spartans in her back and dubbed her the "Battlepus". That's the thing with animal replicas: They're statues. They don't really do anything, so you have to either really like that animal in the exact pose it will be in forever, or be prepared to make your own fun.





Honestly, it's hard to find replicas of Australian animals. How many lions does one child need? Wouldn't you rather make an echidna? A wallaby? Maybe a thylacine that doesn't look ridiculous? I'm having trouble filling out this Australia diorama with five kangaroos and one platypus...