Dark Souls 2 is the most intimidating game I have ever played.
This may not come as a surprise to fans of the notoriously challenging Dark Souls or its spiritual predecessor, Demon’s Souls. But it’s not just the difficulty that had me wincing in fear during my playthrough.
Dark Souls 2 is unflinchingly ambitious in a way that few games are. Yes, the world is massive; yes, there are far more bosses than the last game; yes, I’ve spent dozens of hours playing, and I’m sure I still haven’t seen close to everything. But where other open-world RPGs use that overwhelming size as an invitation to lose yourself in their world, with Dark Souls 2 it’s a threat.
Put your tea down, well away from the edge of the desk, in preparation for potentially hot beverage-disrupting giggles…
Was he ‘battered’ to death? (Geddit!?)
We lack toast, but we’re NOT tolerant about it.
And evolution. You know, makey-uppy…
Do you feel inspired to try your hand at writing fiction, but don’t know where to start? Do you find it difficult to get into a routine? Or maybe you’re right right now sitting on a nest comprised of discarded introductory chapters to your first novel.
If that’s the case, we’ve got the free online course for you! Start Writing Fiction from The Open University aims to help you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters, but covering loads of other useful stuff too.
As well as being guided by the lead educator, author Dr Derek Neale, throughout the course you’ll also hear from Michèle Roberts, Alex Garland and Louis de Bernières, and be able to share your own fiction writing experiences with other learners.
The course starts on the 28th April 2014, but you can enrol right away and get a reminder when it begins.
HOMESTAR RUNNER: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
The year is 2003. It is a kinder time, a simpler time.
Every single one of your classmates knows how to draw Trogdor the Burninator - first, you draw an S, then you draw a more different S.
"Everybody to the Limit" is a staple at middle school dances.
Your best friend’s little brother owns a plush The Cheat, and you can kick it, and it makes noise.
The year is 2003, the golden age of Homestar Runner.
Basically, every online content creator, every webcomic artist, every YouTube entertainer, owes Homestar Runner a shitload.
Once upon a time, Homestar Runner was the definitive Flash site, an online destination for kids and immature grown-ups alike, fielding millions of hits and thousands of e-mails a day.
Homestar Runner, the earnest athlete with a pure heart and a love for mankind, and his arch-nemesis, Strong Bad, a wrestler with a penchant for issuing snarky responses to fanmail, defined a generation through weird, surrealist Flash cartoons tinged with outdated pop cultural references.
Ten years later, there’s a new generation of Internetters who have never experienced the pure, unadulterated joy of H-Star-R, and that breaks my heart.
So, here, I’ve compiled this beginner’s guide to Homestar Runner. Every cartoon on this list is shorter than five minutes. Get into it. Do yourself a favour.
STEP ONE: STRONG BAD E-MAILS
- japanese cartoon
- stunt double
- kids’ book
- different town
- for kids
- bedtime story
STEP TWO: TEEN GIRL SQUAD
Episodes #1-15 are available here. Watch them all.
STEP THREE: SHORTS
- An Important Rap Song
- Where My Hat Is At?
- Best Caper Ever
- Play Date
- The Homestar Runner Gets Something Stuck In His Craw
- One Two, One Two
- Fluffy Puff Commercial
STEP FOUR: TOONS
I have a The Cheat hoodie. And the Strongbad Sings CD. So much nostalgia.
I had the Burninator t-shirt (gone!) and the Strong Bad CD (gone!) and a million jokes that now only two or three people in my sphere even get.
Man, I still love to sing Trodgor the Burninator when I’m at home by myself.
There was also, much later, a point and click adventure.
Do you like Godspeed You! Black Emperor?
Their early work was a little apocalyptic for my tastes, but when
Slow Riot For New Zerø Kanada came out in ‘99, I think they really came into their own, eschaterically and thematically. The whole EP has an intense and tenacious sound, and a new sheen of modern romanticism that really gives the songs a big boost. Efrim Menuck’s been compared to Win Butler, but I think Efrim has a much more pragmatic, wise outlook on the world.
In 2000, Godspeed released this: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is Static, a song so sobering, most people probably don’t listen to the samples. But they should, because it’s not just about the imminent mortality of man as a society and as an individual, but it’s also an important statement about fighting against the industrialized life-cycle of the Western world!
Source: SoundCloud / liarsliarsliars
Kung Hey Fat Choi, friends!
Please enjoy this traditional, serious and venerated song from my home country celebrating Chinese New Year.