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Play-By-Play: The Cutie Pox

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

In this episode, the Cutie Mark Crusaders contract a terminal disease and die.

…did I mention that his commentary will contain spoilers? Also be warned that this episode has a goldmine of jokes within the first ten minutes alone, so I’ll tell you the same thing I told your mom – it’s a long one.

EDIT: Embed is here!

0:00 – Wow, Apple Bloom can feel the cancer taking hold. Go towards the light kid!

0:10 – How do you bowl with hooves? And why was Applejack farming corn? And who the fuck is Pip? I should make a list of these unanswered questions. By the end of the season it’ll be the size of a small novel.

0:11 – Sweetie Belle, use your telekinesis. You could use the practice.

0:21 – The three strikes? That just makes it sound like you guys struck out.

0:24 – These damn kids are always stealing my jokes!

0:37 – I don’t get it.

0:45 – This episode has been brought to you by Mr. Freeze’s Encyclopedia of Puns, the coolest pun book there is! The hilarity of these punderful jokes will be sure to break the ice! You’ll turn frigid gatherings into chill parties! Order Mr. Freeze’s Encyclopedia of Puns today so that you too can kick some ice!

What killed the dinosaurs?

The Ice Age!

Alright, I’m done. Incidentally though, Mr. Freeze is probably the coolest (pun partially intended, but I really am done I swear) boss fight in Batman: Arkham City. If you haven’t played that game yet, you should. Review forthcoming? I did originally intend for this to be a gaming blog after all.

0:52 – Steve Buscemi is the best pony.

Also notable is that this is actually the second cartoon Lauren Faust has been involved with to have a Big Lebowski reference, the first one being Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (and I apologize for not being able to find an English version of that video).

EDIT: I’ve been informed by Youtube commenters that it’s actually the third, with Foster’s being the second and the the first being none other than The Powerpuff Girls. I guess Faust is just a big fan. I can’t blame her, it really brings her shows together.

0:58 – Don’t worry, Sweetie Belle, maybe you’ll get a cutie mark of a gutter and become a carpenter! Oh wait, that’s Apple Bloom.

1:09 – OVER THE LINE!

1:13 – I wonder if bowling alleys have blacklists. I guess there’s only one way to find out!

…By calling them and asking! You should also ask if they have ten pound balls, they never get tired of that joke.

1:20 – Oh god, I just thought of all the rule 34 that’s going to be based off of Apple Bloom sucking large things. Excuse me while I vomit.

1:26 – Wow, I didn’t think that would actually work. Maybe I should try a spitball the next time I go bowling. I’d better call ahead and make sure they’re okay with me putting their ten pound balls in my mouth though.

No homo.

1:32 – Kid, getting one strike doesn’t mean you can be a bowler for the rest of your life. Try bowling a 300 and then you can talk about it with your sister.

1:38 – Oh, they were talking about…not Colgate. Well okay then.

1:50 – You know, that’s probably what would have happened if I had used my mouth on some balls too.

No homo.

1:56 – Well, you still have 10 more frames to go kids, might as well play it out. Unless Scootaloo gets you guys thrown out for kicking testes balls around.

2:39 – “At least you were able to keep your balls in your pants mouth anus lane.” It’s really difficult to write this without making a ton of immature jokes about male anatomy so far.

2:43 – Oh shit, The Kingpin exists in this universe!? Quick, call Spider-Pony and Maredevil! They’ll take care of this!

2:49 – Well Rainbow Dash was able to make a tactical friendship nuke a few episodes ago, so I figure you’ll probably have about the same firepower as a MOAB when you’re her age.

3:03 – Do I even have to say it?

3:11 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2U_1ASaZOc

3:19 – What the hell is a chapeau? Is it french for “dead peacock on your head”? Because that’s what it looks like!

3:35 – Oh geez, Apple Bloom walking into the Everfree Forest alone. It’s just like Story of the Blank Flanks…and every other fan-made flash game made since Story of the Blank Flanks. What is the fixation this fandom has with that game?

3:43 – Yeah, don’t, like GO AFTER HER or anything. Not like any DANGEROUS MONSTERS live in the Everfree Forest of anything. These kids are so stupid I can’t even fully put it into words.

3:54 – And now Zecora shows up. Oh geez, the writers HAVE played Story of the Blank Flanks.

4:03 – Pretty convenient that Apple Bloom’s injury happened to rhyme with what Zecora said. It would have been embarassing if it didn’t.

“What has happened to you, youth? Ah, I see, you have…broken your leg…oof.”

“Zecora, that was lame.”

“Now look here, you little snot, do you want medical help or not?”

4:17 – Wow, I didn’t think it was possible but Apple Bloom’s voice CAN be made more annoying.

4:44 – Oh shit, Apple Bloom, what have you done!

4:47 – …apparently, nothing. How lame.

5:00 – A regeneration potion? I think I know where this is going. (Spoilers: No it’s not, Zecora wouldn’t be that careless)

5:12 – God damn those are big-ass teeth! Can you imagine how dangerous this potion could be if it backfired? I mean, aside from the way it’s obviously going to backfire. (Spoiler: It doesn’t backfire at all)

5:28 – A potion for bad breath? Don’t they have Tic-Tacs in Equestria?

5:43 – “Hmm, if I try to play god on Zecora’s property I can pin it on her and make it look like she poisoned me…”

But really, didn’t Apple Bloom learn that magic can’t grant a cutie mark way back in season one when she tried to get Twilight to do the exact same thing? This kid is dumb as a rock. And not even sentient rocks like Rocky or Tom, but dumb ones like the ones Pinkie Pie’s family farms.

Wait, I just realized something! Livestock are sentient in this universe and rocks are livestock since they’re farmed. Then it only makes sense that rocks can talk! Which means…

…No, that still doesn’t explain why Applejack was farming corn.

6:26 – “It is called a plot device, it makes the story progress nice…-ly”

“Zecora, your rhymes are off today.”

“You may think I’m off my game, but at least I’m still better than Little Wayne.”

“No you’re not.”

“Drake?”

“No.”

“Nicki Minaj?”

“Nope.”

“Rick Ross?”

“Rick Ross now or Rick Ross 2006?”

“Rick Ross now.”

“Nah.”

“Kanye?”

“You wish.”

“Jay-Z”

“Oh please.”

“Busta Rhymes.”

“You’re just digging yourself deeper.”

“The Wu-Tang Clan?”

“WHAT!? Don’t you EVER compare yourself to the Wu-Tang! You’re not even REMOTELY close to their level!”

“*sigh* Your words are making me lose my joy. Am I at least better than Soulja Boy?”

“Well of course, Zecora, nopony is as bad as Soulja Boy!”

6:40 – lol Apple Bloom really does think Zecora’s rhymes are lame. Sometimes my jokes are accurate as well as funny Oh who am I kidding, my jokes are never funny T.T

Oh, and it just occurred to me that I could make a joke about Mind’s Desire, but nobody plays it in Vintage since it’s restricted (yet somehow Gush isn’t, go figure).

6:52 – “I must get an ingredient to synthesize, so I’ll leave you here unsupervised.”

“Come back with some better rhymes too!”

“I put a lot of bleach in that cup, so if you do drink it, drink it all up…*whispers*you ungrateful little cracka.”

6:59 – Cue “One-Winged Angel”.

7:04 – That’s not scripted banter, the director didn’t let the little kid voice actors eat until they finished their lines that day and they caught some of the complaining on record.

7:15 – So Apple Bloom’s cutie mark is…a blue ring? Seriously, this thing is so nondescript I can’t even think of a joke for it.

7:34 – Hey, it’s Twist, the hipster pony who we haven’t seen since Season 1! Still wearing those Ray-bans with no lenses and that cutie mark ironically, I see. Now go get a real fucking job you lazy piece of shit! Fucking hipsters…

7:42 – I don’t even have to make a joke about this. The reactions of her classmates do it for me.

7:50 – lol ghetto toys. Did you also use to play with a ball on a string attached to a cup, Apple Bloom?

8:00 – Oh look, it’s these cunts. Unfortunately though, I have to agree with Diamond Tiara – hula hooping is a pretty lame special talent. Then again, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon’s talents are being stupid spoiled whores (complete with video playset), so who are they to judge?

8:07 – Hers is the hoop that will pierce the heavens! Don’t believe in yourself! Believe in the Applejack who believes in you! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!?

8:24 – ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH. FIGHT THE POWAH!

8:34 – Cheerilee and Princess Celestia have the same voice actor. Now that I’ve mentioned that, you’re thinking about students being banished to the moon for detention. You’re welcome.

8:42 – And it looks like it’s going to happen right about now.

8:54 – The tip of the tail? Wow, I don’t think there are any actual bones there. That’s pretty damn impressive.

9:02 – You just know that someday Snips and Snails are going to get Darwin awards.

9:09 – You just know that someday Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara are going to be taken hostage and then killed when their parents refuse to pay the terrorists the ransom money.

9:54 – Balancing it on the hairs at the end of her tail? Either the animators don’t know anything about horse anatomy or Apple Bloom is really fucking awesome! And given what we’ve seen previously, it’s probably both!

10:01 – OHHH GET YO ASS WHOOPED BITCH!

10:16 – The aeronautical engineer in me is crying.

10:24 – The plot thickens.

10:30 – I know that I promised earlier that I said too many puns and that I would lay up on it, but I’m afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.

10:37 – “They’re not fake! This is real silicone!” Yeah, I’m bringing up the old jokes about cutie marks being a mixed metaphor for both puberty and vocational guidance because it never stopped being funny.

(I originally watched the episode split up into 2 parts because I couldn’t find a good quality upload that lasted the full 22 minutes, so you can just hold dat shit)

0:27 – “The fun has been doubled”, Doublemint gum, Inception, Xzibit, blah blah blah, you know what jokes I’m going to make.

1:04 – Wow, I thought I was the only one being put to sleep by this episode. I’m glad Rainbow Dash agrees with me.

1:09 – “Hey Twilight, what’s looking like Rarity and clueless?”

1:14 – “YOUR FACE!

1:15 – lol Spike finally showed up, now the real episode can begin.

1:33 – How much crazy bullshit are they going to put in this episode?

1:44 – I sincerely hope that Applejack knew about Apple Bloom’s cutie mark before she saw her display in the middle of town. If not, then it opens up some horrible implications about the truancy regulations of Ponyville Public Schools.

1:54 – I wonder if Big Macintosh is happy for his youngest sister.

1:55 – I was expecting him to say “I really like her mane.”

1:58 – I wonder if Big Macintosh has ever seen anything like this.

2:00 – I was expecting him to say “Dumb fabric.”

2:09 – Granny Smith isn’t saying that she has a Charlie Horse, that was the name of her late husband and since she’s having a near-death experience she’s having hallucinations of him.

2:12 – Big Macintosh is a proud graduate of the Arthur Fonzarelli school of Universal Repair. Eyyyy!

2:34 – I wonder if Big Macintosh is getting tired of these jokes.

2:36 – I was expecting him to say “You’re not sending me to the cooler.”

2:57 – A human tap shoe? Bowling? Applejack farming corn? There’s so much wrong with this world I don’t even know where to begin.

3:16 – So it’s involuntary? That should be the first sign that something is seriously wrong with you, kid. This is why you shouldn’t mess around with drugs.

3:20 – After visiting Pinkie Pie offscreen to no avail, Applejack and Apple Bloom go to see Twilight.

3:32 – “I was just reading something about heavy-handed exposition. What was it?”

“The book about the films of Paul W.S. Anderson, perhaps?”

3:41 – Yeah, Spike is pretty amazing. I’m glad he’s the main character and not the gaggle of idiots that make up the majority of the population of Equestria.

3:44 – “Yes, well, I do have some talents #swag”

3:51 – “Hayfever, the trots, pubic parasprites, syphillies, chlamydia…”

4:00 – Say that ten times fast!

4:06 – Great minds think alike.

4:08 – Great minds are never appreciated in their own time.

4:22 – Oh shit, Apple Bloom really is going to die. Oh well, at least there’s still Spike.

4:36 – Une fleur de lis? Qu’est que ce??

4:37 – Est AppleBloom vais parler en français pour le reste de l’épisode? Devrais-je trop alors…nah, that would be annoying even for me. I’ll have to remember to watch the French dub of this episode when it comes out though to see what language they speak in that.

4:45 – “Mah sister’s speaking in Un-American!”

5:19 – What a lovely sculpture of Fluttershy!

5:21 – Wow, her cutie mark is Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins! Nex thing you know she’ll be hitting on Julie Andrews! Speaking of Julie Andrews, what was that one movie where she got her tits out? I need to watch that sometime.

5:25 – And now it’s the Weird Al Yankovic cutie mark! I can’t wait for her to make a parody of At The Gala!

5:29 – No, Sweetie Belle wanted to tame some other kind of wild cat. I think it was leopards.

5:33 – Bobby Fisher, Gary Kasparov, Deep Blue, etc. who really play chess that much anyway? Looking at their board though, I don’t see how that would be checkmate. Also, shouldn’t she be playing chess the way French people do – by knocking their king over at the beginning and waiting four years for an American player to take over and win the game for you?

5:37 – Shouldn’t she be fencing the way French people do – by attaching a white flag to the end of your rapier?

5:42 – Spike don’t give a fuck.

5:43 – Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy are like the collective Chicken Littles of Ponyville.

5:47 – Hey, she finally got hang gliding down!

5:50 – You tell ’em Spike. Always the voice of reason.

5:57 – But then with ponies like these three you can never keep them calm for long.

6:00 – What an over-exaggerated reaction. Geez, with all the ridiculous running in fear, you’d think this is some kind of cartoon or something.

Wait.

6:11 – “I was hoping to see all their faces, but I guess they’re all still racists.”

“Now you just sound like Immortal Technique.”

“RHYMING IS HARD OKAY? FUCK! It’s not just about skill, but luck”

“That still doesn’t make sense.”

“I WILL FUCKING CUT YOU, TWILIGHT.”

6:23 – A math cutie mark? I approve. And it looks like she’s deriving the relationship between integration and summation on her own! I’m just so proud of her. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.

6:28 – “But magically you’re here! Was your black person sense tingling?”

“I am disappointed in you guys, believing in these stereotypes.”

“Still sound like Immortal Technique.”

“My rhymes are my own, through and through, so I am just going to ignore you.”

“lol way to take criticism.”

“Your sister suffers from a disease. Can we just go and help her? PLEASE!?”

“Now you’re getting better!”

6:54 – On, NOW she speaks American again.

6:59 – Why does Berry Punch have a hazmat suit? More importantly, why does she only have the head part?

7:12 – “Have no fear, the cure is here! I just need to plant it…it’ll take about a year.”

“A whole year! But what will happen to Apple Bloom and your failing record label?”

“Do not worry about my music, honey. I’m going to get signed by Young Money.”

“You’ve been saying that for years and it still hasn’t happened!”

“Your fears, I think, they hold no sway – they signed Tyga, didn’t they?”

“Yeah, there’s really nobody decent in young money besides Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, and T-Pain.”

7:44 – Do I even want to know?

7:45 – TRAAAAAAANSFORM!

7:53 – Oh, I guess she does have the whole suit.

7:57 – Pinkie Pie was evicted from Sugarcube Corner after the events of this episode for embezzling product.

8:39 – Berry Punch took the suit off? And left her house? What?

9:04 – What Apple Bloom meant to say was “I’ve never been happy to be a blank flank.”

9:36 – Cue Batman music.

9:39 – “I sure would love to, Twilight, but I don’t know how to read and write.”

9:46 – “Let’s get this over with so I can go back to flaming Zecora’s album on Equestria Star Hip Hop.”

9:48 – “Dear Princess Celestia. Today I learned that breast implants are not appropriate for ten year olds. I also learned that Zecora hasn’t made any good albums since The Zecora Show and that she let all the fame, money, and critical reception from 8-Forest go to her head, started smoking a lot of pot, and just generally got really lazy with her songwriting. ‘Crack a Potion’ wasn’t that good of a song, and Z12 is just a farce. Maybe if she stops doing drugs and gets back to the kind of intelligence, flow, and lyrical savvy that she had on her first 3 albums she can make a good album again, but that seems unlikely. Dis yo homefilly Apple Bloom peacin out, protect ya neck.”

10:36 – CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CRACK FIENDS! This episode is hella gangsta.

10:55+ – Wow, 3D Strawberry Shortcake. Reminds me of a certain webcomic…

Let me start off this review by telling you a little story about another character in this series and my opinions of her. For almost all of season one, I couldn’t stand Pinkie Pie. I thought she was stupid, hyperactive, annoying, and just a real pain in the ass overall. Her popularity with the rest of the fanbase didn’t sit well with me since I was in the minority on this (and I was already in the minority for being one of a small group of people who realize that Spike is the true main character of the show, but that’s besides the point). I dreaded episodes with Pinkie Pie and hoped she’d be given minor roles for the rest of the seasons. Then I saw Party of One. Party of One, to me, turned Pinkie Pie from a one-dimensional comic relief character to a sympathetic, emotionally delicate character. Despite having a seemingly carefree attitude, Pinkie Pie’s ego is very heavily weighted on what others think of her, especially her friends, to the point where if she feels like the people she cares about are abandoning her she has a complete mental breakdown. And even though this scene is supposed to be played for comedy, I still find it to be one of the saddest and most emotionally engaging in the series. Party of One did the impossible, completely turned-around my opinion of my least favorite character at the time in just one episode.

This episode…didn’t really change my opinion of Apple Bloom that much.

I feel like this episode was planned out to be like Apple Bloom’s Party of One but really it ended up re-treading what we already saw in Call of the Cutie. We can see the parallels between the two episodes as well – both start out with our protagonist and her friends, both have their self-esteem tied to something that they either lose or never had to begin with, both have the protagonist get separated from her friends and rethink their lives, both have the protagonist encounter a minority character and during the encounter experience a change that affects them for the rest of the episode, both go through a lot of physical comedy gags (though Apple Bloom definitely has more), and both end up having learned a lesson even though in the long run we know they didn’t since those lessons conflict with the core of their characters. But the problem with this episode is that we already knew everything that was displayed about Apple Bloom’s character. Party of One showed us a side of Pinkie Pie that we had never seen before – a sensitive, fearful, bitter, and even angry Pinkie Pie. This episode just shows us the same Apple Bloom we’ve seen before. We know that Apple Bloom is desperate to earn her Cutie Mark, we know that she’s an opportunist, we know that she doesn’t think things through because she’s so headstrong, and we know that this can get her into dangerous situations. We’ve seen all of this before time after time and seeing it again adds nothing to her character. I didn’t exactly write a glowing review of Sisterhooves Social, but I feel like I should give it more credit now since it explores a side of Rarity and Sweetie Belle that we’ve never seen before. I know I say that character studies are the show’s strength just about every week, but if you’re not going to use that as an opportunity to explore new parts of your characters then it’s just kinda…meh.

I know it seems like I’m harping on this point, but that’s just because Apple Bloom had the lion’s share (MOAR LIKE THE LION TAMER’S SHARE AMIRITE?) of screen time in this episode. Almost none of the Mane 6 are present except for Applejack, who is obviously going to appear in episodes about her sister, and Twilight, who is obviously going to appear in episodes about supernatural occurrences. Rarity has like one line in the whole episode, Pinkie Pie only shows up for a bit joke, Rainbow Dash essentially doesn’t have a speaking role, and Fluttershy doesn’t appear at all (in fact, Fluttershy hasn’t made any memorable appearances in Season 2 aside from that one time). The supporting cast isn’t very well utilized either – Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Zecora are pretty much their same old selves and they don’t really get much in the way of character development (although apparently Zecora likes to pull a Batman and disappear on people). And as far as minor characters go, it was kinda funny to see Lily, Daisy, and Roseluck freaking out again, but the fact that we had to put up with Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara again really drags it down.

Now I know I cited this as a point against last week’s episode too so I know what you’re going to say – “Gates, not every episode has to have the entire main cast in it to be a good episode and stop making those rude jokes about my mother.” And my response to that is:

1) Who’s joking? The fellatio your mother gives is unparalleled in quality and her flexibility allows for sexual positions I never thought humanly possible (I really like the one where she bends her leg all the way back behind her shoulder and then bends her knee backwards like a chicken to wrap her foot all the way back down by her pussy so she can give my balls a foot job while I’m fucking her)

2) I’m aware that not every episode needs to have equal screen time for each of the main characters, but if you only have one or two of them doing anything significant, it really does feel like kind of a waste.

On a technical level, this episode is pretty standard. The animation is solid and quite remarkable at some points, but there are still some goofs. The Big Lebowski reference was a nice touch and I really liked it, even though it still makes no sense for ponies to be bowling. I guess you could say that if anything I think the animation is the high point of this episode.

Overall, this episode is, as I said earlier, meh. It doesn’t really do anything incredibly exciting or engaging and it just kind of treads ground we’ve covered before. It’s definitely not the worst episode (that belongs to the Spike character assassination episode) but it’s not a particularly good one either. In the end, this episode just isn’t as good as tonguing another man’s balls.

I mean as the rest.

I’m not gay.

And I’m not stealing jokes from Yahtzee either.

Still, it could have been a lot worse and at least it gave us some fun physical comedy along with a reference to one of the greatest comedies of the 90s. I’m looking forward to next week a lot more since it explores Rainbow Dash’s character. And also, less than a month from now Spike gets another episode. mfw.

By the way, if you’re wondering why Apple Bloom likes the Wu-Tang Clan so much, it’s because one day the Cutie Mark Crusaders tried to get their cutie marks in gangsta rap and did a cover of Enter the 36 Chambers entitled Enter the 36 Stables. The recordings were destroyed later that day when they tried to get their cutie marks in arson, but a transcript of one of their songs was found, which I will post below.

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin’ Ta Buck Wit

[Intro: The BZA aka Apple Digital aka Tha Ever So Weary Assistant]

Tiger taming

Tiger taming

Yo, huh, huh

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin Ta Buck Wit

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin Ta Buck Wit

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin Ta Buck Wit

There’s no place to hide once I step inside the room

Apple Bloom, prepare for the boom

BAM!

Aw, MAN!

I SLAM, JAM, now scream like Tarzan

[Verse One: BZA]

I be broodin, intrudin, my style is crude

I’m causin more fanbase feuds than Derpy Hooves

And the muffin said — ya dead

Fatal flying bowling ball blows off your buckin head

BZA who was that? Ayo, the Cute is back

Makin filliez go “WHOA WHOA!”, like Rarity’s cat

We fear no-one, oh no, here come

The cutie mark shogun, killer to the eardrum!

[Verse Two: Inspectah Scoot aka The Rebel Pegasus aka My Cousin the Wife-Beatah]

I puts the scooter to the road, I gets gold

And I’m forced to buck em up

I run em over like a pickup truck

Across the clear blue yonder

Seek the Pony Sea, I slam tracks like buffalo sacks from A.P.

Now why try and test, the Rebel Pegasus?

Blessed since the birth, I earth-slam your best

Cause Pinkie bake the cake, then we take the cake

And eat it, too, with my crew while we run out the state!

[Chorus: BZA]

And if you want apples, bring the ruckus

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

Straight from the motherbucking farms that’s busted

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

[Interlude: BZA]

Hyah!

Step up, pony!

Represent!

Chop his head off, Belle!

[Verse Three: Method Belle aka The Victorian Cow]

The Belle will come out tomorrow,

Styles, is wild, berserk, bizarro

Flow, with more afro than Rollo

Comin to a fork in the road which way to go just follow

Sweetie, the Legend, filliez is Sleepy Hollow

In fact I’m a hard act to follow

I dealt for dodos, cutie marks comin on through

Filliez is like “Oh, my God, not you!”

Yes, I, come to get a slice of the pink and the pie

Rather cute than cry, check my

Flava, comin from the BZA

Which is short for the grazer

Who make me reminisce true like Deja, Vu!

I’m rubber, filliez is like glue

Whatever you say rubs off me sticks to you

[Chorus: BZA]

And if you want apples, bring the ruckus

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

Straight from the motherbucking farms that’s busted

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

[BZA]

Ahh-hah! Yeah

Representin Ponyville

Carousel Boutique, Sweet Apple Acres

The Rugged Lands of Shaolin

Filliez from Appaloosa, Manehattan

Our boys in Cloudsdale

Comin through with the crazy apple-sized hail

[unintelligible outro continues and is largely incoherent]

Cutie Mark slang, choppin heads pony

It ain’t safe no more!

Peace.

It’s a wonder why their rap careers didn’t take off.

(ODB is rolling in his grave right now)

Play-By-Play: The Return of Harmony Part 2

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

This is part 2 of a two-part episode. If you haven’t seen my play-by-play of part 1 yet, click here.

Let’s get started!

0:00 – LAST TIME ON DRAGONBALL Z! Goku and the gang encountered the stange and powerful Majin Buu! With his reality-warping magic powers and his great strength, he quickly defeated the Z warriors and went on a rampage around the rest of the Earth. Will Goku and the gang be able to stop the rampage of this monster? Find out on this episode of DRAGONBALL Z! Cha la, head cha la…

1:15 – rofl

1:23 – Oh, NOW Pinkie doesn’t like Discord.

1:55 – Rarity uses her horse-style kung fu. Is there a horse-style of kung fu? Well whatever, point is that all the ponies are being bitches to eachother.

2:04 – Where’d he get that couch and that popcorn? And why was Applejack farming corn?

2:23 – I had the same reaction as Discord. For someone who spends all her free time reading books, Twilight isn’t very perceptive.

2:31 – Whoa, astral projection!

3:00 – I made a Chocolate Rain joke last time, not gonna do it again.

3:01 – Pinkie Pie hating chocolate milk rain? THE END IS NEIGH!

3:26 – What the hell happened to Ponyville while they were away!?

3:40 – You know something’s wrong with Fluttershy when she praises her asshole pet rabbit for being an asshole.

3:46 – Hey, Applejack isn’t lying, she’s just being sarcastic! I call bullshit.

3:57 – Twilight, you can teleport. Why don’t you just do that to get to solid ground?

4:00 – Soap? Is that what it is? And it’s funny how he’s just skating along next to them like a pimp.

4:39 – “Not if I have anything to say about it!” Man, I wish I could come up with a joke for that.

4:41 – “Don’t worry, you won’t.” Nah, that’s lame. Thanks for trying though, Fluttershy.

4:46 – So if they all hate each other, why are they still walking around together?

4:55 – They seem to be getting worse. Interesting way of showing it.

5:19 – “Tom”? Well, Rarity, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

5:36 – I bet you thought Spike was sleeping because he was being lazy. This is not the case. Clearly, Discord put a sleeping spell on him. Spike would never sleep when there are gems to eat, bitches to fuck, and blunts to smoke cause he’s a bad motherfucker like that.

6:11 – OH SNAP!

6:32 – Hey, they used the same book here that they did in season 1 episode 1! I guess these writers do know what continuity is after all! Now if only they would explain why Applejack was farming corn…

6:50 – Twilight, just use your magic to telekinetically catch the book in midair. Jean Grey is probably rolling in her grave right now. Or being a balance issue in MvC3. There’s very little difference.

6:52 – OH SHIT! TACKLE THAT BITCH SPIKE! That’s what you get for interrupting his sleep, bitch!

6:56 – Stealing random shit that she sees? Wow, Rarity really is an Orange Lantern.

7:17 – And here we’ll take a brief break from our regular program to show you a preview of fan-developed fighting game My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic.

7:23 – Wait, Applejack and Pinkie didn’t have the book, so how did Twilight come out of that fight with them holding the book? I mean I know that Discord punched the Source Wall and altered reality, but there’s only so many plot holes that can cover.

7:28 – LOOK OUT, HE’S GOT A SCROLL!

7:29 – “AND I’M GONNA READ IT!” Really? That’s it? How anticlimactic.

7:37 – Whoa! They were in the book! How convenient!

7:56 – “You don’t even care, do you?” No, Twilight, nobody cares about your gaming blog. Especially after you said that Tokido would top8 at Evo.

7:59 – “I never thought it would happen. My friends…have turned into complete jerks!” My friends have always been jerks, so I can’t sympathize.

8:09 – It’s called a tiara, Twilight. You should know, your doll comes with one. (NOTE: If it doesn’t, don’t tell me about it, I don’t care).

8:23 – Now, I have a number of jokes written here and I would like to read them now:

  • Spike just got 20% cooler!
  • But Spike’s male, how can he be a lesbian?
  • Spike is gonna be so awesome! /)^ɛ^(\
  • Oh no, that means…Spike, don’t eat any of Pinkie’s cupcakes!
  • According to shippers, Applebloom had a crush on Spike, and I guess now that he’s Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo has a crush on him too!
  • Now they’ll stop Discord in ten seconds flat!

These go on for several pages, but I’ll stop here.

8:34 – “…so we don’t ever have to talk to eachother again!” Whoa, kinda extreme don’t you think? I mean you all still live in the same town.

8:39 – And they cheer that? Damn, girls are catty as hell.

8:47 – Heeeeeeeeeere’s Tommy!

9:09 – So he wants to die with sunglasses on? What?

9:49 – Poor Twilight, she couldn’t get it up. Good thing I never have that problem.

9:57 – Yup, saw that one coming. Hell, I figured Larfleeze Rarity would have stolen the elements as soon as she saw them in the book.

10:06 – Nice, she set up a joke about Spike being Rainbow Dash on her own! I kinda like this new Fluttershy.

10:17 – “Discord rules, Celestia drools!” Man, the 90s sure were radical, dude.

10:44 – “I don’t need you guys either! I’ll make my own Elements of Harmony! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the Elements of Harmony!”

10:48 – “Ah, screw the whole thing.”

10:50 – Wow, and now Twilight has lost her color. Wait, since her element is magic, does that mean she’s lost her magic power too? And why was Applejack farming corn?

10:55 – Subtle.

11:00 – OH MAN, BALLERINA BISON! Good thing there wasn’t a really depressing moment before that or else this would seem to conflict with the tone!

11:07 – I’m sure there will be a name for the beanie hat pony soon enough. Hell, this episode’s been out for a few hours already, so there may even be porn of her.

11:20 – Pepper on berry punch? That would taste terrible.

11:26 – Good, Twilight, ignore the troll.

11:53 – Whoa, is she going back to Canterlot?

11:57 – Oh, no she has no idea. How uncharacteristic of Twilight to not have a plan. But I suppose that’s the point of being grayed-out. Oh, and she didn’t lose her magic.

12:03 – Holy shit, Spike vomited up his own weight in scrolls! And then some!

12:17 – If those are all the letters you’ve written to her, shouldn’t there only be about 24? I mean, I guess there was that one prank Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash pulled on Spike, but there shouldn’t be more than 30 scrolls.

12:52 – “Twilight, could you please put me down? I think I’m gonna be sick.”

13:11 – Wow, Spike looks like he’s about to die. Maybe you should get him some medical attention before you go off on a fruitless quest to help your friends, Twilight.

13:37 – Hey, pigs are flying. I guess this means the Detroit Lions are going to win the Superbowl this year!

13:39 – Okay, Big Mac and Granny Smith have gone insane.

14:00 – Big Mac licks Twilight? Yeah, I’ve read that slashfic too.

14:13 – Wow, Twilight learned the Season 1 montage spell!

14:49 – Speaking of montages…

15:09 – “Let us never speak of this again.” And the DCnU made it so that Rarity was never an Orange Lantern!

15:32 – So nopony found Rainbow Dash in her house, but Pinkie Pie saw her lounging around on a nearby cloud? Man these ponies are dense.

15:47 – “I’m staying here in Cloudsdale where everything is SO AWESOME!” /)^ɛ^(\

15:56 – And Applejack has knowledge of the pre-Flashpoint DCU. Would that make her Superboy Prime? God I hope not.

16:00 – “I thought we agreed that the retcon was permanent and we weren’t going to renege on it this time.”

16:04 – I was wondering if they were going to bust out the blimp to save Rainbow Dash.

16:11 – So this plan involves Fluttershy physically overpowering something larger than a bunny? WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

16:25 – Oh boy, dirty comments incoming.

16:45 – So this is where that promotional image came from.

17:05 – Hahahaha, they might die because of Pinkie’s carelessness.

17:17 – “If you can’t catch her, Celestia’s animals won’t hang out with you!”

18:00 – So how come it’s not explained why she thought Cloudsdale was in trouble but when they met her everything was “awesome”?

18:09 – I will never get tired of seeing the Ballet Buffalo.

18:38 – Heh, he drank the glass. That’s kinda funny.

18:40 – lol random explosion, shoutouts to Michael Bay.

18:57 – Whoa, Twilight actually using her powers to be useful! That’s a first for these episodes.

19:08 – “I’ll tell you what we’ve learned, Discord.” So that’s how they’re going to fit the friendship report into this episode.

19:17 – “Ugh, gag.” My thoughts exactly.

19:31 – Oh Pinkie Pie, you’re always trying to cockblock the action.

19:39 – Okay, the way they defeat Discord was pretty badass. Moments like this are the reason I got into this series in the first place.

20:40 – DERPY!

21:16 – I wasn’t aware that stained glass windows could be made so quickly.

21:26 – Oh cool, custom credits music because this is the first big story of the new season!

21:31 – And a commercial for another show on The Hub cuts it off!? What a load of shit. And WHY WAS APPLEJACK FARMING CORN!?

Now like the last episode, this episode is not without its faults. There were a lot of things introduced to the plot in part 1 that were ignored here. Rainbow Dash thought Cloudsdale was under attack in part 1, but in part 2 she acts like everything’s fine. What happened there? Where was Princess Celestia (and Princess Luna for that matter) during all this? What happened to the Cutie Mark Crusaders? Why was Applejack farming corn? None of these questions are answered and it kind of bugs me that they were just forgotten about like this. The episode also isn’t very character driven, as we only get a tiny glimpse of what the ponies are like before they get turned into their evil forms. This makes it a poor episode to start with for people who are just jumping onto the series, which I’m sure many might be because of all the hype around the new season. Maybe this could have been solved by making it a three-part episode, but that would seem a bit excessive.

Despite these flaws, the first two episodes of season two set a good tone for the direction of the show. The animation is good and the writing is solid. Everyone is in character and their grayed-out forms are like mirror universe versions of themselves. The villain is interesting and well-written and the way they defeat him is cool. It was also great how they referenced the events of season 1, but at the same time they should have paid more attention to those events to avoid creating any plot holes. Still, this is a solid episode. Not the best and not a good jumping-on point, but still very solid. When Lauren Faust demoted herself (or whatever) from being executive producer to creative consultant, many were worried that the quality of the show would decrease. If this episode is any indication of the quality we can expect in the future, then I’m not worried about the show getting worse at all. These were good episodes and I’m looking forward to more.

No, seriously though, why was Applejack farming corn? I still haven’t gotten an answer for that.

A Few Things

So if anyone’s been keeping tabs on this blog (and I can see the site stats, so I know someone is) you’re probably wondering why I haven’t updated in about 5 weeks. I’d like to give you a good excuse, like my mother dying or my computer being eaten by wasps, but unfortunately I can’t give such a colorful story.

The truth of the matter is that I’m just lazy and unmotivated. When I started this blog I was working in a high-stress job where all my coworkers had their heads up their asses and I needed something to vent myself and relieve stress. Since I’m not allowed near heavy machinery due to court order, this blog was supposed to be the thing I use to vent my stress in word form. However, the job was only for 6 weeks (and no I didn’t get fired after 6 weeks, the whole program was just temporary) and when it ended at the end of July I found a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I became more relaxed and aloof and this blog seemed like a distant memory that I really didn’t need anymore. And I’m not sure I will again.

So basically what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t expect consistent updates from this blog anymore. Updates will be once in a blue moon and will only happen if I have the time and drive to do them. I’m sorry to disappoint both people who read this blog, but I’m sure that you’ll live without your weekly dose of me in your life.

Some quick notes about articles I said I was going to do:

– I’m not going to do an EVO recap like I said because I was pretty much wrong about everything. I posted my fantasy brackets and EVO predictions on SRK and some asshole pointed out that my SSFIV:AE bracket was a joke and that I didn’t know shit about the game and hadn’t been paying any attention etc. I was about to write a long post to talk about all the lewd sex acts I performed with his mother until I realized that he was absolutely right. I don’t think I’ve watched a single match of SSFIV or AE since MvC3 came out and I know I stopped watching it after MK9 came out. So I’ll own up to being completely wrong about AE. That said, I don’t think anyone would have predicted Latif eliminating Daigo in one of the most hype things I’ve ever seen. Novril made a video that sums it up better than I ever could. As for MvC3, EVO made me confident in my decision to quit that game forever and go back to the far superior MvC2. I was going to smash the disc with a hammer, but I decided to sell it instead because I be mad greedy son. I did like seeing Justin Won’g comeback in the top 16 though. Tekken I only tangentially watched because, like I said before, I don’t play it, but 4 Bobs in the top 8? Really? BBCSII I was surprised with – I mean who would have thought that a Hakumen would have taken Evo? The power of turtling. And I was wrong about Makotos, it seems Noel is the easy win character du jour in CSII. And finally, I was really happy that MK9 displayed not only a lot of hype but a lot of character diversity in the top 8 and high level play of all those characters too. I admit I was wrong about Tom Brady doing well, but at the time I was writing my predictions I forgot that he loses to Reptile badly. I’m not surprised that PerfectLegend won though, he’s an excellent player who plays arguably the best character in the game (even after 6 patches to nerf him). I also didn’t get to check out a ton of the panels, but I did see the SkullgirlS panel and it was quite informative about the game and the new character, Parasoul. So overall, EVO was decent this year.

– I doubt I’ll get too in-depth about “The Problem With Game Reviews” because that topic is pretty preachy. I will make a post discussing how my reviews will work though. I mean, I kind of have to, and you’ll see why when I actually get around to doing a review.

– I might do reviews for InFamous and Wolverine, but the fact is that it’s been a while since I played them, so they’re not fresh in my mind anymore. I do think InFamous is full of problems though and I do love Wolverine and think it’s criminally underrated, so I’ll likely do reviews of both of them eventually.

 

So that’s all I really have to say. Updates from now on will be infrequent and unscheduled.

“But Gates, how will I know when you update? I mean, I have no life so I could just sit by my computer pressing F5 all day every day, but if a power outage happens I won’t be able to do that and I might miss an update!”

Fear not, little bitch boy, for I have one of them new-fangled Twee-tors that you can follow me at. You can follow me on that and I’ll be sure to tweet everything this happens on this blog because I am SUCH a whore for attention.

That’s all for now.

– Gates

@OpinionatedJ3rk on Twitter

Rules of This Blog

So before I even start, no, these are not rules for commenters. You guys can talk about whatever you want in the comments. Keep in mind that I do have to approve them though, so if you try to post something too obscene (read: illegal) or if I feel like screwing with your head, I won’t approve your comment.

No, these rules are for me. These will serve as a set of guidelines for me to use on this blog so that eventually when this blog turns into a gaming media empire and ultimately leads to my tragic downfall, you’ll know that Rosebud was my sled. Anyway, here they are.

1. I will post content at least once a week every week.

As someone who spends too much a lot of time on the internet myself, I know that it can be incredibly frustrating when something you like a lot doesn’t update for months or weeks at a time. I’m not going to say any names VGCats but I think we all know web series like that and hate it when they have an unreasonably long time between updates. If people actually do read my blog, I want to make sure that they enjoy reading it and have something new to read on a weekly basis. Until they post comments that is. Then Imma fuck ’em up.

2. I will not write articles longer than ten pages.

Just as my previous point was about not being like VGCats, this point is about not being like certain other overly-verbose game reviewers. A specific example of this I can give is actionbutton.net. Now the people who write for action button dot net are clearly very intelligent human beings and their reviews are very well written and full of intelligent observations on games and the gaming industry. But if they even have an editor at their site, he should be fired for not doing his job. There are reviews that are concise, to the point, and at the same time illustrative of all of a game’s good and bad points, and then there are 32 page rants that constantly go off on tangents to talk about the issue of having numbers in a game and compare Final Fantasy games to Tekken. And that’s not even including Tim Rogers’ favorite story about when he was at the Japanese FFXII launch and some asshole who Tim apparently thinks is indicative of all FF fans (but is really just some asshole) told Yoichi Wada to remake FFVII for the PS3. That story, which Tim Rogers tells nearly every day at every opportunity (FPS reviews, picking up girls, funeral eulogies), takes up a mere page in the article, and the rest of it is just a meandering train-wreck-of-though. This is not good games journalism, good reviewing, or even good from an academic standpoint. It’s just a giant mess and I’m going to spend the next 15 pages talking about it while making dubious comparisons to Spider-Man comic books and posting an Excel spreadsheet at random to somehow prove my point.

Ha, just kidding. But seriously, I hate reading reviews that are longer than the US Constitution no matter how well written they are. When I’m reading game reviews, I just want a thorough discussion of the game, not a fucking dissertation. If I can’t manage to fit something into ten pages, I’ll either cut stuff out until it does fit or I’ll make it a multi-part article or series of articles.

3. I will be objective when reviewing games.

I’ll discuss this point more in a future article when I talk about the problem with game reviews in general, but generally when I read a lot of reviews I find a lack of objectivity, with reviewers often comparing games to other games and talking about external factors like development cycle or business scandals or the weather or other arbitrary bullshit that doesn’t really affect the game itself at all. The latter is particularly notable of late since Duke Nukem Forever was [finally] released to the chorus of “they spent 15 years on this shit?” as if having an absurdly long development cycle was supposed to make a game good. Remember Too Human from all the way back in 2008? That had a 9-year development cycle and it was also a really shitty game. I can’t think of any game that has been stuck in development for 5 or more years that hasn’t been a pile of feces aside from Team Fortress 2, which went through an engine change and a complete visual overhaul during development while the development team was busy making about 5 other games as well.

But I’ll save more of that for later when I talk about problems with game reviews. What I’m trying to get at here is that when I review games (which I will start doing sometime next month), my review score and opinion of the game will be based solely on the game itself. Sure, I may talk about external factors related to the game (especially if I ever review Nintendo games), but know that they will not affect my score. If commenters end up being exceptionally dense about not realizing what I don’t factor into the game’s overall score, I may even add a section to each review saying “The following does not affect my opinion of the game or the review score, shitheads“. I will also focus only on the main mode of the game, and I’ll explain what that means soon.

4. I will abuse my commenters like… OK I can’t think of a good simile, but I’ll show nothing but complete disdain for them (read: you).

I bet you think you’re actually doing me a favor by reading this, you self-important sack of shit. I don’t give a damn about your fucking feelings, faggot. Don’t you have anything better to do with your life than sitting on your fat, diseased ass commenting on some shit that doesn’t mean a dick-guzzling thing in the grand scheme of the universe? Why don’t you go get a god damn job or take a long walk off a short pier you lazy fucking asshole.

5. I reserve the right to break my own rules at any time.

Some people may misinterpret this as just blatant trolling.

… well, it is blatant trolling, but it’s not JUST that.

See, this is just a free site that I’m using to talk about what I love. I don’t want it to get too serious or else it’ll feel like a second job to me. And frankly as long as I’m not getting paid to review games and my site isn’t being counted by Metacritic or Gamerankings, I have no obligation to be professional about this. I’m so not obligated to be professional that I’m not even wearing pants right now!

However, this doesn’t mean that I won’t take these rules or my game reviews seriously. I plan to put a lot of effort into these reviews and because of that I’ll need to at least appear professional and present my opinion in an organized way. However, it’s easier to put in this disclaimer in case I do slip up and don’t follow my own rules as a means of covering my own ass allowing exceptions to these rules.

Join me next week when I give my EVO 2011 Opinions and Predictions.