Mass Effect: Should Rio de Janeiro Have Been the Site of the Final Battle?

Read the most insane bullshit speculations about the final battle of Mass Effect 3 before “they” stop you from finding out the TRUTH!

A model of Jesus H. Christ built for the original Mass Effect 3 ending.

A model of Jesus H. Christ built for the original Mass Effect 3 ending.

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The Xbox One, the PS4, and One Idiot’s Opinion Concerning What Other Idiots Should Do

By Kyle B. Stiff

 The small part of the internet that isn’t devoted to masturbation is on fire with nerd outrage over the new Xbox One! Of course we know that this outrage can only result in people waiting in lines overnight, freezing their asses off in an attempt to throw their money at the new gaming system as soon as possible (while complaining the whole time). But don’t worry: A guy who’s self-deluded enough to consider himself the actual “voice of reason” on the internet has come up with a plan on what to do with that outrage, and yes, it involves saving money and playing a ton of awesome video games, so you better take your socks off for this one because they’re going to get knocked off otherwise.

xbox lol

First off, the Xbox One is out of touch with its era. The PlayStation 4, or the 4Play as Sony is calling it, might make the same mistake as well. The mistake goes kind of like this: A lot of us grew up in an era when technology in general, and gaming in particular, sucked balls. My first gaming system, the Intellivision, had over one million games, but each of those games was a variation on the theme that you were a poor person trapped in a maze built by wealthy psychopaths who were hunting you for sport. Both you and the hunters were displayed as dots on the screen. There was no way to win any of these games; you could only try to survive by running for your life for as long as possible. Me, and plenty of other old people, played these games for hours on end, and we hated every minute of it.

So we always dreamed of a better future. The NES was a lot better, but let’s face it – Mario sucked balls, too. The first Mario game was a new experience and had lots of great features, but it was in no way superior to reading a book while taking a good shit. As each new, upgraded system came out, we got more and more excited because games got so much cooler. We even dreamed of a day when we would someday walk into our room and say, “Computer, load program: Mass Effect,” and then a hologram of Garrus Vakarian would appear and say, “Hey there USER: YOUR REAL NAME, are you ready to hunt some bad guys?!” He would then toss us a futuristic assault rifle and we would proceed to kill monsters that looked eerily similar to the bully who was serial-raping us at school.

Good luck masturbating with this thing looking at you.

Good luck masturbating with this thing looking at you.

But the future isn’t really like that, is it? The shocking thing is that we’re living in the future right now. And I’m not trying to be cynical about it, either. Games have reached an amazing peak! They look good, they’re fun, and the controls aren’t endlessly frustrating. There’s a (somewhat) decent balance between big studios with access to mountains of money making blockbuster titles and games made by loners or small groups with the tools to make something decent on the cheap. Tech-wise, shit isn’t going to get any better than it is now. This might sound ridiculous, but unless tons of money and energy are pumped into the development of a new type of technology on the scale of another Manhattan Project, you’re not going to see anything that will shatter your paradigms. Sorry graphics-whores! Holo-games need money, and it’s a sad fact that the real world is falling apart. We’re running out of resources and nations are going bankrupt and corporations are seeing profits only because they use sweat shops and tax-avoidance loopholes. We’re dreaming of colonizing Mars when we couldn’t even return to the Moon if we had to do it to save our species. We may be forced to be satisfied with games staying much the same as they are now… and that’s fine with me.

And that’s why it seems strange to me that the Xbox One is trying to get us all so excited. First off, I’ve been around long enough to know that the fancier systems never work as expected in the first year. All you guys standing in line to buy this shit on the day it comes out are going to end up writing a lot of angry letters (or “tweets” as we say in the future) because there’s going to be problems. Increased complexity equals increased horseshit hassles; that’s the truth about technology.

"Oh hey man. Oh nothin' much, I was just playing a game until you skyped me and interrupted the fun I was having, no big deal man."

“Oh hey man. Oh nothin’ much, I was just playing a game until you skyped me and interrupted the fun I was having, no big deal man.”

I’ve heard a lot about the Xbox One responding to voice commands, and let me tell you right now – there is no better way to get your console to come on than an “on” button which responds to your finger. Pushing a button with your God-given appendage is some next-level bleeding-edge tech that cannot be topped. In fact, this may be a lie, but I’m going to go out on a limb and state, for the record, that saying to your Xbox One, “Xbox, turn on,” will not result in your game system booting up with any greater efficiency than saying any other random phrase. The question, “Have you cleaned the litterbox?” followed by the response, “Not this week, no,” will just as often result in your Xbox One booting up, finding a problem with its internet connection, and playing the last anal fisting video you stored on its massive hard drive. Really, creating any machine that responds to voice commands is a sad attempt at creating a fantastic future-world that simply cannot exist. As long as you have a finger and are capable of using it, then a simple on/off button interface is a technological peak that is seemingly unimpressive only because it is so quietly and so confidently devoid of pretension.

There’s also this: Those new game systems are going to be cheaper, work better, and have less annoying functions (like always-on internet connections) in a year or two after they launch. It’s a cold, hard fact that every Xbox 360 sold during the initial launch ended up showing the “red ring of RROD of death” moments before their smoking innards spilled out the ass-end in a convulsing, slimy heap. Fast forward ten years or so, and you can now drop kick an Xbox 360 after slamming it against the wall and it will still play Call of Madden multiplayer without even being online. Surely you live in poverty deep enough that you can wait a year or two before helping these technophiliac cocksuckers make their next yacht payment? It’s not like your current system sucks; you have a huge backlist of games you could be playing while waiting for the new systems to get their kinks worked out AND develop a decent library of games.

I don't know what this is but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it won't work as well as a traditional controller with buttons on it.

I don’t know what this is but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it won’t work as well as a traditional controller with buttons on it.

Don’t believe me? Christ, are you serious!? A lot of you fans of J-RPGs have over one hundred Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games that are vastly superior to Final Fantasy which you haven’t even tried out yet. Own a DS? Play Infinite Space. It’ll blow your mind and haunt your soul for years. Play Mass Effect or Assassin’s Creed if you’ve been living in a cave and have somehow missed them. If you’re the proud owner of a PS3, you’re one lucky bastard who has access to a heap of amazing exclusives that the rest of us fucking idiots will never be able to play: Journey, the HD version of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the Uncharted games, Infamous, and the annoying yet ridiculously fun Valkyria Chronicles. There’s also a shit-ton of Monster Hunter games that are soul-destroying time sinks that are so fun they can ruin healthy relationships and have the added benefit of being filled with annoying Japanese “quirks” you can point and laugh at.

Now, I know you’ve got your own backlog list of games that you’re working on, so let me give you a tip: Cross off every “open-world” game on there. You’ve already played enough of them. Whenever someone throws around the term “gamer’s fatigue”, it always has to do with some shitty over-hyped sandbox game that had an amazing trailer but which is never all that fun. The beginning is usually pretty boring (anyone remember the beginning of Red Dead Redemption?), the middle is packed with fetch quests, and the end is never all that good because the studios always forget to hire real writers to write them.

xbox one

So that’s what this idiot thinks. What do the rest of you idiots think? Is saving the money you don’t really have just a strange sub-culture that has absolutely no relevance in this amazing future-world of voice-activated horseshit? Note that you can leave a comment by saying aloud, “Kyle’s blog, activate program: LEAVE A COMMENT.” When your computer responds, “HELLO FRIEND, WHAT USERNAME PLEASE DO YOU USING?” then simply state your full name and this blog will automatically give you a funny and culturally relevant username with a 69 on the end for added comedic value. Please contact your network administrator if you experience any difficulties.

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Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

The Key to Unlocking Iron-Man 3: Is This Even a Review?

Tony Stark is more than a whiny bitch in a sweet tin can, Iron-Man 3 is more than it seems, and this review may be more than a review. CLICK HERE to learn the senses-shattering truth about Iron-Man 3!

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The Final Chapter in the Grand Theft Auto Fivology

By Kyle B. Stiff

Everyone’s really excited about Grand Theft Auto 5. How could they not be, considering the trailer? Three playable characters runnin’ around and raisin’ a shit storm – looks awesome, right?

grand theft auto 5

Before ya’ll get too excited, let me remind you that the Grand Theft Auto 4 trailer was also mind-blowingly awesome. Do you remember it? Scene after scene showed Nico walking away from explosions, police cars flipping out of control while Nico threw his ride into reverse and tore down the highway like he was in Drive, leaning out of a building with a sniper rifle while the building was slowly falling over on its side, even a view from a 747 cockpit with the Twin Towers looming near while Nico in the pilot’s seat slowly turned to the camera and said, “Are you ready for this, America?”

XXX RSG_GTAV_SCREENSHOT_099.JPG D ENT

But then what happened when you started playing? Nico landed in New York with little fanfare, then his brother was like, “Can you drive me around the block?” During the boring drive Nico hinted at having an interesting experience by saying something like, “I’m about balls-deep in some bad memories about the awful war I was in,” and then his brother was like, “Yeah yeah, that’s great, listen just hit these points on the map and then we’ll call this intro stage over and done.”

Franklin_Chop_Extended

Throughout the rest of the game we are invited to pick up random losers and shoot a few random losers. There were a few memorable personalities (sadly Nico wasn’t one of them). At least the game had a great ending, right? Strangely enough, most of the “end reveal” type stuff was narrated by a character who was introduced for the comedy inherent in the fact that the player could not understand what he was saying. Hearing Nico speak with his Rastafarian buddy during the final drive was more than a little strange; it would have made more sense to have Nico say, “Who was doing what? Why was going where? Wait, slow down. Okay, nevermind, I’ll just drive in silence and try to figure this shit out my damn self.”

What's going on with her upper half?! Is she going to be okay?!?

What’s going on with her upper half?! Is she going to be okay?!?

I like launching off of shit and going on a rampage as much as anyone, but for real, you guys: Excitement over a new Grand Theft Auto? Also, forgive me for the whiny rant. Normally I’m just grateful to be here. But I’ve been seeing people get excited about new Grand Theft Auto games for the past twenty years and, well… they’re not really that cool, are they?

Your Reward for My Victory

The ninth challenge in the Iron Writer contest ended in victory. I returned from the arena, carefully cleaned my weapons and returned them to their shelf, then strode off to the showers in dead silence. My servants congratulated one another as they took my armor, but when they looked at my face to see if it was flushed with victory, they saw only the blank serenity of one accustomed to crushing his opponents and who is already focused on the next battle.

If you want to check out the stories, they’re right HERE.

My official entry was the second story I wrote for the contest; I’ll post the first in this very blog post that you now hold in your hands. It has the same necessary set pieces: A loom, a sunken ship, a rollercoaster, and a pregnant camel. My first attempt was too long and shortening it would have been like wrestling a buttered goblin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look.

Note that this superhero-themed story contains a bomb in a backpack, which was included unconsciously and may be so painfully pertinent in terms of current events that many readers might have considered it to be in poor taste. Oh well!

spider man destroy

KISS OF THE MAN-SPIDER: FANTASTIC FIRST ISSUE! FEATURING… THE DEADLY CAMEL!

By Kyle B. Stiff 

After Art proved to Rachel beyond a shadow of a doubt that Commander America could beat the Man-Spider in a one-on-one battle, she finally relented and agreed to introduce him to the old man that she was convinced was the real-life Padre Porter, the web-slinging crime-fighter also known as the Man-Spider. Despite his father’s insistence that the Man-Spider had saved his life years ago, Art was sure that an elaborate joke was being played on him.

“Alright,” Art said, “let’s go see this old fart you’re crushing on. But I have to be back by seven, or dad’ll be pissed.”

“I’m not ‘crushing’ on him,” Rachel said, still sulking. “In fact, he’s pretty gross.”

A hike through the neighborhood brought them to a dilapidated house tucked between overgrown foliage. Rachel entered without knocking. Art entered and was assaulted by the stench of post-game locker room and cigarette butts. He could hear wood knocking against wood and the sound of multiple conspiracy theory radio shows playing one on top of another.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw an old man with thin limbs working an old-fashioned loom. He had wisps of long white hair, a shirt that doubled as a napkin, and his eyes were covered in shadow. It was difficult to see, but it looked as if the old man was pulling string from his pocket. Art wanted to turn and leave, but he was enchanted by the pale, shining tapestry strung across the loom.

“Padre Porter?” Art said, feeling a little foolish. “Did you, uh, retire from fighting crime to pick up weaving?”

“I never retired,” the old man said immediately. “My old costume no longer fits, but I still weave the fates of men. I still spin justice, boy.”

Art realized that the old man spoke around a thick wad of saliva that collected at the corners of his mouth and around his tongue. He was further repulsed to see that the string stuck to his fingers as if his hands were coated in jelly or syrup.

“I guess I thought you were just a comic book character.”

“The greater part of reality you see only as a shadow. Did you know that Aleister Crowley, grand magister of the new age, was the inspiration for Professor Javier, leader of the Ex-Men, in your comic books? He taught us how to become more than human. He gave us our true names and turned us into supermen. But I can see that you, Camel, have brought me a gift in your backpack.”

Art was about to argue that not only was he not wearing a backpack, he also had nothing to do with the b-list super-villain whose lame power was the ability to go without water for weeks at a time. But when he reached behind himself he realized that he was, in fact, wearing a heavy backpack.

“Surprised?” said Padre Porter. “It’s a bomb, no doubt. You’re a victim of mind control sent by the Revengers to kill me. But mind control is such a fickle thing, isn’t it? Anyone can say the correct keywords to activate programming. For example: Rollercoaster.”

Art was struck by intense nausea. He felt as if he was teetering over the edge of a precipice and would fall at any moment. He crashed to his knees.

“Why have you come?” said Padre.

Art heard himself speaking. “Pregnant Camel comes across the wasteland to give birth to an explosion. We’ll kill you… just like we killed your syphilitic master.”

Art felt hands pull his backpack away. He could not resist. He saw men and women standing over him. Their faces were dead, their eyes were black and empty, and they carried automatic rifles and handguns.

Padre paused and leaned over his loom. His eyes were also black and dead. “I can’t do the work on my own anymore. My children are my hands and eyes now. Their thoughts are my thoughts.”

“Freedom fighters?” Art forced out the words. “They look like terrorists!”

“They’re the good guys. And you will be, too, once you reveal the location of your handler’s headquarters.”

Art clamped his mouth shut, but then heard himself say, “The museum, the sunken ship display. It’s the entrance to Titan IC. We call it Titan-99.”

“Rachel… Arachne, go and lead the others. Go and kill this man’s father, Commander America, just as I should have done so long ago.”

The superheroes filed out of the door silently. Still frozen in place, Art listened as Padre, the Man-Spider, explained that his fate would be rewoven as a bringer of justice. The old man returned to his loom and the shining tapestry and Art was horrified to see that he was pulling fresh string not from his pocket but from a grotesque opening on his lower belly.

THE END.

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If you’re interested in Kyle B. Stiff’s battles in the Iron Writer competition, you can view the previous chapter HERE.

Or check out the next chapter HERE.

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 Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.