Top 5 Team Fortress 2 Machinima

Team Fortress 2 is an incredibly fun class-centric shooter game which benefits not just from well-designed gameplay mechanics, but from an intense level of strong humor and characterization. So, in honor of TF2 now being free to play, here are my list of my five favorite Team Fortress 2 videos (particularly of the “Meet the…” series.)

5. Meet the Engineer

“The answer is a gun. And if that don’t work, use more gun.”

4. Meet the Sniper

“Be polite. Be efficient. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

3. Meet the Medic

“Don’t be such a baby! Ribs grow back! No, they don’t…”

2. Meet the Scout

“If you were from where I was from, you’d be [bleep]ing dead!”

1. Meet the Spy

“Ah, ma petite chou-fleur…

Five Comediennes I Have Crushes On (Who Aren’t Nasim Pedrad)

As the old saying goes, dying is easy, but comedy is hard! These ladies have managed to prosper in the often male-dominated medium of standup comedy, as well as manage acting work, writing, or other difficult positions to find in showbusiness. And, I’m trying my best to not mention the admittedly beautiful and talented Nasim Pedrad, who I have mentioned more than a couple of times on this site. So, without further preface, here is my list of five of my favorite comediennes who I also happen to have crushes on (who aren’t Nasim Pedrad.)

5. Maria Bamford
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Maria Bamford is perhaps best described by her fellow Comedian of Comedy Patton Oswalt, it’s like she’s a Martian telling stupid human jokes. Her routines have social consciousness and a keen awareness of the human condition while reveling in neurosis and eccentric impressions of family members, friends, enemies, and the stray celebrity.

4. Jessi Klein
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Writer, comedian, and actress, perhaps best known as a reoccurring panelist on Best Week Ever, Jessi Klein has that nerd chic look that is very hard to resist, as well as an acerbic wit that only makes this more difficult.

3. Kristen Schaal
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Kristen Schaal is not what I’d call conventionally beautiful, but her voice and stage personality are so funny, charming, and, frankly, adorable, it’s difficult not to fall in love with this Flight of the Concords and Daily Show contributor, even if she’s playing the voice of a talking triceratops in Toy Story 3.

2. Natasha Leggero
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A judge on Last Comic Standing and frequent panelist on Chelsea Lately, Natasha Leggero is basically a funny version of Audrey Hepburn. If I didn’t just describe your perfect woman, I apologize for the dreary world you live in, because I just described mine.

1. Nasim Pedrad
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…Damn it!

On the DC Reboot

For those unawares…

Personally, it’s hard for me to get to incensed about the news of a reboot over at DC, it’s not the first time DC has done this after all.

I’ve read some articles predicting some of the freedom this will bring will allow some bolder creative decisions to be made, and possibly entice new readers to what has been frankly a struggling medium. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen, of course.

Some pro’s:
* Grant Morrison will be on Action Comics (a bold choice, but All-Star Superman was perhaps the strongest, most iconic, Man of Steel in recent memory. So I’m optimistic beyond my normal Morrison fanboy-ness. And Batman Inc. will continue, a sign the work he’s doing with that title isn’t going to be immediately retconed and handwaved the hell out of existence completely [cf. his run on New X-Men…])
* Kyle Rayner appears to have dodged another reboot-related-retcon, despite being increasingly redundant (especially after losing the Ion powers,) and avoiding a trend of being a forgotten replacement to a more popular and iconic version of the Legacy (most notably Ray Palmer returning to prominence as the Atom.) I was reading DC for a while before Zero Hour, so I had a bit of time with both Hal and Kyle, and I honestly like both of them (although my soft spot for Guy Gardner has grown larger and softer as I’ve gotten older.)
* A couple of these titles look actually readable. I also like how some of the Wildstorm and Vertigo stuff seems to be seeping into mainstream canon (Grifter[?!] of all people is getting an ongoing, along with Stormwatch, and John Constantine [it looks like] as a member of ‘Justice League Dark.’)

Some con’s:
* Rob Liefeld drawing Hawk and Dove (I know he has some history with the characters, but, the fact anybody will still seriously consider giving him work strikes me as laughable.)
* Speaking of Liefeld, the Teen Titans look like a 90’s fever dream.
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* I’m highly concerned of the 52 reboot titles, maybe 26 (or less) seem like they’ll be viable longterm.
* At the risk of being petty, some of the costume designs strike me as a little silly (or at least, they’ll probably seem dated in 10 years or so. Mr. Terrific and the aforementioned Titans seems especially egregious. As do Red Hood and the Outlaws. Is Red Arrow wearing a baseball cap?!)
* Also, in opposition to my “some of these titles look readable” argument, speaking even as a Batman and Green Lantern fan, how many Bat- and Lantern titles can they really realistically support (and variations of the Justice League, for that matter)? I’d rather see those spaces going to some other ideas that could stand some fresh exposure (off the top of my head: Doom Patrol, The Question, The Creeper, the Metal Men…)

But what do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Five Super-Sexy/Super-Nerdy Strip Themes

Geeky girls. They exist, and not in some xenobiology book either. I’ve seen them with my own eyes, and I actually happen to have met and even befriended a couple in my travels. Some of them even take off their clothes (and, at times, a whole lot more) on stage or in front of cameras. So, for those ladies who want to showcase their dorky allegiances while still being hot for the beer-and-pretzels set, here are five songs that are hot, (mostly) extremely danceable, and dorky as sin.

So, if you’re at the club and these come on the loudspeakers, get your dollar bills ready, because they’re at least hopefully going to figurines or cosplay.

5. Fette’s Vette – MC Chris

For those sexy Mandalorian ladies who are bounty-hunting after my heart.

4. Why Don’t You Do Right (as performed by Jessica Rabbit)

I’m not entirely sure how I’d react if I were to see a buxom redhead bust out some Jessica Rabbit and perform a slow-burn striptease…

3. Grilled Cheese – Elmer Fudd

Nothing is quite so silky smooth (or so cheesy.)

2. I’ve Got My Eye On You – Jem and the Holograms

Any lady who would dance to this is outrageous; truly, truly, truly outrageous.

1. I Want You – Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

The theme to the villainous Scanty and Kneesocks, I Want You has driving bass, electronic organ, throbbing backwards-sounding modulated vocals, and is from an anime making fun of vulgar Western cartoons.

Top Five Fictional Places I Wish I Was On Vacation At

This Dork would like to apologize for a most unplanned break from the blogosphere. Life has a way of getting in the way, and I hope this doesn’t become part of an ongoing issue.

As summer encroaches for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, my thoughts are taken to the summer vacations of years past, which, having been in school up until two years ago, used to still be a major force in my life (even if I was working during them.) But now that I have nothing but the partish-time job I’m currently involved with, there is little hope, if any, of getting out of the City of Angels for more than perhaps a long weekend at best.

With that in mind, here are a list of the top five places that don’t actually exist that I’d want to go on vacation.

5. Coruscant

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I’m not the kind of guy who likes to rough it; I live in the desert already, so worlds like Tattooine offer little appeal to me, Endor is off limits due to my own dislike of Ewoks, and Hoth is way too cold for my tastes. But a chance to catch the nightlife on Coruscant, perhaps catch an opera and hear the tragedy of Darth Plageis the Wise, well, that sounds positively awesome…

Although, word to the wise, be careful who you fly with. I’ve found there to be some very unprofessional Star Tours pilots operating these days.

4. Guardia Village (AD 1000)

If visiting any of the time periods of Chrono Trigger (although the crumbling Empire of Zeal is a close second,) Guardia Village would have the least conflict. You could have a drink at the Inn, take a tour of Guardia Castle, or even beat up Gato to earn 15 silver points. You could even take part in the Millenial Festival and watch the horrific accident that sends a bunch of teenagers, a frog swordsman, a robot, a cavewoman, and a creepy scythe-wielding albino on a quest to destroy a giant space urchin thing.

3. Seattle

‘Nuff said.

2. Gotham City

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Despite its sky-high crime rates, Gotham is the city where Crime is Art, so, even if you are held up, you’ll get a good show out of it (but, as the Tony Randall-voiced Brain Gremlin noted in Gremlin 2, I’m pretty sure you can watch that for free.)

1. Lankhmar

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Lankhmar, the home of multiverse-renowned swordsmen Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser (penned by Fritz Lieber,) the City of the Black Toga, is a City of intrigue, adventure, and magic. Whether catching a service on the Street of the Gods, or buying a souvenir at the Bazaar of the Bizarre, or . Maybe I could catch the two at the Silver Eel for wine and a game of dice, hell, I could maybe even grab some of their trickledown tail.

Sonic’s Ultimate Sega Collection

I’ve been trying to build a respectable game collection for the Xbox 360 on a respectable budget, a feat which, with new games typically running at $59.99 a pop, is quite the challenge. So, I typically buy used, but, while trading in a few games, I came across a new game priced at $19.99 that I couldn’t pass up.

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Sonic’s Ultimate Sega Collection contains over 40 classic titles from the Genesis, including all the good Sonic games I can think of (Sonics 1, 2, 3, and Sonic and Knuckles,) all three Golden Axes, all three Streets of Rages, Ecco the Dolphin, Shining Force 1 and 2, Altered Beast, Phantasy Star 1 through 4, and Dr. Robotnik’s mean Bean Machine, just to scratch the surface. It’s available for both the PS3 and the XBox 360.

I owned a Sega Genesis, but it wasn’t the primary console of choice (this, for me, was the Super Nintendo, followed by the Playstation, then the Playstation 2, with a gradual shift to the Xbox,) and I don’t have the retro gaming nostalgia for many of these titles, and have been approaching them as someone familiar (and forgiving) of the graphical limitations of the time, looking for fun gameplay and stories. And I’ve found hours of enjoyment here. So, if you’re a nostalgic fan of 90’s gaming, or just someone looking for a whole lot of bang for their buck, this is definitely a game worth checking out!

Starship

I previously mentioned A Very Potter Musical while discuss the success of their Boy who Lived Darren Criss (better known as Blaine to Gleeks.) Criss wrote the music and lyrics, as well as pitched the concept, to the Team Starkid crew’s latest production, Starship, which he and Joe Walker apparently pitched as “The Little Mermaid meets Aliens.”


No surprise there.

This show manages to combine many of my loves, not limited to science fiction, puppetry, parody, and musical theater. Starship deals with a planet fulled of insects, and one in particular, Bug, who longs to be a (human) Starship Ranger, and doesn’t quite fit in with his fellow bugs. When a ship of Starship Rangers arrives, it seems like his chance might be here, only to have to deal with the inevitable interspecies warfare.

The puppetry work here is very detailed and well-performed, and the script is pretty sharp and funny overall. Standout performances for me were Lauren Lopez as the Velasquez-parody Lt. Taz and the rhotacism-heavy Bugette, and Meredith Stepien as the robotic Mega-Girl, but, really, I was very pleased watching this whole show, and I imagine any fans of sci-fi and/or musical theater will get a kick out of this too.

The entire show is available on Youtube, or for purchase on DVD on the Team Starkid website here.

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