May 29, 2009

Sniper/Spy Pack 2nd Impressions: Humble Pie

I'm going to say it. I was wrong.

The more I play in it, the more I actually have come to love Valve's new unlock system. Not having the usual speedy access to those sweet, sweet unlockables was disappointing and in that disappointment I was blinded to the good aspects of it. Gone are the days of mindlessly grinding achievements, all you have to do is enjoy the game you already do.

Where I think Valve messed up in this transition of systems, is they should have implemented the trading system promised, or made it so we wouldn't get duplicates immediately. It's frustrating that I've been playing the game for a good long while now and only have the Ambassador to show for it.

I go through cycles - binges, if you will - of Arena. I love Arena. It's like the cool, older-brother of Counterstrike. But, like Counterstrike, I have to be in the mood for it. The one time I played Nucleus, I didn't form opinions of it for good or for bad. I look forward to putting the new maps through the paces... once I feel like getting around to it.

What I can't stop playing right now is the payload race map, Pipeline. This is everything I wanted in my map and more. Attack/defend maps are one thing, but I've always enjoyed 2 teams vying for the same objective: CTF, Hydro, and traditional CP maps. This frantic style of play forces each team to both mind their defences as well as take the offense. The key to victory in these usually isn't in skill levels or in any one given strategy, but the fluidity in which a team adjusts to the situation.

Why I'm swooning hardcore over this map, though, is the changes in strategy the further you progress your cart. In two stages, the further you've pushed the cart, the closer to the enemy base it is. Last ditch pushes at the end are always exciting for both the attackers and defenders, because usually towards the end the cart has to go up only a small hill to win.

And in the final stage, it's a mad push up adjacent roller-coaster-esque tracks. This is the fun part, because these tracks are unforgiving: if not actively pushing the cart, the cart rolls back downhill, near where it started. Also adding to the frustration is the narrowness of the track - if you fall off, or are pushed off, you go back to the ground floor. Did I mention that the two tracks are within shooting distance of one another? Theoretically, both teams could have a firefight with one another while pushing their respective cart. Insane.

Now just let me have those other unlockables...

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May 28, 2009

Breaking News: "Internet Trolls" are among us

Clever meta-troll, or hilariously behind the times piece on trolls? YOU DECIDE.

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May 27, 2009

The Kadir-Buxton method, kung-fu for the soul

Over the years, man's grasp of medicine has evolved and grown. We've gone from the four humours, to the great accident penicillin, to many new and exciting technologies and drugs. I have no idea what exactly those new things are, I'm not a real doctor (no matter what I may tell you in person). Point is, when I meet someone who is a doctor I trust these people - who spent the better part of their lives studying this kind of thing - know what they're doing.

Why am I bringing this up? Because some dude claims that he has the cure/answer for, like, almost everything in this world. Mental illness, female orgasms, fertility, Alzheimer's, cheap electricity, making people forget things, an alternative to sex, and a lot of other stuff that I couldn't be bothered to read after about 30 minutes of reading.

His method? You get struck somewhere on your body. No joke. This guy strikes you:

This is the real life Dr. Nick

This is the developer of the Kadir-Buxton method. His site, which purports all of this medical alchemy, can be found at:

I was hoping this site would have links to YouTube videos of his method at work, because I need to see it in action to believe it. No, wait, I just need to see it in action for entertainment purposes.

I have to give credit where it's due, though. This method did have the side effect of having the balls to claim all of this stuff. Admittedly, his site is a pretty good read. But I warn you, the idiocy of it is so thick you'll need to stop and surface for air after a while.

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May 26, 2009

Shotgun Content 8: Shameless self-promotion edition

Me, me, me, me! It's all about me.
On this blog, at least....

  • I'm writing now on another site, Top Cultured. I've even got me a new-fangled feature, entitled "Who Ya Got?", where I pit fictional characters and whatnot against one another in a theoretical fight. My writing there won't replace anything I do here, it's just another side project I'm working on.

    As always, I strive for a good read. Go check it out and let me know what you think!

  • Another episode of the Fair Use Law (ep 202) has been released and is available for your listening pleasure.

    What's relevant about it is that starting with last week's episode, we had moved to a new hosting server. If you were listening to the podcast using the embedded players on the FUL website, you've likely already made the switch. If you were subscribed via iTunes, there's a new feed. You'll need to re-subscribe to us using this link:

    Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. I promise you we're being as inane as ever on the new hosting server (podbean).

  • Though hardly breaking news, particularly given the speed of the internet, the TF2 Spy and Sniper packs were released last Thursday. To much of the community's disappointment, earning the new unlockables were no longer tied to the new achievements, but rather released randomly over time. Though I'm unsure if this has been fixed, anecdotal reports indicate that these unlock events would even give you stuff you've already unlocked previously.

    I don't like this new direction. Obviously, the lion's share of the fun of these packs are the unlockables. They radically change the way we play a given class. The precedent had been set that if you actively farm for 2 or so hours, you'd likely do enough to earn all of a class' unlockables. Not too huge of a time commitment, given the reward. In this new system, it wasn't uncommon for people to sink in 5+ hours and come away empty handed.

    I get why they changed the unlock system. It helps newer players get access to unlockable stuff without having to grind out achievements. This lets them just *play* the game (a novel idea). But Valve's implementation of it was less than Valve-perfect and they frustrated a lot of veterans in the process.

  • Lastly: LOL

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May 22, 2009


Thanks to the very awesome Scott Ramsoomair (via his recent tweet), I was turned onto Gamer, a movie coming out later this year.

I don't care if it ultimately sucks, it looks like awesome campy fun. Think Running Man meets Halo. And honestly, who wouldn't want to play a video game where you get to control a live person in armed combat? Ok, maybe not an actual person, but imagine if we had that level of detail and control with our next gen video games?

Also, Michael C. Hall is in it, and he looks to be the type of sadistic, murderous control freak persona he's perfected in Dexter. Only this time, he's the bad guy. That alone should be worth the price of admission (or at least a rental).


Click here to continue reading "Gamer"

May 21, 2009


Good job, Japan. You've outdone even yourself. Give them credit, they are incredibly efficient at making brain synapses start moshing against one another and then shut off completely.

This hopefully Japanese exclusive WiiWare game is all about... well, I don't know exactly. You'll have to draw your own conclusions with the below video. It's full of OH GOD MY EYES!

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May 20, 2009

"Unnecessary" Quotes

Have you ever "seen" a sign or flyer that just had unnecessary "quotation marks" littering its copy? You're not really "sure" you know what they're trying to "say", correct? Well, one "blog" has "decided" to "round up" and "archive" such "things". It's the Unnecessary Quotes blog and can be "found" at:

It's a great read that really makes you think twice about some of the signs you glance over everyday. Now that I'm on the lookout for them, I'm looking forward to striking up an interesting conversation at one local Dunkin' Donuts notorious for this kind of thing.

- Via "Dan" of "Travelling Munchies" fame.

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May 19, 2009

Lost in Translation: Taken

Back in the day, a few friends of mine discovered the joy that is Babelfish. Specifically, translating things into Japanese and back again. I've decided to apply this alchemy to short(er) reviews of movies and/or games, to give my opinions that extra bit of perspective. As you can see below, something gets lost in translation.

I've edited the below review of Taken, only in that replaced the untranslatable kanji to what my original intentions were in the words surrounded by brackets.


[Liam] Neeson is the government staff whom you make retire from section of thing which kicks the donkey. With this movie, as for him him the fact that relationship with that daughter who ignored these years entirely as a agency is repaired is tried. That daughter goes to Paris, being taken that it presumes, can. As for remainder of movie " Is put Waldo compared to [Liam] which tries the fact that daughter the way eagerly is found is included; Where' s Waldo? " Book. With that wake as for him kills with progressively new, interesting method the road to be the corpse who is left. Finally, that daughter of discovery of [Liam] and after that directly you have lived happily.

I enjoyed this movie really. That undecided state, the fight scene, had the pursuit and espionage activities of the car. Basic the bone series isn' Think of that it meets to the [Harrison Ford] movie; The Star Wars or Indiana Jones of t.

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May 18, 2009

Surprise Spy update!

Valve, in true creative fashion, dropped the bomb that the upcoming Sniper pack soon to be released is instead a Spy pack. Turns out the Sniper really was a Spy. With the news, we get word of two new unlockables, the Dead Ringer and the Cloak and Dagger.

With the Dead Ringer equipped, when you take a non-lethal shot, you immediately cloak for up to 8 seconds and leave a corpse behind. The amount of confusion and insanity this thing can leave is going to be nuts. Now, even when you identify and shoot at a Spy, you can't be so sure you actually killed him, leaving you even more paranoid and confused. On a server with friendly fire on, this is going to be absolute mayhem.

The Cloak and Dagger is a new cloaking device that will allow you to be cloaked indefinitely provided you aren't moving. In fact, that's the only way the device will recharge, is to stand still. It's a trade-off, but a fair one - it's a better cloaking device, but if you want it to recharge, you have to effectively take yourself out of the game for a few seconds.

And not only did Valve see fit to surprise-release a pack for my favorite class, but they also put out a new "Meet The" video, "Meet the Spy". It's hilarious, fitting, and embedded just below this sentence.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say Valve was trying to get into my pants. I can't wait for the Spy update.

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May 15, 2009

Patrick Stewart Appreciation Day

I don't think I can sum it up any better than my friend: Patrick Stewart is an American hero that just happened to be born and lives overseas. Don't believe him? Take a look at this old bit he did for the Conan O'Brien show and you tell me otherwise.

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May 14, 2009

Shotgun Content 7

Click, click, pull:

  • Lately, the Konami Code has been sweeping the internet. Several sites now have Easter eggs and/or additional functionality built into them simply by entering the Konami code into them. There's a whole list of them over at

    I would love to be able to Konami Code-enable something here on The Unwind, but I don't know what, and don't immediately have the programming expertise to do it. I can work on the coding, any suggestions on what that Easter egg should be, readers?

  • Random thought: How can successful emo bands still be all Angsty McLiveJournal after they've hit it big? If I were them, I'd go all Scrooge McDuck swimming in my large sums of money and when I'm bored with that have sex until I pass out with any number of beautiful women throwing themselves at me. Simply because I could. How are they not all sunshine and puppies at this point?

  • TF2 64. It needs to be done.

  • I did a few photoshops for, but never strung enough together to make any coherent theme of it here. Soooo, here:
Theme: Famous Pictures Without Pants

Theme: If Microsoft Ruled the World

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May 13, 2009

PSA: Time is a resource

I sometimes believe the internet can read my mind. Don't believe me? Well, I had been thinking to myself recently that, while an excellent source of entertainment, video games really don't do much else for you. And wouldn't you know it, the same day I find this excellent article over at Pixelated Geek. They put my thoughts into words likely better than I could.

This has nothing to do with the article, but I found it on Pixelated Geek and lol'd.

To sum up: time spent playing video games is time lost doing anything else. This is something that I think some avid gamers forget from time to time.

Oh sure, arguments be made that video games increase your hand/eye coordination, or that organizing a WoW raid is an exercise in project management. But other than other gamers, who else is going to understand this? More importantly everyone has goals in life, and most of them don't involve video games (get an education/job/spouse, raise a family, travel more, lose weight, etc.). Video games advance none of these goals.

I'm not knocking video games in any way - I love them - but I don't recommend anyone play them at the expense of other aspects of their lives.

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May 12, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

This is an idea that I hate myself for for not thinking of sooner.

You ever take a picture, only to realize after the fact that it's horrible? Multiple driver's licenses I've seen and owned can attest to this fact. Best case scenario, it's something you can laugh off with your friends. Worst case scenario, you make people recoil like watching the Elaine dance.

But what if you take the time to get your family together, get all dressed up, and have your picture taken by someone who at least knew how to operate a high-end camera (not just point-and-shoot)? What if the picture then turned out horrible? Likely, you'd be featured on Awkward Family Photos:

It's a site dedicated to capturing and sharing all awkward family photos, mostly to hilarious results. Started about a month ago, it updates very frequently (apparently, there's no shortage of these photos).

Truly the internet is a magical place.

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May 11, 2009

News, sans the LOLcats

When I typically go to look for the day's daily events, I find myself on content aggregators such as Reddit or (if particularly masochistic) Digg. As I find myself pretty in tune with the communities on those sites, they serve as a great proxy to the news and goings on of things I'm interested in.

THIS turned up on the first page of a Google Image Search for "news". If it wasn't done by a 5 year old, I'm sad for humanity.

To be sure, there are a lot of great news articles on these sites that relay the important events that are happening in our world. But for every serious article about the economy, I get yet another conspiracy theory around 9/11. For every article about peace talks in the middle east, another professes their unnatural love of Ron Paul. For every death of someone who has shaped and improved our lives in some way, a LOLcat image.

What if I just want the wide-reaching benefits of an aggregation site, focused on actual news of the day written by respected journalists? Well, there's no site that perfectly does this yet. But I am glad I stumbled upon Rayogram's newspaper aggregator.

What it is, is a service that takes the front pages of every major newspaper from around the world and puts them on this site. Updated daily*. We're talking most of the major US newspapers, several smaller market US newspapers (Hellloooo, The Oregonian), a few British newspapers, and some Middle East newspapers, all at a glance.

You won't get to read the articles themselves - the font is too small - but you get to see what's pressing in the day's events. Perfect to then take to my regular news haunts (Reddit, Digg) and see if I can pick out articles explaining the situations further.

Equally interesting is to see what's important to whom. The main headline for today's Guardian, for example, is about the possible dissolving of Parliament. Chicago? They're more concerned about any sleeping issues you might have. The WSJ says the world's markets are getting back into the trading game, while Detroit's paper felt the urge to assault me with color.

Something for everyone! Go check it out, it's interesting, at very least.

*DISCLAIMER: When it's actually working. Some days have been a little dodgy, but as of the writing of this post, the day's news are accurately updated.

Click here to continue reading "News, sans the LOLcats"

May 8, 2009

TF2 Scout is a Surprisingly Effective Salesman

The title really says it all. He's finally sold me on a Slap Chop.

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May 7, 2009

Review: Knowing

As usual, I'll try my best not to spoil anything here for you. But given that the entire plot was given during commercials/previews, and people's natural resistance to watch anything with Nicholas Cage in it (except maybe pachinko machines), if I slip up I'm not going to get too worried about it here. So if you're Nicholas Cage and I'm spoiling the movie for you: sorry.

Like I said, the movie's plot was given to you in the commercials: Nicholas Cage and son get some set of random numbers which predict a lot of disasters and eventually the end of the world, and they've got to figure out what to do about it. The interesting thing here is this kind of parallels how the movie went. Once Cage figures out the numbers are a warning, he too understands the world's going to end. He knows he can't change it, he just has to deal with the inevitable. It's a suspense thriller that takes some outlandish, yet believable turns.

SPOILER ALERT: This movie wasn't terrible.

While I'm trying not to spoil anything, the "ok, the world's going to end. What now?" question that went through both the audience's and Cage's head was really believable and played out to create the right amount of tension.

A few things of note:
  • This movie takes place on a planet where bad parenting is the norm. Cage is a single parent father who apparently needs to get good and sauced to watch the news. In a span of a few days, I saw enough emptied hard liquor bottles to put some frat houses to shame. Also, Cage meets up with a woman, herself another single parent, as they try to understand what's going on. In the course of investigating, the two leave their kids in the car for long stretches of time out in the woods when they know (spoiler alert) something or someone has been targeting their kids.

  • The acting in this movie was in-line with expectations. I expected awkward, bumbling Nicolas Cage and I got awkward, bumbling Nicolas Cage. Thank God the plot was compelling enough to overlook this, and that some (though not all) of the supporting cast was pulling the slack.

Would I recommend this movie to others? Yes, but not to watch in a theater. There are a few blockbusters coming around the bend probably more worthy of your time and money. But make this a rental when it comes out, and I don't think you'd be disappointed.

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May 6, 2009

U Can't Touch Mormon Jesus

A friend of mine recently sent me a video that he said I needed to post on The Unwind. Giving his opinion the weight it deserves, I checked the recommended video "U Can't Touch Mormon Jesus". My reactions to the video were the following:

Viewing 1: What the shit is this?
Viewing 2: No way am I putting it on The Unwind.
Viewing 3: Why am I still watching it?
Viewing 4: Mormon Jesus' head bobbing is freaking awesome.
Viewing 5: "STOP! Mormon Time!"
Viewing 6: LOL.
Viewing 7: This is like a really good (or really bad) 80's Saturday morning cartoon.
Viewing 8: I wonder if Mormon Jesus can be summoned by the Planeteers.
Viewing 9: ...I think I need to pitch an idea to the Mormon Church (again).
Viewing 10: Oh God, why can't I get this out of my head?

The bastard was right. I need to inflict this upon the you, the reader share with the masses. Behold! Mormon Jesus!

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May 5, 2009

Full Throttle, the non-interactive version

Back in its heyday, LucasArts made some damn fine video games - particularly of the adventure variety. They were the masterminds behind the Monkey Island series, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and my favorite: Full Throttle.

It's you're standard story of the biker-turned-hero, Ben, who has to clear the Polecats', his gang's, name after they are framed for the brutal murder of the president of the last remaining motorcycle company. The game, typical of all LucasArts games, had great humor, challenging puzzles, and interesting characters to really keep you interested.

Someone took the liberty of playing through the game and splicing it together into one long video for your enjoyment. Which is good, because now you don't have to spend hours finding a stupid crucial lockpick you can barely see in a door that's SO not obvious playing the game.

"Help me, Ben! You're my only hope!"

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May 4, 2009

Uncomfortable plot summaries

Extremely condensed movie plots, made as offensive and politically incorrect as possible:

Example: SOPHIE’S CHOICE: Mom loves one of her kids way more than the other one.

What better way to describe something, than in the format it itself uses? These reviews are pretty funny, and the list is actually pretty comprehensive. It's a good read, or if you'd ever like to describe a movie to a friend, this is the perfect way to do it.

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May 1, 2009

It's the final countdown. Made awesomer.

If they had to pick a winner of the "most awesome thing ever" contest right now, this guy would take the award. Not content with playing just one retarded instrument, this man combines 3 retarded instruments together to form one super-retarded instrument capable of inspiring awe and pity. But mostly awe. It's called a Kazookeylele. Loosely translated into English, it means "awesome".

Add to this he's playing Europe's "Final Countdown" and, well, this video is full of win.

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