Tag Archives: journal comics

Grinding Down on pause while I hide from furry cosplayers at MegaCon 2012

Tomorrow, Tara and I leave behind the cold, gray skies of Pennsylvania for hopefully something warmer in Florida. We’ll be at MegaCon 2012 from this upcoming Friday through Sunday, selling comics, being shy, and staring at cosplayers. You can find us at table RED 9, wherever that is. Just look for a fat bearded man and a small, attractive redhead–that’s us.

Let me give a quick rundown of what we’ll be shilling. Tara reprinted her girl-falls-into-a-puddle minicomic Puddles, has a new mini based on another song by Leema Mountain, has copies of Unite and Take Over, and some awesome prints based on those popular Game of Thrones peeps; you can see some previews here. On the other hand, I will be selling copies of my 31 Bad Comics challenges, the first issue of a new story called The Lost Seafarer, and some Supertown things. Also got some fancy postcards for All of Westeros to give out. You want more deets? Go here.

What does all this have to do with videogames and Grinding Down? Well, uh. I won’t have time to blog. I won’t have time to write up more delicious words about 100%ing Saints Row: The Third or playing the same exact character in Skyrim on the Xbox 360 and Steam or my early thoughts on the recently acquired Super Mario 3D Land. I won’t be able to do Achievements of the Week this time around. It’ll just have to wait for my grand return. Hope that’s okay.

But let’s play a game while I’m away. Wait. ::puts on Jigsaw voice:: I WANT TO PLAY A GAME WITH YOU. AND THAT GAME IS CALLED:

GUESS THE NUMBER OF STREETPASS TAGS I’LL GET AT MEGACON 2012!

Catchy, huh? See, MegaCon is looking to be a pretty popular convention, and where there’s a popular convention, there’s the chance to score a good number of StreetPass tags for my Nintendo 3DS. For comparison, I got 51 tags back in April 2011 at MoCCA, but that was also early into the system’s life; with the price drop and array of good games, I feel like the chance of someone else having a 3DS is much higher now.

Whoever comes close to the exact number without going over will win a prize. What’s the prize? Geez, really? You have to ask? Okay, okay. The prize is that you can pick a topic–any topic you want though try not to creep me out–and I’ll write about it. Look, I’m not made of money. Take it or leave it.

Place your bets below, and I’ll see y’all when I return!

Y’know, that Alpha Male Deathclaw glitch

I’m going to be talking about a spectacular glitch from Fallout: New Vegas today, one so amazing in its horribleness and mind-fuckery that I had planned to draw a journal comic about it, but my wife beat me to the punch, which is fine as it’s a great l’il comic that captured the infamous event perfectly:

Click for a bigger version, yo. And yeah, I like to sit on the floor when I play. Wanna make something of it?

Right. Glitches and Fallout: New Vegas. I just can’t seem to escape writing about ’em. And this one’s a doozy. I was just beginning to scope out the landscape with Rhaegar, my fourth playthrough character, trying to locate some of the more pertinent locations so that they would be ready for fast-traveling. Leaving Goodsprings, I headed out towards Sloan because I knew that I could at least get a few snippets of EXP from fixing one of the generators and healing Snuffle’s injuries. What, you don’t know who Snuffles is? Why, she’s Sloan’s personal mole rat, a friendly one too. As I crept closer, I noticed the [hidden] status changing to [caution] and then [danger] despite no enemies being nearby at all. The status continued to change back and forth, too. Very bewildering. I headed into one of the shacks in Sloan to ask about how to make Deathclaw omelets, hoping to nip this weird status glitch in the butt. Nope, so I headed back outside…

…to discover, to my and Snuffle’s horror, that an Alpha Male Deathclaw, probably the toughest enemy in all of Fallout: New Vegas, had spawned directly in the middle of Sloan. Now that blinking [danger] status made sense. With one swipe, it murdered Snuffles and then took Rhaegar down. The game loaded up with my latest auto-save, which was me exiting the building, and the Deathclaw still spawned. Rinse and repeat. The third time, I turned 180 degrees, and went back inside the building, praying nothing followed me–nothing did. Carefully, cautiously, I went back outside. The Deathclaw was gone, my status stated I was safely [hidden], and all was quiet. Too quiet. No sniffling sound, and that’s when I saw her, Snuffles, slumped over, unmoving, unmovable. The Alpha Male Deathclaw glitch had left its mark for certain. I made a bee-line for Novac and haven’t gone back to Sloan yet. Probably never will.

Last night, Boone found himself trapped inside a bunch of desks in Vault 3 for too long, switching between melee and ranged weapons with strange determination. A funny glitch, but not as harrowing as the Alpha Male Deathclaw one. We’ll see how many more pop up as I continue to hunt for those few remaining Achievements…

30 Days of Gaming, #11 – Gaming system of choice

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.

This one was a no-brainer despite loving many various systems over the years. In fact, I find my experience with console and portable gaming systems to be interesting, if nothing short of a mixed bag. I grew up on neighbor’s NES and then my own SNES (Nintendo fanboy), then saved up my money as a young lad by scooping ice cream, busing tables, and doing clerical work for a PlayStation and PlayStation 2 (Sony fanboy), and then ended up doing a bunch of cartoon commission work (I drew cartoons of all the authors, not the cover art in case you were curious) to get enough money for an Xbox 360 (Microsoft fanboy) when I was in my mid-20s. Along the way I also had a GameBoy, a Nintendo DS, and now a Nintendo 3DS. This is more than just a roll call, as I want it to be clear that I’ve dabbled in multiple videogame pools. Which one reigns supreme? Why, the one with the double screen.

My journey to getting a DS started on a whim; one day, I just decided to go get one, and so off I went, and to demonstrate what happens next I’m posting some comics from the MyLifeComics archive:

Wow, I can’t believe I got this thing like four years ago.

So I picked up a newly minted Nintendo DS Lite, a copy of Mario Kart DS, and an extra charger. I was unaware that the system itself came with a charger in its box so now I have two. Wee. Thanks, mindless Target employee for the tip. Upon arriving home in my teeny tiny studio apartment, I curled up in my comfy chair, flipped the system’s lid open, turned it on, and heard–for the very first time–a sound that would soon provide me with comfort, stability, friendship, and sanity. It went like doo-doou-doooooo. I quickly got the feel for the system thanks to some heated online races in Mario Kart DS, and slowly grew my collection, picking up a range of titles from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin to Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords to Flash Focus. There is literally a game genre for everyone. But the system wouldn’t hit home for awhile until I discovered its not-so-dirty secret: it loved roleplaying games.

Obviously, I’m a huge fan of RPGs, and over the years the DS has put up an excellent fight against the PlayStation 2 for the trophy of MOST RPGS EVER. Seriously, you can’t flick a stylus at a GameStop shelf without hitting a Nintendo DS RPG these days. And besides RPGs, the system has a slew of gaming experiences you can find nowhere ese: Professor Layton’s puzzles and hidden coins, Picross 3D‘s mind-numbing puzzles, The World Ends With You and its duel-screen action, Scribblenauts with its wordy fun, and so on. Many skeptics believed that the touchscreen was just a gimmick, that it wouldn’t work, but they all turned out to be wrong; it’s fun to touch the screen with the stylus, to control things and move them around, or flick them away.

Gaming on the go is a great idea, and this is literally that. The Nintendo DS Lite is perfect for pockets, with a good battery life and not being too heavy; the same cannot be said about its “upgrade,” the Nintendo 3DS. Ever since I graduated college, I’ve found myself constantly in my car, constantly traveling, constantly being away from all my creature comforts. Packing up the Xbox 360 every time I went down to my parents’ house was always a pain. Thankfully, with the Nintendo DS, I was able to bring a piece of gaming with me wherever I went.

This system of choice is also important to me for another reason. Seeing me play it so much and so often–and with such glee–convinced my mother to get one. I let her try out some of the minigames from the New Super Mario Bros. DS as we flew out to Arizona over the holidays to see my sister, and she fell in love with tapping the screen, especially during the minigame where you had to move colored bob-ombs into specific cages. Arriving in Arizona, we immediately headed out to a nearby Target (again with the Target!) to get her one. About a day later, my sister Bitsy also got one, and here’s the two of them at the zoo, “DSing it up” as I called it:

The Nintendo DS connected me with my sister and mom in a strange, new way, one that I never imagined. With Bitsy, we bonded over Animal Crossing: Wild World, entering each other’s worlds and sending each other gifts; it helped bridge the distance from Arizona to New Jersey, and was a nice thing to constantly keep up on each other over. For my mother, well…it opened up new branches of conversation. She checked Amazon for new games or asked me to keep an eye out for any titles she’d like; her favorites were puzzlers, the hidden objects kind, where the story was forgettable, but finding baseballs and irons and handcuffs in a jungle scene was amazingly addicting; she always wanted me to play the game she just beat, or help her past a tough part of her current one.

As human beings, we develop attachments to many things: people, places, smells, sounds, tastes, everything. It’s inevitable. And it’s not silly for me to feel such a connection to my DS Lite, which has, unfortunately, not gotten as much love over the past few weeks with the 3DS in the limelight. I will return to it, surely. Just writing this makes me feel guilty for such neglect. This mesh of circuit boards and chips and plastic bits and screens and d-pad that hurts my thumb after awhile has always been there for me, and in return I have treated it well. When that charge me red light comes on, I hop to it. I always place it in its carrying case, an early birthday gift for me from my mother, and I would never in a million years trade it in for money or store credit or the answer to the universe and everything else, no matter what. The Nintendo DS is my favorite gaming system, and will remain so for as long as I can make it happen. Please bury me with it.