Geeky & Genki http://geekyandgenki.com Games, Movies and other Things of Import Tue, 21 Jun 2016 06:07:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 Geeky & Genki is a weekly podcast that alternates between Gamecasts and Moviecasts. On Gamecast weeks, the Geeky and Genki crew discuss game theory and advice, actual play experiences, and the latest news and events in the tabletop roleplaying scene, with a particular focus on story games. On Moviecast weeks, we discuss movies, television and other media, often, but not always with an asian connection. Geeky & Genki yes Games, Movies and Other Things of Import Geeky & Genki http://geekyandgenki.imaginaryexercise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2012/11/G-and-G-logo-OSR-300x300.jpg http://geekyandgenki.com Weekly 40227995 Theory From the Closet 073: Interview with Nathan D. Paoletta http://geekyandgenki.com/show073-interview-with-nathan-d-paoletta/ http://geekyandgenki.com/show073-interview-with-nathan-d-paoletta/#respond Sun, 29 May 2016 10:09:14 +0000 http://geekyandgenki.com/?p=15922 Fast on the heels of last episode, we have an interview with Nathan Paoletta from ndpdesign and Design Games Podcast. We talk about living the dream, design vs. design, and lots more.  Included is an official jazz performance by yours truly.

 

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http://geekyandgenki.com/show073-interview-with-nathan-d-paoletta/feed/ 0 Fast on the heels of last episode, we have an interview with Nathan Paoletta from ndpdesign and Design Games Podcast. We talk about living the dream, design vs. design, and lots more.  Included is an official jazz performance by yours truly. Fast on the heels of last episode, we have an interview with Nathan Paoletta from ndpdesign and Design Games Podcast. We talk about living the dream, design vs. design, and lots more.  Included is an official jazz performance by yours truly.   clyde on Google+ Geeky & Genki yes 2:13:09 15922
Theory From the Closet 072: Talking about Podcasts http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-072-talking-about-podcasts/ http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-072-talking-about-podcasts/#respond Mon, 23 May 2016 02:30:12 +0000 http://geekyandgenki.com/?p=15913  

I’ve had some folks asking me about podcasting lately, so I sat down with folks from; The Jankcast, Cinema Supercollider, and Design Games Podcast. We talked about making podcasts. This show doesn’t focus on the production end as much as the organization, and motivation end.

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http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-072-talking-about-podcasts/feed/ 0   I’ve had some folks asking me about podcasting lately, so I sat down with folks from; The Jankcast, Cinema Supercollider, and Design Games Podcast. We talked about making podcasts. This show doesn’t focus on the production end as much as the organiza...   I’ve had some folks asking me about podcasting lately, so I sat down with folks from; The Jankcast, Cinema Supercollider, and Design Games Podcast. We talked about making podcasts. This show doesn’t focus on the production end as much as the organization, and motivation end. clyde on Google+ Geeky & Genki yes 1:25:05 15913
Theory From the Closet 071: Interview with Paul Czege http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-071-interview-with-paul-czege/ http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-071-interview-with-paul-czege/#respond Tue, 12 Apr 2016 18:06:24 +0000 http://geekyandgenki.com/?p=15864 It only took about a year to get the follow up interview with Paul Czege that I mentioned in the last episode. Problem is all on my end, Paul’s really easy to work with. Case in point, this interview. I was completely unprepared, my power cord didn’t work, I had to leave to buy batteries. It was a mess. Paul, and his wife Danielle, were super gracious with me, and hopefully this interview pays dividends on their patience.

Anyway… Paul and I talk about many of his games, what’s wrong with my design skills, and about creating things that are close to you. This podcast is also a bit of follow up to a Jank Cast show I was on a few weeks ago. ( http://jankcast.com/archives/3285 ) After being on that show I was really sad I didn’t think to bring up the Fruitful Void.

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http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-071-interview-with-paul-czege/feed/ 0 It only took about a year to get the follow up interview with Paul Czege that I mentioned in the last episode. Problem is all on my end, Paul’s really easy to work with. Case in point, this interview. I was completely unprepared, It only took about a year to get the follow up interview with Paul Czege that I mentioned in the last episode. Problem is all on my end, Paul’s really easy to work with. Case in point, this interview. I was completely unprepared, my power cord didn’t work, I had to leave to buy batteries. […] Geeky & Genki yes 1:06:55 15864
Theory From the Closet 070: Interview with Paul Czege http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-070-interview-with-paul-czege/ http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-070-interview-with-paul-czege/#respond Sun, 17 May 2015 04:38:23 +0000 http://imaginaryexercise.com/?p=15816 frontpaulThis is an interview I did with Paul Czege from Half Meme Press about what we can learn, and what he has learned, from his latest game The Clay That Woke.

We recorded this at Forge Midwest. There is likely going to be a follow up, as after the interview was over, I hit him with a personal question that sounds like it could be a whole other interview. So look for that in the future.

 

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http://geekyandgenki.com/theory-from-the-closet-070-interview-with-paul-czege/feed/ 0 This is an interview I did with Paul Czege from Half Meme Press about what we can learn, and what he has learned, from his latest game The Clay That Woke. We recorded this at Forge Midwest. There is likely going to be a follow up, This is an interview I did with Paul Czege from Half Meme Press about what we can learn, and what he has learned, from his latest game The Clay That Woke. We recorded this at Forge Midwest. There is likely going to be a follow up, as after the interview was over, I hit him […] Geeky & Genki yes 1:09:44 15816
Author Interview: Leif Chappelle’s City of Tigers http://geekyandgenki.com/leif-chappelle-city-of-tigers/ http://geekyandgenki.com/leif-chappelle-city-of-tigers/#respond Thu, 26 Jun 2014 03:23:34 +0000 http://www.geekyandgenki.com/?p=13566 Geeky & Genki recently got a chance to interview author, game designer and composer Leif Chappelle about the upcoming release of his first novel, City of Tigers.

City of TIgers CoverG&G:
Thanks for chatting with us! So, the list of excellent game and music projects you’ve been involved in is about as long as my arm. Is writing fiction something you’ve also been doing over the years, or is it more recent?

LC:
To be truthful, City of Tigers may have been one of the first major writing projects I started on. It’s been something I’ve worked on during the course of many transitions over the past five years.

I started working on the ideas and characters for the book around 2009. At that time, I was working as a certification tester at a little company called Nintendo. When I had free time, I’d scribble away on sticky notes about what became the basis for projeksjon. I went on to become a game designer at ArenaNet, which develops Guild Wars 2, an online fantasy MMORPG. I became involved in designing for the story side of things, and am still working there as my day job.

My college degree is in music composition, and I’ve managed to write some pieces for the game and several indie projects. I’ve also written for dance choreography, chamber ensembles, and now an actual orchestra thanks to my involvement with ArenaNet.

G&G: The Guild Wars 2 music you’ve done is fantastic. Okay… Say we’re in an elevator (and the music in here is terrible). I’m someone who likes reading, and I’m looking for a new book. Pitch City of Tigers to me. Ready-go!

LC: Well I’d probably trip on my words at least five times, so I’d need a really long elevator ride.

G&G: No worries. This imaginary building has like 300 floors.

LC: How about this:

Sigurd is a busker that gets through life by creating music from thin air. It’s magic, but this kind isn’t giant explosions and dragons, it’s a way of life. But it’s starting to go away, so enter machina: machines that perform the same tasks this magic used to. This technology can replace the magic that’s going away, but there’s still people who rely on it to get by, like Sigurd. So when his way of life is threatened, he rebels, and ends up getting wrapped up in a conflict far larger than he could’ve imagined.

G&G: Music plays a huge part in the story and overall feel of City of Tigers. How did your background in music composition affect the way you wrote music into the book?

LC: Describing music is a tricky thing. In a college course I took, they challenged us to describe music as we listened to it. We had to put into words what we heard so that we could not only analyze the notes on the page, but what we heard–thematically, tonally. There were some people that described music as the drama, the story that played out in their head. There was at least one synesthetic in the class, describing music as colors.

To me, describing music is a lot like explaining a dream. You hear something, and if you get drawn in, your subconscious goes to work lucidly. Sometimes you might interpret it as pure emotions, other times there’s a story, but it’s never just one thing. It’s constantly shifting.

So when I’m describing music, it’s less about the composition, and more about trying to describe the feeling of experiencing music. When Sigurd performs in the book, it’s less about the notes he’s playing, and more about converting that experience from his head into his audience’s ears.

G&G: The world in City of Tigers is really rich. Several cultures peek through as influences, but the one that really shines in terms of language and names – and even down to the spelling of things, is Nordic. Can you talk a bit about your Nordic roots in relation to how you developed the environment for the story? Was that aspect part of the original idea, or did it make its way into the book as you worked?

LC: The world for City of Tigers began its life as an alternate-present day Earth, with the city being an interpretation of Oslo, Norway. As I wrote and developed, I realized that I couldn’t just rely on the setting as an alternate Earth. So I instead began to develop everything into its own world: Verda. My initial thinking was hey, Earth exists, and I can draw from it as necessary. But it turned out to be more shackles than wings. Creating my own world was freeing. It also let me experiment with what a Nordic-centric world might be like without relying on Vikings and Norse mythology.

And I suppose my name gives it away, but I grew up in a very Scandinavian household, so I have a deep fondness for my heritage and culture. There’s several family names I’ve snuck in as references, but the characters themselves are quite different from the people!

G&G: You’ve mentioned the type of magic in City of Tigers – projeksjon. How does projeksjon differ from the magic that’s often seen in the fantasy genre

LC: From the outset, I wanted to design a system of magic that was not only believable in its function, but also in its use by the people. I began with the interactions between user and element, and determined that I wanted this magic to exist within the confines of the world. That meant every interaction had to be a modification of an existing base: no water or fire conjured from nothing.

A big inspiration for me was the concept of “bending” from the Avatar animated series, but I wanted to take it even further away from a combat-centric art. With a cold, Nordic setting, survival was the first concept for how projeksjon was used. So in introducing the reader to the magic, it’s not through a bombastic fight, but through daily village life: lighting the dark winter months, drawing water from the lake, warming the air.

G&G: Certain major events are lynchpins for the story, and the other action of the book is very clearly on a timeline before or after those events. For example: “Gamlebyn district – Ten months before the fire.” So the reader knows up front that this thing is going to happen, but without any specifics. The tension leading up to it is part of what made reading it so much fun. Was that approach inspired by anything in other media, or was it something that just seemed to click as the story came together for you?

LC: The idea of counting down to major events was something that just formed naturally while writing and revising the story. I originally wrote them for my benefit, so I could keep track of when & where everything was happening! But when I started letting people read the manuscript, the reaction to those chapter headings was really positive, so I knew I was on to something.

G&G: Anything else that people should know about City of Tigers?

LC: The most important thing in my eyes, which hasn’t come up because the book’s not out yet, is that this is a world with characters from all walks of life. Fantasy is an amazing genre, but it can also be insular and limited in its representation. In the story there are powerful women, there are openly gay individuals, and people all across the spectrum, because everyone deserves to identify with someone in the story. But these aren’t aspects that define and limit the characters, they’re simply a part of who they are. I’ve tried my best to present complex characters that are ultimately human, and that hopefully makes them all the more interesting to read about.

Lastly, thank you so much for featuring me! I’m not a big name, and we don’t have a huge marketing budget, so getting the word out is really important! Grassroots promotion has become supercharged thanks to the social aspect of the Internet, so if anyone has friends or family that might be interested in City of Tigers, please help spread the word!


City of Tigers is available for preorder through Amazon and will be released on July 1st, 2014. More information about the world and excerpts from the project can be found at the City of Tigers website.

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G&G Gamecast – That is not dead which can interview Rafael Chandler http://geekyandgenki.com/gg-gamecast-dead-can-interview-rafael-chandler/ http://geekyandgenki.com/gg-gamecast-dead-can-interview-rafael-chandler/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 01:28:15 +0000 http://www.geekyandgenki.com/?p=13488 So it turns out that the stars came right last week, so of course we interviewed Rafael Chandler, who has a Kickstarter going on or something! In addition to talking about the most incredible and terrifying tome of vile beasts yet compiled, we talked about the following:

  • The affect of Kickstarter on the RPG hobby, or at least on Rafael Chandler’s RPG hobby.
  • The unfortunate passing of Dave Brockie, and it’s affect on the RPG hobby, or at least on James Raggi’s RPG hobby.
  • Where Rafael Chandler gets his ideas, or at least how he gets so damn many of them.
  • How Charles Stross made up all the best monsters in the Fiend Folio.
  • Rafael’s favorite kinds of Torture. (Make sure to listen to the end to receive secret bonus torture!)
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http://geekyandgenki.com/gg-gamecast-dead-can-interview-rafael-chandler/feed/ 2 So it turns out that the stars came right last week, so of course we interviewed Rafael Chandler, who has a Kickstarter going on or something! In addition to talking about the most incredible and terrifying tome of vile beasts yet compiled, So it turns out that the stars came right last week, so of course we interviewed Rafael Chandler, who has a Kickstarter going on or something! In addition to talking about the most incredible and terrifying tome of vile beasts yet compiled, we talked about the following: The affect of Kickstarter on the RPG hobby, […] Geeky & Genki yes 1:03:00 13488
Los Cheevos Hermanos: Forgettable Journeys, Forgettable Riots http://geekyandgenki.com/los-cheevos-hermanos-forgettable-journeys-forgettable-riots/ http://geekyandgenki.com/los-cheevos-hermanos-forgettable-journeys-forgettable-riots/#respond Fri, 07 Feb 2014 01:01:28 +0000 http://www.geekyandgenki.com/?p=13461 Ian: I wanted to hit Wetlands after Westfall, to be honest. It’s a zone which I knew had been reworked somewhat and it was always a favorite. The problem with the Wetlands is that it’s now the same level as Duskwood, a zone which has long been considered one of the best examples of what WoW’s narrative capabilities (inasmuch as WoW has narrative capabilities worth contemplating favorably) can do. It was my favorite zone in the original game, one whose absence bothered me when I went Horde all those years ago.

Before that, though, Peter began to yammer on about Shadowfang Keep, an instance of slightly higher level requirements than the completed Deadmines. The minor problem involved was that we’d set down rules about how we did dungeons and one of the main ones was that we queued from the entrance. Shadowfang is situated way to the north of where we were, with no flight paths and no friendly quest hubs nearby to shorten the journey.

The idea to hit Shadowfang Keep was made on a night on which we were a little short on time, so I was in favor of skipping it for the time being; dungeons tend to be relevant content for about ten levels after they become available, so I was in no rush. Peter, however, decided that it was queue as soon as you can or not at all. Being the magnanimous, awesome fellow I am, I relented and decided to join him on the trek to Silverpine Forest and its resident dungeon. It was his punctured memories at stake, not mine.

Peter: I love Shadowfang Keep.

I mean, I really, really love Shadowfang Keep. I would say that the Keep was the thing that finally made me completely hooked on WoW all those years ago. It was the first dungeon I got to go in with a complete group of people who were all roughly the right level, so it was the first time I got to fully experience the mechanics of the holy trinity. It was also atmospheric as hell, and it was hard for me and my virtual friends, making success all the sweeter.

This meant that Los Cheevos Hermanos absolutely had to run the instance. Ian started whining when I said we had to do it, because it’s quite a distance away, and we had our rule about only queuing after actually making it to the entrance of the dungeon. I told him to shut up and start running. He whined a little more, but then I heard his wife, Laurie, telling him to shut up as well, and he finally huffed out a disgruntled “fine.” Ian whines a lot.

And so the journey began. I had travel form by this point, and it’s got a pretty sweet new skin of a mighty stag. This made me, frankly, excited about the prospect of running for 30 minutes or more. Boggins, on his inadequate and dwarfish legs, was less excited, and I couldn’t really blame him. What made this extra fun was the fact that, in addition to having travel form, I also had a fancy druid talent that gave me a passive run speed increase and that talent stacks with stag form. Poor Boggins.

Travel Form

Speaking of druid forms, it was also about this time that I got my aquatic form. I promptly jumped into the nearest bit of water I could find and clicked it, which was a terrible mistake. Aquatic form is far scarier than any raid boss Blizzard has ever released. I am still having nightmares, and have yet to use it again.

Aquatic Form

So anyway, off to Shadowfang Keep we went, me as the hero of the wilderness, traveling at the speed of an early automobile, and Ian with his basic run speed following behind. He went on follow at one point and I kept having to slow down and wait for him.

Ian: Back in the olden days, your run north to Shadowfang Keep from the level appropriate Alliance areas was epic. Not hard, precisely, but enough enemies crossed your path that you had to dodge them and be careful where you stepped. This was because the zones you had to cross were a good ten to twenty levels higher than you were. WoW has a mechanic which has enemies of a higher level than you having a much higher aggro range, or range from which they notice your low level self and come barreling over to one shot you.

I was expecting something similar. Hell, I was hoping for it; I may have been a little annoyed that we had to run up there for a passingly brief dungeon run but I wanted it to be memorable if we were going. Dodging spiders in Arathi Highlands, hoping we miss any high level Undercity guards… the whole thing.

I didn’t get that. What I got, instead, was a game which had removed all the scary mobs from the paths with its revamp. No unwanted aggro, other than the time we blundered into some hostile faction guards at one of the zone borders. No circuitous paths to avoid scary mobs. No enemies crisscrossing the road. Just thirty minutes of walking.

To be fair, some of the revamp set up some very nice looking scenery and the trek gave us a chance to see it. Wetlands added in some lovely fog and will o wisp effects. Combined with the setting sun in the game, it was quite pleasant. But there was no danger anymore and I remembered that there was, once upon a time. But that was a different game in a different time. In this game, we were safe.

Wetlands

When we finally got to the entrance, a strange dichotomy became very clear to me. The dungeon, itself, obviously occupies a specific physical location in Blizzard’s world. But Blizzard chose to do a very strange thing, one which wasn’t obvious with Deadmines and which completely decouples dungeon from surroundings.

Once upon a time, you would pick up quests to do inside the dungeons outside in the world. They were usually at the ends of long quest chains. With Cataclysm, all of the quests are now from inside the dungeon, almost always from NPCs at the entrance. This by itself isn’t a terrible thing. You can get your quests from a central spot inside the dungeon, turn them into the same place (or the NPCs greet you at the end), and go do another one.

When coupled with the queuing for dungeons from anywhere, however, it creates a weird sort of unmooring from the larger story Blizzard is funneling so many resources into telling. We got to Shadowfang Keep and I realized that, unlike pre-Cataclysm, I would have no idea this place even existed in narrative terms if I were a new player. I only knew it existed where it existed due to my having played ten years ago. There’s no quest to go to the entrance, no directions, no talking about it. A large portion of this is that it’s not in an Alliance area; it’s in a completely Horde controlled zone. But there’s no talking about it outside the dungeon anywhere now, at least Alliance side.

Shadowfang Keep

I’ve complained about the fact that the world feels much smaller after the teleportation and instant gratification of the Looking For Group system. I say this as a supporter of the system; it’s undoubtedly better to run your dungeons quickly instead of casting about for a half hour or more for a group, particularly on a small server which might be short of tanks or healers. Blizzard realized this for a brief time, too, requiring the entrances of dungeons to be discovered before you could queue for them; they quickly threw in the towel on this compromise, however.

But I wasn’t aware of how, for lack of a better word, lonely most of the dungeons feel now and it’s all down to the combo of queuing and placing all of the quests inside. As vibrant as Deadmines felt because there was an entire zone centered on your delving there, dungeons (my favorite part of the game) felt more and more incidental to the proceedings as we leveled further. There were exceptions, and we’ll touch on those when we come to them in our writing, but mostly the dungeons were just there, a string of characters on your screen for you to highlight, hit queue, and teleport to. No pomp, no circumstance, just a barely noticeable road sign. With the quests placed inside the dungeons, each one becomes this self-contained narrative all its own. They may reference the outside world but they’re not of it.

 

Peter: I expect no points for originality here, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about how impersonal the whole experience is these days. Even though we were walking to the entrances in the old manner, we were using the dungeon finder when we got there, which meant that we were thrown in with random strangers.

Despite this having been implemented in WoW for years now, the whole thing still feels genuinely weird to me. The most talking that seems to happen is an occasional “hello,” but most players don’t even do that. And why should they? The dungeons are short, mostly linear, and mind-numbingly easy. Most of the player base is only there to level up their third, fourth, or twentieth alt. Because of cross-realm grouping, none of you will ever see each other again.

Like Ian, I can admit that the way things are now is incredibly convenient, and going back to the way things were before would be a downer. But that doesn’t change the fact that some magic has been lost. I can still remember the names of some of the people I met seven years ago trying to put a dungeon group together in /2 while standing around in Undercity for two hours. I can’t even remember most of my guildmates’ names these days.

Real communication with internet strangers would have to wait until we ran Stormwind Stockades, and it would not be pretty.

 

Ian: Once the initial two dungeon experiences were out of the way, they began to come faster and faster. The whole package, the speed of leveling making the dungeons come faster, the anonymity, the way quests and locations are set up, made the dungeons forgettable. That’s really sad. They’re still clearly the most enjoyable part of the game but the individual experiences aren’t as memorable anymore. What would once be a memorable individual run of a dungeon is now just a gestalt experience of “Dungeon”. It’s not “that run where the tank died to spike damage and everyone ran around”; it’s “Stockades” or “Razorfen Kraul”.

Stockades was the first dungeon which went by so quickly I barely remember the details. Bear in mind that Peter and I are being deliberate with our leveling and questing. We’re not racing through any of this in our attempt to both be critical and recapture some of the magic of almost ten years ago now. But starting with Stockades, the dungeons just became blips. As we continue through this series, I’ll be spending less time on the dungeons (and I imagine Peter will, as well) simply because I don’t remember any details.

Our Stockades run (and Stockades has always been a terrible dungeon, basically three big rooms with a bunch of criminals rioting inside) was only memorable because a gnome rogue pulled things he shouldn’t have and yelled at us about it. At first, he yelled at me. That’s what you do when things go wrong. You tell at the tank. Which, by the way, is why I never did endgame tanking. I really like tanking and I’m good (not great) at it but I also don’t like being the scapegoat when things go wrong.

Peter decided he wasn’t going to heal him. So then the rogue started to yell at him, too, which was way better than him yelling at me. Don’t misread me here; I wasn’t hurt or upset by this stranger angry at us over his slightly longer than usual time in a video game he was aiming to play for six hours anyway. It’s just empirically good for my brother to be yelled at by strangers.

The little social tussle was just memorable enough to comment on but not at all memorable enough for me to remember the guy’s name. That’s WoW.

By the time we got out, we were ready to go to Duskwood so off we went. What we didn’t realize then, and what I’m still kind of amazed by now, is that the way Duskwood would unfold would end up setting the stage for a complete transformation of what this project was about.

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DVD Review: A Tale of Legendary Libido http://geekyandgenki.com/dvd-review-tale-legendary-libido/ http://geekyandgenki.com/dvd-review-tale-legendary-libido/#respond Thu, 06 Feb 2014 15:59:32 +0000 http://www.geekyandgenki.com/?p=13453 index

 

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A Tale of Legendary Libido begins with a wooden nose, broken off a statue, that looks just like a penis. It’s been somehow activated by a widow’s prayer for a man to ‘reliever her loneliness’. When someone picks up the nose, a couple dozen young men in loincloths suddenly appear and have sex with everyone (and everything) in sight. Since this can disrupt a village’s daily routine, the magic wang is buried, hopefully never to be seen again. But of course it is, or there wouldn’t be a movie.

Later, the village has become a place where traditional gender roles are switched: women are sexually aggressive, and the men are too passive to even challenge a group of thugs from a neighboring village. All except Byun. Byun can run off the bad guys, but after an unfortunate experience where his crotch was set on fire, he can’t satisfy any woman in bed. The women of the village relentlessly make fun of him for his lack of skill and equipment. It’s even worse because his brother, Kang-mok, is the manliest of the manly men, coveted by all the women.

Byun forms a crush on beautiful newcomer Darling, who earns the enmity of the other women when their men play Peeping Tom while she’s bathing.

Meanwhile, an old man who was around during the original magic wang incident drops back in with his grandson. He takes pity on Byun and tells him where to find the buried nose, and that by sipping the wine it was buried in, he cane become a real man. But can’t have more than a sip of the wine, or the consequences could be dangerous.

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Predictably, Byun decides to chug the entire bottle instead. Trying not to bang is almost impossible, so he puts his sexual frustration into chopping piles of wood, drinking an entire stream and putting out a forest fire with his piss. The women are delighted to discover his newfound manhood, but they quickly realize that maybe having a man who can’t stop doing the nasty (and who has incredible powers of impregnation) might not be a good thing.

Despite the subject matter, the movie is shy about showing any nudity; you get a couple nipples, but any make nudity is censored with white circles. And don’t look for anything other than straight sex here- when a man makes overtures to Byun, he flips his shit. There’s a slightly uncomfortable rape reference when Byun refuses to stop banging a woman who’s had enough, but in the context of the film it’s merely slightly icky and not dismaying. In the end, after a series of increasingly bizarre antics, Byun’s sexual prowess is called upon to save the village.

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There’s loads of penis imagery here: the nose itself, random sticks, mushrooms. It’s funny, but over the course of two hours all the fake dicks get a little tiresome. Three-quarters of the jokes are funny, especially the fire-hose scene, but more than a few are overdone and fall flat. Each character has a single defining trait (Byun us downtrodden, Kang-mok is manly, Darling is ethereal) but none has a rounded personality.

Ultimately, this movie is as cheesy and silly as you’d expect. There’s an attempt to inject the story with some genuine feels near the end, but it’s not particularly successful- it would have been better to simply play the story as a straight (ha) sex farce. At almost two hours The Tale of Legendary Libido is far too long for what it is- a raunchy comedy with laughs but no real substance.

]]> http://geekyandgenki.com/dvd-review-tale-legendary-libido/feed/ 0 13453 Fiona + Toby 4Eva: A Harvest Moon Love Story http://geekyandgenki.com/fiona-toby-4eva-harvest-moon-love-story/ http://geekyandgenki.com/fiona-toby-4eva-harvest-moon-love-story/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 02:32:59 +0000 http://www.geekyandgenki.com/?p=13440 <!–
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Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is one in a series of farm sim games. You run a virtual farm with livestock and crops, you can supplement your harvest with fishing and mining, and you can make friends and develop a romantic attachment. It’s just like real farm life except with no dangerous chemicals and none of your animals ever get taken down by coyotes.

My avatar, Fiona, moved to the island of Castanet…why? I assume to escape some sort of terrible home life. Upon moving there, the Mayor of nearby Harmonica Town just handed over an abandoned farm, complete with house, barn, chicken coop and field. It was probably the site of a horrific family slaying, hence its abandoned status, but the Mayor certainly wasn’t going to tell Fiona that.

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Time marched on, and Fiona acquired poultry, livestock, more fields and some friends. Her friendship levels with every freaking thing in the game- from villagers to her animals to random wild animals that show no fear of humans and thus will probably soon be hunted to extinction- were meticulously recorded on a graph with a bunch of little hearts. She could make more friends the old-fashioned way: by giving them stuff. Fish, flowers, food, stuff she cooked…people just wanted stuff, and Fiona was pathetically happy to feed their materialism in the interest of gaining their friendship.

After a while though, she was no longer content with just having friends. Fiona had been working this damned farm for a year and a half. The farm was expanding- she upgraded her coop, her barn and bought two more fields, and she was sick to death of watering plot after plot, every single day. Fiona needed a spouse.

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Now, marriage equality apparently isn’t a thing in Castanet, so she had to marry a dude. And there was a wealth of dudes to choose from! Dr. Jin, the bespectacled Harmonica Town surgeon; Owen, the miner; Gil, the mayor’s insufferably stuck-up son; Chase, who feels it’s acceptable for a man to wear barrettes in his hair…the possibilities were endless.

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So, after about fifteen minutes of deep thought, Fiona settled her marital sights on Toby.

Why? Who knows the ways of true love? Maybe it was because he bears a slight resemblance to Ginko from Mushi-shi.

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Toby wears traditional Japanese clothing, and he’s obsessed with fishing. I mean obsessed. He lived in a back room at the local fish shop. At any time of day, he could be found fishing off a pier in Harmonica Town. If Fiona spoke to him, he gave her advice on how to fish better.

Fiona upgraded her house to two-person size and changed the color scheme to Hello Kitty pink. Things were going well. She began plying Toby with seafood gifts: clam soup, decent herb fish, seafood gratin, butter-steamed mussels. And he fell right into her fishy trap. As the days passed the hearts on his friendship meter began to climb. One day, he showed up at her door at 6:00 a.m. (the time you wake up in the game) with Eel Rice for her lunch. Shortly after he invited her to attend the Harvest Festival. On Harmony Day he gave her a strawberry shortcake. Oh, this young man was falling hard for my little ginger avatar.

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But then came the day. The love confession, staple of high school anime in every era. He requested Fiona meet him at the lighthouse, where he asked her to go out with him. And Fiona, whose back ached from hauling that watering can around, accepted.

But now that they were officially dating, she began to panic. Did she really want to spend the rest of her game life with a beach bum who wore sandals, even in winter? Did she want the genetic possibility of having their babies pop out with white hair? Suddenly frantic, Fiona began to give Dr. Jin cup after cup of herbal tea, the thing he loved most in the world, as a backup plan. But she had to keep Toby interested, so she kept handing over the fish dishes. It was a stressful and busy time. Strangely, even though they were a couple, Toby’s main topic of conversation with Fiona was still advice on fishing.

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And then one day Fiona woke up and she knew. She knew she couldn’t water another field. She’d lose her damned mind. And she was tired of being alone with the cows and chickens and sheep and ducks and silkworms and the horse. She needed human interaction. She needed someone to make her breakfast in the morning. Someone laid back to complement her driven, type A personality.

She needed Toby.

At this point Fiona had already learned the Castanet tradition of going to the top of the mountain to find a blue bird and take one of its feathers as a way to propose. It took an entire day to get to the top of that mountain, but she persevered. She found the bird. She got the blue feather. She climbed down and sought out Toby and performed the bullshit ritual these people had for marriage proposals. Toby was embarrassed; after all, he should be the one to propose in this starkly traditional landscape. But he accepted eagerly, with a nice little speech. The happy couple went to the Mayor, who set the wedding date without consulting the people involved. Toby and Fiona were to be married in the pseudo-Catholic church in Harmonica Town, in a mere six days.

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In those six days, Toby continued to talk about fishing, and Fiona worked the farm. On the sixth day of winter, they were married, a process that (just like in real life) took the entire freaking day. Fiona made the eclectic choice of wearing pom-poms in her hair, and Toby stuck to his traditional Japanese fashions. Luckily someone there had a video camera and recorded the ceremony for posterity.

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Married life wasn’t so different from single life, at least not for Fiona, but it had its perks. Every morning Toby presented her with a box lunch. She could ask him to do chores (usually watering, although some days she let him fish). They attended festivals together. They could take walks together too, but unfortunately this consisted of Fiona walking around and Toby following at her heels like a pathetic puppy, and was pretty irritating, so they don’t do that much. She still occasionally gives him gifts consisting entirely of seafood. Other than that they pretty much ignore each other.

Overall they are very happy.

And then today Fiona found a letter in their mailbox from the Mayor, who is always up in her business. It’s a list of the things they have to do to prepare for the birth of their first child. I’m not sure why Mayor Hamilton feels he has the right to dictate Fiona and Toby’s reproductive choices, but it was useful information nonetheless.

The next step in their relationship looms large.

]]> http://geekyandgenki.com/fiona-toby-4eva-harvest-moon-love-story/feed/ 1 13440 R.I.P. Run Run Shaw http://geekyandgenki.com/r-p-run-run-shaw/ http://geekyandgenki.com/r-p-run-run-shaw/#respond Tue, 07 Jan 2014 21:16:23 +0000 http://www.geekyandgenki.com/?p=13411 Just what it says on the box: legendary producer (with his brother, of course) Run Run Shaw has died at the impressive age of 106.

For decades the Shaw Brothers were a force to be reckoned with in the world of cheap & popular Hong Kong cinema. This filmography will show you exactly how prolific and influential they were.

This New York Times article has a pretty decent summary of his life and work.

And here is a clip from one of my favorite Shaw Brothers films, The Five Deadly Venoms.

Love them, hate them or don’t really care, there’s no denying just how important the Shaw Brothers were to world cinema.

 

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