Watch this

With The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on hiatus this week, you may be running low on sequences of still images shown in rapid succession to give the illusion of motion, synchronized with low- to mid-frequency atmospheric vibrations. Allow me to help alleviate this problem.

The fourth season of The Venture Bros. (aka one of the greatest animated anythings ever) started on Sunday. Here’s the trailer, and here’s Season 4 Episode 1. Of course, you’ll probably need to watch the first three seasons to understand what’s going on, but that’s what DVDs are for. (Colbert junkie bonus: he voices Professor Impossible in the first two seasons!)

Keeping with the animation theme, Tripod recently introduced me to YuGiOh – The Abridged Series, which is much funnier than I was expecting. It’s a gag dub of an anime about a children’s card game and ended up launching loads of imitators. Luckily, you won’t need any familiarity with the source material… in America! Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Finally, there’s That Guy With The Glasses‘s stuff on the eponymous thatguywiththeglasses.com. His Video Game Confessions series was what I first game across (learning the shocking truth behind Ms. Pac-Man, and more than I really needed to know about Link and Zelda’s “understanding”), but most of That Guy’s stuff is worth watching too. Be warned, however, that stuff from the other contributors is hit or miss.

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Your daily dose of distraction

First: in case you ever complained that Mega Man 2 didn’t have enough rap in it, here you go [thanks to Josh for alerting me to this]:

(Their Final Fantasy rap is also pretty good, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

Next: in case you ever complained that Super Mario World didn’t have enough stuff-happening-even-though-you’re-too-lazy-to-press-any-of-the-buttons, take a look at this ROM hack:

Even with the level-editing tools that are out there, it’s impressive to imagine how much work must’ve gone into the level design to pull that off.

Finally, it’s unfortunate that I hadn’t been reading MS Paint Adventures until now. It’s what you’d get if you crossed a webcomic with an old-school adventure game. Is it weird if what’s sold me on it is how the character’s inventory system in the current “game” is explicitly based on a stack implemented in a circular buffer? And how it’s suggested it’s possible to upgrade to something more featureful:

EB: it’s so frustrating.
TG: whats your modus
EB: what?
TG: how do you retrieve artifacts from it
EB: oh. like one at a time i guess. and if i put too much in, something falls out.
TG: stack?? hahahahahaha
EB: what is yours?
TG: hash map
TG: my bro taught me a few tricks he basically knows everything and is awesome
EB: what the hell is that?
TG: you should probably brush up on your data structures

While I’d probably deque anyone who made a real game with such an obnoxious inventory system, in comic form it’s awesome. It may be the character’s birthday, but he won’t be LIFO the party with just that.* Hopefully whatever upgrades are in store will let him skip lists entirely and explore the rest of the wide array of options out there. Because dude, a stack? With that limited interface he’ll be in a heap of trouble. As What’s Her Face would say, DAG, yo.

Of course, in real life we have data structure based inventory systems too. We’re typically limited to a pair of five-element finger trees, sometimes augmented with a bag.

* Yes, I know that technically having a stack would very much make him LIFO the party almost by definition, but I’m trying to make a series of data structure puns here. If you trie it yourself, you’ll find it’s harder than it looks.

Death by Cliché

I probably should’ve posted about this a few weeks ago, since I’m sure a couple of you will enjoy this (especially those of you whose nickname is Tripod and/or who have heard of D&D): Death by Cliché, a free audiobook disguised as a podcast.

What’s it about? Let’s just say it includes the phrases “improvised silencer”, “flaming brassieres braziers brassieres”, “breakfast beer”, and “DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!”

In that order.

Enjoy.

(Spoiler alert: breakfast beer is what you get when you add bacon to beer. And eat drink consume it for breakfast.)

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