At last, we have arrived at the second and final day at Disneyland. I’d like to start by saying that, with the exception of about 1-2 hours of sleep after the Haunted Mansion Anniversary, we ended up staying awake for around 44 hours straight over the course of our trip. How we managed to stem the tide of sleepiness, I have no idea. But we did, so let’s get on with the post. Continue reading Disneyland 2019 Part 3: Haunted Mansion Foods and Unexpected Scoldings
In a recent post, I mentioned that there was something special I wanted to share with you all concerning the Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary. Well, Mother Duck and I recently took a trip to Disneyland! We originally had no intention of going this year, but once I heard they were having a special event planned celebrating the Haunted Mansion turning half a century old, I couldn’t resist! We had a two-day trip, and I’m going to be talking about both of our days in a 3-part post, after which I’ll discuss food and rides, just as I did last year and the year before that! Continue reading Disneyland 2019 Part 1: Before the Event
My poor Wii, like the GameCube, has turned into a cesspit of less-than-desirable games. The first console I get when a new generation comes out is one of the Nintendo variety (though, this time I have my eyes on the PS4, if nothing good for Nintendo comes out before “Kingdom Hearts 3”), and so only having one current console with which to occupy my time, I end up buying a bunch of games I wouldn’t otherwise have gotten just to have new games to play. I have purged some of these games from my Cube collection, and now I have been working on doing the same with the Wii.
First to go was “Donkey Kong Barrel Blast” (I really, really don’t know why I got that), this goofy racing game. Then, “Sonic and the Secret Rings”, which is a game that would also surprise no one that’s played it that it’s on my sell list. Besides simply being a rotten game, the worst part about it is the truly terrible controls, where you move Sonic around by tilting the Wiimote, a nearly impossible task if there ever was one. Not tilting the Wiimote, controlling Sonic by tilting the Wiimote. Not to mention the fact that having to hold the jump button to jump rather than tapping it is a pain, resulting in Sonic simply not jumping at all half the time, and I quickly grew sick of all the music that was clearly meant to be “cool”. I also got rid of the really boring, really difficult “Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night”, despite the fact that this ruins my perfect trilogy. And since I got rid of that, I decided to get rid of the very boring “A New Beginning”, as well, on the Cube (may as well, my trilogy is destroyed now anyway) leaving me with just the third game “Dawn of the Dragon”, the only one that is fairly okay, but may also get sold eventually, too. I also got rid of “Sonic Colors”. It’s just too childish, and I can’t stand listening to a grown man yell out silly things every time I use one of those special power-ups. “Blue!” “Frenzy!” “Laser!” How about “shut up!”
And so that brings me to another game I am selling and the subject of this post, “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed”. This game was supposed to be awesome. I know ads are intended to make their products look great, no matter how not-great they actually are, but despite that, this game should still have been great. You can control Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, Starkiller, who has all these epic Force powers, and in the Wii version, you get to control a lightsaber with the Wiimote. How could this not end up being awesome?
Well, for several reasons. It’s boring. Yeah, it’s potentially cool exploring locations from “Star Wars”. But, it’s boring. It just is. And funnily enough, while I found the game too hard at first, on my second time through, it was too easy. I just stood there blocking shots, which would bounce back and kill everyone. Or I would just stand there, and whenever an enemy ran up to me, I’d pick them up and toss them at someone else. Or Force choke them. The lightsaber was actually the most ineffective weapon of all, despite being possibly the coolest weapon of all time (after Keyblades). When I used it, I’d get my butt kicked, but when I just zapped everyone with lightning or tossed them into walls, then, I’d do pretty good. In the end, just running through each location, defeating silly enemies that are immune to being chopped up with lightsabers, but not a bump in the head, got boring after a while. And then I get stuck fighting a bunch of bosses that I simply zap or toss things at because, once again, the lightsaber is useless, and you’ll get pounded to dust if you attempt to actually run up to a boss and slash at them with it (And how many frickin’ rancors do I need to fight?!).
Also, since your character is with the Dark Side, well, he’s bad (Spoiler Alert: until later…). And while I’m usually fine with controlling bad characters (I always prefer being Shadow the Hedgehog over Sonic, and I found controlling Organization XIII in “358/2 Days” to be awesome, despite the fact that their move-sets ended up being a lot more limited than I would have liked, but it was still a delightful disappointment, as far as disappointments go), there are just too many scenes of our playable character Force choking people or blowing them up, and it’s just weird. Whether he is killing good characters or bad, I just am not in the mood to watch the main character torture others. It’s one thing when a villain hurts someone else, but he’s the playable character, darn it! Controlling this sicko, I almost feel like I’m naughty, too. And I’m not! I’m not a naughty duck!
And one more thing. I hear it all the time, and it’s true. The novelty of the Wiimote wears off. When I first played the game, I thought getting to Force push people with the nunchuck and getting to swing the lightsaber with the Wiimote was pretty cool. It was the redeeming feature of the game. And then, like many others before me, it got boring. The Wii was pretty new to me when I first played this game, so getting to play in a different way was pretty great. But, now that I’m used to it, I’m not satisfied to play a mediocre game just because the controls are unique. And it doesn’t help that I’m sick of the motion controls to begin with. I need buttons again. Just trying to control the camera was a pain (it always faces your character’s back, so if you want to see something, you must face him that way and wait for the camera to take its sweet time to swivel around on its own). I don’t know if the other versions of the game have buttons to control the camera, but this one does not, and the Wii controllers really have no possible way to control a camera anyway, the way they are set up. I want buttons again! Buttons!
So I learned an important lesson with this game. Motion controls can’t redeem a game. The game must be good to begin with. Of course, we all knew this, but this game illustrated it for me. I no longer find the game worth keeping because of the different controls, as such controls are no longer new and fun. Now they’re annoying, which further adds to the disappointment of this game. It’s certainly not all bad. The story’s pretty decent, and there is a nice variety of moves, even if I can’t possibly remember all those button combinations. But, yeah, controlling a lightsaber with a silly wand you swing around doesn’t stay fun for long. We pretty much all know that by now, as most who were going to play the Wii have already done so by now. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that a lot of people, just like me, are now getting rid of Wii games they thought were great when the Wii was new, but now realize are not worth keeping. “The Force Unleashed”, you’re being added to the get-the-heck-out-of-my-house pile. The money GameStop will give me for it (I hope they still take Wii games….) will go towards a game controlled with buttons. Oh, lovely buttons.
The Duck Unleashed
Today’s 100 theme challenge is number 8, innocence. Innocence makes me think of many things, like not guilty. Like being in court, and you are accused of doing something, but you’re innocent, for crying out loud, innocent! I also think of, well, let me explain.
You see, my favorite video games are those that don’t have any swearing or other such naughty things. The innocent games. This can apply to books and movies, too, for you non-gamers out there. Just replace “games” with whichever word you like, and it all means the same thing. The innocent stories. That doesn’t mean nothing bad happens. In fact, my favorite stories are the ones that are dark and deep and emotional. They are not necessarily sickly sweet and childish, with a shallow, meaningless plot. Nothing about innocence means a story, whether it be in a game or movie or book, has to be boring. There is just no one saying “friggin’ this” and “friggin’ that” (or the worse version) or scenes of people doing, well, certain things people do, which is already disturbing enough without the fact that it doesn’t further the plot whatsoever. (And you can play classical music all you want during such scenes and do fancy camera angles, it doesn’t make it better.)
And hey, some people like the movies or games or whatever that are more nitty gritty and more realistic. That’s part of why I think M-rated games are so popular. Not everyone wants to play cute things like “Kirby” and “Mario” all the time. But, for me, I just can’t get into those kinds of stories as much as the innocent ones. Yeah, it may be less realistic, when you have some evil psycho saying “gosh” when they really should be swearing like the people in “The Sopranos”, but I get attached to those innocent stories, the innocent games in particular. Video games are a nice way to escape from reality (any story is, really), so it can be a pleasant experience to play a game that has an innocence not found in the real world. Sometimes it is nice to have not only heroes, but villains, that aren’t quite as scummy as the people in the real world. The world can be an ugly place, and that is something I want to escape from. (Otherwise, I’ll just watch the news or visit my local high school.)
It is amazing, too, how innocent things often are so popular. When TV shows like “The Sopranos” and movies like “Saw” are seen by so many people, you wonder if all people want to see is the nastier side of human nature. But, what about immensely popular video games like “Kingdom Hearts”? Not a swear word or naughty innuendo anywhere. No blood. No nudity. Innocent. This series even stars Disney characters as a major part of its cast. This would seem like it would make the series childish and not appeal so much to adults, but it has a deep, complex, and emotional story that people of all ages love. (It’s also the number one game in Fanfiction.net, if that tells you anything. In your face, all other games!) Or let’s even take something more familiar to everyone. “Star Wars”. There is violence (oh, poor Anakin in episode 3, even if he deserved it), but is there swearing? Is there, well, dirtiness (I have a lame way of saying it, but you know what I mean)? Is there usually even blood? Heck, lightsabers cauterize wounds! Woops, my arm just got lopped off, but no squirting blood to be seen. Keeps the rugs from staining, too. Despite this lack of cussing and blood-spraying, “Star Wars” still was and is a popular franchise. (This happens to be the number one movie on Fanfiction.net, too.)
So in the end, it is nice to see that sometimes, even the innocent things get attention. I understand wanting to see more “realistic” characters from time to time. I do enjoy “Jak and Daxter” (that’s about as bad as the Duck gets, which tells you a little something about my game collection), where the characters are not nearly so innocent as those from “Kingdom Hearts”. Sometimes I’m in the mood for that kind of thing. But, I love the games I can play and the movies I can watch where I don’t have to worry about seeing the things that are too common in the real world. (And seriously, half the population would appreciate it if we stopped being forced to see naked women constantly. I think the female form looks quite nice clothed.) And I think that is why such things as “Kingdom Hearts” and “Star Wars” are so popular. They have great stories and characters and action and all kinds of things we like, but they are also more innocent than most things, which lets us escape from reality rather than mimicking it. Would “Kingdom Hearts” be popular like it is now if Sora started spouting profanities (imagine that, no, Sora’s such a sweetie, he wouldn’t even if he could)? If the favorite swear word of middle-schoolers (my goodness, they wouldn’t stop with that word, the one that rhymes with my name…) showed up throughout the “Star Wars” trilogies, would it have been the same? Maybe I’m just being naïve. Maybe it would have made no affect or even helped the series. I just don’t personally think the addition of these things would have. It wouldn’t have appealed to such a wide audience, at the very least. But, either way, who cares? I love the innocent stories, and I always will.
Am I An Innocent Duck?
When reading Naughty Nefarious’ post about him receiving the ABC award, he got to make a nice alphabetical list of things. I didn’t pay attention to the exact rules, if there even were any, and this may be weird to do, since I have not actually gotten this award, but I decided to make a similar post anyway, listing things that come to mind, ranging from A-Z. Here I go.
A: Artist, something I’ve always wanted to be. Art, something I’ve always been bad at.
B: Bowties, which are cool…. Along with bunk beds…. But, blinking is not cool. Because we all know what happens when people in “Dr. Who” blink…
C: Coelacanth. Try pronouncing that. It’s called a “living fossil” because it’s such an old fish. It also got you a lot of money in “Animal Crossing”.
D: “Dr. Who”, a great show. Doctor #11 is my favorite (the current one). He wears cool bowties…. And you thought I was going to say “Ducks”, didn’t you?
E: Elves, something I used to think were neat, and now I just find them silly. I think it was due to the fact that “The Lord of the Rings” exposed me to nine hours of fantasy that I now like sci-fi more. Those movies are so long. So very long.
F: Fan art and fan fiction, two very entertaining pastimes. Not as entertaining as the video games from which I get my inspiration from, but still great.
G: Green. A great color. It’s the color of nature. I like nature. Not to have to be out in it or hear it or otherwise interact with it. But, it’s nice to look at.
H: Hearts, a very misunderstood body part. Why is the heart symbol not shaped like a human heart? When Valentine’s Day comes along, we should be drawing a much different shape on our cards, complete with arteries, not that pointy, bumpy monstrosity people mistake for hearts. Not that hearts have anything to do with feeling affection. We really should draw brains on Valentine’s Day cards. And it’s not on the left side of the chest, it’s in the center! My biology teacher said so! Oh, the lies people have been telling me about hearts!
I: Italian food, something everyone in the world seems to love but me. I don’t see the appeal. I don’t like pasta. Pizza’s good, but not pasta. And I don’t like sauces. Darn Olive Garden has nothing but noodles and food drenched in sauce. Also Ikea. Not a fan of their furniture. Plus, they have the creepiest children’s toys. Have you seen them? Rat plushies. Pillbug plushies. And even these stuffed hearts with arms (once again, people really have no clue what hearts look like). Why have stuffed vermin, bugs, and organs for children to play with? I’m not even joking. The toys there are bizarre. Why not rabbits and kittens?
J: Jammie Dodgers, a treat I heard about from “Dr. Who”. I tried them once and was not a fan. They have a silly name, though. Also, Julius Caesar, who was not the first emperor of Rome, another lie people told me. He was a dictator, darn it! Get that straight! He dictated, not…emperored!
K: K-Mart, a mythical store. I thought I caught a glimpse of one once, but when I looked again, it was gone. Mysterious. And they even have commercials for them every now and then, when everyone knows they’re not a real thing. Why don’t we just advertise flights to the Mushroom Kingdom while we’re at it?
L: “Lawrence of Arabia”, a movie I do not like. Like “The Lord of the Rings”, it is also so darn long. Once my parents were watching it, and I was really sick, and I was laying on the couch, and I kept falling asleep and then waking up, only to find the darn movie was STILL ON!
M: Milk, a really delicious drink, and it goes great with chocolate. But, it didn’t seem to strengthen my bones because, despite it taking me an absurd amount of time to brush my teeth, I still got cavities. You let me down, milk.
N: Nautilus, really cool looking sea creatures. You’ve seen them, right? With the round shells and the little tentacles. They feel like they should be from the dinosaur time period. They’re awesome.
O: Orange, the grossest color, next to yellow and brown. Oranges also taste bad. Everyone likes oranges, it seems, but me. It’s also really disappointing when you get a box of chocolates, and some candies contain orange filling. Disgusting! And no one likes the orange popsicles! Stop making them! We eat the grapes and cherries, and the oranges just sit there, never to be consumed.
P: PlayStation 2, the best console. I love it so much. You have no idea. It’s just so great. The games are so great. It’s little blue and green lights are just so great.
Q: Quack, a sound made by the cutest animals in the world.
R: Rainbow cookies and rugelach. Some of my favorite treats. But hard to make. Along with baklava. But, that doesn’t start with R. It’s like an R, though, if you remove the R’s right leg and flip it upside down. But, that would be inhumane.
S: “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, two good pieces of entertainment. I like “Star Wars” better myself, but “Star Trek” has Spock. Which also starts with S. Speaking of space-related things, Saturn is by far the most superb and splendid of the planets in the solar system. Swell!
T: Tornadoes, wings down the scariest natural event. Well, behind black holes. And perhaps super novas and erupting volcanoes. And spiders. I had several scares with them. Tornadoes. Well, spiders, too. But, we’re discussing tornadoes right now. Ahem. I never saw them, but I know I heard one outside my house one night as a hurricane was going by. At least, they say tornadoes sound like trains, and I heard a train going by for an hour. Either it was a really long train, which would also be creepy, or it was a tornado.
U: Unicorns, who should’ve stopped being idiots and gotten on Noah’s Ark when they had the chance. Wouldn’t it have been cool to ride around on a horse that can stab your enemies? It would’ve changed old-fashioned warfare. People would have attack unicorns instead of attack dogs. In short, the world would be a better place.
V: Video games, the greatest hobby to have ever been invented. I love them, love them, love them, love them. And they caused me to start writing and drawing. They have changed my life in a profound manner.
W: Water, something I’ve been traumatized by ever since those swimming lessons with the guy who was perpetually angry. Another thing that terrifies me that starts with W are the Weeping Angels in “Dr. Who”. So scary!
X: Xistential. Things I ponder. And yes, I do know the correct spelling.
Y: Yggdrasil, a tree from Norse mythology (not North mythology because that’s not even a thing, silly). I don’t know, it’s a cool word that starts with Y. And I like learning about mythology. It’s fun. Did you know that the saying “between a rock and a hard place” came from Odysseus’s run-in with Scylla the monster and Charybdis the whirlpool? Did you? Did you?
Z: Zebras, one of my favorite animals at the zoo. They’re like vanilla with chocolate drizzle. Or are they chocolate with vanilla drizzle? They’re the black and white cookies of the animal world. The ice cream sundaes of the safari. The Hershey’s hugs (much better than kisses) of mammal land.
D Stands for Duck
Does anyone here have the original Star Wars: CloneWars DVD’s? The cartoon version, not the computer-animated one. I used to not want to watch it, with it being a Star Wars cartoon and all (I dunno, some things are fine as cartoons, but Star Wars?), but I tried it once, and it wasn’t bad. So I decided to buy it, but it turned out that it was not being sold in stores anymore. Why, oh why would such a thing be so hard to find?! I looked everywhere! Oh, woe was me! So I finally attempted to buy it from Amazon.com.
I say “attempted”, because at first, even that was impossible. It was there all right, but I would get ready to buy it, put it in the cart, and it would be sold before I could finish. It took several tries before I finally got both volumes. I think one was new and one was used, but in good condition.
And it was totally worth it! It may be a cartoon, but it’s not silly. It’s really very good. And if anyone thought General Grievous was a wuss in the movie (he’s my favorite character, and yet I thought so, too), you will be surprised by the cartoon. He kicked butt! It was…super…awesome. Like, yeah. The whole thing’s nifty neato, but Grievous was the best.
A Grievous Duck
I have wanted to become an artist for several years, but I was thinking of something that made me even more determined to become good at art. Two things, really. Maybe more, I don’t know. Anyway, a while ago, I got the comic “Star Wars: Visionaries”, which actually has several little comics from concept artists that worked on, well, Star Wars. It was really fun to look at all those different styles. Some I liked more than others, but they were all unique and awesome. It’s one of my favorite comics. Maybe my favorite.
Then, one day I heard about “The Art of Star Wars: Episode III”, and needless to say, I needed it. It was actually pretty rare, I think, but I managed to find it, and it has so much amazing art. Many, many pages of it, both with ideas they used and ones they didn’t. I want so very much to be that good someday. Even half that good. I have far to go. And I really need to work on backgrounds. I’ll never be good at them if I rarely practice them. I am so naughty.
So if anyone likes Star Wars and art, check out those books if you can. Good stuff. I also have “Star Wars: Panel to Panel” Volumes 1 and 2, which has good artwork from different Star Wars comics. Not quite as awesome as the previous two books I mentioned, but still good.