5 Creepy Video Game Clowns, Just in Time for Halloween

Have you heard that there’s a creepy clown epidemic going on? It’s true, the media is going crazy reporting scary looking clowns menacing small children and adults alike. As someone who has a fear of clowns, sometimes referred to as “coulrophobia,” this is not a good time for yours truly.

My fear of clowns is something very real. I don’t go around saying that I have a fear of clowns because I’m trying to be cool or different, and yes there are people out there that do that. Clowns are annoying and dumb to most people, but to me, they cause an irrational fight or flight response. Clowns exists to do one thing and that is to fuck with you.  That is their humor and raison d’être. They use you as a prop to make others laugh, and my fear is that I will be the one that is singled out in a crowd to be that prop.

My fear is well known amongst my family and friends. My sister once invited me to an off Broadway show in New York City. I asked what it was about and she said it was like Cirque du Soleil. I reminded her that if there was one thing that I hated more than clowns, it’s artsy, European clowns. She assured me that there would be no clowns. My sister, you should know is a liar. The ENTIRE show consisted of sad, artsy, European clowns.

In between each act, in which there were three, clowns would descend into the audience where they would proceed to fuck with the audience. I sat in my seat, frozen with anxiety, gripping the armrests, praying that they would not approach me. I had visions that one would sneak up on me and have me smell a flower on his lapel, only to get squirted in the face. He would then offer his handkerchief, which would have no end when trying to pull it out of his pocket. He would then drop something, asking me to pick it up for him, only to bend over so that he can kick me in the ass. The audience would laugh and I would have punched him the face. Children would cry and then I’d be the asshole. It’s a lose/lose situation.

Now I find myself in the middle of this creepy clown epidemic. There are clowns standing on street corners in the middle of the night as well as reports of them menacing children. It’s ridiculous and the people who are doing this obviously have nothing better to do. They’re just playing stupid pranks, which is, after all, what clowns do.

I was at the chiropractor for my regular treatment, as I’m old and my body is falling apart, and I was getting a massage, when my masseuse, who loves to talk, brought up the topic of the clown sightings. First off, I wish my masseuse would talk less and massage more. I’m here trying to relax and clowns make me tense. SHE SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

She then asks me when I think the clown sightings will stop and I said nonchalantly that it will end when someone like me severely hurts or worse case, kills one, and then it will stop. She then utters the dumbest thing I have ever heard. She says that she feels bad for the “professional” clowns who are probably seeing a decline in work due to the creepy clown sightings. I could not disagree more. I hope the entire clown industry crashes and never recovers.

ONTO THE LIST!

  1. Mall Clown – Heavy Rain 

This incarnation of a fever dream is encountered relatively early in Heavy Rain. Ethan, the main protagonist, is asked by his son to purchase a balloon from this mall clown. Jason disappears shortly after. COINCIDENCE? I think not.

  1. Fargus – Pandemonium 1 & 2

I never played these games. I would see the box art in stores and see Fargus’ cold, dead eyes and be instantly turned off.

  1. Sweet Tooth – Twisted Metal Series

I loved the Twisted Metal series and one of the reasons why is because I could dispatch Sweet Tooth and his hoard of clown minions with extreme prejudice. Blowing up his demented ice cream truck had a cathartic quality for me.

  1. Adam McIntyre, aka Adam the Clown – Dead Rising 2 

What is up with mall clowns in video games? Adam the clown is a boss in Dead Rising 2.  Apparently, he went insane when zombies ate his audience. I say he was insane to begin with. One has to be to consider going into clowning as a profession.

Again, I experienced extreme satisfaction after defeating this clown and having him fall on his revving chainsaws. Rest in pieces Bozo.

  1. Nights – Nights into Dreams Series

Nights, I suppose, is a harlequin rather than your typical clown. Harlequins, as you know, originated in Italy in the late 16th century. Therefore, Nights is an artsy European clown and is the worst of the bunch. He’d be right at home at a Cirque du Soleil performance.

I was a Sega devotee growing up and had a Saturn. I picked up this game, despite there being a clown on the cover and against my better judgement. I so wanted to enjoy this game, but could not get into it. To this day I have no idea why people look back fondly at this title and its abomination of a main character.

Also, Nights only comes out at night (GET IT?), and in your dreams, so he’s essentially Freddy Kruger.

I’m sure I neglected to include many of your favorites. If so, let me know in the comments. Also, if you’re a clown, I’m sorry if I offended you. This is all a joke. Please don’t come to my house.

Halloween Overwatch Themes Are Out

Still playing Overwatch? I have moved on, but may return just to gawk at these fun looking Halloween skins.

Starting October 11 and running until November 1, all in game loot boxes will be replaced with a glowing Jack-O-Lantern containing the Halloween themed skins.

I’m not normally into Holiday themed skins, but the folks at Blizzard on the Overwatch team has done a good job with these ones. I’m certainly going to give it a look see.

 

Hackers Responsible for Ruining Christmas of 2014 Charged

You may recall that if you got a game or a console back in Christmas of 2014 and wanted to play online either on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live, you were out of luck. Since many consoles require day one online patches, Christmas morning of 2014 was sad time for gamers.

Justice may soon be served, as two members of hacker group Lizard Squad, which took responsibility for the denial of service attacks, have been charged in Chicago according to a press release by the US Department of Justice.

Lizard Squad drew the attention of U.S. authorities during an investigation into website phonebomber.net, which enabled paying customers to select victims to receive repeated harassing phone calls from spoofed numbers. However, it wasn’t until after the launch of phonebomber.net, where members of Lizard Squad started a denial-of-service attack against online gaming networks and began boasted about them on Twitter.

If found guilty, the accused could receive a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

 

 

Thanks for Ruining My Summer, Video Game Industry

Summer is a time of year that I look forward to.  The long days are perfect for spending time outside being active and on hot days I look forward to taking a ride to the beach, or down the shore, as we say in the Jerz.

Of course, the best thing about summer is grilling large amounts of red meat outside then trying to shove as much of as possible into my face while washing it down with a refreshing cold beer.

Because of all the outdoor activities that become available during the summer months, playing video games usually becomes a low priority. It also helps that video game makers avoid releasing video games during the summer months. It’s as if doing so would make them susceptible to bad humors which will give them the plague.

I never understood why publishers don’t release games during the summer months. Students who are in school are either on break or have greatly reduced schedules.  Those who are working can also expect additional time off for holidays, summer Fridays, and folks generally take time off for vacations. For the most part, people have more time in the summer, so one would think that publishers would take advantage of that.

The movie industry certainly takes advantage of this.  Summers are when big blockbusters are released. Big, stupid, action oriented popcorn flicks are a summertime staple as the studios generally save the more serious stuff for the holidays, which makes sense, right?

The gaming industry however, has been stuck in a rut of releasing everything worthwhile in this tiny 4-month window between September and December. Sure, you’ll want to capitalize on holiday gift giving, but all these big releases so close together causes cannibalization among the big budget titles and smaller titles get lost in the shuffle.

You would think that publishers would want to spread out their release calendar a bit. Why not give the consumer a steady stream of titles throughout the year, instead of a glut all at one time? It just makes sense. Who are these amazingly smart executives making the decisions at these big companies anyway?

Okay, that’s not fair, but I can’t help myself.

This year, however, I’ve noticed a shift. There are a decent amount of good games coming out this spring which is going to force me to play throughout the summer.

Uncharted 4, Doom, and Battleborn have already been released and are solid if not exceptional games. However, just over the horizon we have Overwatch coming out in late May, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst in early June, No Man’s Sky in late June, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in late August.  All of these games are AAA titles, which is a rarity for the summer months.

Uncharted 4 is an awesome game that his lived up to all the hype and I’m thoroughly enjoying it right now.  Doom, a game in which many thought was going to be pure shit due to a review embargo has actually turned out to be more than decent and warrants a purchase. Not to mention, Doom and especially Overwatch, are solid multiplayer titles that will have long life spans.

Also, all the hype and general high praise for Overwatch during its beta has piqued my interest, and not just because Tracer has a beautiful rear end. I wonder what my good friend Pacino thinks?

Doom and Overwatch alone would have taken up my entire summer, but I had no idea that No Man’s Sky was scheduled for the summer. This title alone appears to be a total time suck just by the nature of this game’s style alone.

It’s actually a good thing that there are no big trips scheduled this summer and we just have “staycations” planned. Of course, my wife can make an executive decision at any time and pile us all into the car for a leisurely 26-hour road trip to god’s waiting room.

My plan is to lock myself into my game room, crank up the air conditioning and draw the blinds. Who knows, I may even take a break every once in a while to stuff grilled meats into my face and drink cold beer outside.

What Game Maker Would You Go on Vacation With?

Summer is winding down. Soon, we will be heading back to school, half-day Friday’s at the office will be ending, and there will be a nip in the air as autumn approaches.  Of course, if you live in the southern hemisphere, summer is just beginning.

As I sit here writing this, just a few days before Labor Day in the states, which is the unofficial last day of summer for us yanks, I’m thinking back on the recent and the not so recent summer vacations that I’ve been on. Some were good, some were great, and some were utter shit. That got me thinking, what would it be like to go on vacation with a big time gaming personality?

Shigeru Miyamoto – Creator of all things Nintendo.

Going on a vacation with Shigeru Miyamoto would probably be nice if not amazing.  I imagine a wholesome, family friendly, and highly organized affair to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

I’d like to think that he would have customized tee shirts made that everyone had to wear. Embroidered on the shirts, along with your name would be “Miyamoto Dream Vacation 2015.”

Miyamoto with Family

Sure, the cool kids at the beginning of the trip thought this vacation was totally lame, but end up having the best vacation ever! Even grumpy uncle Frank who poo poo’d the trip in the beginning has a blast and learns a valuable lesson of love and forgiveness at the end. THANKS SHIGGY!

Peter Molyneux – Creator of Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Fable, and broken promises.

Going on vacation with Peter Molyneux wouldn’t be bad, but it would probably fall short of initial expectations.

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Have you ever been looking forward to a vacation to someplace new and exciting only to show up and realize that the place is okay, but not quite what you were expecting? Maybe the brochure was using a fancy camera angle with fish eye lens. Maybe you decided to go during hurricane season. Or maybe the pictures you saw were from thirty years ago and the place now looks run down and is in desperate need of a new coat of paint.

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The Hotel looked bigger on the pictures we saw online.

The vacation wouldn’t be bad per se, and you may end up having an okay time, but you just can’t help feeling a bit disappointed.

Cliff Bleszinski – Creator of many games with muscular space marines.

Going on vacation with Cliff Bleszinski would probably be, no pun intended, FUCKING EPIC!

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Who’s ready to party?

There is something about Bleszinski that screams debauched vacation aficionado. Maybe it’s the fact that he used to go by the nom du guerre “Cliffy B” or he used to have an awesome Pornstache (see above).

He looks like the type of person who would rent a party boat on Lake Havasu while flying a giant banner from the mast (party boats have masts right?) that says “SHOW US YOUR TITS!”

Cliff Lake Havasu

Natty Ice would flow freely. Jell-O shots would be eaten off the tummies of co-eds, whip cream licked off the chests of frat bros and everyone will have horrible hangovers the next day. WONDERFUL!

This actually sounds horrible to me now, but when I was a younger man, this would have been awesome. Also, Cliff has grown up a bit the past few years. He may not be down for doing a line of coke off an Arizona State sorority sister’s tramp stamp anymore either.

Hideo Kojima – Creator of Metal Gear, Snatcher, and other things… probably.

Remember that Swedish dad who took his kids to the Gaza Strip to teach them how war was not a game when they asked for a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts?

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It will be like that, but much worse.

Sid Meier – Creator of Civilization (the game not literal civilization).

Sid Meier reminds me of a cool history teacher that I had in high school. He’s just a nerdy looking guy who takes things that should be dull and boring, and he makes them fun and interesting.

I imagine that a vacation with Meier would be educational but fun, perhaps to someplace historically significant, like Rome or London. He’ll probably be leading a large group, holding up an umbrella so that he doesn’t lose anyone while pointing out interesting things that can be easily missed and regaling us with fascinating facts.

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Richard Garriott – Creator of Ultima, Tabula Rasa and other things that will not help you get laid.

Garriott will probably be the exact opposite of Meier in terms of a fun yet educational vacation. There is just something about the man, that makes me believe that he will just take things a bit too far.

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I see Garriott creating meticulous and accurate costumes for each family member, piling them into the station wagon and driving to a distant Renaissance Fair out in the middle of nowhere.

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He’s going to force you to stay in character the entire time and if you don’t, well it’s off to stocks for you. People are going to throw rotten vegetables and it’s going to be horrible and psychologically scarring.

Alexey Pajitnov – Creator of Tetris, Tetris, and Tetris.

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Pajitnov is Russian. Every Russian person I know likes to drink excessively on vacation. I’m completely okay with this way of vacationing. People who do not do this on vacation should be looked at with suspicion and contempt.

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Is there some other game maker you think would be fun or horrible on vacation? Let’s hear in the comments.

Evil Rabbits

Many, many years ago, a bearded Jewish man was crucified in the Middle East. After a week, he came back to life. His modern day followers remember this miracle by celebrating a long-eared woodland rodent.

As a Christian (Roman Catholic actually) this time of year is one of the most important holidays. I actually go to church on this holiday, to celebrate my savior’s death and subsequent resurrection. The only other time I actually go to church is to celebrate my savior’s birth, which is ironic. I never said I was a good Christian.

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As you have probably gathered by now, I’m speaking about Easter (and Christmas), two holidays ruined by commercialism and the greeting card industry. Christmas is about giving gifts, and the baby Jesus takes the back seat to a fat hirsute man in a red suit, which is okay, I suppose, because you get gifts, which is nice.

What I cannot tolerate is an adult Jesus, who died for my sins, playing second fiddle to a furry rodent known for it’s elongated ears and it’s ability to aggressively procreate.

Quite simply, rabbits, and by extension, their larger cousin, the hare, are evil, with no redeeming qualities, with the exception of making exquisite stews.

Even our ancestors knew that rabbits are horrid creatures. Rabbits were showcased quite often in medieval art performing horrible deeds.

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Case and point, did you know that in the Middle Ages giant rabbits carried swords and regularly beheaded people?

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Humans were also forced to fight three-headed beasts for the amusement of our rabbit overlords.

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Apparently, it was not unheard of rabbits chasing people up into the trees, where they would be taken down by crossbow totting hares. Also, fair maidens were frequently kidnapped.

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Humans also could not travel, lest they be accosted by gangs of marauding rabbits and bludgeoned to death.

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Man’s best friend, the humble dog, did fight a brutal war against the rabbits on our behalf. Here, we see an army of dogs lay siege to a rabbit castle.

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However, the rabbits were too strong, and the dog army was cut down and brutally crushed by rabbit archers.

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The rabbits showed complete disregard for modern legal practice. This poor dog was tried in an apparent rabbit tribunal. He will not be judged by a jury of his peers.

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The outcome of the trial was never in doubt.

Why then, do we subjugate our poor children this time of year to the Easter Bunny (if that’s his real name), after all the atrocities that his ancestors performed on mankind? This is unconscionably.

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Rabbits have even infiltrated my beloved video games and I’m disgusted by it. They have no place in video games, unless they are playing the antagonist, which is a rarity.

Take Jazz the Jackrabbit for example. He’s the main character of the game that bares his name. However, in an age when character based platformers were cute and merely hopped on their enemies, Jazz saw fit to use high powered firearms against unarmed tortoises and bumble bees.


Or take the Rabbids from various Ubisoft games.  These rabbits simply cause pure chaos while speaking incomprehensible jibberish. They are obviously high on drugs.


If the Rabbids are not on drugs, then Max, from the Sam & Max series definitely is. I’d say he’s on cocaine or speed, as he’s absolutely manic and has no business solving crimes.  As far as I’m concerned, he’s a criminal himself.

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Lastly, Peppy Hare from Star Fox, I’m onto you. You’re kind elderly mentor act is fooling no one. One day you will betray Fox McCloud, I KNOW IT.

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You may be asking if perhaps I’m being too hard on rabbits?  Their atrocities against man took place many years ago. Should I learn to love and forgive them for their transgressions? Some would say that is what Jesus would want; after all, this holiday is about him.

The answer to that is NO. I am a rabbit racist, and I will never forgive them. As far as I’m concerned, the best place for a rabbit, is in the stew pot, prepared in the agrodolce style, as my Sicilian grandmother used to serve for special occasions.

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Buon appetit and Happy Easter.