Monday, December 23, 2013

Nova Phase

This weekend I was sent an advanced preview of the first two issue of Slave Labor’s comic Nova Phase.  I hadn’t heard anything about the book before I opened my email, so I didn't know what to expect.  Any book that lists Cowboy Bebop, The Rifleman, and Snatcher as influences immediately has my attention.  When I opened the files and started reading I wondered why this didn't exist earlier.  Nova Phase is a lot of fun. 

This isn’t a comic book, this is an extended cutscene from an early 90's video game and I mean that in the very best way possible.  Written by Matthew Ritter with art  by Adam Elbatimy Nova Phase mixes a space western story with retro video game style art.  It stars a bounty hunter who trusts too easily.  She gets involved with a rag tag group of adventures who are on the run from an evil army.  I've only read the first two issues but I’m hooked on the series.  If you grew up playing those early video games the style is going to hit you right in the nostalgia.  It’s too early for me to say how deep the story is going to get, but it has that madcap rollercoaster of action feel to it.  I called it fun earlier and I meant it.

The first two issues will be available on January 15th through Comixology.  If you prefer the feel of paper between your fingertips the first two issues will be collected into one issue and will be on sale in February through the SLG website and Amazon.  The rest of the issues will be continue to be released first on Comixology and then collected into print.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

All Swine’s Day 2014

This is my yearly reminder to tell you about the official holiday of That F’ing Monkey, All Swine’s Day!  This will be the fourth year I’ve been celebrating All Swine’s so I’m pretty excited to see there are people already excited for it.  So when is it?  What is it?  All Swine’s Day is the first Sunday of the New Year; so this year it is on January 5th.  It’s a celebration of friends who are close enough to be family and a send off of holiday gluttony. 

The holiday originated with me realizing that as I get older, family and work obligations make it harder to spend time with friends during the holidays.  I picked a day that was close to the holidays, but should be far enough removed that most people no longer have those other commitments.  Since so many people talk about dieting after the holidays I figured this would be one last indulgence before everyone starts trying to work off those holiday pounds.  Because it is a bit of a pig-out, the day picked up a porky name and menu.

I’ve served the same thing each year.  I make bacon taco shells in the oven and then have things like eggs, potatoes, ham, and sausage to fill the shells with.  Obviously if you choose to celebrate this wonderful day you can pick your own menu.  After everyone’s eaten we usually break out the Cards Against Humanity, but the important thing is you’re getting to spend time with people you may have been too busy to see.

All Swine’s Day has become one of my favorite days of the year, hopefully it will become one of yours too.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniature Game

Brandon and I text each other probably every other week about a game that we’d be buying if the two of us lived closer together.  Honestly I’ve been saving a lot of money by looking at a game and saying to myself, “I don’t really have anyone near me that would want to play this.”  When I was doing some Christmas shopping this Sunday I ran into a large store display of the X-Wing miniature game.  I haven’t been paying much attention to the game, but the display stopped me in my tracks.

The game is put out by Fantasy Flight and has really been gaining a lot of momentum lately.  The game is on its third wave of expansions so there are numerous different Rebel and Imperial ships to add to your dog fights.  Each expansion includes more than the ship model, it also includes things like the tokens and cards needed to use that ship in combat.  I’ve watched enough people playing it at this point that I really want to jump in.  I haven’t yet, but I’m pretty sure that at least the starter box will be coming home with me at some point. 

Of course I’m strange I don’t really want a bunch of the other ships, I’d just want to field 12 X-wings.  You should probably expect more updates about the X-wing miniature game in 2014.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Star Wars: Attack Squadrons

Some of the best Star Wars video game belonged to the X-Wing vs. TIE series.  It is probably one of the reasons I love the X-Wing fighter so much.  So I was very surprised to find out that a new game is currently taking submissions for beta testing.  You can go to and sign up for the beta. 

The game is going to be a free to play and features 16 player dogfights.  They already list game modes as Free For All, Team Dogfight, and Base Defense.  The game is set to include ship customization, team play, rewards, and regular updates.  Since this is a free to play game, you can all but guarantee that it will also include all sorts of items that will cost real money.

I’m going to try not to get too excited for this, but I have already signed up for the Beta.  There will be more information on Attack Squadrons as it becomes available.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Guinness Red Harvest

If you noticed there haven’t been a lot of Hangover Thursdays lately.  There is a pretty simple reason for that, I just haven’t had much time to go out and drink.  I also had such a stockpile of beer in my refrigerator I didn’t need to go searching for anything new.  So when I finally went back to my friendly neighborhood liquor store I was pretty surprised to see that Guinness has a fall seasonal on the shelves.  The beer I’m talking about is Guinness’ Red Harvest.  It’s a pretty ominous sounding title and I’m a sucker for things like that so of course I picked up a four-pack.

Red Harvest Stout is billed as a smooth and alluring stout.  The package I found was a four pack of 14.9oz cans.  The new stout has an ABV of 4.1% compared to the 4.2% of regular Guinness.  While it pours the same creamy head of a Guinness, Red Harvest looks much different once everything has settled.  The familiar black is replaced with a dark red.  The taste is a bit sweeter than that of a regular stout, in fact it feels more like someone poured a mixture of a Guinness and an Irish Red.  If you want a hearty stout, this isn’t the beer you want.  If you want a something along the lines of a Half and Half this isn’t a bad way to go.  I’d rate it as an average beer.  There are better options out there, but you could do far worse.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Incoming Holidays!!

We are quickly getting to the end of the year.  With that brings all the normal holiday craziness.  I’ll be rushing to finish everything I need to accomplish at my real job so I can take some time off.  Next week should be pretty normal but after that updates will get more sporadic.  After all I have to start getting things ready for Christmas, New Years, and All Swine’s Day.  If you’re new to the site, there will be more about our favorite holiday next week. 

I also wanted to thank anyone who commented here, sent emails, or texts about the family situation going on here.  Without going into too much detail; things are headed in a positive direction.  The situation is far from over but it’s better. 

I did end up downloading Starbound.  It’s a dangerous, dangerous game.  I’m pretty sure once it finished installing someone snuck into my house and knocked me unconscious.  When I came to hours had passed and my little monkey person was hanging out in the underground house I had built out of cobblestone blocks.  I can see myself losing a lot of time to this one.  I think I need to check out another planet though; my starting one is inhabited by extremely aggressive, fire-breathing birds. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Starbound Trailer

I’ve been following Starbound for a while now.  I haven’t really gone down the rabbit hole playing games like Terraria or Minecraft but something about Starbound really struck me when I first say it.  The game is in its Beta right now and YouTube is full of people already posting “Let’s Play” videos.  What I’ve seen looks impressive and I wish I had the time to jump into it myself. 

Pick your race, travel to different planets, and then explore at your own pace.  There are monsters to fight, items to create, and after that you’re pretty much left to your own devices.  What to build a giant castle?  Sure you can do that.  You can go on dungeon crawls and find all sorts of treasure too.  Take on giant boss fights?  They’re in there!  What you do in the game is really up to you. 

Don’t just listen to me though.  Check out the trailer that was released last week.  You can see exactly what the game is capable of.  I’m sure I’ll be spending some time on Starbound soon.  If you do get into the game, remember it is in Beta.  A lot of the streams of it I’ve seen have had random crashes in it, but that’s pretty much what Beta is for.

Friday, December 6, 2013

WWE Stackdown

Over the years building blocks like Lego and Mega Bloks have come out with all sorts of licensed sets.  Movies, cartoons,  games, comics, and sports have shown up in one brick from or another.  While there have been a few surprises down the line, I feel I have a pretty good grasp on what is happening in those toy lines.  I was completely surprised to learn about the WWE Stackdown sets and even more surprised to find out they were already showing up on the shelves of toy stores.

Obviously when you think wrestling you think about building blocks; it’s a natural combination.  Well that’s not true on any planet I’ve been to.  That doesn’t mean that the sets can’t be a lot of fun though.  The flagship of the series launch is the Train and Rumble set.  The two story set has plenty of workout gear for your wrestlers to train with.  Have your wrestlers throw each other into a locker, weight bench, or off a scaffolding.  It also comes with Rey Mysterio and Sheamus figures. 

Sin Cara comes with a figure catapult, a giant ring to jump through, and some torches that are probably meant to represent pyro.  So you pretty much are given props to create a Sin Cara entrance.  I can’t imagine that adding a lot to the value but the figure is the real star of this pack anyway.  Considering the original Sin Cara's track record they really should have packaged him with some medical supplies.  Maybe a wheelchair or a stretcher. 

Kofi Kingston actually comes with some things that can be used.  His set includes scaffolding, a ladder, and he comes with a title belt.  Want to put on ladder matches with your figures?  You’re going to have to get the Kofi set.  What to have a title belt?  You’re going to have to get the Kofi set.  Out of all the sets, this is the one that seems the most wrestling related.  In fact the other sets just start to get weird.

Damien Sandow, the intellectual savior of the masses, comes with an office.  Seriously he comes with a chair, a table, and a presentation board that has one of his shirt designs on it.  He also comes with a microphone, a must have if you want your figures to cut promos on each other.  The table is not meant to be used during your matches because it doesn’t even split in half. 

Then we have Santino.  I get that Santino is used as a comedy gimmick.  The man’s sense of humor and timing are great.  His set comes with a giant cage that he and a cobra can fit into.  Yes his finisher is called the cobra but he isn’t carting a real cobra out.  And why would he go in the cage with a cobra?  I’m very confused by the whole thing.

Finally is the Undertaker set.  He’s the biggest name attached to any of these sets so it isn’t surprising that it looks cool.  It is an odd mix of Undertaker images though.  The set has cemetery gates and a funeral urn that has been used in many of the Undertaker’s stories.  If you package these items with a demonic looking Undertaker it makes sense.  Instead you get “American Badass” Undertaker riding a motorcycle.  The figure and bike on their own do represent a version of the Undertaker; they just don’t go with the other accessories at all. 

That’s it for the first wave of Stackdown.  There were some seriously strange decisions made when designing these sets.  I hope they take off enough that we see at least another wave, because I can’t wait to see the oddities they come up with for wave 2.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Star Wars Risk: Original Trilogy

I’ve had board games on the mind a lot lately; it might have been the new Cards Against Humanity expansion or it might be all the Table Top episodes I’ve been watching.  Regardless I knew I needed to spend some time rolling dice.  The biggest challenge is finding the time and finding additional players that also have the time to do play.  There have been a few Kickstarters lately that I had to stop myself from funding because I knew I’d never get around to playing what looked like an awesome game.

 So I was lucky enough to find the time and some players to play some Risk.  When delving into my closet I was surprised to find out I don’t actually own a version of vanilla Risk.  I have Godstorm and Star Wars Risk.  Being that all the players are big Star Wars fans I went with that version.  There are two different versions of Star Wars Risk; one for the Original Trilogy and one for Clone Wars. 

Star Wars Risk differs from standard Risk in a few ways.  The first is the factions.  Playersr will be controlling the Empire, the Rebellion, or the Hutts.  Each of these groups has their own conditions for winning.  The Empire needs to wipe out the Rebellion, the Hutts need to control certain planets on the map, and the Rebellion needs to kill the Emperor (or wipe out the Empire).  Each army also has a different number of planets they start the game with and a different number of troops.  The Empire has the largest starting army and controls the most planets.  It’s a thematic change but is mostly balanced out during gameplay.

Those aren’t the only additions either.  Depending on the cards played during the game, there is Force setting that affects how many cards the Empire and the Rebellion get and how easy/hard it is to destroy the Death Star.  That’s right, I said the Death Star.  The Death Star can actually destroy a planet and any armies on it.  It isn’t easy to fire the Death Star but it’s quite effective when it does go off.  There are also fighter, bomber, and capital class ship tokens.  These ships help out dice rolls; either by adding to the number you rolled or by changing the dice type.  Finally the Empire gets to place defensive bunkers.  There bases make it easier to defend an area but one of them houses the Emperor.  If the Rebels manage to kill the Emperor they’ve won the game. 

If you’re looking for your own copy I’m sorry to say it’s been out of print for a while now.  The price on eBay seems to fluctuate pretty wildly on this one, so if you keep an eye on the auctions you may be able to score one at a reasonable price.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Door to Hell

Did you know there is a place on Earth called The Door to hell?  It’s a crater in Turkmenistan that has been on fire for decades.  And well, I like fire.  I also like science, so today’s update is going all “you got your chocolate in my peanut butter” and combining the two.  The SciShow YouTube channel just did a video about The Door to Hell or the Darvaza Gas Crater.  Check out the video below for some pretty amazing fire footage and a bunch of facts about how it came to be.

So seriously, this thing has become a tourist attraction.  I wonder if there are travel packages for pyros.  I can see it now, “Sir on your vacation you’ll see four volcanoes and cap everything off with a trip to the Door to Hell.”  Maybe I should start that.  I wonder how many fire themed vacation spots there are out there.  SciShow does some pretty amazing videos, without pandering to fake science stuff.  You can help them make cool science videos by checking out their subbable page (CLICK HERE).  Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the science and fire.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

WWE 2K14 Custom Belt Glitch

We’re back.  Special thanks to anyone who sent concerns either through email or comments.  While I was pretty busy last week I did manage to spend some more time with WWE 2K14.  I talked about picking the game up last month but I just finally got a chance to really start playing it the way I wanted to.  The game lets you create your own Universe by creating shows, PPVs, belts, arenas, and wrestlers.  While in years past I would play shows mostly dominated by my own creations they were still made up of about 50% real wrestlers.  This year I wanted to really tell my own story.

So I created an army of fake wrestlers.  When I realized that just the characters I normally create weren’t going to be enough I started throwing together quick characters to fill the gaps.  I created brand new arenas and belts for my champions to hold. I spent hours modifying move sets or tweaking character entrances.  Finally I was to a point where I’d be able to actually play the game.  I still had some changes to make, but I could start my Universe.  As my shows neared the end of the month we were headed to the first PPV and the first big title matches.  And then my game froze.

My first PPV had three championship matches on the card.  I tried all three of them and would end up locked up or in an infinite loading loop.  Hours and hours had already been put into this and now I might have to redo a huge portion of it to add normal belts.  I wasn’t happy.  I ran to the internet for help.  I disabled entrances and replays.  I installed the game to my harddrive.  Anytime I tried to play the title match in Universe for a custom belt the game would freeze.  While experimenting with the Universe mode I found my own workaround. 

When viewing the card in Universe mode go to the title match you want to play.  When you press edit to change the match you will be given two different options.  One is to change the match completely and the other is to just change the participants in the match.  For this you want to pick “change the participants”.  You’ll get another warning message that says if you change the people involved in the match it will no longer be a championship match.  At the character select screen the two wrestlers who were scheduled to wrestle should already be selected.  Click accept and you should be able to play the match.  It’s entirely possible that this won’t work for you, the game is pretty damn buggy, but I’ve been able to play 3 different title matches because of this trick.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Flash Friday: Double Down vs. Double Down

Happy Flash Friday everyone!  Before I get into today’s amazing bit of Flashy-ness I wanted to give you a quick explanation of what happened this week.  It’s not like me to miss two updates in a row and not give some explanation of what is going on.  Without going into too much detail, there has been an illness in the family that has me pretty distracted.  I’m going to be taking next week off too.  There may be an odd update if I feel like it, but I wouldn’t expect too much until December.

With all that said it should be pretty obvious that I haven’t been in the best of moods.  Last night I check my email and see a message from Newt over at the Newtcave blog.  He had stumbled across the old villain spotlight I had written about Double Down.  If you remember that article the last thing I mentioned was that I wished I could draw because I wanted to see a picture of Double Down eating a KFC Double Down.  I might have even begged for someone else to draw it for me.

Thanks to Newt you can now see exactly that.  Again, you can check out the Newtcave by clicking HERE.  And I just wanted to send a giant thank you to Newt, because this really did make me smile at a time I needed to.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oderus Good Night Moon

The people over at Loudwire had Gwar’s lead singer, Oderus Urungus, read the children’s story book “Goodnight Moon.”  It is amazing as it sounds.  There are actually two versions of this video; a censored and an uncensored version.  I’m immature, I think swearwords are funny, but I think the censored version of this video is funnier than the uncensored one.  That being said, just because it is uncensored doesn’t mean it’s safe for small ears.  He manages to take the story to a few places that I don’t think are actually in the book.  Check it out for yourself.

We own "Goodnight Moon" for my son.  I think I'll wait a while before I show him Oderus' version though.  Now I have to start thinking about what will be the right age to introduce him to Gwar.  I know I discovered them right after Scumdogs of the Universe was released.  I guess it'll be a few years.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Loki and Sex

News has broke that in the Loki: Agent of Asgard book that starts in February the Marvel character will not only be bisexual but he’ll be changing shape also.  There is much online debate on if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  Loki is a trickster villain and one of the arguments is that as a villain it would put a LGBT character in a bad light.  Like if you’re LGBT you must be evil or something in that light. 

So let’s talk about Loki’s sexuality for a bit.  If we look back to the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda; oh right I forgot I’m talking about the actual mythology here for and not the comic version.  Since you know, the myths came before the comics.  I just want to tell one story to show how this “new take” on Loki is pretty true to the character.  Sleipnir is Odin’s eight legged horse and according to Odin is the best of the horses.  Now here comes the fun, Loki is Sleipnir’s mother.  I know it’s surprising but let me explain how it all happened.  See Loki was in Vegas and…  Okay, that’s not true.  The actual myth is more fucked up than just a bender in Sin City.

Way back when the gods were first settling the area a builder shows up and says that he can build a fortification for them in three seasons that will keep all invaders out.  All he wants is Freyja, the sun, and the moon.  They want this incredible fortress but don’t want to pay for it.  The gods try to figure out a way to screw the builder out of the bet and agree only after laying down a bunch of conditions on the builder.  The important condition is that no man is able to help him build.  The builder tricks all of the gods and brings out this amazing horse named Svaoifari.  He and the horse begin working on the fortress and because this horse is such an amazing worker it looks like the gods are going to have to pay up.

The gods are all pissed that the builder has tricked them and blame Loki.  He’s the trickster god; certainly he should have been smart enough to stop this from happening.  With three days left before the deadline Loki comes up with a plan.  He changes shape into a mare and approaches Svaoifari.  Seeing the mare, the horse breaks free from its restraints and chases after the mare all night.  The builder is unable to finish the fortress because he is unable to reign in his horny horse and spends the nice chasing after him.  A while after this Loki gives birth to Sleipnir.  Loki gives birth to an eight legged horse.    I think it’s important here to mention that the other gods didn’t look down on Loki for getting him some of that sweet, sweet horse meat.  He was pretty much doing it because when the Norse gods wanted someone tricked they went to Loki. The other fun part of this story is when gods find out this mystery builder was actually a frost giant; Thor just outright kills him. 

So what does all this have to do with the new Loki being bisexual and all the arguments around it?  Nothing really I suppose.  I just wanted to point out that Loki has already turned into a female horse, had sex with a horse, and gave birth to a freak horse.  This is a character that gives birth to horses and fathers giant wolves; it seems silly to compare him to real life human standards and morals.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

End of the Line

I’ve already posted music by Hurray for the Riff Raff on That F’ing Monkey but last week they released a brand new video for the song “End of the Line”.    The band will be releasing their newest album Small Town Heroes on ATO Records in February. 

I know I’m looking forward to the new album. Some days you just need good music to forget about everything else.  Hopefully this song will make your day a little better than mine is.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

12 Days of Holiday Bullshit

The Cards Against Humanity people are at it again.  Last year they sent out the Holiday expansion at a “pay what you want” price.  It was an awesome item and a bunch of money actually got donated to charity.  This year they are doing something completely different.  If you sign up now and pay 12 dollars they will send you 12 presents.

What are they?  I honestly don’t know.  I haven't been disappointed by any of the items I've ordered from them before, so I trust them on this one.  There were initially 100,000 spots open to sign up for this, and at the time of me writing this 10,000 have already been filled.  This isn’t going to last long.  If you want in on all the surprises, you better sign up quick at

UPDATE:  I knew Holiday Bullshit was going to sell out, but I'm still amazed at how quickly 100,000 orders went.  Hopefully if you were able to get your order in.  For those people who were too late or just didn't feel like dropping 12 bucks on chance; we will be running a follow up once the gifts start arriving.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Marvel Numbering

To be honest I haven’t bought a lot of comics in the past year.  I buy Flash more out of habit than anything at this point and the other few titles I’ve bought haven’t been from the big two.  I do like to keep up on what is going on in books though.  It’s because of this I was quick to read an announcement that Beta Ray Bill was going to be making an appearance in the new Nova comic.  I’m a huge Beta Ray Bill fan so I was excited to see what was going on.  The cover for the book he’ll be showing up in is posted below. 

The first thing you notice is that Beta Ray Bill is a bad ass.  This is normal and it’s how he should be portrayed.  The second thing you probably notice is the giant number one in the right hand corner.  The funny thing about the number one is that this is issue number 13.  You can actually see the 013. printed much smaller down on the bottom right hand corner.  Now it is entirely possible that this is only a promotional image and the real comic will not have a giant number one on the cover.  But if the comic does ship that way it is pretty interesting.

There will always be debate in comics if restarting numbering is more important than having huge issue numbers.  New number ones seem like a fresh start, but you can’t have a 100th issue if you renumber every year.  Is Marvel going to start numbering their story arcs?  Would you jump into a comic you’ve never read before if they were on the third story in an arc of a book that’s on issue 20?  Again I’m speculating a lot over an image that might not even hit the comic stands that way.  It was something I noticed yesterday and haven’t been able to stop thinking about. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Marvel and Netflix

Yesterday Marvel announced a new partnership with Netflix that will develop four series and a mini-series based on Marvel characters.  These live action shows are set to start Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage.  The press release goes on to say that Netflix has committed to “a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

It’s an exciting announcement and it raises a lot of questions.  For budget reasons, it was smart for them to focus on some of Marvel’s street level heroes.  The group of characters they picked play pretty nice together.  Luke Cage and Iron Fist are the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of the Marvel Universe.  Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have a daughter named after Danny Rand aka Iron Fist.  And finally, Rand actually took over for Daredevil for a short period of time.  These series have a great potential to be interconnected awesomeness.  I’m not just saying that because Iron Fist is my favorite Marvel character.

The strange part is the mention of the “self-sacrificing” Defenders.  The way it is written makes it sound like the Defenders is going to be this team of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.  If it was called Heroes of Hire that would make total sense.  The Defenders originally were Doctor Strange, Hulk, Namor, and the Silver Surfer.  There have been a few different versions of the Defenders team and Iron Fist was on one of them.  Doctor Strange has been in most of the Defenders’ lineups, so it is very possible he could be introduced in all of this. 

I really like Marvel’s street level characters, so to me this is probably the most exciting thing that has been announced in a while.  What do you think?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

WWE 2K14

I wasn’t planning on getting WWE 2K14 when it came out.  When I play a wrestling game I’m spending most of my time on created characters and don’t really need a yearly roster update.  I was very impressed by the new features that were being previewed.  I had begrudgingly changed my want level from “I don’t need it” to “I’ll pick it up when the price drops.”  And then I was pretty much gifted the game.  It’s been out for a week so I’ve been able to try everything out.  We don’t really do review scores, but I did want to talk about the game in depth.  There are some improvements over WW13 and there are missteps. 

Last year the main game play mode to unlock all the extras was the Attitude Era.  You played through the famous matches of DX, Stone Cold, and the Rock.  This year it is all about Wrestlemania, so the roster is a lot more varied.  It covers matches from each Wrestlemania so you get wrestlers from the past 30 years.  That include people like Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, Brett Hart, Yokozona, ect.  The presentation on the matches is fantastic although the announcing is a little strange.  Those older matches should have people like Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura calling them, but we get JR and King providing commentary for all the matches.

The most surprising thing is how much the game play has changed.  Basic strikes like punches and kicks have been sped up.  Actually they swung that pendulum a little too far.  Strikes went for super slow in 13 to super fast in 2K14.  Somewhere in the middle would have been much better, but I still prefer 2K14’s.  Reversals have been completely overhauled.  The biggest change is you can no longer go into long chains of reversals.  The window for actually reversing a move has been shortened too; they aren’t impossible to do, but they are more challenging. 

The create a wrestler is mostly unchanged.  I can copy down the options I chose in WWE13 and make exactly the same character in 2K14.  For some reason they decided to take away a major part of create an entrance.  In WWE13 I could create my own Titantron video for my wrestlers.  So when they walked down to the ring the video in the background actually had them in it.  I loved this feature and I have no idea why it was cut.  The create an arena also has some problems.  This deals with the ability to stretch logos across the ring mat and the announce table.  In 13 it worked perfectly, but in 14 the objects are limited to a much smaller area.  There are also a number of glitches that carried over from WWE13 that I really though would have been corrected in this version. 

So the short version is that I think 2K14 plays better than WWE13 but I’m still very disappointed with the lack of custom videos. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stick of Truth Delayed…Again

At the beginning of October I talked about how excited I am for South Park the Stick of Truth; a game I’ve had pre-ordered for over a year.  Well over the Halloween break Ubisoft delivered some bad news, the game has been delayed until March 4, 2014.  The game will now miss that holiday launch window and we’ll have to wait another 3 months before we’ll get “head on down to South Park”.

On the Ubisoft Announcement blog Ubisoft North America’s president Laurent Detoc said “Within three weeks after acquiring the game, we sadly realized we had to turn this thing upside down if we hoped to deliver the experience everybody wanted.  It’s been such a major overhaul to get to the point where we are that we couldn’t let it go, even if that meant missing December.

Normally if a game is pushed back this many times I’m worried.  But Ubisoft didn’t just push the game back; they also showed us 7 minutes of gameplay.  This removes all doubt in my mind.  The game looks exactly like an episode of South Park.  It’s hard to tell where the cutscene ends and the gameplay begins.  It’s that seamless.  I hate having to wait even longer, but I’m very excited to finally get my hands on the game.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Perfect Day

Today has actually been a pretty horrible day.  Regardless of that I decided to share a little Lou Reed.  Playstation 4 has a wonderful commercial with gamers singing “Perfect Day” horribly off-key.  Normally something like this would drive me insane, but I find myself singing along with it every time I see it.  Then I started thinking that most the people this ad is aimed at have never actually heard the original song.  So enjoy some Lou Reed, hopefully your day will be better because of it.

I came very close to posting the video for “Sweet Jane” too.  I suppose that can be an update for another day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

F’ing Updates

Halloween is right around the corner.  I’m sure there are tons of people frantically searching for that last minute Halloween costume.  Don’t look here; I’ve been planning my costume for months.  But there are some things going on that will be affecting That F’ing Monkey and I wanted to talk about them before they happen.

First off I’ll be spending this Saturday at the Spooky Empires convention.  This horror convention is full of all those wonderful horror actors like Bill Moseley and Doug Bradley.  I’m going because Ricou Browning and Julie Adams from Creature From the Black Lagoon are going to be there.  I’ve talked about my love for that movie numerous times so I’m really excited to see them.  I have no idea why George “the Animal” Steele is going to be there, but I’m excited to see him too!

I am going to be without internet for a large portion of next week.  This was pretty last minute so I haven’t been building a backlog of articles to run while I’m away.  So there may not be any updates the week of Halloween.  I’m going to do what I can but I can’t promise anything at this time. This is only for that week, after that we’ll be back to normal.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Itty Bitty Plush

I’ve been a huge fan of Art and Franco’s for a very, very long time.  I was thrilled when their Tiny Titans book became as popular as it did.  My son may have been named after a certain Wolf Boy; okay he was totally named after Patrick the Wolf Boy.  The Tiny, ‘Lil, and Itty Bitty line is moving across all sorts of comic publishers now and I can’t be happier. 

One of the newer titles is Itty Bitty Hellboy.  This isn’t the first time Hellboy has been showed younger.  Obviously there is the famous “Pamcakes” comic.  Bill Wray also did the Hellboy Junior stories.  Bill is famous from Mad and Ren & Stimpy; his Hellboy Junior stories are set in a similar tone.  The Itty Bitty Hellboy has more of that Tiny Titans feel.  It’s a cute, punny book that makes Hellboy available to an all age’s audience. 

Someone saw the Itty Bitty designs and must have said “those characters are so cute I wish I could hug them.”  Because there is a line of plush Itty Bitty plush coming out.  To start with you can pick up a Hellboy or an Abe.  If these sell well I can’t imagine they wouldn’t add others to the line.  I won't lie, I'd be pretty tempted if they added a Roger to the line.  Both Hellboy and Abe sell for under 20 dollars and should be available for pre-order at your local comic shop or favorite comic website. 

Aw Yeah.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Warren Zevon

Michael May has been killing it by counting Werewolves all October.  Really, make sure you check out his Adventureblog.  In his 31 days he hit on what I consider a pretty big one, Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.”  It’s a fantastic song and it deserves to be a Halloween anthem but there is so much more to Zevon’s music than just the one song.  I actually wrote about the same topic way back in 2010 and have posted videos a couple of times.

Zevon has a 30 year music career and was awarded two Grammys posthumously for his album The Wind.  For me the music is one thing and don’t get me wrong the music itself is great but it’s his lyrics that really pull me in.  Most of his songs tell stories.  They might be about Werewolves, psychopathic killers, or hockey players.  If you listen close you can see the entire story play out in your head, it becomes more than just music. 

Zevon passed away in 2003 after fighting cancer far longer than his doctors said he would be able to.  He was an amazing artist.  Enjoy “Werewolves of London” this month, but check out more of his work; you won’t be disappointed.    

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Talky Tina

Bif Bang Pow! has been doing some pretty neat things with the Twilight Zone license.  Figures, bobbleheads, and that wonderful “To Serve Man” journal.  Then they just had to go and do it, they’ve created a Talky Tina.  This 18 inch doll has eyes that open and close and speaks 5 lines that are straight from the original audio of her episode.  So it should sound perfect when she says, “My name is Talky Tina and I’m going to kill you.” 


This was the only episode of Twilight Zone that scared me as a kid.  It’s strange because I saw Trilogy of Terror around the same time and never had a problem with the Zuni but Tina scared the shit out of me.  Tina is going for around 150, insuring that she’ll never end up in my house.  I haven’t watched her episode since I was a kid.  It’s still scary to me that way and I think I like that.  Watching it now would probably destroy that feeling.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Warriors Autographs

Yesterday I spent some time talking about one of my favorite movies, The Warriors.  I also showed off my collection of Warriors figures.  That battle scene is happening safely on the bottom shelf in a Detolf cabinet for everyone to see.  Some of the other Warriors items in my collection are waiting for me to figure out a place for them.  The item I’m showing off today is one of those things. 

A few years ago the FX convention in Orlando had a mini-Warriors reunion.  I wasn’t planning on getting four autographs that day; I was there for Deborah Van Valkenburgh and David Harris.  When I arrived at the convention I discovered how hard that would be.  All four actors were sitting at two tables pushed together.  It wasn’t exactly a busy table either; I had plenty of time to talk with everyone.  So my photo and two autographs turned into a photo and four autographs.  In hindsight I’m very happy it happened that way.  All of the actors were extremely kind to me and I got to spend quite a bit of time talking to them. 

I haven’t framed the photo yet.  While I have Mercy, Cochise, Snow, and Vermin’s autographs I’m still hoping that I’ll run into Michael Beck (Swan) and Tom McKitterick (Cowboy) at a convention somewhere.  Sadly Marcelino Sanchez (Rembrandt) passed away in 1986.  James Remar isn’t even in this picture, but he’s done so many other things I figured I’d never end up being able to get his autograph anyway. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Warriors versus the Furies

I was lucky enough to see one of my favorite movies on the big screen at the end of August.   I was alive during 1979 but considering I was three I don’t think I had many chances to get to the theater and check out movies about gang violence.  I know I fell in love with by watching it on HBO as a kid.  Over the years I’ve picked up a few different pieces of Warriors related memorabilia that I wanted to share.

First up are the Mezco Warriors figures.  Mezco released two different lines of figures.  The first set were 10 inch figures that looked a little cartoonish.  Each figure came in a dirty and clean variant.  The figures available were Cleon, Swan, Cochise, Ajax, Luther, and the Baseball Furies.  There were multiple versions of the Furies, mostly just changing their facepaint.  I regret not picking up the Cochise at the time, but I didn’t mind skipping Cleon and Luther.  What I really wanted was a Snow and Cowboy to finish out the Furies battle scene.

Instead of continuing the line Mezco followed that up with a line of 9 inch figures.  They looked far more realistic, had better articulation, and actual cloth clothing.  There were two Furies, Cyrus, Sully (The Orphans leader), Swan, and Ajax.  These are really nice looking figures.  When they were released I was too angry to purchase them.  I had already bought 5 Baseball furies and 2 Warriors, I wanted them to finish out the first line instead of launching a new one. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pop! Goonies

Funko is at it again.  They are turning everything and everyone into squat vinyl figures with shark eyes.  And, you  know, the thing about a shark…he’s got lifeless eyes.  Black eyes.  Like a doll’s eyes.  When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living…until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white…  Sorry about that, I’m moderately sure that if you buy a Funko Pop! figure that it doesn’t have the ability to bite you or roll its eyes back. 
Anyway Funko’s newest line is celebrating the 80’s classic Goonies.  The star of the line is most likely going to be Sloth.  Somehow the Pop! line works even better when the character isn’t supposed to be cute, so the misshapen Sloth is adorable.  I have no doubt he will sell better than all of the other Goonies figures. 

I’m more excited about Data but that’s because the actor who played Data also played Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  I’ve mentioned it before on That F’ing Monkey, but Short Round makes me ridiculously happy.  This makes me want to buy one so I can convert a Data to Short Round.


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