Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pokemon Go Review

So Pokemon Go has been out for a few weeks now (depending on where you live or if you’re willing to download the apk), and although I’m far from the reaching max level I think I’ve played around with it enough to be able to review the game as it currently stands, warts and all, and there are quite a few warts despite its enormous popularity, but let’s get into what it does right first.

Exploration:
One of the most successful aspects of Pokemon Go is how it encourages people to go outside, explore their communities, and get some exercise and it does so in several synergetic ways: going into new areas yields different Pokemon than you might find in your home neighbourhood, the nearby list encourages you to travel to find them, you’ll most likely need to leave your house to take gyms and hit up Pokestops, eggs hatch based on how far you walk or bike, and you get more Pokemon from the Incense item while moving as opposed to standing still. All of these systems synergize well together to get people out and about, and help make things exciting.

Community:
Since so many people own this game and are hunting outside, they’re bound to run into each other as they track down the same elusive Pokemon. Such encounters lead to people talking, swapping stories of their successes and failures (goddamn you Lapras!), and working together to either take gyms, find Pokemon faster, or to set down a Lure Mod at a Pokestop so the Pokemon will come to you (which also has the effect of attracting more people). So far all my encounters have been positive despite the animosity between the three teams.

Candy and Dust:
The system they have in place for evolving and powering up your roster is quite clever in my opinion and encourages people to go out and catch just about any Pokemon even if its one they already have. Each branch of Pokemon has their specific type of candy and you need X candy to evolve a lower tier Pokemon into the next tier. Each Pokemon caught awards 3 candy for their respective branch and you can trade them in for an additional candy (with bonus candy coming from eggs). Because you generally need lots of candy to reach a Pokemon’s final tier, this keeps you going out and hunting them down. Dust meanwhile is used in combination with a small amount of candy to increase a Pokemon’s CP, making it more powerful. Dust is a common resource to all Pokemon so you need to use it wisely and only upgrade your best or favourite fighter. Overall it’s a simple and easy to understand mechanic which adds a surprising level of depth, replayability, and decision-making to the game.

Fun:
Quite simply, its fun walking around hunting Pokemon even if you’re by yourself. Nothing beats the feeling of catching a rare and/or powerful Pokemon out in the wild so you can brag to your friends and fill out that Pokedex. I’d argue that this is the most successful aspect of the game, and the desire to catch ‘em all is what keeps many people playing despite many other issues that we’ll get into now.

Server Issues:
I think this has to be the number one issue for most players. Although connection problems were expected at launch what with the millions of people downloading and attempting to play it all at once, the fact these problems continue to persist weeks later, and are at times even worse, is a tad worrying. From a failure to load up gyms and Pokestops to straight up server crashes the problems just never seem to end. The most obnoxious of all is when the Pokeball freezes after you’ve thrown it at a Pokemon requiring you to reboot the game in order to learn if you actually caught the damned thing, or more likely that it timed out. This is especially annoying when it happens with a Pokemon you don’t have (damn you Charmander!). Although I think my worst experience with server issues has to be when the servers went down 5 minutes after I popped both a Lucky Egg and an Incense.

GPS:
In addition to an internet connection, the game obviously requires your location in the real world in order to know when Pokemon spawn near you. I suppose depending on your phone, and perhaps where you live, the GPS can be flaky sometimes, however this can also be beneficial. While it might refuse to move you to where you actually are thereby causing you to miss out on a Pokemon, Gym, or Pokestop, in my case it often moved me closer to these spots without me actually have to move at all. What’s more it often thinks I’m walking when I am, in fact, sitting down, allowing me to hatch eggs without moving. It may be ugly, but I’m not complaining.

Nearby List:
The nearby list is indispensible for tracking down Pokemon, which is why its so frustrating that for the past week or so, all Pokemon are displayed as being three steps away no matter how close they actually are. This essentially means I need to rely on either blind luck or previous knowledge of spawn locations in order to find them. The whole exploration element has kinda been shot to shit as a result with most players sticking to the small areas around their homes or workplaces rather than wandering aimlessly afield in the vain hope of finding something. A small note I’d also like to add, when the list is working why is the order of nearby Pokemon reversed on the mini-display in the corner compared to the larger list when you tap on it? It makes no sense.

Gyms:
Although going around taking gyms with friends can be fun, and the reward of dust and coins to spend in the shop is nice, I can’t help but feel that it’s a bit repetitive and borderline pointless. Battles are reduced to tapping furiously on the screen and praying that you dodge properly. But even if you don’t it doesn’t matter as gyms are won with overwhelming numbers, not skill. This makes them easy for just about anyone to capture which is more of a curse than a blessing in my opinion as that just means that all the work you put in to taking a gym will likely be undone within an hour at most. Furthermore, more advanced players have quickly figured out which Pokemon are objectively the best which I feel will soon culminate in bland metagame of endless Vaporeons who are inexplicably powerful (even compared to the other Eevee evolutions, or Pokemon they are supposedly “weak” against). I think we’ll see two types of Pokemon Go players; casuals who just wanna “catch ‘em all” (ie fill out the Pokedex), and the hardcore who wanna “be the very best” (ie take and fruitlessly try to hold gyms). Unless you go out with a group of like 20 people and power up a gym hard, or you and two other friends hit up a set path of gyms as fast as you can, I feel this aspect of the game is mostly pointless. For what its worth in time and gas you might as well just buy the coins.

Leveling:
Early on leveling is pretty breezy as the thresholds are lower and any Pokemon you catch are likely to be new, netting you plenty of bonus experience, but as you get higher up and the amount you need increases while the amount you get decreases if anything, leveling gets as grindy as any MMO. You basically just need to catch endless amounts of Pidgeys and Weedles so you can evolve them and throw them out. Their only value is the candy they give which ironically makes Pidgeottos and Kakunas worse to find as they give the same amount of candy but are harder to catch. A popular method to acquiring them is to camp out at a spot with two or more Pokestops to throw down Lure Mods at and just sit there catching the countless Weedles and Pidgeys that spawn. On that note, for all the hype they generate, Lure Mods mostly just attract trash making them far more passive and boring than just going out and actually finding Pokemon.

Urban Bias:
Players quickly discovered that Pokenmon Go favours large cities as opposed to rural areas in just about every conceivable way. Urban locales have far more Gyms and Pokestops in far greater concentrations, and what’s more the game determines the quality and rarity of Pokemon that spawn based essentially on population. This means that city-dwellers get better Pokemon simply because of where they live. Many don’t even have to leave their homes or workplaces to hit up Pokestops, hold Gyms, and capture Pokemon that might require someone who lives in a small town to drive for miles. I live in a suburban area so I don’t have it too bad, but nowhere near as good as people who live even a half hour drive away in a more densely populated environment. I can’t even imagine how tough it must be for players who live in farming communities or mountain towns. My heart goes out to them, and I hope Niantic gives them some love soon.

Game Communication:
The game could do a much better job about teaching you certain core aspects. Like how you want to throw the Pokeball when the coloured circle is smaller not larger. Though I’m still not certain if a Nice Throw is better than a throw when the circle is small but where you don’t get a bonus. And what is a curveball exactly? I’ve seen videos describing them, but I’ve thrown curveballs without doing anything shown in the videos. Or how about how Incense spawns more Pokemon when you’re moving as opposed to standing still. That would have been useful to know before I popped those two Incenses I started with. Also, it would be nice to have more info on how gyms work. Like how to time dodges, or use your secondary attack, or that you need to tap the screen repeatedly to attack. Pretty basic stuff. Oh, and also how you collect rewards for controlling gyms. Did you know that there’s a small button in the shop which you can click to get those rewards? And that the number in the button indicates how many gyms you can collect from up to a maximum of 10? And that you get 500 dust and 10 coins multiplied by that number? And that when you click it there’s no confirmation message, so don’t tap it unless you’re sure? All of this would be good to know. And what about the variations between Pokemon? What does XS mean versus XL? What are the differences between all of the abilities and how does CP relate to what I assume is the damage number next to each ability? All of these questions and more the game deigns not worthy of answering. You’ll need to go online to find out by looking at the forums, and not by asking Niantic. They don’t say shit. Which conveniently brings me to my final point.

Dev Communication:
Niantic really needs to hire a community relations manager, because right now all they have are some sporadic tweets that fail epically to address the needs and concerns of the playerbase. When will the server issues or the three-step glitch be fixed? Will they make Gyms more interesting or address the Vaporeon endgame? Will Lure Mods become more worthwhile? Will the game ever be playable for rural users? And what about the features that were promised? When will we see trading, PvP outside of gyms (which barely qualifies as PvP since nobody actually controls the defending Pokemon), or those crazy events featured in the trailer? Hell, I’d like to see smaller scale random events just to keep things interesting and maybe provide another much needed source of experience. Is there a way to give them this suggestion? Do they even listen? Who knows! They certainly don’t talk to us.

Final Thoughts:
Despite all of its problems I feel Pokemon Go is successful where it really counts. The core systems are solid overall even if they don’t work half the time, and it should satisfy most Pokemon fans. I think there’s a truly great game hiding in here that we’re just going to have to wait to see it, but when that will be I have no idea. As I said, the devs keep their lips shut tight, which has perhaps been the most detrimental aspect of the launch. For now though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they know what they’re doing, and that I’ll be happy with the end product because this certainly isn’t it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

15 of the Worst Star Trek: TNG Episodes

I think its safe to say that most long-running sci-fi series, no matter how good or revered they may be, feature some pretty abysmal episodes here and there that push the boundaries of disbelief just a bit too far. Sometimes it’s due to terrible costumes, make-up, or special effects. Other times the culprit is bad writing, a ridiculous plot, or poor characterization and acting. Whatever the case may be, rather than generating thought-provoking questions on humanity and our place in the universe like the best sci-fi, all these episodes manage to produce are eye-rolls and facepalms. Here are some of the worst Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes which sadly fit into this category.

S1E3: The Naked Now
TNG barely made it past the pilot episode before producing one of the silliest episodes in its seven season run. Characters we barely even know at this point just start going haywire and behaving in a ridiculous fashion. Overall its an incredibly nonsensical, uncomfortable, and awkward episode that despite all the goofiness also manages to be boring. The only good thing to come from this episode is the now immortal line it has spawned:


S1E5: The Last Outpost
This episode introduces the ferengi who were originally intended to be one of the primary antagonists of the series, but came off as so utterly ridiculous in this episode that they were forever relegated to a comic relief role from here on out. There’s also a chance they may be modeled on anti-Semitic Jewish stereotypes. To give you a taste of just how stupid they are watch this clip (keep in mind this was selected as the best moment from the episode):



S1E8: Justice
Other than being an overly preachy episode about the wrongs of capital punishment, this episode features what may very well be the most absurd costume design in the whole series. I’ll just let these images speak for themselves:





S1E22: Symbiosis
Arguably the most preachy of preachy TNG episodes, this episode is so blatantly anti-drug that I can only assume it was sponsored by Office of National Drug Control Policy. The saddest part is the episode actually begins with an interesting premise before it devolves into this bullshit:


S1E23: Skin of Evil
Tasha Yar was never my favourite character. In fact she may even be my least favourite character. So you’d think that the episode where we finally see the last of her would rank among my favourites, but they manage to botch it entirely. The supposedly deadly threat they face is about as obnoxious and dangerous as a ferengi which makes her death completely absurd, and the final “tearful” goodbye is cringe-inducing. Andrea’s death scene in The Walking Dead might actually be better.

Magic Markers: The deadliest known force in the universe.

S2E2: Where Silence Has Lease
I include this episode for one reason and one reason only, and that’s this creepy ass space god:

NOW, TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS! YES! GOOD!

S2E22: Shades of Gray
The story behind this episode is that there was a writer’s strike going on at the time so to work around this they just slapped together a cheesy clip show loosely held together by some nonsense about Riker having to remember past events in order to combat a virus that feeds on memories or some bullshit like that. There really isn’t anything more to say.

S3E1: Evolution
Wesley Crusher is an annoying, twerpy character who even when he does something wrong is still somehow the perfect golden dream child. This episode best illustrates this principal as Wesley manages to almost destroy the ship, yet still somehow comes off as an all-around swell guy.  He is insufferable.

S3E21: Hollow Pursuits
This episode introduces the recurring character Barclay, the insecure and incompetent engineer. There are probably a fair number of fans who enjoy this character and the episodes that revolve around him, but I personally find him to be intolerable. I normally skip his episodes or stop watching once I realize that I do not enjoy watching him flop about ineffectually for 45 minutes.

Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm just not a very likable character.

S4E17: Night Terrors
One problem I have with TNG is that the female characters tend to be lame, underdeveloped, poorly written, and generally uninteresting. Consequently, the episodes that focus on them often suffer from the same problems. “Night Terrors” is a good example of this issue as Troi tries to solve the crew’s sleeping problems while dealing with a recurring nightmare of her own that only serves to put the audience to sleep. Here’s the “chilling” climax of the episode featuring Troi at her best:



S5E6: The Game
Wesley returns to the Enterprise on a visit from Starfleet Academy to deliver one of the absolute worst episodes of the series. Everyone on board becomes addicted to what is essentially a glorified game of ball in a cup, but with worse special effects. It’s up to (guess who!) Wesley to save the day along with his girlfriend, Ashley Judd. But not really, because Data (who through some contrived reason is out of commission) is immune to the game’s effects so they just reboot him at the last minute and he saves the day easy as dues ex machina. As an added bonus, this episode was the first to air after Gene Roddenberry’s death, so as if everything else wasn’t enough, this also serves as an insult to his memory.


S5E26/S6E1: Time’s Arrow
Every now and then TNG likes to do a dress-up episode (normally involving the holodeck) where characters will visit another time or place and dress accordingly. Normally they’re a bit goofy, kind of fun, and not meant to be taken all that seriously which is fine. But with “Time’s Arrow” they decided to turn it into a season ending two-part cliffhanger episode that really pushed the limits of what I was willing to accept to an extreme. The point where it went way too far was when fucking Mark Twain came back in time with them. If the entire episode had just been this parody it probably would have been better.



S7E14: Sub Rosa
Remember what I said earlier about female characters? Well now it’s Dr. Crusher’s turn for a lame episode and this time it’s about romancing Scottish ghosts! I’m actually just going to leave it at that, because nothing else really needs to be said.

Yes, that is Dr. Crusher getting sexed up by a green phantasm.

S7E19: Genesis
This is another Barclay episode, which is bad enough on its own, but even if he were absent I think this episode would still suck. In it the crew devolve into lesser life forms in a very creepy, and not always logical fashion (for instance, Barclay becomes a spider despite being human, and a wolf-like Worf attempts to mate with an amphibian Troi). It’s a bizarre episode in every respect. Maybe I just don’t get it. As usual, Data is unaffected and saves the day.

KILL ME!!!

S7E20: Journey’s End
This episode is terrible for two reasons. Firstly, there’s the incredibly preachy story about Native Americans who are being kicked off of the planet they moved to which is about as subtle as an elephant riding an atomic bomb. Being that Indians are involved you know that there’s going to be a spirit quest at some point which is where the second reason this episode sucks comes in: it features Wesley Crusher. Once again he has returned, but this time he is inexplicably a moody little bitch until his spirit quest reveals to him that he is in fact a god. At which point he rides off to explore the universe because fuck Wesley Crusher.

My spirit quest is to maintain our cultural stereotype for centuries to come.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Arrested Development Drinking Game

I made this for a Season 4 marathon party without having seen it prior so although this should work well for the original series run, I'm not sure how applicable this all is to the new episodes on Netflix. I look forward to finding out.

Rules

Everybody chooses one (or more if you wish) character to be for the duration of the game.
Follow the drinking rules listed beneath your chosen character.
Ignore the rules of any unused character.
When a rule tells you to give a drink to a character give the drink to whoever is playing that character. If that character is not in play then do nothing.
Everyone follows the “Family” and “Spotting” rules.
Ignore the “Recurring Characters (RC)” rules unless one is added to your character.
Drinks given can be divided between players unless otherwise specified.

Buster

Greetings: When Buster says “Hey______” give a drink to who he’s greeting.
I’m a Monster: When someone is afraid of Buster’s hook give them a drink and take one.
Do you Have to do that Now?: When Buster is doing something inappropriate just off-screen take a drink for each character irritated by his behavior.
Milford Man: Give out 3 drinks when Buster is neither seen nor heard for a whole episode.
Don’t Mind the Hook: When Buster gives somebody a massage give a drink.
Charlie Browns: When Buster uses some sort of euphemism in place of swearing or mentioning a sexual organ come up with your own euphemism for the same word or take a drink.
Sleepy Baby: When Buster yawns in the middle of a sentence take 3 to fill the gap.
Happy Juice: When Buster craves juice chug a juice box then chase it with a drink.
Baby Buster: When Buster says something to suggest he still thinks of himself as a little boy chug a glass of milk then chase it with a drink.
Bad Genes: When somebody mentions Buster’s hole in his heart or misshapen penis remove a rule from another character to compensate. Give them a drink if they’re also missing a body part.

George Sr.

No touching!: When somebody yells this phrase take a drink if another player touches you.
Signal: When George Sr. howls like a wolf run outside and do your best howl or take a drink.
Sorry, Nellie: When George Sr. treats a puppet/doll like a real person take 3 to cover-up the crazy.
Caged Wisdom: When George Sr. has a religious awakening give a drink to everyone in the room who does not share his new-found faith.
Escape Plan: When George Sr. tries to escape give 2 if he succeeds. Otherwise take 2.
He Likes the Honey: When George Sr. ogles a young woman give a girl in the room a drink.
My Last Lesson: When a one-armed man teaches somebody a lesson teach somebody a lesson by making them drink 3.
Lesson Learned: When somebody leaves a note give a drink to that character.
There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand: When someone or something is found hiding behind a wall take 3 drinks and give 3 drinks for the loss to your family. 
Hey Uncle: When George Sr. wears a wig fool another player by giving them a rule from the RC list.

Gob

Always Upright: Take a drink when Gob rides in on a segway
The Only One Crying: When Gob cries like a little girl remove a rule from another player and make them taste your tears or a drink if they refuse.
Great Escape: Take a drink when Gob swallows a key. Give one when he regurgitates a key.
Lighter Fluid Spill: When Gob screws up a magic trick an illusion drink one with no hands.
What a Whore Does for Money: When Gob corrects somebody for calling his illusions magic tricks give a drink to whoever he corrects.
Sleight of Hand: When Gob tries to steal Michael’s food find and eat whatever it was he took or take a drink.
I fucked ­_________: When Gob brags about having sex with somebody give everyone a round.
That Hand is for Coin Tricks: When Gob punches with his right hand finish your drink. The left hand is for punching.
Cirsumvrent: When Gob can’t form a proper sentence/mispronounces a word recite a tongue twister and take a drink for every word you screw up.
What a Show: When “The Final Countdown” is played drink until it’s over.

George Michael

Afternoon Delight: When George Michael tries to kiss Maeby take one if he fails or give one if he succeeds. Wait, maybe that should be the other way around…
Careless Whisper: When somebody notes that George Michael’s name is shared with the singer finish your drink.
Got Rhythm: When George Michael tries to be a percussionist give 2 if someone takes him seriously. Otherwise take 2.
Honesty: When George Michael is misunderstood by his father give a drink to someone who just doesn’t understand you.
Star Wars Kid: When an embarrassing video of George Michael plays drink for the duration.
I Thought you were Nice: When George Michael makes fun of a family member take 5 drinks.
Made in Japan: When a jetpack is used give out 3 drinks because jet packs are awesome.
Duck: When George Michael avoids something thrown at him give a drink to the thrower.
Egg: When Ann Veal is referred to by another name or simply as “Her?” take a shame drink.
Mr. Manager: When The Banana Stand is destroyed take a rule from another player to help pay for a new one. Give them 4 drinks if you remove one that makes them drink.

Maeby

You Look 13: When Maeby asks someone to marry her do the same with someone in the party and both of you take a drink to celebrate the nuptials.
Negative Attention: When Maeby does something wild to get her parents’ attention do something wild that will astound the party or finish your drink.
Surely you can’t be Serious: When Maeby pulls off a con that people somehow believe play a trick on another player by giving them a rule from the RC list.
Maybe Maeby: When a play on words is used with Maeby’s name give a drink to anyone who doesn’t notice it.
Convenience Factor: When Maeby gets a freebie the next time you would take a drink you give one instead.
To Portugal: When it becomes evident Maeby does not pay attention in school take a drink for future regrets unless you can correct her mistake.
Not Actually Related: When Maeby reciprocates George-Michael’s feelings give a drink to anyone in the party who is disturbed by their relationship and doesn’t want them to get together.
Losing It: When Steve Holt says his own name swoon and take a drink.
Showbiz Part I: When a joke is made at Fox’s expense take 3 drinks for bad memories.
Showbiz Part II: When a joke is made relating to Netflix give 3 drinks for sunny days ahead.

Tobias

You can Zink your Arrow in my Buttocks: When it’s implied Tobias is gay take a drink.
At Least I’m Not the Only One: When it’s implied Barry Zuckerkorn is gay give a drink.
Never-nude: When Tobias walks around in cutoffs give a drink to whoever sees him.
Phrasing: When somebody reads The Man inside Me give 3 in celebration of success.
Missed Call: When Tobias loses out on an acting gig take 3 in sorrow.
Good Grief: When Tobias cries in the shower drink for the duration of the scene in solidarity.
I Just Blue Myself: When Tobias wears a ridiculous costume/women’s clothing add a rule from the RC list to any other character even though the only person you’re fooling is yourself.
Cat-like Agility: When Tobias moves around by rolling/pouncing/crawling out of strange places surprise one player with 2 drinks.
Big Break: When Tobias is hospitalized take a drink for everyone who comes to visit or finish your drink if nobody comes.
Money Well Spent: When Carl Weathers dispenses some money-saving advice dispense one drink to yourself for the money wasted and one to another player for the money saved.

Lindsay

How Hard Can it Be?: When Lindsay desperately tries to seduce a man take a drink for each failed seduction and 2 for each success.
Daddy’s Little Girl: When Lindsay wears her “Slut” shirt take a drink for each man who ogles her or finish your drink if no one does.
HOOP: When Lindsay supports a silly cause explain why an RC rule is important for the betterment of society then give it to another player.
Beak: When it’s mentioned that Lindsay had a nosejob give a drink to who said it and take one.
It’s Over: Give 3 drinks when Lindsay threatens to divorce Tobias.
One Last Shot: Take 3 drinks when Lindsay reconciles with Tobias.
You Get What You Need: When Lindsay wants what she can’t have enjoy a glass of your favorite beverage. Just kidding. You can’t have that. Take a spoonful of cough syrup.
What Will I Look Like: When a mock-up is image appears of what two characters’ baby might look like give those characters 2 drinks each or if they’re not in the game then 2 to any player.
No Way to Misinterpret That: When Bob Loblaw wants someone to be explicit tell the raciest joke you know or take 5.
Calling it Like I See it: When filming is happening for Girls with Low Self-Esteem give out a drink for each pair of breasts that are flashed in self-righteous fury.

Lucille

The Help: When Lucille makes a racist comment take a drink for each person she offended.
She’s in Rehab: When Lucille drinks alcohol you also drink one. Good luck.
Suggestive: When Lucille winks, wink at a player meaning they should take 2 drinks.
She Doesn’t Like the Honey: When Lucille’s rape horn is blown give a guy in the room a drink.
Motherboy: When Lucille gets a little too uncomfortable with Buster both take a drink to repress the dirty thoughts.
That Bitch!: When Lucille 2 has a vertigo attack make another player take a drink and then spin around 10 times really fast.
The Hugest Mistake I Ever Made: When Oscar mysteriously suggests he is Buster’s father take 3 drinks to forget that regretful night.
You’re Drunk!: When Lucille is accused of being drunk take one if you are still sober. Otherwise give one.
I do not much Care for Gob: When Lucille voices her displeasure with Gob give a drink to whoever displeases you the most.
I Like it Better on Him: When Lucille mocks Lindsay’s appearance remove a rule from another player and insult them in the process. Give them a drink if it’s deemed witty.

Michael

A Shoddy Workman Blames His Tools: When Michael hurts his hand take 3 stupid.
Hypocrisy: When Michael says one thing and then does the exact opposite a few seconds later announce that alcohol is bad and should be drunken in moderation then take one.
I Need a Favor: Give a drink to whoever asks Michael for a favor.
To Phoenix: When Michael threatens to abandon his family give 5 if he actually goes through with it. Otherwise take 5.
Mr. Niceguy: Give an RC rule to another player when Michael says something that implies he is a murderer.
I Don’t Want to Believe: Take 2 when Michael fails to see an obvious truth.
And That’s When he Realized: Give 2 when Michael finally sees an obvious truth.
Sibling Rivalry: When Michael gets into a physical fight with Gob then have a drinking contest with the player of Gob. First one out gives the other a buck (or an agreed upon amount).
Comfort Food: When Michael eats candy beans to comfort himself down a fistful of Jelly Bellies with a drink to comfort yourself. It will definitely make you feel better.
Messy Divorce: When somebody makes a tasteless comment about Michael’s deceased wife make yourself feel better by giving 3.

Recurring Characters (RC)

I Wish it Was The Last Time: When Kitty flashes her tits take 5 to drown out the horror.
Hello: When Annyong says his name (either of them) take 2.
That Had to Hurt: When cops are overzealous in their enforcement of the law take a vodka shot.
Sheeple: When Bluth company employees are incompetent take 3 in exasperation.
Rest Stop: When someone states that Barry is very good take a shot of Limoncello.
Imagine If: When a Wayne Jarvis’ dramatic gesture is foiled take 4 upside-down.
He’s All Right When a doctor makes a misleading statement lean back and swallow. Your drink that is. Finish your drink.
Give me some Sugar: When Franklin knocks somebody out with a kiss take a shot of SL
Some Columbian: When Marta reappears played by a new actress take a tequila shot.
Multi-Purpose Dancers: When the Hot Cops arrive on the scene take a shot of Fireball Whiskey.

Family
Whenever…

A Bluth fails to use a hammer the player of that character must crush a beer can on their head.
The Bluths put on a party the whole party takes a drink.
Somebody does a chicken dance you must also do a chicken dance or finish your drink.
Somebody makes a huge mistake the player of that character takes 3.
An incest joke is made do nothing. I don’t want you to die of alcohol poisoning.
Somebody eats an ice cream sandwich also eat an ice cream sandwich. Yum!
A Bluth misunderstands Spanish then the player of that character gives a drink.
The stair car gets a hop-on everybody must hop to their feet. The last to do so takes 3.
The model home completely falls apart then everybody finishes their drink.
Something is unnecessarily censored everyone must cover their drink. Last one takes one.

Spotting
When you are the first to spot…give a drink.

A Blendin truck
A Cloudmir sign
Mr. Bananagrabber
Someone holding a “Freedom” sign
An unrelated sign in the background that reflects what is going on in the scene
A reused banner
A reference to a film/tv show/etc involving a cast member (including the narrator)
An Iraq War reference
The For British eyes only/ Mr. F theme
The “Big Yellow Joint” theme

I realize this may be a bit much for some people so feel free to cut out rules as your group sees fit.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Game of Thrones Season 1 Summary


This is for the benefit of a friend who wants to marathon season 2 with us without having seen the first season. Hopefully it should give her all relevant information so she won't be totally in the dark.

Setting:

- The show is primarily set on the continent of Westeros which is roughly the size of South America. A small portion of it also takes place on a large eastern continent across the sea.

- It is a medieval fantasy world though magic and mythical creatures such as dragons have all but disappeared from the world at the start of the series. A few pockets of magic still exist however, and as the series progresses it slowly returns with greater force.

- Society essentially has a feudal structure with a king at the top, greater lords beneath him, lesser lords beneath them followed by landed knights with peasants at the bottom.

Before the Series Begins:

- For about 300 years Westeros is ruled by a line of kings known as the Targaryen Dynasty.

- The last Targaryen king, known as Mad King Arys, became crazy and violent causing several powerful lords to rise up in rebellion against him. Chief amoung them were: Robert Baratheon, Ned Stark, Jon Arryn, and at the very end of the war Tywin Lannister.

- The rebels eventually win and kill all the Targaryens except for baby Dany and her brother who escape into exile on the eastern continent.

- Robert Baratheon becomes the new king and marries Tywin’s daughter, Cersei, to solidify his rule. Jon Arryn becomes his chief advisor, and Ned Stark returns to his home, Winterfell.

- The series begins 17 years after these events.

On the Wall:

- In the far north of Westeros there is a massive ice wall that spans the width of the continent at a narrow point. This wall was built thousands of years ago to keep out whatever threats may try to come across to attack the kingdom.

- It is manned by an organization known as The Night’s Watch. Once they were proud and strong, but have since fallen into disrepair with an ever-shrinking number of recruits and crumbling castles.

- For most of their history they were tasked with keeping out the Wildlings (aka Eskimo Barbarians), but their original purpose was to keep out the White Walkers; a deadly race of ice necromancers who raise the dead and bring a terrible cold with them wherever they go.

- The White Walkers disappeared from the world so long ago that most believe they are only a legend, but at the start of the series it becomes apparent that they have returned.

- Ned Stark’s bastard son, Jon Snow, decides to join the Night’s Watch as he has little other prospects in life and believes it will be a respectable and adventurous vocation.

- Once there he makes some friends and a few enemies and eventually becomes the squire to the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

- They learn that the Eskimo barbarians are amassing an army and that the White Walkers have almost certainly returned.

- The Lord Commander decides to lead out a large squadron to find out what the Eskimo barbarians are up to and to learn more about the White Walkers.

Across the Sea in the East:

- Dany’s brother greatly desires to reclaim the throne of Westeros, but lacks an army.

- To remedy this he decides to marry Dany to a powerful Mongolian Warlord in exchange for his military support.

- At the wedding Dany receives three dragon eggs which are looked upon as little more than valuable jewels as nobody has been able to hatch a dragon egg for hundreds of years. Dany, however feels a mysterious connection to them which builds over time.

- Although things are awkward at first, Dany and the Warlord eventually come to love one another and Dany becomes increasingly assertive of her power much to her brother’s chagrin.

- Her brother dies epically.

- After some routine raping and pillaging, the Warlord takes a flesh wound which he tries to shrug off. Dany is worried and decides it will be a good idea to have a Witch Doctor from the village they just raped and pillaged to tend to his wound.

- The Warlord dies and his army quickly disperses leaving Dany mostly alone.

- She builds a funeral pyre for her husband, ties the Witch Doctor to it, and walks into the flames with her dragon eggs.

- In the morning the dragon eggs have hatched and Dany is unscathed.

In Winterfell and The Capital:

- At the start of the series, Jon Arryn, the King’s Chief Advisor, dies under mysterious circumstances. Needing a new Chief Advisor, Robert Baratheon travels to north to Winterfell to ask his old friend, Ned Stark, to take the job.

- He comes with a large retinue which includes his wife (Cersei), his eldest son (Joffrey Baratheon), one of his bodyguards who is also the twin brother of the queen (Jaime Lannister), and their dwarf brother (Tyrion Lannister).

- Plans are made to have Joffrey marry Ned’s eldest daughter, Sansa, when they come of age.

- Ned Stark’s 10-year old son, Bran Stark likes to climb the battlements of Winterfell. One day while climbing an abandoned tower he hears a strange noise. When he looks inside he sees Jamie Lannister having sex with his twin sister, Queen Cersei. Jaime sees Bran and pushes him out the window to protect their incestuous affair.

- Bran goes into a coma. While he’s still unconscious, Ned Stark leaves Winterfell for the capital and his new job with his daughters, Sansa and Arya. His wife, Catelyn stays in Winterfell to care for Bran while his eldest son, Robb, takes charge of day to day affairs.

- While still in a coma, an assassination attempt is made on Bran’s life by an assailant using a unique dagger. The assassin is killed by Bran’s pet direwolf (btw all the Stark children including Jon Snow have pet direwolves).

- Catelyn suspects the Lannisters, and decides to take the dagger south to the capital to show to Ned so they can plan their next move.

- When Bran eventually regains consciousness he cannot remember anything that happened before he fell and he is paralyzed from the waist down.

- Upon arriving in the capital, Ned immediately sets about trying to uncover why Jon Arryn died

- He learns that shortly before his death, Jon Arryn had taken to visiting King Robert’s many bastard children, but Ned can’t figure out why.

- Catelyn shows up with the dagger and they are told by her old friend and current finance minister, Littlefinger, that it belongs to Tyrion Lannister.

- Catelyn travels back to Winterfell and on her way north she happens to meet Tyrion in an inn.

- Catelyn takes Tyrion prisoner which pisses off his father, Tywin Lannister, who amasses his army in response.

- Ned eventually figures out that Jon Arryn had discovered that King Robert’s children aren’t actually his, but Jaime’s. Ned assumes that Queen Cersei learned of this and had Jon Arryn killed before he could reveal her secret.

- Ned sends a letter to King Robert’s younger brother, Stannis, informing him of the truth and that he is now the rightful heir to the throne.

- King Robert's youngest brother, Renly, also knows the truth but wants the throne for himself. He discreetly heads south to gather support for his bid to the crown.

- Knowing that King Robert will kill Cersei and her children when he finds out, Ned speaks to Cersei and advises her to flee the capital and go into exile before he tells Robert the truth.

- Instead Cersei has Robert killed before he learns of the truth, buys off the city guard, has Ned thrown in prison, sets up Joffrey as king, and establishes herself as regent.

- All the men Ned brought down with him are killed, Sansa Stark is kept under guard in the castle, and Arya Stark manages to escape and disguises herself as a street urchin.

- This pisses off Robb Stark who amasses his army and marches south to confront the Lannisters.

- Tyrion, meanwhile, uses his wits to escape Catelyn’s clutches and meets up with his father.

- The Lannister and Stark forces fight a few battles with Robb Stark winning pretty decisively and taking Jaime Lannister captive which gives him a bargaining chip for his father, Ned Stark.

- Unfortunately, King Joffrey is an idiot and executes Ned Stark.

- Arya escapes the capital by pretending to be a recruit for The Night’s Watch.

- Disgusted with King Joffrey, Robb Stark’s army declares Robb “King of the North” and decide to separate from the kingdom.

- Tired of Cersei and Joffrey being retarded, Tywin Lannister sends Tyrion to the capital to act as the Chief Advisor and keep things under control.

Here's a flowchart I made detailing mostly all of the major characters from the first season and how they relate to one another. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Amityville Horror (1979) Review

Last night, after sitting around talking about dicks for three hours while occasionally standing up to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, my friends and I decided that we should watch a horror movie on TV seeing as how it was Halloween and all. There were two movie that were just about to start when we sat down with some pizza: The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the original Amityville Horror with Josh Brolin's dad, James Brolin. For some reason we went the latter even though, shockingly, none of us have ever seen Rocky Horror (something to do with it being on Much Music which is a shitty channel that would ruin it somehow). By the end of the movie I was fairly certain that Rocky Horror would have been significantly scarier, though perhaps not as hilarious.

The first sign that maybe this movie wouldn't live up to the last word of its title was the PG rating that appeared in the corner. The second indication was the excruciatingly annoying music that I can't fucking get out of my head. The story begins on a dark and stormy night and only gets more cliche from there. I'm not going to go too deep into the story. Suffice to say its about a young family that moves into a haunted murder house and start to go crazy. You can probably figure out most of what happens from that brief summary alone. The only real surprise is that nobody dies, and that's not necessarily a welcome twist. There's also a subplot involving a priest that never amounts to anything, and a subplot that follows a cop that similarly goes nowhere. The movie climaxes with the family slowly walking down a flight of stairs while blood drips from the walls, and then they get in their car and leave. That's it. Evidently their budget ran out before they could give the movie a proper ending and tie all the various threads together.

There isn't really much you can say about the characters. The mother is religious. The daughter is creepy. The sons exist. The father looks like a hobo and acts like one too. Its also revealed that he is not actually the father of the children, but not until three quarters of the way through the movie and its almost entirely irrelevant to the plot. Like most characters in a horror movie, they are also retarded. Despite all the batshit crazy stuff that happens in the house they refuse to leave, and seem to have amnesia when it comes to all the horrible things that happen. And its not like they didn't know about the house's checkered past. At the start of the movie the mother and father are discussing the murders that occurred in the house, and they recognize that its a major reason why the its so cheap. Characters constantly come in and tell them that the house is cursed, but they just dismiss it as irrational. At one point they literally find the portal to Hell in their basement, and they still decide to stay another three days. The best part is they try to cover it up with an old mattress. Because that will keep the demons at bay.

The most intelligent character in the movie appears to be the family dog who is the only one who seems to recognize the serious threat to personal safety having the portal to Hell in the basement presents. My friends and I invented this alternate story where Dog is the main character and spends the whole movie fighting back Satan and his demons while simultaneously dealing with the bullshit of theh his masters. At the end of the movie he's doing battle with Satan in the basement when the father comes to "rescue" him and take him away with the rest of the family only to fall into a pool of blood. This pisses the shit out of Dog, because now he has to save his useless master while trying to keep Satan at bay. I imagine him barking in dog language, "Holy fuck man, seriously? I got bigger things to worry about than saving your sorry ass! Goddamn noob weighing me down!" I am fairly confident that this would make a far more rewarding and entertaining cinematic experience.

As for scares, there aren't any, not even jump scares. Other than the aforementioned blood, what passes for scares are such spooky occurrences as doors or windows that open and close on their own, chandeliers that shake a bit, and rocking chairs that move with nobody in them. The Wishbone Halloween episode is genuinely more terrifying than this. The film tries to be creepy with the daughter who befriends the ghost of an infant murder victim, but that sort of thing has been so many times and to much greater effect in other movies. So even if you don't care about plot or character and are looking purely for chills and nightmare fodder, then this movie has very little to offer.

In conclusion: 2/10

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Guild Wars 2 PvE Review: A Fanboy's Perspective

If you're wondering why I haven't made a post in a hella long time, one major reason is the recent release of Guild Wars 2 which has eaten up quite a bit of my free time. To say I've been looking forward to this game is a bit of an understatement. In most areas it has lived up to or even exceeded my expectations, though there are a few places in which I've been a bit disappointed. Like Obama and his "change," Guild Wars 2 doesn't quite live up to all the hype of being a revolutionary, greatest game of all time, but it already ranks as one of my favorites and one that I'll be playing for years to come. I haven't had much of a chance to look into World vs. World or structured PvP, but here are my thoughts on the PvE game.


My level 80 asura Necromancer with Rata Sum in the background

Personal Story
As the name implies, the personal story is your primary source of plot for the game and is essentially solo content. Originally I wasn't too excited about this aspect of the game, but after playing through most of it, the personal story is one of my favorite parts of Guild Wars 2. It's fun, well-written, and has worthwhile rewards in addition to plenty of cool characters. In some respects however, it doesn't completely live up to expectations assuming you've been following this game since it was announced. When you first create your character you are faced with a number of story options to make which will, supposedly, make your story completely different from somebody who makes other choices. To some extent this is true, you will have different story steps in the beginning, but these stories appear to have very little, if any impact on the primary story of the game or the choices you make further down the line. These creation questions mostly just determine which early game sub-plots you'll see. Just as these early storylines are forgotten so is the Home Instance which was touted earlier on in development as a place that will change along with your story. Considering its your home, you visit it rather rarely and not at all once you reach level 25 or so, and other than a few NPCs added every now and then who stand around not doing anything, it doesn't really change either. I think Arenanet may have missed out on a golden opportunity to make a space for players to customize and that they can truly call their home. But as it stands, all of the sub-plots and the main story are thoroughly enjoyable so I don't have much trouble seeing past these minor discrepancies.


This is the most interesting thing I could find in my home instance

Events
Events are the bread and butter of the game and what you'll probably spend most of your time doing if you're a PvE focused player. These are what I was most looking forward to about the game, and I'm pleased to say that, with the exception of a few buggy events here and there, they have met my expectations. They are buckets of fun and feel so natural that I forgot about the traditional MMO questing system within moments after I started playing. A lot of hours can be spent following an event chain or wandering between events across the map with nary a dull moment. Its also pretty amazing to see just how quickly and easily random people come together and work as a team to complete more challenging events which really helps the world come alive. When alone however, it can often become apparent that the majority of events aren't designed for one player to complete by themselves regardless of whether or not it is designated as a Group Event which can be frustrating. Luckily, with the already massive popularity of this game, you'll very rarely find yourself in this situation and fun times are had for all.


One of the more memorable events sees a group of us chasing after a jakalope

Exploration
When events aren't running or you feel like a change of pace you'll find Tyria one of the more rewarding online worlds to explore. For starters, its beautiful with varied locales and unique set pieces. You can also find plenty of lore tidbits (and many references to the original game) scattered around by interacting with books, plaques, or NPCs if you're into that sort of thing. If you're looking for a challenge you may find one of the games many hidden jumping puzzles which reward you with an achievement and some loot at the end. If you don't really care for beauty, lore, or challenges and are one of those min/max types then you'll get all valuable experience simply by visiting all the vistas, points of interest, waypoints, and skill challenges on a map, earning yourself some useful gear to boot. You'll also have to fill in renown hearts, however, which are pretty much just traditional quests without the exclamation mark. Most will have you running around killing monsters in a given area to fill in a bar which can be a real chore if there aren't any events running nearby. Thankfully there are normally multiple ways to fill in a heart and while most are forgettable, there are a few that can actually turn out to be quite memorable. Once you reach the later areas of the game, the hearts disappear entirely, but it is also at this point that in order to explore and not get ganked by hordes of undead, you need a group of people with you. This is when exploration can become something of an aggravating chore, and instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment for getting to that hard to reach vista, the predominating emotion is relief for finally having it over and done with. Nevertheless, Tyria is an explorers paradise and a worthwhile use of your time and effort.


This vista from Divinity's Reach is one of the most popular, and for good reason

Dungeons
For me, dungeons are the best part about Guild Wars 2 which feature the most enjoyable and challenging content. While the free-for-all that are dynamic events is all fun and good, I find I get more pleasure from the more structured dungeons where communication between party members is key. Every encounter in a dungeon is fun and often unique, and the boss fights are a blast. Upon finally reaching the end, the sense of completion and success is enough reward in and of itself regardless of what the loot chest contains. On the subject of loot, I feel Arenanet may have backpeddaled a little bit on their promise of not having to grind the same dungeon over and over to get the gear you want. Although you do get the gear via tokens earned from the dungeon, and the tokens are guaranteed to drop at the end, you only get appear to get a fraction of what you need for a single piece, meaning you'll still have to repeat the dungeon over and over again if you want that awesome looking armor. On the plus side, it is in dungeons where the lack of a holy trinity in Guild Wars 2 is at its most liberating. Not having to wait on a healer or tank makes forming groups a breeze and once in the dungeon their absence isn't even noted.


One of the more interesting armor sets in the game and it will only cost you 1380 tokens 

Other Thoughts
- Combat is fun, fluid, immersive, and rewarding when you do it right
- The professions and their associated skills/traits all feel distinct and are fun to experiment with
- When you receive mail, a little bird flies to your character to deliver it which is a nice little flourish
- Lots of small conveniences like being able to deposit materials into the bank from anywhere
- Crafting is actually pretty fun
- The emotes in this game are fantastic


This image of a norn dancing makes me absurdly happy

And just for kicks here's a picture of asura children (aka progeny):


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Game of Thrones Characters


Here is my rankings of all the major (and some minor) characters in Game of Thrones. So long as you've watched season 2 or have read Clash of Kings there won't be any spoilers. 

1. Tyrion Lannister – This probably won’t come as much of a surprise. He’s funny, smart, and plays by his own moral code. I think Martin knew he had a winner when he created this character, and I look forward to seeing where his crazy journey takes him to next.
2. Jaime Lannister – If you only watch the show or haven’t read any books after the second one then you’re probably questioning why I put Jaime at #2. Without spoiling anything let me just say that despite his propensity towards incest, Jaime does have a moral code and is more keenly aware of the hypocrisy inherent to the power structures of Westeros than any other character. He’s a rebel who’s trying to simultaneously fight against and work within the system.
3. Daenerys Targaryen – Despite being a bit whinier in the HBO show, and trying too hard to be the good guy in later books, Daenerys is easily the most interesting woman in the series, but I wish she’d hurry up and get to Westeros already. 
4. Jon Snow – Jon Snow has to make a lot of very difficult decisions despite his young age, and although he may not always make the right call, he does his best to do what’s right which is a hell of a lot more than most others can say.
5. Arya Stark – Although Arya gets progressively angrier as the series goes on, she still retains her fighting spirit and a place as one of my personal favorites.
6. Brienne of Tarth – Stronger and more honourable than the vast majority of knights, Brienne is one of the most compelling women in the series and I hope she manages to find happiness one day.
7. Dolorous Edd Tollett – Everything this character says is genius.
8. Davos Seaworth – I have a thing for noble characters who everybody else treats like dirt, and that pretty much describes Davos in a nutshell.
9. Jorah Mormont – He may at first appear noble and upright, but when you get down to it, Jorah is one of the more morally ambiguous characters which is precisely why I like him.
10. Varys “The Spider” – In the war between Varys and Littlefinger that runs in the background throughout the series, I’ve thrown my lot behind Team Varys because despite his secretive ways I do believe he has the best interests of the realm at heart.
11. Stannis Baratheon – Some may consider Stannis too rigid and unwilling to compromise, but these qualities are what make him so fascinating to me. I’ll admit that he’d probably be a terrible king, but he’s a great character.
12. Tywin Lannister – What he lacks in fatherhood material, Tywin more than makes up for in being perhaps the most cunning man in all Westeros.
13. Ned Stark – Ned is noble to a fault and his death remains as one of the most emotional highpoints of the series.
14. Podrick Payne – I’m not entirely sure why, but I have a real soft spot for Pod. I think it’s because of his quiet dignity and unwavering loyalty.
15. Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully – The fact that they cut him from the show makes me sadder than all of the other changes combined.
16. Walder Frey – Though there are plenty of good reasons not to like this guy, I still find him hilariously entertaining.
17. Tormund Giantsbane – Har! Har! Har!
18. Meera Reed – Bran would be dead a thousand times over if it wasn’t for Meera and assuming both survive the series they’ll probably get together.
19. Robb Stark – Apart from one very stupid decision, Robb is one of the best characters who’s point of view we never see.
20. Bronn – For a sellsword, Bronn is pretty loyal guy and also pretty clever.
21. Osha – She’s probably cooler in the show than the books where she doesn’t play as major a role, but I like her nonetheless.
22. Greatjon Umber – It’s hard not to like this guy.
23. Asha Greyjoy – Easily the smartest and best of the Greyjoys.
24. Arianne Martell – This girl is one to watch.
25. Jeor Mormont – He’s like a more badass version of Santa Claus.
26. Ygritte – You should listen to Ygritte, Jon. She knows more than you.
27. Khal Drogo – One word: boss.
28. Doran Martell – The best part about Doran is that nobody realizes just how scared of him they should be.
29. Barristan Selmy – One of the few knights who actually lives up to the job.
30. Shagga and the Mountain Men – These guys always make me laugh.
31. Grenn/Pyp – These two have a good comedy routine going on.
32. Quorin Halfhand – All around a pretty cool guy.
33. Jaqen H’Gar – For a cold-blooded professional murderer, this guy is alright.
34. Donal Noye – I don’t want to spoil anything, but this guy may just do the most badass thing out of anybody in the series.
35. Val – Wilding women are so much cooler than Wildling men.
36. Gendry – Some people seem to have this fantasy of Gendry and Arya getting together, and although I like him, I don’t really see that happening.
37. Mya Stone – I like Mya and I hope she plays a larger role in later books.
38. Oberyn “The Red Viper” Martell – Best nickname in the series.
39. The Sand Snakes – Each more deadly than the last. The Martells are pretty badass.
40. Olenna “The Queen of Thorns” Redwyne – She definitely has a fitting nickname and is pretty much the grandma who says whatever she feels like because she’s old goddammit!
41. Garlan Tyrell – He may not do much, but Garlan the Gallant lives up to his name and is one of the most decent men in the books.
42. Margery Tyrell – A triple threat of beautiful, charming, and clever.
43. Bran Stark – Despite being crippled, Bran may just become one of the most powerful beings in Westeros if he can ever get over his insecurities.
44. Sandor “The Hound” Clegane – He’s one of the best killers in Westeros and also has more honour than most knights, though he doesn’t like to let people know that.
45. Roose Bolton – Roose is not a very nice man and will do whatever it takes to ensure the most efficient and beneficial outcome even if that means murder. I may not approve of his methods, but can appreciate his desire for some peace and quiet.
46. Theon Greyjoy – I know a lot of people really don’t like Theon, but I can see where he’s coming from and sympathize with his conflicting loyalties.
47. Daenerys’ Entourage – They’re all pretty boss in their own way, but you can’t really say much about them individually.
48. Sansa Stark – She starts off really stupid and annoying, but gets better as the series progresses.
49. Mance Rayder – He’s a clever man to say the least, and that’s something I can appreciate.
50. Maester Luwin – Luwin is the ultimate mentor figure in the series and has one of the most touching death scenes.
51. Yoren – He’s smelly and crass, but he has his own brand of nobility.
52. Maester Aemon – Aemon has one of the coolest backstories out of any character.
53. Rodrick Cassel – A loyal man with boss facial hair.
54. Sam Tarly – He’s smart and has a good heart, but his prissiness does get tiresome at times.
55. Griff – I’m not sure what to make of him yet, but he seems cool.
56. Kevan Lannister – He’s pretty much the Lannister equivalent to Victarion Greyjoy, but earns bonus points for telling off Cersei.
57. Renly Baratheon – His death pretty much comes out of nowhere, and you never really get to know him, but I guess he’s alright.
58. Patchface – He may seem like a mental patient, but it has been suggested that Patchface holds dark secrets. For starters there’s the matter of how he drowned before washing up on shore. Then there are his little rhymes which seem to predict the future. Finally, there’s the fact that Melisandre is scared of him which does not bode well.
59. Shireen Baratheon – She may not seem all that important, but there are hints that due to her grayscale as a baby, she may play a major role down then line.
60. Melisandre – I’m still not entirely sure if I should trust her or not, but either way she’s an enigmatic character.
61. Jojen Reed – Jojen is kinda weird, but I suppose that’s forgivable when you know how/when you’ll die.
62. Benjen Stark – I have theories regarding what happened to Benjen, but shall refrain from voicing them for spoiler reasons.
63. Ilyn Payne – This guy knows a lot of secrets and may know things that even Varys doesn’t, but he ain’t talking anytime soon.
64. The Three-Eyed Crow – Overall, a creepy…thing, but he seems to be looking out for the good guys.
65. Beric Dondarrion/Thoros of Myr – The Brotherhood Without Banners is an interesting organization to say the least, mostly thanks to these two.
66. Vargo Hoat – He may be cruel, but he’s also pretty funny due to his lisp.
67. Tommen Baratheon – A nice boy, but not the ideal for royalty.
68. Wyman Manderly – He may be fat, but it turns out he’s actually pretty smart.
69. Euron “Crows Eye” Greyjoy – I don’t know what his endgame is, but I know it’s not going to be good.
70. Myrcella Baratheon – She hasn’t really done much yet, but shows greater promise than her mother.
71. Qyburn – He’s pretty much the mad scientist of the series.
72. Quaithe – She’s pretty mysterious, but seems to know what she’s talking about.
73. Ramsay BoltonIf you think Joffrey is bad then you haven’t seen anything yet. Ramsay is pretty much an officially sanctioned serial killer, and even his own dad (Roose) finds his cruelties excessive, yet for some reason I like him better.
74. Robert Baratheon – Pretty much a Westerosi fratboy. He may be a great warrior, but he is a less than ideal king and father.
75. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish – I can’t think of a character that I trust less.
76. Shae – The worst mistake Tyrion ever made.
77. Aeron Greyjoy – All this guy has going for him is a head full of crazy.
78. Cersei Lannister – She may be a horrible person, but reading her chapters are a joy just to watch her fail harder than your mind will allow you to comprehend.
79. Edmure Tully – He means well, but is still pretty foolish.
80. Loras Tyrell – He means well, but is still pretty foolish.
81. Rattleshirt – Beyond looking badass he doesn’t really do much.
82. Gilly – In book 4 she does something very disgusting.
83. Hot Pie – You know you suck when you’re nickname is “Hot Pie”.
84. Victarion Greyjoy – A more boring version of his older brother.
85. Daario Naharis ­­– Quite possibly the worst decision Daenerys ever made
86. Illyrio Mopatis –.The portrait of gluttony and greed.
87. Young Griff – I don’t think this guy is who he thinks he is.
88. Hizdhar zo Loraq – Does anybody trust this guy?
89. Dontos Hollard – A cowardly, drunken fool who borders on pedophilia.
90. Boros Blount – A fat, useless turd.
91. The Kettleblacks – It turns out being a lackey runs in the family.
92. Xaro Xhoan Daxos – This guy is a pompous phony.
93. Mace Tyrell – He’s pretty much just a big windbag.
94. Areo Hotah – Hello, I have no personality and part of my job is not to think. Would like to read about my view on the world?
95. Quentyn Martell – He comes from my favorite family in Westeros yet has the lamest, most disappointing story.
96. Arys Oakheart – I have no idea why Martin thought this guy deserved his own chapter.
97. Randyll Tarly - One of the top three contenders for Worst Father in Westeros.
98. Lancel Lannister – Lancel can’t do anything right.
99. Alliser Thorne – Little more than a big, mean jerk.
100. Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane – Dumb muscle 1
101. Amory Lorch – Dumb muscle 2
102. The Tickler/Weese/Dunsen/Polliver – The dumb muscles of the dumb muscles.
103. Grandmaester Pycelle – The toadiest toady of them all.
104. Janos Slynt – It’s hard to see the good side of a man who murders babies without a second thought.
105. Balon Greyjoy – Part of the reason why I dislike Balon is because he’s a terrible father who has trapped his sonly son in a Catch-22. The main reason, however, is because of his completely idiotic plan to invade the North. It’s a bad idea in so many ways, but I won’t get into it here.
106. Viserys Targaryen – A right royal prick like Joffrey, but without a crown to back it up.
107. Lysa/Robert Arryn – These two are really, really, really creepy.
108. Craster – It’s hard to sympathize with a man who has sex with all his daughters.
109. Joffrey Baratheon – A right royal prick.
110. Catelyn Stark – The story of Catelyn’s life is an endless parade of bad decisions. She has a tendency to trust the wrong people (Littlefinger) while vehemently disliking goodhearted people (Jon and Tyrion). She does a lot of silly things which cost a lot of people very dearly, and she only gets bitchier/more psycho as the series progresses.
Honourable Mention: Hodor – Hodor!

Bonus points to whoever can tell me what is most wrong with this list.