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Bad Taste

Posted by Ta-metru_defender in TMD's Creatively Named Blog, Jun 15 2019 · 29 views

Essays, Not Rants! 376: Bad Taste

I really like Iron Man 2. This is not a popular opinion; the movie is usually listed near the bottom of MCU movie rankings, especially when held up against its predecessor.

But I really like it all the same. I suppose there’s no accounting for bad taste.

Perhaps there’s some explanation for my deep affection for this much-maligned movie when the context with which I first saw the film is taken into account. The summer of 2010 saw my heart acting up with the symptoms of something potentially dire, but without any clear cause. This period of uncertainty was less than fun, to put it mildly, so a movie where the protagonist was dealing with his own chest-related issues struck a very personal cord. I’m fully aware of the film’s flaws, but my opinions of Iron Man 2 will forever be tied up with the circumstances when I first saw it.

I go on and on on this blog about how art is a two-way street, about how the viewer/reader/player affects the work almost as much as the creator. What one brings to the table inherently changes the final effect of the piece. My own medical issues, for example, have had drastic effects on my opinion of Iron Man 2.

In light of that, it’s hard to really provide a framework with which to declare a movie the best. Something I love may not work for you, and vice versa. I found Never Let Me Go to be profoundly moving, but I’m sure there’s someone out there who’d call it melodramatic schlock, just as there are people who loved 50/50 while I found it somewhat hollow. I still love (500) Days Of Summer, but what I like about has changed as I’ve gotten older (and hopefully wiser).

Take the ending to The Last of Us. Without getting too much into it (because even six years on, talking about the ending still feels taboo), Joel has decided that there’s something that Ellie shouldn’t do and he’s going to do whatever it takes to ensure no harm befalls the teenage girl who’s become like a daughter to him. It’s a rampage, against a faction we’d been led to believe were heroic, culminating in the player – as Joel – shooting an unarmed man. Naturally, its response has proven it divisive. In the ensuing discussion, however, it became clear that players who had children of their own were more likely to sympathize with Joel’s choice than non-parents. The player’s own personal life informs their response to the narrative.

So is it a bad ending? I certainly read some criticisms of it, just as I read praises. While I’d say that it is empirically good, I do have to wonder if describing something empirically is even possible. There’s little doubt that it’s well-crafted and, I’d say, well-earned. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it; and it doesn’t matter how good it is, if you don’t like it you don’t like it.

As I said, there’s no accounting for bad taste.

I think we’re too hard on people who like stuff that’s not considered good, that there are too many pleasures we consider guilty. I’m sure we’ve all stories in one form or another that seem childish or shallow now, but once upon a time meant the world to you. I will forever have a soft spot for Lewis Carrol’s “Jabberwocky” and John Betjemen’s “False Security” since they were among my introduction to poetry, and two I took a real shine to years and years ago. Henry V is my favorite Shakespeare play, not because of the St. Crispin’s Day Speech or really any merit of itself, but because it was the first of his plays that I really dig into sixteen-odd years ago. Pretentious as it is, I want to say that Ulysses by James Joyce is my favorite book, not out of an adoration for obtuse literature, but from the delight of classes spent examining the book and finding meaning and, with all of that, falling in love with the work. I’m sure had I read it under other circumstances I would have dismissed it as being overwrought nonsense.

Secondhand Lions has a middling score on Rotten Tomatoes, but I absolutely love the movie all the same. I know that Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is far from a really great game, but it’s an absolute delight to play on the weekend with your brother and a couple beers. I don’t care what you think, Toto’s “Africa” is an absolutely stellar piece of music.

Maybe I’m too hard on people. I think Batman v Superman is an absolute mess, but y’know what, if you like it, good for you. We can talk until the sky falls about what’s a good piece of art and what’s not, but I think we’re kinda missing the forest for the trees. So long as the story made you feel something and isn’t hurting anyone else, where’s the harm in liking it? I enjoy watching bad movies, I love playing excellent games, and I’ll gladly go to bat for Iron Man 2.

After all, there really is no accounting for bad taste.


Why Catch Any of 'Em

Posted by Super Fighting Pahrak in Mt. Coronet, Jun 13 2019 · 50 views

Pokemon Sword and Shield will not let you transfer in Pokemon not found in the games themselves. There are no plans to patch the rest in at any point in the future.

So the time I spent catching 800 of the little buggers really was just a complete waste, even in the eyes of the company that made the darn game. Swell.

Currently accepting recommendations of other monster series.


Contest Design Winner & Color Suggestions!

Posted by Brappy Hour in Raptor Paddock, Jun 12 2019 · 183 views

The voting is over, and the winner is TuragaNuva! LINK

Now that we know what design we're using, color suggestions are open till Sunday. When suggesting colors, please specify the shirts color, as well as the color of the design itself. You can only have 1 color for the design, so choose your color variants wisely.
Pictures of your choice are appreciated.

After the entry period is done, we'll have a week of voting for the colors the forum members like the most.

Thanks for reading, and have fun designing!


The Bionicle Epic Duels Game!

Posted by JAG18 in The JAG18 Stronghold, Jun 09 2019 · 52 views
board games

For the uninitiated, The Star Wars Epic Duels Game is a board game released in 2002 to promote "Attack of the Clones"; it did not sell well in it's initial run, but went on to gain a cult following. It also happens to be my favorite board game and is what got me into the hobby in the first place; I'm even a mod over at the Epic Duels Wiki (the number one place to discuss Epic Duels). Naturally, over the years I've thought about combining two of my great loves together, but actual decks never materialized.

Until now...
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I've made six decks from the '06 story year (three for the Toa Inika and the three for the Piraka) and have play tested them to the point where I think they're all acceptable enough. Obviously, Bionicle could spawn dozens of decks, but I chose to focus on the '06 storyline for several reasons;
1) The "Bionicle Heroes" and "Piraka Attack" games gave me plenty of material to mine when designing this deck (e.g. Matoro is a sniper, Jaller attacks rapidly)
2) 2006 is when I got into the story (plus it's still my favorite year overall)
3) Although I know no one will ever play this live (as opposed to in Vassal like I did above), the 2006 minifigures would be perfect for this game.
4) VNOG and BH both gave me lots of great images to work with when making the decks.

Thoughts on the Decks (Mediafire link):

Hakann and Thok:
This pairing and the theme of this deck (a fun, run-and-gun duo) came very easily, which is why it was the first one to get made. Aside from trying to get Hakann's offensive mix right this deck stayed almost the same from beginning to end. This deck is very typical bounty hunter deck and is probably my favorite of the Piraka even if it's basically just a collection of cards inspired by the Piraka's powers.

Kongu and Hahli:
He's got a energy/laser crossbow and she's got a mask that finds things so naturally I decided to base this on the Han and Chewie from the original game and it worked out really well (no doubt because it's such a great design to begin with). Honestly, all I needed to do while playtesting was tone this deck down a bit because for a while it seemed like it was too good! Maybe my favorite of the six.

Zaktan and Avak:
The first deck with a melee major I created; I recycled the theme of a "melee Emperor" that I used in my Dryden Vos deck for this deck with the added twist that Avak uses a card from Mike Maloney's Aayla Secura deck. Zaktan forces discards and Avak punishes players for it; Avak can sorted of hold his own by using his FORCE LIFT inspired card, but the two really need each other. Ultimately, the deck works just not super well.

Jaller and Hewkii:
This one required going back to the drawing board once or twice, but the idea of basing Jaller off of Darth Maul from the originally game was always there. This deck ended up as a "ranged Maul" flanked by a powerful ranged minor (who honestly stayed the same from start to finish). Probably the strongest of the set.

Matoro and Nuparu:
The deck that went through the most revisions. Basing the deck around Matoro's sniper persona in "Bionicle Heroes" was a no brainer, but getting it to work wasn't easy. I used DT's 4-Lom and Zuckuss deck as a kind of base, but ultimately this deck just turned out OK.

Reidak and Vezok:
The deck I had no idea what to do with. At first, I thought back to Roman's old Urgak and Grishnak deck since the theme of that deck ("These two guys really want to hurt each") fits Reidak and Vezok (or any two Piraka honestly) well enough. The end result was a strange amalgam of Grishnak mixed with cards based on the Piraka's powers (cards borrowed from Mike Maloney's Quinlan Vos deck and Starscream); the only deck I'm not entirely sure about.

Obviously, there's plenty of room for expansion here; not just more characters from '06 (Toa Nuva, the titans, Matoran Resistance team, Nektann), but from the rest of the story. I doubt I'll make many more though; this was fun to do just to say that I've done it and so that Bionicle Epic Duels actually exists, but I'd rather put my Epic Duels deck making energy into making decks that will get some attention in the larger ED community. But hey, I hope the decks at least look cool and that some of you guys will get the references in the card names.


Fun get

Posted by Bfahome in You're attacked by a Repair Nektann, May 31 2019 · 67 views

Fun get Recently came into possession of all these. They were all empty, though one had a fun surprise inside. No idea what I'm going to do with them but the possibilities are exciting.


Equation of the Day #21: Spacetime

Posted by Akano in Akano's Blog, May 29 2019 · 53 views
Equation of the Day, Relativity and 2 more...

Check it out over here.

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Posted by The Hip Historian Iaredios in Scribbler's Hall, May 26 2019 · 45 views

Hello folks. I have a Teepublic store. It mostly covers obscure history stuff but I also publish designs that I like (including the UDD). Its not much, but the extra 2-5 bucks that comes my way each purchase is nice. Thank you for visiting.


January 2018

Posted by FallenAtlas in The Weight of The World, May 18 2019 · 76 views

January of 2018 was the last time I was here.

It's been a long time. Lot's changed. I broke a couple of times, picked myself up. Still kicking.

Might write a short story or two. About something.



Posted by -ToaD- in Terrible Things for a ToaDally Low Cost, May 15 2019 · 68 views

A simple 1 year course in welding covering the most used process and a couple other subjects and I'm done, now to work on a resume and get my foot in the door.

Planning to start small and build up my skillset and then move on up to better positions/jobs, a far off goal could be pipeline work with my own small side shop doing request work for repairs or art people would want.

Dunno where this field will take me but I'll make sure to try to enjoy it and learn more things along the way.

Here is a trophy I made for a friend as a sort of prototype.

More ideas down the line but gotta buy my own Tig machine first.


Old and New Stories

Posted by xccj in Team J.A.F., May 15 2019 · 59 views

It's been a while since I've put together a blog post, so here's me jabbering about my stories in general. I'm finally finishing up a couple that I've been posting.

Highfly Vinesman, Deepwood Wayfinder was for the BZPower Fanfic Exchange 2018 and written for Darth Jaller. It features Tamaru, Taipu, and Kapura and it's been fun writing back about the MNOLG-era. The other is a sequel to my Kulagi's Kanoka story, A Shadow's Contrivance which features the Kanoka wielding Matoran against the Dark Hunters during the Toa and Dark Hunter war. I am actually extremely proud of this story; it expands and better uses the characters from the original, has lots of character development on multiple fronts, and features a ton of Dark Hunters, both official and custom. And I'm happy with the plot too, which has enough twists and fight sequences and chase scenes and Kanoka usages to really make it worthwhile. The whole thing started off as a minor short story idea but the expanded into this major operation. (It's also one of those stories that I'm really happy with but barely has any reviews. Oh well.)

Also found some of the round-robin stories I participated in for a contest years ago; the topics still exist but the formatting got lost so it was a whole block of text, but once I got past that they were some fun stories, and I'm kind of disappointed that we didn't finish any of them. :(

One story that just made my blog look like it got updated was my BZPower Blog Story set in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure story but starring BZPower members from the time. Of course, it was posted during the server downtime, back when the BZPower urls included "forum" instead of "board". Well, all the blog entries were still there (blog stuff got preserved but topics did not) but the links were all dead. I just went through and updated them, but that pushed a couple up to the front of the blog, soooo kinda made it look like I just posted a bunch of stuff here when all I was doing was updating some links. Story is still good, although most of the members have changed their names or become inactive since. (Gosh, and this was originally written when Bionicle G1 was coming to an end... and now it's been a couple of years since G2 abruptly ended. Crazy.)

Speaking of that, I also had that BZ-Koro epic that was supposed to herald in G2, and it was one where I'd have people vote on where each new chapter would go. It made some decent progress before work got the best of me and I dropped it. (I mean, that was before I finally got diagnosed with sleep apnea, so I mean I was running of fumes for years there.) Problem is there's not much of an audience left and some of the main characters... well, things happened and it didn't feel right to continue. I'm tempted to change some things around and write the conclusion I was working towards, but dunno if it would be worth it. Still, I don't know if I'm ever going to top Tekulo and Dotcom singing "A Whole New World" in the middle of a fight... I still get reminded of my parody's lyrics when I listen to the original.

I was also looking back at my story about the Slizers on Mata Nui. The original story was long; partially it was drawn out because I didn't know where I wanted to take it, so I just kept having fight scene after fight scene. Somebody originally contacted my about it and I started to revisit the plot and make plans for making it shorter but keeping to the same general story, just with less redundancy. Some things would undoubtably be lost in a rewrite, but I am very tempted because I plotted out an ending for the original but never got around to finishing it. Granted, I don't know if there'd be an audience left to be interested in it anyway.

A big thing for looking back on my older stories was this thing where I'm trying to list out all the characters I've ever used in stories before. Mostly because I've reused some character names through different stories. (Like I've had variations of Triki in four different stories, playing variations of his crazy character.) Of course, putting together the list made me look up some older stories, where I've found my older writing both impressive at times and cringe worthy at other times. Also makes me sad that there are some stories that I wrote that I no longer have records before, because I lost a bunch of stuff when my laptop was stolen and the BZP servers crashed and took a lot of other stories down. There was a fun Bionicle Christmas story I wrote staring Kapura, another small epic featuring the Voya-Nui Matoran against the Piraka, and a comedy about the Toa in an election, plus a bunch of other short stories and such.

Meanwhile, I have a handful of current stories I want to complete (two of which I've worked on for NaNoWriMo... twice each) plus a lot of other ideas I want to move forward with. But unfortunately, working full time has really cut down on my mental ability to just sit down and write write write... a professional author I will never be. Too many story ideas stuck in my head, and that says nothing of the older stories I want to redo / reboot. :mellow:



MAGA: Make Apple Girthy Again

Posted by Jean Valjean in Kraggh's Works ♫♪, May 09 2019 · 60 views
Apple, Macbook, Chevy, Silverado

:kaukau: I would totally buy a Macbook Pro if they weren't so thin. Literally, make their base two or three times as thicc. Take care of the ventilation problems. Make them live up to their full potential. I care about the engineering, not about the design. The only thing that needs to be pretty is the screen.

Seriously, all of these thin laptops look incredibly fragile. I can get how people might want a phone to be a fashion statement, but I think that people these days look at a thicc laptop and say to themselves, "That's for some heavy duty stuff right there." Like those Alienware computers, which I'll never buy because I'm not into gaming, but I appreciate how they don't treat their hardware.

Whereas Macbooks, they think that everybody wants something thin. At least offer the option to get a thicc laptop. And see how that goes. They might be surprised at how quickly they sell. Because it's the thin ones that actually look cheap. And as I said, fragile. Like they're meant to be temporary, when you're in-between laptops. Not that definitive laptop that keeps its value over time.

Get your act together, Apple. You're the freaking trend setter, so even though I don't buy your products, your decisions affect me.

Until then, I'm saving up my money for a Silverado High Country. Which I probably won't be able to comfortably buy until around 2028. And I definitely won't invest in the Apple ecosystem until sometime after that, and that's assuming that they get their act together and make products that are works of engineering first, design second.

And Chevy knows that when to make an economy car and when to make a big, thicc truck.

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Done with Undergrad

Posted by Obsessionist in Chronic Obsessions, May 08 2019 · 67 views

Last night I turned in my final undergrad assignment before getting my BS in Mechanical Engineering. It was a 100-page research document entitled "Motivations, Values, and Creative Processes of Participatory LEGO Bionicle Fan Community," which feels like an appropriate way to cap things off.

Might try to get it published. We'll see if I have the motivation.


Endgame: Yes Spoilers

Posted by Xaeraz in dead cell, May 06 2019 · 82 views

did we really need the movie to be sped up 6x so they could make us watch it six times in a row instead of just once at normal speed


So I ordered...

Posted by SwagtronYOLO in Designated Tekulo Crying Corner ♡, May 02 2019 · 100 views

you to shut up
Queen Watevera WaNabi's build Whatever box and it looks fun despite the fact I can't MOC to save my life.

Also I will never have time to play with it, it will end up rotting in my collection and why did I do this to myself?



or; An Introduction (A New, Hopefully Not Terrible Epic)

Posted by Zatth in Zatth Blag, Apr 19 2019 · 133 views

I need to find ways to keep writing daily :P
And hey, at least I'm feeling this one, since it's basically my excuse to go back through everything BIONICLE and refresh my memory. So, without further ado, an Epic!

...thingy, sorts of!

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we're finished

Posted by Lucina in Great Games, Apr 06 2019 · 173 views

At long last.

Way back in 2016, I first started work on what would become BZP's Game of Thrones. I had no idea if the game would work. I had no idea if people would want to play. I had no idea.

This series has basically defined my time on this site (or my time associated with it) for the past several years, which is a little crazy to think about. There have been spinoffs from other members; I've hosted smaller side games; I wrote a freaking fake history book.

There will be further stories and games in this world, but I intend for them to slowly but surely expand away from Okoto, and to stand on their own. The first of these (The Argonauts) will be starting quite soon, and I might post a little bit on this blog when it releases, to showcase some stuff.

But the main story, the mainline of games, is finished. BZP's Games of Thrones has reached the end of its final season. Okoto's story is finally done.


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Thank you to everyone for playing.

If you'd like to join the Discord server for these games (whether to perhaps play in one of the upcoming standalone adventures, or just to hang out), shoot me a pm.


another old bzpower member

Posted by Cyrix in ♫ Don't Go to Sleep with a Frown in Your Pocket ♫, Apr 05 2019 · 135 views

wow look i'm returning to bzpower for a hot second to see what's up after x years away! i am super unique in this aspect! look how subversive and cool i am!

in all seriousness thought i'd come back here for a hot second and say hey. was never super active in the community but had a lot of good memories from here, and this site actually taught me some about interacting with people. i'm super grateful for both of those things, and i'd like to say that things in my life are good, not great but good, and i've got a lot to be thankful for.

bionicle was an important part in my life, still got a guy sitting on my desk in my apartment (my apartment, back in the day those two words together wouldn't even make sense), and i owe bzp a decent bit. maybe i'll haunt this blog a little more often, we'll see



16 years

Posted by Angel Beat in ~ Canterlot's Sparkling Jewel ~, Apr 01 2019 · 92 views

A long time indeed.


The Lego Movie 2 Review

Posted by Lyichir in The Songs of Distant Earth, Jan 31 2019 · 210 views

It's real good.


2018/2019 Sets

Posted by Vezok's Friend in Designer's Lair, Jan 27 2019 · 225 views

A few things I've worked on over the last two years have finally come out as well, so it's time for another update to the list!

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