Friday, March 27, 2009

Annoying Nintendo Characters

Well, since this seems to be the month of game related lists, I might as well join in. I think the title is pretty self explanatory, so let's do this thing!

5. The Lesser Kongs: Dixie and Kiddy
These pointless characters appeared in the Donkey Kong Country Trilogy for the SNES, specifically in the final two installments. I've played all three, and I'm a big fan of the first one. Playing as Donkey Kong and his sidekick Diddy Kong was a real blast, but then someone decided the sequels should have less and less to do with Donkey Kong. The second one had Diddy and Dixie Kong trying to save Donkey, and the third one ended up with Dixie and Kiddy Kong searching for both Donkey and Diddy.

It's a little confusing, but basically each successive title moved further away from the original game and the playable characters. Ultimately it shouldn't make much of a difference, with all the characters playing basically the same. But when I pick up a game called Donkey Kong Country, I don't want to play as Donkey's stupid infant cousins. Those games needlessly invented a whole slew of bullshit characters, and it was tolerable at first, but when they started taking centre stage it became damn annoying.

4. The Green Glutton: Yoshi
Yoshi is the sort of character you can have mixed feelings about. On one hand, he's appeared in several great games, and on the other hand, he's a useless moron.

To start, I love Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. It's one of my favourite games ever, and it stars Yoshi. The whole game is so well executed and designed that Yoshi suits the game play entirely. But when he debuted in the first Super Mario World he felt like a gimmick. Admit it, most of the time you used him much like you'd use a shield, ... to take a hit. Or you'd ride him off a cliff and spring off his back to make a difficult jump while he falls to his doom. Essentially you can play the whole game fine without him, because he's a not so much a character, but an item. Yet people seem to love this ever-consuming dinosaur in boots.

Besides being a disposable upgrade, Yoshi is also constantly making some of the most retarded noises in gaming history. When he jumps and flails though the air he sounds like a cross between a dog's chew toy and Elmo taking a shit. That's not cute at all. At this point I have to give in and accept the fact that Yoshi is a fixed character in the Mario Universe, but I still insist that he is annoying and doesn't deserve the popularity he's received.

3. The Dipshit in Distress: Slippy
Slippy is proof that amphibians should not be piloting spacecrafts of any kind. In a game where your team of fellow pilots should be assisting your efforts, Slippy spends most his time getting attacked, captured, or dead. And you can be sure he's gonna keep telling you about it.

In the original Starfox game, Slippy wasn't too bad, since he sounded a bit like electronic gargling when he "talked". But in Starfox 64 we got to hear his girlish, shrill, aggravating voice plenty. When you get right down to it, it was more satisfying to just let this yelping inept frog get shot down.

2. The Creepy Fairy Wannabe: Tingle
Maybe you're surprised that Navi the fairy from Ocarina of Time didn't make the list, but when you think about it, she was simply a targeting tool that shouted "Hey" a lot. Something I can live with. Then you have Tingle; the Jar Jar Binks of the Zelda franchise, rightfully despised by the North American audience. He first appeared in Majora's Mask, and has popped up in most Zelda games since, and will likely continue to do so, goddamn it.

Who is Tingle? Well he's some 35 year old ugly dude dressed up in green costume, who's obsessed with gems and forest fairies. He floats around on balloon, selling maps, dancing and squirming about like a wad and shouting his catchphrase, "Tingle, Tingle, Kooloo-Limpah!". He's a disturbing hideous man-child who is a disgrace to the Zelda series, and if he existed in the real world he'd be luring children into a rusty van with rupees. I don't want to think about him anymore, let's move on!

1. The Gangly Abomination: Waluigi
Waluigi truly belongs at the top of this list. Why is he so annoying? Because he shouldn't even fucking exist! He was created for the game Mario Tennis so Wario could have a partner. That's it! It's a joke! As if Nintendo didn't have any other villains or bad guys to draw from, they felt the need to invent one of the most half-assed characters in history. For tennis.

But while we're on the subject, perhaps you think Wario is a character who deserves to be on this list. Sure he's a stupid character in a lot of ways, but he's been established as a unique antihero over the last 17 years. But Waluigi is all that stupidity minus any purpose. It makes me so damn mad. Wario was called Wario because it's an "M" flipped on its head. He's the opposite of Mario! Just go back and check out Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins and you'll see he made a decent villain. But Waluigi - christ, I hate even writing the name - doesn't work if we use that logic. An evil Luigi would have to have an upside-down "L" followed by "uigi", but since an upside down "L" is not a letter, and you can't pronounce it, they went with "Wa" in front of "Luigi". BUT (if you look at the picture), they still stuck an upside-down "L" on his hat. Well, what the fuck sense does that make, Nintendo!? And since when does "Wa" mean evil? Not every character needs Bizarro versions of themselves. If that's the deal, where's Watoad, Wabowzer, and Princess Wapeach?

Nintendo should be embarrassed for pulling this. Waluigi is annoying to look at, listen to, or even think about. He's the character equivalent of not giving a shit.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Most Memorable Boss Battles

I knew for some time that I wanted to do a list regarding that great moment in video games: the boss battle. But the problem was I couldn't figure out how to do it. I wasn't sure what the criteria should be. We usually shy away from straight-up "best" lists around here because, one: they usually just aren't that interesting and two: narrowing down what is best can sometimes stir up mixed feelings amongst us. I'm all for speculation where my lists are concerned but I would like to avoid all-out debate. Obviously all our lists are subjective but I at least try my best to back up my selections with more than just simple opinion.

So anyway, after considering "Best Super NES Boss Battles", "Most Epic Boss Battles" and a few others, I decided to settle on "Most Memorable". I hope you don't think of this as a cop-out on my part as I am well aware "memorable" can be a pretty flexible term. With series full of great bosses like Contra, Metal Gear, Megaman, Metroid, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Zelda and others, this was still a really difficult thing to put together. I came very close to doing a list dedicated to "Most Innovative Boss Battles" until I realized I'm not the best person to make such a list because of my own video game experience as well as the fact that I'm not too personally interested in boss battles that were innovative anyway. Here are the most memorable.

5. Granfaloon - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
This was neither the most difficult nor most important boss fight of the game, which featured many, but I do consider it to be especially memorable. It's funny looking back now as the game is going on twelve years old but even in 1997, what with the crazy surge of "next gen" games on the 32 and 64 bit systems, which were pretty much all at least partially in 3D, many gamers such as myself still craved a more "old school" style of game. Symphony of the Night delivered in its beautiful, simplistic 2D sidescrolling action. Another treat was the boss fights which reminded us of the old NES games while still adding something new. The best example of this was the Granfaloon. Found far beneath the Castle proper in the Catacombs, in a room littered with skeletons, this monster was basically just a mass of wailing, writhing corpses that you had to hack away at. The bodies would come to life when they hit the ground and come at you and even though they were fairly weak and easy to kill, there were just so damn MANY of them. And as you progressed in slashing off the grisly outer shell, the monster revealed beneath resembled something out of Metroid - another old-school side scroller with great bosses - a tentacled being complete with a devastating laser attack that could deal considerable damage.

4. Mother Brain - Super Metroid
And speaking of Metroid...This is the final battle in Super Metroid and I find it memorable simply because beating the game was such an accomplishment for me at the time. It was the culmination of several weeks' work and I had to rent it about three times (from the neighbourhood corner store), each time praying my saved game hadn't been erased. The fight is pretty straight-forward and isn't too difficult providing you picked up all the powerups along the way. But that dramatic moment where the metroid hatchling sacrifices itself to save you was pretty cool and unexpected (I didn't see it coming anyway). And even though it's not technically part of the battle, your frantic race to your ship to escape the planet before it explodes is really intense. It was another thing I hadn't seen coming (maybe I was just stupid?) and so even though I knew the way, I was still extremely tense making my way through the areas as the final countdown flashed on the top of the screen. I am proud to say I made it on my first try and that helps makes it a really memorable gaming moment for me - a great ending to a great game.

3. Ultros (Opera House encounter) - Final Fantasy VI
He may have been basically a gag character but losing a battle to him still had the same result as falling in any other battle - you die, game over. Ultros would attack you again and again throughout the first half (World of Order) of the game and he was always pretty formidable. His tentacles could bring down a character in one hit and he would constantly blind you with his ink, which was...well, pretty annoying. But it's his appearance at the famed Opera House that stands out the most. As revenge for his past defeats, Ultros vows to "bust up your opera". His brilliant plan involves sneaking to the rafters above the stage to drop a large weight onto the actors (including your party's Celes, in her stunning opera debut). If you make it to him in time, you can prevent him from dropping the weight but he does still pretty much succeed in busting up the opera as you all fall onto the stage during a scene. The audience thinks it's all part of the show, however, and you duke it out with the crafty octopus to the music of the house orchestra. It's one of the quirkier battles in popular RPGs while still being fairly challenging and its conclusion features the first appearance of Setzer.

2. Bowser (first encounter) - Super Mario 64
From the old-school to the new (relatively speaking). Getting to face King Koopa in glorious full 3D for the first time was a pretty mind-blowing moment. Remember when you first saw him? He was freaking huge! Dropped onto a flat, featureless floating island, it was just you and him. You had to run and dodge to stay out of his reach and just trying to get behind him took quite the effort. Because getting behind him was the key to defeating him - you had to grab hold of his tail, then using your fancy new controller, swing him around faster and faster before sending him for a flight through the air. Now THAT'S how you do a battle in 3D. The first encounter was obviously the easiest, you only had to throw him once, I think. And you didn't have to aim the throw like you would later on. But as it was the first fully 3D boss fight for so many of us as well as featuring two of the best-known enemies in the gaming world, it was a truly memorable battle.

1. Andross - Star Fox
This fight is insanity. I mean, this game featured lots of cool boss fights but they sure didn't disappoint for the final battle. In the end, you're fighting this crazy huge FACE and pulling out every trick you know just to stay alive. And you most likely ran out of neutron bombs ages ago. I remember the attacks, I remember the music and I remember the intensity. I've had similar experiences in several RPGs but Star Fox is a shooter and relies even more heavily on quickness, reaction and raw skill. Honestly, even I'm a little surprised this battle made number one, but here we are. It's one of the first fights I thought of when deciding what sort of list this would be and as I whittled my way down, I realized nothing on this list could actually beat it. This is "Most Memorable" and no other entry had my heart pounding more when all is said and done. Watch that Super FX Chip do its work.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 (More) Great Video Game Songs

I'm calling this five more songs because Shane already outlined five of his favourite NES era songs back at the start of February. This list is a little different, however. This isn't just NES songs, and has no specific era or system. These are just five tunes that I think everyone should check out. This also isn't just five of my favourite video game songs, although some of them would land on my favourite video game songs list, were I to make one.

Anyway, as Mr. T would say, enough jibba-jabberin'! On with the list!

5. Chrono Cross (PSX) - "Scars Left By Time"
Listen. This is a game I wish to god that I still had my hands on. I rented it when it first debuted in America, back in 2000. Hoping for a sequel in every way to Chrono Trigger, I was met with a sequel that didn't really clone its predecessor, but was still a solid game in its own right.

One of the main things I took away from it, though, was its introduction and theme music. The song that played in this intro was "Scars Left By Time". It opens with a beautiful, heart-felt bit, and then strikes up, but not too much. It has a nice beat, and fits perfectly with the look of the game. It may not be as heart-pounding as some of the other songs on this list, but it's still a very good song.

4. F-Zero X (N64) - "Port Town"
Listen. When everyone thinks of the music of F-Zero, the one tune that instantly comes to mind is, of course, "Big Blue". That's understandable because it's an awesome tune, and probably the best from the game, but another song that was pretty awesome was "Port Town".

It starts off sort of erratic and then works its way into a cool guitar-driven riff that continuously becomes more and more rocking as the track winds on.

Although there is a version of the song in F-Zero for the SNES, the music on the 64 version both stands out, to me, because it was a much better mix, due of course to the technology, and because F-Zero X is easily the one I've played most out of the series, and I believe it was also the first.

3. Ys II (TG 16)- "To Make The End of Battle"
Listen. Although I can't say that I've ever played any of the Ys games (which, from what I hear, is very unfortunate) in searching for cool video game tunes, I eventually came across this one. I believe the arrangement I've been listening to is produced by Sound Team JDK, and although it has an almost "too metal" intro that seems like it could come off the tracks at any point, eventually you'll hit the main riff of the song, which is very amped and gets you in the mood to kick some ass.

One of my favourite parts about this song is that it comes down around the middle into this light synth and drums, which just sounds cool. Soon the bass strikes up and you start to start to wonder if you're listening to a completely different song. It then introduces the electric guitar again, with a smattering of acoustic, and then back into that great backbone riff. The original version of the song is also good, but I just love this arrangement. Here's the original.

2. Castlevania: Syphony of the Night (Sega Saturn) - "Bloody Tears"
Listen. This song has appeared in just about every Castlevania video game, in one form or another, since it debuted in Haunted Castle, an arcade version of Castlevania released in 1988. The song first hit consoles in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest for the NES.

It has always been a very heart-racing tune, even from its 8-bit beginnings, but the best version, in my opinion, came out only on the Sega Saturn version of Castlevania: SOTN (which I still haven't been able to play!). It wasn't in any of the levels, but could be found in the "Music Hall" option of the opening screen.

There's not much I can say, as just about everyone has heard this tune if they've played any of these games. Symphony of the Night was known for having amazing music, and this was a great remix. It was very heavy in guitars and had a great rock edge to it. I could technically make a whole list based just on SOTN's musical soundtrack, but I talked myself into just mentioning this one, very cool, little gem. Here's the original version.

1. Ninja Warriors (Arcade) - "Daddy Mulk"
Listen. If nothing else it has one of the oddest titles ever. This song was composed by video game music gurus, Zuntata. Yes, there was an actual band, much like JDK. These guys even toured in Japan, that's how awesome their music was.

What I would call their shining achievement was "Daddy Mulk" from the arcade title Ninja Warriors, released by Taito in 1988. The game would eventually be ported to the Commodore Amiga, C64, PC-Engine (TG 16) and the Sega CD (aka Mega CD - considered the best port) and would also spawn a sequel on the SNES. I've really only indicated the arcade as the version for my list because the arcade machine was so cool.

It sported three screens, linked next to each other to make a widescreen arcade game. It would later be used in the Darius games (which Zuntata also scored) as well as the X-Men game that Konami released in arcade.

The tune just has this great riff, with a bit of an 80's edge, and can get you going just as well as any Mega Man tune, really. If you hear it once, you'd probably recognize it, maybe even if you haven't played any of the games. I know that I've only ever played the sequel on the SNES (The Ninja Warriors Again) and I recognized it almost instantly from many different video game music playlists scattered all over the internet.

Heavily synth and effects oriented, the song is a must-listen for any fan of video game music, and a cool tune if you're just a music buff in general. The version I linked above is of Zuntata playing live at a concert in 1990 that is probably my favourite form of the tune. Here, however, is the original.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

5 Ways Rob Zombie Completely Missed The Point in Halloween

As a horror buff I've heard the debate/complaints of a great many horror fans in response to remakes. I, myself, have chimed in and although I have a differing view than most, in the end we agree that the remaking of horror films is completely out of hand. Films that are in no way dated, and in fact do well to stand the test of time, are being repackaged in a lame attempt to reap blood from a stone. That being said, it's working, and there appears to be no end coming.

That being said, there are, occasionally, good remakes. Filmmakers that have a love for the original film, and want to retell the tale with updated techniques for a new age can hit the spot and put out a nice piece of work. A few that always comes to mind are John Carpenter's The Thing, as well as Cronenberg's retelling of The Fly.

When most people heard that Rob Zombie had been given full control over re-imaging (God, I hate that term) of Halloween, and had even been given a blessing from John Carpenter himself, there were a great many people that felt that another good remake could be on the horizon. Oh, how wrong we were.

Here are just five of the ways that Zombie totally blew the mission when it comes to Halloween.

5. The Cameos
This one wasn't really something that should have been taken away from the original film. I mean, sure, there were no cameos in that movie, but still, having a few cameos shouldn't have hurt Zombie's version. That being said, the man went completely mad with involving the oddest cameos in his film, to the point where I wonder if there were even extras on the set.

Here's a quick list of the cameos that appeared in the film: Tom Towles, Bill Moseley, Leslie Easterbrook, Danny Trejo, Brad Dourif, Clint Howard, Udo Kier, Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, Sybil Danning, Micky Dolenz and Sig Haig. Hell, you could even argue that Sheri Moon Zombie and William Forsythe were cameos, due to the amount of time they were on screen and the fact that Zombie casts these people in every one of his films.

Most people would think that this is just a cast. The thing is, these people are often associated with horror films, and were brought in for the tiniest scenes. I think some weren't even in the theatrical cut, and Udo Kier only appeared for a brief moment that I can remember when I saw this film in theatre.

All we'd need are Tony Todd and Robert Englund and that really would've rounded out this cast nicely.

4. The Writing
I can't understand it, but Rob Zombie has a complete and utter fascination with redneck America. The man has three films to his credit right now. House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects being his first two, and being directly connected, I think a lot of people just thought it was a style that he brought to those two films. One is an odd horror film, dripping with tones of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the other a very good movie that harkens back to the exploitation era of the late 70s, early 80s. When Zombie was finally revealed as the director of Halloween, I don't think anyone foresaw that dirty, redneck America was his schtick.

That being said, my dear God, what is wrong with this man? Halloween was a tale of an unknown monster. Something born from nothing, that attacked suburban, middle America. That was the point. Even in your nice houses, with all the creature comforts, there was nothing to protect you from this.

Instead, Zombie treats us to this filthy yokel family, that verbally and physically abuse a young boy, until he takes refuge in hurting small animals. I'll go more into this later, but what I'm getting at is that this can't be a person's thing. This style of film just can't be a style of film-making, can it? There are people out there that rave about Zombie's style of film and think anything he does is gold, but my God. If I wanted to see this sort of thing, I'd just go watch Cops.

3. The Music
As stark and well made as Halloween was, on a shoe-string budget that would shock most people, one of the things that made it as iconic as it was, was the score, written and composed by the director himself, John Carpenter. Known for his work with synthesizers, Carpenter sat down and made a simple progression, based on a drum beat he'd heard, and formed one of the most memorable theme songs to any film in the last 30 years.

Zombie gave us Nazareth and BTO.

He completely dropped the ball on this one. I mean, seriously. Love Hurts? I remember when that played in the film I thought, "Did that just happen?"

He continued to fill the film with the likes of Kiss and Rush, rounding out this whole fascination he as with those 70s rednecks. That isn't to say that the iconic theme Carpenter derived all those years ago didn't make an appearance. Composed by Tyler Bates, Zombie's version of the song played in the movie a few times. The first time, however, was when a young Michael (Daeg Faerch) is running away from his school, after being beat up by a bully.

What was he thinking!?

2. The Atmosphere
All of these things, one in particular that I'm saving for last, came together to completely ruin the feel of this film. Go watch Carpenter's Halloween; The Halloween. The combination of his creepy synths, a crisp, simple suburban backdrop, and all the old horror tricks of the trade, come together to make a film that you feel as much as you watch. The film is virtually bloodless, but damned scary.

You don't even have to have Michael on screen to have an eery feeling. Hell, there are even situations that in context are completely silly, but you watch in rapt attention. I mean, Michael driving around in a station wagon, stalking Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis - who beat the hell out of Scout Taylor Compton, I might add) should cause a slight chuckle. But I'll be damned if you ever laughed at that film.

Maybe it was just the time and the place. Maybe it was the combination of all these great things, infused into Carpenter's simple little film. Whatever it was, Zombie completely missed the boat, and here's the main reason why.

1. The Shape
Rob Zombie took The Shape out of Halloween.

If you don't know what I'm referring to, go to IMDb or grab your DVD/VHS copy of Halloween, and check the credits. Although Michael Myers is a character in the film, you will also see that "The Shape" is also a credited character.

Why? Carpenter realized that the dark monster he'd created (with writing partner, Debra Hill) was in itself, it's own entity. By making a killer that had no real reason for doing what he did; no defining psychological indications that could pinpoint exactly why he made, possibly, the perfect horror film icon.

We don't need to know why Michael Myers kills. The scariest part is not understanding him, not knowing what motivates his actions. He's like a shark, and for whatever reason, he's decided to wipe his family off the face of the earth.

The tried this sort of thing with the "Thorn" story line, created for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, which was retcon that involved gaelic mysticism as an explanation for Michael's unstoppable ways. I enjoyed that a hell of a lot more than Zombie's take.

He explained too much. He essentially boiled Michael down to an everyday serial killer, created by his environment, and following the exact pattern that we see on A&E everyday. He made him a Dahmer or a Bundy, but far less interesting. He made him a tubby kid, with long blonde hair, that enjoyed killing animals and listening to Kiss. That was the single greatest downfall to this film.

Sure, he couldn't write teenage girls to save his life, and yeah he filled the film with tons of redundant horror film actors; he messed up the music and he took the edge off the film, but no matter what, he should never have tried to explain Michael Myers. That's not the point. What's worse, is that this is exactly what he wanted to do from moment one.

The film has two distinct parts. The background and a remake of Halloween. What's sad is that, even though this was the worst thing Zombie could have done, the first part is the better piece of film. The remake of Halloween is just annoying. The girls are all a bunch of sluts, twice removed from the white trash that Zombie loves so much, and his explanation of Michael in the previous piece leaves nothing to be desired in the film's climax.

In the end it all doesn't matter. As I've said many times before, we still have a Halloween. John Carpenter made it many moons ago, and it is just as well received now as it was then. You can always go back to it. It's not like all the copies were rounded up and burned upon Zombie's film's release. The only downside is that films like Halloween:H20 will, more than likely, never be seen again. The truth, however, is that H20 may have been a shot in the dark. The other sequels in this franchise were waning, and there really wasn't a future. It's unfortunate that young people everywhere are being subjected to Zombie's version, though, and not seeing the original film. They might grow up to think that Zombie's film is The Halloween, and they'll, also, have completely missed the point.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reason to Dislike Facebook

Okay, to start off, I'm not simply out to tell you that Facebook is horrible and we shouldn't be using it. The truth is I use it myself and may be guilty of some of the things I'm about to point out. The site has become a remarkably huge interconnected community of friends and family, and has become the sole means of communication for a lot of people new to the Internet. I'm sure we all have a least one older relative who uses Facebook to stay in touch.

But what I'd like to point out are the lame, weird, or stupid aspects that really have gotten out of control during the growth of the site.

5. Poking
This "action" has such an abstract purpose, that I dare you to try and explain it to someone who isn't familiar with the Internet. Go ahead, and explain it to your grandma. I promise in an hour one of you will be crying. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating, but with all the other means of communicating on the site (commenting, notes, chatting, sending messages, etc) this one is the most pointless by far and really only creates busywork. If you truly want to get someone's attention, then just write to them. Otherwise it's like receiving a blank piece of paper in the mail.

4. The Person with the Most Friends Wins!
Somewhere along the line adding people to your friends list became a contest. And not even a contest where someone is keeping score, but just a way of numbering your popularity to improve your sense of self-worth. I'm tired of seeing people with lists of friends in the hundreds. Are you honestly saying that all these people are individuals that you like and trust and have formed some bond with? Or is it someone you sat next to in Grade 4 and haven't spoken to since Grade 5? Or someone you saw at a party once? Not everyone you've encountered in life is a friend. If you've never interacted with a person on Facebook, yet they are in your friends list, then they don't really belong there, do they? Quality over quantity, people.

3. Staying Busy
So now that you've established several hundred people you barely know, it's time to keep up with the never-ending flood of requests, invites, and messages. Join this group, play this game, add this application, watch this video, read this thing, do this survey, attend this event, try this quiz, and don't forget to invite your remaining friends to join Facebook! You can waste so much time just sifting your way through all this stuff.

Oh and don't forget to update your status! What are you doing right now!? Your friends, nay, the world needs to know! That was fun for the first several months...but the truth's just more pointless busy work, and it paved the way for the likes of Twitter. We talk more, and communicate with greater ease thanks to technology, but we're definitely saying less. God help us.

2. Application Hell
When I first joined Facebook I found it to be a much more pleasing social network than the likes of MySpace, which as you may or may not know, looks like ass. But now, it's come to the point where Facebook has gone batshit out of control with these stupid, stupid, STUPID applications. They got ten a piece for everything you can imagine, and billion and a half more that do nothing at all!

"Oh Susie, I remember her from high school. Let's check out her profile page ... oh my lord, it's a clusterf**k of idiocy!!"

Is there something fun about collecting all these meaningless, ugly, tacky little things. It's like a Goddamn circus broke out on your profile and was attacked by a "cute" parade. Is it necessary to display a fart joke randomizer, or a hug of the day, or a TV show quiz, or what kind of flower you are, or a mood meter, or sexy friend countdown, or send someone a virtual cupcake? Stop it! This has gotten out of hand.

1. The Creepiness Factor
You know how people joke about how Facebook is like a paradise for stalkers? Well, I'm no stalker, but it's worrisome to see the sheer volume of personal information you can gain access to; information people willingly release into the Internet like a flock of doves.

Besides the obvious status updates that give you current info on all the people you "know", you are also given front row seats to every picture they take. You haven't spoken to some person in years, and now here's dozens of photos of their baby. Or if all those personal family photos didn't explain enough, here's some notes they wrote listing stuff you don't know about them. Why do I need to know that? I don't need to know that he is addicted to watching Spongebob Squarepants, or that she does origami on the toilet. Why do we need to know that? And why are you all so trusting enough to share?

Okay, so there are settings you can toy around with so you don't have to see all this crap. Change some privacy settings, alter your news feed, and be done with it. I know. But the point is, it's a huge part of what Facebook is. It's one thing to tell people your hobbies or what books you like, but it's another thing altogether to share personal secrets, or pictures of your children taking a bath to people who are essentially strangers. Then next thing you know you're being tagged in a photo from a party you can't remember, someone has sketched a wang in your graffiti application, and your uncle wont stop poking you.

Tell me that's not creepy.