Links

There are some really cool places on the Interent that you probably are unaware of. You should go check them out, as they are pretty neat.

Also, please don't beg for a spot. You won't get one.


Cool Webcomics

Dumbing of Age

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Type: Linear, Drama, Action, Slice-of-Life

Author: David M. Willis

Link: http://dumbingofage.com

Religious girls having their world shattered, murderous fathers, lesbianism and superheros fighting crime. You probably only saw one of those when you went to college. (Well, two, if you were feeling frisky.) I'll just put it this way: this is a really interesing comic simply just because you have no idea what will happen next. Not to say it's rapid-fire action. It slows down. A lot. After several years in the writing we're barely 3 months in comic-time, if that. Character relationships are dynamic and interesting and characters in general are quite fleshed out. Read this if you're into plot. Both definitions of the word. Because yes, it has that kind of stuff. But it also has, like, events occuring in chronological order. Don't underestimate the events.

Invisible Bread

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Type: Non-Linear, Humor

Author: Justin Boyd

Link: http://invisiblebread.com

No, I'm not named after this guy. But I'm not saying I don't like his stuff. This is one of those usual driven-by-humor simplistically-drawn sort of webcomics, like XKCD or Something Of That Ilk. The reason I'm putting this one here (besides the name similarities, heh heh) is that unlike XKCD, which covers mostly nerdy tech-based stuff, or SotI, which isn't even updating anymore, Invisible Bread spreads it's humor across whatever it can grab onto. You've got the ongoing adventures of Space Snake, things about Justin's dog Wendell, and sometimes just absurdist humor. It's worth a read if you're into that kind of stuff.

Kiwi Blitz

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Type: Linear, Drama, Action, Sci-Fi

Author: Mary Cagle, Grace Liu

Link: http://kiwiblitz.com

Kiwi Blitz, by Mary Cagle, is an action-packed webcomic about Steffi, a spunky pink-haired lass, and her best friend Benzene fighting crime with her giant battlebot. And crime there is. Without spoiling too much, we're talking rampages through New York City, cults of human-aminal hybrids, killer Japanese robot chicks, clashes with the police... There's quite a bit here if you're into high-octane action, and some more stuff if you're into the kind of drama that rips personalities to shreds.

Pepper & Carrot

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Type: Non-Linear, Humor, Fantasy

Author: David Revoy

Link: http://peppercarrot.com

Here's a really unique one. This bills itself as an "open source webcomic", and it's about as open source as you could possibly make art. You can get raw source files (produced with open source software, of course), numerous translations and various print formats. What really stands out here is the art. This is the kind of webcomic where you could take a panel and use it as your wallpaper and it would look good. Heck, you could print this out, frame it, and still have it look good. Unlike the usual webcomic "lines and fill bucket" style, this takes a really intricate digital painting look. And that's not to discount the plot, either. The jokes are solid and the characters all play well off each other. Go stare at this. You won't regret it.


Discontinued Webcomics

Brawl in the Family

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Type: Discontinued, Non-Linear, Humor

Author: Matthew Taranto

Link: http://brawlinthefamily.com

This started as a pun-based webcomic on GameFAQs back when Super Smash Bros. Brawl first came out forever and a day ago. Since then it's gained lovable takes on characters (see anything involving Waluigi, king of the WAAA), memorable storylines, and even some original characters, like Eario, the bumbling janitor of the Mushroom Kingdom. If you're up for rapid-fire Nintendo humor, well, here you go. (It ended around the release of Smash 4, unfortunately, but the ending ties things up quite nicely. What I'm saying is read the ending last.)

Let's Speak English

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Type: Discontinued, Non-Linear, Slice-of-Life, Humor

Author: Mary Cagle

Link: http://marycagle.com

Let's Speak English was a webcomic about the real-life adventures of author Mary Cagle (of Kiwi Blitz fame) teaching English in Japan. It's filled to the brim with cute kids speaking in adorably broken English, weird facts about Japanese culture, and facets about the ins and outs of being an American in Japan. It's a real light read, so go check it out. It ended in September of 2016 after the author moved back to America in real life.

Nimona

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Type: Discontinued, Linear, Drama, Action, Steampunk

Author: Noelle Stevenson

Link: http://gingerhaze.com/nimona

It was online, but now it's a book. Unfortunately, this means you can no longer read it online. It should be in your local library (it was in mine), but honestly you could totally buy it too. Only $8 for your Kindle! Unwarranted sales pitch aside, this actually has a pretty cool thing going on. You have Nimona, a young, immature shapeshifter from yore, teaming up with town supervillan Lord Blackheart against town hero Sir Goldenloin. The screwball is that the town's government is (alledegly) involved in shady dealings and Blackheart is simply trying to uncover them. If you particularly like whipping out bags of popcorn, this probably for you because things get saucy here.

sChIzO

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Type: Discontinued, Linear, Slice-of-Life, Drama, Humor

Author: Mister-Saturn

Link: http://mister-saturn.deviantart.com

Yes, a webcomic from DeviantArt starring furry cat women. What could possibly go wrong? Keep your answers to yourself, as this webcomic is actually decent. It's a slice-of-life following Ruby, a woman with crippling schizophrenia, roommate Kenneth, who is mute, and Lynn, whose favorite hobbies include stripping naked and painting her apartment walls with her body. (That's handled quite a bit more seriously than I make it sound.)

Now, these characters are never defined by their disabilites. They all have distinct personalites. Ruby's a bit short-tempered and snarky, Kenneth is utterly adorkable, and Lynn is passionate and caring, if a bit on the hyperactive side. You really end up caring for these people, their goals, and their conflicts. You want Ruby to do well at her job, you want Kennth to get the courage to act on his crush on Ruby, etc. etc. If you like deep interactions between characters, try this one.


Cool Indie Games

Freedom Planet

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Genre: Platformer

Creator: GalaxyTrail

Link: http://freedomplanet.galaxytrail.com/

Disclaimer: I've been playing this game probably a bit too much. So much so that this deserves 2 more paragraphs than anything else here. (Don't question my logic.) Second disclaimer: I haven't actually played this in a few months. Take of that what you will.

Freedom Planet is a classic SEGA-style platformer featuring Sash Lilac the Water-Dragon, who can Dragon Boost ala Sparkster from Rocket Knight Adventures, Carol Tea, a green cat who can wall jump and ride a motorcycle because why not, and Milla Basset, the annoyingly adorable dog-lady who kills people with magical murder cubes.

I won't be the first to admit the plot's all over the place (Hey, here's this alien planet, invaded by aliens!), but frankly I kinda like that. It's probably because I'm a sucker for weird plots with likeable characters and deep interaction. (See half my webcomic suggestions, or favorite movies for that matter.) The 3 girls all bounce off each other well, they all get their time alone to develop, and by the end they all completely and utterly break in a way that totally makes sense in context.

I'd totally get why you wouldn't care for the plot. The characters are a little cliche, the cutscenes are frankly way too long, and the tone bounces around like a miscalibrated metronome on crack. But I like it, so that's that. The China-inspired setting is also really neat. It gives Avalice (the planet they live on) a unique sorta cultural identity compared to just a NYC clone like many other games do. On top of that you've got a little subplot going on of 3 kingdoms and their internal politics clashing with each other. It adds a connection to the player that gives them a reason for even wanting to save this planet in the first place. (You'd be surprised how many of these games forget to add that.)

That being said, it's really fun just to open up Time Attack, play a level for 10 minutes, and feel good about beating your record by abusing your moveset in a fun new way. Seriously, this is like a speedrunner's dream game. And if you don't care for speedrunning, you could turn the dial all the way to Banjo-Kazooie and try to collect as many of the powerup crystals as possible, again using your deep moveset to figure out the most effiecint way to do that. Plus, on top of that, you've got 5 playable characters (in the beta, anyways), so if don't like one then you've got 4 more to try out. (I'm a sucker for Lilac, honestly. Dragon-Boosting and down-kicking onto slopes is fun.) The bosses are also really intense. They're often screen-filling monstrosities that require you to know the ins and outs of your character just to survive. Just... look into this if you're craving for a fun platformer that really tests your skills. (PS: Plot's totally optional.)

Kerbal Space Program

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Genre: Simulator

Creator: Squad

Link: http://kerbalspaceprogram.com

This is a game that prides itself for being a semi-relaistic space simulator. But you know you'll never get off the launchpad. Why? Because half the fun is creating horrible abominations that blow up on the launchpad. Sure, of course, you could create a spaceship capable of exploring the cosmos, attempt to rendevous with your spacestation at several hundred kilometers an hour, get your Kerbal's rescue crew's rescue crew stuck on the Mün, and then attempt to land back on Kerbin with 5 grams of fuel and a broken parachute. But where's the fun in that? (Don't answer that.) The real fun lies in attempting to crate helicopters (which explode), submarines (which explode), terran rovers (which explode), lounge chairs (which explode), bombs (which don't explode), etc, etc. Pretty much if you like mad science and coming up with The Martian-esque solutions to your own problems, then buy this. (There's also a demo with just Kerbin and the Mün, if you're cool with that.)

Mini Metro

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Genre: Strategy

Creator: Dinosaur Polo Club

Link: http://dinopoloclub.com/minimetro/

Mini Metro is a fun timewaster for when you need one of those. The goal here is to take a simplified town map with subway stations constantly popping up and link them in such a way where the customers are happy. This is a surprisingly difficult task. You see, when a station gets overcrowded for too long, you lose. And you only have so many lines, cars, and tunnels to work with. Late in the game when your infrastructure inevitably breaks down things will get intense and you will lose and you will have fun losing.

Paper Bug (WIP)

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Genre: RPG

Link: paperbugdev on Tumblr

Here's something really early in development. It's pretty much Paper Mario... with bugs. It looks good for being in such an early state. Development seems steady. Art is top-notch. There's not too much more I can say about this. Keep an eye on it. It looks like it'd be a really fun game when it comes out.

Undertale

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Genre: RPG

Creator: Toby Fox

Link: http://undertale.com

I'll assume everybody who wants to play this has already played this. I mean, it's only one of the most popular games of 2015. But, just in case, SPOILER ALERT!

Undertale is a game that does what few other games do. It gives you a world full of people to explore. Notice the "full of people" part. Yeah, there's things like Skyrim, or the Mario series, or Minecraft, or a whole host of other games with massive worlds to go through. But they're all barren. There's NPCs, but unless you want to go on yet another sidequest for some extra gold, they're not worth talking to.

Undertale is all about the characters. Sans and Papyrus, the lovable skeleton brother duo. You like them. Sans has those terrible puns and lazy attitude masking that genuine care for his childish yet lovable older brother. Undyne, threatening at first sight, but a total super-competitive bro once you get to know her. Alphys, who actually flips this around and goes from lovable nerd to... whatever the True Lab makes her.

And of course you can't forget Asriel. Poor guy. Died trying to get to the surface only to be turned into a demented flower by Alphys. (I think. Bit rusty on the lore here.) He's only your worst nightmare because he's become jaded to literally everything else. Once you realize what Flowey's deal is, all you want to do is give him a big ol' hug.

That, really, is what makes Undertale what it is. The scenery and the plot take a back seat to the characters. The whole game, from start to finish, is just learning who these awesome people are. Contrast this to any open world RPG. Yes, they have NPCs. Yes, they're interesting and they have neat backstories and all. But getting to know them isn't the goal of the game. They're just there to make the place feel a little more interesting.

I'll just put it this way: you started the game wanting to get to the surface because you personally wanted to go home. You ended the game wanting to go to the surface because you wanted to help everybody you met. That's Undertale.

Also there's a killer soundtrack and some absurdist Douglas-Adams style humor and a fun schumup-battler RPG in there somewhere, too.


Cool Youtube People

Ashens

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Link: http://youtube.com/ashens

Most Youtubers have a shtick that makes them popular. Some play video games with friends. Others angrily review movies. This guy reviews knockoff stuff from Poundland on his brown sofa. And it is surprisingly fantastic. You'd think cheap Chinese bootlegs would be the most boring thing on the planet next to crinkled tin foil. But they aren't. Some of these things happen to be just so blatantly wrong that you can't help but love them. I think Violin: Wonderful sound strange shape is one of my favorite videos from him. He's also recently taken up eating horribly expired food (as in "the Soviet Union was still around when this food was produced" levels of expired) for some reason. On top of the usual videos, he's also made a (free!) movie, Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild and an interactive miniseries, Who Stole my Sofa?. Pretty much if you're into amusingly weird stuff then here you go.

Grand Illusions

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Link: http://youtube.com/henders007

Are you into toys? Like, the non-electronic kind you never see around anymore? And more importantly, are you into lovable old British men being excited about his collection of toys? If so, here's Tim's channel, where he shows off his vast collection of strange, unique doodlie-bobs with the most genuine passion you can have. It's neat. Charming, really.

Lazy Game Reviews

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Link: http://youtube.com/phreakindee

I have a thing for old computers. (You've probably figured that out just from the sheer low-tech nature of this website.) Clint here has a thing for old computers. Unlike me, Clint actually owns several dozen old computers. Also unlike me, he produces a bunch of interesting videos about old DOS games and industry history while sporting a charmingly terrible sense of humor and glorious facial hair. He also records his visits to thrift stores to get even more DOS-era stuff, which is surprisngly intersting. You'd never expect there to be that much strategy in buying stuff from Goodwill. Anyways, if you like that kind of stuff, go check him out.

MonotoneTim

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Link (Youtube): http://youtube.com/monotonetim

Link (Twitch): http://twitch.tv/monotonetim

I cannot overstate how much I love this dude's stuff. He's a livestreamer, mostly. However, the thing about him compared to most other livestreamers is that this guy never does the same thing twice. Oh, sure, he usually starts his streams with a round of the Oregon Trail II, but beyond that it's anyone's guess what's going to happen. The "typical" stream is him playing Roller Coaster Tycoon, which has ended in (among other things) the Korean Nuclear Fun Palace, a flood of men in panda suits, and whatever the heck this is. If he doesn't decide to play RCT, then things get interesting. Some more notable examples of interesting include creating a movie, playing air hockey, creating a video game, playing a lovably weird RPG maker game, attemping to become an aeronautical engineer, installing Windows ME, playing Ocarina of Time, being the police, going to the bathroom, being a train conductor, training voice recognition, playing The Sims, etc. etc. etc. Seriously, just click any of those links and you'll know why I like this dude a lot.

Regular Cars

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Link: http://youtube.com/RegularCars/

Do you care about super-high end sport cars? Neither do I! And neither does this guy! Mr. Regular (as he's known) does oddly informative and entertaining (in that classic low-brow American humor sorta way) reviews on cars like the Volkswagen Jetta and the Chevrolet Caprice. Sure, sometimes he goes a bit higher end and reviews something like the DeLorean DMC-12, but that's a very rare occasion. If you just wanna kick back and laugh at automotive history, Mr. Regular's your man.

Cool Neocites Sites

Myers Writes

Link: http://myerswrites.neocities.org/

Here's a really interesting guy. He blogs often about his life. He has a series about working at Blockbuster when that was still around. He just has a cool website here. This is like the Geocities personal site in the 21st century. It really showcases just how much the freeform nature of Neocites allows creativity.

Network Neighhborhood

Link: http://networkneighborhood.neocities.org/

This is actually the homepage of a private webring. This webring is full of a couple of cool people who live it up like it's 1996 and Netscape Navigator is still cool to use. It's a nice, friendly thing with some obvious jabs at 90's culture alongside earnest appreciation for the era of the Information Highway. Pretty tubular, if I do say so myself. (You can tell I'm not from the 90's.)

Wildfire

Link: http://wildfire.neocities.org/

Here's a neat webapp I use from time to time. The 5 second pitch is this: It's Pandora, but with Youtube videos. Give it a genre or artist and it goes. I personally don't care for Pandora too much simply because I feel it bricks you into you preferences too much. However, with this, I can casually say "You know, I'm in the mood for Smooth Jazz right about now" and it spits out song after song of warm saxophone until you say "Nah nah, give me some Disco House". It's prefect for discovering genres.

More Neocities sites coming soon!

Cool Other Websites

The Cutting Room Floor

Link: http://tcrf.net

Here's a neat one if you're into the ins and outs of video games. The Cutting Room Floor is a site that catalogs unused material in just about any game you can think of. And trust me, it's more than just unused corner tiles. We're talking complete songs, levels, anti-piracy messages and legendary rants galore. This is the kind of site that you could read for hours and not get bored. Just... don't actually do that.

The Mushroom Kingdom

Link: http://themushroomkingdom.net

Here's a blast from the past. This used to be (and arguably still is) the place for Mario news. New game announced? You found about it here. And not only did it have news, it had fan videos, information on every game with Mario in it, MIDIs for many of the games, detail on just about every glitch you could find, a (at one time) weekly mailbag, and a complete walkthrough of Super Mario Bros. 1! This was like the Sonic Retro of Mario, except for the ROM hacking bits.

David Wonn's Video Game Glitches

Link: http://davidwonn.kontek.net/

Yeah, the site's horribly dated, but it has so much information I've never seen anywhere else, ever. This site has the most obscure glitches you could possibly find. Did you know that you can save a ghost on Super Mario Kart? Climb the castle in Super Mario 64 with 0 stars? Cause Mother Brain to disappear? I think this is actually the guy that pioneered most the Super Mario Kert 64 shortcuts, too. He has an entire page on the game. Seriously, more people need to know about this site. (The only reason I know about it is because he has the same host as The Mushroom Kingdom.)

VGMusic

Link: http://vgmusic.com

You need video game MIDIs? This is the first place you go. No questions. This has MIDIs for more or less every pre-5th gen game, plus a nice sampling from the Gamecube-Wii U eras. And for the record, MIDIs aren't obsolete. The thing about MIDIs is that they're basically sheet music complete enough that you can play it. If you're remixing, acapella-ing, etc. a song, MIDIs are absolutely invaluable. They just happen to sound really badly on most modern computers due to Windows 3.1 back in the day making them sound really badly. Hook them up to a MIDI synthesizer and they sound gourgeous.

Kirby's Rainbow Resort

Link: http://www.kirbysrainbowresort.net

Another one of those old fansites. This is the Kirby version of The Mushroom Kingdom. It's got the game facts, news (Remember Kirby GCN? These guys were religiously following it to its release on the Wii U), etc. etc. What really makes this stand out are the fan creations. You have a really cool fanart gallery, some fanfics if you're into that, but the coolest thing are the fangames. There was this really cool series of Java games that played like actual Kirby games with hand-drawn hi-res sprites. And then there was this choose-your-own adventure that was so awesome. Why can't sites be like this again?

Other Sites of Yore

The Mushroom Kingdom and Kirby's Rainbow Resort are unique in that they've lasted the test of time, no problem. Some other old fansites that didn't quite make it but are still really awesome include:
NintendoLand (now just a forum, but it used to have so many cool games and stuff),
SMBHQ (Last updated 2011. Please ignore the poker ads.),
Toad's Castle (Still alive, but neglected. Cool character battles and old artwork from Mike Matei from AVGN),
Tails' Archive (Now literally an archive. Also so many Tails Dolls it makes Sonic R creepypasta look tame by comparision),
The Warp Pipes (Was a neat listing of cool sites, but Geocities...),
Luigi's Shack (I had no idea this was still around, honestly. This is like the epitome of Geocities right here.),
Sonic Showcase Network (The best spriting tutorial site ever. But it's gone.),
The Sonic World (Gone, and the Internet Archive doesn't have the vast collection of downloadables).
Lemmy's Land(Let's face it, the theme here was really cool. You were in the Koopaling's Kingdom, in the most literal sense of the word.)

Rest in peace all you dead (or mostly dead) sites. You are missed.