How To Make a Mediocre Meal

Look, let’s face it. We can’t all be Remy from Ratatouille. In fact, some of us might even be the opposite. We don’t have a little chef inside of us instructing us on how to craft delicious meals. We have a brain-dead ignoramus who can type up a pretty good blog post, but who knows absolute shit about making a decent-tasting meal.

Not to worry, my friends. I’ve got you covered. Before you utterly destroy a food item you’re attempting to cook, take a look at my FIVE EASY STEPS for prepping a meal. With these handy tips, making food for yourself will be a non-daunting task!

1. Embrace the Microwave

Technology has taken leaps and bounds since the first time a stove was invented. One of the most useful items constructed for a kitchen is the microwave. This handy device heats up food within minutes, even seconds, depending on the food.

So what if it doesn’t always heat up food evenly? Those random cold spots in your meal provide some temperature variety for your tongue to enjoy.

Ignore those hoity-toity nincompoops who scoff at you for using the microwave more than you should. Embrace the ease a microwave gives to you!

2. Accept More Cold Food into Your Diet

A lot of the difficulty in cooking comes from heating things up. Whether you’re baking something in the oven, frying something on the stove, or boiling something in a pot, the tougher aspects of cooking come from cranking the temperatures up.

Clearly, the best way to make your life easier is to eat things at room temperature or colder. Go the way of the refrigerated cheese sticks. When you grocery shop, pick items that you can simply pluck from the fridge and munch on immediately.

One day, I had a breakfast that consisted of an apple and a slice of bread, a lunch that consisted of baby carrots and a leaf of lettuce, and a dinner that consisted of cold pizza. I was in utter bliss, i.e. abject misery, the whole day.

3. Bread Should Be Your Food Foundation

There’s a reason why people say, “This is the greatest thing since sliced bread.” That’s because sliced bread is awesome!

There are so many ways you can eat bread, so many meals you can craft from two measly slices. You can make a PBJ sandwich. You can make toast with a variety of spreads, be it butter or jam. You can dip it into cold soup. Or you can roll it into a ball and just stuff it in your mouth.

Bread is one of the most versatile food items you can eat. It’s the unsung hero of my diet! Wait, hold on. I’m reading something about an overloading of carbs. Ah, well, it’s too long. Didn’t finish it. Anyway, bread should comprise the majority of your diet!

4. Use a Lot of Salt

Flavor is important when eating. Why? ‘Cause otherwise you’re just absorbing a bunch of tasteless nutrients into your mouth. And by far the easiest flavoring to achieve is that of the salty variety.

No matter what you’re attempting to create, it never hurts to throw a dash of salt on there. If you have a salt container of any kind, it should be the most prominent thing on your kitchen table. It should be within reach of anyone who wants to flavor up their meal.

Is there such a thing as too much salt? Maybe. Yes. No. I don’t know. Too much of anything can be bad for you. All I know is that I just put salt in my coffee and I’m experiencing whole new levels of fantastic grossness.

5. Mix Everything in a Bowl

I prefer bowls to plates because when I have a plate in front of me, I can see how sparse my prepared meals look. The gaps between my food items remind me of how empty my life really is and how I’m in this endless cycle of trying to fill up those spaces with meaningless and trivial things like baby carrots and puns and sweaters and once I realize how inept my attempts to cover these holes in my soul truly are I feel myself spiraling into this abyss of eternal torment and low self-esteem that I can’t claw my way out of so I just eat more baby carrots and wear multiple sweaters and spout off more puns until I feel like my mind will explode.

Which is why I use bowls now.

Putting your food into bowls gets rid of those nasty spaces, so you can go about your day in total peace.

How To Get Away with Loathing Your Own Writing

Is it just me, or does anyone else absolutely hate the way they write?

It’s kind of like hearing your own voice for the first time. When you speak and you hear your voice coming out of your mouth, you start thinking that it sounds a certain way. It’s all a lie though. When you hear your voice in a recording, it sounds completely different.

Side note: I hate the sound of my voice. I think it sounds murky and dumb. I sound like I have marbles stuck in my cheeks 24/7.

The same concept applies to writing. When you first spill your words onto a page, it feels fantastic. The fast, free-flowing quality of writing contributes to this sensation. As your words fall into place, why shouldn’t you think that they make perfect sense?

Then comes the time when you reread what you’ve written, and gasp, it’s a nightmare! It’s like cringing yourself to death. Your sentences sound stupid, your word choice is lame, and your voice sounds whiny and immature.

I can’t even begin to tell you how often I’ve felt this way. (Well, actually, I can begin to tell you, technically speaking. That’s what this post is about. Telling you guys how much I hate my writing.)

I’m a fairly neurotic proofreader, so I reread everything I write in order to catch my mistakes. Catch these mistakes I do, and I also catch sight of my godawful, crappy writing.

And the truly sucky thing is that no matter how many times I revise a piece, I am never satisfied with the end result. I can only ever be marginally okay with what I get.

My sister is the one person who bolsters my spirits when it comes to my writing. She is my self-confidence.

Side note: She was pissed when she found out I named my blog The Below Average Blog. I thought that was a neat and unassuming name for something as potentially pretentious as a blog. She thought I was being down on myself for no reason.

But I have come to accept the fact that disliking my writing is a bit of a boon to me. I’ve said it countless times (to myself, in my head, and maybe on this blog a few times). Hating my writing pushes me to try and improve it (key word being “try”).

So if you, too, hate the way you write, just remember two things:

1) Your writing probably isn’t as bad as you think it is. Your self-loathing and self-deprecatory nature just makes anything that comes out of you look terrible. Odds are, given how many people exist on our planet, someone could read your writing and like it.

2) Hating your writing should only make it better. Unless you start spiraling into a depression. Though I have learned from books and TV shows that writers being depressed and alcoholics is a common enough thing, so at least you won’t be alone.

Then again, I’m a nobody writer with zero credentials to my name and therefore absolutely no credibility when it comes to giving writing advice, so maybe you shouldn’t listen to me.

My Top 7 Ugly-Cry Movies

Are you ready for a roaring good time?

Well, then I suggest you go somewhere else, since I’m about to start a woeful list.

It’s been too long since my last list-oriented post. For my next post, I’d like to write about movies that make me bawl like a baby. I’m talking about some serious crying over here.

Now, I’m not overly sensitive, but I’m also not made out of stone. I get the feels as much as anybody. (I think.)

So are you ready to mumble and weep? ūüôā

Side note: Both my sister and my boyfriend helped me compile this list.

7. The Imitation Game

What Part Specifically: When Alan Turing breaks down in fear of losing his machine, crying that he doesn’t want to be alone.

Why I Cry: For the whole movie, Turing comes across like an unfeeling machine. This makes for some humorous moments while he’s working with his fellow code-breakers to decipher the Nazi Enigma machine. And he does end up displaying some fondness for them. But for the most part, Turing feels like a solitary island. The only real glimpses of humanity that we witness are from his childhood flashbacks, when we see Turing’s time at school. While at school, Turing met a fellow classmate named Christopher, who saved him from bullies and whom Turing fell in love with. Unfortunately, Christopher dies. As Turing completes his work on his machine, you understand how much Christopher meant to Turing based on the fact that Turing named his machine after him. However, it’s only at the end of the movie, when Turing has been condemned for being a gay man and he is threatened with having his work taken away from him, that you realize how much of a crutch his machine became to cover for Turing’s sense of loss. So of course I’m going to cry over the idea that the man responsible for creating computers, devices used to connect countless people across the world, could have felt lonely and afraid at the end of his life.

6. The Fox and the Hound

What Part Specifically: When Big Mama starts singing that song as Copper and Todd are playing together.

Why I Cry: As a kid, the concept of two friends being unable to play with each other even though they really wanted to was traumatizing. I never liked watching The Fox and the Hound as much as other Disney movies when I was younger. Nowadays, Big Mama’s simple, happy song towards the beginning of the movie gets me bawling because you know what is going to happen next. They’re not going to be the best of friends forever. Once, my mom decided to show this movie to her kindergarten kids. I was volunteering in her classroom when she put it on. That part of the movie came on the screen, and I had to walk away from the group of kids so they wouldn’t see the tears gushing out from my eye holes.

5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

What Part Specifically: When Sam carries Frodo up Mount Doom.

Why I Cry: Okay, I can hear the snickers now. Yes, I cry when Sam yells heroically that he can’t carry the Ring, but he can carry Frodo. I feel embarrassed that I sob at such a meme-worthy, laughable moment, but I just can’t help it! It’s so noble! And then the music swells up as Sam hefts Frodo onto his shoulder and trudges up the lava-spewing mountain. My sister walked in on me when I was watching this part, and do you think she comforted me? Nope. She laughed in my face.

4. Blindspotting

What Part Specifically: When Collin confronts Officer Molina in the basement of his own home.

Why I Cry: I can’t recommend Blindspotting enough. It is a very good movie. It’s one of those movies that can make you laugh or cry on a dime. I saw it in October, and one of the final scenes had me silently weeping in the theater. Collin, after having seen a police officer shoot an unarmed man and get away with it, has been deeply affected by the event. He spends the next couple of days living in fear and shock. (Whoever directed this movie did a really good job of having you feel that fear too.) A few days later, when Collin is moving some things out of a person’s house as part of his job, he realizes that the house he’s working in is owned by the very cop he saw perform the shooting. Collin picks up a gun and threatens the cop with it. Except it’s not just a simple threat/revenge scheme. Collin is still clearly terrified of the cop and angry with him for having such a hold over his life, and you realize that all Collin seems to want out of the situation is for the cop to know what he has inadvertently done to his life. And as you look into the cop’s eyes, you see (or at least I did; I may have interpreted this scene a bit too freely) self-reproach, and you realize that while Collin may have spent the past few days in terror, the cop was probably being wracked with guilt. I won’t spoil what happens next, but Blindspotting is an overall fantastic movie that had me fighting/succumbing to the feels on more than one occasion.


3. Toy Story 3

What Part Specifically: When Andy plays with his toys one last time.

Why I Cry: I mentioned this moment in my Top Ten Pixar Movie List a few weeks ago. Originally, I wasn’t going to have this movie on my list because I felt like it would just be a rehash of what I wrote before. But my sister insisted I keep it in because no matter what I’m doing, no matter if it’s just this scene that I watch, I will always weep when I see it. I was a “toy” kid when I was young. I would spend my Saturday mornings playing with my toys in my room all by myself, crafting adventures for them and having great character arcs for each of my action figures. When I was a kid, there was nothing I liked to do more than play with those toys. But as I grew up, the toys didn’t come out as much, until eventually, all toy-playing ceased. So when I see Andy play with those toys, it reminds me of how I used to be and wracks me with guilt over the possible sense of abandonment my toys might be feeling. I’m getting all teary-eyed right now just thinking about it.

2. Rudy

What Part Specifically: The goddamned ending.

Why I Cry: Fuck you, Danny, for showing me this movie. I know you’re reading this. For those of you who don’t know, I’m not a sports movie person. I’m not a sports person period. Whenever I watch some sports event, I pick teams I want to win based on whether or not I like their mascots. (Animal mascots win out over non-animal mascots. Bird mascots are the best kind of animal mascot.) So it was a real struggle for Danny to get me to watch Rudy. Why, I thought, should I waste my time watching some lame sports movie? Oh. My. God. Rudy is one of the best movies ever. All Rudy wants is to play on this one college football team. That’s it. That’s the end of his objective. And his determination is goddamned beautiful.

Honorable Mention! Hamilton

What Part Specifically: Whenever Angelica says/sings, “I know my sister like I know my own mind.”

Why I Cry: It’s a play, not a movie, but I wanted to include it anyways. My sister and I have a really close relationship, and whenever any evidence of the Schuyler sisters’ love for each other comes up, it always gave my sister and me a bad case of the feels. When we went to go see the play in San Francisco, both she and I cried when that part of Angelica’s song came up. Yes, we’re both saps at heart.

1. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

What Part Specifically: When Hachi passes away at the train station his owner always went to.

Why I Cry: It’s a sad dog movie! Of course I’m going to cry. In case you haven’t heard about this sobfest, it’s about this loyal dog named Hachi, who always accompanied his owner to the train station when he went off to work. At the end of the owner’s work day, Hachi would go and wait for him at the station. Unfortunately, the owner suffered a heart attack at work one day. Hachi went to the train station, but the owner never came. For every day afterwards, Hachi stayed at the train station. He eventually passed away in front of the station. The movie really twists the knife when it shows us what Hachi experienced as he died. Hachi saw the doors to the station opening and his owner walk out from them, giving him a big old hug. You just can’t withstand the emotional impact of a dog’s affection.

So do you have any ugly-cry movies? I may have heard of (and cried during) them as well. ūüôā

Ode to a Pretzel

The twisted, salty sweetness of your dough
Causes my poor stomach to ache
With a longing I cannot mistake.

To be without you is a certain woe.
I need those buttery pretzels
That can only be found in lame malls.

Baseball pretzels will not do:
Expensive and too dry to boot.
The crunchy ones just make me sick;
Salty, small, and not as thick.
The only pretzels I want to get
Are ones that later give my bowels regret.

The Spider This Morning

It started like any other morning.

(Isn’t that always the way things start?)

My phone was booping out some generic alarm, so I opened my eyes slowly. I could feel the slight crustiness in the corners. (It’s fun to scratch that stuff away.) I reached for my phone in the darkness of my bedroom. I squinted from the bright light of its screen and jabbed the alarm off. The room was cold, so it was a real struggle to simply pull the thick comforter off of myself. I did it anyways and slouched to the bedroom door. My favorite pair of slippers were right there. They were light blue and as soft as the softest bath towel. They also made the most delightful slapping noise whenever I walked on tile.

(I’m fond of shoe noises.)

I went to take off my retainer and brush my teeth. Then I shuffled down the long hallway to the kitchen. Some lights were already on there, but the rest of the house was dark.

As I entered the living room and then turned the corner to the kitchen, I was greeted by my sister, who was busily making coffee for the two of us. I said a sleepy but good-natured hello in return, and then proceeded to wash some of last night’s dishes.

(My sister and her husband are notoriously bad at doing the dishes in a timely fashion, so whenever I stay with them, dish-washing falls to me. I don’t mind because they do most of the cooking in return. I’m not much of a cook.)

Alya has a teacher schedule, and as any fellow teacher will know, you have to wake up early if you’re going to prepare for your day at school properly. Alya always woke up at 5:30 a.m. so that she would have time to lesson plan and walk her dog, Ushi, before school. I had set my alarm to 6 so that I could keep her company. It was pretty hellacious on my sleep schedule since I never compensated by going to sleep early, but hanging out with Alya even a single second more made it all worth it.

After doing the dishes, I knelt down to greet Ushi.

Ushi is an absolute darling of a dog. She’s a large, St. Bernard-Great Pyrenees hybrid whose only objective in life is to get love.

I was thoroughly occupied in helping Ushi achieve that goal when all of a sudden, I heard Alya shout, “Oh my god! Is that real?!”

I looked up at Alya from where I was crouched on the kitchen floor with Ushi. Alya was standing close to the living room while still in the kitchen, and she was staring at the ceiling in disbelief.

I followed her gaze and felt my fists clutch at Ushi’s thick white fur in dismay.

On the ceiling, a spindly, hairy spider held perfectly still.

Alya and I glanced at each other. We both thought the same thing: Fuck. 

(Yes, Alya and I are that close that we know what each other is thinking.)

Alya started to panic. “Oh, what are we going to do? Is it alive? I can’t see it moving. Maybe it’s dead. Where’s the broom?” She said all this in a rush, then went off to find the broom.

I stayed sitting on the floor frozen for a moment, but then I scuttled away on my behind in a hurry, heart thumping unpleasantly. I grabbed Ushi by her neck fur and dragged her with me. She slid along the floor uncomplainingly, unaware of the terror that was unfolding before her.

(I am massively terrified of spiders.)

However, once Alya came back with the broom, Ushi finally realized something was up. She began looking all over the kitchen for whatever was going to get swatted. She even trotted up to the backyard sliding glass door to see if something outside was causing the broom to appear.

She failed to see the nightmare that was still perched on the ceiling.

Alya brought the broom up as if to sweep the spider towards me. “Amanda, get out of the way!”

“Whoa! Not here!” I was standing by the sliding glass door as well. I pointed to a more open space of the kitchen, in the complete opposite direction from me. “Do it there.”

Alya tilted the broom a bit so that its bristles would sweep the spider away from us.

“Are you ready?” A tinge of excitement colored my sister’s tone. I both hated and loved it. That tone meant that she was having fun. I was legitimately concerned. It did bring a certain amount of lightheartedness to the whole situation though.

Before I could properly steel myself, Alya swept the broom in an arcing motion. It hit the spider perfectly, and it plopped onto an empty space of tile floor. It didn’t move.

Reassured of its lifelessness, Alya and I walked up to its body.

And that’s when the fucking thing decided to move.

(Spiders are dicks sometimes.)

Alya and I shrieked bloody murder. The most I could do was scurry backwards and press up against the sliding glass door. Alya started whacking at the spider with the broom like an erratic game of Whack-a-Mole. It’s like the broom was a hoe, and she was furiously pounding the earth.

Unfortunately, the broom’s bristles did not carry enough pressure to properly smush the beastly spider. I think I saw its body bounce a bit, but it was still very much alive throughout all of Alya’s broom attacks.

Ushi just stared with her tail wagging as her owner brought the broom up and down on the floor.

Alya eventually stopped to check her work. The spider was not moving as much as before, but its legs were twitching. “I need a¬†chancla,”¬†Alya declared.

She had a pair of flip-flops by the sliding glass door. I reached for one slowly, making none of my movements too forceful.

(Everyone knows that spiders can only see you if you move.)

I tossed Alya the sandal, and she caught it with one hand. The other hand still held the broom at the ready.

Ushi’s attention was riveted by the sandal, as if she thought she was supposed to catch it. She completely ignored the eight-legged monster on the floor.

With one expert motion born from years of swatting flies and mosquitoes, Alya brought the chancla down. We both let out one final shriek as it made its impact on the spider and the kitchen floor with a sharp slap.

When Alya pulled back the chancla, the unmoving body of the spider was all that remained.

It had tried that trick on us once before, so we approached it more cautiously the second time around. Upon further inspection, it was clear that the spider was crushed, defeated.

Alya and I sighed with relief and started laughing at our own silliness. Using a napkin, she picked up the spider and tossed it in the trash.

(I am so freaked out by spiders, I will not touch them even when they’re dead.)

We continued on with our morning, a little exhilarated by the thrill of adventure from the spider-killing.

After all that excitement, Ushi lay down right where the spider had met its doom and took a nap.

Coffee Is the Spice of Life

Game of Thrones coffee mug and cranberry juiceI love coffee.

I know I’m not the only one to say that. It’s like a hipster must to adore coffee these days. That’s why all those local coffee shops are filled to the brim with fedora-wearing, vest-sporting hoity-toity bragsters who only listen to niche music and drink the strangest alcoholic beverages.

Wow, I don’t know where all that venom came from.

Anywaysies, I love coffee.

However, my tastes run on the sweet side. This is absolutely terrible news for my teeth’s enamel and for my desire to stay more or less physically fit.

Still, I can’t help it. (Well, I could if I wanted to, but I don’t. I let my taste buds wreak their own havoc. I take full responsibility for letting them run amok.)

If you asked me how I like my coffee, I always make sure to say that I like it sweet.

Actually, I’ll say I like it sweet by using some kind of simile. I’ll say something like “as sweet as a stolen kiss” or “as sweet as a Care Bear.” You know, something creative that’ll show off my wit and personality.

This did not go over too well one time when I ordered some coffee at this coffee shop and the barista asked me how sweet I wanted it. This particular little shop sweetened their beverages with lumps of hardened sugar. So when this barista asked me how sweet I wanted it, he wanted me to indicate how many lumps he should shovel into my drink.

Instead, I looked him dead in the eye and said, “As sweet as sin.”

He stared at me for a moment, blinked once, then twice. Then he haltingly asked, “And how many lumps is that?”

I haven’t gone back there since; I’m mortified.

Anywaysies, my point is that I like my coffee sweet.

Those satchel-toting hipsters might look up their noses at me and say that I’m not truly enjoying coffee then if I like it like that. I’m enjoying sugar, they’ll sneer.

This is technically true. I’ve always found it ironic whenever I sweeten my coffee. I mean, coffee is notoriously bitter. Bitterness is its signature taste. Added spoonfuls of sugar are just spoonfuls of betrayal against coffee’s true nature.

Alas, I can’t help it. Have you ever tried to drink coffee straight-up black? My god, it’s disgusting.

There was only one time in my life when I was able to drink pure black coffee.

I was in my first year of high school, and I had an exam coming up on Friday. Unfortunately, Watchmen was set to come out in theaters on that exact same day at midnight. If I wanted to watch the Watchmen, I would need to stay up all night Thursday till 3 in the morning on Friday, wake up at 5 in the morning two hours later (for band practice), and then go to school and take my exam.

But this was Watchmen we were talking about here. I have never loved a graphic novel the way I love Watchmen. 

Side note: Seriously. I’ve asked my sister to take my ashes to Alan Moore’s house (he’s the writer of¬†Watchmen)¬†if I die first and then blow them into his beard.

To not be at the first showing of its movie adaptation would have been sacrilege.

I begged my parents to let me go. I told them I could handle it. My mom was skeptical, but my dad helped me out with persuading her. After strenuously promising that I would get an A on the exam, she relented and let me go.

Side note: I don’t mean to brag, but I was a straight-A student. Getting an A was something I could promise and then deliver on.

So when the night of the premiere came, I was able to ecstatically go watch the movie in the near-empty movie theater.

I came home a bit after three, excited and hardly able to sleep.

I woke up about an hour and a half later, foggy-headed, crusty-eyed, and tired.

My dad came to my bed with a mug in his hand. He told me, “Here, drink this.” I numbly drank what I thought was lukewarm water, and then started to get ready to go to school. As it turns out, my dad wanted to help give me a boost to get me through my day so that I wouldn’t get in trouble with my mom. What was actually in the mug was straight-up black coffee. I just couldn’t tell because my morning breath was in full effect.

That was a long-winded tangent.

Anyways, the point is that I love my coffee sweetened, and aside from being extra careful with my dental hygiene, I don’t see why I have to be less of a bad-ass to like my coffee with a lot of sugar.

SO TO THOSE OF YOU WHO LAUGH AT MY SWEET TOOTH (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE), STOP BEING SO SNOBBISH AND LET ME POUR AS MUCH SUGAR IN MY GULLET AS I WANT.

 

RIP AND TEAR: An Ode to Doom

Doom 2016 alternate cover
via: stuff.tv

I get strange looks when I’m driving down the road and I have the¬†Doom (2016)¬†soundtrack belting from my speakers. Granted, I’m being a bit of a dick by playing the music so loud, but you can’t NOT listen to this stuff on a low volume. That’s like saying you should never sing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

(Here is a link to some Doom sounds while you read this.)

I also get strange looks from other people when I tell them that I adore Doom. What, is it weird to like a fast-paced, first-person shooter where you roam the citadels of Hell slaughtering Demons with Super Shotguns and your bare hands, bathing yourself in the fresh blood of your enemies as you Glory Kill them to extinction?

Some people can be so judgy.

My first introduction to Doom was actually from a book. I was 13-years old, and I was browsing through the library of my middle school.

My middle school had one of the best collection of books I’ve ever seen. I feel like the librarian just stuffed the shelves with thick books, most of which were fantasy or science fiction. I don’t think she read them. People forget how adult-themed fantasy books can be. So while my librarian might have just looked at the cover and thought, “Oh, what a pretty dragon,” I was reading its pages, wide-eyed, and learning about period sex. (I am not even joking.)

I’m totally getting off topic.

Anyway, one of the books I picked up was a nonfiction book (which is freaking rare for me). It was called Masters of Doom, and it was all about the young men who were responsible for making the original Doom game. Those guys (John Romero and John Carmack) were video game rock stars!

Prior to reading that book I had never heard of Doom, but afterward, I spent a lot of my downtime finding out everything I could about it.

For those of you who don’t know,¬†Doom was one of the first first-person-shooter games ever made. It was released in 1993, and it was fast for its time. Speed in a first-person shooter these days is now ubiquitous as fuck. But back then, it was practically unheard of.

The “story” of¬†Doom¬†was not the main focus of the game. Your character was just “Doomguy,” and he roamed the game shooting the faces off of the various demons he came across.

Doom had its sequels (some better than others), but it received a reboot in 2016 that truly struck you in the nostalgia feels while simultaneously revealing itself as a fantastic game in its own right.

If you’re a fan of the FPS genre and you haven’t played¬†Doom (2016),¬†you ARE MISSING OUT.

The reboot is phenomenal. Your character seems to be set to sprint everywhere he goes. All sprinting. All the time. He never has to reload his weapons. That would take too long, and Doom is all about speed. (And ripping and tearing.) Upgrade systems for your weapons were added to the gameplay, as were Rune Trial challenges. A story also graced Doom, a story that was surprisingly good.

These changes might sound like they would alter the original Doom experience, and they do, in a way. But the 2016 game captured the spirit of the original Doom. 

Side note: I am talking about the single-player campaign of Doom (2016). The multiplayer left much to be desired.

BUT THE CAMPAIGN IS WORTH IT.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I was shit when I first played the game. But that didn’t stop it from being fun. Cacodemons, Pinkies, and Imps might have ganged up and destroyed my Doomguy, but every encounter with them was an engaging challenge.

And the second time I played it, there was noticeable improvement.

Now, the game is a gratuitously gory game. I won’t deny that. And there’s a Glory Kill system that gives you health if you beat the Demons with your bare hands, basically forcing you to witness the copious amounts of blood. I understand why there might be trepidation in playing a game like this.

But the exhilaration I feel as I massacre Demon after Demon in arena after arena does not stem from the blood spatter that follows in my wake. (That would be disturbing.) It honestly is the speed and the skill you have to wield while playing that thrills me to my core. If there were a game about frantically picking flowers in a meadow that required as much speed and strategy as Doom does, I would be all over that too.

Though I think everyone can admit that slaying the Hordes of Hell sounds way more bad-ass than picking flowers.

End Credits Doom 2016 scene
via: wired.com

I cannot recommend Doom highly enough. It is NOT a below average game. It is above above average.

Side note: The campaign. Only the campaign. Remember that.

Doom¬†is set to get a sequel sometime next year. It’s called¬†Doom: Eternal,¬†and it looks godly.

You can bet your buttonholes that I am going to play that game.

And it’ll hopefully get a glowing review from me right here.

Whoops, shouldn’t count my Demons before they’re slaughtered.

Still…fingers crossed!