All posts by Ivan Rodriguez

HKM is a personalized blog focusing on pop culture from a personal perspective. This blog is just as much a reflection of my life as it is a love letter to the culture that has serviced me for so long. Ivan Rodriguez is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, earning a BA in Journalism in 2012. A lifelong fan of video games, comic books, and whatever nerd shit that can be consumed. Opinionated and mildly annoying.

Starting Again After Quitting


There’s something about the power of an unfinished idea. When shape and form take place but it still lacks body. I’ve had multiple false starts trying to create a silly passion project (can a passion project be silly by the passionate severity of it?) but even when my attempts miss, I can’t help but want to try again. And again. Then quit for a while but still think about trying again. Is it possible to love something too much to let go? Even when you feel like you suck after so many losses? It’s easy to forget what moving forward feels like when you’ve been moving backwards for a while.

But like all things: IKEA furniture instructions, a tutorial from a new video game, picking up your life again after making terrible decisions – it’s all about taking that first step. Yes, it’s still a first step even if it’s the 11th first step in a series of previous missteps. Point being forward momentum is being created.

Some things, even ideas others may see as insignificant, can burn a hole in your mind if left unfinished. At the risk of further sounding verbose and fart-sniffing, this site is a love letter to pop culture elements that literally sculpted my life. I guess what I’m trying to say is, thank you for reading? Please don’t go.


Get Destiny 2 for Free

Thanks to Blizzcon I now have some new stuff to fill my time with. “Destiny 2” is free from now until November 18th, provided you follow a few directions. But if you’re short on time just click here for the direct giftpage. I’ve certainly played worse games that cost more, but dipshit snark aside this is a pretty sweet giveaway.

And yes, this is a permanent copy and not a weekend rental like on Steam.

KOTH Edit: If Mike Judge and David Lynch collaborated

Imagine, for a moment, you took out the playful ribbing and good-nature juxtaposition of Texan life and turned it into a tormented, distorted view of a tortured family with an abusive husband? Welcome to bizarre yet intriguing display that is KOTH: Edits. I wish I could take credit for these masterworks of psychological torture, but alas they are the work of YouTuber Aliantos (who has also made edits of Cosmos).

I offer you dear Internet reader a peak into the cruel, tortured grip of Hank Hill.

Monster Hunter World: Introducing the Kulve Taroth

The last horrible beast we were introduced to was the Deviljo, a weird not-quite-T-Rex that became the new head of the food chain when it dropped last month. Capcom is rolling out our next monster, Kulve Taroth, and what looks like a new zone to go with it (hopefully). The YouTube page lists its event launch tomorrow, April 19th.

And here I am still grinding out that event that gives you a bunch of free food vouchers. It’s. free. food.

Monster Hunter: World – There’s still shit to do

So yeah, I have positive feelings for Monster Hunter: World. I spent a lot of energy and words saying that [LINK ARTICLE HERE]. I have found it a little hard to keep track of all the events that have been going on. As of right now, you can jump in on the Spring Blossom event which is replaying every available event quest to date. This means you have a second chance to make your palico look like this among other things:

Oh yeah also PS4 owners get to dress like Ryu or Aloy from Horizon, which fuck you btw (I am a salty xboner owner). That too is scheduled to end with the Spring Blossom event.

The Spring Blossom event will end April 19th of this month. While there will be new event quests beginning 4/20 (nice), the next fancy costume will be this lovely guy:

While Dante (at least this one) hasn’t exactly been relevant since 2008 and a recent reissue of the Devil May Cry collection, that isn’t stopping Capcom from dropping a pretty bad-ass cameo. This will be available April 27th.

You can peep Capcom’s upcoming event schedule for yourself here. Happy hunting.

Monster Hunter World: There is no enough

I’m struggling hard to be the jungle-swinging-dino-killer and attentive boyfriend with a game that demands chunks of my life with no brakes. You cannot pause the game and go see what it she needs. I’m stressing as I rush to try and finish what I’m doing or find a bush to hide in for a while before she walks back in the living room wanting to throw what she needed at me. First world problems.

As worthless as it is to say, I’ve felt guilty I’ve been absolutely drawn into Monster Hunter: World. Most especially for my girlfriend who has futilely attempted to grasp my attention over the sounds of pissed off dinosaurs being slashed at with an axe that morphs into a giant sword. Without saying more, there were conversations and alterations made.

The core of World, like nearly every other entry in the franchise, is a slow and steady grind towards apathy. It’s a grind Destiny 2 or MMO players are well acquainted with, for example. The siren call for better, prettier gear channeled through the challenge of addictive battle keeps the wheel moving.


Unlike Destiny 2, World offers continued challenge through free downloadable content in the form of new monsters and new, flashy things to wear. Yes there is stupid DLC like $3 gesture packs (to make your avatar do a specific emote like Ryu from Street Fighter’s hadoken), but there isn’t any paid DLC that directly involves itself into the ever spinning wheel.

If you’re new to Monster Hunter as a franchise, this is the definitive starting place. While its past handheld entries will always be held close to my heart (bye 3Ultimate, 4Ultimate, Generations), so many concessions have finally been made in world that to go back would be a very noticeably different experience.

It’s also a game obsessed with numbers. Lots of numbers and bits of miscellaneous information that may or not be important to you at any given time but it’s still important to know regardless. World does its absolute best to ease you into the game’s very intimidating amount of information (most of which won’t really be relevant until you reach the High Rank stage anyway).

There is a routine, a flow to things you’ll be expected to do automatically before the start of every quest: Visit your box, dump the crap you don’t need and organize your field inventory; Visit the canteen and eat food (always!); visit the forge and see what you need built to tackle your next challenge; go craft new consumable items and make sure you’re well equipped in potions, food and buffs; check on your farmers who cultivate combine-able items for you each time you leave the village. Suffice to say, there is a lot of shit to keep track of. It just goes on and on.


Your first 10 hours hunting will probably be intimidating then a sudden jump to bad-ass. This is all before you realize that really hard T-Rex you’ve been fighting 10 times was a weaker version of one you’ll be seeing more often with flying dragons. But by that point, any hunter worth their salt loves those kinds of parties.

I definitely could waste a lot of your time rambling about the similarities and minute differences World improves upon its predecessors, but the simple thing to say is the game wants to constantly keep you busy and out in the field as much as possible. Like nearly 24/7 – 365 busy. Yeah, like I said there are a lot of things to keep track of when at home but things like the wishlist system automatically tell you mid-game when you’ve collected all the components needed for something; which beats in the past having to endlessly visit the blacksmith to double check info.

There is a gradual rise and sense of progression to things also. While the physical gear is the literal representation of leveling up here learning how monsters operate and their place within the food chain is also invaluable knowledge. Fights easily break down to demonstrations of skill over gear. You can wear the best equipment the game can provide and still get your head smashed in if you’re careless.


When playing online the group is afforded a limited number of re-spawns per mission. Each KO is a significant blow to not just the team but even your purse at the end. There is a definitely thrill when running with the top dogs hunting the baddest of the bad, because you’ll need to rely on your partners and watch their backs more than you may want to. However it also drags having to keep the weakest link alive when their doing their damnedest to die.

On that note, I would highly recommend new hunters hold off on multiplayer for a while. Not out of some plea to keep scrubs off our sessions but because you genuinely learn a great deal more facing monsters on your own than relying on high power strangers to save your ass. Studying monster movement, behavior, and their place within the food chain is crucial wisdom.


With all that said: I’m not convinced World will change the minds of people adverse to the grind. Because let me reiterate: there is a grind. The game is the grindGRINDING. Because just beating a monster isn’t enough, you must also cover yourself head to toe in it. However, World easily comes off as one of those quality-of-life games where it just becomes a routine. You hop on for an hour, either do a few hunts or wander around picking shit up. You learn a little something new one day, and eventually the game just opens itself up to you.

This all comes at a heavy time investment. There is no dipping your toe in the game. You must go balls deep. When firing this up, it’s demanding every bit of your attention until you’re sleepy little eyes safely save the game back in town. It’s creed may as well be come correct or not at all. For those up for the challenge, welcome to your new addiction.


Get the fuck in, we’re going to Bendigo

Like many Rick & Morty fans, I too am a bit bummed season 4 is currently non-existent but inevitably down the pipe line. While we all wait for more nihilistic asshole humor from our favorite geriatric alcoholic, Adult Swim dropped a bizarre not-Rick & Morty episode called “Bushworld Adventures” featuring a distinctively Australian Rick and Morty. “Bushworld Adventures” was created by Michael Cusack, an Australian artist with Gillsberry.

It gets pretty twisted, but if the creators of Rick & Morty are going to take their time, I’m actually cool with this knock off like replacement refs during the NFL ref strikes, or scab players during lock outs.

It’s all over the internet but I loved this thing too much to not repost. I’m sorry.

PS – I’ve had the szeuchuan during the second drop. It’s just soy sauce and teriyaki weakly mixed. You’ve missed nothing. Stick to the barbeque sauce, McDonald’s sauce is the shit (in the context of when you’re eating probably-not-chicken chicken nuggets from a drive thru at 1a).