Monday, September 14, 2009


No, not Beck Hansen.... Or Glenn Beck. BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad!!! The story of some kid who, through a series of chance encounters, becomes a member of a legendary band called Beck (Mongolian Chop Squad is the American release name). It's a story of a group of people, nay friends or perhaps comrades who pull together to create a legendary sound that draws in people against the odds and in the face of the music industry. The day-to-day reality of high school and a part-time job contrast with the fast times on stage and vivid studio practices, or even pouring out his soul on the guitar in his room while his mother tells him to turn the volume down (Which he does, cause he's a good kid). The characters that bring him to his destination are varied and unexpected: The rapping ramen shop worker, the bassist who bounces from band to band, the eccentric ex-pro swimmer who teaches him guitar, and of course a laid back Japanese guy from America who lives at a fishing hole and has a mis-matched mutt of a dog named "Beck". The English dub isn't bad, and they even do a good job with the songs, but one of the big points throughout the story is that some characters speak Japanese and others speak English. So when everyone is speaking English and one guy say's "Ah, I don't speak English." in English.... It kinda breaks the mood. But, all the same, I really appreciate the work the English dub workers put into adapting the songs and near the end there's a slide show scene where the English flows really well for an American audience. Ah, and of course there's Maho, probably one of my favorite love interests in a show even when she does do stupid stuff, which I guess just makes her more realistic.

If you like rock, and you like stories about bands there's no reason not to see Beck. If you just generally like music and good slice-of-life stories make sure to check it out.

On a seperate note, it's ridiculously hard to get you hands on tracks from the show legitimately. Fortunately they're mostly on YouTube, but only for so long, and the OST is ridiculously expensive. The opening is pretty ridiculous, but at the same time it really captures that "Going for it" spirit. The rest of the songs are also generally good, but this is for sure my favorite song from the show: Full Moon Sways, gently in the breeze of one fine day. Full Moon Sways, smiling in my arms for all those years.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Post 2: Electric Boogaloo

Sorry, I don't have an actual Electric Boogaloo for you, but I do have a couple of amazing videos from the force that brought Obama Girl.

First, from the original Barely Political is the news (Most notably Joe Biden and the congressman with the Sir Taxalot presentation) auto-tuned T-Pain style: Yes, you could say They're on the News.

Secondly is from the offshoot for non-political projects and creators of the wonderful "WoW Intervention" and "YouTube Comment Fight" BarelyDigital brings a new and greater wonder "Left 4 Dead Beatles". They really do some of the best "You're either going to get this or you won't" humor around.

Well that was fun, so now to knock off one of the topics I want to talk about, and that's this game: "Muramasa the Demon Blade". It really looks cool and is a continuation of a series of games that I've been wanting to pick up called the "Princess Blade" series. According to an interview I read, this game was at one time conceived to be titled "Ninja Princess" to keep the theme, but as production continued they changed focus and developed the background and story of a second male character. So it's still in the same series of "Odin Sphere" with it's side-scrolling action/RPG-ness, but like Final Fantasy it has reinvented its gameplay in this new universe. Muramasa is set in Edo period Japan and features hand-drawn backgrounds and characters inspired by art of the periods and classic Japanese myths and plays. For example, there is a fishing mini-game which takes place in a setting which is essentially a full motion version of Hokusai's "Big Wave" which is very impressive if you're a fan of the painting. Another interesting note, despite being on the Wii the game utilizes 0 motion control. For awhile they tried to work it in but people kept saying things like "This isn't accurate enough" or "I didn't mean to do that!". The last try for motion control was a set of eating mini-games where they would have you hold the Wii-mote and nunchuk like chopticks to eat the food, however it was quickly pointed out that these items were far too large to be used as chopsticks. So instead we have a side-scrolling action/RPG in the genetic line of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Super Metroid (though with a little more RPG than either of those) with the most casual controller which you could even play with your arms crossed leaning back in a chair if you wanted. A final interesting note for people interested in challenging games: They created an unlockable "Death mode" which none of the production staff could actually beat, but apparently one of the testers did and so they said "Ah, so it can be beaten." which was good for them since apparently there's a law in Japan against releasing unbeatable games.

Anyway, I'm getting the game later today so in my next entry I'll have at least a prelimenary report on it.

(Update 2016:  Hey, uh, Muramasa Demon Blade was really cool.  I recommend it if you can get it.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Disney Princess vs. Marvel Heroines Extreme Beach Volleyball... Might already be taken.

Ah, my first new blog post in over 6 months and there is a fresh geyser of a story to post about, namely "Disney Buys Marvel". I believe the price tag was something like $4,000,000,000. Now while all the die hard comics fans wither into dust, allow me to point out some of the wonderful crossovers I've come across. The first and most prevalent (Which I even thought of myself when I first heard this) is Marvel characters, most notably Spider-Man, in Kingdom Hearts. Now, obviously people aren't taking into account the fact that Square-Enix would have to sign off on it too, and really I'm not sure to what extent Disney can just toss around Marvel characters. BUT if you were wondering what other worlds Disney could possibly put in the next Kingdom Hearts, you now have an answer. At Kotaku we have Disney-Marvel Team Ups We'd Like to See which has a number of amusing pictures devoted to the subject (Most prominently a Wolverine style Micky Mouse), though my personal favorite is in the comment box below the article"Disney Princess and Marvel Heroines Beach Volleyball" Just ask Tecmo to make it and you'll have a gold mine. I also greatly enjoyed Penny-Arcade's reaction, who at first were going to do basically what the rest of the internet is doing and just do character mash-ups (Including the aforementioned Spider-Man wielding a Keyblade alla Kingdom Hearts). So instead they crafted This Gem of a comic about the difficulties of having two characters called "Beast" on your roster. Technically one is "The Beast", but still, you see the joke potential. There's even Intelligent Thought on the matter. Of course to really experience the reality of the situation all you need to do is go Here.

But don't worry, just because I was on an indeterminate hiatus before doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly stop using this again. Now Facebook has a Blog Tracker app, so people can actually know when you post something new through Facebook. Also I have a lot of new stuff I want to write about, so hopefully there should be a pretty quick update period for a while.

I'll leave you with a nigh inevitable scenario: Disney/Marvel Vs. Capcom

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There She Is!!

Ah, one of my favorite internet created things has finally concluded.

A good while ago, maybe 2004, a Flash video appeared on Newgrounds called "There She Is!!" Curious why such a simply titled video was receiving such attention, I clicked on it and was treated to a wonderfully animated (And you know some of the crap that passes for animation with Flash) musical story about about a would be couple portrayed as a cat-person and a rabbit-person in a society where such a relationship is stricly forbidden (Like pre-1960's America inter-racial couples). Its a story of forbidden love, the cat-man's initial reluctantce based on societies rules and the rabbit-woman's dauntless enthusiasm in pursuing him, all set to an upbeat song. There are no words to the story, so don't worry about the fact that it was made in South Korea. Actions and universal symbols very effectively tell this story.

Anyhow, its 5 parts and I love it. I really think there's no reason not to see it. The site is SamBakZa and if you click on Amalloc (The blue profile) the five episode boxes should come up.

Enjoy it!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

We made it

So, they were some good points to 2008: My brother got married, the first black president was elected (something previously delegated to 24 and bad sci-fi movies), Late Oct and Early Nov were AWESOME for gaming (Fable 2, Gears of War 2, Fallout 3, Mirror's Edge and Spore came out! And thats just part of it!), and political comedy had its best year ever. However, besides that the year sucked. Lets face it, the year long campaigns were preposterous circus acts eventually ending with (Surprise) the candidates early declared to be some of the least likely to succeed. I'm not even going to talk about it anymore, it doesn't deserve another word of attention. Then, the cherry on top, our wonderful economic crisis that everyone should have seen coming but didn't because everyone was shoving it under the rug. At the end of the year I'm not sure if I'm more glad that its a problem that affects more than our economy... Or not. I guess at least gas prices are down right? However long that lasts.

I'm really not sure how this year can be worse because our expectations for the year are already pretty dag low. See, that was the big problem, a lot of people were looking forward to 2008 like "Ah, finally Bush will be gone." and then so much mess happened and so expectations for 2009 are way down. So, when the few bright spots come up like the Star Trek movie being awesome and Watchmen coming out and not being terrible (Those are guarenteed by the way, you can return with your receipt to redeem for time spent at the end of the year if you find the statements untrue). Hopefully I'll get a goodly chunk of writing down. Hopefully I'll have a better idea of what I'm doing in life by then, because right now I'm pretty happy working with music and getting some writing done here and there with the possibility of publishing it someday. I'll really really try and get a cell phone.... Maybe. I also have another story idea that I want to a go on, but the trouble is that I don't know many people who would be interested in the genre, so its difficult to get an outside opinion on the subject.

Ah well, here's to a year of lowered expectations.