Archive for August, 2009

Me vs. Spider-Man: My Angry Sense is Tingling

I never have problems when it comes to buying games or movies – new or previously-used – except when it comes to Spider-man. In fact, the ONLY three games I have ever returned to a store in my life (or tried to) have all been Spider-man games. I like Spider-man, I really do… he just doesn’t like me sometimes. You thought watching everyone cry in “Spider-man 3” was bad? Here’s the story of my Spider-man curse.

Case 1: Around 7-8 years ago, I bought a “Spider-man” game for my PC (the one based on the first movie.) My reason for returning it? I only THOUGHT I had all the hardware requirements to run it. At the time, I’d never head of “Transform and Lighting” when it comes to video cards. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a move, and we moved to another town where I couldn’t return the game. It stayed in my closet for two whole years before I eventually got a better computer that could actually run it. The game sucked.

Case 2: “Spider-Man 2: The Video Game.” When I borrowed this from work one time and took it home to play on the family’s PS2, it was honestly one of the greatest things I’d ever played. It had a GTA-style city to swing around in, realistic swinging physics, and I could carry a thug to the top of the Empire State Building and throw him off. By the time I returned the game to the store, I knew I had to buy it.

Then I see it in EB games one day for $20 – AND on the PC (which was MY console at the time.) So I got it. Then reality sank in after playing it for 20 seconds; the PC version was crap. The game was completely different. They used the same graphics from the PS2 version and put those on the back of the box. The whole game was comprised of pointing my mouse cursor at spider icons in the sky and clicking to swing Spider-man around the city. It was about as bad as flying through rings in Superman 64. So it took it back to the store, explained the situation, and they let me trade it for “Leisure Suit Larry.” (Incidentally, I did get the PS2 version for cheap several months later, so good for me!)

Case 3: “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.” Ever seen the trailer for this? That kicks ass. I was going to get it, and it was going to be on a console – no screwing around with PCs this time. And as luck would have it, I found it for $10 at Blockbuster video today. Too good to be true? Yes.

I got the PS2 version which, unlike all the other low-res versions of PS3 games I have, was a completely different game than the trailer promises. No swinging around cities or sweet visuals – instead, it’s a side-scroller where I run around punching street kids. I checked up on it and found out that the PS2 version was actually based on the PSP version of the game. It was actually kind of fun for the first level, and then I hit a scratch on the disk that prevented me from getting anywhere past the second level. So I brought it back to the store and the only things they could exchange it for were two other cheaper $5 games on the PPV shelf.

That was the second time Activision fooled me with their false advertising. All the screen captures on the back on the PS2 case were seemingly taken from the PS3 version. The game even promises you can “play alongside Wolverine” when in fact, all you do is hit O and a picture of Wolverine appears on-screen for 2 seconds with a growling noise. So, yeah – disappointment galore.

But at least that experience will keep me away from the PPV racks for the next little while. Maybe I can get some work done now. 😛

August 31 2009 | Video Games | 2 Comments »

Complimenting Strangers!

August 29 2009 | Philosophy?, Videos | No Comments »

The Fish Jumps: I review a bunch of DBZ movies

Gohan as not shown in the movies I just found this in my repository of posts I forgot to finish writing.

Anyway, for anyone who doesn’t know by now, my friend Brittany and I are huge “Dragonball Z” fans. So much to the point where Brittany had me download most of the animated movies so we could watch them for our hang-out-and-eat-ice-cream nights. And just for kicks, I decided to review all 15 of them in one post.

So here we go! *spoilers ahead*

1. The Dead Zone: A little pickle monster kidnaps Goku’s son. Goku shows up and fights his henchmen. Then Krillin and Piccolo show up to save Gohan. Then pickle man becomes big pickle man and fights everybody. Then Gohan gets angry and uses his hidden powers to save the day. Also, Gohan goes on an acid trip.
General Impression: Well, that was all right! We had a few good laughs, they beat the bad guy, and it was all over in about 45 minutes. A good solid adventure.

2. Strongest of the Strong: A giant brain kidnaps Master Roshi and Bulma. Goku shows up and fights his henchmen. Then Krillin and Piccolo show up to save Gohan. Then the giant brain becomes a giant robot and fights everybody. Then Gohan gets angry and uses his hidden powers to save the day. Then Gohan has another acid trip.
General Impression: Something about this movie seems very familiar… and why is Piccolo alive? According to the DBZ timeline, this should take place when he’s dead. I’m sure it’s just an honest oversight…

3. The Tree of Might: An evil Saiyan plants an evil tree that eats the world. Goku shows up and fights his henchmen. Then Krillin and Piccolo show up to save Gohan. And Tien, Yamcha, and Chiaotsu help too. Then evil Saiyan turns Gohan into a giant monkey who fights everybody. Then Goku gets angry and uses the Earth’s hidden powers to save the day. Also, Gohan gets a pet dinosaur.
General Impression: Okay – hold on – Piccolo? You’re dead. Tien? You’re dead. Yamcha? You’re dead. Chiaotsu? You’re dead. Goku? You’re in a body cast right now. Gohan and Krillin? You’re supposed to be on planet Namek! Continuity, people! Continuity!

4. Lord Slug: An evil Lord Slug shows up and freezes the world. Gohan shows up and fights his henchmen. Then Piccolo shows up to save Gohan. And Goku and Krillin help too. Then Lord Slug turns into a giant Lord Slug who fights everybody. Then Goku gets angry and uses his awesome hidden powers to save the day. Also, Gohan teaches his dinosaur to dance.
General Impression: Okay, you know what? I give up! Screw continuity! Wheeee! Everybody’s alive and fighting together on the same planet! And look at Icarus! He’s dancing! Wheee! Everybody dance!

5. Cooler’s Revenge: An evil Cooler shows up and beats the crap out of Goku. Gohan runs off to get some senzu beans to heal Goku, but gets attacked. Then Piccolo shows up to save Gohan. Then Goku throws Cooler into the sun. Also, they go camping.
General Impression: Finally! They throw somebody in the sun! Why don’t they just do that with every villain?

6. The Return of Cooler: Cooler comes back as a robot somehow and uses his new robot powers to eat a planet. Goku and his friends go fight him. Then Piccolo shows up to save Gohan at one point. I forget how it ends, but I’m guessing they win.
General Impression: Wasn’t he… sun… thrown in? …Okay. Whatever. Wheeee!

7. Super Android 13: Pimp robots show up and starting killing people while Goku is shopping with his wife. Then Super Android 13 shows up and punches Goku in the balls. Then Piccolo saves Gohan again. And Vegeta and Trunks help fight too. They all turn into Super Saiyans and beats Android 13. Also, a fish jumps.
General Impression: Brittany and I rewound and watched that fish jumping scene a billion times. It’s just so random!

8. Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan: Goku is pulled away from a parent-teacher interview to hunt down someone who just destroyed a whole galaxy. A lot of stuff similar to plot development happens. Then Broly shows up and just starts screaming a lot. And Vegeta becomes a pussy. And Piccolo saves Gohan yet again. Then everyone just fights Broly for 45 minutes. It’s pretty sweet.
General Impression: This movie would be a lot more awesome if they cut out 10-20 minutes of Broly screaming.

9. Bojack Unbound: A bunch of space pirates ruin the World Martial Arts Tournament for everyone and Goku can’t help ’cause he’s dead. And then Piccolo saves Gohan. And then Goku gets really pissed off and makes his fist come back to life long enough to save Gohan as well. Gohan needs saving too much. All the pirates are beaten and Satan takes the credit.
General Impression: Hurray! Mr. Satan’s joined the cast! We am much happy now.

10. Broly’s Second Coming: Broly’s remains land in a volcano on Earth somehow and he comes back to life. Goten, Trunks, and Videl show up and fight him for 30 minutes until Gohan comes to save them. Then Piccolo shows up to save Goha… wait! KRILLIN saves Gohan! What a twist! They win somehow. The end.
General Impression: What’s with all the gangsta rap in these shows?

11. Bio Broly: Ummm… Broly is brought back through genetics and turns into a pile of poo. Goten and Trunks fight him for a while, and Android 18 helps. And then they win. And Satan takes the credit. Gohan isn’t in this one.
General Impression: Huh. 45 minutes of fighting a poo monster and watching Trunks wet himself. Remember back when Goku used to kick ass? Man, that was cool.

12. Fusion Reborn: A big jellybean monster attacks the afterlife! Goku and Vegeta turn into Gogeta and fight it with their punches and kicks until it dies. Also, Goten and Trunks fight Hitler! Yes, really.
General Impression: If you looked up “Wheeeeee” in the dictionary, a picture of this movie would be right next to it. It also features a nice tribute to “Ghostbusters 2” where one character screams obscenities at slime for comedy relief.

13. Wrath of the Dragon: Trunks makes a new friend! And his friend unleashes a horrible skull monster on the world! So everybody fights it and get their asses kicked. And where has Piccolo run off to? Gohan’s getting his ass kicked without him around. Finally, Goku uses Dragon Punch to win. And Trunks gets his sword! Hurray!
General Impression: Wait… if Trunks needed the Eternal Dragon to wish his friend into existence to give him the sword, then where’d he get the sword in the alternate timeline where the Dragon didn’t exist? Crap! I’m thinking about continuity again! Get out of my head! Get out of my head!

14. History of Bardock, The Father of Goku: Ah, a DBZ special about Goku’s father. This should provide some insight into… no, wait. His father gets the power to look into the future and it just becomes a clip show. Then his dad dies.
General Impression: Ahhhh… so his dad dies! That explains why he’s not alive later on!

15. History of Trunks: Another DBZ special! About the story of Trunks’ history in the future! Which doesn’t even make sense when you do know what’s going on! And Future Gohan dies in it! This is all your fault, Future Piccolo!
General Impression: Everybody dies! …..wheeee?

So was there any good ones out of the bunch? Well, the movies are mostly sold on the camp value, cheesy comedy, animated demolition, and made for the fans – although a couple of them like “Lord Slug” and “Broly” were pretty hardcore. Heck, Brit and I even introduced our friend Sandy to DBZ using “Lord Slug” and she got right into it. But otherwise, the movies are just fan-service for fans who are willing to forgive continuity errors by the barrelful.

However, there is actually ONE great animated DBZ movie in existence that I’ve actually gone out of my way to stick in my DVD collection and show to random people, but I’ll review that at a later time…

August 27 2009 | Geek Talk, Movies | 1 Comment »

Plamondon Mud Bog ’09

A couple weekends back, the family went out to the Plamondon Mud Bog. Terrence got some great footage of the races! Check it out!

August 25 2009 | Daily Life, Vehicles, Videos | No Comments »

Weird Al: Ringtone!

His fifth one released! For a guy who says not to expect his new album to come out anytime soon, he’s certainly releasing tons of music over the summer. This new video’s animated by the guys who do “SuperNews.” You can check out more of their work on YouTube – I especially like this Twitter episode they did.

August 23 2009 | Music, Music Videos, Videos | 2 Comments »

Let’s Play KQ5: Look out for the Poisonous Bear!

Every Friday for the last several weeks, I’ve been watching this fellow named Paw do a playthrough commentary on “King’s Quest 5,” and after 21 episodes, he’s finally done. These play-throughs are basically “Mystery Science Theater” for video games where the player provides a funny/frustrated commentary throughout the game. If you’re a fan of the King’s Quest series (and have a lot of free time on your hands – all 21 parts are just over 3 hours,) I recommend checking this one out. His reactions to some of the puzzle solutions are priceless.

He also does a short sketch halfway through the last video where he dresses up as King Graham and wanders around town solving puzzles.

AFTER-THOUGHT: There’s also another brilliant play-through I watched (these things are great to listen to at work) done by The Spoony One where he tries to review all of Final Fantasy VIII but gives up partway into the second disc to preserve his insanity.

August 21 2009 | Awesomeness, Geek Talk, Humor, Killing Time, Video Games, Videos | No Comments »

Late Night at the Fringe: Try the Churros!

Tuesday night, my friend Ali and I went out to see the Edmonton Fringe Festival. For those outside Fringe parameters, Fringe is an annual thing we do where performers from all over the world converge on our city to put on a variety of shows both on the street and on the stage. Then people show up, watch the shows, and snack at all the random food kiosks. It’s fantastic.

It lasts just over a week, so I try to take it in at least once a year (depending on funds, schedule, and whether I can find parking.) I was glad to take in some of it this year, though, as I experienced the awesomeness of “Apocalypse Kow” for the first time.

We also saw a group of ladies who called themselves the “Aerial Angels.” They performed a lot of fire-eating techniques and then dangled from long sheets of cloth without a net for our amusement. Also very cool.

Later that night, we went to go see a stage show written by one of Ali’s friends called “She came from Planet X!” Once again, another great show! This one was an homage to old sci-fi B-movies, about a sexy female alien general who crash-lands on Earth and must face the scourge of 1950’s male chauvinism. Some great performances and a lot of laughs. It even went into intermission at times to bring us some campy live commercials.

While waiting for the last show to start, we went to the new Bubble Tea place on Whyte on the good word of our friend, Fren, whose aunt ran the place. We caught her just before she closed up and got some Maple-Chocolate-Banana Bubble Teas. Then Fren’s aunt showed us some of his artwork which was hanging all over the place, so we had reason to bug him the morning after and compliment his work.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, I helped myself to some perogies and cabbage rolls, and later on had some buffalo-style fries in nachos. I also had some of Ali’s fresh churros. Goooood stuff.

The last show we saw was the Late Night Cabaret, where two of my favorite improv artists (Kevin and Amy) hosted a night-time talk show on stage where they interviewed Fringe performers and we got to see samples from their various shows including some cigar box juggling, a one-woman show, and a gangster rap about female chauvinist pigs. There was also a very kick-ass cello player there. And after each interview, they’d spin the Wheel of Destiny and have their guest do something like drink hot sauce or throw candy at the audience with hilariously disastrous results.

How can throwing candy go wrong? Well, words won’t do it justice, so here’s a picture.

Moral of the Story: never throw Werther’s Originals at a crowd of people over-hand.

August 19 2009 | Daily Life, Videos | 2 Comments »

R2-D2 with Subtitles: Episode 1

Courtesy of a rather funny fellow named Mortal Wombat, here’s every R2-D2 scene from “The Phantom Menace” with the appropriate subtitles. Parental discretion is advised.

August 17 2009 | Awesomeness, Humor, Movies, Videos | No Comments »

Don’t try this at home (try it on the road!)

Here’s a video of two guys on a motorcycle changing a tire in the middle of a wheelie.

August 12 2009 | Awesomeness, Vehicles, Videos | 1 Comment »

CNR: Ninja Warrior, Master of Disguise

Speaking of Chuck Norris, Weird Al has thrown Charles Nelson Reilly’s name into the hat for the title of “Most Ridiculously Awesome Celebrity Superhero on the Internet” with his new Internet Leaks song “CNR.”

My vote still goes to Christopher Walken for that title. He can fly.

August 07 2009 | Awesomeness, Humor, Killing Time, Music Videos | No Comments »

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