Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Old Shows but New for Me.

I've been watching a lot of television lately, no true reason why, I've since lost interest in most shows mostly because of reality TV and the excess of drama that's on these days. But I heard they the Comedy Network has just signed on another season of Futurama, so right there my hope has gone a little up and I though maybe there might be some other sparks of genius hidden. If the new shows follow the regular scenario of every great television series is that it will be canceled quickly and a legion of lurking fans will complain about it on the internet and that will catch my interest (See Arrested Development), so in a twist I decided to go see if anything is actually good and my single participation might make it stay an extra season.

Although looking for something I stumbled upon something old, re-runs for the first time I presume. Geeks and Freaks, I didn't have anything to go on, but I was really surprised by the cast; they were all familiar faces and I mean really familiar. And all of those faces were younger, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Samm Levine (only know his name because he'll be in Inglorious Bastards), Linda Cardelinni and a few more. Since I knew absolutely nothing about the show, I did like everyone does now-a-days when they are curious, I googled it of course. So it was out in 1999, reason why the cast seems young. I was also very surprised about how much praise it got, it even got on a few "best TV shows" list in some big magazines, yet I never even heard of it. Even further proving my point earlier made is that the show itself only lasted a full season and people complained so the company milked an extra few shows out of it, and now is considered a cult classic.

The basic premise of the show is High School in the early eighties, yes I know you must of all cringed I know I did. It follows two siblings and their "adventure" in high school, the youngest a boy who is a geek and how he tries to fit in with his friends, and his older sister who is getting away from the high grades stereotype and going into the little more rebellious "freaks" stereotype. At first I thought that it was going to be completely cringe worthy, and as a matter of fact it totally is. I found myself lifting the remote at really awkward moments readying myself to simply change the channel each time it happened I couldn't seem to change the damned channel! There's simply something appealing about the show and I can't put my finger on. Maybe it is supposed to make me cringe, maybe that's the whole point of the show. There are some simple scenes that manage to make it look completely genuine, even if it seems like I've seen it before. As for my multiple cringes there are a lot of moments that simply bring a smile or a laugh. Also I was surprise how well they handle the whole "in the 80's" thing, kinda like That 70's Show, sure its set in those times but apart from that it's the characters that are important not the time setting not bombarded by culture references. (Looking at you That 80's Show) I can really understand why this show has a huge appeal and following, definitely finishing this one; it is only one season.

The other show I recently watched is Torchwood, simply because I keep hearing good things about it and I really want to get in at least one of these types of shows. I know nothing about it really, tried getting into Dr. Who a few times but I'm always confused and I can't seem to find a decent milestone to start on. Same effect with Torchwood started out and I'm frikin confused. So there was the vampire guy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer also he was Piccolo from the Dragonball movie, and he was wearing this very stylish marching band jacket, but instead of facing the fact that he is wearing a marching band jacket, he was evil and tied up this other guy to chains. So they had this dialogue about how devious the vampire (He probably isn't a vampire now but whatever) was and the guy in chains was like "We're going to stop you!" and the vampire guy was like "Ok do it", then the chain guy was like "OK, Ngguughhht" and failed horribly in his attempt to escape and then the vampire pushed a button that proceeded to shock the chain guy and then he was like "NNNGGGHHUUGHTTT". So after that he pushed some machine even tho the chain guy said quite understandingly not to, but the former vampire guy is too badass to listen so he pushes the button anyways, all while showing his marching band jacket. I so want that jacket.

So after a bathroom break I get back and missed a little bit, so there are these monsters coming out of these holes and the proceed to place their heads near random (I suppose) victims and shake their head near the neck area of the victims, effectively killing or tickling them, I couldn't really tell from the angle. Strangely enough the vampire guy is now on the good side and helping them reconfigure the machine that transmits the signal of doom to the monsters and then when he does they all go back into their cages. Now there's this guy in a computer room and this other chick and she's bleeding. So the computer room door starts to seal itself and horrifically he can't make out it time, even while in slow motion! Then this dramatic scene comes by and I change the channel. I changed it not because I didn't like what I saw, but I didn't want to see any characters die, albeit not even knowing if they are major, but if I do decided to watch the series I don't want to know that someone later dies.

So that's my two new shows, while there is one I'm not 100% sure to continue.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Keep in Rockin' in the Living Room

Finally buckled up and bought myself my very own axe; yeah I call it an axe that's how badass I really am, albeit it being of the plastic variety. Never was much of a fan of Guitar Hero or Rock Band, mainly because I was so terrible and that's one reason of my disinterest of the genre as a whole. Sure I did like watching people play, there's nothing more entertaining than watching your friends wailing at a plastic guitar, with tongues a blazing for something unattainable simply because their hands and minds are too busy following color coded orders, and when the battle is done they gloat at how much they artificially rocked! I never owned a game for myself really only played from house to house more and more, about the time RockBand came out, and although I never had any practice besides a bunch of casual plays I reached Hard Mode nonetheless, yet seems like barrier that caught and from all my single multiplays I wouldn't be able to go farther.

Whether the feeling is artificial or not its still a great feeling of accomplishment finishing those songs, saving your friends failed attempt at being cool, its a unique collective of accomplishments. Some will like simply finishing the song a certain mode, some would like to five star everything, some simply like acting out as they are truly Rock Stars. (I like the latter)

Now let get this straight, I've seen those battles of which is better Guitar Hero or Rock Band, as for one I don't give a damn they're the exact same thing. The only deciding factor for my is the song listings, and for me personally Rock Band wins hands down simply for it downloadable tracks and the fact that they don't perpetually rip you off like Activision's Guitar Hero (Face it GH is a massive cash cow now). And for someone like me, a metal head, having more metal is always better, while they don't cover at all my preferred genre of metal, they still provide some good alternatives. Plus Yngwie Malmsteen is probably the closest thing I'll get to Power Metal. Still with the amount over the top awesome of the multiple 80's Hard Rock, there's simply nothing that beats those songs. On their own they are great songs with awesome riffs, groovy basslines, badass drums and powerfull vocal. All of that rolled up into one with a chorus of 4 people singing along, the clanking and clicking sounds of the plastic instruments goes totally silent.

Now at first I was intensively mocked because I had a hard time playing at hard mode, so in sakes of wanting to get better and at least reach the regular level of most of the people I play with, and beat some in their own game of course, I got Rock Band 2 and a lone guitar. Haven't decided if I'll get the drum set cause I mostly play Rock Band alone to raise up my skill for those true multiplayer Rock Band sessions. I did talk with a friend who would maybe play with me when he gets back from summer and he's a real live drummer so the step in the plastic wasn't anything particularly difficult for him.

Anyways, I was really exited for creating my own avatar for the game at first because I heard that it was really good, but for me it wasn't enough. I wasn't even able to make anything close to looking like my Guitar Idol (and God) Kai Hansen, as a matter of fact I wasn't even able to make any Metal style look cool, everything was so over the top it was ridiculous, I guess that's part of the games aesthetic.

Now the name of my Band, albeit it being a Solo project for the moment, I couldn't simply call it Marty or even my internet name tag Nizbel. I did start out with something among the lines of The Martys or "Enigmatic Entity Superficial Mystery" something cheesy like that. Then I moved on to something more Power Metal sounding, like Divine Guardian, Demon's Heart, Transcendence or Ring of Heresy. After that more or so around my hobby which is where ImproVision came up, but suddenly a hint of genius struck me.

And now my bands name is simply; Vogon Poetry. It reflects my skills as a player and when I do get good it'll be kinda ironic, brilliant if I do say so myself.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Meek Wech: Didn't make the cut/Should of made the cut

Here are the mechs that I though about some for awhile and some I though of mockingly.

1.Voltron- Didn't make it


2.Gundam- Should of made it

Gundam is made up of about 500 different series where everyone has these giants mech and bash each other to death, all while monologing on how horrible violence and war is. Quite a talent, sometimes the pilots some need to be special be able to monologue ,whine about war, question their actions and ultimately killing themselves for the greater good and sometime they don't. Cash cow connected in a suspended life. Gundam 00 is amazing though and Gundam Wing Endless duel is the best SNES fighter out there (take that SF2!). Tip : You can tell the series apart from the size of their hair.

3. Ridley's Exoskeloton from Aliens- Didn't make it.

Someone mentioned it, but didn't realize that it was an exoskeloton. Noob. Same thing with you APU's from the Matrix.

4.Mecha Sonic/ Dr.Robotnik's mechs- Should of made it.

Mecha Sonic was the first exposure to the machine counterparts for most people of my generation, and he was badass. I would say the Dr.Robotnik's machines hold the same title for most gamers. But Sega has a weird habit of thinking their audience are all idiots that can't figure out a simple wordplay (well new generation Sonic fans are that but that's besides the point). Changing Mecha Sonic to Metal Sonic and Dr. Robotnik to Dr.Eggman is pure concentrate insult to our intelligence. So for making me feel that I have an inferior intellect; you don't get on my blog! Take that sega!

5. AT-ST -Didn't make it

Haha, go away. If ewoks can bring you down, you don't deserve anything

6.Mecha Godzilla- Should of made it.

Building a giant mechanized version of the thing that's destroying you is brilliant idea, if I had the technology I'd have a giant mechanical mosquito flying around. Fuck Mecha Sonic, Mecha Godzilla is the first Mechanized counterpart that I know of.

7. Volt-~Zords - Didn't make it


8. Zoids- Should of made it

Now the show was awful but for what it wanted to be it was ok, and I've never seen a world where all the mechs are animal shaped which is kinda cool. BUT way back when, one of your construction kits was missing 2 pieces, you still owe me those two pieces!

9. Armored Core/ MechWarriors- Didn't make it

While you are both decently acclaimed games, I haven't played you guys ever. Sorry.

10. Steel Battalion - Should of made it

I don't care about the gameplay I won't even show you a picture of the gameplay. Just look at the damn controller it's huge! I want it. Click to see all of its marvels up close.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mech Week : Escaflowne

Well it is kinda mech week, I know I'm not up to schedule my life doesn't let me post as much as I should I suppose went on a good stride but fell off it the closer the weekend loomed in. Anyways, decided to cut the list one post short and fuse it into well my next post that I'll do to officially wrap up the mech theme. It is a little shorter because I realized I was pulling of story bits from wikipedia...

On with this post! Escalflowne is maybe the first anime I ever watched, not exactly sure about that I can't seem to remember my exact first, sometimes I remember it as Dragonball Z and sometimes it's Escaflowne. All I know that Escaflowne was the first animated show that I realized that it was "different" from other animated shows, so in that respect I sense that it was the first to realize that it was an anime of sorts. Even so, the version of Escaflowne I watched as a kid was edited by fox. I think it was their first attempt at bringing anime to north america, and sincerely they haven`t changed their methods since. They horribly butchered it into tiny little incomprehensible pieces of garbage, intensively remind us of current events with flashbacks of five minutes ago, stripped down dialog, removal of any graphic violence at all and a whole collective of the removal of everything appealing. Now for the time I loved the show, because I didn`t know any better, I haven`t even watched the original series yet I simply watched the movie which is based on the series and I really enjoyed it. It shook my mind a bit seeing all that violence, but it was so awesome. Back then you really had to dig if you wanted to find anything of value on the internet, youtube wasn`t around to solve those missing videos problems. The cool thing is that back then I was into to the high fantasy stuff and this was simply amazing to look at, I still prefer the late 90's anime styling there's something about it that so appealing.

Now I won`t be talking about the story or the characters in general because I only have vague memories of the series that aired on YTV back in 2000 (I was like 10, oh my), even with those it was pretty much butchered by the american censorship and parents who didn't want to discipline their own children. So I'm rescaling it all from the movie which is still way far back but I do remember how much the mechs are badass.

This is the first time I ever saw a mech in a fantasy environment, and from my knowledge it is the only one, but I'm sure there must be at least a few more lying around the anime compendium. So this mech is created from an ancient technology (unknown techno and as always; a wizard did it), and it has one of the most awesome power sources ever created; a dragon heart. So that's where the series starts out with the protagonist fighting a dragon for its hearth so he can power his mech named Escaflowne. First of the user needs to drip his own blood into the dragonhearth so it can fuse together and power the mech so it knows which user to fuse with, it wasn't exactly explained from what I remember but from deduction it seems like that. Sincerely this is the most brutal way to drive mech ever, if you think a direct link to your mind in Neon Genesis was bad, think again. In Escaflowne no physic links, this weird gooey material wraps your arms and legs connecting to the motor function and then these liquid metal rods are shoved into your neck and colar bone area for the mind I suppose. Really brutal and really messy, the first time he hooks and starts moving, some of the most disgusting sounds come out of the whole thing. Forces it too much and blood will come spewing out, because you know those spike are directly shoved into your neck area.

Since it is placed in a fantasy world there aren't any giant lazorz to interrupt the fight scenes. Instead of giant war battles, which they do have a bit, it concentrates more on one on one battles, sword battles to be more specific. Again, there simply something so cool, seeing two towering mech having a sword battle, you can feel the giant impact the blades take on. The main mech Escaflowne has one main sword weapon and another small blade, but it also has the capability to transform into a dragon shaped mech and fly. While the main mech is cool and all I really like the others too, they have this liquid metal that can be shaped into almost any weapon and even shoot out like tentacles and stuff, even some of them are equipped with flametrowers for some cool dragonbreath attacks.

As for the mechs themselves they're really fun to look at, they have this have mechanized and half living feature to them. They don't really look like advanced technology like other mechs but more or so simply a giant armor and the crystals add a very nice touch to it all. Oh and most of them wear capes, so it's an automatically win on my list. Imagine what size of frikin capes you would need to fit that on a giant mech! Picture below gets you a good look at it all. Click on it too see the rest there's another one on the right side.