Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Orphan Black: The First Four Episodes

I think I've said it before, BBC television really knows what it's doing by dividing series into short, succinct stories.  It hasn't always worked (seriously, what was up with that Robin Hood series some years ago?), but for the most part any series I start to get into, I tend to follow.

Except Doctor Who.  I've still only ever seen one episode of that.  Maybe someday.

But for now, we're talking clones, we're talking barely-science fiction, and we're talking complicated plots and diverse acting from one young woman that makes Michael Keaton in Multiplicity seem bland.

Let's dig a bit deeper.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Better Song Than "Rude."

I'm taking the day off rather tired of hearing the song by "Magic!" on the radio called Rude.

To be fair, it has some great guitar work in it and is a distinctively unique sound in a market of pop music that sounds remarkably similar.

However, I hate the song itself and the lyrics.

So I'm just going to put this out here to remind people there's two sides of every story.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

I've talked about why I prefer Luigi over Mario before.  I won't go into all that detail again.  However, I will say this:  There was great potential in Mario and Luigi: Dream Team to truly let Luigi shine, but it feels a bit wasted somehow.  Luigi gets some of the best moments in the game, and yet he still feels like he's just there to "help" Mario.

It's still a ridiculously fun game, but let's get a bit more into it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Xbox 360 Indy Games Erik Would Have Liked When He Was Thirteen

The independent game scene in the Xbox 360 marketplace is always interesting to browse through.  You have genuinely original ideas surrounded by rip-offs.  You have the budding promise of designers who desperately want to be able to get into the larger market buried under people looking to make a game as cheap and fast as they can to make a dollar.  You have creative designs using limited resources, and you have blatant eye candy and covers that outright lie about what the game contains within.

Today, we're going to focus on one of the latter.  Some of the independent games are quite honestly some of the most "mature" games when it comes to sexual content I've seen, passing any "graphic" scene from Mass Effect.  Others are so blatantly going for the "horny young man" demographic that I almost have to respect the fact that they're so honest.  I mean, who do you think the target market is for a game with this as the cover:

Let's dig deeper.

Caution: there's horribly rendered CG breasts barely covered by horribly rendered CG ribbons further on.  You have been warned.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Top Eleven: Favorite Zero Punctuation Reviews

One of my favorite video game "reviewers" has turned seven this week.  While Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw might not be the most "fair" reviewer, his videos are always exceedingly entertaining and when he takes the time to actually point out things that are good, I sit up and pay attention.  It's how I got into Just Cause 2, the Saints Row series, and a few other games I've loved.

So, to celebrate, I'm listing my eleven favorite "reviews" he's done in no particular order.  Caution, the language can be rather coarse.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ask Erik: Episode 70

To Erik: What do you think of Archie Andrews being killed off?

Immediate clarification:  See, they didn't actually kill off Archie.  There's a separate book titled Life With Archie that- ...okay, look, this is going to take a while.  Start reading below.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

As Wes Anderson movies have progressed, they've taken on a distinctively unique style separate from everybody else currently making films.  I realize that saying "distinctively unique" is rather redundant, but for some reason it feels particularly accurate with Anderson.  Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich, Joss Whedon, and Kevin Smith are all unique in the types of films they produce, but it's not to say that someone couldn't come along and do a passable facsimile.  Aside from Bottle Rocket, his first (and honestly, rather forgettable in comparison) film, Anderson's unique touches of work seem unreachable and undeniably his own, with nobody else coming close to doing anything like it.

There's an old joke in Hollywood that the five stages of fame are (let's use Cameron Diaz as an example):

"Who's Cameron Diaz?"

"Get me Cameron Diaz."

"Get me someone like Cameron Diaz."

"Get me a younger Cameron Diaz."

"Who was Cameron Diaz?"

Wes Anderson appears to have shot past the "Who's Wes Anderson?" stage and is dragging the second one well into the third as Hollywood struggles to find the next "him."

His most recent film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is so "Andersonian" that I actually had to just make up that word to appropriately describe it, but I'll attempt to go into more detail.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Weird Al Yankovic - Mandatory Fun

Last week, Weird Al Yankovic's latest album, Mandatory Fun, hit the shelves.  I was there on day one to snag a copy.  I was late getting into his works.  I never heard Fat when I was young, and I didn't watch Mtv to experience the videos.  It wasn't really until Star Wars: Episode 1 came out and The Saga Begins appeared on television and online that I started digging deeper into his history and works.  However, from that day, I was hooked.

So now, with what is likely his last album to be published (is that the correct term?) through a record label, it's time to see how Weird Al goes out.  Is it with a bang, or a sad accordion sound?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bite-Sized Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gummy Turtle Power Candy Pizza

That might seriously be the longest name for a candy I've ever seen, unless they did a Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King candy bar.

I can also already imagine this is going to be the worst thing I've put in my mouth in a long, long time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rifftrax: Sharknado

On Thursday, July 10th, I showed up at the Clarks Pond Cinemagic ready to hand over my ticket and subject myself to one of the most infamous movies that SyFy (which still feels weird to type) has ever created.  I was ready to see Melody from the Josie and the Pussycats movie team up with Vinnie from Biker Mice From Mars to fight a weather phenomenon so outlandish it must be true.

I was there to see Sharknado.

Sadly, it was cancelled.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weird Al Has New Music!

I am completely ripping this off from the Nerdist.  You should be following them for the rest of the week to see a new Weird Al music video every day this week.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hostess Twinkie Ads Part One

Everybody knows the standard superhero powers.  You have your strength, your flight, your invulnerability, your ability to shoot lasers from your face, your ability to be a billionaire and afford a whole bunch of neat gadgets in a cave under your house...

But the most powerful superhero ability of all is the ability to summon forth Hostess products.  No super villain can resist them.

You doubt me?  Let's take a look at some classic ads.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Worst Games I've Played: The Ren and Stimpy Show: Veediots!

I'll probably take some flak for this, but I was never really a big Ren and Stimpy fan.  Pretty much the only reason I wanted to watch it was because my parents didn't want me to watch it.  I thought the "It's log!" song was fun, and a few sketches had me smiling ("Happy, happy, joy, joy!") but for the most part I'd tune in watch for a bit, get bored, and wander off.

However, that didn't stop me from wanting to play their video games.  After all, a television show doesn't have to be exciting all the time, but a video, those need to always be action packed!

How naive I was back then.

So I got this game for my Game Boy, played for a while...and halfway through stopped and didn't pick it up again for many years afterward.  In fact, I don't think I ever completed the last stage, based on what the speed run I just watched looks like.

So let's look back at a game that I honestly couldn't care less about.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Let's Talk: Magic Tricks

I love magic.

I don't mean the mystical stuff you see in movies where the way it works is "if you need the plot to do something, this makes it happen because of reasons."  I don't mean the card game that's been around since the mid-90s.  I don't mean mysticism, chanting around bonfires, saying "Bloody Mary" in front of windows in the dark, or voodoo or any of that stuff.

I mean stage magic.  Tell me David Copperfield is coming to down, and I'm bubbling over with excitement.  Show me the cheap magic tricks section in a toy store, and I'm browsing through them and balancing my available funds in my head.  Anywhere the phrase "hey, want to see a magic trick?" is said, I want to be there.

....okay, except in one instance.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Eleven: Songs From The Best Of Bootie

I'm a pretty huge fan of remixes, mash-ups, and other alternative takes of popular music.  Take a death metal hit and put it to slow jazz music, and I'm all over that.

So when I first discovered the Best of Bootie Albums you have to know I was all over that.

So here I'm going to count down my eleven favorite songs from the past nine years of "best of" compilations.

These might not be the best, but they're my favorites.  Starting with...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Upcoming Blog Projects

I know I do this kind of post every now and again, but it really helps to act like a reminder to me.  I can go back, look at topics I kept meaning to get to, and get reinvigorated about what I'm saying.

For instance, I still need to do that Top Eleven Characters With Accents, which is something I'm stuck in the middle of because there's so many characters with accents.

But here's some upcoming topics:

Reviews of the following new and not-so-new video games:  Marvel LEGO, Watch Dogs, Thief, Dead Island, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, X-Box Indie Games I Would've Enjoyed If I Was Thirteen.

Some looks back at some classic games I remember fondly: Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner And Wile E Coyote, Snake Rattle and Roll, Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, F-Zero for the Gamecube.

Spoiler: I actually hated one of those games.

An episode by episode look at the highlights from Liberty Kids, Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills, G.I. Joe, and others.

Movie reviews of such classics as Wild Zero, Firebreather, and a whole bunch of weird Asian kung-fu movies exploiting the dead Bruce Lee.

Important topic discussions!

Top Elevens of the following: Hottest Cartoon Women Of My Childhood, Actors Who Get A Lot Of Grief But Shouldn't, Cowboys, Voice Actors, Webcomics, and Yet More Songs I Can't Believe I Forgot About.

It should be fun.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Yeah. The dog had it coming.

No real post today.  Writer's block.

So, to compensate for the block, I present fun with a ball.  Also, why you don't tick off turtles.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Erik Designs A Video Game: Long Haul

So this week I watched the preview video for the most mind-boggling game I've ever seen:  Spintires.

A few notes:

That music is much, much too exciting for something like "getting trucks stuck in the mud and trying to get them out again."

That background is gorgeous.

It looks like it would be entertaining for about an hour (two if you and your friends are drunk) but then would get tedious.

So, could we make a real game out of that?  I think we could.  Here's my pitch for Long Haul.