Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Promo for Gundam UC Vol 2...


The next volume is titled The Red Comet, and will predominately feature the primary antagonist Full Frontal (har har). I haven't spoiled myself on the Manga so I'm still speculating who this guy is. He's either a clone, or, one theory I've heard, is that he's the real Char Aznable; as the Char we all know and love merely uses the name as an alias. Interesting things ahead.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Diary of Red Dead Redemption

If you are a gamer you are either playing Red Dead Redemption, saying you want to play Red Dead Redemption, or cursing Red Dead Redemption but secretly wanting to play it. The game has garnered universal acclaim over a variety of gaming channels, and I'm not here to tell you that the game is terrific, which it is. It will sound redundant if I talk about the graphics, the subtle nuances, and the superb storytelling. I'm mainly here to report that this game is probably one of the best games I've ever played. I hate to use the term "best" in any facet, but there are times when it's so undeniably appropriate that its BEST to go ahead and say it.

RDR was an emotional investment, at least for me. I tend to play games in that way. I get attached to the characters, get transported into that world, and have no qualms about that type of detachment. That's why I personally don't play too many war, or racing games. I loved sports games growing up, and now I've started to play them even less because of just the monotony involved. Anyways, I love a good story, and RDR delivered. There were so many strong moments in this game. There were so many situations that will still, years from now, make a lasting impression on me. I still have one of the random songs stuck in my head when I probably did one of the most heartfelt actions I've ever encountered in a video game. It was deep. That's what I love about Rockstar. They just knew exactly what they were doing. I bet that I could take Critic and Lonecow camping in Big Ben National Park, and we would SEE the game all around us. I have no doubt. It's that attention to detail that confounds me. Then again, the game has been in development for five years.

John Marston is probably Rockstar's best character yet. I was excited to step into his story and see the world that he created for himself. If we are talking about just GTA in general, I never had a connection to any of the main "protagonists". All of them were on the dirty side of the law, and there was no repentance, no guilt to be had. It made the characters seem very one-dimensional even though it was still a lot of fun. I found myself making solid choices with Marston from the get go. Whenever I felt that GTA vibe and wanted to do something immoral, I felt compelled not to, and John agreed. I wanted him to go have sex with a prostitute then it almost seemed like he turned to me and said, "Hey, I'm a family man, I can't do that." You want to play John in a good way. I never had the desire to kill indiscriminately or go on some rampage of destruction. That is not what John is about, that is what the multiplayer is for. Regardless of how I went through the story, like any game of this caliber, he can be played in so many different ways.

I do know there are people out there that are on the fence about this game. Some just don't like Westerns, some people even don't like open world games. It is probably best to avoid it if that is the case. But if you aren't playing Super Mario Galaxy 2, then you need to be playing this game. Heck, Lonecow is playing both.

I need to get my Red Dead fix.

Keep it savory.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Real Hoverboard...


HOVERBOARD - NILS GUADAGNIN from nils guadagnin on Vimeo.

It's not 2015 yet, but Nils Guadagnin has built a real free floating hoverboard.  It uses electromagnets on the board and pedestal and lasers to calculate it's distance to keep it level and centered.  No, you can't actually use it.  But it's a start...

Source:  Nils Guadagnin
Via: PC World, Fubiz, Engadget

Good Night Sweet Prince

So with the release of Arkham Asylum 2, Mark Hamill, the voice of the Joker, says it will be his final performance as The Joker.

Hamill has been playing Joker, for about 17 years now, when he first took the role on Batman: The Animated Series. I can understand after playing a character for so long, wanting to move on. He's played the Joker longer then the role most people associate him with (if you don't know who that is, please leave the Internet).

However, I am going to just say that out of all the Jokers, Mark Hamill's version is probably the one I most associate with the Joker. When I read a Batman comic, and Joker pops up, it's not Jack Nickelson, or Heath Ledger's voice I hear in my head, it's Hamill's.

In fact, I wish they would get him to be Joker in the next live action Batman. Hear me out. I don't think we should ever SEE Joker on screen again, but I think Hamill could provide his voice off screen, in the shadows of Arkham giving out orders, or concocting a bigger scheme. He'd have to tone down the voice a little to be less cartoony, but I think it could work. No one else could replace Ledger's version of the character so why not give the voice at least to someone we all know does a great job with it.

Hell, I'd even like to hear Kevin Conroy dub over Christian Bale's horrible horrible grizzly bear voice when Batman is in the suit.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Evangelion 2.22, As Expected, Wins The Day

In more Eva news... As was expected based on pre-orders, Evangelion destroyed the first-day Blu-ray sales records.  The previous general movie sales leader was Micheal Jackson's This Is It which sold 122,000 copies on it's first day.  The previous leader in the Anime category was Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn which sold 56,000 copies on it's first day.  Evangelion 2.22 sold a whopping 195,000 BDs on it's first day; it also pulled down 124,000 in DVD sales.  It's an extraordinary feat to day the least.

I'm sure it had little to do with it's general popularity and everything to do with finally adding a Glasses Fetish girl...

Source:  ANN

Life-Sized EVA01 Construction Video

                 
Fuji-Q Highland amusement park at the base of Mt. Fuji announced a few weeks ago that they planned on creating a Evangelion themed pavilion.  The centerpiece of the pavilion will be a life sized bust of EVA 01 as it stood before Shinji in the first episode.  Today they released their first video Journal of it's construction.  It should be completed at the end of July.    Fuji-Q Highland is also home to the Mobile Suit Gundam ride which also includes a prone life-sized Gundam.

Source: Fuji-Q Highland
Via: ANN

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

M.A.S.K. is coming back! (And Jem)

Well the God of Nostalgia has spoken once again (seriously at this point there is so much Nostalgia properties they must have their own Deity), and lo from the mighty heavens, Hasbro has excavated from it's archives one of my favorite childhood toys: M.A.S.K.

Actually it surprises me it has taken this long, with Transformers being back in a big way for a while now. Kids need more transforming vehicles, and M.A.S.K. is one of the best there were.

I really need to start producing some offspring just so I can play with toys again. Ah, who am I kidding, I'll buy them for myself anyway.

Also Jem is being resurrected as well.

Source: Toy News International


Late to the Game: Spider-Man Brand New Day

I am so behind the curve on so many things in fandom. Probably because I spread my interests too thin. Every month I seem to bounce from one nerdy interest to another without rhyme or reason. Because of this I am so far behind on certain things that should be part of my nerd cred.

The one major geek past time that I have seemingly left behind is comics. I have picked up a book or two every now and again for the past five years just to see whats happening with my favorite characters (Ultimate Spidey, Deadpool, Batman, X-Men). But past that I haven't delved into comics as much as I had in high school (i.e. 10 years ago). So I decided to take the plunge over the last month and follow "New Avengers" from issue #1 until the end of the run, along with all the epic event comics in between.

I completed the task, and then some. I ended up branching off and reading most of the new Captain America run, all of the Dark Avengers, most of the Mighty Avengers, and then finally (and what brings me to this article) Spider-Man.

Like many casual comic fans, I am a massive Spider-Man fan. He is easily my favorite comic book hero of all time. No contest. My twenty pairs of Spider-Man boxer shorts can testify to that. However, I haven't read Amazing Spider-Man consistently since the Clone Saga. That plot put a bad taste in my mouth, and I think started a curse with the series that permeated for years. Every few years I would pick up "Amazing" in hopes that the series found its footing again. When I picked up the horrendous Gwen Stacy Cuckold storyline, I realized 616 Spider-Man was probably dead to me.

Luckily I found my saving grace, Ultimate Spider-Man, which although I haven't kept up with it in the past couple of years, I followed that fantastic story from issue one until Mark Bagley left. The problem with Ultimate Spidey is that the story and characters are the best in comics, but it is stuck in the now horrendous Ultimate Universe that Super Skrull, Jeff Joeb, set out to destroy.

If only Ultimate Spidey existed in the normal Marvel Universe.

The-Powers-That-Be at Marvel realized that and sought to make 616 Peter Parker more like he used to be, down on his luck, broke, and single. Joe Quesada, Editor-in-Chief at Marvel, infamously stated his distaste for Mary Jane and Peter's marriage. People thought this meant he hated Mary Jane. This isn't true. He realised, that Peter is at his best when the world is against him. Having him married to his true love and living off her millions is hardly the every day character people can relate to.S omething had to be done to get Peter back to someone readers could identify with, and thus "One More Day" started.

If you are reading this article this far, then I probably don't need to go into details about the controversy surrounding "One More Day" featuring Peter Parker literally making a deal with the devil to make it so his marriage never happened. At the time it happened I felt it was probably one of the worst ideas I've ever heard of in comics, and I still feel that way. There was a million and a half other ideas that could have gotten the same results as the One More Day storyline that wouldn't involve Peter doing something as unforgivable as nullifying his marriage to save his dying Aunt, using the Devil. Hell, they could have made Dr. Strange find some kind of book that would save his Aunt in return for something equally as precious to him. Even that would have been forgivable. By using demons it makes it unforgivable. For all intensive purposes, for me, that was the end of Spider-Man. The character created by Stan Lee and the story that began back then ended in tragedy when Spidey made that choice. That's all folks.

But from that we now have a brand new Peter Parker that is completely separate from the one that sold his soul, with the "Brand New Day" that puts Peter back to his humble beginnings.

I fought like mad to not read this book. I tried so hard to stick to my guns of never reading a 616 Spidey title ever again, but as I read New Avengers and saw Spidey wisecracking and being his old self, I remembered why I loved the character and couldn't resist just seeing what was happening in "Amazing Spider-Man".

And I hate to admit it, but so far, I'm loving it. It really is what Spidey has been missing all these years. Watching him struggle to keep his head just barely above water is what makes a Spider-Man book work. I'm not going so far to agree with Joe Quesada that it is all Mary Jane's fault. After all, in Ultimate Spider-Man, Mary Jane and Peter have been a couple for 75% of the book, and it works just fine having them together. Good writing can make any relationship work. However, for whatever reason they just couldn't get it to work in the regular universe, so the Reset button was pushed and we have this "Brand New Day".

It also helps too, that the Peter Parker in the regular Marvel Universe is now my same age, so that alone lets me relate to him better then the Ultimate Peter in High School. However, I just recently got married, so I can't really relate to his swinging bachelor lifestyle anymore, but I'm still enjoying watching him trying and failing at relationships.

Who knows if they can keep the steam going with Spidey now. For the sake of the character and franchise I sure as hell hope so. Otherwise I say the next step is kill him off completely and transplant Ultimate Spider-Man into the regular Marvel Universe.

Everyone Dies Sometime, Kiddo: In Defense of Lost

Lost is the kind of show that only comes around once in a generation.  It's rare for a show to grab so many people, and keep them interested for many years, and many story arcs.  The only thing it seems fair to compare it to is Star Trek, in that it probably only truly affected a small percentage of the population, but it's cultural influence will be undulating through the culture for a long time.  It's already had an effect.

In 2004 Scripted Television was dead; reality ruled the day.  It was cheap, and easy to produce; and people were eating it up.  You had your stalwarts and hold overs from 90's like Law and Order, ER and procedural like CSI, but for the most part creativity was gone from television.  The excitement was gone.  Most watched TV out of habit.  On September 22, 2004 this all changed.  Lost premiered, and people were exciting again.  What most interesting about the marketing leading up to the pilot was that it gave almost no hint that it was anything more than a castaway story.    People tuned in to see a show about a plane crash, and instead were sucked into a mystery not seen in any media for along time.  Each and every week the story was built up, new mysteries were explored.  Internet boards were a chatter with speculation and theories about what the Island was any why were they there.  As success became apparent it's obvious that media executive saw the benefits to serialized Drama and it's ability to pull an audience along for an entire season.  If you make every episode must see, then people will watch.  Lost doesn't get all the credit.  In fact Lost owes a lot to 24 in this respect; which also broke the mold on how Serialized TV should work.  

The other area where Lost changed TV is in "Genre".  In 2004 there was no Science Fiction or Fantasy anywhere on network television.  Fox had been trying for years to fill it's Friday Night Death Slot with genre friendly shows for the losers at home on Friday Night.  Firefly had failed in spectacular fashion a year earlier.  If one looks at the television landscape post Lost, and the sheer number of "genre" shows that have gotten green lit is amazing.  Hits and misses yes, but the mere fact their getting a chance is proof the world has changed. 

After 6 successful seasons Lost came to an end last Sunday.  The date of it's demise was announced three years ago; an odd move for an American TV shows are normally milked dry before they're canceled without fanfare (see: X-Files and 24).  The producers of Lost though wanted a hard date set so their writers could start thinking of how it was all going to end.  It's strange to think about writers struggling to end a show, but the first two seasons the hook was seeing how far we could go down the rabbit hole.  Each episode introduced new mysteries, and very few were ever answered.  The casual viewer could easily discern from these episodes that the writers were just making stuff up as they went along, for many this was a turn off and probably could be blamed for it losing some percentage of it's audience between seasons two and three.  Letting the writers set an ending date throw allowed them to focus on the end, and decide how to tie up the loose ends, and explain some of these mysteries without creating new ones.  It was in this period that many gave up on the show; even if they still watched, they lost faith.

A Man of Science, A Man of Faith

This simple phrase uttered by Locke in the final moments of the first season sums up the entirety of Lost the series.  Lost was a Journey that we all took with primarily Jack Shepard on his quest to transition from a Man of Science to a Man of Faith.  The castaways all had flaws, we spent many seasons with them exploring these flaws and how they affected their lives up until the point of their arrival on the Island.  Their goal on the island and in life was to find their purpose. To, despite their flaws and mistakes in life, discover that faith in others and faith in oneself is the key to eternal happiness.  As mentioned before this Journey was shared with the viewer.  They too were being asked to make this transition from the world of the Rational and the World of the Irrational.  Those who failed to make this transition found themselves in the end unsatisfied by how the story ended.

It was sad to see so many reviews come out after the fact be negative in nature; how could it be so many people didn't get it?  What is also interesting about these negative reviewers is they almost always bring up season one and season two as their favorite seasons.  This is interesting as these were the two least coherent of the seasons.  The writers really were making it up as they went along, and knew it.  Alas, they were never going to be satisfied.  They'd decided long ago that there was no way that all the mysteries of the Island were going to be explicitly or implicitly explained.  They lack imagination and yes faith.

They never made the transition.  They went six years, like Jack, wanting answers.  Wanting the "Truth." The "Truth" doesn't matter.  There is no "Truth," it doesn't exist.  The meaning of the finale and the meaning of the show is clear.  You don't need science, you don't need answers, you don't need to know "why they died." All you really need to have is faith in what you believe, whether it's right or wrong, which will lead you down the path to righteousness.

The final episodes gave us incite into these mechanisms, and the overall mythos of the Lost universe.  First as always is the question of free will.  The characters each have a purpose, they've been pushed along in their lives by Jacob to achieve this purpose.  We learn though that everyone has free will.  Micheal and presumably Eko were banished to the live on the island as whispers forever because they did not fulfill the purpose set forth for them.  They had the free will to do or or not do, and chose to follow their own paths.  Those who died after fulfilling their purpose were sent to "Purgatory" when they died to live the life they should have lived had they just learned to have faith and strength into themselves.  When they've achieved happiness they become aware of their past life, and are given the opportunity to pass on. Even after becoming aware, they can stay in this happy place as long as they want.  It's this what was truly important about Lost.  It was the big question that needed to be answered.  Why were they on the island?  Because they were suppose to be.  The small stuff, like food drops and four toed statues merely get in the way, they're distractions from the truth of the story. 

For those still not satisfied, fear not.  A franchise like this cannot remain dormant.  There will undoubtedly be novels and comic books, maybe even a Christmas special...  The events we were allowed to see were but a small portion of the whole time line.  Lets hope they have the incite to keep the "extended universe" to the Star Trek model and not the Star Wars Model.  Little known fact is that at Paramount there is and office to where all Star Trek related material in any media must go and be certified canon before it can be published.  LucasArts on the other hand doesn't pay much attention to it's extended universe, and maintains a policy that only the films and other media specifically produced by LucasArts is officially canon.  This makes for simple administration but it's a nightmare for detail obsessed fans. 

Farewell to Lost, you'll be dearly missed.  You ended as you began, and proved to us all that if you live together you'll never die alone.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Zelda beatbox



Well I really planned to do a Tsundere Tuesday today but failed hard. Still been working to the bone. Finished my project for work today so now maybe I can get back on this blog posting something other then random Youtube Videos.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Robot Rock or Gundam Calling

Chopstore a T-Shirt and design company that makes their wares avaialble on Maker's Market, a storfront associated with Make.Com, has made available an awesome Gundam Themed t-shirt.  Take a little Clash, add a dash of Gundam and an Pinch of Daft Punk, and you get "Gundam Calling."

(BTW, the shirt seems to say  Chop Shop(?) in Katakana)

Source:  Makers Market (Chopstore)

Koi Koi Seven -- Episode 1

I've stumbled upon the absolute greatest first episode of a Shonen Anime/Manga ever.  Koi Koi Seven is, on the surface, a light hearted Harem story about a boy who happens to be a new student at an all girls school, who upon showing up find himself thrust into a war between two factions; and becomes the ward  of a group of seven super powered school girls known as the Koi Koi Seven.  It seems for some reason he's important, at the very least he's the absolute focus of all the girls in the school, such is normal with Harem shows.  What makes this the greatest first episode of Shonen Anime ever is the fact that it pretty much covers all the bases in it's first 22 minutes.

Gratuitous panty shot of over 100 girls simultaneously? Check. Lesbian seduction/sex scene? Check. Multiple "accidental," nose bleed inducing body flashes? Check. Pretty girls fighting each other? Check.  All typical character stereotypes coverd? Check.  This though is all par for the course.  What really pushes things over the edge is the final confrontation between the Koi Koi Seven and their evil arch-enemies (they don't seem to have a name, and why they're fighting doesn't seem to be clear to me yet) culminates with the arch-enemy girls donning Zaku-esque mobile suits and start to destroy the school; to which the KK7 are forced to use each of their unique powers to put down the assault. 

I like this show because it doesn't at all pretend to be something it's not, though it's not like Shonen are generally subtle.  This is a 12 episode series so I'll probably finish it, and report back if things get better or worse.

Mark Twain: In His Words... 100 Years later

In his will Mark Twain made one of his final requests to have his 400 page autobiography be published 100 years after his death. And yesterday it was 100 years, and as it was written the book shall be published.

Twain led a controversial lifestyle, and perhaps slightly deviant. The reasons for the delay of publishing is probably due to the content, and what he thought of the world from politics, to religion, though I guess we won't know for sure until the University of California opens it vault and lets us see what is inside.

I am certainly excited to see what the book will be like, this has made me wonder about the impact of making such a decision. First, instead of an autobiography I wish it was another work of fictional prose. Although I realize that makes little sense, as the only reason he would hold off publishing such a work would be because he didn't want to embarrass friends or family at the time. But it would be great for an author to have the foresight to say, "I just wrote a magnificent piece of fiction, but I want people from another time to enjoy it with fresh eyes."

This autobiography will be studied extensively I have no doubt, and will be heavily scrutinized and criticized and will quickly make its way into college required reading lists. Imagine, however, if it was instead another chapter in the Huck Finn saga. Wouldn't it be amazing to get a sequel to a book that people who lived and died in the time of the original never got to experience? Not fan fiction, but a real genuine sequel.

Imagine other authors doing this, like say, Lewis Carroll. What if he wrote a third Alice and Wonderland story and it was published for the first time today. After all the adaptations of Alice that have come out since the original. The horrible Disney film that came out this year that acts as a sequel to the original books, or that video game American McGee's Alice. You could compare directly what Carroll's vision of his story, with contemporary versions. I'm guessing the modern versions would be blown out of the water.

I think modern authors should start doing this. Despite what you think about Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling it will be the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn of our generation. Imagine if Rowling came out tomorrow and said she wrote a new Harry Potter book, but it wouldn't be published until 100 years after her death. There would be riots in the streets. But imagine being the people 100 years in the future getting a fresh new chapter in the story from the original author that has never been read before. That would be amazing.

The point in all this, is that books are timeless. And when the author dies, so do their works. There is a painful realization that you will never get to further adventure in their imaginations. Douglass Adams fans experienced this when he died young, without giving a proper conclusion to the Hitchhikers Guide series.

So taking Twain as an pioneer, I think authors should write at least one novel, any kind of novel, not necessarily a sequel like I mentioned, or an autobiography, but just one book, and lock it away and have it be published years after their death, just so other generations can experience the newness of what might be the best novel ever written.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don't bother me if you are not sincere


"Don't bother me if you are not sincere" is the non-official translated title of a hot new Chinese dating show which is currently one of the most popular reality TV shows in the country. (The actual official translated title of the show is "If you are the one". But I prefer the former simply because it is a direct translation of the Chinese name.) This dating show, together with many other similar Chinese dating shows such as "Let us date", surge as a huge wave sweeping across every corner in China. Why are these dating shows so popular? Part of the reason may be because of the controversial participants that are put on the show. But the fact that these shows are able to stir up a big big turmoil in China and catch the whole nation's attention tells you that there is a bigger reason behind this phenomenon. The root cause of this huge sensation is that there are a large population of "leftover men and women", singles over 30, in china and the issue gets so serious that the whole society is getting worried about it.

It is understandable that many men in china are "leftover" because of the well known imbalance of sex ratio in the country (The ratio of men to women in china is about 120:100). But talking about "Chinese leftover women"?! You would assume that Chinese women can easily find a spouse since their selection pool is a lot bigger than men's. The reality is that many women, especially those with a PhD degree in science, simply can not find a man to date. According to China daily, Beijing has 500,000 single women over the age of 30. In Guangzhou, one of the biggest cities in southern China, the number of single women above the age of 30 is 300,000, while single men only number 200,000.

One of the main reasons behind this phenomenon is that a lot of Chinese men do not like to have a girlfriend or wife whose education level is higher than theirs. They feel embarrassed if their women outsmart them and are more successful in career than they do. It is also unacceptable for many men to have a lower income than their partners'. Therefore, many Chinese men are more willing to date and marry women with at most equal or even lower education and lower income. As a result, many women with an advanced degree in China simply can not find a match since they have to find a guy at similar age and with similar or higher degree. It is not uncommon for a female PhD holder to hear people asking how she is going to find a man to marry since her degree is so high.

Another reason is that women with advanced degree tend to be less competitive than "younger women". After earning a PhD degree, they are almost 30 or even older. It is harder for them to compete with girls at early 20s since men at their age group prefer to choose a younger woman. Aside from the concern of skin tone (in China, skin color and texture are one of the most important determining factors of beauty and many people believe that women over 25 do not have good skin any more), it also has something to do with a Chinese tradition that boys have an instinct to protect younger girls and enjoy being appreciated and admired as a smart, brave, and knowledgeable "big brother". The combination of "big brother" and "little sister" fits the needs of girls' wanting to admire and boys' wanting to be admired.

The third reason is that a lot of Chinese people have this conception in mind that female PhD holders are always serious, nerdy, and unsociable. In china, the competition to enter college is insane. The college entrance exam was compared to thousands of soldiers trying to cross a one-man wide single bridge at the same time. Kids have to be assiduous, persevering, mentally tough, and at least relatively smart, in order to get to a good college which is almost a must for being able to land a good job in the future. Then you can imagine how dedicated a PhD student has to be in order to carry out scientific research smoothly and finally earn a PhD degree in science. Many PhD holders have to sacrifice their hobbies and social lives for their study. A typical Chinese PhD student's daily routine is going between dormitory, dinning hall, and classroom/lab. As a result, a lot of PhD students lack of social skills and find it difficult to socialize with people. Let alone trying to impress the opposite sex.

The solution for this "leftover women" issue? I guess is to wait for another 20 years when the imbalance of sex ratio gets bigger then Chinese men won't complain about women's high degree any more.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Finish Him!... RIP Midway.

For me this is proof that the American arcade is dead.  Williams/Midway was the last great American producer of Coin-op arcade games and Pinball Machines.  Now it's true that they pretty much ended their coin-op operations in the lat 90's for the exception of the venerable Rush racing series.  They're properties are iconic.  Ms. Pacman, Gauntlet, Galaga, Defender, Joust, Rampage, Tron, not to mention Mortal Kombat.  I think they're down fall pretty much rests on not properly riding the upswing of console gaming in the last 6 years or so.  Most of their eggs were in the Unreal Tournament, which though a incredibly popular and successful PC series, it never really transferred to Console well.  Upon hearing of their struggles one area of surprise is that they they weren't making much money off of the UT game engine, which is one of the most widely used 3D engines in gaming.  It got to the point that no amount of Midway Classics compilation games would get them out of their hole. 

Any how, after struggling for the last 3 years or so they finally filed for Bankruptcy last February, and began liquidating assets.  Last week the final Liquidation plan was approved, allowing for them to pay about of quarter of what they owe to their creditors.  From what I understand most of the companies assets and properties were sold off to Warner Bros. last year, what this is about the the divvying up off that cash to pay off the various stake holders in Midway's shell.  

RIP Midway, you'll be missed.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Pacman

Many an hours and wasted quarters... It's hard to beleive it's been 30 years.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

They're giving Olivia Munn a Sitcom...

I'll be upfront.  I hate Olivia Munn.  She isn't funny. She isn't nearly as hot as she thinks she is.  In the end she's the world largest attention whore.  This is nothing new, all actresses are attention whores on one level or another. Oh, and yes she's an actress.  She isn't a computer nerd, or a hot geek girl.  She an actress.  She knows nothing it's all an act.  She's the worst kind of attention whore.  Most actresses are out for more general attention, main stream attention.  Praise and adoration of their peers and as many normal people as possible.  This is in fact hard.  It's hard to make it in showbiz.  Not Ms. Munn.  No she goes for the lowest common denominator.  She seeks out and destroys the weakest in the flock.  THIS is what makes her an attention whore.  Instead of doing the hard work; she gets her jollies dressing up in outfits and teasing the lonely watchers of G4 every night.  Not to say this whoreness has not worked out.  She's now the "Geek Princess." This recognition has awarded her a role in Iron Man, which according to her they actually created a character for her; and Date Night which is small, but she stands out like a soar thumb.

For many the normal reaction to my rantings would be "she's hot and you're just being an ass because you'd never have a chance."  See that's the thing, she's hot, but she isn't that hot.  After years of attention whoring, like all good attention whores, her ego has become so inflated that she think she's the person that the Internet says she is.  She's not.

NBC's new owners Comcast, owners of G4 and E!, are throwing their darling girl a bone.   NBC has picked up the sitcom Perfect Couples.  Perfect Couples is about three married couples who are each different and each week find new an interesting ways to make their differences funny... Super Original.  I do have to give Ms. Munn credit.  She's playing against Type here.  Instead of playing the ditsy, hot, sexpot. She's playing the button-down conservative.  I've linked to the extended trailer below, you can make your own decisions as to whether it's worthy.  It also stars Kyle Howard who has been around for years, but his most noteworthy thing was 1996's House Arrest one of my favorites moves of the 90's, mainly because it had Jennifer Love Hewitt in it...

Quickie Review of Robin Hood...

A story told 1000 time 1000 different way.  I can see where Ridley Scott was going.  This is a good take on the story overall.  If you didn't know this isn't really the Robin Hood story it's the story of Robin Hood.  It's a prequel.   

The biggest problem for me was despite this new direction the story was pasted together from the plots of at least 5 different movies.  A man come home from war and pretends to be someone he's not to trick the people who work for him, Sommersby.  Boy is sent away, boy become a man, man finds dead nobleman by side of road, man pretends to be the dead nobleman, man finds out his lost history and discovers that he really is noble, A Knight's Tale (Which is significant because this movies was actually written by Brian Helgeland who wrote A Knight't Tale.)  Any movie about the D-Day, except this time they land at Dover instead of Normandy, and this time the English are the Germans the French are the Allies, and the "Germans" win.  Freemasonry Legends, National Treasure.  It acts as a semi-sequel to Kingdom of Heaven. 

The largest change overall was the Robin's motivations.  There is a whole subtext where Robin, the son of a Stone Mason, and thus a "Freemason," takes up his father's mantle of a warrior for Liberty.  He wants the King to sign a document that would spell out the rules for kings and the rights of subjects, a pre-Magna Carta.  We all know in the traditional story Robin Hood's modus operandi, he takes from the Rich and Gives to the Poor.  He's a Socialist, in the purest sense.  For some reason Scott and co. decided that Socialism faux pas and what Robin Hood really needs to be is a Libertarian.  Gone is wealth redistribution. In is individual freedom and responsibility, and the unencumbered right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I thought this to be odd, not bad necessarily, but odd.  I'd like to have been in the writing meeting when they discussed this aspect. 

I still recommend seeing it in the Theaters, but don't go out of your way you're not missing anything if wait to rent it. 

Nesroid Emulator for Android.

I was an Android Early adopter.  I bought an Unlocked G1 almost immediately as they became available in late 2008.  I love Android, but it did have some early glitches, and when the opportunity came up to get a $50 iPhone it took it.  I will say both system have their pros and cons.  The biggest difference is the "Walled Garden" approach of iPhone vs the Open Source approach of Android.  Both systems can essentially do the same things, the only big difference is you have to Jailbreak your iPhone to do it, but on Android almost anything you want is available at the Android Market, no questions asked.  This of all things includes emulators.  After nearly a year away I've dusted off the old G1, installed a custom ROM, (I didn't have to install a custom ROM, but they've quit patching the G1 so in order to get the newest Googlefied stuff like Navigation I had to find a different ROM) and got to installing searching for an installing new applications that didn't exist previously.

My favorite so far is Nesoid by a developer named yongzh is frankly the kind of stuff you dream of for a mobile platform.  As emulators go it's smooth and skips very few frames, even on my G1's crappy proc.  It has a simple interface, basically just file manager to pick and choose the ROM you want to play.  It has Game Genie support, On screen controls, and control mapping for keyboard; it will even work with a blutooth controller if you have one.  

It has two tiers of pricing.  The "Light" version is just the basic emulator, and for $4.99 you can get the "Full" version that also adds Save States.  If  you play RPGs you should go ahead and splurge on the full version as what it doesn't emulate is battery backup, so ROM Save state is the only way to save your game.  Nesoid isn't his only emulator either.  There's a GBC, GBA, SNES and Genesis emulators as well.

This has breathed new life into my Android Phone.  I'm not sure if I'll go back to it as a full time phone, but it may find it's way into by bag to hit up some Duck Tales when I'm bored at work; and when it comes to upgrading phones next time I think Android is back in the running.

Nesoid

Monday, May 17, 2010

Only in Japan: Couple Married by a Robot

A couple in Japan married this weekend in the first ever Robot presided wedding ever in the world.  This defiantly falls into the category of only in Japan.  The I-Fairy is more of a mechanical marionette than robot, her movements are controlled by a man off stage, and her words are pre-recorded.  In 50 years when were all old, and rely on our service bot to get around, or our children have a companion for life via their Haro or Teddy, or there is never a lonely night because we can always take the love bot our of the closet... we can thank the Japanese.  In 100 years when the robots have taken over, and we're living in holes just trying to survive and avoid being enslaved by the monstrous beasts... We can thank the Japanese. 

Source: CBS News
Via: Kotaku

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gunpla... The TV Show

So... Proof that the Gundam train never really stops rolling. in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Gunpla Gundam model kits, Bandai has announced it will be producing a three part micro series called Moki Senshi Gunpla Builders Beginning G.  Since I can't read Japanese I can't really tell you what it's going to be about; based on the poster it looks like Pokemon.  According to ANN the fist part will be shown at Gundam Super Expo.  There will also be a Manga Produced (of Course). 

I'll admit I don't spend a lot of time with the Lighter Subject Gundam Properties.  They've always struck as exactly what they are, cash ins.  But, I'm also not the intended audience, so I've never felt it was my place to be critical of something like SD Gundam or something Beginning G, when I'm not suppose to like it.  Good new is this will be produced by Sunrise, so it can't be all bad. 

Sources:  ANN, Gundam.info

Super 8


Those who saw Iron Man this weekend like us (worth every penny), were treated to a teaser trailer for Super 8; a new J.J. Abrams Written and Directed/Stephen Spielberg Produced monster movie coming out next summer.  Rumors for this film have been around for a while.  Abrams has said he wanted to make a "Tribute" film in the vein of early Spielberg popcorn movies (i.e. pre Empire of the Sun).  Trailer looks good; definitely reminds you of Cloverfield.  In fact before this Trailer went live many were speculating that it was Cloverfield 2.  Problem is the lil Clovie can't fit in a boxcar... 

Like any J.J. Abrams movie along comes the Viral marketing.  At the end of the teaser you see a film flicker like the end of a Super 8 reel.  If you slow it down it says "Scariest Thing I Ever Saw."  Luckily there was a registered domain scariestthingieversaw.com; which was registered about a week after Super8-Movie.com by the same registrar.  Thescariestthingieversaw.com went live over the weekend and treats you to a flash based computer terminal.  I won't spoil any of the fun,  I suggest checking it out. If you do want to cheat Super8News.com is all over ever detail of the site an the teaser. 

Sources: Super8News.com, scariestthingieversaw.com

Dragonfly Plane...


Engineers at Stanford have created an UAV that can take off and land Vertically.  It works by flying directly towards a wall, then pitching up when it is about two feet away.  It has a special suspension and little clawed feet that allow it to attach itself somewhat like how a Fly or  a Lizard are able to climb on walls. 

Source: Discovery.com

Life Size Eva Head at Fuji-Q Highlands!


When we were in Japan a couple of years ago, one of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Fuji-Q Highlands at the base of Mt. Fuji. Fuji-Q is famous for it's Gundam ride (or more like Gundam Experience). It also is home to some of the fastest and largest roller coasters in the world. Fuji-Q is a great amusement park, because it feels uniquely Japanese. Tokyo Disney was great, but it still felt like Disney Land. Fuji-Q is something you can only experience in Japan.

But I digress. Fuji-Q is going to be even more uniquely Japanese come July when they open their Life Size Evangelion (head) display. Presumably it is supposed to look like you are inside NERV. Along with the head there will also be a life size replica of the entry plug (that I hope you can get inside), and a life size version of Kaworu (seriously? Not Asuka or Rei?).

Not really a ride per say, but I'm sure one will follow one day. There will also be a Evangelion store attached...

Seriously, I am so excited about this news I can hardly type from my mind wanting to explode.

Source: AnimeNation

Friday, May 7, 2010

Captain America's Anatomy by Rob Liefield

The image to your left is an artistic interpretation of how Captain America would look naked according to Rob Liefield.

I think it is safe to say that any kid who grew up in the 90s (like me) saw this picture and thought there was something horribly horribly wrong with it. I'm glad someone finally shed some light on it.

Also, I think we all know by now Rob Liefield is one of the worst artists in mainstream comics and can't draw feet or hands, despite this being his profession. It's like how Shaq could never make Free Throws. I mean seriously, this is your JOB. Take a weekend off the clock and learn how to draw feet/shoot a Free Throw (one of those applies to Rob, the other to Shaq, or both I guess).

Here is a link to the UNCENSORED pic above. NSFW, but worth the risk.

Also here is a brilliant article of the 40 Worst Rob Liefield drawings.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Can we all just agree Evangelion is bigger than Gundam?

So it was announced today that preorders for Evangelion 2.22 have reached 800,000. That is a whole hell of a lot of preorders for an anime title. The biggest selling first week DVD/Blu-Ray release in Japan is Michael Jackson's This is It at 2 million, or course this isn't at that level but it is staggering.

The title of this article, I admit, is mostly to aggravate Critic, who is an avid Gundam fan. I'll also gladly admit that per capita, Gundam fans spend more money. They buy 400 million dollars in model kits alone (well as a collective). It would be hard to penetrate those numbers on merchandise. But I would argue, model kit buyers are limited to a hard core Otaku crowd.

He also argues that only otaku and geeks buy Blu-Ray. These numbers are combined Blu-Ray and DVD. 450,000 of those preorders are Blu-Ray, and the other are DVD. By this estimate, half of Eva fans are Otaku, and the other half are just normal everyday people (well that might be a stretch. At least some of those numbers have to be people with horrible bouts of depression and angst).

Evangelion is breaking boundaries. Well, I guess it has always done that, but I think it can be safely said, that as a trademark, Evangelion is a bigger deal. It expands past the normal Akiba crowd.

Now if the Gundam 00 movie comes out and breaks these numbers on Blu-Ray/DVD then you have here on the Interwebs documented proof of my miscalculation and I will post pictures of me eating a hat of Critic's choosing, but I just don't think it will happen.

And even then, Evangelion 3.33 will smash any record possibly set by Gundam 00 and the cycle will continue indefinitely.


This little article of Flamebait has been brought to you by the letter E.