Who’s Ready For Zombie Whales?

by Matthew Edward Hawkins

So pretty much more of the same since last time: still trying to get stuff done despite all the nonsense that’s getting in the way.

Didn’t end up going to that chiptunes show on Saturday night after-all. I know I mentioned that I would be too busy the previous evening, but I sorta figured that both MK & I might be able to squeeze it in, but that didn’t happen (depsite the fact MK has been wanting to check out Jeremiah perform for a while now); we simply had too much work on our plates. Though after I got done with some writing, I went over to Robin’s, who was helping MK assembled books, and after dining on pasta, we all watched the Wizard People: Dear Readers DVD that Jeremiah passed along the previous weekend. And it was pretty damn funny, even if the narrator seemed to run out of steam near the end. Then we all watched the classic replay of SNL, which didn’t feature a guest host that particular episode, so it was just the cast in assorted sketches (since this was back when, you know, the show was good and everyone in the cast was actually funny, unlike the shit they put on the air these days) with the highlight being Eddie Murphy in the classic Poetry Behind Bars/”Kill My Landlord” sketch.

On Sunday MK & I went over to John and Marion’s for dinner Sunday night, and it was nice to catch up with them since their lives have been pretty hectic as well. MST3K somehow came up, and John mentioned that Mike Nelson, the head writer for the show, as well as the guy that replaced Joel Hodgson, has a site in which he does “commentary” for more popular, mainstream flicks. It’s called RiffTrax and I’m eager to find out if his take on Star Trek V (along with Kevin Murphy, who did the voice of Tom Servo) is any funnier than the time Mike Simses & I did more or less the same exact thing, mostly to poke fun at Mike Rovin since he’s such a big fan of it (seriously).

Also during the weekend I stopped by the Barnes & Noble in Park Slope to finally check out the issue of Retro Gamer with the big cover story on the Sega Genesis that I helped out on. Reminded me that video game print media is not necessarily dead, just in this country; it’s still alive in and well in the UK, as well as Japan… I can go on and on why American game magazines are so atrocious, but I guess that’s best saved for a later time, and when I totally ready to burn all those bridges. Meanwhile MK picked up an issue of a magazine called Clamor that features an article on American Apparel that goes into all the shit that I’ve heard from various folks I know that deal with the fashion biz: the guy who runs the place is a pedo, the people who work there are treated worse than sweat-shop workers, allegations of rape, and assorted other craziness. Can’t wait to read the article myself.

On Monday night I ended up going to bed crazy early, like at 9:30, so obvliously nothing really to report there. Last night, MK & I were going to finally start watching the Lost DVD set that I’ve had forever now (I’ve seen bits and pieces of season 1 and none of season 2… I think I either teach when it airs or its movie night), but I ended up showing some choice episodes of SCTV instead. And earlier this evening we had a chance to check out a Miho Hattori show, but since Wednesday is also movie night, free movies won over paying to see music (even if its one half of the Cibo Matto, and one fourth of the Gorillaz… the fact that I’m rather poor these days also played a part in the decision making process). I brought along the Venture Brothers DVDs for the evening and everyone really dug the Fantastic Four parody episode, which I guess is no real surprise since its so damn perfect and brillant and all. Then it was Clockwork Orange in high-def followed by the last episode of Slings & Arrows which was very much excellent. Once again, if you’re a Kids in the Hall fanboy, as well as Canadian television in general, Netflix it, and get some Trailer Park Boys while you’re at it, which I just discovered via Robin is availalbe in the State!

Okay, time for what most people really want: video game talk…

- I recently got an email from Jerry Chan, a reader who both pointed out my taste for fine gaming shirts (which I’d like to think I have), as well as informed me of one that he’s designed himself. For the fans of Shadow of the Colossus

It’s quite nice as you can see, and it’s available this upcoming September 9th, but in limited quantities, so get your check books (I guess that’s PayPal accounts) ready.

- And someone over at Insert Credit pointed out other snazzy gaming shirt, this one from Cave, based on Mushihimesama

- Back to SOTC, remember the statue I mentioned a while back? Well more are on the way; here’s some pics of them from Wonder Festival 2006 which took place recently

- Not really video game related, but very close to it: Comic Market/Comiket also recently took place in Japan, and IC has compiled a number of links from various sites and blogs that provides plenty of coverage. I first heard about what appears to be the biggest, and most craziest indie comic shows on the planet from Jeremiah during Otakon and I’ve been trying to read up more on it ever since (as well as dreaming about eventually going, if only to see crazy shit like this, as well as the folks who would buy it, in person). I think its safe to say that a good deal of the indie comics folks I know on this part of the world would be totally blown away by it if they only knew of its existence.

- I also found out about Operation Darkness via Insert Credit this past friday night, the strategy role-playing game set in WW2 (sorta) for the Xbox 360. I was going to mention it last time, but since I’m not much of a SRPG fan, I sorta thought, “why bother”, but since everyone seems transfixed by this piece of game art…

maybe others might want to see more after-all. Even on the battlefield, who’s got short shorts?

- Oh, and here’s a batch of screenshots from Onechanbara X. Plus some more.

- A few might also recall me mentioning that’s yet another possible “last Dreamcast game ever” on the horizon, which is a shmup of course. It?s called Karous and its from Milestone, the maker of Radilgy. Well here’s a couple of videos from a test location (YouTube vid 1 and YouTube vid 2), and even though the quality is pretty crappy, the game still looks pretty decent (and every Radilgy-like).

- Dave (Goldstein) just passed this one along: an article that talks about the new drug culture that seems to be stemming from hardcore gaming. It’s actually a pretty crazy read; it would seem that the LAN scene has it’s own version of steroids, and its Red Bull.

- I’m also still trying to catch all the impressions out there for Xyanide (that shmup for the Xbox 1 that recently came out, which most people seem to say sucks), but otherwise, I’m actually pretty in the dark when it comes to the major gaming headlines (well mostly because its pretty boring). Though I do know that Sony is still getting a pretty vicious beating across the boards. I recently spotted this GAF thread that features pics of all the different slots on the PS3, which includes ones for Compact Flash, SD/Mini SD, and something Pro. That’s a lot. Yet… there’s still no room for a PSone/PS2 memory card slot? Fucking bullshit.

Also, I don’t understand all the details here, but according to this, the PS3 is becoming less and less powerful. This actually conforms to all the other things I’ve heard, about the much touted cell processor’s immense power being greatly exaggerated. Also, it now seems that EVERYONE officially hates Blue-Ray.

- Though the real big news in my book is that Manifesto Games finally launched earlier this week. This is awesome news, and not just because they’ll be distributing Spready Bear! Whenever its finished that is.

- So with so much shit going on, do I have any time to actually play any games? Actually, yes. Aside from quick bursts of Meteos and Dotstream, I finally got to take Burnout 2 for a spin, thanks to GameFly. It’s a nice game, and I can appreciate it for what it does (or should I say did)… but once you’ve played 3/Takedown and 4/Revenge, it impossible to go back. I really enjoy clean 3D graphics, but its pretty boring compared to the later installments, and while the intricate crashes were pretty impressive back when it came out (and I’ve been playing the Director’s Cut for the Xbox which has extra “crash points” or whatever compared to the PS2 and GameCube versions), its rather dreadfully boring to the spectacular wipeouts in the sequels. Plus they bring the game to a dead halt (excuse the pun). And I can’t figure out what’s worse, the dreadfully generic techno in part 2 (the music was actually pretty good in part 1… I even have a few mp3s that I listen to regularly) or the dreadfully generic emo/shitty excuse for punk rock (a.k.a. EA Trax) in 3/4. BTW, the best part about GameFly is that its allowing me to play all the games that I’ve always known to be shit but am still compelled to play. Next up, Auto Modellista.

- And thanks to Robin, I’ve finally been able to play Rakugaki Showtime, which I’ve been dying to do so for years now. It?s basically a not very well known arena fighter from Treasure for the PSone. All the characters and graphics look as if it was drawn in crayon. From what I’ve played, its a lot of fun, though I will confess that I haven’t played more than a three minutes, mainly because I’ve been too busy playing all the other PSone titles that’s been on my hard drive for years now and which I’ve only learned how to properly burn on my Mac (again, thanks to Robin). I have no idea why I’ve had Samurai Shodown RPG for so long, given that I can’t play it (due to not knowing Japanese and all). I’m also trying to get ahold of Tomba 2, and I found a torrent for it late Sunday night that I’ve been trying to download ever since. I got up to 97.4% and have been stuck there since this morning. God I hate BitTorrent.

- Finally, been giving OMGWTFOTL a try. It’s definitely interesting…

  • http://www.gamersquarter.com Shapermc

    Joel was better!

    Anyways, those are both awesome shirts, and SCTV always goes good with late nights.

  • https://www.fort90.com Matt

    Shaper you are a man of good taste.

    Have you seen that MST3K thread over at the IC boards? Seems like everyone loves Mike better. And Mike’s cool and all, don’t get me wrong, but seriously… oh well, kids today.

  • TDS

    dude,dont bother with tomba 2,all the torrets ive seen on it are damn near dead as hell.

    if you got the cash,its worth buying

  • http://pandahex.blogspot.com katie

    Joel rules, Mike sux!!!

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