Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

New Year, New Project


You may have noticed I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing over the past several weeks.

Well, this is me taking a moment to explain why.

In the past several months, a lot of my friends have made the bold decision to bet on themselves, and start work on projects that could potentially effect their future, financial or otherwise; for the better.

Maybe it’s due to the lack of job availability, or maybe it’s because of our generation’s over-acceptance of the term “artist” being a viable career path, but for whatever reason; now seems to be the time for 20-somethings to get their rear in gear and do something stupid…… For the future.

That being said, much like when every kid in town gets a new bike, and you’re still walking like a chump, I felt obligated to try and make a project for myself.

Hell, it’s not like I have a job to get in the way or anything, right?

Several months ago, my buddy Mencius suggested I do a video project with an old friend of ours.

While at the time the actual nature of the project was very vague, more recently I’ve begun fleshing it out, both on paper and in my mind.

Not only that, in the past several weeks I’ve also invested a decent amount of time and money in acquiring most of the equipment necessary to film said project.

Remember that Canon I bought awhile back?

Well, I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that, no, I didn’t buy it just so I could make retarded videos of my face wobbling in slow-motion.

Anyway, the video project that I have in mind would be a 2-man show about videogames, more specifically the differences between the tastes and perspectives of a more retro-oriented, lifelong gamer such as myself, and my friend who’s an ultra-passionate gamer that actually works in the industry, but who’s first console was an N64.

Each episode of the show would involve one of us introducing a game that we’re passionate about, and having the other person play it for about an hour.

During the play session, the non-player will provide commentary and background on the events of the playthrough, as well as the actual history of the game.

In this area, I intend to do quite a bit of research, as nothing grinds my gears worse than boring commentary and misinformation.

The real kicker is, in each case we’ll be working with games that at least one of us, namely the player, has never played before.

In my mind, this will lead to some fun gameplay mishaps, as well as some brutally honest and genuine opinions during the back-and-forth wrap-up commentary.

Nothing’s more entertaining than watching 2 dorks vehemently struggle to defend their viewpoint.

It’s funny, long before the project had any sort of legs under it, my buddy Mencius came up with the title “The Badger and The Beard,” with me of course being The Badger, and my bearded friend being, well, The Beard.

It stuck in our minds almost instantly, and to this day I can think of no better title.

The graphic above represents the first image produced for this project as of now, and while I’m not sure how permanent it will remain, for now it’s the official Badger and The Beard banner.

That being said, don’t be surprised if there aren’t any “real” posts on here or awhile, as I’ll be working on Badger and Beard stuff for the foreseeable future.

Wish me luck!

Filed under: Games, Movies, The Badger and The Beard, Uncategorized

Geese Howard: Ace Attorney

I wish I knew the origin of the audio for this video, ’cause in all honesty it sounds like the original skit/stage show was pretty funny to begin with.

Truth be told I know close to nothing about the Ace Attorney games, but the Geese-factor combined the stellar animation/lip synch add up to something special.

Actually, now that I think about it, the Geese-factor alone puts this one over the top…

I found this about a year ago, and to this day, it continues to put a smile on my face.

Filed under: Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

And Now, Batman Walking The Dinosaur.

If you’ve seen this before, I sincerely apologize.

Don’t do like me and leave on loop for 10 minutes.

Trust me, as awesome as it is, it starts to get old around the 8 minute mark…

Filed under: Comics, Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

Small Victory On Black Friday

Pictured: A big pile of crap, for half the price!

Today marked only the second occasion in which I decided to set forth into the wild and brave the insanity that is Black Friday.

Oddly enough, both times my intention in doing so was not to capitalize on the various sales events, but rather to simply take in the spectacle of watching others step over each other in hopes of acquiring a precious Tickle Me Elmo-like gift, or in the case of this year, an incredibly cheap 40″ TV.

It’s funny, whenever I think of Black Friday and other Christmas/holiday related shopping insanity, there’s one image that comes to my mind.

Said image was from one of my brother’s old Mad magazines, and to date, it serves as the definitive vision of Christmas carnage in my mind:

Pictured: "The Last Parking Space At The Mall."

It might be kind of hard to tell, as the image is kind of small, but basically “The Last Parking Space At The Mall” is a brilliantly rendered Norman Rockwell-esque painting depicting a man shooting another man in a snowy parking lot while his wife attempts to pull him back into the car.

Mad Magazine is usually good for a snicker or 2, but this painting was easily one of the most brilliant fuckin’ comedic images I can recall from my youth.

Sadly though, I didn’t see holiday mayhem of any kind this time around.

I did however get to laugh at the people standing in line surrounding the Best Buy.

Seriously man, I spent close to 3 hours in the general area, and I never once saw that line shrink an inch.

Needless to say, I never even got to set foot in Best Buy this morning.

Oh well, thanks to holiday “tent culture,” virtually all of the really good deals in there are literally impossible to acquire without spending the night outside the building.

Or at least without bringing one of these...

Which brings me to the deals that I actually did get a chance to capitalize on.

I initially set out to “do” Black Friday with a friend of mine around midnight.

Said friend ultimately ended up walking away with 2 boxes of half price golf balls, while I bought absolutely nothing.

Fortunately, there were some other sales going on in the U-district at a reasonable hour that I ended up checking out after catching a few much needed hours of sleep.

First, I went to Zanadu comics, where a 50% off everything sale was going on from 8AM to 12PM.

In case you couldn’t tell from the image above, I ended up getting a softcover copy of the absolutely massive X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia, as well as the first volume of Ed Brubaker’s The Immortal Iron Fist.

Truth be told, I’m not exactly salivating over the prospect of reading either of these books, however Utopia will serve to complete my Dark Avengers trade collection, and Iron Fist is a book that, given my status as a rabid kung fu movie fan, should’ve been in my collection years ago.

All together now: "WAATAAAAAHHHH!!!!"

I’m a little wary of Utopia, as X-Men books haven’t been kind to me in the past, I don’t know, 15 goddamn years; but I’m hoping the Dark Avengers stuff will help to round things out a little.

Yes. I am in fact still made about this.

As for Iron Fist, I’ve read nothing but good about it, and I’ve been putting off reading it for a really long time; so I’m pretty sure it’s gonna’ be awesome.

Anyway, 2 good to great books for 50% off = Definitely worth it in my book.

Next I went to Pink Gorilla to check out their highly variable collection of used/retro videogames.

While I haven’t found anything too special there in a few years now, I was surprised to find a perfectly good copy of Super Castlevania IV.

Outside of that though, I didn’t find anything else exciting, or failing that; worth the asking price.

Despite this, I was surprised to be given a randomized coupon at the register, with the one I drew being a buy1 get 1 free!

Upon scanning the wall, I decided to pick up Donkey Kong Country 3, a game that, while inferior to the sequel (which I already own) is somewhat rare, and often prohibitively overpriced.

Lucky me, I got it for free.

Oh yeah, and I got a free poster too.

Anyway, while I’d like to say I made it through the day without spending a decent amount of money, I’m proud to say that I at least managed to save more than I spent this Black Friday.

How did you do?

Filed under: Comics, Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And Now, Zero Expressing His Anger Through Crappy Voice Acting.

Yeeeeeaaah….. That really stunk.

Seriously, I could’ve done better than that.

Anyway, I think it’s funny that ever since Mega Man X came out, Zero has always seemed like one of the more popular characters in the franchise.

The clip above notwithstanding, it’s easy to see why.

He has a flashy and unique design, his theme music was bad ass, and his first appearance in the series involves him saving your ass from Vile, a character who was impossible to beat at that point in the game.

Add in the fact that in later entries in the series he is given a beam saber, and you have the template for a bad ass supporting character more than capable of eclipsing the popularity of the rather vanilla protagonist.

Pictured: Someone who just creamed his pants upon reading the words "beam saber."

In many ways, I think of Zero as the equivalent to Trunks from Dragonball Z.

For whatever fuckin’ reason, back in elementary and middle school, Trunks was the bees knees.

You remember those holographic Dragonball stickers all the kids pasted on their binders?

Well, pretty much all the kids I went to school with that had them, went to great lengths to hoard the Trunks ones.

Remember these? I think I still have a few pasted on my bed frame...

While I admit that Trunks’ design is pretty slick, what with the Capsule jacket, purple hair and (useless) sword, at the end of the day I was always confused with my friend’s appreciation for the character.

Taking into consideration his actual role in the series as opposed to his appearance, I always saw Trunks as being kind of dumb.

Like Zero, he had one of the more bad ass debuts in fiction, however from that point on his abilities are quickly overshadowed by everyone around him, and when he finally does catch up, he’s too dumb to use his powers responsibly.

Pictured: When juicing goes too far.

Indeed, I fail to see the beauty of Trunks’ soul.

That being said, while I happen to like Zero quite a bit, he’s never really been one of my favorites in the series.

Mega Man X4 marked the first time in series history that players were given the option to play through the entire game playing as Zero, and perhaps not surprisingly, his storyline was quite a bit more involved that X’s.

I guess that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with a character like X who has virtually no personality outside of his belief that “Humans = Good, Bad Robots = Bad.”

Over the course of several (poorly) animated cutscenes, it was revealed/hinted that Zero was not only originally a savage and villainous Reploid, he was also responsible for EVERY BAD THING THAT EVER HAPPENED.

ALL HIS FAULT!!!

While I think it’s cool that they made him the bridge between the original Mega Man and the X series, in the form of making him a product of the late Dr. Wily and progenitor of the Maverick virus; at the same time I think it’s this aspect of his story that kind of ruins him.

As with Trunks, I like Zero’s design, and I like his character, but when one factors in all the stupid shit he’s done throughout the series, it’s kind of hard to hold the same level of appreciation for him.

That being said, congratulations Mega Man X4, not only did you plant the seeds for making Zero look like an asshole, you also fucked him over by casting his role with an English voice actor from Mega Man 8.

And we all know how bad those guys were….

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And Now, A Message From Brock Lesnar

In case you’re wondering, the clip above comes from an advertisement for the upcoming videogame, WWE ’12.

For whatever reason, they hired Brock Lesnar to show up in the last 3 seconds of the video so he could scream at the audience.

Apparently that qualifies as good sales technique these days.

Anyway, I apologize if you fail to derive any sort of humor from this clip, though you should probably know that I cut it together just for you.

Filed under: Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Azn Badger Won A Round Of A Magic Draft Tournament!

Pictured: A year old photo of The Azn Badger. I'm lazy, so sue me...

Well, the inevitable finally happened.

As readers of this blog might recall, I dabbled in Magic the Gathering at one point in my life.

Said point took place well after the Ninja Turtles started to suck, and just before Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z would cause Japanese language class attendances and White guy/Azn girlfriend biracial relationships to spike 10 fold.

Whatever man, you know it’s true.

Anyway, as mentioned in previous articles, the bulk of my Magic card pile (I can’t call something I don’t care about a “collection”…) is made of old crap inherited from my older brother and his friends.

Like me, my brother dabbled in Magic cards, though unlike me, he saw fit to dump his inventory the moment he lost interest.

Me being me, I held onto the shit, not because I wanted it, but mostly because I was too lazy to find a proper way to dispose of it.

That being said, one of my friends recently began prodding at me to bust out my old cards and throw down with him.

Given that I honestly haven’t had much to do outside of look for a job and write this goddamn blog, I decided to accommodate him.

Thus began my weekly habit of sitting down to extraordinarily casual games of Magic with my buddy.

By “extraordinarily casual” I mean I play with my outdated, ghetto-ass cards, and basically served up to my buddy as a thoroughly outclassed sparring partner for his future tournament matches.

If ever there was a jobber of the Magic the Gathering universe, it’d have to be me.

Indeed, I am the Brooklyn Brawler of Magic.

While I lose probably 80% of the time, one thing that I’ve gotten out of the experience, besides y’know, fun, is the fact that playing with weak-ass cards has taught me a lot about polishing diamonds out of shit-bricks.

That is to say, I’ve learned to look for, and find value in cards that aren’t inherently valuable.

With this fact tucked away in my mind, last week I bit my lip and decided to tag along with my buddy, and join a Draft tournament.

In case you don’t know already, a Draft in Magic is essentially what it sounds like.

Basically, you buy some booster packs, you take 1 card of your choosing from each pack, and then swap the remainder of the contents of said pack with the person to your left.

From there, everyone takes 1 card from the pile given to them, and then continues to pass the remainder on.

The process continues until every card has been exhausted.

Given the random nature of booster packs, you can probably see now why I (grudgingly) decided to join in on a Draft.

Truth be told, it wasn’t an easy decision for me, as the Magic community isn’t exactly what I’d call “my crowd,” nor is the game really my favorite thing in the world; but sometimes you’ve gotta’ do stupid shit to have fun with your friends… Even if sometimes I just wanna’ scream at the top of my lungs:

That being said, from what I can tell I actually drafted some pretty good stuff, (it’s an Innistrad draft) including my very first Mythic Rare, and at the end of the day I decided to put together a green and red deck.

I don’t know any of the fancy terminology used to describe strategic stances or functions in Magic, but by my reckoning the deck I made turned out pretty badass!

I don’t know if “badass” is the right word, but for what it’s worth, as you may have gathered from the title of this post, I actually managed to defeat my friend in my first match!

I beat him pretty solid both times I won, however I well and truly fucked up during the second round, resulting in one of the face palm-ier moments in my Magic career.

The point is though, I’m a winner today, and it feels good to know that.

By the way, here’s my deck in case you’re curious about what’s in it:

Mountain x 8

Forest x 9

Ashmouth Hound x 2

Kessig Wolf x 1

Feral Ridgewolf x 1

Hanweir Watchkeep x 1

Stromkirk Noble x 1

Darkthicket Wolf x 1

Orchard Spirit x 1

Villagers of Estwald x 1

Grizzled Outcasts x 1

Woodland Sleuth x 1

Ambush Viper x 1

Essence of the Wild x 1

Curse of the Pierced Heart x 1

Traitorous Blood x 1

Brimstone Volley x 1

Furor of the Bitten x 1

Prey Upon x 1

Ranger’s Guile x 1

Moonmist x 1

Spidery Grasp x 1

Spider Spawning x 1

Blazing Torch x 1

I apologize if the massive block of bold text above went entirely over you’re head.

Please understand, winning is not something I experience with much frequency, so just try and play along for tonight.

Please?

Oh fine, here’s some Batman for your troubles:

Filed under: Comics, Games, Movies, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Abobo’s Big Adventure Looks Like Big Fun

So… That was pretty much the most awesome thing ever, right?

From what I understand, the clip above is a trailer for a homebrew Flash game called “Abobo’s Big Adventure.”

Check out the artfully designed official website here.

How I, a lifelong Double Dragon fan, managed to go without hearing of said game’s development until just now, is entirely beyond me.

In case you’re unfortunate enough to be unaware, Abobo is a boss character, and eventual standard enemy featured in Technos’ Double Dragon games.

Oddly enough, the creators of Abobo’s Big Adventure saw fit to design him with a pimp-ass mustache, a detail I personally always interpreted from the original sprite as a massive scowl.

Mustache, or scowl? The world may never know...

Oh well, given that Abobo’s race has never officially been declared, even by his original creators, details such as this are neither nitpick-able nor debatable.

According to Birdy from Street Fighter Alpha, Black people turn Caucasian when they're sick. Yeah, Japan's fuckin' stupid...

That is, unless you’re a canon/continuity obsessed douche rocket.

Coming in bald, mullet-ed, and even green variants, Abobo served as one of the most consistently challenging enemies in the series, despite serving as the very first boss in the franchise.

Doesn't take a genius to know which one's more powerful.

As detailed here, he could indeed be a son of a bitch.

That being said, despite having lost countless lives to the ‘Bo-ster over the years, the thought of him getting his own absurd 8-bit action game puts a smile on my face.

That said game includes not only an absurd amount of NES fanservice, as well as some amazing original sprite work and animations; only serves to sweeten the deal.

Fuck Skyrim, I’ll be waiting in line for Abobo’s Big Adventure…

Filed under: Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Great Composers You Ought To Know: Reijiro Koroku Pt. 2

Pictured: Japanese composer, Reijiro Koroku.

I didn’t plan on dividing this post over 2 days, but as fate would have it, I just had too damn much to say!

That being said, today we’ll be continuing our look at some of my favorite works of composer Reijiro Koroku.

After Godzilla 1984, the next big soundtrack I can remember hearing from Koroku, was his work on the Kyoshoku Soko Guyver OVA series.

Guyver: The Man-Boobs That Kill.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, my cousin back in Hawaii turned me on to the Guyver manga way back in the day, and ever since it’s served as a huge influence on my creativity.

Something about the incredibly detailed, yet purposely hoaky character designs, combined with the darkness and severity of the storyline resonated with me in a way that makes me hopeful the manga will eventually reach a logical conclusion.

On that note, when I first found out that a Guyver anime existed way back in the day, you can sure as hell bet I went out of my way to track it down as soon as I could.

Unfortunately, as it turns out the 12 part OVA series was actually kind of ho-hum, even by the standards of an impressionable grade-schooler.

The voice cast was pretty good, and the animation was decent if not inconsistent, however the plot was an absolutely horrid distillation of the source material, cutting short many memorable sequences, and outright ignoring a number of important story beats.

Oh yeah, and unless you want to see some of the most hideous animation ever put to film this side of a budget hentai, then you’ll probably want to avoid even looking at a single frame of episodes 7 and beyond.

Aw, come on! Drawing gray bubbles on someone to symbolize melting DOES NOT count as legitimate animation!

Seriously, I loves me some Guyver, but that was some ugly shit.

That ugliness aside, much like the not-always-so-fondly-remembered Godzilla 1984, the Guyver OVA just happened to benefit from an incredible soundtrack courtesy of Reijiro Koroku.

Though the music is stylistically very similar to his work in Godzilla 1984 just a few years earlier, Koroku’s Guyver soundtrack incorporates synthesizer and electric guitar in many of the tracks.

What can I say, it was the late 80’s and synthesizers were very much “in” at the time.

That’s not to say Koroku’s more electronic approach to the Guyver soundtrack was at all a poor choice.

Heavily inspired by tokusatsu heroes like Kamen Rider and Kikaida, Guyver’s inherently tragic character and brutally violent atmosphere made the property a perfect match for Reijiro Koroku’s potent melodramatic style.

Just give a listen to probably my favorite track in the series, included in the first third of this video, to see what I mean:

Once again brooding and downright creepy at times, Koroku’s score for Guyver shows a great deal of restraint for what basically amounts to a superhero story, however in many ways I feel this is it’s strength.

Like chanbara films of old, the style of action present in Guyver is largely efficient, with each movement and attack being distinct as opposed to the more repetitive style found in Dragonball Z among other things:

I sincerely apologize if you were dumb enough to watch all of that.

Because of this, the music actually benefits from keeping it’s crescendos in check, as otherwise the music would overpower the intensely violent, but relatively low energy nature of the onscreen action.

This track, once again featured in the first third of this clip, serves as perhaps one of the better examples of how Koroku’s powerful, but relatively lax music could effectively supply the series with solid action beats:

Despite how much I love the soundtrack for Guyver, the one downside to it is that the score is very limited in terms of breadth.

Composed largely in suites intended to be recycled throughout the series, the music is quite beautiful by itself, but loses some of it’s luster when heard in the OVA, as the tracks become repetitive after a time, and as such, lose their distinction and sense of place.

Even so, the Guyver OVA soundtrack was once of the first import CDs I ever purchased, and to this day I’m glad I picked it up.

Moving on, the last time I can recall hearing Reijiro Koroku’s music, was from his work on the early PS2 title, Kessen and it’s sequels.

That's a pimp-ass mustache.

An RTS set in the Japanese warring states period, Kessen was a big hit that enjoyed several sequels, however it’s not one that I ever really got caught up in.

Chances are I was to busy playing garbage like Street Fighter EX 3 to give a shit about Kessen.

Despite my lack of appreciation for it, Kessen’s music was a whole ‘nother story altogether.

Truth be told, much like was the case with Noozles, I wasn’t aware that Koroku had done the soundtrack for Kessen, however when I did learn of this, I was not at all surprised given his track record.

Booming and proud, the soundtrack for Kessen brings to mind Koroku’s military marches for Godzilla 1984:

Lacking the brooding tone of Koroku’s previous works mentioned earlier, the Kessen series had an appropriately colorful sound to it, though one that was quite dignified despite it’s epic scale and over-the-top design aesthetics.

It’s funny, hearing this music again kind of makes me want to go back and actually give Kessen a try.

Based on what I remember hearing of it, I doubt I’d be disappointed if I did.

Anyway, that’s about everything I could think of to say about Reijiro Koroku.

Hopefully you learned something over these past 2 days, and if not, at least you got to hear to some nice music!

Filed under: Comics, Games, Great Composers You Ought To Know, Movies, Tokusatsu, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And Now, Watson Doing The Jason Voorhees Teleportation Tango

So, I found this clip from Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis awhile back.

From what I can tell, the thing has become quite well known across the vast expanse of the internet since then.

Regardless of whether you’ve seen it or not, I thought this was amusing, and I was feeling kind of nostalgic.

Enjoy!

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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