Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Hidden Treasures, Part II

Haha, Azn Badger bein' all artsy n'shit...

You wouldn’t know it from that pic, but I was actually looking out the window on account of some lady shrieking at her kids.

Was fuckin’ hilarious.

That ugliness aside, welcome back to my basement dwelling odyssey!

Upon venturing deeper into my basement crawlspace, I was elated to discover my old Captain Bucky O’Hare action figures!

Near as I can tell, I had almost the whole collection, minus Jenny the Alderbaran Cat, The Toad Air Marshall, and some piece of shit named Commander Dogstar that I honestly have ZERO memory of.

Now what kind of Happy Meal bullshit is THIS!? No wonder I don't remember him...

Don’t ask me what Alderbaran means, ’cause I sure as hell don’t know.

It’s kind of like that one monster “D’Compose” from Inhumanoids.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT! How did my parents let me watch this shit!?

I didn’t know what “decompose” meant, all I knew was that that was his name, and that’s what he said when he turned that one bitch into a giant-ass zombie.

I'm not crazy, I swear, BUT HOW THE FUCK DID I REMEMBER THIS SHIT!?

Now that I think of it, Inhumanoids was fuckin’ badass.

Scared the shit outta’ me too.

Why the fuck am I talking about Inhumanoids?

I only saw like 2 episodes of that when I was like 3 years old.

HOW THE FUCK DO I REMEMBER ALL THIS STUPID SHIT!?

*Cough!* Anyway, this is the second time in the past few days that I’ve mentioned Bucky O’Hare, so I figure it’s time I give a little background on the subject for those who may not remember him.

Here’s the intro sequence:

Basically, Bucky O’Hare was a cartoon, based on a comic from before my time, that dealt with a universe parallel to our own called the Aniverse.

The Aniverse, wherein planets are named not for Gods, but rather by their color.

Essentially, the world was like Star Wars, only a cast made up entirely of anthropomorphic animal people.

Couldn't find a better photo. Jesus and pancakes that is disturbing...

Hey! Get back here!

Just ’cause I said “anthropomorphic” doesn’t mean this post is gonna’ de-evolve into furry bullshit!

*Ahem!* ANYWAY, the story involves a nerdy young boy from our universe named Willy, being somehow transported into the Aniverse and being forced to take up arms in a galactic war of sorts.

Is nobody worried that the kid is holding a gun?

As a rule of thumb in the series, reptiles and amphibians are “The Empire,” and all the mammals are “The Rebels.”

My God, what have I done!?

I did mention that Bucky O’Hare was like Star Wars, right?

Captain Bucky O’Hare and his ragtag crew of rebel misfits serve as Willy’s defenders and support crew.

Is that his "rape" face or some shit? Seriously...

The other crew members were, if I can remember correctly:

AFC Blinky, a cute little cyclopic android that serves as the C-3P0 and R2-D2 of the crew at the same time.

Don't fuck with him. Seriously, he's got one of the biggest guns in the videogame.

Deadeye Duck, the ship’s trigger happy, four-armed, one-eyed gunner, and my personal favorite character on the show.

Deadeye Duck ridin' in the Toad Croaker.

He was voiced by Duo Maxwell after all.

Jenny the Alderbaran Cat was basically the Jean Grey of the crew, serving as a psychic force to reckoned with, as well as a sort of mother figure to Willy.

She was a pain in the ass to fight in the NES game...

I’m sure if you type her name into Google you’ll find plenty of furry “yiff” fodder.

Hey man, blame the intersnatch, not me…

Last but not least, Bruiser the Berserker Baboon served as equal parts Chewbacca and The Incredible Hulk.

FUCK YEAH.

The numerous instances when he’d go apeshit and beat on the toads were always fuckin’ classic.

“THE BERSERKER BABOON!!!!” They’d all yell, just before getting squashed.

Pictured: Just the parts they didn't like...

To be perfectly honest, I really don’t remember Bucky O’Hare all that well, much less Inhumanoids.

Bucky O’Hare was only a part of my life for about a year, but clearly I really liked it, ’cause I remember the characters just fine, and I played the shit out of the NES game.

RAWK!!!!! Guarantee you'll be seein' me play this sometime soon...

I don’t really remember the plot outside of the very basic “mammals fight against reptiles and amphibians” outline.

Even so, memories, no matter how trivial and fragmented, are always something to be treasured.

Even if they sit in a box underneath the stairs for 20 years.

Oh well, all this talk of Bucky O’Hare has got me wanting to the play the NES game again, so if I ever get around to making another Let’s Play video, that’ll probably be the first one I do.

Thanks for reading, sorry I’ve been so lazy!

SHORYUKEN!!!!!

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

Hidden Treasures, Part I

My old Dino Riders VHS... Know how you can tell you're cool? When you've got motherfuckin' Dino Riders sitting on your living room shelf, that's how.

Today I went on a little adventure.

Said adventure took me deep into the bowels of my parent’s basement, specifically a cozy little closet space underneath the stairs.

Within that cluttered space, I was fortunate to find a treasure trove of nostalgic goodies from years past.

Given, most of this stuff is utter crap, and probably wouldn’t be worth anything to anyone, but even so, it brings me a warm feeling to know that a lot of the neat stuff I had as a kid is still buried in the house somewhere.

First up is Power Ranger crap:

In this box I found the remains of just about every Megazord of the original “Mighty Morphin'” era I.E from the original Megazord to the the Thunder Megazord

I didn’t bite for the Shogun Megazord, thought it looked ghey.

I also went ahead and skipped the Ninja Megazord from the movie too.

That thing was bullshit.

Good God that thing's a pile...

Amid the wreckage, I was also fortunate to find most of Drago from Super Human Samurai Syber Squad AKA Gridman.

Yeah, you better believe Drago was the shit.

Did you ever see that show?

Most people I mention it too give me weird looks.

Hell, most people I talk to give me weird looks, so what’s the difference, eh?

It had that one asshole from Boy Meets World in it, and was actually pretty good too, despite the retarded name.

ASSHOLE.

Anyway, after digging around for a bit, I was pleased to find that my prized White Tiger Zord remained virtually unscathed:

RAWR.

Oh yeah, and I also found a bunch of those crappy ass Power Ranger action figures that nobody ever liked too:

Yeah, you better believe most of them were broken, no doubt on purpose.

Buried at the very bottom of my Power Ranger box I found traces of the great, Titanus the CarrierZord.

Near as I can tell, he might be missing a head, but goddamn he was the coolest fucking part of that show.

I would’ve pulled him out for a closer look, but he was buried pretty deep and I was in a hurry so… maybe some other time.

Regardless, this is what he was supposed to look like for those that may not remember him:

BRACHIOSAUR OF ULTIMATE PWNAGE!

On top of all the Power Ranger toys and what not, I also found a cache of VHS tapes, specifically the first 5 episodes of the series, plus the entire Green Ranger Saga!

Rest assured, I’ll probably be re-watching these in the near future.

I’m especially looking forward to the Green Ranger business, ’cause near as I can recall; that was some legitimately good storytelling.

Plus it introduced us to Jason David Frank, the man so nice they named him THRICE.

And this is the part where all the ladies in the room start fanning themselves.

Feel free to change your underwear after that one, he’s known to have that effect on the crotch bid’ness.

Tune in tomorrow for more basement dwelling adventures!

Filed under: Movies, Tokusatsu, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Taking A Break…

Pictured: Azn Badger after an O'Doul's....

Taking a break from Time Crisis stuff for today.

Those last two posts ended up being a little bit more involved than I was hoping, and as a result; really kicked my ass.

Needless to say, I’m a little fatigued and am devoid of inspiration at the moment.

I’m thinking about trying to do vlogs or video posts as a means of giving me a break from writing every now and again.

Unfortunately, I don’t really have the best equipment to work with, so it may end up being more trouble than it’s worth.

Either way, a friend of mine (the same friend I beat Super Mario Bros. with) and I have gotten into the habit of trying to “beast” an NES game or two whenever we hang out together.

“Beasting” apparently refers to beating or otherwise making a bitch of someone or something.

Dr. Frasier "Beast" Crane, at your service!

I know it sounds dirty, but so far we’ve “beasted” Super Mario Bros. Cabal, and Ninja Gaiden.

Off the top of my head, some games I think I’d like to “beast” for you guys would be:

Mega Man 2

Best in the series...

Ninja Gaiden 2: The Dark Sword of Chaos

WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKING HARD!!!? ANSWER ME!!!!

and Captain Bucky O’Hare.

If you missed it as a kid, don't ask me to explain it to you...

Ninja Gaiden 2 in particular strikes a chord with me, as I recently played the actual cart off of my NES, and sometime during the second segment of the final stage, the game crashed.

That pissed me off.  A little.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure Ninja Gaiden 2 is gonna’ be the first to be “beasted” on camera, though Bucky O’Hare was a truly great game that few people remember, so chances are it’ll be a lot of fun to run through for you guys.

Please feel free to post your comments or suggestions for video or post material, as I’m starting to run out of steam and could definitely use a pick-me-up.

Thanks a bunch, see you tomorrow for more Time Crisis business.

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

A Salute To Time Crisis: Part II

I said it before, I’ll say it again; Time Crisis 2 is my favorite light gun game of all time.

While Time Crisis 1 was an excellent and innovative game for it’s time, #2 managed to improve upon it in every way.

Released in arcades in 3 years after it’s successor in 1998, Time Crisis 2 featured a new visual cue to alert the player of incoming fire, an increased bullet capacity from 6 to 9, the limited inclusion of a new weapon, (a machine gun) and the option to play the game co-operatively with a friend.

Not the best example of co-op gaming, but whatever...

The new visual cue, dubbed the “Crisis Flash” system, would go on to become a staple of the series included in every subsequent sequel.

The “Crisis Flash” was a rose colored flash that would emit from from incoming bullets just a moment before striking the player.

Pictured: The "Crisis Flash"

The system was created in response to the sometimes random instances in which the player would get hit.

While enemies’ colors denote their accuracy levels in all Time Crisis games, in the original there were some instances in which the seemingly harmless blue enemies would somehow turn into deadshots.

Cheating motherfuckers...

Time Crisis 2 corrected this by affording the player with an opportunity, however brief, to avoid any instance of potential harm.

This, along with most of the other new features in the game, served to lower the difficulty of Time Crisis 2 in comparison with it’s predecessor, while at the same time making it more accessible and fun to novice and expert players alike.

Although I think the game would probably be too easy for these kids.

The increased bullet count per load in Time Crisis 2 was, in my opinion, one of the most significant improvements from Time Crisis 1.

The original Time Crisis had the player using 6 bullets per load, a number that, while standard for the time, was somewhat difficult to work with.

But, isn't six shots, more than enough to kill anything that moves?

“Time” was a huge factor in the original Time Crisis.

The player was afforded 40 seconds to deal with any one situation, with extra time awarded for killing orange enemies or reaching checkpoints.

The timer would count down at all times, even during scene transitions when the player was unable to control the game.

Similar to how even when you are safely disarming the bomb in Counter-Strike, the mistakes of other people can, in fact, still fuck you over:

Running out of time in Time Crisis would result in a game over, while in all of it’s sequels, the player merely loses 1 hit point.

While enemies rarely swarmed you, it was often difficult to effectively dispatch any one wave of enemies with a single load of 6 rounds.

This would often force the player to duck and cover repeatedly for every wave, thusly draining your precious time limit quite rapidly.

Providing ever more chances that shit like this would happen.

While the enemy count on screen was bolstered significantly from the first game, Time Crisis 2 granted the player flexibility in dealing with them by giving them 3 extra bullets to mount a more sustained offensive, and a more forgiving time limit for times when the player needed time to collect themselves.

In case, you know, you just happen to be one of those assholes that decides to do this during a gun fight.

Time Crisis 2 marked the first time in franchise history that the player could acquire new weapons during the game.

The only other weapon available in Time Crisis 2 besides the default infinite ammo pistol, was a machine gun given to the player for very specific situations.

The “situations” in question were a few instances in which the player was faced with the challenge of taking on heavily armed APC’s.

HOW you manage to take down one of these with a machine gun, is beyond me.

When using the machine gun, the player would be treated to the advantages of automatic fire, and unlimited ammo.

Unfortunately, the game’s player characters, Keith and Robert would always see fit to discard these wonderful guns upon taking out the APC’s, after all, “No One Can Beat Them.”

"No One Can Beat Them"

Doesn’t make a lick of sense, but hey, the game would probably be too easy if they let you keep the machine guns.

Just ask Time Crisis 3

Better not blink, you might miss them beat the game...

Despite all of the neat little improvements that Time Crisis 2 made over it’s predecessor, by far the most significant of these was the addition of two player co-op gameplay.

Light gun games and co-op go together like spaghetti and meatballs.

Despite this, it’s easy to understand why the original Time Crisis didn’t include the feature.

Namco already broke the mold by introducing the “Hide and Shoot” pedal mechanic, and the creative fatigue associated with this, coupled with the technical limitations of 1995, probably resulted in them being unable to incorporate the feature.

1995: When the peak of technology allowed for Jim Carrey to be unfunny, and Batman's costume to have nipples.

At least that’s my guess.

Co-op in Time Crisis 2 was executed in a unique and brilliant fashion.

While virtually every light gun game before had the player characters occupying the same field of vision, on the same screen, the Time Crisis 2 arcade cabinet was split into 2 separate screens, allowing for instances in which the two players would split up, viewing the same scene from different angles.

FUCK YEAH.

This, combined with the nifty recoiling light guns, made for an exciting and colorful experience, wherein the two players would often times be caught up in cross fires while trying to cover one another.

It also made it possible for the two players to mess around and shoot one another if they so desired.

This, boys and girls, is what you call "team killing."

Fortunately, the game only penalizes the players for doing so by removing points, not by damaging the player.

Whatever man, you’d have done it too…

That's right, YOU.

I played Time Crisis 2 like a mad man in the arcade, but it wasn’t until I bought it on the Playstation 2 that I truly began to love it.

The PS2 port of Time Crisis 2 came out in 2001, and, like it’s predecessor, it featured a lot of bonus content.

The game featured remixed music, a massive graphical face lift, optional permanent weapon enhancements, the option to play the game “mirrored” with enemies appearing in new places, and a number of scenario missions called “Crisis Missions.”

All of these features, as well as a few others, resulted in a console light gun game that was hard to get tired of.

Unlike this quarter munching pile of ass.

Done with the single player game?

Play it “mirrored” and you’ve got basically a whole new game on your hands.

Done with “mirror” mode?

Try playing through the game with a shotgun, see how it feels.

Tired? Sleepy?

Try 5-Hour Energy.

*Ahem!* Sorry about that, WAY too many Hulu ads.

*Cocks Head To Side* "My delivery isn't condescending. Not at all..." *Cocks Head To Side*

The “Crisis Missions” were essentially training missions designed to challenge your skills and help you become a better player.

Either that or they were just cruel jokes meant to make you feel dumb for being unable to complete them.

In short, the “Crisis Missions” were very hard, much harder than the story mode of the game, even on the hard settings.

Most of my memories of “Crisis Mode” are ones of contempt and frustration.

Let’s just say it’s a good thing I wasn’t one of those guys that break things when they get mad, otherwise I’d have a lot of broken GunCons.

...And a lot of dead cats.

The story of Time Crisis 2 is standard action movie fare, however it’s progression is a little bit muddled and detached, resulting in an experience that isn’t nearly as memorable or dear to me as the the first game’s.

Basically, there’s this company called Neodyne Industries, whose CEO just happens to be a megalomaniacal asshole named Ernesto Diaz.

With a scar like that, you KNOW he's legit.

Using his company as a front, Diaz intends to launch a nuclear satellite into space so he can… Well, it’s never really explained as to what he intends to do, but whatever, you end up killing him anyway so it’s all good.

As members of VSSE, Keith and Robert, it’s your job to take on Diaz and his thugs, destroy the satellite, and rescue Christy, an agent assigned to infiltrate Neodyne.

Hmm, I guess she's worth it... I GUESS.

It’s a good thing that “No One Can Beat Them,” otherwise that’d be a tall order.

Skip to 2:10 or risk losing your sanity:

On the way, you encounter a series of strange and colorful bosses.

The first is a man named Jakov Kinisky, a weasly and effeminite man in a pink shirt and black suit that carries a suitcase.

Oh yeah, and a machine pistol.

No Comment.

You spend the entirety of the first stage chasing Jakov through the streets of a picturesque town and port, literally knocking him on his ass everytime he makes the mistake of trying to shoot back at you.

Eventually, you chase Jakov onto a heavily armed and armored speed boat, which leads to a crazy boat chase complete with attack divers that try to shank you at every corner.

After disposing of the boats defenses, you then cap Jakov in his face, thusly causing the boat to crash, and yes, explode.

Using the intel gathered from Jakov’s precious suitcase, Keith and Robert drive off to intercept a train that is carrying the nuclear satellite.

And yes, “No One Can Beat Them.”

After a hard fought battle, our heroes are faced with the challenge of taking on a black man so tough, they saw fit to give him a Russian accent: BUFF Bryant.

You better believe that that radio in his hand is about to get smashed...

Seriously, BUFF Bryant.

The only other Buff I’ve ever heard of was Buff Bagwell, and he wasn’t nothin’ compared to Mr. Bryant.

...Although that doesn't mean he wasn't awesome in his own right.

As BUFF makes his entrance, a helicopter shows up, airlifting the nuclear satellite off the train and out carrying it far off into the distance.

None of that matters though ’cause BUFF sees fit to distract our heroes by spraying fire at them with a train mounted minigun.

A Minigun: The Only Weapon Suitable For A Man Named "Buff."

When that proves ineffectual, BUFF casually hops out of his seat, strolls over to a surface-to-air missile stowed on the train car, and proceeds to pick it up to club you over the head with.

Naw, he's not on the 'roids. No way...

What the fuck Namco, did I miss something?

I can understand if the man’s supposed to be bulletproof, ’cause he’s wearing nothin’ but a dress shirt and suspenders and somehow it takes like 50 rounds to make him flinch, but when the guy starts picking up 30 foot long missiles, then I just get confused.

It must be the pimp-ass suspenders, after all, Wild Dog’s got ’em and you saw all the crazy shit he was doing in Time Crisis 1…

I swear man, it's gotta' be the suspenders...

Anyway, BUFF drops the missile eventually, whereupon he decides to pick up his minigun and hop onto a nearby helicopter with it.

Man, I didn't need to know this mothefucker could FLY.

After doing a few passes on you, eventually BUFF takes one too many bullets to the face and he rears back in his seat, shooting out the Jesus bolt in his helicopter in the process, thusly causing, you guessed, an explosion.

Yeah, somehow I don't think this would be enough to kill 'ole BUFF...

For whatever reason, the train starts to fall off a cliff after this, thusly forcing Keith and Robert to flee the ensuing destruction and explosions.

Fortunately, “No One Can Beat Them,” and after a bunch of stupid bullshit involving Last Crusade nonsense and inept guards, our heroes manage to commandeer a nearby helicopter that just happens to have a pre-programmed flight pattern for Ernesto Diaz’s island hideout.

With that, our heroes head over to the island and start killin’ bitches.

Pictured: Keith and Robert killing bitches... Or a cat yawning. I really don't care either way.

Just as things seem to have escalated as far as they can however, our old buddy, the pimpest man in existence AKA Wild Dog decides to show up and make things complicated all over again.

I came.

Armed with a brand new robotic gatling gun arm and a fatty new facial scar to boot, Wild Dog puts the hurt on our heroes while Diaz hangs back and shoots rockets at them every now and again, you know, like you do.

Pictured: Steve Jobs during Corporate War III.

Despite looking, unbelievably; even more pimp than ever before, Wild Dog is nothing more than a minor obstacle in Time Crisis 2.

“Obstacle” being the operative word in that sentence.

In Time Crisis 1, Wild Dog was the big boss, the guy you had to kill to get to the end, while in the sequel he comes across more as an element of the level design than a concrete “presence” or character in the game.

In either case, being as “No One Can Beat” Keith and Robert, (Note: “No One Can Beat Them”) Wild Dog ends up gettin’ capped somethin’ fierce, only this time he makes the conscious decision to click his “Magic Button of Explosiveness” on himself, thusly setting off a charge in his robotic arm and causing him to explode.

Again.

BAD. ASS.

Anyway, upon seeing the pimpest man in existence extinguish his own life in a blaze of B ADASS glory, Diaz rabbits like a little bitch and takes Christy with him.

Chasing Diaz through the installation, Keith and Robert manages to cap Diaz in the face enough times to make him let go of Christy, though in an act of douchebaggery he actually has the nerve to try and toss her ass into a fuckin’ hole.

I’m amazed he even tried to put up a fight, after all, “No One Can Beat Them.”

Fortunately, Christy is saved just in time by our heroes, thusly leading to the final battle.

With the shuttle carrying the nuclear satellite beginning it’s launch sequence, Diaz confronts our heroes at the top of the launch platform while straddling a dummy satellite mounted on a complex armature.

Satellite or not, shoot it in the face. That usually does the trick.

Despite being a dummy model for a nuclear satellite, the machine proves to be heavily armed with conventional weapons like laser beams and rockets.

Once again, I don’t get it, but whatever, it’s hella’ fun to shoot to shit.

Taking potshots at you while hiding behind his mechanical monstrosity, Diaz proves to be a decent, if not colorful challenge, however he doesn’t even come close to approaching the level of difficulty that Sherudo or Wild Dog achieved in Time Crisis 1.

Still, BAAAAADDDDD ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

It isn’t long before Diaz and his satellite, quite literally, fall before the power of Keith and Robert’s infinite ammo pistols.

Oh yeah, and “No One Can Beat Them.”

Diaz and the dummy satellite fall onto the launching shuttle, thusly damaging it enough to stop it’s ascent and destroy the installation in the process.

Explosions ensue.

Yup, pretty sure he's dead. Had it been BUFF in there though, I don't know...

With that, our heroes are blown out to sea, whereupon they are greeted by the sight of Christy driving over to them in an inflatable raft.

Cue BLATANT rip-off of music from The Rock, roll credits, everyone fucks, the end.

"What the fuck do you mean they STOLE the fuckin' music!?"

Time Crisis 2’s soundtrack, both in the arcade, and remixed on the console, was nothing to write home about.

The Time Crisis theme is evident throughout the game, however the intensity level of everything is significantly taken down a notch.

I mentioned that the ending theme of the game is, in my opinion, a rip-off of the theme from the movie The Rock.

In case you’re curious, here’s the evidence of my claim:

Skip to 9:05 for the source material:

Now skip to :40 of this one, and tell me they aren’t nearly identical:

In the console version of the game, this theme, ripped-off or not, is repeated throughout the game at several points, most notably during stage 2.

Rip-off or not, this theme can’t hold a candle to the original Time Crisis theme.

Wild Dog’s theme is thankfully reused for his appearance in the game, though once again, the intensity level just isn’t there.

Time Crisis 2 stands as my favorite light gun game of all time.

It may not have connected with me on as personal a level as the first in the series, but sometimes that’s not important.

I’ve seen The Shawshank Redemption only once, but I’ve seen Bloodsport about a billion times.

Why?

Because Bloodsport is a fucking fun-ass movie and Shawshank requires a bit more investment than I prefer to give in most cases.

Time Crisis 2 was just plain fun, end of story.

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

A Salute To Time Crisis: Part I

Let it be known that the Azn Badger loves him some Time Crisis.

I’ve been hooked on the series ever since I first played the original Time Crisis at the University of Washington Hub.

Pictured: A real school. Unlike the one I went to...

Arcade light gun rail-shooters have always been one of my favorite genres of videogames.

I think the key to their appeal lied within the simplicity of the gameplay, coupled with the fact that, for most of my life, they were a genre of game that was exclusive to the arcade.

Really, it wasn’t until the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn age of gaming that arcade perfect ports of light gun games started seeing release.

Thank you gray box, thank you black box, you made childhood and adolescence worth living through.

I’ve never really been an arcade game enthusiast, largely because I was never one of “those guys.”

You know, the guy in the arcade that strolls up to the Tekken, or Marvel vs. Capcom 2, or Street Fighter III: Third Strike cabinet, and proceeds to dominate all comers and play off of the same 50 cents all day and all night.

Pictured: The Godfather of "Those Guys"

While I was a pretty competent Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament player back in the day, most of my time in the arcade was spent playing the first few stages playing the first few stages of beat ’em ups like Aliens vs. Predator or X-Men.

Perhaps the finest beat 'em up of all time. Turtles in Time (SNES version) is right up there with it though.

I say “the first few stages of” because I’d usually only be willing to play for one credit.

Yes, even as a kid I was that Azn AKA cheap.

Make that duck Irish, and this pic is spot on.

Either that, or I’d be having the time of my life playing Mr. Driller or Raiden Fighters over in the “cheap games” section of Gameworks.

BEST GAME EVER.

Some of my favorite light gun games were Gunblade NY, Laser Ghost, House of the Dead 2, and of course, The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Pictured: The part of The Lost World arcade game that everyone remembers.

Time Crisis 1 was exceptional and unique due to it’s introduction of “the pedal” system for allowing the player to reload and duck into cover at will.

Enemies in the game were purely of the human variety, and would go down with a single shot; an important factor seeing as your magazine capacity was only 6 shots per load.

"Six shots, more than enough to kill anything that moves..."

Like most rail shooters, enemies were color coded to provide a quick means of visually acquiring and prioritizing targets.

To my knowledge, the blue guys were basically worthless, the white guys were a little bit more accurate, the brown guys were about the same, the green guys had heavy weapons, and the red guys were aimbot motherfuckers that could hit you just about every time.

Haxxorz! Aimbot! TK!

Graphically speaking, Time Crisis was no House of the Dead, but it got the job done regardless.

People looked like people, helicopters looked like helicopters, and ninjas looked like ninjas.

Well, as much as ninja's could look like ninjas back in '95...

The game wasn’t flashy, with no fancy gore effects or crazy character designs, but it’s unique and exciting gameplay made it something truly special.

Did I mention that Time Crisis actually had a story?

In fact, it’s funny to think it now, but back in the day I actually thought Time Crisis had a pretty good story.

Bear in mind, this is coming from someone that thinks THIS is a modern American classic.

Sure it’s just a standard “the president’s daughter has been kidnapped, are you a bad enough dude to rescue her?” story, but my barely 10 year old imagination spun it into something more than that.

Hell, I can remember dreaming up ideas of how to adapt the game to a fucking movie, even as a kid.

That’s not to say they were good ideas, but come on, I was 10.

Pictured: What Hollywood would be spending 200 million dollars on if 10 year olds ran the show.

The main gist of the story is that a man named Sherudo Garo is trying to overthrow the rule of his homeland by claiming his ancestral birthright.

Sherudo Garo as played by Hugh Grant.

Mr. Garo enlists the aid of an army of terrorists headed by a man named Wild Dog in order to accomplish this, kidnapping the president’s daughter, Rachel in the process.

Once the introduction is over, the rest of the story is told through a series of in between mission cut scenes.

Captain Bowl-Cut's 'bout tuh' cut a bitch...

Nothing really profound or unexpected really happens in the story, but all through the game you feel like an action hero.

As Richard Miller, generic, bad ass and mute agent of VSSE, you are treated to a handful of boss fights that take the otherwise mundane experience of killing the same soldiers over and over again, and make it all worth while.

Freeze Frame Character Intros, the action hero's best friend.

The first boss is Moz, a ninja who takes three shots to kill, and is a waste of your fucking time.

Note how the game encourages you to skip this pile of fail.

Moving on.

Next up is Sherudo Garo, who in a decent twist, isn’t actually the final boss of the game.

Crazy, bowl-cut sporting son of a bitch that he is, Mr. Garo actually brings a knife to a gun fight and tries to best you using ornamental ferns as cover.

Richard Miller used Bullet Seed on Potted Plant! It's not very effective...

It’s a fun fight, made all the better by his progressively more visible signs of weakness during the fight.

The big finale comes on the roof of the castle, at sunset, just moments after Wild Dog puts a bullet in Rachel’s arm.

Such drama, and yet the game still urges me to skip it all...

Yeah, with a set-up like that, you know it’s gonna’ be a hum-dinger.

I’d just like to take this moment to say that Wild Dog deserves some sort of award for how truly badass he is.

I mean look at him:

BAAAAADDDDD ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

He’s got the trench coat, the pimp goggles, the greased back hair, and fuckin’ red suspenders underneath it all!

He’s like the pimpest thing that ever walked the Earth!

On top of that, he’s got one of the coolest, and most over-the-top voices and deliveries I’ve ever heard.

Seriously, the first time I heard this man laugh, I knew I was looking at a living legend.

Anyway, as if Wild Dog wasn’t pimpalicious enough, he fights you with a pair of Broomhandle Mausers.

That’s Han Solo guns to you and me.

What begins as a duel based around a circular fountain, quickly escalates to something more, as Wild Dog pulls out his “Magic Button of Explosiveness” and starts clickin’ that fucker like no tomorrow.

Enemies start piling out of the woodwork, the castle starts blowing up ’cause Wild Dog keeps clickin’ that fuckin’ button, and all of a sudden the game gets crazy fuckin’ hard.

Wild Dog pulls out all the stops in the last minute or so of the battle.

He jacks some dudes’ machine gun.

He starts throwin’ grenades.

He starts teleporting.

Hang on, what?

Well okay, he doesn’t really teleport per se, rather the flames of the explosions serve to mask his movements, making it seem like he’s teleporting.

At least I hope that’s what they were going for.

Finally, as if Wild Dog’s dick wasn’t massive enough already, the final phase of his attack is not to pull a rocket launcher on you, nor to turn Super Saiyan and blast you into the fuckin’ sun (yes, that did in fact happen once or twice), but simply to run straight at you, and try to punch you in the face.

If that isn’t badass, I don’t know what is.

In short, if you’re man enough to put a bullet in Wild Dog as he reaches out to sock you, he falls over backwards, drops his “Magic Button of Explosiveness” and, surprise, surprise, gets blown the fuck up in the process.

Richard carries the wounded Rachel onto a nearby helicopter, they flee the exploding island, they fuck, roll credits.

The console release also had a multi-branching sidestory regarding Wild Dog’s arms supplier, a woman named Kantaris.

The story took Richard Miller on another mad dash, this time as he chased Kantaris through the hotel that was the front for her arms deals.

There were only two bosses in this mode, a random-ass dual-mohawked motherfucker named Web Spinner, and a big fuckin’ robot.

Sadly, no.

Web Spinner was encountered early in the game, and was basically like a faster, more unpredictable Moz with electrified boomerangs for projectiles.

I don’t know why you would want to electrify a boomerang, but whatever, the man has 2 mohawks, I don’t question men of such character.

Pictured: A man of such character.

The big fuckin’ robot was really hard, but lacked personality, so I don’t have much to say other than the fact that he was cheap as fuck.

There wasn’t much story to the Kantaris mission, however there were a number of cutscenes to draw my little 10 year old mind into the drama.

Part of the fun of the Kantaris mission was the fact that, though the game branched a number of way, nearly all of the ending resulted in Kantaris getting killed in some embarrassing way.

Pictured: An embarrassing death.

In one ending you shoot at her red sports car, that is, not hitting her, and she flinches like a bitch and rolls it over, thusly causing it to explode with her inside.

In another, her big fuckin’ robot goes haywire and turns on her, pushing her out the window of the hotel, and yes, exploding on top of her.

In still another, you don’t even shoot at her, and the plane she’s escaping in just sort of craps out and crashes on it’s own.

You best be screamin' bitch, YOU GOIN' DIE!!!

Aside from the gameplay and story, it should be said that Time Crisis’ soundtrack, while repetitive, was wonderfully memorable soundtrack.

I am a fan of thematic scores, and Time Crisis’ entire soundtrack is based on reworking maybe 3-4 major themes throughout the entirety of the game, with most of them being pretty good.

Soundtrack HERE.

“Stage 1-3” is my favorite, as it’s a medley of every major theme in the game.

I was very happy to find that, while the main action theme was absent from Time Crisis 3, and maybe 4, Wild Dog’s theme has made an appearance in every game, as has he.

You see, yet another sign of just how badass Wild Dog is.

The original Time Crisis was, and always will be one of my favorite light gun games.

It was fun, it was different, and it was balanced, but more importantly, I bought into the drama of the game and made it out to be something more than it was.

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Quatro McShane and the Bronco Conspiracy

Quatro McShane and the Bronco Conspiracy

by Duncan R. Funkelton

Quatro McShane, the baddest intergalactic space-trucker in all the Five Systems, is at it again in this action-packed tale of intrigue and mystery!
In this adventure, McShane once again finds himself at odds with his old rival, Jeep Limbo, as the two race against time to discover the cause of the sudden reemergence of the once extinct, desert dwelling space beasts, called Broncos.
With both of their space-rigs hijacked and torn to bits by the Broncos, McShane and Limbo are forced to team up as they battle their way to the Bronco lair.
Will they discover the cause for the sudden reemergence of the Broncos?
More importantly, will they be able to work together long enough to do something about it?
Read “Quatro McShane and the Bronco Conspiracy” to find out!

(Image used with the consent of Jeffrey Dong)

Yup, that’s Jeff Dong’s book cover for my shitty Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel idea!

Personally, I think Mr. Dong did a bang up job with his cover, capturing the retardedly bad-ass nature of the characters as well as finding a good representation of the totally nondescript “Broncos” of the title.

Hurray for giant isopods.

Probably my favorite part of the cover though, is Mr. Dong’s representation of the “space rig,” he really took the images straight out of my brain on that one.

Goddamn Quatro McShane is a cool name, hella’ proud of myself on that one…

Praise be to Space Bobcat.

The Great Silver Statue of Space Bobcat amid Mayan Temple Ruins.

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Crappy Book Covers Are Crappy!

Say what you will, it's still THE BEST COVER EVER.

Yesterday’s post was an example of intentionally bad cover art for a book.

Today I figured I would take a moment to show you a few examples of published book covers that are potentially worse from a design standpoint than the juggernaut that was “Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus.”

Shitty book covers aren’t hard to find, one has only to venture down to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of any book store or library to find them.

Or don't. That would be my suggestion anyway.

All of the images that follow were taken at the University of Washington Book Store.

It should be noted that most of these covers were far from the worst I’ve seen.

I blame myself for this, as Barnes & Noble seems to stock a larger quantity of rubbish books with shitty covers.

Good job UW, way to keep the crappy book cover population to a minimum.

Anyway, let’s begin our journey through the world of shitty cover art with the book that prompted me to start this whole day of adventure in the first place:

Werewolf Smackdown by Mario Acevedo.

The moment I saw this on the shelf, I found myself stupefied, gawking in horror at the masterpiece of ass-itude that lay before me.

Now, first thing’s first, Werewolf Smackdown is a truly awful title.

Unless of course THIS was the subject of the story.

In my opinion, the most frustrating part of this cover isn’t the horrendous graphic of the werewolf character, but rather the typography of the title.

The “Down” part of the word “Smackdown” is on a slightly lower plane than the “Smack” resulting in a rather confusing appearance.

I guess one could theorize that this was done intentionally as a visual metaphor to put emphasis on the fact that werewolves are in fact smacked down in this book, but I seriously doubt most would come to that conclusion on first glance.

Hell, it took me like 20 minutes to even come up with that half-assed explanation.

Werewolf Smackdown, definitely playing second fiddle to Werewolf RAW is WAR.

Next up is Eric Flint Time Spike by Marilyn Kosmatka… Or is it Time Spike by Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka?

Here we have our basic Tyrannosaur eating a Spanish Conquistador cover.

Other than my confusion over what’s the title and who’s the author (thank you very much, shitty typography), this is a pretty crazy-awesome/retardly-awesome/shitty cover that I honestly don’t have problem with.

That doesn’t make anything more than a shitty cover though.

Just ask any of my friends, I have a tendency to find reasons to like truly awful things.

Pretty sure I'm the person I know that actually liked this movie...

Moving right along, next we have Pyramid Power by our homeboy Eric Flint, or wait maybe it’s by that son of a bitch Dave Freer, I honestly can’t tell:

Like the previous cover, this one isn’t overtly bad, it’s just really fucking stupid.

I mean come on, it’s a fuckin’ dragon holding a viking with it’s tail.

On paper that sounds pretty cool, but I would’ve preferred to see a less static representation of this most epic of encounters, you know, something a little more action oriented or dynamic.

Goddamn you Monster Hunter, lookin' all cool n'shit...

Conceptually speaking, this is like looking at a heavy metal album cover.

You aren’t allowed to ask “why,” you just sort of accept it in all it’s insanity and excess and get on with your life.

Either that, or you briefly question the band's sexuality for a moment, then rock until you just don't care.

Pyramid Power loses points for it’s shitty title, however, like the previous cover; the cover isn’t all that bad, just uninspired.

Finally, I’d like to take a minute to look over a couple of covers from an author that seems to have a knack for generating crappy novels deserving of crappy covers, Mr. John Ringo.

Holy shit! He looks like Muldoon!

First up is The Road to Damascus:

In case you couldn’t tell, that is in fact a child in red pajamas, holding a teddy bear in one hand while holding a laser gun in the other.

Oh yeah, he also appears to be facing down a tank.

Based on the color palette and (shitty) fonts, my first instinct upon viewing this cover was to compare it to one of those choose-your-own-adventure novels.

I know they look nothing alike, but I just felt like using this image 'cause I acutally own this one.

Though silly in nature, The Road to Damascus, once again, doesn’t have all that bad a cover.

The image is provocative, with some definite time and effort put into the illustration, with some very straightforward and easily distinguished focal points to the layout.

The fonts are pretty boring, but not clip art bad.

I will say this though, the cover seems a little too busy in places, particularly at the top, where the tag line is inappropriately large given it’s close proximity to the author’s name/names.

Our last cover is another John Ringo book, called Gust Front; and this time it actually is shitty, not just bad like most of the others.

I apologize about my leniency towards these shitty book covers.

Many of them probably deserve harsher words than I’ve given them, but I guess it’s just not in my nature to gripe about and be unnecessarily or overly critical of things, no matter how shitty they may be.

Oh well, here’s Gust Front:

Holy fucking shit that’s bad.

Pretty much everything bad that can be said about cover art can be applied to Gust Front.

The title is ass.

The fonts are ridiculously over-the-top, oversized, and horrendously colored.

Oh yeah, and the composition is off-balance, somehow managing to be both cluttered and sparse, with truly awful original Starcraft quality CG renderings for all the figures present in the image.

Hmm, I don't remember the old Starcraft looking like this. Sadly, no trace remains of it ever since the announcement of #2.

It’s kind of funny actually, the dude in the power armor reminds me of the Starship Troopers CG cartoon, Roughnecks.

Yup, these guys and the Extreme Ghostbusters were my best buddies after school...

Man, that was a good show…

Hang on, now that I think of it, the title font seems to bear a certain resemblance to the Starship Troopers one, at least in terms of it’s alignment.

I'm proud to say that the DVD I own of this film has a MUCH better cover.

I see, so we’re to buy this no doubt shitty novel based on the associations it brings on in our minds in relation to Starship Troopers?

Clever girl Mr. Ringo… Clever girl indeed…

I feel it is worth noting that John Ringo’s section at the UW bookstore was pretty much a shelf unto itself.

That’s a lot of shit novels.

Huh, guess I really can be an asshole when I put my mind to it.

Go figure.

Anyway, this has been a truly half-assed post.

Things will pick up a little bit more tomorrow, promise.

Praise be to Space Bobcat.

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Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus

Doctor Vladimir’s Space Virus

by Eric Burmill

Doctor Maximus Vladimir is the top scientist of the United Star Systems and he believes he’s developed a revolutionary new medicine to reduce the body’s physical deterioration in old age. He delivers his serum to a trusted colleague, Colonel Henry Mortok, without the knowledge that the colonel is member of K.I.L.L., a secret order bent on destroying all life in the universe. Mortok modifies the serum into a biological weapon and distributes it across all of the space colonies. Too late Dr. Vladimir realizes that his friend has used his discovery to unleash a deadly plague across the galaxy. Now it’s up to our hero to battle the secret order, confront his former friend, find a cure to save the billions of lives at stake, and clear his good name before he and the rest of the human race are erased from existence.

(Story Concept and Image used with the consent of Jeffrey Dong)

The above is part of an art exchange project between myself and a good friend of mine, Jeff Dong.

The idea came up while we were at Barnes & Noble rooting through the Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel section, intentionally looking for the dumbest and most ridiculous cover arts we could find.

And the winner for most awesome book cover EVER goes to...

Jeff Dong came up with the neat idea of challenging ourselves to come up with fake concepts for books that would go well with retarded cover art.

Basically, we were to exchange intentionally retarded Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel ideas, and then produce Photoshop renditions of the cover art for said stories.

The above example is my interpretation of Jeff Dong’s story idea.

Even though it took me more than a month to actually sit down and do this project, (largely on account of me having to write this damn blog!) I have to admit that I genuinely had fun with it.

Even though it’s cheesy, and definitely retarded, I also have to say that I am also somewhat proud of my work on this image.

Anyway, needed a break from writing, so instead I decided to treat myself to a day of flexing my artistic creativity.

Pictured: My "Artistic Creativity"

Hope you enjoyed, be on the lookout for Jeff Dong’s cover image for my story, it’s a hoot!

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The Best Track in the Game #11: Tetris Attack

That's right, fresh from the wrapper, baby...

I know what you’re thinking:

“Wait, didn’t the Azn Badger say he was only gonna’ do The Best Track in the Game posts about games he owned?”

Well, as of yesterday, I am the proud owner of Tetris Attack, so fuck you.

Whoops! Think I pooped myself taking this one.

Tetris Attack is one of the better combat-puzzle games out there.

In fact, short of Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, I’d say it was the best.

Yo Ken, best be packin' it up son, 'cause you bout'sta' take a Shinkuu Hadouken straight up in dah' face, man. Out dah' box, foh' real, yo.

Tetris Attack’s appeal lies in it’s overall simplicity, both from a gameplay, and an aesthetic standpoint.

Unlike a traditional Tetris game, where the objective is to line up horizontal rows of blocks across the playing field to destroy them and get points, the main objective in Tetris Attack is to match 3 or more blocks of the same color and shape in order to destroy them.

I feel it is worth pointing out that, the reason why Tetris Attack’s gameplay is so unlike any other Tetris game, is because it really isn’t a Tetris game at all.

Nor is this, but idiots around the world seem to like it, so oh well...

The original Japanese version of the game is an entry in the Puzzle League series of games called Panel De Pon.

Meh, could be worse.

For the American release, the generic anime inspired sprite designs and backgrounds were replaced with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island elements, and the soundtrack was completely redone.

Other than that, the fundamental gameplay remains the same.

23 years Mega Man... You haven't changed your stripes in 23 fucking years. Lazy bum...

Seeing as Tetris Attack is a combat-puzzle game, a major part of the appeal of the gameplay is that, the player isn’t just required to solve puzzles, they’re also expected to do it faster and more efficiently than their opponent.

Destroying 4 or more blocks at a time causes extra blocks to fall on your opponent’s playing field, thusly piling their stack closer to defeat, while at the same time giving them more block with which to retaliate against you with.

... Or they can just get totally fucked.

It’s a wonderfully simple game that rarely allows for any one player to dominate the match.

More often than not, Tetris Attack matches between two human players take on a sort of tug o’ war dynamic wherein both players come close to losing several times, only to miraculously battle back and put their opponent on the ropes.

It’s these “come from behind” moments, and the giddy excitement that they elicit; that make Tetris Attack so great.

Can't talk about comebacks without talkin' bout Gatti!

Graphically speaking, Tetris Attack is minimalist, as most puzzle games are, but still impressive for the most part.

The game uses characters and settings from Yoshi’s Island, taking full advantage of that game’s vibrant color palette and irresistably cute design scheme.

IT'S ALWAYS A GOOD TIME FOR KITTENS.

While character animations are sparse, and most of the sprites drawn very small, nearly every animation is crisp and clean, resulting in a presentation that is limited, while managing to make the most of what little it has to offer.

While none of the selectable characters in the game offer any variations to the gameplay of Tetris Attack, some of my favorite characters in the game are Bumpty the Penguin (’cause he’s cute), Kemek (’cause he’s badass), and Blarg on account of the awesome “AAAAAARRRRRRGH!!!” noise he makes when you send blocks over to your opponent’s side.

Pictured: Half the Reason Tetris Attack Kicks Ass.

Yoshi can eat a Blackanese cock though.

Tetris Attack is one of those games that I could, and probably will; play forever.

It’s not a game I’m terribly nostalgic about, as I didn’t really play it until I was in high school, but it’s one of those rare games that is almost guaranteed to put a smile on my face whenever I think about playing it.

Anyway, enough of me sucking Tetris Attack’s cock, The Best Track in the Game is…

Yoshi’s Theme:


And…

Boss Stage Theme:

Why?:

I chose to name two Best Tracks in the Game out of respect for the aesthetic that Tetris Attack presents.

You see, Yoshi’s Theme, in my eyes, is the perfect musical representation of the feel that Tetris Attack has.

While the Boss Stage Theme is definitely my favorite track in the game, that by no means makes it The Best Track in the Game.

Yoshi’s Theme is serene and whimsical, akin to something you’d picture playing while skipping through a park or some shit, fitting perfectly with the mood and sound of the game.

I can’t say the track is my favorite in the game, however I also feel that I can’t regard it as a runner-up, as it really does deserve note as the “core” piece of music for the whole game.

The Boss Stage Theme also fits the game exceedingly, however it has a harshness and pounding tempo to it that make it suitable as boss music.

When listening to it, one is reminded that this is music meant to be played over a fast-paced puzzle game.

The Boss Stage Theme really does an amazing job of maintaining the pre-established “feel” to the music, while placing a premium on pressuring the player into feeling the tension as they race to out maneuver their opponent.

It’s by no means an outstanding piece of music in terms of all time time great tracks, however being as it is attached to one of the most outright “fun” games I’ve ever played, it will always stick with me regardless of it’s fidelity or quality of composition.


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Miguel Cotto: I Worry Some Times…

I worry about Miguel Cotto.

Ever since the first time I saw him fight, back in ’05 against Muhammad Abdullaev, he was supposed to be my guy in boxing.

He was supposed to be the fighter whose career I would fervently follow and admire, win or lose.

He wasn’t supposed to be the fighter I was always worrying about.

Miguel Cotto is, in many ways; the quintessential Puerto Rican fighter.

While his style consists of a combination of pressure-based infighting and skillful counter-punching, (backed by an impressive jab) everything he does has a “swagger” to it, a sense of theatricality and flash.

Unfortunately, it is this “swagger” that has always made me worry about Miguel Cotto.

Boxing is a sport that is, above all; won through skillful observation and analysis.

Occasionally, a fighter will come around that can overcome their opponents with pure athleticism and raw physicality I.E. Roy Jones Jr., but in most cases it is a fighter’s mind, timing and reflexes that win the day.

It is a sport wherein predictability and tendencies are a fighter’s worst enemy.

Miguel Cotto has quirks, and they aren’t the good kind.

Most of these quirks are fairly minor, and aren’t really an issue, such as his tendency to cross his legs or readjust his footing prior to stepping in.

The most visible of these quirks however, is one that seems to surface in-between exchanges, particularly when Cotto parries, or is caught by a right hand.

For whatever reason, Cotto has a tendency to tuck his chin against his left shoulder, drop his left arm to his waist, and cup his right glove against his temple.

Don't even try to tell me that's a shell defense...

My theory as to it’s existence, is that Cotto has a habit of “hanging on to” his perceptions and visualizations of the fight.

That is to say, the image in his head of what he should have done tends to linger and cause him to physically carry out the appropriate action just a moment later.

I swear I’m not a psyche student.  Scout’s honor.

In my eyes, it’s an immensely visible, and more importantly; exploitable tendency that I’ve always feared would lead to Cotto getting steamrolled by aggressive fighters with accurate punches and/or high workrates.

Oh wait, that happened already.

Twice.

Now don’t get me wrong, I started out this post being pro-Cotto, and I intend to end it that way too, but it goes without saying that Miguel Cotto is a fighter that, at this stage in his career; is all too vulnerable.

Just to remind everyone, he’s only lost twice.

The first time, against the bionic Mexican, Antonio Margarito; he may have been facing a man with loaded gloves.

The second time, against Filipino phenom Manny Pacquiao; he was facing one of the best (active) fighters alive.

Neither loss should stand as a condemnation of Cotto’s standing as a fighter, however both losses were very hard to watch.

Not because he was pummeled so horribly, (he was) but because of the way he handled it.

Early in Miguel Cotto’s career, as a Junior Welterweight, he made his mark in the sport by being a “comeback kid” of sorts.

He was a dynamic and explosive fighter that had a reputation of being floored in his fights, only to get up and mount punishing offensives that would send his opponents packing.

After Cotto moved up in weight to Welterweight, a weight he claimed was healthier for him, his somewhat questionable chin seemed become less of an issue.

Personally, I feel that Cotto will never find an ideal weight class in boxing, (he’s too short for Junior Middleweight, and not all that big for a Welter) his chin will always be an iffy subject,  it just wasn’t until years later that we saw it tested again.

In his fight against the talented, but RETARDED, Zab Judah; Cotto took a monster left uppercut to the jaw during the first round that had him reeling.

He never went down, and he went on to win the fight by KO, (though Judah’s ADHD may have had more to do with that than anything else) but the point was, he was seriously hurt in that fight, and it showed.

Hell, he only punched Zab in the balls like, 30 times that night, sounds like the behavior of a hurt and/or pissed off fighter to me.

The next time we saw him seriously hurt, he was being swept away by the human tidal wave known as Antonio Margarito.

Pictured: The Bionic Mexican, Antonio Margarito

I remember the Cotto/Margarito fight vividly.

I was watching it with my parents, and my dad was rooting for Margarito, while I was backing the Puerto Rican.

My dad and I both knew Cotto was probably going to lose, but unlike my dad; I had a personal stake in the fight.

I wanted Cotto to win.

That’s what made it so hard when my guy looked the slickest he ever had in the first 5-6 rounds, only to slowly, and decisively; get clubbed to death against the corner post.

I remember my heart sinking the moment I saw Cotto take a knee without taking a punch.

It was like my generation’s “No Mas” moment.

Well, maybe not that dramatic, but it was important to me.

I wasn’t mad at Cotto for giving up, I was just blown away by the fact that actually got up and tried to fight.

It was stupid.

Pictured: An Idiot. It's Ricky Hatton, look him up.

When Arturo Gatti, or Jake LaMotta, or Tony Zale did their thing, nobody could stop them because they couldn’t stop themselves.

In their prime, you could beat any one of those guys over the head with a shovel, and somehow their mind, their body, no matter how fragmented and crippled; would find a way to stand in front of you and just keep swinging.

Hell, they used to say that Gatti was no good unless he was bleeding, God rest his soul.

Good thing he was usually swollen and/or bleeding on his way down the ramp.

Pictured: Arturo Gatti BEFORE the fight.

Seeing Miguel Cotto stand up and expect to turn the tide, after 4-5 rounds of awkwardly circling and half-heartedly jabbing at Antonio Margarito, was just plain sick.

When Miguel Cotto gets hurt, he makes mistakes.

When fighters make mistakes, they get hurt even worse.

Dissecting Miguel Cotto’s behavior while in “survival mode,” is painfully simple, even for a armchair quarterback like me.

Keep in mind, we’ve only really seen Cotto in this way on two occasions, though in this case, two times is twice too many.

Everything about his fighting reverts back to his quirks.

In short, his boxer’s mind sort of fizzles out, and all he’s left with are the comforts of his muscle memories.

Only problem is, most of his muscle memories are wrong.

He crosses his legs, he crouches too low, he retreats straight back, and he does that weird thing where he drops his hands, all while staying on his feet, but doing very little to keep himself in the fight.

Well, short of this anyway.

There are situations when the trainer should step in and stop the fight, and both of Miguel Cotto’s losses were those sort of situations.

Against the genetic freak, Manny Pacquiao, Cotto was in serious trouble for most of the fight.

In the early rounds, he did alright, landing the first real decisive blow of the fight, (a jab) and maintaining a degree of composure for the most part.

I was non-partisan for the Cotto/Pacquiao fight.

I remember watching the fight in a bar with some friends and saying to myself in the third round:

“Aw fuck, his feet are all over the place.  Pac-Man’s runnin’ circles around him.”

And it was true, Cotto was caught on far too many occasions, clumsily trying to reset his feet as he tends to do, while Pacquiao would dart in from the clever angles that have always made him dangerous.

This, is not one of those angles.

Let it be said also, that Cotto’s forehead centric guard is tailor made to make him eat straight left hands to the jaw.

Not a good thing when that’s your opponent’s money punch.

After Cotto went down, he was out of the fight.

Perhaps if he had better powers of recovery, or hadn’t been fighting as aggressive and accurate a puncher as Pacquaio, he may have been able to regain his senses and get back in the fight.

This was not the case however, and, while Cotto managed to keep Pac-Man at bay with the occasional stiff jab off the ropes every now and again, his legs spent the whole night fighting a losing battle against Pacquiao’s constant pressure.

It was truly unfortunate, for me anyway, to have had to watch Cotto stumble around, making all the same mistakes as he had in the latter rounds of the Margarito fight, for almost the whole of 12 rounds.

On a side note, I got a similar feeling of disgust watching Yuri Foreman hobble around on one leg for 3 rounds during Cotto’s most recent fight.

Mercante: "C'mon kid, suck it up." Kind of hard to do when YOU HAVE ONE LEG. Dumbass...

The Cotto/Pacquiao fight should have been stopped in the 9th round, or perhaps even sooner; end of story.

Maybe Cotto’s “survival mode” is just too good for his own safety.

Maybe he does just enough to keep the ref happy, and his opponent at bay in the hopes of hearing the final bell.

Maybe it’s his own damn fault he doesn’t just get knocked the fuck out and call it an early night.

I don’t know what to think of Miguel Cotto when he’s hurt, and all of the familiar quirks and bad habits boil to the surface.

I would never go so far as to say that Cotto’s days are numbered, and that his career is on the downward spiral, however that doesn’t keep me from worrying.

I’ll never stop watching all of Miguel Cotto’s fights, and he’ll never stop being my guy in boxing.

I am a Miguel Cotto fan, and by golly, I worry some times…

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