Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Remember When Kevin Nash Got Old And Started Sucking More Than Ever?

It’s funny, I’ve never been terribly attached to Kevin Nash as a wrestler.

Oddly enough, despite his presence in mainstream pop culture being almost entirely derived from his time spent as a wrestler, most of the reasons I’ve found to like the man have come from his acting career.

I liked him as The Russian in The Punisher:

Pictured: The best scene in the movie.

I found him and Eric Robert’s over-the-top performances in Dead Or Alive to be just about the only enjoyable portions of the movie, even though Nash’s character was clearly intended to be played by Hulk Hogan:

CLEARLY Bass was based off of Kevin Nash...

Hell, even though he barely did anything, I felt he did a decent job as Super Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2:

Pictured: One of the worst/dumbest moments in the movie.

Outside of these performances though, Nash was never the best wrestler, nor was he all that good on the mic.

Back in his Diesel days, it was kind of cool that they let him use the “illegal” Jacknife Powerbomb as his finisher, but outside of his stature and natural charisma, the man just never seemed to push himself as much some of the bigger names in the business.

Truth be told, I think my best memory of Kevin Nash was playing as him in the WCW vs. NWO game for the Nintendo 64:

Jesus fuck I miss that game…

Blunt force trauma inflicted KO’s were featured in that game, and using any (slow as fuck) power attack from Nash would result in an almost guaranteed instant KO.

I have many great memories of playing that game, mostly derived from playing as AKI and THQ Man; however playing as Nash ranks pretty high on my list of awesomeness.

Anyway, as the clip above indicates, Nash has clearly lost some of the (non-existent) spring in his step over the years.

Oh well, at least now his wrestling is funny to watch as opposed to boring.

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

The Top 10 Videogame Songs, #6

To be great, a song needn’t be a work of compositional genius.

Perhaps more so than any other medium, the best songs often consist of simple but memorable tunes that succeed in triggering an emotional response in their listeners.

In my book, empty or soulless pop music doesn’t have be garbage, so long as it’s “fun.”

Hell, it worked for The Monkees...

That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll pay money to listen to it though, as that’s what FM radio’s for.

Our #6 entry on our list of the Top 10 Videogame Songs is hardly a “great” song, but in terms of pure unadulterated “fun,” it’s a classic in my book:

#6. Mystical Ninja 64 – Ore Wa Impact!

I mentioned in my article for the #9 entry on this list, “God Hand,” that I have a weakness for tokusatsu hero music and songs, and by golly, I fuckin’ meant it.

“Ore wa Impact” AKA “I am Impact” is sung, with great verve and zeal I might add; by Ichirou Mizuki, a veteran anime and tokusatsu vocal performer.

Uh... I'd hide my kids if I were you.

The music is proud, boisterous, and ludicrously funky, such that I’d be 12 steps beyond happy if it were to play every time I walked into a room.

If that weren’t enough to put this song in my “good” pile, the nonsensical lyrics celebrate the retarded-ly fun nature of the song in a manner only the Japanese could manage.

Strangely enough, the English subtitles serve as a poor translation for the majesty of “Ore wa Impact,” largely due to their attempts to inject the song with an unusual and largely unwarranted sense of dignity.

The Japanese lyrics have the singer (presumably the giant robot Impact himself) declaring himself gorgeous, sexy, and even funky; while the English subtitles lamely translate these bold declarations in this manner:

Best? BEST!? In no what fucking world does SEXY, GORGEOUS, and FUNKY translate to "Best"!?

That’s just fuckin’ sad.

Anyway, despite this somewhat disappointing subtitle issue, Mystical Ninja 64, along with virtually every other Ganbare Goemon game; was epic-ly fuckin’ awesome.

I grew up playing Legend of the Mystical Ninja on the Super NES with my brother, and as such; I went on to spend many hours and days playing it’s N64 successor.

Of all the neat features included in Mystical Ninja 64, Impact was something special.

While he had been featured in prior games in the series on the Super Famicom, the N64 game marked the first occasion in which he was given an actual theme song.

While “Ore wa Impact” was and is a really fun song, in truth I found some of the original instrumental themes for the character to be somewhat superior, particularly the version used in Ganbare Goemon 2:

What I wouldn’t give to hear a remixed version of that tune with Ichirou Mizuki’s vocals backing it up.

History lesson aside, this has been our 6th best song on our Top 10 Videogame Songs list.

Check back tomorrow as we crack the Top 5!

Filed under: Games, Top 10 Videogame Songs, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Demon’s Souls 2!?

Holy Schnikes, Demon’s Souls is getting a sequel!

As some of you may recall, I made it a point to slog my way through the beast that is Demon’s Souls; not just so I could say I did, but because I genuinely enjoyed the experience.

As only the second game I would own for my Playstation 3, I poured hours and months of my time into Demon’s Souls, making progress by inches, and generally doing my best to see and do as much in the game as I could manage.

Highly publicized for it’s brutally unforgiving difficulty, Demon’s Souls was an expansive and creative dungeon crawler that was very much designed for a specific breed of gamer, (read: masochistic) with the rewards of it’s gameplay experience being reserved for only the most persistent and determined of players.

 

Pictured: Said breed of gamer. He's probably still trying to get all 120 stars in Mario 64...

Like most people, my relationship with Demon’s Souls is very much equal parts love and hate.

While I have yet to start a new game+ in Demon’s Souls, as I’ve been busy with work/blogging/playing other games; in hearing news of the upcoming sequel, feelings of excitement brewed in my heart.

Demon’s Souls was a game that struck a chord with me on many levels, however it was by no means a game without it’s flaws.

On the contrary, the game was riddled with design problems and missteps, from somewhat generic art design, to “cheap” combat mechanics, to minor annoyances like respawning monsters.

The trailer for the sequel, titled Dark Souls; is fairly ambiguous in terms of presenting the gameplay mechanics of the game, however even at this point it’s evident that the art design and graphics have been vastly improved, and the repertoire of attacks available to the player have been expanded in some capacity.

Check it out below:

Personally, I’m thinking Dark Souls looks pretty decent.

Bear in mind, I watched this trailer without any sound, (malware fucked my audio drivers in the ass…) so for all know there could be some horrendous narration that totally ruins the entire ambiance of the video.

In any case, if it’s at least as good as Demon’s Souls, then chances are I’ll give Dark Souls a try.

For now though, I guess I’m stuck writing lame blog posts about it as I seriously consider picking up Demon’s Souls for another playthrough.

By the way, Tremors FTW.

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

Tactical Roll!

This particular Magic card represents kind of an inside joke among my friends and I.

Oh yeah, that’s Harrison Ford tactically rolling by the way.

You see, in most military action videogames, particularly of the more “arcade-y” variety; an evade command is usually made available to the player.

More often than not, said evasive maneuvers end up taking the form of a dodge or roll.

Due to game programmer’s lame attempts at making their games more “fair,” and thusly less prone to causing bouts of rage quitting among their players; dodging in videogames can often feel like an infallible technique, even in the face of hails of gunfire.

Ever since my friends and I played Syphon Filter way back when, and discovered that performing the lethargic roll maneuver over and over again was akin to playing the game with God Mode enabled; the phrase “Tactical Roll” has become a running gag in our crew.

The clip above basically sums up what Syphon Filter THE SHIT back in the day…

Basically, the idea is that whenever someone’s in mortal danger while playing a game, you shout “Tactical Roll!” thusly prompting them to attempt to dodge.

It’s true, a roll can be used to dodge most anything, but a “tactical” roll?  That’s just plain unfair

On paper, this probably sounds boring as shit, and most assuredly unfunny; but trust me, when you’re taking fire over your head during a game of airsoft and you hear one of your buddies shout out to you to do a “Tactical Roll!,” it’s freakin’ hilarious.

Anyway, just so we’re all clear, Peppy Hare’s cry of “Do A Barrel Roll!” in Starfox 64, and Will Ferell’s “Serpentine! Serpentine!” from the truly shitty Land of the Lost; had nothing to do with the inception of “Tactical Roll!”

A biter the Azn Badger is not…

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

Best Boss Music #7: Einhänder

Einhänder was Squaresoft’s first and only scrolling shooting game.

Released in 1998 on the Playstation, the game represented a rare foray into the action genre for Squaresoft.

Despite the companies’ reputation for producing almost exclusively RPG games, the late 90’s represented a wonderful era of experimentation and change in the types of games Square would produce.

Pictured: A game we won't be talking about.

During this time Square would branch out and produce a great number of quality games across a myriad of genres.

Tobal No. 1 and 2,

How come we didn't get this awesome cover art in the U.S.?

Bushido Blade 1 and 2,

Pictured: Why Bushido Blade was the shit.

as well the Namco collaborative project, Ehrgeiz, represented Square’s first 3D fighting games.

Pictured: The only reasons any of you fanboy fuckers remember the mediocrity that was Ehrgeiz.

Parasite Eve 1 and 2 turned the RPG genre on it’s head with it’s modern and horror infused plot, as well as it’s hybrid real-time, turn-based combat system.

Oh yeah, and boobies.

Brave Fencer Musashi was one of Square’s first (and best) attempts to create a Zelda-style dungeon crawling adventure game.

I fuckin' LOVED this game. Never beat it though...

And Einhänder, was one of the finest space shooters ever made.

The game was absolutely gorgeous, with spectacular art design, wonderful atmosphere, and an especially noteworthy soundtrack by Kenichiro Fukui.

The basic story of the game was that, in the future, mankind expands it’s civilization to the moon, which at some point sparks a war between the people of the Earth, and the people of the Moon.

The player takes control of the moon-based pilot of a special, wasp shaped plane with a giant manipulator arm for snatching and using enemy weapons, or “Gun Pods.”

Essentially, the game represents a suicide run on the part of the player, wherein they are expected to destroy as many enemy facilities as possible to force the end of the war.

By the end of the game however, the player is faced with the unfortunate task of having to fight for their lives against their fellow soldiers, the reasoning behind which being that they were in fact expected to die on their suicide run on Earth.

"Can't you even die right!?" I'll never get tired of Revolver Ocelot quotes...

Einhänder was presented in a beautifully well-executed 2.5D format.

Essentially, the entire game takes place on a horizontal scrolling, 2D plane, while the graphics and camera angles are rendered in 3D polygons, resulting in a number of dynamic angles that do little to disrupt the relatively simple nature of the gameplay.

Thankfully the camera is in fact better than Superman 64.

At the outset of the game, the player is given the choice of 1 of 3 different “Einhänder” planes, the word being German for “Single-Handed.”

The Endymion FRS Mk. II was a larger plane that could house 3 Gun Pods at any given time, but could only operate one of them at a time.

The Endymion FRS Mk. III was a plane recommended for beginners, as it fielded 2 machine guns by default, as opposed to the normal 1, and it could only hold and operate 1 Gun Pod at a time, limiting the complexity of the gameplay.

And the Astraea FGA Mk. I, was a beastly powerhouse of a machine that could operate 2 Gun Pods at any time, making it the most difficult to pilot, but by far the cream of the crop in my opinion.

Trust me there’s a reason they put the Astraea on the cover.

Throughout the game, the player is faced with the task of battling enemies, while properly managing their Gun Pod arsenal from situation to situation.

Gun Pods could be mounted on the top or bottom of the plane, (or both when using the Astraea) and came in a huge number of varieties, with each having limited ammo so as to require the player to switch them out constantly.

Weapon types ranged from machine guns like the common Vulcan, and it’s overpowered cousin, the Juno, to oddities like the Riot lightning gun, and the defensive chaff gun, the Hedgehog.

Several Gun Pods could only be unlocked by meeting certain conditions, such as killing all of the enemies in a particular scene, or defeating certain bosses in certain ways.

In fact, there were many secrets and branching paths in the game depending upon the player’s performance, resulting in a rare shooter that had the potential to play out differently every time.

Unlike this game, where you can bet on dieing pretty much every time.

Like any other scrolling shooter, bosses were plentiful and spectacular throughout.

Many bosses had weaknesses and could be taken out relatively quickly, (especially when using the ridiculously overpowered Grenade) though in most cases this was ideal, as many of the bosses had variable patterns depending upon the types of damage inflicted on them.

Of course we all know the best damage, is Collateral Damage.

All the bosses in the game had multiple damage quadrants, resulting in interesting scenarios wherein the player would have to quickly decipher which spots made for the most effective targets.

Some of my favorite bosses in the game were the games first boss, a massive elephant like whats-it,

The spider-legged mid-boss of level 3, which could be insanely difficult if not taken out quickly,

KILL IT. NOOOOOOWWWW.

the giant bipedal monkey robot from level 5 that makes Doom noises when it roars,

and the giant satellite that serves as the game’s second to last boss.

PIG FUCKER of a boss. But awesome music, so all is forgiven.

Of course, none of these boss battles would be half as great if not for the game’s amazing soundtrack.

The game doesn’t have a singular boss theme, though in this case I think I would call the first boss theme, “Shudder” the Best Boss Music in Einhänder:

Ah hell, here’s the rest of the boss themes I just listed, in order:
Warning

Madness

and closest runner-up to Shudder, Thermosphere

Much of Einhänder universe uses German and Greek mythological terms, and as such, the game has an appropriately German techno-esque soundtrack.

Pictured: The physical embodiment of German Techno.

The atmosphere is moody, energetic, and undeniably futuristic, giving the game an uncommon sense of drama and urgency for a space shooter.

The game was incredibly difficult, using the annoying-as-fuck “back to the checkpoint every death” system of Gradius, and yet it was packed to the rim with so many beautiful sights and sounds that it was hard to put down.

Einhänder is one of those games that I find myself playing again every few years, and I scarcely believe I will ever get tired of it.

I wouldn’t be lying if I said Einhänder reminded me of Axelay at times.

That’s probably the biggest complement I can give to a space shooter.

Filed under: Best Boss Music, Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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