Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Finally, A Godzilla Figure With Articulation

The King of the Monsters, in all his glory.

(Photos courtesy Infinitehollywood.com)

As anyone who’s read this blog before already knows, I’m a pretty huge Godzilla fan.

I grew up on his films, I played with his toys before I could even speak; and to date he remains one my biggest heroes in all of cinema.

That being said, in my youth I had the bright idea to try and do a stop-motion Godzilla movie of my own.

I was maybe 11 or 12 at the time, but even then; I had standards for my work in the medium.

… I was kind of a weird kid.

Simply put, I found that, given the resources at my disposal; a Godzilla stop-motion was out of my reach due to the inarticulate nature of virtually every figure of him I owned or knew of.

Pictured: My first Godzilla toy. Pretty sure most kids had one of these at some point.

Given that I’m not much of a craftsman, construction of my own custom figure is, and will likely forever be; an impossibility.

That being said, recently I discovered an article concerning the upcoming release of a brand new, super-articulated Godzilla figure from  Bandai’s superb S.H. Figurearts series.

While Kaiyodo’s much lauded Revoltech series of toys dipped into the Toho universe of characters, after several years of waiting on the release of an actual figure of  the Big G himself; I think it’s safe to say that the licensing rights may have been passed to Bandai.

Anyway, based on the photos I’ve seen, the S.H. Figurearts Godzilla figure, as well as it’s accompanying Heisei Mechagodzilla figure; looks as detailed and poseable as one could ever hope for.

The articulation in the neck and head alone strikes me as being more fully featured than the entirety of perhaps any other Godzilla toy I’ve ever owned.

As good as it gets...

Anyway, I realize this likely isn’t exciting news for all that many of you, but it means a lot to me.

Even though this 6″ beast is more than a little overpriced, the idea of finally being able to fulfill a childhood dream; no matter how childish and inconsequential, is something that I feel would more than justify the expenditure.

I hope…

BWAAAHHHHH!!!!

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

Top 5 Games That Should Be Movies

THE game that needs to be a movie...

Today I read an article on IGN titled “Videogames That Should Be Movies.”

In this article, the author discussed a number of game franchises that they personally would like to see adapted to film.

While many of the games cited seemed to be of the jokey variety, namely their concepts of what an Excitebike and Star Fox would be like; most seemed to be largely genuine.

While the article was kind of a fun read, I found myself disagreeing with some of the selections listed.

Metal Gear and Halo felt like poor (but inevitable…) choices for films, given that both have sprawling canon that is far too dense for feature film; and both have a feel and presentation style that is already film-like in the first place.

If Avatar: The Last Airbender is an indication of the shit storm that can crop up when one tries to cram too much into 2 hours, I don’t wanna’ know what would happen if someone tried to do the same with a Metal Gear game…

At the same time, Portal struck me as a weird; somewhat fanboy-ish choice, given that the game has no real narrative; not to mention the gameplay mechanics are very much a novelty that is more fun to experience rather than watch.

Then again, I’m among the minority of people that didn’t really get much out of Portal, so I might be biased on that one…

Nitpicking aside, as I pondered on this topic; I found myself coming up with my own ideas of game series that I think could be fun in movie form.

That being said, while I can’t call them my “top” 5, being as they’re really the only ones I came up with; here are 5 choices/concepts for games that I felt should be movies:

#5. Saturday Night Slam Masters

Saturday Night Slam Masters may not have been the best of games, however it’s core concept and brilliant character designs (courtesy of Tetsuo Hara of Hokuto No Ken fame) made it a favorite of mine in my youth.

I loved how Slam Masters took the colorful pageantry of wrestling, exaggerated it in a borderline realistic manner; and then mixed it together with the 2D fighting gameplay of Final Fight and Street Fighter 2.

While the game really had no story to speak of, I think a Slam Masters movie could be a lot of fun if the wrestling universe was treated as reality ala Kinnikuman.

Basically, you take a fairly basic storyline; like Mike Haggar vowing to win the Slam Masters championship for his daughter/the glory of Metro city/an injured Guy or Cody, and then combine it with the tournament structure of Bloodsport or Enter the Dragon.

Make Scorp/The Astro out to be a Chong Li-esque uber-bastard, and boom; you’ve got a movie.

While the story or writing wouldn’t win any awards, in all honesty; I would happily pay money to see a pro-wrestling version of Bloodsport, provided the characters and costumes remained intact, and the fight choreography was up to standard.

I know this one is definitely not for everyone, but in my eyes; it could be a lot of fun.

#4. Final Fight

Despite it’s status as a beat ’em up, Final Fight actually has a fairly decent story to it.

For those that are unaware, the basic plot of Final Fight, is that the Mad Gear gang of Metro City kidnap the mayor Mike Haggar’s daughter in order to force his cooperation in their unlawful wrongdoings.

Being as he’s a beastly former pro-wrestler, and THE MAYOR to boot; Haggar instead decides to dish out some street justice on the Mad Gears via his fists, but not without first recruiting the aid of his daughter’s boyfriend/fiance Cody, and his random ninja buddy Guy.

While it isn’t much, I really think Final Fight could be a lot of a fun as a vigilante justice movie with a high quotient of hand-to-hand fight sequences.

Think The Warriors meets Taken/Edge of Darkness/The Man from Nowhere.

Besides, who the fuck wouldn’t want to see a Mike Haggar go toe-to-toe with Hugo Andore in live-action.

That alone would be worth the price of admission if it was staged with any sort of professionalism.

Shit, now all we need is a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 movie and we’ll have a cross-franchise trilogy of Mike Haggar movies…

#3. Front Mission

The Front Mission series plays host to some of the grandest and most believable storylines I’ve encountered in all of gaming.

While I honestly haven’t played all that much of the series, (half of #1, and half of #3) what I experienced was incredibly detailed, and more importanly; polished.

Reminiscent of the politically charged story Gundam, only far more accessible due to it’s story roots being set in existing continents and nations; Front Mission is a superior war drama that benefits from likeable characters and a largely believable art style.

While many have cried out for a live-action Gundam movie, personally; I feel the money would better spent bringing the far less gaudy Front Mission to the screen instead.

Truth be told, I think Front Mission would work best in long form, as a TV series or anime; but even so, there’s many elements of the timeline that I feel would be worth telling in standalone films, particularly the Huffman Conflicts that served to shape the Front Mission universe as a whole.

#2. Sunset Riders

 

Weird, somebody shopped the guns out of their hands. Damn censors...

I’ve actually wanted to see a Sunset Riders movie since I was a little kid.

Just like in the case of Saturday Night Slam Masters, I’m pretty sure it’s the colorful cast of characters in Sunset Riders that have always been the selling point for me.

In every story I’ve ever written, or dreamed up, or wanted to write; the characters are always the one element that I put most of my efforts into.

In my eyes, if you take a fairly pedestrian storyline and stuff it with quality action sequences and cool characters; chances are you’re going to end up with a really awesome movie.

It’s a simple formula, and I think it’d work just fine for Sunset Riders.

Think about it:

4 trigger happy, bounty hunter cowboys embark on a suicide mission to free the West from the evil of a gang of ruthless killers.

Sure, it sounds like every Western ever told; but with the awesome boss designs of the game, as well as the lack of assurance that everyone was going to make it to the end to ride into the sunset; and you have a classic Western with the added bonus of an action quotient like no other.

I’d picture it being kind of like a combination of the more colorful elements Tombstone, and the fatalistic “men on a mission” feel of The Wild Bunch.

Anything that can be compared to Tombstone or The Wild Bunch, let alone both; is guaran-damn-teed to kick-fuckin’-ass.

If ever I become a Hollywood film director, I will fight tooth and nail to get the licensing from Konami to make this movie.

#1. River City Ransom

You know how I said I wanted a Sunset Riders movie since I was a kid?

Well, even though I honesty didn’t start working on it until about 5 years ago; River City Ransom was a game that I actually tried to write up a plot outline for.

Technically, I used the original Japanese version of the game, Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari; as my jumping off point, but the only real difference between the 2 is the fact that one takes place in America, and the other takes place in a Japanese high school setting.

Anyway, the basic plot of River City was that a simple kidnapping of Ryan/Riki’s girlfriend, resulting in him and his rival; Alex/Kunio reluctantly joining forces to save her from a mutual enemy.

To me, the shaky alliance between the 2 is the real reason it would work.

I think if you were to establish them as hot-blooded rivals early on, a lot of drama would naturally spring up as a result of them working together as the story progressed.

I even remember putting a note in my plot outline explaining the bandages on Riki’s torso, and the band-aid on Kunio’s brow as actual bandages (as opposed to character decorations) for wounds they inflicted on one another near the beginning of the movie.

Combine the strained relationship between the 2 protagonists, with the awesome characters of the Kunio-kun series of games, including the Double Dragons; and I think you’d have a really fun high school gangster story with, of course; awesome fight scenes.

I put a lot of time into my idea for a River City Ransom movie, and I’d like very much to post it here someday; but for now, I’ll just say this:

River City Ransom needs to be a movie someday.

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

Vejita Has a Brother!!?

WADDAH' FAWK!!?

“Did you know Vejita has a brother now?”

That’s what my friend said to me ever so casually this past Friday.

Apparently Akira Toriyama himself created this character, thusly making his appearance in a brief 2008 animation, part of the Dragonball canon.

He's supposed to be 5 years younger than Vejita by the way. Fuckin' pedo-ass Japanese...

My friend and I have been buddies since way back in middle school, and one thing that has remained a constant for him ever since, is his love for Dragonball.

He was watching and subtitling the show way back then, and with the re-release in the form of Dragonball Kai, it would seem he’s never had to put it down.

And now, after we haven’t seen each other in a few years, he goes and drops this shit in my lap!

Poor Santa... So much poop...

Not only that, he told me that the (crappy) Playdia OVA, Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, is being redrawn and re-animated for re-release as well.

Personally, I think I like the old one better... Not that it was all that good to begin with.

To this, I reacted by bowing my head in shame, and cursing the insatiable consumerism of Bandai and Toei.

Pictured: The Face of Greed...

So… Now Vejita has a younger brother named Taburu, or in haole speak, “Tarble.”

Pictured: A Haole.

Personally, I think I’m going to stick with “Table” as my way of pronouncing it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Azn Badger’s loves him some Dragonball.

Like most dudes in their early 20’s, I grew up watching shitty dubbed Dragonball Z as it inched it’s way along on Cartoon Network’s Toonami lineup.

Like some dudes, I also kept watching a little bit after the series ended, and even went ahead and bought all 13 of the movies.

As much as I liked Dragonball though, at some point, I stopped to ask, “why?”

Why is this series that’s been DEAD since the mid-90’s still pretending to be alive?

My best guess is that the series managed to stay relevant long enough that it’s next generation of fans discovered it before it ever had a chance to go off the air.

Oh well, as long as it makes people happy I guess…

Even so, it’s shit like this that makes me refer to Dragonball as the Madden of Japan.

Hang on, THIS is the Madden of Japan!

We don’t always ask for it, but for better or for worse, you can sure as hell bet there’s gonna’ be a new game in the series EVERY FUCKING YEAR.

Anyway, I don’t know what I meant to say with this post, but for those of you that give a shit, have fun knowing that Vejita now has a brother, and his name is Table.

Oh yeah, and thanks to the new game Raging Blast 2, we now have Super Saiyan 3 Vejita and Broly.

WHADDAH FAWK x3!!!?

Why?

Because haole likes him some Broly, that’s why…

Broly: Popular in America, not so much in Japan...

Filed under: Comics, Movies, 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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Boss Music #1: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie

Hello everyone, this will be the first in a new series of short-posts on my favorite tracks of boss music from video games.

Hopefully you’ll all enjoy and learn something at the same time!

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie was a multi-platform game released in tandem with the film of the same names’ release.

Despite the movie license, and the general ho-hum quality of most movie tie-ins, I found the game(s) to be a pretty solid entry in the side-scrolling beat ’em up genre.

As a youngster, I played both the Genesis and Super NES versions, though most my my time was spent with the Genesis version.

These fuckers was a pain in the ass...

In my opinion, the Genesis version, despite it’s technical limitations, (sound quality mainly) was actually the better iteration of the game.

Though both games were sidescrollers, the Genesis version maintained a more conventional design, I.E. each of the players had a one-button combo attack, utilizing both action buttons in tandem would perform a life-draining “knockdown” attack, players could move vertically and horizontally etc.

The Super NES version was an oddity among sidescrollers in that it had none of these features.

YOU HAVE TO PUNCH HIM IN THE BIG "Z" ON HIS CHEST, OTHERWISE HE'S INVINCIBLE!!!!???

Instead of allowing the player free vertical and horizontal movement, the Super NES version instead restricted the players to moving on one of two separate planes, a foreground, and a background; though sometimes the players were restricted to a singular plane.

Using a single button-press, the player could switch to either plane, an action that was sometimes necessary to avoid obstacles.

Most of the enemies in the game were also dispatched with only one or two hits, a rarity in most beat ’em ups.

LOOK OUT IT'S A PURPLE PUTTY!!! THEY TAKE TWO HITS EACH!!!! THAT'S MORE THAN ONE!!!!!???

Also worth noting was the fact that, despite the fact that the various versions of this games’ status as a movie tie-in, the enemy rosters of them largely consisted of characters featured on the TV show and not the movie.

For instance, the Super NES version makes extensive use of Lord Zedd’s Z-Putties, who were completely absent from the movie.

These guys, who were actually revealed to be even easier to kill than NORMAL Putties.

The Genesis version does a much better job maintaining continuity with the movie I.E. it includes Ivan Oozes Ooze Men and Tengu Warriors as grunt characters, however even it is guilty of a few slip-ups, particularly in including characters like Goldar as bosses.

Always thought this guys was hella' pimp. Well, at least whenever he wasn't talking...

Perhaps most strange of all however, was the fact that the Super NES version’s gameplay completely omitted any inclusion of the Power Ranger’s Zords.

The Genesis version had numerous stages where the players would take control of the Mega Zord(s) and/or Falcon Zord (the best guy in the game), with the gameplay maintaining it’s usual controls.

The Super NES version though, has the player assuming the role of an Angel Grove High School student or Power Ranger from the opening stage to the final battle with Ivan Ooze.

Speaking of Ivan Ooze, the whole reason I’m typing up this article, is the fact that the boss music in this game kicks ass.

Seriously, check it out:

I love the unrelenting energy of this track.

The rockin’ over-the-top guitar/synth riffs really give the track a dangerous and dramatic flair, while at the same time doing a wonderful job of maintaining a similar sound to the Power Ranger’s TV soundtrack we are all so familiar with.

For a game with mediocre action gameplay, it’s pretty amazing to think that a track this energetic and powerful was actually composed for this game.

It’s worth nothing that, despite my focus being solely directed at this track, the soundtrack as a whole is actually really solid.

In many ways, I think that speaks volumes as to the skill of the composers over at Natsume and Bandai.

The two companies also collaborated on a Super Famicom exclusive game, Gundam Wing: Endless Duel, which just happens to have a very similar soundtrack, with much of the same midi “instrumentation.”

In example here’s my favorite track from Endless Duel:

Did I mention Natsume kicks ass?

Well, they do, Ninja Warriors Again and Pocky and Pocky serve as living proof of that.

We’ll revisit Pocky and Rocky on this blog sometime, that’s a promise.

Anyway, the Super NES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie had a crazy-awesome boss theme, and thusly I hereby declare it ONE OF THE BEST BOSS TRACKS EVER.


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

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