Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

“Poopie Girl? She Wants Me To Play Poopie Girl?”

Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me to register for some sort of web browser based game.

For various reasons, said friend shall be henceforth referred to as Bob Saget.

Beneath that snarky quick-witted exterior, lies an intensely profane, snarky, and quick-witted man...

Their idea, not mine.

Anyway, being as I was tied up eating manly things like steak and crab, while writing about savagely manly things like boxing; I didn’t have a chance to get around to registering for the game.

While I was in fact busy scarfing down crab meat a manly minute or 2 ago, I managed to find time in my manly schedule to dig through my e-mail and register for Bob Saget’s game.

Upon clicking the registration link, I was greeted by a flowery and decidedly Japanese website with a cartoonish doll looking woman with a forehead that could rival J-Gar’s saying to me:

“Tell us your name and where you live.”

Well, actually an exact quote would require the period of that sentence to be replaced by a musical note, denoting the sing-song intonation of the phrase, but you probably knew that already.

For the unitiated:

Frilly Japanese website + fashion victim female mascot character = high-pitched and “cute” voice, even in text form.

Short of “who is your daddy and what does he do?” I can think of few introductory phrases that put me on my heels as much as that did.

Despite the forward nature of the greeting page, (and I thought those silly Japanese were supposed to be polite!) I trust my friend Bob Saget, lecherous old pedophile that he may be.

That being said, I went ahead and registered, giving myself some retarded name I’ve already forgotten, and naming my hometown as Kumamoto, the city my grandpa’s family was from.

Anyway, as it turns out, this “game” I was registering for, was some kind of online, digital paper doll game wherein the players create a female avatar for themselves, (wasp waisted and “cute” regardless of how you choose to alter their appearance) and proceed to dress them up and shop for them.

The name of this game, was Poopie Girl.

Yes, I did in fact Google "Poopie Girl," despite the inherent risks. Of the results, I found this one to be the most fun/random.

My first thoughts upon noticing the title of the game were:

“Poopie Girl? What the fuck kinda’ perverted Japanese shit is this!?”

Okay fine, the game isn’t actually called “Poopie Girl,” it’s actually Poupee Girl.

I’m guessing Poupee* is a French word (Japanese love Parisian fashion, and therefore France) for “cute” or some shit, but regardless; don’t expect me to keep typing out the word “Poupee” for the remainder of this article.

It’s fancy words like “Poupee” that make me think the French think they’re better than me.

Dirty bastards…

*Ahem!* Moving on, Bob Saget told me that in order for them to get the perks for my registration, I would be required to dress up my Poopie Girl at least once.

Being as I already took the time to lie to the Poopie Girl server and pretend I was a female Japanese citizen named “Treebar Heart,” I decided I would go ahead and finish the job.

I started out by making my Poopie Girl, essentially by giving her a face and hair style.

Apparently there’s only one body type in Poopie Land.

Go figure.

After that, I was given the task of dressing up my Poopie Girl.

Being as I’m kind of a slow learner, I ended up completely bypassing most of my character creation options, and instead ended up making my Poopie Girl out only the newest and Poopiest items available.

I decided to go with a very simple look that I’m sure goes against the grain of every fashion law in existence.

Believe me when I say this, fashion is not something I have any sense for, least of all in regards to lady bid’ness.

If it’s any indication, in my world Axel from Streets of Rage is the best dressed man in all of existence.

Blue jeans and white t-shirts: America at it's best.

In example of my fashion fail-ness, here’s an image of one of the Poopier Poopie Girls I ran across on the Poopie Girl site:

Um, a little gaudy don'cha' think?

Anyway, near as I can tell, the game is very much like most browser based games, (time spent playing = forward progression) however with the ingenious inclusion of a deep community system.

Poopie Girl players are apparently expected to rate each other’s Poopies on how Poopie their dress up arrangements are, which in turn rewards players based on their community evaluated Poopie levels.

At least that’s what I assume, anyway.

Near as I can tell, the dress up interface is pretty robust, making for a great number of possibilities.

Being a fan of character customization in my games, I can honestly say that Poopie Girl kind of reminds me of the Smackdown! Vs. RAW series of games.

I bought and played a great number of those games, almost entirely for the purpose of creating absurd and unique characters.

In that sense, if I was into fashion, or browser games for that matter; I could see Poopie Girl being a lot of fun.

Or at the very least, something to do on a boring Sunday evening.

*Poupee actually means “doll.”  Fuckin’ French, think they’re better’n me…

 

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

The Best Track in the Game #9: Final Fight

Looks like a gay porno cover. Not that I would know anything about that kind of stuff.

Final Fight is one of the finest beat ’em ups ever made.

It’s not the prettiest game, nor is the gameplay the most complex, but for some indefinable reason, it endures to this day as a poster child for the genre.

The plot of the game is pretty simple, but fairly involved given the strength of it’s characters.

The mayor of Metro City, former pro-wrestling champion Mike Haggar’s daughter, Jessica; is kidnapped for ransom by the local Mad Gear Gang, resulting in Haggar, Jessica’s boyfriend, Cody, and in the case of the arcade version, Cody’s gym buddy and ninja friend, Guy, taking justice into their own hands until they rescue her.

Asses are kicked, heads are busted, and wheelchair bound men are tossed out 30th story windows.

Seriously, check it out (skip to :58 for the paraplegic beat down):

Of the two characters available for play on the Super NES version of Final Fight, (Haggar and Cody) Cody was my favorite to play.

I know, I know:

“Haggar’s the coolest fucking character in gaming, he’s the motherfucking MAYOR.  How could you not pick THE FUCKING MAYOR!?”

Don Frye: The Closest the World Will Ever Get to Creating a Real-Life Mayor Mike Haggar

Well, because as much as I love Haggar, an as much fun as it was to piledrive the shit out of Mad Gear chumps and deliver swift justice via my ass in their faces, as a kid I vehemently subscribed to the theory that Cody was the more well-rounded, and thusly, better choice.

That, and he wore blue jeans and a white t-shirt.  And we all know how cool that combo was back in the day…

You don't mess with success, man.

Most importantly though, using Cody allowed me to more easily pull off my patented “Super Combo” (coined well before Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo!) much easier than with Haggar.

The “Super Combo” by the way, consists of starting a punch combo on an enemy, and then during the second-to-last hit of the combo, you press the directional pad in the opposite direction you are facing while still mashing the attack button.

When done correctly, this will result in your character throwing the enemy behind them instead of finishing their combo, thusly giving you a few invincibility frames, as well as knocking down anyone behind you.

Okay, maybe the REAL Super Combos are a lot flashier than mine was, but still...

Remember how I said there were 3 playable characters in Final Fight?

Well, you can thank U.S. censorship, lack of confidence in the Super NES hardware, and a poor conversion from the arcade version robbing you of Guy, as well as a host of other tidbits.

For instance, the (supposedly) transvestite enemies Roxy and Poison were redrawn for the U.S. version to become the male characters Sid and Billy.

Evolution: From "Wannabe Female", to "Mostly Male."

Also, many character names were changed, which I have noted later in this post, and Haggar’s daughter’s portrait was changed to show her in a dress instead of a brassiere.

The Goods.

I can understand most of these changes, trannies weren’t exactly socially acceptable for “family friendly” consoles of the time, but really all I was bothered by was the whole “no Guy” thing.

Blockbuster took 5 bucks off of me just so I could rent the bullshit Final Fight: Guy, only to find that in that version, Cody was removed and there still wasn’t two-player simultaneous support.

Fuckin’ bullshit I tells yah’.

Bitch stole mah' money.

Playing Final Fight as a child gave me a feeling that I imagine kids these days get from games like God of War III, or one of those UFC: Undisputed games.

It made me feel like a bad ass, like I was the toughest of all the tough guys and all the world’s problems could be solved via a few repetitive punch combos.

Basically, I felt like this guy (the guy on the right dumbass). God rest his soul.

At it’s core, the gameplay of Final Fight consisted of little more than walking to the right, stopping to mash the games’ one attack button until everyone onscreen was dead, and then repeat until you beat the game.

I know, it sounds boring and dumb, but that’s beat ’em ups for yah’.

Same shit, different vehicle.

There were of course, various subtleties to the gameplay that made Final Fight special.

While there were only two buttons, attack and jump, pressing both in tandem allowed the player to perform a life-draining, spin attack that was useful in interrupting and canceling overzealous enemies’ attacks.

Okay, fine, that move is in every beat ’em up, but still, it’s worth mentioning.

My favorite element of Final Fight’s gameplay was it’s general feel.

The various punches, kicks and throws, both from the player and the enemy characters; all had a satisfying “oomph” to them that made it hard to get bored of busting heads, even after you’ve been doing the same 3 moves over and over again the whole game.

Or in the case of Golden Gun matches in Goldeneye, the same ONE move over and over again.

One key rule of thumb that is prevalent in virtually every sidescrolling beat ’em up ever made, is the fact that approaching enemies from an angle, that is; from any direction other than straight-on, is always the wisest course of action.

Because the 2-D sprites were drawn flat, attacking from an angle effectively allows the player to bypass any sort of reach advantage that the enemy characters may possess, thereby severely limiting the chances of a successful counter-attack.

Essentially, you do this to them.

Final Fight took this elementary gameplay element, and made it feel just plain right.

When I swooped in at a 45° angle and slipped into an enemies’ reach to grab hold of him, it felt like I earned it.

I know it sounds trivial, but think about it in terms of say, a first-person shooter.

Most of them tend to play similarly, but it’s the one’s with the right feel, the right amount of “oomph” in the weapons, and the right amount of weight, of “drag”, when readjusting ones’ aim, that stand out from the all the hum-drum and chaff.

Well okay, 100 million dollar production budgets seem to help these days too, but you know what I mean.

*AHEM!* Not that I'm talking about anything in particular...

The expertly crafted hit boxes and trembling, painful looking damage animations for the various characters in Final Fight, were a huge contributing factor to it’s success in my opinion.

Unlike say, any of the games in the Rushing Beat AKA Rival Turf series, whenever it looked or felt like I hit someone in Final Fight, the game always agreed with me.

Don’t get me wrong, as a kid Brawl Brothers was one of my favorite rentals, (purely as a result of Hack having a bad ass bomber jacket.  Hey, I thought it was cool back then.) but compared to Final Fight, the sprites were ugly and the collision detection was atrocious.

...Although it did have the best cover art EVER.

Attack damage was probably the icing on the cake for Final Fight in terms of achieving this impossibly gratifying  feel that I keep gushing about.

Attacks in Final Fight did a fuck-ton of damage, especially when the bad guys were beating on you.

Unlike the Rival Turf, or Bare Knuckle AKA Streets of Rage series, enemies didn’t swarm you and whittle you down in Final Fight, so much as they snuck up on you an made you pay your mistakes.

Taking on the bad guys in Final Fight required you to corral them in such a way as to keep them from getting your back, or any angles on you really.

Even the wimpiest of characters, Two-P or J, had a significant amount of pop to their punches that would make you think twice before letting them slip behind you.

"Sand People always walk single file to hide their numbers."

Let me tell a little story about a nasty guy named Slash.

Slash is a mid-tier grunt in Final Fight that where’s cowboy boots, and an all red-leather biker outfit.

Lookat' 'im, pickin' his cock...

In short, he looked like Swayze if Swayze had no shame.

SHAMELESS. Oh wait, maybe that was just Farley...

Slash appears from the first stage on, and in his earliest appearances he has a miniscule, almost laughable (given his considerable size) life bar.

Slash’s one outstanding trait in the game, is the fact that he, along with his palette swap, Axle; is the only enemy in the game that can block your attacks.

This man however, has yet to grasp such a concept.

Slash only has two attacks, a wimpy kick, and a DEVASTATING double axe-handle.

Guess which one he uses ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

Slash’s double axe-handle can take you out in two hits, no foolin’.

If you see this, it's already too late.

I didn’t mind this so much in the earlier stages of the game, but there’s this one part in the LONG-AS-FUCK Bay stage, in a public bathroom, (not gay, I swear) where you are assaulted about a half-dozen Slash’s in all their red-leather clad glory (also not gay.)

Among a cast full of colorful and iconic characters, Slash stood out to me, not for his look, or his personality, but simply because I hated his guts.

Hugo Andore, the giant-fucking Andre the Giant look-alike, was tougher for sure, especially in his ‘roided out Abigail form, but aside from El Gado/Hollywood always catching me with their goddamn jumping knife attack from off-screen, I can think of no enemy in the game that consistently pissed me off as much as Slash did.

Look at him, you just know he's about to do something sketchy...

Well, except for maybe Sodom AKA Katana, he was a cheap bitch that really didn’t like it when you tried to pick up his swords.

In all, not a man I would fuck with.

Now that I think of it though, Simon could also be a bitch on account of his broken-ass, twenty layers thick life bar.

And his fuckin' memory game bullshit.

In case you couldn’t tell from my ramblings, Final Fight was a tough game, with tough enemies, and yet it was still buckets o’ fun.

More importantly though, the strength of it’s characters really shines through, given how easily I am able to recall each of them by name and appearance.

Final Fight was a great game that will always feel right to me, regardless of whatever advancements we may achieve in the future of gaming.

How the fuck do these Best Track in the Game posts always end up with me rambling about everything but the music?

Guess we’ll never know.  Anyway, The Best Track in the Game is…

Subway Alley/Sodom’s Theme:

Why?:

Final Fight’s soundtrack is a typical example of arcade game music.

You ever been to a video arcade?

They’re noisy places, aside from the chiming of the token machines and the kids cursing God for their lack of Missile Command skillz, you can’t hear shit.

In that sense, music was never the most essential aspect of the production for arcade games.

The Super NES era of gaming was one of the last ones that saw prevalent releases of arcade conversion games.

Mind you, this was back when “arcade conversion” meant “shitty, peared-down version” to console gamers, not like today where everything is “arcade perfect” or bust.

Pretty much the only example of an arcade conversion that was infinitely superior to the original.

As a result, Final Fight has a distinctive, but hardly exceptional soundtrack.

It is worth noting however, that the Super NES arrangement of the music sounds much better than the arcade original in my opinion.

The tracks are appropriately dingy and gritty given the back alley street fighting gameplay.

Sodom’s Theme is one of the more uppity tracks in the game, but, once again, appropriately so.

The battle takes place in a hidden boxing/wrestling ring setup somewhere in an abandoned subway.

As you fight Sodom, the massive samurai wannabe clad in football pads and a traditional kabuto.

Oh yeah, and he has two katanas.

(pic)

You of course have only your fists, (or in the case of Haggar, ass) making for an exceptionally difficult fight.

I think the completely off-the-wall and ridiculous nature of this situation, coupled with the dire circumstances as a result of the difficulty of the fight, are what make this scene, and this track, so enjoyable.

With it’s loud and grandiose nature, the music feels like a late 80’s version of gladiatorial arena music,.

During the fight, there is a massive (and hostile) crowd present, adding to the theatricality of the situation.

At times the music takes on an almost baseball anthem like sound.

Sodom’s Theme is hardly a work of art in the realm of videogame music, but for Final Fight, it’s pretty damn good.

Runner-Up:

The Bay:

Why?:

The Bay Theme in Final Fight is pretty much right on par with Sodom’s Theme in terms of overall quality and enjoyment, however one key factor separates them in my eyes:

I got sick of listening to The Bay Theme, while Sodom’s Theme has yet to wear out it’s welcome.

I mentioned earlier that The Bay was a LONG FUCKING STAGE, and as a result, you end up listening to it’s theme music for A LONG FUCKING TIME.

True, the music changes no less than 2-3 different times, with the latter portion being an almost irritatingly energetic standout,

but for the most part, The Bay Theme always sticks with me as the theme music of the stage.

In addition to it’s length, The Bay is also an exceptionally difficult stage, which often caused me to have to continue, resulting in my having to play through the stage more than once to beat it.

In short, as good a piece of music as it is, I was simply overexposed to The Bay Theme as a kid, to the point in which it lost it’s luster before I could even be nostalgic about it.

Filed under: Games, The Best Track in the Game, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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