Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Kung Fu Panda 2 WILL Be Awesome

I liked Kung Fu Panda.

I saw it in theaters with a group of some of my closest friends, and despite my initial feelings of apprehension regarding Jack Black’s presence as leading man in the film; (I like him better in supporting roles.  Too much Black can lead to bad things.  NOT racist…) I found myself laughing aloud in the theater to an extent I’ve rarely experienced.

You see, I’m one of those guy’s that generally doesn’t go to see comedies in the theaters, not just because really good comedies are hard to come by these days; but largely because I feel self-conscious about making noise/disturbing others in theaters.

Call it a quirk… A really stupid and oddly specific quirk.

Anyway, I’ve seen Kung Fu Panda once or twice since I initially saw it the theater, and I’ve gotta’ say; the movie is still pretty damn good.

While Pixar will always put out more technically advanced, prettier, and more thoughtful films, Kung Fu Panda stands as an example of Dreamworks’ more lighthearted and scatologically humored formula adding up to something enjoyable to the masses.

In particular, I found the voice cast; while riddled with needless celebrity cameos, (Jackie Chan had 2 lines, Lucy Liu was there for no other reason than her Chinese heritage, etc.) to be quite exceptional.

Jack Black’s energy and enthusiasm, married with the hilarious animations and facial expressions of Po was a match made in heaven.

... I like the Panda better.

Dustin Hoffman also managed to impress as Shifu, with the timbre of his voicing doing well to add a sense of forcefulness to his voice regardless of the volume in which he spoke.

While I’m on the topic of great voice acting, let me just say:

Ian McShane = PIMP.

... And all the panties in the room suddenly dropped to the floor.

‘Nuff said.

The fight choreography in the film, while of course animated; and thusly free of the inherent limitations of the human body, also managed to impress me.

The movements were artfully strung together, with a pace that reminded me of the old style of Hong Kong choreography I.E. sharp movements, with brief pauses for every strike so as to highlight and make visible, the beauty of each exchange.

In other words, everything was imaginatively choreographed, but conducted in such a way that the viewer could easily see exactly what was going on.

In this age of Greengrass-ian shaky cam techniques, and ultra-fast handed performers; I found Kung Fu Panda’s battles to be a refreshing take of the art of fight choreography.

While I’ve known for awhile now that a Kung Fu Panda sequel was in the works, I found out just today who some of the new characters/voice actors were going to be.

Gary Oldman, James Woods, and Jean-Claude Van FUCKING Damme.

"That's right, ME!"

Oh yeah, Michelle Yeoh’s in there too, but chances are she’ll just be there as a novelty ala Lucy Liu in the previous film, or rather Michelle Yeoh herself in The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Pictured: Brendan Fraser about to lay the smack down on Jet Li. I'm not kidding, it actually happens.

I hope she was paid well for that, ’cause her presence in that film certainly didn’t earn her any brownie points in my book.

Moving on, as long as they let James Woods be his same old snarky self, I expect great things for him in Kung Fu Panda 2.

He was great as Hades in Disney’s Hercules, and he seemed to have fun playing himself on The Simpsons and Family Guy, so yeah; I think James Woods was a good choice.

And then there’s Van FUCKING Damme.

No caption necessary.

I’ve never heard The Muscles from Brussels do voice acting before, but chances are he sucks donkey balls at it.

Not that his normal acting was anything to write home about, but give him a break; the man’s entire career was based around him kicking people in the head… and showing off his ass.

And wouldn't you know it, here's him doing both at the same time!

Apparently he’s playing a crocodile in the film, so I don’t expect any jokes to emerge regarding his limberness, nor do I expect any gratuitous shots of his ass; but regardless, it’s Van Damme, he’s in an American film, and you can be damn sure I’ll be there to see it.

Anyway, the previous film was good, Van FUCKING Damme is in the sequel, and thusly Kung Fu Panda 2 WILL be awesome.

Well, maybe not THIS awesome; but close enough...

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Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Boss Music #9: God Hand

*ATTENTION, THIS POST IS BROKEN-AS-FUCK ON ACCOUNT OF YOUTUBE SUCKING BALLS.  IT WILL BE FIXED ASAP.*

I treasure every moment I was able to spend with God Hand.

Even though the game was control-smashingly difficult, and cursed with a poor camera system and even worse controls; God Hand served as a magnificent throwback to the beat ’em ups of yore.

Blue jeans and thunderbolt wrestling tights: Standard garb in the early 90's.

In fact, it’s one of those games that I honestly would love to see a sequel to, however; due to the dissolution of Clover Studio shortly after it’s release, as well as it’s sub-par review scores, I doubt that will ever happen.

Oh well, one can only hope that Capcom will resurrect it someday…

BRING THEM BACK YOU MONEY GRUBBING GRABOID-FUCKERS!

Anyway, God Hand is, as I mentioned previously; a non-traditional beat ’em up for the PS2.

I say “non-traditional” because the game made use of an over-the-shoulder camera system akin to Capcom’s own Resident Evil 4 from a year or 2 before, a feature that is scarcely seen in traditional beat ’em ups.

While most attempts at 3D, polygonal beat ’em ups turned out to be utter failures, (Gekido and Dynamite Cop some of the few exceptions) God Hand manages to succeed for the most part.

Fighting Force on the other hand, was not so lucky...

The main appeal of the game lay in it’s clever use of context sensitive button functions and utterly ridiculous (and unapologetically Japanese) dialogue and character designs.

Seriously, this game is balls out INSANE from end to end, but in the best possible way.

Can you think of any other games that feature giant Mexicans named Elvis, gorillas in Lucha Libre garb, and a fighting force of formidable midget Power Rangers?

Hah, thought I was kiddin' yah', didn'cha'?

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the spanking.

Yeah, I can’t think of any other games like that either.

While I won’t attempt to explain the details of the storyline of God Hand, I will offer you this simple summary:

The player character, Gene; loses an arm to some demons one day, only to wake up in a hotel room with a hottie named Olivia, and his arm restored in the form of the legendary, and outrageously powerful God Hand.

Yeah, this isn't a product of Japan. Not at all...

From that point on, the pair set out into the world to battle the demons and their generals, the 4 Devas; in an attempt to prevent the resurrection of the demon lord, Angra.

Angra, in the flesh.

Much Japanese kitsch and comic violence ensues, and eventually the whole thing comes to a head as the hero is forced to battle Angra while making use of both of the God Hands.

My God! He's gone Super Saiyan 2!

All that nonsense aside, a major part of God Hand that really made it fun for me, was of course it’s battle system.

The game made use of all 4 of the PS2’s face buttons for various attacks, however every single button could have it’s functioned assigned by the player to their liking.

Throughout the game, the player could acquire various fighting moves, with variable damage and speed statistics, eventually resulting in the player gaining a vast arsenal of unique and drastically different maneuvers they could implement depending on the situation.

Best of all, like most beat ’em ups, mashing the square button 5 times would result in an “auto combo,” however; thanks to the games’ robust customization system, each individual strike in this combo could be arranged to the players preference.

In addition to this, the game also featured a robust dodging system using the right analog stick, which allowed the player to juke, duck and sway to avoid attacks, as well as do evasive handsprings.

I know it's dumb, but this pic from the Dustin Hoffman/Robert Redford movie All The President's Men, just happened to be the first image I got when Googling "evasive handspring."

Aside from the basic attacks, the player was also afforded the powers of the God Hand of the game’s title.

Basically, the God Hand is, quite literally, one of the hands of God, of which there are 2, the other of which is of course possessed by a boss you end up fighting later in the game.

The God Hand had 2 functions in the game:

To provide the player limited bursts of super-powered invincibility, and to activate the games’ roulette wheel mechanic.

While the invincibility is self-explanatory, the roulette wheel was a interesting, if somewhat awkward element that succeeded in the keeping the player on their toes, even while executing some of the games’ most powerful attacks.

Basically, the roulette wheel was a customized set of a handful of super attacks and mauveurs that the player would have to quickly sort through during a brief period of slow motion.

Pictured: The Roulette Wheel.

Upon making their selection, the player character, Gene; would carry out the selected maneuver, usually resulting in mass pwnage.

It’s interesting to note that 2 selections on the roulette wheel were a constant:

One that would cause Gene to kowtow before his opponent in shame, and one that would cause a pan to fall from the sky and onto his head.

The first of these would cause the player’s style meter to lower, (a feature that served to increase the player’s after level ranking, as well as adjust the game’s difficulty level in-game) while the second served as a minor health penalty, as well as a exploitable glitch that allowed the player to avoid enemy attacks for a moment.

Yeah, I played God Hand A LOT.

Anyway, enough bullshitting, let’s get down to the Best Boss music selection from God Hand:



The title of this is track is, of course; a clever play on the title of Capcom’s own Devil May Cry.

Devil May Sly plays during the player’s first battle with the owner of the other God Hand, a man named Azel.

While the energy level of the music may seem a little excessive to some, I assure you, the battle that it accompanies is most certainly worthy of such energy.

While this is a poor example of the gameplay, as the player is far too good to make the game seem fun, take a look at this clip:


The fun part of the battle with Azel, is that the programmers were able to effectively endow him with the same abilities and attacks of the player, while making the battle play out very smoothly.

Essentially, what I mean to say is that, while there are of course Resident Evil 4-like context sensitive button mashing sessions during the fight, one still feels like they are indeed playing the game as opposed to an interactive cutscene or minigame.

The first time I beat Azel (I did in fact lose once or twice) was a helluva’ a good time.

I feel it’s also worth mentioning that Azel’s second appearance in the game, also deserves some kudos.

This battle happened to be a little more frustrating, and less rewarding than the first, but I really liked the music so I figured I’d throw it up here for yah’.

In keeping with the more serious tone of the battle, the music is appropriately darker and heavier.

While I really like Duel Storm, I feel that Devil May Sly is, musically; just a little bit more enjoyable.

With that, I leave you with this delightful, and not at all strange TV spot for God Hand:

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

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