Azn Badger's Blog

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Playstation Move + Sports Champions Review

Today I spent a good portion of my afternoon kickin’ it with my Korean buddy from up the street.

Pictured: Said Korean. He made this, not me.

Being as he’s a gadget oriented person, he saw fit to purchase the new Playstation Move on the first day of it’s release.

I was fortunate to be invited to christen the mighty motion control device along with him.

Color me surprised when I discovered that it was actually kind of fun to play.

Bear in mind, my impressions are, of course; derived solely from the Sports Champions disc packed with it.

Azn chick with a bow. Now that's not cliched imagery...

Like most gaming peripheral pack-in games I.E. Wii Sports, Super Scope 6, etc., Sports Champions could be viewed as little more than a tech-demo for the device, however in the case of the Move, it just happens to be a surprisingly deep and full-featured tech-demo.

FUCK. YES.

The game contains 6 different styles of play:

Archery, Ping Pong, Volleyball, Bocce Ball, Disc Golf, and a sword and shield Gladiator Duel.

I leave it to you to guess which game I insisted on playing most often.

"ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?"

While I didn’t have the opportunity (nor desire) to try the Volleyball game, I was pretty impressed with most of the others.

The Archery was pretty straightforward, and definitely favored speed over accuracy.

Much like how I favor this Robin Hood over any other.

I have to say, requiring the player to actually have to reach over their shoulder to pull the next arrow from their quiver was a nice touch.

Other than that though, the Archery game was definitely lacking without the use of a second Move controller to properly simulate the tensile strength on the string of the bow.

The second controller tracks the distance between the 2 to determine the strength of the shot. SCIENCE.

My friend is a gadget guy, but he’s also Azn, so I don’t expect he’ll be shelling out the cash for another controller any time soon.

Moving on, Ping Pong was definitely a standout among most of the games.

Ping Pong was the first game I was privy to trying my hand at, and as such, it served as my introduction to the technical capabilities of the Move.

TECHNICAL.

My first action in the game was to turn over my wrist before the serve, just to see how well the Move could track my motions.

I have to say, it was quite satisfying to see my on-screen avatar (some douche in sunglasses named Dallas) actually match my wrist gesticulations move for move.

Here’s a video of someone (who sucks) playing the same character:

Once I started the game, I found the controls to be quite intuitive and surprisingly true to life.

I was perhaps most impressed by the controller’s ability to keep up with my movements despite my wonky style of playing Ping Pong.

I play right-handed, but in a Southpaw stance… And I also play back-handed with the racquet held at my waist.

Pictured: The Azn Badger playin' Ping Pong.

Goofy yes, but effective against lower-tier players like myself.

Despite all that goofiness, the Move managed to keep up just fine, allowing me to actually get a win in Ping Pong before my friend, the owner of the device, even got a chance to.

Bocce Ball was kind of a mixed bag.

I played it hot-seat style with my 2 other friends, and we found that:

A): Bocce Ball is a game that is probably more fun when someone in the room knows the rules/objective of the game.

And B): Bocce Ball is a game best played in the presence of old people or feebs.

Pictured: The correct people to stomp on in Bocce Ball.

While pretty fun, especially whenever someone managed to accidentally make a nice shot, the real problem with Bocce Ball was the Move’s inability to simulate the weight of a Bocce Ball in your hand.

Trust me, when you’re trying to determine just how much man-force behind your Bocce throw, more often than not you’ll find yourself overthrowing.

This same problem was present when playing Disc Golf with the same 2 friends.

Thankfully, no one I know owns one of these.

Although in this case, the problem was much more pronounced.

Disc Golf was kind of like the Wii Bowling of the Sports Champion disc.

Once you “get it,” that is, figure out how to position your wrist and how much man-force to put behind your shots, for the most part you’ve pretty much figured out the game.

Though my friends and I didn’t come close to mastering Disc Golf in the short time we played it, I can say this:

Those of us who could straighten their wrists properly (not me) were consistently the victor in every match we played.

That being said, let’s cut through the bullshit and get down to talkin’ about the only game in Sports Champions that really matters:

GLADIATOR DUEL

I’ve played Gladiator Duel for about 4-5 hours total now, and I’ve gotta’ say, at least against the computer; it’s pretty fuckin’ fun.

The basic gameplay of Duel is that of a motion controlled sword fight.

Yes, you do in fact look THIS dorky when playing.

Remember how utterly weak-sauce the controls of Wii Boxing were?

You know how he landed that shot? By flailing around for 5 minutes and getting lucky, that's how.

Well, Gladiator Duel blows that shit outta’ the water.

Remember how every swing you performed in Wii Tennis, regardless of power or direction, would always result in a canned animation?

Pictured: Steven Spielberg spite-killing Shigeru Miyamoto at Wii Tennis.

Well, Gladiator Duel spreads it’s cheeks and drops a log all over that shit’s face.

Remember how Rocky successfully ended the reign of the communist reign of the USSR using only his fists and the magnificent man-force of his man-fists?

BOW BEFORE YOUR GOD.

Well, that has nothing to do with Gladiator Duel, but it was fuckin’ awesome…

Anyway, when playing Duel, swinging the Move controller results in any number of attacks, while doing the same motions while holding the trigger on the controller results in manipulation of the player’s shield.

Parries, that is defense using one’s sword are possible and indeed recommended, as are the use of lateral movement and backsteps.

There are numerous context sensitive actions available in the game, so many in fact that I found myself wondering how fun Gladiator Duel would be to play online with human players.

Here’s a clip, I don’t feel like fishing for pics right now:

Trust me when I say this, the game is far more intense once you step up the difficulty level.

I was quite impressed by the sheer volume of content available in Sports Champions, well, at least the Gladiator Duel portion of it.

Near as I can tell, there are 10 racially diverse player avatars to choose from, with apparently an additional six unlockable after completing all of the challenges for each sports event.

Pictured: The 2 Azn characters. Both are Japanese. Go figure.

My buddy and I managed to unlock Titus, the Roman gladiator-garbed boss character of the Gladiator Duel game.

Pictured: Titus and his trident wielding friend.

In addition to this, different weapon skins and costumes are unlockable for each character, but perhaps most importantly, many characters possess their own movement animations, with only a few being reused here and there.

Thankfully there wasn't a whole lot of this in Sports Champions...

Little details like that were certainly not necessary for the developers to release Sports Champions successfully, however they are ultimately what kept me from holding all that much against it.

I can honestly say that I’ll probably never invest in a Move, (I’d need a Playstation 3 first now, wouldn’t I?) however that doesn’t stop me from having a lot of fun playing it at a friend’s house.

A few words to potential purchasers:

My buddy was telling me that he tried using the Move in conjunction with the game Tiger Woods 11, only to find that the motion controls were stunningly inaccurate.

Also, the same buddy is still trying to find a game that stands out as being a must purchase for the Move.

To top things off, as mentioned earlier, many games seem to need a second controller to work properly, so that’s an extra $40 if you seriously wanna’ get the most out of your experience.

Oh well, that doesn’t stop me from pestering my buddy to buy another controller so we can try The Fight: Lights Out

Filed under: Boxing, Games, Kung Fu, Movies, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Villains of the Azn Badger’s Youth

I’m not going to lie, tonight’s post is not entirely my idea.

In fact, I’ve gone and ripped off the entire concept from someone else’s article that I read last night!

Said article was written by Todd Brown over at Twitchfilm.net.

The article was, of course; titled “Villains of My Youth,” within which Mr. Brown cites his 5 favorite/most influential childhood film villains.

In all, the article was devoid of flash, and totally straightforward, however I found it very interesting to read someone else’s thoughts on the subject.

Anyway, it got me thinking, and by the time I sat down to start writing tonight, I realized I wanted to borrow Mr. Brown’s idea, and type up my own version of it!

That being said, I apologize in advance to Twitchfilm.net, and Mr. Todd Brown, but afraid that I’ve gotta’ do what I’ve gotta’ do.

My 5 most influential villains, in no particular order; are:

Jenner the Rat, from The Secret of NIMH (1982)


When I was a kid, sword fighting was just about my favorite thing in the world besides Godzilla and dinosaurs.

While The Secret of NIMH was a wonderful film, that I watched all the time as a kid, but, in truth; half the reason I fucking watched it so much was to see Justin and Jenner’s sword fight at the very end of the movie.

While this sequence was the highlight of the movie for my 3-5 year old self, even back then Jenner stood out to me as not only a terrific villain, but a very poweful presence.

The scintillating timber of Paul Shenar’s (the Columbian dude that says “Don’t fuck me Tony” in Scarface) voice, coupled with Don Bluth’s superb attention to detail in the facial animation of the character, served to create an intense and visceral character, that, while lacking in screen time; certainly left an impression on me.

Remember when I said sword fights were my thing back in the day?

Well, my next favorite villain is:

Sir Guy of GisbourneThe Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)


The Adventures of Robin Hood was a movie I used to watch at a friend of my dad’s house.

My dad would drop me over there as a sort of daycare from time to time, and every single time I ended up watching 1 of the same 2 movies:

Rodan, and The Adventures of Robin Hood (colorized edition).

Now I gotta’ tell yah’, some of you might not know this about me, but as a kid, if I ever even considered watching something besides a Godzilla movie, that meant that movie was really fucking special to me.

Robin Hood, was really fucking special to me as a kid.

Though I loved the movie, and it’s treatment of the Merry Men as being, well, truly fucking Merry, Sir Guy always stood out to me as a tool among tools.

Back then I mistakenly referred to him as The Sheriff of Nottingham, but mistaken identity or not, half the reason I watched the fucking movie was to see his ass get stabbed.

The climactic sword battle at the end of the movie will always stick with me as one of my fondest childhood memories.

Seriously man, Basil Rathbone and the king of swashbuckling himself, Errol Flynn, go balls-out on each other in it.

Look it up, the choreography and execution hold up even to this day.

Next on my list of villains, is:

The BlobThe Blob (1988)


Holy fucking shit.

Let me remind you, that this list is comprised both of villains that I liked, and villains that influenced me as a child.

Well, in terms of villainous influences of my youth, The Blob pretty much takes the cake.

In short, The Blob scared the piss outta’ me.

As a kid, I had nightmares for years about amorphous blobs, and other such faceless monsters that wanted to eat me.

Now, you know what the really crazy part is?

I didn’t see the remake of The Blob until a few years ago!

No, I’m not a total pussy that wets the bed over monster movies to this day, (*Ahem!* Not that I ever did…) what I mean to say, is that I didn’t even have to see the movie for it’s title character to have a huge impression on me.

All I ever saw of the movie as a child, was the cover of the VHS.

Yup, that same cover that’s just a few lines above.

Excuse me, I’m going to go check my closet for monsters…

Next up is:

Marcus Penn – Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)

Fuck you, Steven Seagal’s movies are fucking AWESOME in just about the most AWESOME way.

By that I mean, they’re about as awesome as they are awesomely shitty.

Anyway, Under Siege 2 was the first R-rated film I ever got to see, and as such, I watched it an unhealthy amount of times in my youth.

Like the first Under Siege, 2 has the distinction of having a pair of villains that are simply too good for the movie itself.

That being said, Everett McGill’s portrayal of Marcus Penn AKA the silver-haired knife fighting dude, is a classic of film villainy, even going so far as to trump Eric Bogosian’s egotistical Travis Dane.

At least in my book.

McGill, holds a presence throughout the film, both figurative and physical, that is truly admirable.

Oh yeah, and the big knife fight at the end was bad-ass.

Last but not least, we have:

Megatron/GalvatronThe Transformers: The Movie (1986)

If anyone were to be at the top of this list, I’d say it would be these 2.

Transformers: The Movie, was a movie I watch literally every day of my early childhood.

My mother can attest to that, as she had to sit through it with me every day.

While I didn’t really get to see all that much of the Transformers cartoon as a kid, I was just a little bit too young; The Movie was just about my favorite thing in world as a kid.

As such, my understanding of the Transformers universe was largely derived from the first 2 seasons of the cartoon, and The Movie; that’s all.

Megatron was just about the most bad-ass villain I can remember.

For fuck’s sake, the man had his own laser gun sound effect and he turned into A FUCKING GUN.

He was tough, arguably more powerful than Optimus Prime, but more importantly, he demonstrated just how evil he was, time and time again.

Hell, during his one-on-one battle with Prime in The Movie, he goes so far as to feign a fair fight, only to cheat and break his own terms left and right.

Not only that, as Galvatron he kills a fuck-ton of high-profile characters, some of which are fellow Decepticons!

Megatron/Galvatron was one of the first villains ever presented to me in my lifetime, and to this day, he remains one of the strongest examples of the archetype that I have yet to encounter.

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

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