Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The Virtual Boy Sucked…

The Virtual Boy was a piece of shit.

I’ve known exactly 2 people that have owned one, and both were anything but proud of that fact.

Boasting a bulky, not-quite portable design, a crappy 3-D gimmick, and a truly hideous red-and-black only graphical display, the Virtual Boy represented one of, or possibly; the biggest failures in Nintendo’s long history.

Piss-poor sales figures were attributed to a fairly high price tag, miniscule (and crappy) game library with very few third-party products, and of course; poor quality of product.

It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that a not-quite portable videogame console that requires the player to strap it to their fucking head in order to play it, probably isn’t going to appeal to all that many people, especially to those that, y’know; have friends.

Pictured: No-Friends McGee enjoying a good skull-fucking via his Virtual Boy.

Despite all this, Nintendo went all-in with the Virtual Boy, going to great lengths to advertise the everloving shit out of it in classic mid-90’s, ” in your face” fashion:

To be fair that was pretty fuckin’ epic, however that doesn’t make the Virtual Boy itself any less crappy than it actually was.

Of the 14 North American games for the Virtual Boy, Teleroboxer and Wario Land stuck out from the crowd with their lush graphics, tight controls, and solid gameplay mechanics.

Curiously enough, that Real Steel movie has basically the same concept as Teleroboxer. Jus' Sayin is all...

Trust me, it’s never a good sign when your consoles best games consist of an inferior Super Punch-Out!! clone, and a port of year old Gameboy game.

Pretty much everything else was total crap though.

Especially Waterworld.

Waterworld was absolute shit.


In the interest of having at least one element of positivity in this post, I figure it would be good of me to point out a few aspects of the Virtual Boy that I actually liked.

The first thing that comes to mind, is the design of the Virtual Boy’s controller.

While it’s button configuration is a little awkward, with it’s dual d-pads and left-adjusted “start” and “select” buttons; I personally found the Virtual Boy controller to feel quite comfortable in my tiny Azn Badger hands.

Curiously enough, the Virtual Boy controller bears a vague resemblance to current gen controllers like the Xbox 360 one, largely due to the inclusion of “trigger” buttons located on virtually the same part of the controller.

Pictured: An Xbox 360 controller AKA The "American" controller.

The second aspect of the Virtual that seemed kind of cool to me… doesn’t exist, because the Virtual Boy was that damn shitty.

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got to say about the Virtual boy for tonight.

See yah’ tomorrow!

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Indiana Jones Punch

I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve been having trouble finding the inspiration to write.

It could just be because I’ve been working on my superhero story for the past several days, but I find I just don’t have a whole lot I feel like blogging about.

I suppose it doesn’t help that the internet and airwaves are clogged to shit about Sony’s new handheld, the NGP.

Truth be told, I haven’t owned or even played a handheld console since the Gameboy Advance, making me less than excited for the NGP despite the amazing technical achievement it represents.

MASSIVE HYPE in the palm of your hand!

Oh well, despite my lack of reportings/findings in regard to worldwide news and the like, I feel I should take a moment to make a personal announcement of sorts.

One of my college buddies started a website!

http://by.davidaludwig.com/

Being a prolific writer, he is using his site to host his work, both written and drawn, with updates coming quite frequently.

If you’re into anime and/or fantasy stuff, you might want to check it out.

Click the link above or the “DavidALudwig” link on the right, either one works the same.

Oh yeah, I feel I should also mention that I recently happened upon a music track that I can’t seem to get enough of!

It’s from a Castlevania Tribute album, and is apparently a remix of a track from Order of Ecclesia on the DS.

I’ve never really been much of a fan of the Castlevania series, however I must admit; it’s games have yielded a stunning number of quality musical tracks over the years.

Anyway, give it a listen, but be warned; it’s a painfully catchy tune:

Anyway, that’s all I got for now.

See you tomorrow.

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Best Boss Music #11: Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga


Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is one of the cutest and most endearing games I’ve ever played, on the Gameboy Advance or any other console.

Not only that, it’s also a damn fine RPG as well.

Essentially picking up where Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario left off, (and then picked up again…) Superstar Saga is a far cry from the traditional console RPG.

Name another RPG that has EXTREME JUMP ROPING!

As it’s title indicates, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is a game that follows the exploits of the 2 plumber brothers as they work together to recover Princess Peach’s voice (it was replaced with word bubbles that turn into bombs) from an evil witch of the neighboring Bean Bean Kingdom named Cackletta.

Pictured: The Hemaphroditic Bowser/Cackletta hybrid known as "Bowletta." You can't make this shit up...

Along the way, the player assumes control of the 2 brothers throughout the entirety of the adventure, acquiring and putting to use a number of interesting and unique powers that can be used in tandem to accomplish any number of crazy (but often necessary) feats.

 

Not sure if playing leap-frog during a life or death battle is all that "necessary," but oh well, to each his own.

It should be noted that the story and gameplay of Superstar Saga are top of their class in every regard.

In particular, like most sprite based RPGs, I found the interplay between the vocalizations, scripting, and pantomime of the various characters to be among the best I’ve encountered in any game, period.

Seriously, every character has at least some sort of trademark nuance or quirk to their movements, speech, or sound effects that makes them, and indeed the entire game world, come alive.

DISCO DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!

That being said, let’s get to the gameplay.

Being as the source material is grounded in the Mario canon, it’s only appropriate that the game include a great deal of platforming and coin gathering to go with it’s turn-based combat and level grinding.

 

While I love Diablo as much as the next dork, I thank the heavens that Mario hasn't tried to bite off it's mechanics. Yet...

The key innovation that Superstar Saga brings to the table, and indeed all Mario RPGs prior and since; is the hands-on approach to gameplay elements that are typically automated in most RPGs.

Said elements are no more apparent, than in Superstar Saga’s highly detailed and interactive combat system.

Monsters are encountered on the overworld map, not as random battles, but in the form of fast-moving and aggressive character sprites that maneuver the landscape.

Once a battle begins, the player assumes control of both Mario and Luigi in a turn-based fashion.

From there, timed button inputs are required on the part of the player to effectively attack and defend.

For the love of God, push the "B" button to not die!

Every enemy attack in the game has a means to be avoided or defended in some way, provided the player has the timing and reflexes necessary to do so.

This effectively makes the difficulty of the combat in Superstar Saga a product of the players skill, rather than the stats of his characters.

Being as I’m really an RPG guy these days, I for one really appreciated this.

 

By the way, thank you Demon's Souls for shitting all over my previous statement.

While the game was far from difficult, the battle system kept the boredom and tedium at bay for the most part, leaving me with a terrific and off-the-wall story to enjoy.

Trust me, if you’re looking for a way to indulge your inner child and feel like a 9 year old all over again, try playing Superstar Saga; you won’t be disappointed.

Anyway, this post was supposed to be about music, so what’s say we get to it shall we?

Superstar Saga, like virtually any Nintendo product, has a wonderful soundtrack.

Composed by the prolific and talented Yoko Shimomura, the whole soundtrack is very well-rounded, and more importantly; thematic and appropriate to the setting and mood.

Superstar Saga is a colorful, light, and “bouncy” game, and the soundtrack was tailor-made to suit those feelings.

Defne Adj. "Bouncy": Any game that includes a sequence wherein 2 Italian plumbers do battle with a barrel of sentient cola.

Despite this, the game is still an RPG nonetheless, and thusly features a wide array of battle themes, not to mention a few boss themes.

While every track of the game is deserving of special notice, the Best Boss Music in Superstar Saga is…

Rookie and Popple:

This track plays whenever Mario and Luigi do battle with the wily thief named Popple, and his new protege, “Rookie.”

The fun part of these battles, comes from the fact that the “Rookie” is in fact Bowser; albeit a Bowser with amnesia.

Scratch that. Amnesia and a pimp-ass hat.

Despite the memory loss, whenever the player attacks Bowser in these fights, a little light bulb will flicker on in his head, and he’ll suddenly bust out some decidedly Bowser-like moves.

I guess you could call it a case of muscle memory winning out over mental memory.

Anyway, this track was only played a handful of times in the game, but I found myself happy to hear it every time it did.

It’s far more energetic than the standard boss theme, and better composed for that matter; but in some ways I feel that Popple and Rookie’s reduced frequency of occurrence in-game is part of what makes it stand out so much.

Despite many of the other Best Boss Music entries listed on this blog being of the more epic or dramatic variety, Popple and Rookie earns it’s spot purely off of it’s fun-factor.

Let it be known, that which makes us happy is often that which is most important to us.

Tune in tomorrow for another real post!

Maybe…

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The Best MAN!!! #1

Let it be known, that the Azn Badger loves him some Mega Man.

If you need any indication of how deep my love for Mega Man runs, bear in mind that one of the first posts on this blog was about Mega Man X.

I’ll just wait here while you look that up…

While I don’t think I’m ready to do a protracted mega-post on the subject of the Blue Bomber, much like the one I did on Ultraman, I think it’s about time I made an attempt to scratch the surface a little.

That being said, today I’m kicking off a new post topic, specifically one that deals with the colorful roster of bosses in the Mega Man universe.

Basically, I’m gonna’ run through each of the Mega Man games in the linear series, (fuck that Gameboy and Genesis bullshit.  Wily Wars my ass…) naming the one boss, or MAN, that stands out as the coolest, most bad-ass, or otherwise, most interesting.

I call this new post topic, The Best MAN!

Pictured: The wedding of the Azn Badger.

With that, let’s get this party started with Mega Man 1.

Now that is some shitty cover art.

To be honest, Mega Man 1 isn’t really my favorite game in the series.

True, it was the first in the series.

True, it was an impressive technical feat for the time.

Unfortunately, as the first game in the series, it lacks some of the polish of later games in the series.

Kind of like this pile. Well, the NES version anyway.

It’s interesting to note that I never got a chance to play Mega Man 1 until much later in life.

My childhood was spent renting and playing Mega Man 2 and 3, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Well, maybe I'd change a FEW things...

In the original Mega Man, there were only 6 bosses instead of the now traditional 8,  a hokey score keeping system that never made it past the first game, and in general, the game just needed a little bit more of a push to be considered a true classic in my book.

Honestly, if you look up “greatest leap in quality from one game to the next,” most likely you’ll find a picture of Mega Man 2.

Anyway, that’s enough shitting on Mega Man 1, let’s get down to who’s The Best MAN!

For my money, The Best MAN of the original Mega Man would have to be Cut Man.

CUUUUUTTTTTTTTT MAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!

Cut Man’s design has a lot of character to it.

His color scheme is simple but iconic.

His head has a strange and distinctive shape and form to it, looking almost like a marionette or something.

Oh yeah, did I mention he’s got fuckin’ scissors comin’ out of his head?

On top of that, his level is very well designed for the time, with the background music being one of the best pieces of music in the game.

True he was a complete pussy by the time you actually got around to fighting him, but even so, the character has a very long and distinguished legacy.

Outside of his appearance in Mega Man 1, Cut Man was also featured, along with Guts Man, as a sort of “Bebop and Rocksteady” duo of dumbasses in the Mega Man cartoon.

Don’t ask me why, but Mega Man’s eyebrows and pecs really pissed me off in that show.

Oh yeah, I think Scott McNeil/Duo Maxwell did Dr. Wily’s voice, along with a few other character on the show.

Man, he really was in EVERYTHING in the 90’s
While I didn’t really watch the cartoon all that much, (fuckin’ goddamn Phantom 2040 kept popping up in it’s early-ass time slot whenever I’d try to tape it) I have to admit that seeing Cut Man, alive and well, in every episode, served to add bias to my positive opinion of him.

Pretty sure I still have this toy somewhere around the house...

Besides the cartoon though, Cut Man also made appearances in wide variety of other Mega Man spin-offs.

I loved cutting the goalie in half with his super-shot in Mega Man Soccer.

His redesign in Mega Man EXE was pretty good.

ARRGHH!!! Silly Japanese, makin' everything so cute... Oh well, better than putting tentacles on/inside it.

But more importantly, he was really fun to fight in Mega Man the Power Battle, and Power Fighters.

Pictured: A very fun videogame.

While you’d fight him, he’d jump around, throw blades at you, and then jump into the background and cut holes in the scenery to teleport around.

Most notable about his appearance in the arcade games, was that they gave him a voice in it.

Like Mega Man, he had a female voice actor, but unlike his voice in the cartoon, that had him sounding sort of like a cross between Frankenstein’s Igor and Ren Höek from Ren and Stimpy, it fit surprisingly well.

Pictured: Boo Berry, Igor, and Cut Man, all rolled into one.

Cut Man’s character is slight of stature, and, when animated and rendered properly as he was in arcade games, very “cute.”

I feel silly admitting it, but whenever I’d hear Cut Man start chopping up the scenery while yelling out “Choki! Choki! Choki!,” I couldn’t help but smile a little.

Tee Hee.

“Choki,” by the way, is the Japanese onomatopoeia for “Slice” or “Cut.”

Anyway, Cut Man is The Best MAN of Mega Man 1.

If you don’t agree, tough shit.

Just don’t try tellin’ me that Ice Man or Elec Man deserves the title, ’cause everybody knows those 2 are wimpy-ass pieces of fuck with shitty background music…

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