Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Another Excuse To Play Resident Evil 4

Chances are everyone that gives a damn already knows about it, but today I found out that Resident Evil 4 is going to be re-released yet again on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.

To my knowledge, this marks something like the 30th time the game has been re-released.

From what I read over at IGN, it sounds like this version of the game will include all of the extra items and bonus content first introduced in the Playstation 2 port of the Gamecube original, while also updating the visuals to accommodate high definition technology ala the God of War HD Collection on the PS3.

While I do indeed already own a copy of the PS2 version of Resident Evil 4, ludicrous as it may seem; I’m very much tempted to pick up this new version of the game once it comes out.

I don’t feel I’m exaggerating when I say Resident Evil 4 was and is a terrific game of near unmatched quality; and one that I’m always looking for another excuse to pick up and play again.

Despite being a sequel in a hugely successful franchise, Resident Evil 4’s gameplay mechanics represented a brilliant departure from the norm; spawning a host of imitators and raising the bar sky high for gamer’s expectations of breadth of content, quality of visuals; and precision of controls.

To date, I’m still amazed by the sheer volume of content contained within Resident Evil 4, as well as the attention to detail and overall cohesiveness of the overall package.

In a series known for consistent excellence, Resident Evil 4 was the most boldly different and groundbreaking entry; ranking just behind Resident Evil 2 in terms of overall quality by my reckoning.

Meeting Will Smith: An epic moment in an epicly awesome game.

It’s funny though, despite all my praise for Resident Evil 4; I still kind of bear a grudge towards it for being as fucking amazing as it was.

You see, 4 was so fuckin’ successful that it seems to have had the effect of causing Capcom to subscribe to the belief that the Resident Evil series should continue working from the formula it established.

Take for instance Resident Evil 5, which was essentially a sub-par carbon copy 4 despite being several years removed from it’s predecessor.

Leave it to Capcom to throw their hands up and say “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”…

Megaman: 20+ Years of Same Shit Different Day

Personally, I’m still longing for the day when we’ll see Resident Evil return to it’s clunky, fixed camera, survival-horror roots.

Anyway, this was me simultaneously reminiscing about and announcing the re-release of Resident Evil 4.

Now, all they need to do is remake Resident Evil 2 with current-gen graphics and the same tender loving care that they gave to the Gamecube remake of the first game

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In A Wholly Expected Circumstance Of Fate, Something Bad Happened At Work Today!

I should’ve known something was up when I won that Zune yesterday.

As they say, “nothing in life comes free,” and wouldn’t you know it, I ended up paying for a Bill Gate’s take on Jobs’ Ipod with my health and safety.

That’s right folks, after months of slogging it out in the warehouse, the Azn Badger has finally succumbed to the horrors of “wrist strain.”

Hah, had you thinkin’ I got impaled by a forklift or some shit, didn’t I?

You see, today was one of those weird days where everything was almost absurdly slow, to the point in which many people were sent home early.

Despite this, as per the Amazon routine, the last 3 hours of the day were absolute balls to the wall insanity of last minute orders, cancellations, and diapers, lots and lots of diapers…

Being as I am now the resident whipping boy (I’m apparently subbing in for my friend who was laid off not too long ago) of the warehouse, I was of course scheduled to ship during said 3 hours of mayhem and chaos.

With about 2 and a half shipping lines worth of volume bearing down on me, not to mention the hoard of shit-for-brains seasonal workers constantly breathing down my neck with priority packages for me, (DON’T JUST SHOW IT TO ME, LEAVE IT IN THE GODDAMN TOTE ASS-HAT) I think it’s safe to say I was rushing just a bit.

With time being very much of the essence, I found myself reaching back at odd angles to snag packages off the line, which after 2 hours or so; began to ’cause me quite a bit of discomfort.

During the last 30 minutes of the day, I was told to go meander the aisles and pick inventory for the night shift, y’know; like yah’ do.

With barely 15 minutes left in the day I planted my feet and turned my very full picking cart into the main aisle to return it to the staging area, when all of a sudden I felt this “pop” in my wrist.

I felt a sharp pain, stopped in my tracks, and said aloud to myself:

“Oh man, that can’t be good.”

Sure enough, the next time I tried lifting something, a small hardback book; I felt an annoying tinge of pain in my wrist.

Following that, I reported my injury to my manager, as per company regulations; and then got sent off to the nurse’s office just like in elementary school.

Although thankfully I was vomiting or bleeding from my nose like I used to back in the day.

Yeah, the Azn Badger was kind of a sickly child way back when…

Anyway, I mentioned that this all happened in the last few minutes of the work day, right?

Well, as it turns out, getting a case of “wrist strain” at Amazon necessitates an hour long visit with the nurse filling out paperwork and talking over symptoms and treatments.

Now, while I kind of wish it hadn’t taken quite so long, I was honestly quite surprised to learn that my time spent in there counted as being on the clock.

Huh, now that I think of it, maybe getting hurt wasn’t all that bad.

The injury itself is minor at best, plus I just earned 10 bucks for sitting down and having a pleasant conversation with the silly nurse lady. (She’s silly, so I call her the silly nurse lady.  Tee hee.)

Anyway, sorry for the lame post; but be thankful you even got one.

I’m taking this “rehabilitation” crap pretty seriously, to the point in which this entire 600+ word post was written using just my right hand.

That’s dedication…

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In A Bizarre Twist Of Fate, Something Good Happened At Work Today!

How Do Asian People Smile? With The Aid of Expensive and Specialized Tools, Of Course.

Remember gym class in middle school?

Remember how you basically got an “A” just for changing into your gym clothes?

Well, don’t let anyone tell you that just plain showing up for work everyday isn’t without it’s benefits; because I just got a 16 GB Zune Touch HD for doing exactly that!

Oooooh.... Fancy...

Oh yeah, and I also got a wall charger/USB adaptor, and a screen cleaning kit to go with it.

Tower of Power, baby... Tower of Power...

FOH’ FREE Y’ALL!

*Ahem!* Sorry.  We Japanese don’t gloat all too often, but when it comes to the acquisition of fancy and overpriced material goods, we just can’t help ourselves.

Anyway, turns out there was some sort of lottery involving the various employees at the warehouse with a certain standard of attendance, and my name just happened to be pulled for the second prize.

It’s kind of funny really, I honestly didn’t know anything about a drawing or prizes or what not; which made the whole experience of being told I had won something all the more surreal.

Trust me, as awesome as the Azn Badger may seem in print, in person he is very much a mustelid (look it up, retard) of the loser-ly variety.

That being said, I was absolutely blown away by the announcement, such that I honestly didn’t believe it at first.

I think it goes without saying, that despite all the hardship and long hours at work lately, (particulary of the “frozen” variety…) a silly little thing like getting second prize in a lottery I didn’t even know I had entered really did a lot to perk me up.

In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that it made me “happy.”

It’s kind of funny actually, when the subcontractor correspondent approached me to tell me about the prize, my first reaction was to steel myself in anticipation of bad news along the lines of:

“You accidentally shipped a dildo and House of 1000 Corpses to a child for Christmas.  You sir, Mr. Badger; are fired.”

Or,

“You’re slow.  And dumb.  And you smell of lamb shanks and feces.  Now, get back to work dick fur.”

In retrospect, the sunny and inviting smile on their face probably should’ve tipped me off to their intentions, but give me a break; I’m Azn, we’re good at misinterpreting things like faces, and y’know; English.

Anyway, after far too many days of freezer duty, my hands are a cracked and, quite literally, bloody mess right now; resulting in the necessary application of bag balm.

Word to the wise:

Never type with balmy jism on your hands; it can get very messy…

With bag jizz all over my hands, I’m not really able to handle my shiny new Zune at the moment, so I’m thinking I’ll wait a day or 2 to fire her up.

Damn that thing's reflective... A little smaller than I expected too.

Hell, I can wait, after all; it’s not everyday you get a free toy, much less a $200+ one…

Oh well, happy early Christmas to me I guess!

 

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“What Do You Know, Blu-Ray Really Is Better…”

When it comes to home video mediums, I’m not a fan of changing formats.

For the first half of my life, VHS was the end all be all home video format.

If you wanted to buy a movie, you did so in the form of purchasing a fuzzy, artifact ridden VHS cassette.

Well, that is unless you were one of those hipster-douchebags that had a Beta player, or worse yet; a fuckin’ Laserdisc…

Anyway, the point is; for most of my life, there was one way to watch a movie.

All of that changed around the time I was just getting into high school, with the advent of DVD.

While DVD had been already been around for some time, from my perspective, it really hadn’t “caught on” with the general public until the early 2000’s.

Kind of like how CD’s have been around forever, but it wasn’t until sometime in the early 90’s that it truly became mainstream.

Being as I was a very young badger of 13, with no income of my own; DVD failed to capture my interest in any way.

Everyone knew the image quality was superior.

Everyone knew the sound quality was clearer.

Everyone knew that DVD was, on paper; better than VHS.

Only thing was, no one I knew, myself included, ever actually watched a movie on DVD.

While many of my friend’s families would go on to hop on the bandwagon and purchase DVD players, my household would remain without digital video for little longer than most.

That all changed in 2001, when my mother surprised my brother and I with a Playstation 2 that Christmas, despite preemptively outright telling us that we weren’t going to get one.

Mothers:  You can grow up all you want, but they still fuckin’ own your ass…

I’ll never forget that Christmas, as it was a particular emotional time for our household, and I suppose the PS2 helped a little too.

Anyway, as you probably know, one of the pluses of owning a Playstation product, is the fact that it doubles as a media player.

The original Playstation served as my CD player, (not that I had any CD’s…) and the Playstation 2 would go on to serve as my first DVD player.

True, it was a shitty DVD player with some of the muddiest and darkest fuckin’ image quality imaginable, but it was a DVD player nonetheless.

Despite having never really given much thought to the idea of owning a DVD player, my Playstation 2 took my thoughts and considerations on the matter and basically shouted in my ear:

LET ME TELL YAH’ SOMETHIN’ BROTHER!  YOU’VE GOT A DVD PLAYER WHETHER YAH’ LIKE OR NOT NOW, BROTHER!  SO GET OUT THERE AND BUY SOME DVD’S DUDE!  SHOW ‘EM WHAT HULKAMANIA’S ALL ABOUT, BROTHER!”

Okay, so maybe my PS2 wasn’t possessed by the wayward spirit of the still-living Hulk Hogan, but you get my meaning.

With the tools to explore the medium now at my command, I set out into the world to grab a DVD, and finally see what the big fuckin’ deal was.

I’ll give you one guess as to what my very first DVD purchase was.

If you guess Rocky, Godzilla, or some form of kung fu movie, *BUZZ!* you’d be wrong!

The Azn Badger’s very first DVD, was in fact:

Transformers: The Movie.

Haha!  I know, awesome, right?

Watching Transformers The Movie on DVD for the first time was like seeing it for the first time.

For one thing, my original VHS copy of the movie was in fact just that, a ratty-ass copy recorded from an original rented from Blockbuster.

The difference in image and sound quality was like night and day.

Despite the perks of the enhanced audio and video, by far my favorite innovation that DVD brought to home video, was the chapter select function.

Being able to skip to your favorite parts, without fear of stretching and ruining the tape, was a godsend.

Seriously, do you know how many movies I have in my DVD library that are good for only 1 or 2 scenes?

Let me put it this way:

Without chapter select, I probably wouldn’t own half the movies I do.

Anyway, the point of this post, is to point out that, for maybe the 3rd time in a row, a Sony Playstation has served as my “ambassador” to a new medium of digital entertainment.

I’m of course referring to the new standard HD video disc medium: Blu-Ray.

As was the case with DVD, I wasn’t all that thrilled at the prospect of switching to Blu-Ray.

I loved my big-ass DVD collection, and the idea of turning my back on the medium I had grown so comfortable with, just felt wrong.

Then something inside me changed.

As I sat watching my very first Blu-Ray, Iron Man 2; on my Playstation 3, I came to realize that my reservations were unfounded.

Just as was the case with DVD, I was blown away by a format that, on paper; was regarded as “better.”

From a visual standpoint, Blu-Ray really was something to behold.

Like with VHS and DVD, it really was; night and day.

While Blu-Ray has yet to bring a major innovation like chapter select to the table, it still needs to be said; the visual one-up is downright spellbinding.

Now, don’t write me off as some videophile fanboy for Blu-Ray, as that’s hardly the truth.

As of now, I’ve only seen 1 Blu-Ray movie, and it was a brand new and intensely visual film, perfect to test the strengths of the medium with.

I’m sure Blu-Rays of older, less visual films are far less impressive.

At present, I’m thinking of maintaining my purchases of DVDs for films that aren’t deserving of the extra graphical fidelity I.E. dramas or comedies, while reserving Blu-Ray purchases for “louder” shit like Avatar or Iron Man.

While I’m not ready to go all-in on Blu-Ray as of yet, my reasoning behind this post, is that I want to point out that this is a road I’ve been down before.

I switched from cassettes to CDs.

I switched fromVHS to DVD, and willingly at that.

While I’m not sure I’ll be switching from DVD to Blu-Ray wholeheartedly any time soon, the point is; I’m no longer afraid to.

Change is not always a bad thing.

It may be uncomfortable, or worse yet; inconvenient, but the point is, we’ve all done it before and the world kept turning regardless.

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

The Azn Badger Bought A PS3

"RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!"

Let me tell you a sad story.

Well okay, not a real sad story, but as sad and as, uh, story-ish as a true tale from the life of a middle-class blog writer can be.

There once was a boy, half-Japanese, and vaguely badger-esque, who bought an HD TV without having any HD devices.

The boy spent the next 4-5 months with all the visual splendor that is 1080p just beyond his grasp.

For 4-5 months, the boy played Gamecube and Super NES on his brand new HD TV.

Mostly Super NES though, 'cause as we all know; Gamecube is ass.

Finally, after years of being a very cheap, and decidedly “pussy-ass” badger the Azn Badger has gone and bought himself a PS3.

That being said, with my new “toy” finally bringing the true wonders of HD to my home, it’s been a little bit hard to find the time and inspiration to write a post for tonight.

Hell, you guys should be happy I even remembered to write anything.

Anyway, expect to hear my impressions of my new console, and the various softwares I inevitably purchase for it, in the very near future.

Oh yeah, I typed this post half-blind on account of my laptop getting another malware, and my dad’s monitor resolution being so freaking messed up that my WordPress interface is covering half of the text field.

Also, I can’t post images from dad’s computer on account of “IO Error.”

Hopefully there are no typos, ’cause I can’t see them if there are…

See you tomorrow for more PS3 goodness!

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Get Stingray Production Diary Entry #0

Not long ago, I mentioned on this blog that I was gearing up to make a movie with some friends entitled “Get Stingray.”

Being as this is intended to be a fairly serious endeavor, requiring many hours and weeks of effort to complete, I figure it would be in my best interest to track and log the progression of things on a fairly consistent basis.

Well, being as it’s been about a week since I announced this project, I can honestly say that not a whole lot has changed, which is the reasoning for why this diary entry is labeled #0 instead of #1.

While I have yet formally set aside time to devote to budgeting, choreographing, or pounding out a script for Get Stingray as of yet, (that’s what this weekend is for) I have had random bits of inspiration come me, mostly in terms of the cinematographic style of things.

After years of watching action/kung fu movies, I finally like I have a decent feel what kind of movements are most dynamic, and what kind of camera angles work to “sell” said motions.

While it sucks to have to admit it, it needs to be said that neither myself, nor any of my friends are particularly gifted in terms of physicality or coordination.

That being said, I’m leaning towards using tight focal points in the framing of the shots during the fights, as well as using quick cuts to mask whatever shortcomings myself and the other performers might have in the physical department.

Speaking of quick cuts, as I write this I find myself peering up at the television to watch Matt Damon and Joey Ansah’s spectacular brawl from The Bourne Ultimatum:

Unlike the dreadful stock library sound effects used in this scene though, I intend to do what I can to foley whatever sound I can.

The vision I have for the cinematography during the fights in Get Stingray, is something along the lines of a cross between the Bourne series’ quick cuts, and the more polished on-rails camera movements of Donnie Yen’s work in the past 5 years or so.

Basically, I want to take the calculated artistry of the camera choreography of Hong Kong action films, pair it with the quick cuts of American films, all while keeping the “shaky-cam” to the bare minimum, or at least in a tasteful proportion.

I know it sounds heady and artsy, and very likely far beyond my capabilities as a barely amateur filmmaker, but that’s probably the simplest and most straightforward way one could articulate my intent.

While I’m on the topic of cinematography, I may as well mention that I’m seriously considering investing in a new camera.

I’ve used a DV cam for every film project I’ve ever made, but at my old job as a graphic designer, I was afforded the chance to handle a flash memory HD camcorder.

I really grew to love that camera, with it’s manual focus and 24p shooting mode, and as such; it’s hard for me to consider going back to my 10 year old, dead pixel ridden DV cam.

Anyway, right now I’m looking at the Canon HFS20, and the HFS21, either of which would run me about $1,000.

As it stands, I can definitely afford the expense, but if anyone has any suggestions on a better choice/alternative, it’d be much appreciative.

Anyway, while I haven’t had an opportunity to shoot any test footage (again, that might be on the menu this weekend) I did get a chance to rough-house and block out a few beats of the choreography with my friends last week.

As with my confidence in my ability to deliver in terms of the cinematography of the movie, I feel that I have a pretty good sense of the “flow” or “language” of crafting fight scenes.

In playing around with my friends, I found I was able to effectively reference the temperaments and fighting disciplines of the characters, and logically deduce the attacks or defensive maneuvers that each character would utilize on a contextual basis.

Again, I know it’s a mouthful, but I couldn’t think of a better way to say it.

In many ways, my intent in making Get Stingray is to test myself, to see if I really can do what I’ve always felt I could.

Expect many Stingray updates from now on.

Chances are I’ll have some character bios or something like that next time around.

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

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