Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Azn Badger’s Guide To Foods That Will Wreck Your Shit-Hole

Haha, poop on head!

Yesterday I posted a 1,000+ word article on the subject of defecation and it’s place in American culture.

I’m proud to say it’s one of the better posts I’ve made in the past month or so.

That being said, today I’ve decided to follow up the success of that gloriously shit-stained post by putting together a list of foods that I’ve done battle with on the porcelain throne over the years.

Please bear in mind that this list is based entirely of my personal experience, as well as through knowledge imparted to me by others comfortable enough to do so.

That being said, the following will be quite detailed, and very likely; too graphic for some.

You have been warned.

Dried Mango:

 

Pictured: The best brand. Trust me, there are some truly shitty brands...

A personal favorite of mine (eating it right now in fact!).

I’ve built up a tolerance to it over the years, but newbies will be greeted with frequent and chunky shits containing undigested, and still quite yellow, fragments of mango.

Said effects only manifest when consumed in mass quantities.

Not painful to deal with, but the frequency of shits can be troublesome if you have an upcoming social occasion.

Best eaten/OD’ed on when your schedule is clear for the day.

Note: Philippine brand mango is recommended, as it easily the highest quality.  Stay away from Top Food’s bulk version though.

It’s orange.

Last time I checked, mango wasn’t orange

Dried Papaya:

Eww... Those don't look like any papaya I would buy...

Not as tasty as mango, but extremely easy to OD on due to the richness of the fruit.

Results in slight constipation, and slight headache if consumed in mass quantities.

Can occasionally cause one’s shit to become mucus-like in consistency.

Be mindful of over-indulging, as it can result in an itchy sensation in the rectum that makes it difficult to gauge the urgency of impending shits.

Seriously, it’s like your anus is pulling a rope-a-dope on your nervous system, tricking it into thinking it needs to drop a deuce when there’s simply no deuces to drop.

Extremely frustrating to contend with, as constipation is equally as likely to manifest as the never ending, itchy “good God, I need to shit like a camel needs to spit” sensation.

Recommended in small portions, or not at all; as dried mango is a billion times more tasty anyway…

Almond Butter:

Whaddaya' know, it looks the same goin' in as it does comin' out!

A tasty peanut butter alternative that goes down smooth, but puts on a helluva’ fight on the way out.

As mentioned above, it produces no noticeable symptoms upon initial consumption, however it grows fangs/balls sometime during the digestion process, resulting in sneakily urgent shits later in the day.

Said evacuation process is actually not so much painful, as it is uncomfortable and anti-climactic.

Uncomfortable in the sense that one’s shits produce an irritating itching sensation, not to mention are rendered disappointingly miniscule by man-standards.

(Yes, we have standards for that.)

Anti-climactic in the sense that one’s body goes ape-shit telling them they need to get to a toilet right now, so they can anally evict the rampaging shit-leopard from their bowels before it quite literally tears them a new asshole, only to find that the resulting ass-leavings were a shit-kitty at best.

Still, that itching sensation can be epicly frustrating…

Raisins:

"Well hello there raisin hottie, what'cha' got there? HOLY JEEBUS, DON'T YOU REALIZE WHAT THOSE'LL DO TO ME!?"

Don’t let the friendly mascot of the hot Mexican chick fool you, raisins claim the porcelain throne as their second home, carving their name into the asshole of any man foolish enough to challenge them on their turf.

Seriously man, raisins are tough customers.

Consumption results in severe gas and an unrelenting feeling of “oh my God, I need to take a shit so bad” so severe, that most men opt to spend the remainder of the day in the John, y’now, just in case.

Despite this, the process of sending raisins on the endless descent into the white bowl of doom is where the actual wrecking of one’s shit generally occurs.

Said shit is akin to experiencing the crippling “oh my God, why won’t my ass stop crying” symptoms of diarrhea, while undergoing the “holy shit, why won’t my anus come out and play?” symptoms of constipation.

Seriously, the resulting shit is a marathon of anal endurance; the likes of which few can endure.

It’s like a 12 round war of attrition, broken up by frequent, and unsettling bouts of clinching.

Or is that “clenching?”

Despite one’s best efforts, in this particular equation, one is simply doomed to ride out the literal shit-storm of anal flotsam and debris that will very likely adorn their bathroom walls over the next 15-360 minutes.

Make no mistake, war is hell; especially when fought on the crapper…

Cheese (Any of the Cow variety):

"Ah, the power of chees..."

I am Japanese.

History teaches us that, for a very long time, my people had no cows.

Make no mistake, when it comes to foods that wreck my shit, few things of this Earth can do so as quickly, efficiently, and as unfailingly as dairy products.

While eggnog is a close second, I honestly feel that cheeses have the greatest capacity to tear my rectum inside out and fold it over my head like a shitty hockey player on the receiving end of a particularly savage hockey beatdown.

Consumption of cheese results in noticeable symptoms right off the bat.

It all starts with the “cheese sweats.”

Y’know, that nasty feeling where you feel all greasy and short of breath every time you exert yourself even a little.

Once the “cheese sweats” have settled in, then the nasal congestion starts to rear it’s ugly head, making you look like an ass as you constantly snort and blow your nose in a lame attempt to keep from breathing through your mouth like a loser.

Seriously, nobody likes a mouth breather.

NOBODY.

Once all of that has settled in, things finally come to a head as the dreaded “cheese gas” starts acting up, causing your anus to cough up clouds of all sorts of Evil Cow God cursed gasses that no man (or woman) of this Earth are meant to (nor able to) contend with.

Make no mistake, when an Asian declares bathroom jihad on a product of the dairy clan; collateral damage is not only expected, it’s a certainty.

That being said, unless you’re comfortable with living out the rest of your days knowing that a handful of people’s faces were Ark of the Covenant-ed by the noxious “cheese gas” crop-dusting from your shit-hole on your long march to the porcelain theater of war, I would suggest removing one’s self from any public venues before consuming any cheeses.

Despite the immense possibilities for public humiliation, doing battle with cheese is much like taking on a bully.

He may put on a big bravado, humiliating you from time to time, and even going so far as getting physical with you every now and again; but once you get him into the ring and start trading with him, he folds like the lips of your anus in the off-season.

In short, the actual battle with cheese is rather brief, and actually ends up feeling like a relief after all the tortuous build-up.

Either that, or you get diarrhea.

Really BAD diarrhea…

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Brian Tyler: Complacent Genius, Or One-Note Wonder?

He doesn't think he's better than me. Not at all...

Brian Tyler is one of Hollywood’s foremost “up and coming” film score composers.

Well okay fine, he’s technically not really an “up and comer,” as he’s already firmly established in the business, but given his relatively young age, and fairly recent ascendance to high-profile marquee films, I can’t really justify placing him among the old (and still working) lions like Danny Elfman, Elliot Goldenthal, or even Hans Zimmer.

Good God, somebody get Elfman away from the kindergarten!

Anyway, I first ran across Brian Tyler when perusing the internet for chase themes for use in a film project that never got off the ground.

One gem that I happened to stumble upon, was a track (or should I say “the” track) from Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

I can’t find a clip of it at the moment, but the track is called “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” and it’s track 2 on the score.

Anyway, I was blown away by the unrelenting energy, and raw power exuded by this track.

For one thing, it’s epicly long, yet somehow manages to consistently ramp up the tension and energy level throughout it’s entire running time.

More importantly though, it’s an incredibly complex composition, and yet the emotions produced when hearing it are wholly elemental to the point of being primal.

In short, though I wouldn’t see Tokyo Drift until, well, just a few months ago; Brian Tyler was instantly marked as a high priority on my radar (or should that be sonar?).

Since then, though I haven’t seen all that many of the films he’s composed, I’ve gone out of my way to look up a track or 2 from some of his higher profile works.

So far, my favorite album of his has to be his work on Rambo.

The face of approval.

While he was smart to include, and leave relatively untouched, the wonderful Jerry Goldsmith theme; every other piece of music on the soundtrack is absolutely stellar in it’s own right.

The action cues are violent and intense, and much like Tokyo Drift, have a very natural and engaging rhythm of rising tension throughout.

In particular, the Title Theme

and the final battle sequence track, No Rules of Engagement


Stand out as personal favorites of mine.

Another soundtrack of Tyler’s that I found to be quite good, was his far more subtle and restrained work on Annapolis.

Pictured: THE reason I watched Annapolis. Wasn't too bad a movie actually...

Given the naval academy setting, and slightly downbeat tone of the movie, the more casual, and stripped down feel of the music fits all too well.

To be honest, Annapolis is just about the only one of Brian Tyler’s scores that I’ve heard without being able to tell he composed it right off the bat.

Annapolis serves as a good indication as to the depths of Mr. Tyler’s talents, as though he’s since gone on to become sort one dimensional as of late; it’s movies like this that remind us that he can in fact do other things.

While I’m on the topic of Mr. Tyler’s one-dimensionality, it should be mentioned that; in my opinion, he’s already begun to phone in some of his compositions.

Off the top of my head: War, Fast & Furious, and Dragonball: Evolution were all projects of his that felt severely lacking in quality and inspiration.

No amount of musical awesomeness could've saved this pile of ass...

To be fair, those movies were severely lacking in quality and inspiration, but that shouldn’t figure into the composer’s commitment to the project.

Unless they paid him in Pogs.

 

Wow, those are shitty even by Pog standards...

If they did that, then I’d take it all back.

Anyway, Tyler’s work on these movies was bland, and honestly felt like he opened up his drawer of previously discarded action cues and just threw them onto the album.

War had a few nice motifs here and there, but most of the action cues sounded more like noise than anything else.

It’s sad really, as I read somewhere that War represented the first time Tyler got to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra.

The most recent Brian Tyler soundtrack I’ve heard, was his work on The Expendables.

Meatheads of the world unite, for your Gospel has been written...

As one would expect, being as both films involve a collaboration with Sylvester Stallone; Tyler’s music for The Expendables shares it’s tone and instrumentation with Rambo.

The only difference being that Rambo was a varied and passionate score with some killer action cues, while The Expendables is a fairly generic, almost made for TV quality score comprised largely of mediocre action cues.

Don’t get me wrong, Brian Tyler’s a damn good composer, and as such his work on The Expendables is better than a lot of Hollywood action movies these days, however personally, I expected more.

I expected the bombast and energy level to match or exceed Rambo, and instead we ended up getting the equivalent of a “meow” in comparison to the former’s roar.

Despite this, Royal Rumble is a track that found a home on my Ipod:

As it stands, Brian Tyler is poised to take the reigns as composer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

*Gasp!* We won't be shooting PEOPLE this time, will we?

Given his current “sound” that he seems to be stuck fast to, I would think he’d be a good fit for the series.

If he can access his inner Rambo, and once again marry thematic and dramatic elements to his action cues, I think he’ll do just fine.

Hell, as one note as people can accuse Brian Tyler of being, Harry Gregson-Williams (who composed the first Modern Warfare) is easily 10 times as guilty.

 

(Insert generic military hymn/Metal Gear Solid theme here)

Here’s hoping Mr. Tyler hangs around to give us great music for years to come.

Oh yeah, and it’d be nice if he tried mixing up his style too.

Jus’ sayin’ is all…

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Thoughts On Call Of Duty: Black Ops

Since it’s release, I’ve had no less than 5 people tell me to by Call of Duty: Black Ops, usually because quote:

“Trust me, you’ll like it.”

That’s 5 different people inside of what, a week?

Now it should be noted that most of these people are not exactly close friends of mine, and are thusly unaware of how cheap/Azn/stingy I am when it comes to purchasing games, particularly at full retail price.

I suppose it also helps that I have a distinct phobia of register clerks, which makes the purchasing process all the more difficult.

We’ll get into that some other time…

Anyway, while I have yet to buy into the hype and pick myself up a copy of Black Ops, today I was fortunate to have the game quite literally brought to my door by my Krn buddy from up the street.

While both of us are veterans of the Call of Duty series, spanning all the way to the original title; my friend has been playing them online on his PS3 quite consistently in the past few years, making him a far more experienced player than myself.

I sort of dropped out of the series after Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

I had it for the PC, and really enjoyed it for the most part, however I never played it online; and rarely caught myself missing it when I had to format my PC.

That being said, I would never consider any game in the Call of Duty series to be anything less than excellent.

Well, except maybe Call of Duty 3… And maybe Big Red One.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say here, is that I’ve played COD, and I like COD, so don’t get butt hurt if it sounds like I’m being mean to your precious COD.

That being said, here’s my first impression of Black Ops after about 2-3 hours of online split screen play with my friend:

Black Ops makes me feel like an old man.

An old man with poor eyesight and shitty reflexes.

In short, like any online COD experience, the game is an insanely fast-paced rollercoaster ride of half second moments of awesome, followed by equally miniscule (yet all too frequent) moments of fail and butt hurt.

You run around, you shoot at things that move/have evil red words hanging over their head, and you die.

A LOT.

And yet, this unbelievably troglodytic cycle of mayhem and Red Bull fueled chaos somehow equates to something fun.

This is coming from somehow who’s probably played 10 hours of COD over the past 5 years, and just played Black Ops for the first time today.

What I mean to say is:

From what I can tell, I sucked pretty epicly at Black Ops my first time out.

My kill-death ratio was in the neighborhood of .70-.80, while my buddy’s was 2.0 even.

As mentioned above, the online component of Black Ops has an interesting (well, at least to me it’s interesting…) flow to it.

For a FPS newb such as myself, the game felt alarmingly fast, as if everything in the game world, my character included, was moving just a half beat quicker than I was ready for.

Then again, I’ve been playing Demon’s Souls and Metal Gear Solid 4 for the past several weeks, so by comparison; just about anything would seem fast…

Being a newb really hurt me in Black Ops.

At times, I found myself getting killed quite rapidly, to the point where it felt downright embarrassing.

Despite this, to it’s credit, Black Ops, like any COD game I’d imagine, manages to counter this quite well with it’s quick pacing.

In short, you simply aren’t given enough time to feel shitty about anything in the game, ’cause in most cases you’ll be back in the fight in no time anyway.

That being said, it should be noted that I felt myself “going numb” at times.

That is to say, I would kill and die, (mostly die) and do something cool every now and again, but everything came so clustered together, that I would just stop caring after awhile.

When you don’t care whether you live or die in a game, that either means that the stakes of the game aren’t all that important, the actual gameplay experience isn’t as meaningful as one would hope, or the player is someone that truly doesn’t give a fuck.

I was somewhere between the first and the last portions of the above statement, however I’d imagine it would really ruin someone’s day to find that their feelings coincide with the second.

Make no mistake, playing COD online is a very different beast from playing something like Demon’s Souls that severely punishes failure.

It’s an instant gratification game that punishes and rewards by inches, with all the worthwhile rewards only coming as a result of logging a great deal of playtime hours.

Personally, I prefer my games to have tangible stakes tied to my performance, however this is simply a case of personal preference.

Regardless, I died all the time when I was playing Black Ops, and while that pissed me off from time to time, particularly when I was getting my ass handed to me mere seconds after respawning, I’d usually forget about it once I got my legs back under me and scored a kill or 2.

In a sense, playing COD online is a strangely bipolar experience, with pleasurable and frustrated emotions coming and going as rapidly as they can manifest.

And they say A.D.D. isn’t a problem among the current generation…

From a features standpoint, while I can’t really compare it to the previous COD games all that much, I have to say, it seems like Black Ops has a lot going for it.

The equipment and perk customization is back, largely unchanged from it’s previous iterations.

The map selection is well varied, and seems adequate in quantity, with a number of the maps being tailor made for the Ground War mode in the sense that close-quarters engagements are almost a guarantee.

The Nazi Zombie mode from World At War is back, and seems to be a little more forgiving than it’s previous iteration.

That is to say, the weapons are more effective for the most part, and the initial map is far more spacious, lending the player a great deal more survivability due to their ability to turn tail and run if need be.

Outside of that though, Nazi Zombies feels largely the same, albeit with a lighter tone, a few campy power ups, and a more frantic pace.

Anyway, I only played Black Ops for a few hours, but those are my thoughts.

It seems like a pretty good game, though my lack of skill, combined with my recently adopted positive stance towards “deeper” gameplay experiences, leads me to believe that I probably won’t be buying another COD game anytime soon.

Sorry peoples that told me to by Black Ops, while I did indeed “like it,” I think I’m gonna’ hang onto my $60 for now.

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A Salute To Time Crisis: Part IV

It's time to end it...

We’ve reached the end of my long reminiscence on the rail shooter series that is Time Crisis.

To wrap things up, I figured I would take a moment to talk a little bit about the Time Crisis games that I haven’t played.

Released in arcades in 1999, Crisis Zone was the first spin-off of the Time Crisis series, and the first that I would never play.

The game borrowed the duck and shoot mechanic of Time Crisis in the form of a riot shield that the player character wields throughout the game.

Not quite as fun as landing a riot shield kill in Modern Warfare, but oh well...

In addition to this, instead of the standard issue handgun of most rail shooters, the player was, at all times, armed with a submachine gun.

Remember when I said machine guns make for dumb rail shooters?

Well, that’s pretty much the reason I had so little interest in Crisis Zone despite the “Crisis” name.

My feelings on the subject would carry on years down the road, well past the 2004 console release of Crisis Zone on the PS2.

Nearly 5 years after the console release of Time Crisis 1, Namco saw fit to make a Playstation exclusive entry in the series called Time Crisis: Project Titan.

As an owner of both Point Blank and Time Crisis, as well as 2 Guncons, I remember being curious about Project Titan, however I never actually played the game.

Point Blank: Best Character Designs EVER.

I remember reading a review of Project Titan in my Playstation Magazine, (PSM) wherein the editor saw fit to give the game a solid, but otherwise unremarkable score.

This was back when the writing staff was still cool by the way.

The release of Project Titan was marred by horribly outdated graphics for it’s time, a lack of new features, and the impending release of the infinitely superior Time Crisis 2 on the PS2 within the same year.

For the last fucking time, "NO ONE CAN BEAT THEM."

A minor plus to the game came in the form of several major characters from Time Crisis 1 making an appearance; namely Richard Miller as the player character, and Kantaris and Wild Dog as the game’s antagonists.

Sorry Dog, can't come out to play this weekend...

That’s right, not even an appearance by Wild Dog could get me to play Project Titan.

In essence, from what I’ve seen and read, Project Titan tried hard with what it had, but came up short in just about every area possible.

I like how I stumbled across this pic by searching for "small penis." That made my day.

Released in arcades in 2006, Time Crisis 4 is the most recent “proper” entry in the Time Crisis series.

I have seen the game available for play at Seattle Gameworks, and while I was somewhat impressed by the game’s graphical fidelity, I was also miffed by a few minor details.

Minor in most people’s eyes anyway.

In short, I was both flabbergasted and appalled by two aspects of Time Crisis 4’s design:

The character designs, and the addition of swarms of creatures called “Terror Bites.”

Honestly, I don’t what kind of Final Fantasy bullshit Namco was trying to pull with this game, but the character designs are utterly ridiculous.

Take a look:

Wow. Just, "wow."

These designs are what you call, “flash for the sake of flash.”

The clothing and hairstyles of the two guys on either side are outlandishly over-the-top, and the dude in the middle’s white man dreads are just plain scary.

Ever since Final Fantasy X (which I have not played, and have no desire to do so), I’ve always bashed the series’ character designs as being too “fashion magazine” like for their own good.

Of course time marches on and... Okay then, I guess nothing's changed after all.

That’s Final Fantasy though, it’s fantasy, it’s supposed to be gaudy.

We’re talkin’ about fuckin’ Time Crisis!

Look at some of the designs from the old game.

Richard Miller, bomber jacket + blue jeans = Hero.

Sometimes simple is better.

Part of what always separated the Time Crisis series from many other light gun franchises, was the fact that your enemies were always human.

Sure, there were always mechanical bosses to deal with from time to time, and the 3rd game put a huge emphasis on putting you up against all sorts of vehicles and what not, but never was there a time in which you were fighting bugs or animals.

Pictured: Time Crisis 4

To make matters worse, from what I saw in the arcade attract demo, the Terror Bites attack in swarms, which is also a big no-no in a Time Crisis game.

Time Crisis games never swarm the player with enemies, in fact most of the time the enemy count on screen at any given moment is relatively low for a light gun game.

In Time Crisis 1 and 2, the difficulty stemmed from clever enemy placement and the requirement of great accuracy and speed on the part of the player.

Enemies rarely scored hits by overwhelming you, and they never swarmed you or otherwise forced you to spray and pray.

Personally, I felt these two additions to the gameplay structure of Time Crisis 4 have served to potentially send the series down an ugly road.

Yeah, pretty sure you'd find this place on "ugly road."

It doesn’t look horrible, and I still want to play it, however I’m in no hurry and will gladly wait until the price per play at the arcade goes down a bit.

We went over this before, I’m Azn and therefore cheap.

Time Crisis is a wonderful game series, and potentially the best of it’s kind.

I tip my hat to the folks over at Namco for enriching my childhood, adolescence, and teenage years with memories of playing the first 3 Time Crisis games early in the morning on Christmas day.

Huh, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before, but Time Crisis was my favorite Christmas gift, 3 different times.

"3!? That's impossible, even for a computer!"

So no matter how critical I may get of the later entries in the series, when I say I’m a lifelong fan of the series, you know I’m not bullshitting you.

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got to say about Time Crisis for awhile.

Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t played a Time Crisis game in the arcade before, maybe now you’ll consider giving it a spin next time you’re out and about!

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Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus

Doctor Vladimir’s Space Virus

by Eric Burmill

Doctor Maximus Vladimir is the top scientist of the United Star Systems and he believes he’s developed a revolutionary new medicine to reduce the body’s physical deterioration in old age. He delivers his serum to a trusted colleague, Colonel Henry Mortok, without the knowledge that the colonel is member of K.I.L.L., a secret order bent on destroying all life in the universe. Mortok modifies the serum into a biological weapon and distributes it across all of the space colonies. Too late Dr. Vladimir realizes that his friend has used his discovery to unleash a deadly plague across the galaxy. Now it’s up to our hero to battle the secret order, confront his former friend, find a cure to save the billions of lives at stake, and clear his good name before he and the rest of the human race are erased from existence.

(Story Concept and Image used with the consent of Jeffrey Dong)

The above is part of an art exchange project between myself and a good friend of mine, Jeff Dong.

The idea came up while we were at Barnes & Noble rooting through the Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel section, intentionally looking for the dumbest and most ridiculous cover arts we could find.

And the winner for most awesome book cover EVER goes to...

Jeff Dong came up with the neat idea of challenging ourselves to come up with fake concepts for books that would go well with retarded cover art.

Basically, we were to exchange intentionally retarded Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel ideas, and then produce Photoshop renditions of the cover art for said stories.

The above example is my interpretation of Jeff Dong’s story idea.

Even though it took me more than a month to actually sit down and do this project, (largely on account of me having to write this damn blog!) I have to admit that I genuinely had fun with it.

Even though it’s cheesy, and definitely retarded, I also have to say that I am also somewhat proud of my work on this image.

Anyway, needed a break from writing, so instead I decided to treat myself to a day of flexing my artistic creativity.

Pictured: My "Artistic Creativity"

Hope you enjoyed, be on the lookout for Jeff Dong’s cover image for my story, it’s a hoot!

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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.

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My Idea For An AWESOME Videogame

Today I was asked by a my friend of mine, “If you could make any videogame, what would you make?”

Well, I couldn’t really answer him all that well when I was put on the spot, but remember I typed up this idea for a game about a year ago.

It’s not quite finished, but please look it over and enjoy!

Tag Line:

“A simple mission with epic possibilities”

Concept:

Third-Person, Military action game with RPG elements, a robust one-on-one melee fighting mechanic, and a compact, but hugely malleable storyline in which a “game over” is almost impossible to attain outside of being killed.

Inspiration:

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – Basic movement and shooting mechanics.

Mass Effect – Branching story structure based on player’s actions. Third-person shooter mechanics mixed with RPG elements.

The Bourne Conspiracy – Integration of seamless shooting-to-melee gameplay mechanic.

Setup:

The player initially begins the game by creating a character.

Facial structure, sex, voice, age, build, and initial outfitting are among the customizable criteria, though the equipment available upon first starting up the game is somewhat limited due to unlockable content awarded to the player as they progress through the single-player campaign.

Attribute Criteria:

These are the basic Attribute Criteria available to the player to assign to their character at the outset, as well as (in some cases) build upon later in the game.

Strength – Determines the character’s carrying weight and melee damage.

Speed – Determines the character’s movement and melee attack speed.

Stamina – Determines the character’s capacity for prolonged physical exertion, as well as serves to determine the steadiness of their targeting reticule when aiming with a low or empty Stamina gauge. Additional examples of Stamina draining activities include, sprinting, and any action performed while in Melee combat.

Toughness – Determines the character’s capacity to endure superficial damage from both weapon and melee damage.

Skill Criteria:

These are the basic Skill Criteria available to the player to assign to their character at the outset, as well as (in some cases) build upon later in the game.

Precision Shooting – Determines the steadiness and recovery rate of the targeting reticule when aiming down the sights of the weapon.

Assault – Determines the steadiness and recovery rate of the targeting reticule when firing while in motion or shooting from the hip.

Equipment Maintenance – Determines the efficiency by which the character is able to maintain their equipment, I.E. how quickly equipment is repaired during downtime and the rate at which said equipment declines while in battle. Also serves as a positive bonus to the character’s Critical Failure rate.

Explosives – Determines the character’s accuracy with grenades and the speed by which they are able to set or disarm explosive devices.

Melee – Determines the expanse of the character’s move set when engaging in melee combat. Also determines the ease by which the character is able to execute counter maneuvers and adds a bonus to their Melee damage rating.

Medical Skills – Determines the efficiency by which the character is able to perform emergency medical treatment on himself and others, I.E. the amount of health recovered and the speed at which treatment is administered from one session.

Age System:

A character’s age affects the game in two major ways:

It determines the attribute and skill points available to the player from the beginning, as well as the rate in which they accumulate them as the game progresses.

In addition to this, the characters’ age determines their demeanor and behavior during the various cut scenes.

This system works by separating the possible ages of the character (20 to 45 years) into two base categories of “young” (age 20-32) and “old” (ages 33-45).

A character belonging to the “young” age group is given access to a greater amount of attribute points from the beginning and onward, while at once starting off the game with few, if any available skills or skill points.

Conversely, a character belonging to the “old” age group begins the game with fewer attribute points to allocate, while at once being awarded with a greater number of skill points, as well as a number of pre-unlocked and upgraded skills.

In the case of both character types, aging a character further to either end of the age spectrum results in their corresponding bonuses and handicaps being applied, I.E. a 20 year old character will have almost no skills, but will begin with the maximum of attribute points assignable from the beginning, while a 45 year old character will begin with the opposite.

In regards to the progression of the story, the age system takes the endless branching points of a well thought out single player campaign, and effectively doubles it.

As a “young” character, the player is initially portrayed as a green horn on the battlefield, with privileges such as issuing squad commands being restricted from the player until later in the game.

In contrast, an “old” player character begins the game as a combat veteran and squad leader.

Damage System:

Damage is inflicted on the player in one of two ways:

Either by directly receiving hits that result in instantaneous critical or fatal damage, or by receiving overwhelming fire directed at them that results in gradual, superficial damage.

The damage system closely mirrors that of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas while being somewhat more forgiving.

Direct hits on the player result in region specific damage, meaning a bullet to the thigh affects the player differently that a shot square in the chest.

When being selected, all Armors and Clothing display a semi-transparent view over the character model displaying the defensive capabilities of every region of the characters’ body using the selected armor load out.

As a result, taking direct hits to well armored regions typically results in less than fatal damage, though the player’s armor will break down after taking a few direct hits.

Direct hits to unarmored regions of the character can result in Wounds, which, until properly attended to, will cause the player’s controls to become sluggish. Examples of this include:

Leg Shots – The player receives a limp, greatly reducing mobility, though physically strong and fast characters are still capable of hobbling quickly.

Arm Shots – The player receives damage to one of their limbs, resulting in heavily reduced accuracy and stability of the targeting reticule while aiming.  An ambidextrous character can counter this effect somewhat, though the lack of a second arm for use in stabilizing the players’ weapon still results in a reduction in accuracy, though the effect is less pronounced upon switching to the characters’ “good” arm.

Gut Shots – The player is forced to cup their wound with one hand while moving, resulting in one-handed and thusly largely inaccurate firing while moving. The player is still able to aim normally while stable or in cover. In addition to this, the player also receives gradual superficial damage until they are healed or die from the damage.

Neck Shots – The player is forced to cup their wound with one hand at all times, forcing the player to carry their weapon one-handed. In addition to this, the player rapidly receives superficial damage until they are healed by a squad mate (the player cannot heal themselves of a Neck Shot) or die from the damage.

All Wounds remain until healed, however superficial damage from incoming fire (not Wounds) will automatically fade away upon taking cover from enemy fire for a few moments.

Armor System:

Armors are divided up into sectional pieces that defend one of the 10 damage quadrants of the character.

These quadrants include the: head, neck, upper arms, forearms, chest, stomach, thighs and shins.

Each individual piece of armor worn by the player is assigned a specific weight statistic, which, when totaled together with the weight of their weapons and equipment, results in a degree of encumbrance that scales directly to their character’s Strength and Stamina statistics.

Despite this, characters lacking in these attributes can learn or develop certain Skills to allow them to handle heftier Armor load outs.

Armor serves the dual purpose of preventing fatal or critical damage from direct hits to the player, as well as increasing the volume of incoming fire necessary to damage or kill the player through superficial damage.

When hit directly, the player’s Armor is damaged in the process, and can eventually break down when specific damage quadrants are struck one too many times.

Direct hits to well Armored damage quadrants results in critical to mild damage, which then in turn translates to superficial damage, I.E. the player can be killed by too many consecutive direct hits to well armored regions of their character, even if their armor is never broken or pierced.

Skill System:

Though the basic mechanics of the game are based on typical third-person tactical shooters, RPG elements in regards to character customization serve to enhance the experience by giving the player noticeable feedback upon upgrading their character.

For instance, upgrading a characters’ marksmanship skill will result in noticeable changes to the steadiness of their targeting reticule.

Not only that, but unlocking other skills, such as Awareness, which provides the player with visual or auditory clues regarding enemy positions just before ambush situations, with the clarity and timeliness of these cues being more pronounced with every upgrade until enemies are permanently visible to the player at almost any range.

Downtime:

Downtime is an option available to the player upon fulfilling one of two very specific conditions: either by reaching certain safe zones/checkpoints during the campaign, or while prepping for defensive missions.

Downtime represents the only time the player is capable of assigning newly acquired Skill and Attribute points.

Downtime also affords the player with a number of options, any one of which can be enacted or omitted to varying degrees.

The actions available to the player during Downtime consist of:

Equipment Maintenance – Restores the quality of weapons to prevent Critical Failures such as jams and overheats. Not only this, the squad’s armor will be repaired to varying degrees.

Resting – Restores the Fatigue and health of squad members to a degree.

Searching For Ammo/Supplies – Potentially awards the player with extra ammo and equipment.

Scouting Ahead – Provides varying degrees of intel regarding the upcoming battle zones, including enemy locations and equipment load outs. Can potentially result in triggering combat, thusly canceling Downtime.

Downtime lasts the duration of a 10-15 minute period, allowing the player to divide the time among the above listed actions between individual squad members as they see fit.

Every action available affects squad member morale either positively or negatively.

For instance, ordering fatigued squad members to Scout Ahead is irresponsible, and thusly will irritate said squad members.

The best tactic in selecting Downtime actions is to be sensible.

Fatigued squad mates need rest, fresh ones need to be made useful, and squad mates that have high morale are most likely better suited to Scout Ahead.

During the single player campaign, the player will encounter several formal checkpoints in the form of road blocks or camps populated by friendly units.

Upon reaching these areas, the player is awarded with an extended Downtime session during which the player and his squad are fully resupplied and rested, as well as receive a fair amount of intel.

In addition to this, the player is also given the option to change their outfitting and weapon load out as well as suggest load outs to their squad mates.

Morale System:

The squad assigned to the player from the outset of the single player campaign maintains a persistent Morale system that is responsible for gauging the trust and respect they hold in regards to the player character.

This system is affected by numerous factors, including the efficiency of the orders issued by the player during combat and downtime, as well as more specific actions the player takes, such as assisting squad mates individually during combat.

Battlefield maneuvers that can embolden the trust between the player and his squad mates include:

Lending Ammo

Giving Medical Attention

Moving the Squad from Cover to Cover

Defeating Enemies Via Melee

Performing Well in General (Not taking too many hits)

Properly managing Downtime activities for each individual squad member is one of the most important factors in maintaining Morale.

As detailed in the above Downtime section, properly ordering mutinous and loyal squad members during Downtime can be responsible for making or breaking the chain of command of a squad.

Morale/Mutiny:

Mutiny is a possibility throughout the duration of the single player campaign.

Mutiny results in one of two events transpiring:

Either the player is forced to battle the mutinous squad members, or the player can relinquish their command of the squad.

Upon initiating a Mutiny, all squad members receive a minor penalty to their Morale, though only those whose Morale ratings bottom out will join in on the Mutiny, all others will remain loyal.

Upon relinquishing their command, the player will resume play as normal, but without the ability to issue concrete squad orders.

The player can still issue orders, but only squad members whose Morale rating is over 50% will follow them.

During this time, the player also receives orders from their new leader, though they are not obligated to follow them.

Move orders issued by the AI squad leader are represented by columns of light on the battlefield.

The above listed positive Morale boosting methods all apply to the AI squad leader during his time in charge, and thusly, if the player is able to raise the formerly mutinous squad mate/mates’ Morale rating from 0% to at least 50%, the player’s command will be restored.

It is entirely possible to play through the entire campaign while following the orders of an AI squad leader.

Skills:

Awareness – The player is given visual and auditory hints at oncoming enemies prior to their engagement with said enemies. Can be substantially upgraded from its initial capacity of being like a momentary “Spider-Sense” prior to an ambush, to a permanent radar system of sorts.

Muscle Memory – The player’s reloading speed is increased. Initially, this skill comes with a slight handicap tagged onto the player’s reloading skill in the form of a negative bonus to their critical failure rate for full reloads, (reloading from an empty magazine position) however, this handicap quickly diminishes as the skill is upgraded until it is no longer apparent.

Quick-Draw – The speed at which the player is able to change equipment or weapons is increased. In addition to this, as this skill is upgraded, an added feature is awarded to the player in the form of causing the player to automatically draw their sidearm upon being disarmed.

Battle Cry – Upon discharging their weapon for an extended period of time, or charging the enemy, the player lets loose a chilling battle cry, greatly increasing the potential for suppressing the enemy and/or negatively affecting their accuracy.

“Walk it off” – The player’s capacity to absorb damage is increased by allowing the player to psyche themselves up and fight through the pain. Essentially, the character’s total hit points and durability are unaffected by this skill, rather, the player is simply given the ability to refill their life gauge slightly when near death, but only every so often. This skill is represented by various animations detailing the character slapping themselves in the head, cracking their neck, or breathing heavily in exasperation.

Range Finder – The player is granted the ability to lock-on to enemies at short range when equipped with grenades. This skill only becomes active when throwing grenades when in cover. The skill is activated when the player peeks out from cover with a grenade equipped and places their targeting reticule over their desired target. At this point, a lock-on is acquired and the player becomes capable of throwing grenades, both blindly and while popping out of cover, with pinpoint accuracy.

Blood Thirst – Upon eliminating an enemy with a knife or melee weapon, the player and their squad briefly gain a slight bonus to their suppression capability and weapon accuracy. This bonus stacks for every successive kill in this manner during any engagement. Adrenaline – When critically injured or near death, the player’s targeting reticule will not be jostled when firing for a brief period or until the player recovers. Also, unless the character has sustained damage to their legs or neck, their movement speed will be slightly increased during this period.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for right now.

Please don’t steal my ideas, and feel free to chip in with ideas of your own!

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