Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Summon Deebo!

Being as I spent several hours yesterday ruminating on 2 of the greatest villains in film history, I feel it’s only appropriate that I continue the trend and take a look at another famous figure from the fraternity of bad dudes.

That being said, I think it goes without saying that Deebo from the movie Friday, is easily one of the best bullies in all of film.

Massive, intimidating, and always looking to take whatever valuables might catch his eye, Tommy Lister’s terrifying (and yet oddly humorous) performance as Deebo brought an air of legitimacy to the otherwise laugh-a-minute antics of Friday.

A veteran performer of “big evil dude” roles, Tommy Lister and his one googly eye were arguably never more engaging than in Friday.

Off the top of my head, some of my favorite roles of his have been Zeus in the Hulk Hogan vehicle No Holds Barred,

 

Not Pictured: Zeus' ridiculous unibrow.

the gym rat Bruno in the shitty John Candy and Eugene Levy comedy Armed and Dangerous,

I did mention this movie sucked, right?

and as the President of THE WORLD AKA President Deebo in The Fifth Element.

President Deebo in all his glory...

Anyway, just figured I’d take the time to tip my hat to Deebo.

See yah’ tomorrow!

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

Best Wrestling Matches Of All Time: Tiger Mask Vs. Dynamite Kid


Being as I am, or rather; was, a wrestling fan, I figured it was about time I tried to do a post about some of the better matches I’ve seen.

That being said, I can’t think of a better place to start off from than a match from the legendary feud of Tiger Mask and Dynamite Kid.

While I’m honestly not all that well versed in Japanese wrestling history, few could argue that these 2 men were some of the most gifted performers in professional wrestling history.

Cousin of Davey Boy Smith AKA The British Bulldog, Dynamite Kid is often cited as being one of the best technical wrestlers of all time.

Equally at home on the mat as he was atop the turnbuckle, Dynamite Kid was instrumental in creating a fanbase for Cruiserweight and high-flying wrestling.

Tiger Mask bore a skill set that was largely similar, and equally varied, however as is the case with most Japanese wrestlers; his repertoire of signature moves made great use of kicks, chops, and other martial arts inspired strikes.

Aside from their actual wrestling though, the major distinction between the 2 was the fact that Tiger Mask had the added attraction of being a masked wrestler.

Taking his name and persona from Ikki Kajiwara’s manga and anime character of the same name, the original Tiger Mask was portrayed by Satoru Sayama, who actually debuted and won against the heavily favored Dynamite Kid.

While there’s no doubt that NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling) intended to use Tiger Mask’s shocking victory over Dynamite Kid as a means to position him as one of their flagship talents, the fact remains that Satoru Sayama was asked to wear a tiger mask, and be taken seriously.

Based on that knowledge, my guess is that Sayama went out of his way to bust his ass training for his role as Tiger Mask for fear of being humiliated.

While I was around to see him wrestle live, based on what few matches I’ve seen of his, Tiger Mask and his successor Tiger Mask IV stand as some of my favorite wrestlers of all time.

The match I posted above comes from August 5th, 1982; making it one of the middle matches in the Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask feud.

While I haven’t been fortunate to have seen all of the matches between these 2 great men, this was the one that stood out to me the most.

Featuring some incredible backbreakers and picture perfect reversals, the match is an awe-inspiring spectacle of physicality from start to finish.

The only downside of watching matches like this, is that it makes it hard to go back to watching other less spectacular matches, let alone slower and clumsier stuff from the Heavyweights.

Anyway, that’s all I feel I need to say about this one.

Hope you had as much fun as I did watching the match!

 

Filed under: Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fight Night Champion Is Pretty. In An Ugly Sort Of Way…

Excuse my lame post for tonight, I’m a little scatter-brained at the moment.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m currently playing through Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the first time, and am very much enjoying it.

Anyway, in the interest of saving myself from having to half-ass an article tonight, as well getting me back to playing Uncharted as quickly as fucking possible; I’ve decided to use this opportunity to show you a neat video:

Haha, just kidding; the real clip’s just a little bit further down.

The clip below is the latest promotional video for EA Canada’s upcoming boxing game, Fight Night Champion.

While I bashed the game’s roster of real-life boxers in a previous article, as a long time player of the Fight Night series; I have high hopes for this one.

Supposedly the game has been tweaked to shit, hopefully for the better; not to mention the game is also the first in the series to receive an “M for Mature” rating.

Here’s hoping the rating has more to do with the blood-letting and atmosphere than it does nudity and gratuitous dropping of F-Bombs.

Seriously man, few things can cripple a products legitimacy in the mainstream than excessive and childish swearing.

Case in point: Kane and Lynch. I suppose it doesn't help either that it wasn't very good, but whatever...

Anyway, the clip below does little to showcase any updates or changes to the gameplay formula, however despite this; it’s pretty to look at, in an ugly sort of way, so please enjoy:

In the interest of using this article to actually, y’know; say something, I’d like to point out that it seems like punches are more difficult to land than in previous Fight Nights.

Previous games in the series featured a fairly generous amount of “auto-aim” for one’s punches, a factor that was directly associated with one’s “Punch Accuracy” stat in Fight Night 4.

While this probably remains unchanged in Fight Night Champion, I couldn’t help but notice in this clip, and indeed other clips as well; that instances of punches winging around their intended target, or missing outright, occurred quite frequently.

I can’t say how I feel about this, but if the gameplay is on par with Fight Night 4, I’ll most likely cough up the money to own this one.3

Filed under: Boxing, Games, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Celebratory Farley Clip

Pictured: A comic genius.

Today was supposed to be the busiest day of the year at the Amazon.com warehouse.

I can attest the truth in this statement, as I was placed in freezer detail not once, but twice today.

Needless to say, at the moment I am tired, beat up, and intensely bitter.

Hopefully I can muster the energy required to do all of my Christmas shopping tomorrow…

Regardless, in celebration of my day off tomorrow, here is a clip of another one of my favorite Chris Farley skits:

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

Gee Willikers Batman! 50,000 Hits!?

... It's better if you don't ask.

SUPER SPECIAL BROWNIE POINTS TO ANYONE THAT RECOGNIZES THE DUDE IN THE HELMET IN THE TOP RIGHT CORNER!!!

Well folks, today the Azn Badger’s blog officially breached the 50,000 hit milestone.

For those that are keeping score at home, that’s a fuck-ton of hits.

Seriously man, I started this blog as a means of keeping myself busy while I was between jobs, but I never expected things to take off as much as they have.

That being said, it recently occurred to me that I’ve been writing this blog every day for over 200 days straight now; and yet I’m still going strong.

 

Pictured: Azn Badger after completing a blog post.

That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment in itself if you ask me.

Every time I have one of these milestone posts, I end up writing about what I feel I need to improve on, or what I need to change, or more often than not; how I’ll probably stop posting every day in the near future.

This time though, I’m gonna’ skip all that.

This time I’m just gonna’ say “thanks,” and go on doing what I’ve been doing for the past 50,000 hits.

So, with that I say thank you again to all who have been reading, and enjoy the communist Totoro celebratory image!

Here’s to 50,000 more hits in the near future!

Filed under: Boxing, Comics, Games, Movies, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Batman: Arkham Asylum Is Good. Like, Really Good.

So, Arkham Asylum is a good game.

Like, really good.

Last night I parked my butt in front of the TV for a good solid 4 hours straight playing it, and by golly, I enjoyed every minute of it.

4 hours might not sound like a helluva’ long time to some of the more hardcore gamers out there, so allow me to elaborate.

These days I’m what is commonly referred to as a “casual gamer.”

Pictured: The Exact Opposite of A "Casual Gamer."

Not only that, I have this weird personal issue where after about an hour or so of playing videogames, I start to feel anxious; like I need to get up and do something else RIGHT NOW.

More often than not, I tend to prioritize activities like working out, going to bed early, or writing this fucking blog, over playing videogames.

In the case of my maiden voyage on Batman: Arkham Asylum last night though, this was not the case.

Near as I can tell, the game’s greatest success, is the constant feeling of progress and accomplishment that the game imparts to it’s player.

Last night I mentioned how I really don’t care much for Metroid-style games.

Like many non-Metroid fans, my biggest objection to the structure of those games, is not the fault of the designers, but rather my own stupidity.

Thought I’ve always said that Zelda games made me feel dumb as a kid, Metroid games made me feel downright “special.”

Like, helmet “special.”

Stone Cold demonstrating the image crippling power of The Retard Helmet.

Something about the layout of the map, and how the player was expected to wade their way through shit storms of enemies and hazards without knowing where to go, just never did it for me.

Though I’ve heard Arkham Asylum referred to as a Metroid-Vania style game, (a description which is fairly accurate) the experience is nowhere near as lonesome, nor the map layout as cryptic as either of those games.

Trust me, having Oracle on staff to order you around via radio every now and again is a godsend for exploration newbs such as myself.

Well hello there madam. Feel free to call me on my Bat Phone anytime you like...

In short, it’s similar to a Metroid-Vania game, but with a more structured and objective based progression.

Which is a good thing, seeing as I can think of no dumber element to a Batman game than having the player get lost.

Think about it, would the fuckin’ Batman ever get lost, much less at Arkham?

Pictured: Batman upon realizing he is in fact, a retard.

Batman is a man on top of shit in any situation, so I feel it is a wise decision on the part of the developers to have made the game’s structure reflect this.

Aside from the strength of the layout of the game, I feel that the games 240 or so collectibles really add a lot to making the player feel like their making some headway into the game, even in it’s early stages.

While part of me wants to say that, like Mega Man X3, there are in fact too many hidden items in the game, to the point in which you literally can’t turn a corner without accidentally bumping into something useful, thus far I think I actually like this element of Arkham Asylum.

It is kind of silly, walking into a room and finding Riddler trophies n’shit strewn about; but in a game with a map as large as this, any form of progress, no matter how minute, goes a long way towards making neurotic players like myself feel like they know what their doing.

Near as I can tell, this is Batman’s greatest success:

Spoon-feeding the player little rewards throughout the entire game so as to effectively stamp out the possibility of frustration.

It’s an incredibly elementary approach to game design, but it’s working for me so far.

As of writing this, I have had firsthand encounters with 2 major supervillains of Batman’s rogue’s gallery:

The Scarecrow, and Bane.

The developers take on Scarecrow was mighty impressive.

Both the level design and his costume for his sequence reflect a definite Freddy Krueger-esque sensibility, but given the seedier nature of Arkham Asylum’s art design, I feel it works very well.

Ninja + Freddy Krueger + Batman Begins Scarecrow + Psycho Mantis = Arkham Asylum Scarecrow.

From a gameplay standpoint, I found this “boss fight” (wasn’t really a fight…) to be quite entertaining.

Shifting the game into 2-D sidescrolling mode so as to allow for more streamlined movement and coordination really worked, and I applaud the efforts of the developers.

Bane, on the other hand, was a fun battle on a visceral level, however the comic fan inside me was kind of miffed by his brutish persona.

Bane as envisioned by the marketing department of the UFC...

As a kid that grew up reading Knightfall, Bane has a special place in my heart as one of my favorite Batman villains, and yet every time he’s used in media other than the comics, his character is grossly misinterpreted.

Um... No. Just, no...

Bane isn’t a massive brute or meathead, he’s a cunning and wily villain that could be called Batman’s equal on almost every level.

Oh well, my inner-comic dork’s objections aside, I’m happy that Arkham Asylum took a few seconds to at least explain why Bane suddenly went retard, not to mention Hulk-ed out beyond the realm of believability.

Essentially, Bane serves as key element to the game’s plot, not as a mastermind, or even hired hand; but as an instrument forcibly implemented by the combined will’s of The Joker and a mysterious Dr. Young.

From what I know at the 4 hour mark, the plot involves Joker using Dr. Young to extract and deconstruct the Venom Derivative from Bane, which they then mutate and enhance to create a more powerful Titan Formula which causes people to Hulk Out.

Basically, Joker plans to use the Titan Formula to create an army of Hulk-ed Out thugs to let loose on Gotham.

It’s kind of stupid, in a Silver Age comic-y sort of way, but the real experience of a game is playing it, and the minute to minute experience of Arkham Asylum thus far goes a long way towards making up for a slightly retarded plot.

Anyway, I’ve said about as much as I feel I can about Arkham Asylum for now.

I will say this though:

The combat system is a little simplistic for my Devil May Cry trained thumbs, but it’s rewarding in a “look what I just did with 2 buttons!” sort of way.

Now excuse me, I’m gonna’ go beat the shit out of some more Bat-Villains…

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“Poopie Girl? She Wants Me To Play Poopie Girl?”

Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me to register for some sort of web browser based game.

For various reasons, said friend shall be henceforth referred to as Bob Saget.

Beneath that snarky quick-witted exterior, lies an intensely profane, snarky, and quick-witted man...

Their idea, not mine.

Anyway, being as I was tied up eating manly things like steak and crab, while writing about savagely manly things like boxing; I didn’t have a chance to get around to registering for the game.

While I was in fact busy scarfing down crab meat a manly minute or 2 ago, I managed to find time in my manly schedule to dig through my e-mail and register for Bob Saget’s game.

Upon clicking the registration link, I was greeted by a flowery and decidedly Japanese website with a cartoonish doll looking woman with a forehead that could rival J-Gar’s saying to me:

“Tell us your name and where you live.”

Well, actually an exact quote would require the period of that sentence to be replaced by a musical note, denoting the sing-song intonation of the phrase, but you probably knew that already.

For the unitiated:

Frilly Japanese website + fashion victim female mascot character = high-pitched and “cute” voice, even in text form.

Short of “who is your daddy and what does he do?” I can think of few introductory phrases that put me on my heels as much as that did.

Despite the forward nature of the greeting page, (and I thought those silly Japanese were supposed to be polite!) I trust my friend Bob Saget, lecherous old pedophile that he may be.

That being said, I went ahead and registered, giving myself some retarded name I’ve already forgotten, and naming my hometown as Kumamoto, the city my grandpa’s family was from.

Anyway, as it turns out, this “game” I was registering for, was some kind of online, digital paper doll game wherein the players create a female avatar for themselves, (wasp waisted and “cute” regardless of how you choose to alter their appearance) and proceed to dress them up and shop for them.

The name of this game, was Poopie Girl.

Yes, I did in fact Google "Poopie Girl," despite the inherent risks. Of the results, I found this one to be the most fun/random.

My first thoughts upon noticing the title of the game were:

“Poopie Girl? What the fuck kinda’ perverted Japanese shit is this!?”

Okay fine, the game isn’t actually called “Poopie Girl,” it’s actually Poupee Girl.

I’m guessing Poupee* is a French word (Japanese love Parisian fashion, and therefore France) for “cute” or some shit, but regardless; don’t expect me to keep typing out the word “Poupee” for the remainder of this article.

It’s fancy words like “Poupee” that make me think the French think they’re better than me.

Dirty bastards…

*Ahem!* Moving on, Bob Saget told me that in order for them to get the perks for my registration, I would be required to dress up my Poopie Girl at least once.

Being as I already took the time to lie to the Poopie Girl server and pretend I was a female Japanese citizen named “Treebar Heart,” I decided I would go ahead and finish the job.

I started out by making my Poopie Girl, essentially by giving her a face and hair style.

Apparently there’s only one body type in Poopie Land.

Go figure.

After that, I was given the task of dressing up my Poopie Girl.

Being as I’m kind of a slow learner, I ended up completely bypassing most of my character creation options, and instead ended up making my Poopie Girl out only the newest and Poopiest items available.

I decided to go with a very simple look that I’m sure goes against the grain of every fashion law in existence.

Believe me when I say this, fashion is not something I have any sense for, least of all in regards to lady bid’ness.

If it’s any indication, in my world Axel from Streets of Rage is the best dressed man in all of existence.

Blue jeans and white t-shirts: America at it's best.

In example of my fashion fail-ness, here’s an image of one of the Poopier Poopie Girls I ran across on the Poopie Girl site:

Um, a little gaudy don'cha' think?

Anyway, near as I can tell, the game is very much like most browser based games, (time spent playing = forward progression) however with the ingenious inclusion of a deep community system.

Poopie Girl players are apparently expected to rate each other’s Poopies on how Poopie their dress up arrangements are, which in turn rewards players based on their community evaluated Poopie levels.

At least that’s what I assume, anyway.

Near as I can tell, the dress up interface is pretty robust, making for a great number of possibilities.

Being a fan of character customization in my games, I can honestly say that Poopie Girl kind of reminds me of the Smackdown! Vs. RAW series of games.

I bought and played a great number of those games, almost entirely for the purpose of creating absurd and unique characters.

In that sense, if I was into fashion, or browser games for that matter; I could see Poopie Girl being a lot of fun.

Or at the very least, something to do on a boring Sunday evening.

*Poupee actually means “doll.”  Fuckin’ French, think they’re better’n me…

 

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Way To Keep Sane At Work #47: Squeezing Random Squeezeables

Today was a really slow day at work.

When things get slow at Amazon, I find that I have more than a few options in terms of how I can prevent the onset of tedium induced insanity.

First on the list, is to talk to myself; sometimes using goofy voices just for the hell of it.

Though that’s usually my go-to method of keeping myself sane at work, the possibilities for potentially embarrassing encounters with co-workers is honestly just a little bit too high to be practical.

Seriously, no one wants to get caught playing out a conversation between Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior all by their lonesome, that’s just plain embarrassing.

Trust me, the last time it happened to me, I got some truly fucked up sideways glances for it…

*Ahem!* Anyway, my second favorite method of keeping sane at work, is to sing to myself.

Let it be known, the Azn Badger is not someone known for his singing ability.

My choice of songs?

Well, though I’ve been partial to the Tiger Mask and Kikaida theme songs, lately I’ve been singing I’ll Make A Man Out Of You and Gaston from Mulan and Beauty and the Beast respectively.

How the fuck I’ve managed to remember the lyrics to those songs after all these years is beyond me.

Maybe it has something to do with Gaston being the pimpest and most manly song in all of existence…

Anyway, though those are my 2 most commonly practiced methods of retaining my sanity at work, as the title of this article indicates; there is another method I’d like to bring up.

Said method would be squeezing the various squeezable products in the warehouse.

Pretty fuckin’ random, right?

You see, all my life I’ve had this problem with always having to grip things in my hands.

I pick something up, or something is given to me, and for whatever reason; I have difficulty putting it down.

Needless to say, I’m one of those guys that routinely carries too much shit at once, only to end up dropping it all.

It’s a weird quirk, almost Bob Dole-like in it’s grip related tenacity.

We all remember HIM, right?

Although ‘ole Bob did have the advantage of being able to wave his behavior off as a result of war injuries.

Unlike me.  I’m just weird is all.

*Ahem!* Getting to the point, when you’re really fuckin’ bored, you’ll find that doing truly retarded shit like squeezing wedges of brie can make all the difference in relieving your boredom.

Don’t ask me why, but the inherent squishiness of brie makes it just perfect for drive-by squeezings…

Now if only I could eat this without getting the shits for a week...

While squeezing the brie is easily my favorite squeeze related activity at work, there’s a few other items in the warehouse that deserve special mention.

Chief among these is a truly bizarre, and downright creepy looking plush toy called a Sing-A-Ma-Jig.

KILL IT WITH FIRE.

I don’t know if it was the designers intention, but I feel it’s worth mentioning that the Sing-A-Ma-Jig’s mouth honestly looks like the orifice of a sea anemone.

Either that or it looks like an anus.

Check that, it definitely looks like an anus.

And this is considered kid friendly in this day and age?

Anyway, the real fun of squeezing this goofy looking toy, comes from the fact that doing so causes it’s anus mouth to simulate a singing motion, while a single musical note plays through a device inside it for the entire duration of said squeeze.

Repeated squeezing of the Sing-A-Ma-Jig results in a new sound of a different tonality, resulting in much hilarity when the Sing-A-Ma-Jig is squeezed rapidly.

Yes, I am in fact annoying as fuck to work with.

The other squeezeable I’d like to mention, is the Alligator Squeak Mat.

Not recommended for parents with a low tolerance for noise related annoyances...

This guy got me through some rough days, no foolin’.

Here’s an indication of how much squeeze related fun one can have at work with an Alligator Squeak Mat:

Imagine the joy of your basic squeak toy and the amount of annoying ass squeaking that can be accomplished with said toy.

Now take those 2 factors, and multiply them by 20.

Oh yeah, and factor in the fact that said squeak toy just happens to be an alligator AKA an amazingly awesome animal.

20 SQUEAKERS.

Seriously man, some may think that’s a few squeakers too many for a child’s squeak toy, but me; personally I think it’s genius.

That’s 20 different squeaky noises that one can generate, if you’re like me and like to be an ass, you squeeze ’em all at once to make one massive uber squeak.

Did I mention I can be annoying when I’m bored at work?

Anyway, I honestly had nothing to write about tonight, so I decided I would do just that.

For 800 words or so…

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Demon’s Souls Just Raped My Face. And Ate My Children…

*WARNING!  SPOILER ALERT!  IF YOU’RE LIKE ME AND DON’T WANT ANY HELP OR SPOILERS ON YOUR FIRST RUN THROUGH DEMON’S SOULS, PLEASE STOP READING NOW! *

A few weeks ago I typed up a post declaring the nigh impenetrably difficult Demon’s Souls to be far less difficult than I previously assumed.

While this fact still rings true, something happened today that has taken my feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction and shat all over them.

Not only that, the game proceeded to set them on fire, and eat their children in front of them, seemingly just for kicks.

Oh yeah, and then the game tore out my eyes and raped my face, once again; seemingly just for the hell of it.

I’m not gonna’ lie, the past 2 days have been a rollercoaster ride for me in Demon’s Souls.

I cleared 2 and a half worlds, dusted God knows how many bosses, and even managed to save a few NPCs.

That last part is where the aforementioned face rape-age comes in.

You see, somewhere in the Tower of Latria stage, (one of the better and more atmospheric levels if you ask me) I happened upon a caged NPC named Yurt, The Silent Chief.

Sure, he looks like a wholesome and friendly guy...

Now, as I approached Yurt, preparing to engage him in conversation; I happened to notice that some of the player created messages scrawled on the ground near him were saying some awfully nasty things about him.

“Liar.”

“Don’t bother about nothing.”

These were the cryptic and/or cautionary messages strewn about in the immediate area.

Despite this, in games with morality systems, my general aim is to be a “white knight” of sorts on my first time through, so in keeping with that trend, I decided to free Yurt.

I figured:

“He hasn’t done anything wrong as far as I can tell.  He’s cool in my book for now.”

Sadly, my naivete was not to be rewarded.

From his gravelly, foreboding voice; and his decidedly menacing armor, I figured he was at least somewhat evil, however I figured I’d get a chance to rectify whatever mistakes I made by freeing him if he were to suddenly turn outright heel on me.

After I freed Yurt, I happened upon him on the second floor of the Nexus.

He was tucked away in a corner, very much out of sight; such that I was lucky to have even spotted him.

When I spoke with him, excited to see if he’d offer me a sub-quest, or reward me with some sort of item, I was surprised to find that he had nothing helpful to offer me whatsoever.

He sold no items, he offered no services, all he said was something along the lines of:

“Life is not as precious as most may think.”

Following that episode, I would go on to visit with Yurt with every successive return to the Nexus, hopeful that he would eventually say something or do something useful.

It never happened.

At some point, my dungeon crawling in Demon’s Souls fell into a unbelievably progressive rhythm.

For several hours, my character; Ultimate Warrior, was an unstoppable juggernaut of untold epic-ry.

If only I could get him to look like this in-game...

Bosses fell by the wayside, and at least one entire realm collapsed at the might of the Ultimate Warrior, effectively making me like I had finally made the gaming beast that is Demon’s Souls, my servile bitch.

After venturing into the untread depths of the heart of the lion’s den, I reached a point where my inventory was utterly full, even with the use of strength augmenting rings; and I was forced to return to the Nexus to offload my loot.

Only a game as cruel as Demon’s Souls could come at me at my highest of highs, and tear me down to the lowest of lows in the blink of an eye.

One blink, and my eyes were out of their sockets, while Demon’s Soul’s virtual cock jackhammer-ed my frontal lobe with fervor unimaginable.

You see, Yurt The Silent Chief is an assassin.

Not only that, he is an assassin assigned to kill the survivors of Boletaria, I.E. the central cast of the game made up of static NPCs, and NPCs you’ve rescued (like Yurt himself) throughout the course of the game.

Being as I never saw him kill anyone, I have to assume that he goes about his business off-screen, that is; while you are away having the time of your life, as I was.

When I returned from my epic journey, I returned to a Nexus devoid of life.

Every single character I had saved, began learning skills from, and in a loose sense, gotten to “know,” was missing from their previously constant positions.

I searched the upper floors.

I searched all of the dead end nooks and crannies.

Nothing.

All that remained, were a few floating orbs containing what I presume were said character’s belongings.

As I charged up the stairs, already coming to realize that Yurt had to have been responsible, I took note of the background music.

It was different.

After 20 or so hours of play, one notices when the previously monotonous music changes to something totally different.

The tone was gloomy and somber, such that I could tell that I had fucked up just by the sound of it.

When I approached Yurt, I was not surprised to hear him take full responsibility for the deaths of everyone in the Nexus.

As one would expect, the last task on his agenda just happened to involve killing me, which of course led to a brief melee between myself and Yurt.

Despite the horrors of his previous actions, Yurt proved to be a less than capable opponent.

Unable to deal any sort of serious damage to my Ultimate Warrior, I crushed Yurt, took his armor, and immediately put it into storage, finding it to be utterly worthless despite it’s striking appearance.

In the blink of an eye, Yurt The Silent Chief took my “white knight” sensibilities and swathed them in darkness.

To my knowledge, everyone who died, that is; every character in the game, will never come back.

I’ll never learn any more spells.

I’ll never learn any more miracles.

I’ll never get to hear anymore retarded stories and anecdotes that I genuinely never cared to hear in the first place.

In the blink of an eye, the living symbols of my success in Demon’s Souls were taken away from me, leaving my home base a dull and lifeless husk of pitiable solemn, complete with sad-sack music to drive the point home.

I’ll continue to push forward and beat Demon’s Souls, as to my knowledge I’m very near to the end, however I find that in getting there I simply don’t care as much as I used to.

Maybe it’s just me, but beating the game, and winning the day is a helluva’ lot more rewarding when you feel like you did a good job.

As it stands, after losing every NPC in the game to a mistake I didn’t even have a chance to realize I made; beating Demon’s Souls is going to be the equivalent to finishing a race, dead last; and crawling on all fours.

Sure, you finished; but do you feel good about it?

No, you feel humiliated; and realize you need to try harder next time, if there is a next time.

I can’t wait to be done with Demon’s Souls so I can finally move on and play something else…

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Do You Know Your Poop-Hole?

Written by a Japanese dude. No surprise there...

Everyone poops.

That’s not just the title of an awesome book, it’s also a stone cold fact.

A fact that too many of us seem to deny, or choose not to acknowledge.

I came to realize something a few years back:

Azn people talk about poop.

A lot.

A few years ago, I got into the habit of asking a specific question to all of my close friends.

Said question goes a little something like this:

“Hey, does your family like to talk about poop and bowel functions?”

What I discovered over the years, is that virtually all of my Asian friends, be they Thai, Cambodian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. answered me with a simple “yes,” while my friends of the decidedly paler variety, either dodged the question or replied with an emphatic “no.”

I can’t really put my finger on the details of why this is, but my best guess is that it’s a cultural difference.

While I can’t speak for any other Asian culture, being Japanese; I can say with a great deal of certainty, that we Japanese (always wanted to say that…) are a bowel obsessed people.

In America; the only talk of bowel functions, or urination, or poop that we get in mainstream media comes in the form of potty humor and TV commercials for pills that prevent old people from peeing themselves.

In general, American mainstream television seems to believe that irregular bowel functions are a problem only for the elderly and menopausal, as I’ve yet to see images of youthful people associated with the subject.

And no, Jamie Lee Curtis and her Activia ads does not count as a “youthful” spokesperson for healthy bowels in America.

If anything, it’d be more appropriate to file her under the menopausal demographic…

This is not the case in Japan.

You flip on just about any daytime television program in Japan, and I guarantee you you’ll find at least a half dozen programs for herbal bowel regulation supplements featuring interviews with young and nubile, bikini clad women openly discussing the epic shit they took the night before, or the epic shit they feel they need to take, but just can’t get out the gate due to their irregular bowel functions.

Don’t ask me why, but we Japanese talk about our poops.

All my life, I’ve gotten the feeling that my mom cares more about the health of my anus than me as a person.

Seriously, I can’t go a day without having her ask me:

“Did you get your ruffage?”

“Are you regular”

“Do you got the poops?”

Some kids go away to college for 4 years, and have their parent’s drop them a line every now and again to tell them how much they miss them, or to ask how their classes are going.

I went away for 4 years and my mom would call me every day to ask if I was backed up.

Being as I was eating at the school cafeteria most of the time, I did in fact have my fair share of bathroom war stories to report to my mother; but that’s besides the point.

The point is, in my family; the health and status of the various colons and anuses in the household have not only been fair game for discussion, they’ve played host to some of the more serious and genuinely interesting conversations we’ve had.

You may be laughing at this point, but I find that growing up being aware of, and free to discuss the state of my bowels has done me a lot of good.

Seriously, when I see some of shit that people eat, only to complain later in the day that their “stomach” is bothering them, (note: stomach is code for “anus” or “ass” among the sheepish) I can’t help but consider myself fortunate to know better than them.

Honestly folks, if you’re in good health, and know how your system reacts to whatever food you put into it; you’ll find that unwelcome “surprises” like the one mentioned above will almost never happen.

While I’m on the subject of food though, I figure I should mention why I decided to type this article today.

Today a friend of mine at work offered me some pecans as a snack.

I politely declined, citing my bowel’s inability to handle the delicious, but ass-crippling nut that is the pecan.

Actually, I think my exact words were:

“I like pecans man, but you realize they’ll wreck your shit, right?”

My comment was met with laughter, as it was indeed meant to be; but I think my buddy failed to realize that it also doubled as a genuine admonishment coming from a seasoned veteran of toilet seat warfare.

We’ll come back to that in a minute.

Anyway, sure enough, later in the day my buddy sat down next to me, his expression devoid of character, his complexion chalky and white as the Moon; and he said to me in the most humble of tones:

“So, those pecans tore through me pretty bad a minute ago…”

The kid got reeled in by the sweet taste and classy packaging of the pecans, only to end up getting his ass used as the ring for a 40-shit Royal Rumble.

Poor bastard probably blacked out putting himself in a Steiner Recliner just to get the last man over the top rope…

To that I responded with a baudy “I told you so,” however with just the slightest hint of understanding layered beneath it all.

You see, though I know my bowels like the back of my hand, I have this strange problem where many of my favorite foods/snacks just happen to be things that “upset” me.

I know this from experience, as well as from the fact that I’ve over-indulged in said food items at least once/twice/a billion times, to the point where the resulting toilet seat warfare has become routine to a fault.

It’s been a long time since I’ve waged all-out war with my anus, to the point where these days every skirmish is more akin to war games than anything else.

Trust me, I quite literally know my shit.

Tomorrow I’ll be following things up with a detailed list of tasty snacks that just happen to wreck your shit if you eat too much of them!

Excuse me while I step out to do little peacekeeping South of the border…

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