Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Summon Cardboard Box!

Man, it’s been awhile since I’ve made a Magic card!

This one took a lot longer than it probably looks, mostly because I went to great lengths to actually make it as opposed to just snagging something off Google Images and slapping a filter on it.

If you want an example of how easy this card could’ve been to make, here’s an image that probably could’ve done the job just fine that I found in about 5 seconds of searching:

Pictured: The easy route.

Anyway, the card above is of course an homage to the famed cardboard box device from the Metal Gear series.

In all honesty, though I’ve played through every entry in the Metal Gear Solid series multiple times; I’ve rarely found a use for the cardboard box in any of them.

I know they’re useful for quickly jumping around the map via trucks and conveyors, but outside of punching Meryl to make the wolf pup pee on my box; I never really made use of them.

What?  You didn’t know about the wolf piss?

*ANYWAY* much like the old N64 Turok games, it’s hard to deny that Metal Gear games are big on loading you up with cool gadgets and abilities; only to end up giving you very little reason to use them.

Turok gave you awesome guns, but nothing to shoot at.

Metal Gear gave you an amazing range of abilities, but no real practical reason to employ them outside of for shits and giggles.

As fun as that looked in the trailers, for the life of me I never found a reason to do a barrel roll in Metal Gear Solid 4.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, let me know if the text on the card needs to be changed or anything.

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I Miss The “Old” Metal Gear Theme…

I miss the Metal Gear Solid theme.

More specifically, the old Metal Gear Solid theme.

That’s not to say the new theme music is bad, (it’s not) I just feel the old theme was a whole helluva’ lot better.

The composition was more interesting, the tune catchier, and the overall “feel” of the track seemed to fit the series like a glove.

For those that are unaware, the original Metal Gear Solid theme, used in all of the games up until the PSP exclusive Portable Ops; was removed from the series due to implications that the track had been plagiarized from an existing composition.

Composed by Tappi Iwase AKA TAPPY, the theme made it’s debut as the background music of the promotional trailers for Metal Gear Solid, and was also featured as an alternate ending theme:

The original version of the Metal Gear Solid theme was entirely synthesized, and had a very electronic and, unfortunately; “cheap” sound to it despite it’s instrumentation being intentionally implemented for the purpose of simulating an orchestral feel.

Despite it’s somewhat primitive sound, (at least by today’s standards) the theme possessed a rare combination of energy and catchiness that make it synonymous with the series to this day.

While the Metal Gear Solid theme was first featured in the game of the same name, the first time I can recall hearing it was actually in Konami’s Beatmania games on the orginal Playstation.

I had a couple of friends that had “Goldfingers” for their Playstations, and I remember one of them being really into Beatmania and Dance Dance Revolution.

While I honestly wasn’t too keen on either of those games, (still aren’t) I remember playing a lot of co-op Beatmania specifically to hear the remix of the Metal Gear theme:

That, was my introduction to the Metal Gear Solid theme.

As a remix, it’s actually kind of shitty; however the core sound of the theme manages to give the track a lot of strength and memorability.

Gotta’ love that English dude yelling random shit in the background though…

I’M-GONNA’-KICK-YOUR-ASS.  PLEASE-DON’T-KILL-THEM-ALL!”

*Ahem!* Moving on, I think the last time we got to hear the Metal Gear Solid theme music, was in the sequel; Sons of Liberty.

Combining TAPPY’s previous motif with Hollywood film composer Harry “I do military themes that sound like Hans Zimmer’s early 90’s work” Gregson-William’s, this iteration of the theme represents my favorite version of it:

Essentially split into 2 halves, the first portion of the composition is essentially an orchestral and synthesized re-imagining of TAPPY’s original motif, while the second half is a decidedly more somber military march-esque tune composed primarily by Gregson-Williams.

The end result is a powerful and exhilarating theme that I had hoped would endure for years to come.

Sadly, this was not the case.

As mentioned earlier, facts surfaced regarding the composition of TAPPY’s portion of the theme that heavily implied that the tune was stolen from Russian composer Georgy Sviridov’s “The Winter Road”:

Most likely fearing a possible lawsuit, Konami pulled the tune from all subsequent Metal Gear Solid related productions, including Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

With the “old” theme gone, Konami ended up using Gregson-Williams’ half of the composition as the official theme of the series from that point forward.

As I said earlier, I really don’t have a problem with the “new” Metal Gear Solid theme, truth be told it’s rather good as far as themes go; it’s just that it simply doesn’t fit as well as it’s predecessor.

It’s like John William’s Superman theme:

You can make new movies, and you can reboot the series all you want, but the day you stop using Johnny’s theme music; is the day I stop believing a man can fly.

The original theme bore an energy and sense of urgency that really sucked you in.

If you closed your eyes listening to the Metal Gear Solid 2 version of it, I swear you could see Solid Snake running around chokin’ bitches in your head.

The “new” theme, which bears more than a few of Gregson-Williams’ somewhat one-dimensional compositional touches; feels a little slow and overblown if you ask me.

That being said, the Snake Eater version of Gregson-Williams’ theme was actually quite good:

Essentially a medley of most the major themes used in the game, the full length version of the Snake Eater theme was an intense and far more organic sounding track than previous compositions in the series.

Let it be known, the heavy percussive segment towards the end of this track is one of my favorite action cues in the entire series.

The instrumentation of the track did well to keep in line with the game’s dated Cold War setting and decidedly more somber tone by making use of a richer sounding orchestra, as well as a particularly effective acoustic guitar towards the end.

To date, the acoustic guitar version of the “new” theme remains my favorite version of it.

The Metal Gear Solid theme variant used in Metal Gear Solid 4, renamed “The Metal Gear Saga,” left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth:

While the core theme was retained, and the acoustic guitar element reused with the addition of a bugle for effect; the bulk of the track felt excessively busy and scattered.

The synthesized elements in particular stand out as being particularly noisy and extraneous, such that the track actually weakens the intensity of the sequence it plays over.

The Metal Gear Saga was used in a fight scene towards the end of the game, and I remember feeling genuinely disappointed upon hearing it.

Make no mistake, that scene was amazing; but the music that played over it, wasn’t the one I had been humming to myself while I was playing the game…

While I knew ahead of time about the lawsuit regarding the Metal Gear Solid theme music, I played through Metal Gear Solid 4 hoping against hope that Konami would sneak it in there in some capacity.

The “new” theme is passable, but suffers from fairly generic composition, largely brought on by Harry Gregson-Williams’ tendency to recycle his music… A LOT.

In my book, the “old” theme is the one true Metal Gear Solid theme music.

It’s what I hear in my head whenever I think of the series, and it’s what I scour the net for remixes of whenever I’m in the mood for good background music to write to.

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Metal Gear Online Is Fun. Like, REALLY Fun…

I’ve had a PS3 for less than a week now.

The only game I own at the moment, is Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

So far it’s pretty much all I could’ve hoped for in a next-gen, excuse me; “current-gen” Metal Gear.

Hell, for once the controls are actually, y’know; manageable…

Having played all of the “Solid” series pretty much to death, every element of the story feels like a wink from Hideo Kojima to his fans.

The scale and execution of the game’s story and cutscenes are far larger and Hollywood-ized than previous entries in the series, such that the whole thing feels a little cheesy and melodramatic, thusly making it somewhat hard to take seriously.

Huh, guess that’s actually a bad thing.

Hadn’t realized until I wrote out the words.

In either case, I’ve just reached Act 5 of Metal Gear Solid 4, and so far I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The fan-service is just enough to be “cute” rather than forced and annoying, but I’m really hoping that everything comes together at the end for a dignified and appropriate ending.

It’s the least they could give us after the awesome-ness that was Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Anyway, that’s enough about the single-player mode of Metal Gear Solid 4, let’s get to the real reason I’m making this post tonight, namely the Metal Gear Online aspect of the game.

I have to admit, upon purchasing the game, I had no idea that Metal Gear Solid 4 had any sort of online component.

How that MASSIVE bit of information managed to skirt my periphery, I honestly don’t know; but regardless, I’m glad the folks over at Konami included it.

I’m not an online gamer.

Hell, these days it’s kind of hard to call me anything more than a “nostalgic, yet casual” gamer.

Other than a fair amount of Team Fortress Classic and Counter-Strike way back in middle school, I really haven’t invested much time in online gaming.

And no, I’ve never played an MMO game before either.

Despite this, being as my PS3 is my new “toy” at the moment, I figured I would play around online for a bit to see if it was any good.

Well, other than the fact that it took me an hour or 2 to register, create my character, log-in, and then find a server to connect to, I can honestly say, it’s very good.

For me anyway.

The whole game plays out using the same control scheme as in the single-player mode, ensuring that everyone that could beat the story mode, can at least be competitive in the multiplayer mode.

For whatever reason, I feel that the third-person gameplay monumentally improves the experience when compared to a first-person shooter.

I like being able to see my character on-screen, and I also enjoy the fact that the camera system has been tweaked in such a way that it remains advantageous to the player, while at the same time doing little to prevent ambushes from behind.

In short, the camera shows as much as you are accustomed to from the single-player game, while at the same time doesn’t allow you to see your backside or flanks.

Speaking of flanking, I love how much of the game is based around getting the drop on your opponents.

Because of the camera system, ambushes are not only easy to pull-off, they also occur at a much higher rate than you’d expect from an online shooter.

I remember back in the day when I’d try to get the drop on people in Counter-Strike, only end up being shot to shit on account of my opponent’s faster and more accurate mouse handling skills.

Either that or I wouldn’t be able to hit someone because they were bunny-hopping all over the place…

*Ahem!* Anyway, though it comes as a great surprise to me, I’m really enjoying Metal Gear Online.

I love that they implemented the CQC mechanics into the gameplay.

I love that they incorporated Solid Snake as a third-party participant in some of the online matches.

And I love that after all these years I’ve finally found a multiplayer game I actually enjoy!

Anyway, sorry about the somewhat flat post, I’m busy with trying to fix my computer and play around on my PS3 at the same time…

Filed under: Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #3: Guyver 2: Dark Hero

Bio-Booster Armor Guyver (Kyoshoku Soko Guyver) will always hold a special place in my heart.

Introduced to me by my cousin from Hawaii, it was the first manga I ever read, and consequently; one of the most influential in regards to my personal creativity.

To this day, I still find myself saying:

“Oh, it’s kind of like Guyver, but…”

Anyway, as well know, anime and manga we’re very much en vogue among the videophiles of the late 80’s and early 90’s, resulting in several fringe production companies making a mad dash to dub/subtitle that shit and bring it over to the states.

To the delight of men like this...

By 1991, sufficient interest in the anime/manga subcategory of entertainment had bloomed in the states, to the point that New Line Cinema actually produced a live-action adaptation of Bio-Booster Armor Guyver, called The Guyver.

Note: Luke Skywalker isn't The Guyver in this movie.

Well, as much as I was excited for this one as a kid, it pretty much took everything awesome about Guyver, and shit all over it.

Sure, the monster costumes were brilliantly designed for the time, and the soundtrack was actually kind of pimpin’ in a heavily electronic and embarassingly 90’s sort of way, but outside of all that; the movie took my heart and threw it in a blender.

Yup, pretty much...

My guess is, somebody over at New Line took a look at the success that they had with the previous year’s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, (a legitimately good movie) and figured that another movie with guys running around in rubber monster costumes would be a recipe for success.

Sadly, it was:

Flash forward 3 years to 1994, and New Line decides to put out a direct-to-video sequel to their giant pile of Guyver ass-rape.

Now, while Guyver 2: Dark Hero is just about on par with it’s predecessor in terms of shitty screenplays and equally shitty acting, the one thing it got right, was the action.

Oh yeah, and casting David Hayter AKA the English voice of Solid Snake, as the main character:

It's true, it's true...

Directed by Steve Wang, a former director of Power Rangers episodes, the under-appreciated American action movie masterpiece, Drive, and a heavy proponent of martial arts in movies, Guyver 2 was a bloody and extravagant fighting fiesta.

That is, when it wasn’t too busy being overly-talkie and a half an hour too long…

Anyway, despite the fast-paced martial arts fighting of the movie being somewhat contrary to the more samurai/chanbara-esque “one shot, one kill” fighting style of the Guyver manga and anime, this was one case where I appreciated the divergence from the source material.

Enough nerd masturbation, let’s get down to the #3 Best Overkill in Movies:

SKIP TO 2:35 FOR OVERKILL-ERY

Okay, so this particular overkill begins a few minutes into a rematch between the Guyver and some porcupine/rhino lookin’ Zoanoid (monster) that for whatever reason sounds like a cross between a cow and a kitty.

Heh heh, kitty...

Good job sound editor, really took the most logical course of action on that one…

Anyway, the Kitty Zoanoid starts off the fight by rushing the Guyver, only to be flat-out juked like a bitch as his intended target vaults over his head.

Despite this, Kitty responds quickly enough to turn around and get off the first punch, only to have it parried and followed-up with a 3-kick combination topped off by a savage boot to the top of the head.

Said savage kick to the head is immediately followed up by…

What do you think?

Several more rapid-fire boots to the face:

Well, I guess he almost blocked that one...

Finally, after what had to have been 8-9 unanswered boots to the brain, Kitty finally works up the nerve to actually try to avoid one of the innumerably strikes being directed at his decidedly un-pretty face.

*WHIFF!*: The sound of FAIL.

Immediately after having succeeded in making the Guyver look like a chump by making him miss, Kitty capitalizes on the opportunity presented to him by reaching down and SWEEPING THE LEG!

Finally back in the fight, Kitty follows this up by promptly stomping on the Guyver’s chest and doing what he can to stop the poor fucker’s heart function.

A "smell my foot" session gone horribly awry.

With Kitty’s foot positioned squarely on his chest, Guyver reaches up and curls back the Zoanoid’s toes, then wrenches the fucker’s ankle so hard that he flips onto his side like a really lame-ass dreidel.

Once again, TOES ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BEND THAT WAY.

Just before Guyver can hop to his feet, Kitty decides to repay his ass for all the kicks to the face with a big boot of his own.

(Insert metallic *thunk* noise here)

Now officially on his way to mounting a Rocky-esque comeback, (Rocky IV, not II…) Kitty scrambles to his feet and grabs hold of Guyver and chucks that fucker into the nearest wooden surface ala Steven Seagal.

"Next up on the Sci-Fi Channel: Guyver Pole-Dancing!"

As if that wasn’t savage enough, Kitty hulks-out and goes ape-shit on Guyver, busting out a 4 punch combo that would make Sylvester Stallone proud.

Not only that, but things start to look bleak for our hero as Kitty finishes off his savage-as-fuck haymaker combo with a quite possibly the most devastating, Bradshaw-esque Clothesline From Hell in the history of hellish clotheslines:

Note: That is in fact a tree his spine is "crunching" against in that last frame.

Cut to JR and The King totally losing their shit:

Despite the epic savagery of Kitty’s hellacious clothesline, Guyver recovers from it in about, oh, a millisecond.

Seriously, he gets up, Kitty mounts a leaping attack, and then we’re back to square one as Guyver kicks Kitty out of the air and pretty much across the whole fuckin’ forest.

Seriously, does it always have to be fuckin' kicks!?

Once again firmly in command of the action, Guyver follows this up with a Rock Bottom and a People’s Elbow, and then goes for the kill with a Sharpshooter.

Nah, just kidding.

He lays into the poor Kitty with another barrage of kicks to the face, punctuated by one particularly savage, and slow-motion inside spin-kick to the spine.

Now, by martial arts movie standards, that kick would probably prove sufficient as a finishing blow, but c’mon, this is the Guyver we’re talkin’ about!

No dipshit, not THAT Gyver...

THIS Guyver!

That being said, after a brief moment where we cut away from this SUPER-AWESOME FIGHT in order to get back to the UBER-GHEY plot, we finally get to the #3 Best Overkill in Movies.

Things start out fairly pedestrian as the Guyver runs Kitty backwards into a nearby tree, (sadly, there was no furniture in the immediate surroundings) thusly causing him to toss his cookies all over our hero’s shoulder.

"Goddamnit Kitty! Not on the first date!"

In response to Kitty’s decidedly uncouth display of drunken douchebaggery, Guyver promptly extends his High-Frequency Swords AKA Elbow Blades, and jabs them into the bad Kitty’s bad Kitty flanks.

BAD KITTY!

As if that wasn’t bad enough for poor Kitty, Guyver decides to slash him across his belly a few times, you know, just for kicks.

Despite his guts very likely starting to fall out of his midsection, Kitty somehow continues to put up some resistance, offering up his hands to the Guyver to lock up for a pro-wrestling style, well, lock up.

"Kitty's battlin' back!"

Unfortunately, this tactic proves to be utterly foolish, as the Guyver easily overpowers him and does what everyone in these overkills seems to do with people’s joints I.E. bending them the WRONG way.

I feel it best to consult the immortal paragon of ACTING TALENT, Eric Roberts; for a dramatic re-enactment of Kitty’s reaction to the above sequence:

ACTING.

With Kitty now suffering about 4 different abdominal lacerations, and a pair of broken to shit hands, Guyver decides to make use of some of one of the more obscure weapons in his arsenal, his Head Beam.

Ooh, tasty...

WOW!

Way to make with the eye bid’ness Guyver!

With his opponent now utterly battered, broken, and blinded, the Guyver quickly lunges forward to put the pièce de résistance on his Mona Lisa of overkill-dom.

Slamming his palm against Kitty’s face, Guyver pins the poor Zoanoid’s head to a tree, and proceeds to crush the fucker’s skull into cherry Jell-O.

THAT’S how you fuckin’ END a bitch.

A friendly reminder folks, this is just #3, imagine how brutal shit’s gonna’ get by the time we get to #1

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

The Best MAN!!! #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

I call this new post topic, The Best MAN!

Pictured: The wedding of the Azn Badger.

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

Now that is some shitty cover art.

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

True, it was the first in the series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CUUUUUTTTTTTTTT MAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!

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

His color scheme is simple but iconic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His redesign in Mega Man EXE was pretty good.

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

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

Pictured: A very fun videogame.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tee Hee.

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

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

If you don’t agree, tough shit.

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

Filed under: Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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