Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

“Flip Six Three Hole, On One!”

Didja’ ever see Starship Troopers?

Remember the “Jump Ball” game near the beginning?

More importantly, do you remember that stupid-ass play the heroes ran to win the game?

It’s funny, I’ve seen Starship Troopers about a billion fuckin’ times now; but up until about 20 minutes ago, I always heard the name of that play as “Flip Sticksssssreeee Hole.”

"HOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!"

In case you couldn’t tell from the phonetic clusterfuck pictured/mentioned above, Dina Meyer slurred her line pretty epicly, and my dumb brain decided to take what it heard and just sort of run with it.

Anyway, “Flip Sticksssssreeee Hole” came up recently in a conversation between my buddy Mencius and I, which of course led to much hilarity and me deciding that I needed to make a Magic card of it.

In ripping screen captures from my DVD of Starship Troopers though, the thought occurred to me that-

“Holy shit!  I can’t call the card Flip Stickssssreeee Hole, that’d be fuckin’ stupid!  Better turn on the subtitles…”

Well, I went ahead and did that, and lo’ and behold they turned my whole world upside down:

FLIP.

SIX.

THREE.

HOLE.

I saw Starship Troopers in the theater as a decidedly underage 11 year old.

That was back in fuckin’ 1997.

That means I’ve spent 14 years laughing about a stupid line in a movie without even knowing half the fuckin’ words in it.

Man, I need to sit down…

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

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!

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

Crappy Book Covers Are Crappy!

Say what you will, it's still THE BEST COVER EVER.

Yesterday’s post was an example of intentionally bad cover art for a book.

Today I figured I would take a moment to show you a few examples of published book covers that are potentially worse from a design standpoint than the juggernaut that was “Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus.”

Shitty book covers aren’t hard to find, one has only to venture down to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of any book store or library to find them.

Or don't. That would be my suggestion anyway.

All of the images that follow were taken at the University of Washington Book Store.

It should be noted that most of these covers were far from the worst I’ve seen.

I blame myself for this, as Barnes & Noble seems to stock a larger quantity of rubbish books with shitty covers.

Good job UW, way to keep the crappy book cover population to a minimum.

Anyway, let’s begin our journey through the world of shitty cover art with the book that prompted me to start this whole day of adventure in the first place:

Werewolf Smackdown by Mario Acevedo.

The moment I saw this on the shelf, I found myself stupefied, gawking in horror at the masterpiece of ass-itude that lay before me.

Now, first thing’s first, Werewolf Smackdown is a truly awful title.

Unless of course THIS was the subject of the story.

In my opinion, the most frustrating part of this cover isn’t the horrendous graphic of the werewolf character, but rather the typography of the title.

The “Down” part of the word “Smackdown” is on a slightly lower plane than the “Smack” resulting in a rather confusing appearance.

I guess one could theorize that this was done intentionally as a visual metaphor to put emphasis on the fact that werewolves are in fact smacked down in this book, but I seriously doubt most would come to that conclusion on first glance.

Hell, it took me like 20 minutes to even come up with that half-assed explanation.

Werewolf Smackdown, definitely playing second fiddle to Werewolf RAW is WAR.

Next up is Eric Flint Time Spike by Marilyn Kosmatka… Or is it Time Spike by Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka?

Here we have our basic Tyrannosaur eating a Spanish Conquistador cover.

Other than my confusion over what’s the title and who’s the author (thank you very much, shitty typography), this is a pretty crazy-awesome/retardly-awesome/shitty cover that I honestly don’t have problem with.

That doesn’t make anything more than a shitty cover though.

Just ask any of my friends, I have a tendency to find reasons to like truly awful things.

Pretty sure I'm the person I know that actually liked this movie...

Moving right along, next we have Pyramid Power by our homeboy Eric Flint, or wait maybe it’s by that son of a bitch Dave Freer, I honestly can’t tell:

Like the previous cover, this one isn’t overtly bad, it’s just really fucking stupid.

I mean come on, it’s a fuckin’ dragon holding a viking with it’s tail.

On paper that sounds pretty cool, but I would’ve preferred to see a less static representation of this most epic of encounters, you know, something a little more action oriented or dynamic.

Goddamn you Monster Hunter, lookin' all cool n'shit...

Conceptually speaking, this is like looking at a heavy metal album cover.

You aren’t allowed to ask “why,” you just sort of accept it in all it’s insanity and excess and get on with your life.

Either that, or you briefly question the band's sexuality for a moment, then rock until you just don't care.

Pyramid Power loses points for it’s shitty title, however, like the previous cover; the cover isn’t all that bad, just uninspired.

Finally, I’d like to take a minute to look over a couple of covers from an author that seems to have a knack for generating crappy novels deserving of crappy covers, Mr. John Ringo.

Holy shit! He looks like Muldoon!

First up is The Road to Damascus:

In case you couldn’t tell, that is in fact a child in red pajamas, holding a teddy bear in one hand while holding a laser gun in the other.

Oh yeah, he also appears to be facing down a tank.

Based on the color palette and (shitty) fonts, my first instinct upon viewing this cover was to compare it to one of those choose-your-own-adventure novels.

I know they look nothing alike, but I just felt like using this image 'cause I acutally own this one.

Though silly in nature, The Road to Damascus, once again, doesn’t have all that bad a cover.

The image is provocative, with some definite time and effort put into the illustration, with some very straightforward and easily distinguished focal points to the layout.

The fonts are pretty boring, but not clip art bad.

I will say this though, the cover seems a little too busy in places, particularly at the top, where the tag line is inappropriately large given it’s close proximity to the author’s name/names.

Our last cover is another John Ringo book, called Gust Front; and this time it actually is shitty, not just bad like most of the others.

I apologize about my leniency towards these shitty book covers.

Many of them probably deserve harsher words than I’ve given them, but I guess it’s just not in my nature to gripe about and be unnecessarily or overly critical of things, no matter how shitty they may be.

Oh well, here’s Gust Front:

Holy fucking shit that’s bad.

Pretty much everything bad that can be said about cover art can be applied to Gust Front.

The title is ass.

The fonts are ridiculously over-the-top, oversized, and horrendously colored.

Oh yeah, and the composition is off-balance, somehow managing to be both cluttered and sparse, with truly awful original Starcraft quality CG renderings for all the figures present in the image.

Hmm, I don't remember the old Starcraft looking like this. Sadly, no trace remains of it ever since the announcement of #2.

It’s kind of funny actually, the dude in the power armor reminds me of the Starship Troopers CG cartoon, Roughnecks.

Yup, these guys and the Extreme Ghostbusters were my best buddies after school...

Man, that was a good show…

Hang on, now that I think of it, the title font seems to bear a certain resemblance to the Starship Troopers one, at least in terms of it’s alignment.

I'm proud to say that the DVD I own of this film has a MUCH better cover.

I see, so we’re to buy this no doubt shitty novel based on the associations it brings on in our minds in relation to Starship Troopers?

Clever girl Mr. Ringo… Clever girl indeed…

I feel it is worth noting that John Ringo’s section at the UW bookstore was pretty much a shelf unto itself.

That’s a lot of shit novels.

Huh, guess I really can be an asshole when I put my mind to it.

Go figure.

Anyway, this has been a truly half-assed post.

Things will pick up a little bit more tomorrow, promise.

Praise be to Space Bobcat.

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MASSIVE Summary of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend, Part IV

Welcome back everyone, to the fourth and final part of my MASSIVE Scene-By-Scene Summary of Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend!

Yesterday, things were looking up for our heroes, as we were treated to our first glimpse of the awesome power of Ultraman Zero!

What evil tricks does Ultraman Belial have up his sleeve for our awesome new hero?

Read on to find out!

Let me begin by saying this: Kudos to the people over at Tsuburaya for not fucking up by having Zero fail to live up to his hype.

He does.

And he does it well.

Too well in fact.

You remember in Dragonball Z movie 12 when Goku and Vejita fused into Gojita and flattened Janenba inside of a minute?

Okay, maybe you don't. I do though, so fuck you.

Well, that was awesome because we spent half of the movie waiting for the fusion to happen, and when it finally did, we were treated to the arrival of a character so powerful that he pretty much turned the whole power level spectrum upside down.

Ultraman Zero on the other hand, gives the same impression of being overwhelmingly powerful, but we spend 10 minutes watching him be awesome.

10 minutes is an eternity when dealing with awesomeness.

As was the case in populating a movie with, literally, over a hundred unique monsters, sometimes less is more.

Anyway, personal objections aside, Zero cleans house in epic fashion, taking out all the monsters, and pwning Belial like a little bitch without so much as breaking a sweat.

"SHIENKYAKU!" Brownie points to all those that recognize the reference!

Eventually, Zero blasts Belial with possibly the pimpest Ultra finisher in franchise history, sending him into a volcanic ravine.

You would think that would be the end of the battle, but being as this is an Ultraman movie, Belial decides to come back for one more round by combining the fallen souls of his 100 bitches into a single massive, rod-puppet controlled body.

So rubbery... So very rubbery...

With the arrival of this most impressive super monster, Ultraman Leo and Astra finally decide to show up.

No sign of Ultraman King though, lazy bastard.

Everyone jumps into battle against the largely immobile super monster, launching their respective trademark attacks, and unfortunately inflicting little to no damage in the process.

Oh yeah, you know Dyna tried to put it in his mouth. However, even a dick licker like Dyna couldn’t fit 100 cocks in there at once…

Just when things start to look grim for our heroes, Rei gets the bright idea to use his Battle Nizer to take control of the still functioning Pimp Cane that Belial dropped in his battle with Ultraman Zero.

Apparently, this is what it takes to steal internet from Comcast these days...

Sure enough, the plan works beautifully, and the super monster is thrown into spasms and seizures, as the 100 monsters comprising it’s body begin to rebel against it.

Ultraman Zero approaches the Ultra Spark, (yup, it hasn’t moved since Belial planted it in the ground almost an hour ago) and uses it’s power to transform his twin Eye Sluggers into one of those Klingon blade thingies.

Yeah, this time YOU know what it is, not me. Fuckin' Star Trek, bein' all complicated n'shit...

Following this, Ultraman orders everyone to, you guessed it, use their trademark attacks to distract Belial (he’s mounted atop the super monster’s head) and the monsters so Zero can land the killing blow.

From a distance it almost looks like the end of Ghostbusters...

Cue epic explosion:

Sorry, no George Lucas Special Edition "Vertical Rings" though. Maybe in 20 years.

With that, Belial is finally defeated, and peace restored to the universe.

Ultraman Zero returns the Ultra Spark to it’s rightful place, thereby redeeming his past wrongdoings and freeing the Ultra homeworld from it’s icy state.

"Okay Taro, you can have your ice cream back."

Asuka and the ZAP crew are invited back to the Ultra homeworld for “thank you’s” and mutual, emphatic nodding.

Unfortunately, they aren’t allowed to tour the planet, as apparently the radiation of the Ultra Spark will, well, kill them.

Dyna escorts Rei and the humans back home, and then Ultra King brings our film to an end with a nifty little speech that isn’t all that dissimilar from the one at the end of Starship Troopers.

"They'll fight, and they'll win! Join the Mobile Infantry today! Would you like to know more?"

Oh yeah, and then there’s a last minute reveal where we find out Belial’s still alive and will likely show up whatever Ultra whatsit they decide to follow this movie up with…

But you wouldn’t care about that.

Hope you enjoyed the experience of READING a plotless movie, I know I did.

Hopefully, I’ll never do something like this again, don’t think my brain can take the stress…

Until tomorrow folks!  See you later!

Filed under: Movies, Tokusatsu, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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