Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Heavyweight Boxing Ruined My Article!

As phenomenal a fighter as he WAS, it's never a good thing when THIS is the look of a top 10 fighter.

Heavyweight boxing has never been my thing.

Aside from the hype surrounding Mike Tyson’s post-prison bouts, I could never see the beauty in boxing fought North of 200 lbs.

Ever since Lennox Lewis dominated the division, with his superior height and reach, coupled with his fundamental based European-style boxing; I couldn’t help but be kinda’ bored by the heavyweights.

Pictured: One of Lewis' GOOD fights, against Frank Bruno.

Personally, I blame Lewis and the Klitschko brothers for being so fucking tall, and so fucking good at fighting tall, but that’s besides the point.

Honestly, I think my disenchantment with the heavyweight division has a lot to do with the era in which I grew up, an era where truly talented fighters were hard to come by.

Ask any old timer and they’ll tell you that knowing the name of the heavyweight champion of the world was common knowledge among most Americans back in the day.

Hell, I remember hearing that in WWII, the current heavyweight champs name, as well as the date and venue of the Rose Bowl (January 1st, Pasadena), were facts used as codes for determining friend from foe.

It makes me sad to know that boxing was practically the king of all sports back in the day, only for it to turn into a niche sport around the time I was growing up.

I blame the establishment of PPV, and the various belt factions, but again; that’s besides the point.

The point is:

The heavyweight boxing used to represent the pinnacle of the sport, but these days it’s reduced to a sideshow act with maybe 3 worthwhile fighters to go around, none of which are American.

 

Soda Popinski: NOT American.

While a lack of talent in divisions in relatively common in this age of boxing, wherein moving up in weight is treated not so much as a physical inevitability, but as a business tactic for seeking larger contracts; when there’s only a handful of good fighters at a weight, it’s downright painful to see them kick tomato cans back and forth between one another rather than fight each other.

Such has been the situation in the heavyweight division ever since Lennox Lewis vacated the undisputed championship (a title which, technically; has yet to be reclaimed).

It’s funny, this article was supposed to be a hopeful one, singing the praises of boxing and it’s promoters for finally getting Wladimir Klitschko into the ring with David Haye, but unfortunately; from the time I started writing this, to the present; that pivotal match-up in the sport has since fallen through… For the 3rd time.

That's one helluva' a mean-ass Godzilla impression, but that doesn't make him any less of a pussy.

Instead, we get the premier heavyweight champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko; versus unproven British prospect Derek Chisora in April, and then against former light heavyweight, turned cruiserweight, turned heavyweight contender, Tomasz Adamek.

While I don’t expect Chisora to make it to the final bell, or even the 6th round; I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Adamek’s pluck and tenacity; so I give him a fair chance to put on a good show.

Seriously man, after seeing Adamek’s brawls with Paul Briggs and Steve Cunningham, it’s hard not to be a fan of the big Pole.


On a side note, Paul Briggs looks a helluva’ lot like Sam Worthington if you ask me…

While Adamek has had a good run as a heavyweight thus far, we’ve never really seen him in there with anyone as large, skillful, or powerful as a Klitschko.

Needless to say, in the case of both Chisora and Adamek, both men will be at a severe disadvantage in terms of height, reach, and perhaps most important of all; power.

I don’t expect either man to topple Dr. Steelhammer, but like I said; Adamek will find a way to make things exciting at the very least.

Like I mentioned earlier, this post was originally intended to be celebrating the emerging sense of clarity that a Klitschko/Haye match-up would provide for the heavyweight division, but instead I’m forced to write about a champion defending his title against an undersized tomato can, and an undersized tomato can that can take a punch.

It should be noted, that I give Adamek about as good a chance against Klitschko as David Haye, but in this case; Haye’s value on paper is what counts, more so than his (questionable) merit as a fighter.

Goddamnit boxing, you ruined my article!

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

The Top 10 Runner-Ups of the Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks, Part I!

Before the dust settles on the epic event that was the unveiling of the Azn Badger’s list of the Top 25 NES Tracks, I feel it’s my duty to take a moment to discuss some of the tracks that almost made it on the list.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, today we’re going to be talking about the:

“Top 10 Runner-Ups of The Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks.”

Epic fucking title, am I right?

Anyway, hopefully the following ruminations will help shed some light on my process for selecting the tracks for this list, as well as hopefully uncover a few hidden gems for the less game music savvy among us.

That being said, let’s get to it!:

#10. Zanac

“Stage 1”


Zanac is a vertical scrolling shoot ’em up that I received as a gift in my pre-teen years.

You see, despite the Playstation and Nintendo 64 already having risen to prominence by this time, my father; good intentioned thrift store shopper that he is, saw fit to give me NES games up until around my 13th birthday, when I’m pretty sure he gave up giving me gifts altogether.

 

 

Pictured: Birthday's at the Azn Badger's house...

 

While this was admittedly kind of strange, looking back I think it helped me to better appreciate the older generation of games, not to mention my dad’s yearly efforts to go out and get me something unique and different every birthday.

Thanks dad, for, uh, bein’ my dad, and filling my room with goofy outdated shit that only you and I can appreciate.

 

 

Dad's most recent random gift: A VHS-C camcorder!

 

Anyway, Zanac is a game I know nothing about, other than the fact that I played it a lot during middle school.

It’s reminiscent of Space Megaforce on the Super NES, with sharp graphics and a surprisingly action-packed experience despite the limitations of the NES hardware.

Anyway, the details of Zanac are a mystery to me, but it was tons of fun and “Stage 1” had awesome music that was this close to making the lower-tier of the Top 25.

#9. R.B.I. Baseball

“Game Music 1”

*TUNE TO :23 FOR THE PART OF THE MUSIC THAT MADE THE LIST*

My brother LOVED R.B.I. Baseball.

A neighbor of ours owned the Tengen “black cart” version of the game (my dad also gifted it to me at some point…) and most of my memories of the first 5 or 6 years of my life involve watching my brother play it.

In fact, despite being able to play it at our neighbor’s house basically whenever he wanted, I can actually recall several instances where my brother went out and rented it.

Let it be known boys and girls, my brother loves him some baseball.

 

 

A logical hobby for him given that he fuckin' IS baseball.

 

I never really played R.B.I. Baseball.

To be honest, I’ve never really played any baseball videogames besides the occasional game of Base Wars or Super Baseball 2020.

 

Boobies, Robots and Baseball: FUCK YEAH.

 

Something about robots playing baseball just tickles my fancy…

Anyway, up until Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball on the Super NES, I can recall no other sports game that had my brother so engrossed.

Perhaps the best memory I took away from R.B.I. Baseball, was the music, which would loop constantly throughout every game.

That and the delightfully rotund players, whose husky builds and slow-footed nature fit the music perfectly.

 

 

SOOOOO FAT!!!!

 

It may not be the most intricate or bombastic of tunes, but nostalgia goes a long way…

Even if your only experience with the game consisted solely of watching it over your older brother’s shoulder.

#8. Gauntlet

“Title Theme”


This one was suggested by a friend of mine.

Honestly, I’ve never actually played Gauntlet on the NES.

I own Gauntlet 2, (another random gift from dad) but I never liked or played it much.

I played a lot of Gauntlet Legends in the arcade, mostly because it was fuckin’ hilarious; but that’s a story for another day…

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the heroes of Gauntlet Legends!

 

Anyway, while I was compiling this list, I took the time to look up the Gauntlet “Title Theme,” as I honestly couldn”t recall the melody.

To my surprise, my buddy made a pretty good pick.

It’s a nice little diddy, reminiscent of a medieval minstrel’s tune, making it all-too appropriate for a sword and sorcery game like Gauntlet.

I actually had this one on the Top 25 up until my final revision, where I removed it in favor Super Dodge Ball.

Listening to them side by side, I feel I made the better decision…

Sorry buddy, had to go with my gut on this one.

#7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project

“Super Shredder’s Theme”


The reason for this particular track being on the Top 10 Runner-Ups list is kind of silly.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project was a game I played exclusively at one of my spoiled friend’s houses, and just happens to be the game with the longest fucking title on this list.

While in many ways superior to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, Turtles III was the unfortunate victim of being released around the time most of us were just starting to jump platforms to the, at the time; brand spankin’ new Super NES.

 

 

"Bummer dudes! Your game came out 2 years too late!"

 

Like I said though, it’s a great game, actually better than #2, it just didn’t get enough exposure is all.

Anyway, the reasoning behind the selection of this track for the Runner-Ups being silly, is the fact that it’s only on here because it’s the original version of “Super Shredder’s Theme,” which would go on to be remixed for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time.

 

 

2nd Best Beat 'Em Up EVER.

 

“Super Shredder’s Theme” from the Super NES version of Turtles in Time is HANDS DOWN one of my favorite boss themes of all time, making the original 8-bit version, while in fact vastly inferior; still pretty fuckin’ good.

Here’s the Turtles in Time version for reference:

Anyway, it’s not deserving of a spot on the Top 25, but it laid the ground work for what would become one of my favorite pieces of game music EVER, and as such such it gets a nod in the form of a spot among the Runner-Ups.

#6. Little Nemo: The Dream Master

“Mushroom Forest”


I fuckin’ loved Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland back in the day.

I didn’t find out about the old comic series, or Winsor McKay until sometime in middle school, but regardless; that was a great fucking movie.

The world was colorful and inviting, the songs were pretty decent, and Nightmare Land and all of it’s denizens were suitably creepy and stunningly well-imagined to boot.

 

 

Jesus fuck this guy was awesome...

 

Because of my love for the movie, naturally I went out and rented the game at some point.

While the game was not nearly the work of genius that the movie was, it was a pretty solid platformer nonetheless.

The monster costume gimmick was cutesy and fun, and the scepter was very much a thinly veiled Mega Buster, but the thing I remember most; was the music!

The music was, like the movie, whimsical and grand in scale to an extent that few NES games aspired to, let alone movie tie-in platformers.

While the Nightmare world theme and the Final Boss themes were pretty fuckin’ spankin’, like most memorable game tracks, the best piece was from the first stage, the “Mushroom Forest.”

Don’t be surprised if you see a Let’s Play of Little Nemo posted here someday…

Wow!  This post ended up being a whole helluva’ lot more involved than I was expecting it to!

That being said, I’ve decided to split it in half, so tune in tomorrow for the Top 5 Runner-Ups, as well as the ultimate, absolute and final post in the Top 25 NES Tracks series!

Filed under: Games, Movies, The Top 25 NES Tracks, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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