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What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Andre Berto Vs. Victor Ortiz: A Fight Worth Watching

Damn! THATS a haircut!

This Saturday evening, WBC Welterweight champion Andre Berto will face 140 lbs. Southpaw dynamo Victor Ortiz.

In this day and age, when boxing has long since become an event driven business; it’s not often that non-pay-per-view match ups could be considered “must see” material.

That being said, consider Berto vs. Ortiz as “must see” as it gets.

Both fighters are in the prime of their physical development.

Both are vying for mainstream popularity and success.

Both are exceedingly heavy-handed.

Most importantly though, both are known to be vulnerable in some respect.

Put it all together, and you get an explosive fight that’s liable to put some serious miles on one, if not both fighter’s odometers; regardless of the actual length of the bout.

Pictured: How both fighters are gonna be talkin after the fight...

That being said, who do I think will win?

Well, even though I’m biased towards Andre Berto, ’cause well; I like him, in all fairness I feel Berto is the logical pick as winner.

As mentioned earlier, both fighters are notably heavy-handed, though it’s definitely worth re-iterating the fact that Ortiz will being fighting at 147 lbs. for the first time in his career.

While weight and body size will always be a factor well worth considering when picking a winner in boxing, in the current age of supplements and sports science; it seems be a factor of diminishing importance when dealing with fighters naturally/healthily filling out to a heavier weight class as opposed to gaining extraneous weight or being forced to move up due to a failing body structure.

Pardon me, I appear to be rambling.

The point you were supposed to extract from all that bullshit above, is that I feel the increase in weight won’t be much of a factor for Ortiz, as at a barrel chested 5’9″ he not only seemed big for a Jr. Welterweight; he also seemed big standing next to Andre Berto.

Berto: "Yeah... Hes biggern me."

On that note, as mentioned previously, both fighters have shown signs of vulnerability; Berto due to his porous defense and willingness to trade punches, and Ortiz for his questionable heart.

While his performances have been consistently energetic and well-fought, the main complaint against Berto these days is derived from his controversial split-decision victory over Luis Collazo, as well as the general dearth of big name fighters on his resume.

While there’s no defending Berto for the lack of A or B grade opposition on his record, given that he had at least 2 chances to make a date with the then recent conqueror of the seemingly invincible Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley; it’s worth mentioning that Collazo, a Southpaw like Ortiz; is just one of “those guys” that can make anyone look bad.

Any opportunity I take to post a picture of Ricky Hatton gettin bopped in the noggin is one worth taking advantage of.

One thing’s for sure though, Berto certainly does take far too many punches in his fights; however to date I have yet to see him actually pay for it.

That is to say, while he may stand toe-to-toe too often with guys; he has yet to lose, and he’s managed to put a lot of guys away in the process.

Moving on, as anyone reading this is probably aware, Victor Ortiz caught the bad end of a vicious back and forth affair with the brick-fisted Marcos Maidana back in 2009.

That fight ended as a TKO due to a cut over Ortiz’ eye, however the general understanding was that he responded in the negative when asked whether he wanted to continue.

This decision cost Ortiz a great deal in the face of the boxing community and his fans, leading to him fighting off of HBO’s telecasts during the early stages of his rebuilding phase.

...During which time he traveled back to 1992 and stole Will Smiths hat.

That being said, similar to Hector Camacho after his brutal encounter with Edwin Rosario; it would seem Victor Ortiz caught a taste of something he didn’t like, and has since made adjustments to his fighting style in hopes of never running into it again.

Once a freight train middle range brawler, Ortiz’ game has recently transformed into that of a more tactile and less volume oriented one.

Make no mistake, he’s still an aggressive fighter; he’s just not as prone to go balls out and leave his chin out in the open.

Anyway, that’s enough Berto/Ortiz 101, let’s get down figuring out what’ll happen when these 2 meet!

While speed is an issue many are speculating about, in my eyes neither guy is a mover, and both fighters seems comparable in terms of handspeed, so until I see them in the ring together I wouldn’t count on that being a determining factor in deciding who will come out ahead.

The real issues I see as being key to determining a winner for this fight, are the one’s that inevitably come up when dealing with left-handed fighters; and that is who gets off first, and who dictates the pace and the range of the fight.

From what I’ve seen of both men, Ortiz is a middle range, in-and-out type fighter, while Berto prefers to step in a little closer and dole out high-low combinations until he’s given a reason to back off.

Pictured: Both fighter

While this logic would suggest Ortiz as being the one most likely to dictate the flow of the fight, given that he’s more likely to step in to engage rather than hang back and rely on his jab; truth be told I think Berto’s aggressiveness will lead to him pulling the trigger earlier and more often.

In addition to that, one must also consider that Ortiz is the taller man by a scant half-inch, however Berto has the reach advantage of 2 inches.

In my mind, this translates to Ortiz’ middle range fighting taking place very much inside of Berto’s comfort zone; leading to prolonged exchanges in the latter’s favor.

Looking at both fighter’s repertoire of punches brings even more evidence in favor of this hypothesis.

Ortiz’ money punches are, like most Southpaws; his right hook and and his straight left hand.

He has a good jab, but in recent days he’s used it more as tool for keeping rhythm or measuring distance as opposed to a combination starter or actual weapon.

Pictured: The vaunted Ortiz jab...

His punches come from some pretty slick angles, however he rarely takes advantage of his Southpaw stance in creating them; preferring to square up with his opponents and step out of range to avoid punches as opposed to slip or block them.

Berto on the other hand, fights from a conventional stance and relies on short hooks with both hands, as well as a magnificent right uppercut.

While the uppercut probably won’t be helping him all that much against Ortiz, given that their opposing stances will force him to reach with it, an inherently double-edged sword of a punch; in order to connect with it, I feel that the speed  and sharpness of his hooks will give Ortiz fits every time he steps in.

While none of this points to either man winning out on paper by a clear margin, the length and frequency of Berto’s jabs and left hooks will likely create some difficulty for Ortiz in countering over the top with right hooks.

Perhaps most important of all though, Berto has recently begun using a straight right hand as a key punch in his arsenal; clearly a product of training for and fighting Southpaws post-Collazo.

BOOSH!

Ask anyone how to fight a Southpaw and they’ll tell you 2 things:

Keep your lead foot outside of his, and feed him straight right hands until he chokes on them.

In the end, I think Berto’s tenacity and combination punching will ultimately win the day.

Make no mistake, both guys are likely going to be sore in the morning after this one…

Prediction:

Both guys “do what they do,” but Berto forces, and ultimately wins the majority of the exchanges.

Berto, TKO stoppage Round 7.

Anyway, I’ve ranted and rambled enough about this one for tonight.

As anyone can tell, I’m uber-excited for this one; so hopefully it turns out to be worth the 1200 word post.

G’night.

"Innnn West Philadelphia, born and raised..."

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Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks, #10-6

Hold onto your butts folks, we’ve finally made it to the Top 10 of the Top 25 NES Tracks!

Rest assured, while many of the entries on this list have been somewhat obscure, expect the majority of the remainder to consist of old favorites and themes from game series that are still going strong to this day.

That being said, let’s get to the first half of the Top 10!:

#10. Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode

“Golgo 13 Theme”


Remember when I said that you’d be familiar with all of the games in the Top 10?


Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode is a Vic Tokai espionage/action game based upon the massively epic manga series by Takao Saito, Golgo 13.

While I could bore you with a detailed description of the backstory of said manga, I find it’s easier to sum things up by saying this:

Golgo 13 is THE SHIT, and could give ROBERT FUCKING MULDOON a run for his money in terms of manliness and overall badassery.

Trust me, he’s seriously that fucking pimp…

 

 

THAT FUCKING PIMP.

 

Anyway, the NES version of Golgo 13, was neat game that I loved to play in my youth.

It was a serious game, with an involving and suitably “adult” storyline that really made you feel cool to be a part of, especially as a kid.

Basically, it felt good to play a game that had enough confidence in my intelligence to talk to me like a big kid and give me objectives that felt a little more mature than say, saving the goddamn princess.

 

*Sigh* Really?...

 

Half of the fun I had with Golgo 13, came in the form of the game’s theme music, which conveniently enough, could be brought up at any time simply by hitting the pause button!

Being as Golgo 13 is essentially the Japanese equivalent to James Bond, (only 10 times more badass an amoral) it’s only appropriate that his theme music in the game be a rousing and shlocky tune that would be right at home on a Ventures album.

Not only that, the Japanese version of the title screen has lyrics that flash on the screen in time to music, karaoke style!

I can read about 95% of it, maybe I should try and sing the fuckin’ song someday…

#9. Castlevania

“Vampire Killer”

I’ve never really been a Castlevania kid.

While I love Konami games, particularly of the 8 and 16-bit eras, Castlevania was perhaps the one flagship title in their library that I never really cared much for.

I never liked how the jumping system was heavily momentum based, so much so that mid-air adjustments were nigh impossible.

I hated the cheap, pitfall deaths that were just a constantly spawning flying medusa head away.

 

Oh you fuckin' bitch...

 

And I suppose it doesn’t help either that I don’t care much for Gothic art and design.

On the NES, the only Castlevania I ever played was the very first.

While I ended up walking away from the game feeling it was alright, but not great, the music was, and is, something that will always stick with me.

The Castlevania games are known throughout gaming circles for their incredible soundtracks, and rightfully so.

While many of the compositions of the early games have since gone on to be remixed, and usually improved, my favorite track from the original NES game was the first stage theme, “Vampire Killer.”

“Vampire Killer” survives to this day as the single most prominent theme in the series.

I love it’s light-hearted yet spooky feel, as right off the bat it cues you in on the fact that:

 

 

"This game is gonna' be all horror n'shit, but don't worry, it's still an action game!"

 

It’s a wonderful, timeless piece of gaming music history, and though I still don’t care much for Castlevania, any Castlevania; it still deserves it’s spot on this list.

#8. Super Mario Bros.

“World 1-1”


What’s this?

The Mario theme, placed at #8 on a Top 25 list!?

BLASPHEMY.

Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m surprised it’s ranked as low as it is too.

Truth of the matter is, I knew it had to go somewhere on here, but I ended up arbitrarily placing it “somewhere” in the Top 10 to satisfy my conscience, while at once ensuring that my true favorites got the justice they deserved.

The Super Mario Bros. Theme is game music.

Plain and simple.

It’s one of the most memorable and enduring arrangements in all of gaming history, and no force on Earth, no matter how hipster or counter-culture, could keep it from receiving a spot on any gaming music Top 10 list.

 

"Yeah, I don't care much for Mario, too mainstream. I only play obscure bullshit like Faria and Faxanadu... On my original NES... On a TV from 1982... While wearing a shirt from 1986..."

 

Mario games are something that I’d like to think can appeal to anyone.

They’re fun, straightforward, and typically blessed with a difficulty level that is appropriately challenging, but never punishingly so.

While I’ve always liked Mario games, in truth I never really played them that much.

My brother stomped the shit out of pretty much all of them up to Super Mario 64, but despite living in a household that owned most of said games, I spent most of my time playing other stuff.

 

 

Pictured: Other stuff.

 

I suppose I was too into beat ’em ups in my youth to take the time to sit down and work my way through the platforming goodness of Mario.

Anyway, there’s nothing I can say about “World 1-1” that hasn’t been said, so I won’t try.

I can’t say I fully agree with my placement of this particular track, but I’m happy with my Top 5, so I figure it all balances out.

#7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game

“Technodrome Stage Theme”


Okay, so we’re all in agreement that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the shit back in the early 90’s, right?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, was the NES version of the Konami Ninja Turtles arcade game found in virtually every arcade/pizza joint in America.

 

 

If I were very rich, and very stupid, I would own one of these...

 

While it lacked the graphical polish of the arcade version, much like in the case of Turtles in Time; I’ve always maintained that the console version was superior.

Aside from including 2 extra stages and unique boss characters, the console version also had better controls and a more manageable and less “quarter-munching” difficulty level.

Ninja Turtles 2 was easily one of the most played games in me and my brother’s NES library.

It was fun, it was a Ninja Turtles product, it had “two player simultaneous gameplay,” and did I mention it was the NINJA FUCKING TURTLES!!?

I remember bringing Ninja Turtles 2 over to my friend’s houses, playing it all fuckin’ day, and then sitting down and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze over and over again until my mom picked me up.

 

 

Y'know, back in the 5 minutes or so we all thought this guy was the coolest thing EVER.

 

THAT, my friends, is what childhood was all about.

The Technodrome Stage Theme” is not only an incredible, and undeniably “Konami” piece of music, it was also something that was quite elusive to me in my youth.

Possessed of a rockin’ and moody quality that really jumps out to you as “last level” music, the “Technodrome Stage Theme” was a track that I didn’t get to hear that often because, well, Ninja Turtles 2 was actually kind of a hard game.

In many ways, me having only had a few opportunities to hear this track in my youth played a huge role in elevating this track to such a high spot on the list.

Oh yeah, that and the fact that it’s a fucking awesome piece of pulse-pounding, pizza-munching, teenage-mutant-ninja action music!

Turtle Power FOREVER.

#6. Blaster Master

“Stage 1 Theme”


After 3 of the bottom 5 of the tracks on this list came from Sunsoft products, did you really think there wouldn’t be at least one more game from them on here?

It’s true, I dig Sunsoft music, and when it comes to Sunsoft’s music library, I can think of no other game to better represent them than Blaster Master.

 

 

*Ahem!* That would be, "Master Blaster."

 

Blaster Master was a game I used to play at my barber’s house.

No, not the one that gave me a Nintendo Power, a different one.

Like most of the games on this list, I never really got anywhere in Blaster Master, but fuck man, I really wish I had…

I enjoyed every minute I played of the tank-hopping, grenade tossing action of the first stage in Blaster Master, and as always; a lot of my enjoyment came from the background music.

The “Stage 1 Theme” of Blaster Master is a terrific piece of music that really succeeds in capturing the colorful and adventurous spirit of the game and it’s setting.

It really feels like music you’d hear in a weird sci-fi world while patrolling the forests in a giant tank in search of your pet frog.

 

 

Hah! Thought I was kidding about the plot, didn't you?

 

That last sentence didn’t really make a whole lot of sense, so let me rephrase:

The “Stage 1 Theme” of Blaster Master is awesome, and it makes me smile, so therefore it is #6.

Well, folks, that does it for the first half of the Top 10!

Tomorrow we’ll finally be wrapping things up with the remaining Top 5, as well as the announcement of the #1 NES Track!

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

The Best MAN!!! #4

Well, we’ve reached the halfway point in The Best MAN series.

Yes, I am aware that there are in fact 10 games in the linear Mega Man series, however; as someone who has yet to play #9 or 10, I don’t feel qualified to determine who The Best MAN for those games might be.

Oh well, that still leaves 8 other games for me to work with.

Speaking of which, let’s get down to the matter at hand: Mega Man 4.

Awkward composition, but clearly an improvement over previous covers. Mega Man's face looks kind of pedo though...

Mega Man 4 was the first game in the series to feature the Mega Buster charge shot.

Little known fact: Mega Man's anus is located in his left hand.

This simple change in the mechanics of the gameplay would profoundly effect the Mega Man series all the way until Mega Man 8.

The charge shot allowed the player to power up their standard bullets to form a singular, larger and more powerful shot that dealt approximately 3 times as much damage as a normal shot.

While this made combating the basic enemy fodder a somewhat simpler affair, the charge shot ultimately caused the boss fights to take on a more methodical pace than was customary for the series.

In fighting the robot master bosses, Mega Man’s standard bullets were de-powered to the point in which they only did one unit of damage per hit.

In addition to this, the duration of the invincibility frames given to the bosses (and Mega Man himself) upon being struck, were increased significantly, presumably for the sake of giving the player time to charge another Mega Buster shot.

The following is an example of the horrors of invincibility frames:

In essence, the introduction of the Mega Buster forced the player to pick their shots, rather than try to overwhelm their enemies as was possible in the previous games.

Mega Man 4 also introduced a handful of new characters to the series canon.

Flip-Top Eddie, Dr. Light’s walking briefcase, made his first appearance in Mega Man 4, showing up to give the player a random item during certain stages.

Also, the game featured the first appearance of Dr. Cossack and his daughter Kalinka.

Pictured: Dr. Cossack and Kalinka.

The Russian, and therefore evil; Dr. Cossack serves as the games’ main antagonist until the latter stages of the game when it is revealed that Dr. Wily kidnapped Kalinka, thereby forcing Cossack to do his bidding.

That evil son of a bitch...

Mega Man 4 was a pretty solid addition to the series.

The Mega Buster represented a major change in the series, one that I still can’t decide was for the better or worse.

The game was very difficult, arguably one of the more difficult entries in the NES series of Mega Man games.

The soundtrack was very good, while taking on a dramatically different sound from it’s predecessors, not in composition, but in MIDI instrumentation.

Give this remix of the iconic Mega Man 2 Title Theme a listen to see what I mean:

That’s enough about that crap though, let’s get down to who’s The Best MAN!

Well, that would have to be:

Pharoah Man

PHARRRRRROOOOOOOOAAAAHHHH MAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!

Really, was there any doubt on this one?

Mega Man 4 was by no means a perfect Mega Man game, however one thing it did better than most was the designs of it’s 8 robot masters.

AWESOME!!!!

Consequently, the designs for the 8 bosses were not designed by Capcom’s in-house artists, but from the results of a public mail-in contest.

Thank you creative people of Japan for giving us the awesome character designs of Mega Man 4!

No wait, I take that back...

Anyway, despite the general awesomeness of MOST OF the MAN designs in Mega Man 4, none can hold a candle to Pharoah Man in the looks department.

I mean fuck, look at him!

He’s got the Pharoah headdress, the MC Hammer/Vanilla Ice-esque pointy shoulders,

That's right, The Azn Badger is a survivor of the dark time known as "The 90's."

an awesome grill covering his mouth,

Wheeljack: You Are Remembered.

and his color scheme is both intricate and iconic.

You knew I'd find a way to slip Seinfeld in there, didn't you?

Hey, Dive Man and Skull Man might be cool, but shit son, HE’S A FUCKING PHAROAH.

You guys ain't got shit on THE PHAROAH.

Despite Pharoah Man’s landslide victory in terms of looks, it takes more than looks to be The Best MAN.

Fortunately, Pharoah Man’s got pretty much every base covered.

His stage is fun and has one of the better background tracks in the game.

His weapon is badass and is chargeable just like Mega Man’s Mega Buster.

"I AM PHAROAH, AND THIS, IS MY KINGDOM!!!!!!"

Not only that, but he’s a tough customer and puts up one helluva’ fight when you finally get around to facing him…

Flash Stopper = MEGA RAPE.

Provided you don’t have the Flash Stopper.

You use the Flash Stopper and he’s just a pussy like everyone else.

Seriously, he can’t even move if you Flash Stopper his ass.

For real, any fool could whoop him like a little bitch if they used the Flash Stopper.

Pictured: Any Fool.

We’ll just forget about that for now though and honor Pharoah Man as The Best MAN that he is.

Seriously though: LIKE A LITTLE BITCH.

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