Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Further Evidence...

While searching the web I found a few funny pictures which support my theories from a few weeks ago about classic video game characters. Now, I realize that photoshopped pictures one finds on the internet aren't necessarily canon, but it does show that my theories have some merit. Mainly, that Mario is a prideful son of a bitch, and Luigi is envious. The following is a facebook conversation that illustrates this:

I don't doubt that Mario would treat Luigi like this. It's only a matter of time before Luigi finally snaps:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

XKCD movie!!!

I wish! has a weekly photo-shop contest where they give a theme and people submit their photo-shopped entries. This week, for example, the theme is "If Every Website Got A Dramatic Movie Adaptation", in reference to The Social Network. A few of them were pretty funny, and while this one isn't the winner, it made me really sad that this movie will never actually exist. I think it could exist and it could be hilarious!

Congratulations, BRWombat, you successfully broke my heart.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

You Probably Won't Like Turtles Forever, But You MIght

I absolutely loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was growing up. I watched the cartoon religiously, and once I got my hands on $5.24, I was down at KB Toys buying a new action figure. When the movies came out I was a child obsessed, It was pure magic to me. Everything about the movies were cool to me.
In retrospect, not so much...

But, as most people do, I grew up. I stopped paying attention to the cartoons. My action figures met their grisly fates taped to M-80's. My TMNT RPG books became yard sale fodder. And I saw the 3rd movie through eyes unclouded by the unquestionable worship only a child can feel and saw it for the silly crapfest it was. As the years went by, the Ninja Turtles never went away, but I just stopped caring. I was always peripherally aware of new toy lines or cartoons, but never went out of my way to learn more. I did, however, get a chance to enjoy the original comics, which I really enjoyed. The series started out as a parody of the dark and gritty Ninja comics of the 80's, particularly Frank Miller's Daredevil. How it became the childish marketing juggernaut it is today is beyond me, but it did.
So gritty...

I did recently watch the computer animated TMNT movie and not hate it. It was a fun little action movie. There was some pre-existing storylines (Shredder is dead but has a daughter?) that proved that the current animated series has been busy. I've never had much interest in the current series because it just looked like it was trying to be too sleek and bad-ass. While this may have in fact been a return to the original spirit of the characters, they weren't my turtles so I just didn't care.
A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about Turtles: Forever, a made for t.v. movie where the Turtles from the original series are teleported to the universe of the new series, hijinks ensue. I was intrigued by this concept so I put it on my netflix queue. I wasn't that intrigued, so it wasn't #1, and I kept putting movies and series ahead of it, but it eventually made it to the top, and I watched it yesterday.
Throughout the first three quarters of the movie, I was mildly entertained. It mainly served as a vehicle to poke fun at the campiness of the 80's cartoon series. The old school turtles constantly annoy the modern ones by endlessly cracking jokes and obsessing over pizza. What I found odd was the one who cracked the most jokes (by far) was old school Raphael. I remember him being the bad ass of the group, even back then, so this struck me as odd. Perhaps my 7 year old's interpretation of bad ass is a bit different from my current one. I did like the interactions between old school Shredder with modern Shredder. He really was an incompetent bungler back then, wasn't he?
"Tonight I dine on turtle soup!"? Puh-leeease!

Well, the plot eventually unveils itself to be surprisingly unoriginal. [POSSIBLE SPOILERS] So there's a TMNT multiverse and Shredder decides that the only way to truly rid himself of those pesky Turtles is to destroy the source, or "Turtle Prime". I actually rolled my eyes at this. I watched Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths recently, and it had the exact same plot. Well it was the trip to "Turtle Prime" that turned out to be a real treat. It's a black and white world inhabitted by the surly, constantly narating turtles from the original comic. It turned out to be a nice little tribute to the original comic and it's creators Eastman and Laird. The final scene made the whole movie worth it.

I find I can't really grade this movie like I normally would. For the most part, I thought it was pretty lame save. a few clever tributes and observations. Will you like it? Well if you liked the original cartoon or the comics than this is worth checking out. If you feel like you can't watch something this "uncool", turn it into a drinking game or something. Drink every time someone says cowabunga or pizza. Take a shot every time Raphael makes a joke, if you dare, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

7 Classic Video Game Characters and the Deadly Sin They Represent

Video games are naturally evil, and by extension, they bring out the evil in anyone who plays them. The Grand Theft Auto series alone is responsible for 89% of violent crime since 1987.* As technology progresses as do the opportunities for gamers to live out their most diabolical fantasies. These days, gamers have entire virtual worlds to in which they can perfect their evil before unleashing them on the real world.
The true face of evil

The evil impact of video games is not a new phenomenon. In fact, video games have been a sinister influence from the very start. In fact, some of the most beloved classic video game characters actually represent the most evil aspects of humanity:

Link - Lust
Link has starred in many games, across many different platforms. Because of this, his character design and origins have changed significantly over the years. What has never really changed however, is that he is an adolescent boy that sets off on a dangerous quest that is centered around a beautiful Princess named Zelda. Now I know a little something about being an adolescent boy, having been one for 29 years, and the only reason that boy is going to go on such a huge quest, facing unspeakable horror and danger at every turn, is if he thinks he's going to get laid at the end. Sure, there's usually something threatening the space time continuum, or all life as we know it, but that's neither here nor there. When it comes down to it, you know he's in it for the nookie.

Mega Man - Greed
Sure, there are a lot of games where you have to collect coins or rings or other treasure, and you could argue those characters are greedy. Mega Man, however, is after much bigger swag: souls. The media would have you believe that the villains Mega Man hunts down are robots, and robots don't have souls. Don't buy it. Mega Man systematically hunts down anyone else in the world like himself, destroys them, and eats their souls to gain their powers. One power isn't enough for Mega Man, nor is having a robot dog buddy, he has to have all the powers.

You - Gluttony
Sure, there are video game characters whose powers are based on eating like Kirby or Pacman, but they eat because it's their best tool against the forces of evil. Also, Kirby would never eat dozens of ducks just for the fun of it, but you would, wouldn't you? Seriously, how many ducks do you need to shoot? The ten you could bag in just one level seems like it should satiate one person, but it's not enough for you, is it? You just keep going, keep shooting duck after duck after duck Every duck you see you have to shoot. Don't lie and say you have a big family to feed. Even if you're Italian, your family can't be big enough to justify killing a hundred ducks on one hunting trip. Did you know ducks mate for life? Yeah, they do! You better eat every last bite, you gluttonous sonuvabitch!

Mario - Pride
Look at that smug bastard. Even his baseball bat has his damn symbol on it. He refers to himself and his brother as the super Mario brothers! What is that about? I don't buy for a second that their last name is Mario. No, Mario is a cocky glory hog. His name is part of over 50 game titles. He has put his name on golf, racing, tennis, and even Olympic games. Being a plumber wasn't good enough for him so for a while in the nineties he donned a lab coat and made everybody call him Doctor Mario (though I am pretty sure he never went to med school). Everything always has to be about him. Everyone in his life is just one more tool to validate his greatness. Even his relationship with Peach is a sham. I'm willing to bet that he pays Bowser to kidnap Peach every year or two just so he has another excuse to go on a huge quest, rescue her, and show everyone how awesome he is (again). No, Mario is controlled by his vanity, and what's worse, we as a culture completely buy his hype, which must be even more frustrating for...

Luigi - Envy
Poor Luigi, always living in his brother's shadow. The brother in the Super Mario Brothers that isn't Mario. Whereas Mario's name shows up in over 50 titles, Luigi's shows up in 4 (3 of which are actually Mario & Luigi...). Luigi is the ultimate second fiddle even though he is taller, skinnier, and a better jumper than his brother. Even his girlfriend Daisy is a footnote who is only trotted out to have more characters in party games. Luigi will never be in the spotlight (or Peach's panties) as long as his brother is around.

Donkey Kong - Sloth
Well, it seems that that crazy gorilla named Donkey has the same need to kidnap pretty ladies as the next gorilla. But he doesn't really know what to do with her once he has her. Either that, or he just can't be bothered. When a hammer wielding plumber comes a knocking, Donkey barely lifts a finger. Well, he does lift some barrels, but that is it. He has no intention of getting off his hairy ass and being more proactive, he's content to keep lobbing barrels and hope for the best. (Spoiler alert: He lost). Eventually he did get his own platform game on SNES. The plot? Donkey is content to sit around his island with his giant pile of bananas. When that pile gets stolen, however, he has to get off his ass to find it. Along the way, he finds several animals to ride:

Yeah, cause a rhino is so much faster and more agile than a gorilla. No, Donkey just got tired of walking. Cause he's so laaaazy!

Pacman - Wrath
I mentioned Pacman during the gluttony bit, and yes it's true that the game is all about eating all the pellets. But Pacman eats because it's his only way to escape these hellish mazes. Pacman is all about getting home to his wife and her sexy bow so he eating is just the means to an end. Pacman has a two jobs to do, eat the pellets and stay alive. Those fucking ghosts do their best to make those jobs as hard as possible. That's why the only time Pacman strays from his task is right after he eats a power pellet. Once those ghosts are vulnerable, fuck the pellets, fuck getting home to his wife/twin sister, Pacman is out for revenge. He will hunt them down relentlessly. He even gets bonus points for consecutive kills. I bet those ghosts taste like shit, but revenge sure is sweet.

*Rough estimation