On September 13, Mario celebrated his 25th birthday. Only 2 years older than me and still chasing after the same girl, throwing parties, go-karting, and doing ‘shrooms. What’s the very first memory I have of him? Running into a goomba and dying. OH the A Button makes you jump! (O_O)

I’ve loved Mario since the day I hit a coin block, and that delicious BLING sound penetrates the ears…and I’m still lovin’ it 25 years later. If only hitting your head on things really gave out money. =P

I didn’t have time to post a video yesterday, so I’ll be giving out two today. The Mario theme definitely has changed over the years. Enjoy!

Videos By: Headcrablol

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Real Life, video games

Article: http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/gamers-lend-support-to-widow-of-heroic-developer/1410899

I read this article today, and it made me think a lot about life. We keep thinking that life will last a long time, but we just never know what might happen.

Brian Wood, a 33-year-old designer for Relic Entertainment, was driving home with his wife when a 21-year-old woman, believed to be under the influence, struck his car coming from the opposite direction. His wife, pregnant, sat in the passenger seat, and Wood swerved his car to put himself in the path of the other car. He unfortunately lost his life with this heroic act. His wife and unborn baby survived.

It’s stories like these that make me wonder if I could sacrifice myself like that…to put myself in front of danger knowing that I might die. Would I be able to make a split-second decision like that? I mean it’s so easy to do in video games without a second thought since we can learn what we did wrong if we die, restart the level, and try again.

I can probably think about it all I want, but when the time comes, I trust and hope that I’ll do the right thing. Brian Wood, your story is definitely an inspiration to us all. People like you are the true heroes of life. I’ll keep your family in my prayers.

If you want to help his family with donations, here is the Brian Wood Memorial Trust: http://www.brianwoodmemorialtrust.com/

Dying happens a lotin video games. But in real life, there is no reset or continue. You never know when a stupid mistake like driving drunk could really affect the lives of those around us.

{A screenshot of the last game he was working on: Company of Heroes Online}

New Unseen Trailer??

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Lingo, Meme

Internet savvy people like us browse through Web pages every day, clicking, clicking until the sun don’t shine (And sometimes until the sun peeks out again). I’m sure you go through a Youtube video at least once a day. It won’t be long until you encounter something like this:

OMG NEW PLAYSTATION 4?????

WTF??? Rickrolled?

Yep, you have been Rickrolled. You were fooled into thinking that you’d be watching something cool, and instead, Rick Astley entices you with his hip 80s dance moves. You have stumbled upon an internet meme.

Here’s the definition of a meme: “An internet phenomenon or a meme is an image, video, phrase or simply an idea that spreads from one person to another seemingly for no logical reason at all. When people see a meme, no matter how silly it usually is, they find it amusing for one reason or other and forward it to their friends; soon millions of people know about it thanks to how fast the information can spread online and the viral effect.”

The best example is Lolcats, but I’ll probably cover them in another post. Theyz has LonG Ekspluhnashun!

So I’ll be talking about the lovable Mr. Astley. These kinds of videos fall under the category “bait and switch.” A person thinks they are viewing the topic stated, but the click leads them to something else. Sometimes funny. Sometimes scary. (STUPID ZOMBIE FACE IMAGES!!)

Earlier on the imageboard site 4chan (I should cover that in later post too), people pulled pranks like this using a duck image on wheels, thus being “duckrolled.”It evolved somehow from image to video. 4chan also has a video game board, and the first known instance of “Rickrolling” happened when someone put Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” video in place of what was thought to be a new trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV in May 2007. Since then pranksters have been using Astley’s song to trick people so that they could get millions of views for worthless information. Sad, yet very, very effective.

But don’t have a heart attack! These are meant to be funny! And who can resist Astley’s flaming red hair smooth moves? Apparently, some people can’t take a joke like Bill O’ Reilly:

And I just realized the acronym for this post’s title is NUT. Hahahaha

Source and other Rickrolling instances: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling

EVERYONE at some point in their lives have been exposed to Tetris…or Brick Game with 99 Levels. You can probably find this game or a cheap version of it on any gaming medium now. Those Russians actually did something good for us! 😉

So grab a couple of drinking buddies and with all those empty to half-empty beer bottles, blow the Tetris theme!

Video By: xandabach

Anime vs. Manga

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Anime, Manga

You rarely hear anybody liking both these two mediums. Anime enthusiasts will argue that it’s more visually appealing, it’s in color, and the action is amazing. Manga enthusiasts will oppose saying that manga artwork is much more beautiful, the manga contains the true story, and the action is just as good.

Let’s say you hear about a new series. How the frak do you start…watch or read it? Well, let’s look at each medium’s strengths and weaknesses.

Production: Unless you lived in the 1990s, anime and manga are both equally produced weekly. When it started to be imported to USA, Japan was years ahead, so USA aired a couple of episodes daily, all dubbed. Now we see that it varies with network. In Japan though, they are now produced every week.

Shonen Jump: A weekly manga magazine produced in Japan.
TV Tokyo: A major Tokyo television station that specializes in Anime.

Viewing/Reading: Anime just takes a simple flip of the television, computer, or click of the play button. Watch and enjoy. The thing you have to remember about manga is that it’s read RIGHT to LEFT, TOP to BOTTOM. If that bothers you because you’ve been reading left to right your whole life, then you might as well stick with the anime.

Artwork: Manga is visually consistent. Sometimes it gets better toward more recent material. That’s because the artist is improving on technique or getting used to the format. Anime will go through many artists, and sometimes the quality can go really bad in a couple of episodes. However, you can get some pretty awesome action sequences. But color vs. black and white? That’s your call.

{Rurouni Kenshin}

Story: Anime lags behind the manga and often produces filler. An example would be Naruto. There are 100 episodes of filler before the Shippuden saga. Although it was a decent effort, the stories really sucked balls. An extreme example is Pokémon, which is 99% filler. Manga will always have the most recent story, but it takes a few chapters, about 3, to coincide with an episode of anime. If you like to be ahead, stick with the manga.

Scanlations (Translations)/Subbing (Dubbing): If you’re like me who likes authenticity, then you might as well discard any sort of American translation. They’re “ok,” but sometimes you miss a few culture things. Like in One Piece, the “Okama” way is called “O Come My Way” in USA. I’d really like to see how they come up with the transvesite kingdom translations.

You can usually find good scanlators for the manga. Scanlators are people who erase the actual manga Japanese characters in speech bubbles and translate them for English audiences. Thank heaven for people like these! Depending on the story, you’ll get a fuller dialogue and explanation with the manga since the characters are written. Although you get the occasional speech bubble that’s blank.


{One Piece}

That bothers me. =(

Subbing for the anime is a little inconsistent because of listening issues and using English. In terms of dialogue, they have a time limit of 20 minutes. Much of it (and story) must be sacrificed. However, the voices they pick for characters are usually superb. Japanese voices always sound badass! If you’re watching one with lots of girls, you can bet a lot of them will be high-pitched and whiny. 😉


{Bleach}


{Tenchi Muyo}

Some scanlators and subbers like to use foul language and others are more restrictive. In terms of production, they usually get it within a day or two of Japanese release.

Cost: With the recent pull of onemanga and mangafox, it’s pretty hard to find a consistent place to read manga. You probably have to go to Manga-specific Web sites now. For anime, you’d either torrent it or if you’re lucky you can find a good site that streams. Just look at Watch-[insert anime title here].get. If you want to support the creators, Volumes are about $10 with 8-10 chapters and DVDs are about $20-25 with 4 episodes each. For old anime, they have box sets that could range from $20-50.

Conclusion: It all depends on what you’re willing to put time for. An episode of anime takes 23 minutes, while a chapter of manga is about 15-17 pages, usually 5 minutes each. Anime is easier to get through because it only involves putting eyes to the screen. Twenty minutes per episode is a very good deal, but if the subbers and dubbers aren’t to your liking, then you’ll have to put up with it. But it’s in color! Manga is the way to go if you like reading and don’t mind pictures that are stationary. You probably get more character and story development with the manga. In-between panels and black and white leave more to the imagination!

Me? I don’t mind either way. I for one grew up with anime, but later on I couldn’t handle the fact that some stories are inconsistent and that anime lags behind. So I started reading manga. I think for any sort of romantic / comedy stories the manga can be enough to satisfy with. However, awesome fight scenes deserve to be watched in animation. =)

Which one do you prefer? Agree or disagree about a section? Leave a comment!

Song of the Day: Vuvuzela Symphony

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Music

So back in the World Cup a few months ago, Vuvuzelas made their noisy way into soccer fans’ hearts. Causing quite a stir amongst regular, normal people. I mean, come on! These things are FRAKING ANNOYING! If you don’t know what they are, they’re just stupid horns that have one droning sound. Bzzzzz! I bought one for my brother at Anime Expo out of pure spite. Stupidest mistake ever!

One guy managed to make them enjoyable. Just one. Everyone else who dare attempted has failed…and will fail. =P

Video by: MysteryGuitarMan

I Flashed Pikachu!

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Computers

I decided to be bold this semester, to go outside my normal art boundaries. I can’t draw for crap.  Best thing I created was a little scribble on the left side of my notes while my teacher droned on about differential equations and cyclohexane (Wow, I think all of my college classes meshed together in my head). Hence, I signed up for intro to Flash.

Flash has allowed us to create unique animations like Homestar Runner and Jibjab and many games (which a lot can be found on newgrounds…be warned!). You can even find some on TV, like those E-surance commercials and the cute and lovely Happy Tree Friends. Watch it. I dare you.

Coolest thing about Flash is that it’s a vector-based program meaning no matter how much you zoom in, the quality will never get pixelated. Everything will be smooth. Everyone in my class is taking it for Web or game design. Me? I’m gonna create a lot of stupid stuff and put it on the internet. Mwahaha!

Here’s an awesome video of Dan Edwards’ project The DeKay Tarot, with all the images done in Flash. It’s almost unheard of, but his designs are masterpieces! (Fast forward to the end if you don’t have the patience. Haha)

I just finished the first homework assignment. Take an image, trace it with Flash tools, and use a gradient somewhere. Voila! Look how much smoother Pikachu is. =)

Original:

Flash:

Follow updates on the DeKay Tarot here: http://thedekaytarot.tumblr.com

Disney, You Need to Stop

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Anime, video games

Okay, I forgive you for Kingdom Hearts, and you already took Marvel, so why oh why, do you have your actors in a Pokémon commercial??

Yeah, I know this came out a few weeks ago, but it still bothers me when I see it on television. Zack and Cody robots pronouncing Pokémon like it’s three words. OMG. They didn’t even say a Pokémon name! Total script reading. I swear Pikachu could do a better job, and they just need to show its face for 5 seconds.

Disney, if I see one little Mickey Mouse head appear in the Kanto region of my beloved childhood games, then you shall “engage in heated battle” with me!

*Picture by Matt K. Garner

Song of the Day: A Geeky Love (Original)

Posted: September 12, 2010 in Music

One thing you’ll find out about me is that I love music and singing! This one happens to be an original, but I’ll be posting many, many parodies too. This is probably one of the first songs I’d sing to my significant other. =)

Video by: TheOoldSoul

Lyrics:
Sittin on my couch just you and me
I make the first move to turn on the tv
It’s late at night and your in no danger
Here in my arms as we watch power rangers
I know i’m not clever, I know i’m not smooth
But when it comes to ddr i know how to bust a move
I do this so you smile, I’m not gonna lie
I’ll keep on doing this as long as i’m your geeky guy

You could be my wonder woman I could be your superman
We can fight the crime together even when were hand in hand
I’m not much on saving worlds that don’t mean i’m a zero
Yet when you need me most i could be your guitar hero
Baby I know

I know im not the coolest or “the bomb”
but i can name every pokemon
I’ll be your mario, I’ll be your link
I’ll save your world before you even think girl

I see you giggiling giving me those little looks
im so oblivious with my nose in those comic books
Realize i fell for you long before my nintendo days
I just hope you fall for me and all of my nerdy ways
Our love is risin’, I see you smilin’
Believe me there aint a reason for cryin’
Doing everything to gain a level in your heart
But I can’t make the move until you press start

So am I just so out of date that you just wish to throw away
Am I just a bonus round that takes a part in all your games
Maybe just a pop up that you click delete from your fate
Could I be the one whos all up in your top eight
Girl I can’t wait

I cant explain this feeling you been giving me
Unknown forces makes me want to turn off my 360
Forget my wii I know that we got have this specialty to see
That love and hope will be our rope to hold til we live happily

So just for a moment be that damsel in distress
Where I can carry you within my arms and my chest
When they ask about this song I’ll say I need to show her
Why am I so in love with her even after game over

Yeah, it’s a mouthful. And the pictures don’t make it any more pleasing. Apparently, Pong was not the first game as I originally thought. You probably did too. But did you ever think a game could get any more basic than that?

According to the history on About.com, if you consider a video game to be “any electronic game displayed using a video output device” then this would be considered the first. That’s the reason my post has a “?” It’s based on World War II displays, and players would use knobs to adjust the trajectory of light beams, (the missiles), in an attempt to hit targets printed on clear screen overlays.

Physicists Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann came up with this idea, and by 1947, they submitted a patent for the device, a first for an electronic game. It was never released to the marketplace and no working model exists today. Bummer!

If you are truly into physics, you would know what I mean when I say that you connect a cathode ray tube (creates electronic signal) to an oscilloscope (displays electronic signal via rays of light on a monitor) and use knobs to control the angle of light traces displayed. Apparently, they were able to create a simulation of an explosion on target using a sliding contractor. Since the game doesn’t exist, I can’t show it to you. This might help: Actually, it’s kind of mesmerizing. (O_O)

You can see the patent here: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/2455992.html It has an interesting intro, then it gets deeper and deeper into the physics. Ummm, let’s just take history’s word that it worked back then. =)

And lastly, here’s a video of me playing a user-created game of the same name. NO idea if it actually simulates the game, but it was a quick, fun 30-second shooter:

History article: http://classicgames.about.com/od/classicvideogames101/p/CathodeDevice.htm

Game: http://www.sploder.com/games/members/racinprotozoa/play/cathode-ray-tube-amusement-dev-2/