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wayne_steed There is only one blog that will truly deliver enough awesomeness to save the world. And this isn't it. (But check it out anyway.)

Title: Oh, the Sickening Irony (or, The Funniest Game Trade I've Ever Made)
Posted: July 15, 2007 (11:22 AM)
Today, I shall discuss a recent event that had me ROTFL (for the AIM-impaired, that means "rolling on the floor laughing." I will not mention which games were involved specifically, but let's just say that I really suck at RPGs. I MUCH prefer to play action, fighting, and platforming games, such as some from the Sonic series (nudge nudge).

Well, a few months ago, a buddy and I met at a GameStop. After chatting a while, I casually mentioned the two games I was considering buying for the GameCube. They were both $20, and both well-praised games around the game-reviews circuit. One was an RPG; the other was a Sonic title. My friend urged me to get the RPG. After all, I already had a Sonic game or two. Why get another one? I obliged, and bought the RPG.

Fast-forward to about two weeks ago, now. I took a copy of a really fun game to this same friend's house, and we proceeded to game the afternoon away. When I was about to leave, he asked me to borrow this game, adding that I could help myself and borrow one of his games, too. I looked over his selection, and picked out the same Sonic title that he had advised me not to get. He'd picked it up, he explained, because he wanted to see how Sonic games played. While he liked it a little, his overall opinion was that it was an average game.

Well, just yesterday, my almost-omnipresent pal showed up to game some more. We had a lot of fun blowing each other up with rocket launchers, as we often do. I remarked that I had a lot of games that I didn't really play, and provided the example of the aforementioned RPG. He asked if he could borrow it. I said, "Of course! Take it; I don't need it." He then offered me a deal: if he liked this RPG that I didn't play, then I could trade it to him for the same Sonic game that he said I shouldn't buy, 'cuz I already had a few.

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

But that's not all the irony, folks! This last Sonic game was the only Sonic game that I didn't own yet. I had bought all the other titles, except for this one. With this possible trade, this game will complete my showcase of all the Sonic games for GameCube.

Well, you may not fall out of your chair laughing, but I hope you enjoy this story. Bye!
[reply][view replies (9)]

Title: Music Time
Posted: July 14, 2007 (09:06 AM)
Geez Laweez! It's been, like, 4 days since my last entry. Mea culpa. Sorry.

Today, I'll discuss various bands that I'm into, as well as their great songs. Please don't flame me for my opinions; I just like them, and you don't have to if you don't want to.

The Beatles:
Sometimes, old school is the best. The Beatles have tons of great songs to their credit, such as "Love Me Do," "Drive My Car," and the absolute classic "Yesterday." Some say that The Beatles are the best rock band of all time. Me, I say that there's rock... and then there's The Beatles. These guys are their own genre. Some of my fave Beatles songs are the ones mentioned above, as well as "I Am the Walrus," "Blackbird," "Good Day Sunshine"... there are tons!

The Police:
Another one of my classic favorites, the Police are also excellent. They recently went back on tour, which makes me a very happy man. Great songs of theirs include "Roxanne," "Message in a Bottle," "Synchronicity," and "Can't Stand Losing You," though there are many others. One thing I recently learned is that Sting, the band's lead vocalist, harmonizes with himself. Wow!

DragonForce:
These guys, who I discovered recently, are amazing. Their music has two striking characteristics:

1.) Their songs are, on average, seven minutes long. Each.
2.) The songs are played at an average tempo of two hundred beats per minute.

As you can imagine, DDR/Guitar Hero gods try to take them on quite a lot. My fave songs of theirs are "Fury of the Storm," "Through the Fire and Flames," and "Cry for Eternity."

Family Force 5:
Family Force 5 is a band made up of a few country boys from Marietta, Georgia. They are a Christian rock group, whose songs are about living in the country and wild dancing. Shammalammadingdong, y'all! My faves from them are "Love Addict," "Replace Me," "Earthquake," "I Love You to Death," and "Kountry Gentlemen."

Linkin Park:
A lot of my friends think that Linkin Park sucks. In fact, one of my buddies asks me to say "Linkin Park." When I oblige, he says "Sucks!" and giggles maddeningly. But hey, I love these guys! They've really aged well, going from dark, metallic anthems to somber tunes. They're a little bit of rap, punk, metal, rock, and alternative. My faves for Linkin Park are "Numb," "One Step Closer," "Don't Stay," "What I've Done," and "In the End."

Magna-Fi:
This band's main claim to fame was the appearance of their heroic anthem "All Hail Shadow" in Shadow the Hedgehog. They still have great songs outside videogaming, though, which include "Where Did We Go Wrong," "TV Killed Me,"
"Beautiful," and "When I Leave You."

I also enjoy John William's work, used in movies such as the Star Wars series and Jurassic Park. That man can compose!

Well, bye, all!
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Title: New Guide, Again
Posted: July 10, 2007 (12:48 PM)
Hello, all! I'd like to tell you that my fourth guide is now up. Yay! It's a Vs. Mode Guide for Star Fox Assault. Here it is:

http://www.honestgamers.com/systems/guide.php?guide_id=4850&game_id=5799

Enjoy and use it, please! It's wierd, 'cuz when I wrote my last entry, I had no idea that it would just take, like, a few more hours to finish this, as opposed to the two months I suggested. Well, it's better for you AND me.

Buh-bye!
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Title: What's Up With My Guides
Posted: July 08, 2007 (05:09 PM)
I'd like to let all those who read my guides know how my progress on them is. I want you to be in the know, so you can expect when a new sweet guide o' mine is going to be showing up. So, heeeeeereeeeeee's my list!

Star Fox Assault Vs. Mode Guide:
Right now, this is the guide that I mainly work on. It's fun to write it, because I get to play with my buddies for hours just so I can get the maps all figured out. I'm covering all the individual maps, and I'd say I'm about 65% done with it, meaning that, if I work on it often, maybe it'll be up sometime in the next two months (this is a rather big maybe, but I'll try).

Shadow the Hedgehog Game Script:
This is another fave file of mine. I only recently started it, so it's about 20% done. I'm almost done with the Pure Dark storyline scripting, and, uh, that's pretty much it.

Sonic Heroes FAQ/Walkthrough:
I'm canceling it. I'm sorry, but if I want more room to work on stuff, I'm gonna have to kill some projects to make room. I might do something related to it, though, such as a guide for a specific team, or something along those lines.

Super Mario 64 FAQ/Walkthrough:
I haven't worked on it in a while, and it's about 5% done, so I should probably consider starting up on it again.

Yoshi's Story FAQ/Walkthrough:
Before you ask me why any stupid fool would need a guide for Yoshi's Story, I will answer: That didn't stop anyone else from writing one, did it? Other than that, see the above for details on how it's actually going.

Super Smash Bros. 1P Mode Guide:
Not very done, either. I want to write it, but the Vs. Mode guide's what's happening with me right now, unless I should happen to write a guide for another game that I enjoy as an unscheduled project.

Does anyone have any ideas for a game that I could write a guide for? I own an N64 and GC, so take that into account. I prefer Nintendo and Sega games, as well. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions.

Steed... out!
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Title: Tennis Stats
Posted: July 07, 2007 (03:56 PM)
*NOTE: Prior to when I posted this entry, Roger Federer had not won Wimbledon yet, so just know that.*

Since I don't have anything very interesting to talk about on videogames today, I thought that I'd post a personal opinion of mine on the currently undergoing Wimbeldon tennis matches. I am not a huge fan of the sport, but I think that all of us have watched the big W at one time or another.

As all you Wimbledon viewers know, just a few hours ago Venus Williams was crowned the women's champ for the fourth time. Good job, her! I saw the last two thirds of the match, and I have to say that, while she played better than I can and ever will, the other player, Marion Bartoli, was very skilled competition for Venus. It was a hard-fought battle, but eventually Venus won out.

In men's tennis, Roger Federer-- THE Roger Federer-- will be facing Rafael Nadal for the finals tomorrow. While I did not see Federer's semifinal match vs. Richard Gasquet, I saw Nadal play Novak Djokovic (well, a little of the beginning). It surprised me to learn that Nadal had won, 'cuz when I was watching, Djokovic was winning by a lot. However, he retired due to an injury. This last match is gonna be Sonic and Mario; the big one.

To all my readers expecting me to say something witty and charming about videogames, I'm so sorry. I just don't really have anything to talk about. I'll find something, I promise.

See ya!
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Title: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, We Hardly New You... 'Cuz We Didn't Buy You
Posted: July 05, 2007 (12:27 PM)
Today's topic is on a game that seemed like an awesome concept but didn't do well sales-wise: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.

Seriously, why did nobody buy this game? When this game was featured as a demo at my local EB Games, I tried it out. I was a little skeptical at first, but I ended up loving it. I never did buy it, though.

Well, I went back to that same EB Games yesterday, and I found the entire set of stuff there. See, DKJB comes in two different packages: the normal game, all by itself, or the one with the DK Bongos, the controller in this game, packed in. I found the latter at this EBG, and do you know how much they were selling it for? Bear in mind that, when you read the sales figure, this was a completely new package, unused and unbought.

$9.99.

I immediately bought the package and left the store, amazed at my unbelieveable luck.

I remember, when the game originally came out, that the reviewers of Nintendo Power magazine absolutely had a blast while playing the game. They adored the creative DK Bongos' usage, the game's pick-up-and-play style, and the combo opportunities scattered throughout the levels. I don't remember the review scores, but they were great, I know that.

Sadly, though, the only reason that I didn't have to pay more for this creative game was because very few people bought it at all. I mean, if you choose to dive in, there's a whole lot that you'll find under the surface! It's a shame that most people just didn't want to. But hey, maybe DKJB will get more popularity. Nintendo is supporting the originality-is-good business through the Wii (which, apparently, got the recognition that Jungle Beat didn't), so maybe the house that Mario built will make a sequel. It's doubtful, though, because sales figures ultimately determine the demand for new games, and the ones for this game were heartbreakingly low.

So, I think that all you out there who have Gamecubes should buy Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and try it out. I think that you'll be glad you did!

Do you know of any other games that were absolute gems but didn't really get into the limelight? Reply to this post and tell me all about it.

Good-bye!
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Title: Scam Emails (Darn It, Stop, Burkina Faso!)
Posted: July 04, 2007 (09:29 AM)
Happy Fourth of July, all you Americans out there! I can tell this is gonna be a great one, with fireworks, BBQs, and love of country. Best of all, al-Qaeda's probably TO'd that America's so awesome. Take that, terrorists!

Today, I'm going to discuss one of the most annoying things that a guidesmith such as myself experiences: scam mail. When a guide is written, the author almost always puts his/her email adress on it, so people can email said author with compliments, constructive criticism, tips, corrections, etc.

However, this person comes across as a great target for scammers. I have recieved a whopping two emails concerning my FIRST guide (for Star Fox 64), meaning that a good deal of the email I get nowadays is scam. The scammers writing these messages are either:

a.) falsely representing the Bank of Africa in Burkina Faso, asking me to be a claimant for a foreigner who died in an accident, along with his entire family, who happened to have a lot of money, or

b.) telling me about their pharmacy website, where I can get drugs and medicine cheap-o.

To provide a visual aid, I have included an example scam email from a "Mr. Ben Simon:"
==========
FROM THE DESK OF MR.BEN SIMON,
BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER
BANK OF AFRICA.(B.O.A)
OUAGADOUGOU,BURKINA FASO
PRIVATE TEL :00226 78 81 75 32

GREETING'S TO YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY.

DEAR FRIEND,
I MAKE THIS APPEAL WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT ANY FACTS OR OPINION
EXPRESSED BY ME ARE GIVING IN CONFIDENCE AND SOLELY FOR YOUR
PERSONALIN FORMATION AND USE.

I AM MR.BEN SIMON,THE HEAD OF FILE DEPARTMENT OF BANK OF AFRICA
(B.O.A)
HERE IN OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO.
IN MY DEPARTMENT WE DISCOVER AN ABANDONED SUM OF (FIFTEEN MILLION U.S.A
DOLLARS,$15.000 000 000 )) IN AN ACCOUNT THAT BELONGE TO ONE OF OUR
FOREIGN
CUSTOMER WHO DIED ALONG WITH HIS FAMILY IN JULY 2003 PLANE CRASH.

SINCE WE GOT THIS INFORMATION ABOUT HIS DEATH, WE HAVE BEEN EXPECTING
HIS NEXT OF KIN TO COME OVER AND CLAIM HIS MONEY BECAUSE WE CANNOT
RELEASE IT UNLESS SOMEBODY APPLIES FOR IT AS NEXT OF KIN OR RELATION TO
THE
DECEASED AS INDICATED IN OUR BANKING GUIDLINGS AND LAWS BUT UNFORTUNATE
WE
LEART THAT ALL HIS SUPPOSED NEXT OF KIN OR RELATION DIED ALONGSIDE WITH
HIM
AT THE PLAN CRASEH LEAVING NOBODY BEHIND FOR THE CLAIM.

IT IS THEREFORE UPON THIS DISCOVERY THAT I NOW DECIDED TO MAKE THIS
BUSINESS
PROPOSAL TO YOU AND RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN OR
RELATION
TO THE DECEASED FOR THE SAFETY AND SUBSEQUENT DIS BURSEMENT SINCE
NOBODY IS
COMING FOR IT AND WE DONT' WANT THIS MONEY TO GO INTO THE BANK TREASURY
AS
UNCLAIMED BILL.
THE BANKIN LAW AND GUIDLINE HERE STIPULATE THAT IF SUCH MONEY REMAINED
UNCLAIMED AFTER FOUR YEARS,THEMONEY WILL BE TRANSFER INTO THE BANK
TREASURY
AS UNCLAIMED FUND.

THE REQUEST OF FOREIGNER AS NEXT OF KIN IN THIS BUSINESS IS OCCASSIONED
BY
THE FACT THAT THE COSTUMER WAS A FOREIGNER AND BURKINABLE CANNOT STAND
AS
NEXT OF KIN TO A FOREIGNER.
I AGREE THAT 30% OF THIS MONEY WILL BE FOR YOU AS A RESPECT TO THE
PROVISION
OF A FORIEGN ACCOUNT,10% WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR EXPENESES INCURRED
DURING THE
BUSINESS AND 60% WOULD BE FOR ME.
THEREAFTER, I WILL VISIT YOUR COUNTRY FOR THE DISBURSEMENT ACCORDING TO
THE
PERCENTAGE INDICATED THEREFORE, TO ENABLE THE IMMEDIATE TRANSFER OF
THIS
FUND TO YOU AS ARRANGED, YOU MUST APPLY FRIST TO THE BANK AS RELATION
OR
NEXT OF KIN OF THE DECEASED WITH A TEXT OF APPLICATION FORM THAT I WILL
SEND
TO YOU WHEN I HEAR FROM
YOU,SO I WILL LIKE YOU TO SEND TO ME YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBER AND
YOUR
FAX NUMBER FOR EASY AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND LOCATION WHERE IN
THE
MONEY WILL BE REMITTED.

UPON RECEPIT OF YOUR REPLY, I WILL SEND YOU THE TEXT OF APPLICATION BY
EMAIL
TO FILL IN YOUR BANKING INFORMATION AND APPLIED TO THE BANK AS THE NEXT
OF
KIN.I WILL NOT FAIL TO TELL YOU THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS HITCH- FREE
THAT
YOU SHOULD NOT ENTERTAIN ANY ATOM OF FEAR AS ALL REQUIRED ARRANGEMENT
HAVE
BEEN MADE FOR THE TRANSFER.YOU SHOULD CONTACT ME
IMMEDIATELY AS YOU RECEIVE THIS LETTER.

YOUR FAITHFULLY,
Mr BEN SIMON.
==========

Yes, that is the actual, unedited copy of the email. Cute how they think I'd believe it.

Got any scam mail plaguing your Inbox? Reply to this entry and tell me about it. We will all go together when we go! (That's also the title of a song by Tom Lehrer, by the by.) Besides, I'm sure my readers and I will appreciate a few laughs.

Also, I'd like to leave a message for all scammers who send me this stuff: I HAVE YOUR EMAIL, TOO!!!

Hehehe. Bye, all!
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Title: Guide Now Up
Posted: July 02, 2007 (03:02 PM)
As you can tell, my guide for Sonic DX (Tails) is now up! Yay! I might do one for Sonic's part, but I don't know.

Sorry I must keep this one a shorty (again), but I've struck a gold mine with the Star Fox site that's archived (check my fave sites list to find it), and I want to add some hyper-geeky stuff to my guide. Bye!
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Title: Live Free or Die Hard: AWESOME!!!
Posted: June 30, 2007 (07:16 PM)
Just today, I went to see Live Free or Die Hard, the third enstallment in the Die Hard series, starring Bruce Willis as cop John McClane.

It. Was. Awesome.

The story revolved around a guy using a team to cyber-destroy America and mess it all up. And McClane had to stop them. It's a lot more complicated than that, but you get my drift.

What really made me shiver with too much awesome-intake was the stunt work in this movie. Let me tell you, the Die Hard series has come a long way from stunts like using a firehose as a bungee cord. In this flick, McClane sent cars flying at enemy choppers to down them. In a semi-truck, he played chicken with a plane trying to bomb/shoot him into oblivion. He even had a Mexican standoff (when you and your opponent stand inches away from each other with your guns aimed, then you fire) with a terrorist guy. The stunts were killer!!!

And, of course, McClane cursed like a one-eyed carpenter. I'm not saying this is a good thing, but the Die Hard movies have a tendency to be R-rated (unlike this PG-13 one) for that reason, excepting the violence, of course. His use of language was not as coarse as in Die Hard and Die Hard With a Vengeance. He still had his catchphrase, but the final two syllables of his popular pickup line "Yippie-kay-ay, mother[trucker]!!!" were cut off by a loud gunshot.

This movie was not without its faults, though. The violence, while staggeringly awesome, seemed a little over-the-top and overblown at times. Also, I didn't like the way Thomas Gabriel, the main villain, talked. His voice just seemed sort of annoying to me.

But hey, if you can handle violence, rather coarse language, and Bruce Willis' baldness, you'll be all over this movie. It's got a good plot, killer (literally) action scenes, and lots of cocky humor peppered in. I loved it, and I hope the action-movie-lover in you will love it too.
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Title: Guide Almost Up
Posted: June 29, 2007 (04:20 PM)
Hi all! Sorry that I must keep this one a shorty (I forgot yesterday's, but well...), but I have to finish up my walkthrough for Tails' part of Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut! Yay!

I got a chassis (pronounced "CHASS-y") from a Best Buy the other day, and, thus, was able to recover all the files on my old C-drive that I was unable to use when my old computer broke down. It's awesome! I immediately took the opportunity to get brushed up on my old guides, and this one, being 75% done before I recovered it, was the first I worked on.

I still have some touch-ups to make, but without any outside interruptions, it should be up in a few hours.

Have to work on it now. Buh-bye!
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Title: The (Imaginary) Heavyweight Champion of Boxing Games
Posted: June 27, 2007 (01:54 PM)
Hello, all! Sorry about my shortened entry the other day; I was quite busy with my daily business, and had to make it quick. I will go into more depth this time, and talk about more important matters: boxing games, and what we can do to improve them in terms of realism.

In boxing, as all you prizefighters out there reading this know, the pain of having to endure hit after hit is very hard to endure and live out with little injury, be it short-or-long term. Many of the great boxers-such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Lewis, Jerry Quarry, Sugar Ray Robinson- have died, due to the excruciating pain they garnered during their decorated fighting careers.

Well, with all the boxing games that aren't that realistic these days, those powerful boys who got practically beaten to death are probably rolling in their punch-drunk graves. Seriously, boxing games are very realistic in terms of graphics--perhaps a little too realistic (you know, ads everywhere, even plastered on the fighters themselves). Yet they still don't maintain the level of realism that is needed to feel like you are actually boxing.

You should barely register the roar of the crowd in your ears as you dive and dodge to the left of your opponent's swinging fist. Every time you are hit, you feel as though your opponent's glove is covered with thorns. Your eyes grow faint and foggy as you are hit in the face again and again.

This can be reproduced by beautiful 3D imagery and surround sound, but it is never like the real thing. Then again, some games, such as Wii Sports' Wii Boxing game, don't try to be all too realistic (where's the blood? And where are the Miis' arms, for that matter?).

I propose an as-yet-unmade boxing game be made. It should have all the elements of boxing considered and included (titles, climbing up the ranks, sparring and strength training minigames), but leave out the ones that are cheesy (Don King's freaky hair, Don King himself, anyone real, ads everywhere). It should be first-person, so you can experience what it
really feels like to be a boxer (they'd have some prizefighters come in and describe what the imagery should look like). All gory details should be included, to make it realistic and display it for what it is. Each boxer should have his own style of fighting.

Now, here's the part I'm rather proud I thought up: button-mashing would be nonexistent. So would health meters, or anything of the kind, like how much blood on your face registers damage. I call it "Endurance Control," which is sort of like Sega's infamous "Blast Processing," but it means something, much like Nintendo's "Mode 7" graphics (Google them to figure out what the terms mean if you don't know).

With Endurance Control, if you get hit a little too much, your attacks should be slower and less crisp with each push of a button. That quickly
wipes out two problems: the issue of damage (the slower you go, the weaker you are), and the button-mashing (don't try it; you'll be slown down no matter what). This would be severely awesome-licious (and realistic!)

Please, people. Make the boxing greats rest easy in their graves with boxing games that are genuine! They're more faithful to the sport, and you can still make them have pretty graphics!

Got to run now. Good-bye!
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Title: Multiplayer Modes: When Did They Start?
Posted: June 26, 2007 (12:20 PM)
I have a question that's been burning at me for a while. I want to know when splitscreen multiplayer first began, and on which game! Please!

All I know about it is that in the age of 8-bit and 16-bit, SM was very rare. I remember this dungeon game (possibly a Dragon Quest?!) where the players were controlled on seperate screens. It was first-person, I know that.

Please, if anyone knows this, post a reply and let me know! I'll add another blog entry and state the answer once somebody tells me.

Sorry this one's so short, but I'm very rushed right now. I must go now! Bye!
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Title: Knox! Knox! Go Watch Knox!
Posted: June 25, 2007 (03:59 PM)
--WARNING: This blog entry features SPOILERS! This is a SPOILER ALERT! You've been warned!--

Have you ever heard of Knox? You know, the guy who makes stop-motion animated movies with his signature blue "klaymen?" THAT Knox? If you haven't, I have provided some links to some of his funniest movies. If you have, well, you can visit the links and still have a good laugh anyway. Yay! I will also provide a brief plot summary of each, for your sweet enjoyment.

The first is entitled "Sniper Time." This was my inaugural Knox movie, and I loved it. I just love how Knox can do all the voices in his movies. Basically, this guy with a sniper rifle shoots klaymen to his heart's content. His first targets are two unsuspecting klaymen discussing salad... Please note that this contains mild blood and gore, so use your discretion.

http://www.ugoplayer.com/animation/snipertime.html

Next up is "Glass of Water." When a klayman accidentally knocks over a glass of water, he unwittingly causes several crazed and hilarious drowning episodes.

http://www.ugoplayer.com/animation/glassofwater.html

In "Next Victim!," a crazed klayman tries to pick a fight with someone twice as big as he. As you can imagine, chaos ensues. This has action violence in it.

http://www.ugoplayer.com/animation/nextvictim.html

"Mines" features two klaymen who, in their attempt to cross the table that is Klay World, are deterred by land mines that resemble pancakes. Hmm... that'd make good bait for hungry people... Blood and gore; use your discretion.

http://www.ugoplayer.com/animation/mines.html

Now, we have "Trapper." A klayman who has no life goes around setting traps with his friend. But when the friend gets bored and demands that they do something else, he incurs the wrath of the Trapper... A little violent, with mild blood.

http://www.ugoplayer.com/animation/trapper.html

"Sneaky Sneaky" concerns two random klaymen who are assaulted by a very, very sneaky man. Mild blood and gore

http://www.ugoplayer.com/animation/sneakysneaky.html

These are but a few of Knox's movies. Besides doing Klay World movies, there was a period where he did movie dubs. He would take footage and record his voice over it. He also writes funny songs, and has a frequent podcast entitled "Knox Kast Radio." He has also created several DVDs and feature-length films, such as his famed "Klay World: Off the Table" and the "Klay World Series" film, a compilation of several of his movies.

All this and more can be found at his website:

http://www.knoxskorner.com

I quite enjoy his films, and I hope you do, too!
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Title: Manhunt 2 on the Wii: Huh?
Posted: June 24, 2007 (08:07 AM)
Have you ever heard of the violent horror splatterfest game Manhunt? If you are a seasoned gamer, a politician, or Jack Thompson, then you probably have. It's so ridiculously violent and bloody that it got banned in Ireland and Great Britain. Sheesh! The rating for the sequel, creatively titled Manhunt 2, is preliminary, but ESRB seems to be leaning towards Adults Only.

And, as if THAT weren't enough, they are planning to release it on the (gasp) Wii! Since the game console with the improbably...er, unfortunate name... is using nongamers and children for its target market, Manhunt 2 seems like the perfect way to frighten little kids and people who've never played games before away. It could hurt the sales of the Wii badly. It could also cut the game's sales, too. A lot of stores ban AO-games like the infamous Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and the games with that rating get a lot of bad press.

Besides, the Wii is designed not to be a killing simulator, but an immersive gaming experience. If you are immersed in the killing, it may become second nature. And kids have already gotten good at snagging M-games. AO-games will, without doubt, be their next target. Oh, and remember all the incidents with the flying Wii-motes and the broken TVs? That was with games like Wii Sports and Twilight Princess. Think of the disastrous accidents that Manhunt 2 would cause!

It's not all bad, though. Nintendo has told Rockstar something to the effect of "If you guys don't shape up and get the content toned down to below an AO rating, we'll kick your game off our system!" But, knowing how the first one came out, an M-rated Manhunt 2 could still pose a serious threat to our children and nongamers, as well as both the game's and the system's sales. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out.
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Title: Side-Scrolling Games: Why They're Dying, Why They Needn't Die, and What We Can Do to Keep Them Alive
Posted: June 23, 2007 (11:27 AM)
I have sighted a disturbing trend of late: there are little-to-no side-scrolling games. A side-scroller for a modern console is, sadly, a rare event, and it seems that the Nintendo DS is the only thing keeping the side-scrolling games alive. Soon enough, side-scrollers will vanish completely.

Yes, it's true! When gaming first truly debuted with the release of Pong, was made better with Donkey Kong, and almost perfected with Super Mario Bros., side-scrolling videogames were a dime a dozen. And even when 16-bit hit, game developers still clung to side-scrollers. They were thought to be the only type of true computer graphic possible.

Then, in 1993, a little game called Star Fox debuted on the Super Nintendo. This game, besides being the debut of the Star Fox series as a whole (as well as paving the road for Star Fox 64, my fave game of all time), included the Super FX Chip, a teensy device that... shudder... allowed the SNES to pull off 3D polygons, as opposed to the more common 2D pixels.

Rapidly, game developers caught on to the idea of 64-bit polygons, which allowed them to manipulate 3D in the most exciting way ever (at least, for the time being). As 3D graphics became vastly better and more detailed and smooth, side-scrollers became almost completely absent.

That is, in my opinion, a real shame. Side-scrolling games are the foundation on which games were built. And even as the house that Mario built starts to abandon 2D for shiny 3D, they shouldn't forget that the only things that are holding that house up are the two-dimensional question blocks that debuted in Super Mario Bros.

In addition, side-scrollers also eliminate some of the problems that 3D can offer. For instance, you don't have any camera problems like you do in 3D games, such as Sonic anything (that camera is like the moon; it keeps moving, even when you're not). In 2D games, the camera just moves to the right (or left, if you're walking backwards), so all those problems are eliminated.

And in 2D, you can truly capture a sense of speed (which is the reason why Sonic Rush, the latest side-scrolling Sonic offering from Sega, feels faster to play then the other, more recent Sonic disaster for the PS3 and Xbox 360).

Side-scrollers haven't died out yet, though. The DS Castlevanias (Dawn of Sorrow, etc.) are prime examples of the spectacular poise and exactness of side-scrolling. And the cult classic Alien Hominid (hard as blazes, but very, very fun) is just what one would expect from a side-scroller. New Super Mario Bros., too, is a brilliant 2D masterpiece with 3D graphics.

And that, I think, is exactly what we need to do! We need to make more 2D side-scrollers, but with 3D graphics! That allows developers to satisfy their make-a-game-that-looks-beautiful cravings, allows 3D-loving gamers to satisfy their play-a-game-that-looks-beautiful cravings (while insuring that gamers who don't give a Skittle about graphics, such as myself, have a good time, as well), and keep the side-scrolling genre alive and thriving in the limelight. It's as simple as that!

That is all I will say on this subject. I will leave you now (either to the right or to the left, but NOT in 3D). Bye!

Corrections:

I originally said that Star Fox was made in 1991. Luckily, pickhut corrected me. I am error. Thanks!

I also said that Pong, Donkey Kong, and Super Mario Bros. were side-scrollers, but actually, only SMB side-scrolled. Thank you, jiggs! You saved me. My bad.
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