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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Game to Buy: Beats (PSP)

This music game is as unique as you are. Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's London Studio, this rhythm-based music game actually uses songs you have saved on your memory card, along with a couple built into the game itself. There's honestly not much to this game: you pick a song, the game scans it, and creates the beats you need to follow using the 4 face buttons and the D-Pad.
For $5, this is quite the decent game. I just wish the scanning process was more accurate, though. I often see off-tempo beats on slower songs, or songs that aren't techno. It's not as difficult as DJ Max Portable, which is basically DDR for the PSP (difficulty and all), and there's no way to actually "fail" a song. Your high scores are saved, based on the number of notes you hit throughout the entire song and your combos you score as you hit notes without missing one. Great and all, but I haven't found a way to share those scores online in any way, which I feel was a missed opportunity, but I can understand due to the infinite songs and file names that can be played as well as the randomly generated song stages that are made by the game.
Despite the flaws, the game is definetly worth the price point. If you've beaten DJ Max and you're looking for some originality, give the game a shot. What's $5 to a guy, anyway?

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Otaku's Interests: Penguin Girl



This is one of those extremely random, makes-fun-of-itself-and-others anime that I am, for some reason, attracted to. This anime, based on a just-as-crazy manga, is almost ecchi, but in a very comedic way. Just bare with me for a minute, this won't hurt a bit.

The main character, nicknamed "Penguin" for several reasons, is insanily rich, ditzy, and a huge otaku. Her best friends are a teenage priest and, even more crazily, a karate tomboy who was literally raised as a boy until she got boobs. The episodes are short, and there isn't a long-running plot. It's often maybe a couple of episodes before cutting to a new storyline, and that was before the initial couple of episodes. The series literally started with a "work-in-progress" intro; the intro you see in the latest episodes first showed up during the first "chapter," a couple of episodes after the show had aired initially.



The animation style is pretty dynamic, but definetly not realistic. There's also plenty of gravity-defying feats and stuff that just plain can't happen in real life, but that's half the fun of the show.



It takes a certain kind of preference for this show, but the episodes are about 15 minutes each, so I'd say watch a couple before you say yae or nay on this one.

Friday, December 26, 2008

What I See: Post-Christmas Sale on Steam

Spotted at Kotaku.

I hope all PC gamers see this. If you've ever purchased a game from Steam, there's a huge sale going on throughout the entire site. Just about everything is discounted; I just bought 6-7 games for less than $30. For those who haven't yet, Steam is a PC game sale & Distribution site; it's been around for quite a while. Used to be just for Valve games like Half-Life, Counter-Strike, and the like, but they expanded to pretty much be a PC game store. I'm loving it right now, catch this sale before it ends on January 2nd.

New Tech: Digitally Assisted Billards

Spotted at Engadget.

My dad's a bit of a pool shark, so when I spotted this, I gave him a little nudge. Justin Needham and Matthew Straub of Georgia Tech some seemingly common computer accessories and a mirror, and created an expected trajectory of possible shots based on where the balls' locations on the pool table. Kind of like what you would see in a video game, all honestly. Hey, maybe if I can use this thing to practice, I can actually beat him in a match for once. Here's a video demoing the project at work.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Daily Scribbles: Merry Christmas~

Let's celebrate by starting a new tag, why don't we? I can finally post stuff not relatively newsworthy without major guilt.

So, the honest question: What'd you get?
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition (PC)
  • The World Ends With You (DS)
  • Mario Kart DS (DS, duh)
  • Call of Duty 4 GOTY Edition (PS3)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics - The War of the Lions (PSP)
  • New PSP-3000 system
  • Fallout 3 (360)
Now, that last one is a bit of a problem. No 360. Gonna exchange it tomorrow for the PS3 version, so it should be updated soon. I've never had so many RPGs at one time in my life, I swear. Beyond the next semester of school, I will have no life whatsoever. Oblivion in its install mode is taking forever right now. I never expected the new PSP, though. Good, because as I've been complaining to my friends, the nub, the D-Pad, and the R-Trigger are practically dead at this point, and I've never seen so much dust inside the screen of anything before in my life. It had a good run, I bought it upon its release, and decked it out in homebrew about 3 months afterwards. Considering that the PSP-3000 hasn't been cracked just yet, I'm stuck with official, but I'm ok with it.

Our house also just got an HDTV. Yosh! I can't wait to set that baby up on 1080p with COD4 going on it. It's going to be beautiful. Now, I'll get back to work oun actually posting some items. Promise.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Forgive The Delay...

Sorry, people. I know I haven't posted in a while besides my Video of the Week, and it's way beyond Thanksgiving Break. It's called Finals, and I'm sure my college viewers are going through the same thing. My last final is on Wednesday, however, So expect a post once I'm done that...If I don't collapse on my bed by then.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Video of the Week: The 4-Player Podcast

I recently came across a live podcast, known as "The 4-Player Podcast" on Justin.tv. These guys are a trip, I swear. They say the most random things while they're playing any video game, and while it's often just one person you see playing a game on-screen, they have a couple of events that feature all of them. I think it's best if I just give you some examples of the craziness.

The Prime Example:





Sunday, November 23, 2008

Video of the Week: WTF? Edition

Let's get stupid in here for a bit.



"EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE ME, PRINCESS."


Actual Technology: Cat on a Rooba.


Consider this my vacation post. I'm on break for Thanksgiving Week, which should give me a good buffer for posting. Happy Turkey Day, enjoy yourselves. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What I See: "LBP Levels Gettind 'Moderated' Out of Existence" - Part 3

Spotted on Kotaku.

PROGRESS! Looks like there is an un-due button for level deletion after all. Azure Palace, the level I wrote about being taken down a couple of days ago, has been put back up, although there is no stated reason yet. Still no notice of changed guidelines or moderation, but this is a step in the right direction.

Hopefully I'll only have to post one last time about this subject. For now, moving on...

Monday, November 17, 2008

What I See: SNOW!

Not much of a post, but we just saw the first snowfall of the year here at Virginia Tech. It's not sticking, but it looks beautiful when you see it with the street lighting at dusk. I want to grab a picture of it the next time it snows, I'll be sure to show it off to everyone.

It does bring this to mind, though...What kind of game would people play the most during a snowfall? I think I'd imagine a good Wii game in my hands, maybe Animal Crossing...OK, considering I only have a PS3, LittleBigPlanet. Although with the fiasco still going unchecked, I'm not so sure...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What I See: "LBP Levels Getting 'Moderated' Out of Existence" - Part 2

Spotted on Kotaku.

I am furious at MediaMolecule for their actions in LittleBigPlanet right now. Personally, I enjoy the game, but as of today, I am seriously regretting the purchase and am considering returning the game for a refund. Once again, another level has been removed from the game, moderated and deleted out of existance for both the LBP community and its creator.

Do not take this as precedent, that Kotaku is going to get involved in every level taken down on LittleBigPlanet. But the demise of Azure Palace seems newsworthy for a few reasons — one, it's well made (a little too fly-and-grab for me, but still a good level); two, there seems to be no apparent reason for it; and three, it's the big stink in any forum now discussing Media Molecule's heavy-handed moderation.




I've played this level several times. I hearted (favorited) the level, rated it, and even commented on the end when I couldn't finish the level the proper way (really just a slight glitch easily fixable), though I could still definitely finish the level. If a level such as this is being deleted so easily and without any reason, what's to say a level that I create won't fall under the same fate? Here's my statement on the issue to MediaMolecule:

This level was great and original. I've yet to make a level in LBP, and at this rate, I don't think I will. However moderations are being taken care of, it needs to change immediately. Another mention of a moderated level for no given reason, especially one of this caliber and originality, and you will have lost a present and potentially future consumer. There is no way I'm going to keep a game where creation is half of the product and said portion is threatened to be null and voided on a whim. I do expect notification of if and when this change will take place as well.


If there isn't a response soon, I'm going to return the game if I can.

New Tech: Oblong's g-speak

Spotted on Engadget.

WOW. I'm kinda speechless right now. The interface recognizes hand-gestures with the user wearing specialized gloves. You really just need to watch the evidence below, it really speaks for itself here.

It's like the Wii, but less waggle. *ba dum tish*


g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Video of the Week: "Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin: Left 4 Dead"

Spotted on Destructoid.

If you're a member of the Destructoid community, you may know about this series. Every episode is based on a game, and are hilarious if you get the reference...Hell, even if you don't get the reference, it's still funny.

This episode's based on Vault's zombie-killing-CoOp, Left 4 Dead. I also think it's the best episode so far. Check it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What I See: Wow, My First Contest Win

Looks like I just won Neverland Card Battles for the PSP from Destructoid. Honestly, I've never won a contest before, not counting my elementary school giveaway (I got a drawing set). I'll give it a full, honest review when I get it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Tech: SMule - Ocarina for iPhone

Spotted at Kotaku.


HOLY HELL. Haven't talked about the iPhone yet, but I want an iPhone now, just so I can do this. Sure, I'd like a new phone period, but that's second-fiddle right now (no pun intended).

The Ocarina synthesizes sound in real-time, just like a regular instrument, based on actual gestures including wind input, tilt, and finger placement over the four holes overlaid on the multi-touch pad. Unlike other iPhone audio apps, the sound is not pre-compiled but is generated by the notes, gestures and nuance of the individual performer. As a result, it allows an iPhone user to explore and master the musical sounds of an entirely iPhone-native version of an ancient flute-like instrument.




I wonder if the company will create other wind-instrument apps for the iPhone? Imagine a mini-orchestra of iPhones randomly walking by you on the street.

Brings to mind the question...Could the DS pull this off? I mean, there's Wii Music coming out, and the DS microphone can detect when air is being blown into it. Now that I think about it, is the DS touchscreen multi-touch?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What I See: "LBP Levels Getting 'Moderated' Out of Existence"

Spotted at Kotaku.

Oh boy...This is not good at all.

There's a growing clamor on the LittleBigPlanet forums about level 'moderation' — if by 'moderation' one means 'summary deletion.' Without warning. It doesn't have to involve penis innuendo creations or anything blatantly offensive, either. Just create a level that references anyone else's IP, and you're at risk of losing all your work on the spot. Considering some people are spending standard workdays on these things, keep that in mind before you plunge into your Metal Gear Solid tribute.


If this is truly the case, some of my favorite levels, levels I've hearted instantly after playing, have been deleted. It's making me question actually keeping the game. I personally love the game, but if moderation like this is occurring, to the point where names of levels are getting them removed, I think I'd rather get a different game w/o such problems. I would hate for my level to be deleted, considering all the work I would have put into it, but by the time I finish a level, I think my return will be invalid.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Video of the Week: QVC Fails Hard

Spotted on Destructoid.

WARNING: NSFW words here.

I don't think the timing of the video could be any perfect. The timing was spot-on. Apparently the clip being played on the television is "Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe," and the actual show clip video is found here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Video of the Week: Stop-Motion Mega Man

Spotted at Destructoid.

I absolutely love this video. The title says it all. I'd love to see something like this for other games, too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Games Time Forgot: Hypersonix Xtreme

I'm kinda ripping into Destructoid's segment "Games Time Forgot" on this one...

Ok, I'm totally biting off them, but hear me out! I have opinions too, ya know!

I'm browsing through some of my old games, just kinda picking through them, organizing them, I hadn't done it in a while. I just happen to come across this one, and a little smirk passes on my face. Hypersonic Xtreme.



This game is way past its prime, being one of the early-generation PS2 games, and it obviously rips on Wipeout quite a bit. The first time I played this game was on a whim rental at Blockbuster for its description on the back of the game case, most notably two words: Track Editor.



I am a real sucker for customization of anything. You may know that already from my LittleBigPlanet backing a ways back. If I could create something in-game and say "Yeah...I made that." most likely I rented it or played a demo of it. I never really bought them though, either because the game never really interested me, I didn't have the cash, or (more often than not) the game sucked. Dungeon Maker games sucked unless you spent days making the games, and even then it wasn't even close to some of the lesser known PS2 RPGs (not to mention most RPGs bore me). Fighter Maker games really sucked...I've never seen such choppy game-play in any PS2 title, plus the customization never really was that great considering. Now I will admit that I was actually impressed with Soul Calibur 3's Create-A-Character modes, but the game was too difficult to play though and unlock all of the items myself, so I never actually bought it. Tony Hawk's Underground 2, I did buy, and I loved it. Wait, I'm rambling again. BACK TO THE POINT.


Now, the game is Budget to the Xtreme (horrible pun, will never happen again...maybe). It released for $9.99. This would be the equivalent to a PSN release today, I believe, and it suits it. The game tries to be Wipeout, but the textures are bland and choppy, the music is generic Electronic, the sound effects are stunted...Hell, the gameplay can get infinitly repetitive at times. The game's major saving grace, though, is it's main feature: The Track Editor.



Considering how old the game is, I'm about 12 years old playing though it. I could make tracks easily. I made so many tracks, I ran out of space on the memory card! You can set tracks up for "Point A to Point B" or Lap tracks, you can add jumps, invisible tracks, loops, and several other things too, if you get creative. Thing is, racing on the tracks, like I said, can get repetitive after about the 10th time...In which case I made a new track and raced on that 10 times, or I added more to the track I had been working on. I loved seeing what the engine could pull off, or what I could make the engine do that it wasn't supposed to. There are definite glitches in the engine, but for some reason, I looked over them. I still look over them to this day.



The track editor has an addictive charm you don't see in many games anymore. The point being that you can make your own levels. I think LBP is the only game that still emphasizes on level creation in this gaming generation, and by that I mean levels that can be easily made (meaning I'm not including UT3 level creation). Not to mention that it wasn't trying to be an Ace title. How many games can you list off the top of your head that came on a disk and cost $10 to purchase New? You can still find this game for $2-3 in bargin bins, which is honestly a bit surprising to me...I never expected Majesco to produce enough of this game to still be in the used market this long. Or maybe it's just because no one wants them. A bit disappointing, really, It seemed like a good game for kids that like racing games.


Well, whatever. I'm never selling this guy, still got a bit of a hold on me...I couldn't get anything for it anyway, but still...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Video of the Week: Kame-chan the Cockatiel

Spotted on Destructoid.

User blackwhile810 of YouTube has won the internet. He's taught his cockatiel a couple of ace songs based on Final Fantasy.





Kame-chan also knows a bit of Zelda.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Video of the Week: The Conan Kicker

Spotted on Destructoid.

A little late, yes, but I'm glad I waited. Here's some Age of Conan video footage of a horse kicking people off cliffs to Yakety Sax. Everything's funnier with Yakety Sax.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Tech: NeuroSky's MindSet

Spotted on Engadget.



Huh. Apparently they're making a gaming headset that lets you play games with your mind. MindSet is the name of NeuroSky's "brainwave-controlled gaming headset," and while it was featured some time ago, the company and the headset have popped up on the radar again thanks to Square Enix. Yeah, Squeenix is making a game, currently titled "Judecca," where you blast stuff in-game with your mind in the real world. That or brainwash more people to buy Final Fantasy games forever. Check out Engadget's experience with the game here.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Programs for $0.00: Digsby



Digsby is an Instant Messaging program that works with many of the most popular IM services. Pretty standard, yeah, but that's not all it does. It connects to the basics like MSN, Yahoo, AOL, and GTalk to name a few...but the program also connects to Facebook Chat, so anyone online at Facebook can talk to you without you even being on the site. The program also links you to your Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and most recently LinkedIn accounts, so when you get a message or someone's status changes on the site, you can know (again, without actually being on the site). Mail accounts can also be linked to the program, so your POP and IMAP mail services, as well as popular webmail services like GMail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail can be viewed via Digsby's main window or in your icon tray. There's a lot of accessibility in this program, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good multi-client IM program. Not to mention it only costs $0. Now get busy not doing work.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Video of the Week: MUGEN

M.U.G.E.N. is a 2D fighting game engine most famous for allowing characters from loads of 2D fighters, with some coding, to fight each other, as well as many custom characters created by other creators. It's a community thing really, and the best community I've seen for MUGEN so far is Mugen-Infantry, which features a database of characters, stages, addons, and more without "warehousing" them, which creators loathe because it means they don't get credit for the creation. I think I'll do a segment on the engine later, but for now, here is Mugen-Infantry's Video of the Week as mine, created by SicHead. What can I say? I loved it.



Oh, and just so you know, the video has edits within it. With a lot of work, I bet something like that could be put into the engine...but it would take a lot of work, I believe.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Game to Buy: LittleBigPlanet (PS3)


I cannot wait for this game to come out. I'll update this post with an actual review once I buy the game, but from what I've played so far, the game is glorious. And yes, that means I got into the oh-so-wanted LBP Beta. I won't go into it here, because Destructoid already did a great job of it here. I will spill my experience so far, though.


I haven't even made a level yet, and after looking at some of the work that's already been done, I'm not sure my level would even make a blip on the radar of LBP. The game is pure platforming goodness, and it just has this addictive quality that I can't ignore. Quote my friend playing the beta with me, "You just can't play this game angry." Just about every level that I've been to so far has had some method of entertainment, whether it be with custom music, gigantic monsters, or a rocketboard with no directional control whatsoever.




Of course, customization is half of the game. Customize your characters, your levels, other people's levels, other Sack People, your stickers, your objects, your textures, your voice, your Sack Person's emotions...I've always been a sucker for just about any game with customization, so when you throw me into a game that is all about customization, there's no way I could hate it...ever. The community is great, as well, as I've been into several 4-person groups and just smacked each other around. We weren't even running through the level yet, and I was already having a good time. How many games let you have fun in the game lobby, of all things? Sure, you can talk in game lobbies, but LBP is the only game I've played where you can have just as much fun in-game as you can in the lobby.

Of course, the beta is not without its flaws...that's kinda the point of the beta, though, so it's a moot point, really. An accidental death here, a physics error here...I think the worse glitch I've come across is that after leaving a group, I was still able to listen to a person from the group talking, even though he couldn't hear me. Gameplay wise, though...I suppose I'd really like a double-jump, but that's just me, all honesty. Doesn't hurt the gameplay.

I am thoroughly enjoying myself, but the game beta ends tomorrow...*weeps*



Luckily, I have no classes today, nor homework due. Time to give my PS3 a good workout. If you're in the beta, I'm on as Zero_Armada. Mention my blog, just as an insurance policy. No matter what you're using, the internet is still the internet. The game is pretty much guaranteed a 5 out of 5 straight out of the gate, but to be fair, I'll wait until it actually comes out October 21.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What I See: The Economy

This isn't a political or economic blog, but it's affecting techies and gamers, alright. Here's a little spoof of a magazine cover I think everyone needs to see. Excuse the language...



...but yeah, that about covers it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Video of the Week: Spittin' Narcissism

Originally presented on Newgrounds.


A sprite video by Psycosis91, based on Vega of Street Fighter fame. The song is by "José the Bronx Rican" of OCRemix, a site well-known for video game music remixes. I got a big laugh from the song, so when I came across this sprite video, which looks excellent, by the way, I knew I had to show it. It really is better to watch the actual flash version though, as YouTube compressed the hell out of this video, blurs and all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What I See: The Ten Blogging Commandments

Spotted at Download Squad.

Ah, something I can abide by.
  1. You shall not put your blog before your integrity
  2. You shall not make an idol of your blog
  3. You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog
  5. Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes
  6. You shall not murder someone else's honour, reputation or feelings
  7. You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind
  8. You shall not steal another person's content
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger
  10. You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content

Sunday, September 28, 2008

RE: Toonami Canceled

Otaku website Japanator also did a post on the cancellation of Toonami, along with several videos of the old Toonami, mostly when the original TOM (the robotic host who went through several revamps) was around. Watching the videos brought back so many memories...I knew Toonami was prominent as a kid to me, but looking over this post really put it all in perspective...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Video of the Week: Meet the Spy Checker

Do you know Team Fortress 2?

Have you seen one of Valve's "Meet the..." segments yet?

Then sit back and enjoy.



"MONKEY BEEEEAAAM!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Game to Buy: N+ (PSP)



If you are a fan of platformer games, and you own a PSP, you deserve to have this game in your collection. N+ is a pure side-scrolling platformer, pure and simple. Your goal is to finish the level as fast as possible, while collecting floating squares that give you a time boost. The more time on the clock, the more you can boast about it on the online rankings. Oh, and you can make your own levels, as well as download others from the internet. That's pretty much the entirety of the game, and that's all you really need in a simple game like this.



N+ started out as a Flash game called N. Besides the music and graphical updates, the ports remain identical to the original Flash version. For good reason too: there's nothing to change. The formula has always been there, and it serves its purpose very nicely from the get-go. This is what made games like Super Mario Brothers and Sonic so famous. Hell, seeing your character die is fun, too, especially when his body parts start hitting mines and end up on the other side of the stage. And while I haven't played with the level editor yet, for a simple game like this, who can't love a level editor? I'm sure there's already been a level shaped like a dong made by some idiot, but that just means that the editor, like any other level or object editor in any other game, works. Infinite levels...very nice, especially when you can grab levels from other players. There's even multiplayer...which I also couldn't try out, but the the fact that it's there is icing on the cake.



There's not really much you can find fault in the game, mainly because there isn't much there in the first place. The game is priced at a discount $20 too, so unless platforming just isn't your thing, go out and grab it while you can. There's a good reason the game's been getting high marks on other review sites, and I feel the same.



N+ gets 5 out of 5. If you have a PSP, pick the game up, you owe it to yourself. There aren't many good PSP games out there right now, and this is one of them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Otaku's Interests: Toonami Canceled...



This is a true shame. After 11 long years, back when Moltar of Space Ghost ran the show, the anime block run on Cartoon Network known as Toonami has been canceled by Cartoon Network. The final showing was September 20th. This was the block where many US anime fans got their start, including many of my friends. While my first animes weren't on Toonami, I loved coming home to watch great anime like Ruroni Kenshin, Gundam Wing, and of course, Dragonball Z. The show evolved so many times in its heyday, and its weekend showings always ensured there was something on that day I wanted to watch. I even got into Hamtaro when it premired on the network, and I still look to this day to any episodes posted online...

The show's block shrunk more and more in the recent years, though, to the point where the block lasted only 2 hours on Saturdays, almost half of which was just showings of Cartoon Network shows. By this point, the only anime in the block was Naruto. It makes me wonder where Cartoon Network is going with this, as nothing on the network in the past or present has had as much presence as Toonami: it was a true staple of the network, with several promos of the block itself bringing people to interest, such as the appearance of TOM, Moltar's replacement announcer, and the storylines that began to surround TOM, including his supposed destruction.

Not only does this make me worry about Cartoon Network, I'm now worried about the state of anime as a whole. Cartoon Network was one of the few networks that showed anime in the US, and while I hope Naruto isn't going anywhere (that would be way too much money the network would be letting loose), the removal of the Toonami block means less interest on anime premieres on the network, if any do premiere in the first place. This means less people will notice the anime and thus less people will buy products of the anime, both of which would cause decreases in profits for anime creating companies and their distributors. While I'm not suggesting that this will kill the industry, this is going to smart at least a bit. Cartoon Network's Saturday block, like the WB and FOXBox blocks of before, feature 1 or 2 anime shows (mainly Pokemon), and more of their own show premieres.

Just a real shame...

Video of the Week: Daft Punk Cover

Spotted on Destructoid.

I'm a big fan of Daft Punk. They have some of the best electronic music out there, and the remixes people do with them end up being amazing (just look at Kanye West's Stronger). You don't see many covers of their work, though...actually, I've never seen one. Until now that is. Here's Daft Punk - Something About Us - Daft Loop Love by Randy George. And just look at the variety of instruments he uses!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Still Frame: YTMND

"You're the Man Now, Dog!"

While you won't see too many still images here anymore, YTMND was a internet phenomenon in its glory days, and still is a comical goldmine today. The basic premise is this: you find or make an image that's funny, you combine it with funny audio, you post it. If it's good, you may get some good comments and views. That's basically it.

The site started with the very words stated at the top of the post. The line was from Sean Connery in the movie Finding Forester. The original website, before the community came to be, was just a picture of the actor and a sound clip featuring the line, repeated over and over again until you closed out the page. People found the page and suddenly wanted to do something similar, and we start finding classic pages such as the Jean Luc Picard remix start popping up. Max, the creator of what would become YTMND, decided to link these kind of sites together (they were seperate domains of basically one webpage only), and YTMND evolved from there.

Enough of the history lesson, though. To get YTMND, you have to look at the good sites. The classics, of course, but there's real gold on there. Often, the pages work off of media already created, and parodies it from there, so some things you may not get if you don't actually get the refference. That's one of the few problems with the site, but there are so many pages that you're bound to find something that you know about and find hilarious. There's definitely NSFW content there, but let's post some examples of the clean stuff, shall we? Oh, I should mention this though: the site's friendly with IE, but if you're using Firefox, you'll need to have the Quicktime plugin installed...or something similar, there may be an alternate I know. Max is planning to fix this with a new all-flash plan he's working on right now.
Check out the site for more. Just be careful you don't lose your entire day browsing the funny.

YTMND

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Video of The Week: The Combine Interview

Spotted on Kotaku.

Kotaku makes the best articles sometimes.

You remember those Tom Cruise Scientology interviews? Creepy stuff. They've been remade countless times by comedians, we know, but this is the first time we've seen them remade in the Half-Life 2 universe. Which makes it just as creepy, if not more so, because it's not too big a stretch imagining the Thetans being a part of the Combine. Which would make Tom Cruise, big-name Hollywood star, the harbinger of our ultimate destruction. Food for thought, no?

Unfortunately, you have to know a bit about Half-Life 2 to get this one, but I don't think it's anything Wikipedia can't handle.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

An Otaku's Interests: Damn You, Hollywood!

Spotted on Kotaku.

Oh, if only I found this out yesterday. For those that don't know yet, Dragonball the Movie is being made live. I had hope, a tinge. And then I saw these shots.



medium_2824545962_1f3bf7ce31_o.jpg picture by DJ_Armada
This is supposed to be Piccolo. This is obviously a vampire.

medium_2823709743_a056bd6dba_o.jpg picture by DJ_Armada
No. Seriously, Chow looks pissed.

medium_2824545684_dedca71ffa_o.jpg picture by DJ_Armada
...This cannot be a Dragonball. I refuse to accept this.

medium_2824546024_d7ac8713a1_o.jpg picture by DJ_Armada
BLURRR!

Either this movie will spite me and every Dragonball fan and actually be awesome, or it will crash and burn in a blaze of sadness and fail. I'm voting the later.

Hate to do this...

I've got to give myself another hiatus from the blog. College life is more intense than I'd thought it'd be. I'm not sure how long this will last, but I'll still be posting random tidbits every now and then...it just won't be a scheduled thing at this point. Except Video of the Week. Expect that one.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Video of the Week: Let the Drummer Kick That

I felt so much better about me being in school after hearing this song. Means a lot to me, so I did a quick Youtube search of it and found this video created in Adobe After Effects. It really catches the emotion and meaning behind the song, and is done very well. Be inspired.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Tech: Lego Computer Case Mod

Spotted at Engadget.


Oh, how glorious is this? It's a computer case made completely out of Lego bricks, designed by Luke Anderson in a LegoCAD program and custom-ordered.Power switches, fan bay, USB drives, the essentials of a PC. Looks like it has an LED light to indicate power, too. I don't see a DVD Drive bay, though. :(

Check out the still-lapse video below.

Monday, August 25, 2008

College Life is Insane.

Oh man. It took 13 hours to get down to campus from my dad's house and unpack everything. Insanity, let me tell ya. Then all the book buying, supply shopping, class checking, and the many events I've had to (and wanted to) attend. Sorry for missing out on the Video of the Week, had no internet access until about a couple of hours ago. I'm now on my new Tablet PC, and I'm loving having a laptop, but I haven't gotten down the whole Tablet bit just yet. Eventually, I gotta get used to it. My first class is tomorrow, but luckily it's in the afternoon, so I can still get some sleep.

Virginia Tech is BIIIIG.

May not be able to post...today, technically, on the "Programs for $0" segment. I'll try, though. I've really got to start making a bigger buffer for posts.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Still Frame - The FAIL Blog

I'm sure everyone knows about ICANHASCHEEZBURGER, but since their LOLCat invasion began, they've sprouted off a couple of cousin sites. One I'm particulary fond of is The FAIL Blog, an archive of epic failures, pwnage, and even the occasional win. Like ICHC (thank God for abbreviation), the site runs off of pictures and the occasional video emailed by the viewers to the site, with captions created on the picture via the user themeselves or with a little help from the lol builder, used by ICHC and its cousins to make adding hilarious and related comments to the already hilarious photo.

That's almost it in a nutshell. The site has an RSS feed, of course, and they've even started up a Youtube channel to post FAIL videos, but there's not much else to note on besides the content. What is selected to post is definetly postable, as there have been few pics or videos from the site I have not laughed at. The other aspect of the site, however, is the comment area, which has been getting quite a bit of attention on the blog itself. You have your common "FIRST" posters who are immediatly flamed upon by others, the trolls trying to start trouble, the Pun and Meme crowd, and posters that actually make sense. There is such a variety of people posting their own comments, and in so many fashions, it has become a segment of the site itself, dubbed "The Burn of the Week". Here's the most recent one, and what I thought was hilarious.
In response to Entrance Fail. Nominated by Simon.
Word of warning, though. I've seen several posts that would be considered NSFW, and the comments aren't exactly PG-13 all the time. Just giving a bit of a head's up, I'd hate for someone to click on this link to go there and *gasp* be offended.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Otaku's Interests - Otakon in Photos



This is a bit of a test for uploading my own photos too, so bare with me if this doesn't look right the first time through. ^_^

While I wasn't able to take too many photos due to my camera's apparent vampire-like tendencies with batteries, there are a couple of gems in there. Especially the last one, but no spoilers. The slideshow above should be working, but of course you can see the actual gallery via clicking the album below.

Otakon 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Video of the Week: Golbez's Four Lords of the Elements

Apparently, this is a cover song based on Final Fantasy IV. I can't stop listening to this, even though I've never even played the game.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Game to Try - Cavestory


I say try instead of buy because technically you can't buy this game. Cavestory is a side-scrooling adventure game developed by Daisuke Amaya, AKA Pixel, over the course of 5 years. That's a load of effort, and it shows. It's been ported from Windows to OSX, Linux, and apparently even the Amiga, but I've gotten hold of an English-translated port to the PSP. Glorious, let me tell ya.

The game starts out with you, a robotic soldier with no memory, stuck underground. You wander around a bit and pick up a pistol. Then you start shooting anything that moves. Even though its graphics look 8-bit, the gameplay is actually quite fluid responsive, and looks the part as well. The environments all look and play differently from one another, and there are quite a selection of creatures to fight against. Your character levels up, and you pick up new weapons that can each be powered up via enemy-dropped objects.


The storyline developed, however, is quite expansive for such a game as this. I won't spoil the plot for you, that's part of the fun of the game, but know that there are multiple endings. I knew of them from when I started playing, but I just found out a couple of days ago that the ending I got wasn't the "best" one. Now I have to play through it again, but I want to. The replay value is definetly there.

Download it, play it, play it again. It's free, dammit! I feel like it could have been a bit longer, and personally I feel that co-op could have been an option for a game like this, but maybe in a sequel. One can hope. I really can't give it a rating like a game you'd actually have to buy, it just wouldn't be fair. You can find the English translation here.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Tech: Fujitsu T5010 Tablet PC

Spotted on Engadget.


This is going to be mine soon. I ordered the Fujitsu T5010 Tablet PC for college, because apparently I need something like this to perform properly in my Engineering classes...it's a requirement. The tablet was revealed around June or so at my school's yearbook store, meaning that we as students get first dibs at it. There were two models when I purchased it, the model I bought being the $2,000 one mentioned in the article linked above. The $2,650 (I think) model has +40 GB of hard drive space and a whopping 4 GB of RAM. I'm thinking I should have purchased the latter now, but it was already way too expensive as it was. If I need some more RAM, I'll get it in somehow, and I'm not worried about HD space. Besides those exclusions, the models were the same, and both seemed to work fairly well, though I only worked with the displays for about 15 seconds. Here's hoping the purchase was worth it. I'll follow up on this post once I adjust to my classes.

Oh, and by the way, I'm going to Virginia Tech if you already haven't put it together. :D

Virginia Tech Bookstore: Fujitsu T5010 1

Monday, August 11, 2008

Programs for $0.00 - Notepad++


Notepad++ is a text editor on steroids. Like the default Windows Notepad, it edits .txt files, HTML, and more...much more. This C++-based program, unlike Notepad, supports syntax highlighting for multiple languages, perfect for viewing what code does what in a script. A tabbed-document interface allows for editing multiple files at one time, and Multi-View allows for two files to be on screen at the same time. There's even more to this editor than I know of, including plugins and the apparent Auto-completion and macro recording features that I don't use very often, but I know many others do. Honestly, I think I should too, but it's difficult to change a habit.


There's so much to still find out about this program for me, yet I use Notepad++ almost every day. If you're still using Windows Notepad or Wordpad, please, for your own sake, move on. Even if you don't download Notepad++, there are still many different kinds of Notepad-like programs for you to use. No self-respecting computer user beyond the casual users who don't even use Notepad should not download a program like this. Notepad++ is definitely up there, and it's portable twin is no joke either. Oh, and guess what? It's $0, as always. Now start typing already!

What I See - OMG Otakon!

I have been completely wiped out from Otakon. I didn't even go on Sunday, I just slept what felt like the entire day...and I think it was. I've never seen so many people at the Con, and apparently there was a good reason why. Maybe it's time to expand a bit more...not sure how they would do it, though, considering they even went to the Mariner Arena for the concerts and Masquarade. I'm having a bit of trouble getting the pictures off of my SD card, but when I get them, I'll post them. Been meaning to start using my Picasa Web Gallery seriously anyway.

Let's see...I bought nunchucks, some short manga, a T-shirt from my brother via Mookie, a Japanese scroll for mom, and I won myself an awesome OCRemix T-shirt at their panel (Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku!). Surprisingly, I still have cash left over...sweet, considering I only brought $100 down.

I think I still have a good segment to post on tonight. Still gonna try that new schedule, so hopefully I'll post again within the next hour or so. :)
Oh, and apologies for missing the Video of the Week. I wasn't even home until 11, and I didn't even turn the computer on before I collapsed on my bed.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Change of Plans

I'm changing the schedule. I keep missing days due to a very conflicting schedule, so I think it's due. This comes after I got stuck with no less than 3 needles and being out getting stuff done for college from 8 AM to 8 PM. Otakon, the Baltimore Anime Convention, is this week, too, so I'm preparing for that as well. Here's the new schedule.

Basically, it breaks down over 2 weeks.
Week A:
  • Monday: Programs for $0
  • Wednesday: New Tech
  • Friday: Game to Buy
Week B:
  • Tuesday: An Otaku's Interests
  • Thursday: Still Frame
The weekend posts will still come to ya, so expect Video of the Week to remain just that. I may have one more break week as I move into my new college dorm @ Virginia Tech, but I'll give this schedule a try starting next week. Monday may also feature any pictures and info I grab from Otakon.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Video of the Week: Final Fullmetal Fantasy VI

Spotted on Japanator.

Anyone here play Final Fantasy VI? You know, that Squaresoft RPG that came out before FFVII?

Anyone here seen Fullmetal Alchemist?

Anyone know both of them?

Then watch this mash-up of awesomeness. It's a MAD, basically an Anime Music Video made in Japan. The style it was done in matches both mediums perfectly, so of course it was done in Japan.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Game to Buy: Warhawk


"WARHAWK!"

If you own a PS3, and you do not own this game, you have 30 seconds to fix that. Seriously, you can buy the game on the PSN if you wanted to. Sure, the PS3 has several shooters on the market at this point, but there is no game that comprises the epicness that Warhawk somehow brings to the table as far as multiplayer is concerned. Don't get me wrong, Resistance: Fall of Man, which came out before Warhawk, has pretty good multiplayer too, but Warhawk has greater variety and speed that I belive makes the difference. Multi-passenger vehicles, torrents, Anti-Air and Missile silos, and of course the Warhawks themselves. I actually feel competant flying a Warhawk and dropping 9 varieties of pain onto my enemies...when I'm not getting shot out of the sky, that is. Flying the plane takes time, but you can figure it out, and it does get pretty fun doing loops and barrel rolls to dodge missiles.


The ground work is great, too. More than 10 different weapons (thanks to the 1.3 update), a smart auto-lock for the guns that actually need them, and stealthy too. Unless I've fired a shot, you're not seeing me on radar when I'm on foot. The balance between the Warhawks, the ground vehicles, and foot troops is actually very well done. You're not God in the tank, unlike many other games, and that's crucial.


There are several modes of play, from the default Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, to the new Hero and Collection modes introduced in the recent 1.4 update. Hero is basically described as one guy randomly picked on both teams shouting "I L33T, I KILL PUNY MEN!" as they glow like someone from Dragon Ball Z. Only their kills count, but if they die then the other team gets a point, and a new Hero is picked. Rinse and repeat until a team wins. Collection is like Capture the Flag, except with multiple flags at one time. I've tried neither mode yet, but they sound awesome to play.


The network infastructure has clans and ranks set up, the game selection has great filters to help you pick the good rooms, and you can see any friends you have playing the game online, and immediatly join them if they're in the middle of a game. Voice chat is set up and crucial to the team-based games. The game even has split-screen multiplayer that can be played online, so your party of four can take on the Warhawk ranks online from your couch. As if all of the above isn't enough to get you to buy the game, it's now a Greatest Hits title for the PS3, and is only $30 both offline and on the PSN. There are expansion packs you can purchase as well, and I'm hoping to get those very soon, but you don't need them to enjoy the awesomeness that's already there.
This is the PS3's answer to Halo right now, except without the single-player. When I say this is a *Game to Buy*, I mean it. Warhawk gets a 5 out of 5, hands down. Cue the patriotic music.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still Frame: A Picture of a Rock...

Spotted on Destructoid.


OK, it's not that simple. Really

Well to one individual over at the newly started Web site called Foodomain, these rocks are simply more than just normal rocks. Foodomain saw these rocks and wanted to see how they would look like as different videogame art styles. From The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Vice City, Mega Man, Silent Hill, Half-Life 2, Zork I and to many more, Foodomain rendered these rocks as they would appear in various videogames. 

This is great stuff. I've never seen something like this done before, and I wonder why. Hey, let's see the same thing except with trees. Make it so. I'm posting my favs below, check out the page on Foodomain to see the rest.


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