Random

My 8-bit love

I started my old NES up a few days ago and played “Mike Tyson Punch-Out”. Now Punch-Out is a type of game that I want to beat. I am a completionist, not some type of person who wants to get all the trophies or achievements. That is still is great to get all those achievements but I need to beat the game. Revisiting this game and other like this makes me nostalgic for these old school games. Real games. No save points. Long hours on the couch, with nothing else but the controller in one hand and a handful of gummy worms in the other. Back in the day these games were unforgiving. For me, playing as a 5 year old was brutal but I had a secret…My brother.

That family gaming.

That family gaming.

Before I delve into some of my favorite memories, let me give you a little history. My brother is a huge inspiration in my life. Without him I would have never loved video games. From the time I was little, I looked up to him. Literally…He was about six feet tall. There was an age difference but that didn’t matter. The farthest back I can remember in my life was my brother and I playing some game. In my family there is a bit of an age difference between my brother and me. There is a 13 year age difference. I missed most of his life due to me being a baby. Video gaming brought us together. These games like Castlevania and Sonic the Hedgehog bonded us. They created memories that I will never forget.

My go-to game with my brother.

My go-to game with my brother.

My best memories were of my brother and I staying up on the weekends trying to beat a game. We invented couch Co-Op before that was even a thing. I can distinctly remember a time where holding my own in a game with my brother. My brother bought me some Nerds and Starbursts to last the weekend. With the smell of a new game, we were off! Playing Sega’s Altered Beast was a hard game for me. You started as a human, than after a power-up orb you transformed into a werewolf and so on. Well as a little kid that was difficult. My brother would encourage me to defeat the boss and transform. Then he would take my controller and do it for me. This time I held my own. I defeated the boss and finally transformed! I was so happy but I could not celebrate. The game did not stop on that account. Level Two awaits us. I can’t remember if we competed that game, all I can recall is the fun we had. From that point on all things that were related to video games, I had to get. I was hooked.

Photo by Man Crates

Photo by Man Crates

Man Crates asked me to write a blog post about gaming nostalgia and what would be in my crate if I could build one. Well I would choose a savory and sweet combo. Each one of these picks are practical. Meaning you can still game and eat. You have to have the classic bag of pizza Combos and you can’t go wrong with the bubble gum Big League Chew. For me the candy necklace was my go to. Form and function all in one. Finally you have to add Nerds. Two different taste separated in one box. Now if you can’t get all these items, why not head to Man Crates and take a look at the Retro Gamer Crate. This includes a Retro-Bit NES console with two games and a great variety of candy from from when games were challenging. In addition to all this retro gaming goodness, why not head over to Man Crates and you can see other cool gifts for guys that you can get!

Tell me what would be in your gaming crate in the comments below! Knower of comic books, video games, and other useless information. Please leave your message after the beep. Follow me on twitter: @mxaghost

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Assassin’s Creed Movie Poster revealed!

At the Licensing Expo 2015, along side of the revealing of some new properties in movies and TV shows. One thing that popped up is the first poster for Assassin’s Creed the movie.

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Assassin’s Creed stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. The film, to be directed by Justin Kurzel, is scheduled to start shooting this August for a December 21, 2016 release.

Source: Heroic Hollywood

My Take

If the movie is anything like the game than it should be good. The eagle/hawk is a great symbol for this first post. If you didn’t know the eagle/hawk in the game lets you synchronize your map.

Sequel ASSEMBLE!

“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat.” A common threat, Ultron was not. There was only one person that could deal with it…Director Joss Whedon. It’s like cooking some crazy stew. Add five parts of superhero, one microchip, stir with super speed, finally add a dash of hex magic. Place in a pressure cooker on high and wait. There is a challenge when making a sequel to a hit movie. Without changing the dynamic of the movie, how do you top it? 2012’s The Avengers was so crazy that it worked. Age of Ultron worked but not in the way that you see. (More about that later.)

Lets all stand around and look pensive!

Lets all stand around and look pensive!

Avengers: Age of Ultron story starts out with our heroes cleaning up the mess from the last film. Loki’s scepter is in the hands of Hydra’s chief scientist Baron Von Strucker. His team has figured out a way to manipulate the human body. Their experiments result in the “enhanced”(not mutants) twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), which they both volunteered for. The Avengers captured the Hydra facility and retrieved Loki’s staff. Jarvis (Paul Bettany) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) find that this large gem in the staff is highly complex and looks like it can think. Both Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Tony were working on an AI program to protect humanity, called Ultron (James Spader). Secretly working on this project, all attempts to create this AI fails. This was supposed to be the last gathering of the Avengers together. After a fun little game of “Who can lift Thor’s hammer?”, Ultron becomes self aware. Tony’s Iron Legion attacks our groovy gang of heroes, with Ultron leading the charge. Ultron’s reason for attacking is peace. Peace by wiping humans off the face of the planet. The same idea as Tony but without all the bloodshed. The twins join Ultron and the Avengers are there to stop them.


What surprised me with this film was that each character had a definite arc. Wanda’s manipulative hex power manifested each character fear into their head. Tony could not save people. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) feared for his homeworld Asgard. Captain America (Chris Evans) wants a “normal life”. Finally, Black Widow(Scarlet Johansson) was a loner. Speaking of Black Widow, she has a romantic interest in the Hulk. For this film, it makes sense. Trust me. Both of these characters are loners. Each could potentially fill a void for the other.
There was a standout character in Avengers: Age of Ultron: Hawkeye. After Ultron attacks, the Avengers go “off the grid” to regroup. I believe this is where the film shifts its focus to Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). If you remember, in the first film he was mind controlled. Now he’s stronger and more focused on the main goal of saving the world. Hawkeye feels that he’s the least important Avenger. In actuality, he is the most important member and this shows what he has to lose if the Avengers fail. I didn’t even talk about how cool Paul Bettany was and how he was laying a Vision for the future of the Avengers(Hint Hint). Or the tantalizing tease at the end of the film.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a movie that had a whole lot to live up to. This was never going to live up to the first film and nor should it. What this movie was, is to lay a further foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avengers had to bring these characters together. This film had to humanize them. Each one these heroes had to be broken down in order to build them back into the heroes they need to be.

8.2/10

Laser, Racecars, Aeroplanes…

DuckTales (Woo-oo)

Pack your bags for Duckberg because Disney is rebooting the one and only DuckTales! According to their blog, 2017 is the magical year when flock of ducks come back to the airwaves via Disney XD. The new series will follow Scrooge McDuck, his grandnephews: Huey, Dewey and Louie. Other beloved characters slated to be in the new stories are: Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Launchpad McQuack, Magica DeSpell & Poe, Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys (Burger Beagle, Bouncer Beagle), Mrs. Beakley and Webbigail Vanderquack.

“DuckTales has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history,” Marc Buhaj, Disney XD general manager, said in a statement. “It drew its inspiration from Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.”

No word on which voice actors are casted for these roles. I would assume that the original cast would be returning. The voice of Scrooge McDuck, Alan Young is still going strong at the age of 95. He did voice Scrooge in the remake of the DuckTales game, DuckTales Remastered.

Could Darkwing Duck be right around the corner? Stay tuned…

Phase One – Iron Man Cosplay

Hey everyone! Today, I wanted to write about making Cosplay armor. I decided to make some armor after seeing some others at my local con’s. It seemed pretty easy. That was not true. This is hard work. For someone that is doing this for the first time, it is not easy. Adding more pressure is that I wanted to wear it on Halloween. I know what you are saying, “Wasn’t Halloween back in October?” You would be right to assume that. I’m LAZY in my blog posts, plus college and work took up most of my time. So many man hours, so little time.

 Bicep and Forearm

Pepacura 3D file

Pepacura 3D file

Bicep prototype

Elbow and Forearm prototype

These are the two prototypes that I have made. The bicep feels good on me, it is a little loose but seem like it would work. The forearm is where the problem lies. The wrist is fine, plus the elbow is feels good too. The forearm is too big for me. This is what happens when you get your plans off the internet. I have no idea how to size down the armor. Keep this in mind, that I have to create 2x all the pieces. Meaning create another arm. That is going to add some more time on this project. These two prototypes were created from pepacura models. Pepacura is origami in a larger scale. After all the testing is done, I am using 1/4 inch EVA foam for all the pieces.

EVA Foam pre-bicep

EVA foam pre-forearm

After fitting and sizing the paper model, it is time to draw and cut. You disassemble your paper model and sketch all of your pieces on the EVA foam. Tip: When cutting use a sharp disposable box cutter. This foam will dull the blade after 50 cuts.

So, after cutting all these pieces out, you have naturally glue them. Given EVA foam is high-density and has many holes to fill. You have to use hot glue. I used a low-temp hot glue. If I used a hi-temp glue them the foam could have melted at the point of contact. This took me two days to glue everything together. Finally, I can paint and assemble this Iron Man Mk 6 arm!

Painting

Painted (first coat) bicep, forearm, and shoulder.

Before you start to paint you have to prime the foam. It is just like priming a piece of wood before painting. If you missed this step them your foam would have a dull gray color mixed into the color you wanted. Making the primer is simple: 3 parts water and 1 part white glue. Paint this on the foam, let dry, and your foam is now sealed for painting. You also could use PlastiDip. This is basically liquid rubber. It come in a wide variety of colors, including clear and metallic. You can use it to seal you foam and put down a base coat your color, my case red.

Blood shoulder

Tip: Never mix 3M spray adhesive and PlastiDip. These two do not mix together, as seen in the picture above. I used the adhesive to keep the form of the shoulder. It did not help. As soon as I sprayed the PlastiDip, some chemical reaction took place and most of the rubber “globbed” off. Since I made this on the week of Halloween, it look like blood.

Chicago screw or post screw.

The elbow had to move. After some time searching the hardware store, I found this screw. This is called a Chicago screw or a post screw. The screw has a male and female end that screw into each other, with a smooth rounded edge. I also primed these pieces with the glue mixture and then painted all these pieces gold.

Assembled

Pre-painted full build w/o elbow (front).

Fully painted bicep, elbow, and forearm.

Full build assembled!

Finally, I was almost done. All I had to was attach the Velcro straps with some hot glue and staple them in place. Also, I had to get a baseball sleeve so you would not see my arm through any of the pieces, like the bend in the elbow. As you can see in my arm selfie, I went with a Iron Man 3 modular build.

I completed my first “cosplay”. Since I wore this during Halloween, I don’t know if this could be considered cosplay. This build cost me $68. By far the EVA foam cost the most, with an average of $24. I did cut out each arm but only completed the right side. I would only have to paint and assemble. Most of my help came from the prop maker Bill Doran(Punished Props) and his Foamsmith books. So, what do you think of my build? Love it or hate it? So, my question for you today have you cosplayed at a con? As what or if not who would you go as? If you have any questions or if there are any armor makers out there is there anything I am missing for this armor. Answer in the comments below.

Signing off for now.

It’s the Dandy Way

Space Dandy Series Review

What can say for a show that is so unpredictable. Nothing. Space Dandy was more than pop culture references, it was how to live your life. Most of you have no idea what I’m talking about. According to Wikipedia, Space Dandy is an anime that follows Dandy, an alien hunter who is “a dandy guy in space”, in search for aliens with his robot assistant QT and a space cat named Meow. Created by series directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and produced by Bones. The same creative team worked on Cowboy Bebop.

Though it only lasted two seasons, this show could have conceivably went on forever. The many Easter eggs that the show drew upon. These nods made the show more fun. Yes, some of the episodes were crazy and insane, like you were on some kind of drug-trip. Episodes ranged from the classic space race (a la Speed Racer), zombies, and the format wars. Space Dandy is one of those shows that can combine outstanding visuals and action with hysterical comedy. What makes the show work so well is that it does not care at all about its continuity and never takes itself too seriously allowing it to go all out when it comes to an episode’s plot and not worry about the ending. A giant explosion or a zombie apocalypse is just the tip of the iceberg for the crew as the adventures they take never cease to be funny.

Is that your final Dandy?

Is that your final Dandy?

One of my favorite episode was “Nobody Knows the Chameleon Alien, Baby”. Dandy and crew are starving aboard their ship. So, they bring an alien to get registered. They get challenged to find a Chameleonian. Which is an alien that no one its what really looks like. They unknowingly capture the creature on a fishing spree and bring their catch aboard their ship, where it begins impersonating the crew to outwit them and evade capture. One of the best scenes was of a completely random man who walks on-screen in the background whilst they bicker over whose fault it is. Of course, they don’t notice. Then Dandy finally theorizes that there’s a stowaway on the ship, prompting an exaggerated gasp from everyone including said random man. Again, no one notices. Then they decide to call roll call, and everyone, including said random man, calls in. No one NOTICES. HAHAHAHA!!!

Space Dandy had lots of laughs, touching scenes, great voice acting and interesting twists and turns. The soundtrack was amazing, the animation remains consistent and fluid. This anime just keeps giving and giving. I’ll leave you with the music video tribute that Toonami gave it on it’s last episode. Stay dandy, baby.

9.7/10

Amazon’s iPhone Killer?

Yesterday Amazon revealed it latest product: The Fire phone. Amazon entering the smartphone market in a bold way.. Just another step towards building out a consumer driven ecosystem.

According to Amazon’s founder  Jeff Bezos, “Can we build a better phone for Amazon Prime members? Well, I’m excited to tell you that the answer is yes.” The new phone is described as having a 3-D, 4.7-inch high-definition display. It uses infrared lights and cameras mounted on the phone’s surface to track a user’s head movements and render images accordingly.

Amazon’s new installed app called “Firefly” uses the camera to recognize physical objects — books, games, food, household products and other items — and gives you the option to buy all that stuff instantly on Amazon. Also, it can recognize music like the Shazam app.

The Fire Phone will cost $199 with a two-year contract, available exclusively on AT&T’s network. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon’s website, and it will begin shipping on July 25.

 

My Take: From what I seen on the new phone, it looks cool. The 3-D feature looks exciting but I wonder if this could cause eye problems down the road. The only thing I am concerned with is the Firefly app. Yes, it is amazing technology but will this all of this information is where do it go? What will Amazon do with it. I might be too cynical. If the video game Watch Dogs taught me anything it is “Everything is connected” and “Data is everything”.