Haxan's Profile - Destructoid

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Occasional contributer to Tomopop.com.

Random gaming facts about Haxan

Legitimately beat Mike Tyson and went through Another World Circuit undefeated.

Beat the original Contra without dying. Twice.

Can land the damn plane in Top Gun and can also refuel in midair.

Can't beat Ghost & Goblins without the level select code and has never lied about it.

Thinks Friday the 13th is a great game even if the physics, controls and weapons are garbage.

Mario Paint caused him to buy a Super Nintendo and largely leave his Sega Genesis behind. He has played it more than most video games and wore down the mouse pad so that the grid only shows around the corners.

Has beaten Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers on the SNES on the hardest difficulty without losing a single round. Multiple times.

Is still friends with the girl who worked at a local game store and sold him Street Fighter II nearly 17 years ago.

Beat Final Fantasy 2 in a weekend when he was a kid, yet can't get through a role-playing game these days if his life depended on it.

Has never beaten Final Fantasy VII.

Prefers pads to sticks.

Likes the N64 controller.

Prefers the Duke to the S-controller.

Doesn't think that Super Mario 64 is all that great.

Got an Xbox mostly for Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. And thinks it's a damn good game. Really.

Swore he would never buy a Game Boy Advanced SP, but immediately broke down once the NES edition came out. (And regarding the NES Classics series, true in-store dialogue: "Dude, are you serious?! They seriously expect people to pay 20 dollars a piece for games they can just downlo...Ooh! Zelda!")

Really liked the first Halo. (Well, there goes my dtoid cred.)

Can rock out Dynamite Rave in Dance Dance Revolution like it's nobody's business.

Played the hell out of Animal Crossing: Wild World and hid that fact from nobody.

Stomped Brad Nicholson at Street Fighter IV, but had to resort to the cheapest of tactics in order to do so. ;)

Thinks you're really, really, really smart. And pretty.

Top ten favorite games (in no particular order):

•The Legend of Zelda (NES)
•Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (NES)
•The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
•Phantom 2040 (SNES)
•Street Fighter II (any version)
•Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
•Final Fantasy 3/6 (SNES)
•Ico (PS2)
•Sin and Punishment (N64)
•Picross (DS)


I love drawing, though I realize that I'm not very good. I figured early on that drawing my own header art would help my blogs stand out. Thanks to Destructoid, and to the scanner that Carollelogram got me for my birthday last year, I feel like I've developed a unique style that's distinctly my own.

Outside of games I've got a DVD collection that is exploding out of a 5'x6' shelf (over 400 titles). So suffice it to say that I love movies. I'm a huge horror fan and I host an annual Dusk Till Dawn Horror Movie Marathon nearly every October. My top ten favorite films in order are as follows:

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cativo, 1966)
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
3. Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai, 1954)
4. The City of Lost Children (La Citι des enfants perdus, 1995)
5. The Apartment (1960)
6. Strings (2004)
7. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
8. The Big Lebowski (1998)
9. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Music-wise, my top 3 bands are The Pixies, The Velvet Underground and Radiohead. I listen to damn near every genre of music (except modern country. I yearn for the days of Hank Williams, Sr. and Tammy Wynette). Hit random on my mp3 player and you'll get everything from darkwave to hip hop to 80's synthpop. I karaoke pretty regularly. I can't sing, but I surround myself with people who can. Still, you've not experienced all there is in life until you've seen me proper butcher True by Spandau Ballet.

Then, as for the literary interests, my love lies with pulp detective novels of the thirties and forties. Raymond Chandler is simply the greatest ever. And Dashiell Hammett is just fantastic. Lately, I've been reading through Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles at Carollelogram's recommendation. Two books in and I have to say they're astonishing.

If you do the Twitter thing, Haxan1 is my handle should you want to follow me.

Feel free to friend me to your console of choice should you ever want to play a game of Street Fighter. Just be sure to let me know that you're from Destructoid and you'll get the royal treatment.

Blogs I writed:

•Virtual Console Review- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
•Review- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop

Front Page
•Other Worlds Than These: The citizens of the land of Termina
•Community spotlight: Haxan goes above and beyond for the community

Monthly Musings
•Instant Replay: Street Fighter II
•The Start of the Affair: Solomon's Key

Editorials and assorted articles
•Does the Wii have RROD-type issues of its own?
•Okay, Nintendo. I guess that we can be friends again.
•Niero, do you have any idea what in the lobster milkshake you have done?! (dtoid 3rd anniversary post)
•10 things you might not have known about Haxan (but really only 8)
•Why Destructoid is awesome: Nilcam is the greatest edition (I honestly can't give Nilcam enough props for this.)
•Christmas shopping: Non-gaming, priest dad-style
•Bad Dye Job: A Darius Pickman Story
•"Congraturation" RetroforceGO!
•Nintendon't what?! Now you tell me just what the %#@$ Nintendon't do!

Neat stuff I played a bit part in
•The Destructoid children's alphabet book


Following (28)  

It's been a long while since I've blogged here. For the two of you that remember me: How've you been? Long time no see. To the rest of you: How's it going? I like what you've done with the place. I'm Jason, and while I haven't been active on Destructoid in some time, I do occasionally contribute to the front page over at Tomopop (most recently with this review for Evil Dead 2 figures).

I'm going to cut right to the chase- I need your help. Or, rather, my best friend Sandy needs your help. Sandy Stenzel is a film student at UCLA. She became one of the 6 finalists for a film competition hosted by Sprite. These six directors were given a minuscule budget to create a short film showcasing Sprite. Ultimately the winner will get their film shown in movie theaters across America during that blitz of ads and trailers they show before the flick you paid to see.

It's a huge deal, and can and probably will launch the career of the winner. The hitch is that a large part of the judging is done by internet voting. If you're already gung-ho to help out, I think you're amazing and here's how you can do so:

Go to http://www.sprite.com/films and watch Sandy's movie "Love, Refreshed", then vote for it. It's about a 3-minute short. You can vote once a day every day in the month of August. You only have to watch it once. You can skip straight ahead to the voting on each other day. Thanks so much. You don't have to keep reading anymore, Mr./Ms. Awesomely Helpful Person. I'm just going to keep trying to convince the others from here on out.

I'm just going to keep listing reasons why this girl deserves this, and why helping her out is a completely noble, charitable, and worthwhile thing to do.

-First and foremost, this girl is one of us. Hell, I probably wouldn't even be one of us if it weren't for Sandy. This girl is a gamer. When I first met her 15 years ago, I was amazed to meet a woman who played video games, let alone one who could occasionally kick my ass at them. I was kind of a lapsed gamer at the time. It was she who brought me back into the fold. Girl got a Dreamcast on launch day, and I remember playing Soul Caliber with her until dawn.

Beyond gaming, she loves anime, cult films (the first night I went over her house she showed me "Tromeo and Juliet", and I knew right there that she'd be my bestie for life), and before she moved to the other side of the country, we would scour every toy department in the state for rare variant action figures. (For my 25th birthday, she bought me a giant Leatherface action figure from Texas Chain Saw Massacre. She's a rare and awesome breed.)

Long story short, this is a girl who will make films that we like, because she loves the same things that we do.

-Sandy shot her film on actual 35mm film stock, as opposed to the digital cameras that her competitors used. Film is way more expensive, much more time-consuming to shoot with, and makes post production more complicated. She shot her film on the same budget as her competition, which created headaches of its own. The result, though, is obvious. Her short looks amazing. Her's looks professional. Shooting on film is coming closer to being a lost art, yet she took a major risk and made it happen.

-Every time you cast a vote, you're entered to win a trip to Universal Studios. It's kind of a weak reason, since it never really feels like people really win those things, but I'd love to see a Dtoider walk away with that prize.

-If her film wins and is shown in theaters, you'll get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped make it happen. Feel free to turn to the person next to you and brag about how you jump-started that filmmaker's career. You've earned it!

-Do it because it's the right thing to do. This is a pathetically easy contest to hack. (All it requires is an email address and entering a captcha code to vote; a person could just punch in random email addresses all day long and win this thing.) It is widely suspected that the current front-runner has people doing just that. The help of the Dtoid Army (i.e. YOUR help), could overcome those nasty cheaters.

-Remember that time in 'Nam when I took that bullet for you? I've never once held it over you in any way since then. If this weren't really important, I wouldn't remind you now. If you help me out now, we're totally even. (There's still shrapnel in my shoulder, and when it rains it hurts like you wouldn't believe. Just saying.)

-Because someone who can sport a hat this pimp simply deserves to win!

If you made it this far, I thank you for your time. If you voted today, I think you're a rockstar. If you're going to vote on multiple days throughout the contest, you're pretty much a god in my book.
Photo Photo Photo

This started off as comment to Yojimbo's post regarding the controversy over the header pic on this front page story. Obviously it was much too long for a comment, and I doubt few will read through it even as a blog. But I hope that you'll read it through to the end before throwing in comments on either side of the debate.

I want to point out a couple of things. First, Rev. Anthony's avatar had nothing to do with this photo. It was a cap of Takeshi Kitano (a Japanese man not Vietnamese, and one of my biggest heroes, incidentally) from the film Sonatine. (I had incorrectly put Hana-Bi originally, which Takeshi corrected me on. Whoops. The bizarre bit being that Sonatine is my favorite Takeshi film. Director idol fail!) Also he was shooting himself in the head.

Second, the guy in the photo isn't about to be shot. It's not about violence looming in the future. He is dying as that shutter is closing. There's no exit wound yet because the bullet hasn't exited his skull yet. It's much more disturbing than simply a man about to die or even being dead. We've seen dead bodies. But it's rare to see an actual person losing his/her life.

I'm actually a little shocked by some of these comments. The ones referencing the offended as whiners/sissies/babies. It really shows how far towards desensitization we have come in this world. What these people are saying is that violent death happens, so we should be subjected to it at every part of our lives, and if someone resists then they are in denial. If a person gets offended by that image it is because some people put a value on human life. That photo was not from a videogame. That is a person who was alive when the button on the camera's button was pressed and was lifeless before the shutter reopened. Not everyone is so terribly desensitized/unempathetic.

But, I haven't heard from any offended people in this forum. So, you're not even speaking to the people commenting here. The dissenters are those who are saying that the use of the photo was in bad taste. The argument has been made that killing and death will be portrayed in the game. But fake deaths by data and computer generated images.

And just because an event is portrayed in a game, is it a good idea to display it's real-life equivalent when talking about the game? I'm currently replaying God of War. This topic reminds me that I had to kill hundreds of little puppies before they transformed into giant demon dogs. As such, would it have been okay to show real photos of puppies that were abused and beaten to death; broken and torn apart? Is that not bad taste?

Those that are claiming the use of the header photo was in bad taste, are saying that it's use serves no purpose other than to shock. The article does not discuss the horrors of war. It does not touch upon violence at all. Nothing about it was relevent at all to subject matter. The point of the article was to talk about the rumor of a videogame's setting and that there was a casting call. There was no specific relation that would warrant the use of such a affecting photo.

A few have said since that the point of it must have been to promote discussion about the horrors of war. That's a weak argument considering that it was never brought up in the text. If we're to applaud someone for being so bold as to talk about these issues, than those to be applauded should be the "sissies/whiners/babies" who brought to the attention that this photo's use was controversial.

Finally, the bitterness toward Destructoid over what is being portrayed as "censorship", I also wish to tackle that. The photo was changed. That wasn't censorship. It was a judgement call. I'm sure that the editors discussed this matter and took the views of all involved into view. They did what they thought was responsible. I know for a fact that if that photo were relevent the context of the article it would still be attached to it as we speak. The Destructoid editorial crew are amazing when it concerns the free-speech of the editors and the community. I've talked to the head robot himself about his concerns regarding free speech and the community. I know that it is not a matter he takes lightly. That Yojimbo's article still stands untouched at this very moment, every photo intact, is a testament to that very fact. I'm sure that the question was reaised, the community's arguments on both sides were taken into account, and that Matt had the deciding vote on what to do with photo in the end. The offended people were able to have their say. It was taken into consideration. A decision was made based upon the facts of the event. This was true Freedon of Speech at work. Not censorship at all.

Since I've long since crossed the tl;dr divide, I'll put this comment (now blog) out of it's misery. I'll leave simply reaffirming that I was not offended by the pic. My initial thoughts were "Really?!" and I would have just left them there and moved on. The only thin that I was offended by was the cries of a few desensitized people who feel the need to push their views of the value of a human life onto others and insult them while doing it. I've never been a fan of intolerance. And in this case, it really makes you wonder what a life playing games can do to you.

Hey, everybody. I'm really sorry about the double-pimping here. Sometime around the weekend, the Where the Wild Things Are photo shoot over at Tomopop made it onto Digg: http://digg.com/d317cvW. It would be a huge help if you could digg it up to give the site a bit more exposure. It hasn't gone popular yet, but with your help I don't think it's far off. Thanks for your help. I hope you enjoy some of these unused shots.

The header pic above is another shot from the campfire scene that turned out great. I love how Aaron's head in the foreground forms that amazing silhouette against the fire and other figures.

I used a similar shot in the final piece that worked much better narratively, but I love this shot more. I love the level of detail Moishe and how the other figures are peeking out around him. Max seems to be jumping out of his head.

This was another (drastically different) angle from a photo used in the final post. I think it turned out completely adorable.

This was one of my favorite photos in the whole shoot. I didn't use it because I wanted the fire-scene to be about the group playing together. I'm so in love with the deep shadows taking over so much of his face as well as how much the line detail pops.

Truth be told that Tom (Ruffo, one of my best friends and photographer) didn't think any of the fire pics were going to turn out all that well. I had the poor guy lying down on the ground on a very cold Michigan night shooting for over an hour on that sequence just reassuring him that it was going to work.

I've got a c-blog over at Tomopop that also pimps the entry on Digg. It contains even more photos, so give it a look if you'd like to see more shots. Thanks again for your help!

Special thanks to Y0j1mb0 for showcasing the site in this weekend's c-blog recaps. You're a class act in everyway (except maybe when you deal out a late, post-victory hit in Street Fighter IV)!
Photo Photo Photo

Many of you know that for nearly two months, I've been writing daily over at Destructoid's sister-site tomopop.com where I work with a crew of amazingly talented folks bringing news and stories about the toys and figures industry. The first thing that I decided that I wanted to do was a photo feature on my Where the Wild Things Are figures that would coincide with the film's release. With the valuable photographic assistance of Thomas Ruffo, one of my best friends, we've been working on this goal in the time since.

Short story long, today's the day and a few hours ago the story went live. I've done a lot of things that I'm incredibly proud of and this piece stands with every last one of them. I've wanted to share it with everyone that I care about and that includes the whole of the community. The photos in this blog are some unused shots from the post. If you like these, you're going to love how the final shots came out.

So enough with my ramblings, here's the link: http://tomopop.com/show-and-tell-the-wild-rumpus-begins-9263.phtml. I hope that you'll enjoy it.

"Tom, give me a cigarette. If I fall and break my neck, I'll have wished that I'd had one. And at least I'll die in my dtoid shirt!"

Special thanks to Y0j1mb0 for some great ideas in terms of presentation, and to Colette for the perfect music to inspire the writing. You guys are incredible!
Photo Photo Photo

It feels like ages since I've drawn/written a blog for Destructoid. For the last month I've been working lots and lots and lots of overtime. So, things have been busy with that. Which I'm hoping will finally end with this week. Then I'll be able to see a bit more free time, be able to play more video games, and hopefully read and write more about them as well.

In addition to all of that, the big news is that for the last two weeks, I've been writing over at Tomopop! I've been hired on to join the great team of toy-loving editors at the greatest site for toy enthusiasts on the planet. In my short time there, I have learned a lot, and have added a tiny bit of my own self-deprecating flavor to the mix. If you've never been over to Destructoid's sister-site, I invite you to give it a look. If you're one of the three people that enjoy my writing (my mom's one, and I'm sure that there's got to be at least two others), then rest assured that I manage to put some good old Haxan-style into nearly everything that I write there. The only difference is that at Tomopop, I'm going by my real name: Jason Millward.

Writing for Modern Method is kind of a dream come true, and this has been an exciting couple of weeks for me. This does not mean that I'll be disappearing from dtoid (sorry to disappoint). I fully intend to be as much a part of this site as I always have. Dtoid is my home. I love this place and all of you guys. I love flexing my weak-as-hell artistic skills here. Haxan is dtoid for life. I'm also writing a ton over there, now. That's all that's changed.

If you're interested, I wrote my first c-blog to serve as kind of an introduction there. I also wrote a feature interview with Canadian artist ImaginaryThomas that I'm pretty proud of. Until next time. Which should be soon, because I've been meaning to finish up that unpublished art series.

Hey everybody. I've spent the last 12 hours putting together an entry for this week's shirt.woot derby. If you've got a woot account, please vote for my design if you feel it's your jam. I would love to own one of these, and I hope that you would, too.

The theme this week is "School" so I put together an homage to arcade brawlers and The Breakfast Club. Please let me know what you think, but most importantly, give me a vote!

Thanks, everyone!

(Higher Resolution Version is in the gallery below.)