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1:21 PM on 01.04.2010

Make-A-Metroid contest RESULTS!

Hey everyone, the Make-a-Metroid contest ended on the 1st and I just posted up the results today. We had some particularly badass entries! Be sure to check out all of the entries in detail at the contest page.

FIRST PLACE:


SECOND PLACE:


THIRD PLACE:




As an aside:
I tried my hardest to get the word out for this contest... but feel like I failed. I emailed many of the major game news publication websites -- Kotaku, Joystiq, GoNintendo, even Destructoid and many others, (twice, even!) but NONE OF THEM ever published or posted a single thing about it. I really don't understand why, (although the guy at GoNintendo said he had to "get the OK from his advertisers" before he could post about it, so I really don't know if that was just an excuse or not.) and no one even emailed me back why they didn't/couldn't. They just ignored it.

I mean, if someone could possibly clear up the reason why game news publications have no problems posting up other bullshit articles that just might have the slightest inkling of somehow being game-related, but not willing to post about our contest, I'd appreciate it.   read


11:36 PM on 12.02.2009

Splashdown and Melissa Kaplan

I wonder how many people that read DToid have heard of Splashdown? (No, not that old Jet-Ski racing game for PS2 and Xbox...) Splashdown is an awesome band formed in 1996, and their history and its former members are now intertwined with the game industry. I can't talk to anyone in real life about it, so I'm writing it here on Destructoid.

So I've been playing the recently released Assassin's Creed II and loving it (unlike some other people I know... :P). Did you know that it (as well as the first AC) has vocals by Melissa Kaplan in it? Who's Melissa Kaplan, and why should I care, you ask? Well, why don't I tell you?


(this is an old, but widely-distributed image of Melissa Kaplan)

Melissa Kaplan, the girl with the voice of an angel, is the former singer of a band named Splashdown. Splashdown is a late 90's band--one of the few deserving to belong in the "trip-hop" genre--and is one that I lovingly refer to as "the greatest band that never existed." The story of Splashdown is extremely tragic. To make a long story short, (or one you can read on their Wiki page) Splashdown was an incredible band. Every song they produced was magical. It's like aurally eating a milky way ice cream bar. But trouble happened between them and their record label (Capitol), and they disbanded because of it.

I discovered Splashdown post-breakup. And in a way, it broke my heart as well. It's very difficult, mentally, to become extremely excited and depressed simultaneously. To discover this incredible gem of a band, one that touches your heart so perfectly, and listening to all their brilliant music in one day and then discovering hours later that they don't exist, and you'll never be able to find or purchase any of their albums or support them in any way. Or going into a record store and asking if they have any Splashdown and the store clerk looking at you like you're crazy. I would have followed Splashdown to the ends of the Earth.


(Kasson Crooker performing with Freezepop at this year's PAX)

Anyway -- one of Splashdown's other members, Kasson Crooker, later helped in founding the band "Freezepop" (I never liked Freezepop as much as Splashdown, though) Kasson is also the audio director at Harmonix... (y'know, that little company that made Guitar Hero and later, Rock Band?) So let's talk about Kasson for a moment. Kasson was also involved with two other Harmonix games before they became "big" called Frequency and Amplitude. If you go back and play these games, you can clearly see how much they paved the way for Guitar Hero/Rock Band. You have your highway, and your vehicle that drives down it. You have notes that fly in from the distance, and you have to hit those notes at the right time to go along with the beat to win. Amplitude even has customizable avatars! Guitar Hero may take all the credit, since it became popularized due to the rock music it featured, but it's these games that are the true the pioneers of the genre.

[embed]156682:25391[/embed]
[embed]156682:25392[/embed]


Back to Miss Kaplan. She later formed her own self-made band called Universal Hall Pass, which most likely you haven't heard of, unless you're a Kaplan fan like myself. Krooker has helped Kaplan produce some of the tracks on her albums too, so it's almost like Splashdown is reincarnated again through this new music. UHP has 2 albums out right now, the first one is all new songs, and the second one is mostly remixes of the previous album. Some of the tracks aren't quite as good or as memorable as Splashdown in their heyday, but it's still wonderful, great music, all with Kaplan's heavenly voice leading the way. (I'm pretty partial to "Dragonfly," "Solar/Lunar," and "Avatar") Kaplan has also done a trip-hop version of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire! So go to her site and check it out.

Splashdown left us behind a mere 55 songs: 3 released albums (2 EPs and 1 LP) 2 unreleased albums, and 1 unreleased song. They are one of my all-time favorite bands and you should give them a listen if you consider yourself a music lover. Besides, most of, if not all their music can be found easily and freely online, and the band left a note encouraging everyone to share it. Love them along with me, and support Melissa Kaplan! With a voice and talent like that, she most certainly deserves it.

Listening to: Cave Radio by Universal Hall Pass   read


9:52 AM on 11.25.2009

Yoshi's Athletic Lyrics

I had a fit of genius/insanity last night and decided to write lyrics to Yoshi's Athletic theme, which you first hear on the "Go! Go! Donut Lifts" stage in Yoshi's Island.

You can listen along here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlcyq18dA8I

Yoshi's Athletic Song
Yoshi's Athletic Song
Yoshi's Athletic SONG!

This guy's name is Yoshi
He is a dinosaur
He eats and eats and eats
and then he eats some more
When Yoshi swallows bad guys,
An egg will pop right out
And that's what Yoshi's all about!

Yoshis come in colors
Of every different shade
From Cotton Candy Pink
To Yellow Lemonade
Which Yoshi is the best one?
I think you can agree
It's Yoshis that are colored Lime Green!

(softshoe part)

YO-SHI, it's YO-SHI, it's YO-SHI, it's YOSHI!

This guy's name is Yoshi
He is a dinosaur
He eats and eats and eats, even more.

(softshoe part)

Yoshi sticks his tongue out
To gobble what he can
He hovers in the air
And butt stomps when he lands

He turns into a copter,
A car, a submarine,
But Yoshi is the best when he's Green!

This guy's name is Yoshi
He is a dinosaur
He eats and eats and eats
and then he eats some more
When Yoshi swallows bad guys,
An egg will pop right out
And that's what Yoshi's all about!


Maybe one day I'll make a little flash music vid using these lyrics... :P   read


7:36 PM on 11.02.2009

Make-A-Metroid CONTEST!

Hello everyone,
Infinity's End here from the Metroid Database, the longest running Metroid-dedicated site on the net.
We had our 13th anniversary recently, and starting today, we have unveiled our new "Make-a-Metroid" Contest, where we are asking participants to create a Metroid out of anything they want.
The contest lasts for 2 months and all the entries are due by Dec. 31, 2009.

We are offering a variety of prizes:

1st place Prize:
* Metroid Prime Trilogy for Wii
* $50 Gift Card to Amazon.com
* Metroid Prime Trilogy official poster
* Signed 11x17 Metroid Artwork Print by Ivan Flores

2nd place prize:
* Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for Wii
* Metroid Prime 3 T-Shirt (black, Size L)
* Samus Wall Sticker
* Signed 11x17 Metroid Artwork Print by Ivan Flores

3rd place prize:
* Metroid Classic Series for GBA
* Metroid Prime 3 T-Shirt (white, Size L)
* Signed 11x17 Metroid Artwork Print by Ivan Flores

We are trying to get as many people as we can to participate.
The official contest page can be viewed here: http://www.metroid-database.com/?g=features&p=contest
Thanks for all your support, and please tell everyone you know to come to the site and participate in our contest! We really appreciate it.

Best regards,
--Ryan Barrett, aka Infinity's End
c/o Metroid Database, http://www.metroid-database.com   read


7:17 PM on 10.16.2009

Metroid Database turns 13


Another shameless self-promotion.
The longest-running and #1 Metroid website on the web turned 13 years old today.

This year has definitely been the biggest year for Metroid news. Other M, MPT, Shadow Complex... Yuki and her brilliant Samus costume... but yet, Nintendo still continues to give the Metroid series table scraps (you remember seeing a TV commercial for MPT? Oh yeah that's right, there wasn't one) and they wonder why not enough people are into the series...

But on a lighter note, we are proud to be the longest running Metroid site and will continue to be the best for as long as it takes! Check out the site for some other blurbs by myself and the rest of the staff.   read


10:39 PM on 10.14.2009

Game Over: R.I.P. Lou Albano

I was browsing through the other C-Blogs and I didn't see anything about this, surprisingly.
I'm 28, so of course one of my favorite shows from my childhood was the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, with Zelda every Friday.


As many of you know (and if you don't, SHAME ON YOU!), on the SMB Super Show, Captain Lou, a former pro wrestler, would do some funny (more or less dumb and poorly acted) skits with Luigi and they'd have a celebrity on now and then. Basically, it was filler between the cartoons. It was cool that they tried to have a little live-action comedy thing with Mario, but back in those days, he had red overalls, before Nintendo made the switch with SMB2. (even though the box art and concept art gave him red ones, the game still had blue ones!) Well, at least they finally got it right with SMB3 (even though his sprite used black! >_<;;).


The great thing about Lou's Mario was it was really scruffy and deep, like how an Italian plumber from Brooklyn should sound. Too scary for kids? Not friendly enough? Not a chance. I watched the SMB Super Show when I was 11-14 and it never bothered me. Today's Mario is a bit too "Mickey Mouse" for my tastes, but *sigh* guess there's nothing to be done about it. I even remember being irked at Mario's "true" voice the first time I played Mario 64... it was NOTHING like Lou's great rendition.

Ah, that's enough from me for now. R.I.P. Cap'n Lou. You will always be remembered as the "true" voice of Mario in my heart.   read


11:50 AM on 09.30.2009

Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe

FINALLY, a show about games that's WORTH watching? NO WAY!
I'm not one to watch many documentaries, but this one was actually pretty entertaining.

Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe (Episode 1?) can be watched in its entirety via YouTube.

The show talks about a brief history of video games, and discusses its many genre types, hosted by British comedian Charlie Brooker. Although they do make a few mistakes here and there (Labeling Fighting Games as "beat 'em ups"), and the show is really, REALLY British, it's still worth watching.

I don't know if this is just a one-episode deal or is going to be a series type of thing, but I like it so far and hope to see more in the future. Enjoy the link!

found on GoNintendo.
OR just read Ali D's post that he made a few hours ago instead.   read


9:46 PM on 09.21.2009

Zombie: Panic in Wonderland

So what happens when you take the 3 most well-known characters in American, European, and Japanese children's fiction, give them insane amounts of firepower on a quest to destroy zombies that have plagued their land?

You get Zombie: Panic in Wonderland.

Well... this is Snow White.

Snow White is an oversexualized chibi version of Disney's Snow White. Brandishing a huge rocket launcher.

This is Dorothy.

Dorothy has ruby slippers like her movie version and not silver slippers like the book version... looks like she's got an AK47-ish, semi-automatic weapon with a scope.

And Momotaro.

With a katana...hey, at least he seems to have one in the stories.

The game looks like a pretty straight forward action arcade-style 3rd person shoot 'em up.
I'm also predicting very soon that one of the main bloggers on Destructoid is going to make a post about this, so don't be surprised if you see it coming... you heard it here first!

Go here for all the media you could want: http://www.escuadronpikmin.com/2009/09/21/nuevo-video-del-genial-zombie-panic-in-wonderland/   read


1:25 AM on 09.01.2009

Wave Beam: Metroid Database podcast


Hey there,
This is just my totally shameless self-promotion for our brand-spankin' new Metroid podcast, called "Wave Beam."
Episode 1 features Metroid Metal and includes special guest Grant Henry!

Head on over to http://www.metroid-database.com if you want to listen! Thanks!

--Infinity's End   read


1:54 PM on 07.14.2009

Metroid and Tits.

Extremely NSFW link ahead:
You can't say I didn't warn you.

As you can see, this kinda proves that Samus has been degraded into little more than a sex object. Samus got her Zero Suit outfit back in 2004 with the debut of Zero Mission, but of course NO ONE played it. Didn't you know, Metroid has never topped 2M copies in sales? Even Metroid Prime only sold a measely 1.49M copies.

Yeah, that's why you rarely see any extra merchandise for it. Big sellers like Mario or Zelda -- whose games sell 6M or more copies -- get their own goddamn clothing line. But Metroid? NOOOOO...

So fast-forward to last year with the release of SSB Brawl. Sexual innuendo from Snake and Samus's armor coming off as part of her move set allowed everyone on earth to FINALLY realize that "Metroid" wasn't a "guy." It's sickening, really. People should have known that Samus was a woman -- SHE'S BEEN AROUND FOR 23 YEARS, PEOPLE! You think all this art was made after Zero Mission came out? No f'ing way -- most of that stuff in that DA gallery was drawn in the last year, I'd bet money on it. And 9 FUCKING PAGES OF THIS? COME ON!!

You hear that? Sorry, it's just my eyes rolling VERY LOUDLY...
I'm really sick of how no one gives a fuck about Metroid. It's extremely frustrating. Sure, gamers who will stumble upon this blog will probably be familiar with the games, but even people like Dyson can be cold-hearted old fogeys who won't give the Prime games a chance because they're "FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS." Gimme a break. I was just as leery about Metroid Prime when it was announced but I ended up loving every minute of them. They're brilliantly amazing, well-crafted games. AND NO ONE CARES.

Don't diss the games because they're "Not Metroid," enjoy them because they're new, fun experiences. There are easily 50 (or more) things you can do in Metroid Prime that you still can't do in modern FPS's. I started re-playing through Prime after not touching it for at least 5 years and I can safely say it's probably the best game ever released on the Gamecube. Wind Waker and RE4 are in a very close second. But Prime was a NEW, innovative gameplay experience and it is STILL a hell of a lot of fun. The attention to detail in that game is astounding! It's just a feat of genius by the Retro team.

So I guess big N is just playing the "Sex Card" now with Samus to get some more sales. I'll admit, even I was a little surprised at ZSS's looks and her overabundance of shapely features. She's basically naked. You play as Samus, and you get to run around as a fucking naked girl. What could be better?

I truly hope Other M doesn't end up stooping to the low and have a "shower scene" or something. Now that would really put a killing blow on any shred of dignity that Samus had left as a female game character.   read


8:50 AM on 06.26.2009

Muscle March Wallpaper: Featuring Chad Concelmo

After Chad's blog about Muscle March, I couldn't help myself. I HAD to do the right thing. So enjoy.

If anyone wants it in different resolutions, feel free to post below and request them!   read


8:44 PM on 03.08.2009

Another Watchmen review... big surprise, right?

So this is more or less my nitpicky, fanboyish "review" of Watchmen which I just saw today. It's long. If you decide to read it, I thank you for your time.

There be spolers. OH yes. I warned you.

The intro was amazing. Seriously, amazing. I was enthralled by the first minute of the movie. While I was sitting there watching the credits go by, for the first time, it finally sunk in: "Holy shit. They made the fucking "unfilmable" Watchmen movie." Then the Comedian scene occurred and I was floored. I really couldn't believe it. It was the comic in movie form. What everyone says is true: almost every single scene in the movie is perfectly recreated, panel for panel, from the comic.

The movie expectedly leaves a few things out, like most comic-to-movie conversions usually do, but what they did leave out was not too important (Iíll get to that later). However there was other stuff they left in, which could have been removed and replaced with some other things, which makes me wonder when that kind of decision is made, do they compare it to other scenes? Or is it just a timing thing?

I loved this movie. In fact, there were many times where the scenes were so visually arresting and loyal to the source material that it drove me to tears (the good kind of tears) from being just so fucking perfect. Of course, I was let down by a few things. I'll start off with the good points:

A lot of the special effects/cgi were also very fun to watch: the glass castle Dr. Manhattan makes on Mars, flying around in Nite Owl's ship, the jailbreak scene, and all the fight scenes were great. There were also a lot of very gory, violent scenes. Sometimes the scenes were overly violent, like one of the first changes I noticed: Instead of Rorschach setting the first man he killedís house on fire, and watching him burn alive while contemplating existence, what it means to be a masked hero, and deciding to take matters into his own hands, he instead cuts the guy's head open with a butcher's knife, like a watermelon.

Other things I liked: Bubastis looks purrrrfect (but he is only shown at the end and is in like 4 scenes), all the costumes look amazing, a lot of the dialogue is taken directly from the book, and I really didn't mind the "new" ending as bad as I was expecting to. Let's see... what else? Oh yeah: Rorschach steals the show. Remember how awesome he was in the book? Remember how you couldnít wait to get to the next page that had Rorschach in it? Yeah, he's pretty much still that awesome (but he was never shown eating sugar cubes. A minor detail? Perhaps.). I think I remember reading a review that said something along the lines of ďJackie Earle Haley was born on this Earth to play the role of Rorschach.Ē And I couldnít agree more. His performance is that good. And you hardly ever see his face!


Now onto the bad stuff:
DR. MANHATTAN:
Firstly, animation movements and more specifically, the mouth movements of CG on Dr. Manhattan: disappointing. Well not like Beowulf bad, but overall there were some definite uncanny valley moments. On the other hand, there are some other scenes where they did an amazing job with him. Totally convincing. That's to be expected, but I'm very sorry there were some scenes that turned out the way they did. I was happy they kept him nude for a good portion of the scenes he was in, but Iíve noticed a lot of immature comments (probably those who didnít read the book) who donít understand that he didnít need clothing or much else, for that matter, to live. (Comparatively, though, they were very gracious to Docís member.) Dr. Manhattan talks very softly and slowly. He doesnít have an echo in his voice or anything special like they do in the Motion Comic, he just sounds like a normal guy. Almost a little too normal...almost to the extent of sounding weak. Iím sure they made that decision for clarityís sake, but itís noticeable. And at times, his body movement seems like it's entirely in slow motion, which is something I'm not sure Zack did on purpose (since he's obsessed with slo-mo shots) or it was just poor, unconvincing CG. Heís also way too buff for his own good. I know Dr. Manhattan was definitely close to being a ďperfect being,Ē but his physique is way too close to a bodybuilder, which at times is a bit unsettling, and in some scenes he comes across more akin to a big blue wrestler than a man who has no imperfections in his body structure. To this day, no one has ever been able to best Gollum for best CG actor. Who knows when that day will come. But it wasn't just the CG either: the actor who played Richard Nixon, while doing a perfect job matching mannerisms and voice, had an extremely unconvincing makeup job that stands out every time. If you can just keep telling yourself "ok, yeah that's Nixon, sure," it might not be so bad, but there were plenty of closeup shots of this actor in full makeup and it just. looked. bad.

SILK SPECTRE:
As most people have already pointed out, Malin Ackermanís performance was underwhelming. There are some scenes that are just flat out, *poorly acted.* And Iím not usually noticing things like that when I watch movies. She also has almost no backstory at all, and neither did Nite Owl. So maybe them both having non-existent backstories is why they got together? >_> You never see the scene where she throws her drink in the Comedianís face, you never see the scene where she goes into the den and breaks the snow globe while her parents are bickering. She doesnít even smoke. In fact, the only people who smoke are the Comedian and Big Figure! Like, do you still think ďoh we shanít be showing bad smoking habits to the kiddies,Ē when you have people taking butchers knives to peopleís heads? Gimme a break. The movie is rated R, fucking give me a goddamn rated R movie. Donít peddle to me like Iím immature.
Silk Spectre was nothing more than a pretty face. She didnít even need to be in the movie because she hardly served any purpose other than being a pretty face. She didnít even seem convincing enough to Dr. Manhattan on Mars. All he did was look at her and realize, ďYou exist the way you are purely based on random chance, and thatís pretty close to being a miracle. Ok, Iíll give Earth another go.Ē When she realized the Comedian was daddy dearest, I felt nothing. Not because it wasnít tragic, but because the movie never set us up to the improbability that he was her father. And they never even touched on his scar deforming his face so that he looked like he was perpetually sneering (like the Joker). They almost downplayed the scar/face deformation. And that, my friends, is tragic...almost to the point of being, dare I say it, a joke.

VEIDT/OZYMANDIAS:
The moment I saw the actor chosen for this character I questioned it. And I think in the end I was right. The actor was too skinny, too weak, and completely awful and impassionate to take on the role of Veidt. He did not portray the character well at all. And he looks like an 18-year old boy. There are some parts with him that are just flat out boring to watch. His dialogue is just completely uncompelling and flat out boring. He isnít nearly as sinister as he is in the book, and he doesnít come off as ďthe worldís smartest manĒ either. He isnít the kind of guy that you just love to hate him because heís so damn smart and clever, and way in the back of your mind you admire him and almost pity him for being so selfless and selfish at the same time. Yeah, this guy is none of those things. Sorry Zack, you lost me on Adrian.

Oh right, they introduced Hollis Mason just to have that 1 conversation with Dan, and then we NEVER SEE HIM EVER AGAIN. Guess we'll have to wait for the Director's Cut DVD, eh Zack?


Like I said before, scene for scene, the movie pretty much follows the timing and plot of the comic to a T. Right down to the little drip of ketchup that falls on the New Frontiersman guy's smiley face shirt at the end. This movie was made for fans, by a fan. It was a fan-made movie, and it really, truly tries its damn hardest to be respectful to its original source. Watchmen should have been, at the very least, a 2-part movie. At the most, an awesome mini-series. But itís not. And here we are, and thereís nothing to be done about it. In the end, should Watchmen never have been made into a film? Probably, but at least it was still pretty damn fun and entertaining way to kill 2.5 hours.   read


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