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1:13 PM on 01.14.2011

One for the wrestling fans out there

I've always been a fan of WWE's 'Smackdown' series of video games but couldn't help but feel last years offering, Smackdown vs Raw 2011 was an exceptionally weak offering.
So much so that I stopped playing it after only a few games.

But my faith in THQ and WWE has been restored. While I still think WWE's cartoony All-Stars game looks a bit goofy I am suddenly massively excited about it because one of my all time favourate wrestlers will be in it, 'Macho Man' Randy Savage! Ooh yeah!

If you're a dedicated fan of wrestling like myself you'll know that this is a huge surprise, because Randy Savage has been all but black-listed by WWE until he signed a deal to produce a WWE Legends action figure with Jakks.

But there's no point dwelling on the negatives, for any of the current generation of WWE fans who haven't witnessed the Macho Man in action, it's time to get excited.


(heard about this on the Smackdown vs Raw community forums btw)   read

6:32 AM on 06.21.2008

UFC Undisputed Video


Mixed martial arts promotor UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) seems to be gaining momemtum all the time. I've been a fan for years, but the sport as a whole seems to be sneaking into mainstream sports circles. THQ, who have been responsible for the highly successful WWE Smackdown games, are the company behind the new game, UFC Undisputed.

The game will feature a roster of over 80 UFC fighters, as well as the standard create-a-fighter mode, career mode and online play. I don't know how well known the UFC or whatever is here, but I've played previous UFC games for the x-box and they were all pretty stinky. The THQ WWE games are quite fun to play, so I trust THQ should be able to make a pretty decent UFC game.

I'd like to see if anyone else is at all interested in this game, because I am.   read

6:29 AM on 06.10.2008

Allow me to recommend this: 'The King of Kong'

After a decent weekend, I always like to end it off with a film on Sunday night, so I was reading this month’s issue of Empire magazine and I saw an interesting looking film reviewed in the DVD section going by the name of ‘The King of Kong’. It got 4 out of 5 stars so I read the review, and then went on to give the film a watch myself.

It’s sort of like ‘Rocky’ but involving Donkey Kong instead of boxing. It follows the story of Billy Mitchell, who sets a seemingly unbeatable world-record score on Donkey Kong in the 1980’s, only to get that score beaten 20 years later by a guy called Steve Wiebe. It’s all about Mitchell’s quest to regain his high-score.

I suppose the best thing about the film is how surreal it feels. I used to spend a fair share of time on Tekken 2 in the arcade, but being able to call a worldwide high-score as a crowning acheivement is a tad geeky. Fortunately, the film is approached with a tongue-in-cheek attitude for the most part, and we're able to laugh with the characters, rather than being forced to laugh at them or feel sorry for them. The film has all the scenes you'd readily expect from a sports film: public challenges, secret video tapes, financial backers and a suspenseful finale; making it all the more fun to enjoy.

It sounds an odd base to make a whole movie about, but I found it intriguing. The film is actually a documentary, and some of the interviews with Mitchell and Wiebe are overly-serious to the point of them being comical, especially when regarding the trivial nature of the matter at hand. At times it can just make the film feel overly hyperbolic, making the characters seem like caricatures of themselves, but I suppose it isn't a hard thing to do when the characters involved are so obsessed with an arcade game. But the unusual subject matter is something that hasn't been touched upon by a major film before, and it feels sufficiently different than watching a stock 'you can do it' sports movie.

Apparently, rights for a dramatic adaptation of the story have already been taken, but I doubt that film will be of any interest. I do seriously recommend ‘The King of Kong’ to anyone interested in video games. I’m sure at one point all another, most of us have all strived to get to the top of an X-Box Live leader board, but this film shows a seriously nerdy commitment to truly be the best in the world at something.

Steve Wiebe (front) playing Donkey Kong. Billy Mitchell (back) presented with his original high score certificate   read

5:38 AM on 05.19.2008

What I found in my garage: VOLUME 2

After recently finding some old Mario figures in an old toy-filled shoebox in the garage, Ive made it my mission to search every corner of the house to find as much worthless 90s gaming memorabilia as possible. I found a large stash of gaming gashapons. Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Mario, Crash Bandicoot etc. But I also found a few books that I felt would make a better blog entry.

This are from the Look and Find collection of books, that seem to be some sort of rip-off of the Wheres Wally? format. I had a flick through the Street Fighter one, which is totally hilarious.

The art looks the opposite to how Street Fighter should look. Chun-Li actually looks Chinese. Chun-Li shouldnt look Chinese! She's meant to have a non-descript anime face and rhino sized thighs! Blanka and Balrog dont look bad, but apart from them its pretty dire.

I couldn't scan any pages because my scanner is broken, but the art inside isn't too bad. I did happen to notice Sagat is fighting a tiger on every page. That's some good continuity from the artists right there. Either that or they ran out of scenarios for Sagat after the first page...

My other find was a Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook from 1991. It actually makes me cringe when I look through it, its worse than the Street Fighter book. I feel that Sega's horrible current version of Sonic is better than the images I saw in this book. Heres just a glimpse into the cheesy horrors in the book.

Didn't realise Sonic supported England...and also, I'm sure I owned that shirt Gary Linekar is wearing.

I dont think I have any more crap to photograph and post, so I guess my quest through cheesy 90s merchandise is thankfully over!   read

3:19 PM on 05.10.2008

RROD: My Story

So, on Tuesday I got what every 360 owner fears, the Red Ring of Death. I sort of feel a bit relieved I have it. My 360 have been mysteriously buzzing, humming and getting stupidly hot on a regular basis now, so I knew it was bound to happen at some point. And now it has.

When it did happen on Tuesday I didn't feel the need to mention it in any blog posts, I thought I'd be able to send it to Microsoft and have a new one by Friday. In hindsight, I overestimated Microsoft's competency.

This is what happened; a friend had his external hardrive on my system so I could do something on his Halo account. When it broke I contacted Microsoft and we went through the 'unplug-replug' procedure and established that I did, indeed, have a broken X-Box. At which point I was told I would be delivered an empty box which I could send my X-Box in. I asked them for the Microsoft HQ address (which is in Germany, I live in the UK) and we agreed it would be easier to send my X-Box in a box myself. I thought having to wait for a box was just a bit of a waste of time when I had boxes available. My friend then proceeded to laugh in my face, taking joy in the fact that this is the second time I've had the RROD, and his piece-of-shit X-Box which freezes on a weekly basis is still alive.

So, I got told the delivery men would arrive on Thursday to take my X-Box. fair enough. But on Thursday the delivery men don't show up, I got an empty box instead. The delivery men showed up on Friday and took my x-box.

I contacted Microsoft again to ask what happened, why I got an empty box and why the men arrived on a different day, and they say there was a mix up, but they won't be sending me a new x-box until they receive the empty box back! so delivery men need to come get an empty box now. They're supposed to be arriving Tuesday, fingers crossed. I guess they're low on empty cardboard boxes at Microsoft.

Seems like such a stupid system. I expect free MS points for such inconveniance!   read

8:19 AM on 05.07.2008

Old/rare Sonic and Mario Toys

When I was searching in the spare room I decided to root through some old boxes. I found an old toy box, full of Mini Boglins and similar small figure collections, which brought back a lot of memories. After a lot of digging I found some Mario and Sonic figures at the bottom of one box that I don't think I've seen on the internet before. I took some photos:

This is Metal Sonic and Splats (a badnik that was created for, but removed from Green Hill Zone).
I have a vague memory of buying these guys from a newsagents. Buying them in foil bags, sort of like Monster Wrestlers and things like that. I may be wrong, but that's what I seem to remember. It seems strange that anyone would produce a figure of a character that never actually appeared in the game though. Odd.

These are the Mario ones I found. Bowser, Yoshi, Peach, Luigi and Toad. Oddly, Mario was no where to be found. I don't have any memory at all of these. No idea where they came from, but they look genuine, they have a 'Nintendo' logo indented on the back of them, these are dated back to 1993. These are far from mint condition, they've got paint chipped off all over them, although the photo turned out ok.

I also found this little feller. A cross between Sonic and Luigi but..purple? Yeah, I was wondering what this guy was. After much searching though, I eventually found what toy range he was from. There's some info on him here:

So, there you go. Thought they were of interest. Has anybody else seen these at all before? Got any further info on any of them?   read

3:51 PM on 05.02.2008

Martial arts legend in GTA4

I, as I'm sure most sane 360 and PS3 owners are right now, am currently enjoying playing Grand Theft Auto 4 immensely. So what better game to base my first post on?

As well as a fan of video games, I'm also a fan of combat sports, and was extremely happy to hear former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten was going to make a guest appearance in GTA4. In the game, Rutten co-hosts the TV show 'The Men's Room'.
Well worth a watch.

In the show, Rutten offers some fairly unsound advice about how to deal with problems, and pretty much acts out the stereotype of an aggressive 'cagefighter', it's pretty funny! Got to love the over-the-top personality and constant violent references, it's funny stuff.

'On this show, we're going to be discussing a lot of aspects of health...especially how to endager the health of others.'

Listen carefully and you might even hear Bas use his favourate phrase...'right in the liver!'

You've got to admire the true depth of GTA. Me and my friends were always huge fans of the radio stations in the GTA game, and now we enjoy watching the TV shows too!   read

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