update.


Hey guys, it’s Sam. Now, I know my recent post releases have been really out of order. Some come out on Mondays, some on Sundays, others on Saturdays, it’s a mess. I’ve been trying to get an every-Friday streak going on for a while, and my personal life has influenced my ability to blog frequently. I’m sorry there was such a delay in between my BookBuzz post and spark., I’ve just been really busy.I just suddenly realized I forgot to make a Halloween special and a Thanksgiving special this year. So, so sorry for that, and I’ll have to make the scope of this year’s Christmas/New Year’s special even bigger to make up for it.

Thanks for over 118,000 hits and fifteen subs! I know this sounds wussy for me to be getting excited over that, but it does mean the world to me that 15 of you have clicked that subscribe button and eagerly await a new post from me, no matter what day or what week it arrives. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you, so I do thank you from the bottom of my heart!

This is also my 400th post on Sammwak. I did not even believe I was going to make it to 400, let alone 50. But thank you for making me want to make more posts and continue blogging for all of you.

Now, I’ve also been reading a lot, and here are the books I’ve been getting into:

  • Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis - My sister shipped this book to me a few weeks back. It’s the autobio of the frontman of one of the best funk bands in the universe. Stadium Arcadium is legendary by the way.
  • The Everafter War by Michael Buckley -  My sister got me this one way back. Two sisters live in a town where fairytale characters abound. Prince Charming is plotting war against the Master, whoever he is. One major person has already died, so it looks like it’s gonna be a bloodbath.
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith and Jane Austen - It’s literally all in the name.
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore - The quintessential old-school DC comic book. It takes place in the 1940s-60s in an alternate reality full of superheroes. When superheroes are outlawed, a murder brings them out of retirement for one last job.

I’m becoming slowly addicted to this website called TV Tropes. Have you heard of it? If so, then your life has probably been ruined too. It’s a place that uses “tropes” to tackle all of the ins and outs of television, film, and literature. Every scene setup, every character cliche, every stock phrase, if you can imagine it, there’s probably a trope for it. Trope makers, trope namers, trope codifiers, tear jerkers, nightmare fuel, YMMV (your mileage may vary), getting-crap-past-the-radar, the list goes on. And I’m naming all of these off the top of my head. I’ve been troping for at least two months now, and I can’t stop. If you want to join me in my downfall into mayhem, it’s at http://www.tvtropes.org, and if you come across a Stuffedninja on those haiku pages, that’s me. :D

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Thanks again for taking me on this wild journey.

Stay classy,

~S~ 8-)

Video of the Week well, I’m not sure if I’ll be publishing on time again, so let’s just call it Favorite Video: “YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?” by YouTube Spotlight. An awesome mashup of every meme, fad, hit, and popular thing of the year, featuring Youtubers such as Tobuscus, Pewds, Rhett & Link, Epic Meal Time, and more! 20.2 million hits in two days. Impressive.

the true meaning of smekday


sammwak:

Get a load of this while you guys wait for my next post. Great review.

Originally posted on omphaloskepsis:

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex (author, illustrator)
Hyperion Books for Children, 2007.
hardcover, 425 pages.
It all starts with a school essay. When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens–called Boov–abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?
In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother…

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Picks for Popcorn: Wreck-It Ralph/Paperman (plus New Scoring Chart!)


Now back in August, I let out a post that was centric around the one movie of the entire year that had my most eager share of anticipation: Wreck-It Ralph (and its running mate Paperman). And I probably stated it about a million times how excited I was for the movie, and if I didn’t see Wreck-It Ralph it would be as disappointing as Mark Twain not dying at the arrival of Halley’s Comet. But not only did I see the movie–I saw it on opening day. No, I didn’t see it in 3D, but after those 108 minutes, my mind was so blown I forgot the movie even came in 3D. Now let’s find out if that’s a good mind-blowing, or a bad mind-blowing.

File:Wreckitralphposter.jpeg

Released on November 2 (it couldn’t come any sooner), Wreck-It Ralph is a computer-animated comedy that is the official 52nd animated feature in the decades-long roster of the Walt Disney Animated Classics, being the first and only entry of the year. (As the 53rd title, Frozen, is coming next year.) Directed by Rich Moore, famous for his animation directing work on Futurama and The Simpsons, the movie–well, I won’t waste my time making up a new plot, let’s just reuse my old one. Wreck-It Ralph “starts at a typically nostalgic down-the-block arcade. One of the titles in that arcade is Fix-It Felix, Jr., where you play Felix himself and must constantly repair the damages of a building facade while the game’s villain smashes away atop the building. That villain is the 9′-tall, 643-pound Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly), and for three decades he’s been the guy that everyone loved to hate. And Ralph’s tired of that. And to make everyone notice he can be the hero [by getting a Medal of Heroes], he literally disappears from the game via power cord and joins the light-gun FPS Hero’s Duty, battling “Cy-Bugs” alongside the game’s own hero, Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch). But he doesn’t spend the whole movie in this game, as he later goes onto a candy-themed kart racer called Sugar Rush, and here he meets one of the game’s main characters, [the glitched] Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Vanellope has learned that her game is faced with a threat that could affect the entire arcade. The worst part? Ralph may have started the whole thing.” Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

If I could cram all my knowledge of seeing the movie into one word, it would have to be “greatest”. Because this is the greatest movie I’ve ever seen. Most people could easily fall for it being a video game movie, but search through all the hard candy and you’re gonna surface with a soft center. Wreck-It Ralph has some of the biggest virtues you’ll find in an animated movie–familiar themes (the behind-closed-doors theme that you may have found in Toy Story or Monsters Inc), well-written laughs, eye-popping visuals, noticeable but still thoughtful messages, and a lot of surprises you’ll love to encounter. It’s not just a cover-up, however, to say that the movie had minimal but still present missteps. Wreck-It Ralph is a treat for kids, adults, and the tech whizzes and tech newbies alike, bringing them an impressive and imaginative incarnation of code, pixels, avatars, pretty much everything in the interactive gaming world. And I thought Captain Underpants had a load of potty humor.

 1 3/4 out of 5 – Educational value –  Believe it or not, Wreck-It Ralph actually has educational value; it teaches viewers about gaming terms/concepts like the game code, avatars, consoles, etc.

 5 out of 5 – Positive messages – Viewers are enticed to accept the ways they are “programmed”, rather than to change their image for others to see. This is exemplified through the bad guy affirmation at a weekly support group for villains: “I’m bad, and that’s good. I’ll never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be…than me.” In-movie characters also learn how crucial it is to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before getting judgmental over them. More themes include inclusivity against exclusivity, and selflessness against selfishness.

4 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Ralph’s journey to make his peer approval a conquest turns into a life lesson of having pride in himself and his contributions. Ralph doesn’t let his status as a villain outdo the virtues that make him a hero; he’s a kind and resourceful character that strives to be the underdog. Vanellope is a spunky but still striving character that refuses to stick with the status quo in her own game–a game that Common Sense Media called “stereotypically girly”. In the game Vanellope also finds a way to control her deficiencies as a glitched character to turn into her biggest upside. Ralph initially dislikes Vanellope but eventually weaves his first big friendship with her. Despite his quirky natures, Sgt. Calhoun manages to work alongside Fix-It Felix in many wild occasions.

4 out of 5 – Ease of view – Wreck-It Ralph may be a toughie to crack for newcomers to the gaming world–naming all the characters, deciphering the natures of games, and so on–but it will still be a treat otherwise that will bring laughter from the mouth and–in some occasions–tears from the eyes. It is a very thoughtful and clever movie that takes video game crossovers and merchandising to the next level, crunching it into nearly two hours of the greatest adventure in video game movie history.

4 out of 5 – Violence – During the Hero’s Duty scene, the game’s characters fire guns at Cy-Bugs to make them explode in bits (no goo or blood is splattered, however). When a Cy-Bug strips Ralph of his gun, his arms are revealed to be giant guns themselves.The Cy-Bugs eventually go on to invade Sugar Rush, which turns it into a very interesting game. In one scene, Ralph clumsily startles a number of Cy-Bug eggs after receiving his medal of heroes, causing them to start hatching one after another. In another scene, Calhoun accidentally drops her already broken sensor (from all the sugar particles), which causes it to go off and evoke eggs to hatch in a wave. When pursuing Vanellope after having his medal stolen, he falls into a pond of sugary sweet goo, and fights through the candy forest to emerge looking like a monster. Moments later though, he is crammed into a giant cupcake and pastry police officers hit him with their nightsticks. When he is taken to King Candy’s lair, one of the officers whips out a candy chainsaw to get Ralph out of the cupcake, causing him to run away in fright. In another scene, Vanellope’s fellow racers destroy her car while simultaneously mocking her glitches, causing Ralph to scare them off. At the villain support group, a cyborg (meant to represent Kano from Mortal Kombat) viciously rips out a fellow villain’s heart. But as this fellow villain is a zombie, no actual damage is done. In one of Sgt. Calhoun’s flashbacks, she reminisces her wedding day, when the party was crashed by a giant Cy-Bug that ate her husband. Cautionary tales about character deaths are spread, like how you cannot regenerate when you die outside of your own game, or how characters can become “homeless” after their games are unplugged. This may upset younger audiences. When Felix welcomes Ralph into his 30th anniversary party–actually, their 30th anniversary party–a piece of the ceiling breaks off and falls on Felix. This does kill him, but as he is in his own game he automatically regenerates. When Ralph suddenly breaks through the walls of Felix’s room in King Candy’s “Fungeon”, some people might be startled. Also, people might be holding back tears when Ralph is forced to wreck Vanellope’s kart. He had done this since if Vanellope was allowed to race, her glitches would put the game out of order and eventually get it unplugged. And this is even worse for Vanellope, since glitches aren’t allowed to leave their games. So that meant if the game actually was unplugged, she’d die with it. Go down with the ship, you know. Calhoun and Felix get stuck in “Nesquik-sand”, and to get strips of Laffy Taffy above them to come down, they must be amused. So against her will, Calhoun repeatedly slaps Felix and gives him various injuries, but each time he uses his golden hammer to repair the wounds. Apparently that hammer doesn’t just fix broken windows, it can fix broken noses.

 2 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Felix and Calhoun strike a relationship and eventually–let’s just say take their love to the next level, evoking a very passionate kiss. They also smooch in another scene. One iconic character, Street Fighter‘s Zangief, wears only his underwear. Ralph also comes across an apparently used pair of Zangief’s underwear as well, much to his disgust. In another scene, Ralph strips a Hero’s Duty character of his suit, clothing his unconscious body with only Zangief’s underwear. Luckily, the stripping is not actually shown onscreen.

2 out of 5 - Language – Nothing colorful, but potty humor and name calling is frequently seen. “I hate you”, “shut your chew hole”, “numbskull”, “brat”, “doody”, “frickishly”, “buttload”, etc. “Pussy” is also mentioned–but in the word “pussy willows”. In one scene, Vanellope playfully calls Ralph a “son of a gun”. Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive” plays while Ralph teaches Vanellope to drive her kart.

5 out of 5 – Product Placement – Very iconic and famous game characters appear throughout the game, especially in the Game Central Station scene. As I said in my other post, nearly 200 game characters made cameo appearances in the movie. A cyborg resembling Kano, Zangief, Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy, the Pac Man ghosts, Pac Man himself, Q*bert, Bowser, Princesses Daisy and Rosalina, Frogger, the Pong paddles, Peter Pepper, the Qix, M. Bison, Eggman, and Sonic all made appearances in the movie. Coincidentally, Sonic appears giving off crucial lessons about the policies of game death–similar to how he gave eventually pointless tips in “Sonic Says” from Sonic & Sega RacingSugar Rush also evokes many references to candy brands. Believe it or not, Skrillex actually deejays Fix-It Felix, Jr.‘s 30th anniversary party–needless to say, his track “Bug Hunt (Noisia Remix)” was featured on the official Wreck-It Ralph soundtrack. Some of the songs used in promos and commercials for the film include Fun.’s “Some Nights” , Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown”, and Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling”.

3 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – One scene takes place in the 1983 arcade game Tapper, where customers are shown drinking from beer mugs. It’s apparently root beer, but I’m still suspicious. A game character pours a martini for himself in one scene, and at Felix’s anniversary party some people are briefly shown drinking.

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Smarts: A+ (5 points)

Fun: A+ (5 points)

Entertainment: A+ (5 points)

Humor: A+ (5 points)

Style: A+ (5 points)

See-Again Ratio: A+ (5 points)

FINAL SCORE: 30 out of 30 (mrgreenmrgreenmrgreen), 100% out of 100%, 5 out of 5 stars

CONSENSUS: Wreck-It Ralph is probably the most unique animated Disney movie you’ll see this year; it has the breathtaking aesthetics, eye-popping visuals, heartfelt messages, impressive storyline, and endless nostalgia that make for the true antidote of the video game film genre.

PRICE: Well, considering the film went out last Friday, it’s obviously not available for DVD purchase yet. But on Amazon, you can buy the tie-in video game on the Wii, DS, or 3DS! The Wii and 3DS versions of the game costs $30, and the DS version costs $24. Not ready for it yet? You can have a crunch of the entire film in merely twenty songs on the Wreck-It Ralph OST. Seven tenths of the soundtrack is actually film score, ranging from “Wreck-It Ralph” to “Arcade Finale”. The other three tenths belong to actual soundtrack music, with artists Skrillex, Rihanna, Owl City, Kool & the Gang, AKB48, and Buckner & Garcia. Henry Jackman (famous for composing the soundtracks of Monsters vs. Aliens, the 2011 Winnie the Pooh, etc.) has the steering wheel on this one. On MP3, the OST costs $8, but in the flesh it costs $10.

Wreck-It Ralph

If you want a sneak peek of what to expect of the soundtrack’s quality, check out this amazingly, shockingly, mindblowingly innovative music video showcasing Owl City’s “When Can I See You Again?” Seriously dude–this is the best music video you’ll ever see. Or the most creative. Or both. :mrgreen:

If you’re too impatient to wait for your time with the movie, check out this nifty four-minute featurette from the Movieclips subsidiary , involving things from cast interviews to some sneak peeks at the real movie!

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File:Paperman (2012) poster.jpg

Paperman Still Man and Woman

Sort of like how La Luna preceded Brave, this movie–Paperman–preceded Wreck-It Ralph. It is a 7-minute black-and-white silent film that blends the traditional and computer styles of animation. In the film, a man we’ll refer to as The Man is at a mid-20th century train platform in NYC when he is hit by a flying paper. This paper belongs to a woman we’ll refer to as The Woman whom had dropped it when a gust of wind swept by. The same thing happens to The Man when one of his papers is blown away and lands on The Woman’s face, leaving a red lipstick mark on it. When the Man and Woman first depart, the Man is despondent when he believes he’ll never see the woman again. He is proven wrong when he sees the Woman in one of the rooms in a building across the street at work. He uses the contracts his boss gave him, turns them into paper airplanes, and attempts to throw one into the window, but is excessively unsuccessful. Even the paper with the lipstick mark on it fails to fly in. When he fails to see which way the Woman goes after work, he abandons his mission in disgust and sorrow–and let’s just say something magical happens after that…

Now, Paperman despite its length isn’t a very bad movie. In fact, it’s the best black-and-white movie I’ve ever seen. Despite its lack of dialogue, it has a pristine storyline that captures the serenity of its expectations. Despite its lack of color, it still uses the palette it is given to create works of art beyond our imagination. Despite this review’s lack of normality and overuse of imagery and big words, Paperman still manages to show that love can make the strangest things happen, weaving this lesson into a dandy flick with visuals as eye-popping as its unexpected comedy. But then again, the juice that makes it a special Disney movie kinda doesn’t make any sense. And that’s saying something.

(Now, due to this movie not being too prolonged, I’ve decided to narrow down the chart and strip away sections that need to be stripped.)

 1 out of 5 – Educational value –  If you have a keen eye, you might learn how to make paper airplanes. :lol:

 5 out of 5 – Positive messages – Paperman makes light-hearted humor and heart-warming inspirations out of the fact that love can cause the wildest things to occur, both in realism and human instincts. Some may be able to relate to the Man and Woman’s relationship and what they will go through and fight past to be together–especially those who have already endeavored the scenario.

4 out of 5 – Positive role models – The Man stops at nothing to finally be with the Woman, and quickly gains hope that lights an entire room full of the darkness of doubt. When the Man first throws in the towel on Operation: Lovebird for good, his contract paper airplanes seem to gain motivation to get their “maker” out of retirement. The Woman eventually gains as much enthusiasm towards the Man as the Man does for the Woman.

4 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of view – Paperman may have a premise that some may not know at first, but eventually its amazing visuals, breathtaking direction, and debonair charms will have the viewers swooning. Paperman is also quite frankly one of Disney’s best short movies to date, and definitely one of the most captivating as well.

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Smarts: B+ (3.5 points)

See-Again Ratio: A- (4 points)

Fun: A (4 points)

Entertainment: A+ (5 points)

Humor: A+ (5 points)

Style: A+ (5 points)

FINAL SCORE: 26.5 out of 30 (hm neutral), 4 1/2 stars out of 5, 83% out of 100%

I am also proud to give Paperman the honor of being our first-ever Popcorn Pick to be in full black-and-white, and the first to not contain any dialogue whatsoever, as well as the first to get at least a 25/30 score. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Oh, that reminds me, I should probably introduce my new scoring chart:

Epic Fail (0-5 out of 30) – This movie didn’t even deserve to be reviewed, but I was kind enough to review it anyway. Incredibly choppy direction, surprisingly disjointed scripting, and/or paper-thin scenarios will likely get you in this tier. If you ever do, then you can walk away hanging your head with our official Sammwak Epic Fail Seal.

It’s just as degrading as it sounds, America.

Fail (6-10 out of 30) – Did good enough to escape the Epic Fail tier, but definitely aimed its crosshairs in the wrong direction. Abominable writing, vile editing skill, and small potential will likely land you here.

Poor (11-15 out of 30) – Definitely a lot of noticeable mistakes, but the parts it does perform correctly are very petite and will likely have already gone before the viewers notice it.

Average (16-20 out of 30) – Does have as much pros as it does cons, and while it could’ve been worse–it should’ve been better.

Well Done (21-25 out of 30) – Lots of noticeable merits in directing, scripting, and acting at a skill rate that’s just shy of perfection.

Awesome/Nirvana (26-28 out of 30 for Awesome, 29-30 out of 30 for Nirvana) – This is as high as it gets. These are the most honoring titles you can get on Picks for Popcorn. To be an Awesome movie, you need to impress me. Like, a lot. If you have flaws, I’ll notice them but will likely not come back to haunt the movie. To get the most prestigious title there is of being a pick of nirvana, you need to be solely flawless: you need mind-blowing writing, breathtaking acting that perfectly accentuates this writing, and scenarios that weave together like a master knitter’s work of art.  This is clearly a movie that cannot be missed–well, the ones that scratched the bottom of nirvana’s barrel are sort of iffies.

So now that you know the grading chart, you won’t be confused in future reviews! :)

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You know what to do, I’ve been blogging for two darn years! But just to review, subscribe, like, Press This, reblog, share, and come back next time for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak! (That’s kinda my new tagline now, I guess. Well, maybe besides “Stay classy, America.” :D)

Stay classy, America (see, I told you :D),

~S~ 8-)

Videos of the Week: Dubstep. An electronic dance music genre that has been described by Allmusic as “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals.” Some of the most famous dubstep artists out there are likely what I consider the two Founding Fathers of the genre: the British music act Nero, and the American music project Skrillex. And today we’re gonna look at someone who I’d never guess could be converted into dubstep: my good friend Tobuscus. In fact, just last April an artist known as DJ Alex S. remixed the twenty-fourth TobyGames video of Bulletstorm into one of the hottest dubstep songs I’ve ever seen! It’s been seen 1.4 million times, and over 30,000 people agree that this video is the bomb. Do you?

Here’s the original “Gimme That” video at almost 200,000 hits since last March:

Here’s a fanmade video conglomerating Toby’s dancing and the song with over 22,000 hits since last April!

3RD ANNUAL SAMMWAK HALLOWEEN SPECIAL


Last year was probably one of the best Halloweens I’ve ever had on this blog. And another year has passed, and I remember a promise I  made to conclude last year’s Halloween special–to come back next year for the third special. And that third special has finally come. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun with all your fans. Releasing at 5pm like my last special, this Halloween’s gonna be a hoot. Prepare to be scared. Your goosebumps are gonna get goosebumps. Stock up on your lightbulbs, grab a bowl of candy, and hope for the best–because this holiday special may be something you’ll never return from.

Halloween, also known as Hallowe’en, or All Hallows’/Saints’ Eve–based off of its original “All Hallows’ Evening” name–is a yearly worldwide-observed holiday that precedes the western Christian feast of All Hallows, allowing the people of the world to trick-or-treat, attend costume parties, bob for apples, carve jack-o-lanterns, light bonfires, watch scary movies, prank, and visit “haunted” attractions all in one night. Most kids consider it the scariest day of the year, while others consider it the most fun. Me? I don’t directly celebrate Halloween, but rather the fall harvest. But it’s no reason not to host this essential 2012 special. Speaking of specials, Halloween has also been the night of the arrival of the Great Pumpkin–or so Linus van Pelt believes. He’s so determined to find the Pumpkin that every Halloween night he sits in a pumpkin patch awaiting the holiday figure’s arrival. When he fails to show himself, Linus only ups his ants for next Halloween. And there are three things that kid’s learned to never discuss in public: religion, politics, and that ole Great Pumpkin. But you can’t blame the kid for trying, can you? And besides–he has a little brother named Rerun!

Anyway, to change the subject, lots of your favorite channels are still going back to their Halloween-y roots like last year. Disney Channel’s bringing back Monstober (kicking it off with their new DCOM Girl vs. Monster), and on demand I saw a deal from the Hub about RL Stine’s Haunting Hour. (Don’t worry, they put up Goosebumps too.) But, like usual, Cartoon Network seems to be at the top of its game this year. While its campaign may not be as tyrannical and direct as last year’s, my scared-silly supplement did leave me feeling something. But I’ve decided to crunch all the episodes worth caring about together and break them down right here, right now.

Terror Tales of the Park II” from Regular Show - Last year’s Halloween special from the park was a hoot, offering 1.968 million views on its premiere–but surprisingly, the rest of season three’s episodes literally bedraggled this rating. But hey–if a creepy living doll, the ghosts of a heavy metal crash pit, and Rigby being turned into a house wasn’t scary enough, wait until you see what the gang brought this year. The premise of the episode goes like so: everyone is decked in a costume heading towards a Halloween costume party that Margaret had recommended. Benson is a pirate, Mordecai is Frankenstein, Pops is a mummy, Rigby is what seems to be Hulk Hogan, and so on. But they quickly realize that the drive is taking a bit too long–as they are already lost. To kill the time (get it?), the people decide to spin some scary stories. Benson reluctantly allows them to, with one rule: they can’t really scare Pops.

  • Payback” told by Mordecai – This story seems to be a scary, demented, warped version of “Skips Strikes”. Taking place at the same bowling alley, Stardust Lanes, Mordo has just dominated his colleagues in a game. Well, everyone except his uncle Steve, who sits out the round. Despite his colleagues and their bad moods wanting to leave, Mordecai manages to convince them to play another game and gives his uncle a loan of $5. A now ecstatic Mordecai begins to dance around in excitement, but while moonwalking he ends up bumping into uncle Steve. He stumbles over to the ball return, where his light-up tie gets stuck, pulling him in and killing him. (I can’t help but be reminded of Syndrome’s death in The Incredibles.) Later at Steve’s funeral, a guilt-stricken Mordecai has literally changed his name to “Mortified”. And worse yet, his uncle had never paid back his nephew’s $5. But after a bad dream concerning the murder, Mordo wakes up and finds Steve’s ghost staring at him with glowing eyes. After splashing his face with cold water, it happened again. Now concerned whether this is reality or a big mind game, Mordo (and eventually Rigs) continue to be stalked by Uncle Steve’s ghost all the way down to his grave–where it is revealed that he just needed to pay his nephew back.
  • Party Bus” told by Margaret – Mordecai, Rigs, Marge, and her friend Eileen are decked out in costumes and ready to hit the movies. But Benson & Skips are currently in control of the golf cart for late-night patrolling of any TP-ing hooligans. With no sign of transportation now, Eileen–her costume being a businesswoman–manages to call a taxi for them. But another car arrives before the taxi, deeming itself as the Party Bus. The four, greatly persuaded by the atmosphere, decide to call off the taxi and board the bus instead–but they take the bus’s slogan, “This Party’s Killer!”, for granted. While the four are enjoying themselves to dancing and downing, Marge sees that the bus driver has passed the local theater downtown. They eventually realize that once they board the bus, they cannot leave the bus. And every partygoer on the bus isn’t wearing a white wig–they’re actually aging before the gang’s eyes as the bus moves forward! Not only that, but they begin to age as well! Seeing their colleagues turn to dust, Mordecai manages to take out the bus driver and follow his first natural instinct–shifting the bus into reverse. But this only gives everyone a case of Benjamin Button’s disease–they start de-aging! The gang manages to escape through the emergency hatch of the bus as children, and make the final jump off the bus as babies. As the gang celebrates their victory, they only dissolve into dust.
  • Wallpaper Man” told by Benson – Mordo and Rigs have taken it in to draw a cheesy cartoon in marker on the wall. The cartoon depicts Rigby describing his job as a prison, and Mordecai–pointing to a hole in the wallpaper–having found a way out. Although the two take pleasure in their joke, Benson uncovers it and forces them to re-wallpaper the entire house. If they did a bad job, they’d only re-re-wallpaper the house. After failing to cover up just the cartoon with wallpaper, they find their TV in the hallway promoting Jan the Wallpaper Man. Coincidentally, he’ll do a customer’s first wallpapering job for free! They decide to hire Jan, and lock themselves in their rooms playing video games as Jan takes care of the house. When they decide to take a break, they find the entire house vividly wallpapered in black and red. Unfortunately, when they hear Pops crying for help they find Jan wallpapering him to the wall! When Jan sees his cover has been blown, he hisses at the two and crawls along the walls out of the room. They manage to rescue Pops, but must navigate a constantly-shifting maze of wallpaper to rescue Benson as they hear his cries as well. Due to an optical illusion, the maze gradually gets smaller, causing a claustrophobic Rigs to begin tearing through the walls. They use this method to uncover a cave where the remaining workers–including Benson–have been held hostage by Jan, wrapped in cocoons made of the same wallpaper Jan had used on the house. In one of the most disgusting scenes on Regular Show, Jan transforms into his true giant spider form as he ties Pops to the ceiling. Mordo & Rigs desperately try to fend off Jan with rocks, but only rip the cocoons of their colleagues. While Skips and Pops have heavy landings, Benson has a more smooth landing and even catches a delivery man [sending grenades to Muscle Man. Don't ask.] who had been trapped. As Spider-Jan impales Muscle Man through the stomach and eats him, Benson carries Skips & Pops away to higher ground, forcing Mordecai and Rigby to fire whom they had hired. Rigby does not take the phrase as metaphorically speaking and actually tries to fire Jan, which only makes the problem worse. They realize that the delivery man had left behind his package of grenades, so Rigs manages to retrieve it as Mordo pelts Spider-Jan with rocks. Moments later, they are in his grasps, and–awkwardly saying different catchphrases simultaneously–they unclip all the grenades and throw the package into the beast’s mouth. Their celebration is shortly lived when they suddenly question the range they must be in to avoid the explosion; the resulting explosion not only destroys the house, but presumably Jan and the two as well.

Costumes & Courage” from Austin & Ally - Austin’s new record label owner, Jimmy Starr, invites him to perform at his record’s Halloween party, where Ally’s new song will be the centerpiece of a duet with him and Taylor Swift! However, Austin believes that Ally had sold their song to Taylor, and lets out his frustration and anger through a text to Starr, calling him an “evil, gutless rat”. However, when it is accidentally sent, they split up at the party to find Jimmy’s phone and delete the message. Meanwhile, Trish and Dez are off ghost-hunting when their plans go haywire when they accidentally knock Taylor unconscious. Since Ally’s wearing an identical costume to her, she decides to step in as an understudy to keep Austin from being left hanging–singing onstage for the first time.

Summerween” from Gravity Falls - In Gravity Falls, Halloween is such a favored holiday that it’s not only celebrated on its rightful date, but also in the summer as Summerween! With jack-o’-melons, candy, and fun at bay, Mabel and Dipper are excited to dive in. But when Dipper’s crush/fellow Mystery Shack worker Wendy deems trick-or-treating as a child’s activity, Dipper’s entire outlook on Summerween changes. The night gets more heated when worker/elder Soos tells them about the tale of the Summerween Trickster. Believing it to be unrealistic, Dipper insults it but causes it to come to life; by the end of Summerween, when the final light of the final jack-o’-melon is dimmed, they must collect over five hundred pieces of candy for the Trickster or be eaten. Meanwhile, Mabel and Dipper’s Great Uncle/Grunkle Stan attempts to scare two boys who laugh at the definition of horror, claiming to have watched scary movies since the age of 2.

Wazombie Warriors” from Kickin’ It - This is like some sort of Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead for the show. When Kim falls asleep whilst watching a Halloween movie, she dreams that all of her friends have turned into zombie-vampire hybrids known as “zompyres”. Kim must battle these zompyres, which is a great physical and emotional struggle, due to it feeling like she is hurting her friends–especially Jack. She must travel to the home of Doctor Krupnick (who is Milton in real life, the only fellow non-zompyre person in the dream) whom holds the only zompyre antidote.

The Halloween” from Gumball - As the show’s first-ever holiday special, the ghostly Carrie (in her 3rd main role) takes Gumball, Darwin, and Anais to a costume party on Halloween–a party inside a real haunted house! So it’s not a big surprise when it is revealed that every single partygoer is a ghost! And Gumball and Darwin seem to be enjoying themselves–until they turn into ghosts themselves! Will this party get crashed before Gumball & Darwin can even put their skins back on?

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Alright now, I think that’s enough crunching for one Halloween. Anyway, like I did last year, I’ll take it in to put up the tips, tricks, and slips to the best Halloween bash ever:

  • Make good invites for people. An attention-grabbing invitation will encourage them to come.
  • Afterwards, make a guest list. A good party has a capacity of a good twenty people.
  • Decide the snacks, party favors, and drinks. It’s a good idea to be willing to include cake.
  • Decorate your house, but make it good. Any old papier-mâché ghosts or stuff scrawled on paper simply won’t cut it, and your party will be a total bust. Buy your own decorations that are creepy and cheap…they’re cheapy.
  • Make sure your food is prepared before people arrive. If half of your capacity is already attending the party and you only have a bag of pretzels willing to be eaten, the party-goers won’t have much of a strong appetite, and the chances they might hoof it will rise. Make sure you got food, and food that guests would want to eat.
  •  Try and dress up in a costume yourself. If you host a creepy Halloween party in just a shirt, khakis and a cardigan sweater, you’ll be the center of the audience, yes, but not in an entirely good way. You can leave out this tip if you want, but if you want to blend into your surroundings, try and buy your own costume. Don’t make it too scary, because you might leave a visual scar if half of your attending guests are kids.
  • Tidy up the house. I don’t mean to sound like I’m quoting something your dad would probably say inside your room, but a good party has a clean atmosphere. If your guests are noticing junk like empty bags of Doritos behind the couches, or colonies of dust bunnies, you, and your party, will probably look like a slob.
  • Decide where, when, and directions. This is the most important part of a Halloween party. Don’t tell your guests unsure sentences like, “Uh…I honestly don’t know”, because this is the biggest chance that they’ll bail out. Maybe hand out flyers of your party, and have every necessary detail on them, location, date, and address. This makes sure that they’ll know where to come, why they’re coming, and the time they’re expected.
  • Is the party going to be outdoors or indoors? Another important tip. Make sure if your party is going to be out or in. And make sure everybody gets the same information, because people will be arguing if they get different info. If you plan to have an outdoor party, set up tables and chairs. If indoors, set up stuff like food and décor.

GOOD INVITATION FORMAT

You’re Invited – The simple phrase that makes an invitation an invitation. This phrase sets the tone and lets people know, instead of jumping out and slapping them across the face with other detail. “You’re invited” is merely what an invitation cannot lack.

Where, When, and Why – Another essential invitation detail. Attending guests need to know where they’re going, why they’re headed there, and when they’re expected. Without these details, your invited guest will be more baffled than a half-brained kid taking a MEAP test. Also, be on the safe side and put your number on your ads if guests don’t have invitations, because they gotta reach the host/hostess somehow.

(optional) RSVP – Translated from the classic French phrase repondéz s’il vous plaît, RSVP means “reply please” or “please respond”. This is so that guests can respond to you with “Yes, I can come” or “No, I cannot come” as a response.

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Let’s wish such a happy Halloween birthday to these celebrities that it’s scary

  • Vanessa Marano - Notorious for her performances on Gilmore GirlsWithout a TraceSwitched at Birth, and–most ideal to today’s theme–Ghost Whisperer, Vanessa may not be as well-known to kids than her little sister Laura, whom plays Ally on Austin & Ally! Vanessa started her run as a starlet from the age of two, working at Stage Door Theater productions since. Her role on Without a Trace is one of her most famous ones to date–and coincidentally, she and Laura were sisters on the show. Anyway, while she currently works as Switched at Birth‘s Bay Kennish, Vanessa will be celebrating her big jump into her twenties on Halloween! And because she’s fluent in Italian: “Buon compleanno, Vanessa!”
  • Piper Perabo - She’s been in the industry from Coyote Ugly to her Golden Globe-nominated performance on USA’s Covert Affairs–including both Cheaper by the Dozen movies and then some. Born of a physical therapist and a college poetry professor, Piper is of the descent of Norway and Portugal, named after actress Piper Laurie, and the victim sibling of two brothers. She is an Ohio University graduate, with a degree in theater, and will be turning 36 on Halloween! Happy birthday, Piper!
  • Larry Mullen, Jr. - While he’s worked on many solo projects in his career, Larry is best known as the drummer for one of Ireland’s greatest rock bands, U2. An overabundance of praise and honor engulfed Larry as a result of his work with the band, including over twenty received Grammys. Mullen started all this drumming worker at the age of nine, as the only child of Maureen Mullen and Larry Mullen, Sr. For decades he has lived with girlfriend, fathering several children in the process, but to this day has never tied a knot with someone. And although I don’t know if he’ll be giving out candy or little Lucky Charms boxes on All Hallows’ Eve night, we can only infer that Larry Mullen, Jr fiú a breithlá sona. That’s Irish for “Larry Mullen, Jr. deserves a happy birthday.” :D
  • Adam K. Horowitz, also known as the Beastie Boy, King Ad-Rock or just Ad-Rock. This some-of-everything man (music, acting, producing, guitar-playing, and rapping) came from New Jersey from a mom named Doris and a play-writing father named Israel. Beginning his musical passion in the punk rock band, The Young and the Useless, he became the Beastie Boys’ replacement guitarist in 1982, when the original one quit. He has been a piece of the pie since, although he has an epilepsy diagnosis and a 5-year marriage with riot grrrl artist Kathleen Hanna. He is celebrating his 45th birthday today. Happy birthday, King!
  • Robert M. Van Winkle, also known as Vanilla Ice. This extreme athletic rapping home improvement TV personality pioneered Billboard chart-topping songs with his timeless summer 1990 single, “Ice Ice Baby”. Currently signed to Psychopathic Records (do mass murderers rap there?), he began hosting The Vanilla Ice Project since October 2010 (that’s his home improvement show), and has even survived his own suicidal attempt, as well as surviving a major 3-year fame fall. Today he is turning 44. Happy birthday, Ice!
  • Willow C.R. Smith is turning 11 today. Better known as Willow Smith, or mononymously as Willow, she encouraged the music junkies of pre-Halloween 2010 to whip their hair like 21st-century girls. The song was only number eleven on the Billboard chart, but it’s been part of meme lore ever since. She’s also dipped her hand into the jar of acting, starring as Robert Neville (played by her own father)’s daughter in I Am Legend and also as the hobo jungle resident Countee in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. Happy birthday, Willow! And make sure to whip that hair real good!
  • Sir Peter R. Jackson, known for directing all 3 Lord of the Rings movies, alongside the 2005 revival of King Kong, is turning 50 today. To me, 50 is a big number of age, but the 50-60 area is recently the most prone death area. No offense, Sir Jackson (I’m not a fortune teller), but just be aware. This New Zealander scored global attention by churning out “splatstick” horror comedies such as Bad Taste and Braindead. I’ve seen a little of one of his movies, and all I have to say is: Awesome directing, Pete. Although sometimes he did slip under the line, such as with The Lovely Bones. No offense, but happy birthday, Sir!

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Pretty good special so far, huh? Well, it’s not over yet–check out some of the def new games coming out this season!

In 1937, an Englishman named John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, known more widely as J.R.R. Tolkien, released a novel that spawned what would be one of the most epic book series of our time. And before Harry Potter, before Children of the Red King, before Series of Unfortunate Events–there was Lord of the Rings. And Lego’s been able to get their hands on some of the most popular series to kingdom come. BatmanIndiana JonesSpongeBob, and the like. And now in Lego The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Gandalf and the rest of middle-Earth are next. This game follows the storyline of–quite surprisingly–the movies instead of the books, taking players through epic moments with sprinkles of the variety and humor Lego does best. The game’s developer Traveler’s Tales (the Lego godfather since 2005) have claimed that they will dramatically tone down the slapstick laughs used in other Lego titles. But like in Lego Star Wars, for example, some scenes have been edited to be family-friendly or just to be a comic relief. Complementing the new Lego LOTR toy collection, the game can obviously be played with company in a drop-in-drop-out style. Due to a growing inventory the player owns, this game is most definitely a Lego RPG. Which is saying something. And if you want it special-edition, you’ll get an extra mini-figure of Elrond! Well, the game’s not coming out until the 30th for the PC, PS3, Xbox, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, and regular DS, and if you miss out on any of it–you shall not pass! But you can pass to this def game below…

Adventure Time. A show I love with a burning passion. Its online games? Not so much. Sound Castle was too choppy, Righteous Quest was too sloppy, Jake’s Tough Break was too croppy, and I know what you’re thinking–is it possible for me to have a favorite game? Well, I do have a heart, so yes–Flambo’s Hot Mess was pretty good. But this May, the people behind this TV sensation announced something that literally vaporized all we knew about Adventure Time. It’s even got shining light in Nintendo Power. Some of the people involved in this insane project are WayForward (the makers of SpongeBob SquigglePantsShantae, etc.) and–of course–Cartoon Network Interactive. As Adventure Time‘s first-ever primetime video game, this is Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! I’m not pulling on your chains, that’s the real name of the game. But to prevent any stress let’s call it Adventure Time: The Game. The game’s plot revolves around Ice King building his own Garbage Princess and ends up lying around Finn and Jake. He’s made off with Ooo’s entire garbage supply, so it’s up to Finn and Jake to set things straight. The perspective of the game depends on where you are; when exploring the land of Ooo, you are in a top-down perspective like Legend of Zelda, but when you enter a dungeon or some sort of level the game turns into a 2D sidescroller like Zelda II. But earlier this year in July, it was told that the game would have a collector’s edition on both platforms it’s set out for–the DS and 3DS. It includes a steel case cover of the Enchiridion, a booklet with show creator Pen Ward’s artwork, a poster of Ooo itself, and a stylus stylized around Finn’s own sword! Adventure Time fans with the power of Nintendo on their side, get ready to have the most mathematical adventure of your life! Adventure Time: The Game won’t be hitting stores until November 13th, so that gives you plenty of time to save up. But I do have one question–why on Earth is Ice King being penalized for stealing garbage?! I THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD THING!!!

I know what you’re thinking by now: Sam, I appreciate you including the Wii U, but it’s not necessarily a game. And to you I say that there are so many games coming out next month for the Wii U that I might as well include this. Anyway, this is our first peek at the eighth generation of gaming as we know it as Nintendo’s fighter, and hopefully it brings the fire that the Wii brought. And that’s assuredly how the Wii U’s “big brother” financially won the seventh generation of gaming. Will the streak be brought down another generation, or will all the potential be for naught? Well, it has many big perks on the Wii: at 2 gigs it has more than 20x the Wii memory, it features its own embedded-touchscreen GamePad, it will be “backward compatible” with the Wii, it supports Wii attachments like the Remote Plus and Nunchuk, and so on. It’ll be a hefty fine if you want to get it no matter where you come from, since it costs 300 American dollars, 300 euros, 250 British pounds, and nearly 30,000 yen. If you want it premium, it’s 350 dollars, 300 pounds, 350 euros, and just over 30,000 yen. But enough talk, let’s get to the games you should be antsy for:

  • Ubisoft’s first publication was in 1986, an arcade adventure with the roots of Dawn of the Dead known simply as Zombi. 26 years have passed, and Ubisoft has decided to give the homage and honor to the game that kicked it off in the first place. Formerly known as Killer Freaks from Outer SpaceZombiU will be one of Ubisoft’s first original and exclusive entries into the Wii U. 4 centuries ago, Welsh astronomer John Dee creates the Black Prophecy, an apocalyptic prophecy which will be brought into full swing in 2012. By November, a zombie apocalypse has surfaced and run amok in London, and you will use the GamePad to not only navigate, but also do things like aiming select weapons and unlocking weapons. You also have a “Bug-Out Bag” which stores your other goods, but do note you are vulnerable while handling it. Upon a player’s death, they are permanently removed from the game and a new survivor takes their place. Kill the dead survivor–which should be a zombie by now–and try and get back any goods from their Bag. And you have plenty of goods to save up if you want to buy this game on November 18th.
  • Remember in 2006, how Wii Sports was released to demonstrate the true powers of the Wii? And look where it is now–carved into many Wii owners’ hearts, and having stolen the throne from Super Mario Bros as history’s most bestselling game. Well, Wii U’s got its own contender as well–Nintendo Land. Set in a carnival/theme park atmosphere, this game will feature twelve differing minigames based on numerous Nintendo franchises–some of which support a maximum of five, with four equipping the Remote and Nunchuk, and the remaining one equipping the GamePad. Some of the minigames take pages from series like ZeldaMetroidMario, Donkey KongPikminLuigi’s MansionAnimal Crossing, and YoshiNintendo Land will be a launch game for the regular version of the Wii U on the 18th, but will be a pack-in for the premium edition.
  • The Kinect had loads of games upon release; titles like Dance Central and Kinect Sports were actually somewhat good. And one of the games that didn’t make the par was Game Party: In Motion, which maintained a post-poor review incognito status since its kickoff in November 2010. But for the first time, Warner Bros.’s Game Party saga will be company-hopping! Instead of being a Kinect-exclusive, the latest Game PartyGame Party Champions–will make a beeline for the Wii U. Not much is known about the game except the release date, November 18th, the cover, and the fact that–obviously–it’s a party game.
  • Like Super Mario 64 represented the Nintendo 64, the red rivet will be coming back to represent the Wii U in New Super Mario Bros. U! Rendering the Mushroom Kingdom now in glorious HD, the game shows that after 27 years of failure Bowser has actually learned something. Bringing the Koopalings with him once more, he ambushes Peach’s castle–but also brings a mechanical arm to chuck Mario, Luigi, and the two Toads to a distance that literally vaporizes them from his worries. So the four must venture back across the land and win back Peach from the king of the Koopa Troopa, and that’s easier said than done. Anyway, the game’s play takes a lot of pages from New Super Mario Bros Wii–up to four can play at the same time, reach the goal flag at the end of each level, etc. As it is the Wii U, either the Remotes or GamePad can be used in-game, the latter of which being able to continue a game off the TV screen. NSMB U also introduces new power-ups, most notably the flying squirrel suit. It is good for long-distance gliding, slow descents down up-down paths, or clinging onto wall sides. Individual players can also carry baby Yoshis. And I’ll have you know that this started as New Super Mario Bros. Mii, but don’t fret–select game modes will allow Miis to be included. And on the 18th, Mario will be making his biggest jump, glide, and stomp yet.
  • After Ryu Hayabusa had his image bedraggled in the default version of Ninja Gaiden 3, Team Ninja and Tecmo Koei have decided to make a few tweaks to the most controversial problems. So they released the game’s most recent update, Razor’s Edge. Currently a Wii U-exclusive, the game allows the GamePad to choose differing weapons, perform “Ninpo”, view extra game info, etc. The series’ bloody glory will be rejuvenated, and assets like the Karma Counter will be returning. AI has improved as much as the upgrade menu, and the Lunar Staff and Duel Katanas are some of the new exclusive weapons being shown. The game also introduces a playable female ninja, Ayane, whom will bear her own move set similar to her incarnation in Sigma 2. Cutscenes will be sprinkled to explain her role in the game. An early version of the game was already acclaimed by IGN, but you’ll have to wait–like everybody and everything else–until the 18th to sharpen your blades.

Now, if you’ve been tagging along to Sammwak, you’ve heard about news of there possibly being an Epic Mickey sequel. A few months later, I clarified that with a hunk of news about both the sequel and its sequel! mrgreen But now, there’s been enough news out for the sequel’s sequel to get some shining light. Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion, Mickey’s upcoming and notably nostalgic adventure, holds it own as a tribute to Mickey’s Illusion games (1990-’95) courtesy of Sega, especially Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. Anyway, this game takes place some time after the events of the original game, and Yen Sid has accidentally transported the evil Mizrabel and her Castle of Illusion to the Wasteland. Mickey’s new partner Oswald the Lucky Rabbit contacts Mickey to tell him about the castle’s appearance–and how Minnie’s been seen inside. Mickey then goes off to save not only Minnie, but all the “Illusions” trapped inside the castle. Some of these Illusions are Ariel, Ursula, and Sebastian, Scrooge McDuck, Peter Pan, Rapunzel (in her Tangled iteration), Jafar, the Queen of Hearts, and Gopher. Several Illusion locations have also been announced: King Triton’s underwater kingdom, the Aladdin-themed Agrabah, and Rapunzel’s tower. The game mixes Castle of Illusion‘s side-scrolling with Epic Mickey‘s paint-and-thinner mechanics. Using the touchscreen of its available console–the 3DS–the player will be able to bring scattered items in each stage into existence. How well the player draws these items will affect their quality in the incarnation; a perfectly-traced cannon will surely damage only enemies, but a badly-traced cannon will damage everyone in the area–even Mickey! The game’s nostalgic 16-bit visuals come from hand-drawn sprites, and there will also be scrolling parallax backgrounds according to Disney developer Warren Spector. Like all the Wii U games, it’ll be coming out on the 18th. And as promotion, Power of Illusion underwent a ballot on Epic Mickey‘s official Facebook page. Fans were asked to vote for their preferred game cover, and this was its winner:

Pretty cool, huh? Comment #wiiu and tell me if you’re excited for Nintendo’s 8th-gen fighter! Anyway, let’s keep the show going with some Halloween-y jokes! I know this may be a bit usual for a Halloween special, but it beats stalling around. Heh, that’s a funny word. Stalling…staaaaaalliing….staaaaaaaaaaaallliiiiiiiiiing…stalling?…stalling!….stalling!stalling!…stalling.

Why wasn’t there any food left at the monster party? Because everyone was a goblin!

What is a skeleton’s favorite instrument? The trombone!

Why doesn’t Dracula have any friends? Cuz he’s always a pain in the neck!

What did one casket say to the other casket? “Is that you coffin?”

What’s the problem with two twin witches? You never know which witch is which!

What do you call a witch who likes the beach but is scared of the water? A chicken sand witch!

Who won the zombie war? Nobody, it was dead even!

Why did Dracula go to the library? He wanted a good book to sink his teeth into!

Why is it hard for a ghost to tell a lie? Because you can see right through him!

Why did the skeleton go scuba diving? Because he wanted to get some muscles!

Why don’t skeletons play music in church? Because they have no organs!

What do you get when you cross a ghost, a dog, and a rooster?…A cockatoo!

To conclude this special–as heartbreaking as it sounds–I’m going to present an index of some of my favorite YouTube videos! And I don’t mean “favorite”, like “I like it, tee hee”, but “This is one of the best videos I’ve seen of its criteria!” eek I say “some of” since–as you can infer from my Videos of the Week–my actual collection of fave vids would take way too long to present. confused I know, not typical for a Halloween special, but it’s a darn good blowout. If you like what you see, go ahead and subscribe to their rightful owners, but for now here comes the awesomeness! biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreenmrgreen

Stay spooky, America,

~S~ 8-)

p.s. Check out WikiHow’s lesson on how to make a jack-o’-lantern out of an empty toilet roll!

p.p.s. Also check out WikiHow’s lesson on how to carve a pumpkin!

p.p.s.s. Finally check out WikiHow’s lesson on how to use your old jack-o’-lantern! I suppose the topic will be quite smashing. :D

Video of the Week: Just to make sure the Halloween feeling’s spreading, check out this video from the “Re-Micks” series on Disney Channel’s Have a Laugh! branch of goodness. (Another HAL! series is the stunt-filled Blam!) Now, the people who make these Re-Micks get Mickey and company to play and/or sing today’s hit songs, like Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up”, Hannah Montana’s “He Could Be the One”, Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”, and even Jessie J and B.o.B.’s “Price Tag”. But I guess this Re-Mick was made to set the Halloween mood. This follows Mickey Mouse’s spine-tingling and perfectly unrealistic Halloween adventure–to the tune of “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” by deadmau5! This is basically the official version released by Disney itself, with 6,000 views since its release a few weeks ago.

Finn and Jake Go Back to the DVD World in JAKE VS. ME-MOW


The last time we met over this, we were discussing how Adventure Time had crunched their entire first season into a 2-disc DVD, and how Regular Show crunched their most memorable episodes into their “Slack Pack” DVD. Well, believe it or not, just hours after the release of that post, I found more news. And I was flabbergasted when I saw that I’d have to be making a sequel to my already successful original. No, Adventure Time‘s second season DVD hasn’t come out yet. And no, Regular Show hasn’t made a proper first season DVD yet. They’re season-jumping once more–and this time may be the best of all.

I don’t even KNOW how to describe this cover. Were they, like, holding an art contest and picked the most disgusting entry they found?

The upcoming Adventure Time pack, Jake vs. Me-Mow (the third pack yet to be named after an episode), is probably the most intriguing non-season DVD yet. Like its predecessor, It Came from the Nightosphere, this DVD has 16 episodes that jump from the first to fourth seasons. I’m pretty sure they managed to cram it all onto one disc this time, but this time around is special–it comes with your own Finn hat! Imagine walking through school wearing this new dig–y’know, if they allow hats. Imagine how many friends you’ll score–y’know, if they’re into Adventure Time. Now, there’s not much time before the DVD releases, as it’s coming out this week on October 2. But it’ll probably have the most sales a random-compilation DVD’s ever gotten–a majority of it likely being for that darn hat! Now, as always, let’s peer through the episodes that you’ll need to be expecting on the DVD list. (Some of the episodes are season-one titles that I’ve already talked about, so let’s rule those ones out right now: “The Jiggler”, “What is Life?”, “His Hero”, and “Ocean of Fear”. Now, on with the show!)

Titlecard S3E16 jakevsmemow.jpg

  • Jake vs. Me-Mow” (S3 E16) – As the titular episode of the DVD, it is likely the most exceptional, important, and unique one to date. Especially since the title card and character of Me-Mow herself was developed by a wee Adventure Timer named Gunnar Gilmore! The show’s creator, Pendleton “Pen” Ward, accepted the idea since it was “so cute and was drawn by a tiny kid.” Well, I bet with enough work my drawings will be the basis of an Adventure Time episode one day! :-x Anyway, the premise of the episode is that Jake is pigging out on one of Wildberry Princess’s pies, right? And all of a sudden, a tiny cat assassin named–obviously–Me-Mow appears in his pie. After introducing herself, the cat states that she is just a second-class assassin, and would get a full membership after the murder of a princess. So she hides in Jake’s nose, taking her poison syringe with her, and literally controls Jake into killing the Princess or getting killed himself…

Titlecard S2E18 susanstrong.jpg

  • Susan Strong” (S2 E18) – While uprooting taffy-tree stumps, Finn and Jake come across a strange metal hatch in the ground. They follow its path to an underground garbage-infested cave, which is actually inhabited with the tribe of the “Hyoomans”. (Sound it out. :-?) Among these Hyoomans is one Hyooman that Finn and Jake focus solely on. As Finn had mentioned the sun coming down into the cave, she tells them “su-sun” when they ask for her name, which is interpreted as Susan. After seeing her inhuman strength, F & J ultimately name her Susan Strong. When they decide to bring Susan to the surface to teach them about the world surrounding them–like with any beginner–they get more than they bargained for, and eventually they have to stop Susan from getting to the Candy Kingdom to–you know. :(

Titlecard S2E21 bellyofthebeast.jpg

  • Belly of the Beast” (S2 E16) – When Finn and Jake’s Tree Fort gets all shook up, rudely awakening them from their slumbers, they find a firework-spewing beast outside the fort. After hearing cries from inside the beast, they decide to venture inside the behemoth’s body to rescue the victim–the victim actually being a bear who needs help putting up streamers. In fact, inside the monster’s stomach F & J find themselves inside an entire bear rave complete with flashing lights and fireworks, every partygoer seeming oblivious to the rave’s location. When they fail to get any attention with their statement, they decide to reconcile with the party’s patriarch–heh heh, its “party”-triarch–Party Pat (Andy Samberg), whom resides at the “blood waterbed” that is the beast’s heart. And besides, if Pat leaves, everyone follows. And not even a syrupy duet ballad from the two can save the bears from their possible fates. Let’s just say it involves a lot of lava… :lol:

Titlecard S2E23 videomakers.jpg

  • Video Makers” (S2 E23) – You may not know it, but Finn and Jake hold their own annual nightly Finn and Jake Movie Club at their tree fort. Tonight they’re showing old Mushroom War-era flicks (the War was what made Ooo look all post-apocalyptic-y), but one thing is restricting them–and if you guessed copyrighting, you were correct. Realizing that they’ve been committing criminal actions of illegally showing copyrighted movies, they decide to cancel for the night (despite Jake believing the pre-War copyright was powerless) and eventually find a video camera after the Club, and decide to show their own movies at the club. The next day, Finn, Jake, BMO, and Princess Bubblegum all work together to create a movie. But while Finn wants a tense action-adventure, Jake–surprisingly–wants a syrupy romcom. :neutral: And with every piece of footage Finn makes come criticism from Jake, and with every piece of footage Jake makes comes criticism from Finn, and so on. And left with the prestigious job of editor, BMO’s got his hands full over what to do–until he decides to quit the fight through the movie. (This episode will ultimately leave you saying “Check please”. Don’t ask why–unless you’re willing to put what you think that means in the comment section below.)

Titlecard S2E24 mortalfolly.jpg

  • Mortal Folly” (S2 E24) – After a session of meditating on the balcony, Finn and Jake are given special gems from Princess Bubblegum like the one in her tiara, set to protect them at where they were just about to go–the chamber of an evil sorcerer known as the Lich King, currently trapped in an amber prison. The gems’ protection purposes were that just staring at the Lich without this gem would possess you, similar to how anyone who dared to stare at Medusa turned to stone. Unfortunately, at this time the Waving Snail (you might have seen him in Easter eggs cameos in select episodes) crawls in, gets possessed, and slowly breaks the Lich’s amber prison and sets him free! Only left with the gems, the Gauntlet of Billy (Ooo’s greatest hero), and a pink sweater (for Finn as a token of affection, obviously), Finn and Jake must venture on what must be their most dangerous journey yet to prevent the Lich from regaining all his power. At the same time, they must break through an equally dangerous problem–the Ice King with his persistent pesters to receive a blessing to marry PB.

Titlecard S2E25 mortalrecoil.jpg

  • Mortal Recoil” (S2 E25) – Now, I’m gonna have to spoil what happened at the end of “Mortal Folly” or else “Mortal Recoil” really won’t make much sense. Y’see, after the Lich’s defeat, the Ice King decided to pick up PB to “set her free”–but only clumsily and rather stupidly dropped her into the Lich’s Well of Power. The effect of the boiling well melted her body through–remember, she’s Princess Bubblegum–but, despite what the title card foreshadows, she did not die. She was rushed to the Candy Kingdom’s hospital, and (in a scene resembling your average super-cheesy medical drama) she was thankfully revived although she briefly flatlined. Tons of people came to see her recover, including Finn, Jake, and the Ice King. And Finn got a new pack courtesy of the princesses as a token for beating the Lich! Finn’s really put the Ice King on his blacklist now–this was clearly seen at the hospital–but he and Jake offer to nurse PB back to health. But they find some strange occurings in PB’s behavior, like crawling, heavy breathing, convulsions and other spasms. But as the day goes on, it is shown that the Well really left its mark on PB, turning her into an altered beast that Finn and Jake must fight to save Ooo and every single lifeform in it.

Titlecard S3E5 tooyoung.jpg

  • Too Young” (S3 E5) – (This episode was nominated for a 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program!) Now, I’ll have to spoil the finale of “Mortal Recoil” or else “Too Young” won’t make any sense. I know, total déjà vu, right? Or maybe extreme inception. Anyway, in “Recoil”‘s finale, PB was finally reassembled–but due to a shortage of pieces, she got a slight case of “Benjamin Button’s disease” and jumped back 5 years of age. This makes her ultimately thirteen–coincidentally, Finn’s age as well. Unfortunately, her age drop makes her too young to run the Candy Kingdom, so the Earl of Lemongrab takes her place. And he’s just as sour as he looks, his plots with the Kingdom and all. So PB and Finn are forced to cook up a plan to get Lemongrab out of here, even if it means making a decision that will change their lives forever. Ew, sounds like something I read off the back of a romance novel. :(

Titlecard S4E2 fiveshortgraybles.jpg

  • Five Short Graybles” (S4 E2) – Now, this is probably the most unique Adventure Time episode yet. In fact, I’m not sure you could even call it an adventure at all. A strange man named Cuber shows you five short “Graybles” that are all connected in an initially unseen way that the viewer(s) must decipher. The Graybles are:
  • After hearing that Finn and Jake would be visiting the “grocery kingdom” for the hour, BMO decides to look in the mirror and share a conversation with his imaginary pal Football, impressing him with his “real boy” characteristics. (Wow, that makes me wonder if Pinocchio did this in his spare time. :D)
  • After wrapping up the first Grayble, Finn and Jake decide to celebrate by high-fiving. But it’s not enough. So throughout the second Grayble, Finn and Jake keep upping the amps with the caliber of their high-fives, until they come out with the “super ultimate high-five“.
  • PB attempts to craft the “perfect sandwich” for Cinnamon Bun using: cheese from a centrifuge-spun cow, lettuce from a chemically/perfectly shrunk head of lettuce, tomato from a jellyfish-balloon hybrid in a transportation machine, and bread from an incantation. She eventually deems the sandwich “the most ultimate sandwich that ever existed and ever will exist.”
  • Ice King decides to send Gunter away due to his “nasty booty” stinking up his ice fortress, but he eventually finds that it’s not Gunter that stinks–it’s him. So, after a shower accompanied with penguin pit-scrubbing, he apologizes to a soaked Gunter but finds the answer to why his pits so abruptly stank…
  • Lumpy Space Princess is sure that her rendition of “These Lumps” would dominate the Candy Kingdom Talent Show. But when the act before her plays the exact same song (and rather well, at that) she is roped into an awkward and sticky situation. But when she discovers an unexpected and unseen talent, she catches the win from MC Peppermint Butler–well, until Finn and Jake finish their “super ultimate high five”.

Titlecard S3E17 thankyou.jpg

  • Thank You” (S3 E17) – (This episode was nominated for a 2012 Annie Award for Best Animated Special Production!) They celebrated Christmas with “Holly Jolly Secrets”, they celebrated Halloween with titles like “From Bad to Worse”, now they actually celebrated last year’s Thanksgiving! And they celebrated it with a truly heartwarming and unique premise: the Snow Golem makes his third and most crucial appearance in this episode (after the original short and “Prisoners of Love”, respectively) as he decides to make his tranquil life a bit more exciting by taking a lost Fire Wolf pup under his wing. The message of the episode is that, no matter how much snow melts you get, even the most differentiated pair can share a strong friendship. Meanwhile, Finn and Jake are fruitlessly attempting to break through the Ice King’s armor layers to get back for having their sandwiches stolen. In the name of all that’s on TV, why do these two get so worked up over small things like sandwich theft?!

Titlecard S4E10 goliad.jpg

  • Goliad” (S4 E10) – Eternal life is, obviously, impossible to achieve for any normal human. But it is possible as long as you’re someone like God, Jesus, or Skips. And it’s even gotten to PB’s head what the Candy Kingdom would do when she was gone–especially after her brush with death in “Mortal Folly”. So she creates her successor and heir to her throne, which she shows to Finn and Jake. This heir is Goliad, a Candy Sphinx with a mound on her forehead and the voice of a cute little British child. After realizing that PB’s been up for more than 3 days in a row constructing and teaching Goliad without a wink of sleep, Finn and Jake decide to monitor Goliad. They take her down to a preschool where they build an obstacle course–f-for the kids, not Goliad. But when Jake is forced to yell at the kids to stop them from assaulting him, Goliad decides to imitate his harsh ways in the thought of leadership. When Finn tries to convince Goliad to use her mind before her mouth, she reveals the mound on her forehead to be a third eye, which she begins to use for psychically darker purposes…twisted

Titlecard S3E25 dadsdungeon.jpg

Dad’s Dungeon” (S3 E25) –  This feels like nothing but a sequel or follow-up or counterpart or something to “Dungeon” back from season one. Anyway, in the episode Finn and Jake’s dad Joshua (really shoulda watched “Boom Boom Mountain” now, huh?) has them navigate through a fight-filled dungeon meant to toughen Finn–with timely updates from Joshua via Holo-Message Player. Unfortunately, Joshua leaves Jake with his hands tied when he is directed and forced to try and hold back Finn in the dungeon. Although I’m happy their dad’s back, I never thought of him as the antagonist! :-?

Titlecard S2E14 thesilentking.jpg

  • The Silent King” (S2 E14) – After Finn and Jake get rid of the spank-happy tyrant of a goblin king, Xergiok, they are taken to the Goblin Kingdom’s palace where they meet the royal goblin chief-of-staff, Gummy. Gummy begs Finn to be the new goblin king, and also tells off that they are ill-accustomed to any act of compassion, since Xergiok spanked their butts so often he could’ve ran away to Sir Mix-a-Lot and made a remix on “Baby Got Back”! Finn initially rejects the offer, but seeing the goblin community would eventually form a riot and then be destroyed without a king, he decides to take the offer with Jake as his “goblin queen”. Gummy shows F & J around the things they are royally entitled to, like a birthing chamber and an advanced gaming system (:D), and also suggests they read the Book of Royal Rules, which they easily don’t. But the next morning, it’s shown that the goblin kingdom rules restrict even the kings to do pretty much anything: brushing their teeth, cutting or chewing their own food, they can’t even help someone who’s being robbed. But Finn wants to show that an active king is a proper king, especially when Xergiok has decided to return…

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So this is all you need to know about the DVD future of Adventure Time. They start hitting stores tomorrow, so save your dollars now and be one of the first to show off their fancy Finn hat! Remember, that’s 16 episodes on one disc for a favorably low price. Pretty soon, I might be telling you about Reg Show‘s DVD future–but who knows if they even have any DVDs planned yet? Well, I’m gonna leave you with that question to ponder upon, and make sure to tune in next time for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak! (Remember, I really don’t know when I’m releasing these days [ugh, school], so make sure you have an active email subscription. If not, start today!)

Stay classy America,

~S~ 8-)

Video of the Week: If any of you ever saw WCG Ultimate Gamer, you may have seen a contestant named Adande–or as his gamertag dubbed him, “Swoozie”. Well, although it’s been a while since WCG, he’s still got a strong YouTube channel today with nearly half a million subscribers and over 60 million video views! But 1/6 of that fame came from one series. An animated coming-of-age comedy series that, altogether, racked up 10 million hits! And 2/5 of that came from this one video. The start of the series. It is Swoozie’s history of–cheating in middle school. But you’ll find that it’s incredibly hilarious cuz it’s true, so go check out some more of Swoozie’s stuff at  (subscribe if possible), but for now shove this in your face.

Not satisfied with your main entree? Try some sides ;):

p.s. I got the idea to put this up—N-n-no, I saw this to begin with thanks to my good friend Henry. Y’see, he’s followed my footsteps (who wouldn’t? :roll:) and started his own blog! Check his awesomeness out @ http://henryyesme.wordpress.com/

GAME FACE MARIO MAYHEM, Part 1: Super Mario Strikers


Mario first reared his mustachioed head in 1981 as the Jumpman in the coin-op clash of “man vs. animal”, Donkey Kong. The game had to go through a whole lot of dog doo to save Nintendo from sinking in quicksands of failure. But it did, and Donkey Kong and “Jumpman”‘s heydays were only beginning. Decades later, Mario’s put up over 700 million sold units in the combination of both Mario and Super Mario, making it easily the bestselling series of all time. Mario’s also not a stranger to sports as he is to platforming. He’s done basketball (also as a guest in NBA Street Vol 3), snowboarding (as a guest in SSX On Tour) baseball, golf, tennis, even joined forces with Sonic for the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series. But there’s just one sport that’s being left out. You guessed it. Soccer. The beautiful game. The world game. Football. And Mario’s just as menacing on the pitch as he is on the tracks, or the court, or the field, or the course. And just be ready for a surprise at every nook, cranny, and corner…kick.

North American cover art

Toad sets up what looks to be a menacing bicycle kick against the goalie.

Mario’s first delve into big-league soccer, Super Mario Strikers (known in Europe and Australia as Mario Smash Football) is a GameCube-exclusive good ole five-a-side football game representing the basic rules of football, except referees are ruled out and players give new meaning to the term “offense”. It was released in November 2005 for Europeans, December for Americans, January ’06 for the Japanese, and April for the Australians. (Did that offend anyone in any way?) Revealed as part of E3 ’05, the teams in Strikers compose of a Mario character–the “captain”–with a backup team of “side kicks” (get it?) whom are Toads, Hammer Brothers, Birdos, and Koopas. The game’s goalie (strangely enough, on both sides) is Kritter, a Kremling from the Donkey Kong Country trilogy (except for the robot-composed Super Team, who have a Robo-Kritter). The only playable captains are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Waluigi, Wario, and Donkey Kong. (Bowser also NPCs to obstruct players occasionally.) There are several modes in-game:

  • Grudge Match - The standard single and multiplayer game mode.
  • Cup Battles - 1-4 players are allowed to compete in tournaments against AI opponents to advance through cups for rewards.
  • Super Cup Battles - Dominated the Cup Battles? Super denotes a higher tier of enemy lines, and only the strong survive…no, seriously, that was ripped from the game.
  • Strikers 101 - The game’s tutorial mode, allowing you to learn the basics of the game and then use them in “games” to hone your skills.
  • Spoils - This is for the people who love to gloat their highest milestones to others. This records awards you’ve won like soccer trophies, so you can cherish the moments and brag about them, too.

Both sidekicks and caps have varying attributes with “balanced” and “defensive” ways to play available. Strikers, for the most part, sticks to the rulebook of soccer with abilities to dash, slide tackle, etc. But then there’s the fact that players can land serious hits with or without the ball, resulting in a more arcade-esque game of soccer. The game has six stadiums/stadia that only change aesthetically and do not alter the playing field, even with electric fences to prevent to ball from going out of bounds. And yes, you can knock players into these fences. The further you go into the game, the more “cheats” you an access; these include a weakened goalie and an infinite set of items to use in impeding opponents.

I already said it was first shown in 2005′s E3, where game director Mike Inglehart and marking director Grace Kim expected the game to be more realistic, but after some consultations with Nintendo the creators opted for a more “over-the-top” turnout. The electric fences were added to accentuate the sport’s physicality, and there are no penalties or cards since the power-up system has compensated for this, considering power-ups are given to the team of a player that has been hurt.

Want to learn the basics of the game right now? Hands up, I’ve got you covered. (Do note that Strikers does not have “positions” in their vocabulary.)

DEFENSE

Slide Tackle (B) – This is one of the classic defensive tricks that always loses the victim of the ball. You can even perform one tackle after another if you wish, but that just makes you look silly. I recommend doing this if it seems like an opponent is about to take a shot at the goal. (Do note that both the tacklee and tackler will trip and fall.)

Big Hit (Y when not having the ball) – Despite being defensive, this is one of the more pain-dealing tricks on the pitch. The Big Hit is literally a bodyslam into an opponent, whether they possess the ball or not. There’s about a 7/8 out of 10 chance that the victim will fork over the ball, and there’s a 4/5 out of 10 chance it’ll go to another opponent. I recommend doing this also if an opponent is about to shoot.

Power-Ups (X, Z to switch)- A Mario game really isn’t a Mario game without power-ups. And like in Mario Power Tennis, power-ups are a major component in Strikers. You receive power-ups by charging shots or having a hurt player. When the time is right, you can use power-ups to impede opposition, relieve them of the ball, and get one step closer to a point. The power-ups include but aren’t limited to:

  • Banana Peels - They were toughies in Mario Kart, and they’re toughies now. They work by being thrown out and anxiously awaiting a player to slip on them. These peels come alone or have up to 6 of them released at a time.
  • The Normal Shells – These shells come in green, red, spiny, and–most notorious of all–blue. Green shells fly in straight lines, bouncing off walls and damaging victims. Red shells’ specialties are their homing abilities, victimizing the nearest player. But the dreaded blue shell not only apprehends victims, but freezes them in their tracks. Spiny shells do not stop after first hit, and go off until contact with another item or after hitting the wall twice. These shells all come as singles or triplets.
  • The Giant Shells – Just like normal shells, except giant-er! Giant green shells bowl over anything in its path, giant reds keep going after hitting a wall, homing in on a victim, and then acting like a mere giant green shell. Giant blues, however, freeze victims as usual, but now detonate on impact as well. Giant spinies are literal bulldozers on an unstoppable rampage down the pitch. Unlike normals, these shells only come in sets of one. But can you imagine how unstoppable they would be as triplets?
  • Bob-ombs - These living explosives will stand still for a second, and then explode, affecting victims in its range. However, the Giant Bob-ombhas a explosion radius of at least 4x larger, and it sends out a shockwave!
  • Chain Chomp - Everywhere it goes, it’s feared. It’s been considered one of the scariest foes in Super Mario 64. And it’s especially scary in this game. Like Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing can grant you an All-Star Move to get you back in the game, Chain Chomps (along with Stars) can only be obtained by the losing team. The Chomp will blaze down the pitch and damage every hand of the opposition. In fact, it won’t leave until there’s at least one man down.

Deke (Z) - When in possession of the ball, opponents are likely to go for your jugular to rid you of the ball. Now you can go for their jugulars when you deke! With a quick Z press–ahem, blue button press, the player can do a quick one-two. This is useful to get rid of opponents and proceed towards the goal.

OFFENSE

  • Turbo Run (R + thumbstick) – Have you ever heard this phrase?: What is a principle when you are venturing in the woods with, I dunno, a friend or two? A plump kid. When you encounter a bear or an equally threatening animal, your first instinct is to hightail it out of there. And with a plump kid, you don’t have to be the fastest–you just don’t want to be the slowest. And that really applies when you’re turbo-running. Sometimes, your fastest trailblaze down the pitch just isn’t enough. So what else to do than run faster? (Tip: Do note that while turbo-running, you can’t free move, deke, or shoot.)
  • Pass (A) – No one likes a ballhog, so with one of the oldest tricks in the book you can relieve yourself of the ball to another teammate. There are also special passes: besides the plain old ground pass, there’s also the lob pass (L+A) which is equally efficient in receiving the ball. If you play your cards right you could also uncover a special-er kind of pass…
  • Simple Shot (B) – The easiest to pull off, but the least likely to score. I suggest charging your shots.
  • Charged Shot (Hold B) – Okay, now we’re talking. Charged shots are more likely to score, and honestly look a lot sweeter. There is, obviously, a limit to the charge of your shot, and the sidekicks’ limit differs from the captains’ limit. Sidekicks can only go as far as–I dunno–a “fire ball”. But captains can go as far as…
  • Super Strike (Hold B for captains only) – …this. This really puts the Strikers in Super Mario Strikers. As a captain, you can hold B to the limit (you will see lightning surrounding you when you reach the limit) and you will then see a bar with two parts marked green. There is a white marker that will wave across the entire bar only once. If you time it right, you can land the marker on both green parts with a B press, and that will ensure your Strike is properly aligned. If not–believe it or not–Kritter actually has a chance of blocking it, although he will be temporarily dazed afterward. A successful Super Strike will count as two goals instead of one, and it will look like this:
  • One-Timer Shot (A + B) – Now this, my friend, is a one-two. The first part of the one-timer is a pass to a teammate. The second part, performed by the final receptor, is the instant shot. You can perform this anywhere, even across the pitch. And a volley shot will bewilder Kritter; just saying.
  • Perfect Pass (A with teammate near goal) – This is the special-er pass I was talking about. This is only performable if you are passing to a teammate near the goal. You will be certified of a perfected pass if the trail behind the ball is green. If you time it right, you can follow up with something even better… (And yes, there are such things are perfect lob passes.)
  • Perfect One-Timer Shot (B directly after Perfect Pass) – The last receptor of this one-timer not only shoots the ball. He gets a few seconds of slo-mo glory before slamming it in! The perfect one-timer is a great opportunity to score and honestly is one of the sweetest-looking moves in the game.

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Now to actually talk about the game itself. I really enjoyed Strikers; it had quality GameCube visuals, its arcade soccer had fast-paced, and energetic vibes, the game offered lots of challenge on upper tiers, and the Strikers 101 mode was really helpful. Don’t think I’ve had this much fun on the pitch since FIFA 12. It really hit gold on its addiction factor, and it would have you with the skills of a cartoon version of Ronaldo or Pele in no time. However, the game simply doesn’t feel Mario enough. No honestly, after you’ve heard Luigi says his name at least ten times in his victory celebrations, you’ll be at your wit’s end. And there’s not one chip of properly “Mario” music in the game. And besides, if there was a soccer school, Strikers would be a major dropout. (Unlike FIFA, whom would likely have perfect attendance and finish as the valedictorian. ;) Um, let’s get back to the flaws.) It simply doesn’t follow the sane rules of soccer, and the rules it does follow have more twists than you can give to those unbreakable 50 Cent headphones. Some noticeable issues in frame rate, as well as a lack of animation and audio variety (hence Luigi) that brings the game down even further from perfection. From the cover, and artwork, you may believe that Strikers is super-hardcore. But it, well, isn’t. And besides, Donkey Kong’s breaking the rules of soccer by hitting the ball with his hands. Now I can’t criticize and praise the game all day….we need a chart for that!

2 out of 5 – Educational value – The game does teach you the basics of soccer, and you may sometimes use logical thinking as an advantage on the pitch.

 2 out of 5 – Positive messagesStrikers puts up a model of being sportmanslike, both on a playing field and off, although red-card antics are the norm of the game. As almost always in the games I review, perseverance is key as well.

0 out of 5 – Positive role models – Not really applicable.

 2 1/2 out of 5 – Ease of play – It may take a while to fully comprehend the controls of the game, but when you do, it gets a lot easier to grasp–although it’s still kinda baffling at times.

3 out of 5 – Violence – In this game, antics that would give you red cards or even worse aren’t punished–they’re rewarded. You can do all sorts of dastardly deeds on the pitch, like knocking opponents into the electric fences, victimizing them with power ups, tackling or big hitting them, or even having Giant Bowser come onto the field and make the forwards’ lives even more miserable. But all of it is cartoon violence meant more for laughs, and when played by the appropriate audiences, this factor of the game can be an uproar.

1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Peach and Daisy are, somewhat but nevertheless, wearing risque and skimpy outfits that show off their stomachs and legs.

0 out of 5 - Language – This aspect is not applicable.

1 out of 5 – Product Placement – Besides being a Mario game, Donkey Kong (cross-advertising?) is likely as far as the game goes in product placement.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not applicable.

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Are you kidding?! Now THIS is art!

Smarts: C- (2 points)

Play-Again Ratio: B+ (3.5 points)

Fun: B (3 points)

Entertainment: A (4 points)

Humor: A+ (5 points)

Style: A- (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 21.5 out of 30 (YEESH. 80), 71% out of 100%, 4 stars out of 5

CONSENSUS: Super Mario Strikers does mark gold on some factors, like the pace of the game and all the modes–and it truly is a fun game–but serious problems like frame rate, a lack of variety, and some definite rule-bending push Strikers away from its true optimum.

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But that’s not all! You’ve heard that this is only part 1 of Game Face Mario Mayhem, right? Well, part 2 is coming soon, and it’s gonna be an even bigger, better Mario game! I can’t say what it is, but let’s just say it’s two-fisted, red-blooded, and all-American. I’ve said too much already.

Check out my latest Sammwak spinoff that’s literally like my own little social network: 3GS! http://3gsam.wordpress.com/

Stay classy, America. ~S~ 8-)

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Random Videos o’ the Week: I got stuck between two videos and just couldn’t decide. Lemme describe the first one: Annoying Orange is one of the comedy moguls of YouTube history. Ever since its first episode in October 2009 (which garnered over 100 mil. views to date), Orange’s official channel has gained over 2 million subscribers and over 1 billion video views, and to add to that Orange and friends have gotten their own show on Cartoon Network! (Catch The Annoying Orange every Monday at 8:30!) Well, they’ve taken a blast to the past, giving the first-ever episode a reanimation–literally! This animated spin has already gotten over 1 mil since late July and has gotten over 20k likes. Witness the fruity goodness–now in glorious animation (and glorious 720p HD!)!

Our next video is probably just as awesome, maybe a bit more awesome even. A regular gummi worm is 10-25 cm of gelatinous, chewy goodness. In the shape of a worm. First introduced by Trolli in July of 1981 (in fact, the 60th anniversary of gummi bears), these worms come in all shapes and sizes. But it doesn’t come close to the world’s largest gummy worm, brought to you by  the makers of the gummi cola bottle and the tablet that turns sour into sweet. Clocking in at over 2 feet, 50 cubic inches, and 3 pounds of sweet, sweet goodness, the world’s largest gummi worm is 128 times of a normal gummi. And it makes a rad dirt cake, too. And it’s actually for sale too (all seven flavors), for the price of $28! The worm’s official video has over 10 million views since its launch in October 2010, and almost 30k likers are craving this monstrosity. Step aside, Epic Meal Time…this epic meal has the oomph for a whole year of fine dine. But this isn’t as far as they can go, so check out and subscribe to their channels! (, )

Picks for Popcorn: Muppet Treasure Island


Hey guys it’s Sam. There are just some cartoons out there that are so darn popular, they even get interpreted into other terms of media, like Mickey Mouse in Beauty and the Beast or something like that. And some of those people have permission all on their own, like it’s perfectly normal. Especially a specific group of praised puppetry known as the Muppets, created by the late Jim Henson, aka “the Muppeteer”. While they’ve been alive for almost six decades now, the Muppets have also been known [besides their show in the late 70s and early 80s] to star in film, twisting classics like The Wizard of Oz and A Christmas Carol. But there’s been no Muppet mix-up quite like this. Taking you to the days where treasure hunting was practically everything, this Muppet movie from 1996 told you to “set sail for Muppet mayhem!” And Muppet mayhem it was.

You may know them as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, but in this modern twist they are Captain Abraham Smollett and Benjamina Gunn, prisoners of love with a past affiliation of being ex-fiancees.

Muppet Treasure Island (1996), a musical action-dramedy film, the fifth Muppet feature film so far, re-enacts Robert Louis Stevenson’s timeless Treasure Island that’s been with us for over a century. In this revamp, our Muppet pals are back on the attack, with Captain Smollett (Kermit) and his colleagues engaging in wide-open-sea warfare against a pack of ruthless pirates. They’re also headed toward the same goal: a chest of buried treasure, the movie being called Muppet Treasure Island. As with the previous film (A Muppet Christmas Carol), the more essential roles are ironically played by human beings, but they’ve always had a good reason to conceal it. The protagonist of the movie, also of the book, is an orphaned boy named Jim Hawkins who befriends fellow Muppets Rizzo the Rat and the Great Gonzo (he wasn’t Gonzo the Great as of 1996, I guess). If you’re familiar with movies full of shabby, singing seamen who all too easily drain the barrel of rum, then I guess this is gonna be old for you. If you’re familiar with movies full of wisecracking, singing puppets who all too easily make good money, then I guess this is gonna be old for you too.

It’s not that Muppet Treasure Island is bad…it’s just not great, either. I didn’t get completely sucked into the action as I hoped I would for a Muppet movie, and they had bad timing to balance between funny moments, serious moments, and those moments where Muppets unexpectedly break into song annoyingly. And if you see the pie chart above, these musical moments appear all too frequently. You’ll be laughing hysterically at one scene while being completely bored out by the next, but Muppet Treasure Island clearly isn’t the best Muppet movie…just not the worst.  On the bright side, the movie in general is a cheerful and energetic take on the classic, full of supposedly solid gags, though honestly less centric than the originals. But it also does tremendously well breaking the fourth wall more than once (“He’s dead? And this was supposed to be a kids movie!”)  And a Muppet movie should pay reasonable attention on each Muppet throughout the movie (but not as much as an ensemble movie would), not juggle scenes between man and Muppet. That’s just hard to pull off. The music isn’t half-bad, either. Check out these songs from the OST called “Boom Shakalaka” and “Cabin Fever”.

Chart, please.

 2 out of 5 – Educational value –  The movie is meant for amusement only, but it being a Treasure Island twist, it introduces characters and situations from the book. Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver are actually characters from the book, for instance. Also, words are defined like “helm” and “North Star.”

 3 1/2 out of 5 – Positive messages – This movie makes great use of the phrase “Everyone might not be who they say they are.” For example, Long John Silver appears friendly at first to young Hawkins, but this proves later on to be a scam. Hawkins who feels as if he has no family finds out that the conceptualization of family isn’t simply defined: a family can compose from people (or Muppets, or a “whatever” like Gonzo) who aren’t really affiliated with you, but love and protect you and have your best interests anyway.

3 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Young Hawkins, a centric character, is “honest, brave, and true” throughout the movie, and the key Muppet (Captain Smollett) is compassionate, trustworthy, and reliable. The overblown, comical baddies are greedy and destructive, but they do suffer the side-effects of their misbehavior.

3 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of view – Muppet Treasure Island, like I said, isn’t the best Muppet movie to date, nor is it as centric as past and future titles, but its humorous gags, catchy music, and cheerful energy make for a good, acceptable apology for its own flaws. And that’s all that matters in the Muppet world.

4 out of 5 – Violence – A surprising amount for a G-rated movie, whether pratfall, slapstick, or actual. Hawkins and his “family” are pursued by angry pirates throughout their home. Pirates are chased by the sparks of gunpowder before eventually having it set off, evoking an explosion with fiery consequences in Hawkins’ home. Gunnery and swordplay occur frequently. There is one minor seaman character named Dead Tom, who is basically a skeleton. Knife threats and torture/death referencing occur, as well as the appearance of wild tribal pigs. Smollett and Benjamina are tied by their feet and dangled precariously above the sea by their own will. Someone dies onscreen, eyes shut and mouth open. A Muppet named Mr. Errol pretends to be a ghost long after walking the plank, and this proves successful, making all the shipmates jump overboard in fear. It’s all exaggerated violence and, like with any kids movie, is meant to be more funny than scary.

 2 3/4 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Benjamina makes a slightly steamy comment to Long John. Smollett ends up grabbing and holding his dress-wearing ex-fiancee by the feet after her rope gives way above the precipice, putting him in a traumatizing stance, if you know what I mean. Play the cards right, I ain’t gonna tell you. One Muppet defines the sea as “the big, blue wet thing”. Hawkins is mistaken by a Muppet as being a girl.

1 out of 5 - Language – Salty language for salty pirates, of course. Slight sprinklings like “hell” and “damnation” occur from the pirates’ oral perspectives.

2 1/2 out of 5 – Product Placement – The Muppets are very famous titles in the cartoon world. Fourth-wall fracture occurs twice: “He’s dead? And this was supposed to be a kids movie!” and “…we couldn’t save the movie!”

3 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – Rowdy pirates are onscreen drinking in a tavern from pewter mugs. Long John Silver brings a couple servings of the best brandy around to toast to the voyage, but Smollett refuses to allow it, saying that there will be “no drinking on this ship.” Long John then proceeds to ensure that every last drop of alcohol is tossed overboard. One Muppet repeatedly fills their cup and dumps it out the window, converting between Long John’s attempts and Smollett’s refusal.

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Smarts: A- (4 points)

See-Again Ratio: A- (4 points)

Fun: A+ (5 points)

Entertainment: A+ (5 points)

Humor: A+ (5 points)

Style: A- (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 27 out of 30 (not bad, for a Muppet movie), 4 stars out of 5, 82% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: It may not shine as brightly as other titles, and it’s not as Muppet-centric, but Muppet Treasure Island is still a worthwhile entry full of great gags, music, and energy, despite it being arguably the most violent Muppet movie yet.

PRICE: Thy proclaim thee has a desire to possess a version made to be similar or identical to Muppet Treasure Island? Surely! Thou Kermit’s 50th Anniversary particular version will require the payment of $10 with 34% of thy savings. Thee used particular version will require the—y’know what, sounding like a gentlemen is really boring. The used copies of the movie are $7, while the new are $9. The regular version has a new price of $36, and a used one of $7. At Blockbuster, a weekly rental costs $5, no subscription required, with only about a day to wait.

IS THIS A POPCORN PICK?: Despite all I have pointed out, yes, I guess it truly is a popcorn pick.

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HOMEWORK TIME!

  • Subscribe to all my sites if you haven’t already! (Sammwak, 2Sam2Mwak, Stories for Bedtime, Wii Play Games)
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REWARD: Smiley face! :D :D :D :D :D :D Enough of that, thanks for tuning into Sammwak, providing the cure to boredom since 2010, for 23 months, approximately 690 days, 16,560 minutes, 993,600 seconds, and and over 993 million milliseconds. And I’ve never been more honored to say so.

But also, Sammwak will be entering its 24th month of existence this April. And we all know 24 months = 2 years. Which means…Sammwak is having a birthday bash! That’s right, on [Wednesday,] April 11, the same day my first post was created (with 7 others), Sammwak will be turning two at about 6:24 pm that day. And to serve my homages to my blog and faithful, my birthday bash will release the same time. So tune in to Sammwak on April 11 at 6/5c for the biggest birthday bash on Earth! (Even bigger than mine.) But for now, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and/or good night.

- Sam ;)

Pride, Prejudice, and Plumbing: The Story of Mario (Part I)


Hey guys it’s Sam, and we all know that when you usually can’t find out about some source, you dive into your local library, in school or not, or try to trust online sources. And as we all know, you can’t trust anyone from the mouth, so should you be able to trust someone from the keyboard? Either way, you’re definitely gonna learn something today, because I’m gonna be teaching you about one of gaming’s biggest icons and mascots. Here are a couple hints: he’s short, pudgy, has a bushy mustache, wears a red cap, and has blue overalls. Does it ring a bell? He’s one of Nintendo’s most famed, familiar, and simply best characters ever created under Shigeru Miyamoto’s name. He is Mario, one of the coolest, sweetest plumbers I’ve seen…well, the only plumber I’ve seen.

Our beloved Red Rivet (c’mon, the Blue Blur was a sweet-enough nickname for Sonic) actually did not debut in the classic Super Mario Bros in ’85, nor was it Mario Bros in ’83, but it was actually Donkey Kong in ’81. In that platformer-pioneering game, Mario was originally known as Jumpman, and he was originally intended to make his way up to his kidnapped girlfriend and defeat his own pet ape that turned against him after mistreatment. In this game, Mario was only a carpenter, and his profession was altered in Mario Bros to the plumber he is today. Mario was given such bright clothing, like his overalls, to make sure his actions were visualized. His red cap came in because the limited mid-80s video game programming animation made it difficult for enabling Mario’s hair to wave when he jumped. Mario jumped into the platformer kind of game after originally being set to escape a maze lacking the ability to jump. Miyamoto, the man that created Mario in the first place, gave him a new genre tone because “if you had a barrel rolling towards you, what would you do?”

Miyamoto conceived Mario in the first place while developing Donkey Kong (no big surprise there), trying to think of a title that could sum up for all of Nintendo’s past coin-op failures, such as the game Sheriff. What is Sheriff? Well, exactly. Mario’s full name has not been fully announced by Nintendo, although it is not “Mario Mario”, despite the inference of the Mario Bros. series title, its use in the ’93 movie, and info from the Prima guidebook for Superstar Saga.

Title says all. The games in their chronological orders are: MARIO BROS. (1981), SUPER MARIO BROS. (1985), SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 (1987), SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 (1990), SUPER MARIO WORLD (1991), SUPER MARIO 64 (1996), SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE (2002), SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL (2008).

Mario originally intended to be named “Mr. Video”, and was also planned to appear in every Nintendo game that hit the markets. But the idea of the name “Mr. Video” was scrapped because Miyamoto believed that this name would make our hero “[disappear] off the face of the Earth.” And it was one regular day in 1981 for Nintendo, and they were hosting a meeting trying to conceive a name in time for a game’s release. Suddenly, their landlord burst in, angrily demanding and confronting that they pay for a long-overdue rent they had gotten far behind in. That landlord’s name was Segali…Mario Segali. And it was after this being that our precious plumber got his name, as long as Segali received his share of cash. Believe me, mister…your name did more than just christen a plumber.

Mario has since appeared in several kinds of games, including racing (Mario Kart series), puzzle, party (Mario Party series), role-playing (Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars), fighting (Super Smash Bros. series), and sports (Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Super Sluggers, Super Mario Strikers, etc.).

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Here is some stuff I bet you didn’t even know about Mario. When you find out about this, you’ll be totally fascinated. I should know. I’m the person that’s giving it to you!

  • The notorious antagonist of the Mario saga, Bowser, was originally sketched out as an ox by Miyamoto, but accidental interpretation by a fellow animator turned him into a turtle after the two worked on it. And honestly, I think being a turtle fits Bowser way better, compared to the species of usual Mario enemies.
  • Recurring character Birdo, supposedly Yoshi’s love interest, is somewhat officially a dude, as stated in the Mario 2 instruction booklet.
  • The name of “Wario”, the malevolent yin to Mario’s gallant yang, was derived from the Japanese word “warui”, meaning “bad”. Both were either way voiced by Charles Martinet, who has been giving Mario the spice to his voice for 17 years now. The same thing most likely applies to Luigi’s yin Waluigi.
  • Koji Kondo, the rightful composer and sound arranger/advisor of 13 Mario titles, has had music that is known worldwide, especially the Super Mario Bros theme and its countless fan-made renditions. Heck, there was even a Mariorock opera back in ’03! Other titles he has composed for or done work for include the original Legend of Zelda among other LoZ titles, the original PilotwingsStar Fox and its N64 reboot, and the original NES Golf and Soccer.
  • Super Mario Bros. obviously enough used to hold the title of the most bestselling game in history with 40.24 million units, until it was degraded to 2nd place in 2006 by the Wii’s launch title Wii Sports. Nintendo making the two most bestselling games created? It’s like James Cameron directing the two highest-grossing movies created.
  • In 1999, Mario Golf hit the markets 3 years after Super Mario 64 pretty much made gaming history. Believe it or not, this was not the first golfing game starring Mario. There was a character resembling Mario in the original NES Golf, but he surely made an official appearance later in NES Open Tournament Golf, as well as Luigi, and Princesses Peach and Daisy.
  • Princess Peach has appeared in more games than any other female game character in gaming history, even people you’d suppose, like Samus Aran or Chun-Li. She was also originally known as Princess Toadstool ever since her debut in ’85, and, in the west (aka us), she held that name for 8 years until it was changed permanently in Yoshi’s Safari.

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So THIS is the currency system in Mushroom Kingdom. Hey, could you hook me up with, like, 30 of those?

‘Twas pretty fascinating, huh? Oh, back to our learning.

Mario also had a career outside of his namesake series. That’s right, folks, Mario also had a non-Mario life. Surprisingly enough, he serves as the referee of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!, and he is also playable in NBA Street V3 and SSX: On Tour, both by EA. He also makes cameos in both A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time as a portrait, and in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, he appears as a minuscule statue. So all the peeps that own some or all of these games, ya better start keeping an eye out if you haven’t been already! According to kids, Mario is a more known icon than even Mickey Mouse, and that dude’s hard to beat. Mario has appeared in over 200 games since his debut, but it would probably take up a lot of space counting them all. See why this is only part one? And speaking of part one, looks like this is the end of part one!

But don’t worry! If you like, rate, comment, and jump on dat subscribe button’s head regularly, part two will come sooner than you think. Trust me, behind the dashboard, it’s almost always rush hour. Anyway, thanks for watching our show! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got some 64-bit racing to get to. Now, if only I could stop slipping on that banana!…

- Sam

Question o’ The Day: If you could come up with and interpret any idea for a Mario power-up concept, what new power-up would you conceive?

p.s. Bro, Mario is literally my research paper topic! No, literally, he is, and I got a load of online sources to prove it. That stuff is so thick, I could literally write a novel with all that info! But of course, that’s some sort of copyright violation, isn’t it? I hope I used the right sources, and I also don’t think there’s much informational books about Mario out now, is there? But honestly, isn’t Mario such a good topic? I could’ve chosen Link or Samus or Fox McCloud, but I specifically chose Mario, and that’s all that matters…

(p.p.s. If you subscribe, I’ll stop talking so much!)

Rovio Mobile’s fourth egg-stravaganza takes Birds to galactic proportions


Hey guys it’s Sam once again (now 11!), and it’s time to flashback for a bit. There was a time back around before 2010, so about 2007-2009-ish, where the iPhone was hitting its dawn of fame and iPhone apps were 99 cents on a regular basis. Ah, the good ole days. But there’s probably one game from that era that we’ve loved from here to now that’s skyrocketed into levels of fame no other app has been even close to reaching. One game created from a developer that doesn’t even come from our country. That game is Angry Birds. Along with its three sequels, Angry Birds RioSeasons, and the less-known Magic, the game has been dubbed “one of the most mainstream games out right now”, “one of the great runaway hits of 2010″, and “the largest mobile app success the world has seen so far”. And that’s definitely saying something. So are you ready for the fourth chapter in everyone’s favorite bird-flinging franchise? Because it’s closer than you think (in March, to be exact). If you think it can’t get any better, wait until you see their upcoming adventures in space.

One small fling for a bird? One quantum leap for birdkind? This only means one thing: Angry Birds is going to outer space. This assault of aviary has conquered smartphones and social networks alike, and their next great big adventure is only the final frontier. A greatly anticipated game that I only found out about a while ago, Space will indeed feature new birds, and due to launching in gaming, animation, retail, and publishing, Rovio Mobile themselves thinks of this as “the biggest game launch since the original Angry Birds“, which has put up some staggering numbers over the years. Angry Birds is legitimately one of the most lucrative game properties at over 700 million times downloaded across all devices. And if wasn’t for this game, Google Plus wouldn’t have had just as much help launching their official gaming channel, and the game has also reached Facebook as well. And in the end—yes, all that Angry Birds merch was only the beginning. Moonbase, anyone?

I never quite thought that these Birds could get crazier than they’ve been in the past couple of months, but I was wrong. Angry Birds Space is a departure in more ways than one. The hook? You’ll be flinging birds on new planets while dealing with zero gravity, leading to new gameplay elements like slow-mo puzzles and “lightspeed” demolition. And just like with other games, hope that those intergalactic physics are dead-on. Though the specifics of the game are under wraps as of now, Rovio has announced that the game will debut new birds as well as ole feathered favorites, now having new super powers, it being outer space that they’re in. The game’s classic 3-star performance rating system will return as well.

Who--or what---is this?

Angry Birds has also been an influence in real life, besides its great success in the App Store. Once on Google+ back in January, they held a “National Bird Day” to “get angry” about extinction and assist to endangered birds. And Space is now apparently associated with NASA as well, all for game promotion, as announced from the “pleasantly ridiculous” NASA trailer. To me, it seems like Angry Birds Space seems more like Apollo 18: Aviary Edition, but I may be wrong. Very wrong. Rovio plans to announce partnerships and more detail soon, including possible platforms it’ll appear on, but for now these teasers are all we can get:

If you want to stay closest as possible to the Angry Birds makers, go on and (if you have a YouTube/email account) subscribe to Rovio Mobile’s channel, and then sit back and stay tuned as more game details hopefully come flowing in! And also make sure to stay tuned to our domain as well as more awesomely awesome awesomeness comes flowing in! (“Awesomely” is too a word.) Like, rate, comment, and make like an Angry Bird and launch yourself at that subscribe button so hard it explodes!

- Sam ;)

p.s. If you’re excited for Angry Birds Space, then put “I’m excited for Angry Birds Space!” in your comment in the comment section below, alright?

When FIFA Got Their Street Smarts Back: EA Sports takes to the streets next month


Hey guys it’s Sam, and if you’re from my background, you have to be therefore African. And it’s pretty darn amazing that one game of kicking a ball around and shooting it into a goal can turn into Africa’s main sport. Nonetheless, that sport is soccer, also known as [association] football, footy, “the world game”, or even “the beautiful game.” And being the most popular sport on the face of the planet (literally, I’m not bluffing) with over 3.5 billion fans (see?), you may know the highest governing body of this great sport: FIFA. The first video game of FIFA’s great big saga releasing back in summer 1993 (FIFA International Soccer, aka FIFA ’94), almost 2 decades would pass and FIFA would slowly work its way up the fame ladder, improving in mechanics and physics. Today, FIFA stands as the eighth-most bestselling video game franchise, beating Need for Speed but falling behind Final Fantasy. Enough talk, let’s get to the good stuff. In 2005, FIFA took to the streets for the first time in the sixth-generation of consoles. And as generations have passed on and new consoles have formed new generations, FIFA‘s been getting better and better. Along with last year’s release of the acclaimed FIFA 12, next month we’re getting another trip into the world of simulated soccer we love so very much. The last time FIFA took to the streets, it was 2008, and it didn’t do great. But now it looks like critics will be dropping to their knees and begging for mercy, because the streets we knew and loved are gone.

That’s right. This is not a joke anymore. When the new FIFA Street (aka FIFA Street 4 or FIFA Street 2012) shoots a goal next month, it’s gonna be a complete reboot, whether you like it or not. This is the first game in the series for four years ever since FIFA Street 3 arrived in 2008 (and it will rightfully be E-rated). EA Canada and EA Sports (the same companies behind the upcoming SSX) will promote full devotion to the game, and a chunk of the people that gave us FIFA 12 will also be chipping into this. The two games will share the same visual engine, the Impact Engine. The FIFA Street line producer, Sid Misra, promises “the first true quality street football experience.” Well, say that to the people who worked so hard on the original FIFA Street and FIFA Street 2. First announced back in late summer 2011 at Germany’s Gamescom event, the new FIFA Street (among other EA Sports titles) will be available exclusively early to buyers of the EA Sports Season Ticket. What that is, I have no idea. What it does, I know now. If you’ve got a PS3 or Xbox 360, make sure to mark your calendars, because FIFA Street‘s demo will arrive to the PSN and Xbox Live atmospheres on the 28th this month.

That picture that I just showed you is the official cover art for FIFA Street. The soccer superstar on it is none other than the Argentina national team’s grand captain (as well as a veteran FC Barcelona player) Lio Messi. And, according to Electronic Arts’ announcement back in November, Lio even signed to a deal to become the new face of FIFA. And just in case you don’t know, that’s a big honor. Soccer fans, mark your calendars, since March 13 is when this game will slide tackle into markets. The officially announced national teams of the game are:

In an effort to make the game more “authentic”, the stylised cartoon-like visuals of previous games in the series has been dropped in favor of a more realistic look, though there will still be the same emphasis on skill moves and tricks. The focus is once again on fast-paced games involving small teams of 5-6 players per side, one-on-one, and game modes based on panna and futsal also included. As with the previous games in the series, skill moves are an important element of gameplay. FIFA Street will feature twice as many tricks as are possible in FIFA 12, with much greater variety, and over fifty more than its predecessor FIFA Street 3. Talk about “show-off.”

Jumping with the ball between your legs is one of the most classic tricks in the book.

FIFA Street‘s soundtrack hasn’t been fully revealed quite yet, but some songs have been officially announced in the meantime:

So make sure you mark your calendars for March 13th, because FIFA Street‘s bicycle kicking into retail stores that very day. I was gonna make these letters bigger so you wouldn’t forget, but…Also rate, comment, like, and kick the subscribe button in the shins and give it a yellow card! As of today, this is Samuel Mwak, 11 years old, whom believes that silence is golden, but duct tape is silver.

- Sam