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We haven’t seen any works of the waistband warrior from Dav Pilkey since The Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People six years ago. Yeah, yeah, you might already know how this is going, and you might ask “Sam, didn’t we already go over this?” And we may have already talked about this topic back on 2Sam2Mwak. The most recent excuse Dav put out there was that he was caring for his terminally ill grandpa. Well, although his grandpa is gleefully watching this post from *sniffle* that big bookstore in the sky :(, he is already halfway through his four-book Scholastic contract. And this is the penultimate book on the contract, something he bargained for–but we didn’t.

Apparently, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers came out two months ago while summer was just starting to decay. While I expected it to be a bit more upcoming, I’ll just tell you now. Anyway, the premise of the story–if you didn’t already know–picks up where Preposterous Plight left off. The last time we saw George & Harold, they were being arrested and headed for the slammer. Then Harold spoke thirteen fateful words: ‘”What could be worse than going to jail for the rest of our lives?”, changing the course of time itself forever. Now, Captain Underpants 9 is the most innovative entry yet for various reasons–one of them being that part of the book serves as a prequel that takes us back to the “good ole kindergarten days”! Now, they’re not fighting aliens or scientists. Now, an afro-sporting George and a not-so-badly-haircut Harold are using brainpower to fight against Principal Krupp’s equally nasty nephew Kipper.

Now, let’s go to the (hopefully) real plot: Professor Poopypants (the main villain of the fourth book) had showed up after four books in some sort of limbo. He had taken it in after the defeat of his debut appearance to change his name–but that only made him a laughingstock of a jailbird. But now, he’s back for–most likely–revenge, and he’s got plenty of technological advantages up his sleeve. (One contraption from the last book left anyone who dared to laugh at his new name frozen solid. 8-o) Now, Captain’s had plenty of hard hits (including wedgies) in his past, but the return of an old villain? Totally new. Will this competition leave this scantily-clad superhero’s underwear in a bunch? Or will Tippy be forced to “poopy his pants” once more?

Now, since the book’s already out, it’s gotten pretty good feedback. Out of the 9 reviews I saw on Amazon, most people enjoyed the book for its returning laughs and unparalleled entertainment, but some people were more critical over elements like its ending. One specific review from Louisville, Kentucky gave it its only 2-star rating–due to it not actually having any underpants or Klingon in it. And let me inform you that the person that sent this review is a mother. A mother that needs to catch up on her Dav Pilkey.

“With reading, however, it’s a whole different story–we get involved. When we read a book, there aren’t any special effects. There’s no music to set the mood, and there’s no costume designers or set decorators. We have to fill in all those special details ourselves by using our imaginations. The simple fact is, the more we read, the more we get to use our imaginations. And the more we use our imaginations, the more powerful we become. So crack open a book and start reading, because reading really does give you super powers. And imagination is the greatest super power of all.”

- Dav Pilkey in his “Author Adventures” video on Amazon

Couldn’t have said those very words better myself. Anyway, you can check out Captain Underpants 9 when it hits bookstores on–oh yeah, it’s out right now. And a small little chunk of my mind is telling me you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity. And if you don’t want to, you’ve already got plenty of dollars to save up for when the tenth installment (The Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers) comes out next January.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, Professor Poo–sorry, Tippy Tinkletrousers will be returning for this installment too! Even Sulu and Crackers will be coming back! Again! In this boo–er, first, try to imagine a world without underpants. Not only Captain, but likely undergarments in general. You’d be a dead duck if you got pantsed, and if you didn’t wipe good enough it would go straight to your pants. Anyway, this might be the future of Cap, as–er–something horrible happened to George & Harold. And why couldn’t C.U. pipe up and save them? Since Tippy and his tech-savvy hijinks had prevented the two from creating the waistband warrior to begin with! Now, having broken the yo-yo of time, George & Harold must figure out how to change changed time. It sounds ridick, but it has to happen–or else over a decade of gutbusting adventures will all be for naught. And I already saw a different version of the world as we know it in Preposterous Plight. Will the grandfather clock ever strike twelve? Find out when Revolting Revenge hits stores next year.

Stay classy, America.

~S~ 8-)

p.s. Speaking of future dates, Dav’s official website @ http://www.pilkey.com, is currently on hold due to all this Tippy Tinkletrousers madness. He stated that it would be up and running in “a few weeks”–but that’s what it says every time you visit the site.

Videos of the Week: If you tuned into my second chopped, screwed, squeezed, and crunched pack of news concerning Adventure Time‘s status in the DVD world, you might have checked out my Video of the Week. It was the first entry in Swoozie’s Cheating series, “Cheating in Middle School”. And if you laughed just as much as I expected you to, ya might wanna consider this 3.4 million-time viewed sequel.

And here’s something that might make old-time gamers crack a smile:

Plus that “Author Adventures” video I got that quote from:



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…

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  • 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. :(

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  • 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:

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  • 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.)

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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. :(

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  • 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”.

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  • 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?!

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  • 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

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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! :-?

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  • 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…

……………………………

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/



Cartoon Network’s been alive for 20 years now. And a majority–a colossal majority-of the shows on Cartoon Network are solemnly cartoons. And don’t act like it’s doomsday when I say this: there have been live-action Cartoon Network shows before. Dude, What Would Happen and Destroy Build Destroy are very notorious examples. The coincidence about both shows is that they started in summer 2009, and ended in September 2011. Luckily, Level Up is probably the only live-action show on right now. But we’re talking about animated shows that also have coincidences. They’ve both been on since 2010, and in those 2 years of time they became probably the two biggest names on Cartoon Network. And they’ve both hit DVDs @ stores near you. Now isn’t that totally rhombus? Shoot, I think I gave away show #1.

Adventure Time has shaken the nation like Angry Birds did, attracting both parents and children to the wild world of Ooo and even gaining a cult following among teens and adults. It has been nominated for 3 Annie Awards and 2 Emmy Awards, but they didn’t win a single one. That didn’t crush the creators’ spirit, as the show went on to become arguably the most famous name on Cartoon Network. If you don’t know how the show goes, let’s break it down: Finn is a hero in the land of Ooo with his magical stretching dog Jake. The main bad guy is the princess-napping Ice King and his legion of penguins. The show’s “damsel-in-distress” is Princess Bonnibel Bubblegum (the mystery is over) who is a key character in the series. Anyway, I was talking about something…oh, yeah, stuff like Finn hats are even for sale! How many shows can say that they’ve selled merch? Well, a lot, but let’s get to the point. Adventure Time has finally compiled a DVD of the “complete first season”, but this isn’t the first time Finn and Jake have been seen on DVD covers. Last September, the DVD My Two Favorite People released (for Canada, it was delayed to this February) featuring twelve episodes. Half of them were from season one, and half were from season two. This year, another DVD was released: It Came from the Nightosphere, which extended on the previous DVD for sixteen episodes. Don’t forget the most special DVD of all, though, which released last October: the first ten episodes in English, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish! But this is technically the first season boxset! Anyway, it features all 26 episodes in the first season, but it’s so big they had to put it on two discs just to cram it all in! Let’s take a look at what this DVD had to offer (in chronological order, as always), shall we?

……………………………….

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  • Slumber Party Panic” – Yup, this was the episode that started it all. (Excluding the pilot animated short.) In the season/series opener, after Princess Bubblegum’s experiment on reviving dead “candy people” with her decorspinator, a horrible round of mishaps lead to the first Candy Zombie Uprising. Finn must protect the remaining citizenship that survived the epidemic until Bubblegum concocts a cure.
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  • Trouble in Lumpy Space” – When Jake gets the Lumps from a bite from the Lumpy Space Princess (this episode marks her debut), and begins going through a “werewolf-like” transformation stage by stage, Finn must trek to the bizarre Lumpy Space realm to cure his friend before he goes Lumpy.
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  • Prisoners of Love” – When Finn and Jake are captured by the Ice King, they break free with the help and plans of seven other princesses Ice King had abducted in the process: the Emerald Princess, the Wildberry Princess, the Raggedy Princess, the Hot Dog Princess, the Ghost Princess, the Lumpy Space Princess, and the Slime Princess.
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  • Tree Trunks” – This episode introduces a pygmy elephant named Tree Trunks, as sweet and warm as her apple pies. But no apple tops the apple of all apples, the apple that is the Crystal Gem Apple. So Finn and Jake embark on an adventure to find the Apple, and Tree Trunks joins them. But F & J are quickly questioning whether Tree Trunks is the optimal inclusion they needed.
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  • The Enchiridion!” – To prove themselves as true heroes, F & J are assigned by Bubblegum to embark on a quest to find and claim the Enchiridion, the hero’s handbook of legend. They also experience various trials to get to the handbook, and the price of confirming heroism does not come cheap, obviously.
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  • The Jiggler” – Finn and Jake adopt a small creature they know as “the Jiggler” due its fun-loving vibes, but also must cope with the fact that they are causing unimaginable harm to the Jiggler by taking it from its true habitat. And the mother doesn’t seem too happy either. This episode marks one of the first songs: “Baby”, sung by Finn with his autotune voice.
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  • Ricardio the Heart Guy” – A smooth-talking “heart guy” named Ricardio woos his way into Bubblegum’s heart 8-), but Finn only gains jealousy, and suspicion that he’s hiding something. When he tries to convince PB, she is too interested in Ric to believe Finn. But it turns out that Ric really is a bad guy; he even victimized the Ice King! That makes him a villain’s villain! And this heart’s a real heart of cold; he’s got some nasty plans with PB, especially involving her heart. (Don’t ask.)
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  • Business Time” – Finn and Jake, but mostly Jake, thaw out mysterious zombie-like businessmen from an iceberg and decide to “hire” them to get out of doing work. As they enter the law of efficiency, Finn and Jake start becoming lazy, sedentary couch potatoes. They even build fat! But the timing proves to be off when the businessmen turn against their bosses thinking that they are doing the right thing. (This was one of two episodes that were shown before the series premiere.)
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  • My Two Favorite People” – Jake tries to improve the relationship of Finn and the Korean-speaking Lady Rainicorn so he can increase the time spent with both of them, but his works might end up damaging both relationships in the process. Plus, the time Finn and Rainicorn now spend has been making Jake jealous, so he makes an adjustment or two to ensure the feeling is mutual.
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  • Memories of Boom Boom Mountain” – If you wanna know why Finn and Jake are so close, this is the one to watch. In this episode, Finn reevaluates his helping desire for fellow citizens when he and Jake are surrounded by problems stemming from the “Mountain Man” who loathes violence and is crying avalanches from it. These problems include roughhousing Marauders, a dragon with an itchy butt, an “Ice Cube Creature” who is in cold water, and the fact that Naked Wizard is naked.
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  • Wizard” – F & J take wizard lessons to get a one-way ticket to magical powers and striving to collect all the stars, oblivious to the true reason why they are taking the lessons. They are exposed to powers like “dustomancy”, “shadowcery”, hair growth, mayonnaise generation, fireworks generation, a sleeping spell, an awakening spell (plus a deflect to this spell), and the “ultimate magical hand”. I guess you could say in this episode, all spell breaks loose. ;)
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  • Evicted!” – After being evicted from their homes by Marceline the Vampire Queen (she debuts in this episode), Finn and Jake must find a new home. Kind of like The Pursuit of Happyness, except someone takes over their home, and there’s a dog instead of a child. I meant the whole homelessness thi–anyway, this proves to be a hard task, even for heroes like F & J. (This is one of the two episodes shown before the series premiere.)
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  • City of Thieves” – Finn and Jake try to help a girl named Penny retrieve a stolen basket, but this takes them into the city of thieves. Respectably enough, every citizen is a thief in this city. Even the two-headed guy and the pajama ninja. But Finn & Jake are quickly corrupted by the surroundings, and discover a shocking secret about Penny in the process. (This is one of two episodes shown in commercial breaks with abridged versions.)
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  • The Witch’s Garden” – When Jake is accused for eating one of a Witch’s donuts, she robs Jake of his powers and refuses to give them back until he apologizes. F & J then try to get his powers back by finding the mud puddle that had apparently given Jake his powers to begin with as a puppy. But Jake begins living a lazy life (again) even after talking to his subconscious, and will his laziness overpower him when Finn has his life on the line?
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  • What is Life?” – (This episode was a nominee for Best Title Card in our 2011 Adventure Time Awards! It ultimately came in second place with 2 votes along with another nominee.) When Jake pranks Finn with a big bag full of butter, he decides to get revenge and builds NEPTR (Never Ending Pie Throwing Robot), but his creation unexpectedly comes to life! When Finn tries to further develop NEPTR with power from the Ice Kingdom, and this evokes a moral dilemma for Finn and his living creation. Will he even live to get Jake back?
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  • Ocean of Fear” – This is probably the most ominous episode I’ve ever seen. Anyway, it sounds silly for a hero to have a fear, and that’s what Finn finds out the hard way. He turns out to be a thalassophobe (fear of the sea), and he refuses to risk failure. And this phobia isn’t just a typical “I’m-never-gonna-touch/do-that” phobia, it’s a phobia so intense Finn freaked out just by having a drop of ocean water touch his face. So he and Jake venture into the deep, dark waters to overcome Finn’s fear. It’s kind of like the Adventure Time version of Fear Factor, in a small way. And like in any Fear Factor, the price comes harder than a frozen slab of concrete.
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  • When Wedding Bells Thaw” – It’s official, the Ice King has found love he wants to grow old with! (Which is amazing, considering he’s over 1,000 years old.) But he turns to Finn and Jake for whether he should be licensed to wed, since that meant giving up his life of princess-napping crime. Will the Ice King stay evil, or become a whole different person as a husband?
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  • Dungeon” – In hopes of finding adventure Finn goes down into a dungeon, and he bets Jake that he’s fine on his own. Later he finds this to be a bigger trial than comfortable suited with, as various obstacles that he faces are better off with Jake than himself alone. In the dungeon, he becomes enemies with the Demon Cat but is rescued by his guardian angel, who turns out to be evil as well…
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  • The Duke” – When Finn throws a bottle containing a magical spell, it accidentally soars into PB’s kingdom and she is greatly defected, losing most of her hair and turning green-skinned. She blames this on the Duke of Nuts, as he had previously roped himself into a sticky situation with Bubblegum, and to make matters worse she orders F & J to track him down for her. Thinking that he has now started life as a villain, F & J now have two problems: having no choice but to find the Duke, and to explain his innocence to Bubblegum.
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  • Freak City” – After the Magic Man (voiced by Tom Kenny) turns Finn into a giant foot, making him a “freak”, he and Jake team up with fellow body part freaks to right the wrongs and turn themselves back into normal. Jake, on the other hand, advises Finn to enjoy the form that he has taken since he is a better fighter now. If you want to know what else the Magic Man can do, he can also turn a bird inside out. (This episode marks the appearance of another song, also using Finn’s autotune singing ability, called “A Hero Boy Named Finn”.)
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  • Donny” (former: “An Ogre Named Donny“) – When F & J come across a bully ogre by the name of Donny, they help change his image for the better, but this comes with a great toll of ecological consequences. Since Donny has become a better person, the “Why-Wolves” can now terrorize freely without the lethal Obnoxygen given off by Donny to hold them back.
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  • Henchman” (former: “Marceline’s Slave Story“, “Marceline’s Henchman“) – This feels like nothing but a follow-up to “Evicted!”. The only difference? Now Finn must make do as Marceline’s new henchman, after ditching her previous one, and Finn finds trouble into making his work up to par with Marceline’s strange ways, and he keeps finding rather strange twists with her plots. After all, she is the Vampire Queen. Luckily, after this episode she changes her way as a “bad guy”.
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  • Rainy Day Daydream” – When F & J are forced inside by a knife storm, they decide to play with Jake’s imagination. You know what they say about the mind: it’s a terrible thing to read, don’t let anyone walk through it with dirty feet, love looks with it and not the eyes. Anyway, Jake’s imagination is either really strong or magical just like him, because Finn and Jake quickly realize how haywire that mind can be. And yes, it literally does rain knives.
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  • What Have You Done?” – We all know false accusation is wrong. Your mouth goes before your mind. And that’s what F & J deal with when they capture Ice King for PB for, well, no sane and proper reason. When Ice King proves his innocence, F & J’s guilt leads them to arrest themselves and let Ice King escape. Imagine the look on Bubblegum’s face when she saw the two of them in jail. It turns out that there was a reason to capture the Ice King, since he was technically so and technically not the reason a majority of candy people were infected with “Freezer Burn Flu”. (You see, Ice King made a snowfall from his beard, but either he doesn’t wash his beard much or literally everything about this guy is evil, because everyone that touched it, roughly, got infected.)
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  • His Hero/Finn Meets His Hero” – After rescuing the Mini Queen, F & J come across the sword of Ooo’s greatest hero, as well as their personal hero: Billy. But when they find Billy, he’s taken the path of a pacifist and wishes F & J do the same. Now there comes a very groundbreaking question: Can Finn and Jake save people without resorting to violence? And it easily shows that there’s just as much pain fighting crime without violence as it is with.
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  • Gut Grinder” – In this season ender, a horrific monster that resembles Jake has been stealing gold from various Ooo races. Jake then believes that the Gut Grinder is himself! Or maybe he’s just psyching himself into believing that. But what explains all the gold in Finn and Jake’s Treehouse? Could Jake and the Grinder really be the same person? Well, whatever the results, you are gonna see the Gut Grinder, but luckily no actual gut grinding. (This episode ranked last in an old episode countdown I made in Windows Movie Maker.)

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Sorry there was no Nightosphere. That’s actually the second-season opener. But hey–at least you’ll be in good hands when I blog about the second-season DVD! The DVD has been out since July 10, and remember: 2 discs, 26 episodes, and loads of “totally bombastic” extras. Baby, I know what you crave. The complete first season DVD of Adventure Time, $20 on Amazon (new costs same, used cost $30) and Barnes & Noble (marketplace costs $30, save 3%), but now in stores everywhere.

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www.adventuretime.wikia.com

www.cartoonnetwork.com/adventuretime

Now let’s get to show #2.

When Adventure Time is number one, Regular Show is definitely number two. Created by JG Quintel, the show also went through an unofficial pilot before the real premiere. It stars Mordecai the blue jay and Rigby the raccoon (both 23), chronicling their lives as they toil as groundskeepers at a park. But what makes the show is that something bizarre and fantastical happens in a majority of the episodes. Say, the gang gets locked in the meat locker and almost freezes to death, but find a pack of living hot dogs that turn out to be maneating enemies. (That was the plot for “Meat Your Maker”.) While packed with slightly more mature things like moderate violence and several innuendoes, this show has definitely made its mark in Cartoon Network history from its debut in September 2010. Like Adventure Time, it has also been nominated for the Annie and Emmy Awards, and the results of its second Emmy nomination are still pending. Anyway, it’s also got a DVD, the Regular Show Slack Pack, but not a first-season compilation. Actually, they’re not even in order. 12 episodes, plus a special feature short. Let’s take a chronological look at those 12 episodes.

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  • The Power” – Mordecai and Rigby toy with “the Power”, a magical keyboard stolen from a wizard when he was using the bathroom in the bushes. When Rigby accidentally uses the power of the Power to send fellow yeti worker Skips to the moon, so they plus fellow Brit worker Pops and their hotheaded gumball machine boss Benson travel to the moon to rescue Skips, but encounter such things like a giant Beef Burrito wrestler doll that Rigby had tried to “put the hurt on” earlier in the house.

  • Just Set Up the Chairs” – Mordecai and Rigby slack off a job setting up chairs for a birthday party (while others do jobs like finding special entertainment and inflating the bouncy house) to get their game faces on in a room surrounded with arcade games. Ignoring a written warning on an out-of-order arcade machine (“In the name of all that is holy, don’t connect the red wire with the blue wire”), Rigby unleashes the game’s villain, the Destroyer of Worlds that begins terrorizing the park and ruining the party. Now, Mordecai, Rigby, and Skips must stop the Destroyer before it destroys them!

  • Death Punchies” – When Rigby loses a punchies match to determine who was the Dig Champ with the pickaxe (video games, duh), it is reminisced that he has never won punchies, and had actually lost so hard he was transported to the hospital for a butt transplant. Ever since he was known as the “One Cheek Wonder”. To gain respect and revenge, he takes classes in “Death Kwon Do” just to get Mordecai back and not for the real purpose of the classes. When he learns the way of Death Punchies, he and Mordecai have a fight for supremacy to see who is the ultimate punchies champion. Well, maybe not that, but you know what I mean.

“Lies, lies, lies, yeah!”

  • Grilled Cheese Deluxe” – When Mordo & Rigs accidentally chow down Benson’s grilled cheese sandwich, they are sent off to get him a new one. At a restaurant visited to retrieve the sandwich, the duo find a pair of astronauts and end up lying that they are astronauts too. Later they realize that, obviously, it’s never the wise idea to lie…

  • Mordecai and the Rigbys” – When fake band T-shirts convince Mordo’s cardinal crush Margaret that he and Rigs are a real band, they are booked for a gig at the Coffee Shop Open Mic Night, so they must learn the way of the music. And who else to teach them than their own future selves? Their future selves, who are strikingly famous musicians, show their pasts the ropes on music, from looks to lyrics. But there’s just one thing–they skipped how to actually play.

  • Rage Against the TV” – The duo is playing a new game where a gallant duo take on a villainous gang. The game’s villain is the Hammer, a baddie that just can’t be cracked. When they almost beat him, their TV blackens and they must find a new one. When they find one at the TV Store Warehouse, they must use parts from every other machine for the TV to plug in. Their efforts result in a citywide blackout, and to make matters go from bad to worse, all the electronics combine to create a holographic body belonging to none other than the Hammer. (Really gives new meaning to the phrase, “Stop! Hammer time!”, doesn’t it?)

  • This Is My  Jam” – When cleaning the house gutter, Rigby comes across something that gives him a shot of nostalgia: an old cassette of Solid Bold’s “Summertime Loving, Loving in the Summer (Time)” from his youth. When Rigby quickly gets reattached to the song, Mordo tries everything he can to get the song off their minds. But the line is drawn when the song apparently possesses Rigs, and to add to that the song has manifested itself into a giant, living cassette of the song. This eventually leads to what has to be the world’s biggest and most epic music battle in ages.

  • The Night Owl” – While listening to the radio, Mordo, Rigs, Muscle Man, and Hi-5 come across a broadcast from the one-and-only Night Owl. The broadcast is that he’s holding a contest of which the winner–the last one standing on a local billboard–wins a vintage Dodge Challenger. The foursome decide to attend the contest, working together as a team to sink opponents and rise their chances. Unfortunately, the Owl prefers an “every-man-for-themselves” fight to the finish, so he pulls some strings and turns the teammates against one another. As they quarrel in their tent, they end up frozen in suspended animation by none other than the Owl, for purposes of notoriety boosts. When they finally thaw in 4224 AD, they must now fight to go back in time and make things right.

  • Over the Top” – When Benson gloats that Skips is the strongest arm wrestler at McHooligan’s, as nearly all of his colleagues lose in a match against him–the “nearly” part excepting Rigby. Don’t get me wrong, you know how bad he can get hurt in punchies, but it just seems like a David-and-Goliath in this scenario. A mortified Skips realizes that Rigby had used the PlayCo Armboy to cheat, so when he forces Rigs to ditch the Armboy and fight for real, Skips wins the match with enough force to send Rigby barreling through the table. But the impact of the crash actually kills Rigby (not a first on the show; he had previously passed in “It’s Time” and “Appreciation Day”), so Skips ends up literally brushing with death to bring Rigby back. No seriously, he actually has to arm wrestle Death to revive Rigs. (Coincidentally, Over the Top was also the name of a 1987 Sylvester Stallone movie. Even more coincidentally, it concerned arm wrestling.)

  • Prank Callers” – When Mordo and Rigs find a video of the Master Prank Caller on WooHoo, they decide to pick up the phone and become prank callers themselves, frequently using the term “Joe mama”. But when they decide to prank call the Prank Caller, Benson busts in and destroys the phone. They decide to use Skips’  80’s phones (they cover their heads with duct tape to protect the possibilities of a brain tumor) to prank call the Caller, but they quickly find themselves tangled up in the ways of the MPC. But with just nine words spoken–“The 80’s called! They want their cell phones back!”–the Caller sends Mordo & Rigs back in time. When a younger Pops reveals that they are in 1982, they try to send the MPC to the 60’s, but only end up in a chase through time when the Caller turns out to be a living, walking cellphone…

  • Brain Eraser” – Have you ever come across something so disturbing, so disgusting, that you couldn’t get it out of your mind? That’s what Mordo is about to face in this rather uneasy episode. When Mordo loses a rock-paper-scissors to give Pops his Moustaches Monthly, he goes upstairs to report the magazine–only to walk in on a completely naked Pops! After realizing that what has been seen clearly can’t be unseen, Mordo is desperate to get the image out of his mind. But when Rigs attempts to watch Planet Chasers: Starlight Excellent with Mordo to erase the picture, it only erases all of his memories and thoughts. And to add to that, they find the Naked Pops Memory in his field of memories, but it only escapes and must be caught and covered once and for all.

  • A Bunch of Baby Ducks” – When Mordo & Rigs are cleaning up around the fountain, they find a pack of ducklings when they drain the water. They decide to leave them be, hoping their mother would find them, but they end up tagging along beside Rigby and imitating his actions. When Benson insists they find a home for the ducks and immediately return to their work, they try to turn to Margaret & Eileen at the coffee shop, but Eileen has a duck dander allergy, and Margaret’s building has a no-pets policy. But after they cause a ruckus at the animal shelter, they decide to take him under their wings (get it?)–but timing is a bit off, as the Duck Collector is coming to take away the new entries to the family.
  • Ringtoneers” – The “special feature short” you heard about in the commercial. Really nothing new. :-? But still available for actual ringtone download.

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So now you know all you need to know about what’s going on with Finn, Jake, Mordo, and Rigs. Check out their DVDs, in stores now, and save your dollars for their future DVDs! Stay classy, America.

~S~ 8-)

Quote of the Week: “People all say that I’ve had a bad break. But today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” – Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper), The Pride of the Yankees (1941)

Video of the Week: Yep, you guessed it–another Pogo video. But this one’s his latest yet, and it’s probably the most unique I’ve seen of him–a Scooby-Doo dubstep remix! Well, more specifically, a remix of Big Top Scooby-Doo, the eighteenth direct-to-video movie yet as well as the second of the year. It hasn’t even come out yet and won’t until next month! 8-o Even Pogo himself described this as Scooby’s “wub wub treatment”, and after three weeks of being up it’s already over 300,000 hits! Needless to say, enjoy, as we haven’t seen Pogo like this since he made a remix of Vasna Shalom, a psychic clairvoyant he found in Perth western Australia. [Warning: Serious sound distortion ahead that may cause ear damage that will result in severe earworms.]

And you can see Pogo’s work with Vasna too, if you want to (never settle for less, folks :D):

 



Let me emphasize it one more time–this post is for mature audiences only. As this book is set in Nazi-time Germany, and it frequently shows praise upon the by-then German “Führer”, Hitler–among other reasons–it might be too much for the youngest of our audiences to handle. So I’ll mark this post with a Restricted for the Young seal, but for all the young walk away thinking this: luckily I didn’t say anything like “rated PG-13″ or “rated TV-14″. That would be just crazy…oh, and we should probably slap on a Spoiler Alert seal just to be safe.

Anyway, the book I’m about to talk about is probably the darkest title on the Jolly Good Bookie’s schedule. Yet it’s still been considered one of the best and most-talked-about novels of 2006. It’s an award-winning title in various fields: Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice of 2006, the 2006 Daniel Elliott Peace Award, Publishers Weekly’s Best Children Book of the Year, etc. And it’s been on the NY Times Children’s Bestsellers list for over 230 weeks. [I'll crunch that down to a comprehensible number: that's over 4 years.] Now what is this amazing book? One that’s got people on their feet? One that’s been considered the book of the year? Well, it all begins with the story of The Book Thief.

File:The Book Thief by Markus Zusak book cover.jpg

The two main stars of the story: Liesel (“the book thief”) and Death (“the narrator”).

Set in 20th-century Nazi Germany, The Book Thief chronicles the story of a young girl known as Liesel Meminger whom lives on Himmel Street with her foster parents, right outside of Munich. Now, “himmel” is German for “heaven”, and who in their right mind would mock a street named after heaven? :-? Now, the book takes place in Nazi Germany during WWII, but mostly the Holocaust, so that’s primarily why the book’s so dark. Unsurprisingly death is at its highest rush hour during the events of the book–actually, Death itself narrates the story. And like the Family Guy personification of Death, he’s surprisingly skilled and even pretty funny. The story begins for the most part with the death of Liesel’s little brother Werner (“His blue eyes stared at the floor, seeing nothing” narrated Death 8-0), and the title of “the book thief” starts at Werner’s grievous funeral. At her brother’s graveside, Liesel comes across a book called The Gravedigger’s Handbook, assuredly and mistakenly left behind by a gravedigger’s apprentice. Despite her age compared to the book, she decides to keep it as a final memento of her brother. Despite the compassion in this act, it is still considered a thievery, and that’s how Liesel starts off as “the book thief”. Soon, she starts working her life of crime as a literal part-time job, but her foster father/accordionist Hans Hubermann takes these books as an opportunity to teach Liesel to read. Pretty soon, she’s sharing her misdemeanors with the rest of the kids on the street during bomb showers as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. :) And plus she’s got plenty of friends:

  • Max Vandenburg - A Jewish fist fighter whom was taken in by Liesel’s family and sheltered in their own home. He is the son of a WWI fighter that actually faced Hans. He is described with “feather-like hair” and “swampy brown eyes”, and he was stowed away due to the relationship between Hans and Max’s father. Max and Liesel intertwined between their special affinities, and he even wrote two books for her along with a sketchbook that represented his life story. He was taken by the Gestapo to a concentration camp, but managed to reunite with Liesel after the war.
  • Rudy Steiner - The arguable deuteragonist–or at least the male protagonist–of the story. He was born eight months before Liesel and is her “bony-legged, sharp-teethed, blue-eyed, lemon-haired” neighbor. Despite being the German ideal, he is against Hitler and the Nazis. He suffers permanent hunger as he lives with six kids, and gained notoriety round the ‘hood because of “the Jesse Owens incident”, where Rudy painted himself with charcoal and ran 100 meters at the local sporting field. He was eventually caught by his father, anyway. He is “gifted” in academic and athletic fields, making him a Nazi Party target of attention, and end up plucking his father when he refuses to be recruited. As he eventually become’s Liesel’s closest friend, he frequently but always unsuccessfully asks her for a kiss. He usually uses this as a comeback when he does a compassionate deed for her, like fishing her most valuable book out of the water.
  • Tommy Müller - A friend of Liesel’s and Rudy’s. Due to being stranded in the snow, he has a hearing problem which has evoked various ear surgeries. One dramatic failure damaged his nerves in a way that caused him to have a permanent twitch. This defect has made him the butt of many classmate mockings, and is punished by the head of Hitler Youth for failure to follow instructions.
  • Pfiffikus - Not exactly what you’d call a friend, but let’s put him up anyway. He is known solely in the book as the potty-mouth of the neighborhood, and is also a good whistler. His name is actually German for “crafty thing”. Not a big surprise.

And Liesel’s doing the right thing, because some of those kids–well–might not be around after what happens near the end of the book to Himmel Street. :lol:

Now, before I even say if this book is good or not, I’m going to tell you why Death, out of all people and perspectives, was chosen as narrator. According to the readers guide at the end of the book, the book’s author Markus Zusak stated that he had made a final decision “with great difficulty”. Apparently everyone knows that war and death are BFFs, and as death couldn’t be more present during war, that was a prime factor in Zusak’s decision. At first, Death was a bit mean-spirited–even for Death. He was “supercilious” (def: Behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others) and enjoyed his work too much. He’d put up hair-raising comments at the sidelines, and showed plenty of delight in his soul pickups. That was when Markus knew The Book Thief wasn’t working. So he went to the 1st and 3rd persons, and half a year later he came back to an exhausted Death; apparently eternity really does wear you out. He was written out to be an anthrophobic (afraid of humans), and his job in the story would say that humans are actually worth it.

Now The Book Thief isn’t actually a bad book, it’s pretty darn good–if not probably the only historical fiction book I really enjoyed reading this year (beside Avi’s Don’t You Know There’s a War On?). It doesn’t have the cleanest rep in various fields, but it’s got intriguing direction and perspective, fast-paced action, appropriate tongue-in-cheek statements or other laughs, and a really big heart to say the least. It goes through a typical day in the life of someone under the Nazis, and portrays messages like sacrifice, friendship, and heroism. All the rest of it–as dark as your usual World War II novel, but especially appealing at that. Now, roll that chart.

 4 1/4 out of 5 – Educational value –  The book follows the life of several ordinary kids that have had the Nazis brought down on their heads, and how arduous it was to live life without the risk of getting captured or getting roped into an equally dangerous scenario.   These “lessons” include how it was like to be part of Hitler Youth to several book-burning episodes. There are also passages from the “Duden Dictionary” scattered throughout the book, giving off the meanings and translations of German words like Lemony Snicket usually defines the “big words” he uses. The perspective of the book translates German statements into English, so it also teaches you a bit of German, like “Verstehst?” stands for “Understand?”, and “Alles gut?” stands for “All good?”

 4 out of 5 – Positive messages – Senses of the trials and tribulations people went through often back in the old times, through the powerful and well-played images of the characters. Its ensemble consists lots of characters that show gallant heroism in risking their lives to defend what is right, but also have you ever heard this phrase: “Stand up for what is right, even if you’re standing alone.” This says that you shouldn’t stop at anything to protect the truth.

4 3/4 out of 5 – Positive role models – Liesel is a compassionate, willing, and thoughtful girl that can leave readers thunderstruck and wonderstruck with her perspective on the events in the book, as she constantly switches from reader to writer. Essences of sacrificing, heroism, courage, friendships, sorrow, empathy, and sympathy are portrayed through the book roster. They’ll be moved by the events in the story just by the quality of the narration.

3 1/2 out of 5 – Ease of view – Book Thief isn’t the most comprehensible book, but that doesn’t take off any points in its final score. (Well, it might under Smarts, but…) Some author transitions between Death and Liesel might fool a few readers, but for the most part it has fast-paced perspectives, thoughtful story-lining, and a sweet-as-honey aftertaste.

5 out of 5 – Violence – And lots of it, as the book does take place in Nazi Germany and is very critical to the book’s impact. The large focus on the Führer of the story–Hitler–may leave a few people religiously on end. Hitler’s symbol does appear in various drawings, and there’s definitely a lot of “heil Hitler”-ing. A majority of the violence comes from the war, especially late in the book when Himmel Street gets bombed. Spoiler alert!–People like Rudy, Tommy, and Liesel’s foster parents die in the warlike scene; stomach lurching and/or tears are expected. Just to show she knows her right hook from her left, Liesel beats up a kid at school. Max also beats up his fighting buddy Walter Kugler with a jab to the nose, a right hook, and a punch to the ribs. As Kugler lay on the ground, tears flowed from his eyes but he wasn’t crying; “the tears had been bashed out of him”. Before I read the scene, I also read about lips discolored by blood that would eventually dry across the teeth. When Rudy fails to remember Hitler’s birthday, he gets an awkwardly horrific knife haircut. Before this occurs, with the knife and all you may have expect that Rudy was going to be killed. Liesel also tears up the pages of a book from the library of Ilsa Hermann, the wife of the mayor of Molching. (So I guess there’s “molch” ado about nothing there. :D) In one scenario, Rudy tackles Liesel to restrict her from running into a line of Jews to find Max from being led away. Another character named Frau Holtzapfel (known at first for spitting on the Hubermanns’ door every time she passed due to an old fight) has a son that hangs himself from a local laundry’s rafters. A bomber plane is downed at a river’s banks, and Rudy has the heart to console its pilot with a teddy bear as he thanks him with a dying breath. Hans also suffers a broken leg from a truck accident. Max develops an illness around winter 1942 and falls into a deep sleep that lasts for days that turn into weeks. A group of rowdy kids throw Liesel’s stolen book into a river, but Rudy is able to fetch it (remember that kiss he always wanted). One of the drawings shows two people standing at the peak of a mountain of dead bodies–this should remind you of Breaking Dawn. If it doesn’t, then good; you’re clean. :roll:

 4 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – There is one chapter called “The Thought of Rudy Naked” which literally contains 100% nudity. Three boys, one of them being Rudy, are forced to take off their clothes in front of a female doctor and perform their “first nude ‘heil Hitler’s”. As one boy undresses, Death states that “his self-respect was around his ankles”. “The thought of Rudy naked” then burns into Liesel’s mind, described as having “great dread”. The chapter uses uneasy words like “genitals” and “penises”. Rudy also keeps nagging at Liesel for a kiss throughout the book, and he never received that kiss for his entire life;–spoiler alert!–Liesel finally gives in and fulfills his wish after he dies in the street bombing.

4 3/4 out of 5 - Language – Lots of expletives in both German and English. “S–t”, “a–“, “a–hole”, “bastard”, “slut”, and more four-letter words roll of the tongue in various occasions. The German equivalents of all these words, and then some, are also used: “scheisse/scheiße” (also combos like “scheisskopf” » “s–t head”), “arschloch”, “saukerl”, and also the commonly used “saumensch”. Religious oaths like “Jesus, Mary and Joseph” and “crucified Christ” are also used, plus other anti-Semitic curses and racist African-American remarks. You may know from the “Jesse Owens incident” that Rudy charcoal-ed himself black and ran the hundred meters. Well, not only is this racist, but I consider it blackface. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

 2 3/4 out of 5 – Product Placement – Book Thief is deemed “the most talked-about book of 2006″ and has won a bounty of awards, honors, and recognition, but the award that blazons several copies of the book is its “Michael J. Printz honor” title. The only consumerism you’ll ever come across is Hitler’s Mein Kampf (“My Struggle/Battle”) and its impact on the storyline.

3 3/4 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – Several characters (adults and kids 8-0) smoke and drink. One smoker blows his puff of smoke directly into Liesel’s face, and Holtzapfel once teaches forces Liesel to smoke. Luckily I hope she won’t be counting on it ever again.

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Entertainment: A+ (5 points)

Fun: B+ (3.5 points)

Smarts: A+ (5 points)

Style: A- (4 points)

Read-Again Ratio: A (4 points)

Humor: A- (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 25.5 out of 30 (heil Sammwak ;)), 85% out of 100%, 4 out of 5 stars

CONSENSUS: It may have a few smudges on its resumé, but The Book Thief is probably the most engrossing historical fiction book you’ll read, and it’s got the action, the drama, the heart, and the surprises to make sure it doesn’t go down when you first pick it up.

PRICE: (You should probably let your parents take the wheel on this one; I’m just saying.)

  • Amazon Hardcover: $10.98 (new: same price, used: $2.90) [45% savings]
  • Amazon Paperback: $8.41 (new: $5.50, used: $3.08) [35% savings]
  • Amazon Kindle: $9.99 w/ ready Whispersync (new-fangled tech these days allows you to swap between reading and listening) [23% savings]
  • Amazon Unabridged Audiobook, Audio CD: $32.13 (new: $26.71, used: $25.15) [37% savings]
  • Amazon Unabridged Audible Audio: $30.95, or free (w/ 30-day free trial membership @ Audible.com) with ready Whispersync [25% savings]
  • Barnes & Noble Reprinted Paperback: $10.98 (online price) [15% savings]
  • Barnes & Noble Marketplace: $2.91 [78% savings]
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Book: $9.99 (online price)

So, I guess that’s all for a week with Sammwak. Tune in next week (I really don’t what day I’ll release, so make sure you still have your subscription) for more entertaining romps and everlasting good times. This is Sam, signing out, and stay classy America.

~S~ 8-)

Video of the Week: I’ve already taken up enough space, and besides–nothing I found was dark enough to put up for my audiences. Scenario apologies. :(



Hey guys it’s Sam, and I’ve got some darn important news today. News that could make or break my career of blogging, and your career of viewing my blogging. This could be the best news of your life, or the biggest upset in history. What’s going to follow from these news could be the epitome of blogging alone, or it could be one of the biggest lowlights in WordPress’s reputation. This–gosh, I’m terribly good at stalling, so I’m gonna give it to you straight. No curveballs, no fastballs, no sleazeballs, no nothin’. Well,(sigh), SAMMWAK IS GOING MOBILE! No, I haven’t made the official Sammwak app (yet), but I’ve made something equally crucial. My brand-new, officially 3rd blog. (Yeah, we’re putting that Third Power on hold.) It’s called 3GS: “like my own little social network”. What this means is I can still put up widgets (without widgets, you couldn’t check my stats, read the archives, or even subscribe) I can put up little “what’s on your mind” status updates, full posts, quotes, and links. Now, 3GS is open right now, and you can check it out by going to:

www.3gsam.wordpress.com

Once you get there–lemme warn you–it’ll look kinda ugly, but do expect a new coat of paint coming soon. Well, off I go, and off you go!

Stay classy,

~S~ 8-)

p.s. Now, a lot of you know, that today’s (sigh) September 11. The eleventh anniversary of one of the most tragic events that ever occurred to the USA–9/11, also known as September 11September 11th, and the September 11 attacks. The global Islamist military organization al-Qaeda (whom was 13 years old at the time BTW) landed a series of four equally devastating attacks in the NYC-D.C. area. Altogether nearly 3,000 citizens became 9/11 casualties (including the hijackers), and so were several buildings; the most notorious destruction of all was the permanent demolition of the Twin Towers (which also became a pivotal subject in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but that’s not the point), as well as several other World Trade Centers surrounding it. There was also the partial destruction of the Pentagon, but that got patched up in a year’s time. Enough talk, let’s get down to business. The meaning of all this is, we shouldn’t be standing in the darkness of the past–we should be stepping into the light of the future. And you can’t hog all this light for yourself–ever heard the song “This Little Light of Mine”? What did they do with that light?–They let it shine. Shine down on those who survived the attacks or lost a loved one in the attacks, shine down on the citizenship out of the 9/11 target area who were willing enough to go through sticks, stones, and broken bones to help the 9/11 unfortunate. And Michael J. Fox, the Marty McFly of Back to the Future, was willing to pitch in. So can you. Now God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.



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.

……………………………………

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! (, )



Fruits and vegetables are very vital parts of a healthy life and well-balanced diet. Apples fill you with antioxidants, grapes carry nutrients and vitamins, carrots carry vitamins that are helpful in bettering the vision, and so on. And some fruits are different than others, such as the different types of tomatoes (roma, greenhouse, on-the-vine, etc.) and determining if something is seeded or seedless. But the fruit we’re talking about today is the most diverse of all. Not in color, taste, but mostly appearance. And this fruit’s job is to annoy the heck out of you, and it’s done one chock full of its job, as it is #10 on the list of our top 100 YouTubers with almost 3 million subscribers. If you don’t appreciate him, you’ll have to deal with his posse of other foods. He is the Annoying Orange, and this time he’s gone where no inhuman YouTube star has ever gone…your television screen.

Yep, the multi-million-viewed proportions of the Caesar of citrus are finally going up on TV! And it’s about time that Orange and company finally got their own show–they’ve practically been asking for it! See how in just a short track of time, Fred became a cyberspace sensation, and now he’s handling his own Nickelodeon show! :roll: Well, Orange may not be on Nickelodeon, but he’s on a channel that definitely suits his needs–Cartoon Network! :D The Annoying Orange (or, as advertised, The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange) is easier said than said the TV adaptation of the smash hit series, currently produced by Dane Boedigiheimer–just call him Dane Boe–and his company Gagfilms (also Dane’s companion channel on YouTube), plus a management company called The Collective. Everyone from the original series is back, but the show will take place on a fruit vending cart instead of  the usual kitchen. Oh, and besides the food-filled cast, there’s also a character that’s the only human on the show: the wacky scientist/fruit seller Nerville, played by none other than our good friend Toby “Tobuscus” Turner! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Besides Toby, there will be some other humans that are only guest stars on the show: Jeffrey Tambor, Billy Dee Williams, Felicia Day, among others. News about this show first kindled back in April 2010, and in October that year Dane finished the scripts for the first six episodes. In February the next year he began filming and underwent discussions with Cartoon Network about airing the show, which was picked up that November. The show is currently running on a budget of $2,000. That’s enough money to buy 8 Wiis off Amazon, no game bundle included. :)

The show is currently being produced by Dane, Tom Sheppard, and Conrad Vernon (known for work on Shrek and Monsters vs. Aliens). The co-executive producers are Spencer Grove, Aaron Massey, and YouTube stars Kevin Brueck (kevinbrueck) and Robert Jennings (bobjenz). The show will use similar animation of the series, and besides a sneak peek that aired on Memorial Day this week, the show’s series premiere will be on Cartoon Network, and instead of being in the fall (like previous statements foreshadowed), it will premiere 2 Mondays from now on the 11th! :mrgreen: Mark your calendars, YouTube fans; this adventure may have more sweets than your stash of candy. Don’t lie. I’ve seen it. :shock: Famous voices on the show will include:

  • Justine Ezarik, famous online as ijustine, as the voice of Passion Fruit whom is Orange’s secret love interest. :oops: Whoops, did I go TMI?
  • John DiMaggio, famous as the voice of Gears of War‘s Marcus Fenix as well as Futurama‘s Bender, as a character that is to be determined.
  • Dee Bradley Baker, famous for his voicing work on SpongeBobFairly OddParents, etc., as a character that is to be determined. ;)
  • Tom Kenny, famous as the voice of SpongeBob himself and as the announcer of numerous KCA shows, as a character that is to be determined. ;)
  • Rob Paulsen, famous as the voice of the TMNTs’ “rebel” Raphael in the 1987 cartoons, as well as work in shows like Animaniacs, as a character that is to be determined.

If I were you, I wouldn’t eat that orange, because it’s a manifestation of what you’re gonna see on June 11th. If you eat it, you’re reducing hunches of hard work to nothing but pulp, citrus, and peel pieces! :-x Anyway, if you didn’t check out the series sneak peek (“Marshmalia”), that’s okay; there are tons of other rerunning airtimes available, like how I watched the sneak peek a day after it aired! Anyways, don’t be an apple; check out the high-fructose adventures of our deliciously loyal pals when they hit the big screen on Monday, June 11th only on Cartoon Network! Canadian fans, you’ll have to wait until the 4th of July. German fans, you really will have to wait until this fall. Either way, however you cut this treat, it’s still gonna be sweet on all sides. :mrgreen:

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You know what to do: like, rate, comment, reblog, share, laugh, and knife stab that subscribe button in the face! But for now, this is Sammwak signing out, but we’ll awesomify things again next week. Oh, and make sure to tune in to the Annoying Orange show’s series premiere on Monday, June 11th, only on Cartoon Network!  :D

~S~ 8-)

p.s. Would You Rather o’ the Week: Would you rather…be a fruit that was killed by Knife, or be Knife and kill all the fruit?

p.p.s. Random Video o’ the Week: The NBC cult series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The acclaimed Disney-Pixar duo Up and Monsters, Inc. The Walt Disney Animated Classic Alice in Wonderland (the 1951 take). One of Disney’s most successful and memorable movies, Mary Poppins. A commercial success but critical failure, Steven Spielberg’s Peter Pan take Hook. Among others. What do these sources of media have in common? They’ve all been remixed seemingly perfectly by Nick “Pogo” Bertke, and have hit great receptions on YouTube. Once you take a look at these videos, you’ll find out why.

So…what did you see? :D



Define the word wimp. As a noun, it is “a weak and cowardly or unadventurous person.” I guess that’s how some people may describe Greg Heffley, known to fans as “the Wimpy Kid” of Jeff Kinney’s national bestselling saga, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It first got its start on Funbrain as an original story that was read over twenty million times when it released in 2004. From thence, Kinney decided to make the jump from online to on paper, and he has been a cult for kids since. Plus, he’s doing so good, he’s released 5 other titles, and even a few movies. Now, let’s repeat that: “even a few movies”. The most recent wimpy kid flick came out around St. Patty’s 2011 (the sequel, Rodrick Rules), and from the success of that movie comes the series’ threequel due this summer, and from the looks of it, this is gonna be the best entry yet.

Yep, this trailer just uploaded in April, and it’s already got…not even 20,000 hits. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the new movie’s called Dog Days. No, we didn’t all “skip a movie”. This will interpret features from both The Last Straw and Dog Days. This movie shares most of its storyline with the fourth book: school’s out and Greg’s starting to plan for the summer, when all his plans go awry, leaving him with one question: What on earth is he gonna do for three months? Up the antes in unintended gut-busting humor, that’s what. And yes, Sweetie the dog is going to be in it. This looks like a movie I’d undoubtedly want to see this summer, and hopefully my excitement won’t go up in steam once this movie hits the cinemas. If there were a few differences I spotted in this, it’d be 1) Greg’s voice changed!!!, and 2) Sweetie’s gonna be back. Cool story, bro. And for possibly the first time, Heather Hills, Holly’s older sister, is gonna be in the movie. She will be portrayed by Melissa Roxburgh, whom you probably don’t know. The movie’s filming was in Vancouver (much like the two previous films), from August to October 2011, and it will officially be PG according to Box Office Mojo, citing “some rude humor”. And hopefully it will sell well and continue the series’ multi-million-selling streak, with a combination of $116 million of lifetime gross revenue. Oh, did I forget to show you the teaser poster?

Make sure to mark your calendars for August 3, 2012, because on that very day, something wimpy is going down. Well, that’s all for this week, but make sure to subscribe, like, rate, comment, and reblog often! Same thing @ 2Sam2Mwak!

- Sam

p.s. Can you feel the love? Greg can in this year’s untitled & upcoming seventh Wimpy Kid title. As the tagline of the announcement poster is “Love is in the air”, we can assume that this ranges around Valentine’s Day. Despite this, the book’s due to come this Thanksgiving, so mark your calendars for that too.

p.p.s. Would You Rather o’ the Week: Would you rather be shot by an arrow from Cupid, or be shot by an arrow from an underwear-wearing Greg with fake wings plastered on his back, so it’s more like he’s trying to kill you than get you lovestruck?

p.p.s.s. Random Video o’ the Week: Some people are very intimate with the kinds of musical YouTube videos they watch, and they usually tire quickly of the usual. But luckily through remixing tech, they can shut their pieholes with the amount of enjoyment they’ll receive. But they can only admire the highest levels of remixes. And on this note, that level belongs to Fagottron, more famously known as Pogo. This video just came out this January, and it’s already past 3 million hits due to how good it is. This is so darn good, I’ll have to bury a YouTube treasure to dig up in the future for this! (Check out this guy’s channel for more sweet remixes, and please do like this post for a very worthy suggestion. C’mon, you know you want to, do it for ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGA!)



Hey guys it’s Sam, and it’s time for our first-ever episode of gaming news! I know, gaming new’s been a part of Sammwak’s lore for a long time. Actually, one of the first posts on Sammwak was about Left 4 Dead. But it’s time to take that knowledge to a whole ‘notha [level]. And that’s what our segment 1st Person is for; all the news that’s fit to–no, um, it’s the largest source for–no, that’s GameSpot’s slogan. Um, while I think of a catchphrase, how about we get to our first game and find out the first piece of news in our series premiere.

There are a lot of games out there for the Xbox Live Arcade, open since the Christmas month of 2004. Through its eight years of existence, some really good and bad XBLA titles have come to be. Some good examples include the ‘Splosion Man duo, Limbo, and Super Meat Boy. Some bad examples include Zombie WranglersTour de France 2009, and Blazing Birds. And another bad example might include the recently released title Warp, the second “XBLA House Party” released for the XBLA, PS3, and PC. In this game, you control an inhuman character named Zero, who seemingly looks like he was a rejected de Blob sidekick. Zero is taken to a military-grade facility, where he fades in and out of consciousness and at one point awakens to find that he is being operated on, having a disc-shaped object extracted from him. Soon after, through telepathic procedures, a fellow alien contacts our hero, saying that it can sense other aliens in the facility and planning the duo’s great escape. Zero then proceeds to fulfill his title as a facility escapee under your control, helping any aliens on the way, but not before reabsorbing that disc. It may seem kinda cute, but this game fulfills its M-rated properties: Warp seems like the perfect name for this game, not only manifesting our hero’s eponymous attack (where he warps through walls and even through people & objects), but also of the game’s oddly balanced warp between violence and cuteness.

A hybrid between stealth, action, and puzzle, Warp is one of two currently-released titles from the Canadian indie developer Trapdoor Inc., the other being Fez for the rarely-known PlayStation-esque NES hardware clone, the PolyStation. Considering Trapdoor has clearly not had much taste in the more popular gaming culture, can Warp be their first success?…Well, kind of. GameSpot’s Jeremiah Johnson said that although the game had merits (enjoyable puzzles, charming balance of gore and cuteness, superb visuals, tough leaderboard challenge rooms), it also had its flaws, like clunky controls and some trial-and-error puzzles. On high, he said that it was an “entertaining top-down puzzler” that was still, however, weighed down. He gave the game a 6.5/10, which ranks as “fair” on the meter, an above-average level. Users were slightly more positive, upping the ranks to 7.2. IGN’s Daemon Hatfield was a lot more positive for the game, however. He called it “brainy and amusing”, and despite some hiccups around the final half of the game, he highly recommended it as a “rich, satisfying adventure.” He gave it an 8.5/10, which is not only “great” on the meter, but also received an Editor’s Choice award. So, yeah. IGN really likes this game. Joystiq gave it a 3/5-star score, saying that it wasn’t particularly memorable, and didn’t quite create an identity for itself, and pulled the inspiration from the many corners of gaming’s landscape, and for that reason, Warp got degraded a bit more. Game Informer gave the game a 6.75/10 score, saying that it was “promising at first, but it becomes more tedious as it progresses”. They said the simple factors of the game weren’t enough to make a standout in the Arcade, and that anyone looking to go deeper should choose a different game. Overall, Warp overall may have fatal flaws that push it back, but it does have its moments. Approach the game with caution.

It’s Manhattan. A viral plague called Blacklight is spreading. The infected become grotesque behemoths on uncontrollable manhunts for the uninfected. You’re an amnesiac mutant, enabled with the power of shape-shifting and absorbing others (known as “consuming”), as well as tremendous power that even allows you to climb up buildings effortlessly. What kind of person are you? You are Alex Mercer, the star of Radical Ent.’s hit of summer 2009, Prototype. Despite its gameplay similarities to other games, it was a critical and commercial success, having enough sales to be inflicted into the Xbox’s Hall of Platinum Hits. And, of course, after that there needed to be a second phase. And so that’s where Prototype 2 comes in, the super-heroic sci-fi sequel. In this game, a man named James Heller goes out to fulfill his goal of eradicating Blacklight, but also plans to terminate a person whom he believes is responsible for the death of his family in the virus outbreak: none other than Alex himself. James practically shares the exact same powers as Alex, although shape-shifting and consumption has become more tactical. Like, if James consumes a soldier, people’s reactions will show they want nothing to do with him. To prevent enemy overwhelm, Radical has included more down-to-earth AI, as well as weapon use, like fending off using a freshly-ripped tank cannon.

Prototype 2, in my eyes, looks like a good game. But is it?…Somewhat yes. IGN’s Greg Miller quoted that the said game “[had] no impact”, and despite the factors of the game, nothing really meant anything to Miller. He said he doubted he’d remember the game’s “sterile side missions and curse word-laden dialogue”, and he came to the conclusion that Prototype 2 was a case of “forgettable fun”. He gave the game a 7/10, which is only “good”. At GameSpot, editor Tom Mc Shea praised the game’s empowering mechanics of movement, huge variety of attacks, experimenting incentives, and fun-to-find collectibles. But he also criticized the game’s practical lack of challenge, and also that it contained little that hasn’t been seen before in the series. He said that these “sporadic missteps” where however covered up by its “brutal delights”, and wrapped up his review with a 7.5/10 score. Another “good”. Joystiq handed out another 3/5-star review, saying that people would have different emotions for the game, as much as you liked its mobility and brands of mass destruction, and how much you can forgive more  brain-dead moments like repetition and witless dialogue. Even Destructoid gave the game an 8/10! So, overall, this sequel looks like a good pick to add to your library, but discerning gamers beware.

“In Assassin’s Creed we set up a timeline with this whole end of the world plot in December 2012… That’s fast approaching, and the story we have to tell, we obviously need to do it before we arrive at that point. It would be stupid of us to be centering a game on a semi-reality and then have that conclusion happen after that date in real life…” – Alexandre Amacio, Revelations creative director

Never has Ubisoft attempted such a game that I’ve known of. This is one of the biggest twists in the company’s history. But indeed, their award-winning saga Assassin’s Creed is going back, way back, to the era the thirteen original colonies called “the good ole days”. In other words, Assassin’s Creed is going to the American Revolution with its newest upcoming title, Assassin’s Creed III. This open-world stealthy action-adventure is said by Ubisoft to be bigger than any other installment (no chiz), and it will feature a new character (much like in Prototype 2) named Connor Kenway, whose birth name is Ratohnhaké:ton, which is pronounced (ra-tohn-ha-ke-ton). Spanning 3 decades of Connor’s life from 1753-’83, the war between the Assassins and Templers has moved to the colonial Americas. Connor is a half-English half-Mohawk man drawn into the fight when his home undergoes attack by white colonists. Over the course of the game, it being an art of long-long-ago historical fiction, you’ll run into famous faces of the past like Ben Franklin, presidents Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Charles Lee, William Prescott, among even others. Work on this game began almost automatically after the primetime release of Assassin’s Creed II, but the following year when Ubisoft first revealed Brotherhood, confusion occurred as to whether or not this was the real deal. Well, luckily, now they know, and now you know to mark your calendar for this game’s release on October 30 in North America, Halloween 2012 for the PAL region.

This game was the cover story of this month’s issue for Game Informer (keep an eye out for the exclusive second issue cover), and it has already exceeded the pre-order numbers of its two previous predecessors, surpassing Brotherhood and achieving numbers 10 times of that Revelations received in a comparable time frame. So, yeah, people really want this game. Attorney/planter/politician Patrick Henry once said in 1775 in his famous speech, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” The rest of Ubisoft says, “Why don’t we just go and give them both?”

You can tell by this picture that Microsoft’s M-rated Arcade title Bloodforge is a very violent game. Well, you don’t say? The game has “blood” in its name, of course it’s violent! Anyway, there’s this guy named Crom, and he’s, y’know, a little miffed. Okay, a lotta miffed. He has murdered his own family, tricked into the act of the god Arawn, and he wants revenge. It’s a familiar setup, by the looks of it, because there’s that one mad guy who charted a brutally satisfying course to get revenge against the gods. Hint: It wasn’t Percy Jackson. And, of course, Crom’s quest to gain his right is a bloodstained one, especially gorier than your average hack-and-slash. And please do like this post if I’m not the only one whom is greatly reminded of Skyrim and Ninja Gaiden 3 whilst looking at screenshots for this game. This game honestly looks like it had mixed emotions, depending on the type of player. Some people praised this game, saying that it was worth every penny–or, in this case, Microsoft Point–while others think that, um, well, there were only 3 player reviews on GameSpot for this game and they were all positive. Are they right in the editor’s eyes?…

Nope. Carolyn Petit, an experienced GameSpot enthusiast in both reading and editing, said that despite some grotesque character designs, the game had tedious combat, terrible boss battles, a generally underdeveloped world, a distractedly unstable camera, and a number of tech problems of minor level. She gave the game 4 merits overall: Brutal (the good), Shallow, Bad Camera, and Derivative (the bad). Petit wrapped up her review with a 3/10 score, a “bad” on the scale. After this cold review, Bloodforge found no luck at IGN, either. Steven Hopper, a level-four editor, praised the game’s visuals and graphics, but criticism got the better of him for numerous reasons: an awful camera, a shallow story, derivative gameplay, and bringing nothing unique and/or innovative to the table to yak up. Hopper said that the game was a bad competitor against series like God of War or Darksiders, and considering the Arcade’s other chockful of prime experiences, it was hard to recommend Bloodforge to anyone, anywhere, anywho. He gave the game a 4/10 score, another “bad” on the meter. Joystiq handed out yet another 3/5-star score, saying that it would be more difficult to confront as a full-priced standalone, and that its action would be tiresome lasting any longer than its campaign, clocking in at a rough five hours’ worth. Attempt to play this game as thoughtfully as Microsoft developed it, you’ll come out disappointed. Attempt to play it whilst accepting it as a button-masher, and you’ll come out guiltily pleased. So overall, Bloodforge might offer a small portion, but all-around, it looks like you should skip this opportunity.

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Well, that’s our news for this week! Thanks for watching, and if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an anger management class to attend, if you know what I mean. :lol: Th-that was a funny joke, right? Oh, if you haven’t already, go check out my friend Maggie at nuthatchlover.wordpress.com. If you like looking at cute pictures and seeing what’s been on the Pinterestboard lately, this is the place to be. If you have a license to Pin, you can also follow Big Mag (see what I did there? :mrgreen:) on Pinterest and see what she’s been further Pinning. And this goes for the both of us—comment, like, rate, subscribe, reblog, follow, and stay tuned for more! (Also feel free to check me out at Google+ @ Samuel Mwak‘s page!)

~Sam~

p.s. Time for our Would You Rather o’ the Week! Would you rather…eat bacon with everything you eat ever, ever, ever, ever again, or would you eat pizza with everything you eat ever, ever, ever, ever again?

p.p.s. Time for our Random Video o’ the Week! This week goes to “Dubstep Puffle“, a video from the official channel for Club Penguin, consisting of a dark gray pet Puffle wearing a pair of headphones, listening to dubstep, while in numerous situations, like living memes and riding inside a box in space that is farting out a rainbow. At the end of the video, you can snag a secret code to get your Puffle their own set of headphones, although I’m not sure it’s gonna be dubstep they’ll be listening to. Anyway, since its debut on the 5th this month, it’s gotten almost 400,000 views, but with you I can bet cold hard fake cash it’s gonna go longer.



And let that be known. I already told you all about the news, and what I found next was even more than I had blogged about. A surprise beyond surprises. A surprise good enough to land the cover story of the latest Nintendo Power! Lemme recap from my previous post about the news: “Back in the years of the twentieth century, there was a craze that I’d like to call the “animation invasion” or the “cartoon boom”. This was a time where cartoons literally came into our world and ran wild, changing rules and righting wrongs. This era still echoes in our minds today, but there are some mass-media businesses that brought us the echo, most of them being stuff like Nickelodeon or Disney. Nickelodeon jumped into action in about the early to late 90s, and perhaps the early 2000s as well, introducing timeless classics like DougRocko’s Modern LifeCatDog, and, of course, SpongeBob (most likely the only creation during the cartoon boom that still runs today). But don’t forget about Disney and all they’ve done with bringing memorable characters to our time. Especially Mickey Mouse, and this brings up a new point. If you were a Wii owner headed in the right direction as of ’10, you might have picked up the M. Mouse game Epic Mickey. And, like usual, it triggered a swarm of rumors about a possible sequel. Well, everything you’ve heard is true.”

I already informed you about information like Epic Mickey officially receiving a sequel, and the tons of debuts the new sequel was gonna have: Oswald making his playable debut, the series making its debut on console and computer alike, the new modes in the game, its plot and list of tentative titles, and even its possible date: holiday 2012. Well, you’re about to add more to what you already know, because Epic Mickey and company are coming back later this year, but not in just one sequel, but two! The NP cover story issue isn’t hitting the markets until tomorrow, so be lucky I’ve got this exclusive info for you. The two sequels will be The Power of Two for the Wii, and The Power of Illusion for the 3DS. Get your paint and thinner ready, folks—you’re getting more opportunity than you even bargained for.

Although I showed you four possible covers for the game that were competing for the ultimate and official title, they basically all lost to another cover that I honestly believe doesn’t parallel as much, but is still kinda cool.

But, hey—what the creators must announce is what the fans must anticipate. Anyway, let’s talk a bit about The Power of Two, the more-known-about sequel of the two, the one that actually has a Wikipedia article. The platform range for this game have branched out tremendously, abandoning the concept of being just a Wii-exclusive title. It is now available for the Mac OS X, the PC, and the three rivals of the seventh generation of gaming: the PS3, Wii, and X360. Now that’s a severe case of irony. The excitement first kindled thanks to Destructoid when they put up an article last summer speculating the sequel and its possible covers. The rumors inched closer to reality when the French division of Disney as well as game designer Warren Spector invited the French to an “epic project”  comencing in late March 2012. The rumors came even closer when Nintendo Power announced, at the end of their March ’12 issue, that their next issue in April would have a “top-secret” preview, and this is what that would look like if you actually read the last page:

Can you tell what those things at the bottom are?…

GameTrailers also stated that their March 22, 2012 episode would involve a “world-exclusive preview of Warren Spector’s new epic adventure”, and it would be “notably significant.” Tons of clues and mind-boggles later, Warren finally confirmed that the rumors were true on the 21st, and that the title of the game would be Power of Two, and would feature new parts of the city as well as old ones ruined by earthquakes and other natural disasters. But luckily, for us, I confirmed this information even earlier. Not to be a showoff. Warren said that over 700 people would be part of the sequel’s crew, and that over a thousand alters were made to the camera issues that were criticized in the first game. Now, about the plot.

Taking place some time after the original title, the Mad Doctor (whom Mickey had defeated in the original), mysteriously returns to the Wasteland, despite being presumably blown up in the original game. [This reminds me about a metaphor you could always use in these peculiar situations: when Kenny dies in South Park, he almost always comes back for the next episode he appears in.] Claiming to have realized the error of his ways, ironically enough, he offers to work alongside Oswald and other Wasteland residents to mend the damage caused by earthquakes in order to make a few amends.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Oswald accepts the Mad Doctor’s helpful plan for the city. However, not long after this, the Wasteland suffers even more wear-and-tear than before, and suspicion rises that the Mad Doctor is not keeping to his own truth. Gus the Gremlin, Oswald’s buddy advisor, and his girlfriend Ortensia (confirming that rabbits can actually have love lives), all come to a conclusion: “When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who we gonna call? MICKEY MOUSE!” And apparently this is the best possible plan since Mickey had saved Wasteland in 2010. Mickey climbs through the same mirror that he did in 2010, retrieves his magical paint-and-thinner brush from Yen Sid’s workshop, after having it taken away at the end of–gee, this game has a lot of tie-ins to its predecessor, doesn’t it? With the help of Gus, Mickey returns to the corrupted Wasteland to uncover the truth behind the Mad Doctor’s “little white lie”, with Oswald as a sidekick along the way.

And indeed, they discover that the Mad Doctor had tricked them, using his helpful offer as an excuse to create and release his new works known as “Blotworx” into the already troubled districts, hybrids of the original game’s Blotlings and Beetleworx. Realizing his mistake that could cost him the life of the city, Oswald becomes Mickey’s assist in taking down the Mad Doctor once again to fix a mess he himself had started.

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For Wii users, your game will be developed by Junction Point Studios, but for PS3 and X360 users, yours will be from Blitz Games. For everyone, it will be published by Disney and distributed by Buena Vista, running under the Gamebryo engine, used by companies like 2K Games, Ubisoft, and Sony. Instead of coming out in the holidays of the year, it will instead come around the fall season in September. Waiting 5 months isn’t all that bad, is it? If you can’t wait, you can always hitch up the Nintendo Power April issue and get your fix before the primetime release.

Yep, this is the final cover art. Not some fake that I made to be show-y…POST APRIL FOOLS! You totally fell for that, didn’t you? Yeah, this is just a fake I made, but at least it looks cool. And, Disney, if you’re coming up with a cover for Power of Illusion, you could always use mine under my 100% permission, but only with 5% of the game’s financial revenues. Anyway, Power of Illusion will be an apparent 3DS-exclusive Epic Mickey sequel, and it will probably be the second of the two sequels, as its date is not yet determined. So, the game is basically a sequel’s sequel. This time, a company named Dreamrift will be grabbing the reins of development, and Peter Ong will be designing, but Disney and Buena Vista still have their jobs. It is not yet known what engine it will run on, but it has been spreading that the sequel will possibly be running under hand-drawn sprites and scrolling backgrounds, which Spector has confirmed as true.

The plot for this game is completely irrelevant with that of The Power of Two, but still takes place after the original game. In this, the evil witch Mizrable (good name), and her Castle of Illusion, have accidentally been transported to the Wasteland thanks to the wizard Yen Sid, the same guy with the workshop Mickey got his brush back from in Power of Two. Oswald tells Mickey the news, but also adds that Minnie Mouse has been detected inside. So now, for his second sequel, the two are on a mission to save not only Minnie, but the “Illusions” of other trapped Disney characters inside the castle.

The 3DS mechanics of the game basically resemble the game Scribblenauts; where you must write out words to convert them into real objects. In this game, you must trace out those objects to bring them to existence. And for people who aren’t the best illustrators, that’s a bad thing, since the quality of your drawings reflect on the quality of the drawn object. Nintendo Power used a cannon as an example. A well-traced cannon will only inflict harm on enemies, but a badly traced cannon can inflict harm on everyone else, even Mickey! Each stage of the game will resemble a different Disney animated feature. Some announced ones include Peter PanSleeping Beauty, and even Tangled.

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So are you excited for these sequels? I know I’ll be checking the ratings in September this year to see if I should pick it up! Anyway, I’ll give you one last thing to participate in before you leave. Mwak out.

- Sam

p.s. Time for our Would You Rather o’ the Week! Would you rather…every time you go #1 in the bathroom, it lights on fire, or every time you go #2, it blows up?



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