Update status: Complicated.

Monthly Archives: July 2013


Hey guys it’s Sam! Do you have your game faces on? Because today we’ll be talking turkey about some of the most promising video games to expect this fall for the 7th-gen consoles (PS3, X360, Wii, 3DS) and the 8th-gen consoles (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U). And I’ll have you know now–this season has an ample number of seemingly great games. (To see information about certain games, click “Details” under each picture!)

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (11-13; Wii U)

Donkey Kong Country is remembered as one of the most innovative, entertaining, and stellar titles the Super Nintendo had to offer. It probably has a spot in the nostalgia center of many gamers’ brains and hearts. After the game transformed into a trilogy, the Donkey Kong Country series was shelved after the uprising of the Nintendo 64. Luckily, in 2010 the series was revived in Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Tropical Freeze is the game’s upcoming sequel. The game revolves around a group of Viking animals that chase the inhabitants of Donkey Kong Island away, and the Kongs must embark on an island-to-island trek to return and reclaim their home.

Much like in the original DKC sequel, Dixie Kong will be joining the adventure alongside an unannounced character. You can now swim in the game, but you can also do underwater spin attacks if you encounter any enemies in the seas. Tropical Freeze takes pages from many classic games’ books: to regain breath you can collect underwater bubbles à la Sonic, and you can uproot things and throw stunned enemies à la SMB 2. Dave Wise, composer for the original DKC trilogy, will be returning to compose the music. But who knows?–Maybe Nintendo will make a third Returns game and add Kiddy Kong!

Just Dance 2014 (9-8-13; PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360/Q4 ’13; PS4, XBOne)

Multiplayer that allows up to six players at once. Seven new modes. Over forty songs and Auto-Dance vids. That’s what this year’s Just Dance has to offer. The game will include songs from PSY, Pitbull, One Direction, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and more. Now, because Just Dance and Dance Central are bitter enemies, Just Dance 2014 decided to follow Dance Central 3‘s footsteps. They incorporated several old-school songs: “I Will Survive”, “YMCA”, and the Ghostbusters theme song. There will also be alternative versions, extreme versions, and sweat versions of the songs. Now, about those modes:

  • On-Stage Mode: One player dances in a main routine while two others dance backup routines.
  • “Ghost Mode”: One player dances against ghost renditions of a friend’s prior gameplay.
  • Karaoke Mode: Players get points for singing the right notes and actually don’t get punished for singing incorrectly. This mode only works on consoles with a mic, so that’s basically every console but the Wii.
  • Just Dance DJ Mode: Players can switch between songs and “shape the music” via dancing; this mode is Xbox One exclusive.
  • Party Master Mode: The Wii U’s exclusive take on Just Dance 4‘s “Puppet Master” mode. Use the GamePad to change the game rules, the current song, and select dance moves for up to four players with Wii Remotes.
  • Battle Mode: What does it sound like?

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (9-24-13; 3DS, Wii U, PC)

This is easily the most unique chapter in Maxwell’s life 5th Cell has ever conceived. Maxwell’s debut onto the 3DS, Wii U, and PC (Unlimited) was grand enough. Working alongside Warner Bros, 5th Cell has incorporated almost every character in DC Comics history into Maxwell’s once-normal life. The ones you know and the ones you don’t. Variations of these heroes and villains also appear, so multiple Batmen and Green Lanterns are included in the game. These characters can help solve puzzles; for example, Superman’s heat vision can free a key trapped in a block of ice. Using the game’s power of adjectives, you can conjure a “Super Doomsday” or even a zombie Batman. Either way, this is definitely not your average puzzle game.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (11-13; 3DS)

Alongside several LoZ titles, A Link to the Past is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time, and stands high among the Super Nintendo pantheon. A Link Between Worlds returns to that same nostalgic world. It combines the old-school Zelda top-down perspective with the 3DS’ gorgeous stereoscopic graphics. These 3D effects come into play when exploring dungeons, and will have Link jumping between levels to solve puzzles and advance within the game.

Arrows for shooting enemies and mallets for nailing pegs was showcased in early LBW footage; besides that, the magic meter refills on its own. Yep, no potions needed. Link’s bow, hammer, and even bombs rely on the magic meter. At full health, Link’s sword shoots projectiles like in LTTP.This is probably the best new feature: Link can actually jump into walls and become a drawing to slither up the wall to reach new areas. However, this feeds off your magic meter, so be conservative. IGN says the game has “everything [they] wanted from a Nintendo 3DS Zelda game” after playing the demo.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes (9-18-13; PC, DS, 3DS, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, X360, XBOne)

Silver Surfer, herald to Galactus, is knocked out of the sky, causing his surfboard to shatter into “cosmic bricks” with immense power. Nick Fury orders the Marvel universe’s heroes to find these bricks within areas like Lego NYC and Lego Asgard before they are seized by villains like Loki and Magneto. 120 Marvel characters are at the fingertips of the player, from Abomination to Wolverine. Each character has a unique power; Spider-Man with his spider sense and web slinging, Hulk with his superhuman strength. Also, he is able to shrink into Bruce form AT WILL to do stuff like access computers. Since when was Hulk a hacker, I don’t know. Stan Lee, co-creator of Marvel Comics, is planned to be incorporated into the game in some way, shape, or form.

Super Mario 3D World (12-13; Wii U)

You’re probably wondering the same thing I am; if it’s a 3D Mario game, how is it a Wii U exclusive? Maybe the Wii U’s more special than I think it is. Anyway, the game tackles yet another Super Nintendo pantheon title, Super Mario World, incorporating four characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, and blue Toad. Like in SMB 2, each character has a unique ability: Mario’s speed and jumping is average, Luigi has high jumping ability and slow falling speed, Peach can float in midair, and Toad is the fastest runner.

A maximum of four players may explore the same level at the same time with each character, sharing from a collection of extra lives. Like in New SMB Wii, players can pick up one another to help them across select areas. Alongside the return of the Tanooki Suit and the Fire Flower, a brand new suit will appear–the Cat Suit, allowing its wearer to wall-climb, perform unique attacks, climb to the top of the final flag pole, and run at a faster speed. The GamePad comes into play so its user can rub the touch-screen to reveal blocks or items that have been hidden, as well as to stun enemies to assist players. The Wii U’s Off-TV Play is supported by Super Mario 3D World.

Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land (10-29-13; 3DS)

If you’ve been following the Twitter of show creator JG Quintel, you may have already seen this coming. If not, er–SURPRISE! Following in Adventure Time‘s footsteps, the Regular Show game has finally reached its primetime thanks to the guys who brought you the first Adventure Time game. Bringing the characters and comedy from the show exclusively for the 3DS, 8-Bit Land follows Mordecai and Rigby on their epic adventure through their favorite video games, which gamers may recognize. If that wasn’t nostalgic enough, all game sounds are made from old emulated Nintendo consoles, and players can collect gold tapes, cash for buying games, and mullets to wear. It doesn’t make any sense to me either. The game design blends three popular old-school formats: Mario-esque side-scrolling, Zelda-esque top-down perspective, and Contra-esque side-scrolling shooting.

You can swap between Mordo and Rigs at any time; Mordo can double jump, and Rigby’s meager size can fit him through more confined spaces. Also, Mordo can transform into a spaceship (makes more sense in context). Anyway, be sure to check out Mordo and Rigs in 8-Bit Land when it hits stores for the 3DS this October.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! (11-12-13; PS3, X360, Wii U, 3DS)

Yes, that’s actually the name of the game. But to reduce stress let’s just call it Adventure Time 2. As the sequel to Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!, the game revolves around Finn and Jake as they are recruited by PB to investigate a rash of thefts and kidnappings that are damaging the Candy Kingdom. She thinks the root of the crime lies within the Secret Royal Dungeon in the underground depths of Ooo, where only the nastiest beasts and burglars are locked up. If they’ve found an escpae route, the entire land of Ooo might be in danger!

You can play as Finn, Jake, Marcie, and even Cinnamon Bun. However, news has it you can also play as LSP and Flame Princess. The dungeon has a massive hundred floors to conquer, and you can also play with up to three of your buddies. The game’s development by WayForward received a little aid from show creator Pen Ward himself, and it’s being published by D3 Publisher–publisher of 10,000 Ben 10 games. Oh, that reminds me–look out for Ben 10 Omniverse coming this November to the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, 3DS, and Wii U. Also look out for Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!, also coming this November.

SOME MORE GAMES YOU MIGHT WANT TO LOOK OUT FOR

  • Rayman Legends (9-3-13; PS3, X360, Wii U)
  • Total War Rome 2 (9-3-13; PC)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (9-17-13; PS3, X360)
  • FIFA 14 (9-24-13; PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, PS Vita, X360, XBOne, PC, iOS, Android)
  • NBA 2K14 (10-1-13; PS3, X360)
  • Beyond Two Souls (10-8-13; PS3)
  • Pokemon X & Y (10-12-13; 3DS)
  • Skylanders Swap Force (10-13-13; 3DS, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Wii, X360, XBOne)
  • Sonic Lost World (10-22-13; Wii U, 3DS)
  • Batman Arkham Origins (10-25-13; PC, PS3, X360, Wii U)
  • Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate (10-25-13; PS Vita, 3DS)
  • Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (???; Wii U)
  • Mario Party 10 (???; 3DS)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (???; Wii U, 3DS)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (???; PS3, PS4, X360, XBOne)
  • Walking Dead Season 2 (???; ???)

………………………

Check in Monday for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy,

~S~ 😎

Video of the Week: “those turtles” by Notnotsandvichhobo. Have your life changed forever or your money back. (The tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naJfryM0nsY)



Do you think you know Hansel and Gretel? They’re just the kids who drop the bread crumbs and then go to that candy house and eat a lot of food and get fat and almost get eaten by that witch, right? WRONG! Adam Gidwitz has just taken the Hansel and Gretel we know and bathed it in blood-soaked darkness that would make Goosebumps and Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark seem like nursery rhymes. This is definitely not your average fairy tale, and you can tell from the amounts of times Gidwitz jumps into the story to warn you about the most violent pieces of the puzzle, recommending to keep all small children at bay. This story doesn’t just include the candy house witch–it seamlessly intertwines that tale with seven others to create different chapters of the duo’s perilous life:

Faithful Johannes: This beginning chapter serves as a prequel to the rest of the story, revolving around a young prince that is promoted to king after his dad bites the dust, and Faithful Johannes–the late king’s most loyal servant–is tasked to show the new king his entire inheritance save for one room. Johannes was told that if he showed the king this room, it may cost the king his life. Oh, and ravens show up. If you believe in the omen you know something sinister will occur–but these ravens can talk.

Hansel and Gretel: This is where the story of the brother and the sister begins. In context (or if you read chapter one), this would make more sense. After feeling betrayed by their own mom and dad (aka the young king) after a big debacle, they run away into the forest where they come across a candy house. Starving, they proceed to help themselves to the treat, but are caught by the house’s owner, who warmly welcomes them in. She feeds them food to the point where they become fat and lazy, and although this looks like a dream come true, she has plans to make it a nightmare.

The Seven Swallows: You may better recognize this part of the story as The Seven Ravens, a fairy tale of its own. After Hansel and Gretel flee for the second time, they come across a husband and wife with seven sons and a longing wish for a daughter. The father sends his kids off to fetch water, but when his sons do not return, their father curses them so they transform into ravens and fly off. Hansel and Gretel embark on a journey to find the seven sons in a world where the moon craves human flesh, and the results of their adventure will shock you!

Brother and Sister: Picking up where 7 Swallows left off, this chapter follows Hansel and Gretel as they make shelter in Lebenwald (LAY-ben-vault), the wood of life. As Gretel befriends a talking tree whom is practically Lebenwald’s landlord, Hansel realizes he has an animal bloodlust, and he keeps on bringing an offering to the fire no matter how much Gretel tries to stop him. But when Hansel’s murderous mania gets the best of him, his altered beast is revealed.

A Smile Red As Blood: Gretel decides to hit the road alone, shaken and saddened by the events of the last chapter. She stumbles across Schwarzwald (SHVATS-vault), the wood of darkness, but visits the village right by it. When she is rejected by most of the village people (joke not intended), she sits down and mopes. Luckily, an old woman accepts her. Weeks later, Gretel becomes smitten with a dashing young man with red lips. Even if he’s a bit aggressive. One night, Gretel manages to flee from her home and follows the young man’s path into Schwarzwald. The following events are nothing less than grisly, and you’ll probably never look at doves the same way again.

The 3 Golden Hairs: This is probably the most horrifying, dreadful, and macabre chapter in the entire book. You have been warned. When a pair of huntsmen bring an ugly beast home from a hunt, the monster is skinned to reveal something other than flesh, blood, and bone (no Potter reference intended)–a boy. Not just any boy–Hansel! He decides to stay under the watch of the Lord and the Lady, but it turns out that the Lord is an addicted gambler. When he loses to an elusive stranger, he discovers he’s made a deal with the Devil and, to counter it, Hansel must travel to the place Down Under. No, it’s not Australia…

Hansel and Gretel and the Broken Kingdom: In all honesty, all they do is return to their home kingdom to their parents, tell them about their perilous journey, and discover that their home is in ruins due to a great beast. It’s reptilian, it’s fire-breathing, and it rhymes with “flaggin”.

Hansel and Gretel and the Dragon: Almost there. All that happens is Hansel and Gretel manage to start an army to face the dragon and then take it on, but it turns out they were a little unprepared and the results are actually more gruesome than you’d probably like. This is the one chapter all squeamish readers should skip.

Hansel and Gretel and Their Parents: This is it. The very last chapter. After their brawl with the dragon, despite the results not being too successful, Hans and G are still hailed by the kingdom as true heroes. We also see the true identity of the dragon, and then Hans and G become king and queen. Just thought you’d want to know.

………………………………

Yes, A Tale Dark and Grimm may be very dark, gory, and quite disturbing, but when you peel that layer of the story away it’s an exciting, enthralling, and surprisingly touching fantasy adventure that tells important truths wrapped inside the premises. The messages the story offers are mainly the virtues of forgiveness, love, and trust and how they’re worth all the work. Gidwitz’ dark but droll storytelling skills make Hans and G characters we can empathize for, and we can ultimately comprehend why they came home even after abandonment from their parents.

FINAL SCORE: ★★★★★

RECOMMENDATION: For anyone who loves fractured fairy tales or modern spins on old classics, but is willing to read through a couple of grisly moments.

IF YOU LIKED THAT, CHECK OUT:

(click on the images to teleport to their Amazon pages!)

…………………………………..

You know my algorithm: tune in next Friday at 1:00 EST for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy,

~S~ 😎

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: “Harlem Shake” by VideoGameDunkey. Trust me, it’s not what it looks like, but it’s totally worth it.



Hey guys it’s Sam. I guess now that technology is at its prime, WordPress has been able to incorporate Vines into blog posts via their embed codes. And coincidentally I’ve seen a lot of hilarious Vines in the past few weeks. So, without further ado, I present the first volume of my funniest Vine compilation.

…………

Now, wasn’t that a blast? Did it make you laugh? Of course it did, so be sure to check out the original creators of the Vines for even more hilarious stuff! I’ll be sure to put up volume two sometime in the future, but for know tune in every Friday at 1:00 PM for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak! Oh, and have a rad summer!

Stay classy America,

~S~ 😎



When I was a wee young man, I was raised on Nickelodeon. Figure It OutGUTS, Double Dare 2000SpongeBob, I watched it all. But around summer 2008, I ripped my eyes from Nick for the first time ever and became a fan of–you probably guessed it–Cartoon Network. Chowder and Flapjack were probably my top two most-watched series from the Network at the time, but then I saw something that hooked me like a trout. Something I’m a strong fan of to this very day. The killer app that brought me and probably millions of other people just like me to become fans of Cartoon Network. It also showed me that Canada isn’t just home of the ice hockey. It is called Total Drama. Now, for a boring recap of the past four seasons. If you want to skip down, scroll down a bit. Or press Ctrl+F and type four periods.

Cartoon Network and their Canadian friend Teletoon wanted to make some sort of mockery of the conventions commonly found in reality TV, so they created twenty-five teen contestants and settled them at Camp Wawanakwa, a fictitious island in Muskoka, Ontario. The campers were Duncan, Tyler, Lindsay, LeShawna, DJ, Eva, Justin, Owen, Noah, Harold, Geoff, Heather, Trent, Gwen, Cody, Izzy, Bridgette, Courtney, Katey, Sadie, Ezekiel, and Beth. From thence Total Drama Island was born.

They were split into two teams: the Screaming Gophers and the Killer Bass. These two teams were given challenges for each episode–from dodgeball to Fear Factor–and at the end of each episode there was a final campfire gathering for the losing team. Every camper received a marshmallow to ensure they were safe for another episode–except one unlucky teen. They had to walk the Dock of Shame, and were taken away by the Boat of Losers. This process went on for 26 episodes over the course of seven months (June to December 2008), and ultimately after a season of sabotage, heartbreak, and alliances, one camper walked away with a grand prize of $100,000. But that wasn’t the case in other countries. In the PAL region, the loser of the American version was actually the winner. I guess they wanted to change things up, which became a recurring occurrence in future seasons.

A week after the season finale, the campers were invited back to the island to participate in a no-rules hunt for a silver case with a million dollars inside, which unraveled into a series of unpredictable events that had only one way to end: a season two, which premiered in summer 2009 under the name of Total Drama Action. Instead of 25 campers, there were only 14 that were split into the Killer Grips and the Screaming Gaffers, and the challenges were now movie genre-based. The season took place at a deserted Toronto film lot. Instead of joining for a final bonfire, the losing team had to attend an award ceremony where marshmallows were replaced by Gilded Chris Awards (made in the honor of the host Chris McClain). Whoever didn’t get a GCA had to take the Walk of Shame down a red carpet, and was taken off the lot by the Lame-o-sine. This process went on for 26 more episodes over another seven months, and one lucky camper went away with not $100,000 but one million dollars!

The season’s special didn’t come until spring 2010, when the cast was nominated for a Gemmie Award for best reality show ensemble. The drama is documented by the hosts of Celebrity Manhunt (a celeb gossip show), Josh and Blaineley. Yes, Blaineley is a girl. However, this heartfelt reunion takes a detour when Chris announces that he will be replacing them with a new show called Total Drama Dirtbags. In an attempt to save their fame, all of the contestants (plus newcomer Sierra) race to NYC to defeat a team of dirtbags and their leader Alejandro. But what does Chris really have planned?…That’s right, a season three! 17 contestants managed to win the reward of starring in season 3, while seven unlucky campers were left in the dust.

Two months after the special, Total Drama World Tour premiered as the third season. Three newcomers were added to the roster of fifteen: the vague Alejandro, the fangirl-ish Sierra, and Blaineley from Celeb Manhunt. The season takes place on several locations worldwide (Tokyo, Paris, Egypt, etc.), where challenges take place, but the season’s hub was on the Total Drama Jumbo Jet. GCAs are replaced with barf bags full of peanuts, and the unlucky camper must take a parachute and take the Drop of Shame out of the plane. But here’s the biggest change: whenever Chris rings a bell and a special icon shows up onscreen, the campers must break into song. That’s right, they need to sing. If they don’t sing, they get eliminated on the spot. Check out some of my favorites:


There are now three teams instead of two: Team Amazon, Team Victory, and Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot. Yeah, you can kinda tell who named that last one. Anyway, this process continued for another 26 episodes over six months, and there was no season special.

The fourth and latest season, Total Drama: Revenge of the Island (originally Total Drama Reloaded), premiered last summer. The story of this season is probably the most unique yet–during World Tour Chris rented out Camp Wawanakwa to a toxic waste company, which used it as a dump. When Chris bought it back for season four, it was covered in biohazardous toxic waste, increasing dangers for a new generation of campers. This new generation comes in the form of thirteen campers: Cameron, Anne Marie, Mike, Zoey, Lightning, Dawn, B, Sam, Brick, Scott, Jo, Dakota, and Staci. This season is very similar to Island, but the challenges are more gross, more embarrassing, and more lethal. Another big change is that the person whose name is called last is eliminated, and the one who receives the final marshmallow, which is toxic. They are taken off the island in a giant catapult via the Hurl of Shame. This process went on for only thirteen episodes over summer 2012. Currently it doesn’t look like there’s gonna be a special.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Ladies and gentlemen, the fifth season of Total DramaTotal Drama All Stars. This show takes place back at Camp W but is split into two halves, both of them equally important. The first half is a merge of the old and new casts as “all stars”. According to Wikipedia, the fourteen most popular campers from past seasons will be returning, and there are 13 announced campers so far: Alejandro, Cameron, Courtney, Duncan, Gwen, Heather, Jo, Lightning, Lindsay, Mike, Sam, Sierra, and Zoey.

They’ll be split into two teams: the Heroic Hamsters and the Villainous Vultures, pitting the good guys against the bad guys. So far, the official Hamsters are Cameron, Gwen, Mike, Sierra, and Zoey. The official Vultures are Alejandro, Heather, and Courtney. The grand prize will still be a million bucks, but halfway through the season things will change dramatically. The Hamsters and Vultures will disband, and the winner of every future challenge receives immunity for only themselves, and a non-immune camper gets voted off. The process continues until it comes down to two campers, which will decide the winner and the loser.

Christian Potenza, the voice of Chris, has released some lines from the fourth episode of the season:

When a Hero’s eating time is up, they hear this … and the Villains get this … Last time on a very special episode of Total Drama All-Stars: … Say hello to my metal friend! … I sincerely doubt it, Al … next, I’ll allow it, his pain was our gain … Which team will finish their barf-tastic breakfast first? Find out after the break on Total Drama All-Stars!”

The series was originally going to premiere this summer, but now it should be premiering anytime in Q4 2013. Canadians should expect it next winter.

Tdpilogo

TDPI Island

The new island.

This will probably be the start of something new and something big for Total Drama: for season six, they’re moving to a new island. Pahkitew Island, to be exact. The season will contain 14 contestants and 13 episodes, and Canadians should expect it next fall. Right now, not much is known about season six except for what the island could look like. Also, in case you didn’t know, Pahkitew is Cree for “explode”. Oh joy.

Anyway, that’s it for this week! Are you excited for the next two seasons coming out? Have you been a fan of Total Drama from the very beginning, and will you be until the very end? Find out when All Stars and Pahkitew Island premiere on Cartoon Network! Make sure to tune in every Friday for awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy America (and Canada),

~S~ 😎

Video of the Week: I’m not really one to Facebook quite yet, but news is spreading like wildfire that the social network is updating in quite infuriating ways. This viral hit from ExtremelyDecentFilms shows what it would be like if these updates happened in real life, and it amplifies the frustration in the most hilarious ways.