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?
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.)
- “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.)
- “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.
- “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.
- “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. 😉
- “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.)
- “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.)
- “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?
- “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?
- “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.
- “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?
- “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…
- “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.
- “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”.)
- “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.
- “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”.
- “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.
- “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.)
- “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.
- “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.)
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.
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.
- “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.
- “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.
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.
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):
Hey guys it’s Sam, and welcome to the second episode of our game reviewing segment, Get Ur Game Face On. Anyway, there are a lot of unknown companies that one day have their names known by 5% of people, and the next day having their names known as the people that gave us the amazing game [please insert amazing game title]. And that’s what happened with lots of companies we now know. Take Bethesda, for example. With the dwindling of games like Brink and RAGE, it was almost certified that Bethesda would begin crippling from the game world, and taking all of their series with them. That is, until they introduced the worldwide phenomenon known as Skyrim. See what I mean? THQ (short for Toy Headquarters. Now you know.) already got a start, giving us pretty much the entire anthology of SpongeBob games. But maybe our porous pal needed a break. So they gave us the first De Blob in ’08. And this is its ’11 sequel.
In 2008, the original De Blob met favorably received success, or (as THQ president & CEO Brian Farrell calls it) “broad, critical acclaim.” But the demands rose too high, and they were too big to maintain. So THQ could most likely do nothing but bring out the only weapon in a wave of fiscal demands: a sequel. Instantly the wave died down and THQ could breath a bit easier. That sequel, as I said and will say again, was De Blob 2, also known previously as De Blob: The Underground. Instead of being a Wii exclusive, it (like the forthcoming Epic Mickey sequel) was also available for the Xbox and PS3 as well, alongside the Nintendo DS and 3DS. It was developed by the now inactive Blue Tongue Entertainment, or by Halfbrick Studios (the same buddies that gave us the Fruit Ninja saga) for the DS version, and published by THQ and Syfy Kids (yes, I hasten to add this, but that actually does exist!).
In this game, you basically pick up where the original adventure left off: giving color and happiness with a vengeance (as the antagonistic INKT Corp. has outlawed all the fun and color) to the monochromatic Manhattan parody Chroma City, as a Blob. But not just any Blob. The Caesar of color, the superhero of the spectrum, the rivet of the rainbow, the—oh, you know what I mean. But not alone, with his trusty robo-sidekick Pinky. You can turn into different colors by jumping into different pools of colored paint, or by slamming into different-colored Paintbots, allowing you to make the world literally your canvas & easel. But there are some obstacles in your way, such as surfaces that automatically strip you of your wet, colorful goodness, as well as ink that acts as deadly poison to our hippie of a hero.
Definitely one of the most feel-good games of the year, De Blob 2‘s infectious vibe is only cramped up by one thing: frustration, and frustration under more than one circumstance. You sometimes have no clue what to do, and how to do it, leaving you helplessly struggling for a solution. Repetitive level design occurs repeatedly for a great level of annoyance, and you honestly don’t want to fail root & branch. That’s usually something you always hear in games, but this is a special emphasis; failure results in having to replay long sections or entire levels, putting a chockful of work into the toilet. The targeting system of the game can be a pro various times in the game, but other times when you’re brawling against diverse enemy armies, it’s definitely a con trying to decipher. You should never trust De Blob 2‘s saving system, and even I have examples. Sometimes when I exit a session of De Blob-ing, and come back to that session, I have to redo entire—oh, wait, I already told you about this. But on the bright side, painting the city is more fun that it looks like, and great visuals and tunes make a joyous atmosphere to roam in. Cutscenes are smart and amusingly entertaining, and there is simple fun in the game’s combat. And, of course, there are plenty of cheesily great win quotes in the game like, “Blobberific!” Y’know what, let’s roll the chart.
2 3/4 out of 5 – Educational value – There are puzzle aspects to many of the levels, requiring a great amount of logic and thinking, but the intention of the game is definitely entertainment over education.
3 1/2 out of 5 – Positive messages – Blob is a compassionate hero, determined to bring color (and freedom, and peace, and justice, and—) back to a world ruled by a monochromatic black-and-white tyrant and its corporation. Certain story moments, though, pose moral questions to players, asking them to choose between going after an escaping villain or rescuing innocents.
3 out of 5 – Positive role models – Blob and Pinky are self-sacrificing heroes who value the freedom of their people. Players could choose to make Blob a bit more callous in his pursuit of the baddies if they opt to follow the villains rather than save the innocents at certain points of the game.
4 out of 5 – Ease of play – Controls work very smoothly. If the camera seems problematic at first, know that you can adjust the inversion of the camera functionality; it’s very likely you can find a setting that will be comfortable for your personal style of play, where you prefer going down to go up, or prefer going down to go down. The game offers only two levels of difficulty that sound equally simple: easy and normal.
2 1/2 out of 5 – Violence – Blob fights enemy robots at times with a jump-and-smash ability (or Pinky can zap them with paint). Defeated enemies disappear in a burst of ink. Obviously enough, ink is very poisonous to Blob, and you can surely die if you stay in too long or do not meet a body of water soon enough. Blob can use his jump-and-smash combo to smash into things with violent slams. Overall, the violence is cartoonishly executed, made more for quirks.
Play-Again Ratio: B- (3 points)
Smarts: B+ (3.5 points)
Fun: B (3 points)
Style: A (4 points)
Humor: A (4 points)
Entertainment: A (4 points)
FINAL SCORE: 21.5 out of 30 (well, that was unexpected), 3 stars out of 5, 69% out of 100%
CONSENSUS: De Blob 2 is a funky-fresh sequel with the same infectious vibe as its predecessor, but monotony and other frustrations get the upper hand of the game and ruin its jam to the point where the game is only fun to play for about ten minutes, if not longer.
PRICE: Have it your way, but here’s the pricing for the game. On the Xbox 360, the game costs $16, but new copies are $9, and used ones are $6. Own a Nintendo DS? You can buy the game for only $9, with new copies being $5, and used ones being $3. Fan of the PS3? It costs yet again $16, but new copies are $9, and used ones are $7. Wii junkie? The game costs $13, with $7 for a new copy, and $2 for a used. At GameStop, the game costs $20 new, and $18 pre-owned on the Xbox. On the Wii, the game costs $20, but pre-owned versions are only $15. The same thing applies for the PS3 and DS versions as well.
Subscribe, like, rate, comment, reblog, share, please check out that adorable SpongeBob gif at the top of the sidebar, and stay tuned for a brand new post next Monday! Oh, and please consider the following: Wii Play Games could be back on the radar, it’s already at about 20 hits about now and it’s possible that it could be back in the hypes to raise the bar! If you want to revive WPG, go to wiiplaygames.wordpress.com and subscribe, enough subscriptions will make me considering a new post! Now, go go go!
– Sam 😀
p.s. Would You Rather o’ the Week: Would you rather…wear only Gap clothing for the rest of your life, or wear only New Balance shoes for the rest of your life?
p.p.s. Random Video o’ the Week: I’m too exhausted to say more, so check out this hot jam. It’s Basement Jaxx and Robyn. C’mon, you know you want to. It’s got really good reception.
Hey guys it’s Sam, and you might remember a time on this very site way back when* (*May 2011, to be exact) I put up a review on Big Nate 2, and I rambled on and on about it in one direction and one direction only: merely how horrible it was (and I wasn’t kidding). And you might remember how I concluded the post: hoping that the by-then-upcoming Big Nate on a Roll, the third entry, would invigorate the series and lift it from its many troubles. Well, now I’ve finally come to read it, and I’m surprised at how serious Lincoln took my information, if he even did. If there was a stream with stepping stones that worked as a reviewing system (the books that stay at the start are the worst, the books that cross are the best), Big Nate 3 would’ve already been almost finished crossing the stream. And why do I say almost? Well, read this review to find that out.
“The rest of the play is kind of a blur. I can’t stop thinking about Artur. Hey, that rhymes!”
– “Big Nate” Wright
(If you wanna skip to the real review, then ignore this paragraph and read the one below.)
The Big Nate series may have published its first full-feature book (not a lousy compilation of comic strips ripped off the web) 2 years ago in ’10, but Nate celebrated his series’ twentieth birthday just last year. If you do the math right, you should come up with the fact that Nate’s series started back in ’91. There have been eight other Big Nate books that weren’t full-feature novels, and almost half of them were cartoon compilations (see what I mean?): 1992’s Add More Babes!, 2008’s I Smell A Pop Quiz!, 2010’s Big Nate from the Top, 2o11’s Big Nate Out Loud and Big Nate and Friends. (Plus this years’s upcoming What Could Possibly Go Wrong?) The other three were what Lincoln Peirce himself described as “failed experiments”: his first 3 Big Nate eBooks from ’02. They were Dibs on This Chair, Pray for a Firedrill, and Big Nate…Makes a Splash.
Have you ever been itching to steal the first place title from your strongest rival? That’s what Nate’s dealing with in Big Nate on a Roll. Nate was always Joe #1 in his Timber Scout troop…that is, until Artur—aka Mr. Perfect—is newly recruited. Now Nate’s been degraded to 2nd place, and Artur means business even without his own knowing of it. But another problem kindles when Nate’s trapped in the center of a “dog-leash incident” and loses his skateboard in the process, landing deep in the waters of Beard’s Creek. Sooner or later, Nate and Artur are fierce competitors in a Timber Scout contest to see who can sell the most wall hangings and soak up the most greens. The prizes, from 3rd-place to 1st, are:
- The 3rd-place winner will receive a Rockin’ Robot kit that allows you to build your own robot with the ability to play over a hundred songs.
- The runner-up will receive a plain telescope with a celestial chart included…whatever that is.
- The grand-prize winner will receive a “hi-flyin'” customized skateboard that allows you to design the board the way you want to! With 55mm wheels and a cast aluminum truck assembly, it’s no wonder why Nate’s fighting hard for this gift.
Will Nate put Artur in second for once in his runner-upping life? Or will he land with the silver medal while Artur gets the gold?
This book is a surprising step in the right direction for Big Nate. Plenty of laughs, drama, and action keep the book strung up and interesting to read. Colorful language (“that shut her up”), violence (ex: a woman is disturbed by the fact that Nate included “botched surgery” in one of his comics) and some lovey scenes do occur, but parental-wise, there’s not much to worry for about this book. Well, maybe except the violence part. Instead of shunning Lincoln, I’m actually coming to praise him for realizing what he’s doing to his fans and stepping up his game. Not by a little, but by a lot. And I swear, if Big Nate 4 can pull this off when it comes out in two weeks, Lincoln’s series is pretty much no longer in critical danger. I should know: did you see what I had to deal with for Big Nate 2? Anyway, I feel good that I had been anticipating my opportunity to read this book for so long. And, hey—I think it actually adds up evenly! Now that I’m feeling all happy, let’s roll the chart.
2 3/4 out of 5 – Educational value – As Nate’s constantly updating his amount of money in the wall hanging competition, he uses a heck of a lot of math problems that readers can follow along to. For example, Nate calculates Artur’s amount of sold wall hangings (53) times the cost of the wall hangings apiece ($8) to get the total amount of money Artur has received for the competition ($424).
3 out of 5 – Positive messages – Although Nate does show the competitive half of him throughout the book, it’s a good message that sometimes we all need to unravel our competitive sides every once in a while. Besides that, there’s not much messages to go around, as Nate’s best friends aren’t very “friend-y”, and his shown teachers have very snappy natures. Wall hangings do have kiddie but sometimes sweet messages on them. Examples include “Sharing is caring!”, “Don’t you love grandmas?”, and even “Follow your rainbow!”
1 3/4 out of 5 – Positive role models – Nate’s sometimes disastrous, other times delightful life is perfectly related to that of real life. Life is almost everything or anything you’d want to call it: a disaster, a movie, a rollercoaster full of twists and turns, and even sometimes a box of chocolates. Nate may get competitive, but maybe that’s how you operate contests, too.
3 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of read – Big Nate on a Roll is a great and invigorating entry into the series, full of humor, action, and plenty of surprises as well. Although the first time I read this book it felt empty at first, I continued reading on and I only rekindled with that feeling every once in a while. That means not all the time. Although this might be more than violent than past entries, it is definitely that one entry in the Big Nate as-of-now trilogy that lifted the series from the rubble and debris of its disasters and gently washed it off until it was clean. Weird metaphor, huh? I remember when I said in the finale of my last Big Nate review: “Hopefully, Lincoln can try again in his third book, which is already in production, due to release this August [I released the post by May ’11, so book 3 hadn’t arrived yet]. Maybe he’ll take back the innovation and get serious this time.” Well, past and modern Sams, you got your wishes.
4 out of 5 – Violence – This book has a baffling amount of violence. Nate mishandles a fake wooden sword and accidentally decapitates a garden gnome with it. One of Nate’s friends, Chad, is shown slamming into a wall via wirework during a play. In one illustration, Teddy and Francis [having come back from a scout camping trip] are in bad shape, Francis’ face swollen with hornet swings, and Teddy about to barf. Nate draws up a newcomer’s comic about a stuntman named Moe Mentum (get it?) that breaks sixteen of his bones, punctures one of his lungs, and has five heart attacks, all in one stunt. Another one of Nate’s comics about our favorite medical misfit Doctor Cesspool, along with his rival Dr. Arch Enemy and fellow nurse Maureen Biology (obviously a play on “marine biology”), shows Cesspool accidentally botching a man while performing surgery on him, putting his foot where his hand should be and his hand where his foot should be. A woman that Nate tries to sell this to is greatly disturbed by this fact. On a camping trip, Nate’s dad accidentally sets up everyone in sight to be skunk-sprayed. Nate pats himself on the back by making a comic about the super-heroic version of himself (Ultra-Nate), and he saves Jenny moments before a truck passes by. Spitsy the dog dive-attacks Nate and begins licking and slobbering all over him. A drop of stray paint lands in Nate’s eye, and he blindly crashes into a ladder that Artur is standing on, causing the two to fall onto the floor. Later, Nate gets caught in an incident where he skates right into an outstretched dog leash. Nate also makes the bad decision of tying Spitsy’s leash to his belt, as Spitsy drags him helplessly dead-on into a tree. And I don’t think I’m even finished with it all.
1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Nate’s still trying to win Jenny’s heart, although for the first time that’s only minor in the book. The final panel of Nate’s camp comic shows everyone in their underwear (including the male adults) in the lake, washing off skunk smell.
2 3/4 out of 5 – Product Placement – Big Nate 3 doesn’t state much direct brand names, and although a competition’s prizes include a build-a-robot kit, a telescope, and a custom skateboard, there is nothing product-placing except the fact that Big Nate 3 belongs to a famous children’s book series.
Entertainment: B+ (3.5 points)
Fun: B+ (3.5 points)
Smarts: B (3 points)
Style: A (4 points)
Read-Again Ratio: B (3 points)
Humor: A- (4 points)
FINAL SCORE: 21 out of 30 (…), 3 1/2 stars out of 5, 81% out of 100%
CONSENSUS: Big Nate on a Roll is the perfect apology to Peirce’s previous failure, bringing back all the good hijinks and heartwarm, but with some trip-ups stuck in the vat, Peirce’s series may not be risen from its rubble completely after all.
Comment, rate, like, share, do this one new thing called “reblogging”, and draw on the subscribe button’s face, and a leprechaun will show up at your house and give you gold. I know, a bit too late for St. Patty’s references, isn’t it? Well, come back next Monday and I’ll have something perty good for you!
– Sam 😉
This week’s Would You Rather o’ The Week (weekly “Would You Rather”s to conclude every post) is: “WOULD YOU RATHER…be the protagonist in a terrible movie, or have a minor role in an amazing movie?” 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 wt
It’s been a long time since an online game as addictive & immersive as Glitch reared its angelic head. But now, finally, another one of those games has been shared with the public world, one just as beautiful, diverse, and fluid as Glitch, one that definitely builds upon its predecessor. The “threequel” of a wildly successful and silly online game saga, this game has taken its fancy-pant-wearing hero to newly epic proportions never seen before in his history. What’s all the hub-bub about? In this gripping episode, you’re going to find out.
If you remember one of my old posts back in 2010’s days, you’d remember the time when I excitedly blabbed about the announcement of the upcoming World 3 (or at least, all we have of it, the real release date is TBA) in the Fancy Pants Adventures trilogy, the obvious follower of World 2. I rambled on about its debuts of distinguishable toppings to the sundae, including swimming and water-related levels, the introduction of Fancy Pants Man’s sister and her cat, pencil combat, and lots more. Now, you can’t believe the excitement I had when right here, right now, the sneak peek, the closest we can get to World 3, has come, and it’s not just the most beautiful game in the trilogy. It’s one of the most breathtaking online games I’ve ever played, hands down, deal is done. If you think Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the best adventurer’s game you’ve played, wait till you see this.
Fancy Pants Man clearly proves that stunning visuals, marvelous gameplay, catchy tunes, and proficient, solid distinguishes really do add up for one of the best experiences you’ve seen. Enemies have a bit more smarts in the game now: the gun-wielding rat (or, as I like to call him, the “gunmouse” *ba dum CRASH*) can now aim his gun in different directions, a new miner headlight-bearing spider is smart enough to safely land on surfaces below him, blabbity blabbity bloo. I’ve been waiting a long time to tell you about my favorite part of this game: the swimming levels. Whether it’s for a task or just a visit to the wonderland of wetness, the swimming levels are by far the most beautiful aspects of the game, mixed with its equally beauteous music. I kept repeating quotes like “It’s so beautiful”, “I feel like I’m gonna cry”, or “(too sucked in to say much)” while I was swimming through the waters. You could also do lots of stuff like “surf” on the surface of the water, push off of undersea surfaces and fly gracefully into the water, and more. If this is how Michael Phelps practiced for the Olympics, it’s no surprise he’s a multi-gold-medalist. Definitely a game I’m proud to have on my Chrome homepage, and definitely one I’ll come back to and enjoy all over again.
1 out of 5 – Educational value – Your brain does get tested a bit in timed challenges, and maybe getting from place to place requires a bit of logic, but the game is mainly an entertainer, not an educator.
2 3/4 out of 5 – Positive messages – Fancy Pants Man has had a past of heroism, dueling against agitated penguins and bunnies, all for a good cause that some things are worth journeying and fighting for, like peace and love, or an ice cream cone. The new introduction of multiplayer on the consoles are definitely worth saying that “Four is better than two, let alone two being better than one.”
5 out of 5 – Ease of play – The controls are easy to grasp: left and right to move, down to duck, and S to jump. Jump onto a wall to begin wall-climbing, and with just enough momentum, speed, and time you might end up wall-jumping from building to building (Jump & direction to do so). These controls work well and are etched into the game appropriately.
3 1/2 out of 5 – Violence – There are rats that wield pistols that will attempt to shoot at Fancy Pants Man (but the fired “bullets” look more like balls of scribble), as well as spiders that will attempt to cause harm to our hero. FP Man can retaliate by jumping onto them, making them now able to kick, which is what he can also do to snails. When FP Man loses his health, he will fall to the ground, and his angelic soul will rise.
2 out of 5 – Product Placement – World 3 is the third of a very successful and popular online game trilogy called Fancy Pants Adventures made by Brad Borne (who also went on to make Mirror’s Edge 2D), and you can find the games pretty much anywhere from Armor Games to Newgrounds.
Whatever I just mentioned above.
Little to strive for means that you’re just running around for nothing.
Fun: A+ (5 pts)
Entertainment: A+ (5 pts)
Style: A+ (5 pts)
Smarts: A (4.5 pts)
Play-Again Ratio: A+ (5 pts)
Gameplay: A+ (5 pts)
FINAL SCORE: 29.5 out of 30 (you’ve gotta be kidding me), 5 stars out of 5, 94% out of 100%
CONSENSUS: A beautiful, fluid, and atmospheric entry into the series, the World 3 sneak peek is not just the most immersive, beautiful, and solid entry into the series; it’s simply one of the most breathtaking online games created.
Now, as the title says, we’re not finished quite yet. Fancy Pants Man may have embarked on a beauteous journey, but that doesn’t mean his minutes in heaven are over. Fancy Pants Man is going predictably where no online game hero has gone before; the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Arcade. It may not be World 3 (perhaps the origin of a devolution), but the console game will include a 2-4 player mode, pencil combat just as World 3 promised, and a fresh batch of new levels, as well as the ones from World 1 and 2. Similar to Limbo, the console version’s story will be about FP Man’s journey through pirates and pencils in order to save his pirate-kidnapped sister. There might also be, according to footage, a “king of the hill” mode in the game, and if you still don’t believe me, check out this trailer.
Now are you excited? The game is actually out as we speak, rated E for mild cartoon violence, and the full game costs a whopping price of 800 Microsoft points, while the trial is free, but not real. Almost 20,000 people have given it a 4-star rating on Xbox.com, and 600 people have taken the time to Like on Facebook. And remember the game’s catchy motto: “Run fast, run fancy.”
Subscribe, rate, like, com—oh, come on, do I really have to tell you what to do every time? This blog’s been alive for almost 2 years!
– Sam 😀
p.s. Giants or Patriots? The Super Bowl’s only two days away!
Hey guys it’s Sam, and apparently it’s a fun tradition to keep track of what you’re doing in a specific year, on a specific day, at a specific time. What do these all have in common?…The same basic number. YouTuber JLC released a video asking what we were doing on September 9, 2009 (9/9/09) at 9:09 pm. So now, what will you be doing on November 11, 2011?
These two movies will be hitting theaters today, on 11/11/11. At the time of 11:11, I’m not so sure. The first movie is a biographical dramatic kind called J. Edgar, based on the real J. Edgar Hoover, the first-ever director of the FBI. (Leonardo DiCaprio is starring as Hoover, the first time he’s portrayed a real-life person since 2004’s The Aviator.) The movie focuses on Hoover’s career onward since the Palmer Raids of 1919-1920, including an examination of his private life. Sadly, most critics have been turning their thumbs down to this movie, saying that it lacked coherence.
The next movie is Immortals. Did you think Clash of the Titans was too cheesy? Try this. Years after the 10-year battle of the Titanomachy, King Hyperion declares war against humanity. He searches for the Epirus Bow, a legendary weapon created by the war god Ares (you’d know him if you read Percy Jackson more often) which allows Hyperion to free the remaining Titans from Tartarus and take revenge on the Olympians who brought their downfall. But the thing is, ancient laws prohibit gods siding in war between Hyperion and humanity, so it’s up to only Theseus to save the gods and the day.
Here’s a list of things I did today:
- Finish my hot-off-the-presses Captain Rubber superhero comic prequel.
- Sit out in the hall while everyone inside watched Soul Surfer. Hey, with a couple books and some drawing supplies, you can kill time way more beneficially than watching a cheesy based-on-a-true-story movie!
- Check out these specific books at the school library: The Loser List, Bone: The Great Cow Race, The Curse of the Campfire Weenies, and The Mysterious Cheese Thief.
- Start working on my book-0′-drawings, Sam’s Epic Book of Drawings!!!: A Book of Epic Proportions. When I finish it, I ode to give a copy to each bearing heart who reads this!
- Go outside at school for the first snowy recess of the 2011-2012 school year. And surprisingly, the snow just vanished just like *that*!
- …And many other epic things!
Anyway, I predict that I’ll be cruising in our family room like every usual Friday night at 11:11 pm tonight. Anyway, what will you be doing today, on November 11, 2011 at 11:11 pm? Post your comments below! Check out this sweet new Nintendo Power I’ll probably be bringing with me at 11:11 pm!
Wanna take a sneak peek at it so you won’t be entirely jealous? Not only did this version of Star Power focus on Pikmin‘s Captain Olimar, but this issue’s version of The Score, stated the following facts:
- 78% of people (56% more than all the other percentages COMBINED) agreed that Dr. Mario (released in July 1990) is the doctor they would trust to treat them. Other competitive doctor nominees were Dr. Light (Mega Man), Dr. Robotnik (Sonic the Hedgehog), and Dr. Crygor (Wario).
- 8 out of 10 of people have stabbed their friend in the back during co-op. What mean people!
- 36% of people believe that the Robotic Operating Buddy of the NES (R.O.B.) would be chosen to help out around their homes. Impressive, but very lazy.
- 54% more people believe that sequels (77%) are better than prequels (23%).
- People believe that Mario Kart‘s style of racing should be turned into real life.
- More people prefer fully orchestrated video game music, instead of 8-bit bleeps and bloops, rock music, and electronic dance beats.
- People believe that Star Fox‘s Falco Lombardi wouldn’t be such of a grump if he dated Sonic‘s Amy Rose. Sorry, Birdo (Mario), Candy Kong (Donkey Kong), and Splash Woman (Mega Man 9), your man is taken.
- 58% more people believe that players should set their game difficulty (79%) instead of being measured against the same one (21%).
– Sam M.
Hey guys it’s Sam and I have some great news coming out for ya! It’s incredibly big, and it happened just yesterday. Yep, it’s pretty darn recent. It’s already the talk of the town now. Here are some good hints for ya: Big…electronic…gladiatorial…Daft Punk!
That’s right, fans. The science-fictional must-see of the decade is now on DVD, Blu-Ray, and even digital download! Also, a 5-disc box-set called The Ultimate Tron Experience contains the digital, Blu-Ray, DVD, and Blu-Ray 3D copies of the movie, alongside the 80s predecessor itself, Tron: The Original Classic in collectible packaging. The Tron 2-Movie Collection also has all this but not in collectible packaging. There’s also a 4-disc box set also produced with the Blu-Ray 3D. Also, Tron Legacy is packaged as a 2-disc combo pack with DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as the single-disc DVD version. It will be released as a digital download in high-def or standard-def including editions with or without the extras.
And, one thing else. Do you all love Disney XD? Zeke and Luther, Kick Buttowski, stuff like that? You’re probably asking me, “Sam, why are you talking about Disney XD when Tron Legacy is on DVD?” Well, viewer(s), I’m talking about this subject because a preview of the 10-part animated series, Tron Uprising (coming soon to Disney XD), is featured in the home media release! I bet THAT’S the answer to your question, hmm?
Another bonus piece in the Blu-Ray editions is The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed, explaining what happened after the end of Tron Legacy, A maybe like an epilogue. Disney Second Screen is also alongside the piece. The movie will become the 2nd Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release in Disney Second Screen, a feature accessed through a computer or iPad app download that adds additional content as the user watches the movie.
Are you pumped for Tron Legacy NOW? Find DVD or Blu-Ray copies at your local store, like Best Buy or something! Go figure.