Thursday, July 30, 2009

Savage Orochi Apocalypse

If you read one of my first entries (the one about the origins of anime), you may recall that, in ancient Japan, before all that samurai shit went down, the gods fought each other and giant monsters for fun and profit (before they realized they weren't getting paid enough). Well, nothing captures the spirit of that epic era like the historically accurate film, Orochi: The Eight-Headed Dragon. Created by Toho (the guys who brought you Godzilla, of course), it combines hardcore swordplay between the gods with awesome magic and badass monsters. It starts out with the birth of twin sons to the emperor of a kingdom in Japan. For some reason, twins are always a bad sign, as one of them will be good, while the other will be evil. Actually, I looked into my future and saw that I will have twin sons: Jesus Alexander, who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity, and Barabas Judas Priest, who will bring that society to it's knees with fire and blood. The two of them will have a climactic battle atop a mountain of charred bones and kill each other in the end, leaving a new Earth in their wake and bringing balance to some kind of... force - I don't know. Anyway, the emperor's wizard says that one of the sons will become evil and must be destroyed. Guess what? Turns out the "bad son" is the hero and the wizard is working on some plot to bring back an evil god to Earth. So the wizard drops the baby off of a cliff to it's supposed death, but a metal phoenix swoops down, saves the baby, and takes it to the luxurios Ise Shrine and Resort. There, the boy is hand fed by the most large breasted women they could find in Japan (finding them was not an easy task) until he is 18 (then, he has sex with them). Actually, he's just raised by a shrine priestess and two mystical guardians. When he reaches a ripe age, his father decides to forgive him for the crimes against humanity that haven't even happened yet. Our hero returns to his family just in time for the wizard to kill his mother and distrustful twin brother and then blame it all on him. Of course, the emperor cannot just up and kill his son. So he sends his son on a suicide mission to defeat the warlord of a barbarian nation. Not only does he defeat the warlord, but he meets this pretty girl and saves her from being sacrificed to some magma monster. He then begins to realize his true destiny as a warrior of the gods (kami no senshi - just like me) and must stop the coming of this evil god that the wizard is bringing about. All the while, the hero is being attacked by a sea monster, getting graphically stabbed in the neck by his mother, and having his girl turn into pixie dust to save him. After meeting with the famed god of storms, Susano-o, he claims the power he needs and brings his girl back to life. They then go to the moon to fight the dark god. First, they have an awseome sword, eye-laser fight. Then the dark god turns into Orochi, a massive eight-headed dragon that has the power to destroy Earth. After flying around on the metal phoenix and stabbing the monster in one of it's heads, our hero kicks it into overdrive and turns into a giant metal guardian and destroys Orochi, sending the dark god back into deep space. Let's just say this movie is awesome. If only there were some naked breasts in this film, it would be perfect. To whet your appetite, here's the battle with the magma creature. (Update: someone took the video off.  You'll just have to watch the movie.  I need to start recording my own videos.) Now if only Orochi was a boss monster in the Godzilla: Save the Earth video game, that would be fucking awesome. Kaiser out

Monday, July 27, 2009

Random Japanese - あらゆる月曜日

Nothing says weird like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Japanese commercial, so here's three of them.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Steel Panther's New Video

Since Steel Panther got first runner-up in my running for my favorite hair metal band, I decided to do a consolation prize. So here's their new music video - "Community Property." Steel Panther Community Property Explicit Version

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Favorite Hair Metal Band

I'm gonna be honest with you - I was never a big fan of hair metal, not even back in the day. I didn't listen to Mötley Crüe or Poison. Skid Row was "okay." I did listen to Slaughter, though. And Winger, well... Winger just sucks. So why am I posting about my favorite hair metal group? Because any group from that sub-genre of hard rock that truly gets my attention has to have a couple of things down: 1. They have to be talented - not just the guys who play the instruments, but the lead singer. I have to like their voice. A lot of these bands falter on that one. 2. Their songs have to have a good hook. Hair metal was a commercial thing in the late '80s to early '90s, so the music had to grab me. 3. Most importantly, the band has to be full of hot chicks. If a band's members are going to tease their hair and put on make-up, they better damn well not be dudes. Fortunately, a band called Vixen fills all those categories nicely. They were talented ladies who played great music to rock out to, they had a great look (they were fucking hot in their tight pants, mini skirts, studded bustiers and what not), and the lead singer (boy, was she smokin') had a great voice. Of course, in a male dominated music industry (dominated by men who put make-up on), a band full of women can only go so far. They didn't achieve the fame that Mötley Crüe or Poison had, but they kept up with some of the other hair metal bands of the day (such as Slaughter, which ascribed more to the "grass-roots" philosophy of replacing all the make-up with denim clothing that came about in the early '90s - a better choice, in my opinion). So if you've never heard of Vixen, here's a little schoolin' for ya. This video wasn't the point where they truly broke out onto the big scene (that was "Edge of a Broken Heart"), but it did help cement their place. It's also one of my favorites from them. If you're wondering why I didn't mention Steel Panther in this, well, they're great - hell, they're fucking hilarious, but they're more of a respectful parody of the genre. They are hair metal, but they weren't from the era. Plus, there's no hot chicks in the band. There are some in the videos, which nets them points, but not enough to put them at the top. Sorry, guys. Kaiser out

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Random Weirdness - Slightly Late Because My Internet is a Steaming Pile of Fuck

Ever since I bought The State on DVD, I've been on a kind of kick. Last time, we went to see them "do it." This time, it's monkey torture.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Savage Monster Island Apocalypse

So here we go. If you want to play some awesome kaiju action, there's no better choice than Firefly Games' Monster Island. This isn't actually an RPG, per se, but it does use a simplified version of the Action! RPG rules from Gold Rush Games. This is a very simple miniatures game, where you can play a kaiju (or in other supplements, a human army or an alien invasion force) and knock the crap out of other kaiju (or army or invasion force). The simplified rules make this an easy game to pick up and play, after making you kaiju (or army, etc.), all you need are some d6s, and something to represent terrain and your character. The core book actually suggests two ways of doing this: you can either pull out a battle mat and use the figure cutouts provided in the book, using the grid or hex squares for movement and range, or you can, if you have them, grab any toys that would look good as a kaiju (for instance, I have collectable action figures of Godzilla, Voltron, Great Mazinger, Kamen Rider, and the original Megazord from Power Rangers - there's even a two headed dragon I've had since I was four that would work well) and use some random things around the house, such as felt cutouts, salt and pepper shakers, boxes of Hamburger Helper (Beef Stroganoff is the best), as terrain. Then grab a tape measure to gague distance for movement and range. While I can appreciate the "off the cuff" method of the second option, I prefer using the battle mat and miniatures. It just makes everything easier to manage. While the core book is plenty enough to get some kaiju brawling going on, there are supplements that expand on the carnage. Each supplement adds new powers for kaiju as well as expanded rules. In Escape from Monster Island, you can create your own human armies, complete with soldiers, artillery, scientists, and maser tanks (the ones that have a huge ass satellite dish that shoots concentrated electromagnetic energy). In Invasion of Monster Island, you can create your own invasion fleet of aliens, complete with mothership. Then there's Revenge of Monster Island, which expands on all the different factions, as well as rules for combat, terrain, and movement and a background of that hotbed of kaiju action, Tokyo. With all the options this game provides, you can have one hell of a battle, but I did notice something. If you only have two players, things can get pretty frustrating. Say you play a kaiju who has a radioactive blast attack (like Godzilla), but the kaiju you're up against not only can hit you with his blast attack, but is immune to yours (Immunity is one of the powers a kaiju can take). Basically, your blast attack is useless and you're most likely going to lose. That's where things can be a pain in the ass. There are two solutions to this: either create a roster of kaiju for you to select from and pay attention the the kaiju your opponent is playing, or have more people join in the fight for a multiplayer throwdown ala Destroy All Monsters. Personally, I recommend both. Two player fights can easily get one sided and more players means more carnage - everybody wins! The books have their own sample kaiju to use, but it's much more fun to make your own. I turned the Abdominal Snowman into a kaiju. I just gave him the Amulet of Dai'kithu and watched him grow. His six-pack looks more like a fleet of beer trucks now. If anyone wants to use him in all his abdominal glory, here's his stats:  

Abdominus, the 100 foot Yeti of Doom! A 45 point kaiju Attributes Strength - 8 Reflexes - 8 Health - 8 Mind - 2 Life - 40 Evade - 18 Toughness (including Armor power) - 13 Daze - 10 Move - 8 Damage - 4d6 Powers Armor (Invincible Abs) - 5 Clinging (can climb vertical surfaces) Entagle (Ice Breath) - 4 Food Source (can eat people to increase powers) Immunity (Cold) Swimming - 1

So, if you want to pick up the Monster Island game, go to the Firefly Games website. You'll find the core book (both in .pdf and print) and the supplements, including gazetteers for some of the major US cities, in their Catalog and a couple of freebies in Product Support. I better get going. Abdominus is having too much fun doing belly flops on city hall. Kaiser out

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The State on DVD

If you ever watch the Random Weirdness videos I post up here, then you may have seen that some of them come from the same source - Fried Bumblebees, The Mailman Who Delivers Tacos, Louie at the Last Supper ("I wanna dip my balls in it"). All of these skits come from a comedy show known as The State. Now, unless you watched MTV in the '90s (and not just for Beavis and Butthead), you may not know who they are. Whereas Beavis and Butthead was pretty much stupid humor (it was fucking hilarious, though), The State was more off-kilter sketch comedy, similar to The Kids in the Hall (another '90s comedy group) or even Monty Python (if Monty Python were all in flannel and had licensed songs playing throughout the show). Actually, all three of these shows had a lot in common: Strange situations, bizarre twists that came from out of nowhere, and, of course, cross-dressing. If you can't remember the show, you may remember some of the people that came from it, because a lot of them went on to do other comedy shows, most notably, Reno 911. For years, fans of The State have been clamoring for a DVD release of the show, and they took their damn sweet time with it, but it's finally here. Today, they released the entire series of The State on DVD. Surprisingly, there weren't as many episodes to the show as I remember. Then again, MTV kept playing reruns of the show over and over again before releasing a new season. The series only has three discs worth of content (Edit: I'm sorry. Did I say three discs? I meant five), but the guys from The State made sure that they crammed those motherfuckers with extras, including skits never before seen on TV (and uncensored, I'd wager). So, if you fondly remember this Gen-X comedy show, you owe it to yourself to pick this up. For those who don't have it yet, how about we go watch the monkeys do it? By the way, I'll bring you the Kaiju tabletop gaming goodness I promised next time. Kaiser out

Monday, July 13, 2009

Random Weirdness - Every Monday

IT'S CHRISTMAS IN JULY! And jolly ole' St. Kaiser's got something really special for all the awesome boys and girls: TIME TRAVELING DISCO ELVES!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Savage Voltron Monsterpocalypse!

From days of long ago... From uncharted regions of the universe... comes a TV show that can kick all your asses combined! Any self-respecting kid from the mid '80s knew that Voltron was fucking awesome. It had everything we needed in a show: giant monsters, giant robots that combine to form an even bigger robot, cheesy dialogue (with cheesy voice acting), space mice (every show should have space mice), and an epic theme song (just try to get that song out of your head). Of course, what cartoon show worth it's salt doesn't have merchandise up the wazoo. Voltron toys were notoriously expensive, but fucking worth it. And I had every toy they came out with - I had the Lion Force Voltron, the Vehicle Force Voltron, the tiny Voltron figure with the digital clock in its chest, the dress-me-up Princess Allura doll... Okay, so I didn't have any of the toys. My mom was too poor. Still, I watched that damn show religiously. On the playground, we had these swings that were kind of designed like the frame of a cockpit (at least, to my imagination) and there were handlebars in front that you had to pump to swing higher. I always made my way to the black one (because I'll be damned if anyone else was going to be Keith - I was the leader and I got the bitches). I would be smashing Robeasts and forming blazing swords all throughout recess. To top it off, the show was "created" (I say that because it's really a severely edited version of Beast King GoLion) in St. Louis, about 30 miles away from my home. Of course, Voltron didn't always fire on all cylinders. The Vehicle Force Voltron wasn't as big a hit as Lion Force was. Which I can't say I remember much of Vehicle Force, so I'll hold any criticism until I've actually seen it. Then, there was Voltron: the Third Dimension - an updated 3D version. Let's not speak of that one, though. Plus, there's that live action movie that's supposed to be coming out. The Kaiser's prognosis on this one is not so good. Live action adaptations of cartoons are usually lame (anyone who plays the Transformers card should know that I thought the first one was "okay" and the second one was crap). Years later, they did what any good cartoon show in the '80s should do; they released the series on DVD. All of the Lion Force episodes are available and they're working on releasing the Vehicle Force episodes as well as the original Beast King GoLion (if you want to see the death and blood they censored out for American television). As I write this, Voltron is actually celebrating 25 years since its beginnings. And how do they celebrate? By coming out with Voltron figures for a collectible miniatures game. There's this game called Monsterpocalypse that puts the action of Kaiju battles onto your tabletop. Well the guys who made this game decided it would be really awesome if they made a Voltron expansion for the game. Obviously, they were right. Expect to see the Voltron expansion sometime next year. I don't really play Monsterpocalypse (I can't afford it - the irony), but I can definitely see myself buying the Voltron expansion when it comes out. By the way, here's the links for Voltron and Monsterpocalypse, if you want to check out more. Speaking of Kaiju miniatures games, there is one that I do know of that I like. I tell you more about that one next time. Kaiser out P.S. - I remember this unhygenically geeky girl trying to feed me this line of bullshit that Voltron was created from a hentai show and that Princess Allura was always getting raped by Prince Lotor. She said that they got the name of the show, Voltron, from a french vibrator. Yeah, that girl was retarded. Stupid bitch.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Random Weirdness - Every Monday

This short lapse of blogging is brought to you by POWERTHIRST - "uncomfortably energetic."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Games You Should Know About (But Probably Don't)

This time around, we look at a game that was released in the States in early 2009, but brings the nostalgia of hanging out with your friends around the warm glow of the NES. Not only that, but this game is based on of one of the best TV shows from Japan to yet hit Stateside. That show is Game Center CX (Which seems to be better known as Retro Game Master over here) and it is a must watch for old school gamers like me. The premise of the show focuses on Shinya Arino, a japanese comedian, playing video games from yesteryear, focusing primarily on Famicom (NES) games. He tends to play some of the harder games and challenges himself to either beat the game or accomplish a certain task within a certain time frame (usually, within a day). The show is also interspersed with other segments, such as interviews with people from the japanese gaming industry and visiting game stores and video arcades throughout Japan. It reminds me of the old video game shows I used to watch in late '80s (such as Video Power) before there was such a thing as G4 (Though it's not like G4 really does that anymore. Granted, Ninja Warrior is fucking awesome, but why the fuck do you feel the need to show Cheaters and Cops every two hours? Those shows suck.) Here's some footage from the show. He's playing Super Mario Bros. 2, which became known in the States as The Lost Levels. Anyway, the show is such a big hit in Japan (It's been running for 11 seasons!) that they made a DS game based on the show. It was released in America as Retro Game Challenge. In the game, you are sent back into the '80s by a virtual version of Arino and made to complete challenges to 8-bit games while you hang out with a young version of Arino. Which games do you play? Well, though they are supposed to be Famicom games, they are actually original creations. The only place you can play them is on Retro Game Challenge. The games range from shooters to racing games to a full-fledged RPG game. Believe it or not, these games are actually fun. I'm not a ginormous fan of Rally King, the racing game, but I do like it, as well as Cosmic Gate, a Galaga knock-off, Star Prince, a shooter more in line with Star Soldier, Robot Ninja Haggle Man, an arcade type platform action game that spawned two sequels, which Haggleman 3 plays more like Ninja Gaiden, and Guadia Quest, the anticipated RPG of the game. Each game has four challenges, which, when you accomplish all four, allows you to move on to the next game. The challenges are not really that hard, though. Usually, it involves getting to a certain level with some restriction. I actually breezed through most of it. The final challenge of Guadia Quest is taking some time for me to accomplish, as you have to beat the first boss monster in this dungeon which I haven't even reached yet. The game also features all the little details from playing those old games back in the day, like video game magazines and cheat codes for each of the games. In short this is my childhood wrapped up in a neat package and delivered right to my DS. There has already been a sequel put out in Japan, but XSEED games, the guys who localized the first game over here, may be passing on bringing the second one here, due to lackluster sales after the initial release of the first one. What does that mean? If you are an old school gamer, like me, and you don't own this game yet, GET OFF YOUR ASS AND BUY THIS, NOW! Also, Fuji Television, the TV company responsible for Game Center CX as well as the classic Iron Chef, are looking for international distributors for releasing the show on DVD. I certainly hope so. It would mean more old school goodness for us on the other side of the Pacific. I need to find out if there are petitions to see both the show and the second game come over here. Kaiser out