Archive for the ‘Potpourri’ Category

It’s Flicky Time

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

(The Flicky lack-of-updates apology broadcast system is TM and (c) Kevin Gifford of Magweasel Enterprises.)

Hello! Apologies for the month-and-a-half of no updates here. One thing that I’ve noticed is that I’m less motivated to write during the summer, when the temperature breaks 100 degrees Fahrenheit down here in Texas.

I’m also much, much less motivated to do so without a working air conditioner. This was not a good month.

I’ve still got a lot to talk about here, though, and now that I’ve got a new air conditioner and indoor temperatures have dropped below 80 degrees, I can finish up some stuff I’ve had brewing. Thanks for your patience!

Dog Police, Part 2

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Upon further inspection, I’ve discovered that the entire album featuring the single “Dog Police” — which, you’ll remember, is called Dog Police, and is performed by the band Dog Police — is available for purchase from Amazon.

I can’t quite make myself commit to a purchase, but the samples Amazon provides are nothing short of incredible. It’s like Mark E. Smith kidnapped Thomas Dolby and forced him to make music for robots.

Sample lyric: “Is he a lawyer or a coroner? Stirrin’ eggs, pokin’ meat. Makin’ sure it’s hot, for us to eat.”

Also: “I’ve got this passion for the doggie fashion (He’s got the passion for the doggie fashion)”

I’m mainly posting this to confirm my own sanity, since nobody seems to have any record of the Dog Police TV pilot existing, and all of these songs could very well be the product of my own imagination. Surely someone else can hear them too?

Anyway, I promise to make this my last Dog Police-related post unless there is a significant new development. Maybe I should get the Fish Police on the case. Or Poochinski.

The Horror of 3-D Bomberman

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Over at Magweasel, Kevin Gifford posted up a neat video of the world’s very first Bomberman game (titled “Bomber Man”) for the MSX and PC-8801 home computer system.

Load up that video, and skip to the four-minute mark.

What you see is an MSX and Sharp X1 sequel called 3-D Bomberman. As Gifford notes — and I assure you he is not exaggerating — the game is god damn terrifying.

Imagine that you’re a Japanese kid in the early 1980s. You’ve saved up enough allowance money to buy a sequel to one of your favorite games, Bomber Man. You pay your 4,000 yen or whatever through mail order, and six to eight weeks later, it arrives in the mail late in the afternoon.

Your parents are insistent that you finish your homework before playing the game. But you’re so far behind on your work — possibly because you’ve spent the past six to eight weeks daydreaming in class about 3-D Bomberman — that it ends up taking you the rest of the day to complete your math worksheets. By the time you’re finished, you’ve already eaten dinner and it’s time for bed.

Late at night, unable to sleep, you sneak out of bed and quietly boot up your MSX to play 3-D Bomberman.

Instantly, your anticipation turns to dread. The spartan graphics and minimalist sound effects conspire to make you feel terror like you’ve never felt before in your young life.

The game’s mechanics are foreign and confusing. Walls surround you at every turn. You run through a long hallway, only to be trapped in a corner at the end. You place a bomb to destroy the wall and run several paces back, aware that any mistake will bring your life to a quick end.

Your computer monitor provides the only light in your room. The game’s inescapable mazes are all that you can see. Outside, the crickets have stopped chirping. You sense something is wrong. In the game, you hear a faint beeping noise, and then —

You are dead.

How Dog Police Changed Gaming Forever

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

“80’s video about the dog police,” this video’s description reads. “pure gold.”

I agree. Since I was informed of its existence a couple of years back, I’ve tried to introduce as many people as possible to the glory that is the song “Dog Police,” by the band Dog Police, off the album Dog Police.

Results have been mixed. Some people have loved it. Some have reacted to it by simply screaming for three minutes. Still others forget it exists until months later, when the chorus suddenly lodges itself in their heads while they’re mowing the lawn, after which it proceeds to loop morning, noon, and night for many days straight.

The Dog Police are wondrous creatures, for sure. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I found out that they were the stars of a television pilot featuring goddamn Adam Sandler of all people.

Yes, the song’s in there too, in slightly modified form. Why the change? Well, a helpful YouTube comment (something that by all means should not exist) points out that the original Dog Police lyrics totally rip off The Electric Company’s “Spider-Man.” And…well, yeah. Actually, they do.

(It’s worth noting that the television adaptation takes liberties with long-established Dog Police canon by giving the Dog Police psychic powers. Also, they’re from outer space. The Dog Police themselves have since described the show as taking place in an alternate universe, explaining any discrepancies.)

But I’m getting off track. My point in all this? Listen to the voice they gave the narrator, Bowser, and tell me if it doesn’t sound a little familiar.

Now consider that Bowser is a dog detective with a voice similar to Sam Spade’s. He wears a coat, a tie, and a jaunty hat.

I’m just saying, is all.

Sam & Max creator Steve Purcell claims that he came up with the characters in his childhood, but these memories could very well have been secretly implanted by the Dog Police. This is the truth I choose to believe, anyway. It’s unknown what role McGruff the Crime Dog plays in the conspiracy, as he and the Dog Police came into existence at almost the exact same time. Hmm.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Dog Police, check your local library, or buy the MP3 single from Amazon. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.

Poll: 75% of 1UP Users Misread “Title of Comment” as “Type ‘Meh’ Here”

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I have no feelings on the issue either way, but it’s not like I can just read a news story on the Internet without offering my thoughts on it. So, to my many fans and followers who eagerly await my every opinion, no matter how trivial, noncommittal, or nonexistent, I give unto you: meh.

Bonus points to the guy who was “meh” enough on the situation to give a precise sales prediction down to the hundreds. I can’t wait for Michael Pachter’s next industry analysis piece, “Who Will Win This Console Generation? Meh.”

40,000 Glasses of Whisky Later, Space Invaders Was Born

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

If there’s one thing I like about Taito, it’s their uncanny ability to explain things in terms that I can understand.