Just doing a quick post to direct you all to a review I have up on Bureau42.com for Full Metal Panic. The review can be found here. I’m going to be having 2 more reviews going up for Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, and Full Metal Panic: the Second Raid. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn this into a steady gig for them.

What does this mean for the blog? Well, I fully intend to keep updating the blog – Bureau42 is dedicated to science fiction and fantasy material, which means that a lot of the material I’ve been putting up right now (like wrestling recaps) would not fit there. Likewise, if I review any material that they’ve already reviewed, I’ll post those reviews here instead.

That said, Bureau42.com is a good site, and definitely worth your following, and I look forward to seeing comments from you there as well.

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My apologies for the delay between posts. My computer’s been down for a few weeks, but now it’s back up so now it’s time for a right proper recap, and I’ve got several events lined up – ya see, The G1 Climax tournament happened in NJPW earlier this month, and I’ve got a fair chunk of it (about 5 out of 7 days), so I’ll be recapping that, starting with Day 3, 8/13/2008 (I haven’t gotten all of Day 2, the 11th yet, and I’m missing Day 1, the 9th entirely).

Quick run-down: the G1 Climax is a round-robin tournament, divided into 2 blocks. The winner of each block faces the other in a 1-fall match. Whoever wins that match wins the tournament.
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Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.” – From The Phoenix In The Sword

(For the purposes of this review, I played the PS3 version of the game)

Conan is the kind of game that wants to be a fair number of things, but doesn’t necessarily do very well at a lot of them. The game places you in the furry boots of the titular barbarian, and not the one of the films, but of the original novels. The story begins with Conan raiding some distant tomb seeking treasure, and ultimately releasing a great evil that steals his armor. Being as Conan is not one to shrink from perils that he thinks he can handle, goes forth to defeat this evil.

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Rob Van Dam: One Of A Kind

Host: Josh Matthews.

Disk 1

We get a brief recap of RVD’s run in WCW. He’d already been wrestling in Florida for a year as Rob Van Dam before WCW hired him. At the time Bill Watts was the head booker, and didn’t like the “Rob Van Dam” name and wanted to use something different. As RVD had already gotten some mention in the wrestling press (I’m presuming Wrestling Observer and in Dave Metzler’s magazine) under the Rob Van Dam name he wanted to use something similar ultimately settling on the name Robbie V. Rob was apparently undefeated and didn’t particularly have any programs with anybody.

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I’m going to let you know right off the bat – this review contains spoilers. The game has been out for almost a year, so I’d say it’s pretty close to the Spoiler Statute Of Limitations.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, as the title would suggest, brings the franchise finally out of the European and North African theaters of World War II, and into the present day, or rather the not-so-distant-future, while maintaining the theme of prior installments, where they followed the conflict in question from multiple perspectives (previously the Russians, British, and Americans, now just the Americans). With the transition, the game adds a more cinematic approach, but cuts back on it’s length, for good and for ill.

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Well, I finished watching another movie, so I might as well write about it. This time it’s War – which those of you who are outside the US might know as Rogue Assassin. It’s a Jet Li – Jason Statham vehicle that’s pretty interesting, but it has some room for improvement.

Before I get started writing the review though, a quick rundown on my review scores and what they mean. I score on a 1-to-10 integer scale (no fractions of a point). 1 is the worst, 10 is the best. 2-3 is crap, but with one or two redeeming factors. 5 is meh or generally mediocre. 7 is good, but not fantastic.

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Date: March 20th, 1994
Location: Madison Square Garden
Commentary: Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Background notes: Lex Luger and Bret Hart became co-#1 contenders for the WWF Championship after they became the simultaneous final eliminations of the Rumble. Commissioner Jack Tunney ruled that both men would get a singles shot at then champion Yokozuna, with a coin toss deciding who got a shot first (Lex won). Further Bret had also been feuding with his brother, Owen, after a collision between Bret and Owen caused Owen to be eliminated at the Survivor Series the previous year. Other notable feuds were between Bam Bam Bigelow and (sigh) Doink the Clown, Randy Savage and Crush, and a feud between “HBK” Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon over who was the proper WWF Intercontinental Champion.

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The collapse of Enron is one of those incidents in business history that is certainly going to end up in the history books. The death of what appeared to be on of the strongest companies on the market changed the way the goverment, and the public, looks at business even more then the Dot Com Collapse did. The key here is, though, why? Why did Enron, which by all appearances was one of the strongest corporations on the stock market, collapse like a house of cards? That is the question that this documentary aims to answer.

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Well, I’ve just finished reading Charles Stross’s espionage horror book The Atrocity Archive, which contains both the titular book, as well as a semi-short story sequel, “The Concrete Jungle”. Overall, the book is a very enjoyable work of fiction for those interested in semi-Lovecraftian horror, dark bureaucratic comedy, and/or espionage fiction.

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“Doctor Who: The Sea Devils,” which features the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant is a pretty good serial, with some very nice costume and set design. It does, however, take a bit too long to get the ball rolling, and frankly has a bit of material that could likely have been cut out to shorten it. All in all, it does make for enjoyable viewing.

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Call me pretentious (“You’re Pretentious”) but I like Progressive Rock. I count Rush, The Moody Blues, Horslips, and Jethro Tull, and Pink Floyd among my favorite bands). I grew up on the middle 3, and picked up the former and latter up as I grew older. I saw Rush live in concert last year when they came to Portland to play the Clark County Amphitheater, and have watched Pink Floyd’s concert DVD Pulse. However, I had not yet seen Floyd’s most famous concert video – their performance in Pompeii, with their “classic” lineup, at least to American eyes and ears – Gilmour, Mason, Waters and Wright – most American listeners, especially nowadays, would be not be familiar with any Floyd’s earlier material with Syd Barrett; they’d be familiar with Barrett’s influence on the group, but they would not have actually listened to the band’s two albums with Barrett.

So now, thanks to the wonders of NetFlix, I have finally gotten around to watching the Pink Floyd Pompeii Performance, and I’d say it’s good. The DVD though, is a more than a bit of a mixed bag.

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In the first decade of the 21st century, the Video Games Industry has found itself facing a lot of political pressure from Washington DC, as well as the politicians of various state legislatures. The Hot Coffee controversy started a wave of game legislation against the game industry, with many states passing legislature to impede the sale of video games that contained violent content (the levels of violence being legislated against varied from state-to-state).

Rising up against this sea of foes, was the Entertainment Software Association, then lead by Doug Lowenstein. Thanks to the dues paid by member corporations, the ESA was able to file suit in multiple state courts to block the aforementioned laws, and in many cases get them declared unconstitutional. Further, as an outgrowth of the ESA’s sibling organization, the Entertainment Merchant’s Association (or EMA came the Entertainment Consumer’s organization, or ECA, lead by Hal Halpin, which sought to bring a voice for those who play video games and other electronic media, so that someone is fighting for them. Among one of the ECA’s first actions was to join with GamePolitics.com, a blog that tracked attacks against gaming in the public sector, from politicians, and from the news media.

The reason I’m bring up this melodramatic alphabet soup is that there is dissension in the ranks – specifically between the ECA, and the ESA – and the ECA didn’t start it.

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Wrestlemania VIII

Date: April 5, 1992
Location: The Hoosier Dome – Indianapolis, Indiana.
Our hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby The Brain Heenan.

A little background: “HBK” Shawn Michaels has finally, and dramatically, split off from The Rockers by super-kicking Marty Janetty through a plate-glass window during Brutus Beefcake’s talk-show segment, “The Barber Shop”. Also, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair jumped ship from WCW to the WWF, with the Big Gold Belt, and won the WWF Championship, ultimately leading to Randy Savage coming out of enforced retirement to try and win the belt back – well, that and the nekkid pictures of Miss Elizabeth that Flair said he had.

Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

  • WWF Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Shyster w/ Jimmy Hart)

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According to a news article at 1up.com, Tomonobu Itagaki is resigning from Tecmo and filing suit with his old company after the president of the company allegedly said he would not pay Itagaki a promised completion bonus for the game.

As someone who is a fan of the Dead or Alive games, as well as the Ninja Gaiden games, regret this turn of events a great deal. I hope that Itagaki’s lawsuit will result favorably for him. He is a talented game designer, and look forward to playing his future games. Also, I hope we don’t get a boycott in this case, at least not unless the lawsuit doesn’t go Itagaki’s way. If Itagaki wins, he’ll likely get paid his promised bonuses, as well as any promised royalties, and those will be decreased if there is a boycott. However, Itagaki loses, then would be the perfect time for gamers to vote with their wallets and take their money somewhere else.

Alternatively, rather then refusing to buy Tecmo games, this would be the perfect time, to show Tecmo just how much we enjoy Itagaki’s work. Rather then refusing to buy Tecmo games, instead, we only buy Itagaki’s games. All of them. And only the Tecmo games made by Itagaki. Have Itagaki make oodles of money for Tecmo showing two things.

  1. Itagaki is an asset that can make a lot of money for Tecmo, and thus they want him to work for them, and so they should reconcile.
  2. Itagaki is an asset that can make a lot of money for other companies, and so now that he’s on the market, they’ll want to hire him, so he gets a new job sooner.

Just my two bits.

Jackie Chan is one of my favorite comic actors out of the cinema of Hong Kong. He has, rightfully, been compared with Danny Kaye, with regards to his physical comic prowess. Having heard good things about the second film in the series, and having been amused by the first film, I popped this one on the ol’ NetFilix queue, and then promptly forgot about it. Well, having now bumped it to the top of the queue and given it a watch, I figure I might as well share my thoughts on the topic, particularly while I’m trying to expand the content of my blog to stuff that isn’t about wrestling.

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So, I’m getting started a Let’s Play thingie for Star Trek: Bridge Commander. Basically, if you’re unfamiliar with the way the concept works, a Let’s Play is where I play through an game, while taking a video or image record of my play, and then posting it for all to read and enjoy, and laugh at my failures and awe at my successes.

At the moment, my attempts to upload my gameplay to GameTrailers and GameVideos aren’t working as planned, so for the moment I’m uploading the videos to MegaUpload for download from there, so, without further ado –

Introduction: Wherein my Captain gets a bridge dropped on him, giving me a shot at the big chair.
Download Link

Episode 1: Wherein I learn the ropes from Captain Jean-Luc Picard, take on a few Romulan Warbirds, and can take comfort in the fact that my crew is actually competent at their jobs, so I can give them their orders and get out of the way, rather then having to micro-manage in traditional space-sim view, at least so far.

A little background coming in:

At the Four-Way Iron Man match for the Ring of Honor title (I still need to get that event, by the way), Low Ki came out with the win, and became the Ring of Honor World Champion. Coming into Unscripted I believe he’s gotten a few title defenses under his belt, before facing Xavier (who made it into the quarter-finals at Road To The Title before getting beat by Red).

However, the start of the show is going to be a tournament to crown the first ROH Tag Team Champions – and unlike Road To The Title, we’re actually going to crown the champions at this show!

On the one hand, it’s another tournament show, and as I’ve said before, Tournaments tend to be meh, just because of the nature of the format.

However, since this is a Tag Team tournament, the tag team part may work in the tournament’s favor. I’ll be keeping an eye on this as I watch the event. (more…)

Wrestlemania VII

The Time: March 24th, 1991
The Place: The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
The Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, to be joined by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, a couple of guest commentators.
The Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: Sgt. Slaughter (heel)
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) (faces)
  • WWF Intercontinetal Champion: “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (heel)
  • WWF Womens Championship: Inactive

Being that Wrestlemania is stateside again, we start off the show with a performance of “America The Beautiful,” this time by Willie Nelson. Jesse Ventura split ties for the WWF between the last Wrestlemania and this one, leading to Monsoon going with a series of Guest Commentators over the evening – sort of, we do get one color guy for most of the show, but we have a few guests pop in, like our first match of the evening – with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan on commentary.

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Wrestlemania VI

Location: The Skydome in Toronto, Ontario
Date: April 1, 1990.
Commentary: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura

Oh, my God, Jesse’s clean shaven! We go to the ring for the Canadian National Anthem, sung by Robert Goulet, and we’ve brought back the carts for this event too. (more…)

Wrestlemania V

I’m doing a few different things with this Wrestlemania recap. By this time Wrestlemania had become a big deal, as had Wrestlemania Debuts, so from here on I’ll be keeping track of Wrestlemania Debuts. A few people of note who debuted at Wrestlemanias prior to this: Bret Hart and “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania II, Ted DiBiase & The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania IV.

Prior to Wrestlemania V, the gold had gotten between the Mega Powers, with the two men’s egos both backstage and on screen colliding, leading to a heel turn by Savage. Furthermore, the Intercontinental Title, once held by Honky Tonk Man in his legendary title reign, was lost to the Ultimate Warrior in about 45 seconds, completely burying HTM. Finally, the Hart Foundation turned face, and turned on their former manager, Jimmy Hart. Furthermore, Ted DiBiase, after continually failing to win or buy the WWF Heavyweight Championship, decided to introduce his own belt instead – the diamond-encrusted Million Dollar Championship. Also, Demolition turned face when Mr. Fuji turned on them, instead siding with the tag team of the Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord).

Now, we come to April 2, 1989, and Wrestlemania V, again returning to Trump Plaza at Atlantic City. Leading us in, singing “America The Beautiful” is WWF Women’s Champion, Rockin’ Robin. While she works her way through the song the song, let’s think for a moment. Rockin’ Robin is the WWF Women’s Champion. She’s not defending the belt. She is, however, singing “America The Beautiful” which has previously been sung by Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.

Our hosts this evening are once again Jesse “The Body” Ventura on color commentary and Gorilla Monsoon doing Play-by-play announcing, as we go to our opening match. (more…)

After Wrestlemania III, Andre stayed heel, but changed his loyalties from the camp of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan to the corporation of wrestler and manager “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. Meanwhile, Randy Savage turned face and gained as a close friend and ally Hulk Hogan, forming the Mega Powers. Additionally, Ricky Steamboat lost the IC title to Honky Tonk Man, and the Hart Foundation lost the belts to Strike Force (made up of Tito Santana and Rick Martel).

Now, prior to Wrestlemania IV, in a stunning upset, Andre beat Hogan, winning the WWF Heavyweight title, ending Hogan’s 3+ year reign. In an even bigger swerve for the time, Andre turned around and sold the title to Ted Dibiase. However, coming to the rescue was Jack Tunney, WWF Commissioner, who declared the title change invalid and vacated the title. The new WWF champion would be determined at a Wrestlemania IV in a tournament.

I’ve already given my thoughts on tournaments, with my ROH “Road to the Title” review, and I’ve already mentioned there that they tend to suck, by the nature of the setup – since the wrestlers have to hold back to avoid burning out. That said, “Road to the Title” only got ***. Wrestlemania III, which had Steamboat vs. Savage, only got *** because of the crappy undercard. Yeah. This is going to suck – and I’m all out of booze.

So, kick back and relax, because there’s schadenfreude ahead. (more…)

Wrestlemania III

As of Wrestlemania III, our champions coming in were

  • WWF World Champion: Hulk Hogan – still champion without any breaks in his reign.
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: “Macho Man” Randy Savage – Randy (which I failed to note in my Wrestlemania II review) won the belt through shenangans involving then-referee Danny Davis.
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Bret “Hitman” Hart) – managed by “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. The Hart Foundation won the belts from the British Bulldogs through shenanigans involving ref Danny Davis. The two aforementioned incidents lead to Danny being suspended as a referee for “Life + 10 years” (kayfabe) with Danny becoming a heel wrestler, managed by Jimmy Hart.
  • WWF Woman’s Champion: Fabulous Moolah.

Also, the feuds of note, coming in.

  • Hercules and Billy Jack Hayes got in a feud over the Full Nelson, with the dispute being over which wrestler was better than the other at performing the hold.
  • Harley Race won the first King of the Ring tournament, started calling himself “King Harley Race” and started demanding that wrestlers bow to him. Junkyard Dog refused, this lead to a Loser Must Bow match between the 2.
  • After taking a leave of absence for a movie, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper found that Piper’s Pit had been replaced by Adrian Adonis’s “Flower Shop” Segment. Piper trashed the set, restarted the pit, and became embroiled in a feud with Adonis and his manager, Jimmy Hart.
  • Last, but certainly not least – in a surprising shock, Andre The Giant turned heel, aligning himself with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and with Andre attacking Hogan, ripping off his shirt and crucifix necklace.

Anyway, this year the event is being held at the Pontiac Silverdome, and, if I recall correctly, introduced the chariot thingies that would be used to carry wrestlers to the ring, rather then having to walk the long distance from the entrance area to the ring. Vince McMahon is in the ring, wearing his Mandelbrot Set tuxedo again, to introduce us to Wrestlemania 3 and introduce Aretha Franklin, who perform’s “America The Beautiful.” (more…)