What I'm Doing Right Now

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Vault - 6 - Past Decade Reviews: Borderlands



















Game of the Year Edition

Title: Borderlands
Region: Americas
Genre: Role-Playing Shooter (RPS)
Stats: NTSC, 1080i HD, Subtitled, Cooperative Online Capabilities
Developer / Publisher: Gearbox Software, 2K Games
Released: 2009
Systems: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

List Price: $38.99 [BUY AT AMAZON]

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Most video games nowadays have a LOT of depth. Most games are so addicting and so full of things to do, you'll spend months just trying to accomplish everything. The Halo series and Call of Duty series are great examples of this, multiplayer-wise. Other games, without the multiplayer, continue to shock and amaze with nostalgia. The Fallout series is another good example of this. All in all, it seems that developers have gotten a clue and hooked on to the bandwagon. Other games are so incomplete and impossibly short that's not even worth a weekend rental.

There are huge games, games that can change the way you look at gaming. Forever. For example, Halo 2 was massive. It showed the correct way to make a game. Call of Duty 4? Also massive. Metal Gear Solid 4, Super Mario Galaxy, Guitar Hero 3, Grand Theft Auto 4, the list goes on. And somewhere in between everything, there's Borderlands.

Here's the thing: Borderlands, at my first view of it, sounded better on paper. A game with millions of guns, hundreds of quests, a huge level system, it sounded like a bad parody of Fallout 3. Considering the cartoony-style look of the game and the high promises made, and you've got a pretty skeptical view of it, I'd imagine. For the hell of it, though, look at how big Fallout 3 WAS. Or other RPGs like it. So there were good and bad aspects about Borderlands right before it came out. And yet, after a good, meaty amount of time with Borderlands, you'll realize it's a wonderfully addicting game with excellent game progression and a thorough amount of reasons to continue playing. And the replay value, mixed with the awesome DLC and various characters to choose from, is undeniably amazing.

Describing Borderlands is a hell of a lot easier than summarizing it, so let's start with this. You're a mercenary on the fictional planet Pandora, on search of something called 'The Vault', said to be filled with treasures beyond your wildest dreams. You pick one of four mercs on this crazy adventure: Roland, a former Crimson Lance (more to be explained later) soldier, Lilith, a Siren (some magical woman with odd tattoos), Mordecai, an expert hunter with a pet bird, and Brick, a clumsy, not-so-intelligent bulky dude, with fists for atom bombs. You pick one and set off on the adventure for this seemingly true fable.

On the way, you'll run into a huge group of Bandits and Raiders, who's job is to send out psychotic bandit midgets (that's right) to chop people up with axes and loot the whole town, Skags, who are supposed to represent vicious, wild dog-like creatures, the Crimson Lance, an expansive legion of soldiers with automatic turrets. Other enemies will come and go, but they're the core problems throughout Borderlands' vast world. Each one of the mercenaries has their own special abilities.

Roland's special ability is to summon a Scorpio Turret, which can rain support fire when you need it. Lilith's is the Phase Walk, which can make her turn invisible and walk 3x as fast to surprise her enemies. Mordecai's is to summon his bird to rain terror upon the peoples. And Brick... well, he just uses his fists.



As your character levels up, you'll have the chance to spend a skill point, which can be used to upgrade your health, weapon damage, special ability, your shield, and other various abilities your exclusive character possesses.

See, Borderlands is supposed to be complex, yet have its own understandable flow. Borderlands is, far and away, one of the vastly intelligent games to ever be created. The RPG system is brilliant, and focuses well. It will hook you from the first level to the last. And the items you can pick up. Oh, man! The amount of guns in this games are huge. It's all full of energy.

Borderlands follows a very subversive shoot-n-loot system. You level up, kick a bunch of ass, die a lot along the way, make some friends, kill some friends. The loot is very rewarding when your hard work pays off. There's hundreds of thousands of assault rifles, machine guns, submachine guns, sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, even weird elemental weapons with incendiary, explosive, corrosive, and electric ammunition. The more guns you find, the more used you'll get to each of the classes. As I mentioned before, the skill trees also play a part in your weapon advances.

Fighting this guy solo is absolute suicide.


There's a lot of problems that come along with your constant ranking up. Some of the enemies are tough, and I mean really tough. Turret firing, people who snipe at you, ferocious birds that attack you from the sky, called Rakks. Just be prepared. Let me tell you, some of Borderlands' final bosses are some of the most difficult challenges I've ever come across in a video game. There's one particular boss in the DLC, Secret Armory of General Knoxx, that is so difficult, you need to be at the highest level with three other friends just to have a chance.

And another thing. The game's locations, visually and tonally, begin to change. From the beginning of the game
you're introduced to just cracked gravel, exactly what the desert offers. Later on, you'll go across into legion bases, various bandit-filled dockyards. When you pick up the DLC, you'll come across swamps, cities in the sky, and arenas.

One of the most interesting things in Borderlands is the use of travel. With such a huge world, and so many places to visit, you're going to need a faster route. In the Fallout series, you had your trusty Pip-Boy with you to travel. In Borderlands, you get something called the New-U station. This station allows you to fast travel to any location to take up or finish quests, or just go around blowing shit up. This also allows you to customize your appearance, though you can only change three colors in your character's clothing, and reset your skill points to create a new skill tree at your whim.

Vehicle combat is another thing that will spice up the frantic battles that oh so commonly take place in Borderlands. You start out with a simple car that you can design the color and switch it from shooting rockets to shooting with a machine gun. If you have the Secret Armory DLC, the number of vehicles improve vastly.

But the real addictiveness of Borderlands, is the amount of hours you will spend in online cooperative multiplayer. This is the meat and potatoes of this energetic game. Here, you and three other players can shoot and loot your way through Pandora. This is a great way to gain more companionship, to one up more people on Xbox Live (or Playstation Network for PS3 players). And, at times, Borderlands is breathtaking with friends. Teamwork and friendliness is vital in co-op. Battling the tougher enemies make it even more of an amazing experience. When you fight the toughest boss in the game with four other leveled-up friends, prepare for an experience like none other, that will change the way you look at gaming. Ever.



Another thing to enjoy about the co-op system is the ability to work together on quests. Having a microphone for your Xbox / PS3 is almost VITAL. You need to communicate in order to help. For example, I was online with three other friends. We were preparing for a huge amount of bandits. Through careful planning, we were able to plot out something to help us through the battle. And in doing so, we all took turns running for the objective, and we got it each time, while continuing to provide support fire and using our teamwork to push through. Doesn't that just sound wonderful? Well, wait 'till you experience it. Borderlands is made all the more enjoyable.

Borderlands is one of the biggest games to date. It's annoying and frustrating at times, but it is truly a subversive, lovable, and altogether near-flawless experience. With a thrilling co-op experience, expansive weapon system, a number of character classes to play through, a great level-up system, the amount of loot to find, the hundreds of quests to take up, the great travel system, all the teamwork involved, it's an experience that no gamer should miss. You should definitely buy this. At the very least, give it a rental. It may just shock you.

IMAGES WILL BE ADDED LATER

Predictions for the 83rd Academy Awards, Part II

FILM EDITING
  • “Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
  • “The Fighter” Pamela Martin
  • “The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
  • “127 Hours” Jon Harris
  • “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter 
My verdict: TIE - BLACK SWAN / THE SOCIAL NETWORK

FOREIGN LANGUAGE
  • “Biutiful” Mexico
  • “Dogtooth” Greece
  • “In a Better World” Denmark
  • “Incendies” Canada
  • “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria
My Verdict: IN A BETTER WORLD

MAKEUP
 
“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot 
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng 
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

My Verdict: THE WAY BACK

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
  • “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
  • “Inception” Hans Zimmer
  • “The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
  • “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
  • “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
My Verdict: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
  • “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
  • “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
  • “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
  • “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
My Verdict: TIE - WE BELONG TOGETHER / IF I RISE

SHORT ANIMATION
  • “Day & Night” Teddy Newton
  • “The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
  • “Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
  • “The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
  • “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois
My Verdict: THE LOST THING

VISUAL EFFECTS
  • “Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
  • “Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
  • “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
  • “Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
My Verdict: TIE - INCEPTION / HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS I

WRITING (ADAPTATION)
  • “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
  • “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
  • “Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
  • “True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini 
My Verdict: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

WRITING (ORIGINAL)
  • “Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
  • “The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
    Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
  • “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
  • “The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler 
My Verdict: TIE - THE KING'S SPEECH / THE FIGHTER

SOUND MIXING
  • “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
  • “The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
  • “Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
  • “The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
My Verdict: TIE - THE KING'S SPEECH / INCEPTION

SOUND EDITING
  • “Inception” Richard King
  • “Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
  • “Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
  • “Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger
My Verdict: TRUE GRIT

BEST PICTURE
  • “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • “The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
  • “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
  • “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ce├ín Chaffin, Producers
  • “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
My Verdict: TIE - THE KING'S SPEECH / THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Alright, so this is how we decided: Everyone on the TF141 Media crew is part of some film critic society. So, we've had the chance to see each one of the movies released, SANS a live action short film. So, we gathered 'round the table last night (Well, with Gregg drunk), and gave our verdicts in a small bowl.

Even though we didn't know a whole damn lot.

My Predictions for the 83rd Academy Awards, Part I

LEADING ACTOR

  • Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
  • Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
  • Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
  • Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
  • James Franco in “127 Hours”
My verdict: COLIN FIRTH

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
  • John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”
My verdict: CHRISTIAN BALE

LEADING ACTRESS
  
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” 
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” 
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone” 
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” 
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

My verdict: JENNIFER LAWRENCE

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
  • Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
  • Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
  • Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
 My verdict: HAILEE STEINFELD

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ANIMATED FILM

“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkric

My verdict: TOY STORY 3

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ART DIRECTION
  • “Alice in Wonderland”
    Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
    Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
  • “Inception”
    Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
  • “The King's Speech”
    Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
  • “True Grit”
    Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
My verdict: TIE - ALICE IN WONDERLAND / HARRY POTTER PART I

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CINEMATOGRAPHY
  • “Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
  • “Inception” Wally Pfister
  • “The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
  • “The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
  • “True Grit” Roger Deakins 
My verdict: TIE - THE KING'S SPEECH / INCEPTION

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COSTUME DESIGN

  • “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
  • “I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
  • “The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
  • “The Tempest” Sandy Powell
  • “True Grit” Mary Zophres
My verdict: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

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DIRECTOR
  • “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
  • “The Fighter” David O. Russell
  • “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
  • “The Social Network” David Fincher
  • “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
My Verdict: TOM HOOPER - THE SOCIAL NETWORK

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE FILM)
  • “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
  • “Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
  • “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
  • “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
  • “Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
My Verdict: TIE - WASTE LAND / INSIDE JOB

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)
  • “Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein
  • “Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
  • “Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
  • “Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
  • “The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
My verdict: TIE - KILLING IN THE NAME / POSTER GIRL

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Very Best of Edguy

TF141 Media is planning a "Very Best of" Edguy Compilation, for digital download only. This album will contain about sixteen classics from Edguy, one of the best metal bands in history, in my opinion. I'll be able to send the download link once we're done with the album, and I'll post up the cover and back soon!

Track listing:

1. The Kingdom
Originally from: Kingdom of Madness

2. Tears of a Mandrake [Live]
Originally from: Mandrake

3. Theater of Salvation
Originally from: Theater of Salvation

4. Save Me
Originally from: Rocket Ride

5. Superheroes
Originally from: Rocket Ride

6. Sacrifice
Originally from: Rocket Ride

7. Out of Control
Originally from: Vain Glory Opera

8. Lavatory Love Machine
Originally from: Hellfire Club

9. The Pharoah
Originally from: Mandrake

10. The Asylum
Originally from: Rocket Ride

11. Paradise
Originally from: Kingdom of Madness

12. Golden Dawn
Originally from: Mandrake

13. Falling Down
Originally from: Theater of Salvation

14. The Asylum
Originally from: Rocket Ride

15. Painting On The Wall
Originally from: Mandrake

16. Land of the Miracle
Originally from: Theater of Salvation

17. Babylon
Originally from: Theater of Salvation

We may or may not include an extra track, so keep your eyes open! HINT: One will  be from Theater of Salvation, the other from Vain Glory Opera!

The Vault - Entry 5 - Expressions for Drawing

A rushed example by Roland King and Emile Christ

Despite being rushed, it tells quite a lot. All the expressions are different and unique in their own way. They're never the same used twice, as John K so famously used in his cartoons, and you can identify them by even the lamest angle.

If you know how to draw, then expressions for a character show be unique, different, and you can't use them again. I can post up some production art later.

You can use all kinds of inspirations, for this is okay. Taking examples from magazines, video games, cartoons, animated short films, anything. There's a hell of a lot of programs to help you, such as Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. If you know what you're doing, be patient and TAKE YOUR TIME. Roland and Emile's picture, although showing some great expressions, is supposed to send a message: DON'T RUSH. If you can take the time to think up unique expressions without the final stage looking weird, rushed, or unfinished, then you're on a roll. You just need the direction, and the PRACTICE.

Expressions can help show a character's personality as well. You'll always have to be thinking, but take the time and it'll be fine. If you want an angry, irritable character, draw angry and irritable. If you want stupid and unknowing, draw stupid and unknowing. Happy and joyous, draw happy and joyous. I highly recommend buying a couple of art books, to go through step by step, or maybe buy a cartoon DVD if it has an art gallery. Fan art is also a good technique and example. It all matters.

As I said before, I'll post up some art maybe later or sometime tommorow. I would if I wasn't in a library right now (heh, heh)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Vault - Entry 3 - How To Write A Good Story

A/N: I'll put up some pictures later.

Alright, so after the many, many years of animation, comics, music, videogames, etc. there have been many landmarks, but also many flops. Some are groundbreaking ; others should of been put to sleep. In modern day, videogames and music reign supreme; but animations and movies remain flops, despite a few exceptions. It seems that something started the downfall, and I'm not sure what. Was it the lack of imagination? The lack of trying? Maybe people just scribble down something and hope it runs at the box office. Something had to of kicked off this unapparent laziness that is apparent. And, now, a guide for those idiots out there.

CHARACTERIZATION AND SCRIPTWRITING

Here's an example of bad characterization:

"Jamie takes a walk one day. He soon is visited by a magic fairy and learns that he has to go on a magical quest to help save the world. On the journey, he learns about himself, fights through happiness, sorrow, and anger, and, in the meantime, SAVES THE WORLD. And he lived happily ever after."

Okay, it's generic, but there are techniques that work with it. For example, why was The Honeymooners so successful? I mean, it was basically the same show every single time, correct? But it became arguably the most popular sitcom of all time. And in terms of videogames, the Mario series was the same thing: Princess is captured by Bowser, Mario goes on a mission to rescue. And it's arguably the greatest video game series of all time.

The best ideas come from how you introduce the characters and their personalities. They can't have ANYTHING even remotely related to one another. You can be generic: there's one dumb idiot, and there's one smart guy. Or, you can expand: there's a sarcastic person, a dumb idiot, and a smart guy. You can go all out and have completly different looks, personalities, and traits. A dumb idiot with a depressing childhood past, a sarcastic guy with an abusive mother, and a smart guy who actually got kicked out of each one of his science schools. The message seems okay, because you're developing the characters, which can make for a great experience. It seems that a lot of characters in Movies, Videogames, and Cartoons have seemed to have put themselves to a halt in terms of character traits. There's almost always the same personalities and state of mind for each one of them. This is not acceptable: as I had said before, you need to expand your horizons, not keep it halted in a prison cell. That's one of the big problems nowadays.

Take the Call of Duty series, for instance. Almost all the characters have no personality, story-wise. You'll always hear the same soldier yelling, "SECURE THE PERIMETER!". But, how are these characters so likable? You have an in-depth, interest-piquing story to them that MAKES you want to either like or hate them. That's why I enjoy the Fallout series: usually, there's someone different. Even your character can develop in ways you can't expect. You have to let the story develop itself, and that's when you've got a winning formula.

ART AND EXPRESSIONS

The way the characters express themselves is also important. Videogames seem to have gotten the hang of this. You'll rarely see characters furrow their brows in anger or grind their teeth in pain in anything else but video games. When in comes to animation, a lot of it seems limited: you just scribble something down, rehashing old content, and shipping it to Europe or Asia to follow it through. I prefer to take advantage of what the characters are feeling, and that's through the expressions and story progression. It's not that difficult, it just takes more time. That's what most people are forgetting, they just rush everything using the same ideas and character expressions over and over again. You need to use different techniques in order to make a more realistic, more visually and tonally appealing character.

And if a character him / herself doesn't have a whole lot of personality, try to focus on other characters for a change, give a little twist to the story. If you want to make a more comedic, satiric situation, than personalities and character dynamics are very important. If you want something more dramatic, concentrate
on the script, but still focus on the characters, and not entirely the story progression. It may take a while to create an extremely likable character that you will forever relate to, but once you do, you'll be glad you did, and you can write down all kinds of scripts and ideas for the character.

DIALOGUE

Okay, let's be honest: a lot of quotes from movies ("Yippee Kay Yay, Motherfucker"), cartoons and animated series ("D'oh!" / "Oh Joy!"), and videogames ("Sonic's the Name") have been included in the English dictionary now.

Why? Because it's important to have good, crisp, and understandable dialogue inbetween the nature of the characters. If something seems catchy, don't just tiredly say it. Make it have a better tone appeal to it, maybe give it a certain twist. If you want a successful comedy, you'll want to have good, understandable, laugh-worthy gags that appeal to the CHARACTERS. Try and go beyond the usual "That's What She Said" jokes, or the "Yo Mama" jokes. Granted, some of the modern day tongue is accepted, but try and add your own twist, something that people haven't heard. Not exactly an insult, but something that fits the nature. Don't just write down something weird for weird's sake, or stupid for stupid's sake. Make it fit the story: try out different ideas and have somebody (preferrably someone professional and experienced enough) help you through the journey. You can't rely on your pen to write it down: you have to depend on your MIND to help you write it.

You can't just go around writing nonfunny, questionably weird, and random jokes so you can HOPE it will make the kids laugh. This is basically how modern day cartoons go: Make a fart joke, then follow it up with a toilet joke. Ha, ha, somebody laughs. Yeah, great flow, guys. You have to, yet again, EXPAND. It's lack of talent, potential, and, especially, care. It's basically just a quick, easy way to earn your money and animate the cartoon. It's ridiculous.

Does anybody truly do real atmosphere-wise jokes? I highly doubt it. The Simpsons maybe. It's just a bunch of sloppy design problems and questionable depth of characters. The acting, when it comes to animated films and cartoons, could also really use some improvement. Even with a few highlights (Tom Kenny is still the ultimate Spongebob), it seems that the actors lack any passionance towards what they work on. It seems just... bland. Emotion and true dedication to work is what actors seem to lack: they just record their own voice once, barely without practice, and see if it fits. It's very uncaring, inefficent, and it lacks the LOVE that cartoons / movies / games have all the potential.

It seems that Videogames and movies are the only ones that truly get them right, due to the fact that they can be quite true-to-life. Even the Machinima department (films made with video games) work. Look at how series like Red vs. Blue did. For five seasons, it remained in the same place, using the same characters, but it still became one of the greatest internet series of all time. Why? Because the people from Rooster Teeth actually CARED about their Halo-inspired project, and did so for eight seasons. THAT'S what you need to succeed in anything that's broadcast on the television, or to air it theatrically.

As I said before, I can try and post some images later. But for now, I'm exhausted. It's been a hard day.

The Vault - 2 - Ren and Stimpy Restoration #2


Continuing the attempted restoration of every Ren and Stimpy scene, next up comes the "Big Baby Scam"-inspired episode, "Road Apples". Around this time, I started talking to Rachel Mika and Derek Carter. They mentioned that they noticed a censored scene on the Season Three and a Half-Ish DVD (BIG surprise there), and they wanted to restore it for the hell of it. It seemed pretty distracting, and it was completly ridiculous, the cut they made, for it was WAY too obvious. Not to mention the fact that it's longer than the 'Haunted House' Bloody Head Fairy scene. This one just chugs on for an entire 1 minute 37 seconds (and, in my opinion, it was the best part of a decent episode), so I was in on it.

Alright, so this scene was a LOT harder than the 'Son of Stimpy' scene. Let's start with this: I had gotten the scene off a VH1 airing. The annoying VH1 logo remained down below in the bottom right-hand corner. We had to remove the annoyance that it was, so that means some redrawing had to be done. Doing so also forced in dot crawl and DVNR, so we had to fix that up, which, arguably was one of the hardest things.

Next, the scene we had gotten required a hell of a lot of cutting, pasting, and revising. Not to mention remastering and an overseas territory change. The one we had gotten was a PAL import, so we had to have Nick McCarthy send it overseas to San Diego just to change it to NTSC.

Some re-drawing, due to the fake fade, had to be done. But that was considerably easy.

Finally, some animation had to be re-made. Getting the import had a lot of off-synch talking, with the character's lips just going off exactly two or three seconds before they talk. There was some voice acting samples that had to be re-done and mastered, saved on a protection masters that someone from Games had prepared. In the end, though, it seemed to pay off.

The lip sync seemed to be nearly flawless, and the animation / remastering was a hell of a lot better. Now, at the time I recorded the final project, I didn't actually have a protection master of it. That was Roland King's job, one of our 'rookies' at the time, who helped a lot with the project. I have the protection master, so I can send it to you if you want in the comments section. Anyways, my iPod did it fine enough, so enjoy our hard work!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Winter on Route 66: The Scenic View

The last post in the 'Road Apples in Nevada' trilogy. Here, we're looking at snow, a cool Route 66 shop, and other stuff along those lines. And I promise, I'm going to post something more 'thrilling' later.




I hear the train a-comin', it's comin' round the bend..


Wow. Just wow.



We were at the Route 66 roadway. There was stuff to keep you occupied, like the funny Berma-Shave(c) bumpers and ads. And here's what we found at the Route 66 store nearby.


Reminds of that Fallout 3 quest, 'The Nuka-Cola Challenge'.


Please don't let the mean Indian scalp me.

Know what's more hiliarious? The 'DO NOT TOUCH' is below his waist.




From Bethesda Softworks, with help from TF141 Media

On The Road

Which one's Sam, and which one's me? Try and guess.

Well, continuing from my last post, here's some more photos. This time, we entered the world-famous THE STRIP! I knew a good deal about this working with New Vegas. (In fact, Sam brought it up several times) We got to see stuff like Encore, The Mirage, Caesar's Palace, and Treasure Island. (It was for photos only, though)

Tropicana.

There's the Forum Shops.




Caesar's Palace. This, along with New York, New York, and Encore, was one of the only ones I went into.


This one's Treasure Island. There was a book by the same name. Put me and Sam to sleep!


This is the Statue of Liberty in Vegas. Look at that PHOTO! It's quite possibly one of the best we took.

 


The Mirage. If I'm not mistaken, Terry Fator plays there, correct?


Encore.

There's the Wynn. Look at how the clouds are reflecting off the building! Just great.



There's Excalibur. Looks a little more colorful than I expected, but, When in Rome, I guess.


New York, New York. Nice little place.


Here's MGM: The City of Entertainment. Looks pretty cool, could someone explain?



There's Mandalay Bay. I really like how the sun was reflecting off the building.

HIGHLIGHTS BEFORE AND AFTER THE TRIP


An awesome bead collection we saw on a scenic view.

This awesome hotel.

TO BE CONTINUED. Next up will be breathtaking photos of a snowy part of Nevada / Arizona and some Route 66 hospitality.

Hoover Dam Pictures

Well, since I had nothing but spare time, I decided to take Sam while his little sister, Ava, was on vacation in New York, I decided to not make him feel left out and took him to California. During that time, we also drove to Vegas, and we decided on Hoover Dam. While I was driving, admiring the views, I counted on Sam to take the pics (when he wasn't entertaining himself by reading a Kindle eBook). He took pictures of snow we encountered and some of Hoover Dam, while I did the rest of Hoover Dam and Vegas.

Here's some of the trip to Hoover Dam:





I mean, wow! You have to admire a place like this. These pictures were amazing. Period.


Here's a funny gag with the two pictures down below: with the picture of Sam on the right, he's currently in Arizona. With the picture of him on the left, he's currently in Nevada.



There's me! I'm a little too far away from the cam, but, oh well!

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel when I got exhausted from driving, and me and Sam thought it would be funny if we did this.

Oh, my twisted sense of humor and wit.


Here's Sam being introduced to classic music.


And since I had nothing but money in my wallet from working at TF141 Media, I bought him that.

Hey, let's jump in!

I'll update later for more pictures and an update on my "Vault".