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Arcade in the Sky Blog: 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Antipole Campaign

Lately, I've been working hard on promoting our new xna game, Antipole. Little did I know that there were others that were on an Antipole campaign of their own. here is there story:

Naturally, it's only fair to see the other side's point of view.

Eventually, the issue was resolved through the power of youtube.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Marvel vs Capcom 3 episode 3

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Haze-cast Episode 16, White Wolf to Black Swan

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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Wii Didn't Start the Fire - A Brief History of Video Games

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Antipole Video Game, Gravity Reversal Trailer | Video Clip | Game Trailers & Videos | GameTrailers.com

Antipole Video Game, Gravity Reversal Trailer | Video Clip | Game Trailers & Videos | GameTrailers.com

Here is the new Antipole trailer as it appears on game trailers.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

The new trailer 4 my

The new trailer 4 my game, Antipole, will be live on gametrailers.com today. Please leave a comment! It would mean alot to me.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Huge Blackout Today

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
Parsippany had a huge blackout. Most of the town was down. All our turn signals on Route 46 were down, the cops were out in full force directing traffic. I was stuck working on my phone and laptop most of the day. The power was out only from 7 to 9am, but it seemed like eternity. Have we all become too dependent on modern conveniences?
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Antipole Trailer 3

You can find more screen captures at Saturnine Games.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 20 Movies you need to see NOW before they get spoiled.

Here are the movies. They are arranged in order of how likely they are to be spoiled in casual conversation.

1. Empire strikes back
2. The Sixth Sense
3. Psycho
4. Saw
5. Seven
6. Friday the 13th
7. Rosemary's Baby
8. Night of the Living Dead
9. The Ring
10.The Planet of the Apes
11.The Forbidden Planet
12.Soilent Green
13.Fight Club
14.Invaders From Mars
16.The Usual Suspects
17.The Prestige
19.Donnie Darko
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Wotch Character Test Banner

Check out the [url=http://www.misato.us/which_wotch_character/]test[/url] to find out who you are!

This is a banner from a webcomic called The Wotch. I haven't read it for a while. I do have fond memories of it. You'll notice that my character is a girl. Actually, it was a boy that got changed into a cheerleader. For no reason. The Wotch is just like that. It's more of an El Goonish Shive than a Ranma Half. Anyway, it's not my fav webcomic, but I do take a shine to it at some points.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Antipole Revised artwork

We've completely revamped the art for our game, Antipole. A new trailer will be forthcoming.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Dara O Briain Live at the Apollo - i love videogames ( 09/12/2010 )

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HP Blue Screen of Death Fix; STOP: 0x0000C1F5

Last week my HP Pavilion dv2000 Vista Home Premium laptop died in the middle of a SP installation. It completely destroyed my PC. After a few days, I gave up on the content and tried to re-install the OS, but found that I couldn't. I could get into the 'system repair' from the start up screen, but the repair always failed.

I had to call up HP and have them send me the recovery disk, as they were not included when I bought the laptop. It cost me $16. Damn them!

After they arrived, I found that they still could not fix the problem. No matter how I started up, the disk could bring up nothing but this blue screen of death. I did find the answer, however! Up in the Windows XP or 2K disk. Boot from those disks and you will be able to format the partition with the OS on it. Keep the separate partition with the recovery information. It's sad that the Vista disks don't include this basic function.

To do this, boot from the XP disk until you get to the list of partitions. Hid D to delete the main partition. After, hit F3 to quit. Do not install XP. Restart with the Vista Recovery Disk 1 inserted. Now you can go through the process of re-installing.

Be prepared to reboot. A lot. Like 7 times.
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BabyCastles Arcade Documentary.

Babycastles Documentary from Babycastles on Vimeo.

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Transformers 3 Teaser Trailer

Michael Bay returns again for a threequel of Transformers movies. Now, I am a big trans-fan, but I still like the movie world of the MB TF. I did enjoy the Revenge of the Fallen, but I must admit that the movie fell short of the first. Micheal Bay blames the writers strike for story flaws and "dorky humor". Is dorky humor Hollywood code for racist stereotypes? Oh well. I do admit that things will probably be better now that the strike is over. The trailer looks fantastic.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Birthday Chocolates

I came into the office today and someone gave me Birthday Chocolates! How nice! And so here is my review of Hershey's Cookie n' Cream bars.

The setup is easy to expect, a rectangle scored into 12 smaller rectangles of equal ratio. Unlike a standard Hershey, however, this is white chocolate. Encased within, is small beads of cookie crumbs. It makes for a gooey texture regularly interrupted by a crackle.

So, does this bar successfully translate the round cookie into bar form? Not exactly. What we have here is a great treat for lovers of white chocolate. It does for white chocolate what Nestle Crunch did for Milk chocolate.
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Nico Nico Douga Ryuuseigun

Nico Nico Douga is a Japanese version of Youtube. Like yt, it has it's own memes and in-jokes. One of my favorites is the Suite J, a karaoke melody of songs from video games, anime and pop-culture that includes more than 24 entries. This is something like that, it has old favorites as well as new memes that popped up in the last 5 years. Doesn't flow as well as Suite J, but I'm biased.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

AVGN appearance at Digital Press Dec 4th

Here is my video log of my trip to Digital Press in Clifton NJ. I arrived at 3pm, when the event started, and there was already a line around the block. I waited for more than an hour just to get into the store. Halfway through the wait, a store clerk came out with a bankers box filled with TMNT, Fester's Quest and Deadly towers carts. He was selling them for 2 for 5. It was good if you didn't bring something for the Nerd to sign.

Just before I got inside, the police came by, and said we were blocking the sidewalk. That store clerk came out with a bullhorn and said we all had to get single-file or the event would have to be called off. The line complied.

Once inside (where it was MUCH warmer), there was another line that wrapped around the store. James Rolfe was very gracious about signing things, and taking pictures with people. I already have two pics with him from other cons, so I didn't bother him myself. Mike Maitell was also there for autographs!

The greatest thing happened as I was leaving. I found that the line outside all had a slice of pizza. Apparently a good Samaritan had bought pizza for the whole line. That was nice.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Halo Screach

Halo Screach
Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames

Now here's a FPS I can get behind! It's good to see Dustin Diamond getting more work, too!

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Deadliest Character: Mechagodzilla vs Megazord

Here's a great video. It's nice to see James Rolfe team up with channel awesome. It's always a special event. And this also has some great animation. Check it out!

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nintendo's DsiWare celebrates first year; preview upcoming DSiWare games

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Haze-cast Episode 15, Harry Potter, indie games news.

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Edepth Angel

An image from Edepth Angel.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

16-Bit Gems #19: The Lost Vikings (SNES, Genesis)

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Impossible NES Villains Quiz - Wii Feature at IGN

The Impossible NES Villains Quiz - Wii Feature at IGN

Now this is an interesting game. I won't spoil the answers, but I must say this is a must for all retro fans. The best part is, you get to view others' answers before the true answer is revealed. Fantastic.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Every Anime Opening Ever Made

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comedy Central is Giving away Video Games for Thanksgiving

Check out this article:

Thanksgiving Wiiend

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom - Parry Gripp

This needs no explanation. This needs to be on everyone's blog someday, so I decided to get it out of the way tonight.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

JUDY COLLINS - "Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" Muppet Show 1977

I'd like to introduce you all to my favorite muppets act of all time. I've remembered this since I was a small child, and it's always been my favorite. I've been searching for it for years, and here it is!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010


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Punch-Out !!! Wii Translations

Punch Out for the Wii is a great game. The gameplay and characters are outstanding, and they always speak in their native tongue. The problem is there's no subtitles. Here is a youtube video that uses annotations to translate the lines.
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Mother 3 Impressions

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
As I post this, I am 4 chapters into Mother 3, the sequel to what we know as Earthbound in the US. While I will reserve judgment until I see the whole game, I'd like to take a few minutes to share my impressions thusfar.

First off, it's only fair to note that I'm a big Earthbound fan. I remember waiting on line at the premiere, and reading every article in Nintendo Power. When I got the game, I played it religiously and slept with the guidebook by my pillow at night. I also collected household items such as broken keys and old frying pans and stored them in my "Earthbound Box". That being said, I haven't played the game in a while. Sadly, I'm much busier today than I was in my youth, and this game does take a significant time investment.

Despite my love of the game, I acknowledge some faults. The graphics were lacking. Don't get me wrong, the art style was great, but within that style the sprites were a little stiff and buildings were pitched a weird angles. The story was cliche, even if it was brilliant in it's quirky execution. It barely treads over anything but the most basic of Campbellian/ hero-myth structure.

That being said, I can safely say that Mother 3 fixes all of the problems I had with Earthbound and also retains everything I love about it! The graphics are upgraded from 16-bit to 32 bit and have more color, movement and variety. The designs are still blank gingerbread men, but the intermittent-but-incredibly-smooth animation more than makes up for this, giving the characters and cut-scenes much added pep.

The story is also incredible. While the former had laughably simple plot, this is amazingly detailed. It's filled with deep characterization, pathos and social-economical commentary. Yet, it retains the charm, color and quirkiness of the originals.

Full review to come as soon as I finish!
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Monday, November 8, 2010

Schwarzenegger vs EMA; video game censorship trial

The first hearings have been done in this case. Things are looking up for gamers. LordKat did a podcast on this. Also, here is an article. After the article is a link to a full transcript.
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Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 4: Camp Cult Full List

  • 31. Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. (2004)
  • 30. Reptilian. (1999)
  • 29. Evil Ed. (1995)
  • 28. Robot Wars (1993) and Robo Warriors. (1996)
  • 27. Ernest Scared Stupid. (1991)
  • 26. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (1990)
  • 25. Monkey Shines. (1988)
  • 24. Brain Damage (1988)
  • 23. The Troll Trilogy.
  • 22. Monster in the Closet. (1986)
  • 21. Critters. (1986)
  • 20. Transylvania 6-5000. (1985)
  • 19. Fright Night. (1985)
  • 18. Mystics in Bali. (1982)
  • 17. Night of the Demon. (1980)
  • 16. Laserblast. (1978)
  • 15. The Manitou. (1978)
  • 14. The Exorcist 2. (1977)
  • 13. Infra-Man. (1975)
  • 12. Legend of The 7 Golden Vampires. (1974)
  • 11. Dracula vs Frankenstein. (1969-1970)
  • 10. War of the Gargantuas. (1966)
  • 9. The Terror. (1963)
  • 8. The Screaming Skull. (1958)
  • 7. Frankenstein 1970. (1958)
  • 6. Fiend without a Face. (1958)
  • 5. From Hell It Came. (1957)
  • 4. The Cyclops. (1957)
  • 3. Robot Monster. (1953)
  • 2. The Vampire Returns. (1944)
  • 1. The Phantom Creeps. (1939)
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Need Beta Testers on Facebook game

Corner Cannons on Facebook

I'm looking for beta testers for my new facebook game. Please go to this site, then 'go to application'. Give feedback here if you like, or contact me through Facebook.

Thanks a million for all your help!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Philly IGDA meeting for Nov. 2010

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
From 6 to 9pm on Saturday the 6th of November, the Philly chapter of the IGDA had their monthly meeting. Things started a few minutes late as the guest Ben Walsh was stuck in traffic, but the meeting started with announcements, then updates from their leader whom has just gotten back from the IGDA leader summit in California. They also urged all member to follow closely the legal events happening in California.

The rest of the meeting consisted of Bel Walsh, formerly of Bethesda and Big Huge games talking about his new face book game.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Game Dev Map

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
Here's one for ya. For all those aspiring game developers out there, this is an invaluable tool. It's a map of where all the video game companies are in the world. It's a chilling reality that, like movie stars, you may have to move to the west coast to make it big in the game industry.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sweet Home Happy Review

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Funspot PAX East Party

From the Funspot Web announcement:

On Saturday, November 20th 2010, The American Classic Arcade Museum @ Funspot will be holding our 1st Annual PAX-East Arcade Party. Join your fellow PAX-East attendees for a day of classic arcade gaming and fun inside the largest arcade in the world.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Justin's Wedding

At wedding reception now.

I just wanted to thank Justin and Hazel for inviting me to their wedding and I wish them a lifetime of happiness. It was a lovely ceremony.
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Mega Man Creator, Keiji Inafune, quits Capcom

This just in from an article on Gamasutra, Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega-man, has left the company. This is quite a blow, but not unexpected. Inafune has been critical of Capcom for years as well as all game development in Japan, stating that they are falling behind their American counterparts.
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TRON Night 10.28.2010

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
Last night, Rant Casey and I went to Elizabeth, NJ for a Tron Night. This was to be an early showing of the movie, but as it turns out, they only showed 23 minutes of it. It was in IMAX 3D, though.

We arrived hours early, expecting a long line. There were only 20-30 of us at the location. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not, as there were only a limited about of passes given.

Anyway, they handed us our 3D glasses and began the show. No commercials or previews they just went right into it. a text type pops up and talks directly at the audience, telling us to put on our 3D glasses. They showed a succession of finished scenes, in chronological order. They take us up to the end of the first act or perhaps the mid-point, then it degrades into a montage and essential finished up the show as a trailer.

Let's start with the first scene, 23, Sam's Apartment. Here the young Sam coming home after a night of stunt-biking for cash to his dog and impressive view of the city skyline. Whom I think is Alan, Bruce Boxlienter from the last movie shows up and says he just got a page (yes, he's been holding onto his pager all this time) from Flynn's arcade. Sam is jilted by the disappearance of his father, but curiosity take him to the abandoned arcade anyway. Next scene, he powers on the arcade machines which have been encased in plastic for years. It got me choked up to see those old machines turn on, but then again look at what blog you're reading! Sam finds a secret laboratory behind the TRON upright, Nancy Drew style! There he find the laser aperture, and we can all guess what happens.

In the next scene we are given, Sam is picked up by the guard and given a new outfit for disk gaming. Then he is set to compete against some sort of known game hero in a disk duel. I say that because Sam remarks that he has an action figure of his opponent on his desk. The battle is beautiful and stunning. Everything you'd want a Tron-style scene to do in a post-Matrix movie is pulled off brilliantly.

From here we get a scene straight out of Tim Burton's Batman. In what can only be explained as a Tron-Batmobile escapes from some light-cycles, Sam spouts the like "Who are you?" to his masked savior. After transforming the car to buggie mode and going "off the grid", the mask comes off to reveal a beautiful Tron-woman whom drives Same to Meet Jeff Bridges. She even drives through a secret opening in the mountain side, a la Batman. I'd like to take a moment to discuss what "off the grid" looked like. In the original Tron everything was designed like a neon sign, and the hand of a designer could be scene even in terrain that was supposed to be wild. Here the land looks like a giant silicon crystal, albeit a dark and Noir one. You really get the impression that they are driving a car on the microscopic parts of a printed circuit board. Nicely done!

From there a ring leader program instructs Daft Punk to spin some beats, and the show devolves into a trailer. I'd like to point out how brilliant an idea it was to have them in the movie. They are two two DJs whom dress like they are in Tron anyway.

All in all, it was a great showing. I am pumped to see this movie in 3D on opening night, December 17th, 2010.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IGN top 25 Horror moives, in perspective

Here are their top 25. For reference, I'm posting these next to their top Sci-fi choices.

Top 25 Horror.

  • 25. Friday the 13th - 1980
  • 24. Scream - 1994
  • 23. Dracula - 1931
  • 22. The Haunting - 1963
  • 21. The Blair Witch Project - 1999
  • 20. Suspiria
  • 19. Let the Right One In - 2008
  • 18. An American Werewolf in London - 1981
  • 17. Dawn of the Dead - 1978
  • 16. A Nightmare on Elm Street - 1984
  • 15. The Thing - 1982
  • 14. The Fly - 1986
  • 13. Poltergeist - 1982
  • 12. The Ring - 2002
  • 11. Halloween
  • 10. Night of the Living Dead - 1968
  • 9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 1974
  • 8. Rosemary's Baby - 1968
  • 7. Bride of Frankenstein
  • 6. The Shining
  • 5. Silence of the Lambs
  • 4. Alien
  • 3. Jaws
  • 2. Psycho
  • 1. The Exorcist

The List

  • 25. Moon
  • 24. District 9
  • 23. The Thing
  • 22. Avatar
  • 21. Jurassic Park
  • 20. Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind
  • 19. Forbidden Planet
  • 18. Brazil
  • 17. Back to the Future
  • 16. Metropolis
  • 15. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • 14. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • 13. A Clockwork Orange
  • 12. E.T.
  • 11. Aliens
  • 10. T2: Judgment Day
  • 9. The Road Warrior
  • 8. The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • 7. The Matrix
  • 6. Planet of the Apes
  • 5. The Empire Strikes Back
  • 4. Alien
  • 3. Star Wars
  • 2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 1. Blade Runner
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 4: Camp Cult Part 4

21. Critters. (1986)

This movie scared the whozits out of me when I was a kid. I would watch the previews on the pay-per-preview channel. That and Puppet Master. I knew about it even though I wasn't old enough to watch it.

22. Monster in the Closet. (1986)

I discovered this movie on Netflix, and it's fast becoming one of my favorites. I'm glad to see it here!

23. The Troll Trilogy.

It's about time James chimed in on these movies. Cinema Snob and Phelous have done a number on these already. There's nothing in these video that hasn't been covered by them before, but I still like to see James tackle these.

24. Brain Damage. (1988)

This is interesting. I've never heard of this, but I'd like to see it.

25. Monkey Shines. (1988)

Another of my favorites! I love this movie, glad to see it getting some love.

26. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (1990)

Interesting. I'd think that we would have heard the last of the TCM movies. James seems to have a distaste for everything after 2. Wouldn't it be cool to mention the 4th movie in the next MM?

27. Ernest Scared Stupid. (1991)

First the Nostalgia Critic now James. This is the year for ESS. I loved this movie too. I understand how Critic was disappointed that this wasn't as good as Saves Christmas or Goes to Camp, but it was still good. I enjoyed it a lot, and I put it up there with Trick r' Treat and Charlie Brown with my best Halloween Specials. This is quite the juxtaposition isn't it? Chainsaw Massacre 3 and Earnest next to each other?

28. Robot Wars - Robo Warriors. (1996)

Interesting to a degree. I wouldn't put these high on my must see list, even though I agree that practical robot effects are awesome.

29. Evil Ed. (1995)

Not really my cup of tea, but I can see why James would be into it. He is an editor, after all. I might check this out someday.

30. Reptilian. (1999)

I had always wondered if there was a remake of Yangary, the Korean Godzilla. Now I know. I think I'll stick with the original, though.

31. Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. (2004)

Now this is a movie! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this!

Well, overall, it was a great year. There's nothing like the great feeling of waking up on an October morning and knowing for sure that there's a cool Monster Madness video for you to watch. It's like Christmas morning all month long! There was a good mix this year of things I had heard of, and things I hadn't. It really rounded out well. Can't wait for next year! Thank, James!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Revisiting my College Student Center

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
While at the Game Education Panel at Rutgers, I decided to visit the student center, as this was my Alma-mater, and I wanted to see how the campus had changed over the past 10 years. This is where I did most of my studying and had my Anime Club meetings.

The biggest shock was 'The Cove'. Not that my childhood arcade had closed down, just that the sign was still there. They had converted the arcade into another study hall, but they kept two billiard tables for some reason. You'd think clakking billiard balls would distract someone studies. I hope to heaven there's wifi in there and that people are at least playing facebook game sin there. That would be something.

The Wendy's there had been changed to a Burger King. Boo.

The pizza place and Chinese buffet were both there. The student lounges and meeting rooms were as I'd left them. The student store had changed a bit, as all convenience stores do over time. I bought a Rutgers T-Shirt there, just for good measure. It was a fun trip. I guess sometimes you can go back home again.

[This was done on Saturday October 23rd.]

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Video Game Traders Expo, Brick, NJ

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
Another fun event I went to on Saturday the 23rd was the traders expo in Brick NJ. Unfortunately, there weren't many people there. The venders were all well stocked they had everything a gamer could want, but not many people showed up. It was their first show, so I'm sure things will improve.
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IGDA Game Education Summit 2010

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
At Rutgers University Campus in Piscataway, NJ, on Saturday from 2 to 4pm there was a panel discussion about higher education in video game creation. The MC was Drew Sikora from gamedev.net and he directed a teacher from NJIT, Bloomfield College, Raritan Community College, Rutgers University, and Camden County College. They spoke on what courses their institutions offered and the genesis of each of their programs.

Attendance was a dedicated few, but the fierce networking afterward was testament to the fact that all attending were ardent supporters of what was being discussed.

What conclusions did we come to? Game education has come a long way, and though not all classes are fully recognized by larger universities, you can now take this program at a community college and get most-but-not-quite-all credits transferred over for the continuation of your degree. Placement is improving for graduate, but it's still most all in casual games, not hardcore.

After this success, they hoped to plan another panel soon.

[This event happened on Saturday October 23rd.]

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Antipole Trailer is now on Game Trailers . com

Well, we finally got our newest trailer on Gametrailers.com. I'm proud of our team and I'm proud of the progress the game has made. I've still got a lot of work to do to get the game promoted and published, but I'm up for the challenge!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Haze-Cast 14, About Video Games

Haze-Cast 14

This one got cut a little short because of business, but there is some good news and events here!
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Antipole Trailer 2

Here is a new trailer for Antipole. It's a good game and is worth your attention. The folk at Saturnine Games did a good job balancing the levels. This trailer reveals more info, but still leaves a lot to be discovered by playing the game.

Coming soon.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IGN's top 25 Video Games for Each System.

I wanted to list there here, just to give everyone a taste of what all these games look like side by side.

  • 25. de Blob
  • 24. No More Heroes
  • 23. Wario Land: Shake It!
  • 22. Rabbids Go Home
  • 21. Wii Sports Resort
  • 20. Dead Space Extraction
  • 19. Muramasa
  • 18. Resident Evil 4
  • 17. Boom Blox Bash Party
  • 16. Excitebots
  • 15. Super Paper Mario
  • 14. Lost Winds 2
  • 13. Mario Kart Wii
  • 12. Punch Out
  • 11. Zack and Wiki
  • 10. Tiger Woods PGA Tour10
  • 9. Madworld
  • 8. Okami
  • 7. Guitar Hero 5
  • 6. New SuperMarioBros.Wii
  • 5. World of Goo
  • 4. TLoZ:Twilight Princess
  • 3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • 2. Metroid Prime Trilogy
  • 1. Super Mario Galaxy

  • 25. ModNation Racers
  • 24. MLB 10: The Show
  • 23. Ratchet and Clank Future: ACiT
  • 22. Super Stardust HD
  • 21. Flower
  • 20. Resistance: Fall of Man
  • 19. Burnout Paradise
  • 18. Borderlands
  • 17. Call of Duty 4:ModernWarfare
  • 16. Valkyria Chronicles
  • 15. Super Street Fighter IV
  • 14. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
  • 13. Heavy Rain
  • 12. Dead Space
  • 11. Shatter
  • 10. God of War III
  • 9. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  • 8. Grand Theft Auto IV
  • 7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • 6. Killzone 2
  • 5. Infamous
  • 4. Little Big Planet
  • 3. Red Dead Redemption
  • 2. Fallout 3
  • 1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Xbox 360
  • 25. Super Street Fighter IV
  • 24. Left 4 Dead 2
  • 23. Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • 22. Batman Arkham Asylum
  • 21. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • 20. Gears of War
  • 19. FIFA 10
  • 18. Dead Space
  • 17. Halo Wars
  • 16. Assassin's Creed II
  • 15. Forza Motorsport 3
  • 14. Alan Wake
  • 13. Halo 3: ODST
  • 12. Rock Band 2
  • 11. Borderlands
  • 10. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • 9. Grand Theft Auto IV
  • 8. BioShock
  • 7. Mass Effect
  • 6. The Orange Box
  • 5. Halo 3
  • 4. Red Dead Redemption
  • 3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • 2. Fallout 3
  • 1. Mass Effect 2
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mouse vs Cat: The Fighting Game.

Creature Combat IV: Slaughter House

Wait for it...
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Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 4: Camp Cult Part 3

14. The Exorcist 2. (1977)

I've endured this movie before, and it's really hard to get through. I'm glad it was included, however, just to see the James Earl Jones joke!

15. The Manitou. (1978)

Geez. Another movie I've never heard of. It seems movies this year are getting more and more obscure.

16. Laserblast. (1978)

Wow. Never heard of this one. It seems the movie choices this year are getting more and more MST3K. In fact, I watched this movie just the other night on Netflix streaming. They had both the normal and MST3K versions. I hate to say it, but most of the jokes in this episode were already done by the Satellite of Love.

17. Night of the Demon. (1980)

Possibly the most graphic movie we've seen yet. I know about Night of the DemonS, but not this one. I'm surprised 'Night of the Demons' hasn't been mentioned before now. I need to check this out, but I'll need a stiff drink first.

18. Mystics in Bali. (1982)

This blew my mind. I didn't think James would go all the way to India for horror movies. I am impressed. I get the feeling this is only here so he can make a Jim Bob reference.

19. Fright Night. (1985)

Alright! Now we're talking! Glad to see this movie included!

20. Transylvania 6-5000. (1985)

I expected this to be on here, since there was a clip of it in the promo for Camp Cult, and it's Campy as Hell. I already have this movie in my collection and I really don't like it. It's worth a watch, for sure, but it would have been nice if he had explained the joke behind the title. He did mention the Bugs Bunny cartoon of the same name. There's a lot of history behind that and this movie, but I guess it would have taken him all day to explain all that.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Barcade 6y Anniversary Party and Meetup

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
Last night was a great time at the Barcade in Brooklyn. The party went from 7 to Midnight, but I was hit by a nor'easter and major traffic, so I couldn't get there until 8:15pm. It's a shame because I missed a lot of free BBQ, and I here someone got a kill screen on the Pac-man machine!

The place was packed, and I got my fave Doc's Draft Cider and played some Q-bert. I also got the special Collectible Pint Glass.

Overall, it was a great party. I got to meet some familiar faces and meet new ones, too. I defiantly recommend this place as a regular hang-out!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Sonic Colors Cover Art

In a radical turn of events, Sega has caved to fan's demands and changed the difficulty of Sonic Colors to appeal to more hardcore players. They even got Robert Duvall to reprise his role. Quite impressive. Sonic takes on Sean Penn's role as the two team up as cops on the mean streets.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Castlevania Retrospective on Game Trailers


Game Trailers has been putting out some great retrospectives. It's been a while since they came out with something this good. I especially like Part II. I knew Rondo of Blood was a good game, but after their description, I'm chomping at the bit to play it.

Retrospective Part I

Retrospective Part II

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 4: Camp Cult Part 2

8. The Screaming Skull. (1958) continued...

Well, that was a royal waste of time. I wrote that I already owned the movie, and I watched it as soon as I saw the MM review. Didn't really stand out to me, but the review James did was still very entertaining.

9. The Terror. (1963)

Wow. Talk about deconstructing a movie. I have this movie two. It's on the same DVD collection as The Screaming Skull. In fact, it's on the reverse side of the same disk. I guess James didn't have to go far. I haven't watched it yet, but I'm on task.

10. War of the Gargantuas. (1966)

I was half expecting this one, it has been mentioned before during Godzillathon. I streamed this on Netflix the very night of the review's posting. It was just as good as promised. I had never thought to see a giant monster movie that didn't star a major monster like Godzilla or Gamera. I assumed that because the didn't have as big a name, the sets and production value would be at a lower standard. This movie proved me wrong.

11. Dracula vs Frankenstein. (1969-1970)

This was a movie I had actually seen before. The first one he discussed. I had to fast forward through a lot of it because it was just so slow or impossible to see anything. I share James' disappointment in how this fight turned out. I was not, however, enough of a masochist to eek out the other two movies.

12. Legend of The 7 Golden Vampires. (1974)

Another movie I had no idea existed. I can't wait to track it down and watch it. I like Asian Horror like 'Mr. Vampire' so this should be right up my alley!

13. Infra-Man. (1975)

Funny. I have giggled more at this video than anything else on the internet in more than a year. It's hard to describe the hypnotic, giggle-inducing power of this video. You just have to watch it. I'm not sure if hunting down this movie is a priority, but watching this funny review is definitely top on my list!

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Note: Need Video Game Testers:

AMA day2 009
Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
We will be needing great game testers this weekend, the 16th and 17th. If you're available, contact me on Facebook.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Haze-Cast Episode 13 - Wack in the Saddle.

Abbaye Des Morts

Cinemassacre and it's Monster Madness

Team Fortress 2 Server

Games of Saturnine Games

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 4: Camp Cult

Here's a running list of Episodes of Monster Madness Camp Cult, and my thoughts. I will be updating this post regularly.

1.The Phantom Creeps. (1939)

This was a good way to start things off. Not only do we get to see James this time, but he has he projector. As we've seen in a previous post on Cinemassacre, he really does have this film serial in film format. This lends some authenticity and fun to the episode. Once again, he also makes notes of how elements of the movie show up in other parts of part culture; a fav part of monster madness for me. This serial looks interesting, but I don't think I'll watch it soon.

2.The Vampire Returns. (1944)

More Bela Legosi. It's a shame he had to be type-cast as a vampire, but these movies are just too much fun. Another I didn't know existed, it goes right on my list of movies to watch!

3. Robot Monster. (1953)

This pick was so obvious it escaped me. I've seen clips of this for years. When people was to show clips of what a "B-movie" is, they always come right here. That montage of the cave was awesome! From what James describes, it actually seems fun. I'm going to watch this as the earliest opportunity!

4. The Cyclops. (1957)

It was a sure-thing that we'd get a Bert I. Gordy movie this year, especially since James did an interview with him recently. I assumed it would be "Earth vs. the Spider", but this is good too.

5. From Hell It Came. (1957)

Here's another I hadn't heard of. If looks fantastically cheesy. What gets me is the joke at the end. It just makes me chuckle infinitely. The thing is; James is known as the Angry Nerd, so you just assume blue humor is forthcoming. By making such a G-rated joke, it just blows the mind.

6. Fiend without a Face. (1958)

Wow. Just wow. This could turn out to be my fav episode this year. This movie is exactly the kind of thing that would give me nightmares for months when I was a small child. I've already put this flick on my netflix cue, and I'm waiting by my mailbox with bated breath!

7. Frankenstein 1970. (1958)

Here's another movie I would never have stumbled across if not for MM. I can't wait to dig this up and watch it. I bought a lot of Karloff movies since Monster Madness started, but am not really a fan. But something about seeing this Frankenstein swan song... intrigues me...

8. The Screaming Skull. (1958)

About time MST3K got a mention. I actually own this movie in that collection James mentioned. I'm going to go watch it right now!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Team Fortress 2 Server

TF2 Picture unrelated

Just wanted to take a moment to promote my friend Rant's TF2 Server:

The Sandvich Shack:

Runs standard TF2. Stock map rotation on the weekdays, custom maps on the weekend.

The Warzone:

Runs the War3source plugin. It adds leveling and classes like Warcraft 3 to the game. Mix of stock and custom maps.

link to the latest map pack for the servers.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Haze-man Con Schedule 2011

Just want to make an announcement about the public appearances I'll be making. As of now I don't have any plans to do panels or workshops, but this will be updated as time goes on.
  1. Oct 30 MangaNext - NJ
  2. Nov 12-14 Anime USA - VA
  3. Jan 13-16 MAG Fest - VA
  4. Jun 17-19 Anime Mid-Atlantic - VA
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wish List Top 10 Monster Madness Predictions

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top 10 Fav Monster Madness Moments

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Best Email Ever

Sometimes you get an email that just tickles you pink. That happened to me today. I got the email every nerd wants to get.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturnine Games in the Newspaper

The local paper was nice enough to give my friend Ed of Saturnine Games an interview.

Check out the link Here.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Japanese Arcades are Amazing

I've been there. It's all true.
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Cinemassacre's Monster Madness

James Rolfe is one of my fav internet personalities. He's best thing in my opinion, is not the Angry Nerd, but the yearly tribute to horror movies he does each October. I could watch these vids over and over. For your convenience, as well as mine, I've devised a list to help pinpoint your fav episodes.

Cinemassacres' Monster Madness 1:
  • 01. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1928)
  • 02. Nosferatu (1922)
  • 03. Phantom of the Opera (1925)
  • 04. Dracula (1931)
  • 05. Frankenstein (1931)
  • 06. The Mummy (1932)
  • 07. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
  • 08. The Wolf Man (1941)
  • 09. Cat People (1942)
  • 10. The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  • 11. The Tingler (1959)
  • 12. The Hammer Films (1950's and 60's)
  • 13. Roger Corman's Poe Series (1960's)
  • 14. Psycho (1960)
  • 15. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • 16. The Exorcist (1973)
  • 17. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • 18. Jaws (1975)
  • 19. Halloween (1978)
  • 20. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  • 21. Alien (1978)
  • 22. Friday the 13th (1980)
  • 23. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • 24. The Evil Dead Trilogy (1981,1987,1992)
  • 25. The Monster Squad (1987)
  • 26. Brain Dead (1992)
  • 27. Scream (1996)
  • 28. From Dusk til Dawn (1996)
  • 29. The Last Broadcast (1998)
  • 30. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
  • 31. Horror Movie Recap
The next year, he did a series all about Godzilla. It was amazingly fun and entertaining. There were only 29 Godzilla movies, so he got to take a few days off. Godzillathon:
  • 01. Godzilla (1954)
  • 02. Godzilla Raids Again
  • 03. King Kong VS Godzilla
  • 04. Godzilla VS Mothra
  • 05. Ghidgrah, the Three Headed Monster
  • 06. Monster Zero
  • 07. Godzilla VS The Sea Monster
  • 08. Son of Godzilla
  • 09. Destroy All Monsters
  • 10. Godzilla's Revenge
  • 11. Godzilla VS The Smog Monster
  • 12. Godzilla VS Gigan
  • 13. Godzilla VS Megalon
  • 14. Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla
  • 15. Terror of Mechagodzilla
  • 16. Godzilla 1985
  • 17. Godzilla VS Biolante
  • 18. Godzilla VS King Ghidorah
  • 19. Godzilla VS Mothra (1992)
  • 20. Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla (1993)
  • 21. Godzilla VS Space Godzilla (1994)
  • 22. Godzilla VS DESTROYAH!!!!
  • 23. Godzilla (1998)
  • 24. Godzilla 2000
  • 25. Godzilla VS Megaguirus (2000)
  • 26. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Gian Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
  • 27. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
  • 28. Godzilla Tokyo SOS
  • 29. Godzilla Final Wars (2004)
The third year, 2009, brought us a Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 3. Here James got a chance to tribute some of the movies he had to leave out the first time around, most notably Poltergeist. He also got to put in some quirky favs of his.
  • 01. Frankenstein (1910)
  • 02. Spanish Dracula (1931)
  • 03. White Zombie (1932)
  • 04. The Old Dark House (1932)
  • 05. Freaks (1932)
  • 06. The Invisible Man (1933)
  • 07. King Kong (1933)
  • 08. The Black Cat / The Raven (1934)
  • 09. The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)
  • 10. The Body Snatcher (1945)
  • 11. House of Wax (1953)
  • 12. Daughter of Horror (1955)
  • 13. The Giant Claw (1958)
  • 14. The Fly (1958)
  • 15. Coffin Joe series (1960's)
  • 16. Monsters Crash the Pajama Party
  • 17. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
  • 18. American Werewolf in London
  • 19. Basketcase (1982)
  • 20. Creepshow (1982)
  • 21. Poltergeist (1982)
  • 22. Re-Animator (1985)
  • 23. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
  • 24. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
  • 25. Hellraiser (1987)
  • 26. Child's Play (1988)
  • 27. The Brain (1988)
  • 28. Spontaneous Combustion (1990)
  • 29. Leprechaun (1993)
  • 30. Cemetery Man (1994)
  • 31. The Devil's Rejects (2005)

James has already left some clues about the next Monster Madness, and I can't wait!
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Pac - Man

Space Invaders made by someone.

Here is a re-creation of PacMan you can play right here!

Use the arrow keys to move

Pause game – P

Quit game – Q

Lower quality – L

Mute sound – M
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tsar Podcast HD E9: Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Here's a fun video about how the other half lived, arcades in Russia!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mag Fest 9 - Jan 13 - 16 2011 - I will be attending

I will be at MagFest 9 next year. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up. It's from Thursday to Sunday in the middle of next January.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Steve Wiebe has taken the title from Billy Mitchell

Steve Wiebe at machine

Per Destructoid, Steve has once again taken the top spot in Donkey Kong.

Read about it.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

The Nostalgia Critic himself, Doug Walker, has posted his Top 20 favorite movies by request. Here is his favorites:

20) Titus
19) Hamlet
18) Patton
17) Ed Wood
16) Fantasia
15) The Secret Of Nimh
14) Sideways
13) Spirited Away
12) A Clockwork Orange
11) Fearless
10) Citizen Kane
9) Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
8) The Dark Knight
7) Good Night, And Good Luck
6) Lost In Translation
5) Eyes Wide Shut
4) Batman
3) To Kill A Mockingbird
2) Amadeus
1) Brazil

Here's the videos that show his list:
Start Here.
Thanks to Cheshire Cat for cataloging this.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

James Rolfe's Top 30 movies

Here is the Angry Nerd's top 30 movies, just for reference.
See the Video Here.

  • 30. Jurassic Park
  • 29. The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao
  • 28. Scarface
  • 27. Night of the Living Dead
  • 26. Jason and the Argonauts
  • 25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • 24. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • 23. Batman
  • 22. The Great Escape
  • 21. North by Northwest
  • 20. Full Metal Jacket
  • 19. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
  • 18. The Sword and the Stone
  • 17. Rear Window
  • 16. First Blood
  • 15. Jaws
  • 14. This is Spinal Tap
  • 13. Ed Wood
  • 12. Gremlins
  • 11. Vertigo
  • 10. American Movie
  • 09. The Wizard of Oz
  • 08. Terminator 2
  • 07. The Star Wars Trilogy
  • 06. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  • 05. Rocky
  • 04. Ghostbusters
  • 03. Back to the Future
  • 02. King Kong
  • 01. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

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IGN's Top 25 Sci-Fi movies

Just for a short reference, here is how they numbered them.
The List

  • Moon
  • District 9
  • The Thing
  • Avatar
  • Jurassic Park
  • Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Brazil
  • Back to the Future
  • Metropolis
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • A Clockwork Orage
  • E.T.
  • Aliens
  • T2: Judgment Day
  • The Road Warrior
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • The Matrix
  • Planet of the Apes
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Alien
  • Star Wars
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Blade Runner

I have to say I disagree with many things. Star Wars should not qualify as they are more fantasy than Science Fiction. Also, I'm not a fan of Blade Runner--at least the theatrical cut. I will not deny the importance of the film, but I just don't think it should be number 1.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Greatest Gamer - Video Game Music Video

Here is another video from my hero, the Happy Video Game Nerd. It's a nice tribute to gaming. I've left my own comments on it already, but want everyone here to enjoy it.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's just so wrong...

It's just so wrong. I know people hate global warming. I know polar bears are supposed to be victims. But this is just absurd.

First off, polar bears DO NOT get stranded on ice blocks because the CAN SWIM. A fact that we can clearly see in this video. Second, the only way the bear would know he's driving a low-emissions car would be to read. Assuming all that is true, why wouldn't the bear just eat that guy and take the keys to that awesome Nissan?

I'm not mad that this ad promotes global warming, I'm mad that it promotes the idea that mother nature is completely impotent and that the only thing in the universe capable of doing any damage or wrong is mankind. Mother nature kills people on a massive scale.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

HVGN: Zombie Panic in Wonderland

My fav reviewer, the Happy Video Game Nerd is talking about a good WiiWare game.
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And then, Lesbian Love defeated Evil...

I have a sordid history with Joshua Lesnick that I wont' get into here. But I will take this opportunity to plug his long-running and awesome webcomic, Girly. I'm choosing today because he has reached the climax of his biggest storyline. It's worth checking out.

Josh has done other webcomics like Wendy and Cute Wendy. He also did a few pages of guest comic in Scott Pilgram.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Marvel VS Capcom 3 new trailer.

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Achievement Unlocked Site

Just a tidbit of information, I came across this website called Just Achieve It! where you can make your own achievements and embed them into a site.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hulk Video

Here is a tribute video I made for the Incredible Hulk. It was made as a birthday present for a good friend of mine whom is a big Hulk fan. I tried to include all the things that have made Hulk great over the years. This video was on Youtube, but they took it down. I'm hosting it now myself.


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Space Invaders

Space Invaders made by someone.

Here is a re-creation of Space Invaders you can play right here!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

New Jersey Boardwalks

Finding arcades in this day and age is a tough task. One way to make the search easier is to go to a boardwalk on the Jersey Shore. While the focus is on Crane games and Rides, there are still multiple arcades within walking distance on any given boardwalk.

Here's a guide!
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Thursday, August 26, 2010


Asteroids made by Neave Games

Care of the Classic Arcade Museum and Neave.com
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cosmos X2 DSi Ware Game Review

On Monday, a long wait will be over. I have know this game for years, ever since it was a homebrew GBA title. More precisely, I know Saturnine Games and it's founder, Ed. I've seen this game go through many versions, and while I've worked with Ed on several projects, I had no input on this one--which is why I feel right about doing an actual review.

This game, while it looks like a standard shooter, is actually quite different from the Gradius or Cave games we all know and love. This game is very difficult, and from a distance it looks and sounds like a shooter, but in actually playing it you will see it is very different in execution. The action is not very fast, nor are there that many enemies. You can sustain multiple hits thanks to your life bar. The trade off is that you only get one life.

Just one.

This set up dramatically changes the way the game is played. Instead of a game of REACTION, this is a game of THINKING and PLANNING. You choose a set of two out of 3 possible ships at the beginning. None of these ships is strong enough to endure a level on its own. By switching ships, the inactive vessel can heal. In such, the key to survival is not reacting quickly to a ton of information, but facing a simple and grim situation and conserving life and missiles. This is truly a game of extremes, good for players who want something new with a good challenge. I give it 8 out of 10.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

VLOG: Scott Pilgram Vs. The World Movie Review

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vampires Suck Review

My fiancee saw this movie last night. She hated it.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Divergent Shift

Here is an interesting DSi game I will be downloading soon. It's from Konami and it's called Divergent Shift!
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The End of the Stairs of Death

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
After many years of makeshift patchwork, the 'stairs of death' in front of my house, I have finally rebuilt the stairs! They are now safe and level!

NOTE: the SECRET stairs of death are still deadly. Enter my underground layer at your own risk!
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Friday, August 6, 2010

The Walpack Inn


The Walpack Inn. It has great steaks and salad bar.

It is a unique restaurant that lies on the border of Sussex County, NJ and the Poconos. Because it is so far out into the woods, deer and other forest animals often walk right up to the windows. The inn is constructed as a long thin building, maximizing the length of said windows. Inside is a collection of antiques, a piano bar with live music and one of the largest taxidermy collections I've ever seen. Full sided bear, moose heads, elk, they have it all--including chandeliers made completely out of antlers! It's truly a sight to behold, and worth the drive into the mountains.

Their trademark, however, is their backed bread. The small size is as big as a normal loaf of bread, but the large is the size of a Christmas turkey! And it's hearty! I like me some whole grain bread, but this is ridiculous. I suppose if you put enough butter on anything, it will taste good.

My favorite of theirs is the prime rib, though all of their dishes are great, especially the seafood. They have a lobster bake every Friday night that is to die for.

In short, I recommend this place.
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Electronic Handheld Game Museum

Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
Here is a fun site. It catalogs all the old handheld electronic video games with LCD screens. I remember playing the old Tiger Electronics on car trips all the time as a kid.

The really fun part, is that the have a section that catalogs where LDC games have been spotted in motion pictures. This is super fun. The only one I could think of was Friday the 13th part 2, but there are a ton apparently!
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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Otakon 2010 Report

otakon2010 143
Originally uploaded by HazeStudiosGames
Otakon was a blast this year. I met some great people and had a great time.

I also took many pictures.

I have a lot to say about my experiences at Otakon. This will take more than one post, and I'll have to take several days to edit this post to where I like it.

That being said, I'll start by recapping my footsteps. I arrived on Thursday, alone. My friend did not arrive until that night. I used the time to check into the Holiday Inn and to walk around Inner Harbor Baltimore. Sadly, the area has seen better days. ESPN Zone has closed, many stores in the Inner Harbor mall have closed as well. The fountains were also offline. I spent the night at Howl at the Moon. This is a great bar to party at.

Friday was much more fun. I went to an Evangelion Panel, where I learned about evageeks.org and evamonkey.com. They had lots of interesting information about the Eva franchise. I also got to hang out with Dave Lister and talk about DS development. There were great things at the artist's alley and dealers room, as per usual. I was happy to see they turned on the fountain system for the weekend.

Saturday, I saw a panel on Gainax, where I learned about this piece of AMV greatness:

Sunday was slow, as we packed up. I did get to actually relax this weekend, and got to try some games I've been wanting to, namely Transformers: War for Cybertron and Dragon Age: Origins. They were both good, but I've got too much on my plate to play them full time. I will have to check out Darksiders, though.

All in all, it was a good Otakon to end my 13 year run. I'm off to new adventures. More on that later.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Otakon Countdown 2: Arrival

Well, as you may have noticed, my plan didn't go over too well. The plan was to do a topical post everyday leading up to Otakon. However, events have transpired that jeopardized my even going to Otakon this year!

Luckily, they have been resolved. I'll be at Otakon and I'll be having a great time. I can't wait to see you all there!
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Otakon Countdown 11: Peter S. Beagle

Today I'd like to shift gears and start talking about what I'm looking forward to at Otakon this year. The only guest I really need to see this year is Peter S. Beagle. He wrote "The Last Unicorn" my favorite fantasy novel. Now, what does this have to do with anime? Almost anyone at Otakon will know about the 1981 animated movie, produced by Rankin Bass. Rankin Bass is most famous for doing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" Christmas special and others, but they also did Thundercats. This movie was produced by a studio in Japan that would go on to become Studio Ghibli, which makes Hayao Miyazaki movies.

That being said, this is my favorite movie of all time. It's so good, I purposefully restrain myself to only watch it once a year. I'm afraid if I watch it enough to memorize all the lines, some of the magic will be lost.

And this movie has lots of magic. Two years ago I was stokes because Peter was going to be the guest, and I brought my copy of the movie for him to sign. He didn't make it. The next year, he was scheduled to be the guest again, but I figured he'd flake again so I didn't bother to bring my copy. He did show up and I was kicking myself. He did a great live performance of a Commentary on the movie. I ended up buying a picture of the Red Bull and having him sign that. That autograph is on my wall right now.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Otakon Countdown 12: Speed Racer-Peter Fernandez dies at 83

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Otakon Countdown 13: Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu

Sorry I missed yesterday, but I was just going to talk about HEROMAN again.

Today I'd like to continue the thread of posting what anime I am currently following. Today it's Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu which translates to 'Haruka Nogizaka's Secret'. What is that secret? She's an Otaku. Yep, she's the most popular girl in school, yet she's secretly a comic book geek. She hides her hobby with the shame one would hide an alternative lifestyle or a horrific birthmark. Her secret is discovered by average student Yuuto. Haruka is initially horrified that she'll be revealed, but Yuuto tells her she'll be fine, and that she should just be herself. Haruka then takes a liking to Yuuto and they begin their romance.

This anime originated not in a manga, but a light novel. This is a book with an occasional piece of manga art through in now and again. Otaku in the US have been going gaga over these, and you can find some at the local Border/ Barnes and Noble. This is not an original invention, however. Pulp Magazines are the same thing, and we had those in America since the 30's. Doc Savage and The Shadow got their start there.

Anyway, I'm liking how this anime is playing out. I'm not going to spoil the plot or taint your opinions with my hang-ups--at least not yet. I'm just recommending you go to Crunchy Roll and watch it!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Otakon Countdown 15: Avatar Review

Well, it's almost time for Otakon, the biggest anime con on the East coast. I get hyped for this every year. However, this year will be my 13th year in a row, and it may be my last. I have much more obligations as a game designer now, so my travel time needs to be devoted more to spreading that gospel.

At any rate, I'm going to have a special countdown, where I post an Otakon related post everyday until I leave. Bare in mind I'll be there the Thursday before the con starts, the 29th, so that I might pick up my badge.

Now on to the first post, I'll review what anime I am currently watching. Yes, Avatar is on my list right now. This was a series that has always been on my to-do list, but I never found the time. With the movie out now, and everyone talking about it--talking smack, the curiosity finally overwhelmed me. I cued up my Netflix and started on this lofty journey. I'm just starting the third and final season now, and I'm loving every minute of it.

Many people talk about Avatar, but most don't go into specifics; they just say 'it's great!'. Now I can see why--there's so much to talk about in this show, it's intimidating. To start to talk about some of it good points means you could be going all night and into dawn.

I'll try to restrain myself by listing my TOP 10 favorite things about Avatar.

10. Anime influence. Yes, this is a western cartoon, but the Tezuka influenced character designs are very charming. This is a reason I stick with anime, even after 20 years.

9. high quality art. The design and background paintings are absolutely amazing, and the animation is just as great.

8. continual story. This brings me back to my days in the college anime club watching Ruroni Kenshin. The large story arcs are rewarding to watch and always keep you on the edge of your seat.

7. blind jokes. Yes, this is a Nickelodeon show, so sex and violence is out of the question, but they do push the envelope in one area. They make fun of the handicapped. The character does not appear until half way through the series, but after that many jokes are placed on that person.

6. A strong philosophy. There is a real thought-out process to the philosophy of each of the characters and their actions. Each character has a reason for how they act, and it all relates back to the shows central theme of the 4 elements.

5. Knows when to quit. Three seasons is plenty to tell a good story and explore all the character relationships. Good shows know when to quit--I'm looking at you, Gargoyles the Goliath Chronicles!

4. Natural fight sequences. With action shows, there always seems to be a few bad episodes where there is a strong villian and a strong hero, but there isn't always a good reason for them to fight in each episode. Usually, the writers pull out the 'oops! misunderstanding! let's fight!' card. Not here. Each of the fights happen organically from the narrative. Or at the very least, they have some creative thinking behind them.

3. 3 dimensional characters. This has to be a given. Great characters are what make following a long story rewarding. Characters have motivation and faults, but they are not obdurate. They are human enough to admit when they are wrong and get on with there lives.

2. emotional honesty. Going back to what I said before, the characters are emotionally honest. They don't hold petty grudges and deny their own feelings just to keep conflict up for a few more episodes. They are aware of their emotional states and can talk them out. The writers don't take the easy way out and present the characters like real people.

1. non-verbal communication. This is massively difficult for children's entertainment and animation. This show actually has important information conveyed with glances, body language and tone of voice. Because there are so many steps between the writer and the finished animation, many shows just have dialogue explain all necessary information. This show is bold by taking the complexity up a notch. With shows for kids, the rule is 'the characters must always be talking, else you loose the child's short attention span'. If you don't believe me, watch the "dubtitled" Sailor Moon on youtube. The biggest difference for the American version is that the characters never shut up. Pages of dialogue and monologue are added when the characters backs are away from the camera, just to keep the words ongoing. It's insulting. In Avatar, there are some pauses in dialogue. Not only that, the WAY things are said is important. Luckily, the top-notch acting there to support this.
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Connecticon Report

I got back from Connecticon on Saturday night, but unfortunately my photos came out all blurry, so I couldn't put up a gallery. I will say that I had a great time. The cosplay there was amazing. None of the panels really caught my eye. There was a ton of space devoted to table-top play--twice that of the dealers room.

I got to have a good conversation with Dave Lister and got to see Chris Hazelton of Misfile.
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Friday, July 9, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Website

I just got done watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It's a nice movie. For those who haven't heard, this was an independent film from 2002 that became very popular due to work-of-mouth. It's really an autobiographical story about a girl growing up with in a family of Greek immigrants. It follows Tuola from childhood to her wedding. While that might sound like a movie that drags, it does. But it doesn't drag oppressively so. It's still a good watch with good pacing.

It still remains a good date movie.

There is one thing I'd like to post here, it's an article about an running gag in the film--one I think is hilarious;

Windex is a Cure for Everything!
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