So people seem to be shitting bricks over the new Zelda game, but not in anxious anticipation, but because THE TRAIN RUINS ZELDA FOREVER.

Link drives a train, y'see. And has a darling little conductor's uniform. The train can also blow stuff up.

The amusing thing is, the rest of the trailer looks no different from any other Zelda game. You could cut out the train stuff and have only the basic gameplay there, and the reception would be much more typical. Not to mention the train barely looks different from other means of transport in the series such as Epona and the boat, except now it's restricted to the tracks; the only difference now is that oh no, it's steam powered! We can't have technological evolution in the Zelda universe! RUINED FOREVER.

I think it looks cute. The other DS one looked decent, but I think I'm reluctant to touch any modern Zelda game thanks to how Twilight Princess was so insanely drawn out and boring. I want to play some dungeons, guys. I don't give a shit about this dying Zora prince or some implied romance between Link and some person who's barely described, or having to run around the whole fucking area killing lightning bugs simply so I can access the dungeon. GIVE ME THE DUNGEONS ALREADY.



I watched Blade. It's very silly.

I'm afraid that's as much as I can say, really. I mean, it was an okay flick to kill two hours with, but... it was silly, y'know. I suppose the fact my only familiarity with the character is from his appearances in the Spider-Man cartoon might've spoiled my enthusiasm. It was just... silly. No other word for it.

I mean, to summon a god (a blood god!) it involves shooting lightning bolts through the heads of several vampires in suits until mini-skeletons with wings tear out of their own skeletons and then fly into the guy who wants the god's powers, who is then defeated by re-enacting the ending of Akira with some syringes until he explodes. Yeah.

At least Kris Kristofferson as Whistler was badass.



It amuses me that the Super Mario Wiki has an article on faecal matter. And it's currently in need of a relevant image.



I watched Krull. Fun little flick!

The storyline is generic incarnate, really; warrior and princess are about to be married, uniting two kingdoms, when a bunch of alien bastards destroy the place and kidnap the princess, taking her to the Black Fortress, and the rest of the film's two hour length are spent gathering up a crew to face these foes and finding the enemy's lair. Now, viewed through the eyes of an emotionless robot, the script is clichéd, practically every line can be guessed before it's spoken, and there's enough pointless, melodramatic deaths to fill a cart of corpses.

But it's a fun movie, and it all lies in the whimsical charm. I mean, it's set on an alien world, the enemies are freaky, indistinguishable creatures in suits of armour with fuckin' laser spears, and the sky has two suns for no reason other than rule of cool - but aside from that, it really is just the equivalent of a fairytale or old folk story. There's the mysterious noble cyclops who has a heroic sacrifice, the thief who becomes the king's right-hand man, and the power of love providing the hero with a fuckin' flamethrower hand. It's like if someone was reading a fairytale to their child and decided it would be better with lots of unnecessary awesome things.

The camera work and location shooting is truly, truly magical. I don't use that word much, but honest to God, every single shot of scenery is good enough to be framed on a wall. Or at least made into desktop wallpapers. And even the less impressive parts such as the flying horses that run so fast their hooves catch fuckin' fire, the basic concept is just full of whimsy and wonder and that's the kind of horse I'd want for Christmas.

I was also interested by how aside from the kingdom that gets totalled at the start of the film and sets the story into motion, you don't see even a wink of civilisation. They stop at one point and mention that a village is nearby; there's not even the slightest glimpse of this village, as the only purpose it serves is for two women to show up and cook for the warriors. And the ending, of course, has the king and queen reunited and they head home to rule over the galaxy or whatever, but it feels like a mildly hollow ending. There are no true extras in the film, as after the kingdom being destroyed at the start, everyone else is either on the quest or going to add something to the plot, and at the end only four people are alive. Dramatic, sure, but it just makes you worry what they're actually returning home to. Everyone's dead, Dave.

It's a very hard movie to explain why it's good, or why I even like it without just telling you to watch it. It's fun!



I watched The Watchmen. Again.

This is a month just dripping with fascinating entries, isn't it?

A chum invited me to see it with him, and I thought why not? I was a bit dubious of rewatching a film I'd seen a mere ten days ago, especially a three hour long film, but once again, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's still as fun as it was the first time, and just like the comic is said to be like, seeing it a second time allowed me to pick up things I missed at first. The opening has some self-explanatory things, but then there's some that lack context and seem pretty random, but of course, with wisdom of foresight it all comes together. And the invitation-providing chum really, really enjoyed it, and then we got into a nerdy nerdy discussion about Transformers and movies and all kinds of nonsense.

Good times for all.



Things have been very unexciting lately. Depressingly unexciting, in all honesty. So, time to let the cat out of the bag:

Let's get started!

I've been translating a video game!

It's Elevator Action: Old & New for the Game Boy Advance!

It's not that good!

I've tried dabbling in translations before, but all the code jargon that involves tables and figuring out the hex values for letters and all that... I just can't wrap my noggin around it. Quite fortunately, all the text in this game (besides what's already in English, ironically!) is stored as graphics! Like, menu sentences, they're not individual letters or anything - that whole sentence is stored as graphics. Some simple MS Paint action and they were quite easily replaced!

I did this work back at the beginning of the month and haven't had any progress since. See, a lot of the Japanese text is done in fancy fonts with fancy shading. I am not good at recreating fancy fonts with fancy shading. I'm sure you're familiar with my horrendous handwriting, and even just using regular computer fonts isn't quite enough to get a good effect out of them. It doesn't help I'm also a fussy bastard.

So, overestimating the usefulness of my blog once again... can you help?

Seriously. I've translated all the text (except for one bit that I can't find in-game and looks unused) and all that needs done is recreating the font graphics with the new text. If someone could help me with that problem it would be super cool.



I watched The Watchmen.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - anything that's got copious amounts of action and similar amounts of something to think about is likely going to end up in my good books. You've got legs being twisted, hands being crushed, arms being cut off and people exploding; and then you've got the realistic side of ridiculous costumed superheroes and the means to edge closer to world peace, which still isn't what everyone wants. But the hand crushings and exploding bodies were the most impressive. You could make a drinking game out of them!

Seriously, there's a lot of crushed hands. Every time Rorschach shows up you're going to have either several crushed hands, or one hand crushed enough to to be the equivalent of several crushed hands. Uncrushed hands are the disease, and he's the cure. He's Dr. Rorschach and he prescribes you pain.

He does explode at the end, so it balances out.


As usual, I wouldn't consider myself sophisticated enough to describe the story accurately, but it's essentially a world where superheroes are real and in touch with Richard Nixon and nuclear war is on the rise and superheroes are being assassinated and lots of people are exploding.

In bloody gore and bones.

It is awesome.

I have a morbid fascination with the human body exploding, and at least ten people explode in gory detail during the movie, so I was quite distracted. The story was well developed and I greatly enjoyed it, but you'll probably have gathered that I struggle to express my liking for a complex story in an intelligent manner without sounding like a goober. Thus, I go the easy route and say DUDE THAT GUY WENT KERPOW

I suppose you could say I forego the risk of sounding like a goober by expressing interest in something I'm not in the league to analyse to the greatest extent and just go straight into being a goober, but that implies that I'm not already a goober.

I will say that the ribcages of three dudes hanging from a ceiling sticks in the mind a bit better than "oh no, this so-called 'hero' has questionable ethics regarding the path to world peace!" so I'd like to think my point still stands; standing intelligently, not standing gooberishly.

I'd say check it out. It's not all exploding bodies for three hours, but there's enough of them to be satisfactory.

However, amusing story to completely invalidate my opinion - I haven't read the source material at all! A buddy got me the Watching The Watchmen making-of-the-comic book a while back which I haven't read either, and the most I actually knew of it beforehand was hearing everyone say how rad it was and the Saturday Morning Watchmen clip.

Also, no, Dr. Manhattan's CGI dinky wasn't distracting. It's noticeable, but unlike a lot of CGI I've seen in movies lately, it's not screen-filling, mega-detailed and unnecessarily animated. It's just a dinky.



I don't remember if I considered it important enough to mention anywhere, but back at Christmas I got the deluxe figures of Transformers Animated Bumblebee and Ratchet in a 2-pack at Toys R Us, for the very nice price of £13 or something silly. Which £6.50 per figure, when at that time they retailed for £10 separately. Good deal! Of course they were littered in the packs then, and they still are - they were upped a little after Christmas, understandably, but it was still quite reasonable. Now they jacked up the price even further. To £30.

£15 for two toys, when they retail for £13 separately.

Yeah. I don't like Toys R Us!


I did pick up the Legends-size Starscream, though, who's a recolour of Cybertron Thundercracker. I have the repaint of the deluxe T-Crack, Skywarp, who's got ugly colours but isn't too terrible apart from how one arm is just this silly cannon and the rest of him is... well, pretty bland. Like, there's a lack of flair on him. There's no interesting robot proportions or anything. He's kind of gimpy and weedy and likes to fall to pieces. Still, I heard the Legends figure was actually kind of better than the big one, so I picked it up. It was only £3, so it didn't hurt.

It's a nice looking jet mode. Cliffbee's site says it's a Sukhoi Su-37 Fighter, which in reality appears to be a pretty ugly coloured plane, and the attempt to adapt that look to an actual Transformer was pretty horrid, too. However, Starscream decks it out in a nice grey with red and blue trim, and it all works out nicely. The droopy nosecone is kind of cute.

The robot mode isn't too bad, considering the limitations. The transformation at its basic is just one hinge, and the only reason it tries to complicate matters is because he's got a gun stuck to his right arm that you've got to fiddle with to cover up some undercarriage junk. The problem is that... not much is actually done with the robot. The arms are on ball joints, and so are the legs, even though both need no reason to be moved for transformation. But they've blocked off any means of spreading the legs.

gap at the top VS no gap!

Look at Bonecrusher's crotch here. Look at it real good because you want it. That's a ball joint. For a ball joint to move out, the top needs a gap. That's how ball joints work, buddy. There's not much reason to have a ball joint to do simple rotation when a pin can get the same result, yet Starscream here has ball jointed legs and no way to actually make use of them. And this is a crying shame, as although Legends figures have very little articulation, the leg movement is a big part of their posing. Bonecrusher can do a goosestep, Barricade can re-enact the ending of Planet of the Apes, and all Starscream do is do a zombie walk. Not very imaginative.

Also, his shoulders are jutting out of what's technically his very wide spine. That's kinda freaky. 3/10, that rating's mostly because I really like the orange used for the cockpit.



"The beautiful thing about babies is that they're made of love."

It could simply be referring to them being conceived by doing the nasty, but it sounds like babies are quite literally the physical embodiment of what robots and non-human entities loathe most. Why they need to love gush over the little gremlins when the commercial is simply about promoting breastfeeding is beyond me.



Isn't it great when a file converting/DVD burning tool takes over fucking fucking hours to convert 170 minutes of crap, and then it ends up with an unsatisfying result?






(click to make it BIGGER)

It's a very good toy! A problem I find with a lot of the Universe figures is that they aim to update characters, so to speak. Sunstreaker isn't quite a Countach and has different feet, Ironhide's more of a car and less of a wheeled box, and Galvatron is kind of ugly. Not that these are a hassle most of the time - Bumblebee has a hood and some doors hanging off his arms, but he's still loveably cute and chubby, and Sunstreaker looks most nicer than the original toy; I can only complain about the wonky license plate kneecaps, but they can be plucked off. Ironhide was a bit shit because the transformation complicated matters and the limitations of mere plastic meant it was clunky and cumbersome and too layered in flaws to make the good parts appreciated.

Hound? He's practically just the cartoon model incarnate, brushed up and made really, really lovely. The likes of Ironhide and Galvatron had lots of lines and detail added to their faces, obviously to emphasise the fact they're robots and old/crazy respectively, but it's not exactly the best effect - the new Cheetor has tried to imitate the cartoon look, and it just looks freakish rather than cute. Hound's head needs no changing. He's got that wonderfully blocky helmet, and a cute little face that although when seen up close (click the image!) shows otherwise, it looks like he's got a little smile going on. Which is accurate, since he always seems like one of the jollier Autobots. Sure, in G2 he was snarlin' all over the place and in the IDW comics he's been a bit of a dick, but it seems everywhere else he was just this jolly ol' guy who couldn't be happier to be stranded on Earth.

While Ironhide is primarily red with only a lacklustre amount of black and grey highlights, and Smokescreen's colours are just theoretically accurate but just arranged in a hideously ugly manner, Hound manages to convey himself just fine. He's lost the stripe on his hood and back, and the role of hologram projector has been shifted from the ridiculously long rifle to the shoulder-mounted cannon (which can be held in his hands, but personally he looks bare without it up there) with no other handheld weaponry, but he's just a wonderful, beautiful conversion. He is a much lighter green than he's commonly seen as, though, but considering he's not quite a military jeep anymore, I suppose it's justifiable. The Henkei version has him in darker green and adds the stripes back, but unlike Smokescreen who is in critical need of being less crap, Hound carries himself very well as it is.

It really helps that he's nice and blocky. The original Prowl toy was big and blocky; he had a giant chest and humongous boots. The new one had the sides of the car's front hide behind the door wings, and due to folding more crap up inside him, had a longer and slimmer body, making the boots look smaller in comparison. Hound, meanwhile, still has his giant jeep front as a torso and giant jeep back as boots, and he looks brilliant. There's plenty of fiddling you can do with the feet to keep him stable, and if you skip one part of the transformation you can upgrade his knee articulation. And with his head on a ball joint, you can do all kinds of angles!

His arm's are still stubby, though. They're definitely longer than they were before, but... they could've been double-jointed, like Sunstreaker's. Oh well!


He also comes with Ravage, who still turns into a cassette, except in a much more simplistic manner. He's a bit underwhelming as his articulation doesn't allow much posing and he simply doesn't look as nice as he could, but the fact the legs can splay out seems tailor-made for being squashed underfoot. It would've been more interesting to see Rumble or Frenzy, I feel.



So I thought it'd be worth watching some old anime again!

All I seem to have achieved is getting the theme of Detatoko Princess stuck in my head. Which is really bad, because half of it is the Japanese singer saying, in English, "love is a magic, it's a beautiful magic."

And it's frighteningly catchy. It goes against all my moral beliefs but it is a catchy tune please get it out of my head

I have discovered that Dragon Half is pretty awesome, though.



BACK IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS message boards were like communities. They're still called communities nowadays, except it's hard to tell because they're often full of boring stock conversations, meme-spouting sheep and being unable to look at the forum until you register and then when you do see it you kind of wondered why you bothered.

It's worse now that most forums are just for downloads. Sure, there's places for discussion and comments and whatnot, but the real reason to go there is for the downloads. They may be open for public viewing, but more likely than not they restrict links to registered users, so you're forced to join up to get the sweet, sweet, download action. You're greeted via email with the usual message of "welcome to our community and thank you for joining! We hope you take part in our discussions" and yadda yadda yadda. Aside from the downloads, you're going to get nothing out of it besides more stock conversations with people you don't care about. I can understand at least half-assing it what with the message board system working well for putting up new downloads by many users and all, but yeah, it just irks me so much.

For instance, a downloady forum I was at recently had this in its banner.

"Come in and stay..."

I'm guessing it could be ironic because OH NO IT'S THE MASK OF JASON VOORHEES AAAAAAA but the usual anime dot-dot-dot thing sometimes implies sincerity. It's like, this chibi individual murdered people but now knowing he's just going to see more people coming for the downloads and contributing nothing he's given up his murderous ways to try and promote an active community. Aw. Ain't that cute?


Okay, let's ditch the attempt at being well-mannered by not naming names. What is the most popular thread of this forum at this time of writing? A guide to getting girls, written by a 14 year old. The first page has two people criticizing it for treating human interaction like a basic dating sim with predetermined answers, but every other post? Praise.

A community of that maturity level is one I would prefer avoiding.


Also I wasn't on The Everything Show because the other two people didn't show up, so I ended up talking about bagels with Blaze. It was actually kind of interesting!