Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Better Bloodrayne

I don’t really know all that much about BloodRayne. What I know, other than two terrible movies, and one fantastic fan film starring Vera Vanguard, a review of which can be found here.

Recently I downloaded BloodRayne: Betrayal. I was thinking it would be cool. After all, what’s not cool about a hot chick killing Nazis and vampires, really, it sounds like the perfect game. The problem is, this game is really nothing like that at all. It’s not even as cool as previous BloodRayne games I’ve learned. Older versions of the game were actually similar to Tomb Raider in style, this one is a sidescroller (see, I’m learning the lingo), like Rolling Thunder or Bionic Commando. To me, the novice, this seems like a step backward in evolution. I definitely prefer Lara Croft to this weak 2D anime.

Like many games, I was unable to get very far. The game keeps it simple, half-human half-vampire BloodRayne is recruited by good vampires to fight bad vampires, but apparently not simple enough for me. This game would have been marked for deletion along with the others among The Rejected, had Crystal and Jeff not taken a liking to it.

Jeff, in his usual manner, got on the game and started kicking its ass. He was cruising across this side scroll whupping vampire butt left and right, though mostly right. The vampires good and bad were blowing up like Pookas and Fygars in Dig Dug. Have I mentioned how awesome Jeff is? Well, actually he might not be that great of a gamer, but he can sure make me look bad, not a hard feat.

As far as BloodRayne goes, I think I’m going to stick with Vera Vanguard. Like Jeff, she’s much cooler than this game.

What Are Your Favorite Kind of French Fries? Poll Results

The Office-Bound Pokemon Tournament Allison-less Final 2011 Edition of the All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 12-28-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Ed (X-Man) Evans, Allison (she’ll be back next week) Eckel and Glenn (Avenger) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Trapped in the backroom, Green Lantern New Guardians #4, Teen Titans #4, Flash # by Francis Manapul, Savage Hawkman #4, Voodoo #4, Batman Dark Knight #4, Aquaman #4, DC Universe Legends #20, Vertigo, the X-Men titles, the Avengers books of the week including Young, Secret and Solo, and more Captain America than you can swing a shield at.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Forever Lazy, Black Panther #527, Matt Fraction’s Mighty Thor #9, Archie meets KISS part two, Dungeons & Dragons #14, Star Trek #4, Buffy season 9 Angel and Faith #5, Max Damage vs. Plutonian is coming, Kirby Genesis Captain Victory #2 by Sterling Gates, Crossed Badlands Opening Salvo, booty of Mars, Mice Templar Book 6, Kick-Ass 2 #6, Sonic the Hedgehog #232, TMNT Micro-series Michelangelo #2, and awesome goodies I wish I’d gotten for Christmas.

Be sure to check out the terrific new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

And don’t forget to check out highlights from our live Christmas Eve Eve vidcast here!

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French Fry Diary 318: Hanukkah for Christmas

The Forgotten Spider-Man

Everyone knows the 1967 “Spider-Man” cartoon, you know, the one with the catchy theme song. Most folks know the 1990s series on Fox as well. The fanboys and girls among us know the MTV CGI animated series, the spacey cosmic “Unlimited”, and “Amazing Friends” with Iceman and Firestar. But does anyone remember the 1981 Saturday morning cartoon?

The 1981 “Spider-Man” did not air in the Philadelphia area so I didn’t see it until years later in syndication. It was the wall-crawler first animated appearance on TV since the classic 1967 series. It was Spidey once more on Saturday mornings, and a prelude to “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends.” Many of the queues were taken from the sixties cartoon, maybe not actual model sheets and drawings, but they sure tried to copy it, from shots of buildings to angles that Spidey would swing by on his weblines.

The villains were there. Spidey fought the Green Goblin, the Vulture, the Sandman, the Lizard, Mysterio, and the Kingpin. Others who had not yet seen animation as Spider-foes like the Chameleon, Black Cat, Silvermane, Hammerhead, and Kraven the Hunter. New villains were added like the Gadeteer, the Stuntman, and in a hollaback to the ’67 ‘toon, the Desperado-like Sidewinder.

Attempts to expand the animated Marvel Universe were made as Spider-Man also went up against Magneto, the Red Skull, and the Ringmaster. The oddest addition of this type was the seeming ascension of Doctor Doom to archenemy status for Spider-Man. The two clash in six out of the twenty-six episodes. Many Marvel super-heroes show up as guest-stars as well, including Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, Ka-Zar, Medusa and even Namorita.

There were problems however. This DePatie-Freleng production had the same quality as the last two Marvel animations, “Spider-Woman” and “New Fantastic Four,” the latter was the infamous version with H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot. The animation is very slow-paced, Spidey’s webs eject with almost molasses flow sometimes. And of course this was a time in network television when violence was considered to be rotting the minds of young children – so Spider-Man could neither make a fist nor throw a punch, even at someone as evil as a Nazi madman like the Red Skull.

The 1981 “Spider-Man” cartoon has its moments, and it’s closer to comics continuity than a lot of superhero animation out there. It’s worth a viewing or two for the hardcore fans, and is now available from Netflix via DVD or streaming online.

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French Fry Diary 317: IHoP Breakfast

Don Kirshner 1934-2011

One of America’s greatest music producers, and a driving force in popular music for decades, Don Kirshner, passed away yesterday from heart failure in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 76.

I think it’s sad that there are probably generations who don’t even know his name, or if they do, it’s because of late night infomercials, or they think he’s a character Paul Shaeffer played on “Saturday Night Live.” Of course they are other generations, before the advent of MTV, who know the man and his contributions.

Kirshner was instrumental in starting the careers of numerous songwriters in the 1960s with his “Brill Building” school, where friend and producer Phil Specter also worked. ‘Graduates’ included Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, Howard Greenfield, and Gerry Goffin. Together they scored dozens and dozens of hits, before they went on to have careers of their own, while Kirshner himself started several record labels and moved on into television. Known as “The Man with the Golden Ear,” he was one of the folks who created the Monkees, as well as the cartoon Archies, both groups prefabricated, and he also discovered many ‘real’ music acts as well like Bobby Darin and Kansas.

Kirshner was also a 1970s fixture on Sunday late nights with his legendary “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.” There he introduced many acts to America for the first time like Prince, Blue Oyster Cult, Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, the Sex Pistols, Alice Cooper, Rush, Linda Ronstadt, KISS, Ted Nugent, David Bowie, and the Ramones, just to name a few of the hundreds who appeared on the program. The series, which ran from 1973-1981, was notable for being live and not allowing acts to lipsync, a widespread curse of the 1970s. We didn’t have MTV, we had Don.

We have lost one of the true geniuses of the music industry, he will be missed.

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Another Potato Latkes Recipe

The Rejected

Once learning that I could download game demos from the PlayStation Store, I have been a downloadin’ maniac. And once I figured out that if I didn’t like them, I could delete them… I’ve downloaded even more and more. This blog entry is about some of the games that didn’t make the cut for me, and why.

Heavy Rain ~ I remember a few years back when this game initially came out. It was a big, big deal. It was called “an interactive drama psychological thriller video game.” Besides being a mouthful of adjectives and noun, it was also supposed to have phenomenal special effects. In the one sequence I was able to see, and not get past, yes, the effects were pretty cool, but again, as I said, I was pretty much just stuck in this one alley and couldn’t go anywhere else. With my low patience tolerance, I deleted this one fairly quickly.

Marvel Pinball ~ While I am a big Marvel Comics fan, I am not much of a pinball player, especially not in a video game where you really can’t move the machine or ‘finesse’ the ball where you want it to go. The Bride however is a big pinballer, both real and video. I figured this would be a good game for us both to play. Sadly, after many attempts, I have yet to make this one download. There is always a problem. Oh well.

Rocketmen: Axis of Evil ~ Along with Ghostbusters and the similarly titled Rocketbirds, this game is just too damned loud. Every time I passed by it while looking for another game, the volume of it would blast so loud for just the second the cursor paused on it – I eventually just deleted to make the noise stop. I still have no idea if it’s any good or not. It certainly looked intriguing in a Dragon’s Lair anime way.

Lemmings ~ I love Lemmings, and on the PC version of this game I rocked it, and enjoyed it immensely. I loved Lemmings and as I said I was pretty good – no such luck with the PS3 version. It reminded me a bit of the PS3 Elevator Action (which I’m sure I’ll talk about here sooner or later), as it resembles the original game but has different dynamics and controls. I couldn’t do it. So because I was ashamed of not being good at a game I used to be good at – I deleted Lemmings.

Seeing how inept I am at this gaming stuff, and how enthusiastic I am at downloading free demos, I’m sure this list will only grow. Time will tell.

French Fry Diary 316: Trader Joe’s Shredded Hash Browns