November 23, 2014

Street Fighter 3 "Daigo Parry" Re-created At Moment 37 Reloaded

Tech Bonus, Tech Bonus, Tech Bonus

This weekend in Fighting Games Land, the "Moment 37 Reloaded" event was all the rage. 2014 marks the ten year anniversary of the most famous chunk of competitive Street Fighter play: "Evo Moment #37" from the Evolution 2004 Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament. For those unfamiliar, this refers to a match where Daigo Umehara (playing Ken) parried a Houyoku Sen Super Art from Justin Wong's Chun-Li in full. The move would have killed Umehara from chip damage even if he'd chosen to block. He seamlessly switched to a jumping parry near the end, setting up a combo that won the round.

Don't watch this with headphones.

November 9, 2014

Interstellar Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

Interstellar's "Endurance" spacecraft.

It's been some time since I've attempted to actually review a movie, but Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is well worth talking about. I've enjoyed his previous output quite a bit, so this latest release finally gave me the impetus to break the streak of having only seen Marvel flicks this year. The plot literally takes you places, from a dusty farm town to the outer reaches of our solar system and beyond. The pace will likely seem too slow for some, but it seems to pick up rather rapidly once the second act comes around. The run time is just shy of 3 hours, and while there were times when I wish it'd been shorter, it had more to do with my surroundings than the film itself. I'll get to that in a bit.

November 8, 2014

My Mother's Love Of Comic Books Helped Inspire My Own

A handful of my mother's funnybooks.

My mother was always a big kid at heart. As far back as I can remember, she collected toys, watched cartoons, and occasionally played video games. Her biggest hobby was a love of reading however, and she often read comic books between whatever novel might have caught her eye. She was a big fan of the DC Universe in particular, especially Superman. I have fond memories of visiting comic stores (and the comic sections of book shops) with her on weekends. Sometimes we even made trips up to the big city in our state just to see what issues we could find. Comics were at the center of a lot of really good times for us.

I'm not sure if my own interest in the medium started separately or not, but I know my mom's enthusiasm for comics clearly had an effect. They were always around, and I loved looking through them even before I knew what most of the words said. Rather than keeping me away from them, this was actively encouraged. I quickly formed interests in tons of characters that I still hold dear today, and I immediately took to drawing them in whatever rudimentary way possible. That ultimately lead to one of the biggest aspects of my creativity and overall identity.

November 4, 2014

The Fleeting Joy Of Finding USPS Spider-Man Packages

Thwippin' in the sunlight, thwippin' in the moonlight, having a wonderful time.

While grabbing some shipping material the other day, I was greeted by a variety I had never seen before: USPS Priority Flat-Rate boxes emblazoned with Spider-Man's beautiful visage. Given my lifelong love of the old Webhead, running into him unexpectedly is generally cause for celebration. I didn't go as far as breaking into dance, but the "I need to grab these, photograph them, and talk about them on the internet!" urge was definitely sparked. Here are just a few examples of the onslaught of pictures that ensued:

Variety 1, in all its slightly misshapen glory.

November 3, 2014

Living In The Moment: Let The GIF Go


In the midst of my most recent late-night rummage through the internets, I stumbled across the following animated GIF on Imgur:

This reverse Jaws scenario plays out in a wonderfully absurd fashion that appealed to my sleep-deprived sense of humor perfectly. Of course, I immediately slid the cursor over to the image to hit "save as." A sudden moment of clarity fell upon me before finishing the act however. I thought back to the thousands upon thousands of other lulztastic animated GIFs I've downloaded over the years. I must have gigabytes on top of gigabytes of them at this point. And for what?

November 2, 2014

Sprite Zero Cranberry Review

Yes, I am contractually obligated to have all my sodas blessed by early 90s X-Men Artwork.

Hello and welcome back to Castle Soda-Skull, where we review fizzy soft-drinks up and down and all around. On our last installment, we assaulted your face with a look at the new Mountain Dew Game Fuel Lemonade. We're still (and always) feeling a bit fruity, so let's dive into a can of Sprite Zero Cranberry and see what's what.

This oh-so-festive flavor apparently debuted in 2013 but it's new to me! Sprite Cranberry is clearly an attempt to take the wind out of Pepsi's sails by directly challenging the ever-popular Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash. I actually don't like that particular beverage at all, so checking out the competing version was quite a risk. Ever the daredevil, I heightened the stakes even further by opting for the diet version. (Real talk? I've hit a wonderfully bodacious level of body curvature that I wish to maintain, so I'm taking it easy on the high fructose corn syrup.)

Alright, enough flowery meandering! I'm sure you're all just dying to know my thoughts on the taste of this "other natural flavor"-fueled cranberry concoction. Enjoy a closeup of the can's amazingly simplistic logo whilst preparing yourself for the truths I'm about to drop.

November 1, 2014

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Lemonade Review

Do the eww?

Despite a lackluster experience with the mass-release of Baja Blast, I've just given in to yet another Mountain Dew flavor. Their latest vidya games tie-in promotion has delivered the new Game Fuel Lemonade, and I wasn't able to resist its alluring yellow glow. I enjoy both "Dew" and lemonade alike, so what could go wrong?

October 31, 2014

Halloween Costumes of 2014 Showcase

As Halloween unfortunately draws to a close, it seems fitting to go out by highlighting some of this year's awesome costumes. The dedication it takes to pull this stuff off makes every single repost very much deserved, so please excuse me while I join in on the fun. Vicarious dress up frenzy, engage!

Adam and Barbara from Beetlejuice (source)

October 30, 2014

The Best Halloween Costume I Ever Had


Yes, that was me rocking a store-bought Spider-Man Halloween costume at some point in the late 80s or early 90s. Spidey was my favorite comic character at the time, so of course it was a thrill being able to masquerade as him in exchange for Tootsie Rolls and Skittles for a night. Even so, I can confidently say that this was not as good as it would get.

I'm pretty sure I was 9 years old the last time I actually went trick-or-treating, and it was very much a last minute affair. My mother and I were unexpectedly invited to tag along with my aunt and her step-kids early in the evening. With no other plans in place, we were happy to accept.

October 19, 2014

5 Of The Freakiest Original Ninja Turtle Action Figures

Let's be friends.

Most people around my age are likely to have had great fun with the original run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. Given the series' overarching theme of mutation, Playmates was able to fill its toyline with all sorts of oddballs and monsters. Looking back, some of the releases were straight up disturbing. Let's stroll through memory lane and take a look at 5 of the freakiest oldschool TMNT toys!

Baxter Stockman

At face value, wickedly winged scientist Baxter Stockman is actually rather creepy. That grin is nothing short of unsettling.