Archive for April, 2011

Did I miss out on good games as a kid?

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Today I went through every Wii Virtual Console title. Something which stuck out to me is how many games I didn’t recognize. I presume that the titles that are made into virtual console titles are ones which were the most popular. I recognized the Mario and Zelda titles, but that was about it. I never had a Sega or Nintendo growing up, so all of my video game exposure came through friends. My friends must have only rarely gotten the games which became the most popular. Because the games I remember playing are generally not on the Virtual Console service. The one exception, which brought a smile was Double Dragon. I did remember that.

Categories: Hobbies

China Seas is a really good movie

April 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Last night Amanda and I watched “China Seas” with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow and I really liked it. The story was different, it kept moving, and there were little bits and pieces showing life at the time (I presume) which would never be shown today for being culturally insensitive. China Seas is nowhere near as well-regarded as Casablanca and I think the reason why is because the way the romantic situation ends up. China Seas is too Hollywood-ish in the last few minutes.

In Casablanca we all know that the main character doesn’t end up with the girl. Many have proposed, and I agree, that this is why Casablanca became so legendary. Casablanca was a B-movie, a second rate film, and yet it’s regarded as the greatest of all time. It’s pretty much accepted that if Casablanca had Ilsa run away with Rick that Casablanca probably wouldn’t have achieved legendary status. It still would have made for a good time, but probably wouldn’t have struck with viewers quite as strongly. I wonder if China Seas would be more well-regarded if the romantic interests didn’t end up the way they did. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go watch China Seas, you won’t regret it.

Categories: Entertainment

Shigeru Miyamoto should give Peach and Zelda love interests

April 13, 2011 1 comment

In a bunch of fan films (or other fan art) I see online based on either Super Mario Bros. or the Legend of Zelda there’s always a built in assumption that Mario and Princess Peach are a romantic item and Link and Princess Zelda are a romantic item. The source of this assumption is pretty obvious, our hero’s have rescued their respective princesses multiple times. How could girls not help but to fall in love? The ironic thing is, is that never in any of the games have our hero’s shown romantic interest in the damsels they’re saving from distress.

Going strictly by the video games (and ignoring the Legend of Zelda cartoon series) Mario likes Pauline and Link likes either from Saria Ocarina of Time or Ilia from Twilight Princess (but only as an adolescent; Link hasn’t shown any interest in anyone as an adult). So given that our hero’s have romantic interests beyond the princesses it would help if the games creator – Shigeru Miyamoto – would give Peach and Zelda romantic interests. I think it would really make things interesting if Link and Mario had to rescue the princesses and their boyfriends. Or really distress the damsels by having the villains kill off their boyfriends.

So why do Link and Mario rescue the princesses if they don’t have a romantic interest? One reason is that they’re hero’s and that’s what they do. The other reason is that the kidnapped princesses are generally kidnapped because the villains (Bowser and Gannon) are up to something evil and the princesses are a catalyst for some sort of spell or are a political bargaining chip. Our hero’s don’t want to see their home lands destroyed by evilness, so they’re stopping the villains and that just happens to involve rescuing the princesses.

It would rock the video game world if Zelda and Peach had love interests separate from their hero’s, and I really think that the games creators should do it.

Categories: Entertainment, Hobbies

Bryant and I must have had Ocarina of Time down

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I was going over one of the announcements about the release titles for the Nintendo 3DS and it mentioned Ocarina of Time (which originally was released for the N64) and it mentioned how the Water Temple was made easier due to customer feedback. Since then I’ve noticed it mentioned in other places how people found the Water Temple to be very difficult. From some of the comments on the internet it seriously sounds like many people have been emotionally damaged by that stage. I find this surprising because I don’t remember it at all.

I remember a lot of Ocarina of Time; Bryant and I played it together when it came out. I remember a bunch of the stages, but I don’t remember getting stuck in the Water Temple. If before reading the announcement and you asked me what I remembered about Ocarina of Time I wouldn’t have mentioned the Water Temple. We didn’t look up cheats and hints online (didn’t have an internet connection at the house that time anyway), we didn’t get a players guide or anything. We just sat down and played the game together, watching what the other did on their file and coming up with ideas together. I remember really enjoying that game.

I know this makes me sound like I’m bragging about being an awesome gamer, but I’m not. I’m not an awesome gamer. I have a feeling that if I were a hardcore gamer, and even if I didn’t have exceptional trouble in the Water Temple, I would have at least heard about it before now. I still haven’t been able to defeat Super Mario Bros. 3, and believe me, I’ve tried. But this little piece of news does make me feel like that in-between Bryant and I, one of us must have some skills.

Categories: Entertainment, Hobbies

Female vocalists you can’t help but fall in love with

April 4, 2011 2 comments

I’m trying to think of great female vocalists whose voices you can’t help but fall in love with. The only two I can come up with as being the prime examples are Karen Carpenter and Linda Ronstadt. To me, both of their voices have this raw feminine quality that really makes you feel what they’re singing. They both have songs where they hit these long, strong notes that completely engulf the listener which completely overtake their thoughts.

They were both very big in the 1970’s, and I struggle to think of voices which compete with theirs and have also been big on the national stage. I’m not saying that there haven’t been other big, popular female singers; there certainly has been. Ella Fitzgerald comes to mind as a great signer before the 70’s. Her songs are fun and her voice is just right for them, but it doesn’t strike me in the same way. In the 80’s there was Stevie Nicks and Madonna; both big, talented and memorable, but don’t overwhelm with the attractiveness of their voices. Late 80’s/early 90’s I can think of Amy Grant and Mariah Carey as being the strong and on the scene female vocalists, but neither quite as indelible as Karen or Linda. From the late 90’s early 00’s, only Britney Spears comes to mind as being big around that time (maybe Jennifer Lopez).

For the mid 00’s I can think of two female singers who have very strong voices: Haley Westenra and Christine Aguleria. Haley hasn’t been able to achieve national fame the way the others mentioned have, and Christine’s songs do not feel as pure as Karen’s and Linda’s; but Christine can really hit a strong, high note. (I can actually picture one more from two years back, but her name isn’t coming to me at the moment)

Am I forgetting someone? Is there another unforgettable female vocalist that seems to have achieved the peak of singing?

I just thought of one, Whitney Houston. Her voice certainly has been described as the best by more than one critic. I still feel that Linda Ronstadt and Karen Carpenter make me feel more as if I were experiencing the song than with Whitney Houston. Perhaps it’s just the songs they became popular with, it’s hard to say. Is there anyone else?

Categories: Entertainment