Saturday, May 31, 2008

Classic Bite Commentary: May 31, 2008

(2018 Update: Replaced an old video with an even older Bite commentary.)

Magical stardust and the like. Welcome to the Bite. Aside from some minor blog reposts, I also got some stuff to mention, such as noteworthy additions to my gaming collection (which currently has a count of 260 entries - a modest number to say the least)

Possibly the one major thing advertised ahead of schedule was my comments on John Cena's latest attack on the Rock. You know? The constant bitching about Cena which says "If Rocky claims to love wrestling, why doesn't he come back and do some stuff for us?" In this latest escapade, Cena claims that "Rocky used wrestling as a stepping stone for acting." It's kinda funny that people in WWE would try to spin this as something negative when it could very well be the best inspirational message out there. Consider Chris Jericho: who had taken a 2-year hiatus from wrestling to do other stuff because he did all he thought was needed to be done and not because some injury or old-age forced him out. Sure, he came back, but the point is that unlike Hulk Hogan or all these other older stock folks past the point of relevance, he came back relatively healthy and interest in him was still relatively high.

But with the Rock, there's not even that aspect of him coming back. Possibly because he's too busy making movies and staying healthy enough. So in some respects, I can understand why Cena is a little pissy about Rocky. On the other hand, to claim that Rocky used wrestling to get into movies? Sorry, man. That sounds like bullshit to me, because I've been watching most of Rocky's stuff during his day and I felt the passion through his funny promos. Rocky's promos could have been pedestrian stuff, but he seemed to take it a step further rather than phoning in a performance and calling it a day. It's this raw passion and charismatic variable that makes Rocky's stuff a joy to watch even longer after he left wrestling. None of that looked like he was using wrestling; it looked like he was actually enjoying himself. It's a tangable element that, quite frankly, I have yet to see in any of the current crop of "superstars" who think they have what it takes to be the next big thing. Cena may be the big guy in WWE, but the Rock he will never be.

So let's talking about who's using what now: what's the point of having Cena make these movies if he's never going to leave wrestling? If he shows no passion for that particular adage, why do it? It seems somewhat hypocritical of Cena to say these nasty things about this big-time wrestler turned big-time Hollywood actor when he's doing the exact same thing, only on a somewhat less successful scale and with as much originality as the current trend of Hollywood remakes. So the message being brought about in wrestling circles is this: it's not okay to be in wrestling for a good while and then leave to do other things while you're relatively healthy and a hot commodity, but it is okay to stay in wrestling and retire when injuries become too severe or when interest in you wanes severely, all the while doing some movies funded by a wrestling company who makes it a point to shoot down the success of one of their former stars who had managed to break through the wrestler stereotype and actually become a mainstream success. Perhaps if Cena makes a couple movies that make as much money as Rocky's movies has, then he'll be in a position to talk. Until then, shut the fuck up and go back to wrestling your crappy matches and doing your generic promos.

Couple movies worth watching this month: Iron Man and the new Indy flick. Iron Man is actually one of the better Marvel movies and is so damn good that I'd probably enjoy even if I wasn't a comic reader. And of course, you can't really go wrong with Indy. Even at his late age, Ford's still got it.

So for a lark, I picked up three cell phone games: Street Fighter II CE, Mega Man II and Castlevania: Order of Shadows. As expected, neither of them play as well as their console counterparts - I can't imagine how you'd get Street Fighter to work with this thing - but for a couple bucks, they aren't too bad. And there have been worse-playing games than these. One thing I do have to say with regards to Mega Man II is how they managed to get the game to fit rather nicely on my narrow phone screen and how most - but not all - of the sprites and backdrops are nicely retained from their NES original. As for Castlevania, well I'll give it some time before I lay final judgment, but let's just say I bought this by accident when I was actually looking for the port of the original Castlevania, which seems to have been retired because I can't find it anyway. Tsk, tsk.

On the bright side of things, Street Fighter actually plays rather nicely on the cell phone. Color me surprised when Capcom had managed to make pulling off moves such as a Dragon Punch easy and intuitive on the phone's mingy keypad. Nice job there lads.

Another thing I picked up was a Neo Geo Pocket Color. No doubt most of you are wondering just what the fuck that is, but some of you probably do know what I'm talking about. It was another color handheld console by SNK which enjoyed a nice library of games before being recalled due to SNK being bought out and the arrival of the GBA. The unit I bought came with six games, each of which I will be reviewing at a later time. I'll probably post my thoughts on the NGPC soon enough, but here's a review by YouTuber TolstoyKafkaEvsky which pretty much explains the system better than I could in a short span of time. Also, check out some of his other stuff too.

Finally, through sheer lucky and a heavy hit, I snagged the limited Zelda Collector's Edition disc for Gamecube. Most people don't know about this, it was a special disc that was gained through pre-ordering something or other that contained four classic Zelda games: the two NES Zelda games and the two N64 Zelda games. They also slid in a Wind Waker demo, but the actual game is pretty cheap these days so I'll just pick that one up. The two NES games play fairly similarly to their originals, although I'd kill for an actual Select button instead of this weird crap on the Gamecube, but I digress.

Click to view AkewsticRockR's Irate Gamer parody, which is actually pretty funny. It's basically a commercial for a non-existant DVD, which doesn't really sell me on the DVD. I'll wait for the Christian Nintendo Nerd's DVD to come out. I don't know what's more amazing: the fact that I remember his first YouTube video or the fact I actually spelled AkewsticRockR's name correctly without checking it beforehand.

In addition to making Smackdown vs. Raw games which seem to get prettier as well as crappier, THQ has recently announced that they are currently developing WWE Legends of Wrestlemania for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles. No doubt it will be using the same engine as their other game, but anything they put in has to be better than the abomination that was the Legend of Wrestling series from Acclaim. Those games were absolutely pitiful and the third game in the series, Showdown: Legends of Wrestling, was such a bug-ridden mess that... well, I have a review written, so go read that instead.

It's generally considered a dull month overall, but living in Quebec, you'd probably heard about the famed Bouchard-Taylor commission's highly-anticipated report on what it is generally referred to as "reasonable accommodations" to minority folks. Now, I made mention of this in my 2007 in Review article by listing this commission as losers for going around the province and basically promoting xenophobia and racism through their public forums, but after reading this report, I'm afraid I have an advance candidate for two-time losers in 2008, because the commission's final report was downright disappointing, with few meager recommendations regarding religious symbols (nothing totally groundbreaking that would make this province less of a Special Olympics to the rest of North America - and I don't mean that in a nice way either) and the government reportedly shooting down a number of them. I'd say regardless of what happens, this ends up being a total waste of taxpayers' money and nothing will come of this. It will be business as usual.

What was Jean Charest's tagline when he was a Conservative leader? Let the future begin? Well, I'm still waiting for it to begin.

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