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+ UPDATE : 3/7/2011 : Feeling motivated...
Check out the AMV TKO site for a preview of ROUND 8, which I hope to have finished some time later this year, but I'm not guaranteeing anything.

+ UPDATE : 2/17/2011 : Times, they are changin'...
When we last left our hero...

Well, a lot has been going on since my last post... so much so I couldn't (or didn't feel like) posting. First off, I got a new netbook, thanks to my job and I can't get enough of this thing. I feel bad for my PC, because I've only been using it for graphics and other media projects. Although, I kind of planned for that for quite some time, to get an updated PC (netbook) that wouldn't have all the garbage programs my current PC does weighing it down, so I could use my PC for all my projects and now my netbook for all the simpler things. Been working out pretty good so far.

I also had some issues with my phone line AGAIN this year thanks to the plow trucks driving through the storms and hitting my phone line that crosses over the street. Because of that, I am finally the proud owner of a new cell phone, something I swore I'd never do again, but when the going gets tough...

I'm still getting used to the thing and even having the thing, but it's just nice to be able to be in contact with people outside of using FaceBook again. It's also nice knowing I can apply for jobs again and have them able to contact me.

And, oh yeah, I turned 30 this past month. Still don't know what to think about that, but at least I got a really nice surprise party out of it from my family. I say "surprise" even though I kind of knew it was coming, but it was still wonderful to know how much my family cares about me. I don't know where I'd be right now without them. Probably not typing this, that's for darn sure...

Until next time, when I have something more geeky to type about.

+ UPDATE : 1/9/2011 : Better late...
Got to watch the new Transformers CG series, Transformers: Prime, and I can easily say it WAY more enjoyable than both live-action movies combined. The fact that it got BOTH Peter Cullen and Frank Welker to reprise their roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively is enough to make that statement. Even Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson got a voice role in the first episode as Cliffjumper. And I felt making Arcee a more serious, but still caring character, bringing her to the forefront was a good move.

Too bad I don't get THE HUB channel, and can only watch the show On Demand, because I want to see the new episodes once they premiere.

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Better late than never, but here's the next signature in my little project...


It's HANABI from Sakura Wars 3! She looks more serious than usual here.

+ UPDATE : 1/4/2011 : Ringing in...
Welcome to 2011. Woo-F'N-hoo.

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Been watching a new anime by the name of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. Read that title all you want, it sounds just as ridiculous as the last time every time. The only way I can describe this is as a non-stop clusterf@%k of sex, action, violence, crude humor, more sex, rock n' roll, pop-culture, Engrish, and an orgy of more sex. In other words, quite possibly the most awesome anime series EVER. Not a show for everyone, but a very nice surprise coming out of GAINAX Studios.

RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULES.

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A little behind on my signature projects, but I hope to have that fixed soon.

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Working two jobs is NOT easy, but I do what I have to do to survive.

+ UPDATE : 11/30/2010 : That time of year again...
Yep, it's the holiday season and you know what that means! Yep, snow, overcast weather and cold, cold and more cold! WOO-HOO!

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Got another signature done in my little Sakura Wars project, this time being...


MARIA TACHIBANA! That makes three blondes in a row. I'm a sucker for blondes. LOL

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Still stuck in the same job I had just started at this point last year, but that should be changing in the near future. Just waiting on the final confirmation starting date...

+ UPDATE : 11/18/2010 : Reaching for the stars...
Picked up and beat Sonic Colors within a matter of hours. Great game and a definite step in the right direction for the series, but for crying out loud was this game short. That and a number of other issues left this game feeling not-so-epic. Nevertheless, like I said, everything else was a step in the right direction.

It's basically SONIC UNLEASHED minus the Werehog. In other words, GOOD. Music is phenomenal (yes, even the cheezy opening and ending themes), graphics are amazing (this is a Wii game?!) and the new voice actors are a welcome addition. Definitely worth checking out.

Speaking of Sonic... I've been doing a certain message board signature project for a certain other SEGA franchise (look at past posts below), but I decided to do and finish another signature set, featuring characters from the Sonic spinoff series SONIC RIDERS. They being the Babylong Rogues: Jet, Wave and Storm.



Saving image projects in PSD format is a good idea, just incase you didn't know that. I actually made the first one ages ago and just now got around to making the other two. Also, the words are lyrics from their theme song "Catch Me If You Can" by Runblebee.

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Here's to another dreary winter. I just can't stand this weather. It's like death everywhere with hardly any sunlight. Give me back my summer!!!

+ UPDATE : 10/31/2010 : When we last left our hero...
Well, the Phils came up a little short again this season. They're going to lose a bunch of key parts of the team come next season, so who knows how much longer this run will last. I still say the Phils of the last three or four years is the best Phils team of all-time, just edging out the early 80s team.

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Nice to see that a certain game wasn't totally looked over this year. With all the well-loved PS2 games out there, I'm actually surprised IGN (who usually sucks at rating games) ranked this one so high. Good call, IGN... good call (for once). Can't argue with #2 either.

Speaking of Sakura Wars, the next sig in my Sakura Wars signature project goes to...


RATCHET ALTAIR!!! Or is it Lachette?

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SONIC COLORS is really looking good... and sounding good for that matter. The new voices are VERY welcome.

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One of these days, I'm going to learn to stop worrying about, well... EVERYTHING.

+ UPDATE : 10/6/2010 : A second time around...
No words necessary.

+ UPDATE : 9/28/2010 : Never gets old for the 4th time...

This may just be the best Phillies lineup from top to bottom in the history of the team, and that's saying something, considering the history of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose to name a few. Their stars have been stellar, their starting pitching almost untouchable and it's the deepest bench they've ever had. I think the chances of winning their second World Series in three years is VERY high.

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Just after getting the second season of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya on DVD in the mail, Bandai announced they are releasing the first DVD volume that covers the first half of both spin-off YouTube spinoff series, The Melancholy Of Haruhi-Chan Suzumiya and Nyoron! Churuya-San.

Both series were hilarious in their original Japanese forms, and I'm dying to see how the English dub crew handles this one, with it being heavier in Japanese puns and culture.

Now let's just hope Bandai doesn't screw up my order again like they did with the second Gurren Lagann movie. Nyoron~...

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And I've finished my next Sakura Wars sig with the new month around the corner. And the winner is...

GLYCINE!!! About time I did another one from the Paris team.

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If you are watching any animated shows nowadays, make sure they involve Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Boondocks, and Misadventures Of Flapjack.

The Boondocks aside, the others are so great because they make me feel like I'm reliving my Saturday mornings as a child all over again. And who didn't love that time in their lives?

+ UPDATE : 9/14/2010 : Mad, mad, mad, mad world...
I received the second season DVD boxset of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya today. I'm about four episodes into it and I'm remembering all over again just why I love the hell out of this series so much. At first glance, it may appear to have many anime cliches involved, but you soon learn that there just isn't another series out there like this. It takes such crazy risks and always tries to go just far enough outside the box without going too far. And it's an almost perfect blend of "slice-of-life" and sci-fi, that there's enough to keep just about anyone hooked for a period of time.

I'm about halfway through the "Endless Eigtht" story arc, which, as the title suggest, is eight episodes that pretty much does the same thing over and over and over for that length, all while slightly changing certain scenes and spending more (or less) time on certain scenes to give you a broader view of everything with each passing episode. While some people didn't like this, I'm loving it for it's originality and creativity. It's difficult to make someone want to watch the same thing eight times over, but somehow, they pulled it off with me (so far). Can't wait to see how this plays out.

And on top of that, the final episodes in this collection are the "making of" of one of my all-time favorite anime episodes "EP 00 : The Adventures Of Magical Girl Mikuru Asahina" (the first episode chronologically in the series). I just know I'll be falling out of my couch laughing during that one.

I still have two of the light novels and one graphic novel in the Haruhi series to go through, so I've got plenty of stuff to keep me occupied during this little Haruhi run I'm having. Now I just need the Haruhi movie and the two YouTube Haruhi series to be released, and I'll be in Haruhi heaven.

+ UPDATE : 9/14/2010 : I did work... TO THE KREMLIN?!?!?!?!
Yep, I updated The KREMLIN of all things. Nothing much, just something I forgot I threw together when I was putting up the 10th Anniversary look. Still have to update the archive with the site's previous look.

Also, the Round 7 info page for AMV TKO was put up, complete with downloadable link. And it never fails... as soon as I finish one round, I start getting a whole bunch of ideas for the next round. I've really got to stop making these...

+ UPDATE : 9/10/2010 : I did work???
Go check out the AMV TKO website for something good.

Also, Bandai and I finally got our problems worked out and they finally sent me my order of the second Gurren Lagann movie. Haven't watched it yet, but I watched the bonus DVD and all I have to say is that first music video is disturbingly hilarious.

+ UPDATE : 8/26/2010 : Goings-on...
Finally got around to finishing Gurren Lagann a few weeks back. Loved the whole series, but it being a Gainax series, it's ending left a sour taste in my mouth. And no, not just the not-so-happily-ever-after ending, but just the way the climax was handled. I mean, seriously, do I have show anything more than this image to make my point?:

Speaking of Gurren Lagann, Bandai is being a total dick with me online with my order of the 2nd movie. It involved a duplicate email sent to me of my order of the first movie, which was sent in error. Now they think I have a second copy of the first movie and won't send the second movie to me until they receive said copy back (WHICH I DON'T HAVE, FOR THE RECORD!). Ugh...

And speaking of Gurren Lagann movies, the first movie was pretty good, albeit too fast paced. But the new final battle sequence (all-new animation) was far out awesome. You definitely should see the TV series first before watching this, because a lot of semi-important stuff from the TV series gets minimal screen time, making things fly right over your head if you aren't familiar with the original source.

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Another Sakura Wars sig done for my little project... and the lucky girl is... *drumroll*:

Sagitta Weinberg (aka Cheiron Archer). YOU... ARE... GUILTY!!!

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Been in a Sailor Moon mood lately, watching the unreleased in the U.S. final 5th season, SailorStars. During my viewing, I became aware of a little fan project to dub SailorStars completely in the style of DiC English dub of the first two seasons, complete with DiCs added graphics and music. As much as I despise the DiC English dub, you have to admit, these people did a great job emulating the dub all the way down to the use of those annoying lines like "Nega-trash", "Nega-vibes", and the overuse of the word "mega". Worth checking out for the impressive work and the hilariously awful dialogue.

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AMV TKO Round 7 is over halway done, so that means it will probably be done by some point in 2013.

+ UPDATE : 7/8/2010 : Never set goals...
I rarely like to set goals for myself, because I rarely want to complete them if I set them up before hand. I'm moreso a spur of the moment kind of guy. But, that being said, I have somewhat of a gameplan for the near future as far as my internet stuff is concerned.

1. Finish AMV TKO Round 7
2. Do some much needed work on The Kremlin's screenshot and music sections.
3. Open up the pictures and reviews sections here and possibly open up a few other sections.

Not too much there, although Round 7 is taking some time. It's already been about a year since I finished Round 6, but that's moreso due to laziness on my part.

+ UPDATE : 7/3/2010 : Good news...
Funimation announced at Anime Expo that they have a ton of new licenses for anime series in 2011, and among them are personal favorites Shakugan no Shana (Season 2, Movie and OVA) and HELLSING ULTIMATE (Volumes 5-7). Very awesome. I was beginning to worry both series were left for dead, but low and behold, here they are again.

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Picked up DEATHSMILES for the 360 yesterday. Always good to see more Japanese games on that system. It's a fun little arcade shooter full of gameplay options. I'm really enjoying it so far. And besides, how can you not love a game who's tagline is "Death smiles at us all. Lolis smile back." LOL

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Junker HQ recently posted an interview with Metal Gear and SNATCHER creator Hideo Kojima where he states that he originally wanted SNATCHER to be a six chapter story but they wanted him to cut it down to two (which he did and then eventually made a third chapter for later versions). I can only imagine what the game would have been like if it had been that long.

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And the newest member of my Sakura Wars message board signature project is...

SUMIRE!!! *insert egotistical laugh here*

+ UPDATE : 6/28/2010 : RE...SPECT...WALK!!!
For the third year in a row, The Relay For Life organization held a 24 hour walk at my old high school. I have to admit, this has become one of my favorite times of the year. Getting to see family and friends, have fun with all the events and even getting some good excercise all in a day. Great fun all around.

Speaking of exercise, when morning came aroud, a fitness instructor led a bunch of us in some great stretches and Tai Chi. I had always wanted to try Tai Chi, but had I known how painful the first time doing it would be, I may have thought twice about it. But, I have to admit, my body felt awake and ready to go for the rest of the day (although I was really hurting later, because I had worked a 10 hour shift just before going to the event, so add in all the walking...)

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Watched a few clips of the Haruhi movie and all I can say is my anticipation for it has just tripled. It just looks so EPIC, I can't put it into words. I've read it runs in at about 2 hours and 40 minutes, so it's going to be a good long run when it finally gets released over here.

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Also expecting a few new anime series coming my way in the mail soon. I still have to finish Gurren Lagann before the movies show up, too. I've really got to hold back for a while before I get swamped.

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STILL going VERY slowly with AMV TKO Round 7. For the dozens (...AND DOZENS!!!!!) who enjoy watching those, I'm very sorry.

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Kept up with E3 somewhat this year and all I can say is...:


360 Kinect - 1 Motion Controller = 32x
DO THE MATH!!!

Yeah, I'm not too thrilled about videogames this year. Well, except for SONIC COLORS, MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 and a handful of others. Definitely buying those.

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I picked up Lewis Black's newest CD and DVD. Maybe it's because I haven't been in the most cheerful of moods lately, but I found it to be one of his weakest releases. There's a few good chuckles in there, but they seemed to be few and far between. Oh well, with no George W. Bush and Dick Cheney around anymore, it's not as easy as it used to be (as he states himself).

+ UPDATE : 6/10/2010 : Sending out an SOS...

This can't be released fast enough. Every time I see something on this, my anticipation level rises even more. Can't wait to see Alternate-Yuki in action, acting in a complete 180 from her "normal" character. I'll definitely be picking this up.

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Somebody released Drew McIntyre's WWE entrance music ("Broken Dreams" by Shaman's Harvest) and I haven't been able to stop listening to it. Phenomenal song.

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Ugh, the weather lately sucks big time. It's just sucks up my energy and it really keeps me from wanting to do anything at all. Depressing to say the least.

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Good job, Flyers. You went and made a hockey fan out of me.

+ UPDATE : 5/7/2010 : Moving on...
Needless to say (THEN WHY SAY IT? D:), the last month or so has been a rough time for myself and my friends, but all in all, we've done a pretty good job, in my opinion, of moving on with our lives after such a terrible tragedy. Some are having some troubles related to the incident in different ways than others, but I'm sure they'll be fine in the long run.

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Back in my world of geek...

Finally got around to playing the FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST PS2 videogames, "The Broken Angel" and "The Curse Of The Crimson Elixir" after owning them for months and never really playing them until now. Beat the former and just started the latter to be more precise. Could this be due to the fact that I just earlier picked up the first volume of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime remake "Brotherhood"? Who knows? (I do, and the answer is yes)

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Got a TON of ideas for Round 7 of AMV TKO (including coming up with the intro just today), but I just lack the motivation and energy to do any real work on it. It will be made, I assure you, just a matter of when is the real question. But I hope to get it done soon, because I love the idea I have of the before-mentioned intro and want to see it come to life.

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One of my little internet hobbies, other than AMV TKO and making websites that don't last too long, is making signatures for use on the message boards I visit. One of those message boards in the NISAmerica board, the official board of the company responsible for finally getting a Sakura Wars game over here in America. I started a little project of sorts by trying to make a signature featuring each of the main heroines of the series, from each team (Tokyo, Paris and New York). That's a lot of sigs to be made, since it comes out to nearly two dozen sigs, especially if I make one for some of the secondary characters as well. Anyway, I like how they are coming out, and here's the sigs I've made so far:







They each have a similar look, all they while having a look and feel for each individual character (color schemes). After the Erica sig (2nd), I kind of gave up coming up with clever ways to put my internet name against the characters. I think it looks better with a simple "slap-it-in-the-corner" look, anyway. I might even go back and change the first two, but we'll see.

I actually haven't used the last one (Kohran) yet, but I try to get one done ahead of time and make a new one whenever I can. Here's hoping I get this done. The hard part is finding the right images to use. A few of those were actually made with using screenshots I made from the games, which can be a problem, quality-wise. But they ended up looking really good, in my opinion.

+ UPDATE : 5/7/2010 : Only the good...

Brian Geyer has been a friend of mine since high school. Truth is, at first, he was merely a friend of a friend. But over the years, he became one of the absolute best friends I ever had. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and a kind heart and very talented cyclist. But today, that wonderful life came to an end due to a horrible motorcycle accident.

My friend Joe (above also, on the left) and I are still in total shock and to be honest, it really hasn't even hit me that he's gone. I think because Joe has been in closer contact with him over the past year that he's taking it much harder than I am, but I know it's going to come down on me like a ton a of bricks when it finally does hit me.

Brian, I just can't believe I'm never going to get the chance to make you laugh again, and you also making me do the same. It seems like just yesterday we were all watching BRAM STROKER's DRACULA and making fun of how horrible it was from beginning to end.

I've known the pain of losing a mother, the pain of the abandonment of a father, and now I know the pain of the loss of one of my best friends. You were one of the good ones, Brian. There will never be any replacing you and you'll always be remembered.

+ UPDATE : 5/1/2010 : Longer than advertised...
So, yeah... The Kremlin turned 10 this past week. No real hooplah there, just a slightly updated look I put together a few months back to commemorate it. I really did want to do more, but just never got around to it. If that doesn't define the state of the site that I've barely touched over the past two years, I don't know what does.

Still can't guarantee much coming in the future for it, but I'll be damned if I don't try to keep the site going as long as possible.

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I picked up the newest DVD release of the Magic Knight Rayearth TV series. This marks the third time I've laid down money for the series. The first being all the singular VHS releases, the second being the first and second season DVD boxsets. One could also throw in the OVA DVD release, which I also double dipped by originally buying the VHS releases. It's funny that I don't even consider MKR a personal favorite. I think a lot of my love for the series stems from the SEGA Saturn game released in the U.S. by Working Designs, which is still one of my all-time favorites.

The selling point of the new DVD release was the completely remastered visuals (looks pretty darn good) and being completely uncut with all the extra stuff not included in the original DVD releases. There is also a MUCH improved menu setup (the original releases for Season 1 had one of the worst DVD menu setups I've ever seen). Kind of sad that the English dub songs aren't present in the actual episodes (available in the extras menu), but it's still a pretty solid release.

EDIT 5/02/10:

Just wanted to add this in to show the amazing difference between the original 2000 DVD release and the remastered 2010 DVD release:

ORIGINAL RELEASE

REMASTERED RELEASE

Pretty good improvement, huh?

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Picked up SUPER Street Fighter IV, even though I already owned Street Fighter IV. Is it worth picking up at the price of $39.99? Yes... yes it is. 10 new characters (35 overall), new Ultra Combos, new animated intros and outros for ALL the characters, and great online play... can't go wrong here.

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Still playing Bayonetta... still one of the most ridiculously awesome games I've ever played.

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So, Donovan McNabb is no longer an Eagle. Go 'Skins.

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Although I doubt he needs me to plug his show, I've been watching The Game Overthinker a lot lately. Never get tired of his opinions and the hilarious way he presents it. You definitely should give it a look.

+ UPDATE : 4/1/2010 : No foolin'...
Finally got around to seeing "How To Train Your Dragon" yesterday and I have to say it's right up there with WALL*E as a favorite CG (something I'm usually not a fan of). Toothless The Dragon totally sold that movie for me, with those big cat-like eyes of his. It was a simple, but fun story that was easily enjoyable and approachable for anyone.

I had to pay three extra dollars because I could only see it in 3D, the first time I'd ever seen a movie like that. While I will admit there were a few occurances that "looked really cool", I felt it's not a necessity in this day and age to see a movie. You want to really impress me? Make the movie some kind of hologram that DOESN'T require the glasses, and then we'll talk. And they want me to give back the glasses? Sorry, if I paid for 'em, I'm keeping 'em.

On a side note, "Despicable Me" and "Legend Of The Guardians" (two trailers shown before Dragon) are two other CG movies I might have to see.

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FINALLY picked up BAYONETTA thanks to GameStop's current deal they have going. Only played through a little so far since I have a certain other game to play through (see previous post), but here's what I have to say about it so far:

The opening stage (past the prologue stage) involves fighting some kind of angels from Heaven in a graveyard with breakdancing moves, including the usage of an endless amount of guns and bullets... all the while "Fly Me To The Moon" is playing in the background.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Awesome doesn't even begin to define this game.

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Oh a whim, I started watching R.O.D. (Read Or Die) because I thought a friend that was over would like it (he did, for the record). That includes both the three-part OVA series and the full-length TV series. I've always considered the TV series among my top favorites of all time as far as anime is concerned, and I'm starting to remember why.

I'm already through DISC 3 and if it wasn't so late and I was so sleepy, I'd be halfway through DISC 4 right now. The show is THAT good. So much so, that if there was one anime that I would suggest someone watch who wasn't particularly an anime fan in any way, I'd probably pick R.O.D. It just has a really great/groovy/silly/awesome feel to it that I think hits on so many levels. And the production values are through the roof, from the art to the animation to the music. A lot of hit and very little miss with this one, so give it a chance if you ever can. You won't be dissapointed.

+ UPDATE : 3/27/2010 : BANG! To the rooftops!

The game I've waited years to finally make it to U.S. shores is just days away, and I couldn't be more excited. I don't think it's quite sunk in that a Sakura Wars/Taisen game is finally going to make it here and I don't need some translation from the internet to fully enjoy it. It's going to be weird going into one of these games cold (as in, without a translated guide) and going on whims rather than what the guide tells me, but I think that will make it even more enjoyable. Here's to this game and hopefully more of the series making it over here.

IT'S SHOWTIME!!!

Also, I might just have to buy this game now.

+ UPDATE : 3/12/2010 : New, new, and new...
Picked up Gorillaz new CD, "Plastic Beach". I have to say, it really hasn't won me over that much. I personally get tired of all the guest acts on the CD, where I just want to hear Damon Albarn (2D) sing. Instead, I get a handful of hip-hop artists I've never heard of. Sure, Snoop Dogg is in there, but how long has it been since he's been relevant? Oh well, Damon does take the lead on a handful of tracks and unsurprisingly, those are the best tracks on the CD. Hopefully, it will eventually turn out like their previous album "Demon Days", where I wasn't too fond of that album either at first, but it eventually turned into one of my favorites.

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Doing work on AMV TKO Round 7? The heck you say! Yeah, looks like the creative bug has bitten me a little again, so I'm slowly but surely doing some work on it. I have a ton of ideas written down, it's just a matter of figuring out which ideas actually work on both film and paper. Then I have to figure out a decent intro and outro. So, needless to say... it's gonna be a long project.

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Got around to beating NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII at a friend's house and I have to say, it's one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played, especially in the multi-player mode. And the final boss and payoff are great in my opinion. I can only imagine how incredible the game would have been with an online play mode.

+ UPDATE : 2/19/2010 : One step forward, two steps back...
Finally got around to beating Tales Of Symphonia : Dawn Of The New World the other day. I have to say, I really didn't like it when I started it, but in the end, it turned out to be a welcome addition to the TALES OF... family of games. Even so, the game really felt like a watered-down TALES OF... game. I mean, no costumes with new titles and being forced to have at least one of the two main characters in you party at all times all the while turning the characters you know and loved from the original SYMPHONIA game into mere supporting characters with very limited abilities (no Sheena summoning abilities makes me all angry face).

Add in the unnecessary monster capturing aspect of the game (what is this, Pokemon?) and you have a somewhat confusing mess. The game in and of itself is nothing more than a fan-service frenzy for those who loved the original and just wanted a little more. I doubt all of those fans were pleased at the end, but thankfully, I felt the storyline and the (eventually) likeable new characters (Tenabrae is awesome) won me over in the end. The new voices took a while to get used to (only Collette and Kratos' original voices returned from what I could hear), but they weren't so different that you felt they were a completely different character. Lloyd's voice on the other hand was way different, and I miss his Teen Titans Robin voice (TITANS GO!!!)

With that game behind me, I decided to go back and do a second playthrough of ETERNAL SONATA, or as it's called "The Encore Mode". BIG MISTAKE. When you play in "Encore Mode", the difficulty level is shot straight through the roof. The game was hard enough the first time on normal mode!!! The boss battles are just so unforgiving. Seriously, if you don't spend an un-godly amount of hours just leveling up in "Encore Mode", you won't stand a chance.

After getting very frustrated, I decided I'd had enough and went back to the bread and butter of the TALES OF... series to give another playthrough of TALES OF THE ABYSS. Without question, one of the most popular games in the series, so much so, it's the only TALES OF... game to receive a full 26 episode TV series (others have gotten short OVA series or one shot movies). The gameplay is very much like the original SYMPHONIA game, only much, much better and easier to grasp in my opinion. Add in the easier OVER LIMIT abilities and you make a huge improvement over previous games in the series. I think it's also one of the longer games in the series, as in I clocked in my first playthrough at around 50 hours (!!!!). That's mostly because I went through a lot of the sidequests available in the first playthrough (there's apparently even more in the second playthrough). Add in some of the most likeable characters in a game I've ever played (Jade is still a jerk), another solid soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba and a great storyline, and you've got one of my personal favorites. Here's to another 50 hours.

Oh and no, I won't even think of giving TALES OF LEGENDIA another chance. I'd rather torture myself with "Encore Mode" in ETERNAL SONATA.

+ UPDATE : 2/4/2010 : Make-believe's reborn...

I know I'm in the minority when it comes to being a fan of the 3D Sonic The Hedgehog games of the past decade, but even I'll admit I'm hyped about the news of the upcoming new Sonic The Hedgehog game. It appears the levels have the look of the old-school 2D games with a 3D facelift (Sonic included), which could be a very good thing. As I said, I have liked the 3D games, so I hope those aren't going to be totally scrapped, but I get the feeling that the Wii will have exclusive rights to those games with the storybook series.

+ UPDATE : 1/29/2010 : VOLUME 10 PART 3
WWE Volume 10 has been released and I have to say it is easily one of the best WWE CD releases ever. Almost every track is a winner in my eyes (Sorry, Primo) and I'll be listening to this one for a while. Sheamus' theme is absolutely awesome, by the way.

----------

Still looking for just the right job for me, but at least I'm getting some more hours as of late at my current job, so that's getting me by for the moment.

----------

Finally getting around to watching the rest of Gurren Lagann. I just love it so much. It's so over the top on every level that you look past any negatives about the show with no problem. You know it's a good show when I can get my friend Joe to like it. His words exactly..., "It's just so stupid but I can't stop watching it!" Yeah, that seems about right.

+ UPDATE : 1/15/2010 : VOLUME 10 PART 2
Final tracklist for WWE THE MUSIC VOLUME 10 "A NEW DAY":

01. It's A New Day - The Legacy
02. I Am Perfection - Dolph Ziggler
03. I Came To Play - The Miz
04. Just Close Your Eyes - Christian
05. Return The Hitman - Bret Hart
06. Written In My Face - Sheamus
07. Insatiable - Tiffany
08. Domination - Ezekial Jackson
09. Born To Win - Evan Bourne
10. Oh Puerto Rico - Primo Colon
11. Radio - Zack Ryder
12. New Foundation - The Hart Dynasty
13. You Can Look (But You Can't Touch) - The Bella Twins
14. Crank The Walls Down - The Big Show & Chris Jericho

I was pretty close with my predictions, but I am a little surprised that both Bret Hart's new theme and The Hart Dynasty's theme are on there, seeing how similar the two themes are. Oh well, I'm happy to get both. I particularly can't wait for Sheamus' theme, though... "these words are true and I'll make you belieeeeeeeve..."

+ UPDATE : 1/14/2010 : I like sing with the radio CD(?)...
WWE is releasing WWE The Music Volume 10 "A New Day" in about two weeks. Glad to see the release date isn't that far off from the announcement. The tracklist will be announced tomorrow, but here's what I'm expecting it to be:

Legacy (obviously, since their theme is called "It's A New Day")
Sheamus
Zack Ryder
Evan Bourne
Dolph Ziggler
Christian
Ezekial Jackson
Bella Twins
Jeri-Show
Katie Lea Burchill
The Miz
Tiffany
Hart Dynasty
DX (one of the unreleased versions)

A lot of that has been released in some form, but quite a few not in full, so it looks like a solid release to me.

EDIT:

---""WWE The Music – A New Day" will be released exclusively for download at @AmazonMP3 Jan. 28 for just $3.99 for a limited time!"

I hope that doesn't mean there won't be a CD release, like they did for VOLUME 7 on iTunes.

EDIT #2:

Supposedly, there will be a CD release in some form or another through Amazon. Good to hear.

----------

After getting NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CLASH OF NINJA REVOLUTION III (whew, that's still a long name to type), I've been going back and playing other games in the CLASH OF NINJA series, trying to finally unlock everything. I have to say, that's the one thing I don't like about this series. The requirements to unlock everything take FOREVER. Still, it's a fun series in the long run, even if it's the MADDEN of anime games, in which it really doesn't change all that much with each installment.

+ UPDATE : 1/6/2010 : Let's move along, shall we?
A new year is here and it's already a good year, because there's no way it can be as bad as last year. Let's hear it for 2010!!!

----------

Got NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CLASH OF NINJA REVOLUTION III (try saying that three times fast) and RESIDENT EVIL UMBRELLA CHRONICLES (both for the Wii) for Xmas. While the Naruto game is more of the same (albeit still improved) for the series, REUC is a completely different take on the series, it being a 1st-Person shooter and all. It takes some liberties with the storylines of the original RE games it covers, but that's not an entirely bad thing. All in all, it's great to have another fun shooter game.

----------

Still contemplating whether or not to buy BAYONETTA (360) now or try and save some money by getting it used somewhere down the line. The demo is so amazing, it's hard to hold off from buying it.

----------

Although I know it won't come anytime soon, I'm still hoping for a phone call from a certain company I applied to a few months ago.

+ UPDATE : 12/12/2009 : AMERICA! F**K NO!!!
Each time some new information comes out about Sakura Wars V's U.S. release, I get less and less excited about the game. First it was the hilariously bad trailer featuring Sandy Cheeks Gemini Sunrise's rootin' tootin' southern twang, then the name changes, and now on top of all of that, the Wii version of the game is not getting the Special Edition treatment. Yep, only the PS2 version will have a Special Edition with Japanese voice-over disc and other bonus features. I was planning all along to get the Wii S.E. version, but now that isn't happening. I hope NISA does something in the near future to respark my interest in this game, because their mishandling of it is really starting to lose me.

Speaking of Japanese videogames... been playing Onechanbara for the 360. It's a downright silly game from the start, but it's a fun little hack 'n slash game, something that there aren't that many of out there anymore. It's a little too repetitive at times, but it still feels good to slash a countless amount of zombies to pieces.

----------

Had an interview with a company that I had applied for about a month back, and it went very well. Here's hoping they call back for a second interview.

+ UPDATE : 11/20/2009 : Close my eyes and feel the burn...
GOT MY CRUSH 40 S.S.S. CD TODAY!!!!!!! My thoughts on the new tracks/mixes:

01. I Am... All Of Me (New Mix)
Out of all the new mixes, I notice the least amount of difference between this and the original. The only really noticeable difference is the ending, which is no longer that "slam" sound effect, but a really neat digital fade out. I can't really describe it, you have to hear it for yourself.

02. His World (New Mix)
Wow. They really put this song through the ringer. The mixing of the music is much improved and it does sound like Johnny re-recorded the lyrics. They even add a little bit of that broken words effect like in their version of "With Me" to certain parts, which I really like. WAY better than the original recording in my opinion.

03. Un-gravitify
Cashell's original version is easily one of my all-time favorite Sonic songs, so Crush 40 was going to have to do a lot to match it. And I think they did a pretty good job in doing so. It definitely has it's own feel, but at the same time, it doesn't sound like anything Crush 40 has done before, which is a good thing in my opinion. I really like the "Whoa~..." parts added during the final part of the song.

09. Fire Woman
I'll be honest, I never heard The Cult's version of the song before, so I really didn't know what I was getting here. But I really like this song and it really has that Crush 40 feel to it, so how could I not like it?

13. Knight Of The Wind (New Mix)
WOW. Jun wasn't kidding when he said that he fully reworked the rythm guitars from the original. This almost feels like a totally new song after listening to the original about a million times (another favorite). It's not a drastic change by any means, but the mixing is definitely improved.

15. Open You Heart (New Mix)
HOLY... they totally reworked this song from top to bottom. Absolutely love it on every level. Much like the other new mixes, it just really feels like a totally new song and breathes new life into what I consider THE Crush 40 song. Unfortunately, no "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh..." at the end makes me all frowny face. Maybe I'll mix it in myself someday.

16. Is It You
Crush 40 is really hitting the power ballads as of late, huh? Definitely a great track and I'll no doubt be listening to it a lot.

+ UPDATE : 11/19/2009 : They censor that name on the NISA message board...
And the name changes continue. Cherry Cocker... really? REALLY??? I'm usually ok with minor edits made to Japanese anime/videogames as long as they keep the original intent/emotions intact as much as possible. But when you make pointless/stupid changes like this, that's when I have to scream foul.

Good thing the original Japanese voice disc is keeping the original names intact.

----------

Still waiting for my Crush 40 CD. I'm hoping for a Friday delivery... while I'm at work.

UPDATE:

According to the tracker, my CD is in JFK NY right now, so there's a good chance it'll be here tomorrow... once again... while I'm at work.

Also, if this isn't one of the funniest things ever, I don't know what is.

+ UPDATE : 11/17/2009 : Worth it?
The tracklist for True Colors : The Best Of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has finally been released, right on cue with the release of Super Sonic Songs.

01. Un-gravitify
02. Dreams Of An Absolution
03. Throw It All Away
04. E.G.G.M.A.N.
05. Waking Up Performed by Julien-K
06. This Machine Performed by Julien-K
07. Fly In The Freedom
08. My Sweet Passion
09. Believe In Myself (SA2 Version)
10. Unknown From M.E. (SA2 Version)
11. Theme of E-102
12. Cosmic Eternity - Believe in Yourself
- Bonus Tracks -
13. Look-a-like (Short Edited ver.)
14. Sonic3 MegaD Mix
15. Lazy Days -Livin' in Paradise- (Original Demo - Mixed with Ted Poley)
16. All Hail Shadow (Hybrid Mix feat. Mike Szuter)
17. Dreams Of An Absolution (Starry Night Remix)
18. Open Your Heart (K-Klub Remix)

Great tracklist... except for:

Believe In Myself (SA2 Version)
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! The SA1 version is infinitely better. The SA2 version is almost as bad as "We Can" from Heroes.

Look Alike (Short Edit)
LOVE THIS SONG. But why are we getting the short version? I'm assuming it's the same length as the end credits from the original SONIC anime.

Also, no love for the Babylon Rogues?

+ UPDATE : 11/17/2009 : It's the suspense that's killing me...
Got an email today saying my Crush 40 SSS CD is in the mail and heading to me as we sp... err... type. I should have it by tomorrow or Thursday. Either way is fine, since I don't work on Thursday and could be there to sign for it right away. It should be great hearing all those new mixes and "Un-gravitify".

----------

It feels good knowing I should be able to get some half-decent Christmas gifts for my family and friends this year.

----------

Alright WWE... I think you are about due for a new "The Music" CD. Let's hear about it already!

----------

It's been brought to my attention that Cartoon Network is finally getting back to what it knows... ya know, CAR-F'N-TOONS. They're showing Pink Panther, Johnny Bravo and even had a Looney Tunes marathon. Yes, those Looney Tunes. Not Baby Looney Tunes or Loonatics, but the real living, breathing Looney Tunes from the middle of last century. Ya know, the ones that were actually funny and entertaining. To that I say to Cartoon Network... *clap*.................................*clap*.................................*clap*

Let's keep it going and lose those God-awful reality shows, OK?

+ UPDATE : 11/13/2009 : CD got back...

***CLICK FOR FULL SIZE***

Just for the record:

TRACK # | TITLE | (SOURCE)
01. His World ~Zebrahead Version~ (SONIC '06 VOCAL TRAXX)
02. Seven Rings In Hand ~Crush 40 Version~ (TRUE BLUE)
03. Sonic Speed Riders ~Electro Express Mix~ (SONIC RIDERS OST)
04. Dreams Of An Absolution ~LB vs JS Remix~ (SONIC '06 VOCAL TRAXX)
05. A New Venture ~Surfin' S.R.A. Remix~ (TRUE BLUE)
06. Knight Of The Wind ~Dance Remix~ (YOUTUBE)
07. Open Your Heart ~Transmutator Vs. Razed In Black Remix~ (SONIC ADVENTURE REMIX CD)
08. Un-gravitify ~Electro Extended~ (SONIC RIDERS ZERO GRAVITY OST)
09. Sonic X Theme ~Remix~ (4KIDS Website)
10. His World ~Blue World Prelude Mix~ (Summer Of Sonic 2008 Theme)
11. With Me ~Massive Power Mix~ (SONIC & The Black Knight VOCAL TRAX)
12. Catch Me If You Can ~Rockin' Beats Mix~ (SONIC RIDERS OST)
13. Worth A Chance ~Original Version~ (SONIC & The Secret Rings OST)
14. Sonic Boom ~D'nB Mix~ (SONIC GEMS (GAMECUBE))
15. Seven Rings In Hand ~Fairytales In Trance~ (SONIC & The Black Knight VOCAL TRAX)
16. His World ~Crush 40 Version~ (SONIC '06 VOCAL TRAXX)
17. Open Your Heart ~Crush 40 Vs. Bentley Jones Remix~ (TRUE BLUE)
18. Un-gravitify ~Crush 40 Version~ (CRUSH 40 SUPER SONIC SONGS)*

* - Not yet released

I might change the tracklist once I see what's on TRUE COLORS (aka TRUE BLUE 2).

EDIT: Changed the title.

+ UPDATE : 11/12/2009 : More Sonic Goodness
Found a pretty awesome remix of "Knight Of The Wind" from SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT. Still can't wait for that Crush 40 CD to get here.

+ UPDATE : 11/11/2009 : BONUS!

***CLICK THE IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE***

No, that isn't YET ANOTHER Sonic related CD being released (although, I'd be flattered if you thought that it was). It's merely something I threw together over the past couple days for a little iTunes playlist of Sonic "bonus tracks", covers and remixes from most of the CD releases over the past few years (and a few other "rare" gems as well).

One of my betters works in my opinion. Once I have a definitive tracklist, I plan to make a back cover.

----------

A happy Veteran's Day to all.

+ UPDATE : 11/10/2009 : DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT!
Crush 40 in Rock Band?! Oh yes...

----------

The new job is going well for the most part, but man... there is a lot to cover. Certain parts of the job come easy due to my past experience, but all the new things are getting to me a little. This place covers ALL their bases to an extent I never would have expected. Which is by no means a bad thing. But let's just say I've never washed my hands so many times in one day in my life.

+ UPDATE : 11/9/2009 : There is no way I can lose...
I survived my first full day of paid work in months, and I gotta say, it feels good to be a part of the work force again. You can only take so much of just sitting around home all day doing nothing. I still have A LOT to learn, but I feel it's coming to me a lot quicker than I expected.

----------

Less than ten days away from the release of CRUSH 40's Super Sonic Songs CD release. I usually get the SONIC-related CDs in the mail the day of their release, since my provider tends to send them out a little early. I tell ya, I can't wait to hear the full version of their "Un-gravitify" cover. And the new mixes should nice as well.

Speaking of SONIC... I went back and started playing through SONIC And The Black Knight for the Wii. I originally bought it the day it came out way back when, beat the main storyline and then just let it sit. I actually forgot how much fun this game was, and once I remembered the proper controls to the game, I liked it even more. I tried to unlock as much stuff as I could and believe me... it wasn't easy. That 2nd Sir Lancelot battle is the bain of my existance. But I eventually did beat him.

----------

The Phillies didn't win, but I am in no way disappointed with this season. If there is one thing I'm tee'd off about, it's about Alex Rodriguez. Nothing against the Yanks, but I find it despicable that a player surrounded by controversy like A-Rod wins a ring, all while one of the greatest and classiest players ever in Ken Griffey Jr. has not and probably never will win a ring. A-Rod has a ring because he's a Yankee. If Griffey had been a Yankee, he'd have five rings minimum.

+ UPDATE : 11/3/2009 : Up and away...
Things are starting to look up for me lately, at least compared to what they were a week ago. I now have a job (still have to make it totally official on Thursday) and can breathe a sigh of relief over my economic situation. I still have a lot of work to do (literally), but I'm feeling happy for the first time in a while.

----------

Great win for The Phillies in Game 5. If this series goes seven games, The Phils are winning it all, mark my words. And how about Chase Utley? Hall Of Fame-like performance in this series. Now, if Ryan Howard pulls it together for the last two games, I like our chances.

----------

Trying out GOOGLE CHROME after trying it our on my sister-in-law's laptop and I have to say I'm very impressed. It's difficult to not use Mozilla Firefox, but I like what I see. It's kind of like comparing the iPhone to the Blackberry. One has more options, one is more stylish, but both do the job pretty well.

Speaking of my sister-in-law, I never realized how fun it was showing someone how to do movie-editing work on you computer. We had a blast putting together a video of her and my brother's recent trip to Jamaica. Sure, it's nothing flashy, but just to see how happy she was with how it came out with my help made me pretty happy.

Also, while I was visiting, my brother and her got to see AMV TKO Rounds 1-6 for the first time. Although I had them watch the rounds in reverse order, because the later rounds are better and I wanted a good first impression with them. Surprisingly, they found them very funny and my brother was laughing particularly hard at any clips involving Family Guy, such as this little gem. Makes me want to get to work on Round 7... but let's not get too far ahead right now.

----------

Tried out the Bayonetta demo (thanks to my Japanese XBox Live account ), and all I can say is "WOW". They weren't kidding when they said it was Devil May Cry on steroids. I'm probably gonna pick this up sometime.

In other videogame news, finally got around to finishing Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night on my 360. It was just sitting there in my hard drive after I beat the first half of the game, and since it was Halloween, I decided to finish it up. I don't have EVERYTHING on the game's map covered, but I have quite a bit.

----------

The Misadventures Of Flap-Jack is still the funniest animated show in ages, if you ask me.

+ UPDATE : 10/27/2009 : Awake... so very awake...
It's amazing how one trip to family who lives right down the road can turn my depression around. I seriously don't know where I'd be without my family right now. I feel so much better now, I can't even put it into words. It's not just the advice they gave, but just getting to be around them, which is something I seriously do not do enough of. Getting to talk about the family, look at old pictures of my Mom (and getting to take a few home) and eat a good home-cooked meal just seemed to make everything right. They are the greatest family in the world, and I will always love them and will be forever grateful for them taking me under their wings and guiding me in the right direction.

There's still a lot of work to do, but I feel I'm heading in the right direction for the first time in a very long time. I love you all.

-----------

(SO LONG, MY) LOVE the new look to the site. They pretty much translated the original Japanese site, which I have absolutely no problem with. Still looking forward to this game.

-----------

Did a run through the last three DVDs of Princess Tutu. I have to say, this series blew me away. For a show that's difficult to take seriously considering it's name, it being a magical girl anime and it's heavy use of ballet, it's been one of the most enjoyable shows I've had the joy to watch in a very long time. The use of classical music from "The Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy" to the Olympics theme had me smiling quite a bit.

And on top of that, the ending is one of the more satisfying endings I've witnessed in some time, which is a rarity in anime. Sure, it's not the complete "Happily Ever After..." ending you may want/expect, but it's a more than acceptable ending. I wouldn't hesitate to put this in my personal TOP 10 anime series I've watched and I know I'll be watching it again in the very near future.

Also, major praise to ADV for the ammount of extras on the DVDs. It's gonna take me a while just to get through those.

+ UPDATE : 10/27/2009 : Tired... so very tired...
As a person who takes pride in living an optimistic life in which nothing can ever be as bad as it seems, I'm losing my mind with my current economic situation. I've been without a job for quite some time now, and the fact I haven't found anything has finally started to catch up with me. So much so that I've been worrying myself sick to my stomach to which I am now having difficulty eating properly. At least, I think that's what's causing it. It could have something to do with eating at a Chinese buffet for lunch a few days ago and then vommitting up everything late that night. Either way, I'm a mess right now.

I can't remember the last time I was in a wreck like this. Even when my mother was sick with cancer, I found solace in my family helping me keep my head up, knowing that even if Mom would die, they would take care of me in some way, shape or form. And when she did eventually pass on, they have been there for me even moreso than I could have ever imagined. I have to tell you, even typing that makes me feel slightly better. But now, I wonder if I've painted myself into a corner that even they can help me out of.

I used to constantly make fun of people who whined and cried about their "terrible lives" and acted (as I referred them as) "emo" on their blogs. But that was before I knew what it really felt like to have a truely difficult situation. I've had a really good run over the past few years and really took a lot of things for granted. Such as my previous job, while not a dream job, helped me live a very compfortable life with good pay and benefits. Now that the job is gone (literally gone), I've found myself lost and unsure of being able to accomodate myself to a lesser job. But right now, I can't even tell you what receiving a call from my old job at the gas station would do for me right now. I just need something to give me balance, since that what my whole life has been about.

My optimistic side keeps telling me everything is gonna be alright, but when you are literally worried sick to your stomach where you find it difficult to eat, it's a little hard to feel upbeat. I can't help but feel that I am being a total drama queen right now, and it's literally driving me crazy. If there is one thing I can't stand is feeling helpless, and right now, being confined to my couch waiting, hoping a phone call comes my way... well, that's all I feel like right now.

Here's hoping things turn around.

Oh yeah, GO PHILLIES. I need a smile right now.

+ UPDATE : 10/22/2009 : Another hat on the rack...

Watched the game from the BOOTLEGGERS bar in Philly and during the victory celebration with a bunch of new friends, I got doused with more beer than I've ever drank in my life. After that, rocked out with The Dead Poets and later went to Harrah's with some good friends. All in all a great night I'll never forget! Get ready, New York, because here comes your worst nightmare since the 2004 Red Sox.

+ UPDATE : 10/20/2009 : TRUE BLUE TWO

There's no definitive information at this time on this album, but it's been rumored to mostly focus on the "amigos" of Sonic, such as Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow and the countless other characters in the SONIC series. It should be released in December, but that's not a given at this time. If it's anything like "TRUE BLUE", this should be a great CD. Can't wait to see what kind of bonus tracks this CD has.

+ UPDATE : 10/17/2009 : SSS
01. I Am… All Of Me*
02. His World*
03. Un-gravitify**
04. All Hail Shadow
05. Never Turn Back
06. Revvin’ Up
07. Into The Wind
08. Watch Me Fly…
09. Fire Woman**
10. Sonic Heroes
11. What I’m Made Of…
12. Live Life
13. Knight Of The Wind*
14. Live & Learn
15. Open Your Heart*
16. Is It You**

* New Mix For This Release
** Previously Unreleased, New Recording For This Release

Catalog Number: WWCA-31207
Release by WAVEMASTER ARTISTS
Distribute by Avex Marketing
Release date: Nov.18, 2009


It's gonna be a good Thanksgiving this year...

+ UPDATE : 10/13/2009 : Everybody wants some...
OMG... there's gonna be a Haruhi movie. I still have to see the renewal (2nd) season of the TV series, but I'm totally psyched for this.

Speaking of anime, I started watching Princess Tutu last night. Read that sentence as many times as you want... it still sounds as stupid as the first time each time you read it. But, it's surprisingly a funny and cute little show that's full of old-school storytelling elements that actually make it fairly watchable. And on top of that, the music (oh, the music!) is incredible.

----------

Got Guitar Hero : Van Halen in the mail today. After playing it, I can understand why it was given away for free (after buying Guitar Hero 5). Sure, it's fun... but it just falls short of some of the other music games, especially after the great Guitar Hero 5, which I felt ressurected the series. It will be nice if they make it so you can import songs from Guitar Hero : Van Halen to Guitar Hero 5, though.

----------

Still not 100% healthy, but I'm getting there.

+ UPDATE : 10/12/2009 : 2 down, 2 rounds to go...

What an incredible come-from-behind victory. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Ben Fransisco and Brad Lidge all coming up huge. Get ready LA, 'cause here we come again!

----------

Never thought I'd get a steroid shot in the rump, but due to a uvula infection, that's exactly what I got the other day. It wasn't really that painful, but damn did my butt feel weird for the rest of the day. And I'm sure you all wanted to know about that little tidbit of my life.

+ UPDATE : 9/30/2009 : 1 down, three rounds to go...

AWESOME. I have already picked up the NL East Champions hat, here's hoping I've got two more hats coming my way.

+ UPDATE : 9/28/2009 : Beyond Heaven
If you've followed my websites for, oh say, the past ten years or so, you may have noticed that I'm a big fan of a certain videogame called SNATCHER. I mean, I did make a little website based on it. For those of you not aware, SNATCHER's creator is a man by the name of Hideo Kojima. If that name doesn't ring a bell, you should know he is also responsible for one of the most popular/successful game series of all time in the METAL GEAR / METAL GEAR SOLID series. But his resume doesn't end there.

As it turns out, he's also responsible for a videogame entitled POLICENAUTS. This game, much like the two previous mentioned games, was released on numerous outlets, including the SEGA Saturn and SONY Playstation systems. But unlike the other two, it never received a U.S. (or even English-translated) release from Konami. I mean, even SNATCHER got a SEGA CD release.

But all of that was made insignificant, when a fellow SNATCHER fan at Junker HQ, as well as a handful of other Kojima-fanatics, put a ton of work into not only translating the game, but patching the game's text so that the Playstation version game could be played in English. Finally, after years of hearing about this game, I could finally give the game that many call "Snatcher's spiritually sequel" a try.

And all I can say is that this game is as advertised by it's fans as a cult-classic. The cinematic feel of the game is amazing. For a Playstation 1 game, this game just shines visually, and as many Konami games do, it has a wonderful soundtrack. I feel like I'm playing a highly advanced version of Snatcher with it's gameplay, look, sound and feel. And I tell you, I couldn't ask for anything more from a game.

If you are able to take the time to figure out how to play this game either on your PC or PS1/2, I highly suggest you do. It's not too difficult too get the .ISO files of the game (or a physical copy of the game, say from eBay), a PS1 emulator (and the BIOS files to run the emulator) to play this game. I mean, if I can do it, you can, too. And I hope you do, because it's a blast.

More info on the game and how to play the English patch of the Playstation game can be found at Policenauts.net.

+ UPDATE : 9/25/2009 : Beautiful
I finished up Muramasa - The Demon Blade today. Finished, as in getting all six endings between the two characters and getting every sword in the game. I still need to max out both characters to Level 99, but that's not totally necessary at the moment. I rarely do that with a videogame. I mean, I usually just beat the game and get it out of the way to move on to the next one. But this game was just so great, I felt compelled to go all the way with it.

I wrote a review of the game on a message I visit, and I'll probably post it here (along with a few others) in the near future.

----------

The Kremlin is going to be 10 years old in the near future (if you ignore the few times I closed the site down temporarily). I really ought to think of something to commemorate it.

----------

This may just be the most awesome piece of fanart ever. I'm currently using that as my desktop. Yes, I still love that show. The old favorites die hard.

+ UPDATE : 9/17/2009 : Gemini, is that really you?

............Rrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

If that's what Gemini is gonna sound like, I'm almost afraid to think what Sagit... err, excuse me... Cheiron is gonna sound like. If they give her some stereotypical African-American voice, I see nothing but bad things down the line.

I'm almost starting to think that the price we have to pay to get Sakura Wars over here in the states is too high, if this video is any indication. But then I just remind myself that the game is coming with a second disc featuring the Japanese voices and I feel much better.

But, boy howdy...

+ UPDATE : 9/10/2009 : IT'S GAMETIME!

A new SONIC game in 2D after a lot of average-at-best 3D adventures that started with SONIC ADVENTURE (SONIC 3D Blast DOES NOT count) in 1999. Is it a coincidence that this news comes out around the same time as the SEGA DREAMCAST's 10th birthday?

If the game is anything like the 2D parts of SONIC UNLEASHED, this should be pretty good.

-----------------------

Also picked up Muramasa : The Demon Blade for the Wii and The Beatles Rock Band (360). Two games that are a load of fun and can't recommend enough.

+ UPDATE : 8/29/2009 : IT'S SHOWTIME!
Let the countdown begin! Seriously, this game cannot come out fast enough for me. Getting to play Sakura Wars in English has been a long-time dream of mine. No longer having to look at my notes every five seconds that I took from GAMEFAQs on what answers I should give and which areas I should go to. I can now just kick back and really enjoy the game.

This is gonna be AWESOME.

+ UPDATE : 8/13/2009 : For the birds...
Michael Vick is a Philadelphia Eagle. Yes... THAT Michael Vick.

To quote the GameStop bunny.... HOLY SHIT.

I by no means condone what Vick did in his past (everyone who knows me knows how much I love animals), but I believe he has paid his debt to society and deserves a chance to play. And if he's able to do even half of the things he did while in Atlanta, he might be able to do some great things for the team. And by that I mean as something other than a QB.

I'm not getting my hopes too high at the moment, especially since he can't play an official game until Week 6, but this will definitely have an impact of some sort in the near future.

Jeeeeezzzzzz... The Phillies get Pedro Martinez and Cliff Lee and now the Eagles do this. Talk about major additions. Ok Sixers... now it's your turn to make a major acquisition.

----------

Made a new sig that I'm rather proud of, so I figured I'd show it off (featuring my net name and WWE's Evan Bourne):


(Evan Bourne is copyright to WWE)

+ UPDATE : 8/4/2009 : Days of our youth...
Today I joined in on a message board thread about how cartoons of today are terrible compared to the cartoons of 80s (and so forth). I felt the need to speak my opinion (that's what message boards are for... right?) and I felt I'd post here what I posted there.

==========

As a long time lover of all things animated, I'd like to jump into this.

I think it's a matter of perspective as to whether cartoons back in the 80s or cartoons of today are better. If you really go back and watch a majority of 80s cartoons, almost all of them are GOD AWFUL. If you were a fan of Voltron as a kid, I dare you to watch it now. I bought some of the DVD boxsets, and I couldn't get through box set 2 before I sold them all. They were that bad. I could even tell all the areas that were edited from the original Japanese show (without ever seeing the original Japanese show).

Unless it was made by Disney, most cartoons from the 80s had incredibly low budgets and looked and sounded horrible. The writing was bad and everything in a lot of them felt uninspired.

Don't get me wrong, there were a bunch of classics from the 80s, but I think they're just that. Classics. The reason we love them so much is because they were from a majority of OUR childhoods. Today's cartoons don't represent a part of our life, mostly because we won't let them, due to us clinging to the cartoons of our childhood.

Once again, don't get me wrong, there are A TON of horrible cartoons of today. But there are a lot of really good ones, and I'm not just talking about the more adult ones like Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park and anything off of Adult Swim. (my personal favorites list is below)

I'm sure if we tried to get some kids today to watch the cartoons we loved as kids, they'd probably not want to watch that much. Like I said, it's all about perspective.

I also think part of the problem is that there are so many more outlets for cartoons nowadays. When we were kids, we only had four or five channels that showed cartoons every Saturday from 8am-12pm and maybe one of those channels showed cartoons when you got home from school. Nowadays, there are countless channels with animated programming, some of them are shown 24/7. Cartoons just don't seem as important anymore now that they are more widespread.

And, of course, there is the age issue. As you grow older, animated shows (which are wrongfully labled as "kids programming") just aren't socially considered programming older people should watch. So you probably feel justified in both hating today's cartoons and being justified in liking the older cartoons, because you watched them when you were the socially approved age of watching those programs.

There are a lot of stinkers in the animated world today (that list is also below), but I think to just pass off animated shows just because they are the "cartoons of today", isn't a fair judgment to pass.

===========================

Some of the best cartoons of the past decade or so include:
Spongebob Squarepants
Teen Titans
The various Batman and DC Comics Series (Justice League)
Jackie Chan Adventures
Powerpuff Girls
Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends
Chowder
Misadventures Of Flap Jack (my current favorite)
Invader Zim
The Wild Thornberries
Samurai Jack
K.I.D.S. Next Door
Courage The Cowardly Dog
Billy & Mandy
Avatar (I haven't seen a lot of this, but what I've seen is pretty good)


And some of the worst:
Ben 10
Johnny Test
Total Drama Island / Action
Stoked
6teen
Trasformers Animated

+ UPDATE : 7/25/2009 : My dream job...
Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter are awesome. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard.

----------

I made a huge mistake stumbling upon Yahoo! Japan Auctions... I'm finding a ton of anime merchandise that I never see on eBay and finding it difficult not to unload my entire bank account on them. Unfortunately, YJ doesn't have an option for people outside of Japan, but I'm able to bid on auctions thanks to a middle-man type of company that I've dealt with before.

I've got a bunch of Sakura Wars stuff headed my way that I probably would have never gotten otherwise. I just have to use some restraint to make sure I don't go broke bidding on stuff. And I thought I was bad on eBay...

+ UPDATE : 7/19/2009 : Just the beginning?
I just happened to stumble upon this while looking up stuff on iTunes. Who knew that was available to U.S. audiences? Makes me happy that with the Sakura Wars V game making it to U.S. shores this fall and now this, that U.S. Sakura Wars/Taisen fans are finally starting to get some love.

I would buy it, but I already have most of those songs from CD soundtracks I've bought over the years.

----------

One of The Kidd Chris Show's funniest bits ever, and it's great to finally get to see it.

+ UPDATE : 7/15/2009 : Three for one...
News from THE SONIC STADIUM:

In a news blast to his fan community website, Jun 'Parfect' Senoue has followed up on our last story by revealing that he's actually working on three CDs, with the intention of them being released this year. The brand new Crush 40 album that was announced previously is no longer to be released within the September – November window, but the musician promises that work will continue once he and singer Johnny Gioeli have some spare time.

The three CDs include a new compilation of Sonic themes to compliment the recent 'True Blue' release, a Crush 40 Best-Of collection and a profile of Senoue’s works in non-Sonic games and other soundtracks. Sayeth the guitarist:

Crush 40 : The Best of Crush 40 – Super Sonic Songs
- Sep.16, 2009
- The previous one we released through Frontiers Records had been out of print for years and also we have released several songs since then. This CD will have most of our songs we did for Sega video games.

JUN SENOUE : The Works
- Oct. 21, 2009
- I have worked on several non-Sonic related games like 'Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition', 'Sega Rally 2' and some others. Also there are some rare tracks I provided for soundtrack releases as well. This is the compilation of my works from mid of 90's through 2009.

The Best of Sonic the Hedgehog Part2 : True Colors
- Sometime in November
- 'True Blue' was the collection of music of world famous blue hedgehog, Sonic. And 'True Colors' will be the compilation CD featuring theme songs for characters of the world of Sonic the Hedgehog.

When asked if there would be any unique or special material included on any of these projects, Senoue seemed optimistic about throwing in some rare, unreleased tracks and alternate versions to popular songs. But so far, nothing has been confirmed on that front.

Even without the long-awaited sequel to Crush 40, it looks like fans of Jun are going to be treated well this year.

All I can is I'm always psyched for a new Crush 40/SONIC cd, so I'll definitely be picking up the first and third CD. Depending on what's on the second CD, I may have to pick that up as well. I'm just hoping for some unreleased stuff from the past or some kind of new covers/remakes, something that Crush 40 has been very good at doing recently.

+ UPDATE : 7/9/2009 : Two is greater than one...
LATEST NEWS FROM THE NISA NEWSLETTER:

*****


Sakura Wars : So Long, My Love To Feature Both English & Japanese Voices!

Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love will come in a premium package, including an English voice disc and a Japanese voice disc. Yes! There will be two discs in one package! We know that you are all looking forward to the original Japanese voice overs, and it turned out we couldn't fit both English and Japanese on one disc. So we decided to make this premium package in order to make sure that the Japanese voices will be available to you guys. This 2-disc package will be available for both the Wii and PS2 versions!

*****

Also in a press release, it was announced that the game would come with a collectors art cover. Needless to say, this is about as good as it gets for a Sakura Wars fan like me. The logo isn't half bad, either. NISA is always good with having bonus stuff with the games, like artbooks and soundtracks, so I wonder if this is only the beginning.

+ UPDATE : 7/8/2009 : Hail To The King???
According to numerous reports, LeBron James was dunked on at his training facility by Xavier college basketball player Jordan Crawford. Numerous people in the press were filming at the time and after it occurred, LeBron talked to a Nike representative. Shortly thereafter, the Nike representative went around and confiscated all of tapes from people filming. Needless to say, a lot of people are screaming foul on this one.

Ever since the Cavs fell to the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Playoffs, "Prince" James has been digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole as far as his public image is concerened when he refused to shake hands with the Magic players and refused to talk to the press later. Add in all the talk of him going to New York and his constant portrayal of wearing New York gear (Yankees caps, shirts, etc.), the wearing of the "MVP" shirt in public, as well as this incident, and it's really starting to look like LeBron is starting to turn into a primadonna (if he isn't one already).

Also, am I the only one who found it hilarious that he got dunked on by a guy named "Jordan"?

----------

I just realized recently that The Kremlin will turn 10 years old next April. That's just scary. I originally put that site together in the middle of the night one night during college that I couldn't sleep. Who would've thought it would still be around after all these years? Sure, I shut it down a handful of times and haven't touched it in a long while (that will hopefully change soon), but it's still something I'm proud of.

+ UPDATE : 7/6/2009 : Frustration
AMV TKO Round 6 is now up for viewing... sort of. More info on the AMV TKO website.
+ UPDATE : 7/1/2009 : Procrastinate... NOW!
Right now, there's a pretty good thunderstorm going on. I just pray the power doesn't go out.

----------

I finally (FINALLY!) got around to doing to some work on ROUND 6 of AMV TKO. I'm still not even halfway done, but at least I'm finally getting somewhere with it. I even got around to doing some clips I've had on hold for a LONG time.

I have a feeling that my laziness towards doing more work (that and I'm having trouble coming up with good ideas I can pull off) might mean even more time between rounds... that is if I'm even able to find the inspiration to make it to a Round 7.

----------

As a fan of Sakura Wars, this just might be the funniest thread on a message board I've ever read. You got to go through a lot of other people's posts (though, some of them are pretty funny, too), so try and stick to the posts by the guy called "Spirit Armor". And please keep in mind that only the lines he types in bold are the ones that are actually in the game.

+ UPDATE : 6/25/2009 : Remember the time...
Words can't describe the sadness felt throughout the world at the loss of some of the most memorable entertainers of the past century, they being Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and of course, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson took part in some of my all time favorite performances, such as the "Smooth Criminal" segment in the Moonwalker movie and teaming up with my favorite athlete Michael Jordan in the music video "JAM". I never could learn how to truly do the moonwalk, but dammit we all tried at one point or another. Despite all his troubles, he was an amazing musician, but he also was much more than that. He was an inspiration in both music and charity. Many performers of today probably wouldn't be musicians if not for him.

And I'm not embarrassed to say that when I was a little kid in the early 80's, I dressed up as Zombie Michael Jackson (from Thriller) for Halloween. That's how much of a fan of his I was and still am.

People can't live forever, but music comes pretty close... and his music will.

----------

I'll be walking in an overnight RELAY FOR LIFE walk at my old high school tomorrow. I took part in it last year and had a blast. Here's hoping tomorrow is just as much fun.

----------

I'm still contemplating whether or not to go see Transformers 2. The first movie was good, but it left a sour taste in my mouth. I paid to see Transformers, not emo human teenagers trying to get laid.

+ UPDATE : 6/12/2009 : Patience...
Being unemployed at the moment really bites, because there's a lot of cool stuff being released that I can't spend money on at the moment. Even with unemployment payments, I'm still trying to save money just in case something crazy happens (let's hope not).

----------

As I've stated before, I'm a huge SAKURA WARS (Taisen) fan, and one of my favorite aspects of the series is it's music. I just happened to find out recently that the composer of the series, Kohei Tanaka, also composed the music to one of my favorite anime series, Angelic Layer. I just never bothered to look up who did the music before. And now that I've taken a good listen to the soundtrack to Angelic Layer, I can honestly now say that that music has Mr. Tanaka written all over it. No one knows how to use violins and trumpets like he does. Some of the battle tracks in the Angelic Layer soundtrack could easily be mistaken as Sakura Wars tracks, all the while still keeping it's own individuality.

Speaking of Sakura Wars... here is a great write up on the series, for those unfamiliar with it.

----------

AMV TKO ROUND 6 is going slow... VERY slow. But it's still going.

-----------

If you are not listening to The Kidd Chris Show... WHAT THE F IS WRONG WITH YOU?

+ UPDATE : 5/29/2009 : Mic check...
Dammit it all... I've been watching WWF/E since I was three years old, and to be brutally honest, I've been forcing myself to watch for the past year or so (you can only take so much of John Cena, Batista and HHH) and I can honestly say that there really isn't much to make me want to watch anymore (save for SSSSSSSSantino Marrrrrrrrrella). Kennedy was a rare talent that only comes every so often. Granted, his injury situation is what put him out, but couldn't they make him a commentator or announcer of some sort? Very bad play, WWE.


MISSSSSSSSSSTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR KENNEDYYYYYYYYYY ...KENNNEDY.

----------------------------

Got my 500th point on eBay and got my Purple Star. Didn't even have to take a bullet to get it.

----------------------------

Watched my 8 year old nephew play in a baseball game today. That kid's gonna go far in that sport.

----------------------------

I played through Sakura Wars V (JP) again over the past week and it just makes me that much more excited about the upcoming U.S. release of the game.

+ UPDATE : 5/26/2009 : What's up, mama?
Welcome back, Kidd Chris. You were missed, you bastard.

+ UPDATE : 5/13/2009 : FINALLY!
I'm not a religious guy by any means, but I'm starting to believe that there is a god out there some where. Seriously, I can't even begin to tell you how psyched I am that a(ny) SAKURA WARS/TAISEN game is going to make it to U.S. shores soon. I've been a huge fan of the series for quite a few years now and have collected almost every (non-hand-held) game in the series. The fact I've been able to play through multiple games that aren't even in my native language says something about how much I enjoy the games. It will be interesting to see the Wii port of the game (which is the one I'll probably get).

I am upset that it's not the original (not even the PS2 remake? Maybe if this release does well...) isn't the one being translated, but I'll take anything at this point. And Sakura Wars V is no slouch in the series, it actually ended up being one of my favorites. I sure hope that the PS2 Sakura Wars 1 and 3 ports get translated as well, but like I said, I'll take what I can get at this point.

SAKURA WARS : SO LONG, MY LOVE PRESS RELEASE.

P.S. I love you NISA.

----

I hate allergies. I really do.

----

This has been Justin Aaron and I'll never make a Twitter page. That's where I draw the line.

+ UPDATE : 5/11/2009 : Mom... Mom... Mommy... Momma...
Happy (belated) Mother's Day. I miss you, Mom.

Felt it was as good a reason as any to get started on ROUND 6.

+ UPDATE : 5/3/2009 : Something from the past...
Kind of fits my current job situation, wouldn't you say? I threw that audio together years ago and just decided to add a crappy video to it. Enjoy!

INDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED.

+ UPDATE : 5/1/2009 : Lost in the fog...
Thanks to my questionable job security (damn you whoever F***ED up the economy), I haven't had a lot of motivation to much of anything lately. I had the entire week off (save for a few hours on Monday) and for all I know, I won't be going back next Monday.

There's no guarantee that the company I work for went under, but it kind of sucks that I haven't heard anything yet and am just waiting for the news. But, then again, I guess it's true what they say... no news is good news. I really like my job and would hate to lose it, if only because I hate going through change and really don't feel like going through the hassle of getting a new job. Here's hoping for the best.

In other news...

* Got my 360 back and it works like a charm. Who says Microsoft doesn't help out their consumers?

* That Game 6 in Chicago against Boston was ridiculous. One of the best games I've ever watched.

* Been playing a bunch of anime related videogames lately to prepare myself for the next website project I hope to get to, that being an ANIME VIDEOGAME REVIEW site (link to the left). I decided instead of reviewing EVERYTHING in anime, I'd just focus on one medium in the genre. I might even do video reviews (gotta try not to rip off that Angry reviewer guy). Look for that soon.

* Speaking of my sites... I have a lot of AMV TKO Round 6 planned out, it's just a matter of getting motivated to work on it.

* Limp Bizkit is back bitches. Bring that beat back!

+ UPDATE : 4/18/2009 : Quick thoughts
* Still waiting on my 360's return. Should have it by Thursday.

* The Harry Kalas Tribute was just beautiful, as well as heart-wrenching.

* Fittingly, I got my copy of the 2008 Phillies Playoff DVD Box set today. I could watch that Matt Stairs homerun all day.

* No more DANGEROUS GROUND. I just didn't feel like doing another fan site.

* Finally got around to making some new banners (above) for the site.

* FINALLY! Someone posted this commercial on YouTube. I've been looking for it for AGES.

* I don't think I ever commented on Julien-K's CD. One word : AWESOME. More words : Worth the wait.

* WWE is supposedly releasing another CD in the fall. Hopefully, Christian's new theme will be on there.

* I've really got to get to work on AMV TKO Round 6 soon, before I don't want to do it at all.

+ UPDATE : 4/16/2009 : Loss and regain...
Like the rest of Philadelphia and many other areas of the sports world, I am mourning the loss of "Harry The K", Harry Kalas, the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for almost four decades. He was also known as the voice of the NFL Films department. One of the greatest voices of all time, he was always referred to someone who had "golden pipes", but he also had a golden heart. One of the most down to Earth and nicest individuals in sports history, he was a guy who simply loved the game(s) and loved taking part in any form of them from little league to the major leagues and always had fun whenever he did. He was loved by many and will no doubt be missed for quite some time. Philadelphia Phillies games will never be the same again.

If there is any silver lining in this at all (and believe me, I had to look long and hard to find any good in this) it's that he died doing what he loved, in the broadcast booth before the game; and he went out as a champion with the Phillies winning last year's World Series. Believe me when I say that he had just as much to do with that championship as any player, manager, coach or fan.

Rest in peace, Harry... you've earned it. And you'll never be "...outtaaaa heeeeeeere..." in our hearts.







In less-sad news... I've been losing my mind not having my 360, but I just got an email saying that my 360's repairs are complete and the system is on it's way back to me. So I should have it back within the week (hopefully). I'm itching to play some SFIV and I also picked up Guitar Hero : Aerosmith the other day, so I have that to play as well. Come on UPS!

UPDATE : 4/11/2009 : What do you think?
I put up a link to my guestbook that's been on my KREMLIN website for the longest time. Now it will be used for all my sites. So feel free to leave a message or two about what you think about my sites or if you want me to check out your sites, or whatever else. I always love reading feedback, good or bad.

UPDATE : 4/10/2009 : Here we go again...
Funimation.com has the first episode of the new Fullmetal Alchemist anime (a retelling of the story that will supposedly follow the original manga more faithfully) up for viewing. I have to say I like what I saw, even if they have a lot to do to match the original series (a personal favorite of mine and many others). I really like the opening and ending sequences, too.

Still watching the Haruhi-chan and Churuya-chan series on YouTube. They are easily making Friday my favorite day and give me something to look forward to at the end of the week. Hilarious and cute on every level.

I also finished Lucky Star recently, and while it wasn't as good as I was hoping, I was still a little sad to see it end. It had it's moments and had me laughing on more than one occasion. Oh well, there's still the OVA to watch in the future.

Been listening the hell out of the Sonic And The Black Knight soundtrack CDs since I received them yesterday. Another solid release, no question.

UPDATE : 4/9/2009 : The wait... oh, the wait...

*CLICK FOR FULL SIZE*

Another update, thanks to some suggestions of people at a message board I visit. I basically got rid of the pattern overlays I used on the main images. The old version is still down below for those interested.

Speaking of SONIC, I should have my copies of the "Sonic And The Black Knight" soundtracks at some point today (hopefully). They are apparently in New York right now, or on their way from there. I can't wait.

UPDATE : 4/7/2009 : Frooooooom Nooooorth Caroliiiiiiinaaaaaa....
I was very happy to see that my all-time favorite athlete was inducted into the Hall of Fame:

Yeah, the greatest professional athlete of all-time, Michael "Air" Jordan. I followed his career for most of it, and I never had an athlete captivate me like him.

One of my greatest memories of my life involved going to see Michael Jordan' final game when he came to Philadelphia as a member of the Wizards. It wasn't his greatest game, but just the feel of seeing him play live and the crowd asking Michael to come off the bench one more time to play (he complied) was just a phenomenal moment.

While there was no doubt he was a first ballot Hall Of Famer, it's stil great to see it happen. No one earned it like he did.

UPDATE : 4/5/2009 : Down, but not out...
Despite my 360's RROD situation, I was happy to see that SUPER PUNCH-OUT was put up for download on the Wii's Virtual Console. I already had the original downloaded, so it was a given I'd get this one as well. While I find the original more fun to play, the SNES version is defiinitely worth picking up.

And let's not forget the new Wii version of Punch-Out being released in the near future. I'm gonna be giving Little Mac a workout over the next few months with these three games.

UPDATE : 4/4/2009 : I'm your hate...
I haven't watched a Foamy flash cartoon in ages, but this is so true.

Downloaded the GUITAR HERO : METALLICA demo. Gotta say, I find this little side game demo more enjoyable than the whole World Tour game. Just the way the game is presented makes it leaps and bounds better. And I could play "Sad But True" on drums all day long. I'm not even the biggest Metallica fan, but I enjoyed the few songs the demo provided. It's just awesome to play some of the greatest metal songs of all-time and not have to worry about something by say, oh, Willie Nelson. Nothing against Willie, just keep that stuff away from my music games.

Counting the days until the SONIC And The Black Knight soundtracks are shipped out... 4.

GO SIXERS!!!

EDIT:


*CLICK FOR FULL SIZE*

Decided to do one for Shakugan No Shana, another favorite anime series of mine (I've really got to get around to finishing the second season). It's basically all the opening and closing themes (full and TV size versions) plus a few extra tracks. I also like how the Alastor intros work going into the different versions of "Scarlet Color Sky". I'm listening to this mix on my iTunes as I type this and it's a pretty good mix, if I do say so myself.

And I couldn't resist doing the overlapping image deal again with this one. Maybe I'll make it some type of trademark for these custom covers (although I didn't do it with the last one). The title is pretty self-explanitory if you are familiar with the series, though I wish I could've come up with something less generic. Screw it, I changed the title.

Credit to Mr. Lynx for the awesome vector of the main image in this cover.


EDIT #2:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn it all. Considering all the stories I heard, I'm surprised it took about three years for it to happen.

UPDATE : 4/1/2009 : Nothing flashy...

*CLICK FOR FULL SIZE*

I'm really having fun with this whole custom CD cover/back deal. Only fitting that I do something for April Fools that centers on Haruhi. Oh well, it's nothing fancy this time, but I figured I'd post it anyway. It's kind of modelled after the character image CDs.

If you are wondering why the tracklisting is all out of order, it's a reference to the TV series which was originally shown out of order during it's broadcast run. Gotta love that show. The tracks themselves are mostly from the before mentioned image CDs plus the opening/closing theme and insert songs CDs.

FYI, "MAD WORLD" is a reference to an AMV clip I did in my AMV TKO series (cheap plug alert) that featured Haruhi.

And I just love how the little pic of Kyon worked out. For those unfamiliar with the show, Kyon is almost always getting the short end of the stick, so naturally, his pic on the back would be less glamorous than the others.

Like I said, it's the least impressive of the ones I've done so far (so much white space), but it works for what I needed.

P.S. Please ignore the horrible quality Koizumi pic... it's the best I could find. I would have scanned the image myself from the CD, but my scanner is busted.

UPDATE : 3/31/2009 : It's addicting...

*CLICK FOR FULL SIZE*

I made a SONIC CD cover/back, so naturally, I had to do one for SHADOW. The title "DARK PATHS" comes from the SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG videogame which featured multiple paths you could follow to get different endings (10 in all + the final ending). I didn't spend too long coming up with that title, but I like it.

As for the tracklist, it's basically all the vocal songs (and a couple instrumentals) connected to Shadow from the game he debuted in (Sonic Adventure 2) up to the recent SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT. One could argue "Through The Fire" (from SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT) isn't a Shadow song, since it's also used for vs. Knuckles and Blaze in the game. But from that perspective, the same could be said for THIS MACHINE from SONIC HEROES (shared with Rouge and OMEGA E-123).

Nitpicking aside, I like how this one came out. Maybe I'll make a bunch of these for other characters or eras.

UPDATE : 3/29/2009 : You're Face To Faith with me...
As I always get just before a SONIC soundtrack(s) is released, I really get into listening to SONIC related music. So I decided to burn a CD to listen to and got into it so much, I decided to do an ablum cover/back design.

Here's the front and back with the tracklist:


*CLICK FOR FULL SIZE*

The album is basically a collection of the more important Sonic songs from 2006 (Sonic The Hedgehog '06) to 2009 (Sonic And The Black Knight). It also solely highlights songs that were actually in games, so none of the bonus track stuff like Zebrahead's and Crush 40's versions of His World. I also put the new version of the "SEGA" logo call there as a symbol of Sonic's transition into the current generation of consoles.

The name "Knights And Dreams" has many meanings. "Knights" is an obvious reference to Sonic And The Black Knight. "Dreams" comes from both Dreams of An Absolution and Sweet Dream. You could also say it's a reference to SEGA's other franchise "Nights Into Dreams".

The only downside is I have to wait for "Face To Faith" to get the full version of "With Me" before I burn the CD.

UPDATE : 3/16/2009 : My eyes are filled with curiousity...
I decided to have some fun with Tales Of Vesperia.

UPDATE : 3/14/2009 : There's a line...
Picked up Resident Evil 5 yesterday. Have to admit, CAPCOM did it again. Working off the success of RE4, RE5 brings the series into the current generation with great graphics and suspenseful gameplay. There's just never enough bullets, though.

As I stated earlier, I've been reading the Maximum Ride series of books (as well as the first volume of the manga). I already finished the fourth book (and the fifth book is only a day away from being released, though I'll wait for paperback), and though I'm loving the series, the fourth book (The Final Warning) was a huge disappointment. It just went too far with it's outrageous sci-fi plot devices. I know what you're saying... how can I argue about outrageous plot-devices when I'm already praising a book about flying children and werewolf-like creatures?

Well, when someone writes a sci-fi story with outrageous plot devices like, oh let's just say, flying children and werewolf-like creatures (let's just say), I believe a line is drawn early on in the story that says, "This is how far and how outrageous/unbelievable this story is ever gonna get. Sure it may feature [flying children and werewolf-like creatures], but it's never gonna get more outrageous than that", therefore creating a false sense of security for the reader. It's that false sense of security that makes the reader think that, "Well, it may feature [flying children and werewolf-like creatures], but at least I know the story won't feature dinosaurs running through and destroying cities." Because that would just be stupid (although, considering Jurassic Park and the whole thing about genetics that Maximum Ride features...).

But, low and behold, Maximum Ride does infact cross it's own line when it introduces a Frankenstein-like creature and a evil talking head with no body trying to take over the world (or at least help someone do it). It was already stepping on the line in the previous books with the whole "Flyboys" thing (robotic versions of the before-mentioned werewolves), but at least it kind of stuck in the reality it had created from the first book. And don't get me started on the whole preaching about global warming the books have dangerously wandered into as well as the other ever-so-conveniant plot-devices. One can only take so much before they decide that a story has gone too far away from any form of reality.

THE FINAL WARNING comes across as nothing more than something that looks like a fan fiction written by a thirteen year old. No offense to James Patterson, but I was expecting so much more from a best selling author. I'm hoping the fifth book (appropriately entitled "MAX") will get back to basics, but I've read a preview of it, and I'm not too thrilled with what I'm seeing.

I read they are planning on making a Maximum Ride movie. I sure hope if they get around to making sequels, that they just skip over book 4.

Also, had to do some stuff for AMV TKO. Feel free to check it out. Nothing major, just some news.

It's very rare that I'd call a videogame "beautiful", but wow, this game just looks amazing. Hopefully it will reach American shores in the near future. Speaking of that...

What's this I'm hearing about a SAKURA WARS game finally being licensed for an American release possibly in 2009?

Another wrestler died... I hate to say this, but lately there is never just one wrestling death (you know that old "dying in threes" deal?). I have a feeling another is just around the corner.

UPDATE : 3/6/2009 : IGN can bite me...
Played through SONIC And The Black Knight and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it very much. It took some time to get used to the whole sword swinging thing, but other than that I liked it. The only other downside is the game's storyline is UNBELIEVABLY short. Like 4-6 hours of gameplay short. That's almost unheard of in games nowadays. But then again, maybe I've been playing too many 30+ hours RPG games and SATBK just seems short in comparison.

As for the game's soundtrack, I posted some thoughts about the upcoming VOCAL CD in Dangerous Ground.

Thanks to my sister buying me a certain manga adaption, I've become hooked on the Maximum Ride stories by James Patterson. Basically, it's about genetically enhanced kids who are now part birds, wings and all and their attempts to escape their past lives in "The School" where they were turned into what they are now. It's pretty gripping in both it's manga and written novel editions. I highly suggest giving it a look sometime.

I also received an email saying that my copy of "Death To Analog", Julien-K's debut album, has been sent my way. So, almost exactly five years after "This Machine" was released on SONIC Heroes, the wait for their album is almost over.

UPDATE : 3/1/2009 : It was fun...
My all-time favorite football player, Brian Dawkins, is no longer an Eagle and is headed for Denver. In an age where nobody (and I mean nobody) ever plays their entire career with one team (in any sport), I was really hoping he'd finish his career in Philadelphia. Granted, he's not as young as he used to be (who is?), but he still had plenty in the tank and it would take some time to find a safety in the NFL who played with as much heart as he does. I'll still be rooting for you, Brian, even though I can't stand Denver.

Three days away from Sonic & The Black Knight's release... I'm really looking forward to it.

UPDATE : 2/26/2009 : HEY ALL!
ONE WEEK AWAY! Can't wait to hear the full version of that song. CRUSH 40 is back, baby!

Plus, more info on the soundtrack releases (yes, with an "s" meaning plural!) on Dangerous Ground!

UPDATE : 2/24/2009 : Every problem can be solved by training... TRAINING!
And this is why all SHONEN JUMP anime series are crap. THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING!


UPDATE : 2/23/2009 : Still waiting on Season 2...
Forgot to add in yesterday about the parody series showing on YouTube based on the anime The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya. If you've checked out my AMV TKO site and videos, you've noticed images and footage all over from that series. Needless to say, it's one of my personal favorites.

And it's so popular that it's spawned the before mentioned spin-off series, "The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya-chan" and "Nyoron Churuya-san". Naturally, you have to be a fan of the original show to get most of the jokes, but nevertheless it's hilarious on so many levels with it's great timing. And since it's not necessarily canon, it allows the characters to go crazy and be totally over-the-top, making it that much more funny. I highly suggest checking them out on YouTube (although it appears the first episodes of both have been taken down for some odd reason).

Haruhi-chan #2
Nyoron Churuya-san #2
(PS: They are subtitled in english )

UPDATE : 2/22/2009 : IN-DEE-STRUC-TIBLE
Street Fighter IV is... AWESOME. Totally blew me away from just about every aspect. Is it better than Street Fighter III : Third Strike, though? Tough call, especially because I love 2D sprite games, and SFIII has some of the most beautiful 2D sprites EVER. But SFIV is very pretty as well with some of the best 3D models I've ever seen. Maybe somewhere down the line I will be able to pick a winner based on hindsight. But for now, I'll call it a tie.

I've been in a weird Sailor Moon mood lately (don't ask), watching random episodes and playing some of the SNES (Super Famicom in Japan) import games (and I have a few more on the way I got on eBay) as well as the rare arcade game through emulation. But the best thing I found came from a certain fan made show called SAILOR MOON ABRIDGED. It's basically an English fandub that makes fun of the show from top to bottom. For being someone who watched the English dub since it's early days in syndication, I can't even put into words how hard I laughed while watching these. Most of the jokes are dead-on for how bad the English dub was. And I love it's use of music to get a joke across.

I sure hope they make it all the way to the S and SuperS series, because the English dubs on those were atrocious. Yeah, Michiru and Haruka were just... "cousins".

Other Sailor Moon videos:
Video #1 : "Carry On" Guitar Cover | Video #2 : "My Only Love" Guitar & Vocals Cover

As much as it goes against my better judgment... I've already started planning out Round 6 of AMV TKO. I'm looking forward to some sleepless nights in the future.

UPDATE : 2/14/2009 : Didn't want one... but...
I got a Facebook page now. My sister made me get one. The link is to the left. I really don't see what all the fuss is about. I find Myspace to be much better.

I guess it's the least I can do for my sister, since she got me a really cool birthday gift in one of those recliner game chairs. You know, the ones with the speakers built into it? I'm loving the heck out this thing. It's so comfy and it makes playing games that much more fun.

One of the first games I played with that chair was NIGHT WARRIORS for the SEGA Saturn. The reason I played it is because I picked up the DARKSTALKERS GRAPHIC FILE art book and was in a mood to play it. If there was ever a game series that needed a true sequel (and no, that PSP game doesn't count), it's that one. That series is just loaded with style and is still a blast to play even to this day. The atmosphere, memorable characters and haunting music are just a few of the things that still make it one of my all-time favorites.

Rival Schools is another series (also by CAPCOM) that could use a revamp, too. Project Justice (aka RIVAL SCHOOLS 2) is one of the most under-appreciated fighters out there.

Come on... if Street Fighter can get a makeover with SFIV, those two can get it as well.

UPDATE : 2/4/2009 : The possiblities are neverending...
Where to begin...

Got my copy of "Planetary Pieces", the soundtrack to Sonic Unleased (aka SONIC WORLD ADVENTURE in Japan). More on that in Dangerous Ground in the near future.

Beat Devil May Cry 4. Awesome game. Loved it so much I went and picked up the original Devil May Cry game for the PS2. Have to say, it's a little difficult going backwards in a game series, especially when the games have consistantly improved through the series. Not to say DMC1 is a bad game, it's just nowhere near as good as 4 is.

Speaking of games, Street Fighter IV is due to be released in about 2 weeks. I've got mine preordered (special edition version) and I am looking forward to it very much. The hour or so long anime dvd that comes with it should be nice, too. And it looks like I'm going to be buying a lot of Microsoft points for the special downloadable costumes. Some of those are pretty awesome.

And not long after that, SONIC & The Black Knight will be released for the Wii and Resident Evil 5 follows a few days later. More busy gaming days ahead and I haven't even finished with the games I got for Christmas.

Picked up WWE THE MUSIC VOLUME 9 : VOICES. Not the best WWE CD release, but by no means the worst. The bonus disc that came with the Best Buy special edition could have been much better, too. Love the title track, though.

The Super Bowl was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. A LOT better. I went in thinking it would be a snooze-fest and it ended up being one of the best Super Bowls I'd ever seen (if not THE best). A couple of players became Hall Of Famers in that game including Kurt Warner in a losing effort.

And thanks to my best friend for getting me that new Resident Evil CG movie for my birthday. Haven't watched it yet, but I plan to very soon.

At the moment I'm contemplating exactly where I want to go with my sites, including some things I still want to do with The Kremin and whether or not I want to do another "fan site" with Dangerous Ground. Then I have to get Anime Review up and going. Busy, busy, busy...

UPDATE : 1/18/2009 : Not the birthday present I wanted...
Well, at least they made it interesting in the end when it could have been a complete blowout. The Eagles probably shouldn't have even made it this far with the regular season they had, so I can't say it was a completely disappointing run. If this is the end of an era with either McNabb or Reid (or possibly both), it's been one hell of a decade here in Philly football.

Happy Birthday to me. :P

UPDATE : 1/17/2009 : Knight Of The Wind
Damn, I want that song. Oh yeah... and the game looks pretty good, too.

Normally, I say "GO BIRDS!!!" here, but since both teams are named after birds, I'll just say...

GO EAGLES!!!... because tomorrow's my birthday, and I needs me a great present.

UPDATE : 1/11/2009 : ARIZONA, HERE WE COME!

Awesome, just awesome. Two times... TWO! We held them on 4th and short and I can tell you I cannot be more proud of my team. Who wants Reid and McNabb gone now?

GO BIRDS!!!

UPDATE : 1/11/2009 : Things going on...
Well, it's a new year and it really doesn't feel like it. Just the same load of crap with a 9 at the end (Lewis Black, sort of). Just kidding, it's been pretty good so far. I'm not the type to make resolutions, mostly because I'm a spur of the moment guy and if I try to plan something out, I'm never motivated enough to go through with it. I just like letting things happen and going with the flow, you know?

I'm almost at the end of NARUTO : BROKEN BOND... finally. Sorry, the game is just so boring in the middle area before you get to the Sasuke defection part (you know, the part that the game is all about?) that it took me forever just to get to this point. And some of the missions you go on make the filler episodes in the anime series look like Oscar winning material. I mean... Potato Chip Ninja?

As usual, I have a large backload of anime and games to go through. Which is good, since Xmas killed my bank account and I am refraining from buying anything new for a while. Which sucks, because I really want to get that new Resident Evil CG movie.

One thing I will be getting reguardless is WWE THE MUSIC VOL. 9. The final tracklist has been revealed and although it looks like a weak outing on paper, there are a few tracks I'm excited about getting. And I'm interested in hearing that "Priceless" remake, although I would have preferred the version they are using now. Plus, that bonus CD from Best Buy is a cool deal, even if most of those tracks have been released a half dozen times already. I mean, how many times does Stone Cold's theme have to be put on these CDs?

And we're only days away from electing into office the first African-American president? Awesome.

Yeah, this year really is off to good start, and only one thing could make it better...

GO BIRDS!!!

UPDATE : 12/29/2008 : My 15 minutes? I hope not...
I was on national TV today... sort of. That made my day.

Christmas was pretty good to me. I got a handful of new games that will probably keep me busy for a month or two. Hope you all had a good holiday, too.

UPDATE : 12/24/2008 : ROUND 5
Round 5 of AMV TKO is now up for viewing (on YouTube) and downloading on AMV TKO. Have a great holiday and I hope that helps bring a smile to you.

UPDATE : 12/13/2008 : Gettting things done...
With the month halfway done, I'm hoping to get AMV TKO Round 5 done in the very near future so it's done before the new year comes around. I might just finish it tomorrow, but I'm not guaranteeing anything.

Finally got around to seeing WALL-E yesterday. It's just flat out an incredible movie that had me smiling from beginning to end. And if that last scene between Wall-E and Eve doesn't bring a tear to your eye, go to the hospital and get yourself checked to see if you still have a heart. It's amazing how those characters were able to communicate their emotions to us with hardly using any dialogue. That just shows how great the characters are in WALL-E. I can't recommend this movie enough, and that's coming from someone who hates CG films.

Also, I threw this together in anticipation of it's January 27th, 2009 release.

UPDATE : 12/01/2008 : Things going on...
So, what's going on lately? For starters, I have a sprained right ring finger, and since I'm wearing a splint, it's made typing a real pain. In other news:

- I beat the 360 version of Sonic Unleashed. Great game from beginning to end with the exceptions of some framerate issues. Despite that, it's getting panned for the most part by most online review sites. It's the best Sonic game in years and they still bash it. I'm beginning to believe there is a conspiracy of sorts against Sonic games. I can understand bashing Sonic 06 or the RIDERS series, but not this. Thankfully, one review got it just about right. Although, even I'll admit that a 4.5/5 is a little high. I'd probably give it a 4/5. But what's an extra .5?

- Been watching a bunch of new anime, including Familiar Of Zero and Gurren Lagann. FoZ is the first "fan-service" heavy show I've watched in a while, but thankfully that doesn't weigh it down. Think Harry Potter except cuter and more entertaining (sorry Potter fans). And Gurren has to be one of the most awesome shows EVER. But what did I expect from Gainax who gave us FLCL?

Also picked up the complete Dokuro series. Man, I've seen weird before, but this takes the cake. It's hilarious, but at times can be a little too over the top. But I'd still highly recommend it to anyone looking to see an anime that's WAY out of the norm. And I'll be damned if that opening theme isn't catchy.

- Now that I have Sonic Unleashed beat, it's on to Naruto : The Broken Bond and I also have to finish the Tales Of Symphonia sequel. Still so much to do and so little time before Xmas.

UPDATE : 11/16/2008 : This is a Tales game?
I picked up TALES OF SYMPHONIA : DAWN OF THE NEW WORLD earlier this week. It's alright, but feels like a very watered-down Tales game. No costumes is disappointing, and the complete demotion of the original Symphonia characters is a HUGE let down. Half the reason I wanted this game was knowing you could play as them again, but how limited it is on how you can use them really sucks. At least the game is almost entirely voiced (Even though I'm still on the fence with Lloyd's new voice). The whole new monster catching thing is... interesting, but if I wanted to do that, I'd play Pokemon. Add into the fact that it was only a few months ago I was playing TALES OF VESPERIA and with how awesome that game was, it made Dawn Of The New World match up to a whole new standard of Tales games.

I guess it's a little hard to get into the game knowing that it's going on the shelf for a while with both SONIC Unleashed and the new Naruto 360 game coming out this week.

UPDATE : 11/09/2008 : New and improved...
Since I don't write enough sports stuff here (aside from the Phillies winning the series), I thought I'd comment on the fact that I just found out that the New Orleans Hornets have a new logo this year. As much as I loved the old logo, the new logo is a DRASTIC improvement. And it totally fits the new Chris Paul era for the team. I've always been a Hornet fan ever since their Charlotte days with Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, so it's nice to see them get a logo that helps them stand out a little more and can be taken more seriously.

Dear NBC, lose the opening theme song thing with your Sunday Night Football program. You're not MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL and you never will be. From Pink to Faith Hill, the opening songs have been absolutely horrible. Also, you have plenty of time BEFORE the game to do the player line-ups. Don't do them during the drives.

Dear FOX Sports, shut off Tony Siragusa's microphone. It was bad enough when maybe he'd talk one or two times every quarter, but now he's taking part as if he was in the booth with the other guys, commenting on just about every play. He never says anything important and makes John Madden sound like genius (he even said "BOOM!" on a hit this week). All he ever says are things that even someone watching football for the first time in their life would know. He's just atrocious. And I refuse to take anything seriously said by two guys who call each other "Moose" and "Goose". Feh... at least when they call Eagles games, I can listen to Merill Reese and Mike Quick on the Philadelphia radio station. Now those two know how to call a game.

In other non-sports news... Got some work done to ROUND 5 of AMV TKO again, and I have to say that the new clips I made today are already some of my favorites. Can't wait until this round is finished.

Oh yeah... Dangerous Ground is now open. Nothing there, really... just getting things started, that's all.

UPDATE : 11/08/2008 : It's alive!
"Finishing touches are being put on our newest album, WWE The Music “Volume 9” to be released January 27, 2009, via our partner, Columbia Records. This album will be loaded with unreleased WWE Superstar entrance themes, as well as themes from the past 25 years, to commemorate the milestone of the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania." ~WWE CORPORATE

Great to hear that "Anthology II" is still alive and kicking, with a new name to boot. Should be interesting to see what kind of tracklist will end up on the final product.

This Wednesday, Tales Of Symphonia will be released for the Wii. The following Wednesday, both SONIC Unleashed and Naruto : The Broken Bond will be released as well. Add in Thanksgiving and other family deals, as well as a bunch of anime that I still have to watch and you're looking at someone with a busy month ahead of him. And I still haven't totally played through Guitar Hero World Tour (blame a hand injury for that one).

I also started working on ROUND 5 of AMV TKO again. Just a little at a time, but I'm really hoping to get it finished by the end of the year. I'm about halfway done, so here's hoping.

UPDATE : 11/05/2008 : YES WE CAN
My faith in the mental stability of the American people has been resurrected. Amazing, that a few years ago when my mother was still alive, we both watched him give a speech long before the thought of Obama running for president was even considered. After the speech, she looked at me and said, "You know what? That man could be president some day." How right she was. I'm looking forward to seeing what Obama will deliver us as president.

In mandatory videogame news, I picked up the AC/DC track pack for Rock Band. While it's great to have some of the greatest rock songs of all time to play in Rock Band, I have to admit that some of those "big-finishes" are just ridiculously long. Other than that, worth the pick up in my opinion.

I also downloaded the demo for the next XBox 360 Naruto game. Got to admit, they definitely know how leave a demo on a cliff-hanger. Even though I know what happens next, since I've played out the Naruto storyline at least a dozen times so far in it's countless videogame incarnations. I mean, seriously... how many times do I have to beat the hell out of Gaara?

I'm still wrestling with the thought of buying a PS3, but I'll probably hold off until after Xmas. Besides, there just aren't enoug PS3-exclusive games that interest me at the moment (and no, I don't like first-person-shooter games).

UPDATE : 11/04/2008 : Counting the days...
It's already November... yikes. I can already hear the reindeer coming.

Some videos leaked out from Sonic Unleashed of the opening CG cutscene and the first cutscene that follows using real-time graphics. All I can say is, from a graphics standpoint, this is making SONIC '06 (Xbox360 and PS3) look like a Dreamcast game (not knocking the Dreamcast, which is one of my favorite systems, just making a point).

Needless to say I'm looking forward to the game, due out November 18th. The "Were-hog" stages look interesting and fun, but I'm a little worried about the regular SONIC stages. From videos so far, it looks like you just run fast and let things go from there without much strategy involved, and that's it. You just press forward and let Sonic take care of the rest, almost as if you are hardly controlling Sonic at all. Hopefully, that's not true and it's just the way the videos are edited the makes it look that way.

Hey, it's election day. Did you vote? I did and so should you. I'm not saying who I voted for, but let's just say I'm in the mood for a change around here.

UPDATE : 10/30/2008 : RING THE BELL, BABY!!!

Words can't even describe my emotions right now.

EDIT:
LOL at Wheeler in the background:

UPDATE : 10/26/2008 : OH! OH! OH!
That's what I was saying all night after every home run left the bat.

Put a nail in it, because it's over. I'm sorry, but when Joe Blanton hits a home run against you, that's got to be clear cut sign of what's gonna happen here. And with Ryan Howard's bat woken up finally, you can forget about it.

And how about the Phils' 3, 4 pitchers, Moyer and Blanton? Everyone said they would be the weak points of the team and the Rays would take advantage. What happened? Each pitched two of the best games in franchise (if not World Series) history. Even Myers in Game 2 pitched well, the Phils' bats just couldn't answer.

And now we have Cole Hamels in Game 5 who has been unstoppable in the playoffs. Looks like Philly is gonna get their first championship in 25 years at home. And that is what they call a perfect situation.

GO PHILLIES!!!

In smaller news... I got Guitar Hero World Tour earlier in the day. I think I prefer Rock Band, but by no means is it a bad game. I was just happy that all the Rock Band instruments work with the game so I wouldn't have to fill my closet up with another drum set or guitar. "BEAT IT" is my favorite track to play so far, if only because I was always such a big Michael Jackson fan (music-wise, just for the record). Worth picking up if you are a fan of the music-game genre.

UPDATE : 10/26/2008 : Oooooh, we're halfway there...
And that bottom of the ninth, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call karma. Seriously, if the Rays would have won that game it would have been highway robbery after (YET ANOTHER!) botched call by the umpire that lead to two Rays runs.

But in the end, all is good in Philadelphia. :D And I just knew Moyer would deliver with almost two weeks rest and being home in Philly. That was one of the best performances I've ever seen by a pitcher.

Two down, two to go...

GO PHILLIES!!!

Also, it's about damn time:

UPDATE : 10/25/2008 : The wait continues...
Hot damn, this game is looking better and better with each trailer released. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much that Sonic is finally back in top form (I've done that too many times already), but it's hard to do with how great this game looks... yes, even the werehog parts.

Great... after watching a video like this one, I may have to buy a PS3 now. *insert F-Bomb here* Oh well, at least I wouldn't be buying one just for that game, since I'd no doubt buy Metal Gear Solid 4 as well. And on top of that, I'd have a Blu-Ray dvd player. So... win-win-win. But my wallet... LOSE. :(

Phillies fell in Game 2, but we got three straight in Philadelphia to play and I can't see the Phillies losing more than one of those games. If they win 2 of 3 in Philly, I'll be happy and that will set up a win in Game 6. And long before this series began I predicted the Phils winning in 6 games. But if they win all three in Philly, all the better. And you know the party in Philadelphia would never end.

GO PHILLIES!!!

UPDATE : 10/22/2008 : One down...
...Three to go.

GO PHILLIES!!!

Also picked up NARUTO CLASH OF NINJA REVOLUTION 2. Just happy to see Anko in the series, finally.

Speaking of (I have to stop typing that) videogames... I officially have Sonic Unleashed as well as NARUTO : Broken Bond (aka Rise Of A Ninja 2) officially preordered for the Xbox 360. Both have 11/18 shipping dates, so I'm going to have a busy couple of weeks at the end of November.

UPDATE : 10/16/2008 : Seeing red...
OH YES... It's looking like this could be our year, finally.

UPDATE : 10/12/2008 : Starting to really like that song...
Crush 40 Live at the Tokyo Game Show PART 1 and PART 2. Man, I'd pay to them live in a full concert. And I'm really starting to love that "Knight Of The Wind" song.

UPDATE : 10/10/2008 : Been a while...
Been a while since I put up some Sonic news, but there's a trailer out for Sonic And The Black Knight. CRUSH 40 LOVE. Although I hope they change the intro to the song. Can you say corny? Even with the bad intro, the song is still countless times better than the Sonic Unleashed theme song. I'm still hoping Crush 40 has some kind of role in Unleashed.

To go with yesterday's post, I find out that the next Naruto Wii game is being released in about two weeks. Jeez, I'm gonna be broke before Christmas, which is what usually makes me broke.

Tweaked The Kremlin so that it looks better on Safari. Still looks slightly off on IE, though. But then again, you shouldn't be using IE, anyway.

UPDATE : 10/09/2008 : Ninja Power
Glad to see a sequel to RISE OF A NINJA is on the way. Hopefully they've improved the fighting system from the first game. Looks like you control more than just Naruto, which is a welcome plus. Now if they would just make a 360 Bleach game....

UPDATE : 10/05/2008 : I'm lazy...
AMV TKO : HUGE SUCCESS!!! is now open (finally). Go give it a look, please.
UPDATE : 10/04/2008 : It's the eyyyyyyyyyyyyye...!!!
OMG... you better believe I'm buying that. Looks like the SNES game except with the NES cast of boxers. And that's a very good thing. I already have the original Punch-Out!! on my Wii Virtual Console, but this will be a welcome addition to my Wii, which is begging for some new games to be added to it. And that "Rocky" style version of the Punch-Out!! theme song is awesome.

UPDATE : 10/03/2008 : The good and bad of anime...
LOL. I don't care how DBZ fans are blindly following and praising this movie... it's gonna be awful. GOD AWFUL.

Speaking of anime, got a lot to watch on my backpile. Got through a little of it last night with xXxHolic Vol. 4 and the first Bleach Movie. I almost gave up on xXxHolic (pronounced as just "Holic") because of the show's terrible character designs, poor animation and near bastardization of the original manga, but the show has just enough style and dark moods to keep me watching. At least it's better than the Tsubasa (a story which in the original manga interacts with xXxHolic) anime which I have not been the biggest fan of. And one more thing that got me liking the show is quite possibly the best ending sequence ever... which is made even more awesome considering how boring the first ending sequence was. Still love the opening sequence, too.

Bleach : Memories Of Noone was much better than I expected, after hearing about how it was just like a long filler episode (Bleach filler episodes=BAD). And I really liked the new character, Senna. Shame she had to die. :( Even though it was basically like a long filler episode, it was still great to see all the Soul Society captains and assistant captains get a lot of battle screen time and see them all work together. The only bad thing is that by giving them so much screen time, the main supporting characters like Chad, Uryu and Orihime got hardly any screen time at all. That's bad, considering how important they are in the original series. And where the hell was Yoruichi?

In the real world side of things... I plan to go see Religulous. After having religion shoved down my mouth all my life, it'll be nice to see something show opinions from the other side. Speaking of that, Bill Maher moment #1, #2, and #3. LOL

UPDATE : 9/24/2008 : Show me your moves!
Matt Damon just became my favorite actor. I try to not to put my own personal beliefs (at least as far as religion and politics) here and try to keep it to my fandoms, but really, he makes a lot of great points there.

Beat Vesperia... ending left a little to be desired but the game overall was still one of the best RPGs I've ever played and probably the best in the TALES series, thus far.

Speaking of videogames... I picked up a cool little fighting game that probably went under a lot of people's radars called BATTLE FANTASIA. It was created by the same people who made the Guilty Gear series of fighting games, so I expected the game to be full of style. Little did I know how much style it would have. It plays almost like if you mixed Street Fighter with an RPG game. Heck, even the fighters' health bars are listed as HP (hit points). One thing about the game is that it uses 3D models for the fighters over top of a 2D plane/background. This is somewhat similar to what the upcoming Street Fighter IV game coming out soon will use. All I can say is I was a little skeptical of a 3D over 2D fighting game, but if SFIV is anything like this, that should be a great game as well.

There's even a great story mode (yes, an actual story in a fighting game) in Battle Fantasia... something that I hope all future fighting games steal copy. It just adds a whole new angle to the game. It's kind of similar to the story mode in Guilty Gear XX, only much better. You even get *INSERT CHARACTER NAME* ACQUIRED *INSERT ITEM* just like an RPG. That had me smiling, needless to say. The characters are also very original and have great designs, even the mandatory Cat-Girl anime character.

I've only played it for a little more than an hour so far, but I will definitely be putting in quite a few more hours. Worth picking up if you're into fighting games.

Capcom released MEGA MAN 9 to the Wii's virtual console this week, it being the first direct sequel to the original NES series in ages. It even features the classic pixelated graphics and midi style music of the old games. Although it's available on the Wii for download now, I'm holding out until Oct. 1st for the XBox Arcade version. I like my stuff in as high HD as possible, that's all.

Speaking of my Wii, I can't honestly tell you the last time I even played with it. I remember long before I ever bought mine that I said that the Wii would be a niche system that would be big at first but falter with a lack of truely good games and not just party games. Looks like I was (unfortunately) right. I mean, if it wasn't for the Tales Of Symphonia sequel due out later this year and the SONIC & The Black Knight game due out in 2009, not to mention the Virtual Console downloadable games, I'd probably sell my Wii in a heartbeat. Pretty much any good games that are coming out will also be coming out for the 360 and I'll take the 360 version of a game over the Wii version almost every time. I guess I just never really got into the whole "Wii-motion" thing.

UPDATE : 9/14/2008 : The ROCK never ends...
Like (no doubt) countless others, I picked up ROCK BAND 2 tonight. It's amazing with how just a few slight improvements, the could improve on a game (ROCK BAND 1) that I consider virtually perfect. It's funny, they could have just stuck with ROCK BAND 1 and just released new songs via DLC for the rest of time, and I would have been happy. But with all the little improvements they made, I certainly am glad they made a sequel. Kind of makes me wonder what GUITAR HERO : WORLD TOUR has in store for us. By the way, there's no greater thrill than playing EYE OF THE TIGER on ROCK BAND 2, even if it is one of the easier songs.

Even though I said I was nearing the end of TALES OF VESPERIA, the truth is I've spent most of the weekend unlocking most of the titles, costumes and accessories for the characters in the game, which is one of my favorite aspects of the TALES series. I probably could have beaten the game already, but in the process of unlocking stuff, I got a better understanding of the battle system including how to properly perform "fatal strikes" among other things. I'll probably beat the game today at some point, but now that I have ROCK BAND 2, who knows how long that will get pushed back. I think there's a part of me that even though I want to see the ending, I kind of don't want it to be over either. VESPERIA is easily my favorite in the series (even more so than SYMPHONIA, which I absolutely loved) and it's just been fun to play (which I've stated countless times before). Here's hoping the ending doesn't disappoint.

I got the dubious task of taking care of my sister's dog, Damon, for the weekend, something that didn't initially sit well with my new cat. Let's just say it was a hiss-fest for most of the first night. But wouldn't you know when I woke up the next morning, there they both were lying on my bed not too far from one another. They get along much better after a day or so, but they still occassionally get into a mess. Damon seems more interested in Polly then vice-versa, but Polly is starting to like the idea of another animal around... I think.

In closing...

E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!!!!

UPDATE : 9/7/2008 : End of the journey... for now...
Well, the Eagles won in convincing fashion on Sunday and I have to say for the first time in nearly a decade, the Eagles have a very decent special teams unit, which has been their achilles heel for a very long time. And how good did their rookies look? Two great plays by Demps on special teams, and Jackson making amazing catch after amazing catch. And how about that return by Jackson that almost turned into a touchdown? What a game. Next week is the always great Eagles/Cowboys game, but it feels a little too early for them to play. I always liked it when they met around week 5 or 6 after they both got a few games under their belts. I'm pumped for it, nonetheless.

I'm closing in on the ending on Vesperia, and as I said before, the game has quickly become an all-time favorite. Everything about it is incredible. The look, the sound, the humor and the story are all great. The game's visuals are probably only surpassed by ETERNAL SONATA as the 360's prettiest game, but someone may be able to make an argument that Vesperia is even better looking.

And Yuri Lowell has become my hero. The guy is full of all kinds of cool. It's so nice to have a main character in an anime/videogame that's not some whiney, angsty teenager who is more annoying than anything else. Now, I'm not saying the previous Tales hereos were like that fully, but pretty darn close.

Even though I'm almost done with the game and looking forward to seeing the ending, you can bet I'm going to be playing through it again in the near future. The game is just a load of fun.

To close things out... super awesome.

UPDATE : 9/7/2008 : ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!
Oh yeah, today is opening day for the Philadelphia Eagles against the St. Louis Rams. It feels so great to have football season back and this year looks like it could be a very good one for the Eagles. Add in how well the Phillies are doing and it's a good time to be a Philadelphia sports fan. E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!!!!

Tales Of Vesperia is very quickly become one of my all-time favorite games, possibly even more than Symphonia. It's funny, I used to detest RPG games, and if you asked me five to ten years ago what my all-time favorite videogames were, chances are none of them would have been RPG (except SNATCHER if you refer to that as an RPG). But now, if I were to make a TOP 10 list, chances are at least half of them would be RPG. I can thank BANDAI NAMCO for that, for they have created some of the best RPG games in history such as the TALES series as well as ETERNAL SONATA. Their RPGs are great because they stand a bit outside the norm of RPG games (Final Fantasy) in their mechanics and they are just so much fun to play and be a part of. It may take anywhere from thirty to sixty hours to beat these games (on just one playthrough), but I have no complaints about spending that time on them because the games are just that good.

E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!!!!

UPDATE : 8/29/2008 : Let me tell you a Tale...
I got Tales Of Vesperia (Premium Edition) in the mail yesterday. Needless to say, I'm loving it. Although I kind of wish I hadn't waited so long to finish Tales Of The Abyss about a week ago or so. I feel like I'm getting a Tales overdose and I haven't quite gotten into Vesperia full swing yet. But it's still early in the game and I'm sure it will start getting to me soon.

As for the gameplay, I have to say that Yuri has to be the most difficult main character to get a grip on, at least compared to Lloyd (Symphonia, who was easy to learn) and Luke (Abyss, a little more to learn, but still easy). It mostly has to do with the timing of his attacks, and that sword-flip thing he does that tends to leave him wide open to attack. But, once again, it's early in the game for me, and I'm sure once I get the battle system for this game down, it will be a lot of fun to play as Yuri. As far as other characters are concerned, Repede has got to be the coolest non-human RPG character ever. And I love how the skits have voice-overs now, something that was only in the Japanese versions previously. It just helps bring new life to the characters.

And as a side note, that opening song is incredible. I bought it on iTunes and I haven't been able to stop listening to it.

Oh... my... god...


In the latest Sonic related news... Long-time Sonic music producer Jun Senoue (who is supposedly composing the music for SONIC & THE BLACK KNIGHT for the Wii) announced that there are two Crush 40 related CDs in the works. The first one is the long awaited sequel to their self-titled album. Unlike the first album, which featured only music from Sonic games and from a SEGA arcade NASCAR game, this album will feature all original music. It will interesting to see what Crush 40 can do outside of a videogame soundtrack medium.

The second album will be a compilation album of all of Crush 40's Sonic related music, tentatively titled "Crush 40 : Works 1998-2008". I almost forgot they have been around that long. Hopefully, that album will feature some nice bonus and previously unreleased tracks.

Also, so true...

UPDATE : 8/22/2008 : Good things...
Some good things going on right now:

- Word is there is going to be a new FullMetal Alchemist anime on the way sometime in the near future. Possibly a sequel? Or a complete restart that follows the original manga more closely? Who knows?

- Speaking of new anime, a complete TV series based on TALES OF THE ABYSS is in the works. It will run 26 episodes, which is great, because previous TALES OF ....... animes were only given the OVA treatment (only a handful of episodes). Although, the TALES OF SYMPHONIA anime (which I've have only seen the first episode of so far) is still ongoing, supposedly.

- And speaking of TALES... I found out there was a Special Edition version of Tales Of Vesperia being released online. So I immediately got my down payment on the regular edition cancelled and ordered that one instead. The only downside is I'll have to wait a day or two more to play it with shipping. The Special Edition comes with a tin-casing and a CD featuring music from many Tales games of the past as well as from Vesperia. I wonder if that will include any vocal songs? Probably not.

I'm hoping to get some work done to either the AMV TKO website or AMV TKO Round 5 today, or maybe even both. Round 5 is looking really good so far, at least compared to the previous rounds, so I can't wait to finish it. But I will take my time on this one and make sure everything is as good as can be.


Just days after I ranted about how TOP 25 Lists piss me off, the WWE posts one of the worst lists I've ever read. Half of those don't even belong of the list.
UPDATE : 8/20/2008 : Who writes this crap?
I am a firm believer that "TOP *insert number here* LISTS" made by magazines and websites are created for the sole purpose of pissing me off. Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but seriously, this is just ridiculous.

I mean, The Simpsons Movie doesn't belong within 10 miles of that list. That whole list could have been made up of Disney classics alone and I wouldn't mind. But some of them on that list are just wrong. South Park The Movie is greater than DUMBO, and Toy Story as #1? I'm gonna be sick. I must be the only person on the planet who thinks that Toy Story and it's sequel are Pixar's weakest outings. Monsters Inc. is a far superior movie and isn't even on the list. The Incredibles was good, but not TOP 5 good (not even TOP 10 or probably even higher good). At least they got Iron Giant on there. That movie is a true classic. But no Lilo & Stitch? Come on. I think I'm gonna make my own list up at some point about MY Top Animated Movies Of All-Time.

Speaking of animated shows I like... after going years without a true hit, Cartoon Network may have finally found a show that stands above and beyond the rest. While we were getting snore-fests like Camp Lazlo, a little show was being created called The Marvelous Mis-adventures Of Flap Jack (ADVENTURE!!!).

This show caught me completely off-guard when it first aired and I honestly thought that they were trying to do some sort of SpongeBob clone show. But in reality, this show may be far better. It isn't always laugh-out-loud funny, but it isn't what is said or how it's said, it's just the way everything is presented that makes it funny. I personally love all the stop-motion (or is it CG?) bits like in the show's great intro. And I almost die every time I hear that laugh. It's cute, funny, clever and just a boatload of (candy) fun. I pray this show lasts a long time, because it's continually making me smile from ear to ear.

During an era where someone at Cartoon Network thinks we want to watch crappy live-action movies, it's good to see at least one breathe of fresh, hand-drawn, air is still around.

And speaking of hand-drawn animation, it's nice to see Disney finally returning to it's roots.


In sadder news, I was upset to hear about the passing of Leroi Moore, the saxaphonist for the Dave Matthews Band. My entire family are big DMB fans and I even saw them live five times over the past decade or so. I always thought each member of the band represented one of the most talented people at their instrument in the whole world and Leroi was no exception. The band just won't be the same without their camera-shy horn player anymore.

UPDATE : 8/18/2008 : Finally done, only to start again...
Finally got around to beating Tales Of The Abyss today, just under two weeks away from the release of Tales Of Vesperia. I have to say, it didn't quite grab me the way Tales Of Symphonia did, but it was still a blast to play with a great story, great characters and an awesome soundtrack. I'm really looking forward to Vesperia.

Can you believe it's only been about two weeks since AMV TKO Round 4 was released and I'm already working on Round 5? And it's shaping up to be the best yet (by what I've finished so far). I'm actually trying to not be lazy for once when editing clips, trying to make it as perfect as possible.

I'm totally sick of this song by now, but damn that's still funny.

Also, this was a blast to watch. Wish I could do them that well.


I've been seeing some videos of the upcoming sequel for Tales Of Symphonia, called Dawn Of The New World (in the U.S. anyway), and I'm a little upset to see that the same voice actors won't be reprising their roles from the first Symphonia. At least it looks like it's BANG ZOOM Entertainment doing the voice work, my favorite Japanese Anime dubbing company. Maybe they are preparing for the chance that the Symphonia anime will be released in the U.S. and BANG ZOOM will also work on that. Either that, or Bandai was that pleased with their work on Abyss that they wanted them back.

I'm sure I'll get used to the new voices, but I am going to miss yelling (in my mind) "TITANS GO!!!" every time Lloyd goes into battle (Lloyd was voiced by the same voice actor who played Robin in the recent TEEN TITANS animated series on Cartoon Network).

UPDATE : 8/10/2008 : :P
Exclusive footage of Sonic & The Black Knight. Those are some awesome real-time graphics.

Also, "IT'S A FRICK'N SSSSSSWWWWOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRR-DUH."

UPDATE : 8/9/2008 : Simply the best...
FINALLY got around to seeing The Dark Knight. Simply put, it's the best super hero movie I've ever seen. And it almost made me cry after it was over for two reasons:

1. Heath Ledger, being deceased, can't return as the Joker. Seriously, never has a villain been played more perfectly. I'm sorry Mr. Nicholson, but you've been out-Jokered. The "nurse" scene was gold, by the way.

2. The simple fact that I'm gonna have to wait two years minimum for a sequel. Just the way they ended it (I won't give it away) just set up a sequel even better than "Begins" did. I have a feeling the third film is gonna be epic (as if this one wasn't epic enough).


Been in sort of a Shana mood lately, reading the manga and the novels, and just getting into rewatching the first season of the anime before getting into the second season. I almost forgot how much I loved this show. I'm kind of getting inspired to do an AMV to it (not AMV TKO style, although that would be interesting), so I'm keeping my eyes open while watching the anime for good clips to use and let me say, there's a boat-load.

I also have Tales Of Vesperia on reserve for my 360. I haven't bought a 360 game in a long while. Not that I haven't wanted to (Devil May Cry 4 is still on my to buy list), it's just my money is focused on other useless forms of entertainment at the moment. That and I've been buying some Rock Band tracks.

UPDATE : 8/1/2008 : Ding ding ding ding...
AMV TKO Round 4 is now up for viewing on YouTube.

I know I said I would have the AMV TKO website up along with the video, but you'll have to make due with a preview page. I still have some work to do on the site before I feel it's good enough to open up. I just figured I'd get the video up and have that over with.

UPDATE : 7/30/2008 : Maaaaaaaaaagic...
Sonic going out for a stroll. Hilarious.

AMV TKO Round 4 is done, for the most part. But I still keep finding little things here and there I want to tweak. I'm already planning out Round 5, which is scary because I usually don't even want to look at any of my AMVs for months after I finish a round. Oh well... the AMV TKO website is also coming along (somewhat) nicely. Much like Round 4, I keep finding little things to tweak here and there.

UPDATE : 7/24/2008 : Finding a good deal...
A lot of stores that I frequently visit are having sales on TV series boxsets. Seeing how I love to save money and can't miss a good deal, I picked up some old favorites (as if I don't have enough on my backpile of things to watch already).

My local GameStop had a buy 2 get 3 DVDs free deal and they just happened to have a bunch of Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVD boxsets. I almost forgot how much I loved this show. I had Season 1 already, but never got around to getting the rest. Now, after taking advantage of GameStops deal, I have all but Season 4. It came out to about $10 a boxset for me, so that worked out really nice. Now I just need to find a good deal on the ANGEL series boxsets.

I also picked up the first two season boxsets of Harvey Birdman : Attorney At Law at FYE (buy 1 get 1 free). Damn, this show never gets old. HA HA!... Funny.

Going to my second Phillies game in as many months this weekend. Go PHILS!

EDIT:
What an amazing day at Citizens Bank Park. First, I got to meet just about all the Phillies during a Meet The Fans kind of deal (sure, it was mostly just handshakes, but still awesome) and got my picture taken with Shane Victorino and Brett Myers. I'm a big fan of both, especially Shane, so that was a big thrill. Getting to stand on the field was pretty cool, as well.

Then, in the game itself, the Phils go down 9-3, only to come back and win it 10-9. Awesome game and day all around. Keep an eye on my MySpace for pics of the day including the pics with Victorino and Myers (they're on my cousin's camera).

EDIT #2:

Myself with Phillies outfielder Shane "The Flyin' Hawaiian" Victorino.


Myself with Phillies pitcher Brett Myers.

UPDATE : 7/22/2008 : Even more Sonic? Pt. 2
Complete details from the issue of Nintendo Power about SONIC & The Black Knight. It looks better than I was expecting. And you use the control stick on the nunchuk to move him instead of just the Wiimote? Works for me.

But best of all, JUN SENOUE IS COMPOSING THE MUSIC. Consider me a happy person. He hasn't done a Sonic game since Shadow The Hedgehog, which I though was one of his best works. I'll be buying this and the soundtrack in the future (looks like a Spring 2009 release).

UPDATE : 7/20/2008 : Even more Sonic?
How much Sonic is too much? I don't know the answer to that question, but that has to be pretty close. Then again, I always welcome more Sonic on my systems. Who knows, this image could be a total prank/fake, but that looks too good to be fake.

Giving it the benefit of the doubt, if the image is any indication, this will probably be a Wii-motion type of game with a lot of hack-n-slash sword action, which should be... interesting (to say the least). Without the emphasis on speed (possibly) and more attention to battle (again, possibly), I doubt many Sonic faithful will be happy about this. But we'll just have to see...

Even though it will probably be a long time before we see this on store shelves, it seems a little too soon for talk of another Sonic game when "Unleashed" hasn't even gotten past pre-production yet, and not to mention the upcoming Nintendo DS game as well.

UPDATE : 7/17/2008 : More unleashed...
SONIC UNLEASHED gameplay and Q&A video. WANT.

UPDATE : 7/16/2008 : Sonic, AMVs, and music...
New SONIC UNLEASHED trailer from E3. Holy... that song is GOD AWFUL. Not "We Can" awful... but awfully darn close. I pray that's just for promoting the game and not an actual song in the game (but I have a feeling it's the game's main theme). Sorry, I just need my CRUSH 40 fix in my Sonic games. Video-wise, I'm now hyped more than ever for the game.

AMV TKO Round 4 is all but finished, I just have to make a few final tweaks. Plus, as stated before, I want to have the AMV TKO website up and going to coincide with Round 4's release.

Also, ROCK BAND 2 is being released this fall. Sorry Guitar Hero, but Rock Band is the way to go according to everything that's been announced so far.

Other E3 news... if Resident Evil 4 was any indication, Resident Evil 5 is looking like the best game EVER. Also, possible hard-drive support for Xbox 360 games, as in you can play disc games from the hard drive instead off from the disc (you still need the disc to do it though) which could highly decrease loading times. That might even make Sonic 06 somewhat enjoyable, since loading times were my main gripe with the game.

UPDATE : 7/12/2008 : I should know better...
I got a kitty:

Such a tiger in looks AND personality.

Also threw together a quick links page.

UPDATE : 7/11/2008 : JOY
I was thrilled to find out that FUNIMATION has joined forces with formerly defunct GENEON and will be releasing the anime titles that GENEON dropped when they basically went under. This means HELLSING ULTIMATE will continue to see the light of day in the U.S., which makes me VERY happy.

Among the other titles I'm happy about their return is SHAKUGAN NO SHANA. While a complete boxset of season 1 has been announced for release, season 2 (as well as the OVAs), haven't been mentioned yet, but it's a safe bet they will be in the future at some point. Here's just hoping they release the box for the box set seperately for the devoted fans who bought season 1 during it's initial DVD release.

Here's also hoping for a STRAWBERRY MARSHMALLOW OVA release in the U.S.

I watched Vol. 2 of Lucky Star today. After eight episodes, I can honestly say I'm enjoying the show, but I still have yet to see what made the show so immensely popular. I'm beginning to believe it's opening title sequence is the sole reason the show gained such high reguard from it's fans. Although, I will admit, it has other amusing moments. SPARKING!

UPDATE : 6/30/2008 : The next project...
I've pretty much decided that I'll be opening the AMV TKO site to coincide with the release of ROUND 4 of the series.

Speaking of which, it's coming along nicely, although it's turning out much different than I originally planned it out. By no means is that a bad thing, it's just a little different than the previous rounds. I'm sure you'll see when I finish it.

Got to spend more time with the ToV demo and I have to say that the battle system does not favor the player that much. You get in your hack n' slash attacks in and you are pretty much left wide open for being attacked by the enemy. And that boss is just downright hard. Not Ninja Gaiden hard... but hard enough. Here's hoping the final product is more player friendly... like Symphonia (original), which was one thing that made Symphonia so great.

I still have to finish Tales Of The Abyss...

UPDATE : 6/21/2008 : Tales Of Vesperia...
Using a little common known trickery, I was able to download the demo of Tales Of Vesperia from the Japanese XBox Live. And despite the fact I downloaded it using a Japanese account, the entire thing was in English, voices and all. I'm guessing that I downloaded the demo that will be put up on the English XBox Live despite using a Japanese account. But it's still not up on the English version so this was the only way to get it now.

Anyway, the game has a definite TALES OF THE ABYSS feel to it, moreso than TALES OF SYMPHONIA, which is by no means a bad thing. Let's just hope SYMPHONIA II plays like it's predecessor. One of the interesting parts of playing the TALES games is that they tweak the battle system with every new game, so learning how to battle effectively is always an interesting journey. And the fact that you can play as a wolf is just downright awesome.

To see a TALES game in high-def just makes the fanboy in my go crazy. Not only does the game look phenomenal, but the sound is top-notch as well, with another great soundtrack (from what I've heard so far) by Motoi Sakuraba. You can definitely hear some of feel of his past works, such as SYMPHONIA and Eternal Sonata (Trusty Bell in Japan).

All I can say is that I'm definitely looking forward to this game and it can't come out fast enough.

I'm going to see the Phillies play today and it'll be the first time I'm going to their new stadium. Should be a blast. Hopefully, I'll have some good pics up on my MySpace later tonight.

Also, (Ninja) Awesome Gaiden. So true on EVERY level.

UPDATE : 6/15/2008 : Random thoughts...
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is releasing WWE ANTHOLOGY II. Me=happy. Hopefully it will be as good as the first.

I got around to beating SONIC And The Secret Rings for the Wii today. Got to say, I didn't have my hopes to high for the game, but it soundly surprised me. The controls were a bit iffy at times, but overall, I really enjoyed it and it's got me looking forward to SONIC UNLEASHED (which btw, is it's final name and not SONIC WORLD ADVENTURE as previously stated here).

Not too long ago, I bought a subscription to NEWTYPE USA, an anime magazine released in America based on the NEWTYPE magazine from JAPAN. Needless to say, this magazine was awesome. It had the look and feel of the original magazine and it had more anime and videogame info than you could ask for. Unfortunately, due to multiple issues (that mostly surrounded around money), the magazine folded and was replaced by a magazine called PiQ. It had the same staff as Newtype USA working on it, so I was hopeful (along with the two-issues for every issue left in my subscription) that I'd still get some great anime and videogame info.

Well, unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. I got four issues of PiQ so far, and all I can say is that this is a sad magazine for an anime fan. I'd say barely 10% of PiQ is based around anime and the rest is based on comic books, novels, British television and a whole bunch of other media I couldn't give a damn about. I'm sure I wasn't the only former Newtype subscriber who was a little ticked off.

So it came as no surprise to me when I learned that PiQ had folded. Seriously, I paid for anime... I want anime. Nothing more, nothing less. Was that so difficult for them to understand? Well, good riddance I say, but I better be getting a refund of some sort.

UPDATE : 6/10/2008 : New things and changes?
Finally got my hands on a Playstation version of SNATCHER. That was a long time coming. I even made a wallpaper for The Kremlin using the game's cover.

SONIC UNLEASHED is supposedly going through a name change. Can't say I'm all shocked, but... SONIC WORLD ADVENTURE? Hmm...

Speaking of changes, I've decided to cut back on some of my projects here on my site. I just put way to much on my plate, so to speak. AMV TKO ROUND 4 is underway in production, though, and I hope to have that finished before the end of summer.

On another note, I'm loving my Wii. I picked up a few games, including HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2&3. Loads of fun and it brings back some memories. The only bad thing about the Wii? So many classic games to download, so little money to spend. I'm still waiting on RBI Baseball and Yoshi's Island to be released.

UPDATE : 5/26/2008 : Who's Got A Wii?
On this great Memorial Day, I picked up a Wii for dirt cheap (compared to eBay costs anyway) at a Cash Converters. No games as of yet, but that will change in the near future. I spent enough money on the system, that games were out of the question at the moment. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick up a Wii at that cost. Besides, I have a bunch of GameCube games to play still and I can hopefully get some money back when I sell my GameCube. And I bought it moreso for the downloadable games anyway, so once my Wii internet router shows up, I'll be happy.

In other news:
IRON MAN : Awesome.

TALES OF... : Looking forward to two new TALES OF ... games coming out (now that I have a Wii), one being a direct sequel to one of my all-time favorite games, TALES OF SYMPHONIA (Wii) and one for the 360, TALES OF VESPERIA. It will be interesting to see how a TALES games looks in high def.

BAND HERO : At least, that's what I would call it now. Guitar Hero will be adding drums and a microphone, following after the success of ROCK BAND. The drum set looks sweet. And then there is Guitar Hero Aerosmith, which I'm actually looking forward to.

LUCKY STAR : Fun anime show (after 4 episodes), but I have yet to see what the fuss is all about.

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii...

UPDATE : 5/2/2008 : Long overdue...
I've been adding to my videogame collection with some bargain bin buys (especially to my very small GameCube game collection), and I'm happy to report that I finally got around to buying some Metal Gear games in the form of TWIN SNAKES for the GameCube and Sons Of Liberty for the XBox. Considering they were created by Hideo Kojima, the same man responsible for SNATCHER, it's amazing that it took this long to get around to playing them. I'm already moving my way through TWIN SNAKES (although I'm not that great at sneaking around, I'm too impatient) and I'm rather enjoying the game quite a bit. You can definitely tell that the same guy made both METAL GEAR and SNATCHER. It's just a mood and atmosphere kind of thing.

You can pretty much thank EgoRaptor, the creator of those hilarious METAL GEAR AWESOME flash movies for making me finally get into METAL GEAR, if only to get all the jokes in his movies.

Also, Disturbed has announced that they have two songs up for Rock Band in the near future to coincide with their new album coming out this June. All I can say is that it's about damn time. I'm gonna rock the drums on those tracks.

UPDATE : 4/8/2008 : Oh snap...

Little by little, SEGA is releasing more information and media on the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog game, which appears to have settled on "SONIC Unleashed" as it's final title afterall, due out this winter for all three major systems and the PS2 as well. With only this and a short gameplay video to go on, I have to say I haven't seen enough to make judgment on it, but my interest is definitely peaked. Will they finally get it right this time? As a true Sonic fan, I do hope so.


UPDATE : 4/1/2008 : This was a triumph...

More than enough reason to own Rock Band now in my opinion.


UPDATE : 3/29/2008 : Third time's the charm...
Welcome to the third round.

Thought of the moment : "Well, that took long enough."




UPDATE : 3/22/2008 : Welcome to the dark side...
Apparently, SEGA is in full swing again with a new, true-blue Sonic The Hedgehog game. Apparently, it's going to be a more dark game storyline-wise, if this image has anything to say about it (see below). There are some screenshots of in-game and cut-scenes parts floating all around the web, and apparently SEGA has copyrighted the name "SONIC UNLEASHED". Sounds a bit like SONIC X-Treme to me (canned game for the SATURN).

EDIT: OMG, video:

I picked up SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS, as well. It's definitely a fan-service tsunami as far as SEGA related stuff goes. It covers just about everything... except SAKURA WARS. But seeing how this is a SEGA of AMERICA game, that's to be expected. I'm still hoping that SAKURA WARS will get it's day in the States some day, but I'm not getting my hopes that high. Back to the game, it's actually a lot of fun, at least much more fun than the DOA X-Treme Volleyball games (but then again, what isn't?). Worth checking out if you're a SEGA fan like me.

AMV TKO Round 3 is pretty much done, just need to fix a few things here and there and I'll have it up on YouTube soon.

Thought of the moment : "Please be good, please be good, please be good..."

UPDATE : 2/22/2008 : Let's get ready to rumblllllllllllllllllllllle...
I started work on AMV TKO Round 3. YAY! It took me long enough to get around to it. I'm getting all the easy vids out of the way first and then going after the ones that will have a lot of edits.

Oh, and this will be the first of the three rounds that will be made entirely in ADOBE PREMIERE. The first two were made in Windows Movie Maker, and all I can say is Premiere makes a HUUUUUUUGE difference in quality. Plus, it's much more hands on, so editing is easier. Everything is looking good so far, so here's hoping I can get that done soon and then get to work on the AMV TKO section of the site.

Speaking of the site, I'm messing around with the HTML and stuff, so expect things to move around a lot over the next few weeks.

P.S. If you are interested in seeing Rounds 1 and 2, please check out my YouTube page or just scroll down this page and you'll see some embedded videos from YouTube of them.

UPDATE : 2/2/2008 : Catching up...
Figure I might as well post this before my server is destroyed from people downloading stuff from it.

1. CLOVERFIELD. Loved it. Thought it was awesome and I feel bad for initially bashing it when I first learned of it. Not a bad birthday gift to have, seeing that movie on opening night. Although, I highly doubt it's the type of movie that will have the same effect the second time seeing it and any times thereafter.

2. SONIC TRUE BLUE. Another solid release in the SONIC The Hedgehog soundtrack series. The bonus tracks are awesome, especially Crush 40's SEVEN RINGS IN HAND cover and the Bentley Jones remix of OPEN YOUR HEART can't even be put into words of it's greatness. You just have to hear it for yourself. Plus the new mixes of LIVE & LEARN and WHAT I'M MADE OF... were a pleasant surprise. They just sound cleaner now, if that makes any sense. Definitely worth picking up.

3. WARTECH. My sister sent me this fun little gem in the mail for my birthday. It's a XBox 360 game that has kind of a GUNDAM type of feel to it... if GUNDAM were on crack! I had never even heard of the game before, but it apparently has a cheap price tag on it, so that just about anyone could get it. And I suggest you do, because you definitely get your money's worth and then some. So thank you to my sister and congratulations on your wedding as well. Sorry I can't do much about that new last name, though. :D

4. ROCK BAND. I had to send back my Rock Band guitar (like many others that I've heard), due to the strum bar generating a double-strum every time I strummed. It didn't do it at first, but even before then, I didn't give the guitar much of a chance. I was too much in love with my Gibson Les Paul guitar from Guitar Hero III. But now that I've got a working Rock Band guitar, I actually am starting to like it a lot. The fast fret buttons always come in hand during those songs that have a "big finish".

5. ANIME. Just started watching "KAMICHU!". I've been wanting to see it for a while, and thanks to some Best Buy gift cards, that's become possible. It's about a young Japanese girl who becomes a god. Yes, a god. And now she helps out people in her town all the while interacting with countless other gods that appear in all shapes, colors and sizes. I've only gotten through the first volume, but it is definitely interesting to say the least. Episode 4 was a little weird, though, with the arrival of a Martian of all things, but after dealing with some weird gods in the earlier episodes, it wasn't that big of a stretch for the storyline. I'm enjoying the series and can't wait to see where it's going.

And that about wraps up what's going on in my world of entertainment...

UPDATE : 1/18/2008 : Happy birthday to me...
Yes, today is my birthday, and I got one heck of a gift today (sort of)... the track list for True Blue : The Best Of Sonic The Hedgehog was finally released:

01. LIVE & LEARN
02. IT DOESN'T MATTER (SA2 Version)
03. ESCAPE FROM THE CITY
04. HIS WORLD
05. SUPER SONIC RACING
06. SONIC - YOU CAN DO ANYTHING
07. SONIC BOOM
08. SONIC SPEED RIDERS
09. RACE TO WIN
10 SONIC X THEME
11. RIGHT THERE and RIDE ON
12. SONIC HEROES
13 WHAT I'M MADE OF...
14. SEVEN RINGS IN HAND
15. HIS WORLD (Zebrahead Version)
16 IT DOESN'T MATTER (SA1 Version)
17. OPEN YOUR HEART
- Bonus Tracks -
18 A NEW VENTURE (Surfin' S.R.A. Remix)
19. ANGEL ISLAND ZONE (SSBB Remix)
20. SEVEN RINGS IN HAND (Crush 40 Version)
21. OPEN YOUR HEART (Crush 40 vs. Bentley Jones Remix)

All I can say is I have got to hear that Crush 40 version of "SEVEN RINGS IN HAND", which was originally done by Steve Conte for SONIC And The Secret Rings (Wii). I'm actually surprised that music from both the Japanese and English versions of SONIC CD (SEGA CD) are there.

And what's up with "SONIC X THEME"? Is that the theme from the (HORRID!) English version? If it was the Japanese version, wouldn't they list it as "SONIC DRIVE"? And I'm assuming that track 21 is the REMIX FACTORY remix that a sample of has been floating around for a while. The SMASH BROS. BRAWL track (19) is a nice bonus, too, since I thought this would be an all vocal CD. All in all, I'm very pleased with this list.

In related news, I found out that my order for the SONIC RIDERS ZERO GRAVITY CD had been shipped out today as well. Happy birthday to me, indeed.

UPDATE : 1/12/2008 : Things taking shape...

I picked up SONIC Riders Zero Gravity the other day and after beating both story modes, I can definitely say that this game is a HUGE improvement on every level over the original. Granted, it's not a game that will turn the SONIC franchise around, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. And I can't get enough of that theme song, "Un-gravitify". The new Babylon Rogues theme remix isn't half bad either.

I added a few new links to the right that should give you some idea of what's on the horizon with my site. Of course, there's only some "COMING SOON" pages to show off, but I can promise you that they will be up and going once I can decide on a design for each of them. I don't want all of them to just look the same with just a different color scheme. I want them all to have their own personality and identity.

Looks like I've got a lot of work ahead of me...

UPDATE : 1/6/2008 : My addiction...
I started up a My Anime List page and added a link to the right. Now you can know what I'm watching, if you wanted to, that is. I'm still working on it and have a ton of stuff to add to it.

Still waiting on info on the tracklist for the new Sonic Vocal CD "True Blue" and not long before that, the Sonic Riders : Zero Gravity soundtrack will be released. Oh yeah, SRZG (the videogame) will be shipped out on Tuesday. I think I'll download the PS2 version and then buy the Wii version whenever I can get my hands on a Wii. And did you know there is going to be a SONIC Team tennis game featuring SONIC Team characters coming out later this year for all the major systems? Don't know what to think about that one.

Sounds like a good year to be a Sonic fan. Here's hoping they can overturn their run of bad luck with some of their recent games.

In a completely unrelated story, I'm really looking forward to CLOVERFIELD, a movie I was bashing upon it's announcement. They have done a beautiful job with it's viral advertising campaign (another thing I usually frown upon) with all the fake blogs, myspaces and webpages. I'm constantly looking up all the fansites like CLOVERFIELD CLUES and PROJECT CLOVERFIELD for all the newest clues and insights on the whole big picture of the movie's storyline. I still have worries that I'm going to be disapointed by the movie, but I just really want to see the monster.

In my dreams...

UPDATE : 12/26/2007 : And now the album has a face...


(from CDJAPAN)

DO WANT NOW. According to Jun Senoue (SEGA Music Producer), it will have 21 tracks of some of the best Sonic music over his entire 15 year run, as well as remixes and new tracks. Sounds pretty good to me.

UPDATE : 12/12/2007 : Nothing new in blue...

And in even more Sonic music related news...

And yes, I have the soundtrack (and soon the game) preordered.


UPDATE : 11/16/2007 : Sonic still rules...

Well, looky what I just found.

Look back on fifteen years of "Sonic the Hedgehog" with the best vocal songs from each of the previously released "Sonic" games. Includes unreleased tracks, CD debuts, the latest remixes, and even bonus tracks from some of today's hottest artists!

That's HOT.

Here's hoping for the following:
- Remix Factory's remix of "Open Your Heart"
- "Sweet Sweet Sweet" & "Sweet Dream" AKON 06 Remixes from Sonic 360/PS3
- Any unreleased remixes of "Dreams Of An Absolution" from Sonic 360/PS3
- And above all else, anything new from Crush 40

If those are involved as well as some other surprises, this could end up being the best Sonic soundtrack release ever.

UPDATE : 11/1/2007 : Eternally... God Bless...
Got my copy of The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 4 today and this just happened to be on it:

I gotta say, I really love it when anime dubbing companies go the extra mile and dub songs into english from the original Japanese version. Not since the days of Pioneer's P-Anime series do you see that much anymore. Media Blasters had a run where they would dub the opening and closing themes and Funimation still does that occasionally, but for the most part, it's not common practice. So, major props to Bandai and Bang Zoom Entertainment for putting that together.

And who knew that Wendee Lee could sing? :P

UPDATE : 10/27/2007 : So much stuff, so little time...
Guitar Hero III comes out this Sunday, and you better believe I'll be at my local GAMESTOP to pick it up (complete with wireless Les Paul controller *drool*). That's the good news. The bad news is that this is just another game that goes on the pile of games I'm currently in the middle of playing or are just lying around waiting to be played. The list looks something like this:

* Tales Of The Abyss (currently playing)
* Tales Of Legendia (not sure if I want to play it because it looks like ass next to Abyss (and even Symphonia))
* Guitar Hero II (yes, I still play the hell out of that. FREE BIRD!)
* Fullmetal Alchemist 1 & 2 (kind of started playing 1, but haven't touched it much since I got...)
* Eternal Sonata (absolutely beautiful game, but hasn't quite hooked me in yet. I blame ToAbyss)
* Naruto : Ultimate Ninja 2 (just haven't had much time to play it with all the above)

And on the import front:

* Sakura Wars V (LOVE SW and everything about it. It's only a matter of time before I get into that)

It's funny, I swore to never own a PS2 and now that I do own one, it's consuming my gaming time. Dammit, I knew that system was evil...

And don't even get me started on how far behind I am with my anime...

P.S. Hey, look... a new look. :P

UPDATE : 10/16/2007 : Who's ready for ROUND 2?
Oh yes...

That didn't take long, now did it?

UPDATE : 10/15/2007 : Here we go again...
AMV TKO ROUND 2 is on the way, a lot sooner than I expected it to be (seeing how lazy I can be at times). It could possibly be up as soon as this weekend, but we'll see what happens. I personally think it is much better than Round 1, but I'll let you be the judge.





UPDATE : 9/3/2007 : It starts...
Whoa, there's new stuff here for once. That is, if you consider links to my various sites over the net "new". Anyway, this should give you a rough idea of what is to come in the near future.







UPDATE : 8/27/2007 : :O
Like, OMG or something...

(9/1/07)***UPDATED VERSION****(9/1/07)

Oh yeah, and I guess The Kremlin isn't totally dead after all... whatever.