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Logical Ramblings

Humorous stories, reviews, and insights on life, the universe, and everything.

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New TMNT Premier Review

When I was growing up, there were several cartoon shows that I watched almost religiously.  One of those cartoons was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  It had great animation, humor, action, and snarky one-liners.  It was awesome and I loved it.  The theme music was really catchy and I would be excited to watch the episode.  My brother and I even had many of the action figures and would play out our own little episodes with them.  Those were great times.

There are a lot of newer cartoons that I don’t really get, but that’s probably just a combination of me being older and having such a nostalgic feeling towards my favorite cartoons growing up, and being disappointed that there aren’t really cartoons like those on anymore.  Well, once again, there is a new Ninja Turtles cartoon that’s being aired on Nickelodeon.  When I first saw the preview, I’ll admit I was a little skeptical about it.  The animation isn’t drawn, it’s computer generated.  I was also kind of excited, because I did love the TMNT movie that came out several years ago which was also computer generated.  Could it live up to my expectations?

I watched the premier of the new TMNT cartoon this weekend and I have to say, I love it.  The animation is actually very well done, and it has some very cartoony effects that seem to be inspired from anime for showing emotions.  It’s very comical.  The voice work was done very well and the new theme song is extremely catchy.  You can tell that it’s inspired from the original cartoon theme but made more ‘hip’.  Oftentimes this can be detrimental, but in this case it’s done very well, I think.

The storyline feels a little more ‘grown up’, if that makes any sense.  I’m not sure if it’s following the actual comic exactly or loosely (I’ve never read any of them, sadly) but it has certainly drawn me in.  When I watched it, I almost felt like a little kid again, getting excited to see the Ninja Turtles.  If you have any interest in TMNT at all, or were a fan of the original cartoon, then I would definitely recommend checking out this new cartoon on Nickelodeon.

Megaman 10 Chronicles: Part Two

It’s that time again, time for another Megaman 10 level review!  We’re calling it Megaman Monday (my wife’s idea), isn’t alliteration great?  I was originally thinking one level for every Monday, but after this latest one I might consider doing more next time.  These games have certain elements within them that have become a recurring theme in the series.  There are many like the disappearing platform blocks I mentioned in the previous level review.  There are of course the eight robot masters and usually the main antagonist is Dr. Wily.  The stages seem to stick to an elemental format: water, fire, earth, and wind.  By necessity they have to pull other elements out to have enough stages, so it suddenly becomes similar to Pokémon types: wood, rock, electric, shadow.  There’s something else that seems to bring its evil presence into each game: the spikes which bring instant death.

These spikes take many forms, but the main idea is always the same.  You touch these prickly bastards, and you die.  Whoever designed them though, “You know what?  That life bar you got there?  It doesn’t mean shit, you touch my spikes and you die instantly!”  Those spikes really piss me off to be honest.  One of the requirements for designing a Megaman stage must be that you have to be an asshole.  It’s their job to make sure you die several times trying to get to the boss.  These spikes happened to show up in the level that I played.  This boss stage was “Pump Man”.  I guess he shoots out air blasts and pumps water.  His head looks like an old fashioned well pump.  Apparently the story for Megaman 10 is that all of these robots had jobs / tasks that they performed for the community until a strange virus, Roboenza, infected them and made them violent and bent on world domination, that’s some crazy virus.  I wonder what Sheep Man’s job was?  Herding sheep I suppose.  Pump Man purified apparently purified the water and his stage looks like a water purification plant I guess.  There are lots of pipes with water coming out of them.

The stage had a lot of water but only about a third of it was actually under water and as soon as you reach that part, you encounter the insta-death spikes and also giant bubbles that try to trap you and lift you up into the spikes.  I died several times in this stage, and the stage itself was much more difficult than the boss.  I didn’t enjoy the stage, but maybe that’s because it annoyed me so much.  I felt the colors were a little too focused on green, reminding me of an original Gameboy game.  It seemed pretty bland to say the least.  This stage was challenging though and I was relieved that Pump Man was pretty much a push over because I didn’t want to play through it again.

To defeat him, I used the weapon I got from Sheep guy, whatever it’s called: electric wool, sheep-shocker, whatever.  When you use it a cloud shoots out and if that cloud hits the enemy it does a little bit of damage and then disappears.  If it doesn’t then it goes to the top of the screen and shoots down a lightning bolt for the enemy to run into, which is pretty cool, except you can only use it four or five times before you run out of the energy to use it.  I repeat, four to five times.  This makes it practically useless!  So I mostly used the main weapon, the Mega Buster, on Pump Mcfly.  He was a breeze; he jumped around generating a “water shield” made of little balls and then shooting those balls outwards around him.  I blasted him without taking much damage and didn’t die once trying to defeat him or learn his pattern.

My Pump Man statistics and ratings:

  • Boss oddity: 6/10
  • Stage likability: 4/10
  • Difficulty rating: 6/10
  • Number of deaths: 12
  • Number of curses at the game: 18
  • Final curse: None: this lamer gave me no trouble at all.  His stage on the other hand…

Megaman 10 Chronicles: Part One

I’ve finally made the decision to play through the game Megaman 10.  I’m proud to say that I have played through Megaman 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9.  Not 8, no, I refuse to play through that game because it looks and feels like a Klik ‘n Play game, a well-made Klik ‘n Play game, but it just doesn’t have the polish that the others do, but I digress.  I think some may not understand the draw to play through a Megaman game.  At their best they’re frustrating, and at their worst they’re infuriating.  I believe Megaman games are designed to piss you off.  That’s the point, really.  You play: you die, you jump: you die, you shoot enemies: you die.  Each time you die though, you get a lesson in what not to do.  You learn as you go, and when you complete a stage, you get a real sense of accomplishment.  While playing through Megaman 10, I have decided to chronicle my journey here.  I would like to share some of that frustration with you and the many fun absurdities that come along with these great games.

In this posting, I would like to talk about the first stage that I’ve played through.  The way these games are structured is that there are several robot ‘masters’ that you have to beat before you can go after the main antagonist (typically Dr. Wily).  These bosses are usually named [SOMETHING] Man (except for Splash Woman in 9).  The first robot master that I decided to pursue was Sheep Man.  Wait… his name is Sheep Man?  You know you’re running low in the idea tank when you pull out Sheep Man.  So, I was expecting that maybe his stage would be a bunch of dumb sheep jumping over fences or something and maybe his power was to suffocate you with his wool.  Sounds lame I know, but I just didn’t expect much from a sheep.

His stage turned out to be a play on technology somehow.  There were some strange enemies that seemed like a stretch, even for a Megaman game.  One of the enemies was a mouse cursor, and it would click and drag a rectangle which would then turn into smaller ‘pixels’ of squares that would shoot at you.  I’m not exactly sure how technology relates to sheep.  I’m guessing the transition was:
Sheep -> Static Electricity -> Technology -> Clicky the Mouse Cursor Baddie.  Seems like quite a stretch to me.

Clicky the Mouse Cursor

Each one of these stages has a mid-level mini boss.  This stage had a giant light bulb which had to be powered up by running on a conveyor belt, then some blocks appear that you can jump on to get up to the same level as the bulb and shoot it, all while two asshole mini light bulbs, which kind of look like Metroids, try to attack you.  Each time the power goes out for the big bulb, electric shocks are sent out over the wires which you have to try to avoid.  I died at least five times trying to get past this dumb thing.

After having to cross several floor gaps by powering up small floor stands, I came upon one of the most common Megaman pitfalls: disappearing platforms.  These platforms appear and disappear in a certain order often forcing you to jump before the next platform reappears.  This requires dying many times to memorize the pattern.  The ones in this stage weren’t bad at all though, and I finally reached Sheep Man, bahhh.  Sheep Man shoots out electrical shots at you which alternates moving up and down as it comes at you, then he jumps into the air and creates several thunder clouds which spread out through the room and shoot down thunder bolts, after the bolts hit the ground, they travel along both sides of the room, so you need to jump over them to avoid getting hit.  I only died a couple of times trying to defeat this one and once I did I received his power: Thunder Wool, which creates a cloud that shoots out lightning bolts.  It’s hard to gauge the difficulty of this stage in the scheme of other stages I’ve played since I haven’t played in quite a while before this.  I found this stage to be relatively easy, but I know there will be more difficulty on upcoming stages.  I like to play on normal difficulty because I don’t think you can get credit for beating a Megaman game on easy and hard is just asking to put your head through a wall.  Overall this stage was kind of neat, but I think they could have done more with it.

My Sheep Man statistics and ratings:

  • Boss oddity: 8/10
  • Stage likability: 7/10
  • Difficulty rating: 3/10
  • Number of deaths: 10
  • Number of curses at the game: 20
  • Final curse: “Die sheep-fucker!

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