Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Painting Fun

Nothing to show right now, but I just wanted to say that it really pays to use a good primer. I used a different brand that claimed to be better than Gesso on a project I'm doing and let me just tell you that it did not perform as advertised. You can sand it, sure, but painting over it is a supreme bitch compared to the one coat coverage of Gesso. God I love that stuff. I might go sniff some right now.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Two Customs of Kyle

I managed to finish two more customs this weekend. I might have one more as well if things go alright with it. For now, we have Kyle Rayner as Parallax and Ion, the former in JLU figure format and the other in Ed McGuinness style. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them. Visit Custom Corner for more information and recipes.

Review: No More Heroes

You may have seen a new game for the Wii on the shelves entitled No More Heroes and wondered what it was all about. It's about $50 dollars of pure awesome action fun. It's about a man named Travis Touchdown who wins a beam sword on an online auction and then enters the world of ranked assassins in a quest to be number one. That alone sounds interesting but what really sets the game apart from sandbox violence games like GTA is the execution of it all.

The graphics are done in a cell shaded style, more reminiscent of Viewtiful Joe than Killer7 but realistic instead of cartoony. Adding to this is the complete punk rock and anime fan style that permeates the game. Travis wears a leather jacket and tons of pop culture t-shirts and buys wrestling videos in his spare time to learn new movies. While I haven't found that many jackets yet, there are a metric fuckton of t-shirts that you can buy or find as you cruise around the fictional town of Santa Destroy on a souped up motorcycle. Every villain you fight has their own particular style to counter yours and most of them are pretty over the top. The framerate is constant and the flow of blood and coins as you scrap your way to the top never relents when you begin a mission until right before the boss.

Gameplay is fantastic. Instead of the sandbox world you can play in and have more fun than the missions themselves, in NMH, the world makes you want to do the missions, as it is fairly spartan save for a few locations. I rather enjoyed this as everything you can find in the overworld to do is fun and increases your stash or powers. In between missions, you earn money by doing part time jobs like mowing lawns and filling up cars with gas, which could sound boring but it's fairly fun. After that, you get assasination missions for smaller targets to earn extra loot. You don't have to do many of these if you want to just go from mission to mission to progress the story, but the game makes it fun and several of the powers you can buy and earn are fairly helpful and will make the game that much easier for you.

In the overworld, you do the usual running around but you lack any fighting controls as there is nothing for you to fight. Once you get into a sub-mission or a ranked mission, you can start killing stuff. Most of this is handled with the A and B buttons on the Wiimote. Also determined by the Wiimote is the stance you take. If you hold it high, your stance is high and if you hold it low, your stance is low. This goes for sword hits, stunning kicks and blocks as well. Once you engage an enemy, you can lock on with the Z button and dodge with the control pad. When you hit them, you have several options. If you use the sword solely, you'll get a deathblow message when they're out of life and then you create an arterial spray. If you use a stun, you can perform a wrestling move with the Wiimote and nunchuk. These are fairly easy to do and you get on screen prompts so you know what move you have to do, taking some of the onus off of you.

I'm only ranked 7 out of 10 now and still working my way to number 1, but it's a great game and if you don't mind the violence, it's well worth picking up. Unlike the GTA games, I'd say the violence isn't gratuitous but instead a necssary part of the story. Travis lives in a world fueled by kung fu and wrestling movies and video games and this is what the game reflects. It's not as arty as Killer7, but much easier to digest and a more complete work of art.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Neon Maniacs

I don't know how this one happened to find its way onto my Netflix list, but I'm glad it did. Neon Maniacs is a gem of an 80s movie about killer monsters that live underneath the Golden Gate Bridge but only recently and start slaughtering people. As usual, it's up to a bunch of teens to try and convince the authorities that they aren't making shit up and that there really are things that go bump in the night and they look and act like they might be based on some deranged GI Joe figures. Apparently there are twelve of them but you only realy see the same handful again and again and nobody knows where they came from, just that they kill shit dead.

It starts out benignly enough, with a bunch of teens partying in the park and they start to frolic as teens are wont to do and one of them even gets a bj from chick with a mullet, the lucky devil. They don't seem to notice the Neon Maniacs, who in additon to being ninjas aren't even neon, as they sneak up on the teens and murder them. Of course a few decide to try and fight back but that ends quickly and before the last girl can be killed, the maniacs are driven off by thunder. The cops don't believe the girl's story and they send her home where she's alone and stalked by one of the maniacs that looks like a goofy-ass caveman. Nothing happens from that even though she's going for a night swim to ease her mind. Yes, because after seeing all your friends murdered, a nice swim is a great way to cap off the night. I think I would have had the cops lock my ass up or post a guard or something. Maybe stay over a friend's house. Anything to not be alone and also to build up the body count.

Anyway, the girl is not alone in her quest to convince people that weird stuff is happening as the grocer's son and an amateur film director girl discover the truth as well as their paths intertwine in a pretty bizarre movie. It's worth seeing for the maniacs, who have some decent makeup though their personalities are basically based on their weapons. There's Tonto, the Village People reject; Samurai, the...well...samurai; Ropeman, who uses a noose; Surgeon, who carries a doctor's bag and several more. This movie has also captured my heart for having a costume dance/battle of the bands where a man dressed as Mr. Miracle appears. That's a pretty odd choice and I did a double-take. In terms of superheroes appearing in a movie, that was quite a surprise.

There's almost nil on the nudity, some decent gore and good makeup effects and the acting isn't too stilted so it does hold it's head above some of the lesser entries in the 80s horror field. If you can find it, check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you go in with low expectations. Just be warned--I think they stole the score from Moonlighting as it has little to do with a horror movie unless it was staged in an Eddie Murphy video.