Russia Angry Historically Accurate Game not Nicer

I am sure this exact thing happened, Russia

Long time readers of the site will know that I am a huge fan of the Company of Heroes series, in the past I have gone so far as to claim that it is a better real time strategy game than StarCraft.  I say this so that you know when to take what I am about to say in the right context.  A, rather large, Russian gaming distributor has stopped all sales of Company of Heroes 2 because the game doesn’t paint the behavior of everyone in Russia as “wonderful” from the second World War.  While the game is nowhere near close enough to accurate to portray everything that happened as fact, as that would be a less interesting game, it is at the very least “inspired by” enough to make most Law and Order episodes look dumb for using “ripped from the headlines”.

I have not played the newest addition of the series, mainly because every time I have been paid since it came out there was something twice as important that seemingly needed to be bought that week, but the other games would only ever talk about real things that happened in kind of boring cut-scenes that used maps and giant arrows to show troop movement.  I never felt that any of the levels that were played in the game went over the line to disrespecting the memory of what happened—but I was also pretty sure that all those missions were simply things that could have happened.  Interestingly enough when I read about this story there was instantly people in the comments point out how painfully nationalistic Russia has been as of late.

Source: EvilAvatar

Genesis Collection 5 Comes To Steam

Valve’s Steam gaming service has some classic console goodness lined up this week: Genesis Classics Collection 5. 10 awesome Sega Genesis games for $7.50, or $2.99 individually, the list includes Beyond Oasis, Dynamite Headdy, Golden Axe 3, Phantasy Star 2, 3, & 4, Streets of Rage 3, Revenge of the Shinobi, Vectorman 2, and Wonder Boy in Monster World. While there are lots of goodies in this collection, there is a gem of an RPG classic in there- Phantasy Star 4: The End of the Millennium. This awesome sci-fi RPG was perhaps the best game in the entire Phantasy Star series before it became an online affair, and any JRPG fan that missed this one during the 16-bit era should give this one a shot.


Sega Now Selling Urinal Video Game

Sega has released a new video game in Japan that will make using a urinal more entertaining than it should be.  Dubbed “Toylet”, this device attaches to an existing urinal and uses a sensor that measures pressure and volume to play games on the device.  The short games consist of activities such as filling coffee cans, creating wind to blow up a reporter’s skirt, and trying to get a man to squirt milk from his nose.

After the game is finished the screen will display ads placed by the operator.  This game system has been tested in Tokyo at select locations, and business owners claim the game has been beneficial.  Products advertised on the Toylet show increased sales; customers stay for the attraction of the unusual game, and the incentive for players to “concentrate” while using the urinals keeps the bathrooms cleaner.  Check out the video below to see one of the Toylet games in action!


I Don’t Know How I Own This: Panzer Dragoon Anime

Once, in college, while I was hanging out with my girlfriend at her parents’ house her mother noticed that I was watching Scooby Doo. My response to this was, “I like Scooby Doo,” probably because it was one of the few sentences that I could coherently make without giggling like a five year-old around a fart. For the next two years that girl’s mother found every excuse that she could to gift me any item even looked like that specially-abled dog’s likeness.

I bring this up for two reasons: one that people don’t really know what to buy nerds to show them that they have an active interest in their lives, as they refuse to make an attempt to understand video games or Star Wars, thus ending up in many gifts that barely warrant a “thank you for thinking of me.” The other reason is that this amount of blind gifting can also lead to hating the subject it was once about and why to this day I refuse to watch a single moment of Scooby Doo.

The reason that I brought up that entirely long story is so that people can understand that I have no idea how or why I own this anime. It was stored in a large plastic box in the back of a closest that I don’t think I have opened in years. I was amazed and even a little worried on how it got there.

Either way, the anime is based off of the Panzer Dragoon game that had come out on the Sega Saturn– and by based off I mean the same way that a “Fillet o’ Fish” is based off of a “Chicken Nugget”, the idea is there but nothing else. If the game went any further out of its way to have nothing to do with the game it would take place underwater and feature a man made of candy and childhood nightmares.

The video begins with a large fleet of ships apparently getting ready to attack a giant black tower, or just flying around and exploring—either way they are actively near it. Seeing as the tower seems to be controlled by HAL, who in turn is in control of just about every laser the world has ever seen, he decides that the correct course of action is to kill all humans.

This, of course, suddenly switches to a set of people hunting—for food– what appears to be a scorpion made out of 90% rock and 10% poison. Is this hundreds of years later? Is it the next day? Who knows!

With some of the worst voice acting ever we are introduced to the hero (Kyle), his female friend and only reason he goes on this journey, and worthless/expendable male companion. No, really, it seems like they just hired a couple of people off the street and recorded them as they read lines cold.


All of the character development that is ever going to occur pretty much takes place in this one scene. Alita (the only girl) seems to be able to sense things, even though that is never brought up again, and the friend who dies when the dragon attacks for an unknown reason and never brought up again ever.

What kind of troubles me, besides the overall quality of this anime, is that our hero is supposed to have been traveling with this friend Devidok (which is only ever pronounced twice, both different ways) for years. He only met this girl, from what I gather from the only flash back during the movie, maybe a week before if you are super generous. He takes 0 time to mourn the friend that gave his life defending him and dashes off to the girl that he could have literally met the night before.

Also, while on the subject of not explaining things; why is this girl so special to the dragon? During the only flash back we find out that she is blind, and it is briefly stated that she can “sense the direction of things,” but that is never treated as if it is anything special other than hearing. Even the final battle between the two dragons, one of them seems to lose a considerable amount of power and in put through a great deal of pain when she is taken from him. No reason given, just happens and something else happens.

The dragon that the hero becomes friends with name is Blau. Oddly this is only mentioned during the last five minutes of the movie, and is pronounced differently every time it is said –by both the human rider and the dragon itself.

Beyond the simple issue with its name, Blau is not without problems himself. The rider that he had before the black dragon killed it, and Devidok seeing as I am the only one thinking about his heroic sacrifice here, was never discussed yet he had all kinds of special equipment and armor on suggesting that he had been with the dragon awhile–so someone else that doesn’t mourn the dead. Also, the dragon can talk, but only does so to state that they need to get to the tower fast and during the ending to say good-bye.

Here is a thought, when the dragon was killing hundreds of people that it knew to be possessed with demon spawn why didn’t it say something to the hero? Kyle spent an entire day trying to nurse one of those things back to health, only to ask Blau to kill it when he figured out what was going on. If time really was important it would have probably been easier, and faster, to just say something instead of stand around like you knew better. I guess dragons are just naturally jerks though.

Honestly though, the best part of the entire movie is that it is short. From the time that Hal blows up all the stupid looking steam punk zeppelins to the moment stood blind girl can finally see is about 15 minutes. The box says that it is 35, but that seems to be with both the previews of other anime and the seven minutes at the end that goes through all the concept art, and then shows the scene it was from.

Spoony Bard Podcast: Slow Long Jerk

This week we are talking about Sonic 3, as well as how Sonic and Knuckles played into that with the addition price tag on a game that we already bought.  Once again we go way, way off topic and talk about things from Paris France and landmarks that are found there to our fans and how we think that they all rock.  We may drink through most of the episode, but who doesn’t.  There is a request for listener interaction and comments, so think about that too.  Also we didn’t this week over skype, everything is live and in person, so get get ready for some almost good sounding audio– It is the 17th episode of the Spoony Bard Podcast!