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Splatune & Splatune 2 Review


It’s no secret that I have been a big fan of Nintendo’s 2015 foray into competitive third-person shooters as well as its 2017 sequel. The subsequent single-player expansion pack was pretty cool too. It included 80 stages. Merely clearing the game lets you play online as an Octoling. But if you make it to completion? Well, then it even features one of the toughest secret boss fights since Capcom and SNK gave us God Rugal.

One of the best parts of the Splatoon games has consistently been their music. Whether you’re talking about Keity Pop & Mari Kikuma voicing the Squid Sisters, (Sea O’ Colors in Japan) Rena Itou & Alice Peralta voicing Off The Hook (Tentacles in Japan), or any number of the game’s many fictional bands like the Chirpy Chips (ABXY in Japan). The music goes beyond simply providing something to listen to during matches, it is used extensively in world-building.


So the music does a good job in the games but how does it fare on its own? In my opinion, it fares very well. Many game soundtracks these days feel like film soundtracks. Either grand orchestrated pieces that may fit a scene perfectly well. Or a collection of real-world musical tracks most of us know, or at the very least have heard somewhere else. These soundtracks hearken back to a time where several things were true. Video game music used to really describe a game’s identity. When you heard Guile’s theme outside of Street Fighter II, you immediately thought of Guile fighting another character like Blanka on the airstrip. Even today, songs like Going Down The Fastway immediately take anyone who has ever played Rise Of The Triad, back to 1995 sitting at their computer eating monk meal.

Outside of video games, throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and even the 1990s if you bought an album it potentially included tchotchkes. Sometimes they might have been replica ticket stubs for a show the album was a recording of. Other times they gave you fold-out posters.  When CDs began to overtake Vinyl records in the 90s these weren’t as common. But now and again there would still be something spiffy showing up with one of them. 15 years ago some of them even tried to mimic the look of a vinyl record by coming in gatefold sleeves. Of course, nowadays CD releases are neither as sought after as the vinyl resurgence nor do they have the prevalence or simplicity digital downloads do.


But video games have also started to see an interest in their soundtracks over the last several years. And while many of them can be purchased on Steam or sometimes directly from their composers, Many of them have been going the film route. With a grand orchestrated score or a list of top 40 hits. Which may make sense for Grand Theft Auto. But it doesn’t make sense for everything. But oddly enough while a lot of soundtracks are available they’re not always available across the board. Sometimes they’re only on digital storefronts. Sometimes only on vinyl, in a very limited number. Or sometimes pretty plentiful, on CD, but not here in North America.

The Splatoon Soundtracks have yet to see a digital release as far as I can tell, and they have no international release so you’ll have to import them from Japan or buy them from a business that has already imported them from Japan. Or from an importer, or from an individual second hand. But it is a worthy endeavor.


No matter what kind of music you’re into, there’s likely going to be a few songs you’ll really like. The first album has a lot of electronic synthpop, New Wave, and Power Pop inspired by the early 90s Pop Punk sound. And this fits very well as the characters in the games are doing battle in malls, skate parks, and other places teens and young adults would be. But the OST also has many Experimental, Electronica, and Post Punk sounding tracks as that fits the campaign nicely. The Octarians are led by a Samurai Octopus DJ after all. The thing is, all of these fit a long car ride, or a commute nicely.  Most of the music here stands out and even the stuff that doesn’t is still pretty good. The stars here are clearly the Squid Sisters, but there are a lot of good songs over two discs. And beyond that, you still get all of the sound effects they recorded.

The second soundtrack continues this trend, but Off The Hook has a blend of Hip Hop and dance genres like Funk and Disco. These tracks are really good and again, stand on their own. One of the especially catchy jams is Acid Hues which those who have played Splatoon 2 may remember from the Splatfest events. You’ll get a wider variety of music in the sequel with tracks like Fins & Fiddles having a Celtic rock band influence, Rip Entry having a very slick bass line that feels like it could hang out with a Red Hot Chili Peppers set, and Tentacular Circus mashing a bunch of effects together before erupting into something that sounds like DEVO had a few beers with Danny Elfman. It goes with the craziness of the stage it’s featured in. But by itself, there’s something captivating about it. Splatune 2 also has a lot of cool Jazz and seafaring Rock. And of course, the highlight for a lot of fans will be the Squid Sisters’ Spicy Calamari Inkantation.


But these albums also give you some of the extra little things I talked about with the albums of old. Splatoon gives you a couple of nice alternate covers you can use to simulate the fictional albums of the game’s universe. Including the breakout Squid Sisters record as well as DJ Octavio’s. Splatune 2 on the other hand includes a polybagged guitar pick with a rather nice Splatoon squid logo on it.

Do you absolutely NEED to get these? No. You’ll be paying more than the price of a typical album, and you’ll have to pay extra for importing them. But if you’re a big fan of the games and you like collecting physical releases of games, movies, and music these are something to consider picking up. Kadokawa has also released other official Splatoon series’ albums. Octotune (which I don’t have yet) includes all of the tracks that were added to Splatoon 2 through updates over the years as well as all of the music from the Octo Expansion pack. Beyond that, they have also done live album versions of the different live shows Nintendo has done over the years.


Besides giving us a Philip J Fry “I see what you did there.” meme moment, Splatune and Splatune 2 are fantastic soundtrack albums that hearken back to a time long before buying music on iTunes or streaming it through Spotify was how to get your music. With a wide variety of sound and some really cool feelies, these can be appreciated by anyone who likes good music. Though, importing these is still going to appeal mostly to the biggest fans. If you are one of those biggest fans you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not, you likely won’t be disappointed either as the music is really good. Still, it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. Even if that tea is super tasty.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Splatoon 2’s competitive scene map debate.


Recently, one of the top European Splatoon 2 players did a couple of video episodes on their thoughts about how they felt they could grow the community. Ways to help not only the top players keep their knowledge of the game ever-growing, but to welcome more people who are new to the multiplayer aspect of the game into playing more competitively. One of the major thoughts he had about this was to have the tournament scene agree on reducing the number of maps to use.

ThatSrb2DUDE argues that due to the fact that there are four major modes in the game (five if you find the odd tournament that includes the base Turf War mode) there are north of 100 maps in the game when you consider that there are small changes to each map for each mode. For example, if you fire up Shellendorf Institute on Splat Zones, you’ll notice some slight alterations to the basic Turf War version of the map. And that this added complexity could potentially turn off some people from getting into the competitive side of the game because of it. Instead of knowing 23 basic maps they have to know the 23 basic maps plus the four variations of each. So in a way, yes that’s 92 if you count variations. 115 if you’re also counting the basic Turf War mode as well. As he points out, most of the tournaments don’t play Turf War, but a handful of tournaments do play them so it’s worth noting.


I want to start out by saying I do see where this movement comes from. If you’ve never played the game or you’ve only played a little of it and then decide you’d like to see what competitive gaming is like,  that is a lot of nuances to get by. Many of the changes to the maps between are true, minor, but they can greatly change the methods of which you traverse your way to the goals.

Be that as it may, I think I have a unique perspective on this, as from 2002-2009 I played a lot of competitive Unreal Tournament games. Now while I was never anywhere near a top dog in terms of getting out to scores of tournaments and racking up wins, I was in a clan and we had a lot of scrimmages. UT, UT 2k3/2k4. and UT3  all featured a scene with far more maps than Splatoon 2. That’s because not only were there whichever maps came with the game but also multiple modes and the community created thousands of maps and mods. Many of these also were played in tournaments.


He brings up the point in the video that some may cite a lack of variety if some map/mode combinations were ignored but that all 23 base maps would have at least one of their variants played so there would still be variety. And that is true. But from my time in UT, the map variety could be endless depending on the given tournament you were in. But many would point out and rightfully so, that in UT most of the maps were made for specific modes. Facing Worlds was made for CTF for example.

Still, it was possible for the community to alter maps for other modes or even invent entirely new ones. I know my clan had a hell of a time playing 2k4 Freeze Tag, a fun take on Team Deathmatch where everyone was frozen in place when killed, and a teammate would have to revive you. The round would end when one side was entirely frozen. It’s the vast kind of variety that I became accustomed to. If my memory serves me right a number of contests implemented some of this community content. Modes, maps, bright skins, the list goes on. But of course, some of these events had their own specific rules. It wasn’t just one wholesale ruleset across the board. On our server, we kept a large swath of maps going in the UT2k4 rotation. Ask most veterans of the game, and they’ll tell you as great as a map as it was, playing only Rankin could get old quick. (It was the lone map on many of the demo servers that let you try the game out.) That isn’t to say there weren’t favorites. Every UT had a variant of Deck. The original version had Conveyor, the iconic Facing Worlds and the beloved low gravity map Morpheus. UT2k4 gave us the aforementioned Rankin, Citadel, Albatross, and many more. UT3 had a few memorable ones too like Shangrila, Tolan, and Rising Sun. And it wasn’t long before each game would see ports of each other’s maps showing up in addition to the slew of community content.


And I think that’s where my opinion would lie. I think every tournament should be able to decide on their own which maps and mode combinations are permissible. The exception being a Nintendo backed tournament, where Nintendo would probably decide that. But since they generally do their own World Championships I don’t think that would be an issue. This way one show might allow for say Clam Blitz on Walleye Warehouse when another show might not.

I think within those organizations though they should hear all opinions because not everything the top players want is going to be appreciated by the lower-ranked players until they get to that level. At the same time, sometimes someone who is starting out can bring a perspective the more skilled players hadn’t considered before, and the organizers can try to find a ruleset that they feel best fits the needs of the different player levels.


Having said all of that, I know the current professional players have a much different perspective than I do being on a different (ie: higher) level. They’re going to know things about the game that I don’t. They’re going to have a larger range of experience and knowledge seeing they have played thousands of hours more than someone at my level. Against the best players in the world, I should add. They are going to have information that is invaluable. So that isn’t to say I’m completely dismissing the idea of a mode reduction should all of the shows adopt it. And if I were to enter a tournament with three friends I don’t think any of us would suddenly not play because Arowana Mall‘s Tower Control variant wasn’t included.

But opinions were called for across the spectrum. And because I religiously played a game that called for an insane number of variations at the time,  I have no problem personally, with the maps in Splatoon 2. Or their variants. Although I will concede that ThatSrb2DUDE’s point about clams spawning near goals in Clam Blitz could be seen as cheap. If you have someone stocked up on Ninja perks, and speed perks, they could conceivably sneak into enemy territory, and rack up a bunch of free points before getting noticed with little effort. Maybe that’s something Nintendo could look into with a future patch.


In closing, I will say one thing I absolutely do not want to see happen is barriers being placed in between skill levels. Let me explain what I mean, using a game I loved playing as an example. Near the end of its peak, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare had a lot of beginners pick it up during deep discounted Steam Summer Sales. And they weren’t being retained due to the high skill ceiling. Now part of the turnoff obviously were some of the indifferent or even sometimes cold veterans whose attitudes were “Git Gud” rather than ask “What are you needing help with?” But worse than that, the developer didn’t address their concerns either. Instead of helping to cultivate a better environment they created “Beginner” servers where only low-skill number players could play together. In doing this it didn’t enable any of them to learn any nuance or meta-strategy. So when they got too high a level to play on the beginner servers they were just thrown to the wolves and slaughtered where many just stopped playing altogether. As wonderful as that game was, It was a huge problem that ended the life of that game far sooner than it should have. I don’t see that happening in Splatoon 2, at least on Nintendo’s end. They’ve always been good about trying to make games interesting for dabblers and enthusiasts alike.

But I don’t want to see that happen in circles of the community. You don’t want to have a system that coddles new players. They’ll never grow without challenges to overcome. But you also don’t want to inadvertently create a gatekeeping scenario where only people already way into the game will want to get invested. It is a video game after all, and most of us, even the competitive ones want to have fun. More importantly, we want people to play against, and those people are only sticking around if there’s some fun to be had in doing so. So if you do see someone new playing the game on stream or at a convention or your house, be welcoming to people. One thing I’ll never forget about Unreal Tournament III was a loading screen tip that rings true. “Practice good sportsmanship. You were an n00b once too.”


Again I’m not a top dog in Splatoon 2 by any means. I’m just a big fan of the game trying to grind his way to X rank if it’s possible. I’m not in a clan and I’m probably one of the older fans as I have the salt and pepper on my chin as I crack open my can of IPA. Still, I think for a geezer in the “A” ranks, I hold my own most of the time. And no I don’t think the game should be UT, I very much enjoy it for what it is. It’s an excellent and unique take on one of my favorite genres. But I see parallels at times. Having a wide range of modes and maps is one such example.


Anyway, if you play any Splatoon 2 or even if you don’t, what do you think? ThatSrb2DUDE posted a link to a survey, that I’ll put below! It runs to 11/8/19 so you have a few days to look it over and make your voice heard. And hey, again, I am not a top-level player by any means so don’t take my opinions as facts here. But if you do happen to be at the top of the mountain reaching for the brass ring, I hope something I’ve talked about is at least useful to some degree. Either way, it’s definitely an interesting topic to weigh in on whether you’re a top-level player, a fan like me who plays regularly, or even an occasional dabbler.

Competitive Splatoon Survey.

The Final Fantasy Project At The Well- Red Mage

“Come tuhgethaaaa… right naaahoooww…. over Final Fantasy.” The crystals call, NPCs! We’re currently looking for interested writers for a new community event centered around the Final Fantasy franchise. This is going to play out similarly to the recent Zelda project led by NekoJonez (check out the community hub for that). Here’s my contribution […]

via “The Final Fantasy Project” – Community Event —

NES Hardware For Beginners: Making The Best Buy

Play Legit has a wonderful breakdown of the many NES/Famicom console releases. It’s great for the import game information, as well as retro game collecting information.

Play Legit: Video Gaming & Real Talk - PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, Handheld, Retro

SONY DSCReal Talk By: The Wizard

When many of us think of the Nintendo Entertainment System we are taken back to a time when life was simpler, with fewer worries. A time when instead of working a full-time job, we came home from school, begging our parents for just one hour to play Nintendo before homework. If you are one of the lucky people to be around in arguably one of the best, if not the most significant era’s of gaming, then you, and your grandmother must be familiar with the Nintendo Entertainment System. The first thought that probably materializes into your brain is that gray and black box, with the blinking lights when the game refused to load. Blowing in the cartridges, and wiggling the game just right to get it to load up first try. No doubt you probably mastered how to get your games to working first try…

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Reader Discussion: How Important is Backwards Compatibility to You?

What's Your Tag?


Most of us were surprised when Phil Spencer confirmed backwards compatibility for the Xbox One, and with over 3 million fan votes across numerous games, it’s safe to say it’s a pretty big big deal. I know we’re pumped about it, but what about you?

Why we’re excited:

Backwards compatibility on the Xbox One allows us, as streamers and reviewers, to capture screenshots, game footage, and live stream using the built-in Twitch app. Not only does this drastically increase the amount of games available for us to stream, but allows us to create more video content without the use of third party hardware/software.

We’re hoping that backwards compatibility deters developers from falling back on remakes/remasters and allows them to focus on creating sequels to our favorite series, or new IP altogether. It seems easier for them to just give Microsoft the okay and have their game readily available to the millions of Xbox…

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ConnectiCon 2015 recap

Last weekend was Connecticut’s own multigenre convention; ConnectiCon. Over the last few years it has grown exponentially from a small, esoteric convention to a sizable middle tier convention. Some have even compared it to conventions like MAGfest or Dragoncon. While it may or may not be that big, it has been gaining steam every July. ConnectiCon is quite different from some of the larger conventions you may have gone to. Yes, there are a lot of panels, and celebrities of varying levels do show up. But ConnectiCon feels like it’s more about the fans when you walk along the Hartford Convention Center. Larger conventions feel like you’re there more for upcoming news, and announcements about products or media. Seeing a trailer for a film before anyone else. Or playing a game demo before anyone else. Or hearing about a new comic book before anyone else.

At ConnectiCon it’s more about meeting other fans, playing in tournaments with other fans, and yes hitting up Q&A panels with other fans. Of course every year there is a big chunk of the floor devoted to dealers. So often times it’s a good destination if you’re looking for a rare figure or comic. Or if you love the many T-Shirts you’ve seen online, but just prefer to buy apparel in person. The convention generally has at least one thing over the weekend for everyone. Tabletop gaming, literature, podcasting, anime screenings, and of course, panels.

Every year I tend to try to get in to as many panels as possible. Not only because I might be a fan of a particular panelist, but because they can be informative. As well as entertaining. This year most of the panels that I got into were with actors, many of whom worked mostly in voice acting. It was a pretty good look into some of what to expect if it’s something you want to get into. It was also interesting to see the kind of work that goes into some of your favorite animated shows, movies, and of course, video games.

One of the first panels I made it into was the Women In Voice Acting panel. Kari Wahlgren, and Rachel Robinson fielded questions from fans about working in voice acting. While the title was about women in the field, a lot of the information really pertained to the profession in general. There are less women voice acting, which seems largely in part to there being fewer female characters in shows, and games. Despite this fact, both of these people have gotten to play major parts in a lot of games, and anime. And you would probably be surprised if you found out just how many roles they’ve performed. I know I certainly was. For instance, you may have known Kari Wahlgren played Fuu in the American dub of Samurai Champloo. But did you know (without checking imdb) she was Anka Schlotz in the Swiss Miss episode of Archer? As in a lot of the panels, a lot of the same sort of questions about breaking into the business came up. So Rachel Robinson mentioned that a lot of these questions have been answered by Dee Bradley Baker. He’s the voice of Klaus on American Dad! He also has a wonderful site called On the site you can find a pretty lengthy F.A.Q. along with some basics, the process of getting an agent, and starting from absolute scratch. If you’ve always wanted to voice a character, check it out. A big thanks to Dee for writing it, and a big thanks to Rachel for mentioning it. Because I am sure a lot of people never knew this was something that existed.

Changing gears, I went to a very entertaining VA panel. In this one Phil Lamar, Maurice La Marche, Kari Wahlgren, Janet Varney, Bill Farmer, and DC Douglas all re-enacted Ghostbusters, in a myriad of the voices they’ve been known for. Except for Janet Varney who proved she could do a pretty good Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. The entire read was hilarious. In my opinion, one of the best moments was when Maurice La Marche was cast as William Shatner. Playing the role of Zuul.

Maurice La Marche also had his own panel I had gotten into. Which was one of the better panels I had seen. I was fortunate that I was able to ask him to elaborate on a point that Alan Oppenheimer had made at last year’s ConnectiCon. About visualizing voices. 30 years ago, studios often gave potential actors a single photo, and a description of a character they were auditioning for. So Alan had talked briefly about trying to come up with a voice based on the little given. Maurice La Marche mentioned that while the practice of giving so little material has died out, that it is still important for VA’s to do that visualizing. He talked about how when auditioning for the role of Pinky (Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain), upon seeing the character he thought of someone who had illusions of grandeur, and believed their own hubris. So he thought a voice close to Orson Welles would fit that description really well. Had he not gone with his instincts, and tried to impersonate the person creators were lampooning, he might not have gotten the spot.

Someone else in the panel had asked him when he knew he wanted to be a voice actor. He said it was much later in his work life, but that he knew he wanted to do voices as early as 13. To impress some girls he knew in school who were enamored with an educator’s Peter Falk impression. So he would watch a lot of Columbo, until he could get his own impression down. Which even included making one eye go crossed. This impressed not only the girls but the teacher as well. He also talked about his work on Inspector Gadget, the casting changes between The Real Ghostbusters, and Extreme Ghostbusters (All due to misinterpreting an off the cuff remark). As well as the fact that Morbo, H.G. Blob, and Lrrr are all indeed different voices. In the case of Inspector Gadget he spoke highly of Don Adams, and that he learned a lot of his acting methods from him. He also recited one of his Orson Welles bits from The Critic: Rosebud frozen peas.

There was also a video game voice actor panel featuring Jon St. John, Dameon Clarke, Rachel Robinson, Christopher Bevins, Carlos Ferro, and DC Douglas. Much like the other VA panels, a lot of the questions were about the industry, entering it, and some of the panelists favorite, or least favorite roles. One of the more memorable answers to the least favorite roles were Ferro’s reaction when he learned just how nefarious one of his anime villain roles was. One hilarious moment during the panel was when Jon St. John told the audience he was tired of the questions pertaining to voice acting work, and wanted people to ask personal questions. A fan then asked if he had a favorite T-shirt. So he replied that he did, but that he couldn’t wear it in public due to the controversial joke displayed upon it.

The final VA panel had nearly everyone from the other VA panels in it including Phil Lamarr. He had one of the best answers for someone who asked about only wanting to do voice acting. He said something to the effect of “Asking about how to only do voice acting, is like saying you only want to perform on the left half of the stage.” making the point that it is but one facet of acting. Dameon Clarke also recommended fans take a class, or try getting into a public performance to see if it is even something one would like. A fair point. So often, the media we see will glamorize the world of acting. But it isn’t necessarily for everyone. Bill Farmer, and Maurice La Marche reminded one fan that there are often long breaks between jobs, especially when starting out. So having some kind of steady work to fall back on is paramount. To this day, even though Bill Farmer is essentially the official Goofy, each role as the character he does for Disney is an individual job. Rachel Robinson once again pointed out Dee Bradley Baker’s website Some interesting news came out of the panel too. Team Four Star has some work with Christopher Bevins! No real details came out about that work. The reveal came when a fan asked Rachel Robinson, Dameon Clarke, and Christopher Bevins if any of them had liked Dragon ball Z abridged. They all did.

But it wasn’t all VA panels this year. I also saw the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers panel. And while the show wasn’t something I watched a lot of, it was a pretty entertaining panel. Austin St. John, Karan Ashley, David Yost, and Jason Narvy were all on hand to talk about their time on the show. Some of the highlights were the actors talking about their experiences interviewing for the show. Most of whom had little to no experience at the time. Austin St. John was confused because the casting director was asking him if he could do martial arts, when he had already answered that in his application. Another factoid that came out of the panel was that David Yost, and Jason Narvy had actually applied for different roles on the show than what they had ended up being casted in. It was also kind of intriguing to hear them talk about things that went on outside the show, like the work they did with Make A Wish foundation. As well as things they’ve done since the show has ended. Some fans may not know that Austin St. John was a military medical officer, or that David Yost, and Karan Ashley do production. Jason Narvy actually teaches acting these days in Chicago.

The Power Rangers ended their panel by re-enacting their famous morphing segment. A great panel for not only fans, but for anybody interested in how shows are produced.

George Takei, and Michelle Nichols of Star Trek were also at the convention. George Takei had a half-hour panel on the last day of the con. He spoke at great length about Star Trek, and its importance to all of the people who have been involved with it. He also spent a long time talking to the audience about Leonard Nimoy’s contributions to the franchise like the invention of the Vulcan shoulder pinch, and the iconic live long, and prosper gesture. He also reminded fans just how kind, humble, and charitable Leonard Nimoy was. Takei also reminisced about other cast members the show lost, DeForest Kelly who he says was very shy, and private away from the set. James Doohan who he says he enjoyed drinking with, as well as Grace Lee Whitney who passed away earlier this year.

Things also became a little bit political when he talked about his controversial statement earlier this year, and clarifying what he was trying to say. All in all, whether or not you agree with his views he never came off as stand offish. He was very kind, and appreciative of everyone who attended the panel regardless of political background.

He also has a new book coming out where he will be discussing a number of things about his personal life, as well as a theatre production coming to broadway inspired by his love for his parents.

There were a couple of other panels I made it out to. One was an 18+ panel about the reproductive habits of fictional races in Star Trek. This quickly expanded into pretty much every work of fiction. And while lowbrow, it was a tongue in cheek, comedic panel.

Team Four Star had three panels. I was only able to get to one of them. In it they talked a lot about their veering into Let’s Play territory. More accurately, abridging their Let’s Plays. Starting with a play through of Final Fantasy VII. They showed off a preview of the first episode, and it was very funny. If you’ve followed these guys for any amount of time you won’t be disappointed. The reason they’re doing this is because they’ve had a lot of bad experiences with anime IP holders. So while they aren’t abandoning their parodies entirely, there will be fewer of them. The panel also included the creators of Pokémon Abridged. The Q&A was going really well until a nervous fan began asking Team Four Star about Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic) not being at the show. The group explained that he was never advertised for the show, and that he was actually appearing at Animecon in Finland. Things became really uncomfortable when the fan asked Team Four Star to give him Doug Walker’s personal information. Suffice it to say they did not. They played off of the request with humor to ease the tension, before moving onto more questions from fans.

But things would get back on track as other fans would ask the group relevant questions about their projects, and request performances of their various parody voices. There was also a recap of how one of the members became a meme about censorship on Bennet The Sage’s Anime Abandon show.

The final panel I got into was an unpopular opinions in gaming panel hosted by Alma. It was basically a group of fans taking turns debating their statements. Some fans didn’t understand the appeal of Zelda games. Some fans defended Call of Duty. Others thought some of the Super Smash Bros. Melee diehards should move on to other games. If there was a sacred cow in gaming it was probably being derided by somebody. But it was done in a fun way where no one really felt their opinion was the only valid opinion. A great way to mingle with other fans, and perhaps see your favorite or loathed titles from a different perspective. Even if it probably won’t change your mind.

Outside of the panels? Well I did get some time in the gaming area, where I played a quirky Japanese game called Cho Chabudai Gaeshi. It’s a high score game where you flip a table in anger hoping to knock over people, and destroy objects for points. The game has several different playable characters including a bride, an old woman, a chef, and even an odd metallic looking fellow. You slam down your fists onto the table during prompts to fill a meter. When it is filled, you literally flip the physical table as hard as possible to send it flying in the game. Not only can you choose different characters, but there are a number of stages too. Including a funeral, where the table you flip is the one that the coffin rests upon.

There isn’t much else to the game, but if you happen to live near one of the few arcades left in the world, or happen to see it at a convention it is worth checking out. There are videos of the game play online, but it is really something you have to see in person to believe. At ConnectiCon there was a huge line of people waiting to play it.

There were also a number of rhythm arcade games again this year, a PC LAN set up with some MOBAs, and strategy games. A lot of consoles going back to the NES hooked up for anyone to use as well. Once again, there was a League Of Legends tournament. I didn’t get to see that or the different Super Smash Bros. tournaments that went on. But fans really did seem to enjoy them when I talked to any that did happen to watch them. There were also board game tournaments going on. If there was a tabletop game you enjoyed, it was probably there.

Adjacent to the gaming room was the dealer room. This year there didn’t seem to be quite as many vendors. But I did manage to find one called Command D that actually had a Mint On Card Commemorative Battle Armor He-Man. I’m a HUGE Masters Of The Universe fan, and so I had to give them credit as they were the only vendor at the show with anything related to MOTU.

The other big thing I managed to do this year, as it’s a ritual was get out to City Steam Brewery with some friends for dinner the second night. If you’re of legal drinking age these guys make some of the best beer in the state of Connecticut. The brewery also makes some of the best pub food in the state of Connecticut. If you’re ever passing through CT for whatever reason, and you have a chance to stop in you should. If beer, and burgers aren’t enough for you, they also have a stand up comedy club inside, as well as a tour of the brewery. They also have a lot of City Steam swag you can buy. T-Shirts, mugs, hats, and so on.

Overall, I was pretty happy with this year’s showing. There was an awful lot to do, around 13,000 attendees to mingle with, and a ton of great costumes to check out. Some of which were featured in the annual Cosplay Death Match, and Cosplay Dating Game. I didn’t get to the DM, but the DG was enjoyable. The panel lampooned the classic show by featuring cosplays of characters from Inside Out, as the guests. Other unrelated characters would appear as potential dates. It was goofy, and a little corny. But it was still fun. And the last segment would become a lot of fodder for the Phrasing meme featured on Archer. There were a lot of double entendre moments in all of the segments, but especially the last one. So much so, that a chunk of the audience where I was seated was, indeed, chanting “Phrasing.”

And yet, there was so much I didn’t get to do. The aforementioned tournaments, RKO Army’s shadow casting shows, The Marble Hornets panel, (Yep. TMH was at ConnectiCon), Several other celebrity panels, and not to mention all of the workshops, and other cosplay events. Here’s hoping next year ups the ante even further.

“Farewell, FamiKamen Rider” – Now Live on YouTube

FamiKamen Rider Completion Project

We are thrilled to present our full length feature film, “Farewell, FamiKamen Rider” to the world for free and without commercial interruption through YouTube today.  It has been a long time coming, and we are very proud to show what work we’ve accomplished this past year with the help of all of you.  You’ve all made this happen.  Justin Carmical’s legacy and story can finally be told and closed, and I hope you’re all satisfied with the result, as you had a hand in making it happen.  Thank you for the love and the support.  I’m glad we got to see our friend, JewWario, ride on one last time.

Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

We look forward to posting more material related to the making of the movie in the near future.

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Farewell, FamiKamen Rider – Teaser Trailer

FamiKamen Rider Completion Project

MarzGurl Productions presents “Saraba/Farewell, FamiKamen Rider,” the thrilling conclusion to the story authored by the late Justin Carmical. After a massive fight in Canada, the FamiKamen Rider has gone missing in action, leaving his transformation belt behind and his cartridge vanished. In the aftermath of the battle, a new enemy appears, seeking out the power of the FamiKamen Rider for himself.

For three years, MarzGurl has kept the transformation belt safe from enemy hands. Her search for the missing cartridge proves futile, until Chris, a rare video game collector, stumbles upon the cartridge by chance. Not knowing what he has found, Chris’s curiosity makes him a target for this new evil. As he learns about the history of the FamiKamen Rider, with the additional support of an old friend and a new hero, it is up to MarzGurl and Chris to make the journey to find answers, confront their own…

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