Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Aspect Ratio - INNOVA Gameworks and Animation: Interview with DuShaun Williams

This week, Ruben interviews DuShaun Williams, president of one of UTEP's most unique organizations, INNOVA Gameworks and Animation.

For more information on INNOVA Gameworks and Animation, follow them on FaceBook:!/pages/Innova-Gameworks-and-Animations/150123295044256

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game" Review

What's up my milleniu- OH MY FREAKING GOD THIS GAME MAKES ME- (section deleting due to strong language) THAT MY EYEBALL VEINS TURN BLUE!!!

Whoooooooooo..... I think I'm calm... Wait a minute NO I'M NOT THIS GAME MAKES WANNA PUNCH BABIES PEOPLE! BABIES! I honestly wish to go into a puppy shelter and start flinging them at the walls! And you guys know me! I'm not that violent! I HATE THIS GAME!!!! Oh you don't believe me?! Here: Go download the game! Play it! You won't even make it past the first screen!!! God knows I didn't! I DARE YOU!!!!

I'll try to control myself but it's damn near impossible! If you've played the game, you KNOW what I'm talking about.

Ok without further ado, let's dive into the flash game: I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game..... Even the name pisses me off

So the story is that the Guy left World and now The Kid wants to be The Guy so he's gonna go out with his gun that The Grandfather The Guy gave him and is going to face The Guy and you really don't give a damn already do you? And I'm not making that up. That's the plot. Don't you love the creative leaps they made with the characters names?

So you have to go out and get these eight items which-

Oh you suck...
Ok so the plot makes no friggin sense, whatever maybe the game play is bett-


So let me just explain the game play in one word: PRECISION. Every jump, every bullet, every friggin move has to be PRECISE! You can't just barge in there like a brothel. You gotta treat this like your honeymoon and take your time. And I guarantee you won't make it very far before dying unless you've played the whole thing through and memorized every friggin-

GOD DAMN THIS IS SOO HARD!!!! I'm not kidding you, I can't even make it past the first level on medium people, MEDIUM! Now a lot of people praise this game because of its brilliant layout and genius level of difficulty which some people argue is what recent video games lack. Some even think that this game is very reminiscent to games like Megaman and Castlevania because of its difficulty, hell the Kid is Megaman-esque and Dracula from Symphony of the Night makes an appearance as a boss. As a matter of fact, the whole game is a call back to all the memorable games from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. The graphics for the levels are almost exactly like the Mario games. But despite all this, does this make IWBTG a GOOD game? Sure while Megaman and Castlevania were difficult and there are similarities, those games were by far superior in my opinion. The developers actually gave a damn and taught you through the game play, making it so that you can adapt to each level and formulate some sort of plan to fit each obstacle. They made it so that it was justified when you died, because they gave you a far warning of what was going to happen, like the Hammer Joes from Megaman. IWBTG doesn't even bother to teach you. It's really just a guessing game, which might be ok for some gamers, but for me, there should be a fair level of difficulty. There has to be a way to teach the player, not just make the game hard as hell by throwing spikes all over the damn screen and having unexpected obstacles that come out of no where that kill you every damn time you try to OH MY GOD I HATE THIS GAME!

[Anime of the Week] GYO (2/26-3/3/2012)

image copyright goes to ufotable

GYO is a very interesting OVA indeed. It's like sharks on land meets Japanese horror but has some fantastic animation thanks to ufotable who do fantastic work on other series such as the Kara no Kyoukai movies, Fate/ZERO and Honey & Clover.

Image Hosted by
Runtime: 70 min
# of episodes: 1
Type: Manga
Rating: Older Teen
Okinawa is taken by an influx of disturbingly bizarre walking fishes that are leaving the ocean and are heading to the cities. Amid this freakish event, a girl named Kaori loses contact with her boyfriend Tadashi who lives in Tokyo. She heads to the capital to try to locate him only to find out that the metropolis has been taken over by the fish and their foul stench.
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

FAL: Hunter of Shadows

Just like my last review, this one is a while coming. I know the author, Abraham Martinez, from way back in the early 2000s when we were both graphic design majors. Back in the day we would hang out, and we even developed a concept for a comic book, which never went through. Time went by and we didn't meet up again until around the first Frank N' Con, where he had this comic for sale. I fielded an interview with him which we also ended up not using. (Sorry Abe) And I told him I'd post a review of this comic for a column that I didn't end up starting until a few months ago. So, after much procratination and with several apologies to the author, here is my review of Fal: Hunter of Shadows.

FAL fallows the adventure of Jonah Lovecraft, a rather mood-stricken individual who, after witnessing the death of both his parents at the hands of demons, travels around slaying demonkind wherever they might appear on Earth. Aiding him is an enigmatic, and black-shadowed female figure that Jonah refers to as "the dark" who gives him supernatural abilities he can use to easily, and often rather bloodily, dispatch evil.

Now, after reading a paragraph like that you can pretty much see what one of the major weaknesses of this comic is: there's an awful lot of cliches. I had yet to also mention that the first demon attack involves a couple with their baby in the park, the Demons already know Fal by name and the powers Fal possesses involve him wielding a scythe and putting a Jack O' Lantern on his head. Yeah. Nothing brain-bending about that. The fact that the protagonist's last name is "Lovecraft" it's pretty transparent where the author was going when he developed this character. Unfortunately, he didn't make it there, as he was too busy rescuing a baby.

It's a shame since the high points of this book are so well done you really wish that the story hit a higher crescendo. Martinez's charm shines through in a place I know it would, in the artwork. While most of the details come from a vigorous Photoshopping it's very expertly done, and the book as a whole is unexpectedly very bright and colorful. What is most striking is how Fal's magic, and any accents that are used in and around him all involve autumnal tones. Martinez had discussed with me that more than a halloween theme, he had intended to make things fall more along the lines of autumn, and at last as far as the coloring he's succeeded. Also, even though the story is somewhat predictable the author manages to pace it in a way that shows a lot of understanding of the comic book format. Specifically, he shows us what's happening and keeps everything at a pace which makes every page engaging


Fal: Hunter of Shadows is a comic that has a lot of potential. Once more issues come out I'm sure that the story will only improve off the simplicity that is this first issue and show us the Lovecraftian thematic that its author is hoping to achieve. Keep an eye on this one, it could get big.

If you’d like your locally published or self-published book or comic reviewed on this segment, e-mail us at We will ask for a review copy, or if you cannot send us one, we will purchase a copy online at any nearby shop that has a copy available. We are all about supporting El Paso’s writing and art scene, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

[UAF+M] Penguin Drum, Madoka & More [Goodsmile]

[upcoming anime figures + more]

I'm a pretty big collector of anime figures (I don't have nearly as much as some people on the internet do though >.<), but I'm always on the lookout for new exciting upcoming releases of figures from series I love or even figures that look just plain cool! I'll try my best to post ones I've stumbled upon everyweek and even non-figures such as cell phone straps and other character goods. You may even find some exclusive game figures here as well... as well as new goods I've gotten from local places like Robo Gato and online. I may even post some neat apps I've found on my phone.... so it sounds like this series should be called something like SWAG YO LIFE but I'll keep the in work title "upcoming anime figures + more" for now :D There are so many being released by Good Smile in the next few months that this entry is dedicated to just them.

Princess of the Crystal

[[image from HERE]]
Company: Good Smile
Series: Mawaru Penguindrum
Character: Takakura Himari
Type: Scale Anime (non-posable)
First seen at: WonFes summer 2012
I'm excited beyond belief for this particular figure. One thing about the Penguindrum anime I love was when the characters meet with what I like to call "penguin hat possessed Himari" aka "The Penguin Princess" because her outfit was so creative and pretty. If I wasn't so *cough*fluffy*cough* I would love to one day cosplay as her! I haven't seen an official release date for her but since this is still a prototype and it was just introduced at the most recent WonFes I do not foresee a release until late 2012 or early 2013.

Insane Black Rock Shooter

[[image from HERE]]
Company: Good Smile
Series: Black Rock Shooter
Character: Stella aka Black Rock Shooter or Rock
Type: Figma (posable)
First seen at: WonFes summer 2012
There are a lot of variations on the Black Rock Shooter Figma because a good chunk of them are exclusive to games or to Blu-Ray sets as this one is. She is exclusive to the TV Anime Black Rock Shooter Blu-Ray Box & DVD Box being released June 22nd of this year. I still really want the White Rock version that came out with the PSP game.... :'( I find the white version to be much prettier. If you'd like an easy way to get one locally, ask Ricky at Robo Gato about ordering the Blu-Ray box being released in Japan.

Ultimate Madoka

[[image from HERE]]
Company: Good Smile
Series: Puella Magi Mahou Shojo Madoka
Character: Madoka
Type: Scale Anime (non-posable)
First seen at: Good Smile Cafe
I seriously need to finish the anime now, if Madoka goes all God mode like this seems to suggest i'm all for finishing the last few episodes now! Afterwards I hope I am worthy to one day own this figure <3 I know fellow AugReal members Alex and Cris will go googly eyes over this one as they do with almost anything "mahou shoujo". I haven't seen an official release date.

Izanagi and Slipping Hablerie

[[image from HERE]]
Company: Good Smile
Series: Persona 4
Character: Izanagi, Slipping Hablerie
Type: Anime Scale (non-posable)
First seen at: probably WonderFes
Being released May 2012, I really like the look of this figure more so want because it's from the Persona 4 game gone anime that I am currently enjoying with all my might. I only wish there would be an anime adaptation of Persona 3 even though Persona Trinity Soul was probably the original answer to a Persona anime. If you check the Good Smile website you'll notice there are 26 scale figures being released between March-July 2012. some that I'm looking forward to are maid ver Kirino (My sister Can't be This Cute), maid ver Kuroneko (My sister Can't be this Cute), motorcycle Saber (fate/ZERO), Holy Angel Kamineko, and Yosura (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai).


[[image from HERE]]
Company: Good Smile
Series: Astro Fighter Sunred
Character: Sunred
Type: Figma (posable)
First seen at: probably WonderFes
Figma is a really good line of figures. Seeing this Sunred one makes me happy because the anime itself is hilarious and look at those clothes. THEY'RE REAL! Normally the clothes are made with movable plastic that I forget the name of so it's really cool to see some real clothes >.<

Well that's all for this entry... I'd add more but it's already after 3am and I have some reading to do. Until next time!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Magical Black Wing

You've seen his interview, you've seen his reviews, and now it is time to meet the man himself!

WHAT'S UP MY MILLENIUMS!!! It's Blackwinged Magician here ready to rock yo socks off!!!

Ok... So you have no idea who the hell I am but that's cool, that's cool. Pretty much if you've heard of that Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan-film ((note from Akia- he's referring to the El Paso area Yu-Gi-Oh! fan film which you can get more information about here)) you've heard of Blackwinged Magician AKA John Browning. Yup I'm the director of the upcoming film: Yu-Gi-Oh! The Blood of Razel! I am so excited to officially be a part of the blog and I can't wait to bring something new and fresh to the table.

First off I'd like to give a great thanks to everyone at Augmented Reality for accepting me as one of your own and I am SO grateful to you all for that. You have all made me feel very welcome.

Alright now, for those who don't know me, I can understand because I haven't been in the con scene at all. In fact this is my first year! But I have worked on other projects in the past such as the fan-made mini-series Kamen Rider DX (you can watch it at this link). I've also done some theater directing around my area as well. Now a few months ago, I got the insane idea of doing a Yu-Gi-Oh! movie. Now I wanted to rely on myself for this project, as with Kamen Rider DX, everyone was a student at my school. So I asked Ricky (owner of Robo Gato) to make a post on Facebook asking people to join. And BOOOOOOM! I had an ENTIRE cast and crew which included the lovely folks here at Augmented Reality. Now I am a part of the blog and ready to work on a lot of things! I have film ideas flying around and you can bet you're gonna see a lot from me! Other than that, I wanna do reviews for Kamen Rider, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Super Sentai, all that good shiz!!! For now, keep a look out for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Blood of Razel!!!!

P.S. Did I mention we are premiering it at SummerCon? ^_^

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[Anime of the Week] UN GO (2/19-25/2012)

image copyright... not sure it's fan art

UN GO is in a nutshell a detective series with a super natural element. other than that there is not much to say. I'm only really trying to finish it cause the ending them is one of the best I've seen in an anime since probably Eden of the East. Since I love the ending theme so much, that is the promo video you get. ENJOY!

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Runtime: 24 min/ep
# of episodes: 11 + 49min film
Type: Original
Rating: Teen
Based on the works of Ango Sakaguchi, the story follows Shinjūrō Yūki, a detective who solves mysteries with his strange partner, Inga. In a future Japan that has been affected by a major war and terrorist attacks after JSDF forces were deployed as peacekeepers abroad.
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[Book Overview] .hack//CELL, Pretties, The Fallen Star, Demon Kissed [7-10/100]

Series: CELL
Book: 1 of 2
Page Count: 199
Average high-school student Midori shinomura falls mysteriously ill. While she wastes away in a hospital, she learns of another Midori- a fighter of terrible skill in the online game known as The World. There is a strange connection between both Midori Shinomura and game-Midori. With the sanity of both girls on the line, game-Midori will try to solve the mysteries of her past, and perhaps save the real-world Midori in the process.

One series of light novels I really enjoy was .hack// AI Buster, so when I saw this laying on a shelf at my local Barnes and Noble I just had to buy and give it a chance. So far 80 pages in and I'm not too terribly dissapointed. There is a lot of .hack// lore in this one so playing the games is a must (at least the original 4) and watching .hack//ROOTS really helps with understanding what Player Killers are.

Series: Uglies
Book: 2 of 4
Page Count: 384
Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted.
But beneath all the fun -- the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom -- is a nagging sense that something's wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally's ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what's wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.
Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life -- because the authorities don't intend to let anyone with this information survive.

I've actually read all 4 books in the series. Uglies is actually one of my all time favorite books, let alone the entire series (even the 4th one Extras that wasn't even suppose to be made is pretty good despite being the weakest of the series and jabbing at Otaku-nism like no other book I've read before that didn't come from Japan). The first book I've read a good 5 times, but this is only my 2nd or 3rd reading the second one. It's still as good as I remember ^_^ I have all the original covers. The first two books I have in paper back because I bought them after they were release but the last two are hardcover because I bought them as they came out. The pictures below are the new covers... I personally don't like them.

Others in the Series:
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Others not part of the series:
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Series: Fallen Star
Book: 1 of 3
Page Count: 449
For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she's around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life. But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma's life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn't be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death.

I'm borrowing this book on nook thanks to my sister. I haven't started it yet but she said to start this one first rather than the next book at my list. I did look up some reviews and one said it was like Twilight's sloppy cousin. Now I'm more intrigued to read it.

Others in the Series:
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Series: Fallen Star
Book: 1 of 4
Page Count: 325
The Valefar boy tricked Ivy Taylor into kissing him, but he took much more than a kiss – he stole her soul and left her within inches of death. By surviving, Ivy is drawn into the conflict between the Martis and the Valefar. The war between these two immortal forces has raged for millennia without distraction. Until now. Ivy is an anomaly—she is the only person who has ever walked away from a demon kiss alive. Her survival gives her unique and deadly abilities. Too powerful to ignore, Ivy is a threat to both armies. These two ancient enemies will stop at nothing to kill the seventeen-year-old. Surviving is nothing new for headstrong Ivy, but her survival has never depended on another person before. This time it does. And if she misplaces her trust, she's dead. To her horror, she starts falling in love at the worst possible time—with the enemy. He appears to be protecting her. But she can't be certain if he is trying to help her, or help himself to her power. For Ivy, trusting the right person is the difference between love and survival, or a deadly demon kiss.

Another book I'm borrowing on nook thanks to my sister. She said this series isn't all that great but she was able to get past the first book so I want to give it a try after reading Fall Star.

Others in the Series:
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Marginal Gaming - The Incredible Mister Bronx

In my latest article for 8bitfix, I discuss my totally awesome new superhero, Mister Bronx, and the rather less than awesome MMORPG I created him in.
Check it out on the 8bitfix website.

Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die [Promo Anime](w/English subs)

One of my all time favorite games is 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors which is a Nintendo DS game made by the studio Chunsoft. You can read my review of it here. The game itself had a pretty solid ending that did include some open ended questions. I personally at the time didn't think a sequel was needed after finishing all of the endings but after finding out there was a sequel released on the 3ds/PSVita in Japan with a release date late 2012 state side, my excitement for having a sequel sky rocketed. If that wasn't enough, the promo anime (posted below for your viewing pleasure) for the game now has subtitles. The feeling from the first game shines through making me really want an actual series... but alas in order to find out what happens I'd have to get the game.

I do reccomend playing the first game if you haven't other wise this 13 min promo anime will make as much sense as someone watching an anime midway through.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Akia's Computer Specs as of Feb 18, 2012 + OLD Video Log

I was trying to pass time at work today by thinking about what a good article for AugReal could be and it occurred to me I've never really shared my computer specs with y'all. I don't have a fantastic set-up right now as my PC has been blue screening since EP-Con 2011. Ruben was kind enough to say he'll try and fix it but he wasn't able to last week due to not having a proper sized CD for the operating system to be saved on so he'll prob do that some time in the next few days and possibly after that I'll post those specs.

This is an overall image of my set up.

Closer view of the main portion of the set up- my laptop.

I've had this laptop since June of 2009 so by June of this year my laptop will be turning 3 years old. It's age really is showing, but it has also aged a bit faster than it should because of the way I've treated it. I download anime almost all the time, I play online games even though this laptop is meant to be a "college" laptop made for writing papers, I use Photoshop, blog, just about everything you can think of even editing videos. I didn't even start using CCCP till about a year ago so the video quality wasn't up to par for the longest time. I even had the misfortune of stabbing the computer on accident with an eXacto knife while in the middle of building a Gundam >.< I forgot I had left the knife on the keyboard so when I closed the laptop for the night the screen got stabbed. It wasn't so bad at first; only the bottom right had any damage... then it spread up and then the left side started to look like it was bleeding. Around the time the right side damage was going on I bought an extra screen because watching anime, playing anything and even editing photos got hard with a bleeding screen. The screen I bought had been brand new and worked pretty well for the first few months then the power button stopped doing it's job so I would have to push it a billion times hoping it would eventually turn off or unplug from the power source =/ I'd been doing this up till yesterday when I decided to just use the screen that I would normally use with my Dell PC.

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Laptop Brand:
Model: MD2614u
Operating System: Vista (upgraded to 7)
+optimized for 64bit
+upgraded to 7 when my mom had a copy she wasn't using
+it was the office version

Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3200
Processor: AMD Turio X2 Mobile
Memory: 3gb
Hard Disk: 320gb
Screen: 15.6-inch Ultrabright WXGA TFT (1366 x 768 resolution)
+ 5-in-1 card reader
+illuminated controls such as volume and a play button

~External Devices~
Keyboard: Logitech
Mouse: acer
Tablet: Bamboo FUN
External Hardrive: 2TB, 320g & another 320g

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The screen I do most things on.

The games I play most right now are World of Warcraft (using a trial account -level cap is 21 if I remember right- but have plans to purchase a sub by the first week of March), s4 League, Fate/Stay Night and have plans to try out RIFT since it recently went F2P. Other than playing games I edit photos (by this I mean images I've drawn) using Photoshop Elements 6 and my Bamboo FUN tablet (not pictured anywhere 'cause I don't have it plugged in all the time), watch a lot of anime (more recently have been streaming on my Droid phone or watching online rather than downloading), read manga, Facebook, work on AugReal articles and more. I have plans to go back to video editing (probably bring back my Vlog series- check out the video below it's one of the sillier ones I made... bear in mind this was made 3 years ago. I didn't even have this laptop then) using Sony Vegas. If you'd like a full list of programs I use feel free to comment and I'll add 'em on another blog entry later down the line.

“For an AMD-based laptop, the entry-level Gateway MD2614u provides adequate everyday performance with a handful of extras we’d expect from more expensive systems.”
- (CNET Review, 2009)

[Book Overview] Intertwined [6/100]

Series: Intertwined
Book: 1 of 3
Page Count: 440
His eyes are the window to his souls . . .
Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:
One can time-travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can tell the future.
And one can possess another human.
Everyone thinks he's crazy, which is why he's spent his entire life shuffled between mental institutions and juvie. All of that is about to change, however. For months Aden has been having visions of a beautiful girl -- a girl who carries centuries old secrets. A girl who will either save him or destroy him.
Together they'll enter a dark world of intrigue and danger . . . but not everyone will come out alive.

I've been reading this book during my massive amounts of off time during training at work. I was reading .hack//CELL but wanted to read something I had been holding off on... which was somewhat of a stupid idea on my part considering reading this book isn't as enjoyable as I would want. It's not bad and it's not good. The author did something with this book I just can't get used to- made too many characters. It's hard to tell sometimes if Aden or Ann is the main character and both have separate love interests which make it hard for the author to write a cohesive story in this length of book. I'm 250 pages in and barely understanding what's really going on... and it's not in the fun way other series have kept me wondering what the heck is going on. I will finish it... but so far this book will probably be forgotten in a few months.

Others in the Series:
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