Saturday, March 31, 2012

Aspect Ratio - EPAC 2012

Join us, as Sonic Man covers EPAC 2012 at the UTEP Union East Building ...Or does he??

(c) 2012, Retro-Cam Productions, all rights reserved.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Video Game Deals March 25-31 (Toys R Us)

Toys R Us seems to have some good video game deals going on right now, or I should say has had some good deals going on for a few days now. Anyways! I was on the search for some Skylanders deals where Toys R Us reigns supreme. Check the list below for details on all the deals then get your butt to Toys R Us before the month is over!!!!

Free $10 gift card with a $50 game or DVD purchase.

Nintendo 3DS/ DS:
3DS System $169.99 + FREE $20 gift card
DS System $99.99 + FREE $10 gift card
+%50 off starter kits
Kid Icuras Uprising $39.99
Tekken 3D (prime ed) $24.99
Cooking Mama 4 $19.99
Lego Harry Potter (years 5-7) $19.99
Mario Hoops 3 on 3 $24.99
Super Mario 64 $24.99
Team Umizoomi $19.99
LEGO Battles Ninjago $14.99
Beyblade Metal Masters $19.99

System $149.99 + FREE $20 gift card
Mario Party 9 $49.99
Mario & Sonic at the Olympics: London $39.99
LOZ: Skyward Sword $29.99
Wipeout 2 $29.99
Phenias and Pherb $19.99
Mario & Sonic at the Olympics: Winter Games $29.99

Final Fantasy XIII-2 $34.99
Battlefield 3 $29.99
Skyrin V $39.99
Darkness II (limited edition) $49.99
Silent Hill Downpour $49.99
Street Fighter x Tekken $49.99
Ninja Gaiden 3 $49.99
Need for Speed: The Run $19.99

Xbox 360:
System $249.99 + FREE $10 gift card
Call of Duty MWF 3 $39.99
Call of Duty Black Ops $34.99
FIFA Street $39.99
UFC Undisputed 3 $49.99
SSX $39.99
Major League Baseball 2k12 $49.99
Wipeout in the Zone $39.99
Zumba Fitness Rush $39.99
Batman: Arkham City $29.99

Started Pack $69.99 + FREE $25 gift card
Adventure packs & Legendaries come with a FREE $5 gift card

Thursday, March 29, 2012

[Manga of the Week] Eden (3/25-31/2012)

image copyright goes out to Hiroki Endo

Awww ya, this manga suits my taste to a T! Not only is it about robots, cyborgs and the like it's also about a medical virus that there is really no cure for (not really a spoiler as much as a fact stated in the first few volumes). AND there's some moral issues explored throughout this one. I've read the first 4 volumes so far and look forward to finishing when I get the chance!

I bring you as special video from a few years back that might help with you deciding to read this or not. I've been following this guy for a few years now... even from back when he was part of a group. Anyways, enjoy the review:

# of volumess: 18
Rating: Mature

The series begins with a long introduction, with the characters Ennoia and Hannah living a peaceful life on a remote and isolated island called Eden, with researcher Lane Morris, who is their guardian and a victim of the pandemic, the so-called "Closure Virus", who has killed 15% of mankind. The events that led to this situation are revealed in flashbacks, leading up to the return of Ennoia's father, along with the forces of the Propater Federation.

Following this, the story moves forwards twenty years, and focuses on Ennoia's son, Elijah, the main character, and his own conflict with the powerful and monopolistic Propater federation to save his sister, Mana Ballade, kidnapped by Propater when he was very young. She is being held to threat Ennoia Ballade, father of the two characters, who has become a powerful drug lord in south America, feared and despised by many, including, to an extent, his own family. During a terrorist attack, Elijah, at the time aged 15, is separated from his mother and his sister is kidnapped, along with his mother Hannah and now has to handle things on his own. Eden is about his coming-of-age as a man and trying to survive both bodily and morally in world that is too complex for mere "black and white". He encounters many other characters, both allies and enemies, all sharing the same struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world.

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[Drama of the Week] Koizora (3/25-31/2012)

Seto Koji. Seto Koji. Seto Koji.
That is all!

Ok ok, so I guess I'll post more than just "Seto Koji" (even though he's the reason I watched the drama rather than the movie version first). This drama is pretty heart warming and does drag just a little bit (most say the drama isn't the one to see but they movie... I like the drama because of Seto Koji being my favorite actor) but overall is a pretty good watch.

Runtime: 24 min/ep
# of episodes: 6 + movie
Type: Novel
Rating: Teen
Mika Tahara has just started high school and yearns to fall in love. However, to her dismay, a gal-like boy in her grade, Nozomu, acquires her cell phone number and begins to make frequent calls. When summer vacation starts, one day, Nozomu drunkenly phones her, but Hiro confiscates the phone and converses with her instead. Although Mika does not know who Hiro is, she feels at ease at the sound of his voice and the two befriend each other.

[previous DOW's]

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Marginal Gaming - A Grain of Salt

In Mike's latest article for 8bitfix, Mike takes a moment to consider opinions about gaming on the internet. Which ones are valid? Which ones aren't valid? And most importantly, how can you tell the difference?

Check it out on the 8bitfix website.Link

[Anime of the Week] Another (3/25-31/2011) [Why'd I bother]

image copyright goes out to P.A. Works

Lately there have been a fair amount of horror and guro anime being released in Japan, most notable Mirai Nikki (Future Diary) and today's anime of the week Another. For those who know about both of these series are probably wondering why I would choose Another.... well, I haven't done a "why'd I bother" in a while, and between the two Mirai Nikki is actually quite good while Another could be easily passed up and will most likely be forgotten in the years to come. Honestly I had been looking forward to this anime (wanted something that had a horror aspect similar to Kara no Kyoukai). The first few episodes were very slow, and then things took a turn for the violent. I'm 5 episodes in this short anime... things don't seem to be looking up but I have plans to finish it despite my dislike right now.

# of episodes: 12
Type: light novel, manga
Rating: Older Teen (borderline mature)
26 years ago, in a third-year classroom of a middle school, there was a student named Misaki. As an honors student who was also good at sports, the charming boy was popular with his classmates. When he suddenly died, his classmates decided to carry on as if he was still alive until graduation. Then, in the spring of 1998, a boy named Sakakibara Kouichi transfers to the class, and he grows suspicious of the fearful atmosphere in that classroom. In particular, there is a beautiful, aloof girl named Mei Misaki who wears an eyepatch and is always alone drawing pictures.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

MAS8705's "Where have you been/What is being planned" update + Lady Fortune's Demise short story

How is it going everyone? I'm MAS8705 and... wait, how long have I been away?

*looks at last post done*

Two months?! Well, nice to know that school has been keeping me very busy lately. Anyway, to explain my absence would be just that: I am working through classes right now, and this is actually my last semester, so I got alot on my plate as to what I have to worry about. However, while I was working hard (or hardly working), I was still working behind the scenes at Augmented Reality. What have I been doing? Well, to put it bluntly, I've been helping out with John's upcoming production of "YuGiOh: The Blood of Razel" and if you believe it, I'm a main character. Granted I don't really help move the story forward, but I do play an important role. While I would love to talk more about it, I don't want to spoil anything, but just know that as we get closer to the summer, there might be some "Behind the scenes previews" so be on the look out for that (if we do actually launch it)...

Another reason why I've been MIA here at Augmented Reality is for something I had stated in this last Podcast. Somewhere between the start of this month to spring break, I somehow became a contributor over at 8bitfix. Much like Mike Cervantes, who writes his Marginal Gaming articles, I too have been contributing a bit over on 8bitfix. Does that mean that I am going to be working for them for now on? Of course not. I am still going to be part of Augmented Reality, and some of the things I may write about here, might not work as well for 8bit. Granted I'm sure that fairly quickly, I will be writing more serious articles for 8bit, but for the time being, I'm more of a "New Update" kind of guy over there for now.

Now then, I've explain where I've been, but now I need to explain the whole "What is being planned" part of the title, so here is my top 5 list of things I have been planning...

5) Rants

Rants are my bread and butter, and I need to be completing more. With that said though, the reason why I stopped the rants was because I ran out of material.


It happens...

Anyway, while I will be doing more rants, again if there is something you want me to talk about, post it in the comments and I'll do it, regardless of how ridiculousness it is. Besides that, I also plan on making a few rants for 8bitfix too so be watching for those.

4) Cosplay

Now, I will say that the idea of cosplaying isn't actually new to me. Believe it or not, I've done a simple cosplay of the scout from team fortress 2. My only regrets were that I didn't take pictures, and how I don't have the stuff from the costume anymore. Anyway, from this last week, I've decided to try my luck again at cosplaying, and have asked a local cosplay group for help in order to make an actual cosplay outfit from scratch. While I'm sure Alicia has mentioned this as well or will be doing it soon, I plan on posting "progress" pics to show the creation of the outfit. Right now I'm planning two I really want to do, and a third that will be an O.C.; kind of like Ruben's Sonic Man, but something in the style for myself. What will it be? Well, stay tuned to find out

3) vLog show

It's funny, out of all the people who hasn't done a vlog yet, it is me; the cameraman. Granted that everyone else has some kind of vlog or show or something, thus I need something too, only problem though is that I don't know what to try. I mean, I want to do a vLog show, but I don't know what to try... Again, if there is something you like to see, I'll be happy to try it out, otherwise that will be something coming soon.

2) Mystery Short

Because of my classes, I haven't had time to do much, however with one thing I have to do, I decided I will premiere it here on Augmented Reality at the same time it premieres in class. What will the mystery be about? Well, it wouldn't be a mystery if I told you, but that will be out late April, if not early May.

1) Writing

I know I said this in my very first introductory post, but I'll say it again: I love to write. I've been wanting to post stories on the blog, but because of the overload work I've been getting, it has been sadly put to the side. However now (working with Alicia again) I have the drive I need to start writing stories. Now I am still working on my other two stories, however I feel I owe you guys something for my absence so here is my one shot story, "Lady Fortune's Demise"

Outside of that, I hope to hear from you guys and I will see you guys next time.

Lady Fortune's Demise :

Lady Fortune’s Demise
In a war, everyone has a role to play, and I am no exception. My work is something that is looked down by many people since they don’t approve of what I do, calling me a cold-hearted bastard who doesn‘t value the life of another. To be perfectly honest though, I could care less about what they think, this is what I do. I’m a professional assassin and my role is to ensure that the people who are considered a threat are properly dealt with swiftly. I can’t say I fully enjoy taking the life of another man, but when you’re in the middle of a war and have orders, you don’t have much choice in the saying.
I used to be a freelance gun for hire until that one fateful night when I had finished my latest kill. I walked into my house with my mom making supper and my father polishing his medals, and in the middle of the room, I can see my little sister, about ten years old reading a book. “Yay! Big Brother is home!” She said as she rushed over and hugged me. I got on my knee to hug her back, “So brother, did you kill any bad people?” “Of course I did, I have to keep the world save you know.” She giggled as she skipped back to get dad as I walked over to the table and placed my rifle off to the side. “You shouldn’t be out this late young man,” my mom said as she poured a warm bowl of chicken soup. “I know, but with this war going on, there are too many jobs and so much money going around,. Now that dad is retired from the assassin business, I have to continue the family job.” “I wish you wouldn’t say that. You know he only did it to ensure that you and your sister wouldn’t have to grow up to be assassins like him.” As she continued her speech, I looked over to see all of my father’s medals and newspaper clippings. My father was an amazing assassin back in the day; he could be able to take out a 25-man platoon with a magnum and a hunting knife without being shot at once. It was too bad that age had caught up with him and that he had to retire, but he did make sure that my little sister and I could be able to grow up and get a good education or at least my little sister anyway. I wanted to be like my old man and contribute to the war anyway I could, I may not be as good as him, but I’m still one of the best marksman today.
As we sat down and said our prayers, we suddenly begin to hear a loud rumbling sound. We begin to wonder if the army was just passing by, but suddenly the rumbling sound got louder and louder until it came to a dead silence. Father knew something was wrong, he quickly grabbed my little sister and yelled, “Get away from the walls!” Almost the moment he said that, a big explosion ripped a hole into the wall, throwing the table off into the den area and most of us flying into different directions. As the smoke begun to clear, I could see that our dining room was torn apart and I looked around to see if I could find anyone. I saw that my little sister was knocked out cold from the blast, but she was still breathing and dad was alright, but mom sadly got caught in the blast. “Damn it, were you followed?” Dad asked while carrying my sister. “Of course not, I took the route you told me to take. There would be no way they could had followed me all the way back here without passing the army outpost first.” As we try to make sense as to what happened, a loud sound begun to erupt from the direction where the shot was taken. “We know you are still alive. Come out quietly, you are under arrest!” I had begun to panic as I tried to make sense of the situation. Suddenly, dad takes out a rifle from his case and throws me a handgun. “We need to hold them off until help can arrive.” “Right…” I whispered in my head as we closed off the other doors to the house. After 15 minutes past, we watched the enemy troops slowly gather together and marched towards the house, it was obvious that no one was coming to save us. We could also see that the blast had started a fire and we weren’t going to be able to stay in the house for long. Suddenly, Dad puts my sister in my arms. “I don’t know if we are going to make it. Take your sister and run to the outpost, you’ll be safe there.” “Dad, you can’t be serious! You want me to leave you here to die!?” “This is no time to put up an argument. I know I don’t have much time, but you and your sister still have your lifes to live. At least get your sister to safety.” I stared at my dad, and I could tell he was ready to die to protect us. “Alright… Good bye, Dad.” He kissed my sister on the head as he runs towards the hole in the wall. As he was getting ready to start his last stand, a female assassin with orange hair dashed in, and kicked the gun out his hand. My dad stood there in disbelief as the orange haired assassin said a few words and shot him in the head. The next image was something I could never get out of my mind; she turned her head towards me, looking at me with a cold stare with her green eyes. She knew that I couldn’t defend myself since I was carrying my sister in my arms; I thought that we were going to die right then and there. However, but all she does is put her gun away and just smile as she walks away as away. As I stared in dumbfounded, I saw that the roof collapsed in, and our house with all our possessions was destroyed. I didn’t have time to grief, since I knew that once the dust settled, they would come after me and my sister; I begin to run through the alleyways, and avoid the main streets as I made my way to the outpost.
After running nonstop for 30 minutes, I finally arrived at the outpost. I collapsed at the gate, with my sister landing on top of me, still out cold. When I came to a few days later, I saw that I was in the medical wing, laying down being treated for exhaustion. As I was recollecting my thoughts, I suddenly realized that my sister was nowhere to be seen. I quickly jumped out of the bed, panicking and screaming, “Where’s my sister?! Where is she!?” It took three doctors to hold me down before a nurse walked into the room. She had told me that my sister had suffered from a hit to the head when the wall was blasted. I ran to her room to see her there, laying on the bed in a coma. I was thankful that she didn’t die, but for her to be in this state, it was terrible. I started to slam on the table next to her screaming, “God Damn It! Why did this have to happen?! It should have been me!” The nurse walked over and gave me a hug as I cried my sorrows. In one night, everything was taken from me; my home, my family, and almost my sister. After that day, I fell into a deep mental state where I couldn’t do anything except stare blindly, eat and sleep. I didn’t say a single word or even more out of the room they put me in. It wasn’t until a few weeks later after the attack, that I had a visitor, a man who was good friends with my father. “I’m sorry I haven’t been able to come sooner. How are you feeling?” He put his arm around me, but I had no response. “I see you are still affected by everything that happened, I don’t blame you. At the time your family was attacked, we were defending a different part of the city, and by the time we found out of the attack, we discovered that they had already left and you had collapsed by the gate. I heard about your sister’s condition for the doctors; they said that if she didn’t arrive at the time she did, she probably would have died. She is very lucky to have an older brother like you.” Still I just sat there with no change in my expression. “We what we found out from the reports, this was an organized attack. They knew where you were living for some time now and they were waiting for the right time to attack. The reports also showed that the attack lead by one general. A lady with long orange hair and green eyes.” The moment he said the color of her eyes, my heart skipped a beat as color I muttered those two words, “Green… Eyes…” “Indeed. No one knew her name, but she was known simply as Lady Fortune. It is a miracle how you were able to go up against her and live. Most people who fight her would be dead by now.” As he continued explaining the situation, I continued to say those two words, green eyes over and over again as he leaned over and whispered in my ears, “What if I told you that I can help you get your revenge?” Suddenly, my mindless muttering stopped as I turned my head slowly and looked at him in the eyes, “Revenge?” “Yes, you see, I need men like you to help me win this war. If you serve under me, I promise you that we will bring Lady Fortune to justice. It may not be anytime soon, but I promise you that we will get her. I don’t want to force this on you, but please consider it. After all, it would be a shame if you were discharged from the hospital when your sister hasn’t fully recovered. So think it out for the next few days and call me.” With that, he walked out of my room and closed the door. This was the first time in the last few weeks that I have been able to have clear thoughts about something. Soon two doctors and the nurse came in, thrilled to know that I have moved and spoke and believed that I was finally recovering from the trauma that I had received. It only took me two days for me to walk into his office and to agree to work under him as one of his soldiers. From that day forward, I had a new goal in life; I would take my revenge on her and when I did, I will show her no mercy, as she did with my family.
The war had proceeded for another five years and I decided to join a special task force whose specializes in assassinations. I had killed countless men during those five years, and at no time did I have any remorse. Each day, I would go to the hospital where my sister was placed at, watching her, sitting next to her, and waiting to see if she would wake up, but to no avail. All that I waited for was that one mission, to get even with the bitch that had almost killed my family. Just as I was beginning to lose hope again, I finally got my wish. I walked into the briefing room; I can see a few other men from my platoon who had already taken their seats. I could tell by their faces that they were getting excited; they knew that this next mission was going to be their best one yet. After everyone sat down, our commanding officer walked into the room, holding a rolled up poster in his hand. “Good Afternoon Gentlemen. As you know, this war has gone on for too long and both sides have suffered many losses because of it. However we just received intelligence from our spies that could help bring the war to a quicker end.” He unrolled the poster and posted it onto the wall to reveal a young girl who looked like she was in her mid 20s. She had long orange hair with a skinny body figure and green eyes. There were one or two whistles from the table as my eyes widened in anger and I clinched my fist. “This is the enemy’s 2nd in Command General Strategist. No one knows her true name, but she is simply known as ‘Lady Fortune’ for her commanding victories on the battlefield are considered to have been won by luck, even though the victories have been situations that could never be explained. For too long she has been the one person who has blocked our every move from taking over the enemy’s capital city and she is considered to be more valuable than the leader himself and needs to be taken out.”
As soon as he said that, the room came to a dead silence with many men in disbelief. This young beautiful lady was considered to be the biggest threat against them? A lot of the men found it very hard to believe this and a few of them were in protest about killing a young girl just because of a few successful campaigns. The commanding officer slammed the back wall with his fist to regain the attention of the men. “I know that it is hard to believe, but the facts do not lie about this girl. Like it or not, she is the biggest threat against us and needs to be taken care of. She is going to attend an opera in a neighboring town tonight and she has her army waiting in a different location. We will circle the Opera House and have a sniper on standby. Your mission is to locate Lady Fortune and eliminate her. The operation begins in six hours. Good Luck Gentlemen.”
The sun begins to set, the troops begun to quietly move into the city by foot and into position surrounding the Old Opera House while I took my position from a hotel room on the 10th floor across the way from the building. I take out my sniper rifle from a briefcase and start putting it together with a silencer attachment to it to make the gun blast less noisy. After my sniper rifle was set, I loaded a round in the chamber and turned the lights off in the room as I begin to wait for her to come out. As it starts to get later into the night, the troops around the opera house continue to watch all the exits as the opera begins to come to its close. After hours of waiting, people begin to leave the Opera House; very excited from the performance they had witnessed on stage. After the last of spectators left the Old Opera House, there was still no sign of Lady Fortune anywhere. Could it be that she knows of the many men outside the building ready to attack? Did she exit out of some secret passageway? Is she even inside the building at all? As I begin to question what exactly happened to her, a group of men walk out of the Opera house, forming two lines from the door, and then she finally walks out. I see that she almost looks the exact same as the picture on the poster, she was wearing an elegant white dress with earrings a diamond bracelet, the works. It was hard to believe that it is this one person who has caused the most problems for us, she doesn’t even look like the general type at all from what I can see. Still though, orders were orders, and I wasn’t going to give it a second thought as I begin to line up my shot. She continues to walk to her escort car with her guards walking right next to her; it was almost as though she was completely unaware that she was able to be killed, but looked at peace with no emotions coming from her. As I get ready to shoot, she begins to walk more slowly as she suddenly turns her head and stares directly right at me. The words ‘What the hell?!’ flashed through my head in that one moment as I pull the trigger, firing a round. Almost in that same moment, Lady Fortune suddenly stops and trips one of her guards right in front of her to take the shot.
As the bullet hits the man, the other guards begin to circle around her to form a shield to prevent anymore shots to be fired at her, but she continues to keep staring at me with her piercing green eyes. I didn’t know what just happened, did she save her life by mistake or was she actually aware that I was about to shoot her and managed to trip the guy at just the right time? As I took a few moments to think of that, I hear one word from my radio, attack. Soon the streets were flooded by our troops as they open fire on Lady Fortune. While the gun fight was happening on the ground, I begin to reload the sniper rifle as a troop member bursts into the room. “Sir! We have just received reports that the enemy is coming our way!” I stare at him in disbelief, as I accidentally dropped the round to the floor. “The enemy is coming?!” I said, “Didn’t the reports state that they were no where nearby the area?” The man started to panic almost as though he thought I was going to kill him for what he just said, “That’s what we thought, but we intercepted a radio transmission from Lady Fortune calling for backup and that they are heading this wa-.” Suddenly a sniper shoot goes off from the old opera house as it manages to fly right past my head and hit the man in the room next to me. I jumped out of the room to avoid getting fired at more and proceeded to run down the stairs of the emergency escape. As I continue running down, I hear one announcement from the radio from a feminine voice, “The sniper has fled from the 10th story room and is escaping through the emergency exit, cut him off.” I stop in my tracks as I heard that, it was Lady Fortune who was making that announcement. “How did she know where I was specifically if she was just outside a second ago?” I thought to myself, “She maybe is a Masterful Strategist, but that still doesn’t explain how she was able to know where I was at from the distance between us, let alone the specific room I was in.” I wasn’t going to question it anymore as I continued to run down the stairs and out the exit to join the others in combat. As I got to the opera house, I saw that there were dead bodies of a few of my friends and a the guards of Lady Fortune. I took one of the handguns from the ground and lead the attack inside the Old Opera House with the few remaining men who were left.
Inside the Old Opera House, it had an interior that mimics a 15th century theater with giant stone pillars, beautiful paintings and giant elegant crimson red drapes that hang on the walls. We proceeded slowly in the halls since there could still be guards in the opera house still protecting her. As we walked into a small reception room, Lady Fortune walks out with both hands behind her back, almost as though she was concealing something behind. “Just so you know boys, I have seen your future and I know that from some of you, this will be your grave.” As she leans back against a pillar, one man in the group begins to hesitate a bit as he holds out his gun and points it at her. He suddenly pulls the trigger and she suddenly jumps out of the way, leaving a stick of TNT on the wall. Before any of us had figured out what happened, the bullet came into contact with the TNT and caused an explosion that took out the lower part of the pillar. Without the support of the pillar, the roof begins to crash down around us in an unstable fashion. Each of us were trying desperately to avoid getting hit by the pieces of the roof, but one by one someone got hit and was killed from the falling debris. As we got out of the way of the falling roof, I noticed that there were about three guys left while the others actually met the demise that was predicted by Lady Fortune. The few remaining men near me started to panic because of what just transpired and I was also starting to get shaken up from this since this was the 2nd time she had outsmart us. The chances of that bullet hitting that explosive in just the right place was almost next to impossible, I was beginning to think that this had nothing to do with luck.
As we begin to near the upper levels of the opera house, every man wasn’t sure if they were going to make it. I could see in their eyes that they were terrified, almost as if they had seen a ghost and I wasn‘t doing too well either from the experiences I had ran into myself with her and how she had been manipulating the things around her to her advantage. We got to the top of the catwalk platforms as we begin to look around to see if she had fled to. I didn’t want to lose anymore men, so I went out first as the other three followed closely behind. I overheard a small clank on the platform and ran towards the sound thinking that she was there. As I slowly move around another pillar, she fires a round at me trying to throw me off the catwalk. I quickly get behind the pillar again as I signal the others to move in slowly. “You should just give up while you still have the chance, it is just you and me after all.” She mockingly announces as though she had already won the fight. Little did she know that I still had three more guys behind me, ready to take her out at any moment. At the moment I thought of that, I hear a loud crashing sound followed by screams. I looked over the side and saw that part of the catwalk had fallen off and the last three guys that were with me had fallen to their doom. Now I was alone, stuck with this witch who has manipulated everything around her ever since the operation started.
“It seems that we have reach our Great Finale” she announces to me. “I’m sorry that it has to end this way, but there is one last prediction I see.” I started to breathe heavily as I try to make sense of what she is talking about. Did she set up one more explosive under me? Is she going to shoot me in the head? Is that army she was talking about earlier going to start firing upwards? Too many questions popped into my head at that moment, I started to go insane and made one final attempt to take her out. As she reaches behind for something her, I jumped out from behind the pillar fired two shots. The first shot hit her on the side of her chest as the other hit her right hand, causing her to drop her gun. This was the moment I was waiting for, I ran in and in one fell swoop, kicked the gun off the catwalk.
She stares at me directly as I continue to point the gun at her. She wraps her right hand around her dress to slow the bleeding. “It seems my last prediction came true after all.” She jokingly says. “Your last prediction?” I said in concern. “Yes, my last prediction was, my death” She begins to laugh a bit as she begins to cough up blood a bit. “Your death? If you knew that you were going to die tonight, then why did you come?” She slowly got up as she started to walk towards me. As she gets next to me, she collapses in my arms and whispers her final words, “To put the war… to the end...” then by using the last of her strength, she suddenly grabs me as she throws the both of us off the catwalk. As both of us fall to our doom, I grab on to one of the giant drapes to slow my fall while I watch as Lady Fortune falls to her death. As I fall to the stage as well, there was only one memory that was going through my mind, and was not being able to tell my sister that I loved her. My final memories from that night as I begun to blackout was seeing shadowy figure hover over me, their words blurred as I passed out.
That night, it was announced in the news that Lady Fortune had been killed by a drop of militia at the opera house. A few months after her death, the tide of battle tipped in our favor without their strategist that was able to predict the future, they would soon fall. The event that happened that night had left me forever changed too. A few days later after that night, I woke up in a hospital and found out that I couldn‘t move my legs. I was told that the fall broke my legs and I won’t be able to walk for a few months and that I was discharged from my unit with honors since I was probably going to be out of commission for the remaining portion of the war. I was happy to hear that I was able to finish the job, even though now I’m not going to be able to move for a while. I was just told to relax and to rest for now due to the previous events that happened. As I begun to fall back asleep, I see a hand reach over to hold my hand. I saw my little sister, with her beautiful green eyes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Perseus and Quickshot: Robo-Tech Support

Perseus is feeling a little run-down, so he decides to make a call to tech support, and it looks like his production assistant, Chuck is actually being helpful for once...Or is he?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: The Phantom- The Complete Series: The Charlton Years: Vol. 1


Mike The Fanboyable

Charlton Comics was the now long-gone company that gave us such cult-classic characters like Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, The Question, The Peacemaker, Nightshade, and Thunderbolt. All of these characters would eventually be bought by DC Comics, and then Alan Moore would use them as models for the main characters in his graphic novel "Watchmen". So, in short, it could be said Charlton Comics is partly responsible for the creation of Watchmen.

Ah, but Charlton is also known for something else; they published original adventures for Lee Falk's costumed crusader of the jungle, The Phantom, during the period of The Bronze Age of Comics. The first nine issues of this series, which ran from 1969 to 1977, are collected for the first time in the hardcover edition of "The Phantom- The Complete Series: The Charlton Years: Vol. 1", published by Hermes Press.

The yarns featured in this volume stay very much within the tradition of engaging The Ghost Who Walks in perilous, cliff-hanging jungle adventures, much as it had been established in the original comic strips. In one story, we see The Phantom taking on a cult called The Ghost Tribe, who intend to take over the Bengali Jungle. Another story has our hero tracking a friend of his to the fabled city of Shang-Ri-La. There's also an adventure involving a vengeful mad man who intends to control killer apes to kill The Ghost Who Walks.

For good measure, we also see The Phantom trying to uncover the secret of The Pharaoh-Phantom, who claims to be the one true Phantom.

The writers included in this edition are Dick Wood and Norm DiPlum, while artists are Pat Boyette, Don Perlin, Bill Lignante, and Jim Aparo, who does the majority of the artwork in this volume, and is probably the best reason why to purchase this book. Most fans are probably most familiar with Aparo's work on the Batman titles, but before he graced The Dark Knight's pages, it was with The Ghost Who Walks where Aparo first displayed elegant style of drawing a realistic version of a fantasy hero. Those who loved his Batman, should enjoy his Phantom as well.

I personally would put Jim Aparo's rendition of The Phantom on par with those of classic Phantom artists like Ray Moore, Sy Barry, and Paul Ryan. Hence, this is a must for Phantom and Jim Aparo fans. For those who came in late, this is not a bad place to start.

PES- Peace Eco Smile (Toyota x Studio 4C)

Japan dishes out some of the best marketing campaigns that I've ever seen, especially when Studio 4C is involved (you should check this drug awareness online add that doubles as a mini-adventure game while I'm telling you about Studio 4C. this add was a collaboration with France). They may have been extremely lazy when working on the recent Thunder Cats anime but their newest work, a collaboration with Toyota, is quite a breath taking experience. While it may not seem like a car commercial at first You have sleek animation 4C is known for with the edition of a well rendered 3D Toyota vehicle along with good music and characters that scream "you should have us be in an actual anime series!!". It's not like commericals have ever really been obvious as to what they're trying to sell you till the end of the commerical :P Check the video below to experience the add for yourself~~~

Oh and since you probably do not speak Japanese, here's the translation for the information contained in the info box on YouTube (thank you good ol' Google translate, but I've fixed the grammar so it makes more sense... or at least I fixed some... I just don't know how to fix the rest):

"Toyota Motor Corporation along with Studio 4C presents a new WEB promotion for 2012! "in the energy / person that loves to make people out there are always impressed", and: to expand the "PES Peace Eco Smile" "series. WEB this campaign, from (Thursday), published March 22, the PES Special Site. Within the site, in turn, to expand snow, the animated short film (3-4min). In the PES special site, you can report to the world, at any time approach, also occur in Japan in conjunction with planning the work world, the whereabouts of little love."

There's also an official site for the web campaign but at the moment it only has the above trailer. You have to scroll down to see it. BUT it says trailer one so it's possible this is only the first in a series of Studio 4C Toyota commercials for 2012. I hope for more :) Also if you're curious about Linkmore works by Studio 4C you can view their site in Japanese and English. Go check it out!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

dat Mass Effect anime

From The Floor: SXSW 12 - Mass Effect Teaser... by DM-Exclusives

I may have never finished a Mass Effect game (played a chunk of the first one) but anime adaptations of non-Japanese properties seem to have been getting fantastic treatment lately. Take a look at the Halo Legends anime if you want a good example of video game anime and all of the Marvel anime adaptations that came out recently (Wolverine, X-Men, Blade and Iron Man) if you want to see what different studios can do. Overall, there is not a worry in the world that this anime will please Mass Effect fans and well as fans of anime.

Nooooow, this may be some heart breaking news for fans of the game franchise but the anime is a side story... not an actual adaptation of the game. BUT don't fret because EA, FUNimation and Production IG are collaborating on this; all 3 are major companies. EA with the games, FUNimation one of the few anime dubbing companies that have continued to be around and Production IG which is one of the best anime studios in Japan considering they made Ghost in the Shell.

For more information, check these links:

...Of the Highest Calibur: Original Creations from Soul Calibur V.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written an actual article entry, what with my introduction being my first, and my Winter*Con article being my second. Needless to say, with Augmented Reality slowly providing material for the contemporary gamer (myself included) I’ve decided to share with you something of my own. It’s not a game, per se, but moreso, original content in one of my favorite Namco titles: Soul Calibur V. I recently bought myself a copy of this title, and I can honestly say I love this game.

What can I say about Soul Calibur V that hasn’t already been said before?? If there’s something that truly attracts me to this title, it’s that Namco has given something to gamers that I look for in a game, a creative outlet. As far as I can remember, I’ve always liked games that give the gamer the option to put one of their own original creations into an established game, like Soul Calibur V. Who wouldn’t want to see Street Fighter’s Chun-Li duke out Siegfried in a match, or your own self-insert take out their frustrations on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Shredder??

After winning a few matches, unlocking several items in Soul Calibur V’s Creator, and reaching level 30, I’ve had a fantastic time, laboring over several custom characters in Soul Calibur V, such as Sonic Man, below.For Sonic Man’s custom, I used a small body-type, and set his body’s values to their lowest setting, since Sonic Man isn’t all that bulky, let alone beefy, or the size of your typical linebacker. Personally, I like how his chest and shoulder armor, breechcloths, boots and cape turned out here. You will notice that Sonic Man’s bodysuit underneath his armor looks shiny and sleek, however, since I have yet to unlock a possible unitard as an item in Creator’s list of custom items, I went for the second best thing: Coloring Sonic Man’s entire skin the same shade of navy-blue, to emulate his skin-tight, formfitting unitard, with a flesh-tone colored sticker on his head, to balance things out, and not leave him with a navy-blue face. You’ll also notice that I did this for Ruben and Sonar Man (an anti-Sonic Man, much like Wario is to Mario) as well, since the two of them wear skin-tight, formfitting unitards as well.Here’s one original character that’s rarely in the limelight. Unity Eastah, Spirit of the Union East Building. Unity Eastah was actually inspired by the 2010 New Student Orientation Committee’s Superhero theme because there was a young lady whose heroine persona represented Union Services, and was named Unity, so I decided to take things further with it. You’ll notice Unity’s matching, oversized sword, as I chose Siegfried’s fight-set. Now, Unity Eastah has a shield, but Pyrrha’s shield (at least in my opinion) is too small, as Unity Eastah’s shield is much larger in size, so I chose Siegfried’s oversized sword instead.

However, while I am a big fan of original characters, not all of my customs are original characters, as illustrated below.Can you tell who this sword-wielding heroine is?? I can sense her Yoki Aura, and it’s strong! That’s right; it’s Clare, from Claymore (a favorite anime of mine.) While this has been done in Soul Calibur V, before, I didn’t like what I saw on YouTube, so I decided to have my own take at creating Clare in Soul Calibur V, and see how well I can pull it off. Granted, she’s not going to be 100% spot-on, but it is recognizable.

For Clare, I gave her an off-white, sleeveless unitard, and the same type of shoulder armor I used for Sonar and Sonic Man, since it was as close as I could get for Clare’s shoulder plates. You’ll notice the black triangle, under her cape. For this, I used three stickers, to emulate that part of her outfit that has her cross-like symbol on her chest. While I couldn’t exactly do that with the limited amount of stickers that Creator allows per item, I simplified it, while still making it identifiable. And speaking of identifiable…Can you guess who this charming chap is?? You’ve seen him play at various anime conventions and cosplay gatherings. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen; it’s our good friend, Shonen Neko Takaya, wielding a staff. Now many have paid homage to the ginger-haired cat, by drawing fan-art and posting it on his wall on FaceBook, and dropping him a line, and this was definitely not an exception. Personally, I love how this turned out as well, as I was going for a more classic anime feel; a story that took place in ancient Japan, when the sword and staff ruled, or maybe something like Ninja Scroll or Ranma½, for nostalgic purposes.
Oh, that reminds me. While not many remember TV’s Mork and Mindy, and while this isn’t exactly Mork, I present to you, my last original character, whom was inspired by Mork and his homeworld, Ork. Valorie Quarto or Quarto as her friends call her comes from a comic series I’ve been working on since, 2005, titled Pleiadian Enterprise, which takes place in the 31st century. Needless to say, while Quarto’s Orkan uniform isn’t 100% spot-on, it isn’t hard to miss. For Quarto, I decided to go with Hilde’s fight-set, since it only seemed as a good option for Quarto’s choice of weapon. Plus, check out that flagged staff! I must say that I can’t wait for Namco’s free balancer, DLC and updates that come out this week, with more on April 3rd, so I can make more original creations to share with all of you!

Augmented Reality Podcast - Episode #8 "Card Games in Motor Hotels!" (03/18/12) by Augrealmag on Mixcloud

Ruben Rascon, Alicia Bracken, Michael Solseth, and John Browning discuss the upcoming independent film, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Blood of Razel, Winter*Con and Summer*Con, with special guest, Mitsu Bloodmor.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bringing Up The Past


When I was about 20 years old, I was a student at El Paso Community College. I belonged to a creative writing and poetry club, and while I was there, I first met Ray Ramos. Ray, as some of you may know, is the founder and editor-in-chief of Adversary Comix, one of El Paso’s many local independent comic entities. At the time I met Ray, Adversary was still in its infancy, and it had a small stable of artists and writers making preliminary plans to turn their imaginative ideas into original comics.

Hopeless opportunist that I am, I expressed an interest in joining up with Adversary Comix. I showed him some samples of my artwork: spindly little drawings of cartoons with bug-eyes, Simpsons-esque overbites and bodies the width of twigs. Despite the fact I’ve been drawing since I was a child, I’ve never quite broken out of an art style any more stunning than your average episode of “Home Movies,” which just happened to be what my art-style was frequently compared to. What caught Ray’s attention more was my writing which, despite still being less developed than it is as I write this article, still contained a good amount of silliness combined with insight and a little satire.

So Ray brought me to meet the rest of his crew at the time, one or two of them being members of Adversary to this day, the rest of them temporarily supporting the group before they later moved on to other things. One of the latter category was a guy I’m gonna call Trevor. Trevor was looked up to by the rest of the group. He had a style of art that evoked many comics of the early 90s, and had two concepts planned for Adversary.

Eager to set myself up as a representative of a local comic book company, I drew up a three-page preview of a story for a preview book that Adversary was assembling. My story was basically a comedic series involving a team of paranormal investigators. I stretched myself creatively in directions I never had before. Looking back I never realized it took me until that age to begin inking my drawings. Most of my artwork consisted of character designs without backgrounds. For this preview I had drawn some crude borders around my art that resembled a computer grid, and lined out neat lines to hand letter. (My handwriting has always been terrible.) Work completed, I showed it all to Ray, who was impressed by my initiative, and I had my three pages published in an early print of their preview book. Working off my momentum I was also uploading images to the company’s official Yahoo! Group.

However, I was unaware of something boiling slowly in the background. In the time it took me to complete my work, roughly a 5 week period, I attended regular meetings with the group at a Village Inn. We drank coffee, ate pie, and discussed future plans. Trevor’s involved elevating comic books as an art from. Younger, na├»ve and impetuous me didn’t understand that. I simply assumed comic books were supposed to be objects of fun and interesting writing in and of themselves. So we’d constantly debate about this during our meetings. One time, at the end of a meeting, I was on a miniature egotistical rampage. I had said the standing slogan for Adversary Comix, “your Imagination is not the Enemy” didn’t make sense, along with several meandering self-back-pats which I can’t even remember. As I left the meeting on that night, Trevor turned to me and said “See you in the funny papers.” I turned back for a moment, thinking what he said was odd, but I didn’t think anything of it.

You could probably guess what happened next, but I’ll tell you anyway. I went back on the Yahoo! Group to find all of my uploads had been deleted. I tried to upload them again. I deleted them again. I got ahold of Trevor and he told me he didn’t want me on the team anymore because I was being obnoxious. It didn’t matter how well I had held up my end as far as comic book writing, the fact that I was being a pain in the ass to another artist was enough for me to be given the brush-off. Ray did nothing, and to top it all off, my three pages were removed from the preview book. I know now it was because I was being immature, but I didn’t then, so I plotted all sorts of stories to write and publish so I could ‘get back’ at those skunks at Adversary Comix and retain some sense of integrity as far as being a comic writer.

Lots of people say revenge is a good motivator…It’s not really. Years went by. Ray and Trevor had a falling out over some issue I know nothing about and Ray started contacting me again. He wanted me to give him constructive criticisms of new comic preview books and side-projects he was working on. I gave him a few, but then I brought up the issue again by asking him “Why do you want the opinion of someone you kicked out a couple years ago?” He stopped asking. More years went by. Last year, as a side-effect of my combing the city in search of stories for my YouTube channel, I finally patched things up with Ray, and with the assistance of local artist Elijah Lawson I actually released a comic through Adversary Comix: a one-shot story featuring their character “El Nino Heroe” for Free Comic Book Day.

I’m glad that I could be accepted back into the comic-writing community in the city, but that’s not really the point I finally decided to share this. I decided to share this story because I wanted to let you know about the hideous mistake I made. It took me 8 YEARS to get over that incident, get over my own selfish pride and bring myself to a point where I could create again. That’s 8 whole years I lost ALL resolve to do something creatively, and to this day I’m still not so sure I can ever be fully successful as a comic book writer.

Every time I hear about a club quitting a club to form another club, or even a con quitting a con to become another con, and every time I hear that the motivation behind these actions is an attempt to ‘get revenge’ by ‘living well,’ I get upset because I remember everything that happened to me when I endeavored to do the exact same thing. I still keep the copy of the Adversary preview book that contained my three page preview as a reminder, and I constantly wonder what could have been if I had only done things differently.

Every writer looks to send a message to their readers. Everyone who practices written words hope that people see the messages underneath them. I, on the other hand, have always prided myself on my honesty and my integrity, even though my ego and my temper have always gotten me into trouble. If I could give one lesson to the world, though, it would be taken from this story.

And if that guy I called Trevor is reading this, I just want him to know that I’m sorry. You’ve taught me a very valuable lesson about life.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

[Anime of the Week] .hack//QUANTUM [3/18-24/2012]

image copyright goes out to Kinema Citrus

.hack// is a HUGE universe comprised of video games, manga, anime, light novels and more. I've played the original games and really want to one day play the PSP one but I'm not sure if it ever came out in the US. Anyways, this anime is actually a 3 episode OVA that is insanely well anime. It takes the main character Kite gender bends and creates a new story. Most of the characters are still their original genders. My good friend Elijah who's a big fan of .hack// Legend of the Twilight Bracelet really likes this one, and it is closely related to that and the original set of games.

# of episodes: 3
Type: manga, video game
Rating: Teen
The story follows the path of three players: Sakuya, Tobias, and Mary, and their playing of the world's largest MMORPG, "The World R:X" created by CC Corp. As is the case, these players were on a quest in their party of three, when they are caught in a strange circumstance of fate.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Aspect Ratio - Soul Calibur V at Chicago's!

Join Ruben Rascon, as he participates and interviews the participants at a unique Soul Calibur V tournament at the Chicago's Street Food, hosted by GameStop.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Marginal Gaming - Sometimes When We Touch

LinkIn his latest article for 8bitfix, Mike points out the fact that we now have three portable consoles on the market with touch-screen controls. How do the three systems stack up as far as handling those controls?

Take a look on the 8bitfix website.

Friday, March 9, 2012

[Moosic] Idiotape- 0805

I...I.... I really do not know what kind of music this is. At first I thought it was straight up dubstep or electronic but after listening to more and more of the piece there really wasn't a specific category I could place it in.... oh well, enjoy!

[clicky for more Moosic]

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