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Tag Archives: childhood

In a fit of nostalgia, I bought Street Fighter II for XBOX360 a few years ago (it wasn’t even on sale, so I had to pay a cool 400msp for it – $5). It turns out, it was a good choice because I’ve been playing it on-and-off for awhile; although there are two achievements that are basically impossible due to my skill level and the AI’s computer-assist.

I enjoy playing it, but I don’t think it is solely because I played it as a kid. I like that it is constrained and not an expansive game (there are only 10 characters, but some of them are dups) so the figuring out the limits of the AI/game is feasible, although not overly simple (I guess what I mean to say is that it is easy to understand but difficult to master). For example if I were to be playing SSF2 instead, or one of the later ones, I would be overwhelmed with the number of characters I would have to further learn. Aside: Although perhaps this is an artifact of growing up with SF2. That is, if you were new to SF2 now, you would think there are too many characters; but if you continued playing each successful SF2 sequel (or prequel), you would be familiar with the characters and not think there are too many

Another major factor is because the game is balanced (perhaps only at my skill level). Ryu/Ken are popular and seemingly everyone plays them, but all the other characters are still fun to play and competitive if you’re willing to invest the quarters time to learn them well. In fact, I have a suspicion that they made the damage inflicted by Ryu/Ken lower to balance things better. In the end, I think it is a lot like Smash Bros., except that you can only involve 2 people at one time.

Coke is trying to pull a fast one over you and I and America. They’re introducing a new Coke mini which is in a smaller can and I guess hopes to stem the tide of obese teenagers from toppling over the – ok never mind I guess it will already be broken by then.

This new Coke mini is going to be 7.5oz and provide only 90 calories. Perhaps the most noticeable thing is that the can no longer bulges out a few millimeters below the rim. Hey wait a minute, that looks familiar.

<does a quick conversion and a lot of searching>

Back in the olden days, pop cans were only 280ml or 9.5oz in size and I remember seeing some cans in this size in my travelling the last few years. That’s a touch bigger than the new 220ml/7.5oz ones but I don’t think it’s a revolution; we’re just moving from fat back to normal sized cans. Besides, serious pop drinks drink from bottles. Or 32oz fountain drinks.

I didn’t have a SNES, nor a N64; so during those lean days I passed my time by using emulators. I’ve played a lot of the SNES RPGs and my favorite one of all was Chrono Trigger. The story was great and it was the first time I saw the newgame+ idea. This enabled me to try and max out my characters (although I got bored of it before then) without having to grind the same dungeons over and over again. It was like watching a movie again and again.

Now, Chrono Trigger has finally been ported to DS. It took long enough; the technical capability was all there from day one. I’ll play through it and see how it stands to time (and memory). Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be able to spend the time to max out my characters anymore.

When I was a kid, the best part about visiting my godparents’ place was having some of their coffee table mints. But ever since they moved to Scarborough, and along with my growing up, I never had those mints again. So I was happy when the after-dinner mints offered by the Georgetowne Inn while we were in Pittsburgh, were the same Andes Mints that my godparents had. It was the first time I’ve seen them as after-dinner mints, but from their wikipedia page, they’re the most popular after-dinner mints in the world! I took our entire party’s mints and I still have a couple sitting on my desk. They’re good!

Where have all the June bugs gone? I know it’s July now, which gives a good reason for JUNE bugs to disappear, but I didn’t see them in June this year, nor several of the past years.

I remember when I lived in Scarborough that June bugs would torment me when they started appearing in mid-May until they disappeared in June. These lazy, slow-flying bugs with a poor directional sense would always interrupt my TV time by repeatedly bumping into the screen while I was watching MacGyver or Air Wolf. Since they were so dumb, they would invariably not find whatever they were looking for (food, heat), and end up dead on the floor in the morning. This lead to interesting experiences: “Hey, who left a chocolate almond on the floor? Oh wait no it’s a dead June bug EWWW”.

The worse thing about June bugs were that they were so damn big. They would randomly bump into you, and if you reached to see why you felt something, you would invariably end up with a June bug in your hand. I’m not sure why that’s so scary. I suppose it’s because we’re used to flying err flys; which are tiny. If insects could grow from the size of flies to June bugs, what stops them from growing to the size of skyscrapers and eating everyone up??

Being more rational nowadays, I looked up June bugs on Wikipedia, and they’re actually from the beetle family. I suppose that explains why they’re bigger than your average house fly and that we won’t be seeing any June Bug-man any time soon.

I think Transformers is probably the most awaited film of this summer. The #2s (FF4), #3s (Spider-man, Ocean’s 11, Shrek, Pirates), #4s (Die Hard), and #5s (Harry Potter) don’t count because there have already been movies about that subject matter. The Simpsons is probably up there, but you can think of it as an extra-long episode of an ongoing TV series. Transformers however, has not been in the mainstream media in its original incarnation (i.e., not Beast Wars) for many years now; and the now 20-somethings that grew up with them have been patiently waiting to waste their money on a full-length movie.

As Nelson pointed out, it was a weird demographic in the audience for our sold-out late-night showing. Basically, you would not feel a burning desire to see this movie unless you grew up playing with the toys. So as expected, the majority of the audience were people (guys) our age. I only saw 1 family of kids, (probably because the small boys wanted to see robotsss). There were girls, but those that went didn’t go alone, such as the one in our row who decided to go to the washroom 5 or 6 times in the 2 and a half hour movie.

I was not a huge Transformers collector when I was a kid. I remember I had a Starscream clone (I guess I thought purple was cooler) and a Devestator, although the Devestator was probably a Chinese knock off because I know I got it from the Kitts store at Chartwell. I guess I didn’t like the Autobots, because the only one I remember having was Grimlock. It has also been a long time so I don’t really remember everything I once knew about Transformers.

So I went into the movie without expectations (I didn’t even bother reading any reviews either). After the fact, I read some people say that it was simultaneously the best and the worst movie ever. I think that’s a fair assessment of it. From the get go, there was horribly staged emotional scenes, product placement that would shame FF2, and really crappy script writing. Plus, it was long and yet another all-genre movie. But there were robots that transform from moving vehicles to blow things up and transform back which is So. Cool.

I kind of wished that instead of a live action, they made the movie into a cartoon. That way, it would end in an hour and a half and I wouldn’t have to sit through silly scenes. Case in point, the scene where the main character (whose name I have already forgotten) went back to his house to look for some stuff. The Autobots crept around outside avoiding the parents, while the parents crept around inside, while the girl, Mikela (hey look I remembered her name) crept around trying to avoid the parents. Guess what, the nerdy boy’s parents found the girl in his bedroom, happily laughed because there was a chance that he wouldn’t live at home until he was 40, and left them alone. Who did not see that punch line coming half an hour away??

Also, I would like to ask why technologically superior, evil robotic warriors would be so dumb as to attack the group of Autobots one at a time. That is a completely boneheaded strategy for seasoned veterans of a war. But I guess the writers had to figure out how to make an outnumbered group of good guys win without the Alamo. Speaking of which, why would you fight a war by taking the battle to a more populated place? Wouldn’t a smart move have been to move away from the city?

Ok, I should stop discussing my views of this film before it affects my rating of Transformers. I’m giving it three out of five stars because it is a reasonably entertaining movie for the generation that grew up with Transformers. Now, next up is G.I. Joe?