Friday, June 4, 2010

CrossTopix #12: Top 5 32/64 bit games, retirement in WWE, 2D Disney Animation, Hot Music

Hey everyone, welcome to an all-new CrossTopix. I hope you have been having a good week, I apologize for the long wait (work and other errands among me and the guest this week) but we hope this is well worth the wait. If you had a chance, STVO posted a new column “The Rage with Kage” which you can view by clicking here: Simply put, it’s a potpourri discussion of current things going on around Chicago, some video game/movie discussion, and the rip-offs that can be celebrity autographs (at least when they’re $50 or more!) As always, you can always follow CrossTopix on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace! I love to pass along interesting stories on the web there, let you know about the site’s next updates, and try to create interesting discussion (again, why did Sex and the City 2 cost $100 million to make in this economy?!?!)

Without further ado, this week’s guest….

David Jones: Welcome….me! David Earl Jones, known as that formerly domesticated and recently liberated Cheshire Pleasureman in the style of 3000! The un-nickname-able destroyer of Daves and granter of private auditions! The non-proofread scholar of the moment (if you’ve made it this far) that will remain unorganized and uncensored throughout. A long time dreamer and first time creamer on the smash internet sensation CrossTopix! So let’s get screamin!

…and with that…hit my music… be

…wow, what an introduction if I do say so myself. That’s pretty much what I’m about in a nutshell, qualified am I?


Ya sure are Davey. Without further ado, it's time to start the show and as always, lets break the ice with this week's Top 5.

1. Top 5 Video Games from the 32/64-bit Era (aka Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation 1, or Nintendo 64Titles.)

STVO: Wonderful era that established 3D gaming and many new properties that are utilized today. The list was difficult, but here’s my titles:
1.Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64): 2nd greatest Zelda game (SNES is the best) is one of my favorite and most memorable games ever played. Entertaining story, great action/fight sequences, and characters that are timeless. :D

Super Mario 64 (N64): This isn’t the first true or the best 3D action game, but just like Super Mario Bros. with 2D, we wouldn’t have many other games following if it didn’t set a bar. Mario runs, jumps, flies, punches, and rocks 360 degrees in giant worlds which most people wouldn’t imagine before 1996!

Resident Evil 2 (PS1/N64): 2nd best RE of the series (only to RE4.) The game has an incredible opening with a zombie apocalypse with Leon Kennedy running to the gun store desperate to blast away all the undead b**tards!

Final Fantasy 7 (PS1): I’m not a big FF fan and I may be a “poser” because of this entry, but Cloud Strife vs. Sephiroth is an amazing battle. While RPGs have always had epic stories, this title utilizes strong characters, blow your mind cinematics (watch that meteor destroy multiple planets!), and let’s not forget that incredible soundtrack!

NiGHTs (Sega Saturn): The Saturn may not have been as fun or recognized as N64/PS1, but I feel it deserves a nod and this is the game to do it with. Addictive linear flying title with interesting 2.5-D turns and twists, unique character designs, and catchy music. Yuji Naka of the Sonic games made this one possible.

Starfox 64, Blast Corps (N64), Metal Gear Solid (PS1), ShadowMan (N64), WWF No Mercy (N64), Mario Kart 64, Bust-A-Groove 2 (PS1), and PaRappa the Rapper (PS1).

David: Hands down my favorite system ever was the Nintendo 64. This is probably because that was the system out during the formulating years I truly blossomed as a disenfranchised, lazy, Taco Bell eating, “silly cigarette” smoking teenager. I also personally believe that the greatest jump in graphics and game play (most notably the first truly effective utilization of 3D mapping) occurred when this and the PS1 contemporized their predecessors. So by default my list is going to contain mostly 64 games with the notable exception of the list’s champion: one of the greatest stories and experiences on any form of media, which for me demolished any attempt at comparison with another video game. Also STVO, like minds with similar proclivities often find themselves drawn to unifying tastes…so with that said, our lists hardly contrast…

5. Golden Eye 007 (N64) – If you had friends or even if you more into “playing with yourself” it is hard to deny the ultimate awesomeness that was GoldenEye 007 (and Mario Kart 64, see below) on N64. The nervousness of creeping around in multiplayer just to find your buddy and explode, “Ah, I just shot you in your f***ing head!” were surely good times during the indulgent late 90’s. This game offered immense replay value whether in story mode or multiplayer which includes it in this list, not to mention the memories…everyone had a friend who would be that lil midge (midget isn’t kosher so I’ve created a PC alternative) Oddjob and slide around on his knees, making him a zainy & irritating 3 foot tall target. Kids enjoyed high kicks for suuuuure when this game came out.

4. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64) – Ok, so this game played pretty much like a Japanese Mario 64 except…it was ridiculous...completely. So rather than explain how you summoned a giant robot who was a super Hollywood movie star in his leisure time…I’ll just show you…

3. Mario Kart 64 (N64) – Everyone has played this game. It was, is, and forever will be loads of fun. What more can I say, it’s just FUN! I’d definitely say it is the most fun multiplayer on the system, yes even over GoldenEye. Wii’s Mario Kart is an excellently executed development in tribute of this which is in my opinion still the greatest Mario Kart. To quote Tim & Eric, “This is just the way I like it. Good enough for a poke right?”

2. Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time (N64) – November ‘98 this gem came out during the height of a personally delightful Sprite & Grenadine (or Shirley Temple) addiction. I remember it took me through Christmas break to beat this game and being legit bummed when it was over. This game wonderfully cultivated a development and attachment to the characters as you were kicking ass on that horse, shooting arrows on your way to that eventual (as stupidly easy) showdown with Gannondorf.

1. Final Fantasy VII (PS1) – I’d never played an RPG besides the honkin’ amazing Shining Force 1 & 2 for Sega Genesis. Those games were turn based map movement style Lord Of The Rings x100 type epicness. I’m gonna go out on a limb and state that the rest of the FF games are as colorful a terms as “stupid and not cool” because there’s never going to be a rational comparison to this game, most definitely so by other titles bearing the franchise’s name. So back in the day I went to buy GoldenEye… I picked up this as well because I had heard it was supposed to be a big deal.

Oh holy hell was this game an experience. Of all the aspects: gameplay, scoring, cut scenes (FMVs) that were far and above anything before, I’m going to speak briefly on the story... Pretty much it’s the most beautiful life lesson (through about 80-120 hours of video game play) on how humans are innately parasitic; destroying the planet through their advantages and simple existence but that hope and the determination of individuals will be the only weapon against ultimate destruction. Hopefully if you played it you got that out of it…. Anyways the story is rich, complex, and connecting… one of the best stories I’ve ever heard. Jenova. Sephiroth (which is an incredibly complex character rooted in the Kabala.), Reunion, Redemption, Meteor, Holy…. Hot damn it was great!

So many people love this game it created a 2 hour anime sequel, 7 spinoff games (directly related to this game), and an eventual PS3 or PS4 remake is heading our way.

2. Following Shawn Michaels’s loss to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26, Shawn Michaels vowed

that he is finally retiring from pro-wrestling after over 30 years of wrestling. Flash back to

Wrestlemania 24 where Shawn Michaels wrestled Ric Flair in his “retirement” match or even at TNA

Wrestling’s Bound for Glory 2009 PPV where AJ Styles retired “The Icon” Sting. In 2010, both Sting

and Flair have wrestled matches and are considered a big part of the TNA storyline. With all this

information stated, do you think that pro wrestlers should honor their words by saying they’re retiring

or do you think it’s fine because wrestling is considered a fake sport? Also, make a prediction of

when/if Shawn Michaels will return.

STVO: Yes wrestling is a fake sport and it’s silly to watch, but you know what? I don’t care; reality television is as fake as wrestling sometimes but people love it! Back on topic, Shawn Michaels was one of my favorites of all-time and in recent years, he still has put on some entertaining bouts despite being over the age of 40. With that said, it doesn’t matter what age these entertainers are, if they can still put on a great match, I don’t mind them sticking around.

Others like Ric Flair, who put on some crazy matches in the past, probably shouldn’t be in the ring. He had a nice ceremony of “farewell” and he could make a good manager or figurehead, but I wish someone at his age (over 60 years old) would stay out of the wrestling matches at this rate. Same with Hulk Hogan, he’s one of my childhood idols and his “serious” interviews always crack me up, but he has hip problems and other issues. To me it would be like seeing a former police officer that’s now 70-years old get in a wheel chair and add sirens to the back, it’s just wrong. Also, drop the whole “retirement” angle, far too many wrestlers have done it and returned (Mick Foley has done it several times.) Just say “I’m going to take some time off, not sure when I’ll be back” or “this wrestler is banned for x-amount of months.”

Finally, for a Shawn Michaels return, I’m going to predict if they don’t get Bill Goldberg for the WWE Hall of Fame, they’ll induct him as their main star in March of 2011. Now if he feels he needs some extra money and can’t get another line of work he likes, I’ll go ahead and predict SummerSlam 2011 as the latest he’ll return. If I’m being a jerk and he really is done, sorry for being rude, and thanks for the awesome times Shawn!

David: Ahhh wrastlin’! There’s something so funny about pro wrestling: I guess because it began as legitimate shoot grappling competitions in the late 1800’s and evolved into the WWE’s style of entertainment the public has felt betrayed enough constantly mock or label it as fake; seemingly never pausing to say, “Hey, that’s an athletic and insanely talented improv actor playing a character in a highly skilled and dangerous choreographed performance.” The only people affected by the “fake” label are the industry’s consummate largest audience; the children who watch it as entertainment…so hurry up and tell them about Santa Claus as well, you meanies! Unfortunately I believe the public acceptance of organized fighting like the UFC has at crippled any chance wrestling has at regaining the success it achieved in the 80’s & 90’s. BUT…..UFC is pretty damn hilarious & horribly entertaining!

Like many a wrestler’s I have retired… from watching wrestling. The only interest I have had in “sports entertainment” since 2002 was the return of Shawn Michaels from an alleged career ending injury. Hands down HBK Shawn Michaels is The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be in the wrestling world. Even so I only would occasionally check in over the past couple years and his recent retirement has found me closing a book as well. He came back better than he was, constantly refused Vince’s insistence and putting the title on him in service of pushing the younger guys, and put on some of the best matches ever, period. His farewell speech seemed legit and more sincere than any retirement I’ve ever heard of in wresting. Even with the stipulation at WrestleMania, I didn’t expect him to lose. I didn’t see the match but I honestly thought they were going to have him beat Taker and still go ahead with his retirement.

Anyways, pro wrestling is its own crazy little world, it’s all those guys know so I say let them go until they say their table is laid and it’s time to carve their meat. I’m sure most of them would prefer to go out in the ring ala Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. They live to entertain so I say put Flair in as many ladder matches as possible and bring HBK back for another 3 year run in about a year. He deserves it, the Hall (although I think next year is WCW themed), and another run if he wants it. It’d be nice to have a reason to check back in down the line for me as well.

Btw, I’m declaring you & I the first ever CrossTopix Tag Team Champions…until I swerve on you…joking or am I?

3. What is the best 2D animated Disney movie? Are there any stories Disney may not have covered

that you would like to see done in 2D or perhaps there are characters you would like to see make a

return such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or even Goofy?

STVO: My favorite Disney animated movie was Pinocchio. I grew up watching it as a kid and when I was younger, I wanted to try to be good like him. Also, in response to Nick Smith’s “Movies that Make Me Cry”, Pinocchio was one of them. The whole Pleasure Island part got me real upset where the kids went away from their parents because they thought fun and games were there but end up getting turned into donkeys and get sold away. When the kids cry about missing their parents and The Coachman ignores the kids. That still gets me depressed to this day… Anyway, the movie is beautifully fluid, a wonderful story, and looks better than many other productions to this day! Don’t think I don’t love other Disney movies, this one is just my personal

favorite, while I’m typing this I’m about to watch Lady and the Tramp.

A return of Mickey Mouse and friends, preferably in a 2D animated picture would be very appealing towards me. It would also be great to show children of this generation these characters in action and maybe with scenery more relevant to today’s world. They could also go a darker route and make the upcoming Wii game “Epic Mickey” into a movie. It’s good to see that Disney is looking into a couple of traditionally animated movies with them releasing “The Princess and the Frog” last year and I read something about another Winnie the Pooh movie coming in 2011. One classic novel I think could make into a fun animated movie would be “The Old Man and the Sea.” I could see them going a serious or humorous route with it, but I’d see it most likely.

David: You ask me this Disney question STVO? That’s why this CrossTopix had a special release date of June 3rd (STVO: Well actually, June 4th due to me having to go to work early and not getting out until later, whoops!) instead of the 2nd. This question had to sizzle…”let it sizzle” – Michael Jackson, who btw is returning to Disney World this month in the form of Captain Eo! I know kids may read your show but F*** YEAH on that business!

I’m thrilled that Disney has reopened its traditional animation studios and resumed what they do best…making entertaining, money making, bash your brains in with their perfectly sound tracked 2-D movies. They’re too hit/miss with Pixar but fortunately have been more hit recently. Relating to Nick Smith’s article “Movies That Make Me Cry”; Big Fish, The Monster Squad, and Dumbo are 3 qualifying answers for me. So Dumbo is definitely not my favorite 2-D Disney movie of all time. It was just too sad from the get go with his mom locked up and those hilarious & vulgarly stereotyped crows couldn’t even cheer me up by the end.

So favorite all time… hmm. Well I guess I’ll start by saying the “best” and “favorite” are two different worlds…the best would probably have to be The Lion King or Aladdin in terms of total package. Favorite, there’s so many….but ultimately The Sword in the Stone with those nut jobs Merlin, Archimedes, and Madame Mim has to be my favorite. It keeps entertained throughout with some of the most wacky and gibberish language songs in Disney’s history, “Higgitus Figgitus” anyone? Every time Merlin transmorphs Wart into a different animal = a different life lesson is learned, making it a morale and championship movie. This decision was closely tailed by Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Alice In Wonderland (forget the new one!), The Little Mermaid, and even The Emperor’s New Groove (which is highly underrated)!

I’d like to see them get their hands on Roald Dahl’s “George’s Marvelous Medicine”, really would've liked to see what they could've done with The BFG, or just spend their money on tomorrow’s dreamers and get some original works in development. I just returned from Disney World trip #11 and let me just “blanketedly” say, I still believe in their (corporate and emotional) magic.

4. What is hot in the current music scene?

STVO: In my head it’s always going to be the 1970s through 1990s, look down here and see what I mean…

Okay, lame joke aside, this is kind of revisiting a question presented in the CrossTopix pilot, but I don’t mind. Not a whole lot has changed for me; I’m still kind of out of the zone but am always up for recommendations. Some artists I do enjoy are Kevin Rudolph (I Made It is an entertaining song), Rihanna is decent (and hot), Katy Perry has some decent songs (and is hot too.) Next week’s guest (more info after the discussion) are great artists as well. I don’t mean to Peter out of this question, but I’ll just leave it at that and anyone reading who is in the current music scene, I would like for you to either e-mail me or post some artists/bands you currently like on the boards. Dave knows his music, I’ll read his as well so here we go:

David: Hot in music? So much right now! America is currently experiencing an electrifying of all subgenres but rather than speak on the regressed indie bands that attempt to provide credibility to their listeners or the repetitive and no longer relevant hip hop sounds that provide sought and unattained attention; I am going to talk about a hot little storm that is brewing over the Baltic Sea in Europe. As a self described and defined Celebrationist, I have found that the best music hits me in the face with constant handfuls of confetti….and the Baltic Sea is where the best electropop and dance music is happening.

Sweden offers up the heralded Juvelen, Robyn, The Sounds, BWO, and the insatiable Gunther creating the most insanely danceable and downright sexy grooves since the early 90’s house explosion.

Denmark (big rep for the homeland!) has Alphabeat updating 80’s and now more recently 90’s dance sensibilities into their own brand of “you’ll be cool if you listen to us”.

If you’ve rode the Maelstrom in Epcot you know “Nohrvay hast alvays looked to the sea” So I now look to Norway for the multi award winning duo known as Royksopp as the future of dance music. Annie is also a cute and fun and cute export from this fine peninsula.

The Netherlands also contribute Tiesto and Ferry Corsten as the top of the DJ/Trance world.

Most of the artists compete in the Eurovision song contest, which if you aren’t familiar…you’re far too Americanized with your tastes. But I’m not ragging on our own products….The Scissor Sisters are about to release an album that will hands down be the greatest record of the year…Count on it! Same thing with Neon Neon, they released a concept album about the life of John DeLorean (who was a beautiful human being) that is just simply “too touched for rubs”.

Music reflects the listener…and it really is a good time to be looking for upbeat, meaningful, and euphoric music! All the above can be found on YouTube….I highly recommend checking them out…right after commenting on this CrossTopix!

David: That’s it from me! Thanks a bunch to STVO and the CrossTopix Crew, I look forward to defending out Tag Team Championship and hopefully I’m back in a stronger capacity. As far as self promotion…a couple friends are starting a punk/dance hybrid that we’re calling Crystal Children…because we love them and they should be cherished. So hopefully I’ll be back to share the results of that and discuss future TOPIX in a CROSS fashion! Until then…. Lay your table before you carve your meat! (Patrick Wolf paraphrase)

STVO: In the words of Jim Ross, “BAH GAWD KING!!!! TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONS!!!!” I will cherish this title and defend it! I’m coming for you Cena!!!

Anyway, that’s it for this week, special thanks to an enthusiastic and energetic guest Dave! I encourage you once again to visit Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace for your CrossTopix updates and other interesting tidbits around the web. As always, I’m all-ears for suggestions on how to make CrossTopix an even better site so please leave some comments on here or e-mail me at!

Next week we have two great treats: first one is CrossTopix #13 (a lucky number!) featuring Nik Rubicz, guitarist for (the band that) NEVERWHAS who will be discussing music, South Park, and downloadable video games. The second treat will be that I am going to conduct an interview with Nik and the rest of the band! They’re great performers, be sure to give them a look!

Have a great weekend everyone!

BTW All-Gamers Week (CrossTopix E3 Discussion/Coverage) June 13-June 19!

UFC Image Courtesy of: Mozey.Wordpress.Com

Epic Mickey Art by:

1 comment:

  1. In terms of tops in the trance world Tiesto doesn't really even come close. He may have a massive following but the music he produces these days is far from good. His latest offering "Kaleidoscope"(2009) was a huge let down.

    Some of the other larger names like Above & Beyond(UK), Ferry Corsten(as you mentioned) and Armin Van Buuren(NL) have over thrown him as king. All of them have recent solid offerings and amazing work that Tiesto isn't even remotely close to touching in recent years.

    A couple of other names that have been consistently putting out quality material in the trance world are Nitrous Oxide (Poland), Daniel Kandi (Denmark), Alex M.O.R.P.H.(Germany), Kyau and Albert (Germany), Super8 & Tab (Finland) and Tritonal (USA)