Arj and Poopy

The Shamoozal is a site dedicated to delivering the nerdiest attractions on the ‘net. However, our main focus is on the shorts we produce in Flash. We’re deffinately not the only ones out there doing their thing in animation, and I’d like to take a few moments to point out another site featuring some very nice stuff.

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“Arj and Poopy” follows the dialy exploits of a guy and his cat…almost sounds like Grey and Jacquo, but hey, they say there’s no such thing as an original story. A third character, “Bouncy the Dog”, has been added to the cast and he’s a hoot. There’s a few episodes up at arjandpoopy.com for your perusal. Some of the earlier ones are a bit too tweeny for my taste. I find excessive tweening gives animation a soft, mushy feel. It doesn’t allow the animation to sit in the frame and robs it of weight.

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However, the newest short,”Congo Windfall“, pushes the envelope with more key-framed animation lending it some much needed tooth to the animation. The narrative starts off a bit slow, but picks up when a “music video” of Bouncy doing his thing kicks in. Its got some really nice timing and alot of expressive drawings. The voice acting is very low key, but fits the slacker attitude of Arj. Poopy is silent, but emotes very well through pushed expressions and alot of takes. And of course, Bouncy lives up to his name with an extreamely well done rap routine. I won’t say any more to ruin it, just go watch it. Its a deffinate must watch. Enjoy!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Snaggle Tooth

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day from everyone at The Shamoozal. Above is the official mascot, and I use that term in all seriousness, of the holiday here at the Shamooz. Take her in for all her beauty, and bask in the glory of her stunning snaggle tooth. Happy VD for everyone.

Nerds in Love: What nerdy activities do you share?

valentine nerds

It’s Valentine’s Day, the biggest pile of shit holiday ever conceived by a greeting card company. Still, one can’t help but think of their ‘significant other’ on a day like this. I’m pretty lucky to have a wife that not only tolerates most of my habits, but also partakes in them with me. The first fight my wife and I ever had was over a game of Mario Kart 64, we had a whole racket going on to scam Tom Nook out of Bells and we were introduced at our wedding reception to the X-Files theme music.

So if you’re currently spoken for, what kind of geeky activities bring you both to mutual nerdgasm? Give us some feedback…

Capsule Toys from Japan

Remember when you used to go to the grocery store with your parents, and after checkout you would beg them to let you buy a little toy from those 25 cent machines? Yeah, those capsule machines were really cool when you didn’t know any better. However, once you hit a certain age, you realized that the toy inside sucked. It sucked big time.

When I went to Japan a few weeks ago, I discovered that feeling as a kid all over again. Capsule toys are huge in Japan, and some of those capsule toys are really cool. There are literally thousands of different machines to choose from, so the chances are you’ll find a machine you like and pump a couple hundred yen into one.

Honestly, before I went to Japan, I think I finally managed to squash my need for wanting toys. I had told myself that they are a waste of money, and that I simply don’t have the room for them anymore. The truth is, they are a waste of money and garbage, but when garbage is as cool as this stuff, it’s hard to resist.

In Japan, capsule toys can range in quality and price. The machine range is usually between 100 – 300 yen per toy. The 100 yen machines will net you something smaller, while the 400 yen machines spit out miniature action figures that actually require some assembly.

Capsule Toys

A tiny Tom Nook for 100 Yen, and Noriko from the anime Gunbuster for 400 Yen


These machines are littered everywhere throughout Tokyo, almost as many capsule machines as there are vending machines. Certain areas, like Akihabara and Ueno, have a ridiculously huge amount of these machines. Some stores even devote full sections to the machines, offering up all sorts of licesned character goodies.

It’s easy to become highly addicted to collecting these little figures. Heck, even Ryo “Do you know where sailors normally hang out?” Hazuki ends up buying a bazillion of them on his quest to find out who killed his father. My wife and I ended up leaving Japan with more then we probably should have, but at least they are priced decent.

DVD Releases for February 13th

Its time for another edition of Tuesday DVD Releases. Lets cut all the jibber jabber and get right down to the nitty gritty. Below I have listed the cover art for some of the major releases coming out today. See for yourself….

The DepartedMarie Antoinette
The QuietSchool For ScoundrelsZoom: Academy for Superheroes

Additional releases are Infamous which is the same movie as Capote with different actors, Half Nelson which I hear includes a stellar performance by Ryan Gosling, Man About Town with Ben Affleck and Rebbeca Romijn-NoMoreStamos/Katsopolis, a couple documentaries like The U.S. vs. John Lennon about the Beatle and his involvement in politics and F**K about the naughty word we all love to use. Some seasons coming out are Golden Girls Season 7, Picket Fences Season 1, and All in the Family Season 6. And a show I just started getting into, Reno 911: Reno’s Most Wanted. A nice bulk of media to satisfy the masses this week.

If I had to choose one movie to buy it would, without a doubt, be The Departed. Its one of Martin Scorsese’s finest films in years and has a all star cast of great performances. It may have been my favorite movie of 2006 but I can never decide on stuff like that. Marie Antoinette looked like horse crap, I have no further comment on that movie. I don’t know enough about the Quiet to comment on but I heard it has some sexy action with Kim Bauer herself, Elisha Cuthbert. I saw School For Scoundrels and it was pretty funny. Billy Bob and Napoleon worked well together. And Zoom… Tim Allen… Superheroes… Enough said (which means it had to be AWESOME).

And thats it. Party On.

Kid Icarus

Kid Icarus TitleI told myself that I wouldn’t write about video games on here for the next few days, but then Nintendo decided to release Kid Icarus on the Virtual Console, and I feel compelled to write about it.

Kid Icarus, is without a doubt, one of my all time favorite video games. I have already played the game to death on the NES, and it’s one of the few I still pop into the machine from time to time. Even though I already know the game inside and out, it doesn’t make me any less excited about it’s new re-release on Nintendo’s retro service. Needless to say, this is going to be one of the few games I already own that I’m buying again.

For those who don’t know, Kid Icarus is unlike many games you have played before. Yeah, it’s a 2D platformer, and yeah, you shoot stuff with arrows, but there is much more to it than that. First off, the overall design of the game is genius. The whole point of the game is to go from hell, to the heavens. The first “world” has you, as Pit, trying to escape from the depths of hell. In true Greek mythology fashion, hell is under the earth, so you spend the first few stages literally climbing out of it. Once you worm your way out of there, you travel the earth for a bit, and eventually climb your way up into the clouds. For an old NES game, it’s really awesome to see the care and thought that went into the layout of the entire quest.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is also the first game I can think of that requires some stealth on your part, even before Metal Gear. See, there is this awesome Grim Reaper litered throughout the game. He slowly walks back and forth “looking” for Pit. Your best bet would be to leave him alone and sneak past him when he has his back turned. If you’re snagged, he flips out and calls his little cronies to come and attack. Being caught is probably one of my most memorable video game moments (as you can see, I used the caught situation as the graphic for 8-Bit Music Trivia on the podcast). It’s hilarious to watch and hear the Grim Reaper running around, and the music that plays is awesome.

The game also has a “secret” experience system in play. Every time you kill a monster or collect something you get points for it. At the end of each stage, it tallies up the amount of points you earned. What you may not realize is that you slowly gain more abilities over time. Pit will get more health, and the ability to shoot arrows further and faster. Basically, killing as many monsters as possible has its rewards.

I could go on and on about Kid Icarus, but I don’t want to ruin anymore surprises for new comers. This is a really great game that I feel has aged incredibly well, and hopefully this new release will help propel Kid Icarus from cult favorite to all time classic.

A worthy download, get it ASAP.

Naruto “Hurricane Chronicles” begin Thursday (in Japan)

If I could be accused of being a fanboy about any one thing, it would probably be Naruto. Long have I waited with my fellow Narutards for the fillers to end, and by god… end they finally shall. For those of you that bravely labored through the last hundred episodes of fillers, my hat is off to you. I, on the other hand, skipped them and read the real story in the manga instead. But even though the events are nothing new to me, I still wait with bated breath to see them unfold in full living color.

So, if you’re a fan, head over to Dattebayo Thursday night and join in on the torrent fun. Throw those guys a donation too because they do great work and all they get are angry 12 year olds spamming their IRC channel about why the episode wasn’t up 3 minutes ago.

If you’re not a fan, sorry, you just wasted a few minutes reading this shit. If you want to be a fan, but you’re afraid your friends will laugh at you (Naruto is like banging a fat chick in that respect) head over to Naruto Manga Returns for an extensive archive of the manga, it’s a quicker read than you might think (and PM me if you think sakura is teh cute, lol j/k ^_^).

Believe it!

Sony owes me $3,600.00

Anyone who got March’s issue of EGM probably read their article, “BattleStation!”. To put it mildly, this article incensed me. It outlines the troubled launch of the PS3 and interviews Sony’s CEO, Jack Tretton. Mr. Tretton’s response to the very first question posed to him by EGM clearly underlines Sony’s arrogance. When asked where the negativity surrounding the PS3’s launch came from, Tretton replies. “The problem we have…its society in general.”

What??1?

You mean to tell me that the reason the PS3 had a rocky launch isn’t because of its exorbitantly high price tag, or the feeling that the PS3 is a Trojan horse for Blu-Ray, or that there really isn’t any seriously compelling software titles to warrent an immediate purchase is because there’s something wrong with me?

Sony has clearly lost its mind. They have lost touch with what their consumers want, and just how much one is willing to pay for what in reality is expendable. For example, if the whole video game industry magically dissappeared tomorrow, we would all be fine and we’d spend our money elsewhere. This is not that far fetched…the early 80’s saw the bust of the video game industry until the NES brought it back around again.

The argument is that you’re getting more than just a next-gen gaming machine. You’re getting a powerful media center complete with a Blu-Ray player and a rich online experience. While its undoubtedly more robust than Nintendo’s paltry online capabilites, the PS3’s online arm is no where near as far reaching as the Xbox 360’s. Tretton himself even admits that nearly 62 percent of televisions sold this past year were not hi-def in the article. This was the reason given as to why there are no component cables packaged into the system. It also goes to show that a vast majority of consumers don’t even have the capabilty to see all those amazing polys being pushed around. Additionally, the public at large doesn’t even know the difference between a standard DVD and an HD-DVD let alone what the competing format that the PS3 supports is.

When told that 50 percent (a conservative estimate) of the people camping out to score a new system were Ebay blood-suckers, Tretton clearly feigns ignornace with the simple response of “really?” Then, he goes on to say that anyone who managed to get a system and indeed re-sell it on Ebay at a profit is no reason for him to say the launch was a failure. From a purely buiseness stand point, they acheived their objective which was to sell their initial supply of product. However, they were not selling it to their intended target audience. They were selling it to a load of get-rich-quick-schemers who were then in turn left out in the cold when a majority of the systems didn’t sell on Ebay neither. However, to be fair I’m willing to bet that if those lines weren’t filled with Ebayers, people who legitimately wanted the system would have filled the ranks.

Last but not least (for this post anyway), Tretton dares anyone who finds a system in-stock at a store that he will give them 1,200.00 dollars. The article plays fair and mentions that this interview was conducted in mid-January…which at my count was only 2-3 weeks ago. The GameStop (yuk) down the street from where I work had them in stock at Christmas time. But Tretton didn’t make his promise as of then, so I’ll let that one slide. However, just yesterday I was in my local Best Buy and there was three (3) PS3s 60GB models just sitting there. I stared at them for a minute with a strange nagging in my head. And now I know why.

Jack Tretton, you owe me 3,600 dollars.