Patchwork Heroes is worth a look

Despite the fact I’ve been good and have held off on buying a full price game since Mario Galaxy 2, I’ve somehow gotten myself buried in a bunch of games over the last few weeks. I’m at various points in several different titles, like Final Fantasy XIII, Shadow Complex, and Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker (I’d include Gears of War on the list, but I’m officially done with that game and series for like, ever).

So with all these high profile games waiting to be played, I find it odd that Patchwork Heroes for PSP, which I downloaded simply because it was on sale a week ago, is the one that managed to grab my attention the most. I’m not sure if it’s the combination of it being the perfect pick up and play game, or because it’s all I have time for between feeding and cleaning up new born babies (I’m almost frightened of trying to get into FF13), but it ended up being the one I’ve spent the most time with.

I’m not sure exactly how to peg Patchwork. The only game I can think of that comes close to playing similar to it is Taito’s classic Qix. If you haven’t played Qix, the object of the game is to fence off the playing field from the “invader” or whatever the heck it is. Eventually when you claim most of the play field, you win. Patchwork is similar in that the object is to claim the playing field, but in this case you’re sawing it off. While you’re not trying to trap an invader as in Qix, you’re still whittling down the playfield. So in it’s most basic form, the game is like a new age Qix, but that would be selling the game short.

Patchwork has plenty of new and unique ideas that allow it become it’s own beast. Obviously since the rules from Qix have been inverted it leaves the player with dozens of more options of how to go about things. What starts out as a simple concept of literally sawing ships in half, slowly turns into a thinking mans game as the ships themselves become large interlocked labyrinths while game introduces new enemies, and ideas during the course of 30 stages. Some of the later stages can get frustrating as the it requires the player to have completely mastered their Mojo meter, a power meter that fills up through either pick ups or destroyed enemies, that is required to cut through metal surfaces. There are plenty of deaths during the second half of the game, but figuring out the most direct route of cutting away massive areas of the ship is really fulfilling.

My only real complaint with the game is that towards the end the ships get so huge that I feel it’s a requirement to zoom out of the action to see everything. While you can zoom out of the action, it requires the player to hold down the L button in order to stay like that. Thanks to the placement of the PSP buttons, it became uncomfortable very quickly. Aside from that, the game is addicting right out of the gate, and the ever changing landscapes of the ships, different mission objects, plenty of things to collect, and optional challenge mode stages make for a complete package and a really well designed game. The fun art aesthetic doesn’t hurt the experience either. With all these features it seems like the game was originally intended for a UMD release, but who knows if that’s true, now I’m just talking out of my ass.

If you get a chance, at least check out the demo.

DVD and Blu-Ray Releases for August 17th

Last SongFurry

The Last Song – a rebellious young girl (Miley Cyrus) is sent to spend the summer with her estranged father (Greg Kinnear) who left the family in the past. While there she meets a young man (Liam Hemsworth) and falls in love but also has to deal with the father she never had. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook).

Furry Vengeance – Brendan Fraser plays a real estate developer who is looking to level a huge forest to make room for tons of new homes. He doesn’t expect the wildlife creatures in that very forest to fight back and stop him by any means possible.

Also on DVD and Blu-Ray: The Red Riding Trilogy, Black Orpheus, The City of Your Final Destination, The Good The Bad The Weird, Dead Man Running, Cemetery Junction, Skelling: The Owl Man and Dexter Season 4.
On DVD Only: L’enfance Nue, Friday Night Lights Season 4, One Tree Hill Season 7, Ugly Betty Season 4, Cougar Town Season 1, The Assassin Next Door, Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 Part 1, Big Money Rustlas, Keeping Up With the Kardashians Season 3, Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends Season 4 and Temple Grandin.
On Blu-Ray Only: DOA: Dead or Alive.

Theater Releases for August 13th

Scott Pilgrim

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a musician who falls for the new girl in town, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but soon after they start seeing each other he finds out he must defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Also starring Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman, Anna Kendrick and others. Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz).

Expendables

The Expendables – Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) leads a team of mercenaries on a mission to South America where they must overthrow a ruthless dictator. Also starring Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, and more. Written and Directed by Stallone himself.

EatPrayLove

Eat Pray Love – Julia Roberts plays a happily married woman who is trying to get pregnant. All of a sudden she realizes her life needs to go in a different direction which causes a messy divorce and plans to go on a round-the-world journey. Also starring Javier Bardem and Viola Davis.

In limited release is the Australian film Animal Kingdom about a young kid who is sent to live with his criminal relatives. Also Tales From Earthsea, an animated film about a young boy who learns he is to become a great sorcerer.

DVD and Blu-Ray Releases for August 10th

Date NightDeath Funeral

Date Night – Steve Carell and Tiny Fey play a bored married couple who decide to be spontaneous and pretend to be another couple who didn’t show up at a swanky restaurant. But they find out the couple they are pretending to be are caught up in some serious business with dangerous people. So now they are on the run while trying to clear their name. Directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum).

Death at a Funeral – Chris Rock plays a man who is attending his father’s funeral. This reunites him with family members he hasn’t seen in a while (Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Danny Glover, and others). Dark secrets are revealed and blackmail plots all while he tries making the funeral as painless as possible. Remake of the 2007 British film of the same name.

Also on DVD and Blu-Ray: The Joneses, Triage, Crumb, La Mission, Helen and Multiple Sarcasms.
On DVD Only: Louie Bluie, Max Headroom entire series, Numbers Season 6 & entire series, Trauma Season 1, Adam-12 Season 5, Killer Weekend, Letters to God, Minder Season 3, Penguins of Madagascar: Happy Julien Day and UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans.
On Blu-Ray Only: Vacation, European Vacation, In the Shadow of the Moon, What’s Up Doc, An Empress & the Warriors, Forces of Nature and The Killing Room.

Busy times are busy!

I haven’t had a chance to update the site in over a week because the wife and I had our twins last Thursday. Needless to say, I’ve been super busy and whenever I had some down time I spent it relaxing or sleeping. Anyway, things are still a little crazy, but I haven’t forgotten about the site.

We haven’t had a new episode of Shamoozal Radio since June, and we were close to putting together a rather impromptu podcast last Saturday, but with all the baby stuff happening only two days before that we had to cancel it. I really do want to get a podcast up though, I almost thought about just doing one myself with some updates but I figured this blog post would be enough. I can’t tell you exactly when we’ll do another SRP, but we’ll get one to you sooner than later (or so I hope).

Then there is ROM. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the time to put together the compilation episode by the end of the month. My plan here is to string together the first four ROM shorts and spread it around to more sites other than just hosting it on YouTube. For me it’s sort of a “moment of truth” type thing. I’m very curious to see how people outside of GoNintendo and Shamoozal react to these shorts, and at the same time I wonder if bundling them together will hurt them or help them in the long run. I’m hoping my Mr. Show inspired idea to blend the shorts together pays off. I made some boards the other day to plan out how I’m going to bridge them together, and I’m hoping it works out well. I did think about putting Pizza Links up on Newgrounds, but ultimately decided to wait for the compilation.

Speaking of which, Pizza Links has gone on to become the most popular ROM video yet. On YouTube, it’s our second most watched video behind How to Hook Up the NES. Though that isn’t saying a heck of a lot as Pizza Links only has 5,000 views compared to NES’s 87K. But I’m looking at our trends and each month I’m seeing a steady increase in viewers across the board with our videos, so things are looking up. It’s a different beast to tackle when trying to build awareness outside of the normal sites I frequent like Newgrounds.

If all goes well, the compilation will be ready in a few weeks. Frank plans on doing his own ROM episode which I’m hoping will be ready for September. During that time, I really want to get the Frankensteiner project off the ground. While this idea was created with the idea of making a new series out of it, I’m going to let the audience decide if it should just be a one off or something we continue to develop. I’m pretty excited about it and really look forward to working on it soon.

So there you have it, just a quick update on things. Thanks for reading!

Theater Releases for August 6th

Other Guys

The Other Guys – Detectives Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) might not be New York City’s finest, but when they discover a path that leads directly to one the city’s biggest criminals, they seize the opportunity to become supercops. Directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers).

Step Up

Step Up 3D – the kids from the Maryland School of the Arts head to Paris for an international dance competition, but when Moose (Adam Sevani) misses the flight home, he is inducted into the city’s underground dance scene, which is about to have its own contest. Brought to you in 3D!!!!

Twelve

Twelve – In New York City’s Upper East Side, the life of a young drug dealer (Chace Crawford) begins to fall apart after his cousin is murdered and his best friend arrested for the crime. Directed by Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, Phone Booth). Also starring Emma Roberts and 50 Cent.

In limited release is Middle Men about the creators of Internet porn starring Luke Wilson and Giovanni Ribisi. Also Flipped from Rob Reiner about a romance between an 8th grader and the girl he has liked throughout his entire life. And The Disappearance of Alice Creed starring Gemma Arterton as a woman who gets kidnapped and has to outwit her captives and get free. Finally The Oxford Murders about a professor, John Hurt, and grad student, Elijah Wood, trying to stop a series of murders.

DVD and Blu-Ray Releases for August 3rd

Kick AssWimpy Kid

Kick-Ass – a teenage comic book fanboy (Aaron Johnson) decides that even though he has no superpowers, he wants to reinvent himself as a superhero. He finds out he might have underestimated what it takes to fight crime when he’s almost killed by drug dealers. He’s saved by real deal superheroes (Nicolas Cage & Chloe Moretz) who are looking to take down a drug lord (Mark Strong).

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Zachary Gordon plays a nerdy middle school student who is having a rough time surviving days at his school. He decides to plot his survival ideas in the journal his mother forces him to write in. Based on a best selling series of kids’ books by Jeff Kinney.

Also on DVD and Blu-Ray: After.Life, The Ghost Writer, A Prophet, James & The Giant Peach SE, Elvis 75th Anniversary Collection and Heroes Season 4.
On DVD Only: Eclipse Series 23, Mercy Season 1, Hawaii Five-O complete series, The Real Ghostbusters Volume 3 and SNL: The Best of Will Ferrell Volume 3.
On Blu-Ray Only: Road to Perdition, Escape from New York, The Breakfast Club, Blood Simple, Piranha, Bull Durham, Charlie’s Angels and Kalifornia.

Theater Releases for July 30th

Schmucks

Dinner For Schmucks – Paul Rudd plays a guy trying to get a big promotion. His boss tells him he must find a random idiot to bring to dinner, and if he finds the biggest idiot then the promotion is his. He runs into Steve Carell who plays an IRS agent who collects dead mice to dress up in famous scenarios. But he may feel bad embarrassing such a nice guy. Directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers trilogy).

Cloud

Charlie St. Cloud – After his younger brother passes away, Charlie (Zac Efron) finds a way to deal with his grief by working as a caretaker at the cemetery where his brother is buried. He starts seeing visions of his dead brother and having conversations with him. But when a love interest comes into his life, he must find a way to let go.

Cats Dogs

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – the battle between canines and felines is put on hold so they can join forces in order to stop a rogue cat with her own sinister plan on taking over the world. Sequel to the 2001 flick. Voices by Bette Midler, James Marsden, Nick Nolte, and more.

In limited release is Get Low starring Robert Duvall as a hermit who throws himself a funeral party while he’s still alive. Also The Extra Man starring Kevin Kline as a male escort for wealthy widows.