Saturday, August 30, 2008

The "Birdo" issue

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has wondered... what the F**k is Birdo, at some stage...

Is it a he, is it a she????? Is it some sort of tranvestite Yoshi?
I remember at one stage, in early Mario games Birdo was referred to as a he, then in later games became a she... It seems that this gender issue has been examined in the bizarre new game by Nintendo, "Captain Rainbow", which looks a bit like a pychodelic Animal Crossing...
For an idea of what Captain Rainbow is like - why not have a look at the official website: Captain Rainbow
Anyway, the latest article in Wired, addressed this best:
"Captain Rainbow keeps getting weirder and weirder.

As you might recall from the instruction manual of Super Mario Bros. 2, the mini-boss character Birdo is, in certain versions of the Marioverse, a transvestite: He's a pink boy dinosaur who wears a pretty ribbon because he thinks he's a girl, and spits eggs from his mouth because....


He doesn't have a vagina?

Where does he get the eggs? This is all kind of sounding very Buffalo Bill, the more I think about it. Birdo has been celebrated by transsexuals, including game designer Jennifer Reitz.

At any rate, one of two things has happened since the 1988 release of Mario 2. Either Nintendo retconned Birdo's gender crisis out of existence by turning him into a her, or, if you're following Reitz's interpretation, Birdo had a sex change operation. Either way, Birdo's referred to as a "her" in modern games like Mario Tennis.

Oh, but not anymore. Not in Captain Rainbow.

Shortly after the prologue of Nintendo's latest Japanese Wii game, one of the first characters that you, as a superhero stranded on a mysterious island filled with past-their-prime Nintendo misfit characters, have to help is Birdo, who's been jailed.

Birdo is seen by the island's robot police officer as he/she comes out of a public toilet. (The line he delivers as he comes out: "Wow, that was huge. That was like giving birth.")

The officer throws him in jail for using the ladies' room when he's clearly a man. Birdo asks you to go to his/her house and find "evidence that I'm a woman." So you do. This is how it happens. As you walk into Birdo's bedroom, you hear ... a buzzing. The pillow on her bed is vibrating and buzzing. You walk up to it, and Captain Rainbow looks under the pillow to find ... an item that's censored out on the screen. It's covered up with a question mark. "Proof that the owner is a woman," it says, leaving it at that.

So you bring what is in all likelihood Birdo's vibrator back to the police robot, who accepts it, whatever it may be, as prima facie evidence that Birdo is a chick.

Yeah, I have absolutely no idea how this would fly outside Japan, either."
And just to freak you out some more.... Some Birdo cosplay...

Is that a chick, or a guy? I really do not want to know... (shivers)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Connor

One final post for today -really.

Anway, just wanted to mention that I've recently watched Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and was surprised at ho much I enjoyed it (didn't hold too high hopes previously).

It took a few episodes to find it's feet and it is clearly not operating at the same budget as the films, but all the same, very enjoyable.

I look forward to the second season, seeing as how the first was cut short by the writers strike.

Ratings explained

I thought I’d also take a moment to reiterate my ratings for films… i.e. what the 0-10 ratings actually mean to me:

10 – Never to be awarded – a perfect film.
9 – A truly outstanding film, amongst the best I’ve seen.
8 – An excellent film, wholeheartedly recommended.
7 – A good film, entertaining.
6 – Merely above average.
5 – Decidable average.
4 – A below average film.
3 – A poor film.
2 – A truly terrible film.
1 – Reserved for those films which I have been forced to stop watching, for fear of my last remaining brain cells dying (Scary Movie and The Black Dahlia being prime examples).
0 – Not a film, but an exercise in agony (Baise-Moi)

As I generally enjoy films, most tend to fall within the 5-8 range (with .5 increments).

There… Just wanted to get that out of my system.

30 Days of Night & Warhawk Trophies

Film Watched:
30 Days of Night

Tries hard, but fails on many, many levels. Try harder.


I have been replaying Warhawk over the last few days to try to obtain a few of the trophies introduced into the game, and boy are they hard and obscure! I've actually surprised myself by the number that I've managed to get, but even still I think I only stand at around 8%.

I spoke to someone on a forum the other day who said that he has played the game now for close to 200 hours (yes - 200!) and even then thinks he'd some distance from meeting all the requirements to get 100%! (200 hours!!!!!!!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Final Fantasy XIII - looks wow!

I stumbled across these the screenshots the other day from Final Fantasy XIII.

These shots are not from FMV sequences, but are in game (although presumeable during conversations / cut scenes). But Wow...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hellboy 2 and Uncharted

Films watched:
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Enjoyable sequel, but didn't meet my expectations. Original is better.

7 /10

I've also officially given up on Uncharted. I have managed to get 1/3rd of the way through the game on Crushing difficulty level, but cannot get any further. It's just too damn hard and has gone from being challenging, but still enjoyable, to just damn frustrating... As such, I give up, which is a shame as I had my heart set on that lovely platinum trophy :(

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Death Proof

Film watched:
Death Proof

A bit talky, but surprisingly good. Better than expected.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Sark trip

Just a quick post really.

I had the day off yesterday and decided to take Elliot on a day trip to Sark. At first the weather looked a tad dodgey, but it turned out to be a lovely day and we both had a really nice time.

Whilst in Sark we hired a bike with a tag along, so that I could ride about and Elliot could ride behind me. At first Elliot was a little uncertain about the whole thing, but warmed to it a bit more by the end of the day. All good exercise for me (Elliot didn't do much pedaling), and frankly a lovely way to get around Sark.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Films, Batman 3, Uncharted and Fahrenheit

Films watched:
The Wicker Man

Dated and frankly a little dumb. Not a classic.


Die Hard 4.0

Better than expected, instantly forgettable, but not bad.


Whilst scanning internet sites the other day, I stumbled up following poster:

It does include a slight spoiler (but not a big spoiler), so if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight yet and don’t want to look, don’t look. Anyway, I thought that it was fantastic. Obviously it’s a fake, fan poster for Batman 3, as no firm plans are yet in place for the next firm, but even so, it’s a very professional and well put together fake.

A lot of people have been gunning for the Riddler for the next film and I’ve always been a bit against this, as I’m not a big Riddler fan (I’d like to see Talia al Ghul in the next one), but maybe, just maybe the Riddler would make a good baddie after all.

I’m currently replaying through Uncharted on the PS3 on a harder difficulty level. This was initially just to get some additional trophies (I know – a little sad, but strangely addictive), but in doing so I have been reminded how fantastic the game. It really is one of the very best on the PS3, with fantastic dialogue, a great story, soundtrack and also a thrill to play. I hope there is news of a sequel soon.

Talking of great story lead games, I also picked up Fahrenheit on the cheap a few weeks back for the PS2 and have been very pleasantly surprised by this. The graphics for a PS2 game really are pretty impressive. I do wonder, however, how this managed to get away with a 15 certificate, what with the level of violence and also full frontal nudity (you can tell it’s a French game). Anyway, all good fun.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Playboy talk sense

I have just been reading an article on the Playboy site (not frequented often by me - honest) which give a (rather late) rundown of E3.

I was surprised however, at how well written this article was, considering the normal content of the site, which, lets be honest, is better known for its photos than its writing...

Anyway, I thought I'd post a link here...

Playboy's E3 rundown

Friday, August 08, 2008

London films

Well, I’m back from yearly London cinema trip, and as such, I thought I’d give a run down (i.e. mini reviews) of the films that I watched whilst I was away…

Films watched:
X-Files: I Want to Believe

Like a boring TV episode of X-Files multiplied by 100.


The Incredible Hulk

A vast improvement on “Hulk”. Incredible – No, Good – Yes.



Silly adolescent wish fulfilment actioner. Fun, but slightly insulting.


The Dark Knight

Excellent sequel, and possibly the best superhero movie to date.


For the Dark Knight, I’d also like to add that I managed to catch it twice whilst I was away, once at the IMAX. I’d also quite happily go and see it a third time, the only thing that’s stopping me from doing that is the knowledge that I’d have to sit down and watch it in the crap excuse for a cinema that we have here. Anyway, watching it at the IMAX has convinced me that I MUST go over to London again to catch Watchmen when it is released on the IMAX… It really is a stunning cinema experience (more so that specific scenes of The Dark Knight was filmed in IMAX format).

I have also watched the following yesterday:


Inferior sequel. Flash, but largely nonsensical and boring.