A Founder’s Review with D.J. Lewis: 30 Years of Mortal Kombat!

There’s something so nostalgic about being a 90’s kid; you remember what the internet looked like before social media, Blockbuster was the original Netflix, Nintendo and SEGA were trying to out-due each other during the console wars, and 90’s fighting games were all the rage! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t remember asking my mom to drop me and my friends off at the arcade, to play all the arcade fighters that came out during this decade. Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom, you name it! Back then I wasn’t just about Nintendo and Super Mario Bros. during my childhood, I liked fighting games too. It really wasn’t until about 1998 that I found myself playing a fighting game that…seemed to hit different. It felt like a fighting game from another world; no, another realm. What my 9-year-old mind didn’t realize at the time I was playing it, was the fact that I had found a game that was going to have one of the most iconic lines in its 30 year history…

“GET OVER HERE!!”

MORTAL KOMBAT!!! (Turns 30)

Mortal Kombat is like that edgy 90’s high school kid that you didn’t wanna mess with; and that goth and emo girls were lovestruck over. It is one of the first games that I would find myself playing more of later down the road, and also watching “fatality reels” of on Youtube. The ‘tweens’ of my generation couldn’t get enough of this game (many of which still play it to this very day); not because of the fighting, but because of the FatalitiesWhen you’re a teenager in the 90’s who got bullied a lot, this is where you’d take out your frustration – and set Johnny Cage on fire as Scorpion (pretending it was you who set his/her bully on fire as the hellspawn ninja).

If you haven’t noticed by now this franchise is widely known to be the most violent and gory when it comes to finishing moves. Back in the 90’s you’d have this ‘Konami Code’ sequence of buttons and directions of where you have to tap on your controller, and because there was no cheat code you could use (not even in the game manual), you’d have to know what you’re doing by memory – and remember how to do it during your next fight. To this very day its hard to believe that this game only had four people working on it, and in 30 years its still delivering banger, after banger, after banger, after banger, AFTER BANGER!

I watch WWE from time to time…

After the success of the first game, Mortal Kombat went on to become more than just a bloody fighter; it became a worldwide phenomenon. It got so big that Hollywood wanted to make a live-action adaptation of it; while it may seem cheesy and ‘mid’ by today’s standards (and Gen Z’ers), at the time when the movie came out in 1995, it was the coolest thing I ever saw! (Although I didn’t get the chance to watch it until my 9th birthday.) The gameplay and the fatalities weren’t the only reason Mortal Kombat was so cool, during the time it came out; it was criticized by politicians who thought the game was ‘too violent’ and ‘too gory’, and tried to get it banned from being purchased or played.

In fact let me raise you up one; Mortal Kombat is the reason WHY the ESRB rating on video games exists, and could be considered as the first M-rated series ever created. Despite the fact that it got banned in several countries (even to this very day), Mortal Kombat as a whole is one of the most successful fighting game franchises out there with 73 million units sold; and counting. Oddly enough the original Mortal Kombat (the 1992 version) was released by both Nintendo and SEGA; and guess which one everyone ended up playing more of…SEEEGAAA!!

Suck it Nintendo!

Mortal Kombat walked into our lives and spiced things up; thanks to co-creator Ed Boone, along with John Tobias. While other games were playing it safe Mortal Kombat pushed the envelope past the ‘taboo territory’ and thus created the ESRB we know today. It might even be the reason why you have your Grand Theft Auto’s, your Resident Evil’s, and all of the other games with blood in them. Sure, it was hated by congressmen and politicians during the time it came out, but on the flipside Mortal Kombat became more than just a media franchise. Now you can go to any anime or gaming convention and find a section where Mortal Kombat X, or 11 is being played; in fact there is STILL cosplay of it to be found 30 years later! Like Mario and Sonic, Mortal Kombat has some serious staying power!

Although I only played the first four games from 1998-2006, I can see why MK has such a dedicated fanbase to it. The finishing moves are the best part about the game; not the story (even though its serviceable in some parts), or the character roster (Ultimate MK3 had the BEST roster), but the Fatalities! Many have wondered what Ed Boone would do now that the franchise as a whole is celebrating its 30th anniversary; would there be an announcement of MK12? Or perhaps a sequel to the 2021 live-action reboot? Also, the music. Yeah, the music slapped SO HARD back then, and STILL DOES to this day! You can’t tell me the dance remix doesn’t make you feel something; being though its jam-packed with that 90’s acid-techno flavor, that has been heard at various underground raves of the 90’s. If I had to rate the franchise as a whole, I’d give it a 4.7 out of 5 Stars (94% out of 100%). If you’re already familiar with Tekken and Street Fighter, go play any of the Mortal Kombat games (even the classic ones), and go nuts!

That’s my review, now here’s the opening theme to Mortal Kombat! Happy 30th anniversary! 😉

MORTAL KOMBAT!!

Super Mario Bros. Movie: What We Know So Far…

Super Freakin’ Mario! Everybody knows how iconic this guy is. He’s been Nintendo’s flagship mascot for over 35 years and has a global fanbase with an equally iconic voice actor; Charles Martinet. Like many other Mario fans we’ve gotten the chance to see the new teaser trailer for the new Super Mario Bros. movie by Nintendo and Illumination (the same guys behind the Minions franchise). Also, like many other Mario fans, we’ve noticed that Charles Martinet; the voice of Super Mario himself, is NOT the character his voice is known for. That’s right, Charles ain’t voicing Mario in the new movie, Chris Pratt is.

“That’s stupid!”

Once again, its one of those moments where Hollywood chose ‘faces’ over ‘voices’. We remember the uproar the Sonic fandom gave Paramount over giving Tail’s voice actor (Collen O’Shaughnessey) her credits in the movie, but in the end not only did they fix their mistake, she got acknowledged as a voice actress in a major live-action motion picture and reprised her role as Tails in both Sonic movies. That’s Sonic, but what about Mario? While Charles has done a lot of other stuff (including being the voice of Magenta in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero), 90’s kids know him as Mr. Mario himself; along with Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. The movie may be going in a different direction than the video games, but at least have the original voice actor play the character that the fandom knows him for – is what we’ve heard from a lot of the Mario fandom on social media.

What we wanted vs. what we got.

We are not saying that the movie will be bad because Charles is not Mario, in fact he’s in the movie…but his role is unknown at the moment. There’s not too much known about the plot, but it will have callbacks to everything from the games; like Power Stars, Bowser, Toads, and everything in between. When you have a franchise as big as Super Mario, you’re also going to have a fandom that is very fickle and critical about Hollywood’s involvement in doing CGI and live-action adaptations. What happens a lot of times when it comes to live adaptations to anime and video game franchises, is that they have to be marketable to the general audience (non-anime and gaming fans) outside of their respective fandoms. However if “Dragon Ball Evolution” and Netflix’s “Cowboy Bebop” have taught us anything…you’d best come correct, or DON’T come at all!

To wrap things up the Super Mario movie drops in theaters April 7, 2023, and Chris Pratt is the voice of Movie Mario; and Jack Black is the voice of Bowser. Jack Black as Bowser might be the only exception for a lot of fans because he has some voice actor experience (the Kung Fu Panda series), on the same token 2023 is also the year Movie Knuckles gets his own spin-off series on Paramount Plus. Nintendo’s trying to be slick and wait until the Sonic hype died down before announcing this movie, but with Sonic Movie 3 dropping December 20, 2024, SEGA understands the assignment. That’s another post for another day.

Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉 

D&A Weekly Newsletter (October 10, 2022)

D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment Weekly (October 10, 2022)

Flawless Victory: 30 Years of Kombat!

From Scorpion’s heavily meme’d yet iconic “Get Over Here!” line, to Shao Khan telling players how much they sucked after wasting them in battle, Mortal Kombat is turning 30 years old this year. We take a look back at what made this bloody fighter famous, and what Ed Boone plan on doing next! Happening later this week!

The Super Mario Bros. Movie: What We Know So Far…

Nintendo knew they had to wait until the ‘Sonic Hype’ of the second movie had died down, before announcing this movie. Just by the trailer alone it appears the Mario-Sonic rivalry is becoming renewed by both fandoms thanks to social media. Join us as we take a dive into what we know so far by the trailer, and what message does this send to SEGA about Sonic’s third movie.

Classic Game Reviews with D.J. Lewis: Plok! (SNES)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I am an old school retro gamer at heart! While everyone else was getting their fix with their PS4’s, 5’s and Xbox One’s n’ S’s, I went back to the old school with classic consoles like the SNES and Sega Genesis. Yep, I’ve been a Nintendo boy since 1993, and have played through five console generations; with the latest being the Nintendo 3DS. But enough about my gaming timeline, we’re gonna talk about a game that I along with a marginal base of people believe to be underrated, and underappreciated during the time that the SNES was alive and kicking. The game’s soundtrack sounded like music that you’d hear from early 2000’s Pink Floyd (and Electronica), and you’ve got the Follin brothers to thank for that. This is my review of an SNES hidden gem; Plok!

I played this game a lot as a kid!

Ok, so the story of this game is kinda weird; Plok is apparently a king on the Island of Polyesta, and dwells on Akrillic Island (his home). He wakes up to discover that his flag on top of his house is missing, and finds out that its on Cotton Island. He treks through the island; defeating enemies and finding false flags along the way (pissing him off in the process), before running into the Bobbins Brothers – who are the culprits who stole Plok’s flag. After beating them and getting his flag back, Plok returns to Akrillic and finds out that his kingdom is overtaken by fleas; and NOT the ones on your dog, but big blue fleas that have hatched and infested the kingdom. So he goes around the kingdom beating fleas, bosses, other enemies, and finally the Flea Queen herself. After all of that he returns home to sit in his green rocking chair… 

Now it’s time for the gameplay; its basically a platformer where you have to reach the end of the level on Cotton Island, while collecting shells and power-ups to help smack down your foes. You can use Plok’s limbs to attack enemies, but you have to make sure you don’t lose all four; or else you’re a sitting duck. With the SNES controller, you use the B-button to attack and the A-button to somersault into the air like Sonic. (I actually liked using the A-button more because of that.) You can aim your limbs at fruits to increase Plok’s health, but sometimes those fruits might warp you to a timed bonus stage where if you beat it, you can warp to the next level – and even skip a boss fight in the process. Honestly the Cotton Island levels are pretty much the easiest part of the game, the hardest part is getting back to Akrillic and going through about 10 levels and 4 bosses; not counting the one on Cotton Island (the Bobbins Bros.) or the final 8-ish levels of the Flea Pit.

The opening theme SLAPS!!!

The Verdict

Plok! is an underrated gem that gave you some of the BEST music I’ve heard for the time that it came out! Tim Follin is an absolute genius when it comes to composing gaming music, as he was ahead of his time when creating the music for the levels and boss fights in this game. I feel no one really talk about or even remembers this game; because they were into Mario, Zelda, and Mortal Kombat around the same time. If they did however, they’d know just how much the music slapped! Don’t believe me? Check out the tracks below! Please play Plok! if you get your hands on an SNES Mini, and unless you suck at platformers, you won’t regret it. Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Spooky Season level! 😉

D&A Weekly Newsletter (October 3, 2022)!

D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment Weekly (October 3, 2022)

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis!

D&A Anime Blog Founder and CEO, Donte’ J. Lewis shares his thoughts about a variety of topics; such as diversity in anime, the current state of the world, music, DJing, and more! This week we get a brand new post sharing whatever thoughts are going on inside the mind of the founder; happening later this week!

Classic Game Review: Plok!

Somewhere during the 90’s the SNES was in the middle of a console war with the Sega Genesis, but while their respective mascots were going toe-to-toe with one another, we find ourselves reviewing an SNES game; where its OST was ahead of its time. Join us as we turn the clock back to the 90’s, for a classic video game review of “Plok!”. Happening later this week!

The Ecchi (Degenerate) Era of Anime!

There’s this weird lil’ genre of anime called “Ecchi”, and just like “Isekai”; it is both loved and hated by the anime community. We take a deep dive into how this genre became such a guilty pleasure for a subset of anime fans (mostly the male half), why ‘fanservice’ plays a key part in it, why it may (or may not) be banned in certain countries, and WHY anime studios KEEP making it! All this and more later this week!

Here’s What You Missed Last Time on D&A Studios Entertainment!

One-2-One with D.J. Lewis: Kirby!

If you’re a 90’s kid like me, your childhood consisted of three things; Saturday Morning Cartoons, junk food, and video games. During that decade there were two warring factions that battled for childhood supremacy; Nintendo, known for their ‘PG safe’ attitude and a ‘rooted in play’ approach to gaming, and Sega, known for being the ‘new kid on the block’ with attitude and a ‘rooted in appeal’ approach to gaming. Both companies have their mascots, hit-maker franchises, and overall reach to 90’s kids all over the world; but that’s another post for another time. Today, we’re breaking down a Super Smash Bros. alumni; through his moves, his personality, and why he’s ‘mained’ by a large majority of the fandom. Its the ruff-and-tuff pink puff himself, Kirby.

Smash Bros. main since 1999

I first met Kirby in 1993 through Kirby’s Adventure and Kirby’s Dream Land after beating Super Mario Bros. for what I believe to be the second, or third time. Much like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and the Pokemon franchise, Kirby’s reign on the gaming world has spanned three decades and at least two-and-a-half generations. From main games, spin-off titles, rebooted classics, and anime adaptations, it was no secret that Kirby was going to become a part of the biggest crossover brawler franchise Nintendo had ever created. Not only that, but compared to everyone on the Smash roster, he’s the only character who has defeated the most god-like, universe-ending villains this side of Planet Popstar. How you ask? Let’s find out, shall we?

Part 1 – The Origin of Kirby: The God Slayer!

Kirby…is so, so, SO simple when it comes to design! You draw a circle, dot the eyes, then add a smile. Masahiro Sakurai is the reason why Kirby exists, but how did Kirby get his name? Well, Kirby’s original name was Popopo (as weird as that is), and was meant to actually be a placeholder sprite for the original name of Kirby’s game, “Twinkle Popo”. Imagine if they stuck with that name; we’d have a franchise that kids today would jokingly mispronounce as ‘Twinkle Poopoo’. As far as how Kirby got his name, it might have something to do with Nintendo’s legal council; John Kirby. I guess Nintendo didn’t really like “Twinkle Popo” very much because they stated that it wouldn’t appeal to American children, and little did they know that 30 years later, they’d be right. As for his origin and where he’s from, well, he lives on Planet Popstar and is from Dream Land. As for his gender and how old he is, Kirby’s age and gender are both unknown.

Kirby’s Newest Adventure

Part 2 – Kirby’s Personality and Skill Set

Kirby has a child-like innocence and wonder, but also has a sense of justice in times of danger. He doesn’t really show any fear at all against world or universe-ending threats; rather remaining neutral throughout the whole ordeal. However on the flipside of the coin (in some of his games at least), Kirby has a bit of an impulsive streak when it comes to certain villains; like King Dedede, Dyna Blade, and Meta Knight. In the later games and even in the anime series Kirby: Right Back At Ya!, Kirby deeply cares about those around him and is very forgiving; even towards his fiercest of enemies. Kirby’s pretty famous on his planet as well as Dream Land, as the many enemies that he’s come across know him (or know of him) through his deeds and his popularity. However Kirby’s not one to let it go to his head, as he’s just someone that likes to help people when they need it.

If there’s one thing Kirby likes doing when he’s not saving the world or the universe, is eating…a lot! He’s basically like a bottomless pit, as he can put a table’s worth of food away quite easily, and can eat a cake the size of a mountain. (Goku can’t even do that!) Expired food doesn’t bother him, nor does hot and spicy food, however like any other person, he’s not fond of food that is disgusting or gross (like Whispy Wood’s poison apples or Belly Blaster’s pies in the anime). Speaking of the anime, Right Back At Ya! Kirby is more dimwitted and cowardly until he’s instructed to fight against a particular threat. Also in the anime, anything Kirby eats goes to some sort of dimension; which might explain why he’s able to put away so much food in such little time without issue.

When it comes to abilities and moves, Kirby’s got one that gets the job done depending on who he’s fighting; the Inhale. He can copy the ability of any enemy that has a weapon or elemental power; like fire, ice, water, earth, or lightning. In Kirby 64 you can actually have two different abilities at once after inhaling his enemies, and you can even throw them upwards, or straight across. Kirby of course can also float in the air for a short amount of time, as seen in Kirby’s Dream Land and onward, and can also use a skill called the ‘Air Gun’; where Kirby exhales a puff of air as a projectile that can damage enemies. Kirby’s portrayal in Super Smash Bros. references the moves from his games a lot; as for his Up Special he can use his Cutter Attack, his Down Special is his Rock Crusher (which Smash players have spammed on me multiple times, which I hated), his Side Special which he uses Dedede’s hammer, and the gold ol’ fashioned copy ability from the first game as his Special. He also shares a lot of his combat techniques with that of Knuckle Joe.

Kirby being Kirby

Part 3 – The Future of Kirby

Nintendo has done so much with this franchise, and its hard to think even for a second that Kirby is done. While he may not talk or seem like a big and buff heroic type, Kirby is just a simple character who patty-cakes with gods every single week, and then goes to sleep. It’s unknown if Kirby has a family or not, but in the anime he has people in his life who treat him like family. While his portrayal may differ between his video game and anime personality, Kirby continues to appeal to audiences all around the world; much like Mario and Sonic has. Smash players will continue to main him like they’ve done in the past (speaking from experience, although since Ultimate that experience may have changed), he’ll always have new games coming out on the latest systems, and he’ll always be the ‘ruff-and-tuff’ pink puff!

That will do it for this One-2-One, and as always until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (7.11.22)

It’s Monday…again. For anyone who’s NOT working, its just another day off. For us, it means another day of recapping our videos that you’ve missed from last week. Lately we’ve been working on improving the quality of our Nerdz of the Decade and D&A Studios Extras videos, by adding in more B-Roll and text. For our 31st podcast episode and beyond; we plan on going all-out with more B-Roll and text to really give our fans the excitement and entertainment from our content. Down below is what you’ve missed if you wanna check it out. That’s all for this recap, so until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

There’s also Bleach and Panty & Stocking news as well
Another short just for fun

One-2-One & Knuckles with D.J. Lewis!

Since 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog has become one of the most popular iconic franchises alongside a certain red capped plumber from the 80’s. From video games to live-action movies the blue blur has become unstoppable, and while that hasn’t always been the case (due to the franchise taking somewhat of a “Dark Ages” turn), it seems like the World’s Fastest Hedgehog is getting his mojo back! Like Sonic there have been other fan-favorite characters who also got their shine through the 31-year run of this franchise; one character in particular just happens to be Sonic’s first ever rival. He hails from Angel Island and is the guardian of the Master Emerald; and packs one helluva punch. He doesn’t chuckle…cuz’ he’s Knuckles.

The red boi has come a long way!

Since the dawn of animation, main supporting characters (or reoccurring side characters) have always held the same amount of spotlight and screen time as the main MC. With Sonic however, there are some characters who have become just as much as a fan favorite as the blue hedgehog himself. Knuckles is no exception; when he made his debut in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in 1994, it was going to be the birth of a mainstay that given rise to the many memes that follow suit. He’s different in terms of how he carries himself compared to Sonic; from his responsibilities, to how he sees the world, to how he treats his friends and foes. If he’s been rolling with the punches since 1994, how did red get so rad?

Part 1: Who is Knuckles?

Throughout the years Knuckles has gone through a variety of changes to his character, so for this one, we’re gonna focus mainly on his gaming character; as this is the most authentic version of Knuckles there is. Like the lyrics from “Unknown From M.E.”, Knuckles was born on Angel Island and the blood of his clan flows inside him; the Knuckles Clan. Being the clan’s last living descendant he was placed in charge of protecting the Master Emerald; the ‘father’ of the chaos emeralds that contains the power to neutralize their energies if needed. Because of his secluded upbringing Knuckles is a loner by nature and isn’t dependent on anyone, and is devoted to keeping the Master Emerald safe at all costs. However when times are at their worst Knuckles will leave his post to help Sonic and friends out when confronting powerful foes. Also, he’s quite fond of grapes. 🙂

Sonic X’s Knuckles does share a little of Game Knuckles’ DNA

Part 2: Personality, Skills, & Knuckles!

Right off the bat; Knuckles is a hot-blooded and wild echidna who’s independence grew from his secluded upbringing. He’s not like Sonic at all and does have a personality like the wind, rather Knuckles is more like a mountain; stern, unmoveable, and anchored to his duties. He doesn’t read into other people’s opinions and is rather antisocial and reclusive; which in turn makes him blunt, straight-forward, and seemingly a jerk (as seen one of the episodes in Sonic X). Due to his independent nature, Knuckles likes to do things his way and can be quite stubborn and inflexible, but he’s also goal-oriented and determined which helps to balance out his stubbornness and inflexibility most of the time. Also because of his paranoia of someone trying to steal the Master Emerald from him, Knuckles is prone to acting recklessly without regard to strategy or logic (as seen during traveling to the Space Colony ARK).

On the other hand, Knuckles has also become quite the devoted hero; putting his life on the line to save others just like Sonic. He’s not as quick to forgive the most evil of enemies, but he has been known to give others a second chance if they’re serious about it. When it comes to women, he’s a shy guy, and when it comes to industrialized places and crowded areas, he’s a recluse. When it comes to fighting however, Knuckles is a master at martial arts and if Sonic’s power lies in his speed, then Knuckles’ power lies in his strength. His punches are powerful enough to go through boulders, bend steel, cause small explosions (as seen in Sonic Battle), and can run at breakneck speeds in order to create afterimages of himself (as seen in Sonic X). He can glide through the air thanks to his flowing dreadlock-like quills and can climb walls thanks to the spikes on his fists. Knuckles is also able to sense energy from the Master Emerald, chaos emeralds, and any other aura-giving treasures that happen to be anywhere in his vicinity.

Also much like Sonic, Knuckles can use the Spin-Dash and Spin Jump, and can tap into the power of the chaos emeralds and Master Emerald to transform into Super Knuckles. (Also Hyper Knuckles if he has all seven super emeralds.) Though not the smartest echidna in the world, Knuckles is well-versed in ancient cultures, languages, and ruins (as seen in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity). He can also drive a car, pilot a spaceship, lead a resistance, and compete in the Olympics.

That’s why Red is so Rad!

Part 3: The Legacy & Knuckles

Knuckles has become a fan favorite over the years, and has changed a lot since his 1994 debut. His rough and tough attitude and independent nature made him different from Sonic’s free-spirited outlook, and though their ideals have caused them to clash every now and then, Knuckles sees Sonic as a trusted friend and ally. As the years passed Knuckles’ character has gone through various changes; one of which depicts him as a brainless jock who eats napkins and one-ups Amy about feminism (as seen in Sonic Boom). Sure, meme culture may have diluted his character in both hilarious and sad ways, but when Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (the 2022 movie) came out, Knuckles returned to his former character’s glory. He was once again the badass warrior we remember him to be, and even introduced a new element to his origin story.

To put it simply; Knuckles the Echidna is the guardian of the Master Emerald who will do whatever it takes to protect it, and while he may not share the same care-free nature that Sonic has, he has become a reliable friend and an heroic figure. He’s powerful enough to take on the toughest of foes without rest, and can use the power of the chaos emeralds and Master Emerald to power himself up. He’s not very confident around women and hates it when Rouge messes with him, and is capable of many other things besides fighting. There are many people that have seen a little of themselves inside of Knuckles and understand that in the prime of his time, this is who he was. Who knows what the future will hold for this echidna, but one thing’s for sure, he’s Knuckles…and he doesn’t chuckle!

That will do it for this One-2-One & Knuckles, so until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

One-2-One! A New Anime & Video Game Character Analysis Series Coming Next Week!

Hey! We’ve got some good news everyone! We’ll be introducing a new series of character analysis posts next week called One-2-One; where we analyze anime and video game characters that you know and love, and try to figure out what’s their story, what skills do they have, why people like (or hate) them, and so on. The series will start on the first Tuesday in June, and end on the last Thursday in September. Some of the characters we’ll analyze will be from series favorites like Dragon Ball Z, SAO, and Fairy Tail; others will be from underrated titles like Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Fena: Pirate Princess, Steins:Gate, and more! We’ll also be doing video game characters too; including the usual suspects Mario, and Sonic. If this series goes well, we just might do a podcast version of it in the Fall.

That’s it for this little announcement of ours, so until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Pixels: The Video Game Movie Nobody Talks About!

When it comes to live-action movies about cartoons, anime, and video games; there are ‘certain’ rules by the fandom of those mediums that production companies, writers, and producers have to follow. We ALL know about the infamous ‘Human Sonic’ that Paramount was going to give the fanbase in 2019, but the fanbase wasn’t having it – like at all! Fast-forward to Present Day; we now have two installments of Movie Sonic (that are box office hits by the way) with a third on the way, and a spinoff origin story about a certain red echidna. With this year being the best time to be a Sonic fan, it seems like the movie franchise is setting the bar high for what live-action video game movies are supposed to be about. Although they don’t adapt the video games directly; the producers (God bless Jeff Fowler) and writers know what they’re doing.

On that same note, there are some live-action video game movies that seemed to have a good idea (as well as a decent budget), but the execution was a bit flawed. Its not that the movie did terrible or anything (though mostly that’s the case with a majority of them), but Hollywood seems to deviate from the source material of the video game that they’re trying to adapt; most of the time its usually the writers or directors who didn’t do any kind of research of the source material, or they’re just collecting a check. Its kinda weird that this movie didn’t live up to the expectations of many movie critics, even though they adapted the arcade video game sprites really well; and stayed faithful to their in-game appearance. The movie that we’re talking about…is Pixels.

Who’s that good lookin’ guy?

Ok, its an Adam Sandler flick, and depending if you like him or hate him, the guy’s pretty funny to a certain degree. So Pixels is a movie about a 13-year-old kid named Sam Brenner (Sandler) who went to a gaming arcade in 1982 and can study patterns in video games. During a championship match against Eddie “The Fireblaster” Plant on Donkey Kong, Sam seemingly loses and for some reason videocassette footage of the event is placed into a time capsule and headed into space. One time skip later Sam is a home-theater installer while his friend, Will Cooper, is the most hated President of the United States since (*insert worst president here*). Somewhere along the line that videocassette tape made it to a group of aliens; who mistook it as a declaration of war, and are now on the attack in the form of the video games from that footage. Now Sam, Will, and his old rival Eddie have to join forces and convince the U.S. Army to help them fight against the aliens in three different rounds (or battles) the form of 1980’s arcade games like Galaga, Arkanoid, Centipede, Space Invaders, Pac-Man (yes even Pac-Man), Duck-Hunt, and more. Although its got a B-movie plot, the renders of the 8-bit arcade video game characters are faithful to how they appeared in their games.

A LOT of money was spent making the movie (between $80-130 million), and it even had a cameo appearance from Toru Iwatani himself; the creator of Pac-Man. Despite the movie getting anywhere between a D+ and a C- based on movie critics, they nailed it with the source material of the arcade games that they were trying to adapt. Many of these games we remember playing when we were young, and if you ask any 80’s kid, they’ll tell you that they were probably just as good at these arcade games, as the characters in this movie. It brought in $245 million at the box office, so despite the cheesy storyline, it did turn some kind of profit – by $100 million at least.

Pixels was one of those movies that had an idea and stayed true to its original source material, but the reception fell kinda flat towards the general audience due to its lackluster story. (Or maybe some of theme just aren’t fans of retro video games.) For some people who saw it; it might’ve been the best movie they ever saw, ‘graphics-wise’, because they stayed committed to the original source material. Regardless of its rating we think Pixels might be one of those forgotten gems of the 2010’s that most (if not all) people never talk about, however with the Sonic movies breaking box office records; setting the tone for the Sonic Cinematic Universe, its going to be one of those movies that people will vaguely remember.

Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉