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Judge David Johnson's Blog

Judge David Johnson • Location: Goffstown, NH
• Member since: October 2003
• 1,700 full reviews
• 1,348 small claims
• Columnist: Diversionary Landslide

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"I don't know"
January 10th, 2006 7:48AM

Here's a nugget of cool news. YCDTOTV.com (a great site) is reporting that "You Can't Do That on Television," that old-school kids show from Nickelodeon, is finally bound for DVD.

Blog Review--Pet Alien: Aliens Unleashed and Atomic Tommy
December 1st, 2005 7:46AM

I had no idea what Pet Alien was before getting these discs (crap, am I at the age where I'm out of tough with what's hip with the youngsters?!) Now, thankfully, I can add another bit of pop culture knowledge to the old database, and wow any eleven year-olds I may happen across. "Yep, I know what Pet Alien is, I'm a cool adult. I swear!"

What Pet Alien is not is a Penthouse Magazine segement or the newest nonsenscial Japanese import toy. It's an animated kids show and, unfortuantely, it's also not terribly interesting. The plot of the show involves a young kid named Tommy, who has taken in a group of aliens. Together, this band of misfits live, appareantly unsupervised, inside a lighthouse. Adventures ensue.

Each of the two discs, Aliens Unleashed and Atomic Tommy contain four ten minute episodes.

Aliens Unleashed
"The Thing on the Corner"
Dinko feels shunned, and befriends a mailbox.
"A Pirate and His Dog"
The dog/alien thing feels shunned and befriends a pirate.
"Stage Fright"
Tommy searches for an act to perform at a talent show.
"Horror Scope"
The aliens try to protect Tommy from what they feel is a sinister astrology reading.

Atomic Tommy
"The Amazing Atomic Tommy"
The aliens beleive Tommy is a superhero and attempt to prove it--with zany results.
"The Land That Size Forgot"
There's a whole lot of shrinking going on.
"I Was a Teenage Bearded Boy"
Thanks to some alien mischief, Tommy wakes up one day with a green beard, and ll the kids want one.
"The Day That Wouldn't End"
In this Groundhog Day homage, Tommy finds himself the subject of the aliens time warp hijinks.

So what do I think of Pet Alien? Not too much. There's a lot of eye-candy with the computer genreated animation (though it does look fairly dated) and some moments are funny, but overall, the show failed to distinguish itself from the buffet of other kids programs out there. It's not particularly witty and the characters are fairly annoying. Tommy is especially irritating and the aliens are your typical goofy cartoon sidekicks. Still, the little ones will likely enjoy this. I, however, am not a fan.

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 21st, 2005 5:40PM

Well, kids, it's zero hour. Launch day is in a few hours and though my Xbox 360 is secured it amazes me how limited a supply there will be. I predict violence. And suffering. Oh well, thanks for reading! And my all-time favorite game...

#01: Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis)

Why it Made the Cut: The brawler is my favorite genre. And no game has yet to exceed this 16-bit relic. Streets of Rage 2, despite its low-res sprite action, is relentlessly playable. Add that other player to the mix and you've got yourself a morning. The best character--Max, the wrestler, who would punish his feeble opponents with his killer atomic drops. This game also gets the award for "Most Drastically Improved Sequel to a Same System Predecessor." Compared to Streets of Rage 2, the original Streets of Rage is like one of those cheap-ass LCD wristwatch games.

Props: Probably the best music from the 16-bit era.

Poops: None, though it did suck that the special move took off life. Still, it was way better than the lame cop-with-the-bazooka from the first one.

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 21st, 2005 5:33PM

#02: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

Why it Made the Cut: I have never enjoyed having my ass handed to me by a video game as much as I have with Team Ninja's masterpiece. This was a game that consumed me for months, as I played it over and over again. It's huge, challenging, and plays like a dream and when you're done you can't help but feel like a total ninja bad-ass. Or a loser who just spent an ungodly amount of time on a video game. One of the two.

Props: There is no maneuver in gaming more rewarding than the Izuna Drop.

Poops: I don't mind the difficulty too much, though there were plenty of times I was ready to fire my controller through the living room window.

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 21st, 2005 5:28PM

#03: Saturn Bomberman (Sega Saturn)

Why it Made the Cut: Simply put: it's the greatest incarnation of the greatest multiplayer game of all time. This super-rare gem can pit up to 10 players against each other at once and includes all the best elements of the series: the glove, the dinos, the Mad Bombers, and the diseases. What that means is there will be many friends swearing at each other before the long, long night is over.

Props: Simple, insanely addictive gameplay. It's electronic heroin.

Poops: The music gets pretty repetitive...

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 17th, 2005 12:53PM

#04: Resident Evil 4 (Gamecube)

Why it Made the Cut: My first full-blown foray into Capcom's legendary survival-horror series blew me away. This game is just awesome: great boss battles, ridiculous graphics, and action-oriented run-like-a-baby-and-frantically-fire-your-shotgun gameplay. It's an epic length (15 to 20 hours), yet I kept this disc in my Cube for months, playing and replaying.

Props: Pretty much everything is great...

Poops: ...except for the somewhat dopey dialogue.

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 17th, 2005 12:48PM

#05: Mario Kart 64 (N64)

Why it Made the Cut: Who knew such a harmless and kid-friendly game could prompt such profanity and competitiveness from adult males? Many, many, many, many hours were devoted to this inspired cartoonish vehicular mayhem, and many, many, many turtle shells were joyfuly jammed up that piss-ant Toad's tailpipe.

Props: The Block Fort offered much fun in Battle Mode, but for my money, the Big Donut was the true test of a Mario Kart racer's skill.

Poops: Damn you Donkey Kong and your slow acceleration!

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 15th, 2005 7:20AM

#06: Pit Fighter (Genesis)

Why it Made the Cut: Why are you laughing? Perhaps you have never played this game? Pit Fighter on the Genesis was antiquated through and through. The graphics were terrible, the sound atrocious, and the story was cheesy. But man did I have fun with this cartridge! As did everyone who I played it with. I can't explain why this game is so great, but it is. It's like explaining why I like garlic bread. I just do.

Props: For advanced players, the real joy of this game came at the penultimate battle, when your foes were two "Chainmen," a couple of giant lumbering lugs. Their go-to move was a running headbutt, and if you could time it right, you'd be able to get launched across the screen. My friends and I would have distance challenges. Funny, how we couldn't get prom dates though.

Poops: Stick only with the console edition. The arcade game is neither fun or easy.

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 15th, 2005 7:05AM

#07: Street Fighter II (Arcade)

Why it Made the Cut: The grandpappy of video game brawlers, Street Fighter II remains to this day hugely fun. What else is there to say? Guile, Ryu, Ken, M. Bison, all of them are permanent members of Nerd Lore.

Props: Pulling off a spinning piledriver to dispatch that annoying fireball-chucker...a thing of beauty!

Poops: See: fireball-chuckers, annoying

Joy Schtick: Dave's Top 20 Video Games
November 15th, 2005 7:01AM

#08: Goldeneye (N64)

Why it Made the Cut: Do you even have to ask?

Props: Countless hours that could have been devoted to studying were squandered during my college years, running around and blasting at my idiot friends with the grenade launcher.

Poops: In the age of dual analog, this title, sadly is no longer playable.

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