Category Archives: Loaded Review

PAX East Day Three Review

Was PAX East really over two months ago? Feels like I was there just yesterday.

With E3 nipping at our heels, now’s the perfect time for the final entry of my in depth review of the event.


No concerts tonight, but OC Remix University did a set in the Jam Space. I almost missed it, but someone was at the door shouting out “CHRONO TRIGGER!” as I walked by, so I went right in. Incredible set.

Immediately after, they had a panel and previewed a lot of their upcoming projects. One of which is out now, Milky Way Wishes: A Kirby Super Star Tribute. They also previewed Bad Ass 2, a sequel to their first villain theme remix album, Bad Ass. This album is a must-listen. And I can’t wait for BA2. My friends and I spent a lot of time in the hotel listening to the Baby Bowser boss theme from Yoshi’s Island and I was thrilled to see that a remix to that will be on this album.

Back in the Jam Space, just enjoying the music. At one point Amanda Lepre (Crusader from Those Who Fight) joined the jam. Also there was a kid who played a killer Song of Storms arrangement on his Ocarina.

Suddenly I’m very inspired to attend MAGFest next year. And also, I’m ready to play some games.


Got a better look at Ducktails Remastered. Meh. The returning voice actors from the cartoon is great, but those high-res remastered sprites don’t move their beaks when the characters are talking. It’s weird. Plus, it looks so much better than the original, but not quite the same as a cartoon. Something is off, something is missing. It’s the uncanny valley between game sprites and cell drawn cartoons. Creeps me out.

Finally got to try the two best indie games at the convention. The first is Soda Drinker Pro, a soda drinking simulator that challenges gamers to drink a cup of soda. To up the challenge, you are given a variety of environments to drink in, such as a pack, a game convention, outer space, and even inside a giant month. Game of the Year is here. Sorry, Bioshock.

The second is Dive Kick, the most challenging and strategic fighting game you’ll ever play. The game controller has two buttons: Dive and Kick. The combat is visceral and cerebral at the same time as fighters try to dive kick each other to score that one hit K.O. One wrong move. One early kick or late dive and you’re dead.

I’m not being sarcastic, this game is intense. You know that feeling when both you and your foe are down to a sliver of health and one wrong move can mean defeat? Every round feels exactly like that.

You pick from a assortment of fun parody characters, each with their own style and advantages. Choose carefully. And heed the advice of Master, who inspires you during the loading screens with such words of wisdom as “Buy this game.”


I saw a sexy Sonic cosplay, accompanied by a Knuckles who looked like he’d beat the gold rings out of me if he saw how I was looking at Sonic. Sunday seemed to be cross-play day, because I also saw an all male Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers team. Morphinominal!


Made another attempt at finding Cards Against Humanity Pack C. No success. I give up. I try my luck at the bar.


The bar is out of Guinness. This convention is officially over.

Final Grade: B+

Overall PAX East Grade: 95%

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PAX East Day Two Review


Surprise, more buttons from FanGamer! Non-sarcastic surprise, one of those buttons was a special Triforce button, which got me a free t-shirt from their booth! The power to make wishes come true, indeed.

I raided the queue room a few times for swag bags, in an attempt to get all three sets of the PAX exclusive Cards Against Humanity booster cards. Unfortunately, half the extra bags I took had already been looted for their bounty and returned to the pile. Karma sucks.


You know what doesn’t suck? Legends of the Cipher. It is a deck building card game that takes you through the life of a budding MC, struggling to climb up the ladder from local rapper to hip hop legend. And it’s a lot of fun. I sat down with the lead game designer and rapper Seth Brown, also known as Ham-STAR, and played a quick round. Simple, easy to set up and get into, and a lot of fun. Especially the free-styling part, which you can actually have fun with and make up on the spot, or recite a favorite rhyme from memory, or just use the ones printed on the cards.

I also sat down to watch a demo of Saints Row IV. I was worried that this wondrously ridiculous game would die now that THQ was finished, but Deep Silver picked up the ball and kept running. Somehow this manages to be even more ludicrous than the last installment. The demo showcased a few weapons, such as the Inflato-Ray and the Dubstep Gun. Both are exactly what you think they are. Also, mech suits, aliens, and super powers are involved. Oh, and I forgot to mention that your character is now inexplicably the President of the United States. Hail to the Chief!


And hail to the cosplayers on Saturday. It seems people saved their A-Game for Day Two. There was a great family cosplay of Glados, some random Aperture Science employee, and the portrait of Cave Johnson. I also ran into a steampunk Sailor Moon and a GIANT Pikachu with working ears. It’d be terrifying if it weren’t so adorable.

I also spotted an old favorite of mine, Mr. T with his giant box of Mr. T cereal. He rocks!


“Double Johnny Walker Black on the rocks, please.” After a long day of wandering the convention hall, I decided to kill time before the concert by getting wrecked at the bar. The bartenders there take forever to get to you, but at a event that might as well be called “Queue-topia” what’s one more line.

Two drinks later, it was time for the show.


It was impossible to tell that this was Sam Hart’s first time performing at PAX East. His set was fantastic and he had the crowd eating out of his hand with his Mario Kart song. The Adele sample he threw in was a great touch.

MC Frontalot had an good set. No new songs and no surprise feature from Mega Ran this year (he was busy doing his own show elsewhere), but his remix of the Penny Arcade Theme with the Game of Thrones theme sample was mind blowing.

No new songs from Coulton either, but his set was hilarious. He seemed to have learned from his previous two PAX East performances that the crowd goes wild whenever he drinks water, so he trolled us by drinking refreshing applesauce instead.

Paul and Storm Storm and Paul headlined PAX this year! Zealous Arrr! They started with an ad for their web series, Learning Town. Looks hilarious. Then they opened with a completely original song, Baby Got Back. They followed that with a list of favorites, closing of course with the crowd rousing The Pirate’s Wife’s Lament. Also, Storm put on a Utilikilt that was thrown on stage during the show. Also, they had the crowd of something thousand geeks tweet an ASCII penis to Wil Whedon.

A good day and a great night. PAX East can really drain the life out of you and at this point I was definitely feeling it. Sunday is going to be a very lazy day.

Final Grade: 9.5 out of 10.

PAX East Day One Review

Cosplay: Nothing exceptional in this category today. The most impressive costume I saw was a group that mashed up Pikachu and Tron. Pokétron? PikaCLU? There was also a creative Knuckles cosplay I spotted at the hotel. Haven’t seen her at the convention yet, so I’m not counting it. That could just be how she dresses everyday.

There was the usually scattering of Harley Quinns and Fionnas. I thought I saw an impressive Avengers group cosplay, but turned out they were just promoting the Marvel Heroes game. Speaking of which…

Games: Only went hands on with one game on the first day: Marvel Heroes, because the line was short. Once I played it, I could see why. Remember everything that was fun about Marvel Ultimate Alliance? Well, Marvel Heroes doesn’t. There are no variations or combos with the melee attacks or special power attacks, which makes combat very boring.

On the plus side, I got a free poster from their booth. Speaking of which…

Swag: I won the aforementioned poster for knowing what Wundergore was. Won some free buttons from, which will go well with the free buttons they gave me with my last order. They love to give away buttons. It’s also suspicious how willing they are to give away those buttons.

Also got some CAH cards and a slap bracelet. The fact that they didn’t give out any Luigi themed Swag for his big anniversary was a disappointment. Speaking of which…

Concert: The concert nights never disappoint. Metroid Metal wasn’t there, unfortunately, but VGO rocked extra hard this year to restore the balance of the evening. Especially their insane paced F-Zero arrangement. The Video Game Choir was with them and they sounded amazing in One Winged Angel and Still Alive. VGO had a new vocalist for Snake eater. She wasn’t as mind blowing at the vocalist they had last year, but she was still great.

I didn’t stay for Those Who Kill and The Protomen. I had beers to drink. Speaking of Guinness…

Alcohol: One of my favorite parts of the BECC is the big bar near the center. The had Guinness Draught in the bottle, which is a major win. Next best thing, if they don’t have it on tap. And the bar is right around the corner from the Rock Band freeplay stage, so I could take a little break from Con-Crawling by drinking a beer and watching a 12 year old crush the drums in an Avenged Sevenfold song.

All and all, this hasn’t been as amazing as previous years. It’s still been great, but the other years just set an outstanding standard.

Final Grade: B+

Batman: Puppet Master Review

Much like Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement in the conclusion of the Dark Knight Trilogy, I have come out of recluse to drink beer and review things again. Because I’m not the blogger the Internet deserves, but I’m the one that it needs right now.

To get the ball rolling, I’ll be reviewing a slew independent short films set in everyone’s favorite crime ridden city: Gotham. Let’s start with Puppet Master.

Puppet Master is an interquel that takes place between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. The tone and story fit neatly into the Nolan’s trilogy, a blend of crime thriller and comic book movie. They may not have a star studded cast or $500,000 cameras, but this film manages to match the look and feel of the latest Batman movies very accurately through the sets, the score, and even the cinematography.

But let’s not be superficial. This film looks good AND it has a great personality. My favorite thing about this 15-minute flick is that it gives us the Nolanverse version of three interesting Bat-Rouges: Zsasz, Scarface, and The Riddler. Zsasz is just as chilling and psychopathic as we’d expect. And Scarface is great. John DiCrosta nails the voice and Frank Birney’s Wesker is my favorite character in Puppet Master.

And the main character, Mr. Edward Nygma, an FBI agent assigned to bring in Batman for the murder of Harvey Dent. Wil Daniels’s plays this FBI-agent gone rouge like a less insane Jonathan Crane and my favorite part of his portrayal is Riddler’s superiority complex. He’s right, if Gotham is willing to let themselves be victimized by clowns and scarecrows, why should he save them? As a Riddler fan, I would’ve liked to have seen cleverer riddles and more obsessive compulsive behavior, but the condescending looks he gives Wesker and the talking down he gives Batman and his calculated smugness throughout is quite enjoyable.

This short film is a great premise for a full length feature or a mini-series that brings other psychopaths from the Batmythos into Nolan’s world of dark and gritty freaks, so hopefully we will see more from this team.

If you haven’t already watched it, take a look here or here.

Mega Man Fan Film Review

There is a Mega Man fan film. And it’s not horrible.

MegaMan (which should be two words, just to nitpick) is a non-profit fan film written and directed by Eddie Lebron, based on the first eponymous game featuring the super fighting robot, Mega Man. Staying fairly faithful to the American localized plot of the game, the movie also mixes in some drama of Rock/Mega Man wondering about his purpose, his estranged brother Blues/Protoman, and Mega Man and Roll being the surrogate children that Dr. Light never had.

It’s hard to tell if the robotic acting from Jun Naito and Jeanie Tse as Mega Man and Roll is intentional, but it works. Dave Maulbeck’s Wily is textbook mad scientist, cartoonish and over the top, and I love it. Edward X. Young as Dr. Light is a fountain of exposition and it gets tiresome, but this might be an intentional nod to the games where that’s his role. Still, he gets in some genuine moments with the robots that are enjoyabale. The special effects are nearly on par with the finest SciFi Channel Original Movie, which is a compliment for a low budget fan film. I was impressed by the design of the three all CGI Robot Masters, but I’ll admit that my expectations were low. The robotic armor for Mega, Proto, and the other Robot Masters would be distracting in a big budget film, but they’re forgivable in a fan production like this.

This movie is watchable, which is more than I can say for most studio produced video game adaptations. My biggest problem with it was the name (seriously, Mega Man. Two words. It’s like making a Spider-Man and calling him “Spiderman.”) and the fight scenes.

But I’m impressed by the amount of effort that went into this. Again, for an independent fan film, Eddie Lebron did a great job. Check it out at and see for yourself at Blue Core Studios.

I can’t wait to see how his next work, based on one of my favorite intellectual properties, turns out. Apparently, Lebron has a thing for blue protagonists taking on mad roboticists.


Loaded Review: X-Men: First Class

After watching “X-Men: First Class,” I saw a TV spot for the movie where one critic called it the “best comic book movie ever.” Now, I don’t do drugs, but I would love some of whatever this guy was on, because it must’ve been some good shit. [Pass that, please. -JD]

“First Class” is easily one of the worst comic book movies in existence. Some reviewers are comparing it to “The Dark Knight” when they should be comparing it to “Batman & Robin.” What follows was supposed to be a review of “X-Men: First Class,” but as I write this I’m pretty sure it’ll just deteriorate into a list (and a long list, at that) of all the things that are wrong with this movie.

DISCLAIMER: Some mild spoilers may appear.

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