Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Masters of Martial Arts film review by Wmpyr

I found this film on Youtube.

It is a classic Kung Fu flick that reminds me a bit of Bruce Lee's first film The Big Boss AKA Fists of Fury, but with a better story. Yes the story is actually better here.

The main character Go-Chan is played by the actor that gets defeated by John Saxon in Enter the Dragon. He was also in Return of the Dragon AKA Way of the Dragon, another Bruce Lee classic.

This actor is a suave looking guy that doesn't look like a fighter, but he does his fight scenes well. Unlike most martial arts films you don't see him go through a training sequence.

So Go-Chan is a martial arts expert who starts off in the film with a challenge match that goes wrong. He kills his opponent with a back hand palm strike to the nose. Go-Chan's dad kicks him out of the house and tells him to never misuse martial arts again. Our mild mannered reluctant hero is now wandering about when he encounters a thief who is portrayed as a good man forced into bad things. The thief dies and Go-Chan decides to carry his burdens, he travels to the family to bring the news and begins work in a new town to support the family.

His employers are corrupt and have henchmen who bully people. They are plotting to win a local martial arts tournament by dirty means. They hire a Japanese fighter Hashimoto to represent them, which at this time having foreigners on your side is considered a very bad thing to do.
The main villain is played by a convincing actor, although it would have been nice to have made him a bit more unique or colorful, but I give him props because he is able to hold his role just by his acting and looks.

Now Go-Chan is a reluctant hero who doesn't want to fight anymore because he feels bad, and he is trying to honor his dad's words, but one thing I do not like about his personality, is that there is another good guy in this film who is more aware about what is going on with the villain's evil scheme. This secondary hero has offered his friendship and even the solution to Go-Chan, but Go-Chan refuses to help stuck in his own drama. You don't want to be blind towards a real friend. So this results in this good guy's death, and Go-Chan has to take matters into his own hands anyway.

Another thing I didn't care for was the way Go-Chan's love interest in the film reacts towards Go-Chan, she blames him for people's deaths. Really not cool since Go-Chan has been honorable to her and has financially helped support her.

I am also pretty sure Sammo Hung was in this as a goon leader.

All in all, this film is not bad, to me it has a lot of potential, but it definitely lacks anything colorful, seems a bit plain. A rewrite of this script would probably be really good since the core is pretty cool, you have a reluctant hero, a martial arts tournament, a cool possible team mate, and 4 main villains.

Monday, February 20, 2012

SKYLANDERS video game characters

SKYLANDERS Spyro's Adventure

Here is a list of the ones I have so far (13) and my brief opinion on them.

This guy reminds me of a T-rex. He is pretty cute because he is dumb.
His rolling capability makes up for his close range mace tail.

Chop Chop
I didn't care for his face, but I like everything else, plus he is undead, my favorite element. Starting off he doesn't seem that good, but he's one of those that seems to get much better as he levels up.

I like his Australian accent, since both of his attacks involve the boomerang, he seems a bit on the boring side, but seems practical in combat.

Obviously looks powerful, and plays like a mini Incredible Hulk type strong and powerful character. He looks pretty cool too.

Ghost Roaster
My favorite in the game. To me this is a silly version of Ghost Rider. I like his maniac laughing voice and his skull attack is effective and looks cool.

Gill Grunt
The character may not look that interesting but he plays well. I actually like him. To me this guy is everything the MOTU Merman wanted to be.

The coolest looking Skylander. Can easily become anyone's favorite. The skull base of the Undead glow in the dark, so how can you not like the Undead :)

Lightning Rod
His body is like pearl like color, really unique and awesome looking. I like Greek Mythology, and this is definitely Zues like. Seems pretty powerful too.

Sonic Boom
I thought he was a bird, but now not sure what exactly he is. A griffon? His secondary attack spits out an egg, it hatches, and a mini Sonic Boom will go attack the enemy, now that is major awesome sauce!

He doesn't hover as well as Hex. Character wise, he is a dragon, and dragons are cool, even though Cynder and Whirlwind look cooler, he is still a dragon!

Stealth Elf
Definitely one of the coolest looking, however starting off she is kind of weak. Level her up and it seems like she can become really enjoyable.

Shark guy, reminds me of the 90s cartoon Street Sharks. Really like the way he looks, haven't used him yet so I don't really know how he is.

Trigger Happy
Because of his guns he is easy to use. Reminds me of a wacky version of Taz.

Wrecking Ball
He is some type of insect. I don't care for him much at the moment but maybe he will get much better as he levels up.

Reminds me of Nimrod from the TV show SURFACE. Plays very well starting off.

My Most Wanted List (from least to most)
Stump Smash
Slam Bam

I am looking forward to the sequel, and the new figures coming out.
I am not happy with the portal how it takes batteries... they need to change that period.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wmpyr Fantasy Knife Design

Delta Force Combat Knife 01

Trianbit = Triangular shaped karambit

This is my fantasy knife, because it is basically a combination of my 2 favorite knives, the KNIVES STI P001 tactical knife, Krudo Knives SNAG knife, with a bit of my own contribution sprinkled on.

-SNAG knife blade lever
-Karambit finger hole
-P001 finger hole
-Solid single piece pocket clip
-Triangle shaped impact tool

Monday, February 13, 2012



Okay I made a video a little while back on this very same subject but my opinions and ideas have changed since then, especially because I have gotten much further in the game.

1. Killing your follower really bites.
Having to constantly be careful not to kill your partner while trying to complete the task at hand is a pain in the rear. Definitely more realistic, but can really take the fun out of the game. My solution is to make it an option. Ability to hurt your partner and vice versa should have an on and off feature.

2. Money problems.
At higher levels it's really easy to accumulate so much money you don't know what to do with all of it. A casino type feature would be great! Oh but if we do that, we can lose money but also have the potential to increase our money even more, I know we can purchase a house, but let's take it a step further, build our own custom home, how about even build our own village like Riverwood? So at extremely high levels we should be able to change the world of Skyrim by adding or removing buildings.

3. Interact with other live players.
I know this is a single player game. If players could have a special window where they can just sell or send each other items it would be priceless! It shouldn't be that hard of a feature to add.

4. Long Load time
I understand this is a giant game, so it's going to have long load times, I wish there was something useful we could do during the constant load times.
Here are some ideas.
Access the map, access inventory so you can equip or even store items.

5. Vampires and Werewolves
Needs to play like a selectable race, it doesn't have to be a race that is selectable from the get go but it needs to work with the game where the play can be done from early stages of the game all the way to the advanced stages of the game.

Friday, February 10, 2012



What can I say? This film is my favorite ninja film of all time. It stars Sho Kosugi, real life martial artist, ninjitsu practitioner, expert in 9 different styles of martial arts, and a vast collection of 650 weapons, 120 of them are throwing stars. He does most if not all of his own stunts, and almost killed himself 4 times. Welcome to a trip down memory lane, let me take you back to a time where Sho was the king of ninja films, the golden age of ninja films.

The film starts off with some action right away, evil ninjas attacking Sho and his family. Sho with the support from Keith Vitali decides to move to America. Keith Vitali btw, is a columnist on Black Belt Magazine, and a US National Karate champion for 3 consecutive years.
Anyways we find out that Keith is an evil ninja, who uses Sho to transport drugs over to America by smuggling them inside fancy Japanese dolls that Sho is trying to sell.

Keith in the meantime goes to war with the local mob and has hypnotized a blonde bombshell named Cathy to keep an eye on Sho and spar with him wearing a red gi top and pantyhose. One of the memorable and humorous scene was with Grandmother, who has a fantastic fight scene with Keith who wears an awesome silver Hanya mask (Hanya is a Japanese female demon). Gotta love the acrobatic ninja Grandmother! Another scene to look for is the fight scene between Sho and a Native American henchman which kind of brings back memories of Storm Shadow versus Spirit from the 80s GIJOE cartoon! Tomahawk nuff said!!! Eventually Sho's real life son Kane gets kidnapped, and Sho brings out the weapons and outfit to save him. In the end there is a worthy final boss fight between Sho and Keith that will not disappoint, starts with some awesome Kuji-kiri (ninja finger weaving) and we get to see weapon vs weapon combat with various deceptive ninjitsu tactics as well.
What can I say the film is cheesy and great, they sure don't make them like this anymore, you will see Sho use a ninja star belt, don't forget the torture in a jacuzzi scene, and even a short appearance by Professor Toru Tanaka who was SUBZERO from The Running Man.

This film made me want to watch the other Sho Kosugi ninja films, and even though this was the best, I enjoyed the others very much, and became a Sho Kosugi fan!

Revenge of the Ninja review part 5/5

Revenge of the Ninja review part 4/5

Revenge of the Ninja review part 3/5

Revenge of the Ninja review Part 2/5

Revenge of the Ninja review part 1/5

Pray for Death starring Sho Kosugi

Rage of Honor starring Sho Kosugi

Sunday, February 5, 2012

STAR STRIDER Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone

Fighting Fantasy 27
Game Book review by Wmpyr

I have a soft spot for Star Strider because it was given to me on my birthday by my aunt in England a very long time ago, since then I have read this game book many times and enjoy it to this day.

I have read some reviews by some experienced game book readers saying that this book doesn't play well. I can definitely see their point, Star Strider is hard, there are many instant deaths, difficult math problems to solve, choices that are hard to remember, and plenty of areas to get lost in, such as the dirty dark city and the maze.

Let me say something though, what makes this game book so enjoyable is not the game play aspect, but rather the story telling.

Like Snake Plissken from the film Escape from NY, you are an elite operative sent to rescue the President. The back drop however is a science fiction action that makes me think of films like Blade Runner and Freejack.

You are an elite Rogue Tracer called a Star Strider, you have all kinds of combat training, but your primary weapon is your Catchman handgun which shoots a liquid plastic, also if you get far enough in the game you will get to use a neutron sword which I imagine is something like a lightsaber.

Your enemy are a hi-tech humanoid race called the Gromulans. They use 2 types of weapons. A portable hologram device to mess with your brain, and a T-800 Terminator like powerful androids.

You will travel to a dirty dark city, enter a shady club, get into street fights, encounter gang members, infiltrate the Gromulan HQ, fight in a gladiator style arena, and navigate through an abstract maze.

To further set the mood, the lingo found in the book to me really does the trick. Reading about Zipcars and food cubes puts a smile on my face.

I have 2 other Fighting Fantasy game books but this one has always been my favorite because of the story.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I am a big fan of game books such as STAR STRIDER by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. A game book is essentially a "choose your own adventure book" plus a little bit more, usually involving dice, pencil and paper.

The simplicity of a CYOA book appeals to me because you don't have to use a pencil and paper. I have seen some creative game books that have an illustration of 2 dices up in the corner of every page so that you don't need to have dices. But I do like how game books try to increase active interaction by more than just flipping pages, this can include taking notes, solving math problems, and picking up items. One of the most intensive game books I've ever played involved custom dice, red and blue 3-D code breaking, and items such as a flashlight, I no longer have this book and I believe it was from the Famous Five series. One last thing I have to say is that CYOA books are usually for the younger audiences, while game books are for the older kids, so most of the time the reading and subject matter of game books to me is more appealing.

There are two types of page flipping. One that tells you to go to a particular page. The other is one that tells you to go to a numbered paragraph. To me the numbered paragraph is a faster more action packed read than the page based flipping. When writing my own game book I will prefer to choose the numbered paragraph method, but I need to make sure that the pages will still be numbered.

Whether it is a game book or a CYOA book, the reader is going to have to make decisions, if you want to do this, go to this page, if not then go to this other page. Personally I really don't like making choices based out of luck. So if the choices are made strictly off of should I go left or right, and there is no information to study to make an educated decision, to me this is luck based choice making. I understand that this is an easy way to increase the replay value because readers will not likely remember the answer. In such a case consequences with instant deaths should be avoided to make the game play less luck based.