Friday, April 30, 2010

High School Musical 3 - Deleted Scenes

I have a bad neckache, so I decided to relax a bit tonight by watching a movie. While looking through the DVD collection here, I noticed we have a copy of High School Musical 3: Special Edition, which includes the deleted scenes.

I have never seen these scenes before, so I immediately decided to watch them.

WARNING: OLD FOGEY RANT!

When I was a kid, and I wanted to watch a movie, all I had to do was put in the tape, and the movie would--get this--start playing. But today, you have to navigate the complicated TV Setup Menu in order to set your TV to Obscure Function Mode, then put in the DVD, navigate the DVD Player Setup Menu to set it to "Play on TV" mode, then skip through a half-hour of previews so you can then navigate the DVD Setup Menu to play the movie. Why do I have to navigate three menus to perform a simple task? Stop being so complicated, technology. All I want to do is watch a movie, not earn a PhD in Electrical Engineering.

END OLD FOGEY RANT

Eventually, I had to give up on the DVD player, and watch the movie on my PS2. So what were the deleted scenes?

1. "Lucky Socks", a short scene. The basketball guys are running off to the big game, but Troy stops them and asks if anyone washed their lucky socks. They all say "no". Troy is happy. Then, they continue running off to the game.

2. "Wildcats in the Kitchen". A thirty-second scene in which Troy goes through the kitchen during the post-championship celebration. The Wildcat Moms are happy their sons won, and they're cooking up a storm. Humorously, the guy on the team who loves to bake food is also there, and he gets mad at them for trying to eat food before it's ready. Ha ha ha, Zeke, you wacky secondary character!

3. A shot of Troy and Gabriella going to the treehouse, where they will perform "Right Here, Right Now". It's a boring scene, unless you're really enthusiastic about watching people climb up treehouse ladders.

4. A longer version of the homeroom scene, starring the Weird British Girl who was in the movie for no apparent reason. She is introduced to Ryan, and she talks to Sharpay a bit.

5. Zeke, the wacky guy from Scene #2, is back for more wackiness when he tries to ask his crush to the prom. After a pep talk from his buddy, he goes to talk to her. Humorously, she's super-organized, and has already made the prom arrangements for both of them, which includes renting his tuxedo and signing him up for dance lessons. Ha ha! Then, when Zeke goes back to his buddy, he learns that his buddy ate all his cookies while he was gone. Ha ha ha ha!

6. A scene of Ryan and Kelsi getting all flirty on the set of the musical. The flirtiness doesn't get anywhere beyond "I can make us some tea" -- "I love tea!".

7. The various minor characters put up prom posters all over school. Well, two posters, really. One is put up by Random British Girl (this is her third appearance in the deleted scenes), and the other is put up by the guy who ate Zeke's cookies in scene five. For the record, I have no idea who this guy is.

8. In a five second scene, Random British Girl primps at her lockers before shutting them and walking away. The locker doors have the British flag painted on them.

9. Okay, so do you remember the locker room scene where the guys are wearing nothing but towels? Only the towels are a bit too small for comfort? Then, as a prank, Troy makes the new guys run all over school in order to get their clothes back? The scene my friend Marianne thought was "really disturbing"?

There's MORE to that scene! Once the new guys have run all over school, they go back to the locker room. But of course, they don't change back into their clothes. Instead, they go to their brand new lockers, while a crowd of other guys (also wearing nothing but towels) watches them. Inside the lockers are some unwashed socks, but everyone is still super excited, and they start up a cheer.

---

Those are all the deleted scenes! Wow, it looks like Random British Girl wasn't supposed to be random at all; they just cut most of her scenes out of the movie.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waverly Academy Trailer Analysis Analysis

Last year, I analyzed this preview for Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy:



How much of my analysis was actually correct?

A crow will somehow be important in this game. = wrong
Nancy is in the common room = Right
Nancy is leaving from somewhere besides the common room = wrong
There's a library = right

So, my guesses were about 50-50.

What catches my attention about the Warnings at Waverly Academy trailer now is that about a third of the trailer comes from the first five minutes of the game. I wonder how much of the new Trail of the Twister trailer is from the start of the game...

In Which I Discuss the New Trailer in Far Too Much Detail

It's time for another edition of In Which I Discuss the New Trailer in Far Too Much Detail, in which...I discuss the new trailer in far too much detail. This time, I'm discussing the trailer that was released yesterday.

Shot-by-shot, what we saw in the trailer was...

1. Title screens.

2. A windmill that is turning in the wind before some stormy-looking skies.

3. There's a scene inside someone's house, specifically a connected living room and dining room. Working at a laptop on the dining table is a woman in blue. She reminds me of George in Ransom of the Seven Ships.

4. A fancy-looking piece of equipment, apparently some sort of scanning device, malfunctions. The scanner screen which is tracking clouds turns to static and drops to black.

5. There is a two-story house which is painted light blue (and white). It appears to be a wooden house, and it has external doors to the cellar. Is this the house from Scene #3? I don't think so--the curtains don't match.

It is lightly snowing in this scene, with the same snow animation that we saw in Warnings at Waverly Academy.

There's a car in the lower/right corner, and black plaque above the entrance to the house. I can't read the plaque, but I'm guessing it's something official like "The Canute City Orphanage".

6. A brief pan over Ma and Pa's general store. I can't tell if this is a photograph of a real place, or if it's computer-generated. My first thought is that it reminds me of Waddell's jewelry store in Secret of the Old Clock
. Nancy could drive there and make a brief stop inside. They showed a picture of the outside of the store while Nancy talked with Waddell. So, my first reaction is that the general store would work the exact same way.

All of a sudden, I'm reminded of Em from Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake, who had a midwest accent (unless I'm remembering incorrectly) and ran a general store.

7. There are some sort of weather devices that give off flashing red lights in a green field with red dirt. It gets darker and stormier in the background. This is somewhat similiar to the scene in #2. So, it seems we can expect to see scenes of the weather getting stormier in this game.

8. The side of an old wooden house, which looks like a farmhouse because of the vegetable fields in the background. It is raining, and I think this is not one of the houses we've already seen in the trailer, because the color scheme is different (although I could be wrong).

9. A shadowy scene of someone doing something which is shady and suspicious, like dismantling a device on a coffee table. You can't see the person clearly, but judging from the window, it looks like the person is inside the house from #8.

10. It's a scene of the House from #8, next to a barn. A barn...or is it Ma and Pa's general store? It looks like it could be the general store, but it's too tall, and the general store had a much larger room. Nancy is inside the car in #5, watching as a tornado appears on the distance.

11. Concept art for the scene in #10, which also looks like the game cover. This features the red barn, as well as the two-story, light blue house. So I think this means we've seen three different houses on the exact same street in this trailer. Does this mean the game will take place only on a certain street? That could work--having her visit four or so places on the same street. But if that's the case, why would she need a car to travel around?

---

Well, that's all I thought of while watching the trailer. I think, for fun, I'll go through my analysis of the trailer for Warnings at Waverly Academy and see if any of my predictions for the game ended up being correct.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trail of the Twister Preview

The latest Nancy Drew newsletter came out today, and it's all about their upcoming game, Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister.

It comes complete with pictures and a description of the game. Once again, there have been mysterious accidents somewhere, and Nancy is called in to investigate. Specifically, the Canute college meterological team is having trouble in Oklahoma, where they're chasing after tornadoes.

This is all very exciting, but what's even more exciting is that the newsletter says the game will be released in June. A tentative release date! YES! But what's MOST exciting is the fact that they also released a trailer for the game.



See you all in June, Nancy Drew clue crew!

---

Edit: I like how the video ends with a "coming summer 2010" screen, but the video is still getting comments like "When is this game coming out?"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pug's Adventures

So here we are--the second-to-last week of Pug's Adventures strips that I drew when I was employed as a cartoonist for six months. The week was mostly puns.

Now that I'm looking at these strips again, I realize that the glasses on the table in the background of the first strip are identical to the barrels in the background of the pirate ship.









Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm Still Excited

So today, I filled out the release form to give Her Interactive permission to include my picture in a game. I mailed it immediately, and I will let you know if anything else happens.

Last night, I was so excited about winning this contest that I couldn't get to sleep until about 2:00 AM. Plus, I didn't get home until 11:30 PM from the Sharks playoff game I attended (our team won 5-0).

I'll try to calm down this week, but my schedule is going to go crazy, so I'm not sure if I can.

---

In video news, you can expect me to finish the Pajama Sam video walkthrough this weekend. That was a fun video walkthrough to make! I'll also get some videos for Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask up by Wednesday. Sadly, it seems my super-cool, surprise co-commentator will not participate, so it'll be just me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

!!!

I couldn't help but notice a very interesting name in the list of winners for the yearbook photo contest the Nancy Drew folks put on recently...



If I understand the contest rules correctly...

...It means that picture I submitted will be used in an upcoming Nancy Drew game.

!!!

Okay, okay, breathe, Michael, breathe. Maybe it's some other Michael G. who won the contest, not you. Calm down and check your email...

...An email from Her Interactive asking me to fill out a release form.

!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nancy Drew Artwork

Unless I'm mistaken, the Nancy Drew art contest officially ended today. We probably won't get to see the winning entries for a little while, but in the meantime, there's plenty of Nancy Drew art to see on various art websites like Deviant Art. Here are some Nancy Drew pictures I found today:


Jane from Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor, drawn by Will Phantome.


This appears to be from The Secret of the Old Clock, by Tzenda.


Nancy and the Hardy Boys in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon, by lathespianage.


An alternate cover for Legend of the Crystal Skull, by retrobishojo.

Boy, some people are really good at drawing! I'm kind of jealous because I usually get ink smudges all over the place when I draw pictures.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday

Sunday was a sad day.

The Sharks lost Game #3 of the playoffs because Dan Boyle scored on his own goalie. That's probably the most embarassing way to lose a game ever.

Also, I finally met with my friend Cora and gave her Mr. Monkey. I've been trying to give her her present since last November, so it's been a long time coming.

I'm going to miss the little monkey a bit, though.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Three Things

1. I finished Video #3 of the Pajama Sam walkthrough. I'm pretty happy that I was able to get all the way through the mines in one video, because there's a somewhat complex (and totally optional) maze in that part of the game.

Also, there's about a minute of GRATUITOUS EDUCATIONAL CONTENT!!! Otto gives a lecture which tells you everything you ever wanted to know about geysers. Fun!



2. I'm busy writing Essay #1, which is all about Aristotle and Final Causes. Aristotle believes that things have purposes. For example, the purpose of a watch is to tell you what time it is, and the purpose of an eyeball is to see things. Pretty simple to understand.

For some reason, a lot of people today believe that nothing has a purpose. You'll hear existentialists talk a lot about how life is random and meaningless, so purpose is just an illusion. I don't know where they got that idea from; maybe they were just in a grumpy mood when they said that.

My essay goes over twenty-five different arguments people have made in the debate over whether or not purposes exist. It's mostly just explaining what people have said.

3. More about the hockey playoffs. I put this last, so if you're not interested, you can just skip over it.

I was able to attend the San Jose Sharks game on Friday. YES! I should have taken notes, because it was a super-exciting game where a lot of stuff happened.

...Like the other team scoring at the start of the game. Then, the crowd felt like crying, and the Sharks played kind of badly. Forutnately, they were able to find their groove about fifteen minutes later, and they tied it up! YEAH!

But things were worse in the second period. Our goalie played really, really badly. Colorado only took four shots that period, but three of them were goals. Ouch! I'm surprised they didn't pull the goalie; the crowd was kind of upset with him.

The worst part was when the other team scored right after we did. I'm serious. They scored before the people in the crowd finished dancing to the "we just scored a goal" victory music. It was very sad, and everyone felt like crying again.

Then, for about ten minutes, the players focused more on hitting each other than trying to score.

For most of the rest of the game, our guys were shooting maniacs. We got two goals, but both of them were waived off after review. Finally, we managed to tie the game at 5-5 with 32 seconds left, when some people had already started to leave the building to avoid traffic.

In the playoffs, they have sudden death overtime. That means the first team to score wins. It was pretty intense, and we almost got a goal, only someone from the other team got a last-second interference penalty in order to stop the play. But we scored on the ensuing power play! VICTORY!

Overall, I'd say about two-thirds of the game was good. The rest of it made the crowd want to cry. Especially because our goalie played really badly (he got sarcastic applause at one point), and because we were constantly playing catch-up throughout the entire game.

The next game is tonight, in less than an hour. The series is tied 1 to 1. This should be interesting.

Also, my playoff beard is looking pretty impressive now.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pajama Sam Walkthrough

I finally got the free time today to do a little work on a walkthrough for the first Pajama Sam game, in which Sam is held hostage by a tree with a wiggly eye, learns that wood floats on water, befriends a hippy carrot, and more.





Unfortunately, I only had the time to make two videos. I have multiple ten page papers due soon, so I might not have time to make more this weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Augh!

Well, the first game of the playoffs was tonight, and the Sharks lost 2-1. No!

I think the problem might be that the other team brought their A-Game, while the Sharks just brought a game. Yeah...

They didn't play badly, mind you. They just didn't play well. Actually, it felt like they were playing on snooze mode for the second period, which was very boring. So boring that I started playing my Gameboy instead of watching. They averaged about one shot every six minutes during that period.

The game was tied up at the end, and I had a feeling it was going into overtime, when the Sharks got unlucky, and the other team scored by bouncing a shot off a defenseman's skate. So...we kind of scored on ourselves. Kind of, anyway. It was one of those unfortunate deflections you can't stop.

There was 50 seconds left in the game, which would normally be enough time for a last-ditch effort to tie things up, but since they were averaging a shot every three minutes, that was definitely NOT enough time for them to score.

So...yeah. It was a disappointing game. My home team lost, and they didn't play very well. But on a positive note, I think my playoff beard will become visible in a few days. Right now, it's in the awkward "Are you growing a beard, or did you forget to shave this morning?" phase.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Playoffs!!!

The hockey season has ended, and my local team, the San Jose Sharks, were #1 in the Western Conference! They beat out the Chicago Blackhawks by one point, even though I think Chicago is little too far to the east to be allowed in the Western Conference.

The Sharks were #1 last year, too, which gives us some severe bragging rights. Unforunately, they played really, really badly in the playoffs in a misguided attempt to lose as quickly as possible. Only three or so of the players gave off a "we're working our hardest" vibe; the others gave off a "we're obviously going to win, so we don't have to worry about it".

The other teams I'm rooting for are the Chicago Blackhawks (who finished in second place) and the Buffalo Sabres.

The first game of the playoffs, against the Colorado Avalanche, takes place tomorrow! Hopefully the Sharks and their coach who looks like a werewolf will be able to win! I mean, if I was on the team, I wouldn't want to get the Werewolf angry.

---

In other news, the Nancy Drew people have officially accepted my entry into their contest, which ends on the 22nd. Make sure to get your entires submitted before then!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Four Things

1. My experiment for recording Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside was a failure. It's starting to look like I'll never get to do a video walkthrough for that game. Oh well.

2. I just finished with scheduling for fall semester. I was a little worried about this, because I've been having trouble with scheduling this year. See, St. Patrick's didn't accept any of my credits from Santa Clara University. That means I had to retake a bunch of classes I already took in college. No cool!

But for some reason, they finally decided to accept my college credits.
So, I get to skip two out of five classes next semester. Yes cool!

3. I forgot to mention this in my blog entry about the yearbook photo contest. You know the official photograph I had to take for work?



I actually had to do a little photoshop magic on the photo, because it was for a seminarian poster. Here's the original picture:



I was born to rock that uniform.

4. Speaking of religious stuff, I edited two new books! They're both about vocations, because I'm discerning mine right now.

The first one is Vocations Explained, a book in Q and A format about the four types of vocations (marriage, religious life, virginity and priesthood). The Q and A style of writing is a Catholic tradition dating back to the 200's, and it's called "the little catechism" because it's generally used for children.

The other book is What Shall I Be?, which is for older kids. It's specifically designed to clear up a lot of the mistaken ideas about vocations. I've run into a few of these false conceptions myself, so now I'm prepared to tackle them head on. I just need to learn to stop shouting, "Objection!", Phoenix Wright-style in those kinds of discussions, and I'll be all set.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Photo Contest, Recording

Okay, agreement seems to be unanimous, so I submitted my employee photo as a yearbook photo to the Nancy Drew Yearbook Photo contest. Make sure to get your entries in, everyone!

I'd like to enter the artwork contest, too, but I don't have time to draw pictures. Plus, the person who borrowed my sketchbook two weeks ago hasn't returned it yet.

Tonight, I have a big meeting to go to, but after that, I hope to experiment with video recording for Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside. Normally, when recording computer games, I can only record for 2-6 minutes at a time, but if everything goes well with Pajama Sam, I will be able to record for longer.

Also, Wikipedia totally cites my guide for this game as a reference, even though there's no reason for it to do so.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yearbook Photo Contest

Right, so I totally want to enter the Nancy Drew yearbook photo contest, only my real yearbook photos are all ridiculous. My family laughed so hard at my senior year graduation prints that they ordered a special collage of all seven of them, because they couldn't decide which one was the funniest-looking.

...I'm not good at smiling on cue.

Anyway, my official school photo this year isn't very good, because my hair looks weird. Nobody ever tells me if my hair is messy when they're about to take a photo, for some reason. My official employer photo, however, looks pretty good.



How's that? Should I submit it to the yearbook photo contest, or try a different photo?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Messages and Such

I have long since stopped looking at the comments I get on my Youtube videos, because I get about thirty a day. It'd be nice if I could read them all and answer the interesting comments, but I don't have the free time to do that.

I try to keep up with messages that I get sent from various Youtube users, but I still end up getting something like ten messages a week. Recently, it's more like ten a day, which is a lot of work to answer, and if it continues, I'm going to have to stop looking at messages, too.

When it's people who are having problems with a particular part of a game or something like that, I'm always willing to help out because that's what I do as a guide writer. But when the messages are something like "check out the music video I made of [song I don't know] with footage from [anime I don't know]", I tend to skip over them.

I also like it when people make their own video walkthroughs and let me know about them. I must have gotten about thirty messages like that so far. True, I only enjoyed two them (the rest, I stopped watching partway through the first video), but I still get excited over the prospect of having a cool new video walkthrough to watch.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fanfiction

Wowsers! People like the fanfic I wrote in my last entry.

I like to write and read fanfiction. In fact, that's my designated "end of day" activity. If I have ten or so minutes after I've finished everything, but before I have to go to bed, I like to read or write fanfic.

I'll add the various suggestions I got to my list of fanfics to write. There are about ten half-written fanfics I have on my computer right now, including...
  • One where Phoenix Wright switches bodies with Maya Fey.
  • One where Link signs Zelda up for "The Girls Who Like Bugs Club".
  • Overprotective, a DragonBall Z where Gohan's crazy-overprotective mother takes him out of school. I just scared the Internet by ending the last chapter with a hint at Chi-Chi/Hercule romance. I scared myself a little, too.

Of course, there are plenty of other things I have to write, like papers and articles and walkthroughs that should have been finished months ago. I'll get around to them eventually, I'm sure.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sonny Gets Fired. (Again).

I forgot I wrote this story about how Sonny Joon got fired shortly before the start of Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand. As I recall, he was fired for telling museum-goers about his conspiracy theory that the ancient Mayas were abducted by aliens, and for keeping a mountain of chocolate bars at his desk.




Sonny Gets Fired. (Again).

Mr. Johnson had gone to the Beech Hill Museum to learn about the ancient Mayans, not to be attacked with conspiracy theories. Really. He did.

"The Aztec civilization came to an end when they were defeated by the Spanish conquistadors," Mr. Johnson read off of one of the plaques in a display case.

"Of course, that's not really what happened," a voice behind him said.

Mr. Johnson turned around. Standing the shadows was a Beech Hill Employee. A name tag reading "Sonny Joon -- Assistant Curator" was attached to his shirt pocket. Inside the shirt pocket were two, no, three Koko Kringle Bars.

"Excuse me?" Mr. Johnson asked.

"The Mayans weren't defeated by the conquistadors. They were taken."

"Taken? By whom?"

Sonny Joon lowered his sunglasses and shot Mr. Johnson a deadly serious look.

"They were taken..." he whispered. "By aliens."

"What?" Mr. Johnson asked.

"I'm serious, man! Aliens from outer space came and kidnapped all the Mayas! I can prove it!"

"How can you prove something like that?"

"Simple. Did you hear about the girl who got kidnapped yesterday in the Royal Palladium Theater? The one that Brady Armstrong is trying to save? Her name was Maya. Maya Nguyen. Coincidence? I don't think so."

Mr. Johnson was confused. "You're saying the ancient Mayans were kidnapped by aliens because some girl named Maya is missing in St. Louis?"

"I've made some doodles of what the aliens probably look like," Soony said. "Check them out!"

The pictures were just the start of it. Not only did Sonny have pictures, but he also had a twelve-page paper on the topic of alien abductions, four pamphlets on what to do in case an alien mistakes you for King Pacal, and a dance routine.

After twenty minutes, Mr. Johnson was finally saved by a red-haired woman with a striped shirt.

"SONNY JOON!"

"Joanna! How's it going, boss?"

"How many times have I told you not to harass our clients with your ridiculous conspiracy theories?"

"It's not ridiculous! It's true!"

"This is it, Sonny!" Joanna cried. "I've had it with you! If you make one more mistake, you're fired!"

"Aw, man!" Sonny complained. Joanna was a way harsh boss—she was always getting mad at him for telling people about aliens. Maybe he should have taken that job offer in Paris after all...



Henrik came to see Joanna shortly afterwards. He was wearing a mask.

"Hello, Henrik," Joanna said. "Are your allergies acting up again?"

"Yes, actually," Henrik said. "I came to ask if Mr. Joon could move his chocolate bars out of the lab. The smell is interfering with my ability to concentrate."

"Chocolate bars don't smell that bad," Joanna said. "How much chocolate does he have in the lab?"

"You'd best see for yourself."



Sonny was cornering another museum guest and explaing the connection between Bul and the planet Mercury when he heard Joanna scream.

"SOOOOOOOOONNY!!!!"

Sonny winced. He knew that tone of voice. He was going to be fired.

Again.