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Question Corner #13 - 2/21/17

Ok guys, it’s time for another Question Corner. I don’t really have much to say here, so let’s just get this show on the road!

As usual, if you would like to submit a question of your own, you can do so here; at the contact page. Just make sure the question is appropriate, has some substance to it, and is nothing too personal (don’t ask where I live or what my family’s last name is, basically).

Q: Which Sonic game was worse, the Game Boy Advance version of Sonic the Hedgehog or Sonic the Hedgehog 2006?
A: I have not played either, but I’d probably say the GBA port of Sonic 1, just because of how bad it looks, how slow it is, and how crunched in the screen was. Sonic 2006 was definitely an unfinished bad dream, but at least there was “something” there, despite how broken it was. There was really no excuse to make a classic game like Sonic 1 look and play so badly.

Q: Would you ask your future father-in-law permission to marry his daughter?
A: I consider myself an old-fashioned guy, but not that old-fashioned. At the end of the day, I think the daughter’s opinion holds more value than the father, since she is the one making the decision. I do think it is important though to have a good relationship with the father, if you are going to marry into the family, but at the same time, he shouldn’t be the one making the decision either; if that makes sense.

Q: Do your parents enjoy playing video games?
A: My dad enjoys playing games every now and then, but he only sticks to Civilization and basic computer games (like Hearts and Spider Solitaire). My mom is even less of a gamer than my dad, but she did get into a tablet game once that involved killing zombies with bombs and other projectiles.

Q: Will you do Top 10s and lists for the handheld Mario Party games, and will you do skits for them as well?
A: At some point, yes, but not for awhile. As far as skits are concerned; I’ll consider it, but to be honest, I thought a lot of my skits were pretty dumb honestly, so I don’t see them returning. We’ll see though…

Q: Where would you like to go on vacation?
A: It’s a typical, unsurprising answer, but to my usual vacation spot in Orlando, Florida at my mom’s timeshare. I just love going there every year and it’s just very nice to go to our home away from home and relax for a week! Really don’t need to go anywhere fancy…just to a place where we can relax.

Q: What do you make of the Donkey Konga games?
A: I’ve never personally played them, but they were made at a time when rhythm gaming was picking up steam, so it’s not really surprising that they were made. They seemed pretty interesting though and games I wouldn’t mind trying someday in the future.

Q: Are you a fan of heavy metal?
A: I don’t know…it’s a little too heavy. It hurts my back whenever I try to lift it. In all seriousness, no, I’m not much of a metal guy. I can tolerate it sometimes when it comes to bands like Metallica, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of it.

Q: What is your opinion on GiivaSunner and his high quality video game rips?
A: Click Here

Q: What is your ACTUAL opinion on GiivaSunner and his high quality rips?
A: Real talk, I love his high quality rips. Listening to them last year and checking his channel every single day for new videos was always a good time I had with my friends. My favorite ones were ones that involved the DK Rap, Snow Halation and of course, good old FLEENSTONES!

Q: Do you think HAL should make a Kirby game like the 3D Mario platformers, or keep his games in a 2D format?
A: It’s a tricky thing with Kirby, because his gameplay style just seems to work very well in 2D and I don’t really see how it could in 3D. Not saying it’s impossible…I just can’t see it. I imagine it could be done though, but all of the newest Kirby games have been great in my eyes and I would like to see them create more of them.

Q: Who are your favorite video game composers?
A: David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, and Koji Kondo are my favorites for sure. I even had the pleasure of meeting and getting autographs of the former two.

Q: Do you find it sexist that Ocarina of Time has more female sages than male sages?
A: No.

Q: Did someone seriously ask you that last question?
A: Yes…

Q: Do you think Mario Party is the best party series that exists right now?
A: Yes, definitely. Say what you want about Mario Party 10 and Island Tour, but even those games can lead to enjoyment and I just haven’t been able to have the same joy with any other party game.

Q: Would you want to see more Sonic characters in Smash Bros., like Tails and Knuckles?
A: Yes I would, and those two are probably the only two characters I would like to see. They are pretty unique with their own abilities, I can see them controlling in unique ways, and they are good characters.

Q: Do you have any favorite cartoon shows aside from the Simpsons?
A: I am a very big Futurama fan as well. I’ve also watched a lot of South Park as well. In recent years, I’ve also started watching MLP: Friendship is Magic and Steven Universe, so those shows are the ones I feel most strongly about, in a good way.

Q: What do you make of leaplings?
A: I feel no different about people born on February 29th than I feel about any other person that is born on any other day of the calendar year, whether it’s Leap Year or not.

Q: What new games are you looking forward to playing in 2017?
A: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Fire Emblem Warriors are already very strong front runners.

Q: Now that Mario Party DS and Wario Land 3 have been done, what is the most requested game for you to Let’s Play on your channel?
A: Pikmin 3 is easily the biggest request I have right now and it will probably remain that way until I do the game. The only thing is….not really sure when I want to do it. I did a stream playthrough last year, but I want to play it again before I feel comfortable playing it in an LP format, since I did have some issues getting through the game.

Q: What’s your favorite Michael Jackson song?
A: My favorite MJ song is either Smooth Criminal or Billie Jean.

Ok, I think that’s it for another Question Corner! Thanks for reading guys and remember, if you want to ask a question, go to the intro of this episode where I have a link to the Contact page!

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Donkey Kong Land

Game: Donkey Kong Land
Start Date: February 8th, 2017
End Date: February 13th, 2017
Videos: 6

Donkey Kong Country was a huge success on the Super Nintendo. However, Cranky Kong was a bit unconvinced on how well it did, saying that the only reason it sold well was due to the high quality graphics at the time. To counter this, DK and Diddy once again go on another quest, this time on the Game Boy, to show that graphics aren’t everything and that Donkey Kong is just a fun series in general.

Here’s the thing about computer repairs; sometimes it takes more than just one Game Boy project to last the entirety of the repair duration. So after Metroid II was completed, I went to another Game Boy game that I had yet to cover and this time it was Donkey Kong Land. Although not as amazing as the Country games, it was still very interesting to check these games out.

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Intro

Introduction:
So far in this series, we’ve spent some time with the Simpson family for the holiday season, and we took a look at what Bart’s life is like inside the schoolhouse. This episode, “Homer’s Odyssey,” will be examining Homer at the workplace, or to be more specific; how Homer deals when that world is turned upside-down on his very head. I’m sure this episode will shock you with what we will discover; especially if you’ve seen episodes that come after this plot. This episode aired on January 21st, 1990 and was the third episode written and aired on television.

The chalkboard gag for this episode is, “I will not skateboard in the halls,” a very basic and not-at-all surprising action to get in trouble for, but it is the first piece of evidence that we have in regards to Bart being a big skateboarder. The couch gag features the entire family sitting down on the couch with the couch falling apart at the very seams. These gags are still very basic in nature, but give it a bit as we are still in the first season. It won’t be until future seasons when they get more creative, whacky and start adapting references to other media. With that out of the way, let’s start talking about this episode.

Dip Sign

Marge: “Oh, Homer, I’m so proud of you!”
Homer: “Proud? Proud of what?”
Marge: Well, everything! Your dip sign for instance. Now people won’t be caught off-guard by that little ‘mmm-mmmm’ in the road!”

Plot:
Even though this is a Homer storyline, the first act of the show focuses entirely on Bart. His class is going on a field trip to the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, which just so happens to be the place where Homer works. We get some more insight to how much of a troublemaker Bart is at school, learning that he may have been the cause of letting some prisoners out during another field trip to the Springfield prison. His teacher, Mrs. Krabappel, is also very tired of his antics as well; not showing any sort of pity for Bart after he is forced to sit next to the kid that pukes on every bus ride, nor doubt when twins Sherri & Terri continue to play tricks on Bart throughout the trip. When they arrive at the plant and start taking the tour, Bart notices his father and calls out to him, causing Homer to look away from what he is doing and crash into a nearby piece of equipment. This accident angers his supervisor and Homer is fired from his job as result; turning this mini-Bart storyline into the main plot of the episode.

After being fired, Homer looks for a new job but is constantly and consistently rejected at every interview. The rejection starts to affect Homer in a very negative way, turning him into an “unemployed whale” who does nothing but lay on the couch all day and not respond to anyone. After seeing a beer commercial, Homer is intrigued by the prospect of drinking his sorrows away, but when he checks the fridge, there is no beer in the house, forcing him into more extreme measures. He steals Bart’s piggy-bank and tries to take money from his own son, but when he realizes what he is doing AND finds out that not even his son has enough money, Homer feels like he is out of options and the next logical step is for him to commit suicide.

Now, for those of you reading this and who have not seen this episode before…yes, that is a very dark decision to make, especially to such a sudden degree, but I kind of understand what the writers were going for and I’ll talk about this more in the review portion of this entry. Anyway, Homer grabs a boulder, ties a rope around it and carries it to the bridge above Springfield River. Thankfully, before too much time passes, the rest of the Simpson family find Homer’s suicide note and rush to the bridge to stop Homer from going through with his plan. Before he can do anything, Homer sees the rest of the family coming towards him while a giant vehicle is about to crash into his family, forcing Homer into action as he runs to his family (while the boulder is still attached to him by the way), and pushes them out of the way before it’s too late. This act of bravery inspires Homer to not kill himself and take action to make the town safer.

Homer becomes a crusader of public safety; petitioning the town to construct more road signs and warn people of the problems and dangers that exist around town. While the thrill of making the town safer gives his life new meaning, Homer realizes there is a bigger threat to the town and that threat is his old workplace, the nuclear power plant. Homer sets up a protest outside the building, forcing the owner of the plant, Mr. Burns, to take notice. After being impressed of the way Homer speaks to the crowd, Mr. Burns calls Homer up to his office to speak with him privately.

Mr. Burns offers to give Homer a job at the plant again, this time being in charge of plant safety, on the one condition that he stops his crusade and tells all of the people outside that the power plant is safe and there is no more need to worry. Homer accepts the proposal at first, but when he tries to tell everyone that the plant is safe, he can’t do it because it would abandon his newfound principles. Mr. Burns is further impressed and gives Homer the job anyway, allowing Homer to take charge and make the plant safe himself instead of just sweeping the concern under the rug. Homer tells all of his supporters outside the good news, and the crowd cheers him on as he dances over his new promotion; leading him to falling off the balcony and being caught by everyone below him.

Protest

Bart: “Gee, Dad’s a hero.”
Homer: “What’d you say son?”
Bart: “Nothing.”
Homer: “That’s okay. I’ll just assume you said what I thought I heard you say.”

Personal History:
Like most of Season 1, I first saw this episode when it released on the Season 1 DVD. Back then I thought the episode was fine and was a basic introduction to the power plant, but in recent watches, there were definitely some things that surprised me. For one, it surprised me how stretched out the story is and how it feels like three separate mini-episodes that are combined into one storyline. I also took notice that the episode introduced a lot of side characters and continuous gags and jokes that would be used in later episodes. And to top it all off, just the idea of the main character (or one of them) considering and nearly attempted suicide just really took me off guard, especially after watching future episodes and seeing how Homer would react to similar situations in a much different way. So in a lot of respects, this episode just seemed like a very interesting outlier to me; being iconic for some reasons and incredibly different and out of place for other reasons. I still have a few other things I want to talk about first, but I’m really anxious to start breaking this episode down in the review.

BoulderWalk

Mrs. Winfield: “Oh, looks like young Simpson is going to kill himself.”
Mr. Winfield: “Well Maybe not. Maybe he’s just taking his boulder for a walk.

Favorite/Memorable Moments:
This particular episode brought a few, notable, first-time jokes. For one, this was the first episode that featured the classic Bart Simpson “prank call” joke that would go down as being one of the most famous jokes of the series. Basically, Bart would call Moe’s Tavern under a fake name, and get Moe to say the name out loud, which usually would be some kind of crude remark or dirty saying. In this episode, Bart’s identity is known as “I. P. Freely.” This was also the first episode that mentioned the graffiti vandal known as “El Barto,” a mysterious figure that would go around town and spray paint “El Barto” on various walls and landmarks. There’s a lot of speculation on this particular joke, particularly the identity of El Barto, and because of the sketch artist’s interpretation, it’s very heavily assumed and implied that the identity is none other than Bart Simpson himself. There is a future episode that confirms this, but it isn’t until much later in the series, and with how many times the writers have backpedaled on revelations like this, it’s hard for me to be entirely convinced. However, the writers did state in numerous audio commentaries that this was always the intention and that they intended to include “El Barto” tags in every episode (or most episodes). In fact, the Kwik-E-Mart usually has an “El Barto” tag in most episodes the store appears in.

This episode is also one of the episodes I think of when it comes to “freeze frame” jokes, especially with newspaper headlines. During the episode, when Homer is going around town and making the town safer, you see a variety of newspapers with funny pictures and captions of all of Homer’s deeds, and while they aren’t split-second like future instances of this, it’s definitely a big example of die-hard, classic Simpson fans going through these episodes and looking for all the little jokes sprinkled in during the story. It can be as simple as a newspaper headline or a bunch of humorous movie titles at the theater whenever the family goes to the movies, but one thing for sure, the Simpsons writers know how to make a good freeze-frame joke.

This episode also continues the trend of Homer getting a new job after quitting or being fired from his position at the nuclear power plant, or him just taking an odd job in his spare time. This will happen numerous times over the series, and although his duty as a safety crusader didn’t pay anything, it was something he took seriously and seemed to be more proficient at than his actual job. In fact, I find this to be rather humorous that Homer seems to be happier and work better at every job he has, with exception to his actual job, which is the job he keeps for pretty much the entire series.

I don’t have a lot to say about this episode when it comes to my favorite moments, but there are a few things that stand out to me. For one, I think it’s great that Homer is so passionate about his new calling of being a safety crusader for the town of Springfield. He may go a little overboard at times, but some of his suggestions were really good and he may have saved a few lives with some of the signs he got constructed. And then, when he realizes that the power plant is a big threat (because it logically is), he manages to fight the system with ease without any fear whatsoever. In fact, it’s his wife that actually has concern with him going against his old bosses while Homer is ready to fight tooth and nail to make the town safe. I think it truly shows, in a positive way, how much Homer can do if he just puts his mind to it.

And for being a very dark part of the story, the one joke I always remember from this episode, which might be my favorite joke as a result, is the snarky remarks from the Winfields when Homer is carrying the boulder to the bridge to commit suicide. Mrs. Winfield remarks that “Simpson is going to kill himself,” while the husband remarks that Homer may not be attempting suicide, but rather “taking his boulder for a walk,” instead. Suicide jokes themselves are not funny and they never will be in any case whatsoever, but just the fact that Mr. Winfield was not quick to assume that, because of the type of person Homer Simpson is, just seems very funny to me; like in the sense that, “he really COULD be taking a boulder for a walk, you never know; he’s crazy Homer Simpson!” So that joke will always be a highlight for me, despite the dark tone of that particular moment. Aside from that, all of the other gags I mentioned and brought up earlier, from the prank phone call and the newspaper headlines, they’re also funny as well, but are more footstools for a series-wide joke than just a single, episode gag. I will also say that I do enjoy the montage of Homer having doors slam in his face when looking for a job, with the final door being at his home with Bart saying, “don’t give up dad!” before slamming the door shut.

The last thing I want to call attention to, and this is probably the most shocking thing if you have watched episodes beyond this one, but in this episode, Waylon Smithers does not have the same skin color as he does in future episodes. This is the only episode where he is colored like this and the reason for it is because the animators were not sure what color he was supposed to be so they made his skin more brown/tan-colored. The writers of the show often joke that the reason Smithers was colored this way was because he had a very dark tan from an island get-away or something, so it’s good to know that they had their fun with this particular mistake. Other characters also have slight differences in the first season, namely Chief Wiggum and Moe have black hair instead of their trademark black and gray hair.

SimpsonInAllOfUs

“Friends, you have come to depend on me as your safety watchdog, so you won’t scrape yourself or stub your toes or blow yourselves up. But you can’t depend on me all your life. You have to learn that there’s a little Homer Simpson in all of us…”
~Homer Simpson

My Review:
Homer’s Odyssey is a very iconic episode, and I didn’t realize how iconic it was until I watched it back for this analysis. It introduces a lot of things we know about The Simpsons moving forward and it writes a lot of characters and jokes that we’ll see throughout the entire series. For that, this episode holds my respect for those particular introductions. However, as far as the story itself and the overall plot of the episode is concerned, I will say that this episode did fall short in a couple of areas, and is not one of my favorites as a result. As I mentioned above in the personal history section, this particular story is segmented. Act 1 focuses on Bart’s field trip, Act 2 focuses on Homer’s lay-off and depression, and Act 3 focuses on Homer’s safety crusade. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with jumping around to that degree, as I’m sure other episodes may do that format with success, but with this particular episode, it just kind of bothered me a little. I think it’s because there just aren’t a lot of jokes in this one because there is so much plot that needs to be set-up beforehand that the writers were trying to fill-in how to get Homer from point A to point B than writing joke after joke after joke. Whenever there were jokes, as good as they were, the jokes themselves seemed more like filler to compensate for a shorter run time than jokes that flowed nicely with the story. And sure, you probably don’t want to have too many jokes in your episode, but for this one, I feel like it could have used a bit more, at least in my opinion.

There’s also quite a bit of confusion I have with the ending of this episode. During the ending, Homer is offered another job at the power plant under the condition that he tells his supporters that the plant is safe. Homer tries to, but is unable to go along with it because of his principles. As a result, Mr. Burns compliments him and gives him the job anyway, which prompts Homer to go outside and tell everybody that he is going to be the safety inspector. This confuses me, because what exactly changed between the two times Homer went out to the balcony? Nothing really. So why couldn’t Homer just say his speech the first time he went out there? I feel like for this moment, you really have to examine the syntax of what the two were talking about. And as far as my interpretation goes; the first time Homer went out, he was just supposed to say the plant was safe with no context, in Mr. Burn’s interest of sending everyone away and stopping the protest. However, the second time he goes out, he says that he will taking the job and trying to make the plant safe on the inside, which is much different than the original intent of sweeping the problem under the rug. However, if Homer said that speech the first time, would Mr. Burns not give him the job? I mean, either way, it was a win-win. I think it makes sense from looking at it from the perspective I mentioned, but truth be told, that did have me confused for the longest time and I think it could have been written a little better.

And surely I can’t overlook the giant boulder in the room when it comes to the “attempted suicide” scene. I’m not going to speak ill of this moment, because again, I get what the writers were going for, and truth be told, I think they handled it very well. Homer was depressed, he couldn’t provide for his family, he had no skills to work with or any alcohol to help him cope with the pain; so he felt like he was only getting in the way of his family, and therefore felt useless and not important at all, which is why he made that decision. I can’t imagine how that must feel for someone or anyone going through those types of thoughts, which is why it was refreshing to see Homer discover his life’s purpose at the end of that scene, but I think it was good for the writers to spread that kind of awareness and the message that suicide is not the answer. And considering the extreme nature of this topic, it’s just really interesting to see them deliver that message so early in the series and they did it with only a two minute scene, as opposed to an entire episode. It’s also interesting, especially when looking at how Homer would cope with a problem like this in future episodes, just seeing how sudden and how out of left field this scene came from. These days, Homer would come up with a kooky scheme or crazy project to get his mind off and away from the power plant, but this time, it really hit him hard and in a way that most people probably wouldn’t see coming from him. I guess that goes to show you how much this show has changed over the years, and on a more serious note, how serious and scary depression can be in general, and how it should never be overlooked or ignored.

Overall, I wouldn’t say this is a bad episode by any means. It has its nice and funny moments and it has some good messages throughout the plot as well. I feel like it could have been a much stronger episode if they spent a little less time on story-telling and a little more time on the jokes and humor. Again, not saying the show needs to be a joke-fest or anything, but a nice balance of story-telling and jokes is a good way to keep your viewers interested and invested. I think that’s all I have to say about this episode, so as I’m closing this out, just try to remember what Homer Simpson taught us about being safe. He may no longer be our safety watchdog, but we have to remember that even though he is gone, “there is always a little Homer Simpson in all of us.”

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This episode took me a bit longer to make because I was trying a slightly new format with these posts, but at the end of me finishing my rough draft, I realized there was way more information and writing than I really even wanted, so I spent an entire day re-editing and modifying this document to get it in the format I wanted before I realized that I was more happy with the usual format I’ve been doing for these posts. I guess it’s just a case of, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But seriously, as usual, any insight or advice is helpful, so don’t be afraid to tweet at me or send me a message if you have some thoughts. Thanks everybody! See you next week for the next episode!

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Metroid II: Return of Samus

Game: Metroid II: Return of Samus
Start Date: February 2nd, 2017
End Date: February 7th, 2017
Videos: 6

Samus Aran is back in action and this time, she’s armed to take down some Metroids. SR388 is the Metroid homeworld and Samus has strict orders to take down every Metroid for fear they will once again be used for malicious intentions in the galaxy. She’ll need to brave the deepest and darkest caverns to accomplish this task and may come face to face with Metroid royalty.

This project pretty much came out of nowhere due to some computer issues I was having and needing some smaller projects to do in the meantime while I was getting the computer fixed up. Metroid II was a game I finished for the first time not long before this happened, so I decided to give this project a shot. It was on my list to do this year anyway, but it was nice to move it up for this occasion as I had fun doing this game for you guys.

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BartTheGenius
Introduction:
Now that The Simpsons has done its first episode and Christmas special in just one airing, it’s time for us to move on to the next episode and see what the Simpson family looks like without the holiday season. “Bart the Genius” aired on January 14th, 1990, being the second episode written for the series and the second to air on television. As I mentioned in the last episode, the episode titled “Some Enchanted Evening,” was written before this episode, but due to the crude nature of the animation, it was pushed to the end of the season instead (with not much improvement in between). The Christmas special was written later and pushed up in the airing order to release it during the holiday season. This was also the first episode of the show to air in the 1990s, bringing the start to what will be known as the golden decade of The Simpsons. Will this episode be a benchmark of greatness with more greatness to come? Or did it come up short? We’ll find out very soon.

But first, It’s also worth mentioning that this the first episode to feature the classic opening sequence that the show is known for, also being the debut for the famous “chalkboard gag” and “couch gag.” The chalkboard gag is shown at the very beginning of the sequence and features Bart writing a phrase on the chalkboard numerous times as a punishment. These phrases are usually comical in nature and some are downright silly in the sense that Bart actually got in trouble for doing something incredibly outrageous and outlandish. The phrases change from episode to episode and from my knowledge, a chalkboard gag has never been done twice (I could be wrong though). The couch gag is generally a little more interesting, being shown at the end of the sequence. They usually show the entire Simpson family coming in the house to sit down on the couch (or try to) with something unique happening during the process; usually to a comical degree. It’s not uncommon to see a certain couch gag used in multiple episodes. In fact, certain couch gags are reused and brought back due to their length because if an episode runs shorter than the episode run time, they may use a certain couch gag to make the episode air time a little bit longer to compensate for the shorter run time.

It’s also worth pointng out that the first season had a unique opening compared to the one used for Season 2 through Season 20. While the premise is pretty much the same and has a similar flow, there were a few scenes in the first season intro that were cut shorter and the animation was in general improved for future iterations. The “highlights” of this first season intro is a section where we see a bunch of unnamed adult characters running to chase a bus (caused by Bart stealing the “Bus Stop” sign), and a slightly extended scene of Lisa biking home to the Simpson house. Aside from those features, the animation improving, and the inclusion of more permanent Simpson characters, there really isn’t too much different. I do like the improved intro more, but it is always fun to go back and take a look at what the intro used to be.

Anyway, I know I’m talking a lot about the intro and not really about the second episode yet, but I think it is important to take a look at this now while it’s relevant because the opening sequence of the Simpsons is pretty iconic. It’ll be around for the long haul and it introduces (almost) every single episode of the show. And a show with over 600 episodes; I think that’s very important. So for every episode, I’ll try to mention and highlight the chalkboard gag and couch gag in the Introduction before I get to the actual episode. For this episode, the chalkboard gag is “I will not waste chalk,” which is pretty funny considering the circumstances of Bart’s punishment. The couch gag shows the entire family trying to crowd onto the couch with Bart getting launched to the ceiling when the combined forces of the entire family cannot fit them all on one piece of furniture. And as an added bonus for the continuation of this couch gag, when the camera focuses on the TV and the writing credits for the show, Bart can be seen falling to the ground in front of the TV with a loud thud.

kwyjibosimpsons
Homer: “Wait a minute, you little cheater. You’re not going anywhere until you tell me what a ‘kwyjibo’ is.”
Bart: “Kwyjibo; uh..a big, dumb, balding, North American ape, with no chin.”
Marge: “And a short temper…”
Homer: “I’ll show you a big, dumb, balding ape!”
Bart: “Uh-oh! Kwyjibo on the loose!”

Plot:
In the first episode, we got a few glimpses of the kind of child that Bart Simpson is. Unlike his sister Lisa, Bart is a bit more outspoken and is more prone to getting into mischief, disobeying his parents wishes, and is not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to his schoolwork. This episode really hits that point hard when one of Bart’s stunts miraculously puts him on the other side of that coin; in an environment that he’s not used to, and in a place where he probably doesn’t belong. How long can Bart keep the charade up, and how far is he willing to go before he gets caught or before the guilt catches up with him?

The episode starts with the Simpson family playing a nice game of Scrabble. We find out that the reason for this family game night is because Bart is scheduled to have a big intelligence test the following day and the game was a way to get Bart’s brain working before the big exam. Instead of taking the exercise to heart, Bart spends the game mouthing off and making up words, leading to Homer chasing him through the house when trying to pass off “kwyjibo” as a serious word. Bart continues his escapades into the next morning when he gets caught defacing school property with spray paint and gets into verbal scuffles with fellow honor student and teacher’s pet Martin Prince. After a few choice words and tongue-faces from his rival, Bart decides to get his revenge on the boy by taking Martin’s finished exam and swapping the names on the two exams when nobody was looking.

Later that day, Homer and Marge come in for Bart’s punishment for defacing school property,and while Principal Skinner is lecturing the two parents on Bart’s behavior, the school’s psychologist, Dr. Pryor, comes in to reveal that Bart has a 216 IQ and is classified as a genius. This comes as a shock for the entire room, but Dr. Pryor suggests that Bart’s behavior may be the result of him feeling suffocated in the public school environment and suggests they move him to a private school where Bart can learn at his own pace and set his own boundaries and assignments. The thought of no boundaries and no homework assignments pleases Bart and he accepts the offer without question.

During his first few days of private school, Bart starts to feel incredibly out of place. The lessons are extremely advanced and the other kids are very aware that Bart is not as smart as they are; teasing him and taking advantage of Bart’s actual intelligence. To make things worse, Bart’s friends at his old school will no longer talk to him anymore because he is now a brainiac himself, making Bart feel even more like an outsider. Even Marge tries to nurture her son’s newfound intelligence by taking the family to the opera and experimenting with different forms of culture, but as we discover, these are things completely out of the Simpson family’s element. The one thing that does improve with his new life is the relationship Bart has with Homer, who tries to encourage and positively reinforce his son, without being the loud and obnoxious authority figure he normally is. This new attitude of Homer’s convinces Bart to stick with the act for a bit longer, even though it is painfully eating at him.

On the next day of school, Bart has an accident in chemistry class which causes the entire room to explode in a giant mess of green goo. Bart is sent to talk to Dr. Pryor about the incident, where he reveals that he wants to go back to his old school and classroom as the new set-up is not working for him. He disguises his intentions to move back to the old class by claiming he wants to investigate the behavioral patterns of kids at public schools, but when writing his proposal, Bart decides that keeping up the act will no longer work because he is not smart enough for this kind of study and decides to write a confession letter instead, explaining how he cheated on the intelligence test.

When Bart returns home, Homer decides to give his son a bath after the chemistry accident. During the bath, Bart comes clean with his father, telling him that he is not a genius, but that he really appreciated and loved how much closer they got during the last few days. In classic Homer fashion, Homer gets angry and chases Bart through the house for lying to him. After Marge asks what’s going on, Lisa responds, “I think Bart’s stupid again, Mom.”

class
Now go on, boy, and pay attention. Because if you do, one day you may achieve something that we Simpsons have dreamed about for generations. You may outsmart someone.”
~Homer Simpson

Personal History:
This will more than likely be the case for the rest of the Season 1 episodes, but for this episode, I had not seen it until it came out on DVD much later on in the early 2000s. Although I was alive when this episode and Season 1 was on the air, I did not have much of a memory of the show until it got to Season 2. After all, when Season 2 came around, I was at least 3 years old by that point. However, like most of Season 1, it was definitely an interesting experience going back to this first season and seeing how the show used to be. Even though the animation was weirder and characters seemed to act or look different than what they were supposed to be, as a Simpsons scholar, it was good to get that much needed history lesson.

Bath
“Don’t be discouraged, son. I bet Einstein turned himself all sorts of colors before he invented the lightbulb.”
~Homer Simpson

Favorite/Memorable Moments:
I have to say, Bart has quite the audacity for looking his father straight in the eye, and calling him a big, dumb, balding ape, and that’s pretty much what he does in the first few moments of the episode when giving his official definition for what a “Kwyjibo” is. I think it’s a a pretty iconic moment of not only this episode, but also for the season and series as a whole. It shows the kind of relationship that Bart and Homer have for not only the early parts of this episode, but also for the entire series moving forward, and it also makes their bonding in this episode even more special.

I also really like Lisa’s line at the very end of the episode as well, the one about Bart being stupid again. I think it works very well because throughout the entire episode, Lisa was skeptical and doubtful of Bart’s intelligence results and she made that doubt incredibly clear. So at the end of the episode, when things return to normal, Lisa isn’t at all surprised by the newest development of Bart not being a genius. She let the big change run its course and is ready for the next adventure to unfold at the end of the day/episode. I think this is why I like Lisa so much as a character, just because she isn’t just the voice of reason, but she’s also very aware of what’s going on around her and she often makes it a point to have a little fun and still be a child at the end of the day.

Another line I really enjoy from this episode is when Homer tells Bart, “Don’t worry son, I bet Einstein turned himself all sorts of colors before he invented the light bulb.” I like this saying because it’s a funny line and it’s also incredibly true and very wise words coming from Homer. Sure, Bart was faking his intelligence the entire time and Einstein was an incredibly smart man, but isn’t the best form of intelligence, “learning from your mistakes?” We get wiser and smarter the more mistakes we make because we know how to not make them again, and with all things considered, that was just a really good and inspiring thing to tell his son and I really appreciated that when watching this episode back.

Although not really a funny or favorite moment of mine, I also think the opera scene of this episode is very important. This scene shows the Simpson family at the opera with Homer and Bart making wise cracks and inappropriate noises during the entirety of the performance. While embarrassing to Marge, I think this is a golden moment for the family because it really shows the type of family they are. They aren’t used to high-class entertainment or being quiet during a show or sitting still. They’d rather be going out for burgers or frosty chocolate milkshakes and sitting around the family room watching television. Even Lisa, who is very much into the performing arts can laugh and snicker at Homer and Bart’s antics. I think it’s good that they show this family dynamic early because it perfectly personifies what I think is the prime example of the typical American family. For years we have been taught how to act or how we display good manners, or what is acceptable forms of entertainment, but at the core of it all, families (and people in general) have their ways and have their unique identities, and those lessons are just going to go to waste or fall on deaf ears. So when the Simpson family goes to the opera, they aren’t going to think, “wow, the vocal range on this group of performers is impressive,” they’re going to think, “how much longer is this going to be?” Every family is different, and you can’t expect them to act in a certain way or enjoy the same things as other families. They are going to do their thing and act in their own way, and rightfully they should. This is something that will be further looked at and developed in the episode “There’s No Disgrace Like Home,” so I’ll definitely come back to this topic later in the season, but for now, it was nice to see the family out of their element to get a further understanding of who they are (especially this early in the series).

StupidAgainMom
Marge: “What’s going on out there?”
Lisa: “I think Bart’s stupid again, Mom”
Marge: “Oh, well…”

My Review:
I have to admit, I actually kind of enjoyed rewatching this episode and taking notes from it. It’s interesting how when looking at something you love from an analytical side of things, your perspective kind of changes a bit and start looking at things in different ways. Truth be told, before doing this analysis, I wasn’t really a big fan of this episode. I don’t think it’s bad or unwatchable or anything like that, it just lacks a lot of substance because it does fall in the show’s first season when things aren’t as established and the writers are focused on setting up characters and plot lines for the show’s future as well as the present. It’s a pretty typical storyline though; bad kid gets away with something, he starts to bask in his success, but then he feels guilt, and in the last moments is either caught or does the right thing and comes clean. Many shows, both animated and non-animated, have done this story before and for what it’s worth, the Simpsons do a pretty decent job with it. I particularly enjoyed the growing relationship between Bart and Homer and how the only good thing to come out of Bart’s actions was them growing closer. It definitely hit a spot that I had overlooked for many, many years.

On the opposite side of the coin, I also found the episode to be a little unfinished in a few respects. One thing that kind of bothered me on this rewatch was how easy Bart was able to get out of the situation without any sort of punishment (that we know of). Yeah, Homer angrily chased him around the house, and in theory, the schools may have given him punishment later on, but as far as we know, Bart pretty much got off scot-free here. It’s one of those things that’s not really a negative, but it’s something I would have liked to have seen if the episode time went on longer, or if they cut out some of the other parts of the episode that could be seen as padding. Speaking of which…what even happened to Martin Prince after the exam? Wouldn’t the psychologist notice that an honor student got a really low and uncharacteristic score? Wouldn’t that raise some questions? And aside from the random shot of him and his family at the opera, he’s not even in the episode anymore after the test scene. And for being the person who got swapped with Bart, wouldn’t he be the one with the most to lose from this escapade? And finally, it always struck me as odd that Bart’s old friends treated him badly when he visited his old school. I always thought it should have been a case where maybe his friends were off doing something and Bart couldn’t come because he had a conflict with his new life and that would make him depressed as opposed to his friends just being mean. It just seemed like an odd choice.

But yeah, I can’t really classify those things as negatives, they’re just things I thought about on my most recent watch. At the end of the day, I was honestly surprised by how much fun it was to watch this episode again. I wouldn’t say it’s top tier or high quality Simpsons viewing, but for a first season episode, I think it accomplishes what it set out to accomplish, which is all that needs to be said really. The’re still plenty of Season 1 episodes left; some I’m looking forward to and others not so much. But until then, remember folks; cheating on intelligence tests will only take you so far, so don’t do it!

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Hey guys! You have just read my second episode retrospective. I do apologize for the extreme lateness of this entry, but I’ve been dealing with a lot of things going on in my personal life as you may have read about on my Twitter account or heard on my Youtube channel. Long story short, I went on vacation, got sick when I returned, and had my computer break down when I recovered. Because of this, it took me awhile before I could continue on with this series and for that, I apologize. I’m hoping I can get the next episode ready by the end of next week. Like I said in this entry, I had a lot of fun working on this second episode, so maybe that will give me some more motivation moving forward. I’m still trying to get used to this and am still playing with the format, so there may be some changes in future episodes, but for now, I think I’m going to leave this one at a close.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to go to Contact page and submit some fanmail with your remarks. You can also tweet at my SlimKirby Twitter account as well, but since this is a website project, let’s try to keep messages at the former, if at all possible. Thank you everyone and have a good day!

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Wario Ware Inc., Mega Microgame$

Game: Wario Ware Inc., Mega Microgame$
Start Date: January 7th, 2017
End Date: February 26th, 2017
Videos: 12

Mario has a lot of spinoff games. In fact, you could almost consider the Wario series to be a spinoff of the Mario series in its own right. That kind of logic will not fly with Wario however, as he’s going to do what he can to make a name for himself without that pesky Mario bro. Enter the Wario Ware series, a series that prides itself on being…strange; for lack of a better word. Even with it’s oddities though, it still has managed to crank out a smile and some enjoyment out of gamers, and that ain’t too shabby.

Since I’m once again running out of Mario Party games and since we’ve made some pretty decent progress on the Mario Kart series, I decided to try something else for this weekend project and decided to start going through the Wario Ware series, a game series I have thoroughly enjoyed since its release back in 2003. It’s a pretty fun and hilarious game that I’m very eager to share with you guys!

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Introduction
Introduction:
Every television series has to start somewhere and for The Simpsons, they started with a Christmas special. I know that might seem a little odd, because normally show runners will wait a small bit to get characters introduced and more defined before bringing up all the holiday scenarios, but the Simpsons writers seemed quite confident in their ability to get this series going and considering how well-known this particular Christmas special is, I’d have to say they got off to a pretty nice start.

One thing you will see me point out a lot in these older episodes is the animation. Because this was their first season and because they hadn’t switched to the animators that would go on to do their “golden years” episodes, the animation was pretty low-quality in their first year, at least in comparison with what it would be beyond season three, or even earlier in the following second season. However, I have to say that Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire looks quite a bit better compared to the other episodes of this season. I’m not sure if it’s just because the writing was better, making us overlook some of the visual atrocities, or if the spirit of Christmas has truly touched my heart, making me want to give this episode a pass. Regardless, I do think this is a good episode and a must-see for anyone looking to have an authentic Simpsons experience.

On the subject of this episode’s writing, I also think it’s important to point out that while this episode was the first to air on television, it was not the first episode produced or written for. In fact, of the thirteen episodes in Season 1, it was the eighth to be produced. Obviously this decision was made to air this episode around Christmas time; pushing it ahead in airing order, and also because the first-produced episode “Some Enchanted Evening,” was an animated nightmare and abomination. I’ll be getting to that episode much later in this first season retrospective though, so let’s not get into that now. This episode aired on December 17th, 1989, making it the first and last episode to air in the 1980’s. Simpsons have come a very long way since then, but how does this episode really hold up? Let’s get into it, now that all of the formalities have been taken care of.

Letter

“Speaking of life going on, Grandpa’s still with us, feisty as ever. Maggie is walking by herself, Lisa got straight A’s, and Bart– well, we love Bart.”
~Marge Simpson’s Christmas Letter

Plot:
“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” is a pretty standard Christmas episode, in the sense that it has a pretty typical formula that you could apply to a wide variety of other holiday specials. The main characters get excited about Christmas, something happens that threatens to ruin Christmas, and in the last moments, the true spirit of the season touches everyone and a happy ending is shared by all. We’ve seen this type of story a number of times, but the Simpsons have their own little spin to it.

The Simpson family is preparing for Christmas and during the first half of the episode, we basically get different shots of The Simpsons doing very Christmas-related things. From attending a Christmas pageant, making letters to Santa, writing Christmas cards, setting up light decorations, making plans with relatives…these are all the bells and whistles you’d come to expect with typical holiday traditions. And from examining The Simpsons, you can see that Christmas is a pretty important time for them. They take pride in these holiday traditions because they know they aren’t an incredibly wealthy or high-class family, and it’s just a time they can look forward to every year, maybe spend a little extra money on gifts for each other, and just feel the spirit of the season. Even Homer remarks that around Christmas he feels like a “big kid,” because he loves the holiday so much. And even with the upcoming and unpleasant arrival of his wife’s twin sisters, he doesn’t let anything ruin his drive to make this the best Christmas yet.

However, two big wrenches get thrown into Homer’s holiday plans. His boss, Mr. Burns, announces that all employees will not get a Christmas bonus this year. Meanwhile on a shopping trip, Bart sneaks off to get a tattoo, despite his parents objections, forcing Marge to spend the entire family’s Christmas fund to get the tattoo removed. This leaves the Simpson family with next-to-nothing for Christmas shopping, forcing Homer to shop at a cheap discount store and steal a Christmas tree from private property. The rest of the family is completely unaware of these actions though, as Homer has not told them about the denied Christmas bonus in order to keep their holiday spirit high. At Moe’s Tavern, Homer’s friend Barney gives him the idea to take a part-time job as a mall Santa Claus in order to get some extra cash, which a desperate Homer is willing to try to save Christmas for his family.

During a chuckle-emitting montage of Homer being Old Saint Nick, Bart yanks Homer’s Santa beard off, revealing his father and forcing him to tell Bart about his plight. Bart, being impressed of his father’s dedication to their family, decides to help him out and not tell the rest of the family about Homer’s secret. However, when Christmas Eve rolls around, Homer and Bart are both disappointed to find out that Homer’s paycheck is only worth thirteen bucks. Barney, however, fills Homer and Bart in on his master plan of taking the thirteen dollars and betting it down at the dog-racing track on a canine who is on a massive win streak. Homer is at first reluctant to sink to those levels, but is willing to give it a shot when Bart reveals that this could be the Christmas miracle the family needed all along.

At the track, Homer is inspired when he hears the name “Santa’s Little Helper” for one of the racing dogs and decides that betting on the little guy, on Christmas Eve, even with the tremendous odds against him, is a sign that the family will have a Merry Christmas after all. He puts all of his money on Santa’s Little Helper, and as the race comes to a close, he finds out that not only did his dog not win, but he also came in dead last. Distraught over the miracle not happening, both Bart and Homer leave the track in a very sour mood.

Before they can leave the parking lot though, they hear the sounds of Santa Little Helper’s owner yelling at the poor dog and telling him to get away, tired of his losing performance. The dog jumps into Homer’s arms and Bart asks Homer if they can keep him. Homer is against the idea at first, but he quickly changes his mind when he comes to the realization that the dog is not very different from him or his own family; remarking that “he’s a loser, he’s pathetic……he’s a Simpson!” Homer takes the dog home, confesses to the entire family about his Christmas bonus, but the entire family is immediately won over by the dog; saying it was the best Christmas gift he could have ever gotten the family. Then, the entire family closes the episode out by singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” over the credits.

Reindeer

“Um…Dasher, Dancer…Prancer…Nixon…Comet…Cupid…Donna, Dixon?”
~Homer Simpson (his attempt at naming the reindeer)

Personal History:
Funnily enough, I don’t have memory of watching this episode until very late in my life when I got The Simpsons – Season One on DVD when it came out in 2001. I’m sure it was probably on TV at some point in my household and my memory is just very bad at remembering those details, but the first experience I remember of this Simpsons Christmas story was through a book illustration I had, which basically depicted the entire episode in a picture book format. I must have read that book hundreds and hundreds of times and have probably read the story more than I actually watched it. These days, yeah, I would probably watch it instead, now that I have the DVD set and The Internet on my side, but for the longest time, the book was all I had of this holiday classic and that’s a pretty unique memory.

Santa

Bart: “Hey Santa, what’s shakin’?”
Homer: “What’s your name Bart…ner…little partner?”

Bart: “I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?”

Favorite Moments:
I’ve been debating this section of this retrospective for a while now, and while a part of me would like to post all of the funny moments and quotes from each episode, it would just be way too time-consuming, and I’m sure there are many websites and webpages dedicated to being archives for all the classic sayings, quotes and continuous gags. So instead of doing that, I’m just going to focus on the highlights of every episode…at least as far as my favorite parts are concerned.
I think one of the things I find very humorous in this episode is how snarky Homer can be at certain moments. Yeah, it can come out as him being a jerk-ass at times, but in this episode, it’s hard to blame him for his short-temper. Whether it’s him constantly asking who’s on the phone when Marge’s sister just says “Marge please,” instead of any actual greeting, or when Ned Flanders easily upstages Homer’s light display by going all-out and over-the-top with Homer remarking, “It’s too bright” in an extremely defeated tone of voice. I think my favorite moment of snarky-ness though is when he bumps into Flanders and his son again after leaving the dollar store and Todd Flanders says, “Mr. Simpson, you dropped your pork chop,” even squeaking the dog toy a few times before Homer just has enough and exclaims “give me that!” taking the toy out of his hand.

The montage of Homer as Santa Claus is also very memorable for me as well. Homer is obviously not the perfect candidate for being Santa Claus, not knowing the names of Santa’s reindeer as he lists, “Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Nixon, Comet, Cupid, Donna and Dixon,” and immediately turning to violence and rage when being insulted by the instructor pretending to be a mouthy kid. But it also shows how non-serious the training is to begin with, giving literally anybody the chance to be Santa and not exactly making the standards too high either. I guess it makes sense for a service that only hands out thirteen dollars by the end of the term. What tops all of this off though is the exchange between Homer and Bart when Bart sits on his lap just before he yanks off his beard. Not only is it funny watching Homer struggle with trying to pretend like he doesn’t know Bart, but then Bart immediately responds with his classic, “I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?” line, causing Homer to just continue losing his cool until the big reveal happens.

As far as other moments are concerned, another low-key visual gag that I enjoy is when Homer tells Marge in the bedroom that he wants to do all the Christmas shopping this year, causing Marge to react positively, turn off the bedroom lights, showing only Homer’s glowing eyes and fake smile in the darkness. I also like the exchange between Homer and Marge’s sisters after obtaining the stolen tree, one of them asking why there is a birdhouse in the tree (“It’s an ornament!” exclaims Homer) and the other asking “Do I smell gunpowder?” (In relation to the property owner firing a weapon at Homer as he zooms away with the tree). And finally, when Homer and Bart are at the lowest point possible in the episode, after it was pretty much guaranteed Santa’s Little Helper would finish in last place, Homer remarks that they’ll leave once their dog finishes the race; immediately changing his mind a few silent seconds later when the dog still hadn’t crossed yet, really pushing the point home that their dog had no chance in Hell to win.

As far as absolute favorite moment goes, I think I’m going to stick with the beard-yanking scene between Homer and Bart. It’s just very iconic, features a first-time quote that will be used multiple times in the future, and is just really, really funny. If I was judging not based on humor though, I’d have to also give a vote to the sweet moment at the end of the episode when Homer realizes that Santa’s Little Helper and him have a lot in common with the “He’s a Simpson” line. I think it’s perfect for not just the episode, but also for the show moving forward as it gives us insight to how the Simpson family stacks up with the rest of the world. They’re far from perfect, but they are still a family.

Hes a Simpson“But he’s a loser, he’s pathetic, he’s…a Simpson”
~Homer Simpson

My Review:
So as I said earlier, this is a pretty standard formula when it comes to Christmas stories, Christmas specials, Christmas movies…you name it. It starts with high energy and excitement, introduces some conflict that threatens that excitement, and wraps everything up on a good note with some kind of message or moral woven in between. It can be pretty cliché, but I also quite enjoy the unique effort they put into this particular story as well. The one thing I really liked about this story watching it back this time was the fact that no matter how many times Homer failed in his efforts to give his family an amazing Christmas, he still kept trying. I feel like no matter what he would have done, he would have been unable to give his family the Christmas they wanted, and heck, even if he did bet on the right dog and won the $130 dollars, I think it would have been a very cheap victory for Homer and one he would have regretted anyway. In other words, he had to fail in order to realize the true spirit of Christmas.

You could also say Homer was wrong for keeping the secret from his family, stealing private property, putting too much importance on money, betting his paycheck in the first place, and being extremely greedy with playing on unwinnable odds for a huge payout, but I do think his heart was in the right place. He didn’t do it to be rich or wealthy…he did it for his family and I think he made that very clear throughout the episode. Heck, he didn’t even want to go to the dog track at first, but because Bart was positive and confident, he figured it was at least worth a shot, and I don’t blame him for feeling that way. The point is, he didn’t give up until the very end and I can respect that. I also think it was sweet that the dog, which ended up costing the family nothing (at least when you ignore on-going food and care costs), ended up being the perfect present for the family anyway. And considering how important the dog will be for the family moving forward, I think it was a pretty solid gift for not only them, but also for watchers of the show as well, with this being the first episode and all.

It’s not the funniest episode of The Simpsons, but it’s very sweet and iconic episode of the show as well. I find myself watching this episode at least once every holiday season, mainly due to the fact that finding a holiday special on TV during the month of December is like finding a hammer at a hardware store. Despite that though, I still think it holds up very well and is still very much watchable, even with the older, cringing animation and the creation of many other Simpson holiday specials as well, some of which I do find myself enjoying a little more than this one. As far as Season 1 episodes are concerned, it is probably one of the better ones, as there isn’t really much wrong with it or much I find myself in opposition of. It’s something I can turn on and watch every Christmas with the family and never feel like it gets old or dated, even if it is the first episode of the television series.

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Hey guys! I think that will do it for my first episode retrospective. I do apologize that this is going up a little late (I wanted to release this on Christmas), but as expected, since this is a new series, I ran into some conflicts with deciding how I wanted this to go. I think moving forward, I shouldn’t have as much difficulty with this, but please be patient with me as I’m still trying to figure everything out and get into a routine with this. As for the next episode, don’t expect any new ones until the year 2017. I would like to get Episode #2 up before I leave on a trip that starts on January 4th, but we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens leading up to those dates. As I said before, the scope of this project is pretty much undefined at this point, but no matter the scope, it’s going to be a big undertaking regardless. I am looking forward and dreading this project at the same time because of that. Despite that though, I’m going to try and have fun with it anyway, as it’s not very often that I get to talk about The Simpsons to this degree.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to go to Contact page and submit some fanmail with your remarks. You can also tweet at my SlimKirby Twitter account as well, but since this is a website project, let’s try to keep messages at the former, if at all possible. Thank you everyone and have a good day!

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Question Corner #12 - 12/24/16

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here, and welcome to another edition of the Question Corner!

I decided to release this as a Christmas Eve gift for you guys. Why in particular? No reason really….I was just checking how many questions I had in my backlog and noticed that I had over 20, so instead of waiting for the next day I picked to answer questions, I figured why not just upload what I had very quickly. That’s really all there is to it I guess.

As usual, if you would like to send your own questions, you can do so at my Contact page. Just make sure the questions are questions I have not answered before, are appropriate questions that don’t get too deep into my personal life, and are at least somewhat discussion-length and not just simple “Yes or No” questions.

Q: What would you like to see in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?
A: I think the game looks pretty promising so far, but as far as what I would want most from it; I just want the game to keep giving me a reason to come back. The idea of an open-world Zelda is pretty awesome, but if they make the world too big and too empty with not a lot of reason to come back, nor have some kind of continuous goal for me to achieve, I don’t think that would be a great move for the game. What captivated me about other Zelda games was the gameplay (in terms of adventuring, puzzle solving and combat), the cool items I could use and play around with, and the story, which was usually good enough for me to come back to and do multiple playthroughs of those games. At this point, it’s really hard to say if this Zelda will feature those elements, or at least in the same way that the other games have, so there is a little concern, admittedly. I’m still very much looking forward to it though.

Q: What are your favorite Donkey Kong 64 levels?
A: Favorite level is hands down, Frantic Factory. It has the best music, the switching between kongs wasn’t super monotonous like it is in other levels, and it had a lot of diverse areas for a freaking factory. It’s also, love it or hate it, the home of one of the greatest arcade games of all time. And considering this is the level where you unlock the final kong, I like it because it starts to feel like the game is in full swing and you’re ready to experience everything that each world has to offer (since some areas are restricted in the first two levels). I also like Creepy Castle and Angry Aztec as well.

Q: What are your opinions on Amiibos, now that they have been out for awhile and the initial craze has died out a little?
A: From the get-go, I was never super into the Amiibo functionality for games. I was more interested in having them for my collection because they are essentially figurines of my favorite video game characters, and I figured that would be the main draw anyway. I’m glad they aren’t introducing too many at once anymore and they seem to be coming out in small series waves. That way, if it’s not a series you are into, you can ignore it and wait for something else you might be interested in and save your money. I recently bought Waluigi, Daisy and Boo and it was nice being able to walk in Gamestop a few days after they came out and pick them up with no availability issue, so it’s good that they seem to be stocked better. So yeah, not much to say beyond that. I still think they are cool, but I’m not at all surprised that the craze died down.

Q: What future game do you feel nervous about LPing?
A: The Dynasty Warriors series. I love the series so much, but I’m not sure how I want to do the series yet because there is a lot I want to cover with each game, but trying to keep the videos enjoyable without being too repetitive is going to be a huge challenge. A challenge I’m not sure how to approach yet.

Q: Do you prefer to grow a moustache or beard?
A: Beard. I don’t think I look good with just a moustache. Apparently though, according to most of my subscribers, my beard is “legendary,” so another reason to have one I guess.

Q: What is your main motivation for doing Let’s Plays?
A: I do it because people enjoy my videos and I want to provide more content for them. Not to mention it’s also kind of my job now too. Aside from that though, I also do it for myself. I get bored really easily and when I get bored, I waste time doing stuff that doesn’t really serve any sort of purpose. Doing Let’s Plays and Youtube stuff is great because it puts my mind to something I can focus on and it involves video games, my favorite past time and my greatest passion.

Q: How are you when it comes to meeting new people?
A: I try to be as nice, or at least as neutral as possible, when it comes to meeting new faces. I’m not really much of a socialite and I admit I can be a little awkward at times, but I try. Truth be told, I’m actually a very shy person at heart, so whenever I’m trying to start a conversation or initiating a discussion, it takes a lot out of me and inside I’m sweating bullets. This is why I prefer people to take lead sometimes, because it allows me to contribute as much as possible to make up for any silence that I can’t really fill in myself. So really, never be afraid to approach me or talk to me, as I will do anything and everything to be kind and make a good impression, but don’t be surprised or offended if it gets a little quiet.

Q: Does fear of copyright issues stop you from doing any games on your channel?
A: Sometimes, but since I managed to do Simpsons: Hit and Run, Road Rage, and The Simpsons Game without really any issues from Fox, I don’t think there is really anything holding me back. If I had to pick one game that I’m still kind of nervous about, it would probably be Kingdom Hearts, just because of how scary Disney can be sometimes, but I think I’m still going to try and get around to it at some point.

Q: If you had children, what would you like to name them?
A: Since I am technically the third “Robert” in my family, I would like to continue that name because it does feel somewhat special to be the “3rd” in a family line. So for my son, I would probably go for that and maybe use his middle name as the more common name, just to avoid typical same-name issues. For a daughter, I’m very partial to the name “Laura” for some reason.

Q: How tall are you?
A: I haven’t measured my height in a while, but a little under 6 feet. 5’8 or 5’9; or something like that.

Q: Will you do a draw my life or play my life video?
A: Not to the former because I can’t draw to save my life, but I have thought of doing a Play My Life video at some point. Couldn’t tell you when that is going to be though.

Q: Do you want a large family or small family?
A: I’d be more partial to a small family. Having a wife and one or two kids would be just perfect for me. I didn’t grow up with the brother/sister dynamic, so I’d like to see that in action, even if I wouldn’t be the one having the sibling.

Q: Are there any games that are very popular with gamers that you don’t really care for that much?
A: When it comes to first-person shooter games like Halo and Call of Duty, I’ve never really been able to get into them, and it’s not really because of the genre either because I love Goldeneye 007. I also had a really hard time getting into Splatoon as well. I thought it was a cool concept and it was nice seeing Nintendo do something new and very different, but I just couldn’t really get into it that much.

Q: Did you ever want to follow in your parents footsteps in terms of working in the field of Education?
A: That was actually my first major when I started attending college, but I quickly dropped that major after my first year because I really wasn’t too keen about being a teacher for the rest of my life. I have nothing against kids or teenagers, as I’m sure most of my fans are in that age group, but I’d rather provide them with entertainment as opposed to knowledge. It’s a lot less stressful for me, for sure.

Q: What’s the coolest thing you have made as a gift?
A: It was not so much a gift, but more of a gesture. I was talking to a friend of mine once, and she was talking about how she didn’t like to make snowmen because they are eternally stuck in one place before they just melt anyway. So one day, after it had snowed, and since she only lived down the street from me, I made a small snowman, put it on the top of my car, and drove down to her house, calling her and telling her to go outside because “we” are going to wave as we drive by. I later told her that it was so the snowman could finally experience the thrill of not staying in one place. She thought it was a sweet thing to do for her and the snowman.

Q: If you had a genie, what would you wish for?
A: An extra hour every single day. You’d be surprised all that you could accomplish if you had one more hour to work with, and over time, that one extra hour will start to add up. I feel like every hour, minute and second is precious, so you should always make sure you are doing something you enjoy with it.

Q: Do the results of your “Project of the Year” videos impact what you do the following year?
A: It’s a small impact, but it is definitely there. That’s pretty much why I did Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and even Super Paper Mario as early as I did, just because people seemed to really enjoy my Paper Mario RPG. I also got around to Pokemon Gen 2 a lot earlier than planned as well with how popular Pokemon Blue was.

Q: What stores do you like to shop at?
A: Insert the typical gamer answer here; Best Buy and Gamestop. I’ve recently gained an appreciation for retro game stores like Game X-Change.

Q: If the Nintendo Switch fails, do you think Nintendo will pull a Sega and only work on software, not hardware?
A: While I think Nintendo is not exactly on stable ground right now, I still think it has quite a bit of life left in it. I do see this as a big possibility, bigger than I ever thought it would be, but I wouldn’t count them out just yet. The Switch will definitely determine a lot though, for sure.

Q: If you and your future wife ended up having twins, what would be your reaction?
A: It would be very shocking, for sure, going from having not just one kid, but two kids in an instant. It would also be a huge step up in responsibility and work, but I would find a way to make it work.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading guys and thanks to all the question submissions as well! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays in general!

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Kirby Super Star Ultra

Game: Kirby Super Star Ultra
Start Date: December 18th, 2016
End Date: February 16th, 2017
Videos: 18

A common trend you will see with handheld games for Nintendo is releasing a ported version of an older game. For this game in particular, Nintendo and HAL Laboratories decided to bring back the SNES classic known as Kirby Super Star and put it on the Nintendo DS in the form of Kirby Super Star Ultra. It’s the same classic game we know and love with some additional content as well. What’s not to like?

This was a game I definitely wanted to get around to at some point once I had my permanent DS capturing device. I don’t remember what my plans initially were for this game back when I did the vanilla version of Kirby Super Star for the channel, whether I planned to just show off the new content or heck, not even show the game at all because DS capturing seemed like such an impossibility back then, but I decided to go for it anyway because it is such an amazing game as it is.

I have also included stream clips at the end of this project featuring my additional Helper to Hero runs to unlock the final movie!

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SlimKirby's Holiday Name That VideoGame Tune - 12/23/16 @ 4:00 PM EST

Introduction: Hey guys! I’m hosting a Video Game “Name That Tune” competition on Friday, December 23rd 2016 at 4:00 PM EST at my SlimKirby stream channel! This competition is heavily based and inspired by Odinspack33’s competition that he hosts on his Twitch co-op channel, Ami_Bros. I did another competition like this in October and due to its success, I’m bringing it back for a special holiday edition, this time with more notice beforehand and more songs, which means more competition!

Concept: The concept is quite simple. I play a song, and you guys try to guess what game it is from. The fastest (and correct) users will get points for answering correctly and at the end, I will crown a winner. Don’t expect any rewards though, as this is merely for fun. I just want to test you guys and see how well you will do.

Games: Any video game console, handheld and PC game is eligible to have songs in this contest, and some series will no-doubt be covered multiple times. However, no single game will be used twice. Also, these are all games that I have played at some point in my life. There will be songs from games I have Let’s Played, but there are also a lot of songs from games I have NOT Let’s Played. I also tried to pick only a small number of songs that appear in my stream grinding playlist, and the ones I picked should be very recognizable tracks anyway, so there shouldn’t be too much of an advantage for anybody.

Songs: When I am getting ready to play a song, I will mute my microphone and let people know in chat when I’m about to start playing the song. I’ll let the song play for about 30 seconds (maybe longer to account for twitch delay), so during that time, please post in chat what you think the song is from. After I stop the song, I will mute the audio again, write down who got the question correct, and then move on to the next song. After every 5 songs, I will recap the answers and who got points. This will continue for 64 songs. The last round will only be 4 songs, but may be 5 songs if needed…

Answers: There are a couple rules you need to keep in mind when answering.

a)Only the first 3 correct answers will be accepted and will get points. The first correct answer will get 2 points, while the following 2 correct answers will get one point. There will be a cut-off though for how long I accept additional correct answers, just to prevent copy/pasting and cheating.

b)You only get one answer, so only your first answer will be accepted if you answer multiple times.

c) If you don’t know the answer, GUESS! Sometimes you would be surprised how often your guess would be right, just by knowing certain styles and sound fonts of music.

d) You are answering with the game where that music track FIRST appeared in. Songs that are featured in subsequent games (unless they are remixed) will not count. Super Smash Bros is a big example here. Make sure you know the difference between original songs and remixes. If it’s a Smash Bros. remix, answer with the Smash Bros game, but if it’s the original, unchanged song, answer with where it’s from.

e)A correct answer must have correct spelling. If you spell something wrong, or make an accidental typo, sorry, your answer will not count. However, you don’t need to have exact punctuation. So don’t worry about colons or hyphens if you don’t include them. I’m also flexible when it comes to spacing as well.

f)Give full titles! Name abbreviations and acronyms are not correct answers. Example: Don’t shorten “Super Mario Bros. 3” to “SMB3” or “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” to “Zelda: OoT.” You need to spell out full game answers, only exception being the following subtitle rule.

g)Subtitles are unnecessary unless they differentiate the game in question. Example: All “The Legend of Zelda” games NEED their subtitle because if you just say “The Legend of Zelda,” that could mean the original game or any of the other games that have subtitles. However, “Zelda II: The Adventure Link” doesn’t need the subtitle, because there is only one “Zelda II” so “Zelda II” would be an acceptable answer. For another example, “Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest,” an answer of “Donkey Kong Country 2” is acceptable. You can still type out the full names, but you won’t get bonus points, and are potentially missing out on points by typing out more than necessary.

h) Roman numerals and numbers can be interchangeable, so “Final Fantasy 8” and “Final Fantasy VIII” are both acceptable answers. The only time this would matter otherwise is if the game needs the roman numerals to differentiate from another version. For example, “Mega Man 3” is an NES game while “Mega Man III” is a Game Boy game.

i) If a game is on multiple gaming machines and has a slighty different soundtrack or is a different game entirely, like the console and 3DS versions of Sonic Generations for example, you don’t need to differentiate between the two versions if they are named the same. Both games are called “Sonic Generations.”

j)Stick with North American names only. If you live in a different region and are used to calling a game by a certain name, I may make an exception in that case, but only if it would give you a point otherwise. The answer is whatever it is on the box or game disc.

Cheating: If you are caught cheating, you will be timed out. Any further cheating will result in a disqualification or a ban on my stream channel. No exceptions. This is for fun and there are no prizes involved, so don’t cheat. Unfortunately, since this contest will rely a lot on the honor system, cheating can’t be policed very easily, but in my experience, cheaters usually slip up eventually, so just don’t do it.

Lag and Stream Buffering: If you are experiencing lag or stream buffer during the event, my only advice would be to refresh the stream or reset your router/connection. In between rounds, pause the stream and play again to get caught up for optimal performance. If you continue to have problems, there is not much I can do because unfortunately with streaming, there are a lot of factors that affect performance, like twitch servers, my internet, your internet, or sometimes just random luck. WHATEVER YOU DO THOUGH, DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT LAG OR TWITCH DELAY IN CHAT. We know it’s frustrating, but it can be ridiculously annoying watching someone complain about it over and over again. If you make a habit of complaining, you are risking a timeout or potential ban.

My Screen is Law: Sometimes, it may show you answering before someone else on your screen, but sometimes, due to people answering at the same time, on my screen it may show a different result. Whatever it shows on my screen is what is correct, even if it shows you first on your screen. That’s the only fair way to do this.

Common Courtesy and Respect: During the event, treat all individuals; streamer, moderators and fellow competitors with respect and kindness. Do not insult anyone and if you think someone is cheating, let the moderators take care of it and not yourself. If you have a problem with the contest and think something was done unjustly, address it in between rounds and we’ll discuss it before moving on to the next one.

I think that’s all I need to address. The only other thing I can think of is just to have fun and a good time listening to video game music with other like-minded gamers! See you then!
~SlimKirby

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