Hey everyone, it’s Tuesday.

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Bravo, Ryan Davis, you pulled a fast one over us yet again. First, you encourage us to visit Chinese buffets of questionable quality. I obliged. You told us that D-Box was a viable way to view our favorite films on the big screen? I believed you. You tell us to share photos of our New Balance sneakers? I don’t even like New Balance, but for you sir, anything. That time you snitched out the pot smokers in Santa Clara was accidental? Uh huh. China don’t care, Ryan Davis? Certainly.

Now they tell us that you’ve passed away. Blog posts, articles, editorials from the multitudes of friends, colleagues, fans who you’ve interacted with in your prolific career in the industry, all mentioning the loss of someone near and dear to their hearts. A Twitter feed is adorned with pictures, clever twists on old, long-dead running jokes, admissions of guilt and sorrow over the events that occurred this past week. You were even trending worldwide, man, at a respectable position right underneath #consofdatingme (featuring such winning tweets as “I always smell like pizza” from Little Caesar’s verified profile)!

And to that I say: I don’t believe you this time. I’m not falling for it. This is the big one you’ve been waiting all your life to pull of. If anyone was capable of putting on the most elaborate, wool over your eyes prank, it was Ryan Davis. Ryan Davis, the most congenial, jolly, eloquent, goddamn JOVIAL man in the industry. Ryan Davis, the Summerjam Scholar, the jokester, the man of a dozen polo shirts. His love of games- infectious, his uncanny ability to call out bullshit- undeniably entertaining.

You’re gone? No way, man. I always said I was going to shake your hand & tell you how much I admired your work one day. I always meant to do it. Hell, I had prime opportunity to do so at two separate California Extreme events. You intimidated the hell out of me, you were a man who walked with purpose (most likely to the BurgerTime machine, I know you & I both agree that BurgerTime is dope as hell). Couldn’t bring myself to do it. Next time, I said.

Surely there will be a next time, right? I refuse to believe those who said they lost a colleague, a brother, a friend, a husband, a son today because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from following your work this past decade, it’s that everyone is always in on the jokes you create. No one is an outcast in Ryan Davis’ world.

And if you are gone- theoretically speaking, of course- then I can’t help but feel worthless. I can’t do much of anything but to watch and offer sympathies to those who were fortunate enough to have you in their lives.

We’ve never met, sir, but from what I gather, people adore you, both Ryan Davis, the Giant Bomb co-founder, and Ryan Davis, the loving friend, husband and son. All words are inadequate when it comes to describing you (though I have a feeling that the implementation of the word “fuck”, played fast & loose throughout would be fitting) but I would like to say thank you, for sharing your passion with the world, for producing some of the most intelligent and riotous content on the internet, and for being a hell of a human being. I would not be Vince Osorio if there was no Ryan Davis.

So for the final time, I say this:

Fuck Ryan Davis. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Soundtrack

So I received a copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD thanks to Mashable on Twitter (Thanks, guys!) and have been playing for about a week now. It’s fun, but extremely flawed…but let’s discuss the game another time.

Instead, I’d rather talk about the disappointing soundtrack. Half of the songs are comprised of tracks from Tony Hawk 1 & 2 (rather, one song from TH1- “Superman”), the other half are hit-or-miss tracks from up-and-comers like El-P (the shining new addition, actually). I got rather bored of the soundtrack quickly, so I took it upon myself to create a new soundtrack for the game on Spotify. If you have Spotify, go ahead, click on the playlist & enjoy! If not, take a look at the track listing & mock up your own playlist on other websites, or do what I did and make your own playlist! Power to the people!

 

 

-Vince 

UFC 143 in 3D: The Experience: The Review: #Reload

A few months back, it was announced on the Ultimate Fighting Championship website that that the heavily-awaited Interim Welterweight Championship bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit at UFC 143was to be screened in movie theaters across the country in 3D. I scoffed for a bit, especially when Dana White, president of the UFC, said “I know the fans love 3-D, so I’m happy to give them this championship fight live and in 3-D in theatres across the country”. I’m not so sure that we, as a society, love 3D as much as they’d like to believe.

But regardless, I was intrigued. This had never been done before- the 3D filming, at least. UFC had broadcast a handful of pay-per-view events at select movie theaters before, but not since the Brock Lesnar/Cain Velasquez fight in October 2010. I attended the first UFC theater experience at UFC 111, featuring the Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (who is out on injury, which is why Diaz/Condit fought for an interim belt) and Dan Hardy, and had a pretty amazing experience. Watching a PPV for maybe 1/3 the cost, in a crowded room full of MMA enthusiasts, on a huge screen in HD is an excellent deal. But this time, UFC was going to broadcast all the punches, kicks, submissions and trash talking…in 3D! It was either going to be completely awesome and an amazing experience, or a total bust, with a crappy conversion and boring fights. I’m here to say that it really was neither, but that I had a good time regardless.

I don’t want to spend too much time on reviewing the fights, because this isn’t an MMA forum, but I’ll add my two cents with some bulletpoints at the end of this review, but for now, I’ll just give an overview of the experience.

Before the Event

I arrived at the theater around 6:45, 15 minutes before the pay-per-view was set to start. Luckily, they played the Countdown to UFC 143 special (which basically is a “hype video” for the event- giving you stats, insights and history of the fighters and why their match-up at the PPV will be important) before the fight started, and I was surprised to see that UFC actually converted the video to 3D. You can tell that the video itself wasn’t filmed in 3D, so it didn’t look too hot, but overall, it was understandable.

Then the actual PPV started up, as the crowd (maybe about 140 people in a 200 seat theater) settled in, and we were treated to a new UFC intro sequence! As UFC fans would know, the infamous “gladiator” intro (which I’ve imbedded below) was replaced this weekend with a kinda neat intro featuring some of the most memorable knockouts & fights in UFC history composited over scenes of a building breaking from the inside (to make it look like the fights were so brutal that they’re destroying the building from the inside out).And then we were showed the arena pan and introduced to our announcers for the night, Jon Anik and UFC lightweight fighterKenny Florian. Normally, the UFC PPVs are announced by the team of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan (who are always excellent at what they do), but since the 3D feed is separate from the 2D feed that folks were getting at home, it was understandable that they needed a different announcing team to handle that. I missed Joe & Mike from the broadcast (Joe Rogan did do post-fight interviews with the winners in the octagon after), but Anik & Florian did a solid job calling the action.

During the Event

I’m not really interested in giving a review of the fights, like I had mentioned before, but I can review the experience, and overall, I had only a few complaints. This was the first time that UFC had ever broadcast 3D footage on a nationwide scale, and as such, there were a few hiccups throughout. Everything that happened in real-time was filmed with actual 3D cameras, but all of the archived footage was converted to 3D afterwards, and it really showed. Because the feed was in 3D, the cameras were placed at different angles than what you’d be used to when watching a 2D UFC fight. The angles were more canted, placed at angles on top of the cage, as opposed to dead center or in the corners. This gave a bit more depth to the fights (think the 3D angle in Super Street Fighter IV for the Nintendo 3DS), but the video wasn’t popping out at you constantly, which was nice. Specifically, the Roy NelsonFabricio Werdum fight would transfer to a behind-the-shoulder viewpoint for portions of the fight, and it came close to looking like you were at the event yourself. The entrances for the fighters looked absolutely stellar, as well. Watching the fighters backstage, performing reps or exercises legitimately had a clean look and popped out of the screen, which was very, very impressive. The onscreen graphics, including the logos, titles and the round timer were slightly rotated inwards as to pop into the screen, and looked nice as a result.

Angles liked this looked absolutely stellar in 3D.

Angles liked this looked absolutely stellar in 3D.

However, the angles in the octagon were not always ideal for the fights, and there was switching to the single-lens cameras (which output a noticeably converted feed to our theater) but that’s something that can be solved in the future by employing other 3D cameras around the cage. Also, there was a decided lack of the Octagon Girls in 3D, with only one Arianny Celeste appearance throughout the 3 hour event. Bummer.

Conclusion

Come on, who wouldn't want to see THIS in 3D?

Come on, who wouldn’t want to see THIS in 3D?
Condit going to war with Diaz in the Octagon.

Condit going to war with Diaz in the Octagon.

Overall, except for one of the five fights, the event was a fun one, the crowd really got into it, and it was an interesting experience. $25 (which is about half of what you’d pay for the PPV in standard definition) was a pretty solid deal for the chance to see some brutal fights on the big screen, surrounded by your peers, in three-dimensions. I’d go again, but I hope that A. UFC only uses the format for the really important and high-selling PPV cards (fights including Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, etc) and B. that if the UFC commits to the idea of 3D, that they plan for it ahead. Maybe have the intro movies remade specifically in 3D or add a couple of more 3D cameras during the broadcast. Otherwise, I’d give a pretty solid recommendation to the UFC’s first PPV in 3D, and I’d most certainly go again sometime.

Extra Thoughts

  • Kenny Florian is basically a Bizarro version of Ben Stiller, if Ben Stiller could break your arm.
  • The Josh Koscheck fight was by far the worst fight of the night. Slow, stiff, boring and an absolute chore to watch. Since Josh Koscheck is “the most hated man in MMA”, the fans understandably booed him out of the building after his decision victory, and his post-fight interview amounted to giving the crowd the finger and saying “I somehow find a way to win”. I don’t like Josh Koscheck just because he’s a bland, boring fighter (that’s a good reason), but because he has no fucking personality whatsoever. If he’s going to be a bad guy, be the bad guy, don’t half-ass it. Chael Sonnen fully commits to his image, and Nick Diaz just says whatever the fuck is on his mind, but Koscheck doesn’t give a crap either way. He must be a chore to be around in real life.
  • On the other hand, Roy Nelson is absolutely perfect at being the hometown big boy who just happened to get a chance to fight in the UFC. And that’s no schtick- that’s Roy Nelson. He’s just a chubby dude who likes to eat, drink and punch people out. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s the Hacksaw Jim Duggan of the UFC. He also looked fantastic against Werdum, who is overall a stronger fighter. Werdum’s the man who slayedThe Last Emperor, after all.
  • I can agree with Condit winning the decision over Diaz if Condit won with a score of 48-47. But two 49-46 votes and a unanimous decision? That’s some bullshit. The match was too close to give to either fighter decisively, which is why there’s an uproar over the decision right now.
  • Diaz’s post-match interview was just about as close to an example of “ragequitting” as you’d get in the UFC. Pretty brilliant though, and I understand how Diaz feels (it really could’ve been his match), but I doubt he’ll actually retire. He’s just pissed off by the sometimes questionable politics of MMA scoring, understandably so. But man, what I would’ve given for a Nick Diaz/GSP staredown at the end of the PPV.
  • Jon Anik did hint at future UFC PPVs in 3D. I’d certainly go to another one. Maybe we’d be so lucky to see Silva/Sonnen 2 in 3D?

Lists of Stuff I Liked in 2011

Hey, it’s 2012 everyone! Here’s a pretty bare-bones list of my personal favorite things from 2011. I’m going in more detail about the concerts because I really didn’t have another outlet for talking about those other than right here. As for games/movies/albums, I’ve talked about those on other sites or on Twitter significantly, so just peruse through there and figure it out yourselves. Otherwise, enjoy!

Favorite Games of 2011:

  1. Shadows of the Damned
  2. Dark Souls
  3. Rayman Origins
  4. Ms. Splosion Man
  5. Uncharted 3 (so far)
  6. Trine 2
  7. Mortal Kombat
  8. Battlefield 3
  9. NHL 12
  10. LittleBigPlanet 2

Also deserving of some merit: LA Noire (haven’t got into it yet, but so far it’s neat), Jurassic Park: The Game (enthralled the entire way through), Rock of Ages, Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword

Favorite Movies of 2011:

  1. Midnight in Paris
  2. Hanna
  3. The Adventures of Tintin
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2
  5. Hugo
  6. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  7. Warrior
  8. Super 8
  9. Bridesmaids
  10. Fast Five
  11. “Best” movie of 2011: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Also deserving of some merit: Horrible Bosses, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Thor, Captain America, The Muppets, Arthur, The Mechanic, Cars 2, The Lincoln Lawyer, Hobo With a Shotgun

Favorite Albums of 2011:

  1. Girls- Father Son Holy Ghost
  2. Adele- 21
  3. Various Artists- Drive Original Soundtrack
  4. Chemical Brothers- Hanna Original Soundtrack
  5. Wye Oak- Civilian
  6. Tyler the Creator- Goblin
  7. Feist- Metals
  8. Bon Iver- Bon Iver
  9. Bad Meets Evil- Hell: The Sequel
  10. St. Vincent- Strange Mercy
  11. Special Award for Best Video Game Soundtrack: Sonic Generations 

Also deserving of some merit: Florence + The Machine- Ceremonials, Beastie Boys- Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, Dum Dum Girls- I Will Be, The soundtrack to Catherine,  Flogging Molly- Speed of Darkness, The Raveonettes- Raven in the Grave

Favorite Concerts/Sets of 2011:

  1. Prince at The Forum- One of the best performers of all time, every single minute had everyone off their seats and joining into the party. Prince is a must-see before you die, no matter what you think of his more contemporary music. It’s exactly what you’d expect from one of the seminal musical acts of our time.
  2. Rush at the Concord Pavilion- Totally saw this same show a year ago at a different venue. Still amazing live.
  3. The Hold Steady at Treasure Island Music Festival- directly in front of the stage. Rocked so hard that I couldn’t even go see Death Cab following.
  4. St. Vincent at Treasure Island- also amazing live. Annie rocks my socks.
  5. Explosions in the Sky at Treasure Island- I’ll always remember how Explosions quite literally just came up on stage, said “We’re Explosions, we’re from Austin” and immediately just started rocking out after. I’ll never forget this one.
  6. Anamanaguchi/Peelander Z at The Roxy- one of my favorite venues in Los Angeles for not one but TWO crazy fun rock sets back to back. Saw them both separately this year but couldn’t compare to the awesomeness of their joined forces
  7. Avenged Sevenfold at the HP Pavilion- if it wasn’t for the awful, aggressively and offensively bad openers, this would be higher on the list. Brilliant live
  8. MC Chris/MC Lars/ Mega Ran/ Adam Warrock at The Catalyst- due to some poor planning, I missed all but Chris’ set at Slims’ the previous day, so I made the trip to Santa Cruz to see the entire set. No regrets- all performers were on point. Had a blast watching them perform.
  9. The Raveonettes at the Troubadour- my favorite venue in LA and one of my favorite bands ever. Close to perfect. As my roommate (who wasn’t too familiar with the band prior to going) said, it was ” the chillest concert I’ve ever been to”, and I’m likened to agree with her.
  10. Buckethead at Hardly Strictly- whatever man, Buckethead’s awesome, and his set here, while it kinda just came and went due to the lull of the crowd, was spot-on, full of guitar prowess. And “Jordan”.
  11. Best Concert that I didn’t see live but watched the livestream of so it totally counts: LCD Soundsytem’s last concert ever.

Also deserving of some merit: Standing Shadows at Brick & Mortar (weak crowd but fun set), MC Frontalot at Cafe du Nord (same, but also neat cameo appearance by Unwoman), Del The Funkee Homosapien (terrible sound system and one of the worst crowds I’ve ever had to deal with, but Del’s still a fun performer), Weekend (first performers I saw at Treasure Island- groovy in all the right ways), K. Flay & Teddybears at Rickshaw Stop (Teddybears are weird as hell but cool live, K. Flay’s a hell of a live presence on stage), Jim Campilongo at Yoshi’s (randomly got invited to see him for the first time an hour before the show started & loved it), Arsis/Firewind at Slim’s (Arsis is always interesting, even with the replacement singer, Firewind had a fun set).

Biggest surprises/disappointments for some reason in 2011

  1. Randy Savage died- FUCK MAN
  2. The remake of Arthur wasn’t horrible- It wasn’t! And normally I hate Russell Brand!
  3. Transformers: Dark of the Moon wasn’t an abomination- I actually own this movie on Blu-Ray, that’s how much I liked it. Wow.
  4. Duke Nukem Forever was released, finally- and it sucked! A game so nice I bought it twice! How does that work?
  5. Catherine wasn’t as amazing as it could’ve been- huge disappointment, but I’ve said too much already
  6. Steel Panther was both hilarious and hugely disappointing live- set was late, the in-between song banter was fun more often than not, but there was a HUGE lack of actual Steel Panther songs besides “Community Property” and another song, rest were covers. I liked the comedy and all, but I kinda wanted them to talk less and rock more. We couldn’t get “Death to All But Metal” at least?
  7. Dum Dum Girls aren’t that interesting live- I like their music, but when you think about it, it’s full of pretty maudlin lyrics and simple instrument backing. It truly showed live. The band just kinda came in and played their stuff and there wasn’t all that much interesting about it. Considering that The Raveonettes have a similar type style and killed it live, this came up short in comparison.
  8. Tha Carter IV- I’ll just let you figure this one out yourselves.
  9. 2011 was a huge year for platformers- Trine 2, Ms. Splosion Man, Rayman Origins are all in my top 10, and that’s that I haven’t even touched Kirby, Super Mario 3D Land and a bulk of others.
  10. Beach House at Treasure Island came up short- IN MY OPINION, that is. Of course. Dreamy and calm and whathaveyou, but much like the Dum Dum Girls set, nothing grabbed me, and I felt underwhelmed by the end of it all.
  11. Honest surprise that I forgot to add until now- The TNA House show I attended in San Francisco was fun as hell, with really only one mediocre match of the bunch (Jeff Hardy’s return match, at least he’s on the up-and-up). Heel Bobby Roode vs. James Storm was an absolute delight the entire way through, and seeing Mickie James in action was fan-friggin’-tastic.

Quickie

When was the last time I actually posted something of merit on this website? Months ago, I guess? That time will stretch out longer, however, as I really don’t have a lot of things to blog about at this point. Planning to do a few things on Screened.com, possibly a year in review for video games, movies and possibly music (but 2011 wasn’t a banner year for music IMO, though there are some standouts).

I’ll post them on here in case that happens. Or if it doesn’t. Who knows?

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