Friday, 29 June 2012

Gotta Go Fast

A Sega was another of those things I didn't have when I was younger. I was like 14 before I played Sonic 1. But my memories of him as "that other video game character" go back farther, thankfully.

Let's kick it off with a little music. '90s music. Because that's what we do on the '90s blog.

Jesus CHRIST that's so out there man. The chipmunk voice, the early 3D, the catchy beat...holy shit. It reminds me of those commercials that were around when cell phones first started getting big where you could text a number for a ringtone of a singing baby or rabbit with cartoony voice covering love songs. Those weirded me out, especially cause they came on late at night. They plague me to this day.

Anyways, onto Sonic. Sonic has a fantastic soundtrack and is a poster boy for the struggle going on in the '90s between Nintendo and Sega, and later on Sony. The guy was created for the sole purpose of destroying Mario, like Cell from Dragon Ball Z with Goku. And for a while, it wasn't clear who was on top. 

Obviously it was Mario who prevailed, but for a short while our cyan compadre gave the plumber a run for his money. Sonic doesn't enjoy the fame he once did, but that was the nature of the business - in the game of thrones you either win or you die, and Sonic fell off the map in the mid 2000s after a few good games followed by some terrible ones. They still make Sonic games today (him in Brawl was a major point of contention for me because I had that one asshole friend who always played as him so he could use that annoyingly unbeatable final smash attack) and from what I've heard the recent ones aren't bad, but I can't be bothered with them any more. 

I watched the Sonic X cartoon too sometimes but I don't have a very good memory of it to be quite honest. It was on either before or after the Kirby show on Saturday mornings, a very finicky time for me.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Radio Active!

Think 'Community' but not very good and in high school. Also with a different main plot. Actually it's nothing like Community.

The epitome of Canadian teenager sitcoms from the mid '90s to early 2000s. It ran for three seasons and followed the miss adventures of a gang of high school students as they ran their school radio show.

The gimmicky characters, crazy aesthetics, and wacky "would never happen in real life" things that went on were all part of this particular breed of show's charm during the 1990s. Ms. Atoll was the sneaky, conniving bitch teacher who set out to make their lives miserable. I think every sitcom on YTV and Teletoon during this period had a character like that. Sadly I had a few of those teachers myself in high school! 

Just listen to that silly theme song with the boppy synths and shitty logo:

It starred Giancarlo Caltabiano, who would later go on to be the boss on another low budget Canadian sitcom "Fries With That?" in the 2000s. I hope that guy lands a big role or something again someday, he was fantastic.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

This is gonna be a big one. YTV.

YTV spans every Canadian aged 18 - 25's childhood probably.

What good shit used to run on there. Especially on The Zone. For the longest time 'The Zone' was the place to be on a weekday afternoon after school with your Coke and chips watching whatever the hell was on. There were the PJs, a line of 'programming jockeys' who supplied jokes and interesting facts between shows and during commercial breaks. Most often there were two. Phil was one of the most memorable ones. I heard from someone I worked with at the radio station that the Chinese guy does carpentry now for a living and one of the other ones smokes a ton of the ganja. These were people we looked up to, and even now they still own.

Sugar was one of the most notable. Stephanie Beard did the voice for someone on Sailor Moon and hosted the programming block we all love from 2001 to 2007 (so, just outside our '90s comfort zone). She also did some commercials for things like chocolate bars (which I swear used Crash Bandicoot music).

Speaking of commercials, YTV had the best bumpers. They were so eccentric and out there, keeping in line with the whole "Keep It Weird!" logo the company and its PJs enacted. Check them out!

Lots of greens, purples, and golds. And they remind me of Toronto for some reason. Maybe it's because YTV was based there. As well we had the classic Concerned Children's Advertisers PSAs. '90s as heck bro:

Watch 'em all sometime, they are a real flashback. 

Dragon Ball Z was on here either before or after it was on the 8PM block, and Pokemon was on every day at 4PM. I am still a manchild for that series. It is probably not healthy. 

Later on, when Spongebob Squarepants became a thing, they showed marathons of that and Fairly Odd Parents every holiday which they called "SpongeOdd SquareParents Day". They were a lot of fun even though we had seen the episodes like a million times!

Anyways, I'm off again. Have fun with those old PSAs!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

More 64 - Star Fox

Remember Star Fox 64?

Growing up I didn't have a Nintendo 64 (I had the Playstation because I was a cool kid) but I played it a lot at different friends houses. One of the games I remember most was Star Fox 64 - the low rez graphics, the cheesy dialogue, the excellent game play. Everyone knows this game even if they never played it because of that stupid "do a barrel roll" meme.

Until I got the game for the Wii I was mostly limited to the first couple of levels in danke, cold basements. Still I trucked on, however, usually making it to the end of the first Sector level before we went and played outside or whatever. Despite always playing there in Super Smash Bros. 64, I never got to the Sector Z one as it was at the end of the hard path. I did know if you saved Falco and swooped under the arches on the water in the first level you could initiate the hard path, though. There was that army base area that made fun of Independence Day (which came out in '96, Star Fox was '97) and the tank level at the end where you have to blow up the train. The Landmaster tanks actually gave me some inspiration for Larry Goose's Tank and Warfare when designing the factory levels.

One of the other levels I remember, mostly from playing it in the late 2000s on the Wii, was that darn Solar level. What the heck was up with that place, always draining your health and forcing you to smash asteroids for power rings? And that lava boss who threw the volcanic rocks at you. What a sun of a bitch he was (haha pun).

Only a few months ago did I see the game's ending. I was at a buddy's (in the basement, like old times) and we decided to play a bunch of classic games. He beat the final stage for me, which I've never been able to do, and probably never will. It was cool seeing James McCloud. 

Maybe I'll get this game for the 3DS sometime.

And now, for the song I know best from the game - Corneria City!

Sounds like a MIDI file and probably is. Have a good one!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Return! Plus Fresh Prince!

Hi! Sorry for the inactivity lately, I've had some stuff in ~*the real world*~ to deal with this past month and I haven't really felt the inspiration to jam about the '90s lately. Those things didn't exist in the '90s though so I won't pour them out onto here. 

With a new job and a day off under my belt though I may as well get a new entry done, this time concerning something that tickled my fancy the other day while watching television...

It's the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! Yes sir, a few days ago my mates and I were eating pizza and watching TV and this old gem came on. Brought back some golden memories of grade school. In particular coming home after karate (a big thing in the 1990s, also for the past two thousand years probably) and watching it at like 8PM. This is what replaced Dragon Ball Z. I guess it was a fair enough trade off.

I also remember a friend falling asleep on top of me one time while spending the night back in high school and being completely unable to crash because of how badly I had to piss. I didn't want to wake her up so I couldn't go to the washroom. It really sucked. In my haste to stave off the late night until she woke up I turned on the television and a Fresh Prince marathon was playing. I'd like to thank Will for giving me the strength to hold it all in. 

I could probably go on a tangent about how this show slung Mr. Smith into stardom or something about race relations but no I am talking about how it saved me from a rather unpleasant experience.

Anyways that's all I have for today, maybe I'll do another one tomorrow, or maybe not! Until then though here is the kickin' rad Fresh Prince theme: