Thanks, Ryan. Always missed. Forever Remembered.

I've been thinking about all that's happened for a few days and I think I can put how I feel into words now. I started listening to the Hotspot about two years before GB launched. '06 I guess. I remember not liking Ryan at first actually. He came off as way too snarky I think. Not sure if he changed or it was my perception of him, but I grew to enjoy and respect what he had to contribute in time. Lets be honest, his sense of humour and boyish giggle are what won me over ;)

Just how much I thought about what happened to Ryan has surprised me, as I never knew him personally. I guess the one time he interacted with me was on a Super Street Fighter IV TNT when he bet on the Canadian MikeFightNight (it was a smart bet at the time xD) Like others have mentioned, we all feel like we knew him, like you know a good friend. I've listened to him or seen him in videos every week since '06. Now the voice and face I have grown accustomed to seeing every week is gone. That is the part that feels so shocking to me.

Thank you Ryan. Thank you for providing me with countless hours of entertainment and countless laughs and smiles over the years.

My deepest and sincerest condolences to Ryan's friends, family, and most importantly his newly wed wife. I won't pretend to understand how the loss of Ryan has effected those truly close to him. However, his passing has effected me. It highlights just how fleeting life can be. How change can come abruptly and violently at any moment. You don't truly appreciate what you have until its gone.

So call your mother and tell her you love her. Bury that old grudge with a friend, he/she can't remember why it happened either. Appreciate and cherish all the relationships you have, because nothing lasts forever. Go out and form new ones, because the world is a great place.

Also, don't be a dick, life's too short.


The P4 Endurance Run Blu-ray set.

It all started in 2009 when the P4 ER was just starting. I watched about 30 episodes before I decided that I wanted to play P4 for myself and then did so. Flash forward earlier this year in 2012, I found myself wanting to revisit P4 and thought, what better way to do it then watching the P4 ER!

I got a few episodes in before I asked myself this question; wouldn’t it be awesome to have a physical copy of this? You know, for when the zombie apocalypse comes and all cloud storage as we know it is gone!? Although I don’t see how having the P4 ER on Blu-ray would help me in that situation... That’s not the point! Right, the point is I have always had a soft spot for physical media and I thought doing this would be a fun side project. Also once I start something, it must be finished… it must.

I present to you the Persona 4: Endurance Run Blu-ray set!

Now to talk more about the technical stuff, stop reading here if you’re not interested.

So I took all 155 episodes and put them on 5 Verbatim inkjet printable Blu-ray discs. The first 4 are 50 gig dual layered while the last is a standard 25 gig disc. Most of my original content was done in the first week. Accurate calendar intro's for each episode, unique outro's for each disc, Blu-ray menu, disc and case art. What took the most amount of time was downloading all the episodes (at the best quality GB offers) and having to go through each one, formatting them with new borders to retain their original aspect ratio (640x360) to be displayed in 720 x 480. I then had to batch convert them all to H.264 Blu-ray standard to burn.

For those wondering “Why didn’t you make em 1080p brah!” I did try to convert them to higher aspect ratios and tested them out on some bd-re’s, but I realized that they looked like crap, so I decided to keep the original aspect ratio. The very beginning intro and outro's to each disc are presented in 1080p, as burning with Toast allows you to have different video formats that can play continuously on a disc. I was originally going to leave the little calendar intro's for each episode in their native 1920x1080 resolution but, realized that Toast 11 only allows 99 tracks per disc. So i had to bake them in to each episode as I was giving them new borders.

I had originally intended to make the Blu-ray menus much more complex with moving graphics and such, but after much research I found out the software today to do this is either very limited, or very very expensive. Adobe Encore was the cheapest I could find that offered more complex Blu-ray menus, but it is not sold as a standalone product. Paying $800 for the entire Adobe Premiere Pro suite for one program just didn’t seem like a good idea. So good ol’ Toast 11 it was.

I am happy with how it turned out. The Blu-ray disc images are big, like almost 48 gigs each. Maybe if Giant Bomb ever got some licensing deals sorted out with Atlus they could offer them to the GB fans, but I highly doubt that would ever happen...



Just beat Bayonetta, Thank god for the Japanese.

Man I knew this game was going to be crazy before I started playing it but I was surprised when it surpassed my normal expectations for crazy.  From start to ending credits this game is a ride.  Between all the awesome fighting and crazy cutscenes you almost start to feel exhausted if you play it for long periods of time.  If every game Japan made was of this lunacy and of the same quality I think I would stop playing games all together, it's almost to much to take in. 

 In the end Bayonetta is a great game that I feel raises the standards  for all games in this genre,  It's not perfect but at it's core the fighting just feels great.  I didn't think I would ever say this, but when I play God of War 3 it will defiantly have some competing to do. 

 If anyone else has beat Bayonetta and just wants to ramble about it's craziness feel free;)


Darkstalkers Tribute Book (semi-review) With HD Video

Among the onslaught of gift cards and cash this Christmas I received an unexpected surprise.  I guess the constant nagging to play Vampire Chronicle with me on my Dreamcast overtime led one of my close friends to gift me the new Darkstalkers Tribute art book.  As someone who is not into manga and comics I am actually surprised how much I am enjoying the art book.  Which I guess only makes sense since video games have so much to do with visual presentation.  The book is thick, having over 300 pages, displaying various artists renditions of characters from the Darkstalkers franchise.  Whats really interesting about the book is the creative style of each piece.  You have art ranging from cute, and fun  

 Finally the timeless debate will be settled.  

to downright gritty and dark.  

 Who's the Big Bad Wolf now Motherfucker?


 Can I get a towel over here?

Oh yeah, and let's not forget the sexy temptresses. 
 Ummm...Nice Robe...

 Get A Room.

Each piece is printed in outstanding color on high quality matte paper which internet images do no justice to.  The other cool thing is that each piece is accompanied by the artist's name and website, opening up new creative avenues for you to venture, if you so chose. 

As someone who has loved the Darkstalkers series since I first saw it in arcades at around eleven, it is a real treat to see the series through the eyes of so many amazing artists.  But even if your not into Darkstalkers at all, I still highly recommend the book based solely on the art inside it.  If you like monsters, sexy temptresses cool character designs and looking at amazing visuals with your eyeballs then check out the Darkstalkers Tribute book, it won't disappoint 

I also took the liberty of making a Showcase HD video of the entire book.  So relax and take a journey into the Darkstalkers world.