The Hotdog Laserhouse

Aug 1

I don’t remember how this ended up on my Youtube “Watch Later” playlist, but given the events of the week I feel like it’s pretty relevant.

There’s a lot to nitpick about the video, though. A lot of this dude’s vocabulary makes it feel like he’s a fresh-out-of-college English Major and he throws around all kinds of weird phrases that you just don’t hear people use. It’s a bit of a word salad.

He also goes deep in to the “lore” of Sonic the Hedgehog, but makes a note that Princess Sally and the gang from the Saturday Morning Cartoon aren’t canonical with the games - but then connects the games to Archie’s Comic Book series, which were themselves a continuation of the Saturday Morning Cartoon.

But, the dude’s heart is in the right place, at least, and if you can stomach his somewhat dry, wordy, and at one point factually incorrect dump of information, this is a great, in-depth look at some of the things that make S3&K so dang great.

Grapple Force Rena - Just a few hours left!


There’s only a few hours left in the Kickstarter for Grapple Force Rena! We just reached the $8000 stretch goal, but there’s still time to get to $8500! We can do it!

This was the first Kickstarter I ever backed

It’s good

Overall, I think Sonic's rather dismal legacy compared to Mario's comes down to 3 major factors, the "construction of the game", Sonic's speed-run nature and influence. 1. Frankly, the Mario franchise has always been "constructed better." What I mean is, the Mario games have always been far more polished and intuitive when it comes to their controls compared to Sonic. Sonic's momentum based movement essentially "fights against" those who aren't super familiar with its controls in comparison to


Mario’s “instant” movement. In comparison to Mario’s polish, the Sonic games have always been slap-dash and kinda jankly made, which can be seen with Sega’s disorganized nature (kinda like how all those proto’s keep getting released.)

2. Mario was always a game where the game encouraged the player to really take in its world, while Sonic was an arcade style “improve your speed game” where you were supposed to play over and over again to improve yourself and beat your friends. Frankly, the internet commenter audience favors “experience” games over “get gud” games (which kinda explain why these types hate competitve multiplayer games, where “getting gud” is the whole point.)

3. For better or worse, Mario basically influence EVERY GAME made after it. Sonic, on the other hand really only influenced a few games made after it (excluding Sonic ripoffs like Bubsy and Awesome Possem, the only noticeable games influenced by Sonic are Mirror’s Edge, the Tony Hawk games and Canabalt.) Basically, Mario influenced everything made after it, while Sonic would only end up influencing a few games later, most of which share it score-attack based nature (and thus aren’t really remembered all that often. Like, the reason so many people remember the Mario influenced Banjo-Kazooie and Mario 64 is because they had big, sprawling WORLDS. On the other hand, the Sonic influenced Tony Hawk games aren’t really nostolgia’d to the same extent because its levels were nothing more than challenges to try and improve your speed and score on. THPS really pushed the “arcade speed-run score attack” that Sonic did, while Banjo and Mario went for the “world” approach, and frankly the Mario approach won. Hell, take a look at most games made today, more often than not they go for the “world” approach rather than the “arcade speed attack” style.

This feels like something that could very easily devolve in to a 90’s argument of “who’s better”, and for your part, may have already. Despite my better judgement, I will attempt to address your points regardless:

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Probably the greatest, comprehensive analysis on one of the most important film makers in animation gone too soon, and my direct influence in storyboard/visual storytelling in animation, the late great Kon Satoshi.

Rest in Power, Kon-san!


I remember watching Tony Zhou’s video on Edgar Wright’s visual comedy. Now he’s made me feel bad I’ve never seen any of these movies. Definitely going to rectify that soon.

wiggz replied to your photo:And we’re (finally!) off to the races.

That is quite a “vaporwave” (I believe all the kids call it) video editing setup you have there.


Vaporwave is a musical genre that has emerged in the early 2010s from indie dance genres such as seapunk or chillwave, and, more broadly, electronic dance music. Although there’s much diversity and ambiguity in its attitude and message, vaporwave often serves as both a critique and parody of consumerist society, ’80s yuppie culture, and New Age music, while sonically and aesthetically showcasing a curious fascination with their nostalgic artifacts.

I actually laughed at the “seapunk” genre because I just imagine sailors with big popeye arms, mowhawks and wallet chains being like “EFF THE ESTABLISHMENT”

And we’re (finally!) off to the races.

And we’re (finally!) off to the races.

Fascinated by your write-up of what occurred with the Genesis in the 90's - the fallout between two branches. Were there any similar situations of bad-blood that occurred with Nintendo, over the years?

I feel like Nintendo has always been very protective of their image and of their development process. I mean, think of how many Sonic prototypes are out there floating around… how many Mario prototypes do we have? Basically none, or at least, nothing significant.

It’s like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in there. They could have Oompa Loompas making games for all we know.

The only thing I can really think of was the circumstances of Star Fox Adventures, and even then, I don’t think a clear picture of what happened has ever really come out. It’s also more of a story about Rare than it is Nintendo. My understanding is that it’s like…

Rare started working on a Nintendo 64 game called Dinosaur Planet. Like a lot of Rare’s games, it was basically their version of a popular Nintendo franchise. Donkey Kong Country was their expanded take on Super Mario World, Banjo-Kaoozie was their expanded take on Super Mario 64, Diddy Kong Racing was their expanded take on Super Mario 64, and Dinosaur Planet was going to be their extended take on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

At E3 in 2001, Shigeru Miyamoto remarked that the hero of Dinosaur Planet, a wolf named Sabre, bore resemblance to Nintendo’s own Fox McCloud. Rumors state that Nintendo was shopping around for somebody to take the reigns and develop a new Star Fox game. Rare, being obvious Nintendo fanboys, were ecstatic that they would get a chance to work on a real Nintendo franchise. They took the deal, and the game was officially renamed: “Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet”

Not all of them were happy, however, especially given that rumors state that Nintendo was both super controlling and extremely vague about how Rare was allowed to use Fox McCloud. Almost all of Dinosaur Planet’s script had to be thrown out and re-written from scratch. (Huge chunks of Dinosaur Planet’s original story still exist in the game files, unused)

With most of “Dinosaur Planet” binned, the game’s name was simplified to just “Star Fox Adventures”.

Rare, for their part, were apparently known for going way over time and way over budget on their games. The Stamper Brothers (founders of Rare) had supposedly gotten in to the habit of selling company stock to Nintendo when they needed a quick hit of cash to help them cross the finish line. As Star Fox Adventures neared the end of its development, they were once again out of money and needed help to get the game completed.

The problem was: Nintendo now owned a 49% stake in Rare. If they bought any more stock, they would own a controlling interest in the company. Given that Nintendo and Rare were buddy buddy over Star Fox, the Stampers asked if Nintendo would be interested in just outright buying the company. Nintendo’s answer?


Uh oh. Ever wonder why Star Fox Adventures feels kind of sloppy and unfinished towards the end of the game?

Adrift with almost no money, they pushed SFA out the door and were eventually bought by Microsoft, who was looking to expand their company’s image to include kid-friendly games.

Then, after years of luke-warm games and mismanaged advertising campaigns, Microsoft gutted Rare of most of its key staff and turned them in to a bland Kinect Developer.

What is your fondest memory of the 90's? What is your favourite movie from that time?

Given that I spent a large portion of the 90’s pining for a Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog, probably that.

I dunno. I feel like I didn’t have a good childhood. I’m sure there are people who had it worse, but I went through a lot of real rough stuff that feels like it extends beyond “Oh well middle school is bad for everyone.”

My Mom seems fairly convinced that most of my reclusive, anti-social tendencies stem from that.

So most of my memories of the 90’s are just of like, videogames. My Mom giving me my first allowance - a whole dollar, which I would then turn around and spend on renting a game from the local supermarket. I learned about sales tax through that - a $1 purchase meant I had to come up with an extra $0.06 for tax.

As games evolved, and my allowance grew, eventually that turned in to buying magazines with demo discs. I have a stack of at least 40 PS1 demo discs, and a couple dozen for the Dreamcast, too. Demo discs replaced game rentals, none the least because supermarkets stopped renting games around this time, and Blockbuster charged $8+ for a weekend.

That’s why game demos are super important to me, I guess. I used to play them like full games, and eventually you’d have to make your own fun. Some demos were better at this than others.

Favorite movie from the 90’s has to be Jurassic Park. No contest. Kids are predisposed to like dinosaurs, and Jurassic Park made dinosaurs more real than they ever had been before. And, like, that was the point - if you watch making-of features, Spielberg didn’t want the dinosaurs to be monsters or “characters”, he wanted them to be animals. Animals with animalistic tendencies. Special attention was paid to like, making it look as though they were breathing. Think of that scene where Grant rests his head on the triceratops’ stomach and it rises and falls as she breathes. Think of all the times you hear the T-rex take a deep breath before roaring.  When the Raptor snorts on the glass in the kitchen scene. It’s all so natural that you don’t even think about it, but somebody had to.

I think that’s part of the reason the CG in Jurassic Park still holds up, even though the movie’s like, 20 years old now. The attention to small details like figuring out what it looks like when a dinosaur breathes. CG with a purpose, not for the sake of having CG.

Man. Now I want to watch Jurassic Park again. I’ve had the itch for a while, but now I REALLY do.

Couple of things to note about Toejam & Earl. 1. ToeJam & Earl Productions has been dead for a couple years now, HumaNature Studios owns the IP. 2. Honestly if SEGA kept the ToeJam & Earl rights they probably wouldn't damn thing with them, so honestly its a blessing in disguise 3. If you ever get around to getting a PS3, PS4 or Vita go play Doki-Doki Universe. It's not necessarily a must play, but it's defiantly one of more interesting games I've played as part of Sony's indie push.


Honestly I’m kinda surprised it got slept on so much. People like quirky indie games now-a-days, and if there’s anything it is, it’s quirky, that’s for damn sure.

Doki Doki Universe was like the first game I ever saw for the PS4 post-system launch.

I guess when it comes to dropping $400 on a brand new shiny piece of hardware, people aren’t necessarily going to go for a simple 2D indie game. And it looked SUPER indie, to the point where at a glance you can’t really tell what the game’s about.

Like, you see Braid, and instantly you know: it’s a 2D platformer with time manipulation. Everything else about it can be as esoteric as it wants to be, but as long as those two facts are plainly readable at a glance, it’s fine.

Doki Doki Universe is… uh… sort of… kind of… a point and click adventure game, I guess? But even then I don’t think it necessarily tells a particularly deep or moving story, it’s just an endless parade of quirky characters with weird requests.

I’m sure it’s great and all, and it’s the sort of indie game that is distinctly “Sony” (see: Noby Noby Boy) , but I’m not surprised it flew so hard under the radar. The world is better for it existing, though, even if it is under-appreciated.

I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of negativity regarding the Sega Genesis Sonic games these last few days. Some of that, in part, is because of the above video, where Red Letter Media (Plinkett, Half in the Bag, Best of the Worst) declares that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the most overrated game of all time, sparking a somewhat one-sided debate that Sonic games have always been bad.

Purely by coincidence, a few friends for a podcast happened to play through Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and while I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast itself, I know just from casual conversations with them leading up to the recording that they did not think highly of the game.

And it bums me the hell out.

As somebody who holds Sonic 3 & Knuckles up as one of his favorite games of all time, you can’t help but have a moment of personal introspection: Am I wrong? Are these rose tinted glasses too thick? Are the Sega Genesis Sonic games actually bad?

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