Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombification

My Monday Mayhem series has had its share of interesting moments. For instance, my Classic Films Zombie Style theme explores popular movies with a zombie twist. Same goes for Classic Literature Zombie Style, except the theme works with popular books. The other theme is my Zombie What Ifs where I pose various zombie scenarios and your job is to escape the horde.

Today, I’d like to introduce a new theme that I thought might spark a few ideas for all you artists out there. I’m simply going to call it Zombification for lack of a better term. I will feature pop culture icons rendered as zombies. Perhaps, I’ll even add a few anecdotes to lighten the mood, but we’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, here are this week’s picks:

Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown—Who doesn’t like the Peanuts gang? I grew up with them. Granted, it’s a far cry from A Charlie Brown Christmas but a zombie Charlie Brown makes for an interesting cartoon, don’t you think? Imagine the whole Peanuts crew succumbing to a persistent virus that in turn makes them eat the townsfolk. I’d buy the Blu-Ray, for sure. Nothing quite like introducing a little anarchy where the protagonist ascends to the top of the food chain.

Super Mario
Super Mario

Super Mario—I wonder what Mario would do if instead of collecting coins he’d have an express mandate to collect body parts. It shouldn’t be any different from what it is now. After all, he is collecting hearts, so what big difference would it make if he collected a set of lungs, kidneys or a liver? I think we should all request Nintendo to replace all collectibles with limbs. Wouldn’t that make the game interesting? Gory, but interesting.

Superman
Superman

Superman—Since we’re on the topic of supers, how about Superman finding a malignant chunk of kryptonite that renders him Superzombie? Then again, the likelihood of him crashing through a brick wall would be remote. If anything, Superzombie would careen toward a stationary object and the impact alone would have him land with a big huge splat. Not good, considering he should be the most powerful zombie in the world. What chance would we have?

Batman
Batman

Batman—The Caped Zombie. Yeah, I can see that happening. The Joker himself would run for his life. No more Batmobile, Batcave or, in fact, Bat-anything. In its place we’d have the Zombmobile, Zombcave and a crowd of the undead roaming about under Bruce Wayne’s mansion.

Marvel Superheroes
Marvel Superheroes

Marvel Superheroes—I couldn’t choose one Marvel superhero, so I decided to choose them all. There are just too many to look at on their own. I’m sure I’ll do it someday, but not this time. Let’s enjoy them all for now and hope they don’t become real. I mean, could you see a day when Spider-Man spins this creepy web resembling internal digestive organs? I know I can’t.

Your turn, hunt and scavenge. If you have any characters you’d like to see zombified, post the idea here. I may choose your character as a highlight for the next go around.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Do you have any zombified characters you would like to share? Which character or who would you like to see zombified?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Games I Loved Playing

I’m an avid game player. I thought for Freedom Friday I’d treat you all to some of my favorite games of all time.

Monopoly - The Canadian Edition
Monopoly – The Canadian Edition

When I talk about games, I’m talking about video games. I enjoy playing the good board game with my kids and others, like The Game of Life, Monopoly and chess. But I get personal satisfaction when I vanquish invading Martians attempting to colonize earth in a no holds barred slugfest for my PSP.

Not that there’s anything wrong with loving our family game nights when we play a good round of Risk with ample snacks and drinks to carry us through the night!

Nonetheless, here are my über-favorite video games I’ve played over the course of my life. Maybe you might recognize some, maybe not.

Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64: Doesn’t Mario ever die? You know it’s rather awesome walking into my local Best Buy store and talking with the employees who grew up with Mario. “I love the part where I hit the block over the head and all the coins come out, one after another.” Yeah, it’s those scintillating conversations that make my trip to my nearest retailer something to look forward to. I mean, really. Hasn’t anyone not heard of Mario? I remember playing this game thinking, wow, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this. The game features bright, primary colors. The reds, greens and blues flood the screen, giving the gamer a wonderful and immersive experience. Boy, I wish I had kept the old Nintendo 64 console.

Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong 64: This is another one of those Nintendo 64 games that kept me entertained for hours. It belonged to my older son, but I played tons of it late night, into the weekend. I enjoyed racing through the quests and grabbing keys along the way. My favorite part was to change into the various apes to perform feats of wonder and magic (actually, a player couldn’t get to a particular part of the map without transforming into one of the apes with special abilities). This game truly caused me insomnia.

Duke Nukem 3D: How can I describe this game as anything short of “action game crack”? It was the first game that featured a rich 3D environment in a cartoon-like setting. The storyline was over-the-top, the characters—lovable, and Duke’s quotes—hilarious. Here’s one of my favorite lines in any game, ever…

“Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I’m all outta gum.”

Duke’s a gun-toting, muscle man is reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator characters. I’ll never forget playing multi-player for the very first time with this game. One of my friends had his place wired with networked computers and we wailed on each other, flying through the levels in hysterics after killing off one of our opponents. Fun times!

SimCity 2000: Well, included in this, is any SimCity game, really. But I can’t tell you how much time I’d wasted building the absolute perfect city. Balancing residential, commercial and industrial zones to achieve that all-so-glorious-and-mighty, top mayor score. I still have screenshots of my cities I’ll peruse occasionally, admiring my handiwork. And of course, being the responsible player I was, I never let hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or alien invasion harm my cities. Or did I?

FIFA 10: I have almost all the FIFA Soccer games. I began playing them on the PC then moved to my PSP. I think FIFA 10 had the right balance between game play, music, aesthetics and sheer fun. I burned through all the tournaments, creating my own player and training him to score at will. I’d gotten so good on the hardest level that I think even the goalies were afraid of my Frankenstein monsters I’d created!

LEGO Batman
LEGO Batman

LEGO Batman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter: I’ve played them all. Completed each level. Collected all the bonuses. And found all the secrets. These games are awesome. I have yet to play some of the newer titles, but I’m sure I’ll get to them soon. The wonderful part about these games are the puzzles. I loved working through a level a few times to see if I could find every item. Most of all, I adored, yes, adored having the ability to play the various levels as different characters. This is what makes these LEGO games so addictive (not to mention blasting away anything into a big pile of collectable bricks).

Do you have any games you like playing to pass the time? What platform do you use to play your games (ie. phone, tablet, laptop)?