A fabulous return to form for the Zelda series

Image by SobControllers. Some rights reserved. Source: Flickr

When The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past came out on the Super Nintendo in 1992, there were only two other Zelda games in existence. The first, of course, being the original Legend of Zelda and the second being its sequel, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The two were very different from one another, with one a top-down adventure game, and the other, a side-scrolling RPG hybrid. Players at the time might not have known which direction Nintendo would take, or if something completely new would be done altogether.

Keeping video game history alive since 1999

Video games are now recognized as an important part of our popular culture, a measure of our technological progress, and even by some as a form of art. There is also a growing understanding that video games are in need of preservation, with older ones falling into decay or growing scarce. Not only do video games need to be saved for future generations, but the stories of how these games were made and the impact that they had must also be shared. …

Why did the frog cross the road?

Why did the frog cross the road? To just get home, apparently. In Konami’s 1981 arcade game, Frogger, the object of the game is simply to help some frogs across heavy traffic to their homes on the other side of the river. It starts off easy enough, but it soon escalates into a dangerous race for your life.

Believe it or not, Frogger was inspired by a true story. In 1981, Konami designer, Akira Hashimoto, was waiting in his car for the traffic light to turn green. He spotted a frog trying to cross the road, but the poor creature…

The Female Prisoner Scorpion films are visceral critiques of misogyny, the prison system, and police brutality

An image of Meiko Kaji from “Female Prisoner #701’s Grudge Song.” Used as an aide for criticism under “Fair Use.” All rights to Toei.

WARNING: This essay discusses sexual assault

SPOILER ALERT: Plot details for the Female Prisoner films are discussed

“There has always been a tendency to regard those women who have been publicly punished by the state for their misbehaviors as significantly more aberrant and far more threatening to society than their male counterparts.”

  • Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?

The opening shot of the first Female Prisoner Scorpion film is of the Japanese flag. It is being raised to celebrate the efforts of the police officers in charge of a women’s prison. The flag recurs twice more in the film. The second…

Appreciating Zelda’s first venture into 3D

Photo by Hamish Duncan via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

NOTE: For this review, I only managed to play the 3DS version, though for reference purposes, I did watch many videos from the N64 version.

SPOILER ALERT: Plot details for Ocarina of Time follow.

The launch of the Nintendo 64 was an exciting time for Nintendo’s longtime franchises. Would its flagship games make the successful transition to 3D? Up until that time, Zelda had only been from either a top-down or side-scrolling perspective. Bringing the trademark features of Zelda to this next stage of gaming would demand a lot from Nintendo, but these expectations were met and surpassed.

The Legend…

Should America have negotiated with the Taliban?

Photo by Hamid Mir. Some rights reserved. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

In April of this year, President Joe Biden made the difficult decision to end America’s war in Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of failure. Even if you disagree with Biden’s decision to withdraw so soon, it’s hard not to understand his frustration. The Taliban controls more territory now than at any other time since the war began, Al Qaeda and now an offshoot of ISIS are present in the region, and some of our Afghan military allies keep child sex slaves. …

Avoid like the plague anything with “doc prep” in its name

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

I, like many college graduates, once fell for a student loan scam. The name of the scam was “Amerifed Doc Prep.” They gave the impression that they were affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education, they misled me into thinking that I would be enrolled onto an income-based repayment plan, and they charged me exorbitant fees to get my student loans consolidated. I now have reason to believe that they are growing their scam through another company, “Cornerstone Doc Prep.”

In general, I believe that it is wrong for private companies to prey on college grads with these deceptive practices…

Remembering a Japanese comedian who deserves more American appreciation

Photo taken from Ken Shimura’s official Facebook page. Used as an aide for education under “Fair Use.”

The loss of Ken Shimura is a tragedy that was mostly felt by the Japanese people. While you could find clips for many of his sketches on YouTube, I don’t think he was that well known outside of Japan. To me, this is a real shame, because his comedy had a universal appeal, and I think that he deserves an American appreciation, however belated.

I first encountered Shimura from his English lesson sketch, which most foreigners with a passing interest in Japanese pop culture have seen. It features a Japanese teacher (Shimura) giving an English lesson to English-speaking foreigners. It…

A dishonest filmmaker shamed McDonald’s into ending a 90’s delicacy. Can I get a reboot with that?

McDonald’s advertisement for the Super Size option. Source: Reddit.

In 2004, Morgan Spurlock released a film called Super Size Me, in which he, get this, stuffed his face with McDonald’s for thirty days, stopped exercising, and then expressed complete shock that it ruined his health. (It turns out that he was also struggling with alcoholism, too). Many American viewers were persuaded by Super Size Me’s argument that McDonald’s was bad for you, and many more American schoolchildren were forced to sit through it in health class. The film had come out only three years after Eric Scholsser’s brutal expose of the fast food industry, Fast Food Nation, which had…

When copyright holders take a book off of the market, controlled-digital-lending may be a necessary solution

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Seuss Enterprises, who owns the copyrights to the works of Theodore “Seuss” Geisel, also known as “Dr. Seuss”, had announced in March of this year that they would no longer be printing six of his books such as And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, If I Ran The Zoo, and McElligot’s Pool. They did so because they claim that the books contained racist images that “portray people in ways which are hurtful and wrong.”

Now, I’m not going to bother debating the offensive content of these books, or the character of Seuss himself, because I figure…

Sansu the Cat

I write about art, life, and humanity. M.A. Japanese Literature. B.A. Spanish & Japanese. email: sansuthecat@yahoo.com

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