Monday, August 21, 2017

New Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon Details and Introducing ZAK Merchandise

One whole year, it’s amazing how fast it flies. Come this September 28th ZAK Entertainment will have been operating for one year. What started off as just a way for me to write and discuss topics and interests that I love as well as blog about my life here and there has come a long way in just one year. Since September my topics list has grown to an expansive amount due to increasing my interests over time and while it may seem like a lot to juggle I think I do a pretty good job in slipping in a little bit of everything here and there. I wasn’t sure if a Multi Topic blog would even be feasible but hey you guys have been coming back and reading every day so it must be, right? I don’t think I could keep this blog running on just one topic without it ending up a bi-weekly blog or even less. I have a big love letter to send you guys at the latter half of the blog but until then it’s time for the big news. Oh boy I’ve been sitting back and waiting for so long but here we go. The train has left the station it’s time for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon news!

Nintendo graciously dropped some huge bombs of news during the Pokemon World Championships and onto the Pokemon Youtube channel that has revealed more of Game Freak’s newest adventure. Of course they would have to drop it on a day where I’ve already published the blog so I haven’t been able to discuss this until Today. There is a good side to that however and that’s the fact I’ve had three days to analyze all of the news revealed.

Alright first off all, wow I thought the Wild Battle theme was great in Sun and Moon but this remix is crazy. I’m not sure how Masuda manages to 1-up himself every time but he pulled it off again. It’s so much more action packed with a little bit more tension then its previous incarnation.

First thing that I noticed was it seems you will be encountering the Starter Pokemon in a much different location then previously, which was Iki Town during the Festival after you meet Hala the Island Kahuna. Really love the new artwork for the starter Pokemon I have to say which was revealed at the start of the trailer.

Next up, just for a split second on what is apparently Route 1 you can see a Rockruff following you happily. Now at first I thought this was perhaps a return to the Pokemon following you feature from Heart Gold and Soul Silver and Pokemon Yellow but really it looks more like this Rockruff isn’t yours but is quite happy to chase you around as you encounter it in the fields, maybe it belongs to a trainer of some kind. Or this could really be the return of Pokemon following you so let’s keep an open mind. It seems Pokemon will be much more prominent in the overworld as seen by the quite populated amount of Alolan Exeggutors hanging around as well as more lively animation from the Alolan Pokemon residents.

Okay so we are definitely getting new locations in Alola and while I’m still not sure if this is a sequel or a heavily alternative universe to the original games. (It’s looking to be the latter, but the Ultra Space storyline actually makes it make sense.) There’s this new forest location with some broken and eerie trees followed by what looks like some new trainers. Yes! New trainer classes? Sign me up. These guys look like they’re taking a visit from Johto going by their getup. They way they’re positioned makes me think this location perhaps is a new trial location.

Is Kahili finally having a larger role in the game? To be honest she wasn’t really in the original games much until the end as part of the Elite Four and while it seemed she was going to have a larger role it never came into light. She doesn’t have her Z-Ring either which is quite intriguing. Will we be seeing her grow and develop as the story progresses? This definitely tells me this isn’t a sequel but an alternative story and I don’t just mean Platinum level of alternative this really does seem to be a completely different story yet set in the same setting with new additions but I don’t have any more to confirm that other then the fact it seems Ryuki, who was previously a secret trainer you can battle after becoming Champion in Pokemon Sun and Moon, will also be playing a bigger role in a building that is very reminiscent of an old frustrating friend of mine, Lt Surge’s Gym from Kanto.

Remember those empty plots of land? Well it seems each and every one of them are now being filled which you can tell by looking at the newer rendition of the Alolan map.

First up is a new building on Melemele Island. It seemed to me at first to be something related to Cameras and sure enough thanks to the awesome people at Game Informer we now know what this is. Mr. Kazumasa Iwao, the now confirmed director of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon sat down with Game Informer in a Video released last Saturday to show off one of what seems to be quite a few new features coming to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the Alola Photo Club.

Okay I have to admit I love all these extra features Game Freak adds to the games and this one might be the coolest feature yet as it allows you to take photos with your Pokemon, at least your ingame avatar anyway. It’s not just some click and shoot feature either you can pose, position and do all sorts of awesome things with this app. A lot of the poses come from the Z-Moves featured in the game and you can do some post processing to finalize your memory. It seems you can do this with all Pokemon so get ready to do some goofy poses with your Mewtwo because I’m sure Mewtwo will appreciate it. (Seriosuly the guy has a soft side, especially for PokeBeans.) Really I appreciate these extra features as they allow for some serious cool down moments between heated battles.

It seems this is the building occupying the spot in Melemele but on further examination the other spots among the various islands do not look to be the same, so perhaps we have many different features coming to the game for a true ULTRA version of Sun and Moon, we’ll have to wait and see for more information.

Back to the Z Moves it seems we’ll be getting new Z Moves in the game as well as a brand new and quite stylish Z-Ring in a black color instead of the previous white and gray color. This looks awfully familiar to Gladion’s Z-Ring from the end of Sun and Moon so I wonder if that’s just a coincidence or not.

They have revealed one of the new exclusive Z-Moves as a Z-Move for a Sun and Moon favorite of mine, Kommo-O! It’s called Clangorous Soulblaze and features the dragon shaking his scales in a short dance befor unleashing a energy wave that hits all opponents on the opposite field in battles such as a Double Battle. (Not sure if it hits your partner Pokemon as well we’ll have to wait and see on that.) Oh yeah it also increases all of Kommo-o’s stats… Yeah this move is absolutely busted and that’s why I love it so much.

It seems this Z-Move will be a part of these new Z-Power Moves making a lot more variety of Z-Moves usable. Apparently the black Z-Ring is named the Z-Power Ring and that little snippet of the main character turning the Z-Ring in the original announcement trailer has to do with these new Z-Moves.

Finally there wasn’t much but I noticed one thing possible related to Necrozma. What on earth is happening to Poni Island? Is that an Ultra Wormhole? It’s strikingly nostalgia and I’m getting some real Déjà vu from the pre-Pokemon Platinum release days with the weird worm hole appearing over Mt Coronet in the pre-release trailers and the new map of Sinnoh. Game Freak has said this game will reveal the hidden truths of the Alola Region left unanswered by Sun and Moon so we’ll just have to play the games to find out.

Overall I’m way more excited for these games then I’ve ever been. I absolutely adored Sun and Moon and the world it created and I’m absolutely excited to dive deeper into the lore of Alola when these games release November 24th of this year.

You can watch the American Trailer here:

And Game Informer’s Article and Video regarding the Alola Photo Club here:
I’ll be sure to spend another whole blog discussing the next announcement so until then… It’s time for a huge announcement regarding the future of ZAK Entertainment.

As a love letter to all of you for reading my blog for this past year I’m kicking off ZAK Entertainment’s 1 year anniversary a little early with something I’ve been planning for a long time now. You like T-Shirts? Well get ready for this!
Yes I introduce to you all, ZAK Entertainment Merchandise! I’ve been seeking out different platforms for a while and I decided for starters to go with Redbubble due to the options it offers. I did have Spreadshirt in mind and this could end up a platform option still in the future but for now we’re starting off with Redbubble. Now you can wear the ZAK Entertainment logo on your T-Shirt in every size imaginable but that’s not all. Redbubble also allows for more than just T-Shirts, such as this.
Yeah I kid you not; this is a ZAK Entertainment embellished iPhone 7 Case. I couldn’t believe myself when I found out I could do this. This comes available in all manner of phones even some older ones as well.
Other than that stuff you can also buy Coffee Mugs, Tote Bags, Notebooks and stickers all with the ZAK Entertainment logo or even just the Camera logo on its own which is available as well.

Redbubble is also a great way for artists to get their work out for sale as well and I’ll be getting more of my watercolor work out for you to purchase as prints and other merchandise at a later time if you so wish. You may want to consider signing up and selling your artwork here as well if you’re an artist, it’s a good option I think though I’m only just launching it.

For now however I got two more works that’ll be available to buy on this launch day. First off is an art piece I’ve had finished for a while now but I decided to hold off until I launched this store as it works perfectly on merchandise. This is a watercolor piece I did of a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.

By far my Dad’s favorite car which is why this was featured on his Father’s day card but now you can buy it yourself on T-Shirts, Mugs, Even your own cards similar to what I made Dad.

You can buy this shirt and other merchandise with the same artwork here:

There’s a lot of variety to choose from and I never realized how perfect it would work on all this merchandise. Really I was just going to offer you guys the ZAK Entertainment logo but I got pushed into letting my artwork out onto here as well so let’s see if that will work out. You won’t be able to purchase say Aeris or her friends from Dream Eclipse as of right now but who knows that may change when the Novel is released…

Finally I decided to put out my recent 1960 Austin Healey 3000 illustration for you to purchase.
Now this doesn’t actually work that well for T-Shirts or a lot of things really due to its width and general sizing but I mean it wasn’t created to sell on merchandise. Regardless I’ve put this up on here mostly as an art print you can purchase but also Laptop Skins/Sleeves, Pillows, Tote Bag and even a greeting card so there’s still some options here for you.

This may seem like a small launch selection but I will now be working on dedicated designs for this merchandise in the upcoming future so keep an eye out! As I grow as an artist I hope to bring you some really awesome stuff because really I’m doing this for you guys. (Even though I kind of want to purchase some of my own merchandise because man does the ZAK Entertainment logo look cool on a Laptop Skin.) Now as far as actually purchasing anything it’s pretty easy, you don’t even need an account. It’s pretty much the same as say Amazon or anywhere else so it’s no hassle.

You can check out and purchase all what I've shown you via the ZAK Entertainment Redbubble page:

This is just the beginning of the ZAK Entertainment 1 year anniversary and I got a few more tricks up my sleeve as well as general blog ideas that’ll be rolling out within the next month and a half. Thank you all for sticking with me for this awesome year. My goal for this blog still stands, to allow you to express your own interests and perhaps learn new ones but it seems I am learning a lot myself. I mean if it wasn’t for this blog I wouldn’t have ever gotten into doing artwork and Dream Eclipse may of never left the ground and into the current writing phase that it’s in. This blog has allowed me to grow as a writer, an artist, a journalist, a male knitter and of a person in general.

Don’t forget to go support me on Patreon as well if you enjoy this blog or my short films I make for the ZAK Entertainment Youtube Channel. (Which is basically a video storage for this blog for the most part.) Through Patreon I wish to better improve my equipment (I need a new computer, believe it or not.) to bring you better and better content but also build a community. Don’t feel shy to leave a comment below too because all Feedback and Criticism is much appreciated!

So with all that mushy stuff out of the way it’s time to head out for the day. Hope you all enjoyed the blog and the new merchandise! I’m going to be bringing a lot more to you guys in the near future besides just blogs and videos. I have a novel series I’m pouring my soul into; I have my knitting, Redbubble and my artwork so I kind of have my work cut out for me, don’t I? I’m enjoying every second of it.

This was ZAK Entertainment

Thank you for one whole year!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Solar Eclipsing Some Movie News and a Mouth Watering Pasta Meal

Welcome to the 150th blog! Yeah we made it guys; just before the 1 year anniversary we hit 150 blogs. I’ve been writing and posting blogs from all sorts of entertainment topics pulled from my life and what happens around it. Sometimes it’s just news blogs but I like to add my own personal feelings into said news to make it more like a blog rather than just an article for a newspaper. I’ve loved every second of this blog so let’s make it 1500 blogs! Is that too much? Anyway some big things are coming within the next few months so stay tuned for that, I’ll announce more as I come closer to releasing it. For now however let’s look to the future and talk about something big and bright in our sky, the Sun.

It brings life to the planet, light, energy and allows for us to thrive. It also is super hot, so bright you wouldn’t want to look at it directly but also undergoes a pretty awesome crossover with the Moon every so often. This Monday the world will experience the total Solar Eclipse as well as my first time experiencing one. Total Solar Eclipses are not super rare (Still rare though.) but America or more so Southern America tend to not get to see it or only get to see a partial eclipse. Either way Eclipses are pretty awesome and I’m excited to see it in person. I might even get some inspiration from this experience, what for however is classified Novel information.

This Solar Eclipse is the result of the sun sneaking up behind the moon during a meeting of fate on during their orbit causing a massive shadow to be cast over the earth, pretty cool huh? Perhaps freaky even. Anyway while America seems to be the main target of this Total Solar Eclipse but East Asia and Western Europe seem to be getting a partial eclipse.  

I sadly don’t have the right equipment to record or take photos of the solar eclipse (Sorry guys.) but I do have this snazzy eyewear I got from my local library, which brings me to an important safety notice. Please do not look at the Solar Eclipse without these! You can get them for free at your local library or purchase them from a local store for mostly cheap prices. Just ask for Eclipse Glasses I think that’s the general name for them. The sun might go dark but the strength of its light actually strengthens and can seriously damage your eyes or even permanently blind you. Actually I think the sun is even more dangerous during the partial phases, but don’t take any chances on any of that, even if you are Superman.

While Solar Eclipses do happen every several years this one is looking to be special, it’s the first total Eclipse on American Soil since 1991 and the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918, which is pretty crazy I wasn’t alive for either of them.

For more information and times where the Solar Eclipse will occur go visit this page on NASA!

Speaking of space there is a new poster and movie trailer out for something kind of space related. Back in 2010 a movie by the name of Skyline released, it was a Science Fiction Alien Invasion movie and that was pretty much it. I’ve not seen it so my opinions on it are not really there but I have heard of it. Well the movie is getting a sequel in the form of Beyond Skyline. It looks like the storyline is pretty much the same, as you know every alien invasion movie of all time. Someone close to the protagonist gets abducted and now he forms a human resistance to get his son back. You can check out the trailer below.

Can’t find a release date for this movie but I assume it’s coming out later on this year. It might be a good movie, I might be surprised I’m not sure but if you like Alien Invasion movies go check this movie out.

Now that we’re transitioned into movie news, I got some MAJOR news regarding the 007 franchise.

It’s been up in the air for the longest time but finally Daniel Craig has announced he will be returning to the James Bond role at least one more time in the upcoming 2019 007 movie. We’ve been getting teased about this for so long now with rumors flying of Daniel Craig’s replacement so it’s great to finally have some answers.  This new bond movie is not named as of right now but we’ll most likely be getting more information sooner rather than later as production starts 2018, which isn’t really that far away.

Star Wars seems to have made quite the comeback lately with movies coming out of the woodworks. We have the new storyline happening starting with The Force Awakens and this year’s The Last Jedi and side movies which dive into the history of Star Wars such as Rouge One and the upcoming Han Solo… Solo movie. Star Wars has introduced a bunch of memorable characters (Some better than the other… Looking at you Jar Jar.) and Obi-Wan is by far one of them. We got introduced to old Obi-Wan in the original trilogy and saw a bit into his origins and younger self in the prequel trilogy. You know where I’m going with this? Yes this was another big floating idea for a while now but it’s actually official now. The master himself Obi-Wan Kenobi is getting his own spin-off movie. This is in early talks as of right now but Stephen Daldry is in talks to head development and writing of this movie.  Daldry is popular for directing episodes of Netflix’s period drama The Crown (Which is due a blog from me before the next season) so let’s see what comes from this. Obi-Wan is one of my favorite charcters so I can’t wait to see it come into fruition. Depending on what era they could actually get Ewan McGregor who played Obi-Wan in the prequels and has expressed interest in returning to the role.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is growing more and more every year and we’re reaching a huge point in that universe. So many new shows and movies are on their way out and it’s crazy to think they’re all connected. That being said a certain royal family of superheroes will soon hit the airwaves and theatres. They’ve been teasing the Inhumans for a while now but finally they’re making their debut on the big screens followed by a series airing on ABC, which is pretty cool they used to do this a lot back in the day, air the first serial on the big screen then transition it to a TV show. Truth is I don’t know the Inhumans as well as I do other Superhero teams but this looks to be pretty awesome. Inhumans will have the Inhuman Royal Family made up of Black Bolt, Maximus, Medusa, Gorgon, Crystalm Auran and Triton as they escape to Hawaii after a military coup. The world is at peril, but will they be able to save themselves first? One question though… Will they be introducing the Krees and Skrulls? It’s about time to be honest and Inhumans would be a cool way of bringing in those guys for Phase 4 of the MCU. You can check out the trailer below.

Marvel’s Inhumans’s first two Episodes will have a threatre run in IMAX for two weeks starting September 1st before airing the full series on ABC this September 29th.

Finally one last bit of movie news to show you guys with one last trailer. Ever wondered what it would be like to have Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson in the same movie together? Well get ready for Hitman’s Bodyguard. Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard by the name of Michael Bryce who gets a new client in the form of Darius Kincaid played by Samuel L Jackson who just so happens to be one of the world’s most notorious hitmen. This is a team up of actors I never thought would act together but always wanted them to team up. It’s Rated R so expect Samuel L. Jackson to be swearing a lot (It’s his thing, and we love him for it.) as well as some hilarious action comedy when this movie releases… Well today, right when this blog goes up. Want something to do after reading the blog? Go check this movie out and leave me your thoughts down in the comments or on my Social Media! Would love to hear your thoughts. It might be too over the line for myself actually.

You know I haven’t really said much about what I’ve been eating lately but I can’t resist showing you guys this one bit. Well the other night I had an incredible pasta meal and I’ll tell you now I’m a huge fan of pasta and Italian meals but this one might of completely out done it by far.

This is linguine pasta boiled up and then strained and then cooked with olive oil, butter, a little bit of balsamic vinegar, garlic, lemon juice and Italian seasonings with quite a lot of parmesan cheese added. The pasta was served with delicious lemon juice, balsamic, thyme and garlic baked Salmon and some steamed veggies. This meal is absolutely mouth watering and actually easy and quick to make, it only took half an hour to prepare, cook and serve. Credits for this have to go to my Mum of course. If I ever needed reassurance of my love for pasta this is it. This is a must do again, for sure. Kind of wish I had some more right now.

Before I reveal the free knitting pattern of the day I have to remind you Pokemon fans of something. Well yesterday I finally got my butt to GameStop to pick up a Salazzle Event Code card.

This event will be running until September 4th so be sure to stop by your local GameStop and pick up your battle ready Salazzle! This girl holds a Focus Sash and comes with the moves Fake Out, Toxic, Sludge Bomb and Flamethrower.

Now finally here’s the FREE knitting pattern of the day! I am a huge fan of fair isle and colorworks patterns, almost to the point that I’m a huge sucker for them. This pattern today is a beautiful Fair Isle pattern as well as being a blanket… and a pillow?! This is “Fair Isle Border Blanket and Pillow” from Patons!

Yeah this is another one of those two in one patterns and by gods this is gorgeous. This isn’t just a fair isle border either on closer examination I discovered there’s an actual diamond pattern in the middle which makes this even more rich and luxury-esque. Even more awesome this isn’t just diamond pattern, this is my old friend, an Argyle pattern! (Which I discussed quite a bit in this blog: .) You’ll need quite a lot of worsted yarn in multiple colors which Patons lists on their site. You’ll also need 4.5 MM / US 7 Circular knitting needles with a 36 inch (90 CM) cord and another needle of the same size but with a 20 inch (51 cm) cord for the pillow.

This pattern even impressed Mum who wants to have a go at this. Hey wait maybe we should both do this pattern, one will do the pillow and one the blanket, that’s actually a really cool idea. Let’s see what comes from that. I know I know I’m sorry for the lack of knitting! I feel guilty but trust me, I have not given up and I actually have been doing some knitting but this blog is getting long so you guys will have to wait until Monday for that progress update. You can check out this awesome pattern by following this link here:

With that all said, hope you guys enjoy the Solar Eclipse Monday as well as the blog coming out on Monday which I’m not telling you anything about just yet, it might be one of those big announcements I teased, it may not be, who knows?

This was ZAK Entertainment

See you on Monday!

“With the coming of Sun and Moon shall the seal break and the path to the promised land, the land of salvation be open to us as we walk to the future.”

Not telling you guys what that means

But it means something.

[Photo Credits: ZAK Entertainment, MGM, The Pokemon Company, Patons Yarn.]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Saint Reborn (The Saint 2017) and Sonic Mania Video Game News

You know the DMV is a great place to do some deep thinking. I mean you’re stuck there for hours on end waiting for your number to be called so it’s perfect for sitting back in those awkward chairs and thinking about life. I can’t believe I actually have had to go to the DMV twice this year, not for anything bad of course but yeah twice. While at the DMV I came up with some new story ideas that actually revolve around the DMV and driving in general so yeah that’ll be interesting.

Guess that was kind of an unorthodox introduction to today’s blog but yeah the DMV is pretty fun to visit. (Not)

Completely switching topics, yesterday I watched a movie that I didn’t actually know was actually made, The Saint. This will probably chime a familiar tune inside your heads. The Saint started off as a massive book series created by Leslie Charteris but soon turned into one of TV’s classic shows. The books were popular enough but when ITV began airing a certain show it became a pop culture hit. 

The Saint was a mystery spy thriller show that told the story of Simon Templar a Robin Hood-esque and master thief of a  man who stole from criminals, though he kept the money. Simon Templar was played by a little known actor known as Roger Moore. You know, Sir Roger Moore. The late Sir Roger Moore is a worldwide favorite James Bond but the Saint was just as an iconic role if not more iconic then Bond. Roger Moore was already a well known actor at the time but the Saint really was a huge step in his career and probably got him the role as James Bond a few years later. Anyway Simon Templar because of the work he did had the tendency to end up on the cop’s bad side but his heart was in the right place, also he broke the fourth wall quite a bit.

A lot of the Episodes of the show earlier on were based on stories written by Charteris but had original storylines implemented in later seasons, more so when the series transitioned from Black and White to color. I vaguely remember watching the show through reruns, I have seen it quite a bit but it’s been a long time.

A revival of the show aired from 1978 to 1979 following the original show’s end in 1969. Instead of Roger Moore however Ian Ogilvy played the role of The Saint. Apparently this show has had many variations including other movies such as a load of B-list movies made in the 1930s and 40s and a 1997 film which apparently differed a lot from the original source material.

This new Saint movie released July of this year as a direct to digital download/TV movie/Netflix movie although originally it was going to be a new TV series starring the same actors. This was apparently announced back in 2012 which I remember hearing about and produced in 2013 but sat in limbo for the longest time. In November of 2015 some reshoots were added to the pilot and rekeyed into this very movie. Really this would have made a pretty awesome new series, Adam Rayner plays a good Simon Templar. (Actually he kind of reminds me of a young Roger Moore in a way.)

This wasn’t just a remake of an old storyline it seems the storyline was original but still keeping the same Saint feel. This movie dove into The Saint’s family the Templars and a little into his childhood, which was pretty awesome. The best part of this movie by far is the appearances of not one but two previous Saint Actors. Sir Roger Moore and Ian Ogilvy both play roles in this movie, with both of them actually playing villains, which was a funny twist. This is sadly Roger Moore’s last movie appearance but it feels almost right with the movie being The Saint.

Eliza Dushku plays Patricia Holm, Simon’s kickbutt friend and partner in the movie. She was actually pretty prominent in the early novels but was never adapted for Roger Moore’s TV series so it’s cool to see her finally get an adaption aside from the B-List RKO Radio movies from the 40s.

Overall I really enjoyed this version of The Saint it’s a thrilling movie that brings back The Saint feel that hasn’t been seen since the 70s. It’s an awesome send off to the great Roger Moore and while it seems unlikely I would like to see more from Adam Rayner, perhaps if this movie becomes popular enough? This movie is available to watch on Netflix as of now but you can also purchase it via iTunes below!

Today’s Wednesday which is usually the day I look through news from the past week and compile it into this one blog. For starters let’s dive into some Video Game news!

Do you like speed? Going fast? Blue Hedgehogs? Nostalgia? Well then get ready because Sonic Mania is now launched worldwide for pretty much every console imaginable. 

Sonic Mania is looking to be a massive celebration of classic sonic and the Sonic 25th Anniversary with a return to 16-bit Sega Genesis theme albeit updated. This game looks to be a great Sonic game with even the original artist and character designer Naoto Ohshima making a return to the franchise with some new artwork provided for the game as well as an awesome opening animation. You can buy Sonic Mania for $19.99 on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, Windows and Steam as a download but there’s also this incredible looking Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition available for every platform via Amazon. This comes with a Deluxe Collector’s Box, a 12” Statue of Sonic standing on a Sega Genesis and apparently the classic SEGA startup sound, a SEGA Cartridge Case with a Golden Ring, and a metallic collector’s card with the download key for the game. You can check this out below.

Here's a fun fact about Sonic Mania. Apparently the development crew consists of developers who actually started off making Sonic fangames! People such as Christian "Taxman" Whitehead, the director all came from a fangame background so it's crazy to see Sega take them on to make a legit Sonic game.

Got some news regarding GameStop! For starters the Nintendo Switch is now restocked across all GameStop retail stores and online so be sure to pick yourself up one if you haven’t yet and while you’re there don’t forget that the Salazzle Pokemon Sun and Moon event is currently ongoing as of today! Just ask for a code card and you should get one or two, I usually get given two.

I’ve never played Cave Story before, though I actually want to try it someday but this news looked pretty interesting. The studio behind Cave Studio Nicalis, Inc. (Who just released Cave Studio+ for the Nintendo Switch) released these images and gifs of a 3D model of the game’s protagonist.

Wonder what this is for? Perhaps this is for the Nintendo Switch version of Brawlout, which I had only just discovered and its pretty much Super Smash Brothers with Indie characters.  Maybe this is actually a preview for Smash 5? I mean it looks like it could be a Smash Bros model… Maybe that’s a little farfetched.

Finally with PAX West (Pretty sure this used to be called PAX Prime but I guess they changed the name to West.) happening in Seattle this September 1-4th. Nintendo is happening holding a special panel on the 2nd from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. Are they going to announce something? I will be keeping my eyes glued to the screen that day.

Switching to movie news it appears we’re able to experience a Leosception. Leonardo DiCarprio has just signed on to play none other than Leonardo Da Vinci in a brand new Biopic, I kid you not. Yes this is really happening I can’t believe it, it seems almost fate for Leonardo to play… Well Leonardo. This movie will be produced by Paramount Studios and based off a soon to be released book by Walter Isaacson about Da Vinci. Yeah the movie has already moved ahead before the book has even released but I guess Paramount figured that the adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs book was a huge success so why not get a head start on the next book. I assume with the eagerness that Paramount is showing that this movie will be hitting theatres for next year’s Oscar season. I’ll discuss more as it’s announced.  Leonardo as Leonardo, that’ll definitely stick in the mind of movie goers.

Finally before I leave you guys today I have to bring you another FREE knitting pattern! Remember the Octopus pattern I featured a week or two ago? (It’s on this blog right here: ) Well as a continuation on my quest for knitted Octopuses I’ve come across yet another pattern, one a little more fun looking. This is the “knitted Preemie octopus” pattern by Anna Nat Howard.

Look how frilly it’s leg’s are this Octopus would make a perfect toy for Christmas in any Sea Life lover’s stockings. You’ll need 3.5mm needles for it’s body and 4mm for the tentacles. Yarn just seems to be DK of any color you want. Actually this is quite easy to knit from the looks of it and could even be a quick knit so be sure to check the pattern out here: Check out more from Anna Nat Howard as well here: .

Once again be sure to vote for my talented photography of a sister during the "It's Amazing Out There" Photo contest by The Weather Channel. You can find her photo via this link: if this doesn't work just search for "Butterfly and the Dandelion" you can vote everyday so go vote for my sister she deserves to win this!

My sister also has a new photography blog up at: and the photographs are absolutely stunning. She took what was a dreary, rainy day into a beautiful moving set of photos so go check them out!

This was ZAK Entertainment

See you on Friday!

[Photo Credits: Leslie Charteris, ITV, NBC, SilverScreen Pictures, SEGA, Anna Nat Howard.]

Monday, August 14, 2017

Samus Aran's 30 Years of Metroid Hunting

Once again before we dive into the blog be sure to vote for my talented photography of a sister during the "It's Amazing Out There" Photo contest by The Weather Channel. You can find her photo via this link: if this doesn't work just search for "Butterfly and the Dandelion" you can vote everyday so go vote for my sister she deserves to win this!

I think I’ve expressed enough how big of an impact the Nintendo Entertainment System made on the Video Game industry, actually it saved the industry and allowed it to thrive for many years to come. Loads of classic characters we’ve come to love and the worlds they live in had their birth on this machine and that’s no different for a certain bounty hunter who just turned 30, Samus Aran of the Metroid Series.

Come this Tuesday, August the 15th, the Metroid franchise will turn 30 years old here in America with the original release of “Metroid” for the NES. Metroid was created by the Legendary Gunpei Yokoi, Yoshio Sakamoto, Satoru Okada, the crew at Nintendo’s Research and Development 1 Team and Intelligent Systems Metroid ended up a pretty popular action-adventure side scrolling game but I have to admit, this game is really tough. You play the role as Samus Aran as she shoots her way through the planet of Zebes after being sent by the Galactic Federation to wipe out the Space Pirates that plagued them for so long and destroy their leader, Mother Brain. I mean if you’re the greatest bounty hunter alive who else would you pick?

This game calls for some serious exploration in-between dealing with those pesky spiky alien things that crawl on the floor making it almost impossible to destroy them. (Excuse my PTSD on that, hate those things.) You’ll be working your way through the bases of Zebes, obtaining power ups and destroying bosses but you won’t have a map to help you. You’re in complete radio silence when playing this game but luckily back then before the internet existed you had Nintendo Power to help you out. (Thanks guys.) Also luckily you had a password system in case you died and wanted to start where you left off, I also think this worked as a save system of sorts. Actually the original Famicom version had an actual save version.

This first Metroid game was later remade for the Gameboy Advance named Metroid: Zero Mission in 2004 and expanded on the original game with post game content.

Unlike most of you I didn’t actually grow up with any Metroid games. You all want a couple chuckles and perhaps a facepalm? Then keep reading.

My first encounter with Samus Aran was through another familiar game yet just as widely popular, Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64. Actually I had my first encounter with a lot of Video Game characters through this game. Anyone who wasn’t Mario, Luigi, Pikachu, Donkey Kong and Yoshi were complete strangers to me yet enticing. Here’s where I get embarrassed, I actually grew up for many years thinking Samus was actually a guy, whoops.

Actually at one point I thought she was related to Halo which was a completely separate IP from Microsoft, you can laugh at me later okay? I was a very young kid. I think I remember pretending she was a Power Ranger or something back in the day, I really had no idea who she was or where she came from, but you could charge her arm cannon for some serious damage so I used her often. Even more embarrassing I realized that the in game descriptions, the guides I had and Nintendo Power all described her as a woman.

I wasn’t the only one who thought this probably and in the original game nobody knew who Samus was until they beat the game a certain way, in which she would take her suit helmet off revealing herself to be a pretty badass lady.

Me however I wouldn’t realize she was a female until the announcement of Super Smash Bros Brawl for the Nintendo Wii many years later in which they announced the Final Smashes. Samus’s Final Smash would have her using a massive energy beam which tore away her power suit to the more flexible jumpsuit underneath, it also revealed her to be a blonde haired lady and boy was younger me in shock.

Anyway since then Samus and the world of Metroid have become big favorites of mine. I don’t own many of the games besides the original Metroid and Super Metroid but I thoroughly enjoy the 2D side scrolling variations of Metroid. Metroid isn’t just 2D games and with Metroid Prime releasing on the GameCube in November of 2002 the Metroid Franchise took a dive into 3D First-person Action-Adventure. I’ve never played a Metroid Prime game but they’re widely popular and to be honest I want to get a hold of that trilogy before number 4 comes out.

Wait I actually just remembered that I did experience Metroid in 3D although it was a demo. Remember when I discussed my memories of the original Nintendo DS? Well coupled with the old phat Nintendo DS I have (That actually broke recently…) I also got this Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt demo. This demo had you go around three different modes where you hunted down these enemies in a clunky first person shooter environment. The last mode would have you transform into the famous morph ball.

Speaking of the Morph Ball this is one of Samus’s many power ups and in the original game and every game since allowed her to curl up into a perfect ball for squeezing into tight places and also using bombs to find secrets. You’re probably wondering, how on earth does Samus curl up like that? Well it’s very simple; she may or may not have Bird DNA inside of her. I’m not talking about Maximum Ride level of bird DNA I mean she was infused with DNA of an alien bird race known as the Chozo. These guys were wise bird-men who used to live on the planet Zebes before being wiped out by the Space Pirates. Samus, an orphan, was adopted by the Chozo and infused with their DNA as well as raised to become a warrior.

When it comes to Video Games I tend to look beyond the pressing of buttons, each Video Game has a story behind it and Nintendo’s games might not look like it at first but have a lot of lore behind them. Maybe it’s just the writer inside of me but I will spend hours reading deeper and deeper into the stories in each game, whether it’s Pokemon, Legend of Zelda or even Mario.

For the most part Samus’s character was only shown through a miniature dialogue in the prologue of every game but with Metroid Fusion, Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid Other M the games dove just a little bit deeper into her character. She’s a bit of a loner but thanks to some comics and manga we got to see more insight into her exploits. Actually she’s made quite a few comic and manga appearances such as her 5 issue Nintendo Power Super Metroid series and her appearances in the Captain N comics. Though one manga does stand out to me and that would be the 2002 Metroid Manga.

While I’m not exactly sure if it’s canon or not it dives pretty deeply into Samus’s origins as well as a prequel to the original game/Zero Mission. I think I can safely say the portrayal of Samus in that manga is my favorite iteration. Apparently Metroid: Other M went in depth as well as giving Samus full voice acting but I’ve never played that game either. I’ve only heard reviews from others, which for the most part are negative.

Anyway the Metroid franchise and Samus’s bounty hunting seemed to come to a halt over the years with no new games since Metroid: Other M in 2009. Finally Samus will be returning to her Varia Suit and beating up some more Metroids in not one but two upcoming games, one of them being a return to the 2D action-adventure side scrolling I’ve come to love from the franchise. Metroid: Samus Returns (Perfect name by the way Nintendo.) will be releasing on the Nintendo 3DS this September 15th. (One month from now!) This isn’t just a return for Samus however it’s the return of Yoshio Sakamoto who is leading production of the game and is his first game since Metroid: Zero Mission.

Metroid: Samus Returns is a reimagining of Metroid II: Return of Samus for the original Gameboy with the same storyline for the most part intact. Samus is heading to the Metroid homeworld SR388 to exterminate the species after the events of Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission. It seems for the most part the gameplay is the same but it seems Samus has been practicing in Super Smash Bros a lot because she can use Melee attacks from the looks of it as well as being able to fire freely at any angle.

Metroid: Samus Returns looks incredible and I can’t wait to get my hands on this game, it’s looking to be the return to 2D (2.5D anyway) Metroid games I’ve wanted for so long now as well as being a remake of a Metroid game I’ve always loved. (Yet suck at, but I suck at all Metroid games.) You can check out more here on the English website:

Samus has been kicking butt for 30 years now and it seems her feats have not stopped yet. Samus as a character might not speak much and a lot of her lore is shrouded in mystery but she's pretty much in my top 5 favorite Video Game protagonist list. (I'm so sorry for not realizing she was a woman before Smash Brothers Brawl, haha.) With Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Prime 4 coming out it seems Metroid has finally returned to the spotlight. Now if only a certain captain named after a bird could make a punching return. While I’m not good at the games I enjoy these games a lot they have a challenge you just can’t refuse, win or fail.

You can buy the original Metroid on the 3DS eShop for $4.99 USD.

Moving on I’ve been watching some more Harry Potter again, so far I’ve actually watched the first 5 movies so expect those blogs to trickle out over the next few months. I’ve actually been watching quite a few movies over the past weekend one of them being a big Tom Hanks favorite of mine, Angels & Demons which is based on the Dan Brown book of the same name. I’ve been reading the book too and I’m really enjoying Robert Langdon’s exploits in Vatican City so expect me to write up some blogs on that as well.

As always today’s FREE Knitting pattern feature is of a monster of the most adorable kind. This is “A Little Kindness Monster” from Rachel Borello Carroll of The Yarnigans.

Just look at this adorable guy, seriously who couldn’t resist that face? Looking for a toy to knit for Christmas? Give this little guy some love. I mean look at that beanie, and the little heart on his cheek. He’s enough to fill your heart with kindness and he seems to be kind and easy to knit too. He’s got some basic shapes and all you’ll need is 1 set of 4 US3 double pointed needles. A small amount of worsted weight yarn in any color, scrap yarn works. You also need two buttons (Or felt) for the eyes and some embroidery thread for the mouth with an embroidery needle.

So go on! Knit this little ball of kindness. This might be the most adorable knitting pattern yet so please be sure to go check it out here: . Also be sure to check out more of Rachel’s patterns she’s got loads more patterns like this.

This was ZAK Entertainment

See you on Wednesday!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Reliving the Magical Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Once again before we dive into the blog be sure to vote for my talented photography of a sister during the "It's Amazing Out There" Photo contest by The Weather Channel. You can find her photo via this link: if this doesn't work just search for "Butterfly and the Dandelion" you can vote everyday so go vote for my sister she deserves to win this!

“Did you ever make anything happen? Anything you couldn’t explain when you were angry or scared?” These words were spoken by a half giant half hairy man known as Hagrid to a little boy who would soon learn he has the potential to be one of the greatest Wizards of all time, Harry Potter. If you’re a muggle and not interested in Harry Potter leave now but if you are interested, keep reading as I take you into the beginnings of this magical series.

Harry Potter is a fantasy novel series turned movie written by J.K. Rowling featuring the life of a young boy whose name is the namesake of the series. This book originally released in 1997 by the name of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” would soon release in America by the name of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” which has become a lifetime favorite series of me and my family. After years of work (And I mean years J.K. Rowling started work on this book in 1990) Harry Potter become a phenomenal success and spawned a just as phenomenal movie series by the same name. This movie adaptation released in 2001 and to my knowledge we experienced Harry Potter both the book and the movie around the same time. I mean Harry Potter was already widely popular with four books released but this movie prompted us to get both the movie and the book.

Funny story short we still actually have our original book, of course it’s a little tatted up but it’s been well loved, I think this might be a re-release specifically for the movie which released at the same time as the cover is not the original American cover.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was directed by Chris Columbus, who was famous for Directing Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire at the time as well as writing Gremlins and The Goonies. This movie really captured the magic the Wizarding World kept secret in the heart of England. Just a train ride away was a school where growing Wizards learn how to control their magic, cast spells and experience wonders beyond their imagination known as Hogwarts. At the same time hiding from the non magic folk known as muggles, but they seem to handle this muggle issue just fine however, without much of a fuss.

For the most part the book was translated faithfully into this movie without too much difference in detail. Some more minor characters were left out from the first book but the characters that really left an impact are in this movie and the actors who portrayed them are absolutely perfect, bringing the characters onto the big screen.

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

This story, just like the magical book, starts in a cubboard under the stairs in house on Privet Drive. Harry Potter (Played by Daniel Radcliffe is a 10 year old boy soon to turn 11; he lives with his Uncle Vernon Dursley (Played by the late Richard Griffiths), a big beefy man who is a the director of a successful drill-making firm, Grunnings. Harry also lived with Vernon’s wife Petunia Dursley (Played by Fiona Shaw), Harry’s Mother’s Sister. Finally Dudley Dursley, the only child of Vernon and Petunia and Harry’s Cousin, Dudley is spoiled rotten by his parents and usually gets away with anything, including bullying poor Harry. Harry has lived with this bunch of muggles since he was only an infant after his parents were killed by He Who Should Not Be Named, the central antagonist of the entire series making him the Boy Who Lived, this would also be just as vital to the story. 

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

Really the Dursleys were the worst kinds of muggles imaginable but Harry struggled through. 

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

Sure enough after a ton of letters was visited by Hagrid, the big, burly but friendly giant of a wizard Harry discovered the world of Wizards and attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With new friends in Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and a rival of sorts in Draco Malfoy the boy was in for the magical ride of his life.  

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

The teachers of Hogwarts are just as important as the kids however with Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris), one of the most famous and powerful wizards of all time and holding some deep secrets, as the headmaster. Students in Hogwarts are sorted into 4 houses, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Apparently according to Pottermore I am a true Ravenclaw, which is pretty awesome. 

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

Three of the teachers featured prominently in this movie are Professor McGonagall (Played by Maggie Smith) the Deputy Headmistress and Head of Gryffindor House as well as being the teacher of Transfiguration. (Also can turn into a cat)

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

Professor Snape, the hooked nose and long dark haired potion master (Played by the late Alan Rickman) also plays a role that becomes vital in the later movies/books. He is the head of Slytherin House and has something against Harry for some reason…

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

Finally Professor Quirrell, the twitchy Professor of the Defense Against the Dark Arts. A brilliant Scholar but nerve wrecked Quirrell plays a big role in this first movie and apparently had an encounter with a vampire. He wears a turban for reasons unknown.

Another character that was memorable for me was Filch, the school caretaker who knows every nook and cranny, the inside and out of Hogwarts better than anyone who has ever stepped foot in the castle. He also has a cat named Mrs Noris who he is greatly attached too and also acts as a monitor/spy for Filch. Filch is played by David Bradley who’s more recently popular for his role on Game of Thrones and apparently I found out recently he’ll be playing as the First Doctor in the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special, which is pretty awesome. William Hartnell was the original actor to portray the Doctor but with him passing a long time ago David Bradley may have been a perfect pick to portray the man.

When digging into these films I sure do love to see what the actors who portray these characters have done in other roles so it’s a reoccurring thing for me to mention these other roles here and there. I mean I could go on and on about what the awesome Dame Maggie Smith has done in her life time, such as Jean Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I have come across a discovery that shocked me. While watching Midsummer Murders, a popular British murder mystery show and made popular over here by the means of Netflix (I think I’ve seen it enough to be a fan as well.) 

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

I realized Elizabeth Spriggs who played the Fat Lady in Harry Potter who you must tell the secret password too before entering Gryffindor’s common room actually played two characters on Midsomer Murders but here’s the funny part. 

Iris Rainbird a suspect in the very first Episode of Midsomer Murders but comes back to play the sister of Iris Rainbird in a 2006 Episode which sort of connects with the original first episode, thought that was cool for some reason.

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

I don’t think I can express enough how great this story and movie is and how much it’s impacted my life. I can’t count how many times my family and I have watched this movie or read the books. It’s got a wonderful story that spans 7 books and 8 movies and I can’t name a single character that hasn’t made an impact. Even the supporting characters or one off characters have etched their way into my mind and they couldn’t have picked better actors to portray them. As a writer who is looking to soon publish his first book Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling I can say have been a magical inspiration that really can’t be described that easily.

Harry Potter hasn’t just impacted myself it has impacted a world of wizards, with one of the largest communities in the world Harry Potter, despite its main series having concluded, continues to be a huge topic in conversations regarding books and movies. For a book aimed at YA it seems to have impacted people of all ages. I can actually remember my sister and I playing make believe wizards when we were really young, pretending we were actually attending Hogwarts, using our school textbooks as spell books.

Oh yeah many years ago we ended up getting this Harry Potter bookmark set which came with some really cool, well bookmarks. 

Apparently you could get this and a few others in a box set of sorts but I’m not sure if these exact ones I have here did or not, I do remember seeing the Snitch one though but couldn’t find it for this photo. The first bookmark here is a Broomstick, a Nimbus 2000, Harry's Broom in the books and movie the second the Golden Snitch and the 3rd I believe is the prophecy featured in the later movies. Pretty cool, huh?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is just an introduction to 6 more books and 8 more movies so in a way this will be part 1 of 7 blogs that I’ll be writing as I re-watch the Harry Potter movies and re-read the books, which trust me won’t take my family and I long to do so. While the movie is quite faithful to the book I highly recommend you read the book either first or after watching the movie, there’s a lot more detail the movie couldn’t capture so you’ll be able to experience the Harry Potter world in much more depth in you would just watching the movie, plus the book came first and is the original story so it’s only natural to read the book.

For those who don’t own this movie or used to on VHS or DVD and want to get an upgraded digital copy (Which we’ve had to do since we owned the first three movies on VHS) you can do so via iTunes!

Also for the book you can buy it via Amazon Kindle for all of your mobile and computer devices here:

Don't forget to check out for more Harry Potter! J.K. Rowling has released a lot of awesome tidbits and stories from within the Wizard World so you'll have even more to read once you finish the books!

Before we wrap up for the day I have some more magical items to discuss, knitting. 

I’m still working on my little knitted pouch from earlier and I’m just about finished. I’ve finished the main body and now I’m working on this little flap that will go over top, closing up the pouch. This pouch will be used for my video camera’s remote which will hopefully stop me from losing this now that I actually got the remote working finally. When I’ve finished this flap I’ll be attempting something I haven’t before, it’s been awhile since I’ve dove into a new technique but I’ll be doing a three stitch attached icord on the edge of this flap, which will include a loop that will go over a button I’ll be sewing on. This kind of icord is a bind off that is usually used to finish off sleeves or armholes in general but you can use it to add loops as well. I’ll let you guys know more about that when I get there.

Until then before I leave I have the FREE knitting pattern of the day to share. If you own the physical copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Which you can get also from the Amazon link above)  you’ll want a bookmark, right? Well get ready for the “Harry Potter Bookscarf” by Laura K. Miller.

This is an awesome looking bookmark, actually I had never considered making a knitted bookmark but this is actually a great idea. You’ll need some US 0 – 2.0 MM knitting needles and some lace weight yarn in the Hogwarts house choice of color. Other than that this seems like an easy knit though I’ve never added tassel to something before other then my little brother’s blanket. You can check out this pattern here:

This was ZAK Entertainment

See you on Monday.

Ten points for Gryffindor!

[Photo Credits: ZAK Entertainment, Warner Brothers, J.K. Rowling, Laura K. Miller.]