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Apollo Chungus

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About Apollo Chungus

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  • Birthday 01/29/1996

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    Writing, playing music (especially piano), video games, Sonic the Hedgehog
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    The middle of nowhere

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  1. Children deserve much, much better than this trollop.
  2. Apollo Chungus

    Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (June 21st, 2019)

    Thing is, I am one of those folks who grew up with the original - hell, it was the first game I ever remember playing when my family got a PSOne back in 2000 - and I'm just not seeing it as an excellent upgrade at this point. It looks perfectly fine for what it is, but to paraphrase the Gaming Brit when he talked about the Crash remakes, I'm not looking at this and thinking "BETTER!"; I'm thinking "Oh. That's different." It's a similar situation to the Spyro remakes from a few months back. I love the originals to bits, and nothing about the remakes struck me as being that much of an improvement (not to sell Toys for Bob, or Beenox in this case, short - they're doing a fairly good job, but I just think that the end result could still be better). Like I said, I'm just not feeling it. Maybe I'll change my tune when it comes out and it turns out to be the best feeling kart racer in gaming since... well, the original CTR. But until then, I'm going to keep an eye on it, but not a terribly optimistic one.
  3. Apollo Chungus

    Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (June 21st, 2019)

    Just watched the gameplay, and I'm not feeling it. It looks like they've managed to approximate the gameplay pretty well (though it's definitely something I'd have to play before I know for certain), but it's the presentation that's got me iffy. I do agree that there's a lot of extraneous detail in Polar Pass and Dingo Canyon that makes it more difficult to parse information, and Dingo Canyon in particular suffers from really powerful lighting and a colour palette with reds and oranges that bleed into each other too easily - never mind the characters with similar colour schemes like Tiny, Pura or Crash (y'know, the main character? The one racer that should at least stand out from any given environment). But the thing that's really got me apathetic is the arrangement of the music. They attempt to capture the same mood as the original versions, but there's a variety of issues with the instruments, mixing, and even arrangement choices that just don't work. It's possible we're listening to unfinished versions and maybe they'll be tweaked before the game's out, but I want to put this out there all the same. Firstly, the overture that plays just before you begin the race is missing the brass that was in the original (or is much less noticeable in the mix). The brass was used to add this brief sense of grandiosity to starting the race that made it feel a bit more exciting, which isn't as prevalent now. Polar Pass is missing a couple of major instruments that lessen the distinct flavour the original version had: the electronic buzz that catches your attention before playing the melody alongside the pizzicato strings to make it more prominent, and the bells at 0:17 that provide that jolly wintery feeling in a way that none of the other instruments can. Crash Cove isn't too great either. The steel guitar that plays throughout the song isn't as distinct, and the steel drums that play the main melody are barely there. They show up for a couple of bars, but they're almost impossible to hear over the brass that's trying to harmonize with it - which just makes the melody sound less impactful and 'strong' than it used to. The original track used the steel guitar and drums to really convey that feeling of cruising at a beach and having a fun time, but that's gone now. Dingo Canyon's not so bad, but the jew's harp (that boingy sound) is definitely a lot harder to hear than before, which detracts from the desert feel of the level to an extent. But the biggest issue, and what crosses from taste in instrumentation into being a genuine misstep, is that the theme that plays when you grab the Aku/Uka mask comes straight from the N-Sane Trilogy. In the original CTR, the mask theme was meant to be a remix of the invincibility theme from the platformers, using the same drums but adding a melody over the top that gave it this sense of progression and bounce that was more suited to a kart racer. But for whatever reason, it's just the N-Sane invincibility theme without anything added on top. I really hope this means that the soundtrack's not completely finished, because this is a really confusing omission otherwise. It's not like we're discussing the exact "Obbligok!" sound Aku-Aku makes when he picks you up from an abyss - it's a pretty obvious aspect of the music that's just not there all of a sudden. I don't mind the idea of these new arrangements going in their own direction, but only if that was clear from the off-set. If they went all-out on completely reinterpreting the originals or adding new touches to provide their own unique take on the music, I'd be more than willing to accept whatever they do (for example, I quite like how Crash Cove's track adds some extra percussion during the final lap). But they're trying to recreate the same mood as the old songs, and there's just a lot of stuff that needs work before I can confidently say that they've nailed those moods.
  4. Apollo Chungus

    Why does the Sonic 1 & 2 victory theme sound so depressing

    Y'know, I felt something similar when listening to that old theme, but it's only recently that I realized why - and it involves a bit of basic music theory. The reason the end of the song seems particularly unsettling is that it ends on a suspended chord. When you play a chord, you typically play the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale of that chord (e.g. a C chord has you playing the notes C, E and G). However, a suspended chord changes the middle note being played; either the second note or the fourth note (going back to the C chord, a C suspended chord can be played as C, D and G or C, F and G). What this does is create a dissonance in the music that you would normally resolve by playing the same chord but with the middle note either pulled up or pulled down to the third note (e.g. going from C/F/G to C/E/G). But what makes the level complete theme sound depressing or 'off' is that the suspended chord isn't resolved. The song ends without any resolution, which loses that innate feeling of satisfaction that the listener expects from hearing the dissonance be resolved (this isn't to say the song is bad for making the listener feel unsatisfied; that's just as valid a feeling to leave them with as any feeling the composer wishes to express when writing a song). I can't say for certain whether Masato Nakamura intended for the song to end on what can be perceived as a depressing note, but I like the idea that he might have been trying to musically convey the feeling of "you've gotten through this level, but the journey's far from over" by having the song be as unresolved as your progress in the game. It's worth considering, if nothing else.
  5. Apollo Chungus

    Let's Make A Christmas Album Collab!

    Here's the big damn post for the album (sorry for it being so late that it's already New Year's Eve)! I'll update the OP to showcase this album! Thank you to everyone who contributed something to the album!
  6. LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH SUGGESTIONS FROM WEBSITES AND BOOKS I'VE BEEN READING, ALONG WITH THINGS I STUMBLED ACROSS, AS OF 11:47 - 6/OCTOBER/2018. Hey there, everyone! I hope you're all doing well! I apologize for the lateness of this post (I'd actually updated the list some time last week, but I haven't written a post promoting it until now). Things had gotten quite busy and stressful on my end recently, and while most of it's been sorted out thankfully, it left me pretty tired and unable to write much of anything. I'm going to try and get some creative energy going again, and I hope that doing this post will be one way of doing that. Anyway, I do have to write this post, since it's kind of a big deal. With 101 films, episodes, shorts, music videos and the like added to the list, that means the current number of suggestions is a little over 3900 FILMS! For those who don't know, my original plan with this project was to stop gathering suggestions for the list when the number was around 2000. I thought that might've been a bit too restrictive given how many animated works have been made, so I doubled the limit to 4000 films quite some time ago. But yes, this update means that we're less than 100 films from reaching that limit. Good lord. I don't plan on extending that limit again, because I do think it's stretching it at this point, so it's likely that the suggestions gathering will be officially finished in the next update or two. It's possible that there are a few duplicates scattered about (considering it's nearly 4000 films organized in a Notepad file I've been working on for a year, that's practically a given), and I'll knock those off. But regardless, it does mean that this stage of the project is very nearly done. On the one hand, that's amazing. I've read a lot of books, browsed through many articles and websites, talked to a good number of folks, watched a heck of a lot of stuff - and it's all made me realize how fascinating the world of animation is. There's so many connections, so many interesting ways to visually depict an idea, and generally so many things out there to find and enjoy. That we've nearly reached that limit is testament to that fact. However, I'll admit that I'm slightly worried about where to go from here. The plan I had was to try and turn this into some sort of official work that people could read, in the style of the "X THINGS IN Y MEDIUM YOU MUST SEE" books it's based on. But that means trying to communicate and organize an effort to get this done, and to do it as much justice as possible. This is somewhat scary because I'm pretty bad at trying to promote anything I do and trying to communicate with people online, and I have no idea how to go about doing anything. Hopefully, I'll figure out something when the time comes, but I'll keep looking for more suggestions in the meantime (and maybe turning it into an Excel document to make it more easily readable, as someone suggested some time ago). For now, please keep contributing to the project with suggestions and feedback, share this project around to friends and anyone who might be interested, and check out anything that catches your eye. Thank you very much, and until we meet again, have a great day! -Jim McGrath/FrDougal9000
  7. Apollo Chungus

    SEGA Genesis collection for PC XBOX ONE & PS4

    RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE! It's now coming to the Nintendo Switch this winter! This is a bit of a weird announcement, mainly because it's coming out alongside the SEGA Ages line of games. I know some folks might balk at the idea of having a collection of (what I understand to be) quite middling emulations when there's a much better line of games coming out alongside it, but I kinda get the logic behind it. The Genesis Classics are a cheap collection for people who aren't too fussed about the emulation quality and are more concerned with just being able to play old favourites, or having a whole bunch of games on the go (if I'm ever going to play Phantasy Star IV to completion, it'll be on a handheld). Meanwhile, the SEGA Ages line is a more expensive series intended for the die-hard SEGA fans - the people who really care about the quality of the porting, who want something special to make it stand out, who want to play SEGA games that haven't been emulated 3 billion times before. It was always weird to me that the biggest divide between these two options was which console you owned, so I'm glad to see that the Switch has at least got both options (considering the overall shite nature of the Switch and re-releasing old games, it's just as well). It would be pretty cool if SEGA Ages did something similar and showed up on the PS4/X1, but we'll see how things go.
  8. Apollo Chungus

    What if Sonic was human?

    Okay, I genuinely don't mean to cause any offense when I ask this, but what are you actually talking about? How, and more importantly why, do you believe that the only way to 'save' the Sonic the Hedgehog series is to take "the Hedgehog" out of the equation and make him a human? I'm genuinely curious to know, because I can't figure out for the life of me what that's going to accomplish. So we've taken away one of the series' most defining traits: the main character being an anthropomorphised animal. It's a trait that the character design was made around, and is one of the series' most appealing concepts. It's a style of character design that has fans the world over, and has influenced many artists in how they get creative. (Never mind the huge furry fanbase it's attracted, which I see as a positive since it encourages creativity and a general sense of positivity about the things that furries like about the series.) To remove that would be like deciding that Bugs Bunny isn't a rabbit, but a frog; or that Master Chief is no longer a soldier, but an insurance salesman. We've removed a crucial key to the character's appeal, both visually and conceptually. In that case, what benefit does making him a human do? Even if we stuck with the stylized Uekawa that kicked this debate off all those years ago, what does that have anything to do with the series being good or not? It doesn't matter whether Sonic's a furry animal or a lanky teen if he still stars in "shit" games. And I'm using the quotation marks there because I don't believe that the series is so beyond repair that you need to make drastic changes to its core concept. Really, the only part of Sonic that might require a drastic change is at Sonic Team (and I say might, since we don't really know what's going on over there). Sonic Mania's done very well, the IDW comics are doing fine, and while I'm kinda iffy about the upcoming movie (not to mention the possibility of the series trying to change to fit the movie, though that's just a thought), there's no real indication that the series is DOOMED. I agree that something might have to change to make Sonic Team's games worth caring about, but making Sonic human is not gonna do anything about that.
  9. LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH SUGGESTIONS FROM DK VINE, ALONG WITH OTHER WEBSITES AND BOOKS I'VE BEEN READING, AS OF 18:54 - 4/SEPTEMBER/2018. Hey there, everyone! I hope you're all doing well! Today's update isn't quite as big as the previous one (more on why in a bit), but with 48 new films, episodes, videos and more, that takes us just a little over 3800 FILMS! That's right: we're less than 200 films away from reaching the 4000 film limit I decided on months ago. It's really weird to think that I was originally going to stop gathering films when the limit was only 2000, but we've nearly doubled that in the span of just under a year and a half. It's crazy to think that, but it's proof that the world of animation is indeed wide, weird, and wonderful! I don't have much else to say for this post, and I don't have any YouTube video news to talk about, since I'm currently going through a pretty nasty drain of motivation right now. I was working on a couple of other things besides this project, but they'll all wrapped up and I don't know what to do with myself for now. I had a plan of remaking a video I did last year, but I gave up when I realized that it would have had only slightly better audio and video (which isn't really worth the pain of trying to make Windows Movie Maker Live co-operate). So I'm just existing for the moment, occasionally taking the time to watch and research more animated things, but not much else. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things. Besides, there's less than 200 films till that goal is reached. Let's keep moving towards it, eh? In the meantime, please keep contributing to the project with suggestions and feedback, share this project around to friends and anyone who might be interested, and check out anything that catches your eye. Thank you very much, and until we meet again, have a great day! -Jim McGrath/FrDougal9000
  10. Apollo Chungus

    Let's Make A Christmas Album Collab!

    THE ALBUM'S FINISHED, AND HERE IT IS! In the spoiler is the original post I made, just to have it there for prosperity's sake.
  11. LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH SUGGESTIONS FROM DK VINE, TUMBLR, OTHER WEBSITES AND BOOKS I'VE BEEN READING, AS OF 11:55 - 1/AUGUST/2018. Hey there, everyone! I hope you're all doing well! Today comes with another update, and it's a pretty big one. With 118 films, shorts, music videos and more, that takes the number of suggested films over 3700 FILMS! Once again, it's ridiculous and amazing as to how many things are being made or discovered every day, and even moreso when you consider how close we're getting to that 4000 film limit. Almost seems like that might not be enough sometimes, but I'm gonna keep that the limit so I can try to work and get this done in less time than it's taken for The Overcoat to be made (look it up)! This'll be a brief post, since I don't have a lot of energy today, and I'm going to be preparing to head off for a couple of days with my folks tomorrow. However, since I'm finally on my summer holidays, I should be able to dedicate a little bit more time to researching and watching things than I have been these last few months. In the meantime, please keep contributing to the project with suggestions and feedback, share this project around to friends and anyone who might be interested, and check out anything that catches your eye. Thank you very much, and until we meet again, have a great day! -Jim McGrath/FrDougal9000
  12. It's been a while since I last posted on this thread, mainly because all I could ever say most of the time was to just reiterate my initial frustrations - that they're making changes that crucially affect the mood of these levels when they could easily retain them, and whatnot. I've been keeping an eye on it, however, just in the hope that I'd be able to become even a little bit enthusiastic towards it. And so far? I'm starting to warm up to it. First off, I'm very happy that they're including the option for the original music. Don't get me wrong: some of these new renditions sound good (I really like what I've heard of Hurricos), but the original soundtrack is too distinct to be left behind for a remastered equivalent. Also, if I've heard correctly, you can turn off the dynamic music nonsense for the new soundtrack, which is especially great considering how dumb I think that idea is for a game like Spyro (where combat can start and end so quickly that there's no way to hear the "action" version of a song for more than a second). Secondly, I heartily approve of the changes they've been making to the colours of levels in the more recent builds. The above GIF of the first homeworld much more closely resembles the colours seen in the original, and not overly relying on in-engine lighting or washed out nonsense like the initial screenshots had. I'm still iffy with the needless amount of detail and the literal skyboxes (and Idol Springs looks pretty gross right now), but that could just as easily change. Thirdly, I've been hearing that these remakes might contain new content, which if true, would make it a lot easier for me to accept these as remakes and therefore, different interpretations. That might sound weird, but when the publisher and developer keep pushing these remakes as being "very faithful" or "remasters", the amount of stuff that's being changed made me think that they either didn't get what the originals were doing, or that they were trying to rely on people not having played the originals enough to not notice any major differences. Anyhow, if there is going to be a bit of new content, then I can accept these as purely remakes and will look forward to whatever Toys for Bob end up doing. That said, I still want to play the game. A big part of Spyro's appeal to me are the fantastic controls, and I really want to know how they feel. More than anything, that will be the thing that makes or breaks my interest in these remakes. Here's to hoping they'll put out a demo of some kind.
  13. I don't think I've actually posted in this thread before. That's largely because I don't care about the Sonic movie, and not really interested in discussing it. Seriously, I care so little that I don't even want to see the movie out of morbid curiosity. Nothing that I've heard about it over the five-ish years we've known it to be a thing has gotten me interested. But I wanted to make a post about something that's been on my mind for a while, and something that the last couple of posts have been discussing enough to make me want to talk about it. I'll be up-front about this, but: Roger Craig Smith should play Sonic the Hedgehog in this movie. I'm not saying this as a fan of Craig Smith's portrayal - it's probably my least favourite voice for the character, due to how abrasive and (for a lack of a better term) dudebrah-ish he makes Sonic sound. But that doesn't matter in this case, nor should it. What matters is that Roger Craig Smith has been the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog for nearly a decade, and the only voice for that matter. Previously, there'd be more than one voice actor between the games and the spin-offs (Ryan Drummond vs Jaleel White in the late 90's; Ryan Drummond vs Jason Griffith in the early-mid 2000's), but not now. Craig Smith has voiced Sonic in everything that requires a voice; the main series, the spin-off games, even the Sonic Boom cartoon; and has been doing so for eight years. For an entire generation of children growing up (maybe two at this point), Roger Craig Smith IS Sonic the Hedgehog. Those of us old enough to remember Sonic having a different voice may not think that idea matters, but it matters to them. It especially matters because, for a lot of people, this could be seen as the face of the franchise for some time. There's this weird cultural idea we tend to have where we decide a franchise or work has only really "made it", be it in terms of cultural recognition, artistic merit or some other means, when it's been adapted into a live-action film. Regardless of whether it worked much better as a video game, a novel, a comic, an audio drama (or an animated film, but shhhhhhhh); that doesn't matter to a good chunk of the public. Unless it's extremely bad, the live-action film adaptation will be the most widely recognised part of that series from here on out. For the kids and teens who end up seeing this movie, they're going to expect to hear Sonic to talk in his usual voice, because 1) he's always sounded like that to them and 2) this is the official Sonic the Hedgehog movie; why wouldn't they want to make it feel right by using the 'real voice' of the character? There's an anecdote I remember about how David Hayter, the voice of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear games, took a massive pay cut to get as many of the original voice actors from Metal Gear Solid back for its GameCube remake The Twin Snakes. To him, retaining voice actor consistency was of the utmost importance: "...When they changed the voice of Kermit, I knew. When they changed the voice of Bugs Bunny, I felt it." And if a 20+ year old man could feel it, what's to say that those who've grown up with the series in recent years wouldn't feel it either? If they saw Sonic on the big-screen, but he didn't sound like Sonic, why should they care about the movie? It's not the same character they grew up with - it's not their Sonic. Again, we may be used to Sonic changing voices, but Roger Craig Smith has voiced the character long enough that there are plenty of people who aren't, and will find the film alienating because of that. For comparison's sake, there's an upcoming movie called Christopher Robin: it's a live-action film based on an adult Christopher Robin from Disney's take on Winnie-the-Pooh and has Pooh showing up as a central character. I feel like it's a dumb movie based on the same kind of tired psuedo-intertextuality that plagues shows like Gotham, but very importantly, it features Jim Cummings as the voice of Pooh. This is a smart choice because Jim Cummings has been voicing Pooh for decades; in TV shows, films, games, spin-offs, and countless other things. To many generations, he IS that character, and casting him as that character brings a sense of legitimacy to that film which would otherwise be lost if they cast any "real" actor. Let me be upfront about this: the idea that Roger Craig Smith can't play Sonic because "it's a movie" or "they need a real actor" is complete and utter bollocks. No ifs or buts. That reasoning is misguided at best, and absolute nonsense at worst. I don't take issue with characters not being portrayed by their voice actors in live-action films, if the character is a human. It makes more sense to cast a live-action actor to play a human character, because that's way more practical than trying to create a CGI human just to be voiced by their voice actor (unless the character is voiced and performance captured by the same actor, e.g. Rueben Langdon as Dante from Devil May Cry). I don't mind that Bob Hoskins played Mario in the live-action movie and not Captain Lou Albano from the DiC cartoons, or that Alicia Vikander played Lara Croft instead of Camilla Luddington in the recent Tomb Raider movie. It makes sense for production reasons, and I don't begrudge any films that do this. But Sonic is an anthropomorphised animal, not a human. By necessity, he's going to be rendered in CGI, and will need to be voiced over anyway. Why not have Roger Craig Smith do his voice? There's no reason not to do so, and I refute the notion that Smith's acting quality isn't good enough for a film. A live-action film is not inherently superior to any other medium, despite the importance often placed on it. If he's not good enough for a film, then he should never have been good enough for the games and cartoons he's been voicing for years. Roger Craig Smith is a voice actor. Sonic needs a voice actor for the movie. Roger Craig Smith can and should voice Sonic for the movie. It may not matter to you, or to me, but it matters to the kids and teens who grew up with him. It matters that the Sonic they see on the big screen is their Sonic, and not some CGI alien knock-off voiced by Brendan Fraser or some other "legitimate" actor. They're the only ones right now who can have their Sonic on the big screen, so let them.
  14. I don't know if this is the right place to put it (I know there's a showcase topic, but I don't know if that concerns specifically Sonic stuff and nothing else). If I've made a mistake, please put this in the appropriate forum section. Sorry in advance, and thank you. I'm a member of a discord known as the World Animation Discord (discord.gg/nAMqZH5), where we discuss all kinds of things in the world of animation. Currently, we're working on a project called Platypus Reanimate, which is a fan collab reanimation based on the bizarre Platypus Duck segment from the 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo episode, "Scooby in Kwackyland". This project's been in the works for a little under three months, but one of the animators had to drop out, and nobody was available to take over their allotted cut (a lack of time and other factors mainly, which is very understandable). So a new plan was made to animate the cut, and this is what's been decided on. Here's the details from the Google Docs: If you're interested, just go to the World Animation Discord link seen above, and take part. If you can, that would be pretty aces. If you can't, that's fair enough. Thank you, and have a good day!
  15. LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH SUGGESTIONS FROM DK VINE, TWITTER, DISCORD, OTHER WEBSITES AND BOOKS I'VE BEEN READING, AS OF 16:17 - 22/JUNE/2018. I'm finally back with an update to the list! I apologize for it taking so long, even though there aren't a lot of films included to make up for that (on the bright side, that's still taken us over the 3600 FILMS threshold). Like I said last time, I was extremely busy with a bunch of things, and then I wanted to make a video montage of the various films added to this update for the YouTube channel (which went nowhere because I had no idea how to edit at least five hours worth of stuff down into a good music video and that caused me to put things off for longer than I should). Still, I'm sorry I took so long with things, and I hope that the next update won't take as long. I've already gotten started on it, with plenty of new films for decades that haven't gotten anything new in a while, so that should be pretty interesting. In the meantime, I'm gonna post some of my favourite films from this latest update, to at least give y'all something new to check out. Please continue contributing to the project with either suggestions or feedback, like and share this project around to other fans of animation, and until we meet again, have a great day! Enjoy! -FrDougal9000 Michael Andrews: Bubbles in Space (2012), dir. Josh Hassin (A rotoscoped music video where every frame is drawn in a completely different way by around 100 people) A Boy And His Atom: The World's Smallest Movie (2013), dir. Nico Casavecchia (A short film animated with ATOMS - I'm not even kidding) Conor Grebel: WoodSwimmer (2017), dir. Brett Foxwell (A short music video where the animation is based on wood as it was slowly cut away) Go! Samurai (2015), dir. Keiichiro Kimura (A short film animated by animator who began his work on 1960's anime such as Tiger Mask) Lunch With Me Today (2018), dir. Anatola Howard (A sweet short film that I just really liked)

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