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Nuggets From The Nets

It's always a great day when you get to see Freddie Wong working his magic, and this latest -- First Person Mario: Endgame -- is damn impressive. Think back to your days with the SNES and that time when you finally reached the late stages of Super Mario Bros. 3. Get that memory in your head and then watch this two-minute short.

You're looking at the final stage of SMB3 played from a first-person perspective, bolstered by graphics on par with what you'd expect from Unreal Engine 3. It's pretty. And dizzying. This would be tough to play, to say the least. You can follow along with original footage in the top left corner of the screen. Neat stuff. Give it a look.

Seven years. That's how long it took three Finnish brothers to create Kastlevania 4, a feature-length LEGO-fied film inspired by Konami's Castlevania series (via Kotaku). The finished product clocks in at 146 minutes. That's longer than Star Wars, people!

The whole movie is delivered in the creators' native tongue, though English-language subtitles are included as well. This is crazy-impressive, as you'd probably hope it would be after seven freaking years of development. It's also entertaining. Set aside some time to give it a look.

Warner Interactive recently released a LEGO The Lord of the Rings game, but this stop-motion short film that re-creates the battle of Helm's Deep (via Kotaku) has nothing to do with the TT Games title. Brotherhood Workshop puts a humorous spin on a throwaway line of dialogue from the film adaptation of The Two Towers, and the result is sure to put a smile on your face.




Corridor Digital is back with its latest high-quality fan film, riffing off of Ubisoft's upcoming Far Cry 3 in Far Cry Happy Hour. The squeamish among you should note: things get a little bit gross. Not Saw/Hostel levels of gore, but definitely unsettling if you can't stand the sight of blood. Then again, if that's a problem you suffer from then you probably shouldn't be playing video games like Far Cry 3.

The moral of Far Cry Happy Hour is pretty clear, really: when you've been drugged by a gang of sadistic madmen who want to steal your poker winnings, it's important to remember that those guns in your hands aren't real. It's okay. Let them take the money. You don't need it. You certainly don't need it as much as you need your fingers. Yes, even the pinky.

You've gotta love a good fan film, especially when it's as well-made as this Grand Theft Auto-inspired one. Director/writer Gevorg Karensky and his co-writer Nate Egger really manage to capture the essence of GTA in their short film, Grand Theft Auto: RISE (via Kotaku).

I'm a fan of the use of HUD elements, but I'm an even bigger fan of the fact that the short's creators are okay with letting a more filmic presentation take over when the scene calls for it. The visual effects are impressive overall as well, with bonus points to the creators once again for subtlety.

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You may remember YouTuber Majami Hiroz for his nifty Commodore 64 "demake" of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's final mission. Hiroz is now back with another loving tribute to one of Rockstar Games' greatest, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012, in the form of a guitar-led cover of the game's memorable theme song (via Rockstar's Newswire).

I generally tune in pretty closely to a game's music, and the GTA: Vice City theme is one that has always stuck in my brain as a favorite. The guitar cover from Hiroz is a great way to start your day, especially as it plays against the sweet video he assembled. All of this is of course meant to get you in the mood for the mobile release of GTA: Vice City, due to hit iOS and Android platforms before the end of 2012.

NFL players aren't the only ones who get to celebrate victories by going to Disneyland; Dark Lords of the Sith apparently enjoy that luxury as well. Now that Disney has shaken the entertainment world to its very foundations with the $4.05 billion purchase of Lucasfilm and its subsidiaries, a promo video has been put together featuring the one and only Darth Vader on a trip to Disneyland. YES.

There's no real news to be found here, you won't learn anything about the sale that you didn't know before. This is just a light-hearted, Disney-promoting clip of the sort that you'd typically see while riding a branded shuttle bus to a resort hotel destination. Enjoy it.

This purchase is going to mean good news for Star Wars fans. Disney has proven itself capable of absorbing popular brands with minimal homogenization. Just look at Marvel and Pixar. Why don't you wait and see what comes of this before turning to Obi-Wan as your only hope?

Cyan's classic PC adventure game Myst is filled with books, so it's only right that now there's a book in this world that is filled with Myst. Super-fan Mike Ando put his tech skills to work on build a Windows XP computer with a 5-inch touchscreen to slide inside of a hollowed-out hardcover book. The result is a Myst machine, in book form (via Engadget).

Ando used a 135-year-old copy of Harper's New Monthly Magazine as his shell since it's what Cyan used as a texture reference for the game's linking books. The PC inside the book is fitted with a 1.6GHz Atom processor, a battery that's good for two hours, and every single Myst game in existence (on PC).

The whole thing is being sold for $15,625, so break out those checkbooks! As an added incentive, Ando also points out on his website that the Mystbook's computer is powerful enough to handle Half-Life 2. Just saying.

Denny's The Hobbit Menu Announced: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Breakfast -- What About Elevenses?

America's finest 24-hour diner, Denny's, has announced their The Hobbit menu items. Cross-promotion has reached a new level and its name is "Hobbit Hole Breakfast." People everywhere will be able to get their elevenses on with these 11 new menu items. The Hobbit menu will be available on November 6, 2012.

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When Gordon Met Chell by Director Michael Shanks is my favorite short film of the day. In it, Chell from the Portal series escapes from Aperture science to find Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life series cornered by Combine goons. Unfortunately for the Combine, their normal guns can't compare to epicness of the Portal Gun and the Gravity Gun.
 

You must check out "Enter The Freeman." The fan-film set in the Half-Life universe was shot by fans with a budget of $3000, but delivers at least $4,500 worth of eerie chills, cool references and a perfect-looking Gordon Freeman impersonator. Plus: Head-crabs! The short was directed by

YouTube user Chariot Drive.

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The Ohio State University marching band is known for their amazing choreographed performances. This past weekend OSU took on Nebraska, during the half-time show the Ohio State band wowed fans with an epic tribute to video games. The musical medley of iconic gaming tunes included Space Invaders, Pokemon, Tetris, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Halo, Pac-Man and more.

The band didn't simply play the music, they moved all around the football field forming symbols, logos, characters and even made Epona gallop, all while holding and flawlessly playing their instruments. Band geeks everywhere, this could be you!

This is the most amazing half-time performance I've ever seen. Ohio State is kind of the best. (Go Buckeyes!)


World Of Warcraft Recreated In Minecraft: Crafting Azeroth

World of Warcraft has been recreated in Minecraft by an extremely diligent and creative gamer named Rumsey. The project, named "Crafting Azeroth" has been in development for a while and is a "a full-scale reproduction of the World of Warcraft environment." It spans 275 square kilometers and contains over 68 billion (with a B) blocks. To date, all of Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor are about done, and work has now started on the Outland and Northrend continents from the WoW expansions. 

In order to help with the heavy lifting, Rumsey created custom software that converts the continents of WoW in to Minecraft blocks. The project is simply breathtaking, and you if you want to explore it yourself, you can download the map for free. However, since it's such a massive project, be aware that the files are around 24 GB; you'd better make sure you have a lot of harddrive space before downloading.

If you want to learn more about Crafting Azeroth or download the amazing map, check out the Minecraft forums.

If you work at Valve, good things happen. Not only do you get to hang out with Gabe, you get a cool rolling desk, and the people from special effects gods WETA Workshop send you a working Portal turret. Check out the mother of all unboxing videos below:

Now that you guys have your new toy, could you all get to work on Half-Life 3?

The video below, "Bark Ops," tells the story of heroic dog-hero Sgt. Nibbles. If you don't have a few minutes to spare to check out some adorable dogs in an extreme, video-game-like firefight, I feel really bad for you. It's from Corridor Digital, who spend all day making awesome things.

Bark Ops! Woof!

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