Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 52: The Home Alone Franchise

Christmas is right around the corner, so in celebration Patricia and special guests Manic Expression members Some Jerk From Boston, Kyle, newcomer Edwin a.k.a. Jockerlee77, and Comic Book Cast member Tom a.k.a. indexsonic discuss about the Home Alone franchise in honor of the first movie's 25th anniversary.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Weinerville Chanukah Special Discussion/Review

On December 15, 1995, Nickelodeon's first Hanukkah special debuted based off of the obscure 1993 variety show Weinerville. One year later, the Rugrats Hanukkah special came out and became an instant classic and left the former special in the dust pretty much forgotten. Now 20 years later, Patricia takes a look at the Weinerville Chanukah special and see how well it holds up today.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 51: TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia and Manic Expression members Jim Bevan, Ryan, and a new guest Taylor "Whyboy" Wyatt of Cartoon Corner Productions discuss about the animated webseries TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise created by Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi. Warning: major spoilers ahead.

Click on the link below to check out TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise.

Check out Taylor's links down below

Check out Jim's link's below

Check out Ryan's links down below

Why Nickelodeon's Thanksgiving Fest was Historically Significant for the Channel?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! In this special video, Patricia discusses about the 1989 Nickelodeon animated special, Nick's Thanksgiving Fest, and discusses on why it's more important to the network than you realize.

Click on the link below to check out Nick's Thanksgiving Fest.

SUPER special thanks to Joey Ahlbum for taking the time to responding to my question on his experiences in working on Nickelodeon's Thanksgiving Fest. Check out his work at 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 50: Interview with Will McRobb

It's episode 50 and it's the 3rd anniversary of when the podcast Casual Chats first started. In this episode, Patricia and Kevin interviews co-creator of The Adventures of Pete & Pete and KaBlam! and executive producer of Sanjay and Craig, Will McRobb!

If you want to hear more about The Adventures of Pete & Pete, click on the link below to check out our podcast on the show in honor of its 20th anniversary. 

Also, check out our Nick Jukebox episode showcasing the music from The Adventures of Pete & Pete. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Old School Lane Presents: What TOME Means to Patricia

In this video, Patricia discusses about the animated web series, TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise, in honor of its 4th anniversary and what it means to her.

Click in the link down below if you want to check out TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise.

Click in the link down below to check out the interview with TOME creator Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi.

Click on the link down below to check out the interview with Kira "Rina-chan" Buckland, the voice of Foreva.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 49: Sony PlayStation 2 Memories

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia and Manic Expression members Jim Bevan, Ryan, and Kyle discuss about their first experiences, memories, and favorite games of the PlayStation 2 in honor of its 15th anniversary.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 48: Interview with Kira "Rina-chan" Buckland

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia interviews anime, video game, and independent animated show voice actress Kira Buckland and discusses about her start in voice acting in Newgrounds, her transition to small fan made Flash cartoons to mainstream anime and video games, and more.

Check out Kira's links below.

Check out Dragon Star: A Story of Competitive Gaming.

Check out her cosplay Facebook page down below

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Top 15 As Told by Ginger Episodes

In honor of As Told by Ginger's 15th anniversary, Patricia lists her top 15 favorite episodes of all time.

Check out our Manic Expression colleagues YouTube channels down below and subscribe.

Decker Shado

That Longed Haired Creepy Guy

James Walsh, the founder of Manic Expression

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 47: Interview with Michelle Cavitolo from As Told by Ginger Reviewed!

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia continues As Told by Ginger Month with interviewing Michelle "Deebiedoobie" Cavitolo founder and writer from the As Told by Ginger Reviewed! blog.

Check out Michelle's links down below.

Friday, October 2, 2015

From Pilot to Final Product: As Told by Ginger

In honor of the 15th anniversary of the Nicktoon As Told by Ginger, Patricia compares the 1998 pilot to the eventual TV series and discusses about the similarities and differences between the two.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Old School Lane's Mario Tribute: Super Mario Land

It was the tail end of the 80's and Nintendo was at the top of the world with the 3 Super Mario games being one of the most popular ever made. Around 1989, Nintendo released their first handheld console: the Game Boy. The Game Boy revolutionized the gaming industry by having great quality games that kids could play anywhere: on a car, on a school bus, during recess, at a friend's house, and more. It was decided that the one of the first launch titles for the Game Boy would be a Mario game. However, the first portable Mario game would NOT have Shigeru Miyamoto on the helm, but Satoru Okada, Gunpei Yokoi, and the R&D1 team, the same team that created Metroid and Kid Icarus. Also, Koji Kondo, the composer of the Mario games would NOT compose the soundtrack for the game, but Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka, the composer behind Metroid, Kid Icarus, Tetris, and Dr. Mario. With that said, Super Mario Land debuted on April 21, 1989 in Japan and August of the same year in North America bundled with the Game Boy.


The game takes place in a new location named Sarasaland where Mario has to rescue Princess Daisy from danger. The game has 4 levels with 3 stages ranging from the typical outside levels, the caves, underwater, and the sky. The sky levels and underwater levels had a bit of a twist with Mario riding a submarine and airplane taking down the enemies. The powerups remained the same with the mushroom, fire flower, and star, but the fire flower bounced around and the star's music was changed to the Can-Can song. There was a 1-Up in the game, but it was the shape of a heart to differentiate from the mushroom. Since the original Game Boy didn't have color back then, they had to change the shape of the 1-Up, which makes sense. The designs of the worlds are a bit different than previous Mario games with pyramids, decorative hieroglyphs on the walls of the underground caves, Easter Island heads, and more.

The game became one the best selling games on the Game Boy and one of the best selling Mario games of all time selling 18 million copies. It even beat the sales of Super Mario Bros. 3. However, the game received positive reviews saying about how the game was able to capture the simplicity charm of the console Mario games on a handheld to how it was great that a game that fun could be convenient to take on the go. However, other critics had mixed reactions saying that the game was too short, easy, and the screen was tired and cramped after playing a few minutes in. Yes, there are some flaws in the game with the very loose controls, floaty jumping mechanics, strange looking levels, and the fact that it took me only 35 minutes to beat it. But there are some positives in this game: some of the levels are memorable, the submarine and airplane levels are very unique and something you don't see in Mario games, and the soundtrack is amazing. With this being one of the first games ever made for the Game Boy, the developers didn't know how far they could push the Game Boy when creating it. Other games later on would utilize the Game Boy's limited space to create other more complex games, one of which we'll discuss another time.

Overall, the game has some problems, but it's still a good game that I would recommend checking out. That's all for now. Tune in next time as we'll be jumping into 16 bit with Super Mario World.

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 46: Tiny Toon Adventures

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia and Kevin start the 90's Spielberg cartoons podcast retrospective with Tiny Toon Adventures, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. They discuss about the show, their favorite characters, their favorite episodes, their favorite brand of merchandise, and the TV movie Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Old School Lane Presents: Mushroom Kingdom Mix

In honor of the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES celebrating its 30th anniversary, Patricia showcases some of the most well known songs from the Mario franchise.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Old School Lane's Mario Tribute: Super Mario Bros. 3

The next installment of the Mario franchise took about 2 years with 10 people working on it with Shigeru Miyamoto as the director. Eventually around 1988, Super Mario Bros. 3 debuted in Japan.

The game features Mario grabbing scepters from Bowser's children known as the Koopalings which was used to transform seven kings into animals. Then eventually, Bowser kidnapped Princess Toadstool and held her hostage at his fortress. It's up to Mario to travel to the eight worlds to save the day by defeating Bowser and the Koopalings, turning the kings back to normal, and saving the Princess.

Super Mario Bros. 3 had taken everything that was great about the first two games and expanded it to something never seen before on the NES. There were 8 new worlds to explore each with a theme such as the desert level, the pipe level, the giant level, and leading up to Bowser's fortress. It also featured numerous ways of playing through the levels such as secret paths that would lead to the flutes that made you skip the worlds, scrolling levels, horizontal levels, vertical levels, and bounce pads that lead you to a level filled with coins to collect. There were a lot more powerups introduced in the game such as the raccoon suit gaining Mario the ability to fly, the frog suit letting Mario swim more easier, the Hammer Bros. suit that makes Mario throws hammers, the tanooki suit that makes Mario fly similar to the raccoon suit as well as transforms him into a stone statue, and the return of the fire flower, mushroom, and star.

On the overworlds, there were mushroom houses where Toad would have 3 boxes and choosing one would grant you a different powerup. There were music notes where Toad would have a minigame where you had to match three pieces to make one powerup to gain 1-Ups while there were moving. Then there were Hammer Bros that had to be defeated where you would be rewarded with a powerup such as music to place the other Hammer Bros. to sleep while traveling the overworld, a P-Wing that'll grant Mario to fly for much longer, and a cloud that'll let you skip a level. Also there's a match game in which flipping two cards that matched will grant you either a powerup, a 1-Up, or coins.

Shigeru Miyamoto had given creative freedom to his developers when making Super Mario Bros. 3. One developer created the Boo enemy based on his wife who would be shy in real life, but when least suspected, she would have a nasty temper. Miyamoto created the Chain Chomp enemy based on a dog held back on a chain that scared him as a child. The Koopalings were based on seven of the developers, but were named after the employees of Nintendo of America after musicians. Even the levels were designed in a way that made it look like it was a staged play from the cardboard bushes casting shadows, the platforms with screws showing, the levels ending with a black background, and opening of the game was a curtain lifting up. Miyamoto mentioned in an interview that he sees Mario and the other characters as a troupe of actors that can be put in numerous situations. In one game, they would be playing sports or driving carts. In another game, they would be in a platforming game.

Of course we cannot discuss about Super Mario Bros. 3 without bringing up the movie The Wizard that debuted in 1989. Despite the movie with a plot involving a gamer kid named Jimmy who wants to go to California alongside with his brother and friend, everyone remembers the scene where Super Mario Bros. 3 was revealed in the video game tournament that Jimmy competed in. It was the first time that Americans were introduced to the game since it had not been released yet until a year later.

When it finally came out to the U.S. in 1990, it received critical acclaim from critics and gamers saying it was not only the best Mario game released at that point, but it was the best NES game ever made. Even still to this day, people regard Super Mario Bros. 3 as the best in the series and as one of the greatest games ever made. In my opinion, it certainly is an amazing game. It was the first Mario game I've ever played and I have had fond memories of it trying my hardest to pass through the levels. It was also a very influential game that would be a benchmark for the entire series. The inclusion of the overworld layout, the multiple powerups, the new enemies introduced, the minigames, the different themed levels, the music, and more makes this game very well regarded as a major step up from Super Mario Bros. 2. While it's certainly not my favorite Mario game, it's up there on the top 5. It's still a very fun game to play if you haven't checked it out yet.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we take a break from the console games and towards Nintendo's first handheld, the Game Boy, to review Super Mario Land.


Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 45: Interview with Will Nguyen from Willvolution

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia interviews Will Nguyen, the founder of the video game tournament site Willvolution discussing about his influences in playing video games, his start in running tournaments, and the origins of Willvolution.

Check out Will's links below

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Old School Lane's Mario Tribute: Super Mario Bros. 2 (Doki Doki Panic)

Despite Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japan) getting some decent reviews from both critics and fans, it was decided not to release the game in America due to detracting casual gamers from being frustrated with its difficulty. With that said, the Nintendo Mario developers were working on a prototype game consisting of a two player co-op vertical strolling game that eventually formed into Yume Kojo Doki Doki Panic which debuted in Japan on July 10, 1987 in partnered with Fuji TV. The game was remade into Super Mario Bros. 2 that debuted in America on September 9, 1988, which was almost 3 years after Super Mario Bros. came out.

An image of a jumping man with red overalls and a red hat, a blue shirt, and a beet in his right hand

For the sake of focus on the main tribute, I'll be focusing on the American port of the game. If I am going to be discussing about Doki Doki Panic, it will only be for comparison's sake. 

The game with Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, and Toad working together to defeat the evil frog Wart and his minions such as Birdo and Mouser. There are seven different worlds in the game that showcases different enemies such as Pokeys, Shy Guys, Bob-Ombs, and the Phanto masks. There are bottles that reveal secret rooms that has the mushroom power up, decorative vases that work as warp pipes to advance to the later levels, and a mixture of vertical and horizontal levels. Each of the characters play differently from one another: Mario is the average character that runs, jumps, and picks up objects normally. Luigi runs a bit faster and jumps a bit higher while scuttling his legs, but is a little hard to control. Princess Peach runs and picks up items slower, but has the longest range in jumping. Toad runs and picks up items the fastest, but has the shortest jumping range.

When the game came out in America, it receives mixed to positive reviews from fans and critics saying about how different it was from the original Super Mario Bros. Over the years, it has been considered to be the black sheep of the franchise and people dismiss it from being an actual Mario game. While it's true that it was Doki Doki Panic with just the Mario characters slapped into it, Super Mario Bros 2. is very important to the franchise. Most of the enemies from this game would continue on to be showcased throughout the rest of the series such as Birdo, the Shy Guys, and Bob-Ombs, there would be an animated series based on Super Mario Bros. 2, it featured more playable characters with different playing styles that wouldn't be featured in the other games until New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario 3D World over 20 years later, it would be the first Mario game that didn't take place in the Mushroom Kingdom and would be the starting point of Mario games taking place in different locations, and some of the music is some of the best in the series such as 1st world song and the ending credits. If we had gotten the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, I don't know how regarded it would have been due to being a rehash of the original as well as being very difficult. Critics would've discarded it as not taking any risks. So, in a way, the American Super Mario Bros 2. was a blessing in disguise that wouldn't be appreciated until much later. Overall, in my opinion, I understand why people regard it as the weakest of the original NES trilogy and not as memorable as the first game, but it must be looked at and appreciated for what it is. While I wouldn't seek Super Mario Bros. 2 as much as I would compared to the first game or even Super Mario Bros. 3, it's still a fun game that you should give a chance to play.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we'll be looking at the last game in the NES Mario trilogy: Super Mario Bros. 3. 

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Top 15 Absurd Figure it Out! Talents

In this countdown, Patricia discusses about the most ridiculous, pointless, or disgusting talents featured on the 1997 Nickelodeon game show Figure it Out! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Old School Lane's Mario Tribute: Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japan)

After the release of Super Mario Bros., video games became massively popular again thanks to the genius of creator Shigeru Miyamoto alongside with Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. As time went on, gamers became more and more skilled with the levels and gameplay of Super Mario Bros., almost at the point in which it was no longer a challenge anymore. Takashi Tezuka, the assistant director of Super Mario Bros. joined alongside Miyamoto to do a followup to the game, but make it much more difficult. It was titled Super Mario Bros. 2, which released in Japan on June 3, 1986, a few months after the original game's release.


It's more or less like an addition to the first game, but with  new redesigned levels, more levels consisting of eight worlds and five bonus worlds, new hazards, and new challenges. There are three notable things added into Super Mario Bros. 2 that made the game notoriously hard. The first was the new "power up" known as the poison mushroom which, when touched, shrinks Mario at full size or kills Mario when at his small size. The second are the warp pipes. In the original Super Mario Bros., when you discover the warp pipes at the secret zones, it'll send you to the later levels. However in Super Mario Bros. 2, when you discover a secret warp pipe, it'll take you back in the earlier levels you have previously beaten. The third and final thing added to the game was the random gusts of wind. The wind makes you go further or pushes you back making your jumps far or short.

The game was never released in the U.S. due to worrying the American gamers being intimidated on how difficult it was. It wasn't until years later until it was released as Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels on Super Mario All-Stars for the Super Nintendo and eventually the original Japanese copy was out on the Wii's Virtual Console. Critics gave it mixed to positive reviews calling it an "expansion copy" of the original adding nothing new as well as being extremely frustrating. Many people consider this game to be the black sheep of the NES Mario games. However, some critics praise it for being clever and fun testing your gaming skills after beating the original Super Mario Bros. 

As for me, I don't care about it. I agree with the critics that Super Mario Bros. 2 isn't as groundbreaking or innovative as the original. Also, it's the only NES Mario game that I still haven't beaten yet. The earlier levels were easy enough that I was able to learn to complete them with trial and error. However, it's too frustrating for me to consider it fun similar to how I feel about Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. I can recommend it to hardcore gamers who love a challenge, but for casual gamers, it's hard to convince them to check it out. In fact, if you really want to see how difficult it is, check out my Manic Expression colleague Decker Shado play Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. 

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we take a look at the sequel to Super Mario Bros. that was released in America known as Super Mario Bros. 2. 

An image of a jumping man with red overalls and a red hat, a blue shirt, and a beet in his right hand

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Old School Lane Presents: What Willvolution Means to Patricia

In this video, Patricia discusses about her "humble" roots of one of the first Internet communities she's joined: a competitive video game tournament group in South Florida called Willvolution and what they mean to her.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Old School Lane's Mario Tribute: Super Mario Bros

In the next month, the Super Mario series will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. For many people my generation, it was one of the first games we've ever played. It was the our entry into the vast world of video games. It was family friendly with a simple premise, a classic style of gameplay, and colorful characters with quirky personalities. In honor of this occasion, I'll be looking back on the Super Mario franchise and see how big of a legacy they left in video games as well as how well they hold up today. Afterwards, there will be a Casual Chats podcast on the Mario franchise.

Now there are hundreds and hundreds of Mario games from the main games and the spin-off titles like the Mario RPG series, the Mario Kart series, the Mario Party series, the sports games involving the Mario characters, and the Super Smash Bros series. For this tribute, we'll be focusing on the main platforming games from Super Mario Bros to Super Mario 3D World. With introductions out of the way, let's-a-go to Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. debuted in Japan on September 13, 1985 on the Nintendo Famicon and later on in the U.S.A. and Europe. In the land of the Mushroom Kingdom, King Koopa (known as Bowser in the U.S.A.) kidnaps Princess Peach (kidnaps Princess Toadstool in the U.S.A. until the debut on Super Mario 64) and turns the majority of the Toads into blocks. It's up to a plumber named Mario to rescue her by going into 8 worlds to defeat the false Bowsers and free the Toads from the castle. The game was a side strolling platformer that had Mario run towards the end of the level while defeating Bowser's minions that consists of Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Lakitus, Hammer Bros, and Piranha Plants. Mario can stomp on most of his enemies with one hit to defeat them. But he also has the ability to gain powerups to make defeating them easier. One is the now iconic mushroom that makes him grow bigger. The other is the fire flower that can make him shoot fireballs from his hand. The final one is the star that can make Mario invincible for a short period of time. There's also the 1-Up mushroom that gives an additional life for Mario to continue the game and prolong the game being over after losing.

For today's standards, the plot is practically nonexistent. But back then, gameplay was the most important thing about video games. Stories were either left for the manuals, on the intro and ending of a game, or wasn't there at all. But here at Super Mario Bros., the story doesn't matter. If a game didn't play very well or wasn't fun to play, then it there was no point of playing it all. But what makes this game still relevant were the secrets. The most well known of them were jumping on the Koopa shell on the block to gain unlimited 1-Ups, running on top of the platforms on the underground levels to gain access to the hidden room with the 3 pipes to the later levels, and the minus world involving with doing a specific jump towards the 1st underground level and entering in the first pipe. Interesting to note that if you go a glitch involving with playing Super Mario Bros. and Tennis for the Famicon, then you can access over 250 minus worlds. To learn more about this, check out GameTrailers' video on the subject.

In my opinion, Super Mario Bros. is one of the most important games ever released and one that I highly recommend that you play. It was this game that brought gaming back after the crash of 1983 in which there was an abundance of mediocre video games released by Atari and their competitors. Without this portly plumber, video games wouldn't be the same. Heck, they may have not existed. But just because it's important to gaming doesn't mean much if the game doesn't hold up. So does Super Mario Bros. hold up? Fairly well. Even after 30 years later, Super Mario Bros. is still fun to play. Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to get into, both young kids and casual gamers. But there are challenges for the more experience gamers such the neatly placed enemies, the pits, or being defeated by Bowser. Even the hardcore gamers who can beat Super Mario Bros. in their sleep, they have found ways to make the game fresh in their minds from speed running it to playing the game blindfolded. It's a timeless video game that's still relevant to gamers today and for good reason. Check it out, but most likely you've played it in someway, shape, or form.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we take a look at the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2. 

Hope to see you at Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Manic Expression Plays Cards Against Humanity -- Episode 5

In this episode of Manic Expression Plays Cards Against Humanity, pbmiranda, Jim Bevan, Some Jerk From Boston, and Smiffy plays the card game with no limitations. Warning: constant swearing and various inappropriate jokes are featured. Viewer discretion is advised.

Check out Some Jerk's links down below

Check out Jim Bevan's links down below

Check out Smiffy's links down below

Monday, July 27, 2015

Old School Lane celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Here's something that we haven't done in a long while: an article celebrating the anniversary of a form of media. As of yesterday, the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure had celebrated its 30th anniversary. For our older followers from back in 2011, some of you already know that Kevin and I are fans of Pee-wee, his stage shows, movies, and TV show. One of the very first posts that I did for Old School Lane was my top 10 Pee-wee Herman moments of 2011. It was that post that had gotten the attention of Paul Reubens, the man who performed as Pee-wee, and gave me the confidence to continue the blog. In a sense, without Pee-wee, Old School Lane probably wouldn't have existed. As a child, I saw Pee-wee's Playhouse on and off as a toddler of 3 or 4 because I am a Seventh Day Adventist and I went to church when the show aired. But when the incident at the XXX theater occurred in 1991, my mother, like many other parents at the time,forbade me from watching it. Later on, I was rewatching Pee-wee's Playhouse on Adult Swim as a young adult in college. I had to watch it in secret since my parents still felt the same disgust for Paul Reubens. The 2002 incident where the police went to his house and found vintage photos and magazines of young male models claiming it was pornography didn't help much. Now that we've gotten my history out of the way, let's talk about the movie.

It was around that time when I saw Pee-wee's Big Adventure for the first time on TV and fell in love with it. I found it to be very funny, quirky, and entertaining. Almost every single scene in the film has something quotable and memorable:the dream where Pee-wee won the Tour de France, the breakfast machine, the argument with Francis, meeting with Dottie at the bike store, the meeting with at the basement, the fortune teller giving the false prediction that the stolen bike was at the Alamo's basement, meeting up with Mickey, meeting up with Large Marge, meeting up with Simone, the Alamo tour, the Tequila dance at the biker bar, the bike montage at the Hollywood set, and the Pee-wee movie at the drive-in. It was also where I learned that this was Tim Burton's first movie that he directed. As a fan of Tim Burton movies such as Beetlejuice, Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Big Fish, this was an additional treat. It was also the first time that Danny Elfman got to do a soundtrack for a Tim Burton movie and it perfectly fits the movie's fun/dark tones.

The movie was always considered to be a cult classic. It may not be a household name, but the dedicated fanbase has always kept it alive as one of the best comedies of the 80's. The adults who saw Pee-wee's Big Adventure as kids introduced it to their kids. The teenagers who saw Pee-wee's Playhouse on Adult Swim share the movie with their younger siblings. It seems to be the kind of fun movie that people at some point in their lives find and get drawn to it in some way shape or form. The fans of Pee-wee has gotten bigger over the years and still continues to grow. But why? Pee-wee and his content is simply timeless. Pee-wee is such a fun and endearing character who has the mind of a child that we all have deep down inside. The side characters are just as colorful and memorable. The adventure he went through just to retrieve his stolen bike is a blast to experience that we simply don't want to see end.

The upcoming movie coming next year Pee-wee's Big Holiday is going to be a road trip movie just like Big Adventure. I don't think it's going to be a rehash of Big Adventure since Pee-wee will be traveling to numerous places, meeting with different people, and driving a small car, but I'm very looking forward to the new film and can't wait to see where Pee-wee will take us next. I hope it'll be just as enjoyable as Big Adventure. 

But for now, I highly recommend watching Big Adventure tonight. You won't regret it. In fact, you can check out my old review of the movie right here where I collaborated with Manic Expression member Les. That's all for now. Let me know in the comments below if you have any memories, favorite characters, and favorite moments of Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute is No More

Hey guys, I'm sure you've probably have been noticing that I haven't posted a review of a Nickelodeon show or movie for around a few months. Well, to be quite honest, we have been quite burned out with covering only Nickelodeon stuff. It's also a reason why we've been discussing about other topics recently such as the controversy of Metroid Prime Federation Force and the top 10 TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise episodes. We decided to cover other topics besides Nickelodeon and broaden our interests to other forms of movies, TV shows, video games, and everything else in between. After all, that's been Old School Lane's motto for almost 4 years. So, as of now, the Nickelodeon tribute is no more.

Now just because the tribute is no more, that doesn't mean we'll never cover Nickelodeon stuff again. We will, don't worry. In fact, we have a few more projects involving with Nickelodeon coming soon. But just don't expect it to be the meat and potatoes behind Old School Lane. I'm sure that a lot of you guys are very upset about this news, especially to the people who have been following our work because of our Nickelodeon content. But we're sorry. It just became less and less interesting as time went on. It was originally supposed to be a summer retrospective, but then due to our busy lives with work, school, and personal issues, it lasted far longer than we wanted. At some point, I want to go back and start again from the ground up and do what I originally wanted to do: a full blown retrospective via video discussing about the show's history from its past and present inspired by GameTrailers' retrospective videos and Gexup's Gaming in the 90's videos. But that won't be coming anytime soon. That's going to require a ton of work, time, and research.

I hope that you guys can understand our decision and won't get too upset. I feel that this decision will be a fresh start for Old School Lane covering more broader topics. We'll be doing a Casual Chats about the 90's Steven Spielberg cartoons, The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Jem and the Holograms, and many more. We'll be interviewing more people whom we respect their work and projects. We might even cover the more recent shows and movies such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, the Marvel movies, and so much more. We hope you look forward to what we have planned.

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.

-Patricia and Kevin

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Manic Expression Plays Cards Against Humanity -- Episode 4

After a year's hiatus, Manic Expression Plays Cards Against Humanity is back! Episode 4 has pbmiranda, Jim Bevan, Some Jerk From Boston, and Smiffy play the card game with no limitations. Warning: constant swearing and various inappropriate jokes are featured. Viewer discretion is advised.

Check out Some Jerk's links down below

Check out Jim Bevan's links down below

Check out Smiffy's links down below

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Old School Lane Presents: Top 10 TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise Episodes

On November 11, 2011 at 11:11 am, Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi released the first episode of his new animated webseries TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise, a remake of his 2004 sprite series TV Tome Adventures, on Newgrounds as a fresh start of his animation career wanting to create original shows after being known for creating parody cartoons such as Parody Rangers (a spoof on Mighty Morphing Power Rangers), the Nin10doh! trilogy (a collaboration with other animators featuring cartoon shorts parodying Nintendo games), Brawl Taunts (cartoon shorts parodying Super Smash Bros. Brawl), and more.

The show takes place in the year 2020 where gamers from all over the world play a virtual reality game called TOME (Terrain of Magical Expertise) to battle and interact with other gamers. The main plot focus on 5 players named Alpha, Kirbopher, Flamegirl, Nylocke, and Gamecrazed battling a group of hackers who are trying to find "The Forbidden Power". Alpha stumbles upon The Forbidden Power causing him to gain an incredible amount of power, but at the cause of not being able to control himself and causing people to suffer pain in real time. The episodes focus on finding out more about The Forbidden Power and defeating the hackers trying to get their hands on it.

Over three and a half years later with 15 episodes and 7 shorts, TOME has wrapped up its second season just last week on July 7. In honor of this, I'm going to list my personal top 10 favorite episodes. Interesting fact, I even listened to the newly released TOME Season 2 soundtrack when making this list. For the sake of encouraging all our followers to check out this amazing animated webseries, I will keep this article as spoiler free as I can and won't go into too much detail. With that out of the way, let's get started!

10. Gemini Tournament Yin (Season 1, Episode 8)

TOME announces that they're going to be throwing a tournament called the Gemini Tournament where two players team up and fight other teams to win the competition. The main teams consists of Alpha and Flamegirl and Nylocke and Gamecrazed with Kirbopher forcefully teaming up with a timid archer named Archy. The show's main antagonist Zetto also joins the tournament to have a shot of fighting Alpha after their bout in episode 5 with his partner Kizuna. Throughout the episode, our heroes take down the combatants with no issues until two of the hackers Neomutant and Dustbunny kidnap Alpha to retrieve The Forbidden Power from him. This episode has a great blend of action and comedy as well as leaving it on a pretty good cliffhanger. There are a lot of fun moments in this episode that makes it a memorable one.

9. Gemini Tournament Yang (Season 1, Episode 9)

The Gemini Tournament continues with Alpha and Flamegirl confronting Neomutant and Dustbunny of trying to retrieve The Forbidden Power. Meanwhile, Nylocke and Gamecrazed are continuing in the tournament trying to defeat the other teams as the competition gets more and more difficult, especially when they have to fight against Zetto and Kizuna. I prefer this episode a bit more than the first part because not only does it conclude the story of the tournament nicely, but it also gives a good life lesson in the end involving with not taking things too seriously and learning about having fun. Now, not a lot of people agree with this, in fact a lot of people hated the ending, but I think it was presented well.

8. Year One (Season 2, Episode 11)

The first episode of the second season takes place around the 1 year anniversary of TOME. A new competition is announced involving a player having the chance of battling the 5 Netkings, the creators of TOME, in order to win a special prize. The winner turns out to be Gamecrazed and he invites Alpha, Flamegirl, Nylocke, and Kirbopher along in the battle of the Netkings. The first Netking is Execk (voiced by Jon St. Jon), the programmer who built the Battle Grid. It also concludes with a very shocking plot twist as to who the next Netking is. Meanwhile, Zetto and Kizuna are becoming more stressed due to the incident that occured in the Season 1 finale. This is a great start of Season 2 with a new story and new threats being introduced in the show. One of the most noticeable things in this episode is the new designs of the characters having mostly monochromatic colors. Many people have had negative responses to the animation choice, but in time people became more and more accepting of it. I never had any issues with the new designs. I think it makes the colors pop and become more vibrant in the world they're in.

7. /FILE: ZERO (Season 2, Episode 00)

While it did air on Season 2, it's considered to be a prequel episode taking place before the events of the first episode of TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise. It begins with the Netkings discovering a way to translate human thoughts into transmittable data that could be used for full interaction in the new video game they're creating. While making the game, they inadvertently created a sentient computer program that had strong emotions that the Netkings bonded over. They named her SOFDTI and treated her as their own daughter. However, things turn a bit more complicated as SOFDTI learns about pain, violence, anger, and greed as the game progresses into more dangerous routes. It's around this time where we also learn about the origins of The Forbidden Power. If you've never seen an episode of TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise, this is a pretty good one to start with. There are some plot points that give into some major spoilers that are important to the story, but nonetheless, a good origin story.

6. Monstrosities (Season 2, Episode 14)

Zetto and Kizuna's plan to deal with The Forbidden Power is almost complete, but they only need a few components to gather. Meanwhile, Alpha, Flamegirl, Nylocke, and Neomutant infiltrate the lair, the main headquarters of where the hackers gather lead by Tigerlily, to take down their secret weapon. However, a hacker named Odboll (voiced by Ben Diskin) disrupts their plans and separated the group. Things turn for the worst as each of the players are defeated one by one and The Forbidden Power is released freely. It ends on a very depressing and somber note, but its delivery in drama is some of the best in the entire series. It caused me to even cry a bit.

5. Dragon Drama (Season 1,Episode 6)

In this episode, Nylocke and Gamecrazed help out a young player by the name of Hyperlynx (voiced by Jessi "Nowack" Nowacking) meet up with her friend Elescope (voiced by Mike "1Kids" Hecht) in a location she's not familiar with. Meanwhile, Tigerlily disrupts the group and attacks them. Nylocke and Gamecrazed then worked together to take her down before defeating their new friends. This episode is one of the most popular episodes of the series since it featured the #1 most popular voted character of the main 5: Nylocke (voiced by Martin "LittleKuriboh" Billamy from Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged). He showcased a side of himself to Gamecrazed (as well as the viewers) a side of him never seen before: he plays TOME to escape reality and to have fun. Nylocke is the overactive role playing character with the quirky personality and numerous catchphrases, so seen a realistic side of him was truly spectacular. Not to mention, he has a memorable and catchy theme song that you have to check out. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

4. Awaken the Beast (Season 1,Episode 5)

This was the episode that made me fully invested in TOME. While I was enjoying TOME in its earlier episodes, they just seemed to be missing a bit more conflict and progression. I wanted something a bit more other than the one-off hackers and The Forbidden Power. But then this episode came out and I was hooked. An interesting story: Chris was having difficulty with making the additional episodes after 4 due to Newgrounds letting him know that they would no longer fund him. It looked very bleak, but I'm so glad that he was able to pull it off. The first half of the episode has Alpha learning about The Gemini Tournament and a group of players wanting to fight him to gain a reputation as strong combatants. Then Tigerlily comes along and attacks the group which ends up with Alpha being fully controlled by The Forbidden Power turning him into Demon Alpha. The second half becomes extremely exciting and tense with the introduction of Zetto, a strong and over confident player who gets involved in a fight against Demon Alpha and wins. Zetto challenges Alpha with meeting him again at the Gemini Tournament for a rematch. This episode has a great amount of action and the background music compliments it immensely. It's also the first appearance of Zetto, who is one of my all time favorite characters. If you felt that TOME is starting off as just a decent webseries, this is the episode that transcends it into making it a great one.

3. The Warring Demons (Season 1, Episode 10)

This is the last episode of Season 1 and my favorite of that bunch. With The Gemini Tournament over, Alpha is feeling less control of himself and The Forbidden Power is becoming more threatening to everyone around him. He wants to find a way to get rid of it once and for all. He receives a message from Zetto that he knows information about The Forbidden Power and can help him remove it. Unfortunately things don't go as planned and Alpha and Zetto have a tense battle with one another. I can't go too much into detail with this episode since there's a major plot twist that affects the rest of the series. But trust me when I say this that this is a fantastic episode with tense moments, action, and great background music. 

2. Secret of the Netkings (Season 2, Episode 12)

Alpha, Flamegirl, Nylocke, Kirbopher, and Gamecrazed continues their challenge with the Netkings progressing further and further. But each Netking becomes more difficult than the last. But with perseverance and skill, they confront the 5th and final Netking Webmaster (voiced by Kyle Hebert). Meanwhile, the threat of The Forbidden Power returns and TOME is slowly becoming threatened. This episode has some of the best action, comedic, and tense moments in the entire series. My favorite scenes in the episode involved with Kirbopher, but I dare not spoil it because I want you to see it for yourself. Once you do, you'll see why and agree that they're memorable and hilarious.

1. Truth. Tears. Ambition (Season 2, Episode 15)

The last episode of Season 2 is truly not only the best episode of Season 2, but the best episode in the whole series. TOME has officially been corrupted with The Forbidden Power's true form Kajet, Alpha is still overwhelmed with distraught after seeing his friends being defeated, and the true villain behind everything is revealed. Again, I can't go into the major details,but everything about this episode is amazing. The story is well written. The acting is top notch. The background music matches the sad moments, the tense moments, action moments, and happy moments perfectly. The plot twists are shocking. The animation is smooth and fluid. But the one thing that nailed it for me was the ending. When I first saw it, it made me burst into tears. Everything about this episode was perfect and a fantastic end of an incredible journey through the Terrain of Magical Expertise.

Now whether there will be a Season 3 or not, it's hasn't been confirmed yet. I'm probably going to say an unpopular opinion about this, but I don't want one. If I do want to see more from TOME, maybe a movie, more shorts, or a game would be nice, but another season is not needed. I would like to see Chris work on a entirely new project and take everything he learned from doing TOME and make it incredible. 

That's it for this top 10 list. Let me know in the comments below on what your favorite episodes of TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise are. If you haven't seen it yet, then check out the episodes right here. 

Also, if you haven't yet, check out episode 42 of Casual Chats where I interviewed Chris.

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading and battle on!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 44: Back to the Future's 30th Anniversary

In the longest episode of Casual Chats to date, Patricia, Kevin, Kevin's friend James, Manic Expression founder James Walsh, and members Some Jerk from Boston, The Rowdy Reviewer, and AlextheD discuss about one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, Back to the Future, in honor of its 30th anniversary.

Check out Some Jerk's links down below

Check out The Rowdy Reviewer's links down below

Check out That Longed Haired Creepy Guy's links down below

Check out AlextheD's links down below

Check out James' links down below

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 43: Interview with Caseen Gaines #2

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia interviews Caseen Gaines for the second time (third time counting a blog interview) in honor of his newly released book We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy.

Check out Caseen's links down below

Book Review: We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy

Back to the Future has become one of the most iconic and memorable movies of the 1980's and has led up to one of the most well regarded trilogies in cinema history alongside the Star Wars trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Dark Knight trilogy. This July will mark the first movie's 30th anniversary and a new book has been released to give you behind the scenes look into the films in the form of We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy by Caseen Gaines. We at Old School Lane have interviewed Caseen before. Click here to read our first interview. Click here to watch episode 31 of Casual Chats to listen to our second interview.

This marks his third book he's written behind Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse and A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, but the first one published by Penguin Publishing Company, the same company that published Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age by Mathew Klickstein. But no need to fret, for Gaines' narrative of weaving in over 500 hours of interviews with multiple people from the movies such as Bob Zemekis, Bob Gale, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, and many more hasn't been lost. It's just as intriguing and captivating as ever with each chapter telling a story ranging from the struggles of Bob Zemekis and Bob Gale getting started in their careers, the struggle of trying to make Eric Stolz work as Marty McFly before being replaced by Michael J. Fox, never before heard stories about the makings of the movies, and what happened afterwards. It even takes some time to discuss about the Back to the Future Ride at Universal Studios (which is still open in Japan. Lucky) and the more recent game made by TellTale Games.

Now unlike Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse, in which there was no book or information about the TV series outside of the behind the scenes features on the DVDs or A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic in which it had the behind the scenes features on the DVD as well as a TV Guide special, the Christmas Story museum. and a few documentaries, Back to the Future is very well documented with not only a ton of behind the scenes features on the DVDs and Blu-Ray releases, but there has also been a book about Back to the Future already. It may be a little bit hard to persuade the hardest of hardcore Back to the Future fans to check the new book out, but We Don't Need Roads has enough of new stories that seasoned veterans of the trilogy will learn about as well as a great start for people just getting into the trilogy for the first time and want to dive more into the lore of one of the greatest movies of all time. If you're interested in purchasing the book, you can purchase it at any retail book stores, online in Amazon, an eBook on Kindle, or as an audio book at Audible. I highly recommend that you check it out, especially if you're a movie buff or an 80's pop culture enthusiast.

If you want to know more about the book, check out our newest interview with Caseen Gaines on Casual Chats.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as the next episode of Casual Chats will be about the Back to the Future franchise in honor of its 30th anniversary. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Old School Lane Presents: Thoughts on Metroid Prime Federation Force

Last week before E3 2015 started, Nintendo had the Nintendo World Championship and featured both new and old games for the competitors to play. One of the games that were featured was an brand new unreleased game under the title Blast Ball that featured 4 players shooting a ball into a goal in a sci-fi futuristic setting. When I first saw the game livestreamed on my computer, I posted these responses on Twitter.

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A few days later when Nintendo did their E3 Press Conference, I finally learned the truth. Blast Ball was an actual Metroid Prime spinoff game with the new title Metroid Prime Federation Force. 

When I first saw the trailer, I was confused and disappointed. It looked absolutely NOTHING like a Metroid game. There was no sign of Samus and had no other distinct characters or settings like Zebes, SR388, Tallon IV, Aether, etc.

But then after seeing the trailer and seeing all the complaints from Metroid fans, I thought to myself "Why are people so surprised about Metroid having a spinoff title trying to cater to other fans? Did they forget about the other spinoff titles like Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime Hunters? Nintendo has done this before to the Metroid series, so I didn't understand why people were so angry. But then I remembered when thinking back on Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime Hunters that they looked and felt like Metroid games. One of the great things about Nintendo is that they deliver great spinoff titles outside the main franchises to broaden out the demographic and, for the most part, they've been successful. The Mario series being the prime example having Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, the Mario RPG games, the Yoshi games, the Wario games, Luigi's Mansion, and even Super Smash Bros. The Kirby series is always doing new and different varieties of aesthetics and gameplay from having Kirby platforming, racing, an open world exploration game with 3 other Kirbys, a platformer with 10 Kirbys, Kirby made of yarn, Kirby made of clay, and much more.

While I'm still giving it the benefit of the doubt that the game will focus on the Galactic Federation instead of Samus. However, when I thought of a game that focused on the Galactic Federation, I wouldn't think of a sci-fi soccer game. It looks like a lot of fun, but I wouldn't really call it a Metroid game. I guess I kinda know how Banjo and Kazooie fans feel about Nuts and Bolts. On its own, it seems like a creative and colorful game with nice levels and endless possibilities of creating your own vehicle. But it has absolutely nothing to do with its predecessors which has been labeled as the black sheep of the series. So I will give Metroid Prime Federation Force a fair chance. Speaking of which...

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Oh boy. When I saw this petition, I didn't know what to think of it. I understand that the Metroid fans are very angry that the next game in the Metroid series isn't a main title. After all, it's been 5 years since Metroid: Other M was released and people have been dying for a new game in the series. Especially, since Metroid: Other M was such a jarring experience that has alienated so many fans with the story, the portrayal of Samus, and the linear game play. Even I have a hatred for Metroid: Other M, but that's a story for another time. Getting back to the main topic, the petition is going a little bit out of hand. I understand that people are not looking forward to this game. I understand that people want a new Metroid game. Trust me, I want one too. I want a new Metroid game as much as the next person. The Metroid series means a lot to me. Super Metroid is my favorite game of all time. I was so stoked when Super Metroid was one of the games played on the Nintendo World Championship 2015. I even want to do a video in the future about that topic. But you have to understand that there are so many other Nintendo IPs that has gone on longer without other installments. Before the announcement of the upcoming Star Fox Zero, there wasn't a new Star Fox game in almost a decade ever since Star Fox Command for the Nintendo DS. There hasn't been a new F-Zero game in a decade since F-Zero: GP Legend for the Game Boy Advance. Before Kid Icarus: Uprising was released in the 3DS in 2012, there hasn't been a new Kid Icarus game since Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters for the Game Boy in 1991, over 20 years later. At least we're getting a Metroid game. It may not be the one we wanted, but at least the series is still somewhat relevant to Nintendo.

The Metroid series was never a lucrative series, even back then, in Japan. Metroid and Super Metroid were critically acclaimed, but it was always overshadowed by other critically acclaimed games such as The Legend of Zelda for the NES and Donkey Kong Country for the SNES. It gained a huge massive audience in the US and still has a huge place of gamers' hearts to this day as one of the most iconic female protagonists of all time. Trust me, if there's anything that I've seen in recent years, gaming companies and the creators know what the fans want and they'll give them what they want in due time. Mother fans are finally getting Earthbound Beginnings from the NES on the WiiU's Virtual Console. Shenmue fans are finally getting Shenmue III. Square Enix fans are finally getting the Final Fantasy VII remake. I know that Nintendo will give us the Metroid game that we deserve and I can't wait when it comes out. Hey, we had to wait 8 years for Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion and they turned out to be fantastic. Let's give it some time. I'm sure it'll be well worth it.

That's all for now. Let me know in the comments below on your thoughts of Metroid Prime Federation Force. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.