Welcome to Pages of Fun!

This is the personal Web site of Robert Wm. Gomez. I am an artist, musician and nerd living in Chicago, Illinois who has been maintaining this site (in one form or another) since 1996. Enjoy your visit!

Executioners from Shaolin (7/10)

A Shaolin monk on the run vows to avenge the death of a friend and, over the course of many years, he gets married, has a girlish son, and attempts his revenge twice. Unfortunately, his white-haired nemesis Pai Mei is also a master of the tiger style and the task of vengeance falls on the aforementioned girlish son. There is a lot of humor mixed in and the husband/wife dynamics are far more interesting than the kung-fu plot. It's a fun movie but may be a bit to simplistic for my tastes.

King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow on Ms-DOS (6/10)

King's Quest VI - Pawn Shoppe

While this game was a pretty big improvement over KQV, it still was just too mired in Sierra adventure game brutality for me to really enjoy. There has been some attempt to make the puzzles a bit more forgiving here, including allowing for the player to take multiple paths to victory. I did alright through about the first third of the game then it just gets nasty.

At Home With Satan's Pilgrims by Satan's Pilgrims (7/10)

Format: CD

Competent and straightforward surf music from this Portland group. This record isn't the most exciting stuff this band has done but it has its moments. Unfortunately, most of the moments are the covers of "Mr. Moto" and "Squad Car."

Big City After Dark: Missing Links Volume 2 by Wray, Link (9/10)

Format: CD

Discogs.com has been nagging me for months that this was available for cheap from a number of resellers and completing my collection of Missing Links was just five dollars away. I got it and it is exactly what I expected: another great collection of (mostly) fuzz guitar instrumentals from the master.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse on PC (6/10)

Magrunner: Dark Pulse

This was a freebie from GOG.com that I went into knowing nothing about it. The first thing anyone who plays the game will think when they begin is, "Wow, this is a complete Portal rip-off." Then you get about halfway through an you'll think, "Wow, this really is a complete Portal rip-off!"

Five Shaolin Masters (4/10)

I just bought another Shaw Brothers box set and am watching the films in chronological order. This one has a few familiar faces from Blood Brothers. However, I was quite bored by the movie. The plot is way too simple. For example, within the first moments of the film the main characters discover there is a traitor in their midst. In the next scene they reveal the traitor as he collaborates with the baddies. Not even an attempt at suspense. The rest of the film revolves around recruiting allies with hand-gestures and tea cup orientation.

Replaying Nox, Again

I have never bothered to create a top-ten list of my all-time favorite video games. Maybe I should since it seems the only way to get people to read your Web site is to organize everything into numbered lists. In any event, were I ever to compile such a list Nox would be somewhere in the top five for me.

After a recent upgrade to Windows 10 (excellent by the way), I was going through and making sure all my treasured old programs still worked. In the process I booted up my GOG.com version of Nox and noticed it had some issues. After much searching and fruitless forum posting I finally found a workaround. In case you are wondering, you need to install a game mod called "Nox SDL." You can download the patch here. Once I got the game running, it wasn't long before I was sucked back in to my fourth play through of the game.

This game is so great. I don't know about you, but I immediately realized that when I could play with my character stripped down to his briefs:

Nox in Underwear Mode!

Beating the game would be difficult, but you could play the entire game running around like a crazed streaker if you so chose.

Come Drink with Me (8/10)

Come Drink with Me is heralded as the film that defined the kung-fu genre in the early sixties. I am unfamiliar with martial arts movies that where popular before it, so I can't vouch for its originality, but I can say that, although it is less kinetic than most of the kung-fu movies I've seen, it feels fresh and exciting. This is mostly due to its well-defined and interesting characters and a pacing that builds from one fight to the next.

OlliOlli on PC (9/10)

OlliOlli

One of my favorite games of the coin-op era was Atari's 720°. It had a simple, but unique control scheme that's pretty much impossible to replicate through emulation. You would basically jump then spin a knob (dressed up like a joystick), and the more times you spun the dial, the more points you got. As abstract as it was, this felt like skateboarding.

OlliOlli is the only skateboarding game that I have played that comes close to matching the rhythm and feel of 720°.

Golden Swallow (8/10)

Of all the films in this DVD set, this one features the best fight choreography. I guess it's a sort of love story as Golden Swallow if framed for a series of massive clan killings by a lover from her past. The fights are brutal and the tone is dark. I really liked this one despite the goofy narrative setup.

Killer Clans (8/10)

Another Shaw Brothers kung-fu extravaganza. This one was quite good with lots of blood, a complicated (in a good way) plot and a touch of nudity! An assassin gets in the middle of two rival clans as he attempts to kill an elder leader. Things aren't what they seem and there's intrigue around every paper-walled corner.

Blood Brothers (6/10)

Disc two in this Shaw Brothers set is the weakest of the lot. A pair of bandits join with an ambitious warrior to form a group of counter-revolutionary fighters. A girl gets between them and then things begin to go south. This is more of a melodrama than a kung-fu picture, but it has a few good moments. On the whole though, it was not my cup of (green) tea.

The Avenging Eagle (7/10)

The first film in the Shaw Brothers four-pack DVD I just bought. I loved USA Network's Kung Fu Theater when I was a kid, but I am hardly a connoisseur when it comes to these classic kung-fu pictures. The Avenging Eagle was pretty good with a nice array of weaponry and a decent story. The fights lack the realism and speed of a 90's Jackie Chan flick but they are still pretty great. As I make my way through the set I may change my opinion of this one, but I enjoyed this as an entry point.

Rock Around the Clock (6/10)

This film is really just a showcase for Bill Haley and his Comets. The plot and characters are tacked on just to get us from dance hall to dance hall to see The Comets lip sync, and watch the kids go craaazy with the new modern dance. Despite its schlocky premise, it's fun to watch for the "performances" and the dancing.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (7/10)

I want to eventually read Huckleberry Finn, so I figured I should read this one first. It's pretty entertaining, but not terribly deep and it takes a while for an overarching plot to develop. The first half of the book feels like a collection of short stories.

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