Miiverse Artwork and Mii Crafting

If there’s one thing I love in MiiVerse (other than the hilarious Mii designs that pop out here and there) it’s the artwork done by the rudimentary drawing application in the system. Somehow people manage to circumvent the limitations to create amazing artwork. While I haven’t yet seen stuff that’s like Van Gogh or Da Vinci in nature, I’ve been able to gawk upon some other amazing drawings instead. Here’s some of the top ones that I just had to forward and share with you.

 

Mario Paint

This one is made by a allegedly bearded and long haired spectacle clad man by the name JB, or No_More_Bamboo. That’s an amazing Luigi homage there, and the attention to detail is amazing. You really have to love ole Weeg’ to be able to make something this awesome.

 

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And this Super Smash Bros. Wii U comment is gold. Hyrule sure could use the ever farting and adrenaline-packed Wario Man, which essentially is a costume clad Wario… with no actual added powers. That is to show that he doesn’t need anymore, he’s awesome enough as is!

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This one here is drawn by me, and is what you’ll see when visiting my profile. 100 points to the one who can name the reference source! If you wonder what’s off it’s that I forgot to draw his sideburns. Woe me.

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And last but not least my best attempt at creating a Mario Mii. There should be better examples out there, show me yours if you have made any!

 

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Video Game Crafting: The Infinite Race Around The Hat

Super Mario Kart It’s done! Thank you Emily King for the idea! I wanted to add some kind of bond for the hat on top of the custom Game Boy stand that I’d made, and I got the suggestion to make one with a Super Mario Kart theme (which is an awesome suggestion by the way). What took time was settling on the design and then to actually print it. The circumference was larger than the average A4 sheet, so I had to print an extra black strip and Blu-Tack them together. Enjoy the results below! I know I sure am.

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As you can see I found a Wario sprite, even though he’s not in the game. That just shows how much of a Wario fan I am!

I also changed the SCART cable labels into something tidier. I printed new labels with my Dymo Label Maker using plastic paper:2015-06-01 13.31.06

Video Game Hunting: May You Find What You’re Searching For Part 2

Here’s the second part of Video Game Hunting: May You Find What You’re Searching For. This time I’ll present to the game finds of more recent nature, at least when it comes to production date. They were found in GAME, that both had a separate Retro Game sale of 25%, and more recently a Liquidation Sale where all accessories and consoles were at 20% off and all games, regardless of new or old in nature, were 40% off, and a couple of the games were at Members Only prices of around 2-3 £. There were also one game found in an electronic chain looking to clear it’s inventory too.

metal slug anthology I’m happy this one was still sitting on the shelf during a whole year before they finally had a sale where I got 25% off, saving on both the game and the shipping cost. Well, saving isn’t the correct word as I ended up spending money, but I think you catch my drift. Metal Slug Anthology is a collection of 6 games in the series and was a collection of all games that were released in the arcades thus far. As I love the Metal Slug series I had to get it, and I’m happy I did, as it’d be gone in the upcoming sale in a few weeks. The comedy and action in this game are stupendous and for a retro nut like myself this release is gold.

red steel1 I’ve heard that the Red Steel games are good and for 3 £ I got Red Steel 2 just for the heck of it. I don’t have much more info about the game other than what was in the back of the case, and for that price I went for it. I figured it’d be a game I’d eventually want to play anyways, and the disc and manual were in pristine condition. The case, not so much. Another game for such a small price was Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D for the 3DS. Having only heard splinter cellabout the Splinter Cell series a few times, and tested the first game in the series briefly (for the Playstation 2) I figured I should get this one. There’s a bit of a tear in the cover, but other than that the whole thing is in good condition, and a 2 £ price tag sealed the deal. And did I mention it’s in Threeee Deeee?! That’s epic, man.

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Gunblade N.Y. / L.A. Machineguns: Arcade Hits Pack are U.S.A. centric shooters where you gun down invading robots and such. It’s an arcade conversion of a SEGA- produced game, and since I’ve been eyeing this one for two years, and consider evetything SEGA (bar the new Sonic games, mind that I havent’ played them though) to be good I got this one. I also need another rail-shooter for my Wii U, my chosen platform for shooting games, and this one filled the slot very well. Nothing beats the smell of gasoline in the morning.

 

2015-05-24 10.58.37Finally I got Wii Play for… believe it, the Wii. This came with most, if not all, early Wii systems and I found out my brother-in-law would’ve given me his arguably better copy if I had just asked him for it. Alas, I got this for a small penny so it didn’t matter too much. The price for this title has dropped about 80% over here in the last year. I’m a sucker for these Mii games, even though the cover art for this looks like crud. I much prefer the cover and box of the Wii Music game more.

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Next is a Wario Amiibo that I’ve been wanting, but my lovely wife beat me to it and got it for me for 40% off! This is the only Amiibo I ever wanted really, and I’m looking forward to use him in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and also, hopefully, in other games if possible in the future. I love everything Wario, and this one is a little delicious!

Next comes Part 3! The Epic Finale! The Crown Jewel! The Best of the Best! The King of Kings! The Italian Stallion!

 

J&L Games, New York City

When in New York I stumbled upon this gaming store called J&L Games, by chance, and decided to check it out since I haven’t entered other areas who had retro game stores. The bigger chains didn’t really have that huge selection of NTSC games that I could play on my systems (which are games for the Gamecube, NES, the Game Boy lineup, Nintendo DS, and PS Vita) and now that they’ve ventured into newer platforms, that unfortunately are region locked, I don’t have that many reasons to enter those stores anymore. There might be the odd Nintendo DS game being clearanced (such as Aliens: Infestation which was a steal at 10 bucks) but now I can’t even seem to find that kind of games either. There only are “Language” games and stuff like “Driving School” and “Stop Smoking” games. That’s nothing to waste my money at. So imagine my glee when seeing this store!

I’ll give you a rough walkthrough, and even though the prices were what you could imagine in a game store with a physical location, with Ebay prices being what they are, I still thought that it was worth entering. Most of the new games were decently priced too.

IMG_5730When entering you can see some Wii U games and peripherals at the left, and they had a nice selection too. That Mario figure at the back was for sale too! As with all the images in this post, you can enlarge the image by clicking it, or by opening it in a new tab (right click and choose to open it in a new tab). The setup was clean and tidy. No dust on the shelves either! I’ve never seen that many Wiimotes with special designs in the same place either. That’s neat.

 

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They also had lots of Amiibo’s for about 15 bucks each. They usually went for close to 20 bucks in the GameStops I visited, so I was impressed that they didn’t charge more for them. Some, like the Villager and other “rare” and elusive ones were priced at about 45 bucks or so, if I recall correctly. I can’t figure out the prices on the tags as they’re invisible in this picture. I didn’t get any, even though they’re signicifantly cheaper when compared to Sweden, since the only one I want is the Wario one, The others aren’t interesting to me at all, though Mega Man and Samus are awesome.

IMG_5733They had this huge Mario (statue?) at the entrance. I took a picture with it but I don’t want to show off my face like this on the Internet, you know, all those things they told you about that kind of stuff when the Internet was still young still affects my mind. Anyhow, this didn’t seem to be for sale, and I can’t really imagine how you’d take this one with you. I’d reckon shipping would be cheaper if you’d just pay for an extra plane seat for it! Not to mention I’d guess something like this would cost between 200-500 dollars. That’s not any money I’d like to pay for a Mario figure. A Wario one is a different story though…

IMG_5734Look at all these Game Boy games!! When getting into retro territory the prices tend to skyrocket, as was the case with these games, and even among those who were decently priced I didn’t find anything I liked too much, or I already had them. The same goes for the Game Boy Advance games. I didn’t get any loose Nintendo DS games, I only ever bought a loose cart since it had the manual before (Sonic Colors) so I stayed away from them. This reminds me, I need 20 more clear Nintendo DS cases… There are some Game Boy games of mine who still need custom boxes, and one “82 in 1″ compilation (Lies!! There are only 10 unique games or so in it!) that needs a custom case design.

IMG_5738Games everywhere! They had games for the following platforms, though I may have missed one or two of them: NES, SNES, GB, GBA, PS, PS2, PS3, PS4, GCN, N64, Genesis, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, NDS, N3DS… Did I miss something? Yeah, I’m sure I missed something. Anyhow, you get the big idea. The NES games did cost a fair bit, as they pretty much only had quality titles in great condition, and most of the quality GCN titles too, though Wario World had the standard price which is seen both in the US and Europe (around 20 dollars or so). They also had a few boxed NES games too.

IMG_5740The Game Boy systems carried a hefty price tag of around 60-80 dollars, though I’d guess the pro is that you can try them out and feel them before buying them. They also seemed to be in good condition. I eyed that Game Boy Printer but got cold feet as I’m hoping to get one for cheaper. They also had a good few Japanese import titles, something taht isn’t too common I’d believe. I only saw imports in Pink Gorilla, though I’ll admit I didn’t look to carefully for them in other stores either. I have a Yellow Brick Game Boy (follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy, follow, follow, follow follow, follow the Yellow Brick Game Boy) and would like to get my hands on one with the original colors and the transparent one.

IMG_5741And here you have the Playstation Vita games, who were decently priced. Can you spot The Walking Dead: The Second Season?

I hope you liked this virtual tour of sorts. Make sure to visit the store, the prices may match other physical game stores but the experience was great. I think I’d have bought more games if I hadn’t decided to buy selected titles instead in January.

Dance Puppets, Dance!

Not only do I collect video games, I also like to buy the occasional plushie. For one they usually look adorable, and they also look pretty cool too in some kind of way when on display. I’d think someone that’s no nerd like me merely would think it’s childish, but I digress. I’d like to show you these plushies and also take a moment to show off my cap collection while I’m at it.

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Here we have two beauties, a Mickey Mouse plush that I got during this recent trip to New York and also this delicious Wario one I got from my wife two weeks ago.

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Then there are these two Dragon Ball ones. I also have a Super Saiyajin Vegeta that unfortunately isn’t in this picture, and I gave a Piccolo plush to my brother. These two are Kuririn and Son Goku.

 

 

IMG_5762Here’s my Toon Link plush which in the next picture will adorn his head with my caps. From the top to the left we have a Snapback NES Controller Cap bought in Canada, a Team Nintendo Cap which was a gift from my wife, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage Comics Cap from Inside in Spain and last, but not least, a NES Controller Cap which I bought in Nintendo World in New York in 2010.

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Two New Headers and Return from New York

I’ve been in New York for a week and have thus been incative, but I have some goodies for you if you keep your eyes out for a new post in the Reader (ir your E-mail inboxes, if you follow me that way).

There are two new headers that are mixed in randomly with the previous ones, one with Mario and Peach playing Famicom (inspired by Gamescanner.org) and one with none other than Wario. There’s one with Samus and one with Mega Man in the works as well. Other than that I have visited only one video game store (which I passed by just randomly) in New York and actually walked out with a decently priced PS Vita game!

mariopeach.png wario-header.pngI’ll be writing a few posts tomorrow as I’ve got material for 4-5 upcoming posts it seems.

Try to guess (or determine) which game format the media belong to in the background of the headers. Can you make them out?

I’m leaving for now to play some Rayman Legends. Game on!

Now Playing: Wario Master of Disguise

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I’ve recently played and finished Wario: Master of Disguise.  There’s a certain kind of humor in the game, which I really like as it’s hilarious!

#??:  Wario: Master of Disguise

It’s a somewhat unusual but yet similar game in the franchise that makes use of the Nintendo DS stylus to control and to give Wario new and interesting Powerups. The story is quite simple: You’re Wario that’s watching TV, and growing envious of the main hero of the show you build a helmet, called Telmet, which allows you to warp inside the TV. Man is Wario a scientific genious when he wants to!!  You admire the main hero, a gentleman thief (the same one at the right in the image in the link above) named the Silver Zephyr and you proceed to barge in and steal his magic wand Goodstyle (who I imagine has a stereotypical British accent). And that’s where your new quest for riches and the search for the pieces of Wishstone begins. The story does seem as if it was developed by a 3rd party developer, which is the case…

WMOD_ArtyWarioGraphics: 7/10 This is a cartoonish game that unfortunately ended up with a bit too detailed sprites, probably since the Nintendo DS was capable of it. Probably it’s to allow for a bigger in-game screen and for a style that shows that this isn’t just another Gameboy Advance game, but it’s a shame that the colorful fantasy world of Wario’s franchise is replaced by something more “realistic”. Maybe this is because of Wario entering a TV show, but the stages look a bit bland. Also, the digitized 3D still images make this game look cheap by today’s standards (though I’d understand how they could have been considered very appealing at the time), especially when you’re introduced to each level with a generic- looking text that describes the episode title. Other than that Wario and his transformations look great, as do the antagonists in the game. Generally speaking, the small- fry enemies and most of the bosses don’t impress me that much, and the game seems as if various fans in different locations made it with all the different art styles that are seen meshed together. At least the drawn concept art shows how much force Wario uses in each strike, as his veins are outlined on his bulky arms in each transformation picture!

Wario_for_dsSounds & Music: 5/10 The music isn’t that remarkable and memorable really, but the boss music really gets you pumped up. The sound effects seem to be sampled from various games but fit together quite well, but aren’t that original (compare them to the iconic sounds used in the Mario franchise and even the Metroid ones and you’ll get what I mean). There’s not much else to say, as this department is really bland.

Space_WarioGameplay:  5/10 There are a lot of concepts in this game that were implemented wrong. The use of the touchscreen for movements wasn’t necessary at all, as the use of the D-pad and the four standard X, Y, A and B buttons would suffice enough and give a firm and responsive control-setup all along. Also, it’s widely bothersome to have to draw everything on the touchscreen, and while a nice gimmick at first to showcase the serie’s leap from the 32-bit Gameboy Advance into the 64- bit Nintendo DS, this soon shows to be superfluous and clunky. I can’t tell you how many times I drew hearts just to be presented with turds who ran on legs with bright and big eyes. I realized I’d get a heart 6 out of 10 times if I drew a circle instead, as opposed to 4 out of 10 times when I drew a downwards triangle and 2 out of 10 times when I drew a heart shape exactly as they wanted me to when I got the upgrade. And since you have to use the stylus to tackle with standard Thief Wario, you’d accidentally end up pressing too close to him which made the game think you were trying to transform him, and this made the fight against the Dolphin King really tedious. You should be able to switch between powerups using the L and R buttons and cycle through them all, or maybe even press start to do so, not through an imprecise stylus system. There are so many ways that are better than this borderline childish way of switching costumes, though I admire the courage of trying to implement something new. If this was more precise it’d have rocked istead of being a nuisance during gameplay, though I’m aware of that it must be very difficult to program code something like this into such a small touchscreen.

Otherwise the level designs are pretty straightforward with certain parts not accessible unless you acquire a certain powerup, and the puzzles are decent enough for everyone to figure out. The bosses are way harder than the levels themselves, but you’re presented with generous tips on what tranformation to use throughout them which lowers their difficult greatly. The transformations are fun to use and are all very useful bar the Electric Wario one which unfortunately doesn’t attack the enemies at all and he moves really slowly too, which is a shame since that’s by far my favorite Wario transformation design in the game. I really dislike the ruins level though as I wandered about for 50 frickin’ minutes before I found a concealed doorway that allowed me to advance!

Then there’s the treasure chest hunting, which much like in previous Wario Land games all are collected to take you towards a certain goal. While this used to be to get the biggest castle possible (with the worst scenario being that you get a hut of some kind) now they give you Disguise levels, with the goal of becoming the Master of Disguise. The mini-games that are played to open these chests take away from the main game as they break the previously built up pace and slow everything down. They vary in difficuly and increase in difficulty with each stage, and certain chests can’t be aquired unless you go back to a stage with a new transformation from a later stage. The minigames are really simple, and pretty easy to master, but the one where you have to guide the Wario head to the bottom of the net-like structure never works. I always just give up on it and wait for the next mini game to load the next time I open up the chest.

WariozillaReplay value: 4/10 Unless you want to become the Master of Disguise and revisit old levels to get all the treasure chests you couldn’t get before, this game hasn’t any replay value to speak of. I didn’t even bother to defeat the last boss. I don’t even care if there’s a completion bonus or not for doing so, and I won’t even Google about it.

 

 

Trivia: What I described above might be because Suzak, a Japan-based 3rd party developer, developed this game. They later filed for bankruptcy in 2012… yeah. That’s sad.

 

First image from: meristation.com and the rest from mariowiki.com