2/27/13

Gamer's Review - The Tiny Bang Story

If I could describe The Tiny Bang Story in a few words...it would be the happiest dystopia story ever. It maybe a tiny adventure game but its big on whimsy. The tiny planet of this story has experienced a tiny bang and has been blown up into jig saw puzzle with one area left....the first area you explore.

The basic game play is a combo of point click adventure, hidden objects as you have to a certain amount of a specific object to fix an invention, and puzzle solving which includes solving jig saw puzzles to sew the tiny world back together or shifting coloured orbs to activate a train's hatch.. Puzzles can be an actual head scratchier at times....however there is a built in hint system....just collect enough blue flies to activate it. 

As for the artistic side....its full of whimsy and a very hand drawn look. The colour palette is like a relaxing afternoon in the bright and happy sunlight, which is what most of the characters you meet are doing. Interesting the world has blown up into pieces but people are still calm, relaxed and not panicking  The characters do not talk however they will ask you for help via pictures in a speech bubble.

If you want a short sitting but big on feel and whimsy I would suggest getting this game.

2/24/13

Con Report - Tsukino Con 2013

How often do have ferry to Vancouver with people carrying prop weapons and in "part" cosplay....its just an ordianry trip when you're blogging on ferry bound from Tsukino Con 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia. I used to come to this con in my University days and now for the first time I come here because I volunteering as a gym leader in the Pokemon League.

For most of the convention time, I was hanging around the gaming rooms because well...I'm a gym leader with the Tsukino Con Pokemon League. Just like in the games there 8 of us and you have to beat at least 7 of us to go on into the champions where the prize on the line was a copy of Pokemon Black or White 2. Plus we had other prizes like raffles, and pokemon league points on the line. Unlike the games we gym leaders choose our own theme like for example, I was the Pledge Badge gym. My gym was all starter pokemon and each were equipped with the pledge moves which can be combined for the special combo bonus effect and added power.....which caused headaches and shock for trainers who were not aware of such moves. Just say there were alot of rainbows, swamps and journeying through the fire and flames in my gym battles. How do you over come my gym? One strategy used was...flinch or take out one pokemon so a combo move cannot be set up. The trick thing about pledge moves is....both pokemon must be alive and able to attack. If you defeat a gym..you get a very real badge (aka button). I designed my badge's design by first drawing in ink the leaf, water drop and flame design, scanning it and then tinted the colour filters pink. Although gym leaders were not require to do this...I made my own gym leader clothing from scrap fabric at home. It's a the floral pink riding cloak with painted on poke ball designs. I even did my manicure...Tri Colour (Red, Green, Blue) with matching water, flame, and flower glitter overlays (all of them from Rainbow Honey)
All Base Colours are two OPI's and one unknown brand covered with Sally Hansen Black Crackle with Rainbow Honey glitter overlays...guess which colour is which.

In addition to doing gym leader duties....I explored the artist alley. Nice selection this year. I got cute buttons, which included one commission of one pokemon.....if you read my bear related Pokemon TCG posts you can guess what it was. I also got a cute fairy bottle, pokemon cards (from the Pokemon League room), bookmarks and nail polish. I also entered AE's raffle and guess what I won...the top prize, a 3 day pass to Anime Evolution in June. On the last day I also took part in the flea market and attempted to sell off my stuff...to put it in simple terms I sold enough to put a good dent towards my Nintendo 3DS fund:)

Well anyway ferry is abit swaying right now....I leave you with the pictures I took from the convention this year.












2/19/13

A Cosplayer's Bag

Any other cosplayer out there, does your bag look a little more....colourful then most bags? This perfect colourful number is the Swedish Pavilion official backpack from my travel to the Swedish Pavilion itself at  World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The other bag broke...so I needed a new one, desperately. It's nice and perfect for a cosplayer like me..gotta love Swedish design...its stylish, colourful, lots of pockets, that not too big but enough room to keep you stuff and in turn places to hang those super gachapon buddies....just have to be careful they don't fall off and you can tell I love to collect little gachapon toys. The blocky design is stylized map of Stockholm and the colours are suppose to match the Swedish Pavilion lego.

The Hanging Buddies:
 Red: Liechstein ,  Green: Penpal Frog Style (collected in Paris) Blue: Piplup Yellow: Maid from "Working!!", Main Zipper: Ducklett

Gotta acessorize with some artist alley buttons. We got a Dive Ball, Canada and Russia here.

2/18/13

Gamer's Review - Machinarium

I got this game as a gift from my university days and it was the first Steam game I have ever got. My first impressions when I saw the preview picture was this is an interesting game. Machinarium is a point click adventure from Czech studios Amanita Studios and wow that was pleasant gift to find in your email box.

You play the hero robot Josef who has ended up in a junk pile in the outskirts of robotic city. To find out what happened you have to guide him towards that goal. In the opening scenes you a quick tutorial on how to control Josef such as the fact you can only interact with objects within reach and you can extend his torso to reach places above you....basic traits of point-click adventure. Story and art wise everyone is a robot and did not speak in normal terms but rather everyone speaks through a series of speech bubble visuals.

As for the world itself...its interesting, a very sketchy pencil feel and a palette of brown earthen tones....like rust. All the robots in this world and the architecture itself seem to be both formed by bolts and rivets and strangely grown from the earth itself....its an organic and mechanical feel. The cast is diverse...you have robotic wild life, robots which seem to be made out of ordinary household objects and the evil black capped thug robots.

Would I suggest getting this....I would say yes for it whimsy, robotic and artistic feel....

2/14/13

Weiners and Egg Buddies

Well this was the dinner I made tonight.Compliments to the Manga Cook Book for the recipes. Cute isn't it..bento box food. To make the sea life wieners I made some special cuts int he wieners then cook...POOF we got sausage buddies. Yes it was yummy and SUPER cute to look at.

2/12/13

Gamer's Review - Limbo

Sorry got a little distracted and forgot to post something on my blog in a long while....so how about a horror gem.

Limbo is an indie adventure game with heavy platforming elements. They are no health meter, no number enemies to fight back and no limit on how many times you can die....believe me you die alot in this game. The  only goal is to guide a boy to his missing sister while trying to avoid the dangers of the forest. The main treat in this nightmare world is a titanic sized spider. To pass obstacles, trial and error are the key to learning about the problem at hand, so don't get offended when you keep dying. Me not being used to platforming elements it was a bit madding for me but I was still delighted at some..."wow that's clever"....for example in the opening stages of the game you have to stay far away from a spider's leg or else it will stab and kill you. However further on in the adventure you encounter another "spider leg" the first instinct is run away....however this spider leg is a mechanical fake and to get past it you have to walk towards it.

The art style and atmosphere is really where the game shines or rather gloom in a very good way.  The entire color palette is monochrome black and white with the characters appearing as silhouettes, plus there is no music, talking or much noise except things like branches breaking, footsteps....all of them adding to the horror nature of the game. There is no blood (good for people like me who are terrified of blood) but the gruesome factor is still very high. The previously mentioned titanic spider and a tribe of kids who defend their fort alias Lord of the Flies.

For those looking for a physiological horror without the blood I would suggest this game.



2/8/13

Tonight's Dinner - Egg Sauce from the Bad Piggies Cook Book

I thought the Angry Birds Official Cook Book was whacky but interesting when I first heard of it.....but me learning how to cook more dishes in my University days, I got it from the comic book store in Victoria. Well its a fun book with yummy easy to make recipes, ALL of them egg related. I already tried a few of them...egg butter, deviled egg. Tonight I tried out a new recipe. Egg sauce. I served it over Basmati rice and I fortified it with mixed veggies....then a lone carrot for the pleasing look. Its easy to make if you're an advanced level cook.
looks good enough to eat:):)

2/7/13

Animated Review - Decedents (short film)

One aniamted short night, I stumbled upon this beauty by accident..... Decedents directed by Heiko Scherm. Decedents is an animated short (not to be confused with the completely different movie)  revolving around two talking flowers....A bitter, elderly Red Flower perfectly voiced by Whoopi Goldberg who has seen happier days and a naive, and younger White Flower voiced by Christy Scott Cashmen. The short is CGI and has notes of both the beauty of the forest world  touched with the somber sadness of the fragile life of a flower.

The highlight of this film and the main motivation of the story is the interplay between the two views on life of the two flowers. The red flower who has experienced life more especially the bitter, sad parts, has become cynical of the deer (and life itself) that has stumbled into their forest thinking it is an evil and dangerous creature. The deer, by accident, stomped her entire family into the ground. In an interesting parallel, the Red Flower is beautiful herself but is a very poisonous variety. Despite the very bitter outlook on life she still shows some concern towards the naive white flower giving her stern warnings that the most beautiful things in the world like the sun or the deer are the most deadly. As for her actions in the climax....on one hand the Red Flower wanted her revenge and at the last moment when the White Flower is prepared to embrace the deer, tricks the deer into eating her. She can be with her lost family and at the same time her shown "enemy" is killed. However in another possibility,  she gave the chance for the White Flower to have decedents with the deer sort of....she would have known the deer's corpse would right beside the white flower, a rotting corpse can life giving for plants (the White Flower is standing in the exact same spot where the Red Flower's family died) and that the flies that constantly bug her is able to carry pollen.

The White Flower is almost the complete opposite of the Red Flower. She is younger, new to the world but has a gloomy outlook on the fragile life of a flower wondering is it even good to be a flower? She is very naive of the world seeing only the beauty of things with no thought of the consequences or negative aspects, the glow of the sun is one example and falling in love with the deer despite the real possibility she can be eaten. She is eager to learn about the world and because as a result of not realizing the downfalls of being a flower in dangerous world she has very positive and romantic ideas about how the world works and honestly believes she will get her wish and embrace the deer. After recovering from the shock of the climax, she seems to be peacefully at ease and  happy that she can finally hug her deer friend before passing out. She is most likely aware of her neighbor's action but she seems to more concerned with enjoying the moment rather then her friend's actions.

2/4/13

Art Piece- White Room Fever

Never done a piece on one of my creations in long time....so here I give a piece I drew to experiment with perspective, depth, shadow, and to see if I can really highlight the viciousness of my Thai character Krasue. Arranging her "appendages" are interesting. Had her attacking a fish instead of a body part since she is just vicious mischief maker not a killer. Krasue is greatly inspired by the floating head ghost stories abundant in South East Asia. A combination of watercolor, and pencil colour shading and ink was used. As you can see its water marked and signed with my real initials.



For your interest here is the link to her section of my cafepress store. --->Krasue's Section

2/2/13

Animated Reviews - Paperman

In the continuing saga of Oscar nominations...we have one of the entries up for Best Animated Short on the chopping block...from Disney Studios Paperman. Beautiful..I find this be a delightful flick where even the wind can have a mind of its own and in someways it can determine fate. The challenge and thrill with short films is how to pack a story into a short span of time.

The premise of this short is during the 1930-1940's era, a man meets a woman by chance and by pure luck again he sees her in the building across the street where he works and thinks maybe he could send a paper air plane mail to her from his building's window. However as fate would have it, no mater how many planes he flies all of them are destined to miss the window and he runs out of paper to use. He then takes a leap of fate, leaves his office and decides to "fly" to her himself. I am impressed with not only the voiceless characterization of the two main human characters  but also in the characterization of the wind itself as a persona. The wind can only be seen via the way the paper airplanes fly, for example with each paper airplane the man flies out the window the wind teases him by making the planes miss their mark at the last moment. However when the man takes a leap of fate out the door the wind magically whirls the planes into swarm. One swarm kind of aggressively pin/shoves the man while one lone plane leads the girl gentlely towards their fate....in each other arms.

On the artistic front....fitting in with the period the entire colour palette is monochrome shades black and white. Plus an interesting mix I noticed of what looks like subtle CGI application for subtle movements while at the same time a very oil pastel, hand crafted look that is also reminiscent of Disney's earlier 2-D works. This palette heightens the sense and mvoement of the wind and the white paper air planes it picks up. In addition the palette emphasizes the importance of the one coloured object in the film which is the air plane with the lipstick kiss...the audience knows this item is very important to the man. It's the only memento he has of the lady and in addition this plane is the lone one that leads the woman to the meeting.

I wish this short good luck at the Oscars. Here is the trailer for Paperman from Disney Animation's youtube channel.



Gamer's Review - Plants Vs Zombies Game of the Year Edition

There a zombie on your lawn....What I can say how this tower defense game is, its simple to learn and extremely addictive.
you arsenal at night...and mustaches

zen garden
Its quite simple you have to defend your suburban lawn from invading brain eating zombies armed with only a bunch of deadly but cute plants on your lawn. Each plant has different type of abilities  for example the peashooter will constantly shot peas at zombies in their lane while wall nuts have the most defense. As with any tower game...the playing field is divided up into lanes and you have to make sure each lane is well defended or esle a zombie will slip past you and eat your brains!!!! The zombies in question range from the normal minions, armored (aka cone headed and buckets) zombies to the rare zombie yetis. The types of
zombies ascend in difficulty and tactics with higher levels.....forcing you to get ready and arrange you plant army accordingly
mini game mode...tiny zombies!

To those who find the normal mode abit repetative or looking for any mode of play there are various different mini games including zombie aquarium, zen garden, and survival mode. I love the humor of it all.....i mean its cute little plants versus zombies who body parts pop off is they lose HP. Very cartoony and whacky off.with no blood....except the mention rotting body parts popping off.



And now a little something from the Plants Vs Zombies youtube channel.....HIT IT SUNFLOWER!!!