A few weeks back I decided to download the demo for Scott Pilgim vs. The World for PS3. I used to love old arcade-style sidescrolling beat-em-ups and I was really psyched to play. After about five minutes I stopped playing and deleted the demo. The art style was quaint enough but the gameplay was horrid. It felt like you were moving in mud at all times, even when running. Saddened, I reflected that maybe my memories of the genre were suspect. I had read many positive reviews of the game and perhaps I had simply grown out of the genre.
I wasn’t quite ready to give up on the brawler though. Yesterday on a whim I decided to try the Castle Crashers demo. This was a game that didn’t really appeal to me at all but again the reviews were good and I still was riding a bit of nostalgia for the genre. Lexy and I sat down at around 2pm and I’m embarassed to say that 8 hours (and one purchase) later we had beaten the game. We couldn’t put it down. We gave up in the end only because our bodies were rebelling – our thumbs had been destroyed.
I’m relieved to discover that my memories of the genre are fine. They weren’t to blame for Scott Pilgim sucking – Scott Pilgrim was. Castle Crashers is about as much fun as I’ve had on a console in the past decade. It’s responsive, it’s got a fantastic pace, great style (and occasionally great humor, poop jokes aside) and some incredibly memorable boss fights. As soon as we finished we talked about how we were going to play through it again. We’ve made idle threats like this before but sure enough we were playing first thing this AM and only took a break for our neighbourhood BBQ. We now have 6 characters under development and if I had to wager there’ll be more coming.
I sincerely hope The Behemoth has a sequel or some DLC planned. I don’t think I’ve ever been so instantly enamoured with a franchise as I am with Castle Crashers.
I haven’t been posting here due to the fact that I’ve been extremely busy as of late. This is largely due to work which has had me on my toes for months now. Things on that front are mostly under control now however, which is a relief. Well, under control for at least a week or two at any rate…
We travelled to the US for a shopping trip a month ago and while we were there we decided to pick up an iPad. We opted for the 16gig wifi model (there were no 3G models in stock) and for the most part I’m incredibly happy with the device. The size feels just right, the weight isn’t too bad, and the responsiveness of the UI is great. It makes for a great casual laptop replacement for the most part although the lack of multitasking is a bit of a killer for me. IM (Adium) is one of the applications I use most on my laptop and not being able to do that while browsing is a serious pain. I can only hope that improves when OS 4 gets shipped for it in the fall.
Lost Marbles (a local toy store) is hosting a custom Munny show in August and I’ve entered into it. I have two Munnys on the go at the moment and I may start a third if time permits. I’ve been slacking on my Munny hobby as of late but I really hope this show (and associated deadline) can spur me into action.
As far as games go, I haven’t been playing many as of late. This can be partially attributed to how busy I’ve been but it has more to do with how few interesting games have been released lately. On a whim i decided to pick up Red Dead Redemption and it has kept my attention for a lot longer than I thought it would. I really don’t like Rockstar games very much but this one, despite its overwhelming Rockstariness, is really quite fun. It has generally allowed me to play without putting me into ethical situations I’d rather not play through (with one glaring exception in Mexico) which is usually how other Rockstar games lose me. Plus, OMG PONIES!!1!
Okay, so. Heavy Rain. Best game I’ve played in a really long time. In fact, if I had to sum it up, it’d be the game I’ve been hoping for … well, forever. I love murder mysteries, and I love puzzlers, and I got my fair share of both from it. I found the controls ideal for the experience they were trying to convey with the exception of the movement controls which could be somewhat frustrating (and reminiscent of Resident Evil <4).
That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s faults, however. First, right off the top, is the voice acting. The accents of the voice actors were not well disguised at all, and I found them incredibly distracting. Most of the main characters were okay but the secondary characters were really off. I suppose this is a very North American complaint and I bet a lot of Europeans feel the same way when North American developers butcher their accents.
Second, eh… there are plot elements that really bother me. I can’t really get into them in a lot of detail, but the biggest problem I have is the identity killer. I didn’t find the choice of killer made a lot of sense. There wasn’t nearly enough foreshadowing to allow you to figure him out earlier without a lot of leaps of logic. There were several places where they could have dropped clues to at least hint at their identity but instead it all came together rather fast. Beyond that, I just didn’t LIKE the choice of killer although I realize that’s an aesthetics choice.
I hope this game is a financial success so that we might see more experiments like it in the future. I would play nothing but games like this if I had the choice.
So, yah. This years bday was pretty bloody awesome. To start with, I got to open one of the gifts that my love wify got for me. I chose at random and I got… a large Munny! One of the 7″ models. Accessory wise it comes with a rabbit hat so I’m going to make this one for the wife. For years now she’s rabbit, and I’m owl so it’s only fitting. Then, shortly before noon there was a knock at the door – flower delivery from Lexy’s mom and partner!
After this we hurried off to art class where I finished off my first real portrait. I’ve done some simple watercolor portraits before but this was the first one with any real detail. It’s pastel on black board. I don’t think I got him exactly (there are sizing issues all over the place and his eyes are droopy), but I’m not entirely unhappy with the result either. I liked it enough to get it matted and framed right away. I THINK this is the first thing of mine I’ve ever felt strongly enough to preserve in some way.
Before leaving class, another surprise – more flowers! This time from Lexy herself!
After art class we came back to our place where I opened some more gifts and boy did I make off like a bandit. To start with, Lexy’s mom and partner got me a Rooz (a new style of Munny) that I promptly decided to turn into Pinhead from Hellraiser – it’s a work in progress already . From Lexy I got some new PJs, an awesome book on the theory and practice of stage magic, and an airbrush kit! The whole deal, three brushes, hoses, and an air compressor. I’m DYING to use this on some Munnys!
We then headed down town to our best friends house for a relaxing and chill evening. The plan was to order some authentic NS donairs from the only place in town that makes them but they actually found a recipe on line and made them from scratch! Man oh man were they ever good! They were perfect, awesome meat and the sauce was spot on. Soooo tasty! Then, we played some games, the winners of which were allowed to pop one balloon for the prize inside. Of course, the prize could be a head full of cold water as I was lucky enough to receive. Then? More presents! I was given some charcoal/sketching supplies and a huge pad of sketch paper so I can practice more portraits, a hand powered flashlight, and a pre-order of Heavy Rain for PS3! Finally, there was a delicious raspberry cake. Huzzah!
I’ve had a lot of great birthdays over the last few years but this one really takes the cake. Thanks guys!
Some friends of mine have a tradition of going to the local Rocky Horror Picture Show showing every Halloween. For Christmas, I decided to make Munny representations of the characters they go as.
Each model started off as a standard 4″ white Munny. To accomplish the 3D features I used Apoxie Sculpt (which I obtained from a local online taxidermy retailer). I had never used a modelling apoxy at this scale before and I was weary from my previous experiences at smaller scales but this stuff was an absolute dream to work with – I cannot recommend it highly enough. It was soft, pliable, and remained flexible for at least an hour. When dry, it was easily sanded and its adhesion to the Munny surface was superb.
After sculpting and sanding the dried apoxy I taped off the joints and sprayed each piece individually. There were unfortunate exceptions to this, however. Franks pearls and floorshow Janet’s boa required me to assemble the models prior to spraying.
When the basecoat was dry I painted each model by hand using Games Workshop acrylic paint. This worked well for the most part, but for the skin tones of the face it would have been preferable to use an airbrush – you can kind of see the brush marks on some of the models.
Two of the models (Frank and Columbia) had glitter applied to selected surfaces. I used Martha Stewart glitter and it really is an excellent glitter. If there is one flaw is that it’s TOO fine – it ends up getting everywhere and some of it managed to stick where I didn’t intend it to.
After I was done painting I spray sealed each model with a clear high gloss topcoat. Each model was coated 3 times for a fairly even finish. This also helped settle the glitter, which by this point had infused the entirety of our house. It has been almost a month since I glittered the models and I’m STILL finding the stuff in my hair.
Originally I had intended to encase each model in a glass bell jar. I had even found a supplier on ebay, but I ordered them too late – it didn’t look like they’d arrive until after I needed to give them. Out of desperation I ordered the bases and plaques from a local trophy shop at a very affordable price only to have the jars arrive just as I could have used them. Oh well, I’ll have them for the next Munnys
Overall it was a very fun experience. I definitely learned a lot and I look forward to making more Munnys in the future.
Some time ago Lexy asked me to download the Fat Princess demo. I objected for reasons I alluded to before but she really wanted to give it a try so I did. It sat forgotten for almost a month until the Christmas Eve when she decided to give it a try. She put about three hours into it and declared that she loved it and I can’t begrudge her that – it’s actually a really fun and well made little CTF game. She enjoyed it enough to buy it and has been playing every chance she gets. I can’t help but think, however, how much more I’d like it if it had some other mechanic at its base. The fat princess part of Fat Princess adds nothing to the game and only serves to alienate customers like myself.
A brief followup to the impression of the Polaroid PoGo printer I posted about earlier.
I put it to use on the project I mentioned earlier and it was absolutely perfect. We had it hardwired to a digital camera via USB rather than Bluetooth, and in this configuration we printed somewhere in the neighbourhood of 60 to 70 photos over the span of a couple hours. There were no jams, no degradation in quality, and the turnaround time for each photo was well within the range we could be happy with. I’ve never been a fan of consumer-grade printers – I think they’re one of the worst tech scams going. However, I am very happy with this printer.
A few days after the H1N1 vaccine was made available I made the trek and got it. I’ve got fairly severe asthma and was included on the priority list which I am grateful for. The shot hurt a lot more than a regular flu shot and made me incredibly hard to live with for a few days but I felt right as rain soon enough. Fast forward a month or so to Tuesday this week. I feel a bit sluggish all day at work and by the time I come home I feel a bit warm. Wednesday morning I wake up and it’s a full blown fever. I have some mild aches to accompany this, but nothing serious, but the fever is high enough that I figure I managed to get the flu afterall. The fever has lasted for three days now, peaking at just over 103F at its worst, but no other serious symptoms have materialized. I have a slightly sore throat and swollen tongue and a bit of pressure in my chest but nothing more. If this is H1N1, kudos to the vaccine for making the symptoms as manageable as they have been.
Having said that, please GO AWAY Mr. Flu. I have stuff to do!
Hi! My name is Kimberly Horne and I have absolutely nothing interesting to say. Unfortunately for you I DO have an overpowering need to tinker with technology which is explains the presence of this journal. I mostly talk about games (video and tabletop), technology, tattoos, and my pets.
If you're an Eclipse user you may find my Eclipse category more interesting.
Similarly, if you're an Arduino nerd then maybe my projects might be of interest.
Since I've discovered Twitter this journal has been neglected somewhat. If you really want to stalk me your best bet is to follow me on twitter.