Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Walkthrough Totally Coming Soon!

Today, I went shopping for videogames, and I managed to find some good GameBoy games. It's a shame they're going to stop selling GameBoy games soon, because a lot of them are excellent. I think there are more GameBoy games I'd want to buy than Wii games.

Anyway, one of the games I bought was...Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion for the GBA. All right!

Doing video walkthroughs for GameBoy games is much easier than doing video walkthroughs for PC games. Without being too technical, I can record only about five minutes of a computer game at once, but I can record two hours of a GameBoy game at once.

So needless to say, it takes a lot less time for me to make a video walkthrough for a GameBoy game. I can actually sit and play the game all the way through without any interruptions!

I figure I'll play the game through once on my own, then I'll play it again and record it. Like I said, it shouldn't take too long, or at least, it'll take half the amount of time it took me to make a video walkthrough for the PC version. So expect to see that sometime soon!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Gift Talk

Thanksgiving is over, which means it's time to decide what to get people for Christmas. I've been saving up my $175 monthly stipend for a while, and I figure I'll spend $40-50 on my family members (mom, dad, sisters), and that's it.

There are random people who will get gifts, but those gifts will be things I'm getting rid of anyway. Shhh! Don't tell!

As for what I want this year...well, that's kind of tough to figure out, because nothing really good came out this year, probably because of the bad economy. Normally, there are three or so big new videogames that I can request, but the new videogames this season are kind of stink-o. Wii Sports Resort got a 4 out of 10 in my review for the game (which still hasn't been posted), Super Mario Bros. Bad Name requires getting extra remotes, and Zelda Rides a Train Instead of Saving the World is more of the cartoon Zelda, who I never liked.

So my wish list for videogames is basically Pajama Sam Wii (which came out two years ago), any Nancy Drew game, and Samantha Quick Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena. Basically, the entire $10 game cheapo aisle is my domain.

I still haven't thought up a "big" gift, but I'll probably go for something like DragonBall Z: Season Eight Box Set, which got me thinking about how much I don't like the end of Dragonball Z.

Instead of, I dunno, wrapping up the series and letting us know what happens to all of the characters, they had a filler episode. And I mean, a really bad filler episode—nothing even close to an interesting plot occurred (sample plot: Chi-chi dances). And all the characters had completely new clothes and hairdos, so it was pretty hard to figure out who was who. Not a good note to go out on at all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Royal Book of Oz

I've finally finished with The Royal Book of Oz, so everyone can now read it online and look at all the 90+ pretty pictures.

For those of you who don't know, L. Frank Baum wrote 14 Oz books. The Royal Book of Oz is the first Oz book that Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote in 1921, the year after he died. Ruth Plumly went on to write 17 more Oz books before retiring. I rather enjoy her Oz books, even though Baum's are much more popular. He was much better with plot and characters, but she was much better with language.

The rather odd plotline of this book is that the Scarecrow learns that he is the reincarnation of a Chinese Emperor (don't ask), and he has various adventures ruling Silver Island, including a foreign invasion, plotting princes, and his new buddy Happy Toko, whom he mistakenly calls Tappy Oko (Tappy Oko, tapioca, get it?). Meanwhile, Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion go searching for the lost Scarecrow, and they have various adventures, including a visit to Fix City, meeting a knight errant named Sir Hokes of Pokes, and fighting a giant made of candy. Eventually, the two groups meet, and they manage to go back home and live happily ever after.

It's not my favorite Oz book (Chinese Emperor? Seriously? The Scarecrow is a Chinese Emperor?), and I don't enjoy any of the poetry, but I suppose it's not half-bad. The pictures are really good, as Oz fans would expect from John R. Neill at this point. So all you Oz fans out there might want to check it out!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pug's Adventures

So here are the "Pug's Adventures" strips I made from November 30 - December 4, 2007. Don't forget, you can click on each strip to see the full-sized version!



You might notice that Abraham is in grayscale while everything else is black and white. Abe just doesn't look good in black and white, I'm afraid.





Fun fact: I copy/pasted the picture of Loreen from the first panel into the second panel.



And I copied the picture of Loreen again in this strip! I must have been pressed for time when I drew these.



I am proud that I came up with this pun all by myself.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Sister

I went with my sister to the San Jose Sharks game last night (that's hockey, for those of you who don't know), and the Sharks won 6-3. The ice must have been really bad, because people were slipping all over the place. At least five people slipped and fell on the ice, including the goalie. And while that's really funny to watch, it's something that shouldn't happen to professional ice skaters.

It was nice catching up with my sister, because we haven't seen each other since we both moved out of our parent's house. I'm back in school, and she's at work. Notice that she got a job after graduation, whereas I'm still on my college's Career Center email list.

My sister works two jobs, and one is for this tech company that has the semi-odd payroll scheme of paying her every twenty days (or something like that). She's been working for them for...six months, I think, and she recently discovered that the payroll scheme leaves out two or three days in between each twenty-day block. She brought this to the attention of the payroll department, and they had to pay her the $400 they owed her.

And last Wednesday, they fired her and replaced her with three unpaid interns. Because, clearly, they don't like paying employees.

...So now she's only working one job. Poor Sis.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Animation

Someone made a little animation of the "Message in a Haunted Mansion" scene from my walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion.



And of course, the ridiculous original version can be found here:



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Speaking of this game, I think I'll try to do the first video for the GBA version of the game sometime this weekend. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vlog #6

Okay, forget the last blog entry. Vlog #6 is up...RIGHT NOW!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vlog #Whatever

Vlog #6 (#7?) is all finished and stuff! It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys, or should I say, Mr. Monkey who makes his triumphant appearance in the video. I'll try to get it uploaded sometime this weekend, because that's when I have access to fast-ish Internet.

Like my other vlogs, I cut out a few things I talked about, including...

) The Hardy Boys PC game, which I have been asked not to play because it is bad.
) The public domain Nancy Drew movie that I might see someday. It's apparently a musical/mystery. You don't see a lot of those anymore!
) The video walkthroughs I made for another Youtube channel.

So that's something to look forward to this weekend!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Professor Layton Walkthrough Done!

My text walkthrough for Professor Layton and the Curious Village is now up, which is good news. It took me a few months to get it done, because it's 73 pages long.

...This is why I'm not pumped up about doing a walkthrough for Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.

IGN is supposed to have the videos as part of the walkthrough (like they did with my walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Sven Ships), because I uploaded them to their site, but I suppose they haven't processed them yet.

It's not a coincidence that I released the UK-only puzzles videos at the same time as finishing the text walkthrough; I was playing through the UK version of the game while writing the walkthrough.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why, It's Video Weekend!

This weekend is apparently video weekend! I filled two "Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy" requests in one video. This video has me calling Megan Vargas (which I forgot to do in my video walkthrough) and listening to Mel Corbalis play cello!



But that's not all! I also made three videos for Professor Layton, showing off the puzzles in the UK version of the game!








I also filmed Vlog #6, despite the fact that I did almost no planning ahead of time. I'll try to get that video finished sometime today. In the meantime, I got a good, semi-obvious idea. I have three or so games I want to play that come in parts.
  • Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes
  • Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion (GBA)
  • Treasure Mathstorm!

I should play the first part/case/mission of each game to show off what the game is like, then I'll let the Youtube viewers decide if they want to see me finish the game or play something else. Sounds like a plan to me!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Blog Post

Semi-bad news, everyone. I have to shave off my "No Shave November" beard from a group picture tomorrow. I guess that means I should make Vlog #6 and show off my beard.

Any suggestions for what you want to see in Vlog 6?

Also, new Professor Layton videos coming tomorrow! Pip pip cheerio!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Newsletter

Her Interactive posted a new newsletter which has an interview with one of their designers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Animation

So here's something that I've been wondering about for years...how is animation possible?

Animation basically involves different people drawing hundreds/thousands of identical pictures. If you've seen fanart or drawn pictures yourself, you'll know that it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to copy another person's art style exactly. I mean, seriously. I don't understand how different animators can work on the same project and have the characters all look the same.

But furthermore, I don't understand how the same person can draw hundreds of identical pictures. Here's a sample from "Pug's Adventures":












Did you notice how, even though I drew the characters every day for months, they look different every time I draw them? Even in the exact same strip, their appearances change slightly. If I can't draw my characters in identical poses twice in a row, I have no idea how animators can draw other people's characters in identical poses thousands of times in a row.

Of course, the explanation is that animation is possible because other people are good at drawing, and they can probably do that "sketching in pencil, then inking" thing that completely eludes me. But still. It seems like animation would be a near-impossible task.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shirley Temple and Doug

Due to an odd twist of fate, I am now the proud owner of a Youtube Channel that contains clips from various Shirley Temple movies and the 1990's Nickelodeon show Doug. Um...yay?

My favorite Shirley Temple song of the bunch is this one. If you're not careful, you can hear me sing it to myself randomly during the day:



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Also, I want to try out the "You Remind Me of a Man" comedy routine that Cary Grant does in 1:53 of this movie. You know, see if it works in real life.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

SCU Choir Concert

So, I went to Cora's Choir Concert yesterday, only she didn't sing in the choir. Actually, the choir only sang one song! The rest of the concert was music/singing from other people.

It was called the New Music Festival, and "new" is apparently a code word for "weird", because there was an opera about a dirty kitchen sink, and an opera based off a Craigslist ad. ?

The part I liked most was the first song, which reminded me of The Jungle Book. As for the choir's song, which was the reason I went to the event, it was about 2/3 good and 1/3 weird--there was a portion where they all started whispering instead of singing for some reason. It's the first time they performed the piece, so I figure all they have to do is cut out the weird stuff and they'll be good to go.

Unfortunately, the choir did their "singing in super-high notes so no one can understand the words" routine that they've done in other concerts I've attended. And I don't like that very much. When I'm going to see people sing, I want to be able to hear the words clearly, you know?

What they're singing: Day is ending, and it's darker now.
What I hear: AEOUAOHAOIUAHI!!!!!!

I think maybe I want them to sing in normal style, not opera style, just so I can sing along and pretend I'm in the choir, too. Grams and I used to do that every year on Christmas. It was fun.

Of course, I'm in the choir at St. Patrick's Seminary now, but I'm not the best choir member. I still don't know if I'm a soprano or a tenor or a melody or what. What I decided to do is learn whatever the two guys sitting next to me are singing. So for some songs, I sing melody, and other songs, I sing tenor. It just depends on who was sitting near me when we learned the songs.

I didn't bring Mr. Monkey to give to Cora because I was all dressed up, and I'd look pretty silly with a stuffed monkey sticking out of my suit. Maybe he'll be her Christmas present instead.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mr. Monkey

I'm going to see my friend Cora today. Last Sunday, I got a stuffed animal monkey for her as a birthday present, because I don't think she liked the present I gave her--a nice picture I drew.

Well, the monkey has been hanging from my lamp for the past week. I see it all the time now,and now it's "Mr. Monkey", not the monkey stuffed animal...and I kinda don't want to give it to Cora as a present anymore because I'll miss him.

The moral of the story? Michael isn't good at giving people presents.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

YouTube News

1) Youtube is apparently under fire from an army of robots that are intent on labelling every video as "zero stars". They have attacked the videos on my account and my other account (see #3).

I find it odd that the word "robots" is used to describe these events. I mean...are these just computer programs, or are these actual humanoid robots that are intent on hurting humans, just like in I Robot (and its sequels O Robot and U Robot)?

Now I'm worried about robots taking over the world. Why did scientists make robots aware of Youtube? That's just asking for trouble. They should have stuck with making nice robots like Miles the Magnificent Memory Machine in Nancy Drew: The Haunted Carousel.

2) My next Youtube video project is a three-part video covering the fifteen puzzles that appear only in the British version of Professor Layton. Funny spelling and accents ahoy!

Actually, the only character with a different accent in the British version is Luke, the little boy. All other voices are the same. British Luke sounds weird to me, but I'm told by British people that American-doing-a-British-accent Luke sounds weird to them.

3) For those of you who don't know, I also make video walkthroughs for GCDotNet. Unlike the Arglefumph channel where I play only E-rated adventure games, the walkthroughs I've done for GCDotNet are mostly for platformers like the Mega Man series and Duck Tales 2 for the NES.

I've also done some T-rated games like Deja Vu and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I've been wondering for a little while now if I should move a copy of the Phoenix Wright videos onto my Arglefumph channel.

Pros:
  • It's an adventure game, like all the other games on the arglefumph channel.
  • It's a mystery game, like most of the games on the arglefumph channel.
  • It's a very popular game.

Cons:
  • It's a murder mystery game. There is blood and violence, and it is rated T for Teen, whereas all the other videos on my channel are E-rated. It might not fit well with them.
  • A lot of little kids watch my videos, so they might accidentally see these videos designed for older gamers.


I've been going back and forth between deciding to and not to put the videos on my channel. What do you blog readers think? Here's Case One of Phoenix Wright, and here's the more interesting Case Two, which should give you an idea of what the game is like. Keep the videos on the other channel? Or bring them over to the Nancy Drew channel?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Three Things

1. It's November, which means it's mustache-growing month. For those of you who don't know, every November, guys grow mustaches and beards for charity and to raise awareness about various male-only diseases like prostate cancer. That sounds like a good cause to support, right?

Okay, to be honest, I'm just lazy and like the idea of not having to shave for a month. So, everybody, get used to seeing scary, bearded Michael this month!

I'd show some pictures of me with facial hair here, but I don't want to scare any small children who may be reading this blog. You'll have to settle for seeing my Halloween costume for last year, which I included in my walkthrough for the Pagemaster game (skip to 4:05). Appropriately enough, it was included in the "Horror" section of the game.



2. I think only about two people are interested in this bit of news: I finished work with Seneca's Octavia, a Latin play written somewhere around the end of the first century.

The copy of the play, complete with an apparatus criticus and a commentary that refers to other classical works can be found at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30345/30345-h/30345-h.htm

3. About three people have sent me emails, saying that the missing piece to the photograph of the man in Nancy Drew: White Wolf of Icicle Creek is inside the fishing hut, and you have to get it before the hut explodes.

I plan to see if this is the case...eventually. It'd require playing through the whole game again just to check that one thing, so I keep putting it off.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Book Signing

Today, I went to a book signing by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

Ridley Pearson writes a bunch of suspense/thriller books like Killer View, Killer Summer and...um...Killer Something Else. Dave used to write a weekly newspaper column where they forced him to do ridiculous things like join the US Synchronized Swimming Olympic Team for a day and write about it.

Recently, they've been writing a series of Peter Pan books which are pretty good, although I prefered their book Science Fair. That book was about some terrorists who wanted to take over the world (but ended up getting addicted to the Home Shopping Network instead).

The book signing started with them talking for about half an hour about the books and crazy things that happened to them, like the time they got locked up with Peter Pan in Disneyland for 15 minutes, or the time somebody brought a 20-foot snake to their book signing, wrapped the snake around the two of them, and then left. They were both really funny, and a good time was had by all.

Ridley wrote "Michael, enjoy the view!" in Killer View, which automatically earns him 20 awesomeness points.