Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Land of Oz - In Brief

My family had a Memorial Day get-together today, which was nice. I watched Sleeping Beauty with my little cousin Analise. She likes fairy tales, which is good, because I happen to know a couple of good ones, like The Princess Who Couldn't Laugh (and its sister story, The Princess Who Couldn't Cry).

I told her a bit from The Land of Oz (the second Oz book): the middle part where all the women in Oz decide they're sick and TIRED of being housewives, having to watch after kids and clean the house and cook meals all day long. So they join together and form an army to take over the country and put WOMEN in charge, because men have clearly messed things up.

Naturally, when the Scarecrow learns that the Emerald City is under attack, he sends the Royal Army of Oz to fight them.

...Only there's only one person in the army. This guy:



Yep, everybody's favorite character from the movie: The Guardian of the Gate. He tries to fight the army of women, but as you can guess, it doesn't work out so well. The only weapon he has to fight with is his gun, and he doesn't keep the gun loaded because he's afraid it might accidentally go off and hurt someone.

So what happens is that the women poke him with sewing needles a few times until he surrenders. That's how the women take over Oz, and the first thing they do is force the men to take care of the kids and do the cooking and cleaning. Within two days, all the men in the city are running around in aprons and crying about how impossibly hard being a housewife is.

There's a lot more to the book than that, but that's my favorite part. Eventually, what happens is that the heroes of the story escape from the city and go to Glinda, the Good Witch. Glinda tells them that the rightful ruler of Oz is Queen Ozma, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances ten years ago.

Our heroes find the long-lost Ozma, and she becomes Queen of Oz. The women agree to go back to taking care of their families, and the men have a newfound appreciation for their wives and all the work that they do. Basically, they all live happily ever after. The end.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Trail of the Twister...DEMO!

The demo for Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister has just been released! It's on the main page of the Her Interactive website! Just click on the screen to download the game.

I only played it for a little bit, but it seems good so far. I'm currently working on my super-long, top secret video walkthrough right now, and as soon as I reach the first stopping point (which is about fifteen videos in), I'll immediately switch gears and do a walkthrough for the demo.

Spoiler alert: Mr. Krolmeister himself is in the new Nancy Drew game. You can only get his voice mail message in the demo, but he sounds like a great character.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pug's Adventures - The End

This is the last week of Pug's Adventures strips that I drew when I was employed as a cartoonist for six months. My contract ended on December 26th, so it was like getting fired for Christmas.

There's an interesting variation of comics for this week. Puns, a visual joke, and a rather obscure ancient Greek joke that no one understood. It's sort of all over the board.













Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three Things

1. I had to shave my playoff beard because my team lost. Now I look ten years younger.

2. I recently got some new recording equipment which records at a larger size. It seems to be working okay, but I was surprised to find out that, at around 8:05 in this video, the equipment fails due to extreme levels of pinkness.



3. Yesterday was my first day doing deliveries for the outreach program. I met with three people who are retired, two of whom are over eighty. They were really happy to receive a visit and present from me.

I get the feeling they don't get many visitors who aren't directly related to them, so they were glad to have someone new to talk to. It was really nice to spend time with them, and if the other meetings this summer are like the ones yesterday, the summer is going to be awesome.

The other 26 or so people on my list don't answer when I call, so I can't arrange a time for me to meet with them. That kinda stinks. I don't want to call them during dinner time, because that's rude, so I think I'll try to call on the weekend.

Monday, May 24, 2010

San Francisco Photos

So here are some photos from San Francicso. My sister and I had an hour or so to wander around a random beach and take photos, because everyone else was too busy Irish coffees from the pub that invented them. Whenever someone who is drinking says they'll be "finished soon", you can be 100% sure they will not be finished soon.

You should be able to click on these photos to see them full-size, because we take awesome scenery photos.







I discretely try to see if there is any popcorn left inside the bag.







Alcatraz.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Photos

I'll have some photos here next week, because my sister and I took a load of pictures during a trip to San Francisco.

In the meantime, here's a photo from the Dave Barry book signing from last November.



That's me on the left, Ridley looking like a creepy murder mystery author in the middle, and Dave looking weird on the right. On the wall are a bunch of signatures from authors who have been there, like Rosemary Wells (creator of Max and Ruby, who drew a little picture of Ruby).

Going through all the photos is going to take me a long time, because there are a ton of photos of my sister.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Newsletter

The Nancy Drew folks have released a newsletter this month. We have pictures of new characters, and all sorts of release date information. Orders start on the first, and the game appears in stores on the 29th. Of course, if you pre-order, the game might come to you early by a week or two...

The rumors that the series will now be available for PC and Mac have just been confirmed, too. I don't have a Mac, so it doesn't affect me, but I know several Mac Users who are excited.

There's also a website for the upcoming game as well. I'll definitely have to check it out when I get the free time. I have to pack right now because I'm moving into my summer residence tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pajama Sam 2

I've just finished a video walkthrough for Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening. The game has all sorts of fun adventures, such as the Hippie Carrot going "undercover" by disguising himself as a snowman's nose, a supervillain named the Earthquaker who is dressed like a Quaker, and several bad weather puns, courtesy of me.



I liked doing this video walkthrough. It's not my favorite Pajama Sam game--really, I only like the first and third games--but it's still good fun.

Also, I understand my walkthrough for Case Two of the Miles Edgeworth game has been completed. That's the case where Edgeworth solves a murder on an airplane. An airplane with a full bar/lounge. And a shop. And a cargo hold which is about 30 feet tall. Maybe it's not the most realisitc airplane ever, but it's still a very dramatic case.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Job

I just got the details of my summer job worked out. On Friday, I'll be moving into a parish and living at the rectory. I'll be a basic, all-around worker, but my main job will be delivering crucifixes to parishoners. See, they people here bought a crucifix for every family in the parish, but a few hundred people didn't pick theirs up.

So I'm going to deliver crucifixes to over two hundred homes this summer. While doing this, I'll also try to solve the mystery of why two hundred families who used to go to weekly mass have stopped going. Did they move away without telling us? Did they become hippies? Have they decided they don't like organized religion, because disorganized religion is more their style? Or have they been disturbed by all the recent news reports about priest abuse scandals that took place 50 years ago? I dunno, but I'll try to find out, so we can help make things better. The church is supposed to serve the people, not the other way around, you know.

Also in the job sphere, IGN wants me to do a video walkthrough for Super Mario Galaxy 2, which has 240 different stars. It'll be a lot of work, but I'll get a free copy of the game out of it! So that'll be my other job for the summer. Looks like I'll be busy!

And of course, I'll play the new Nancy Drew game (Trail of the Twister) when it comes out on June 29th, for both PC and Mac. How exciting!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thoughts on the "Secrets Can Kill" Remake

Time has passed, and I've been able to think about the upcoming "Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill" remake.

It says the new game will be about 1 GB in size, which is the standard size they've used for Nancy Drew for a few years now. Just out of curiousity, I decided to see how large the original Secrets Can Kill game was.

Their page says 42 MB. Wow...I mean, obviously, the game is a bit bigger than that because most of the files are on the CD (whereas the modern games only use the CD for installation), but still. The new version is going to be loads bigger than the old one, which makes sense, because the old one is kind of short (if you know what to do ahead of time, you can speedrun it in less than 30 minutes).

I'll be interested to see if they try to duplicate the original game interface, or if they'll use the newer interface.

Actually, it'll be interesting to see if they'll still have the victim's VHS tape as one of the items in the game. Remember VHS tapes? Those things were fun.

I'm looking forward to calling Nancy's friends in this game. In the original, calling them was really optional, and kind of pointless. So I'm interested in seeing useful/interesting phone calls from them, because that's definitely something to improve on in a remake.

And some people pointed out that this could be the game with yearbook photos in it. That does sound like it could be the case. The release form said a game from 2010, instead of naming a specific game. However, if you remember, the contest accepted yearbook photos and artwork. Does this mean the artwork will appear in the game? Where? Off the top of my head, I can't think of any good spots for it, besides on one of the school walls. Will there be a new art room in the remake?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dance Fever with Majora's Mask

I managed to record some new Majora's Mask videos yesterday (the last four have live commentary, the first two have added commentary).

I've done a lot of things in this video walkthrough that I've liked so far, such as do several impersonations, get attacked by a puppy, and sing along with the music. But my new FAVORITE part of the video walkthrough is the dance video I made for the Rosa Sisters dance. It's at the very end of this video:



I kind of want to make a seperate video for that dance, so you don't have to wait seven minutes to see it. Thoughts?

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Also, yes, I had braces. Getting them removed doesn't hurt, compared to getting them put on.

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Edit: I did a separate video for the "Dancing Queen" song. This one is slightly longer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quick Blog Post

Will I post a picture of my weird beard? Nah, I shaved/trimmed it already so it doesn't look so silly. You can have my not very good yearbook photo instead:



...Bond. James Bond.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beard Fun

I went to an all-boys high school, so naturally, we talked about beards a lot. Everyone wanted to grow a beard, just to see what it was like.

In fact, our school held a yearly beard contest for the senior class. I am proud to say that I was the official winner of the mustache division. My mustache was so small that it could not be seen without the help of a magnifying glass, but it was still the best stache of 2004.

I grew a mustache because I have a hard time growing a beard. Normally, my beard grows in patches, and I look ridiculous because my left cheek is covered with hair, whereas my right cheek is a barren wasteland. Also, about fifteen percent of my beard hair is white for some reason.

Right now, I'm growing a playoff beard, and thanks to my team's stellar performance (we're in the semi-finals!), my beard has been growing long enough so that it is the fullest beard I have had in my life. You can't even notice the white hairs, because they are now camouflaged by real hairs.

My mustache is now growing to connect to my beard. Normally, the mustache grows down, along both sides of the mouth, where it connects with the beard (or if you don't have a beard, you twirl it to get a handlebar mustache). But for some reason, this is only happening on the left side of my mustache, not the right side. So only half of my mustache is connected to my beard, whereas the other half isn't. It looks kind of weird.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Walkthroughs!

I started vacation by going through a backlog of walkthroughs that needed writing.

For example, remember my video walkthrough for Nancy Drew Dossier: Lights, Camera, Curses!? I finished it in December? I finally finished the text walkthrough for it! It's right here, and it counts as my 99th guide for GameFAQs.

I also wrote two walkthroughs for Pajama Sam: one for the PC version and one for the Wii version. The Wii version is worse than the PC version because they cut out half the game, so I wrote the guide for the Wii version by cutting out most of my PC guide.

Speaking of walkthroughs, the GameCola Youtube page now has a Mega Man 3 walkthrough by me, new videos for the Miles Edgeworth walkthrough, and as requested for Vlog #6, a new video walkthrough starring me, Paul and Nathaniel.



It's a video walkthrough for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade! That's a very popular movie, and even though none of us have actually played the game, we still have commentary on it. You can find all the videos here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Summer

All right! School officially ended on Friday! That means it's officially summer vacation for me! I get a week or two off before starting my summer assignment.

Also, the San Jose Sharks made it to the semi-finals today. Good for them! We don't know who they're going to play, but I have a bad feeling it's going to be my father's favorite team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Things might get a little ugly at my house if that happens. As in, Dad is probably going to shave my playoff beard while I'm sleeping.

I don't know what I'm going to do with my vacation. There are several things on my to-do list, such as finish my 100th guide, edit 20 or so books, attempt to sort my comics collection, learn to play piano, translate a lot of Latin/Greek, write stories, read stories, and I should probably take the dog on a walk, too. Snickers needs his exercise, you know.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Secret Newsletter

The Nancy Drew folks released a secret newsletter today. What's the big secret?

...A previously-unannounced game is being released later this summer.

...And it's a remake of the lesser known, first Nancy Drew videogame: Secrets Can Kill.

I am officially super-excited. Super excited! A graphics upgrade with new puzzles (and not having to switch between CDs, either)? This sounds great! I always did like that game.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Three Things

1. To answer the question I was just asked, sometimes I do live commentary, and sometimes I record the commentary afterwards. For the Nancy Drew and other PC games, it's usually all live commentary.

I try to plan out jokes ahead of time, but that doesn't always work. Sometimes, I make a lot of mistakes, like pronouncing something incorrectly or telling the joke wrong, and then I have to reload the game and try recording again. This can happen over five times in a row, which is frustrating.

2. The vote on whether or not to let me continue studying here at the seminary for another year was recently held, and I passed 12 votes to 1. I wasn't there, so I don't know who voted against me, and I'm not interesting in finding it out, either.

3. And this week is finals week. I have finals in all five classes, as well as a ten page paper. Things will be busy for me...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Majora's Mask

As you might know, my latest video walkthrough project is The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, which is the sequel to Ocarina of Time. Both these games deal with different time travel theories.

Ocarina of Time has Link travel seven years to the future where the evil bad guy rules the world, sort of like in Back to the Future II.

Majora's Mask has Link travel back in time to keep redoing the same three days over and over again, sort of like in Groundhog Day.

I have the first eleven videos for Majora's Mask finished and edited; all I have to do is record the commentary. It's taking me a long time, because I'm trying to do interesting things, like imitations, song clips and semi-constant jokes. It's more work than live commentary, but also more fun, and so far, I think things have been going well.

The latest video is Video #5, which starts after the first three-day-cycle of the game. I start off the video with a ridiculous DBZ-style recap. I always loved those recaps, and I think I'll keep doing them periodically throughout the walkthrough.