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Ah, back to the 30-day video game topics.  Despite the obvious implication that this is only supposed to span the course of roughly a month, these posts have been taking me years to get through.  Well, better get back to it.  Right now, we’re only on day 13.  The topic: a game I’ve played more than five times.  There are a lot of games I could name right now that I’ve played far more times than is sane, but the one I’ve chosen to discuss is Donkey Kong Country 2.  By now, many of you are probably more than familiar with the fact that I love this game.  Even more of you are probably just familiar with this game due to your own experiences with it and don’t need any explanation for why it’s such a great game.  So I’m not getting into that.  The game was released in 1995, for crying out loud!  That was 21 years ago!  Wow, has it really been that long…?

All right, so, instead of telling you guys what this game is all about, why don’t I tell you about five of my most memorable experiences with this amazing game?  The first time I really got into playing Super Nintendo games was when my parents had the SNES connected to a TV in the basement.  Being out of the way, it made it so much easier to play these games to my heart’s content, unlike the poor Nintendo 64, which was in the living room.  (You see, the coaxial cable part of the basement TV was okay, so the SNES worked just fine on it.  But the composite…thingies on that TV stopped working, so our N64 only got sound and no picture.  That’s why we got a new TV to connect the N64 to, along with all our other newer devices at the time, while the other TV, along with the SNES, got moved into the basement.)  We already had about 20 SNES games, and some of my best memories from my ducklinghood involved me spending hours in the basement trying out a whole bunch of games I had never played before. View full article »

Lions and Tigers and Leopards…Kitten-Style

You may already know this based on past posts on the subject, but I really enjoy visiting the zoo.  I love animals, plus you never know what you’ll discover, and every once in a while I see something that is worth writing about.  During my recent visit, one of the things that I remember particularly well was a great horned owl that kept hooting.  I assume the same is the case for most people, but I don’t know if I have ever heard an owl before in my life, so getting to stand ten feet from a hooting owl was a pretty cool thing indeed.  I also got to see the zoo’s new badgers, which was quite interesting, as well.  I had never seen a badger before, either (which is probably fortunate, considering their reputation), so that was one more thing to add to my list of new experiences that day. View full article »

Coming in Three Days

Hey everyone, I’m interrupting my usually scheduled blog posts to present a trailer video I made for an upcoming gameplay series starting this Wednesday, November 23, on our United We Game Youtube channel.  It’s a very special game that is very dear to my heart, and I can only hope a good number of people decide to join me in this adventure!  And please excuse my video editing skills.  I’m still learning! View full article »

Foxy Cosplay: The Lower Legs

After spending countless hours trimming upholstery foam and sewing fabric onto, well, large pieces of upholstery foam, I was quite relieved when I got to work on something a bit different.  It was time to create Foxy’s lower legs, which are quite different from his upper legs, mind you, for while his upper legs appear as dark brown pants, his lower legs seem to be missing, revealing the metal endoskeleton underneath.  (And not a delicious, caramel filling, as one would expect.)  As a result, this part of our dear, piratical fox’s legs needed to be much thinner than his upper legs.  The best material for the job?  Craft foam.  Plain, simple craft foam, oh how I missed you.

To give the appearance of a simple metal rod, as I would expect the legs of his endoskeleton to essentially be, the craft foam I cut out for his lower legs are not form-fitting, but rather just a tube of craft foam the circumference of the thickest part of my lower legs.  I seem to have rather chubby legs, though, as these tubes are not as thin as I would have liked.  Hmm.  Anyway, the lower legs needed to be closed off with Velcro, so I hot glued the edge of a piece of craft foam underneath one edge of the main piece of foam and hot glued Velcro onto it.  This way, the edges of the leg should be able to meet up smoothly, as opposed to placing Velcro directly on the leg and making the edges overlap.  The Velcro’s counterpart was attached to the underside of the leg’s other edge.  While I hot glued this Velcro on, it seemed as if it could be peeled off without tons of effort (I wonder if using sticky-backed Velcro was unwise, as this may have interfered with the hot glue’s bonding abilities), so to ensure everything was as secure as possible, I also sewed the Velcro in place.  There should be no way it can come off now. View full article »

There are some gamers who openly admit that they have no desire to play older games because they prefer the more advanced, better looking games of today.  There are others who say that gameplay is the only thing that matters, so if a game is good, no matter how old it is, they will play it.  I am usually in the latter category, but over the past year, I have realized that I, too, have a limit for how far back into the past I can go and still enjoy gaming.  I think every gamer has this limit.  Mine is the SNES, with a few exceptions.

You see, I once believed that I could play any game, despite its age, and enjoy it as long as it was a good game.  I had plenty of SNES games I loved, and one day, I thought I’d travel just a little farther back in time and download a few Virtual Console games for the NES.  These games were the original Legend of Zelda and Metroid games.  Being classic games that marked the beginning of two amazing franchises, surely I couldn’t go wrong.  Right?

Wrong. View full article »

Foxy Cosplay: The Upper Legs

Now that Foxy’s waist is done, it’s time I finally got around to making his legs.  Foxy’s upper legs are comprised of brown pants, while his lower legs are merely metal endoskeleton.  I currently have a plan to ensure that his lower legs are much thinner than his upper legs, to give the illusion of a thin, metal endoskeleton showing beneath what’s left of Foxy’s bulkier, decaying body.  I won’t know if this works until later, but for now, I started off with Foxy’s upper legs. View full article »

In the recent past, I published a little article showcasing the first five rooms of the large Fairmont Victorian dollhouse my mom and I had decorated.  Well, guess what, it is now time to cover the last five rooms!  We have already gone over some essential locations, such as the living room and dining room, ending at the guest room on the third floor.  What delightful miniature rooms lay beyond?  Read on, and you shall know. View full article »

You may or may not have read a post about a Marx tin dollhouse we decorated recently.  Well, during another visit to the antique store, we ran into another dollhouse we simply couldn’t pass up.  (To be honest, it ran into us, not the other way around.  Dollhouses are infamous for not looking where they’re going.)  This one was huge, about four feet tall, with ten rooms, a charming weathervane, and it was painted to look like a Victorian house.  Plus, it had doors, so we could keep it closed to protect it from our dastardly kitty, Elsa.  Surprisingly enough, it was about the same price as the smaller dollhouse.  After some careful consideration as to whether or not we should take on a second dollhouse, we decided to go for it.  This one was bigger than the previous dollhouse, plus it would give us a lot more freedom to be creative, so it looked like a fun challenge.  The weathervane broke off on the way home, but a little bit of super glue was enough to fix it right up.  It’s settled.  I’m obviously great at carpentry.

Like last time, we really wanted to learn about our new dollhouse, so we got to work researching it.  Finding any information about this particular dollhouse, however, proved most difficult indeed.  The tag at the store had said that this was a “Fairmont” dollhouse, and on the back of the dollhouse, it said that it was part of the Victorian Ladies Collection, painted by Domestications.  Strangely enough, looking up these search terms online found us next to nothing.  It was not until another dollhouse of a similar style was sold at the antique store a couple months later that we were able to find out a bit more.  This one was tan and a bit larger, with more doors to open and rooms with bay windows.  It also came with a certificate that called this model “Mission Hill”.  Hmm, all right, let’s check it out. View full article »

Some time ago, my parents had put together a wooden dollhouse that failed to survive the move across the country that followed.  For many years, my mom wanted a dollhouse to decorate again, but seeing as you usually had to build them yourself, we never really wanted to commit to such a big job.  Several months ago, however, my mom and I were exploring an antique store just for the good, old fun of it.  Little did we know at the time that these places are great for finding dollhouses and dollhouse furniture that are already put together.  And what did we find during this particular outing?  Why, a tin dollhouse, already assembled.  The price wasn’t bad, so after some thought, we brought it home.

The first thing we did was research our dollhouse on the Internet.  It turns out we had found a Marx tin dollhouse from the 1950’s, one of its unique features being that the walls and floors are already decorated.  It’s also very important to find out the scale of one’s dollhouse so you know what size furniture to buy for it.  This one is 1:24 scale.  If you are considering buying a dollhouse, keep in mind that 1:12 scale is much easier to find furniture for.  You will have many more options with this scale, though 1:24 is cuter because, well, it’s smaller. View full article »

Foxy Cosplay: The Waist

Hey there, I’m still working my way through my Foxy the pirate cosplay, and now it’s time for the body.  Though I got substantial work done on his torso recently, I actually completed his waist first, so that shall be the next piece to cover.  To start, I like beginning with simple shapes when possible to make my work easier.  Foxy’s waist began as a rectangle, upon which I drew, well, a bikini bottom pattern which I found online two times, side by side.  Cutting this out, I folded it in half and attached the bottom area with spray glue.  That created one leg hole and an open area to make it easier to put on, which I intended to close off with Velcro or some such thing.

After that, I worked on trimming the foam so that it would fit me better.  The main thing involved shaping the leg holes, which is rather difficult to explain, but I basically drew on the foam with marker where it was tight on my legs.  Then I would cut off this part of the foam, try it on again, and repeat the process.  Slowly, I would trim and trim until the waist fit quite nicely.  After eventually enclosing Foxy’s torso (which will be covered in another post once it has been completed), I was able to wear the torso and the waist together and trim the waist down where it went too high and interfered with the torso.  I also accidentally cut the waist to the point that it was too tight, so I sewed some foam back on to make it larger again.  Woops. View full article »