Today’s newest gaming topic is yet another one that requires me to post a picture, so I shall. Right now, I am playing two games. Mainly, I’ve been working on Final Fantasy XII on the PS2, though I’m not currently able to take any screenshots of PS2 games. The other game is one I’ve been playing quite sporadically, Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii.
The latter game is one I’ve been recording for our United We Game Youtube channel, and not only is it clearly on a recordable console (I’ve actually been playing it on the Wii U, which is HD-compatible, a requirement of my capture card), but I already have some screenshots available that I’m using for thumbnails. And since I don’t want this post to be too terribly short, I’ll post a couple screenshots rather than just one. Prepare for a sneak peek at some future videos, exclusively for you guys. I hope you feel very special. Continue reading Day 15: A Screenshot of a Game You’re Playing Right Now→
Huff huff, I’ve finally done it. I’ve finished Rosalina’s dress! Fireworks and applause, everyone! It took absolutely forever, upon a bumpy path filled with trouble, but I prevailed, and now it’s time to tell you guys how I did it. First of all, I needed to find a pattern for her dress, and this turned out to be fairly simple. A search on the Internet told me that someone else had made the dress using Simplicity pattern 9891, which I bought for myself cheap on Amazon. Step 1 done. Several billion more to go. Give or take a couple billion. Continue reading Rosalina Cosplay: The Dress→
I’m finally nearing the completion on my Rosalina cosplay, though it is still not quite time to share my dress with you all, though I assure you, it is almost done. No, today, I will be sharing the frustration of making Rosalina’s shoes. When I looked at references, I either saw blue shoes or silver shoes on Rosie’s footsies, so I ended up looking all over for some blue ones, as I thought those would look the nicest. Strangely enough, no shoe store, or Goodwill, and not even Amazon, had any blue shoes that were similar in style to what I wanted. I finally just bought some decent white shoes that more or less fit me (I got flat shoes rather than high heels because you have to walk a lot at comicons, and I wanted to be comfortable). Continue reading Rosalina Cosplay: The Shoes→
With the extras largely completed for my Rosalina cosplay, it was time to finally begin work on the most frightening part, the dress. I did a lot of work on the main part of the dress, which will be covered in a later post, of course, but getting it to fit correctly grew tiresome, and I eventually decided to take a break and work on the white skirt that goes underneath. This was a fairly simple project, and I learned a very valuable skill in the process, how to sew on an invisible zipper. (They are not really invisible, by the way, in case you were curious. That would make sewing it impossible!)
I wanted to make my Rosalina costume a bit fancier than it is in the game, so I ended up using this white fabric with sequins and this flowery design that was done in white stitching. It looks quite fancy, and I hope the shine from the sequins will make people think of stars. I ended up using the bottom half of a certain pattern of the dress that looked the most symmetrical, and since the dress is six pieces, I thought it would be best to cut this piece out six times in order to make my skirt. Unfortunately, I ran out of fabric and only had space for five. This is why you always buy more fabric than you think you’ll need. When I talk about making the dress, you’ll see why this is so darn important…. Continue reading Rosalina Cosplay: The White Skirt→
At last, I have completed pretty much all the main accessories for my Rosalina cosplay. The wand is done, and so are the earrings, plus the Luma plushie. And not long ago, I just finished the crown. Now that project was a bit of a mess. The crown itself wasn’t so bad. The first thing I did was cut out some foam. I then noticed that Rosalina’s crown had a four-pointed star shape on each of the points of the crown. I planned on painting this black, but first, I wanted some texture. So I drew the shapes onto the foam with pencil, then I used the end of a pen to create a deep indent. (I used a pen because I had nothing thin enough that wouldn’t simply slice right through the foam. I thought an actual knife would be a bad idea, you know.) Continue reading Rosalina Cosplay: The Crown→
I have still been putting off making Rosalina’s actual dress for my third cosplay, as I prefer the smaller commitment and challenge offered by her accessories. With the wand and earrings done, I turned next to her crown and the Luma plushie I wanted to carry around. The crown will have to wait until a latter post, however, as I have run into some rather troubling trouble when it comes to making the round gems, as I apparently used the wrong materials for mold-making. Which I’ll get to in more detail in a post covering said topic. Nevertheless, as I experimented with various types of molds, I have not been idle. No, I have, in fact, been working on my first ever plushie. Continue reading Rosalina Cosplay: Luma Plushie→
I’ve been hard at work on my third cosplay, and the next thing I completed was Rosalina’s star-shaped earrings. This was a rather difficult shape to make, so I first began practicing with paper. I found that I could cut out a four-pointed star, with some carefully-placed folds, for each side of each earring. I then ended up cutting out this shape four times out of foam, two for each earring. I quickly found, however, that the foam didn’t fold very well. It was just too thick, and if I folded it, it would merely flatten out again after a few seconds. Nay, that simply wouldn’t do, as I needed a 3D shape, not a goofy flat one. Nay, indeed! Continue reading Rosalina Cosplay: The Earrings→
How do, everyone? Not too long ago, I went down to my local fabric store and bought the main supplies I would need for my third cosplay, Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy. I wanted to make a fancier version of her dress, so I bought lace to go around the end of her sleeves and a fancier material for the white skirt beneath her dress, with sequins I hope will shine like the stars she watches over. It really is quite lovely and should really add to the costume. I also bought the material and stuffing needed to make a Luma plushie, silver paint, and some clay, which I heard works well as molds for resin. This costume will require about five round jewels, and I decided clay would be easier to work with than making round molds from tag board. Continue reading Rosalina Cosplay: The Wand→
United We Game’s February community posts continue, with today being the day the Duck will present you all with my entry on the topic of levels in the “Mario” series. Gamer or not, pretty much everyone’s heard of Mario, and there’s a reason this squat plumber is so popular even after people have been playing his games for over three decades. Because the games have something in them for everyone. They have good, old platforming goodness through a wide variety of environments, an innocent charm that people of all ages can enjoy, challenge (and boy, can they be challenging), not to mention princesses to save and big Koopa Kings to toss. There are so many “Mario” levels out there, and yet they still manage to find ways to do something new with each one and make them stand out from the rest. So I decided for my post that I would list my top five “Mario” levels, and to make it fair, I am going to list my top level from each of my five main “Mario” games in order from least favorite to top favorite. The games I considered for this post span 1991-2010, “Super Mario World”, “Super Mario 64”, “Super Mario Sunshine”, and the two “Super Mario Galaxy” games.
5. Okay, this first one is not strictly my favorite level from a particular game. I chose it more because I have some good memories associated with this level that I can’t really claim to have with the others. This level is Stand Tall on the 4 Pillars, which is found in Shifting Sand Land from “Super Mario 64”. In this level, you go into the pyramid and fight the boss, called the Eyerock (consisting of two hands with an eye on each palm, a surprisingly common boss in games), for a star. As I hinted at before, the level itself is not that exciting, but the last time I played this game was the very first time in about 10 years of owning it that I finally got 100%. And this particular playthrough consisted of my very first time through this level. Ever. So, for one thing, getting to play an entirely new level in a game I had been trying to beat for a decade was pretty exciting, which is one cause for my fond memories of it. The other reason is what took place while I was playing it.
I remember I was relaxing in my most comfortable chair one afternoon playing this game. It was quite a peaceful time, and for some inexplicable reason, my cat, Alex, decided to jump onto the chair with me, which he had never done before and never did ever again. The chair was much too small for the two of us, so he had to settle with largely laying on my lap, making it that much more fun to play the game. And this happened to be during this very level, which was also a surprise, considering it was my first time through it and my first time ever seeing this boss. And so I will forever have pleasant memories of playing this level one lazy afternoon with a comfy chair and a cat on my lap.
Video from Youtube user: MrGamingZone
4. My next favorite level comes from “Super Mario Galaxy”. This level, despite not being a fan of the fiendish creature called the bee one bit, is Bee Mario Takes Flight, a level in the HoneyHive Galaxy. And I just love it, for many reasons. To start, it’s just such a cute level. It’s so bright and colorful, with cute, cheery music. And then there’s the bees. Not just Bee Mario, but the regular bees in the level. While most bees are terrifying and evil, these bees are just so darn adorable! I’m not kidding you! They are so cute! They are plump and fluffy, and they make adorable sounds when you go up to them. Honestly, it’s mainly the adorable bees that make me love this level, not just Bee Mario, even though he can be pretty useful, the way he can fly and climb around on certain surfaces. But, I guess in the end, it’s really the adorable bees that make this level great. This level and the bees that populate it are the bee’s knees.
Video from Youtube user: Overhazard
3. My next favorite level kind of bends the rules a bit. This one comes from “Super Mario Galaxy 2”, and my favorite level from this game is, without a doubt, Return of the Whomp King from the Throwback Galaxy. I’m kind of cheating here because, oh, my gosh, this is actually a level from “Super Mario 64”! A bit ironic, as I honestly was not a huge fan of “Super Mario 64” (it was so darn hard, and that’s why it took me a decade or so to beat!), but this level was just so great because of the pure nostalgia. This level is a replica of the second world from “Super Mario 64”, complete with the same delightful music and everything. And it makes me happy because it was a world I actually liked from “Super Mario 64” (because, unlike most of the game, it was much easier). Then, you get to fight some Whomps. I like Whomps. They look goofy. (Even though we all know Thwomps are better.)
Video from Youtube user: omegaevolution
2. My second favorite level comes from “Super Mario World”, the Donut Ghost House. I always liked the ghost houses. They were creepy, with the spooky music and the dark interiors, not to mention all the ghosts (the big ones were so freaky!), and they were confusing, with all the doors and the strange order in which you had to go through them in order to escape, but that was what made them fun. And I just love those old-fashioned Boos. Adorable. Except the ones that follow you when you look away. That’s rather scary. And so, since these levels were my favorites from the game, I just chose this one because it’s the first and because it’s the easiest. Easy is good.
Video from Youtube user: BURTTtv
1. And my favorite “Mario” level, as you’d expect, comes from my favorite “Mario” game, “Super Mario Sunshine”, despite this one being the most different, but maybe that’s why I liked it. I love this game, and I always loved Noki Bay most of all, a rather beautiful place with peaceful music and towering cliffs (which are, oh, so fun to climb), and I actually found the water to be even prettier when it was purple and polluted. This level was so lovely and had such fun platforming that I always loved visiting it. And as odd as it is, my favorite level in this place was Eely-Mouth’s Dentist, where you go underwater and clean the teeth of this giant eel. The boss music in this game is quite awesome and epic (even when you’re playing dentist), and I just found it so darn satisfying cleaning up all those filthy teeth (except it was gross when some of them came out). Maybe I’m a weirdo for getting such a rush from cleaning eel teeth, but I did, and that’s why I found this level to be awesome.
Today I present you all with another awesome UWG community post on “Mario” levels, this time written by Derek of Gamer Crash!
My childhood was dominated by Nintendo, it’s fearless red plumber and his crew. My first exposure to the world of video games came when I was very young with the Nintendo Entertainment System and of course, Super Mario Bros. It’s safe to say, I was hooked for life after pushing the jump button on the controller for the very first time. I’ve gone on countless adventures with Mario from his 8 bit days, all the way to modern times so there’s a lot of material to draw from when thinking about what aspects of a franchise you love. Have you ever stopped to think about why the Mario franchise continues to be a force after all these years?
As any person who is invested in games can tell you, the levels themselves are what make these platformer games great. I mean, think about it for a moment. Pretty much 100% of your time is spent running and jumping through them so if the levels are boring or poorly made, the game as a whole will suffer. That’s the key to understanding why Mario is consistently great. It’s the level design that shines through.
The tricky part then becomes trying to narrow down a gigantic list of Mario levels into just a handful of favorites. It’s almost like trying to pick a favorite child, pretty much impossible. So instead, I’m going to look back at some incredible innovations and trends that Mario has started by highlighting some of his bigger moments and legacy. The really interesting aspect here is that for decades, Mario has led the platforming charge. Typically, Mario innovates and others work to catch up.
Lets begin with the original Nintendo Entertainment System and the iconic title, Super Mario Bros. I think we can all agree that prior to this landmark title, the platform genre was incredibly different from what we know. Just booting up the game for the first time, you’re pretty much sent right along without any real instruction. Instinctively, you just know to run to the right and avoid enemies. As the NES ventured on we were also given Super Mario Bros 2 and 3 both of which were extremely different from one another in terms of gameplay and graphics. Each game added additional elements such as new power ups, new enemies, and more diverse bosses. For me, Super Mario Bros 3 still stands as one of the best platformers ever made. Running through those airships and defeating the boss characters for the first time was exhilarating and extremely exciting. I don’t think I’ll ever look at the sun the same way after the second world’s desert and that stupid grinning sun trying to side swipe you.
The Super Nintendo was next and with it came Super Mario World and it’s sequel Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Yoshi’s Island to this day remains in my top 5 games I’ve played, ever. While Super Mario World really opened the door in terms of advancing the genre with it’s colorful graphics, tight controls, and engaging worlds, Yoshi’s Island took things a step further with a superior presentation on top of already addicting platforming. For one, the game looks like it was made from crayons and felt pens, giving it a unique and memorable look. What’s interesting in this game is that Mario is no longer the star as he’s pretty much rendered helpless as a baby being transported by a horde of Yoshis. As such, the controls are a bit different with Yoshi’s being able to shoot eggs and flutter jump. I can remember bosses in this game being supersized versions of more traditional creatures such as Raphael the Raven. The objective here was to run around on a rotating sphere and ground pound these pegs so they’d hit Raphael on the other side. It was as unique and different a boss battle as I’ve experienced in a platformer. It’s also the first gameplay moment that comes to mind when I’m thinking about Yoshi’s Island.
If you want innovation, look no further than Super Mario 64. It’s amazing to think where we’d be without this title. Mario 64 pretty much kicked off the 3D platformer generation, as other titles worked to try and capture that magic which Mario had unlocked on the Nintendo 64. Seriously, without this game where would Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Bajo-Kazooie, Rayman and others have gone in this era? It’s a hard thing to imagine. Using Princess Peach’s castle as a hub world, collecting starts to unlock new sections, and jumping into and out of paintings to access new levels was pretty much genius. Obviously, Bob-omb’s Battlefield, the first “level” you’re given access to, stands out because it really marks the first time you’re allowed to experience Mario in a 3D world. I can still remember grabbing the wings which let you fly around the level. For a person growing up in the 2D space with Mario, this moment really blew me away. The genre of “platformer” really evolved after this title.
I’m going to jump ahead next right to the Nintendo Wii as Nintendo delivered one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever played when they released the Super Mario Galaxy games. As usual, Nintendo used Mario to once again push the boundries on what people though were possible with platformers. The twist with “Galaxy” is that Mario is now in space and could visit all of these different galaxies each with their own unique themes. Some were more traditional platform style worlds while others could have Mario running around on a true 3 dimensional shapes. Better yet, Galaxy tapped into a completely new physics system which allowed each celestial object to have it’s own gravitational force letting the player walk sideways, on the ceiling, or run completely around the object. The Honey-Hive Galaxy still stands out not only for the introduction of the bee suit, but because it was the first galaxy to really remind me of a traditional 3D Mario world in this title. It was a nice break from all the planet hoping at that time.
To me, Mario remains timeless because of the thoughtfulness put into each one of his levels. If you’re someone who has played at least one Mario game in your life, I’m sure you can pick out one or two levels that really stuck with you. That’s some incredible magic and a rare quality that Nintendo is able to tap into game after game. Mario has given us some amazing adventures and memories through the years and here’s to many more to come!