Sunday, February 9, 2020

Kuball Net: Lost(?) Japanese Doujin game

Once upon a time, it was December 2018 and I was watching some Sunday Night Vinesauce, typically containing corruptions and/or grab bags of different games, some well known (like the nineteenth-millionth Super Mario 64 corruption or the thousandth Banjo-Kazooie opening sequence but messed up) and some obscure (late 90's early 2000's PC games, prototype collections, and "failed mascots"). This time the theme was Japanese indie games, aka doujin soft games typically sold through a convention held twice a year known as the Comic Market, or Comiket.

Now as you are are likely to know I'm no stranger to doujin games. A little around twelve years ago I discovered a little game known as Rosenkreuzstilette and... let's just say my relationship with said game was kind of complicated and while I gave the sequel released some time later a fair chance and will admit it's good, it was kind of disappointing with how very little the game took the Mega Man formula and twisted it into something new and fresh. But that's a story for another day and I would absolutely not like to alienate the RKS fandom as my younger, less controlled freshman at high school self did all those years back.

Anyways back to the topic on hand. This is Kuball Net (クゥるぼ~る), a doujin soft game from 2003, developed by Studio Til. Like RKS, it was sold at Comiket for a few years with a trial version available for download online which contained a limited roster of characters and stages, (three each) Unlike RKS, the full version was never re-released in digital format and the current website of the studio makes no mention of Kuball Net. There are footage and screens of the full version and you can get a partial archive of the old site, but a download or other means to acquire the full game is practically nonexistent. It's a similar situation to a number of shareware games from the DOS era that never had their registered versions uploaded online or put up on digital storefronts. I'd even say Aquanoid, one of my personal favorites, was subject to this.

So I've told you this game is not easily accessible without getting into detail on what kind of game it exactly is. Well it's a sorts game of sorts where you play as one of several female characters, grab little fuzzy creatures known as Ku, and throw them into your goal to score while throwing barrels and  using special attacks on your opponent to disrupt them and throw evil black Ku into their goal to lower their score. If one side stashes up too many Ku, the referee, the small siren girl Lou, pops out of one of the goals and runs around the arena. If stunned and thrown back into a goal, whichever side Lou was thrown into will be at a huge disadvantage.

The three characters of the demo include:

Fal, the cute and sweet (according to her oversized eyes and blush stickers) girl with long blue hair,
Tiara, the pink-haired lady with a fiery passion,
and Diva, who quickly grew to be my favorite of the three girls if you know my love for tough characters.

Among them included the likes of cat girls Mia and Rin, the athletic long-haired Ayane, and the kind of nerdy(?) Yukari. Two other characters, Iris and G Yukarin, got introduced afterwards, bumping up the roster to nine, as shown in this pic below.

(from left to right: G Yukarin, Rin, Tiara, Ayane, Fal, Mia, Yukari, Diva, Iris)

This game isn't exactly on my high-priority list of games to own and I'm sure if I did get it, not much would change except having to swap out the demo version that's been on my Windows 2000 since last year with the full release version (and possibly being able to post more assets of the game online onto the Spriters' Resource for archival purposes, plus if I ever decide to maybe do a full on remake with more characters/stages and a new "arrange mode").

That's all for now.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Karted Out

For pretty much the entirety of 2019, I was a frequent contributor to the game "Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart", an extensive mod of Sonic Robo Blast 2 that I've mentioned years ago on this blog (and I mean years ago). How did I contribute? Well, I crafted a good haul of custom racers featuring both well known and obscure characters, some of which were created for special collaboration packs. However, with my latest creation taking me literal months to complete (though that can be attributed to it being a quad character update) with progress running through several conventions in the latter half of 2019, I thought I'd take a break from doing more racers for the time being. And even when I tried to work on more racers when saw break was "up", I started having trouble keeping focused on one thing and not zoning out.

So what's happening? Well I figured it'd have to happen at some point but I'm going to be taking a hiatus from working on racers for the time being. I might squeeze some progress out once in a while but my priorities are elsewhere. To make a long story short I'll give you guys a brief summary on why this may be the best course of action:

  • Burnout. Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart character creation became the biggest priority of the year alongside sprite-ripping, and it became so frequent that I even had to call for a break from doing sprite sheets just so I could focus on SRB2Kart, and even after finishing up all my racers for the year, I still don't feel the audacity to resume ripping sprites. Pretty much every day I was doing one or the other and it was honestly getting less fun as I went, trying to shift back and fourth from project to project. And that's not even getting into the lesser racers that I worked on outside of the SJBCP.
  • Some physical condition crap. Since August of last year some things began popping up regarding my arms/shoulders as well as my neck, in addition to allergy and sinus problems. And since conventions are going to be starting up soon for me once again (and by soon I mean in early May) I need to try and prep myself and my form when the time comes.
  • Artwork. While I haven't started on anything major yet, there may be a point this year when I decide to whip out my art programs and make some art. Some of it will be available to the public, others may very well only be for a limited audience (and if you've seen my past project you'll likely know why). But my point stands that art still takes a while to do and I'd like to try and get some art worked on over the year if the problems under "Some Physical Condition crap" lessen up and I don't feel as terrible.
  • Custom levels in games. I'm part of the team for a friend's Pac-Man project and I've become the team's main level designer (so yeah I did manage to get into working on a Pac-Man related project after all) and I've been considering picking up my Mari0 map pack again and working on it some more since I kind of neglected it for most of last year (but that can mostly be attributed to newer Photoshop being slightly harder to make retro backgrounds on since I haven't figured out how to make the transparent background a 16x16 tiled pattern when zoomed in). There's also Otaku-Ball, but as I've had no contact from Mr. Block for quite a while, that project is pretty much on hiatus too.
  • Binging games. Oh yeah I play games too. Sonic Robo Blast 2 had a proper update, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is still having monthly "Grand Prix" events, I'm still collecting and strengthening Pokemon in Sword and Shield, and I recently got back into OpenRCT2.
  • Kart's 2.0 update still MIA. Since Kart hasn't had a major update in quite some time while the newer 2.0 build is worked on, it's also been a sort of contribution to the lack of motivation to work a good deal on more racers.
The SJBCP is currently at 25 racers, with some racers planned for a big overhaul of sorts as part of a "tuning update" to prep the pack for Kart 2.0. When I get motivation to work on more racers, the tuning update will be done alongside new racers, to the point where one update might be a new racer + a major tuning update or a new racer plus several minor tuning updates. These will tweak and fix colors and several other errors to update everyone up to current standards.

As for future racers...
  • Sunset Overdriver (9 speed 6 weight) and Springman (6 speed 5 weight) will likely be the next two racers to join the pack, in that order. Along with or sometime after Springman, Dr. Dude (9 speed 8 weight) will be worked on.
  • "MGS2" Solid Snake (2 speed 9 weight) and "MGR" Riden (9 speed 7 weight) from the Metal Gear Solid series will follow in the stead of the two/three racers. Snake will differ from the currently-released Snake racer in that this take will be based more closely around the Metal Gear Solid 2 version of the character. Both Snake and Raiden are intended to be worked on and released simultaneously but Snake may be released first/early if progress with Raiden is slow.
  • Tracer (9 speed 4 weight) will likely follow after the MGS duo, with Neku Sakuraba (8 speed 6 weight) not long after.
  • The "Ninjala Duo" consisting of Van (8 speed 4 weight) and Berecca (9 speed 3 weight), the main duo used for promoting the currently-Switch-exclusive Ninjala are on low priority as they're part of A) an upcoming game and B) two of SRB2Kart's most overused weight classes (fast lightweight and fast middleweight). We'll see if I feel motivated to work on them after the games get released.
  • The Mr. Driller duo, containing Susumu (4 speed 4 weight) and Taizo Hori (1 speed 8 weight), are also low priority. Partially since both racers already exist in Kart in some way; Susumu being based on his older look from the first Mr. Driller, while Taizo is based around his debut game: Dig Dug. The versions I will work on will use the "modern" versions of both, using the looks/artstyle of the characters from Mr. Driller A, Drill Land and Drill Spirits.
  • Other racers, which include the likes of Yuichiro Tomari, Coca-Cola Kid, the DMC Duo with DMC5 Dante and DMC5 Nero (as DMC3 Dante already exists), Mister Mosquito, and Asterix, are currently TBD.
  • Maybe a few joke racers similar to 7 Grand Dad, but don't hold your breath on those.
And with that I've made my case. Apologies for January not being as eventful as I had hoped but I'm currently stuck in some crap that I need to get sorted out, even if that's more to do with my form and being too lazy to do work. In the meantime you can experience what I've done so far for Kart if you haven't already here.

Monday, December 30, 2019

It's 2020 already?

Well it's December 31st, and what felt like one of my more busy years of productivity is now going to become a long-distant memory, as is the tenth year I spent with an online presence of some sorts.

And technically the entry into 2020 also marks the end of another decade and people use that as a tool to celebrate and look back on what they did for the past 10 years. As for me, I don't really have much to comment on other than I think this decade was when I finally decided to grow up. Over those 10 years I discovered many new hobbies and made the biggest leap in artistic quality ever in my life as the previous decade ended and this one begun. And it's also where my most successful project, Aozora's Adventure, took off and grew to what it is today, and while there's still lots of development and planning for the project, I'm glad it's been coming to life thanks to all the artists I've partnered with over the decade.

Perhaps the biggest impact of the decade was all the new people I met over the years and all the ones that I could consider honest-to-true friends. Sadly, not every one that I met in the earlier years of the decade managed to least until now, with artists and the like abandoning or leaving their social media presence and taking my ability to interact with them as a side-effect. Thankfully the new friends I've made as the later half of the 2010's rolled in managed to fill in most if not all of the gaps that were left by the people that vanished from time and space. And in 2016 at the suggestion of a friend of mine, I attended my first convention in the form of Castle Point Anime Convention 2016, and from there I made efforts to visit future local and semi-local conventions as a form of meeting and communicating with artists I followed and friends I made that were also into the same interests I had. It also kickstarted a further appreciation for the art of cosplay and led me to start photographing cosplayers at these conventions, leading to this year's AnimeNEXT in June where I managed to snap 190 total photos across the convention.

So where am I now? Well I decided to take a small holiday break from working on any long-term projects to spend some time with the family and wind down after spending months working on Splatoon racers for Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart and not much else. Plus after so many conventions in 2019 (two in New Jersey, two in NYC, and another five local conventions) I needed some time to unwind and maybe start on some new projects without the pressure of a convention getting to me. Luckily the next con I will be attending won't be for another several months which should be enough to work on a thing or two before I set of getting my cardio on the concrete floors of the convention centers (seriously is it that hard to set up some benches!?).

Anyways I think I'll leave it at that before this post gets too long and drawn out. See you all next year.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Oh Poser...

Okay, I have no idea how it happened, but because I've heard Adobe is killing support for Adobe Flash soon and it's automatically turned off on every new site, it somehow crept into my Poser and broke literally one of the most important parts of the program.

So now I'm kinda stuck with either trying to figure out how two get this thing to work again, or upgrade for $100. And considering this version of Poser is very, very old, I very well may end up just bitting the bullet and upgrading.

Funny that I had to do the same thing with Photoshop early last January after it suddenly started crashing every time I looked at it funny.

Anyways this basically means I'm being forced to go on hiatus from full body arts until I can get this fixed/updated. I planned on going on break anyways for the holidays due to my psychical condition being a bit questionable lately (it's not a subject I want to discuss and I'm sure it wouldn't change much if I explained what's up in detail) and me spending way too much time on this one Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart project that I spent literal months on.

But yeah that's pretty much how things are going right now. I'll probably post another update when it's not super late out (I'm typing this at 1 in the morning) and I'm not in a rush to sleep.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Convention Update of November: AnimeNYC 2019

After eight months worth of conventions I can finally say my journey across New Jersey, Long Island, and New York City is finally complete. And now I get to spend the rest of the year (as well as the first four months of 2020) in the comfort of my own home doing what I usually do. Resting, chatting with friends, and making stuff. And after the ride that was 2019's fall son season, I feel as if I deserve a break.

So how was AnimeNYC 2019, you may ask? Well it was a great con- but in ways it was a bit of a step down from AnimeNYC 2018. You see, complicated scheduling issues and other such issues prevented me from visiting the convention on Friday. So instead I opted to go Saturday and... wow.

First off, the convention was massively packed as the con was now in its third year of operation and word of mouth combined with a possible push to make the con more wide-spread and commercialized(?) lead to attendee numbers exploding. Second, both the dealer's room and artist's alley doubled in size- to the point where the artist alley had to move down with the dealer's room to accommodate for the larger number of artists selling prints. This had its ups and downs- for one the artist's alley was no longer in risk of having its artists getting baked under the sunlight of the glass walls of the balcony where it was located in 2017 and 2018 and you could transition between the dealer's room and the artist's alley in the blink of an eye, but that also meant that the crowded-ness of the dealer's room bled into the artist's alley and instead of walking on carpet which didn't drain your stamina as quickly as cement... well, you were now walking on cement. Additionally, a few prolific artists I've met at the con in 2017 that also attended AnimeNYC 2018 were completely absent. The list is too big to describe in full but while some managed to come back a second or even third year, others were left out.

Because of the absurd expansion to the Artist's Alley and with how nearly every booth had a big crowd in front, I ended up meeting and chatting with less artists overall compared to 2017/2018. I met up with the ones I wanted to see, yes, but it's a bit disappointing when I ultimately ignored what felt like 80% of the artists. So the one thing I looked forward to for the convention didn't really live up to expectations, so what else was there to enjoy?

Well, the cosplay of course. As I mentioned, typical comic cons don't really have enough worthwhile cosplays that it's worth going around snapping pics, but since this was an anime con, I had my phone's camera on the ready and snapped a plethora of pics, resulting in the second-largest collection of photos yet at 162 unique cosplay shots. It didn't break the record set by AnimeNEXT 2019 at 190 but it still was a number to be proud of and I was snapping pics form the moment I got there to when the con ended- even venturing into the first floor food court which I never thought I would ever do.

If you want to see the outcome, here's the entire gallery for your viewing pleasure:


Panel-wise the only panel that interested me enough on the day I went (Saturday) was the Gkids panel. They showcased some upcoming releases but everyone got the most hyped about Promare when it was announced it would get more screenings in the city. There was even a raffle at the end of the panel and predictably I didn't win anything (but I got a good laugh when for one of the prizes, I was off by one number). The other panels I was interested in didn't interest me enough to the point where I wanted to diverse from my "schedule" and attend, and the only other panel I would have went to see (the Into Creates panel) was the day prior, and according to one of my friends it was largely disappointing with no Gunvolt-related announcements to speak of.

I left the con at around 8:30. I intended to stick around  for about an hour and a half longer but the garage that I paid to park my car while I attended the con was not willing to hold onto the car for much longer before it would force me to walk to the car and get it by hand. Plus, my legs were starting to fail on me from ten hours of endless walking with not much sitting so I took a few final pics of the Javetz Center as I did with NYCC and left.

And that was the end of eight months worth of conventions. There were two other minor local comic conventions hosted in early June and late October but they were not significant enough to warrant putting into the infographic. I also considered attending Derpycon 2019 but I had to choose between that and the local con, and the local con won.

So what's in for the rest of the year? Well, I'm going to go on break from cons because the holidays are fast-approaching and I have some things I want to work on, namely finishing up some Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart projects and possibly get back into sprite-ripping for The Spriters' Resource afterwards. as for 2020, I have no plans to attend any sort of con until Castle Point Anime Convention in May.

Until next time, see ya, and happy holidays.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Convention Update of October: NYCC 2019


Guess who forgot to make a post for the month of September? This guy. But if you really do want to know, September was a pretty standard month for me. I managed to get some art of Taku that I started back in January done at long last. I wasn't expecting that much fanfare since Taku at the moment is pretty flat and needs further development. And of course some further development on SRB2Kart racers as if that game couldn't suck me in any further.

Then October came and I was immediately thrust into a convention known as New York Comic Con. Perhaps the biggest convention I go to each year and perhaps so big that I can't possibly experience everything the show had to offer in the time I was there. You have your typical NYCC flaws including being SUPER-packed, lack of benches (so I came prepared and brought a holdup chair) long-as-heck lines for practically everything, and the ratio of cosplayers to non-cosplayers being abysmally low (and with most cosplayers just not being worth your time, if I had to be honest).

One thing I was surprised about was the massive presence of anime at this con, between Dragon Ball Z at nearly every corner plus some My Hero Academia, Epic7, and Yu-Gi-Oh (especially My Hero). Otherwise it's your standard over-comericalised comic convention stuff, similar to EternalCon but on a much more massive scale (but thankfully it had a lot more to offer and wasn't all on a cement floor). In the end though I ended up with several posters being given out at the booths and a few prints I purchased at the booths. Including a Nightwing and a Green Lantern print, mostly due to the influences they give to my characters Hades and Mr. Morph respectively. One artist there even did a lot of lesser known characters including Gum from Jet Set Radio and the only instance of a Trigun print I ever saw at a con outside of AnimeNYC 2018. Overall there's only so many artists at a comic convention that can hold my attention since under most circumstances it's dominated by artists that work professionally for Marvel, DC, IDW, etc. And don't even get me started on their commission prices if you dare fork over a hundred dollars for a sketch bust that other artists charge at $80 less.

There was also a booth for Arcade 1UP. The makers of those miniature arcade machines I've been skeptical on for some time because the cabinets would not fit in that well with my traditional authentic machines in my basement and I already have the games on other formats (especially the likes of Pac-Man, since I'm probably the biggest fan of that silly game and have it on almost every console thanks to Namco Museums and the like). The booth was also one of the few instances of seating in the entire con, disregarding panels (seriously where were the benches along the blank walls of the con?).

But yeah I guess that's enough NYCC for me for one year. Got some good stuff that I need to get onto my wall including a print of this graphic novel supposedly in the works with lots of "motor-punk" vibes or whatever you call it. So what's next? Well I will be making one more journey to the Javits center for the smaller-scaled but more important/exciting AnimeNYC with the goal of meeting more new and returning artists, acquiring more prints and commissions, and overall having a great time. There's three other smaller scale conventions I'm planning on venturing to, but I can only choose one and I will not be referring to them by name for obvious reasons.

*The first of these is a relatively small "anime" convention that is normally held every May followed by an even smaller Halloween-themed event in October. And I put anime in quotes because the content featured there and the artists that exhibit their works there have none, if any, anime-related content, despite the con billing itself to be about anime. Instead it falls more in line with the kind of content you'd see at NYCC and EternalCon, with the October event being billed as an anime convention when in reality it's a costume party confined into a very small space and with no dividers to separate the open space from the stage with the host via microphone and the Youtube'd anime music blasting full force through the small room. And you thought "hey at least the cosplay would be good?" Well it's a free convention and unfortunately that's just begging for lots of low-effort costumes that scream "budget cosplay" with kids and adults dressing in overly simple skintight suits. As much as I'm willing to return to the main convention next May, I have doubts I'll be attending this halloween event of theirs this year due to how abysmally awful it was back in 2018. Even the one they did in 2017 was leagues ahead.

*The second con is an actual convention in New Jersey, believe it or not. I went there in 2016 after being recommended to attend following NYCC 2016. However there was one big problem. By coincidence the convention was hosted on the same day as the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, which resulted in most of the day just being spent at the hotel's cafe playing through the forced tutorials and grinding up Pokémon over going around and meeting artists. And sadly there were only around ten artists and none of them seemed worth chatting with (instead the dealer's room made up a bulk of the area featuring goods to buy). Sure the place was nice, filled (and I mean FILLED) with cosplays that took actual effort to make which is more than I can say for most comic conventions and there was actual seating and good food options, but it was just a meh convention overall. I did not even consider going there again in 2017 and 2018 because the dates of the con landed on the weekend of and the weekend before AnimeNYC respectively.

*The third one is another free (or at least low-pricing) comic book convention, however this one was far less cringe-y than the "anime but it's actually about comics" convention described under the first bullet. Plus it has actual comic artists to meet up and interact with, including a duo of artists that I'm good friends with. Other than that not much else to say.

So I'm currently deciding on what to go through, as all three cons take place over the weekend of October 26th-27th. Of course the first "anime" convention is out of the question but I'm eyeing up the second and third ones (the first for the cosplay and maybe an improved artist's alley), the second for the professional-level comic artists that I can actually have small talk with. I'm not sure if I can plan on visiting them both over the course of the weekend but hey, there's like three weeks left before I have to choose.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Convention Update of August: EternalCon and LIRGE

I told everyone it was coming, so now here's a bit of coverage on two conventions that I visited across the summer, one in late June, the other in mid August.

The first of these was, of course, Eternal Con. Unlike 2018's, this Long Island-based convention didn't have much in the way of good opportunities for quality cosplay shots as being a comic-focused convention it's limited to (for the most part) people in skintight bodysuits/outfits. Sure they get the job done but as someone that goes to at most three anime-themed conventions a year, attending the likes of CPAC and AnimeNext and then going to a local low-priced comic convention is a bit disappointing.

And disappointing may sadly be what it was- Sure it wasn't as bad as some of the smaller bite-sized comic conventions I've found myself going to, but it felt much more commercial and merchandise-driven compared to prior years. Even the artist's alley, the highlight of nearly every convention I attend, felt bare and smaller in scale compared to last year's. I commissioned a few artists, grabbed some pics, and left with my feet acing me from five hours of walking on pure cold-stone cement- and like most cons the only place you could sit and rest was on said cold-hard cement, unless you went to the tabletop gaming section that is. As for the food.

So yeah, it was mostly nothing special- I could have skipped it and it probably would not have changed anything, but I had some friends there in the artists' alley so I went mostly for their sake.

Two months later, I attended Long Island Retro Gaming Expo 2019, which in some ways was a much bigger and robust convention than last year's. They got in some new, high-profile guests along with the return of Vinesauce, some new consoles unseen in prior years being demoed (including the ZX Spectrum), and alongside the endless array of arcade games, an entire section devoted to pinball. Now that last addition was significant, as it skyrocketed attendance to a much higher number compared to 2018's, and more people being aware of what was unfolding down at the expo invited a lot more of them in. It was so crowded that in the pinball section, all of the tables were almost never un-occuped, and they contained some rather uncommon finds (an intentional choice by the one that brought in the pinball tables). There were other arcade machines and pinball tables, but they were in the tournament play section and not available to the typical visitor.

The third floor's PC section from last year also remained, in which I briefly showcased Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch (mistakingly labeled in the computers' game select menu as the average-looking-in-quality Mega Man 2.5D) and to my surprise the game caught on with a fair number of people exploring the third floor, though the ones that tried the game struggled with getting used to the default controls and weapon-switching mechanics. As for the rest of the con, there were three 16-player LAN-powered Mario Kart: Double Dash tournaments on the second floor (the first time I ever saw proper LAN play for that game) and a group of people also on the second floor that played remixes of video game OST's, until for whatever reason they proceeded to full-blast the volume for about 30 minutes to an hour tops- forcing me to cover my ears whenever I walked nearby the corner on the balcony with the music playing. At least the food selection was good, provided you were willing to step outside and check out the food trucks.

Otherwise, Long Island Retro Gaming Expo is a good convention I wouldn't mind visiting again, provided you remember to pack earplugs.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Remembering 8bit Revenge

Since I seem to do a lot of posts based on things that are long gone, forgotten, or defunct since the late 2000's, here's another thing that I had a bit of nostalgia for while growing up in my teens.

In around 2008, I found a small Youtube channel that went by the name "8bit Revenge", which catered around the misadventures of a group of video-gaming friends playing together and having a lulzy good time. There was a hefty period where no new content was being produced, with only a selection of episodes/episode parts and some highlight reels being present on the channel. Now if you try to search the name, you get nothing, and Google only produces generic results that have no relation to the original group.

The only remnant of what once was the 8bit Revenge team is this, the theme song composed by 8bit bEtty used in the openings of their show where the members each picked up various controllers for a variety of gaming consoles form the third to seventh generations and making poses on their couch before their mascot (a sexy girl standing next to their personal logo) popped up. Since web archives are not powerful enough to save entire videos, all of their content sans the theme song are now 100% lost.

Through the power of memory, I can recite some of the moments the 8bit Revenge crew's Youtube had posted over time:

  • A two-player Cooking Mama: Cook Off session
  • Some four-player Diddy Kong Racing on Windmill Plains with varied vehicles
  • Some two-player Rock N' Roll Racing followed by some co-op of the SNES version of Beavis and Butthead
  • Robocop on the NES, but with horribly corrupted graphics
  • A sped-up Mario Paint session set to the absolutely rocking Blast Off, also by 8bit bEtty
All the video game footage was shot off a camera stationed on a tripod instead of direct capturing, and the episode segments that weren't just the highlights featured two of the cast chatting on the couch. All I remember was one of the members having a FLCL t-shirt and not much else, other than there being about six members total. They may have had a site of some kind or a presence on some sort of pre-Youtube video-sharing site that got deleted when the Youtube channel was made, but I cannot conform nor deny this.

Anyways that's all I have to say on 8bit Revenge. Will more info on them ever pop up or will we ever get to see their content properly archived for all to watch? That I have no idea on.

Monday, July 29, 2019


Just making a quick post to let you all know that I'll be sharing my thoughts on Eternal Con along with Long Island Retro Gaming Expo sometime next month.

Now if you'll excuse me, I got this one long-gone Youtube channel that I used to watch back in late middle and early high school on the mind.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Convention Experience: CPAC and AnimeNEXT

Well, it's June, and that means my two biggest cons for the first half of the year came and went. And with them came lots of artists, commissioned work, and lots and lots of cosplay. Before I get into the meat of this blog entry, here's direct links to the cosplay photo albums of CPAC and AnimeNEXT.

Castle Point Anime Con 2019

AnimeNEXT 2019

Both collections were filled with amazing cosplayers and I caught a hefty number of shots across the two of them (then again there's only so much a phone cam can do even if it's a brand new model I got for Christmas). It's always great to see the creativity that goes into the cosplays and the various characters they represent (even if My Hero Academia easily dominates the cosplay scene, just look at all the Dekus and the Bakugos running around)

Anyways onto the events themselves, starting with Castle Point. I went there Saturday on Day 1 and compared to last year, it felt much more crammed in. The fabric walls dividing the different parts of the convention looked like they were much closer together, and the repositioning of the artist's alley, dealer's room, and the arcade threw me in for a bit of a loop. Lines still existed for the dealer's room and the artist's alley for crowd control, even if the Meadowlands Expo Center didn't (as far to my knowledge) have the same extreme fire safety in place as the Stevens Institute of Technology. The food inside the building remained as crappy as ever, though I did get a quick glimpse at some decent dining options within walking distance.

Because of the size of the expo center, panels were divided between the main building and the nearby Holiday Inn. Yes, I actually went to some panels- moreso because the people hosting them were friends I knew. They were good watches, especially the rhythm gaming panel for being very informative and the "Dad" panel for giving me a good laugh. And before I miss it, the arcade was your typical stash of rhythm games and a number of console fighting games.

Overall the convention was good and the visit was worth it, even if it may not be able to catch the magic of the times when the convention was at the Stevens Institute of Technology (though with the con now being inside a large building, they don't have to worry about it getting rained out).

Next up is AnimeNEXT, which I attended on the second day (leading to scenarios where I had to watch people on Facebook posting about how much fun it was). Compared to the previous year, the convention didn't change much, though they went back to making the arcade separate from the dealer's room and artist's alley and let attendees leave through a standard exit instead of walking through the arcade. The bathrooms of the convention got a well-needed update and there were, well, still no good dining options within the con despite the plentiful amount of drinking water thanks to the fountains scattered about. So with no other options I took a lunchbreak partway through to grab a quick bite at a nearby Applebees.

As per usual, none of the panels at the convention interested me enough to make me want to go out of my way to see one. As for the artists, I passed on getting prints as my collection was getting quite err... big (I've been getting prints since 2016, give me a break!). Aside from that, I tried to make my visit worthwhile, so I stayed until the sun went fully down before I headed to the arcade to watch everyone get their game on (including some Smash Bros. Ultimate action) before finishing up cosplay photos and heading out to the parking garage under the convention center to drive the four hours back home. The convention center itself retains that nice, clean atmosphere from previous years, so much so that I went out of my way to get a couple decent shots of the center during my visit throughout the day- from when I arrived at around noon-ish to when night came and I departed soon after.

AnimeNEXT was a great time, even if I decided to go for a different focus and do photography more than artist meet and greets (there were so many artists in the artist's alley that they all just sotra blended in together).

So there's a review of my first two conventions- the next two I have are local experiences and I plan on sharing my experiences with those conventions sometime in August before I have two back-to-back conventions in October and November.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart: Super Mario Kart Characters Pack

A while back you probably have seen me mention a game called Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart. I was routinely creating characters for the game until I decided to go on hiatus to focus on other projects, including but not limited to trying to work more on artwork, produce more sprite sheets for a site known as The Spriters' Resource, and work on my Splatoon 2 skills. Plus my workspace (aka my bedroom) was renovated over the course of eight days, resulting in me having to abandon it for almost all of the previous week.

Now I'm back, and my time has been swallowed up still by other things, but I'm still not feeling the drive to work on more SRB2Kart characters. Yes they're in production, but lack of motivation is leading to them taking longer than I hoped to finish them.

Anyways, back on topic. Before announcing the semi-hiatus I was suggested by my friend MMG Mike to adapt all eight of the racers from Super Mario Kart into Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart. Normally, something like this wouldn't be allowed on the SRB2Kart message board thanks to them being sprite rips, so I had to rely on other means of getting them out into the wild, and I figured this blog would be perfect place to host the project.

So I took a sprite-rip of the eight Super Mario Kart racers I had on hand (but don't remember where I got them from), carefully aligned them, gave them recoverable bits, Mario Kart 64 voices, and (courtesy of community member Tiniest Turtles) mini-map icons, and then declared them finished.

All the characters are given stats that best replicate their stats from their source game, though they should be easier to control now that you're dealing with a more modern, less dated drifting system.

=Download= (V1.0h)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Otaku Ball Public Beta Build.

Greetings, readers.
A while back you may remember a project of mine that has gone between being worked on and going on hiatus. It did get a release some time ago but since then- many, many more features have been added to it since then.

Of course I'm talking about my Otaku-Ball (or of you wanted to be technical, Geek-Ball or Nerd-Ball) project, a love letter and tribute to a plethora of Breakout and Arkanoid clones, worked on by Mr. Block (seriously, give him all the credit for the coding, the guy's a genius and deserves all the respect) and myself.

If you're wondering what has changed, lots of things actually. The title screen got a big overhaul, some new sound effects and sprite work were added in, new enemy varieties based on the original four Arkanoid enemies now join the Menacers, and the single-player campaign now has 96 total levels to explore across multiple pathways (it would have a NG+ with all new worlds/levels but that will be for a later release) Plus a few squashed bugs/issues.

So yeah take this as a treat from myself to show what has changed since the project's humble beginnings in 2014 (and pre-planning going to as far back as 2007 before the project had a definite name in 2011) and the first public release in 2017.

Take note that this is technically a beta, so expect there to be the occasional game-breaking bug looming about, but for the most part it should be stable and perfectly functional. Plus my social media links and e-mail are always open if you catch a bug.

Download the current build here.
You will also need LÖVE.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Business Cards?

Yup, you heard that right. Around the time of AnimeNYC last year I developed a prototype design for a business card I could pass out.

I haven't gotten around to giving them a test print run since admittedly I don't really have much a use for them just yet (and I'm not sure what I would use to get them printed).

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

10 years of Super Justin: the Blog

Well I can't believe I'm saying this, but Super Justin: the Blog is now just about a decade old- this month will be the tenth anniversary of the site's launch back in 2009 (as well as my DeviantArt account). It's been quite the ten years, with Super Justin coming to an abrupt end after being my childhood dreams for all of the 2000's and the launching of Aozora's Adventure, WARMAN, and many other projects.

So what's in it for this blog? Well, not much, except maybe the removal of the art widgets on the sides of the blog since I don't update much (and the removal of some links to reduce clutter as I don't use most of them these days). Otherwise, I'll keep making stuff as fast as I can produce them.

In other news I'm also planning on doing more streams to Twitch once I get myself a good microphone. In the meantime you can check out my Twitch page here.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Mario Hack Series Recordings: Final(?) Release

It's been roughly eight or so years since the day I started ripping a plethora of music from various Super Mario Bros. ROM hacks. Dubbed the "Super Mario Hack Series Recordings" since its creation in January 2011, this project set out to record the best musics across thirty different hacks, resulting in an impressive count of 95 tracks total.

Last updated in 2017, here's the latest version of the project for your listening enjoyment: