Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Japanese commercials are god-Insane.

Well, before the new year rolls in, I 'd just thought I'd showcase some Japanese commercials I discovered on the Web just recently.

The first few are based on a line of Japanese noodles. Why I show them is because of their use of anime-styled characters, and the continuous running gag of them morphing into more realistic anime humans at one point in each CM.

It's not the whole collection, but just my favorites of them.

But it gets crazier. Who knew Ronald McDonald (yes, the clown from McDonalds. Can't believe I'm making that kind of reference) had a son and daughter? (even is the son is capable of pulling burgers out of his behind)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Requesting more help: Where is the Dots Design Builder?

UPDATE: For those of you who want a similar experience to the program I mention in this blog post, try this online virtual adaption of Dot-S.

You can also find out a little more about Dot-S by searching its Japanese name: "ドッツ"


Hello everyone. First off before I start with the real news, happy Christmas Eve, because I want to be a nice guy every once in a while (although not a lot of people return the favor).

So anyways, recently I got back into playing with my collection of Dot-S, a Japanese toy product that had me hooked since like mid 2007, and to this day, it's still one of the best toys I've ever played with, alongside Cube World. Though the only downside is actually trying to scout out the different sets online. Because the word "Dots" is so commonly used, it took me a while before I actually found some sets for order online. I believe in Japan they are still being sold, so I'm probably going to waste some money further expanding my collection of Dot-S once I take a trip to Japan after I graduate from that rotten bag of tards known as school. Below is my current collection of Dot-S, excluding the boards and about half of the pins.
So incase your mind is having trouble focusing and keeping on track, let me explain what Dot-S are exactly. They're actually a line of toys manufactured by Tomytec/Tomy in 2005. You put each Dot (Peg) into a 16 by 16 board, in an attempt to create a picture using the pegs. To get even more creative, you can even mount multiple boards together for larger pictures. It's kinda like Lite-Brite, but much cooler.

So anyways, the reason why I'm here right now is to ask a huge favor.

Not too long ago, I discovered a Dot-S simulator simply known as the "Dots Design Builder", which offers a experience that almost is like playing with real Dot-S, but in virtuality. It offers every single pin and board color ever released, including the ones not available in the more commonly-known sets shown on the Dot-S homepage. I have it downloaded into my old piece of crud Windows (2000) computer, but I cannot pull off the program and put it on the new Windows computer I'm receiving for Christmas, nor can I download it because the site that hosted it for download no longer exists, and when I do archive it, the download link is completely broken. I have only found one other site with details on the program, but unfortunately there is no download link. So I am asking if anyone out there who possibly has the program to perhaps upload a download link somewhere so that it can be easily accessed by everyone.

On the plus side, however, I am currently working on fanart of Sol-Badguy, the main protagonist of the Guilty Gear series. Unfortunately, I will not finish it in time for Christmas, but hopefully I'll make some decent progress over winter recess.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Aozora's Adventure- What is it?

Well howdy-ya-do, everyone. It's time to say some stuff and put it here. But first, I'd like to mention that I am planning to start on a new piece of art, but unfortunately, it will be NSFW (not safe for work, a.k.a. explicit content or 18+)content, so therefore I wouldn't suggest looking at it when it's up unless you're a qualified adult. :P (To everyone that doesn't like them, don't worry, I'll be sure to put up a Mature content tag.)

But anyways, let's get down to business. First off, if anyone has seen my recent journal entry on my dA profile page, then you may have noticed that pretty soon (hopefully this or next month), I will start another contest dedicated to my own and somewhat obscure series, Aozora's Adventure. In hopes of maybe increasing the tension (and getting more entries, hopefully this time from a few professional and well-known artists), I, myself, will be giving out premium memberships (and expanding them as well, if you already have such) and dA points to the winners. If you think all the above info on the contest prizes are false, then you're 100% wrong.

The contest will simply be to draw existing characters from the series, not designing new ones. To download an image pack containing all known Aozora's Adventure artwork, both from me, friends, and fans for reference, simply click this link. It's that easy.

Now when I made a certain tweet about this on my Twitter (yes, I have one of those), someone (Michael Ingento, author of Pirate Madeline, to be exact) replied stating "no one knows what your series is, that's why." So to hopefully increase the chances of this contest being successful, I have decided to write, down below, information on the series, some of it's characters, and such.

Aozora's Adventure (planed to be known in Japan as "Journey of Aozora", written as あおぞらの旅, pronounced as A ozo-ra no Tabi), is a series created by me, which focuses on 17-year old Aozora, a teenager that lives in Japan with his friends Satoru, Zik, Sakaki, Skye, Toshi, and his girlfriend (for now) Keisha. The characters pretty much live on a normal life, unless they are helping defend Japan from a professional assassin group known as the A.C.E.S; led by a man named Joker (not The Joker from the Batman comics), and/or a league of strong, powerful witches led by big 'n busty Korayami.

To make up for and replace the family that Aozora unfortunately lost as an young child, he collaborates with Toshi to create (yes, they're somewhat mechanical geniuses) a group of eight human androids named the Jetters, which consist of Red, Higure, Beta, Simon, Britly, Kokoro, Ciber, and Moriya. In between the creation of Redd and Higure, a young homeless boy named Zidra volunteers to be the second of the nine Jetters, and he is converted into a half-android with little to no trouble, and along with the other Jetters, lives with and assists Aozora.

The series explained here was created in late 2009 following the permanent cancelation of my previous and strictly unsuccessful "franchise" Super Justin. This series consists of an entirely original cast of characters (with only slight inspirations.) Currently, there are two characters that are currently missing from the roster, both of them being members of the witch clan. One of them is reserved to be designed by deviantART user CaisBarlin69, the other, well. Not much plans yet.

So there you have it. As I have stated before, this contest is not a character-designing contest, and it also does not have no prizes. So therefore you guys will have a good reason to enter, well... if you want to enter. But if you do enter, you'll make me a very happy person. Trust me. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Un-Named post because I'm too lazy.

Well lookie here folks, I'm updating the blog.

First off, I must state the following: Recently I (finally) created an Xbox Live Gamertag. Guess what it is: Superjustinbros. So if any of you want to find and add me as a friend, feel free to do so. I'll be pretty much playing Halo: Reach online. Why? Because it kicks bum. Nuff Said.

On top of that, I've also been playing Angry Birds on the iPod Touch. And trust me, I love it. Just as much as Trainyard on the same exact system, Angry Birds is a fantastic puzzler that will have you addicted for several days, if not weeks trying to beat it all.

I also got Scott Pilgrim vs. the World on DVD. Haven't watched it all yet (apparently due to stuff I shouldn't be mentioning.), but I plan to soon. When exactly I'm not sure, but on the bright side, I also got and played part of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: the Game.

Well, that's all for now. ^__^;;

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In loving memory of a certain someone...

Well, it appears as if I've got some rather (at least for me) depressing news. Gux-wrath-the-savior, one of my long-time buddies on deviantART, recently took the bullet and deactivated his account, and in the process, removed all of his fantastic artwork. And to be fair, his artwork is pretty amusing to look at. But many spectate that (no offense to anyone) another user actually drew the pictures and gave them to Gux for uploading. I don't care who drew them. Gux's account had some pretty nifty (and sexy) works, and I'm not going to let a little fact like that change my opinions of him.

So to be nice, I'm going to show some of the works that he has done in his lifetime of being a proud and successful deviant.
Grolla_Seyfarth_by_gux_wrath_the_savior.jpg picture by Superjustinbros
Jetter_Contest_Britly_I_B_by_gux_wrath_the_savior.jpg picture by Superjustinbros
RKS_Process_O_O_by_gux_wrath_the_savior.jpg picture by Superjustinbros
Sakaki_y_Kaisha_by_gux_wrath_the_savior.jpg picture by Superjustinbros
All images above are Gux-wrath's.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's an epic of epic epicness.

Yea, another short post. Gonna write a longer one someday. Anyways, I do have plans for my next artwork, and I'll start on it very, very, soon. And now for something completely different.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Square Enix Games you'd Love to play but can't.

Well, I decided to do another topic consisting of yet more random discussion. This time, I'm going to talk about a few games from the RPG masters Square Enix that we will never see come into reality.
First up: The World Ends With You 2/Wii.
Oh yea. You are going to hear me talk on the World Ends with You sequel that will never be. Well, to be fair, I do "heart" this game to death. I mean, well, there's so much to do in that game. The plot is just insanity, and so are the characters and their designs, and I got hooked on it since I first started playing it back in late Summer 08. But with all memorable titles, what happens; People begin to spread rumors about sequels. And I know how so many people are probably really looking out for this game's release announcement, but allow me to explain why this will never surface.

For those of you that have successfully reached the ending and finished this game, you may have seen the ending. Neku is returned to the RG with his friends, he escapes from the Reapers and the Noise, and the game just wraps it up extremely well. Now for them to make a sequel would be like with (from what I've heard) what they did with the Terminator films in order for them to continue on with the series after Judgement Day. With the World Ends With You series to ever get a second game, Square Enix would have to re-establish the plot, invent some all brand new species that randomly invade Shibuya, and introduce a new set of villians while bringing back some of the originals, while keeping the main protagonists in another dimension (something other than the UG). The dual fighting system would have to be improved on to incorporate new tactics (such as combating enemies with Neku using standard melee attacks w/o the use of pins to accompany him), and several other noteworthy improvements. If it instead came out on Wii, SE would have to remove the option to control the partner and rather have him/her fight alongside the first player's character (Neku Sakuraba, unless otherwise stated) on the same screen using their own set of psychic pins. Special attacks (when both Neku and his helper perform a massive attack to damage all on-screen enemies at once) should be more varied. Not to mention, more gameplay features, like a "endless" mode, a Player vs. Player mode, and a new version of the mini-game Tin-Pin Slammer.

And so we move on to the second Square Enix game that will never be made, the Kingdom Hearts II Follow-up.
This rumored installment has gone through numerous titles, the most common being Kingdom Hearts III. Many spectate that it would be multi-platform and get released on one, two, or all three major systems of the seventh generation in video gaming.

But just as with The World Ends With You, Kingdom Hearts II concluded it's plot so well. It returned Sora to Destiny Islands, it removed the Organization XIII premaritally from the series, and reunited Sora with his childhood friends. Sure there have been two games that take place after KHII, one that is currently only out in Japan at the time I'm writing this, and one that is currently in the designing stage, but I highly doubt there will be any direct sequel(s) to the second game.

But for there to ever be a third game directly following the second, It would have to follow similar guidelines as the WEWY sequel. But probably doing so would be more or less a re-hash of the plot to the first game, having Sora getting separated from his friends, fighting off the Heartless/Nobodies/Unversed, and teaming up with Donald and Goofy for yet another adventure. While it could work if done right, no one would want to see a sequel with the same/simliar plot as one of its prequels.

I spoke enough.
OMFG yes epic Mario Kart clone me want.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Request/Looking for advice

Well guys, I'm back. Apparently there's nothing quite new going on recently. The two first days of school were alright. Could have been a little more entertaining, but in the end, it was okay. Glad I don't have any of my classes for two periods in a row. But now. It's time for the main event.

Kohtaroneedsyourhelp.jpg picture by Superjustinbros

Yes. Incase you're wondering, I'm requesting more help from the general public. And that is to get character artwork and mugshots from the absolutely epic series known as Shikigami no Shiro (or Castle of Shikigami in the US)

Basically, the purpose of this routine goes like this. If you ever have been on the Shikigami no Shiro Wiki, you may have noticed on several of the character's articles multiple artwork and images of the particular character. What's going on, is that I am trying to scout out full-body high-resolution images of the character artwork and mugshots from the second and third games so that I can use them on the Wiki.

The question is, how.

For those of you that have played several of the games in the series, you should know about the gallery mode present in many of them. Each time you see a new character mugshot, you unlock it in the gallery for further viewings, while other things (main promotional artwork) are available from the beginning. So what I want to do, is I want to basicaly use something (like a camera or program or something.) to take multiple high-quality (HQ) pictures of each of the mugshots zoomed-in as much as it will go. (this means I will have to take multiple images of one mugshot so I can attach then like the pieces of a puzzle. Unfortunately, I don't have anything I can use to take screenshots of a television's screen digitally. And I don't want to go through trying to download a Wii emulator and finding the game's ROM online. (and I'm pretty positive the Japanese PC port of Shikigami no Shiro III doesn't offer a full gallery.

As for the official artwork of the characters from the third game, yes. I'm trying to scout them out as well, with best resolutions possible. Why I say this, is because the artwork shown in the game's art section only shows a very limited amount of the character's body, unlike the second, which showed the character's entire full body. Therefore, because of that, I'm scouting out the original full-body (or at least good rips from sites with as much of the character's body revealed at once) images.

Well, if any of the above information was too complex, let me sum it up. I'm trying to get all the character artworks and mugshots so I can use them on my Wiki, and for my own personal use as well. But I don't have, like I stated, any television screenshot-taking cameras, utilities, and programs.

If anyone wants to help me out, than feel free to send me the ripped graphics at full size to my e-mail (superjustin@optonline.net), so it spares me some trouble. Or, just let me know of a good utility/camera/program that takes high-quality pixel-perfect screenshots of a television screen that is also easy to use.

There, I said what I had to say.

And now to go off-topic a bit, I want everyone to check out this person on Youtube (or should I say Failtube?). He has a totally wicked collection of arcade games.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beginning of September message +Wii Fit mini-criticism

Well, look who's here for some more news. Well, not really news, but I still would like to mention a few things.

Now that August has concluded, school is getting much closer. So starting from September 7th, I won't be active very much on weekdays, but I'm sure none of you care about my activity time on any site, so consider that little tidbit of information useless. and not important.

This is also not much important, but I thought I should throw it in anyways just for kicks. I'm also trying to loose some of the fat that's hanging around my stomach (yea, I'm one of those guys. >_>) by significantly reducing the amount of fries and soda I consume, trying healthier foods, and getting off my lousy bum and excersising more often. Wii Fit is probably my best routine, but there's only one problem. There's too few games built in (c'mon, Only 25?), the controls are often un-responsive (like for that stupid chicken mini-game Bird's Eye Bulls-eye). and the majority of the games themselves last only an extremely short amount of time. The Boxing game has perhaps the longest length (next to the Free Run at 30 minutes.) of any of the other games, but it gets too boring. Maybe if there was a lot more variety of fun, and exciting games that used the Balance Board alongside the Wii Remove with and without the Nunchuck, and improved soundtrack, then I'd like it a lot more and actually would be spending hours. on it. Also, another thing I'd like changed and/or removed is the high score table for all the games. C'mon, this isn't the type of game that even needs a high score chart. Competition in a fitness game? No can do.

Now let's talk about my current level of skill when it comes to artwork. It seems that several of my recent artworks have enjoyed quite a lot of praise compared to the ones that came earlier this year, generally thanks to the fact that I'm using Poser 8 to create the posses, then drawing over them in Photoshop. Although I'd like to also master drawing poses by hand w/o the use of such a program just incase I want to draw artwork away from my Macintosh, which speaking of my Mac, is staring to run very slowly at random moments, even if it has 163 gigabytes of space left. Although I'm using a new utility called AdBlocker which actually blocks and removes adds completely, compared to the inferior AdBlock which doesn't do the job anymore. (though it did work a bit when I first downloaded it a while ago during the beginning of this year, but not for all the sites).

Well, I got nothing more to say, so I'll end here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weird Japanese Novel, What's it called?

Hello everyone. Thought I'd let all of you know about something that just happened to me recently.

Well, okay. Not to me, but today at a Japanese-styled festival which was mostly dancing and drumming, some girl at the stands was selling Japanese novels (alongside a few English c#ap as well) and this one at the stands caught my attention.
WeirdJapanesebook1cover.jpg picture by Superjustinbros
To be honest, I don't know WT# this is called, nor who illustrated it. Thank god it was somewhat of a children's novel (yea, I said children's, don't try to deny it.), so it does have pictures inside. And using the pictures, I was able to identify the story a bit, but right now I want to try and find out the book's title as well as the author(s), and maybe the year it came into existence. Because I just love the art style used on the novel. It's flippin' cute. (yes. I just said "cute")

Oh, and BTW. You want to know a little something? The character's appearences remind me an awful lot on another specific character that maybe is just as unknown but maybe a little more known than the characters in this novel. And I'm not going to tell you whom. If you are dying to know, I'm talking about Taizo Mote from Taizo Mote King Saga. Look it up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aozora Jitsuwa update + Pirate Madeline

Hey everyone. I'm back with another couple messages to hopefully keep you occupied for a bit until my next entry. This time it's an important update related to my own series, Aozora Jitsuwa, and a little something about one of my friend's webcomics.

To begin with, I should all tell you what is going to happen with Aozora Jitsuwa. Well, one thing I must mention, is that it will no longer be referred to under that title. Starting today, it will be known as Zora's Adventure. This is so people won't be confused by the use of "Jitsuwa" in the title, and since with the use of Adventure in there instead, it will at least give English readers a better prediction of what it's about. I know it sounds stupid, but I'd rather have a decent title instead of a confusing one. Since the Japanese do probably know of what Jitsuwa means without having to look it up, I'll probably keep a slight variation of the original title (Zora Jitsuwa) when I do decide to bring the series over the Pacific ocean to Japan, although with how much "success" my original series got, they're not even going to bother and even give me one chance to try and show them the true Superjustinbros at work. To correspond to the name change, the main character, Aozora, will from here on out, be known as Zora, so that people who don't know his appearance will not think he is female. And also, the official blog for the series has also recived a name change, and due to this, the main web address it is located at has been moved to zorasadventure.blogspot.com.

The contest based on this series has also concluded. Read my deviantART journal for more information.

So now I thought I should just tell you who came up with these suggestions to improve on my series. Well, the suggester is my good friend and buddy Michael Ingenito, otherwise known as Randommode, who is famous and well known for his Pirate Madeline webcomic, which features fantastic character designs, amazing storylines, and it's just fun to read. Don't believe me? Look into this picture and stare at it's awesomeness and I won't have to describe it any further.
So now that I told you a bit about the Pirate Madeline webcomic, you can read it yourself at the official Pirate Madeline website right over here. Though I must warn you, this comic does have it's share of busty women with bodacious breasts and buttocks, so I wouldn't click that link if you can't stand looking at women with great, beautiful and flexible bodies. But since I like it, I thought some of you would find it enjoyable as well.

Now why am telling you about Pirate Madeline anyways? Well, sometime last week, I actually started a fanclub based on this one heck of a webcomic series over at deviantART (simply because it deeply deserved one for king so much @$$). When the club went live, I made an animated GIF to serve as the main avatar of the club, which caught Michael's eye when he saw it for the first time. Knowing that I had a thing for making animations, he contacted me and asked if I could make two GIFs based on his series, for two different reasons. One was for a Top 100 webcomic ranking page, while the second was for the donate page on the actual Pirate Madeline website. In exchange, Michael would send me three different gifts relating to Pirate Madeline, the first would be a full printed copy of the first two chapters (acts) of the webcomic itself, the second would be a Pirate Madeline poster, and the final gift would be several pins that people would normally get for free when they donate. I had also asked if he could finish up his part of an art trade we did a while back, and if he could design one of the witch characters for Zora's Adventure, which he accepted to do both.

So,... That's it for now. I'll be back should I have anything to talk about.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gallery Update

Since I haven't done this in a long time, I just thought I should go ahead and showcase a couple of my recent artworks that incorporate improved anatomy and use of cell-shading.
From oldest to newest: (yes, they're pretty big.)
First pic: Gardenia from Pokemon
Second pic: Moriya from Aozora Jitsuwa
Third Pic: Pamela Arwig from Rosenkreuzstilette
Fourth pic: Skye from Aozora Jitsuwa

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hey J-man, Why no blog updates?

Well, hello everyone. Sorry for no updates to the blog in quite some time, but with all the other things I've been doing, I simply don't have time.

A few of you may have realized this, but incase you don't know already, Rosenkreuzstilette ~Freudenstachel~, the epic-looking sequel to the original Rosenkreuzstilette has been delayed to a later date, forcing fans to have to wait from four months to a full year before they can experience the awesomeness that is Rosenkreuzstilette ~Freudenstachel~. But to be fair, I expected this to happen, as the game didn't seem ready as of yet for a public release, since the graphic artist of the game series was still working on a sprite since a few weeks ago. Oh well. I don't mind that wait. This should at least give them enough time to perfect the game's features.

As for my artwork? Well. I currently have a few requested pieces I want to complete over the course of this summer, then I'm thinking of shutting down taking both requests and art trades until the following summer. I'll still perform them with a small amount of people, mainly my great friends (including a few that seem to not show me as much respect and support compared to long ago.) and amazing artists. Once I get out of high school, get myself a credit card, and get a Paypal account (which will not be for another two years) then I'll proceed to take commissions for the general public. Alongside that, I also may do suprise gift-art for artists that I'm fans of and friends with.

I cannot think of any more to say. More artwork will be coming soon. (hopefully)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Excessive details on Snowboard Kids

NOTE: If you aren't a fan of Snowboard Kids or uninterested in this article, turn back now.

Hello everyone. Sorry for not updating my gallery in a while, It's just I've been doing a lot these past days, so I couldn't get to drawing lately (artist's block). One good thing I have to mention is that the illness I had the past week is almost gone. So until I get the urge to draw, I just want to have a moment so I can talk about a game series that has been a big part of my childhood for years, known as
Snowboard Kids.
SBKCoverage.png picture by Superjustinbros
Yep, you heard me correctly. The Snowboard Kids series. Never heard of it? Well, now you do. The Snowboard Kids series was a nice little racing game that fell downhill during an attempt to revive the series after five years of absence. The series kicked off in 1998 with the original game for the Nintendo 64, shown below:
Developed by Racdym (now known as Racjin) and published by Atlus co; Snowboard Kids (known as Snobow Kids in Japan) is, as I've stated already, a racing game featuring four 10-year olds and a single 11-year old living in the Canadian Rocky Mountains hitting the slops to prove who was the best snowboarder in town. Unlike real life, the five children involved were not limited to just everyday snowy mountains to show their skills, they also went as far to snowboard on public highways, grasslands, a theme park, and a dessert. If you were to make it through the first eight courses, you would get the chance to race against a ninja named Shinobin with an unknown age on Ninja Land, and if you defeat him, you unlock him as a playable character, but this brings unfairness thanks to Shinobin's 2.5 stars per category, thus making the gameplay a little unfair for players choosing the default characters in multiplayer races not using on of the game's special boards. Thankfully, CPU players do not use Shinobin, unless you're racing on Ninja Land as one of the default characters.

This game does have decent ratings according to it's page on GameFAQS. It's certainly not the best on the Nintendo 64, but it is a good title to keep you occupied for a couple of hours.

But what about owners of the PlayStation who didn't have the N64? Surely people may have seen this over at a friend's house and liked the game, but their family wouldn't allow them to get a N64 because they already have the PlayStation? Well, the people over at Racdym and Atlus came up with a solution: Port the game to the PSX, but add a little twist.

click to zoom
And that, was how Snowboard Kids Plus hit the scene. Taking everything you loved about the original and adding more content, Plus seemed to be a step in the right direction. To tell you the truth, I have been hunting down this title for quite some time, but there is one little problem: The game was released only in Japan. Fans that lived in the United States and Europe never got to experience this title when it first came out. Only after the invention of emulators and importing could one actually play this remake.

Compared to the original, Plus appears to be nothing special. The only difference between the original and Plus versions is Plus adds in four additional characters, with one being entirely secret with the same stats as Shinobin (and one default with un-balanced stats). Alongside the inclusion of the new characters, Plus also featured cutscenes, and additional methods of customizing the characters. Judging from gameplay videos I've seen on Youtube, I assume this version has smoother frame rate but slower gameplay than the N64 version.

But the big question is, why was the game never released outside Japan? Well, I think that maybe the staff involved in producing the first game feared that the it wasn't that successful with American and Europeans, plus the appearances of some of the female characters (Nicole, the blond haired girl with the long ponytail, for example) would be too sensitive for audiences outside of Japan.

Now we take a step ahead to 1999, when the first official sequel was created.
Enter Snowboard Kids 2 (or Super Snobow Kids in Japan), the sequel that somewhat worked. All the characters from the original (and let's not forget the items) returned, joined alongside another 10-year old female known as Wendy Lane. Unlike Plus, this installment was given an international release on the Nintendo 64, although it was not released in Europe. Only Japan and America received this sequel.

The second game withdrew the Time Attack mode in favor of a full-fledged story mode featuring the six children and their daily lives while a teal-green alien named Damien attempts to sabotage their adventures and make their lives as miserable as possible. I don't want to tell you about the game's ending, so feel free to head over to Wikipedia and see for yourself.

Shinobin, as well as all the characters exclusive to Plus, did not appear in the sequel, although SBK2 has several characters (three to be exact) that can be unlocked as you advance through the game. The different terrains the characters snowboard on have become even zanier; only three of the nine courses in the entire game (not counting two courses where sub-games are played) feature snow. Aside from the absence of Time Trial and the secret boost at the start of a race, and slightly slower movement speed, I thought this was a great entry in the series once you run through it once.

After around five years of absence, Altus decided it was time to give the series a revival. So they turned to a new company known as "in-glove Co., ltd" to develop the next entry in the Snowboard Kids, and it turned out to be a big mistake. A very big one. This was primally an insult to the original N64 games, although there were a few good things that were in the game. Since I didn't enjoy this one as much as the originals, I'm going to discuss the negative factors about the DS game; SBK: Snowboard Kids.
Now incase you're wondering, yes. These are the characters I used for the promotional image I created especially for this article, but that doesn't mean anything. Let's start talking about how much this one failed to impress me, starting with the characters.
SlashPKMNTransform.png picture by Superjustinbros
One thing I was quite disappointed about was the fact the cute chibi-styled characters with big fat noses were abandoned in favor of a general anime style, and also that there were very little simalitaries to the characters from the original series. First of, none (and I repeat, none) of the characters are actually young enough to be considered children. In fact, two of the characters (Jam and Tommy) are 18 years old, thus making them not teens but adults. So, that right there defeats the whole purpose of it being called "Snowboard Kids". Should have been "Snowboard Teens & Adults." It would have been stupid, but it would make a whole lot of sense how old everyone was. If you don't believe me, this diagram should be quite useful.
SBKCharactercomparison.jpg picture by Superjustinbros
Also, all the characters are now from different countries. No longer do they live in the same town located in Canada. The only person that still resides in Canada itself is Tommy, who has also transformed (personality-wise) into a nasty bully.

Now let's talk about the two newcomers. Brad Maltine is, I kid you not, the sister of Linda Maltine, the girl responsible for starting the snowboard tournament in the original Snowboard Kids. The other newcomer, Koyuki Tanaka, is entirely original, although very slightly inspired by Kaede, one of the two secret characters from SBK+. Kaede also serves as part of Linda's replacement, since they're both of the same gender, and appear to have similar stats. (not sure, though.)

Another thing I was disappointed about was the gameplay itself. No longer do you see these kids (um,... excuse me.) teens snowboarding down strange and bizarre landscapes, all the courses in this game take place on snow. The closest to the original format this game's courses ever got was one of the tracks featuring the characters snowboarding down the top of buildings. They were covered in snow, but even if it wasn't, it would still be interesting.

Now how about Projectiles and Items? Well, to say the least, they brought them back, but made things a lot worse when it comes to them. No longer can you collect coins scattered along the track and break open red and blue boxes to obtain weapons to use to your benefits,... Well, yea. You can do that in this game too, but all the items are free, and there's not much variety. Plus, they only house non-projectiles. So how do you get projectiles? You earn them. How? By filling up some stupid "SBK" meter by doing tricks and picking up diamonds. And that's another thing that bugs me. The SBK meter. It's probably on of the most annoying features about the game. It's main purpose is to signify how much "energy" you have. They power-up your projectile weapon, and if you fill it all the way, you can do a special trick by launching off a ramp, then almost immediately touching several pannels on the touch screen. If you miss-calculate a touch, don't jump high enough, or waste too much time touching the screen in the right way to do the trick, you'll fail at the special trick, and waste precious time, allowing your opponents to pass you.

I feel I've said enough. Overall, SBK: Snowboard Kids isn't bad, but it's not much of a worthy title on the DS if you look past it's flaws. If you can't get a hold of the originals, then get this one if you can find it. Hopefully Atlus will bring Racjin back into the ring to create one last SBK game that stays true to the concepts of the N64 installments, even if it's a enchanted remake or compilation of the original games.

Good day, everyone. I'll see you later.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Questions Mark 3

NOTE: This post contains very minor mentions of that "franchise" that is still, and will remain cancelled. And like all previous minor mentions of it, it is for important reasons.

Do you have a Facebook and/or twitter accounts?
As I had said multiple times previously, yes. I do have both Facebook and twitter accounts. Unfortunately, I will not add you to my friends list on Facebook (unless you send me a request). You will have to search my real name (Justin De Lucia) and look for it yourselves, since I don't how how to link to one's Facebook page (yet). If you want to know which of the Justin De Lucia's is me, look for the one with this image:
Facebooktwitterprofilepage_bigger.png picture by Superjustinbros
My twitter can easily be accessed simply by going to the Twitter widget located on the right side of this blog, then by clicking on the "Join the conversation" link, you will be taken straight to my twitter page, and from there you can follow/reply to me. Alternately, you can find a link in the "External Links" section of this blog, also located on the right side.

Why are there no links to any Rosenkreuzstilette sites (including unofficial sites)?
First off, I should say that Super Justin: the Blog is not a Rosenkreuzstilette fansite, despite my excessive love to the series and all that I've done to praise it, but the reason why I avoid linking to RKS content is because some of the sites (the website of WOMI, for example) consist of/link to adult (not safe for work) material. And since I have a few friends from my school who visit this blog (either at home or at school itself), I don't want anyone to get into severe trouble.

When someone asks you for a request, why sometimes will you reject it?
Just like nearly every person on this planet, I like drawing specific things, so if just so happens I don't like the character(s) you ask me to draw for you, I'll reject it by saying (as polite as I can) something like "Sorry, but I cannot do your request."
And since we're on the topic of requests, I'd also like to mention the following: When asking for a request, please avoid saying something like "Do not disappoint me with my request," as a comment like that can get me excessive stress. Just ask, give me the references, then wait for the final image to be done. I'll put as much effort as I possibly can into your request. I know I am not a perfect artist. Nobody is perfect at anything, no mater how much you work at something, there is always going to be some sort of minor flaw that prevents something from being perfect. For me, it's art. If just so happens the artwork I create for you is not to your liking, just let me know of your opinion, favorite it if you like, and do nothing else. Don't say anything negative, or else you'll make me feel upset.

Why whenever you need additional characters for Aozora Jitsuwa, you always start a contest?
Well, incase you probably haven't noticed, I'm not so good when it comes to designing characters, plus, it gives regular people a chance to have their own creations get represented and greatly featured in my own series, much like with the Mega Man games and Rosenkreuzstilette ~Freudenstachel~.

Speaking of Aozora Jitsuwa, do you plan to create an official wiki for the series?
If you are curious, yes. An Aozora Jitsuwa wiki is currently in the planning stages, but in order to avoid harsh criticism, I'm going to probably wait until the first of the games based on the series.

Wait wait, GAMES?!?
That's right, everyone. Haters of Aozora Jitsuwa, get ready to get out your trusty weapons and prepare to commit suicide, because it is true, I am planning several Aozora Jitsuwa games as we speak. All of them are currently in the early planning stages; none of them have started development. Since I'm here, I'm going to let you know what's going to be made.

The first of these games, simply titled "Aozora Jitsuwa" will be a 2-D platformer focusing solely on Aozora and his attempts to take back the Jetters after they were kidnapped and re-programed by the A.C.E.S. to do their dirty work. The game will be mostly a clone of Nintendo's popular Super Mario series, but with a much higher level of difficulty (A great amount of levels scattered around 11 worlds, and a very, very limited amount of 1-Ups, which are well hidden in the levels.) and boss battles somewhat inspired from Mega Man. I also plan to throw in some of my own gimmicks just for added amusement. The game will also consist of spoofs and parodies on other popular video game series, as well as many different manga/anime. Unlike with that other game I had to cancel, this game (as well as the entire Aozora Jitsuwa series in general) is not intended to cash in on the popularity of any of the series that are spoofed or parodied, they are meant to act as non-profit tributes with a bit of a nostalgia feeling.

The second game has a working title of Aozora Jitsuwa 64, and as you expect, it's going to be based on the gameplay style of Super Mario 64, and will feature a gang of eight evil witches as the antagonists. Currently, at this time, there is a contest going on to determine the members of this group, and everyone is allowed to participate.

Well, I'm out of questions for the time. Anything else you have to say?
Yes, one thing for the Japanese:

の私の日本の視聴者包めば嫌悪症は気づいていなく、私の「特権」が永久に取り消されてしまったそれに基づく何でも(ゲーム、日本製アニメ、コミック)決して日の目を見ません極度のジャスティン。 これは余分な批評がされた原因厳密な著作権侵害を避けるためにであり。 私はpixivで日本のユーザー全員および幸せな私の悪い機構にかかわるユーザーをRKSのための開発に加わった特にそれら作るためにこれをしています。 私は決してそのような事を再度作成しません。
(Translated: Incase any of my Japanese viewers and haters are unaware, my "Super Justin Franchise" has been permanently canceled and anything based on it (Games, Anime, Comics) will never see the light of day. This was done due to excessive criticism and to avoid strict copyright infringement. I am doing this to make all the Japanese users on pixiv and those involved in my bad schemes happy, especially those that took part in development for RKS. I will never create such a thing ever again.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SJB Review: The Almighty Mr. Ice

Hi everyone. Today I am proud to present the second of my game reviews, and this time, it's the Korean Super Mario Bros. clone by HighMind entitled The Almighty Mr. Ice, available for iPhone and iPod Touch.
MrIceTitle.png picture by Superjustinbros
Yea. We probably know how much SMB inspired so many games, and this is one of them. But anyways, you control a guy named Mr. Ice on his quest to stop his evil look-alike, Dark Mister.
Now upon starting, you're presented with three options, "New Game," "Load Game," and "How To." Since I don't want to start the game from the very beginning, I'll select "Load Game" and load my previous save file.
IMG_0016.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here it is. The stage select screen, where you can choose your destination. Now wait a sec... look at that yellow stamp on the level windows. They spelt Normal as Nomal (that "nomal" stamp only appears if you complete the level on Normal difficulty). But anyways, select your stage, then the difficulty setting. I'll explain what the difficulty settings do later, but now, let's see what Stage 1 looks like.
IMG_0004.png picture by Superjustinbros
Okay, Right off the bat, what's wrong with this picture? Look at Mr. Ice, Don't tell me that reminds you of a few specific characters. And I can name three. Numbuh 2 from Codename: Kids Next Door, Rayman from Rayman, and Mario from Super Mario. But oh look! Coins! Another element taken straight from Mario!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash this game just because it's a clone of the Mario games and the characters are based off pre-existing characters. But I just wanted to say that for the lols.

Oh, and one more thing. The game lacks BGM. That's right, no music exists in this game whatsoever. How nice.
IMG_0007.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here's our first blocks. a "How" block telling you how to play, (duh.) and a "Item" block which houses one of the game's two items. Let's hit the "How" block and see what it has to say.
IMG_0008.png picture by Superjustinbros
*sigh* It appears we have some Engrish in the "How" boxes. But how can I complain? The people that made this game were Korean (No offense), so they probably didn't understand English well. Another thing I'd like to point out is that a lot of the later levels also have these "How" blocks, and they have "U" written instead of "You."
IMG_0009.png picture by Superjustinbros
Anyways, I hit the "Item" block, and out comes a sliver boot. Let's have Mr. Ice pick it up and try it out.
IMG_0010.png picture by Superjustinbros
...And now he's blue. Just like with the Fire Flowers from Mario, collecting the Ice Boots simply changes Mr. Ice to a different (baby-blue) color and gives him some new abilities. One of them being the ability to freeze enemies. Let's see that in action.
IMG_0012.png picture by Superjustinbros
Oh look, an enemy. Let's execute a simple stomp attack while wearing the Ice Shoes and see what happens!
Now the enemy's frozen solid. Unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you don't pick up frozen enemies and throw them, Mr. Ice kicks the enemy and sends it flying, like Koopa shells.
Look at 'em go; Wooooooo.....
IMG_0011.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here's the other thing the Ice Shoes can do. You can perform wall jumps. But unlike Mario's wall jumps, you can jump straight up instead of towards the opposite wall, and you do not slide down when you are against the wall.

Moving on to stage two, we have or next enemy: Crows.
IMG_0019.png picture by Superjustinbros
They're not much of a threat right now, but later, they'll become loyal pests.
Oh no! I got hit and shrunk down to half my size! Fantastic. How fantastic.
And if any of you are wondering what's with that Mr. Ice hologram on the floating platform, that's an ally of yours. You use them to cross instant-death spike pits and perform higher jumps. (Plus they also help you in a section in stage 5, where you have to travel along a certain path, or else the game sends you backwards in the level.)
Here's the other item. A red glove called the "Almighty Glove" that grants Mr. Ice the ability to damage everything on the screen by shaking the iPhone/iPod Touch, or by tapping the screen multiple times quickly.
IMG_0029.png picture by Superjustinbros
Get ready for another Mario homage.
That's right, the Spin Jump from Super Mario World even makes an appearance. By jumping then touching the screen again, Mr. Ice dives down and destroys any non/solid block in his path.

I'm going to be skipping stages 3-5 and move on straight to Level 6, where the frustration begins.
IMG_0022.png picture by Superjustinbros
This is where I began to experience troubles because of how difficult it can be to perform a super jump. You know how in Mario games you get more hight if you jump off an enemy with the Jump button held down? Well here, you have to touch the screen right as Mr. Ice lands on the enemy. If you're just a millisecond early or late, you have to try again.
Here's another situation were the same thing occurs. You have execute a Super Jump on the hologram so that you can jump over the spiky slime creature as the hologram passes underneath the block it is standing on. If you mess up, you fall into the spikes and die instantly. So in order to bypass this section, I had to let the spiky slime hurt me and use the after-invincibility to quickly cross the pit.

The most difficult of all the levels in this game is the seventh. Look. this spike pit is too wide for me to cross it without getting killed, so we have to look around for another way.
Bingo. Again like the Mario games, there are hidden blocks that you have to find in order to progress through the level. What a why to up the difficulty, especially since I got stuck in other parts of the game and couldn't escape from where I was.
IMG_0026.png picture by Superjustinbros
Here's the second and more challenging pit of stage 7, which requires you to master the Super Jump (bouncing off the enemies) to progress...
...but the wall is to high even to reach with the Super Jump. So what do you have to do? You see that crow? You do a Super Jump off it after using the Mr. Ice hologram to reach it safely. But if you miss the Super Jump, you can't try again. You have to return to the solid ledge to the left of the pit, and wait for the crow to reappear, then wait for the hologram to reach you, then try again. And if that wasn't enough, there are other parts of the same level that require you to jump off crows to reach the other side, so that's why I said you have to master the Super Jump technique, because that first pit is not the only one that requires you to jump off crows just to get to the other side.

Now I think it would be time to discuss what the difficulty levels do. Normal has no exotic twists, Easy makes a Ice Shoe power-up spawn whenever Mr. Ice becomes small, and Hard makes the boss faster and more difficult to defeat, but also requires you to collect all 99 coins that appear in each level before you can actually confront the boss, and given how some of the coins are well hidden inside the breakable blocks that you often have to walk across to clear a gap, it makes Hard mode much more difficult that it should be. If the amount of coins required was a little smaller, that that would be perfect, since you wouldn't have to search every nook and cranny for each coin. Also, the difficulty settings don't adjust the level layout or enemy behavior in any way. Only Hard makes the boss itself harder. That's it.

IMG_0032.png picture by Superjustinbros
And so, we're up to the final boss, Dark Mister. And like I said, he's a evil version of Mr. Ice that is twice as large with a zig-zag mouth. You have to use the green slimes as a spring to jump high in the air and drill-stomp Dark Mister in the head several times. Once you beat him, this screen comes up:
This game is telling me if I want to unlock Stage 9, that I have to run through all 8 levels on Hard mode, which would be near-impossible given how well the coins are hidden. I'm not even going to bother showing it, since it would take forever trying to reach it.

And one more thing. What's with the random crashing before/after some levels? If it happens after you beat a level, it corrupts the data, making you have to start all over again.

So that's The Almighty Mr. Ice. My final opinion? It's a fairly decent clone of Super Mario, but a lot of things in the later stages made the game harder than it should be. If you're not sure if you're going to like playing this, play the Lite (free) version first before you decide to play the full product. It's not the best game on iPhone/iPod Touch, but it's decent enough to be somewhat enjoyable.

UPDATE: Hey everyone, Just a small minor update. Not long ago I unlocked the Extra Stage, and it's just a really difficult level with the BG of Stage 1 and the FG of Stage 7. The boss is just Dark Mister all over again, and the boss of Stage 3 is now a regular enemy, the same size of the other enemies.

The Almighty Mr. Ice receives a 6.8/10.