Life, Art, and Monkeys
26Apr/16Off

Movin!

Well, given how infrequently I update this ol' personal blog, I think it's about time I moved things over to JKRiki.com permanently. It's updated every Monday, after all! Plus I'm going to be upgrading it in the next few months to include links to other spots I hang out online, such as my new digs at Instagram. If you're looking for me in the meantime, check over here!

Zipping over to JKRiki.com!

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7Dec/15Off

Lakitu

First of all, Yoshi's Woolly World is fantastic.

TM_WiiU_YoshisWoolyWorld

If you have a Wii U, or access to a Wii U, or are wandering through Best Buy and they have a demo station with this game available, you should check it out. Not only is it gorgeous, but it's classic fun. The animations are also dripping with charm and appeal. Five stars. Not only one of the best games I've played in years, but maybe one of my favorites ever. (Huge fan of Yoshi's Island on the SNES, but less so the ones that came after it. Until now!)

Given that I've been playing it recently, I thought I'd do some drawings of little Lakitu and his Spiny friend. Or... are they friends? It's hard to tell, given that Lakitu chucks the poor little guys out of the sky. Maybe it's a weird, symbiotic relationship. Or all Spinys secretely hate their Lakitu overlords. Anyway, here's a drawing!

12_05_lakitu_post
Also the post this week at JKRiki.com is on how learning a new skill can foster creativity. Check it out!

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Filed under: Art, Drawing, Gaming 2 Comments
24Jun/15Off

Past Archives Begin Here

Caution sign
Please note: Posts here older than June 24th, 2015 should be considered officially archived. I am not removing them, but in the ten years that I have been writing on this blog I have changed a great deal. Things beyond this point should be considered outdated at best, and may contain many errors or opinions I no longer hold. These things tend to happen as you grow and live life. Or at least, they hopefully happen as you try to become a better person as you age! I just want readers to be aware of that, so that if you decide to go poking through history you will know that it doesn't necessarily reflect my current or future views. :)

 

If you'd like current thoughts and posts, please visit JKRiki.com for regular scheduled updates that provide better insights and information. Thanks!

JKRiki.com

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16Jun/15Off

Quick E3 2015 Thoughts!

I'd like to spend more time on the subject, but it's a busy day followed by a very busy week here, so I only have a few minutes. Still, people like talking E3 so let's do it!

- I heard very good things came out of the MS and Sony conferences, which have a lot of people excited. Really happy for them! At a glance there was nothing that jumped out at me, aside from apparent news that the XB1 is now backwards compatible? Might be time to upgrade that dying 360 of mine if this is the case! (Though I don't need an XB1 so the smart thing is to not even think about making that purchase!) I also heard FF7 is finally getting a remake, which is a bit hilarious considering they waited this long. I'm not a FF guy, so it also falls in the "happy for other people" camp.

- The Nintendo Direct didn't do much for me, honestly. Seems like that's the general consensus across a lot of places I've looked, but usually Nintendo really appeals to me. I think my issue is they seem SUPER resting on their laurels right now. Spin-offs of all their major brands, but nothing really new and interesting. Ho-hum, for me. Which is okay, because I have plenty to take up my time right now, and I still haven't opened a handful of Wii U games I got for Christmas! There's no shortage of entertainment, so a year off from anything that really has me excited is actually probably a very good thing. (I will play the new Fire Emblem, though. Love me some Fire Emblem! And the Xenoblade game will no doubt end up purchased by my wife. So it isn't like there's nothing.)

Overall this is the least interesting E3 that I've experienced in a few years. I am well aware that is NOT the case for many folks, who are have been eager for Last Guardian and Kingdom Heart news for a very, very long time. Hope they're worth the wait!

Alright, back to work. Also in case you missed it, there's a new post up at JKRiki.com to read!

What did you think of E3 2015?

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Filed under: Gaming 3 Comments
19May/15Off

The Warm Embrace of a Creeper

In spite of any wisdom gained in 30-odd years, I went ahead and re-installed Minecraft last week so that I could play alongside Ferdinand. I blame he and his wife, because they purchased a Minecraft Lego set when we visited their house in Germany, and it made me desperately want to play again.

Here you see a Zombie riding a Spider (who is holding a torch) fighting the main character using a ladder as a weapon. Surprisingly this was the handiwork of my wife, not me.

Here you see a Zombie (who is holding bread) riding a Spider (who is holding a torch) fighting the main character using a ladder as a weapon. Surprisingly this was the handiwork of my wife, not me.

The biggest difficulty I've had in this return to crafting mines is that after hours of searching Saturday, zero villages were found. I am a big fan of villages in the game, because I attempt to turn them into small kingdoms and set up a castle so I can pretend they are all my loyal subjects.

What? It's not egotistical. I'm HELPING them. They'd die without their honorable king. I know, because I've watched it happen from atop my mighty fortress.

At any rate, we couldn't find any villages even after walking around for hours, so we picked a mountaintop to begin work on a castle sans-village-below. However my quest has not ended. I still seek subjects to rule over with a kind, yet brutal, iron fist.

I will find you, villagers! So help me if that is my only goal before I quit this stupid addicting game again, I will find you!

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Filed under: Gaming 2 Comments
27Apr/15Off

Yoshi

Here's a Yoshi rough illustration I did for Sketch Daily's topic of Yoshi. He has a giant cherry because I would want a giant cherry if I was a yoshi. Drawn on my phone while sitting in the car waiting for my wife after work.

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Filed under: Art, Drawing, Gaming No Comments
8Apr/15Off

April 2015 Nintendo Direct

If you missed the latest Nintendo Direct, it's right here.

I figured why not yammer about what I thought of it, and if you have any thoughts I'd love to hear them as well!

  • - New Smash Bros. Characters

I was never a huge Mewtwo or Lucas fan, but I'm happy they are doing more characters all the time. I was shocked to see they are taking VOTES for future characters now! For the record, I voted for Banjo-Kazooie. A long shot? Maybe, but whatever! BK FTW!

  • - Mario Maker

I don't know if I'll get this, but wow is it looking better every day. I bet there will be some epic levels people make.

  • - Yarn Yoshi

Looks adorable, and two player mode seals the deal for me as there's few things I enjoy  more than playing games like this with my wife.

  • - Splatoon

Was interested Day 1 and still am. Now if it would just release already!

  • - More Amiibos

I think they're getting a little out of control with the amiibos at this point. Yarn amiibos? Really? Anyway, I'm glad I never set out to "collect them all" because I'd be poor. Also there would be a lot of clutter in my house.

  • - N64 and DS Virtual Consoles

Bout time N64 games came to Wii U, and MORE than about time we got DK64! I often go to my local used game store and stare longingly at DK64's yellow cartridge, wanting to buy it but not being able to justify the $50 price tag. Apparently the cart is rare. I will definitely be buying it later this month. Can't wait to hear the DK Rap again after all these years!

  • -Indie Games

Not going to lie, I skipped this section of the video. I love that more people are making games than ever, but I have enough trouble keeping up with the "big" titles these days. If I get Indie stuff it is usually on Steam during a sale or on my phone for cheaper than it ever seems to be on any consoles.

  • -Fire Emblem x Shin Megumi Tensai (spelling?)

I love Fire Emblem, and imagine my wife will buy this because she's an RPG nut.

  • -Fatal Frame

TOO SCARY.

  • -Match 3 Games

Who doesn't like Match 3 games? Also who isn't sick of Match 3 games. At least these seem different in some ways. We'll see.

  • - New Streetpass Plaza games

SHUT UP GET OUT OF HERE TAKE MY MONEY SHUT UP NEED NOW GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!

*leaves to fire up Nintendo 3DS*

 

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Filed under: Gaming 5 Comments
15Jan/15Off

Nintendo Direct 1-14-2015 Thoughts

Yesterday (Today as I'm writing this) Nintendo held one of their terrific "Nintendo Direct" mini-events online. You can see the full thing here, if you'd like.

Be warned, spoilers lie ahead (if one can spoil a hype-inducing video about future games).

The biggest news, to me, to come from the event is the announcement that more Marth amiibos will be shipped to the US later this year. Why is that a big deal, you may ask? Well, the scarcity of Marth (among others) led to some deep seated fanboy lunacy down inside my soul somewhere, to the point where I was wanting to buy amiibos I didn't actually even WANT just because I knew I wouldn't be able to get them later, since they were not the main-line characters. It had me scouring stores in an attempt to find Pit, but ready to snatch up any rare amiibo I spotted just because it was rare.

Yep, people are selling them for insane prices on eBay.

I don't often fall victim to this perverse materialism, but I'm clearly not entirely immune.

The announcement of "More Marth in 2015" has pulled me safely back from the brink of madness. Where as I had alerts set for any amiibos available online to be back in stock, I can now breathe easy and realize fully that this figurine desire is artificial and empty. The good news is it's not just me, this is a proven psychological issue humans face. The bad news is I thought I was doing better than that.

Alas, it is yet another kick in the rear end and reminder that in spite of how far I've come regarding letting go of the world and its empty promises, the world still has its claws in me when it comes to Nintendo and "rare" collectable things. Looks like there's still plenty of work to be done before I'm fixed and made whole.

Other highlights (again, to me) include Splatoon which looks better every time I see it, and Xenoblade Chronicles X (terrible name, looks amazing). I also am HIGHLY anticipating Kirby's Rainbow Curse (adored Kirby's Cursed Canvass) and the fact that the Donkey Kong vs. Mario game coming is cross-purchase. That means if you buy it on Wii U, you get it on 3DS as well. Now, I'm not much interested in DK vs. Mario (DK94 is the only DK game I will ever need ever, ever) but I am thrilled to hear Nintendo is trying out the idea of buy-it-once-get-it-twice marketing. If the same held true for Monster Hunter 4, for example, I would have picked it up in a heartbeat. As it is, I have to buy the game twice, and that's a no-thank-you from me. (I did buy Smash Brothers for both systems, but I'm weak willed when it comes to Smash Brothers.)

The "Say it ain't so!" side of the direct included horrible monstrosities such as Nintendo releasing a match 3 "freemium" Pokemon game. Please no, Nintendo! Don't go down this horrible path... You're better than that! Ah well, I suppose it's bound to happen. That's the direction the industry is headed...

What did you think of the Direct and it's myriad of announcements and visual goodies? Anything you are anxiously anticipating from the video?

 

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Filed under: Being Human, Gaming 3 Comments
14Sep/14Off

Smash Brothers 3DS

It's been a long time since I rambled about a video game here on the blog, so I thought I'd take a moment to share some early impressions of Smash Brothers 3DS, the demo of which I got a code for from a fellow Nintendo fan online and was able to try out yesterday. First of all, I was surprised at just how little I noticed the art style difference of the game. I expected, from screen shots, to have it be quite unique compared to the console versions, but in motion it just fits and you can barely even tell it's not just a smaller version of Brawl or Melee. Good stuff.

Unfortunately the controls are proving extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around. I keep mashing a punch button when I mean to jump, and leap off cliffs when trying to pick up an item. So it's going to take a LOT of getting used to, and I think I need some sort of training mode for a few hours. So much for all those skills I had built up over the decades... Meanwhile my monstrous hands cramp a bit from all the frantic button pressing and the smaller 3DS (despite it being an XL). So I'm going to look for one of those plastic attachments for the system to add extender handles onto it or something, because at the moment I'm just not going to be able to play well given my current physiology.

All in all, though, seems like they did a great job with the game, and I'm looking forward to trying out more modes whenever I eventually buy it! I don't know at this point if that will be Day 1 or not, so we'll see. Tempting, but I DO already have so many games to play, plus a house to continue to work on and finish. So it might be Christmas or after when I take the plunge.

Anyone else tried out the demo? What do you think?

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Filed under: Gaming 2 Comments
27Aug/14Off

That Once a Month Post

Hey all you people who still check in on the blog now and again! Hope you're well.

Not too much new on this end, I've been working full time trying to get the new house in order so it can be finished and we can move. It's taking forever and a day, but I'm hopeful one day it will be done. Going to be a while still, though. I'm not going to frustrate myself with setting a date to finish, because those sorts of things are really out of my hands. Depends on inspections and energy levels, and all sorts of other factors. So it will be done when it's done.

I'm prepping a sermon on the Sabbath for this Sunday and doing the guest preaching. And tomorrow I'm taking the day off from everything and not working on anything. I might play some Roller Coaster Tycoon (1) and nap. Whatever, I don't know. It just won't be work. It's been a long time since I took a day completely off, so it's due. We need downtime. Our society doesn't like that because we're not being productive members of society when we don't do anything, but if we're always on 24/7, we burn out and die faster. So time for a break.

Not much else to report, I suppose. Drawing 2: Anatomy begins in a few weeks so that will be something added to my schedule. I'm looking forward to it, though also concerned a bit because anatomy has always been my LEAST favorite aspect of drawing. Probably why I've put it off for so long.

And just so this post isn't void of pretty pictures, here's a scan of some gesture drawing practice I did. 60 second poses, just main lines and solid form underdrawing.

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