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The Inner Workings Of A Mink's Mind
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Thomas 'SpAwN' Mink's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
12:27 pm
Bruticus Reveal
So torn on seeing the reveal of these guys... and it's solely for one reason alone, which I'll get to.

Vortex is a flat repaint of Alpha Bravo. Blades got a new head at least.. but honestly, Vortex does look a little better... a little. The strange teal on the arms and head doesn't work for me. What was wrong with keeping them grey? But it works better than Blades' grey arms, which is just so out of place. The bright yellow forearm missiles on Vortex though, they look worse each time you look at them.

Swindle is an extensive retool of Rook into a weird combat jeep. Honestly, he doesn't look all that bad. Bit of a strange vehicle mode, but the robot mode is fantastic.

Brawl is a new mold, and as such he looks great in both modes. No complaints.

Onslaught is indeed a retool of Hot Spot, like everyone predicted. The gun turrets are his weapons, which I guess does solve the issue of how to deal with them in combined mode... and I'll come back to that too. He looks ok in both modes.

Then there's Blast Off. And this is the primary reason of why I'm so torn. I kind of expected him to not be a space shuttle.. but I at least expected him to have his own head. No, he's just a flat repaint of Quickslinger (Slingshot). They gave Blast Off a mouth! And yes, that bugs me to no end. It's bad enough they took his alt mode away, but no.. they have to strip away all his defining features as well. You know.. and the sad part is that they could use Firefly's head and color it appropriately.
EDIT - June 26: After thinking more on it, they should have just removed him from the team and replaced him with some other guy who is a 'combat jet'.. and he should probably be a repaint of Air Raid instead of Quickslinger. The lack of care about Blast Off shown by that reveal is almost insulting to me.. no, actually it is insulting. He was probably my favorite member of the Combaticons, or at least tied with Onslaught. I was looking forward to finishing my combiner collection with Bruticus, and am now instead hoping Takara fixes what Hasbro seems to be breaking.

And now Bruticus himself. He doesn't look bad, per se. It's just that Blast Off sticks out in all the wrong ways to me. I'm not used to seeing a jet hanging off Bruticus.. then again, I wasn't used to seeing a helicopter on Superion or an armored SWAT vehicle on Defensor either. Guess that just kinda says something about my real thoughts on Blast Shot... Sling Off? Combined with the iconic cannons on his back being the same two Onslaught weapons, that even leaves him weaponless. Plus those cannons looking rather small.

There's also something weird about the colors that I can't really describe, but the pictures are only photoshop repaints... or some sort of colored CGI mockups. But even still.
I went Hasbro with all the other combiners released so far (picking up Quickslinger and Brake-Neck along the way as well, despite Off-Road growing on me.. and still standing by my choice to not pick up a deluxe Groove if Hasbro should release one because I think the legend looks great as a chest plate, and I like Rook)... but I'm thinking I'll wait for Takara's take on these guys, just in the hopes that they fix Blast Off at the very least.

Current Mood: disappointed
Monday, May 25th, 2015
5:10 pm
Combiner Wars Defensor
So I finally got these, with the exception of the Legends Class Groove because of an issue with an online retailer. Individually, though, this is probably my favorite team so far. Each figure is solid in both alt and robot modes.

First Aid is an extensive retool of Off-Road. Somewhat small for an ambulance, but I'm not sure he's supposed to be one. I never saw one that looked like what he turns into anyway.. but regardless, it's a solid mode. And his robot mode is even better. They nailed the deco for this guy, and especially the head sculpt. The axe is a little strange, but whatever.

Blades is the weakest of the group because he's essentially just a repaint of Alpha Bravo with a new head. And the funny thing is, Alpha Bravo has the better deco. The problem is that I can't get past the grey bits on Blades. If his shoulders and forearms were white instead of grey I'd think he'd look a hell of a lot better. As it is now, the grey sticks out in all the wrong ways.

Streetwise is an extensive retool of Dead End, and is probably my favorite of the group because of it. The police car alt mode is very sleek looking, and the robot mode is just as amazing. The tri-barrelled shotgun is also an excellent touch.

Rook is the new member and turns into an armored SWAT vehicle. Probably my favorite of the new additions so far, just barely edging out Alpha Bravo. It's strange because he's nothing fancy in either mode, but he pulls both off extremely well. The robot mode looks like an armored bruiser, and the vehicle mode captures that equally well. The head sculpt, I admit is weird, with the football helmet thing going on.. but it looks good. In addition, the top of the helmet resembles a rook chess piece.. which is a nice touch. Also, so far Rook is the only Combiner Wars figure with an ankle tilt.

Hot Spot is the voyager torso that turns into a rather flat looking fire truck. It works though. Almost looks like a modified version of one of those real world flat-ish fire trucks. Despite that, the robot mode more than makes up for whatever the alt mode was lacking. If you know anything about Transformers, you can't look at this guy without thinking Hot Spot. His robot mode is perfect in that regard. Took me a bit to figure out how to lock his knees in though, since it's not documented anywhere in the instructions.. but whatever.

Then there's the combined Defensor. He's not bad, but I still like Superion a little better. It's also strange that I can't really place why. Hot Spot's torso transformation is fantastic and looks good.. perhaps a little too black, but still. The limbs look good too, with Streetwise being the weakest. But I dunno.. he's almost square. Like he's just as wide as he is tall, and it's a little off-putting. Not bad though, and certainly better than Menasor in his default configuration.

Heard there is likely to be a Bruticus somewhere on the horizon.. so I'm looking forward to that.

Current Mood: content
Saturday, April 18th, 2015
2:32 am
Scream? The SERIES??
Ok... so the first Scream movie was watchable. It was actually a nice satire of the slasher film genre, so I was able to watch it for what it was.

The three sequels were goddamn terrible! And yes, I watched all of them.. the entire way through. I'll never get any of that time back, and it was a painful chore on top of that. No, I don't remember much of anything about the plots of those sequels, or what they were trying to do. I watched them only once each.. and it was years ago.
For what it's worth, I only watched the original Scream twice.. but I remember so much more about it because it had things in it that were worth remembering.

Anyway, now I'm just randomly browsing I come across articles talking about a MTV Scream series.. and how "Wes Craven’s Scream quadrilogy is one of the most popular and successful horror franchises to ever exist". That same article then goes on to compare the series' trailer to I Know What You Did Last Summer, and it does so in a POSITIVE manner! POSITIVE!

Maybe I'm alone in my thinking here. I dunno. Scream was ok, and watchable.. with some memorable scenes. How exactly a satire of the slasher films can 'reboot the entire genre' though, I have no idea. The sequels were downright terrible, and the copycat movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer were just as bad.. with the sequels to those movies (seriously, how does that even happen?) being EVEN WORSE!

No, I did not watch the trailer for this series.. and I doubt I will ever see the show unless people start talking about it positively at work or something and are able to counter my bias, like presented here, somehow.

But seriously.. knowing a Scream series is being made is something that will distract me for minutes per day. I don't believe it.. but there it is.

Fuckin' people.

Current Mood: cynical
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
11:43 am
Combiner Wars Menasor
So I was not expecting to like this guy very much.. and in his 'official' configuration, I really don't. He has very odd proportions that I just can't ignore, and I just can't get over the fact that it looks like Motormaster is standing bollegged ontop of Breakdown and Off-Road in their alt-modes with a mask on. And speaking of Motormaster, his hip ratchets are too wide between clicks, making Menasor either have his legs way too far apart or always together. One or two clicks in between those would have been perfect, but whatever.

The alternate configuration that I posted previously looks great, however. It makes Menasor a bit tall, but with the odd proportions he was given.. it kinda helps even him out. But yea.. he's like half a head taller than MakeToy's Giant (their Devastator). Kinda 'ehhhhhh', but not enough to really bother me. I also wanted to have the front of Drag Strip's F1 mode and the front of Dead End's car folded up to more look like cars, and it's certainly doable.. but he wouldn't fit on the shelf I have for him like that, so I just reverted them to the default arm setups.

Kinda bugs me there is barely storage for the robot weapons too. Superion has ports on his thighs which is nice to help hide their skinniness, plus the Silverbolt ports on his back.. plus whatever jet wings, or the robot mode fists. Menasor just has the individual alt mode storage spots.. which works well enough, except for Drag Strip's weapon. So I just have Menasor holding it in his off-hand like a knife or dagger.

The Stunticons themselves are quite nice individually. Dead End and Motormaster are amazing in both their modes.. and Drag Strip is nice as well. Breakdown has a sweet alt-mode, but looks a little blocky in robot form. It's not bad, but when compared to the rest of his teammates his robot mode comes up a little short. Off-Road is... ok... I guess. I think they could have did a lot better than the weird teal and green colors they gave him in robot mode. His alt mode is ok though, and like Alpha bravo kinda shakes it up by being a 4x4 truck of some sort.

Here's the thing with Off-Road. I'm a Stunticon fan. Off-Road isn't bad.. but he's not Wildrider. Instead, he's just a fill in until I get my hands on Wildrider in May. I do appreciate his bio on the back on the pack-in comic though.. saying how he was quick to replace a former comrade, even going so far as to take his colors.. which leaves the rest of his teammates a little uneasy. I honestly wouldn't mind him being a new Stunticon too much if the teal thighs and biceps, and the green face were.. something else. Alpha Bravo has a fantastic deco. This guy.. not so much, in robot mode anyway.

Anyway.. I like these Stunticons more than I was expecting to. Fansproject's M3 is definitely amazing to look at, but it's really not fun to transform. That things is a statue to me any more. This Hasbro version took its spot on the Decepticon shelf it was on because it's actually fun to fiddle with.

Guess I should note that I do have two preorders for more nonnef items to improve him a little. The first are G1 style horns instead of the weird viking/bull horns he has now.. which honestly don't look as bad in person, but still. And the second is replacement hip ratchets for Motormaster.. because seriously.

Bit more confident in Defensor now too as a result of this. But we'll see later this month.

Current Mood: surprised
Saturday, April 11th, 2015
2:03 pm
Combiner Wars Superion
So... Superion... yea, he was probably my least favorite combiner. But he existed in season 2 of the original cartoon, so I need him to complete the ol' collection. And with Air Raid finally getting released, I had the Aerialbots all shipped as a group.

All of the individual Aerialbots have pretty good robot modes, but the alt-modes suffer greatly. Every one of them is essentially a jet with a robot under it in alt-mode... with the robot mode pretty  much being a robot with a jet on its back. They're good looking robots though, but still.. I feel they needed to find a way to incorporate more of the alt-mode into the transformation and/or robot mode some how.

Silverbolt has it the worst, but then he always has.. even dating back to G1. His entire robot mode, save for the head, is completely visible from under the concorde jet alt-mode. All of the other jets have visible shins and feet.. and completely visible, as in they didn't even attempt to hide them, arms. The only one who gets a pass is Alpha Bravo, and that's probably because he's a new guy so they don't have any past incarnations to live up to. He turns into a helicopter, and the cockpit folds up along his ankles.. much like Classics/Henkei Astrotrain.. and the uppermost portion of it folds up to form the feet. It's a small difference, I know, being only the feet.. but it leads to about half of the underside being clean in alt-mode. And no, Alpha Bravo's arms are still hanging out there... but his forearms are covered in missiles, so just from that they're hidden better... and yes, that is kinda sad.

The combined Superion is pretty awesome though, I gotta say. He looks great just standing there, but he's also surprisingly stable and posable. My only real complaint is the super soft and rubbery antennae that he came with. Mine were permenantly bent backwards and no amount of bending was able to straighten them.. they'd just go back to the bent backward look after a few seconds or a minute or so. I ordered a stiff plastic set of antennae from nonnef and they work great as a replacement. Course.. the right antenna has an ever-so-slight bend back, so that's unfortunate. Only I'll notice it though...... but then, that's also the problem.

My second issue is only a minor nitpick. The hand/foot that came with Firefly (Fireflight) has loose fingers. It pretty much doesn't amount to meaning anything due to how the hands work anway, but that's why it's only a minor nitpick... plus I'm using the hand/foot that came with each member on that respective limb.. and I'm using the G1 layout, meaning Fireflight is a right arm.

But anyway, I love the combined mode and the individual robot modes.. which is nice because it means I can display them individually at times. A good alt-mode would have been a bonus, but eh.. they're passable. Happy with the purchase overall. I really do like him more than I thought I was going to... ...hope the same holds true for the Menasor I decided to purchase as well, whom I was planning on skipping and am still doubtful of. Still waiting on Motormaster to get here to find out.

P.S. Yea.. I do have Powerglide. I was originally going to have him used as either an add-on to Superion's weapon or as a second weapon alltogether, but I like Superion as he is now that I don't even feel like putting in that little bit of effort to see how Powerglide would look in such a role.

P.P.S. My like of Alpha Bravo did have me questioning whether or not I actually wanted to get Quickslinger (Slingshot) when he's released in May. Alpha Bravo is probably my favorite of the Aerialbot limbs, which probably says something. But then I figured that yes, I will get Slingshot and have him displayed as Superion's left arm. That will leave Alpha bravo to be displayed by himself at all times instead of lost in combination. :)

Current Mood: complacent
Friday, April 3rd, 2015
10:02 am
Skipping Hasbro's Stunticons... who am I kidding?

Turns out the 'official' transformation is what was making him look ugly as sin.
This configuration here looks sweet, to me at least (2nd photo, 3rd photo). Blackjack isn't just a car planted on his chest.. and Motormaster doesn't look he's bollegged and standing on two vehicles. It actually looks really nice to me.. enough so that I just ordered all of them but Off Road. I'll be skipping him and waiting until May for Brake-Neck (aka, Wildrider with a new name.. because copyright loss on Hasbro's part). That said, the Stunticons will be displayed individually until May.

No idea what I'm going to do with M3/Intimidator.. guess I could put him up on top the case with some other extras like Generations Springer and Sandstorm.. I mean, he looks sweet combined so it would be a shame to NOT display him.

For as much as I like M3/Intimidator though, he's just... not fun. The four limb-bots are fine, honestly.. but Diesel is just irritating to get into torso mode. So much so that my fears about the team did in fact come true. He's only been taken out of his combined form once since I got him, despite my interest in having the team displayed individually at least once in a while.

Hasbro's version won't have that issue at all, and it looks okay enough as well when not using the 'official' method of transformation. At least I'm hoping...
Saturday, February 21st, 2015
3:25 pm
Combiner Wars...
So Hasbro is going to be getting more money from me than usual... which is great for them and my collection, but kinda sigh worthy for me.

I already have the Aerialbots on order... I'm just waiting for Air Raid to get released before I have them shipped. For some reason they released Drag Strip (a Stunticon) in the wave instead. That said, I guess that is a plus... I won't be getting any of Hasbro's Stunticons. That Menasor just looks awful to me. At some point I might pick up Motormaster because he looks pretty good, but that combined Menasor just looks bad in every picture I've seen. I'm perfectly happy with FansProject's M3 filling the Menasor role.

That also said, I'll also be skipping their version of Devastator. Some disagree, but I actually think the combined mode looks good. However, the individual robots all have unforgivable flaws... like lack of elbows and such. I have MakeToys Giant on order to fill that role in my collection, as well as the Reprolabels for them. ...Not to mention that I think six voyager-sized robots forming him is just a tad large for my collection, but still.

But then I also learn that they'll be putting out a Defensor.. and the pictures actually look pretty nice, so there's another $80 or so they'll be getting out of me. Actually more because they made Groove (the motorcycle) turn into his chest plate, while making a new member named Rook take his place as a limb [he transforms into an armored SWAT vehicle]. This amuses me a little, because I think it'll be the first time Groove will be a bit more in scale. As such, this is a case where I'm fine with the addition of a new member.

...It's not that I hate adding to the collection, it's that it's all happening kinda fast. That said, I do hope Hasbro puts out at least a decent Bruticus eventually. I'm praying they do him some amount of justice, unlike my initial view of Menasor. ...and I hope they have all five of the original members, instead of some new guy added like they did for every single combiner so far (though I have heard reports we'll be getting a Slingshot at some point later on to replace Alpha Bravo [the new member, who turns into a helicopter]).

Current Mood: anxious
Saturday, October 4th, 2014
11:39 am
Gauntlet (2014)
Have to say... the trailers and gameplay videos that I watched from the 2014 remake of Gauntlet took me way back into my childhood. I never played the original arcade game in 1985 because I was way too young, but I did play it and Gauntlet II on the Amiga. It was great fun!

Anyway, this remake does a great job at updating the game. It still feels like an arcade game at its heart, which means it's kinda simple in how everything works... but honestly, I like that.

With the four characters, they took the one aspect they were each good at in the original and kinda expanded on it.
Thor, the Warrior, was the best at melee.. which I don't think many people even considered in the original game since it was pretty much just you walking into everything to deal damage. Anyway, he's not bad here.. just, a little outmatched by everyone else. His charge and leap attack are a bit clunky to use, and the payoff for the leap attack isn't really all that worth it with how precise you need to be. His whirlwind is pretty good, but could probably be upped to at least be as strong as the Valkyrie spear in terms of damage. I'm not saying he's not fun to play, just that he plays a bit differently than one would expect from the melee barbarian of the group... because positioning is almost essential.

Thyra, the Valkyrie, was the best at defense and took the least amount of damage in the original. To that end, she can block attacks with her shield so long as she is facing the direction the damage is coming from... it's actually quite remarkable. She also has some awesome offensive moves with the spear thrust and shield toss... which kinda makes one wonder how Thor could've been left behind like he was..

Questor, the Elf, was the fastest of the character in the original. To that end, he doesn't lose any speed at all when firing his bow.. making him the best kiter and the best at moving around a battlefield. His arrows are weak but spammable, and his sniper shot is good for picking off casters. He can dive through enemies to a safe spot or drop/shoot a bomb to help quell the numbers.

Merlin, the Wizard, was the best for using 'bomb' potions in the original. Well... with the potions getting revamped to power relics, Merlin kinda got a makeover. He can cast nine spells by using different combinations of three elements.. fire, ice, and electricity. It takes a little bit to get the combinations down, but once you do you'll find the Wizard to be, perhaps, the most versatile in what he can do.

The combat is fast-paced and action oriented, and also feels amazingly satisfying. It's hard to describe, really.

The one major flaw of the game is level content. There are only 30 in the game total. 10 per 'zone' or 'world'. And that's counting the one boss fight in each world, which isn't really a level at all. To that end, it makes for a very short game.

I still have yet to play with friends online, and I can certainly see it being a lot better there... but even then, I think the lack of levels will catch up to it.

It's a good game, and I certainly feel that I got my ~$20 worth... but then I don't zerg through a game as fast as I possibly can either.

Some things I'd like to see in the future:
Endless/Endurance Mode - A dungeon that essentially keeps going until you die.. using a mix of all the environments that are there, including ones that might be added in the future. Keys and potions should probably also be made to be transferrable between levels in this mode so some levels can have less than others. Not sure how not having enough keys would be handled though... ...in the original game, you just sat around until all of the doors opened. This had the effect of wasting health due to the constant trickle. *shrug*

"Friends can join in any time" - From what I hear on the forums, this quote from the original arcade game was forgotten. You can only join a game in the lobby and not one that is currently started.

IT - A monster from Gauntlet II that made a player "it" when it touched them, also killing the monster. This caused every monster to focus on that one player until they touched another, making them "it".
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
12:00 pm
Fansproject Military Multiplexer kit (aka 'not Menasor')
Just some random thoughts on these third party figures. I absolutely had to dive in and get these. Out of all the combiner teams in the Transformers, my favorite is the Stunticons. Devastator is the most iconic and the one loved by the masses, but I dunno.. the evil car team is the one that always caught me. Dead End was especially cool with his gloomy attitude.

Motormaster: Megatron's in trouble!
Dead End: Who cares?
Wildrider: It looks like Starscream's defeated him!
Dead End: So?

I dunno.. for some reason I loved that, and it's impossible for me to forget him.. and the other Stunticons just by association.. because of it.

Anyway.. the figures themselves are fantastic individually.

T-Bone, aka 'not Wildrider', is the worst of them. I know many others in the fandom don't like him because of his bland color scheme.. but I don't like him because all of the hundreds of tabs that hold his car together only half work. He looks gappy and horrible, and that's just after a single transformation. I think he looks great in robot mode, and I think could look cool in car mode.. but all the gaps prevent that.

Car Crash, aka 'not Breakdown', by constrast is kinda cool because he actually holds together despite having the same setup. He transforms identically to T-Bone, only with a different shape and style of car. However, because of T-Bone, I worry Car Crash's tabs will eventually also fail over time and leave him gappy as hell.

Down Force, aka 'not Drag Strip', is kinda cool. Bit of a wonky transformation with his feet being pushed under the windshield/cockpit thing, and all the shoulder kibble bits.. but he's otherwise extremely solid. They even fixed an issue I had with Car Crash and T-Bones' legs by adding an extra hinge joint for the transformation process.

Last Chance, aka 'not Dead End', is probably my favorite of the group though. He has huge things hanging off his shoulders, but they don't look bad. His colors and great and the iconic golden face is all there. Just too bad he has eyes and a mouth instead of the weird visor and faceplate look he had in the cartoons. Kind of ironic that he's my favorite of them.. because he's also the most simple in how he transforms.

Diesel, aka 'not Motormaster', is... interesting. The whole back half of his truck-mode trailer is essentially Menasor kibble. You could have him wear it on his back and shoulders, but personally I think it looks a little silly. But Diesel himself is great. The transformation from truck to robot is a little intimidating, but is actually kinda impressive once you do it.
However... turning Diesel into a torso to form Menasor was a pain. I will admit that it is an impressive transformation in how it's done and what the end result looks like, but getting to that point wasn't all that fun. With how the waist works with its hinge and two rotating pieces, I was scared of snapping him in half. That's not really a good thing, in my mind. The stiffness of that particular rotation joint didn't help with those fears either.

Speaking of Menasor though.. when you get him all put together, he looks god damn amazing. I love how the entire trailer from Diesel is used.. but then that also leads to the two cars on the legs essentially just being there for looks. I'm ok with that though.. but a part of me wishes I could emulate a more G1 look with the car bodies facing the back. I know, that's probably a bit strange.. but hey. But yea, Menasor looks great. The problem is, I like the Stunticons. Yea.. that includes Menasor.. but I'd like to display them all individually once in a while too. The hassle of getting Diesel into torso-mode makes me not want to do that. But.. we'll see.

T-Bone's gaps are also something I can't get past when I see him in car mode. I mean.. it's just bad. They're still there when he's attatched to Menasor, but they're not as noticeable.. so in that instance, it's passable. But by himself.. terrible.
They're way overpriced, and three of them (Diesel, T-Bone, and Car Crash) are way over-engineered... but they look amazing and are the Stunticons. Overall, I like them.. but I'm a Stunticon fan. Those who are not might find the over-engineering aspects a bit too much.

And yes, I refuse to call the combined form M3.. because that's just stupid. Intimidator would have been a better name, and I originally thought that was their intention.. but no.. Intimidator is what they're calling Diesel when he has the extra kibble from his trailer attached on to him. Then again, I guess it really doesn't matter what they name them.. everybody who is going to buy them already knows the real names. Just the company's can't use them, so need placeholders.

How they get away with it also astounds me. I mean.. 6 green construction vehicles that combine to form a giant robot. Devastator, right? I mean.. he even LOOKS exactly like Devastator.. but no.. Giant! Four cars that attach to a big rig truck to form a giant robot. Menasor? No.. Motor-Squad Military Multiplexer (M3)!

picsCollapse )

Current Mood: content
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
11:31 am
Knee-Deep in the Skin

So here's a Doomguy skin for Bill (aka, the guy from Contra).

A guy on the forums named Frozsoul made a Doomguy skin before, but it used sprites from Contra III on the SNES. In using those sprites, Doomguy was gigantic in comparison to other characters. I feel that was a primary reason he hasn't been included in the game. So, as a result, I decided to make a more size appropriate version.

I used Pinkie Pie's custom 16-bit Bill as a base since that custom seemed at least loosely based on Contra III, which was the base for the original Doomguy skin.
Instead of using resized weapons, I used various ammo pickups. This was done as my sort of tongue-in-cheek joke towards Doomguy's 'all in one wonder gun'.. where, in this Contra-esque world, he wouldn't need to gather weapons.. just the ammo because his gun can shoot anything. In the actual Doom games every weapon looked different...... to you. To everyone else it looked like a generic rifle type of weapon. Quake did the same kinda thing later, but this is Doomguy.

Anyway, I redrew every ammo sprite myself from scratch using the original sprites as a reference. I think they turned out a lot better than I was thinking they would. That said, I did use a resized and 'touched up' BFG9000 for the falcon-bomb.. thing.. that destroys all the enemies on screen (and is currently unused in SMBC). Redrawing such an iconic weapon is too daunting of a task for me mentally, so I can't bring myself to do it.

Bullet box = Machine gun
Berserk pack = Rapid fire
Shotgun shells = Spread gun
Small cell = Laser
Rocket = Flamethrower (Flare?)
BFG9000 = Falcon bomb(?)

For the HUD lettering, I kept Bill's setup (M, R, L, S, F) for the sake of simplicity.

Let's see.. for projectiles, the small bullet is the generic starting gun. The larger bullet is for the machine gun and spread gun. The yellow spark is for when things are hit. The rocket replaces the little flame shot by the flamethrower. The laser shoots out the plasma balls.

Injured red marine replaces Toad and Commander Keen replaces Peach.

The portrait is by someone named Eriance, who made a custom WAD of a helmeted Doomguy hudface. The helmet is completely custom. I used the sprite of getting shot from the right because I felt it looks more dynamic than just having him stare straight ahead... or just glancing to the side.

I also included my proposal for his Starman/invincibility effect. In Doom, the invulnerability sphere inverted your vision.. so I figured when Doomguy collects a Starman, he'll get inverted.

...Oh, and speaking of size appropriate-ness. I guess I should note that I've also hacked down Autobomb on my Shy Guy skin to make him a little smaller than 16-bit Samus when under the effects of a mushroom.
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
12:36 pm
Moar Skin
Kinda sad that the only time I update this thing any more is when I make a SMBC skin.. or talk about them.

But meh... here's Jumpman! ...No, not Mario before he was Mario.

It's based on the Commodore 64 version of the game. Since I never played any other version, it's the one that's most nostalgic for me to think about.

Making this skin was interesting though, because I watched a few videos showing off gameplay. While doing so, I redrew all suitable sprites... then made customs for swimming, crouching, and the 'between' mode when a mushroom is gotten.

Also know it's kinda doubtful to happen, but IF Jumpman does get added as a skin.. I'd love at least a couple changes to his gameplay...

  • VERY tight movement. That is, he stops on a dime and also always moves at full speed.

  • Can't run, per se.

  • Instead of running, a speed is chosen before each stage (maybe world?). The original game had 8 different speeds, but a 'slow, normal, fast' setup might work better here.

Current Mood: blah
Saturday, August 3rd, 2013
5:35 am
So SMBC 3.0 is out.. and it's FANTASTIC!
No, really.

But anyway, I was working on a skin before it was released.. and now that is done too. :D

Credit to AGameReviewer for the girly pink Shy Guy used as a Peach replacement. Seriously way too adorable.

It's a heavily tweaked red Shy Guy from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.. who rides a heavily tweaked Autobomb from Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 2.

This skin was a complete JOY to work on! Shy Guys were always awesome to me, so coming up with an idea that made him work as a skin was insanely inspiring and motivating. It's also my first real venture into 16-bit consoles, so learning aspects of how things are shaded and colored was... annoying... but also interesting.

I used the SMW2 Shy Guy because he has a LOT more going on in that game. In SMB2 he only has two sprites, total.. both used for walking.. because that's all he really did.... aside from ride around on an Autobomb on rare occasions. :D

Current Mood: chipper
Saturday, July 6th, 2013
3:58 am
Skin of Evilness
When I play survival mode in SMBC, I'm not sure why but I almost always do it with what I call 'team evil'. The problem there is that I usually run out of characters.. which I guess isn't bad. Adds to the challenge I guess. Regardless, my other issue is that Dark Link is cool and all.. but he's not really something I like staring at too often.. especially on stages with black backgrounds.

So, I decided to fix that with Darknut:

Went with green & blue rings instead of the usual blue & red setup that Link uses.
Added two sprites under the portrait to show the color changes.
Portrait made by Zarran, who also made green & blue variants.. seriously, he needs a hug for making those
Turned the arrow into a spear by shaving off the fletchings.

Team Evil as it stands now:
Quick Man/Dr. Wily/Mr. X (depends on mood as to which I use)
Whip Skeleton
Dark Link
Dark Samus
Break Man (not really 'evil', I guess.. but Proto Man was supposed to be believed to be the bad guy of MM3.. so I use him with his disguise from that game)

With any luck Darknut here will replace Dark Link. Then just need to hope something comes along to replace Dark Samus. Also hope Generic Soldier #2445 gets added so Bill can join the roster.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, June 29th, 2013
4:47 pm
He Sucks.. He Blows.. And He's Not A Cheap Whore
No, it's Dust Man!

Credit to Clawgrip for the run cycle and back views from MM8BDM.
Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
5:26 pm
Sir Arthur Skin

So, after doing it.. I'm not sure why I uploaded Arthur to the wiki. I'm not entirely happy with it, and I never will be. I started to figure that out somewhere a little before 'finishing' the skin.

Just look at the skin. It's has way too many empty boxes. My chosen method for Arthur isn't a good one, and I'll never do it again.

He relies way too heavily on tweaking the gameplay around him, instead of.. you know.. having all the features there already like a proper skin should. Removing Rush Marine from Napalm Man is fine to me.. it's one small aspect of the skin. But when you remove everything from sliding/dashing to running while shooting to even going so far as to change entire layout for how he dies... it just seems flawed.

Just look at the list I have compiled for the tweaks I built the skin around, seriously.. it's huge..
    Starts with mushroom
    Always shoots charge shots
    Max of two charge shots on screen
    Charge shots don't travel through enemies when it kills them
    No sliding and/or dashing, ever
    No Charge Kick as a result
    No Super Arm
    No Rush
    No running while shooting
    No shooting on ladders
    No tiny step forward before moving
    No high jump
    Can double jump
    Heavily altered death animation, instead of the Mega Man orbs..
    Proposed animation used for when Arthur throws his weapons

And hell, I might even be missing some. That's just ridiculous. My problem comes from wanting to stick at least somewhat close to the roots of Ghost'n Goblins.. yet, for some reason, I'm ok with changing how the weapons work.

So, I'll not be adding Arthur to my signature with the other skins I've made on the ER forums. Sorry.

Current Mood: okay
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
10:21 am
I Love The Smell of Napalm
So.. the tower that is holding the Decepticon half of my displayed Transformers collection just fell over. Yep, they're all still laying there on the floor.
The Autobots pulled off a victory after all.
Honestly, they should still be fine. The ones I'm worried about though are Ramjet, Dirge, and Thrust. Due to where they were positioned, the Conhead seekers likely took the biggest hit.

..Oh, right. Napalm. Made another skin for SMBC because I wanted to.

Napalm Man from Mega Man 5, a skin for Mega Man:

Credit to Brotoad, who made the sprites of Napalm Man's back for Mega Man 8-Bit DeathMatch that I used as a base for the ladder sprites.

Current Mood: indifferent
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
9:57 am
'Nother, Just 'Cause
So, yea... made another SMBC skin, just because really. It's also so original that it's another Robot Master. And no, it's not in the game. It's just something I made to be considered for inclusion.

Drill Man from Mega Man 4, a skin for Bass.

Always liked Drill Man's design. I never owned MM1 or MM2 as a child, so Drill Man was always my 2nd favorite. Quick Man was always my favorite because he was so damn awesome looking to me as a kid.. and I seriously have no idea why. And that's from renting the game a whole ONE TIME for a weekend. But yea.. Drill Man.. I used to draw pictures of him as a kid, so that's something too, I guess. :)

Kalinka used as a replacement for the Princess because I figured that in some strange, alternate, SMBC-type universe, Dr. Cossack would reprogram his mining robot to rescue his daughter from the clutches of Bowser instead of trying to have him destroy Mega Man. I dunno.. makes sense to me. :)

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, December 27th, 2012
10:29 am
A Comparison

Just a comparison image to illustrate how things currently are, and my proposed change. Honestly, why I'm posing this here.. I have no idea.
After more digging, it seems I was wrong.. and that the shooting pose is quite related to the arms..... via the armless running sprites on the sheet. Turns out Bass, or Quick Man at least, can run and shoot at the same time while using Flame Blast. Interesting...

Anyway, I don't mind so much the run and shoot sprite on the left.. but the standing and shooting sprite just annoys me. And honestly, I think it looks even worse when shooting diagonal upward. It's almost like that stupid emoticon.. \o/
The standing and shooting sprite on the right is my proposed change of the stance. As a result, the shooting arm is a whopping one pixel higher.. so the running and shooting sprite is also shown so you can see the drastic consequences.

..and yes, Quick Man is missing the black pixels on the border of his head boomerang on the left. That comes with using his 'dramatic pose' sprite.. which doesn't have it.

Current Mood: content
Tuesday, December 25th, 2012
7:18 pm
Oh right... Merry Christmas and all that jazz.

Whatever. I get to work in a couple hours. YAY! The one good thing about the holiday is now GONE!
7:15 pm
SMBC 2.1
So Quick Man made it into the new version of Super Mario Bros. Corssover. This pleases me greatly. Out of the three skins I made, Quick Man was probably the one I wanted to see in-game the most. They even changed some things about him to make him play a bit differently than Bass.. which is really jarring when you first play, I admit, especially after seeing him act on the character select screen after being chosen.

A few things changed though, which I noticed as I was playing:
1.) All of the weapon capsules and weapon pickup icons went from red/pink to red/yellow. I guess I can see this. I chose pink as a homage to MM2 where Mega Man wore pink when using Quick Boomerang.. but the change doesn't really bother me.

2.) Shooting stance got a complete makeover. I still have no idea why this had to happen. I told it was for alignment of the custom hands, but I don't buy it. The jumping sprites are even more off-kilter than my shooting stance and those work fine. Honestly, this is the one change that just irks me for some odd reason. Using Quick Man's 'dramatic pose' stance for shooting just seems horribly strange. I even went so far as to make a completely new shooting stance that has his arm position line up exact with the idle stance and sent that in.. but have yet to get a reply.

3.) Portrait change. Dunno why this changed either, really. Rey D did a FANTASTIC custom protrait, but it was ignored in favor of a zoomed in MM2 portrait. It works decently enough, but I dunno. It seems a bit cold, but I don't mind the change all that much.

4.) A more MM2 oriented weapon selection. The weapons still function like whatever they are origianlly, but use MM2 variants.. like the Crash Bomber skinned Hard Knuckle. Honestly, I like this change quite a bit. It fits.

5.) Only two custom arms are there. And heck, one of those two doesn't make sense at all.. but it had to be used with how Pharaoh Shot and Metal Blade work. Seriously, there's no reason why Quick Man would shoot Metal Blade while jumping, but toss it when on the ground. I say bring back the other arms, but that's just me.

And I think that's it. Guess I'll mention this irony though... Dr. Wily has slide sprites, but in actuality it's a dash. Quick Man has dash sprites, but in actuality it's a slide (and only seen when using Charge Kick).

Now, my theory on why the shooting sprite changed is not tied to the custom arms. I think it has more to do with the shooting angles. The shooting sprite used to replace mine is quite a bit lower. Hell, it's even lower than the idle sprite.. which seriously debunks the whole 'custom arm' thing.. and, as a side note, I didn't know that when I made the 'new' shooting stance that I sent in. My thoughts are as follows.... raise the shots up by a pixel. If that causes them to miss Goombas and such, I would either: a.) increase the hit box of the shot for Quick Man, or [PREFERRED] b.) Not care and just use the default angle. I seriously don't believe it would look all that horrible. [PREFERRED] It's an 8-bit sprite that can shoot in 7 directions, and is a reskin of a different sprite. Some things are bound to not line up perfectly. I accept this. I played Quake where every shot fired came out of your crotch instead of the gun barrel. I think I'm ok with things being off by a pixel or two.

Seriously.. I hate that firing stance. And I know that makes it sound like I don't like my work being featured, but that's not true at all. I'm thankful and am grateful, and I love seeing Quick Man in action. I just want to work with the team to come up with something better if my old shooting stance can't be made to work. Doubt it'll happen though.

Current Mood: tired
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