the Culinary Mystery of classic Castlevania’s Wall-Chicken

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Picture this: you are Christopher Belmont, Simon’s ancestor from 1oo years prior to the events of the original Castlevania , and basically a Conan the Barbarian look-alike.  It is 1591 AD, five years prior to the birth of René Descartes (nothing to do with Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge , really, but his evil daemon/evil genius concept is fun),  and you’re trekking your way through the spacious 4-shades-of-gray halls of  Cloud Castle, the airy—yet (oddly) fully enclosed—home of Angel Mummy*, one of ol’ Dracula’s dusty, dual-skulled lackeys.  Trusty Vampire Killer whip in hand, you have endured unholy horrors like flaming knights and knife-throwing lizard-men, survived spiked ceiling and deadly mechanized pulleys, all in the quest to save your bewitched son Soleiyu…but now you’re tired, hungry, and in need of some HP-replenishing nourishment.  So what do you do?   Continue reading

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the forgotten Journey

Journeyr-sackiCon1_by_omegaCarotene

Ah, it has been many months since i’d last played Journey , an experience that was beautifully sublime the first time through (i have completed it twice to date, and currently have a 57% trophy completion rate).  Since it’s release via PSN digital download on the ps3 over a year ago (mar13th2o13 in North America), there have been countless fan-art created and blogs written about the game, with some reading religious themes within its wordless tale.  I personally see the entire experience of that game as an allegory for life and reincarnation, the latter of which is a concept that i find fascinating to read about, but am uncertain about when it comes to belief.  I consider myself agnostic, and i feel it’s more truthful to say that i want to  believe—rather than do  believe—in something greater than our tangible human experience…whatever that means.

With its unspoken philosophy that has been deliberately left open to various interpretations, Journey  stands a shining paragon of video games as an art form, and a fine contemporary example of how the story of a game can be told through visuals and music, rather than through text or recorded speech.  And my, are the atmospheric visuals truly something to behold.

As for the music, the game surrounds one with a layered, epic score as varied in tone and mood as the environments that one will traverse throughout the quest.

The image at the beginning of this post is one that i’d created for my sackiCon series in adobe illustrator (i love vector art!), with the look for this particular sackiCon based on the Journey Costume in littleBigPlanet .       >[:) 

say “Cheese,” burger, cuz you’re on a blog

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in-N-out Double-Double:  animal style (with pickles and onions grilled in mustard)~

Sometimes, nothin’ else quite satisfies you like a nice, juicy cheeseburger.  It’s not exactly the ideal gaming food, and definitely not something you’ll want to eat while driving, unless having greasy morsels of beef and bits of lettuce falling in your lap is your idea of enjoying a meal; in my opinion, any good  burger is one that will inevitably get messy while you eat it.

culinary sackiCon

If one is truly hell-bent on mixing gaming and gastronomic activities (and i’m not talking about wall chicken*, either), one solution includes using a fork + knife + plate.  But that’s no way to really dig into a sauce-dripping, succulent burger, as many games require two hands to be played properly, and those that ones that can be operated by waggling a single Wiimote…almost don’t qualify as games.  At least not ones really worth my personal time.  When it comes to gaming & snacking, one could also consider options like eating sliced fruit or chopped meats (i love dry salami and coppa!) with a fork, or even potato chips with chopsticks.  Yes, i’ve done that before.  ‘Cause greasy controllers are just…wrong.

But, back to the picture-related topic: in my mind, a good burger should always contain some crisp lettuce and sliced tomatoes sandwiched between the [ideally] lightly toasted buns along with the melted cheese and savory beef patties.  The veggie & fruit help balance out the flavors, providing a cool & crisp contrast to the salty greasiness of the ground beef…not to mention that they add to one’s diet some small amounts of dietary fiber and lycopene.   Aesthetically, the edible flora also add some delightful reds and greens to usual meaty textured-browns and shiny yellows.  While cheeseburgers are quite a different animal from the dishes in Taiwanese cuisine, i believe the concept of “色,香,味” (literally color, fragrance, flavor ) also apply, with “color” referring to the visual aesthetic appeal of a dish.  Btw, while writing this, i’d not only salivated profusely (something which my keyboard can attest to), but also found a cool lil’ blog with some tasty burger tips (amongst other food-themed wordery).

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Though it’s often mildly—if temporarily—torturous on one’s stomach, there’s this strange satisfaction to be had from taking macro photos of food prior to consumption.  Click!  nom nom nom…

In-N-Out Burger joints are available in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas.
* Fans of the pre-Symphony of the Night Castlevania games are likely familiar with this gravelly and inexplicably situated, yet oddly nutritious HP-replenishing item. 

Mastication is good!  For a somewhat different (and less carnivorous) perspective on food & nerdery from a different spot on the globe, check out Put-Putt’s Blog      >[:) 

the Room of game-Geekery

GCR by vin-[oC]
when games collide no.o2  –  dec2oo9 ~

here we have what is essentially a geekified version of my room, modeled in Maya and mapped with 128×128 textures (think Nintendo 64 era graphics).  while i do (irl) have a habit of making my bed everyday, the bed is admittedly a bit spartan.  i think all of my cast shadow are way on the light side, too; the whole thing could certainly benefit from some ambient occlusion baked-in.  and the rug design is too light to read as any intelligible image.  the shelves on the wall need some cast shadows.  there’s some oddness to the grass around the base of the Moai in the corner…it could use a couple mounds of dirt around there—and speaking of the Moai Ester Isle head, there’s no friggin’ way that the architectural structure of an average Spanish-style house in the Bay area could support that kind of weight on the second floor… sweet mother of—someone hand me a Gravity Hammer, now!  we’re tearing this puppy down!

3D-art Sack by vin-[oC]how many game/geekery characters or icons can you spot in the room above?

'shroom-Sack by vin-[oC]       Live + learn + play~!!               >[:) 

mega-SackBoy

megaSackBoy by vin-[oC]
when games collide no.o1  – 02.o3.2o12 ~

unabashed MegaMan / ロックマン fan of many years.  go figure~

  – ロックマン – ロックマン – ロックマン – ロックマン – ロックマン – ロックマン – ロックマン – ロックマン – ロックマン – 

Clu sackiCon by vin-[oC]like, sure, i could bake up a nice, fresh, steaming bullshit-pie about how i had this dream where Dr. Right gave me a magical mushroom, then i found this lightsaber in a hidden Power-Up Capsule before falling down some long shaft full of giant killer lasers, at the bottom of which i encountered these really cool tangible wood-block pixelArt sculptures and found that the blocky metroid larva had developed a literal attachment to my leg, and then Rock appeared out a giant seashell and handed me a SackBoy hamburger thingy (un Royale du Sackgarçon, as @antikris77 called it?), and that’s what inspired me to draw this in adobe illustrator and blah blah blah… (btw, that’s not engrish.  Dr. Right  is the good doctor’s official Japanese name in the ロックマン games.  but you probably already knew that.  Rock & Roll, baby!)

but that’s not true.  it’s simply that i’ve been following the Blue Bomber since the days of MegaMan4  on the NES/Famicom (which i, ironically, still have yet to play), and drawing pixelArt combined with other stuff is fun.

now that dragon in MegaMan2  isn’t going to beat itself, so if you’ll all excuse me…       >[:)  

Mega Man

Mega Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

because islands in the Sky are cool, and so are optional vehicles~

The concept of islands are inherently cool, whether they’re tropical hideoutsfloating-bases in the sky, shadowy military isles in the Alaskan Fox Archipelago, the beautiful Formosa, or the Island in the show LOST.

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Wait, floating islands?  Why, yes!  a number of these gravity-defying beauties can be found in my yet in-progress (but fully playable & passable) exploratory littleBigPlanet  level UFO flight test: kotsu-Heliøn, now with version.05 in the works/in-hiatus since nov2o11.  It features multiple pathways to the end-goal, sky-high catwalks filled with mechanical enemies, paintinator-related puzzles, sky-Launchers, various mechanical prizes, and a few optional vehicles, including several variants of the single sackPilot flying vehicle: the eponymous kotsu-Heliøn.  (if that sounds irresistibly awesome to you, the level can be queued here at http://lbp.me/v/9j-r7e ~)

k-Helion pixelArt by vin-[oC]There are many existing user-created littleBigPlanet  levels that feature creative, ingenious, and beautifully designed vehicles, yet the large bulk of such levels are essentially vehicle-demos with little gameplay to speak of beyond simply operating the machines.  A number of these might feature some varied terrain for wheeled or walker-type vehicles to traverse (think the Star Wars ep.VI: Return of the Jedi’s AT-STs), but many of these are bland-looking obstacle courses with little setting or “story”.  There are also some well-designed and heavily-armed warplane replicas, but many of these reside in empty levels with no enemies to shoot at nor targets to bomb.  Then, out of the few levels that have both a well-designed vehicle and a visually engaging backdrop, even fewer are designed to make the vehicles entirely optional.  For an excellent example of optional vehicles, i often refer to the Robot Ride Armors in the SNES classic MegaMan X  (or Maverick Hunter X  on the PSP if you prefer not to go quite so old-school).

kobun-Sack by vin-[oC]One of the several sections in the game that feature this punching mech can be found in the latter half of Sting Chameleon’s jungle-themed stage; in this section, shortly after ascending a hill, the player—as the protagonist X—will find a Robot Ride Armor directly in his path, which he can pilot to the end of the stage while pummeling reploid-baddies with the mech’s giant metal fists.  From a gameplay perspective, choosing to pilot the Ride Armor not only adds some variation to the standard running + jumping + shooting action by offering a powerful short-ranged melee attack, but also gives the player some armor protection with which to survive to the end of the stage (where a boss battle awaits, like in almost all 2D platforming MegaMan  games).  Yet, should the player choose to abandon the vehicle halfway or simply not pilot it at all, the stage can be completed entirely on foot—and that is what i love so much about it: that the vehicle is entirely optional.  It’s an option that can temporarily empower the player, but with some skill and careful weapon-choice, one can take a different approach to pass the level.  After all, choice is a large part of what MegaMan/
 ロックマン games are about.  But i digress.

So, back to littleBigPlanet.  That  is the type of level that i aspire to create in LBP and hopefully in Flash (moar on that another day): levels where the vehicles are integral to the level-design and gameplay, where the player can still pass the level entirely on foot, and where some bonus areas are accessible only on foot, and others can only be reached by the utilizing the vehicles.

kotsu-Heliøn_mecG_2o14feb-ocWPc_P-iiiUFO kotsu-Heliøn – mk.IIc mecha影     (the “mecha KAGE” style-variant of the single sackPilot flying vehicle; the Heliøn’s operating tips can be found here

Flying is liberating!  At least if you can stomach the balance-based control scheme, that is.
(There is also a multi-seater anti-Grav controllinator variant, the kotsu-Heliøn: mk.III (AG), hidden early in the level.)

Leave a comment and tell us about some of your  favorite vid game rides!       >[:) 

meat the Porterhouse-Sack

meat the Porterhouse-Sack

culinary sackiCon     beef.  it’s what’s for dinner.

hmmm… note as of  may8th2o14():  peculiarly, this is my most Spammed post (see #SpamSlam on twitter~), w/ various frakkin’ damn-dirty ape amoral people (or more likely toaster robots) attempting to post bogus generic “positive” comments on “how they accidentally happened on this post while feeding their 3 cats and a parakeet” and “how this was such a valuable write-up and that they’ve added it to their RSS-feed definitely come back to read more”…and this was back when this post had simply 1line “beef.  it’s what’s for dinner.” + the above Porterhouse Sack(boy) image.  frakkin’ meatheaded morons.  it’s like moar douchebaggery than Olmec & Dr. Fetus―combined―can dish out…and minus the thumb-breaking platforming fun~  o_O 

*sigh* it’s like poor sackBoy is just meat to be kicked around in the dust…

friggin’ ppl, i swear.  yes, i’m ranting.  obviously.  as much as i love SPAM in my fried rice, all you douchebag spammers out there oughta just get a life, and go crawl into some hole away from the world and the interwebz and…enjoy some SPAM-musubi.  ‘cuz those things are dogdamn delicious!  ah well, c’est la vie~       >[:p