Animal Crossing & Smash: An Observation

Wii U Animal Crossing Stage

Wii U Animal Crossing Stage

Hey everyone! Super Smash Bros. Wii U is coming out THIS FRIDAY (11/21/14) and I got a chance to play it early at a demo event this past weekend. I was really excited about the new Animal Crossing stage! But when I saw it in all it’s glory… I realized it was a bit dated.

Am I the only one who cares about this? I touched on this a little in my last blog entry. The Villager, the Wii U Animal Crossing stage… everything except for Tortimer Island in Smash 3DS is actually based on Animal Crossing: City Folk, and not Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I guess I’m the only one who thinks this is weird? I’m sure it’s a result of games like these being so content-heavy that production takes years, and when they were working on the Smash game ACCF might have been the only option for the game designers to use as a model. But personally it kind of bothers me! I’m just being nit-picky. I think they should have updated the look of the Villager characters to match ACNL, at least.

super_smash_bros_female_villager-640x360

 

ACNL Female Villager

ACNL Female Villager

Again, notice that these SSB4 Villager characters are short and well, wide around the middle. The female at the end is jumping and you can see her little undies, which was a trademark (and pet-peeve of mine) of the female characters in ACCF and earlier. I was happy when they changed the look of the human characters in ACNL, making them a little more proportionate and girls’ underwear not visible lol! I think this would have been an improvement for Smash players too, because the way the Villager was designed, the character is more of a shorter, child size character like Ness or Toon Link. I would have pictured the Villager as a medium height character in Smash Bros., especially since the villagers are almost as tall as the tall bears in ACNL.

Height comparison - Vllager and Grizzly, courtesy of the awesome Sosostris Blog!

Height comparison – Villager and Grizzly, courtesy of the awesome Sosostris Blog!

Aside from the Villager character design in Smash, my other observation is about the Wii U Animal Crossing stage. (NOTE: SPOILER ALERT!!!) It’s a fantastic stage, excellent for competitive play and incorporates the “rolling log” effect of the Animal Crossing games, which is really cool! The graphics look amazing. So amazing that you can see the Town Gate all the way in the background… wait a sec. Town Gate?? This is a feature from the Animal Crossing City Folk series! In ACNL, there are train tracks, the Train Station and a stairway to the Shopping District at the north-most part of town.

Wii_U_AC_Stage

 

See those adorable Animal Crossing characters that stand along the background of the flat area in the stage? Sure, you might recognize the three pictured here, but during the stage these characters change! I saw Frillard and Serena appear in that part of the stage a few times, and players new to ACNL will certainly not know who they are lol! Plus, you can clearly see a sign for the bus stop, which does not exist in ACNL.

Another feature of this stage in Smash is that you actually follow a bus to the city. It’s really cute! I don’t have any images of that so no major spoilers here but I just think it’s interesting that they chose to model this stage after the Wii game instead of the latest 3DS game. I know it’s not a big deal and I’m a fan of throw-backs too… it’s just not what I was expecting I guess.

Tortimer Island

Tortimer Island

Really can’t complain though. At least Animal Crossing is represented in the game! And we do have Tortimer Island, which is a really awesome stage in Super Smash Bros. 3DS. I love this stage because of the awesome music, its like a remix of the songs Kapp’n sings on the boat ride to the island! Plus you can get eaten by sharks and harvest fruit from the trees. It’s one of my favorite stages!

Wouldn’t it be great if all of the ACNL animal townies were assist trophies? Or all the gyroids?? You know, maybe they should just make an Animal Crossing/Fighting Game crossover series to get more people interested in the franchise lol! I’d play it…

Smash is Back!

The return of Mayor Gluxie.

Mayor Gluxie had been missing from Jubilife Town in ACNL for quite some time. Weeks, months probably… Isabelle was up to her doggy ears in paperwork trying to pick up the slack. Where was Mayor Gluxie? There wasn’t much of an excuse for the absence all summer, but in the past month, Animal Crossing Villagers had been spotted in another popular Nintendo title.

Where the Villager has been…

OK, so maybe you pro’s might notice that the Villager pictured here isn’t really Mayor Gluxie. Let’s just go with the suspension of disbelief ok? They didn’t make Mayor Gluxie’s face type an option in Super Smash Bros. 3DS lol! Also, I don’t know if anyone else noticed this but the “sprite” of the Villager character still maintains the fashion style and proportions of the ACCF/ACWW Villager, note that you can see the female Villager’s undies - something that was done away with in the newest installment of the game. The Villager is also not as tall and slender as in ACNL. Am I the only one who cares? Probably.

Since the release of Super Smash Bros. 3DS on October 3rd, I’ve been playing this game practically non-stop. When I need a dose of nonviolence, I’ll switch over to ACNL, Harvest Moon or Tomodachi Life. But that usually doesn’t last long before I start jonesin’ for some more Smash action. I’m really enjoying the latest Smash Bros. game, there are a lot of new features and game modes. Plus… you can take SCREENSHOTS! I’ve decided to turn Smash into my own personal Pokemon Snap Redux. I’m going to start taking photos of every Pokemon and build myself a Smash Pokedex. And of course, I’ll only use the BEST photos, only the ones that would be up to Professor Oak’s standards! Save that for a future blog entry… lol!

Pokemon Snap Smash!

Overall, I have a ton of things I love about Super Smash Bros. 3DS. The updated graphics look amazing, the new characters add more options and being able to customize them really opens up the playing field in the competitive scene. I love the multiplayer options – from the original Smash mode to Smash Run and don’t forget the 2-Player games like Multi-man Smash! Since the game is now portable, it’s even easier to participate in local Smash Tournaments in the area. I recently went to a tournament in NYC and we dressed up in Smash Bros. cosplay. It was so much fun!

Smash Bros. Cosplayers!

I might not have won the tournament (wah) but I did make it to the second round, and I got a decent number of KO’s. I just need to keep practicing. If any of you out there want to battle, hit me up on Twitter – @gluxbox!

If that wasn’t enough gaming for you, there are three cool titles coming out THIS FRIDAY (Oct. 24th)! Coming to stores is the adorable Fantasy Life, which is another open-world style game with a bit of action and quests thrown in. Also coming out on 10/24 is Pokemon Art Academy so we can learn how to draw some of our favorite Pokemon – and I hear each game comes with a demo code for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, which is coming out this November! Not to be forgotten is Bayonetta 2 releasing this Friday for the Wii U, which has really cool dark graphics and a lot of magic and dragon-filled action/adventure (check out the demo on the eShop now)! I’m definitely picking up Fantasy Life on Friday… the others might have to wait. Too many games, my wallet can’t handle it lol!

What games have YOU been playing lately??  :D

MASK ATTACK!

Woo I am pumped!  I was recently contacted by Montagne Jeunesse (I recently blogged about their products when I was reviewing an Influenster VoxBox!) to review some new facial masks and I just received them in the mail!  It was the perfect thing to discover after a long day at the office.  I had a few extra minutes today while getting ready to go out with JDubz, so I thought I’d give one a try right now!

Since I’d tried the Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spa Mask in my Influenster VoxBox back in January, I wanted to see what the new Aloe Vera Face Spa had to offer.  (As you can see, this time around Montange Jeunesse sent me different samples from their face mask product line, so the Aloe Vera Face Spa was actually the ONLY fabric mask that I received in this set.)  I really like these fabric face masks because they are very quick and easy, and there is literally ZERO mess.

I was short on time and there’s a nice big “5 MINUTE FACIAL” icon right on the pouch, so I quickly ripped it open and applied it, as you can see in the photo lol!  The first thing that I really liked was how they changed the aesthetic.  When I had tried the MJ Clay Spa mask in January, my main criticism was that since the mask was light brown, it kind of looked like skin.  I felt like I looked like a serial killer wearing someone else’s skin.

However with the new Aloe Vera Face Spa that I tried today, the mask was designed in a MUCH more pleasing way.  The mask was white with some aloe leaves printed on as a pattern.  I really prefer this style because it looks a lot less creepy.  I mean sure, any facial or mud mask facial from ANY brand is going to look creepy, that’s part of the fun!  But at least this one didn’t look like skin lol!

The application of the product was the same as my previous experience; it was easy, quick and no drippy mess.  I enjoyed the light aloe scent as well.  But the best part of the experience was after I rinsed off the mask.

When I put on my makeup, I always start with my BB cream.  I was very impressed with how the BB cream glided over my freshly treated skin.  My skin was so smooth and silky, the BB cream slid over my skin like butter (in a good way).  Gotta love that aloe!!

I’m hoping to do a YouTube review of the other three masks in the next week or so.  Check back soon for more info!

Oh and the BEST part about Montagne Jeunesse reaching out to me is that YOU can get in on the fun too!  Montagne Jeunesse is offering a special Exclusive Blogger Giveaway!  To enter for a chance to win a free masque, all you need to do is visit the Montagne Jeunesse USA Facebook Page and register.  Follow this link to enter the giveaway:  http://on.fb.me/1jdNTqF

Disney’s Magical Game

Pretty much all of my other games can just kiss me goodbye for the next few weeks, because I’ve found the ultimate game for me!!

Disney’s Magical World is everything I’d hoped it would be and more.  It’s like a combination of all of my favorite types of games, from Animal Crossing to Harvest Moon, with a touch of Diner Dash/Cake Mania, plus a little third-person action/adventure element too… all set in the Disney world, of course!

I fell in love with this game immediately.  I enjoy collection games where you have to seek out and collect as many items as you can, and that’s what this game has in spades.  Every area of the in-game world has special themed collectables, which you use to create new dishes for your Cafe, or to assemble new clothing sets, and craft themed furniture items too!

When I discovered that the 100 Acre Wood was the area where you can farm, I was so excited!  I love Winnie the Pooh so much.  After I planted some crops, I noticed that Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, etc. would come over and help me water the crops and pull weeds!  How freakin’ cute is that???

So far I’ve unlocked areas for the following Disney themes: Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin.  (Note that I’ve only been playing the game for like 4 days lol!)  I literally cannot stop playing this game.  I’ve heard some criticism on the “grind” but I don’t even notice.  I love collecting everything, and as you play further in the game certain collectables become extremely easy to obtain and it all becomes second nature.  The action/adventure aspect is so much fun because you can craft new clothing that gives you better defense, and you can increase your offense by upgrading your magic wand.  It’s so cool!

I love being able to customize my Mii by wearing different outfits.  You can put together your own look by wearing different Disney themed hats, shirts, pants and shoes.  On top of that, you can unlock costumes, Quest outfits and formal wear.  I’ve already completed the Cinderella gown, so I get to run around dressed up in a fancy ball gown!  It’s adorable.

Honestly, I could go on all day about how much I love this game.  I hope I don’t beat it too quickly.  All I can think about as I write this is how much I want to play the game.  I’m obsessed.

There are two criticisms that I have of this game.  First of all, there is no Wi-Fi (aside from DLC) for online multiplayer.  Secondly, while there is free DLC, there is also paid DLC.  As of now there’s only like $5 worth of DLC you can buy, but I can see that easily adding up over time as they release new themes.  I’m a sucker for this stuff so I might be in trouble lol!

Holy Awesome Games!!

If you haven’t seen the latest Nintendo Direct, or rather, the Smash Bros. Direct from 4/8/14… well you are missing out.  The half hour long presentation has taken the Nintendo community by storm!  New game footage and details have been revealed about the upcoming Smash Bros. games for Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

There is just TOO much to hype about in the upcoming Smash games!!  So many new Pokemon playable characters, the Animal Crossing Villager character, new stages, new Final Destination stage options, new game modes for the 3DS version… and the graphics for the Wii U version are just so fantastic, I can’t get over it!  If you haven’t checked out the Nintendo Direct, watch it here.  Even if you’ve never played Smash Bros. before, now is the time to get into this franchise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xUWnQu2Grs

Can I just say that I totally LOVE Sakurai??  His hair is awesome!  He clearly is a huge Pokemon fan, has a hilarious sense of humor, and definitely represents what I consider to be “my generation” of gamers.  Is it bad that I secretly wish Sakurai would host all future Nintendo Direct videos?  :P

The bad news is that we have to wait.  Super Smash Bros. 3DS won’t be released until this summer.  The Wii U version is slated to be released this WINTER (holiday season no doubt) so we have a while before that new challenger will approach.  Not to mention we don’t have any actual concrete release dates.  I hate that!  My main worry is that the Wii U version will eventually be pushed back to 2015.  Fingers crossed that the developers stay on schedule.  Super Smash Bros. is going to be huge for StreetPass communities, and I can’t wait!!  So what am I supposed to do until then?

Good news!  Lots of cool games are coming out in the coming weeks and months.  Tomorrow, April 11th is the release date for Disney Magical World, which I’m sure many of my readers are psyched about!  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s kind of like a cross between Disney Infinity and Animal Crossing, with a touch of Harvest Moon.  You’re in the Disney world, and you get to interact with the Disney characters in a similar way to how Animal Crossing works.  From what I understand, it follows the daily calendar.  But you also get to gather items and collect things, which you use to craft OTHER things, which is why I say it’s also kind of like Harvest Moon.  Plus there’s some action/battling and you also run a cafe.  Everything I like!  If you want to learn more, check out this trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHDR–vr7vQ

Lots of cool games are coming out in May as well.  Namely, the awesome new Kirby Triple Deluxe and Mario Golf are both slated to be released early May.  At the end of May comes Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, which also looks to be AMAZING.  Sweet HD graphics on Rainbow Road?  Yes please!!

So hopefully all of those new games will tide us over until the release of Smash on 3DS later this summer.  I know I barely have time to play the games I have… I bought Yoshi’s New Island recently and have barely had a chance to play it because I’m still backlogged!  I was rushing to beat Pokemon X before the PVGC, but now that the big competition is over I can put Pokemon down for a minute.  What I really want to do is finish Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward which I had rented from GameFly.  I’m like half way through it so that’s my goal.

And if you are wondering… I have NO idea how I am going to manage 3 ACNL towns as well as Disney Magical World.  I haven’t even played ACNL in over a week, I’m sad to say.  There are just not enough hours in the day!  I’m hoping I will make some time to play games this weekend, even though I will be in Boston for PAX East.

But what can I say?  I have a ton of awesome games to play so I really can’t complain can I?  :D

 

The PVGC Spring Regionals 2014

So sorry I haven’t written a blog in a while.  Specifically, a GAMING related blog.  I started a new job recently, and even MORE recently blew my back out so it’s been tough to find time to write.

Despite my back feeling like crap, last weekend JDubz and I took a trip up to Sturbridge, MA to attend the 2014 Spring Regionals of the Pokemon Video Game Championships (PVGC).  I had been preparing a team for a month so I wasn’t going to skip the competition!

Want to hear about my team/strategy?  If you have any suggestions please comment!

My PVGC Team

Introducing my team!!

  • Blastoise
  • Gengar
  • Kangashkan
  • Dragonite
  • Marowak
  • Zoroark

You might think… that’s kind of a weird doubles team.  I’m not a big fan of gimmicks or relying on status moves to win battles.  I’m more of a guns blazing, offense-only kind of player.  So my strength is in having Pokemon that either deal out hard hits or Pokemon that can really roll with the punches.  My team is a little misleading.  I only have Zoroark in there to throw people off of their game.  He’s not EV trained or anything, just there to make people wonder “Am I battling Zoroark right now?” during turn 1.  Dragonite, while awesome, is also just there for show.  Dragonite is my fairy-bait.  Since my Gengar is a fairy-killer, I have the popular Dragonite on my team so people will feel compelled to bring out their fairy types into battle in case I’m using a dragon type.

The four Pokemon I always use are Blastoise and Marowak (team A) and Gengar and Kangashkan (team B).  Marowak has Lightning Rod ability, which will keep Blastoise safe.  I keep Gengar and Kang together for fighting ghost types, plus Gengar has Levitate to keep him safe from Kang’s Earthquake.  Both Blastoise and Kang have their Mega Stones as held items so I have options against my opponents.  When fighting a team with ghost types, I keep Kangashkan with his Scrappy ability and Mega-Evolve Blastoise.  Otherwise, I go Mega with Kang for that extra hit that you get with Parental Bond, which really helps Power-Up Punch.

Of course, my team is vulnerable to many types and has plenty of holes.  But in this generation, there’s no real safe type combination, so everyone just goes with their personal style.  My team didn’t hold up well against the tough  competition at PVGC, but I did win my first match because of my team’s synergy.  My opponent didn’t account for Marowak’s Lightning Rod and got locked into a harmless Lightning Bolt attack with his Choice Scarf on Gardevoir.  It’s usually careless errors like that which determine who wins and who loses.  Unfortunately for me, that first win made me cocky and I made some questionable choices in my second two battles.

After 3 matches, they announced there would be a lunch break.  JDubz found out that if you had any losses by this point, you had no chance at Top 8, and since my back was killing me we decided to call it a day.  We still had a lot of fun and I know that while my team struggled a bit in doubles… it will be great for singles battles at PAX!  (Btw if you are interested in learning who won the regionals, check this link out!)

That’s right, this upcoming weekend is PAX East 2014.  My back is still messed up so I probably won’t be able to walk around all weekend at PAX.  However, since Nintendo isn’t showcasing at the convention, I probably won’t be missing too much.  But what I DON’T plan to miss is my panel… the Pokemon X&Y: Competitive Trainer Seminar!  I’m hosting a panel, along with JDubz, Pete from SPNYC, and KC and JV from the Pocket Players on Saturday, April 12 from 1-2pm.  I was really afraid I might miss the panel, but I think my back can survive for an hour.  I put too much work into making this panel happen, I refuse to not attend!  The only other thing I’m going to make sure to try out is the PAX Pokemon League.  It’s a popular singles competition where you can seek out and challenge gym leaders on a few different skill tiers.  If you beat the designated gym leaders, you get a badge.  Collect all of the badges in your tier and you can fight the PAX Elite 4!  How cool is that??  So I’m excited to try out my teams in a singles environment.

Wish me luck!

 

Beauty Blog: Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes

This might be relevant to some of you cosplayers out there: today I tried false eyelashes for the first time!  I’d never taken the initiative to try false eyelashes before, even though I’d always wanted to because my eyelashes are very thin and well… sparse.  I always assumed it was a complicated and messy ordeal so I never tried them out.  However, when I received a free set of Kiss brand “Looks So Natural Lashes” in my Influenster #JadoreVoxBox, I finally had a chance to see what it was all about!

Since I’m not very experienced with false eyelashes, I went to the Kiss YouTube page (not to be confused with the classic rock band lol!) and watched some very informative videos about application and tips.  I felt like a pro after!  Here’s the steps I took:

One eye with the Kiss Looks So Natural false eyelash applied, the other without. Big difference!!

  1. Before applying, I “sized” the Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes by holding them along the lash line and determining how much extra lash needed to be cut off.  Then I carefully snipped the edge of the false lashes with a scissor.
  2. As part of my normal routine, I put on my BB cream and under eye concealer, as well as eyeliner before attempting to use the false eyelashes.
  3. Once I was ready, I used the small bottle of eyelash adhesive that came with the lashes to brush a small amount of glue to the bottom.  I counted to 30 (they say to wait 30 seconds before applying, to allow time for the adhesive to become the perfect consistency) and got ready to apply.
  4. Gently, I pushed the edge of the false eyelash to the start of my lash line on the inside of my eye.  Then I patted it down on the outside corner of my eyelid, and carefully tapped along the entire lashline to make sure the false eyelashes were sticking in the right place.  Of course then it was repeat from step 3 for my other eye.
  5. After the eyelashes were sufficiently stuck onto my lash line, I proceeded to finish my makeup routine by applying my favorite mascara on both my natural and false eyelashes to help them blend together.
  6. I added a bit more eyeliner on top of the false eyelash line to add more depth and create a more dramatic look.
  7. Wanting the focus to be on my eyes, I opted for a shiny lip gloss to finish my makeup.

Now that I’ve successfully applied these false eyelashes, I feel really glamorous!  I’m definitely addicted now.  Most likely I will start wearing these when my band has a live performance, and for fancy events like my sister’s wedding this July.

I just want to add that the Kiss Looks So Natural lash set was MUCH easier to use than I had anticipated.  It was simple, no mess, no fuss.  My makeup didn’t smudge once.  It was really a fun experience.  Thanks so much for the opportunity to try these out, Influenster!

Feeling so glam with my new Kiss false eyelashes!

PS – I receive free products to try out courtesy of Influenster.  If you’re interested in joining Influenster Nation, please comment or message me and I can send you an invitation!