For those who already know me, I am Monodi. Those who doesn't, well, I am Monodi.
I got such a growing passion of gaming through the years and now I am currently in college starting my courses of Game Design as well!
I consider myself a Nintendo fanboy from all my life, but I have been much more in contact with titles for PC recently. Not that I am abandoning one, but I think it pretty much could cover the best the industry has to offer.
I am up for the philosophy that gameplay is more important than graphics, but I think graphics and technology are also a crucial part of the industry and experience even.
Games I love and recommend in no particular order
Rhythm Heaven (DS)
Half-Life 2 (PC/XBOX)
Team Fortress 2(PC)
Drill Dozer (GBA)
F-Zero GX (GameCube)
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)
Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GB/C)
Super Mario All-Stars (SNES)
Mirror's Edge (PC/PS3/XBOX360)
Marvel VS Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes (Arcade/DC/PS)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
Pokemon Silver (GB/C)
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PS)
Time Crisis 2 (Arcade/PS2)
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne (PS)
Super Smash Bros. Melee (GameCube)
World of Goo (PC/WiiWare)
Starfox 64 (N64)
Left 4 Dead (PC/XBOX360)
DanceDance Revolution Extreme (Arcade/PS2)
Mother 3 (GBA)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
Cave Story (PC)
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (DS/WiiWare)
Other stuff I love
Wild Cherry Pepsi
Ice Cold Milk
Cookie Ice Cream
Walk home with my MP3 on
Talk to myself
Go out to eat with friends
People that like to be what they are
Gaze the stars when the sky is clear enough
The Donkey Kong franchise stands as one of my favorites for the longevity and evolution it got through the years. The way a group of still then underdog british guys expanded the gameplay and family tree is to be appreciated. With the incoming arrival of Donkey Kong Country Returns (or Donkey Kong country 5 as some fans could call), I have been keeping my contact with the series as I recently bought Donkey Kong Country on the Virtual Console service. It is a ride I am enjoying despite the comparable ease with the rest of the series.
Now, Rareware is just a historic moment for Nintendo, and just now a development department for Microsoft, but it is time to leave that behind now. However the involvement, or perhaps the current lack of, has caused some big plot holes in the story and development of the series as well.
There is a lot to talk about, and some of the details are not very pretty, although very interesting.
What do a fat crocodile, an oversized turtle, and a tribe of curious tikis have in common?
Let's jump first to the most popular series right now, Donkey Kong Country. The premise is very simple for the time it was released, but still good enough: Donkey Kong and his friend Diddy find out their great banana hoard was stolen, so they get on a quest after the stealing bastards to reclaim back what is theirs.
But this doesn't happen just once, or twice, but so far it seems to be happening three times at least. And not just that, King K. Rool seems to be a very, very stubborn lizard plotting against those monkeys. He has managed to kidnap Donkey Kong twice and one time he got Diddy too. I doubt Rareware had something as stupid as just making King K. Rool a recurring ass that just hated mammals like a powerful fuhrer. An abominable force, A GREAT LEADER OF INCOMPARABLE STRENGTH, THE ONE WHO WILL BRING BACK THIS WORLD TO--... wait what, oh yeah sorry... where was I? Oh yeah... what is really his purpose?
But as I previously mentioned, this happens three times at least in DK's line. Let me bring back the question I entered in the subtitle: what do a fat crocodile, an oversized turtle, and a tribe of curious tikis have in common?
Sure ok, Bowser seemed to want them just as a bait to capture Donkey and Diddy Kong, and we do not know why the tikis want them yet. But let's think of it this way too: In Donkey Kong Country we are playing in the primates' perception. We are just playing as someone that is being protective with their stuff. We never saw a direct development of what King K. Rool wanted to do with the fruits, we suddenly got the view of an industry polluting part of Donkey Kong's island. which maybe that also made him more angry.
Let's study the banana deal again, every 100 bananas DK collects he gets an extra life, though that is the very same situation involving Mario's world regarding coins. But to be fair Mario lives somewhere that magic has a bigger stand for explanation. Let's get into K. Rool's shoes for a moment here, do these bananas present an impressive nutritious value unlike the common kind? Do they cure a lethal disease? Are they able to amplify the IQ and strength to a new level?
Or maybe I am just thinking this way too hard.
Well, let's move to a new topic, there is still plenty to talk about.
A Family Like No Other.
Rareware introduced us to way too many new members in Donkey Kong's family tree. Before 1994, we only knew about Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. and now we have over ten members on the DK crew as called.
Some characters however screw the story of the family way more. Two of them are Wrinkly and Tiny.
Wrinkly Kong debuted in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest(yeah I just love to type the whole name) as Cranky's wife to aid the monkeys in their quest by giving them some advice and saving their game. Then she showed up again in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie's Double Trouble. Also to help saving the game, but also requests the monkeys to take on a quest to rescue Banana Birds to get a great comeback for--
And eventually some time after that quest she--
OK SERIOUSLY NOW, SPOILERS
eventually dies in a way is not ever explained. But she crosses the bounds of the afterlife to talk to the Kongs by giving some useful advice on Donkey Kong 64. The first time I saw the ghost of Wrinkly Kong it depressed me a bit as she was always one of my favorite characters, but I accepted it as something that would naturally happen for someone so old.
So after the quest was over, it was time for her to finally rest in peace...
...or at least I expected so.
Yes, she is back from the afterlife, again a couple of times for comparably useless reasons!
She is first seen again in DK: King of Swing for GameBoy Advance, possibly the first Donkey Kong game Nintendo after Rareware said good bye. And she fucking appears at the beginning like nothing!
I swear, if you skip to 1:09 on this video below (by the way YouTube users, never make your intros over 10 seconds long, otherwise it immediately sucks) you can see how it all develops.
So she is summoned from the afterlife because K. Rool is a jackass and ruined their contest?
Oh and it gets better, she is later an unlockable character in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast for Wii.
Was it SO necessary to include her again? At least it made sense in Donkey Kong 64, the whole freaking island was in danger of getting blown up, it was a serious problem! She is not Casper! She is a dear character that canonically DIED, and if she is DEAD for a reason, she should not be brought back just like that! Imagine to have the ghost of your mother around the house all the time as if it were a normal thing. That's just disgusting! Plain disturbing!
Oh but believe me, this is the second most disturbing character I find in this situation.
There is this adorable tomboy girl that was introduced in Donkey Kong 64 who follows the steps of her elder sister Dixie. Her name is Tiny Kong.
Tiny is not that different from her sister as she can twirl her pony tails and reach longer distances, and also got her girly stances. After all she also seems like the youngest member of the circle. However something really strange happened few years ago.
Tiny Kong, the little girl of the bunch, made a return grown up... like... VERY GROWN UP.
Here is a chart I made to cut the chase a bit...
...yeah ... umm... what?
Wow. Ummm Nintendo, you have quite a mess to clean up here. I know it's kind of stupid to think so hard about a game for kids and adults regarding a bunch of monkeys in odd outfits, but at least some stuff should make sense.
I know the Japanese are who own the franchise, but they should at least keep some things straight from the source as British they are.
Either way, the Donkey Kong games are fantastic for being silly and lots of fun. They just need a lot of work regarding the canon in it and how it is used later on. These screw ups are mostly caused by the lack of communication in between companies that are behind these projects. I cannot say it's really someone's fault, but Nintendo should be responsible to chart this sea of uncertainties.
As a big fan of the series I am also concerned on how the development is handled, so, Retro Studios... please try answering more questions instead of making new ones.
Just today on Twitter, I stumbled upon this magnificent volunteer based project to make very cheap educational game systems using 8-bit graphics to help on developing countries like India or Pakistan.
The price of these systems? Around 12 US dollars. Impressive.
Put this in perspective, imagine all those bootleg NES clones that you usually find on shopping malls, but made for a good cause with completely original software created by volunteers. Way to turn a problem into a solution, ain't it?
Even though there is no clearer evidence to prove this, Michel hasn't been given the respect he deserves lately. Ubisoft has completely gotten up their heads with the Canadian studios way rather than the original French ones.
Going with the eternal salt-on-wounds law: "Whoever has the gold, has the rules."
But following the rumors, it seems that he is going solo as well starting his own studio, which could actually be a very good thing!
The BEST scenario I could imagine is that Michel ends taking the franchise with him, but I highly doubt that could happen at all, Ubisoft making all those teasing/useless cameos of Jade in their recent games.
I just haven't done much in the past year. So I thought it was a good idea to whore out some of my old and current stuff.
Life in college has made me discover something, I don't only procrastinate homework and projects, but also even my favorite things to do including playing some games. So I will share you some things not only to put my sunglasses on and be like "shit yah son, I can handle mah mouse and tablet like like a couple of ladies and ctrl+z like I can give em pleasure shazam B-l" or whatever.
I really should get back to my leisure drawing sessions. I don't lack of inspiration, but the motivation to do it for some reason.
Just to tell you, many of these are pretty old and I have improved quite a lot looking back. Also all of these are made in Flash 8, which I am trying to replace with GIMP 2.6 now. The program is incredibly friendlier than Flash, but my lines are kind of ugly with it yet.
"The Storyteller" (2008)
If you know Newgrounds, you might know about the ClockCrew. Well, fun fact: I am a member. Yeah been wasting my life there since the end of 2005. It's... ok. A good place to learn basics in art and animation, but it's current staff is a bag of annoying dicks unlike before.
But anyway. I got the idea I saw a lonesome tree in the middle of a tree in a field trip.
"Heavy Arms of Power" (2008)
Hey! It's Pokey Minch from EarthBound! And he is pale by his eternal obsession of power and ambition.
The spider machine came out like a mess, I know, but I still liked how it came out.
"Animals" [Sketch] (2008)
Nothing special in this one. Just one day I got tired of doing human characters and tried a bit with animals. It was fun, and I should do it again. And yeah, that squirrel has boxing gloves.
"EarthBound Fake Box Art" (2008)
Self-explanatory. Nothing I really wanna show of at all because the characters came out kinda lame, but still posting it because of VIDEOGAMES.
Being in Starmen.Net makes me want to draw the rascals more often.
Punch-Out!! is probably my favorite classic franchise from Nintendo. It has solid replay value and the idea of the tiny character of Little Mac taking with the huge and fearsome boxers from around the world, is not just funny but also inspiring to me.
Come to think of it, I did it looking at the model they gave him in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, just imagine the massive glee I made when I saw the news the next month that it was getting a game for Wii. I still want it reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally bad.
Though to be honest, I really don't like this drawing. I think it kind of sucks somehow with the body proportions and the way I drew everything else. I might re-do it sometime.
"Pure Love" (2008)
In 2007 I played Mother 3 for the first time, and I was IN FREAKING AWE, I played it again in 2008 with a fully well-made translation and fell in love with it again. By the date I made this pretty much all of Super Smash Bros. Brawl was leaked, but I got inspired by looking at some of his screenshots that were released and the way Lucas uses PK Starstorm. Though I personally would have preferred if they gave both Ness and Lucas had their original ultimate powers (PK Rockin', and PK Love; respectively)
"Silly Sam" (2008?)
I don't remember exactly when I made it... but yeah I think you have seen it before. This used to be my first avatar in Destructoid before switching to Gearmo from Drill Dozer. I think I got inspired by the style of Chuck Jones in Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry and Dr. Seuss. He always made them too expressive, elastic, and a good management of facial exaggerations. Damn, he was awesome.
"The Truth" (2008)
This is one of my personal favorites. I still did not practice in anatomy well enough,but I was inspired in a crush I got on jr. high and high school. I don't want to sound pretentious, but I got the idea of how hard it is to get the truth out of you, or you are afraid to know it; but at the end of everything you feel wondeful on how it has finally arrived.
So uhh yeah, ART.
Not much to say, I got Team Fortress 2 last year and I do love every character, but the Spy is fun to draw for his constantly stale and creepy face.
You know, I always liked the idea of the Pyro from Team Fortress 2 being a woman, but every time I saw her being a hottie (you saw the pun coming), young and titty, I was like "ohh come onnnnn". This is a very brute lady we are talking about here, not your usual female video game protagonist.
"Attract Mode" (2010)
This one was just a tribute to the tiny and humble, but still awesome site of Attract Mode, where they have a lot of stuff in sale. I thought of trying to do a version of their mascot, Broglin. It's kind of bland, but a good time to whip a little practice in Flash again.
So what now? I have plenty of stuff in progress at the moment, but have lacked motivation to do them for some reason. Maybe college and Steam took all the free time I had to draw. But I want to do more. I feel like I can do many characters.
But ok, for now these are up here so I can look at them too and think of something else to create. Enjoy, throw up, or do whatever you want.
P.S.: YES YOJIMBO, I AM DOING A NEW FREAKING SAMURAI DAMMIT.