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6:45 PM on 03.18.2010

Yoshi Scarf

Woot! Spring break! I had a couple of things I wanted to try when I had some free time and it's now or never. One of them is finished; I made a scarf that lets you stay warm wrapped in Yoshi's long, red tongue (keep your pervy comments to yourself, thank you).

Jesus Christ, it's trying to eat me!

Unlike almost every other thing I've tried to make from scratch, this one came out perfect on the first try! For those of you who've never worked with yarn, it's like getting The Sword of Kings from Starman Super on the first try.

The tongue is crazy long at over 72". I couldn't get a good shot of it fully extended, so I had to curl it up a bit. I considered putting something on the end of the tongue, but felt it looked better bare.

In closing: *Spring-Ha!*   read

11:27 PM on 12.03.2009

New hats, Amigurumi and a holiday sale.

I like making hats, but sometimes all work and no play makes Danielle a dull girl. So when I wrapped up the Metroid hat and Aliciaís Scarf, I decided to take a break and try my hand at amigurumi. Hereís all my work for the last two months:

Here's my final version of the Metroid hat after the Hat Battle post:

I think it combines the best attributes of both the alpha and beta versions.

Next I took a stab at Alicia Melchiott's red head scarf:

That took an insanely long time to get right. It looks good on the glass head, but it'd look great on someone with long hair. Sometimes you just want to look pretty while baking and killing Imps :-3.

Next up, Amigurumi:

I've got Purple Tentacle & Green Tentacle, All four of the Pac-man ghosts plus vulnerable ghost, Blue Slime & Metal Slime, Fobby from Earthbound, the E-Tank from Megaman and most of the SMB series mushrooms. Boo chilling in the corner is still in beta; he needs some work.

In addition, Iím having a special at my store before I close up shop for the year. From now till December 11th, shipping and handling in the US is free and International shipping is a dollar off. So if you see something you want or think would make a great present for a fellow gamer, now the time to buy. Plus I need money for MAGFest; cats be struggling.   read

6:07 PM on 11.15.2009

MAGFest 8 announces special guests Jon St. John and Sid Meier

I like MAGFest. Well, more like love MAGfest. I've attended as a guest, worked as a staff member and shilled my crafts in the vendor hall. If you haven't had the pleasure of attending one, you've missed out on something special. Every year brings a unique opportunity to meet slew of industry and media guests in a comfortable atmosphere that can't be imitated by the big cons.

Yesterday, Mr. MAGFest and crew announced that voice actor Jon St. John will be in attendance this January. This will be your once in a lifetime opportunity to ask how many times 3-D realms told him they'd need him to do voice work "soon".

Video is NSFW:


Oh, PS, they also got some guy named "Sid Meier". I don't know why you'd want to meet him, but his name was in the press release.   read

11:11 PM on 09.18.2009

Metroid: The hat battle.

As some as you know I crochet. I've talked about my works before. Normally I'm very sure of exactly what I want in my finished product. But I've run into a bit of a snag. I've got two different prototype Metroid hat models. One is an almost perfect representation of the original NES Metroid. The other is more of a stylized interpretation. I like elements of both. But I'm not quite sure if I should go with, one, the other or combine the two for the final version. So I'm looking for some feedback. Tell me what you like or don't like about each of the prototypes. Prototype "A" on the left is the original version, prototype "B" on the right is the stylized.

The "B" hat may look a little shorter that the "A". That would be fixed in the final version.   read

1:08 AM on 09.17.2009

But is it Art?

The Internets have forced me to see things that I cannot unsee. The advent of the portable digital camera and streaming video on the web has made it possible to view things that you once had to go to very bad parts of town and consort with very sick people in order to experience. So when I saw Halolz had created their 2 Girls, 1up shirt, I knew I had to up the ante:

Chomp. It's kind of like that. If you don't get the reference, don't try to. It's better that way.   read

11:45 PM on 09.16.2009

ShortBlog: "What Leaf?" Mario shirt is full of win and creepy

If you don't live in a cave you're probably aware that certain websites sell unique shirts on a daily basis for that day only. Teefury is one of these sites. Today, and today only, they're offering this for $9 + $2 shipping:

While perhaps not up to the high standards of's "Spicy Italian Meatball" shirt, I find it to be uber sweet and it will be in my closet shortly   read

7:33 PM on 09.15.2009

Travesty: Toys R Us wil give you 50 cents for your copy of Earthbound

Physical copies of video games these days have a very robust life cycle. They're bought new, played and then usually enter a phase of recycling where they're either traded to a store for credit, passed around friends or sold off in some other manner. The canny gamer, understanding that he can truly have more game for less cash will determine his or her preferred price point for a game and wait till it reaches that stage in its lifecycle. One manís OMFG-midnight-release-special-edition-treasure is another manís 19.99 bargain bin special 8 months down the road. Entire communities on the internet have evolved to help you get the best bang for your buck.
I've been casually following the stories of Best Buy and Toys R Us getting into the pre-owned market now for some time. I believe that local competition in your brick and mortars can help drive down prices, or at least offer you a better option. With GameStopís almost monopolistic empire of used game huts stretching from sea to shining sea, the average consumer has little choice in where they buy locally. The possibility of new players entering the market was exciting. There might be some real deals to be had, even if I didn't plan on trading them any of my own games.
So when I sat down and saw news on Cheapassgamer about the Toys R Us used game beta program opening up I dived into what scant details they offered. Games must be in good shape and come with the original case & artwork and miracle of miracles, they take in classic games. I jumped to the classic search to see what was involved when I saw this:

Thatís right. Toys R Us will give you .50c for your copy of Earthbound with box. Fifty cents for one of the greatest RPG's to ever be made. Half of a dollar for a game that has spawned a massive fan base and routinely goes for over $80 on eBay over ten years after its release. This is an outrage. This travesty must addressed before my faith in humanity is completely broken. What say the people?   read

12:30 PM on 08.07.2009

ShortBlog: I just crawled out of the TV and boy is my Persona tired.

OK, so almost two months of inactivity; I has some 'splainin to do. Mostly, ok, almost entirely, it's been Persona 4. I've had that game sitting on my shelf for over 4 months and late last June, I decided to crack it open. What a wonderful way to spend a summer. I have over 92 hours on my save and I've just gotten the good ending. I'm looking forward to my new game + since most of my high 90 level uber-Persona should make the second play through much easier. You can look forward to some pictures of crap I dug out of my VG storage bins, a couple of short reviews and a event announcement before the month is over. If I haven't come back out of the TV within 24 hrs, please send a rescue dog with a small cask of bourbon, preferably Elijah Craig, aged 12 years.   read

5:39 PM on 06.18.2009

A Very Special Sale: AKA The Behemoth likes my hats.

So I've been keeping this very close to the chest for a while, and I'm just about fit to burst from not telling anyone. I didn't want to say anything to till the whole deal was done in case it all fell through. So back at the end of April I had a spike in store traffic coming in from NewGrounds . It seems someone had seen my Castle Crashers hats and posted them in the forums. A few days later I got a sale from one "Tom Fulp" in PA talking about could he get a "whole bunch" of these made...ha, ha, yeah right...paid for with The Behemoths Paypal account....oh crap. I sent the hat out the next day and waited in agony to hear if he liked it. Low and behold he did, and wanted more for San Diego Comic-Con. Sweet! So I got cracking.

That's the fruit of my labors. It took me the better part of a month to get all those hats made. By the time I was done, I was sick and tired of making that pattern. I'd like to say that I shipped them out in a sweet treasure chest style box, but I was so caught up in finals that I just didn't have the time. So what they got was a cardboard box:

I know they've already given a few of the hats away to fiends and as part of a contest but I'm guessing the rest will make their way to The Behemoth booth at Comic-Con. If you're planning on attending, I'd love to see some pics. Also because anon is all like, "pics or it didn't happen", may I present Dan Paladin looking suave in the Red Knight hat:


10:12 PM on 06.15.2009

Cross Edge: Final Impression

Cross Edge was a game ripe with promise and I had such high hopes that I bought it as soon as it came out. Wow, what a mistake. If you read my First Impression post, you know that I was still hoping that Cross Edge was going to pick up speed and impress me with an amazing story and great combat system. That totally didn't happen. What did happen is that when I got into the first major dungeon, the game turned into a mega weak platformer clone with awkward controls. During my first fight in this *sweet* new environment, a single, yes single enemy managed to two shot my front line tank Morrigan who had a maxed weapon and armor. Fantastic. So it's official: this isn't fun anymore. This game has had less in common with a NIS production and more with one of the old LJN NES carts, and we all know how much fun they were.
I put the cart up for sale on the net and took the $35 I got for it and bough Devil Summoner 2 Limited Edition. It may be a $15 loss, but DS2 is already been more fun in the first 15 minutes. Plus I got a sweet plushie :3 Score! My advice to you is to stay as far away from Cross Edge as possible, unless your idea of a good video game is akin to beating your dick with sandpaper.

Final Verdict: DO NOT WANT   read

11:48 AM on 06.04.2009

Cross Edge: First Impression

So my husband and I have made it a habit to play through RPG's together to get some quality time in and ease the pain of grinding. We've both got a weakness for mash-ups and got really excited when we heard about Cross Edge. In theory, It could be everything we wanted in a videogame. Well we've been at it for about 10 hours now, and have some experiences to share.

For those of you with your heads still stuck firmly in the deep news feeding through that was E3, Cross Edge is a cross-over IP strategy rpg utilizing cosplay featuring familiar characters from Disgaea, Darkstalkers, Ar tonelico, Spectral Souls, Atelier Marie and Mana-Khemia 2. If you've played a NIS game, the graphics, voiceovers, cut scenes and soundtrack should be familiar; if you haven't, you may be wondering why this is a PS3 game and not a PS2. In fact, I'm still wondering that myself. Maybe Odin Sphere just spoiled me, but the character sprites seem a little blocky. Like Xenogears quality blocky. Thats kind of lame for a current gen console. But a games true quality shouldn't be judged on graphics alone. So lets get to the meat of a good RPG; the gameplay.

This is a strategy RPG, so expect a robust, deep and engaging combat experience; and prepare to be disappointed. Encounters are semi random, and combat is fought on two opposing 4x4 grids. Starting positions for your four member team are determined before combat begins but can be changed during the fight is necessary. Where your character is positioned and what attacks the have determine what enemies thay can attack/affect. Each character can have up to four regular attacks (assigned to your x, o , sq and tri buttons) and three special attacks (swapping to a different menu with the R2) and you must use these to develop combos in order to have a chance in hell at winning with your dick intact. As soon as you begin attacking a timer counts down, you have until the end of the timer to either attack again, or switch characters and have them continue attacking. If you string the right attacks together in order, you get a combo. Actions cost AP, which each character starts with and you get more of each round. In order to pull off most combos, you need to wait till round two or have most of your team sit out a round and do nothing. Even using a healing item costs AP, so you'll end up in a situation where you can't heal yourself enough to negate the damage the enemies are dealing to you, and you won't have enough AP leftover for even a token attack. So combat can get frustrating and seems to drag on.

At least we have cosplay, right? Well not so much. To be frank, we have been grinding alot for the past 10 hours of playing , but I think the game finally gave us a hint that cosplay might be coming soon. Maybe. The cosplay concept is kind of what sold me on this game. NIS seems to have quite a good sense of humor and timing which is apparent to anyone who's played Disgaea. The way it appears to work is that you earn a costume, and when you wear it it changes your appearance, stats and grants you special combat options. I liked it when Jessica in DQ8 did it, so why not a whole game full of it? But alas, I get nothing.

I know we've only scratched the surface of this game, but I'm not sure where it's going. I don't like the grind fests; that's why I quit WOW. I want to like this game based on the merit of it's characters and the publisher, but I've seen past that trap before (I've got my eye on you Squenix!). So far it's a middle of the road gaming experience. Lets' recap:

The Good:
Reasonably deep combat system.
HP refills between battles.
On screen Gem tells you when "random" battle will occur.
B-List RPG character smash up.
NIS' great sense of humor and timing take the edge off a lacking storyline.
Non participating combatants receive partial EXP.

The Bad:
Grinding gives you little in reward.
You will be GP poor forever: single healing item costs 200gp, single battle early on yields only 35 gp.
Combat seems to take forever.
You can only field 4 total fighters no matter how many are in your corral.
Combos are hard to come by unless you've been hording AP by doing nothing but being raped by wolves for turn after action less turn.

The Ugly:
Story line seems weak. (But what did you expect from a mash up?)
Graphics seem dated (even for sprites).

I think we're going to soldier on and see where th game goes. I 'm hoping it gets better. I'll post again about it when we get 30 hours in or have dropped it. Later!   read

11:25 PM on 04.26.2009

Bomberman Hat Expose Part Two

...and we're back. Time to choose some yarn. We need black, white, cream, and a pinkish red.

I like to use Red Heart Acrylic for it's color selection, durability, availability and cost effectiveness. Since I can't get a good red heart cream color locally, I'm using Carron Natura. Our first step is a simple white base beanie.

Next I'll crochet the bobble/antenna that bomberman has.

When I've finished with the top, I'll stuff it with fiber fill to stiffen it.

OK, thatís done, letís make the face. It's a simple cream colored rectangle with slightly rounded edges. I'll ring it with a round of black so it has plenty of definition. Then I've made two black strips to represent the eyes. They get sewn down onto the cream rectangle.

Next it's time to assemble the pieces. Just like the paper mock up, we've got to pin the bits on when it's sitting on the model head. If you don't, everything shifts when it's put on and nothing will line up right. And with everything sewn on...

Hmmm. The face looks a might...big. Thatís what I get for paying more attention to Lost while I work. It needs to be redone to keep it proportional. The bobble/antenna looks about right though, so that stays. Hereís the final result:

I always keep the first hat I make of any design. The yarn has likely been crocheted and pulled apart multiple times while I figure out the pattern, and that always leaves the yarn frayed, thin and tight when you go to rework it. Sometimes I end up with imperfections that I wouldn't want on a hat I sold. Regardless, the pattern hat is a good reference if I forget how I made or attached one of the pieces. That and my husband like wearing them around the house.

As it stands, I like the hat. It may need a few adjustments before I'm ready to make one for sale, but It was a relative breeze to make (Ask me about the FFXI Red Mage Duelists Chapeau Relic hat sometime over drinks...defiantly over drinks). I hope you've enjoyed following this expose as much as I have had writing it. I'll try hard to come up with something to top it next time.

Project Stats:

Yarn: Red Heart black, white and light raspberry & Carron Natura Cream.
Tools: 6.5mm crochet hook, pins, model head, scissors, cloth tape measurer, cotton fiber fill, yarn needle.
Total Time for R&D: 14 hours.

Bonus: A simple pallet swap yields Bomberman Black, Green, Red and Blue

Variants: eye changes for smiling, dizzy and angry.   read

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