Sunday, March 30, 2008

Smashing Thoughts Aftermath

Super Smash Brothers Brawl finally arrived in North America on March 9th, 2008. On February 20th, 2007 I wrote an article called Smashing Thoughts where I predicted new and old characters, items and levels. It was a fun exercise and now that the game is out it's time to see if I was right or wrong. Needless to say this article contains some spoilers, but nothing you can't find on any other game site. Review for the game will show up tomorrow!

What I knew at the time for confirmed characters:

Mario - Super Mario Brothers series
Link (Twilight Princess version) - Legend of Zelda series
Kirby - Kirby series
Pikachu - Pokemon series
Varia Suit Samus - Metroid series
Zero Suit Samus - Metroid series (new)
MetaKnight - Kirby series (new)
Pitt - from the Kid Icarus series (new)
Solid Snake - Metal Gear series (new)
Wario - Wario World series (new)
Fox McCloud - Starfox series

Returning Characters Results:

Pichu - Pokemon series - left behind as predicted.
Jigglypuff - Pokemon series - returned as predicted.
Mr. Game & Watch - Game and Watch handhelds - he thankfully returned.
Falco - Star Fox series - Returned and a bit more unique.
Mewtwo - Pokemon series - Sadly was swaped out for Lucario.
Young Link - Legend of Zelda series - Celda Link (Wind Waker Link) was added.
Marth - Fire Emblem series - Returned.
Roy - Fire Emblem series - Traded for Ike, another Fire Emblem character.
Ice Climbers (Popo and Nana) - Ice Climbers - Came back.
Princess Peach - Mario series - Came back looking better then ever as predicted.
Princess Zelda/Sheik - Legend of Zelda series - Both returned and Light Arrows for a Final Smash, predicted.
Ness - Earthbound series - returned, will not destroy Nintendo now.
Luigi - Mario Brothers series - Came back with a lot more uniqueness to him.
Dr. Mario - Dr. Mario series - Got the axe like I predicted.
Captain Falcon - F-Zero series - Returned, but no golden nipples.
Yoshi - Mario series - He returned..
Ganondorf - Legend of Zelda series - Is more unique and does take out a sword for a taunt, close enough.
Donkey Kong - Donkey Kong series - of course he came back.
Bowser - Mario series - Came back with a few new tricks, even better then before.

18/19 right!

Guesses for New Characters:

Bowser Jr/Shadow Mario - Mario series - Wrong!
Krystal - Wrong!
Sonic - Sonic the Hedgehog series - He got in.
Pac-man - Pacman series - Nope.
Mii - Mii, Wii channel - Plenty of music from the Wii channels, but no Miis.
Deoxys - Pokemon series - Pokeball, so kind of right.
Captain Olimar and Louie - Pikmin series - Olimar and Pikmin are in.
Animal Crossing Character - Sadly not, would have been awesome.
Dark Samus - Metroid series - Sadly not, which is a shame.
Ray 01 - Custom Robo series - A tiny assist trophy.
Petey Piranha - Mario Sunshine - A boss in Subspace.
Birdo - Mario series - Nope.
Paper Mario - Mario RPG series - Nope.
Diddy Kong/Donkey Kong JR - Donkey Kong series - Yes, is faster and isn't a DK clone.
Waluigi - Mario series - Sadly is only an assist trophy.
Wolf Link - Zelda: Twilight Princess - Nope, would have been cool thou.
Daisy – Mario series - Still a Peach recolour, as predicted.
Final Fantasy character - Final Fantasy series - Nope.

8/18, ouch...

Guesses for Items, Assist Trophies and Pokemon:

Minda - Zelda: Twilight Princess - Nope.
Pikmin - Pikmin series - Olimar can pluck Pikmin.
Pokemon - Pokemon series - Melee featured a ton of new Pokemon that popped out of the Pokeballs, but here are my guesses what could happen in Brawl:
-Ditto - Nope.
-Kyogre - Shoots water.
-Groudon - Does a fire attack.
-Castform - Nope.
-Wailord - Nope, would have been cool.
-Flygon - Nope.

Pitfall - Nailed it.
Spikey Blue Shell - Mario Kart series - Sadly not.
Bananas - Mario Kart series - Got it perfect.
Golf Club - Mario Golf series - Nope.
Mega mushroom - New Super Mario Brothers - Nope.
Mini mushroom - New Super Mario Brothers - Nope, but lighting bolt from the Mario Kart series can sometimes reverse and only make you smaller.
Chibi Robo - Noper.
FLUDD - Super Mario Sunshine - Mario's new Down B attack, kind of lame.
Poison Mushroom - Nope.
The Elite Beat Agents - Would have been awesome.
Tetris blocks - Tetris series - Two Tetris songs, but no blocks.


Predictions for New Levels:

Nookington's - Animal Crossing series - Appears in the background of SmashVille
New Pokemon stage - vague enough guess was right.
Pikmin stage - Above ground stage confirmed, but no Pikmin plucking.
Twilight Realm - Nope, but a Twilight Portal does appear in Bridge of
Custom Robo battle arena - Sadly not.
Nintendo DS Screens - Pictochat is essentially my guess, except no attacking stylish on screen.
Super Paper Mario style - Sadly not.
New Donkey Kong - another vague on right.
Tetris stage - Nope, but the music is awesome.
Boxing Ring - Wii Sports - Wii Sports music is featured, but no boxing ring.
Metroid Prime battle arena - another vague stage confirmed.
Battalion Wars battle field - Wars series - Sadly not.


38 out of 68 predictions right. Not too bad, got a little bit more then half right-ish. But it was just for fun.

Image is a fan made one found on the internet.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Questions From Analytics Part 1 : Final Gathering

If you've been reading this blog of mine for awhile you might have come across an earlier entry that tells you my blog has been seen on every continent in the world. The handy tool is Google Analytics which is a simple little tool you place on your site and you can find out some basic information about the viewers to your site. You can learn what browser they're using, screen colours, city, and what site lead them to your site. But the one I'm focusing on in this new section of my blog is the Keywords, aka what people type into search engines and find my site. I'll be answering What does Final Gathering do.

Let me show you 3 pictures.

This first one is my scene, unrendered.
As you can see it's a cube sitting in a room.

A pretty simple looking scene, no?

Ok, now here's the same scene rendered without Final Gathering.
As you can see it's pretty basic, and kind of has that "cheap 3D" look to it.

Now in this picture I have turned Final Gathering on.
What do you notice? Does it look more realistic? The reason it looks more realistic is because Final Gathering does something we see in everyday life. As you might know light reflects off of everything and the angle they bounce off an object gives us it's colour. With Final Gathering the program finds all the spots light is hitting and makes those item a light source, so to speak.

You might be asking yourself, Stephen, why is your white cube pink/redish?
Like I said above, Final Gathering makes almost everything a light source, so you have a giant red light with a little white box in a room, the red is going to bleed through onto the box. You can see this in real life as well. Get a bright red object, or blue, or green, or yellow and set it down on a piece of white paper and place a bright light near the objects. You'll see this example.

There you go. Final Gathering explained. I hope you now know a bit more about this cool 3D effect.

Pro-Tip: To get away from cheap 3D looking objects, bevel the hard edges, like on the above cube. As you might know, most items don't come to a sharp point. For an example, my desk, window sill, keyboard, computer screen, computer tower and even the mini Wii-Mote on my key chain don't have hard sharp edges, they're all soft edges.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Note To Self: Update More Often...

Well... umm... no updates since January... sorry about that. Not a happy/creative time for me. But it's spring time and I feel a lot more energized and inspired. I recently took a trip to the fabulous island of Maui, which is a part of Hawaii. Here some picture highlights.

Vancouver Airport:

A flower called a Dragon's Claw:

Mars... I mean the Haleakala Crater:

Road to the top of Haleakala:

Glow in the Dark Mini Golf! (and one of my sisters):

True Vacation Shot: