Sunday, May 29, 2016

INTERVIEW: FinalSmash! is New on the Scene and Making it Big

While fairly new on the scene, the Smash-oriented webcomic, Final Smash!, has been killing it. Thanks to some smart wit and a clean art style, Nicola has quickly become an extremely popular (and thankfully incredibly humble) artist on Tumblr, typically frequenting thousands of notes and making thousands of fans. Blessedly, I got to interview her, so let's dive right in!
So, to those who don't know, who are you?
Hello! I'm Nicola, and I'm the creator of the Final Smash! webcomic, a weekly strip dedicated to the Super Smash Bros. series. I've been on the Internet for longer than I'd care to admit, however, and you may know me as Yayster or even Forest Grovyle, when I moderated the PokéCommunity forums. I started Final Smash! in October 2015.
What are some of your earliest gaming memories? How have they affected you?
I've been gaming ever since I can remember. My earliest gaming memories are of playing the Amiga with my dad- I must have been six or seven- the great old point-and-click adventures such as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, as well as platformers like Superfrog and strategy games like Lemmings and the original Civilization. From there I moved on to Nintendo, with my first console being the N64. I have such fond memories of those early days and I think it's really kept my passion for gaming alive as I've grown older.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

INTERVIEW: MyNewSoundtrack On Making the Old New

This is Luis Sies. While others might simply remix music, Luis takes the next step in recreating it using sounds pulled from other games, creating consistently impressive, complex masterpieces.
And he hasn't gone unrecognized either- with upwards of four million hits online and his most popular remix totaling at over 650,000 views, he's made quite the lasting impression.
Thankfully, he's agreed to a discussion, so without further ado, here's the outcome.
So, to those who don't know... Who are you?
I'm Luis Sies, also known as MyNewSoundtrack on Youtube. I'm a VGM remixer who loves chiptune music. Most people know me from my remixes of that use the Mega Man X soundchip, but I also work with 8-bit, Genesis/Megadrive, other SNES games, DS games, and more.
Why did you decide to pursue music?
I wish I had an interesting story for this, but I just... started doing it. Back in 2005, my mom won an acoustic guitar in a raffle, and I grabbed it 2 years later when I discovered this magical, old, and obsolete program called "Guitar Pro". This program wasn't really easy to use, but because of it I started getting interested in guitar and piano sequencing and composing.
After I started playing electric guitar and composing my first songs, I got FL Studio imported MIDIs of VG songs I liked, and started playing with different sounds. At the end of 2010, I created my Youtube channel and used what I learned about Guitar Pro and FL Studio to start making remixes.
A few classmates used to make fun of my music in high school, so the main reason I make music today is because of all the great support I get from Youtube. Every time someone says they have one or two of my songs on their iPods or phones I feel super proud!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Thought to Chew: Why Entralink in Pokemon Black 2/White 2 is Brilliant

It's been established that I have some strange appreciation of every minute detail in Pokemon Black 2/ White 2. I don't know why I like the games so much: I honestly don't. But for now, here's more reasons.
Pokemon B2W2 definitely made a ton of major changes which unfortunately have not since been used. I love all of them, so it's slightly disheartening that all of those great, niche points (see: Join Avenue) have since been absent. That being said, though, Wonder Trade is perfect. So there's that.
Entralink is one such feature. The basic premise is a painfully simple but effective one: you go into a realm where you complete missions, granting you items most frequently, though there are also ones concerning events such as finding, say, an Emolga. Stressful missions aside (Emolga? Why?), it works because while they may be simple additions to perhaps elongate one's play session, they're still super useful.
I mean, yes, there are missions designed to get my old collector senses tingling. I mean, collecting Sticks and Old Gateaus serve legitimately no purpose, but I cannot tell you how great it is to be stocked full of them.
In addition, though, they ultimately end up being mostly useful. Evolutionary items, once a valuable commodity, are significantly easier to find, and while this may de-value them, they take away that refrain and dilemma from wasting them. Similarly, shards make a return as a currency with which to spend at Move Tutors which is a really nice, albeit small, touch. I mean, compare this to DPPt, where you have to slave away for 30 minutes in hopes of finding one underground. They took a flawed system and they fixed it.