More Playing, Talking, and Drawing

When you’re tired, it’s tough to get in front of the microphone. However, I bought one for a reason, so today I did a Let’s Play — or Let’s Replay, rather — for the Zelda II section of NES Remix 2:

A lot of my posts and social media updates lately have revolved around this game, and for good reason: It’s a lot of fun, and its short bursts of gameplay that focus on achieving the lowest times possible is highly addicting. It’s hard for me to think of another series — besides maybe the license tests from the Gran Turismo games — that have made me so obsessively replay stages over and over like this.

20140723_kid_icarus_boxartAs I mention in the video, I’m currently working my way through the Kid Icarus levels, and for me anyway, this particular title feels like the Ice Climber of NES Remix 2.

The controls are slippery and seem almost broken at times. There is a very specific way that you have to do things in order for the controls to work correctly, so I suppose it’s just a matter of getting used to them.

I hate fighting so much with a game, though, and hopefully it clicks before too long. It’s highly regarded in the pantheon of classic NES titles, but one that I’ve never quite been able to get good at.

At any rate, sorry for the short update today, but I’ll have a new entry in my Industry Memoirs section by the end of the week. It’s been a while since I’ve written one of those, so I’m looking forward to diving back in!

In the meantime, here are a few more Miiverse sketches that I quickly did last night and this morning while finishing up my Zelda II stages:



It doesn’t look anything like the Master Sword, but without any reference material handy, this is about all I could come up with off the top of my head. I’ll draw a proper one soon!



For this one, I “increased” the resolution of the Link stamp, added some more detail to him, and attempted to make it look like the bolt was cutting through the numbers. I reduced the number of bits flying off of them since it was starting to look surprisingly gruesome.



Here’s an extreme close-up of the Triforce, or maybe it’s just a rock monument to the actual Triforce? Whatever the case may be, I made it look aged, with cracks and other rough details.



Finally, this is another one using stamps with the addition of a sunset, stairs from the alter, and other little bits. Hopefully the time on the sign — which is from one of the Kirby stamps — is readable on the small screen when it displays in-game.


Drawing again because of… the Wii U?

Who would’ve thought that Nintendo’s latest console would be responsible for getting me back into art again? While many people — included myself — scoffed at and cast doubt upon the GamePad, in my opinion, it’s more than proven its worth.

Games like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD really benefit from it with its nice quick-access inventory/menu functionality, and off-TV play is fantastic for the games that support it. However, I think it’s the Miiverse — Nintendo’s social network for the Wii U and 3DS — where the GamePad truly shines.

It’s nice to type up messages like you would on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s the handwritten notes, hints, and pictures that you can leave for the community which I find the most fun. There are so many amazing artists out there, and many of them have inspired me to dust off my stylus and take a crack at drawing again.

I haven’t created much for the better part of 17 years. I loved doing anime-style work traditionally with Tria/Prismacolor markers on Letramax paper, and I took it pretty seriously at the time, dumping lots of money into supplies. Honestly, I don’t know why I stopped for so long. Doing it again now, I realize how much I missed it.

All of the sketches I did initially were for NES Remix. I drew little pictures here and there earlier this year, but I decided to jump in with both feet and sketch something bigger every time I got full rainbows on any of the games:



This drawing for Mario Bros. was first up. It’s become one of my more popular ones on the Miiverse. I don’t like the way his hat looks, but for a first attempt, I think it turned out OK. At this point, I was just getting used to the tool set, which is very light, but I think they work great.



Balloon Fight turned out to be a fun game, similar to the old arcade game Joust. For this one, I tried to make it look like his hand was stretching out towards the viewer, but I’m not sure it was all that effective.



I hated — and I mean really hated — Ice Climber when I first started playing it. It was one of the few games I honestly thought was broken! Over time, though, I learned how to play it well enough to get all the rainbows in it.

What do I think of it now? It’s OK, but I don’t know if I’ll be rushing out to play it again. For this sketch, I created an original character based loosely on the female second player from the game. The hammer inadvertently turned out looking like the mallet from Donkey Kong.



Here’s a Wind Waker-style Link to celebrate getting all the rainbows in the original Legend of Zelda. I loaded up a picture via Google for reference, and this is what I ended up with. Most of the shading is true to the original image, but I added more to give it a three-dimensional look.



My Simpsons-inspired Luigi that I drew shortly after starting NES Remix 2. I forgot to add highlights on his hair, and I totally got his mustache wrong. However, after several drawings in a row, I was starting to feel really comfortable with the sketching tools, trying new techniques with shading, and spending more time touching up my handwriting to give it some additional style.



As I’ve been progressing through NES Remix 2, I’ve been taking time to share some of my times as simpler, less time-consuming posts. Since this game doesn’t have leaderboards, this is the only way to share them in-game, which is unfortunate.

Anyway, I started off with this one using a Tanooki Mario stamp and more experimentation with hand-drawn motion effects and fonts. These only take a few minutes, but they’re still fun to make.



A “remix” of my own using Punch-Out!! and Super Mario Bros. 2 stamps, along with some hand-drawn elements to show motion and depth.



This one’s just silly, but I wanted to mess around with changing the look of the stamps themselves. Little Mac’s about to go Super Saiyan!



Running out of ideas, I tried something a little different with the bounce/impact effects, but besides that, there’s not much going on here…



…and so, I decided to detail out and stylize some numbers, which I loved doing back in high school.



When I got to Kirby’s Adventure, I went back to drawing the characters again. I’ve never tried to draw him before, and it’s harder than it looks! I took some liberties with his face design, but I like the way he turned out overall.


20140722_ghg_miiverse_7Another one of Kirby. Keen observers will notice that he’s actually blowing out instead of sucking in, but I guess in the context of displaying a score, it still works.


Anyway, as much fun as Miiverse posts are, I wanted to try my hand at getting back into color work too. I downloaded Art Academy: SketchPad on the Wii U, which is cheap at only $4, but it’s pretty limited in terms of functionality and drawing options.

I’ll write up a full review at a later date, but here’s my first piece: Finn the Human from the great cartoon Adventure Time:



All in all, I’m having a great time getting back into drawing, and again, I owe it all to the Wii U. It’s not only been a surprisingly good console for games, but it’s proven its worth on the creative side as well.

Please add me as a friend if you’d like to see more and follow my doodles. I’m ghibli99 on the Nintendo Network, so I’ll see you online!