Splinterlands Art Contest: SPIRIT OF THE FOREST

She’ll heal and protect her friends while flying and shooting arrows at her enemies. She’s hard to hit and does a lot of damage while keeping the front monster alive making her one of my favorite cards.

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From the safety of the Eldest Tree, deep in the shrouded magic of the Hungry Wood, the Spirit of the Forest lives and grows. She is one of the original creators of life in the Splinterlands, and little happens without her knowing about it. She can be summoned to battle by a skilled summoner, but she loves all her children as a good mother should.

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Coming across the latest Splinterlands Art Contest, I thought I would do a sketch inspired by one of the new cards, but after looking through them all, I decided on sketching the classic ALPHA card, SPIRIT OF THE FOREST, instead. At first I thought I would have her growing a tower of protection and a tree from the ground as if she where a reverse Night King from Game of Thrones. I copy and pasted her and her healing powers from the game initially as inspiration or as a guide, but she fit in perfectly, so I moved, resized, and redrew her healing magic and blurred her into the picture. I changed her face and hair a little bit and made her boobs bigger. I changed the position of her arms to fit with my idea and had her hands blur into healing power and the tower so I could avoid drawing them. I took some pictures along the way in Procreate then stacked them all on top of each other in their own layers and exported it as an animated GIF. Thanks for checking out my Splinterlands sketch today. I know I cheated a bit with the copy and paste part, but it was fun and it came out nice.

Dear Dragons, Help me escape the Silver League!

There are many play to earn crypto games, but none so far have the community or solid gameplay Splinterlands provides. You need to buy a $10 Summoner’s Spellbook to begin, but you’ll also get a HIVE account where you can post and earn with communities like TravelfeedLeoFinance, and the HIVE Gaming Community. There are many more great communities on the HIVE blockchain, but those are where I spend most of my time. I came across this Dragon challenge today, so I monstered up and tried to break free of the SILVER LEAGUE with the help of my lovely DRAGON cards.

Each time I get close to the gates of the GOLD LEAGUE, I get kicked down and struggle to come back only to be kicked down again. It’s because you only earn 10 rank points when you’re near the top where most of your opponents are lower ranking and when they win you’ll take a huge hit to your rank.

After this great battle I knew I had something good to share and it also gave me the momentum to go on a ten straight winning streak…C2441C4A483144C68A9FFBA9DF0CC743.jpeg9B31D74ABF95464088086068C748792E.jpeg

And to finally be free of the dreaded SILVER LEAGUE. Why is SILVER LEAGUE harder than GOLD LEAGUE? I think it’s because GOLD LEAGUE players rely on strong cards while SILVER LEAGUE players are using weaker cards, but better strategies. Anyways thanks for checking out my battle today. Have a good one!

SUPER MARIO 64: Finally to Yoshi with 120 ⭐️ – Part III

I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d have the patience to clear this with annoying touch screen controls, but as you can see from my screenshots, it is possible. Super Mario 64 emulates well even on very old Android phones. I got it to work fine on a jailbroke iPhone 5 a long time ago, so I’m sure it works well today too. Do people still jailbreak iPhones? If you want to play this on a phone, I highly recommend using a bluetooth controller, but I got pretty good at controlling Mario and even doing multiple wall jumps by the end of the game using the touchscreen. I wonder how long it is until our VR headsets can just read our thoughts and our gameplay will be seamlessly linked with our intentions.


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I don’t think there was ever a bigger jump in quality gameplay then when Nintendo added the 3rd dimension with this classic gem. If I could travel back in time and meet my teenage self, it’d be fun showing myself how good I am at this game now. I’m sure I’d ask my future self about my favorite game and GTA would be the answer. I would explain how fun GTA is, but my past self would be shocked that the same game lasted over seven years and spanned three gaming generations. I’m 40 years old now. Does that mean GTA 6 VR Online with an Oasis account will be the final version for my lifetime? After talking about video games, I’d advice my young self to still join the army, but not the navy. That my 30s will be better than my 20s. To buy lot’s of Google and Amazon stock as well as 2 million Bitcoins. One to shadow Satoshi’s original million and one million BTC to play around with and enjoy life. That everything will be fine, just look out for the year 2020!


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Dear Nintendo,

I sent an email to you when I found out about the Wii U. It was a failed system because most people confused it with the original. In my email, I suggested calling the new machine: Super Wii. My suggestion still stands. It would be a marketing home run of a name especially if it were back compatible with old Wii games and used that fancy new AI that makes old games look 4K. Anyways Nintendo, I love you and am a fanboy for life. Thanks for all the great memories.

The Tortuous and the Mario

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When you first have to race the big turtle it’s a piece of cake, but he was the hardest star for me to get this time. I slowed down time, saved state cheated and long jumped like crazy until I beat him.

Conclusion

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It took me 17 days of relentless gameplay to clear all 120 stars the first time in 1996.
I posted Part 1 of this post over a month ago and Part II two weeks ago. I had Youtube, save cheats, and the ability to slow down time, so it wasn’t the same as doing it blind 24 years ago, but it was still a fun experience.


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Here are the N64 games I like playing using Mupen64Plus. Do you think I forgot any that can also be emulated and controlled well using a phone and touchscreen? I feel Super Mario 64 is the best game on the list. I think I will search for any fan made Super Mario 64ROMs to play next. Do you know of any? Thank you for going on this old Mario adventure with me again. All of the photos in the post were captured while playing on my Android phone. Has anyone else cleared Super Mario 64 on their phone?

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: Majora’s Mask 🎭 20 Years Too Late…

I loved The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but sadly had never heard of Majora’s Mask because it came out in the year 2000. At that time I was on active duty in the U.S. Army and spent all my free time in college or in the Pacific Ocean trying to make it as a surfer. I got back into gaming in 2001, but I was in Thailand where they preferred PlayStation. Back then all the consoles were easily hacked and could play burnt discs that shops everywhere were selling from fifty cents to over a dollar. As a gamer it felt like Christmas walking home with a bag full of cheap games. N64 cartridges were expensive and weren’t easily pirated like the CDs used in the original PlayStation so most people in Asia (outside of Japan and Korea) never saw an N64 or any of its great games. Even now, people see me playing Super Mario 64 on my phone and ask about it.

I have good internet at home and most restaurants have WiFi so I don’t waste money on a data plan for my phone which means I will use it offline often. Getting a phone ready for offline mode has many benefits. If you’re at a party for example and the power goes out and then there’s no internet, you’ll be able to jam on because you have the song files ready or can still play games that don’t need the internet like N64 games. I can imagine going back in time and telling myself that every single Nintendo 64 game can be played on a phone that fits in my front shirt pocket and I would think that we made it to Star Trek. When I think about the limitations of file size, RAM, and speed they were working with back in the 1990s, these games really shine as true digital masterpieces of artistic creation and ingenuity.

After downloading every N64 game ever made on my phone, I had to delete 99% of them because most looked horrible, some wouldn’t load at all, and most were boring. I was sad to see that GoldenEye 007 couldn’t be controlled with the touchscreen and had to go in the bin too. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s MaskSuper Mario 64Wave Race 64Mortal Kombat TrilogyStar Fox 64Perfect Dark, and Super Smash Bros. were the only games that could be controlled with touch screen well and also survived my love of putting files in the trash bin.

The graphics looked good on my phone’s screen and the controls were smooth. It felt like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time but a bit different at the same time too.  The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was one of only three N64 games which REQUIRED the Expansion Pack which added 4MB of RAM. It really did make a difference and improved the quality of the gameplay, but was it worth buying it if it only worked on three games late in the life cycle of the N64? I remember having it and didn’t regret it at all. It was only $30 and came with the games that needed it so it was kind of a fair deal. I think many of us bought it individually and then bought games that came with it, so we’d just give the spare ones to friends who didn’t have it. I don’t know if it made any difference, in fact I remember many people complaining it made older games freeze up sometimes.

This starts off fun, getting to be Link again in glorious 64 bit plus expansion graphics, then this guy in a mask comes along and jacks our horse and ocarina.

He also turned us into this tree kid.

Flying around with flowers is fun. Nintendo always had a magical way of making games feel alive and full of fun compared to the competition. I bet that some new form of AI will be able to read these old games and reproduce them exactly like they were designed only in 8K resolution. There are many fan boys doing this now, but I think it will be done perfectly when an advanced AI does it.

With only three days left until time runs out I felt myself running around like a chicken with its head cut off not knowing what to do.

I rode my bike to this food court located at the start of the night market. I didn’t have WiFi, so I couldn’t rely on Youtube for a solution. Back in the day we’d get stuck for days or weeks on a game until someone’s older sibling told us what to do or we found a clue in an old Nintendo Power magazine.

Boom. Game over. The world has come to an end because I wasn’t fast enough. Oh wait. It’s like a 72 hour version of Groundhog Day. You get to start over, just without anything gained along the way. I would love if real life were like this without the getting stuck in the loop part. Playing old N64 games on my phone is kind of like that with the save option. It really makes the game a lot more fun not having to start all over again. I want to play these old games for nostalgia and relaxation, not to get stressed out, so I cheat using the save option all the time.

I found myself frustrated by this game, turned it off and went back the Super Mario 64, but it kept bugging me and I came back the next day to try again. I wish I had played this when it came out. I would’ve really loved it then. It’s honestly hard for me to get that into it after playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it’s only 32MB in size and I’m glad it’s on my phone incase I ever want to play what is considered by many to be one of the greatest video games of all time.

GENSHIN IMPACT: First Impressions Review

This was the first game recommended by the App Store and looked like an interesting RPG, so I gave it a go. I’ve always like Japanese animation and video games, so it was exciting to play this merging of the two. It is very interesting how they’ve finally made a game look like a living animation. The characters and world are 3D characters, but look and feel like they were hand drawn from any angle.

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The characters are voiced with good actors which helped me get into the game more. I hate RPGs that make me read. If I wanted to read, I’d check out the latest HIVE posts or read Google News, but when I play games, I want to feel emerged in the environment and forget about the actual world and reading ruins the experience for me. They still display the texts so you can read what the characters are about to say so you can read faster than the characters speak if you want to jump to the next line or scene too.

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I also like that the characters can interact with the environment properly. If there is a mountain or tree, you can climb up it.

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I’m using an old iPad to play this. Even though it is 5 years old, it’s still an iPad Pro and has never had any problems until today. I think this game was meant for something more powerful like a PS4 because it would stutter during big animation scenes and would have a lot of black fog in the distance. Maybe when I get a new phone I’ll try this again because the stuttering scenes ruined the experience for me. It could be that I’m just running the demo and if the whole thing gets downloaded it works better.

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Unfortunately for me, my iPad only has 32GB of storage which is almost full. Maybe I’ll go on a mad picture deleting spree and install the whole 4GB of game data and see if that helps to improve the experience.

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It kind of feels like playing a Zelda game. You have a sword, some magic ability, and have wings for gliding. I really believe that artists will be able to animate whole worlds like this simply by thinking or talking about it with an advanced AI in the near future. If they can do this now, imagine what it will be like when computers can read our thoughts in five or ten years.

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I was only able to make it to the first town before I started having problems again when a dragon shows up, but the whole screen has gone black so I can’t see ANYTHING. I’ve tried reseting and loading only the game to see if it works, but I got nothing but black again. Such a shame because I was really enjoying this game. Oh well, I’ll try again on the PS4 or PS5 where it will look great. This is a great game and I wish I could play it more. I don’t know if it’s my iPad or bad game design, but I can’t continue from this point. Have you played this game too? What was your experience like?

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit


Nintendo just released a real-world kart with a camera to play in your home. It costs $99 and comes with a USB chargeable Mario or Luigi and four gates to create your own courses. If you have a huge house and are willing to drop $400 on four karts and already have the Nintendo Switch then you can have some seriously fun game parties because the game supports up to four physical karts.

Creativity

Creating a Mario level has always been a fun experience, but now that it will be a mix of reality and game obstacles, it will be fun on a new level. I created Conversation Gaming to bring quality education to the gaming world and will surely use this game for events with my students in the future.

Xbox, Playstation, or a Mario Kart?

Many people are going to choose this $99 kart over a $500 system. Nintendo has always gone up againts more powerful hardware coming out on top and it looks like they’ve found a very creative way to do it this year.

Cats and Dogs

I’m looking forward to all the YouTube videos creative players are going to produce with this game. There will surely be funny moments where dogs and cats freak out seeing Mario and Luigi navigate the courses in THEIR living rooms.

Developer Interview

The guys who made this compare it to the jump from when Mario went from 2D to 3D. I honestly don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but mixed reality gaming is pretty cool.

RETRO GAMING: Doom

My friend Mike and I agreed that this was the greatest game to ever be made and there would never be anything better than this after clearing it our first time. We were both 15 in 1995, but he was way more grown up than me. Some kids at 15 look like they’re in their twenties while some look 12. I was the later and really looked up to Mike. He had already had many girlfriends and gave me my first hit of the reefer. I usually forget who I’ve watched movies with, but I’ll always remember who I cleared epic games with.

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This digital art may look crude today, but we thought it was awesome back then. This game was released in 1993, so this was probably done on Microsoft Paint or a very early Photoshop. I spent so many hours attempting to draw on Microsoft Paint that it’s still the easiest for me to use today.

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A few people played Doom‘s daddy, Wolfenstein 3D, but Doom was the first 3D game that EVERYONE played. You had to shut down Windows and boot this game from DOS. Not all PCs had speakers so a lot of us played without sound.

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I was lucky and went to good public schools which always bought new IBM PCs and Macs so we could sneak install Doom onto some of the school’s computers. I think it was Doomand Mortal Kombat that started to give gaming a bad name blaming it on youth violence and our academic failures.

The Map

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Doom was the first time I remember using a map. It was very difficult for me to remember the 3D game in my mind while reading a 2D map. I developed the, Always Turn Left, technique in Wolfenstein 3D whenever I got lost and brought the same lazy minded bad habbit to Doom, but it didn’t always work because it was a complex 3D world with stairs and different floors.

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The demons in Doom got scarier as you progressed. Luckily for the player, the weapons got better as well.

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By the end of the game you’ll have the BFG. We never did figure out what that acronym meant.

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Gaming History

Doom will be remembered as a grandfather of many things…

  • 3D gaming techniques
  • online sales
  • online gaming
  • modding
  • FPS horror
  • expansion packs
  • turning games into movies

Thanks for looking back on this 3D and FPS granddaddy with me today. Have you tried the modern Doom games? I think this will be a great VR game and the Doom franchise will continue to scare and amaze us.

RETRO GAMING: Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Things were very different three decades ago. We were easily entertained. It may seem funny now, but seeing this was very exciting for us when we were kids playing this in the 1990’s when our parents were gone. Larry was released in 1987, but it wasn’t until later that I got to play this naughty game.

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I remember hiding the disk from my mom inside of a Playboy magazine in my vent hiding spot. I don’t remember seeing the old school large floppies. The game must have shipped with both types for maximum playability. I also remember the class laughing at an older teacher who still used the big floppy disk in the mid 1990’s. It was way harder to be a teacher back then because the kids were mean and would even bully teachers.

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I just had a disk, so I never saw this cover of the game until today when I was reading about it on Wikipedia.

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Larry was controlled by the keyboard directional keys and by typing in commands. If you typed in some correct command it would respond with an OK and it would happen, but if you typed in something wrong or irrelevant it would have smart ass sarcastic replies giving the illusion the game had AI.

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The game was about a forty year old virgin looking for sex.

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There were just a few levels and women in the game, but it took a long time to figure out what to do.

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Choosing the prostitute would give Larry an STD and then he’d die. He blew up if I remember. I wonder how many kids were scared of hookers after that video game death.

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Thanks for looking back on this ancient game with me today.

GAMEBOY: The First Zombie Maker

I remember in 2011, I was feeling so sick of Thai people being glued to their crappy phones until I went back to the States and realized it was a global problem. While it may be normal to see someone hunched over zombified by a small screen today, we old school gamers were the first to ruin our posture with Nintendo’s Gameboy.

You can’t understand how cool it was to have one of these when it first came out. It would have been like the only person to have an iPhone when everyone else was still using Nokias and flip-phones. One of my wealthier friends was the first kid in our class to have it and we all huddled around him like he had just found the one ring to rule them all.

Indestructible, but Hungry:

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Did you know that a Gameboy once survived a bomb in the first Gulf War? I remember seeing this story on the news and it just made me want one even more. It was great to finally have one of my own until I realized how much power it consumed. It would drain 4 AA batteries in just a few hours.

I tried my best to destroy my Gameboy many times in fits of rage and anger, but it would still always boot up with that red LED light and signature Nintendo ding.

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It came with Tetris and that’s the game must of us will remember the original Gameboy for. What was your favorite Gameboy memory?

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Super Mario 64

Nothing has ever been a bigger deal or more revolutionary for gaming than adding truly 3-D graphics like Nintendo did a quarter of a century ago. There were some very crude 3D games like Wolfenstein and Doom, but they were just turn left or right mazes with 2D sprites. Going from Super Nintendo to the N64 was like upgrading from a PSP to a PS4. It was magical. Nothing has ever been more exciting or fresh since.

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I rode my bike very far to the “Super Mall” in 1996 to get my hands on a new Nintendo 64 and had to purchase the Mario 64 cartridge separately. They were giving the game away for free if you could slide down the Princess’s Secret Slide in under 21 seconds, but they only gave you one try. The graphics may seem crude today, but it felt like something from the future back then. On a funny side note, my son saw me playing it on an emulator which he imagined was a Chinese ripoff and laughed at what he thought was a pathetic attempt to copy what he was used to on the Switch.

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I didn’t go to swimming practice or Karate and even played hooky a few times in our 17 day marathon of collecting all 120 stars. I was kind of a late bloomer. I was 16 in 1996 and while my best friend was busy mackin’ on babes, me and his younger brother escaped reality completely and hooked my N64 up to his giant (at the time) 50 inch screen TV. People who weren’t even into gaming were blown away by it’s awesomeness. I remember feeling proud that I had a processor way more powerful than any of my school’s computers. I didn’t want my mom to know I had spent over $300 on everything, so I hid it in a bottom drawer and drilled holes in the back for the power and AV cables.

Emulators

I would love to hook up an original Nintendo 64 to an old TV along with a Super Nintendo an Sega Genesis while I rap that when I was dead broke that I could never picture this, but emulators are what most of us have now. I was super happy when I was able to get it to work on my PSP back in the day. Thanks to Project 64, it looks great on PC and if you have a Bluetooth controller, you can play it on your phone too. I’ve had some problems with Linux. They have Mupen64 Plus which is inferior to Project 64, so I ran Project 64 through Wine which slowed down the PC making it unplayable. Good job Nintendo! You made the game so different that it can still be difficult to emulate even today. I fully expect to play this game in VR in future versions. Some people have redone some levels in Unreal Engine. You can see one example here:

Thank you for reminiscing about MARIO 64 with me today. I’m going to ask my mammamia for some spaghetti now. Have a great day. If you want to emulate N64, check out Project 64:
https://www.pj64-emu.com/