Sunday, April 28, 2013

Robot Unicorn Attack 2 - iOS Review

Robot Unicorn Attack is one of the original endless runners on iOS. Now, three years later, the sequel is here, and I'm happy to report that the game is as addicting as ever, if not more so.

For those unfamiliar, you play a robot unicorn who runs through an endless chasm. On the way your unicorn will need to jump and dash. To make things even more difficult, there are now giants that you must dash your way through before they shoot their laser and blow you to smithereens.

Each day a new level will be presented in front of you. While fundamentally the levels look the same, the level layout will be vastly different. Some of the levels have long straightaways, others more giants and even others have lots of small rocks to land upon. It allows some variety to a genre that often feels like your playing the same game over and over again. It's a genuine nice touch.

Graphically the game has received a very nice and appealing face lift  At first, the setting may seem jarring, but once you see your first flying whale, you'll be delighted with the new setting.

Also, there is an intricate level system which involves a variety of challenges. From collecting X amount of items in X amount of runs to earning a certain score through in several runs, the challenges add a nice variety. Once you've completed the challenge your earn a store and can potentially rank up. Each new rank adds a new set of items which include new horns, wings, and steeds. These items can really alter the game. Soon, jumping goes out the window in favor of jumping and max speed is hit earlier and earlier. Endless runners aren't known for their variety and complexity, but Robot Unicorn Attack 2 has had time to learn from all the endless runners that have come after it and improves upon all of them. Is it the best endless runner ever? Maybe!

Daily challenges, team challenges and even another level which is more difficult (an ice level) are just some of the other features.

If there are problems, it comes in the responsiveness of the game. Often times the game stutters under everything that is occurring on the screen. Once flying enters the picture, often times I would press and hold to fly only to come tumbling down and smashing into a rock. It feels inconsistent. I hope they can hammer out some of these issues, because this is the closest to iOS gaming nirvana.

Even as I type this review, all I want to do is play. The game is just fun in a box. Best of all. The price is FREE! Who can pass that up? You can pay for better music (which include Erasure's Always and Never Ending Story) which adds a bit of fantastic on the package, but it is not necessary to enjoy the game.

Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is almost a perfect package. It's fun, it's fast, and I'm going to stop typing this so I can go play. Download this - now!
Overall: A-

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ho-Oh Project Complete!

Hi everyone - just figured I would showcase my biggest project ever. I wanted to show the word in progress. Outline took around 5 hours and coloring took around 7 hours. Total: 12 hours. It measures from 12.5in x 13.5in.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sonic 100 Point Pattern for needlepoint, cross stitch and bead sprite.

Hi everyone! Hope you're enjoying your week. In the middle of one of my biggest projects ever. Hoping to finish by Friday! In any case - Here is a free pattern just for you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guacamelee! Review

Guacamelee! is simply put a triumph in game design. Everyone I have talked to about this game is immediately enchanted with the world, sound design, and gameplay.

Guacamelee! is a metroidvania type game. That is, the world is completely open, but you can only explore certain areas. Once you have unlocked a new ability, you can return to these areas and complete more quests and explore even further. This may be the best Metroid/Castlevania clone ever, and it many ways it reaches and surpasses the aforementioned.

You play a Mexican man who hasn't been having too much luck. Once you're given a magic luchador mask, your adventures unfold. It is very much a save the princess adventure; however, the game mixes humor and a unique art style to make the paper thin story shine. Each of the main characters brim with personality and you will have a smile on your face for the entirety of the adventure.

Within the gameplay there exists an intricate combo system. While at your first you can only punch your way to victory, slowly but surely you can string punches with launches and throws with ease. It feels smooth and frenetic, and, thankfully, the game rests entirely on your skill. Whenever you die you can be certain it was your fault and your fault alone. The game also has a fantastic day/night (living/dead) component that is better left unspoiled. But it will definitely push your skills and reflexes to the test.

Graphically, the game shines at every moment. The bright colorful world of the living and the charming world of the undead make for a wonderful pairing. Within the world lurks dozens upon dozens of references to famous games and internet memes. From Zelda, to Mario to even Grim Fandango, Castle Crashers and even to Angry Cat, the references are funny and fun, and there is always a reference lurking somewhere.

The sound is also equally well done. The only thing that lacks are voice overs for the characters. Some things may be left better to imagination, but I for one would have enjoyed full voice overs. The absence, however, may have been to avoid any racist implications.

Over the past week some people have talked about whether the game is "appropriate." As a person of Spanish heritage, I found nothing about the game inappropriate. What I would say is that the creators took an aesthetic and had fun with it. You always get the sense that Drinkbox Studios was treating the material with care and respect. Those who are looking for something malicious are splitting hairs.

Two issues. One is that I hit a bug in the game where I got stuck in the wall. It wasn't too much of a big deal because checkpoints are plentiful, but I had to reset back to the main menu. The bigger issue relies solely in the length of the game. Most people seem to finishing their experience in and around the five hour mark. The optional side quests take very little time. I wish there were more of these quests because I really enjoyed them. There is also a nice battle royal cave that is fun and definitely tough. I enjoyed the normal play through and cannot wait to return on hard difficult in another month or so. Overall though the game is over too quick and another hour would have really gone a long way; nevertheless, Guacamelee! is simply put one of the most charming and fun games available on PSNetwork, and this is one game to remember come the end of the year.

Overall: A-

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Link from Legend of Zelda Pattern for Cross Stitch, Needlepoint, and Plastic Canvas

This week I've been working on a whole new set of Zelda inspired items. So far I've recreated some popular items.

I then made some new items that will be available throughout the week. All items are available at my shop.

And just for you guys. Here is the Link pattern I created to make all the patterns. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Plants vs. Zombies Planter Pattern for Cross Stitch, Needlepoint, and Bead Sprite

Just a small update for the weekend. Listed my Plants vs. Zombies planter this weekend - available here.
If you wanted to make your own, here is a free pattern for you

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Yoshi and Mario Pattern for Bead Sprite, Needlepoint and Cross Stitch

Happy Sunday everyone! Just a free pattern for you to enjoy. I've been on a big Mario kick as of lately so I figured why not? I've been making Can Cozy / Cup Holders and have been super happy how they came out. Enjoy this pattern!

Here are some of the Mario items I made for the week:

I'm currently working on a Mario Shine but it is a work in progress

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Plankton Pattern from Spongebob Squarepants

A quick Wednesday update. I'm currently thinking about starting a big clock project. I'll update you as I work. Just for you guys - a Plankton pattern - enjoy!

Finished product available on my shop:

Remember my Mario Star giveaway is going on until April 30th

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mario Star Giveaway

For April, I decided I would do something exciting for all the people who have stumbled upon my blog. I will be giving away a Mario Star "I'm a Star" pre-framed item pictured below

To Enter
1) Follow my Blog
2) Leave a comment on this entry.
3) In the comment, link an item you like from my Etsy Shop
4) Leave a way for me to contact you if you win. [e-mail , ETSY name or some equivalent]

Extra Entries
Follow my Facebook and leave a comment

1 Winner will be randomly selected on April 30th, 2013! Good luck!