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30 Days of Video Games Day 7 - Favourite Game Couple

Today we're exploring our favourite game couples through a recorded conversation had by German, Sean and myself (Rene).

Pictured Above: Have you ever searched the phrase Mario and Peach on Google Images?

Click here to read more!
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Prototype Combat Overview Screenshots

Read more about the Bijoux Red Prototype Combat at the Bijoux Red blog!

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WIP - desire demon

I've been working on this through out the week whenever i got sick of flash and toonboom i opened up photoshop and continued chipping away... i say that because i feel like a Sculpter then a Painter i work mainly in grayscale and colorize after completion I use the brushes in photoshop especially the mixer brushes to blend, warp and scratch until i create what i have in mind... so far it's been working nicely for me.

I am still not finished i wanted to complete her like this and add extra details afterwards turning her into a character based of a desire demon from dragon age. So the thing i will be doing next is the Horns and skin textures... it's actually not much so ill be showing off the final next week. After this piece i'm going to work on something more simple to take a break but still applying some of the things i learned since I've been doing these pieces.
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30 Days of Video Games Day 6 - Most Annoying Character

Editor's Note: I thought we could try something different today. For days six, seven and eight of the 30 Days of Video Games, we actually recorded our conversations,in which we discussed that day's topic as a group. Because days six and seven were recorded at the same time, the original intention was to upload them together. Transcribing these conversations however ended up being more time-consuming than I'd originally assumed. So, here is the day 6 conversation, and the next conversation will come at a later time.

Rene, German, Sean, Mike

R: Days six and seven of the 30 Days of Video Games have passed already, so let's try to tackle both of those two days at once. Starting from Day 6, we're going to be talking about the 'Most Annoying Character' in video games. So let's think about who's annoying.

S: Annoying in what context?

R: There are no definitions provided, so … I think, any character that's notably unwanted - the game could be stronger without them. They're just … pissing you off, like you want to punch them in the face?

S: Like Hope?

G: Hope?

R: That's actually my choice! It's weird that you said 'Hope' because, yeah…

G: Oh, I actually haven't played that game.

R: Hope Estheim from Final Fantasy XIII. He spends the entire first forty hours of the game seething and whining and kind of comes off as a kind of one-dimensional character. And the whole thing kind of fizzles out by the time they reach Gran Pulse. The way they wrapped up his conflict was kind of unsatisfying.

S: It actually kind of fizzles out before that.

R: Yeah, it kind of does!

S: Like, it comes up briefly at moments and then just fizzles out very quickly.

R: And what really makes Hope annoying - on top of the fact that he's not a very enjoyable character - is the fact that he's the most useful magic-user in the game by far… so you're probably gonna have him in your party.

S: Sadly.

R: Yeah. So Hope, definitely for me most annoying character. Especially because you have to use him if you want a great party. He's gotta be there so you're gonna have to put up with his crap. I think he knows he can get away with it.

G: That's such a good example that I can't think of one.

R/S: *Hahaha*

My Choice: Hope Estheim. Don't be fooled by that innocent-looking face. He wants to hurt you. And he apparently can't shut up about it.

R: You know what I hear a lot is the dog from Duck Hunt.

G: …Really?

S: I like that dog!

R: Yeah, that's what surprised me! I never really had a beef with that dog! But he comes up a lot in these kinds of articles - somebody mentioned him in a Cracked article, and I've seen him come up in a few other '30 days' lists.

G: Well… we're not opposed to him in anyway.

R: Right. So what makes him so annoying? I mean… he laughs at you when you fail. Games find many ways to do this.

G: People have fragile egos.

R/S: *Hahahaha!*

S: I'd have to say that I find mimicking characters the most annoying.

G: What do you mean?

S: Like Seth from Street Fighter IV. He pretty much just mimics other people's move lists.

R: Oh yeah. Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat.

S: Yeah.

R: Speaking of mimicking characters, I don't know if it counts as a character but mimics from RPGs… you know, treasure chests that turn into enemies.

G: Yeah, those are pretty annoying.

S: Especially when you don't even get anything good afterwards.

R: So Sean, who's your choice then? For a most annoying character?

S: *Pauses*

R: You know, if you guys had to choose one.

G/S: *Pause*

R: Okay, let me rephrase that, you guys have to choose!

G/S: *Hahahaha!*

G: Right. I'd say that my 'most annoying character' would be Sonic. Not for any of his games, but because of the personality that people have given him.

R: Oh like how he's supposed to be arrogant and…

G: And hyper and kind of obnoxious. Those kinds of characters just annoy me.

R: Yeah they kind of… they kind of mess around with Sonic a lot.

G: The unfortunate thing is that if Sonic was a real person, he'd almost be like… a worn-out drug user.

R: Well, as a real person, that version of Sonic would definitely be really annoying.

German's Choice: Sonic the Hedgehog. The picture says it all. Admit it - if you knew somebody that acted like this in real-life... you'd either tell him to stop being such a douche bag or you'd punch him in the face.

G: What about you, Sean?

S: I dunno… it's pretty hard. I guess if I had to pick one, it'd have to be Seth.

R: Yeah? Seth?

S: Yeah, I mean, whenever you fight him, he's just so… cheap. I mean, he was a new villain and that was kind of exciting but he sort of comes off without a personality and when you fight him he just uses all the other move lists so you're kind of like… 'really'?

Sean's Choice: Seth from Street Fighter IV. The fighting game equivalent of an uninspired cover band.

*Mike chimes in*

M: Slippy Toad from Star Fox is really annoying.

R: Yeah, people complain about Slippy all the time, hahaha. I don't know though, like, I don't hate him.

M: Yeah! I don't hate him either! Like - I see his usefulness but he's still really annoying!

R: Hahaha, yeah I see what you're getting at.

M: But if I had to pick one… it'd actually be the sun from Mario 3.

S: The one that chases you around?

M: Yeah! As a kid, that thing traumatized me!

*Everyone laughs*

Mike's Choice: The sun from Super Mario Bros. 3. Interestingly enough, this very same night, Mike got his revenge on the sun, bashing it in the face with a turtle-shell, thus dooming the Mushroom Kingdom and the rest of humanity to perpetual darkness.

R: Hmm…I can still think of a few more, mostly from the recent Final Fantasy games, but there's no reason to keep riding Final Fantasy - I've been pretty hard on them as it is. I like Basch though. So there. That's a compliment for them.
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Music of Bijoux Red - Nikolai White's Theme

There's a new song available at the Bijoux Red dev blog. This is the theme music for Nikolai White, a recurring villain.

You can listen to the track here, or at the Bijoux Red site!

Click here to listen to Nikolai White's theme music, 'White Wolves'.
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30 Days of Video Games Day 5 - Game character you feel you are most like (or wish you were)

Here are two guys. They're both kind of self-righteous, and they're both extremely passionate about their goals. Of course, one comes off as suave and worldly, and also a bit of a womanizer. The other one is goofy, stubborn and, although not without his charm, is kind of a douche.

Zidane Tribal, thief with the traveling theatre company Tantalus, and Adelbert Steiner, Captain of the Kingdom of Alexandria's Pluto Knights, from Final Fantasy IX.

I'm not enough like either one of these flawed, lovable characters to pick just one - I've always considered my ambivalence to be one of my defining features. On any given subject, I tend to have two heavily contrasting opinions, leaving myself at odds... with myself. Just like these two by the end of Final Fantasy IX though, when they (not really a spoiler) begin to respect, and maybe even appreciate each other, I always end up coming out with one really well thought out conclusion - a sort of armistice between two warring opinions.

They're both loud, they're both flashy, they're both kind of arrogant and sort of self-righteous. Steiner never gives up trying to do something that he believes in, even though he's surrounded by people who disagree with him, and Zidane literally travels the entire world in the pursuit of his passions. Yep, this choice seems appropriate, even if choosing two characters is a bit of a cop-out.

But it's hard finding characters who are just like us, don't you think?
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30 Days of Video Games Day 4 - Your Guilty Pleasure Game

In contrast to Day 3, I don't really think the below needs an explanation.

The funny thing about this game is that it's ... kinda not bad ... and also kinda really bad all at the same time. Hey. Don't look at me that way. This is a guilty pleasure.

I'm sure everybody has one!
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Megaman Tribute Artwork

This was my submission for Udon's Megamen Tribute book I wasn't accepted but i believe it's because of the cross over or that i have no +rep points in that community Perhaps they thought it just sucked. In the end it doesn't matter i really enjoyed doing this and it was originally inspired by a dream i had. In the dream the story took place in the year 2,000,000,000,0XX yeah pretty weird The original Megaman returns but he is infused with the spirit(ELF) of X... The female Zero was Roll but had Zero's ELF in her though she had Zero's physical appearance. Beyond this I can't recall anything more from the dream.


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30 Days of Video Games Day 3 - A Game That Is Underrated

I feel like I'm gonna have to explain myself.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat has an interesting history. This title was originally released in March of 2003 in North America for the Nintendo GameCube. It was designed to be played with Nintendo's DK Bongos - as far as I know, it was the only game aside from the Donkey Konga series that made use of the instrument-shaped peripheral.

Despite a mixed reception, it was pretty cool.

Well, I played it through to completion (by that I mean all the secrets, levels, medals, etc.) and thought it was both challenging and satisfying to accomplish everything... but some things about the game bothered me. The game was not punishing enough, for one. Getting hit would basically drain your 'points'... and you had to lose all your 'points' before you could die. Of course, in a game that's all about racking up a huge score to unlock more stuff, that was definitely a motivating factor for in-depth play, but made the game too easy for casual play. The other botheration was, as it probably was for most people, the controller. It was fun, and it was cool, and it turned this side-scrolling platformer into something new... but it felt a little high-maintenance.

The above pretense is necessary to move onto my point - the game I really want to talk about, this 'game that is underrated' is the Wii remake of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Although they promoted this as part of the 'New Play Control' line of games (of which there are only three), Donkey Kong Jungle Beat for the Wii feels closer to a proper remake - almost like a Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Director's Cut!

So here are a few things that I want to gush about.

1 - Responsive and intuitive Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls turned this game into an instant platforming masterpiece.
2 - Higher difficulty level in the form of actual health provided a challenge for both casual and serious players.
3 - New levels and scoring system built on the foundation laid out by the previous game to provide a much richer experience.

Now, I love Donkey Kong Country - I think it's a great series. Donkey Kong Country Returns is incredible! But I'm partly convinced that the reason this game doesn't enjoy the reputation that it might actually deserve is because nobody knows what to expect from a game called 'Jungle Beat' - a play on the use of the bongo controllers, which of course are absent from the Wii version. Having played every game in the Country series, including Returns (although not all of them to completion), I am actually convinced that Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is the absolute BEST Donkey Kong game available and is more deserving of having the play style revisited than the DKC series! The action is fast-paced, and the emphasis on performing stylistic 'Combos' to rack up bananas really encourage players to experiment with different ways to play the incredibly challenging levels!

Well, this is all about a game being underrated, so I imagine I'm not the only one who has something to say that may sound surprising or unexpected.

Oh yeah, and I cleared this one to absolute completion too.
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30 Days of Video Games Day 2 - Your Favourite Character

Do you even have to ask? Mega Man, aka Rock Man is easily my favourite character.

Anybody who knows me really well knows the answer to this one. But let's be serious here. I'm talking about Rock Man classic! I like X well enough, but the traditional blue bomber is where it's at!

Pictured above: Where it's at.

Mega Man 2 for the Nintendo Entertainment System was one of the first games that we owned, and the first game that I became truly obsessed with. I believe my cousin in Miami had just gotten a Sega Genesis when he sent us his NES, along with a royal sampler of titles like the first two Mario games, arcade vertical shooter Xevious and the game that would help shape my love of music and of Japan, Mega Man 2.

This awful photo features another kind of royal sampler, select Mega Man items of great personal value.

Signed by possibly the shyest mangaka in Japan. Great guy though. Turns out he did the sprite artwork for some of my favourite SNES games. Read: Actraiser 2.

So... what about you? Who is your favourite character in video games?
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Some New Bijoux Red Sprites

The harsh environment and the blazing sun aren't the only things to worry about in Freegrove. Along with other dangers, the feral inhabitants of Freegrove will keep Ander on his toes as he makes his way through the barren landscape.

You can click here to see the original post at the Bijoux Red blog.

Feral Dogs are the most common danger in Freegrove.

Although cowardly on their own, their attacks become more brazen in groups.

Scavengers and carrion seekers, Crows gather around the sites of old battles

Crows will viciously defend their prey if necessary

Rene Shible
Director - Bijoux Red
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30 Days of Video Games Day 1 - Very First Video Game

Did you know that Activision was the first third-party developer on the Atari? I've even heard somebody say once that they were the first third-party developer for any console ever! But I've never looked into that... and that might be a story for another time...

Do you remember the first sweater you ever wore? There's good reason to believe that this event happened in your youth - casually, uneventfully. And you probably didn't have the wherewithal to figure out what was happening when it was thrust onto you. My first video game moment was probably something like that. The fact is that my dad owned an Atari 2600 AND an Atari XL - on top of that, I was born in 1985; a month and some days before the Nintendo Entertainment System would be available in North America. Really, the universe had conspired against me and I didn't stand a chance. Video games were part of my life before I could even identify them as such.

Anyway, my brother and I busted out the ol' Atari and tried to figure out which game we played first - and after careful deliberation, we reasoned that Activision's imaginatively titled 'Boxing' for the 2600 might have been the first game that we'd ever played. But really, it could have been any one of these....

Reminiscing on a history of video games feels like a great way to kick-off this 30 Days of Video Games thing. So, now I put the question to you.... what was your very first video game?
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Throwback Thursdays - King of Dragons

King of Dragons

Vital Stats
Released for the SNES in North America in 1994 by Capcom
Our Play Time: 1-2 hours, over several, several gameplay sessions.
Played on: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

You'll definitely like this game if you enjoy co-op brawlers like Streets of Rage or Golden Axe.
You might not like this game if multiplayer is something you believe should only ever be done over the internet.

Free advertising for A&C Games... located in downtown Toronto, your one-stop classic gaming shop!


King of Dragons features many well-accepted fantasy staples, such as pantsless warriors in belly-tops and elves who felt compelled to join the archery team in high school.

King of Dragons is part of the grand '90s tradition of great Capcom games with memorably energetic soundtracks (music by the one and only Yoko Shimomura). The SNES port of this arcade brawler features a 2-player co-op mode, 5 playable characters with unique attribute progression and 16 unique levels. Pretty impressive when compared to other brawlers of the time - especially considering the changes to your character's sprite as they pick up new equipment.

The core gameplay is pretty standard for a side-scrolling beat-'em-up. Players 1 and 2 walk endlessly to the right as enemies throw themselves at your blades. Well, I don't think that description necessarily does the genre justice - but brawler fans probably appreciate this classic formula anyway (I know I do). And, as fans of the genre may expect, King of Dragons successfully brings it's own unique mechanics to the standard convention.

Getting Started...

As a general rule, I think brawlers are best enjoyed with a friend. That's probably the reason why I could never bring myself to buy the first Final Fight for the SNES (a single-player port of the arcade game). King of Dragons is no exception, and the teamwork required to make it through this game contributes heavily to the rich play experience.

If you're playing this alone, you're doing it wrong.

Like any good fantasy game, no one character can do it all - a successful team usually requires players to observe the strength and weaknesses of their partners. The Fighter, Cleric and Dwarf deliver powerful attacks at close range and can withstand enemy blows fairly well, while also having the option to defend themselves using their shields. While the Fighter might be the most well-balanced of the melee classes, the Dwarf is agile and tough (and is short enough to avoid certain attacks entirely). The Cleric on the other hand, although incredibly slow, takes the least damage from enemy attacks, levels up the quickest out of all the characters and sports decent magic strength.

The ranged attackers, the Wizard and the Elf, wear (as expected) laughably ineffective cloth for protection but provide serious support from a safe distance. It's also worth mentioning that while these two characters appear at first to be the weakest of the bunch (the lack of protection via shield can be a huge disadvantage in this game), the Wizard actually grows to become (arguably) the most powerful character, and the Elf is agile enough from the onset to avoid being damaged entirely in most scenarios. It should be noted that your ability to dodge attacks with the Elf will become integral to surviving in later levels as a mere two attacks from any given enemy will more than likely drain your entire health gauge.

Here's a hint, Wizard. Your cloth robes are about as effective as my t-shirt is when it comes to protecting you from golden-plated dragon-men with chain swords. Pictured above: One brave-ass Wizard.

A Kind of Awesome Stupid Journey...

In most arcade games from the '90s, story is something that you piece together half-heartedly in between numerous violent encounters with strangers (seriously, some of these so-called 'heroes' would make sociopaths blush). You might even make up your own as you battle toward a loosely defined goal. King of Dragons is no different. Unless you stick around the game's title menu to figure out what, if any, motivation you need to rearrange the faces of countless goblins and orcs - hell, even if you had stuck around to read whatever paper-thin plot they provide you with - you only have at best a vague idea of what your goal is (although chances are it involves killing, or becoming, the King of the Dragons).

Fortunately, the world map will provide you with enough visual clues to at least set a mental destination - or as the locals call it, 'that creepy-looking castle on the opposite end of the map from where we are'. That should be a simple enough task, provided that someone with any sense of competence is navigating your route.

What is the stupidest route we can take to that ominous-looking castle in the distance?

You probably won't complain as your heroes travel the country side on what has to be the world's most poorly planned detour - this game is, after all, pretty great. If that means you've got to scale a tower in the middle of the ocean that by no means will help you get to your destination more quickly - or at all - then so be it! Seriously. That happens. The whole scenario, however, serves to only confuse things further when, in a twist of logic, your team keeps moving... after defeating that creepy-looking castle!

This series of events may lead you to only one conclusion. Clearly that castle wasn't the final stage and your goal may lie elsewhere. The whole scenario is pretty hard to decipher since the developers never really give you a clear indication of how many stages are in this game. Note that you'd already be at stage 13 at this point, which is at least twice as many stages as most side-scrolling brawlers feature. It kind of lends things this 'any level could be the last level' feeling. In any event, you're going to eventually start asking yourself, "Where the hell are we going!?".

Your heroes promptly double back and start heading south after reaching the Northernmost area on the map - kind of a confusing twist as it looks like you might end up near where you started your journey from - and then the truth becomes apparent, "Oh... we're headed toward that tall mountain in the corner! That must be where the King of Dragons lives!"... Well, wait a second.

I had to take a picture to really illustrate this point because I couldn't find a complete map screenshot on the internet.

That huge blue mountain is the last level; the King of Dragon's seat of power and your ultimate destination in your quest to slay him... and it is right next to the very first level! There is literally nothing between that mountain and the forest in which you start the game! So what were the heroes trying to accomplish with that ridiculous detour in the first place? Well, I guess they helped win the battle against those bad guys in the North... but weren't they all servants of the King of Dragons anyway...?

Final Thoughts...

I really wanted to include a list of all of the hilarious observations we made while playing King of Dragons, but the truth is that we might be the only ones who think that they're funny at all. It might suffice to say though that shoddy dialogue and hilarious enemies, on top of a really stellar game, really help this title stand out.

Oh, but here's one observation I just have to share. Do you remember Goldar from the Power Rangers show? Well, apparently he's an enemy in this. And God hates him (as is made clear to us by the circumstances of his death). Now you'll have to play King of Dragons to find out what the hell I'm talking about.

Yes! I've slain the King of Dragons! Does that make me the new King of Dragons? Like Highlander? Can there be only one? Ho!
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FANART - WIP The King Of Dragons

This is a work in progress i was hoping to have it all finished for today.

I ran into a few challenges that i can't figure out at the moment also i'm not sure if i'm liking the results i have reached. Taking a break and looking back at it in a couple of weeks will perhaps help me understand what may be bothering me.

Anyway i hope you guys enjoy.
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Music of Bijoux Red - Freegrove Theme

Over the course of the game, players will explore a large urban landscape that includes scenes such as an abandoned subway system, a congested chinatown street and more. Despite the modern theme however, the player will also be exploring locations such as seaside caves, a thick dark forest and a dry hot field of tall grass and dead trees.

That last description applies to the first area players will explore in Bijoux Red; the vast and merciless expanse of Freegrove.

Click here to listen to 'A Secret, The Searing Wind, Tall Grass', the theme of Freegrove.

Rene Shible
Director - Bijoux Red
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The Music of Mario Paint

Mario Paint is usually remembered these days for it's awesome music editor - but not remembered accurately. It's always kind of bugged me that the so-called Mario Paint music that people put together and show off on Youtube doesn't actually use the in-game music editor. If you remember what the music editor in Mario Paint was like, then you probably understand why I feel that way.

Put simply, the Mario Paint editor is so limiting that creating anything that sounds like anything else really is its own feat. Of course, I've also seen Youtube videos of songs actually made in Mario Paint that sound absolutely incredible. Those are my favourite ones. When compared to songs made outside of Mario Paint, in-game versions tend to show more creativity and ingenuity in portraying songs that would otherwise be impossible to duplicate using the extremely limited toolset provided. That's what makes them so impressive.

Mario Paint's musical legacy shouldn't end there though! The actual Mario Paint soundtrack is incredible! The music editing is fun and everything, but let's take the time to reminisce on the charming, sometimes trippy, music of Mario Paint.

The default BGM is my favourite theme from Mario Paint.

Although this one would have to be a close second.

A hallucinogenic coffee trip, a la Earthbound. Or just really trippy music to draw to.

My brother and I spent a lot of time in the stamp editor. It was the closest thing to making SNES sprites that we had at the time!

Does this theme remind anyone else of Super Mario RPG?
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Keiji Inafune

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Gaming Marathon - Parasite Eve - Aya

A fanart of Aya from Parasite Eve inspired by our gaming marathon.

One guy with a controller (Rene) and another with the strategy guide(Sean) to optimize our paths and find the best secrets. I was just a spectator watching the game like a movie cracking jokes on Daniel's hyper speed driving... thank god the city was abandoned.

I look forward to the next game when we have some free time to play it like this.
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Sort of New, Sort of Old

As a first post to kick off our Revolver Games blog, I thought it might be fun to revisit something new ... that is also sort of old.

What is this weird image?

Earlier in 2010, we were developing a visual novel that was intended to be multi-platform, available for both mobile phones and web browsers - we would refer to it as Project Blackroom during development. We've since shifted our focus to new projects, leaving Blackroom in an unclear state. (Although a release of the completed demo is probably going to happen soon, just so that we can share it with people).

But that's just all context.

I really just wanted to share the main theme from our mysterious visual novel.

I wrote this one almost a year ago, but I think it's still fairly chilling and mysterious.