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mechatac Blog

Papercrafting is awesome! (pictures to enjoy!)

Though I'd share some older pics of my papercraft collection. Haven't really made too much new since then honestly though:

picture of collection 1

picture of collection 2

picture of collection 3

I always love showing these off! Any question on specific ones I can answer in the comments section. I think that the two that took me me the longest were the half-life head crab (16 hours or so) and Brawl Falco (14.5 hours, actually kinda times this one). My personal favorite one is Jack Frost. I use cardstock, tacky glue, and normal scissors to make them for the most part. I've been doing papercrafting for a few years now I guess, just wait til I see one I like and make it. At this point, I've begun to switch over to lineless type ones and I can look at the pattern at determine how long it should take me. I've made several papercrafts as gifts too, including ceiling cat, monorail cat, Tank (left4dead).

My two favorite papercrafting sites are paperkraft.net and Nintendopapercraft.com

Some of my manga is in the pics too, but they're old and have switched shelving units and such since then. The titles that you can see part of are: Maison Ikkoku, Parasyte, and Banana Fish (3 of my favorites)

Well, now I'm mad at Sony (Patapon 2 related)

They're releasing it on PSN only, the jerks! Therefore, I will probably import the PAL version, as the PSP is region free and PAL version has it in UMD format. I know quite a few of you live in Europe, what's a reliable website to get Patapon 2 UMD from that would ship it to the states? Preferably for a decent price. Thanks for any help, guys!

oops, almost forgot that I should probably source this to prevent any confusion:http://kotaku.com/5210700/sony-patapon-2-going-digital-as-a-test-case

Found a 4-leaf clover! Tips on finding them

This isn't the only one I've found before either! Around this time of year and during pretty much all summer and even into the fall, I have a bad habit of staring at every single clover patch that I find anywhere in case there might be a 4-leaf clover. Not sure why, it's probably slight OCD or something. Anyway, on the way back to my dorm, I found one today!

After looking all over at 3 leaf ones, the irregular geometry of the 4-leaf clovers stand out almost immediatly at this point. Part of this means that you really don't have to look at every single one, once you seen one in real life, or even just a picture on the internet of a 4 leaf clover mixed in with 3 leaf clovers in a natural setting, you'll notice how they just pop out regardless of actual size of the 4 leaf clover itself and the ones around it.

Another thing to notice is that if there's one 4-leaf clover in a patch, there may be more than one. If 3 is the normal gene for clovers, 4 would either be a very recessive gene or a mutated gene. I have found more than 1 4-leaf clover in the same patch before, so mutant or recessive patches are possible to occur. It's not always likely that there will be more than 1 4-leaf clover, but it should be noted that it can certainly occur.

The highest number that I've ever found is 5, and I found tons of them in a mutant patch where the trait of more than 3 leaves was almost 1 in 6 for some reason. The patch also had 4 leaf clovers. At first I thought it a freak occurance that I had found a 5-leaf clover, but I decided to look again and found 5 more 5-leafers and and several 4-leafers.

Luck is still an element to be sure, I've only found one patch of mutant clovers (the 5-leaf patch), but it didn't occur again in the same place the next year for some reason. And obviously, you have to be looking to actually find one, but not every patch has one either. Patches next to each other aren't necessarily the same either, for the one I found today, I was first looking at a patch right next to it, but it was clean.

4-leaf clovers shouldn't be confused with a similar looking species which always has 4 leaves called Marselia quadrifoliaand other similar looking species. Real 4-leaf clovers are found within patches of 3-leaf clovers. The species that you're looking for (according to wikipedia) is Trifoluim repens, the name itself implying 3 leaves as normal.

Once I got back, I put the leaf nicely into one of my 20 lb. style textbooks so it'll flatten and come out nicely in a few days time. I need to remember I put it on page 675 of my microbiology textbook...If you just leave them out, they're likely to wither and turn brown, especially in the heat. The edges will curl up and turn all fragile, the leaf will still lose color overtime, but it'll be easier to preserve when flattened.

Can you spot the 4-leafer here? Happy hunting!

Best larger than life bosses in action games (last gen)

It came to my attention that no one really cared about my tag info too badly (I didn't either honestly), so here's a new list! Bosses are always fun, it's part of what you look forward to in some games. I looked at the larger than life type bosses and no just good boss fights off bosses of any size, but the ones that make you feel small but badass as you fight them. The rules here, to prevent an over flooding, is one boss per game. It's be easy to fill up the entire list with just Shadow of the Colossus, but that wouldn't be entirely fair for a short list. Sorry if most of these are PS2, it's my main system for action games. I picked 5, all my numbers that I pick are pretty random. So, here are my personal top 5 larger than life bosses from the last console gen!

#5) Garon-Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Garon is a bit of a hidden boss that you need to beat in order to get the real ending. Originally a giant otherworldly robot in the series, Garon was sent to change a different planet into one that could be inhabited by wherever it is he came from. In the game, Garon is one of the most difficult bosses, he has very few damageable points and is constantly throwing rocks at you and just being generally difficult. This was a tough game to pick out a single boss for, there are tons of larger than life bosses in the game, Magnemite, the Artificial Sun, but I'll give the nod to the skill it took me to beat Garon. In the original manga, Astro couldn't physically beat Garon, he tricked him into beating himself in a way. In the game, you only fight him from the waist up and they down size him quite a bit, otherwise, he'd take up a few screens in a game already abundant is screen filling bosses. Yeah, the pic is kinda bad, but it's all I could find.

#4) Argorok-Zelda: Twilight Princess
This fight was awesome, in order to get near it, you had to double claw show up some grate covered columns. Then ever when you were in the air, you had to maneuver around it using the double claw shot and those plant thingies while it liked to breathe fire at you. The whole boss was just epic fun, partly because I liked the double claw shots, and partly because you were fighting a giant and awesome dragon 10 stories up in the sky. I count Twilight Princess as last gen, because I played it on the Gamecube.

Behemoth Blood Will Tell

#3) Behemoth-Blood Will Tell
Half of this game if not more was boss fights with not a whole lot of re-coloring them, but the final boss took the cake. To get it, you had to defeat all of the other bosses (all 47 of them) then go on to the final chapters. It was a three part effort that took me a few hours to finally beat and made me go get a sword that made the final part easier, but it felt so rewarding to finally defeat it at the end. Not to mention that the thing has three forms and continues to fight you even after you split it's head in half! Yeah, I kinda had to take the pic off of youtube with screen cap, but the radar in the upper right corner shows you how big the boss is compared to both Hyakkimaru and the stage itself.

#2) 3rd Colossus: Shadow of the Colossus
I'm sure that some would disagree with me and pick another, but I choose the 3rd because it was the first boss in the game that I got a bit of an adrenaline rush from. My personal favorite was actually 11, the giant flying snake like one, but the first time you see Colossus 3's sword about to come crashing down on you, and the eventually stabbing it's brains out all the way at the top of it was just the best feeling. And it was one of the few colossi where I felt that I had to crawl all over that thing, up it's arm, around to its back, it was just exhilarating. When you saw that ads, odds are that you couldn't wait to fight that boss first.

#1) Colossus of Rhodes: God of War 2
Well, SotC certainly proved that larger than life bosses are a good idea, but this battle was special. The entire level was built around fighting the colossus who would at times come out of nowhere. I can't be the first one who died because they weren't expecting a giant foot to come and try to smash them. Not only do you fight the thing all over the level, but then you have to crawl inside the thing and finish it off from the inside. You tear the thing to shreds on the outside and rip off its hand and the thing still comes at you until you take it down from the inside out. It was magnificent to say the least.

I've been tagged....

by Kleeyook

so, just 10 random factoids about me, eh? Guess I'll try to put stuff on here that's not in my "about me" thing.

-My all time favorite game character is Klonoa. I am totally obsessed with that game for some reason.

-My favorite manga are Maison ikkoku and Banana Fish

-My favorite anime are Outlaw Star, Gurren Lagann, Cromartie High School, Princess Tutu, and Robotech.

-My cat's name is Butters, and yes, she is named after the South Park character. Her fur matches my hair color: orange.

-I'm a bio major, simply because I find bio easy and somewhat enjoyable

-I can write with both hands in both manuscript and cursive and have it be legible.

-All of my current handheld systems are red, my favorite color: GBA, phat DS, and PSP. I will not upgrade my DS to DSi unless there is a red one.

-I hate celery. The mere scent of it makes me want to vomit (and the last time I had it, I did immediately upon attempting to swallow it). Maybe I'm allergic or something, but testing that out wouldn't be very much fun.

-I wear glasses. The idea of having to touch your eye to put in or take out contacts freaks me out.

-I'm 20, but I'm usually mistaken for much younger, as young as 16 (17 is a bit more common). It's not because I'm short, I guess I'm just young looking, I've still been mistaken as younger next to people actually younger and shorter than I am. Needless to say, I'm carded everywhere (except the Gamestops, I'm in there enough that they know I'm over 18 ). At this point, it's kinda fun :P

I'll be nice and not tag anyone, mostly because I forget everyone's name at this exact moment and secondly because I feel everyone I know has already been tagged.

Top adorable games that are actually pretty sick

Sometimes, when you accidentally think too much about things, you come up with crazy ideas, like some cute games are really horribly horribly violent and ill, but damn are they cute! So, I didn't really order these, they're too cute to!

First up, Patapon. These little guys are so cute, they come in different colors and army types, they have their own tribal society in which they worship you. They play trumpet to a dancing tree, they play with a baby mountain, they all gather around the fire and discuss what they'll find at Earthend. Then they go out and kill things. Common hunting animals, boss creatures, and members of the evil Zigoton army. They use fire equipment, spears, music notes, swords, horses, arrows, axes, clubs and other stuff. Then they do it all to downright infectious beats that you provide that they all follow and can perform miracle dances. So much killing, so much cute!

Yep, the Pikmin series. It's sick in a similar way to Patapon, you control the pikmin, have them kill things, be killed, make more pikmin, fetch in-game product placements for your ship for arbitrary reasons and kill things. Ok, sure I could see the ones that attack you, but what about the Glutton's Kitchen boss in the second game? That thing doesn't even attack you, you just kill it because it has an item in it. And the pikmin themselves are just so cute, even the white ones which I sometimes sacrifice to the boss because the poison damages it.

And we can't forget the Advance Wars series! At least the first 3 before Days of Ruin attempted to make things more serious by not having over half the COs be teens who constantly joke with each other. Seriously, this is a war game! Anyone ever infantry spam? Imagine how sick that'd be IRL. How about in the 3rd game, Dual Strike, where some of the other COs demanded that you have a decidedly not mock battle with them to prove that they should join you. You already know these people from the last game, you're just wasting time now! About 3 or 4 weeks later they go "yep, you're good!". And then you take over cities, factories, force people to pay you taxes (more if you're Sasha) and yet conversations are often "OMG! Grit and Olaf are so cool! They're my idols!" "Colin! You're my little brother, treat me like a princess!" "I think we'll get along great, Jake!". Awkward Zombie has a great comic about this called "No Fighting in the War Room". But man, the characters all have infectious cute themes, kinda fun pointless banter, super power moves that are cool, and are all "relatable" teenagers (Orange Star is at the very least). Not to mention that all the graphics for the people are kinda cute, even the little infantry mech guys and the little guy who stands next to the rocket (he's my fav)!

Here's another must, Katamari series of course! The entire game is filled to the brim with infectious ear worms that are totally self obsessed with the game and even as everyone screams as you pick them up with their eventual fate to be crushed into stars, you can't help but smile when you pick up your first person. Virgo is one of the worst, the entire object is to pick up as many females as possible, so you'll get mermaids, little kids, female workers, older children, etc. and turn them all into a star! And then you can also destroy them into stardust, hehe. But the whole game reeks of it's own sort of cute absolutely everywhere. And man do I enjoy it.

Just look at this cover! It has a cute little golden monkey that always goes "ZAAKUU!!" and a pirate kid who likes eating chocolate. It's an old fashioned point and click puzzle game with charm bursting everywhere out of it, partly in cute design, partly in making decent use of the waggle. But there's a decent list of rather cruel things you do: turn goons into totems, annoy a baby dragon to no end to purposely anger its mother and make it breath fire for you, turn bats into umbrellas, centipedes into hacksaws, worms into straws, and frogs into bombs. You drug an entire tribe's celebration...soup? with some sort of sleeping powder so that you can go steal their treasure. What a jerk.

Eh, just pick one. You're constantly trapping adorable animals into small magical balls, forcing them to fight and stealing their freedom forever. Yeah, any given Pokemon will warm up to you (sometimes to evolve) and love you for forcing them to fight to the brink of death all the time for you. I find them kinda expendable and like most people trying to get a complete pokedex, I catch a Bidoof and shove it in the PC for all eternity. And then there's supposedly only 1 legendary that is somehow important to the world, so let's catch that too. And most people have a special "breeding ditto" that they shove all their other pokemon with into the "daycare center" and force it to do that sort of thing for as long as you want. Still majority of time is making them fight (pretty sure that's old news at this point though). I admit I'm a hopeless addict though, hehe.

Just a character here real quick, lookit the guy! Now look at him swallow enemies (even those larger than himself) into his infinite stomach and steal their powers. Or just plain eat them. It's a slightly more horrifying fate than being rolled into a katamari. No wonder he's such a force to be reckoned with in Brawl, he can even turn into stones right on top of people and try to smash them. And he's so cute and looks so huggable! And he actually looks good in pink.

spotlight on unique but cheap games: RPGs

Hello, I've decided to cover three unique if not somewhat overlooked RPGs!

Here's an odd little game, old GBC game that I first heard about and got this past summer. I know I had looked over this for years and went "meh, probably a poser" for a while, but when Gamestop said they were getting rid of their GBC games, for $3, why not? Magi Nation is a monster type game based off a TCG of the same name in which you summon monsters to the field. You play as Tony Jones, a deadpan snarker magi who has accidentally be transported from another world. Unlike most RPGs, your MP and HP are pooled together into just plain "energy", which forces some decision making at times. Each side can summon 4 monsters and have access for up to 10 monsters. You can summon the same monster again after it has been defeated in battle, no fainting like in Pokemon. You can also have more than 1 of the same monster. When I described the battle system to a TCG playing friend, he said that it sounds similar to some TCG battle systems. The last card based RPG I had played was the Pokemon TCG game, which was clearly just a card game without worrying about expanding upon the idea, more of a cash-in really. One the other hand, Magi Nation feels like a real RPG that just happens to be card game inspired and it has an actual story, a name character who is interesting, and a really good battle system. It's also one of the only Gameboy RPGs I've seen without random encounters (except in the Shadow Geysers, there are encounter sparks everywhere else). Found at Gamestop for $3, but can run much higher on eBay (although there are some decent prices there too)

Your monsters will never look as good as the ones on the cover. Ever. First off, the battle is like rock paper scissors with a few rules and a neutral as well. Your first move cannot be neutral and you cannot use the same move in a row. Like rock paper scissors, there's a weakness system, magic>attack>block>magic and neutral heals HP. Like rock paper scissors, if you picked rock and your foe scissors, scissors doesn't get to attack but rock still hits. This battle system ties in greatly to the monster creation system in which you quite literally get to draw your own monsters. You don't have unlimited colors though but you can get more through battle. The colors and amounts used in your monster determines their stats and which type of attack they'll be most proficient in. It's great fun to draw what you want and be creative in such a cheery world, you'll end up drawing all sorts of naughty stuff just because you can :D Found at Gamestop for around $7, around $20 on eBay

Nothing wrong with a tried but true RPG for my last one. Dark Cloud is part dungeon crawler part sim-like city building. Things you have to worry about in the dungeon include thirst, HP, and weapons. Yes, you actually have to worry about thirst, you can either carry water on you or stop by at fountains for instant fills. Food is also useful in the dungeons for healing HP. A slight annoyance is that weapons (except for Toan's original dagger) can degrade and break and require repair powder, but after they've leveled up nicely, the can make very powerful weapons. What you're looking for in the dungeon are houses, people, parts of town, parts of houses, or robot parts in Yellow Drop. You then get to rebuild the town as you see fit and get to walk around the town as well You can talk to people in town and they open up shops, store your items, etc. You can also change between 6 characters by the end, although you'll honestly stick to one or two. It's commonly found at Gamestop for $6. Around $10 on eBay

OMG! Spring Break time!

Within 24 hours, I'll be back at my house and out of my dorm for a full 8 days!

I don't actually plan to play games and stuff, I do plenty of that in my room, but since I go to school in another state, I'll be visiting friends back home and taking care of some errands (which includes reapplying to Super Fresh, a rather large supermarket for those who don't know, which is where I worked last summer), and getting more food for the dorm.

But yeah, I'm more than ready for a break, I've been here since winter semester (which was since the first week or january or so) and i've only gone back home for a weekend twice, once when i was sick, and once for errands back in february.

You can see it everywhere around here, people are insane with anticipation! I am so looking forward to going home tomorrow! see my kitty too! I actually do have 1 class on friday, but i can't wait to get out of here, so screw it!

Juggling 101

It's friday! And this week I actually intend to go to juggling club (which I haven't the past two weeks due to Watchmen and laziness)

I quickly find that whenever I talk about juggling, people have no idea wtf I am talking about, which quickly leads me to believe that most people cannot juggle. There's actually quite a lot of jugglers lingo, all the tricks have names and most of them also have jugglers notation associated with them. So I decided I'd talk about it in case anyone is interested :D For starters, we don't start off with scarfs, those are only for little kids and the purpose is to teach the pattern. They're nothing but trouble if you're older, we start off with beanbags. Unfortunately, real juggling requires either some sort of video commonly found on youtube or a teacher, I'm just going to discuss some of things that are commonly encountered as you learn to juggle better.

So, jugglers notation refers to the throws made, an odd number always goes between the hands and an even number returns to the same hand it was thrown from. 1 goes straight between hands, 2 is just a hold in the hand, 3 is an arch between the hands and 4 is a straight up throw back to the same hand. A number 5 and higher is just a higher version of a 3 or 4. A juggler's notation will not tell you what the trick looks like though, a 3-3-3 could be a cascade, a reverse cascade, or a Mill's mess for example, so names are useful too. But some tricks go only by their name, like 4-4-1 and 5-3-1. It's important to know both the notation and the name if applicable, it's much easier to talk to other jugglers that way.

True to its name, 3-3-3 requires 3 balls. 3 ball tricks are plentiful and vary in difficultly. Since all the numbers in the basic cascade, the beginners type of 3-3-3 are all 3's, every ball will arch and go over to the other hand, no 1 straight throws are made, which is a common mistake made by beginners. The basic cascade throws are made by catching on the outside and throwing from the inside, a reverse cascade obviously being the opposite in which throws are made from the outside and catches are made from the inside. In terms of learning actual tricks, reverse cascade is essential to learning other tricks, juggler's tennis and Mill's mess both build off the reverse cascade. The lesson here being that tricks lead to other tricks. Not all 3 ball tricks are easy, I personally found shower juggling a lot more difficult to learn than juggling 4 ball.

4 ball juggling is juggling two balls in each hand at the same time, either at the synchronous or asynchronous. Asynchronous is easier to learn at first. When juggling an odd number of balls, the throw notation will be odd and the balls will all go between your hands when default juggling. When juggling an odd number, each hand will juggle the same number of balls at the same time, in 4 ball, you juggle two in each, 6 ball is 3 in each, etc. At this point, I can do 4 ball, but only with beanbags or balls, not yet with clubs or rings.

The most common of equipment are balls, clubs, and rings. Beanbags are substitutes for balls commonly and both come in all different weights and sizes, materials, etc. Torches and juggling knives are both alternatives to clubs, but you should be good with clubs first before risking your precious juggling arms. Rings don't really have a substitute, but like balls, they do come in different sizes and a few different weights. But juggling also includes things like poi/fire poi, plate spinning, cigar box juggling, and contact juggling, which aren't always considered juggling by the general public (probably because they don't know)

So, my long post is indeed to encourage people to perhaps try juggling, it does have many benefits associated with it. There's the increase in hand-eye coordination, increase in speed of hands, can build arm muscles, and it's great exercise! It is most certainly a challenge at first and most youtube videos will show you how to start off with basic cascade pretty well so I won't go into that. It took me about a week to do 12 throws and catches and maybe a month to really get the hang of it, it is a challenge, but it's quite rewarding in the end. And since my school has a juggling club, good for socialization as well!

arggg!! NOOOO!

my friend cannot find his copy of No More Heroes! How am I to borrow it if he cannot find it!!?! I must have more of that delicious Suda51 flavor! I've become addicted to it quite honestly...I might get Contact DS for the same reason.

And I think my wireless mouse is trying to rebel against me again, first the down wheel on the spinner doesn't work ever, now it just suddenly stopped letting itself be read, etc, I think it just hates me.

Why is there another entire week of school until Spring Break for me?!

Well, guess I'm off to play with my Rubik's Cube, they comfort me, partly because the infuriate everyone else so much :D