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  42 - No Time to be Sheepish  
  No Time to be Sheepish  
EssAndrodameiaBelanidiThe Beast
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  01/10/07 Action Comics!  
I'm updating a bit later in the day than usual today... I blame this squarely on my inability to portray anything remotely resembling an action sequence. I simply cannot convey motion without it looking forced and overdone. I recall looking at a volume of the excellent Oh My Goddess! which featured a softball being thrown directly towards the viewer. The motion was conveyed simply by giving the ball a thicker outline, and distorting its shape. It was so simple, yet so wonderfully realistic that it looked as if it was about to shoot out of the page. But somehow I knew that no matter how much I tried to copy that technique... hell, even if I traced the entire scene... it would just look like a hovering, misshapen ball drawn with the wrong thickness of pen. There are still so many fundamental techniques of comic art that I haven't come close to mastering and OH GOD I'M TURNING INTO PIRO.

Scary. Anyway, I've been spending a bit of time this week on the SmashBoards forums, a community dedicated to the Super Smash Bros. games, which I love but am also quite bad at. It's been an interesting experience, and it's fun reading some of the theories and speculation about what will be in the upcoming game. That said, like any large gaming forum, it has the usual resident population of trolls, wazzocks, Internet Tough Guys, angry fourth graders and shell-shocked, trigger-happy moderators. Not to mention it's the only forum I've ever seen where you have to donate money for the honour of being able to choose your own avatar (although you can have a signature image the size of a tower block... go figure).

But that aside, a debate about the dire need for more female characters in the Smash Bros. series has alerted me to what might just be the great overlooked classic game of the last few years. I'm talking about a game called Drill Dozer, on the Gameboy Advance (still the handheld system of choice for those of us who can't afford a DS). It's an old-school platformer made by the company behind Pokemon, in which you control a cute girl who's the acting boss of a notorious gang of thieves. Jill (for it is she) pilots a bizarre walking mecha called the Drill Dozer, which can combine its arms into a giant drill. And, as you may have guessed, her primary method of problem-solving is drilling stuff. The concept alone would probably have been enough to make me buy it, but it's the execution that makes this game so perfect. The level design is incredibly well thought out, and you wouldn't believe the amount of uses the drill gets put to in the process of moving around. The oversized cartridge also has a rumble pack built in, which might sound a little gimmicky, but actually enhances the experience and provides feedback when shifting the drill's gears. If you're in North America, you should definitely give this game a look, especially as it's available for next to nothing, having received virtually no publicity on release. If you're in Europe... well, we didn't even get a release, but it's still searching for on the likes of Amazon, which was where I got my copy. And remember, GBA games are regionless, so you really have no excuse. Your homework for this week is to play this game.
  I don't think Jesus would have shot all those Mexicans, would he?  
© George Hutcheon 2007