Artist Spotlight: Patrick’s Art Room

As you might have noticed from the previous post about Sezzadactyl, we like our Pokémon art. And while a lot more people might have seen Joshua Dunlop‘s Pokémon Zoology renderings (and we have some of his art as well), today I want to put a spotlight on a less well known, but totally worthy artist, who we have seen multiple times in the past few years.

Patrick’s Art Room in particular has a very distinctive mark: the terrariums. These sizable dioramas set into a Pokéball are very eye-catchy at a conference, and I have to say we had trouble deciding on which one to get for home — we might get more later on, because they are just so cute.

In addition to the terrariums, Patrick has lots of other cute art. The same pictures can be found in various formats, including as cushion covers, and the postcard format you see in the picture. We went for postcard size this time because we didn’t know where else to fit everything otherwise, and we loved the red/white colour on the frame and mount, to stick with the Pokéball theme. The frame is, by the way, again from Frame Company.

It’s not just Pokémon, though — other games, and mashups of other games with Pokémon, with a very soft texture that fits neatly both the cushion covers and the canvases.

If you want to follow Patrick’s work, in addition to Instagram, you can find him on Facebook. And hopefully soon at the conventions, when they restart.

Finishing games tasks

Yesterday I finally reached the last level of Marvel Ultimate Alliance — the game is tremendously good, although I have to say that the final boss is quite easy to beat, just like a friend of mine foretold me (hi Dennis, you were right).

Right now, I could be going back and forth between levels so I can actually finish it 100% by finding all the missing bonus points and missions, so I can actually get all the costumes and so forth. I actually usually do that. But this time I’m not sure I will, I’ll probably leave it at that until I can play with some friend.

What made me reflect is what another friend of mine told me yesterday; he has been playing Monster Hunter for quite a while, and now he reached the end, basically. All the main missions done, just a handful of the longest ones to face, not worth his time.

And the same is happening to me with Pokémon Diamond, now that I got almost all the Pokémon available on my edition, bred all the ones I had to bred, evolved almost all the ones I have. I could be continuing (and I probably will, like in a car or something) by training all my main Pokémons to the 100th level, but even that is not much of an achievement. Doesn’t help that I lack people to play with.

I also have Devil May Cry 4 half-finished (half-way through the second time ‘round to finish it). But even that is now down to the task of getting more points to get more abilities and max the stats out.

Sure all the extra features, bonus, abilities, points, extension and so on are quite good and can extend the life of a game beyond its basic, but… I wonder how many people can reasonably say nowadays that they had finished a game, 100%.

Oh well, now I just have to decide what else to play ;)

Stress relieving or stressing?

When I bought the Nintendo DS I intended it to be a stress relieve as I really felt stressed. I actually was probably more stressed than I felt, inside, as the doctors concour only on one thing: my pancreatitis was also, and maybe mainly, caused by stress. Stress that was of course composed of family/house stress, but also work stress (or rather lack-of-work stress) and obviously Free Software stress. Although I tried to keep myself more relaxed when I returned, I really ended up stressing myself anyway it seems.

Anyway, leaving alone the stress before, I’m now wondering if the balance of stress relieve and stress of the Nintendo DS is really that good. You might find it childish, but the main game I was looking forward to play was the new generation of Pokémon games, I played most of them through the ten years they were released, so I didn’t want to miss this opportunity, especially since now even someone like me, who knows nobody else interested in the game, can finally trade them through the Wireless connection.

Yeah but I also expected to be able to import the old Poḱemons from the Sapphire cartridge for the GBA, that I bought together with the DS to relax and to have ready for the release of Diamond. If you read my blog, you probably read that I can’t do that because the Sapphire cartridge is of a different language from the Diamond card.

Now, I know you’ll probably consider childish playing with Pokémon and even more childish ranting about being unable to use some extra feature, but it’s really ruining the experience. Add to that that Nintendo added even more Pokémons that can only be caught through a Nintendo event (and some can only be caught through old Nintendo events with the old cartridges and then pushed to Diamond), so Pokémons I’ll never be able to get, and you know why it’s frustrating me to play with it: even if I can get every Pokémon directly available in the game, and trade the common ones, I’ll never be able to complete even this game. I really hoped this would be the first game I was able to complete as I had trading capability now, thing I lacked before, as you needed to know people playing the games too.

Okay, so I decided to take a break from Pokémon and resume playing with Yu-Gi-Oh, it’s a nice game, too, I was playing it alternatively from Pokémon before ending up in the hospital, and I was starting to like it even more. What’s the problem now? Well, it’s difficult to find people at my level (search takes way longer than before) because a lot of people playing with it are playing for months now, and the “top three” features players who were able to overflow the points counter with some really overpowered cards (I tried playing against the Champion ghost, while I was able to win, even if it was hard, against the former Champion ghost last summer, there’s no way I can get more than three turns with the current one: he just need to find one card, and the game is over for me).

And when I’m finally able to find a challenger down to my level, and also being able to win (yes, I lose most of the times anyway)… he shuts down the DS before confirming! Damn Konami! Once again, I’m getting more stress than I’m relieving.

And now? Now I don’t know. I don’t really know what I might do to relieve my stress in the near future, even if the Nintendo DS is a nice portable console (better than my sister’s PSP for sure), the three games I bought up to now were ridden with bugs (Lego Star Wars II), poorly designed multiplayer game (Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007) or obnoxious region-locking (Pokémon Diamond).

So I need a new stress relieve, possibly one that doesn’t involve the risk of cutting myself, like my beloved bricolage, which is not very good in my current state (beside the amount of warfarin I have to take, I’m probably low on blood, so I’d rather avoid cuttign myself), and that doesn’t ask me to go out with the freezing temperature there’s out there. I’m left with reading and watching DVDs of course, but it’s more a way to forget the stress for a while, rather than relieve it.

A sad day for my pokémons…

So okay, I do like playing with Pokémon games, now feel free to laugh at me.

I was playing Pokémon Diamond for about a couple of weeks when I ended up in the hospital, and one of the things I missed while I was there was the Nintendo DS to complete the usual first quest of beating the eight gym leaders plus the five of the league.

So to cut it short, yesterday I completed the Sinnoh Pokédex challenge, and today I was looking forward to import my previous Pokémons from the Pokémon Sapphire GBA cartridge I played waiting for Diamond to be released in Europe and…

… well, I couldn’t find the menu to import the Pokémons!

I ended up googling desperately, and it seems that Pokémon Diamond & Pearl only recognise the GBA cartridges of the same language. The problem is that I bought Pokémon Sapphire here in Italy together with the Nintendo DS (to have something to play), while further games, included Pokémon Diamond, I bought from Amazon UK, where the games cost a little less than here in Italy.

So I can’t use the special features designed for the “hardcore” players having both games… even if I do have them. /me hates on Nintendo for this.

Now I wonder, if most of the games I’ll likely buy off Amazon, where the hell should I buy a console, if I ever buy one?