Notice: Cubed3 are no longer accepting new reader blogs (as of 17th January 2015). Existing blog entries will be available to read, archived below.

Some of my Goals

Now Listening to: Dragon Quest 8 OST

I aspire to be an artist and it's my long term goal to achieve this and work towards. I don't care if it takes me 30 years, this is what I want. At the moment I'm completely self-taught and have learned everything by figuring out things myself, learning from other artists and also studying others work. I may decide to go to college in the future though, as I feel this might help me learn further skills and develop me more an give me more of a chance of succeeding in a job involving art.

Of course, if this does happen, my other goal is to move away from where I currently live. Somewhere out of town and very peaceful, if possible. Moving to another country wouldn't be out the question either.

I also want to go travelling somewhere by myself, if I can gather more confidence and get more experience with travelling around. Places I'd most like to go are Canada, America, Japan, Austria and the Netherlands.

Lastly and most importantly (I think) is to be happy all my life. That might be impossible, but I want to be happy at least more than I feel sad. Life is hard to deal with for me, so for this to happen would be great, but I can only try my best. Achieving some of these long term goals will help a lot and I think they would make me a much happier person in general.

You've got to believe, to achieve and I haven't been believing in myself. I put myself down at times and I lose sight of what I want, because negative things bring me down, things I don't want to deal with or have little interest in. But you have to, because it's life. The past week I've felt so down, to the point of crying at times and having other thoughts, but thanks to advice and help from friends on this site, I've been feeling better this weekend. I just have to keep it up and carry on believing in myself, otherwise I'll never get to where I want.

I'll leave you all with some wonderful music.

Thanks for reading!

There is Nothing Else I Can Do

Now Playing: Colors 3D
Now Listening to: Super Mario 64 Soundtrack
Now Watching: House

Literally... I can't do maths, meaning retail jobs I'll suck at and although I think I'm quite good at English, I don't think I'll ever be Shakespeare 2.0. I do like the idea of being a writer though. Pretty much most things I've never taken too, I just get to a point and give up or when I do, I just forget what I learnt, it just seems to go straight through me. I think the only thing that I've really taken too in life and have any sort of potential in is being an artist.

I started drawing when I was quite young (around 8, I believe). I was terrible, but I did it because my mum inspired me and I also enjoyed it. She used to draw Nintendo characters for me and my brother and when we came home from school, there would be a new drawing to put on our bedroom wall. At this stage, I wasn't really getting anywhere and pretty much gave up. After this, it wouldn't be till I was around 14 I'd take up drawing again and take it more seriously.

At that age I picked up drawing again and I have no idea why. I started getting seriously into it and enjoying it. I'd just drew Pokémon at first, because those were simple to draw. There were more complex designs too, if I wanted more of a challenge. Once I saw they started coming out better than expected, I think that drove me to do more.

For a few years I kept this up, more so in the later years. I'd literally just spend all day drawing, instead of going on my computer for most of the day (like I do now). I think the time spent doing it paid off, as some of my artwork I felt was really great. I remember people in my graphics class at school being amazed by some of it. To have someone say I was good at something was a nice feeling, it's not very often I'd receive compliments. Back then, I had even less going for me too. I was dreadful at English for a start (check my old C3 posts).

Then came the downfall... around the later half of 2007 and the past few years (though the last 3 years have been much better), I felt low due to certain reasons and I lost a lot of confidence, motivation and generally have thought negatively about myself (I still do at times). I lost my belief in myself, basically. I did start drawing again though, but it was only occasionally and by that, every couple of months maybe. It wasn't really enough to improve again though and it's only been in this last year, I've taken it more seriously again.

Around mid 2011 is where I wanted to get really serious about doing art again though. My biggest project was my work on a Wind Waker drawing for my friends birthday, Bart (former member of C3 forums). Coincidently, it was during that time I started speaking to another member of the C3 forums, onikafei. I found out she was a talented artist when she posted her work on the site and in the C3 chatroom and after seeing that it just got me inspired all over again. I also received some advice and help from her, so that was very kind - a big thanks for that, I appreciate it. Since then, I've been drawing more often, though still not as much as I used too. I've worked on some of my best artwork though and put in a lot of time on some of them. Recently I also picked up Colors 3D for the 3DS, as well (review coming soon!) and that's also driven me to draw more.

Think of that as a diary though, a historic look at my past of learning to draw. At the moment, I'm in such a state where I just feel upset if I think about working in any other job that doesn't involve art. It's the only thing I have any sort of potential in, everything else I suck at.

I just hope I can keep this up and get good. In a way, it's just a shame it's taken me this long to really get back into art again, but at this moment in time I feel determined and actually enjoying it again in the same way I used too.

Damn! A wall of text... If you've got this far, thank you for taking time out your day to read my latest blog.

In other news:

- Kid Icarus: Uprising is really great, go and buy it!
- I'm hoping to do a Cubed3 comic for the site.
- I might be going to MCM Manchester in July, if others from C3 are going.
- I'm really excited about E3 next month, expect major excitement overload in the IRC chat when Pikmin 3 gets shown for the first time.
- Lastly, I love you all! JB I love slightly more though... Smilie

I leave you with a pencil sketch of Rayman I did yesterday.

Image for

Hope you enjoy!

The Mouse Waker!

Now Playing: NightSky and BIT.TRIP Runner
Now Listening to: Mouse on the Keys

The Mouse Waker by ~Marzy16 on deviantART

Happy Christmas Cubed3, it's been a while since my last blog and now I have something worthwhile to show and talk about, I thought I'd update you all on it. Above, you can see my latest piece of artwork, which I made for a friends birthday present. He was once a regular member on here actually (Bart). This one took me many hours to get right and it actually had a background behind it which I spent a while on. In the end though I got rid of it, as it wasn't working out and ruined the overall artwork. It's a character piece, so I wanted to focus on them.

I also want to spend more time working on my art again and hopefully I can post it here more often in the future. Many thanks to onlykafei, as well, since she gave me some very helpful advice and that will get put to use in my future work. In fact, I used two of her tips in this drawing.

Gaming has actually been taking over my life recently. I've spent over 40 hours on Mario Kart 7 already and I recently got the Humble Bundle 4, with the amazing NightSky and BIT.TRIP Runner - both are fantastic. I'll certainly try the others out too, but those were the games that really persuaded me to by the bundle. Then there's Christmas coming up and I'll be getting even more games... will I ever get a rest from them? (Never thought I'd say that)

I never have New Year resolutions (since I do things whenever I want to or need to), but next year I'd like to focus more on my art again and I was thinking of doing a drawing a day challenge for the whole year. At the end I'd have 365 drawings and I could look back and see if I've progressed and learnt new techniques. Obviously that will take a lot of commitment to do, but I don't plan on doing any masterpieces, just quick drawings to help me keep up practise.

Hope you all have a good Christmas and thanks for reading. Smilie

It's Quiet, Too Quiet.

Now Playing: Machinarium
Now Listening to: Tomáš Dvorák
Now Watching: Various TV

Don't you just love staying up late? When it's so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. There's something pleasurable I find about it and it's that time when I can just think more clearly about things. Whilst I was thinking, I thought about writing a new blog post, so... here it is!

Have I been doing anything interesting lately? I have in fact. I've been assigned as the new Editor/Host of Cubed 3's podcast. A job that involves exactly what it's called. Basically guiding the podcast as we present it and also editing the podcast into the final show by arranging the audio so it all sounds good. It a time consuming job, but it's something I'm very passionate about and enjoy. Mike (Mason) also does a lot of work with interviews and planning, which I'm very grateful for. I'm also writing a new monthly column for Cubed 3, called Critical Hit! This will be going up later today, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the article.

Other than Cubed 3 work, I also did a four week work placement at a stage theatre. This went very well and I enjoyed it a lot. I was sad when I left, though I might consider doing some voluntary work there in the future. Hopefully this will also help me get a job too and also make my CV look more impressive to employers.

Gaming hasn't been a big part of my life lately, but I did play through Half-Life 2 and completed it last Sunday. It was definitely the best first-person shooter I've played in a while. The story and puzzle elements made it interesting and the vehicle parts where pretty fun too. I've also been playing Machinarium, which is just superb in every way. A point-and-click puzzle adventure, with the most charming characters and beautiful visuals. If you haven't played it, please purchase it, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Upcoming games I'm looking forward to are Lylat Wars 3D and Skyward Sword, mostly. I'm still saddened by the the worse voice acting and music in Lylat Wars 3D, but the rest of the game looks much the same (apart from the visual upgrade) so it should still be just as addictive. I'm also really excited for Journey too.

I'd like to start driving lessons soon, but my neck and back have been bad for months. I went to the doctors about it and he gave me tablets for it. I have managed to take some, but my problem is, I struggle to swallow tablets. Even when I have managed to take more, I still can't turn my head fully left and right. I'll probably end up going back and then I think I'll have to go through some physiotherapy.

Well, it's getting late now and I'm going to head to bed. Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading.

Work Placement

Now Playing: Nothing
Now Listening to: El Guincho
Now Watching: The Apprentice

I've gone back to worrying again this week. Last month I got told I need to ask for some work placements (work experience) at places of my choice, but I've been putting it off, due to me getting nervous about it. I need to apply for some by Monday or I'll likely get told off by TNG (they help you get a job).

All the placements I chose were retailers, like Gamestation, GAME, WHSmith and Halfords. My main concern is that I'm terrible at maths and I'm really worried I will mess up on the tills and completely fail at it or something. The woman at TNG said that she was bad at maths as well, but she found till work fine, so that convinced me it would be okay, but now I've just started worrying about it again, because I know how bad at maths I am and probably more so than her.

I was just wondering if anyone else on C3 had any retail experience on tills and if you found it hard? Also, what can I expect doing retail work?

Wisdom Tooth Worries

Now Playing: Pilotwings Resort
Now Listening to: Kings of Leon
Now Watching: The Walking Dead

Later today I felt a little pain in my bottom left-side of my mouth, right at the back. It feels like my first bottom wisdom tooth is coming through. I'm worried though, it hurts at the moment and it's got worse through the evening, though it's not unbearable yet. It's uncomfortable when I'm eating or even swallowing though.

It just under the gum at the moment and I can feel it underneath it (quite a weird sensation). I can't tell yet, but but it feels like it's growing in a facing forward.

I'm incredibly worried I'll have to get it taken out though. I already get scared of going to the dentist as it is, but having a tooth pulled out will probably make me cry. It's my worst nightmare, especially after hearing about Echoes experience. Smilie

5000 Posts - Let's Celebrate?

Now Playing: Super Street Fighter: 3D Edition
Now Listening to: Daft Punk
Now Watching: House

What program did you use to create your website because i really want to build a website.

thank you

Those were the first words written by me on this site, words of a 14 year old, obsessed with building Nintendo websites. I would build them in Frontpage Express and use free web hosting to show them off to other Cubed 3 members. Most of the time it was just for fun and it was something I enjoyed doing.

Fast forward time and nearly 7 years later (this August) I’ve hit the 5000 post mark. A “C3 Master” according to Cubed 3’s levelling system. It’s gone so quick and considering how much time I spent on the site; I’m surprised I didn’t reach 5000 posts quicker. Although thinking back, in early 2005 I lost a lot of my posts, due to a problem with Cubed 3’s servers (as did other members).

So... since I hit the 5000 post mark, I felt I needed to write a special blog about it and celebrate the fact I’ve reached the highest level on Cubed 3. Not that it means anything to me, I don’t take the system seriously, and it’s just a bit of fun. Admittedly I have no idea what to write about. I could have rambled on about all my favourite memories I’ve had at C3, but my blog would have just dragged on and on, plus I don’t think that would have made an interesting read. I guess I have a sort of writers block at the moment, since my mind just sort of goes blank when I try and write something up.

Perhaps I should talk about my experience with the 3DS? Well, Last Friday I received my 3DS from the worst delivery service in the world, Parcelforce, though this time they delivered it on time. After I signed for it, I ran upstairs and put the package on my desk and just sat it there for a minute or two not wanting to open it. The reason being Josh (Superlink) hadn’t got his and I felt bad about opening mine. He told me to open it though, so preceded by doing so. Upon opening the box I was surprised at how gorgeous the system looked. From the promotional screenshots, it always looked rather bulky. It is the complete opposite though, it’s very slick and I’d definitely say it the nicest looking handheld system Nintendo have made.

After unwrapping it all, I took the charging dock out and placed my 3DS in it to charge it up. I realised afterwards that I couldn’t get the stylus out, so I had to use my DS Lite one until it had finished charging. I setup all the functions and options during the first start-up, which was a nice and simple process. Then I was greeted with my first experience of 3D on the 3DS. I have heard many others compliment the little timer that counts down to the first 3D moment and I also found it exciting. I have to say, I was shocked it worked, I always thought it wouldn’t be as good as people had made out, but it really does work. After the initial excitement of the 3D, I then explored the system menu. I thought this was a pleasant experience and improved over previous OS’ from Nintendo. I have been disappointed by the lack of online features between friends, but I hope with system updates added functions will be added. The basics of the system structure are there though.

During the past week though, I’ve been playing around with pretty much all the features. The AR applications are fun. I enjoy thinking up creative photos I can take with Mii Characters or Nintendo characters. Face Raiders has been my favourite built-in game, it’s hilarious. I never expected much going into it, but they’ve really done a great job with it. The later stages provide a real challenge and there are some nice strategy elements to it. I’ve added David Cameron and Mario to my face collection and it was pretty satisfying shooting a tennis ball into David’s mouth. The face expressions just making it even funnier, they look sort of demonic.

I’ve not had much gameplay from the system until yesterday, when I got Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. It’s really great and it reminds me of the times I used to play Street Fighter II, when I was younger. It’s the first Street Fighter game I’ve played since Alpha 3, on the Gameboy Advance, so I was expectedly rusty. I really love the accessibility of it, I know hardcore Street Fighter fan probably won’t like the touchscreen buttons, but they are a real help. People who are good at it can still usually annihilate me anyway. I will definitely be putting in practise and hopefully I can get better at it.

I’m still waiting on Pilotwing Resort to come. It was meant to come on the day of launch, but the retailer I ordered it from only just dispatched it tonight. I’m really looking forward to playing a new Piltowings game, despite its lack of variety in location. I loved the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 version very much and they are two of my favourite games. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too.

On a blunt note, I will finish my blog here. I’ve not really got much to speak about, as I haven’t done much lately. Thanks for reading and thanks to the staff of Cubed 3 for all their hard work put into the site over the years. It’s really become a daily part of my life and it will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Odd Socks

Now Playing: Epic Mickey

And then I opened my eyes and a bright light masked the world before me. A white emptyness, with no detail at all and it hurt, my eyes felt as if they were being strung by bees. But what felt like a painful time, soon ended in a fade to bliss.

I looked around with my mouth gaping wide open and my eyelids held back tight and then I grabbed my Pikmin plushie and gave it a squeeze of relief and let out a breath. My eyes felt sleepy and I closed them again, whilst continuing to grip my Pikmin tightly. Was I dreaming or was this real? I kept asking myself and then I didn't want to open my eyelids, just in case it was all gone when I reopened them.

I did open them though and again, what I saw was pure bliss. Tears proceeded to run down my face and a drop landed on Bluebud's head. I lifted him towards my face and whispered to him "don't cry" this was me hoping he would be crying for the same reason I was, but of course, he wasn't real, just a plushie toy.

I wiped my eyes and put Bluebud back down on my bed mattress and carefully lifted the sheets over him. My mind became scattered at this moment and I couldn't think straight, I was overwhelmed with happiness. I just sat there in bed looking around me. Just fields for miles out, green fields full of grass and wheat and all sorts of different vegetation. There was a large mountain upon the western horizon and across from there, to the east, I could see rows of trees, a forest perhaps. The sky was full of large spheres, large planets, not like we see on Earth.

A small river ran down beside my bed and the flow of the water relaxed my joyed body. My ears twitched, as they tried to process the number of different sounds from this vast and unknown environment. During which I heard strange sounds in the distance. A watery, but large roar, it almost sounded like an angry dinosaur gargling some water. Admittedly, this scared me and I pulled the sheets over me quickly. The roar only lasted another few seconds though and after I peeked my head back out, with my sheets still wrapped around my body.

It seemed as if the creature or whatever it was had stopped.

Image for

To be continued

What Happened To Videogames?

Now Playing: Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
Now Listening to: Killer Cuts
Now Watching: Hajime No Ippo: New Challenger

I've been thinking a lot lately, about my past. Just thinking about all the best stages during my life. Remembering all those best times has had me in a bit of a mixed emotional state though. One minute I'd feel sad and the next, I'd be happy.

One of the main subjects I've been thinking about, is videogames.

Image for What happened to them them?... well, that's a question I can't answer clearly. More recently though, during the last year, my love for videogames seems to have declined. That's not to say the odd one will still blow me away, but generally I just don't find them as exciting any more. It's not just the games themselves, I feel the same way about the the videogame industry as a whole.

Remember when everything was about bits? Most Super Nintendo cart boxes had the amount of bits a game was, usually on the front. It was all about who could get the best visuals out of their system. It was exciting and there were major leaps in visuals, from the Super Nintendo to the Nintendo 64. Something we can't experience today (or at least not to that scale).

Graphics have come along way though and there's no denying that videogames on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 do look amazing. But I think they've got to a stage were it's really less exciting now. It's what we've come to expect and having a game look as realistic a possible detracts away from being a videogame, maybe?

Image for So that's on the graphics side of things. What else? well, remember gaming magazines? that was really exciting. There was no internet to get all your gaming news quickly, you usually had to wait a month for each issue. When you got it though, you would flick through it looking in awe at all the gorgeous game artwork and reading up on the latest news and rumours. I remember seeing the Ultra 64 for the first time and being very excited about it.

Some magazines even included video tapes with them. I remember getting the very first issue of N64 magazine and getting a video with it, featuring a compilation of all the games out on the Nintendo 64 and the ones that were coming out. It was special seeing games in action, before you got them, back in the day. Now you can just pop on GameTrailers and see a plethora of videos of upcoming games.

Then there was the old Nintendo. There were no adverts showing people dancing around or pulling silly gestures in the presence of dull white plastic and Ikea furniture near by. Instead we had cool, funny and exciting adverts, that actually made you want to buy a game. It was just pure gaming, not this new hybrid of casual and hardcore gaming, where they would try and force gaming onto granddads and granny's or housewives (not that those people shouldn't be allowed to play them).

I think just about every game made by Nintendo was at least good, from what I can remember, but usually incredible. Now Nintendo have some indents to their usual quality, with the likes of Wii Music, Animal Crossing: Lets Go To The City and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. They also had exclusive games from Rareware, when they used to make fantastic games. I can't say the same about them now, although I did enjoy Kameo: Elements of Power.

Maybe games are just getting a bit stale now? I mean they've stretched genres so much and whilst there are changes, the general idea is still the same. I imagine it must be hard to come up with original ideas for games now. When I was growing up though, the leaps felt major to me and I think it was so exciting the way things were done back then. The feelings I got when I grew up with gaming are pretty much impossible to ever get back now, so I will have to cherish them in my brain.

You never know what you had, until you lost it.

Thanks for playing! I mean... reading!

Bit of a Pickle

Now Playing: Super Mario Galaxy 2
Now Listening to: Various Videogame Music
Now Watching: Angry Videogame Nerd

I'm in a bit of a pickle and have been a bit frustrated this week. The next two days look to be the same, so I can't wait till the weekend arrives and then I can finally relax (I hope).

I've been on Job Seekers Allowance for nearly 10 months now, so I have had to start some work related training. If I hadn't then the chances are I might have went on to Stage 4 on Job Seekers Allowance and that's horrible, from what I've heard. Overall, I think it was the best choice I could have went for.

I started the Young Persons Work Focused Training on Monday and I get Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. Tomorrow and the day after is going to be a nightmare though (depending on how I do things). I have a job interview, as well as the training, so I'll have to go to college and then at midday, I'll have to head to the interview. The thing is, it's pointless, because the job is situated in the middle of nowhere, making it impossible for me to get to. I use public transport and there aren't any buses or trains that go near the place. My only other option would be taxi and that'd cost me a lot everyday.

I'm not sure what to do about it. I was thinking of cancelling it, since it would just be wasting their time and my time and it would only make me feel even more nervous and frustrated. What would everyone else do?

Also, on Friday, I'll be in Lincoln, which is also difficult for me to get to. My dad said he'd give me a lift in the my local town, then I could get a train from there to Lincoln. It's still part of the training, but it's held in a different college, because Gainsborough is awful and most of the services there can't offer anything. It's very awkward for me, living in a small village and out of town.

Monday was actually enjoyable (when I was at Gainsborough College). It was much better than I thought it was going to be and there was a nice small group of nice people there. I even saw someone I used to know, so I found fitting in a little easier and it was nice to see them again. It was just a shame something bad had to happen at the end of my day there.

Whilst I was waiting to get picked up, I was sitting on a bench. A few minutes later some young teenagers or kids (I honestly can't tell these days) started hanging around me. One of them asked me for tobacco and I replied "I don't have any, sorry" I then got a laugh back from him. A few minuted after that they started to walk off and then they started calling me nasty names and tried to throw something at me. It was a very unpleasant experience, I actually felt really upset.

Next time I'll be waiting around college.

Sorry if my blog sounded like a bit of a rant, but this week has been frustrating trying to sort everything out and I'm not used to it.

I am thinking about going through clearing and trying to get a place at a university. I know I'd enjoy it more than searching for a job and having more unpleasant experiences in the future. Any help on sorting out a place at uni would be much appreciated, since I don't have a clue where to start, especially when going through clearing.

Thanks for reading.

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