Category Archives: Tutorials & How To’s

Historical Artifact or Modern Artifice?

As you may stipulate from my previous works, this is indeed the latter entitlement – a modern artifice. The original photograph of this bunker was taken during October 2010 (of which I am the photographer), and adjusted to appear much older than it really is.

For once, you can figure out how I did it!

On one side you’ll see the photograph in question, on the other is the color / effects manager of iMac’s Preview application. As one of Sherlock Holmes’ deductive observations, it does not appear as impressive a work when you realize how it was created so simply. Elementary!

It's an artifice all right. The photograph was taken of a WWII bunker in Normandy, France (as usual).

A similar effect was applied to my photograph of an old fashioned cash register, though with the addition of sepia tone and some other various tweaking’s.

Kansas City Photography-AW[RZ]

This is an interesting graphic I developed using a photograph I captured in Kansas City. I attempted to turn the very modern and colorful image into an older rendition of itself.

Jolly good show? Why not try it out yourself?

Nearly any graphics program will do – all you need is a suitable photograph.

For now, adieu – it would seem lunch is calling.

-Adventure Writer’s Blog

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Nintendo 3DS Update: The Official Date

Wondering when Nintendo plans to release it’s latest update – including such

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The whole package! Nintendo 3DS and AR Game Cards, though there's more than meets the eye... and more to come in this latest update!

features as the long-awaited possibly YouTube (HTML-5 as well) supported NetFront internet browser and Nintendo eShop? It’s the evening of June 6th (Pacific Time)! See the official statement below (so much for late May!).

    • The system update that is available on March 24, 2011 expands the basic functionality and improves overall system stability. It does not include features like the Internet Browser, Nintendo eShop, Nintendo DSi to Nintendo 3DS content transfer, etc. Another update is planned for the evening of June 6 Pacific time, which should include these features.
  • It may take several minutes for the System Update to download. If you feel the update has stopped downloading, you can safely turn off the Nintendo 3DS and repeat these steps to try again.

Boredom under the Sun: How to Stay Entertained

Sequel to Boredom by Snow, find tips from last time and some new one’s (skip past #13 for new tips)

How do you stay entertained when you are bored on a summer’s day?

(AW Top 17)

Inspired by The Daily Post

WordPress.com

Image via Wikipedia

1. Blog About It

Have a photography related blog? Post some pics! See any good movies? Do you like snow, or entirely detest it? There’s plenty of possibilities!

2. Go Literary

Grab a good book, plop down on the couch (chair, pillows-shaped-like-a-chair and whatnot), and get reading! That’s how the bookworms do it.

3. Get Creative

Write a story, create an artistic masterpiece, design something – whether it’s computer graphics or your dream house, get creative!

4. Be a Couch Potato

2009 ESPN Zone Chicago Ultimate Couch Potato C...

Image via Wikipedia

Can’t take the boredom, and nothing above will suffice? Then you can always be a couch potato. Not exactly the healthiest choice, but it beats being bored right? Watch episodes of whatever series  you’ve missed.

5. Think Big – Think Sun

Imaaaagine! Hook up a solar panel, check your thermometer, wish it were cooler outside -unless that’s not your thing (same here)… then just… keep reading.

6. Jam out the Boredom

Music always helps pass the time. Jam out while pondering life, jam out while thinking big, jam out while being a coach potato – and so much more!

Couch Potato Pizza

Image via Wikipedia

7. Start Cooking

Commencer la cuisson! Make a homemade pizza, bake a cake, fire up that barby, do something amazing – culinary style. 

8. Discover

Whether it’s the Lost Money of the Couch Caverns, or researching something you don’t know about, you could be the next Indy Jones! (okay, maybe not…) If you live on the site of some ancient ruin buried underground, take advantage of your property rights and dig it up and send it to a museum!

9. Organize

If you’re isolated in an air condition home – clean up that room, arrange that bookshelf or Blu-Ray/DVD collection, make something out of your time.

10. Get in Contact

Kodak EasyShare DX6490.

Image via Wikipedia

Call someone, strengthen those relationships!

11. Make it a Kodak Moment!

Have a larger-than-life snowstorm? Beautifully, glistening lake? Unless you live in Arctic conditions – probably not! Take some photos of what’s around you, get outside and walk around! Maybe you have a larger-than-life tree in your backyard that has been around since your country was settled – snap a pic and share it with the world!

Painting The Writing Master by Thomas Eakins

Image via Wikipedia

12. Be Active!

Work out, run laps around the living room, don’t be a couch potato – stretch those muscles!

13. Study

Most likely a quite unpopular sentiment, but when all else fails, study! College, High School, Middle School? Maybe something at work? Sharpen the mind!

14. Get Some Exercise

If it’s warm outside, stop wasting daylight and get out there! Take a jog around your neighborhood and maybe do a few one-armed push-ups on your newly polished deck. Get fit and lose some calories while you’re at it!

Books about survey research and survey design.

Image via Wikipedia

15. Take a Survey

Stroll through town and collect answers for a survey of your choosing! For Christians, it might be something like… “What do you think happens after death? (then you have a witnessing opportunity!)” Or, what is the capital of Nebraska? (most people probably won’t even know it exists…) Alternatively, you can literally take a survey, such as those with Gallup – pick up that phone (possibly go celular and  get in some exercise at the same time!

16. Build a Fort

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One tourist amidst a city of Parisians.

Have kids? Build them a tree fort! Or get crazy with your wood-working skills and create something worthwhile.

17. Feed Your Hunger!

Visit a local vendor or check in to your favorite restaurant and chow down!

17. Travel

My personal favorite… buy a plane ticket and go somewhere new! Paris, France – Barcelona, Spain – Florence, Italy – Sao Paolo, Brazil – Beijing, China – wherever! Then blog about it.

Gaming in the Third Dimension [3DS Series Finale]

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Nintendo 3DS Logo displayed on 3DS System

The Nintendo 3DS is the latest handheld console released by Nintendo, and it has certainly made it into the limelight – introducing a revolutionary console with 3-D gaming and photography capabilities, promising titles in games (such as Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright), as well as a variety of included applications.

The system has however, sparked quite a bit of controversy over its 3D effects – this controversy does not regard the legitimacy of these effects (as legitimacy has already been established by thousands of “eyewitnesses” [aka gamers]), but rather the alledged harmful effects and ensuing downsides of it. Some owners of the 3DS have reported dizziness and nausea after playing for a short period of time, or even a simple case of having to strain their eyes consistently. Many others, however, have reported no symptoms or complaints whatsoever – jumping into the world of the Nintendo 3DS without a care. More details on 3DS effects and possible solutions for discomfort may be found in issue #001 of my 3DS series.

Various critical reviews highlighted points seen below:

“The 3-D screen is amazing and totally draws you into the games / Once you’ve tried a 3DS for yourself, you’ll be hooked/ …the Nintendo 3DS will blow your mind, and make 3-D gaming a reality for everyone.” -Fox News: Gamer’s Weekly

“Despite its shortcomings, the 3DS is a genuine joy to behold and pleasure to play. Whether you’ll want to shell out for one, or borrow a more affluent friend’s system is another story, however.” –CNN Tech

The Nintendo 3DS requires a hefty price, which isn’t too shocking considering the dramatic changes between the 3DS and previous DS consoles (See: Nintendo DSi vs 3DS for further details). In the United States, the price is set at $250, though many distributors such as Amazon ($25 3DS game credit for select games, as well as trade-in’s), GameStop (bundles and trade-in’s), and Target (5$ gift cards for consumers who purchased 1$ pre-order cards, followed by the 3DS & trade-in’s) have offered perks to lighten the load.

The key to making the 3DS in and of itself worth the big $250 is by using what many critics have referred to as “gimmicks” – many of which aren’t available until an update in May. With this updates, users will be able to begin utilizing the 3-D movies feature on their system, including a Netflix interface – as well as an upgraded 3DS Browser, which may tap into AT&T hotspots and Wi-Fi enabled locations.

The only available “gimmicks” as of April 2011 are the primary features of the Nintendo 3DS – Mii Plaza, AR Games, Nintendo 3DS Sound and some other new features which are explained in detail below.

Your Guide to the Nintendo 3DS: All we’ve discussed & more

OK-Go 3D Music Video: The only available 3D movie until may, which

The first 3D movie clip available on the Nintendo 3DS!

arrived on Nintendo 3DS systems with an update developed in mid-May. The video features trained animals doing a variety of tricks alongside the band – it is only a slight demonstration of the ability of the 3D’s graphics. It certainly quite amusing, and the 3D effect adds a life-like depth to all that is involved. If nothing else, its a quaint little music video for anyone who enjoys watching dogs doing silly tricks.

Activity Log: This app made its debut on the Nintendo 3DS, included with

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Making it a healthy video game experience! ...right.

other preinstalled applications – no update required! With it, you can monitor the steps you take each day, and earn rewards called Play Coins! That is, if you take your 3DS wherever you go (which is why 3DS cases and mini backpacks are invaluable for on the go). You may earn a total of ten play coins a day, one for every hundred steps you make – which really isn’t too hard! Play coins are spent by hiring warriors at Mii Plaza (as well as purchasing puzzle pieces), unlocking additional mini-games and mini-apps on AR Games, and possibly on additional applications that appear with future updates (Read my Activity Log review for more details on this application!). Have to include some incentive to exercise after all that gaming! For more information on Mii Plaza, keep reading!

Mii Creator & Mii Plaza: For Nintendo Wii owners, Mii should be nothing

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An app that keeps on giving, by utilizing Street Pass.

new. Now the wonderful world of Mii is available to owners of the Nintendo 3DS! Take a picture of yourself, choose a few options, and let the Mii creator figure out the rest! Or develop everything manually yourself. Once your Mii avatar is created, you can participate in the preinstalled 3DS game, Mii Plaza.Here you may gather other Mii’s into your plaza via street pass, and trade your Mii with others through Street Pass as well – think of it as the New York Stock Exchange, except with Mii’s… and no fee’s… okay, maybe not like the NYSE. You may further spread the joy

HNI_0096

QR Code for Mii!

of Mii with friends by a share feature available under the QR Code menu. Simply save your Mii as a QR Code, and you share let your friends bask in the coolness of their very own copy of a Mii of your choosing (provides the opportunity of trading Mii’s, or the development of Mii artists who provide custom made Mii’s for people to use). See the QR Code of one of my Mii’s at the right – simply select the QR Code menu from your 3DS, tap “Scan QR Code,” and place the image with your 3DS’s focus (click on the image for full size) – there’s Mii!

Although Mii trading can be fun, there’s another feature, or rather features, even better! Once you’ve collected enough Mii’s via StreetPass, you can participate in the puzzle game (through which you collect puzzle pieces from play tokens and Mii’s which have visited your plaza)- or my favorite, Find Mii.

Find Miiis a mini-game within a mini-game, with somewhat of a story to

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A Hero Emerges!

go along with it. Your Mii – which you worked so hard to create, has been kidnapped! Hire heroes with Play Coins (coins earned from jogging/walking with your Nintendo 3ds – while in sleep mode,up to 10 per day. Earn one every 100 steps) to fight off the ghosts holding your Mii, or invite visiting Mii’s from your plaza to join the fight! As hired heroes will be your primary asset in this game, you should no doubt look into their abilities! Each colored hero (shirt color) has a different power, such

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Hero attack fails!

as – purple for poison, white for light, green for strength, etc. As well as special abilities, heroes are also organized into ranks – Rank 1 & 2. Rank 2 are the most powerful, and should be saved for last. Rank 1 heroes should be used for magic and risky attacks. As a sound note of strategy, I’d recommend using a purple warrior immediately when you begin your battle, to navigate to one, simply select “Next Hero!” Then use his poison magic! This will damage the ghosts each turn during the fight – very handy. Using a brown hero’s magic is also something to consider, by using its “Strength” magic, you can “level up” the warrior immediately after the brown Hero. Another tip! Never attack an armored ghost with the sword of a Level 1 Hero, otherwise the attack with simply bounce off the armor, instead use

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Find Mii Treasure Chest

magic or level up your heroes! Save up your play coins for two days and you’ll have the maximum number of 10 warriors which you may control. More heroes means more variety, so I’d recommend this approach! At the end of every few levels, your hero will discover a treasure chest which contains an item for your Mii! This item may be equipped on the main page of the Mii Plaza application – simply move your cursor onto your Mii, select it, then visit Mii Settings, from there it’s as easy as choosing select hat going customization crazy!

There’s dozens of hats to collect, all of them [from Find Mii I] are listed below (you’ll need to play the game through twice through to earn them all. Then in Find Mii II, you will have to play it through multiple times as well to earn the additional hats. This list is “obtaining comprehensiveness” in regards to Find Mii 2 [II], and will be updated until the last hat is achieved [in chronological order]):

  • Mario Hat
  • Luigi’s Cap
  • ???
  • ???
  • Yoshi Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Toad Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Bowser Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Warp Pipe Hat
  • ???
  • Red Pikmin Hat
  • Blue Pikmin Hat
  • Yellow Pikmin Hat
  • Link’s Cap
  • ???
  • Epona Hat
  • Samus’s Helment
  • Metroid Hat
  • Kirby Hat
  • Donkey Kong Hat
  • Arwing Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Lacy Headband
  • ???
  • Floral Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Pirate Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Panda Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Cat Hat
  • Dog Ears
  • Bunny Ears
  • Regal Crown (Finish  Find Mii I 1-time through)
  • Prince’s Crown (Finish  Find Mii II 1-time through)
  • ??? (Princess’ Crown)
  • Ultimate Helmet (Finish  Find Mii I 2-times through)
  • ???
  • ???
BEST TIP: If you have a pink warrior, use their magic at the beginning of the battle – all your warriors will suddenly become much more powerful (x2 [4/5-pt. attack], x5 [10/11-pt. attack], and greater attacks [use a light blue warrior to freeze the ghost/s, then try upgrading a lvl. 2 warrior to lvl. 4 with a green warrior while the pink and blue magic is in effect,  you’ll be able to destroy even powerful enemies like the Ultimate Ghost quickly) UPDATE: In Find Mii II, pair the pink & green warrior tip with the strengthen potion (20 play coins) and teams to have the ultimate combo!

AR Games: The Augmented Reality Games feature could have been marketed

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The famous AR Games mascot!

as a separate video game entirely – featuring six primary applications and additional bonus applications, which are unlocked after each of the primary are engaged and completed. Face against powerful bosses, test your skill in a game of AR golf (AR Shoot), make Mario a model with Star Picks, or unleash your creative side with AR Graffiti – so many possibilities, so little time. When I first got my hands on the 3DS, AR Games was my favorite app, though after a while the excitement tends to die down. Its a great game for displaying the capabilities of the 3DS system, and unlocks new possibilities with the 3DS Camera.

Primary Applications:

  • Graffiti:In graffiti, users may scribble on virtually any environment.
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    AR Games Shooting Gallery

    Try placing your AR Card on a table and use the rainbow pen to liven things up, or even hand it over to a friend, and cover them in virtual dog prints!

  • Star Picks: Set your favorite video game characters in any environment, then snap a pic with the integrated 3DS camera feature! For example, check out my 3DS Photography post!
  • Mii Picks: Same as Star Picks, though this time with your own personal Mii!
  • AR Shot: Think pool, except in a 3D environment with an ever-
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    Catching the elusive dragon of AR Fishing earns you an extra 200 points! And the satisfaction of completing another mini game.

    changing landscape! …and a monster that makes an appearance in just about every AR Game (Archery & Fishing).

  • Archery: Bombs… er, darts away! Navigate your console around the 3D environment locating and firing upon every target you see. As a bonus, try your hand at slaying a dragon!
  • Fishing: Nothing like good old fishing! Whenever you catch a fish, it’ll be added to your “collection,” along with its name and point value. One you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll find yourself fishing for sea dragons!

Nintendo 3DS Sound: For players familiar with the Nintendo DSi, they may

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With additional features, such as the "Shuffle All" and "Parakeets Pick of the Day" feature - if youre a music fan, this is sure to be one of your favorite applications.

find all the old features of DSi Sound and many new additions! Now you can organize your music into individual play lists, shuffle your music, let your 3D parakeet companion pick a song for the day, and more!

Nintendo 3DS Camera: With all the fun features of the Nintendo DSi camera comes the 3DS camera! Now with the ability to take 3-D photography, and linked to dozens of applications such as AR Games, this app dominates its predecessor!
Face Raiders: Face Raiders is another fun, interactive game, like that of AR Games. This time, however, instead of playing with imaginary objects, you can take pictures of friends and family and fit them into a cozy battle helmet. Players may be further entertained by blasting the 3-dimensional likeness of the photographed person (or objects! I took a shot of a shampoo bottle logo and had a fairly interesting result… refer to the second screenshot for details.) into oblivion in the Face Raiders mini-game, which has been further brought to life with various animations and moments of maniacal laughter.

Nintendo DSi vs 3DS: How does it match up?


Nintendo DSi
Image via Wikipedia
Flipnote Studio logo Refernces Previous logo: ...
Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo DSi
The Nintendo DSi, and it’s XL Version as well, brought about a large change to the Nintendo DS line. It started with the simple DS system, and the slightly improved Lite, which enhanced visual capabilities with it’s brightness level feature. Then comes the DSi – the first in its line to introduce duo built-in cameras with corresponding software, a voice-record system with alteration features (such as pitch or echo), and even going so far as to make available the option of a built-in, Opera-based internet browser, along with the animation program Flipnote and its Hatena sharing capabilities – further allowing a SD Card Slot for additional memory. The DSi was certainly developed for personal use, complimented with fun, socially interactive features.

Opera Browser 2.0
Image by Jorge glеz via Flickr

Fun Fact: I’ve recently noticed an increase in web searches relating to DSi Flash player inquiries which have been redirected to this blog. The Nintendo DSi does not support Flash Player on its web browser, nor any other add-on’s. Therefore many online sites such as YouTube, or MMORPG game sites like Club Penguin or Adventure Quest are rendered useless and incapable of operation. This is unavoidable and cannot be fixed.

English: Nintendo 3DS Deutsch: Nintendo 3DS
Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS features (as Wikipedia words most technically) “push-buttons, D-pad (which operates with similar purpose to the control pad. Allows users to pan through environments, scroll through menu’s, etc.), analog stick, touchscreen, volume slider, 3D depth slider, wireless communications switch, 3DS/DSi/DS and SD Card Slots,” and a variety of programs, including Wii-based features, such as 3DS Sound , Mii Studio, PictoChat, Street Pass Mii Plaza, Face Shooting, Download Service, 3DS Camera, Augmented reality games, 3DS Shop, Internet Browser, an Activity Log, and 3D movie playback capability (with movies by Warner BrosDisney, and DreamWorks). As it’s main attraction, the Nintendo 3DS enables 3-D game play for select games, including a slider to adjust the 3-D graphics at any time. The dramatic effects of 3-D gameplay requires no special glasses or additional equipment as it operates on the concept of autostereoscopy. It certainly ups the ante!

The Nintendo 3DS Update

…has been a most anticipated one, since the system’s launch March 25th 2011. The June 6th update, which was released barely an hour ago, contained a few programs and system tweaks – most importantly, the Nintendo 3DS Shop and Nintendo 3DS Browser.

The Nintendo 3DS Browser is certainly quite impressive, far outclassing its DSi predecessor. As I tap out this post, the browser provides possible words that I may intend to use, much like Google’s suggested search functionality – both checking my spelling and saving valuable time typing, not to mention it is, aside from English, available in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The browser has a sleek design, and easy to navigate features, available even when you’re in the middle of a 3DS game or application. Utilizing the SD card and 3DS camera, upload and download functionalities are also available – allowing users to both share their 3DS pictures online, and download images from anywhere on the web for viewing in their 3DS camera gallery. Not too shabby, huh? Unfortunately, the browser does not support YouTube or any other online video or music viewing service for that matter, as popular rumor had us previously suppose. A sad outcome, yet one that can be looked over in light of the drastically improved browser. Now I can finally make decent WordPress entries, tags and all (upload script isn’t supported however).

The Nintendo 3DS shop, which stands currently under maintenance and inaccessible, features two free-for-download applications: a classic 3D racing game, and a 3D Pokedex. Organization is also slightly

Overall, a duely made update.

Check the Adventure Writer Blog for constant updates on the system! For all my 3DS posts so far, check: The Nintendo Series [3DS/DSi] category, which is where all  Nintendo 3DS [and related DSi] posts have been added.

If you liked this, be sure to check out…

Upcoming Nintendo 3DS Games

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney {Level-5 & Capcom}

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

Nintendogs + Cats

Mario Kart 3DS

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Questions & Answers

Is it fairly light? And is the 3D toggle really as much of an eye-sore as people have said?

The 3DS is much bulkier, which goes to say heavier, than previous DS systems. As one BBC reporter describes it, “it’s build like a rock!”  Although it isn’t a tremendous weight, the difference is evident – so no, not fairly light at all! And yes, I would say the 3D toggle is quite an eye-sore. Imagine focusing and refocusing binoculars over and over again – a bit disorienting? Same with the 3DS. If you want to switch from 2-D to 3-D instantly, I suggest closing your eyes, moving the toggle to maximum, then opening your eyes and look at the 3DS straight on – works like a charm.

Submit your own question in the comments below and I’ll answer it here!

It’s a World of Mii (3DS Series #003)

For Nintendo Wii owners, Mii should be nothing new. Now the wonderful

Mii screenshot taken with Nintendo 3DS Camera.

world of Mii will be available to owners of the Nintendo 3DS! Take a picture of yourself, choose a few options, and let the Mii creator figure out the rest! Or develop everything manually yourself. Once your Mii avatar is created, you can participate in the preinstalled 3DS game, Mii Plaza. Here you may gather other Mii’s into your plaza via street pass, and trade your Mii with others through the same way. Once you’ve collected enough Mii’s, you can participate in the puzzle game (through which you collect puzzle pieces from play tokens and Mii’s which have visited your plaza)- or my favorite, Find Mii.

Find Mii is a mini-game within a mini-game, with somewhat of a story to go along with it. Your Mii – which you worked so hard to create, has been kidnapped! Hire warriors with Play Coins (coins earned from jogging/walking with your Nintendo 3ds – while in sleep mode, up to 10 per day. Earn one every 100 steps) to fight off the ghosts holding your Mii, or invite visiting Mii’s from your plaza to join the fight! As hired warriors will be your primary asset in this game, you should no doubt look into their abilities! Each colored warrior (shirt color) has a different power, such as – purple for poison, white for light, green for strength, etc. As well as special abilities, warriors are also organized into rank – Rank 1 & 2. Rank 2 are the most powerful, and should be saved for last. Rank 1 warriors should be used for magic and risky attacks. As a sound note of strategy, I’d recommend using a purple warrior immediately when you begin your battle, to navigate to one, simply select “Next Warrior.” Then use his poison magic! This will damage the ghosts each turn during the fight – very handy. Save up your play coins for two days and you’ll have the maximum number of 10 warriors which you may control. More warriors means more variety, so I’d recommend this approach!

Top Applications (3DS Series #002)

With the speedy arrival of the Nintendo 3DS comes a fairly lengthy wait-time

Mii!

It's Mii! One of the Mii's I've created, and the one I primarily use! This photograph was taken using one of AR Games many features! Have fun interacting with the 3D World, but don't forget the ever-present, real-world!

for games, as well as features. The 3DS Web Browser is not yet available, relying on a future update to begin operation. That leaves users with the choice of preinstalled applications, and whatever else comes along with the next update – which goes to say, update your system regularly!

How to Update your 3DS

To update your system, first turn on the 3DS, via the bottom right-hand power button. On the menu, use your stylus or control + pad to navigate to the wrench icon called System Settings. Select it by pressing the “A” button, or simply tapping the icon with your stylus. From the System settings menu, tap the other Other Settings icon. Now that you’re on the Other Settings menu, simply tap the right arrow navigator with your stylus, until you see the System Update option on the fourth tab – or simply click the number four at the top of the touch screen. Tap System Update, and then tap “OK.” If you agree to the Terms and Conditions listed, select I Accept. Otherwise, if you cannot agree to the terms, select I Decline, and the update process will be cancelled. Now tap okay, and leave the rest to your 3DS system, until another “OK” prompt appears. Tap “OK” and your system will automatically restart, no other action is require on your part to return to the Main Menu.

Out of all the applications currently available, I already have my favorites. Practically acting as stand-alone games themselves, these apps are sure to keep 3DS users busy until their copy of Street Fighter, Lego Star Wars III, and whatnot arrive.

Adventure Writer’s Top 5 3DS Applications

(All Free & Included)

  1. AR Games: The Augmented Reality Games feature could have been marketed as a separate video game entirely, with its vast selection of primary features, and subfeatures.
  2. Mii Plaza: A fun, street-pass based application with an entertaining “Find Mii” MMORPG.
  3. Face Raiders: Take a picture of yourself, friends, whoever! And let the fun begin. The picture will instantly find itself blasted into the 3rd Dimension and snugly fit into a battle helmet. Players may be further entertained by blasting the 3-dimensional likeness of the photographed person into oblivion in the Face Raiders mini-game, which has been further brought to life with various animations and moments of maniacal laughter.
  4. Nintendo 3DS Sound: For players familiar with the Nintendo DSi, they may find all the old features of DSi Sound and many new additions! Now you can organize your music into individual play lists, shuffle your music, let your 3D parakeet companion pick a song for the day, and more!
  5. Nintendo 3DS Camera: With all the fun features of the Nintendo DSi camera comes the 3DS camera! Now with the ability to take 3-D photography, and linked to dozens of applications such as AR Games, this app dominates its predecessor!
  • For complete details on all these applications and more, continue reading the Adventure Writer Blog for daily posts and reviews!

Making a Movie: New Adventure Writer Series

IMovie

Image via Wikipedia: One of the softwares I'll be elaborating upon!

Ever wonder how you’d go about making a movie? Have you possibly attempted it, only to find yourself limited by your few resources? Or did you actually make a huge successful production? If the last option fits you, then feel free to contribute to this series via comments, I’d greatly appreciate your input. Though if you fit the first two descriptions, then you’re who this series was made for!

From Windows Movie Maker to iMovie, there’s a plethora of options, and it doesn’t always take technical know-how to accomplish a decent production. Learn the basics, and try it out for yourself! I’ll be building this series in my drafts over the next few weeks, so be sure to check back for updates.

Essay Writing: Down to a Science

A page of a notebook written by Champollion

Image via Wikipedia

Middle School – High School – College – Critiquing. What do all these establishments of education, or the exercise of attained ability thereof, have in common? They typically all require essay writing. In the case of Middle School, it may be something small and requiring proper grammar and spelling, rather than content. In High School you soon discover that content is what matters, and writing goes from being a science to an art. In college it may go either way, and when it comes to critiquing, you enter a different territory altogether.

As I’ve participated in Post-A-Day 2011, I’ve found myself writing more and more reviews. In fact, what was once focused primarily on movie reviews has come to encompass books, music, video games, MMORPG’s, manga, food, and various other mediums of culture.

Yet how does one go about writing a review? What about on a regular basis? If you do not have a set standard for review writing, you may find yourself lost in the process with almost no hope of getting back out without encountering the dreaded Writer’s Block. It is however, a relief to realize that many writer’s and bloggers alike develop their systems automatically, whether through practice or spontaneity, some invisible literary thread is formed – a thread which provides the foundation for many critiques in the future.

For those unacquainted with writing critiques, or interested in an alternative style of writing, I’ve provided the basic outline (that are many variants) that I personally follow below:

1. Entitle your critique, whether with the movie’s name, or a related tag-line.

2. Summarize the wonder – or lack thereof. Give your readers a glimpse into what you’ll be discussing. If the movie was a sequel, did it live up to its predecessors? Elaborate upon some minor details – such as the superb graphics (or cheap, low-budget filming), or other such details, without giving to much away. This is your catch – where you’ll be drawing in your reader.

3. Quotes can make a difference. At this point, you may want to add a quote as I did in my Secretariat review. It gives the reader additional information about the movie, and serves as an introduction to the plot.

4. Go over the movie. Your readers may or may not be acquainted with the movie and/or the series, so don’t be afraid to briefly outline the plot. Describe significant points in the film, and leave your summary at a cliff hanger, so as to avoid spoiling the film for potentially interested movie-goers.

5. Diagnose the Patient. What made the movie an enjoyable one, or one of the worst you’d ever seen? Elaborate, and build upon your points with proof – mentioning various sections of the movie where you noticed such fantastic “filmsmanship” or lackluster.

6. Moralistic & Philosophical Aspects. Here you may get into the nitty-gritty.

Image representing PluggedIn as depicted in Cr...

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If the film had a deep, philosophical contemplation wrapped up in its story, feel free to share! However, keep your leaders tracking along with you by using layman’s terms, as opposed to textbook terminology. If you’d like to be like Common Sense – describe if the content was appropriate or not. Or if you’d like to go in the direction of Christian movie review website, PluggedIn, then describe religious aspects and contradictions. Also, was there a moral to the story? Or something you gleaned from it? Describe it!

7. Get personal. Identify a potential audience for the film, who should and/or should not go see it? Before now you should have given some idea of the film’s genre, now consolidate it.

8. Make your finale. Conclude with your overall thesis statement, you may choose to incorporate #6 here as well.

YA: How do you improve your writing skills?

There was a recent question on Yahoo! Answers that I found interesting and decided to respond. The question was, as the title of this post suggests, How do you improve your writing skills? The content below has been copied in it’s entirety, verbatim – grammar mistakes, emoticons and all.

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
You must know that the most common answer will be 

Quill

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“Practice, practice, practice!”
For which many popular authors recommend.And I must agree with others here that reading is indeed a very helpful tool inimproving your writing skills. Reading (especially with classics, and very wide range of genres and levels) exposes you to different types of writing, and expands your vocabulary.

But what can you do on the net?
A really common practice is “Fan Fiction.” Do you like any particular book series, movie, etc. especially well? Maybe you didn’t like the ending, or though it’d be good if a certain part changed. What about what happens after the movie or book? If there’s nothing else following in the series – you never really find out. That’s where your imagination comes in. Answer these questions with your own alternate story. Then post it on a forum or website that encourages the writing of Fan Fiction (4Kids TV, even though it’s typically a kids site, is abundant with teenagers and adults willing to read and critique fan fiction. There are also sites solely dedicated to writing and critiquing fan fiction. Just look around!) You’ll get feedback on your writing and be able to improve it. Just be ready for constructive criticism. If you receive insults, rather than polite criticism, go to another community where standards of members are much higher.

So far we’ve covered… (oh I feel like a text book. x_x)
1. The Common Answer (Practice!)
2. Read for Experience
3. The Constructive Improvement of Fan Fiction

Another possibility would be to start a blog.
I have a Word Press blog where I’ve joined the Post-a-Day challenge, which ultimately challenges bloggers to make a post for every day of 2011, not one day left out. There’s also Post-a-Week which challenges bloggers to make at least one post or more every week of 2011. My point being: that’s A LOT of writing. It also challenges you to think outside the box, and provides constructive criticism (though sometimes spam too.    -_-‘ Though luckily it’s filtered out) for your writing improvement!

Blogging is a highly recommended source for tuning those writing skills of yours!

So far we’ve covered… (still feeling like a text book.)
1. The Common Answer (Practice!)
2. Read for Experience
3. The Constructive Improvement of Fan Fiction
4. The Blogging World of Improvement

If the previous commentary has been helpful, let me know in the “Additional Information” section of your question. Otherwise I’ll stop here. =P

From one writer to another – I hope this helps! It’s sure helped me over the years, and I’ve gotten way better because of all this.


Standing Up to Writer’s Block with DailyPost

Lightning striking the Eiffel Tower, June 3, 1...

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Well, I certainly won’t be having a problem with Writer’s Block anytime soon, not with all the topics by DailyPost, and the surplus of topics I developed with a friend of mine.

Here’s some prompts you might spot popping up sometime when there’s no reviews or our other typical topics (feel free to use some for your blog!):

1. Write about your life’s biggest adventure.
2. Write about your top ten hobbies – elaborating on each.
3. Write an interview between you and someone else.
4. Write about the most interesting conversation you’ve ever had (and can remember).
5. Write a review on the best movie you have ever seen.
6. Write your own step-by-step process to blog fame.
7. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen? (e.g. Paris: The Eiffel Tower at Sunset, your well-furnished backyard, etc.)
8. Write about your life from the eyes of another person.
9. A Day in Another’s Shoes: Write about what it would be like to live a life in drastically different conditions than yours. (e.g. In poverty, in great wealth, as royalty, as a news broadcaster, etc.)
10. Write a brief poem (a minimum of 100 words – afterall, this is WordPress) about your day today.
11. The Best Thing I Ever Ate… Just like the TV show, describe the best thing you’ve ever eaten. Don’t forget to include all the mouth-watering details, and having your readers come back for seconds!

Original caption from NASA: "S103-E-5037 ...

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12. Write about one of your biggest social blunders, the likes of which you tend to share, or be reminded of, among friends and family.
13. Write a Q&A on a subject you specialize in.
14. What woulld your dream life look like?
15. What would world peace look like?
16. Write about an important figure in history who has drastically changed the way you personally live – for the better.
17. Share your favorite food or drink recipe with your readers – whether you have made it yourself, or at the expense of another.
18. Envision what your life will look like 5 years from now. Any drastic changes? Big achievements? Notable actions?
+10 years
+20 years
+30 years
19. If you were the President/Leader/King, what would you do?
20. If you had a talk show on TV, what would you do? Who would you invite?

Composite image of the Earth at night.

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21. If you could purchase anything (donations included as a “purchase”), all funds provided at no catch or condition, what would it be?
22. If you could visit any country in the world, expenses aside, where would it be?
23. If you owned a massive, multi-billion dollar frachise, what would be the company’s primary focus?
24. Write your favorite quote and what it means to you.
25. Blog about something (or a subject) you’ve NEVER blogged about before
26. If you could have anyone view your blog, who would it be? (e.g. Your favorite teacher, Harry Potter, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc.)

Here’s some more [topics that “specialize in the ridiculous”] a friend and I thought up:
27. If you could pilot any vehicle, what would it be? (Gundams and Death Star included)
28. Did you read about a character that met a tragic end, much to your distaste? How would change the storyline if you were the writer?
29. If you could have any EPIC super power, what would it be?
30. Which two beings would create the most epic duel-to-the-death scenario?
31. What kind of office supply would you be, and why? (e.g. “I’d be like a rubber band because you can only stretch me so far before I snap, a blank paper waiting for ideas, etc.)

32. If your life was a play/movie, which actors would you choose to play the main characters?

33. If you could go back in time and redo any moment in your life, which moment would that be, and why?

34. What is your opinion regarding the End of the World? Is it all just superstition, or does some of the hysteria ring true?

35. If you could develop a video game, what would it be about? And through which company would you work?

36. What is your dream job? Have you achieved it?

37. What is the WORST thing you’ve ever eaten? Or alternatively, what would you never eat? [e.g. raw snail]

38. If you could start your own country, what would it be called?

+ What would its infrastructure (economic basis) be based upon?
+ How would you “fuel” your nation? Would you go Eco-Friendly, or the way of Oil?