Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Craft Time: Make A Thanksgiving Day Chocobo Hat

It’s 4pm on Thanksgiving Day. You’re probably stuffed with turkey right now, or in the process of stuffing yourself with turkey, or still waiting to stuff yourself with turkey. (If you ate ham, get the hell out of here.) You know what that means? It’s time to make hats! Making turkey hats is an old Thanksgiving tradition. It’s not hard to see why; turkey hats combine two of our favorite things: food and fashion. Hats also make your head look bigger, which will convince people that your brain is huge. People who wear hats are often the life of the party. Need proof? Check out this picture of Spock. Boy what a boring guy. Now, what if we throw a hat on him? Instant party animal! You too can be this guy. But instead of making the traditional Turkey hat for Thanksgiving, why not make a hat using gaming’s first bird: the Chocobo. Read on to find out how. Making Chocobo hats is a fun family affair. It’s also practical. If that annual post-meal brawl breaks out, you’ll already be armed with scissors. Here’s what you’ll need to get started: Construction paper (all colors) Scissors Glue (edible) The unspoken disgust of your older cousins Kenny Loggin’s Top Gun Soundtrack Begin by cutting a piece of yellow paper into a large circle (don’t worry it can’t feel anything.) This is what a circle looks like: Next, cut out a beak and some eyes. Here is what you’re aiming for: If your uncle begins screaming about how his ex-wife wrecked his boat or your nephews start a backyard wrestling match in the living room, crank up Kenny Loggin’s "Danger Zone" and shut out the sound of smashing dishes. Next: putting it all together. Families can be hard. Is your mom screaming at you to take out the garbage? Is your Dad yelling at you, because he doesn’t want you to cut off all the cat’s hair? Is some old man complaining that you broke into his house and stole his war bonds? Ignore them. They don’t understand you. You’re an artist. You need those war bonds to make your Chocobo hat. It’s time to put the whole thing together. Glue your beak and eye to your circle and then affix the whole Chocobo head to another piece of paper (or war bond) and wrap it around your head. Feel free to add a few little extra details to your hat. Really make it your own. Add some extra tuffs off hair or a ruffled brow. If your Chocobo is filled with friendship and magic, add some glitter. If you’ve followed our instructions carefully, you should end up with something like this: *Results may vary There you have it. You are now free to experience the true joys of Thanksgiving. Throw away the unused scraps of paper (ignore their cries for mercy; they weren’t good enough to make the cut.) Now, go have some pie and hug your grandma – not only will she be freaked out by your new hat, she’ll won’t know what to make of this random affection. And remember, if you get bored later, you can always make Chocobo hats for your pets.
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    Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Review

    Since its debut on the SNES, the Mario Kart series has been one of Nintendo’s most consistently fun franchises. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit invites you to bring the action into the real world, using your Switch and a physical remote-controlled car with a camera to bridge the gap between reality and your screen. The concept of configuring your room as a racetrack and speeding through it as Mario is an exciting prospect, and while it’s often novel and enjoyable, a few noteworthy speedbumps prevent it from taking home the gold trophy.

    Mario Kart Live gives you one go-kart (featuring either Mario or Luigi), four gates, and two arrow signboards in the box. Using these pieces, you can build whatever course you can fit in the space you have. You can customize each gate onscreen with unlockable elements, including item blocks, boosts, piranha plants that grab you, and chain chomps that pull you in random directions. Once your gates are laid out and customized, you draw the road by steering your kart through the gates to paint the track. Then it’s off to the races against A.I.-controlled Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings.

    Once you’re in a race, the mixed-reality experience works remarkably well most of the time, and it kept me entertained. I dodged goombas while drifting into a sharp turn by my coat rack, then blasted an enemy with a red shell. However, the virtual track sometimes doesn’t overlay the floor perfectly. This issue played tricks on my eyes and made me think turns were sooner than they were, and on rare occasions, a gate didn’t recognize that I passed through it.

    I often ran into the sides of gates, which distorts the track; your option is to either deal with the changing conditions or pause mid-race to fix them. The game recommends you lay something heavy on each foot to keep it in place, but unless you happen to have a bunch of compact, heavy objects (I used 16 soda cans, two on each gate foot), this is something you have to put up with or compensate for when you design your stages. This frustration is further accentuated by in-game items and environments that are designed to push you off course; the sandstorm environment is neat because it blows the physical kart all over the place, but it also caused me to run into a gate more than a couple of times.

    To get started, I had to make significant adjustments to my living room, moving the coffee table against the wall and rolling up my rug because it was too thick for the kart’s wheels. To have any sort of creative freedom, you need a sizeable open area, which could make this difficult for people in smaller houses or apartments to enjoy. Even in my relatively open main floor, I struggled to come up with ideas that would fit within the space. After moving to my more-open basement, I could flex my creative muscles a bit more, but the carpet slowed the kart down enough that I quickly returned to the hardwood surface of my living room.

    I enjoyed wracking my brain to come up with clever configurations for my space. From a straightforward oval-shaped track and a figure-8 to a course with a long straightaway and a tight turn that weaved under my dining room table, I had fun getting creative within a space I was already familiar with. I loved taking a step back and looking at my living room in new ways to figure out how else I could expand the course. However, since a standard race lasted just around a minute with the space I was playing in, even my favorite designs got old before long.

    Driving around your room delivers the standard Mario Kart feel, even if the backdrop is your real-life house. Blasting through your rivals while you’re powered up with a star is just as exciting as it is in the mainline series, and getting taken out by a blue shell in the final lap is just as infuriating. However, with a smaller stable of powerups and shorter, less varied courses to race through, the experience grows stale faster.

    Time trials and custom races are amusing, but I spent most of my time in the three-race Grand Prix. You can reconfigure your track between each event, but with the mode applying distinct effects for each race, I didn’t feel compelled to go through the lengthy process of redrawing the track each time. Grand Prix is great for collecting coins to spend on cosmetic customizations for Mario/Luigi and the kart, but it’s even better for unlocking faster speeds and new environments to apply to custom courses; once I got the zippy 150cc and 200cc, I couldn’t imagine heading back to anything slower.

    Despite its shortcomings, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit still brings hours of fun. While firing up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is more convenient and fully featured, Mario Kart Live’s unique take on the series is worth checking out for those looking for exciting twists on a well-worn concept.

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