Sundry Sunday: Lego Breakfast with Super Mario

Sundry Sunday is our weekly feature of fun gaming culture finds and videos, from across the years and even decades.

tomoseen is a gifted stop-motion animator from Japan, who’s made over 40 videos on Youtube. They make animations with tiny figurines of cats and ducks, food, dice and Lego pieces. All of them are a ray of sunlight, but very few of them are relevant to our subject. In fact, really only one is: a Lego video of breakfast made from Mario enemies. It’s five minutes long, and amazing:

Wait, there is one other tomosteen video that’s slightly game-related: Steak Dinner with Dice has a special guest appearance by Tetris, but it’s not really enough to merit its own post here. Consider it a bonus:

Sundry Sunday: Major Death Cutscenes From Lego Star Wars

The Lego Star Wars games (in fact, almost all of the Lego video properties) are very funny, even though they’re not all made by the came people. The games are made by Traveler’s Tales, the movies by Warner Animation, and the made-for-video productions by at least one separate group. And yet, they all share a certain light-hearted and irreverent sensibility that I find really appealing.

Star Wars has a lot of character deaths, but the Lego games do a good job of making them fun instead of tragic, as befitting their style. In this compilation of scenes from Skywalker Saga, note particularly how Darth Maul “dies”:

All Major Deaths in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Youtube, 12 minutes)

Sundry Sunday: Lego Dimensions has GlaDOS meet HAL 9000

Lego Dimensions was much too awesome for this decayed world. Sadly, many of its greatest moments were part of DLC locked to various figures you had to collect individually.

But if you had the right bits of plastic, you could witness moments of pop cultural crossover greatness. Witness then this meeting between Portal’s GlaDOS and 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s HAL 9000, with the voices of each, sort of interacting with each other in their various impersonal AI ways.

News 11/9/22: Lego Zelda, AI Art, EA Software Patent

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

Lego is banning new Ideas projects based on The Legend of Zelda, according to Chris Wharfe at Brick Fanatics. The reasoning given is a bit vague. It could either be because Lego is working on their own Zelda sets (and they already have a working relationship with Nintendo, making the popular Super Mario sets), or it could be that the rights to Zelda models were sold to someone else. Either way, it may mean we get Zelda models through some company eventually.

A pretty good Link model from Lego Ideas! From its project page.

PC Gamer, Andy Chalk: Final Fantasy XVI’s using excuses to not have Black characters. Specifically, by claiming the game’s world is based on medieval Europe, despite Black people existing there. Grumble, grumble!

Old school blogger Mark Frauenfelder of good ol’ Boing Boing mentions illustrator Hollie Mengert discovered her work was used without her permission to make AI-generated work, and the model that utilized her work released as open source by MysteryInc152. It links to an original article by Andy Baio at Waxy. Someone explain to me how AI-generated work isn’t legally a derivative work based on every work it’s trained on? That seems like it’s just obvious.

From Andy Baio’s article-the left is Hollie Mengert’s work, the right, the output of the AI model trained from it.

Rich Stanton at PC Gamer writes that EA’s been granted a patent on game controls that change based on how well the player does. Software patents are bad on principle, that is a horse that I will always flog despite this awful situation having existed for literally decades now, but getting past that, for now. This seems at first like just another version of adaptive difficulty, which is also something that seems like it’s kind of a problem when it happens without notifying the player or giving them a say in it. I know I know, “Kent Drebnar, get with the 21st Century.” Maybe I’ve been hanging out with the Gripe Monster too much lately. The article goes back into the history of these kinds of effort, going all the way back to Compile’s Zanac, although I would argue that’s not so much adaptive difficulty as a system that the player can strategize to manipulate. Zanac is terrific, by the way.

Bryan at Nintendo Everything mentions that Sega is hiring a Sonic “loremaster,” presumably someone who knows the history of the many forms of the character. Said role will assist in creating new content and characters in the Sonic universe. Sounds like a tall order given the many varied and contradictory versions of the property there’s been, but I’m sure there are people out there who are up to it. Good luck, whoever they pick!

News 7/24/22: Knockoff Internet Lego

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

At TechRadar, Jeremy Peel is set on telling us about Rogue Mage, an expansion to the Gwent card roguelite game set in the Witcher universe. Hey! Did you know there are roguelike games that don’t involve building a deck? It’s true!

At NintendoLife, Jim Norman (hey! a new guy!) informs of a blatant knockoff of beloved indie perennial Mini Metro on the Switch eShop. Boo! Hiss! Burble! Splorch! It’s like some folk on your planet were born without shame glands.

Jorge Jiminez at PC Gamer tells us the FCC is trying to get everyone in the US good internet. As a one-celled life form from a distant planet I don’t have much stake in the matter, but I can be happy for people by proxy, and do you know why? It’s because I’m not a jerk, drebnar! Glad to see the agency is trying to recover from that horrid stance against Net Neutrality back during what I understand Earth people call “the years of the carrot monster.”

Meow

At Kotaku, John Walker (another new name!) sounds a harsh note about Stray, a game that most of the internet has enthused over, by mentioning how, while it starts with you playing as a very cat-like cat, by the end you’re also playing as their robot companion a lot, and shooting things all zappy zappy, and doing a lot of video game stuff. It still doesn’t sound at all like a bad game, but just, something a bit different by the end than people may expect?

Bunches of people have been talking about the new Lego set that lets you build a plastic Atari 2600, our link to the subject is CapnRex101 at Brickset, a Lego fansite. It looks like a great model that is full of detail, although notably it retails for $240. For that price you could probably get your hands on a real VCS, although at the cost of it being actually playable, at least if you have a CRT lying around. But if you were going to go that far, you’d probably just look into getting a Flashback.

Link Roundup 4/27/22

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

Gavin Lane of Nintendo Life: Playnote gets a Flipnote Studio-style art app.

Jay Peters of The Verge, also on Playnote. Its makers wonder if its seasonal distribution model will be appreciated by purchasers of its becranked yellow joybox.

Ollie Reynolds of Nintendo Life: UbiSoft to shut down server support for a number of older titles.

Florence Ion (cool name!) of Gizmodo: Google Play is getting data safety settings.

Ollie Reynolds of Nintendo Life, again: Lego to release a huge new Super Mario set.

Thomas Whitehead of Nintendo Life (lot of items from them today): Game Freak to offer employees option of four-day workweek. Awesome!

Wes Finlon of PC Gamer: Moneyfarm Square-Enix unveils a new $11,600 statue of Terra from Final Fantasy VI riding Magitech armor that caused series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi to basically go WTF. Remember, back when he designed the first game in the series, Square was facing issues whether their little game development operation could survive.

“Master Blaster,” if that is their name, at Sora News 24, on Sega trying to bring eSports into Japanese high schools with a Puyo Puyo Boot Camp. “Listen up maggots, you’re going to spend the next hour setting up combos and fighting Draco Centauros until you get it right and I don’t want no backtalk or I’ll bust you down to facing Nohoho again!”

Rhys Wood of TechRadar: An Elden Ring demake for Game Boy is in the works.

Luke Plunkett of Kotaku: Super Mario movie delayed, Miyamoto promises it’ll be worth the wait. Aww, it’s just like that apocryphal quote often attributed to him. This reporter is overjoyed, the last one ended on that cliffhanger, Daisy was back from Dinohattan and needed Mario and Luigi’s help again, no doubt because of some scheme hatched by Koopa. I wonder how they’ll manage to bring Dennis Hopper back from the dead to reprise his role?

Alana Hauges, also from Nintendo Life: Sega plans to delist classic games from some platforms (but not Switch) in anticipation of the release of Sonic Origins.

And Ryan Dinsdale of IGN tells us Sony is creating a game preservation team, of which this reporter can only say, IT’S ABOUT FREAKING TIME.