Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Wonderful Nintendo 64

I am pleased to say I have finally finished Harvest Moon SNES!  My goal is to play all (well, almost all) of the Harvest Moon games in order, so I’ve already started Harvest Moon N64.  It made me realize how long it’s been since I played a game with a controller that wasn’t wireless!  I played the SNES game on the Wii Virtual Console, but as Nintendo doesn’t plan to release the N64 game on the Virtual Console anytime soon (they said there’s some problem with porting it, I don’t know the specifics), my only option to play the game is on our old N64.

First off, let me say that I adore the N64 – it’s my favorite console.  Period.  The N64 we currently have is actually the third one my family has owned.  We received our first (a lovely aqua blue model) for Christmas of 2000; when that console gave out from too much playing it was replaced (around 2004, I think) with a black model we picked up at a garage sale.  That one didn’t last very long.  Finally I bought the model we have currently (also aqua blue in reminiscent of our first) off eBay as a family Christmas gift in 2008.  However, it’s old, been used and knocked around too much, and has a tendency to be cranky so saving your game often is very necessary, lol.

I’ve realized how spoiled playing my Wii has made me – I’m used to settling back on the couch with the wireless nunchuk, and as long as the cat doesn’t stand in front of the sensor, I’ve got no problem.  The N64’s remote has a…5 foot, I think, long cord.  Our couch is about 7 feet away from the TV stand and the place where I plug the N64 in.  So I either have to sit on the edge of the couch (leaning forwards) or on the floor.  We have tile floor btw.  Funny how I used to play N64 and PS1 for hours upon hours and never noticed that the corded remote was bothersome.

But short cords aside, my biggest problem at the moment is our worn out controllers (generic no less – we used to have official Nintendo controllers but they’ve been lost over the years), which don’t have the sensitivity anymore to make playing Harvest Moon easy – watering and hoeing are very difficult as I can’t line up my character properly.  So, I’m out to buy a new controller! Which isn’t as easy as you would think.  It’s very easy to pick up a new generic N64 controller but I don’t WANT a generic controller – I don’t think they last very long and aren’t that durable.  Sure maybe it’s okay for playing Mario Party or Kirby’s Crystal Shards where you don’t need much more than the A and B buttons, but I’m settling in to play Harvest Moon until finished – it will take several weeks and I don’t want to waste in-game day time trying to water one square of soil.  So the only thing to do is go with the original and hunt down a new Nintendo licensed controller.  And these are not easy to find.  I think I’ve found one that will work on eBay so I’ll have to wait and see.

While hunting for a controller on eBay, I ran across yet another item to add to my ‘Must Have’ list:

It’s a Pikachu N64!!  I’m already in love; I so have to get this.  I’ve been thinking of getting a new (as in, brand new factory sealed) N64 eventually, and have decided that when I splurge on that, this is the new console I’ll be getting.   I have several other things that come first on my splurge list (namely a serger sewing machine and new dress form) so this will have to wait a while.  There appear to be two versions – a version that simply comes with a controller and the console, and a Toys R Us exclusive (pictured above) that comes with lots of cool extras, including a game.  I want the Toys R Us one, so I’ll have to see if I can hunt down one still factory sealed.  As it’s a collector’s item that’s actually not going to be too hard :)

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Random things that I think are amazing and make me happy :)

Just a random list of things I think are the best – in random order :D

The soundtrack to Harvest Moon: Back to Nature.  My favorite HM game (actually, my absolute favorite game of ALL TIME), hearing the sound track makes me absolutely fuzzy with happiness.

Han and Leia’s first kiss. I think Star Wars was my first real introduction to romance, and as such it has stuck with me over the years. Plus, Harrison Ford was just hot, and I’m not the type to fangirl over actors, lol.

The smell when you walk into a bookstore.  Do I need to explain this?

Finding a copy of an old game or book you loved from your childhood.  I found a new Zoo Tycoon Ultimate pack for like $5.  Does it get better?

Going to Disney World. I’m lucky to live in Florida and Disney World has been part of my life since childhood – and it’s still a magical place to go, only now I’m old enough to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to make that tiny corner of the world truly magical.

Thinking you just deleted your game file but finding out by some miracle you still have it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s done this!

That moment when you add the chocolate chips to the cookie dough and it transforms from just cookie dough into epicness.
You know it’s true!  Adding the chips gives the dough like, 50+ magic points.

Solving a coding problem that I’ve been struggling with for days.  My family is used to hearing a sudden “YES!!” from my desk when I solve such problems, and the bouncing-in-desk-chair victory dance that ensues.

Finishing a really large crochet project.  I was crocheting before it was cool ;)

Settling down to play Harvest Moon with a cup of decaf no-sugar-cream-only coffee after a long day at work.  I have one of those jobs where I’m up and down and moving pretty much all day (plus I walk/jog six miles most mornings) so finally sitting on the couch to feed my virtual cows is bliss.

A multiplayer round of COD or Age of Empires with my family. Another family tradition that usually involves us making a dessert before hand to eat while we play (brownies topped with ice cream is a popular choice).

The soundtrack to Mickey’s Speedway USA for N64.  My siblings and I got our first video game console (an aqua blue Nintendo 64) for Christmas in 2000, and Santa had set it up so that when we came down the stairs the intro to Mickey’s Speedway USA was playing on the TV screen, with that catchy theme song flooding the house (and driving us crazy with curiosity as we waited at the top of the stairs for permission to come down and see our gifts).

 

Crocheted Hello Kitty Hat

This is the hat I made my sister for her birthday, to keep her ears warm up in Alaska :) I used a thick, bulky yarn that worked up quickly and made the entire hat in about 4 hours.  Because the yarn is thick, make sure you keep testing the sizing or else it’s easy for it to turn out too big.

 You will need:

Bulky Yarn in white and red (I used Loops and Threads Charisma Super Bulky yarn – I love this stuff, it’s soft and easy to use but thick so projects work up quickly)

Size H hook

Yarn needle

 HAT:

With white yarn, CH 1

Rnd 1: SC x 8 in ring, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 2: SC x 2 in each stitch, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 3: SC x 1, SC x 2 in next stitch, repeat around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 4 SC x 2, SC x 2 in next stitch, repeat around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 5: SC x 3, SC x 2 in next stitch, repeat around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 6: SC in each stitch around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 7: SC x 4, SC x 2 in next stitch, repeat around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 8: SC in each stitch around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 9: SC x 5, SC x 2 in next stitch, repeat around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 10: SC in each stitch around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnd 11: SC x 6, SC x 2 in next stitch, repeat around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn

Rnds 12+: SC in each stitch around, join with slipstitch, CH 1, turn.  Repeat row until the hat is the length you want it to be.  You can leave the entire hat white or do the last row in red like I did.

 EARS:

Each ear is made by crocheting two identical ear shapes and then crocheting them together at the sides.

Row 1: with white yarn, CH 8

Rows 2 & 3: SC x 8, turn

Row 4: DEC, SC x 4, DEC

Row 5: SC x 6

Row 6: DEC, SC x 2, DEC

Row 7: SC x 4

Row 8: DEC x 2, tie off

Repeat to make 4 kitty ear shapes.  Lay two ears on top of each other and with white yarn, SC around the edges (making sure to increase the stitches around the tip of the ear to make a rounded shape).  Repeat with remaining two ear shapes.

Once your ears are assembled, sew them to the hat.  It’s helpful to have someone wear the hat first so you can mark where you want the ears to go, I have mine about 1/3 from the front of the hat.

 BOW:

Row 1: with red yarn, CH 8

Rows 2 & 3: SC x 8

Row 4: DEC, SC x 4, DEC

Rows 5 & 6: SC x 6

Row 7: DEC, SC x 2, DEC

Rows 8, 9 & 10: SC x 4

Row 11: INC, SC x 2, INC

Rows 12 & 13: SC x 6

Row 14: INC, SC x 4, INC

Rows 15 & 16: SC x 8, tie off.

Repeat for second bow side.  Place sides on top of one another and SC around the edges with red yarn, making sure to increase around the corners to give them a rounded shape.  Sew bow to ear.

More Thoughts on Harvest Moon: My Little Shop

So after playing this game for a while I’ve learned that it’s actually a little more in depth than I thought, but the real time day by day game play still cripples the game in my opinion.  I still only find myself with about 10 minutes of gameplay per day.  But non the less, I’ve learned some positives about the game:

  • The weather changes.  Yeah, it rains, hooray!  It’s a nice break though and makes the game seem less static.  Not much really changes when it rains, except that your animals go automatically inside the barn (your grandpa apparently puts them in the barn in the dark of night) where you must feed/pet/observe them.  And you don’t have to water your crops.
  • You can go to the carpenter to get store upgrades and buy new fields (it appears at the moment you can only buy two new fields though, when it looks like there’s room for three).  So you can’t clear fields yourself but you CAN get new ones, which is nice.

The screen shot showing the cute Strawberry Cow.

  • There are some interesting animal options.  No, you can’t have a barn full of cows, but you can have one each of the Cow (gives regular milk), Jersey Cow (gives creamy milk) and the Coffee Cow (gives…coffee flavored milk, go figure).  I’ve also seen screen shots of a Strawberry Cow, though I don’t know if this is an in-game option or if it comes with one of the add-on packages.  Same for Chickens – currently in my game there is a Chicken, Quail and Silkie Chicken.
  • There ARE festivals – though not nearly as interactive as in other games, I have so far come across one festival.  There wasn’t much to do but talk to some villagers and watch about two minutes worth of cut scenes.  I also don’t know when the festivals fall or how they decide it’s time to have a festival, seeing as the game takes place in real time.  I’m assuming that after so many days of gameplay a festival will automatically happen.
  • There does appear to be a rhyme and reason to the game, instead of just pointlessly playing mini games each day.  Problem is I don’t know what it takes to unlock anything – one of the windmills is now turning but I honestly don’t know what I did to trigger it.  I guess just keeping the store going is enough.  However, I really wish there was more story to the game instead of all the little games – or at least the infamous Harvest Moon “Get your farm up and running in 3 years or lose” story, which at least gives the gameplay a purpose.
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