Crash Bandicoot is Back!!!

On the 13th June 2016, after years of rumours and speculation, Sony finally announced that the classic Crash Bandicoot series that consisted of the three PlayStation 1 games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped will be remastered.

Of course, I’ve been waiting for that news to arrive, and I’m absolutely pleased that it’s finally happening. It was only on the 9th July 2015 that I talked about Crash Bandicoot: Warped in a gaming review, and to now hear that all three of the first Crash games are finally being revived, that’s amazing.

The Crash series was the norm 20 years ago, and loads of people would literally lock themselves away in their bedrooms for hours on end playing the games, because the games were that good that you could play it and feel like you were in a world of your own.

Believe me when I say this, when I’ve played the Crash games, I’ve been like that, locking myself away in my bedroom just to play the games because they’re classic games that, even to this day, will always be so good, and the potential for revivals of all three Crash games were on the cards for a very long time.

We all have, so far, got a taster of the new version of Crash Bandicoot, as he makes his debut on the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, the XBOX 360, XBOX ONE and the Nintendo Wii U in the new Skylanders game, Skylanders Imaginators, which will be released in three editions, the Standard Edition, the Dark Edition & the Crash Edition, on the 14th October 2016. The Crash Bandicoot Remastered Series is being released next year, though more details of the trilogy will follow nearer the time of release.

All I can say is that as long as the remastered versions of Crash Bandicoot’s 1, 2 & 3 for the PlayStation 4 live up to the same potential or to the highest potential as the PS1 Classic versions of the games, then I’ll be pleased, and as long as the remastered versions of the Crash PS1 Series live up to the hype that the originals had at release, then I’ll consider getting the trilogy when it comes out, after I see gameplay videos of the remastered versions in action on YouTube of course.

Are you just as excited as I am about the Crash Bandicoot series being revived? If so, please me know by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: July 2016

To mark the end of a very productive month, I will now take a look back on the articles that were published over the course of this month.

1.7.2016 – As this day would kick off a long Summer holiday for me and everyone else, I welcomed you all to July on Mother Nature. I mentioned that despite two months of less productivity, I was pleased to announce I would return to publishing articles on a frequent basis considering I would have the huge bag of free time available. I also mentioned the news of the fourth book’s name being changed as I wanted to make sure that the fourth book wouldn’t be based around photography, but around the topics I have covered over the course of this year, as well as other things I have talked about on Mother Nature.

3.7.2016 –  On the 1st July, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the raindrops after a downpour of rain, as the calm before the storm came and went, and then the calm after the storm came after the storm passed. This photo set: “A Splash of Vividness” was quite well received and attracted a lot of good attention after I shared this photo article I published with some Facebook groups.

On the same day, I thought it would be a good idea to inspire you all by talking about being unique, as well as it being who we are and being unique, including taking control of how we choose to present ourselves to others.

I also published 5 of my Weekly Logs from the Stop-Frame Animation Project on this day, which would document the kind of skills I would develop, including the research, practical tasks and Critical Analysis I had done over the course of this project.

5.7.2016 – 6.7.2016 – Over the course of these two days, I published the final set of weekly logs which came from the most recent Final Major Project which I finished and passed, which helped me to pass the first year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, but my second year at Croydon College.

10.7.2016 – It was a long time coming, but on this day, I finally did away with the Motif theme altogether by switching to the Karuna theme, with a warm welcome to you all on the all-new look for Mother Nature.

I also published a large photo set on this day, which were of the photographs I took on Wednesday 6th July 2016, in which this photo set was titled: “The Truth About Summer? It’s Sweet, Serene, Stunning & Gorgeous!“.

Also on this day, I celebrated publishing 400 articles on Mother Nature by publishing my fifth artistic interpretation, but this time, on the famous Hello musician, Adele.

11.7.2016 – Exactly one year ago to this day, the gaming world lost an iconic gaming legend. Satoru Iwata, who was best known for being the man behind the iconic gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Series, the Nintendo DS Series, the Nintendo Wii Series, the Nintendo 3DS Series and the Nintendo Wii U Series, sadly passed away on the 11th July 2015 following a bile duct growth, which Nintendo officially announced in a statement they published on the same day the news of his death was announced.

13.7.2016 – It is painfully distressing when we all hear the news about a certain event or events that are always talked about around the world. Just recently, and even now, the news of the shootings in Minnesota, Dallas & Louisiana have caused a mass fruition which has sparked protests in America, as well as in other places around the world. This article I did was based on whether everyone’s lives really mattered regardless of who we are.

15.7.2016 – Given the most recent and devastating events that occurred in Nice in France, in which over 80+ victims lost their lives as a result of the deadly massacre, with 100+ that were also injured, I announced that I wouldn’t publish any articles until the following Monday, as I would pay tribute to all those that were killed during the Bastille Day Celebrations.

20.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on looking at life through a lens, and what would make each photo tell a story.

23.7.2016 – It’s hard to think it was exactly five years ago on this day that we lost the iconic music legend, Amy Winehouse. The time has flown but it doesn’t really feel like it has when you consider the news of Amy’s death was announced on this day five years ago, it just feels unreal. I was actually heartbroken when I found out she died because it’s like the musician we all came to know and love over the years had gone within a flash. I paid tribute to Amy Winehouse by publishing a tribute article which would reflect on her music career, as well as the iconic songs that I felt really got to the bottom of what life can be like from anyone’s perspective as well as her own.

28.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on life after Mother Nature, and it was based on whether I would be able to live without the use of a computer, to which I gave certain reasons as to what life would be like for me without a computer.

29.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on Mother Nature and why I started up this website, and how it gave me the chance to come up with all-new ideas, all-inclusive and exquisite ideas that would help me to develop and even improve on certain things that I wasn’t so good at before.

Also on this day, I published an article regarding how political correctness affected modern society, as I wanted to talk about how it’s affected us, including certain words that we could say before that we can no longer say now.

Thanks so much to all of you for a fantastic and productive month and I’ll see you all in August.

Alex Smithson

Remembering Satoru Iwata, One Year On (1959 – 2015)

Exactly one year ago today, the gaming world lost an iconic gaming legend. Satoru Iwata, who was best known for being the man behind the iconic gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Series, the Nintendo DS Series, the Nintendo Wii Series, the Nintendo 3DS Series and the Nintendo Wii U Series, sadly passed away a year ago today following a bile duct growth, which Nintendo officially announced in a statement they published on the 11th July 2015.

I still find it hard to believe, even now, that he has gone, it just doesn’t feel real. To think he passed away on this day last year shocks me.

On this day last year, when Satoru Iwata’s death was announced to the world, everyone paid tribute to the iconic gaming legend, with one company even creating an image showing the flag pole from the end of a Super Mario Bros. level at half-mast, which would pay respect to Satoru Iwata.

It’s hard to think and believe it was actually a year ago today that he passed away. He is an iconic gaming legend who was also famously behind the Mario series, as well as other games that he was behind on.

Thanks to Satoru Iwata, he helped to re-shape and redefine Nintendo’s love and passion for games including his own, and he also helped to shape our lives for the better. I want to thank Satoru Iwata entirely for helping this world become a better place. I also want to thank Satoru Iwata for changing mine and everyone else’s lives for the better.

Even to this day, and even in the future, we will always miss you Satoru Iwata. Thank you for being the iconic gaming legend that you are and always will be, and thanks so much for changing everyone’s lives, including mine for the better. We will and always will miss you Satoru Iwata, but you will be forever remembered in our hearts.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: April 2016

As I’ve been extremely productive and have been a very busy bee as usual, I will make sure to take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.4.2016 – As March ended on a productive note, I had made sure to welcome you all to April on Mother Nature, as this month would be set to get a little warmer considering the wintry spells had finally passed.

Also on this day, I published a tribute article which paid tribute to the nation’s most loved Agony Aunt, Denise Robertson, who sadly passed away at the age of 83 from pancreatic cancer on the 31st March 2016, with the news of her passing being announced just 24 hours after the news broke of Ronnie Corbett passing away.

2.4.2016 – After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March),Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo came exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after its release worldwide, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on finally setting your creativity free, as it was based around how we all have ideas of being creative, but would leave us wondering how we would all set that creativity free.

3.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the truth that I had about abstract art, which was me answering that it was interesting and innovative. This article was based around an abstract art piece I created using a pen and a piece of paper, which took less than 24 hours to produce. I also made sure to create different colours of the same abstract art piece that I had finished, and I had made sure to do some significant editing, using the editing skills I currently have to make it look exactly as to how I saw it on paper, so that I could reproduce the same appearance I saw in drawing form, but in the form of a digital version as well.

Also on this day, I published my first Quote of the Day, which would be useful as I wanted to make sure to inspire you all and to put some light in your day.

4.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that I wanted to make sure would be short, but would be inspiring as well, as the article I published was based on doing something for the first time in this world, which was for you to do you and to be happy. It was my way of saying that you should be you, be happy, but most of all to be yourself.

Also on this day, I published another article which was based around three key factors of life, which were Strength, Courage & Willpower, and it was based around just how powerful they can be in all walks of life.

Ending Day 4 of the month on a high note, I had made sure to publish Quote of the Day #2, which was based on redefining ourselves for the better in this world.

5.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on how, over the years, we had all seen some disaster films, but the question was whether they were feasible in terms of real-life situations.

Also on this day, I published an article which was based on whether protective headgear should be worn at all times in boxing, following the news of the boxer, Nick Blackwell, who collapsed shortly after a boxing match between him and Chris Eubank Jr., the son of Chris Eubank Snr.

To end this day, I published Quote of the Day #3, which was based on helping you all to believe in yourselves, including being yourselves.

6.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based around expanding your horizons with all-new ideas. This article was also a 5-Step Guide that I created which was my way of being able to show you how you could broaden your horizons with all-new ideas.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based around the April showers, considering that the name of the article, which was called: “April Showers Bring Blossoming Flowers” was based around the small showers we were getting, which brought along with it some gusty winds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #4, which was based on aspiration and inspiration, as well as inspiring anyone to do better.

7.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that expressed my excitement for the Summer Break, given that the time has been flying like clockwork and that the long holiday break was not far behind. I mentioned that although I may not be partial to the spells of hot weather, I did mention that I do love the thought of lovely Summer days where it’s nice and sunny and where it is also absolutely peaceful.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on music, as well as wondering how we’re able to relate our lives to songs. I talked about how it was the first thing we would make sure to listen to everyday, as well as how there would be something about music that would make us feel connected.

Hailstones Bring Showering Flows was based around the unexpected flow of hailstones that we had where I live and it came down so fast that it had felt like a torrential downpour during a thunderstorm.

To end the day on a good note, I published Quote of the Day #5, which was based around not the kind of people we become, but the kind of people who we choose to become in life that would really matter.

8.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the two-week holiday, in which I asked you how yours went, given that I had two very productive weeks, which I had absolutely loved.

I also talked about success, as well as asking you all how good it felt to achieve something, given the joys and excitement of being able to succeed at something that we may have worked so hard for.

As the two-week holiday was quickly drawing to a close, I asked you all if you were ready to head back to school or college, considering that I felt more than ready to go back to college after a productive and relaxing break, given that I was able to recuperate fully considering I had a huge amount of energy that I still had on hand despite the productive and relaxing holiday break that I had.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #6, which was based on determination, success, as well as working hard for something, not to forget to mention the chances of being able to follow your dreams.

9.4.2016 – On this day, I published three Weekly Logs, the first two of which were based around the Light Play Project that I completed and passed, which was based around darkroom experimentation work, while the third one was based around the first week of the Ghost Stories Project, which would be based around the Uncanny, as well as a mixture of different backgrounds, such as supernaturalism, ghouls, as well as mysterious things, not to mention tension, including strange and horrid backgrounds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #7, which was based on excelling in life, as well as working hard and producing something new, including being stronger than you think, not to mention believing in yourself, including being yourself.

10.4.2016 – On this day, I published three more Weekly Logs, two of which were based around the Ghost Stories Project, including the third, which was based around the first week of the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on an upcoming newspaper called: “The Word: Telling it As it Is.”, which would be launching on Friday 27th May 2016. As The Word is currently being funded on the crowdfunding site, crowdfunder.co.uk, I thought it would be nice to contribute and spread the word of this new community-based newspaper, as I wanted to make sure I could do my bit to help out. After a friend of mine sent me a logo of the name of the newspaper, I offered to help out by giving the logo a complete design overhaul, so that it would be bold and professional, but also create an in-your-face approach, so that it would be the community-based newspaper that people will read and enjoy.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #8, which was based on being yourself, including always being confident and to always to do you, which is what matters.

17.4.2016 – As I was requested by one of my friends about drawing them, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and draw them. I published the final version of this drawing on Mother Nature as this was the first drawing I had done that didn’t require a single photo reference, but was all from memory. I loved the final result of the drawing as it was how I wanted it to be.

As we also had lovely weather on this day, I ceased the perfect opportunity to get a photo of the lovely silhouette sunset shift just before nightfall was due to commence.

20.4.2016 – The week before, I ceased the opportunity to take a collection of photographs around Croydon whilst I was on my way home from college via my 367 Bromley North bus. I used the Camera+ app (Recommended) to snap up to almost 40 photographs and I was absolutely pleased with the collection of photographs that I created and published on Mother Nature.

21.4.2016 – As I had photographed one of my friends at college the day before, I ceased the opportunity to take a few photos with the Canon EOS 1200D (provided by Croydon College), including my iPhone 5 and because of the lovely Spring weather, this meant I was able to set the aperture correctly to produce them. I also listed below in the article: “A Bright & Peaceful Spring!” the details of the photograph, which showed what the focal length was, including the exposure time and the F number, which was 5.6.

In light of the sudden death of the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, who died at the age of the 57 on this day, I had made sure to pay my full respects to him by publishing a tribute article that would give me and all of us the chance to remember him forever in our hearts as the iconic music legend he truly is.

22.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based on my own views of my generation, as well as how my generation has changed how we live. I won’t deny that I didn’t hold back, but I wasn’t afraid to make my feelings known to those who treated others like dirt. I must admit, having a go at some of the secondary school students from a high school that’s near to where I live was a forced to be reckoned with, but after I lost my temper at the secondary school students, they never did anything to me, nor did they even say anything to my face as a result of how angry I was, but I did, however, receive an apology from some of the high school students for the way they were treating each other, but even though that apology was aimed at me, it was more or less aimed at everyone else on my bus, which just goes to show that if you cannot be considerate of the passengers who are on board the same bus as you, then the simplest thing is to not board the bus.

26.4.2016 – As the Croydon-born talented musician, also the winner of The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow, kicked off his One Night Tour on the 15th April 2016, which ran until the 23rd April 2016, everyone was full of excitement, including myself, as he came back to his hometown, Croydon, on the 19th April 2016, to perform his One Night Tour at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, which promoted his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow, which was released on Friday 13th November 2015. This Special Tour Review was my way of saying a massive, massive thank you to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer, as this was my first ever time going to see a musician perform on tour and for Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer to put on such a perfect night, I absolutely loved it. Thanks guys!!! Also again, thanks so much to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and to James Plimmer for getting photos with me on the night, it means so much :-).

29.4.2016 – A few weeks before, it was reported and confirmed that David Gest, who had recently made an appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house, had passed away at the age of 62 at a London Hotel on the 12th April 2016, just before 10:20 AM. The news of his death seriously shocked me and I was absolutely gutted, as this news came nearly two weeks after we lost Ronnie Corbett and Denise Robertson, but when I heard the news of David Gest’s death on the 12th April, I was absolutely shocked and upset. I paid tribute to him by publishing this article as I wanted to make sure he was remembered in our hearts forever and also for the footprints he left on our hearts.

30.4.2016 – On Thursday 28th April 2016, whilst I was around Croydon during my lesson taking photographs as part of a concept I will be producing for my final piece towards the end of the first year of the two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, I took just a few photos around some parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed properly before, and as I took these photos, these would help me to develop my ideas further for the concept I will be aiming to produce. I published this photography article as I wanted to give you all an in-depth look at the kind of concept I have in mind, as well as using the photos I took as ideas for how I could produce that concept for my final piece, but in a completely realistic setting.

This Monthly Roundup has officially drawn April to a remarkable close. Although we lost quite a few notable icons over the course of this month, they will never be forgotten in our hearts and will always be remembered forever in our hearts.

Thanks to all of you for making this month an extremely productive month for me and I’ll see you all in May.

Alex Smithson

Miitomo. Out Now!!! (My Review of Nintendo’s First Ever Mobile App)

After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March), Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo comes exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after it was released, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

I’ve been playing around with the Miitomo app for 48 hours now, and I actually love it, it’s really cool, and I quite like the fact that you get rewarded everytime you achieve something good, especially where the games are concerned, as they do games inside the app, which allow you to use any game tickets that you were given upon using the app for the first time.

Since its release on the 31st March in the United Kingdom, the United States and everywhere else in the world, a lot of users around the world have been creating funny memes, using their own Mii‘s, which has resulted in the app going viral within a matter of a few days. I decided to put my own spin on the Miitomo meme effect that has gone viral on the web by making my own one for this article’s featured image. I wanted to create a kind of cheesy but interesting approach for this article by getting my Mii to do different poses and funny facial expressions :D.

I have always loved Nintendo for their creative and innovative ideas, as they have revolutionised the way we play games. For instance, when the Game Boy Advance came out, that changed the way we play games, and the Game Boy Advance SP (SP stands for Special) was no different, but it was the Game Boy Advance SP that eventually paved the way for the best-selling handheld console, the Nintendo DS.

I remember waking up on Christmas Day in 2005 unwrapping and unboxing the Nintendo DS, along with the Super Mario 64 DS game that came bundled as another Christmas present, and I absolutely loved playing on the console, especially the game, and it just goes to prove how the handheld console revolution has evolved for Nintendo since the original Game Boy was released all the way back in 1990 in Europe.

But with Miitomo, this will help to redefine and shape Nintendo’s way of developing games for the future. It’s such a fantastic app to use, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. You can link your Nintendo Network ID to Miitomo, including your Facebook & Twitter accounts, which is also useful if you’re looking to add some Facebook friends you know that may use the app, including some of your Twitter followers.

To download Nintendo’s first ever mobile app, choose the designated App Store below to be directed to your chosen App Store:

iTunes

Google Play

Overall, I absolutely recommend you download the app if you’re on the iTunes App Store or Google Play, I highly recommend it. It’s such a fun-filled addictive app that will keep you going for hours on end.

If you’ve downloaded Miitomo on your Android or iOS device, please let me know what your experience with the Miitomo app has been so far :-).

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: March 2016

The first few months of this year sure are flying by like clockwork, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the speed of time. I’ve also been a lot more of a busy bee this month, as I’ve managed to publish more articles this month than the amount I’ve published in the last few months, following the end of 2015. Time does go like a flash nowadays, can you believe it?

To kick off this Monthly Roundup, I will take a look back at the articles I’ve published over the course of this month.

1.3.2016 – To kick March off with a bang, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature, with this month being set for some possibly nice weather, despite weather reports that suggested that there would be rain and snow. I also mentioned that I would add a widget that would state the times for each and every week that I would publish my articles, so that I could keep to a specific publishing timetable that would suit me best for when it comes to publishing articles on here.

4.3.2016 – As we had relatively mild but refreshing Spring weather in Croydon on this day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity during my lunch break to get a large number of photos whilst I had the free time available. I took a large range of photographs with the Camera+ app (recommended), and because there was not a single spot of bad weather on this day too, this day was the perfect opportunity for me to get a large range of photos in before my lunch break came to an end.

5.3.2016 – Last year when I was on the UAL Level 2 Diploma Art & Design Course, I took some photos in and around Croydon, but around certain parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed before. I must admit, on the 7th May 2015, I went down to Reeves Corner with a student from my class, though I asked the fellow student from my class if they could come with me because I was worried about going down to Croydon on my own, considering that the Nikon D3300 DSLR I use to take my photos with is quite expensive, and that I was worried about it being stolen, given that what happened down that area with the Reeves Furniture Store being burned down during the riots in 2011 had worried me. On this day, I published the small set of photos that I had taken on the 7th May 2015, with Reeves Corner being the featured place I would use in the article’s Featured Image.

7.3.2016 – Life throws at us what we do or don’t like to experience, but it’s being able to accept who you are that really matters. Whether you have anyone around you who chooses to see you differently because of who you are and how you choose to appear, that doesn’t matter, it’s what comes from your heart and who you are that really matters the most. I wrote this article as a way of wanting to inspire you all.

11.3.2016 – Your life is a sensational and remarkable masterpiece. Why? Because it is. Your life is sensational because you have decided to be you and have decided to forget what other people think of you, and you are also a remarkable masterpiece as well, because not only have you decided to be yourself, but you have also proved that you are 10,000 times better than they will ever be. I also wrote this article as I wanted to inspire all of you to believe in yourself and to always be yourself, no matter what.

13.3.2016 – Security is the major key factor that plays its part in the digital world, but at the same time, we are left with the question that we sometimes ask ourselves or other people, and that is: “Are We Really Safe?“. I wrote this article mainly because I wanted to know whether you felt your security in the digital world was safe, considering I had fallen victim to a “malware and virus attack after some viruses and malware got past my security software, which resulted in me having restore problems, until I was advised to create storage media on one of my USB’s using the Media Creation Tool (provided by Microsoft) which actually helped, as I was able to completely wipe my laptop of any viruses, malware and even any other kind of general virus attacks.”

21.3.2016 – From Friday 11th March 2016 to Monday 14th March 2016, I worked on my drawing of the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, and this drawing that I worked on was inspired on one of the photos that was taken of Madonna during the Ray of Light era. I can be honest with you all, this was my first proper attempt at drawing someone including their face, considering that a few years ago, I couldn’t draw a face properly unless I used a photo to trace over the original. I published this article as I wanted to showcase to all of you my current drawing skills, given that my drawing skills have advanced in the last few years.

22.3.2016 – Let’s face it, we’ve all had our fair share of bad experiences, whether it would be to do with a fall or whether it would be to do with the consideration of any passenger‘s safety, especially for those who wait at their bus stops to get the next bus that’s due. I wrote this article in light of my recent experience in which a bus driver drove past me and a couple of passengers, even though full indication was given by a fellow passenger for the bus driver to stop at my usual bus stop, which resulted in me having to run to the next bus stop just around the corner, which as you can imagine left me in a seriously foul mood afterwards.

23.3.2016 – As the article had suggested, what was the one true thing that scared you? I outlined that the one true thing that scared me was “death, as I hate the thought ofdying, given that after death, nothing carries on, and not just that, but after death, everything just stops forever.” I did this article as I wanted to know what the one true thing was that genuinely scared you.

24.3.2016 – Back in 2012, I did a piece of creative work in my Art & Design class when I was in Year 9, and I had to create a kind of pop-art piece which would consist of two famous faces, which were of Marshall Mathers (a.k.a. Eminem) and the model, Kate Moss. This of course did require the use of different materials which would help me to produce this piece, but aside that, I also used the Colors! 3D app (available on the Nintendo eShop) to produce some pieces of art work, which does shock me to some extent given how my drawing and design skills were then compared to the drawing and design skills I have now. I also presented some drawings in this article that I created in 2013 and 2014.

25.3.2016 – Equality & Diversity are just two of the main key factors that make up all the societies in this world. Whether it would be to do with a person’s religious background, sexuality or even how someone chooses to look and appear, both key factors should be taken into consideration no matter what society any of us come from. I wrote this article as it’s the kind of subject that is close to my heart, as I always believe that we should be equal and diverse towards one another.

Also on this day, I published another article, but decided to keep the second article short by showing a photo of the lovely weather on this day, as I “wanted to relax a little bit just for a change, considering all of the hard work I’ve been producing for my film and photography course most recently.”

27.3.2016 – I published a moderately tiny article in which I had wished you all a Happy Easter.

29.3.2016 – As I headed down to Charlie’s Rock Shop in Merton on this day, I did notice that the landscape around me was full of tranquility, as everywhere around me was quiet, which was a change considering how busy it can be sometimes, but the landscape around me was peaceful and also refreshing. Despite the fact that the weather couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be sunny or to be pouring down with rain, I decided to get a set of photographs in that I took whilst I was there and while I was on my way back home. I also took some of the photos I selected that were originally in colour and converted a select range of them into black and white.

30.3.2016 – As I kicked my two-week holiday off with a bang, I took the opportunity to draw the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, again, but this time in her True Blue era, as I saw that a lot of fans had created pieces of artwork inspired by the True Blue photograph that Herb Ritts took of her back in 1986. This drawing took from the 25th March to the 29th March to complete, and I was absolutely over the moon with the final result that I was able to achieve.

31.3.2016 – I felt absolutely honoured to have been nominated by Brooke (The Utopia Universe) for the Blogger Recognition Award, which is the first award that Mother Nature has received since the start of 2016.

Today, I also paid tribute to the Man of Mighty Humour, Ronnie Corbett, who sadly passed away this morning at the age of 85. He will be greatly missed but will never be forgotten. We will miss you Ronnie Corbett.

To end this month on a really positive, but sad note, I wanted to say thank you so much everyone for making this month a good one, and although we lost Paul Daniels earlier in the month, including hearing the sad news of Ronnie Corbett passing away earlier this morning, I want to say that they shall always be remembered in our hearts forever.

Again, thank you so much for making this month a really good one, and I’ll see you all in April.

Alex Smithson

A Time Capsule of Creative Work from 2012

Back in 2012, I did a piece of creative work in my Art & Design class when I was in Year 9, and I had to create a kind of pop-art piece which would consist of two famous faces, which were of Marshall Mathers (a.k.a. Eminem) and the model, Kate Moss. This of course did require the use of different materials which would help me to produce this piece, but aside that, I also used the Colors! 3D app (available on the Nintendo eShop) to produce some pieces of art work, which does shock me to some extent given how my drawing and design skills were then compared to the drawing and design skills I have now.

The pieces of art work I produced in Colors! 3D was inspired on the musicians, which were Jessie J & Madonna, and I also did some fan-based artwork of the Wingcrest from the Nintendo Smash Hit series, The Legend of Zelda. I produced the fan-based artwork of the Wingcrest with inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D game (re-make of the original 1998 version on Nintendo 64), as I played the game through and managed to finish it, despite it taking ages to complete considering it was the first time I had ever played a Zelda game all the way though to the very end.

I also produced some other pieces of work in Colors! 3D, and one of the drawings I also drew way back in 2012 was of the musician, P!NK, and I did do some other drawings based on Nintendo’s Mario Series, for instance, Paper Mario and Bowser. All the drawings I did can be found below, including a free Wingcrest Wallpaper:

If you liked the creative work in this article that I produced back in 2012, then please feel free to feedback your thoughts on my creative work. Your feedback is absolutely appreciated and if you also enjoyed this article, then please feel free to share it with everyone you know :-).

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: July 2015

To round off what has been an exciting, eventful, energetic and incredible month, I will now take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.7.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a scorching hot July. This month was set to be an energetic and relaxing month, despite the hot weather. I also mentioned that my third book was finally reaching the completion stage, which was a fantastic sign, as I was itching to get the book finished and ready for release.

2.7.2015 – After a year of hard work, studying and revision, I was absolutely pleased to tell all of you that I had officially, as of this day, passed my UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course with a high Merit grade. This news came in light of the 8 units that I had completed and passed, with a Distinction on my research, which had resulted in me getting that high Merit grade for the whole course overall. I was also delighted to tell all of you that I had also received two certificate from Croydon College that day, one of which celebrates the outstanding achievement in terms of my exemplary attendance, while the other had celebrated my outstanding achievement I’ve made in terms of excellent achievement.

3.7.2015 – After 9 months of working on Book #3, I was absolutely pleased to tell you all that: “My Journey Through a Lens” would officially be out on Independence Day at 6:00 PM. The news of this book release finally came, as I had just finished up work on the book that day (and night), which had left me then to just prepare it so that it was officially ready for release the following day.

The book would contain over 400+ pages, and this book was indeed my largest book to date. It was originally going to be released towards the end of May, but because of the fact I had my college studies and revision to worry about, I had to hold off the released of the book to allow myself a lot more time to finish up the book and to also finalise it, so that it would give me a lot more time to work on it.

In terms of this book, some of the book would focus mainly around the photographical work that I have published on Mother Nature, and not only that, but most of the book itself would also focus around my own interests, as well as Croydon College.

4.7.2015 – After 9 months of hard work, effort and designing, My Journey Through a Lens finally became available as of this day. As the book was over 400+ pages long, this book was indeed the largest book I had ever made, which followed up from my previous book: “A Year in Photography”, which was released on the 1st September 2014. In this book, I talked about 6 historical icons, as well as musicians, from Ben Haenow to Madonna, and not only that, but I had also dedicated this book to a small number of people that I mentioned, including those that had passed away most recently. As of this day, you can now officially download my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, which is available now under “Free Books“.

9.7.2015 – Spinning back the clock to 1998, Crash Bandicoot: Warped was the 3rd, most popular installment in the series of Crash Bandicoot. Crash Bandicoot: Warped continues from where Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, left off. I wrote this review because I thought it would be good to relive the nostalgic days of gaming, when games were much better compared to some of the games that are around today. Some of the games that are around nowadays tend to leave little to the imagination, especially for those that are younger than the age that is given on the game’s PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) rating. Overall, I think the game is perfect, and it is one of the top-of-the-class games that you just can’t miss. To end this review, I gave the game an overall rating of 10/10.

13.7.2015 – On this day, the world lost a true gaming icon. Satoru Iwata of the worldwide gaming company, Nintendo, sadly passed away on Saturday 11th July 2015 at the age of 55 from cancer, following complications from a bile duct growth. On the same day, Nintendo had issued an official statement, which had documented the news of Satoru Iwata’s passing. To me, this was a massive shock, as I had only just found out the news of his death on the same day, and not only had his death shocked me, but his death had also been a massive shock to the gaming world. To pay tribute to Satoru Iwata, I would take a look back on his life as it unfolded, and the highlights of his career up until his death.

On that final note, thanks so much for an energetic, eventful, relaxing and perfect month, and I’ll see you all in August :-).

Alex Smithson

P.S. Here is the book in its physical glory :-).

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Satoru Iwata (1959 – 2015)

With such shock and sadness, the world lost a true gaming icon. Satoru Iwata of the worldwide gaming company, Nintendo, sadly passed away on Saturday 11th July 2015 at the age of 55 from cancer, following complications from a bile duct growth.

Today, Nintendo issued an official statement, which documents the news of Satoru Iwata’s passing, which can be viewed by clicking here.

To me, this is a massive shock, because I have only just found the news of Satoru Iwata’s death today, and not only has his death been a massive shock to me, but his death has also been a massive shock to the gaming world.

To pay tribute to Satoru Iwata, I will now take a look back on his life as it unfolded, and the highlights of his career up until his death.

Satoru Iwata (6th December 1959 – 11th July 2015)

Satoru Iwata was a Japanese businessman and also a game programmer who had served as the fourth President & Chief Executive Office (CEO) of Nintendo. He had worked as a programmer at the HAL Laboratory earlier on in his career, as this would help him to go on to develop the smash-hit games, such as the Super Smash Bros.’ series, the Kirby series and the Pokémon series, before joining Nintendo in 2000.

Satoru Iwata had also succeeded Hiroshi Yamauchi as the company’s President in May 2002, and he had directed the company to pursue the development of the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii consoles in 2006, which would help the company to become financially successful among many of the other game console manufacturers. He had served as the company’s President until his death on Saturday 11th July 2015.

Satoru Iwata’s Early Life

Satoru Iwata was born on the 6th December 1959 and was raised in Sapporo, in Japan; his father was a municipal mayor. He had expressed his interest in the creation of video games earlier on, and had began to produce electronic games at his home during his high school years. The several simple number games that Iwata had produced had made use of an electronic calculator that he had shared with his schoolmates.

Following on from high school, Satoru Iwata was admitted to the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he would major in computer science. While he was attending the school, he did do a lot of freelance work as a programmer for HAL Laboratory, Inc., a game developer that had often collaborated quite closely with the international gaming company, Nintendo.

Satoru Iwata’s Career

HAL Laboratory

After he had graduated from university, Satoru Iwata had joined the HAL Laboratory company in a full-time capacity. Here, he had become the company’s co-ordinator for software production in 1983. Some of the video games that he worked on were Balloon Fight, EarthBound and the Kirby games. With the company itself being on the verge of bankruptcy, Satoru Iwata was promoted to be the President of HAL Laboratory in 1993, and in turn, he had helped to turn the company around and also stabilise its finances.

Satoru Iwata had assisted in the founding of Creatures Inc., which was established in 1995 by Tsunekazu Ishihara. Although he was not part of Nintendo at that time, Iwata had assisted in the development of Pokémon Gold & Silver, which were both released for the Game Boy Color in November 1999. Simultaneously, Satoru Iwata had aided in the programming of the Pokémon Stadium for the Nintendo 64 by reading the original coding that was found in both Pokémon Red & Green, and reworking it for the new game. Satoru Iwata had also created a set of compression tools that were utilised in the Gold & Silver Versions of the Pokémon series.

Satoru Iwata & Nintendo

In 2000, Satoru Iwata had taken the position at Nintendo as the head of its corporate planning division. When Hiroshi Yamauchi, the company’s president since 1949, had retired on the 31st May 2002, Satoru Iwata had succeeded as Nintendo’s fourth President with Yamauchi’s blessing, and Yamauchi would then advise Iwata over the course of the next few years. Satoru Iwata was the first Nintendo President who was unrelated to the Yamauchi family through blood or marriage. Iwata had also continued to help out at HAL Laboratory as a consultant.

At the time of Satoru Iwata’s promotion, Nintendo wasn’t performing as well as the other console makers, with its latest release, the Nintendo GameCube performing poorly compared to competitors. Iwata had stated back in 2006 that he felt that the gaming industry was becoming too exclusive, and that he wanted to develop hardware and games that would be appealing to all players.

Under his charge at Nintendo, Satoru Iwata had helped to lead a revitalisation of their handheld system, which would help them to transition from the Game Boy console series to the Nintendo DS Series, with a unique form factor that would allow for more novel games to be played on it. He had also pushed on the development of the Nintendo Wii platform, which had introduced the use of motion control-based video games.

Both units had proved to be highly successful to the company alone, with the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2006 helping to nearly double the stock price of Nintendo. Satoru Iwata’s former experience as a programmer, which was a rarity for technology CEOs, was said to have helped to contribute towards his leadership of the company. Due to his success, Barron’s had included Iwata on their list of the 30 top CEOs worldwide from 2007 to 2009.

He had commented on the Nintendo games in his section of Nintendo’s Wii website, Iwata Asks. In 2011, Satoru Iwata had helped to institute “Nintendo Direct”, which is a series of online press conferences that are open to all that had revealed upcoming Nintendo games and products that were outside of the typical industry channels, and were often done in a quirky, humorous manner, such as a mock battle between him and the Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aimé.

In the June of 2013, Satoru Iwata had decided to take the role of Nintendo of America’s CEO; as one of his first changes as CEO, Iwata had decided that they would not hold large press conferences at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), and instead have several smaller events, each that would be aimed at a certain demographic. This year, Iwata had put part of Nintendo’s focus on the growing mobile game market, and in turn, he created a partnership with the mobile provider, DeNA, to publish titles, as the traditional hardware console sales had began to falter.

As Iwata had stated, he would take half of his salary to help Nintendo’s poor finances and to better compete against the big technology companies, Microsoft Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment.

While he was at Nintendo, Satoru Iwata had worked on The Legend of Zelda series, the Mario series and the Animal Crossing gaming series. He had also played as a cameo in Nintendo’s Wii game, WarioWare: Smooth Moves (also a part of the Nintendo Selects range, created by Nintendo), where he is referred to as: “Shop Manager Iwata”.

In his Keynote Speech at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2005, Satoru Iwata had stated in his speech:

“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.” – Satoru Iwata.

Satoru Iwata’s Illness & Death

In 2014, Nintendo had announced that Satoru Iwata would not be present at E3 2014 due to medical-related reasons. It was later revealed that he was undergoing surgery for a tumour in his bile duct. Yesterday, Nintendo had announced that Satoru Iwata had died the previous day at the age of 55 due to complications with this tumour. Today, Nintendo had issued the statement that had officially announced his death on Saturday 11th July 2015. He was survived by his wife, Kayoko. Funeral services are planned to be held on the 17th July 2015.

The flags at Nintendo’s headquarters were lowered at half-mast, and members across the gaming industry and fans alike had expressed their sadness on social media over Satoru Iwata’s passing and gratitude for his accomplishments. Shuhei Yoshida, the President of SCE Worldwide Studios (Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios), stated that: “He has given a great contribution to the development of the gaming industry. I will pray for Iwata’s soul.” The composer and director, Junichi Masuda, who was mostly known for his work with the Pokémon games, tweeted that: “He was a man who understood Pokémon, and a great leader. When I visited the other day, he was well. I will pray for his soul from the bottom of my heart.”

My thoughts go out to Satoru Iwata and his family at such a difficult time. We will miss you dearly Satoru Iwata, but you will never be forgotten for the wonderful and happy legacy you have left behind.

“Thanks to you, you have shaped the world of gaming with such positivity, and you have changed our lives for the better, in so many ways. You’ve inspired us to keep pushing and to keep going in life. Thank you. We will miss you Satoru Iwata, but you will never be forgotten for the wonderful legacy you’ve left behind. We will always remember you in our hearts forever.” – Alex Smithson

If you want to pay tribute to Satoru Iwata, please feel free to leave your tributes below in the comments.

Alex Smithson

Note: If there are any forms of slander made in the comments that have been written, they will be deleted. Please be respectful and pay tribute to Nintendo’s fourth President, Satoru Iwata. No Slander Allowed.

Don’t Wait / Joey Graceffa / Special Music Feature

It is an absolute honour to talk about Joey Graceffa’s new record, Don’t Wait.

Since Joey Graceffa released this record earlier this week, I was instantly hooked on it after I gave his record its first listen yesterday, and my god, it is absolutely fantastic.

Joey Graceffa uploaded the “Don’t Wait” Official Music Video to YouTube last night, and I was blown away, it’s that good, as it document’s some of his life struggles, with a friend of his being by his side to this day.

You may be wondering why I’ve used a wide range of colours on the image’s text. This is because I have made sure to celebrate Joey Graceffa for who he is, and for what he does. It has been revealed by Joey Graceffa himself that he has officially come out as gay, in the debut release of his first ever book: “In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World“, which comes out and hits store shelves on Tuesday. I am absolutely proud of Joey Graceffa, because it takes a lot of guts for someone like him to come out and reveal their sexuality to the world, and I am absolutely proud of him for the fact he has chosen to reveal his sexuality in his own, and official style.

I support the LGBT Community entirely because for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I believe in equality, LGBT equality and gender equality entirely, no matter what sexuality the person is. I respect all of those who have come out and expressed their sexualities to the world, because everyone in this world deserves to be treated equally, no matter what sexuality they are, and everyone should be respected for who they are and also be treated with the full respect that they deserve.

After watching the music video, I was blown away, it’s fantastic, it has a lot of personal, yet interesting values to it, and Joey has managed to create this video in a way where everyone can watch it, and also find out more about not just his personal life, but some of the bad and good parts of his life as well. This music video has a kind of video-game effect behind it, because some of the clothing that Joey Graceffa wore in this music video has a similar, yet realistic approach to the video-game character, Link, from Nintendo’s Gaming Series: “The Legend of Zelda“.

After being hooked on this song, I took to the iTunes Store to purchase Joey Graceffa’s “Don’t Wait” Single. The single’s artwork can be found in its full, High-Definition glory below.

Don't Wait - Single
© Don’t Wait – Single – Official Artwork – Joey Graceffa 2015

In its full glory, here is the Music Video of Joey Graceffa’s latest record: “Don’t Wait”, which is now available to watch below in Full HD.

I recommend that you go and buy Joey Graceffa’s single: “Don’t Wait” on iTunes, Google Play and any other music services that are selling this record now. It has a lot of sentimental value to it, and it is the type of record that you’ll want to keep on listening to. This record by Joey Graceffa has a personal, sentimental and bold value to it, and it is something that will most definitely tug at your heart-strings. You’ll love it instantly on its first listen. Go on, you know you want to buy it.

Alex Smithson

© Joey Graceffa 2015

Note: Homophobic and sexual comments will not be allowed, and if any homophobic and sexual comments are made, they will be deleted.