Monday, 4 July 2016

Video game textmode art part 22: The Game Awards 2015 / Block To The Future

And bam wow zam, magically we go from some of the oldest ANSI art out there (from my Public Domain stash over at textfiles.com) to some of the newest! This set dropped last November in the Blocktronics artpack "Block to the Future". Its centrepiece was a batch of video-game themed ANSI art that was drawn in conjunction with The Game Awards, whose ceremony was conducted and aired (streamed?) in early December. Things were a bit muddled -- a number of pieces drawn for the ceremony by Otium were inadvertently left out of the collection, but released in a subsequent one, which I have since shared here, but the bulk of them were left to ripen like a fine wine, as I understood that in the full flush of its fresh release, there's not much that little ol' me could do to add to the most worthwhile hype accompanying a new Blocktronics artpack dropping. Instead, we now get this opportunity to look back and fondly revisit the pieces from last winter. There are only a few of them, but they were crafted by the finest ANSI artisans in history at the height of their powers, so... quality vs. quantity! There should be more than enough to satisfy here.
Enzo (Luciano Ayres) opens up the party here (see, after being repeatedly burned I've learned a valuable lesson: Facebook will just take the first image appearing in the article as its thumbnail, so make it a good one!) with, as you can tell, the Street Fighter 2 player selection roster. (Me, I always root for the underdog, so would select the freakiest character -- typically E. Honda, Blanka or Dhalsim. Was sure more interesting than watching endless rounds of Ken vs. Ryu!)
This stylish piece is by the artist who goes by the nickname "Konami" (from whom you have seen quite a bit here before.) The man behind the chiaroscuro here is Solid Snake, from Konami(the company)'s Metal Gear Solid V.
An odd one, this is by the virtuous Nail, famously of Fire -- knitting together the Game Awards VG theme with the name of the Blocktronics pack ("Block to the Future"), he has worked in a Guitar Hero reference by invoking Back to the Future, with Marty McFly going back to the 1950s and stealing the invention of rock 'n roll from Chuck Berry.
Enzo delivers us another world-class rendition of a revolting character, warts and all, with his trademark ANSI dithering technique. The subject is Mario's sinister counterpart Wario, and gosh, I wouldn't want to get between him and a gold coin!
Continuing on with the Mario theme, Reset Survivor (also a past hero of this VG ANSI series) celebrates the then-fresh release of Super Mario Maker on the WiiU by showing us Mario, in ASCII, against ANSI tiles of his enemies and landscape components, while his brain appears to explode with mundane ASCII inspirations (turtles, mushrooms, fish, squid) for some of his most longstanding recurring players.
And then The Creep Fever brings it all home with this epic wider-than-standard textmode piece celebrating the somewhat alien aesthetics of Bungie's big gamble Destiny. And that's it! A short but sweet post, manageable in a timely fashion. Next time: we went to the start and we returned to the present, and probably we'll be seeing more stuff from that big formless part in the middle.