The 'Shroom:Issue 114/Palette Swap
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Welcome, everyone, to the September issue of Palette Swap!
I would like to remind everyone reading that we are still accepting advertisements for the Community Advertisements section here. If you have something you'd like to advertise, be it a blog, webcomic, music, art, whatever, send me a PM with your advertisement, username, and any additional information you'd like posted, and I will get it into the next issue! Please remember to keep ads appropriate for everyone, and if you have mature content, please mark it with a warning (18+, Mature Content, etc.)
Now that I've said that, go read our awesome sections!
Section of the Month
Big thanks to everyone who voted! It really does mean a lot to us, I promise.
What's on the Box?
13 years ago, on the 25th September, 2003, Super Mario Sunshine was released as a Player's Choice selection for the GameCube. While the game itself has had mixed opinions regarding gameplay, story and voice acting, I personally enjoyed it for the most part (probably because I skipped over levels like this one), and seeing this fan made box art, made by an artist named Masloff, felt pretty good. So without further delay, let's get into this box.
The first thing that I noticed was the light and simplistic aesthetic that formed most of the box; the only non-blue areas are the gameplay screenshots, sections of the title, and artwork of the Shine Sprites. The way the different graphics were put together also gives me a really... summery feel. For instance, you probably would have noticed the rim of water trailing across the back of the box, but did you see the rays of sunlight reaching in from the upper right corner? The fact that the box has a beach backdrop also adds to this. The sun and water feel ties into the use of F.L.U.D.D., and the general premise of being on holiday on an island resort.
The front of the box has these great, crisp silhouettes of Mario and his companion, F.L.U.D.D., with another artwork of Shadow Mario carrying Princess Peach, and a Polluted Piranha. Now, it would look nice as just a blue shade, but the artist took it a step further and placed various images of water, waves and the sky within these silhouettes, which just looks so relaxing and mellow. The back does a good job of showing colorful and interesting screenshots, and also introduces your enemy, Shadow Mario, as the supposed main antagonist, as well as showing F.L.U.D.D. as a helpful companion and major gameplay element.
My only criticism is that having your only advertised task being "put to community service" wouldn't strike me as enticing gameplay, but other than that, this box art does more than draw the gamer in- it's a joy just to look at. If that was the original box art, then I'd probably spend half my time playing the game, and the other half looking at the box! And finally, for a rating, I'd give it an 8/10. It's great.
Man it feels good to be part of a team, doesn't it? Like, you need to communicate and bond with other team members towards a similar goal. You get to know each other, what they enjoy doing, and be friends with others; you also feel to be an important and integral member of the game. Of course, there's also the big project looming ahead at hand, with fans eagerly anticipating the release of your project. You also have the responsibility to not leak any information, no matter how tempting it is, mostly because you want your fans to be, like, REALLY psyched at the ideas of the said project.
What am I referring to? I'm referring to the fan project revealed last July, Newer Super Mario Bros. U, where my twin, Bazooka Mario (talk) and I are officially part of, as part the team's official modelers. We'll be working with other hackers and modelers, who will help us guide on what assets need to be created.
What is Newer Super Mario Bros. U? It's obviously a mod for the Wii U Mario platformer, New Super Mario Bros. U. People who have heard about this mod have probably heard about the New Super Mario Bros. Wii mod, Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii. Basically, the premise of both mods is to showcase what hidden potential the New Super Mario Bros. games had. People enjoy bashing on both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U for their unoriginality and sterile environments, but surprisingly, the game has the foundation to be extremely creative despite people's bashing on the New Super Mario Bros. franchise. Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii showcased that yes, it is possible to have fully functional maps with unique themes, and yes, it's possible to have space-themed worlds that tinker with the game's gravity. And yes, the same old, grass, desert, ice, whatever themed levels is mostly due to the ineptitude of creative juices rather than the foundation of the game itself being mediocre. You can forgive the artstyle if the game environments are creative, as they were in Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii.
What we hope to accomplish in Newer Super Mario Bros. U is the same level of creativity and usage of level themes in the same manner we wowed people in Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii. Some hacks that came in the package are very impressive. We've coded an entirely new suit in Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii, and we played with the functions of switchers, as well as added Shy Guys as new enemies. Much of that was accomplished with ASM hacking, a very complex and difficult route to take if you're a coder.
What have we accomplished so far? We've made Death Foos for starters. Instead of spewing out the regular clouds that obscure your vision, these Foos spew out poisonous purple clouds that will kill you if you touch them. Instead, you need to either avoid their clouds, spin-jump to clear out clouds, or kill them first with long range projectiles such as Fireballs. Several other new enemies will be in the game, but I can't say exactly what they'll be unless the leaders of the project reveal what they are themselves.
In this mod, we hope to actually have fully 3D maps this time around. In Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii, the team intended to have fully 3D maps, but their modeler left, so they have to improvise with those 2D maps. It's less than stellar than the final product, but what can you say for a small modding team with zero budget, who also have to work around the limits of the game as well? Even World 8 in that game was barely manageable, they had to compress that level like crazy to actually make it function in the game.
Not much else I can say about this project without breaking sensitive information to any of you. It's still in its early stages, and only recently I was contracted to work on a project (finally!). A lot of the focus is making the base of the mod, I'm just the artist to create works after the foundation has been established. In the meantime, here's a gallery of images you can oogle at.
Thanks for reading this section, and I hope your Autumn and/or school year will be fun. Working with the game and hackers has made me found a new appreciation for the New Super Mario Bros. series; placed in the right hands, the games can be a very memorable and worthwhile time to play with that official experiences may fail to offer.
Ongoing Fan Projects
HI, everyone! I'm your brave Stats Manager, Tucayo, here with a brand new edition of Take Cover! This past month has probably been one of the busiest months in my life but don't think for a moment I would leave you without your monthly dose of covers! So let's get to this month's songs.
This past month, one of the most prolific Latin American singer-songwriters, Juan Gabriel, passed away; he was credited with writing around 1,800 songs during his lifetime. I'm not exactly a fan of his work but his influence and legacy are undeniable. One of his last songs recorded was a baffling Spanish cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Have You Ever Seen the Rain?, which caught John Fogerty's ear. Fogerty proposed a duet but it never came to be. Enjoy this peculiar cover, and see you next month.