The 'Shroom:Issue 116/Palette Swap
Hello, everyone! Welcome to the November issue of Palette Swap!
I'm willing to bet that most of you have pulled yourselves away from a highly awaited, recently released game to come here and read our sections, so thank you for that, and I'll keep this brief!
Next month's issue is the Holiday Special issue! We want to make it packed full of sections, so think about submitting a guest section! It can be anything- a picture you drew, some music you'd like to talk about, a mod you made, we will be glad to feature it! You can send any guest sections to me, and I will put them into Palette Swap, provided they are appropriate!
I think that's pretty much everything I have to say, so with that, let's get to our sections this month!
Section of the Month
Shaking it up this time, I see! Thank you everyone for your votes in last month's poll! I hope you'll all keep it up for this month!
What's on the Box?
Pokémon Sun and Moon released... yesterday, right? From your point of view, if you decided to read this article on the day it was released, it came out recently. So I suppose we should take a step away from relying on fan-made Paper Marios for content and celebrate the start of Gen 7 by looking at a fan bundle of a 'New Nintendo 3DS LL' and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon by an artist known as Martiniii332.
(By the way, I have never properly played a Pokémon game; I had a go at Diamond years ago, but that's it. Excuse me if I seem a little lacking in knowledge for this one.)
So I had my doubts about this one when I first saw it. Oh, no, it was nothing to do with quality- this box is genuinely outstanding- the problem was that it was so professional-looking. I thought, 'this is just an official box, right?' WRONG. This is fan-made, but it's just so well done that it looks official! That's an immediate great first impression.
Moving to the front cover, we have the game's official Pikachu artwork in front of a New Nintendo 3DS with an original Pokéball design. A Froakie is presumably there to show off the starters from X and Y making their playable debut, and the others are there to remind us of the inter-generation cast. Legendaries can be seen in the background, and a Mega Rayquaza marks the introduction of Mega Evolution to the series. Other features suggest that the 3DS comes pre-installed with the game, and that it is fully backwards-compatible with Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
The back describes it as the "definitive" game of the series, and from what I have heard, PSMD is just that. The game has new features such as Mega Evolution, and seems to expand on the good aspects of its predecessor. It also boasts a grand showcase of Pokémon new and old, and gives enough gameplay screenshots for me to understand the concept of the game. A conversation with Piplup hints at a story of something or someone turning Pokémon into stone, and another picture shows your team rescuing a Sylveon, indicating that rescuing others is possibly a major part of the game. Ho-Oh and Groudon are part of these gameplay snippets, which tells me that I can include legendaries in my team and describes them as allies".
Now we need to talk about aesthetics. This box has delightful colors and a vibrant space theme that really stands out. Pikachu's yellow against the dark bluey purple is a great contrast of palette, and the characters are all made to stand out. This one's a real head-turner.
The score for this is a full 10 outta 10. Despite me knowing nothing about this game, this box gets me hooked from the start and continues to please me as I write this. Okay, see you next time, where I shall most likely find some more boxes to review. Bye!
In my opinion, birds are the fluffiest and cutest creatures out there, and are definitely one of the most common forms of wildlife you can encounter. Similar to Walkazo (talk), I share an interest in them, but they're at an amateur level compared to her, and she had the lucky opportunity to capture and band many species of birds, something I can only dream of doing. I know the names of birds who live around my area, and I've kept a bird feeder so my feathered friends can enjoy a banquet of various types of seeds. Even the occasional Cooper's Hawk, who are one of the bird's worst enemy, is enough to make me smile. I also keep two pet birds at home: a cockatiel and a budgerigar, and both birds are very lovely and sweet pets to have.
So, imagine my reaction when I find out that there's a mod for a specific video game that adds a wide variety of real-life birds to the wilderness? It's not even a game I have personally played myself yet I want to talk about anyway because the mod is aligned to my interests just right and the game is a game I have not yet discussed before, despite its very huge and prominent modding community. Introducing to you the Birds of Skyrim for, uh, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
If you people don't know, Skyrim is an open-world action adventure RPG made by Bethesda, people famous for the beloved Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises. I've known about those series mostly through my older brother, who I had watched played and enjoyed those games but games I have yet to experience myself for various reasons. Basically, you normally traverse through a large world populated by wilderness and monsters, and you partake on a large variety of quests to enhance your skills. You can choose your character from a wide race of people, including orcs, elves, and more, and you can choose which skills interest you that you want to enhance to customize your character. The game is open-ended, and you can choose which quests you want to take and which quests to decline.
The mod I'm talking about, made by a fellow named Qasiermo, is about improvement to the aesthetics of Skyrim's world. Normally, you have a rather drab variety of birds (the only birds in the game are generic hawks and chickens). The mod now adds a far larger and more diverse cast of birds into the game. For example, found near inland water sources, you have a chance of encountering a Kingfisher (looks very alike to the common kingfisher hanging about. Venture in the wilderness between Riverwood and Falkreath, and you'll likely to encounter Ring-necked Pheasants. Want to see some ravens? Travel to east of Whiterun and you might find some hanging around in the riften graveyard. There are more birds to see outside of the variety listed, and it effectively gives you a task of birding: trying to document and watch all bird locations!
Also in addition to new birds, the mod also different varieties of chickens. Now added are white and brown variants of the chicken, and roosters, male chickens, are added in the game, and you may encounter baby chicken at Riverwood, Ivarstead, Solitude farm, and Whiterun farm. Rooster sounds can be added in the game, but they are packaged in a different mod.
Recently, bird sound mods have been added into Skyrim. So expect to hear gull sounds at locations such as Solitude docks, the Dainty sload (Ship), and the Wreck of the brinehammer, as well as possibly watching gulls fly around the area as well.
Of course, if you have bloodthirst, you can always go ahead and kill birds. It's your world, your game after all, and I won't stop you, despite that I probably wouldn't want to kill the little fluffies. However, a problem arose in an older revision of this mod: the bad NPCs would go after them and kill them, something that is, ah, not really immersive if you ask me. This was fixed by making the birds considered friendly to each other, as well as being friendly to the bad NPCs as well, so they don't get distracted and go after birds that are harmless to them.
Here's a gallery of birds uploaded by the author of this mod. I'll label single-pics of birds too, so you have an idea of what bird they are based after. Note that these birds are mostly European birds, so you probably won't encounter them in real life if you live in the United States of America like me. Some of these European birds do occur in the Americas, but this is just a heads-up in case you want to go out birding yourself. This isn't a gallery of all birds packaged in this mod, but it's a good illustrative example of what to expect in this mod.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, and be sure to thank the turkey, if you plan to have any this year, graciously for the fine meal.
Ongoing Fan Projects
HI, everyone! I'm your energetic Statistics Manager, Tucayo, here with a new edition of Take Cover! In the last calendar month there were some pretty big news in the music world that came after last issue's deadline. On October 13th, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, much to the anger of millions of people worldwide. Now, many people claim this was "insulting to writers", but it's not uncommon for poets to win this prize (three in the last ten years), and some of the oldest-recorded forms of literature are actually poems that were traditionally sung (The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Odyssey, etc.). Songs are poems (some good and some bad), and Dylan's lyrics are indeed quite poetical. His songs have been so widely covered that I could easily dedicate an entire section to covers of his son--- Huh, that doesn't sound bad at all. Let's get to it, then!
One of the most-covered songs of all time is undoubtedly Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. News of Cohen's passing came on November 10th, just as I was finishing this section, so it would be inappropriate not to mention him. There are some terrific covers of Hallelujah: Dylan's, Rufus Wainwright's (popular from Shrek), Choir! Choir! Choir! and Wainwright's, The Voice's (tribute to the lives lost in the Sandy Hook shooting), Jeff Buckley's, and many, many more. Enjoy.