The 'Shroom:Issue 122/Palette Swap
Welcome, everybody, to Issue 122! There's a LOT for me to cover this month, so bear with me for a little bit!
First of all, I'd like to formally open the two galleries we will be featuring for the special issue next month! You can read more about the specifics of both of them below, but I'll touch on them briefly here. There are two galleries you can draw for this time: one where you can create an advertisement for your favorite Microgame, and one where you can create a new Wa-character! These will both run like the Walkazo tributes gallery we ran a while back: you'll submit your artwork to me, and all of the submitted pieces will be collected into a big gallery for everyone to look at. Not a contest, no voting, no prizes, no pressure, just create something and let us showcase it for you! You can read more about it below!
Touching on something I mentioned last month, we are still trying to evaluate interest in a Minecraft art contest featuring the Mario expansion pack. If you are getting Minecraft and the Mario pack for Switch, or if you're already playing with it, please send me a PM and let me know if you'd be interested in a contest! If we get enough people interested, the contest will start next month for the special issue!
Next up, I am psyched to announce that we have two new sections this month! First up, we're welcoming a new writer to the team: Lord Bowser (talk) will be writing Game Soundtrack Reviews monthly for us! Check out his first section below! Second, we're welcoming Palkia47 (talk) back to the team with a new section called Packy's Songs of the Month. Welcome back!
Even with all the new sections, now is still a great time for you to join the team! You can write a Wario-themed guest section for us, or maybe you can kick off a new section celebrating Wario next month! Give it a thought, and if you have any questions, you can PM me on the forums! Or, if you have an application that's ready to go, send it to Tucayo and he'll get your application process started! Palette Swap is always looking for new writers, artist, and more, so don't be shy!
I think that's enough of me for everyone, at least until next month. Check out the art galleries below on your way down to read this month's massive issue! ~FunkyK38
Sick of waiting for Wapeach and Wawser from Nintendo? Create your own character and submit it to this gallery! We're looking for new Wa-characters from YOU, our amazing readers, and we want to see what you can come up with! All entries will be featured here in Palette Swap in a gallery in next month's special issue.
Here's what you have to do to have your art featured in the gallery:
1. Create a new Wa-character from your imagination! Use whatever medium you like: Photoshop, crayons, markers, watercolor, etc. Please remember that your art MUST comply with The 'Shroom:Manual of Style on strong content, so please don't include anything that goes against these guidelines.
2. Send the completed art to me along with your username and a short explanation of your character (if it's not already stated in the art). Your art must be in my inbox no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on June 15th to be featured in the gallery.
3. Watch as your new character is featured in the gallery for next month's issue!
Micro-games Ad Gallery
Times are tough for Wario. Trying to compete with the App Store is difficult! That's why he needs your help to advertise his microgames! Create an advertisement for your favorite microgame that Wario can use to showcase his products, and make more money!
Here are the instructions:
1. Create an advertisement for a microgame from one of the WarioWare games! Use whatever medium you like: Photoshop, crayons, markers, watercolor, etc. Please remember that your art MUST comply with The 'Shroom:Manual of Style on strong content, so please don't include anything that goes against these guidelines.
2. Send the completed art to me along with your username and which game your chosen microgame is from. Your art must be in my inbox no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on June 15th to be featured in the gallery.
3. Check out the gallery next month to see your ad featured!
Section of the Month
34 votes, everyone, that's awesome! In a big victory, it's Yoshi876 (talk) with "What's on the Box?" talking about Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who voted, and as usual, keep it up!
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box? Despite having written this section several times, I had never covered a Donkey Kong boxart, I'd also never covered a Game Boy Colour boxart. So, I put two and two together, and give you the Japanese boxart of Donkey Kong GB: Dinky Kong & Dixie Kong, otherwise known as Donkey Kong Land III on Game Boy.
Other than that, there's nothing really to point out. Kiddy Kong and the Krumple are on a pier, so they're probably in the world of the game, if not the first level: Red Wharf. This is strange, however, as none of those enemies actually appear in that level. It would have been better to have gone with a Kobble as those enemies actually do.
Other than that, there's nothing else to really point out. They're mountains in the background, and everyone seems to be having a jolly old time. Everyone apart from this writer who seems to have been unable to provide you with an interesting section.
So, what I'm going to do here is offer some improvements to this incredibly boring boxart. Considering that water features in about half of it, maybe scrap one of the Kocos and put in Enguarde, especially since Animal Buddies were a big part of the original Donkey Kong Country games. Another improvement would be to have Baron von Roolenstein coming over the mountains, so it's not just a bland background. Also, get rid of the Color logo in the bottom left, and move the Rareware logo there, I don't see why the word "color" needs to feature twice on the boxart.
Ongoing Fan Projects
Hello guys, welcome to the Ongoing Fan Projects. What I do here, is provide links to all of the updated art threads of the past month. Our Fan Creations board on the forums has lots of different kind of sections though, some of which don't appear here, so do check it out.
HI, readers! I'm your knightly Statistics Manager, Tucayo, here with your monthly dose of Take Cover! As you may have noticed, I have been featuring two songs instead of three for a couple of months now, the reason why I'm doing this is so I don't exhaust my list so quickly, but to make up for there being one less song I'm bringing you more information about the other covers.
This week we lost Soundgarden and Audioslave lead singer, Chris Cornell. The news came after this issue's deadline so I was not able to fully feature one of his many terrific covers, but here he is with an acoustic and heartfelt cover of Led Zeppelin's Thank You. Enjoy.
Game Soundtrack Reviews
Greetings, 'Shroom writers. This is Lord Bowser here with something new for you folks today; in an attempt to revive Palette Swap some more, I'll now be writing for Game Soundtrack Reviews! I hope you guys enjoy this section as much as you enjoy my other four sections, and please try to give Palette Swap some much-needed love and attention ;~;
Anywho, let's get that bumbling intro out of the way. The debut game for my section will be the game I based my forum theme this past month on; Kirby: Planet Robobot. Please be aware that from this point on, there will be major spoilers for this game, so if you are offended by such material, head out now while you still have the chance.
Kirby: Planet Robobot ranks among my all-time favorite games for many reasons; the gameplay, the level design, the gimmicks, the lore, and last but certainly not least, the soundtrack. K:PR's soundtrack is richly high quality, especially for the 3DS, which isn't exactly known for its superb soundtracks. The title theme already starts off very well, as it has a much darker and suspenseful undertone than those of previous Kirby games, such as Return to Dream Land or Triple Deluxe. The title theme is also an excellent song for other reasons, which will be elaborated on later.
Moving on, the Robobot Armor theme is another pretty strong track, especially given the fact that it is played near the beginning of the game and repeats throughout. K:PR follows the tradition started by Return to Dream Land in that Kirby has a unique powerful gimmick, relating to his abilities, often used throughout the whole game; in RTDL, it was Super Abilities, in Triple Deluxe, it was Hypernova, and in K:PR, it's Robobot Armor. This is likely the best track of the three gimmicks (though RTDL could possibly give it a run for its money), as it conveys a feeling of hi-tech power and seriousness.
As is with most recent Kirby games, there's a high amount of fanservice in the form of references to older games, and K:PR is chock-full of them in the form of stickers, level designs, and of course, music. The first such occurrence of this is in World 1-4, where a remix of Sand Canyon 3 from Kirby's Dream Land 3 plays. This was a highly praised song by many long-time Kirby fans, including myself, so hearing this song return from a nearly-forgotten game and remastered beautifully like this was great to hear. Other good returns include the Core Kabula theme, which comes from Kirby's Dream Land; the Factory Inspection theme, which comes from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards; the World 5-3 theme, which is a remix of Dark Castle from Kirby's Dream Land 2; and my personal favorite, the Dark Matter Clone theme, which is a remix of Dark Matter's battle themes from Kirby's Dream Land 2. In other games, excessive fanservicing can get tiresome or even annoying, but the Kirby series seems to have a magic touch, as the fanservicing is done in such a way that all fans can truly appreciate it, even myself.
Of course, K:PR isn't just remasters upon remasters; there's quite a few awesome original tracks here too. Lively Street, the main level theme of World 2, is a very fitting track, as it obviously tries to be reminiscent of a small town; this is fitting because all of World 2 is a subtle EarthBound reference, a game that also features small towns as important settings. In a similar vein, City of Sound, the main level theme of World 5, also gives off big-city vibes, as obviously implied by the title. However, not only is the song catchy, the buildings in the background of the levels in World 5 flash lights in tune with the song, which is a very neat touch in my book.
World 6, however, really hits the point home that this game has an excellent OST. The two main level themes of this world, Haltmann Works Co. and Virtual Dimension, are excellent tracks that really convey the importance of this world. The first track seems to tell the player that this is the final stretch, and seems to both encourage yet intimidate them at the same time. The second track sounds like a random mish-mash of technological noises upon first hearing it, but once you start listening to it more, it sounds almost frightening, almost as if you were trapped in some sort of digital hell and must escape. And finally, one of the best tracks in the entire game in my opinion, plays in the second-to-last main level in World 6; One Last Shot. The song is named like so, because this game follows another tradition started by RTDL; an endgame level which is essentially annihilating everything in your path using the game's gimmick, which in this case is the Robobot Armor. This track is emotional in the sense that it provides you with a boost in determination, like a sort of "You got this!" feeling, something much needed at this stage of the game as the final boss is imminent.
The final themes heard in the main game of K:PR are among some of the top tracks not just in the game, but in the series overall in my view. President Haltmann's battle theme is all over the place musically, switching between wildly different instruments such as violins, pianos, and guitars frequently. This is meant to represent Haltmann's insanity after losing his daughter, Susie, to a mysterious accident, and I feel like it captured that emotion perfectly. Later on, when Kirby copies the Halberd using the Robobot Armor in order to face off with Star Dream, one of the most epic songs I have ever heard in a Kirby game plays; ROBOBOT HALBERD MODE displays the sheer awesomeness of Kirby literally becoming a giant starship in order to fight a sentient robot bent on universal destruction, and really sets the stage for the upcoming dogfight. However, the brilliantly-composed songs don't stop there. At all.
Kirby, now in full Halberd mode, heads for the stars in order to face off against Star Dream, a maniacal robot bent on destruction for the prosperity of its creators, the Haltmann Works Company. Its first-phase battle theme, Mind in a PROGRAM... It's simply astounding. This theme is definitely the best song in the game and in the series in my opinion, and ranks near the top across all video games for me. It's a mix of beauty, intimidation, encouragement, suspense... It just truly captures just how high the stakes are for Kirby, and tells us that Star Dream isn't messing around or pulling any punches like previous final bosses would. Next comes Star Dream's second-phase battle theme, Virtual Space Manipulator. Veteran Kirby fans may note a resemblance this song has to 02's battle theme from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and with good reason too; Star Dream at this point has taken on an appearance bearing a striking resemblance to 02, as it has fused with the Access Ark to become a sentient planet. This theme is just plain scary, and really serves to intimidate the player into thinking "Can I really stop this...?", a feeling quite rarely felt in the relatively-easy Kirby series.
Finally, however, comes Star Dream's third-phase theme. After damaging the Access Ark and revealing the hidden Galactic Nova underneath, Star Dream puts up one last-ditch attempt to destroy Kirby, all while the Vagrant Counting Song of Retrospection plays. Remember the title screen theme, and how I mentioned it was an excellent song for other reasons? Those reasons are explained here; this song is a heavy remix of the title screen theme, though with references to the Heart of NOVA theme from Kirby Super Star mixed in. While this is still underneath Mind in a PROGRAM in my book, this song is still a masterful composition, featuring fanservice, originality, and intensity; a truly great combination.
I've gone on long enough gushing about K:PR's OST, so I'll end it off with one last song. Once the player earns 100% completion on their save file, they unlock a special ending cutscene, a staple of recent Kirby games. However, K:PR diverges yet again from the standard formula; Kirby ending cutscenes are usually a happy celebration featuring the main characters from the game, though K:PR changes that completely. It is instead titled Exclusive Performance Video, and consists of Susie singing the recurring "The Noble Haltmann" song from throughout the game privately for President Haltmann. This is a bit of an almost somber performance, as Haltmann simply silently claps at the end without any sort of fanfare, but this is still a fitting ending video for a game as relatively dark as K:PR is compared to the rest of the series.
And with that, I conclude my review of Kirby: Planet Robobot's soundtrack. I hold it in very high regard to this day, and still consider it among one of the top game soundtracks I've come across. Tune in next month here at Palette Swap, where I'll cover some more excellent gaming songs. I hope you enjoyed my debut section, and thank you for reading!
Packy's Songs of the Month
Hello all! It's so great to be back with you again, and I'm super excited to get a new music section underway after... well, you know, after only one section of Packy's Packtastical Music Adventures... whatever it was, mother of god that was a long complex name... last year! BUT I'M BACK, AND BETTER THAN EVER! This time, I will be sharing my "ten favorite songs of the month" each month to you, the reader, in hopes that you either: (1) need some tunes to listen to, or (2) want to be more like Packy. Because, I mean, who wouldn't?
... Wow, that's a lot of crickets.
Anyway, I am extremely excited and happy to finally get this show on the road! For these lists, I will provide the necessary information (cover art of the single or album the song is from, the band/artist name, the album's name, a link to the song, where the band is from, the genre, the label, and the year it was released), along with my general thoughts of the song. I hope you all like these songs! My hope is to provide songs that people will love and appreciate. If any of you have any suggestions for songs for me to listen to, shoot me a private message over on the forums! I hope you enjoy the section; I will see you all next month!