The 'Shroom:Issue 123/Palette Swap
Greetings, everyone! Welcome to the summer special issue all about Wario! I hope you're enjoying our spread on the master of microgames!
This month, we're unveiling the two art galleries for Wa-Characters and Microgame ads! We got a lot of good entries, so be sure to check those out. The gallery format got us more submissions than contests usually do, so maybe we'll be seeing more of this style of format. As always, if you want to have your artwork featured in Palette Swap as a guest section, you are more than welcome to send it in!
We've got a lot of good stuff for you to look at and listen to this month, so I'll shut up now and let you enjoy all our sections have to offer!
Section of the Month
Browse the creative new characters designed by our readers!
This is Wario Koopa, an eighth Koopaling named and designed after the famous microgame maker Wario. Aside from name and appearances, Wario Koopa shares some of Wario's other traits, such as a love for money and great strength. He gets on particularly well with the Koopalings Roy Koopa and Morton Koopa Jr., as well as Wario, and also has a particular dislike for Mario.
Not to be confused with the user by the same name, this Wayoshi has large burly muscles, dragon scales across the chest and torso area, a slithery snake tail, and wears a mask to enlarge the dragon scales on the neck and darken the eyes. The scales are colored like feathers to intimidate those around it.
Wamek, Kamek's 1st cousin twice removed, born and raised in the Kaddywompus Kingdom, a tiny strip of swamp that (unsuccessfully) rebelled from the Mushroom Kingdom. Kamek likes to forget he exists, ignoring every game request Wamek sends him on BeakBook, but inevitably (literally) bumps into him at every annual Magikoopa Convention, where he just can't shake him either because he's clingy or because of some gunk on his shirt. He enjoys long walks on the beach, fine dining, cuddling under blankets while watching scary movies, and greased goomba wrasslin'.
Based on Cappy from the new Odyssey game, its name is Wappy.
What's on the Box?
Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box? With this being our Wario issue, it's obvious that I had to go with a Wario themed boxart. However, as I've been extremely busy with the last month, what with having to cover a U.K. general election, and then doing work experience with a major LGBT-themed publication, I've had to go for an incredibly boring boxart, so I don't hold a lot of things up. So yes, welcome to this very brief analysis of the North American boxart of WarioWare: Smooth Moves.
As I said, there's nothing really here to analyze, not even the pink background. For what was the first Mario-equse game on the Wii, they really didn't put any effort into the game, just a simple thing, which is quite a shame when it's compared to other WarioWare games in the series.
The only interesting thing to note is that the pink background is only for the North American and Australian versions of the game, the Japanese and European ones use a yellow background, which is more fitting for Wario, given how yellow is his primary colour.
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, everyone! I'm your loyal Statistics Manager, Tucayo, here with a special edition of Take Cover! Last month I joined in on the trend of creating topics for 'Shroom sections with my own thread for this section. Feel free to drop a message there to comment about the section or to suggest songs or artists you want featured in this space! I got a good amount of suggestions so not all of them will appear in this issue, but remain assured I have taken note of them and will feature them soon! A couple of the suggestions I received were related to one of the greatest bands of all time, so I decided this was as good a moment as any to make this a Queen special, a band so great it doesn't even have to be present to rock an entire crowd. But worry not, I have not forgotten the theme of this special issue, and more specifically the character this team is themed after, so after our Queen songs be sure to stick around!
But of course, we cannot forget the character this Special Issue is themed after, and that's none other than Wario. My favorite series in the Wario franchise is the WarioWare series, and within it my favorite installment is the DS game, WarioWare: Touched! This game, the fourth in the series, introduced a character who has become one of the most popular in the series, and that is Ashley, who can be seen in the background for this very team. Ashley has, in my opinion, one of the best theme songs in the Wario franchise, the aptly-named Ashley's Song, which was reworked in a much more upbeat fashion for the Smash games. Our cover to your left is performed by YouTube user - who is known for his beautiful jazz covers of video game songs - with help from - who does vocal covers of video game music - and - who does various covers of (you guessed it) video game tunes. This version is more similar to the Brawl one, employing drums, piano, bass, and sax for a much more lively version.
May the victims rest in peace.
Game Soundtrack Reviews
Greetings, 'Shroom readers. This is Lord Bowser here with another edition of Game Soundtrack Reviews for you! In the spirit of the Wario theme this month, I will be covering his debut game; Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins!
Being a Game Boy title, SML2's soundtrack is pretty simple chiptune. It's still a pretty catchy one, though. SML2 takes after Super Mario World when it comes to its soundtrack, in that there is a recurring melody present in nearly every song in the game; this melody can be heard in the file selection screen, as well as in the main level theme of the game. It's a cute melody, and it's a bit less repetitive than the one from SMW, so I'll give it props for that. One sorta bad thing that this melody does, however, is make songs that are meant to be serious sound like Happy Fun Times. For example, the boss battle theme starts off sounding scary, but then it goes into this cheery tune just to fit the melody. I mean, it's still a fun song, but it's not at all like a standard boss theme. I guess it is fitting for this game though, since most of the bosses aren't real legitimate threats and just guys to play around with. One song that's also kinda ruined by the melody is the graveyard level theme, which plays in the Pumpkin Zone levels. This is obviously meant to be a scary theme, as the setting is some kind of Halloween environment, but the melody just makes it sound too cheerful and innocent, like it's meant for little kids.
There is one song, also from the Pumpkin Zone, that I do like even though it's poorly fitting. It's the haunted house theme, and while it does not at all give off the vibe of a haunted house, I still like it because it incorporates a song from Super Mario Land; specifically, the bonus room theme. It's a nice callback, I just wish it was used somewhere else, or just in a more fitting tone. The invincibility theme is also changed up here, just like how it was in SML. Again, it's not really fitting though, because the other invincibility themes in the series make you feel pumped up and powerful, as if nothing can get in your way; even SML's Can-Can remix does this. However, this one makes it sound more like you're running away from something, and it's getting closer and closer to you, with the end bit being like you successfully made it out alive. It sounds more cowardly than powerful, which is why I'm not exactly a huge fan of it. Props to the developers for trying something new with the invincibility theme, at least.
Some of the most well-known songs in the game come from the Space Zone. The first is the moon theme, which is a cute song that really does feel like you're having fun in space. Another very well-known song is the star maze theme, which is popular enough to have received multiple remixes over the years, and even a cameo in Paper Mario: Sticker Star (one of the only good things from that game tbh). It's definitely worth receiving so much love, since it's such a catchy theme that really fits its space atmosphere. It's also one of the only songs in the game that doesn't incorporate the game's recurring melody, which makes it stand out even further and be truly unique.
Finally, moving onto the Wario-related themes. The theme of Wario's Castle is rather severely underrated in my opinion, since I've never heard it brought back at all, and does sound legitimately scary. It really makes you feel like this normally cheerful game has taken a dark turn, and it's up to you to fix it all. It's especially fitting for this level, as it's rather notorious for being a massive difficulty spike. Unfortunately, his actual battle themes are rather lackluster. His first phase and second phase themes are the same as one another, though the latter is in a slightly higher pitch. Both of them aren't too exciting; it feels more like a standard boss theme than the final boss of the game. His third phase is even worse; it starts off all scary-sounding and legitimately intimidating, but then it transitions to a series of high-pitched notes and repeats indefinitely. It's severely underwhelming for something that's meant to be a final fight between you and your biggest rival, and they definitely could've done more with this. I realize the Game Boy probably couldn't have done more simply due to not having powerful enough hardware, so I'm probably just being too hard on it, but eh... this still feels like it didn't reach its potential.
Anyway, that's it for SML2's soundtrack. All in all, I'd say it's okay, but it's definitely not the game's strong suit. The recurring melody is alright, but it can get repetitive when it's in the vast majority of the game's songs, and it can ruin some songs just by contrasting with the intended environment. The boss themes are all pretty lackluster, and have a lot of missed potential. To be fair, this is only a Game Boy game, so I assume the developers did the best that they could with it.
This is it for this month's edition of Game Soundtrack Reviews. Thanks for reading, and see you again next month!
Packy's Songs of the Month
...Wait, no, that's not right.
Anyway, I've got something special in store for you all! While I understand this month is meant to be honoring Wario, I honestly could not come up with anything relating to him that would've fit in this section, and for that, I apologize; either way, happy anniversary to our favorite egregiously-bloated mustachioed buffoon! Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins ranks as one of my favorite handheld Mario games, and, although I've never played a WarioWare game and I've only played through half of the Wario Land series, Wario has been a fantastic character to get to experience through those games and all the spin-offs and, well, here's to hoping he finally lands another quality game sooner or later!
Instead of honoring Wario this month, I wanted to take this month's section to remember an absolute legend in music, who we unfortunately lost last month on May 18th. For those who are unaware, legendary vocalist/frontman Chris Cornell of Soundgarden (one of the most well-known and influential grunge bands of all-time; essentially part of the "Big 4", as I call them, alongside Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains), supergroup Audioslave (formed with three members of Rage Against the Machine, including guitarist Tom Morello), and Temple of the Dog (a one-off group that was formed as a tribute to Cornell's late friend Andrew Wood; their lone album featured Pearl Jam lead vocalist Eddie Vedder on four tracks, before Pearl Jam became a household name), including having his own successful solo career, committed suicide shortly after a Soundgarden concert in Detroit back on the 18th, at the age of 52.
In honor of Chris Cornell, I have spent the past two weeks indulged in Spotify session after Spotify session of listening to all the Cornell material I could get my hands on; this included the following albums: Ultramega OK, Louder Than Love, Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, Down on the Upside, King Animal, and Screaming Life/Fopp, all released by Soundgarden; Audioslave, Out of Exile, and Revelations, all by Audioslave; Temple of the Dog, the lone album released by Temple of the Dog; and Euphoria Mourning, Carry On, Scream, and Higher Truth, all solo records released by Chris Cornell. I then picked apart my favorite Cornell tracks and saved them to a Spotify playlist of 52 songs, where I then cut down my list to 10 in total; these 10 songs will be showcased after my regular 10-songs below.
For this tribute, I will be collaborating with one of my best friends, Banjonator1 (talk), who undoubtedly has spent more time and energy listening to Chris Cornell's music in his life than I have. He knows Cornell's music more than I do, and has a love for the man and his music that has been unmatched by any other person I have personally met in my life. To Banjo, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me in this tribute to one of the greatest frontmen in music history.
Rest in peace, Chris Cornell.
Without further ado, after spending the past two weeks listening to 15 albums and roughly 200 new songs, and spending hours trying to decide what my ten favorite Chris Cornell songs are, I am proud to finally supply my ten personal favorite tracks from one of my all-time favorite musicians. During this process, I created my own personal playlist where I saved my favorites; this list included 52 songs, ranging from Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, and Cornell's solo output. The thoughts I will be supplying for these songs will not be nearly as long as my thoughts for my regular ten tracks - instead, I want these songs to explain themselves. No words of mine can summarize the brilliance behind Cornell's music. After my ten favorite Cornell songs are over, you will be officially hearing from Banjonator1 (talk), so treat him nicely or I will viciously maul you!
Thank you all so much for joining us in this month's section! Once again, rest in peace, Chris Cornell. Thank you so much for your music and for everything you have given us.
My dear friend Packy really talked me up there, I'm basically blushing furiously as you read this. I'd first like to thank him sincerely for bringing me onto this, as well as apologize for kind of getting this done at the last second. Chris Cornell's voice has always kind of been a familiar and present and comforting thing to me. I'm fairly confident the first album I ever listened to was Audioslave's self-titled debut. It really never stopped spinning in my mom's CD player, and if you asked her she'd still probably tell you that her favorite singular song is (still) the track "Cochise" from that album. And for all the credit Packy's been giving me, I know there's someone who's opinion on this probably has more weight than my own as far as this music goes - and that's the user formerly known as Black Hole Sun herself, Crocodile Dippy. I'd like to give her a sincere thanks as well for suggesting I pick up Soundgarden's Superunknown considering how much I loved Audioslave. Several tracks from Chris's complete discography would probably make it onto a soundtrack of my life if ever there was one. One more important thing I need to make clear is that I'm writing about the songs that I love the most, the songs I've listened to the most, and the songs that have had the biggest effect on me. So, spoiler alert, Black Hole Sun is #1. Sorry if that ruined anything for you, but at least you won't have to browse the countdown wondering if Banjo snubbed Black Hole Sun and put some really obscure B-side from 1988 just to show off his hipster cred. Anyway, without further adieu, here are the tracks by Chris that I love the most: