The 'Shroom:Issue 141/Pipe Plaza
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Happy holidays, readers! The special issue is here and it is smashing. I'm very busy right now but I do want to say a couple of things. Firstly, we are bidding farewell to Alex95 (talk) this month, who has finished off Upcoming Game. Thank you for your contributions! Secondly, do check out this month's scavenger hunt, which I may or may not have contributed to ;)
I hope you enjoy this month's Pipe Plaza, and have a great winter!
Section of the Month
It's cold outside, so bundle up when you read Icemario's interview!
Don't let yourself get too wooed by this interview with Mister Wu.
Hey readers! Welcome to the last Monthly Report of the year, coming directly to you from your Statistics Manager. In this section, as usual, I give you an overview of various statistics of the Super Mario Wiki. The stats for December, compared to the previous month.
And that's it for Monthly Report in 2018. I hope you enjoyed looking at those various stats of your favorite Mario encyclopedia. Thanks for reading and see you back in 2019. Meanwhile, I wish you a happy holiday and a great year for all of you! Do not forget to take good resolution for 2019.
Hello, 'Shroom readers! Last month of the year, and if you're in the northern half of the world, it's quite cold. Fitting that I'd go ahead and interview long-time community member Icemario now, hmm? He's been around a while, mostly associated with Mafia (and the ill-fated Mafia Hosts Guild), and he was often an active and invested participant when that regularly happened. Despite its demise, he still shows up pretty regularly, enough for me to make it worth getting his story. So without further ado, on with the interview!
Hello, 'Shroom readers! I hope you enjoyed the interview I did with Icemario. And if you were hoping you'd seen the last of me, well... too bad! Because here you go, getting a second interview this month! Finally delivered on that promise, even if it took me two extra months. This interview is with Mister Wu, who most people only know for being on the wiki a lot. I thought I'd dig in and learn a bit about him as a person, rather than the surface level stuff like "this guy likes the Koopalings". So, I sat him down and we went through this interview, and now you all get to enjoy it!
And now... I can go interview twelve more people for 2019. Why do I do this to myself?
Hello everyone and welcome back to NIWA Spotlight, a NIWA-focused spotlight that covers one article from all of our partnered wikis that need help. These can range from articles that need more information or created to images that need replacing or uploaded. Notice something on a different wiki you can't fix and want to get the word out? Let me know on my talk page or in this forum topic and it will be added to a future issue. For our Mario-related topics, check out the current The 'Shroom Spotlight!
This month, we have a theme! I found as many Smash Bros.-related pages that needed improvement as I could. And, uh… the characters that usually chime in for their respective games seem to have disappeared. Weird. Well, I'm sure they'll be back next issue. SmashWiki is absent from this list, mainly because it is all about Smash Bros.! Pick something relating to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate over there and see what you can do!
From last month: The Hairstyle page on Nookipedia got a design overhaul and a few additional images from a couple of users, but could still use some more images. Lip on Smash Wiki got an overhaul as well, though may need some more updates.
Poll Committee Discussion
Welcome to December’s edition of Poll Committee Discussion, the section that makes up for its lack of discussion about the Poll Committee by offering commentary on the past month’s Main Page polls. I’m Hooded Pitohui and, with any luck, I’ll provide the aforementioned commentary without boring you by rambling on for pages. Of course, it is the Smash issue, so if things do get boring, maybe you can read this in the voice of Xander Mobus to spice it up.
We have plenty of polls lined up this month (“Boy, is it sweet to line ‘em up like this!”), so why don’t we jump straight in?
How do you feel about Spirits replacing Trophies in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? (Raregold (talk) and Superchao (talk), November 18th, 2018)
It's been over 10 years since the last Wario Land game, Wario Land: Shake It!, has been released. What's your favorite Wario Land game? (LeftyGreenMario (talk), November 25th, 2018)
Would you be interested in a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition? (TheNintendood, December 2nd, 2018)
Recently, Nintendo has been adding content from other Nintendo series to Mario games, such as Animal Crossing in Mario Kart 8. How do you feel about this trend? (Superchao (talk) and Raregold (talk), December 9th, 2018)
-Our first poll this month focuses on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and more specifically the Spirits which offer a variety of creative options for matches and play a central role in the new World of Light Adventure Mode. Of course, this poll came out a few weeks before the game did, so there were still plenty of unanswered questions about Spirits at the time. Despite that, it seems that people had a generally favorable view of Spirits based on the information which was available at the time, with nearly three-quarters of the respondents expressing an interest in Spirits or at least stating that they don’t mind their inclusion. That group was split pretty evenly, though, in terms of levels of enthusiasm for Spirits. About a third of those expressing favorable views of Spirits were very enthusiastic about the new addition to the franchise, while another third looked forward to their inclusion, but with less fervor. The remaining third, though having nothing against Spirits, would have preferred the Trophies from the previous three entries. Of the quarter of respondents who didn’t like Spirits, about fifteen percent of them had no opinion or didn’t plan to play the game. Another ten percent felt that, no matter their opinion on Spirits, the removal of trophies was a loss for the series. Honestly, all of this seems fairly understandable. During the period this poll was taken, we didn’t have a full picture of Spirits but we did know enough to make them seem like an intriguing new gameplay mechanic. In light of that, it’s not surprising that most people were receptive to the idea of Spirits. That said, the loss of Trophies, with their full models for a wide variety of characters and their interesting and sometimes humorous descriptions, was definitely felt, something reflected in both the reservations of those respondents who otherwise liked Spirits and the ten percent who’s contempt for the loss of Trophies outweighed any of their feelings on Spirits. Plenty of folks, myself included, were cautiously optimistic about Spirits when they were announced, thinking they could be interesting and fun but also hoping that they might at least come with descriptions. Now that the game has released and we know that Spirits lack descriptions, I’d be interested in seeing where people stand on them. While I still would like descriptions, I’ve personally found that the attention to detail and unique references incorporated into Spirit Battles and the abilities of Spirits make up for it by taking a “show, don’t tell” approach and actually impacting the gameplay. Now that we have a full picture of Spirits and understand how they stack up to Trophies, I’d certainly be interested in seeing if people’s responses have changed.
-I would say that this question made me feel old, but, when I thought about it, I realized that it makes sense in the frame of my personal experience. I mean, I’ve only played a brief portion of Shake It!, and that’s only because I rented it for a few days from a brick and mortar video rental store, which we already know are an extinct species from a time far beyond memory. If the results of this poll are any indication, the Wario Land series might similarly be fading out of the memory of the living; over forty percent of the respondents had never played any Wario Land game. That’s not too surprising, though. The series hasn’t had a new title in a decade, and most of its titles go back further than that, being on the Game Boy Color and original Game Boy, so most modern gamers may never have picked the originals. The two most recent titles (Wario Land: Shake It! and Wario Land 4) are the top picks among those who have played the series, though I’d speculate that’s in part because, like myself, they’ve only played those titles. In the process of writing this, I’ve discovered that all four of the handheld Wario Land titles are on the 3DS Virtual Console (though Wario Land 4 is restricted to those in the Ambassador Program who purchased their 3DS before the initial price cuts), so perhaps accessibility isn’t so much the issue as a general lack of awareness that the older titles exist and are available? Moving beyond the top three options, a bit under ten percent of voters said they were unable to pick a favorite game in the series. Presumably these folks just can’t get enough of the greedy treasure hunter? Or perhaps they don’t feel there’s enough to set each title apart? I’m not honestly sure what would leave you unable to choose one title over the others in that list, but moving further down, the original Wario Land and Wario Land 3 end up rather close. I’m honestly surprised they both did better than Wario Land 2, with its branching storyline and level structure. Then again, I haven’t played these three titles, so perhaps the gameplay of the first and third is just more fulfilling and enjoyable and I’m unaware. As for the poor forty-six of you who chose Virtual Boy Wario Land as your favorite title, I can only presume that it’s the only experience you’ve had with the series and for that I’m deeply sorry.
-Classic consoles have been quite popular lately, with the NES Classic and SNES Classic in particular causing quite a buzz. With classic editions of its first two consoles being so successful, it would seem sensible for Nintendo to push forward with an N64 Classic Edition, but is that really a good idea? Well, nearly thirty percent of you say you’d buy it without reservation, which seems to paint it as a sound decision. Forty percent of respondents, though, stated that they’d be interested but would have to see the console’s selection of games before they’d commit to purchasing it. Altogether, if Nintendo released an N64 Classic Edition with an appealing selection of games, they could probably move a fair number of units. For both those of you who would jump in without hesitation and those of you who want to see what games are being offered first, I have one question. What games, exactly, are you hoping for on this console? I’ve seen numerous articles which conclude that an N64 Classic would need notable titles from Rare, which might be a challenge for Nintendo to arrange. Even just considering first-party titles, most options are either available through the Wii or Wii U Virtual Console for those looking for the “authentic” experience. If you value gameplay improvements and additions over authenticity, remakes on the DS and 3DS are better options. Compounding the issue, even many of the console’s biggest titles haven’t aged particularly well in terms of gameplay and graphics, creating the question of why someone would play them even if they had them. I don’t mean to disparage anyone who wants an N64 Classic Edition, but I can’t say that I personally see the appeal. It’s not so much that the games are all bad, but I don’t think there’s enough good ones to pad out the console’s library and make a classic version worthwhile. About fourteen percent of you agreed that a N64 Classic Edition is not a smart strategy for distributing N64 titles, wanting to access them through Nintendo Switch Online Service or, I must imagine, a hypothetical Switch Virtual Console service. Unlike a classic console, these distribution services let you pick and choose which games you want. Though you might end up paying more if you try to get every game that’s available on a classic console, that’s not a concern if you don’t want every one of those games. Those options, unlike classic consoles, give consumers a choice of software.
Fittingly for our Smash issue, we end this month with a discussion of crossover content, though this poll is exclusively about crossover content in the Mario franchise. Most of you like the recent increase in representation of other Nintendo franchise in the Mario series, with forty-three percent of respondents welcoming it with no reservations. A bit under thirty percent of you enjoy it but want to keep it limited to spin-off titles. Personally, I agree that crossover content belongs in the spin-offs. Mario Party and Mario Kart can easily accommodate a few extra characters or vehicles or stages here and there without losing cohesion and ceasing to feel like a Mario title. Super Mario Maker was able to get by because the Mystery Mushroom and Costume Mario Mechanic fit in with the theme of creative level design and the costumes were all highly stylized, but beyond that I don’t know that it would feel right to watch Link or Captain Falcon bounding through a platforming stage with the famous plumber himself. Even among some of the spin-off series, it would be odd to see crossover content outside of cameos. I can’t very well see someone like Villager or Fox McCloud making an extended appearance in Paper Mario, for example. In those cases, it would erode the identity of the Mario franchise, making it feel less unique in comparison to Nintendo’s other franchise. I’d speculate that a loss of identity for the franchise is the main concern for those of you who want to keep crossover content in the spin-offs as well of those of you who only want to see it as add-on content. After all, if they have to complete the entire base game before adding elements from other franchises, there’s always going a be a solid foundation that feels like a Mario game.
And, with that, we’ve covered all of the polls that have been completed since last month’s issue. I certainly hope that you’ve felt like you’ve walked away from reading this with some new insight or perspectives. If nothing else, I walk away from this with a mental note to get my 3DS and try the first three Wario Land games. I have nothing more useful to say at this point, so I’ll simply ask that you please keep voting in the Main Page polls as we bring this year to a close. Though the year is ending, Poll Committee Discussion will continue, so be sure to check back here in January to see what Geeky has to say about the last polls of 2018 and the first few of 2019. Until next time, have a grand day!
Greetings everyone! Alex95 here for one last Upcoming Game, but let's not end the year on a sour note. After all, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has finally been (officially) released! That's not relevant to this section, but felt like I had to put that somewhere given the issue theme. Anyway, we're rounding out the year of 2018, and 2019 is looking to be filled with many great games… mixed in with all the ports and remakes. They're mostly games for the Wii U being brought onto the Nintendo Switch, but every now and then we get a pleasant surprise. In 2003, we were given a fan-favorite title based around GameCube to Game Boy Advance connectivity, and the game spun off into its own sub-series. And now that Nintendo GameCube game is being remade for the Nintendo Switch with additional features, better connectivity, and sharper visuals. I'm talking about Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition.
Crystal Chronicles revolves around the story of a group of young travelers as they collect enough myrrh, fuel for crystals to protect town settlements from being covered in destructive Miasma. Yep, the world is dying and you gotta protect it! You travel in your caravan from place to place, sometimes encountering events as you, and then it's time to adventure on foot. During a single-player campaign, you and a Moogle carry a bucket meant to carry this myrrh to special trees. But the Moogle can get tired of carrying it, and you have to remain in the bucket's protective shield while battling enemies and exploring areas. Straying out of the bucket's shield will cause the player to take damage gradually until they return. Once you've beaten the dungeon boss, you collect the myrrh from the tree, and when you gather enough, you return home and celebrate! Then a year passes and you do it again!
When making your team, you choose from one of four playable races: the human Clavats, the short Lilties, the tall Yukes, and a slightly different human race Selkies. Each race has their own starting position in the town of Tipa, and each has their own family, abilities, weaknesses, tastes, and events. You can create up to eight party members (don't know if that number will be the same for the remake), and three other players can join you on your quest! With the original game, each player needed a Game Boy Advance connected to the GameCube so each could have an inventory menu. Gameplay wasn't as smooth with a GBA controller as it was with a GameCube one, but the Switch aims to fix that. Now, players can connect their Switches to each have their own screen and additional controls, and it's all wireless! Technology! However, I believe this means each player needs their own copy of the game, but that would mean that each player has a pool of characters of their own to select from rather than sharing the eight on the original game.
And if you think you're going to get a traditional RPG experience with this Final Fantasy game, think again! The combat in the Crystal Chronicles games are nothing like what you would see in the main titles. Combat plays out in real-time, using the Control Stick to move and the A Button to attack. As you travel through the dungeons, you'll pick up certain items you can use until you leave the area. This includes spells like Fira and Heal to items like Phoenix Downs and Fish. You cycle through them using the shoulder buttons, and then holding down the attack button will cause your character to remain stationary and start casting, creating a targeting reticle you can use on your enemies, friends, or self. In a multi-player game, the combat can get hectic, so you have to coordinate between offense and defense as you work together to collect the energy needed to save the world.
As I own the original game for the GameCube and don't presently own a Nintendo Switch, I don't see myself getting this game soon. But I still want it! Unlike how I felt about the Bowser's Inside Story remake I covered last issue, I do feel like this remake is a welcome one. We've never had enough GBAs or cords for the game, at most we can do two-player. But with four Switches being able to connect both locally and through online, we may be able to play the game the way it was meant to. And it's been said additional material will be added to this remake, such as additional dungeon rooms, so even returning players can look forward to something new when this game releases sometime in 2019.
And with that, Upcoming Game comes to a close, at least from me. I've been writing this section since March of 2017, so not very long, and it's been a fun ride, but I no longer have the time to continue. I don't know when the section will come back or who will be writing it, but I wish them good luck with this section! Thanks for reading everyone!