December 30th, 2022

Hello! I've recently just finished a semester of college. It's just the same old stress. Chugging out the final few assignments like a robot. It's over now.

The holidays came and went. Unlike last year, the Midwest actually got snow in time for the month.

A family member gifted me some Splatoon amiibos. It's the Squid Sisters! They were released in 2016, right when the final Splatfest for the first Splatoon was announced. It seemed like after the launch, these figures became hard to come by for years. I guess they're being reprinted now.

The collection! I'll look into getting Off the Hook next.

I also got gifted a few hard drives: A 6TB and 4TB one. I've been running out of space since I've been borrowing so many TV shows and music. This is a lifesaver, I only had around 800GB left out of 8TB. Installation was rather annoying. I was only able to get one drive bay adapter, so I had to leave out the 4TB drive, and I also needed some SATA power cable extenders since mines weren't long enough.

Speaking of storage, I got myself a 128GB microSD card. My Switch has been running with a 64GB card for years now. It was fine when I only had Splatoon 2, but I've been buying a lot of my games digitally, so that card was filling up quick. I reused the 64GB card for my 3DS, which was running dangerously low on it's 32GB SD card for years now.

Anyways, I treated myself to Pokemon. Me and a friend played random Nintendo 64 games. My friend had an idea of playing Pokemon Stadium 2, but with only rental Pokemon. It got me back to playing Pokemon for a bit again.

It may have influenced my decision to buy Pokemon Scarlet. Y'know, that one game everyone online hates because it's buggy as hell? I want to experience that too!

I do hate how this game looks in terms of characters. The trainers look like they attempted to make them have a more realistic base while insisting on an anime look. It just looks incredibly off-putting and I hate looking at it. My character looks especially ugly.

Seriously, why does he smile like that?

Outside of that, there's a lot of quality-of-life improvements they did that make Pokemon much more easier to sit through. I like being able to just throw my Pokemon to fight for themselves as an attempt to grind faster.

While I didn't really care about the dex-cut from last gen, it does kinda hurt knowing the shiny Zigzagoon I got from Shield isn't transferrable to Scarlet. I spent a good bit trying to get that and it's forever regulated to just that game, unless they decide to put the Zigzagoon line into this game. Oh well.

Splatoon 3 has gotten a new major update following the release of the new season! Chilly Season 2022 brings two new maps, a couple of weapons, and some new clothing options.

For the weapons, the variants change the game a bit. The only weapon I use with a new variant is the Inkbrush, with the Nouveau variant being new to the game. For the entirely new weapons, I rarely see them online. I don't like using them that much.

The maps are what I was really looking forward to. The maps were teased in the update trailer or even in the August Direct. We got the new Brinewater Springs and revival of Flounder Heights.

Brinewater Springs is a spa-themed stage which has a lot more height than the launch maps had, and I love it for that. It's rather large, but it's quick to get back to action once you respawn. You could see everything in the map from your launchpad! This is what I want to see more of!

Flounder Heights is not that great. It very clearly had to be downsized to fit with the ugly Splatoon 3's structure of maps, which it suffers greatly from. It's too hard to not get noticed by enemies, it's too crowded and it's hard to fight back with the low amount of corridors and flank routes. I loved the map in Splatoon 1, but this is just a pass from me.

There is also a "new" Salmon Run map, Marooner's Bay, which is from the previous game. I didn't like the map there, but it's less of a pain to work with when throwing eggs is now an option. Still though, it really doesn't feel all that sweet when it's just the same map with zero changes.

Big Run is now in circulation! The highly-anticipated event was teased in the Splatoon 3 Direct and now announced for this month! It seemed to have replaced Splatfest for this month. Splatfest and Big Run may alternate in the future, which is a change I wouldn't mind. During Big Run, a random multiplayer map is taken out of rotation and becomes the main stage for Salmon Run.

I will say, Wahoo World is an actually good stage in Salmon Run. I liked how open the stage was! It felt like the opposite of the other maps, where they felt very slow and crowded. I also loved how the spawn location changes between waves, where you can start in the center or the sides. I wish there can be a normal map that takes advantage of that.

The event lasted the entire weekend with results coming out the following rotation after the end.

For Big Run, you can get a Cohozuna statue for participating. If you manage to be in the top percent, you can snag a shiny statue. Since my highest egg count was 117, I got the silver statue. If I sat down and actually bothered to play, I might've gotten the gold statue. Oh well.

In the end, Big Run wasn't all too big. It was hyped up to be just Salmon Run on a different location for a weekend. I think the issue was that there was no real motiviation to play it. The rewards bar gets doubled, but it's still not enough for it to be worth it. For Splatfests, you can get free pulls from the Shell-Out Machine if you level up on your catalog, which motivates me to play it.

An update on last month's little squabble on LaserDiscs. I bought a unit online, a Sony MDP-455! It's a multi-disc player, but it can play LaserDisc! I ordered it and it arrived peacefully.

Is what I wish I could say! Unfortunately, it arrived piece-partially.

It arrived broken! The left side had been smashed off and the right side had some cracks. The wheel on the right could fall apart if you pulled on it too. These all happened because the seller had the bright idea of putting two pieces of bubble wrap on the top and bottom of the deck and nothing else. Not only that, the deck also stopped working! Thankfully, I was able to put up a claim and got a complete refund.

This is so upsetting, but at the same time, not really. I looked up my model and it turns out that Sony is actually not recommended for LaserDisc decks. Who knew, of all manufacturers, that Sony wouldn't be up to the task? Everybody always recommends Sony for everything, but just not this occasion, they perfer Pioneer. I guess I'll scout one out then.

Thank you for reading. 2022 was a pretty good year for me, and hopefully for you too. Let's hope that next year will be even better for the both of us.