April 22nd, 2023

April fools! This isn't a blog post! This is just... a post. A post of the blog variety even.

This month had a very small Round1 visit. Me and a friend wanted to watch the new Mario movie, so we hung at Round1 before going to watch it.

It's MUSIC DIVER! This game was announced almost a year ago and it's finally here. Unfortunately, we could not play it due to the card swiper being offline, possibly because the machine wasn't setup yet. The sticks weren't there either. No clue if they weren't put there yet or stolen.

Sound Voltex application startup failure! I can't really read it...

There hasn't been much today in Round1. Probably because our movie started an hour and a half after we arrived at Round1. That's on us, I guess.

Splatoon 3 has recieved a new balance update. This update was scheduled near the end of the first month rather than the middle of the season. There wasn't much of note personally, as there were nerfs or buffs for main weapons I didn't mind or used. I think that's a good thing.

I expected the Kraken to be nerfed and it was! The Kraken can no longer hold clams when activated in Clam Blitz and it recieves a higher amount of knockback when sitting on the tower in Tower Control. It's some nerfs that everybody has been asking for! Now the Kraken can't really get easy points on the tower without being contested and there's no more Baller-like scenarios where the Kraken can easily get to the enemy goal and instantly score the moment they exit the Kraken!

The other change that mattered to me was fixing up network lag in Salmon Run. Originally, when you picked up a golden egg, you had to stay still for a split second so the game could register that you picked up an egg for everyone. This was really annoying as it made collecting a bunch of eggs take a while and it was possible to completely miss an egg you touched, which could be detrimental to runs! This update rushes the collecting animation to compensate for the lag! I used to be range around 30 eggs a wave, but now I can reach around 40 to 50 eggs thanks to the patch.

Now, I wish that they could make Salmon Run lag less. I think time in-game runs off the RTC of the console, so if the game is running slow, the time is not affected by it. I wish they can fix it, but it seems like a large ask. Would they have to completely revamp how time works?

Soon after the patch came out, we're able to play the new Splatfest. It's Nessie vs. Alien vs. Bigfoot! I'm not much of a fan of this theme.

This is the first Splatfest with the Inkopolis DLC. The Squid Sisters finally take stage once you arrive in Inkopolis.

There's this cool bug where you can get onto Marie's truck by bumping between the truck and a immovable jellyfish character. I took a lot of pictures but I think this is the best out of all of them.

Halftime results! Nessie was taking the lead with the other two teams with a small difference.

With those results, we are now able to play Tricolor Turf War! This Splatfest's stage is a modified MakoMart, with the spawn locations being allocated for each team. It was really fun and it was fun running laps around the map to get people.

The results were surprising! Nessie won the important categories, Alien won the popularity contest, and Bigfoot set a new record for the lowest popularity rate in any Splatfest ever. Only 8% of players chose Bigfoot. The previous champion was also Big Man with his pitiful 15% vote rate in the January Splatfest. How depressing.

Could this 8% vote rate signify a problem with Splatfest? Are the teams spread too thin? Is the matchmaking too open? Are the themes too boring? Did the constant mirror matches skew the final results? Many people are talking about the issues with Splatfest much more recently. I personally don't think Splatfest is that big of a deal, so I might not be the person to talk about it in a critical manner.

I do agree that this theme was pretty lame though. Alien won the popularity contest because Aliens are way more present in pop culture than Nessie or Bigfoot is. It's better to have themes that actually have a wide margin of debate like the previous chocolate Splatfest, where everyone was divided amongst their personal tastes. Amongst my peers, this Splatfest had a lot of people who didn't hold a strong opinion to any of these options and picked Alien due to how recognizable it was..

Next is Eggstra Work. This Salmon Run addition makes you go through five predetermined waves. All Eggstra Work jobs use the same randomized seed for waves, meaning that you will deal with the same bosses, events, and specials every time you play. You play it similar to Big Run where you aim to get a high score to get a fabulous prize: a sticker.

This mode requires a team of four friends. You can't search for any randoms in your team unless you search for games using the pool feature. If you only have one coworker with you to play, it's only going to be you and the coworker. It's a pretty weird concept.

For this Eggstra Work session, it started off with a standard low tide wave, to a mid tide griller wave, to a standard high tide wave, to a mid tide goldie wave, then finishing with a mid tide standard wave. Everything like goldie spawns and griller numbers were all the same, so it was pretty easy once you got the job down. I can't really fault it for anything, this is just Salmon Run and I like Salmon Run.

I guess my only gripe is that there's no King Salmonid of any kind, so no scales will be dropped when you play. I think there should be some other event to get scales from, and this could be a decent way of attracting people.

I played with a bunch of my friends, but my highest score was with a random pool group I played with. After the event, I got my silver sticker. More salmon for my locker!

If you remember from the January 2021 post, which was the last post I wrote before I started to reboot the site again, you'd know I bought an Xbox 360. That Xbox 360 unfortunately didn't work when I bought the power supply a few months later, as it was victim to the RROD. It was possible to get it to run if exposed to heat, but it would crash later anyways. Atleast it had the old NXE dashboard, that's the dashboard I remember the most. Since then, I never bothered trying to get a 360.

Well, the same relative found another Xbox 360 at another thrift store! It's an Xbox 360 S. It came with everything, including two controllers and a Kinect. I plugged it in and... the light is a steady green and it turned on to the new Xbox dashboard. I put in a game to see if it would crash, but it didn't.

Yes, the Xbox 360 saga is finally over.

The Xbox 360 itself didn't come with anything too special. Just a couple of game demos and a bunch of save data. The only Xbox Live account that was linked asked for a password which wasn't saved. Looking at save data timestamps and login records, the last time someone used this was around in 2016.

I stupidly made another Xbox Live account on it before realizing I already had one for my PC. Oops. Atleast I claimed beatmaniaIIDX16, the IIDX style that my friends all unanimously like. Too bad it's only gonna be used for 2 games and then I'll most likely abandon it.

Now I know what you're thinking... Beautiful Katamari. Will I get to it? Of course! Perfect stream? Unsure! I might get all the collection and presents, but I probably won't try getting the achievements. Some achievements are tied to online play and I'm not sure how active online is. Some other achievements are also tied to playtime, I'm more concerned if my 360 will die before I could reach the 100 hour trophy. I will say that a stream is on board. I might do a stream after We Love Katamari Reroll though. Maybe it could be a Winter stream?

One thing that I actually learned is that the 360 isn't technically region-locked! It doesn't depend on the system, it depends if the game just allows it. Unfortunately, a lot of the Japanese versions of games are region-locked, with English versions being the ones that are region-free. Japanese copies of Beautiful Katamari was a pack-in title in Japan, so it's really cheap over there. I thought I'd be able to snag it cheaper there, but I guess not.

Thankfully, the game store is still online. I downloaded the hit game, Beat'n Groovy, which was Konami's first attempt at getting pop'n music outside of Japan. A lot of people don't like it because of it's horribly small songlist of 9 songs and it's different character designs. I guess it made sense at the time if you were really looking forward to BEMANI games outside of DDR to finally get an overseas release, only to get a vastly limited version of the games.

Personally, I think it's alright. It works fine, but the music selection is so small and not really that varied. There was DLC planned but that never came out, so you only get to play the song list that has less songs than the original beatmania. If I was a BEMANI fan at the time, I'd probably be really dissapointed as everyone else. I think it's better now, since people overseas can easily buy into Konaste, so this is nothing more than a curiosity.

I bought somethings from Japan again. I bought an artbook, but also bought a couple of music and games along with it. I got to make use of being able to ship something.

Continuing the previous trend of getting ABYSS' music, the first item is love is love by ABYSS. This single came in still sealed! I had to unwrap it to actually rip it though.

The music is still fantastic! The sticker on the sealed wrapping calls the song an ethnic groove. This song is avaliable in the previously mentioned music video compilation.

The other single I bought was FBI's Moonlight Encore. FBI was a group that was from the same TV show project as ABYSS, and as such, music is pretty much non-existant outside of unofficial uploads. Unfortunately, FBI only released 3 singles before disbanding, with Moonlight Encore being the last one.

This song is amazing! You have Oizumi Megumi doing vocals and the saxophone, Ishikawa Hitomi doing percussion, and Koyama Misako doing the guitar.

The group would disband but Oizumi Megumi would continue doing music solo under the name shela. Avex has recently released her music videos on YouTube, which you can watch here.

That's it for music. Next is the games I bought from across the sea.

First up is Puyo Puyo 20th Anniversary. Complete in box with the Club Nintendo code too. The save file was left intact, with the story being completed and everything unlocked. I checked the records page and they were a real Puyo addict, some of the scores here a pretty amazing!

Me and a friend played a few online matches over Wiimmifi. It worked well, though we had to add each other onto the game's friends list. I can't believe we were used to adding people to individual friend lists. I guess it can be spun into a positive, since the Switch has a maximum of 300 friends total and not seperated per game.

Next is just a couple of Monster Hunter games. I can't read them but they look cool, plus they're the first imported 3DS games I have. Monster Hunter is a popular series in Japan, so these games go for as low as 1 yen. More on Monster Hunter later in the post.

Unlike the other games, this series saves it's game data as extra data on the SD card, so no save data can be found in these cartridges.

Finally, the main character for this month's haul: The Splatoon 3 Ikasu Artbook! It was announced back in Feburary and released on March 31st. The publisher's description boasts an astonishing 400 pages of art, the most a Splatoon artbook has been! I was able to buy it from the publisher, rather than Nintendo, since Nintendo's store limited purchases per account and my proxy didn't like that.

As a limited bonus, I got this wide poster. I don't know how to display it without physically damaging it, so I'll leave it in the box.

This book covers material up to the 2.0/Chill Season 2022 update, so there's no art for anything from 3.0/Fresh Season 2023. That stuff is most likely going to the Side Order artbook.

My favorite part of the entire book is the Salmon Run pages. I like the little salmon guys, they're so cute. This is the first Splatoon artbook I own, I only rented the artbook for Splatoon 2 for a bit, but I was just as enthralled with it.

Like the other artbooks, I expect this to come out within the next year or two. It might have the Hikara Walker/Octo Expansion bits added to the English releases, since we never got that artbook translated. Though both the Splatoon and Splatoon 2 artbooks came out in English at the tail end of the game's lifespan, so those waiting will have to sit still for a moment.

It's hard trying to get a picture of the closet right now. It's pretty much packed horizontally and the new items are pretty far behind from where I take my photos... I might invest in finally moving my collection outside the closet.

There was this old photo on Flickr of someone's shelf, and I loved how colorful all the books looked on that. I can't find it now, but I remember they had a lot of manga and magazines. Maybe I should buy some manga and magazines too? There is that new CoroCoro Comic release, I heard it comes with replicas of some Tableturf cards. I could also buy some Arcadia magazines... maybe Famitsu too? I can't buy much now, I got a lot of stuff waiting for me at my proxy.

I'm not too big into manga. I tried getting into the Splatoon manga but it was kind of lame. I started reading when I was desperate for new Splatoon stuff (around 2019, after Final Fest) and Splatoon 3 was still two years from being announced. I do pull it out from time-to-time to see the last few pages, where they show sketches of characters in the books. I try replicating it but it looks pretty bad.

If you remember anything about the site from around 2018, you'd probably remember that I used to have a page made for Monster Hunter. You'd think I had played the games, right? No! I installed it on my 3DS cause I thought it was cool and forgot to play it! Later, I downloaded one of the PS2 games, played it for a bit and liked it, but then I couldn't think of anything to put down for the page! It remained dormant for a year until I took it down cause of the lack of content.

Recently, I was playing with my 3DS. The closure of the eShop and my upgraded 64GB SD card got me going through hShop. I saw Monster Hunter Generations on the listings and downloaded it. I played it for a grand total of 1 hour before my hands started to hurt and I had to stop playing. It didn't help that my New 3DS's C-nub is very uncomfortable to use, I have to press hard on it to go down. It's been like that since I got it, but I didn't care enough to ask for a repair. If I played the game around release, I might've been able to stomach the controls, but it's been forever since I last touched my 3DS.

I'm already using a lot of space on my new SD card.

Thankfully, the game was ported to Switch and it was on sale for $11USD on the eShop when I was browsing that day. The game actually does let you transfer your 3DS save data to the Switch, which is nice and weird seeing the 3DS and Switch communicate. It saved me probably like 30 minutes of game time.

So this game is about hunting monsters! I haven't gone too far into it as of late since I'm closing in on college finals, but it's super fun! I don't know much about Monster Hunter, but the quests that the game is having me do is very easy to understand! Seriously, I don't know why it took me 6 years to finally play Monster Hunter for more than an hour. I've been thinking of buying Rise immediately, but maybe I should finish this game first, haha. I heard Rise changes a lot from Generations, so I'm actually not sure if I should or not.

I've been playing mostly solo. I don't have any Monster Hunter friends and I'm worried about joining random lobbies or finding other people since this is technically my first Monster Hunter game. I don't know any strategy and I'm god awful at setting traps. I'll probably get better with time, but I gotta hit some message boards and see what's good and what's not.

One day, I was doing my daily "Hit the Random Page Link on Wikis You're Currently On" game and that day's contender was the ps2devwiki. I landed on the mechacon page, which is the system that deals with how the disc drive works, but most notably: copy-protection and region-locking. It's an interesting system. Basically, the mechacon checks the disc before the PS2 itself can access it. If it's a bootleg or not the correct region or format, the mechacon will act like there wasn't any disc. It's a clever system.

I then remembered the MechaPwn exploit from a while back. The exploit makes the mechacon's protection obsolete. As long as you have a PS2 that is a SCPH-500xx and above (Fat with no i.Link port, all slims), you can install it. One of the features that made me jump was the fact that it lets you play PS1 backups! Seriously, no modchip required. That's amazing!! Region restrictions aren't a thing for backups either! This is also a lifesaver as my chipped PSone's laser died a year or two ago, and I have failed in putting in a replacement one.

More importantly, it does let you play PS1 and PS2 games out of the region of your console. Now that I have a proxy, I can buy some PS2 games... Hm.

That's it for this month. I was going to do an actual April Fools post that I planned way back in August, but I straight up forgot about it. Maybe next year. Also, I hate seasons so much. One day, it was 30 degrees fahrenheit, day later it was 80. I'm so mad. I'm melting. I hate summer. I like winter. I want it back.

By the way, Splatoon is still down.