September 22nd, 2022

Today is the 7th anniversary of the site. That's crazy!

Today's first topic is Splatoon! I'll first go through my experience with the Splatfest demo and then talk about the main game.

For the Americas, August 27th was the Splatfest. Rock vs. Paper vs. Scissors! The Splatfest lasted for 12 hours. I picked Rock for this Splatfest. When the demo was ready to play, you couldn't do much aside from walk around Splatsville, vote, and post a message. You couldn't even test out the weapons either. That sucked.

When the Splatfest demo for Splatoon 2 came out, did anyone else download all the regional variants so they could play Splatoon 2 all day? I did! I woke up extremely early to start. Everytime I hear Ebb & Flow, I can't help but think of that time. I wish I could show pictures of it, but I lost all my Switch screenshots from before November 2017. I think they were all on that laptop hard drive that failed.

I like the Splatfest music that played. The solo music in Splatsville wasn't anything too memorable to me, but Anarchy Rainbow was great. Of course, there is exclusive Splatfest music that played during the matches. There were only two, but they're so good.

Anyways, I played for nearly 10 hours straight. Initally, I was playing solo, but I was killing it when I got some friends along! 6 hours into the event, halftime kicked in!

The Americas' halftime results! Tricolor Battle becomes accessible from this point on.

New to Splatoon 3 is Tricolor Battle! They're a new 2v2v4 battle that pits two players from both of the losing teams with four from the leading team! The goal for the losing teams is to get enough turf than the four-person team. The goal for the four-person team is to protect the Ultra Signal and have the most turf, which is easier said than done.

Though once halftime happened, I played mostly with a friend on Tricolor queue. We smashed the competition! We were popping off in our voice chat. It's like we just breathe and we win. The Tricolor Battles were a bit tough, but we managed. I knew we had this in the bag, there was NO way Rock could've lost. Haha!

All good things must come to an end, Splatfest was over. Results wouldn't be published until Japan had finished their demo, which wouldn't be for another 10 hours.

The results for the Americas! Rock wins the popularity vote and gets the highest clout rate in Normal battles! Paper got the highest clout rate in Pro battles. Scissors doesn't win anything.

I won! Scissors was on top in halftime, now it wasn't!? How!? Whatever, we won! Not just in the Americas either, we won worldwide! I was popping off on Twitter! Since this is a demo, no Super Sea Snails or other bonuses were distributed and the demo ended right after Deep Cut signed off.

Here were my final stats. 736,000 in Normal Clout, around 30,000 in Pro Clout, and Rock Ruler +3. I won two 100x battles, a lot of 10x battles, and a couple of Tricolor Battles. Since I won a 100x battle, I got a crown over my name too. Last time I checked, my battle history said I had a 7:3 ratio on victories and losses. Those are some pretty good numbers. I still have the Splatoon skill in me.

It was a very fun day. All my Splatoon friends were extremely active in our chatrooms. It really felt like the early days of Splatoon 2. It might've been 5 years ago, but it was very nostalgic. I can't wait for release to have it happen all over again!

Overall, the game was very fun. I thought the quality of life enhancements like the new lobby were perfect! Tricolor battles were so cool! Imagine if they made a mode with multiple teams instead of 2! I loved playing this demo! A lot of other people didn't have the same thoughts though...

While Rock did not lead in the halftime results, I can understand why some people though Tricolor battles were unfair. People who were Scissors were forced to play these matches and were constantly sharked from both sides. The fact that Scissors was robbed of any points whatsoever made a lot of people upset too. I have a giant feeling that Nintendo may revamp this mode entirely later in the game's life.

Once it was over, sadness overtook me. Now what? Do I go back to Splatoon 2? The demo ends here and won't go past the title screen. I couldn't even go around the new square if I wanted to. It was going to be a long 2 weeks before the game drops. In a meantime, I guess Splatoon 2 is the only option.

I'll say, Inkopolis Square was very depressing. All the posts were no longer just random drawings or memes, but people just anxiously waiting for Splatoon 3. People wanting to go back, art of the new idols, all those "Welcome Home CHEATER" posts... So many cheater posts... I'm trying to get my mind off Splatoon 3, guys!

I can confirm these accusations are correct, I did play Splatoon 3 after all.

Anyways, after 2 loooong weeks of waiting, it came out!

Before the game starts, you can import Splatoon 2 save data to get some special bonuses. The bonuses aren't game-changing, they just make it faster to get weapons so you can get used to them in Splatoon 3 quicker. I almost reached one thousand hours!

The game is finally here, Splatoon 3!

My head was absolutely filled with emotions. I didn't know where to start... Do I want to play multiplayer? Did I want to play ranked? What about Turf War? I also should finish the story mode first. I also want to play Salmon Run, I need the highest rank there! I couldn't possibly do all of that in a day!

Just to get started, I ran to the multiplayer lobby. I was forced to play my first battle with a Splattershot Jr. I wasn't allowed to change my name yet either, so I was thrown into the game as Player.

Everyone else had the same fate too.

My first Turf War match! It's our first Turf War match. A Turf War match in a map that isn't even new! Wahoo World was a map from Splatoon 2. As of writing this, I forgot a lot of the details of the match, but I know one important thing:

It was a win! I can finally sleep peacefully knowing I didn't lose my first match.

After the first match, you can finally make your own name. Unlike Splatoon 2, your name is seperate of what you call your Switch's profile name. I chose 1-800-GOAT because I like goats and it was a name I thought of days prior. Some people probably have high expecations for me because of the usage of goats though. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not that good!

Since I got Splatoon 2 save data imported, I could play Anarchy Battle immediately. It was Clam Blitz! The ranked mode that I hate but I still play a lot. Whatever, I got on. What could go wrong? All I hope was to win my first Anarchy match.

I won again! To be honest, my teammates probably carried me. All my medals I earned were silver. I'm a little upset I didn't do much. I'll just tell everyone we would've lost if it weren't for me. That'll make me feel better.

To prevent this page from getting too long, I put my opinions on specific things in the game under these spoilers. Click on the title and they'll open right up. If you don't want to look, scroll ahead. There's no more Splatoon after this!

Splatoon 3 - Online Multiplayer

Splatoon 3 - Salmon Run: Next Wave

Splatoon 3 - Alterna Story Mode

Splatoon 3 - Final Boss/Ending

Anyways, there was a Nintendo Direct earlier this month. I didn't personally care for it. They did announce the new Splatfest in that broadcast though, for whatever reason. I guess to pad out the direct with stuff people actually care about, since it seems a lot of people thought majority of the Direct was bland. Whatever, new Splatfest!

It was soon announced in the game later in the week.

It takes place this weekend. I'll write about it in the next post.

After 10 days, the Switch would finally drop my playtime. 110 hours! That's roughly 10% of time I put into Splatoon 2. I don't think I'll be burnt out on the game anytime soon either. I can't wait to see more of what this game's future holds.

As usual with the blog, it's time for the pop'n music Lively stuff!

This month's free bonus song is ☆shining☆ by Ryu & Noria. The song sounds exactly like the bonus song from July, so it's rather disappointing.

This month's new quest song is ポップミュージック続論 by ギラギラメガネ楽団 feat.MAKI. This is what I'm looking for! It's a remix of ポップミュージック論. I love it, I love it! Unfortunately, I was too engaged in Splatoon 3 to unlock it in time for the post. Maybe next month.

This month's new ticket song is SHION by DJ Yoshitaka. The song sounds very similar to other DJ Yoshitaka songs in a good way. I'll think about it.

That's it for this month. I wish we got more than 2 songs a month. Next month is going to have the last ticket song for me.

In other pop'n music news, a new pop'n music game for arcades was announced. It's pop'n music UniLab. The theme is science! With Mimi and Nyami wearing lab coats and the game having flasks everywhere. In the usual pop'n music fashion, it was announced days before release with no location test in advance.

They added a remix of THE SAFARI from beatmania IIDX 5th style! It's THE SAFARI - NEETs ver. -! The song was only avaliable for listening for a while before being added to the GITADORA games and then UniLab! I wish I could play it but I probably won't be able to. I don't expect it to be added to Lively until UniLab is over, who knows how long that's gonna take?

That's all I want to talk about UniLab. I wish I could play it, but my Round1 doesn't have a pop'n music cabinet. I hope in the future, they'll consider adding one to their library.

In the June 1st, 2021 post, I mentioned that I had purchased a Panasonic NV-DM1 miniDV deck. The unit was broken, the tape transport system had a broken gear and it's rather out of my league to fix it. Despite that, I used it as a capture device, as it output all input signals through it's FireWire port.

For years now, I wanted to buy a DV deck. One that actually worked. I went online to check for DV decks and I came across the Sony WV series. While it's not exclusive to DV, the Sony WV decks usually have two decks, one for VHS and another for some other video tape format. There was one that utilized DV. I wanted it. The prices for one were pretty high though. So I forgot about it.

Then when I was browsing Yahoo Auctions. I found a listing. One Sony WV-DR5 starting at 1,000 yen. It was tested too! I put in my max bid of around $90. I knew I wasn't gonna win, but wouldn't hurt to try. There was a slight chance that I could have the deck I really wanted.

The final day came around. The final moments was at 8 in the morning for me. I woke up with only 20 minutes remaining, I was still in the lead. The minutes trickled down to the last 3 minutes. By that point, people had put sniper bids to try and knock me down without success. The time would soon run out, the listing would finally end. Next thing you know, my proxy service notifies me of a winning auction. I was floored, I won!?

Soon, the VCR would ship to my proxy and then would ship to my house! International shipping wasn't cheap, I'll tell you that much. It was mine, all mine. I hooked up the enourmous box into my TV and I finally owned a DV deck that actually WORKED!

This thing is pretty huge.

This is the Sony WV-DR5. As mentioned, it's a late DV+VHS combo unit. It's part of a series of WV-DR units, this one being the cheaper model, which only allows S-VHS playback. The other decks in the WV-DR series allow S-VHS recordings, but cost significantly more. I doubt that there's any sort of benefit using S-VHS to record, especially when the DV deck is the exact same across all models.

The device comes with two S-video/composite I/O ports, a multitude of tuners that don't work in America, and one i.Link connector. It's a bit less than what my old DV deck had. Unlike the older deck, it has a whole slew of controls accessible from the front panel that flips down. There's buttons for practically everything there. I'll get to them when I touch upon their respective topic.

VHS quality is way better than my old VCR. The result of S-video and better heads.

Playback works fine. Japanese VHS tapes use the NTSC standard, so all my tapes work. DV tapes also playback fine and look really good. There's some features that, on other VCRs, only on the remote that most people lose. Things like pause, frame advance, tracking adjust, and the like. It's really helpful, as I don't have the remote for it.

The system has a really fast rewinder, only taking 3 seconds to rewind 10 minutes of tape. It's amazing, but it's also REALLY loud. There's also some feature called the Reality Generator, which is supposed to make the video from VHS tapes look better. I do see a difference, but I can't say it looks any good.

Recording works on both the DV and VHS end. Unlike my previous VCR, this actually has a button to switch from SP to LP. VHS SP recordings look pretty good, better than what my old VCR could produce. The real question is... does DV recording work? Of course it does! It looks superb! Since I can use tapes now, I might buy a whole bunch of them later.

There is one issue I have with this deck. The S-video input in the back of the VCR doesn't work. It sucks bad! Despite that, I could just plug in my S-video consoles to the front of the VCR. The composite on the back still works just fine, so I can hook up a console that's composite only. No biggie!

As with many other DV devices, this unit has i.Link support. It outputs all video except the VHS signal, which was possibly done to mitigate any piracy issues. Despite this, I actually found a way to record VHS footage to a computer without needing to record to a DV tape! A DV tape is still required for the procedure though.

When you setup a transfer process, but not actually start it, the VHS signal is displayed on the DV output and, by extension, output through the FireWire cable. This only works if the tape is accepted by the super-ultimate-monster copy-protection system.

By copy-protection, I mean that the VCR just checks if the write tab is still intact. If it isn't, then the tape will be ejected. Simply put tape over where this tab would be and the VCR will let you copy it just fine. Now I can sell bootleg copies of Robin Hood on DV!

All in all, this was a really cool purchase I made. Add with the fact that one of my local Goodwills have been stocking on VHS tapes, it makes it all worthwhile. I might buy some import VHS tapes for the heck of it.

In the process of writing the WV-DR5 section, I was going to record me playing a Famicom game as a test and upload it here. I went to get a blank VHS tape for the job. I pulled out a nice Sony T-120 premium tape, I must've got this thing a few years back. It looked unused: there were no labels on the tape, the tape was completely rewound, and the tape and case was clean. The only sign of any sort of use was the label sheet. I popped it in and then...

The film, Mary and Rhoda, started to play midway through. For the longest time, I thought this tape was blank. All the signs pointed to it. I didn't know the time period this was recorded, so I went through the tape. My VCR states that this tape was recorded in EP mode, which let's the tape record up to 6 hours of footage, so I hoped that the previous owner utilized that fully.

A news broadcast! The news had started to talk about a water break that happened in Schaumburg, Illinois. Thanks to this information, I managed to date this recording to Feburary 8th, 2000, in the very early morning. Strange for someone to just start recording right after midnight. Why would you want to see this?

After an hour of the news, the news had cut to a commercial break. After watching a car commercial for a few seconds, my VCR freaked out as it tried to auto-track to the new recording. The ABC recording was overwriting a program from the 1999. No idea what channel it is. I thought it might be CBS, but I don't have definitive proof that it is.

For a long period after the cut, the recording was unwatchable. The image is very snowy and keeps jumping up and down. It's not until almost an hour later that the picture begins to clear up.

While a bit jittery and snowy, the picture is rather alright. The audio is very buzzy though.

The rest of the tape seems to be recordings of an entertainment news program. The program shows actors promoting their upcoming movies, trailers, and other promotions. There's also segments of some show that reviews recent movies. Thanks to some commercials that were advertising local events, I could minimize the date to around October to November 1999.

After that, the tape cuts to a golfing TV show. I don't know what it's called and I don't know when this part was recorded, as the program did not cut to any commercials. My only guess is that it was recorded around the same time as the entertainment news programs. The tape ends shortly after.

Due to how long the tape is, I'll probably get to capturing commercials later. Once that happens, I'll upload it here. For now, have this small collage of screenshots from the tape. I hope to get some of the tape captured for the next blog post, but this is a 6 hour tape we're talking about, so it might take a while.

Anyways, thanks for reading! I had a lot of stuff written for the Splatoon segment, but I had to shrink it. I think the page was around 50KB before I removed paragraphs of stuff. It now sits at 30KB. Oops.