The Great Spirit Debate

Min Min for the Win Win

Gosh it’s been a while since my last article. I’ve been busy playing Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, the Isle of Armor DLC, and Yooka-Laylee & the Impossible Lair that I didn’t have the chance to write this article intended for last month, where ARMS’ own Min Min was revealed to be our sixth DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Not only is she our first solo female fighter in any fighters pass for this game, but she is also our first spirit who got promoted to playable status within the same game, thus deconfirming the long-running fan rule of spirits deconfirming characters from becoming DLC for Smash.

Taken from the November 2018 Smash Bros. Direct

Spirits are a new type of collectibles in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate meant to replace trophies from previous entries due to time constraints when the development team were focused on bringing back every single veteran fighter into the roster. They also function as power-ups like stickers (from Super Smash Bros. Brawl) to enhance your character’s stats. They have their own modes dedicated to them, including the game’s adventure mode titled “World of Light,” where they’re depicted as disembodied souls who lost their physical bodies from Galeem’s light beams. In order to collect these spirits, you have to either face them in battles from World of Light or Spirit Board, receive them as rewards for completing Classic Mode, buy them in shops, or summon them by using cores of spirits you’ve already collected.

Min Min’s original spirit prior to her inclusion

Since their reveal in November 2018 Smash Direct, there has been a debate within the Smash Bros. community on whether or not spirits deconfirm a character’s chances from becoming DLC. Some have argued that they do because of their in-game importance, followed by omissions of certain important characters like Metroid’s Sylux or Earthbound’s Porky Minch, believing that they are being saved as DLC fighters. There was also the fact that Piranha Plant’s spirit was missing in the base game after it was announced as our bonus DLC fighter in the same direct.

Min Min’s fighter spirit

Others believe spirits don’t deconfirm because of prior knowledge of how Mewtwo and Lucas were DLC fighters in the last Smash Bros. title for Wii U and 3DS despite being trophies in the base game. They also point out that some characters currently in the roster have multiple versions of themselves as regular spirits, so if one spirit were to get promoted, he/she/it/they would just use a different render for his/her/its/their own fighter spirit (image above).

The debate went on for almost 2 years and further intensified when the March 2020 mini direct revealed the next DLC fighter was gonna be a character from ARMS and will be revealed this June. As June came by and revealed Min Min as our ARMS fighter, the latter side of the argument won the debate. It has thus opened the door to other popularly requested characters like Rayman, Paper Mario, Bandana Waddle Dee, and Geno, who are all currently spirits, at least in the base game because it’s been widely agreed from the community that post-launch spirits are pretty much doomed (so no Leon Kennedy, Astral Chain protagonist, or even Ring Fit Adventure protagonist unfortunately). As for me, I’m gonna be banking on Pyra/Mythra getting promoted into DLC fighters without Rex, because he’s a post-launch Mii costume, since both Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and ARMS were revealed to have missed the deadline when the roster was finalized. Plus, the Torna DLC shows that blades can fight without their drivers, so even without the obvious driver & blade gimmick, it can still work.

Now I should get myself prepared for Paper Mario: the Origami King once it arrives by my mail.

Splatfest Encore: Ketchup vs. Mayonnaise

Back in our old Disquis channel, I use to cover every Splatfest that has occurred in Splatoon 2 throughout its 2-year run until the last one on July 2019. But now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic that’s not only put most of us are in lockdown but also interfered with gaming development, it looks like Nintendo has decided to bring back Splatfest to confiscate for its now lackluster 2020 lineup schedule.

Official artwork from the Squid Research Lab

This splatfest is an encore of the first splatfest (not counting the demo): Ketchup and Mayonnaise. Last time, Team Mayonnaise won the event using the old score system, which uses the number of victories based on solo and friends matches. Now we have a new score system that replaces them with clout powers (normal and pro). Whether or not this new system will give Team Ketchup an edge remained to be seen prior to the event.

The Splatfest encore lasted for 3 days this time rather than one day, so I didn’t waste any of my time, other than watching Toonami on Saturday evening, to make sure Team Ketchup won this time. Once a ketchup man, always a ketchup man. In my previous Splatfest articles, I talked about my experience in those matches until the very end, so this is no exception.

Thanks to it starting on a Friday afternoon, I was able to reach Ketchup King/Queen status before the end of the day. This was truly a rematch of great proportions as both sides were giving their all. I was having disconnection problems on Saturday, resulting me getting suspended from online for 5 minutes. And I was on a losing streak this Sunday morning, but I started winning matches again later on. Of course, we still ended up facing other Team Ketchup members due to the online service unable to find enough Mayonnaise players in the lobby.

And now, after 3 days of bloodless carnage, the results were in:

At last, thanks to the new score system, Team Ketchup has gotten its revenge against Team Mayonnaise. And now you’ve got a taste of how my Splatfest articles were like back when they were still around. Once Splatoon 3 hits on the Switch’s successor, you’ll know that Splatfests are coming back, and who knows, I may make more articles about them in the future.

How Hey! Pikmin Should’ve Been on the DS

Arlo’s worst nightmare

Happy 420, everyone. I hope you’re all doing well during quarantine. Now that my local school districts have extended their closures to the end of spring semester, it gave me enough time to start playing some games I’ve had in my backlog. One of those games being Hey! Pikmin for the Nintendo 3DS. It is a platform spin-off of the Pikmin series that plays similarly to Kirby Mass Attack, where you use your stylus to control your Pikmin on where they should go. After playing through the whole game, it gave me the realization on how it should’ve been a thing earlier for the original Nintendo DS.

The control scheme for Hey! Pikmin is really simple and requires no buttons. All it needs is a circle pad (to control Captain Olimar) and your stylus/finger (to throw your Pikmin at whichever area you want on the touch screen). The original DS lacks a circle pad, but after playing the game, I don’t see why it would’ve also used the D-pad as Olimar’s movements are really limited to just moving left and right. The DS is also capable of 3D graphics, but in lower quality polygons like that of N64 games, so it can still pull off some of the larger scale boss battles the game has. If the whole game is still too big to fit into the DS despite the graphical downgrades, then just make it a short retelling of the first game, where you only need to collect 30 parts of Olimar’s ship, and have the 3DS game we have now as the sequel. We’ve had spin-off retellings of Nintendo games before (Yoshi Touch ‘n’ Go and Metroid Prime Pinball come to mind), so it’ll at least suffice. This would mean no Rock Pikmin and Flying Pikmin for continuity reasons, but there’s still the Purple Pikmin and White Pikmin postgame.

I still haven’t finished beating this game

The idea of having Hey! Pikmin on the DS was more than coincidental, as it would help fill in the large 9-year gap between Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3 and keep public interest in the series alive. It would’ve also help soften the backlash the 3DS game received from fans like Arlo (simply because it wasn’t the prematurely announced Pikmin 4) because it would’ve been a well-known spin-off with potential by then. I do look forward to how a sequel would work after Pikmin 4 eventually comes out with species of Pikmin in the roster.

Coronavirus’ Impact in Gaming

My family and I were originally planning to take a trip to Disneyland last weekend, but then we had to cancel it a few days before the actual trip when it was announced that the park will be closing for the rest of the month due to the coronavirus that’s spreading over California. Then just this week, all school districts in my home area had announced that they will be closing down for a full month until reopening after Spring Break because 2 residents have been identified to have the virus and are currently in quarantine. It’s a well known fact that the coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic, so let’s discuss what it is, how it’s impacting the gaming industry, and how to prevent yourself from getting infected by it.

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new strain of virus first discovered in 2019. At first, it wasn’t previously identified in humans, but it then started to appear in them by 2020 during flu season. The infection started around southeast Asian territory, and it has now been spreading across the globe by tourists. Without taking an infection test, it’s difficult to find out if you do have the virus, but there are signs to tell if you’re infected, which include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Severe cases from infection also include pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. People who are most vulnerable to the virus are young children, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems. Anyone who isn’t one of the three categories are safe from having any severe cases listed above and will recover overtime; however, they can still spread it to any healthy person even if they’re unaware that they have the virus within them. And that’s what makes it dangerous to the public.

Various chain stores, districts, and theme parks have been temporarily closing their doors to the public and movie studios postponing their productions and delaying film releases in response to the pandemic, but we’re focusing on how it’s affecting the gaming industry. The biggest impact it caused was the cancellation of E3 2020, which is where all gaming companies show off their biggest upcoming titles hitting stores this year or the next. Some people thought E3 was dying anyway due to the current state of gaming and the rise of digital directs, and the coronavirus was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Meanwhile, other gaming conventions such PAX and Gamescom have yet to announce their own cancellations. Other impacts in the industry include slower game development and temporary postponements to gaming tournaments such as Smash World Tour.

How to wash your hands properly. Vector illustration of Handwashing. Hands soaping and rinsing

We’ve discussed the origins and impact of the coronavirus, so how do you keep yourself from getting infected by it? There are three solutions to help you with that. The first solution is to constantly wash your hands. Wash them after touching anything you came in contact with, including your own pets. I would also recommend using regular soap because hand sanitizers can negatively affect your health as it contains chemicals that makes you more vulnerable to other diseases (see video below).

The second solution is to keep your hands away from your face. Because it’s full of various bacteria such as acne, the coronavirus is no exception either. This is to keep your hands from getting infected again and accidentally spreading to someone by any physical contact. Speaking of which, the third and final solution is to stay away from large crowds. This is to prevent the infection from spreading further. Your home is your only safe space from the pandemic until a cure is readily available in the future. Please be careful and have a safe St. Patrick’s day.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Another review from yours truly. This time I’m going to review not only one of the most underrated Resident Evil games, but also one of the most underrated gems on the PS1. Don’t get me wrong here, this game gets plenty of praise from PS1 and Resident Evil fans alike, but the thing is, you don’t really hear them talk about it very often, as this game gets shoved aside in favor of it’s predecessor Resident Evil 2, the Resident Evil 1 remake on GameCube, and Resident Evil 4. I’m going to review my favorite classic Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, which came out on the PS1 in 1999.

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Resident Evil CODE: Veronica review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review. This time I’m going to review a Resident Evil fan favorite. This is by far the most difficult game in the series, this was the last Resident Evil game to feature Claire Redfield as a main character until RE: Revelations 2, and this was also the last ever mainline Resident Evil game to come out on a Sega platform, as Sega discontinued the Dreamcast in 2001 and went software-only. This game is Resident Evil CODE: Veronica, which came out on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000, and was ported to the PS2 a year later.

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Resident Evil (1996) review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review. Though it’s not Halloween, yet, this is still a game worth playing any time of the year. It’s famous for it’s horrible yet hilarious voice acting and for redefining the survival horror genre. This game is the original Resident Evil, which came out on the PlayStation in 1996 and was ported to the Sega Saturn a year later with bonus content.

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Time for another review, and this is a game that I have been meaning to put more time into for some time, but wasn’t interested in playing for a while until this year. When I started playing this game again, I didn’t realize what I was missing because this is one hell of a game. Developed by Atlus’ Career Soft team – the same team that develops the also excellent Growlanser series, this awesome game is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, which came out on the Nintendo DS in 2009.

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Armored Warriors review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Time for yet another game review. And it’s an arcade one as well. This was a game that I got to play back at Youmacon 2016, and I was hooked the second I played it. This game was created by the producer of Final Fight, Yoshiki Okamoto, and is an underrated, yet forgotten arcade gem. Which game is this? Armored Warriors, which came out in the arcades in 1994. No console port of this game has ever been made.

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