Nerd Crossover: The Wizarding World of Splatoon

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Since Nintendo has crossed realities between Inkopolis and TMNT, let’s invite a little magic in. If inklings faced the Sorting Hat, what would their house culture look like?

Ravenclaw – My house first! Since we’re smart, resourceful and creative, Ravenclaw inklings would be versatile players. Intuition would drive their ability to read other players’ styles and pick up the slack to optimize teamwork (and win ratios). They’d be agile with a bit of a creative flair in their battle. You’d find them studying (and writing) playbooks, reviewing matches, or hanging out at the museum for inspiration and re-calibration.
Stages: Shellendorf Institute, Inkblot Art Academy, The Reef
Weapons: Dualies, Splat/Splash-o-matics, Brellas
Position: Versatile

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Hufflepuff – The Puffs would take a much more laid back approach to battle. They’d likely be squid partying or blazing at the Kelp Dome. If they were taking a match seriously (or as seriously as they can) they’d focus strictly on coverage. They’d be super fun and easy-going. No rage-quitting or squidbagging from these inklings.
Stages: MakoMart, Kelp Dome
Weapons: Rollers, Sloshers, Splattershot Pro
Position: Objective

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Slytherin – This inkling house would be full of squid-bagging, bragging, panicked and reactionary players. Always up to no good, they’d rock their death eater masks proudly… from a distance though. Most likely, they’d be charger mains or carry the giant Hydras, fueled by their desire to do as much damage as possible while staying far away from danger.
Stages: Snapper Canal, Walleye Warehouse, Port Mackerel, Sturgeon Shipyard
Weapons: Hydra, Chargers
Position: Defense

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Gryffindor – The few, the brave, the focus of 7 books and movies. Inkling Griffindors would be athletic skilled players. They would likely take an offensive role and prove to be fiercely loyal teammates.
Stages: Musselforge Fitness, Camp Triggerfish, Manta Maria
Weapons: Blasters, Octobrush, Shooters
Position: Offense

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Which house would your inkling be?

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Looking for LA Recommendations!

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I’m heading to E3 in a few weeks, guys! Having never been to LA, Glux set up a map of things we should check out while we’re there, but we need help! I hatehatehate being a tourist, so I’d love to hear about the coolest local spots to check out.

Here’s where we’ve landed collaboratively so far:

I’m likely going out a little longer so I can take a day trip to San Jose and knock the Winchester Mansion off my life goals. And I’m working through my carney connections to get some access to Universal Studios (mostly to do some Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary shopping). Street artist, Invader is currently installing new pixel art on buildings around LA so I’d love to go hunting for some of them! The ones I’ve found in NYC have been all over #GamesIRL.

So where should we eat? Where should we stay? I’m looking at several retro/mid-century style hotels. What should we see? Any good witchy shops? And aside from the big guys and some of my indie darlings, what booths should we check out at E3?

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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Admittedly, I’m not the most loyal South Park fan. But we’re in a bit of a doldrums for Switch releases until July, so I picked up South Park: The Fractured But Whole with some birthday money. I had no expectations going in. I might have been a little afraid I wouldn’t like it because I didn’t know what I was getting into and I’ve been out of touch with the show for so long.

My character is the gassy new kid in South Park and eager to make friends. All the kids are playing superheroes and Cartman reluctantly invites me to create a character and join his group – Coon and Friends. We all have character sheets DnD style that you complete by talking to various adult characters about gender and sexuality and religion.

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I’ve totally fallen in love with it. All the kids have their own unique superhero personas with the most creative costumes and phrases. Mosquito is my favorite! The way he plays off the actions of others in battle always makes me laugh. When Cartman/Coon attacks, Mosquito will say something like “Coon makes ’em bleed so it’s time to feed!” All of his blood puns and digs are brilliant. I keep him in my party all the time, both for the jokes and his powerful life-draining attack.

Completing challenges for townspeople allows you to take a selfie with them and gain followers. Building your following helps you level up and unlock new objectives. Here I am with Morgan Freeman at his taco stand.

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My “superpower” comes from my time-bending farts. Collecting certain mission items allows me craft special Mexican dishes and unleash powerful farts that turn back time to negate an enemy’s turn or stop time so I can get around dangerous situations and get some free shots on a 6th grader. I can combine my farts with other kids’ super abilities to solve puzzles and reach new areas of the map. There’s also a hilarious toilet mini-game in every bathroom in South Park. Some toilets are harder to master than others.

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The battle component is super entertaining. Aside from the witty superhero banter, the battles can take on various forms with nontraditional objectives. In a battle with Towelie, the goal isn’t to defeat Towelie; it’s to burn four piles of weed scattered around the room to get him high. There are roving hordes of 6th graders around town that will give chase until you defeat them. Once you talk to the PC Principal, there’s a new battle mechanic that gives you a free punch when your enemy says a microaggression.

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Of course, being South Park, the content is rarely clean. There are naked breasts. Hilariously offensive themes, language and items to pick up (I laughed for a good 10 minutes when I acquired a jar of “boogers and cum” and the jingle played. I had to battle two Catholic priests to avoid molestation and beat up Raisins Girls. I’m not even that far into the game, I don’t think and I’d had to give a drunk man a lap dance… AS A FOURTH GRADER. In a rockin’ shark costume.

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There are definitely some uncomfortable moments that are a little harder to laugh at. And most shocking is that it’s now on Nintendo Switch. I wrote to Nintendo every month for a year asking for Binding of Isaac on 3DS and that’s MUCH tamer comparatively!

What I love most about this game is that it takes place in the imagination of a child. I’m reminded how I played games as a kid. My imagination made so many worlds and abilities real for me. There’s no greater period of creativity than childhood and South Park: The Fractured But Whole lets me return to that time, while simultaneously being shocked at the incredibly adult level of inappropriateness.

Splat Fashion 3.0.0

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With the release of 3.0.0 last week came over 100 new pieces of gear. I’ve always been a fan of throwing on a bit of military flare so mixing the new gear with some of my favorite pieces and weapons has me losing hours creating new looks and planning my ability builds.

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This is my standard gear look for ranked. Special Forces Beret with a mix of power chunks that suit my particularly strategic, versatile and insightful play-style, black inky rider stocked with sub up and speed up, and blue Moto boots with pure ink resistance.

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For these two, my coat changes sometimes based on what role my team needs me to play. My custom painted F-3 gives me an offensive advantage with pure special ups. When I need a defensive edge, I suit up in my Forge Inkling Parka with ninja squid and swim speed ups so I can make quick sprints or getaways to regroup.

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I’m still building out a lot of the newer gear – my White leather F-3, gas mask, pilot goggles (not new, but look hot af with the F-3s) and shark moccasins – but they’ve all been upgraded for max slots. I love the way they can change up my look while sticking to the theme I like.

Of course the military look couldn’t be complete with head to toe camouflage, right down to the weapon. The Moist Ghillie Suit paired with the Bamboozler creates an all-natural look well suited for an ambush! Also this set up cracks me up.

The options are becoming a bit overwhelming. Aside from saving certain gear to different amiibo, I wish there was a better way to organize my inventory. I don’t like any of the org options currently available. Honestly, I’d rather organize my own “closet” according to my priorities.

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While I’m a little confused about the TMNT theme of the upcoming Splatfest, I AM relishing the fact that I’ll essentially have three weeks to farm my Splatfest T to build out all this new gear.

What are your favorite pieces? Do you adhere to a certain type of aesthetic?

Binding of Isaac Tarot Interview

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I’ve always viewed this deck more as a novelty – a collectible from one of my favorite video games ever, The Binding of Isaac. I’ve never used it before. This is a completely virgin deck! Until now. The cards depart from the traditional suit structure, instead calling on items from the game to represent suits. So I took some creative liberties to identify the parallels.

Keys = Wands
Bombs = Swords
Pennies = Pentacles
Hearts = Cups

Check out my other deck interviews.

Tell me about yourself
The High Priestess
I am the mediator between light and dark, the guardian of the unconscious and the link between reality and the inaccessible reaches of the mind. My understanding of the Universe runs deeper than The Basement.

What are your strengths?
Five of Pennies
Nothing distracts me from spiritual development. Coins may help you achieve success in the game, but in the end, it always comes down to heart. Let’s focus on keeping your heart full over your pockets.

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What are your limitations?
Ace of Pennies
Don’t talk to me about the material world. I’m not interested in wealth or career issues. I want to help you manifest your inner potential and achieve your spiritual goals.

What are you here to teach me?
Ten of Bombs
How to survive taking the hits. Life can be a bullet hell run. The people you love and trust might back-stab you. There will surely be loss after loss after loss. Keep restarting.

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How can we best collaborate?
Ace of Keys
Let’s just go for it. No instruction manuals. We’ll figure it out along the way, breaking through walls and unlocking mysteries.

Whatโ€™s the potential outcome of our relationship?
Three of Keys
We’ll open doors to self-exploration and gain control of all around you. Your horizons will expand in all directions as we journey onward together.

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Amazingly, in this interview there were a lot of subtle nods to the game in the personality of the deck! I was expecting darkness based on the nature of the game, but the energy is pretty playful. The game connects the earthly with the dark and the light, so I feel like this deck has a good grasp on bridging those realms to open my perception and intuition.

Want to know whats in your cards? Iโ€™ll read them for you starting at just $5!

Let Sleeping Tamagotchi Lie

Summer of ’97 squealed open like the garage door storefronts on the hundreds of kitschy shops on the Wildwood Boardwalk, ushering in the era of the Tamagotchi and its many knockoffs (my favorite was Dinkie Dino). They were our pre-smartphone digital addiction. I spent hours keeping mine alive and subsequently mourning its angelic avatar when it inevitably died. My middle school swiftly banned the keychain-toys. I haven’t thought about them much since then. Apparently, My Tamagotchi Forever launched in March, but I saw it featured on the app store on Tuesday and gave it a download. It was not to last forever.

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The tutorial was all the dose of nostalgia I needed. I got to care for the best character right off the bat. I learned how to force him to poop, feed him chocolate, and play the simple mini-games to keep him happy (and tire him out). Then he went outside to play soccer alone eternally and live out his days as an NPC. Around this time, I lost interest in the game.

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There are 4 mini-games were you can earn coins, but they don’t add up quickly enough to both feed your demanding tamagotchi and upgrade the amenities in his little world. As you upgrade amenities, you unlock “Memorable Moments” which are basically photo ops for your pets. They don’t even seem all that memorable or even enjoyable.

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Completing photo pages unlocks outfits. Of course you can purchase coins and gems to progress faster, but the reward isn’t worth it (unless you REALLY want to dress your tamagotchi like a weird magician).

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Food is expensive for the earn rate. Pets are picky on what they want to eat. You can feed them anything, but it looks like you get a bonus if you give them what they want. One demanded nothing but french fries and it cost 45 coins to fill him up. Another demanded nothing but broccoli and then turned into an unsettling Nyan Starmie with chronic constipation.

Another weird thing – once your tamagotchi evolves, its former iteration sticks around. Your previous pets populate the town, forever trapped in a memorable moment. Occasionally they gift you coins so they feel like their lives still have some purpose.

It’s not the tamagotchi experience I wanted it to be. The mobile update featuring too-bright colors and chunky buttons feels insultingly childish, as do the mini-games. If you’re looking for modern relic of your digital pet days, install Pix on your widget screen and transform your iPhone into the little plastic egg you secretly miss.

Octo Expansion Anticipation

Nintendo’s recent announcement of the Octo Expansion has me hyperventilating at the thought of it. Lately I’ve been replaying Splatoon 2’s story mode as Agent 4 to collect all the scrolls and sardinium as well as unlock some of the Hero weapons. I’d forgotten the fun of single player mode and it’s only adding to my anticipation! Agent 8, the mystery octoling(?) with no memory, is aesthetically my new favorite. I’m elated to play through 80+(!!!) different missions to uncover her story and unlock playable Octolings in multiplayer. For $20 I feel like the amount of content I’m getting is huge. It will likely have good replay value as there are surely collectible thingies to find in each mission.

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I’m a sucker (get it? Octojokes) so I took the bait (did it again!) and pre-ordered the expansion immediately to get the Octo-themed clothing. Presents!

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It could have been better themed – a crate or vault like those in single player mode or wrapped nicely – but I’ll take it! I think it’s nice of Nintendo to give us a taste of the new gear coming our way. 100 new items?!? My military/motorcycle style could see some new options! Tattoo sleeves with Ink Resistance abilities? Wishful thinking, but Nintendo could be listening!

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They clearly designed a new stages for me, after all! The stages. coming over from Splatoon 1 are great, but obviously Wahoo World is going to be an instant favorite of mine. I’m going to explore every square tentacle.

X Rank I’m still working my way up to S+, but now my goal has changed to hit X rank. I don’t need to be in the power rankings each month, but I do want to hit max rank and play competitively. I’m good enough, but am I competitive enough?

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The revelation that Octo Expansion takes place in the subway to the right of the lobby in Inkopolis Square has me wondering about other areas of possible expansion.

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The subway entrance in the middle is happening. Now I’m noticing that grated doorway on the left and the obvious closed storefront on the right. Will these open to sell some of the expanded gear? What about that door behind the boxes with the signage above?

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And could there be something beyond this barricade? Could we eventually enter that building on the left and find out where that ramp goes?

What do you think of the new expansion? Do you think any of these other places could open up? What else would you want to see come to Splatoon 2?