Archive for July, 2016

Pokemon Go isn’t Going

The long wait is over. Pokemon Go is here! Knowing that some sort of monetization scheme laid in wait, as this is a free game for the mobile platform, I have been able to avoid getting too hyped for this game. Nonetheless, when July 6th got here and rumors were flying about Pokemon Go’s imminent release, I got excited. Making Pokemon easier to access with less investment in time and money to play will only give me more people to play with, right? Where could Go go wrong?

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So, when you begin Pokemon Go, you are given a choice of Starter Pokemon: Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle. I choose Charmander and the game promptly freezes. I restart the game but cannot reauthenticate to the servers. I’m not getting an username or password error, but instead it seems like the authentications server just doesn’t answer. And, this went on for days. Apparently, I’m not the only one suffering. Lots of people I’ve spoken have had this same problem. The Chief Technical Officer of Amazon also blogged about having this issue too.

When you fail, fail big.

When you fail, fail big.

Eventually, Pokemon Go let me on to play some. Augmented Reality is pretty rad. Immersion is a key factor in a game, at least according to every single research project I did in Grade School regarding Game Design. It’s true though. Usually this is implemented in games like WoW or Animal Crossing where you are immersed by collecting things and completing simple tasks relentlessly. But integrating into reality and just having Poke-Stops and Gyms littered everywhere you go is evidently super effective immersion to have people cracked-out, dialed entirely out of reality, and into their phones. Some dude in New Zealand even quit his job to play 24/7. There are better games to dedicate your life to, if that is something you’re inclined to do.

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My hope with this game was that the investment to get started would be minimized, which it has. It doesn’t require the purchase of a 3DS. Phones aren’t cheap but most people have one that will run this game. Also, the time investment was eliminated. Don’t need to spend 40 hours battling gyms and elite four to get to be at a point where battling is optimized. However, now that we’re past that initial investment, where is the game? The core game elements that Pokemon has been built on for the last 20 years are largely missing. There is no trading, no customization of your pokemon, and no player-vs-player battling. Not sure there is enough gameplay for me here. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind a little grind. (Probably from having played so many Dragon Warrior games.) But the collection grind is all this game really has.

Did anyone else expect more out of Pokemon Go?

Gotta Catch ’em All!! (again)

All together, so far, there are 720 Pokemon. I have caught them all. The 720 includes different evolutionary levels on Pokemon. So, you take a Charmander and level him up. Along the way he will become Charmeleon and then eventually Charizard. Ostensibly, one creature as counted as being 3. Consequently, you could “Catch ’em All” but be left with something like 300 or 400 Pokemon when you were done, assuming you only had one of each evolutionary path. Owing to this fact and considering that once you’ve done the task of catching them all, you don’t want to lose the metaphorical merit badge. So, I went back and made sure I one of every instance of Pokemon. This also has the benefit that when it’s time to make some new Pokemon, I just pull from storage and breed up a new one for the new use I’ve determined. Easy as Pokemon pie.

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There is one problem I have found. There are some game mechanics that determine the potency of your Pokemon. Not going to dive into that Rabbit hole here, but you can have two Pikachu on the same level and one will be faster or stronger than the other. The problem is, I didn’t understand any of how that worked when I made my collection. As I started this Pokemon endeavor in HeartGold, Hidden Abilities weren’t yet a thing either. Pokemon with Hidden Abilities can breed Pokemon without them, but Pokemon without them will not breed one with. So, my mission is now to catch ’em all again. This time putting in the extra effort to have them as optimal as possible.

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Better Pokemon Eugenics equals better Pokemon cock fighting.

The first time I collect them while  playing.. curious how long it will take to go back through all this, just collecting.

the New Nintendo 3DS

I have to say, Nintendo is way better than George Lucas at getting to repurchase their content. An upgrade to the 3DS Handheld came out a few months ago called the New Nintendo 3DS. When Pokemon celebrated it’s 20 year anniversary in February, Nintendo commemorated the event with a special Pokemon themed New 3DS and it looks legit.

The Nintendo 3DS features the ability to download classic titles from the original 8-bit Nintendo and the original Gameboy. The New Nintendo 3DS expands this to include the Super Nintendo Catalog. So, far already released for the virtual console are games like: Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Earthbound. More will be coming.

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I’m hoping that some of those golden era RPGs are released here like Final Fantasy VI, Secret of Mana, and Chronotrigger. Maybe even finally get an official english port of Secret of Mana 2. However, more than any other I’d like to Super Mario RPG. Some years ago I kicked off into modding my PSP with the goal of getting that working. However, I could never get it to run full speed. I’ve always assumed that there was some sort graphic accelerating chip in the SNES cart which taxed the PSP too much when it tried to emulate it. The dream of playing that game on a portable device could be soon realized.

While I want this so bad, I may wait. There is an XL version of the New 3DS, meaning a bigger screen, but it only comes in Red and Black. I might wait until some Special Edition cases come out. Here check out Nintendo’s site about this.

Just a closing though, Super 3DS could possibly have been a better name than  New Nintendo 3DS.