Archive for the ‘Pokèmon’ Category

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?

pokemongo

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.

tumblr_nvpvcpvyV11sidezdo1_1280

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.

Pokémon_Gotta_Catch_'Em_All

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.

charlesdarwinmeetscockfighting

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.

Happy 20th Anniversary Pokémon!!!

20th_Logo_Primary

Pokemon 20th Anniversary

If you have somehow missed out, here is the run down. A Pokémon is literally a Pocket Monster. They are elemental beasts that are pitted in cockfighting matches for sport and prestige. Sounds sinister, right? But that’s why it’s done in a super cute art style and without the obligatory gore one might expect. The game of Pokémon follows the path of person wanting to be the best trainer in the world. Your character travels around to regional gyms the way a boxer might progress through a championship circuit and you help villagers along the way with whatever obscure tasks that have been written into the story. With the team you’ve built you can battle your friends who also play, which when this first came out was a feature I wish so many other games I played had.

Pokémon didn’t make it to North America until 1998. I remember my best friend convincing me to go with him to the mall to pick up Pokémon. I actually didn’t know anything about the game at the time. The TV show wasn’t even on the air here yet. But, he had referred several other of my favorite games so I got on board. This game certainly plays better when you have friends to play with. The notion of battling a friend without being on the same screen or cartridge was neat. Trading Pokémon was something new also. You cannot catch them all on  your own. The games come out in pairs. One game will be missing  a set Pokémon and the other is missing a different set of Pokémon. Sometimes you’ll have a group of three of which you can only choose one. You have to team up. Genius move by the developers, making your players have to rely on and recruit other players. This develops a community.

Pokémon_Gotta_Catch_'Em_All

You Gotta Catch ‘Em All! You just got to. I have. Many don’t. It is an undertaking to do legitimately. In each generation of the game there are several end-boss type Pokémon that are difficult to capture. There is also at least one Pokémon every generation that can only be obtained through special limited distribution events. Once they’re gone you have to hope that Nintendo will give it away again. Collecting these Pokémon is annoying. Luckily for the rest of you, Nintendo is celebrating the 20th Anniversary by redistributing one of these every month for the rest of the year. This months is Mew.

 

Mythical Pokemon Mew

If the Swiss Army had a Pokémon, it’d be Mew. His stats are balanced and he can learn any move you can teach a Pokémon. However, since there is such a wide selection of moves he can learn, I’m  not sure how I want to train mine yet.

A Pokemon Christmas

I’ve been playing Pokemon for a few years now. This has taken me through several chapters of the game. If you’ve never played it, each release of the game takes place in a different region of the Pokemon world. Through your journey you fight Gym Leaders and then earn badges to mark your completion. So, for Christmas my girlfriend acquired these  Pins that resemble the badges from my favorite entry in the series: Pokemon HeartGold.

Pokemon Badges for Christmas

Pokemon Badges for Christmas

Little did she know, I had a Pokemon gift for her too.  Pokemon games tend to come in pairs and her gift was the companion game, SoulSilver.

Now to find a good place to hang this on the wall…