Tag Archives: #ds

#508 Do not play Pokemon Shuffle

I talked about Pokemon Shuffle on last Friday’s blog post,but I am returning back to writing about this game after spending an entire weekend playing Pokemon Shuffle and then waiting to play Pokemon Shuffle over and over again. The 3DS exclusive Pokemon Shuffle game is one of the few Free to Play games on the handheld’s market and it is nothing short than an evil game packaged inside of a Skinner’s Box.

The game makes the unholy F2P gameplay gating mechanic, limiting your play sessions to five turns before having to wait a half hour to earn back on more attempt. You take that and then you add the Random Number Generator factor when you want to catch the pokemon of the stage, to add to your collection and you get the worst example B. F. Skinner’s experiment.

I suspect that the game devs behind this game purposely skewed some of the catch percentages on the Pokemon needed to progress in the harder levels.

I suspect that the game devs behind this game purposely skewed some of the catch percentages on the Pokemon needed to progress in the harder levels. which is nothing less than evil

The game is filled with freemium upselling suggestions and microtransaction reminders. The game suckers you in with rewards, in the form of Freemium currency and in-game coins in the style of “the first one’s free” and for opting-in the program that sends your play session data to Nintendo, in what I assume to be for future data mining purposes.

But all that being said…

Pokemon Shuffle is  a great game. It is fun collecting and building your Pokemon collection and using your Pokemon’s type advantage to wipe the floor against the latest challenge.

The game also gets major points for having fun and interesting mechanics in a potentially simple match three game, some Pokemon stages limiting the number of Pokemon you can bring in while other stages freezes a handful of your block every few turns. Pokemon Shuffle also adds the Mega Evolution twist with bringing a Pokemon into a stage, and once you matched enough of that one Pokemon it unlocks it’s almost overpowered abilities of clearing an entire column or row.

The game also has a truly difficult expert mode, that made me sweat and focus more on the game than any other point while playing the story campaign. On top of that Pokemon Shuffle has free post-launch support in the form of special promotional legendary Pokemon stages. I would gladly grind through those stages over and over again, if it was not for the fact that I am limited to five attempts per play session.

I can not recommend this game to anyone in fear that they get as hooked on the game as I am, which would send the wrong type of data to both Nintendo and Pokemon company on how to build a good Free to Play game. Instead of a Pokemon Shuffle going free to play I would rather have the game include an in store item that unlocked the entire game with no Free to Play gimmicks. More importantly I can not wait for Puzzle and Dragons Z to be released soon, because from what I have seen Puzzle and Dragons Z is all of Pokemon Shuffle, move type advantage and all, with none of the constant upselling.


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#465 A Response to “Should Nintendo Launch New Franchises Soon?”

The good people over at Gamemoir has asked a question about Nintendo and their Intellectual Property, wondering if the gaming company should make a new franchise to make them better appeal to a new generation of gamers who are hungry for a new batch of iconic characters. You can read to post in question HERE.

A day may come when I will stop blogging about Nintendo, but it is not this day.

A day may come when I will stop writing about Nintendo, but it is not this day.

To cut right to the point I highly doubt that Zelda, Mario or any other Nintendo properties will go stale anytime soon, whether it be this, the next generation or beyond that.

Nintendo has been very good at keeping these characters timeless with every installment of the game series, Most main series Mario platform games takes place in a modern age kingdom with no hint of modern technology from the real world. We see with the Zelda series the game’s most common setting is a fantasy medieval kingdom setting, with the common way of fighting was with swords, bows, and magic instead of guns and grenades.

Even with the two Gamecube oddities of  Super Mario Sunshine and Zelda Wind Waker, that  moved away from the traditional game setting, Nintendo made sure that both games to never introduce social or technological influences from the real world into their games that would allow them to be dated in anyway.

And I serectly allowed Nintendo to keep their characters purposely blank in character personality to allow everyone to imagine themselves as either the Hero of time or a Space Bounty Hunter

And Nintendo keeps their characters purposely blank in the personality department to allow everyone to imagine themselves as either the Hero of time or a Space Bounty Hunter

The funny thing is Nintendo is has been busy making new game franchises beyond the staple Mario/Zelda/Pokemon marketing triforce. In the N64 days we were given the first Super Smash bros game, with the Gamecube we witnessed the birth of the Animal Crossing series. The Wii console saw Nintendo’s big push of their Mii franchise with all of the games that incorporated your cartoonist avatar (List), and most recently we have seen the possible creation of the new Wii U franchise, Splatoon.

It is far too early to predict what is the future of this game.

It is far too early to predict what is the future of this game.

Even if Nintendo stopped creating new Intellectual Properties I would still believe that Nintendo’s classic characters would last for years to come, because Nintendo has almost cornered the market with local co-op games. With the recent Mario platformer games that allowed multiple players to play the game at the same time and it is obvious that all of the Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Super Smash games that were specifically designed to be played with multiple players in one room.

We saw this game play design work into the the 3DS, with the ability to connect to the internet the handheld constantly rewards you for running into 3DS gamers with the use of the Streetpass worked into most of their game.

We saw this game play design work into the the 3DS, with the ability to connect to the internet the handheld constantly rewards you for running into 3DS gamers with the use of the Streetpass worked into most of their game.

If Nintendo stay to course and continue to create quality games that allows a living room full of people to have fun at the same time, those experiences will be memorable to the young and old gamers alike and in turn those characters they played as will be an iconic part of their childhood, which creates a wonderful cycle of nostalgia for every new generation. We most of us picked up Super Mario 64 I doubt any of us were worried about how this was the same character that our parents played back in his debuted in 1985 on the NES.

It is the same reason why Superman, Batman and Spider-man are still considered iconic characters in the comic book world dispute the fact that the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader all of them are pushing 75 and the Manhattan Webhead just celebrated his 50th anniversary.  None of those characters would be remembered or iconic if they did not have their company constantly push out quality stories in comic books, live action movies, or Saturday morning cartoons for a our parent’s and our entertainment.

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These fictional characters are older than most parents and some grandparents. 


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#464 The Magic of Strategy Guides

It has been about two weeks since Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire hit the US shelves, and since then I have played through most of the game before I realized that I forgot that I did not buy the official strategy guide for the game. Not that I need it, I know the hoenn story, dungeons, and basic world layout like the back of my hand even though the remake of the game is more handholding than the original.

But buying a player guide is an old Nozell-Pokemon tradition, whenever my brothers and I would receive a new Pokemon game we would also get the strategy to go with the game, a trend that dates all the way back to the classic Red and Blue game, continued with every new installment to the main series.

This was not my original R/B guide, but an amazing Goodwill find.

This was not my original R/B guide, but an amazing Goodwill find.

Even when it got to the point when I started buying my own Pokemon games and game devices I still set aside some of money for the strategy guide, partly for tradition, and partly because I wanted all the extra, hidden and postgame content Game Freak added that I know I missed on my first play through.

There is something more added, nostalgically magical, when playing with a strategy guide on your lap or by your side than compared to sitting next to a computer with a webpage opened to an online walk through. In my experience strategy guides only really works with consoles and handhelds, when you have a lap available, and I was quick to learn with my time with World of Warcraft, an MMO with frequent hot-fixes and content patches does not translate well to the non-updatable media of paper and ink and with Steam and Steam community overlay feature, with a catalog of player created guides, added to most of the games on steam’s catalog, has almost completely killed PC games guides.

Having a strategy guide has always been an vital part of my Pokemon experience, seeing those dungeon maps, the tips on beating the various gym leaders and elite four members and the stats of almost all the Pokemon and Items  is just needed for me to get the full Pokemon experience. . Also there is something to be said about the way the guidebook is designed is beautiful, the way the book lays out the data, it is like a wonderful grown-up picture book, something to read and re-read on a lazy weekend day, while your 3DS is charging up.

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“read and re-read on a lazy weekend day, while your 3DS is charging up.” I am speaking from experience. 


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#462 Thank Goodness for Handhelds

If you live in or near my home state of New Hampshire, you might be aware of the pretty nasty snow storm that decided to pay us all a visit this Thanksgiving, with a Blackout that decided to stop by as well, during the worst of the storm’s stay. My family lost our power around 7 pm after dinner, during the time we were settling into our nighttime routines, then flick, the power died leaving us with no Wifi, no TV or Wii U,  no lights, no heat and no power for our chargers. The only electronic thing we had were our own charged devices.

While the candles were lit around the house, news came in that both neighboring cities were included in the Blackout and there was no ETA on when power would be returned for our district. Like at a drop of a hat everyone in my pitch black house started playing their own version of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’, making sure to use the remaining power on their Laptops, phones, and MP3 players for only the essentials, and doing sparingly enough to try to last throughout the blackout.

At the time of writing the power in our house has been out for 24+ hours, still with no ETA on repair, and I wrote the rough draft of this post at night by candlelight, and right now I am typing this up and publishing it at my local Library.

During these dark and very cold times I have come to appreciate everything little thing about my 3DS. The fact that all physical copies are DRM free in the regard that the cartridge does not take count on how many devices have played this game or that it is tied to a certain Mii-verse user So i can easily hand off my finished 3DS games to my younger brother to provide some ‘new games for him’. Continuing that thought, it is great that even Nintendo’s most popular games do not force you to follow an Always online requirement which is wonderful thing to not worry about when you have no WiFi or any other way practical way to connect to one of their servers.

"Take this game for instance, the online features are nice, and does improve the game, but it’s not needed to get the full experience of the game and it’s not the major selling point for the game."

“Take this game for instance, the online features are nice, and does improve the game, but it’s not needed to get the full experience of the game and it’s not the major selling point for the game.”

Speaking especially about Nintendo products, the battery life span in the 3DS, and in most of their handhelds is nothing short of amazing, resulting in me powering through my adventures in Hoenn under a pile of warm blankets long after all of my siblings phones and iPod’s battery cells dried up

Now long time readers might figure out that this is almost point for point the same as my previous praising of my mostly Pokemon device back in Be MOP #339, and that is because it is. But sometimes it takes the worst, most inopportune gaming times to make you appreciate all the little things, like the features on the 3DS or spending quality time with your snowed in family for the holidays by just quietly reading books together next to a dining table filled with lit candles.


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#444 Almost Completing my Ultimate Pokemon Quest

Yesterday was a big day for me, if you followed me on Twitter you know that I went on the exciting trip to buy ANOTHER Pokemon game. Not just any Pokemon game. this particular plays vital role towards completing one of my greatest Pokemon quest of all time. My long running quest is to try to transfer my Classic Generation 3 team through the various editions of Pokemon games to my eventual copy of my Pokemon Generation 3DS remake.

So close

So close…also just like ten years ago, Omega Ruby is the superior choice.

During the spring time I did some spring cleaning and I found a handful of old Pokemon games, including the original Pokemon Red/Blue along with my copy of FireRed and my younger brother’s Emerald game (Be MOP #371)

He did not give me his Emerald, I saw that it has a few lv 100 Rayquaza's and then phoned him up telling him I was adopting his game wether he liked it or not, and luckily he was cool with it.

He did not give me his Emerald, I saw that it has a few lv 100 Rayquaza’s and then phoned him up telling him I was adopting his game whether he liked it or not, and luckily he was cool with it.

If the past few blog posts has revealed anything I been on a major Nintendo Games kick, and the catalyst of that gaming streak is my second playthrough of Pokemon White, my old game file that had the unlocked the ability to transfer Pokemon from older games, was deleted just before I rediscovered old my Gameboy Advanced games.

After a bit of research I found out that Pokemon White/Black, although does have the power to accept Pokemon from Generation 4 and send off Pokemons to the PokeBank, it does not have the GBA transfer feature that I desperately need to send my FireRed team to the New Hoenn.

Since I reaching toward the end point of the story campaign in my Pokemon White file I decided to go shop around, to see if I could obtain a second hand copy of a Generation 4 Pokemon game, whether it be Diamond, Pearl, Heart Gold or Soul Silver. Luckily I was able to find what I need at the first stop after a bit of chit-chatting I was able to walk out with a used copy of the cheapest version of their Generation 4 game, Pokemon Pearl, in one hand and a code for my very own Shiny Gengar in the other. From my past experience with second hand copy of Pokemon games I was hoping for a fully completely save file, with the unlocked transfer feature, a nearly completed Pokedex, possibly a few extra legendaries.

After returning home I boot up the cartridge to be greeted with a game with less than 44 minutes on the file. So now I have one more new game to add to my backlog, BUT I now have all the pieces I need.

I have two DS systems with GBA compatibility, my 3DS, my PokeBank pass, and at least one edition of every Pokemon from generation three onward. After such a long wait I will soon be able to finally, finally transfer my 10 year old Pokemon, and any Pokemon from that point forward to the newest 3D(S) world, and with the creation of the PokeBank there is nearly no limit on the number of old Pokemons I can transfer to the next generation.

I am just hope I am able to play do everything I want to do with this project before Pokemon OR/AS becomes obsolete.

I am just hope I am able to play do everything I want to do with this project before Pokemon OR/AS becomes obsolete.


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#442 Building up Hype for Bayonetta 2

It was another weekend and another weekend has come and gone and with that I spent my free time playing Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 online play, and more of Pokemon White. But one new game I was playing the Demo of the Wii U exclusive, Bayonetta 2. consider it warming up my Wii U for some amazing titles come this holiday season.

I have played through the demo of the game twice, and even though it is just the prologue but it is full of constant, no context, combat. Right out the gate the game asks me to fight off waves of angelic mechas and monsters on a jet plane which speeding through a main square of a city. After you think it’s done, the demo leads you to the giant King Kong style boss fight where you fly around fighting a giant monster as it climbs up a skyscraper.

The game makes the promise of continuing that level of intensity throughout the entire game and after playing through the demo twice I realized that the kicker of the demo is that the entire sequence is only the prologue of the main game, meaning I played a part of the game that is not even in the main game and combat.

I am literally counting down the days

I am literally counting down the days

The game demo is not the only reason I am excited for this game, because if you have been paying attention I have been casually mentioning this game, Pokemon ORAS, and Super Smash Bros as a few games on a very short list of games I am eagerly waiting to be released for this upcoming holiday season.

One of the reasons why I want this game is that since I played the Deadpool game I have been waiting for another fun near mindless beat em up game that was also entertaining to play through, while I only scored bronze medals and a few silvers one the different stages in the demo there is the option for me to improve my combo mashing skills while not impeding my advancement through the game. Bayonetta 2 is also an excuse to boot up my Wii U for another game, my poor console has been sitting in my room, waiting for a new game to play, since my initial games I bought with the device from a few months ago.

But the biggest reasons I can not wait for, well lack of a better words, the fan service that Platinum Games has added to Bayonetta 2. While I have been trying hard to avoid any spoilers to the main plot I been going actively looking for all the Nintendo inspired Easter eggs added to this game. The most noticeable is the special unlockable Bayonetta costumes inspired by some of Nintendo’s characters, that offers different play styles or by using the classic sound files from Zelda and Mario games.

Metroid for the Wii U confirmed?

Metroid for the Wii U confirmed?

As I said in Be MOP #392 I love it when the game developers adds those little things like this into their game because it shows that they are confident or the game is polished enough to allow the creation, design, programming, and implication of these nonessential bit ans trivial content and nods to the player into the game

Also I won’t be so above it all to say I really want to play through Bayonetta 2 because it is a Wii U exclusive. Because of Nintendo’s decision to fund Platinum Games for a sequel, this experience  denying it to all other gamers. It is childish but I call it the annoying brother syndrome, wanting something because you know others can’t get it.

This is a first time I get to play a third party exclusive mature console specific game with no hopes of a cross platform port. This is a new feeling for me.


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#440 This November is Nintendo’s Month

My intention was not to make two 3DS focused blog posts in a row but when I got home and that little blue light on my 3DS has informed me that there was a system update available for my beloved handheld and after checking the latest gaming headlines, I knew this blog post needed to about Nintendo.

With this update came the option to replace your current wallpaper background with downloadable cosmetic skins to apply to personalize your 3DS menu. There are a few free basic color; Red, Blue Pink, Black and the default theme but there is also Theme Shop with paid cosmetic skins of handful of Mario and friends and one Zelda theme with the heavy suggestion of Nintendo added more Mario/Zelda/Pokemon and other Nintendo IP themed themes later, presumably with the launch of the New 3DS device. I was going to write about how Nintendo is joining everyone else with cosmetic microtransactions but it looks like it is the way of everyone is going now.

But something else was added with the latest 3DS that made my day, the fabled screenshot function! Something I have been lobbying for since earlier this year (Be MOP #325)  Sure it is currently only capable to take screenshots of your menu/display page but is it baby steps towards the ability to take screenshots in every future games anywhere and not just a certain photo booth spots.

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Bask in it's glory of the 3DS dual screen screenshot. Also, QUICK post your 3DS home page and rate each other's gaming library.

Bask in it’s glory of the 3DS dual screen screenshot. Also, QUICK post your 3DS home page and rate each other’s gaming library.

Another bit of Nintendo news is that Nintendo have officially announced the North American release date of  the Wii U version of Super Smash Brawl will be November 21st, which is the same day when the Pokemon Gen 3DS remake, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, hit the store shelves in the States. How are we going to handle this, players everywhere will be forced to find away to juggle weekend play between the new highly anticipated game on their Wii U and the other equally highly anticipated game my 3DS during the same weekend? To top it off in less than a week after those two bombshells hits us we also get the first installment of the two Mario Kart 8 DLC packs.

I am going to buy these games and content moment they release. 

Of course I am going to buy these games and content moment they release.

 Gabe did not prepared me for this, years and years of Steam Sales have not made ready for a week long purchasing blitz of AAA games that are priced at FULL PRICE. Wallet protect me.


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#439 The Unsung Feature of the 3DS

With this past weekend I could not be bothered to play any game besides Pokemon White and the occasional last few levels of Mega Man 2. Looking back I did feel slightly disappointed about how those were the only two games I played but I soon realized I can’t complain about constantly choosing to go back to an old game out of all my current games.

I am also playing through Pokemon White/Black to unlock the Pokemon transfer feature so I can finally get my Pokemon team from Pokemon Emerald and Fire Red to my Pokebank and get ready for the release of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

I am also playing through Pokemon White/Black to unlock the Pokemon transfer feature so I can finally get my Pokemon team from Pokemon Emerald and Fire Red to my Pokebank and get ready for the release of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

This weekend binge of re-exploring the Unova region it did highlight one of my favorite feature and unsung ability of the 3DS, the backward compatibility to play regular DS games. During the last gaming generation I was slowly moving away from handhelds and consoles like the Wii to the computer side of gaming with World of Warcraft and Steam games but with moving away from consoles with that last generation of games I have missed out on some great first and third party games for the DS and Wii.

Just like a pendulum it always swings back and with the purchase of my own Wii U and the 3DS with the most of my anticipated games for the rest of 2014 are on the Wii U and 3DS and with Nintendo’s  decision to apply backwards compatibility with their previous generation of games I am able to go back play catch up by playing the best of the best in the DS library.

when I had my first generation DS I just played all of the Pokemon games and the odd Mario game, but now I can get the cream of the crop DS titles for cheap at goodwill and videogame stores.

when I had my first generation DS I just played all of the Pokemon games and the odd Mario game, but now I all the mario, final fantasy DS titles I can find for cheap at goodwill and videogame stores. Picture via Wikipedia

I can not praise the backwards compatibility enough, with one (possibly) simple decisions Nintendo has increased the value of the 3DS in my eyes way more their feature to have ports of NES and the introduction of indie games to the eshop, which says a lot because the addition of the eShop is the third biggest contributor to the value of my 3DS, next to actually playing 3DS games.


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#429 The 3DS Time Capsule

The next installment of Super Smash Bros. is right around the corner, while I have been patiently waiting to buy my Wii U edition of the game I have been killing time and getting more excited for Nintendo’s newest brawl by playing some of the original titles of some of the fighters in the rosters on my 3DS. Blame it on the fact that I am a history fanatic that enjoys a good origin story, and where some of these original, now iconic, tunes that I hear over and over again in the brawl soundtracks WITHOUT resorting to emulation or romhacks.

I have mentioned before I already own a copy of the NES port of Super Mario Bros (Be MOP #380) and Metroid (Be MOP #406) and through one way or another I also picked up 3D Classics: Kid Icarus. It seems that Nintendo was thinking the same thing because I received an email about their discounted Wii U and 3DS games starring the stars of Brawl and with that I picked up a copy of Mega Man II.

 

 Who says Nintendo doesn't know their player base and have an on point marketing team

Who says Nintendo doesn’t know their player base and have an on point marketing team

With the the released replenishing of the Featured Games offers and my surplus of Club Nintendo rewards coins I also picked up the Legend of Zelda on the 3DS for myself and the first Super Mario Bros for my younger brother.

Because that what bigger brothers do.

Because that what bigger brothers do.

While I am still clicking through Tomodachi Life, waiting for the right moment to open up Bravely Default, these proper 8 bit games have been holding me off the itch for buying another action platform game. All of these games are challenging, way tougher than I anticipated, as I mentioned at the origin point at the start of this blog post, I get to see and hear all the original tunes and experience the first boss fights that all future installments of Mario and Zelda games base themselves off of and for the cherry on top, I also get to see, first hand, the inspiration of the levels and bosses in Shovel Knight.


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#421 Enjoying the Palate Cleanser Games

This weekend I finally sat down and plowed through the last few dungeons of Zelda: A Link between Worlds. I do not want to talk too much about it but I will say that the games is the closest thing to an open world version of Binding of Isaac, and I can see what all the game’s praises were well deserved.

Which is not surprising since A Link between two Worlds is a sequel to a Link to the Past which was the template and blueprint for what Binding of Isaac was suppose to be.

Which is not surprising since A Link between two Worlds is a sequel to a Link to the Past which was the template and blueprint for what Binding of Isaac was suppose to be.

 

After such a rich game like Zelda it is always nice to decompress with a game that cleanses the palate between moving on to the next rich game, which is exactly the reason why I started playing Tomodachi Life right after saving Hyrule.

Even though I just started playing Tomodachi Life my first impressions is that it is a life simulation mixed with a point and click adventure game with all of the adventure removed.The Miis with have a problem they want you to address, like being hungry or showing interest in another resident and immediately after that a prompt will appear on screen pointing you to exactly want you need to do.

Do you know what? Even if there is no challenge to the game I am still having fun, importing my Miis of family members and famous people, filling out their personality to the best mirror the real life version, and seeing them all interact with each other can be a great way to relax. Best of all Tomodachi has dual screen screenshot support!

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That's right Reggie is a resident in my island

That’s right Reggie is a resident on my island

 

It is exactly like what Kirby Triple Deluxe did for me too, the cute art direction, the bright music, and simple and easy platform levels are exactly what the doctor ordered after playing up the point in Shovel Knight were I was properly rage quitting out of the game (at the second the last stage of the game) with those unforgiving obstetrical that constantly knocked me down bottomless pits of death.

I have a feeling that Tomodachi Life is one of those never ending games, so I will not be finishing it or completing the game but playing it just enough for it to get to that level of wackiness advertised in the reveal video then getting bored and moving on to the crème de la crème: Bravery Default.

 

been saving this one for last

been saving this one for last. Been meaning to pick up a Final Fantasy-like game for the 3DS for a while now


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