Tag Archives: Nintendo 3DS

#511 A weekend of Nintendo

Following my Friday’s Blog Post, it seems that the magic Nintendo Stars aligned to grant me a wonderful Nintendo filled weekend. First my paycheck arrived and with that I finally caved and bought the Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D edition. I will talk about that game more once I sink more play time into to to get past the second or third dungeon and enough of the side quests. I will say Majora’s Mask has some excellent level designs, with the ability to communicate what the game wanted me to do without any handholding or tutorials beyond the movement controls and it has some of the best 4D puzzles I have ever seen in a game.

I've been eyeing this game for a while and it was ...wait for it... about TIME I picked up this game

I’ve been eyeing this game for a while and it was …wait for it… about TIME I picked up this game

After that I remembered that Club Nintendo was closing down and I still have not cashed in my Club Nintendo Fun-Bucks, along with the complementary Flipnote Studio 3D app for being a Club Nintendo member I also downloaded the Virtual Console edition of the Game Boy color game, The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening DX.

Link’s Awakening is the Game Boy port of Link to the past, which is the predecessor of my favorite 2D Zelda game, A Link Between Worlds and the inspiration to one of my favorite games series of all time, the Binding of Isaac. Lets hope the port holds up with compared to it’s other brothers in the genre.

I did not realize I was as much as a Zelda fan I was until this generation of consoles and handhelds.

I did not realize I was as much as a Zelda fan I was until this generation of consoles and handhelds.

The other highlight of my past weekend was that I finally received my free copy of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. I wrote about this before but this was free promotional gift to everyone in Club Nintendo that bought both copies of Super Smash Bros and registered on the Club Nintendo site.

The Album is two discs with 36 songs and tracks each, one from the 3DS soundtrack and the other from the Wii U version of the game and best of all it is a physical copy of the soundtrack, with a colored insert and all. The thing is this was only for Club Nintendo users, and it would have incredibly simple, and cost effective to simple email everyone who qualified a web link to one of their servers for just a simple .zip file. But no, Nintendo went out of it’s way to order, produce and ship these out to the presumed thousands of people who bought both games.

They did not have to but because they did they have earned a bit more respect in their customer appreciation department now.

They did not have to but because they did they have earned a bit more respect in their customer appreciation department now.

This is a great weekend because with the purchase of Legend of Zelda, Majora’s Mask and Link’s Awakening have been looking for a reason to open up and play my 3DS beyond just updating and exhausting all my free turns in Pokemon Shuffle. Now only if I could find a killer game that would give me motivation to boot up my Wii U.


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#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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#474 My Amiibo Wish

Christmas came this year and I am glad to write that the day was full of gifts, good spirits, holiday foods and of course a viewing of Lord of the Rings. Out of everything that Santa brought Amiibos versions of my brother and my main, Pikachu for me, Yoshi for one of my brother, and Kirby for my other brother.

Jump > Down+ B for days

Jump > Down+ B for days

I wrote about the Amiibo products before (Be MOP #459), and during that time o writing I was tempted to buy a one or two and I am glad I did not. Upon opening and inspecting, the figurine are quite impressive and stand alone statues, with a nice weight to it and and you could just was easily to use it just as a desk decoration but the Smash integration and customization is still the ‘system sell’ of these collectibles.

Smash my be the reason for the Amiibo’s creation, but I hope that this is the kickoff the renaissance of some of some of the other great Nintendo Intellectual Properties. Nintendo has announced that there will be an Amiibo for all the Smash characters, from Rosalina to Mega Man and Duck Hunt and more importantly Nintendo has also started making plans to integrate these Amiibos into other Nintendo games, beyond Smash.

As of right now we just have Mario Kart 8, Zelda Hyrule Warriors, and Smash as the three Wii U games that utilize the RFID feature. But these Amiibo’s still have a lot of potential for their future confirmed products, with the Open World main Zelda title, next proper Star Fox game, and the Wii U Kirby game.

Want.

Want.

Now With the commitment Nintendo has placed in creating, shipping and selling these Amiibo figures I hope this hints at a long term plan from Nintendo to bring back more of their other, non-confirmed, I.P like Metroid, F-Zero, Kid Icarus the Fire Emblem crew to the Wii U for their own games.

But more importantly I wish to see all future Amiibo supported games give full support to all 40+ characters,because while we all know that Mario, Link, and Kirby Amiibos will be used on all of the future Nintendo games, I want confirmation that in the future, if I ever buy the less popular Nintendo Amiibos characters, that I will be able to use them just as much as the Mario and Link amiibos and get just as much in-game value from it.

I understand that the third party characters (Mega Man and Pac-Man) might have some legal hassle for using their image in other Nintendo games, but that's no excuse for Nintendo's other First party characters 

I understand that the third party characters (Mega Man and Pac-Man) might have some legal hassle for using their image in other Nintendo games, but that’s no excuse for Nintendo’s other First party characters


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#471 Three Years

Today is a day for celebration, because today is the three year anniversary marking the event when I created this Be MOP blog and published it’s first post on WordPress. As I said in last year’s post (Be MOP #315), this blog was created after my Junior college midterms after I experienced a very early quarter life crisis.

What is impressive is that in my three years of blogging I still have the bragging rights of not missed any of my Monday, Wednesday, Friday blog post deadlines. Three years of trying to balance college midterms, finals, graduations, dealing with the transition away from college life, and all of the random inconveniences that popped up along the way I was still here, updating my blog on the same schedule I created for myself since Day One.

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Since my last 2013 anniversary post and now, what now has changed with me and this blog?

At the start of the year I received a 3DS handheld system with a copy of Pokemon Y for Christmas (Be MOP #318) with lead to influx of various Pokemon and Mario posts appearing on this blog. Later in the year I went out and bought a Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle (Be MOP #391) and went full Nintendo Fan Boy with this blog by writing about almost nothing but Nintendo from October to December.

But how can you blame me? All of those Nintendo exclusive games were fun from beginning to end and it was a refreshing change of pace from almost anything else I played through on my PC. Nintendo was something I did not know I needed until I got it, now it has been a staple of my weekly free gaming time.

It is amazing that the Wii U, the weakest console this gen, has been able to pump out the most amazing games from this year with having Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Smash run at either 720p or 1080p while having the frame rate be locked at 60fps. I have a theory that the people at Nintendo code their games on magic.

It is amazing that the Wii U, the weakest console this gen, has been able to pump out the most amazing games from this year with having Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Smash run at either 720p or 1080p while having the frame rate be locked at 60fps. I have a theory that the people at Nintendo code their games on magic.

This year I also celebrated my one year of unsubscribing from Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, an impressive feat. As I wrote in my post blog when I talked more in-depth about the year from the MMO (Be MOP #408), but enough things have gotten inbetween me and WoW the resubscribing would be a waste of money.

and no amount of emails will persuade me to go back, Blizzard

and no amount of emails will persuade me to go back, Blizzard

But out of everything,my most impressive development this year was development of my own Twitch Channel, branching out the Be MOP name from beyond text to video. Since late April, when I was announcing my plans to do start Live Streaming Infinite Crisis and other videogames (Be MOP #370). I have participated in my first 24 hour stream for Extra Life charity event, helping raise $290 dollars to benefit Boston Children’s Hospital. I have also recently reached my 100th day of streaming (Be MOP #454) and shortly after that I hit 100+ followers on my Twitch Channel.

Since my debut as a streamer and now, I have; accepted into Turbine’s Infinite Crisis Twitch Partnership program, joined the Infinite Crisis Community Stream Team, and have even been invited to stream on the official Infinite Crisis Twitch Channel every week as a Community Streamer.

And I got cool Infinite Crisis skins to give out all this weekend.

Fun Fact: Because of the old Streaming schedule (M/W/F 11:30- 2:30am and Sat 11-2a) There was a time when I was technically streaming seven days a week

I wonder how long I have to be on Twitch before I can confidently add “Twitch Streamer” to my LinkedIn profile?

Just like my previous yearly posts,

To make this go full circle here’s a the link to my first post on this blog. Enjoy and I’ll see you back here Monday.”


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#467 Proper ORAS Impressions

I finished my copy of ORAS early on Friday Morning, at around 3:30 am, since then I spent this week exploring the post game with all that, I believe I have enough to give, not a review but an more proper impression of the game. This post might be a month or two late for the internet, but this is my blog and I want to talk about it now.

All the images from this post is from other websites because the 3DS still wont let me take screenshots of in game activities

All the images from this post is from other websites because the 3DS still wont let me take screenshots of in game activities

In the base game, it is the same ten year old story about a 10 year old leaving his/her home to tackle the world of eight gym leaders and the four members of the elite four to claim the title of Pokemon Champion, a staple plot for all the Pokemon world. As everyone else has proclaimed the game has a beautiful graphical upgrade, from the XY engine being used on the assets of the GBA world, with improved cities and gyms layouts to the 3D character models and battles.

Almost everything is the same, except for some reason in the remake Game freak decided to cut the Volcanic ash trials from Route 113, the animation for the Ninja trainers to jump out of their hiding spots, and the HM Waterfall animation as well.

Its a little gripe, but it was a cool feature. picture from Bulbapedia

Its a little gripe, but it was a cool feature in the original.
picture from Bulbapedia

Out of everything in the remake I did appreciate the rebalancing of the first few batch of low level wild Pokemons you meet at the start of your adventure, but only if you seek up on a Pokemon. For example there is required event where you sneak up on a wild Pokemon and if you catch it you are rewarded with a low level Poochyena with Thunder Fang. That Poochyena helped me through the beginning game, and it stayed on his move sets all the way up to the E4.

As I was playing through the story campaign I noticed the weird contrast of the new generation hand-holding with the old school game design.  With one hand ORAS offers you the revised exp share item, colored text and camera pans and the option for fast travel to get you where to go next to advance the plot but in the other hand ORAS gives you the caves and dungeons in the original setting, which requires you to leave a space in your team for a HM slave to get past the bolder puzzles or to cross a river, something Gamefreak moved away from since the Black and White games.

My only other complaint is with the game’s pacing. With the original game I did not notice this problem but with the graphical update and the addition of cut scenes, I did get the feeling that the game reached it’s best moment before the story ended. In the game you, personally, get to witness the birth of an ancient monster, see it run rampant, race it towards civilization and down the halls of origins. You go toe to toe with this beast, defeating it thus saving the world.

Then after all of that you are asked to take down one more gym leader and prove your worth, again, at the Elite Four. I saved the world, the game should let me get that Pokemon Champion title just for that, it does not help that you are given the Eon flute after the Groudon/Kyogre fight that will literally take you anywhere else in the world than the 8th gym leader’s city.

It feels like being pulled down to a regular adventure after being the ultimate hero

It feels like being pulled down to a regular adventure after being the ultimate hero. Pic from Bulbapedia

But one of my favorite thing about the original RSE games is the added things besides the basic story line, the Beauty Contests, the Trick Base on Route 110, side quests, and the end game Battle island this game follows through in spades, with all of the above and the addition of hunting for megastones, searching for the old generation legendaries with the Soar feature, the now traditional Looker mini quest and the highly advertised Emerald Delta episode.

As a side note, It is nice to see the Secret Bases went to their next logical conclusion with the addition of the Streetpass feature to share your base and team with anyone near by and a QR code to share with anyone around the world, and as soon as I finish decorating my base I’ll share my QR code with everyone here and on Twitter.

All I can say now is, “Sinnoh Remake When?”


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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.

spider_man_50_years

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.

IMG_20141203_133010_794

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


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