Tag Archives: ORAS

#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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#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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#463 Games from my Backlog for the month of December 2014

December is here you you know what that means, it is time for me to break out the peppermint hot chocolate//mocha drinks, sit down and watch some of my favorite Christmas movies and it is time for me to choose a few more games from my ever growing backlog. Last month I decided to play the recently released The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on the PC and the first Bayonetta on the Wii U.

At the start of this project I honestly thought that I could actually try to get my gaming backlog under control to a reasonable size, but I now know better, after realizing all the good games this is an exercise to become a better experienced gamer.

At the start of this project I honestly thought that I could actually try to get my gaming backlog under control to a reasonable size, but I now know better, after realizing all the good games this is an exercise to become a better experienced gamer.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth: I have not talked much about the remastered version of Binding of Isaac but I have played the game for about eleven hours and it is a wonderful game but the thing stopping me from putting literally hundreds of hours in game, like I did with the previous Binding game was because I already played it.

This was something that I was afraid of happening, I got burnt out on the game, the magic I first time I played the original game is gone. (Be MOP #436) There is new content in the game, with more new enemies, bosses, levels, and items then I could count but there was not enough new item combinations to keep me interested in playing. It is not the developers fault, I just hate replaying games and I was really hoping that this game would be different.

I am glad that Steamworks is now built into the game, so I can just go through Steam to take simple screenshots

I am glad that Steamworks is now built into the game, so I can just go through Steam to take simple screenshots

Bayonetta 1: This was one of the several Nintendo games I picked up from last month and funny enough this was one was a freebie. I really wanted to play the Nintendo exclusive Bayonetta 2 but in the United States every physical copy of Bayonetta 2 came with a the Wii U port of Bayonetta one for free.

After playing through the game I can say it is a good game,the fights are epic, the combos are easily executable but that is all coming from someone that has no experience in fighter games besides the one shovelware beat ’em up game, Power Rangers Super Legends (Be MOP #227).

ANYTHING is better than that game.

ANYTHING is better than that game. 

One of my favorite thing about the Bayonetta series is how wonderfully apologetically sexy the main character is, literally everything Bayonetta does has a level of sex appeal to it, while it can be an issue to some players the only problem I had was that I could not, in good faith, play this game around family members and when there was company around. Which means that I could not complete the last few levels before the Thanksgiving holiday season was upon us.

But it is the first day of the last month of the year, so I need to pick some more unplayed games to work through. I might be pulling a cop-out but this month I am going to be playing two games that have not been sitting patiently in my extensive library of games, but two that are still hot off the presses and two games I have hinted at last month. The first game is Omega Ruby, I am currently close to finishing this game’s story campaign but like most Pokemon games there is so much more content in the post-game, this time in the form of Contests and secret bases that I need to play through all of what this game has to offer before moving on to any other handheld game.

As a surprise to no one my other game to play through for this month is going to be Bayonetta 2, because now that I have a rough understanding on who the characters in Bayonetta are and I can start to work through the game that I actually wanted for my Birthday. Hopefully starting the next year I will have my fill of Nintendo fix and start moving back to PC games.


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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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#455 When is it OK to remake of a game?

It seems that a new recent trend with many Gaming companies is to release a fresh batch of remakes of old games to celebrate the start of the new console gaming generation.

So far we have Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS, Wind Waker HD, Majora Mask 3DS, on Nintendo’s devices. The Master Chief Collection and Last of Us are the major exclusive releases for Microsoft’s and Sony’s console respectively.

Last week I celebrated the release of Binding of Isaac Rebirth on PC and it’s debut on PS4 but that is not the only contender on this gaming trend. Lately we also have the official re-release of Grand Theft Auto 5, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs for the new consoles.

Everyone has some stance when it comes to buying video games, there are those on the internet who are excited for these games to come out for their new devices, and other have gone to the forums proclaiming that these and most remakes are just a cheap trick pulled by these gaming companies to get a quick buck as filler content before they can announce their proper next current generation game.

I land somewhere in the middle, so for today I am going to provide my personal checklist to answer the question, “When is it ok to buy a remake of a game?”

I have been meaning to talk about this issue for ages, with the rumor of GTA V for the Xbox 1 and PlayStation 4 but I felt like I needed more games in this category before I could talk about it.

I have been meaning to talk about this issue for ages, with the rumor of GTA V for the Xbox 1 and PlayStation 4 but I felt like I needed more games in this category before I could talk about it.

 

 

**The first thing on my list is when the old game is ported to a new engine.**

 

We see this with Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire being ported to the X/Y 3DS engine, with Binding of Isaac moving away from being coded on flash and I can not speak for the Halo development team but I assume their Xbox One games as well.

I suspect that it took quite a bit of time remaking the entire region  from the old pixelized world

I suspect that it took quite a bit of time remaking the entire region from the old pixelated world

Being ported to a new engine means that the developers actually put effort into recreating the old world with the new technological tools they had since the game first came out, proving it is not just an upgraded port of the old game. As Edmund McMillen said in his F.A.Q, moving away from flash was able to have the freedom to add more content and have the game better reflect what the type of game he wanted from the beginning.

**New content added….beyond the bundled DLC**

I can only talk about Pokemon ORAS and Binding of Isaac with confidence but both games have added more content to their base game. Just like porting the game to a new engine added content is there as a sign that the game developers put some serious thought and effort into remaking the game to provide more content and reason to justify the decision for the consumer to rebuy the game again.

With Pokemon we have the game play advances we have all come to know and love since the old Gameboy Advance games like the inclusion of  fairy types and mega evolution but on top of that we get the recently advertised feature the new Hidden Move, Soar, giving the players the ability to roam around the Hoenn region as the next logical step for HM02, Fly.

With Binding of Isaac, we have all content from the basic game and the Wrath of Lamb DLC already in the game, but even with all of that the game was just about half the content, the people behind Binding added more items, trinkets, enemies, bosses and levels. With all the returning the old and new items the game has been balanced and tinkered with to provide better synergize with different types of tear shots from all the possible item combinations.

So much added content that within the week of being the only non-stream PC game I played in the last week I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the added content,.

So much added content that within the week of being the only non-stream PC game I played in the last week I have not even begun to scratch the surface of the added content,.

The last and most important criteria for buying a remade game, in my opinion, is:

 

**A remanded game that could still be needed even with backwards compatibility**

 

Backwards compatibility has been a big issue with me with this gaming generation, as well as others, when there was the announcement that newest consoles, aside from Nintendo, could not and would not play any of their games from previous generation’s library. This category focuses on all the games I have not mentioned yet like The Last of Us, Halo 3 & 4, and all the other third-party games remakes.

This leads me to a major question I have with these recent AAA remakes, as a PC gamer is “Why”? Why would anyone play and even pay full price for the same game again with just a graphical upgrade? To side with people I mentioned earlier, It does seem a bit lazy just porting an old game to the PS4 and Xbox One and it only happens that because of the technical ability of the platforms these game developers chose to work with. I do not recall much from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 launch library but I do not remember just after the last gen was revealed a major influx of remastered old  PS2 and Xbox games for everyone to buy again.

You can give Nintendo flack for rehashing established Intellectual Properties and reselling their old games on every new platform but at least it is new to the device, like we see with the NES/SNES ports on the 3DS or old games that dates back two generations, like we see with Zelda Wind Waker, and where credit is due, half of the Halo collection.

I remember my brothers and I playing this game on the Wii almost more than any other wii game besides Mario Kart and Smash

I remember my brothers and I playing this game on the Wii almost more than any other wii game besides Mario Kart and Smash

But that is just my opinion, I want to know what you think, what are the criteria for buying remade/remastered games? Feel free to leave a comment below.


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#449 Kicking off Nintendo Domination Month

Yesterday I finally got around to receiving my slightly belated Birthday gift, Bayonetta 2 and because of the benevolence of Nintendo, along with the sequel I received a physical copy of the first game in the standard edition. Since I am new to the series I have spent most of my free time yesterday playing through Bayonetta 1 before I even touch the shiny new next-gen follow up game.

BayonettaWiiU-1

I have gotten to the point in the game where it introduce the ,lack for a better word, causal insta-kill scenarios into the regular part of the game

Depending on how well I take to these games I might continue the Platinum hype train with buying their earlier Wii U game, the Wonderful 101.

Besides game play Bayonetta is an interesting topic because there is so much one could talk and speculate about. I could go into an full post about how this is one of Nintendo’s first mature rated first party game since Conker’s Bad Fur Day or how it was Nintendo’s choice to allow some of their greatest female characters like Peach, Daisy, and Samus to be cosmetic costumes for Bayonetta, and even pushing the creators to make the costumes even more sexier and what it means for the future of Nintendo and their Family Friendly status that they have been building up for the past few decades.

Or I could talk about Nintendo’s choice actually advertise this game, on both Adult Swim and on the “American men’s lifestyle magazine” Playboy to advertise their Nintendo exclusive game with web advertisements and  they only way Playboy knows how, with a photo shoot with one of their models.

 What a time to be alive. My favorite thing is how the Mii-verse is handling  a game with such unapologetic sex appeal and swearing.

What a time to be alive. My favorite thing is how the Mii-verse is handling a game with such unapologetic sex appeal and swearing.

These are all good topics that I might return to later, once we have more evidence to suggest that this is a new trend for Nintendo, rather than magnificent lighting in a bottle event. Instead I want to shine light in the fact that Bayonetta 2 kicks off what I am calling, and what I have written about before (Be MOP #440), Nintendo Domination Month. I have been waiting for this event for a very long time because within this one month period all of my most anticipated games for 2014, most of them just so happens to be Nintendo IPs, will hit the shelves.

The arrival of Bayonetta 1 and 2 on the Wii U kicked off the season followed by the remake of one of my favorite game, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, the only PC game on this list, but from what we saw the advancement of Bayonetta, it could be on the eShop catalog one day. Then sometime in November we will be receiving the first half of Mario Kart 8 DLC, with the introduction of new characters, vehicles and new tracks.

After THAT we finally see  the Gen 3DS remake, Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and long awaited Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U released on the same day. All of these games are coming out within four weeks and all of these games are titles I am beyond pumped to buy them all, which is great because recently I have been using my Wii U’s Amazon streaming app more than playing games on it, which is a serious sign that I needed to improve my console’s library.

I will be talking about Smash, the DLC, and my thoughts very soon.

I will be talking about Smash, the DLC, and my thoughts very soon.

Pardon me if for the next month or two I will be focusing mostly on Nintendo’s practice and games, this is the first time in quite a while that I have been excited for the release of any one game, let alone six of them. Heaven only knows how I will be able to juggle my free time between all these games.


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