Tag Archives: pokemon franchise

#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#418 Pokemon’s Depth

To follow up from Friday’s post I started my hand at building a somewhat competitive team while I was busy watching the Pokemon World series,Those two events may or may not be related to each other and the Pokemon Company may or may not have also hired a stellar marketing team to promote the event during the entire weekend. I started my ideal Pokemon team composition with my pick my favorite mega Pokemon I wanted plus the handful of others I wanted and built the rest of the team around the other competitive roles I was missing, and then went to the internet to find the best possible Pokemon build.

My decision to build a competitive Pokemon team has not done wonders for the other 3DS games waiting for me to play them

My decision to build a competitive Pokemon team does not bode for the other 3DS games on my backlog, waiting for their time to shine

 

I started off the weekend collecting the various Pokemon parents for breeding the future Pokemon then with the preferred Ability and nature but before I started collecting copious amounts of Slowpoke eggs. It was only a decent time has passed when I realized that there was such a thing as Hidden Abilities that could not be obtained through breeding any normal pokemon. Which sent me back to Azure Bay to try farming Slowpoke Horde encounters trying to catch a slowpoke with  Regenerator.

Only after a few more encounters of randomly picked slowpokes to catch with no results I went back to the internet to find if there are better ways of finding that rare Hidden Ability Pokemon and I learned the importance of the ability Trace and Role Play outside of battles in the setting up of competitive play team. So I spent the rest of the weekend refarming slowpokes by spamming my Greninja’s Role Play move on ever single single Slowpoke for the off chance of finding the one slowpoke I wanted.

I will happily give away any and all non-Quiet Regenerator to all interested just to spare anyone else from the terrible grinding that I had to endure with every single slow poke casting Yawn at my Greninja, that only stalls my ability to detect the One. slowpoke. I. wanted.

I will happily give away any and all non-Quiet Regenerator to all interested players just to spare anyone else from the terrible grinding that I had to endure with every single slowpoke casting Yawn at my Greninja, that only stalls my ability to detect the one. slowpoke. I. wanted.

 

After catching the slowpoke I wanted, I realized that whole ordeal was only the precursor to the actual grind session I wanted,  which was trying to breed a Quiet Regenerator slowpoke, preferably by the time the release of Gen 3DS Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games and the introduction of the Mega Slowbro.

I am reminded of a quote that I want to show a quote from J.C. Smith, who hit the nail on the head about the popularity of the Pokemon franchise and how it has been able to carry on being relevant after two decades:

“We do have to find that balance as marketers, because we want kids that are just coming into it to realize it’s established but it’s not exclusive,” said Smith in an interview. “You don’t have to have been playing for 25 years to understand what’s going on. You can get in and the game will explain itself to you, then you can get into the depth that everyone’s talking about. So that’s very important for us to be able to have that accessibility. But then there’s things like we did here, with the Mega Slowbro reveal. We want something to play to the audience that’s more into the franchise and has been playing it for years and knows these characters intimately, and has their favorites that they want to see in Mega form. So we find that balance the fun part.”

 

While the entire quote is important to read I do want to focus on the middle part that talked about the depth of the Pokemon games. I might have spent my entire weekend grinding and team building, but it was worth it because it was the first time in a long time since I learned about something new about Pokemon, like what exactly are hidden abilities, how to easily detect hidden powers, the location of all the hidden mega stones in the post game side quest, and the best tricks on breeding certain Pokemon. I might be out of my depth right now, after jumping head first into the vast world of the metagame of competitive pokemon but is already paying off with the adventures I have already had and the conversations with other Pokemon trainers in my attempts to build a decent Pokemon team.

 

 


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