Tag Archives: Pokemon

#539 The Charmander Rant

*This is a bit of a tangent from the usual Be MOP posts but this rant has been nesting in the back of my mind for ages and I need to get it off my chest*

There is a running gag on the internet that out of the three generation 1 Pokemon starters that Charmander was the best choice and Buldabuar was the worst pick. When in fact it is quite the opposite.

Two things you need to know before continuing:

Pokemon’s main gameplay strategy is to use type advantages. That is quite literally lesson one of the game and why the three starters are Fire-Water-Grass and not three types that are neither super or not very effective against each other, like Normal, Poison and Electric. That is why you do not go against the Elite Four’s Bruno with Fire or Bug Pokemons.

And way back when, when I was playing Pokemon Red on my Gameboy color, I was one of the Pokemon Trainers that chose bulbasaur as my first starter.
250px-001Bulbasaur

And that is why the few righteous players that picked Bulbasaur were rewarded with the first two gym leaders, Brock and Misty, that were super effective against grass types. People who picked Squirtle were rewarded with only the first gym to be super effective against, while those poor people who picked Charmander got NOTHING.

In the early game there is not as many chances to get the variety of Pokemon types compared to after at the second gym, when you get to Vermilion Gym and the game starts opening up some more.

By the third Gym, electric, the game world was able to stretch it’s arms and show us the other elemental pokemons, like the invaluable Diglett Cave and allowing the game difficulties to plateaued a bit between the three starters.

Despite the all that, bulbasaur being the objectively best choice of starters, he still get the shaft in terms of marketing and promotion and community love.

It is incredibly infuriating.

“oh but Charizard's a winged DRAGON how cool is that!?” First, everyone knows that Charizard is not a proper dragon type and secondly Charizard could not even use HM02 until Pokemon Yellow, THEY HAD TO PATCH THAT FEATURE IN LATER.

“oh but Charizard’s a winged DRAGON how cool is that!?” First, everyone knows that Charizard is not a proper dragon type and secondly Charizard could not even use HM02 until Pokemon Yellow, THEY HAD TO PATCH THAT FEATURE IN LATER.

I was giving this particular rant to a college friend of mine, and this response, as I am assured some of you who are a fan of game design might argue; that the Pokemon Team intentionally gave charmander and squirtle a type disadvantage to give a subtle EASY, NORMAL, and HARD mode to the Kanto region.

That argument would have hold water if it was not for the FireRed and LeafGreen revisiting Generation 1 for the GameBoy Advance, and gamefreak gave charmander they obscenely over-powered-against-rock-types and out of place move, Metal Claw. A move that wipes the floor with Brock’s team, rebalancing the first game giving all starters a fair shake at being SUPER EFFECTIVE against the first Pokemon boss, Thus retconning one of Pokemon’’s poor Gen 1 game design.

Can someone please explain to me, even with the argument I made, WHY charmander and charizard still gets so much love on the internet and from the Pokemon Company? Why since everything in the Pokemon’s own game points towards to obviously superior grass type starter pokemon.


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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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#499 The return of the 3DS Time Capsule

I have recently run into a bit of a conundrum, I have currently run out of 3DS games to play. I gave up on Bravely Default game, after much self hype (Be MOP #487). Funny enough it was a just game that could not click with me, too much of a micromanagement JRPG for my liking. Besides that, I have been waning and waxing on my other source of 3DS entertainment, my burning desire to be the best, that no one ever was, by completing my X/Y and OR/AS pokedex.

At this point I can not even be bothered to finish the regional dex, let alone the national dex.

At this point I can not even be bothered to finish the regional dex, let alone the national dex.

 

Right now I am patiently waiting for the window of opportunity to open for my time to buy Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. sometime after my next post-PAX paycheck. Two games I have been sinking my teeth into.

Some recent cleaning have allowed me to unearthed some old DS games, the two are the original New Super Mario Bros. and the other has held the focus of my spare time, Super Mario 64 DS, a game that takes the title of Nintendo’s worst gaming name of all time.

Its a Super Mario game with two suffixes, so much worst than any  Nintendo games with "New" in the name.

Its a Super Mario game with two suffixes, so much worst than any Nintendo games with “New” in the name.

I have played through it all the way once before when I first received the game back in 2004, but it is only replaying it now how much I appreciate Super Mario 64 DS as a wonderful game. It has all the original N64 textures and graphics with the added gameplay feature of the second screen serving as the map for the area and the option to play as Yoshi, Luigi, and Wario on top of the original Mario.and the gameplay is greatly improved by the addition of the 3DS circle pad.

Playing through Super Mario 64 DS for two reasons, one to get me back into the N64 play style or the OoT and MM3DS ports a kin  sequel to my pre-smash hype (Be MOP #429) where I played some origins and best of retro games of some of the Smash characters. More importantly I have been playing through Super Mario 64 DS because I can, out of all of the gaming companies, Nintendo is the only company to embrace backwards compatibility, meaning I can still play a 10 year old game and any other Nintendo DS game just like new.


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#483 Thoughts on the New 3DS Handheld

In the middle of this week Nintendo hosted their monthly Nintendo Direct NA feed across the internet. Nintendo started the new year running with status updates on some confirmed games for this year, while revealing some new upcoming projects and most importantly Nintendo showcased their newest handheld, the New 3DS device.

As of right now classic 3DS is going to be pushing four years old next month, so it was not too surprising to hear that a newer, slightly upgraded model coming to the shelves. Because of this wonderful thing called ‘The Internet’ and ‘Globalization’ the western world knew about this for quite a while, and I have given it some thought over the past few weeks on whether I should abandon my old 3DS device, go out, and purchase this new edition to device line.

The funny thing is that while I just celebrated my 3DS's one year anniversary, my brother just got his 3DS XL last week just for Smash and Pokemon.

The funny thing is that while I just celebrated my 3DS’s one year anniversary, my brother just got his 3DS XL last week just for Smash and Pokemon.

Th New 3DS model comes has some new features and gimmicks added over the classic model. Besides the Super NES colored buttons, the major selling points Nintendo has stressed are; faster processing power than the regular 3DS, Amiibo/NFC support added to the bottom screen, face tracking technology so that no mater what angle you face the screen the device will adjust itself to prevent any 3D tearing.

All those selling points are interested and neat, but so far it is not worthy enough to do a day one buy for this newest Nintendo handheld, but possibly to replace if mine 3DS ever breaks down, considering it as a replacement rather than an upgrade. The big question is, “How much will the New 3DS be a must buy to enjoy future Nintendo handheld games?”

In order to have the New 3DS be considered a hard hitting, must buy, successor to the four year old 3DS, it needs to have some hard hitting system sellers that utilizes the Amiibo capabilities and the faster processor. Currently Nintendo has confirmed that 3DS smash will be patched in with Amiibo support  and they also have the New 3DS exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles port but I need something more to convince me that this is a good investment, worthy of upgrading.

As always Nintendo could force my hand by making their next big Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon game exclusive to the New 3DS handheld. We might see that in the upcoming year, I honestly do not know the future of Nintendo and their New 3DS.


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#476 Finally Buying Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS

Last Monday night, with some spare Christmas cash I caved in and bought Super Smash Bros for the 3DS, on the way to home from work.

This is the wonderful time, for me, where all the extra holiday cash from work and family comes in after Christmas where I go out and buy all the gives I wanted to buy for me.

This is the wonderful time, for me, where all the extra holiday cash from work and family comes in after Christmas where I go out and buy all the gives I wanted to buy for me.

Like before, I have talked about the idea of buying 3DS Smash before (Be MOP #450), knowing that for a fact that I was going to buy the Wii U edition on day one but even with the ability to use the 3DS device as a spare controller for the console game I was still hesitant on buying the same game twice, and at full price no less.

I was still on the fence on buying it this past weekend, until I was talking to my younger brother about my dilemma and he asked me two very simple questions.

Is the game good enough to buy the game again on another platform? The answer is yes. After playing through Smash on the Wii U I can say that it is one of the only two recently released games I would buy again if it meant getting another copy of the game, that and Binding of Isaac Rebirth are the only two games to hold that honor.

BoI:Re for the 3DS WHEN!?

BoI:Re for the 3DS WHEN!?

The other major question was, “Is this going to be one of the major games to bring to PAX and to an extend all future gaming conventions?” The answer was also another yes.

From my observations it has seem that the past few year it has seem that the Nintendo 3DS has secured it spot as THE gaming device to bring to any gaming event. With the StreetPass incentive to push you to bring your device out into the public, but their games like Pokemon and the built in Street Pass games were the perfect ways to pass the time in the long lines I predict Smash will be the same type of game where you can turn to anyone in a line for panel and play a few rounds just to kill time and make a friend or two along the way.

I would not be buying it now if it was not for a PHYSICAL copy of the game's soundtrack. it's like Nintendo knows just how to push the buttons of our wallets.

I would not be buying it now if it was not for a PHYSICAL copy of the game’s soundtrack. it’s like Nintendo knows just how to push the buttons of our wallets.

As I mentioned at the beginning that I did ending up buying the game for the handheld, within the few days of playing the game, and to a surprise to no one, I have surprisingly enjoying the game. Going in I knew the fact that the game would be a full port of the console game but I did not realize what that meant until I saw that it was the full Wii U game with the same controls, all the items, and the full character roster with locked 60 fps, all crammed into such a tiny game cartage

Now I can get good on the go!

Now I can get good on the go!

Funny enough it was the same two questions that forced the same brother I was talking to go out and buy a 3DS, Smash, and the latest Pokemon,  for the exact same reasons, because he loved the game and because he knows that this will be the game everyone will be playing in their spare time at PAX.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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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.

Be MOP Banner

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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