Tag Archives: Video games

#533 Spare an Extra Buck for Extra Life? 2015

Just like last year, this blog post is going to be a little bit different. Instead of a post that talks about my adventures in a recent video game or my opinions on a recent game story I would instead like to announce my continued participation with the Extra Life Charity organization.

Extra Life Ad_300x250

The Extra Life charity is a part of the Children’s Miracle Network and it organize gamers from around the world to get together to what we do best. On November 7th all the Extra Life participants will log on and play video games for 24 hours to raise money for a hospital of their choice.

This will be my second year participating with the organization, last year I was able to hit my fundraising goal and played videogames for the entire day while helping children in need. A pretty nice win for everyone.

Just like last year I am choosing to help the local Boston Children’s Hospital and just like last year I am trying to raise the same amount of funds of $200. As an added incentive, a donation of any amount to my fundraising page will be permanently credited on the list of sponsors on my Twitch channel and within the next six months if we hit the fundraising goal I promise to stream my 24 hour day of play on Twitch as a reward for everyone’s generosity.

I did it last year and I will do it again

I did it last year and I will gladly do it again

If you have been following my adventures through my blog or Twitch stream sessions and if you have even thought of supporting me beyond being an active reader or viewer please consider donating to a this charity in my name as a morally health alternative.

Extra life wants to try to have people sponsor players by the hour but as you can see there is a variety of different options. including a custom amount to donate.

Extra life wants to try to have people sponsor players by the hour but as you can see there is a variety of different options. including a custom amount to donate.

If you would like to donate to this wonderful event, my Extra Life donation account can be found HERE. The site currently accepts all credit cards. This won’t be the last time I mention this event but the sooner I reach my goal of $200 the sooner I can stop asking for donations.

And to any other gamers out there that found themselves interested in this event and want to try their hand as raising money for a local hospital the extra life FAQ and sign up can be found HERE.

Thank you all in advance for your interest and consideration.


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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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#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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#503 The Mega Man White Whale

This past weekend I did an unprecedented thing, I woke up early on a Saturday morning when I had a no third party obligation to do so. I woke up early to travel to the next city over’s Best Buy to finally capture my current white whale, an Amiibo of the Blue Bomber for my very own.

As I wrote during the last time I talked about Nintendo’s newest wave collectible figurines, I wanted the Mega Man Amiibo only to buy him Ironically. As it is established, Mega Man is a part of the Smash Bros character roster who is a third party Intellectual Properties. From how we have seen Nintendo’s rocky-at-best relationship with other gaming companies and how CAPCOM handle Mega Man’s future games I can almost guarantee that Mega Man will have no Amiibo support for any non-smash game during the Wii U life cycle.

In fact I bought him because of that, same reason when Duck Hunt comes out. because someone has to buy their are so few officially licensed products.

In fact I bought him because of that, same reason when Duck Hunt comes out. because someone has to buy their are so few officially licensed products.

 

With Mega Man in my possession, I can now stop activly hunting Amiibos and constantly thinking about Amiibos at least for a while.

No more weekend Amiibo hunting trips with my younger brother going up and down every toy store in town, no more casual drive by to stores before and after work. No more searching and constantly refreshing the pages of Twitter, Reddit, and Amazon hoping to find an online store that had Mega Man in stock. I  was so close to caving in and buying from a Amazon scalper at twice the price.

Most importantly of all I can stop worrying out the terrible thought of missing my window of opportunity of securing the Amiibo I want before Nintendo stops producing him and the demand, and cost goes through the roof.  I can put all that fret and worry behind me because I have him now. Currently displayed on my makeshift Amiibo shelf, only to be taken out of his box when a New 3DS or Wii U game is released that specially support him.

He has to earn his freedom

He has to earn his freedom



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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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#497 Nintendo’s Amiibo Distribution Rant

I finally caved this past weekend and bought my first Amiibo to add to my collection. The newest member to my collection was not Megaman, an Amiibo I am planning to buy ironically (Be MOP #493), but instead the ever wise Princess Zelda.

Had to settle twice over. Wanted Megaman, but couldn't even get the best Nintendo Princess.

Had to settle twice over. Wanted Megaman, but couldn’t even get the best Nintendo Princess.

I have literally searched everywhere, whether online or in the physical stores everyone was sold out of the Blue Bomber, and I refuse to be scalped by third party sellers. But this only shows signs of a bigger problem that Nintendo has with the implication of their newest merchandise, the utter lack of support and communication with North American toy and gaming stores.

The Walmart in my area is one of the worst victims of this, with the worst variety of stock I have ever seen, with an abundance of Luigies, a few Zeldas and Bowsers, and one single Princess Peach to fill up the entire Amiibo display. The gamestop just down the street had almost the same amount of selection with only a few extra Samus and Pikachus but a serious lack of Amiibo Wave II and Wave III representation.

I honestly do not think that Nintendo planned for this level of hype and a culture of fans avidly customizing and hunting down Amiibos to be as big as they originally thought of when they first implemented the Amiibos. It shows with the shipping and receiving support and the overall  poor communication with the stores.

 come on it's simple Supply and Demand. Economics 101

come on it’s simple Supply and Demand. Economics 101.

While the shortage were possibly understandable at launch,but now we are at the third wave of Amiibos, Nintendo now has some idea the demand for these figurines from each region and should modify their supply production accordingly. I should not have to have travel to three different stores, constantly checking online stock as well to find the supposedly common, non-exclusive, Amiibos, like Marth, Villager, and my personal white whale, Mega Man.

I am still mad about all that shenanigans with the exclusive Amiibos at certain retailers are in fact US exclusive, exclusive deals. The rest of the world does not have to shop at a Target or Toys R Us for a Rosalina or Lucario.

I am still mad about all that shenanigans with the exclusive Amiibos at certain retailers are in fact US exclusive, exclusive deals. The rest of the world does not have to shop at a Target or Toys R Us for a Rosalina or Lucario, respectively.

There are rumors of reproducing the more rare Amiibo statues, and confirmation of the production of Amiibo cards with just the computer chip which is a step in the right direction, but does not help the main drive I have for collecting Amiibos. While one of the reasons I buy Amiibos are for the in game unlockables, like the racing suits in Mario Kart 8 or the learning computers in Super Smash bros, the major reason I have become so excited about the ideas of Amiibos is that they are cool little figures of some of my favorite videogame characters that are not only relevantly high detailed but low barrier for entry for collecting in terms of cost and -ideal- accessibility.

Ideally I could stop by a game or toy shop and pick up some videogame character statues with pretty impressive details without having to go online or attend the expo floor of a gaming con to play through the nose for any other kind of statue of Mega Man, Pikachu, or Mario.


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#496 Here’s to the Good Old Mindless Games

If you have been following the New England’s weather patterns you would have noticed that we New Englanders got nailed by another extremely cold and snowy blizzard, with the promise of even MORE snow coming later this week and weekend.

This past Sunday, I was once again snowed in. After shoveling out of my car again I retreated back to my room to play some videogames. But not just any type of videogame but a game without a complex game, one with a deep story, or a game with a important social story. Instead I just want a game to play through the motions. That is where Lego Marvel Super Heroes shines, because it has everything I need for an evening where I am snowed in.

LEGO AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

LEGO AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

Lego Marvel Super Heroes has incredibly simple combat controls I was playing on an Xbox controller so the game had the A button to jump, B button for the action command of the character you are controlling, X to attack enemies, and Y to switch to another character.

The puzzles in each stage are easy with the game even telling you what character you need to control to progress and the boss fights are nothing short than pathetic with just using the set pieces and just hitting the bosses with a few hits of your basic attack.

I do like the purposely bad comic book dialogue with all the characters. Or at least I hope i was intentional

I do like the purposely bad comic book dialogue with all the characters. Or at least I hope i was intentional…

While any other game would get panned for for the lack of a combat system and poor level design, the shining quality of these Lego games is how much it is a collectathon.

At least for me the potential hours of entertainment I can have from just playing through the levels but rather running all over the the stage or the city of Manhattan, destroying the props, collecting all the golden blocks, saving Stan Lee, and unlocking all the characters and vehicles. A game like that is exactly what I want on days where I am either snowed in or after a rough day where all I want to do is relax and unwind and not think about much about of anything.

The Lego game knows that the collection aspect is it’s best part because at the end of every level it goes through counts all the lego studs you collected in that area, along with all the other things you could have done. The game is also banking that you replay the same levels again and again to 100% each area because at least once in every level there is a side-puzzle that you can only complete with a skill from another hero that you don not have access to right now in the story campaign, but could be done once you return to the level again in Free Play mode.

You have to respect a type of collectathon game where you can play for two hours and have only touched upon less than 3% of the entire game.

This must be what the Skyrim fans felt like when they first started exploring their game save

This must be what the Skyrim fans felt like when they first started exploring their game save


I’m also on Twitter

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

Disclosure: I am apart of the Streamer Partnership Program for Turbine’s A.R.T.S/MOBA, Infinite Crisis, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

This blog post was written without approval or consent of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment or any of it’s subsidiaries

 

Disclosure: I am apart of the Streamer Partnership Program for Turbine’s A.R.T.S/MOBA, Infinite Crisis, which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

This blog post was written without approval, consent, or knowledge from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment or any of it’s subsidiaries

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#494 Evolve’s Monstrous DLC problem

Evolve, the newest AAA game just hit the shelves, and from the marketing and gameplay it looks like Evolve might be the biggest game of 2015, in terms of new IP. This looked like a cool game, something that I would be interested in playing with other people, either as hunting down a monster in a pack or hunting the hunters themselves. But I, as many other people have said before, the DLC built into the game and that are all available for Day One purchasing have made me very cautious for in buying anything for the game.

Evolve_Box_Art

The game looks cool by not only just the game’s concept of a monster hunt but by looking at the resume of the game developers behind the game

The base game is priced at $60, but if you preordered the game you get a fifth playable monster, there is a current DLC pack that promises four more playable human characters, ten cosmetic monster and hunter skins (all priced between 5-7 USD a pop) and the promise of more DLC later down the line. One of my reservation about this game is how much content I will be missing if I just bought the base game later once there is a decent sale of it on Steam.

It is a new game of a fresh IP, why would I have any trust in the game to justify spending even more money than the sixty dollar price tag

It is a new game of a fresh IP, why would I have any trust in the game to justify spending even more money than the sixty dollar price tag

So far it is established that if I buy the base game right now I will be missing out on one giant monster and four hunters. Because of that all DLC gated content that might favor those who are willing to spend more money, especially since this a strong PvP game where the DLC content would directly affect my potential matches.

Maybe I am just spoiled by the recent Nintendo games I have been playing. Besides Bayonetta 2 and Super Smash Bros I have also played through Platinum Star’s other Wii U game, The Wonderful 101. All of those Nintendo games that I mentioned had more than enough content within the base game, a 12-20+ hour story campaign for Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101, numerous in game unlockables across the board and plenty of replay value. All for the base price of 30 and 60 USD.

This game offers such a good story and so much content that it doesn't feel right that I bought it for $30

This game offers such a good story and so much content that it doesn’t feel right that it was bought for $30

While Smash has confirmed DLC, in the form of Mewtwo being a playable character but I am not raising too much fuss over it because the DLC will be release months after launch and more importantly Nintendo has proved themselves by supporting the Wii U game with free patches, one that supports more 8 player matches. Even Pokemon, a company that is trying to move away from the shadow of Nintendo, has offered free in game support to their customers post-launch by way of free DLC of legendary pokemons and special/exclusive hidden ability version of their Generation 4 starter set that could be paid DLC under the reigns of a less forgiving game developer.

I wish I could say that is this my welcome back to the Computer playing scene but since all of Evolve and all of it’s DLC is available for PS4 and Xbox One, I guess this is my welcome back to the ‘hard-core gaming world’.


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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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