Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ games ’

Black VS White

September 29, 2010 Commentary 6 Comments

All standard Pokemon games come in pairs. But while the reasons were often superficial, I have never had a problem choosing one over the other. Red over Blue. Silver over Gold. Sapphire over Ruby. Pearl over Diamond.

But now thisBlack or White? I am very torn. Very, very torn.

I got Red over Blue because I like the color red better, and because Charizard is more awesome than Blastoise… even though I started with Bulbasaur. Unfortunately, I have neither FireRed nor LeafGreen, but given that choice, it would have been LeafGreen. The version differences between the earlier generation games were pretty basic — just a handful of Pokemon exclusives, and for Red VS Blue, I didn’t really pay that much attention. In retrospect, I kinda wish I hadn’t missed out on Sandslash, Meowth, and Ninetales, but I’ve long since figured out that none of them were going to make my team anyway.

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The release of Pokemon Black and White last week knocked a few more type combinations off the list of the unused, including Bug/Electric, Grass/Normal, Dark/Steel, and a handful of others. It also introduced the first pure-type Flying Pokemon (#641, right), so finally, after five generations, we have a pure-type Pokemon for every type.

Still, there are a whopping 44 type combinations that still haven’t been used, which is ridiculous considering there are only 153 possible combinations of the 17 types (136 two-type combinations + 17 single types). This number can be reduced to 32 if we take out all the missing half-Normal types, like Normal/Dark, Normal/Electric, etc., but that’s still a big percentage.

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New Monster Cap: 649

September 16, 2010 Commentary, News 5 Comments

So Pokemon Black/White isn’t due to release in Japan until this Saturday, September 18th, but leaked screenshots and other goodies have been trickling online gradually all week as Amazon and other retailers began shipping things out early. As there isn’t a lot of shipping distance to cover in a small country like Japan, this meant that people were getting games way ahead of schedule. Today, poor-quality photos surfaced online of all 156 new monsters, bringing the full Pokedex total to six hundred forty-nine.

I am so excited.

Seriously. For me, the build-up to Black and White has been very similar to the build-up to Gold and Silver, which, as the very first new generation, was the Most Exciting Thing Ever. Sure, by now — generation five and almost fifteen years old — the franchise’s new additions are pretty predictable: new island (based off New York City, baby!), new trainers, new attacks, season changes, three-way battles, more Wi-Fi stuff, and of course, new Pokemon. But as tried as the formula is, I am still most excited about the new Pokemon. I like having new things to collect. Monsters were cool when I was eight. Monsters are still cool, dammit.

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Naturally, the Pokémon community exploded today with this much, much anticipated announcement. It’s something that pretty much everyone knew was coming, but I guess I was always one of those cautiously optimistic ones. I don’t like putting too much faith into things until they’re official, and even then, sometimes announcements don’t follow through. I probably should have known better though. After all, Pokémon is never going to die! So no worries! HeartGold and SoulSilver are now official! And it will have a lot of new/updated features and other awesome things that will make people want to buy it more than they already do!

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Today was Pokémon Platinum‘s North American launch date. Platinum is the 12th of the regular Pokémon games and rounds off the 4th generation, so I wonder when we should expect to hear about either 5th generation game plans or 2nd generation remake plans. A lot of people think that Pokémon should just end already — that they’ve milked the cash cow long enough and that no one wants more. Around when the 3rd generation was launching, I felt the same way, but now I’m kind of indifferent. Or really, in some way, I want to see just how long this franchise can keep its momentum, especially since it doesn’t show many signs of even slowing.

More than a decade ago, when I was collecting the Pokémon TCG along with every other kid in the neighborhood, my father told me that these sorts of hobbies were just money-wasters and that Pokémon would be dead in five or ten years. The holographic Charizard that was going for $75+ on eBay wouldn’t be worth a dime then. Well, it’s been more than five or ten years later. That holographic Charizard still goes for about $10+ if you know who to sell to; all things considered, I’d say that’s damn good. It’s quite a bit more than a dime, at least. The first edition holo Charizard will still fetch you $75 at least, if not $100+. And as for Pokémon being dead? Ha! Sapporo just got a brand new Pokémon Center, and even in the US, Pokémon’s presence in stores is being expanded once again. I don’t think it’s unlikely to think that the Nintendo World in Manhattan might actually be turned back into a Pokémon Center — I mean, it isn’t like they sell much else there anyway.

Satoshi Tajiri really did have a breakthrough idea when he came out with Pocket Monsters. Considering Japan’s already rampant collector’s attitude, creating a franchise based around collecting is just… genius. To some extent, maybe collecting runs in my blood — being a huge pack rat also contributes — but I think that everyone’s got at least a little bit of collector’s urge to them. Few things are as satisfying as having a completed collection, but each little piece along the way is a great milestone too. It’s true even for things that might never be complete — stamp collections, video game, manga, and DVD collections, whatever. And so, Pokémon has become very much the same. You will likely never “catch them all,” but that doesn’t make the games any less fun. It doesn’t make you feel any less triumphant every time you hit the current monster cap.

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Wow… A WoW Movie

October 27, 2008 Commentary, News 3 Comments

Wow. I’m a year late on this news, but this was brought to my attention by the SEQALAB podcast: they’re making a World of Warcraft movie.

I can’t decide whether I should be confused, perplexed, amused, or exasperated. Or all four at once!

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Geass Golf! Weird Collaborations are Weird

October 26, 2008 Commentary, News Comments Off on Geass Golf! Weird Collaborations are Weird

Okay. You know I’m all for product placement and hand-in-hand promotions. Code Geass has been especially apt at this, seeing as it was my example for that article too, but there is a point when the product associations just get… really weird. Sure, it’s a side thing and isn’t woven into the fabric of the show like the Pizza Hut nonsense was, but… c’mon. Can you really imagine the Ashford kids chillin’ on a rolling golf course? Okay, so actually, maybe it’s right up there with all the Mario Sports games… I’ve always thought those were kind of weird too, but Mario is a much more versatile property because it’s about plumbers saving a fantasy world. Code Geass, with all its quirk and crack, is still a show about terrorism (kind of). Besides, its main character is thoroughly established as someone not meant for physical activity.

So my first thought was this:

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I don’t really get the point of regional exclusives for video games. Perhaps this is out of bitterness, but that doesn’t matter.

First of all, think of all that untapped revenue! Kingdom Hearts has become a gigantic cash cow for Square-Enix in the few short years it’s been around (oh, crap, has it already been seven years?), but before they came up with the brilliant idea of making three more spin-off semi-sequels, they turned down the bid to release KH2: Final Mix+ overseas. Why? What possible logic is there to cutting the rest of the world off from that title? The original KH: Final Mix was understandable. There was logic behind that one. The overseas kids already had the extra footage and knick knacks in their normal release, so it was only fair that the Japanese kids get a version with Sephiroth — and throw in some extra keyblades. Nothing too substantial, really. But KH2:FM+ was an entirely different ballgame.

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Oh, man. So being the super nostalgic loser that I am, I totally spazzed when my brother shared this amazing find with me. I love oldschool Sonic like whoa. All those hours I put on the Sega Genesis? Probably 75% of it was for Sonic. I’ve never really known about this apparently awesome music arrangement community, but it really makes me feel good to know that there are people out there that still remember these old tunes and are actively remixing them and re-arranging them for the times.

The site, Overclocked Remixes, among other video game titles like Super Metroid and Chrono Trigger, features three Sonic-centric remix albums. They are albums for music from Sonic 3 & Knuckles (best game ever), Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and… an entire 18-track project album dedicated to the music from the Ice Cap Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, lol. All the tracks also stream for free on last.fm. It’s all very awesome.

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I’m not really a big gamer, at least, not anymore. The console I’ve spent the most time on was the Sega Genesis. Handheld was the Gameboy Color. My family skipped a generation and the next console we bought was the Gamecube. They bought the Wii after I moved out. I wanted and got my DS for the sole purpose of playing Pokemon D/P (almost a year later, it’s still the only game I own). So it’s not very surprising that I’ve never played an MMO (and probably never will until someone else realizes that a Pokemon MMO is a brilliant, brilliant idea). But my brother is a big gamer, and I have plenty of friends that are big gamers, so I’m exposed to a lot of random video game discussions by association, and I’ve come to this.

Why don’t they make gold farming legal?

There is such a huge market out there for it, bridging the gap between lazy people who have too much money and poor people that have too much time. Both sides are just perfect for one another, neither is going to disappear any time soon, and there are apparently more than $500 million in underground transactions every year. Half a billion. That is a ton of untapped, potential revenue.

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