Completing the Pokédex: Manaphy

The other week I achieved something I hadn’t since I was 12 years old; I completed the Pokédex, I caught them all. Technically though, it wasn’t them all. It was only the 301 available in the latest game. Nintendo long ago realised the insanity of capturing now 802 Pokémon and dropped “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” from the branding, providing smaller, region specific Pokédexs in the game. The importance of the complete Pokédex, or National Pokédex as it is known, has been downplayed too, a post-game unlockable in recent generations and not appearing at all in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Completing the Alola regional Pokédex didn’t provide the satisfaction I thought it would, and the in game reward, a stamp in my in-game passport, was as hollow as the certificate of completion I received 18 years ago. I have decided that I will not be fulfilled until I really have caught them all. All 802 bastards, including the worst thing in Pokémon, “event” Pokémon, so yesterday I dug out my Pokémon games from the last 4 generations to figure out how to get Manaphy, the seafaring Pokémon. Continue reading “Completing the Pokédex: Manaphy”

Crash Bandicoot was shit 20 years ago and is still shit today.

I was disgusted today to see that the remaster no one asked for, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, had sold out of pre-orders at some stores. As someone who played a lot of video games in the late 90’s, I can tell you that these three games are shit. Outside of Japan, there were precisely 20 days when Crash Bandicoot was relevant as a fun, 3D platforming game. But then Super Mario 64 came out and shat all over not just the original Crash Bandicoot but all future Crash Bandicoot games. Continue reading “Crash Bandicoot was shit 20 years ago and is still shit today.”

Those gaming thoughts and feels: Quadrilateral Cowboy

A meandering guest review.

Sometimes I half-jokingly tell my friends I think gaming is a degenerate medium. Obviously I cannot claim to truly believe this as I spend so much of my time playing games. But really I think the lived experience of most games is that, played in excess, they are an affront to the human spirit and mind. That is because many games require you to repeat a certain enjoyable task over and over, training you to be dumber and less expectant of creativity and originality in the fictional world.

Continue reading “Those gaming thoughts and feels: Quadrilateral Cowboy”

The three (and a half) reactions to No Man’s Sky

Which one are you?

No Man’s Sky is engulfing the gaming zeitgeist at the moment with every message board and news website drenched in discussion of the procedurally generated space exploration game. In this desperate attempt to get Pietriots badly needed clicks by posting about something topical, I’ll oversimplify the issue by distilling it down to what are essentially the only three responses the game has evoked. In fairness, the reaction to any game can be distilled down to the same three but the absurd about of hype around No Man’s Sky has amplified the effect. It is impossible to have a neutral opinion on this game, so, which category do you fall in?
Continue reading “The three (and a half) reactions to No Man’s Sky”

80 Days

or less around the world.

Inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days, 80 Days is a choose-your-own-adventure game. You play as Jean Passepartout, the recently employed valet of English gentlemen Phileas Fogg who wagered that he could travel around the world in 80 days. As Passepartout, it’s up to you to pack Fogg’s bags, plan his itinerary and manage his belongings throughout the journey. Developed by British studio inkle and written by Meg Jayanth, 80 Days drenches Verne’s novel in feminist steampunk with a twist of romantic orientalism. Originally published on iPhone, 80 Days was ported to Andriod in late 2014 and eventually arrived on PC/Mac in mid 2015, this review was played on desktop version. 80 Days’s excellent writing, vibrant art and unique gameplay combine to deliver a polished game that comes highly recommended.  Continue reading “80 Days”

Friends of Nintendo Bundle

Fast impressions of seven games.

Last year Nintendo surprised us with their very own humble bundle but region locked the games to North America. As an affluent Australian I bought it anyway, directing the money to charity, just to support the concept. This year though, no doubt inspired by me, they ensured the bundle was open to Nintendo customers in Europe, South America and Oceania so I was excited to actually be able to play it. I’ve got some quick impressions of most of the games to share and there’s even a download code for one game to give away if you’re too stingy to buy the bundle. Continue reading “Friends of Nintendo Bundle”

Gaming Paralysis

When too many games really is too much.

It’s Sunday afternoon, I have no pending deadlines, the weekend chores are done and my partner has offered to cook dinner. I have hours ahead of me I want to dedicate to playing a game. I go to pick one and… can’t. A paralysis of choice. I have too much to play and if I’m not decisive, I’ll fritter away the next three hours, playing nothing, with only a vague recollection of internet memes to remember the day by.

Man thinks about golf while working, sex while golfing and work while fucking.
© Alex Gregory

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Pokémon Picross

Pokémon Picross is Nintendo’s latest free to play puzzle game. I’ve been enjoying playing it over the Christmas-New Years break while travelling through southern Western Australia. My review could be simply ‘it’s picross, with Pokémon and free to play,’ but I’m going to write a little more explaining what picross is for those unfamiliar and detail my frustrations with the free to play economics of this particular title. Continue reading “Pokémon Picross”

Don Bradman Cricket 14 is everything I dreamed a cricket game could be

Despite being one of the most popular sports in the world, cricket has rarely been reproduced in anything resembling a fun video game. The last good cricket games I played were the Beam Software developed Super International Cricket (SNES) and its followups on PC. Since sport sims embraced the third dimension cricket games have floundered, with only Codemasters and EA sporadically contracting third string development teams to churn out buggy, unplayable affairs. This is a shame because the first time I played an N64, fresh off my experience with Super International Cricket, I imagined a three dimensional cricket game with a dynamic camera and footwork based shot selection. After almost twenty years, Big Ant Studios have realised my dream.

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Look and Feel: The first 4 hours of Xenoblade Chronicles X

Roland complains about his family before finally sharing his first impressions

Getting my feet wet in Mira, the world of Xenoblade Chronicles X, took a lot more effort than usual. Although recently unemployed, with limitless freedom in front of me, the game’s release coincided with my partner and I packing up for a month away from our cosy inner-city apartment. Arriving at my parent’s house in the flood prone swamp lands of Busselton, I discovered the internet speeds of my hometown have not kept up with the developed world and have intact regressed due to the ageing copper interchanges slowly rusting away. It took over 30 hours to complete the 20GB installation, 30 hours I mostly spent complaining to unsympathetic ears on Miiverse where people told me to “just buy a physical copy” or “get a job”. Compounding matters further there’s only one television and my Mum hates video games so I didn’t get any game time in until everyone went off to their respective workplaces this morning. The four hours I did get to play though, were spectacular. Continue reading “Look and Feel: The first 4 hours of Xenoblade Chronicles X”