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”

Splatfest – Gotta Splat ‘Em All! (Pokemon Blue vs Pokemon Red)

I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was
To splat them is my real test, to claim the turf wars
I will travel across the ink, letting off inkstrikes
Teach Pokemon to understand, the freshness that’s insiiiiiiiiiide

POKEMON, GOTTA SPLAT THEM ALL!!

Yeah!! The humans may have been useless, dumb and weak, but they had some pretty fresh entertainment in their day. Pokemon Blue and Red are popular videogames of their era that have recently gained popularity in the retro scene of Inkopolis. These games are not quite as impressive as Squid Jump or Squid Racer, but they have their own charm that has attracted large numbers of Inklings to the arcades. Even though the humans who made these games were wiped out, cartridges were found washed up on shores and we’ve managed to recreate the highly complex arcade cabinets that would have played these games. Inklings have been training Pokemon to stay fresh, with battling and trading becoming common place as Blue and Red trainers help each other complete their Pokedex. Today however, we are fighting for our favourite version and the only thing that will be traded is turf.

pokemontrainers

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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”

Yo-Kai Watch – Demo Impressions

That’s right, you’ve stumbled into a writeup of impressions of a free demo. It might seem a bit redundant but this game has a special charm to it I wanted to share, and a lot of people still don’t play free demos because being active is hard. If you have a 3DS and live in Australia or America (EU release date 2016), just close this now and download the demo yourself. It’s a comfy 858 blocks and gives you 15 plays which is more than enough to decide if you like it. It’s a good 20-30 minutes of walking around town looking for Yo-Kai.

The game’s awesome production values become apparent right away with a really cool cutscene of a boy uncovering something in a dark forest. The animation is well-done and it creates a sense of wonder right off the bat. This picture is the exact quality on the 3DS screen.

yo-kai-watch-intro

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Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions – Sydney Opera House

Saturday, November 21st. The day my heart was ripped out and thrown around a giant hall in a bloody mess. No, not from a pretty girl who broke my trust. It was because my entire life was presented to me in the purest, most innocent way I could understand; through my favourite videogame memories. Every generation of Pokemon was celebrated one after the other, with hundreds of people sharing music and memories together in a brilliant performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The last 2 months 18 16 years of my life were set free to swim around the concert hall, completely naked. I could see everything through the sound. My first Game Boy, my first ever Nintendo game in Pokemon Blue, the excitement for Pokemon Gold & Silver’s launch, the grinding I did in Pokemon Sapphire to train for a tournament, the lies that bitch told, my midnight download of Pokemon Y. All the different places in my life where I embarked on each Pokemon journey. Such a huge range of situations would normally create a disconnect, but I left with an enormous sense of clarity.

ssane

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Gaming Is Not Our Business

I’m sick of seeing this cycle of shit all over the web. Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony announces they lost a bunch of money or employees. Half the comments are “oh well they’re doomed snurf durf“, and the other half is “no, they’re not. here’s the math and here’s my dick.” Both sides need to shut the fuck up and realise you have nothing to do with any of this. One side looks stupid for being bitter against a piece of plastic, and the other side looks stupid creating problems and defending thin air around the plastic.

wiiusales

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Pokemon – The Competitive Conundrum

The past few Pokemon generations I’ve found myself thinking more about the journey and what was important to me in a Pokemon game. I still loved the games but something started fading away for me and I’ve finally been able to pinpoint exactly what it is. If you haven’t heard, a recent phenomenon called Twitch Plays Pokemon has emerged allowing people around the world to all play Pokemon at once with a rush of inputs in a text box. At its peak 100,000 people were all playing Pokemon Red together and we triumphantly beat the game over 17 days of anarchy and surprises. Catching Zapdos was a highlight for me as I was one of the people pressing A and scrolling down to the Master Ball, an unbelievable accomplishment to pull off. We all worked together and after much hard work, coordination, confusion, sacrifices and ledge jumps; Red became champion.

i_can_show_you_the_world_by_anneuh-d77y2u8

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PAX Australia – Games, Games, Games

paxballgamesbegin

Welcome to PAX Australia!  The games had begun before the Expo even opened, with an epic game of “smack the beach ball over the sign“! Each goal was encouraged by massive cheers and an obscure angle shot was rewarded with oooo’s and aaaa’s. The beach ball felt solid yet agile, with several circulating at a time to make sure the gameplay was never predictable. I would give this game a 9 out of 10 for its unique multiplayer capabilities. What’s that, it’s 10am? Sorry, we’re busy playing. Oh alright… Into the Expo Hall!

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Hard Mode, only for seasoned experts?

Pokemon Black & White 2 has an interesting item. A challenge key, which basically unlocks hard mode. I thought this was awesome until I found out you don’t get the challenge key until after you’ve beaten the entire game. So we can’t “challenge” ourselves until we know every battle inside out. Does anyone find that exciting?

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PokePark – Sent to Die

Unfortunately, this article isn’t about the game itself. I’ve yet to play PokePark: Pikachu’s Adventure, because I can not justify why it is the most expensive game on Wii.

Still selling for $99.95 AU at my local EB Games, PokePark is not only more expensive than the full fledged proper Pokemon RPG main games, it’s even selling for a “premium” over new Wii games that are actually popular and good, like Skyward Sword and Donkey Kong Country Returns. These games regularly see discounts and promotions, because people actually buy them. PokePark does not have that appeal, thus stays $99 alongside Xenoblade Chronicles. To add further horror, PokePark is a standalone game with no hardware packed in, as has maintained the same price for almost two years. The same copy of PokePark has been sitting on the shelf in EB Games since the day it came out, untouched. Nintendo even had the balls to release an official strategy guide alongside the game, selling for $30. You can get full, quality Wii games for that price. Just how much depth can PokePark possibly have?

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Smart Phones With Dumb Games

Lately (well, the past few years) there’s been talk (viral propaganda, speculation) about handheld gaming systems becoming a thing of the past as iPhones and Androids threaten to take over the multibillion dollar industry inside your pocket. The logic behind it is that people want one machine that does everything. I understand this logic and I completely agree with it. It would make life a lot easier, more comfortable, and thus more enjoyable to only carry around one “device” and still be able to do everything. I’m perfectly happy carrying my 3DS and my phone in the rare instance I might need them together, but there are certainly benefits to this “idea” for different types of people. So how is this going to happen? Is the best approach really adding games to phones? I don’t believe so.

Currently we have two different mainstream devices competing for our pocket with their bulky presence: smartphones and gaming systems. I miss the days when we could just call everything a Game Boy, but we have Sony involved now, and Nintendo has 3D graphics and multiple screens. Anyway, smartphones are apparently “threatening” the purpose of owning a gaming handheld, as they start to accumulate game libraries of their own. Meanwhile, game machines are expanding too, but they aren’t becoming phones. We’re getting new 3D graphics and new gameplay concepts, and game experiences are expanding as we get incredible new stories like 999, and wonderful massive adventures like Dragon Quest IX. Gaming handhelds have also started to add features like internet browsing and direct downloads. It would seem that both smartphones and gaming machines are starting to become like each other in their own ways, but where is this heading?

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