Tag: Nintendo

Jason plays the Pokémon Trading Card Game

Jason plays the Pokémon Trading Card Game

Time to say good-bye to the last strands of my dignity.

I’m sure it’s no secret that I love Pokémon, as I spent months building up to Pokémon Sun and Moon on this blog when it was announced. However, I haven’t spent too much time talking about the Trading Card Game.

Which is strange considering how much I talk about Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links — even pulling out old childhood memorabilia when it became relevant.

Yet I have plenty of experience collecting Pokémon cards as well! Looking back at my most recent room renovation, you can actually see a Jirachi card hanging out with my other mythical wish-granter merchandise:

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Just on the rightmost side.

But that and the Gardevoir set I keep under my desktop keyboard for good luck…

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… is only the tip of the iceberg.

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My parents like to tell the story of how they had original card packs for one of the first sets in the Pokémon TCG, which would have been amazing collectors items today. However, I had no interest in them at that point.

So they got rid of them.

Hilarious considering how much I wound up getting into collecting the cards:

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Back when I collected most of these, it really did just amount to collection. Like with my physical Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, I never actually played the game.

My first real exposure to playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game came in 2015 when I first watched a Let’s Play of the GameBoy game by TheKingNappy and ShadyPenguinn.

I was so interested in it that I downloaded the game off the 3DS eShop.

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Despite the game having come out in 1998, I would still argue it has some of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard in a video game. Just listen to the Club Master Duel theme.

However, it was mostly the video game’s interface and music that kept me really engaged. I still never went so far as to play with real cards.

Thus it was kind of the end of my experience with the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

… Until this most recent December, when ProJared began to upload a Let’s Play of the GameBoy TCG game.

Game.

Watching it get played again inspired me to jump in. But this time I didn’t go back to my 3DS.

I re-downloaded the official Trading Card Game online.

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I say re-downloaded because I did have a brief attempt at playing the game before (as you’ll see from my cringe-worthy screen name based on some half-assed character), but it didn’t stick quite as well as my recent deep dive.

For those of you who have never played the Pokémon Trading Card Game, I figure a very brief synopsis of how it works is in order.

Each player starts with a 60-card deck, out of which they draw seven cards for a hand and six prize cards. There are two primary win conditions in the game. You either draw all of your prize cards by defeating a Pokémon, or you defeat all of your opponent’s Pokémon so they can no longer play.

There are six kinds of cards in the game:


  • Pokémon: The monsters are your primary players. Each has a set amount of health, specific moves they can use when given energy and sometimes abilities that can affect your play environment.
    • Pokémon can evolve by placing the next stage card on top of a basic card, but not on the same turn that basic card is played.
    • There are also “EX” or “GX” cards that are powerful and have strong abilities, but allow your opponent to draw two prize cards instead of one if defeated.
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Legendaries are typically basic Pokémon, but require a lot of energy.
  • Energy: Energy is required in specific typings to use an attack, unless that requirement is a basic white star — any energy can fill that requirement.

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  • Items: Provide a variety of effects from healing to drawing cards. Can be used as many times as they are drawn per turn.

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  • Supporters: Typically based off of major characters or NPCs from the video games, these cards are usually advanced versions of items that can only be used once per turn.

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  • Tools: Can be attached directly to one Pokémon as a buff, such as increased damage or defense.

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  • Stadium: Applies an effect to both sides of the field, similar to certain abilities. Only one can be in-play, and playing a second Stadium overturns the first.

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The balance of Pokémon and energy placement, where only one is active at a time and players can set up the team in their back row, feels a lot more complex than Yu-Gi-Oh!’s basic gameplay style.

However, all of the Trainer cards seem a lot more focused on draw power and health restoration than Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Spells and Traps, which have a daunting amount of variety and often incentivize playing to a narrowed archetype.

That said, I love both games.

Here’s an example of me playing with a Psychic-type deck I built.

Video’s a bit choppy, so be warned. Though it shouldn’t be nearly as bad as my Armagetron video.

As you can tell, the primary focus of my deck is to build up to Gallade or Lunala (mostly the latter).

I don’t have quite as many GX or EX cards as a lot of players who have clearly been playing longer, but Lunala being a Stage 2 legendary means card designers balanced the trouble of getting her out with some powerful attack output.

It has worked wonders for me thus far, and I’ve been building up my digital card collection using booster packs from the Trainer Challenge mode…

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… As well as theme decks bought using coins from Versus duels…

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… To create a few different decks.

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A Metagross deck is currently being tested, though it’s not quite as well-developed.

While I think the card game itself has some unique complexities that stand out compared to Duel Links (which I’ve fallen out of favor with and replaced my vice apparently), what really keeps me going with the Pokémon TCG is how amazing the card art is.

See Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are always the same for a given card, unless they get altered for balance down the line.

But Pokémon cards for each monster can have a variety of attacks, abilities and even types in different printings. Each of those new prints also has a new piece of artwork.

Here’s a small slideshow of some of the really cute cards I’ve found in my relatively short time playing.

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That’s the real charm of the Pokémon TCG. That’s what keeps me playing.

So… Yeah.

I’m sure many of you saw ‘Jason plays the Pokémon Trading Card Game’ and groaned. Hopefully I gave you enough visual spectacle and explanation to understand why I’ve been so hooked on this stuff.

Because as much as I keep joking about how playing this game out of everything I could be doing in 2019 will ruin my reputation… What can I say.

I’m just a sucker for a fun card game.

Yearning for games prematurely abandoned

I was originally going to spend part of today writing the post that will probably ruin my reputation once and for all. A post about my recent relapse into playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.

But uhh… I got lazy and didn’t put the effort in.

So sorry about that! Maybe tomorrow.

Now to be fair, it wasn’t pure laziness that kept me away. I may or may not have slept late after staying up real early, but then I did spend a good amount of time working on stuff for Gladeo and my novel this afternoon.

Plus there were a good amount of chores getting done. There’s only about a week left until the new semester starts, so I’ve gotta get through them while I can.

However, I didn’t want to skip out on writing anything tonight. Not when keeping up the craft outside of work-related pursuits is something of an unofficial New Year’s resolution.

So I think I’m instead going to chew on my sudden desire to return to an experience… Somewhat long-since abandoned.

It all began with Smash Bros. Ultimate, actually. Despite how long it has been since the game came out, I still find myself playing quite a bit. Maybe not as intensely as I did when I was grinding through World of Light, but I’m still hoping to improve so I can have more fun matches with my friends.

Then the other day I was playing on the new Great Plateau Tower map, griping about how I wished Link was his Twilight Princess design since I personally prefer it (in spite of the fact that Breath of the Wild Link has his own interesting mechanical complexities that are arguably more diverse).

Playing in the background was the theme song to BotW. But something about part of the song brought to mind the 2016 reveal trailer for the game.

When I first saw that at E3, I was fucking hooked on it like a drug.

No joke, I played the trailer on repeat just to hear the music (even while showering), at times on the verge of tears from how beautiful it looked and sounded. I’m not sure a trailer for a game has ever had that effect on me before.

I was so obsessed with it that I wrote a blog post back before it was something commonplace.

In fact I didn’t even realize that post was more about Pokémon Sun and Moon than it was Breath of the Wild, because I only recall the Zelda trailer leaving an impression!

Once BotW came out, for a long while I was disappointed that I didn’t have the Nintendo Switch to play it on. The Wii U version seemed like it might be inferior, so I avoided it.

Which to be fair means I’m probably part of the reason why the Wii U failed. Whoops.

Eventually I did get the console, and the summer of 2017 becoming the summer of Zelda as a result. I played the game obsessively, combing through the vast environment until I literally got sick of it.

Seriously, I completed one of the Sacred Beast temples and explored a good quarter+ of the map before giving up because I was too overwhelmed with how I was playing it. I may have put it in my top games of 2017 list, but I haven’t looked back.

Yet remembering that trailer gave me flashbacks to the gut feeling of awe.

A feeling which only got more intense as I discovered a new YouTube obsession with KingK.

The guy does extended retrospectives on different game series. The 3D Zeldas, 2D Sonics, Kingdom Hearts, etc. I find his videos really compelling because they don’t strictly focus on the same arguments you’ve likely heard a million times. They seem more about his personal, emotional connections with each game.

All still mediated by tough analysis.

He has some great content and I’d highly recommend watching it.

KingK became important to this conversation because I happened to come across his (no joke) hour-and-a-half long analysis of Breath of the Wild soon after getting the feels over that trailer again.

Frankly? I think it primed me to want to jump into the game again.

I’ve always said I have a complicated relationship with BotW. I love the game but could never complete it.

Nearly two years later, I think it might finally be time to delve into the Hyrule of the Wild once again. Hopefully to see its story through to the end.

This little silly post actually wound up being longer and a bit more self-reflective than I expected, so hopefully you all don’t find it too superfluous.

I’d love to know if you’ve had any experiences with games that you may have abandoned, only to yearn for it again years later. Just so I know I’m not crazy!

Fire Emblem Heroes goes full beast mode

Fire Emblem Heroes goes full beast mode

I’ve said before that the Radiant games are an unfortunate blank spot in my experience with Fire Emblem. When I found out beast units were finally on their way and that they would be from this particular universe, I was a little hesitant about whether I’d want them over some potential other options like Kaden or Yarne.

But then we saw what these beasts were packing, and my first reaction was:

Why are there so many different kinds of animal units out of this one Fire Emblem continent? Hawks, swans, ravens AND wolves seem a bit over the top.

Then my second reaction was:

Oh man, there’s some potential here.


TibarnLord of the Air

  • Hawk King Claw (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If foe’s Health = 100 percent and unit initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies, or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise they revert). If unit transforms, they can move one extra space and grants Attack +2 (that turn only, does not stack).
      • Will furthermore be referred to as ‘Beast transformation effect.’
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Sturdy Impact (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +6 and Defense +10 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Chill Attack (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
  • Even Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of even-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

LeanneForest’s Song

  • Heron Wing (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At start of turn, restores 7 Health to allies within two spaces of unit. Beast transformation effect applies.
  • Sing (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally.
  • Mirror Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Flier Formation (B Skill)
    • Unit can move to a space adjacent to a flying ally within two spaces.
  • Hone Beasts (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent beast allies for one turn.

ReysonWhite Prince

  • Heron Wing (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At start of turn, restores 7 Health to allies within two spaces of unit. Beast transformation effect applies.
  • Sing (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally.
  • Steady Posture (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Speed and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Fortify Beasts (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to adjacent beast allies for one turn.

NailahUnflinching Eye

  • Wolf Queen Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). During combat, boosts unit’s Attack and Speed by the number of allies within two spaces x2 (max of +6 to each stat). Beast transformation effect applies, and unit deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Null C-Disrupt (B Skill)
    • Neutralizes status effects and disables skills that prevent counterattacks during combat.
  • Glare (C Skill)
    • After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts status on target and foes within one space of target restricting movement to one space through their next actions.

So fun fact, writing out the skills for these units took nearly 500 words. Beasts take up a lot of god damn text, apparently.

That said, I would say all that text was very worth it for how broken some of these units look. Namely Tibarn and Nailah.

The two swans are interesting in that we’re leading with singing units for our introduction to beasts, as well as the fact that they have the exact same weapon in two different colors — which I think is a first?

But Tibarn hits like a truck with all of his attack, and that new Attack/Defense buff from Sturdy Impact is a crazy power creep.

Then Nailah basically always triggers Moonbow from any distance while neutering the opponent’s skills and movement range. It’s crazy to me that we finally have a non-Hector unit with Distant Counter and she appears just as broken.

So yeah. I’m definitely focusing more on red and blue stones in this banner.

… It’s just too bad all of the holiday banners sapped my orb supply.

Luckily the new run of Forging Bonds is giving out one free summon ticket for each character.

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Sure that’s a downgrade from the seven we’ve gotten out of daily rewards in the past, but we’ve got a whole new chapter in Book III to help bolster that orb supply.


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This new story chapter starts by setting the scene for what I imagine we’ll see for a while:

King Gustav tells his son to avoid Hel at all costs, as she is literally death and no matter how strong one becomes they cannot help but succumb to death.

He talks about how he had prior experience fighting Hel years ago, which left him with his battle scar.

… I’ll admit, I didn’t see the scar until he brought it up, but now that I know the lines on his face aren’t just wrinkles and crow’s nests, I understand the danger.

After the brief introduction, business goes about as usual. Anna leads the Order of Heroes into battle and there’s a good four matches without any serious exposition.

The most interesting bit of dialogue we get is from Reyson:

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What’s interesting about this is Princess Veronica is the one who forges contracts with units, but apparently it’s the Askran ancestor who does so for Hel.

Maybe that’s just interesting to me?

When the next map begins, King Gustav’s advice goes right out the window as it turns out Hel is there. Her daughter, Eir, provides a bit of foreshadowing.

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Didn’t think I’d forget about this dumb meme, did you?

Once the battle commences, Hel is surprisingly easy to kill (on the lower difficulties where she has an Iron Axe, anyway). But for story reasons her defeat turns out to be a subterfuge.

She reappears and brings context to the name of the chapter by cursing Alfonse to die in nine days. Why she couldn’t just take him right away with her scythe as she does in the opening cinematic is beyond me…

But it does open up this philosophy dialogue:

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So you know. Sometimes we have to be poetic rather than sensible.

Let’s just hope the next bit of story comes within nine days so the prince doesn’t die.


Keen viewers out there will know that a few days ago I promised this would be coming out yesterday. That’s because I can’t read dates, apparently!

The banner is out now however, so here we are. That means you should expect a second post about my time at Alyson’s mini band banquet later tonight.

Until then, let me know what you think about the brand new beast units in Fire Emblem Heroes, and which beasts you want to see come out next!

Also, just for curiosity sake, let me know what you think about how inefficient Hel was with that ‘nine day curse’ thing. Like she is literally death get a little more realistic, lady.

Literal filler with room filler

Don’t worry, I can already hear all of your complaints. “Three posts in a row about fixing your room up? What’s the deal Jason, why even bother?”

To be fair, until about an hour ago I was not going to put anything up on my blog today. I have two ideas set for tomorrow and an event on Friday, so the rest of my week in writing is planned out and I figured that could be enough of an excuse to skip a day.

But then I realized I would honestly feel terrible about myself if I broke my New Year streak so early.

So this quick n’ dirty post is mostly for me to make sure I don’t have a gap, and if you want to just come back tomorrow when I have a Fire Emblem Heroes banner release and a movie review lined up, I won’t harbor any ill will.

If you happened to be curious how my room wound up looking after I spent all of yesterday cleaning, then this might just be the filler content for you!

Yesterday I talked about how my room hadn’t changed much since the last time I showed it off. That was early into the cleaning process and it turned out to be a lie. A lot of the tchotchkes taking up space on my countertops hasn’t changed in terms of contents, but the layout is pretty new.

For instance, here’s the top of my TV cabinet — now featuring a fancy new backdrop:

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Told you that’s where I was going to put the Naruto poster. Even if I wound up having to move Diancie to make space.

As usual, my line-up of chess club trophies from elementary school remains in-tact. For years I’ve adored the way younger me happened to conveniently win enough trophies in specific placements to create an upscaling pattern, and I always put them up.

Except now in front of the trophies are the Luna wand I got from Universal Studios and a toy car that I happened to pull out of the dust and turmoil underneath that same cabinet when my sister and I pushed it flush against the wall.

We did so to clear some room next to my desk for where this Gladeo computer is going to go. Though it’s admittedly strange to not have that cabinet take up a diagonal space.

Fun fact, on top of that convertible I also found a list of interview questions from when I covered my friends taking part in the Bay Math League way back in middle school.

Now that’s definitely a story for another day. Remind me to tell it, because I actually have some fun throwback material I can use.

Beyond that car, the most notable changes to the collection are that Han Solo is on the left side instead of the right, replaced by Tanuki Mario — who used to be on top of my main clothing drawer.

I also added a few plushies to make the right side into a Pokémon-dedicated corner and it’s one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. I’m considering moving some other posters over there as well to really complete the picture, but I don’t know how much it would mess with the feng shui.

You know, if you believe in that sort of thing.

I took Chinese for three years in high school so I feel like I’m somewhat obliged to try believing in it.

The next most changed surface in the room is that aforementioned main clothing drawer, which is constantly subject to me coming up with new Amiibo configurations:

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All things considered this is probably the most stable configuration I’ve tried yet, and I think my Star Wars legos fit in pretty well on this side of the room.

However, this wasn’t the first layout I tried.

Originally I thought about spacing the Amiibo out across both surfaces in a curving manner:

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I love the way this set-up looks, but unfortunately it took up too much space.

Saying that is a bit crazy when I realize I have 19 Smash Bros. character Amiibo and there are 73 fighters so far? But still.

Needed some room to fit all my other stuff too.

On the bright side I have an outlet like this to save a photo of the curving configuration, since it is one of my favorites aesthetically.

I think that about covers all the major changes to my room decor starting out 2019. As usual I’m sure it’ll be subject to adjustments as I pick up more useless garbage throughout the year, but for now I’m pretty happy with how it looks!

Hopefully this filler post was worth your time, because it wound up being more fun for me to write than I had expected.

“Hey Siri…”

“Hey Siri…”

I’ll be honest, it has been a little hard to get motivated to do much of anything today. Last night there was a shooting at a bowling alley called Gable House Bowl in Torrance, which hit pretty much all the big news outlets.

Shootings like this are always a tragedy, but this one hit pretty close to home for me.

Gable House is and always has been a big name amongst basically everyone I’ve grown up with. Countless birthday parties and hangouts have been hosted there and at the laser tag arena just next door. Plus the local business makes itself known in other ways that have just become regular parts of life for me, such as through an advertisement that always plays before features at a nearby AMC movie theatre.

As far as I’m currently aware, I didn’t know any of the people involved in the shooting. But I did drive somewhat close to that area on my way home last night, so you know how the mind wanders with those kinds of situations.

It has been hard to distract myself considering all of my group chats with locals have brought the tragedy up at various times with similar pits of dread.

But distract we must. Because as much as I’ll give my condolences to anyone who was involved, I just can’t let it rule my mind all night.

I’ve partially done so by watching two new video series on YouTube that have frankly offered a huge amount of interesting, unorthodox video game-related content.

First is the “Region Locked” series by Did You Know Gaming. I found it for their episode on Mother 3 after binge watching a play through of that series not too long ago, but stayed to take in a ton of trivia all about bizarre or cool games that were never released officially in the United States.

Then I’ve been watching the “Boundary Break” series by Shesez, which is so fascinating that I find myself constantly staring slack-jawed at the screen. This series looks at games of all creeds and pedigrees with a ‘magic camera’ so you can see the inner-workings of how different titles are designed. For someone who just loves video games, it helps me appreciate the work that goes into making such iconic titles way more.

I’ve also — and don’t judge me for this — been trying my hand at the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online again.

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What can I say, I had a craving for a new card game with Duel Links falling a bit out of favor. The artwork on some of these cards are just… SO good.

Thinking about making a whole separate post about this stuff if I can get past it being so lame. Let me know if you’d be interested in that, I suppose.

But then the biggest distraction of the day would, of course, have to be the thing that I headlined the post with. Our new Apple Homepod.

Apparently this was my mom’s very belated birthday present from her parents, even though I’m personally not 100 percent sure why the one person in the house who is more hard of hearing would be so interested in a glorified speaker.


Dara’s Corner:

“It actually listens to me when I talk, which is a good thing considering I have a history of yelling profane things to Siri on my phone!”


She’s really happy with it though, so who am I to complain? Until it starts to refuse turning itself off like HAL 9000, anyway.

Setting the thing up has been a bit tricky because of how it interfaces with various iPhones in the house and other devices like our Apple TV. But that trickiness has provided at least two very funny moments.

The first most notable moment happened when my dad attempted to ask it to play Netflix, which resulted in the device playing the explicit rap song, “Netflix,” by 2 Chainz.

We got about as far as finding out that he smoked a blunt for breakfast before someone managed to turn it off in that flailing, unexpected manner.

Then later on we attempted to figure out how to make Siri text someone through the speaker alone. When we tried to get mom’s phone to text dad, there was (no joke) about a five-minute period where Siri listed off every single phone number and email that could possibly get him a message. Only to have the same list repeated about halfway through with another attempt later.

He has a few too many emails, apparently.

With that said, hopefully this post didn’t come across too scatterbrained for you all. I mostly just tried to do whatever I could to get past my funk, which wound up meaning ‘talk about a bunch of random things’ and recounting funny moments. Because we all need a little humor in the face of tragedy.

But now it’s starting to rain outside and I have to leave to go pick up Alyson from her Bob Cole thing.

Though you’ll likely hear more about it tomorrow when I may or may not write about her actual performance.

My Magnum Opus

My Magnum Opus

Ever since I booted up my old desktop Mac a few weeks back, I’ve written a few posts about some of the goodies I pulled out of it.

My personal favorite so far regarded the Super Smash Bros. wallpapers, which I tried to coincide with the release of Smash Ultimate.

Then I wrote about Armagetron Advanced, a game I really loved playing back in the day.

But I found a whole host of other things from the oughts and early twenty-tens, including elementary/middle school assignments, the first chapter draft of some fantasy novel I tried to write as well as memes or projects that provide a very distinct look at the kind of trash I loved growing up.

Oh, and when I say memes, I mean trashy memes all saved up on my desktop.

SSEH_sUZAUmsBKbI1EeAww2

True.

Comedy.

Gotta love those old Memebase pulls.

Sifting through the garbage brought me to something that I ultimately came to refer to as my magnum opus. A project with so much love and passion put into a creative route I’ve since abandoned that it was actually astounding.

In my “fun stuff” folder, I found these three files partitioned off:

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My immediate reaction was a hell of a cringe. Flashbacks to a true period of weeaboo sensibilities that left me doing things like watching all of Dragonball, Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT over the course of a few months in middle school.

True story.

Not only was there a “fan animation” based on Naruto, it was made in the primitive programming language animator Scratch.

Back in the day I used the program religiously, and even made some animations that went into official school broadcasts at Adams Middle School.

Also a true story, but for another day.

I couldn’t imagine anything good coming out of this animation from 2012 Jason… Yet I was blown away by just how great of a product I pulled together. So much so that I went through a lot of trouble to get the final (though unfinished) animation into a format where you all can see it today.

For your viewing pleasure, here it is:

First off, the fact that I didn’t remember spending a single second working on this until I found it again is such a travesty.

This was from that same era when I went to sprite animation camp like I talked about in the Smash Bros. wallpaper post, with all the sprites pulled from The Spriters Resource.

They were taken from a game called “Naruto: Ninja Council 3,” which to this day has some of my favorite sprite work in an old-school DS game.

I can say I confidently knew that because Ninja Council 3 is still a treasured part of my games collection:

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Now for those of you who don’t know, the video is based off the fifth anime opening to the original Naruto series. Crunchyroll has it uploaded here for you to see, and I’d recommend doing so to understand how much I tried to replicate.

It’s incredible to me how I actually grasped the concept of timing scenes to the music so well (mostly). I even went so far as to put the little floating heads in the sky to represent Sasuke thinking about his past!

I adore every second of it.

The journey to get this to you here today was far more complicated than it may appear, however.

It all began that night when I opened up the old Mac and watched this animation in Scratch for the first time.

As it turns out, the only way to pull projects off of Scratch was to go to the program’s website. Unfortunately…

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That wasn’t much of a possibility for a computer that hasn’t been updated since 2012.

Thus the true quest to save my magnum opus began. At first I attempted to record it externally with my iPhone:

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Needless to say I was not able to get the kind of quality I wanted out of this.

After a few more attempts, the best solution wound up being a QuickTime screen recording. That got the video in its purest quality!

However it wasn’t possible to do screen and audio recording at once through the older tech.

So… it’s a good thing I had the song file in that original folder!

Don’t ask me where I got it because I don’t know and it was probably illegal.

When I pulled everything onto my laptop, it became a 2 a.m. adventure to Frankenstein the video together with its original audio timing:

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In iMovie, naturally.

Mind you, it happened at 2 a.m. during Finals week. Big tests coming up and here I was laughing like a maniacal idiot, cutting together an old Scratch animation from 2012.

I’m glad I took a few weeks to get to this blog post because now that I’ve marinated on it, the whole situation is hilariously ridiculous.

But all worth it to finally get that finished project up on YouTube so I can show it off!

Except the process of getting it uploaded actually made the whole story even more ridiculous. Just thirty seconds after the video went up, I got this:

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Sony Music actually blocked my video in Japan and demonetized it.

Which is such a shame, I was really looking forward to the ad revenue out of that video… On my one subscriber storage channel.

It was interesting to be on this end of the YouTube algorithm for once. Gives me a bit more of an understanding of how terrible this must be for creators who have their livelihoods contingent on the site.

For me, it just means any of my readers in Japan won’t see my magnum opus. Sorry!

All this being said, I’m really proud of 2012 me. He’s the kind of man I wish I was now.

I’ll never not smile looking back at this, because no matter how many awards and scholarships I get for my writing as a journalist, none of it will truly be as personal as the actual fan animation I made surprisingly well back when I was 15.

Now if only I had finished the damn thing.

 

2019’s first new heroes

2019’s first new heroes

Oh boy, it’s a brand new year! Everything feels fresh and crisp, absolutely rife with possibilities. I can’t imagine what kind of great blog posts are going to come out of 2019!

What’s that? Fire Emblem Heroes updated?

Welp. If that’s not the most Jason’s Blog way of starting off the new year, I don’t know what is.


HrídResolute Prince

  • Geishun (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • At the start of the turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
  • Swap (Range = 1)
    • Unit and target ally swap spaces.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Quick Riposte (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Hone Attack 4 (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Attack +7 to adjacent allies for one turn.

GunnthráYear’s First Dream

  • Hikami (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At the start of the turn, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on the nearest foe within four spaces through their next actions.
  • Glimmer (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Desperation (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit initiates combat, unit can make a follow-up attack before foe can counterattack.
  • Joint Hone Speed (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Speed +5 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn.

FjormNew Traditions

  • Kabura Ya (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. At the start of the turn, inflicts Speed -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Reposition (Range = 1)
    • Target ally moves to opposite side of unit.
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Attack/Speed Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Speed +6 to both units for one turn.
  • Even Resistance Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Resistance +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

LaevateinKumade Warrior

  • Kumade (Might = 12, Range =2)
    • At the start of the turn, inflicts Attack and Speed -5 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Defense through its next action.
  • Rehabilitate (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack -10 (Minimum of 7). If target’s Health is ≤ 50 percent, the lower the target’s Health, the more Health is restored.
  • Earthfire Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Defense +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
    • Calculates damage from staff like other weapons.
  • Even Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

With Legendary Azura having literally just happened and the Christmas units still in rotation, I was a little burnt out coming into this New Year’s banner.

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see that the Múspell and Nifl units getting more love. Even if they still had to be in Hoshido to make this another pseudo-Fates banner.

But I paid little-to-no attention to what they were actually offering. I wasn’t strongly anticipating any of the units besides Laevatein, as she’s my favorite.

It seemed Intelligent Systems knew that, as they offered me a little New Year’s gift:

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Yee.

Having paid their skills more mind now, I can easily say Laevatein is the weakest of the bunch… But character preference is half the battle.

We’re getting free summon tickets for this banner, so I’ll keep throwing some orbs at it to get some of the Nifl units. Any of them look great honestly.

Luckily, even if I’m ambiguous on the units, there’s plenty happening at the start of 2019 to keep me invested. Not only are there January quests, we also have New Year’s celebration orbs, Aether Raids quests AND a new run of the Tempest Trials.

Plus, of course, there’s the Paralogue.


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The interesting thing about Paralogue 29 is that there really isn’t too much of a story to discuss. Rather, it serves as an outrealm circumstance of sorts.

It stipulates how great things could have been if the Nifl and Múspell siblings teamed up to defeat Surtr instead of slaughtering one another. Because they get along quite well.

Laegjarn and Fjorm have a moment together:

As do Gunnthrá and Laevatein:

And everything ends with the very sweet sentiment of Laegjarn’s wish:

It’s a feel-good moment meant to wrap up the Book II character arcs.

Unfortunately, it would ring out much more sweetly if we didn’t have the knowledge that in our universe they do, in fact, all slaughter one another and end their stories in a more somber note.


Alright I know, it’s silly for me to start the year off with one of these. But what can I say? It’s an easier banner this time around, and that gives me the chance to spend the first day of 2019 relaxing.

… If that weren’t obvious by the fact that I seem to have completely abandoned my desire to put these out early in the morning. *Glances anxiously at the clock*

I’m sure you all don’t mind, though.

Still convinced I’m the only one who enjoys these posts.

But that said I do still enjoy them, even in our new year of 2019! There are still interesting little tidbits that entice me. Like the fact that Laegjarn is more prominent in the Paralogue than Hríd in spite of being a Tempest Trials reward.

So let me know what you think about this first banner of 2019, and what you might be looking forward to seeing later into the year! Lord knows I’ll still be blathering on about this game.

My top 10 games of 2018

My top 10 games of 2018

I always feel like it’s cliché for me to throw one of these lists together since it’s something EVERYONE does. But the more I think of it as a window into what I love, the less bad I feel about it.

After all, looking at my 2017 list pretty much just reminded me that I had to cop-out with mobile games and Jackbox because I played so few games. Pretty wild.

This year I don’t have that problem luckily! Just remember the most important rule of all with a list like this:

  1. This is all my opinion, so don’t get your panties in a twist if I don’t talk about your favorite game (there are plenty of experiences unfortunately still sitting on my wishlist).

 

10.

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Don’t Starve and the number 9 game on this list may have been higher, but they’re both technically re-releases of games that I played years ago. So to be fair to newer games, I decided to keep them on the lower end.

Don’t let the low score deceive you, however. I love Don’t Starve as much as anything else on the list, if not more for nostalgia’s sake!

Alongside The Binding of Isaac, Terraria and FTL (and no I haven’t had the chance to play Into the Breach yet… Sorry Kyle), this Tim Burton-styled survival game was one of the most played titles in my Steam library years ago.

I can still vividly recount stories of playing the game in my 10th grade Journalism room, which would later become my 11th grade AP Language classroom.

It was a strange transition.

The important thing to know is that this game meant a lot to me, so when it got a re-released on the Switch I knew I had to jump back on the train.

It’s a really solid port, even if the Switch controls take a little time to adjust to.

I also officially “beat” the game for the first time this year! So the port gets some brownie points for that.

Add the portability of playing a game with such a unique world and art style on the go, and I’ll absolutely recommend Don’t Starve any day.


9.

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Ah yes, Minecraft.

Just what is there to say about Minecraft that hasn’t already been said?

It’s the survival/building blocky simulator that took the world by storm, inspired a trillion clones and now serves as a permanent cash cow for Microsoft. I absolutely adored Minecraft for years on both my desktop computer and Xbox 360. I even downloaded the Technic Modpack back in the day after watching the Yogscast.

While the game disappeared from my radar, the Switch brought it back to life for my friends and I.

As soon as this port dropped we all jumped on and had a ball playing over the summer. Now that I can capture pictures off my Switch I should go back and show you all some of the amazing stuff we built together.

Unfortunately, once the game shifted to be the all-encompassing Microsoft edition (and once the semester started) we all dropped off.

But if nothing else, Minecraft remains a great cooperative option for us to play together going forward.


8.

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Wizard of Legend is the first of what I would consider a Renaissance of indie games on the Switch that kept me gaming more than I usually would this year.

I love Wizard of Legend. Especially considering the dev team (Contingent99) is made up of two people, the fact that such a beautiful and fun title exists in the marketplace is a true testament to gaming culture in 2018.

It’s a fast-paced roguelike dungeon crawler that lets you blast out massive elemental attacks as though you’re the Avatar. AND it’s couch co-op.

Unfortunately, the game’s content is admittedly a bit shallow. As an experience Wizard of Legend rules, but once you’ve collected all the spells, you’ve kind of seen everything.

It’s a game I’ll happily return to and play again, and I by no means regret spending my money. But there just happen to be some better, similar games on this list.


7.

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I might have put this higher if I had gotten around to it sooner.

Pokémon Let’s Go is the amalgamated child of a Generation 1 remake and the capturing style of the mobile title Pokémon GO that took the world by storm a few summers back.

It’s about as casual a Pokémon experience as you can get, and for long-time fans such as myself there are very strange choices made (like who decided to only make PC access from the bag?).

But that being said, it’s an absolutely gorgeous Switch game, and every time I interact with Eevee my calloused heart melts.

The biggest selling point of Let’s Go for me is that it’s a couch co-op game I can play with my sister. If we weren’t only about five hours and three badges into the game, it might easily top this list because of the fun we’ve had yelling at the screen so far.

If you have a younger sibling (or romantic partner?), this is the game that perfectly bridges the gap between forced co-op and pretending to let them help in a single player title.

Like I used to do a lot, admittedly.


6.

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I have mixed emotions about Kirby Star Allies.

As a long-time fan of the Kirby series, I was really looking forward to the pink puffball’s next generation console game. That said, I wasn’t disappointed by how much of a fun Kirby game it was.

I even got a nice Daily Titan article out with my initial reactions, and that somehow has nearly 5,000 views?

Wow, how did that happen?

Anyway though, as fun as the game is, it’s seriously lacking in terms of difficulty and narrative — even for Kirby, who isn’t usually known for those elements.

Because of that I don’t feel like I can pick up the game as often as Squeak Squad or Super Star Ultra. But that being said… A ton of DLC came out for the game after I put it down, and I admittedly haven’t tried most of the new Dream Characters.

So hey, maybe it’s a lot better than where I left it the first time! Just based on my experiences now however, it seems like a solid fit for number 6.


5.

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I wrote a whole blog post about Deltarune weeks ago when I finally got around to playing it, so you can see my in-depth thoughts there.

What I will say is that much like its predecessor Undertale, Deltarune has a ton of mental staying power. It’s arguably the game I played for the least amount of time this year, but I hold it in high regard because I keep humming that glorious battle theme and thinking about all the possibilities of future installments.

It’s a game you just need to experience to understand. If you’re a fan of Toby Fox I’m sure you already have, but even if you haven’t played Undertale it might still be worth a look for fans of wacky fourth-wall comedy and Final Fantasy-esque gameplay.

I promise it’s worth diving down the rabbit hole.


4.

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Enter the Gungeon is kind of the game I wish Wizard of Legend was.

It’s a remarkably similar, being a roguelike dungeon crawler, but something about the way Gungeon’s five randomized levels are utilized makes them feel so much more fresh over a long period of time than Wizard of Legend’s three two-act levels.

Perhaps it has to do with the art style? Both are gorgeous examples of sprite work, but Gungeon’s aesthetic of gun puns galore seems more entrancing and unique.

Perhaps it has to do with the weapon variety? All of the spells in Wizard are great, but their numbers pale in comparison to just how many guns and combination effects are in Gungeon.

Perhaps it has to do with the supplementary content? Wizard boils down to collecting the spells and costumes, but Gungeon has a series of underlying story “quests” and NPCs who give you extra tasks to complete while you unlock more weapons and power-ups.

Both of these games are wonderful, but Enter the Gungeon stands much taller in terms of its content and replayability. A testament to the breadth of skill from a studio like Dodge Roll under Devolver Digital.


3.

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Much like Minecraft, what is there to say about Super Smash Bros. that hasn’t already been said?

I wrote a long post the other day about how much I love the single-player stuff in Ultimate, which has given me dozens of hours of enjoyment.

But that alone shouldn’t have skyrocketed the game to number 3 on my list, right?

I’ll admit, I’m giving Smash Ultimate some proactive credit. Simply because it’s Smash Bros., I know for a fact it’s going to be relevant for years in professional, competitive settings and among during casual friend hangouts.

Plus there are DLC characters already in the works, and I’m dying to play as Piranha Plant!

So yeah, Smash Bros. is a super fun game that I’m really glad is going to live on for years. As a result, it garners top billing.

… But really, what else did you expect from a Nintendo fanboy like me?


2.

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Hollow Knight is easily the best game I’ve played this year.

It has a darker art style, sense of humor and scale that create one of the richest worlds I’ve played with in years. Even the horrid Deepnest, a place I still shutter thinking about months later.

The gameplay is tight, offering a metroidvania experience which truly gets more fun as you advance through it by empowering the player’s exploration and combat abilities.

It’s also remarkably open-world in spite of needing certain abilities to advance in different areas, as my friends Jonathan and Juan each went through the game in completely different ways than I did.

The story is somber and open to interpretation. There are hints of different things going on that can only be discovered through a player’s curiosity.

Hollow Knight is also full of great characters who at times embody well-known tropes, but at other times subvert them in heartbreaking ways. One of my favorite characters is a bug girl who simply dies unceremoniously.

My love came from simply imagining the larger role that she could have had which was tragically cut short. That’s good implicit storytelling.

The game is seriously unique and I would say anyone should experience it.

There’s also a whole host of DLC available that makes the game even more impressive! When it dropped on the Switch this year, I knew it was something I had to play based on the recommendations of a ton of my friends, and boy did it not disappoint.

Hollow Knight seriously would have been my favorite game this year… If something else hadn’t stolen my heart in a different way.


1.

2018123012310700-2AE606B8659FEA852E0ED6470C9814D9

So. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate came out on Switch this year.

I’ve been a Monster Hunter junkie since my first experience playing 4U on the 3DS. The series scratches all of my gaming itches: Impressively designed beasts to admire, fitting battle music for every situation, luck-based schedules of reinforcement with item collection and (of course) lots of armor and skills to facilitate hours of pre-planning and designing.

I wrote a whole blog post about that earlier this year, because it’s honestly one of those things that drives my fervor for a game.

However, what made Gen Ultimate surpass every other game I’ve played this year was how the Nintendo Switch made it perfect bait for my friends and I to spend hours hunting.

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Yeah, I no-lifed this game super hard as my stress relief.

The crazy thing is, even with all those hours put in I still have a dozen different armor sets in mind that I want to build. Even for weapons I’m trying outside of my favorite Hunting Horn style!

It may not be the deepest game from a narrative perspective, or the most novel game from a mechanical perspective…

But with nearly 100 large monsters and infinite possibilities to dick around with friends, Monster Hunter succeeds at being the game I’ve had the most fun with this year. As well as being the game I know I’ll continue to love in 2019!


In case the pattern wasn’t clear, 2018 was a great year for my Nintendo Switch. That console has really come into its own far more than the Wii U ever did (particularly with indie games), and I’m so glad to see it.

That said, let me know what some of your favorite games of the year were! I obviously don’t own a PS4 or an Xbox One and couldn’t put any games from those libraries on the list, but I know there were some phenomenal showings all across the board.

Here’s to 2019 being as great a year for gaming as 2018 was!

The Legendary grey waves of fate wash in

The Legendary grey waves of fate wash in

Legendary Hero time?

Legendary Hero time.


AzuraVallite Songstress

  • Prayer Wheel (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Speed +3. If Sing or Dance is used, grants bonus to target’s Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance = The highest bonus on the target for one turn.
  • Grey Waves (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally, and if target is an infantry or flying ally, target can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).
  • Blue Duel Flying (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five-star and level 40 and its stats total < 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like the Arena.
  • Aerobatics (B Skill)
    • Unit can move to a space adjacent to any infantry, armored or cavalry ally within two spaces.
  • Attack Tactic (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack +6 to allies within two spaces for one turn. Granted only if number of that ally’s movement type ≤ 2.

At this point I would have expected Intelligent Systems to start pumping out a few Mythic Heroes with the beginning of Book III, but I suppose there’s still a few slots available for legendaries that we needed to fill.

So to help us round out this era of special characters, we have yet another alternate version of Azura. This time based off of her mother, Arete.

While her design alone is a nice reference, she actually stands out even more as a powerful unit to summon. Kind of a power crept version of last year’s New Year’s Azura as a flying dancer, though with a magical tome rather than an axe.

See Legendary Azura’s gimmick, if you hadn’t picked it up already, is that she gives an exceptional amount of buffs through her song after warping to basically any ally easier based on her Aerobatics skill. When she sings for that ally, they gain wide-ranging skill buffs (likely replicated from her Attack Tactic skill) and an extra movement space.

That’s just good. There really isn’t anything else I can say about it.

Honestly if I hadn’t already needlessly wasted a ton of orbs on the Christmas units, I would probably be much more invested in trying to summon Azura here. Especially considering the other units in her banner.

Because also in this Legendary Hero banner are:

There are a healthy mix of units I don’t have and powerful units I wouldn’t mind having more of in this banner. Marth, Camilla, Nino, Helbindi and Takumi are all missing from my catalog, and I really wouldn’t mind summoning any considering the ones I do have like Hector, Veronica and Tiki are worth having multiple copies of.

So… All things being equal, I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about this banner overall.

If it weren’t for too many other banners happening at the same time (looking at you, New Year’s 2018 banner coming soon), I would spent more time heaving orbs at it.

But hey, at least there’s always Legendary Battle Maps to supply some extra orbs! So maybe I’ll be able to summon her before she disappears.


IMG_1746

Alright so I’m going to level with you, I don’t have much of anything to say about the battle map other than “hey free orbs.” I know this entire post feels a bit sparse… And that’s because it kind of is.

Really everything with this Legendary Hero is so good that it’s kind of bland to talk about since I can’t summon too much on the banner. Plus I was hoping to get to it last night until I fell asleep and stayed asleep until very late today because of that sickness I’m still rocking.

So I just wanted to get this out of the way, that way I can focus more on the end-of-year posts coming out the next two days.

Hope you all can forgive me for half-assing this one as a result ❤


And there we have it, another new Legendary Hero!

Always exciting to talk about, especially with that in-depth analysis of the battle map, am I right?

If you had any luck summoning on Azura’s banner, let me know. Also, tell me who you want to see as Legendary Heroes down the line! I know I for one lean away from Fates considering how oversaturated it is in representation so far, though it would be nice to see a Legendary (or even Mythical) Xander to balance out Ryoma’s inclusion earlier.

Guess we’ll just have to see if that happens sometime soon.

The change to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s single player experience I feel would make it even better

The change to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s single player experience I feel would make it even better

After pouring over 70 hours into the game, I think it’s safe to say that I love Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Ultimate is probably the first Smash Bros. game that I would argue has stellar single player content which really jives with the way I like to play games, even if it doesn’t have a Subspace Emissary mode ala Smash Bros. Brawl.

Subspace Emissary offered a healthy mix of story-driven character interactions, platforming-based overworld sections, Smash fighter duels and big boss encounters to bring something to the table for everyone.

It even had secret characters hidden within the platforming sections who could only be unlocked via finding them. That’s a super cool reward for putting time into the game!

Plus it had couch co-op for anyone playing with a friend.

But for all the positivity Brawl offered for solo players, Subspace Emissary did shine brightest when playing it cooperatively. Also beyond that mode, it mostly survived among my friend group because of how fun it was to do regular Smash battles on custom-made stages.

What Smash Ultimate lacks in a story as character-driven as Subspace Emissary, it more than makes up for with the amount of care poured into the details of World of Light’s adventure and individualized Classic Mode routes.

I figure I’ll dive into each individually, making room for my change pertaining to Classic specifically.


World of Light

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World of Light has a vague overarcing plot. Kirby must set out to save every other Smash fighter, as they have been captured by Galeem, the lord of light, and replicated for nefarious purposes.

In terms of interactions between characters, World of Light is lacking.

Instead it centers around Spirits, over 1,000 characters curated from just about any Nintendo (and third party) title that have taken over the mindless puppet fighters.

These Spirits are battled across a world map chock full of references. For instance, there’s an entire town made up of Nintendo consoles just underneath Lumiose City from Pokémon X & Y, and it can be revealed that the entire town is powered by a facility utilizing the electricity of Zapfish from Splatoon.

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Each of the battles with Smash Ultimate’s Spirits also have great care put into how their source material is referenced.

One of my favorites is the Legendary Dogs from Pokémon:

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But there’s a whole lot more to love, from a Dr. Wily battle where Dr. Mario hides behind eight metal Mega Men to a classic Donkey Kong spirit that has you fight alongside Peach against a massive DK on the arcade game’s stage.

Even this little indie gem:

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And those are just a few of the hundreds of Spirit battles. I powered through the somewhat grind-heavy adventure just to see as many of them as I could.

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That’s the power of well-crafted references. World of Light and the corresponding Spirit Board has them in spades, but even more come forth with Classic Mode.


Classic Mode

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Gotta let my main represent!

Masahiro Sakurai’s team put just as much care into giving every fighter a unique Classic Mode route that fits their character.

At this point I’m kind of an expert in the subject:

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There are three categories of Classic routes I would separate all 74 into.

  1. References to the character’s game series or a particular storyline.
  2. Combining opponents by color or theme based on the character’s interests.
  3. Playing with the character’s quirks.

The first category has some of the most fun Classic runs.

  • Mega Man follows the story of his second adventure by taking on eight characters before fighting a giant robot, then Dr. Wily (Dr. Mario), then Mewtwo as an alien version of Wily.
  • Ryu fights proxy Street Fighter representatives and is the only one with Stamina battles (similar to fighting game life bars).

For characters that group things together, there’s a ton of variety.

  • Marth only fights dragons, ending off with a battle against Monster Hunter’s Rathalos.
  • Bowser fights red costumed fighters in reference to his hatred for Mario.

In the last category, you have unique rule sets.

  • Kirby fights characters that are known for eating, and only food items spawn.
  • Mewtwo takes control of one of his previous round’s opponents to be a teammate in the next.

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Luigi fights his nightmares, including Dracula!

There’s so much to love about Classic Mode in Smash Ultimate that the one (in my opinion) glaring execution error shines.

With all of the variety exuding in each route, far too many end with a fight against Master Hand and Crazy Hand.

They are the biggest representatives of the Smash series as a whole, so it makes sense that they would be the default final boss. But the amount of times I groaned seeing them show when I expected someone else were far too frequent.

Why don’t more of the Mario characters battle Giga Bowser, for example?

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Rosalina does fight the space-faring Marx, but still.

It seems like a small thing, but the routes that go all-out on final bosses are the best. Toon Link’s Classic Mode is based on the Four Swords Games, and culminates in a four-on-one battle against Ganon from Ocarina of Time.

Now I’m not complaining to Sakurai’s team. They did so much more than they had to with Ultimate, and I love everything about it!

But if I could make any change to the end product, I would have added a more diverse boss battles.

Not just by handing out the six World of Light bosses more readily. So much more could have been achieved by adding a few Classic Mode-exclusive bosses as well.

I would have cranked the nostalgia machine up a few notches by adding a boss related to each of the eight original Smash 64 characters.

Mario, Link and Kirby already have representatives with Giga Bowser, Ganon and Marx. But imagine this:

Donkey Kong facing off against some variant of K. Rool, or even Lord Fredrik from DKC Tropical Freeze to tie in with the recent Switch port.

250px-Lord_Fredrik_spirit

Samus taking on a returning Meta Ridley from Brawl, or one of her many other big baddies (Crocomire from Super Metroid perhaps? Beloved game, fun second form).

Crocomire_Artwork

Yoshi taking on a massive Baby Bowser slowly approaching the arena, just like in Yoshi’s Island. Bowser’s final smash is kind of halfway there as is!

Baby_Bowser_Battle_-_Close_to_Yoshi_-_Super_Mario_World_2
I know we already have a Bowser… But still. Iconic.

Fox would have to fight some giant figure like Andross, though doing a horde boss battle against the members of Star Wolf might be cool.

AndrossIsBack

Finally, Pikachu. We could bring back Rayquaza. But there are a billion legendary Pokémon who could be intimidating bosses. Perhaps Ultra Necrozma to tie in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon?

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Adding just a few extra bosses would add a ton of diversity and surprise for players who took on the World of Light first and might assume they’ve seen everything.

Again, don’t take this as me complaining about the end product in any serious manner. I’m simply a fan of all things Nintendo and can’t help but drool at the thought of even more iconography being brought together with such a well-crafted game.

That being said, what else would you want to see added into Smash Ultimate if you were on the dev team? It doesn’t even have to stick to bosses: Characters, alternate skins or items are always fun points of discussion as well!

Let me know in the comments or somewhere on the Internet, because even as I transition into playing Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee with my sister, I’m still thinking all about that Smash.