I’ve had a bit of a hectic week and not a lot of time to pay attention to the gaming scene, but I didn’t want to miss out on one of these beat reports after I already did last week thanks to the convention I attended.
So this is going to be a little more short and to the point, just to show that I’ve been paying some attention to my entertainment beat for class. Hope you all enjoy or learn something either way!
March 8, 2018 Nintendo Direct
Gaming’s biggest name (arguably, but I’d stand by that) made waves across the internet on Thursday when they put on a Nintendo Direct showcasing all of the new stuff coming to stores and e-shops in the near future.
I could talk for hours dissecting each and every little announcement that was made… But frankly I still have not watched the whole thing. As I said, time has not exactly been on my side recently.
Despite this, Nintendo includes a summary of everything they announced in the description of the archived stream, so even if I would usually dedicate a whole expansive post to this topic I can run through my thoughts on everything in short form.
I’ll try to be quick and painless with it.
The 3DS will have a number of new titles in the near future: WarioWare Gold, Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers as a sequel to Dillon’s Rolling Western and a remake of Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story.
As a side note, I’m still confused as to why Bowser’s Inside Story is next on the docket here. Superstar Saga had a remake not too long ago, but theoretically the next game on the list should be Partners in Time if they’re going in order on the Mario RPG kick. Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day…
Detective Pikachu will be coming out soon, and Nintendo announced a remake of the GameCube classic Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS. Coming… Sometime soon. Definitely looking forward to that one.
Kirby Star Allies, coming out later this month, will allow players to travel with old Kirby staple characters and companions – most notably including the animal buddies from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and Marx, the (Spoilers? I guess?) arch-villain in Kirby Super Star.
Okami HD will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, as will a game called Sushi Striker (a puzzle fighting game based on Sushi I believe?), Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Undertale, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the Crash N. Sane Trilogy and so, so much more. Seriously, so many games here that are worth your time it’s crazy.
Dark Souls Remastered will have its own special Amiibo based on Solaria of Astora and his famously meme-worthy “praise the sun” pose when launched. Still looking forward to trying this one.
Splatoon 2 will receive an expansion with Version 3.0 and $20 paid DLC that’s going to add a whole hell of a lot. More stages, outfits, competitive rankings and even new single player experiences. Who knows, maybe this is the kind of thing that could get me back into that game… If I’d be willing to pay the money, I suppose.
Finally, the one that truly broke the internet: Super Smash Brothers is coming to Nintendo Switch. Whether it will be a port of Smash 4 or a new game entirely is not yet known, but it appears like the Inklings from Splatoon are new fighters and Link has been updated to fit his appearance in Breath of the Wild. Though I’m still a huge fan of the Twilight Princess Link, it’ll be interesting to see how that change plays out.
Also if you haven’t watched the video yet, go see the Smash teaser where the Inkling has the fiery Smash logo in her eyes. It’s one of my favorite hilarious visuals in a long time.
Seriously how nice must it be when details like that line up? It’s almost serendipity that years after this character was created we can appreciate unintentionally meta humor like this.
Once Google Maps have been updated, anyone can hit the question block in the corner of the screen to have a 3D model of the plumber replace their car as it travels along the blue line toward a destination. It’s a small, kind of silly idea… But a cool one all the same.
Besides, considering the Pokémon April Fools joke from a couple of years ago helped lead to Pokémon GO, maybe this is just test driving a new Mario Kart mobile platform.
Pun only slightly intended.
Mario Kart-style go-kart track will open this Spring
Nintendo sure has been busy recently, haven’t they?
It has been a long time since I’ve gone go karting, so I can’t exactly say I’m excited by the prospects of going again now that I’m way too big to do so probably, but it is pretty cool to imagine playing Mario Kart in real life.
Plus, you can totally have Mario guide your way to the Mario Kart tracks if you choose to drive there this week. Who can argue with that?
Overwatch League host harassed for comments made on International Women’s Day
On finally not Nintendo news, here’s something back with our local Orange County favorite Blizzard.
Unfortunately, this might not be as good a publicity pull as the company might want in the midst of their League’s second stage.
Really from what I’ve been able to find, that’s about as deep as this story gets. There’s a little more back-and-forth about what she did afterward in the story I have linked above, but I don’t have much to contribute to the conversation.
I just think it’s interesting that there was a vitriolic response to what seems like such a simple, encouraging message. Guess that’s just the nature of the world we live in today.
President Trump held meeting about violence in video games following Parkland shooting
The Parkland shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, 2018 left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Personally I’m not sure that kind of thing needs to be there necessarily… But I guess it is.
That same article says the meeting was “unproductive and bizarre,” with little discussion on potentially being able to restrict companies in what they can produce. More of the discussion was focused on voluntary measures and more robust age restrictions.
Another point worth noting about this story is different groups pointing to it as a “distraction tactic” in leu of talking about gun control, which says a lot with the March for our Lives march planned by students to talk about guns and mass shootings later this month.
Like I said before, things have been busy for me so I haven’t exactly gotten the chance to appreciate a wider scope of news — as I’m sure is obvious by the amount of Nintendo dominating the charts here.
If there is any news I missed that you were interested in, please let me know about it in the comments below! I know I can’t hit everything, so it’d be great to know exactly what I wasn’t paying attention to.
As we come down to the wire, just a week away from the release of the games facilitating our second romp into the Alola region, I can’t help but reflect a little on the fact that I’ve probably missed out on talking about the build-up trailers more often than not. It’s a shame given how much I absolutely enjoyed talking about everything leading up to the first game, but I guess I can once again blame the somewhat hectic semester I’ve had.
However, I’m not going to let that fact stop me now. I’m ready to talk some Pokémon, because if anything is going to get me to talk about the games again… It would be this Pokémon in particular.
Normally I would hide this under a non-spoiler read more line… But this trailer isn’t so much that it’s worth being considered a spoiler, in my opinion. It’s just one Z-Move being given to a Pokémon we already knew existed.
As a real quick aside, even finding this old post was a little strangely nostalgic to a year ago when my Sun and Moon hype was super real. Is it possible to be nostalgic for something only a little more than a year ago? Perhaps in the age of the internet, I suppose. But either way, I still remember seeing Mimikyu for the first time while wandering the campus of El Camino College, where I was taking abnormal psychology course and relentlessly playing Pokémon GO.
When Sun and Moon actually came, Mimikyu turned out to be far better than the cute little gimmick it presented itself as in all the promotional materials, and my little Charlotte demolished many a Hydreigon in her heyday. I still love her… But I probably won’t be using her in my run of the Ultra sequels. Typically when I replay the third game in a region, I’ll use a totally different team. That way I can get experience with a wider variety of the available Pokémon in that region, come to care about them more and all that.
I haven’t quite decided who my new team is going to be beside the fact that I’ll probably pick Popplio as a starter. Simply because I can’t think of a water type I would use if I’m not using Wishiwashi.
But that’s another story for another post. Here we’re all set to talk about Mimikyu’s new Z-Move, the reason why even if I don’t use her in the story I’ll definitely continue to use her in online play:
Let’s Snuggle Forever
I’ll admit, it’s a… Less than enticing name for an attack. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily snuggle with Mimikyu any time, but I don’t really envision that being the attack I would suggest using against an enemy.
Luckily, the move itself surpasses whatever lousy naming convention it might have gotten. Full of love for its trainer, Mimikyu takes its Play Rough (presumably – given the Fairy-type Z-Move pose and sound effects of the inevitable attack) to the next level by mixing in its spooky capabilities to sneak around and catch an opponent off-guard. When the enemy Pokémon least expects it, the cloth-covered monster leaps out of the treetops and envelops that poor soul, trapping it in a more intensely unseen attack before spitting it out and shooting it off into the distance.
On the one hand, this attack is very cute. It captures both the cute Fairy side of Mimikyu desperate for attention and love by the way it slips out from behind its trainers legs, but it also captures the unclear reality-warping Ghost side of Mimikyu that can sneak around and cause immense damage with the creature under the sheet.
On the other hand, I can’t help but get somewhat deeply contemplative about this attack due to the aforementioned reality-warping sensibilities Mimikyu carries. In Sun and Moon, Acerola’s trial is based entirely around chasing Totem Mimikyu through an abandoned minimart, where everything concludes in a strange back room full of Pikachu-themed posters and a battle with the powerful ghost.
When that fight is over, Acerola reveals that there is no back room to the mart, and says she feels a chill before walking off. One of the best things about the moment is seeing Mimikyu in the background walking behind the building as your character doesn’t seem to notice. However, even at the time something didn’t sit totally well with me about it.
Just how much power does Mimikyu have?
Was it Mimikyu alone that was able to create the physical illusions of some kind of pocket dimension while also being able to appear seemingly everywhere at will? Or did the other spirits – the Gastly and Gengar living in the abandoned building – lend their support in creating such a spooky environment?
The new Z-Move doesn’t necessarily help clarify this, if anything it just makes it more interesting to consider. Not even just when seeing that Mimikyu’s outfit expands exponentially to take in a target as big as a Tyranitar.
The literal implication of the attack is that Mimikyu’s true form under the cloth is able to release more of its true power when having an opponent trapped alongside it. But there’s a less literal implication too. If Mimikyu is able to create its own pocket dimension for your fight in the abandoned minimart, is it also able to trap the Pokémon it pulls into its cloth into some kind of a pocket dimension? Or, at least, is it able to trap the opposing Pokémon in a mental prison of sorts, letting it imagine its been sucked into a world of endless darkness, only for another creature to come and knock its lights out repeatedly.
Perhaps it’s just me romanticizing Mimikyu too much, but I like to imagine this attack is less an overpowered Play Rough and more something akin to the relentless time-bending mental torture of Itachi Uchiha’s Tsukuyomi attack from Naruto.
That’s about as geeky an anime reference as I’ve made here on this blog I think, but the point still stands. It’s the kind of thing I like to imagine Mimikyu is capable of.
Again this wound up being a much longer discussion of something quite short than I had intended, but I just really like the underlying suggestion of Let’s Snuggle Forever. Plus, I’m personally ready to snuggle with Mimikyu forever in a week when the game’s come out, so I suppose that’s part of what led to this being so much rambling.
I would still love to hear what you all think of this Z-Move, or honestly anything at all Pokémon-related as we make our way into Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon release week. Let me know in the comments below!
As the holiday season and the year 2016 come to a close (very conveniently at the same time in this case), I feel like I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on some things. As I mentioned in my last post about Carrie Fisher’s passing, the general attitude seems to be that 2016 can’t end soon enough. Globally, the world is a bit of a mess. In the United States, the incredibly divisive presidential election we just completed left everything feeling a little bit fractured and not-so-unified. In the world of popular culture lots of people who were well-known and highly adored by the general public passed away.
It’s understandable why people feel the year was so bad, and admittedly there’s some of that I’ve gotten bogged in too over the last couple months. However, for me personally, the year really hasn’t been all that awful. In fact, it’s been a fairly great year all things considered.
One thing I always find interesting as a gamer is reflecting on what games “defined my year,” as it were. Granted I didn’t necessarily diversify my interests a whole lot, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of things I played.
Toward the beginning of the year, I was still riding some of my Wii U hype. I just got my system as a present last Hanukah, in fact, so games like Super Mario Maker were still huge time sucks, moreso than they are now.
Another thing that I’d gotten for Hanukah in 2015 also continued to take up my time, and that was The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes.
While the game wasn’t a traditional Zelda game like we’d all been waiting for in the relatively soon-to-be-announced Breath of the Wild, it was still a blast to play. The game had some awesome multiplayer functionality both with friends and with strangers, and to this day I don’t think I’m over how hilarious it is to spam the cheerleader pom-pom Link emoji.
On top of that, you could literally dress Link up as a cheerleader and it was one of the most viable costumes in that game. Not sure I ever thought I’d be so gung-ho to get Link to cross dress in all honesty, but I was.
Also earlier on in the year, while I was still getting into the swing of the Spring semester, I remember binging every Shantae game that’s been released thus far.
Not only did I play the original Shantae for the Game Boy, I played Shantae: Risky’s Revenge and Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse. I fell in love with the series fast thanks to the lovable characters, the quirky and fun writing, the beautiful animation style and of course the music (composed by Jake Kaufman, who also produced the music for another one of my favorite games in the same general style: Shovel Knight). I literally played through all three in a row and loved every minute of it, even if none of the games were necessarily all that beefy.
Doing a little bit of research, it looks like the latest installment in the series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, has been released just recently, but it apparently slipped under my radar somehow. I’m wholeheartedly Ret-2-Go with that game as soon as I can pick it up, as there are a few too many games in 2016 that I unfortunately missed despite wanting to play them. Didn’t have quite as much time to devote to these things as I would have liked.
Next on the list of my year’s rundown is the first in what I would consider my ‘return of old gaming loves’ trilogy. That, of course, was Fire Emblem Fates. All three together technically, but Birthright was undoubtedly my personal favorite.
There’s a few things I’ll never forget just leading up to the games being released. First, I’ll never forget the hunt my friends and I went on trying to find some of the special edition three-in-one game cartridges for Fates that was a resounding failure but had some great moments. Like getting literally laughed at by a guy in a Game Stop one time. That was awesome.
I’ll also never forget getting the first game, Birthright, as it was actually a gift that was given to me by the editors of the News section on the Daily Titan, Micah and Brianna, as thanks for being their assistant for the Fall 2015 semester. Seriously, check it out, I still have the note here:
It was really awesome, especially considering it apparently took a lot of work to build up to the reveal, including using my friend Kaleb as a spy to figure out which version of the game I wanted more.
Fire Emblem took up a huge chunk of my life from there on out, as I went on to play all three versions. In a row. In hindsight, admittedly not the best idea, but I’m really into the games so it was the decision I made at the time. Birthright was incredible, rose-colored glasses or not, Conquest literally made my just about cry on multiple occasions from how unnecessarily difficult it got to be at times (Seriously, screw the port level. If I never play that game again, the port level is to blame) and Revelations was… Admittedly underwhelming.
I meant to talk about it on here a little bit, but beyond just being burnt out on the games by the time I hit the third, there were a few things that really sort of killed the experience for me unfortunately. First, I padded it out too much for myself. I tried to grind all the characters up to have a ton of diverse skills rather than planning ahead what I would’ve wanted, and it wound up being far more effort than I was honestly willing to put in. Second, they killed off my favorite character in what was literally the worst possible way in my opinion. I have a huge, huge rant still built up about it because the moment was so caustic for me, but this isn’t really the time or the place, so perhaps I’ll still come back to it later. Third, there was another game coming on the horizon that left me rushing to finish, which took away a lot of my enjoyment toward the latter half of the storyline. Who knows, maybe if I go back to it now I’ll have a better time, but for now Birthright will continue to be the high point of my memories for Fire Emblem Fates.
The second game in my personal trilogy was Monster Hunter Generations.
I talked about it on here a bit, so I don’t think I need to go into too much detail, but this game sucked away quite a bit of my time as well. Though I’ve only been playing Monster Hunter since the last major release, Monster Hunter 4U, it has quickly become one of my favorite franchises.
The seemingly near infinite levels of customization thanks to a wide range of monsters and a progression-based-on-skill system is something almost totally unique to Monster Hunter in my gaming experience, and it ticks boxes like crazy for me. There are very few games that I get super in depth about building sets and doing hours of research into said sets and also things like lore, but Monster Hunter is definitely one of them. It’s also one of the favorite games of my friend Juan, so we always have a good time going on extravagant hunts as a super powered duo, Hunting Horn and Charge Blade in hands.
Granted, I’ll admit that the game wasn’t quite as invigorating as MH4U for me, since that was the game where I truly had a skill curve to learn and overcome so I could truly become a master, but Generations was still a blast to play through and through.
Last, but certainly not least, comes what must be an obvious entry on this list. Hell, there’s only one game that really defined not only the latter half of my year, but also most of what I’ve built my blogging experience on so far.
And that game is, of course, Pokémon Sun and Moon. Because technically they go together even if they’re two separate games. Because Pokémon works like that.
Really I’ve said more than enough about these games in many, many posts over the last year, so I don’t think I need to waste too much time on it right now. Not only were the games beautiful and fun experiences in themselves, surpassing what I consider to be some of my favorite and some of the best constructed games in the series thus far, they reinvigorated the love of competitive Pokémon breeding that I fostered in Alpha Sapphire and got me back into the Pokémon YouTube communities I followed around the same time.
I have been and will continue to do some breeding in the games, especially once the Pokébank opens in January, and I’ve considered doing more competitive battling in 2017. There’s an official battle competition coming up pretty soon that I’m pretty sure I’ll be entering, so I’m sure there will be plenty more posts in the future on the subject as well.
Beyond those massive entries that took up my time, there are a few other games that permeated my year’s experiences. The 20th Anniversary of Pokémon for me included the continued playing of Pokémon Shuffle and Pokémon Picross on my 3DS, which were my puzzle game obsessions that I’ve only recently seemed to kick.
The summer was undoubtedly defined by Niantic’s Pokémon GO, the game which really felt the most universally unifying during the sub-par situations of the year surrounding it.
My whole family was playing the game together and I still remember wandering El Camino College hatching eggs after my summer classes there. Though I wound up a little disillusioned with the game, and still haven’t jumped in to catch the start of the Generation 2 Pokédex, I still can’t imagine Pokémon GO won’t hold a place in history in some way or another.
Also hitting the mobile gaming scene this year was Super Mario Run.
I gave my thoughts on the game in depth a little while ago, and as a small follow-up I will say that having spent money on the full game has made the experience even better for me. I’ve gotten really into collecting all the colored coins in single player on long road trips and I have a pretty well developed town so far. As a first jump into the mobile scene for Nintendo, I can personally say that Super Mario Run has been a success, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.
I also replayed quite a few older Steam games that I adore but haven’t touched in some time this year.
My friend Samantha and I played Terraria for a long stretch of time together, progressively getting better and better as we learned and built more complicated structures and items together. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ate up huge chunks of my time in brief intervals throughout the year, as it’s always an addictive rogue-like experience that I’ll never get tired of. The same could be said for FTL, which I can only describe as a real-time rogue-like spaceship command and battle simulator. For anyone who hasn’t heard of the game it can be hard to explain, but it’s one of my favorite games of all time.
My 2016 was defined by more than just the video games I played, however. It marked the end of my first year at college. It also included my first semester as an editor for a college paper, one which I feel went really well considering all the crazy things that happened politically while I was in charge of the News page.
2016 was where I really feel like I got into the rhythm of driving and being able to get myself places. It was also the first year where I got to vote for a serious election – despite how divisive it might have been as far as an election went.
However, because of my time as a journalist, I felt like this was the first time I really got to apply what I was doing and learning to a real-world event. Literally the more I learned, the more prepared I felt to vote in November.
On top of that, I feel like I really learned a lot just in general. Two semesters and a summer intersession at college had me taking classes all over the proverbial spectrum at two different schools: Cal State Fullerton and El Camino College. Not only was the subject matter of the things I learned interesting, I also got to explore more places at the same time, which I also enjoy doing.
I got my first few relatively well-paying jobs in 2016 between being an editor on the Daily Titan and working for Boom: A Journal of California. Thanks to that, I’ve felt more independent than I ever really have before.
In 2016, I went to New York for the first time in I honestly don’t know how long.
I used to have a lot of family living out there, but now most of my close relatives live here in California, so I rarely ever get to go out to the East Coast anywhere that isn’t Florida. The trip was amazing and so much fun, and I really felt like I got close to a lot of my friends and colleagues in the newsroom that went with me.
I also got to relive a part of my Dad’s childhood by finding his old high school.
So, all and all, I’d say that trip was probably one of the most memorable parts of the year for me.
I got to visit SpaceX for the first time this year, and though I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside, it was still a phenomenal place to see. Seriously, some of the stuff they have going on in there is incredible.
In my opinion, I really started to come out of my shell a little bit more in 2016, and that helped me meet and interact with some people who I can really see myself continuing to talk to for a long time to come. Both those in and out of the newsroom.
2016 was also the first year I’ve let my beard grow out. It started as a No Shave November thing we did for the Daily Titan, but in the end I wound up getting such a positive reception that I kept the hair grown out.
Seriously, what a difference a little bit of hair will make. I look totally different from one picture to the other, if you ask me. Probably helps that I had more hair on top of my head to cover my forehead in the first picture too… But that’s another story.
Finally, 2016 was where I really got into blogging. Yeah, seems like a silly thing to cap this whole list off with, but you are literally reading this on my blog. I started this blog back on February 18, a day after my birthday, thanks to some school assignments I had to do. My Communications 233 class required us to have a blog that we posted 20 things on of any subject we chose. Naturally, I chose to make this a blog about video games and about my journalism experience.
Though it started as an assignment, one that I literally had to come up with ways to finish by coming up with admittedly silly things to post, I’ve come to really love doing this. Writing is a passion of mine, and getting the chance to write more often has been wonderful. It’s also been a way to voice my opinions and thoughts on various subjects, which I don’t tend to do in a largely public forum like this very often. I may be a relatively small blog still, but I feel like I’ve found somewhat of a rhythm thanks to Pokémon Sun and Moon, and I’m looking forward to writing more on whatever comes up in 2017. As goofy as it might be to say it, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to try and write more next year, so I hope you all stick around to see whatever it is I come up with to write about.
Really, from the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone who’s following my blog, everyone who’s read anything I’ve wrote and to all my family and friends who have helped me explore, encouraged my writing ambitions, and worked to make sure I put my best foot forward. If you have any of your own favorite memories from 2016, or if you just want to send a good riddance sendoff to the year, feel free to share them down in the comments below.
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and here’s to 2017 being a happier time overall than 2016 seems to have been!
It’s been a fairly big week for Pokémon stuff so far, or at least for me it has been. The demo for Sun and Moon has been far more fun than I expected it to be, showing off some cool content and easily succeeding in its goal of getting me hyped for the game by throwing in small secrets to keep me coming back. Pokémon GO’s Halloween update has gotten me back into playing quite a bit, as I’ve caught at least three Pokémon in the last two days that I hadn’t even seen once in the months before it dropped. I’m getting close to finally completing the Generation 6 puzzle game Pokémon Picross, which I’ve been playing for literally way too long in my stubbornness about not paying for micro transactions to advance myself. On top of all that, probably one of the best Pokémon animations ever made in the history of anything was given to the world last Friday.
Then, this trailer dropped. My god is it a special one, to say the least.
Not only does it officially reveal the final evolutions of the Alolan starter Pokémon (with some plot twists here and there), it also shows off some new Pokémon and a brand new gameplay aspect adding to what already looks like an extensive postgame. Having a week off from my work on the Daily Titan, I have a little bit of extra time to dedicate to this trailer, but I’ve made myself so busy with other stuff that I’m still a bit late. So, let’s jump into it shall we?
Once again my busy schedule has kept me from being super timely with the new CoroCoro magazine leak that happened on Monday, but that isn’t going to stop me from unnecessarily rambling on about things that make me happy and provide a good distraction from a stressful and hectic period in my life.
On that happy note, let’s talk about some Pokémon, shall we?
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything on here, mostly because my life has been pretty nuts since school started. Arguably I’ve given myself far too many things to do this semester despite it only being about 2 weeks in… But there’s nobody I can blame that on other than myself. Not that I’m complaining, I do enjoy the work I’m doing despite how exhausting it tends to be. For instance, I wanted to post up a little something regarding the death of Gene Wilder (Rest in Peace), I just didn’t have the time to devote to it that I wanted.
Anyway though, that’s not what we’ve all gathered here for today. After all, today there was a Nintendo 3DS Direct, which means there’s plenty of video game news to discuss! When I have a bit more time I’ll probably write something more extensive about the full direct, but for now I’ll just stick with the new Sun and Moon trailer we got, since there’s not a heck of a lot to cover.
Check out under the cut to see what’s up, or don’t if you’re somehow still keeping a strong will and avoiding any Pokémon spoilers.
If you saw my last post about the article I had published today, you’ll know that the fall 2016 semester has started for me, the first semester that I’m serving as one of the editors for the News page for Cal State Fullerton’s Daily Titan newspaper.
Toward the end of the summer there was a little bit of stress building up at the thought of having new responsibilities on the paper, ones that would make me accountable for not only large amounts of content needing to be created, but also for the grades of students taking Comm 471 (The Daily Titan staff writing capstone class for Communications majors) and, more importantly, for making sure the issues present on campus get addressed.
I probably won’t be writing a long post about every issue we publish considering there’s going to be four issues a week starting in a couple of weeks, but the first deadline night we had was pretty special, so I figured I would ramble a bit and talk about the struggles of putting together a college paper.
This particular issue was special in that it was a week-long issue, so we only had our Sunday production and not our usual Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday productions. Just because we have a lower workload as a while this week doesn’t mean the deadline was easy, however.
We finished production on this issue at 2 A.M. this morning, the morning of our first day of class for the semester. The night ran that late – early? – despite the fact that a few of us on the editorial board arrived three hours early to get work done on the paper. If that doesn’t tell you about what kind of issue it was, I don’t know what else will.
While the work was long and tough, the end result is always sweet to see in print. Especially when I have friends living on campus who will message me about my name and work being on the front page before I even get up to get ready for school.
Now, there were a few overarching problems plaguing our deadline night from the offset that I would argue were the main contributors to the 14-15 hour runtime. For one thing, we got a little screwed over as far as advertisement space goes. Normally we get quite a few ads from the Ads department to fill up room on the admittedly large print space for the paper, but we got nearly nothing for this issue. As a result, it took far longer to figure out how to stretch our content into the space we had, a burden mainly on the Layout desk that clearly seemed to take it’s toll.
We also had a fairly sizable group of “new recruits” that had to learn the ropes of being on the paper, as actually working on the paper is a much different experience than talking about it through orientation. Finally, there were some technological updates done prior to the semester starting that caused problems with printing pages and opening things on certain computers in the newsroom, extending the wait time for finally sending the final paper to be printed by quite a bit.
While there were overarching problems affecting the paper as a whole, there were also some issues specific to stories in my own section. First and foremost, the stabbing story that fills the top banner on the front page. Out of all the exciting ways to start off the semester, two students getting stabbed the morning of the deadline is certainly pretty high up there. We obviously had to do some last minute coverage on what happened, and even with two reporters working on the story it wasn’t able to be completed until later on in the night thanks to some difficulty with sources and Fraternity politics.
Megan Maxey’s story on the Poverty Simulation for Nursing Students suffered a similar last minute deadline story fate, and my own story about the TSU and Western State College was very, very long, requiring some last minute word cuts even with the extra space we had from a lack of advertisements. You also may have noticed that I wrote all three of the briefs on the inside edge of page 2, a symptom of a lack of people available to work. They’re not necessarily hard – just 100 words on a story we’ve found online – but still.
The last big challenge of the stories in the issue was the story Jillian Salas wrote about CSUF President Mildred Garcia’s Convocation Address. While her work was perfectly fine in its own right, I personally screwed up the coverage a little by forgetting to send a photographer to cover the event. Without our own photos, we were stuck either having to use courtesy photos (something we don’t use on the front page) or creating a graphic to address the four points of CSUF’s Strategic Plan – a major talking point in the President’s speech. Obviously we went with the former, but even then trying to fit it onto the page was a bit awkward and we needed a very large photo caption to help fill the space.
Finally, we came to the problem of story headlines. Now inherently, headlines aren’t such a terrible thing. They’re quick and meant to describe the content of the story it accompanies in some capacity. The problem comes when there isn’t a lot of room to write a headline in, making it harder to find the right words to use. That’s not all either, for stories on the front page that bleed into another page – such as Garcia’s speech and my buildings update – you need to make two headlines that have to be totally different in content. Add to that a third “deck” subheading that also has to be different than the other two and you wind up struggling to come up with a variety of things to say.
This issue also included a special insert, our New Student Orientation (NSO) guide.
Why the guide wasn’t passed out during the actual NSO over the summer that we created it for is beyond me, but here it is included along with our first major production for the semester.
While the creation of the guide is admittedly more of a way to sell a lot of ads to kick off the semester, it does have a few articles written by members of the Daily Titan Editorial Board. More fluff stories than hard news, but technically it was meant to come out well before the semester started, so there was understandably not all that much to cover.
A bit of pride I personally draw from the NSO guide comes from this page, which depicts a map of the places you can park on campus and a few advertisements.
Typically we have our Layout editor and his assistants put our page’s structures together, but for the NSO guide the ads department did most of the initial work. This page, however, was incredibly awkward in how it was first constructed. There was very little room for the map, and the way our illustrator made the image itself didn’t lend itself to the space we had. So, while our Layout editor was off doing other things, it was up to someone else to help try and put the page design together.
That someone, if the build-up didn’t make it obvious, was me. I was able to show off the skills I accumulated through my editorial years on RUHS’s High Tide newspaper by editing the page design so everything could work, and I greatly impressed the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor as a result. All and all not a bad thing to do.
If nothing else, probably the best thing I can say about our deadline night last night was that it was a wonderful bonding period. Now matter how frustrating and drawn out the work tended to become, at least I was suffering with friends who were all going through the same thing. On top of that, things like lunch/dinner and the inevitable delirium that snuck in once the witching hour came around made for wonderful chances to get to know the people I’m working with better, especially those who are going to be helping out at my desk. Even though CSUF is a commuter campus, lots of people still like to give me skeptical or disappointed looks when I mention that I’ve been a commuter since day one, having not decided to try the on-campus dorm experience for my undergraduate life. It’s mostly a monetary concern that led to the decision in the end, but most people cite the lack of connection to other people at school as reason why it was a poor choice. While I can understand the concern, I’d argue that my early and ongoing level of involvement in school institutions like the Daily Titan really offset them in a big, bad way. I am involved and making friends, and I probably spend more time on campus than a lot of other people who don’t live there – so who cares if I decide to save a little extra money in the meantime? Besides, having some extra quiet drive time is nice if you ask me.
However, there is one final thing of note about this particular production that I think is pretty amazing:
This semester’s run of the Daily Titan is the 100th volume. The paper has been around for 50 years and runs two volumes for the fall and spring semesters, thus we’ve reached 100 volumes. It’s a heck of a milestone for the paper as a whole, for sure… But what stands out about it most for me is that I get to be a part of the hundredth volume. My (admittedly very long) buildings update story is part of the front page for the first issue of this special milestone.
And that’s pretty amazing to me.
As another slightly unrelated note, one thing I learned from being at the CSUF campus late is that all the Team Instinct players like to take command of the gyms in Pokémon GO when they know nobody will be awake to overturn their rule.
Plus, it’s a really good place to find some real life Pokémon at 2:30 in the morning. Just saying.
Last night I spent the day over at Cal State Fullerton, working on our first “paper” for the Fall 2016 semester. It wasn’t really a full paper as much as it was just a small advertisement-filled insert of sorts meant to be displayed at the New Student Orientation, but still. It was the first things I’ve gotten to work on as the new News Editor on the Daily Titan’s editorial staff.
There’s another two weeks left before we start our serious productions, at which point posts on here about my journalism stuff should get quite a bit more frequent.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the last bit of free time I have that isn’t taken up by my Political Philosophy class. For today, that meant going out with one of my sister’s friends who invited us out to Palos Verdes to spent time at Abalone Cove, where there’s tide pools to explore.
I got to swim in the ocean, which I haven’t done in quite some time, and we spent time skipping and stacking rocks.
Oh, and naturally, there were plenty of water-type Pokémon to find while we were there, because how could I not look out for them?
The Cove also happened to be right next to Lloyd Wright’s Wayfarers Chapel, which was right up the road. Lloyd Wright being the son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, naturally.
All and all a pretty good day, I’d say. Sometimes it’s nice to take a little bit of time to relax and enjoy nature – which is still just as pretty here in California despite the eternal drought we’ve been plagued with for an unsung number of years.
While I’ve been pretty radio silent around here for a bit thanks to all the schoolwork I’ve had and some other new games taking up my time, but nothing can keep me from rambling my opinions into the void of blogging when it comes to new Pokémon getting unveiled – especially now that I have the ability to throw these videos right up in your faces.
Yes that’s right we’ve got four brand new Pokémon to look at, as well as some updates on the two that were leaked not too long ago! Let’s start with those older guys, just because it’ll be faster to get them out of the way.
While I made a post talking about the two new Pokémon unveiled for Sun and Moon just earlier today, it was pointed out to me that a brand new Japanese trailer for the game was released. This isn’t a reveal trailer like we’ve been getting either, it’s a serious made-for-TV “go buy this game” kind of trailer. There isn’t a lot of new features on display, but it does have some stuff in it that seems pretty worth looking at in my opinion.
Plus, I finally figured out how to embed videos in my actual post rather than just leaving a link, so this is a good opportunity to test that out too. Please enjoy this trailer, courtesy of Pokémon’s official Japanese YouTube page.
The first thing that really strikes me about the trailer is its general focus. From what I can tell, the serious push for Sun and Moon is both its beauty, accompanying the natural aspect that generally exists in the concept of Pokémon itself, and it’s continuation of Pokémon’s focus on childhood wonder, and being connected with friends. Granted, neither of these things is new for Pokémon as a whole, but there’s a special level of those feelings exuding from this trailer that I haven’t really seen in quite some time, even for the Pokémon X and Y lead-up material which seemed to be more interested in the international connectivity of Pokémon as a series.
For those of you who decided not to watch the trailer for whatever reason, I’ll sum it up in as simple an explanation as possible. A young boy, visiting a tropical location that I can only assume is Hawaii all things considered, starts Pokémon Sun and Moon as he’s arriving, much like the main character in-game is first arriving at the Alola Region. After losing a four way free-for-all battle royal to his friends, he becomes determined. He trains, he gets better at the game and he explores the region much like he actually explores the area it’s based on (along with the creatures that fill both worlds, of course). Eventually, through this personal growth and commitment, he becomes good enough to finally beat the friends that defeated him at the beginning.
To be frank, I think it’s an absolutely brilliant trailer. It perfectly reflects exactly what Pokémon as a series is based on and it shows it off in a wonderful, relatable kind of way. You can imagine the kid in the trailer is at least a real person, if not analogous to you, and that helps to emphasize that the series (now in it’s seventh generation of games) is, if anything, an even better reflection of childhood and all that accompanies it than ever before.
On top of that, it slyly shows off a bunch of the features and scenes of the game like a real tease, without providing too much explanation for certain things. The battle system, Pokédex and trading system are all shown off, providing the core that all Pokémon games have relished in from the series’ inception. It shows off the in-game environments, all of which look extremely well-polished and diverse, not that anything else was expected at this point. There’s a pretty heavy focus on the battle royal system to emphasize the interpersonal connectivity of Pokémon as said before, an idea that’s arguably more apparent than ever with Pokémon GO taking the world by storm.
You can see the new Pokémon from earlier today, Mimikkyu and Kiteruguma during the trading segment around 1:30. You can see your player character – both male and female – activating whatever bracelet they have on, which activates some sort of extra power in the starter Pokémon through flashes of colors and icons that don’t really clarify exactly what is accomplished through the act. On top of that, it seems a Pokémon-Amie styled grooming will be in the game, but it will perhaps be more complicated given the player can blow-dry their Pokémon. Whether this is involved in the game’s potential contest system, as seems to be implied by the dance moves and special battle effects around 1:20.
Also, there’s a pretty strong emphasis on riding Pokémon at the end of the trailer, one that shows off how you can ride Tauros, Lapras and Sharpedo in game. While Lapras and Sharpedo were technically ridable in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, they were just replacement models for the usual vague swimming Pokémon shadow with some slight changes like size and speed of travel. In the trailer above, it does seem like there’s something different about riding them in this game, which leads me to believe either they’re just special ridable over-world mounts in one area like Mamoswine and Rhyhorn in X and Y, or that using HMs could potentially be a very different experience depending on who we teach the HM moves in Sun and Moon.
So that’s just about all on how much I really liked this new trailer, but what do you think? Did it speak to you on as much of an emotional level as it did to me? Do you think the special features that were showcased in the trailer were more clear than vague like I interpreted them? Let me know in the comments below, as these details are especially the ones I love to have discussions and debate over!