Tag: Pokemon Let’s Go

Death by 1,000 Cuts

Death by 1,000 Cuts

I’ve come to really appreciate the gym as a solid source of stress relief on days like today.

Life can’t all be fun and polling places after all. I may have gotten an initial high by doing my civic duty and voting, but that was a very small fraction of the day right when the polls opened at 7:00 a.m.

Yeah, I finally got to pull out this joke I’ve been sitting on for a few months. Yeah, I’m proud of myself for deciding to actually do it. And yeah, I’m glad the Tweet and my identical post on Facebook got a good number of likes more than usual.

Not that it matters how much my things are liked, I just appreciate knowing that a number of my followers here and there have solid meme sensibilities.

I’m getting sidetracked.

Voting was cool, acknowledged. But after I did that I still had to go to school.

Which leads me to my next point: School kind of sucked today.

I went in for what amounted to a 20-minute long Sensation and Perception class where we reviewed for our upcoming test, but because my late class and study date were cancelled I had no reason to stick around.

Always a pleasure to drive around for a couple of hours so I can be in class for 20 minutes.

See we’re smack in the middle of midterm season 2 in Cal State Fullerton’s Psychology department. Tomorrow I have an exam in Learning and Memory, then on Thursday I have an exam in Sensation and Perception.

Plus, on the back-burner is the early deadline for my Learning and Memory research paper: Friday.

That theoretically matters less than the rest, but if I get the paper in before Friday I’ll have 4 points extra credit applied. Considering those points are the difference between a ‘C,’ where my rough draft stood, and an ‘A,’ I’m pretty eager to get it in.

It just so happens that I have no idea whether or not the professor is going to be on-campus Thursday or Friday. Which is why I’m pushing myself to finish the paper by tomorrow.

While also hoping to study for the exam in that same class tomorrow.

See why I’m getting on-edge?

Well hold your horses folks, because it gets more frustrating somehow.

My professor left tons of notes on the rough draft I turned in because he’s anal as hell and basically wanted us to write his essay, not our essay — even if something made more sense to us the way we wrote it.

… So I’ve heard from a friend.

When I sat down with the guy during his office hours to get clarification on the chicken scratch notes, the general take-away was that he wanted the early portion of the paper to have clear definitions, examples and statements on how those examples prove the definitions. It wasn’t good enough to have a definition followed by a “, for example xxx.”

That’s all fine and well… Until you remember that the paper as a whole has a page limit.

So the man basically strong-armed me into adding dozens of paragraphs and extended examples throughout the paper, and now expects me to cut down all of the extra space that came into the piece as a result.

It’s a Tantalus-level torture straight out of Hades if I’ve ever seen one.

That’s about where my headline today comes from, my resignation to the fact that I’ll be sitting here with my mom snipping off words and sentences from this paper where applicable to hit a page limit, despite the fact that I’m already sick of looking at it after nearly five hours of editing his comments yesterday.

Not the emotional place I want to be in while knowing I have to move into exam studying after for the same man that’s currently ruining my life.

But like I started this post off with, at least I had the gym to blow off some steam.

Even if not I feel like I’m passing out on the couch while working on my paper.

Because everything needs a trade-off, doesn’t it life?

My Thoughts on the September 13, 2018 Nintendo Direct

My Thoughts on the September 13, 2018 Nintendo Direct

I’m not feeling too great right now.

A bit of an unconventional way to start a post that’s just going to be talking Nintendo news for a little while, but I figured I would put it out there since it’s probably going to effect the way I’m doing this.

See I could go into all about how today was a bit of a wash when I drove out to Fullerton only for my one class to get cut short, making me spend more time in the car than at school… But none of that really matters right now. All that really matters is the fact that I felt like I had to puke all the way home, and am now spending my time running back-and-forth to the bathroom.

Yet I promised I would talk about the Nintendo Direct today. So I’m still going to do it.

I’m just going to structure it a little bit differently, because… Well… It’s a 40-minute long video. I’m going to watch it, and as I do talk about my thoughts on some of the big things that are announced.

To be honest I’m a bit surprised they had so much to talk about considering the last Direct was… What, last month maybe? But those good old boys in Nintendo are really cranking it out for the Switch it seems.

So without further adieu, let’s get into some highlights.


Luigi’s Mansion 3

Right off the bat Nintendo started with a bit of a surprise entry. It seems almost serendipitous that Luigi blew up on Twitter during the last Direct for dying in the Castlevania Smash trailer only to show up now with a brand new game in the — apparently long-standing — series of Luigi’s Mansion games.

There isn’t too much to say about the game itself considering we only got a 30-second trailer with a working title, but for all intents and purposes it seems like this new entry will be much closer to Dark Moon than the original GameCube version.

I did enjoy that game, but not quite as much as the original. It sort of swapped out the hyper-creepy atmosphere for a more video game-y approach of hunting monsters en-masse and solving puzzles.

So I might buy this one or I might not. Depends on what we get shown later on.

But I’m glad to see our green hat friend is alive and well!


3DS Remakes

In the near future, we’re getting Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story and Luigi’s Mansion remade on the 3DS.

From what I’m aware we’ve heard various and sundry bits about the three in the past, but having them all together with little trailers was nice.

  • Epic Yarn is a game I never played, and despite enjoying the Game Grump’s let’s play of it, I don’t necessarily have a huge desire to play it for myself. But adding new game modes is a nice touch.
  • I was hyped as hell when Superstar Saga was given a remake, but Bowser’s Inside Story never clicked quite as well with me. It’s a fun game, but I’ve found I haven’t been able to play through it subsequent times. Honestly, I’m not sure a graphical rehash (which frankly doesn’t look super different than the original game imo) or a return to the… Army command side-story (which I’ve expressed distain for as the worst part of SS in the past) are going to sell me on it again.
  • As I just mentioned, I like the OG Luigi’s Mansion better than the sequel, so I’m looking forward to seeing that one come back on the 3DS — with co-op and amiibo support to boot. Seriously, who can complain with download play features? Whether it’ll be worth the money with everything else coming out soon is a discussion I’ll have with myself later.

Couldn’t really bring myself to care about Yo-Kai Watch. Like it looks pretty and everything, but I haven’t gotten into that particular series just yet.

So that’s about all for the 3DS here. A bunch of good games that I’m just not particularly interested in right now.


Mega Man 11

I skipped over Splatoon 2 Ver. 4 because, in spite of the weird anime intro they did and the fact that I’m glad the game is still getting content, I’m just not that into it right now.

Which is a pattern so far I know, but shush.

Instead I’ll talk about the triumphant return of Mega Man. While the character model for Mega Man himself does remind me a bit too much of a certain… Failed successor to the throne… I can’t say the game doesn’t look gorgeous. Because it does.

While I’ve watched just about all of the original games get played through online, I’ve never personally played a Mega Man game. I think this might be a good opportunity to, because the game looks super fun.

I’ve seen Arin play that demo. It looks super fun. That’s all I’m saying.

If it’s a $60 I don’t know if I’ll bite, but the game seems like it might just be enough of a callback experience game that it could be cheaper.

In that case I’ll definitely get my hands on it.


New Super Mario Bros. U & Katamari Damacy

I was going to skip over NSMBU getting ported onto the Switch because that seems like such a minor thing.

But then they announced that you can play as Toadette.

And apparently.

When you get a mushroom as Toadette.

She turns into Princess Peach.

I’m really not sure what kind of drugs these guys were on when that decision was made, but god bless you all. Because that’s just about the damn weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.

Arguably more important on the rerelease train was Katamary Damacy, which is being remastered for the Switch.

That’s another game I’ve had a passing interest in for some time, but might not get it due to the glut of games coming in the near future. So it’s cool, but a bit out of my realm at the moment.


Pokémon Let’s Go

It’s no secret that I’m hyped as hell for this game. However, I’ve been a little behind in terms of talking about all the little updates that get put online around here.

The trailer that was put into this Direct kind go succinctly summed it all up though, so that was cool!

First and foremost, the new Erika design looks cute. Just saying.

More importantly are the ‘Secret Techniques,’ or HM supplements in layman speak.

See Game Freak must have learned a lot from Sun and Moon about how much we all hate needing to have HM slaves in-game. So they’ve relegated all of those pesky environmental moves into techniques that Pikachu or Eevee can use independently.

They cut the trees.

They get a surfboard so you can swim.

They… Attach balloons to your bike so you can fly?

Alright some of them are a little weirder than others, but I appreciate the vague references to surfing and flying Pikachu.

Either way I’m still very much looking forward to consuming all of this game. All of it.


Diablo 3

I have no particular interest in Diablo 3 being ported to the Switch.

I just wanted to say I was shook when the narrator guy essentially told everyone they could go to hell. In a Nintendo promotional video.

Enough said.

Also I’m super excited for Super Mario Party because it looks great, but there wasn’t really enough to justify a full separate segment on it. So just know… I’m down to party, Nintendo.


Town

A non-Pokémon Game Freak-developed RPG?

On my Nintendo Switch?

Obviously Town appears to be relatively early into development due to it’s working title and unclear release date… But considering Pokémon is my favorite game series ever, I’m willing to give this a shot right off the bat.

The idea of an RPG all taking place in one village is interesting, and I’m curious to see how they’ll go about it.

So congrats Town, you just hit my radar.


Yoshi’s Crafted World

I didn’t play Yoshi’s Epic Yarn on the Wii U, but by god am I enticed by how cute this Yoshi game looks.

It’s just incredibly adorable with the painterly arts & crafts style, and features co-op. Perfect for me and Aly to play together.

Plus it has this flip-the-world mechanic that lets you explore all over the place which feels very reminiscent of Super Paper Mario and I am all about it.


Civilization VI

Civ is, again, a series I’ve always had a fleeting curiosity for… But never got around to playing.

However, the fact that it’s coming to Switch with a four player local co-op mode that seems to use that interconnected Switches idea is actually bananas and if all my friends get this, I probably will too.

You can never have enough Gandhi nuking the world, after all.


The World Ends With You

There wasn’t exactly a lot to the TWEWY segment of this Direct, I just wanted to put it up here as a reminder that I really want to play this game when it comes out in October.

In fact, just throw Warframe into this category too. It’s my friend Juan’s favorite game so I’m probably willing to try it as well now that I “have no excuse not to” as he says.

But we’ll see about that one.


All the Final Fantasies

I’m not a huge Final Fantasy fan myself. Sure I appreciate the games and everything they’ve done for the industry, but I haven’t exactly played a lot of them.

However, I might be willing to get into Crystal Chronicles – again, if all my friends do. I appreciate that Nintendo is putting so much stake into letting on a bunch of games that can be played with friends, because that’s a huge selling point for me personally.

Also, this portion introduced me to the fact that a Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon exists.

Which is essentially Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.

But all of the main characters are Chocobo. Really not sure how to feel about that honestly.

Oh yeah, and FF7 is getting put on the Switch. Which is kind of hilarious to me considering how long the remake has been in production.

At this point, I’m pretty convinced there just is no FF7 remake and it was all a scam to get Cloud into Smash Bros.

Speaking of:


Super Smash Brothers Ultimate

Can’t have a Nintendo Direct without talking about this sucker.

The main part of this announcement was just the special Switch and Joy Con designs that are Smash-specific, like how the Let’s Go Pokémon games are getting some repainted toys to play with.

That’s cool and all. But I’m not the kind of person that buys multiple copies of a console when I don’t need it.

But then, after the Direct supposedly ends.

We get the next big reveal:

Isabelle in Smash.

It’s actually, genuinely hard to watch the little reveal trailer for her and not smile. She’s such a pure, wholesome character and I love her.

It’s great to see her get some more representation for the Animal Crossing series in Smash. I look forward to trying her out!

Oh, but that’s not all Nintendo had up their sleeves here, folks.


Animal Crossing 2019

Great. Now everyone can finally stop complaining about this on every Nintendo-related video ever.

That’s something I can say too, because I was of the crowd complaining about how long it took Hoenn remakes to get confirmed.

Anyway, there’s a brilliant little set-up right in the lingering few seconds of the video where Tom Nook remarks that he needs to make everything tidy for everyone’s return.

Then. Cut to white.

Animal Crossing 2019 flashes onto the screen. Then the Nintendo Switch logo.

No voice lines, no nothing. Just that.

Video ends.

Good on you Nintendo, you did a great job with this teaser.

That’s a game I’ll be looking out for, especially if Isabelle is coming back as a recurring character like Tom Nook himself.


Well, that’s about all I have to say about the big Direct today.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, there were a huge amount of announcements considering how recently we got our last bout of news, and it proves the Switch is still going strong.

Hell, I didn’t even mention their little discussion on the Nintendo Switch Online system, which happened in a cute Mario-centric animation.

You should watch that too if you haven’t, because it does a way better job explaining things than I ever could.

To be honest this entire post has been a rollercoaster ride, and not just because of all the cool news.

While I’ve started to feel better over the course of this writing, my computer decided to shit out on me and stop doing WordPress well.

So you probably noticed a significant drop in length/quality as I had to move my operation onto mobile.

That said, I’m going to cut things off here due to my lack of further things to ramble about and kind of awkward working situation. So hopefully my long-winded discussion covered everything!

What games are you looking forward to out of Nintendo’s upcoming line-up?

Let me know! I’m excited to talk some games.

Receiving the Carl Greenberg Scholarship

At first, I figured today was going to be a day where I would talk all about the trailer that was dropped about the upcoming Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee games.

But something much more important came up after I started writing that which feels like a better conversation topic for the day. So sorry Pokémon, you’ve been sidelined.

Today I received word from the Scholarship Chair of the Society of Professional Journalist’s Los Angeles branch that I have been awarded the Carl Greenberg Scholarship for Political and Investigative Reporting.

Frankly, that’s pretty kick-ass and I’m excited about it!

According to the SPJLA website, the scholarship is “awarded to a college student pursuing investigative or political reporting,” named after a LA Times political reporter “famed for being singled out by Richard Nixon as the only reporter who covered him ‘fairly.'”

So not only am I excited about the fact that I won something I applied for kind of out of the blue — mostly as something to do early on in the summer when I was sitting around — but I’m also humbled at the fact that I’ve been recognized to sit in a pantheon which sounds so prestigious. Helps give some perspective to the work I’ve had the pleasure of doing, and all those other clichés that must be expected from an awards acceptance speech of sorts.

Though to be completely honest, the $1,000 that comes with it certainly helps pique my interest.

What can I say, prestige is nice and all, but so is food and gas when you’re a broke college student.

As are plenty of new video games coming soon, but don’t tell the nominating committee that.

In celebration of my award, I figured I would throw out this short post as both a way of logging the fact that I earned this recognition and as a way of slyly promoting myself.

You’ve all seen those articles out of major newspapers that showcase stories which received accolades. Hell, I even wrote an article in that vein for the Daily Titan at the end of the Spring 2018 semester.

So consider the bottom of this blog post one of those for me. I submitted three articles alongside my scholarship application, and I’m going to link out to each of them here.

Before I do, I just wanted to thank the SPJLA Scholarship Chair Richard Saxton, who helped let me know what I needed to do to apply, and all the other members of the Scholarship Committee for this awesome opportunity. Here’s to many more hopefully coming in the near future!


This article has arguably been one of my proudest achievements as a journalist thus far. That could be said for most of the stories in this small list alone, sure, but there’s so much history to my coverage of Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to CSUF that I consider it a saga.

Kicking the whole thing off was an article that was weeks in the making. It began as simple rumors that supposedly there were plans in the work to bring the conservative provocateur to campus based on a petition online to keep controversial figures off campus. Based on that rumor I talked to a myriad of sources and eventually put out this fairly large piece covering the entire process of how one can bring a speaker to campus in light of the confirmation that Yiannopoulos’ visit was in the works.

And that isn’t even going into all of the coverage of the Canin scandal from the semester prior that helped build my relations with the College Republicans Club enough to help them trust my reporting.

Even during that initial coverage I knew the plan was to bring the man to campus on Halloween. At the point this initial piece was published, however, I kept that to myself in case the reporting of that information changed the plans at hand in any significant way.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Our semester was thus far filled with coverage of Yiannopoulos’ visit from any conceivable angle from myself and other members of the news desk staff. Eventually that culminated in a massive three-story package of a paper that went on to receive a special edition reprint, got me a talking head spot on NPR’s ‘Take Two’ and earned a number of accolades at the most recent LA Press Club Awards.

Plus Milo himself said on Facebook that he liked how balanced I was with the story on his speech. Never would have expected that, but it’s something I’ll take on as a badge of pride considering I didn’t get that praise while also upsetting the other side of the aisle.

I could talk about this article all day, but then we’d be here all day. Nobody really wants that.

So check it out if you haven’t, and see all of the reporting that emerged as a result while you’re at it.

My coverage of Project Rebound goes back a ways. Multiple semesters, in fact, unlike the one-semester shots of the other articles on this list.

I was the person who covered the story when the program, which helps offer previously incarcerated individuals an opportunity to earn their degrees and avoid recidivism, first came to campus. At that point I made friends with the program’s director, Brady Heiner, and its brand new coordinator, Romarilyn Ralston.

At least once a semester I try to go back and see the Project Rebound folks because, despite obviously being objective in my reporting, I do feel the cause is an important and righteous one.

The story I used for this scholarship application is my most recent piece about the program: A profile of its coordinator, Romarilyn.

It started as an assignment for my Multimedia Journalism class, and the actual meat of where it originated comes in the form of the video I produced alongside the written article. It’s embedded within the story if you haven’t seen it, and it’s probably my most proud achievement in a multimedia realm.

Though that being said, her story is also incredibly powerful, and certainly one of those stepping-stones that I would argue got me more invested in the idea that Features are a powerful tool for telling other people’s stories more than they are extra avenues of reporting.

Another piece stemming from my work with the Daily Titan’s advisor as a part of her Investigative Reporting class, the homeless coverage I was a part of is another ‘saga’ in my reporting experience thus far that I remember fondly.

Certain specific events, like our coverage of the Point-In-Time count toward the beginning of that semester, are things I’ll never forget.

However, the coverage of Mercy House I did alongside Roxana Paul is another thing I’ll always hold dear. It fits into a similar vein as the Romarilyn story I talked about above, as it gave a hard news-focused kid the opportunity to do slightly more Features-based coverage by actually going out and talking with some of the homeless population in Orange County.

Yet it was also a story steeped in hard news, covering the numbers with how much help is available in the County and talking to the people who provide the aid on the ground.

There are plenty of other elements I could dive into regarding this story. It was one of the first time I took pictures for my own article, it had graphics and other multimedia elements, it was part of a wonderful series put together by a group of really talented reporters. On top of that, it helped me out further last semester when I assisted with the coverage of Santa Ana clearing out whatever homeless population was living along the riverbed.

It’s another story I would consider one of my most in-depth and powerful. So read it if you haven’t, and check out the other Homeless in OC coverage the Titan did as well!

Looking at Nintendo’s E3 2018 Conference

Looking at Nintendo’s E3 2018 Conference

E3 was a tricky thing for me this year. See… A lot of it just isn’t for me.

That’s not me saying I’m not interested in a lot of the developers and what they’re working on, I mean literally there are barriers to me playing most games.

Like yeah I would love to play Kingdom Hearts 3, and I thought having three trailers across three different conferences that all featured different content was dope. But it’s on Xbox One and Playstation 4. Not the Switch.

#BringKH3toSwitch

Or yeah, Resident Evil 2 getting an HD remake is neat. Shadows Die Twice looks like a super cool game. Monster Hunting in Final Fantasy 14 is a good idea no matter which way you slice it. Fallout 76 seems interesting and fun. Etcetera, etcetera.

Unfortunately I’m just limited in what I can access, and money is a severely limiting factor when it comes to getting consoles.

So to sum up 90 percent of E3 this year I’ll say this: It was better than a lot of other years prior, and I had a great time watching my friends freak out about what’s coming out soonish. And it has been cool seeing YouTube ads get replaced by E3 trailers

But frankly the only thing I can really have any authority or hype to discuss is the big N. So today, I’m dedicating my blog post to the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct conference.

If you want something more in-depth about the other conferences, there’s plenty of opinions out there. Might I recommend ProJared? He didn’t go to the conference in person this year it looks like, but I still respect his opinion quite a bit.

That said, let’s jump right in with what we got out of Nintendo this year.


So the Direct starts with this hype game about mechs battling called DAEMON X MACHINA. Super action-y music, real Justice League-esque color scheme.

It looks cool, and I get why they would start with something that has such a high-octane feel… But it’s not a very ‘Nintendo’-looking game. I just kind of spent half of it staring at the screen wondering why we started with this and not one of the classic IPs.

But then it very jarringly cuts to silence and awkwardly moves into the next thing.

That next thing happens to be Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC. Which is something I would probably care about more if I’d played either of the Xenoblade Chronicles games.

Next.

Okay that’s not fair, it’s nice to see the game getting more love since I know it’s a series plenty of people love. I just literally don’t know enough about it to offer an opinion.

But hey, then our boy Reggie Fils-Aimé comes in to kick things up to 100 for me by showing off that Pokémon goodness.

DeaROsmV0AIOGYx.jpg-large

Except he doesn’t really, since it’s mostly just a recap of the trailer we saw the other day. No new footage or anything. So I guess if you want my over-extensive rumination on that, check it out through this link.

One thing he does let us know that’s new is the fact that the Pokeball Plus accessory allows you to get Mew in Let’s Go. That… Actually does make them feel much more worthwhile than I had originally thought.

Damn you clever marketing tactics. Damn you…

After that brief aside comes a return to form that feels much-needed on the Switch:

Super Mario Party.

super_mario_party_switch_reveal_art
Image courtesy of vg247.com

That’s right, everyone’s favorite friendship killer is back. But this time it looks like Nintendo made a lot of good choices just based on the footage we can see.

For one, no more cars. Everyone wanders around on the game board on their own again. God bless.

They also show off the fact that the Switch consoles themselves will be well-integrated into the mini games, allowing players to do things like rearrange battlefields for tank fights.

Everything looks colorful and has branching pathways again, and there seems to be a wide variety of mini games to play. On top of that, they clearly pushed the fact that this is a Mario Party you can take literally anywhere thanks to it being on the Switch, which is a good selling point.

Plus Rosalina is there as a playable character. So honestly I can find no reason to complain. Come October, my friends and I are going to be all over it I’m sure.

Once Mario is finished, we move into the next thing. Yet another highly anticipated interest of mine:

NintendoSwitch_FireEmblemThreeHouses_scrn14_E3
Image Courtesy of Nintendosoup.com

Fire Emblem Switch finally has a name. Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

It seems the one thing Intelligent Systems learned from Fates is the fact that they can sell more games if they split them up, so instead of two main versions now there are three!

Alright no that’s a joke, don’t believe that fake news. I think it’s just three Lord characters from feuding lands or something along those lines.

The game honestly looks gorgeous from what we can see in the trailer. The environments look realistic more in-line with Fire Emblem Warriors than the somewhat cartoonish fantasy worlds of Awakening and Fates. Which is a plus or a minus depending on who you are, but I dig the art style personally.

It also seems to retain the same stylized cutscene art as Echoes, and the in-game character models are full body, more in-line with those cutscenes.

There are a number of new mechanics showcased in the trailer as well. For one, all individual units appear to have their own troop of units surrounding them when you zoom in close enough. Honestly, this makes a lot of sense to embody the feeling of controlling an army, something older titles had to kind of awkwardly skirt around due to the conflicts with its core gameplay mechanics.

The extra troops don’t appear to be able to take hits for each individual main unit, but they can be put into formations to direct attacks whichever way the player wants.

Also introduced as a step-up from previous titles is what looks like semi-open world portions where the game’s lords can explore expansive towns and castles. It’s as if the free-roaming home base feature from Fates used the third person camera style from dungeon exploring that came in Echoes, but it has a massive graphical overhaul.

Beyond that there are a few extra vague things shown that won’t necessarily make sense until we learn more/see the game. There are character choices that may affect what weapons the Lord units specialize in, the evil king uses an electrical whip like that villain from Iron Man 2 (so whips confirmed as weapons?), there are big mechanical people who seem to be units or at least bosses…

And then lore stuff that isn’t exactly clear.

They give a Spring 2019 release date, but that’s about all we can gleam before the next few trailers hit rapid-fire. For anyone who watched the presentation, there’s a pretty big light at the end of the tunnel so I’ll move through them quick.

  • Fortnite on Switch: I couldn’t really care less. But it’s free I suppose?
  • Reggie comes back to introduce Indie games. Starting with the sequel to Overcooked — a game that I’ve been forced to play with my friends and regret every minute of. Why Reggie. Why.
  • Killer Queen Black looks like a strange 16-bit inspired clone of Joust, just updated for 2018 mayhem. Apparently it’s a port of a game Reggie says was really popular… But I’ve never heard of it. So we’ll see.
  • Hollow Knight, meanwhile, is a game I’ve heard plenty about. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous and fun, one of my friend Kyle’s favorites from 2017. I’ll actually consider downloading it given the fact it’s out today.
  • The super stylized Square Enix RPG Octopath Traveler received an official June 14th release date. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the game but it looks cool and my friends are hyped for it, so I’m sure I’ll play it eventually.

After those announcements, there’s a montage of games that are either coming out or have come out. The one that stood out most, frankly, is Dragonball FighterZ. Something I’ve been looking for on Switch for forever.

Plus Dark Souls and Monster Hunter Gen Ultimate. And The World Ends with You, coming this Fall apparently.

Just… Give it to me already Nintendo, I need all of your games.

But wait, that montage must be the end of the Direct, right? How can there still be a half hour left?

Oh.

Ohhh.

Oh man. Here we go. Masahiro Sakurai is here. That can only mean one thing:

Switch_SuperSmashBrosUltimate_illustration_02
Image courtesy of theverge.comtheverge.com

We begin this long examination of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the biggest announcement it has to offer. Every single fighter from every previous Smash game is back.

Ice Climbers? In the game.

Solid Snake? In the game.

Pichu? Young Link? Wolf? Pokemon Trainer? In the game.

But more than that, a few characters have received overhauls. Most notably Link, who now sports his Breath of the Wild look, as well as Zelda, from Link Between Worlds, and Ganon, from Ocarina of Time. The clashing art styles there are a bit jarring for me personally, but it’s cool to get a wider breadth of representation for the series!

Oh and let’s not forget the new characters: the Inklings from Splatoon, Princess Daisy and… Oh.

Ridley.

Ridley is actually in the game.

Our memes have become our reality, folks. End of the line.

Many of the characters also appear to have adjusted move sets. Notably final smash attacks. For example, Pac-Man now seems to rain down like meteors in his, rather than just moving semi-quick across the screen. King Dedede’s smash is based on the Masked Dedede cage fight now. Bowser’s is based on the Yoshi’s Island boss fight.

There’s a whole long section in the video going over the different ways characters have changed, and I’d recommend going to watch that. It does a way better job summing things up than I could.

I’ll just say… RIP Landmaster. Your legacy will always be remembered.

Sakurai himself says they made the impossible possible because it’s what players want, and by god is he right. What a beautiful, amazing man.

Eight-player Smash matches are also returning, as are a billion fan-favorite maps. On top of that, there are little quality of life changes like seeing gauges for Cloud and Robin’s abilities, which makes it easier to track everything on one screen.

Oh and let’s not forget. Assist trophies have been added, like the Squid Sisters. Many can be knocked out too New Pokémon assists have been added, like Solgaleo from Sun and Moon.

… Also Bomberman is there. Because why not?

Everything emphasized by Sakurai seems to suggest the game’s development was focused on making everything more beautiful, more intimately connected to the individual fighters showcased and more quick and fun as a brawler for players.

It’s honestly a greatest hits album for Smash Bros., and I really can’t argue with how amazing it looks.

I just hope we get a lot more new characters in the lead-up to the game. I want the roster for Smash Ultimate to look like one of those silly rom hack Smash games. After all, the Inkling fighters and Ridley both look like really fun additions.

But mostly I want more characters because then we get more amazing reveal trailers.

In Ridley’s trailer, he straight up murders Mario and Mega Man.

Like holy shit it’s so intense and real like for no reason. And I love it.

Plus they say he finally ‘hits the big time.’ I see what you did there Sakurai.

With Smash coming out in December, it’s heard up to be a perfect holiday present for all the kiddos. I’m certainly looking forward to it!


I can understand why people might have been disappointed by Nintendo’s E3 Direct this year.

As a fan of Fire Emblem, Pokémon and Smash Bros., I had a great time watching the Direct. It does help that the Switch is the only console I own, so it was kind of a look at the only games I can get in the near future… But still.

I felt much more hype walking out of the Direct than I did walking in.

Despite that, the lack of discussion regarding things like Metroid Prime 4, which was teased last year, and other such misses are easy jabs to make at the conference. Everything was very focused on a select number of games, with not too much else branching out.

Of course there was (and I believe still is as I write this) the Treehouse Live going on that talked about more Pokémon details and stuff like that… But I didn’t have the patience or time to sit through it, so I’m going to leave those topics for another day.

Maybe.

Probably not, I don’t know. We’ll see.

In the meantime, let me know what you thought of Nintendo’s E3 conference this year!

Or, further than that, let me know what you thought of E3 in general this year. I may only have a Nintendo console, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t games in the other spheres that I didn’t find interesting. I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to coming soon to consoles everywhere!

Let’s Go, Pokémon!

Let’s Go, Pokémon!

I had a totally different post planned for tonight.

But you know what?

The Pokémon hype train is too. God. Damn. Real.

That’s right folks, we’ve got a brand new trailer for a brand new Pokémon game, and you know damn well it’s time for me to go back to my Sun & Moon lead-up days of deeply analyzing anything and everything I can get my hands on.

This is about to be a long piece picking apart each and every piece of the trailer that I can.

Hope you’re ready. Because I am.


Let’s Go, Pokémon!

So obviously the first thing to address when it comes to discussing the brand new upcoming games of Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee is the tie-in to the mobile app Pokémon GO.

I played Pokémon GO for a good long time, it’s actually a pretty key element to my summer the year it came out when I would use El Camino College as my walking ground for catching Pokémon.

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The game had plenty of gems like this!

However… The app didn’t have a whole lot of staying power.

It got stale rather fast for me, and there were things about the game that needed to be implemented that weren’t until it was too late.

I still haven’t gone back, even though they’ve officially started to release Pokémon from the third generation (my personal nostalgic favorite).

Where the trailer for Let’s Go begins, it seems as though they’re setting up this title to be almost like a port of Pokémon GO for the Nintendo Switch. Which, in all honesty, would make zero sense considering what the appeal is for GO.

But then as token young child sits down on the couch and Pikachu jumps into the television, all becomes clear:

Kanto.

Remake.

Even though the warning on the bottom left suggests that ‘game footage is not final,’ the intent is clear. That boy you’re watching on-screen is Red, the original protagonist. With a Pikachu on his shoulder. Standing in Professor Oak’s Pokémon Lab in Pallet Town.

As he runs off onto Route 1 and through what appears to be Viridian City in a few small snippets before the trailer splits to show Leaf (Red’s female counterpart from the Gen 3 remakes of Firered and Leafgreen) and an Eevee, already the comparisons are clear for me.

Graphically, Let’s Go looks to have the same, if not better, quality models and environments than Sun and Moon — which to be fair does make sense considering the jump from the 3DS to the Switch.

Yet in terms of style, the world appears to be built more in-line with the philosophy of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (ORAS). Ostensibly this makes sense considering Let’s Go is being billed as a remake of the original Pokémon Yellow.

Keep the core of the world alive but update what we can see and juice everything up.

And sure perhaps I’m putting too much stock into the initial glances we get based on this trailer alone, but the way everything has been updated does look gorgeous. Environments on par with Sun and Moon being utilized for a faithful world recreation ala ORAS is by no means a bad combination.

Oh, and there are fully animated cutscenes too, just like the few that appeared in Sun and Moon. I enjoyed those as well, so I hope they’re utilized properly.

Seriously though you look at Vermillion City in the brief shot they provide and tell me it doesn’t look just amazing.


Blending Gameplay

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Image courtesy of Serebii.net

One of the reasons Pokémon GO got stale for me so quickly was because there really wasn’t a heck of a lot to keep me invested in catching Pokémon.

Yes I adore Pokémon as a series because the creatures are adorable and I wish I could have them in real life.

But I also adore Pokémon as a series because I’m one of those weirdos that actually enjoys the story and the characters.

Yeah that’s right, I play Pokémon for the story. Come at me.

Being an aspiring writer, the monster catching series was one of the earliest things that drew me to both the mediums of video games and writing. The plots of each of the seven generations of main series games are burned into my skull, and I can seriously throw down long diatribes explaining why I adore X character based on this line of dialogue they gave.

It’s that much of an obsession for me.

In that way Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee becomes a beautiful middle ground.

Granted, the Gen one titles of Red and Blue (plus Yellow technically, all things considered) are arguably my least favorite. I enjoy the spit out of Firered, but find myself less engaged in the world those games create than any of the others.

Despite that caveat, I do still enjoy the games and like the Kanto region for as classic and iconic as it is, so getting to revisit them is great. Especially considering those two remakes came out in 2004 and leave Kanto the only stand-alone generation not featured on the DS-forward.

The brilliance behind the marketing for Let’s Go comes off that point. This is the first time we’re getting a Pokémon game centered around the Kanto region, literally a remake of the first adventure as the trailer goes on to stipulate, since Pokémon GO was a mass phenomena and brought tons of people who played the original titles back into the fold.

Timing is everything, and I’ll be damned if that’s a coincidence.

But no, we know it can’t be a coincidence because Let’s Go is literally built with the same functionality as Pokémon GO.

The first of multiple different ways to interact with the game is through single joycon play. Literally you sit back with a joycon and play the game like it’s Pokémon.

But when you need to catch a random encounter, you chuck a Pokémon with the same minigame/spinoff style Pokémon GO offers. It’s just this time you literally throw like pitching a baseball rather than flicking your finger on the screen.

If that’s not a perfect way to not only utilize the functionality of the Nintendo Switch, but also bring the ‘catch Pokémon for real’ mentality of GO into contact with the story and immersive world of a mainstream Pokémon game, I don’t know what is.

It looks like there’s also probably a way to just hit A to throw as well, as I can already hear the complaints that this repetitive throwing will be too much.

Come on people, it’s Pokémon. Have some fun.


Multiplayer? In my Pokémon?

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Image courtesy of Serebii.net

It’s more likely than you’d think.

Something iconic about the Pokémon series as a whole is its version splitting antics.

Whether you see multiple versions as a smart way to encourage kids to interact and spread a fervor for the game like wildfire, or whether you see it as a cheap cash grab that persists based on ‘tradition’ in a world where it has no place being there, you have to admit:

Playing Pokémon with a community of people is probably the core reason why it’s as popular as it is today.

The idea of the split versions has always had a particularly special place in my heart considering the fact that I have a younger sister. Going all the way back, I’d always buy both versions of a new generation so that I can play one while Aly plays the other.

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Just a piece of my Pokémon collection.

… Granted she tends to give up, which makes both versions my playing grounds to try out different things. But that’s a different story.

Pokémon Let’s Go is going to take that to a whole new level by allowing us to play the same Pokémon game at the same time using both joycons.

Honestly? That would be a selling point alone even if nothing else about this were true.

That multiplayer is somewhat limited from the looks of things, essentially allowing both players to run around freely on the same screen but not putting them on separate journeys.

Instead, the catching game becomes more of a co-operative experience where things like having the right timing together improves your chances of catching Pokémon.

The way multiplayer interacts with battle is a little funnier, as it seems like player two gains access to another member of your party so you both can fight at the same time.

While I can only imagine creating infinite two-on-one situations will make the journey relentlessly easy, I can’t help but relish the idea of reversing the terrible circumstances of Sun and Moon where enemy Pokémon called for help all the damn time.

A few other things I’d like to note in this section:

  • From the brief battle sequences we see, as well as whatever capturing is shown off, it appears like most every environment in the game will have an equally unique battle locale. Which is amazing and highly encouraged, hopefully beyond even what Sun and Moon offered.
  • Pokémon appear to roam wild as overworld sprites in Let’s Go. I can only hope this will be less of a gimmick-y ‘hey look who shows up here’ and more of a way to flesh out the living world, as obviously a game that’s going to be a Kanto remake with a complete battle system will also have random encounters to facilitate grinding for the Elite Four.
  • While I love the idea of multiplayer, it does currently leave me second guessing the possibility of this being a Pokémon game with full online functionality too. It seems like the focus is going to be solely on Kanto Pokémon, so will there be wi-fi battling and trading? It doesn’t seem like it, which may cut down the game’s longevity, but we’ll see when more information comes out.

New Toys for Kanto

Along with just using a single joycon, Nintendo is also going to be releasing a little Pokéball toy that can be used in place of the traditional controller as something to throw at wild encounters.

That seems to be the pattern for Pokémon games lately, releasing a gimmicky object alongside their titles. Remember the Z-Ring for Sun and Moon?
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I remember the Z-Ring for Sun and Moon.

This one seems cute but not necessarily something I’ll be chomping at the bit to go out and buy. Beyond that capture integration, the chief thing it seems a trainer can do with the Pokéball is bring Pikachu (or Eevee) along with you to make noises.

Sort of like the Pokéwalker that came with Heartgold and Soulsilver. Except also a controller.

But hey it does make cute noises. So… You can get beat up in school easier?

Dunno, my sister was awfully excited for this when I showed her the trailer, but I’m fairly ambivalent.

Also on display in this section of the trailer is Let’s Go’s functionality with Pokémon GO itself.

According to this tweet, the functionality purely extends to Kanto Pokémon — which is what leads to my trepidation from before about the existence of wi-fi connectivity acting as an extender for Let’s Go.

It also seems to me that the Pokémon you bring in from the real world will only be accessible through a special location, GO PARK.

I suppose it could be wonky to have to transfer things like stats between such totally different games, so I understand… But that is a shame.

Makes me feel slightly less apt to pick up Pokémon GO again to transfer my cool Pidgeot over. But we’ll see.


More, More, More!

There are a number of other things throughout the trailer that warrant discussion as well, but I’ll try to sum them up more quickly since this is already getting long in the tooth.

  • Red and Leaf ride a hell of a lot of Pokémon in the trailer. An Onyx, a Lapras and a Charizard at least. I can’t quite tell based on this trailer alone whether or not all Pokémon will have rideable functionality for something or another, or whether this replaces HMs similarly to Sun and Moon, but we’ll see. I hope it’s the latter.
  • Concurrent with the previous point, it seems as though every single Pokémon does at least have an overworld model programmed in-game. There are scenes where it appears as though they can follow you as well, such as the red-and-blue striped underground tunnel where two players are followed by Nidoking and Nidoqueen. Will full Pokémon following return from Heartgold and Soulsilver, even if just for Kanto Pokémon?
  • Eevee and Pikachu are customizable! The player character probably isn’t considering they’re supposed to stand in for Red and Leaf, and I don’t have a problem with that, but the fact that the game’s mascots can have outfits is too cute for words. I just hope they stay dressed up during battle!
  • Someone somewhere used Seismic Toss on a Magikarp for the trailer and that person deserves a raise.
  • Did I mention there are full cutscenes in the game? Well, one of those is the Mewtwo encounter. Player model appears to have more facial range than the Sun and Moon protagonist, so that’s again a plus for Let’s Go.

Concluding Thoughts

Okay, so there are one or two other things to touch on oh-so-briefly before wrapping this sucker.

First: Eevee’s voice.

Look. I get it Game Freak. Pikachu got special treatment starting in Gen six, where it started to say its name because mascot. It was cute and I get it.

Eevee didn’t need the same treatment, even though you’re trying to fill that same cute mascot niche. I’m not a huge fan of Eevee saying its name like in the trailer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m playing Let’s Go, Eevee all the way because Eevee is far superior to Pikachu in my opinion, but still.

Also at the end of the trailer was a tease to a brand new Pokémon being shown off somehow in-game. On Twitter, the Pokémon folks do confirm that this will be a 100 percent totally brand new Generation Eight Pokémon.

Because oh yeah by the way, new main series Pokémon title in 2019.

That’s another thing to get hyped about, but hype will wait for another day in that particular train’s engine.

For now we still need to get through November 16, 2018 when Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee will be released upon the world.

If you couldn’t tell already, I’m super duper excited for it. I was pretty burned out on Pokémon after the back-to-back release of Sun/Moon and their Ultra sequels, but this is a whole new adventure with tons of unique bells and whistles to get ready for.

I do hope after the 2019 games are released that Game Freak takes a bit of a break, both because it would be well-deserved and because fatigue may set on if they start to push out a big game every single year for too long.

Though Marvel’s been going strong for 10 years with the same philosophy and look where that has them. So who knows!

All I know is that despite trepidation for a few key points I’ve listed throughout this analysis, I’m excited for the Let’s Go Pokémon games all the same. It has probably pushed off Dark Souls as a major game to purchase for the console since I now need to save my money.

Sorry Dark Souls, we’ll have our day.

I’m also ready for more and more news to come out about the game in the coming months. How will the new character designs look? What sort of new things can we expect to be added into the game’s lore? Will Jesse and James appear as a part of Team Rocket like in the original Yellow?

Expect to see me blathering about it from now until November.

So, until the next news comes, tell me internet: What is YOUR opinion regarding these new Pokémon games? I’ll undoubtedly be seeking reactions on my own, but I’d like to know what the people who follow me think too.