Crystal Dreams

February 17, 2017

Opinion Piece: On Pokemon GO’s Johto Update

So, it came out yesterday and well, I have a lot I want to say about it :P To start, I’ll admit, my excitement is mixed! I’m happy to see more Pokemon and more people playing again (and less people referring to something as “dead” just because less people are playing), but as someone who always tries to complete a Living Dex of each gen since I first played my Pokemon Blue game, I’m kind of bummed because I essentially failed.

Ignoring that it was impossible to even get some Pokemon (Mew, Mewtwo, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres aren’t even out yet) and for anyone who doesn’t have the money to travel or somehow gets sponsored to do so, they’re out of luck for up to 4 other Pokemon as well. And this trend of regional Pokemon might be continuing with this new generation… and I’ll be honest, it’s kind of dumb. The Pokemon currently have no actual affiliation with most places they are spawning. Gen 5, which took place in New York and New Jersey had nearly all new Pokemon and very little returning old ones, yet here we have tons of Pokemon. We’re just missing three. Central Park is practically its own Safari Zone.

There’s just… no reason for it and without trading in the game still, there’s even less reason for it. It’s randomly chosen and a bit discouraging right out the door.

For now, I’ll still be doing my best to catch what I can, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I still haven’t finished my Gen 1 Pokedex, let alone my Gen 2 one, before Gen 3 comes out. It’s not like I wouldn’t still be playing even if I did though. I’d be working on medals, gathering more candy for later evolutions (especially as I wouldn’t be surprised if a Mega Evolution costs candy), and just working hard on getting as much done as I can so just having the Pokedex kind of cut off in a way is pretty discouraging.

Heck, I never even managed to hatch a Baby Pokemon. Regardless, all the new Pokemon is making me really want to go out more again, which isn’t entirely possible with how the weather is right now. Maybe once it warms up…

Besides new Pokemon, new UI additions and items were added as well, such as some Evolution Items. I do find it a bit odd that they’ve added a Sun Stone, but never bothered with a Fire/Thunder/Water/Moon Stone. I mean, I’d rather items than more random evolutions at least though… I have yet to find any items from Pokestops, however :( Hopefully they show up more soon and aren’t actually super rare or something.

Meanwhile, Eevee is still random. Thankfully, they did include a name trick again to guarantee Espeon and Umbreon–Sakura for Espeon and Tamao for Umbreon which were names of two of the trainers/Kimono Girls in one of the Anime episodes. I’m not entirely sure what Glaceon and Leafeon could be called once Gen 4 is in… Every episode where they appear together, both Pokemon have the same trainer or no trainer at all.

I haven’t been able to do too many evolutions just yet. Most of the ones where I’ve saved up enough Candy, I need a specific item to actually fully evolve them. I at least evolved a Zubat up into a Crobat which was nice.

Finally, and one of things I was most excited about with the news, new clothing!:

I’m happy about skirts and my lovely backpack! :D And that’s it.

I wish… more things matched the backpack. The only thing that currently is in the store that matches is a big knit hat that would only be appropriate for like… another month at most and I prefer not wearing a hat. I also wish there were some actual necklaces because currently, all the options are chokers.

I hope we eventually get more matching items, some new shoes, possibly some dresses, and I’d also really like to see some tights/stockings besides just leggings and thigh-highs. I just hope we see clothing updates much sooner rather than just every new generation.

That said, I’m a bit apprehensive on the prices. Items cost anywhere from 80-500 Coins. If you only can get one gym a day, that’s 80 days of getting that gym to get just the simplest items and at least 8 days minimum no matter what. It’s incredibly limited to needing to pay for coins unless you can easily get A LOT of gyms and often do so. While I already mentioned it in my last entry, Pokemon GO desperately needs another way to earn Poke Coins.

I was also saddened that rather than any free storage upgrade just for the new generation, they only made it so the boxes are discounted for a limited time… If I had the money, I’d have to look into trying to buy them all before the discount is gone because I know I’ll need the space eventually and I’m not even sure it’ll be enough space.

Right now, there are a total of 802 Pokemon. 99 of them have Gender Differences. Ignoring special forms (which could still appear for events–we did just get a Santa Pikachu, afterall, and battle forms with the exception of Megas), there are 27 other forms of Unown, 3 other forms of Castform, 3 other forms of Deoxys, 2 other forms of both Burmy and Wormadam, an addition form of Cherrim, Shellos, Gastrodon, Basculin, Darmanitan, Giratina, Shaymin, Tornadus, Thundurus, Landurus, Keldeo, Meloetta, Aegislash, Xerneas, Hoopa, and Lycanroc, 5 additional Rotom forms, 17 Arceus forms, 3 additional forms of Deerling and Sawsbuck, 2 additional forms of Kyurem, 4 additional forms of Genesect, 19 additional Vivillon forms, 4 additional forms of Flabebe, Floette, and Florges, 9 additional looks for Furfrou, 3 additional sizes each for Pumpkaboo and Gourgeist, 4 additional Zygarde forms, 3 additional Oricorio forms, 17 additional Silvally forms, 8 Minior forms, 18 Alolan forms, and 48 Megas. That brings us up to 1,132. We’re already 132 over. And if Shinies are in the game, just one of each Shiny and normal, forms ignored, gives us a grand total of 1,604.

Currently, max storage is 1,000. You start with 250 Storage (which isn’t even enough for one of each Pokemon in Gen 1 and 2, ignoring that they aren’t all up yet). It costs 200 Coins per 50 storage expansion. To max out at 1,000 slots, you would need to purchase this 15 times. That is 3,000 Coins normally or 1,500 Coins with the current discount. I’ve already gone into the whole gym issue so you’re more likely going to be spending at least $10 if you want to get everything. And if you want everything, you’re one of those people who catch tons of Pokemon for quick level-ups and/or are trying for the best possible amount of CP… You’ll need the space.

And just… we need more storage and we need more ways to earn coins more than anything. We need to be able to buy things besides just getting them at Pokestops. There’s so much this game could do better that would make people play longer even as Gens are spaced out and maybe it’s just me, but I prefer them being spaced out by a large margin.

Regardless, I’m still playing and having fun. I just hope they work on these things soon.

February 12, 2017

Opinion Piece: On Nintendo’s Mobile games + Animal Crossing’s

So, before I get into this, I want to say this is more on my opinions as per usual and not based on general commentary or sales or anything like that. I will also be including the Pokemon mobile games in this, even though they were made by other companies. The only ones I will not bring up are Pokemon Shuffle and various other Pokemon picture/music apps, the former as it is just a port of the 3DS game and the latter as they aren’t really games.

First up is Pokemon GO. It’s been out for nearly 8 months now and while the popularity has died down and you see less people playing it, it’s actually still pretty popular and I still play it everyday. I would say my biggest issue at this point is the fact that even now, months after release, the only way to earn coins is from owning a Gym.

Unless you’re fortunate to be able to get a Pokestop by your house/job/school or head out a lot and there aren’t too many far away, you’re going to run into issues with items. And even if you may be fortunate to be in that situation, there is still the issue of space and space can only be gotten from purchasing with coins. Extra incubators to help free up egg space quicker, extra space for Pokemon (as you will be catching a lot to get enough candy to evolve them and even more if you care a lot about having the highest CP possible for each with the best attacks…), extra space for items… It just constantly adds up and when you can only get, at most, 10 coins a day and only if you manage to be in 10 different gyms… It’s a bit of a mess.

From where I live, we have one gym several blocks away and in that radius, two Pokestops. I don’t often get to go to any of these and even if I got to that gym, even now, there is a constant battle over it. It changes multiple times a day and I likely wouldn’t hold it very long at all, so I’d get 1 coin a day, at most.

I don’t think a Defender Bonus is bad though. Even if I prefer not to bother with gyms or battling (I’ll probably do so eventually to earn the badges/medals), I think a defender bonus IS a good way for money, but I also think it should be increased while catching Pokemon and using Pokestops should give some coins as well. Limiting coins to only that Defender Bonus is just ridiculous. Sure, you can technically play the game without any space increasing, but unless they give us some free box upgrades once Gen 2 and future gens are fully in the game, that won’t always be the case.

The other issue is partially due to the new Nearby system. I really liked the original footprint system and while it was a bit unclear, it was fun to explore the neighborhood and find new Pokemon. The new system lessens exploring a bit for one (afterall, it tells you right where it is, and sure, maybe it’s a slightly new place, but you’re not going to just stumble upon new areas), but is highly skewed towards people near Pokestops. Because it says nearby based on a Pokestop it’s at, if you don’t have any Pokestops near them, you’re much less likely to find any Pokemon at all. There’s also no real way to try tracking Pokemon anymore. It almost feels like a backtrack to what I feel the app originally did.

Near my house, we have 2 Pokestops and a Gym within a radius of 1-2 miles. It’s better than some people, but it’s not something I easily get to go to. We will sometimes get a Pokemon right by our house, but it’s random and pretty rare. And despite that rarity, it’s Pidgey or Rattata 90% of the time. Meanwhile, if we’re going out and driving on a highway or something where there are no Pokestops, we find pretty much nothing now. Early on when the game first came out, we’d often find some new Pokemon everytime. Now it’s just miles of emptiness and it’s pretty discouraging. I can only imagine how it is for people who do live where there are no Pokestops at all. I mean, the Valentine’s Day Event is going on right now and is supposed to increase the chances of pink Pokemon. So far, I’ve seen two and that’s it. This is a huge contrast to the Halloween event where it actually helped me catch new Pokemon and/or get enough to evolve.

Despite these issues though, I’m still playing Pokemon GO everyday and still looking forward to updates. Heck, the Valentine’s Day event just started and I’m really hoping to get a few specific Pokemon. I just hope they’ll eventually improve some of these issues to make it a friendlier experience for everyone.

Next up is Super Mario Run. The game is currently only out for iOS devices which is…super disappointing. I’ve had to borrow a family member’s iOS device, but it’s really frustrating and something I hope they avoid in the future, especially as they’ve already finished with one special event and have another going on right now. Super Mario Run is a fairly simple game–it’s an auto runner, you tap to jump, that’s really it. Depending which character you play, they have different abilities. Peach floats, Toad moves faster, Luigi jumps higher, Yoshi can flutter jump, etc.

The game also costs $10 to play beyond World 1, which while other people have issues, I’m 100% fine with. Stamina systems suck and I’m so glad I can just play the levels whenever I feel like it. That said, certain modes almost make me want certain freemium things because they’re incredibly frustrating which brings me to the bane of my enjoyment for this game: Toad Rally.

Toad Rally puts you head to head with another player’s time, the goal is to get more coins than them. The problem here is:
1. The only way to earn Toads is through Toad Rally.
2. Stars are incredibly overpowered. Just like in The Wizard, if you get the star, you essentially win. They pull coins towards you and so most of the time, they will be an auto-win for the other player if you don’t manage to get one too. Similarly, if you’re doing terrible and get a star, it can be an entire game changer and secure you a win.
3. You lose Toads if you lose.

3 is the biggest issue, honestly. I can deal with everything else if I didn’t end up losing my Toads each time I tried and lost. Toads are pretty important in the game as you can’t build most things without getting a certain amount of Toads, including Character Huts to unlock the ability to play certain characters. The customization is all tied to Toads and so while I’m sitting here on a mountain of coins, I can’t actually get anything I want because my Toad count just isn’t good enough. And even with a recent update of lowering it, I’m still losing 10%-20% of my Toads if I do lose. It’s just not fun. I wish I could do something to prevent myself from losing Toads, heck, I wish I could buy Toads because it’s just not a mode I enjoy at all and considering how much I love customization, it’s hard for me to feel encouraged to play.

In general, I’m not a huge fan of playing against people. I don’t mind teamwork, but being put up against other players is not a fun experience for me. Toad Rally not only forces me into that, but also constantly destroys any progress I make due to just not being good enough to keep my Toad count up.

One other issue is that any character besides Mario and Luigi will die if they hit anything. There is no Mushroom to help them get bigger. They have one chance and if you fail, they go into that bubble. Speaking of that bubble, it is a pain to pop and sometimes I’ve managed to just kill myself over and over because touch screens are annoying. Regardless, we’ve already seen Chibi Peach in Super Mario 3D World so I don’t know why they made it this way. I feel like the other characters should work the same way.

That said, Super Mario Run’s main issue, besides Toad Rally’s existence, is that it’s just very grind-y. You need to grind up all these Toads for events and items in the game and losing them just makes it even more frustrating. The most recent event requires you to stomp on 100 Golden Goombas which will spawn at least one randomly in a specific level. Where it spawns varies, but if you don’t actually kill it, it doesn’t count. And while it seems simple enough, it’s actually very tedious as you need to play through the entire level and sometimes you may not even see it or manage to kill it.

The other thing Super Mario Run has for you to do is coin collecting. You can collect 5 Pink Coins per level which will then allow you to get 5 Purple Coins and then finally 5 Black Coins. These unlock special medals for you along with a special world that relates to each once you’ve gotten all the color coins in each level. My main issue here is that you always need to get all 5 in one go for it to count. There’s almost always one that is just infuriating for me and then once I get it, I somehow screw up the rest. I wish it remembered which I had gotten already so I wasn’t doing the same thing over and over.

Super Mario Run is probably the mobile game I’ve had the least fun with and its solely due to a lot of quality of life stuff (constantly needing to re-get every coin, losing Toads, one-hit deaths with 4/6 characters). Considering they did lessen how many Toads you lose, I’m just really hoping they’ll add more ways to earn Toads in general that won’t actually risk any.

After that, we have Pokemon Duel which was a huge surprise to say the least. The game released as Pokemon Comaster in April 2016 in Japan. There had been no information or notice of the game coming overseas and it essentially came out of nowhere. The game is essentially a digital version of the old Pokemon Trading Figure Game on a new board game system. It’s simple enough, get to the end goal on the other side and you win. I’m not a huge fan of strategy games and generally just prefer collecting, but I actually ended up having a lot of fun with this game. I always felt the stamina let me play tons and usually if I hit a point where I was out of stamina, I felt satisfied and ready for a break anyway.

I recently finished the story thus far, though, it is not complete just yet. The only real complaints I have are:
1. That play leads you to multiplayer. The fact that story mode is in a side thing called “Quests” is really odd.
2. Lack of customization. I was so excited to see the customization when I first started it, but it’s honestly kind of lacking. I was really hoping we’d eventually get more hair or even a different outfit/unique suit, but no luck. I also feel like the game generally seems to refer to you as a male (even if no specific pronouns are set, it comes off that way to me) and that’s also a bit frustrating. The only real customization is with all the masks, honestly.

3. Very small space. While they are pretty generous with gems and I feel like I’ve earned a lot as I played, I do feel that 50 is a very small limit with so many figures and Pokemon.

I’m not too fond of the timelock systems either, but as the only way to really earn them is in the Play/Multiplayer Versus, I don’t really earn them much anyway.

Regardless, it is one of the few games I’ve played where the Stamina just doesn’t bother me at all, if not the only game. I also feel the game is super generous with gems and I’ve gotten a lot of figures thanks to that. I’m definitely looking forward to the next part of the story.

Finally, we’ve come to the most recent game–Fire Emblem: Heroes. I’m not the biggest Fire Emblem fan. I really enjoyed Awakening, but hated Fates, and other than knowing the characters in Smash Brothers, that is the extent of my Fire Emblem knowledge. Regardless, when the Battle Ballot started, I actually looked up all the characters to figure out who I would vote for and ended up stumbling upon many new characters I found interesting:

I was sad to see that Sumia, one of my favorite overall characters, is not in just yet, but many others I really liked are at least. And despite that and despite even my lack of caring much for strategy games, I’ve found Fire Emblem Heroes really fun. I do wish the gacha was a bit better (I originally thought you’d be able to get characters similar to in the game where you could talk to them in some of the maps) or you could even trade in multiple characters for ones you want, but I’m still generally really enjoying it.

The current summons end the 15th and I have four characters I still really want: Elise, Linde, Azura, and Catria. Elise and Linde are my top priorities, but it seems unlikely I’ll manage to get them. So far, the best pull I’ve gotten is when I finally got Sakura:

I’ve not gotten that lucky again (best since has been 3 5-Stars), but I’ve gotten many 5 Stars of either the same characters of characters I don’t even want. I’ve gotten Lyn 5 times now and most recently, another Robin (for 3 times now) and Hinoka. There are people who have spent thousands on the game and not gotten everyone and that’s kind of scary to think about. I don’t even want all the characters and have gotten so many I don’t want, but the chances of getting the last few I do are so low and it’s super sad to think about.

My current team is Sakura, Tiki/Takumi (switching between), Robin, and Lyn. I may switch Lyn out for Lucina if I level Lucina enough and Robin will be switched out for Linde if I can ever get her.

I would say my biggest issues with Fire Emblem Heroes, besides Gacha issues (though honestly, the orb prices are pretty good), come down to the following:
1. No custom unit. Considering the story and having played Awakening and Fates, I was really expecting character customization. Even if I didn’t get some big fancy art and just had my sprite, I was still expecting to be able to fight alongside these characters. The sprites really reminded me of Scribblenauts so I just kept expecting to be able to make this cute mashed up character. Even if the game didn’t let me, I had fun trying to do so myself:

Even if they didn’t fight, it’d be more fun to see to identify your friends and who is visiting versus the same several units that multiple friends may like.
2. Stamina doesn’t upgrade. Your cost to play each level goes up immensely as you play and/or change the difficulty, but you still only have 50 stamina. I can get two story attempts in at a time at this point before I’m stuck waiting for it to charge again. It just goes too slowly and I feel like I get through maps quickly and then am sitting there with nothing to do.
3. Feathers to get from 4 star to 5 star is just… way too much. 20,000 is a lot. 5,000-10,000 I feel would be much more reasonable. You can get 10-15 feathers a day normally, more from sending heroes home (which considering you can get SP and stuff by combining them or even up to 10 additional levels if the same rank, you may want to keep them more often than not), occasionally from quests, and/or from the Arena based on your rank. Similar to Super Mario Run’s Toad Rally, it puts you up against another player’s team and it’s better to play on harder difficulties to get more points in order to get a higher score for more feathers. It’s not personally a mode I enjoy for many reasons and I generally don’t find the match-making very balanced at all. It’s just not a fun mode to me.
4. This is a relatively small thing compared to the rest, but I wish there was an Undo button. So many times the touchscreen has read my placement wrong and I went to the wrong spot or I put myself in the correct spot and accidentally finish that character’s movement without attacking when I went to. These often can be game-costing mistakes and it just sucks that there’s not really anything you can do if it happens to you.
5. Healers need better heals. Their heals should go up as they level. The fact that the best wand only does 8 to multiple people is awful, especially as all your character’s HP goes up. Sure, the special ability can help, but it’s just not enough and this is why many people aren’t playing healers. It feels pointless when you heal so little.

In general, I am still enjoying the game as I continue my struggles, but there is definitely a lot I hope to see improved in the future.

Now that I’m finished talking about all of the current mobile games, I want to talk about the last one we know is coming soon–Animal Crossing. At the moment, we have no idea what to expect for this game. It was announced along with Fire Emblem ages ago and that’s it and while I could easily envision mobile games for everything else on this list, I am having so much trouble thinking of anything that will work with Animal Crossing and not completely suck. Animal Crossing is an interesting game because it technically does have a waiting system due to it being a real time game, but it still always has stuff for you to do. Even if I’m waiting to meet with a villager or for new favors to be available or for Nook to finish my house expansion, I can still fish, catch bugs, make designs, water flowers, and continue to enjoy my village and I’ve having such a hard time of thinking of any kind of game where all of these things will fit in. Everything I can think of either makes the game too slow/grind-y or only focuses on one small aspect. We know the game will connect to future Animal Crossing games and/or New Leaf, but how will it work in the first place?

So, I wanted to bring up some of the types that came to mind that I hope it won’t be:
1. Action-based story games. These tend to sound interesting with quests, a good customization, and usually even a room you can customize, but the problem is the quests are tedious and huge energy hogs. They usually involve you randomly clicking certain parts of the screen with each click using up energy. The catch is that you’re also timed. If you get too low of a score (usually out of 5), you’ll “fail” or do incredibly poorly on your task, so if you decide to step away while energy refills, you need to hope you don’t forget to check back in. These timers can vary anywhere between 30 minutes to several hours. It’s repetitive and people end up often pressured to spend money for energy due to worrying about not checking back in time. It’s also lazy as it’s literally the same thing over and over with just some different lines of text for what you’re clicking on.
2. Kingdom Builders. If you think of early Facebook games, this is what I’m referring to. You set up buildings and wait for them to finish, you click things to try and find materials in order to make more stuff, you try and build up a town and make it self sustaining. It’s RNG-based for getting certain items and requires a lot of waiting with little, if anything, to do in the meantime.
3. Restaurant games. You take orders and do them. Similar to doing the Coffee service at Brewster’s Cafe in New Leaf.
4. Minigames – Whether it be fully dedicated to fishing (use certain baits to catch the fish), bug catching, the museum, designing, gardening, or coffee brewing, it feels like a disservice to Animal Crossing to only center on one thing.
5. Games that have nothing to do with what’s going on, but somehow cause the town/garden/whatever you’re in to upgrade and get better anyway. Usually games like Tetris, Bejeweled, or various other matching games. Slow and repetitive.
6. Happy Home Designer in a game – Nintendo already said they would always try to make new experiences rather than a port, so I’d feel it’d be more likely to be more exterior-based than interior based or a combo of both with that touch screen thing, but I just worry it’ll be too much like a Kingdom Builder game.

Regardless, I’m keeping my fingers crossed they will do amazing things with an Animal Crossing mobile game as it’s something I really want to love.

February 7, 2017

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer – Finally, More houses!

It’s been a long time, but I decided to try and stream some Happy Home Designer today :)

Broffina – A Bus Station

Rating Address: 0097-5775-704

Ken – A Ninja Hideout

Rating Address: 0796-5775-794

Cousteau – A restaurant for exotic food.

Rating Address: 0108-5775-244

Cube – An eco-friendly Factory

Rating Address: 0608-5775-284

Lyman – A veggie palace.

Rating Address: 0603-5775-754

Chevre – A high-security bank vault.

Rating Address: 0903-5775-264

Del – A Shrine to Seafaring.

Rating Address: 0600-5775-294

It was really fun to stream it again <3 I hope everyone enjoyed watching too.

February 4, 2017

Just some Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World stuff~

Despite having played the Wii U game, I was pretty excited for this version as well. That is because my favorite thing to do in the Wii U version was ride Poochy. And the 3DS version, not only still lets you have Poochy, but lets you play Poochy in his very own stages, but there are also Poochy Pups!! LOOK AT THEM WITH MY YOSHI (And yes, the photo to the left is also them with my Yoshi):

I love them so much… I don’t think they have official names so from here on out, we’re naming them Bluey, Pinky, and Blacky.

I love them so much though:

Even their flying animation is adorable:

And yes, you may have noticed I said My Yoshi–that is because in this game, you can actually create your own! This is an amazing feature and I don’t know why it wasn’t in there to begin with. Look at my adorable Yoshi:

If I knew how to crochet, I would try to crochet it like the ones in the shorts to go with my lovely Poochy Amiibo:

And in giant view:

(I wish it was this big when designing–it’d help so much more with the little details…)

And while not with my Yoshi yet, it is with my favorite Yoshi otherwise, the pink one:

From the adorable opening sequence <3 I don't know if I will write again when I'm finished, but for now you can always find my playthrough over on Youtube :)

February 1, 2017

Happy Home Designer: February 2017’s Challenge!

So, it’s a new month and thus, time to see what our newest challenge with a unclear theme that forces giant items to be used is :P

Theme: A roundabout around – It shows the Teacups so maybe I’ll try and make it carnival themed?? Or lots of round stuff?? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE

Rating Address: 0904-5794-258

I’m happy to say I at least am proud of what I managed to get done for this one.

January 15, 2017

On getting to try the Nintendo Switch!

So, Mark and I were able to check out the Nintendo Switch this afternoon (Saturday afternoon incase I end up not publishing this until Sunday :P) and while we didn’t really record too much (The one requirement is we needed to try and record hands in the shot which wasn’t always easy–especially if we were both playing), I still have a lot to talk about and a good amount of pictures too.

We managed to get there over an hour early, but a good amount of the line had already been formed. We were at least close to the front. It had started to snow quite a bit so I’m glad they let us in a bit early just to wait somewhere warm. Upon getting up the stairs, we were greeted by a really awesome Link statue:

First stop for us was right to Breath of the Wild. We couldn’t afford to go to E3 last year (though, even if we could I think it still would have been our first stop) so my husband has been dying to play it for so many reasons so of course I let him go for it.

There was a line throughout the entire event so I’m glad we got into the first group of people who were able to play.

Right next to it was Snipperclips so that was the next game we ended up playing. It really is so much fun and I wish we were able to play more before the demo ended.

I look forward to playing it in March–it’s definitely going to be a game we get pretty quickly if not at launch.

We then headed back towards the entrance to play Super Bomberman R. Having never played the classic Bomberman, I was so incredibly surprised I actually managed to win most of the rounds. I don’t think the other people we played against were too happy about it though. It really was a lot of fun though and while I think I still prefer the kind of battlefields the N64 version had, I definitely want to pick this game up soon at some point.

There were a few display set-ups showing the Switch as well:

This is really the only time we got to see the Joy-cons connected to the Grip though. We never actually got to play with it like that in the games we tried.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was next up and just, before I get into it, I want to just talk about the various set-ups they had. When they did something like this for the Wii U, it was mostly very sleek–everything was white and blue and it was generally smaller, but this place was so much bigger and just had all kinds of cool things set up.

I loved these so so so much. I kind of wish the Diner was actually serving special Mario-themed things just because it felt so authentic that I felt like it should have been, but it was just such a good display. Getting back onto the topic of Mario Kart 8, it’s SO nice to have a proper battle mode again. I was absolutely terrible at Bomb Rush because my aim continues to suck, but I still had fun. The game also easily runs a lot smoother. That said, I don’t personally feel it’s enough for me to want to rebuy the game and have to unlock everything again. I also just want to point out while I actually was okay with just using one Joy-con for Snipperclips, I actually found it pretty painful after a while in Mario Kart.

Next up was Street Fighter and before I get into the game itself, I just… want to talk about this a bit. So, most of the time my husband and I played together. I generally do not enjoy playing against people I don’t know for a lot of reasons unless I am also playing with someone I do know. Regardless, this guy wanted to play with someone so I ended up going up against him and just… do not assume and be a condescending jerk like this guy was. I picked Chun-Li and her color immediately and then he kept telling me how to choose my character and what button did what as if I’ve never played Street Fighter before, let alone a fighting game. I didn’t ask nor do I believe anything I said even came off that way. I’m pretty sure I even said I played the game before when the Nintendo Rep asked and the guy was already there at this point.

The reason the game didn’t continue? Because he actually hadn’t hit submit on his color not realizing the option was there. He just assumed that me, this girl in a cute sweater dress with a pink bag had no idea what I was doing and that it was my fault. And his response when he realized? “oops, it was me”. No apologies. No anything. So let me just say it was incredibly relieving to end up winning the match overall.

I did lose the first round (though, it was very close–it was down to one more hit on both sides), but won the next two even if the third it seemed he really wanted to be cheap with the projectiles. I don’t think he was happy that he was beaten by a girl who he essentially acted like she had never seen a game in her life. Just don’t act like this. If someone asks for help, that’s one thing, but don’t make all these assumptions and be a pompous jerk about it.

We then headed over to the other section and tried out Sonic Mania. I’ve mentioned before that Sonic is super important to me and while I love the 3D games more than the 2D ones, Sonic Mania was still really enjoyable. I played Tails so I mostly did nothing, but it was still pretty fun regardless.

Splatoon 2 was up next and I was super nervous as the gyro controls were on. We used pro-controllers, but I just do not do well with gyroscopes. Despite that, our first match I actually did the best with the most ink… well, inked, 8 kills, and 0 deaths. I did pretty well the second time too and both times our team won. I’m not sure how I feel on the new Roller special (the Super Jump Smash), but I still had fun. I’m definitely more interested in the story mode if anything, but I will probably pick this up in the Summer.

We decided to play Fast RMX next and I actually have never played an F-Zero Game so this was pretty new for me. My husband managed to get first place in our first race while I got third, but in our second race I got first and he got third. It was a really fun time and I think I actually had more fun with it than I did with Mario Kart. I think Mario Kart just had me permanently down due to the customization-stat things which I didn’t feel were in effect as much with Fast RMX.

The final game we played was ARMS. It’s pretty fun and I won each of the matches we did. I still don’t know if it’s my kind of game though. I feel like if someone asked, I’d play, but it’s not something I’d really pick up for myself to play as I’m just not super big into fighting games (even if I’m not that bad at them). It’s definitely a neat game though and I think it has a lot of potential so I’ll probably at least keep an eye on it.

When we left, we were given a cookie and a pin. Even though it wasn’t as much as the goodie bag we got at the Wii U event, it was still a nice surprise.

The cookie was very tasty.

Overall thoughts: The Switch is really fun. I found the controllers easy to hold and lightweight, the games enjoyable, and just generally had a good time. All the Nintendo reps were great and time flew by even when we were just relaxing a bit. I would say the only negatives I can think of are my hand cramping a bit during Mario Kart and the Street Fighter issue I mentioned above (which has nothing against the game or system which were both fine). It was a great event and I’m so happy I got the opportunity to go. I’m so excited for March.

January 13, 2017

On the Nintendo Switch

As per usual with these, I will mostly be talking about things that caught my own attention and my opinions on that versus reporting everything :) If you haven’t watched the presentation yet, I highly recommend doing so. I already made sure to preorder the Nintendo Switch myself (though, I am still hoping the colored Joy-con version will go up… There is also a chance that I may just preorder at Nintendo NYC) along with a few games and am anxiously awaiting some accessories and Amiibo to go up…. But let me go ahead and get into my opinions here.

One of the nice things with the presentation is it immediately came out with the price point and release date–$300 and March 3rd, 2017. The price is a bit more than I expected (I was thinking closer to $250), but after all the features in the controllers, I can see how it tips over to that. The date, however, threw me off completely. I was expecting late March, MAYBE mid-March at the earliest so the fact that the system is only about a month and a half away is practically mind-blowing to me. And wow will I need to finish Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World fast :P

After some information on the system and the massive amount of features in the Joy-con controllers…

…we were thrown right into games starting with 1-2-Switch which kind of reminds me of what Wii Sports and Nintendo Land were for the Wii and Wii U. However, as far as I can tell, the game doesn’t seem to actually come with the Nintendo Switch and is its own game. I may have tried it if it came with the system, but for now I’ll probably hold off on it.

Next up was ARMS which is a brand new IP. It’s a fighting game with essentially elastic arms. While I’m not personally too interested in it, I think the art style is fairly interesting and it’s really colorful. I really like Ribbon Girl’s Design:

We then got Splatoon 2. While a lot of people were thinking the game would be a port with added features, I’m kind of excited to see how much more is in it due to it being an actual full game. If you follow my tweets or have read some of my other posts here, you’ll know I slowly started to just… stop having much fun with Splatoon due to:
-Stats being tied to customization.
-Match-making issues.
-The awful local multiplayer.
-Not being able to still get experience if playing in a full room of friends.
-The experience changes past level 20 which no longer gave you any credit based on how well you did personally.

Despite that, I am very interested in the story of this game for many reasons. For one, Splatoon 2 takes place 2 years after the original game. I mean, this is apparently Inkopolis Square:

And yes, I said that right–Inkopolis Square is not only the new popular area to hang out, but is two stations over from Inkopolis Plaza. There were also various new characters such as Mini-Judd:

And while I ended up no longer really playing the game, I still had a lot of interest in the characters and lore behind Splatoon so knowing this game takes place two years later, the new characters, and, for whatever reason, Marie being alone…

I just have so many questions I am looking forward to learning the answer to. I really hope Callie, and the Squid Sisters in general, are okay.

I still want to know if we can play the normal multiplayer locally without having to be on different systems though… That is the one thing I’m really interested on.

Mario’s new game came up next and I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT!! Out of everything new we heard about during the press conference, Super Mario Odyssey is easily the game I am most hyped about.

It’s not going to be out until Holiday 2017, but well, at least that means I’ll have a large amount of time to finish Zelda :P

The game was mentioned to be similar to Nintendo 64 which is my all-time favorite Mario game (though, my favorite 2D Mario is Super Mario World) and as someone who just generally prefers full 3D Mario games… I can’t help but be excited. It just looks great and New Donk City reminds me a lot of Station Square from Sonic Adventure which is one of my favorite Sonic games. I can’t wait to see more of this game.

The next game to get my attention was Xenoblade 2. I don’t really have much interest in Xenoblade, but it actually looks really pretty and I can’t help but be intrigued by it this time around.

Of course, this wasn’t the only game to catch my interest–Project Octopath Traveler (which I am assuming isn’t going to be its final title). The art style is incredibly pretty and I can’t help but want to know more about the game:

Finally, the last game to be shown is the one everyone wanted to know the date for most of all–The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If you have not seen the trailer yet, do yourself a favor and watch it right now:

It is absolutely breathtaking. It’s beautiful and cinematic and makes me so excited for this game and is one of the few launch titles for the Switch. There’s also voice acting which, while I know some people were apprehensive about, I think has been done really well. You can also hear the Japanese voices over here. For the most part, I feel like they picked fairly similar voices between the two. The only one that stands out as kind of off to me in comparison is Zelda’s… she almost sounds too deep? Or something? I’m not really sure, but I just don’t really find it fitting and I can’t place it. Every other voice sounds fine to me though. I’m very curious if Link will actually talk too.

Also, the Master Edition of the game is amazing and I need it:

I unfortunately missed the pre-order which breaks my hopes and dreams, but hopefully it’ll pop back up on Amazon or I can catch it at Nintendo NYC T~T I’m really looking forward to making a video series of the game (and the Master Edition looks like it’d be so fun to unbox…). It’s hard not to be hyped for it, honestly.

Breath of the Wild will be one of the few games for the Nintendo Switch’s launch and while I am a bit concerned with there not being too many at launch, I’m pretty sure this was going to be the game I jumped right into anyway so maybe that’s for the best…

With that, the conference was over, but information was not and there were some things that were not shown during the Press Conference.

For one, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! As expected, it’s mostly a port, but includes all the DLC and several new additions. Best of all though, it comes with a much proper Battle Mode:

The courses look really fun, honestly. And besides King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr. joining the roster, we also have Inklings!

And yes, that is a Splatoon course. There will be new karts as well. While I think all the new additions look great, I’m not sure if it’s enough for me personally to want to essentially repurchase the game on the Switch. Part of why I ended up no longer playing on the Wii U was getting frustrated due to stats and appearance being tied together and my favorite combo not fitting my playstyle. I doubt that will have changed so I’ll likely hold off in the meantime, but maybe I’ll grab it down the line. It’s not out until April 28th so I have time to think about it.

Finally, I want to bring up some of the accessories and the Parental Controls. For the Parental Controls, just watch the video on the Nintendo Switch homepage. It is adorable and done wonderfully and just A+ Nintendo.

Bowser tries so hard to be a good dad.

As for the accessories, a lot of people are complaining about the prices. $80 for the L&R Joy-cons and well, what did you expect? Most controllers are about the price of a game now. The Pro-controller is only about $10 more and those are only $20 more and considering just HOW much they can do compared to most other game controllers, I am not surprised at all. I think the initial sticker shock can happen, but it’s completely understandable considering just how much is in them, despite their size.

We also got to see two more Breath of the Wild Amiibo–I’m mostly excited for the Zelda one:

I’m still mixed on her design in the game, but in the Amiibo and official artwork, it really does look quite nice:

Also, I totally want a Zora Amiibo based off some of the official Zora artwork too:

The final thing, which I didn’t bring up earlier, is just concern over Online services. Online services will be free until the Fall when they will cost a monthly fee. We don’t know what the price is just yet and I hope we get more information before the system comes out. While you do get a free game each month apparently (similar to how Playstation Plus works), as someone who still has her SNES and NES and all her games, I don’t have much interest in Virtual console or downloading games so it’s still not enough to really sell me it. It’s not enough to stop me from getting the Switch either though so we’ll see.

I also really want to know more on if we’ll need to have more than one console to play together or not because while local multiplayer and online multiplayer was confirmed, it seemed more for two consoles versus on the same system.

Overall though, despite some concerns with certain things, I’m so incredibly hyped for the Nintendo Switch and I can’t wait to play it on Saturday and watch the Treehouse Live presentation later. But yes, those were my thoughts! And now I have… about 5 hours of sleep I can get before Treehouse Live starts :P At the moment, no promises for writing up any thoughts after the Treehouse Live presentation (I’ll probably keep most short thoughts on my twitter), but definitely expect some photos and ramblings on Saturday after we get to try out the Nintendo Switch <3 And some videos too! Edit: So, as I expected, I really don't have enough to say about Treehouse Live's presentation, though it was longer than I expected! As mentioned, most of my thoughts can be seen on my twitter, but I wanted to talk about two launch games specifically that I got more excited about playing after seeing them on Treehouse Live (and both are coincidentally ones I did not mention in this article before):
1. Snipperclips. Snipperclips is a bit odd, especially just from screenshots.

But it’s a really cute puzzle game that requires more thinking than you expect and you can work with a friend and I am pretty excited for it now. It’s a $20 game that will be on the eShop at launch so hopefully I can pick it up at some point between all the Zelda playing.

2. Super Bomberman R. I have a very softspot for Bomberman, but I’ve actually only played the Nintendo 64 version. I have fond memories of the story mode and also reining terror on the various battle stages. I’ve never actually played the classic versions of it though. I was first put off by what we had seen, but after getting to watch much more of it, I figured it might be fun–especially when playing with someone. These were my favorite Bombers:

I’ll probably use the Pink one, though, I adore Aqua’s skirt and ribbon.

I don’t know if I will get Super Bomberman R right away (as it is, the amount we’ll need to save before March 3rd is pretty crazy), but we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll get it eventually though.

January 12, 2017

On Game of the Year, Nintendo Switch, and Other Ramblings

One of the things I had been asked recently was what my game of the year was last year. I didn’t really mention anything at all, but thinking about it, I don’t know if I had one. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy any games this year, but it means there wasn’t really anything that really stood out to me for me to be like “Oh, yeah, that is definitely my game of the year”.

In general, I felt most games I played this year went under one of the following:
-Beta/Early Access/Alpha – I feel like so many games are doing the “hey, pay to actually test out our game” which is something I’ve always had mixed feelings on. Beta Testing is an actual job and requires so much time to properly do. I think this is a good way to help fund a game, but at the same time just don’t really know how to feel about it. I suppose most people who do pay don’t actually do much beta testing though so… Regardless, it’s hard to really rate a game no matter how much fun I’m having before I know how much may change in the future. I also generally don’t want to put too much time into something if my saved data could be reset.
-Came out last year for everywhere but here. – Not too many games go under it this year, but one big one is Style Savvy: Fashion Forward which also goes under the next section…
-It’s a Sequel. But better. Or a very nice update. – I really enjoyed Fashion Forward–it did a great job improving on the last 3DS game in the series, Trendsetters, but it also removed several things I really enjoyed and still suffered a bit on pacing due to how certain things in the game worked. I think in general, unless they want Style Savvy to be a game with tons of waiting, it is a game that works better without a real time clock. The reason it didn’t work in Trendsetters is because the month never changed/there was no real progress beyond a day/night cycle so even though it may be a “new day”, you could end up with the same wardrobe the entire time you played no matter how much you played because it’s still only items you’d find in November.

Disney Magical World 2 is great in a lot of ways, but so much of it is really the same from the first game so it almost feels like it’s just an overhaul with some new things.

And then we have Animal Crossing: New Leaf which while it really energized me again and even helped lessen the problems with the moving mechanic (7-10 days is a huge improvement over 5 days notice), it still didn’t fix the core of the problem. I’m not sure if they could be fixed with a patch, but at least it feels like some kind of attempt was there.

I don’t really care for the Campsite’s placing, but I still really enjoy it and everything added. Having so many great new items (though, the names switching between New Leaf and Happy Home Designer is incredibly confusing) gave me a lot of ideas of what to do with my rooms. Right now though, I’m debating on just setting my date back and forgetting about ever catching up. There doesn’t seem to be anything special for hitting your anniversary once more and I’d really like to re-upload my Dream Suite, honestly. With the proper flowers. All watered (which takes hours).
-Adoptable Sites, Visual Novels, and Dress-up games. Popping in and out of them mostly…
-Mobile Games – Unfortunately, with the weather being the way it is lately, I’ve been a sick mess and it’s been hard to find many things I can play in short bursts and keep my attention to. It sucks as there’s a lot more I’d like to play and just can’t.

I would say the ones I played the most were Miitomo and Pokemon GO. I also had fun with Abyssrium, Neko Atsume, and Spoon Pets and then tried out various other games randomly.
-Online Games. Overwatch mostly which while I enjoy when I play, is mixed because people can be jerks. Star Stable Online is also interesting, but… very strange. And it’s kind of lonely to play by myself.

The only games I can think of that I played a lot that do not fall under those are:
1. Pokemon Sun and Moon and well, it’s still a Pokemon game. While there is a lot I loved and enjoyed while playing Moon, a lot of its mechanics were also killing the game for me a lot. I’ve never had a Pokemon game where my favorite feature was ruined for me and I just felt so lost. The last time I felt as discouraged as this with a Pokemon Game was shortly before the Elite 4 in B/W. I don’t even recall why specifically.

2. ABZU – ABZU would probably be the closest to me for the year. I loved every moment of the game and it surpassed so much of what I expected. It was like a more relaxing Endless Ocean for me (speaking of which, please make a third game, Nintendo). Diving is something I personally can’t do, but am generally really curious about and just think looks like such a great experience. I loved the colors and all the fish and getting to look around and the places you could explore… I just wish there was a more concrete story to it.

And that’s the thing, most games didn’t really make me think OMGBESTGAMEEVER. It’s like I enjoyed it, but it just didn’t leave an everlasting effect on me and I can’t think of anything this year that really did. As mentioned, ABZU would easily be the closest to what I’d call my Game of the Year. And many games that people adored (such as Fire Emblem Fates) were just… not interesting to me at all. I feel it was kind of a weird year for games.

That said, I’m really hyped up for a lot of games this year already and with the Switch presentation tonight (22 hours to go!), I am incredibly excited to see what they bring. I wasn’t really interested in the trailer at all (the split controller looks too small to me which… says a lot considering I have tiny hands) as I just… don’t usually care to play anything out and about so the console being able to be brought is mostly just me feeling like it’ll be easier to pack places, so for the system itself, nothing really impressed me. I don’t care about specs and it’s really about the games and what else the system may have that will catch my attention. I LOVE the Mii Plaza. StreetPass Mii Plaza will always be one of my favorite things on the 3DS. I wholeheartedly enjoyed the channels like Check Mii Out and the voting thing on the Wii and stuff like that I’d love to see back on the Switch.

I’m doing my best to stay hopeful for it and I’m excited either way. I won’t be going to see it at the Nintendo Store though–I’d rather just watch from home, but I am looking forward to trying it on Saturday :) We’ll be taking pictures and recording so I look forward to writing stuff up and uploading some footage of it all! While I did have the opportunity to go the 13th, I chose the 14th so we can have a better idea to prepare after the late conference, enjoy the Treehouse Live stuff, and get a better idea of what we want to do.

I’m really hoping to get a lot more done this year. I just… didn’t feel like I did much of anything. Either in writing, videos… just getting things done. And maybe it’s because I just didn’t feel like I had a lot to do, but hopefully I can do a better job this year and find more time to stream as well.

January 1, 2017

DMW2 & AC:HHD – New Years Items & The Latest Challenge!

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully 2017 will be a good year <3 To start the year off, there are some special Disney Magical World 2 items only available today!
Mickey and Minnie Daruma’s available from respective favor’s of showing them the Japanese themed outfits :) You can get the recipes for those from the Fortune Teller!

Not to mention it being the first of the month, there is also a brand new Happy Home Designer Challenge! This time, the theme is “An Adventure Begins”. I’ll be honest–I don’t know how much longer I’ll be doing the challenges. Having all the items from it now, I’d rather just find time to do more villager houses. Plus, working with these items just isn’t very fun–especially inside the houses. This time, I felt happier with the outside a bit, but I just couldn’t really make the inside work how I wanted it to:

Rating Address: 0506-5715-772

There’s a lot I want to do still so I’m just trying to figure out the best way to approach each one/best order to do so. Less than 2 weeks until the Switch news though so that’s really exciting! <3

December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays! – Random News & some DMW2

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season right now! Things have been quiet around here for a lot of reasons and while I’d rather not go into them fully, I will say there is a lot I had expected for this year and pretty much had anything I hoped to do or looked forward to doing get shot down. It sucks, a lot, and unfortunately as the year as gone on that feeling has gotten a lot worse. Christmas is generally my favorite time of the year and anyone who knows me well can easily tell you I haven’t been into the season as much this year.

That said, all the kind messages people have sent, surprise gifts on steam (Thank you so much to Carpet for Castle of Illusion months ago which I really hope to play soon/possibly even stream it and the only reason I haven’t is due to the above and Thank you very much to 7Cubed for Unbox–I can’t really put into words how much that caught me off guard and just meant to me because I just… didn’t expect it at all and it means a lot to me to just feel like I’m being thought about sometimes. A Thank you to two other friends of ours too for Slime Rancher and a Visual Novel. I really want to play/stream all of these games and hope to once I feel like I can really put my mood aside and fully enjoy them), random pieces of art people surprised me with (which you can see some of below), and just in general being kind.

I often feel so easily forgotten and especially so since my birthday this year so to every single one of you who commented here, on Youtube, on Facebook, and/or Twitter and just say Hi or make me feel like I’m not talking into the void, I appreciate it so much.

My general rules for doing things are:
1. Only do it if it’s something I truly want/hope to do. While I’m not necessarily against requests, I don’t believe in doing something just for views.
2. Don’t force any of it. If people want to like my videos, want to subscribe/follow, want to link to it… That’s great, I appreciate it, but I feel asking ruins the point and makes it less special. It’s never something I want to pressure people into doing.

Regardless, there is a lot to look forward to next year. Various games, the Nintendo Switch (and I am incredibly excited to actually go to one of the events in January), and hopefully a lot more things to accomplish.

Moving back towards the holidays, I’ve been trying to make sure I take care of things in various games, such as Disney Magical World 2’s cute mini event. From the 15th until the 24th, you can randomly run into Santa (with the 24th being the last day). I had been trying for ages, but he only finally showed up for me today:

Similarly, today and tomorrow you can be invited to Minnie’s Holiday party when she has a hangout favor:

Both events give you some exclusive items so be sure to do them. The next event should be either New Years Eve or New Years Day and I am really looking forward to it.

I’m looking forward to playing Style Savvy tomorrow for a small little conversation event, but it won’t be too much. As for other Christmas events in games, most of it has recently been in mobile games. I’ve been having a lot of fun with Pokemon GO’s and finally got enough Holiday Pikachu to get a Holiday Raichu:

I was really worried as I had only managed to get one Holiday Pikachu so far, but managed to get super lucky these last two days. I still need a normal Raichu though, but Pikachu just aren’t that popular around here. Maybe I can catch enough Holiday ones however…

I have yet to get any of the Johto Pokemon from eggs, but considering the rate increase over the holidays, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I also did Abyssrium’s Christmas event which is really cool. I love the fish designs.

Miitomo ended up having tons of Holiday-themed Miitomo Drops and even sent out a new holiday Miifoto:

And finally, Super Mario Run has some Christmas items which I really love and actually got me to borrow my father’s iPad for. Here’s hoping connecting with my MyNintendo account will let me keep all my stuff when it finally comes to Android or I’m going to be very sad…

In general, there is a lot I like about Super Mario Run. I think the price point is great as someone who does have a tendency to spend money for those kinds of things and it’s much cheaper than a full game honestly? Like it has a lot of content in it. And there are definitely games I’ve gotten a Lifetime membership to due to feeling like I was purchasing a full games. $10 is like nothing.

That said, two things about Super Mario Run really bug me:
1. The fact that all 5 coins need to be gotten in one go. I always have trouble with one especially and when I get it and then somehow miss on the last one, it sucks and suddenly I have to do it all over.
2. Toad Rally. Toad Rally is cute in itself, but it sucks that this is the only way to get Toads and that you can lose them. There’s no way to protect your Toads. There is no other way to earn Toads. If this game had micro-transactions, man do I wish it was for Toads because I am just suffering so much and really not enjoying Toad Rally at all. Losing sucks enough without losing most of your toads and it just is super discouraging. I really want to get the Holiday items before they’re gone, but I’m struggling to even want to bother when I could easily lose my progress.

I did, however, get the Tree and Poinsettias so far so just the Snowglobe left! I just… don’t know if I will manage to do it.

Anyway, if you’d like to add me to Super Mario Run, feel free! My friend code thingy is: 6412-4469-3496 :)

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