Crystal Dreams

August 11, 2019

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp – Memory Edition & The Sanrio Collaboration

One of the nice new Quality of Life features with Pocket Camp is it’s possible to view a new memory you’ve unlocked without ruining setting everything up in your campsite. If you are subscribed to my Youtube Channel, you’ve likely already seen the video when it was uploaded a few weeks ago, but if not, I figured I’d include some screenshots of my favorite moments in addition to talking about the new Sanrio stuff and some of the other events.

I genuinely found the Anniversary Memory really sweet and I’m glad they gave us it.

I also enjoyed Chrissy’s Tea Party, though, I wish the items were normal-sized. I will admit the giant size broke my heart as the items themselves are super cute:

The Memory system is actually one of my favorite things in Pocket Camp (and I’d love to see it in New Horizons in some way, even if just as a way to revisit cut scenes) which is probably one of the most frustrating things with the fact that it’s essentially pay to win. Sure, like all things, you could get lucky or if you play a lot, maybe you’ll have lots of leaf tickets to spare (that said, if you’re a full completionist who wants everything, you’d have to be EXTREMELY lucky and some super helpful friends to not spend anything), it’s just not very likely without paying.

Similarly, I really adore the Gardening event end cutscenes. Unfortunately, the gardening events are just… incredibly frustrating with the constant check-ins, needing to keep clearing things out, and the best way to succeed being very dependent on your friends. I managed to finish Isabelle’s recent one at the last possible second— only after buying one of the special Gardening Event Packages.


While I do love helping my friends (and appreciate it), an event being exclusive to that while also lessening how much you can even help at a time isn’t fun. Constant brick walls has never been fun.

The Sanrio Collab has also made its way here and it’s hard to be excited for it when it all requires leaf tickets. While I can at least give the Sanrio stuff an understanding for being leaf ticket exclusives (it’s a collaboration after all), it being a lootbox system for most or $7 for a cute digital backpack isn’t a great feeling :/ On the bright side, I’m hoping this does mean we’re likely to continue to see the Sanrio items and Villagers in the future too at least.

I wonder if it could be an actual DLC pack or the Amiibo Cards could make a return (Just… ignore how few places the Sanrio Cards were even released). I just hope it’ll be priced better than anything in Pocket Camp if so. I’m glad it’s at least possible to get the villagers in Pocket Camp, plus one of each of the fortune cookies, even if you don’t bother with buying the items– as much as I adore the items, locking levels behind a paywall too wouldn’t be great. While I haven’t gotten all my favorites (and me loving the grand prize couches does not help…), I at least got a few cute things. Unfortunately, my camp site, cabin, and trailer are a bit too full to put much use of them, but I think I at least wear the outfit well. And some of these fortune cookies are too cute.

June 24, 2019

Returning to Happy Home Designer!

So, it’s been a long time since my last entry and recording of Happy Home Designer (in fact, even longer than I realized), but with the recent announcement of New Horizons earlier this month, I’ve been really wanting to play something Animal Crossing-esque and this was at the top of my list (I would’ve likely done Dream Suites otherwise, but the Welcome Amiibo update kind of killed my dream suite list :( ).

I’m still a bit nervous about making houses due to the fact that I’ve gotten some repetitive themes paired with the lack of new items most of the time to really get an idea of what a villager wants, but I still want to make a house for every single villager and NPC (I collected all of the Amiibo cards for a reason…) so fingers crossed I can do them justice.

Hamphrey – A smoked-foods showcase:



Rating Address: 0270-7799-059

Klaus – An ancient bathhouse.


Rating Address: 0470-7799-009

Shep – A life on the streets.


Rating Address: 0277-7799-949

Hamlet – A soccer arena.



Rating Address: 0977-7799-029

June 19, 2019

E3 Day 2 and 3 thoughts plus overall feelings~

So, this covers the rest of the press conferences from the last two days. I’ll probably add some stuff from Nintendo’s Treehouse later as they usually include some bonus details, but for the most part, this is focused on the conferences themselves. As a final note, while we did watch all of the conferences (including the “smaller” ones like Limited Run), I’ve only included ones where I had something to say, whether it be in general on what was shown or due to a game being shown I was interested in so any not included are just because I literally had nothing to add beyond that I watched it ^^;

I also apologize for the delay a bit with this! I had been sick and had… a lot of feelings about Pokemon and Animal Crossing but here we go!

UploadVR

To be honest, we originally debated on skipping this conference. We don’t have a VR headset and at the current prices, it’s hard to say if that’ll ever change.

I also just don’t personally care much about the concept of VR. I don’t like wearing some headset (or things on my head/face in general) and most of the gameplay I’ve seen for the games that DO grab my attention could easily just use the mouse or keyboard to play versus needing to work through VR which would also make them more accessible to people too.

Despite my frustrations with VR, I’d be lying if I said none of the games caught my attention. I did think these looked really fun and would want to play them if they weren’t VR– The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets and Garden of the Sea.

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets, despite a bit of an odd trailer, just looks absolutely adorable with a mystery you need to solve by traveling through different minature worlds and solving puzzles. The graphics are adorable and I wish I could play it.

Meanwhile, The Garden of the Sea is kind of a cross between Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon–you have a small cottage in a magical world and can grow a garden, pet cute animals, and explore the area. I always enjoy these types of games.

Honestly, I’d love if maybe a version of these games was considered not in VR, but I know it’s unlikely. I also wanted to just say that Dance Central VR reminded me of an old dance MMO you could play with the keyboard where you could dress-up your character and I’d be tempted to try that too, again, if not VR.

The PC Gaming Show

PC Gaming Show’s issue continues to be with the pacing and just what they focus on as their panels always feel like they are going on forever and not in a good way. They focus a lot more on how a game came to be versus the game itself and most of the time, I found myself having to go back to see what game they were talking about as the title was only flashed for a moment.

That said, despite the slow feeling of the show, one game did catch my eye– Cris Tales which takes inspiration from classic JRPGs and has an interesting time mechanic where you can switch between the Past, Present, and Future and your choices/activities will effect things.

The art style is super pretty and I really enjoyed the music in the trailer as well. There’s a demo up on Steam until June 24th and I had a lot of fun playing it :) It’ll be up on my channel early this morning.

Also, if you find the premise interesting, Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers also has a feature of traveling in the past to solve a mystery in the present which is what seeing this game made me think of.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft started off with an orchestra of Assassin’s Creed music which, while odd, was still nice to listen to. And of course, being Ubisoft, we did eventually have a full dance party with the dancing Panda and everything for Just Dance (Speaking of which, it’s nice to see them continuing to make it for the Wii as well as a lot of hospitals use it for physical therapy to help patients, but I was kind of surprised the Wii U wasn’t used–I mean, in theory it makes sense, but it was still surprising to literally see a later console skipped). Honestly, if Ubisoft ever doesn’t do a dance concert thing for Just Dance, I’d be concerned.

Moving onto the games, Watch Dogs: Legion looks really good. The first Watch Dogs had pulled me in, but what they showed and what the game ended up being were… really different. I didn’t have much interest in Watch Dogs 2, but Watch Dogs: Legion looks really fun in a more over the top way, especially with so many different characters you can play as.

Finally, the only other thing I really need to say is I’m disappointed to see yet another gaming company doing a subscription service. In general, I’m not a fan of subscription services, but the biggest reason for why I’m not is I just… get so little out of them. There isn’t even to pull me in. It’s bad enough how many things have their own launcher now on top of it.

Square Enix

I’m probably the only Final Fantasy VII fan who really has little interest in the HD Remake. In my defense though, I don’t care much for HD Remakes in general–I’ve played the game before and unless there is new or changed content (*coughlikeAerithcansomehowlivecough*), there isn’t any real appeal to me. Also I do not want to see my favorite character die in high definition.

Moving passed that, Dragon Quest Builders 2 looks like a lot of fun. I had really wanted to play the first one and even downloaded the demo, but just didn’t have time. I’ve been told the 2nd has everything the first does and is a huge improvement (though, I will miss out on items that are given for having played the first game) so I’m hoping I’ll at least be able to pick up this one.

Even though Square Enix didn’t have much that grabbed my attention, it was still nice.

Nintendo

Finally, we have Nintendo which definitely had the game I’m probably most excited for. Firstly, we got two new Smash announcements. While I’m not really playing SSBU anymore, I was really excited about both characters that were announced as I know how many people have been wanting them. Dragon Quest is huge and Japan and so many people I know, myself included, played Banjo Kazooie and have really fond memories of it (here’s hoping it brings us a new Banjo Kazooie game too!). For me, I actually can’t really think of a character I would be all OMGIWISH*name*WASINSMASH. I mean, sure, I have favorites where if they were in Smash, that’d be cool, but I have several characters I enjoy playing as and one thing I’ve learned with a lot of Nintendo’s more competitive games is what I like best and how I play are two completely incompatible styles, unfortunately. On the bright side though, this means I can’t be disappointed. I think, if I wanted anything, it’d be to customize certain fighters with other appearances or options or even be able to adapt certain fighting styles as your Mii. That’d be kind of cool.

I’m also excited for Luigi’s Mansion 3 between Polterpup’s return, full on character/portrait ghosts, and multiplayer, this feels a lot more of what I wanted from a sequel than what we got with Luigi’s Mansion 2.

We also have Link’s Awakening which I never played, but just find this style super cute. AND THE AMIIBO LOOKS AMAZING:

I hope they make a Zelda one too.

I still don’t really know what to think about Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I’m intrigued, but mainly curious–I feel it’s a game I’d enjoy watching more than playing at the moment.

Pokemon Sword & Shield still genuinely looks amazing. My only real worried with it are the National Dex concerns in the sense of where my Pokemon will go–as I mention there, I don’t mind if I can only play with Pokemon in the region to start. I usually do that anyway. But please let me bring over my other Pokemon after I finish the game :/

Similarly, I really want to see more customization. With silly things locked in Sun/Moon (colors) and Let’s Go Pikachu (Outfits and you were stuck with one set appearance), I want to hope this game will be a bit more “freeing” in options and not lock you out of things because that kind of ruins the point of customization.

Also Wooloo and Yamper are adorable.

We also had Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo Olympics which, honestly, I still love these games. They’re genuinely pretty fun. I can’t help but be excited for it.

Finally, and of course, the most important game of the press conference for me: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Now, you probably already know from Twitter and one of my previous posts, I’m very excited for it. But I’m also really happy and relieved that I AM excited for it.

On one hand, it should be a no brainer right? I think anyone could tell you how much I love Animal Crossing and how passionate I am about it, but between Happy Home Designer (which I really do love, they just needed to vary the themes a bit), Pocket Camp (which just missed the point of AC and burnt me out beyond reason), and various personal things, I was worried I was burnt out and wouldn’t care.

But I still care. I care a lot. I have so many feelings about it, feelings about friends I made with New Leaf and everything before things just became… sad and frustrating. And I just can’t wait. All I keep thinking about is what I’m going to do, how I’m going to set it up.

And I was so worried how I’d ever make anything even close to my New Leaf town, but now I have… new inspiration. I still will generally follow in a similar goal, but with a bit more natural element. The big thing is I want to not use any patterns for the floor/island itself. In the house? Sure, but I want to do all paths and water effects naturally and I’m hoping a lot of those items from Pocket Camp will make it over.

I can’t say enough how much I’m looking forward to playing and having a daily blog and video series again. It’ll be great. It already looks so beautiful.

———

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think the press conferences I enjoyed the most were Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s. The announcement for PSO2 was easily the most surprising for me, but the game sticking for me the most is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which I’m thankful for as I was really worried Pocket Camp and some personal situations may have ruined that for me. I can’t wait for PSO2’s English release and to be able to play Animal Crossing again <3 For me, this was a fun E3 though and there's definitely a lot to look forward to so 2020 should be a good (although expensive) year.

June 16, 2019

On the National Dex situation…

While writing through my press conference thoughts (don’t worry, it’s still coming!!), I found myself deviating a lot from the main subject to really go into the current controversy in Sword and Shield with Galar’s National Dex. As to not completely sideswipe my original intent, I figured it may be best to try and talk about it on its own instead.

At the initial core of the subject, I’m not really bothered if Galar only has its own dex to start… I usually try to play through each generation for the first time with Pokemon only found there so for my initial playthrough, it really doesn’t effect me.

The problem I’ve found is everything surrounding it. Ignoring if we even got pokedex entries for every Pokemon (which, even if they could be imported in Gen 7, not all Pokemon had Pokedex entries), I usually liked to do the Elite 4 again with my favorites to get them new ribbons. And now that won’t be an option unless they added the option later.

My biggest fear is more of what I’ll be doing with my Pokemon. During the press conference, it was mentioned that Pokemon Home would essentially be Gen 8’s “Pokemon Bank” replacement which is fine, except for one issue… You can’t transfer Pokemon out of Home except to Sword and Shield:

And then we learned some portion of the Pokedex will not be able to be transferred to Sword and Shield after all.

So then what? Are my Pokemon trapped there? Will they never get to be in a Pokemon game again? How long will Bank around? Out of everything, this is really what keeps popping up for me the most. I have hundreds of Pokemon (probably closer to thousands) that may just end up poofing into thin air or being trapped in some box and that sucks. While I have hopes that Pokemon Home could maybe be similar to Pokemon Ranch and/or Channel, there’s no information confirming that right now or changing the issue at hand with the fact that it’s a one way transfer for a large amount of Pokemon.

To make things more frustrating, my favorite Pokemon is a Mega Pokemon–Mega Audino. Now, honestly, I hate battle gimmicks. I find them uninteresting and generally don’t even use them. But Megas had some pretty great designs and even with Z-Moves, some of the animations were pretty fun. While they managed to bring Megas along into Gen 7, from the sounds of things so far, it seems like Dynamaxing may be all we get in Gen 8, which, you know, fine, whatever, I really don’t care at all about Dynamaxing and it’s probably better to just have one battle gimmick per game, but it’s also so frustrating.

I’ve been saying since Megas started that I wish they’d just make them form changes (Akin to Alolan forms, Deoxys, or Meloetta) or actual evolutions depending on the Pokemon. They can have different types and maybe some stat changes, but not be too different. Seeing those designs just essentially be tossed really sucks. And sure, maybe it’s not the first time (We’ve had Spiky-eared Pichu and the Cosplay Pikachu), but there were a lot of unique designs and while I didn’t care for all of them, this is still 48 (50 if you want to include Kyogre’s and Groudon’s primal forms) designs tossed right out the window.

And I’ve never even liked the idea of Mega Evolutions, but god did I really fall in love with some of the designs. And what really frustrates me with Pokemon is they keep doing this.

They keep making interesting mechanics and then tossing them for the next generation. They want to gear to hyper competitive people and keep it interesting to them (Which tournament rules exist, you can do plenty there already) while also focusing on the extra casual group of people who are maybe coming in from GO and are just… forgetting everyone there in the middle.

And it sucks. There are SO MANY cool things in the Pokemon World already, including so many amazing Pokemon, and instead of just using them to the best of their abilities, they are busy making things more convoluted or gimmicky when it’s not even needed.

You know what I’d like to see as a battle gimmick? Bonds that mattered. I want the Pokemon I spent so much time with, traveled multiple regions with, to be able to have those high level stats that maybe only certain Pokemon would have. Forget EVs and IVs, let the experiences they’ve gone through be enough. I want to destroy those tier lists with my Dragonair, Mega Audino, Slurpuff, and Stufful, I want to show that sheer determination and effort and dedication can actually mean something.

We see it happen SO MUCH in the anime with Pikachu and other Pokemon, why can’t we have THAT in a game? You want unique battles? You want to turn things on their head? Let the Pokemon we’ve grown up with grow up too and show them what they can do versus hatching eggs for 5,000 years to get a specific shiny natured one. There’s a way to completely break the meta if connections actually mattered. Because right now, when we can’t even transfer our Pokemon to Galar and possibly to anything ever again? They don’t mean anything anymore.

June 11, 2019

Animal Crossing: New Horizons!! (Breaking things down & my thoughts)

So, I still have my full press conference thoughts coming soon, but I really want to break down my thoughts on ACNH separately because, well, I have a lot to say and think about. I know some people are upset that the game won’t be out until 2020, but ignoring my own personal reasons of relief from that date, I kind of expected it. There was nothing beyond a teaser until this point and with Pokemon also out this Holiday season along with Smash’s updates, I would’ve been very surprised to see Animal Crossing added to that. It being next Spring just works out a lot more in my opinion and helps it stand out.

I’m also VERY happy the game has a universal release date this time… I just need to… debate if I am crazy enough to try and buy it from Australia or something for an extra day of play despite my hate of downloading digitally.

Anyway, I’ll be talking a lot about the details of the trailer and the Treehouse segment currently happening so if you haven’t at least seen the trailer, be sure to watch it!!:

I love the little ticket look and the whole traveling by trip thing to this island. Considering we had the higher quality models from Animal Crossing Plaza and a bit from Pocket Camp as well, I’m hoping most, if not all, characters will make a return including new ones.

To start, the initial thing I’ve noticed is everything seems to have a bit of a rounder/softer touch–our character also seems a bit older/taller again:

While I may be looking too much into it and it could just be an atmospheric touch, I am wondering if the specification of it being “The Deserted Island Getaway Package” is that we’ll actually have other packages we can check out.

Anywhere from being able to check out other islands to maybe things like “The City Getaway Package” where you can live it up in an apartment and/or some kind of exploration focus or traveling aspect. Maybe it could even be a DLC option.

I think that would also give a lot more to do. While I loved Desert Escape, I’m not sure how I’ll feel about an expanded game mode on that, even though it DOES seem like some usual Animal Crossing features will still be around. Essentially, we started living it up as Mayor and are now camping on an island.

And it really does bring in some new features from Desert Escape such as collecting materials (though, twigs from trees is new) and some of the crafting aspects (which in the game prior, was only partially through Cyrus).

You can get twigs, lumber, rocks, clay… Definitely a lot to work with. On the bright side, if you’re not a big crafter like me, you also have the option to just buy more.

I will say axes being able to break is something I’ve never enjoyed so I’m not thrilled by an even more flimsy one :P Unfortunately, it looks like everything has a flimsy version:

Which between this and the farming makes it feel even more like Animal Crossing crossed with Harvest Moon.

On the bright side, being able to place furniture anywhere on the island is really great and it’ll be fun to decorate the island as well as your tent.

On a side note pole vaulting is amazing:

And you can apparently just… dig up trees? Definitely makes moving them around easier if so.

Also, I love seeing Olivia just sitting there and I’m hoping we’ll see a lot more from villagers too.

I wonder how many villagers can be on the island with you. It’s also really nice to see the Villagers in different outfits?? Eunice has a jacket instead of just a scarf and Freya actually has sleeves!! AND FUCHSIA IS WEARING A DRESS:

Also that red set with the white hearts for some of the accent is new and really cute. Maybe for Valentine’s Day??

There’s also more inventory space–up to 20 from 16 (and you’ll see the pole vault item there in the third slot):

Unfortunately, still no designated tool section, but maybe that can change in the future.

We can even make natural paths:

It also seems flowers will actually bloom and you can see what colors they will be as they grow.

And being able to play with 8 characters is so cool!! I’m hoping we’ll be able to pick everything from the get-go like in Pocket Camp and Happy Home Designer. Though, I will admit I’ll miss the face quiz… but I’ve gotten the same face in every game anyway just answering honestly. (Edit: Polygon has confirmed you WILL be able to select your appearance at the start of the game like in PC and HHD and IGN confirmed there will be new facial features and hair as well–I’m personally hoping for a nicer ponytail)

It also looks like the back items that were introduced in Pocket Camp a few months ago will be a feature in New Horizons as well. Similarly, we have different skirt shapes on dresses and the overalls which would essentially be additional one piece outfits (sure, maybe it could still be a top and pants, but it looks pretty seamless). There’s also the flower crown on the orange ponytail girl and I wonder if that may be a crafting recipe. I’m also so excited about local couch co-op as well which means I can play with several members of my family who love this game–even all at once:

In the new footage on the Treehouse, they confirmed that we’d be able to move things in halves like Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer rather than full squares which is nice and offers a lot more decorating opportunities. They also confirmed the new flowers/weeds and one thing I find really cool, being able to see some of the special NPCs (like Nook and his nephews) walking around as well:

Moving onto the Nook Phone, seeing all the blank spaces makes me wonder if you can get more apps for it in the future (Edit: It’s been confirmed there will be more apps for it):

Fishing has also been expanded with clams you can use to make fishing bait (I would guess there could be other baits you can make too). It seems you can get ideas for new DIY recipes which is really cool:

Clams are indicated by these little shadows that spurt water which is really neat:

I just hope it won’t be too convoluted and it won’t be like “YOU CAN’T GET THIS FISH WITHOUT THIS BAIT” because like. dealing with the weather and seasons is enough, Nintendo.

If you missed the Treehouse presentation, the whole thing has been uploaded:

The treehouse also confirmed that the Southern Hemisphere is catered to as well as the Northern Hemisphere this time around with seasons changing. And with the Villagers also being in debt to Nook, it looks like they can have house upgrades as well:

I wonder if we’ll have any input towards them?

Finally, I wanted to bring up Polygon’s post about Isabelle: Essentially, it sounds like you’ll be building up the population of the island until it resembles more of a village further encouraging the idea of really… starting from the beginning to build up a town. The island will feature development levels and as it increases, we’ll see new characters added including Isabelle. I’m guessing this is how we’ll get more stores and characters in too which is really nice.

The map already looks pretty great:

I’m personally pretty excited about cliffs again. And we can see two tents set up as well perfectly aligned which makes me hope there’s either a stricter villager designation or we can place them ourselves. (Edit: IGN confirmed we can place villagers’ houses if we don’t like where they’re placed. Two random villagers are picked at the start to go on the getaway with you.)

IGN’s interview also confirmed that any kind of Pocket Camp connectivity will just be with some collaboration items and that we may be able to directly gift items we craft to villagers.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll end up adding more observations and thoughts as this goes. But honestly, I’m excited to play. It feels like it could almost be more relaxing in some ways and honestly, I could use that. I’m so looking forward to playing with so many people. I made so many great new friends with New Leaf and I look forward to playing with them again and making new friends as well.

For those who followed my New Leaf blog, I WILL be doing a similar blog series, just over here instead :) And with videos and streams again too. I can’t wait.

June 10, 2019

E3 Day 0 & 1 thoughts~

So, with the press conferences having begun, I figured I’d at least make my E3 thoughts as usual :) I know I won’t always have tons to say, but it at least gives me a good idea on what upcoming games I want to get.

EA

EA had put up their schedule ahead of time so I knew there wasn’t too much that interested me. Regardless, it was exciting to see more of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order both here and at Microsoft’s (and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it again at some point during E3) which looks great. BD-1 is so cute and I loved how they had an actual one at the conference.


I’m really hoping some version of it could end up showing up at the Droid Depot (and even custom droid making) over in Galaxy’s Edge. Fallen Order also just really makes me miss playing SWTOR :(

The only other thing to stand out for me, unfortunately, was the new Sims 4 expansion which I’m so behind on expansions right now, isn’t super on my radar. I think it looks fun and I loved some of the new content it showed, but I think I like the idea of the Sims more than actually playing it. I don’t really play it to the full extent it could be, partially due to getting overwhelmed easily with too many options, and so I’m not sure when I’ll get around to picking it up along with the other expansions I’m missing.

The other thing at this point is it just gets so expensive picking them up too and I don’t know, some of these features I just wish made it into the full game. In general, it feels like games are often coming out a bit more bare bones because they can just patch it later or do DLC and it’s kind of exhausting to deal with.

Microsoft

Microsoft was absolutely my favorite of the day because despite technically also only one thing I was super interested in (that said, there were multiple things I liked or had some interest in, but only one thing that actually hyped me up), it was just a… fairly hyped up conference by the end. It absolutely started off slow and despite mixed feelings I’ve seen from some people about Keanu Reeves being there, I don’t really mind “celebrity” presences–I hope he does like games and he seems nice enough.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a weird game to me as I’m really interested in creating a character and the world, but I don’t know how much fun I’d have actually playing it so I may do something similar to when I played Fable 2 and 3 with my husband.

Ori & Will of the Wisps still looks absolutely beautiful and I really want to play it… But I still need to play the first game so it’s my goal to try and do that before the sequel ends up coming out. I get chills every time I hear the theme from the trailer for this game though and I absolutely love several songs from Blind Forest’s soundtrack as well.

Spiritfarer also looks like a really pretty game, but I don’t think the story itself is for me.

The Legend of Wright is what grabbed my attention next as it reminds me of those activity books you can buy for long trips or are available for kids through restaurants. I actually love those kinds of things so I felt a huge wave of nostalgia just looking at the game.

I really want to learn more about the game, but it’s definitely on my list of games I’m thinking of getting.

We then hit the full Indies slideshow which I always have mixed feelings on. I think it’s great to see Indies at the show, but it goes so fast and I don’t always manage to get the names or get a good idea of what the game is even about. Despite that, there were a couple that caught my eye:

  • The Good Life– I actually backed this game on Kickstarter and it’s looking really nice so far. It’s a mystery game where you play as a journalist/photographer and I’m still really excited for it.
  • Felix the Reaper – Honestly, the main character makes me think of Baymax from Big Hero Six crossed with Bob from Overwatch. The premise also seems kind of interesting, but also a bit sad.

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s main feature was that it looks really pretty, but I’m curious if they expanded it in any way or it’s still super focused on just being a flight sim, but in HD.

That said, it’s genuinely so pretty, I may have fun with it anyway. If only to fly and see all the animals.

12 Minutes is what caught my attention next, though, I think it’d be a game I’d prefer seeing Let’s Played over playing myself. In some ways, it made me think of 999, but I’m guessing there will be less talking to people through time and space.

Forza Horizon 4, which I genuinely still need to get, is getting a new expansion that is Legos themed and just… really made me wish there was kind of a Legos Racing game that was similar to Modnation Racers which was a great game and I’m sad it only really got one main installment.

We then hit something I don’t think I could have ever predicted showing up again, let alone thanks to Microsoft: Phantasy Star Online 2. The game came out in 2012 in Japan and was originally said to be out 6 months to a year later in English. Despite a demo with some dubbed voice lines in English, the project suddenly stopped getting any updates altogether in English. The site even closed down in 2017.

I had started playing the game in Japanese with a few friends and had a lot of fun with it, but the amount of hoops we had to jump through to stay updated, patch, and even be subscribed to the game was frustrating and it’s the main reason we stopped playing.

So to see the game resurface all of a sudden now after so many years is mind-boggling. I’d love to see them let us transfer our characters in some way, especially as I worked super hard on mine:

But I’m so happy it’ll finally be available in English. My head has honestly been reeling from this announcement since it happened and is part of why I’m still up at nearly 5AM buzzing with excitement. I still can’t wrap my head around that this even happened.

My husband has recently gotten into the Tales of Series due to one of our friends and so they were looking forward to Tales of Arise which honestly looks really nice. I really like this character’s design:

The sword pulling made me think of Dantalian which just makes me all the more curious about the game’s story.

Finally, Project Scarlett, the next “Xbox” was brought up and while we originally felt we would be unlikely to get another Microsoft console considering how little we play our Xbox One, the conference itself won us over to feel otherwise and pick one up anyway. Halo Infinite also looks really good and I’m looking forward to it. While I am a bit tired of new consoles at this point, I just hope it’ll be nice.

Bethesda

I sadly don’t have much to say about Bethesda, but I guess I’ll start with the Fallout 76 updates. While I’m happy they’re updating the game for those playing, I feel some of the features they added should have been there for the start (Like… NPCs and storylines). It shouldn’t have just been an empty sandbox. I’ve never been fond of Battle Royale modes so I have nothing to really add there, but it’s nice to see some improvements.

They did bring an update to Blades, their mobile game, but ironically, it seems to have just made some quests harder over more balanced. Or maybe they were supposed to be that hard before and weren’t–either way, I still feel stuck in the game no matter how nice some of the items in it are.

I will say one big issue I felt from Bethesda’s panel is a lot of the games they showed had fancy trailers, but really didn’t explain what the game was about or what was going on. Like a lot of flashiness, but not much substance.

Devolver Digital

If there’s a press conference I’ll have even less to say about, it’s this one. Devolver Digital continues to be more about its performance over any kind of news which I know some people have fun with, but I don’t. I’d take endless Ubisoft dance party parades to this.

It’s gore-y, it’s not funny, and it takes up so much time which I guess is to just fill in that they didn’t have much to show.

Despite that, I actually did enjoy a game they showed–Fall Guys.

It reminds me of some of the more obstacle-focused game shows (Like Sasuke/Ninja Warrior) and some of my favorite Mario Party minigames. It’s just fun courses to try and go through as quick as you can. I just hope maybe you can play with smaller numbers if you just wanted to play with friends and/or be able to play against AI versus 100 players always.

———————

And that finishes up my thoughts! Our next conference is in about 7 hours now and I’ll likely either do a post with them later or tomorrow after Nintendo’s as well so Nintendo isn’t all by itself.

May 19, 2019

In which I talk a bit more about Pokemon Rumble Rush

While I’ve already spoken a bit on Twitter and even in the description of my youtube video, but I just kind of… wanted to talk in length and get some thoughts off my chest.

I love the Pokemon Rumble series a lot. But I like it generally as a more simplistic concept. It’s essentially a toy Pokemon beat-em up game and honestly, I find it works. They can add new levels. They can add more Pokemon as it grows, but it seems they also want to constantly add more features and honestly, I don’t think more features are necessarily bad, but often the ones they HAVE added for Rumble have been rather constrained or convoluted and it doesn’t really need to be.

In a similar sense, while Pokemon Rumble Rush seems to be a bit simpler like the original, it doesn’t seem to know exactly what kind of game it wants to be having both functions that encourage short term play and functions that would be much better with constant playing.

You can absolutely balance these and I will say the game can definitely be played free to play, but it can be a bit frustrating as it almost feels like its mechanics contradict themselves.

Some of the good things the game does is that you can endlessly explore up to three maps at any given time that you did find. They can be overwritten (and you can only lock one of the three at a time) so it’s best to explore until you’re good, but they stick around.

However, the actual map searching is kind of frustrating. Essentially you can have up to 5 feathers at a time and then drop them on a map hoping to land on certain coordinates. I have fairly tiny fingers and yet still constantly do not manage to land where I want to. Coordinates are shared, but without any proper way to put them in, it’s pretty much RNG and just hoping maybe you’ll be close enough the game pities you.

The big “pay” function is the ore system. You absolutely do not have to pay for it. You can have up to three ores queued at a time and one being mined at a time unless you pay for a 24 hour upgrade (which brings it up to two total ores that can be mined at a time). The big issue is if you have a 4th ore, you can not adventure until you get rid of it. On a bright note, you CAN toss it with no penalties if you have all three slots filled. If you want to toss one in a slot or when you have less than 3 slots filled though, you are only allowed to toss up to 10 a day.

For the most part, this is great and I often find myself tossing the regular (Ore) or uncommon (Unusual Ore) ones when it comes down to it as for me, they’re just… not usually as worth it. Ores take 30 minutes to refine, Unusual Ores take 3 hours, and Rare ores take 10. The problem comes when you have three Rare ores and find another. It costs 300 Poke Diamonds to immediately refine a Rare Ore.

Essentially, you can either use Tickets (each ticket removes an hour of wait time) or Diamonds (30 diamonds per hour so 15 diamonds for regular ores) to speed up the Ore mining process. Ores are the main way to get coins (You can earn them from adventuring too or sending Pokemon back, but it’s not much) with 500 from regular ores, 2,500 from Unusual Ores, and 7,500 from Rare ones. They’re also how you get upgrades for your Pokemon which help a lot when it comes to grinding to get over certain walls.

And there are… a lot of walls. I recently got over a particularly brutal one (*shakes fist at the first Blastoise fight*) and have now been trying desperately to get a Gyarados map and a Blastoise map to prepare for my first Charizard boss. What the game does to help with this is that your Pokemon can actually automatically go through the maps and you just need to click through the results which can… help save some time honestly, as again, you will need to grind a lot. I probably farmed at least two hundred grass Pokemon before finally getting a 1,500CP one by some miracle.

Unfortunately, and this goes back to the issue I mentioned above with short play sessions and long play sessions, you have a limit to how many Pokemon you can have at a time so you’ll often end up needing to clear out your box. I usually have to after about 10 rounds of maps and it just… gets tiring. You get SO many Pokemon and it sucks constantly going back and forth.

On the bright side, I really do feel the cons and contradictions are relatively small issues and can probably be fixed up or adjusted with patching. What I’d really love to see if a friend’s system and being able to share maps easier as the RNG is just exhausting sometimes, but over all, I have been enjoying it a lot and while I do prefer playing Pokemon Rumble on a console, it’s not too bad as a mobile game.

In which I talk about something a little different

If there is one thing I really don’t do often anymore, it’s watching TV and movies. I’ve found most TV Shows are just… not that interesting anymore, either due to overdone concepts or lasting much longer than I care for. With movies, while that is a similar issue, it’s also issues with trailers and what exactly passes and I find myself preferring to look things up before actually seeing anything. And even then, I don’t necessarily mind waiting to see something later with very few exceptions.

But of TVs and Movies, the ones that generally coincide with me the least are dramas. I’ve never cared for soap operas or the over-dramatic tragedies of whatever crazy thing happens. This was especially the case with any Asian Dramas I had seen bits of due to knowing multiple friends who are really into them. I just… couldn’t get into them. They felt too over the top. I couldn’t connect to the characters.

Regardless, while looking for references for yet another failed art project that will likely remain unfinished, I stumbled upon this image:

The dress reminding me of my own wedding dress and curious what it was from, I did some searches which brought me to look up a lot more about “Go Back Couple” (Also known as Confession Couple), a Korean Drama.

The plot sounded interesting enough: “A couple has fallen out of love and are having troubles with their married life get sent back 18 years to their 20-year-old college selves and decide to make different choices”. So, I figured I’d give it a shot.

As per usual, I suck at talking about things without spoiling so consider this your warning if you would like to check it out.

I want to say from the premise, it hurt. I could tell the main issue was they weren’t communicating (and while I couldn’t figure out just how far this went, it was apparent to me from the get-go)–she didn’t understand why he did so much to his job, he took for granted all the little things she did, and so when the final straw hit and they decide they want to divorce, it broke me. And I cried. It was the first episode and I was already in tears.

And let me tell you right now, I cried a lot. I’ll admit I’m overly sensitive and it’s really not that hard to make me cry during a movie or a show, but I found myself caring so much for all of the characters so quickly and I really didn’t expect that.

Everything is amazingly acted, I found everything hit such a chord with me in so many ways including some of my own worries for the future. And of course, it wasn’t always sad, there were many more great moments and plenty to laugh and smile about too. I’d actually consider rewatching it which as someone who generally doesn’t rewatch anything, that says a lot for me.

The big thing that comes from their journey, besides generally acting on things they were too shy to or immature to really handle then (as they still have the memories of their 38 year old selves), is learning a lot more about those they care about and also making different choices for the future… But at the same time, still rekindling those feelings for each other and realizing how they fell apart and just how important they still were to each other. At first, it felt a lot of it was just for their son, Seo-Jin, which while I found important (after all, if they didn’t get back together, Seo-Jin wouldn’t exist), I really wish there was more focus on Ban-do and Jin-joo’s relationship and what they meant to each other because that really was the important part. They could take care of Seo-Jin even if they weren’t together, but it was them finding what went wrong and how much they still cared for each other and realized just how much they would do for one another that they started just… taking for granted.

One of the big moments is when Ban-do is given some peaches as they’re Jin-joo’s favorite. Only he’s incredibly allergic. His hands break out in a rash just touching them. And he forgot how much she loved peaches because she would always order any fruit or anything without peaches. She wouldn’t get them anymore because he was allergic.

In a similar sense, we eventually learn what ended up fracturing their relationship was Jin-joo’s mother’s death. They ended up not making it to the hospital as Ban-do ends up getting pulled into a gang fight and thus, they don’t get to see her before she passed away. Jin-joo never got to say good bye and it wrecks her. She’s also angry at him despite knowing that it wasn’t completely his fault, but she had trouble forgiving him. But Ban-do was so busy trying to comfort her and make up for it, he never grieved himself and it wrecked him too.

Through out the series, Jin-joo is clinging near constantly to her mother in the past due to what happened. At the same time, Ban-do is doing what he can to help even while avoiding Jin-joo for a while because he cared for his mother-in-law a lot as well and missed her. Trying to find out if there’s anything they can do at the hospital, trying to just spend more time if possible because who knows when this will end and they’ll be back.

Jin-joo also harbors a lot of anger with her father due to him wanting to “move on”, but in the end, he was just lonely and missed her mother so much… But didn’t want to tell Jin-joo that. Back in the past, her mother tells her to make sure she spends a lot of time with her father and to bring her son around as he will miss her so much which turned out to be very accurate.

I still think a lot about Ban-do’s speech on how hard he tries and it just… doesn’t always work out. And it sucks. It really does. Especially when you have to keep apologizing for failing even when you’re trying your hardest to just make things right. Of course, while Jin-joo and Ban-do’s relationship is the focal point of the series, it’s not the only relationship that ends up getting touched upon with their friends also getting quite a bit of development.

Jin-joo’s best friends are Yoon Bo-reum and Chun Seol. Bo-reum actually dated one of Ban-do’s best friends, Ahn Jae-woo, only for them to break up in the future and Jae-woo to essentially be a wreck for it. The reason they broke up was because Bo-reum apparently can’t have kids and she didn’t want to disappoint Jae-woo. And like the general theme (you’ll be seeing me saying this a lot), communication is just so important and this is why it happened. They get back together in the end and decide to get married and work it out which is great, but Ban-do and Dok-jae (Ban-do’s other best friend) were both really upset with Bo-reum feeling she was just playing with his feelings which was a worry in college as well.

As for Seol, she actually disappeared during their semester and they were never able to find her which is one of the things that gets changed with their going back. She had gone to work at a restaurant to help her family earn money, but in the end, felt ashamed for dropping out of school and couldn’t get the nerve to talk to anyone again about it.
In the back to the past timeline, Jin-joo actually shares how Seol’s mother put up wanted posters which she originally didn’t mention to Dok-jae which gets him to reveal where Seol is as she’s working at his father’s restaurant. This helps Seol reunite with her mother and go back to school and again, as I said, communication is so important.

The story is full of a lot of fun friend moments and bonding and it really hits so many good notes while also highlighting just how important it is to try and talk to those you care about. And I know it’s easier said than done, but trust and communication are the two most important things in every relationship.

I’m not going to talk about Mr. Cheating Doctor jerkface, but I’m happy he got what he deserved and that his wife got a better ending in the future. That said, I hate that he apparently never learns his lesson.

Finally, I want to bring up Min Seo-young and Jung Nam-gil. They aren’t exactly part of the friend groups above, but each have strong story arcs connected to Ban-do and Jin-joo respectively. Seo-young is a ballerina and Ban-do’s first love. He was always too shy to talk to her and while he finally does, he now sees her more like a daughter than someone he’d want to be with. He helps encourage her to take better care of herself and follow her dreams, including merging ballet with her love of hip-hop.

Nam-gil, meanwhile, had asked Jin-joo out to make a point to his father only for Jin-joo to flat out reject him. She ends up befriending him and while Nam-gil grows to genuinely like her, even if she doesn’t feel the same way, she helps him improve the relationship between him and his family.

I will say I adore Seo-young and I’m sad she seemed to have the least amount of time of mode of the side characters. Once her arc is finished up helping her talk to her father and her realizing that Ban-do does not have feelings for her, she’s just kind of… gone. She’s not even given any mention in the future which is pretty sad outside an earlier scene where it mentions she got injured in the future and Ban-do mentions she was his first love.

Nam-gil at least gets a moment in the future where he and Jin-joo pass a glance, though, I wish they did talk or something… I would’ve loved if they ended up becoming friends. I wanted to see both Nam-gil and Seo-young join their friend group so badly.

Similarly, we don’t really see Seol in the future even though we hear from her and do know she is keeping in contact with them. We get nothing new from Dok-jae though which is… incredibly surprising considering how involved he is in the main story and part of the main friend group. I also kind of expected him and Seol to get together but nothing really seems to happen there.

I would say my only big complaints though are:
1. I wish it was a bit longer. I would’ve loved to see more on how everyone was doing and how things were effected. The time travel is a bit wonky because they change quite a few things (One of the biggest is Ban-do tells his parents to invest in something and they actually do which earns them a bunch of money). Jin-joo’s mother sadly doesn’t make it (which is… expected but I guess part of me hoped something would change), but she does have a better relationship with her father. It’s just unclear just how much things changed as a lot of things should’ve had a bigger impact with their future now. As it is, while specific changes happened to people around them, for Jin-joo and Ban-doo, it was more like they were just put back into their original bodies as the divorce was still pending and they just didn’t complete it… But so much changes around them. It really didn’t take away my enjoyment from the series at all, but I just felt like I had a lot of questions.

2. The way they get sent back to the future is by re-getting their wedding rings. We’re then showed a clip of a God and Goddess, played by the same actor and actress as Ban-do and Jin-joo respectively, tossing these rings to essentially explain how they were magic. This was just… so silly and unneeded and I would’ve loved that time put more into the characters we had seen and a stronger epilogue over trying to explain something I found myself not even questioning.

Anyway, on a final note, I loved the music in the series so much and wish there was a full high quality version of Jang Na-ra, Jin-joo’s actress, singing this song. I also have a lot of 90s Korean music on my playlist now. So many catchy songs.

May 10, 2019

Let’s talk about the Detective Pikachu Movie!

So, anyone who has spoken to me about it knows I have been looking forward to this. Since Detective Pikachu was just a game concept, I’ve been excited, I loved the game, I couldn’t wait for the movie, and had high hopes for it from the get-go. And when it came down to it, it definitely hit a lot of my expectations. I adored it and it’s probably going to be one of the few times where I actually pick up a Blu-ray of a movie myself. And possibly the soundtrack as well.

This post will not be spoiler-free so if you haven’t seen the movie OR played the game, you may not want to read beyond the next few paragraphs. I will say, however, that the movie did fix some of the issues I had with the game which was nice.

If you’re looking for a movie adaption of the game though, that isn’t what this movie is. More accurately, it’s a redone version of the concept of Detective Pikachu. The only things brought over from the game are: Detective Pikachu, Tim Goodman, Harry Goodman, and Roger Clifford. Similarly, some Pokemon from the game do make it into the movie, but not all of them. As for the plot, other than R being at the center of the plot, everything else is quite different in the long-run.

This isn’t really bad and I think the movie is still great on its own (and genuinely gives a more satisfying ending), but if you’re looking forward to seeing some scenes from the game on the big screen like I was, you may be a bit disappointed. I knew it would be different from the game, but I didn’t expect it to such an extent.

Despite this, I did enjoy the movie a lot. It does a great job at taking the game’s material and even does a much better job at the finale. The music is great (though, a bit surprising), the acting was fantastic, and it was a really heartfelt movie. I want to see more movies in this universe so badly and I adore Ryme City. I’d love more games as well. I even pre-ordered the Art and Making of Pokémon Detective Pikachu because one of the best things with the movie is just… all the attention to detail. Like I wish I could’ve just paused to take everything in more often than not because it goes by so fast and there is SO much to take in. I loved seeing all the Pokemon so much too and while there wasn’t a huge amount (Only about 7% of the total amount of Pokemon right now), it didn’t really take away from my excitement. Considering time and costs, I’m guessing that’s part of why, but I hope we’ll see more Pokemon in the future. Please include Mega Audino, guys.

I will say I was a bit mixed on the casting before seeing the movie. I didn’t really understand why they picked a different voice actor for Detective Pikachu, why Tim Goodman’s appearance changed, or any of the other changes… But it honestly worked out. Justice Smith does an amazing job as Tim Goodman and brought so much to the character, Ryan Reynolds did an amazing job as Detective Pikachu, and Kathryn Newton’s character, Lucy Stevens, who essentially takes over for (and takes the character much further than) Emilia Christie, is just a really great character and it really made the movie feel more like a group over just Tim and Pikachu with Emilia generally being off to the side. Lucy was already good to go, so to speak.

As for any further… Well, that goes into spoiler territory now.

» Read the rest of this entry …

May 7, 2019

Pocket Camp: Cherry Blossoms and Tea Parties

While for the most part, I’m still rather hands off with Pocket Camp, it, unfortunately, knows how to drag me back in–ignoring that Animal Crossing is a very special franchise to me, the recent themes the last month with one of its newest fortune cookies and some of their events was entirely my aesthetic along with adding in some more of my favorite villages (Just waiting on Cookie and then all of my favorites will be here… I know she’s in the data so just give me her already, Nintendo ;~; ).

The hard part though, while I am proud of my camp site to an extent, is the game also is so bittersweet to play. I’ve spoken enough about how much the fortune cookie system and constant events are just against the point of Animal Crossing so I won’t repeat it, but it makes it… really sad to play. I will say that not caring makes it less frustrating to play, but not caring is also against how I enjoy playing games.

It hurts to pick it up and just… not care. Because then it just makes me wonder what’s the point and Pocket Camp has kind of burnt me out enough with one of my favorite systems paired with a lot of other complicated feelings with the series. Not to mention my worries with how much the Switch version may take this–Animal Crossing is a real time game, it really doesn’t need more incentives to play every day.

Regardless, ignoring my frustrations, there is still so many nice items and features in Pocket Camp and the new Tea Party fortune cookie paired with the new cherry blossom themed items and camp environments have essentially fully allowed my camp to really hit the best it could be (Just… waiting for Cookie’s arrival):

(This is also taken at my favorite time of day in Animal Crossing–6PM, it’s the same time of day you’ll visit my town at in the Dream Suite)

And a more full view:

I mean, maybe we could still get some better Amenities (or even be able to have more than two… I miss my Castle), but it’s still pretty nice. There’s a lot of items I really want to get too and/or missed out on (Mostly fountains), but I’ve already maxed out my camp site anyway and I’m not sure I’d replace anything for them. I also am glad I was able to fit too rugs to help even it out a bit more. That said, part of me still wonders if it looks better with the Castle:

Originally, I had hoped to use the Cherry Blossom from the event, but Katie’s Cherry Blossom item actually ended up working much better:

I do miss Celeste being around though. Regardless, Katie’s swing just makes me wish even more our character could bother interacting with things.

Besides some camp site adjustments, I also updated my room in the game:

I also played around with possible Cabin layouts:

Before just fully going into a Tea Party theme:

But seriously, between the tea parties and cherry blossoms, it’s not a huge surprise I popped in for a bit… I mean, even the Fortune Cookie’s appearance was my entire aesthetic:

To end this off, I gave a few villagers some new accessories I felt fit them:

Though, I suppose Diana’s would work better in a different color. I’m really happy I got Marina so soon–I really don’t have much left to offer to Gulliver (and crafting the same items over and over again sucks) and still have several villagers I still need to get from him -_- So I’ll have to work towards that a bit during my next Pocket Camp check-in I suppose.

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