Crystal Dreams

October 7, 2019

On creating a character

This is probably one of the most different posts I’ve had here, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot due to trying to create a new character. And I… really struggle with character creation.

I don’t even mean just playing around in a character creator– I generally can make things work as long as I have options. And while I tend to pick very similar options to validate inner turmoil as a child who repeatedly became disappointed in doll aisles, it’s really working from “nothing” where I end up running into the problem.

Character arch-types aren’t enough for me to envision some grand scheme of things, why Character A is doing this or what they want. Who they fall for, if anyone. Why they do what they do. All it really does is give me an idea of the personality and what they hope to do, but not the why.

People can create elaborate backstories for their character off the bat, but for me, that back-story has to come based off what they’re doing. What my instinct is for how a character would react in that situation and figuring out the why later, as if the character has securely locked their past in the furthest corners of their mind and each key unlocks a step further. The environment and the story shape them as do their decisions and so it’s rare that anything is as simple as it starts.

Which especially makes things complicated in a setting where you need to know all the details ahead of time because I never do. My husband has wanted to try D&D for quite a while and with me starting a whole dice collection because I love rocks and they reminded me of like… certain aesthetics combined with rocks, it finally got into “hey, maybe we’ll try doing this”. While I have slowed down on the dice collecting (though, I am still waiting for some to come and am looking forward to certain Kickstarters).

In the short run, I don’t think it’s something for me. Between character creation issues and my general shyness with RPing due to issues with my writing, it’s just a very stressful affair for me, even though I’ve known everyone involved for at least 10-15 years. I also have a tendency to get too immersed in situations and something bad happening can cause me to empathize too much with how my character feels and nobody needs to hear me crying about whatever random thing has effected me at the moment. It’s especially an issue when I can’t personally read certain tones of voice and due to playing a character that is not me, I need to just be… better at reading that and working with the skill-set given to me and the dice rolls I get and it’s not exactly easy. Especially when skill set-wise, said character should be able to solve a puzzle and then I roll a 1 and apparently just had a sudden stroke instead.

I also know my not talking is quite the inconvenience, but I don’t like talking. Too many instances of pronouncing words wrong, lisps, and my breathing issues and it’s a rough situation. Add on that my issues with hearing tones of voices also leads to me not being great attributing my own tone to what I mean and it’s just easier for me to write it out as if I was writing a story or we’d probably never get anywhere.

Regardless, going back to the main subject, developing a character as you play isn’t exactly helpful in a game where someone needs to know about your entire character’s story to plan their story. Which makes things really awkward as more develops in your head and another person isn’t on the same page. Especially when you’re incredibly anxious about sharing anything you create or come up with due to constant paranoia of it being the worst thing ever.

For the most part though, it’s made it very clear to me that I don’t really like making characters. I like writing and developing characters or changing things up to see how characters react and learning about them, but I don’t like starting from nothing. Even with my imagination, rather than feeling like I have everything at my fingertips, it’s more like I am surrounded by so much color, I can’t see. It’s too bright.

I don’t think I would’ve even gotten as far as even making a character for this even if it wasn’t actually a scrapped character idea for something else that didn’t work out. I had come up with the hair and name, but couldn’t find anything to stick and then realized there was another character with similar-ish hair and at the same time, was losing interest in the game, so I just kind of pushed it to the back of my mind and then when I needed a character, well, I had something to work with. And that plus combining the idea of not wanting to do what I usually do character-design-wise, Masara was born:

Art on the left by Shattered-Earth, Art on the right by tshuki

And if she wasn’t, I’d probably have ended up going with my still unnamed Fire Emblem Heroes character:

Art by Autumn-Sacura
She’s still relatively blank, despite liking her design. And that’s also why I’m actually more attached to my Robin from Fire Emblem: Awakening who despite having this huge story she’s part of, I had a full idea for her and even a writing project that I’ve just kind of kept to myself:

Art by Selaphi

And even when my characters look similar or have some shared traits, their story is always different– their motivations, why they got to such a point. No matter how similar they look.

But it’s always a Work in Progress. And while in a sense, all characters should be, character development is important, I don’t think it’s meant to be to the extent I end up working with. Especially when some kind of one shot comes up and all your mind can come up with is a blank box of nothing because I apparently have the creativity of a teaspoon.

October 4, 2019

In which I talk a bit about things after all (Random Animal Crossing: New Horizons thoughts)

So, despite saying I wouldn’t really talk much about stuff from the Direct on Twitter, I couldn’t help it to an extent. For the most part, I’ll just be talking mostly New Horizons in general rather than just what was shown in the Direct last month, but just things I’ve been thinking about a lot.

For the most part, I’m generally excited for the game. It looks fun already, New Leaf brought a ton of new people into the fandom so if region-exclusive stuff does happen again, hopefully everyone will have lots of friends to play with. Not to mention with seasons actually taking the lower hemisphere into account, people can work together to complete their encyclopedias faster than ever before (no time traveling needed).

But I find the main thing I have in mind right now is just… a lot of questions. As games are now region-free, will they pay attention to what shop you get the game from? Will you get to choose a country when you start? Animal Crossing, being a real time game and where things kind of progress as you go, the earliest you can start, the better. Even if I start playing at midnight, it means I can still get ready and prepare as much as I can for the day to start. It may seem silly, but one of the ways I really made progress with Pink Sea was making sure, at the very least, my debt with Nook was paid off each day. So that first debt? Paid off the same day. I worked hard earning bells to pay them off immediately. Same for Public Works projects– I tried not to let any take longer than a day. Plus, I would empty out every single shop and then either sell back or give away the items I didn’t actually want or plan to use. That may be a bit excessive, sure, but it meant I was progressing and unlocking things quicker and for me, that’s the best way I can plan things out.

I’m a super detail oriented person, but I can’t really work in parts– I need to have everything together in order to fully break it down. Anyone who’s watched some of my Happy Home Designer videos may notice I have a tendency to just dump out everything and then from there, work on sorting and placing. I’m not really super into surprises and I like having an idea of what I want ahead of time. Which makes things a little complicated with HHD where with a worldwide release, it’s a little harder to prepare for. Thus, right now, my main goal is just to pay things off quickly and do as much as I can.

I think my main hope is a more “natural” Pink Sea– some of my favorite new items in Pocket Camp have been the waterways. I’d love to see them adapt in some way where, if there is one next to it, it automatically connects in a flowing canal versus wood/stone/etc. patterns at the end of each end irregardless. In general, I’m hoping to see the best things from both Pocket Camp and Happy Home Designer in this game with all the additional items and customization, but I hope it’ll still to AC’s usual pacing and not Pocket Camp’s constant energy as I just can’t keep up with that.

Regardless, I’d really like to keep the game pattern free this time outside of like… the town (or well, island) flag. I don’t really have anything against patterns, but they take a long time and I wouldn’t really call myself artistic. At most, maybe I’ll do recolors of certain existing outfits if anything, but I think Animal Crossing has a lot of great outfits already, especially in Pocket Camp, and with so many new designs, I’m curious how that could effect things. Can we pick different dress styles? Just another thing I’m super curious about. Even if I do go the outfit route, I don’t think I’d want to go the path route again. I’d like to try and keep things just to official items, especially now that we can place any outside.

I would say my biggest worries with the game right now are that the ordinance system is likely not going to return (I’d love to be proven wrong though) and the… fruit energy meter?

(as a side note, I can’t wait to see all the new hairstyles… come on wavy ponytail that is NOT a sidetail…)

We still don’t really know the full low-down on how this works beyond seeing the character eat an apple, the number go up, and then it going back down 1 as they dug up a tree. And you know, sure, digging up a full tree is a bit crazy, but Animal Crossing isn’t exactly super realistic in the first place. For me, this is just another Quality of Life thing, which is always good in a real time game.

But Animal Crossing has enough walls with paying things off, unlocking shops (Heck, I’m tempted to hoard clothing just in case Gracie has fashion tests again…), and progressing in general. We even have the Nook Miles app which will unlock new recipes.

I don’t want something akin to an energy system. If I want to spend hours picking up and moving every single tree, just let me do it, game. Landscaping is a big deal in Animal Crossing. And like, I get it, fruit doesn’t have much use other than to sell for some early money, trade with friends for other fruit, and look pretty, but to be blunt, not everything needs this big ultimate use. I’m trying to not jump to conclusions on it because we still don’t have much information yet, but it’s one of the things that has me most concerned (The other being crafting, though, it looks like the game is doing it in a fun way).

Moving back to the ordinances, honestly, if it wasn’t for the Beautiful Ordinance, Pink Sea wouldn’t really exist. Or well, it’d be a lot less pink at least. I kind of hate watering. Like if you ever wondered why my Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons fields are filled with grass and I just take care of animals, this is why. I find it way too monotonous and it just doesn’t vary enough for me not to get bored with it. Considering how differently flowers seem to work (with you just harvesting the bulb– it also makes me wonder if the breeding system could be more akin to how it is in Pocket Camp than how it currently works), I’m really curious if they will need to be watered every day still or maybe just to grow or what. At the very least, this’ll make it a lot easier for me to have a bazillion pink flowers.

Despite these few concerns, I just find myself excited about what’s to come while also being super overwhelmed on just how I’m going to set things up. I don’t necessarily want to make a copy of my New Leaf Town, but I do think it’ll be similar as that’s just how my tastes and aesthetic tends to go. While I’m still undecided, I’d like to be able to just have my main character versus three others this time, though, I liked being able to make so many different “house themes”.

I’m curious how big our house can be in this. I think right now, I just am longing for any new details. I don’t really feel impatient as I’m not in any rush to March– I still want to plan and think it all out. But at the same time, I genuinely am looking forward to playing and just seeing how much I can do.

August 27, 2019

On recent events, Mobile games, Game Events, & Visual Novel adventures

To start, I want to say I won’t only be talking about mobile visual novel games (though, some of the ones I will be focusing on are either mobile only or available both on the web and through mobile), but this will cover a range of different mobile games along with some other games. If you’d like to skip some of the personal stuff about why I’ve been relatively MIA and playing a lot of mobile stuff lately, you can click here to scroll on down.

In general, I’ve been having a rough time focusing on most things lately. It’s as if my mind is a giant static quagmire where a train exploded and is raining with wreckage. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is and there’s so much happening, I’m too stunned to move and can only stare in shock. And every step, it’s as if a landmine goes off and suddenly, there’s a whole other pile of crud that I can’t even start to begin to process before something else happens. To make matters worse, in the brief moments where everything is not explosions and fire, it’s just static elevator music where I can only wait until it ends to process what to do next, except it never does and even knowing that, I’m still just stuck there, staring aimlessly at nothing. To give a bit of an idea on how rough it’s been, this post in particular has been in progress for several months now.

I started this site, the various blogs I’ve done, and even doing more on my Youtube channel primarily for me– things like keeping track of my thoughts, wanting to log my gameplay, wanting to have recordings to revisit… I don’t enjoy replaying games, but I like seeing screenshots and memories of those adventures. And some people showed up and then there was the extra feeling of always worrying about letting people down– because I always worry I’m never doing enough, even when it’s just me.

So I know a lot of people want to see Miitopia finished up and Pokemon Ultra Moon and MySims and Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Happy Home Designer and for some reason more Tomodachi Life even though I can’t think of a single thing to show there and maybe even some of the extra puzzles in Lady Layton and some of the bazillion other games I’ve started and didn’t finish and with very few exceptions, like games I just could not enjoy no matter how much I try or games I feel are done, I want that too. And there is no one more disappointed than I am personally when the only thing I can upload is the visual novel of the day.

I actually recorded the really cute Hogwarts Mystery Pet side-quest and was looking forward to uploading that once I finished editing… Only to have accidentally permanently deleted it. I can’t redo the quest. It’s just gone and I’m still kicking myself for it. I’ve set up multiple times now to continue multiple different games as well that I’ve had in progress, but something always comes up or I just don’t have time. To bring up something more recently, I’ve had a set game schedule for streaming and testing some 3DS stuff (as I slowly fix Audio issues because of course I have to hit more problems when I’m struggling enough already) for weeks now, but something either comes up such as tech issues or I end up being sick again (for the record, this week has been a combination of both).

I collected a whole bunch of dream addresses for New Leaf, planned to do something small for Tomodachi Life, and also wanted to get back to Pokemon, but the same problems just keep happening and it sucks. And it’s easy to say “Push through it”, but that’s not always possible because it’s like there’s a barrier you just can’t push through no matter how hard you try.

And that’s why I’ve been playing a lot of mobile games lately. To feel like I’m doing something without having to deal with sound issues, graphic issues, lag issues, a broken chair, or when I just am stuck in bed or sneezing like crazy.

I will say if there’s one thing that’s come out of all of the Mobile game playing, it’s me figuring out what kind of game I wish there was. There’s a lot of Mobile games I’ve enjoyed, but I’ve noticed one big issue with them: Excessive amounts of brick walls.

With the exception of Animal Crossing’s real time schedule, I’ve never been fond of feeling the need to constantly check in with a game (and even then, New Leaf pressed my patience a lot with the moving mechanic issues). I’m very much a play until I’m done type of person and while I can deal with grinding to an extent, I’ve never been super fond of the “sit around and wait” unless there’s plenty else to do… and most of the time, there isn’t.

Whether it be energy bars, being locked out until you have a certain amount of something, needing to constantly log in to keep up with things, or just waiting out timers, it’s incredibly frustrating to just… not be able to progress. And I get the idea of wanting people to log in a lot and check back, but I am much more likely to check in for new content or when I know something is happening than when I get burnt out due to constant timers and thus, feeling I’ve missed out on too much to want to bother.

I’ve found myself using a lot of “Auto modes” in games with fighting because I just don’t have time to keep up with it and it gives me time to work on the bazillion other things. And when I barely have time for that mechanic, the last thing I feel like doing is waiting for when a game will let me play it again.

This was part of why Pocket Camp’s events became so overbearing. Ignoring the fact that you rarely got any breaks, that was reinforced with the fact that unless you paid to speed things up, you either had to depend on others (which wasn’t always an option) or wait. Wait for flowers to grow. Wait for bugs to be left. Wait for more Gyroids to spawn. Wait for more fish to spawn. Everything was on a timer and you could only do so much of an event at a time unless you could just buy tons of leaf tickets and speed through it (and even then, not everything can be sped through– such as seasonal events that have you gathering items from many of the various other events and completing certain tasks… Or how many events now feature crafting items that require Leaf Tickets. There is so much you have to do a day in order to be prepared and keep up with everything and that’s… absolutely exhausting. I’ve had more “enjoyment” with Pocket Camp when I just play randomly at my leisure, but being such a completionist in AC, it’s always bittersweet seeing how much I miss or just can’t get without laying down a lot of money.

Part of why I enjoyed New Leaf so much was thanks to the ordinances, I was able to focus on building up my town without constantly having to water flowers to keep them alive and worry about cockroaches or trash. I could take a few days off if I wanted. Which the broken moving mechanic ruined to an extent, but I digress.

Going back to fighting games, if the brick walls aren’t enough, it’s how convoluted games can get with features. Keeping things simple isn’t always a bad thing and for those who play more casually or just want to have characters they like, it can be a lot to get their head wrapped around all these mechanics and events across multiple different games. I don’t think new modes are necessarily bad, but the constant putting the bar higher on what you need to make your characters the best is exhausting. Like oh no, you suddenly need 5 Dragon Hearts!! Time to play that brand new mode that makes your currently trained team useless!!

This is especially frustrating when a game has a PVP element to it as whether they want to or not, their game is already paid to win. Players with money to spare can keep rolling to get all their characters powered up, quickly farm things, and just generally get things done quickly without grinding as much as other players have to. I don’t really consider myself a Free to play player, but I am no where close to high end and with how I tend to play, I generally am on the par of a free to play player– I just don’t mind paying for a character I really want.

And new features aren’t inherently bad, but there’s a difference between something like Fire Emblem’s Tempest Trials (which thankfully are balanced so much better now) and the Aether Raids and Tap Battles and Grand Hero Battles and other wars and constant new weapon crafting and just, it’s really not needed. I can’t even keep up with all the game modes anymore.

Going back to Pocket Camp again for a moment, we also get this with Gulliver where him having exclusive items is one thing, but they then went and gave him various villagers you can only get from him and at most, have a 50-50 chance to do so… And then you have to go through Blather’s Treasure Trek to unlock them further and just like… Maybe don’t do that? They already had it when new villagers were added, they were usually the first to show up, it didn’t need to make it more complicated. I honestly am just tired of crafting items for Gulliver just to have a chance at a villager at this point.

In general, I’ve never been super big on crafting in games– hoarding tons of items and grinding for materials by doing the same thing over and over again has never been fun to me, even less so in mobile games which have incessant amounts of timers and energy bars that only let you do so much.

As for Visual Novels, their brick walls are generally more located in any kind of energy or unlock system. While some games at least give you some things daily (such as My Candy Love), others are on specific types of timers (like Choices), or even require ads and roulettes (like Chan Prin). Dialogue or movement will then use up that energy in those games, or for ones like Choices where a Key unlocks an entire chapter, you get certain choices locked out instead. Some games do both– having an option that costs extra energy to pick, and honestly, I hate systems like that.

Besides often being the answer that would be “correct”, it’s also often something like “Be a decent human being” versus “Be obnoxious” and when you have games like this where what dialogue you pick should be a feature, it sure doesn’t feel that way.

Similarly, in the sense of a visual novel format, it’s honestly not super fun being forced to just have to stop in the middle of dialogue whether it be because you ran out of energy or need to save up for a special choice, it completely cuts off any kind of immersion. And I get that games need to earn money, but I think I’d rather just be able to “buy” a chapter and then play it freely with no pauses on choices. I definitely prefer buying visual novels to just… have as a lot of the mobile and browser games miss out on a lot of really nice features such as saving, loading, and skipping.

And just… it’s frustrating because a lot of these games may have interesting concepts or good stories or fun characters and eventually, I just don’t check back. The notifications only work for so long before I get tired with another 10 minute waiting sequence. I like to just sit down and sink my time into a game and if I want to put a lot of time into it, I’d like to be able to. And that’s the thing with a lot of events, yeah, maybe you can finish them in the allotted time, but it also means you need to play them nearly every chance you can too. There aren’t many break days. And at that point, it feels less like a game and more like a job. And I already have a job. Too many. I don’t need something that I picked up to try and relax to turn into one as well.

Going to a different kind of mobile game, and generally one of my favorites, it’d be more collection-based games. Collect cool trinkets, have them fill out a museum or room, collect animals, color pictures, etc. Unfortunately, to balance out the free to play nature, I’ve found they have often come with some really annoying features that ruin a lot of the fun:

  • Constant Timers – Waiting to be able to open a gift or for whoever to return to come back. Or until you can start work again because your character needs a break.
  • Limited to how much you can do – Only so many things can be set to open or only one thing can be sent out to search or you only have one thing you can do ever. This is ESPECIALLY frustrating with limited time things or games where the selection rotates so if you’re not fast enough (and in most cases, you will not be unless you use a premium currency), you could end up missing out on things due to being too slow.
  • Lots of ads – I don’t mind endless banner ads at the bottom. Even ads to speed things up is okay or to get a bigger reward, but when there is an add every other time I do anything in the game, it just gets annoying. Like all I’m doing is trying to play and I’m just constantly hit with ads.
  • Subscriptions – Because rather than just let people buy a game, let’s lock a whole section off that requires you to pay monthly, usually $10-$15 no less. That is the price of an MMO subscription.

It’s greedy and discouraging and pays heavily into the feeling of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in some cases in order to get people to spend to not risk missing out on things. Which is a shame because some are really cute, but that’s just garbage. And the timers would be less frustrating if there was literally anything else to do or a feature that can be worked on that maybe didn’t have a timer rather than being forced to wait yet another thing out.

I think if I ever tried to make a mobile game, it’d be combining a lot of those types of games and finding a way to make it fun and still earn some money without being cheap in the way it’s done.

Finally, to finish this off, I wanted to talk about Game Events which is something very popular with a lot of Indie Games and Mobile Games and is generally the act of patching an event in when they want and then removing it when they feel like it. And there are many games that I have stopped playing due to this.

Again, I get the point of wanting to get people to keep checking into your game… But I’d check in to see the new features eventually anyway. But when I’m constantly on a time limit to do some event that maybe I didn’t even know about, that fun level drops completely and more often than not, I may end up not picking up the game again. It sucks missing out and when your only chance of maybe getting what you missed is up to the developer, it’s hard to feel motivated to keep trucking along, especially with a game with a collection aspect to it.

I shouldn’t have to constantly have a bunch of game launchers up, be on a mailing list, subscribed to every social media account, AND be in a discord to keep up with every little thing for a game when it comes to important updates and events. The amount of discords and facebook groups for game events and keeping track of news and updates is so immense, I had to make a Discord just for gaming groups. And I still can’t keep up with it.

And just, I really can’t say enough how once again, this makes something I like to play for fun and on my own time suddenly turn into a job. If a developer wants to add in a new event, great, cool, that’s fine! But maybe consider making it a recurring ingame thing that a player can trigger and not something that gets turned on and off at their own leisure.

It’s incredibly frustrating and exhausting to have to spend hours and hours just hitting brick walls in various games trying to get as much done as possible. It’s a balancing act of different chores and it isn’t fun. And it’s even more discouraging when I’m not feeling up to doing much lately and then I can’t even succeed at something that was supposed to be relaxing.

I genuinely think a lot of mobile games have potential, but I think they need more faith in their player base versus the constant addition of new and higher tiers and timers. People will come back if you update. People will spend if they feel supported and communicated too. But drowning people out discourages so many people and it just isn’t fun anymore.

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!


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 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.


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 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 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.


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.

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