Tag Archives: Saturday Gaming Stuff

Saturday Gaming Stuff #3 (My extremely belated thoughts on the Nintendo Switch and more!)

Hey look at that, it’s that Saturday Gaming Stuff thing I used to do a while back. Well, guess what! It’s back for another round now that I felt like working on another one. This time around, I will be giving my very, very late thoughts on the Nintendo Switch and the rumors that surrounded it before its announcement, my first impressions of Pokemon Sun and Moon, and a brief look into an upcoming holiday giveaway!

Also before I get started, make sure to check out my review of Donkey Kong JungleBeat that I did a while back!

———–

My opinions on the Nintendo Switch and the multitude of rumors:

I’m going to be honest that I was probably one of the few people who thought the Nintendo Switch was not going to be a hybrid. I refused to give into any rumors at the time in hope that I wouldn’t get overly excited about any rumors that would never come true, but I’ve kind of given in a bit now considering how most rumors regarding the Nintendo Switch came true. 

Now, before I get into my main thoughts, I want to talk about a very minor detail that I seem to remember from the time when the first “NX will use cartridges” rumors came out. I mostly remember hearing a lot of talk beforehand of the nostalgia that would be brought with cartridges “returning”, and I honestly never understood the whole nostalgia part for the cartridges when those same rumors were claiming it was a hybrid. I always expected any sort of cartridge for this hybrid to be like how the 3DS handles its cartridges, which is exactly the case, which I’m not sure why that would invoke nostalgia unless the last Nintendo handheld you owned was a GameBoy Color, back when Nintendo had cartridges on the N64. It’s obvious that many were thinking of cartridges on the “NX” as being akin to cartridges on the N64 and before, as in cartridges on a home console, but it’s obviously not going to be that big of a deal. All I’ll say is that I’m glad the Switch uses cartridges, as carrying around a handheld with a normal-sized disc in it really wouldn’t be great for portability.

Anyway, talking about the Switch itself, I really love the concept, and it’s something I’ve wanted for all of my life. I’ve always wanted to be able to play handheld games on the big screen, and the same goes for home console games on the go as well. One of my main concerns with the concept of a console/handheld hybrid was seamless transition from the home version to the handheld version, which seems to be taken care of if the Nintendo Switch first look video is anything to go by. My reasoning behind that concern was that it would be very tedious to have to completely stop a game and boot it up again when switching (heh) from the home version to the portable version, which I wasn’t sure if Nintendo would come up with the right idea (gladly, they did).

Truth be told, my other main concerns with the Switch now have to do entirely with how Nintendo will handle the system. I couldn’t have imagined saying this when I was younger, but I don’t have a whole lot of faith in Nintendo’s actions now. When it has come down to game releases and decision making, Nintendo has been making many more mistakes than usual after Super Mario Maker was released in September 2015. With Nintendo’s 2015 holiday lineup being mostly atrocious (aside from Xenoblade X), Star Fox Zero’s generally poor reception, the lack of communication between the company and its fans, the YouTube content ID debacles for the past few years, the now atrocious Nintendo 2016 holiday lineup (except for Pokemon Sun and Moon), and I can’t forget MyNintendo. Since the Switch is in the hands of a company that has been making poor decisions constantly, I don’t think that it’s unreasonable for me to think this way. Unless Nintendo has been funneling all of its good decisions into the Switch, I’m going to remain skeptical until January 12’s Switch presentation.

Overall, I really like how the Switch looks, and it’s an idea I’ve wanted for a long time. However, my dislike of Nintendo’s recent decisions have made me very skeptical of the console and its success.

Pokemon Sun and Moon First Impressions:


I can’t believe another brand new generation of Pokemon is already upon us! I seem to remember so clearly the time leading up to the release of Pokemon X and Y, only to be disappointed upon finally playing the game. This time, I kept a much further distance from the constant leaks and news releases of Sun and Moon (*cough* CoroCoro *cough*), but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t excited when the release date became nearer and nearer. I try to deny being a big fan of Pokemon sometimes (my username doesn’t help, however), but whenever a new Pokemon game is finally out, I start to get hooked for a few weeks. The truth is that I do in fact really like to play these games, and I might just have been given a sour taste from X and Y. 

Anyway, getting into what this section is actually supposed to be about, I have very positive first impressions about Pokemon Sun and Moon. Now before I say anything else, I got Pokemon Moon (that legendary Pokemon just looked better to me), and I noticed something pretty wrong right off the bat: in Pokemon Moon, night and day are swapped. During normal day hours, the in-game world is set 12 hours ahead to night, which means that normal daytime players (like myself) will need to set the 3DS clock ahead by 12 hours if you wish to play during the day and see much of the game’s beautiful scenery and day-only Pokemon. Besides that small gripe I have right from the start, the game seems to largely be a tutorial during the first of the game’s four islands, but even then, I’ve had a blast playing through this first island. Game Freak has seemed to have reinforced all of the weak points of Pokemon X and Y and then some, and that includes writing, character development, creativity, trainer AI, and even Pokemon Amie from X and Y has been rebuilt into the new Pokemon Refresh menu option. 

Pokemon Refresh is a big highlight to me for making a very strong reason to care for a digital creatures for minutes on end. With Pokemon Refresh, you are able to pet your Pokemon all over (to find their sweet spot), feed your Pokemon a different assortment of colored Pokemon Beans, and even cure status ailments and other small annoyances after battle. By building a strong a relationship with a Pokemon using Pokemon Refresh, your Pokemon will begin to get bigger EXP gains from battling, and your Pokemon will occasionally land critical hits more, hold on with 1 HP after a big blow, and even cure itself out of sheer will during battle. It’s safe to say that the benefit for using Pokemon Refresh is very huge in this game, and I absolutely love it.

There are a lot of other smaller nuances I’ve noticed that have really been great too. You’re now able to catch a Pokemon in the wild and always have the option to add it to your party and to send another Pokemon to a PC box, which is a really nice addition, and it cuts down on awkward moments of having to travel back to a Pokemon Center just to use the Pokemon you just got. Another nice addition is that Pokemon Centers are now a lot more compact, and yet it has another new shop that basically sells drinks (that only the player, not their Pokemon, can drink) and gives out sometimes obvious hints or little references to other Pokemon games. This new shop is also how you get Pokemon Beans for Pokemon Refresh, but I’ve not entirely figured out the requirements for the shop owner to give you them. I thought perhaps you’d receive Pokemon Beans once a day, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Also, you can catch a Pichu in this game very early on, and you’d better bet that I took advantage of that opportunity (considering my profile’s picture).

Honestly, I’ve never felt attached to my Pokemon in any Pokemon game, but this time… Perhaps it’s just the couple hours I’ve spent using Pokemon Refresh to improve my team’s performance, but I feel just a little bit attached now to the team I have in Pokemon Moon. I’m sure others may have experienced this kind of feeling in a Pokemon game before, but this is a new experience for me. I guess the Pichu has probably helped too.

Overall however, I’ve really enjoyed the first island of Pokemon Moon so far, and my only issue has been such a minor annoyance (the whole night is day thing in Moon). I’d definitely recommend this game from what I’ve played so far. If you’ve felt burned out on the Pokemon series at all, this game was most likely made with you in mind (unlike Pokemon X and Y).

Upcoming Holiday 2016 Giveaway:

Yes, I’m trying to do a giveaway once again this year! This year, however, I feel the need to expand the reach of the giveaway by hosting it somewhere else where it would get more attention. I’ve chosen to host the giveaway on Reddit on the RandomActsOfGaming subreddit on the site. There is a 30 day account age policy on the subreddit, which means that you might be excluded from the giveaway if you haven’t created a Reddit account as of yet. I’m planning on running the giveaway there for three days (much shorter than last year as you can see), and I’ll be giving away a plethora of games from the Wii U and Steam (with a few 3DS games as well). I’m still working out the details of the giveaway in terms of the dates it will run from, but I’ll make sure to give some notice when the giveaway is finally live.

———–

I’ll be honest in saying that this Saturday Gaming Stuff was a bit out of nowhere in terms of me wanting to do it, but I’ve had some fun writing my thoughts on current gaming news and such. I’ll try to get out a mini review sometime before my review of Donkey Kong Country Returns, and I’m going to be experimenting with both review types’ styles once again (the JungleBeat review didn’t showcase many changes as I was in the middle of doing the review when I began to feel the need to change some things).

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

Saturday Gaming Stuff #2 (Paper Mario Color Splash and more!)

Welcome to Saturday Gaming Stuff, where I discuss and say my opinions on various current gaming news and upcoming games. Today I will be talking about Paper Mario Color Splash, my opinions on remakes and remasters, and my current stance on what Nintendo should focus on for their next consoles.

Let’s get started!

Paper Mario Color Splash:

  

So… Color Splash, also known as Sticker Star 2 to some. 

I personally am hoping that this game will be much better than Sticker Star. My main complaints with Sticker Star were the short length, cryptic locations of necessary boss-killing stickers, and the mostly bland and lifeless levels. I’m not completely against the mission-based world that was presented in Sticker Star, but I think that perhaps Nintendo may have learned their mistakes made in Sticker Star (err… I hope anyway).

I at first was pretty angry that this was looking as if it would be just as bland and forgettable as Sticker Star was, but after watching GameXplain’s video disecting the multiple regional reveal trailers for the game, it really is starting to look at least like a good version of Sticker Star.

(GameXplain’s video disecting the Color Splash trailer:

)

 I myself wasn’t necessarily begging for a new story-based RPG Paper Mario like the original or TTYD (in fact I would have possibly preferred a game in the same style as Super Paper Mario). But my point is that Sticker Star wasn’t acceptable in terms of the usual quality that is found in the Paper Mario series, and I am still worried that Color Splash could possibly turn into practically the same experience, despite the minor improvements we’ve already seen.

I really can’t say much as to how it will compare to Sticker Star, but I’m almost certain, just by looking at the first area shown in the trailer, that it already has much more creativity put into it than Sticker Star. At this point, we just have to wait for some new info at E3 probably before I can make any solid judgments.

My Opinions on Remakes and Remasters:

  

First of all, let me get one thing straight: my definition of a remake is any game that updates a game to current hardware while making improvements to graphics, gameplay, and sound, while possibly adding a decent amount of new features; my definition of a remaster is any game that slightly improves a previous game with little changes here and there to fine tune the experience, while possibly adding extra options or small new features. As comparison, I would consider Pokemon OR/AS or Majora’s Mask 3D as remakes, and I would consider Twilight Princess HD and Borderlands Handsome Collection as remasters.

Personally, I have no gripes with the concept or even the execution of most remakes or remasters, since no one can force you to buy a remake or remaster, and they really feel meant for people who never experienced an older game (although, most are a missed opportunity to expand upon a game, which is an issue that plagues most remakes in particular). However, I do think that there’s been a bit too many of them flooding the market lately, although it was mainly a much bigger problem for the previous two and a half years, and I feel as if the remake/remaster trend could possibly be taking a break soon.

I actually have gotten very excited in the past for remakes and remasters, as most are able to revive my interest in the game being remade. Pokemon remakes, for example, really have helped bring the series’s older games, such as Red/Blue and Gold/Silver, into the series’s current generation while fixing many things that didn’t work in the original (also, these remakes usually add something worthwhile to the experience for people who have played them before). The 3DS Zelda remakes of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask really don’t change that much in comparison to the Pokemon remakes, but, even then, everyone was longing for a remake of Majora’s Mask for the four years in between it and the Ocarina of Time remake (including myself), and what we got was great. As I’ve said before, most remakes and remasters really do a good job of bringing a game to newer consoles.

As for remakes or remasters that I do have gripes with, most are ones that are released way too soon after the original with little to no changes to improve the gameplay (you could place Last of Us Remastered here as an example, since it’s labeled as a remaster and was really just a year-later port to the PS4… Although it was a very smart decision to port it to the PS4), or another example is any remaster or remake that decides to actually take a step back in terms of functionality (Darksiders 2 Deathinitive Edition as a deathinitive- err… definitive example).

Overall most remakes and remasters are pretty fine in my eyes, although some are obviously more ambitious and well-worth it (Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty or Pokemon OR/AS) than others (Twilight Princess HD or Last of Us Remastered).

What I Think Nintendo Should Focus on Next Generation:

  

I’ll be honest: the Wii U is one of my favorite home consoles to date, and it has given me more total enjoyment than any other game console (especially when you factor in masterpiece titles like Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze). 

However, it is obvious that the Wii U has not sold as well as any other console in Nintendo’s repertoire (barring the Virtual Boy or Gameboy Advance Micro). In my opinion, the whole reason as to why the Wii U is not doing as well is… complicated. One reason I think could be the key issue is that no matter what, Nintendo will always appear to be the “kiddy” company (from their gaming inception onward), and the fact is: not even kids want to play Nintendo games (and the older fans that they do have are being alienated by the company’s decisions geared toward their target audience). That’s the main reason that comes to my mind at the moment, but I’m sure that someone could find a much more reasonable reason.

So the question of what I think that Nintendo should do next generation is not how Nintendo could win their small target audience (in which most that play games don’t even play Nintendo games) to their systems or how they could necessarily be profitable, but it’s how they can create either yet another innovative and cheap system (as the Wii was), while still appealing to their whole spectrum of fans (which would be very difficult), or they can create a console that just gets everything right in every aspect (while still innovating because that’s what Nintendo tries or succeeds in doing) and still has a solid launch lineup (such as if they were to launch Pikmin 4 and Zelda “U” as primary launch titles, and if both of those titles turn out to be completely stellar products).

There’s not really a surefire way to create a perfect console that will please most everyone with Nintendo as you can probably tell, but I personally believe that Nintendo’s main issue in the modern market is the disconnect between Nintendo of Japan and Nintendo of America. What about Nintendo’s Content ID debacles on YouTube for the past four or so years? Apparently it’s Nintendo of Japan’s fault, as they’re supposedly the ones who began the automated system on YouTube that Content ID’s people’s videos for having Nintendo content (mainly music or cutscenes as I’ve heard). This is one thing that has potentially taken many people away from becoming fans of Nintendo, and it is, and still will be, hurting their reputation for a long time.

I don’t know what they should do in the long run, honestly. There’s been rumor of the NX being a console/handheld hybrid, but nothing has been confirmed or even shown of the console(s) yet as of today. In the end, even if Nintendo’s next console isn’t as profitable as the Wii, DS, or 3DS, I can at least be sure that the games will still be just as fun as ever and enjoyable as they’ve always been.

Thanks for reading this (I hope lasting) return of Saturday Gaming Stuff! I won’t be doing this every week (I’ll only do one when there’s something noteworthy to talk about), but I’m gonna try to make all further Saturday Gaming Stuff posts into at least three topics from now on (potentially four or five near E3 time).

(Also, the DKC2 review will come out within a week, even though I said that it would come out within two weeks about two weeks ago. Whoops!)

Once again, thanks for reading! Seeya!

Saturday Gaming Stuff #1 (including Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 First Impressions, and more!)

Yep, you read that right! This “weekly” post that I had been doing sometimes on Mondays, has now been moved up to Saturdays instead! Since that’s out of the way now, if you don’t know what this special post series is about, it’s where I take 2-4 gaming topics that I don’t think I could justify an entire blog post, and I clump them together in a more concise manner, while cutting away any possible filler! All right then, let’s get started!

Continue reading Saturday Gaming Stuff #1 (including Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 2 First Impressions, and more!)