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!
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!