A Bizarre Weekend with Pokemon Rumble World

 

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Before I went out of town this weekend I went down to my local library to see what kind of 3DS games they had. What I was really looking for was Fire Emblem: Birthright and for the past couple of weeks every time I visited the library it was there. But of course this time, when I actually wanted to play, it was checked out. Go figure.

So I instead opted for Pokemon Rumble World because it looked sort of interesting. I remember downloading it once out of curiosity, it’s a free to play title on the 3DS complete with micro transactions and mobile-esque timers. But i remember it being kind of fun, a super easy action RPG with Pokemon. Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know what the retail version was like. Ever since Pokemon Mystery Dungeon I’ve enjoyed the Pokemon spin-off games a little more than the main ones. Nevertheless, It was a really strange experience.

Like most mobile games it hooks you in with easy but fun gameplay. Your Pokemon has one or two moves and you go around beating up hordes of other Pokemon. THere are different balloons you can buy which are basically packs of Pokemon and dungeons that you can enter. They either drop some coins or a collectable version of themselves that you can then play as. There’s the same arbitrary power ranking like in Pokemon Go. associated with every Pokemon drop. At the end of the dungeon there’s a boss a bigger more powerful Pokemon that will either drop a lot of coins or a supped up Pokemon. the dungeons take between 2-3 minutes and afterwards the balloon goes on a timer to inflate. Of course you can always bypass that by using the premium currencey. There are also challenges you can do to get some diamonds and of course you can annoy your friends with requests to play to get more diamonds

The game gives you 3,000 Pokediamonds, the premium currency, and a diamond mine that you can use once a day to get 40 diamonds. This is actually pretty good considering it only takes one diamond to inflate a balloon and only a few diamonds for special upgrades like better Pokemon drops and faster Pokemon. At first the game seems kind of predatory. Some of the timers are 4 plus hours with the shortest ones being 20 minutes. But what I found most interesting is that even if you play the free version you can only ever buy 3,000 diamonds or whats included in the retail version. After which the game gives you a diamond mine same as the retail version and you can’t buy any more.

I’ve never heard of a pay cap on a free to play game, you would think that limiting the amount of money you can extract from each user wouldn’t be great for your bottom line. But it is great for the player especially when we are seeing more and more games who rely on the “whales” and the players with less financial self control to turn a profit. I’d like to see more of this kind of business model who knows maybe what’s good for the players can also be good for the companies as well.

It turns out Pokemon Rumble World was good for my 3 hour road trip. It’s a great time waster but the charm wears off after a couple of hours. It turns into the same repetitive, non challenging game play and collect-a-thon. Which is great for scratching a grinding itch if you have one. One thing is for sure, there are a lot of Pokemon. In my short time with the game i managed to collect 191 of them, that still leaves over 500 more to go.

 

Revisiting Guild Wars (The First One)

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9 and a half years ago I created my Guild Wars account. 9 and a half years, that seems like an awfully long time ago. In those years I managed to put in over 1,500 hours into the game with many of my main character having 230 hours of play time. I don’t think I’ve ever played a single game that long since and probably never will again.

In the past I’ve tried to make it a point to go back every once and a while to open my birthday presents and see which mini pet I would get this year. Apparently it’s ben a long time since I’ve done that because each of my characters had 4 presents waiting to be opened today. It’s crazy to think these characters are old enough to be in the  2nd grade!

Guild Wars was my game in high school. I first came to it after being fed up with being a free player on Runescape and not having the means to become a member. Guild Wars was a physical box I could buy with cash and didn’t have to pay a subscription afterwards so no credit card needed. I loved the world, the classes, the battle system. I loved that max level was 20 and there were hundreds of skills to choose from to make builds. Most of all I loved the fashion, all the armor and weapons was the same stat wise at 20 so everything was viable to wear.

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Over the years I’ve ran the content to the ground on at least 6 characters. My stable of 10 still has some stragglers that I never quite got around to playing. My assassin was my main with the most hours clocked on him but my favorite class has to be the ritualist. I haven’t played a game since with a class quite like it from the mobile spirit turrets to random jars you can carry around and drop for different effects.

As you can tell I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately about the game. One thing I’ve never done is finish the Prophecies campaign. As soon as I got the Factions expansion and realized how easy it was to fully level a character I never looked back. I even tried to take some Factions and Nightfall characters back to Lion’s Arch to try and finish the campaign but I never got too far.So last night I decided I would try to beat it and if all went well and if I was still enjoying the game I’d revisit the other expansions as well.

So I rolled up a Mesmer, a class I never really got around to playing, and was hit by a wave of nostalgia as I entered the Pre-Searing. With Guild Wars being in Maintenance mode for years now I’m really surprised that there are so many people still running around in Pre-Searing towns, and by so many people I mean like 5. I would of thought it would have been a complete ghost town, surprise surprise. I’ve only done a few quests and run aorund to a few towns. I don’t know if I’ll end up sticking with it but it’s like seeing an old friend again for now and it’s kind of a cool feeling.

Siralim 2-PC/ Mobile Cross Saves

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A few weeks ago I picked up a game called Sirlaim 2. I had gotten the first Siralim during the steam summer sale and proceeded to play it for hours on end. It’s been described as a mix between Pokemon and Dragon Quest Monsters the latter which I have never played. Basically the premise of the game is you are a king (or queen) of the castle Siralim. Bad things are happening and you and have to save the kingdom. You do this by exploring randomized dungeons with a menagerie of monsters who you can catch out in the wild and train to progress. It’s kind of like one of those hero collector mobile games except you only pay once and can get all the content.

At its core Siralim and Siralim 2 are a dungeon crawler grindfests with no end. Monsters gain levels, weapons equipped to monsters gain levels, your castle can be upgraded, there is a lot of things to craft and a lot of materials to be farmed. The name of the game is progression for progressions sake and to see what how many types of team comps you can come up with. But the best feature of Siralim 2 is the PC/Mobile cross-save.

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I bought Siralim 2 on steam for $15 and had no interest at first of getting the mobile version. After I few days I found myself wishing I could take it with me. So I went to the Google Play store and found that the mobile version was an additional $5. Best purchase I’ve made gaming wise in a long time and I’ve put more time into the mobile version than the PC. It’s such an easy game to pick up and play during some down time and when I want to play it longer I can export my save to the cloud and pick it back up on my computer.

I wish there were more of these especially for smaller indie games. Sure a lot of games have mobile ports or more commonly a lot of mobile games have PC ports and end up on Steam but this is the first time I’ve seen a game that has PC/Mobile cross save. It’s a feature I didn’t know I  wanted as I don’t see my phone as a platform for gaming. There have only been a few other games The only other game I’ve really played on mobile was the port of Dragon Quest. But playing Siralim 2 on my phone has turned out out be at least as enjoyable as playing on the PC.

 

FFXIV-Another Dragoon is Born

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I buckled down and actually got the Dragoon Job Crystal this week. Last week I was so excited that my lancer finally hit 30 and I’d be able to move on to the Dragoon life but apparently I hadn’t leveled my Marauder up to 15 yet. Which is weird because I could have sworn  I had every class to at least 15 most of them to 20. So I took up the axe and finished getting all the medals for the Yo-Kai event minions and slowly but surely getting to level 15.

It’s always fun to change job titles. Dragoon just sounds so much better than lancer,and now I can jump around like a mad man. The best part of not being a lancer anymore is that the lancer class story is over. I mean, it wasn’t terrible but compared to some of the other class quests it was a little boring. Just a lot of go show me some courage, courage is super important for a lancer, and this guild is pathetic I’ll give you a real challenge and so on and so forth.

 

The quest to get the Dragoon job crystal doesn’t give me much hope for the Dragoon job quests having a better story. Actually when I completed the quest I was kind of wondering whether i really wanted to be a Dragoon after all. The quest has you gather information about a thief and this thief turns out to a mysterious Black Dragoon who is apparently the best of the best when it comes to Dragooning. I’ not so sure that I want to join an organization who’s best member is a their it seems a little shady….good thing poking monsters with spears is so much fun.

On a side note, Heavensward finally arrived from good ol’ Amazon. It took a little longer than usual but it’s here now. The problem is I want to take the dragoon through it because I feel like a DPS is going to be more fun than a healer to do Main Scenario Quests with. I guess I could always get the last 2 levels on my Bard but I’ve heard not so great things about the job after Wander’s Minuet. Decisions, decisions.

The Hunt is Afoot

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For a while I’ve been craving a hunting game. Not a Cabala’s Big Game hunter sort of game but a Monster hunting sort of game. I’ve really enjoyed the Monster Hunter series on the 3DS for a few years I bought the last 2 installments but when Monster Hunter Generations  came out just a few months ago, I wasn’t all that interested in buying it.

Don’t get me wrong, Monster Hunter is awesome, It was the reason I played the Wii so long and the only game I bought the 3DS for. What other game has you go around killing giant monsters, carving them up wearing their skin, making weapons out of their body parts, and beating up other monsters with them to repeat the cycle. I love the idea behind the games like crafting new and powerful weapons and every fight being a boss fight. But the 3DS just isn’t that great of a device to play a game like this on. The screen is really small, even the 3DS XL feels claustrophobic after a while. For a game that requires you to put in at least 15- 20 minutes per fight, playing on a small screen for a long time can get tire some. So I started looking to see if there were any of these types of games for the PS4.

I turns out that there are actually quite a few of these types of games. Unfortunately most of them are on the PSP or the PS VIta. That’s when I stumbled upon the God Eater Series. I’ve seen God Eater 2 Rage Burst (ah I love JRPG titles) on the PlayStation store for a couple of weeks and decided to watch the trailer out of boredom this weekend. It was exactly what I was looking for, monster hunter-like game on the PS4.

I’m not the type of person to run out of my house and go get a game on a whim without a little research. Apparently if I bought the physical day 1 edition of the game I would get the first game, God Eater Resurrection, as well.t seemed like a really good deal 2 games for $60, so I drove down to the local Gamestop and picked it up. I’m actually glad I got the physical edition the case art looks so cool!

Right now I’m about 3 hours into God Eater Resurrection and loving every minute of it. It’s really scratching that hunting itch. I’ll write more about it once I’m further into the game.

 

Back to the Backlog One Game at a Time

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I haven’t actually beaten a game in a few months. I think the last game I’ve played all the way through was Tengami in June. Part of the reason is it was a busy summer and the other part is that I can never seem to stick with a game very long. I like plaing he beginning and then somewhere through the middle I walk away from a game intending to return and then never do. By the time I want to play it again I’ve forgotten where I was in the story or how to play and end up starting it again and the cycle continues.

Unepic is one of these games that I really enjoy playing and have gotten a few hours in and walked away coming back almost a year later and having no idea how to play. I picked it back up again this week. There’s something about the art style and the game play that are really hooking me in right now and it has a great sense of humor.

The whole idea of my personal backlog challenge was to play more of the games I own all the way through. Now that things are slowing down in real life I think I’ll get back to playing through my steam library. Though I had a system of playing games from the shortest playtime to the longest I have no interest right now in playing any of my games on deck.

I’ve always been a little envious of people who played single titles for a long time, really getting their money’s worth out of a game. I’m trying my hand at the whole one game at a time thing or as close to it as I can with Final Fantasy 14 in the mix. But I want to avoid the trapping of playing games to play them.Sometimes I get this way with books where it becomes more about finishing it and checking it off the list than actually getting into the story. I want to beat the games in my backlog while actually enjoying what I’m playing and appreciating it.

 

Playing the Waiting Game

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I resubed to Final Fantasy 14 last week and ordered a copy of Heavensward from amazon. It’s a little silly that the physical copy of the game is half the price of the digital version. Lately I’ve been Alas, that’s not the case and here I am a week later still waiting for it to arrive.

It’s not that bad though I’ve decided that as much as I like my white mage, I don’t want to take him through the Main Scenario Quests anymore. Throwing rocks at things over and over with the occasional Aereo thrown in is getting old. So I decided I’d like to play a dps class. Now of course I could just take the time to level my Bard to 50 I wanted to try something new and shiny. So this week I’ve been running around learning how to poke things with a stick as a lancer. I actually got him all the way to 30 bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to go on a quest to be a dragoon when suddenly I’m informed that I have not leveled my marauder up to 15. I have every other class to 15 or higher but I guess I forgot about the marauder.

Instead of taking the time to levels into it I decided to try out the pugilist. I’ve been working my way to level 20 with it and I’m not enjoying it as much as the lancer. Though there is something satisfying to punch things to death and if nothing else I really like the class quest story line a lot more than the lancer’s. But the lancer has such flashy animations and for whatever reason I’ve always been partial to classes who have spears as weapons. Either way I want to take both to 30 and get their respective jobs before I make a decision.

Hopefully in the next few says Heavenward will be arriving  and I can at least put it on my account. The jury is still out on when I’m actually going to play it and who I’m going to take through it.