Pokemon Blue

Rachel Mii Double JumpPart one of my journey is complete!

I challenged myself to play through all the Pokemon regions before Sun and Moon come out in November.

I played Pokemon Blue, starting at the very roots of the series. I have officially made it through the Kanto region.

Pokemon Blue Kanto Rachel Poli
Via Amazon

Title: Pokemon Blue
Company: Nintendo
Console: Gameboy
How I got the game: I have the Gameboy cartridge, but I downloaded the game from the 3DS’s Nintendo E-Shop.

My Review:

I was only two-years-old when Pokemon Blue first came out for the Gameboy in February 1996. I always watched Kris play the games, but by the time I was ready to play them myself (not that I was any good at it) Pokemon Gold and Silver had already come out in November 1999.

I started in the Johto region and while I’ve played FireRed and LeafGreen, I always wanted to play the games from the very beginning.

Graphics

Considering the game came out in early 1996, the graphics aren’t that bad. The actual layout of each town and route looks the same as the other games, more or less, other than being in black and white. The sprites of the Pokemon are… interesting, to say the least. Most of the Pokemon look creepy or they’re really fat or they’re abnormally large.

But it’s fun to play in such an old school setting.

Music

Pokemon music is the best. Listening to nostalgic Pokemon music is even better. Unless it’s Lavender Town.

Controls

The controls in this game are definitely different compared to the controls in the newer games. For example, instead of just standing in front of a tree and pressing the “A” button, you have to stand in front of the tree, open the menu, click Pokemon, then find the Pokemon who knows the move Cut. Then tell them to use it. There’s a lot of unnecessary steps.

There’s a limited amount of items you can hold at one time. I had no idea that was a thing. You don’t know how many people yelled at me when they tried to give me things.

Also… The walking. I don’t know how people used to play the games without the running shoes.

Story

Like every other Pokemon game, you play the “hero.” While trying to “catch them all” and “be the very best” you must save the entire world and the whole Pokemon species from Team Rocket. Which is not something you signed up for.

Yet it’s a classic.

Overall

This game is hard. I remember it took me about 24 hours (or something around there) to complete Pokemon X. When I hit 24 hours on Pokemon Blue I was just going up against the sixth gym badge in Fushia City.

I didn’t realize how much grinding there needed to be before and after the first gym badge. In between the other badges, there was enough trainers and side story to level up, but I think it took me five hours alone just to get to the first gym. Whether that’s normal or just me, I don’t know.

I know this is the first game in the series, but this is a great starting point for people who are just starting out on Pokemon. There are no abilities, no genders–therefore no breeding–trading isn’t as easy and common as it is now… All you really need to know are the types of the Pokemon and the move types. And, if you’re new to Pokemon, that can take a while to learn. I still forget sometimes and I’ve been playing these games for most of my life.

Either way, it was great to start at the roots of the Pokemon series. I feel accomplished that I have finally played through the very first game of the Kanto region.

Pokemon Blue gets…
5 lives double jump5 out of 5 lives.

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Challenge Unlocked: Sacred Stones

Double Jump Game Review

krismii
As explained a couple of weeks ago, Rachel and I had the bright idea to challenge each other to play a video game that we had never played before. While I had played Luigi’s Mansion, I had challenged Rachel to play a game from the Fire Emblem series, and she borrowed my copy of Sacred Stones for the GameBoy Advance.

rachmii
I have never played a Fire Emblem game in my life. To be honest, the games looked kind of boring to me. But now that I’m not judging a book by its cover, it’s actually pretty fun.

krismii
I’m glad you enjoy it enough! They can be pretty heavy games and, I’ll admit, a bit tiresome when you are watching someone else play. They’re fantastic single-player games with tons of ways to customize your army. The perma-death aspect of the Fire Emblem games is also a great twist!

rachmii
I agree, I like the perma-death factor. Though it is annoying because when someone dies I feel as though I have to restart the game. I’ll admit, there have been a few people I’ve lost because it was my sixth or so time doing the same battle and I just decided to let it go. But it does make the game a lot harder.

krismii
I almost always restart a chapter while playing a game that doesn’t have the casual mode. I can’t help it. I get too attached to the characters or, if I just met them, I’m too curious as to what their story is. I understand wanting to get on with the story, though.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The story itself I didn’t understand. There’s a lot to the mechanics of the game–the different types of characters, what they can and can’t do, which characters would be better for which fight, what weapons they can use, etc. So following along with the story, which I know is a very good one, hasn’t been anything I’ve been focused on, I’ll admit.

krismii
Again, it can be a bit heavy. Perhaps after a second play through of Sacred Stones, maybe going down the other sibling’s path, you’d be more focused on the story itself. It is a lot of different mechanics, and I remember feeling lost regarding the weapons triangle and the plethora of classes. Then again, I was always the type of gamer to read everything carefully and explore every option!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
See, I just like to get on with the game play. I don’t pay too much attention to instructions. I like to figure things out as I go along, but… This game has a lot to it. Though I love the characters. Each one is unique in their own way and the art design for the characters is very nice. Like Seth. Seth is nice. And nice looking.

krismii
Ah, yes, Seth was a good character, haha! My favorites had been Colm the thief and Joshua the myrmidon. I wonder if you would have been more into the story if you liken it to Pokemon? Pick and level up your team, know their strengths and weaknesses based on their classes, focus on saving the world somehow… Overall, though, I’m glad you seemed to like it. Perhaps you’ll be willing to try another Fire Emblem title one day!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, I’ve played Pokemon Conquest. Which, is different, but along the same lines. I wouldn’t mind playing more Fire Emblem games or even this one again. I just need to get used to all the new knowledge. Overall, it’s a great game.

Do you like Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones? What’s your favorite Fire Emblem game?

Top Tuesday: Kanto Pokemon

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

As many of you know, I’ve been doing a playthrough of the Pokemon games in order by the regions.

Since I played Pokemon Blue this month, I thought I would share my favorite Kanto Pokemon.

5. Gengar

Gengar is cool. All of his evolutions are. I also think Gengar is pretty cute. Creepy, but I’m sure if you get to know him, he’s pretty cute.

4. Eevee

Tell me who doesn’t love Eevee.

3. Oddish

When I was younger, I had a fascination with Oddish. I don’t really know why, but Oddish is adorable. So that’s good enough reason.

2. Psyduck

People don’t give Psyduck nearly enough credit.

1. Charmander

Fire is my favorite type so Charmander is always my go-to guy. He’s adorable, powerful, and I just can’t get enough of him.

What are you favorite Pokemon from the Kanto region?

Virtual Reality

Double Jump Kris MiiSo, there’s this thing called a Vive…

Developed by the company HTC and Valve, the Vive is a virtual reality video game console, allowing you to play games completely immersed. Have you gotten the chance to try out virtual reality yet?

Virtual reality is more of a reality nowadays than it ever has been before. Rachel and I were recently introduced to a nifty contraption called the Vive while we watching a couple of our favorite gaming YouTubers. On PBGGameplay, PBG and Jeff showed off the Vive with a few games, one involving zombies and the other being Job Simulator, while PBG himself did a general video on it on his main channel.

From what we could see, the Vive seemed amazing. The guys were completely immersed in the games (even stumbling and falling when they forgot the counter or wall that they were trying to hold onto wasn’t really there), and there didn’t seem to be many flaws in the controls. Although Rachel and I weren’t too sure about the zombie game, considering neither of us are thrilled with that genre, we were definitely impressed with the Vive.

Seeing the videos got Rachel and me discussing what kind of games we would love to see on virtual reality. One of our top picks was Pokemon, of course. Imagine traveling and battling with your Pokemon and, if there are multiplayer or online options, being able to journey with your friends. Open world fantasy games would also be amazing, or a game where you are your own superhero (did anyone else play City of Heroes by NCSOFT when it was around?).

What if there was a game where you were the villain…?

At $800 bucks from the developers (and a couple of more hundred dollars from Amazon!), we’re not going to be getting one anytime soon, but a Vive will be hanging out at the bottom of our wish lists for some time.

What about you? What are your thoughts on virtual reality? Any certain game worlds you’d love to be thrown in the middle of?

 

Flashback Friday: Ocarina of Time

Double Jump Kris Mii Happy Friday everyone, Kris here!

Since the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the most searched for game after this year’s E3, I thought I would share the familiar and beloved Zelda game that got me interested in the franchise so long ago, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

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Although not the first game in the Legend of Zelda franchise, Ocarina of Time is arguably one of the most popular. Released in Japan and North America in 1998, it was the first Legend of Zelda game to boast 3D graphics with the help of the now twenty-years-old Nintendo 64 console.

Ocarina of Time has received some of the highest praises and reviews of all time, with perfect and near-perfect scores from all sorts of game reviewers, such as GamePro, GameSpot, and IGN. It has been rereleased for the GameCube, the virtual console for both the Wii and the Wii U, and for the Nintendo 3DS, all to similar acclaim. It was fan-voted as the greatest Legend of Zelda game back in 2011 for the franchise’s 25th anniversary, beating out Majora’s Mask in the final round.

Ocarina of Time was one of those games that got me into video games in the first place. Like Super Mario RPG, Ocarina of Time was a game that I watched my uncle play until I had gotten the courage to play it myself. As a child, I had never beaten the game myself. Instead, my favorite part was when we became adult Link and saved Epona. Riding around on the horse, like in Twilight Princess or flying a Loftwing in Skyward Sword, was the best part of the game in my little child opinion.

A couple of years ago I had played it on the Wii’s virtual console, my memories transporting me back ages like Link himself when he time travels. The dungeons, the landscapes, the characters… Everyone, every piece of scenery — from the sages to the princess to the Gerudo king to Death Mountain to Lon Lon Ranch — had their own story to share and it was utterly amazing.

And the music…! The music, written by the brilliant Koji Kondo, will always make me nostalgic. Hearing remixes and refurbished versions of the songs in the later Zelda games, like Windwaker or Skyward Sword, always makes me smile. The Song of Time and Sheik’s Theme will always be a couple of my favorite pieces.

I’m definitely looking forward to the Breath of the Wild and, despite how it is reinventing the series, I’m sure that it will evoke such feelings and create memories that are on par with those from Ocarina of Time.

Have you played Ocarina of Time? How did you enjoy the game?

Excited for the NX?

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

Yes, I have been talking a lot about consoles lately.

No, I am not bothered by that. I hope you’re not either.

The Nintendo 64 was released in 1996. The Gamecube was released five years later in 2001. The Wii was released five years later after that in 2006. After that, the Wii U was released six years later in 2012.

Five years, five years, six years. Do you see a trend?

I didn’t realize that there was at least five years in between each home console. I wonder, when do they start working on the next one? Immediately? One year after the previous console’s release? Two years after? How long does it take to develop a home console, anyway?

Whatever the answers are to these questions, I thought to myself back at the beginning of the year, “The Wii U is old. When are they coming out with a new console?”

Of course, the Wii U isn’t as old as I thought it was. And I love the Wii U, I’m not trying to replace it or anything. But it’s always fun to think about the new, creative things they’ll come up with next.

I had heard of the NX before, but it didn’t have a name and it was just a rumor. After four years, they surely were working on a new console, but it was all speculation.

In April 2016, it was confirmed that the NX indeed a thing and it will be Nintendo’s next home console with a release date of March 2017. Less than a year away.

Five years, five years, six years, four years. Or, technically four-in-a-half years. Either way, they’re ahead of the game.

Not much is known about the NX. I don’t know what it may look like, I don’t know if the controls will be similar to the Wii series or something like the Gamecube or even the Super Nintendo. I don’t know if the layout will be similar to the Wii series or if they’ve come up with some brand new aspects.

In an article by VG 24/7, a little more light is shed on the NX.

In an interview with Nintendo president, Tatsumi Kimishima, he stated:

“[…] the NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It’s a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don’t feel it’s a pure replacement for the Wii U.”

There’s also a rumor saying that the NX will no longer be using discs, but cartridges instead. Maybe we will end up going back to the old school controllers. Who really knows?

And while this information is a few months old, they didn’t say too much about the NX itself during E3 2016. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on the NX console?

To view VG 24/7’s full article, click the link above, or click here

Point of View

krismii
The majority of games I play have a third-person point of view. First-person tends to stick to shooting games, something that I don’t find myself playing often at all. In fact, one of the games that I actively remember being able to be in first person (if you zoomed in) was City of Heroes, a MMORPG where you created and played as your own superhero.

rachmii
There aren’t too many first person games I’ve played. The only one that really comes to mind is Batman: Arkham  Asylum. Even then, the game is mostly third person. There are just a few parts where it looks like it’s in first person. That being said, I have to say that I enjoy being in third person more so than first person. Depending on the game, first person can get dizzying at times.

krismii
First-person is definitely used more for shooter games. I remember eons ago when I rented a Metroid Prime video game from Blockbuster (anyone else remember those, or am I showing my age?). I was so disorientated because it was in first-person. I’m used to seeing who I’m playing as, like Link or Mario.

rachmii
I think it’s easier to see who you’re playing as. Plus, it’s fun to watch the graphics like watching Mario jump or high or Link doing a spin attack with his sword. As I said before, first player can get dizzying to me. I think the camera moves way too fast and it’s harder to tell where you are. In third person, you’re zoomed out so you see the area more. In first person, you’re seeing is limited as you don’t have eyes in the back of your head.

krismii
First person would give an added challenge to the games, though. Imagine playing a Pokemon game in first-person, or even Super Smash Brothers! I think I would get disorientated, especially in a fighting game, but with virtual reality right around the corner… Who knows?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Ah… I would not want to play Smash in first person. Pokemon would be interesting, I guess. But the battles are already in first person and I think that’s what I would care more about. I don’t think I need to have first person to walk through the tall grass.

krismii
Okay, so maybe Smash in first person would be a little strange, but imagine traveling through the Pokemon regions in first person! Looking up and seeing the buildings of Lumoise City or Mt. Coronet or even flying from city to city.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Ah, that’s a good point. I would love to sit on Lapras’s back and sail through the seas!

krismii
Okay, you can surf, I’ll fly. I suppose we should try some first-person games. If anyone has any suggestions, we’re all ears! We’ve never played many shooter games, which are the first type to pop in my head when it comes to a first-person point of view, but we’re open to whatever you guys think!

What point of view do you prefer to play in?