It’s been a hot minute since we’ve done a “Would You Rather” post, so we decided to do another dedicated to one of our first video game consoles, the SNES. Getting right into it, Rachel, would you rather have only played three random SNES games, getting only a taste of the system, or none at all?
I’d rather play three random games. That way I can have the experience of playing the console. If the games are good, I’d be happy to have the opportunity to play them. If they weren’t good games, then I wouldn’t have to worry about missing out on the console at all. Would you rather have only SNES games to play for the rest of your life or have Nintendo’s next console be a remake of the SNES with only remakes of the SNES games on it? And no, I don’t mean the SNES Classic. I mean an actual updated SNES console with all the games with updated graphics and such but nothing else.
I think I’d want Nintendo’s next console to be a remastered SNES. The Classic was great, but there were so many games missing and to see updated ones would be interesting. Rachel, which SNES game would you rather erase from history, Super Mario Kart or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past?
Super Mario Kart! I’m terrible at that game. Both of those games are good, but I’d take Zelda over a Mario Kart game that I absolutely cannot play. I’m going to throw a similar question at you. Would you rather erase Donkey Kong Country or TMNT: Turtles in Time?
Ah, those are difficult. I wonder if, by erasing the likes of Super Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country, the sequels and successors would also be wiped from gaming history? Either way, I think I would erase Donkey Kong Country. I have too many fond memories of TMNT: Turtles in Time. Would you rather all of the SNES games you play be single-player only or be local co-op only?
I would rather local co-op. I don’t think I’d be able to play SNES games on my own. I’m too bad at them. Final question: Would you rather have the SNES console never exist or replace another console such as the Wii or Wii U?
Why kind of question is that? Why give me such a difficult one? Honestly, I need the SNES to exist since it was one of my first consoles and has some of my favorite games. I suppose it could replace either the Wii or the Wii U… I enjoyed those consoles as well, but I cannot deny that I played the SNES much more than either of those consoles.
What are your answers to these questions? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
I’m a month late to the party, but I did recently buy and download Animal Crossing New Horizons for myself to see if all the hype around the game lived up to my expectations. So far, it’s not that bad at all.
The Animal Crossing franchise has always been associated with Rachel more than me. When it comes to laid-back, slice-of-life simulation games, I leaned more towards the Harvest Moon series and, now, Stardew Valley. Ever since the first GameCube Animal Crossing game, it wasn’t something that was for me.
I never minded the games. I’ve tried my hand at a few of them, like the original and New Leaf for the 3DS. The original had been cute, a novelty, with the villagers roaming around and being able to share a town with other people in the family was interesting. Rachel and I used to send each other the occasional letter and it was always amusing to hear the animal villagers ask us about each other. Yet, the idea of collecting bugs and fish in order to dwindle your debt just to expand your house for a collection of random items wasn’t my cup of tea.
Rachel has always been the collector. It’s one reason why she enjoyed Super Mario Odyssey more than I did, despite the game’s praise. It didn’t impress me as much as all the critics claimed it would. While collecting would always be a staple in the Animal Crossing series, having something other to focus on was one reason why I thought maybe I wouldn’t mind New Leaf that much.
For a while, New Leaf was fun. Being the mayor of the town and having a few ways to improve the place gave me a few more goals, but I didn’t continue playing it much after the challenge Rachel and I had given each other that enticed me to play it in the first place. Still, I made an effort, but even in my conclusion post for that challenge, I mention how I will leave the Switch version of Animal Crossing to Rachel.
Within this past week, I caved and bought New Horizons for my Switch Lite. I’m not even a week into the game and I’m already enjoying it more than the previous installments that I’ve tried. I’m quite conscious that this could be due to “shiny new game,” but there are plenty of mechanics that I don’t mind.
The crafting is fun, although I would love some sort of durability indicator to let me know when my fishing rod and the like are going to poof out of existence. It allows me to strategize, figure out which of my supplies I’m going to use to craft tools or if I should save them for something else and just buy the flimsy versions of the tools from Nook’s Cranny as a temporary fix. DIY recipes is also a type of collection I can get behind, especially since I also just unlocked the customization feature. Here’s hoping there’s more to the customization rather than just changing the crafted items’ colors.
The Nook Miles is an interesting mechanic as well, and I’m rather amused at Tom Nook having his own brand in the shopping network. Earning Nook Miles allows me to have goals while working towards them at my own pace, something that I enjoy in games like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. There’s always something to strive for on the horizon, but there’s no rush to get there.
The other main aspect about this game that I like is the co-op modes, both locally and online. Considering I’m not far into the game at all, I haven’t yet had the chance to visit anyone’s islands or have anyone come to my own little place — no, not even Rachel — but seeing how excited everyone else is about it, I’m looking forward to it. I would just like to make my island a little more presentable before opening it to others, haha!
Honestly, what really changed my mind about getting the game was watching and listening to Rachel as she spontaneously joined Jett from In Third Person on his island to try to tag-team the fishing tourney together for more points.
I’m still a new kid to this franchise and, even though I’ve only been playing for a handful of days — and even some of those days were just for an hour or so at night — I’m hopeful that I’ll continue to enjoy New Horizons for a little while longer.
How are you enjoying New Horizons? Any game that made you change your mind about a franchise? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Title: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Role-Playing, Adventure
Release Date: March 6, 2020
How I got the game: I pre-ordered a digital copy from the Nintendo Switch eShop
For years I’ve been wanting another Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game. I would have loved to have a brand new game, but having a remaster of the original Pokemon Mystery Dungeons felt like playing a whole new game anywhere. I’m happy they haven’t forgotten about the Mystery Dungeon series.
You turn into a Pokemon without having any memory other than the fact that you once were a human. You don’t know how you got to the Pokemon world or why you were turned into a Pokemon in the first place. You wake up from another Pokemon, your partner Pokemon, and together, you unravel the mystery as to who you were before and why you turned into a Pokemon in the first place.
All the while, you start a rescue team with this Pokemon. You go into mystery dungeons to help other Pokemon in need. Meanwhile, natural disasters are happening all over the Pokemon world. You head out on an adventure to find out what’s causing them and how to get them to stop. This involves tracking down certain legendary Pokemon and not only battling them, but asking for their help.
You’ll soon find out that you’re connected with these natural disasters, but… I won’t say anymore due to spoilers in case you’ve never played the original games (or simply forgot, as I did).
The game begins with a fun quiz to determine what kind of Pokemon you are. These questions are simple since the game is generally targeted at a younger age anyway. Most of them are “what would you do” situations with multiple choice answers. Taking the quiz was always one of my favorite parts of playing the game. Your result will share some personality information about you depending on your answers and, most of the time, it’s pretty accurate.
This time around, I was a Torchic, which is fitting. I always go for the fire starters so I didn’t mind being a fire-type Pokemon. Then you get to choose your partner Pokemon, of a different type. So, all the fire-type Pokemon were taken away from my choices. I ended up choosing Psyduck – he’s one of my favorites.
Then the game officially begins with you waking up on the beach and your partner finding you, poking you, to wake you up. As the two of you get slightly acquainted, you’re interrupted by a Butterfree worried about her baby Caterpie, who is lost in a mystery dungeon somewhere. Thus, you and your partner Pokemon go on their first adventure.
This is a tutorial, showing you how to play the game. You’re in front with your partner Pokemon behind you. However, in this version, you can switch the leader. So, if you wanted to play as your partner, you could have him be the “leader” thus switching roles. Whoever the leader is, the partner will follow behind and, if an enemy Pokemon gets too close, they’ll attack. You can tell your partner what to do by either having them go off on their own (which will show you more of the map and help you find where the stairs are faster), have them run when an enemy is nearby (which is useful when their health is low), or have them attack when they see an enemy. I personally had them always attack because it made it easier for me and it made it seem like the AI was smarter in that sense.
Each dungeon is randomly generated. The map appears as you enter new rooms and hallways, however, you can see where enemies (represented by a red dot) and items (represented by a blue dot) are. The stairs are hidden until you enter the room where the stairs are and then you’ll see a white square appear on the map. If you need to rescue a Pokemon or have to find an item for a Pokemon, that’s represented by a light blue dot and, once you reach the floor of your destination, the game will tell you so you don’t accidentally move onto the next floor. Once you go up or down the stairs, there’s no going back.
Each area has a certain number of floors. The farther you are in the game, the longer the dungeons are. However, these dungeons are quick for the most part and (fairly) easy to get through. A lot can happen in the dungeons other than searching for the Pokemon you need to rescue or for the stairs to keep moving forward. Something new added in this game that wasn’t in the original is that sometimes you’ll find fainted Pokemon in the dungeons. If you give them an apple, they’ll be revived and ask to join your team.
Allowing other Pokemon to join your team isn’t a new feature. However, if I remember correctly, you could have teams of four (including yourself) and only add one or two more Pokemon to trail behind you if you find new recruits on your journey. In this version, you can only have teams of three (but can create multiple sets of teams) and you can recruit up to five or six Pokemon. (I believe. I honestly forget the right number.)
Once the job is complete, you can either exit the dungeon right away or continue until you reach the highest floor. If I was in good shape, I often continued until I finished the whole dungeon so I could collect more items and battle more Pokemon to earn experience points.
Yes, just like any other Pokemon game, you earn experience points after defeating a Pokemon. You level up, boosting you stats, and ultimately, being able to evolve. However, evolution only unlocks once you beat the main story. I don’t understand why, but that’s the way it is.
Aside from the main story, your rescue team can accept rescue jobs. After completing a job, you’ll earn rank points. Leveling up your rank gives you team a boost such as being able to accept more jobs, unlocking new areas, and – the best part – having more inventory space.
I have a great time with this game. My only complaint about it is that I wish it were longer. Sure, you can continue to play the game once the main story is over. (The main should take less than 20 hours to complete.) However, I would have loved to see more meat for the story and have the opportunity to do more. Plus, my Pokemon and partner were around level 30 when I beat the main story. A main Pokemon game needs to have your team in the 60s or so when you beat the main story. I would have liked to further them a bit more before defeating the final boss.
After playing Pokemon Blue Mystery Dungeon and Pokemon Red Mystery Dungeon on the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance respectively, it was great to see the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon in HD glory with crisp graphics on the Nintendo Switch. Other than remastering the graphics, I don’t think they wanted to stray too far from the Mystery Dungeon graphics that we all know, love, and easily recognize. This was fine with me. I think it worked.
As for music, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games were always on my favorite soundtracks list. The music in this game is, I’m pretty sure, the same as it was when the games originally came out. (Though remastered a bit, I’m sure). I love every bit of music in the game. The soundtrack is awesome. One of my favorite gaming soundtracks is Paper Mario from the Nintendo 64. The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon music is similar to Paper Mario, which I think it why I love it so much. It’s always so catchy.
I can see myself going back to this game. I hoped there would have been more than one save file unlike the original games, but alas, there’s still just the one save file. However, on the Nintendo Switch, if you have multiple profiles you can easily restart the game without deleting your original playthrough. Whether you start it over or not, there are other things to do in the game once you beat the main story. You can still take on jobs and level up your Pokemon. I’m sure I’ll pick this one back up again in the future, especially while I wait for either another Mystery Dngeon remake or a brand new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game for the Switch.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Like everyone else in the world, I’ve been playing so much Animal Crossing New Horizons. I’ve always had “daily chores” I liked to do in the previous Animal Crossing games, but New Horizons takes it to a brand new level.
What do I mean by “daily chores?” I mean some things that you can do on a daily basis that should get done, things that only happen once a day. I tend to have a fairly organized routine in real life (I’m a sucker for a schedule) and I’m no different when I play Animal Crossing.
Animal Crossing New Horizons has so many more things you can do during the game rather than make money to pay off your debt. You can gather materials and craft your own decor, you can visit mystery islands and sort of have a say in which villagers you want to join your island, there are Nook Miles which act as “quests” or “achievements,” if you will. There’s so much to strive for and if you were to attempt to 100% complete this game, it’s going to take you a few years.
Things have been busy so I haven’t been able to play as much New Horizons as I would like. I’ve had to skip a day here and there and sometimes when I do get to play, it’s only for an hour or so. I get my daily chores done and that’s it. But I have a good time anyway.
Talk to every villager
One chore I do every single day is to talk to every villager on my island at least once a day. There are sometimes I see certain villagers wandering around and I run into them all the time. Others, I need to track down. Sometimes they’re hiding somewhere in the museum or they’re inside crafting something waiting for me to enter so they can share the recipe with me. (I honestly think they’re stuck like that until you go in, so yeah. Go visit them inside their houses on occasion just in case.)
Side note: my island is filled with birds and cats, I realized. I started with Leonardo (a leopard) and Plucky (a chicken). I visited three mystery islands and got Ava (a chicken), Anchovy (a bird), and Bangle (a tiger). I’m still searching for Fang but I also feel obligated to keep this cat-and-bird-theme going.
Give your trees some love
And by love, I mean shaking them vigorously until something falls out. This can be tree branches, money, furniture, fruit (if it’s grown, of course), or bugs – watch out for those bees. Have your net out and handy when shaking trees. That’s an official rule of Animal Crossing, I’m sure.
To show how much you care about your trees further, take out your ax and chop it to bits. Your stone ax, not your heavy-duty ax unless you want to knock the whole tree down. Using your stone ax allows you to get three pieces of wood per tree.
Shower your flowers
While we’re taking care of nature, make sure you water your flowers. Sometimes you villagers will do it for you, but they don’t typically go around the entire island watering all the flowers. If you want them to keep growing and cross-breed flowers beside each other, then watering them every day helps. Plus, they sparkle afterward and it’s really pretty at night.
Hit all your rocks
But don’t break them. Don’t eat fruit and then hit your rocks. They will break and rocks cannot grow back. Hitting your rocks once a day allows you to get materials such as iron or gold nuggets, stones, or clay. One of your rocks will also be a money rock. The best way to hit rocks is to dig two or three holes behind you so when you hit it with your shovel (you can use your stone ax but the shovel is faster) and you recoil backward, you won’t recoil too far to not be able to reach the rock anymore. Then you get all eight items from the rock in one go.
Keep your shovel out and keep an eye out for the Xs in the ground. Four fossils are hidden somewhere as is a small light which, when dug up, is bells.
If you have the shop open or Mabel is visiting before the tailer is open, be sure to buy everything that’s available each day. The more bells you spend, the faster their build their shop and upgrade.
Claim your Nook Miles
There are a ton of achievements you can get and claim Nook Miles. However, the Nook Miles Plus feature adds quests to your day. The first five of every day are worth double. If you can do it, be sure to claim them and make the most of it.
There’s a lot more to do
Of course, you need to keep fishing and catch bugs. Donate any new creatures to Blathers, sell all that you can so you can create a bigger and better house. However, if you’re only able to play the game for a little bit, your best bet is to do you daily chores. You’re making progress and you’re keeping your island nice.
Do you have anything in the game that you like to do every day? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Despite how low-key this past Easter weekend has been compared to previous years, it was still a nice couple of days. We mainly relaxed with our immediate family, had some good food courtesy of Mom baking up a storm, and played video games to escape from the outside world.
Aside from the sheer fun factor and trying to increase your skillset and reflexes, many people play video games to escape from reality. Due to the current state of the world, there is no better time to become a gamer. Indeed, I’m pleased with still seeing all of the Animal Crossing New Horizons tweets that grace Double Jump’s Twitter feed rather than the current news.
While I did download and start playing New Horizons this past weekend to see if I would enjoy it more than the previous versions of the game — because, honestly, Animal Crossing is more of Rachel’s franchise while I was always into Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley — I did start thinking about what other kinds of games I tended to reach for whenever I needed a break from the world. There are different kinds of “escapists” out there when it comes to gaming, after all. What kind are you?
When the world is going to Hell in a hand basket, sometimes you need a good game where you are the one saving the world. Playing the role of hero helps you to feel like you’re saving something, even if the effect is more so on your psyche rather than the real world. Strategy and adventure games like the Fire Emblem and Legend of Zelda series have the Good Guys versus Bad Guys — even if some of them are a little blurred around the edges — theme that allow you to become the hero of someone’s world.
Playing the role of God and creating your own world, forging relationships, perhaps even modifying the physical land as you see fit is probably the most popular kind of escapist games out there. The popularity of simulation games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley are testament to that. You can create your own goals and ensure that your world will be happy and successful. Having delightful virtual neighbors is a bonus, but it’s even better when you have an online multiplayer mode so your friends and you can create together.
On the flipside, perhaps you just want to vent in a safe environment. Shooter and war games like DOOM Eternal and Fortnite — even if they have entirely different aesthetics — gives players who want to taste a little destruction a place where they can do so. Rage in virtual worlds to help ease your mind and soul when they get too focused on the real world.
Puzzle games are fantastic for zoning out of the real world and zoning in on immediate problems. The Professor Layton series and games like Tetris 99 give you something to focus on in the moment and, when you complete a difficult puzzle or knock out that last rival, gives your brain some of that sweet dopamine. When you start to feel impatient with the real world news around you, try your patience at a puzzle game.
Of course, these are just my thoughts and made-up definitions. Still, it was interesting to think about. Personally, I tend to lean towards games that allow me to be the hero, what with me returning to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, while also having spent plenty of time with simulation games like Stardew Valley and giving New Horizons a try.
What kind of escapist are you? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I’ve been playing my fair share of Animal Crossing New Horizons and I honestly can’t get enough of it. There’s a lot to do in this new version of Animal Crossing and it’s hard to get everything done in one day. I’m enjoying my time with it though and I’m loving every minute of it.
Fishing is something that’s been part of the Animal Crossing games since the very beginning. It’s my favorite thing to do in Animal Crossing. I find it relaxing and New Horizons makes it all the better. The graphics are great, but the sound effects of the ocean waves crashing against the rocks or the rain creating ripples on the surface are wonderful. It completes the experience and I enjoy walking up and down the sandy beaches in search of the rare fish that will pay the big bucks.
Pay off my debt
Another one of my favorite things to do in Animal Crossing is to pay off my debt. I know, it’s practically the whole premise of the game. I never get excited about paying bills in real life, but Animal Crossing makes it so easy. There are so many things to collect in the game as well that discovering something new to see how much it is, is fun for me. (Yeah, I know.) Not to mention the reward for paying off debt and then expanding your house again so you can collect more stuff to fill your house is a great feeling. Paying off my debt over and over again is always the first thing I do in any Animal Crossing game.
Visit mystery islands
I realize my favorite things don’t cater much to New Horizons. Fishing and paying your debt is something that’s in every game. Visiting the mystery islands is a fun new feature that’s been added to the game. Plus, it’s a unique way to add villagers to your island. Even though the villagers are random you can still choose whether you want them or not.
Even though you can’t have more than one island, I enjoy the mystery islands as a way to get more materials for the DIY projects. The rocks on my island can only go so far and sometimes it’s nice to occasionally get different weather where ever I go.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Animal Crossing? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Considering how some of my favorite types of attacks in Pokemon are more physical than special, it’s a bit of a wonder why I don’t think of Fighting-types more often. Nevertheless, I do have a few favorites!
Probably one of the first Fighting-type Pokemon that I included on one of my main teams, Lucario was a great asset. Perhaps he’s a bit overused, but I enjoyed having the Pokemon on my team.
Gallade’s design is awesome — especially his Mega evolution design — and I enjoy the dual psychic and fighting typing Gallade has. It was a challenge to balance out his attacks to accommodate both types, but I always had fun with both him and my Gardevoir in double battles.
I always pick the grass starter in Pokemon games, and X and Y were no exceptions. Chespin and its evolutions were, probably, the least popular design-wise when it came to the starters, but I was pleased with Chesnaught and its power.
This little Pokemon made me laugh when I first saw it. Considering it investigates stuff by punching them and it has the intelligence level of a toddler, the very existence of Clobbopus makes my day.
I didn’t know what the heck this thing was when I first saw it, but when I was able to battle it, I was quite amused at the Pokemon’s little individual units marching together. Its signature move — No Retreat — is pretty cool, too. Aside from raising all of its stats, it’s reminiscent of a desperate last stand in a battle. Never give up, never surrender!
What are your favorite Fighting-type Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
It’s hard to believe we’re already in April. With so many things closed down and not being able to leave the house much, gaming seems to be just about all you can do. (That is, if you choose to ignore work.)
My favorite games
We all have our favorite genres and our go-to games after a long day or just need to escape reality for a bit. I’ll admit, I can’t pinpoint an exact genre that does this for me but I have a handful of games that are my favorite.
By favorite, I mean games that I will never get tired of playing. Games that I have played over and over again that I know by heart.
This, of course, is no secret. One of my favorite games is Pokemon. I’ve played all the spin-offs and mobile games and such, but there’s nothing quite like a main-stream Pokemon game. I could pick up Pokemon Silver, Pearl, X, Shield, or any of the other Pokemon games and have a great time with it. I could start my journey over, go shiny-hunting, grow my team to level 100 and then raise a new team, enter the Pokemon League over and over again, and so much more.
Whenever I run out of games to play or I’m in a slump, I find myself going back to a Pokemon game.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Maybe I could have put this with Pokemon in general, but aside from the main games, I could play and replay the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games forever. I don’t know what it is about these games – the gameplay is simple, the story and the dialogue is young – but I love them just the same.
One of my all-time favorite games. Luigi’s Mansion is a classic and I can’t get enough of it. Luigi has always been one of my favorites and I have a soft spot for ghosts and the like, so Luigi’s Mansion is a perfect series for me. Plus, the gameplay is simple and the games themselves are fairly short and sweet to get through.
Of course, I wouldn’t mind them being longer, but hey – I’ll take what I can get.
This is a game that happens in real-time. So, of course, this is something I’ll go back to now and again. Animal Crossing is one of my favorites, yes, but it’s not something I could play every single day of my life (though I wouldn’t mind trying). Still, it’s easy to get sucked into the Animal Crossing world and forget about reality – which, let’s be honest, is nice sometimes.
Finally, my all-time favorite game – Paper Mario. I’ve played the Nintendo 64 game so many times and I can breeze right through it in about 24 hours. This game is quirky with fun music and awesome characters. Maybe that’s it, but I don’t know why I have such a love for this game. It could also be because it was the first game I completed myself.
What I need from Nintendo
Nintendo has given me all brand new versions of my favorite games in less than a year. Pokemon Sword and Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX (not a new game, but a remake of the first one so I’ll take it – it was fun to see the Gameboy Advance game on the Switch!), and finally, Animal Crossing New Horizons.
I said to Kris the other day, “All Nintendo needs to do now is give me a new Paper Mario game and I’ll be all set.” (That is, then I can start asking for more sequels for these games all over again.)
Ironically enough, the next day, a rumor appeared. Nintendo will be celebrating Mario’s 35th anniversary this year and a new Paper Mario game (going back to its original Nintendo 64 roots) may be in the works. There have been rumors about a new Paper Mario game before. I don’t know if I can believe this one or not.
I would love either Nintendo to remake the original Paper Mario onto the Switch (like what they did with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon) or create a brand new Paper Mario game that’s similar to the original Paper Mario. (Or Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door – that one was good too, though I still prefer the original over any of the sequels.)
Supposedly, with this rumor, Super Mario 64 may be coming to the Switch among others. We’ll see what happens, I suppose. I can’t wait to see what Nintendo has up their sleeve. I just need Paper Mario and then I’ll complete my Bingo card before I can start it again!
What are some of your favorite games you always want more? What do you think of the rumors for Mario’s 35th anniversary? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
This is chapter four of my Nuzlocke, and it was therapeutic to write amid everything that is going on now. If you missed the first chapter or want to be reminded of the rules, feel free to go back to that post. Or, if you missed chapter three, that post is right here. Hope you enjoy this piece!
Okay, so it was an interesting experience, being with my Pokemon out in the Wild Area. After a few strict rules — such as telling Ryder that, no, he could not eat Piccolo or Posie, our new Bunnelby companion, no matter how awful my first few attempts at making curry were — my Pokemon got along well enough during the few times we needed to put up the tent.
All in all, the few nights we camped out in the Wild Area were fine, but I definitely preferred an actual bed to a sleeping bag. I’m sure Hop was thrilled with the whole camping experience, wherever he was in the Wild Area. Growing up, my friend was always ready for adventure while I liked my adventure time to be scheduled. After all, I never wanted to miss any of the big Pokemon battles on television or my mother’s desserts.
A Pokemon journey was a learning curve for me and, seeing how many other would-be trainers that were running around the Wild Area like Blaziken with its head cut off, I seemed to be the only one experiencing these hang-ups.
Part of the anxiety was probably due to being hyper aware that the opening ceremony for the gym challenge would be happening in a couple days, and if I didn’t cross the Wild Area to reach Motostoke in time, there’d be disappointment all around me.
Hop would never forgive his “greatest rival” for being late, Leon would question why he gave me Bond in the first place, Mum’s face would fall in confusion if I walked back into the house so soon…
“Freya, stop taunting Everest.” I stepped in between my riled-up Oddish trying to challenge my shyer Delibird to a fight, and I added my Pokemon to the list of those who would be disappointed in me if I didn’t go through with this.
My Oddish stuck her tongue out at me and I returned her to her pokeball instead of retaliating. I decided against telling Everest that he could, you know, freeze the tip of her leaves or something to get her off his back, but with my luck, it would start a team brawl.
Despite everything, I was happy with our little team. Since entering the Wild Area, I’ve gotten a full team, along with an extra Pokemon hanging out in my Pokemon Box, and Piccolo even evolved into a Dottler, which I had to keep convincing myself was awesome. Because it was great that Piccolo evolved, got a little stronger and all that, but…
She wouldn’t be winning any races except maybe against a Metapod, that’s for sure.
I glanced around as Bond helped me finish packing up the tent and most of my other Pokemon were in their balls. Piccolo was inching her way back from the edge of the lake towards us, her stubby feet having taken her all morning to get to the edge of the lake in the first place for a drink after her spoonful of breakfast.
She chirped happily as she spotted me looking at her and I couldn’t help but give her a crooked smile. “Let me help,” I said, opting to just return her to her pokeball instead of waiting for her to catch up. Bond and I would have been waiting until noon for her to reach our sides.
“Alright, let’s keep going,” I said, and Bond hopped up to cling to my shoulder as we continued through the Wild Area. I wasn’t planning on catching any other Pokemon, aiming to just go straight to Motostoke in order to reach the city with time to spare for the opening ceremony.
Motostoke City was big enough to swallow Postwick five times over. As giant as the wild Onix seemed at the beginning of the Wild Area, a trainer’s Onix near Motostoke’s Pokemon Center looked like a runt next to the mechanisms that kept the city running.
“What did we get ourselves into?” I murmured, and Bond cooed in my ear, his voice warbling and his grip on my shoulder tightening.
“All right there, Kris?”
Bond and I were suddenly dwarfed in Leon’s and his Charizard’s shadows. My shoulders relaxed at the familiar face and I admitted, “I feel lost.”
“Story of my life,” Leon said with a laugh. “I’d never remember the way to the stadium if it weren’t for Charizard.” I refrained from mentioning just how often Leon, as the Champion, would have visited Motostoke Stadium. “You heading that way to register for the challenge?”
“Yes,” I said before I could back out, change my mind, and tell Leon to use his endorsement on someone else. “I’m sure Hop is already there.”
Indeed, after Charizard directed Leon and me to the steam-powered lift that would bring us to the stadium, we spotted Hop waiting just outside of the massive building.
“Kris, you made it!” Hop was nearly bouncing right outside of the stadium, and I’m glad he didn’t seem any worse for wear after the Wild Area. “Just think! Everyone’ll be watching the opening ceremony for the Gym Challenge… My mum, your mum, the whole world! I can’t tell if I’m trembling from nerves or excitement! Lee, you coming in now, too?”
“Not just yet,” Leon said, ruffling his brother’s hair. “The gym leaders are coming in for the opening ceremony, so I’m going to meet up with them tonight. You two go on and get registered.”
“Have fun, then,” Hop said before taking hold of my arm. “C’mon, let’s go!”
The lobby was packed with other gym challengers, so much so that I barely heard Hop mention how every other challenger there was a potential rival. We shouldered our way to the counter, nearly getting shoved down by some jerk in a bright pink coat in the process, and handed over our endorsements to the stadium official.
“Fancy that,” the official said. “This is the first time we’ve had a couple of challengers endorsed by the Champion himself.” My cheeks went red as the official added, “You two must be something special.”
I wasn’t sure if being friends with the Champion’s younger brother warranted me as special enough for an endorsement. Yet, we continued through the motions to register, picking out our uniform numbers and being surprised that the League Chairman booked rooms for all the challengers at the nearby inn.
“Alright, then,” Hop said as we got our Challenge Bands. “Let’s go check out the fancy digs!”
I took a deep breath as Hop beat me out of the lobby and stared down at my Challenge Band, Bond reaching out to touch it out of curiosity.
This was real. I was a Gym Challenger. I would be traveling all over the Galar Region for a chance to ultimately battle Leon for the Champion title. All around me were other challengers, challengers who knew as well as I did that not all of us would make it to the end. Would my team and I make it? Did I want to go that far in this challenge?
“One step at a time, I suppose,” I said to Bond, taking him in my arms as I made my way back out of the stadium as well. At the very least, I was going to get an actual bed for the night. I intended to enjoy it.
Current Team: Bond the Sobble, Piccolo the Dottler, Ryder the Rookidee, Posie the Bunnelby, Freya the Oddish, Everest the Delibird Body Count: 0
Who is your favorite Galar rival? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Let’s talk some more about simulation games. Specifically, let’s discuss some simulation games I would love to see.
Pokemon Ranch upgrade
Does anyone remember this game? It came out on the Wii Ware back in March 2008. It was a wonderful game – even though there wasn’t much to do in it. You transferred your Pokemon from Diamond and Pearl (not Platinum for some reason) and that was about it. Your Pokemon had a hub world to go to so they could play and explore. The music was relaxing and I often had it up on the TV while I worked. The Pokemon derped around, sometimes playing (or getting into fights) with one another. It was fun for me.
I’d love to see another Pokemon Ranch. In fact, that’s what I was hoping Pokemon Home would be. (Home on the Range, anyone? No? Nintendo, you missed an opportunity here.)
The downfall of Pokemon Home is that once a Pokemon go in, they can’t go back. They can be transferred to the most recent games but they can’t go back to where they originally came from. I don’t know why this decision was made, but Pokemon who aren’t in Sword and Shield yet are now stuck in limbo in Pokemon Home.
In that case, it would have been awesome if Pokemon Home was it’s own game and mimicked Pokemon Ranch. That way you could still visit your Pokemon. Pokemon Home/Ranch could have been the equivalent of Pokemon Camps from Sword/Shield. It’s all been done before. We just need to throw it in a pot and mix it up.
Pokemon Ranch and Stardew Valley crossover
This may be cheating since I’m piggy-backing on the fact that I want more from Pokemon Ranch. Why not have a crossover between Pokemon Ranch and Stardew Valley? Farming games are all the rage as is Pokemon. Who wouldn’t want to grow a farm – berries, poffins, apricorns – and raise Pokemon? It can be farm animal-like Pokemon such as Mareep and Miltank or it can be all the Pokemon. Different types will have different stables.
In addition, you can add onto your farm to make work stations to make pokeballs from the apricorns or you can sell the apricorns as is. Berries can be sold or can be used to feed your Pokemon.
The many regions of Pokemon have plenty of caves to explore and bodies of water to surf, dive, and fish from. The possibilities are endless here. I don’t know why no one has thought of it before.
Pokemon and Animal Crossing crossover
Similar to crossing Pokemon Ranch and Stardew Valley, why not throw Pokemon in an Animal Crossing village? Sentret can be the new Tom Nook! Hoothoot can be Blathers. I mean, come on. These ideas are gold here.
One of the things I had hoped to see in Animal Crossing New Horizons was different biomes to expand our village. Instead of having one area, have different sections – east, west, north, and south. This has been done before with the town being to the north of the village and a camp being to the east or west. A new area to expand your village can easily be made. The seasons will still be present but you can have randomly generated biomes such as a desert, tundra, rainforest, etc. The types of animals the villagers are based off will live in their respective biomes. (See? Learning experience for kids!)
Taking that idea and warping it to Pokemon – you can have different areas for different types of Pokemon. I’d live there.
I may be the only one to play these games
I realize Nintendo hasn’t hired me yet because I tend to think of games that only I would play. I’d be surprised if people wanted a Pokemon Ranch upgrade. I also realize I’m on a Pokemon kick right now. I had to change the title of this article because I didn’t originally intend it to be mostly Pokemon related.
Oh, well. I can dream.
(By the way, Happy Mar10 Day!)
Are there any simulation games you’d love to see (Pokemon-related or not)? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.