Pokemon GO! – Review

maxresdefault

Don’t get me wrong. Seeing young people running around with their face buried in a phone or tablet these days is pretty much run of the mill. However this summer might see this a becoming more common sight… almost like an obsession – and you’d be right. Pokemon GO has struck and a new type of Pokemania begins again.

In the good old days (around mid 1990’s to early 2000’s) kids –myself included- would huddle away in some quiet corner and spend hours at a time wondering the world of Kanto, Johto and beyond collecting little critters to fight our way to the pokemon league championship and become ‘ the very best- like no one ever was.’ It was a simple time where your only worry was if you had a spare set of double aa batteries knocking around close by should you see the red light of doom appear on your handheld. This meant, come rain or shine, Pokemon hunting  and battling was a safe, fun, harmless sport…

gameboy_color_blue_pokemon_by_evan_geline-d5533vg

but that was then – this is now.

With rising levels of childhood obesity spiralling out of control in places like America and the UK, Nintendo have decided to make a game that makes you move and no not in a wii fit way, move as in LEAVE your house and go for a WALK… LONG walks!

How? Why? Now pay attention.

Everyone has a mobile phone or tablet. Chances are that at least half of you are reading this on one right now! We also like to keep our phones close by, whether it’s to check on facebook, read e-mails and sometimes even make an actual phone call! Now most up to date phones have extremely good cameras that are fast overtaking normal cameras and recorders in day to day life, and it’s the camera that is crucial to making pokemon go work. So you begin your game, design your avatar that will represent you as a trainer. Your GPS will then locate you and using a scaled down google maps, tell you where you are in your neighbourhood. So you start walking around, app running and phone in hand. Your’re feeling good, then your phone buzzes in warning and your rush to grab it because it means that somewhere nearby a pokemon is waiting to jump out. You check your phone for it’s location. Ah it’s in the next road. So you quicken your pace and as you turn a corner you are confronted with… a normal road. It’s no different from any other day but your phone tells you different. A Squirtle  is there waiting for you and so (and this is the clever bit) you click on it, look through your camera and there on the ground in front of you is Squirtle!

pokem.png

You take a virtual pokeball and taking careful aim to keep your critter on the screen, you throw it. The Squirtle or whatever monster you’ve targeted disappears in a blaze of light and congratulations- You caught a pokemon! Of course they trick is to collect other pokemon the more you travel. As you level up, the pokemon you encounter become stronger building up into a formidable team. It’s very difficult not to get carried away when a cgi Rattata or Eevee appears in your path way and you come to a sudden halt in your travels.

 

Land marks like pubs or plazas will become ‘Pokestops’ where you can pick up supplies as you pass them… (but please don’t go inside and ask a policeman for six pokeballs).  To begin with, these supplies are mainly limited to pokeballs, but as you once you reach level five, you’ll receive potions, revives and maybe even an egg to put in an incubator and hatch your very own little fluffy fighter.

Reaching level five as a trainer, will mean you can also join gyms. These will pop up on your map and are pretty hard to miss. They’re often a landmark or place of significance in a town, such as a town hall or church so it’s quite easy to find more than one. Once you find a gym choose your team that you’ll represent: Team Instinct – Yellow –Team Mystic – Blue or Team Valor – Red.

Pokemon-Go-Team-790x687

Once you decide a team you can face off against gym leaders and trainers to beef your team up and maybe become a pokemon master. You can also become a ‘Defender’ by leaving pokemon at the gym as fighters. They will protect your honour and fellow team mates unless the gym is overthrown by a rival gang. If this happens your pokemon will return to you but will need reviving as it will have fainted. The conflict is not the conventional turn based gameplay that players of the original series will be used to. You will have to be quick on your feet to attack enemies and dodge their special attacks while building up your own.

20160708060632a0egcp9aghxkdb6m.jpg

In short I’m finding this game rather enjoyable. In face it’s one BIG drawback is it does drain your battery and is quite a demanding programme so make sure your device can handle it. Sure it has a couple of glitches like most new programmes and has been known to crash or lose servers simply because the popularity of this game was something even Nintendo couldn’t predict. What does the future hold? Is this a craze that will die out as quick as it appeared or is this merely the evolution of games on phones and tablets that will eventually wipe out consoles?

I don’t reckon so but only time will tell… now if you’ll excuse me there’s a Charizard outside my window… and there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.

starterss

 

MIITOMO – REVIEW

miitomo

If you haven’t got Miitomo on your device(s) yet, then you’re definitely missing out on the fun.
New to Miitomo? Not familiar with it yet?

Miitomo is essentially what Tomodachi Life should’ve been. An app which allows you to create your own Mii, dress it up and most importantly – socialize. You can add friends by linking your social media accounts to it.
This app is a entertaining way to get to know your friends. By doing this, you can earn daily rewards like coins, sweets and game tickets!

The coins that you earn on a daily lets you use it to buy more clothes for your Mii. It’s also a substitute for when you’ve run out of game tickets. But how does one get coins? Well, you literally just have to open up the app everyday, like/comment on your friends’ answers and redeem your gifts through settings.
You can get sweets as a daily reward too. Although it’s better to get them when playing the Miitomo Drop mini-game, because you can get loads of it. Don’t worry, sweets actually serve a purpose! You use it to feed to people’s Mii’s so it can tell you more answers to questions that haven’t really been heard by you or others.
Game tickets are just for the Miitomo Drop mini-game. The mini-game basically lets you drop Mii’s down to these little slots where you can earn sweets OR if you’re lucky, some awesome clothing!

Now, if you have a dark sense of humor we can assure you that this game has two types of people who play: The people that actually use this app for what it’s suppose to be and the people that use it to create inappropriate photos, strange answers and greetings.

Don’t worry it’s not all THAT bad. As long as Nintendo doesn’t kill the fun by removing Miitomo (let’s not forget the incident regarding Swap Notes), then do what you please. At least in this app, people can dress however they want regardless of gender. Thumbs up to you, Nintendo.

Overall, Miitomo is a great app. It’s fun, it’s addicting and you’ll be hooked for hours. Even though it’s technically not a game, this could be as well Nintendo’s ‘social media’ outlet. We believe that Nintendo did well to make this their first app. Bring some more Nintendo, ready when you are!

RATING: 8.5/10

 

Pokémon Red – Review

Pokemon-1

Pokémon Red is an RPG game in which you wander around a world, collecting badges and building a high-tech encyclopedia – the Pokedex.

Pokémon is twenty this year! Hooray! And to celebrate, Nintendo re-released their old classics, Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow. The games were first released on the Gameboy almost twenty years ago. And while the consoles have progressed, the game is just the same.

In the game, you play as a ten-year-old boy, off to start his very own Pokémon adventure. At the start of the game, you meet Professor Oak – one of the world authorities on Pokémon. He gives you a special job to attend in the next town and lets you choose a starter Pokémon for your protection on the journey. These creatures will fight any wild Pokémon you encounter and later on, the creatures held by other trainers.

The aim of the game is simple. Travel the region, building your collection of pocket monsters. Each town you stop off in has what is called Pokémon Gym, where you can fight high-level trainers in intense battles using alternating turns to weaken and defeat your opponent before they do the same to you. Each gym has a certain type of Pokémon, which can range from rock, electric and even psychic types, so building a balanced team with strengths against these types is essential. For every gym owner you beat, you gain a badge. Once you’ve collected eight badges you can access the path to the Indigo Plateau to beat the elite four, the strongest, toughest trainers in the world… and the final fifth battle is your rival from the start of the game who pops up from time to time.

Once you have defeated all opponents you will be able to test your ultimate skills and capture Mewtwo, the fiercest strongest monster in the entire game. The game is only truly complete when you have beaten all trainers including the elite four, captured Mewtwo and completed your Pokedex by capturing all 150 species of Pokémon – 151 if you can get your hands on the super rare Mew, who can actually be obtained through a glitch.

The game is just as enjoyable as it was the first time around. How easy they journey is highly depends on your play style and starter Pokémon. For example choosing a Charmander will make the first two gym battles tough, as fire types are weak against rock and water types. Thus, why building a balanced and varied team as early as possible in a game is essential.

Hardcore fans of the original game have already sung its praises, particularly as thanks to modern technology wireless trading and make building a complete collection easier than ever and Pokémon Bank means that this team will be able to travel with you into future games, something that couldn’t be done before.

In its day this little black and white game wiped the floor with titles from the other big boys and playing it now, is just as enjoyable and addictive as it was the first time around. You simply can’t mess with a classic.

 

RATING: 9/10

Pokemon Direct – the good the bad and the glitchy.

12744154_10207488095174302_6400885630865806893_n

From the opening Gamefreak jingle to the iconic music, booting up Pokémon Red felt like meeting an old friend from twenty years ago… and that’s exactly what it was.

Growing up in the mid 1990’s was a fun era for gamers. We had Nintendo and Sega at loggerheads, whilst new kid on the block, Playstation, wowed us stole our loyalty from our childhood heroes. Even PC gaming was slowly and quietly building up a fan-base with games like ‘Warcraft’ and ‘Command & Conquer,’ coming into their own. Yet all of a sudden we saw herds of children and teens alike, grabbing their old black and white Gameboy consoles and bury their heads for hours at a time. The reason? Pokémon had arrived. Now twenty years on, the game has changed dramatically. From the little black and white sprites and basic music we now have beautiful multi colour three-dimensional characters, crisp HD music and six (soon to be seven) generations of pocket monsters to remember.

pokemon-directibtimes

For the 20th Anniversary we had our nostalgia tested to its limits as Pokémon Direct made Red, Blue and Yellow, available as a digital downloads on the 3ds. It was a gamble… and it paid off. Original players of the game, now most likely in their thirties scrambled to reclaim their lost youth, with Pokémon Yellow seeing to be the most popular. Whilst Red and Blue were inspired by the insanely popular tv series, yellow was actually inspired by it. The promise of an interactive Pikachu, all three starters and, Jessie James and Meowth seemed too good of a deal – I myself personally downloaded Red and Yellow.

pokemon-red-blue-yellowibtimes

The game itself hasn’t changed, why mess with a classic? Of course it’s running on a much more powerful platform and for that, it’s been fined tuned. Controls are responsive and the sound seems clearer but the surprising thing is that the glitches of the game have deliberately been left in too. These aren’t the kind of glitches that make the game unplayable but rather unlock hidden items and characters – the most famous ones being Mew on nugget bridge and the ‘Missingo’ encounter, used to create endless supplies of items. Like I said, why mess with a classic? The one and only change doesn’t appear until Pokémon yellow. This version of the game bought a splash of colour to the black and white world and was one of the first games for Gameboy colour. Whilst most of us were dazzled by this leap in technology, one very distinct character was noticed for all the wrong reasons. ‘Jynx’ is a ‘human shape Pokémon’ and was originally portrayed as having a black face, and large pink lips… sadly the attention on these details and the floodgates opened for racist remarks and complaints. Since then her skin tone has been changed to purple and people seem to have calmed down. However if you have an old version of Pokémon yellow, you can see Jynx in her original glory that simply doesn’t exist anymore.

jynxvideogamesandart

Of course the technology of the new system does add some very neat extras. For example years ago if you wanted to trade monsters (remember you MUST trade between two games to complete your Pokedex) you had to meet up with someone who had Pokémon Blue – if you had Red and vice versa- armed with a connecting cable and trade your monsters that way. Of course thanks to the power of the internet and wi-fi, the desk to the ‘Cable Club’ still exists and still goes by the same name, but trading just got a whole lot easier and convenient meaning that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your room or see another human face to complete the game. (Yay?)

69468-Pokemon_-_Redwww.emuparadise.me

Building on this is the final drawback ironed out thanks to Pokémon bank. When Nintendo began churning out generation after generation of monsters, many people wanted to know one very simple thing. Can my original team be transferred across to newer cartridges? The short answer was no, no they cannot. This was disappointing not least because it meant trawling through the games to find old Pokémon – some of them infuriatingly rare and difficult to find- to get your team to be complete again. Now of course, we have the ingenious invention Pokémon bank – a virtual storage system meaning that generations can be moved seamlessly from one system to another. And with more games and almost certainly more games on the horizon, it may be the case of mixing old with the new to become a true Pokémon Master – until gen 8 at least!

…. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. …. ….

Screen-Shot-2016-02-25godisageek

STORY OF SEASONS – REVIEW

story of seasons

Story of Seasons is a farming simulation game, which we recently purchased after its release in the UK.

Now this is, well technically the second Harvest Moon game we’ve purchased (first one being Harvest Moon 3D: a New Beginning) and we definitely love the new one. If we had to compare both games, there’s a lot more to the new one especially a lot more characters you get introduced to.

The tutorial for Story of Seasons is one thing you’ll dread though. Although it’s suppose to sort of add to the beginning of your journey as a farmer, you’ll find yourself doing painfully easy things like a simple push of a button. But it’s helpful if you’re new to the games and you’re introduced to many characters as you go through it, thanks to ‘Eda’ who’s the eldest resident of the town. Trust us, you’ll really grow to like her (plus, she gives you pocket money!)

We found it a bit of a struggle going through the early stages of the game, in fact it’s a lot harder than Harvest Moon 3D: a New Beginning. A lot of farming, milking the cow and fishing was done just to buy a blueprint to build a chicken coop, which costed 21,000G. And you cannot ship out items on a daily basis, you have to wait for Silk Country to come and set up their stall at the Trading Depot. You even have to buy a blueprint for a hoe…

What we do love about the game is that, you can rent a farming space from the Guild for a limited time, which you’ll be introduced to eventually. What it does, is it allows you to grow a lot more crops and therefore you’ll be able to make a lot more money. Just make sure you get it before someone else does.
The restaurant in the town of the game is extremely useful when you’re low on health. Depending on how you’ve built up your farm and how many animals you need to look after it’ll help you regain the hearts you’ve lost.

As we keep going through the game, we’ve found that Story of Seasons is quite challenging and a bit more difficult however it adds more fun and motivation to the game. There’s so much to it, like building relationships with the residents of the town and striving to make the town a lot better than what it is. It’s a really relaxing game to play, it doesn’t feel like a chore. We fully recommend this game to gamers alike.

RATING: 8/10

ANIMAL CROSSING: AMIIBO FESTIVAL – REVIEW

IMG_1016

Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is the board game that has been heavily criticized, ever since its announcement during E3.
Naturally, there are people who say “why not try the game, before saying anything about it?” Well, we’ve tried the game and we’re still not that impressed. It’s just not competitive at all.

The game can only be purchased in retail stores – so you can’t purchase the game through the Wii U eShop. Of course that’s understandable, considering the game HAS to be bundled with amiibo’s, but let’s just get to the game itself.

So you’ve got the main game and the mini-games. The main game is pretty much the board game, in which you play as any character but according to which amiibo you tap on the NFC reader. You can change the board’s seasons, depending which month you play on and you can actually set a time limit incase you cannot go through the whole month in-game.

The aim of it is to gain as many Happy Points as possible. Getting a lot Bells help too, because at the end of the game it’ll add on to your Happy Points – so you have to make sure you’re good at selling your turnips for a high price and make profit! Take advantage of event spaces too!
Unfortunately, the main game doesn’t have mini-games, like Mario Party. Instead, it feels like you’re reading a little story each time you land on a space. Depending on what space you land on, it’ll increase or deduct your Happy Points & Bells.

The mini-games, which are not part of the main game is probably much more interesting to be honest. Especially when you’re playing mini-games like Quiz Show, Mystery Campers and Island Escape. The Quiz Show has proven itself to be the hardest, so it definitely caught our interest.

Overall, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is quite an adorable game to play and had a few fun bits to it, but you’ll get bored of it easily. It’s too simple for our liking and it’s not a game for everyone. It’s just missing that competitive feel to it.
Having paid £39.99 for the bundle, it really does make us think that the game should’ve been a free download. The amiibo’s are definitely worth the buy, we’ll give you that.

It may not be the Animal Crossing game everyone was hoping for, but hopefully Nintendo learns from this mistake and tries to fix the damage it has caused for fans alike.

RATING: 5/10

 

ANIMAL CROSSING: HAPPY HOME DESIGNER – REVIEW

original (4)

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, is a spin-off game for the respective series Animal Crossing. The game focuses on designing, which is a feature many players adored from the series.

So you’re working for Tom Nook, your boss. You thought your work was done with him? You thought wrong. Being the new employee of Nook’s Homes, your main goal in the game is to go outside to reel in some customers and let your creativity run wild. You design the villagers’ houses, inside and out and decide what furniture suits to their taste. The 3DS touchscreen is what you’ll mainly be using, as you finally whip out that stylus and move/add furniture without having your character drag everything around. Designing has never been this easier!

If there’s one thing we can all give a thumbs up to for Nintendo, is that you can FINALLY change the skin colour of your character. Not only that, you can basically make up your character instantly, without being asked a bunch of questions.

As you progress in the game,  Isabelle will start coming to see you, meaning you’ll be able to start designing facilities such as a hospital, school, café etc.
You can only design one house/facility a day. But luckily for you, the game doesn’t actually run on real-time so you can keep on designing as much as you want until you get sick and tired of it!
Done designing a house/facility? Well why not share your design with other people around the world? Using the Happy Home Network, it allows you to instantly upload your designs when connected to the internet and people can give it a look. A system rating can also be used, so people will decide whether or not you did a good job.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer has quite a lot of useful features that you wouldn’t find in the previous games. While this is a huge improvement, you actually can’t exactly roam around freely as much as you would in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Instead, you can just simply hop into a car and drive to a house you already designed or look around in the facilities opened. You can also invite other villagers over to those houses/facilities, by using amiibo cards. There’s that and going on the Happy Home Network to view other designs by people around the world.

While all this is fine and dandy, you’re probably asking yourself ‘ will I easily get bored of the game? Is the game worth buying?’
It depends on the players, however you’d be surprised how many themes there are that fit the personality and appearance of each and every villager. Thanks to amiibo cards, you can call in new clients and see what their taste is like.

Personally, we don’t think the game is worth full price of a 3DS game. At the end of the day, it’s a spin-off game that you’ll either love so much you’re practically addicted to it, or you’ll easily get bored of it and not pick the game up for a few days.

Happy Home Designer does have a lot of up-and-downs due to its limitations, but you’ll certainly enjoy some of its new features that it has to offer (and amiibo cards – don’t forget amiibo cards!)

RATING: 7/10