Sunday, June 20, 2010

So much for importing Black and White

Going into E3, I wasn't expecting a whole lot of stuff coming out of Nintendo's conference. I was expecting that there'd be the usual 1 or 2 games for the end of the year, and I'd be able to import Black and/or White - heck, I was even thinking about grabbing whichever system had the better conference between the Triple and the 360. (BTW, the answer would have been Sony coming out of the Monday press conference.)

Then came Tuesday, and Nintendo dropping more bombs per minute than any press conference I've ever seen. (For a random sample, see the June 16th Penny Arcade.) As such, we have to reconsider this thing.

For starters, if I buy one system this year it's not the PS3, it's going to be the 3DS. Word is they're going to have 20-30 games in the launch window, and my backup DS is going to hell in a handcart right now as it is. Plus, if I'm going to get a system that uses 3D I may as well grab one that I can afford and doesn't need glasses considering wearing 3D glasses over my prescription ones is bad.

But that's still no guarantee that the 3DS is going to come out this year... no problem. There's literally 16 games that have or will come out this year that I want to pick up. Basically, I'm not going to have TIME to try and play a game in Japanese when I barely had enough Pokemon/Japanese language knowledge to get through Heart Gold and Soul Silver before release. If I play Black or White early it's going to be vicariously through FAQs.

Here's my shopping list, starting with the stuff that's already out in 2010 and I still need to pick up:
~ Glory of Heracles (next $10 sale on Amazon, it's mine)
~ WarioWare DIY
~ Monster Hunter Tri
~ Trauma Team
~ Super Mario Galaxy 2
~ Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers (don't laugh, I'm supporting a studio in my hometown by doing it)

And now the games confirmed for release in 2010 based on "WANT~" factor:
1) Epic Mickey (4Q 2010)
If you told me that Warren "Deus Ex" Spector would appear on stage at a Nintendo E3 conference, I would have laughed in your face. Throw in an awesome graphical style and Oswald the freaking Rabbit (once traded for Al Michaels) and this is officially day 1.

2) Kirby: Epic Yarn ("Holiday")
The fact that Kirby Wii exists was shocking enough, but the game itself looks like it's going to be a console Canvas Curse. In case you didn't know, this is a good thing. Even if it's Perrin Kaplan's final revenge by making ANGRY KIRBY~ canon.

3) Dragon Quest IX (July 11)
I've bought the last three mainline Dragon Quest games that came out in North America (8, 4 and 5) and enjoyed all of them immensely. And hey, maybe if I buy this one they'll bring over 6 with Slime Curling.

4) NBA Jam (October)
It's NBA Jam, and the original developer is involved. I played the original and Tournament Edition to death on the SNES. Add in the potential for the First Baller as a hidden character and yeah, I gotta get this one.

5) Donkey Kong Country Returns (Holiday)
I picked up the Metroid Prime Trilogy recently and have a new respect for Retro, so the fact that they're going to do something different is nice. If it's more DKC2 than the original, this is going to be amazing.

6) Super Scribblenauts (October 2010)
The original was a great sandbox but the controls weren't exactly tight. They've added d-pad controls and even the stylus works better. Plus adjectives. Yeah, you got me.

7) Sin and Punishment: Star Successor (June 27)
Just picked up the original on Virtual Console to try it out, and it's actually kind of fun - if a little frustrating with analog controls. I suspect the sequel will be a lot easier to control with the pointer.

8) Metroid: Other M (August 31)
Originally they had this scheduled for my birthday, which would have been the best birthday present in history. Still, two weeks after ain't bad. And it's a Metroid game done by the Ninja Gaiden guys, which means it'll make diamonds look soft.

9) Goldeneye (October)
Thankfully, my hatred for Activision and everything they currently stand for means I can knock $5 off the top by buying this used. It'll serve as my return to a true first-person shooter after my last one was, ironically enough, the original.

10) Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (Holiday)
This one's conditional, as I want to take a weekend or two and play the originals before confirming. 4 Warriors of Light could swap in here. If it holds, this'll be my Christmas RPG.

So I probably won't have a problem hitting Club Nintendo Platinum next year. All told, this is nearly $1000 worth of games. All donations will be unexpected, but appreciated.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June CoroCoro leak - And The Leaks Played On

So after giving the recent leak a couple of days to simmer and to work out some of the information that was missing, we need to look at this another way. Specifically, I'm looking at this the way the Center for Disease Control does in "And The Band Played On" (as cited by ESPN's Bill Simmons in this column of April 16).

This breaks down to three simple questions:
  • What do we think?
  • What do we know?
  • What can we prove?
Going revelation by revelation, let's start with features.

Random Online Battles
What do we think? I think this was a stunning omission from the gen IV DS games designed to sell Battle Revolution, and now that it's integrated into the DS games proper we're not seeing another console battling game in this generation.
What do we know? I know this is going to be flooded with Elite 4 teams, hacks, and ubers. Making it functionally useless except as a team checking measure.
What can we prove? That Nintendo may be softening their stance on this whole "internet" thing a little bit.

Professor Araragi, first female professor
What do we think? I think we know how they're writing Brock out of the anime for this generation.
What do we know? We have an entire region suffering from a collective bad hair day between the female trainer and our professor friend.
What can we prove? There's a lot of traditions being chucked out the window with this generation.

Zekrom: Dragon/Electric, ability "Tera Voltage"
Reshiram: Dragon/Fire, ability "Turbo Blaze"
What do we think? Kyogre and Groudon have new best friends. Tera Voltage sounds like either a Scrappy for Electric v Ground or a jacked up Motor Drive, Turbo Blaze sounds like a jacked up Flash Fire.
What do we know? Two very powerful typings (Dragon/Fire resisted by Heatran, Dragon/Electric has 4 Pokemon) and the ability names means these guys are not playing any defense.
What can we prove? The third dragon will be a neutral color (gray) and will have a type that's early in the type chart and formerly Special (Ice has the clubhouse lead)

Meguruko: Ground/Dark, Intimidate or "Overconfident" (+1 stage ATK boost every KO)
What do we think? I think this is one of the very, VERY few occasions in which I will ignore Intimidate on a Pokemon because Overconfident is that nasty. Also, I think this is a 1st form of at least a 2 stage family, and the final form is going to be this gen's Dragonite-class Pokemon.
What do we know? If it has Pursuit, it's going to be even more broken coming in on say, Rotom and getting a free +1.
What can we prove? The only thing keeping this out of my fulltime party ingame is if it gets the Slow growth rate.

Hihidaruma: Fire, "Invigorate" (ignores added effects for higher damage) ability
What do we think? I think Invigorate will work with any move that would trigger Shield Dust, will be about a 20% boost, and will be a competitive darling because you actually get a benefit for taking luck out of the game.
What do we know? The design for this Pokemon is based on a gorilla that beats its stomach, meaning it's -190 to get Belly Drum.
What can we prove? If it's another Fire/Fighting type, heads will roll.

Shimama: Electric, Lightning Rod/Motor Drive, has "Wild Bolt" (recoil move)
What do we think? I think Wild Bolt is more Take Down analogue than Head Smash analogue, and that this is a base Pokemon.
What do we know? Motor Drive means slow and relying on the boost, and this will be another argument for an Ability tutor.
What can we prove? If you don't think this image is too cute for words, please obtain a soul at your earliest convenience.

Mamepato: Normal/Flying, "Pidgeon Breast" (Hyper Cutter for Defense) or Super Luck
What do we think? Between its pose and Super Luck Honchkrow can file a gimmick infringement lawsuit, and someone involved in the RBY localization is going to get an undue amount of crap for using the name "Pidgey" already.
What do we know? It's your obligatory early game bird and will probably evolve twice.
What can we prove? It's already better than Pidgey and probably not as good as Starly.

Gear: Steel, Plus or Minus, move "Gear Saucer" (multihitting move)
What do we think? Plus/Minus could be a controllable split evolution. Also, an early revelation of a pure Steel could mean that Steel is going to be an early gym (if not the FIRST gym)
What do we know? There's an awful lot of multi-hitting moves in this leak, for some reason.
What can we prove? Given that it looks like Bronzor with a coat of paint and some pieces missing, it's going to have something to set it apart from its fellow round Steel.

Munna: Psychic, Forewarn/Synchronize, "Telekinesis" ("causes foe to float"), the Dream Eater Pokemon
What do we think? This better not be a repeat of the counterparts introduced in Gen III (Beautifly for Butterfree), because by appearances and the fact that it's based on the Tapir like Drowzee it could be a replacement. If it's a baby form, it's going to LOSE Synchronize when it becomes a Drowzee.
What do we know? Telekinesis is another move that's designed for double battles for use on your partner, because it's hard to determine why you'd want to give your opponent Levitate (if that's what it does) unless they have Overconfidence.
What can we prove? That they have REALLY planned this out considering a reference to a pink Pokemon with a floral pattern existed since Rock Tunnel of RBY.

Chiramii: Normal, Cute Charm/Technician, Sweep Slap (multi-hitting move)
What do we think? An ability has not been ignored this harshly since, ironically, Cute Charm on Clefairy. And its English name is probably just the last i lopped off.
What do we know? Yes, it's based on the Chinchilla. And it's going to be another early game Normal (think: Rattata)
What can we prove? Any other similarities between this and Pachirisu are entirely coincidental.

My current Black/White ingame team: Grass starter, Fire starter, Meguruko, Hihidaruma (please let one of the Fire types get a second type).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Signs your Pokemon may be about to kill you

First of all, yeah, I buggered with the template if you're curious. I'd like to think it gives this blog a little more personality than solid white.

I'd post a comment here about the new Pokemon that leaked out of CoroCoro today but I'm too busy drooling Homer Simpson-style over the Crocodile. New, awesome type combo of Ground/Dark + ability that only makes his resistance, er, attack higher every time it KOs something? When it gets type bonus on Earthquake? I'm never letting it out of my party. Especially when it could be the next Garchomp.

However, the map of the new region that leaked out appears to have maybe 2 cities on it. The first Sinnoh map we saw looked the same, but rumors continue to flow that they're actually moving to ditch the 8 gym format. If I had spies at GameFreak, they'd be saving the same thing. Which begs the question of what happens if there's no 8th badge to control outsider Pokemon.

Hell, it's entirely possible that they might extend the rules for outsider Pokemon to include every Pokemon. And if they really want to go all out with it, it may be more than rebelling while in battle.

Here's some of the warning signs you should watch out for in the next generation when your Pokemon may be ready to kill you.

* When using Whirlpool, you get halfway across before the Pokemon jumps back INTO the Poke Ball

* Your Pinsir came with Guillotine and won't let you delete it

* A large portion of Weezing's Smokescreen ends up going back into your face

* Your Fighting types have replaced the punching bag they normally use for workouts with a Real Doll that looks suspiciously like you

* Everyone raves about how good your Drapion's Sniper is, but it has Battle Armor

* The Daycare calls to tell you that your two Beedrill have suddenly grown a whole hive and they sound like the horns at the World Cup

* Every time you call out Houndoom, it licks its lips

* Scyther has been asking Porygon2 to pull up the Clint Marlachuck video more often recently

* After using TM 09 on your Shroomish, it only remembers the "Bullet" part.