Thoughts on Sidequests

Sidequests are an important part of open world games. What else are you supposed to do if you can’t help out random people you meet by the side of the road? It basically acts as a way to ignore the main story without having to endlessly grind out in the wild. Obviously there are benefits to it such as experience or rare items, but that isn’t the only reason why we do them. After all a sidequest isn’t really all that different from just normally hunting. The main difference is that it gives you a specific objective to complete. Sometimes it could be hunting one or more specific enemies or collecting a certain number of item from somewhere in the world. So what is it that makes them feel different? The answer is pretty simple. They help to create the world itself. I know that sounds weird but it is true. The most important thing a game needs is to make the world feel like it is connected and that every thing has a larger role to play. You, the player, give shape to the direction the world is going to take through your actions, but sometimes it is the little things that give the greatest impact. What better way to feel like you are justified for ignoring the main quest for hours when you are helping some random passerby find his missing dog? Not only to you get to save a dog, but you even get stronger for it. Guess the guy traded you for some Scooby Snacks or something. Anyway, adding a bit of context or personality can make tedious tasks feel more bearable. The main reason is because now you have a goal to work towards that you know you will be rewarded for completing.

Let me put this into perspective. Imagine if there is an item that you want to get for your in-game character. Maybe because it is useful, maybe because it is valuable, or maybe because you like the way it looks. Now let’s for the same of the example imagine that this item has a low drop rate. We will say about 2% from an uncommon enemy. That would mean that on average if you kill fifty of them you would eventually get the drop you need. now if you are lucky you would get it in the first thirty encounters, but there is also the possibility you may not get it even after sixty attempts. Now imagine a quest where someone really hated this enemy because it destroyed their crops. The NPC (non-player character for those of you not aware) issues you a quest to kill thirty of them and will give you a similar item as well as some experience points. Obviously you would accept the quest because at least you are given a guarantee that you will get something for your repetitive grinding. You may even get lucky and get the random drop as well. So you can get a guaranteed useful item, some experience, and you get to feel like you were actually doing something productive away from the main quest. After all, there is always a little bit of guilt for ignoring the main quest for so long so it help to have some distractions to help you feel less bad about ignoring whatever disaster is about to unfold. Usually the games are at least designed to entice you to do them, but still keeping them optional. Personally, I am not a fan of when sidequests are required for game completion. At least, most of the time.

Now, I don’t have a problem when sidequests are essentially just a branch of the main quest. For instance the main quest could have a certain objective, but there are certain side objectives you must meet to proceed with the main quest. Those I don’t mind because those kinds of quests I treat more as subquests rather than sidequests. The thing I actually have a problem with is when the game tells you that you need to do enough side activities before proceeding with the main quest. The reason why it bothers me is because the objectives you are completing don’t have any relation to the main quest. At that point you are just trying to pad the runtime in your already large game. That is basically like saying you need this level of completion in order to proceed. That makes sense for a game based on collection. It doesn’t make sense for a game that is supposedly open. Not a lot of games do this so it is a minor gripe if I’m honest, but that is exactly why I point it out. If I am doing a sidequest, I want it to be because I feel like I want to do it, not because I have to do it. The major benefit of an open world is freedom to explore so why force me to do something at all? It’s especially annoying when all the sidequests feel the same. They should help take away some of the grind, not add more into the mix. I want sidequests to make me feel like I am talking with people in a believable world is all. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. What about you?

Update on Metroid Dread

I want to start by saying this real quick. Every now and then I might add one of these just to add in address some things that either I didn’t think of the first time around, stuff I forgot to include or things such as DLC that I feel deserves some mention. Just something to be aware of going forward. Since this kind of thing is more of an addendum, I won’t make them too long so I can at least try and stay on topic for once. With all that being said, now let’s get to the real talk.

Now if you missed it in the previous post on Metroid Dread, just know these two things. One is that I really enjoyed playing the game and the other is that it is pretty hard. Not to say it is Dark Souls‘ level of difficulty, but it can be pretty challenging, especially since some encounters can kill you in one hit. Recently they introduced an update to address this by adding in two new modes: Rookie Mode and Dread Mode. I won’t say much about Rookie mode because it makes the game really easy, but it is probably the best way to acclimate to speedruns and bosses before trying things out in the later modes. The real fun part is Dread Mode where you get to die in one hit to any attack. Now that probably doesn’t sound like fun to many of you, but hear me out a bit. Now the game only counts attack as one-hit kills. That means that environmental damage doesn’t count so don’t worry about not having the proper suit equipped. Also ironically enough, EMMI zones are you friends. They give you checkpoints when you enter and exit them and you only have to deal with one enemy. The only ones that are any sort of threat are the last couple since they can actually attack you, but so long as you have enough practice they aren’t too big a deal. Especially remember to not attempt this if you have not mastered the counter or how to shinespark. Also don’t forget to practice the useful flash shift and slide maneuvers as well since they can greatly help with later boss fights. Especially try out the hard mode boss fights since they are the same health wise. I know since I unlocked hard mode pictures after beating Dread Mode. One more thing, and this should go without saying, but try and save whenever you can. I will say when I completed this I died 399 times over the course of the run, but still managed to do it in under four in game hours. Hopefully you can do better. That’s all I got, it was just a quick update. Best of Luck!

Crafting Systems

Now this has been a pretty popular trend for quite a while. Especially when it comes to open world games. After all, they have to give you something to find other than higher level equipment. So, they give you materials that you can find while roaming around or doing side missions and usually you will have no idea what you will even you them for unless you look them up. The game just says that this is a thing you might need later, but for now it is just clogging up space in your inventory. Or they will instead let you have access to the crafting recipe and you will see you have everything except for one item needed for it. More likely than not, you will probably not even know what it is and may have to look it up through a wiki. However, even if you do know what it is, the fact that you don’t have it usually means that it is not something readily available. So you can either pray that you will get lucky with drops or give up on crafting it for the time being. The first time I was introduced to a crafting system was in Terraria. It was my first game on Steam and the beginning of the end for my wallet and free time. One problem though I always had with the game though was crafting was such a pain. For one thing, you would be told that an item was an material when you got it, but it could be for a crafting recipe that won’t even be considered until the end of the game. Also the drop rates for some of them are so low that you are better off just playing normally sometimes rather than going for something specific. And of course the biggest gripe is how even if you have all of the materials, you still have to have a specific crafting station in order to craft the item. Why does crafting feel so complicated? Well, that’s what seems to happen when you have a game based on crafting. What if it isn’t a game based on crafting though?

You know exactly what kind of games I mean. the games where you can craft things, but it never feels like it is necessary to do so. Usually because the game overcompensates and kills the difficulty by giving you healing items for free and they also regenerate enough of your health that you don’t need to craft anything better. You just end up with more materials than you know what to do with and they end up cluttering your inventory. The worst part is that it is only there as a sideshow. The game isn’t really built around it at all. What I mean by that is that crafting is not necessary to progress through the game. Sure it may give you some benefits if you work hard enough, but you can get by just fine without it. This doesn’t happen in every game, but there are some games where it feels as though it was just tacked on to give you the option. It’s is nice to have sure, but what is the point if I have to grind more than I am already grinding? It is just more busywork at that point and frankly speaking that can be exhausting. It is especially bad when it relies on RNG. I can’t stand random drops anymore. Trying to find the one piece I need for equipment after five hours of hunts is just painful. The worst part too is I am usually hunting for these items to get inventory upgrades. Why? So I collect even more garbage that I don’t know what to do with in the first place. Am I crazy? Don’t answer that. Look, all I am saying is that it feels weird when you play a game and end up doing side activities just to make things a bit more convenient. Just give us all that space from the get-go! Ok, maybe I am the only one who has problems managing inventory space. Organization isn’t exactly my first language.

Anyway, what I want to say is that I do like having the ability to craft in a game, but I am not a big fan of games that rely heavily on crafting .The main reason is that I don’t want to tab out to a Wiki every time I find something new. I also have a problem with it feeling like it was tacked on as a way to lead you into sinking more hours into it. I want there to be a balance of having it work well enough in the game so that crafting is optional, but it feels worth it to go through the extra effort to collect materials. I know that sounds like I am asking for a lot and it is possible I am, but hey I can’t just hunt the same enemy for two hours just to get the rare 1% drop I am looking for to make myself a nicer pair of shoes. I got places to be and if I have to do it with my busted up sneakers, then that is what I’ll do. You see, when I collect things, there has to be some sort of goal in mind. Whether it is to get a new item, or finish a sidequest, or beat a particularly annoying boss, there just has to be something to keep me invested in the task at hand. Crafting systems on their own are not complicated. You just gather the materials they need and then you craft it. Maybe there will come a time where more will be demanded of the player to craft items successfully, but for now most of these systems are pretty basic. Which means that the real challenge is collecting the items that you need. There are ways though to make things challenging without making them grinding marathons. For instance, instead of having certain enemies rarely drop something, how about we instead create a stronger version of that enemy that has a higher chance to get the drops you need. At least having a few options would be nice. So many times I see on Wikis that certain items are dropped by one enemy or multiple enemies but with the same drop rate. Game, your killing me here. I am not saying the system should go away, I just think that maybe we could tweak it a little bit so that I find myself less in a constant grind and spending more time playing the actual game. At least that’s the hope anyway. My luck is weird sometimes so there are never any guarantees. Well, I think I have made my point. Hopefully. Thanks everyone for reading and see you next time.

Silent Protagonists

Alright, let’s start by talking about what it can mean to be a silent protagonist. Now just cause a protagonist is silent doesn’t mean they cannot express themselves openly. After all they say that actions speak louder than words. I think people say that anyway. One of the easiest way they do that is to have the face express emotion. Not necessarily a ranged amount of emotion. Usually there are the trifecta of happy face, sad face, and angry face. That is as good as it gets, but at least it’s something. They are just trying to make them seem less like a total stand-in, but that doesn’t actually make a difference because that is usually exactly what they are supposed to be. These characters are usually so bland because they are either user generated characters or characters that are meant to react to their surroundings. After all, if the character you are playing as is already completely defined, then there is no reason to go on a journey of self-discovery. The ability to not act but react is granted to the player as a way to help them accommodate to a new world. Typically even when a protagonist isn’t silent most of the dialogue takes place in story segments and cutscenes. So the question is what is the main benefit to not giving the protagonist a voice. I mean, besides saving money on voice acting. Clearly there is more to it than that.

The thing about having a silent protagonist is that they don’t have much in the way of personality or growth. There is not much you can do with a personality that needs to be filled in later. So instead there are two approaches that are best to take with a character severely lacking in any. The first is to make everything around vibrant enough to contrast the dull lifelessness that is the main character. That means that the story is gripping you along and you can interact with many different characters to unlock their stories. Sometimes it is more rewarding to find growth in those other than the main character so have interesting types of people on your journey can help to guide you along. It is also beneficial if the world itself is just genuinely fun to explore. It doesn’t matter if the protagonist’s face doesn’t reflect the excitement on your face because typically they are just trying to survive. You are the one putting them in harm’s way if you think about it, but it doesn’t matter because you found something that is new and exciting. I can sort of see why my character may not be enthusiastic when I decide to rush into a high level area for fun. That feeling of having fun though is what keeps us going forward and if we aren’t spurred on by the desire to see something new, then what are we even doing here? I don’t know about you, but I enjoy videogames because I can explore worlds and ideas outside of my own. If having a blank slate is the price I pay to get me to focus on other good story and gameplay elements, then that is fine with me.

The second thing you can do with a character with no personality is quite simple actually. All you need to do is give him/her/them your own character. It isn’t like anyone is going to stop you. In fact most games will encourage you to do so. They allow for customization options in terms of clothing, body size, weapons, and hair color to name a few. There is a lot of freedom especially in sandbox games to give yourself your own story. It allows you to get creative with how you want to be perceived if you were someone entirely different. Isn’t it great to imagine you are someone else entirely and living out a whole new life? What? You’re happy with the way things are now? Yeah… me too. I was just testing you. Anyways, you know what games can also benefit from this aspect? Moral choice games. Why? Of course it is because the game is based around your character’s decisions so as you go along with the story you get to fill in the blanks and determine how you want them to be seen. Undertale is probably the easiest example to use in regards to having a silent protagonist who can make impactful choices without having to literally make an impact should they choose not to do so. That is the great thing offered here. You get to choose. you are in control here. You don’t always get to have things in control. Things don’t always work out the way you want them to, but that’s okay. It’s a videogame and you can choose how you want to be seen. You are totally in control of your own life. At the end of the day, since your character doesn’t have a voice, then it is up to you to give them one. Everyone deserves to be heard after all. I realize I started getting a little meta there, but can you blame me after bringing up Undertale? Anyway, have a good night everybody. See you next week. And thanks for reading!

Glitchy Games

What is a good game? It’s a given that good games are granted as such by the gamers that play them, but what grants them our good graces. Some may say graphics, good game design and gimmicks or grounded characters with gradual growth as the game goes on. Whatever the game gives us, so long as it was given to us with good graces it shouldn’t be given up on by the general gaming community. So why do game developers gift us such glitchy pieces of garbage? Do certain games even get a green light before getting release? I can’t guess what goes on with these guys, but goodness why take such gambles with game releases. Don’t they want to garner some goodwill? Instead they release games with gaping holes in them that can give rise to some game-breaking glitches. Glitch can have good effects, but like I said, it’s a gamble to give out a game with glitches that can appear in gameplay. And yet these games are generated generally and generically all the time these days. It is as if games are just to generate some green for these game studios. Give me a break. Games can’t be good if they are simply generated. They have to give some gratification to those that engage in them. These days a good number of games have been given the same guns and gray gradients in levels from the last generation. It’s giving me a migraine. If you are going to give us something, give it when it is good and ready! Good golly gosh this all really grinds my gears. You know what else gets to me. DLC.

DLC is given when a game is still going strong but it garnering less engagement as time goes on. So to grip the gamers again they grant them more game. That is all good, except sometimes when they give us game experiences they could have given from the get-go. They give us a good portion of the game that they wanted to give and then give the rest later for more gravy. Grimy practice if I’m honest. It’s almost like they gouge out content from a game and then graft it back on later. Then they ask for more green as well as gratitude for giving us more game to guzzle. Isn’t that great? It is especially gratifying when the game is glitchy and bugs are glaring and given time they generously gloss over those with a patch like the game wasn’t just garbage to play. Game studios I guess feel like they can get away with greater gambles these days because we grant them the gray area to do so. Is it even a gamble if they keep generating great amounts of dosh from us gamers? Are we being taken for granted? Gaming has grown to be a gargantuan global form of engaging entertainment. Guys and gals gather through gaming online now more than ever. So game should be given the great regard they deserve to make them great. If you give them any gratitude for granting you a product with glaring issues, then you are gullible to the greed of some of these guys. They give no guarantees of high grade goods and expect you’ll give them gratitude and greenbacks just for giving you what generally is a game. Not necessarily a good game either. Look, I’m guilty as well of being gullible. I’m not angry though, I’m more glum and gloomy.

Glitches are so general these days. Games can’t go without them. That’s a given that isn’t going away. The game just has to be good enough that the glitches don’t get in the way of gameplay so that things can keep on going. Game developers just don’t give any goodwill nowadays. Granted, not all game developers are greedy and only focused on gains, but there are a great deal like that. When did games get generated and not designed? Glitches I think are greater in number because the games are generated in designs that give the same ideas. They give no guarantees or effort that the glitches will go away. Open world games get the greatest amount of glitches especially because of all the ground the game has to cover and generate each time you go to play. The graphics might be gorgeous, but given that games are more about gameplay that isn’t a excuse to give for the gaps in a game. I understand these are gripes that don’t give much ground to give up on game which such great amounts of gameplay. I just want a little generosity in giving games that feel like creations. I don’t need gathered globs of grey garbage from games that have been the general trend for a generation. I’m good. I’m greedy for a little more. I might not get it now, but I guess that I can give some more time. That’s the goal at least. Good night gamers.

When Rewards aren’t Worth It

People always say that you won’t get anywhere without working hard. I definitely believe that to be true. However, this statement is something that I have always felt to be a bit misleading. You can work very hard and not be rewarded for your efforts after all. Sometimes it isn’t about just putting in all of your effort into something, but instead it is about how patient you are in being able to see it through until the end. That patience can only last for so long though, especially when you know that the benefits are not worth the efforts that you are making. Gamers are unfortunately the type who let their curiosity get the best of them. Not a single person who games regularly stops and thinks to just go along with what the game wants of them. They resist as best they can to see what they can get away with in the game engine. The mark of someone who enjoys games is often dictated by the amount of time they invest in one. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was really worth it. At the time I’m writing this post I have over 700 hours of playtime in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Does that mean I enjoyed all of that time going for different achievements and unlocking new content? Absolutely not. That is to assume that I am some sort of god gamer who can turn a terrible playthrough into a broken one at the drop of a hat. While I have had my fair share of fun runs, maybe more have been panic inducing to say the least. Will all the stress stop me from trying to reach full completion. No, but I will definitely feel drained if I ever do manage it.

You see I started thinking of this topic while I was playing some more Pokémon Legends Arceus and trying to complete the Pokédex. I was just playing through the game like normal when it suddenly dawned on me that I had never completed the Pokédex before in any Pokémon game. Back in the day, I had good reasons for that as I needed multiple people to collect all of the Pokémon and unfortunately I didn’t know many people back then who wanted to play games with me. Eventually that would eventually blossom into the idea that I just can’t be bothered to try and collect them all. I realized that there was not much incentive for me to do so unless I really wanted to go shiny hunting. Oh, and let us not forget that fancy virtual certificate that you get. Woo. I mean really, what is the point of putting in all that effort for a certificate. It is one thing if the experience is enjoyable, which I can say it is in this latest installment. Heck, I even found a shiny for the first time in years and I caught it too. So why do it? The answer is because you can. At least they give you a legitimate reason this time. If you want God, then complete the Pokédex. Nice and simple. I know that I am doing this for good reason, so there is that at least. However, I will not forgive some of the sidequests in that game. Relying on RNG and specific timing to activate certain events can be so annoying. It is not even like they are that hard and yet they feel like they take an eternity. Those who have completed them know which ones they are. You might say that I should just move on since it isn’t worth it at this point, but I can’t. Why? Because if I do that, then the game developers have beaten me. UNACCEPTABLE.

Okay, calming down a bit. We’re back now. Look, I think the thing that bothers me the most is not that the rewards aren’t worth it. I am not doing it for the rewards most of the time. The main thing is that they put this kind of stuff in to challenge you, knowing full well what you will have to go through to accomplish your goal and then still give you a garbage reward. It is basically a form of torment. If you are going to make me live through pain, at least give me a break at the end. I bet there is even going to be some DLC later that will make me jump right back in again like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth did when it came out with DLC multiple times. While I appreciate more content, part of me stills dies a little inside at seeing all this new content spring forth at a rate where I can’t even digest it. It just is a lot to take in sometimes. Look, maybe I am a little bit out of it while writing about this. I will admit to be a little bit unhinged today, but know that I mean it when I say that when I play I like to feel a sense of accomplishment. If I want to experience fear and pain, I can always go shoe shopping or something. I definitely don’t need that when I am trying to unwind. How can I possibly get so stressed about the time in a videogame? Am I losing my mind here? I don’t need bragging rights, I need useful items. I need things to mean something. Don’t have me waste my time while I am wasting time! That sentence does make sense, I promise. Anyway, I should wrap up by saying that sometimes I have a problem with trying to solve everything, so I would appreciate it if the game would stop enabling me and then making me feel like garbage afterwards. Looking at you Buizel. See you all next week.

Potential Pokémon Legends

So I managed to get around to playing it a bit. Yes, it is fun and I am enjoying it so far. I will not be talking about it today. Instead I want to do a bit of speculation here. I will always say that spinoff games have the best games in the Pokémon series. That’s because they have the opportunity to branch out from the original formula and try new things. I think that Pokémon Legends: Arceus is going to influence the nature of the series for years to come. However, I want to make something clear here. I do want to see more of this type of game. The world of Pokémon is very rich in lore and I would like to see more games that delve into that. I feel that they should capitalize on this by having some more games like this. I don’t mean it has to be the same kind of story, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more past regions. So I thought that it might be interesting to put some thoughts down on what I could see as potential spinoffs in this same kind of style. I will pitch a few ideas based on the three starters you original get to use in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. First I want to talk about the Alola region. This region added some interesting features to the franchise, but there is one element I would like to see fleshed out and that is the Ultra Beasts. I feel like having a game focusing on why portals open up in that region would be kind of interesting. What caused the space to tear open in the first place? It probably is because of Necrozma, but it might be cool to also have a game when to try to reclaim the light he stole in the past. Maybe that had an effect on the Pokémon and you have to capture them to prevent them from falling into darkness or something. Who knows? It’s just an idea, but I think Pokémon could do with more darker story lines anyway. speaking of which let’s move on to the next one.

Now the second generation has a lot of lore surrounding the towers in that region and how the legendaries interacted with each other. The thing that is brought up the most in the lore is that one Pokémon that was lost in the tower and how the three legendary dogs (cats) were created. I would kind of like to know more about that mysterious Pokémon and potentially see what things were like before the tragedy. Just some food for thought. This next idea though is one I have thought about for a long time. To be honest, the fifth generation was never my favorite generation. Not to say there was anything wrong with it, I just wish there was more. The one thing from that game I wanted to know the most about was the original Pokémon that would later become the main legendaries of Kyurem, Reshiram and Zekrom. Imagine a game where you see a never before seen legendary Pokémon being influenced by the ideas of those around it to the point that it turned into three separate beings. Can you imagine what that Pokémon must be like? I can’t to be honest, and that is why I want to see it. I want to witness a Pokémon shaping a formation of a region, but more than that, I want the opposite to hole true as well. I really want to see how people in a region can influence these Pokémon. Maybe there will be factions trying to decide what is best for the people where they don’t know if they can live in harmony with Pokémon. I don’t really know, but I just want more of what I got in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, humans and Pokémon finding ways to come together.

Look, I am not saying that any of this needs to become a reality. That would be a little much of me to ask. I already love what they have done with Pokémon Legends: Arceus so far, but it is only one region. I just want them to have time to expand on all the potential ideas they have to offer. Maybe they have a character travel from another dimension to the Alola region, or can bring someone back in time to an older era of Pokémon. Maybe we can learn about stories we never even thought to consider in Pokémon lore. I have always felt that Pokémon has not lived up to its full potential as a series. They created an interesting world for us to explore, but they rarely show glimpses of how truly interesting living in a world of Pokémon could be. Personally, I just want to learn more about it. There is so much potential is games like this to give us further glimpses into this world and so I hope they make more of these. The main problem I have had with a lot of the main games in the series lately is that they didn’t feel like they added anything more than just battle mechanics and updated graphics. Both of those are great, but I wanted the experience to be a bit more fulfilling. I wanted to explore and discover a world filled with wondrous creatures without having to worry about some criminal organization that can lose to a ten-year-old. I’m greedy, I know. I just can’t help myself though. Honestly, I am just excited to be in a new world of Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus and I just don’t want this to just be the only time they do this. Hopefully it does well and they might show us potential stories of other legends. I might be getting ahead of myself, but it is my blog so I dare to dream as much as I want in it. Thanks for listening.

The Evolution of Catching Pokémon

The Pokémon series has been around for quite a lot time now. About as long as I have been alive to be honest. So naturally, there have been quite a few changes as the years have gone by. The most recent changes to the formula are the changes that take place in the latest spinoff game Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Now I said that this series was overdue for an open world game way back when I first started this blog. Was I right? Yes, but that’s not what I want to focus on right now. We’ll save some of that for another time. Right now I want to talk about how catching them all has been adapted over the years. I won’t go too in depth on everything though. It isn’t like I want to take searches away from Bulbapedia or anything. I just want people to understand how much things have changed and how much I struggled to catch Pokémon when I was younger. Now the basic things you should know is that there was a lot of luck factored into catching Pokémon back in the day. you would always have to pass three random checks each time you tried to catch a Pokémon. The best way to catch a Pokémon was, and still is to an extent, to make sure you had the advantage by doing three different things. The first and more important was weakening the Pokémon as much as you can without causing it to faint. That should be obvious. The second thing is using a high level Pokéball or one suited for that particular type of Pokémon . The last is status effects and this is the part that drives me up the wall the most. There are five status effect that contribute to catching Pokémon which are poison, paralysis, burn, freeze, and sleep. Poison and burn are effectively useless since they can cause the Pokémon to faint. Freeze and sleep are better, but Pokémon have a chance to recover from those status effects in battle and it can happen at random. The only consistent one is paralysis but sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you don’t have the luck. It was especially rough with roaming legendaries if you didn’t use a move to trap them. Don’t think about how they could run away while fully asleep. Forget about the RNG. Deep breaths. Clam down. Okay. moving on.

This started to get easier around the time the critical catch was introduced which I believe was introduced in the sixth generation. This allowed for the game to only run one check to see if a Pokémon was caught. The chance of it appearing was random, but it was made more likely if you had captured more Pokémon. This was also around the time the number of Pokémon was getting to a point where Nintendo and GameFreak were probably starting to take pity on us. Finding rare Pokémon was also becoming a lot easier as well. The thing that really changed how Pokémon were caught was the appearance of the mobile game Pokémon Go. Now the game was solely about trying to catch them in the wild by trying to time your throws. Weakening them was less about battling and more about feeding them to try and keep them from running away from you. It was the start of a shift in how we thought about catching Pokémon. Catching them all was the main selling point and yet throughout the years there were less and less people who were really willing to do it. That isn’t to say that there was no one who did, but that is was less rewarding after a while since there was so much effort involved in it. Now you could leisurely run up to some random Pokémon you spotted and try and catch them so long as you had enough patience and Pokéballs at the ready. Although this trend didn’t stay this way forever because battles were still a part of the game and so as a compromise, battling became even easier with the game making sure you grew stronger the more you caught Pokémon in addition to battling them. Which brings us to today.

Now, I will be honest. I haven’t really played a lot of Pokémon Legends: Arceus yet. I have been on a bit of a reading binge lately so I can only experience the game in small bursts at the moment. However, catching Pokémon is one of the most fulfilling things in the game. Why? Because for the first time in a game in the series it feels as though your ability to catch Pokémon can in some way be attributed to skill. In earlier games you could stealth into Pokémon to catch them before they tried to run away, but in the end you still had to test your luck in battle. In this game, they reward you for your resourcefulness by allowing you to catch the Pokémon immediately. There is no battling Pokémon should you choose not to do so in wild encounters save for certain fights and even those fights are vastly different than what you would expect from a Pokémon battle. This is most likely since the game has gone full open world, but now that there is no need to transition to combat for every encounter, the game allows you to skip it entirely. That is amazing. You can even distract Pokémon to catch them off guard. You see what I did there? Puns are great everybody. Anyway, catching Pokémon feels more fluid than ever and since this is a spinoff disconnected from the main series, it is actually reasonable that we might enjoy finishing a Pokédex for once. Especially with the new forms of Pokémon introduce in the game. That about sums up my current feelings on the game at least. I can’t really say much more right now. However, can we just take a moment and realize that we might actually be starting to move forward here. Nintendo, please keep moving forward. Here’s to hoping for more good things.

Papers, Please Problems

Hey people. This post is on Papers, Please a game where you play as a person who approves passports and permits for permission to pass through. The purpose is to provide pharmaceutics and perishables to you and your family. The pay you procure is dependent on you approving passports and permit properly and posthaste. Your pay is per person after all. The problems I provide are personal problems that I had due to my propensity to power through in panic and pass people with problematic papers, causing my pay to plummet. I am a professional at panicking under pressure. My playthroughs typically proved to be either too passive so that I played into poverty or I provided myself a private and permanent post up in prison. I am pretty positive I was put in the penitentiary every pathway in which it was possible. I’m not proud of that people. This is why I prefaced this by saying personal problems. The point is, I will provide insights into my previous playthroughs so you don’t end on my paths. The primary purpose for you should be putting your all into peacefully performing until the proper point in time. So, properly pay attention to every piece of paper provided. The most problematic point for me was people’s genders. That piece of info provided me with so many pink pieces of paper I lost a pretty sizable portion of income from just that part of the passport. It was quite painful. Once I couldn’t pay the penalty after procuring plentiful amounts and that ended that playthrough.

My first time in prison was pretty easy to pass by. You see, previously you are given some proletariat propaganda from a person whose passport you pass through properly. This person wants the power to prevail against the powers that be in this place. The problem was I was not prepared on my first playthrough. I was preoccupied with putting food out for the family. Then one day the police provided me the option to provide them pieces of evidence pointing to the EZIC group I had previously met him in passing. So my poor, proactive self passed the piece of propaganda to the police and I was put in prison promptly despite my passive playthrough thus far. Point of this is providing the police with paper trails to follow doesn’t protect you. It put me in a perilous predicament that put another end to my playthroughs. I probably should paused to ponder about the potential problems I could put myself in, although I didn’t think of prison as a possible option. Patience wore out on post prison playthroughs which let to the possession of plentiful pink slips. Simply put, I was panicking and pressuring myself to make up past progress. It went poorly.

Games like Papers, Please are problematic for me because I push myself and pass on important particulars in panic. I prefer playing through at my own pace. Any time I am put under pressure though, I end up paralyzed and my performance plummets. It is probably a point in its favor that passport inspection can produce such pressure despite the fact you are playing pretend. When my partner and progeny pass on because I couldn’t prepare them properly, I feel pain and guilt from failing to protect them. In my pursuit to pursue perfection at my post, when I pass a problematic person and see the color pink, I get depressed if it propels me into debt I can’t pay. Putting up with prison isn’t my preference. Please be prepared if you want to play this game. Pay close attention, prepare funds to power through to the path you want to take. Don’t be partial if you want to profit. Plan ahead and pave the way to prosperity. Perhaps I being paranoid about all this, but people’s patterns can’t be predicted. Personally, I posted this to put my past behind me. Papers, Please reminds me of some personal problems I have and my gaming preferences. I procrastinate and panic and try to pull things together, but it’s never proper preparation. I need to properly plan ahead so as to not panic which would also help with platformers and puzzles. Again, that’s a personal problem, but for now at least I won’t be put in prison. I will still be prudent in participating in police protocols though. Although that’s probably persisting paranoia.

Announcement #3

Been a while since I did one of these, but here we are again. First off I want to address to recent posts. The titles have not been in the same format at last year. I thought I would try to change things up this year. The topics were starting to feel a bit too constraining after the challenge last year so I wanted a bit more freedom. I may bring them back at some point, but not anytime soon. I will eventually reflect that in the about page if I don’t forget or get too lazy. The other thing to go over is the challenge for this year. There is one I promise. I just hasn’t shown up yet because it is something that will only happen once a month. I am trying not to overwork myself over a hobby after all. The theme is alliteration. There will be twelve posts with a letter used quite frequently throughout. It was an idea I had for a while so I thought it might be fun. The one for this month should be up shortly. I may also branch out a little from talking about videogames in the future. More on that at a later time though. Enjoy reading!