Alola Pokédex 25% complete.
That’s the fire captain in the volcano beaten. Pretty bizarre that was, all the dancing and stuff. And the hiker photobombing.
And I’ve discovered Poké Pelego, which is weird and addictive. Combined with also being addicted now to the Festival Plaza which I previously rubbished, I’m concerned I may never complete the main game.
16 hours in already! I’m on the second island, and have just taken part in the four-way battle with Hau, Gladion and absolutely not the Professor in luchador gear.
I’ve also spent a lot of time in the Festival Plaza, which is a bit weird but oddly addictive.
Off to Route 7 now, to meet the captain who lives in a volcano. Uh huh.
Well, where “recently” is “any time in the last couple of months” and “things” is “games I’ve not completed as I’ve already posted about those”. In no particular order:
Spec Ops: The Line (Mac)
This was free, but only if I played it enough to get £1 credit back from Green Man Gaming. At first, I really struggled as it misdetected my PS4 controller and everything literally spiralled out of control – see this video, in particular from the 7 minute point:
With that fixed (I used a mouse and keyboard instead), I then worked through the first level, or mission, or whatever. It’s OK, but nothing special. It’s also difficult to play with an Apple mouse, because you can’t click the left and right buttons at the same time. I don’t know if I’ll play it more.
A lot of people seemed to be quite negative about this, but I’m really enjoying it. It removes almost all of the RPG elements (perhaps this is why it has the reputation it does), but the story and the combat are great and it looks lovely. Also, that Wii U one is out now and I thought I’d do this while waiting for that to magically appear in my possession.
Letter Quest Remastered (PS4)
Incredible Boggle/RPG hybrid. You’re given a bank of 15 random letters, some worth more than others (sort of Scrabble-like) and you make words out of them. The more powerful your word, the harder your attack is on your foes. You can level up abilities, making 6 letter words worth more, or double letters more powerful, etc. and it’s very addictive.
I set my Steam Link up again and this is one of the titles I played, having heard good things and getting it for virtually free in a recent Humble Bundle. It’s not bad, but I don’t think – so far at least – it deserves all the praise. It’s just a quite bland twin stick shooter with average graphics but with some great characters. I’m enjoying it, but not as much as I expected to.
Lego Dimensions (PS4)
I actually bought this a while back, but still had Lego Marvel Avengers on the go. With that finished (although not 100%ed) my daughter and I broke it out and yes – it is excellent. Jumping from world to world (we’ve had The Simpsons, The Wizard of Oz, Ninjago and Doctor Who so far) is great, and the references to other Lego games (such as the Joker Titanbot rematch) are awesome too. Playing shuffle-the-characters on the portal is less fun, though, but we’ve negated that a little by moving the portal to the sofa between us.
Pokémon Y (3DS)
With over 70 hours on the clock now, and still about 30% of my Pokédex unfilled, there’s a lot of game here. Not least when you consider I “completed” it at around the 35 hour mark.
A brief history of my time playing “main” Pokémon games:
1997: Pocket Monsters Green, a badly translated ROM on a Game Boy emulator. I had returned to university early from a holiday in order to spend a few days revising. Instead, I spent a few days playing Pocket Monsters Green, non-stop, reaching the Elite Four and realising my chosen team were no match for them. I never beat them.
1999: Pokémon Blue, on a Game Boy. I obtained the first 4 gym badges, then stopped playing. I don’t know why.
2001: Pokémon Gold, on a Game Boy Advance. As with Blue, I obtained the first 4 gym badges. Then I stopped playing.
2003: Pokémon Sapphire, on a Game Boy Advance. Once more, after obtaining the first 4 gym badges, I stopped playing.
2016: Pokémon Y, on a New 3DS. Completed!
After the earlier false starts, I’d given up on playing any more in the series because I assumed they’d all go the same way. After 13 years, however, and my 7 year old daughter wanting to play Pokémon X, the time was right to get back into the main series Pokémon games.
It was fun playing alongside her, mostly progressing through at a similar rate, with me occasionally helping out by sending her Pokémon or using O-Powers to augment her abilities temporarily.
Since the last game I played, things have improved greatly. The graphics, of course, but also there has been a lot of streamlining. Early on in Y, you obtain an item that allows you to share XP with all your party, meaning you no longer have to start with a Pokémon you want to level up and then swap them out immediately. Item management is easier, and trading your Pokémon is so much easier – and can be done over the internet. There’s even an online “swap shop” for them, where you can browse “wants” or offer your own Pokémon up. Or, you can do random trade matchups where you don’t know what you’ll get. I’ve used this a lot with duplicate creatures, and obtained some great stuff, like a high level Pikachu, a Shiny Oddish, and plenty of others I’d not seen myself at all.
All that is great, but the core game is the same as it ever was. Travel the region, fight the gym leaders, Be The Best. No bad thing, especially to someone who hasn’t played Pokémon in such a long time, and there are so many ways to make it easier (the trading, the online “Pokémiles” shop, the XP sharing, O-Powers, Mega Evolutions) that the frustration of grinding – perhaps a reason I gave up on the earlier games – doesn’t happen. Indeed, I beat the Elite Four, the Champion, AND the *spoiler* with my team of mainly Legendary level 100 monsters (and level 90+ Greninja and Charizard) taking down every opponent Pokémon (bar one, who was Sturdy) in a single hit each without taking any damage in return.
Too easy? Possibly. Did that matter? Not at all. Did I complete it before my daughter finished X? Hell yes. And isn’t that all that is really important?