A Bizarre Weekend with Pokemon Rumble World


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Before I went out of town this weekend I went down to my local library to see what kind of 3DS games they had. What I was really looking for was Fire Emblem: Birthright and for the past couple of weeks every time I visited the library it was there. But of course this time, when I actually wanted to play, it was checked out. Go figure.

So I instead opted for Pokemon Rumble World because it looked sort of interesting. I remember downloading it once out of curiosity, it’s a free to play title on the 3DS complete with micro transactions and mobile-esque timers. But i remember it being kind of fun, a super easy action RPG with Pokemon. Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know what the retail version was like. Ever since Pokemon Mystery Dungeon I’ve enjoyed the Pokemon spin-off games a little more than the main ones. Nevertheless, It was a really strange experience.

Like most mobile games it hooks you in with easy but fun gameplay. Your Pokemon has one or two moves and you go around beating up hordes of other Pokemon. THere are different balloons you can buy which are basically packs of Pokemon and dungeons that you can enter. They either drop some coins or a collectable version of themselves that you can then play as. There’s the same arbitrary power ranking like in Pokemon Go. associated with every Pokemon drop. At the end of the dungeon there’s a boss a bigger more powerful Pokemon that will either drop a lot of coins or a supped up Pokemon. the dungeons take between 2-3 minutes and afterwards the balloon goes on a timer to inflate. Of course you can always bypass that by using the premium currencey. There are also challenges you can do to get some diamonds and of course you can annoy your friends with requests to play to get more diamonds

The game gives you 3,000 Pokediamonds, the premium currency, and a diamond mine that you can use once a day to get 40 diamonds. This is actually pretty good considering it only takes one diamond to inflate a balloon and only a few diamonds for special upgrades like better Pokemon drops and faster Pokemon. At first the game seems kind of predatory. Some of the timers are 4 plus hours with the shortest ones being 20 minutes. But what I found most interesting is that even if you play the free version you can only ever buy 3,000 diamonds or whats included in the retail version. After which the game gives you a diamond mine same as the retail version and you can’t buy any more.

I’ve never heard of a pay cap on a free to play game, you would think that limiting the amount of money you can extract from each user wouldn’t be great for your bottom line. But it is great for the player especially when we are seeing more and more games who rely on the “whales” and the players with less financial self control to turn a profit. I’d like to see more of this kind of business model who knows maybe what’s good for the players can also be good for the companies as well.

It turns out Pokemon Rumble World was good for my 3 hour road trip. It’s a great time waster but the charm wears off after a couple of hours. It turns into the same repetitive, non challenging game play and collect-a-thon. Which is great for scratching a grinding itch if you have one. One thing is for sure, there are a lot of Pokemon. In my short time with the game i managed to collect 191 of them, that still leaves over 500 more to go.


Revisiting Guild Wars (The First One)


9 and a half years ago I created my Guild Wars account. 9 and a half years, that seems like an awfully long time ago. In those years I managed to put in over 1,500 hours into the game with many of my main character having 230 hours of play time. I don’t think I’ve ever played a single game that long since and probably never will again.

In the past I’ve tried to make it a point to go back every once and a while to open my birthday presents and see which mini pet I would get this year. Apparently it’s ben a long time since I’ve done that because each of my characters had 4 presents waiting to be opened today. It’s crazy to think these characters are old enough to be in the  2nd grade!

Guild Wars was my game in high school. I first came to it after being fed up with being a free player on Runescape and not having the means to become a member. Guild Wars was a physical box I could buy with cash and didn’t have to pay a subscription afterwards so no credit card needed. I loved the world, the classes, the battle system. I loved that max level was 20 and there were hundreds of skills to choose from to make builds. Most of all I loved the fashion, all the armor and weapons was the same stat wise at 20 so everything was viable to wear.


Over the years I’ve ran the content to the ground on at least 6 characters. My stable of 10 still has some stragglers that I never quite got around to playing. My assassin was my main with the most hours clocked on him but my favorite class has to be the ritualist. I haven’t played a game since with a class quite like it from the mobile spirit turrets to random jars you can carry around and drop for different effects.

As you can tell I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately about the game. One thing I’ve never done is finish the Prophecies campaign. As soon as I got the Factions expansion and realized how easy it was to fully level a character I never looked back. I even tried to take some Factions and Nightfall characters back to Lion’s Arch to try and finish the campaign but I never got too far.So last night I decided I would try to beat it and if all went well and if I was still enjoying the game I’d revisit the other expansions as well.

So I rolled up a Mesmer, a class I never really got around to playing, and was hit by a wave of nostalgia as I entered the Pre-Searing. With Guild Wars being in Maintenance mode for years now I’m really surprised that there are so many people still running around in Pre-Searing towns, and by so many people I mean like 5. I would of thought it would have been a complete ghost town, surprise surprise. I’ve only done a few quests and run aorund to a few towns. I don’t know if I’ll end up sticking with it but it’s like seeing an old friend again for now and it’s kind of a cool feeling.

Pokemon Go: Keep Out


Like many, I’ve spent the last couple weeks living out my childhood dream of setting out and collecting Pokemon for real. The hunt has brought me to places I’ve never been, I’ve met some people I otherwise wouldn’t have, and I’ve stopped in the middle of a sidewalk or a store more times than I can count.

Pokemon Go hit and it hit hard. Almost every store, restaurant, or bar in my neighborhood has some sort of deal for Pokemon Go players. Every night there are people young and old wandering the streets with their eyes glued to their phone. From my apartment I hear the yells and cheers of people who have finally found the little critter they’ve been searching for, usually right under my bed room window at 3am…while I don’t really mind, it seems like more than a few people do.

I’ve slowly seen more and more “Private Property: No Trespassing” signs pop up around town. There are three right around my apartment. There are a few more around more of the popular Pokestops as well. The majority  I’ve seen in the residential part of town on people’s front yards,I guess not everyone wants hordes of people standing around their house or business in the middle of the night. Even where there aren’t signs posted I’ve seen a few people jup fences and even one wandering around a construction sites.

Just because we’re playing a game doesn’t mean we should wander around places we aren’t welcome. Especially other people’s yards, you would think this would be common sense but apparently it’s a problem around here. While there are Pokemon everywhere, maybe we as players shouldn’t be going everywhere.




Growing Up Gaming


This post is in response to this weeks NBI 2016 writing prompt.


When my family moved closer to the rest of the extended family, I got to know my cousins better. They were around my age and we liked the same things. We would have sleep overs and watch Pokemon, talk about digimon and play with action figures.

Growing up I never had cable. While other kids were watching Cartoon Network I was watching PBS. So it’s not really a surprise that when Saturday Morning Cartoons were still a thing, I was glued to the TV.

Our Saturday morning cartoons were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider-man, Batman, and Power Rangers. I was always looked forward to Pokemon and Digimon the most.

One day they showed me a Gameboy Color with Pokemon Blue. My 7 year old mind was blown.   Not only could I catch whatever Pokemon I wanted, but I could battle them and get gym badges too! I  watched them play these games any chance I got. Never playing a video game before, I was ecstatic when they let me play. We spent a lot of afternoons after school sharing a Gameboy and leveling our horde of Pokemon.

We played Pokemon games for a long time. my cousins got a second Gameboy and Pokemon Red so we didn’t have to share as much. We could finally collect them all. I remember having to connect the Gameboys with a cable to trade and battle. Ialways wondered how the pokeballs fit through that tiny wire.

We eagerly looked forward to the next installment of the series when the Ash set out for the Johto Region on TV. I don’t remember much about Silver or Gold, but I distinctly remember cloning 6 Quilavas and completing the game, good times.

A few years later, they got a Nintendo 64. I took every chance I could get to visit the cousins. We’d spend hours together playing Super Smash Brothers, chasing each other around in Golden Eye, and trying to get all the stars in Super Mario 64.

As we grew up, we grew apart. They grew out of Pokemon (I still haven’t).

Now when the family gets together it’s the younger cousins who want to play the games. They take out the Wii U and school us in Super Smash Bros. They teach us about Minecraft and show us their favorite streamers. We take out the N64 and they make fun of the graphics. But when we all get together we still play games and it’s just as much fun as it was back then.