Going Forward with Pokemon

Image by Donnpati

Pokemon, as a series, is extremely slow to change. Likely due to a fear of alienating an audience and impacting sales, the series has stuck remarkably close to its roots, keeping the original 2D sprites, first debuted in 1996, up until White/Black 2, which came out in 2012. While the sprites definitely improved, 16 years without a major change in the series is perhaps one of the longest spans in the industry for a series to go sticking to it's guns.

It was 2014's XY that broke the mold, launching Pokemon into the "modern" era.

This all changed with Pokemon X/Y. GameFreak's first Pokemon entry to the 3DS was amazing. Gorgeous 3D graphics made the game feel so much more modern compared to White/Black 2 which was only a year prior. The changing camera views let them do some interesting things with caves, and also imparted an almost cinematic feel to certain areas. Areas like Route 7, where the camera pans out and drops for a side-scrolling effect, really lets you enjoy the quality of the art that GameFreak made for the game.

X/Y had the NPC friends that helped break things up. Sana's friendship scenes and a decent story helped break the mold a bit. ORAS, however, due to it's nature as a remake, felt old despite looking as good as X/Y did. ORAS's post game, the Delta Episode, however, was where that game shone. The story was fascinating, forging a link between all of the games' 18 year long span, took you into SPACE, and had you acting as the usual saviour, but as the champion of the league (the important bit).

What Pokemon needs is to keep changing. There's a lot of hold over from the old games, some of which would be real cool to change. They've got a great model to work off of, and it certainly has changed for the better, but that model, at it's core, is still very much the same model.

Monster Hunter 4U: A Game for Slight Masochists

I love Monster Hunter. It's a series that I've sunk well over 900 hours (across several games) of my life into. With the latest installment, MH 4 Ultimate, they've added and combined all the best aspects of the previous games, somehow balanced all of the weapons pretty darn well, and gave us one solid, hell of a game. I'm just going to rant about stuff that's bothered me, gotten me carted ("killed" so to speak"), or is such a salty-rage inducing inclusion or change that it just begs to be yelled at. On the list are things like small monsters that are everywhere (and too much everywhere), system and game mechanics, monster designs, camera controls and maybe things that are part of the series (and have never changed). The list is in no particular order:

1. Konchu
2. Hit Boxes
3. Najarala
4. Camera (Camera Controls)
5. Wind Pressures
6. Guild Box changes
7. Bad Luck

2014 - A Year in Games

I'll be honest and say that I'd be hard pressed to even come up with a list of 10 games that I've actually played this year. A combination of multiple electronic failures, and being a cash-strapped student resulted in a more than a few reasons as to why this list is so much smaller than usual.

I'd try categorizing games into their genres to make choices easier for me, but the list this year is probably small enough to fit into a nice Top 5. Here's the TL;DR list based on enjoyment. I enjoy games, but I wouldn't trust myself in arguing over which game is better made or whatnot.

1. Dark Souls 2
2. Fantasy Life
3. Bravely Default
4. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
5. Shovel Knight

Strap in for the real list, grab some popcorn and a drink, 'cuz this one's going long. Also, spoilers abound, so don't say I didn't warn you.