Thursday, March 31, 2011

3DS Acquired

It came in the mail today and I played around a little with the "?" AR card and Face Raiders.

Both were really neat, I loved how the AR card took the surface I was using it on and manipulated it and I could rotate it and get all sorts of different angles. Can't wait to try the other cards. The Face Raiders game was also neat but creepy.

Don't have any games to give any impressions on but so far I played for half-an-hour and the only headache I got was the one I woke up with. Also the system has a nice weight to it.

Thursday Trailer: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

This game was announced a few days ago, and some fans seem to be a bit skeptical, because it seems to be  some sort of squad-based, co-operative shooter, taking place in Raccoon City. I don't know what they're so skeptical about, seems like a cool idea to me, just as long as I get to play as Leon. By the way, did anyone notice the really big dude around 0:40? Could that be Mr. X or Nemesis?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Songs that should be on Rock Band - The Distance

It's songs like this that make me wish I was a teenager in the 90's rather than the early 00's. CAKE is a very strange band, but their songs are always very interesting to listen to. I'm sure a lot of people have heard this song before, and would be ecstatic to see it release on the Rock Band music store, I know I would be. There are also a few other songs by CAKE I'd like to see available, but for now, this would do for me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Resident Evil Archives & Resident Evil 4 Wii

Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil
Price New: $12.72

This week, I'm featuring two Resident Evil games for the Wii. This first game is a port of the remake on Gamecube of the original Resident Evil. I've heard that the controls are a bit wonky, but they are tolerable, and if you haven't played the remake, that this would be a great introduction to the franchise if you wanted to know where Resident Evil started.

Resident Evil 4
Price New: $11.04

This next game is something that I think everyone should play, whether they like the franchise or not. Resident Evil 4 has been claimed as one of the best games of last generation, and this port of it to the Wii has a fantastic control scheme. If you have not played Resident Evil 4 before, I would recommend buying this since it's so cheap right now. If you like action titles, this is definitely for you, the pacing of this game is perfect, it barely slows down at all.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: NBA Jam (2010)

Review based off PS3 version.

NBA Jam is one of those titles that if you are like me hold many fond memories. When NBA Jam came out in 1993 it was an revelation of a game. There were some arcade sports games around but as far as I can remember none had real players and real teams featured. NBA Jam did and revolutionized arcade-style sports games and created a new sub-genre that would last through the mid-90s. And while the console ports at the time weren't able to replicate the experience they still brought the same fast-paced style that made the game so fun to play.

Unfortunately as the franchise went on, in an attempt stay relevant, Acclaim would over complicate the formula that worked so well until 2003 when we all thought that NBA Jam was dead and buried. But along came EA after buying assets of the now defunct Acclaim and they decided to bring back NBA Jam and bring back what made the franchise so great: Simple, fast and satisfying.

The reboot of NBA Jam feels very close to what the arcade original did. We are back to 2 on 2 no holds barred basketball with massive slam dunks, lots of pushing and shoving, going on fire and a very fast pace. If you've played a classic NBA Jam you'll feel right at home with this game and it shouldn't take you more than a few quarters to get a feel for it. Of course there are some new wrinkles thrown in, like the cross overs and spins but when you break it down it is purely classic NBA Jam. There is a remix mode but as of this review I haven't really delved to deeply into it, preferring the classic style gameplay over the new stuff but the game has a lot of modes, a remix campaign mode, remix mode with more mini-game type rules, a boss battle mode and of course online mode (in the 360 and PS3 versions).

It isn't perfect though. For one, much like the old games, the computer AI tends to be really cheap, especially in the 2nd half. Even on easy the CPU will be all over you hitting shots and make defensive plays that seem unfair. You better have a fairly sizable lead or be very good on the higher difficulties or the CPU will come back and beat you if you get sloppy. You partner AI can be a bit up and down to, since the game doesn't allow you to turn off CPU assist, you have to hope your AI can hold up its part of the bargain because if it doesn't you'll hurt. It is overall capable and will be helpful to you if you want to win but in the 2nd half sometimes he will just go on vacation it seems, especially on defense.

Another thing the game really covers is the franchise's penchant for secret players and teams. You get a typical assortment of NBA legends (Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird), mascot players and special teams, including the Beastie Boys, Democrats, Republicans and the announce team. The variety is rather cool though some of the secret players seem a little forced just because they had to give all the teams a "legend". I mean really, Bryant "Big Country" Reeves for the Memphis Grizzlies? Also I as a Bulls fan love the addition of Scottie and Dennis Rodman to the Bulls team but I must once again ask, where is Michael Jordan? Seriously, is there any franchise that wasn't almost made in the image of Jordan's early career exploits?

Graphically the game retains the fairly simple clean look of the old games. Instead of overcomplicated player models there are only two or three models that all move very well but are otherwise generic sans skin colors and uniform design. What really makes the models cool are their heads. Instead of 3D model they use actual photos of the players making various facial expressions. It both hilarious and awesome and does a great job of drawing you into the game. The arenas while nothing special look good for the most part. Unfortunately though the care put into the player models is not used in the spectators. Most of them are 2D with a few frames of animation and is really kind of boring to look at, which shouldn't matter too much since you shouldn't be focusing on them anyways.

The music in this game isn't as classic as the stuff from the original. A little too hip-hop for my tastes but overall not to bad. The little extra music that plays when you are on fire was a nice touch. What they did get really right is bringing back the original play-by-play announcer, Tom Kitzrow. His addition really adds to the game's classic atmosphere and while his calls can get repetitive and tiresome at times, there are few lines as awesome as hearing Tim call out "BOOM SHAKALAKA" on a massive dunk or saying "HE'S ON FIRE" when you are on fire. The on court sound effects have some oomph to them but you don't feel nearly as big as they should be but maybe it just me.

In the end though, NBA Jam is a faithful update to the classic original game. If sims aren't your thing but you still love yourself a little basketball you can't go wrong with this game.

+ Great revival of the arcade classic with a lot extra modes if you are also looking for something new
+ Nice clean graphics with heads being really fun
+ Lots of secrets to unlock
+ Tim Kitzrow's classic announcing
- Some of the hidden players leave a bit to be desired
- AI can be cheap and unbalanced even on easiest setting
- Really wish Michael Jordan could have been in it

Quick 3DS Blurb

The 3DS is awesome. Nuff said. But more will be. Soon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flash Friday: Icycle

This is a very beautifully animated game, it has a great style. The premise is that you were transported to the future somehow, and now you're naked and stuck with a bicycle to get around. It seems like that the world has come to an end and everything is frozen. You must get through the levels riding your bicycle and avoid obstacles while following the path of soap bubbles that lead you in the right direction. The first few levels are easy, but it gets a bit challenging on the later half.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anamanaguchi on Rock Band?

Well that was quite unexpected. It was released on the Rock Band Network yesterday. The next time I get some Microsoft points, I'm definitely going to download this track. Playing those chiptune notes on the keyboard will feel so satisfying.

Thursday Trailer: Animal Crossing & Paper Mario on 3DS

Well, since the 3DS is launching this weekend, and I won't be able to get one with any of the launch titles, I might as well show a couple of trailers from two of the games I'm most excited to play whenever they release. Hopefully this year around the holiday season, I'd love to get a 3DS for Christmas!

Anyway, here is a little peek at Animal Crossing and Paper Mario on the 3DS:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

5 Gaming Items I'd Just Like To Have

I'm a game collector. Now while my collection isn't gigantic or anything (damn the expense!) I know what I like and there are some pieces that would be just fantastic to just have. And because I love lists I thought I'd list the top 5. Because otherwise the list might get really long.

5 Gaming Items I'd Just Like to Have*

Robotic Operating Buddy

Ah R.O.B how I covet thee. Sure the games that use you are not particularly good and for whatever reason you and your kind always trend towards evil, but you just look so awesome. I'd love to just have R.O.B sitting on the top of my bookshelf, looking all '80s and such. And I'd do everything I could to keep him from turning towards evil or at least keep him occupied.

The Power Glove

"I love the Power Glove. It's so bad." - Lucas

And with that line a powerful meme was created. One that is pretty much a law to use when mentioning anything power glove related. While pretty much useless, as the AVGN demonstrated, it does exude a certain air of geeky awesome that few peripherals could match. Plus if I had one, I'd wear it all the time around the house. Annoying my roommates with that classic line. I might even start calling myself Lucas. Well maybe not that.

Virtual Boy

As maybe the worst thing Nintendo has ever created and the direct cause of the great Gunpei Yokoi's departure from Nintendo, this system has something of a history to it. I'd never want to play with it even if the games themselves aren't remarkably bad (outside of Waterworld) but much like R.O.B. this thing has a certain bit of awesome to it. Especially if I have a stand for it.

Super Scope

Definitely not as memorable as the Zapper and nowhere near as comfortable to use it has the the distinction of being one of the few peripherals for the SNES, especially compared to the glut of peripherals the NES had. Plus it is a bazooka. Bazookas are cool right?

The 32X and Sega CD
Look at that poor Genesis. You can almost hear it crying out in pain as it is suffocated by two of the things that so tarnished Sega's reputation that they would never really recover from. But still there are a few good games on each of them and if I really wanted a laugh I could buy the many terrible FMV games they made for them. I could even buy the most evil game ever, according to Joe Lieberman, Night Trap.

*And yes I know my list pretty much reads like a list of things the AVGN has reviewed but I stand by these picks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Songs that should be on Rock Band - Genesis

Now this is a band I thought I would see a lot sooner on the Rock Band front. Genesis is a classic 80's band that  should be represented in Rock Band sometime soon, especially because of the introduction of the keyboard in the last installment. My suggestion would be to release the 'Invisible Touch' album on the music store. I heard the title track yesterday on the radio and that gave me the idea to mention Genesis in today's article. By the way, if you haven't seen the music video for "Land of Confusion" by Genesis, I suggest you take a look at the video below.

Hilarious seeing Phil Collins as a puppet isn't it? That's another one of the tracks on the 'Invisible Touch' album. There are still some other songs like 'That's All' and 'Mama' that I'd like to see on Rock Band, but first I'd like to see them put this album up if they can.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: A Boy and His Blob & LittleBigPlanet

A Boy and His Blob
Price New: $13.90

A very beautifully designed game with a cutesy look. Any game that has a 'hug' button has to be good, right? If you're a fan of puzzle platformers, I'd suggest getting this.

LittleBigPlanet - Game of the Year Edition Playstation 3
Price New: $22.99

Don't have enough to get LittleBigPlanet 2 yet, but haven't played the first? Well, this edition comes with all of the DLC released for the first, and you can get your feet wet with the first level designer rather than plunging right into the massive scope of LBP 2.

Retro Reviews: Little Nemo: The Dream Master

Little Nemo: The Dream Master was released in 1990 and developed and published by Capcom.

Little Nemo: The Dream Master was based on a 1989 film, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (which is actually quite good), which itself was based off an early 20th Century comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland, created by Windsor McCay. Doesn't that just scream movie and video game adaptation?

Little Nemo has you playing as Nemo. In 1905, while sleeping one night Nemo is visited by an emissary of Slumberland who arrives in a large blimp. He is invited to visit Slumberland to play with the Princess of Slumberland, Camille. He is initially hesitant but after being offered candy (nowadays that would trigger all sorts of red flags), he agrees to go as long as he doesn't have to kiss her. It turns out that Slumberland has been taken over by the Nightmare King and King Morpheus (no not that Morpheus) and it is up to Nemo to travel through Slumberland and to the Nightmare Land to save the day.

Little Nemo, much like a majority of Capcom's NES titles, was a platformer with some exploration elements implemented in most of them. Through first 7 stages, Nemo must find a certain amount of keys to open up a door at the end of each stage. Nemo himself is fairly defenseless and has overall limited abilities. Pretty much all he can do is jump and throw candy. Throwing candy has two uses. The first, mostly useless one, will stun an enemy for a few second but isn't really useful. Where it is useful though is when you find certain animals. Feed them 3 pieces of candy and they will become docile so that you can use them and their specific abilities to find the keys that you would otherwise not be able to find. For instance the frog can jump higher and jump on enemies, the lizard can be used to climb walls, the bee can fly and shoot stingers or the mouse can also climb walls and use a hammer(yeah....) to break down walls and defeat enemies. There are more including the mole, gorilla, hermit crab and fish that are pretty much used in one level and have fairly simple uses. There is one more option that Nemo has that doesn't show up until level 8 and that is the Morningstar. Nemo actually carries it with him throughout the game but can't use it until then. What he can do with it is hit enemies with it and charge it for an energy attack, which is very useful with the 3 bosses you fight in level 8, which are the only bosses in the game.

Nemo's general lack of fighting skill is what makes this game fairly difficult. Not only are some of the enemies incredibly hard to avoid but your animal friends will also hurt you until you feed them sufficient candy. It isn't the hardest game ever but it is a solid challenge.

Graphically this game is standard fair for Capcom. Which can only be a good thing. Especially coming in later in the NES's life the graphics feature nicely animated sprites and lots of colors. The levels all have their own unique themes and look very different from each other with amazingly little in the way of reused stage sprites, though many of the enemies will recur.

The music in the game is also a highpoint. Of course being Capcom this to be expected as well. From the whimsical themes of the early stages, to the dark, scary sounding theme used in Nightmare Land or the extremely fast paced and energetic credits theme, there really isn't a bad song in the game. Some are more memorable than others but they all fit the game wonderfully. The SFX are kind of lacking. Just standard whacks and such. Nothing bad just not great.

In the end, Little Nemo: The Dream Master is a fantastic platformer from Capcom in their NES heyday. It is up there with the Mega Man games and Duck Tales as an all-around great experience and is as fun to play today as it was when I played back in the day.


+ Varied Graphics
+ Fantastic Music
+ Varied and large stages
+ Good challenge
- Nemo lack of useful standard attack and lack of great maneuverability
- Inappropriate plying of children with candy.

And as a bonus, a video review by the Happy Video Game Nerd (warning: some swearing):

And a little vanity on my part: A playthrough of the game I did a couple years back and posted to YouTube:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pokemon and Facebook: A Non-Professional Study

So Pokemon week has come to a close, and the hype of Pokemon Black and White has started to wane. Yet a couple weeks after and possibly for months to come, most of us are still playing the game. It's addictive and it makes us keep coming back for more. It's the kind of game you can play for five minutes or five hours and still get the same experience. You could say it's almost like... A Facebook game.

Now before you start tossing Pokeblocks through my window with death threats tied to them, think about it. Pokemon and your average Facebook game have very similar methods to get you addicted.

1. Rewards
We all love getting rewarded for our efforts. Whether it's through a pay raise or just seeing the ending to an incredibly hard game. Of course, some games are just a never-ending stream of little rewards, all culminating to a promised larger reward. It's this carrot-on-a-stick method that keeps us playing. Every time you get an item or level up a Pokemon, you hear a satisfying jingle as you feel like you accomplished something despite putting in no effort. MMOs do this too, as well as modern multiplayer-centric games such as Call of Duty and Lost Planet 2 (Damn that slot machine...), but it's boldly apparent on many Facebook games. Even if the gameplay amounts to clicking a button and seeing results, the game makes you feel you're accomplishing something.

2. Socializing
Pokemon has been a social game even from the beginning. The creator pretty much expected you to have a friend with a different version so you could trade and battle. The later games of the series expanded on this, with Pokemon contests, minigames, and even the C-Gear. In fact, the C-Gear is the most Facebook-esque feature in the Pokemon games. Anybody who has it on can see people nearby playing the game, with the ability to send messages, register friends, and even perform surveys on nearby people. There's even rewards for connecting with other people, in the form of Thanks and the Sweet Heart items as well as giving you better items for Black City and White Forest.

3. Status updates! Status updates! Status updates!
Although this can fall into the last point, I feel it's big enough to be a separate thing. The option of mixing records made the world feel a bit more interconnected. Watching the television after mixing records gave you an update of some of the things your friends had done, almost like those status messages on Facebook saying your friend got a golden hen in Farmville... The main difference here is that the updates are only focused on the Pokemon game itself, but like the updates, can be ignored.

4. Time
What's the single most important thing you put into a game in order to get results? The amount of time you spend on it. Pokemon is far from being an exception. Many people have been known to grind against a single type of Pokemon for hours on end just to increase hidden stats, or just go around and train their monsters. Either way, it's pretty much the same thing: Push button, receive results. This loops back to my first point, the Rewards. Facebook games and Pokemon games keep rewarding you to push onwards, investing more and more time to keep playing the game. Only difference is, Pokemon doesn't have many obligations. If you put down the game for a month, your Pokemon won't grow old and die, your items will still be there, and the Elite Four will still want to battle you. There are daily events, but they're repeatable and aren't lost forever. Games like Farmville and even Animal Crossing tend to have those time-limited obligations. If you don't come back to the game every so often, you'll come back to withered crops and an empty town.

Other thoughts...
Many Facebook games require you to pay real-life money to get anywhere in the game and get these rewards. Pokemon just requires you to buy the game to get access to all of its content. Of course, if you want all the Pokemans, you have to buy both, so I guess it's kind of the same thing...

Pokemon is largely a social game by nature. The population density in Japan is high enough that you can bump into several people who have the game. Of course, the opposite is true overseas, where unless if you're at a densely populated area or at college, you won't find many people playing. When you do, it's interesting how sociable people can get about Pokemon. Many talk about their team as if they were real life animals, or ask one another how far they are in the main story, or even just gush about this one monster they caught that became their newest favorite almost instantly. Pokemon Black and White are very fun games, and improve on their predecessors by a lot, but it's still apparent that the games are much more enjoyable with somebody else than by yourself.

Gaming Reference: Chuck & Mr. Sunshine

Admittedly I've seen video games in quite a few places lately. I've just been too busy to post about it. I saw a Contra skit on Robot Chicken involving the fact that the two lead characters realized they had multiple lives. Then on my favorite show, How I Met Your Mother, there was an episode a few weeks back where Marshall and Ted bond over some Nintendo gaming as Marshall tries to recover from his father's passing.

So I couldn't let more references pass by without noting them. So today I have two for you readers.

First there's another one of my favorite television shows (unfortunately airing opposite of How I Met Your Mother), which is a spy comedy called Chuck. In last week's Chuck, Chuck and the beautiful Yvonne Strahovski were tossed aside as some new spies became the new "A-team" for an episode. Chuck, being the nerdy but awesome guy he is, felt that their free time would be best spent playing Final Fantasy 2 on his Super Nintendo. At first it was a throw-away line but then they actually had him and his fiancee-spy play a little. Quite a nice touch, even with a quick blowing into the cartridge before placing it in the classic console.

I doubt I'd be too concerned with Final Fantasy if I were sitting next to her...

Then in another reference, a recent episode of the Matthew Perry show, Mr. Sunshine featured more video game action. His character, Ben, played some Mario Kart Wii with the dopey Roman. As the familiar sound effects played in the background the two discussed the pro's and con's of Yoshi.

"I like Yoshi. I like him! And he can really round the curves on Donkey Kong mountain."

"Yeah but he's a joke on Peach Beach."


So as I said, there has been a lot of gaming in the media lately but I've been unable to keep up. If you've seen anything you'd like me to feature, let me know and maybe I can post it up. I don't know if it's just my gaming tastes or not either but it seems that all the references I've seen lately involved Nintendo products both old and new. That's quite telling. Maybe we're past the days of gaming references just being people obsessing over Halo-clones in an unrealistic way.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Playing The Classics: Donkey Kong Country: Vol 3

The nature of this game with its funky (no pun intended) save feature and level select feature, mixed with this blogger now back in school trying to earn a new degree, makes it challenging to continue through it. The game is entertaining enough as I've said but it's just hard to get motivated to use the precious little free time I have on a game where I'll have to replay significant chunks of levels if I don't make it to the next Candy location. That said, I finally made my way back into a groove with it, despite an exam on the horizon.

I am enjoying the theme of the Industries levels. However in the second level of that world, I came across a moving-platform style level that's reminiscent of those from Super Mario World. I had a bit of an issue with these however because of a somewhat minor programming decision. Donkey Kong (or Diddy if you're leading with DK) will always follow the lead player. So when I'm riding these platforms, it's hard to realize I'm not falling off or overshooting my jump when the secondary player is moving without me even doing anything. Simply when a platform changes direction, my characters shift and it's like a minor illusion. Then I came to a point where the platform lowered onto a vulture that spits rocks. I let it ride down, assuming I'd be killing it, but nope, it goes through the platform and kills Diddy. Thats some great video game logic... Then when the track was over, I felt like the platform was going to fall so I jumped but I ill-time it. So I corrected and landed back on the platform, only to roll off the other side. Give me a break. That break came in the form of the next level before the save point, Elevator Antics. It was the right kind of challenge but I didn't have to die a billion times to make it through. A well done level.

In Blackout Basement... I was torn. On the one hand it was quite challenging and for that I saw its value. On the other hand, how annoying is it that a level is in the dark half of the time as if I was starting to blackout while playing? I think what's interesting to note as a comparison with Donkey Kong Country Returns is my post-level desire. What I mean by this is that, when I beat DKCR, I was very ready to go back in for more and replay levels. Even the really tough ones were levels I salivated for. However, with Donkey Kong Country I find myself trying to get past a level, then having no desire to return. I don't know if the levels aren't as memorable or if the controls are still just a bit peculiar for me but I definitely see a difference.

The time span between writing the above portion of this and writing the below portion has been weeks. School has attacked my free time and so I haven't been able to finish this game yet. Finally though I aim to do so, in one final post about the game. I just played my way through Tanked Up Trouble and Manic Mincers, which were challenging but do able. I feel like though, that I want this game to be over already. I hate to say that about such a beloved game, and while I am having fun, there is just something about this game that I want to be over. Maybe I want the stress of the save feature gone most. I have having to retread my steps in order to successfully start from where I once was. For example, how right now I have to finish those two levels again because I used my final life at that new level with all the smog and snakes. It's enough to pull a rage quit. If I lose more than two lives in Tanked Up Trouble it makes no sense to use the rest. I should just lost them all and start fresh. I think what frustrates me most isn't so much the sometimes awkward character control, but the lack of definition in the platforms and the feet on which my monkeys stand on.

Platform Perils.... what an appropriate name, for a fun level! Finally something challenging but fun. Tons of jumping but it's not ridiculous. You know how to do it, but can you succeed? I really enjoyed this level, despite dying a few times. Finally I made it onto a boat. Admittedly I said to myself, "another world? really?" But I was optimistic for the fact that it was on a ship. Then I realized quick it was the final boss battle. I loved the music, which was familiar from playing in the past (whether it was DKCR or DKC I don't recall). K.Rool is easily the best boss battle of the game. It took a few tries until finally I knocked his ass out. ... or so I thought ... the kredits began to roll and suddenly, as I was looking at this very screen, I was jumped by that fat reptilian jerk. So I died, and tried again. This time knowing better.

When I finally beat him after his tricky move, I appreciated the coronary he apparently had. Though all the characters in this game kind of sound like they're having some kind of physical release... Then came the very Rareware thing to do and show me all the enemies. I actually generally like this sort of thing. Having the squids chase the shark and then back again was kind of funny. I do appreciate that despite the Kremlings kind of had inspiration from the original Klap Traps from the original Donkey Kong game.

All in all, after the credits rolled and the start screen returned, I felt like it was a generally fun game. My finish percentage was 48% and a play time of 2:14. Seemed a lot longer... haha. I know there's tons of letters and secrets to be found but that's just not for me. I did appreciate the blast from the past and a look into where the roots of the banana tree that is Donkey Kong Country Returns came from. I hear the sequel is even better than the first though. Perhaps I'll have to try that in time.

Featured Artist: mssingno

No, there isn't an 'i' missing up there, that's what this artist goes by on dA.

Anyway, have you ever wanted to make your own Pokemon? Well, that's what this person and a lot of other artists on deviantArt do. It's a sort of a sub-niche within the Pokemon niche. The imagined Pokemon are called 'Fakemon' and sometimes these ideas are realized by the artists in a concept drawing. Out of many Fakemon artists, I think mssingno has some of the best concepts. They were nice enough to let me feature the Fakemon they've come up with, so here are a few that really stood out and I could definitely see becoming Pokemon.

First, let's begin with some starter Pokemon concepts:

Monoliz -> Hydros -> Serpentreo
Though Generation V has a Hydra-like dragon, I really love this design.

Embright -> Coalite -> Lumisect
A firefly! Why hasn't this been made yet?
Floatern -> Ringull -> Seagale
I like this much better than Wingull.
Now let's take a look at a couple of legendary Fakemon!
Biggest. Pokemon. Ever.
A steel and 'light'-type Pokemon. I approve.
Here's a few more that I thought were worth mentioning, though like with purplekecleon's article, I will probably forget some that I wanted to feature:
Scarib -> Scaracoph -> Scarrapri
A Pokemon based on a Scarab, now that's an idea that should have been done a loooong time ago. Great design with this.
Based on a Gila Monster, another great concept.
Not quite like my idea for another Water/Steel type, but still good, nonetheless! I wouldn't have thought of an underwater mine to be a Pokemon, but I can live with this design.
I have seen someone suggest a pumpkin-based Pokemon before, and this has been the best design for one I've seen so far.
I really love this one. The Tron-like look of it is so cool.
Another concept I wouldn't have thought of. A Ghost/Steel type, very unique design.
He looks pissed. Another concept for a Steel/Water type, the fishbowl just adds to the cuteness.
Well, that is a sampling of the Fakemon by mssingno. Really awesome designs, right? I've tried designing a couple of Fakemon, but I don't think they could compete with what's posted here, or in the rest of mssingno's gallery. Go have a look and thank them for letting me use the artwork in this feature!

Flash Friday: I Love Traffic

I love traffic.

Well, not really, only when I'm the one directing it. It can be fun then, and that's what today's game is about!

I Love Traffic

The object of the game is simple: just click on the traffic lights to let the cars pass when the road is clear. Be careful not to cause an accident or let traffic back up too much though! There's 20 levels, and it can be completed in a short time, but it's pretty entertaining. It also gives you random facts after completing each level. Why? I'm not sure, but it was a nice touch.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Greener Side Of Pokemon

Being today is St. Patrick's Day here in America, I thought that I would post a little about Green Pokemon for Pokemon Week here at PK Gaming. I just had some thoughts about a few of our favorite green-colored creatures.


He was the very first pocket monster I ever had. He also is one of my favorites. Really, if you think about it, this is the number one green pokemon just because he is most classic. As he evolves he becomes even more incredible too.


I don't quite understand why but I love Ludicolo. He's wacky, a bit portly, and looks like he's always ready to party. A water and grass pokemon, he can stand up against fire pokemon that might threaten him. I always liked one of his relative equivalents, Poliwrath and that whole line, but there's something equally charming about this guy.


Generation after generation and finally it is discovered that Eevee has more evolutions up it's sleeve. Finally a Leaf-stone evolved Eevee is discovered in Leafeon. I admittedly haven't used it much in play but it's definitely a sweet looking pokemon. Not sweet as in, "oh that's bad-ass!" but more like, "what an adorable pet".


Finally a pokemon that leaves the grass type behind and still remains very green. Rayquaza is a flying dragon that apparently feeds on water and atmospheric particles... hmm... in Super Smash Bros. Brawl he seems to be a bit more menacing and hungry. His battles, both in Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, are sights to be seen and forces to be reckoned with.

Dragonite (Shiny)

The final pokemon I wanted to pay a little tribute to is that of Dragonite... who isn't green... unless you have a shiny one that is! Dragonite is my absolute favorite pokemon, generation after generation. I've never had a shiny one though, but if I did, it would become a prized gaming possession. Dragonite is the king of tubby but lovable dragon-types and in his shiny form, he's quite the St. Patrick's Day representative.

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Famicom/Super Famicom Dominoes

Very Short 3DS Impression

So I was in the mall area today doing stuff (Bought a top loader NES. Awesome.) and stopped at Best Buy with the sole intent of checking out the 3DS display and hopefully get a chance to get play a little. I did and played a little bit of Pilotwings Resort.

And after a few minutes I must say that the 3DS is all kinds of neat. It really did feel like I was looking into a window and seeing a 3D landscape. Pilotwings itself also seemed pretty cool. The analog disk on the system felt good and seems like it'll be a good way to play analog games and such. Outside of that not much else to say. While I wasn't in a hurry, my back was hurting more from bending over to play on the kiosk than any possible eyestrain could have affected me plus my buddy I was with was in more of hurry.

So in short, I must give the nifty qualitiess of the 3DS a thumbs up and may have cemented my getting one at launch (though through Amazon so it won't be at my place till early April). I'd like to have actually held it to get a feel for it in my hands but it is expected that they wouldn't let you do that.

Featured Artist: purplekecleon

This is a new articles series I'm starting that will feature artists I find that craft superb pieces of fan art of video games. Since it's Pokemon week, I thought I would start with one of my favorite artists: purplekecleon.

I started following her on deviantArt a few years ago, and her submissions have graced my inbox regularly. I asked her permission to feature her in this article*, unlike some other site, and she told me to choose which works of hers I like the best, so... here they are.

Snivy and Serperior, she did tell me that this was her favorite piece at the moment.
Joltik on a leaf with rain dripping on it's head, isn't it the cutest?!
Dragonair, my favorite!
Milotic! Another favorite! (I love sea serpent-like Pokemon)
The new starter Pokemon. This piece was made shortly after their reveal. I have a feeling that many fans have grown to like them because of this piece.
Another piece made shortly after these new Pokemon were revealed. Man, she can make any Pokemon likable.
I love the lighting in this one, really looks like they're in a forest.
I picked this one out for Ink, it's one of his main team members.
Precious experience! KILL IT!
I couldn't resist putting this one in. An anthropomorphic Dragonair boy covered in Snivys... that's what I would be.
Well, those are the images I wanted to feature, I'm sure if I look through her gallery again, I'll find something that I really wanted to mention that I missed. I gave quite a lot of love to fifth generation Pokemon, but oh well, those have been on my mind as of late. Meh, this article feels so inferior to her artwork. I feel like I just can't do her work justice, it's too good!

All of the artwork can be found in her deviantArt gallery, with the exception of the last picture, which is from her furaffinity gallery. Go thank her for letting me feature her artwork in this article!

*Actually, now I feel bad about my Top 10 yesterday, all I did was search google for images... I could have used my own photos for the beluga, dolphin and lionfish... but.. ah well, if someone contacts me, I will take the images down.

Thursday Trailer: Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

Another 3DS trailer this week! This time, with Super Street Fighter IV. I'm not much of a fighting game fan, but this is one of the big launch titles, and from what I'm seeing with the different features, I may have to cave in and buy this whenever I get a 3DS.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Top 10 Sea Creatures Not Yet In Pokemon

Silly concept for a Pokemon, but I love it.
Pokemon are usually based on plants or animals, and occasionally objects, like a balloon or a candle or a pile of eggs. Nothing's wrong with that, since they are Pocket 'Monsters', they were never meant to be based on any type of life-form... but I do feel that some of those slots in the Pokedex could have been put to better use. Since I'm the local marine life guy here, I thought I would make a list of the Top 10 Sea Creatures that have yet to be in Pokemon.

I was relieved to see a sea turtle Pokemon, finally.
People tell me there are too many Water-type Pokemon, it is the most common after all, so they may yell at me for making a list exclusively of sea creatures, but really, they don't all have to be Water type. Hell, one of the new Pokemon from Black/White is based on a crocodile and it's a ground type. The majority of these could probably be Water-types, but with interesting combinations. By the way, of all the Water-type Pokemon, probably only half of those are living in the ocean... so... why hasn't the ocean of the Pokemon world been filled yet? Shouldn't it logically have more species than the land? Bah, forget it, on with the list...

#10. Mosasaur

We already have a Plesiosaur from the first generation with Lapras, but since then, there haven't really been any other ancient marine reptiles in the Pokemon world. I feel that a Mosasaur would make an excellent Pokemon, with a high attack and HP stat. It could also be a lot faster than Lapras because of it's streamlined shape.

#9. Hammerhead Shark

We already have a shark with Sharpedo... well... half of a shark, but there are many different types of sharks that Pokemon can choose from, so why not the Hammerhead? It's one of the strangest creatures in the ocean, and it's overall shape could inspire a pretty cool design.

#8. Humpback Whale

Again, we already have a whale with Wailer/Wailord, but that wasn't really the whale I was imagining when I found out there was a whale Pokemon. What I was imagining was something majestic and beautiful, that's not to say that blue whales aren't that, which Wailord is based on, but Wailord is just... well... not that majestic. If I were to make a Humpback Whale Pokemon, I wouldn't make it a Water type, I'd make it a pure Flying type, because of it's long, wing-like flippers. Think about it, wouldn't that be awesome to fly on giant whale in the sky?

#7. Barracuda

Every generation, there's usually a generic fish Pokemon that comes along, but occasionally, we get something like Relicanth, which is based on a Coelacanth, that had me thinking of other fish that haven't been introduced yet, like the Barracuda. In my eyes, it would be a crazy fast Pokemon.

I decided to go with a cute squid for this picture.
#6. Squid

Pokemon is no stranger to cephalopods, we've had an octopus with Octillery, and an ancient Ammonite with Omanyte/Omastar, but strangely... we've yet to have the most common of cephalopods. Some people say that Tentacruel has some resemblance to a squid, but I'd say not really. There is a lot that can be done with a squid's basic design. If they can do something interesting with the squid's tentacles, that would make for a very visually pleasing Pokemon.

#5. Kelp

Well, not really a creature, but a plant... well... not that either, because technically, Kelp doesn't even belong to the plant kingdom, kelp belongs to the kingdom protista, 'plant' is just a general term for it. There's a free biology lesson for you. Anyway, I've always wondered why they've never made a Water/Grass-type Pokemon that was based on Kelp. We have lily pads with the Lotad line of Pokemon, so why not something with Kelp?

#4. Lionfish

Like the Barracuda, this is another fish I've been wondering about when looking at the generic fish Pokemon every generation. It's obvious that the type would be Water/Poison. The lionfish already looks badass, so they don't have to work that hard to make a good looking Pokemon out of this animal. If they can't make it look good, then... I don't know what to say, they must have bad design skills if they mess up this beautiful creature.

#3. Beluga

Hooray! Another cetacean on the list! I always thought that a Beluga would make a very cute Pokemon and I even tried my hand at designing one once, with a Narwhal evolution. I would suspect that the Beluga would be another Water/Ice type... but maybe it doesn't have to be... what about Ice/Psychic? It would have a ton of weaknesses though... yeah, forget that, just make it Water/Ice.

#2. Billfish

Billfish is a broad term for fish with swords for snouts, like Marlin, Swordfish and Sailfish. I always thought that a billfish Pokemon would be a Water/Steel-type, because of it's sword-like bill. It would only be the second Pokemon to have that type combination, and it would have a huge advantage with all those resistances.

#1. Dolphin

You all saw this coming. A certain friend argued to me that Gorebyss looked like a dolphin, but no, that's a pipefish or snipe eel at best. If bulbapedia doesn't think it looks like a dolphin, then it's probably not based on a dolphin. (They think Tyranitar looks like a T-rex? What?) There is an orca Pokemon, which is the legendary Pokemon, Kyogre, and that's technically a dolphin species, but that's still not the kind of dolphin I'm talking about. What I want, is a Pokemon based on the Bottlenose dolphin, as pictured above. My guess is that for the type, they could make it Water/Psychic, because of it's intelligence, or hell, make it just Psychic, after all, the lamprey/electric eel Pokemon we got from Black/White is only Electric, and not Water.


So shiny, but terrifying.
Bobbit Worm

The bobbit worm is a very strange and creepy polychaete worm. They creep me out a little, but so do centipedes... but I love my Pokemon that's based on centipedes, my fat Scolipede, so if they can make me like centipedes, I'm sure Pokemon can make me like Bobbit Worms.

Marine Iguana

There have been a lot of lizards in the Pokemon universe, and there may have been an iguana in there somewhere, but the Marine Iguana is so different, that I had to mention it.

Deep sea tube worms

The reason I left this out of the top 10 is because I couldn't really think of what kind of Pokemon they could make with this, maybe some kind of crab or fish with the tube worms on it's back or something, I don't know. Though, I do know what type it would be... Water/Fire, because it lives in extreme heat near thermal vents.

Well, that's my list. What do you guys think? Are there some sea creatures I didn't mention that you'd like to see as Pokemon?