Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MC Wiki

This is my announcement, on this blog, that I've made another blog, just for Minecraft stuff.  Specifically, I thought this up about two weeks ago, since it would be good for some mods that I'm planning to develop, as well as Minecraft stuff in general.  Though, both have been brought to a screeching halt by medical necessity.  Soon, though, I'll be over this, and then it's back to the virtual mines!  ... The future is weird.

Perpetual "Lent"

NOTE:  I actually had the idea for this post last week, but illness and side-effects of medication have kept me away from blogger until now.

So, during Lent, Catholics give up something that they enjoy for 40 days (though it's apparently 46 days with breaks on Sundays?) to emulate being in a Roman prison for a comparable period of time.  Yeah, I don't get it, either.  Anyway, I realized that, in a way, I'm always giving up something that I like.  It all comes down to time. Work sucks up 42+ hours per week, plus commuting time.  However, it grants me money, so that I can buy stuff that I want.  The tricky thing is finding time to do everything that I want.  Do I play Minecraft, or TF2?  Or Dungeons of Dredmore?  Or Dungeon Defenders?  Or Pokemon?  Do I catch up on new YouTube subscription videos, or watch old favorites?  Or do I listen to a podcast?  Should I read that next HP Lovecraft story, or a fairy tale?  Or should I be digging around for old planetary romance novels?
This might sound like an arbitrary observation, and maybe it is, but, to me, I really notice all of that stuff that I'm not doing.
I guess that that's it:  short and bittersweet this time.

Pokémon: White Version

Recently, I was reminiscing about my old days playing pokémon.  My ruby version's battery died last year, and I didn't feel like trying to compensate for the lack of time-based events.  Fortunately, as an improvement over Generation II, the game's save data isn't dependent on the battery, so I figured that I wouldn't be at any real loss if I just replace the battery.
But then, I had a realization:  Given that I have my own source of income now, I can just buy the new games, and the system on which to play them.  So, I did.  I've skipped Generation IV altogether and bought myself a Nintendo DSi and Pokémon White and Black versions. I've started playing White version first, because, after some checking (done before the purchase, actually), I found that White version has the White Forest, where some pokémon can be found, whereas the Black City (Black version's counterpart) doesn't have any.
Before this next part, you should realize that, now that I've got the games, I'm trying to minimize how much I look up.  I want to re-experience that initial discovery feeling from back when I played the first games, in the ancient 1990s.  :P
As I've played through, here are some things that I've noticed, in no particular order:
  • Based on the intro, there's much more of a JRPG feel to this game.  I mean, I know that Pokémon is from Japan, and that it's considered a VGRPG, but it never really felt like that, y'know?  
  • Boy has the beginning of the game ever changed.  Instead of being eased into the idea that this is a world of Pokémon, and eventually being shown a battle and given a choice of Pokémon, it's just:  Here are the starters, pick one.  This doesn't affect my ability to play the game (by the way, I picked Snivy), but I imagine that it could be daunting to a new player (i.e., "What if I pick the wrong one?" stress).  Also, I kind of liked the relaxed pace of the games before.  
  • There is a distinct lack of early Pokémon.  I found Patrat and Pidove, and was like, "OK, I got Rattatta and Pidgey, but where's... anything else?"  This game's version of Caterpie/Weedle/Wurmple isn't encountered until after the first gym, which is quite odd.  In fact, it was only thanks to my dogged persistence that I found that I could catch Purrloin, too.  
  • Speaking of that, this game seems to be playing more to the gamist players.  There's the really quick start, and the rarity of Pokémon early on, and there are even Heal Balls later on, which are useless if the newly-captured Pokémon is sent to the box (i.e., if you have a full team at the time of capture).  It really seems to play to the type of player who catches the minimum number of Pokémon to beat the Elite Four.  
  • TMs can now be used like HMs, and there are at least 98 of them.  What's up with that?  
  • Why do I have to navigate terrain in 3D?  This isn't even a 3DS game.  Also, I'm still moving on a grid, so is the experience really that improved?  
  • Why did Sewaddle take until level 20 to evolve?  It's this version's Caterpie, so I was expecting level 10 at worst.  
  • Why does the Snivy line have hind legs?  It's not like there haven't been snake Pokémon before.  
Well, those are my initial impressions.  Make of them what you will.