Memories of Blue and Silver [GO]
Oct 19th, 2012 by Dan

I never pick Squirtle, but he’s still pretty awesome. (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)

Way back in 1998 (holy crap, that was 14 years ago!) Nintendo Power started the long game of hyping up this weird little Pocket Monsters game that was exploding with popularity in Japan. This quirky little RPG was coming stateside and they wanted us all to know about it.

I’m sure you can guess that I was once a proud subscriber to Nintendo Power and a bigger RPG fan then than I’d say I am now. In those days David and I still sometimes shared a room. We spent many a night chatting about video games and pretending we were superheroes.

Pokemon was an instant hit in our imaginations. A sweet Gameboy game that was reliant on trading and would allow us to battle each other? It’s perfect. When you have a brother you’re close with, co-op or otherwise 2P games are always a sweet proposition, not to mention that we’d have something to do together on road trips because it was portable.

That Butterfree doesn’t stand a chance (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)


What torture, though, that the game was announced in January, but wouldn’t launch until September. Until then we were forced to look at pictures of the creatures and plan out our approach. David would get Red since Charizard looked the coolest. My starter would be Bulbasaur because it was cuter than Squirtle.

I might be mistaken here, but I doubt we even received it until Christmas. On that fine day it was finally ours and it was incredible. Our devotion to the trading game started early as we restarted our games to trade each other the three starters. There’s a memory kicking around in my head of doing this in the family van, probably on a road trip. It’s crazy to think of now, but this was all pre-Pokemon breeding. That meant we had to redo the intro and unlock trading five times to give each other a full set. Pretty involved stuff, but well worth having access to all three starters.

I used to think it was cheap that your Rival (named Dave back then, but always Min now) always picks the one you’re weak to. (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)


I name my Totodiles Albert after the Gators nowadays (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)

1998 wasn’t as tough as 1997 was for me, but I was still a 7th grader and the scars of the last year’s mocking and difficulty fitting in made me wary about sharing my inner Pokemaniac. There were friends of mine who openly played their Gameboys before class, but the consensus among most of the people I knew was that Nintendo’s Pokemon marketing was geared toward elementary school students. The hours I poured into Pokemon, the afternoons I spent watching the Pokemon episodes I’d taped that morning, those weren’t socially acceptable for me. I had friends who played video games, but I didn’t have friends who were video game nerds.

I sometimes regret not just being open about the things I liked, but that’s also part of growing up. It’s why Pokemon Silver, while still an incredible and epic journey (I mean, you collect the Kanto badges too!), captured my attention a little less. It’s also why I never bothered with Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald until much later.

David just found his Red/Gold carts and I’m sure I could find mine if I started a concerted search, but I can’t even imagine how many hours must have been logged on my copy of Blue. I mean, each version I’ve bought in my adult years easily have > 100 hours on their system clocks so Blue must be even higher!

The biggest shame about the series, really, is that the Gen I and II games aren’t compatible with Gen III and beyond. Sure, the mechanics of the Special stat and the lack of Pokemon Abilities would make it tough to move those guys forward, but I really wish I could have my first Mewtwo or my first Gengar still with me all the way from 1998. As it stands now, those poor guys are doomed to an inevitable death as their battery backup slowly fades.

Thankfully Phantasma (as I’ve named every Gengar I’ve ever caught from day 1) will always live on in my heart and memories.

Remember how the anime told us to use Gengar against Psychics, but his Poison typing and poor programming meant that this was a terrible mistake? (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)

BlazBlue, KoF, L4D, Pokemon, and Capcom [Game Overview]
May 8th, 2009 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

If you’re trying to find the common thread that weaves all of these games together, don’t keep racking your brain, I’m just covering a ton of different stories and experiences.

Tangled Up in Blue

Street Fighter IV created within me something of a fighting game…well I hesitate to call it a renaissance, cause there was never a naissance, so to speak, but, should naissance actually be French for birth, it did birth in me the fighting spirit. I haven’t played the game in a while, mostly because I’m trying to save the world and attend high school (Persona 4) at the same time, but I figure I’ll get back to it soon, especially with that new tournament mode in.

The reason I even bring that up is because of the upcoming game BlazBlue has got a pretty sweet pre-order bundle set to launch alongside the game. Buying the game early, at no added cost, will yield soundtrack CDs and, my favorite feature, a DVD with top players going over the moves and strategies for each fighter.

Being the fighting game newb that I am, I find this kind of thing to be an invaluable help in creating strategies and managing opponents. I just hope it’s not too high level that I can’t understand or implement the things they’re doing. It should also help me to find the most bizarre, obscure character to master. I don’t always go for the strangest guy, but I definitely make an effort to try and choose lesser-used characters in fighting games mostly because I tire of seeing Ken all the time.

Source: Kotaku

Royally Screwed

Staying on track with fighting games, the two extra King of Fighters XII home version fighters were announced and they…don’t include Mai?! There’s still time to announce Mai in the game, but the release date is rapidly approaching. Why they didn’t have her in the arcade release baffles me in the first place, but why they’re not including the absolute fan favorite in the home version absolutely blows my mind. We’ll see how this continues to play out.

Oh yeah, the new fighters are Elizabeth and Mature. Stupid name on that second one, if you ask me.

Source: Kotaku

Stats 4 Me

If you know me decently well, then you know that I love stats. Very few things excite me more than seeing a nice, clean breakdown of how I did in certain aspects and how I fare against certain situations or match-ups, etc. It’s why I hate the stats section of SFIV (Why don’t they have stats for how I perform against each character as each character? Why don’t they have stats for each opponent I face?) and of SSBB (Actually, kind of the same things here.)

Leave it to Valve to satisfy my every craving with the detailed Left 4 Dead stats page that you can check for any player. Where else would you be able to see that I have 100% accuracy with an assault rifle or that my favorite Tier 2 weapon is the hunting rifle?

Can't say "screenshot or it didn't happen" now, can you?

Can’t say “Screenshot or it didn’t happen” anymore, can you?

Granted, these stats were collected a few weeks (months?) after the game came out, so I probably don’t really have 384 Assault Rifle kills or 100% accuracy, but you can bet I probably won’t pick up an assault rifle again for a long while until I’m sick of looking at that sweet 100% mark.

It’s interesting too that my Zoey count is so low (only 55%) considering that I always prefer to play as her. I blame quick games, where my character choice is not left up to me.

Oh yeah, here’s a link to my stats page.

Stats I will be working on:

-More Zoey!
-Increase revive:revived ratio (currently 1:2)
-Improve finales survived (sitting at 12.5% right now)
-Drop average damage to teammates (this one ballooned after I spent a whole game on easy shooting my partner for fun)
-The fact that I’ve only shot one cartridge with the pump shotgun makes me laugh. So long as I’m never Francis or Bill, I doubt that number will increase too much.
-Want to know why my hunting rifle headshot rate is only 5%? It’s not cause I suck zoomed in, it’s cause zombies die in one hit with the hunting rifle, so why aim for a small target? Don’t expect that to rise.
-More versus! The new maps are out. I need to play them. I need to have a more lopsided (in the wins direction) record.
-I should throw more rocks as the tank.
-More survival mode medals. I need more!
-More achievements

Darek’s got more friends playing, so I should be able to find people to continue to play with and keep improving. I’m excited.

Gotta Catch ‘Em Again

Nintendo announced today (but in the Japanese today, which is still going on, but at 2230 or so right now) that they would be re-releasing Pokémon Gold and Silver as Pokémon Heart Gold and Pokémon Soul Silver on the DS Generation IV engine. Exciting news for Pokémaniacs, since Gold and Silver were perhaps the longest, and neatest games. Not only did you go through the new region in those games, but your quest actually required you to return to the original region and collect all those badges too. With one fell swoop, the geniuses at Nintendo have managed to bring all of the regions, minus the Gen III region into the future. It’s an exciting time for someone who wants to catch ’em all, but we’re all wondering out here in the West when Nintendo is finally gonna get around to letting us import our Platinum dudes into Pokémon Ranch, much less our new Gold and Silver buddies.

Source: Bulbanews

“You must be a master of sales”

If you got the obscure and kind of lame Resident Evil reference there, go you. For everyone else, let’s move on.

Capcom has released a listing of its top-selling game franchises to give you an idea of how well its game series sell and are popular relative to each other. Here’s the list:

Resident Evil – 40 million (56)
Mega Man – 28 million (124!)
Street Fighter – 27 million (62)
Devil May Cry – 10 million (11)
Monster Hunter – 8.5 million (11)
Onimusha – 7.8 million (12)
Dino Crisis – 4.4 million (13)
Ghosts ‘N Goblins – 4.4 million (16)
Final Fight – 3.2 million (10)
Ace Attorney – 3.2 million (12)
Breath of Fire – 3 million (15)
Lost Planet – 2.7 million (7)
Commando – 1.2 million (2)
1942 – 1.2 million (3)
Sengoku BASARA – 1.2 million (10)

Note that there are numbers in parentheses. This is the number of games released in that series, which gives me a great idea. You see, this list, in and of itself, does not accurately represent how well each game performs on a per-game basis. It’s not really accurate to say “Wow, Mega Man is way better than Street Fighter” when Mega Man has had 124 releases to SF’s 62 and only outperforms it by one million. Here’s the adjusted list in sales per game:

Devil May Cry – 909091
Monster Hunter – 772727
Resident Evil – 714286
Onimusha – 650000
Commando – 600000
Street Fighter – 435484
1942 – 400000
Lost Planet – 385714
Dino Crisis – 338462
Final Fight – 320000
Ghosts N’ Goblins – 275000
Ace Attorney – 266667
Mega Man – 225806
Breath of Fire – 200000
Sengoku BASARA – 120000

What does my expert analysis show? Well the top three series are all more modern A-list Capcom games. Games have become far more serious business in recent years, so this makes sense. Expensive games plus the increased numbers of buyers make these franchises more successful. The most glaring change in this list is the move of Mega Man to the near bottom of the list. What else can you expect from a series that got its start on the NES and has released 124 (!) games, many of which are portable or spin-offs not meant to sell. In fact, the last real Mega Man release was Mega Man 9 and that was released digitally.

This list really doesn’t prove anything, but it’s at least fun to look at.

Source: Kotaku

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