Tag Archives: ORAS

Favorite Games I Played in 2014

2014 was the Year of the New for me as I never before had played this many games that were either just released or released within a year that I played them.  This mainly stems from my 3DS which even though I got in October of 2013, I wasn’t able to exploit the games on it until 2014.  Another small boost came in the form of my used Wii U which I bought it and Mario Kart 8 at a decent price.

Even so, I still played many games that were released several years or more ago including quite a few for the DS, one on the PS3 (Arkham City), and one on the Gamecube (Metal Gear Solid: the Twin Snakes).

With this being a noteworthy year for my video games, I will give you my list of the new games I played for the 2014 year along with small awards for the “Best of” for that category.  Here’s the full list of them:

DS: 999: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Miles Edgeworth Investigations, Phoenix Wright Trials and Tribulations

Gamecube: Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes

PS3: Batman: Arkham City

3DS: Bravely Default, Pokémon ORAS, Fire Emblem Awakening, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pokémon TCG (via Virtual Console), Super Smash Brothers

Wii U: Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Brothers

Most Hyped: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright

Okay, this was pretty close for me, it was either PLvPW or Super Smash Brothers.  True, I’ve been waiting for Smash Bros longer than PLvPW but I just love the professor and the lawyer so much.  It was very agonizing for me to just sit here in the U.S. seeing Japan get the game…and then Europe get the game…and we don’t!  I was sure it wasn’t going to come…and I was soooooo happy that it finally did.  You see, I knew Super Smash Bros would get to the U.S. eventually but not PLvPW.  But opening up that game and turning it on and hearing that music and seeing that title screen and seeing the characters gloriously animated was quite a treat and would have been hard to top.

Best Multiplayer: Super Smash Brothers (WiiU)
This should be pretty obvious, Mario Kart 8 was super fun and it’s nice to play against your friends on the 3ds version of this game but come on, 8 players!  That just seals the deal for me right there.  Playing with my friends on a variety of controllers with a variety of characters was just simple fun with simple madness.  Can’t be beat.

Best Game to Play with Mary: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

We smashed, we raced, and we played Pokemon together but Animal Crossing is the best game to play with her.  True, I love doing all three of the previously mentioned games with her before but Animal Crossing is different.  We are in a town together with our own homes interacting with our own villagers.  And though we can’t directly interact with each other, our interaction with the town and its quirky villagers makes this a nice gem to play.  Animal Crossing towns do have a vibe of loneliness if you’re the only human player but this is cured if you have other people inhabiting your town, it makes it feel more active.  Plus it makes funding projects that much easier!

Best Story: 999
I played games that had a good story in them whether it was the trials in Phoenix Wright, Snake infiltrating Shadow Moses, or Professor Layton duking it with Phoenix Wright but none took me on the twist and turns of 999.  Perhaps it was because I was not familiar with the series but the game took me on a wild ride and that never stopped (until I failed an ending and had to restart).  I was legitimately creeped out by some of the moments in the game and I regretted playing it while I was in bed.

Special shoutout though has to be done for the story behind PLvsPW as that story took me on an emotional roller coaster with some good twists.  Another special shoutout has to be done for PW: Trials and Tribulations because that final trial was definitely a doozy and remains among the best in Pheonix Wright’s cases that I have done so far.

Unexpected Hit: 999 and Pokemon Trading Card Game
These two are on top of the list for different reasons.  I knew 999 was critically acclaimed but I just didn’t get why until I played the game.  I devoured this game in less than two weeks (normally it takes me at least a month to finish games).  On the other hand, Pokemon Trading Card Game was just so much fun to play.  I first played this game more than ten years ago and I suuuucked at it even with the cheat codes.  My brief dance with the TCG in real life made me learn how to play the TCG and so when I bought it on the Virtual Console it was just too much fun.  Creating your own deck was fun and beating the game (which is hard mine you) was quite rewarding.  I definitely hope Nintendo decides to release an updated version of this game!

Biggest Disappointment: Bravely Default

For all the hype and praise surrounding this game, I was honestly burned out by it.  The amount of grinding I had to do was intense and it just got to me.  I haven’t played the game in awhile but I’ll probably pick it up again later.  The same thing happened for Fire Emblem Awakening (which was fantastic btw) where I got frustrated by it and stopped playing for three months.  I picked it up again, powered through it, found out I loved it, and finished it rather quickly.  I’m hoping BD will be the same thing but I won’t be touching it again for awhile.  I’m still surprised by people’s praise, anyone want to give me their thoughts on this game and why you might have liked it?

Best NPC: Joker from Batman: Arkham City
999 had a host of characters that I enjoyed interacting with.  Most of the characters I originally passed off as Trope characters that had only one particular trait, however, as the game went on, they would continuously surprise me by the things they did, their knowledge, and their history.  Number 7 was one of my favorites.
However, Joker was by far the best NPC.  Mark Hamill was as usual great in his role as the Clown Prince of Crime.  Plus, Joker’s role in the game was a I think better than his main antagonistic role in Arkham Asylum.  His joking personality was at his height here and let’s not forget those hilarious answering machine messages he left for Batman.  Classic Joker.

Best Line Delivery: Twin Snakes

Enough said.

Best Sequel: Pokemon ORAS
I played a lot of sequels during this year of franchises that I love.  A good sequel in my book is one that retains the original charm of the first game while adding new stuff to it that makes it a refreshing experience.  For that, Pokemon ORAS was probably the best sequel of them all.  ORAS not only was a good Hoenn remake but a good step forward in the evolution of Pokemon games.  The sneaking mechanic for Dexnav made catching pokemon a whole new level of fun!  Hidden abilities, special moves only learned normally through breeding, and held items made it fun to find the best pokemon.

Not only that but the map and pokedex features improved a lot making you want to catch odd pokemon even if you didn’t want them in the first place.  The New mega evolutions are great and Hoenn getting a full 3D remake was just amazing.

Best Item(s):  The Brave Weapons from Fire Emblem Awakening
In the Awakening game, weapons matter a lot to you especially for the higher ranked ones as they can give more damage with better bonuses as well.  The brave weapons as such were among the best weapons in the game that I liked to equip my warriors with.  True, they may not be the strongest ones, but they’re among the best weapons to buy and that goes a long way.

Best BossThe Grand Masters from Pokemon Trading Card Game

As said before, defeating the Pokemon TCG was challenging mostly thanks to the Grand Masters.  All of them were packing Legendary cards that I couldn’t access yet.  Getting my butt kicked by Courtney, the first Master, several times made me rethink deck strategies to the point of dismantling them entirely and working from the ground up again.

Ironically, one of my easier battles came from the final battle against Ronald, your rival in the game.  He flat out refused to call back his Zapdos despite the fact that he only had fire and water energy cards.  I chose not to kill him on a gamble that he wouldn’t return him so I just outwaited him.  He ran out of cards before I did and I won.  One of the most hilarious victories I ever had.

 

From Starter to Finish

With this week’s release of ORAS I thought I would write an article about Pokemon.  Pokemon is like second nature to me as I can write about so many random topics about it that it isn’t even funny.  But for this week I thought I would talk about where every Pokemon trainer’s story begin, the starter.

The starter Pokémon are some of the most recognized, most remembered Pokémon, especially for their respective generation.  It’s kind of bittersweet though as when each new generation is introduced, a new wave of starter Pokémon come by to represent it and the old starter Pokémon are then replaced.  But Pikachu keeps on staying that yellow bast-

Anyway, the starter Pokémon are the most important Pokémon to you.  Period.  Without them, you couldn’t have beaten the Elite Four, or acquire all eight badges, or even catch your first Pokémon.  They are the genesis of your journey.

Unfortunately, some trainers, including myself, may not keep them for all of their journey.  This is probably one of the worst sins you could commit in the Pokémon world.  Maybe you find other Pokémon you like better or maybe you’re just not a fan of them.  It doesn’t matter, you have sinned.  Go and confess your sins to Arceus (or your respective diety, I don’t want to be prejudice).

Okay, so for me, I had my starters from beginning to end in Generation I, Generation II, and Generation III.  Generation IV though was when I began to waver from this sacred tradition.  When I played the Sinnoh games the first time through I had Turtwig and then I eventually gave up on him…The second time I played through I had Piplup…and gave up on him as well…the most recent time was with Chimchar and for him I finally held onto into the very end.  I initially refused to play him because of my love for Combusken in the last game and I didn’t want another fire/fighting Pokémon.

Generation V though was when I really didn’t care.  Now let me say up front that Generation V is not my favorite generation at all.  After the amazing Generation IV, I was…not too pleased with Generation V for several reasons.  It didn’t help that I thought each of the starter Pokémon looked so…bleh.  I mean, I guess Snivy is cool…but man…Oshawott and Tepig just didn’t strike my fancy.  I gave up on them when they were only level 16 or so.  Poor guys.

Generation VI definitely fired on all cylinders.  All three of these starters were well-designed and definitely represented what a starter Pokémon should be like.  The best part was that there was not a dominant favorite starter for Generation VI.  Everyone I knew who played the game didn’t overwhelmingly go for one starter.

As for me, I chose Froakie.  When the initial line up was revealed I was somewhat torn which Pokémon I would choose.  It wasn’t until the reveal of the starter’s second stage that I made my decision.  Fennekin’s Fire/Psychic typing was tempting but I ultimately went for Froakie and his Water/Dark line up.  I can’t explain it but I just like his initially dorky look and his evolution to his final, cool and slick stage.

This is a decision that I do not regret.  Though Froakie is alright I actually like Frogadier more.  I probably stayed with this stage for most of the game.  That kind of bonding time really gets to you after awhile and I missed Frogadier when he eventually evolved into Greninja.  Many battles were won with this guy.

My love for Greninja actually increased after I finished Pokémon X.  When Greninja was revealed to be a fighter in Super Smash Brothers, I was happy but not ecstatic.  But once I played him in the actual game my adoration for him just went through the roof.  He’s great!  Granted, his Substitute move has been done before but I like his Shadow Sneak and his amazing jumping and running speed.

I also like how Greninja is portrayed in fancomics as pretty lax compared to the other two starters and just goes with the flow.  Check those out.

I actually recently made a poster for my university’s local geology conference that was enspired by Greninja’s color scheme.  I pretty much suck when it comes to color palate and layout for posters.  I decided to just screw it and base the poster off of his colors and the poster looks pretty good actually!

Greninja Poster

I should do this more often. For the curious, I used the eyedropper tool to get the exact colors of Greninja and then applied it to the poster. Background is body color, border is the head frill color, box color is part of the tongue while the darker pink is the other part of the tongue

In the end, Greninja is one of my favorite Generation VI Pokémon for many reasons and the best part is how my friends really like their starter Pokémon as well.  It really speaks volumes on how awesome Generation VI has been so far.

And with the release of Pokémon ORAS this week, we can continue on with the progression of Generation VI and Pokémon in general.  I’m especially looking forward to the releases as I like the starter Pokémon a lot.

Insert Mudkip Meme Joke Here. Image from http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Mudkip_(Pok%C3%A9mon)

Combusken is actually one of my favorite middle stage Pokémon of all time.  My love for this dorky Pokémon grew first from necessity as I desperately needed a Pokémon to take down Roxanne and her rock type Pokémon.  After that, I held onto Combusken for as long as I can so he can learn his moves as early as he could.  This method of evolving Torchic early and Blaziken late meant I spent so much time with Combusken that he eventually became my favorite stage of the three.

I have yet to decide if I’m going to pick Torchic again for ORAS as I already had one trained in X and Y.  I’m tempted to train Treecko since I haven’t picked him yet but I just love Combusken so much.  Regardless who I choose, I’ll guarantee you two things; one-ORAS is going to be great and two-whoever I choose, he’ll be with me from starter to finish in the wild lands of Hoenn.

If you have read through my article then riddle me this!  What’s your favorite starter?  I’m curious to hear!