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Started up the Mystery Dungeon DX demo and wound up as Mudkip for my Pokémon. I’m not against Mudkip since that was my gen 3 starter and it’s evolution line was one of my favorites back in the day, but...well, I had to go with Psyduck. Me and that Pokémon can relate and it’s more of a personal joke at this point with the Pokémon.

Anyway, choose Chikorita as my partner because I couldn’t remember what my old one was from years ago and don’t have my copy of Blue Rescue Team anymore to check, so there we go. Only time will tell if it acts like the one from the anime went from hating everyone to clingy.

 

Also, I’m glad she liked my team name...😜

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Edited by YangustheLegendaryBandit
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So I just booted up my Pokemon Black for the first time, in many many months, to get the free Pokemon from Gamestop (EB Games for you Canadians [i think]). I also put down a little coin on Pokemon Whi

Ninetails.

Infernape. My favorite, and in my opinion, best starter by far.

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Played some more Let's Go Pikachu, and I am furious.

There are these little events where Pikachu finds some new fixture of a city where you can interact with it and bump up Pikachu's affection (e.g. throwing money at the fountain in Cerulean City). Well, it turns out that the vending machine atop Celadon Department Store is one of them, but I couldn't interact with it properly for the affection bump because I'd already spent all my money on TMs. I had to turn Pikachu down for a soda, and even though I immediately went to go get some more cash, the event is non-renewable and I hadn't saved recently.

Pikachu's affection is Lost Forever.

Edited by JaybirdC
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  • 2 weeks later...

So I finally stared Pokemon Masters in earnest and it's pretty interesting so far. It's nice to see the major trainers getting development, and it's downright delightful to see a crossover with actual player characters not named Red in it. I'm gonna try and regulate myself to just one event per day.

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So I finally stared Pokemon Masters in earnest and it's pretty interesting so far. It's nice to see the major trainers getting development, and it's downright delightful to see a crossover with actual player characters not named Red in it. I'm gonna try and regulate myself to just one event per day.
You started a mobile game when DQ Something of the Stars is coming next month!
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1 hour ago, Plattym3 said:

You started a mobile game when DQ Something of the Stars is coming next month! emoji848.pngemoji15.pngemoji19.pngemoji17.png

Correction: I failed to start a mobile game months ago. It's been sitting on my iPad for ages. But I still intend to play Something, Something, Stars when it comes out.

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2 hours ago, Plattym3 said:
2 hours ago, eal said:
Ah, yes. Something Stars, my favorite season of Sailor Moon.

Mine too. Those stars were really something.

My favorite star is a superstar. Particularly the kind that can jump up.

 

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Day 3, and I've evolved all my available Protag and Rival pokemon as far as I could. I couldn't complete my daily missions for the first two days because I didn't know what I was doing, for starters, and when I did I simply didn't have the levels to make the battle math work out in my favor. Today, however, I did, and what a glorious feeling that is.

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Pokemon Masters does something interesting in that it brings a bunch of never-met characters together, which creates some new duos I hadn't thought of and inspires thought of more: Blaine and Flannery, Iris and Pryce. Much like the DQ Heroes series.

1 hour ago, Plattym3 said:

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I read every word on that can in Warburton's voice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I seem to have hit a wall in Pokemon Masters, having discovered the limits of the available Main Story, which leaves me mostly with events and mission bingo, which is fine. Mostly I just play this game in the background while I do other tasks.

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  • 2 months later...

Okay, gonna fess up. I turned Let's Go, Pikachu! back on today to finish up the post-game (as much of it as I care to, anyway, which basically means Cerulean Cave) and decided to take a look at the Pikachu master trainer.

Not gonna lie, naming the Pikachu master Ikue was a nice touch.

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50 minutes ago, Brother Jaybird said:

Okay, gonna fess up. I turned Let's Go, Pikachu! back on today to finish up the post-game (as much of it as I care to, anyway, which basically means Cerulean Cave) and decided to take a look at the Pikachu master trainer.

Not gonna lie, naming the Pikachu master Ikue was a nice touch.

Sounds like you didn’t like the game. I must have missed you mentioning that. What don’t you like about it? I wasn’t super into it in the beginning, but it grew on me after the third gym badge.

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Okay, gonna fess up. I turned Let's Go, Pikachu! back on today to finish up the post-game (as much of it as I care to, anyway, which basically means Cerulean Cave) and decided to take a look at the Pikachu master trainer.

Not gonna lie, naming the Pikachu master Ikue was a nice touch.
Coincidence, turned on Let's Go, Pikachu for the first time 3 days ago & have been working through it with my son. 3 hours in and we have a badge and are in the middle of the cave, just passed Team Rocket. It's Meh. I'm having fun with my son and he's starting to like the trainer battles more than just throwing balls, which is good because I've told him that's what all the regular game is like. Out of the mouths of babes, my youngest asked why we were just tossing Pokéballs and not fighting the random Pokémon walking around. Me:
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1 hour ago, Brother Jaybird said:

Not gonna lie, naming the Pikachu master Ikue was a nice touch.

Why was it a nice touch?

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1 minute ago, Plattym3 said:

Ah. Now it makes sense.

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12 hours ago, eal said:

Sounds like you didn’t like the game. I must have missed you mentioning that. What don’t you like about it? I wasn’t super into it in the beginning, but it grew on me after the third gym badge.

Poor choice of words at the beginning of my last post; I didn't mean to diss the game as harshly as my words obviously imply. I beat the game months ago, IIRC the same day I posted Bruno's new design.

I'm really of a mixed mind on it. (I ended up building a few walls of text on this, so I'm going to hide them all in a spoiler tag to spare the passing eyeball -- you have been warned).

Spoiler

On the one hand, I like the new art direction, not the Puni Plush aspect in particular, but that the towns, cities, and routes all have their own internal stylistic consistency now, which is a pleasant evolution from the original Yellow casting a very distinct shade of color over everything. (Frankly, I think Yellow's use of color is actually one of the best design choices for all the pre-GBA Pokemon games, giving each town its own distinct mood and tone through in-your-face hue; non-Yellow games from that era all use and reuse the same assets and colors for general scenery, so they never managed to have quite as much aesthetic, while GBA and forward games were practically flexing: "Here, have a town where all the houses are built in the tree canopy! Anyone want a town built into the cone of an extinct volcano?"). The updated designs for the characters and even some of the Pokemon are also solid; Misty's is especially nice, combining both of her Gen 1 outfits (though you'd have to look at the concept art to know that, Bruno is just oozing personality (his design in Masters just looks bland by comparison), and Vileplume is creepy again. These games also have a lot of good polish in little effects and quality of life upgrades, letting extra Pokemon follow you (and at different "speeds") and replacing the bike with a riding Pokemon mechanic (the special flyer options are delightful, and something I've been day-dreaming about since I was a teenager). There's a fair few pieces of fanservice, too -- Misty's Gym Trainers are her sisters from the anime and Archer shows up to tie in to the Team Rocket story from HGSS.

On the other hand, it's a very well polished port of a very primitive game, and it remains really primitive at heart; it's not substantially building or improving on the game and sometimes it just throws in differences for difference's sake (e.g. replacing the Four Rocket Brothers with the Four Rocket Sisters). Some of the differences are actually detrimental: some early promotional news about the game went over Pokemon's new nice Rival, and while I don't mind Trace as an independent character, he only serves as evidence that Game Freak really doesn't have any clue what it's doing.

To open up a tangent sidebar on formula and rivals:

Spoiler

I don't mind that Pokemon is formulaic, but I do mind that Game Freak doesn't understand it's own formula, and thus isn't able to consistently improve on or refine it. As far as I can tell, Game Freak knocked it out of the park back in the 90s, but since then hasn't figured out what a home run is made of, so they just keep doing the same thing over and over again with minor here-and-there tweaks each generation, tossing in new ideas only to throw them out because to Game Freak is literally convinced these tweaks are all just gimmicks (e.g. Mega Evolution). Hell, in LGPE, they have I think only one dedicated Pikachu/Eevee sneaking-climbing segment to get a certain item in the Team Rocket Hideout. Why is it there? If it were a game play element they followed up or built on, that would be great, but they only ever use it once, and the way they use it makes it little more than an extra hoop to jump through, especially considering the fact that in earlier versions of the game you just walked up and grabbed the item).

Case in point, the rival -- Pokemon's never had a better rival than Gary (if anyone insists that I call him Blue/Green, I'll call him Turquoise instead), because Gary gave the original story heart in a way that no other rival managed to after him. Gary not only had a character arc all to himself (i.e. his success strategy of focusing on the numbers and theory of Pokemon to the detriment of actually caring for or about them), but he had a growing relationship with you built on sheer hatred -- every time you two ran into each other, he kept doubling-down on showing you up to the point that he made an absolute jackass of himself, picking fights in graveyards and even hostage situations -- and he followed his arcs unerringly until it all righteously blew up in his face.

Silver (I'll let this one slide) had a character arc, starting in a more thuggish place but then deliberately diverging from Gary in learning to love his Pokemon before it was too late, but he never had a real relationship with you -- you two just kept happening to get in the other's way because you both had issues with Team Rocket. After GSC, Masuda took the reigns and got experimental, interrupting the Brendan/May relationship with Wally during the final stretch of the third gen games, running two different characters at once with Lucas/Dawn and Barry in the fourth gen, doing that again but actually committing with Cheren and Bianca, etc., but while he eventually got better at character arcs (Cheren and Bianca again), he never figured out the necessity of the rival's growing relationship (which is bizarre and disheartening, because "rival" is a word that is defined by a particular relationship); hell, Bianca and Cheren have more developed relationships with their mentors (Alder and Prof. Juniper) in Black and White than they do with you, they just keep checking in with you because they're technically the rival, and that means random encounters in the world. Whatever the Hell Hugh is, it isn't a rival; the dude's character arc is so self-contained you're basically just another tool in his arsenal. After that, all your "rivals" turned into friends who sulked and eventually moped about never being able to beat you (Cheren, Calem/Serena, Hau).

I make such a big stink about the rival role in particular because if Pokemon insists on using the rival as a story element, it needs to understand what the rival is and should be. This is the character who above all the main character should have a serious and growing relationship with, and nobody's qualified since Gary. Even in reducing it to the denotation of someone who drives you to improve through competition, the nice rival is a plague -- a rival should be someone you want to defeat, not a loser that you feel sorry for. Trace is just the natural end-point of this trend, a rival that never meaningfully competes with you.

Outside of the basic premise -- Pokemon Yellow but with Pokemon Go gameplay (which is really just fancy Safari Zone gameplay) -- LGPE doesn't really improve anything at the core of the game. Fire Red and Leaf Green gave you more to do, creating what basically amounts to a second region to explore and made a few contributions to the lore of the original games (e.g. the postgame Team Rocket campaign in FRLG prefigured the GSC Team Rocket, which was topped off with a hint that Giovanni had a kid with red hair, i.e. the GSC Rival), while LGPE just has Archer to make a call-forward that doesn't add anything new to the franchise and a post-game that amounts to 97.5% grunt work. You can complete Cerulean Cave, have a handful of post-game special character encounters, and the Master Trainers side-quest, which amounts to (1) catch a Pokemon, (2) raise it to Level 75 or so, (3) beat the master trainer, (4) repeat Steps 1 to 3 over one hundred and forty times. That's probably fine with children, but I don't have that kind of attention-span configuration anymore, and I haven't really tried to Catch 'em All since early high school -- I'm not an eight-year-old bragging to a classmate that I could defeat Giovanni in three days anymore.

TL;DR: LGPE isn't bad and in many ways is quite charming, but it suffers because it boils down to a very polished version of a primitive game, and not only do they fail to build on the original when they really should know how to by now, some of Game Freak's changes are pointless or even detrimental to the game and indicate the creators don't know what they're doing, which is disheartening.

Or maybe I'm just a cantankerous old stinker, I don't know.

Edited by Brother Jaybird
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When I build up a backlog of podcasts, I listen to those while I make gradual progress through Let’s Go, Eevee!. I’ve already gotten a few of the Master Trainer titles, but I can already tell a lot of the traditionally weaker Pokémon will be tough. It’s not enough to level grind, you gotta get them ‘roided up on Candy. It’s literally pointless to try otherwise against, say, the Caterpie Master Trainer.

If I do one or two a day I’m happy.

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