Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Shield for Switch

Coming sometime late 2019, as expected – Sword and Shield are already up for preorder after today’s Pokemon Direct!

And dang, it looks really, really nice! A full -on 3D experience, really evolved from the previous games, probably thanks to the Switch. The starters are also very cute — I’m leaning towards Scorbunny, though. I tend to go fire, and having a bunny Pokemon on top of it is hard to resist!

Lots to look forward to! I really need to finish Let’s Go Pikachu, though… I guess this is some motivation.

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Pokemon

Pokemon Quest – Quick Review

I hesitate to call this a “review” because it’s more of a “this is what this game is about” sort of thing. Overall, I find it enjoyable, though not incredibly deep, and will probably keep playing it casually. If nothing else, it’s been giving me a reason to pick up my Switch and enjoy it in hand-held mode, which isn’t something I’ve done much in the past.

What is it?

Pokemon Quest is a cute mobile game that was released on the Switch earlier this week, and will be coming to mobile devices soon. It’s called a “free to start” game, which means you don’t have to pay anything to play it as is, but you can expect there to be mobile aspects, like timers that limit what you do.

So far, the timers don’t bother me much. I’ve gotten used to these sorts of things with mobile games, I suppose. I rarely spend money on mobile games, and Pokemon Quest is not going to be any different. I haven’t seen any real pressing need to open my wallet as this is just a casual thing I pick up a couple times a day.

How does it play?

So yeah. There are Pokemon, though they have a distinct rounded cube shape. I thought this might be a turn-off at first, but I got used to it quickly. Turns out to be pretty cute.


You set up base on an island, where your main goal is to find the loot. Not kidding. Even the game tells you it’s all about the loot. I haven’t really found loot yet. I have found Pokemon, though.

You enlist the help of these Pokemon, which you mostly attract by cooking dishes of items you gather while your Pokemon explores areas (similar to Breath of the Wild).


Game play is pretty simple and straightforward. You build a team of Pokemon. You send them to areas on the map. These areas are marked with a number that indicates the difficulty. If team also has a number that indicates the strength of the team. Usually (not always, but usually) my team doesn’t have much of a problem beating down a place that’s lower than their strength number.


The part that seems to turn the most folks off is the battle system. Basically, your Pokemon move towards the enemies on their own. You can tap some buttons to make them use their skills, to make them scatter, and to fall back. But that’s really about it.

To be honest, I just leave my team on Auto-Attack almost 100% of the time and do something else while they’re battling. Usually, they’re just fine. This doesn’t bother me at all… I’m used to having mobile games that auto-battle for me after spending so much time playing FF Record Keeper.

It might sound bad, but I prefer letting the game play the fights for me. I enjoy the team building, training, decorating, cooking and setting up stones on my Pokemon more than the battle elements.

Oh yeah. Stones.

As you clear areas and beat bosses, you get stones that enhance your Pokemon’s strength and health. There are also stones with special attributes, such as letting you use skills faster, and the like. Also, some areas on the map indicate that certain types of Pokemon (Water, Fire, Bug, etc) are stronger there… So there’s a little bit of strategy in building a team, picking Pokemon right for the area, and developing those Pokemon.

For example, I got an Onix early on that’s a beast of a tank. I mean, a walking wall. I’ve only seen him defeated twice ever. Without him, I’m sure I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have at this point.


Wrapping it up…

So, anyhow. I haven’t been playing many mobile games lately… I took a bunch of them off my phone not long ago, actually. So this game scratches that very casual collecting and gathering itch and has a pleasant Pokemon twist.

Just know that if you start it on the Switch, you won’t be able to transfer it to your mobile device later. A bit of a bummer, but I think I’ll keep mine on the Switch. The game is tiny and not hurting anything. That way, I don’t have something distracting me at work, and I continue to have a reason to pull out my Switch.

Have you tried it? What do you think of the new little side-game offering from Pokemon? 

Posted in Gaming, Pokemon, Pokemon GO

Pokemon — Let’s Go!

Details were released yesterday about Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. It seems to be a 3D sorta-kinda-remake of Pokemon Blue-Red-Yellow with some Pokemon Go elements and a drop-in multiplayer feature.

The response was a bit mixed from what I’ve seen. The Pokemon pureists groaned about seeing their beloved RPG series tainted by Pokemon Go. And some folks, me included, just saw it as a fun spin-off of the series with some neat overlap with Pokemon Go.

The pureists were somewhat pacified with the announcement that a new generation core game is in the works for the Switch for 2019. This is awesome news, too. Hopefully that makes everyone happy.

As for me, though I picked up Pokemon Blue back when the game first released a looooong time ago, I find it hard to go back to play the old style Pokemon games. I tried. It takes an old Game Boy, a screen that’s hard to see, and batteries.

I never finished my copy of Blue. I adore Pikachu. I skipped last year’s release of Sun/Moon remake. I’ve been trying to get back into Pokemon Go. So, I could use a new Pokemon game.

Color me interested. I don’t really mind if they’ve made the game easier to make it more appealing to kids. And while I’m not the greatest at the Pokeball toss in Go, I can deal with it. I haven’t been buying many full-priced Switch games this year, so I went ahead and plopped my pre-order down for Let’s Go Pikachu on Amazon.

I also downloaded the new Pokemon Quest (haven’t played yet) and caught several Alola Exeggutors today. 😉

2018-05-30 08.19.00

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon

Pokemon Sun: Story Complete!

I had what I like to call a bit of a hermit weekend (very little MMO gaming), which was a nice change of pace that allowed me to recharge. I also got a lot of stuff done around the house, and things done on single player games.

The first thing I wanted to tackle was to finish the story for Pokemon Sun. This has been a goal of mine since January, and while I was on the homestretch, I didn’t get any of it done last month. With the Switch coming out this Friday, I knew that I needed to finish this up before I get sidetracked by other Nintendo gaming (Zelda!), so I did.

I have to say that Sun had some pretty impressive cutscenes for a Pokemon game. I was already somewhat spoiled on what was going to happen, but it was still neat to see where the story went in the end.


It took me 100+ hours to beat the game. But that’s mostly because I was dabbling around in breeding, trading, the Islands, and the Festival Plaza. I’d say that I got more than my money’s worth, and I still have more to do.


The game instantly launched me into another storyline about capturing Ultra Beasts. I’ll get through that on my own time. Until then, I have a bunch of Pokemon I’m training for evolution on the Islands, and more to trade for. My Pokedex is 77% complete. So I still have a way to go, but I’m content on my progress overall.

I’m kicking around the idea of Pokemon Bank, which I don’t yet have an account with. Not so sure I want to transfer my Pokemon to Sun, though, since they get stuck there if you do.

Overall, Pokemon Sun was an enjoyable experience! Probably the Pokemon game I’ve liked most so far.


Posted in Gaming, Nuzlocke, Pokemon

AS Nuzlocke Pt 2: Victory and Loss

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In my first Nuzlocke post, I was gathering my starting team together and heading out into Route 104 to do some training. Everything went well here. I just worked on getting most of my team at around level 6, and took on some of the trainers in the area to see how my strength matched theirs.

Petalburg Woods Catch: Shroomish

After I felt my team was in a good enough spot, I headed to the next zone, the Petalburg Woods. I’ve been attempting to capture the Pokemon that you sneak up on in the grass, since sometimes they give you a hint as to what they are, and they seem a little stronger than the surrounding Pokemon.

This time, I succeeded, and came out of my first battle with a Shroomish, whom I named Wezen.


Team Sketch


At first I was a little meh about the Shroomish, but he’s kinda growing on me now. No pun intended.

While training in the woods, something else also happened!


My first evolution! Granted, it was only at level 7. But hey, Rischa survived long enough to evolve. That’s a good thing, right?

I continued on through the woods, fighting trainers and eventually moving forward in the story a bit. There, I finally received the Experience Share item, which is going to be loads of help.

Along the way, we faced a trainer who had nothing but three Magikarp.


See why I say he’s growing on me?

Rustboro City Gym

So, I tackled my first gym in Rustboro City. Here, I had to battle with Roxanne who uses rock type Pokemon. I decided that Pi, who remains the highest level of my group still, and his water type attacks will be my main go-to. Gienah, who also has water type attack would be my back-up.

Only, that didn’t turn out so well. Pi took down Roxanne’s Geodude for the first round. But I was getting nervous that the Rock Tomb move had knocked him down to half health. So, silly me, I brought out Gienah to face the second battle, not knowing that her Nosepass was level 14.

Needless to say, Gineah took a chunk out of the Nosepass’ health, but fainted in one hit to Rock Tomb. I felt pretty crummy about it because this was an avoidable death… although, as I said before, I went into this battle blind, so I knew nothing about the Pokemon that Roxanne was going to use aside from they were rock types.

Defeated in Rustboro Gym by Roxanne’s Nosepass.


It was actually Wezen who filled the spot and finished out the battle for the win as I was still way too skittsh to bring in Pi, even if I probably could have healed him up just fine.

However, on a happier note, this happened after that battle.


Kinda funky looking there, Rischa. But I’ll take it, especially after I just lost my other flying type.

So I won the battle and my first badge…


But now my team has its first loss.


I guess it’s time to find another team member.

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Posted in Gaming, Nuzlocke, Pokemon

Pokemon Nuzlocke Team Sketches

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In my first Nuzlocke post, I mentioned that I wanted to try my hand at sketching my little rag-tag team. Since that seems to be what  lot of players who do Nuzlockes do…

I’m not a very practiced Pokemon artist. I’ve only drawn Pikachu a handful of times and Mudkip once. So if these are wonky, blame it on inexperience, and the fact that I’m drawing with ink gel pens I’ve never drawn with before.

At first, I just thought to do black and white art, but then I remembered I have a whole box of glitter gel pens, and went for a multi-colored approach. I’m not going to say any of these are perfectly true to design, but I gave it a shot!

Piscium (Pi) – Mudkip Starter

Canis – Poochyena

Gienah – Wingull

Enif – Zigzagoon

Rischa – Wurmple

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Posted in Gaming, Nuzlocke, Pokemon

Pokemon Noob: Alpha Sapphire Nuzlocke Pt 1

I’m still quite a noob when it comes to playing Pokemon. I’m always learning something brand new about the series.

Not too long ago, I stumbled across the concept of the Nuzlocke Challenge, where players place specific rules on how they can progress through a Pokemon game, and see how far they can get. The most appealing part of this to me is that the idea is to forge strong bonds with your Pokemon, even though these are not Pokemon you would generally choose for your party.

I thought hard and long about how I wanted to approach this. Pokemon X was my first ever completed game in the series, and I still haven’t fully explored post-game content yet. So I didn’t want to delete my progress there. I’m still working through Pokemon Sun. I had a copy of Soul Silver that I’d never beat, but I’m spoiled by playing the more modern Pokemon games…

So I decided to pick up Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, which I have never played and know nothing about, and start a Nuzlocke of my very first attempt. I don’t know if this is a smart move, but I’ve begun, and I’m going to see it through (though it might go slowly since I’m still putting time into Sun).

My Rules

  • I may only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area, and none else.
  • Any Pokémon that faints is considered dead, and must be put in the Pokémon Storage System permanently.
  • I must  must also nickname all of my Pokémon, for the sake of forming stronger emotional bonds.
  • I do not consider a black out/white out to be “game over.” I can keep playing as long as there are living Pokémon left in the PC.
  • Dupes Clause – I can keep fighting Pokémon in the area until one is encountered that has not been caught yet, which then immediately counts as the first encounter.
  • Name Theme: Stars and Constellations

Building My Team

I chose Mudkip as my starter, since I adore Mudkips, and named him Piscium. Probably just call him Pi for short.


Route 101 Catch: Poochyena

After going through the introduction and receiving my first Pokeballs, I head out to Route 101. There, my rival Brendan points out the tall moving grass, so I sneak up on it and catch myself a Poochyena. I name him Canis.


Route 103 Catch: Wingull

I then traveled back north, past Oldale Town, where my first catch was a Wingull named Gienah. I was happy to catch her because she provides a flying type to my team, which I hope will help round it out some.


Route 102 Catch: Zigzagoon

Since the rest of Route 103 is blocked by water for now, I headed west of Oldale Town to Route 102. There, I caught the inevitable Zigzagoon, whom I named Enif.


I spent some time on Route 102 leveling my team and battling the trainers there. Since it was so close to the Pokecenter, and some of my members, like Enif, were having trouble finishing fights, I thought it was a good time to strengthen up.

I didn’t want to level too much, however, because I only get one shot at capturing a Pokemon each time I find a new route. So, I wanted to keep some of my Pokemon within a lower range in order to not just obliterate everything by accident when I come across it.

I arrived in Petalburg City, where I was concerned I’d have to face my character’s Dad in a gym challenge. Surprisingly, though, he tells me to move along to another city first. So, after exploring the town a bit, that’s what I did.

Route 104 Catch: Wurmple

So my careful training paid off because I was able to catch the level 2 Wurmple I found on this route, rather than just slaughtering it.

Bug types have always been kinda meh to me, but the more variety I can get on my team, the better, I suppose. I named her Rischa.


So, here we have my team so far. I’m going into this game 100% blind and a complete noob at Nuzlocke. I think my next goal is to level Rischa a little and make my way through the battles on Route 104.


Thoughts So Far

Believe it or not, this might actually be a faster way for me to play a Pokemon game. I say that because I tend to always get distracted by hunting for and catching the new Pokemon on a Route because I itch to catch them all. If I’m limited to only catching one per route and not fretting about which ones are going to be the best on my team, then I can concentrate on just catching and leveling what I have instead of getting constantly sidetracked by tall grass.

I foresee this playthrough to be slow, and I’m not 100% sure how to document this in an interesting way. I’d like to do some art for it, but I’d have to scrounge up the time. We’ll see what comes of it.

Wish me luck!

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon

Pokemon Sun: Akala Island Completed

I know plenty of folks are already done with the newest Pokemon adventure… and I am not one of them. Even though I’ve clocked in over 50 hours at this point, I got so sidetracked into breeding, trading and messing around in the festival that I didn’t actually finish the story on the second island until this week.

I’m having a whole lot of fun, though, so that’s all that counts.

Starter Madness

After trading for the other two starters, I tossed them into my team to level them up alongside my own. They all reached their final evolution with my Decidueye about the same time.


I don’t know if they are going to be a main part of my team going forward or not, however. I know none of them are probably the best of their type, but I’m just playing for fun. My basic approach has been to keep a variety of types in my team in hopes to cover as many bases as I can. So far, that’s been working well enough.

I absolutely love how the relationship you form with your Pokemon change things in battle in this game. Not only does your trainer avatar say encouraging things, and your Pokemon do random things, but I’ve seen my Decidueye withstand killing blows and land critical hits due to wanting to impress me. It’s a nice touch that really shows the importance of bonding with your Pokemon.

Other Progress

My little Mudbray also finally evolved into Mudsdale, which is very cool. I usually don’t use a lot of ground type Pokemon, but this one feels really tough and strong, so I’m keeping him around for now.


I’m also training up my Mimikyu, as well as breeding it and sending offspring into Wonder Trades when I have time. Because… sufficiently cute/scary.

I’ve made it all the way to Ula’ula Island, and hope to clear that as part of my December goals. Yes, I know that’s still incredibly slow, but I have so many 1% Pokemon to trade for, still!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Minecraft, MMORPGs, Pokemon

December Gaming Goals

Welcome to the final month of 2016! It’s hard to believe the holiday season is here and the new year is just a month away. It’s going to be a busy month for me seeing I’ll be gone on vacation at the end of it, but I still wanted to organize a few goals for myself.

Like last month, these goals will mostly focus on nudging myself to play games I’m curious about due to new releases, expansions or updates. The picture above is from the new Foundation Patch for No Man’s Sky, for example. Minecraft also just got a new update that I’m interested in, not to mention there’s still a lot about the game I don’t know yet.

Games to Explore

  • Civ 6 ✓
  • Skyrim
  • No Man’s Sky ✓
  • Minecraft
  • Sims 4 ✓

Pokemon Sun

  • Complete 3rd Island ✓
  • Continue to fill Pokedex ✓

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Gear Dragoon ✓
  • Work (harder) on Dragoon Relic ✓
  • Level Monk ✓
  • Do Monk job quests ✓
  • Do Summoner job quests
  • Clean up old quests
  • Gear Summoner
  • Gain reputation with Sahagin

Let’s see how much of this I can do!

Do you have any gaming goals for December? 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon, Sims 4

November Goals in Review

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is slowly coming to a close. But before we jump feet-first into December, I wanted to take a look back at what I accomplished over November. My goals for this month were pretty loose — mostly focusing on playing other new games that just came out.

So how did I do?

Games to Explore 

  • Civ 6 ✓
  • Skyrim ✓
  • Pokemon Sun ✓
  • Sims 4 City Life Expansion ✓

On the new games front, I did pretty good! Steam says that I put 17.6 hours into Civ 6 and 9.3 hours into Skyrim. I really need to pick up Skyrim again because it’s been weeks since I’ve played, and this is pretty close to the point I left off with the game before. I don’t want it to be a replay.

I know that I got at least 20 hours into the new Sims 4 Expansion, and I still want to continue with the family I started. But Pokemon Sun really won the month considering it came out so late, and I’ve put in over 40 hours on the game already. Granted, most of that has been breeding and training Pokemon, but I’ve certainly had a fun time.


  • Level Scholar to 60 ✓
  • Gear up Dragoon ✓
  • Get PotD Kinna Bard Bow or Scholar Book
  • Work on Relic Weapon ✓
  • Do job quests ✓
  • Gain reputation with Sahagin

FFXIV has really been a case of autopilot for me right now. I log in mostly to do an Expert run and some Beast Tribe quests in hopes to cap Scripture Tomes for the week. I should have stored enough up to purchase the Dragoon pants for Zuri today, which is the last large-ticket item. From there, just the head, belt and feet are left. So, I’ve made good progress on gearing her up.

I have been working on Relic, but no where as much as I really should be. I’m just more annoyed with the Umbrite step than anything else.

I did finish leveling my Scholar/Summoner to 60. I went back and completed the Scholar job quests, but have not started to catch up on Summoner stuff. I’m concerned that my Summoner gear is so sub-par that it’ll be hard to do. So, I’ve been scrounging drops from Expert Roulette to try and make that a little better.

Sadly, I still haven’t seen Floor 100 of PotD, nor have I earned my upgrade for the first Kinna weapon. I also didn’t work on the rep gain with Sahagin at all. I know I could have had both done by now, but meh. Trading in Pokemon is more fun for me. 🙂