Saturday, October 29, 2016

Skylanders Imaginators Review - Great Game With the Same Horrible Business Practices

You got robbed 30-40 bucks. 

Seriously this is a problem for me.  For ridiculous reasons Activision wants you to spend unneccessary amounts of money. After there stupid business decisions with SuperChargers.

When you buy this game. There is no Portal Owners pack or Download version from the day that I wrote this review.  (10/26/2016)
So when you buy the game for whatever amount of money you chose to pay.  (70 for standard and 100 for Dark and Crash edition). Basically you're getting another portal. My issue with this is that you don't need a new portal. The portal they give you is the same one you recieved from Swap Force. There's also no downloadable version which was the best move Activision made. Saving everyone money who's been playing the previous games. They said that the reason for this is cause the reception for SuperChargers was bad. Yet there's good reason why they didn't get the desired results for SuperChargers (They cut corners in too many places).

Anyway yes you're getting another portal for no reason. You can still use your Trap Team, Swap Force, or SuperChargers portal and the game still plays.

Micro-transactions

The thing that most gamers hate but has to accept as a part of there life. Now I said Microtransactions cause this isn't DLC. DLC is usually extra content in the game if you want to play some bonus stuff or have something cool to show off.
Microtransactions are basically what most Mobile Games do to have you play the game more to either unlock something at complete random. Or just to continue the game. Things that can be unlocked/completed if you go out your way to keep playing the game.

This game has Microtransactions. Of the 2nd worst if not the worst kind. You buy random chest for your Imaginators that contain random items of a specific rarity. You don't know what's in them until you open them. What's worse at least to me is. You can get duplicates of items. If you get a duplicate of an item then it'll power the item up slightly. But that's still a waste.  What's worse is there is a specific number of items that can only be unlocked via these microtransactions.  It isn't enough that Activision wants you to buy more figures if you're intent on doing everything you can in the game. But now they want more money to help you make the game unbalanced.
For the Platinum Chest it's 10 bucks. Which is the highest price you're paying but it's still Microtransactions. 

Imaginators - Character Creation

I'm a sucker for games with character creation. Particulary the kind that's "You create your own super character that's clearly better than everyone else cause for whatever reason everyone else sucks." I love this in games and wish it was done a lot more and executed correctly.

Besides what I mentioned above about the Microtransactions. Character creation is fun. Now it's not as in-depth as say SoulCalibur V was that game spoils you. But it's enough. There's a lot of creation parts that absolutely disgust me. But eventually I come across a part that looks cool. You can customize there voice, moves, size, outfit, and equipment. Of course there's some drawbacks.
My first issue arises when I switch the head part to see what it is. When I switch the head the voice changes. And I have to go back and switch the voice back to the setting I had it in.

My 2nd one comes with Unlocking these parts. You basically have to play the game for the most part to unlock most of them and more than once. Others...are locked behind buying Skylanders.

The last issue arises when it comes to picking your battle class. Once you select it. It's set. You can't just simply reset your figure and be able to choose another class cause you don't like it. I did come across someone mentioning a way to fully reset the figure but it's far too convoluted to be effective. I wanna call this an oversight by Activision but I also suspect that they did this on purpose to make more money.

Other than that the parts are hit and miss. I mean again I'm spoiled by the sheer amount of creativity that SoulCalibur V's character creation allowed. You could say that game may have taken things too far in some cases but there was tons of customization.  It's very nice to have this in the game. I just hope that it's not suddenly removed should they make another game.

My 1st Created Skylander. Incomplete cause I'm lacking Parts

Multiplayer

Local Multiplayer is still more of the same as it has been. You and your friend are tied by an invisible tether. You fight together. I didn't see any sign of Online Co-Op like the last game did. Although in SuperChargers the online was a major failure.  The netcode was absolutely terrible and even worse you were generally separated by console.

Single Player

In terms of the amount of levels. It's rather shorter than the previous games. But there's extra side levels, and small things to do on the side to occupy your time. 10 extra levels for each element but you need a sensei skylander of each element. So you need at least 10 different skylanders. Then there's 3 extra levels. The Crash Bandicoot Level, and 2 extra levels. You have a battle arena and you can play the ever famous Skystones but that mini-game sucks now.

Skystones Mini-Game

This mini-game totally dropped the ball compared to its previous incarnations. You're no longer collecting cards (skystones) instead you just get a somewhat randomly generated set of Skystones and its more of a puzzle of luck than any actual skill. Depending on your opponent each match will be a breeze or a frustrating waiting game for the AI to make a mistake. Since you have no control over what Skystones you get. It's also completely pointless to fight the same opponent more than once as you can only get 1 prize per each different opponent.

Battle Arena

The battle arena is generally entertaining to an extent. Having Broccoli Guy and Chill Bill commentate over your arena fight is nice to hear. It's actual commentators that I'm actually willing to listen to without cringing.

Level Gameplay

The levels are designed a lot better than previous games. Especially in terms of replay. A lot of things are pointed out a lot better. The game doesn't truly favor long range type skylanders over close range ones. However this is where the good stuff ends.

I get bothered by how the boss fights pace is pretty much determined by whether or not you're using the right element. I wanted to fight the boss with my Sensei Skylander. But the game recommends that I use an imaginator to deal with it. In previous games it didn't truly matter who you decided to use. Only a small matter of damage. However in this game. It's a huge difference in terms of damage. This really gets on my nerves if I wanted to fight a boss using a particular skylander I now have to work way harder than necessary to finish the fight. I know that my writing this and my videos probably won't prove my point. It's really something you'll have to see for yourself.

The pace of each level is decent. I don't really feel like the levels are dragged out for eternity. The replay of levels is generally worth it. Your progress on each goal is saved. And you're always getting something out of it than the typical EXP, Gold, and whatever you forgot to get.

Racing

The Superchargers Racing bits have been included in the game. However it's a hit and miss as this mode. Really it's on the lines of what's the point? Just like in the original SuperChargers, you have to unlock the other tracks by owning the trophies. I still don't own the Land trophy so there's tracks I still can't play.  -_-

This is stupid IMO. Not even an option to just go and download it. Another missed oppurtunity is that the tracks and characters that are exclusive to the Wii/3DS version (SuperChargers Racing) are not included.

Old Figures are Useless.

Yeah as if they weren't useless in the previous game(s). They're more usless now thanks to how this game's system works. Your magic items from the older games do nothing but grant a 1-time 500 gold bonus to your skylander.  Your older skylanders despite being max level are still weak in comparison to the new guys. I guess I should count my blessings that they're still playable in the game. But really what's the point? These new guys outclass the old ones by a 100 miles.

Story

Well the story is typical like every other Skylanders game. Kaos is up to no good and its up to you and your new set of Skylanders to save the day. I'm 50/50 about the removal of Flynn and the rest of the crew being your general guides through the game. Cause now Spyro, Stealth Elf, Jet-Vac, Eruptor, Gill Grunt, etc. are your guides. The other guys are around but they don't really do anything.  (It's rumor that the reason is due to a voice actors strike happening. But I can't confirm this).

How much are you looking to spend?

You would have to get lucky to acquire some things for cheap. I would suggest hitting up amazon or ebay to just buy the game disc if you already have the portal from one of the previous 3 games.


  • Sensei's cost typically $15 + tax
  • Imaginite Crystals if you can get one by itself is $10. ($25 for a 3-pack)
  • Gryphon Park Observatory Pack - $30
  • Elven Forest Pack - $30
  • Crash and Dr.Cortex - No Price yet but will probably be a dual pack for 30 bucks.


Now with that in mind.  If you wanted to be able to do everything without having to buy everything. You're typically looking at this for cost. (This is without getting the starter pack and assuming no special sales.).

10 Battle Classes and since these can't be reset (without some convuluted method) that's 10 Crystals. Conveniently there's 10 elements so you only need 1 crystal of each element. That's $85 - $100 bucks.

You need a sensei of each element and battle class.
Sadly You'll be buying more than 1 of the same element if you're trying to cover the battle classes. Roughly it'll be about 11 or 12 different skylanders to cover this.  That's $180 bucks Give or take.

The 3 Extra Levels $30 each so $90 altogether.

Depending on how you go about it. You're looking to spend somewhere around $400 bucks overtime if you're intent on doing everything in this game. We're not talking about collecting every skylander and all the other stuff to clutter your room. Just the minimum to at least do everything in the game.

Not-Mentioned Stuff

Selfie Mode

I didn't bring up the Selfie Feature cause it's not as all cracked up to be. I originally thought that by taking these photos they would be saved my PS3's photo archive. But they're not. I seem to be limited to a max of 20 pictures before I'm forced to delete some. And I have 74GB of space left on my PS3 so storage isn't an issue.  The game doesn't save any of this to your hard drive to share with others.

Skylander Creator App

Well first off that's just another game on its own. 2nd I can't even play it. I don't have the right android version.  Basically you would be able to transfer your created Skylander from the game to the app and save it there. You could also have your Created skylander turned into a figure, t-shirt, card, etc. Apparently it's a limited supply though??? (Wut??? Why?)  It costs quite a bit of money. I think I rather just draw the character myself.

Skylanders Academy

What's the point of even bringing this up in the first place. It has little to do with this game. Not to mention I can't watch it cause I don't have Netflix. Maybe one day a DVD/Blu-Ray will be released of this series but for now I just have to ignore it exists.

Overall

Well the money crunch is back. But not as bad sorta. The gameplay is decent with enough changes to keep you from falling asleep. However Activision's business decisions heavily hamper this game's potential.  By once again deciding not to release certain figures until a specific date. Forcing consumers into buying another portal they don't need if they bought he previous games. Then having micro-transactions for the sole reason of just milking it makes me frown on this game.

It may not be as bad as SuperChargers was with blindsiding me with these $40 - $50 extra packs and not willing to just sell the trophies on there own as well as saying that Wii and 3DS owners are S.O.L. in terms of having a full game. But these business decisions are still bad.

If it wasn't for the that alone. I would love this game a lot more. I also see no sign of this so-called online vs Multiplayer besides the racing mode. So that was probably nothing more than a rumor. Like I said before I'm a sucker for games that have somewhat extensive character creation modes. Which is likely this game's saving grace for me. So 3/5 isn't so bad even if the missed ones are a huge problem.

Good


  • Decent Gameplay with replay value
  • Good amount of Character Creation
  • Decent balance of characters. It's not all about long range characters.

Bad

  • Old Figures are virtually useless. They might as well sit in a retirement home.
  • Can't fully reset imaginite crystals without some crazy method.
  • No real improvements over multiplayer. Just scrapped what they had instead of fixing the problems. (might've been the better option).
  • Figures of each all battle classes aren't released at the start. (you're lacking a few Sensei's. 

Ugly

  • The amount of money you're gonna be shelling out if you want to do everything in the game.
  • The amount of money you're more or less getting cheated out of cause there is no Portal Owners pack or Downloadable version available.
  • Things Locked behind a paywall making it hard to do everything with just the bare minimum. 

Rating

2.5 - 3/5


I would be more satisfied and give this game a better rating if there wasn't going to be another Skylanders game in about a year. The amount of money you're going to spend hurts this game. Then to turn around and have another game get released that pretty much kills the older mechanics of the game and making the majority of the things you bought useless. It makes this fact worse by having the figures released at the worst times. You're usually done with the game and moving on to something else especially for the older audiences. 

Activision isn't kind in this department and they're not willing to help should you have issues with there games. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

10 Years of Youtube


Looking back at this. I honestly didn't see myself going down this path. I would have to say that the time I've spent on Youtube has been some of the most drama filled time I've ever gone through.  It's had its ups and its downs.

Memories

Probably one the things I hate about myself as a person is that I tend to remember the mostly negative stuff in my life. But that's generally because not only have I had a lot of it growing up. But the scenes and memories were that unique compared to my good ones. It's hard for me to remember the good stuff since it's blotted out by the bad most of the time or that someone takes my good memories and exposes them as a bad light.

The Bad and the Horrible

Let's get these out the way first. Then I can try and focus on the good.

MUGEN - Bad. While I don't really want call this person out cause this guy was like a virus that couldn't be killed. Simply mentioning his name or disliking anything he likes in MUGEN would put you on his shit list. He would make tons of accounts as well. Far more accounts than you can count. If you want to compare it to someone. Compare this to how many accounts the most hated/notorious FGC members have across various consoles and you could say this guy had triple that many Youtube accounts. Even when you left him alone he would come back like Terumi to make sure you don't forget him.
Annoying - What caused me to quit MUGEN in the first place. Having so many people beg me to send them various characters to there e-mail. These messages would never stop.

Aftermath: While I have no idea what the standing is in the MUGEN community. I haven't really seen much come from MUGEN. Or many of its players.

The first channel Ban

This was bad. Having Toei or whatever Japanese company toss up copyright strikes. Was just no good. Youtube didn't want to hear of it. You never had a chance to rectify the problem. It was just a straight up ban. Although it would always read on the channel that it's suspended. You really were banned.
Aftermath: Well I'm here now.

Monster Hunter Tri - My adventures in Monster Hunter began and ended with this game. For one mistake I made to call out a famous well known Monster Hunter Player about something he said came with a huge backclash. It was at this point that I learned that the justice system is never fair and balanced.  I just had to conceed and back down, despite knowing that they were in the wrong as well. I would say this is the start of when I started seeing things differently.
Aftermath - While the guy managed to upload the video he stole from me to another site to continue to troll me. (You can find it here: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjI4NTg3ODUy.html)
There is some solace to this significant event. The main trouble makers had there accounts banned on GameFAQs and Youtube. At this point in time they have probably made new accounts or just switched to there "backup" accounts.  I am glad something good came out of it. However this event is still a huge stain on my bad memories.

Fighting Game Community Or Really the Online Community in General Sucks

This was around the time that Maximillian of Youtube was becomming a rising star. I honestly felt that playing fighting games online was just full of negative people. I reasoned with myself that I live on the darkside of the online community and can never get out. This was cause of the rate of how many players I've faced consistently sending hate mail, rage quitting, etc. I rarely had experienced good sportsmanship players out of all the matches I played. It was at this point I heavily limited the time I spent playing online including livestreaming.  I didn't want to put up with it any longer.

While others called me a baby for taking such an extreme action. I didn't care. This was for my mental health to avoid being influenced by these negative people. It was due to this, family problems, and the Monster Hunter Fiasco that I did once contemplate suicide with having an actual plan in mind.
I later reasoned with myself that my death would change nothing and that no one would really care that I was gone. I would disappear and then after a few weeks everyone would've forgotten about me.

Aftermath: I still heavily limit myself in terms of Online Play. I still believe that I generally live on the darkside of the online gaming community. I don't play online unless I truly feel confident about going online. I'm reluctant to attempt to play any online game due to seeing certain actions of other players in the majority of videos and comments.

Family Crisis and Finding Friends

This was a major point in my life. As I learned many things during this time. Due to a family crisis I ended up having to take care of my cousins who weren't old enough to take care of themselves. This led to a lot of priority changes. Having to cut back on Youtube I still tried to do as much as I could to keep my Youtube going.  I was incredibly stressed out to the point of contemplating suicide once more.

At the same time I learned who was really around to help me get through that troubling time. While some friends suggested that I abandon the problem and run away. Others at least listened to problem and tried to help out.
Aftermath: While my uncle still has issues the kids are well. They are no longer here. A lot of people I thought were helpful as friends or family I learned were not. The blow that I recieved in from having to cut back on Youtube for a time period is something I feel I'm still trying to recover from.

The Good

Like I said before I have tough time remembering the good. Due to how signficant the bad is. Being consistently reminded of it doesn't help either.

Getting rid of Toxic People

Definitely my best decision of my life. Cutting these people out helped significantly in the emotional department as well as gaming. While it may not have helped out in terms of Youtube ad revenue department. I rather feel good about myself than have money and feel terrible about it due to toxic people.

Still Alive

I have to count my good where I can. Considering everything bad that's happened in my life as a whole. I'm still here. Yeah its cliche but I can't think of a better way to say it.

I do wish things would be going better for me but I think everyone wants that for themselves as well.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Short Trip Back To Kanto - Pokemon Leaf Green




So this would be my 2nd time I played this game. The first time was over 8 years ago and I got it then to avoid utter boredom. Now I came back to this for the sake of just replaying it just cause. And possibly the reason for showing it on youtube as well was a reason sitting in the back of my mind. Honestly at this point I feel I should just try and record everything I do in games and upload it.

Anyway. Returning to this game. Did my thoughts change? Well...hmmm...

My original thoughts were me being excited that I could return back to when I originally started back in Gameboy days on Red. Then I could even legitlly transfer Kanto Pokemon to the later games. (although at this point in time that's virtually useless cause of how Game-Freak and Nintendo are dealing with the transfer of Pokemon now).  Well I started out having as much fun as I could in a Pokemon game but slowly getting disappointed by one thing or another as I went through the game. The changes bugged me.

Well now I'm not bothered by the changes that much. But I am bothered by the difficulty spike you get towards the end of the game. And having to deal with not getting my usual Red Team together was troublesome as well.

Original Red Team


  • Venasaur
  • Fearow/Aerodactyl
  • Dugtrio/Arcanine
  • Nidoking/Moltres
  • Nidoqueen/Articuno
  • Vaporeon/Zapdos

Leaf Green Team

  • Venasaur
  • Fearow/Ninetails
  • Jolteon/Persian
  • Hypno/Primape
  • Lapras/Marowak
  • Dragonite/Kabutops

My team from both games differ so much cause of the added rules and gimmicks that came over time. On the original Gameboy you didn't have to worry about things like EVs, IVs, Abilities, and the like (at least not casually). Now you do. Also have to deal with the locations of Pokemon changing.


The Difficulty Spike


Back on the Gameboy. I could generally get away with just feeding everything to my Venasaur and catching high leveled Pokemon to fill in the back. I grew out of that and started making an actual team. There was also the Missingno (Missing Number) glitch. Free to abuse such a glitch. And moves had power behind them as well.  The game's difficulty did spike up during the Elite 4 but you weren't hurting as badly as you do now when you lose a fight. I would also skip as many annoying trainer battles as I could.

FR and LG's difficulty spikes up around the point you get your 5 or 6th badge IMO. Either due to the old reliable moves not being reliable anymore. Or due to just not having certain moves available. Then the level spike was different I found myself having to grind out levels for the entire team a lot more than usual. And then watch the EVs and natures as best as I could. There were a lot Pokemon I would've preferred to use but due to either them not being in the game's version or the Pokemon's nature being one that pretty much negates what makes that Pokemon good. I couldn't just simply get away with working with it. I would have to just say well at least I caught it and I'll just use this guy instead.

The difficulty spike truly rises when you reach the Elite 4. Not only are trainers immediately willing to bust out healing items. But they smart enough most of the time not to spam stupid moves. Thankfully Pay Day and grabbing tons of cash helped out with getting items.

Another thing I forgot about when planning my route is:


Can no longer use the back entrance on Seafoam Islands.

This was my general shortcut to get to Articuno faster. I would still have to solve the boulder pushing puzzle but I didn't have to do too much traveling.

Snatched up by Bill to go to the Sevii Islands.

Completely forgot about this section of the game. I could say no but then I would have to wait awhile before I could go there and catch Moltres. To make it worse I can't switch out my Pokemon until after I finish the event there. So whatever team I had going out the door of the Cinnabar Gym, I was stuck with.


Compared to my first time this time around I used Bulbapedia to know what I'm facing ahead of time. I know a lot of people will say Serebii is better but I honestly can't stand that site's layout. My main issue was to deal with my Pokemon's Natures. My Venasaur ended up on a Nature that heavily limits his moveset. Then there was certain TMs I can't get till post game. And then there's the factor of Dark and Steel Type moves. Since you literally can't get a Dark Type Pokemon till post game. That made Persian's usefulness as a speedy attacker get minimized. So many other moves as well.

I did find the slot machine with the best odds so that helped out a lot. While it's not a win all the time deal. It does give me better odds to where I can reliably grind coins to buy every prize.


Favorite Battle Theme


If any Pokemon battle theme I favor out of lets say ALL OF THEM! It has to be the Pokemon Champion Battle Theme. I still enjoy it to this day. Wish there was an updated version of it now though.


Thoughts Changed


Well now that I actually play the Pokemon game better than years ago. It's a bit better. I'm having a hard time not dismissing this game cause of all the good changes the future games made. Like infinite use of TMs. No requirement of HM moves to finish the game. Easier to to EV train pokemon (Still tedious though).

Probably one the most annoying things about Fire Red and Leaf Green however is the trading. You can't trade to the R/S/E versions of the game until post game where you're hunting for some sort of gem so they can complete a machine that'll allow you to contact the outside world. I also still find the Sevii Islands annoying but more so the fact of how certain puzzles have clues that are written in braille.  This is probably the stupidest thing Game Freak could have done. Cause how can any language speaker who isn't blind read braille? And then that blind person can't read the braille on the game cause they can't see in the first place. I guess if you make braille writing you'll know what it says. But really this was purchase strategy guide bait. Same with the Unown puzzles. Some letters are easy to make out. Others are impossible.

I also hate the fact that Mewtwo is further locked away in the game. You used to just beat the game and Mewtwo was your last challenge. Now you have to do all the other sidequest stuff to prove your worth to get to him.

The difficulty spike is something to adjust to as well. Where as the future games on the DS onwards had ways to easily grind out levels these were made to be time consuming.


So the playthrough itself. I think its roughly around 26 parts. I haven't finished rendering them all yet. I was going to do something with it. But decided. Nah. Let this just be an Unedited type of run. The only bits I cut out was the off screen grinding or when a catching a Pokemon got ridiculous.
ame> This is what I beat the Elite 4 + Gary/Blue/Champion with: