Finally got around to starting this game. So far so good. The gameplay is nearly identical to X/Y with a few minor differences. I’ve noticed that there’s a heavy emphasis on berries which doesn’t appeal to me at all. My friend mentioned in passing during a late night conversation how he’s been berry obsessed and I didn’t quite understand what he meant. But now that I’m a couple of hours into OR I can totally see what he means. And as much as I like collecting things, the berries are nothing but a nuisance. Other than berries, the sheer number of trainer battles you’re forced to partake in seems to have grown exponentially between X/Y and OR/AS. Kind of annoying.
I imported all my Pokémon I collected from X/Y and all of the downloadable ones since the beginning of the year. I have about 3-4 boxes worth, about 100 or so give or take, but I only have the Hoenn region Pokédex and it says I only have 41. I guess I get the Kalos and/or National Pokédex once I complete the game or something. So for now, I’ll have to use the Hoenn Pokédex numbers to track my progress:
Pokémon count: 41/210
Shiny count: 1/210
My only shiny so far is a shiny Rayquazza from a giveaway sometime last year. Nothing in game yet, but I’m not quite ready to go shiny hunting. Not yet.
Something I miss from X/Y that didn’t make it into OR/AS is the ability to dress your character. It sounds rather silly, especially for a 40-year old man since it’s essentially playing dress-up with an electronic version of a doll, but I think the appeal for me was being able to collect the different outfits. I am a collector by nature: Transformers, sneakers, LEGO, and whatever piqued my interested; I always end up amassing a small hoard of stuff. I’m trying to change my ways though and getting rid of stuff slowly. I think this is why the Pokémon games appeal to me so much: it allows me to satisfy that part of the brain that hungers for collecting things without it taking up too much time or money or space. And as if collecting little pocket monsters wasn’t enough, I really got into collecting pieces of clothing for my character in Pokémon X. Berries: nothing. Hats and skirts: sign me up!
In Omega Ruby there is a different aspect of collecting and customizing for your character though and it’s your “Secret Base”, a sort of headquarters or bachelor/bachelorette pad. I just ran into the guy that introduces my character to the feature. I’m not completely sold on it yet, but I doubt it’ll be as fun as playing dress-up, even for this 40-year old man.
And it’s significant because I completed every single objective in the game. Pardon the poor cellphone pic, but the 3DS won’t allow me to take a screen shot of the screen that shows how much time I put into the game: 383 hours and 18 minutes. I even got the Shiny Charm:
You can only get the Shiny Charm once you register every single Pokémon. I even had a Living Pokédex but realized pretty late in the game that my living ‘dex was a sham.
The game has a trading system called Global Trading System or GTS for short, where people can look for specific Pokémon or put up their own Pokémon in hopes of getting something they want in return and make a trade with anyone else around the world. I spent a lot of time in the GTS to fill the holes in my National Pokedex. It was thrilling at first because of not only how easy it was but I was getting a lot of the harder-to-get legendary Pokémon for almost nothing. Zekrom for Dratini? A trade too good to be true. I became convinced that I was getting hacked Pokémon, and even if they were legitimate I wasn’t exactly catching it myself. It felt like I was cheating and at some point I lost sight of why I got into Pokémon in the first place.
It was because of this article on Nintendo Life that got me interested. Play just 4 games and you can catch them all? How intriguing <<cue maniacal chin rub and scheme-y squinty eyes>>. It sparked my curiosity enough for me to go buy a copy of X.
I had some friends that were into it as well, so I had a small support group if I needed help or nerd out and talk about the game. And it’s because of my friends that made the idea of erasing a tad over 383 hours worth of work an easy decision. When I realized that I had to erase my game and start from scratch, I had a really hard time actually going through with it. All that game time I spent would have amounted to nothing. All those Pokémon would just become vaporware and no longer exist in my bank. I talked to my friend Ken and told him about my dilemma and it dawned on me that I could offload some of them to him since he was a little less OCD than I was and his son definitely wouldn’t have cared where the Pokémon came from, hacked or not, legit or not. Starting from scratch and erasing all my Pokémon wasn’t such an emotional hurdle anymore. Most of my good ones were going to good home.
I already played through Pokémon Y using a speed run guide I found in the description of this YouTube video. I’m nowhere near getting the same time as the owner of the video, but the notes help a lot. I’ve already played through the entire story so I just needed to get through the game as quickly as possible since I have to play through it three times to get one of each of the legendary birds:
You only get one bird per playthrough and it’s based on which starting Pokémon you pick. Since Y is done, I’m about to reset X and run through that one twice to get the other two birds. And after that, I’ll move onto Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. I am keeping two Pokemon from my first foray into the game, only because they were available as part of event and the download window is now closed. I’m staying off of the GTS this time, though, and only going there to get my foreign Ditto for breeding using the Masuda method because if I wasn’t crazy enough to try and build a National Pokédex a second time catching all the Pokémon myself, I now want to do it a third time and fill it with shinies.
It started with my New Nintendo 3DS. After a few late night sessions playing Super Smash Bros., the plastic wrap on the bottom shell started to peel off. Of course, because of my lack of foresight I don’t have any photographs of this happening. What’s interesting is that the bottom shell (and I suspect part of the top shell) of the 3DS is just a silver shell and there is a semi-transparent sticker that lays on top of it, either translucent black or translucent red, depending on the color system you have. It’s probably done this way to cut down on production costs. Anyways, it isn’t really a problem because that’s what warranties are for. After a quick phone call, I sent the system back to Nintendo for repair.
I sent my 3DS in on Monday and I got it back from the repair service yesterday and tested it out. Rather than just replacing the bottom shell, they replaced the entire bottom half of the unit. Yay? Everything seems stiffer now though for better or for worse: the hinge, the buttons have a bit more of a resistance to being pressed, and especially the Circle Pad. It is way stiffer and it’s seriously affecting my gameplay. Not such a big deal when it comes to games like Pokémon or Fire Emblem, but Super Smash Bros. is a different beast. I can’t remember if my 3DS felt this stiff out of the box. Maybe after a few weeks or months of play time I’ll either get used to the stiffer controls or beat up the unit enough to get it back to the same condition as my first unit but right now I can’t control my character’s actions all that well. It’s like I’m playing Smash for the first time again.
While my 3DS was at Nintendo getting repaired, the touch screen on my iPhone died no more than 4 days after my warranty expired. Completely dead. Couldn’t do anything. But Applecare came through in a BIG way and offered an Express Replacement service and even waived the $29 fee. I had no idea what Express Replacement was before I called them but basically what normally happens when you get a repair over the phone is that they send you a box with a pre-paid label. You put your phone or laptop or whatever inside that box and ship it back. They repair it or replace it, and then ship it back to you. That whole process could take anywhere from 4-7 days depending on transit and repair time. With Express Replacement, Applecare will send you a replacement product in advance on the condition that you mail them the broken item back within 10 business days. You use the same box, peel off the label and drop it off with the carrier. The downtime for that is 2-3 days at most. Who wouldn’t want this service? My phone is currently on the truck for delivery and I won’t be able to get to it ’til I get home later tonight.
So for two days now I’ll have been without my iPhone. Here are some things I learned about myself in those 48 hours:
My number two’s now only take 2-3 minutes.
I get work done faster.
I get bored much more easily.
I panic whenever I leave a place wondering what the hell happened to my phone. Oh yeah, it’s broken sitting on my desk at home.
I keep reaching inside my pocket for my phone that isnt’t there whenever I’m waiting for something like the elevator, the Keurig machine, or web pages to load. Like ALL the freakin’ time.
It’s a weird feeling being unreachable. I was away from email, texts, Words With Friends, podcasts, internet, Google Maps, and everything else I use on my phone. And I could probably wax on about how not having a phone “opened up my eyes to the world outside” and paint a picture about how birds would land on my shoulder and I would feed grapes to a deer in the park or how blue the sky is and how green the grass is but that’s all bullshit. Being unplugged and unreachable sucks. No contact with friends, being forced to listen to the goddamn radio and its millions of commercials, not having any idea that traffic on Hawthorne was backed up for miles, all just a joy ride from hell. Not having my phone sucks ass and I can’t wait to get my replacement going again. Fuck this shit.
Sorry, no pictures for this post. I’m feeling particularly lazy right now.