Pokemon a Go-Go

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OMG Pokemon are real! Yo, check out this photo! It’s Proof! So many exclamation points! Okay, so no this isn’t another one of my April Fools posts. This years isn’t as fun as my previous ones. My favorite is probably the What’s Up Scott? post. I also really enjoyed this one: I’m All In with Chris Hayes, in which I claimed to be future guest on “All In with Chris Hayes.” I’m actually a fan of Hayes, since his first show on MSNBC “Up with Chris Hayes,” which was a weekend two-hour show. And who could forget my post that was all about me: The Greatest Story Ever Told? Well, not everyone is excited about April Fools day, so why not have a more serious post? A Pokemon post.

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I was a fan of Pokemon from the beginning, when the first games came out for Gameboy. Really addicting gameplay. I recently finished Pokemon Yellow on the 3DS virtual console, oh the memories. There were 150 pokemon back then, though Mew was one of those hard to find pokemon bonus pokemon. You had to go to a special event to get one. I checked my old Pokemon Blue and Yellow games from back then and sure enough I have all 150 official pokemon on both games. My brother had Pokemon Red, so I didn’t have to worry about collecting all of them. It would be sweet if I could transfer those pokemon into the Pokemon bank, but alas I can’t. At least the guys I got for the virtual console version can be transferred to the new Pokemon games. I started playing Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and I really miss having Pikachu following me around. Just imagine what it would be like if you could have one of those yellow guys following you around!

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Pokemon Go is a different type of pokemon game, which is kind of like what Safari Zone was in the original Pokemon games. In Go, you simply catch pokemon in the wild with pokeballs and maybe use some berries if you want an easier time catching them. Pokemon Go doesn’t require you to battle wild Pokemon to catch them, as is the traditional method for the regular games. However, you can battle in gyms. In Go, the fights happen in real-time, as opposed to menu-battle in the traditional games. There’s also a limit to moves, namely just two moves in Pokemon Go where there are 4 in the regular games.

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The best thing about Pokemon Go is that it motivates me to go walking for a half hour at least, every day. I get to catch some pokemon, hit a few pokestops to restock on items, and work on my streaks for that sweet bonus xp at the end of the week. Today I snapped quite a bit of photos, the ones included in this post, so I’ll leave you with one more. A happy bulbasaur.

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Wii U Gamepad and Xbox 360 Controller

Wii U Gamepad and Xbox 360 Controller

I’ve been a fan of Nintendo since I was a small child. I tend to be loyal to brands that I grow up with or use for several years. Nintendo has the innovation that I have come to expect from them. For many years, I was a Nintendo fan-boy and I never gave much thought to owning other gaming systems. In my early 20’s I changed my tune. I had a PS2, then Xbox, then a PS2 again. Got rid of that for a Xbox 360, traded that in and later got a PS3 (had that break, got more PS3’s, they broke too until I got a slim), and finally traded in my PS3 slim and later got a Xbox 360 E. I’ve met people who had Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox at the same time. Heck don’t count out the PC.  I’ve been a PC gamer even before having my NES.

It was a bit weird to own a gaming console that wasn’t a Nintendo, but it was fun to break out of my fanboy-ism.  It’s been difficult to decide which to stick with, PlayStation or Xbox. I liked the PS3 because it had free online gaming and it was more affordable. I THOUGHT it would be more reliable, but that turned out not to be the case. I think both Sony and MS have tried to avoid the red ring of death and yellow light of death that Xbox and PlayStation had in the early days. I hope that is true. but I’m going to stick with my Wii U and Xbox 360 for a while. Will I get a PS4 or Xbox One?

I think I’ll end up with one of those next-gen consoles eventually. Right now, Xbox One seems more likely, however I don’t trust the reliability of the hardware. It’s probably best to hold off on a PS4 or Xbox One until the next remodel or two. The most noticeable factor in going back to Xbox is the controller for me. I really like the Xbox controller more than the PlayStation, except that the d-pad is better on the PS3 controller than it is on the Xbox 360. I have heard that the Xbox One controller has a better d-pad than the previous generation.

The Xbox triggers and control sticks are a better design than the PlayStation in my opinion. I like that the sticks are father apart and the triggers feel more natural. The home button is bigger, which is nice. Another thing that I didn’t like about the PlayStation controller was that it felt cheap and too easy to break. I hear the PS4 controller feels sturdier, which is a good thing.

What really made me leave PS3 was the games. I felt that too many of the games  for PS3 are now available on Steam (I heart Steam), so it didn’t seem worth keeping the PS3. The exclusives do not seem to be enough to keep my interest. Uncharted, SOCOM, and a few others are fun, but I feel like I’ve grown tired of them. Meanwhile, Xbox has RARE, Gears of War, Halo, and Forza for some realistic racing action. It really makes sense for me to have one Japanese gaming system and an American console. Both Wii U and Xbox offer different types of games. While Xbox is more FPS and sports, Nintendo has first party titles that take me back and some unique games you won’t get from an American market. I should note that this is changing to some degree.

Sony may indeed be the underdog this generation, as I have heard one executive say. However, Sony does have a lot of fans and I think they will be king of the industry for a while. MS is getting better and Nintendo still has the portable market cornered. It is truly a wonderful time to be a gamer. I like seeing three competitors and I hope they all stick around for years to come. Ohhh, can’t wait to check out a Steam Box!

Wii Fit U Is Here!

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Wii Fit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the release of Wii Fit U, a game that I have been looking forward to for a long time. Nintendo is offering a special deal for people who have the previous Wii Fit titles. If you have a Wii U and a balance board, you can download the game and try it free for 31 days. After that, you can have the full game if you purchase a Wii Fit Meter for $20. Not bad at all. It’s similar to when Wii Fit Plus came out, replacing the original game, it was also $20. Of course, Wii Fit U is a better value as now  you get HD and some neat new features.

One of which are the dance games included with Wii Fit U which allow you to try different types of dancing. Jazz, Salsa, and Flamenco are three of the styles that I remember off-hand. There’s also a new personal trainer feature that allows the game to design your workout if you don’t feel like doing it yourself. There’s a lot of new stuff to do and of course you can use the gamepad for most of it instead of using a Wii Remote, which I like since it has better speakers. You can totally play the game while watching TV now, which is great. Nothing like exercising while watching The Twilight Zone!

The Wii Fit Meter looks cool. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but I will be getting in the mail today. It measures the physical activity you make throughout the day by clipping it to your pants. It can also measure elevation along with motion. It’s small too, so it doesn’t look like it really  adds any weight. You’d probably forget it’s even there! It can sync to the gamepad so you can display all the information from it onto the Wii U or you can see the information on the LCD screen right on the meter.  I think the best part of having the meter will be not needing to actually play the game. You could exercise outside of the game, like literally go for a walk and then add the data later. This is nice as before if you wanted to keep track of your routine, you were stuck with the game.

I’m happy that I don’t have to go into Wii Mode anymore to exercise and the brighter and crisper colors of the game are a welcome sight. The trainers have also gotten an upgrade and are more pleasant to look at, and sexy! 😉 Maybe that will help you get a bit more motivated! The only caveat is that there aren’t any new yoga or strength training exercises. Just the same ones from before, though still a good variety.

If you are looking for some encouragement from other users, there is a community that you can access right from the game. It’s basically like joining a club and you can communicate with other members. You can get tips, share some encouragement, right from the game instead of having to go to Miiverse. I’m not sure that I will use it, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I feel like being social.

I’m satisfied with the Wii U so far. I know there are some that are disappointed, but I think there are a lot of great games still to come. As they say, haters going to hate. For me, I’m going to stick with PC games using my Xbox controller and Wii U. Especially now that I have my Wii Fit U!