Snow…

Got hit with a big snowstorm, it was the first time in a long time I’ve seen such a massive amount of snow…There was a pile on our rock garden that was taller than me (I am 6 feet)…

While shoveling the snow, it made me think of Winter time in Animal Crossing…Well, that’s the most accurate depiction I can think of for it, anyway…When I was younger, I used to think about how awesome and pretty it would be to live in a small town decorated with christmas lights all year round…

Not that I’m super hard for Christmas, but it looks pretty…

But more to the point, I always wanted a winter world to explore…Like, just imagine finding a door like the Christmas Tree tree (hmm) in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and finding yourself in a world of snow?…And the whole purpose is exploring…I assume I’m not alone in wishing we could’ve explored Christmas Town for ourselves…And Halloween Town was just as awesome…

Honestly, it’s kinda funny that I compare my visions more to Animal Crossing, cause it was a trailer for Nightmare Before Christmas that got my, I don’t know, 5 or 6 year old imagination running?…And since then, there’s never been a point in my life where I didn’t love Nightmare Before Christmas…Perhaps it’s because Winter time in Animal Crossing was just a more accurate to my personal visualization…

Kingdom Hearts II would be the first time I got to explore Christmas Town…Unfortunately, games can only hold so much…It was partially destructive to my imagination of Christmas Town, as it was incredibly small and only had a few explorable areas…And the path to the tree was very “How did it take Jack so long to this?” straight-forward…

It was lively, it was fun for a few minutes…I still cite it as my favorite portion of the game, even though, if I replayed the game (I have had the untouched HD ReMix for a year or two or three, now, that I haven’t touched), I’d probably pick a different part of the game…

Unfortunately, that’s the sacrifice that comes with dealing with crossover universes…You need to make sacrifices in every area, while scaling which ones are more important, story-wise…

Note:  I am aware that there is a Nightmare Before Christmas game for the original PlayStation, but I never rented or bought it…I had experience with Disney games that weren’t 8 bit or 16 bit, so I just ignored it…Now, I’d play it out of curiosity…But back then, I could rent a game once, maybe every month or so, for 5 days, I didn’t want to waste my rental on a game I assumed was gonna be bad…

So, my adorable dog was out in the snow with me, too…And it made me want to move to a winter wonderland, where he can just roam in the snow as long as he wanted, but then I remembered he also hates emptying his bladder in the snow, so, that’d be annoying to deal with…

Later disnow…

Sick…

Yesterday, my energy drained suddenly, and I collapsed on my bed…Stomach in massive pain…I’m deathly afraid of vomiting, but as time went on, I could feel that the pain was definitely not going to compromise…throughout the day, I would puke several times…Now I’m awake…so little energy, so nauseous, still, but I think the puking is over…

That was important to share…

Pokemon Training…

Don’t read this if you don’t like Pokemon…Don’t read this if you don’t like the details of Pokemon…There is very little of what I think is insightfulness (if any) that will be useful for anyone who has no interest in competitive Pokemon here…

I’m taking this post to talk about Pokemon Sun and Moon, and my adventures in breeding…

So, I play Pokemon competitively…And decided that I wanted to try my hand at the VGC again (I have not done well in the past, as I suck at Doubles, and that’s what format the VGC is always in)…

So, Talonflame has this ability called Gale Wings…Last generation, the ability gave your Flying Attacks +1 priority (Priority is the first factor in the order of attacks, each turn…It’s why Quick Attack always strikes before most attacks)…Last gen, there were no limitations, you had +1 priority Brave Bird (120 Base Power, trust me, it’s really high powered, it also damages with recoil), or Acrobatics (When you’re not holding an item, this is 110 Base Power with no drawbacks)…Or Roost (Which removes your Flying Typing for the turn and heals your HP)…You get the gist…The only real drawback is that Talonflame doesn’t have that much power…

So, Gale Wings was nerfed this gen, so that it will only give your Flying Attacks priority if you are at full HP (which is reasonable, as Acrobatics, Brave Bird, and Roost are all attacks that are pretty broken, even if the user’s Attack is a little below average, like Talonflame’s)…Now, that’s a pretty big nerf, but I didn’t immediately see why everyone just dropped Talonflame…Will get back to this in a minute…

Tapu Lele is a new legendary pokemon that summons Psychic Terrain upon entering the battle, for 5 turns…This terrain increases the power of all Psychic-type attacks by 50%, but the part that is relevant here is the effect that blocks priority moves that target any pokemon that is touching the ground (Applies to anything that isn’t Flying-Type or a pokemon with the “Levitate” ability)…

Now, my initial understanding of it was that it prevented all grounded pokemon from using Priority-boosted attacks (Which would apply to Gale Wings)…So, with that understanding, Talonflame could use Priority attacks, since it’s part Flying-Type…So, okay, because of the prevalence to Tapu Lele actually encourage the usage of Talonflame (One of the few legal Fire-Type pokemon this year, btw)?…Even with the initial drawback, with the addition of Z-Moves (At the cost of using your Item slot, you get a very powerful first Attack, might explain in another Pokemon related post)…

It didn’t make sense to me why Talonflame wouldn’t be more popular, given that, in my head, the Psychic terrain would not affect Talonflame in any way…But it works DEFENSIVELY, not offensively, and suddenly, it made sense to me why the Gale Wings nerf in combination with the prevalence of Tapu Lele ultimately killed off Talonflame in the higher tiers…Because with Gale Wings, it loses access to its Flying STAB completely…

And here I am, having hatched 59 eggs, in the most disorganized fashion I have ever managed…Blargh…

JUST WANTED TO EXPRESS MY SADNESS HERE…

Choice Systems in Video Games…

It’s no secret that choice systems in video games, in their current state, are lame (insightful)…Basically, at some point in the story, you’re given a choice to do something the right way or the evil way…

inFAMOUS is my go to example for the typical system…At crucial points in the story, you’re given a choice, that has virtually no impact, gameplay wise, but grants you bonus experience points for the karmic system, either positive or negative, depending on which simple choice you make…For example, the very first instance in the first inFAMOUS game gives you the choice between keeping the food you managed to steal back from the first set of villains in the game for yourself, or sharing it with the other unfortunate people…

It’s a good game, if you get the chance, I’d recommend it…It’s a PS3 game…

But that’s the typical system…You get bonus positive or negative karma points, which give you powers…But all parts of the story are written in a way that allows them to ignore the earlier choice moments…I get it…it’s a complex system, and honestly, I don’t know how the PS4 inFAMOUS games are…But the first two inFAMOUS games used this system…And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect more from video games that have moral systems as their main selling point…

Those are the freshest in my mind, aside from a set of games, I’ll get to later…If you have an immediate assumption at what games I’m talking about, you’re probably right…But I wanted to talk about one more game, first…One that I felt actually did do the best job they could with the system…

Spec Ops:  The Line is one of the few War-based games I thoroughly enjoyed…It passed as both a game and a story on all objective levels…This game also has moral choices…But in my opinion, it’s more effective…The moral choices are often based more on difficulty than anything else…One that comes to mind (with minimal spoilers) is an instance of choosing to save a character at the cost of having to go through a long and torturous battle with enemies, or letting the character get executed, in exchange for skipping the battle…I feel like the reward making sense to the story as it does here, is more important than actually being rewarded in a story-driven game…

Moving on…

Tell Tale games…I played four of them, thus far, but only two of the critically acclaimed ones…Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones Season 1, and Walking Dead Season 1…

I do not think this choice system is any better than the standard…In fact, the choice system in the game is about as innovative as a WWE Smackdown game’s Season mode…Basically, with Game of Thrones and Walking Dead, you walk around from point A to point B, solving “mysteries” (usually really simple things, the one exception in Walking Dead being figuring out how to work the train…Oh and another one where you have to reset your PS3, because the game bugged out and completely removed your ability to hop to an integral spot)…

I’m going to attempt to be minimal, once again, with spoilers…

For dialogue, you’re given 2-4 options, often four different ways of saying the same thing, just in ways that effect your relationship with a character or two, in different ways…These small choices amount to nothing, really…I don’t even believe there is a meter for the points of dialogue where you’re forced to choose favorites or choose no one…I believe it just overwrites your last choice, each time you’re given a chance to play favorites (If I were doing a formal review, I would find out for sure, but as this is how I perceived it, I think it’s fair to describe it this way in a blog)…

But my biggest peeve about the games is the death system, and this is where I draw the comparison to WWE’s early Smackdown titles…When there is a crucial death in the story, it’s because you gave up one character for another…In the story, there’s no way to save both characters…Which is understandable…But the thing is, no matter which character you save, they play the same role…They are effectively just fighting for the same part in the storyline…Hell, there are certain instances where your choice was meaningless, and a character was either going to live or die, anyway, and it’s just another instance of you being judged briefly and inconsiquently on your actions…

That’s all I’ve got for now…My next one’s not gonna be on the moral system, again…I just wanted to talk about this, a bit…Next time, it’ll be about something I find fun…

Btw, if you need or want a Vulpix (Snow Warning plus Timid w/ Egg Moves:  Encore, Freeze Dry, and Moonblast, lemme know ;))…

Friendship Levels?…

So, one major purpose for this blog was to talk about things that inspired some game ideas I had…

So, a while back, I took a little adventure, hopping around various cities in Colorado…As various different friendships of mine were tested, I was also forming tons of new friendships, due to the way I was living…Moving from place to place, constantly, was overall a stupid plan to stick to for longer than a month…But that’s not the point here…

You meet a large variety of people and can end up in a variety of different settings using AirBnB…

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself with an entire family that feeds you and helps you out the best they can, sometimes you’ll find people who are just roommates, and sometimes you’ll have your own little apartment building…Do note, that while I didn’t really even attempt to take many precautions (The only immediate red flag to me was potential bed times), I never ran into anything shady (related to BnB) in the 3 months I was in Colorado…

I’ll go into specific experiences, maybe some other time, but focusing forward, you move to a new area, you go exploring, you meet people, woo, obvious big deep point…

But for real, it’s obvious it’s going to happen, but you can’t get the full effect simply knowing that…

Moving on…

Animal Crossing is a wonderful game, look it up…A GameCube is like -$23, go find one online, get a copy of Animal Crossing which may admittedly be a slightly high price, depending on condition…Give yourself a week, at least, with Animal Crossing…Preferably a month…I have been playing Animal Crossing games for around 15 years (First year of release in the US)…

In short, they’re life simulation games where you’re a human in a small town of anthropomorphic animals as residents and workers…The main goal of the game is to pay off your debts, but the game never ends…It creates the illusion of a world that’s always alive…

Life simulation games are a neat bunch that somehow manage to make us forget that we’re playing a game about chores and bill-paying…Another common feature that all of them share is friendship building…

It’s simple friendship building…It’s all just an invisible counter that increases when you do positive things or decreases when you do negative things that have a direct impact on the character you’re trying to build a relationship with…Hell, there are many cases where the number isn’t even invisible…

I wanted to make a life simulation game and an adventure game, based on a more realistic version of relationship building (Albeit, I have no reliable experience on the romantic side, but I’m talking about friendship, exclusively)…

Relationships, in reality, are affected by more than just direct communication or lackthereof…Befriending certain people won’t just lower your friendship level with other people, it will put a maximum cap on it, in many situations…You can get along with everyone, but the people your closely associated with will, in some way, no matter how significant or insignificant the impact, hinder your ability to befriend others…

Aside from this, actions you do that only affect yourself will still have an effect on your friendships, in some cases…They may think less of you or lose respect for you…The opposite may happen…It might make your positive actions stand out more to them, while they become more understanding of what they see as a negative action…

It’s all fun…That’s all I’m going to write about for this entry…I know it’s nothing groundbreaking, but I’ll go into more detail in a future blog post (I’m never going to specify exactly what my next post is gonna be about or when I’ll return to a related topic)…

I just wanted to talk about a specific mechanic in video games that has my interest…Later, Dino…

The Pilot Post: What is This?

So, this blog…I’ve been meaning to start this forever…

So, here we go:

There isn’t one theme…Sometimes, I’m gonna wanna talk about ideas I have…Sometimes, I’m gonna wanna talk about my life…Sometimes, I’m gonna wanna talk about an aspect of the game industry I have an opinion of…Maybe I just wanna talk about some other interest…Sometimes, I’ll throw in a dream I had…

From here on out, call me The Plastic Dinosaur…The original idea for this blog was to get myself talking, if even to myself, about my ideas for games I want to make…More on that in the future…

I’m in my mid-20s, living in Eastern USA…I’m intending to go West…I’m intending to explore…I’m intending to create my own worlds, for others to explore…

I’m gonna end this mess of a post here…Tune in next time, where I’m hopefully a bit more organized…