Category Archives: Essay

A Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Retrospective

The recent announcement of Pokémon Unite… didn’t go so well. The Pokémon Company announced a broadcast for June 24, 2020 a week in advance. As you might expect, fans went crazy speculating the broadcast’s contents. A Let’s Go-styled game set in the Johto region was a common guess… but what everybody really wanted was the announcement of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes! Of course, we didn’t get them (yet), and in hindsight, it would’ve been too soon. Especially considering that, at the time of writing, Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Crown Tundra DLC pack remains unavailable.

The desire for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes is real, though,  and now’s as good a time as ever to talk about what made the originals so special. Pokémon Pearl was the first video game I ever owned, and it holds a special place in my heart to this very day. Today, we’re going to look at everything. Its presentation, soundtrack, Pokémon inclusions… everything. This game is special to me for a reason, and I’m going to do my best to outline what makes these entries so unique.

Continue reading A Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Retrospective

A perspective-changing CPU theory

So, I’ve got a theory. And, if it’s true, it’s a theory that would change our perspective on not just amiibo training, but Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s AI as a whole. It’s a time-consuming test, so I can’t say for sure, but it’s still something to discuss regardless. Here’s the premise: yes, amiibo learn from you. We knew that. But what if I told you the CPU learns from you, too? Now, again, it’s tough to say for sure, but I’ve gathered some evidence that might support this. Take this post with a grain of salt and let’s get going.

Please note that this theory was originally researched by Leaf. The topic itself was explored prior by the competitive amiibo community. Do not repost, rewrite, or otherwise reproduce this work without direct permission from staff. This includes (but is not limited to) blog or website posts, images, and videos. Thank you for your patience.

Continue reading A perspective-changing CPU theory

Ranking sub-games in Brain Age for Nintendo Switch

Brain Age was released on the Nintendo Switch in January of this year. Wait, you haven’t heard of it? That’s because it hasn’t been released in North America yet, and at the time of writing, we have no word on a potential release. I’m a huge Brain Age fan – I played Concentration Training to death and back – so naturally, I created a European Nintendo account specifically to download and play Brain Age.

After about thirty hours and extensive experience with everything it has to offer, I’ve formed a rather solid opinion on it: it’s good. Just good. It certainly has problems, but it’s an enjoyable experience, so today, I’m going to rank all of its sub-games and discuss its features. Think of this as a review but without the strict format. Please note that I’m not going to cover the multiplayer games, as they are the one part of Brain Age I wasn’t able to try out. Continue reading Ranking sub-games in Brain Age for Nintendo Switch

The ethics of time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

As avid Animal Crossing fans probably know, time travel has been incorporated in each main series title since the original on the Nintendo GameCube. Its premise is rather simple: by changing the system’s time and date, players can skip ahead to speed up their town development, move out villagers, or access certain holidays or events in advance.

The release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch has once again created something of a split within the community: those who time travel and those who don’t. As somebody who has played the game both ways, I have an important question to answer today: is time traveling worth it in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Continue reading The ethics of time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Should you take amiibo training seriously?

Probably not. Wait, what? If you’re new to the amiibo training community, that answer might surprise you. After all, our metagame is just as complex as any other (maybe), so doesn’t that make it worth taking seriously? In my opinion, not really. That being said, amiibo training in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate still has a lot to offer! Let’s take a look at some core components of the competitive scene and why taking it too seriously could be bad for the community as a whole.

Continue reading Should you take amiibo training seriously?