Everyday Atrocities: Pokemon on Emulators

Time and time again, I see people get excited over emulators.  Who wouldn’t?  Having hundreds of games at your disposal and the chance to discover a new hidden gem sounds awesome.  For most people, emulators are like a treasure box filled with childhood memories.  The franchise that I see people get the most nostalgic over is Pokemon and with good reason.  Pokemon is still fun to play.  I just cannot fathom playing it on an emulator.

While I rarely had the opportunity to trade and battle with other people in older Pokemon titles, having a link cable is essential to the Pokemon experience.  How else are you going to catch them all?  Knowing how dedicated the people who design emulators are, it may be possible to trade Pokemon on an emulator, but it just seems dull.  Doing that loses the sense of adventure that extends outside of those games.  Having to find other players or even driving to stores to get special event Pokemon is not the slightest bit convenient, but it gives the illusion that we live in a Pokemon world.  I wonder if Toys R US managers got annoyed of having kids enter the store just to obtain a Pokemon and walk out.

Aside from trading, there are other features that people playing on emulators will miss out on.  Players of HeartGold and SoulSilver will be missing out on one of my favorite features of those games, the Pokewalker.  Just transfer a Pokemon, put the pedometer in your pocket and level up Pokemon just by walking.  I do not know if the Pokewalker was an accurate pedometer, but anything that gives out easy to obtain (if you walk a lot) experience points is a welcome addition.   People looking to complete the Pokdex legitimately are going to have to buy the WiiWare title My Pokemon Ranch which communicates with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.  I never played it.  Capturing or hatching and then transferring 999 Pokemon to obtain Mew sounds tedious.

The best thing about playing Pokemon using actual cartridges is that if you so desire, your Pokemon stay with you.  Theoretically, if you have the right hardware, Pokemon caught over ten years ago in Ruby or Sapphire can be transferred to Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire, a game released last year.  Can you do that with an emulator?  If you are looking to play Pokemon, get a DS Lite or 3DS XL because playing Pokemon on an emulator is atrocious.

A Day One PS4 Patch? Has Sony Gone Too Far?

Day one updates have become all too common. Whether or not day one updates are the result of lazy developers or the result of an unprecedented amount of players in the case of games dependent on online servers is hard to tell. This morning Sony announced that the Playstation 4 would be receiving a day one update that would enable many critical features, including online multiplayer.

For people looking forward to using any of Sony’s online services, a 300 MB update is not much of an inconvenience. What I found most surprising about the announcement of the day one update is that it would enable playback of DVD/Blu-rays. While I am pretty sure that anyone buying a PS4 on launch day is not planning to watch a movie with it, it seems odd that such a basic feature would be left out. The Playstation 2 was able to play DVDs out of the box and that was released over 12 years ago.

It might seem kind of silly to be complaining about something so trivial, but I found it to be incredibly weird. It is like buying a brand new car with flat tires. If such a basic feature has to be enabled in a patch, how far are other companies going to go? Are they going to start releasing day one patches to enable controller support?

Xbox One Impressions

I really hope that Microsoft’s E3 press conference was better than the Xbox reveal event that was held this morning.  Xbox One?  Not a terrible name but I can imagine there will be plenty of eBay scams with people trying to sell the original Xbox instead.  500 GB of hard drive space does not seem like it would be enough for the amount of digital content Microsoft is trying to push, especially when the console will be using a Blu-ray drive.

Most of the features that were shown off today are things that I will probably never use.  I don’t care about fantasy sports.  No details about how TV service will be enabled on the Xbox One were announced.  I’d rather just press a button than use a voice command.  The controller looks better.  A Halo TV series by Steven Spielberg, I would be surprised if it was not a mess.  Motion capture dogs might make Call of Duty: Ghosts worth playing, but it’s still Call of Duty.

Also, the release date Microsoft gave, hilarious.  “Around the world later this year”, how specific.  

Goodbye Rock Band

Tomorrow marks the final week Rock Band DLC will be released. A fitting final song. It’s remarkable that Harmonix supported it for so long and made the investment worthwhile. If I had to guess, the Rock Band series is my most played series of all time. I’ve put a solid 100 hours into Rock Band 3 alone and there is still so much more that I can do. 

Sony Press Conference Reactions

Sony released much more info about the PS4 today than I would have imagined.  It was the best Sony press conference in years.  While Sony didn’t reveal the price or how the console itself looks the tech demos shown look really promising and show that it is possible for serious games to be colorful.
I was more blown away by the broadcasting capabilities that Sony promised.  As someone who has messed around with live streaming, it is much more difficult than it should be.  Also being able to play games while they are being downloaded sounds really useful.  This would be fantastic, if it all works. 
Poor Nintendo.  If Sony can perfect Remote Play where PS4 games can be played on a PS Vita, the appeal of the Wii U will go way down.  Not to mention the sales figures of the Wii U have been pretty bad and first party titles can only do so much.  Wii U will be the next Dreamcast.
All I know is that E3 2013 is going to be great.  The press conference held today could have totally passed for one at E3.  Looking forward to Microsoft’s retaliation anything will be better than last years press conference. 

SimCity 2000 Impressions

Gog.com had a sale this past weekend on select EA games.  The prices were excellent.  I bought SimCity 2000 and Theme Hospital.  I had been wanting to play SimCity 2000 for a while.  A few years ago I even tried buying the game off of eBay, but had some bad luck trying to get a copy.  I won an auction for a boxed copy of the game, but the seller ended up sending SimCity Classic in a SimCity 2000 box.  On the bright side, the seller also included 5 other “Sim” games.  Purchasing the game at Gog.com was simple and there were no problems getting the game running on Windows 7 as the game is configured to run in DosBox. 

I am not an expert at SimCity.  I enjoy playing games in the series and dedicated a decent amount of hours in SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition.  SimCity 2000 is not as complicated as SimCity 4, but it is still a blast to play.  The beginning of the game is a little slow as there needs to be planning of how the city will be laid out.  I am fairly sure everything is explained in the manual, but there is no hand holding within the game.  You need to know that you need to place a power plant and create a water supply for buildings to begin construction.

Newspapers will appear occasionally making you aware of recent events in your city. 
The game gives you no sense of direction of what you are supposed to do.  You are free to try out many different building styles and attempt to build a realistic city with complex travel systems and adequately funded schools.  If the generated map that you are given is just not working out, you can take advantage of the terraforming options.  In one game that I started I took advantage of these tools to create a metropolis and fill out the entire map with dense residential/industrial/commercial zones.  

I think those people are about to have a bad time
Time is another aspect that keeps the game interesting.  You are able to zoom through time and watch your city grow before your eyes.  There are risks and rewards with doing this.  The further you progress into the future, the greater the advancements are in technology which is crucial for power plants.  Speeding time up also has risks such as having your city being hit with a natural disaster or having your power plant explode, which is normal as they only last for fifty years.

There is a lot that can be done in this game.  While I did put in a good amount of time into SimCity 2000, there is more city building options that I have not even touched.  Also included are scenarios, but I do not have any interest in those.  I feel like they would take away the main appeal of SimCity for me.  Playing SimCity 2000 did get me even more excited for the release of SimCity 5.  I did create a time lapse video of the city I worked on this weekend.  It is the biggest city I have ever built in any SimCity game and I willingly destroyed it.