Gaming Geek’s Log – 2015.04.23

Not a lot to talk about today because I barely had time for video games since my last post. I’m only going to talk about Pokemon Shuffle and Dillon’s Rolling Western, the two games that I’ve been focusing the little time I was able to free up for games.

a 3ds - dillons rolling western

Dillon’s Rolling Western

Just a few hours ago, I finally got past the fifth stage of Dillon’s Rolling Western. I initially thought that this was as far as the game would go, but I looked it up and found out that there were ten stages total. I’m already starting to have a hard time with the game due to the increasing difficulty so I’m quite surprised that I’m only halfway through the game.

Dillon’s Rolling Western has been described by many as a different take on tower defense games, but I think that’s a little misleading. Personally, Dillon’s Rolling Western feels more closer to an action game with tower defense elements. You play as Dillon, a self-proclaimed ranger in a Wild West setting helping defend different villages from invading monsters called Grocks who feed on their livestock. Each stage is represented by a map that’s exactly like what you’d expect in a tower defense game – you have different Grock spawning points, locations where you can build towers, and the village that you’re trying to protect. And typical of tower defense games, there are fixed paths that the Grocks all move along on, conveniently within the range of all those tower spots.

What differentiates Dillon’s Rolling Western from most tower defense games is that you actually have to move Dillon around the stage. To building a tower, you have to walk to that spot first. Gathering resources requires actual exploration, and you can directly engage Grocks in combat. Everything happens in real time too, so you lose precious time if you walk leisurely instead of move around frantically. You also can’t depend solely on your towers for protection as they’re not powerful enough to reliably deal with all of the Grocks especially in latter stages.

The combination of all that makes for an intense experience. The intensity, as well as the controls (Dillon’s rolls and attacks can only be executed via the stylus) makes it hard for me to play Dillon’s Rolling Western for long periods of time. The longest I can play this game without taking a breather is two rounds straight, after which my left wrist starts to ache due to holding the 3DS with just my left hand.

There’s also the catch of needing a certain number of Stars in order to unlock stages. In each stage, you can earn up to five Stars by meeting certain requirements. If you don’t do well enough, you won’t earn the number of stars needed to unlock the next stage. This makes progress in the game slower than how I’d like it to be, as I can’t play it for extended periods of time and I did end up having to go through previous stages more than once just to earn more Stars.

I’m still enjoying Dillon’s Rolling Western a lot, though. I just wasn’t expecting this game to take up this much of my time.

a 3ds - pokemon shuffle
Pokemon Shuffle

I’ve never been aware of any actual limits of Pokemon Shuffle, but this past weekend my girlfriend got to stage 180, beat it and discovered that there aren’t any stages after it. The developers started a new event just a few days ago, providing an additional five Pokemon to catch. However, I caught all five within 24 hours of the start of the event and my girlfriend has four of them already.

Just a few hours ago, I also beat Stage 180, which leaves just a short list of remaining tasks in the game:

– Catch Xerneas (Expert Stage 18)
– Earn 150 S Ranks and unlock the Mewtwo stage (Expert Stage 20)
– Catch Mewtwo
– Earn 180 S Ranks and unlock the Genesect stage (Expert Stage 21)
– Catch Genesect

The tricky bit about this is that this list, while looking really short, still requires a lot of work. It’s difficult to get S Ranks in most of the stages that I haven’t already gotten an S Rank on, and even if I do get an S Rank it’ll feel like I’ve made very little progress. In my experience, the lack of progress in a video game (or even just the notion of it) can result in a waning interest in Pokemon Shuffle. Barring the addition of new stages (and new stuff to do), I might end up playing this game less.

And that’s it for today. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get as much time for gaming as I’ve been having the last couple of months. I’m hoping for more time soon so I can finally scratch Dillon’s Rolling Western off my list and start my replay sessions.


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