Gaming Geek’s Log – 2015.05.08

I’m still going to talk about the same two games that I’ve been playing regularly – Dillon’s Rolling Western and Pokemon Shuffle – but this time around, I’ve got a lot more to say about both of them, more than my usual monologue.

a 3ds - dillons rolling western

Dillon’s Rolling Western

Last time around, I said that I was struggling with Day 3 of Stage 7. Well, after realizing that Dillon’s Rolling Western is not a game that I can just brute force my way through, I managed to finally beat not only Stage 7 but Stage 8 as well.

I don’t know why I didn’t realize it sooner, especially since I’ve played tower defense games before, but it dawned on me after failing Day 3 of Stage 7 several times that I really need to have excellent preparation to survive. And I can’t have that without doing a little ‘research’ first.

And by research, I realized that I had to play through each round just to get a feel of it. Observe the attack patterns of the Grocks (where they were coming from, which Grocks took which paths) and assess where the resources would be located. Knowing all that helped me plan out a more efficient movement route while gathering resources, as well as determine which weapons to place in which towers and what towers to reinforce.

Unlike most tower defense games though, the challenge doesn’t end with a well-mounted defense. Even if I have all my towers in place, I still have to make sure that I don’t spend too much time whenever I engage invading Grocks in direct combat. Taking too long with one opponent may result in me not being able to reinforce weak points in my defenses.

This realization has made me appreciate Dillon’s Rolling Western even more. I’m amazed at how this game is able to challenge me mentally and physically by requiring well thought out strategies and good reflexes.

 

a 3ds - pokemon shuffle
Pokemon Shuffle

The Mega Banette event recently concluded, and I’m pleased to say that both my girlfriend and I placed high enough to receive the Banetite reward without needing any powerups. The conclusion of the Mega Banette event also coincided with the start of another timed event involving Pinsir, a new Pokemon to catch. This got me thinking and, well, I’m not too happy about a few things.

First thing I thought about was why the two events centered around Banette and Pinsir. I’m not a Pokemon fan so I definitely don’t know if these two Pokemon are popular enough but they’re definitely not as popular as Lucario and Blastoise (of which the two previous Mega events revolved around) or Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza.

Strictly from a gameplay perspective, my opinion is that there are other more useful options that could have been offered. Banette is a Ghost-type Pokemon and we already have Gengar, a Ghost-type Pokemon who can also Mega Evolve, available in the game. Rather than have another Ghost-type that can Mega evolve, why not offer a Mega Stone for a Pokemon type that doesn’t have any Mega Stones yet – like Fire, for instance. Charizard‘s Mega Stone would have been the perfect follow up to Blastoise as they’re both starters from Pokemon Red and Blue and because none of the Mega evolving Fire-types have their Mega Stones. As for Pinsir, I’m being completely subjective because I’ve already got better Pokemon that I can use against those that are weak against Bug-types.

The second complaint that I have involves the mechanics of Pinsir‘s event. Unlike the previous Pokemon being offered as limited time events, Pinsir can only be fought once per day and is only available until May 11, so you only have four or five chances to catch it. While the Pinsir stage is straightforward, its catch rate is very low so there’s a good chance that you won’t catch it on your first try. The low catch rate and very limited chances to catch it combine to what appears to be an attempt to get players to spend Coins (which are very tough to get) on power ups.

I caught Pinsir on my second attempt – let me share my experience. When I failed my first attempt and saw that I only had until May 11 to catch it, I decided to use one of the power ups that cost 9000 Coins. I ended up winning the stage with 15 moves left, boosting the catch rate to 33%. I failed the first catch attempt, so I spent 2500 Coins for a Great Ball that gave me another opportunity to catch it and doubled the catch rate to 66%. I can only blame the random number gods for what happened next – despite the 66% catch rate, I only succeeded in catching Pinsir after the fourth attempt, costing me 7500 Coins worth of Great Balls.

Now, people may be quick to point out that I could have opted not to spend on the Great Balls and just waited for another chance, but I already spent 9000 Coins for the power up. I’d end up spending another 9000 Coins the next day, and it’s not likely that I’ll get a catch rate that’s higher than 33% (without a Great Ball). And it sucks that all I got from spending so many Coins is a Bug-type that I don’t see any use for yet. My girlfriend was lucky, she caught Pinsir on her first try without having to spend any Coins.

These issues don’t really break the game for me; I actually don’t mind them that much. I’m just wishing for better, more useful Pokemon in the future, especially if the mechanics will be as limiting as the Pinsir event’s.

Now that I’m done with these two events, I’m back to my previous plan of achieving more S Ranks and catching Xerneas and Mewtwo. I can’t wait for the next event to start so that I have more options in the game.

 

And that’s it for this week. I’m planning to attend a Street Pass event this weekend so I might be able to talk about that next time. Until then!

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