Gaming Geek’s Log – 2015.06.08

I was able to find a lot of time for video games since my last journal entry. I managed to beat Weapon Shop de Omasse and so I started my playthrough of Moshi Monsters: Katsuma’s Revenge. I also want to talk about the latest update for Pokemon Shuffle, and I was able to play Mario Kart 7 a bit so I’ll be talking about that game as well.

a 3ds - weapon shop de omasse
Weapon Shop de Omasse

To be honest, I didn’t expect to be done with Weapon Shop de Omasse in just a short period of time because of how the game is played. I found the game to be enjoyable enough, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was a little disappointed in the overall experience. I have three complaints about the game, some of these will be a little “spoilerish” so proceed with caution.

The first problem that I had with Weapon Shop de Omasse involves the weapon forging system. It’s simple, but it’s difficult to master and I think it’s because it involves precision and I don’t think the touchscreen technology provides the precision that the game requires. So, weapon forging involves striking a graphic of an iron slab with the use of the stylus following sound cues. If you’re half a step slow the game registers a miss, which is understandable. What I’m really having trouble with is when the game says I missed hitting the slab even if it looked like I did.

The bigger issue though is how Weapon Shop de Omasse awards these stat bonuses – it really looks like this happens randomly. Sometimes, it will look like I didn’t miss any strikes and yet I’ll receive lower bonuses compared to when I actually had missed hits. There’s also no visible control as to how to gain which bonuses – for example, there’s really no way for you to strike the iron slab in order to gain more bonuses to the weapon’s Blunt attack rating. So I’m left with just doing as best as I can with each strike and hope that the bonuses will align to what I wanted to have.

The second issue I had with this game was how the two gameplay components of the game kind of clashed with each other. I mentioned previously that the fun in the game revolves around your interactions with your customers – that’s because your character is confined to the weapon shop for the entirety of the game. The main story, along with each character’s own storylines, progresses through these interactions and through the Grindcast updates whenever your customers are out in their adventures. So you’ll end up needing to juggle reading these Grindcast updates while managing your shop’s inventory.

This is fine if there are only a few characters on a quest, but there are times when you have three or four characters out at the same time. Whenever that happens, I struggle with keeping track of all the updates coming in and all the necessary tasks I need to do for the shop. This becomes especially bad when there’s a new set of weapons to forge – I got forced to choose between focusing on the weapon forging and ignoring Grindcast completely, or remaining idle so I can read all of the Grindcast updates.

The last and biggest gripe that I had with Weapon Shop de Omasse involves the games ending, and this is the part that I can’t really describe without spoiling a few details of the game. As I mentioned previously, Weapon Shop de Omasse builds up this Evil Lord who is coming back into power. Your special customers all have their own agendas and will encounter different events while adventuring. In my opinion, the game does a great job of tying these agendas with the Evil Lord, so at some point you really will see that each one can potentially be that guy who’ll defeat the Evil Lord eventually. I hope it’s safe to reveal that “someone” will defeat the Evil Lord, because that’s really the logical end for this game right? Well, when it actually happens, the game treats it like it’s just a mundane occurrence.  I don’t know if I’m right in expecting some special celebration when the Evil Lord, the one involved in the issues that each special customer is dealing with, is finally defeated. Because of that, I felt that the payoff was very lacking.

Weapon Shop de Omasse relies heavily on the text narrative in order to tell its story. The issues with the Grindcast updates combined with the underwhelming ending really affected the overall experience for me, which is a shame because there are some good and unique ideas in this game. I’m actually regretting getting this game – I wish I had gotten The Starship Damrey instead. Oh well, can’t change that now.

One final thought about Weapon Shop de Omasse – there’s a post game feature that can be unlocked once you meet certain requirements (the game will talk about this). If you enjoy the challenge of having to forge strong enough weapons to help different adventurers succeed in different quests, you’ll definitely enjoy that post game feature. As for me, I’m just glad that I can move on to a new game.

 

a 3ds - mario kart 7

Mario Kart 7

I stopped playing Mario Kart 7 regularly after I unlocked most of the unlockable features in the game. But I’ve been playing it every now and then, chasing after this “Ranking” achievement.

When you complete races on individual courses (usually happens in single player but you can also do this in local multiplayer), you can get a high Star ranking if you do well enough – either a One Star, Two-Star, or Three-Star ranking. Getting a Star ranking on all the courses under all the difficulty settings will award you an overall Star ranking that will appear beside your name which will appear on Street Pass tags and local/online multiplayer races. I managed to get a One-Star ranking very early on, but I’ve always wanted to get a Two-Star ranking to show that I’m better than the average Mario Kart 7 racer.

That ranking has been very elusive, in part due to my refusal to change the kart setup that I’ve been using and in part because I haven’t really been spending a lot of time on this game. I managed to get at least a Two-Star ranking on every single course except one – the Mirror version of Star Cup – so I didn’t want to change something that had worked for me on other courses. Until, that is, a few weeks ago, when I finally relented and decided to find a new setup that was more effective.

I ended up selecting Lakitu (my previous preferred character was Peach) and on the first couple of tries, it seemed to work better for me. I didn’t get my Two-Star ranking right away, but it just felt better. This past weekend though, I found some free time and decided to give it another go and lo and behold, I got my Two-Star ranking!

So now I’ve got those two little Stars right beside my name – not as good as those expert Three-Star ranked players, but definitely better than all the One-Star and unranked players that I’ve been StreetPassing and/or playing against. Yes, folks, I’m an above average Mario Kart 7 player – it’s okay to be a little proud of that, right?

 

a 3ds - pokemon shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle

Earlier today, the Mega Venusaur event ended and I’m glad to report that both my girlfriend and I ranked high enough to receive the Venusaurite Mega Stone. The end of this event came with another update which is perfect for us because we had just about captured almost all of the Pokemon available.

The update contained several new stages (at least ten that I know of – I haven’t gotten past that tenth new stage yet) and two new gameplay features, the first of which involves a new type of powerup called Enhancements. Enhancements are different from the usual powerups in that these are applied to individual Pokemon. Right now, there’s one Enhancement available called a Mega Speedup that will make Mega Evolving Pokemon evolve faster. It doesn’t look like these can be purchased with Coins (or Jewels) and I’m not sure if there will be different Enhancements later.

At first, I was a little underwhelmed with this concept – there’s a special powerup called a Mega Start that you can buy with in-game Coins that will start you off with your Mega Evolving Pokemon already at it’s Mega Evolved state. But it looks like this Mega Speedup Enhancement is permanent – if you assign it to your favorite Mega Evolving Pokemon, it will permanently make that Pokemon reach it’s Mega Evolved state faster every time you play it.  That can actually be really handy, since there are several of these Pokemon that would be more useful if they Mega Evolved faster.

The second new feature is a totally different battle type called Escalation Battles. The first Escalation Battle plays out like a regular stage in that it has a set number of moves that you can use, but the game tracks the number of times that you beat that stage. Unlike regular battles where the moves you have left over adds to the catch rate, the catch rate in an Escalation Battle improves based on the number of times you’ve won that battle. Also, there are additional rewards that players can earn depending on the number of times that you’ve beaten a particular Escalation Battle.

The Escalation Battle available for this round involves the Ghost-type Pokemon known as Giratina. This battle will be available to players until June 22, and the rewards that players can earn are as follows:

Level 5: 1,000 Coins
Level 10: 1 Disruption Delay
Level 30: 1 Mega Star
Level 50: 1 Mega Speedup

These two updates, in my opinion, enhance the gameplay of Pokemon Shuffle even more. Now, players are free to customize some of their Pokemon thanks to the addition of Enhancements. The addition of Escalation Battles provides an additional option for limited time events as well – now we’ve got Mega Events, Escalation Battles, and Daily Challenges. For a free game, the developers have been working on Pokemon Shuffle a lot, keeping the game interesting enough for me to keep playing. I hope they’re getting enough revenue from the in-game purchases, because this is a really good game.

 

a 3ds - katsuma unleashed

Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed

In my previous journal entry, I mentioned being excited about playing The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D after I’m done with Weapon Shop de Omasse. Well, I forgot about this game. I figured that there’s no way Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed is better than The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, so I decided to save the best for last and play this game instead. I would much rather be playing Majora’s Mask 3D right now, but I’d be lying if I said that this game has no entertainment value whatsoever. I’ll talk about this game more next time, I just wanted to say that this is what I’m playing right now.

Oh, I’ll say this – for some reason, I keep forgetting this game’s title. I had the title typed as Katsuma’s Revenge, for some reason. Not exactly a memorable game, right?
And that’s it for today. I think I’ve written more than a handful already, so I’ll save the rest for a later journal entry. Until next time!

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