For this week’s journal entry, I’m going to talk about Pokemon Shuffle, Resident Evil: Revelations, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, and Brain Age: Concentration Training, the newest game in my collection.
I’ve been playing Brain Age: Concentration Training for more than a week now. Correction, make that we’ve been playing this game, because I’m not the only one playing this. Brain Age: Concentration Training allows for up to four profiles, so I had my girlfriend and two colleagues start playing this game as well.
Brain Age: Concentration Training, like the previous entries in the Brain Age video game series, has several different mini games designed to stimulate brain function. The original Brain Age game was inspired by the work of Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima and it’s interesting to note that the late Satoru Iwata actually skipped the launch of the Nintendo DS to meet with Dr. Kawashima in order to discuss the development of the first Brain Age game.
What’s new in this edition of Brain Age is the addition of exercises designed to improve one’s ability to concentrate, to focus, on completing their tasks on hand. The game goes through a brief explanation of why there’s a need to improve concentration, which is effective enough that my two colleagues bought into the concept and started playing.
As far as actual improvements to our brain functions, well… Let me just say that this is a good way to get all four of us to do some mental exercises. Of us four, I’m the only one who really enjoys playing video games, and outside of getting puzzle books for them, I don’t see any other way for me to introduce mental exercises in our weekly activities. Nintendo refuses to support any scientific claims revolving around the effectiveness of Brain Age games in improving brain performance, and I also don’t want to attribute any improvements in my personal performance to this game. But at the same time, it’s hard to ignore the appeal of improved brain function via video games so we’ll just take this game as it is and not overthink it.
Last week’s Pokemon Shuffle update had a lot of new events and I managed to get all of the rewards for both myself and my girlfriend’s profile. We both got the Blazikenite and the special Mega Speedup prizes from both the Mega Blaziken event and the Cresselia Escalation Battles. We’ve also captured both Wobbuffet and Cresselia. This week, there aren’t any new events that we need to worry about. Kyogre is back up for grabs, but both of us already have it in our collection. So for this week at least, it’s back to the usual grinding for coins and training Pokemon for us.
I haven’t really used Mega Blaziken much, but from what I’ve seen it is very disappointing. Its Mega Effect is weak, especially if you compare it to the other Mega Pokemon available. I’ve already made the mistake of jumping to conclusions and dismissing Mega Banette in the past, so I checked the GameFAQs message boards and a lot of other people had the same reaction to Mega Blaziken. Well, it’s still nice that we finally have a Mega Evolving Fire-type. I just hope that Mega Charizard is going to be a better option if/when it finally comes out.
Before I move to the next game that I want to talk about, let me revisit our in-game Pokemon Shuffle goals. I’ve already captured Genesect, Chesnaught and Delphox so all that’s left for me to catch is Greninja. My girlfriend’s profile still needs a lot of work though – she still hasn’t caught all of the Pokemon that came out in the last major update. She’s only unlocked the Genesect Expert stage and still needs to rack up the needed S-Ranks in order to unlock the other Expert Stages. So the lack of any new events this week will allow me to start working on getting S-Ranks for my girlfriend’s profile.
Last week was busy for me, which meant that I didn’t have much time for The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. I still made some progress though, managing to get through the obstacles that kept me from getting to the fourth dungeon of the game. I think I’m just about ready to enter the fourth dungeon, and this week seems to be relatively light so I’m probably going to beat the fourth dungeon before the week ends. If I’m not mistaken, beating the fourth dungeon means that I’d be very close to beating the game altogether.
Wow. I’ve only played Majora’s Mask 3D for less than 30 hours and yet I’m already close to beating it. I hope I’m wrong and that there’s more stuff that I can do that will extend my play time to at least 40 hours. Once I beat the fourth dungeon, I’ll start focusing on beating the different subquests that I’ve been ignoring for a while now, because I’m really not ready for my Majora’s Mask 3D experience to end.
Because of Street Pass, I still play Resident Evil: Revelations every now and then. Every Street Pass tag becomes a Raid Mode mission and the game can only accomodate a limited number of unfinished Raid Mode missions so I end up needing to clear some of these missions in order to make room for more.
For some reason, there’s quite a number of these Raid Mode missions that are associated with Stage 18 of Raid Mode – my most dreaded Raid Mode stage. I guess they’ve accumulated because I’ve been putting off going through that stage until I really need to play it. Well, I can’t put off Stage 18 for much longer because there are just too many Raid Mode mission objectives that involve it, so I tried getting through the stage at least twice earlier today and failed both times. Why am I having a hard time with this stage? Well, let me describe the stage in more detail.
While all of the Raid Mode stages involve getting to a specific area in order to beat it, Stage 18 explicitly states this goal and gives you a time limit of 25 minutes to do this. From the time limit alone, you know that it’s going to be a long stage. Early in the stage, you have to go through flooded areas which pits you against water-based monsters that are quite annoying to fight against because they submerge themselves in water, allowing them to sneak up on you and making them hard to hit in the process.
Once you get past this area, you’ll reach a point wherein you’ll need to turn a valve in order to shut off steam vents that block the way. This part makes playing this stage almost unplayable in Co-Op because of a weird glitch that leaves the steam vents on for one player even if the valve has already been closed, resulting in one person being left behind and the other having to fend for themselves alone. This area also pits you against several Scarmigliones, boss monsters that aren’t really that hard to deal with.
Around 10-15 minutes into the stage and past the Scarmigliones comes the area that I dread the most. It’s a long narrow passageway where Scagdeads and Draghignazzos spawn. These are special boss monsters that normally aren’t that hard to beat, but the Scagdeads have this special attack wherein they can grab your character and slice him/her in half regardless of how much health that you have. Because you’re fighting them in a narrow passageway, it’s very easy to die via this attack. You’ll also need to face at least two pairs of Scagdeads, one in front and another behind you, before you get to the end of this stage. Scagdeads also move faster than the other monsters you’ll face in this game, so this part can get really tricky. Both times I tried and failed, it was because of these Scagdeads. Beating this stage alone is not impossible, I’ve done this several times already, but you really have to be mindful of your position and not get careless.
Resident Evil: Revelations was the first 3DS game that I purchased and it still offers an enjoyable gameplay experience even if I’ve played this game several times now. I haven’t even started my playthrough of the single player Campaign mode on the highest difficulty and yet I’ve already racked up a lot of hours on this game. This game is definitely one of the gems of the 3DS video game library.
And that’s it for today. I like how I’ve built my 3DS collection – I’ve got a good selection of games that I can include and drop from my regular rotation at any time, depending on what kind of video game experience I want. Let’s see what I’ll end up playing this week. Until next time!