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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eh, may as well link this.

I need to get into the habit of updating this more often. Once I think of a good topic again (as opposed to one that dies almost as soon as my browser refuses to post it), I'll post it.



Soooo have a NCS post. Both a friend of mine and myself have pulled CRAP from the HG/SS tins thus far. Nintendo, please don't start squeezing your buyers like Konami does. That would make a lot of people sad. T_T

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Holy **ck, Bandai!

Bandai may not be as incompetent as I thought. They have just released a Digimon MMO:

"Digimon RPG is a free to play micro-transaction supported MMORPG in a setting based on that of the Digimon media franchise, specifically the Digimon Tamers anime. It is currently only available to play in South Korea, but fan-created English and Spanish translation patches exist. In addition Bandai and Digitalic are working on an official English version of the game that is planned for Global launch in March 2010 by WeMade Entertainment."

The game is based off of the Digimon Tamers series, and shows up in a lot of the same places that regular MMO ads do. Currently, the site is offering free beta testing. This looks great; I'd nab it if I didn't need to rid my comp of all PREVIOUS MMO stuff. Still, I do encourage you all to try it if you have the hard drive space. :D

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On Gen III + BRICK OF REVELATION'D!

Some people dropped Pokémon after G/S/C; a few stopped at game 1. When Gen III came out, however, a lot of criticism came with it. I have mentioned this criticism before, but a new way of looking at it crossed my mind.

Not only did Nintendo mooch off of Digimon in Gen III, they mooched off of themselves. Mind, they have a right to, but it still reeks of low creativity.

Case in point: Rayquaza and Gyarados. Remember when I said that Rayquaza's fish tail looked a little bit funny? Compare it to Gyarados's tail. Go on. I'll wait.




It's not just the tail, either. The pattern and some of the ridge positioning are also ripped off. I can understand Nintendo mooching off of Digimon (as I've said before, Bandai treats their own franchise like crap), but wow. This feels like some sort of creative low. I can imagine the board meeting now:

"Hey, let's make another Chinese dragon-ish Pokémon that replaces the giant bird from the original Behemoth VS Leviathan story!"

"You mean like another Gyarados?"

*Insert lightbulb of revelation here.*

See, according to a recent interview with Iwata, Pokemon Gold and Silver were supposed to be the finish line for Pokemon. This certainly explains why many of the Gen III and beyond designs don't seem up to snuff. I should link that interview here; the 'great rift' is not some illusion conjured up by veteran players.

*Goes back to wondering when they'll make a gryphon-ish Pokemon.*

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New NCS + Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: More than meets the eye?

NIKE! I hate to sound like a TOTAL girl, but pretty horsie is pretty! Pegasi (including winged alicorns) have always been my favorite members of the fantastic horse family, and Nike up there is no exception. Nike's foil is also AWESOME!

On another note, posts on dA and shared links have told me that YGO 5D's is actually a decent series. The first episode and the monster designs did not impress me, but the characters and monsters seem to receive substantial development.

Yes, characters and monsters. Apparently Stardust and BRD have a love/hate rivalry going, and AFD has a backstory. It seems solidly written, but I will try my best to avoid it until it is complete. There is no telling when the writing will suddenly turn sour.

Also, no matter HOW well-written the series is, Konami is handling it the wrong way. You have marketable monsters, good characters with decent, themed decks, and a new game mechanic to pimp, but what do they do with all that? Churn out Yusei product after Yusei product after Yusei product, make cards unrelated to the series crappy, and do not seem to realize how badly their Synchro mechanic has affected the game. They are doing a lot of things right- if only they would go back to slimming the gap between collectors and players.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

TROOOGDOOOR!

Is it just me, or is "dragon" some sort of golden word when it comes to marketing? I'm not just talking about card games; there's a movie coming out called How to Train Your Dragon. You know, as if dragons now have some sort of all-encompassing care guide. There are a few other franchises I could poke at, but that movie in particular made me wonder if dragons (as a whole) are nearing the end of their rope.

Does anyone else think that dragons have reached a low point? Sure, they were mostly created to begin with, being largely exaggerated snakes and fish at their cores, but...gah. I cannot even finish that sentence. Dragons have degenerated from something potent yet imaginary to creatures designed to sell stuff. This is especially true for Western dragons; oriental dragons, though pimped, are still held in such high esteem in China that disfiguring the image of a dragon is just plain wrong.

Case in point: Yu-Gi-Oh!. I cannot count the amount of times that dragons have been advertised as the monsters on that show. Two of the God Cards are dragons, the three Legendary Dragons were Western-style dragons, and 5D's effing revolves around 5 dragons (albeit with some creative tweaks). It's a shame that, in a game with SO much potential for awesome creatures, Konami resorts to market whores. They're almost at the point of running out of words to attach 'dragon' to. Better break out a thesaurus!

Bakugan has a similar, albeit better-maintained, problem. It suffers from what I like to call "Tai syndrome": Not only does the main character have a dragon, said dragon is obligated to all the merch and forms the creators can muster. In Bakugan's case, there's the normal Dragonoid, the evolved Dragonoid, something called Maxus Dragonoid...I've lost track. I should feel lucky that Skyress gets some merchandise as opposed to none. Now that they've killed her off, I'm not sure how long this balanced character marketing will last.

Pokémon used to be good at keeping dragons scarce, but I can see the insanity starting. Gen III had, along with the usual "psuedo-legendary" that just so happened to be a dragon, two seemingly random Dragons that evolved from Pokémon with other types and three Dragon-type Legendaries that...didn't look too hot. I personally cannot tell WTF Lati@s are based off of, and Rayquaza would look OK if they had done just a little bit more work on its tail fin (or omitted it entirely). The three D/P/Pt cover monsters do not even look finished, but it doesn't matter. They're dragons. People will snap them up because of THAT alone!

Digimon, Battle Spirits, and M:tG are fine in this regard. Although, yes, I did make mention of "Tai Syndrome," that was more of a writing flaw in Digimon Adventure (please tell me I wasn't the only one who wanted to see the Mega forms of Tentomon, Biyomon, Gomamon, and Palmon get some screentime) than a gimmick, and Matt got most of the same stuff. Battle Spirits...OK, it has dragons, but it also has a bunch of other stuff that makes it worth looking into. The same goes for M:tG.

So, for those wondering, it's not that I hate dragons. I just hate the marketing porn that they have become. Stick a dragon in ANYTHING and it will sell. Forget substance, story, or integrity. Instant money: Just add dragons.