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  1. Jason Clement

    Pokemon Snap is out today on Wii U VC

    You know what game would have been perfect for a brand new entry (and revival) on the Wii U? Pokemon Snap. It's still pretty surprising that it never happened given that the Wii U's set-up is incredibly ideal for the game, with the Wii U gamepad acting as a camera that could then look around the room and view different Pokemon in an in-game environment. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, but Nintendo has seemingly heard fans' pleas for a Pokemon Snap game because they've just released the next best thing (or maybe the best altogether depending on how you look at it) on the Wii U eShop: the original Nintendo 64 game. For those that aren't familiar, Pokemon Snap is a quirky on-rails game where you travel through a number of levels on a cart and take pictures of the Pokemon in the surrounding environment. At the end of each level, you'll select your best shots and then be graded on them -- getting the most points for taking the best shots possible (i.e. centered and catching the Pokemon doing a cool move or pose). Ironically, the game wasn't quite what fans wanted when it initially released, having come out at a time when many wanted a full-scale Pokemon adventure on Nintendo 64, but the title quickly went on to become one of the best and most beloved Pokemon console titles and is still widely considered to be the best one by many today. You can buy Pokemon Snap right now on the Wii U eShop for $9.99. Will you be picking up Pokemon Snap? Do you have any memories of playing it from back in the day?
  2. Welcome to the eightieth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed last week's, check it out. Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Victini will be available via the Nintendo Network until September 24th. Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all! -------------------------------- Poké-Finding Your Place It“s very rare that I come away from Pokémon News feeling almost overwhelmed. Where do I even start this time? The stuff you can unpack from the newest trailer probably rivals a Snorlax in weight, so I think we should start by watching it. I should discuss everything our eyes take in here, even though multiple bits from it could probably stand to have future IV pieces devoted to them. So it goes. First and foremost, we have the new Pokémon Type: Null. Its typing [Normal] and ability [Battle Armor] don“t necessarily speak to anything remarkable about it...but that“s definitely a weird name, and a very bizarre appearance, too. Take a look at the website's listing for it, too. Type: Null seems to be a constructed Pokémon—kind of like Mewtwo, I suppose—that "can adapt to any situation". Here“s my theory, based on everything we've seen about it so far...particularly the fact that it wears a mask. We could be looking at what MISSINGNO turns into, if you transfer it from Pokémon Red, Blue or Yellow Version on 3DS by way of Pokémon Bank. Its overall appearance, name, and masked "nothingness" references kind of beg for this. Its stats from back then could certainly rival "Pokémon spoken of in mythology"! ... It“d be real weird and cool for them to make MISSINGNO canon in the anniversary games. Next up is Jangmo-o... a Dragon type Pokémon that“s likely going to be immune to Hyper Voice since it packs Soundproof as an ability. Not bad at all! Can“t wait to see what it evolves into. The Alolan Forme of Raticate is going to beg for memes as much as its pre-evolution. Those cheeks are the stuff of legends! And now for something a little nuts: Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon are set twelve hours apart from one another, but they“ll still operate in real time. This means that if you play a copy of Pokémon Moon at 4 PM Eastern, it“ll be 4 AM in the game. There“s a real possibility that Moon players will be in practically endless night, depending on when you“re most able to play the game. Both story and battle elements will play out differently in each version, as a result of this time schema. I can definitely see why they“re attempting something like this. It could certainly make for the biggest crop of version differences in series history. Also introduced is the Aether Foundation. There“s Lusamine, Faba, Wicke, and their employees. This group seems kind of like the opposite of Team Skull--existing primarily to protect Pokémon from harm, on a man-made island separate from the four major spots in the Alola region. The Internet is already predicting which one of them is going to end up a turncoat. I wonder how Team Skull's "Enforcer" will work into it. Oddly comforting to see a bit of nihilism in the Pokémon fandom. Call me crazy from reading a little too much of the Pokémon Manga lately--but what if the whole foundation turns crazy on us, deciding that humanity is a blight that are getting in the way of Pokémon and...seek to eradicate everyone but them? ...Moving on! There seems to be a whole sidequest involving the search for Zygarde's Cells and Cores, too. I guess the game is following behind the anime, in this respect. But could Zygarde's appearance in Sun & Moon bring more Kalos-specific characters besides Dexio and Sina from X & Y? I wonder if "Z-Moves" factor into Zygarde itself, too. While it“s not looking very likely that players will be able to journey to Kalos itself, I think a whole subplot involving Zygarde, Lysandre, and Team Flare will indeed factor into Sun & Moon somehow! And then we reach the point in the trailer where the Internet/fandom exploded: Pokémon Snap is returning to the main series, by way of the "PokéFinder". This gizmo is a camera for use with the Rotom Dex that lets you snap photos of wandering critters around the world. The trailers showcased things like a wild Pikachu striking a pose, a Dragonite flying through the air, an Eevee and Lillipup playing together, and more. Your photos can be rated--and as your sense of photography improves, you“ll gain extra features to go along with it [like the ability to zoom in]. Sure sounds like a fully functional "Snap" to me. Take a look at this tweet. Take pictures of every Pokémon? Yes, please! It seems like only certain areas in the Alola region will be "Snap"-friendly. Last, but most certainly not least: What the heck are Ultra Beasts? They're a thing that "poses a threat to both humans and Pokémon"--so I don“t think the newly revealed "UB-01" is a Pokémon at all. I'm piggy-backing off Twitter-friend @BombosMedallion here, but: what if these things help pave the way to actual RPG-style bosses in Pokémon? If they're not Pokémon themselves, they cannot be caught. And they're not Trainers, so they won't use other critters in battle. It could be crazy if these things end up being very high-powered foes to face in battle using tricks like Z-Moves to gain the upper-hand. Here“s another person that may be onto something. These UBs could resemble major characters in-game. What if their narrative is set up kind of like Persona, where we get a major character developed around a UB that ends in a big boss fight--not against the Trainer, but against a UB--like many an RPG sidequest? Certainly not unique to the genre, but absolutely a first for Game Freak themselves. I“m interested to see where they decide to take these things. ...Almost 1,000 words later: like I said, there“s a lot to unpack. What“s your favorite new reveal of the latest Sun & Moon trailer? Does the twelve hour time-difference make you rethink your previous "version of choice?" Be sure to share!
  3. Yes! The latest Gritty Reboot trailer is out and this time it's about Pokemon Snap! If you don't remember, Gritty Reboot is the same group that was responsible for the Harvest Moon mock trailer that came out a few weeks back. They plan to release new fake trailers every two weeks or so. Anyhow, enjoy the Gritty Reboot version of Pokemon Snap.
  4. Let's just face it - there are games we've all been wanting to play even though we know they'll probably never be released. Every big gaming convention goes by, and a little bit more salt gets poured into our gaming wounds. Yet each and every year is the year we hope those specific games are going to be announced. We can't help but hope for their release. Whether it is because we've invested so much time into the originals, or because we've been through so much with the main character, and we just so badly want to see how it all ends. I can easily think up a hundred different games I'd like to see in the future, but for this article we'll keep it down to five. TimeSplitters IV When it came to the TimeSplitters series, many nights were wasted hurling bricks at monkeys with my friends and running from infected AI players on giant levels trying not to get touched by them in some sort of precursor to the zombie craze that hit in the late 2000's. It was a fun time had by all, but now with a full generation nearing it's end, one has to wonder - just where did TimeSplitters go? Well there are plenty of valid explanations. The company that made the TimeSplitters series, Free Radical Design, started off their next gen game development with a little game called Haze. For reasons probably unrelated to Haze, the company went into financial administration and was bought up by Crytek. Its probably for the best. I killed way too many monkeys. After the buyout, TimeSplitters IV was canceled and the company then helped work on Crysis 2 and has now apparently started work on Homefront 2. Fans had constantly asked the company about a possible TimeSplitters IV being announced, but they were all shot down. A fan page on Facebook was opened up in an attempt to get 100,000 members to show their support for TimeSplitters IV, but so far nothing has come from it. While a new sequel being announced isn't completely out of the question, I wouldn't hold my breath. Crytek seems to think the game would never be able to pull in the numbers to make it a success, no matter how much the fans beg them for it. But there's always that hope that drives people forward! Shenmue III Shut up, everybody wants this game to happen. At one point it was even in production as an MMO. We got a freaking trailer for it and everything. While I'm glad the MMO idea didn't pan out seeing as an MMO is no way to end a trilogy, I hate the fact that we haven't heard anything about the game since that one trailer released roughly one hundred years ago. While I, along with the rest of the gaming world, have been dying for an ending for so many years, there is actually a reason SEGA won't give it to us. The death of the Shenmue trilogy is one of the things keeping SEGA alive. Even during SEGA's more financial years, Shenmue was a huge drain on the company. WANNA PLAY A GAME OF LUCKY HIT? With a development budget of around 40-50 million dollars for each game in the series, it was the most expensive game ever developed in it's time. With SEGA practically bleeding money with the Dreamcast, there was no way they could afford the budget of a third game in the series. Now that the damage is done and SEGA is merely a software company, they have to play it close to the chest. If they make another big budget game and it ends up failing when it hits retailers, it could actually kill the company. Finishing the Shenmue series could ruin SEGA for good. So, essentially they're stuck. Either they go all in and hope for the best, or they make a subpar game with a limited budget and it fails anyway, tarnishing the game forever. The best possible scenario would be SEGA either selling off the IP or just plain getting bought out by another company. But even then that wouldn't automatically mean we'd get a new Shenmue game, as evidenced by Crytek buying out Free Radical Design. Either way, I'll still keep my fingers crossed for a new entry in the series. Pokemon Snap 2 I just love games that are jam packed with secrets. The ability to replay the same levels over and over again, finding more and more new stuff every time I play is one of my most beloved features. But the games that do it right are so few and far between it hurts me physically every time I pop in a new game that does it wrong. Noo, don't take our picture! Neither of us have makeup on! One of those games that did it perfectly was Pokemon Snap on the Nintendo 64. You rode on a trail with a few random items and you took pictures of Pokemon. That was pretty much it. But each level was filled to the gills with secrets. Performing certain actions in certain areas could trigger new encounters in levels you already completed. You would need a strategy guide to figure everything out. And now that the Wii U is nearing release, it seems more than obvious that the game should finally get a sequel. First of all, duh, the Wii U's controller is perfect for the type of game Pokemon Snap is. Secondly, Pokemon games freaking print money for Nintendo. And finally, people loved the Pokemon Snap game. So why aren't we getting a new one? WHAT COULD THEY POSSIBLY BE WORKING ON THAT IS BETTER?! Dungeon Keeper 3 This is one of those super impossible ones that will never work for so many reasons, but I'll never stop hoping for it's eventual release. Dungeon Keeper was a game series where you built and maintained dungeons (surprise!) You would build it in certain ways to attract different types of monsters. There was an economy, and you had to keep your monsters happy and fight off those pesky heroes. And it was great. In fact, i would say it was even super great. I don't usually like to play these sorts of games, but the company behind the series just knew how to make me love their games. Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, and Startopia. All pretty much the same type of game, but all great in their own ways. "The time has cometh." Just... Not yet. Bull Frog seemed to think they were pretty great as well. So great, in fact, they included a trailer for Dungeon Keeper 3 with every copy of Dungeon Keeper 2. Unfortunately, not everyone seemed to love them as much as I did, and they were dissolved into the powerhouse company that was EA. AND THEN EA KILLED THEM. Well not so much killed them as totally stopped working on any of the games they were working on, including Dungeon Keeper 3. All of their games then fell out of the limelight and weren't actually supported on newer operating systems until Green Man Gaming stepped in and brought the games back from the dead. While there could always be a chance of a new Dungeon Keeper in the future, all signs point towards a big fat no. The reason why is because of a recently released game called Dungeons. A spiritual successor to the Dungeon Keeper series, Dungeons was supposed to be everything we wanted in a new Dungeon Keeper game. Spoilers, it wasn't and it pretty much sealed the series' fate right there. Sim Earth 2 Imagine if Spore was on the Super Nintendo. Now imagine instead of playing as one set species, you actually played as the planet itself. That was pretty much what Sim Earth was. You were given a boiling hot rock and told to make it sustain life. You did this by causing volcanoes and sending meteorites down at the planet to help cool it down. Trust me, this is edge of your seat stuff here Eventually after a few hours of playing, you would have the first forms of life splashing about in the ocean. From then on out you pretty much just sat back and watched evolution happen. While that sounds boring, it was actually quite fun. It was kind of like having sea monkeys, but at the same time there was that possibility they would kill their planet with nukes. For some reason, Spore was unable to capture this same feeling of amazement. The dominant species would always be the one you made. You never had the chance to actually watch over your planet either. The whole game was just one enclosed single player game. Nothing on your planet really mattered and their was never a feeling of discovery no matter how far out into space you traveled. And that is why we'll never get a true sequel to Sim Earth. Spore missed the mark by so much that I'm doubtful any company (especially one like EA) would ever take the chance on a new Sim Earth, and if they did, odds are they would just end up making another Spore. I would love to get an updated version, but if that is all we have to look forward to we might be better off with the old version. There are plenty of game series out there that deserve to be brought back into the limelight, but these ones specifically are the ones I'm dying to see again even though I know it'll probably never happen. What are some game series you want brought back from the grave? why not post about them in the comments below? As always, thanks for reading.