This weekend, there's the Evolution fighting game tournament going on. It's streaming online and is usually fun to watch. What's interesting is that, this year, it was also on Playstation Home, and if you viewed it this way, you could get free virtual stuff to use in Home: a shirt, an arcade stick, and a trophy.
It seemed like a cool idea but all it did was serve to remind me how much I don't like Playstation Home. First, the quality of the stream was terrible. Watching the stream in a web browser was just fine, but in Home, it was super-low quality yet still extremely laggy. Usually you can give up video quality for a less choppy stream, but in this case you got neither. Fun!
And then, the whole point of watching it this way... The shirt for your avatar worked as you'd expect, but today was the day they gave out the virtual joystick. I figured it would be an ornament you could use to decorate your virtual room, but I couldn't find it. When you first receive it, you see a message on-screen that says "Press Start to view Rewards", and I tried it only to find it didn't display any "rewards". However, I guess it depends on where you are in Home... Once I returned to my room, I was able to view my list of earned rewards, and finally found the joystick thing.
Then I saw why I couldn't find it under "ornaments"... It was some kind of radio-controlled car version of an arcade joystick. What?? This decision I can't necessarily blame on Home itself, but I just didn't get this at all.
I always found myself struggling with the user interface, though. You can Press start and see your main choices -- Wardrobe, Options, and something else. I guess it makes sense to make the Wardrobe so accessible so that you can change your avatar's clothes WHENEVER you want, but it took me a bit to figure out how to redecorate the room. This couldn't be in this main menu, but rather, a sub-menu under something else under Options?
I can see they keep trying to salvage Playstation Home by trying cool new things with it, but really, I think it may be time to let it die.
Been playing lots of Pokemon lately! Currently have 552 seen, 519 caught. I think that means just 127 left to go. This quest to fill my Pokedex in Pokemon White had me going on a trip down Memory Lane of Nintendo's old technology from the past ten years. TEN YEARS.
Transferring Pokemon from Gen 4 to Gen 5 is simple enough -- you just need two DS systems. I filled up a lot just transferring legendary Pokemon from Sinnoh to Unova. Why are there so many legendaries these days? But I noticed that my Pokemon Diamond game was kinda empty... I remembered I had stored a bunch of Pokemon in Pokemon Ranch on the Wii.
So I had to make use of the Wii-DS wireless link, which works nicely and all. But I noticed that there were still a bunch of old Pokemon I was missing, even after getting everything I could from Ranch. I remembered that I never really attempted to complete my Pokedex in Diamond, so although I did do a lot of transfers via Pal Park, I didn't stick with it long enough to bring over everything.
I had to do a few more Game Boy Advance to DS transfers, but of course this meant I couldn't use a 3DS or DSi because they no longer have the GBA slot. Most of my Pokemon from the GBA generation seemed to be in Emerald, so I was able to transfer a few more that way... I had a few important Pokemon on the other games, and had to dig up my old transfer cable and another GBA unit to transfer them over to Emerald, just to have them all in the same spot.
But again, I noticed there were still more missing. For example, where was Porygon2? I know I had it somewhere because my Pokedex in Sapphire was, save for a few event Pokemon, entirely complete. I checked all my GBA cartridges -- Sapphire, Ruby, FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald. Not only could I not find certain Pokemon like Porygon2, but I couldn't find other things like the Up-Grade item you'd need to get it in the first place. So I obviously used up the item already, and I had the Pokemon at some point... That's when I realized that, like with Ranch, I must have left some Pokemon behind back in Pokemon Box.
I was kind of dreading this because I wasn't looking forward to digging out all the equipment I'd need to make this happen. I'd need a GBA, a GameCube-GBA link cable, the Pokemon Box game and memory card (though luckily they were kept together in the same case), a regular GameCube cable, and the system to play it on. Fortunately, there was nothing stopping me from using the Wii instead of having to dig up my old GameCube system on top of it all.
Eventually I was able to find everything. Pokemon Box was hiding at the BOTTOM of my stack of GameCube games, of course. I had already dug up some GBA systems. I had some trouble locating the old GameCube-GBA cable, but found it eventually...
So yeah, what all did I have to dig out from the mist of the past?
-Game Boy Advance SP for GBA trades, connecting to Pokemon Box.
-Game Boy Advance (original) to trade with the GBA SP. WHAT A RELIC. The screen was so unbelievably dim, I wondered how I ever saw anything on it. And it ran on OLD FASHIONED BATTERIES. I couldn't just plug it into an outlet to recharge. Wow.
-GBA to GBA link cable. The one connected at the purple end is the "leader"!
-GameCube to GBA link cable.
-Pokemon Box for GameCube with GameCube memory card.
-Pokemon Sapphire, Pokemon Ruby, Pokemon FireRed, Pokemon LeafGreen, Pokemon Emerald GBA cartridges.
-Wii... not to mention its GameCube backwards compatibility.
-Pokemon Ranch downloadable game for the Wii.
-Pokemon Diamond, Pokemon Pearl, Pokemon Platinum, Pokemon HeartGold, and Pokemon SoulSilver for the DS (Generation 4).
-Pokemon White, Pokemon Black for the DS (Generation 5).
I hate to even ask, but is it time for another Pokemon reset? When Sapphire and Ruby came out, I remember the uproar when it was learned that you could not transfer Pokemon from the old Game Boy games. But the very structure of the game system changed so much, there was no way to make the old Pokemon compatible with the new games...
I wonder if things are now too complicated and if things will need to get simplified for the next generation. I don't know how I'd feel if I'd have to give up everything I have right now and start all over again... But if it simplifies things, maybe it'd be for the best.
I know I'd like to see some things get corrected, like dropping the "continuity" of some of the ways to obtain certain Pokemon. Like, when they added new Pokemon that are baby versions of existing Pokemon, they wanted it to make sense why breeding them before never resulted in this new baby Pokemon, but now it's possible. So they added the various "incense" items to enable these new babies to be obtained, which would make sense because the items weren't available before.
Can't we get rid of those mostly useless incense items? Also, maybe some of those "trade while holding this item" evolutions? I guess it's less of an issue these days, but back in the day it was a real pain due to the rarity of those items.
Also, it might be nice to see a new order to the Pokedex, rather than the current "National Pokedex" order where they're in chronological order of when they were introduced. You know, keep Pichu next to Pikachu, even though Pichu is Gen 2 and Pikachu is Gen 1? And keep Porygon next to Porygon2 and Porygon-Z (all from different generations!!)? I realize this is done in the "regional" Pokedexes, but it'd be nice to have another one that encompasses all the generations...
Anyway... Been having fun, at least! Looks like I'm well on my way to completing the Pokedex again.