All About michaelP4
(My very first, ever, Pokemon... nostalgia is powerful, isn't it?)
The Pokemon adventure is one that I've been on more times than I can remember. I've played (and replayed, multiple times) every single game from Generation I to the present Generation V. Many a times I've heard "Oh, it's the same old thing all over again", and while that may be true, repetition is actually one of the Pokemon games' strong points! I for one, amongst millions of others, certainly hope it continues, as one of the best selling series of all time!
Although, let me define what I mean by repetition here. By repetition, I don't mean just the same old game with a few tweaks here and there, as that would be grossly misunderstanding the vast leaps and bounds made each generation. Generation I in itself, was revolutionary. You had 150 Pokemon, a relatively interactive, immersive and ever expanding world, where you can defeat all of the Pokemon trainers in the land to become the Champion... doesn't seem too great now, but back then, that was mindblowingly awesome!
With each successive generation, you are given lots of new Pokemon, a new world to explore and plenty of tough trainers to battle! We even had the introduction of double and triple battles! Not to mention all those really cool postgame features such as contests, world tournaments (Battle Tower/Frontier), rebattling stronger gym leaders, traversing to other exotic locations and I could go on! Also, let's not forget that the complex chess-like battling system was rebooted in Generation IV, adding even further to the already infinite amount of options you have to battle!
Honestly, I'm struggling to contain just how much change has occurred throughout the Generations, especially as each Generation in itself was radical. However, uniquely, the same old nostalgic inducing formula is used. You are a Pokemon trainer. You meet a Professor, who puts all sorts of ideas in your head to catch all Pokemon and collect all eight gym badges to become Champion of the Pokemon League! Oh, and of course, keep your rival in check and meddle in the affairs of the baddies!
This never gets tiring for me, and yet, some would argue that this is repetition. Really? Repetition usually implies tediousness of monotonously completing familiar tasks. Pokemon is oddly familiarly new, each time, however contradictory that sounds. If you were to ask me to change the core formula, I would definitely say no. Why? Because then it wouldn't be Pokemon. If you were to ask me to keep adding on to it, I would say absolutely yes!
I've heard the arguments before that there's too many Pokemon, whose designs are nowhere near the quality of the original 150. This is where I stand in stark contrast to being a nostalgic Pokemon traditionalist. Thankfully, in Pokemon games, it truly can be the more the merrier! Game Freak is able to increase quantity without decreasing quality.
Have a look yourself sometime at the new Pokemon designs if you want to see that actually, many of the new designs can more often than not, match and even beat the original designs. And we're just talking about designs here. In battle, the original 150 are far too basic nowadays, with most not being able to adapt to the power and ingenuity of the successive Pokemon generations.
This is why Pokemon as a series should continue. Adding more Pokemon, features and the occasionally needed reboot is what keeps the Pokemon machine oiled and working just like new. The tried and tested, and masterfully executed, core Pokemon formula is always alive, breathing for I hope for many years to come!
Onwards to Generation VI!
19Feb 13Got approved to be a Justicar!:
About Me: Whenever I get away from my busy lifestyle, I like to spend my time on GS and games. I've been a Ranger since 2007 and still have a strong interest in games, despite my time for them being squeezed. This is why I find reviews, not just from the professionals, but probably even more importantly from all gamers, whoever they may be, to serve a common interest we all have: to find out which games are good and which games are bad. We don't have an infinite amount of time and money, so this is why we need to spend it wisely on games we perceive to be worthy of it.
Strong Writing Points: Always critical and sceptical, even of my favorite games - I detest fanboyism. Never take anything for granted and appreciate a well made game for what it is, even if I don't like it.
Favourite Subject to Write About: Underrated Games
Share your favorite editorial piece that you've written? Could it be the end of Koei's Warriors series?
Can I follow you on Twitter, Tumbler, or Deviantart? You can follow me on GameSpot - I write blogs and use Fuse to disseminate useful GS information.
What is your "Golden Rule" for aspiring writers? Think outside of the box - don't parrot what's already out there.
23Jan 13I've spent my precious free time recently playing DmC: Devil May Cry. After hearing for months just how horrible it was going to be, I thankfully ignored what other people thought and decided to play it for myself. And my my, just how wrong were they.
Firstly, I'll admit, I haven't completed the game (shush, I have a life) but I've played enough of it to know that this is actually a gem hidden away in the judgemental and prejudiced garbage I've been reading about a game that wasn't given a chance.
Sure, it's not the same Dante, but this is actually a good thing - it keeps the series fresh - I for one am quite a conservative gamer - I eat and sleep on the same old games, generally fearing any radical change (as let's face it, it's usually bad, but not always). But even I was sucked right into this new Dante, who is reflective of modern times. I won't go into detail, but I personally could identify with the character, where reality is not what it seems and things in general seem quite pointless. It's quite rare for me to personally identify with a video game character, but there you go - the DMC series isn't exactly known to have a spectacular story or character development, but already, this DMC has done well in my book.
I'm not the only one who thinks this. According to Game Rankings, DmC has an average score of 86.48% based on critic reviews. That's very impressive. A quick look at those reviews, and not a single one is bad - we actually have uniform agreement among the critics on this game. I think that says something.
But of course, this blog would be too easy if I just parroted that already overwhelming positive reviews of DmC. Instead, I'd like to bring attention to another game, which got mixed reviews all around: Resident Evil 6. I honestly do believe that the same fanboy syndrome has struck this game - the difference is, the critics don't all agree. RE6 has an average score of 74.23% based on 20 reviews. The majority are positive, some are shaky and one in particular is bad - GS's very own Kevin VanOrd.
I've always respected (and still do of course) VanOrd - he's an excellent reviewer that speaks my mind on most games, but here, I do still think he's got this one wrong. Even if you were disappointed with RE6, a 4.5 is just simply too harsh. I've invested well over 50 hours into that game, and every single one of them was excellent. You have four campaigns, of which will definitely take from 20 to 30 hours to complete the first time. Want more? You have The Mercenaries side game, which will clock in at least another 10 hours for your average casual gamer - the hardcore high scorers would probably spend many more hours in perfecting their Mercenaries runs.
But forgetting game content and length: VanOrd's criticisms just don't reflect the score. I actually agree of them:
Loads of bad, overlong quick-time events Excruciating overemphasis on mediocre set piece events Ruins the pace by constantly ripping control from you Poorly executed scripted events lead to unavoidable deaths."
Those are fair points. But he could only come up with two Good Points:
Intriguing narrative structure Great voice acting and action-packed cutscenes draw you into the story."
This is in no way all that's good about the game. You have four very different campaigns, which reflect and fully immerse the player in the distinctive themes of Horror, Companionship, Partnership and My Way. All of them are brilliant and I've played through them several times - and will do so yet again in the future. I'll leave it to others if they wish to elaborate further on The Good of RE6.
My point is: don't let others decide what you play and don't play. Don't prejudge and especially recognise that times change, and games will also change. Even I know, as much as I am nostalgic and reminiscent of the good ol' days, that games must change for the better - of course, not for the worse - I'm totally against that - but where change is needed, I refreshingly embrace it. You should too. DmC and RE6 were both Capcom reboots. They were successful in my conservative book, and I hope Capcom will continue with them - gamers should not be held back by those stuck in time.
My Recent Reviews
May 22, 2013 8:09 pm GMTmichaelP4 posted in the topic Terrorist attack in Woolwich on the GameSpot UK Discussion board
May 22, 2013 6:18 pm GMTmichaelP4 posted in the topic Terrorist attack in London on the Off-Topic Discussion board
May 11, 2013 5:25 pm GMTmichaelP4 posted in the topic The Apprentice *Spoilers* on the GameSpot UK Discussion board
Apr 22, 2013 9:23 pm GMTmichaelP4 posted a new blog entry entitled Pokemon: Onwards to Generation VI!
Apr 17, 2013 7:23 pm GMTmichaelP4 added Resident Evil: Revelations to their wish list
Apr 17, 2013 7:23 pm GMTmichaelP4 began Following Resident Evil: Revelations