How Wyatt and I got past a sleeping Snorlax

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A giant Snorlax blocked the Route 7 bridge. Wyatt wasn’t sure what to do.

250px-143Snorlax

He searched for other routes to take. Distracted himself by catching the odd Pokémon. Yet, the Snorlax slept on.

What Wyatt didn’t know is that the game had given him a context clue. The mystical Poké Flute would solve everything. The sleeping Snorlax’s reign of terror was about to end.

Furfrou

Furfrou

Wyatt came to me frustrated. So we pulled up a walkthrough and figured out where he was in Pokémon X. Sitting on my lap, the boy and I discovered that we needed to backtrack to the Parfum Palace. The owner was missing a Furfrou, which happened to be lost in a maze out back. After finding the Furfrou, we were lent the Poké Flute of power.

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We dashed back to Route 7, some ninja dude jammed out, and the Snorlax woke up. The Pokémon journey was saved!

What I love about sharing Pokémon with Wyatt is that it is a series he can play on his own. When he comes to a place where he needs help, we can sit down, engage, and devise a way forward. Together.

(As a side note: All my random Pokémon knowledge is finally being put to use. Super funny when I know what the evolved form of whatever-it-is is.)

The Pokémon Tourist

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Pokemon Logo

I want to be the very best, like no one ever was. Even though I was 17 when Pokémon Red released, I have always been somewhat of a novice trainer. Following the series evolution across platforms, I have dabbled in different generations. Never completing:

  • Pokémon Red
  • Pokémon Yellow
  • Pokémon Pearl
  • Pokémon Platinum
  • OR Pokémon Y

Pokémon just isn’t an obsessive thing for me. What does draw me are the solid game mechanics, relaxed world, and creature battling.

Pokémon Y represents the most time I have spent with the series. Clocking in at over 20 hours, I thought I was almost done with the campaign. Nope. A walkthrough confirmed that I am but halfway on my journey. Never going to be number one at that pace. Ash, I’ve failed!

Pokemon Y

As a dad, Pokémon has taken on a new meaning. It is a series that I can share with Wyatt. A series that encourages reading, fun gameplay, and quality time spent. Nintendo has indeed created a monster.

pokemonThis year, The Pokémon Company is celebrating Pokémon’s 20th anniversary. The Super Bowl ad above is but the cusp of this tidal wave. Throughout the year, Nintendo and GameStop are offering one rare creature download a month. Take a look:

  • Celebi: March 1 – 24 (Nintendo Network)
  • Jirachi: April 1 – 24 (Nintendo Network)
  • Darkrai: May 1 – 24 (GameStop)
  • Manaphy: June 1 – 24 (Nintendo Network)
  • Shaymin: July 1 – 24 (Nintendo Network)
  • Arceus: August 1 – 24 (GameStop)
  • Victini: September 1 – 24 (Nintendo Network)
  • Keldeo: October 1 – 24 (Nintendo Network)
  • Genesect: November 1 – 24 (GameStop)
  • Meloetta: December 1 – 24 (Nintendo Network)

We’ll see if Wyatt and I can keep up with the pocket monster collecting. I’m still waiting for him to be ready for his own handheld console and copy of the game. We just aren’t there yet… but soon.

 

The Herald Cometh – Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball

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In the depths of Bowser’s Castle, no doubt a plan unfolded most dire.

We must strike back at this free-to-play horde, but how, the Nintendo suits inquired.

We will wrap real money purchases in story, with solid mechanics and feel to boot. We will then rake in all the money, and dance upon our loot.

A dog recruited, yes, he will be their undoing.

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We will tell a tale of hardship and tears, of a marriage gone awry. Of puppies in need, mini-games will provide their feed, players can haggle till the pups howl high.

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball, simple yes, but that is what we will call it.

A herald of games to come, the players will never see it coming.

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Note: Nintendo Badge Arcade invaded my 3DS last week. A riff on the popular Japanese crane game genre, Nintendo Badge Arcade features:

  • Solid controls/gameplay mechanics.
  • Daily Nintendo news and trivia.
  • Real money transactions. A dollar for five crane drops/plays.
  • Five free practice plays, on the practice machine, per day.
  • Nostalgia. Lots of nostalgia.
  • A rabbit that is as evil as Tom Nook.

The game boils down to using a crane to grab digital badges to decorate your 3DS menu screen. The badges do nothing else. Nothing. But the badges do look cool.

Nintendo has created a unique formula for the free-to-play market. I shudder though to think of what real money transactions will take place in their upcoming Pokémon GO. Gotta catch them all, right?

Surf Report – 3/4/2013

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Surf Report

Welcome to the Monday edition of the Surf Report.

.: God :

On Sunday nights, my church has been going through a series called P-52. Two weeks ago, our speaker for the evening, Brent, talked about the concept of silence. Brent talked about how we are constantly bombarded with audio and visual noise. He said that this noise can serve to distract us from our relationship with God, specifically in the area of prayer. I don’t know about you, but I struggle with prayer. I’d much rather listen to something on my commute to work than sit there uncomfortably and talk to God. Why?!? This is another one of those areas, in my life, that requires discipline.

I want to encourage you to take some time to be silent.

.: Life :

Life is complex. My wife and I are on the brink of making several decisions which impact our future in a great way. These decisions require us to step out of our comfort zones and trust God. Is God who he says he is? Prayer would be awesome.

.: Gaming :

Fire Emblem: Awakening and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood have been my distractions lately. I finally fired up AC and completed the Passion Play mission. That finished off Memory Sequence 7 which leaves me with two more sequences to go until the game ends. Best $20 I’ve spent in a long time.

Fire Emblem has become my go to lunchtime game. I love portable games! I’ve been plugging my 3DS into my car’s stereo and gaming the lunch hour away. Good times so far.

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That’s it for this weeks Surf Report. Make sure to comment below and have a good week!

The Rewarded Life – Gamification

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Right down the street from my house is a series of paved walking trails. They interweave beneath cool leafy canopies; They provide a great place to relax and exercise.

My friend Jon and I meet there once a week. We walk and talk about the lives we are living. The small hills and smooth curves, of the walking trails, serve as a fantastic physical representation of how we can be doing well one week and veering off into the unknown the next. Around each corner we never know what we are going to run into. One week we saw a man sitting without a shirt in a grassy field. He looked like he was meditating or somehow communing with nature. I’m not into that. At least not out in public. Another week we saw a herd of deer. One of the most memorable times we had was when we were caught out in a thunderstorm. As marble sized hail dented our bodies, we seriously wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Unless you’ve used a tree as shelter from a hail storm, you’d know that the tree is absolutely worthless. All the tree does is become a natural pinball machine for the frozen orbs. Enough about the hail though.

Gamification is the use of game design elements,game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts.

Helping users lose weight since 2011.

My sister and my parents bought me a Nintendo 3DS for my birthday back in July. The 3DS has a built-in pedometer. After recording about a 1000 steps, the system rewards the user with 10 gold coins. These coins can be spent on two built-in games. Now what does this have to do with walking? Well, after discovering this simple feature, I started walking with the 3DS in my pocket. I wanted to earn more gold coins. Walking had turned into a game I wanted to win.

I wonder why other companies haven’t caught on to this phenomena. The concept seems so simple, integrate game-like elements into our everyday lives. I commend Nintendo for their almost sneaky approach to making users want to exercise more. My only wish is that the coins earned could be applied to e-shop purchases. In the meantime, avoid hail my friends.

A Quick Update – 7/17/12

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Lately I’ve been dabbling in smaller handheld games such as DragonVale (iOS), Pocket Planes (iOS), and the Nintendogs demo on the 3DS (my son loves it!). I haven’t walked away from bigger games completely per se, I’ve just noticed that I tend to get sucked in/ consumed by them. 30 hours later I find myself waking up to realize that my family has been neglected for a month. This is not the type of husband or father I am aspiring to be. After much thought, some prayer, and time, I’ve decided to make some changes in an effort to control my gaming appetite. So far, so good.