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hoppip gaming land 2.0

hanecco

Hoppip Appreciator
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I currently dont have the money to buy games, because I'm unemployed. And because I'm unemployed, I have a lot of time to play games.

Which means I play the games I already own, or... I get them for free, somehow.

Here's what I'm currently playing.

Pokémon SoulSilver
i have an authentic copy of SS from when I was a child. It originally came with a complete living shiny Pokédex hacked into it, which was cool when I was a kid, but I'd like to actually play the game this time around.

Compared to the newer Pokémon games, SoulSilver is much slower-paced, with more emphasis placed on grinding because the gym leaders' Pokémon are way too strong (and use really smart strategies). And you know what, I like that a lot. It makes me feel like I'm getting more out of the game. Gen IV's graphics aren't my favourite but it does its job.

However, I've only played SoulSilver while travelling long distances, like on the train. Time really flies. I'm not sure why I never play it at home - I think it's to do with my mental health issues and the amount of procrastination they cause.

Persona 3

I was introduced to Persona through the OST "Moon reaching stars" back in... 2013? And then I found out it was an edgy RPG, so it's been on my "want to play" list ever since.

I'm emulating it with several mods - x3 experience from battles to eliminate grinding, plus HD textures and wide-screen. I know I'm missing out on the battle experience because of the exp mod but I feel like my brain doesn't have the resources to get frustrated at something insignificant right now. Maybe on a second playthrough.

At first the school simulation seemed like it would get overly repetitive. It isn't, as long as you're willing to plan out your day properly. The existential themes of the game are really hammered in by this part of the gameplay. Social links are generally comprised of gag characters going through generic social issues - they're definitely not as deep as some fans imply - but the time management aspect of the game is what makes them meaningful. You're choosing to spend your limited time with these people instead of just sleeping or gambling or whatever. I wish the side characters were less generic, but the game doesn't especially suffer because of it.
 
I was playing SS on the train home yesterday, and I was having a lot of trouble with Morty. Despite having evolved Bill's Eevee into an Umbreon, the only dark type move it learns is Pursuit (which isn't very powerful), and Gengar only lost about 1/5 of its HP from it.

Better moves - TMs - money - wait, I have no money. So I trekked back to New Bark to withdraw money from the Bank of Mom. None of the TMs I bought were very helpful - most couldn't be learnt by my Pokémon (and I don't want to waste Shadow Claw on Furret!) - but I did teach Poliwhirl Surf, which was unsurprisingly a better substitute for Bubble Beam.

Ok, back to the gym. Poliwhirl's Surf comes in clutch and knocks out 2 of Morty's Pokémon. Togetic and Umbreon deal with the rest. "It's not over yet!" Morty says in his preprogrammed line for when he sends out his last Pokémon. But it is over, Morty, I've won! I have the badge -

The screen goes black.

The DS has run out of charge.
 
For a slight change of pace, I've been thinking of making a Pokémon BW ROM hack... My main issue with BW has always been the short length of the main campaign, and I'd want to pad it out with things like trainer rematches and sidequests, as well as the PWT + new cities + grottos from B2W2. I'll call it "Pokémon White Expanse" for now.

New features:
  • Entree spawns 5 - 6 random National Dex Pokémon each day, with their hidden abilities. Caveat: They can only be caught with Dream balls.
  • Give Fennel any Cleanse Tags, Give a Cloths and Twisted Spoons you find to get 5 Dream Balls per item. These items are appear in random places and are generated every day.
  • B2W2's new areas are accessible post-game, making more National Dex mons available. This includes things like PWT and Polestar studios, as well as the new Elite Four and Plasma's ruined castle. The levels of wild Pokémon and the teams of Trainers are adjusted to match the player's levels.
  • A casino in Nimbasa.
  • You can "work" in a hotel in Castelia, similar to the hotel in XY.
  • Your mom will send you random items as gifts, like in HGSS.
  • Victini event is unlocked after reaching Mistralton.
  • Zoroark event unlocked after catching Raikou/Entei/Suicune post-game.
  • Zorua event unlocked as soon as you reach Castelia.
  • Following Pokémon are back and can be interacted with à la HGSS.

Sidequests:
Generally, sidequests are there to encourage backtracking and let the player obtain items that are rare in Gen V but really shouldn't be (looking at you , Berries).
  • Deliver mail from a shady guy in Castelia to a scientist in Striaton. Reward: Dusk Stone.
  • Deliver a Casteliacone/Electric Gem/Fresh Water/Pretty Wing to various trainers across the region. Reward: some Sitrus/Cheri/Chesto/Pecha berries. (Repeatable)
  • A cook on route 6 will give you 3 random berries each day.

Story enhancements:

  • A subplot involving Fennel. Fennel can now report on various character's dreams; mostly N, Cheren, and Bianca (the latter two also sign up to be studied with you), and she occasionally reports on the gym leaders, E4, or Ghetsis, too.
  • More interactions with E4 before you reach them: Grimsley can be met in nimbasa at the betting match, Shauntal in Celestial Tower, Caitlin is first seen talking to Fennel, and Marshal is first met in Driftveil.
  • Flashbacks/Memory Links are triggered upon entering an area for the first time, as long as you've talked to Fennel. They expand on various characters' pasts with stories revolving around whether or not it's right to have Pokémon as battle servants.
  • You can actually lose to N - and an extra postgame is unlocked, where you have to defeat more Team Plasma members and convince N that training shouldn't be banned outright.
 
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A Gen 5 ROM hack? Ambitious! Or at least, I haven’t really heard much about those (as opposed to, say, Gen 3 ROM hacks). If they’re as rare as I think they are, you could be one of the first people out there to make it happen, haha! This kind of reads like what Pokémon Gray would’ve been like if we had gotten that instead of B2W2, which is pretty cool.

Some comments on your individual points:

  • A subplot involving Fennel. Fennel can now report on various character's dreams; mostly N, Cheren, and Bianca (the latter two also sign up to be studied with you), and she occasionally reports on the gym leaders, E4, or Ghetsis, too.
Oh dear…

  • More interactions with E4 before you reach them: Grimsley can be met in nimbasa at the betting match, Shauntal in Celestial Tower, Caitlin is first seen talking to Fennel, and Marshal is first met in Driftveil.
Game Freak did pretty good with the Gym Leaders in Unova, but the Elite Four in general are more likely to be neglected by them in comparison, it seems. More appearances by the Unova Elite Four especially (who really seemed to get the short end of the stick out of all them) would definitely be welcome by me!

  • You can actually lose to N - and an extra postgame is unlocked, where you have to defeat more Team Plasma members and convince N that training shouldn't be banned outright.
This is the stuff of fanfiction dreams, haha. And indeed, I’ve always kind of fantasized about a either a fic or a ROM hack where Team Plasma wins. The idea’s just too good! (Which is why Game Freak never did anything with this, clearly (Kidding! Kind of.)) Even just an alternate win scenario would be awesome to see in an actual game, actually. A cool idea with tons of potential if done right!
 
A cool idea with tons of potential if done right!
Thank you, Baku! Gen V rom hacks do exist, but they tend to be much simpler than Gen III's. Some popular ones include Blaze Black and Volt White, which basically make the game harder (by improving enemy trainer stats and movesets) and unlock the National dex from the start. It is true that hacks which basically create a completely new game - like a lot of GBA ones do - don't exist for Gen V, though.

I have no romhack experience, so I would start small with things like scripting the NPCs who hand out berries. Eventually I'd have a library of mods which, when put together, become a rom back.
 
Fire Emblem Awakening (+ Gay Awakening and Project Thabes)

So, I've finally gotten the opportunity to play Fire Emblem Awakening in its entirety, almost ten years after I first discovered it. (This is a running theme with literally every game I'm playing right now). I wasn't able to buy the game then, so a friend lent me her cartridge, but I never got very far because I had to return it after a few weeks. Now, I can play it in peace from start to finish!

I decided to add in Gay Awakening and Thabes because they add in features that I wish had been there from the start. Playable Phila, for example, as well as a huge number of extra supports for characters who have next to none - also, I can indulge my silly little gay fantasies. :3 Thabes alters the map designs slightly to provide more of a challenge - while it's not faithful to the base game per se, my pre-existing knowledge of Fire Emblem and my passing familiarity with Awakening means that new maps helps the game feel fresh.

My first impressions:

  • The adult characters actually look like adults. After watching heaps and heaps of anime where the protagonist's mother doesn't look any older than her high-school-aged children, this is a breath of fresh air.
  • The character models not having feet is genuinely distracting... Also, Emmeryn's Japanese voice sounds much older than I expected. Sadly the voice acting is standard anime fare, unlike the art.
  • The dialogue is really well written. Or maybe it's just Frederick and his wonderful dry humour - several moments actually made me snort, and he's quickly become one of my favourites. It also makes the Shepherds feel authentic; it's the kind of banter and familiarity people who fight alongside each other in life-or-death situations would have.
  • Characters in this game are stock archetypes, and it's kind of impressive how many different archetypes they've managed to pack into this game, to be honest. My opinion on this style of writing so far is similar to my attitude towards Persona social links: it would be nice if the characters had more depth, but so far the game hasn't suffered for it. Awakening allows everyone to marry everyone; aiming for humour rather than depth in every support is, well, understandable. My opinion is likely to change as I unlock higher level supports, though; most of my characters have only just unlocked Cs.
  • The game is fun! It feels a lot like Sacred Stones where if you play well, it feels like it's easy, but a single mistep puts me on the edge of my seat as I watch my character's HP bar plummet. (I chose Classic mode for this playthough - it doesn't feel like Fire Emblem without the tension of permadeath, heh)
 
Fire Emblem: (Gay) Awakening

inconsistent formatting, yayy!

I've blazed through Awakening, going from chapter 5 to 15 over the course of a week. It's just so fun! I even enjoy doing the randomly generated skirmishes so that I can grind support levels, which is a first - I never did them in Sacred Stones. Now, because I've read all these supports, I have opinions on the characters, which I've expressed through the handy format of a tier list. I've only included the ones I know something about; it wouldn't make sense for me to rank characters I have literally never seen in game.

fe-a-ch15-tier-list.png


Ranks E - C

  • Henry's non-stop puns are really, really irritating. The way he joined - appearing out of thin air on a random map - made him feel disjointed from the setting around him. At least Tharja explained that she was defecting! I know his localised version is very different to his Japanese version, and the fan-translated JP supports of his are not only bearable to read but make him a nice character. In my game, I went for Henry x Olivia since I didn't have any other ideas and the JP version of that support is nice. (On the other end of the localisation spectrum, we've got Gregor. All of his supports are hilarious and insightful and it's just great. His JP version was a staid old mentor, which is a lot less exciting.)
  • Oh, Miriel. I wanted to like her, since I liked Lute (FE8) for being a smug, smart mage who gets herself into silly situations. Unfortunately, Miriel shows very little emotion in her supports, and talks like a particularly dense wikipedia page. I was genuinely surprised when she smiled during Laurent's recruitment since I had never seen her make any other expressions. Laurent is essentially a better version of Miriel - he actually emotes, in his own reserved way. His other mom is Anna; which keeps him red-haired and gives him some very nice stat bonuses.
  • Sumia's "clumsy" gimmick is way too overdone in Japanese media. I'm not sure what people find cute about it, to be honest. If it wasn't for that, she would be in B-rank like Cordelia.
  • I cannot imagine Kellam's gimmick working in real life. Like Sumia, he seems fine otherwise though.

Ranks B+

  • Tharja, originally, was a C for me, but seeing her supports with Nowi changed my mind. She originally creeped me out due to her talk of hexing and yandere tendencies. Her best supports show this as a front to keep up her dark mage reputation; she spends a lot of time using spells to protect people. I wish this was shown more consistently. (Also, Nah with Tharja's black hair is so fitting somehow...!)
  • Nowi (anyone who likes her in a creepy way - screw you) also suffers from a consistency problem, and she's in A because I really like her, not due to writing quality. The concept of a wise old dragon who acts like a child to make people feel more comfortable is relatively unique, even in Fire Emblem. Unfortunately, a lot of supports lean into the childlike thing too much. It's like the writers couldn't decide whether or not she is mentally a child. I paired her with Tharja, which is one of her best-written supports.
  • I decided to marry Libra, he's so well written. He has a good backstory, his gimmick isn't shoehorned into every support (and he's secure enough not to be hurt by people mistaking him for a woman), and he has his own philosophy when it comes to dealing with the pressures of battle. His goal of creating an orphanage is also very understandable once you learn about him as a person. Lon'qu is also well characterised in this way, without his gimmick overtaking him.
 
If “E” is supposed to stand for “e(xecrable)”, what would “F” be? Maybe I shouldn’t ask, haha…

Obviously you’re a big fan of Fire Emblem! By any chance, would you be familiar with TearRing Saga, Berwick Saga, and Vestaria Saga? I know that the original creator of Fire Emblem worked on those, and that they apparently reflect old-school Fire Emblem in their own little ways while also doing a lot of things differently. I’d love to know what you think about them!
 
Obviously you’re a big fan of Fire Emblem! By any chance, would you be familiar with TearRing Saga, Berwick Saga, and Vestaria Saga? I know that the original creator of Fire Emblem worked on those, and that they apparently reflect old-school Fire Emblem in their own little ways while also doing a lot of things differently. I’d love to know what you think about them!

Unfortunately, I've never played any of them, but I am definitely eyeing Vestaria Saga as another PC game to try out. My preliminary thoughts are: pegasus knights becoming Eagle Riders is going to take some adjusting to, but a return to classic FE stories with characters that aren't modern anime tropes and less emphasis on romance will be really nice. Seeing Mayumi Hirota's art again is also neat.

I think Kaga had a lot of good ideas when it comes to story - FE4's detailed and tragic plotline comes to mind (I still need to read the manga!), and in the Making of Fire Emblem book, he writes that character deaths in FE1 were originally going to have CGs to drive home the tragedy of it; Jagen's death would have an image of him in a pool of blood, with Marth crying by his side. (They were cut due to the NES's technical limitations.) To be honest, before I began playing, that was the sort of thing I expected the game to have. Death quotes aren't really that impactful and even lean humourous at times. I hope Kaga leans into that side of his storytelling more in hsi non-IntSys games.
 
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okusuri-banner-2.png

A banner & pfp set made from the MV for "Let's drink some medicine and sleep" (watch?v=GWAtnzcbfFQ)

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A set for Wanderlast (watch?v=wehX1cNY_9E)

daisy-lucina-pfp.png

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nowi-tiki-pfp.png

nowi-tiki-banner.png

Some Fire Emblem. Lucina (set1), Nowi & Tiki (set2)
 
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Ways an open -world Pokémon game could keep a good level curve

- Gym leaders use a different team based on how many badges you have. If you approach them to get your second badge, they'll have a simple team of 2 Pokémon at levels 10 - 15. Approach them with seven badges already, and they will have a full team of six with tough strategies/ai at levels 35 - 40.

- Level scaling feels a bit... inorganic for Pokémon. A system where you're more likely to encounter Pokémon the same level as yours but lower would be nice: 50% are within 3 levels of your team (so if your team was level 40, 50% of wild Pokémon would have levels between 37 and 43), 25% are within 10 levels of your team, 20% are within 15 levels, and 5% are within 25 levels.

This keeps variety to the types of Pokémon you encounter while making sure you aren't suffering from a lack of grind material.
 
First Impressions of Crystal Clear


Crystal Clear is the very first Game Boy/Colour Pokemon game I've played. Previously, the oldest Pokemon game I'd played was Emerald, where the more detailed sprites and faithful colour palettes kept it feeling modern. In contrast, the Game Boy Colour games are mostly white, black, or bright primary colours. Combined with the blocky sprites, stark UI, and transitions made of flashing bright colours, the game was downright unpleasant to look at. Crystal Clear alleviates some of these issues, in a limited way, by allowing users to turn off certain animations and customise parts of the UI. Crystal is extremely outdated, graphically, to the point I wish it wasn't used as the base of this hack.

The developer Shockslayer still managed to cram a lot of trainer customisation options into the game, though, thanks to creative use of sprite palettes. Choosing one of the many variations of colours for my trainer convinced me that the GBC's capabilities aren't as limited as the garish palettes of the overworld make it out to be. (I could only conclude they hired people more capable than them to do the sprites for gens 3 - 5...) The ability to customise the bag's and Pokegear's colours - which affected their UI colours too! - was a novelty which I'm surprised the mainline games didn't include as part of their customisation; those details helped make parts of the game comfortable in a way that just customising clothes and names doesn't.

Only the first 251 'mons are available, just like the original Gen 2 games, leading me to reconsider a lot of Pokemon I'd deride as useless if I hadn't already forgotten them. On top of that, Shockslayer has managed to implement an extremely impressive Pokedex for such an ancient game which makes finding new team members so much more enjoyable. Not only is the flavour text included, but the moment a new Pokemon is registered you can view its locations, base stats, evolution tree (including evolution methods and levels), level-up moves, TM/HM moves, and egg moves and egg groups. Shockslayer has even added all-new features, my favourite being a list of the Pokemon that can be found at your current location. Ones you don't know are listed as question marks - this encouraged me to spend more time than I normally would walking through grass, hoping to find something I'd not seen before.

This hack is well known for being open world and giving you a choice of 24 starters - as well as a choice of starting town. I chose Vulpix and left Viridian City almost immediately after I spawned in it. At first, the lack of directions (I'm not familiar with Kanto) was disorienting, until I decided to give up on following a set sequence of cities and wandered about looking for something interesting. I tried and failed to catch a Pikachu in Viridian Forest, the second Pokemon I saw in the wild, ever, and almost succumbed to a Butterfree's insanely strong Confusion while searching for a second one. By the end of my session, I'd reached Pewter City, where several people told me they could give me cool items if only I had a gym badge. The experience felt a little empty - but that's because I hadn't chosen a goal for myself. The best part of Pokemon is when you overcome the obstacles in your way to reach it.
 
ADV OU team
Starmie @ Shell Bell
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
  • Ice Beam
  • Thunderbolt
  • Rapid Spin
  • Psychic

Suicune @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 100 HP / 156 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
  • Protect
  • Mirror Coat
  • Toxic
  • Surf

Arcanine @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
  • Flamethrower
  • Crunch
  • Protect
  • Sunny Day

Salamence @ Shell Bell
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
  • Brick Break
  • Dragon Dance
  • Double-Edge
  • Dragon Claw

Metagross @ Choice Band
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
  • Meteor Mash
  • Earthquake
  • Rock Slide
  • Brick Break

Umbreon @ Leftovers
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 80 HP / 172 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
  • Protect
  • Pursuit
  • Moonlight
  • Shadow Ball
 
Hey, what does ADV stand for? Based on my brief search of it, I’m guessing that it’s just Smogon-talk for Gen 3 play (as in RSE, FRLG, and Emerald)? And if I’m right there, then I’m guessing that OU must in turn mean “overused”?
That's exactly what it is :) ADV is short for "Advance". Only Pokémon, moves, abilities, items, etc which are available in the Gen III games can be used in the format.
 
Updated the team a little

Starmie @ Shell Bell
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
  • Ice Beam
  • Thunderbolt
  • Rapid Spin
  • Psychic

Jirachi @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 224 HP / 252 SpA / 32 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 2 Atk / 30 SpA
  • Fire Punch
  • Psychic
  • Calm Mind
  • Hidden Power [Grass]

Vaporeon @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
  • Hydro Pump
  • Ice Beam
  • Toxic
  • Wish

Flygon @ Choice Band
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
  • Earthquake
  • Dragon Claw
  • Hidden Power [Fighting]
  • Toxic

Metagross @ Choice Band
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
  • Meteor Mash
  • Earthquake
  • Rock Slide
  • Brick Break

Blissey (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
  • Heal Bell
  • Counter
  • Protect
  • Toxic


{/SPOILER]
 
Gay Awakening: Ch. 19 - The Conqueror

I took a little break from playing Awakening because I discovered Minecraft (which is amazingly fun, even though I dismissed it as boring at first~). And the fight I need to tackle next - Chapter 19 - was the most difficult one I'd faced until this point, with mounted/flying enemies with stats to rival even my child units. I could barely move forwards without someone in my team dying and forcing me to reset.

FE Wiki (the Fandom (TM) one) explained that if you had a powerful unit with galeforce, there was a way for them to kill Walhart in one turn. I decided to go with this since I already had an excellent Dark Flier in Morgan, and I am no stranger to grinding - I've already raised Tharja and Henry to level 15 so that Inigo, Nah, and Noire would inherit Vengeance.

So... to cut a long story short, I finally pushed Morgan to level 15. And she learned Shadowgift. Wait, Shadowgift?!

A quick bit of research told me that Project Thabes - the mod I'm playing with - entirely removed Galeforce from the game... which means not only did I grind Morgan for nothing, I'll have to defeat chapter 19 without any cheese.

Well, that means more experience for my units, at least?
 
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