<![CDATA[NinjaParrot - Gaming Reviews, Discussions and Philosophy. - Discussions]]>Sun, 13 Jan 2019 19:08:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Why You Should Play Splatoon 2 in 2019!]]>Mon, 07 Jan 2019 15:23:33 GMThttp://ninjaparrot.com/discussions/why-you-should-play-splatoon-2-in-2019Okay, so this is a little bit of a weird discussion. Splatoon 2 came out not longer after the release of the Nintendo Switch and whilst it was fairly popular, never really took off that much. I didn't think too much of it when it came out either. I did buy it, played it for a bit, then never really gave it much thought after that. However, after Smash Bros came out and I played as the Inkling for a while, I got a hankering to give Splatoon another go, as I enjoyed playing as Inkling in Smash! So, I found the cartridge, bought the Octo Expansion and played through the story, the expansion and then started up playing online after I'd had my fill of the single player! Although it's a little steep price-wise, I'd recommend Splatoon 2 to those that wanted to just play the main story and expansion parts easily. I believe it was on sale in the e-shop too, meaning you could probably pick them up for a good price! However, there's lots of 'older' games I could recommend the single player for, but this is more about recommending Splatoon 2 as a game to properly get involved with in 2019, to play online normal matches for fun and even to get into the ranked mode! So, here's why you should play Splatoon 2 in 2019! 

So, the main question to ask, is why would people pick up Splatoon 2 now? Or why would people go back to playing now? It came out quite a while ago, was popular for a while and now maintains a fairly active player-base. Surely if people were interested, they'd have picked up it when it first came out and would still be playing, or dropped off by now? Why would people start now, when the game seems to be coming to the end of its life? Why not wait for Splatoon 3? Well, there are answers to those questions, I promise. But first, I should explain a little about why I've started playing and answer these questions along the way!

The main reason I've got so involved and fascinated by Splatoon 2 is something I massively overlooked when I first played it. It seems I've had to mature a little to understand why this game, which is largely aimed at a younger audience, is so good. It's quite simple really, it's FUN. Pure, unashamed, unyielding FUN. Strangely enough, when it first came out, it didn't even register properly that I should keep playing because it was just fun. I guess I should explain that when the game first came out, I was playing a lot of Competitive games, such as Overwatch, League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm. When not playing these games, I tended to play slightly more serious games, such as Metal Gear, Shin Megami Tensei games and others that I felt had far more depth to them. It's true that they do to some degree, but I was looking for depth in games, for the sake of the depth. I never gave much thought to which games would just bring me enjoyment, even if it was a simple game or something that wasn't considered more 'hardcore' in a loose sense of the word. Once I realised that the most important thing in a game was that it is ultimately fun, I started trying new things and ended up finding out what I truly enjoyed, which wasn't competitive games. Splatoon is basically a manifestation of this, though it took me a while to realise it! Whilst it's still a competitive game, it's much more relaxed, enjoyable and less focused on being the very best. 

But, being 'fun' isn't really enough of an explanation for why YOU should play it. So, I'll try and explain what makes it so fun now! I guess the most prominent part is one I've already touched on, which is the less serious nature of the game. When you go into matchmaking, your desire is most certainly to win, as otherwise there'd be much less reason to play. However, the game is designed in such a way, that even if you're not doing well with splatting/defeating other players, you can be a massive boost to your team regardless, by instead focusing on Inking the ground. After all, in the non-ranked mode, the main aim is to Ink more ground than your opponents. There are times when you get stomped and can't even make it out of your spawn zone, which isn't so fun, but it's mostly not so obvious who's winning the game. Unlike a game like Overwatch, where it's quite apparent where you're winning or losing, Splatoon does this amazing thing where most matches feel close, as you're always taking turf, fighting, or otherwise attempting to help your team win. As the matches are so short, it never feels drawn out, yet there's enough time for comebacks to be made, cool plays to be had and overall the matches are super fluid, interesting, different and always keep you focused. Not only that, but it's super refreshing to not have to play as 'Army man A' in a shooter, or even 'Loud Obvious Personality B' in some more recent shooters. Instead, you're some unholy abomination of a squid/octopus in a truly strange world. Using these as your characters give the game an extreme personality, that just adds to the fun of playing, as it's very different from any other shooter game. I guess what I'm saying, in a nutshell, is what I started with. The game is FUN and you won't be able to help yourself having fun whilst playing.

For some people, Splatoon 2 being a fun game won't really be enough to get them playing. After all, it's been out for quite a while now and people would rather stick with what they know, or play more recent games. But, I think there's still reason to pick it up and start now! The main reason for this, is that there seems to be something lacking in multiplayer games right now. I don't know if it's just me, but there is no other multiplayer shooter out there that is holding my interest in the slightest, as they all feel so similar, despite any large differences. Destiny, Overwatch, even MOBA games. They all feel like a similar experience, despite them being vastly different on the surface. However, Splatoon feels like a totally different experience to me, something no other game out there feels like. I imagine that if people give it a good chance and really try to experience it for what it is, they'll probably feel similarly. Splatoon 2 fills a huge whole in the multiplayer games scene at the moment; it's something that feels casual, fun and relaxing, yet also feels competitive and makes you strive to be better. It's a game that makes you excited to see the scoreboard, but that doesn't make you feel sad if you do badly. All you want to do is jump into the next game and try to be better, yet somehow you don't feel stressed about your performance. This may just be my feelings, yet there really isn't a game that encompasses fun competition in the way Splatoon 2 does. 

So, I've outlined why you should give Splatoon 2 a good go and try to get into it, but why should you stay playing it? Why keep with it, instead of just carrying on with newer games? Well, I've got a reason! The main reason, is how well the matchmaking seems to work, even considering it's a Nintendo game! Basically, the main point of this, is that matches don't get stale or boring, as the matchmaker seems to be on the ball at all times, adjusting your Match Making Rating up and down as it needs to, to ensure you're in close matches and that you aren't having to carry your team at all times or that you aren't always placing bottom despite a win or loss. Of course, I can't prove that the matchmaker is brilliant, as I can't see Splatoon's background processes. However, whether you're playing for fun or in ranked matches, the games always seem to be close, enjoyable and it never feels as if you're on a big losing streak. Stomping your opponents, or them stomping you, seem uncommon and it's also uncommon that games are too easy too often, meaning there must be a good system in place for matches. Everyone wants to climb rankings sure, but seeing as how the games are short and not based around eliminations, it doesn't feel like you're in a rut, just that each game you're improving or learning, making it a truly fantastic experience, even over a long period of time. The only other question, is why not wait for Splatoon 3? Well, that's because there's no guarantee of a 3rd instalment and there's more chance of one if people are playing number 2! Also, because there's no point in waiting for a new game, when you could be having fun now! It really is just that simple! 

Well, I hope I've managed to convince you to go play Splatoon 2! It truly is a great experience and one that you won't regret. It's the one game that I think could unite a lot of different gamers, that all play different genres. If you're into any kind of games, even if they're not usually multiplayer, I think you would enjoy Splatoon 2 and it would easily become a game you played often! So, go out there and give Splatoon 2 a try! 

- Ninja Parrot]]>
<![CDATA[Further Discussion: Pokemon 'Let's Go' Pikachu/Eevee]]>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 11:59:48 GMThttp://ninjaparrot.com/discussions/further-discussion-pokemon-lets-go-pikachueeveeAlthough I've reviewed the latest Pokemon game, released on the Nintendo Switch, there's certainly more to the game that warrants some discussion, even if it shouldn't necessarily factor into a review on the game, for various reasons. The main reason being, that these facets of the game aren't necessarily good or bad and any opinion on them shouldn't necessarily change the opinion on the game as a whole. So, in this write-up, a few different things are going to be discussed. Namely, the Pokemon Let's Go Safari Park and the time limits present in certain battles.

First, the biggest change in to be discussed in this post, is the lack of a traditional Pokemon Safari, in favour of one focused around Pokemon Go for mobile, that I'm sure everyone in the world is aware of by now. It was certainly a popular game when it first came out; you couldn't walk anywhere without seeing swarms of people playing it, however it's not quite as popular anymore, though it does still sustain a sizeable player-base. On occasion I play it myself, though only if I'm out by myself usually, which isn't all that often. Even less often is when I'm walking around by myself, but I do have experience in playing it. However, Pokemon Go for mobile, by itself, isn't the focus of this discussion. Instead, the focus is on the non-traditional Safari Park in Pokemon Let's Go, that is wholly dependent on Pokemon Go, as it's necessary to connect a Pokemon Go account to the safari in order to access it; following that you must first deposit Pokemon from your mobile account, in order for any Pokemon to appear in the Safari. There is no way to access a wholly in-game safari at all, unlike all previous Pokemon games, where a Safari was a pretty staple facet of the game, though mostly they weren't a large part of the game and, if I'm remembering correctly, had no bearing on the story and were not particularly important to the game, other than being a place to collect Pokemon and enjoy yourself. For that reason, it's not a huge loss in some ways, though it was always something I enjoyed. In contrast, I used the Let's Go Safari a little and didn't particularly enjoy it, especially as it's difficult and time consuming to catch Pokemon on the mobile app and I didn't want to lose my better Pokemon from the app for when I play that. However, for those that really enjoy Pokemon Go and still play regularly, the addition of the Let's Go Safari is bound to be very exciting and fun. If they really invest the time in it, they can even play a small mini-game about herding and racing Pokemon. Though, I didn't have the patience to catch 25 of the same Pokemon in the app. In all honesty, I missed the normal Safari, however for those more dedicated to Pokemon, it's a great addition. There's not much more to be said than that, I'm certainly not upset it wasn't added, but I did miss it. I think in later games, if Game Freak are going to include the Pokemon Go Safari, then they need to have a traditional Safari alongside it, to please everybody. 

The next topic is something that did upset me, but it was too short of an experience to let it negatively affect my review on it. That is, the time limit that is used when fighting against certain Pokemon. When you fight any of the Legendary Pokemon, or Snorlax, you must defeat them in a battle before you are allowed to attempt to catch them. When you are battling them however, there is a 5 minute time limit. If you fail to beat them within this time, they flee and you cannot continue the battle or simply restart it. Now, this wasn't too much of an issue when fighting against Snorlax or the Legendary Birds (Zapdos, Articuno and Moltres) because the battles against them are relatively easy, especially when using your partner Pokemon. However, the fight against Mewtwo is much harder, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, he is level 70 and my most powerful Pokemon, Eevee, was around level 63 at this point, shortly after the Pokemon League. This in itself wouldn't have made the battle too hard, however Mewtwo also has the move 'Recover' which seems to indefinitely keep him alive, whilst also having strong attacks that can wipe your dudes pretty quickly. For this reason, beating him isn't the hard part, but beating him under 5 minutes is, if your Pokemon aren't quite at the right level. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's certainly frustrating having to try the battle a few times to beat him in time. The annoying part, is that I can see absolutely no reason why a 5 minute time limit was necessary or wanted. The amount of people I have seen complain about time limits in any game is too much to count, so why one would exist in a Pokemon game is a little beyond me. I would have imagined that such a big Game Studio like Game Freak, would be wholly aware of people's disdain for time limits within games, especially in a game like Pokemon. For example, I'm a fan of playing poison and grass types, going for the slow but sure win, though it's just not a viable strategy against Mewtwo. I appreciate having to switch strategy on the fly, but powerful hitters often don't quite beat him before Mewtwo wipes them out. Again, it's not a huge problem, but it certainly feels like it stifles creativity and fun. I know that I personally would have appreciated the ability to battle Mewtwo in my own way, as opposed to having to simply level up Pokemon to wipe him out faster than he can recover health. This is all I have to say on this topic, though I hope something is changed next game, as a time limit was wholly unnecessary and ultimately just stifled creativity and options.
These two issues seemed far too minor to let it negatively affect my formal review on the game, which is why I thought they merited further discussion separately. Whilst the Safari Park is indeed a big change, in practice it is simply that there is no tradition Safari in the game, however there is something present for fans of Pokemon Go, as opposed to the Safari being replaced by an alternative. It's going to feel different to different players, but these were my thoughts. I hope this discussion has helped provoke some thoughts and opinions on the game and that Pokemon continues to build on the new format it has created!

​-Ninja Parrot]]>