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Early Thoughts on Pokemon Unite on Nintendo Switch!

Pokemon Unite came out earlier this week and Jessica and I played a few rounds with it. When I wrote this article, I was Lv. 7 and only had played a few Ranked Matches. Meaning, some of my early gripes are remedied (but definitely not all.). Any text in italics are current me adding in new thoughts to the article I wrote 2 days ago.

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Let’s start with the first thing I noticed. The roster. The roster is loaded for a new game but is shallow compared to the franchise as a whole. Pokemon Unite starts off with 20 Pokemons available to unlock through a various amount of methods. The player gets to choose 1 of 5 Pokemons to stat with. That selection is comprised of: Charizard, Pikachu, Talonflame, Eldegoss and Snorlax. (1 Pokemon for each of the 5 roles.) I chose Talonflame and have enjoyed him. Charizard is by far the least seen Pokemon from this list, surprisingly. Snorlax has impressed me a lot from what I have seen other people do. Apparently Pikachu is really good. I never run against the same teams in ranked, which is great. The roster seems nice and diverse for now. This is good because it leaves room for the game to receive plenty of updates to keep the game alive.

Pokemon Unite Best Starter Pokemon Guide - Which Should You Pick?

At first glance, I thought most of the Pokemons were from Gen 1 and 8 exclusively. Though I found a few exceptions such as Absol and Talonflame. Type diversity is also great but as a result, no one type has a lot of variety. Most types have at most 2 Pokemons (i.e. Flying has Talonflame and Charizard. Fighting has Lucario and Machamp.). As new Pokemons roll out into the game I hope they don’t oversaturate any one type. I could see Psychic or Fighting or something similar really getting favored with the addition of more Pokemons as the game goes on.

Pokemon Unite: release date, Switch & mobile gameplay, playable Pokemon,  more - Dexerto

The Map is something my opinion has improved on but is still not completely changed on. The Map is extremely restricted to Remoat Stadium and the training stage. (After unlocking quick matches you can access to a new stage). Still even with the addition of the second stage, there’s a lot to be desired. For starters, each map is only accessible in one game mode. So Remoat Stadium is only playable in regular 5 v 5. While the second stage is reserved solely for 4 v 4 quick match. Give us a few more stages for each mode and this game will truly start to shine. This is another area the game can be improved on with future updates.

Remoat Stadium is one of several Aeos Island maps on which Trainers can  battle in Pokémon UNITE | Pokémon Blog

Their ideas for move learning is really great here. It works on a branching path system akin to Bloon Tower Defense. I found the branching path in move selection to be sweet initially. However, after playing multiple rounds, its another area I hope the game can improve upon. If not, this is the area of the game I feel needs the least improvements (as there’s a lot to like about it as is). Your Pokemon can learn 4 moves. 2 of which have split pathways we discussed earlier. This provides plenty of mix and match flexibility to keep the game feeling fresh. It’s not the format I’d like to see updated. Its more so maybe adding in another possible learn set for each Pokemon. This probably wont be necessary with the addition of future characters. But for example, giving Slowbro access to Recovery or Confusion/Confuse Wave. With this pathway you could select a tanky role or a defensive role. This gives Slowbro a nice change of pace each time you use them. I find myself playing multiple different roles as a Slowbro main. I can help clear up weakened Pokes our offensive teammates didn’t finish off. I can guard a base when they make a push. Or if they lack a real threatening presence, I can use utility moves to actually be offensive.

Do Pokemon have type advantages in Unite?

To continue an earlier point. A better representation of types is needed. Water only has Greninja and Crawbird(I could not remember Cramorant’s name when I first wrote this. haha). While Greninja is great, the inclusion of Blastoise or Milotic would be nice. Gyarados seems like a rather obvious inclusion eventually. Ground has no representation at all. Steel is only featured as Lucario’s secondary typing. Crustle as the sole Bug/Rock Pokemon is offensively bad. Adding in Scyther and Scizor would help on both fronts. Ariados could be a support Pokemon if it could set up speed traps with webbings and have access to Poisoning effects. I could understand them not wanting an annoyingly sturdy Steel type, so maybe add in Excadrill? He is not pure Steel or even primarily Steel but he is a great Pokemon from Gen 5. Donphan would be another interesting ground Pokemon. Also, both Donphan and Scizor would help address the fact that there are no Johto Pokemons at all on the roster…

Donphan | Wiki | •Pokémon• En Español Amino

Now on to the cosmetic aspects. Pokemon has always struggled with this. The characters lack anything really separating them from other trainers. The Pokemons can have awesome themed outfits unlocked for them but I dont yet understand the in-game currency (I do a little better now. There’s three types of currency, each with their own usage). There’s a lot of content here while also feeling like there isn’t any. It is kind of weird. I’ve mostly been playing through the battles, occasionally checking out some of the other menus. Admittedly, I dont get everything. As an update to this, there’s so many Pokemon’s, Outfit’s, battle items, and currencies, you’ll almost always be unlocking something after each battle. However, you will, in reality, use very little of these unlockables. I am glad they are there. Don’t get me wrong. However, most of the time it just feels like you are clicking through pop up windows.

All Trainer Skins & Outfits List | Pokemon UNITE - GameWith

There’s a battle pass area where you can complete challenges for rewards, daily missions you can complete for rewards and daily log on bonuses that can be turned in for rewards. There’s even stage specific challenges, too! But again, this mostly a second language to me now. You are able to obtain 2 or 3 more Pokemon this way including Venusaur (As well as Slowbro!).  So that is pretty cool.

Pokémon UNITE - Everything you need to know | esports.com

All in all this is my first foray into a game like this and I am enjoying it. Of course, it being based off Pokemon and my ability to play with my wife help. The Pros here are plenty. Lots of challenges, awesome Pokemon and simple gameplay make it easy to jump into. The cons are that while it is a team based game, your fun can be hindered if you or your teammates arent great at the game (I still very much feel this way). Character customization isn’t great and the lack of stage selections is lame (Also, still very much feel this way.)

So, after playing with the game another day, my issues are still the same. However, my biggest issue is the lack of a second, at least, stage on 5 v 5. However, this still may be my favorite release of the year. Not bad at all for a Free to Play MOBA!

However, I think this was a strong launch and I look forward to playing more!

Favorite Pokemon: Slowbro (10 Battles 5 Wins), Talonflame (3 Battles 2 Wins), Zeraora (3 Battles 1 Win)
My Trainer ID: 2YPR4TT
Jessica’s ID: A8263QE

That’s all. Thank you guys so much for reading. Leave your thoughts down below! Thank you again for reading and have a great day!

Coming Back

The last post I made was about our cat, Elizabeth’s vet visit. She is fine now. At that time, we were stressing out about keeping an eye out on her. Our AC unit broke, our hot water unit messed up and we were planning our honey moon. And to make things even worse, Crunchyroll stopped playing anime. We had watched the first 3 episodes of Tokyo Revengers and than boom… Crunchyroll stopped loading anime.

With all that said, our AC unit is fixed, our water heater is fixed, Elizabeth is fine and Crunchyroll is working again. We would like to make another comeback.

I know we were doing daily post for a while and you may think we got burned out. Well, due to our broke AC unit, we literally burned out. But, metaphors aside, we have just been sorting out things in our life. Personally, I really want to get back into the swing of blogging and keep any momentum going forward.

With that in mind, I have been making a lot of video game related videos over on my Youtube channel. Be sure to check those out as I’ve been talking about the Zelda 35th Anniversary and how to make collecting fun and affordable for example.

Anywho, thank you guys for reading and sticking with me. Again, not promising daily post, but I am going to try and get some regularity going back on the blog!

Video Game Review: A Hat in Time

AHiT

A little less than a year ago, Gears for Breakfast released this little gem for the world to enjoy. And enjoy it I have. If you’ve never heard or seen A Hat in Time before, it is a 3-D action platformer made in the same vain as other classics such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. The game is full of colorful level, giant worlds to explore, an overabundance of collectibles and some of the most engaging characters I have seen in a platformer.

My style of review is like having a casual conversation, so lets discuss what the game does right and wrong.

The Right
Exploration– This is one of the most important factors to me when determining the fun factor of a game. The game features 4 massive worlds plus a fifth level that is linear instead of a sandbox. Yes most games feature 10+ worlds, but the worlds you’ll find in A Hat in Time are vibrant, unique, and full of charm. Mafia Town is still a world I’ll load up and run around in to this day. The freedom of movement only aids this category as well. Featuring double jumps, aerial dashes, and wall climbing, the open worlds are super fun to traverse. It never gets old dashing around the levels.

Mafia Town

Characters- I don’t always expect much from the supporting cast from platformers, however almost every character in this game is memorable and just adds to the personality that is A Hat is Time. The Snatcher is probably my favorite character, but the conductor and DJ Grooves rivalry, the alien-fearing Mafia, and the interesting antihero Mustache Girl, form a rainbow of charm that help carry the game.

The_snatcher

Collectibles- Collectibles. You either love them or hate them. I think Gears for Breakfast absolutely nailed the collectibles that are hidden throughout the game. The collectibles are the Time Pieces (think stars from Super Mario), Pons (think coins from Super Mario) and Rift Tokens (I don’t really have a comparison, but its a second currency). Not collectibles per se, but there are several hats she can equip to give her powers. For example, she has a sprint cap that lets her move faster while say, the brewers cap gives her the ability to launch projectiles. There’s also dyes that change her costume color and style. I find this to be the perfect blend. There’s enough collectibles to help cover the level and motivate you to explore without making it feel like a chore. This really goes a long way in a game styled like this.
Time Piece

The Wrong
It is short… for now. 5 worlds and a nice hub world means the game is of fair length. However, as a gamer, you never want a game to end. However, the next wave of DLC/update says it roll out 2 new worlds. Of course I am looking forward to this. This small blemish may soon be erased.

Untapped Potential– When I was reading about the game, I remember reading about using the Time pieces to turn back time and such. It comes up from time to time, but it seems like its mostly in the background. This seems to be a story element and not a gameplay mechanic. I could be misremembering something, but it will feels like there were some time alerting mechanics they could have expanded upon.

Really, these are my only real complaints. The game is just a perfect blend of elements I love in video games. Anything else I say from here would just be reiterating earlier thoughts. If you played early platformers from the N64/Gamecube, PS1/PS2 era, you owe it to yourself to get this game. A Hat in Time is available on the steam store for just $29.99 and the PS4 and Xbox One for $29.99 as well. I’m not going to assign a score but just know this game is close to perfect. I keep fluctuating somewhere between 9 out of 10 to 10 out of 10. Yeah, it really is a great game.

Be on the look out for my youtube review on channel in the near future.

Thank you