Gaming

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! review: Catching ’em all once again

Isn’t Eevee absolutely adorable?

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Countless times, my friends have jokingly asked, “Where’s Mario?” My name — Luigi — has unwittingly cursed me into a lifetime of jokes associated with Mario’s green-suited brother. Ironically, my favorite Nintendo franchise isn’t even remotely related to the Super Mario Brothers series. Since childhood, the prestige has always gone to the Pokémon franchise.

During my Game Boy days, I played through the classics of the Pokémon franchise. Sadly, that streak ended with Pokémon Emerald, immediately before the arrival of the first Nintendo DS. Since then, the franchise’s Generation 4 ushered in a period of silence.

Thankfully, Pokémon’s decline was halted by the arrival of the mobile game, Pokémon GO. The pioneering AR game brought back a wave of nostalgia. Despite the initial popularity, the game’s novelty was short-lived, failing to measure up with the classic games. Of course, the game wasn’t from Nintendo.

Now, Nintendo has finally taken over the franchise’s modern renaissance. Weeks ago, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! launched for the Nintendo Switch, promising a new world for the new generation. Besides ushering a generation, the nostalgic series revitalizes the old and creates a new ecosystem.

Generation 1.2 

Right on the tin, both games advertise a return to Kanto, home of the first Pokémon. Pikachu and Eevee are remasters of the original Pokémon Yellow. In the original, Pikachu replaced the traditional trio of Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Likewise, Pikachu and Eevee replaces the starter Pokémon based on the version you purchase.

Likewise, both games share the same story elements with Pokémon Yellow: Team Rocket’s antics, Lavender Town’s eerie story, Mewtwo’s appearance. Of course, because of the times, Nintendo updated some minor elements for a modern audience. For example, in-game television sets come with Nintendo Switch units. Characters talk about Alolan Pokémon, smartphone technology, and most importantly, Pokémon GO.

Cuter, cuddlier, livelier

After Pokémon GO’s initial wave of novelty, the franchise’s fans chided the game for depersonalizing their favorite creatures. In GO, Pokémon became collectibles, valuing quantity over quality. Completely contrasted to this, Pikachu and Eevee added a thick layer of personality to all 151 original Pokémon.

Mostly, this dynamic personality applies to your chosen partner, Pikachu or Eevee. Like Yellow, your partner Pokémon follows you around. However, instead of just a few pixelated frames, both have their own new sets of animations and moves. For example, Pikachu hangs out on your shoulder as you walk. Eevee perches atop your head. In combat, both have exclusive move sets. Eevee, for example, uses Veevee Volley, an extremely strong Normal move that activates only occasionally. Cutely, you can interact with both partners outside of combat, petting them or playing patty-cake using the Switch’s touchscreen.

Additionally, you can take a Pokémon out of its Poké Ball, acting as a secondary companion. Also, their animation depends on their build. Mew floats ahead of you. Kangaskhan carries you in its pouch. Charizard flies and carries you on its back. It creates a much more dynamic world compared to the original games.

Speaking of, wild Pokémon encounters are no longer completely random. Instead, you can see the wild Pokémon wandering around, letting you choose which to catch. Catching them is also different. Instead of going into combat, the games adapt the same system as Pokémon GO, using catch rings and berries.

Creating a Pokémon ecosystem

Along with the games, Nintendo also launched a new controller, the Poké Ball Plus, specifically made for the new Pokémon games. Unfortunately, the optional controller, shaped like a Poké Ball, is pricey, costing US$ 49.99 on its own. The bundle — the game plus the ball — costs US$ 99.99, reducing the price by 10 bucks. That said, why should you buy a Poké Ball Plus?

Firstly, the ball comes with a free Mew. Traditionally, this mythical Pokémon was obtainable only through Nintendo-exclusive events or hacks. The Ball finally provides an easily accessible way to obtain one of the franchise’s most elusive Pokémon.

Secondly, it creates a new experience for the franchise. While it has only two buttons, you can use the ball in a throwing motion to catch Pokémon. Instead of just pressing A, the new mechanic simulates the feeling of actually throwing a Poké Ball. It’s unique and strangely gratifying. Additionally, you can take a Pokémon (housed inside the Poké Ball) with you on your daily commute. As you walk, it gets experience, similar to GO’s buddy system.

Thirdly, the ball acts as a Pokémon GO Plus, connecting the Switch games with GO’s world. To those who still play GO, the Poké Ball is a welcome arsenal, especially in crowded cityscapes. Similarly, you can transfer Pokémon from GO to Switch, making it easier to fill a Pokédex.

Finally, the Poké Ball Plus is a clear indication of the Pokémon franchise’s future. Next year, Nintendo will launch a fresher addition to the franchise, marking the console’s first full-fledged Pokémon game. By then, the future game will fully integrate the Ball into its mechanics, making the controller a worthy investment.

With Pikachu and Eevee, the Pokémon franchise heralds a new generation for both old and beginning players. For old players, they create a refreshed wave of nostalgia. For beginning players, both games are a good start to the new generation.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon: Let’s Go gets its own Nintendo Switch bundles

Gaming

Honkai Impact 3rd Part 2: What you need to know

New chapter, new adventure

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Honkai Impact 3rd Part 2

Honkai Impact 3rd Part 2 has officially unfolded. The refined new chapter sees the franchise going from earth and moon to the solar system, where players embark on an electrifying new adventure.

Taking off from the main story in Part 1 where the Valkyries leads humanity against the mysterious energy called Honkai, Part 2 will feature new main characters and NPCs with distinct looks and personalities.

Unlike in the real world, Mars, where Part 2 debuts, is inhabitable in the Honkai-verse. There, unique civilizations exist and nature develops, with people hanging out in bustling and lively commercial streets. Mysteries are likewise hidden behind the daily lives of residents to be discovered by players.

Here, players team up with new partners while assuming the role of a team supporter called the “Dreamseeker.”

Aside from the main story, the combat system has also been fully upgraded to enhance the battlefield experience. Three-dimensional combat shall be enhanced and all characters will be able to jump freely.

Astral Ring, a new combat mechanic, will also provide an unprecedented experience during fights. When unleashed, it enables simultaneous burst skills of multiple characters. It makes for an easier and more direct option to achieve burst damage. The combat mechanism of monsters will also be improved so they can react more intelligently.

Honkai Impact 3rd is available for both mobile and PC devices (via Epic Games) and supports cross-save, making the game even more accessible.

Watch the trailer. 

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Gaming

MSI, Capcom partner for limited-edition Monster Hunter products

Featuring Rathalos

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MSI, Capcom

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Monster Hunter, MSI and CAPCOM have partnered for a series of limited-edition gaming products.

The announcement of the collaboration took place at the 2023 Tokyo Game Show and the products are set for a March 2024 release.

The exclusive line will include gaming laptops, monitors, graphics cards, motherboards, cases, liquid coolers, and controllers.

Rathalos, one of the series’ most iconic monsters, gets to be infused to the various gaming peripherals.

Both MSI and the developer exchanged ideas to be able to craft unique products that will represent the game well.

The Monster Hunter series features action RPG games that pit players against giant monsters in a natural environment. The first title debuted in 2004, and the franchise has since grown into a megahit, with a movie of the same name even hitting cinemas in 2020.

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Gaming

Resident Evil Village gets a launch date for the iPhone 15 Pro

In time for Halloween

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One of the biggest developments for the new iPhone 15 Pro series was the genuine push towards gaming. The new flagship promises a healthy lineup of modern games coming to the platform soon. Now, one of those titles, Resident Evil Village, has finally received an official launch date.

Resident Evil Village is one of the most notable entries in the long-running horror franchise. Though Resident Evil 4 remains an unbeaten classic in gaming history, Village leverages modern consoles to deliver the iconic feel of the series. In fact, it’s already available on a lot of different platforms including unlikely ones such as the Nintendo Switch and macOS.

Now, the title is getting an official iOS version. Without the version, it’s difficult to say how the game will perform on the smartphone. Thankfully, the wait won’t be long anymore. Resident Evil Village will be officially available on the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max starting October 30, right on time for Halloween. It will also come to the iPad Air and the iPad Pro. The base game will cost US$ 40 and an additional US$ 20 for the DLC.

Besides Resident Evil Village, the iOS and iPadOS platforms will also get other big names such as Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Death Stranding.

SEE ALSO: Resident Evil 4 Remake coming to iPhone 15 Pro

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