At the start of October, Pokémon published a brief notice stating that Pokémon for iOS would be retired at the end of November. True to their word, at midnight of the 1st of December (around 4pm in my time zone yesterday), the server running Pokédex for iOS’s in-app content purchases was taken offline and the app itself disappeared from the App Store within the hour. There were no official news posts marking its passing, no tweets, no acknowledgements… it just went away.
Posts for 'Video Games'
Of all the reasons for attending the Pokémon Game Show in Tokyo last weekend, probably the most very important one was the chance to get a sneak preview of playing Pokémon X and Y, the upcoming Pokémon title for Nintendo 3DS.
Naturally, I was there in a heartbeat to give it a try.
As was probably to be expected, a HUGE chunk of the game show floor was dedicated to the placement of Nintendo 3DS stations with copies of Pokémon X and Y running. To get in, you had to present your guide map from your Pokémon show bag, which would then be stamped (Assuming so people couldn’t keep going back for more. XD). A guide would then take you to one of the 3DS stations and give you instructions on how to play.
I probably don’t have to explain what the demo featured, as many people way more versed in Pokémon lore than me at this point have already posted about it, so I’ll just give my general impression about it.
Back in 2000, when Pokémon Red and Blue were being superseded by Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Stadium came out. When I first saw a demo of Pokémon Stadium, I had a grandiose vision of it that it was just like the (at the time 8-bit) Game Boy Pokémon series, with the full world-traveling storyline and everything, in full 3D. Sadly, that wasn’t actually the case…
… until now.
Basically, from what I saw in that demo, Pokémon X and Y fulfilled the vision that my 14 year old self had more than a decade ago. It. Is. Amazing.
And the weird thing is, it felt perfectly natural going from the pseudo-isomorphic 2D/3D feeling we had in Pokémon generations IV and V to complete 3D in generation VI. They absolutely nailed it.
Seriously. If Nintendo is having trouble pushing 3DS hardware at the moment, they won’t once this game hits the stores.
My only problem is that thanks to Nintendo’s policy on region locking the 3DS (Incidentally, go sign this petition!), I have no idea whether I should buy an Aussie 3DS or a Japanese 3DS. ಠ_ಠ
Anyway. Yes, Pokémon X and Y is amazing. Yes, it appears to cost more than previous generations, but yes it’s going to be worth it.
For the majority of my blog posts in the previous couple of days, my good pal Dean keeps point out to me that the SteamerCard entry (on the right of the page) is currently down.
While I’m actively fixing it now, since I don’t think I’ve actually done this before, I thought I’d explain what SteamerCard is.
Back in the summer of 2008, before I succumbed to buying an Xbox, I was really jealous of all of my friends who had Xbox Live! GamerCards. The whole concept of being able to embed your current gamer status as a discrete, interactive card really appealed to me for some real reason, and I was feeling sad there wasn’t much of an equivalent on the PC. That being said, considering how much I loved Steam, I thought that would be an excellent platform to have one on.
So I decided to build SteamerCard as another service under the UberGames banner. Unlike most other third party GamerCard services though, I wanted it to be a fully interactive HTML <iframe> element, and given the design considerations, completely ad-free.
The SteamerCard webapp is written entirely in a PHP/MySQL solution and works on a system of parsing the information from the Steam website with regular expressions. In the interests of reducing the number of requests made to the Steam site, the system caches the user’s information in its own local store, and updates itself on an hourly basis.
Unfortunately as of last month when the UberGames system was updated to PHP 5.3, the combination of deprecated code in its base classes caused the entire system to die. Given how heavily the base classes were integrated with the upper-level code, unfortunately it turned out that I couldn’t really resurrect the code without doing a near-complete rewrite.
So at the moment, I’ve pretty much decided to rewrite the majority of SteamerCard from scratch, whilst revamping as much of the old code in the process.
Looking back on the old design above, I’ve also decided to redo the visual look of SteamerCard while I’m at it:
This time around, I’m building the whole thing in as much of an OOP fashion as possible, and I’m hoping to set up a system where other themes can be added as well.
Also, in a follow up to the blog I wrote last night, once it’s done, I’m considering open-sourcing SteamerCard when it’s finished.
Yeah this is old news. REALLY old news, but I can’t believe I didn’t write a blog post on it at the time.
Even still, up to this point, this is blowing my freaking mind. iPokédex managed to get app of the day on Kotaku!!!!
I’ve been an avid reader of Kotaku for 5 years now and their Twitter account holds a special section in my list of feeds. Never did I imagine that some of my work would actually get so much as a whisper.
In hindsight though, it makes it a bit sader that I eventually had to remove iPokédex.
Either way, like before, mad props to Luke Plunkett for reviewing my app. Hopefully there will be more to come in future.
Since 2007, I’ve been volunteering as an admin at Western Australia’s largest quarterly LAN party known as Redflag Lanfest. Our last event was about a week ago, and it was extra awesome as we had a whole cohort from the ASUS Republic of Gamers show up and provide us with hardcore CPU overclocking demonstrations, selling discounted gaming equipment, and sponsoring prizes up for grabs in competitions.
To that end, this time around, I decided to petition the other admins to let me host a Super Meat Boy competition with a few prizes up for grabs. I’ve been having so much fun with Super Meat Boy lately on both my PC and 360 that I easily figured there’d be a few other gamers out there who are doing the same.
The other admins were initially a little apprehensive. After all, SMB is still extremely new compared to the other games we run with, so it was a bit of a gamble that we weren’t just giving prizes away to one or two guys. So we opened up the competition and hoped for the best….
… and we were pleasantly surprised. About 15 people signed up. A perfect number for a competition.
After a bit of quick thinking, I decided to set up the competition in this format: We play the last level of each chapter (The Forest through to The Rapture), and we judge people on whether they can actually get through it or not in 10 tries or less. And in the event that more than 1 person successfully makes it through, then it becomes a time trial on who can make it through the quickest.
Suffice it to say, the first condition of the competition was unnecessary; everyone was easily able to make it through all the levels alive. So it then came down to a pretty damn brutal time trial, with each entrant usually being able to shave a few seconds off the last. The comp lasted for about 2 hours, but we finally managed to whittle down the numbers to 2 winners. The people who missed out vowed revenge, and told me they want another Super Meat Boy competition next time.
Needless to say, I think the competition was a great success. It’s obvious that Super Meat Boy is here to stay. A lot of people who had never seen the game before were walking away totally sold on it and I hope they do end up picking up their own copy of it.
As for me, I plan to spend my holiday trying to finally beat it.
To Edward McMillen and Tommy Refenes, I say: Thanks for making such an awesome game!!
In case you haven’t heard yet, as of today, the next generation of Pokémon games, generation 5, Pokémon White and Black were released today!
It’s a pretty interesting turn of events here. There are now 156 new Pokémon (more than the original game!), as well as a pretty radical new 3D camera perspective compared to the last games. Interestingly, it’s still out on the DS, which is a first for the Pokémon generations. Maybe this is an indication of the refresh of game consoles slowing down…