Monday, November 30, 2015

Missed Pokemon Integration?-Wii U

Would the Wii U be better off it it had some more Pokemon content early in its lifespan?


Hi folks, Steven here. So, this is the second part of our Missed Integration series. And this time, we’re focusing on the Wii U. Now, before we get started, I wanted to point out, as I kind of knew, and one of my viewers pointed out in the comments of the Punch-Out!! episode from a month or so ago, is that Nintendo doesn’t fully own Pokémon. It’s sort of a shared thing that they have. Nintendo sort of owns some of the trademarks, and also co-owns The Pokémon Company, which is also managed by Creatures Inc. and Game Freak. So, it’s not as if Nintendo can do whatever they want with Pokémon, but they obviously do have some leverage, they just have to work with some other people to sometimes make things happen. But, I wanted to get that out of the way before we went forward with this.

But, back to the Wii U. Pokémon on the Wii U so far, there’s been some stuff. Notably, there’s been some Virtual Console. There’s Pinball Ruby, and Sapphire on the Game Boy Advance is on there. And, in Europe, they have the first PokéPark game out there. Now, this is of course a Wii game download, not strictly Virtual Console, but it’s a similar type of thing. And we’ve heard some rumors as of a month or so ago about some upcoming Virtual Console titles. Namely, Blue Rescue Team, one of the first Mystery Dungeon games, and Pokémon Ranger. Not confirmed yet, of course, but we’ll see what happens.

As far as other actual stuff, of course there’s Pokémon Rumble U-the Wii U installment of the series. And then, of course, Pokémon is in Smash Bros. But, let’s take it back a little bit further. You may remember a little game called Nintendo Land. That came out when the Wii U launched. And it was designed to show off the GamePad controller. And basically consisted of a series of minigames based on Nintendo franchises. To me, and to a lot of other people, it felt like the Wii U equivalent of Wii Sports, but it definitely did not resonate nearly as much. One of the criticisms, which I kind of have to agree with, is that it’s a bit light on content. But, given that, you may think maybe they should have pulled from a few more franchises.

And that brings up the question, where’s Pokémon? There’s already some touch-based ideas from the DS games. They could reuse those or expand on them. And they could always try to come up with some new ideas as well that use the GamePad. Now, one possibility that they might have been saving those up for a PokéPark game, maybe a third one on the Wii U, but there’s really not one on the horizon. We haven’t seen anything, or I haven’t even heard a rumor of there being one. So, there’s probably some reason for it out there, but I kind of wanted to point that out as a semi-obvious gap.

The second Wii U related topic I’d like to bring up is Pokémon TV. Now, if you’re not familiar with this, this is service Pokémon provides, which has a rotating selection of episodes and movies from different generations. And, it’s available on a variety of devices. There’s an iOS client, an Android client, a Kindle Fire, Roku, Chromecast- and if you have a 3DS, there isn’t really one. There’s something called Pokémon TV that’s part of Nintendo Zone if you go to one of those locations. Not quite the same thing though.

But, most of all, and relevant to this video, is there’s no native client for Wii U. Now, it is technically possible to watch Pokémon TV via the Pokémon website using the Wii U’s internal browser, but it’s not an ideal experience. There’s a couple oddities, you might say, in there that make it not ideal.
And, of course, I have to mention that the Pokémon anime is also available, at least parts of it, via some of the native apps that already exist for the Wii U. Namely, Netflix and Hulu here in North America. Of course, availability varies by region. All the same, I think having a Pokémon TV client for Wii U would have been nice, and I’ll explain a little bit about that.

Now, I’m not sure how Pokémon chooses which devices it’s going to support. Install base, I’m sure is a consideration. And, being where the Wii U is now is not particularly helpful. But you think they might have been able to get something done at launch. And even if the install base were an issue, Nintendo probably could fund the development of such a thing if the Pokémon company itself couldn’t spare the money for it. Now, if this were coming out at launch, I suppose it would have to be outsourced, because Nintendo’s teams-you know that very slow pace they had at the beginning. They were having trouble developing Wii U games, and they probably would have had to give this to some other developer.

But still, if they had at launch, they could put it on the box, “Hey, buy this and you can watch free Pokémon episodes on it.” They could have used that to attract buyers. I’m not going to say that would have saved the Wii U, nor would having Pokémon in Nintendo Land, but I do think if had they been able, the earlier increased sales and game sales would probably have offset the development cost. It would have been a money making decision there.

But overall, what are your thoughts? Do you think these would have been good ideas, things they should have done? Are there other things, besides of course, the upcoming Pokken Tournament you’d like to see on Wii U? Give us some comments, always good to hear some feedback. Alright, folks. Thanks.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow for 3DS Virtual Console-Is Stadium for Wii U next?

Could having Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow on 3DS Virtual Console pave the way for Stadium on Wii U? Maybe, but it's not without some roadblocks.


Hi, folks. Steven here. So, at a Nintendo Direct a few days ago, it was announced that the original Pokemon games, Red, Blue and Yellow are going to be coming to 3DS Virtual Console. In case you missed the actual announcement, the date is February 27th, 2016, which is the 20 year anniversary of when the games originally came out in Japan. So, that’s why they chose that.

But, in any case, I was wondering if this could pave the way for getting Pokémon Stadium on the Wii U Virtual Console. If you’re unfamiliar with that game, it was an N64 game that essentially was there to allow you to battle Pokémon on your TV in 3D. It’s similar to what was done later with Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon Battle Revolution.

And, there were a variety of modes that had different rule sets and all that kind of stuff. There’s also a number of mini games that were included. And, actually, whenever I go to events that have the stadium game there, that’s usually what people are doing with it. But really, the main feature was, there was this thing that came with it called the Transfer Pak. And, you would put your Pokémon cartridge in there and plug it into the N64 controller, and what you could do is you could transfer your team from your Game Boy game to your N64 Pokémon Stadium.

And, in addition to just being able to transfer your Pokémon, battle them there, you could also play the actual Game Boy game within Pokémon Stadium. And, it had this neat little feature you could unlock where you could play at double, or even triple speed. So, those were some pretty nice features, but in a way, they may have kept the game from showing up on the original Wii Virtual Console, because there wasn’t anything to mimic that.

So, the question is, now that these games are coming-the Game Boy games are coming to the 3DS Virtual Console, the question is, does that make it possible or likely that Stadium would be a viable idea? Well, there are some things in favor and some things against it.

We’ll start with the good points. As with the original Game Boy games coming out in a couple months, it would seem the timing is right. It would also give them an opportunity to sort of cross promote Wii U and 3DS. It’s probably easier on the Wii U version to go ahead and do the 2x and 3x mode in Pokemon Stadium than, maybe the 3DS can’t run a Game Boy game that quickly.

Now, of course, there are some obstacles. First of all, going back to the original game, it was a problem then and a problem now is that there’s kind of limited value to Stadium unless you can do that sort of linkage. The Stadium game included what are called “Rental Pokémon” that you could use in order to play things if you didn’t have a Game Boy cartridge to work off of. But, they tended to be weaker than the ones you could make in your own game. So, that was sort of a limitation there.

The other thing, from a technical perspective, they would have to implement something similar to the Transfer Pak to sort of get your save data from the 3DS Virtual Console version to the Wii U. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s definitely an extra step that would complicate things.

The other thing that is possibly getting in the way is maybe there’s not really an interest in it. What I mean by that is there was Stadium, there was a Gold and Silver version, there was Colosseum, and then there was Battle Revolution. But, for generation 5 and generation 6, nothing has been released and nothing seems on the horizon. So, maybe they’ve kind of lost interest in this type of game.

There’s also not a ton of examples of 3DS to Wii U connectivity out there. The biggest thing, I would think, is the ability to use your 3DS as a controller for the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. Aside from that, there’s been a few things where you buy the game on one of the systems, you get a code for the other. But, that’s kind of about it.

So, I wanted to enter this as a possibility. Maybe they should sort of give it away. What I mean by that is they could either A, give it away to Wii U owners sort of to entice them, if they have a 3DS, to pick up the Virtual Console games there. Or, they could possibly set up some sort of bundle with either the 3DS Virtual Console games, sorta similar to the DLC packs for Super Smash Bros. 4 that have codes for both versions of the game. The other option, of course, would be, releasing early next year, Pokken Tournament. They could use that and sort of bundle in a code for Stadium in there if they wanted to.

But really, I want to get your ideas here. What do you think? Is this something that could happen? If so, what do you think? Alright, folks. Thanks.

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Unboxing Pokemon Music from Australia, Brazil, and Japan

After returning from a recent business trip, I found that I had gotten a trio of packages containing Pokemon music from various countries. First up, we have some CDs from Australia and Brazil:

Though the discs in the video above may not seem Pokemon-related at first, rest assured they are.

If that wasn't enough, the third package had some music from Japan, both from the TV show and adapted from the games:


Part 1:

Alright. Hi, folks. Steven here with another unboxing video. I was out for a little bit on a business trip. And, when I came back, I actually have a few things to open. They should all be Pokémon music-related, even though some of them may not seem so at first. And, we’ll take a look through each of them.

First of all, let’s take a look here. This one, you can see, is from Australia-AU Post. Like I said, came to me while I was out. Looks like a CD case, and I’m pretty sure it is. So, let’s see. Open this up.

Alright. So, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with Pokémon? Well, this is a single from, I guess, Australia for “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” by Aaron Carter. And, as you might have guessed, it has the song from the Pokémon: The First Movie soundtrack, “(Have Some) Fun with the Funk”. This was found on most of the foreign editions of his album, and also this single. The one project I have going on is that I’m trying to find how many of the songs from Pokémon: The First Movie I can get outside of that album. That’s sort of the little contest I have with myself. And, you may be seeing more of that. We’ll see what happens here.

But, in any case, not a lot else to see. This is just a slimline single, nothing too special here. The only thing I kind of wanted to note with this one is that one of the guys who did the PokéRAP does beatboxing on that song as well. Which, may explain why it’s on the soundtrack.

In any case, let’s move on to the next package. This one, if you take a look here, is from Brazil. This one is a little bit different. But, let’s go ahead and open it.

It’s got some stuff around it. Alright, give me a second here. This is a WEA promo disc. You’ll notice there’s a lot of names on here. There’s two you should notice near the center that seem kind of familiar. WEA is Warner’s music arm, at least it was back when this was published. And, back in the day, they would send CDs out to radio stations and stuff like that to promote their music as one big CD. That was how they got stuff out back in the day, sort of. But, in any case, these two names sure look familiar, don’t they? Well, as it turns out…another slimline case. This is not opening very cooperatively. Alright, taking a quick look through here.

So, on the back here you have-let’s see, where is-there’s M2M “Don’t Say You Love Me”. That, you can find in a lot of places. Warner sent out a ton of samplers. The rare one here is Billy Crawford “Pokémon Theme”. And, you notice under each of these it says, let’s see, something in Portuguese, I assume, since this came from Brazil. It’s either that or Spanish. It mentions Pokémon O Filme, the first Pokémon movie. So, it mentions that on there. As far as I know, this is the only other place besides the soundtrack that the Billy Crawford version of the Pokémon theme has been published. So, that makes this kind of interesting. I just spotted this on eBay and was like, “Oh, what the hey.”

Part 2:

One more. This one is from Japan. However, it is not from the place that I buy my CDs from when I get the stuff from Japan normally, the new releases, from there. This is another eBay seller. It just happened to go through the Japan post. So, let’s see here. Let’s open it up here.

I believe there’s two things in here-I think I bought two things from the same person.
Oh, and one of them is quite large. See, we’ve got some bubble wrap here.

That probably looks a little bit familiar. Then, I’ll get the other thing out. We’ll go over each of these. I’m debating with myself whether these are— it seems like the original packaging. Which, is pretty crazy. I know that Japan tends to keep stuff pretty good condition. So, when they send it-But, in any case.

So, let’s start off with this one since it’s smaller. Some of you will recognize the guy on there despite the doodle type drawing there. That’s Imakuni?, who you will recognize from a large number of early TCG and song stuff, and the TCG game for Game Boy. He’s in all of that. And, this is-let’s see. I need to open one more flap here. There we go.

This is “Can You Name All the Pokémon neo?” So, this is the second generation Pokémon-basically the Japanese equivalent to PokéRAP. So, I guess that would make it the equivalent of PokéRAP GS. But, this is the one that comes there. So, let’s see, what do we got here? Alright.

Got a little poster here with the lyrics and on the back side we have a bunch of different Pokemon. And, probably most if not all the Unown. So, we’ve got that. And, it came with this card, which was drawn, at least this picture-by Imakuni? himself. And, you know, I just noticed he’s leaping out of the picture. This could actually be the first example of a Pokémon card where the subject of the card picture actually leapt outside the boundaries. Not 100% sure on that, but maybe this could be it. In any case, this is obviously some sort of joke card with 2000 HP and stuff like that. Which, I guess, Imakuni? decided to put a little note on the card with there. But, it has the old school Pokémon Japanese card back, which looks different than the newer one. And then, you have this little itty bitty 3 inch CD. These never really took off. In Japan, they were popular for a while. But, anyway, that’s what you have in there.

Alright. Well, let’s move on to the other thing there. Looks like this has seen some use, but someone had resealed it. Bottom here. More tape. This is, I think, the translation is something like, “Can You Play Pokémon on Musical Instruments?” So, here’s the little thing that goes on top. Like I said, they never throw anything away in Japan. But, it comes with, let’s see, nothing inside of this. There’s a track list on the back that you can see there. It’s a spiral bound book, kind of like some notebooks you might have seen. Unfortunately, I cannot read Japanese worth much of anything. Nibi Gym over there, which of course is Pewter.

So, we’ve got actual sheet music. I guess it’s from the games. I assume as much. I’ll have to show my mom this some time. You may remember, you may have heard from mom in the Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions review. She’s an orchestra teacher. This would be kind of a neat thing to show her. I don’t remember if it comes with anything else. Oh, it does come with a CD. That’s what I thought. In the back here. And, it comes with this little card, which has some stickers that you can put down there. I don’t know if you’re supposed to practice everything and once you master it, you put everything in there.

And the Old Amber, a couple different Badges, Master Ball, some items. That looks like false teeth. I’m guessing that’s probably not what that is? Oh, I know what that is now. That’s the false teeth for the guy in the Safari Zone that you have to give to him to get the HM. That’s what that is! Okay. So, that makes sense. They have a sticker for the false teeth.

This is really neat. It’s kind of equivalent to the 2 B.A. Master sheet music book I have. I also have sheet music for “Don’t Say You Love Me” and there might be a few others you can find sheet music for. But, this is pretty neat. I wish they could make a digital version of this for sort of the modern era. I know it’s nice to have the actual thing here, but of course, getting it digital would get it in the hands of more people. Some of the pages actually fold out like this. This is pretty neat. Alright.

I think there’s got more of the gym leaders in here. Like I said, wish I could read more Japanese. But, that is a really neat bound book they have here for the sheet music. But, that’s what I’ve got there. I do, actually, have one other thing, which I kind of wanted to unbox. I just picked this up today. But, it looks like we’re running pretty long on the video anyway. I bought the Wii U version of Guitar Hero Live. But, I’m sure you can find another unboxing video of that somewhere.

Alright, folks. Thanks!

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