Personal blog! http://theinteractivemedium.blogspot.com/
Hello there. I'm Tim. I am a white 20 something that grew up in the suburbs and I'm currently perusing a language arts for elementary education degree at a little liberal arts university with a somewhat successful division II football team in the middle of nowher- WAIT DON'T LEAVE YET! I feel like saying that I like video games is a bit redundant so I'll get into the nitty gritty right away. I was a die hard Nintendo fanboy from a young age but very rarely got to play any games. I got my GameBoy Color with Pokemon Pinball when I was about 7 and my N64 when I was 9, which was about one year before the GameCube came out. I have basically built a career out of "catching up" (so please don't spoil the ending of Mass Effect 2). Currently I love my Xbox 360 and my Wii totally gets played on occasion sometimes. I think military shooters are the most boring thing to happen to video games since the loading screen. However! I think video games are the greatest thing ever and that it's cool if you like Battlefield or whatever, but personally I would much rather watch "The Prestige" than get one in Call of Duty.
One thing I learned from trying to be a musician (I had a brief affair with a music ed degree) is constant peer input will do wonders to your progress, so if you have ANYTHING to say, please comment.
Phoenix Wright: Justice for All
Binding of Isaac
Demos (Now that the holiday madness is over there is some interesting new thing almost every week)
Pokemon (Gold and Silver especially)
Super Mario Galaxy
and some others, this list changes so frequently I'm afraid it will be outdated fast, so those are my definite top 4.
Pokémon Snap is, arguably, one of the best first-person on rails experiences out there. However, this game was not without its problems back in the wild carpenter jean clothed year of 1999 when it was new, and I am fairly confident it would get panned if reviewed by today’s standards.
First off is the whiney, blunt, and honest negativity. The game is small. Not small physically like a micro SD card, or my wrists, but the scope is rather narrow. There were only 7 locations (that’s only if you even consider Rainbow Cloud a full location, which you shouldn't) and you can see the entirety of the game in about 2 and a half hours, if you take your time. The number of Pokémon is also disappointing and goes hand in hand with the small locations. Of the original 151, you only see 63, that’s not even half, it's totally less than half. The number of ways to obtain varying pictures was skimpy too. Your only options were to throw a Pester Ball or apple, toot out a tune on the PokeFlute, or just hope they did something interesting of their own volition. The apple and the Pester Ball could even have the same effect if you aimed well enough. Actually throwing the items was a pain too, considering you had to move the cursor, which also moved the screen, to add height or distance to your throw. Finally, the controls did their job, but by today’s standards they are a mess, not even having an option to turn off the inversion is unacceptable to a lot of people.
Now for some improvements to, what a lot of people think is a perfectly good game. A lot of things, because I am a gamer and I’m entitled to stuff dammit. The locations would, firstly, be bigger. Not just to elongate the duration though, because one of the nice things about the original game, was how quickly you could play through a course and then hand off the controller, and I don’t want to see that leave. I think we can get a little more out of every area though. Improvement could be made by having multiple paths running through the courses. For example, a school of Remoraid might swim by you when you’re traveling along the bank of the stream in the updated Valley stage, but you can’t see them well enough to get a good shot, how disappointing. If you run through the level again however, using the underwater route, you can see them clear as day as well as the other water types that prefer to stay submerged. To populate the new locations there simply needs to be more Pokémon. I realize there is a metric fuck ton of them now but all of the types need to be represented at the least.
In addition to the multiple routes I also would improve the iconic Zero-One to venture into some new locals. An icy mountain top for example, there were only three ice types in the original and while they are a rarity in general, I think some really cool things could be done with an ice level. Maybe you will pass by a block of ice with a Mamoswine that has been frozen in it for centuries, or, if you’re lucky, you’ll witness Articuno lift from it’s snow dusted perch on top of a nearby peak.
Next we can look at some technical improvements. Apart from the obvious graphical update I think this game I've imagined would work well on the Wii. Honestly, I would like it more on Xbox but I’m trying to keep this at least somewhat grounded. Anyway, you would use the pointer function to aim and shot along with the nunchuk for other controls, a big step up from the N64 thumb stick. This would make things considerably easier however, so I would also add a slight delay after you “look into the camera” (the equivalent of pushing Z in the original) there should be a slight pause while the camera "focuses", adding another level of skill while trying to snap the picture as soon as possible after it's focused to get the best shot.
CLASSIC CONTROLLER SUPPORT! As fun as I personally think the pointer controls would be, some people simply don’t enjoy motion controls and I think it would be an easy option to add. Also an option to turn off the focus mechanic for those that think using the sticks is harder, those pansies will get less points though… for the sake of balance.
Another game play element I would improve is the limited types of interaction with the Pokémon. Maybe have more critters react to the flute, or perhaps a shiny tin ball of sorts, that either terrifies or intrigues certain species, in addition to the Pester Ball and apple. Throwing said objects would also be vastly improved too. Instead of aiming up and hoping you guessed the trajectory correctly, you will be able to see a predicted path of the object you’re going to throw before flicking the nunchuck to send the item flying for another little bit of motion controlled fun.
Finally, the venerable Professor Oak is great and all, but he needs to either take an art appreciation course or get some help with scoring the pictures. I understand why the scoring system worked the way it did, but I would definitely improve either the number of categories by including clarity, for example, to go with the focusing you have to deal with or at the least adjust the point hierarchy. In the original I would sometimes catch Pokémon doing really amusing things, but it wouldn’t be as good as the one that is just a little bigger but doing nothing intresting.
Some other ideas would include being able to see shiny variants of all the Pokémon, smaller, downloadable courses, with something special happening in each of them, like witnessing the epic clash of Groudon, Rayquaza, and Kyogre, Night and Day differences, a Forrest level, a Safari Zone level, and social network and community features, like being able to post and share your hottest pics along with weekly or monthly community choice awards for the best shots.