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VTchina's blog

1:46 PM on 01.07.2009

The future of 1up

As we all come to grips with the purchase of 1up by UGO, the dust settles from those who unfortunately were let go. And while the list of people I will miss is too long to mention here, it's those who are left who will continue the future of the site.

I just hate to give up on a site that I enjoyed so much, but without their suite of podcasts, I feel like giving up on First off EGM is no more, and that is sad, but the magazine had become a shell of it's former self. And with them we lose the rest with Greg Ford, Mielke and Shane. With Skip and Ryan O'Donnell gone, the podcast/1up Show is basically dead. The new up-and-comers that had taken over the review staff, already earning their fair share of critical criticism are gone as well, people like Ryan Scott and Nick Suttner. Garnett is still there with regards to news, even though editors like Philip Kollar and Anthony Gallegos are gone.

Who is left though? Besides Garnett who has seemingly held every job at 1up, it's the previews staff with Matt Leone, Alice Liang and Scooter, and the features team with retronauts Jeremy Parrish, Ray Barnholdt and Scott Sharkey. So what does 1up become then? It seems like a good amount of editorial talent remains, it's just focused in those areas. The loss of staff hurts, but it's not entirely dead. Gamevideos might as well be, but MyCheats isn't gone.

While the 1up podcasts that had come to define the site will likely never return, there is still some integrity left there. Maybe Ubisoft will let them review games again, but I would be skeptical about a new reviews team, as I had come to trust their staff in an age of exclusives and money hats. Despite the fact that is changed forever, now that we have a clearer view, I'd like to be hopeful that the site isn't done just yet.   read

9:09 PM on 12.01.2008

Pokemon can still learn from an old GBA friend

Sitting in the DS slot of my Lite is Pokemon (Pearl) and in the cartridge slot is one of my personal favorites, Mega Man Battle Network 3. Two favorite RPGs of mine, and whenever I complain, or hear anyone else complain, about the laziness of the Pokemon franchise, I always look at the Battle Network games as inspiration for the little pocket monsters. Because one thing that I'd argue MMBN does better than Pkmn, is it battle system.

That's not really fair, I consider MMBN's battle system the best of any portable RPG I've ever played. Pokemon's strength is the evolution of your team, choosing from the Pokemon you have at your disposal and raising them accordingly to win. It's about finding as much or as little variety in the hundreds of critters as you can. My twitch sensibilities are much more engrossed with MMBN's action-styled system, as you move in the environment, firing your weapons at your opponents. There is some excitement as you move and try to line up your attack. Not that there isn't some excitement as you use Surf on another Pokemon, I just find it can get monotonous unless there is something at stake, like a gym badge.

Both battle styles can get tedious, they are both leaves from the JRPG tree, but the add pressure of moving and shooting, and not getting horribly damaged by a single botched movement make MMBN more enthralling. This action demands my attention more, and that's what I want from the Pokemon series. I always think about the battles in the anime, Pikachu running across a sheet of ice, dodging an Arcanine's flamethrower. Instead Pikachu uses Thunderbolt. Arcanine is paralyzed, it may not be able to move... And I want more. They put a game very similar to one that worked on the original GameBoy on the DS, I know they can provide something more stimulating. Even if it is limited to a 3 x 6 grid, actively staring down another pokemon and getting the dream, the one they started in the anime, a little bit closer to reality, would make my next adventure a much more memorable one.

So in the meantime my DS sits in civil war as I decide between the more interesting world of Pokemon or the better battling of Mega Man's RPG adventures. Now if only they could make Pokemon play like Mega Man 9...[img][/img]   read

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