Friday, November 27, 2015

Random gaming tidbits, Black Friday Edition.

If you go to McDonalds in the next few weeks, and connect to the Wifi using a Nintendo 3DS and Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire, you can get the Mystical Pokémon Hoopa. It shows up as a Mystery Gift on the main menu of the game, and then you have to collect him at a Pokémon Center. Once you have Hoopa, you can go to a Pokémon Mart, and get a Prison Bottle that allows you to transform Hoopa

into the more powerful Hoopa Unbound for three days.

However, don't forget that connecting a 3DS to store WiFi can often be non-intuitive. Make a new WiFi connection like usual, let it autodetect the settings, but then open the Internet Browser and let the McDonald's splash screen come up - click on the icon that says "Connect to WiFi" and then everything will work correctly and you can go back to the Pokémon game and collect your mystery gift. If you don't use your browser to complete the connection, it won't work.

The newest Pokémon game is not a main game in the series, but the new Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon.
Unlike the main Pokémon games where you play as a trainer, in the Mystery Dungeon games you play as a Pokémon, sometimes with one or two teammates. You and your friends are trying to unravel the presence of Dark Matter at the Tree of Life. You learn moves, explore big areas, and try to piece the puzzle together before the Dark Matter uproots the Tree of Life and sends the planet into the Sun!

While the Pokémon are the same from the other games, the gameplay is somewhat different. Without the guidance of a trainer, some Pokémon's moves tend to put their teammates at risk - for example Earthquake affects the entire room including doing damage to your teammates.

And, last of all, tonight's new weapon for Nintendo WiiU paint shooter Splatoon? The sloshing machine!

Happy sloshing, everybody!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New video, bad solves, and a new WR in Maryland.

Since it would appear that I'm one of the few people that has bothered to shoot video of the now uncommon Zonitk cube, I noticed that reddit had discovered it. The video quality didn't seem that good, so I shot another one today.

Along for the ride is a giant acrylic light-up cube made by Paladone. I made some pretty gigantic mistakes with the big cube, and my Zontik time was much better than in the last video. I did a pretty solid (well, for me anyway) solve of the last cube, a Yongjun Yulong. However, it doesn't quite compare to the new world record set at the River Hill Fall 2015 in Clarksville, Maryland.

Lucas Etter (USA!), prior to this competition, was ranked 9th for single fastest solve at 5.85 seconds, but second place at 7.13 for average solve time. (Average is computed from removing the best and worst time from five attempts and calculating the mean of the remaining three attempts.)

Felix Zemdegs(Australia) held the only average under seven seconds prior to this competition, so we'll have to see if that changes after all the results are posted to the World Cube Association.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Splatoon Amiibos!

I don't know if it had anything to do with Splatoon for Nintendo's WiiU winning a Golden Joystick award, but finally after months of being impossible to get and never visible on store shelves, Splatoon amiibos are available!

This three-pack is the only way to get the Squid amiibo. The squid amiibo gets you a set of armor that you gradually unlock parts for as you complete specific challenges. It also gets you the Hero Shot replica weapon for your character, and the Squid Beatz mini-game. In case the title isn't self-explanatory, it's a rhythm-based game. You have to hit either the D-pad or buttons in time with the symbols that appear to one of the music tracks from the game.

Here's the girl amiibo.

The girl amiibo gets you the school uniform, again unlocked in parts by completing exclusive challenges, the Hero Charger Replica weapon, and the minigame Squidball.

Last but not least, the boy amiibo unlocks a set of challenges that allow you to earn a super-cool Samurai outfit, the Hero Roller Replica weapon, and the minigame Squid Racer.

The purpose of the mini-games is to give the player something to do while they're waiting for a match to fill up with players. The new challenges that are unlocked are segments of new single player content done with different weapons and battle conditions than the default single player mode. While I'm still not totally cool with the idea of having to collect plastic toys to unlock in-game content, I at least appreciate that Nintendo made an effort to make these amiibo more available after they had a good idea of how many people are actually playing the game. My guess is that the original wave of these figures went directly to collectors and eBay scalpers and not to people playing the game. Based on my older son's opponents, I would say that more people are actually able to get the extra outfits now.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Another new fighter for Street Fighter V, plus maybe SPOILERS

After a fair amount of speculation, the ever-patient and super-stretchy Dhalsim was officially announced for Street Fighter at Paris Games Week.

His play style is built around keeping the opponent away and being able to strike from long distances. In a new twist, the most obvious change to his projectile moves is that they now can travel in an arc, so it might still hit an opponent that you thought was going to jump in even when they're on the ground.

Here's some examples in gameplay from some Canada Cup players.

If you don't want spoilers for the upcoming characters of Street Fighter V, don't click the link for the words "this image" just below here.

Some data for other characters has been found in the data files contained in the latest beta versions of the game. If you have a look at this image, this is some raw code from the beta that had been picked through with a hex editor, looking for file names similar to the structure of the files in Street Fighter 4. Only time will tell if this really true or not, because they're still working on the game and parts could still be changed at this point.

Bonus tip: Angry Birds 2 - complete a section of a level with a single bird, and you get a "Strike" - they're 25,000 points. Complete it with two birds and you get 10,000 points. You don't get any direct bonuses for having birds left over at the end, but if you gets lots of strikes and birdies, you probably will have birds left over.

If you got here from Twitter or Facebook, the answer to the question posed is "parabolas".