We all live in a pokemon world for realsy

Its happened, it’s finally happened, you go out into the real world with scary people and you literally catch wild digital pokemon. And every other bugger is doing the same thing, it’s practically normal. Huzza. I’m not saying there’s going to be a time when I’m in a cave on a snowy mountain and Charmander and Squirtle are going to share body warmth but still. I’m going to be a Pokemon master. And here’s how you can too.

Pokemon go Gym Leader

Pokemon go Gym Leader

So first up. Capture your pidgys and your weedles and any other pokemon that take 12 candies to evolve, this is your level up bread and butter. If you’ve got something that will evolve into a pokemon not yet captured maybe save this too. Basically there is an item called a lucky egg which lasts for about 28 minutes and will give you double xp, so activate the egg and evolve those beauts for double xp, thats 1000xp a pop, new pokemon thats 500 normally, bosch 1000. see where we’re going here. Great now you’re leveling up. you can also use your 1 free never ending incubator to hatch an egg by walking, try to time the hatching for when you’ve got the lucky egg going. The updating of your distance traveled can be a bit delayed so don’t be surprised if you’ve a few hundred meters to go and suddenly its hatching. If you’re going a 10k egg then chances are you haven’t got that pokemon and you’ll get that new pokemon bonus. but if you’re going to spend real coin then get the lucky eggs and incubators, each incubator you buy lasts for 3 turns, I use them for 10k and 5k and then use the unlimited one to knock off the 2k eggs during this time.

New Pokemon

Gyms Defending

Payout baby

But if you don’t want to use your real money on coins here is how you get them.
Battle the gyms, leave yours in, head to the next one, when you’re defending all the gyms you can (up to 10 I believe) go to the shop and collect the shield in the top right. This will lock you from claiming again for 21 hours. You have to be level 5 to be able to battle gyms.

Ultra Pokeball at level 20

Ultra Pokeball at level 20

Right, next up capturing those pidgys, hold the pokeball, make circular motion until its glows, time the yellow/green/orange circle around the pokemon so its to your capturing preference then fling the pokeball to the side a bit and let it curl to the pokemon. takes practice and its hit and miss form here but sometimes you at least get a curve ball if not a great for extra xp on the capture
Great Throw

And the post for July is saved, all hail Gym Leader Lartens

My first via ferrata Kandersteg Allmenalp

My first via ferrata, class 4 not recommended for beginners as you’ll see lol. But it was manageable, just don’t look down hehe

If you get bored then skip ahead to 19:00 for the last 30 secs, other good moments are 8:30, 10:00, 13:30, 15:30, 16:05, 17:00.

From around 12:20 its one clip to give a better idea of what its like.

NiGHTS into Dreams Statue

So NiGHTS is here, in all his pointy butt glory. This is the exclusive edition with the light up moon.

NiGHTS Exclusive

It’s been a long time coming and First 4 Figures have delivered on an well made detailed statue of one of Sega’s greatest IP.

There will never be a time that is as good for games as the 90’s, Sony may have won over the Saturn but the Saturn had NiGHTS, Sega Rally, Daytona, Panzer Dragoon, some of the best games going. It’s sad that the hi def remake a few years back lost the fidelity in the controls, proving that the analog saturn pad was vital to the game back in the day.

Woah, the Vive is how much!

HTC Vive is coming in May for the princely sum of buh, that’s £689 to you and me plus £57.60 for shipping, holey moley.

Viva le Vive

We all know the £499 price point of the Oculus Rift, which seemed insane compared to the development kit that was around £240 including shipping. But the HTC Vive is making the Rift look like a total bargain, especially as yours truly is getting his for free ^^.

vive pre order

So what is VR and which one should you get?

Virtual Reality headsets are the new console wars, except its hardware for a PC (not entirely accurate), which by the by you need a good PC too, we’re talking modern i5 processor at like 3.3Ghz and a GTX 970 graphics card.

For the most part VR gives you an immersive experience, I mean the field of vision is incredible, and how head movements relate to in game head movements makes this come alive, it’s easy to forget you’re just sitting at your desk when you’re trying to check something out in the virtual world, it’s only when you bang your head you’re like, oh. This is the one thing that the Vive definitely has on top of the Rift, and that is the camera that can overlay part of the real world when obstacles are about to become a problem. Personally I think I’ll tether the Rifty beauts to a longer cable and lye on the couch hehe.

So what games can you get, and where?

Well the HTC Vive is partnered with valve so the Steam store will totally have you covered for games supporting the Vive. And the Oculus Rift has it’s own store too but that doesn’t mean oculus ready games won’t show up on steam, Gabe Newell has said in an email to somebody that he doesn’t have a problem with competition.

As for actual games, the rift has kind of support for things like Alien Isolation which I may start again on PC for the full terrifying effect, but there is also full support in games like EVE: Valkyrie, Edge of Nowhere, The Witness, Elite Dangerous and of course Minecraft which some are touting as the killer game for VR.

The Vive as some games too, nothing major looking at the moment I don’t think.


Time didn’t fly as a kid

So I recently completed an Ebay bid for my favourite Zelda game as a birthday present from my mom, much like it was from my brother 24 years ago. Zelda II The Adventure of Link. Sure I had it as a kid but I sold the NES to buy the SNES, but my memory of the entire NES/SNES generation is totally out of whack with the internet facts on releases.
Zelda II The Adventure of Link

I actually already had the game but I was missing the box and instructions, luckily for Zelda II the map is in the instructions, the first Zelda and The SNES A Link to the Past have a much higher price tag with a map.
Zelda II map

My original cartridge was once host to such players as Damo and Chris in his Skeletor phase. I’m also going with Boomer at this stage of my gaming handle, inspired by the fabulous dog boomer from Independence Day.
Players on my other cart

Let’s begin at the start of my NES, it was my birthday, I was 11, I had the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles bundle of the Nintendo Entertainment System, finally I could play games at the touch of a button. woah, mind blown.
The TMHT game was released in August 1990, this is start our timeline, although Zelda II was released in 1988, the timeline is going to represent what I had and when.

Now skipping to the future, the Super Nintendo was released April 1992, and I had it within the first month or two this I know, I sold the NES for £150 in the friday ad, some dude rang up at like 6:30 in the morning and I had to deal with it, I’m 11 this old dude comes to the bungalow and I’m like this is it, 1 NES 13 games. My dad did at this point get up and a cheque was made out to him. The one good thing my dad did do was buy the SNES before the cheque had cleared I was up and running with Mario World.

So this puts the life of my NES at a year and a half, so which Christmas in boots did my brother by me Zelda? The point of this post, it must have been that first one as he bought me two games, probably because I didn’t have many, the other was Tiger Heli which wasn’t that great and it took me forever to work out how to progress from the endless looping. Zelda on the hand had a gold colour cartridge and box this was obviously going to be a winner from the start, I had no idea what an RPG was at this point in my life, it was 1990, all I knew is it looked different, but it turned out amazing, huge exploration for the time, fun side scrolling action, powerups magic, total awesome. The best feeling is the mechanic on the jump and stab down action, get that on a knight and pass right by, confined to a corridor and even get some cheeky continuous hits on some of the enemies, nice.

Those who lived in Eastbourne in the 80’s and who played games would know that you had like two main sources of video games, Boots, and Rumbelows, who remembers them? I think they even used to do the whole rent a TV thing. I did buy Duck Tales from there, £40 and completed it in an hour, was a nice game, but way to easy.

Right so, where was I, ah yes, what I thought were years with a NES, is a year and a half, I amassed 13 games, Mario bros 3 was definitely another birthday so that’s gotta be 1991, though wikipedia type sites are saying 88 for Japan and 90 for America, what the hell! I have no idea how I could afford the other 9, or when super off road or super Mario 2 fit in. Oh and double dragon 2, which is totally different on the NES than arcade, another favourite of the time.

Moving back(or forward) to the SNES, I thought I’d owned it for a while, then worked with my dad for a week or so in the summer and he bought me the Street Fighter II American import and converter from MegaBytes, a shop on the corner in Eastbourne, again this was a good source of games in the early 90’s, boots was on the decline by then, wait, I don’t actually remember any SNES games in boots, hmm. Again I thought I had the Street Fighter for like a year before everyone else, turns out it was only 4 months, the UK got it in December apparently. In today’s time that’s like half a series of Sword Art Online. I guess 4 months of the hottest game in town was just a big deal to my 12 year old self.

Skip ahead a few more years and I’m mid 30’s and have a special display case just for excellent games of years gone past, queue image
Game display case

Sword Art Online II

Sword Art online II

Sword Art online II

As we count down the days for the Vita release of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, a second series of the anime has started. As of writing episode six is available on crunchy roll, they have an app and if you don’t mind adverts it’s one of the many titles available for streaming hurrah.

You may be thinking, yeah but how can they do more of the same? well without too many spoilerifics, it’s actually pretty neat, there are some real world scenes with Kirito, Asuna, Silica, Lisbeth and Suguha about a year after SAO which is nice to see, and they also still play ALfheim Online with Klein and Agil. But because of the seed there are many more emersive VR games now only without the whole you’re trapped until you beat the game or dying is real thing.

Gun Gale Online (GGO)

One of the new VR games is Gun Gale Online which focuses on gun combat, here we get introduced to new characters and combat styles. Kirito is asked by Kikuoka Seijiro of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Virtual Division to join the game using his stats from his previous games as a converted player. The hope is to find out more about the character ‘Death Gun’ who shot a highly skilled player in game but at the same time they disconnected and were later found dead from heart failure. Seijiro and Kirito are 99% sure its coincidental, but that remaining 1% takes us into new worlds following Kirito once again with a new spin, new characters, forming new bonds. It does work and so far is a welcome addition to the series.

The only downside so far is that Kirito is a little feminine looking, so I think I’ll pass on a figure of him from season 2, though the new character Sinon does look pretty cool so a figure of her could easily end up in my collection.

And a google search later reveals a rather naff looking figure coming to forbidden planet but ebay sellers already offering a pre-order of quite a well made 1/8 figure.

Potentially lame version of Sinon

Potentially lame version of Sinon

Good version of Sinon

Good version of Sinon

Minecraft comes to Vita and others in August

Mojang have pretty much announced that XBOX One, PS4 and Vita version of their massively popular sandbox game is coming in August. Better yet the Vita version can swap saves with the p3, it’s also part of that buy on one own on both shindigs. If you already own a current gen console version of Minecraft then for a year you can upgrade to that consoles successor version for $4.99 otherwise pricing is $19.99 as with Vita. We’ll assume near the £15 mark over in the griggin blighty. You can also transfer your saves from lower to higher gen but not back again.

This is all very exciting, not a fan of the mobile version I’ve still wanted a full version whilst mobile, and the vita is perfect, and like I say, the save file can go to the ps3 and continue from their, marvelous.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment heading to EU Vitas


So get this right, there’s an anime/manga/light novel that focuses on characters who play an online MMORPG with the use of an emmersive headset that intercepts any movement and puts it into the game rather than their physical bodies. Except in this game they can’t leave, if outsiders force the headset off they die, if their in game characters die they also die in the real world.

All this is exciting stuff, but we’re pretty sure the RPG game coming to Vita this summer won’t have this feature and you’ll be able to put the vita down to eat your pop tart before continuing on.

Trapped in the game they all aim to beat the 100 levels so they can escape, people are there so long they form little communities pick a trade to live from.

The good news is the trailer for the already released Japanese version shows many characters from the anime and Asuna does look hot, the word is there will be a focus on the relationships which is one of the best parts of Sword Art Online, Kirito plays the reclusive level upper and main protagonist whilst Asuna is the little cutie love interest.

Sword Art Online for the vita is developed by Banpresto and published by BANDAI NAMCO Games with a July 2014 release according to the website

My top kickstarter games to keep an eye on right now, cos I just looked

Did you want to play a simulation game like the new (last year) Sim City V but were put off by the failure and publisher, well sometime in the next couple of years, probably three by Kickstarter standards there is The Universim. Advertised delivery is October 2015 for the early beta.

Next up Heart Forth Alicia. This little beaut has that retro look (think Symphony of the night on the amazing SEGA Saturn), but GRiG, I was sold on the opening island in the clouds, Laputa style. Described as a ’90’s-inspired Metroidvania RPG about a young wizard on her journey to stop a Spirit form consuming her homeland’ I think this is a backer, already trippled it’s goal and 6 days left to go as of writing, check it.

Lastly the reason I took a ganders on Kickstarters games today in the first play, Adventures of Pip. You start as a few pixels but the more you trounce on your enemies the fuller bittier you become, if that’s even a thing. Will you take up arms with me brother, and defend Pixel Kingdom from evil.

Super dooper quick kickstarter link widget things

RetroN 5 may no longer be a myth



It’s close, it’s so very close, sources say that the retroN 5 will be in the hands of suppliers end of June, that’s only 2 months away, surely after delay upon delay it can’t be a ploy to lower our guard, surely Hyperkin know the retro fans will be after blood if just one more date is a lie.

The Retron 5 promises 10 retro game consoles in one (though that’s counting the same system in a different territory again). using original cartridges from the NES, Famicon, SNES, Super Famicon, Megadrive, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance you can play them on one working machine with the convenience of one hdmi output at 720p.

If you don’t like the wireless controller you can always use your own NES, SNES, Megadrive controller and customise the mapping.

IF you hadn’t already pre ordered you may be finding the final price a tad more than previously estimated due to some manufacturing alterations including upgraded chips. Hopefully this will mean the device will be less likely to fail.

###### UPDATE #######
Reports are the Americanos are getting a $40 hike, totaling $140, bare in mind the UK price was around £90 so expect £130, unless you pre-ordered and used a coupon like me then it’s £86 baby, riding that victory train woot woot.

Lartens GRiG news, out.