A Pokéwalker Challenge

I don’t really get that much exercise. I have a desk job, and when I’m not there I’m likely sat at my desk at home, moving occasionally when the kettle needs boiling. On top of not being active, I don’t really eat that well, either. I love my junk food, and honestly, I don’t really care that much about my body size and what other people think about it. If stuffing my face full of Doritos and Mountain Dew continued to feel like a good thing to do, then there’s not a lot out there that can stop me.

So when I look at cutting out all the terrible foods and actually doing some exercise, it’s pretty easy for me to just laugh to myself and carry on as I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’d certainly prefer to be fit and all, but I’m also pretty okay with how things are.

That said, there’s obviously a point to this blog post that isn’t just “I’m fat and that’s okay”. I’ve been thinking about ways to shake things up in a way that won’t put me off healthy eating and exercise after a few days trying to stick to it, so on Monday I made a few changes. I’m not going to go into most of those changes right now, but I will talk about a certain part of it. There are a few ways I’m trying to do exercise on the regular without burning myself out and never doing it again, and of course, video games are involved.

I’m going to raise a pokémon from level 1 to level 100 by walking.

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Japan, annotated.

I’ve wanted to write something about the Japan trip for a little while now, but there’s not really much to say that the above video doesn’t. However, there’s a few things that happen in the video that aren’t explained or don’t appear too clearly, so I figured I’d usher away my Japan withdrawal symptoms by writing a little about what’s going on.

Yeah basically I’m giving myself an excuse to run through the video again send help.

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The failed timing of the Game Boy Micro

The Game Boy Advance was the 32-bit leap for Nintendo’s flourishing handheld business, bringing the graphics of the Super Nintendo to gamers on the go. While the Game Boy Colour had a substantial library of games that weren’t painted in green and black tones, it was the Advance’s palette that truly brought vibrant worlds to a portable system. It was also a departure from the previous blocky handheld design, with a curvaceous and wide look that screamed “this is the future!”. Indeed it was, as the Advance made a memorable impact on the gaming world, shifting over 80 million consoles during its seven year lifetime. The handheld market proved that it could continue to thrive without a blockbuster game like Tetris helping to sell the units, and so long as they weren’t battling with sun glare, people were loving it.

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Stop putting spoilers in anime openings!

Spoilers suck. They’re absolutely no fun irrespective of the medium, especially if you’ve had an invested interest for a considerable amount of time. Many of my Twitter followers complain about Game of Thrones spoilers when that airs, and while I’ve not seen that show in particular, it’s understandable how infuriating it is to have a surprise taken away from you. In cases similar to Game of Thrones, it’s also unfortunate for those working on the show, as their hard work alluding to events and creating mystery will be made redundant.

You’re god damn right.

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When is a collection considered large?


Recently I’ve been buying boosters for the most recent Pokémon set, which features a mix of old and new critters including those only found in the X&Y games. This is a strange habit of mine, as I wouldn’t call myself a massive fan of the card game, nor a collector of it. I mean, it’s fun enough, but I prefer Magic: The Gathering, a different card game that better entertains my sporadic interests.

Going back to Pokémon, I think the reason I keep buying the cards is down to my noticeably cloudy nostalgia goggles. I’ll admit, there’s nothing quite like tearing apart a booster pack of cards and sifting through the spoils, but were it not for my ten year old self and his playground obsession with them, I doubt I’d be able to get past the £3.50 asking price.

I’ve done something terrible recently and given myself a reason to indulge in my Pokémon card habit. That’s something I’ll go into in a later post, but in the meantime, this ‘project’ led me onto eBay. I figured that I’d take a look at what card bundles were ending soon, hoping to grab myself a bargain. I found this, with about half an hour to go:

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It’s finally cheaper to buy digitally on consoles

At least, that’s the case when it comes to importing games from countries outside the EU. A charge of £18.92 was ‘incurred’ when I imported a copy of J-Stars Victory Vs. from Japan for the PS3, adding to the 10,057 yen I’d already spent on it. This is a pretty hefty amount of money regardless of the customs charge, coming in at about £58, mostly because Japanese game software prices suck and I also decided to go for the anisong version of the game.

Yes, one way or another, I’ve spent about £77 on a game that is due to arrive over two weeks after release. My game has spent over a week of this sat in the customs office. It’s 7,980 yen on the Japanese PSN store, so buying it there would have given me a saving of over 2,000 yen on the software alone, let alone the fees from customs. Sure, this wouldn’t be the anisong version of the game, but considering there’s the option to import custom music (in other words, import all those anime openings because why wouldn’t you?) this isn’t such a huge deal.

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Being scared on a roller coaster

After hearing Vinny talk about roller coasters on the latest Bombcast, I was reminded of my own terrifying experience. For the record, I love riding roller coasters, to the point where they’re usually the rides I head to first when at a theme park. This particular experience happened back in 2005, when I was in Florida.

We were on holiday for two weeks, doing all of the theme parks you can think of in and around Orlando. At this point we’d done Universal Studios, some of the Disney parks and Discovery Cove, and we were now heading to Seaworld. Most people are coming here to see the killer whales and the other marine life on show, but come on, it’s all about the roller coasters! Seaworld may not have been jammed full of rides like most of the other places we’d been, but it was home to the intimidating Kraken.

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Finally Beating Kururin Paradise

My infatuation with the Game Boy Micro has continued into 2014. Not content with the defeat of Final Fantasy V being the final use of this pocket portable, I recently jumped back into Kururin Paradise. The first game in the series, Kuru Kuru Kururin, was one of the very first Game Boy Advance games I played, thanks in part to the abundance of emulators and a console that wouldn’t arrive until Christmas time. It was great fun, but back then I was terribly inpatient, so I never completed it. Purchasing a Micro was first and foremost for tackling FFV, but hey, why not go for the nostalgia trip and purchase Kuru Kuru Kururin? A few days after starting, I’d beaten this puzzler.

If you’ve not played this game before, the concept is quite simple. You control a helicopter-like ship, which you only ever see from a top down perspective. What you must do is move through each level without touching the walls, or any other objects placed in the level to obstruct you. Using the d-pad allows you to move the ship, although the rotors are always moving at a fixed pace. This means you have to time your movements well, because you’re in for disaster if you’re inside a corridor and you rotate into the wall. It’s simple, fun, and devilishly difficult.

What I didn’t realise back in the day was that there was a GBA sequel, only released in Japan. While I cracked on with my FFV playthrough, I ordered it from a seller on eBay. I did play it a little when it arrived, but I was ultimately distracted by other games. Kururin Paradise eventually became a game I’d play in bed, conquering a few levels before sleeping.

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Some of my writing from around the ‘net



The Glorio Blog


Kotaku UK

Microsoft UK