Friday, June 27, 2014

Shall We Do It? (THE 'DENPA' MEN 3, Pokémon Battle Trozei and Tomodachi Life)

A little warning for those of you who clicked on this link in order to learn more about my on-and-off experiences with THE "DENPA" MEN 3 or Pokémon Battle Trozei: I barely played either 3DS eShop title in the week since I published my last "Shall We Do It?" post.

So, the impressions I share in regard to those two titles are sure to be on the short side. The impressions I share in regard to Tomodachi Life, on the other hand, will be far more extensive. Given that, maybe I should start with my thoughts on THE "DENPA" MEN 3 or Pokémon Battle Trozei?

THE "DENPA" MEN 3--The sad fact about my playthrough of this digital title is that it probably passed the six hour mark a month or two ago (if the game's even been out that long), and all I've put in since is maybe an hour and a half at most.

Why? Because I'm quite literally lost at the moment--which, in the end, may say more about my own intellect than it does about this game's difficulty, but right now it sure doesn't feel that way. And, really, my being lost has very little, if anything, to do with the game being tough; rather, it has to do with the overworld often being surprisingly obtuse. Which is weird, because I've played a lot of RPGs over the years and I generally find traversing an overworld to be a confusion-free affair.

That definitely was the case during my first five or six hours with THE "DENPA" MEN 3, but not any more. I literally don't know where I'm supposed to go at the moment--even though the game has gone to some lengths to point out the location (a volcano)--and so for the last hour-plus of my playthrough I've just been running here, there and everywhere searching for the damn "crust rupture" while doing my best to avoid as many battles as possible (something that's far easier said than done in this game, let me tell you).

Sadly, all this particular experience has done is remind me of my ill-fated attempt at playing through THE "DENPA" MEN 2 last year. After putting about 17 hours into that game, I basically walked away from it without a second thought due to being tired of having to fight a bunch of enemies every few steps.

So, I'm not sure where this leaves me and THE "DENPA" MEN 3, to be honest. I think what I'll do is see if someone else has addressed my issue on line. (No one had done so last I looked, but that was a couple of weeks ago.) If someone has, I'll soldier on a while longer, but even then I certainly wouldn't put any money on me finishing this one, folks--a crying shame when you consider how much I loved the original game.

Pokémon Battle Trozei--Here's another 3DS eShop title that I initially found pretty darn appealing but have all but ignored for the last few weeks.

In the case of Pokémon Battle Trozei, I think that's mainly because I simply don't find its tile-matching gameplay to be all that strategic--or at least not strategic in the ways I'm used to when it comes to such puzzlers.

In fact, I often get the feeling there's no strategy to it at all, as a lot of levels seem to begin with me shifting around tiles in a capable-enough manner (that's a good thing) before ending with little to no input from me. And even when my actions do seem to bring about the end of a level, I just don't feel all that engaged or interested in the action.

Am I just not "getting" this game? Am I doing something wrong? If so, please tell me, because I honestly want to like the otherwise-adorable Pokémon Battle Trozei--but at the moment I can't.

Tomodachi Life--Let's get the silly stuff out of the way for this one, shall we?

First, you should know that I now have about 30 residents on my island--including a slew of Nintendo characters and employees, a handful of social-media friends (Adam, Adrian, apricotsushi, Bri Bri, Kaze and Zaphod65 among them) and a bunch of celebrities (such as Cher, Madonna and Michael Jackson).

Also, my lookalike Mii finally has a sweetheart: Ganondorf, who's looking mighty spiffy with his hot-pink hair and light-pink polo these days, I have to say. The big lug has yet to propose, though, which is starting to make both me and my digital doppelganger mad--especially since Nintendo's Bill Trinen just married Nikki (of Swapnote fame) after dating for about a minute.

Other than that, my favorite aspect of this weirdo life sim is Tomodachi Quest, the mini-RPG that can be played each and every afternoon if you visit the amusement park. So far, I've waged battle against bottles of perfume, glass slippers, truffles (the pricey mushroom, not the candy) and more and I've enjoyed every single second of those scuffles.

All that said, I can't help but admitting that every once in a while I feel kind of bad that I'm enjoying Tomodachi Life as much as I am at the moment. As in, I regularly ask myself some form of the following question: "Why on earth do I keep clicking on these apartment windows, feeding their inhabitants, playing games with them and peeking into their dreams?"

The only answer I've been able to come up with so far is: "Because it's fun." I keep doing the above-mentioned things because I want to hear the next funny thing these goofy-looking Miis are going to say, or I want to watch as they go on dates with their neighbors or play their Wii Us or simply hop around their fabulously decorated (thanks to me) flats.

I'm still more than a bit miffed that the only way to make the Miis that populate your Tomodachi island gay is to use a rather lame workaround, of course, but at least it works well enough that it's not completely jarring or irritating or keeping me from getting a kick out of the overall experience.

Are any of you playing, or have any of you played, the trio of games discussed above? If so, please share your thoughts about them in the comments section below.

See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts


Justin Difazzio said...

I played Pokemon Battle Trozei for a few days, smashing through the first six worlds with relatively no issues. I agree with you,'s not deep. At all. Match four, match three, and then clear the board as many times as you can. There seems to be no way to really tip things in your favor once things start going poorly, though. That's what really cheeses me off, as a lot of later levels start to feel REALLY cheap. It was fun for a hot minute, but I sort of regret paying as much as I did for it. It's nowhere NEAR as good as previous iterations of the Trozei name. said...

I agree with you on pretty much every point here, Justin -- especially the part about kind of wishing you hadn't spent the dough on it, as there are far too many great portable puzzlers out there to waste money on a mediocre one, IMO.