Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pokemon Go "New" Tracking Rant

The tacking in the olden days worked...for most people. It has since been retooled to what it is now, after months of testing in San Francisco. With that said, I am surprised that the Tracking is still broken.

Tracking now shows near-by Pokestops and the Pokemon that is near them. When you click the Pokemon you want, it tells you which Pokestop that the Pokemon is at. This feature works great and is extremely helpful in tracking Pokemon now.

What doesn't work about this:
1. It will show Pokemon up to a mile away from your position who will have fled by the time you walk to their position.
2. It shows all same species Pokemon Near-by. I am not really sure why Nianitc when back to this style when players complained so much about it already. When the Tracker showed ONE Rattata to represent all four that where Near-by is a much better way of organizing them. No need to show each one.
3. It is more likely to show Pokemon a mile away than all ones that are in 50 feet of your location. A little story to make my point. I was tracking a Magikarp with the tracker. It took me 700 feet from my current location to find it at a near-by Pokestop. Only 7 of the 9 positions where filled with near-by Pokemon. A mix of Pedgey's, Rattata's, Spearrows, and Venonats. I walked another 10 feet from where I caught the Magikarp, and a Snorlax spawned in front of me. A rare and highly desirable Pokemon, within feet of my original position, and it was no where to be found on my Tracker that still had spots open. This alone tells me that the tracker is still broken.

I have seen the Tracker sometimes show both Near-by and Sightings, however the Sightings doesn't show up as often as I believe it should. I know for a fact that there are Pokemon all over the Parking lot at my work, but with this new Tracker, none of them show up. None.

For people who are in more rural areas, where Pokestops are far in between (unlike a heavily populated area like San Francisco) I cannot see this new tracker to work for them at all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pokemon Go Wish List

I started playing PG around the time it was first released and am currently only a Level 29. Playing as much (or as little) as I have, there are some things that are on my wish list for future updates.

These are just ideas that I have come up with, not "leaked" info.

1. I wish it showed the HP number on my hurt Pokemon. If it did, I could better judge which potion to use to heal them. No point using a 200 healing potion on a Pokemon who only needs a 50.

2. I wish the Prestige Number was visible when Training so I knew when I could add my Pokemon to the GYM. Like a fool, I stay in the GYM battling until I finish, only to see that not only did a spot open up, but someone else had sniped my spot. GRRR

3. I would like to add purchasing Great and Ultra Balls to the shop.

4. I would like to be able to purchase [universal] candy and stardust from the shop.

5. When arranging my Pokemon by HP, I would like to see the Pokemon arranged by highest HP to lowest.

6. I would remove the pull-down-on-screen-to-exit option. I get so annoyed trying to scroll my screen back up to the top, only exit each time.

7. I would remove Pidgey's and Rattata's from the Tracker all together. These Pokemon are so common and are literally everywhere, I'm not going to travel to find one. I mean, who cares that there is a Pidgey at a Pokestop one mile from my home? I only have nine available spots, I don't want it wasted on Pidgey's and Rattata's when there could be a Snorlax nearby.

8. I would bring back the One Pokemon on my Tracker to represent all of the same kind that are near by. Again, it is a waste of valuable real-estate to show all six Rattata's that are nearby. I would prefer to see one Pikachu, click on it, and a sub-menu would pop up that showed all the nearby Pikachu's instead, and then click the ones I want to track.

9. I would like the Tracker to organize the nearby Pokemon by rarity. The rarest Pokemon would be in the number one spot while the most common would be the last. If this was the case, then No. 7 and 8 of my wish list, I could live better without. With this option it would put that nearby Snorlax in my top three spots that I see on my default screen and all those Rattata's at the bottom, or off the list all together (where they belong).

10. I wish the tracking system showed what was nearby (Sightings, with the grass) and the new Pokestop Nearby. With the Sightings, I wish it at least told you the direction to go to find it. Currently, with just the Pokestop Nearby, when the closest Pokestop is a mile (or more) away, the tracker is totally worthless. Sightings (in the wild) should be priority over the Pokestops. Currently I assume it's the other way around. (see my pokemon tracker rant)

11. Wish in the "Notes" section of each Pokemon it listed how many battles the Pokemon has won.

12. I wish the Eggs had a date stamp on them of when I collected it. When I click on an individual Egg to place it in an incubator, it would show the date when it was picked up. Sometimes I wish I could hatch the egg I just got, or the one that I have had the longest, but have no idea how to tell them part. A date/time stamp would do that.

13. I wish I could battle wild Pokemon to make them easier to catch (instead of using Great Balls or worthless berries) - UPDATE it now appears the usefulness of Berries has been improved

14. Wish Incubators came out of Pokestops as often as 10km Eggs. (I wish 10km eggs popped out of Pokestops more often)

15. I wish "Excellent" throws were considered perfect catches each time (i.e. guaranteed not to pop out).

16. I wish it was easier to Prestige a GYM. It takes so much time and effort to Prestige a GYM, that I would rather take one down to put a Pokemon in, than Train at one. If I am trying to Prestige a GYM, and someone comes by and starts battling it to take it down, it is impossible to compete. They will take the GYM down faster than I can boost the Prestige. I have to hang out for 10 to 20 mins to Prestige a GYM to get in. It isn't worth my time or potions only to be kicked out minutes after I leave, or to have someone else snipe my spot that I worked so hard to open.

17. I wish Training at a GYM meant something. Am I the only one who feels using the term "Training" should be literal? If I take my 600 Snorlax into a GYM to "Train" I would like to think that it is gaining something, like CP or HP. Perhaps Snorlax can learn new moves after X number of battles. You know, training my Pokemon to get better.

18. I wish leaving a Pokemon at a GYM for multiple days gave you a bonus. Sure it's nice to get that 10 coins each day, but each day my best Pokemon sits at a GYM, I cannot do anything with it. I cannot battle with it, I cannot power it up. Nothing. After so many days (weeks), that 10 coins a day just isn't worth it anymore. Similar with Wish No. 17, I wish it gained CP, HP or new moves the longer it stays at a GYM.

19. I wish Lures and Incense did not attract Pedgey's, Rattata's, Weedles, Caterpies, or Zubats. I cannot be the only one who has thought, or said out loud, how worthless Incense and Lures are. I used to see Lures popped almost everywhere when the game was new. Now, I barely see any Lures. I believe that players have wised up and see how worthless they are. Now that all my free Lures have been spent, to get more Lures, I have to buy them at $1.00 each. Lures ONLY lure 1 Pokemon per every five minutes for a half hour. That means, one Lure gives you only 6 Pokemon in a half hour of sitting around. That's a lot of time for not much payout. I can catch more than 6 Pokemon in a half hour of walking, and get egg kms in. In addition, nine times out of 10, you are going to lure 1 Pedgey, 3 Rattata's, a Weedle or Caterpie, and a Sandshrew. That's just not worth $1.00, my time, nor was any fun. - UPDATE Luke Model Spawn Rates may vary.

20. I wish Lures and Incense lured more rare Pokemon and at a higher frequency (at least one or two a minute), and it shouldn't matter where you used a Lure or how fast you were moving with Incense to get good Pokemon. Also, being at a Pokestop, if a Lure guaranteed you to lure one 10km egg, it would make it more valuable to players. As-is, these features just are not fun to use.

21. I wish Incense lured nearby Pokemon. I am not sure how it would work, but say you see that Porygon on your nearby list, and just cannot find it. Pop your Incense and that Porygon, and all other Near-by Pokemon, come to you.

22. I wish Pedgey's and Rattata's didn't pop out of balls. They are practically the weakest (green to yellow rings) of all Pokemon and so common that I feel their catch rate should be higher. I get to the point of frustration that if either a Pedgey or Rattata pops out of a ball more than once, I will leave it behind. My balls are more valuable then catching either of them. Seriously, a Rattata popped out of a Great Ball four times before I caught it, and unfortunately it wasn't the Ditto I was looking for.

23. I wish every time I signed out of Pokemon that I didn't have to reset all my settings when I sign back in. I always have to uncheck Sounds, Music, and AR each time I sign back in (not restart the program, but literally "Sign in"), and check ON Battery Saver. Why cannot these settings be saved to my account?

24. I wish my AR worked. My phone is probably one of the only ones that it doesn't work with (Samsung Galaxy Avant), but my AR has not worked since day one. I always get the error "cannot detect phone orientation."

25. I wish in the "Notes" section of each Pokemon it listed if that Pokemon was Hatched, Caught, or Traded (if and when that becomes available). Personally, I would  like to be able to keep track of the Pokemon that I Hatched. They have higher IVs and sometimes good attacks that it could be more prudent to evolve those Pokemon than say ones caught in the wild. I am sure there are people out there would be more partial to keeping Hatched Pokemon vs ones they caught in the wild.

26. I wish the Journal was more useful. I have used the Journal from time to time and most of that time I have wanted to check what I caught, hatched or got in a Pokestop, only to find that it has fallen off the list already. I understand that space is costly, but it would be nice that the Journal listed all info for the day, or I was able to log online and view the Journal more extensively. I just don't feel the last 50 interactions is enough.

27. Wish Paras, Staryu, Horsea, Krabby, Goldeen, Bellsprout, Venonat, Nidoran, Diglett and Ekans where moved to 2km eggs. Geodude should be moved to 5km. Pinsar, and Onix should be moved to 5km eggs. I wish hatching an egg wasn't always such a disappointment.

28. I wish I could play at home. I get the whole, "get out in the real world and catch", but some days and times, it's too awful to go outside, I am too lazy, or just stuck at home, but I still want to play, but cannot. I sit on my couch, thinking "I want to play Pokemon Go", so I turn it on and wait (forever) for it to load and then....nothing. What can I do? No Pokemon at my house, no stops, no GYMs. My Avatar just stands there with nothing to do. Bored. Play another game.

29. I wish all the Pokemon could compete with another. Most Pokemon are no good in battles. They currently cannot compete with the top tier Pokemon at a GYM. I don't know about you, but all I see, ever, in GYMs are Snorlax, Exeggutor, Lapras, Jolteeon, Vaporeon, and Dragonite. That's it. OK, sometimes I see Gyarados and Rhyadon, but not much else. Out of the (going to be) hundreds of available Pokemon, there are only six that are strong enough to battle with. That's supper lame and boring. Now, all I am doing is catching Pokemon to collect them and not much else. To fix this, combine this Wish with "Wish No. 17" and now we are talking. I could train my Pedgey to get stronger and would be useful in a GYM against a Exeggutor.

30. I wish Pokemon where more plentiful. I get bored pretty quickly with catching the same Pokemon all the time. There needs to be more quantity and more variety. It's like playing a RPG and all you do, all day, everyday, is kill sheep to slowly raise your XP. Yawn.

31. I wish I  could combine Berries (i.e. stack up), Pinaps, and Nanabs. I mean, why limit how many berries I want to use to try to catch that wild Rattata? If I had to choose between a Nanab and a Berry, I will go with the Berry every time.

32. I wish Pokemon GO was fun to play. I totally get why so many people have stopped playing. It's frustrating, boring, and everything is too limiting and expensive with little to no rewards.

33. I wish the Pokemon said their names when you touched them (instead of that stupid squeal noise). In the Pokemon Profiles (when you are looking at a Pokemon's stats), you can spin the Pokemon a full 360 as well as tap them once. When you do, the Pokemon does their battle cry or roar. I wish that they spoke their name at that point. It would be fun and also help those who don't know, how to pronounce their names.

34. I wish the Pokedex information for each Pokemon had the description from the show's Pokedex combined with the playing cards.

35.  I wish there was a timer count down when I use either an Egg, Incense, or Lure Module. I don't know how many times I have asked myself "How much time do I have left?"

36. When I am trying to catch a Pokemon in the wild, I wish the tap screen wouldn't be so quick to drop a Pokeball. There have been times when I am trying to tap the "RUN AWAY" button in the top left, only to fat finger it and miss the button. Instead of running away, I dropped (wasted) three or four balls instead.

I'll keep updating my wish list as more ideas come to me.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Kubo Replacement Face from Kernel Unboxing

Package arrived for me today. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to own a replacement face from Kubo and the Two Strings being offered by Kernel. With three day priority shipping I couldn't wait till the package arrived after I hit the purchase button. I fantasized about how the face piece would be displayed. Weather it would be Kubo or Beetle, and if it was Beetle, would it be just the face or include a full helmet. Today, all my questions were answered...
Sweet, it includes posters that were not listed as included
Comes with Certificate of Authenticity
looks like no display is included, just the head, loose...

My face! Kubo! how am I going to display this...?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie [simple] Review

I just got back from watching Laika's new film, Kubo and the Two Strings. First things first...the two strings...the two strings does not refer to Kubo's shamisen. His shamisen actually has three strings. The two strings refer to something else all together. I wont spoil it here, though, but it's not crucial to the story.

Laika did a great job. Again. Their puppets, animators, set builders, costume designers, painters, etc. are a great team. They are perfecting the craft that is stopmotion animation. 3D printing is definitely their friend. The movie was beautiful and was fun to watch. I really enjoyed it. There is way more action in this movie than, say Coraline, and the Moon King and his Daughters are a bit scary for little kids like Coraline's Beldam and ParaNorman's witch, but I enjoyed it all the way through and had no cringe moments.

Likewise to ParaNorman with it's Anti-Bullying message, there was an underlining moral in Kubo of listening and obeying your parents, dealing with loss, and finding the strength and courage to move on. The ending of the film reminded me too much like ParaNorman, where there was this big visual spectacle of a bad guy, and all our hero had to do was just to stand their ground thus defeating the bad guy with just words somehow. A bit too simplistic since the whole movie is revolved around finding the sun armor, just to bush it way so easily. [spoiler] I was also a bit confused why the towns folk were so quick to lie to Kubo's grandfather of who the kind of person he was in the town. This scene was a nice sentiment, but it felt out of place.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

UPDATE: I purchased the Blu-Ray, and have since watched the movie again. My oldest brother called me asking for clarity on a few things, as he did not understand the ending.
1. Why did the Moonking want Kubo's eyes?
2. Why did the Moonking want to have Hanso killed? I.e. Why was Hanso even a threat to him?
3. What was the point of getting the armor?
4. Why was getting the sword unbreakable important when the only "weapon" that was actually effective was the Kubo's shamisen?

I got to say, Kubo was, in the end, a bit disappointing, mostly do to the final Act of the film. I don't feel that the plot paid out in the end. The whole movie, we are following Kubo to acquire armor needed to protect against, or defeat, the Moonking, but it isn't really clear why this is important, or how it would affect the world as a whole.  But that aside, the armor and sword didn't do any damage to the Moonking, and isn't what ultimately defeated him. Personally, it feels the whole quest was rather meaningless, thus making the whole back story rather pointless.

I am a little confused about the plot holes concerning Beetle. He is Hanso transformed into Beetle. So, he has been in Beetle form for 10 years but his memory and interaction with Kubo imply that he was literally born yesterday. When we first meet him, he is simpleminded, almost child like. As the movie progresses, he grows up personally to adulthood by the time he dies. Why did Beetle grow more in the last few days than he had over the last 10 years alone fending for himself in the wild?

Why, in the last act of the movie, was the entire town, hiding out in the ruins? They all pop up out of no where and their presence here totally feels wrong. Would they not all have left to neighboring towns or family instead of hiding in the ruins in the middle of the night?

Anyways, enough ranting. All that said, just to say that the story just seemed to fall flat at the end.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings at Burger King

Head over to Burger King to get your Kubo Happy Meal toys.

Kubo at Universal Studios

9" Kubo figure was sold for a limited time at Universal Studios. Appear to be all sold out now. Find one now on eBay.