My Time With The Nintendo DS

A year ago I wrote a post about my time with the Nintendo 3DS. Since I haven’t written off the beaten trail lately, I decided to write a follow-up post, but this time focus on the original dual-screen system. I was very late to the DS world due to being a poor kid. My older brother (being the responsible one) would save all the money he would get from our grandmother to purchase his own when the time came. To this day, he still has his original DS, except that it is a glorified GBA player since the top screen no longer works. My younger brother and I weren’t so responsible as he was. My younger brother was in that phase of “I’m the youngest so buy me everything” phase. He ended up getting a DS before me (which didn’t bother me as much since I was still grooving with my GBA SP). At the time, he didn’t care what type of DS he got as long as he got one, so my mom bought him the only one available which was a pink one. I was still the only one out of my brothers without a DS, but it was fine since there weren’t many things I was super excited to play.

(My original DSi and DS Lite that I picked up later. Still works properly to this day with no broken neck. The DS Lite I bought a few years ago serves to replay games that utilize the GBA slot.)

Then came along Final Fantasy III, the official third game in the series that never came out to the states originally. This was during my big JRPG kick at the time and it just so happen that I finished Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II not too long ago. I wanted to play this game, and this was the kickstart to me getting my own DS. I bought the game in the hopes that my older brother would let me play it on his DS, but since he put the time and effort into getting his, he was understandably protective of it. So when my younger brother wasn’t using it, I would borrow his. There was a time when he was scared to play his DS out in public since he was a boy playing on a pink device (oh the good ‘ol early young masculine era), so to prove him that he had nothing to be ashamed about, I took his DS with me while I was in high school (you know, the worst place in the world). Did I get picked on by other kids in my class for playing on a “girly” device? Oh yeah… Did I give a fuck. Hell no! I was too busy stressing over the difficulty in FF3 to care at the time. Eventually at some point, my mom surprised me with my own DS Lite (sometime after my GBA died). I wish I could remember the specifics, but better late than never.

For how iconic the DS was, I didn’t really appreciate it until my college days (when it was the only thing I had). Looking through my list of games, most games that I enjoy to this day didn’t come until much later; minus the after mention Final Fantasy III. I never legit finished FF3 since the final Cloud of Darkness boss kept kicking my ass over and over. We had this great device at the time called the Action Replay that could hack your game if compatible. I take no shame in finding a hack that could one-shot all enemies and bosses in the game. I unequipped everyone, went into the final fight, and one punched the Cloud of Darkness since I was really mad at that point. I did get to see the credits roll, so I counted it as me finishing the game (one day I will replay it and beat it fairly). I’ll talk more about the Action Replay when it applies to other games I used it for, but this was my first encounter with a device that could hack into your game and produce interesting results.

One of the stars of the DS was New Super Mario Bros. At this point in my life, I was kinda done with Mario (mostly because around this time I realized that I’m terrible at platformers). I played through it and finished it at one point, but that wasn’t the main reason I would pick this game up to play off and on. The game includes an assortment of minigames that you can play at any time. I think I spent way more time in this mode than the original game. Another reason for this is that the minigames could be played via download play, and my friends and I would play them on the band bus to different competitions. Speaking of the band bus, the greatest game to have on those long rides was Mario Kart DS. Anyone who had a DS on the bus would join in (sometimes even the adults) and just spend the entire trip racing each other. The cart that my brother had got lost or stolen at some point, but we still have the case in case it ever shows back up (its been over 15 years, its long gone). The only other game we would sometimes play on the bus was Advance Wars: Dual Strike. Our friend had the game, and we would pass the DS around when it was our turn to make our moves and assess the results from everyone else’s turn. Didn’t play it as much, but it was a multiplayer game that we played.

Okay. So obviously a big game came out in 2007 that everyone was excited to play. I’m talking about Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. I was one of those kids excited to play a new Pokémon game and I opted to play Pearl since my younger brother wanted to play Diamond. I played all of Pearl, reset it a couple of times, and hacked it with the Action Replay. I know Diamond and Pearl are some of the most loved games in the series, but for me they are somewhere close to the bottom. Something about it just felt bland to me. I liked the new Pokémon introduced and the love shown to older Pokémon getting new forms, but I couldn’t recall anything that made me feel like this is one of the best in the series. Even now my feelings toward the 4th generation hasn’t changed much. I say this as someone who is still going to play the Switch remakes when they come out, and see if a fresh retake on it changes my opinion somehow (I will be playing it side-by-side with Kat, so that will probably alter some of my feelings towards it).

You know which Pokémon game didn’t suck though? Pokémon Black and White are easily in my top three generations of Pokémon. I remember people hating these games at first since it took away everyone’s favorite Pokémon and locked them behind the postgame. I found this to be one of the greatest choices they ever made and it forced me to play the games in a different way. No longer could I go out and seek some of my favorite Pokémon. I was stuck relying on mons that I had no idea of how good they were; and that was exciting! It was a great reason for me to replay the games and try out different Pokémon in my team just like how you would in Red and Blue. I wish Game Freak would do this again especially since its hard to put all the current mons in one game. Just create a whole new batch that we are forced to learn and adapt with and then make a DLC excuse to bring the older mons in the game at a later date. I made it super easy for you Game Freak (I will wait for my check in the mail).

Outside of Pokemon, let’s talk about some of my most played games on the system. There were a lot of games that I discovered on the system, but a few of them stick out to me more than the others. The first one was Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. I feel like this game is the black sheep of the Final Fantasy Tactics games since I hear no one talk about this game. Maybe since this was my first game in the series, I found it really enjoyable. Outside of Fire Emblem, I hadn’t played that many tactical RPGs and if I’m honest, I can sometimes find them boring unless there is some hook to them. Tactics A2 is as basic as it can get, but for some reason I was compelled to 100% complete it. I never did since I could never figure out the Chocobo missions, and there was this one tough fight where I had to get my characters to max level to stand a chance. If you can explain to me why no one likes or talks about this game, please tell me because to this day I have no complaints about it. I do have to replay the game at some point since I named my character something very inappropriate and I don’t like the idea of leaving that as my legacy (I believe your high school version is the worst version of yourself).

One game that got a lot of playtime out of my DS was Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. This was my second ever Dragon Quest title that I played after crushing Dragon Quest VIII. What made this game special to me was the bond it created for my younger brother and me. Around this time, he had became the insufferable baby brother that was annoying and liked to cause a lot of trouble. One thing that got us to stop arguing at times was playing this game together thanks to the multiplayer aspect of it. Dragon Quest IX is special since you can play through the entire game solo or with multiple people. You are restricted to only using your main character if you go to someone else’s world, but you can join them in helping them finish the game and vis versa. Most of the time, it would be him coming over to my world and going through the hidden grottos that you can access at the end of the game to challenge tougher enemies and hidden bosses from previous games. This was also the time that we discovered that he really liked to grind in games (his main character ended up being around level 200+ after reincarnating him twice). I still have his copy of the game ever in case he wants to go down memory lane and clear out some grottos if we still have it in us.

There were other games that I really got into once I left home for college and only had access to my DS. I discovered the Etrain Odyssey series and learned how difficult dungeon crawlers can be if you don’t have a base understanding of mechanics. My entry point was Etrain Odyssey III: The Drowned City and the only one that I have finished up to this point. ET3 is brutally difficult if you don’t understand party composition and skill optimization, but once you get it down it feels great playing through. The whole designing you map mechanic was also new to me and added on a fun layer of being responsible for my own map like a true adventurer. A pro tip if you need to grind a bit is to put down automatic walk paths in a good place where you can auto battle and just have it on in the background while the game automatically plays itself to grind levels and materials for you. It takes some of the boredom out of doing it manually. I would love to replay through this game if it ever got the Untold treatment like the first two games did. If dungeon crawling, party management and customization, and high difficulty sounds interesting to you, I highly recommend the series if you still have your 3DS. The games go on sale regularly on the eShop for cheap, so enjoy.

In 2010, I discovered the mainline Shin Megami Tensei games with Shin Megami Tensei: Stranger Journey. I had only played Person 3 & 4 at the time and thought maybe it would be somewhat similar to those. I was greatly wrong. I stopped playing the game close to the end when I discovered I was on the wrong path I wanted to be on and discovered that running from all my fights was a bad thing. At the same time as discovering Strange Journey, I also discovered a game called Knights in the Nightmare. This is a very interesting game where you play as a wisp and have to possess dead spirits in order to clear out the enemies on the screen. It is also a bullet hell where you have to control your wisp on the bottom screen to dodge enemy attacks. I never finished it since I didn’t realize that some of the characters you get can be permanently lost if they get damaged too much while possessing them (I think, its been a while). I definitely need to boot this game back up again and play through this unique game again. Two other games that I did not expect playing all the way through were Radiant Historia and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Radiant Historia is a time travel JRPG that I was hoping to be better in my opinion. The story felt generic to me and I wish the time traveling aspect did more than just jumping to different points in the story. I had to look up a guide on how to beat the final boss since it didn’t make sense to me (and still doesn’t since the game never makes you do what you have to do at this point). I have the complete opposite feelings toward Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. I was hooked on this game for a solid week. The gameplay and puzzles were great and felt like a cozy JRPG. I was surprised when I finished the game since it didn’t feel like the ending of the game. The cliffhanger at the end suggest that a follow-up game was planned, but 11 years later we are still waiting to see if the story will get concluded (if it can happen to other games, then I will still hold out for this).

There were other games that I played on the system that I no longer have for one reason or another. Some of them just got completely lost like in the case of Mario Kart DS and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Days of Ruin was nothing special of an Advance Wars game, but I was on the final map of the game when I lost it, so I never got the satisfaction of finishing it. This was also during the time where I was a poor child and would sell my games that I no longer played. Some games that I traded in I would soon regret like Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia and Children of Mana. At the time I had finished both games to completion and had nothing else to do in them. One of these days I hope to re-add them to my collection to refill an empty void in my gaming timeline.

There were other games though that I have zero regret getting rid of. Two of those were Luminous Arc and Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume. I finished Luminous Arc and it left a bad taste in my mouth afterwards. It felt like a generic tactical RPG with pretty magical girls for you to look at (nothing wrong with that, but something I wasn’t into at the time). I had high hopes for Valkyrie Profile, but the game lost its appeal to me very quick. I don’t remember much of it since I didn’t get far into it, but it has a mechanic that you can sacrifice party member permanently in order to obtain great power for the main character. I didn’t like that mechanic, so I stopped playing the game. I probably be more open to it now, but I have no desire to seek it out.

But, none of those games can come close to one of my all time favorite games on the system. This is a game that I played the hell out of when I first got it, sold it like the dumbass that I was, and later in life found another copy and cherish it to this day. The game I am talking about of course, is Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales. You have no freaking idea what you are missing if you have never played this game. The game is presented in this pop-up book look and revolves around stopping an evil book by going through familiar children’s stories only with Final Fantasy creatures in them. The gameplay consist most of just minigames that you play in the different stories, but they all range from childish to intimidating when you are trying to go for the high scores. BUT! None of that matters because this game has one of the best card games that makes this game addicting. Its hard to explain, but you main objective is to reduce your opponents HP to zero. You do this by playing cards that summon different monsters and can either attack, guard, or trigger an effect. Each card has four colors on them and you will either find a sword in one that represents if an attack is successful, or shields that block other monsters attacks. Monsters with effects will trigger their effects if your attack is successful or if you have enough crystals in your stockpile to trigger them. It looks simple, but can get very tense when you are trying to guess your opponents next move and if you can block their attack while trying to activate effects with the number of crystals that you have. It is fun and addictive and I wish they would have made a full game where it was nothing but that (Edit: I was not aware that the card game exist in Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon. Unfortunately it was removed from the Every Buddy! edition that came out in 2019.).

All good things must come to an end at some point. My DS had two points where it reached its final playtimes with me. The first happened with my original DS Lite. My DS became the victim of my younger brother’s rage (like all of my handheld devices) when he would borrow it to play it and slam it to the ground if he got angry about something. My GBC and GBA meet their ends to this fate, and I was ready to fight to save my DS Lite during one altercation. The results of one fight however had me breaking my own DS in half while fighting him. That was a painful memory that I wish I could go back and resolve better, but life is like that. Being without a DS put me in a gaming standstill since the only consoles we had were a Wii and PS2 that we had to share between the three of us. Things didn’t stay too gloomy for long when one day my mom asked me if I wanted a new DS. This was around the time when Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver were coming out (the best Pokémon games ever don’t @ me on this). I graciously accepted her kindness and picked up a DSi. I wanted to try out this new model DS since both of my brothers had the original DS Lite and I wanted to be different. I didn’t think I would miss the GBA slot, but soon I realized losing that meant losing access to all my other wonderful GBA games. Nevertheless, my DSi got me all the way through college and is still in good working order to this day. The day I got my 3DS was when I could finally tell a good companion to take the rest it deserved. If I want to play a DS game for fun, I will sometimes pop it into my DSi just for old time sake. Since then, I have obtained a DS Lite that has the GBA slot in it, but that is for mostly games that have extra features when you have a compatible game inserted. During the late 2000s and early 2010s when everyone was enjoying their fancy Xbox 360s and PS3s, I was still rocking and grooving along with my DS, and I thank it for getting me through my good and bad times. There are still a ton of games I have that I never got around to playing, and I’m waiting for the perfect time to find a nice comfy place to sit with my DS and relive through some of my glory days.

Honorable Mentions from my DS Collection:

  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
  • Chrono Trigger (DS)
  • Custom Robo Arena
  • Disgaea DS
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
  • Kirby Super Star Ultra
  • Lunar Knights
  • Pokémon Black 2
  • Radiant Historia
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strage Journey
  • The World Ends With You
  • Yu Gi Oh! 5D’s World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus

I Am Now Ready for Monster Hunter Rise

Last year when we got the news of Monster Hunter Rise, I was excited but cautious. The trailer looked interesting and showed off a new world and ascetic for the series. The use of the new Wirebug mechanic to zip around the map looked very interesting and it made me wonder what cool tricks I could pull off. However, something was bothering me with what I was watching. It looked like Monster Hunter, but to me, it didn’t feel like Monster Hunter at base value.

I think part of it has to do with the two latest games in the series, Generations Ultimate and World. My expectations for both games were flipped when I first played them. I thought I was going to love Gen Ult since it was classic Monster Hunter that I enjoyed and I was going to hate World since it felt “dumb down” for a western audience. World ended up being a fun game that felt easier than other games, and Gen Ult felt frustrating to play. I don’t know if the influence of World had something to do with it, but even with Generations on the 3DS, something just felt “off” with the game. With Rise, I wanted to be excited but didn’t want to be disappointed with the end result.

On Wednesday, January 7th, a new showcase for the game was shown along with a demo of the game. I don’t tend to play a lot of demos, but I was really excited to play this one. This was a chance to play a version of the game and form my own opinion on it. So how was it? After playing 2 hours of the demo, I can comfortable say that all my doubts of this game are gone and it has the potential of being one of my favorite games in the series. After taking some time observing and learning some new things, I have come up with my initial things that I like a dislike so far. I expect some of my feelings may change when the full game is released.

  1. A great mix of environment detail from World that is easy to understand and navigate.

    While World was very pretty to look at, and seeing the game in HD was a treat, none of the environments stood out to me. The Ancient Forest for example was a great opening level that taught you a lot about the new mechanics. To this day though, I still get lost and confused when trying to get to places. The details felt too great at some points and I could never appreciate the small things since the world was the main attraction. Rise doesn’t have the great detail of World, but that makes it better to play in my opinion. The map is smaller so I can take the time to understand my surroundings and I can appreciate the little details when I see them. The Shrine Ruins that you have access to in the demo is more interesting than any locale in World (in my opinion). There is something about going up and down the waterfall and then viewing the desolated shrines ruins that is hidden in the forest and swamp that just feels good to be in. I can easily understand how to get to places without having to remember specific location marks that I have to constantly remind myself to follow.
  2. The return of unique and creative weapons and armor.

    Plan and simple, I love that we are getting creative weapons and armor again. It was one of the biggest things missing from World that made things a bit bland. The game feels colorful again and I’m looking forward to see the other designs in the game. From the demo, I like the Switch Axe weapon and armor since I look like a character from Kingdom Hearts, and the design for the Hunting Horn set was really impressive.
  3. Quality of life changes from World are included.

    One of the best things World did was speeding up the game. I know some people were fond of taking a victory pose after taking a potion, but I appreciate not having to stop the action to run to a different area to restore health and remove status aliments. Being able to stay in the action and take care of anything (minus resharpen your weapon) keeps me engaged and in the battle at all times.
  4. I didn’t know I needed a canine companion along with my feline, but I love it.

    So who wants to race palamutes when the full game releases? The palamute is a new companion to the series that is badass. You are able to ride it to traverse faster and use recovery items while riding. I still love Nico the Palico, but I am definitely going to do my best to create Repede from Tales of Vesperia in game.
  5. I have new things to learn and master.

    Finally, the wirebug mechanic is a fun tool that I’m still rattling my brain around. One of my complaints about Generation Ultimate was that you had several styles you could chose from, but had to take time to be familiar with all of them. With a simple, dedicated new mechanic, I can take my time to practice it and get more familiar with it over time. This new addition is something new for me to learn that is going to take hours of practice to get used to, and I find that exciting.

And now for my minor complaints. The first one is another new mechanic introduced to the game, Wyvern Riding. It feels good to pull off and being able to control any large monster you are facing. What I’m not to jazzed about are the mechanics when riding. You have to hold the R button at all times to be able to move the monster. I know realistically it is hard to tame a wild animal, but it makes the controls a bit stiff when trying to do things. Another minor complaint I have is that I feel that there are a lot more inputs to remember to do things. During my playtime, I felt like I was constantly forgetting how to do certain inputs and it was frustrating not pulling off certain things. I will take this as me being rusty and obviously not being familiar with new mechanics. Eventually that issue will be taken care of once I’m able to practice more.

So those are my initial impressions. There are other little things that I didn’t notice at first like how your character is more talkative than usual. Your character will say hints about monster behaviors that is excellent for new players if you are not observant. I am very excited to play this now, and I’m upset that I didn’t pre-order the collector’s edition when it was in stock. The demo is available until the 31st of January, so if you want to try it for yourself go for it.

Thank you for reading,


My Time With the Nintendo 3DS

With the news that the Nintendo 3DS has finally ended production, I wanted to take a look back on the console and the fond memories that it provided. The Nintendo 3DS is probably one of my favorite systems. Growing up with two brothers and only one home console that we had to share, I always enjoyed handheld gaming since it was mine and I didn’t have to share it. What made the 3DS special for me was that it was the first console that I purchased with my own money.

My first 3DS that I bought.

I got my 3DS on June 28, 2013, with my very first paycheck from my first “real” job. I immediately went to the store and purchased a blue Nintendo 3DS XL, Fire Emblem Awakening, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. I remember feeling excited about the purchase since my older brother already had a 3DS and he would show it off to me when I was home from college. Booting up the console for the first time was like magic. Watching the screen switch from 2D to 3D was really cool and hearing the start up jingle made me tingle. I liked the layout of the 3DS menu and the ability to customize it to your preference. A big step up from the DSi that I had.

The first thing that I did with my 3DS, was watch a preloaded video of Dinosaur Office. Does anyone remember those videos? They were produced by College Humor and I found them entertaining. Don’t know why that was the first thing to grab my attention, but I’m not complaining.

The first game that I played was Fire Emblem Awakening. I hadn’t played a Fire Emblem since Radiant Dawn on the Wii, so I was looking forward to playing another one in the series. I remember loving this game for introducing some new mechanics and being difficult at some points. The marriage support system made me pay more attention to raising support levels with characters, and I liked that the children from the future could be recruited to your army. The world map from Sacred Stone returned, and it allowed me to do a bit more farming and get a better understanding of the continents of Ylisse and Valm. The only challenge that I have not done to this day is beat Priam. For being a descendant of the Radiant Hero, his army does not pull any punches. Maybe after this, I will boot the game up and give it another try.

To this day, I believe that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is one of the best looking games on the 3DS. When you move all of the HUB items to the bottom screen, the top screen makes the environment pop out and you can concentrate on the action happening on the screen. The 3D worked well, and it provided hours of entertainment.

With my next paycheck came two more games, Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Shin Megami Tensei IV. Animal Crossing is Animal Crossing. It was a major improvement over City Folk, and I liked the idea of being the mayor of your town. This made it feel like you were in control of the town to the point everyone’s town was completely unique. The Dream Suite and Happy Home Academy were nice touches to visit other people’s towns and houses to see all of the creativity out there.

And then Shin Megami Tensei IV. I recently finished IV for the first time, seven years after I originally got it. I was being stubborn and I wanted to beat the game without using any guides or maps. There were two problems with that. This first, I am terrible when it comes to geography. I get lost easily and I have no idea how to navigate Tokyo even with the game using the real Tokyo map. The second issue, I managed to get the Neutral ending. This ending requires you to find hidden quests around the map and complete certain ones to advance the story. This, combined with my lack of directions, made finishing the game longer than it needed to be. I gave in this year and used a guide to help me finish the side quest and finish the game. The later bosses and final boss were not difficult since I had grinded my way to high levels from wandering Tokyo for years.

Over the years, my collection started to grow, and I came to appreciate the 3DS even more. Some highlights include Pokemon X, Bravely Default, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS (weird title, but I like the play on words), and the plethora of games that I got on the e-shop. Special honor goes to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. What I may consider my favorite game of all time, 4U was the game I needed at the time, and it led to one of my favorite gaming memories. I will have to share it one day here on the blog.

Let’s not forget the biggest star of the 3DS, Streetpass. Getting a Streetpass was such a thrill. Seeing the people that you passed and sharing information was cool. The best times were when you were traveling and you got to fill up each state on your map. Even cooler was when you passed someone from a different county and you could brag to your friends that you passed someone from Japan. What made passing people worth it though were the rewards and games associated with the feature. The two obvious games were Find Mii and Puzzle Swap. 

Find Mii was an RPG that used Miis from the people you passed to fight their way to rescue your Mii. In order to get to the end and get new rewards were to pass people, so it was an incentive to have your 3DS on you at all times. My favorite however, was Puzzle Swap. For each person you passed, you could select a puzzle piece to add to your collection in order to finish each panel. It was all dependent on passing someone who did not already have a piece that you had, so it was worth it to find new people and travel to places with a higher population. The panels themselves were fun to complete since you could view them afterwards and interact with them to a limit. During the time, new panels were released when major titles hit, so there was always a reason to come back and pass more people.

Tragedy did strike however. About a year after having my original 3DS, I tore the circle pad off (too much intense Smash and Monster Hunter). Even though it was still playable, other issues started to occur. At one point, the touch screen and buttons stopped working. I sent it off to Nintendo to fix and life was good again, but this was around the time the New Nintendo 3DS was released and one of them grabbed my attention. With the release of Monster Hunter Generations, a Monster Hunter themed New 3DS was launching along with it. It was hard for me to say no. I decided to finally give my old friend a well deserved rest, and it promised to stick around if needed again.

Honestly, the circle pad was in the way.

Things were good again, until the release of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo promised that the Switch was not a replacement for the 3DS (eye rolls please!). I was sure that I would still be playing my 3DS for the years to come. But, something started to happen. I noticed my friends stopped carrying their 3DS around, and most people that I would see online silently disappeared. There were still good games coming to the system, but  it was clear that most people were ready to move on from the handheld. For a good while, I stopped playing my DS and had no urge to play it. The device that was always with me wherever I went, was suddenly collecting dust on my bed stand.

More recently, I still pick up my 3DS from time to time. I still have to finish Pokemon Shuffle since it is a fun puzzle game and addictive at some times. I’m apparently still collecting games for the system, so I will need to play them at some point. There are a lot of games that I was excited to get for the system that I still have yet to touch. An example would be Bravely Second; the game I was going to play immediately after finishing Default but got burned out after the last playthrough. The 3DS is/was a great handheld device that I liked more than the original DS. I kinda wish its life cycle ended with a bit more fanfare and not just like a notice that you get in the mail.

So those are my reflections on my time with my 3DS. Do you have any favorite memories with the console that were either good or bad? Leave a comment or, if you are inclined, write your own post about your time with the 3DS. I would love to read it and I like looking at other people’s perspectives.

Thank you for reading,


Soul Calibur Appreciation Post

I’ve done it! I was able to obtain my second platinum trophy! The honor goes to Soul Calibur VI. I wouldn’t expect myself to complete a game like this, but something clicked and it motivated me to get everything. While there is some clean up left to do, I think I can safely put this down now until the next challenger approaches.

I can safely say that Soul Calibur is one of my favorite fighting games. I started playing this game last March in 2019. After a few rounds, I got distracted by school and left it on my shelf for over a year; collecting dust and sharing stories of hope from the other games on my shelf (rip). I decided to pick it back up after a weekend with my friends. They would play Soul Calibur V back in our college days and would spend an unhealthy amount of time in Creation mode. There were a many of nights of neglecting parties and significant others just to hang with the guys and create dicks on people.

Creation mode is one of the best features in Soul Calibur. You can create your own OC with the options that the game gives you. There may not be a lot of options to choose from, but with a creative mind a lot of things are possible. With them by my side/computer screen, it rekindled my interest in the title to not only finish it, but obtain all of the achievements.

With that in mind, I wanted to personally thank all of the characters who helped me along this journey. Some of them may have played only a minor role, but their contribution was nevertheless important. 


Skeleboss is one of the oldest OCs that I have created. This skeleman is all business on top, but is ready to party below. The lore that I gave him is that he was granted immortality at the cost of what he loved the most, his fiddle. What he didn’t know was that there were two downfalls to this. The first was that as he got older, his flesh and muscles would melt off his body and that he would become a walking skeleton. The second drawback was due to the laws of marriage, his wife, who he absolutely hates, is also immortal and is stuck with him. To get away from her, he picks up hobbies and will sometimes travel the world just so he can escape. It just so happened that in the 1500s, he was traveling around Europe and Asia during events of Soul Calibur. It soon came that he would become a legendary hero during this time. Later in life in the mid 2000s, he would go on to be a new legend in the art of skateboarding.

Darklord Kent

One of the edgiest guys one can make when the world already has Soul Edge. Kenith (Darklord Kent) was designed to be the edgiest person we could create. His hatred for weaklings led him down the path of being this world’s reaper. No one can match his level of edge and set off to prove that. He is so edgy, that he has not defeated anyone; as they cannot get close to him (mostly their choice). The socks and sandals were an extra bonus.

THOT Patrol

The hero that the internet needs. THOT Patrol is on a mission to slay each and every thot he comes across. Based on the “Begone THOT” meme, we decided to create this character after coming across A LOT of barely clothed characters online. We felt that there had to be a champion that could get past their seductive looks and defeat them one by one. He is not the hero that we wanted, but the one that we needed.

Mr. Society

We eventually knew we were going to create this. Based on the “We Live In A Society” meme, we had to create a Joker impersonator. The only regret we have is that we fought someone who was Batman and we were not using this character.

Florida Man

Definitely one of the strongest characters that we created. Florida Man is ready to get in complete high jinks (even though Florida was not a thing in the 1580s).Where did he come from? How did he get here? Who taught him in the ways of the nunchucks? Whatever the reason, Florida Man will always show up with a crazy headline. Currently, he has the highest online win percentage on my profile.


There are a lot of bad “Karens” out there, so we decided to make a good one (kinda). For a while, she was our undefeated champion of online play. We eventually gave her the backstory that she was fighting her way to get to the manager of online play. We found one person online who could match that description, and he proceeded to mop the floor with us.After that, Karen jumped back into her minivan and started her new quest of getting stronger to take out all of the managers (a very silly plot, but had us in tears).



I dislike Raphael. I don’t like his moveset, he’s demeanor, or his stupid glasses. He did, however, help me obtain an achievement for getting a gold ranking in Arcade mode. For that, I will give him a small pat on the back.

Mitsurugi and Sophitia Style

Not necessarily the character, but the character’s style. I used both of these through my playthrough of Libra of Soul. After 20 hours, I’m still not the best with Mitsurugi’s style, but I was able to playthrough all of Libra of Soul in less than 2 hours using Sophitia’s style. I’ll let you guess which one I’m better with.


Thanos randomly popped up during my first Libra of Souls run. I like to imagine that he used the Time Stone to wrap himself to this era. From here, he would have some complicated plan to use Soul Edge to conquer the universe or something. Along the way, he met Skelaboss and decided to team up with him for a while. He would then go to fight one battle and then got bored. Where did he go after the fight? No one knows. Rumors have it, he fled this realm once he heard both Geralt and Florida Man were here as well.

With this page in history closed, I turn to look and see what might be next. I have other games that I am close to completing, but I may wait until I’m motivated again. It can be hard to force yourself to play something for hours if you are not into it. In a short time, something will come along that will get the gears turning (like my wife Kat earning her 8th platinum trophy). With that in mind, if anyone wants to play Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 with me online so I can get that last achievement, you will be my best friend forever!

Thank you for reading,


From Sword to Bowgun. Recommendations On Which Weapon Is Best For You In Monster Hunter World

There are a lot of weapons to choose from in Monster Hunter. Each one plays differently and determining which one you will like the most takes time and practice. Luckily, there are a ton of guides out there to help you become proficient with your weapon of choice. Today, I would like to list each weapon out and give out my suggestions on each one. I have played with most of weapons on this list, but there are some that I have not spent a lot of time with. To help me show off these weapons, welcome my apprentice June! She mostly focuses on bowgun skills and reports what she learns to me.

Sword and Shield


The classic weapon for beginners and those who like to slash and protect. The Sword and Shield is one of the most balanced weapons in the game. What they lack in raw power, it makes up with high elemental damage and status effects. The weapon is light to provide fast attacks to compensate for the low damage output. Monster Hunter Generations introduced Oils that can be applied to the sword and shield to improve its performance. This combined with the shield make any challenge a fair fight.

Recommend for:

I recommend this weapon for people who are new to the series that want to use a slashing weapon. It is perfectly balanced with an offense and defense play style that help players get an understanding of the game mechanics. I also recommend this for anyone who is left handed since the sword is always in the left hand.

Dual Blades


If you want to be fast and aggressive, the dual blades are you weapons. Probably the fastest weapons in the game, Dual Blades sacrifices defense for all out attacks. What makes dual blades special is the Demonization ability. When this ability is activated, you gain a boost in attack power and can perform deadly combos and increase evasion time. The ability will drain your stamina gauge, so it is best to use this ability wisely. If you manage to fill the demon gauge before time runs out, you can then go into Archdemon mode and continue your assault.

Recommend for:

If you want to be a demon on the field and Naruto run, then Dual Blades are the way to go. They are a tricky weapon to use since you are always vulnerable if you get stuck in a combo or can’t evade in time. The sharpness of the weapon also decreases fast due to all of the constant attacks. When you get comfortable with fighting certain monsters, I would recommend going in with dual blades just to have some chaotic fun.

Great Sword


My personal weapon of choice! The Great Sword trades speed for massive damage. While you do become one of the slowest members on your team, each hit from the great sword will do a considerable amount of damage to any enemy. You are limited to vertical and horizontal slashes, but proper wielders while find ways to chain these together. The vertical slashes can be charged to deliver a more powerful blow, but leave you open and has a great chance of missing your opponent. The sword is also big enough to be used as a shield when things get dicey. This however will make your sword lose some of its sharpness.

Recommend for:

If you like big swords and dream of being Cloud from Final Fantasy, then this is the weapon for you. The great sword takes a lot of practice to get used to, but once you become good at it you will feel appreciate the power it holds. If you fancy dealing a lot of damage then go with this weapon.

Long Sword


Despite being one of the most popular weapons in the series, I have not used the Long Sword as much. Take the length and power of the Great Sword with the swift attacks of the Sword and Shield and you have the Long Sword. The Long Sword provides no defense like the Great Sword, but users are able to perform hops and side steps with each attack. Like the Dual Blades, the Long Sword comes with its own ability called Spirit Attacks, Once activated, the user will need to fill the Spirit Bar by attacking an opponent. Once filled, the user will need to activate the Spirit Attack and land the final hit to increase the user’s attack power. There are three levels to this bar which encourages users to continue their assault or risk losing their power up.

Recommend for:

I wouldn’t recommend starting off with the Long Sword if this is your first time playing. Like the Great Sword, it can take some time to learn the flow of the sword’s movements and how to evade properly. Like the Dual Blades, it is rewarding once you can build up your attack gauge and go on an all out assault on your opponent. If you favor a more technical weapon, then you can’t go wrong with this.



Another classic weapon. Unlike the swords that can cut their opponents, hammers are meant for bashing. This bashing can leave monsters stunned and open the door for more pounding. The Hammer can be charged up to swing the player and deal consecutive damage. While it is a slow weapon, it is faster than a Great Sword and can deal more damage than the other. There is no option to block incoming attacks, so knowing how to evade is key; or strike at the right moment to knock them out. The Hammer is also good at destroying parts off a monster; which is super helpful when grinding for materials.

Recommend for:

If you want something outside of swords to do damage, then the Hammer is the best option. I can recommend new players to the Hammer since it has the highest damage output out of all the weapons and it is easy to use. With some practice, the Hammer can carry the weakest hunter to feel confident in taking on some of the larger, scarier monsters at close range.

Hunting Horn


I feel that a lot of people overlook the Hunting Horn. No one wants to use this weapon, but are happy to have people in their group who knows how to use one. The Hunting Horn functions like a Hammer, but since it is an instrument, you can play melodies for various effects. The Hunting Horn has basic attacks, but each attack input adds a note to a music staff that you have. Once you have specific notes on your staff in the correct order, you can play your horn to buff you and your teammates. These buff includes earphones, health recovers, defense boost, etc. The hard part comes from remembering the attack patterns you need to do in order to create the recital that triggers the effects.

Recommend for:

If you want to play with friends but want to take on more of a support role, please use the Hunting Horn. While the horn is perfectly fine as a weapon on its own, the true benefit of it comes from buffing and helping others. This is a perfect weapon for beginners who want to join in on hunts and learn monster mechanics without the fear of dying quickly. Practice with the Hunting Horn can also help with the transition to using the Hammer later on.



The main attraction to the Lance is the humongous shield that in included. Lance users can be granted a defense boost thanks to that shield. While the shield is impressive, the Lance has a few tricks of its own. While defending with the shield, the user can still attack with the Lance; granting safe attacks while defending yourself from attacks. The Lance can do forward thrust as well as an upward slash. When the moment is right, you can charge at your opponent and deal massive damage from the attack. Just watch your stamina meter as the charge will drain your stamina.

Recommend for:

While the idea of being able to attack while defending sounds neat, it does limit your mobility to move around. The Lance is a heavy weapon, so new players might find it difficult to pack up and move when needed. If you desire to be a tank in a group, the Lance sets you up perfectly to draw the monster’s attention while the rest of your team can go crazy.



Another personal favorite of mine, the Gunlance takes a page from RWBY and puts a gun in a lance. Functioning almost like the lance (with shield and everything), the key feature is the firing mechanic in the lance. Gunlances come with shellings that can be fired and reloaded multiple time during a fight. The drawback is that the shellings cannot be shot at a long distance, so you need to get up close to deal the damage. Another thing to look out for is the heat gauge. The gauge fills up whenever you fire a shell, but will decrease anytime you attack with the lance normally, evading, get hit, or not fire at all. The benefit of increasing the gauge is to increase the attack power of your normal lance hits. This basically leads to a strategy game of maintaining heat while not overheating or cooling off. For a special attack, Gunlance users can use an attack known as the Wyvern’s Fire. It is a charged attack that fires a blast from the top of the lance. This is the Gunlance’s powerful attack and can destroy the heaviest of armors that monsters have. Using the Wyvern’s Fire will cause your Gunlance to overheat, which you will have to wait for it to cool off before you can use the attack again.

Recommend for:

If you feel confident in keeping up with the Gunlance’s mechanics, it is a fun weapon to use. If it sounds too complicated, I recommend using the regular Lance since it is just as powerful. If you are already familiar with Monster Hunter, I would recommend this weapon to you if you want to switch things up and use a fun weapon that is tough to master.

Switch Axe


The Switch Axe is my second favorite weapon; mostly because it carried me throughout G Rank in 4 Ultimate. This fun weapon can switch between two different weapons. In its normal form, it represents an axe that has fast swinging actions for quick powerful hits. It’s second form represents a Great Sword, but is less powerful and faster to swing. The fun in using the Switch Axe comes from building up the energy meter in axe mode, and then using that stored energy in sword mode to unleash deadly attacks. Each switch axe has a different phial attached to it with different effects with most of them being status effects. Pair this with the rapid attack rate with each swing, this weapon has great usage for most fights.

Recommend for:

The mechanics of the Switch Axe makes it easy for anyone to understand. If the Great Sword is too slow for your taste and the Long Sword is a bit too plain, then I recommend trying the Switch Axe out. If it is not to your liking, the the next weapon on the list might suit you better.

Charge Blade


The Charge Blade functions similar to the Switch Axe. The weapon starts off like a Sword and Shield, and can morph into an axe. While in SnS mode, attacks will fill up a gauge that is used to fill phials. With phials, you can unleash powerful attacks while in axe mode. You have to pay attention to the gauge. If you do not “charge” you blade when the gauge is full, your attacks will start to bounce off your target until you do so. This can cause some frustration when you fail to realize your attacks aren’t connecting due to a filled gauge. The phials are the same as with the Switch Axe.

Recommend for:

If you like the idea of Sword and Shield but want a little more power, the Charge Blade can be fun. Having to focus on when to charge your blade and avoid the penalty can be a hassle for new players.

Insect Glave


One of the most interesting weapons that was introduced in Monster Hunter 4. The Insect Glave acts like a staff that the player can use to hop and fly around their opponent for fast, fluid attacks. The other interesting part of this weapon is your insect partner known as a Kinsect. The Kinsect functions as a secondary weapon to the Insect Glave that can level up and upgraded independently. The Kinsect can also attack certain parts of a monster and boost your stats. The boost do not last as long as a Hunting Horn’s boost, so you will have to constantly attack certain spots to reapply those boost.

Recommend for:

Do you wish to fly across the battlefield like an angelic Valkyrie and send a giant bug to do your bidding? Despite its looks, the Insect Glave is a powerful weapon and has enough accessories to carry you through to the endgame. With enough practice and learning how to use the Kinsect effectively, the Insect Glave is good for new players and seasoned veterans.



The Bow is the easiest long range weapon to use. It has unlimited arrows that can be used and does not require reload time. The Bow comes with special coatings that certain bows can use to add status effects or attack boost to your arrows. Attacks can be charged to power up your attacks at the cost of stamina. Introduced in Monster Hunter World, Bow users can make it rain arrows to deal moderate damage in a wide area. The Bow does not provide any type of defense, so evasion and dodging is the only means of protection. The rate of firing may not be as fast as the Bowgun, but users do have more mobility available to them to evade and set up attack distance.

Recommend for:

If you like to play range but dislike the Bowgun, the regular Bow has you covered. The mechanics to the Bow is simple enough for new players to understand and requires less maintenance with ammunition. Being a ranged weapon does make you vulnerable to monsters that charge at you or fight in close range with hunting solo. This weapon is best used for newcomers within a group until they get a feel for it to hunt solo.

Light/Heavy Bowgun


The last weapons we are going to look at are the light and heavy bowgun. Both versions have their similarities but also have some elements that make them different. They both require ammunition to use; which you have to stock up on before each hunt. Each Bowgun can use specific ammo with light bowguns specializing in elemental and status ammo, and heavy bowguns going for different attack ammo and a larger capacity. Light Bowguns are seen as a support type weapon since they have a wider range of support ammo and provide greater mobility. The Heavy Bowgun deals more damage than other range weapons, but has low mobility and requires constant setup. The advantage of the Heavy Bowgun is that a shield can be attached to it; along with other modifications that both bowguns can use.

Recommend for:

Both bowguns have their advantages, but share the same problems with mobility and ammo management. If you want to take a back seat and help support your friends, then the Light Bowgun is more helpful than the heavy one. If you want to bombard monsters with heavy firepower, than the Heavy Bowgun has no competition.

And that is all of the weapon types (whew). If you would like to know more about each weapon type, I recommend reading the monster hunter wiki on each type. I frequented it while working on this post. Say thanks to June for helping me with modeling (now if only she was more diligent with training…).

Thanks for reading,