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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wait To Play... Ludwig likes it?!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I confess the guilty pleasure.

You wouldn't expect it and neither would I, but it's a thing: I actually like Pokémon Shuffle. Strangest thing of all, I actually have an appreciation for its wait-to-play nature. The same kind of abusive free-to-play practice I heavily criticised when Electronic Arts does it for Need For Speed: No Limits. Does my hypocrisy know no bound?

To be fair to myself, Nintendo has been asking players to take breaks for years now, breaking ground in the videogame industry by politely asking players to stop playing.

We're past the point of politeness.
But most players did not take a break, apparently represented by jumping out a window. And so, Nintendo got upset with players.

And now, you must take a break with Pokémon Shuffle or be fined for it. Enforced breaks (Pokémon Shuffle has you take 30 minute breaks for... about 6 minutes of gameplay and then 30 minute breaks for 1 minute of gameplay thereafter) prevent all sorts of videogame-induced problems. These include everything in Health & Safety Information, including vision damage, seizures, eyestrain, and motion sickness. It also stops videogame addiction. You cannot die by sitting in front of a videogame for days on end (as some people have done) if the videogame does not let you play it for even minutes on end.

Hm, imagine if Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day was rereleased now. Would it be a wait-to-play game? 

Strangely, Parental Controls on the 3DS do not enable you to set time limits for how long you can play a game at one time. (They also frustratingly do not allow sub-17 players to buy M-rated games on the Nintendo eShop if their parents approve of it.) I think this would be a fantastic feature. However, in the absence of effective parental controls, Nintendo has to play the role of parent. Which I find disgusting if the government does it, but it makes more sense with Nintendo. They can even call Wait-To-Play a function of "corporate social responsibility"! Go ahead and do it, Nintendo. No need to thank me. (EA's idea of corporate social responsibility is to be GLAAD's corporate slave, which is irresponsibility.)

Here's the thing: If you are a kid, then Pokémon Shuffle limits you. One thing Parental Controls does is that it prevents Bowser Jr. Junior from making purchases on the eShop with King Dad's daddy's credit card, which includes the in-app purchases for Pokémon Shuffle. But if you're a grown-up like myself then you can actually pay for the game. Like, that's how you're supposed to get games anyway, by paying for them.

Classic message.

Grown-ups can make their own choices about how much they want to play and set their own limits.

The one thing I wish Pokémon Shuffle had was a "zen mode", or at least something to do while you have 0 Hearts but still want to spend your time playing a game since you're stuck waiting for the train or something. There is no way to "practice" the mechanics since every time you play it, something is on the line. It makes you ration your time and sessions. You have to make a series of interesting choices every time you play: Do you advance through more stages? Do you go back and capture Pokémon you missed? Do you play the limited-time-only special stages downloaded from the Internet?

...Of course, these choices can all be demolished if you actually do pay for things since paying means winning. You can pay for many, many chances to play stages. You can pay to make your chances of capturing Pokémon go up. You can pay for grinding, and can pay to more easily dominate online leaderboards.

Actually, this sounds like a terrible system. It's a shame that Pokémon Shuffle is still pretty fun to play. Its mechanics are fun but it's trapped within its free-to-play framework. That said, I probably would have never downloaded it to my 3DS if it weren't free, so there's that. But I'm never going to spend money on it anyway!

No, I don't really like wait-to-play. I do like that being an option for parents to set, but my interest in it stops there.

Don't worry guys, I'm not on the dark side! I'm on the right side!

Ludwig is too embarrassed to post anything about this game on Miiverse, but his Miiverse account which you can Follow at NNID PrinceOfKoopas has plenty of awesome stuff on it. Some of it is exclusive!

Pokémon Shuffle would be perfect on a mobile device, which is the realm Nintendo just announced their entrance to. Read how that's bad here!
Ludwig goes a step further and spends money in a F2P game.
Rawk's life was nearly ruined by the game.
It was all a trick to convert players into mobile gamers. Like, actually.
Nintendo finally did put parental controls featuring restrictions on how long kids can play a game... on their next system.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe has a wait-to-play mechanic that you can pay money to make it negligible. It's there to prevent grinding from being too easy.


  1. Weeeeeellllll,they did have an exploit a while back apparently where you could add jewels/hearts,but I won't go there. 0:-)

    I still haven't gotten it( haven't updated my 3ds yet,but my 3ds is taunting me with the download).

    1. Miiverse pictures depict people having like 9999999 scores and I dunno how that happened.

  2. Me and my friend James play this game. James is addicted to it while I'm still playing Smash 3DS. Although I do play it occasionally.

    1. Oh hey welcome back.

      Part of what makes this game nice to play for me is that it's touch-screen only!
      Meanwhile I can't play Smash 3DS because my shoulder buttons are both broken. >_>;

      He's "addicted" to it? So he pays for in-game purchases?

  3. Thanks, Ludwig. He's caught a lot of Pokemon. He's trying to get a Lucario right now. I do like the touch-screen gameplay which reminds me of Dillon's Rolling Western. I hope the L/R buttons get fixed soon.

    1. Yeah, Lucario is an "expert stage" which I can't seem able to competently complete. <_<;

      Those buttons ain't gonna get fixed ever, so I'll need a New 3DS XL later.

      Lemme ask again: Does he pay money while playing the game?

  4. No. He doesn't pay. Sorry it took long to reply. I'm at school right now. ^ - ^

    1. Well, the whole point is that you can't be addicted if you're only playing 2 minutes at a time!

      ...unless he literally stares at the 3DS for half an hour waiting.

    2. He plays other games too. We like to play Smash Bros. He also plays Fire Emblem Awakening. Right now, he's playing Smash.

    3. ...(In school?)

      Oh hey now I got 10 days to open FE: Awakening to have its Club Nintendo code be useful. ;p

    4. Yeah. I'm at school. I'm eating lunch right now.

    5. Yep. Playing Smash on 3DS and watching battles on Wii U.

    6. Simple. All I do is bet my gold of 100G (I have 138337G) and I just wait until the match is over. I play on my 3DS to pass the time. I do it everyday.

    7. You don't actually watch the matches, then.
      What's your betting strategy?

      And are you trying to complete the 300,000 gold challenge? I just did that a few days ago. :)
      (Without betting.)

    8. I do watch the matches when I don't have my 3DS with me. My betting strategy is pay attention to the win rate and arrow. If the arrow is pointing up and the win rate is high, that fighter will have a higher chance of winning. And there's a 300,000G challenge? I didn't know that!

    9. ...Yeah, there is. It's having 300,000 all at once, not having it minus expenses.

      Some people's strategy is to always bet on 10x multipliers. And sometimes the matches apparently repeat themselves.

    10. Yeah. I do notice that the matches repeat themselves. I guess I got some work to do. ^ ^

    11. Doing the "Beat Classic with everyone on 7.0 or above" is a good way to start.

    12. I might try that later on. Thanks, bud. ( ^ω^ )

    13. I have a suggestion. Do you think Coin matches will work?

    14. Not any more than a Time or Stock match.

    15. Oh. Ok. I was thinking that the coins you get in the match went into your bank.

    16. Oh. Ok. That makes sense (no pun intended)

    17. (...ohoh.)

      The coins are bronze and zinc and stuff, and there is even paper money too.

    18. ...I sorta like the trophy for it but otherwise...

    19. I don't think I have the coins trophy yet. Do you get it when you complete the 300,000G challenge?

    20. No.

      You get something else.
      ...I'll tell you next time I'm at my Wii U.

    21. Ok. I'm guessing that you can get it in the shop or while playing trophy rush.

    22. You get Prince Sable (frog/snake dude assist trophy) for 300,000 G challenge.
      Coins trophy isn't from Challenge board.

      Annnnd playing as Doc and getting Trophy Rush 8 times in that mode gets you 100,000 G.

    23. Useful information. Thanks, Ludwig. ( ^ω^ )

    24. You're welcome.

      It's my pleasure to be practical!


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