The 3DS Was Switched Out

After many years, Nintendo officially stopped making their super popular 3DS line of handheld gaming consoles. They also removed most references to it on the Nintendo website; it’s discontinued. A search for “3DS” shows a page with a link to the 3DS page, but it redirects to the main home page instead.

RIP 3DS

I mostly missed that era of Nintendo handheld gaming. Before getting back into Nintendo, I was only playing mobile games on my smartphone or tablet. That said, I did own a New 2DS XL just to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Late in the 3DS life cycle, my 5 sons all got their own 2DS or New 2DS XL. So we have several used games in our library. There are so many good ones! Of course, now they all want a Switch Lite, which is Nintendo’s newest dedicated handheld gaming machine.

I still think the Switch Lite doesn’t quite live up to its name since, you know, it can’t actually switch from handheld to console mode! But I understand the simple marketing behind it – consistent branding.

Switch Lite
Nintendo’s new dedicated handheld gaming device

Most importantly, for the first time in the history of Nintendo, it’s fascinating to me that their home console and mobile handheld both play the exact same games! No more separate cartridges and discs. No more disparate versions of games. Any Switch game, physical or digital, plays the same on both the Switch and Switch Lite. Fantastic!

I wonder if this strategy will prove more, less, or the same financially for the makers of Mario and Zelda. The 3DS line of devices made Nintendo a ton of money during a time when their home console, the Wii U, was as popular as a screen door on a submarine. (For the record, I own a Wii U; there are many great games for it! In fact, it’s the system I played Breath of the Wild on.)

As Nintendo has always done in the past, I fully expect the company to introduce new versions of the Switch, especially since it’s so popular AND does double duty as both a home and mobile console.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see an even smaller Switch Lite (Switch Mini?) to hit the $149.99 price point and make it more pocketable. And many people expect a high-powered Switch Pro to be revealed as soon as 2021. Hopefully, it will boast improved joy-cons as well. And 4K.

2ds
2DS
A red version of the discontinued 3DS handheld system

On top of that, you could bet new Switch colors and special editions will appear down the line, much like the Animal Crossing: New Horizons unit that came out back in March. I’d be up for a snazzy looking Metroid edition or a new Zelda version. Also, I admit some regret in not buying the Pokemon Sword/Shield Switch Lite; that thing looks cool!

Gone are the days when I faked being sick in Jr. High to stay home and play the Gameboy I borrowed from a friend. Nowadays, I bring my Nintendo Switch with me to my job to get some gametime during lunchtime. Things have come a long way, and the future is looking fun.

What was your favorite Nintendo handheld system?


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

Pokémon Fun Reshuffled

This past weekend, I played something besides a video game: Pokémon TCG. My interest was rekindled by last Friday’s release of the new Champion’s Path expansion. The previous one, Darkness Ablaze, helped fuel the flames. And the new Standard Rotation reinvigorated the playing field.

Eternatus
Eternatus

Put Down The Controller

Yeah, I paused Final Fantasy X, docked the Nintendo Switch, and fully diverted my attention to rebuilding an all-new battle deck. With the recent Eternatus cards, how could I avoid revitalizing my Darkness game!?

So I took my Dark-type deck and started swapping out old cards. Thankfully, one of my favorite strategies remained intact with Weavile GX; I love his Shadow Connection ability! But now I can use his Nocturnal Maneuvers to set up my new main attacker, Eternatus VMAX.

I won’t bore my non-Pokémon readers with too many of the details. Yet you might relate.

Eternatus VMAX

Stratagem

Pokémon is very involved; it engages the brain’s problem solving capacity. The numerous cards and abilities are somewhat daunting, but the game boils down to a few basic strategies. And while that translates to costing a lot of time and money, it’s also much fun.

The strategic part captured my brain this weekend. With so many new cards and abilities, I saw time fly by while my mind weighed all the options. You can be imaginative in discovering sneaky tricks or certain knock-outs in the game. But you must always weigh the trade-offs with the benefits. And Pokémon TCG is balanced well; it requires careful planning.

Family Fun

So for the first time in months, my whole family went to the Pokémon League meet-up. My kids and I had fun! I scored great trades for new cards, adding them to my arsenal. Then it was time to start testing my revised Dark deck. It worked, but it has weaknesses; no surprise. So I’ve begun addressing those and will tweak my deck to victory.

And I can’t wait for more! It’s nice to have good family fun, especially during otherwise stressful times. Balancing books, video games, movies, and all forms of escapism is a great problem to have; I’m thankful.

A cool bonus: playing Pokémon with my kids helps me be involved with them more. For example, my oldest son asked me to help him tweak his new Water-type deck. So I’ve started suggesting certain cards and strategies to him – even made a good trade. And my youngest son, still too young to actually play, enjoys trading cards with daddy and his brothers.

Weavile GX

So bring it on. I’m eager for the next expansion, Vivid Voltage. It might electrify the game even better, giving the family more to buzz about.

Lastly, speaking of buzz, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo announced yesterday that the newest expansion, The Crown Tundra, for the video game, Pokémon Sword and Shield, will be released on October 22. The biggest news to me: it includes ALL the legendary Pokémon from previous games! That means I’ll finally be able to catch my favorite, Zygarde!

Gotta catch’em all!


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

Time For These Three Things

Hey blogmates, what’s up? It’s been a busy January for me. Indeed, time is flying by fast! Only 334 days ‘till Christmas! But there’s a few things I’ve got going on before that happens.

Work

One is my day-job. Yep, I’ve gotta make a livin’, ya know. We’ve been workin’ extra hours on a project, nose-to-the-grindstone all day. And we have more projects in the works. I think the whole year is packed! Don’t get me wrong, this is a great “problem” to have – we are blessed! But long hours for months on end can get stressful with deadlines, pressure, stress… Work starts to feel like it’s your whole life. But life outside of work is not slowing down either. Maybe you’ve been in this place too.

Since I’ve been working hard, I also like to play hard. I’ve been doing this in two ways a lot lately: practicing karate and playing Nintendo! Call these hobbies or passions, I don’t know. How about, “Fitness and Fun!”

Karate

Right about last Thanksgiving, when my day job ramped up in work hours, my family learned that the next karate belt test would be at the end of January. Time to get ready! So right after the holidays (and all the food!), I started prepping for the belt test. So lots of cardio and calisthenic exercise! Burn them calories! Of course, I’m also practicing my karate chopping skills: katas, blocks, punches, kicks, throws, etc. Outside of karate class, one thing that makes me very glad is the big red heavy bag we bought. It’s a nice workout to go beat it up! My knuckles don’t bleed anymore.

Gaming

Besides being very focused on karate (and trying to avoid the flu that’s going around), I’ve been loving the escapism of video gaming on my new Nintendo Switch! It’s one part nostalgia, one part pure fun. I guess you could say I was somewhat of a gamer in my youth (Atari, NES, Super NES, N64), but once adulting was the game, I had to put down the controller. Yet now that I have youths of my own who have moved beyond the toddler years, I’m sort of re-living my childhood with them.

Anyways, the machines we run are: Wii, Wii U, Switch, and 2DS. I finished (finally) Twilight Princess HD. Then I finished Pokemon Sword (the story part); I have Zacian! Now that I’m not bouncing between those two games, I’m flip-floppin’ with Octopath Traveler and Yonder. Both these games are fantastic and warrant their own blog posts…if I have time to take. Suffice to say, with the Switch, this is like another Golden Age of gaming, at least for me!

Blogging

So those three things have been my focus and time-eaters: work, karate, and Nintendo. My family is blessed; I’m very grateful.

All that said, I feel kinda bad that I’ve neglected my blog the last few months, starting in November when I diverted all my writing-time to authoring a Novella (which I didn’t finish). But this blog seems like a part of me; I certainly am not giving it up. I would like to put a little more time towards fresh new blog posts about my fave topics like technology. Oh, but there are a lot of books I need and want to read too!! This year is a busy one, for sure.


What’cha been up to? Got any time management tips for me? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for following along!

A Post Holiday Post

Alright, here we go; first post of the year! Let the annual blog stats begin!

After one week in, how is your 2020 shaping up so far? Mine is challenging. Since I enjoyed vacation and holiday time off work, going back to the daily grind has not been nearly as fun. Maybe I should have resolved to have more fun in 2020.

Sleeping in every morning, hanging out with family, eating lots of good food, playing games, and having a loose schedule: these were all great things I enjoyed for two solid weeks away from the job. Now I’m trying to readjust to the normal routine: rise early and sleepily, sit in a cubicle all day, watch what I eat, work more than play, and juggle a tight schedule. Yet it has been good to revert back to a normal routine just because it’s what I’m accustomed to.

Like many people, my eyes have turned towards my fitness – or lack thereof. With the holidays came a lot of eat, drink, and be merry…Christmas! Indulge and imbibe. It wasn’t too bad, really. But I know I need to get into better shape.

Speaking of fitness, I resumed my karate class this month, and we’re gearing up for the next Belt Test at the end of January! So now it’s time to double-down on cardio exercise, conditioning, and calisthenics! I’ve already started and can feel my sluggish body resisting. I’ve got work to do, and I know I’ll be able to shed a pound or two and push myself to get more fit.

In addition to all of that, I’m also playing through a couple of Nintendo games on the side for fun! I’m near the end of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD on the Wii U. I’m also close to finishing the whole story of Pokemon Sword on the Switch. And I guess I should mention that I started playing through Final Fantasy VII on the Switch too!

There are so many good games to play…2020 is gonna be full of Nintendo gaming I think. And Pokemon. So when will I have time to read 12 books this year? That’s the goal I set for the goodreads annual reading challenge. One book per month is reasonable. But with all that’s going on, it will be a real challenge. Oh, also, I think my wife and I will binge watch a couple of shows this year, so there’s that.

There’s a lot of play and a lot of work that will fill up the year. It looks like 2020 is going to be a busy one.


Do you have any predictions or plans for 2020? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Pokemon Replay

Bug Bite

The Pokemon bug bit me again. Yeah, must have been a Bug-type Pokemon. Of course. Actually, it was Heatran, a Fire-type. I had re-tweaked my Darkness deck for a while. But now I’m building a new battle deck based on Fire. There will be many burned Pokemon. Just sayin’.


New Moves

So the Cosmic Eclipse expansion was released in November; my family and I had some great pulls! It is the last expansion before the new base series for TCG comes out: Sword and Shield. And speaking of, the newest mainline Pokemon video games already hit stores in November too, which really stirred the Pokemon pot!

There are brand new never-before-seen-or-caught Pokemon in the new Galar region! So even if you had caught’em all, well, now you’ve got more work to do. Get crackin’! And since my family had our Christmas early this year, we are!

I have been playing Pokemon Sword, my first ever Pokemon video game. It’s fun! And it’s helping me learn more about the Pokemon and Trainers in the card game, in which I’m enjoying a resurgence.

I’ve had fun learning and trying things with my first major battle deck based on Dark Pokemon. It had good mechanics with my main strategy (Weavile GX Ability). I guess I got tired of it though. But I recently had a jolt of the fun of finding new cards and putting together a new strategy with a new battle deck. So I’ve been eyeing several fiery Pokemon.

I started looking at Fire abilities and was stoked! But things took a twist. As I was building up ideas for a Fire deck, I crossed paths with my Zygarde Fighting Pokemon and a fellow TCG player on Facebook. One thing led to another, and now, for the first time, I have an Expanded battle deck! I had been locked in my mind to play only Standard cards in rotation, but now I have…expanded.

The cool thing about my new deck, which utilizes all my Zygarde Pokemon, is that besides being Expanded, it is for fun! And it’s easier to play against young kids who sometimes have weak decks. It’s really about having fun and trying new things with Pokemon TCG. Meanwhile, I continue to build my new no-holds-barred Fire deck to bring the heat to battle!


Fighting With Fire

So what’s next? For my Fighting deck, I must start practicing it, finding its weaknesses, and tweaking it. I played in the recent League Challenge tournament and did okay. My new Zygarde deck took some beating, but I got a few lucky first wins. It was fun and I learned stuff, so either way!

Also, I’ve ordered some cards for my Fire deck, but I have more to order at a later date. So I’ll play my Fighting deck more while working on the Fire one. And starting in February, the brand new base set of Sword and Shield Pokemon will go on sale, and oh boy! There are all new types of cards, so there will be new strategies to try!


Do you play Pokemon? Or any other card game? Are you strategy challenged like me? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!