Ingress Stats and Records

Stats time!

Level 7
634564 AP
2 Silver Medal
7 Bronze Medals
9 Locked Medals
376 Unique Portals visited
37 KM walked
1725 Resonators Deployed
181 Links Created
32 Control Fields Created
345 Portals Captured
258 Mods Deployed
131 Resonators Destroyed
58 Portals Neutralized
11 Enemy Links Destroyed
11 Enemy Control Fields Destroyed
1102 Hacks
111 Glyph Hack Points
Longest Hacking Streak 32 Days

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Ingress Review

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It’s time to look at the game that came before Pokemon Go. Not many people know this, but Pokemon Go was actually copy and pasted from another game that Niantic made first. Copy and paste may be strong, but both games are quite similar and you can see how Ingress is essentially the beta version. As a result it’s pretty fun, but it really lacks the key aspects that make Pokemon Go so addicting and thus you’ll find yourself bored before long.

In the first place I picked up Ingress only because I wanted to be able to submit ideas for Pokestops in Pokemon Go. That seemed like a pretty fun goal to me, but then they said you had to be at least Level 10 to do so. That was when I stopped playing. I made it to Level 7, but each level doubles the EXP you need so it would have taken me a year at the most but at the minimum probably 8-9 months. That would be time that would have taken away from Pokemon Go and it was simply too much of an investment and I’ll let other players handle that one.

The goal of the game is to take over various points in the world for your team. There are the Green and Blue teams in the game so I went with classic Blue. Each location is essentially a Pokestop. (A little circle with a picture) You can drop off shields at the place and little generators to claim it as your own. If someone else owns it, then you have to destroy their generators before placing your own. If you take over multiple locations, you can use a Field Link to merge them and control a larger area. Nobody can take over a space that is in your area so it’s a good way to shut the opponent down. There isn’t really an end to the game but like Pokemon you can effectively say that you’ve beaten the game when you’re Level 16. That would take a really impressively long time to accomplish as well.

It’s tough going when you’re in the early levels since your weapons and defenses are weak. It will be impossible to take down any barrier that a high level has placed so stick to visiting all of the stops and getting what EXP you can. It’s really a game that is meant to be played while you’re exploring since there’s not a lot to do otherwise. There’s nothing to do if you stay in one place unless you live on a stop. (I live on two which is helpful but after spinning them then you’re stuck again) It’s a good game on the road and I may enjoy it more if Pokemon Go didn’t exist. This game is Pokemon Go, but without the Pokemon or the Gym Battling which makes it quite a bit less encicing.

Once you start playing you’ll get hooked on it, but eventually the fad will pass. I’d say that I lasted quite a while all things considered. Maybe I’ll check out the game again someday if they lower the level limit, but all mobile games stop eventually and this is just my time for checking out. The graphics are okay, but it’s not as if there is much to show. There are no creatures or anything, just a few simple animations. There is no real music in the game. There may be a main theme although I can’t remember it, but it won’t be earning any stars in that regard. As far as replay value goes, it’s essentially infinite so that’s a plus I suppose.

The game is at its best if you’re playing it with a few friends. Since it’s about taking over the neighborhood, it’s naturally fun with a group. On your own, you’re outnumbered and you’ll just have to really enjoy the process of playing the game since anything you do will likely be undone by the time you go back home. This will depend on how busy your area is of course, but at least in mine there are a ton of active players. Then there are also the likely bots and spoofers running around as well.

Overall, Ingress is a well made game, albeit a limited one if you’re on your own. It’s just very repetitive and while you can say that for just about every mobile game, it’s not quite as enjoyable as those. The game is also very vague on everything so if you want to learn what you’re actually doing it is advised that you look for the information online or go straight to Reddit. If you’re outside a lot and like visiting places then it’s a good idea to download this app and have fun getting the points. On the other hand, I’d recommend doing the same with Pokemon Go. At the end of the day, you need to decide which game is more fun and just pick one. You can’t have both open at the same time with one phone so if you play both then one is always missing out. That’s why I ended up choosing Pokemon. Ingress definitely wouldn’t rank as highly as most of the other Mobile games I’ve played, but it is tragic to an extent since it probably would get a much higher score if Pokemon Go didn’t exist. It’s just how it goes and you can’t help but compare the two as you’re playing. Maybe one day they’ll link both games with rewards or something, that would definitely be interesting. I am also interested in the new Harry Potter game that the company is working on as well. That should definitely be fun but like Ingress I’d probably only check it out for a little while. Ingress lasted a month and a half before I called it quite, we’ll see if Harry Potter can even last that long!

Overall 6/10

Pokemon Go Update

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I now have a Shiny Magikarp! At long last, Shinies are no longer a dream. In other news, I also caught a Suicune and an Entei since my last update. Currently the only Pokemon I am missing aside from Regional Exclusives and other Shinies is the Unknown. Hopefully he’ll spawn before Gen 3 comes out in December but if not that’s fine. Every step closer to completing the Pokedex is a solid step.

Fire Emblem Heroes Review

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It’s time for a new App game! Since I got to Level 40 in Pokemon Go I figured it would be fine to finally check out another free game. This one got a lot of hype back in the day, but I think I got on the gravy train before it completely passed me by. After playing it for a few days I can definitely see why everyone loves it so much. The game is incredibly polished for a free game and it has helped make me a much bigger Fire Emblem fan than I was before. There’s so much to do here that if I took it seriously I would be here a while. It’s going to be more of a side project as new levels come in I’ll complete them and all but I won’t bother going for the more competitive goals.

The game actually has a plot which is already cool. Terry (Your original character protagonist) is summoned into the World of Fire Emblem. The realm is under attack by an evil sorceress with immeasurable power. She has enslaved whole worlds and almost the whole cast is under her power. Terry can tip the balance because he can summon heroes of his own to combat her and he is immune to mind control. You have to team up with the ones who summoned you to stop this foe and rescue everyone who has been enslaved. It’ll be tough though as you’ll have to defeat tough combatants like Lucina, Roy, Ike, and many others. Also, there are so many worlds that as soon as you leave one, the sorceress goes back to reclaim it.

It seems like new levels are added every once in a while, but I don’t expect the game plans to end the campaign anytime soon. The most recent level did end with a big plot twist though. It was one that was certainly expected, but it still counts as progression. There are 12 Story chapters I believe and 10 Protologues, with 2 Xenologues. It’s a pretty good amount of content. I beat the story part of the game in about 2 days, but there is a lot of other content to explore. There are online Arena Battles where you fight other players, Training Stadiums to level up and collect gems, Special Battles where you can fight new matches every day to get more characters and items, Voting Gauntlets, and several other modes.

This game is not lacking in content in the slightest and I probably didn’t even get to try all of the modes for about a week or so. It’s actually very overwhelming at first, but you gradually get used to it as you play more and more. Too much content is never a bad thing after all. If I don’t want to play a mode, then nothing is forcing me to do so. The main currency in the game are Orbs. You get around 5-8 every day for logging in. You can use 20 to purchase a full set of 5 characters. You can also use 1 to replenish your energy each time you run out and you can use 1 during a fight to restore all of your characters and they all get an extra turn. You don’t want to be too frivolous with the Orbs when you start because they get more scarce as you go on.

I mentioned the energy earlier and that determined what you can do every day. Each action costs energy and when you run out you have to use an orb or just stop playing for the day. That’s how they get you as you can purchase extra orbs. I know quite a few people online who’ve spent hundreds on orbs so they could get their favorite character. I definitely won’t be spending any money on this game though. In part it’s because Pokemon Go was my only exception to that rule and also because the game is quite generous with the orbs. I have never been in a spot where I was out of orbs and needed energy or even been in a situation where I was close to that. You would also need to play quite a lot in a single day to approach that limit. It should be a non factor for most players.

Once you’ve beaten the available story chapters in the game, I’d say that the main focus is now to collect all of the Fire Emblem characters. There are currently 168 and I have about 60. The ultimate final goal would be to get all of them to Grade 5 and max them out to Level 40. Of course that increases your time exponentially as doing that is really a long term goal. As such I won’t really be gunning for that. At most I’ll log in every day for my new fighter and eventually maybe I’ll have them all. Even if they’re grade 2 or 3 that’s fine. To improve their grade you have to level back to Level 1 with that character and spend 20,000 Feathers and 20 Shields which are not easy to come by. It can take weeks to obtain that and I personally can’t say it’s worth it unless you’re super competitive in the game.

The gameplay is extremely smooth and highly customizable. It’s classic Fire Emblem gameplay as you position your pieces on the map and attack. All of the characters have special abilities and there are 3 types, Green, Blue, and Red. Each type is good against another one and week to another. There’s also a blank class, but I’m not sure where they fit into all of this. Different characters have different styles of attack like close range or long which you need to take into account. If you want to fight and know that you’ll win anyway, you can set the game to auto fight and let the computer handle the fight while you get a bite to eat or something. I admit that I started doing this quite a lot after I beat the game to save time. You can also turn off the animations for each attack which saves a bunch of time and I wish more games did that. It would be very useful.

Fire Emblem Heroes really shines when it comes to the graphics. They are exceptionally good and easily the best that I’ve ever seen in a mobile game. It spared no expense with the character portraits and attacks. It’s one of the things that really drew me to the game when I first started. It’ll be really cool if they can grab more animated cutscenes by the end of the game, but even if they don’t I’m still pretty satisfied. The soundtrack is also solid. The themes are limited, but memorable. All in all I’m sure a very large amount of money was put into this game and I’m sure that it has made it all back quite easily.

It’s time to go back and rank all of the mobile games. In 1st is clearly Pokemon Go. The game’s amazing and I’ve put in over 1000 hours by now. You just can’t overestimate just how influential the title is. Truly a legend. 2nd is Fire Emblem Warriors. The immense amount of content and reasons to keep playing speaks for itself. I also like the generous log in bonuses as you really feel like it’s worth it to keep showing up. 3rd is Marvel’s Contest of Champions. It was a fun game, but a big step down from the first two as the gameplay was very repetitive. It also had a very long story mode but it was considerably lower budget and you never felt like you were making any progress. Honestly it’s a very similar style to Fire Emblem Heroes but think of the difference being like Mario Galaxy vs Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. 4th is Ingress. It’s basically just like Pokemon only without the Pokemon and the Gyms. It may go up as some point, but my whole area is owned by the opposing team and I need to reach Level 6-8 in order to actually do anything about it. I dunno, it’s fun enough but I always can’t help but think of how many Pokemon I’d be catching if I had Go open. Finally in 5th is 1010!. It barely counts when placed with the others since it has no plot and it more of a very simple game app. Still, I did play through it so counting it is fair. It’s a lot of fun at first, but actually gets less so the higher your score gets. After all, who wants to spend 30 minutes trying to top your score only to come out short in the end? Definitely not me! That’s 6 App games that I’ve tried out now. It could be a while before another one so we’ll see how that does in the end.

Overall, App games are very addicting. It’s easy to see how this one got so far. For every great title like this one there are probably 100 low budget mobile games that are pretty bad, but I’ve done a good job of avoiding those so far. I hope Nintendo comes out with a Super Smash app at some point as you just know that would be really awesome. I finally got Roy, Ike, and Lucina in this game so I’m definitely very satisfied with my turnout. I’d like to get Marth at some point, but I suppose it could be a while. If you’re interested in the game, I recommend downloading it as soon as possible. Even if you don’t want to play it yet, download the game just so you can start receiving your daily rewards by logging in. That way you’ll be extra prepared with a bunch of extra items and characters by the time you really do start. There are still a bunch of features that I don’t fully understand or have barely scratched the surface of and we’ll see if I ever do. At least it’s nice knowing that they’re there if I ever need them. It may be time to get a real Fire Emblem game, but I’ve heard mixed things on the newer ones and the old ones are so expensive. It’s definitely a tough call.

Overall 8/10

Pokemon Go Update

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I have finally reached Level 40! In a sense, I feel like I’ve finally completed the game. Getting to this point was always my biggest goal. Now that it’s completed my priority is completing the Pokedex. I’m just missing 2 (Not counting regional exclusives) which are Miltank and Unknown. After I get those two, the final main goal is to catch a Top caliber (81%LV or higher) of each Pokemon evolution route. This game has definitely been intense and soon I’ll finally have my own Blaziken! He is officially going to be my Buddy Pokemon for ages and I’m gonna take him to all the gyms

Pokemon Go Update

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Time for an update guys! I have finally reached the elusive level 39! Now I just have one level to go until I have maxed out and completed a major part of the game. Completing the Pokedex will be the other big mission left at that point. Conversely I have also managed to capture Articuno (X4) and Lugia. It feels good to be able to activate the top tier Legendary pockets when necessary.

Pokemon Go Update

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I am now Level 37! Feels good! So apparently I’m about halfway to level 40 now. That’s not half bad and the current estimate says that I’ll beat the game in a little under a year. That’ll definitely be a huge accomplishment!

*This photo was taken from Google. I didn’t get to grab my own photo and there was no normal default level 37 pic like the other levels. I guess this is where a lot of people dropped off!*

1010! Review

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It’s been a while since I reviewed an App game. I technically don’t play a whole lot of them. The first one that I ever dove into was Madden Mobile, which I played for a few months last year. After that, I picked up Pokemon Go this year, which I still play quite actively. I’ll probably review that one once I’m done with the game. I’m planning to stop once I’m level 30 or once I’ve filled up the Pokedex and then I’ll probably just let it rest until Johto. 1010! is a game that I only downloaded because I was challenged by someone who claimed that I could never beat her score. I chuckled and realized that she didn’t know who she was talking too. I am the master of all games and never back down from a challenge! I downloaded the game, and quickly sighed. This was going to be too easy!

The gameplay is fairly simple to pick up and play. You have a classic board of squares that are all empty at first. You are given 3 blocks on the bottom that you have to add to the field. Their shapes will vary based on a limited number of possible shapes. You must fit them all in and then you are given another trio of blocks to add. You don’t have to worry about color coordination as it is purely based on filling rows and columns. Once you fill a row, the row becomes empty and likewise for columns. Completing multiple rows and columns at once will give you bonus points. You keep on going until you are no longer able to add blocks onto the field. When that happens, you have been defeated.

It’ll take you maybe 2-3 minutes tops to understand the rules, but you will get better at making decisions as you play. Soon you’ll be able to eye ball the field and instantly know where you should place the pieces. That being said, no matter how good you get at the game, you can’t get away from the fact that a large portion of the game is completely based on luck. If the game gives you the wrong blocks at a critical time, it’s game over. You always have to gamble based on which block you think will show up. I am not trying to downplay the skill involved though. Some people consistently get scores in the 10000s which is no coincidence. Luck is involved quite a lot, but so is skill. You simply have to play the game enough to really figure out what style works for you.

In the end, I got up to a score of 2919. I deleted the app after a while, but it was a fun run through. I didn’t manage to pass the person who had over 9000, but I helped my Mom get into the game and she shattered the score by about 3000 so I’d call that a win. I did beat the challengee’s friend though so that counts as another mild victory. In the end, you can do just about anything if you put your mind to it! That was my motto as I got into this. The gameplay is certainly a lot of fun and it is easy to just play this for hours and lose track of time. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, mobile games can be great because of how addicting they are and how easy they are to subtly play. It’s hard to take out a 3DS or PSP in public because it might get snatched, but playing something on your phone? That’s no problem!

There’s not much to say about the graphics since there isn’t much to look at here. Everything looks clear so I’ll give it a thumbs up in that category. You can slightly change how the game looks with one or two free options, but the default look ends up being the best way to play. I don’t recall any actual soundtrack, but I usually played with the volume off anyway. The one problem that I have with the game is that its time consuming. After a while, you’ll find yourself less incentivized to play as your high score gets higher and higher. It simply takes too long to get a score that high so you’re better off not even trying. I can’t imagine how people with scores over 10000 keep on playing. Just getting near that number will take a really long period of time. There’s not much of a way to fix that though unless the game added a timer. It’s still a lot of fun so it’s a mild thing that I think could boost the game to the next level.

Overall, 1010! is a fun app. You may not want to play it forever and ever as you’ll find your time vanishing, but it’s fun to play once in a while. It’s certainly good for passing time on the train. I’m the kind of guy who never looks back when it comes to Apps though so don’t expect to see me playing the game again. I do recommend it of course, but Pokemon Go is the only App that I’ve had time for lately. I do intend to play the Pac Man one at some point though. Who knows, if someone challenges me to another App, you may see another review sooner rather than later! Nobody can stop my mad gaming skills!!

Overall 7/10

Pokemon Shuffle Review

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Pokemon Shuffle is a game that I didn’t anticipate playing…ever. I typically don’t play freemium games all that often. They are certainly interesting and I can appreciate why companies would develop these games, but they didn’t seem to be for me. I prefer physical games for my collection, but naturally something like this is digital. Well, if I can’t get the game physically, then I’m definitely fine with a digital version I suppose. There are definitely some classic titles to get electronically someday, but as long as there are dozens of physical options to choose from, I don’t see myself being tempted by them anytime soon. Pokemon Shuffle may not be the next Pac Man or Super Mario Bros, but it’s actually very fun.

For the gameplay, I assume that you are familiar with Tetris? In this game, you must match identical blocks together by dragging them across the screen to take the place of another block. You score points for matching three or more in a line, (No diagonal lines in this one) an L shape, or a cross. Each Pokemon square has a different ability so you will want to know what it is and make the most of it. The Pokemon that you fight in each level are the ones that you will be adding to your team if you beat them quickly enough to secure the capture. The more turns you have left over, the greater the chance that you will catch the Pokemon. After the tutorial, you’ll likely be all set with a few good Pokemon all set and raring to go. Each Pokemon has a level to play and there are currently 240 levels I believe, with more being added all the time. As of this writing, I’ve beaten about 60 of them. The levels get harder as you go along of course.

I haven’t had to grind yet, but that area is quickly approaching, which means that I’ll probably start slowing down in this game. I do have a lot of fun with it, but there are currently a lot of games on the backburner so when I do get a chance to play a game, it should probably be something else. Still, if you have time, you’ll definitely enjoy the gameplay. Again, it’s similar to Pac Man in the sense that you are doing something over and over again, but it still manages to be fun. Playing Pokemon Shuffle requires you to really think about what you are doing and to brace yourself. One wrong move and you may have doomed yourself.

There is certainly a cost to losing as you lose a heart every time you attempt a level. You start out with 5 hearts and once you lose them all, you have to wait 30 minutes to get another one. This is where the pay to win aspect of the game comes at you. You can buy hearts to save yourself the trouble of waiting and the money will certainly add up very quickly. In the game, you earn jewels (Which is what you’re actually buying with your real money) and then you trade them for hearts and coins. You’ll typically get a jewel every 10-15 levels so they are pretty sparse.

Naturally, I’ll never pay money for something like this. The only game where I currently buy DLC is Super Smash Bros and I don’t really see that changing anytime soon. Most DLC just isn’t worth it and I prefer to just turn off Pokemon Shuffle for a few hours before going back to it. This heart system actually encourages you to take a lot of breaks while playing, which is certainly fun.

Aside from the story missions, there are challenge ones and even some online bonuses. Each week you will get some limited stage choices like playing an extra EXP level or a coin one. They’re pretty interesting. At the moment, the online ones are definitely too tough for my team to beat, but maybe once I’m further in the game. Your Pokemon level up through the levels, which increases the damage your squares deal to the opponent when matched. So far, this really doesn’t make a difference at all, but it’ll probably be more evident later on. Right now, the only thing that really matters is ensuring that you have the type advantage. Trust me, that’ll carry you a very long way.

The graphics aren’t bad. There’s only been one real cutscene in the game so far, which would be the tutorial as a reporter helps you learn the ropes. The only dialogue since then has been a few black silhouettes for the trainers that you conquer. This is a game that would have a tough time trying to look great, but it won’t look bad either. The animations are clear and that’s really what counts. There’s not much of a soundtrack to be found here as it’s very pleasant and soft, which is likely supposed to encourage your playing through it. I would have liked some big boss themes to be honest, but I suppose that this’ll do.

There’s a lot of replay value in this game as you can replay levels to truly try to catch all of the Pokemon. That being said, the heart system does really hurt this part of the game and actually damages the title as a whole. It’s safe to say that this could have been an 8 star game, but the fact that you can only play 3-5 levels at a time before giving the game a break is definitely not cool. It stops you from replaying levels because you simply don’t want to waste the hearts and be forced to give the game another long break. That’s really the only negative in this game. The rest of Pokemon Shuffle is just a blast through and through, but this is a big downer. It’s why Freemium games typically have their limits as the pay to win system will always get you in the end.

Overall, Considering that the game is free, this is truly a steal. Pokemon Shuffle is a great way to pass some time by and you can play it for hours without getting bored, assuming that you have enough hearts for that. I will definitely encourage you not to succumb to the game and buy hearts, but to just power through it the long, but free way. I also downloaded Pokemon Rumble Blast so I’ll be giving that a whirl at some point, but I can safely say that it’ll have a tough time beating this title. Pokemon Shuffle easily exceeded my expectations before I started the game and it has set the bar very high for freemium games.

Overall 7/10