Pokemon GO Gen 2 Is Out!

I hope you’re having a great President’s Day weekend Pokémon hunters! Last week a highly anticipated moment arrived – the release of Pokemon GO Gen 2! With this release we now have access to more than 80 new Pokémon to catch, hatch, and evolve. I’m sure your pokedex is filling up with these new critters as is mine. But that’s not all, Niantic has released an update to the gameplay mechanics as well. We’ll detail out what we know so far, but make sure and check out the unofficial, community driven, feature list over on /r/TheSilphRoad.

What I’ve Caught So Far

New Avatar Customization

This is super exciting. Not only do we have more options for our characters to look different, we now have clothes items available for purchase. While some may complain that microtransactions are a bummer, for those that really want to customize their appearance, the option is there. Additionally, you can turn off some of the appearance items like backpacks, socks, shoes, hats, and gloves.

Pokémon Movesets Have Changed

Niantic has balanced many of the movesets in the game, so you may notice that some of your moves don’t do as much damage as they used to, while some others do more damage. One thing I was really excited about is that they’ve made all moves be just 1-3 bars instead of the useless 4 and 5 bar moves. There are a few moves that have been removed from the game as well. For a full list, check out the thread on reddit above.

New Items From Pokestops

Pokemon GO Gen 2 - New BerriesPokémon hunters can now expect to start receiving two new berry types from pokestops, Nanab Berries and Pinap Berries. Whereas Razz berries increased catch percentages, Nanab Berries calm the Pokémon down so they’re less likely to jump, attack, or fly around the screen. Pinap berries can be fed to Pokémon to make them drop more candy when they’re caught. It’s worth noting that like Razz berries, these new berries only apply the effect to the next attempted catch.

Additionally, there are new evolution items that are needed to evolve some Pokémon. These are seemingly more rare to find, and are only useful if you have the Pokémon that it applies to along with the commensurate amount of candy to evolve it.

Pokemon Catch Mechanics

I was surprised by this one actually. I went to toss a ball to catch a Ledyba only to find is zooming around the screen dodging my throw. No longer do you have to just work on your timing between attacks and jumps. Now you also have to anticipate lateral movement and flying patterns.

One thing I found super awesome was the UI update to the catch screen. You don’t have to go deep into menus to apply a berry or switch the type of pokeball you want to use. You also don’t need to run away when you run out of pokeballs. The new UI allows you to purchase pokeballs without leaving the screen. I can’t tell you how many times I have found a new Pokémon out in the wild with only a few pokeballs left only to have to run because I couldn’t catch it on the first try.

Speaking of first catches, there are also some new bonuses you can get depending on how your catching experience goes. If you catch a Pokémon on the first throw, you get an extra 50xp. Additionally, each throw has a chance to be a critical catch. This catch is accompanied by a new animation as well.

Wrapping Up

Overall I’m super happy with this new release of Pokémon GO. I’m sure most of you, like me, were almost complete with your pokedex for generation one and running out of new things to catch and evolve. I had almost put the game down completely except for the seasonal events. The 80 new Pokémon, updated gameplay, and continuing community events. Unlike so many mobile games that are a couple hours of fun in total, Pokémon GO has the promise of long term gameplay. I hope that Niantic continues to release more frequent updates to keep this game fresh for a long time to come. Happy Hunting!

First Impressions – FOR HONOR and For Glory!

Welcome to “First Impressions”, a new series on AGB where I take you through the first 30 minutes of the some of the latest and greatest of the gaming world’s offerings. You have my promise that I will be going through the game, whatever game it may be, for the first time live on video.  No betas. No demos. No second chances. Just First Impressions.

For the series opener, I’ll be giving you my first impressions on Ubisoft’s ambitious historical fighter, FOR HONOR.

 Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword…

Wheat blows gently in the wind as the light of the sun shines upon a warm and welcoming world.  But that welcome is lost, as the land shakes and the earth ruptures, and that which was once welcome is welcome no more. From below the ground, a cataclysmic disaster rips asunder any sign of man’s presence on the world. A voice is heard, telling the tale of woe and war. The voice belongs to knight clad in black armor. Apollyon, the bringing of war.

And that’s only the opening cinematic! WOO! Rivaling that of most animated movies, FOR HONOR’s opening cinematic is epic and breath taking and left me eager to start the game. As first impressions go, that surely was an impressive outing. I was blown away by the visuals, there’s no doubt about that.

I didn’t know much about this game before I bought it, however the one thing I did know was that I had to choose a faction: Viking, Knight or Samurai. I decided to align myself with the Samurai faction, although Knight and Viking didn’t make the choice easy. From there, I was allowed to customize my character emblem, and then thrown into a quick tutorial. Right away my mind was blown. I was a Samurai. The detail that was put in the armor and movement was incredible. The surrounding castle ruins, the fire dancing in the lanterns, the medieval banners blowing in the breeze, all crafted with love. I was most certainly impressed.

The words New Mission Objective flash across the top of the screen as a side bar appears and begins to instruct me on the ways of the sword. Holding L2 locks on to enemy, while the right analog stick controls sword placement and stances. At first I practice against straw training dummies, switching between targets and alternating stances. Then an AI bot knight appears from the castle to help practice blocking and striking. The sounds of swords clashing is just spectacular, and seeing the sparks fly when steel strikes steel is a treat within itself. After a few more strikes, I knew I was sold. I was in, hook, line, and sinker. And I still hadn’t even completed the training.

First impressions? FOR HONOR is simply impressive. The sound is fantastic, the graphics are eye-popping, the story is interesting, and the game play is engaging. In the video I only played for 30 minutes, and when I switched to Twitch, I played for another hour or so, and I wasn’t not disappointed at all in any way. When beginning the story mode I was forced to go through training once again, but if that bit of drudgery was a necessary evil to continue on with the carnage and chaos of war, then I accept it gladly. I honestly didn’t mind, because as I said, this game is impressive.

As of this writing, I still haven’t completed Story Mode, so a full review is still a work in progress. If you’ve played the game, or just watched me play the game in the video, then please write in the comments and let me know what your first impressions are of FOR HONOR. Also, if there are any games you would like me to check out, then write that in the comments, too! For now, the next scheduled First Impressions will be at the end of the month when HORIZON ZERO DAWN is released! Until then, gamers, stay Awesome!