Micael Andrei Diaz de Rivera



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Disney's Spectrobes Delivers

I've been wanting to get this game since its first trailer appeared. What made me not get this game as soon as it was released was because of the early bad reviews it got from reputable game review sites. It averaged a grade of 6 for the reviewers.

This game was released last March and I just got it a few days ago for my birthday. This game was supposed to be added to our library of Nintendo DS games before we even get Pokémon Diamond and Pearl but we all know that didn't happen since we got the Pokémon a few days after it was officially released in the United States (April 2007). And now without further adieu, Micael's thoughts on Spectrobes for the Nintendo DS.


Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios (Buena Vista Games)
Developer: Jupiter

Micael says : From the developer of the Pokémon Pinball series comes this new game that looks pretty much like Pokémon. This game reminded me more of Digimon play and Yugioh art than anything Pokémon really. Pokémon introduced the world to the collection of monsters and Spectrobes' core revoles around that and that is basically the reason why this game is often compared to Pokémon. This game or franchise cannot compete against Pokémon yet. It has the potential to be great someday but I doubt if it can ever reach the position of Pokémon.

The collection of Spectobes does feel like a choir but the battle system is not that bad. It's actually enjoyable if you've tried to experiment the different ways you approach and finish a battle. My 9 year old younger brother really likes the game. If you are a Pokémon fan looking for a new fix then this game might satisfy you. For me, this game was better than I expected!

Verdict: 8/10 - Looking forward to a better Spectrobes 2.

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Now that's BETTER

It's gonna be everywhere.

I'm a bit busy today so I'll just leave you all with the new but not so new 2nd English commercial of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. I like it! No. I love it! It's so much better than the first English commercial.

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Chicks dig the DS

I just wanted to share to you CNET's David Carnoy article entitled "Chicks dig the DS, hate the PSP?" since I know there's quite a number of female readers to this blog.

"Blame it on the PSP's initial high price and suspect marketing, but there's something a bit more subtle going on that Sony must contend with: Chicks dig the DS, and that's a problem."

This is just based on his observations and I'm not sure that's what I see here in the Philippines. I see more people flaunting their PSPs at malls than people flaunting their DS'. I personally know more DS owners than PSP owners though.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, it's all about the gameplay, and the DS rocks. But the fact is, the number of really good titles for the DS is actually pretty thin, especially if you happen to be over 21 and don't worship at the altar of Mario or Pokemon."
I beg to disagree. We own more or less around 10 DS games and the whole family has enjoyed them.


I can hear you

The official Nintendo DS headset is coming to stores near you days before the release of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. Some sites have even offered a great deal of packaging the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games with this headset for a small fee.

As I have already discussed in a previous post, voice chat is one of the coolest feature of the new Pokémon games.

The reason why we haven't bought any DS games lately is because of this headset and because of the Diamond and Pearl games.

If Philippine stores can set up a lot of Wi-Fi spots in the country (think of Japan) then Pokémon can be a very cool alternative to your mobile phone calls.

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UDP#2 I See Pink

This is the second among a series of posts where I will talk about the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. The UDP (Uncovering Diamond and Pearl) articles have been very popular with the readers and I have decided to not further delay the second article of this series. This is a Spell Micael Special and will not be posted by Micael in any other site.

I See Pink

Pocket Monsters, Pokémon for short, started out as a video game and video games were usually a thing just for boys in the old days. Because of Pokémon's popularity, it eventually got its own trading card game and trading card games before were also considered as something just for the boys. Pokémon is for boys and girls to enjoy but it is just recently that the whole world started to see this.

There are many reasons why I think Pokémon can be liked by girls but since this article is under UDP then I'll try to focus on the games.

1) The Nintedo DS has proven to be a hand held gaming device that favors both male and female players.
2) The game will still give you the freedom to choose from either a male or female main character.
3) Many postings on the internet have reported that contests have been really popular with majority of the female fans of Pokémon. Pokémon Contests were introduced in the Ruby Sapphire games. It was not the contest feature in the games that boosted the popularity of Pokémon to girls but it was the contest battles in the anime. Haruka/May, a Pokémon Coordinator (someone who competes in Pokémon Contests - think of the glorious dog shows with all those ribbons and stuff), has had a lot of time acting as main character because of these contests. The people, at least in Japan, loved it so much that the creators of the series had to bring in Hikari/Dawn (also a Pokémon Coordinator) when it was time for Haruka/May to leave. Contests have now become an essential part of the anime. The Diamond and Pearl games will not just have the Pokémon Contests but instead get the Pokémon Super Contests! The Super contest is an upgrade of the contest that we saw on Ruby and Sapphire. This time the Pokémon can play dress up and do some dancing.
4) I heard ladies love cooking and baking. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl players can engage in a mini game that produces some sort of bread to feed to the Pokémon to boost their stats used in super contests.

I once talked with a female gamer before and asked her about her preferences in gaming. Does she like games specifically made for girls? Her answer was that she liked all sorts of games and she told me that people should avoid labeling games into a boys game or a girls game because girls can like what the boys like and boys can like what the girls like. Pokémon has given many ways to traditional girls to jump into the Pokémon community and now it is just up to them and to everyone in the community to encourage them and not to alienate them into enjoying what the Pokémon fans have enjoyed for 10 years.

The first UDP article had one of the Japanese commercials of the game in it. The commercial showed a young girl talking and trading with her sister using her Nintendo DS Lite and her Pokémon Diamond/Pearl game. That commercial showed how serious was Pokémon on promoting the game to girls. For this article here is a video of girl power as seen on Pokémon Sunday (a weekly Pokémon show where real people talk about Pokémon).

That was an old ending sequence for Pokémon Sunday. One of the many Japanese female groups that I adore is Hinoi Team and that is where I discovered them. Now that's girl Pokémon power! I'll talk about the advantages and the consequences of the Wi-Fi chat capabilities of the game on the next article. A full version of Hinoi Team's dance can be viewed by clicking here. Well that's all for that. Stay tuned for the next UDP article!

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Look Smart

I finally found a good looking DS Lite case that fits my style. It retails for 1,800 yen in Japan but I was able to get it for only 300 pesos at a local toy store. 1800 yen is around 725 pesos.

It is made by keys factory of Japan and the case is licensed by Nintendo.

I'm so satisfied with this buy! I just wanted to rave about it. The better posts are coming later.

Links: Official Website of the Case.


UDP#1 Tapping the Potential

This is the first among a series of posts where I will talk about the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. These series of posts will be collectively known as the UDP (Uncovering Diamond and Pearl) Articles. This is a Spell Micael Special and will not be posted by Micael in any other site.

Tapping the Potential

The notable features of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games are the following:

Play online with anyone around the world through the Wi-Fi Connection.
Voice chat with your opponents using the built in microphone.
Perform tasks using the touch screen and stylus.

The reason why gamers, Pokémon and non-Pokémon fans, are very excited with these games is because it makes good use of all all the unique capabilities of the Nintendo DS that cannot be seen or experienced in any portable gaming device today.

Other best selling DS games like Brain Age, New Super Mario Bros, Nintendogs, and Animal Crossing: Wild World have made use of at least two of the three unique features of the Nintendo DS. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl made use of all three features and made them all sing together. No wonder why Pokémon Diamond and Pearl is the best selling DS game in Japan.

A Pokémon game is the best selling Game Boy game (Note: Tetris was packaged with the Game Boy). A Pokémon game is the best selling Game Boy Advance game. A Pokémon game will be the best selling Nintendo DS game.

Sony's PSP (Playstation Portable), the rival of the Nintendo DS, recently dropped its price to boost its lagging sales. The DS is outselling the PSP right now around the world but they have a close match in the USA. The Nintendo DS has already won Japan where their hardware sales are greatly more than the PSP and that Japan's best selling games chart of every week (which includes both hand held and non hand held consoles games) is dominated by DS games. This recent move of Sony might weaken the sales of the English Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games but rest assured it wont stop Pokémon to rule the list.

A gamer reacted to this move of Sony by saying "I'm sure Nintendo would counter this. The release of Nintendo's cash cow is just around the corner. Oh I forgot. Pokémon is not Nintendo's cash cow but it is their double decker cash whale." What he wanted to say is that nothing can really stop this Pokémon phenomenon, not even Sony, from taking over the world once more.

I enjoyed that commercial for it demonstrates the capabilities of the game. Next article will be about the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games and the girls.

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Let's talk Diamond and Pearl

Last summer I asked my parents for a Nintendo DS. I did get it and eventually upgraded to a black DS Lite. Why did I ask for it? The simple answer is Pocket Monsters or Pokémon for short. I wanted to have the device that can play the next generation of Pokémon games. I have been a huge Pokémon fan even before the anime series got aired in the Philippines. I was in my sixth grade when I first got into Pokémon. I'm now entering my fourth year in college and I'm still a fan.

Starting today until the English launch of the game, I will be writing a series of posts that will talk about the Diamond and Pearl Pokémon games and some related topics. No. I will not just copy and paste known information about the game. That would be boring. I'll talk about parental concerns with regards the game, possible effects to the whole Pokémon franchise, the return of former fans, Pokémon becoming closer to girls, and many more. I will still be posting many non-Pokémon related posts in this blog so don't worry.

Here's one Japanese commercial of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games.

Last year that commercial made me excited. I hope this commercial made you excited to read my future articles about this game.

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