Friday, October 31, 2014

Monster Strike Impressions, Privacy Policy and Links to Tips and Guide

US App Store link

Japan App Store link

Google play Store link

This is a game that I've been wanting to try but it kept failing at the downloading portion at the start in the Japan version; I tried again after a long period of time but it still failed and I eventually given up. Now that it is localised in English (only available in US region stores though), I decide to give it another try.

I manage to get pass the download screen and create an account, however, I started the game with an account with a different name and tutorial already finished; it seemed to be someone else's account. The weirder part was when I switch to Wifi, the account changed to another one with further progress as well as a lot of rolls already done but I get an error trying to access dungeons. It seems like the game is not syncing up accounts correctly.

Luckily, I was able to get a taste of the gameplay with the first account before it starting failing at connection. The game is basically like Marbles or Billiards in play-style while featuring collectible characters as the marbles/balls. It also has multiplayer of up to 4 players but everybody needs to be nearby. I think the game is a breath of fresh air in terms of Mobile Games but unfortunately I have given up proceeding further in the game due to the bugs I face after many retries.

Another point of interest regarding the game was its privacy policy that was sounded out by a reviewer in the US App Store. It stated that the game collects a lot of data! Here's the link to the actual Privacy Policy:

Monster Strike Privacy Policy

If you go through it, it seems rather daunting as the many things that the game collect is spelled out so clearly. In comparison, here's GungHo's(maker of Puzzle & Dragons):

GungHo Privacy Policy (US)

It also collects "Personal Information" but has not presented it like Monster Strike's. I guess it is always a good practice to read up on a software's privacy policies before using.

At this point of writing, Monster Strike is at the top of the Top Grossing Chart in Japan iTunes store, dethroning Puzzle & Dragons which is huge in Japan. This is definitely a game to check out, you might not face the same issues as me.

Here are 2 forum threads which have info and tips for the game:

- The Something Awful Forums
( There is re-rolling in the game as pointed out there and the data to delete for re-roll is "data10.bin".)

- Singapore Hardwarezone Forum
(Based on the Japan version but most of the tips and guide should still be relevant)

How to play Hearthstone on iPhone(with native iPad app)

Source: Reddit

It requires jailbreaking and doesn't sound stable from the comments of it. I think it is still better to wait for the iPhone version in the works by Blizzard.

HearthPwn on Hearthstone's Next Expansion

Article link: HearthPwn

There's a high possibility that it will be announced at next week's Blizzcon!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Generation for iPad out now!

Update: It is out now worldwide! App Store link

A full Yu-Gi-Oh game for iPad is finally on its way! It's now currently soft launched in Canada App Store and works on all iPads except for the first generation. Check out TouchArcade forum thread for the early impressions.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Tag Force Special (Japan version) coming soon for PSP and compatible with PS Vita

Source: Siliconera

I had to double check the date of the article as the game was for PSP. The game features all the different protagonists of the card game which is really cool, as well as the new Pendulum Summon mechanic from the latest series. If I remember correctly, the last Tag Force for PSP (Tag Force 6) did not had an English release so we can't be too sure about this one either.

Here's the game's official site from Konami.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online: Going first and Halloween codes

2 interesting threads at the Reddit sub forum:

- Go First Or Not?
I think it might be better to go second in Hearthstone because you get the coin but in Pokemon TCG, it is generally better to go first as it allows you to set up faster although you forgo the first attack.

- Halloween codes
It's only for avatar items but it's a nice way for a game to celebrate Halloween.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blizzard's Hearthstone Mobile News Updates on Android Tablets, phones and iPhone

Source: Blizzard

Android tablets release set to before the end of the year.

iPhone and Android phones after or early next year.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online - Tips and Links *Updated Buying Theme Decks or Packs Section*

Update: There was an update recently that brought the Standard Format cards rotation to the game. It is like in Magic:TG where only cards from the latest sets are allowed in tournaments. I am currently unable to play the Trainer Challenge as I get stuck at the select a deck screen with no decks available. This might be due to the decks being removed from the format. Update#2: I think the Trainer Challenge requires you to have a theme deck that is in the Standard format, whereas all the free ones I got were no longer legal so I'll have save to get one from the shop first.

There isn't much to do for Hearthstone at the moment after Naxxramas other than grinding for more packs and cards so I'll be focusing more on Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) Online. It is a free to play game and quite a few things to unlock. You can find out more about the game info from the Bulbapedia Wiki page. (There are daily login bonuses in the game) I've actually bought around 1-2 physical decks around the time when the card game first started way back but I forgotten most of the rules. (Update#3: I found the first deck I tried to make, Haymaker. There was a pre-constructed deck containing the key cards so it was not too hard to build)You can learn about the game from the official website tutorial or in-game while starting. I think we can probably expect the same game when it launches for iPad later this year so the below tips and links should apply then:

Free Redemption Codes

Pokemon TCG Online: Fairy Deck Skeleton from Resilient Life Theme Deck *Updated with a Top 4 Worlds 2014 decklist*

Update#3: Hitoshi Omura of Japan has another version of the Aromatisse deck in the Junior Division. His version is even more "toolboxy" as it has a lot of 1-ofs EX Pokemon and only Aromatisse as the Fairy Pokemon in the deck along with zero Fairy energy.

Update#2: Michikazu Tsuda of Japan took a Aromatisse Variant (combined with Mega Kangaskhan) to Worlds 2014 Master Division Top 4 finish. The decklist can be found in the Official Pokemon site. Here's an article from ProPokemon on the deck and also covers some ideas on how to adapt the deck for the new Standard format. Lastly, The Top Cut website also feature a version of that deck some time back and it includes a gameplay video too.

Update#1: Newer Skeleton List

PokeBeach Forum Aromatisse Variants Metagame Deck Archive Thread

"What I like about this deck is that a new player who are buying their first cards can have a good skeleton just by buying two theme decks.

4 Xerneas
2-2: Slurpuff
2-2: Aromatisse

4 Tierno 
2 Sycamore
2 Roller Skates
2 Fairy Garden
2 Super Potion

10 Fairy

You got some support pokemon, energy acceleration, a stadium. a decent attacker, and some draw. I'd probably add in:
  • 3-5 other strong basics (Bouffalant is effective and at least one good EX like Mewtwo)
  • 6-8 more supporters or draw cards (Skyla, more Sycamore, and Shauna or N)
  • 4-5 search cards (level ball and ultra ball)
  • 6-10 other trainers (EXP share, Super Rod, Tool Scrapper, muscle band, more potions) 

I also think Xerneas could be an alternative to Victini EX for decks can use fairy energy acceleration (that Dragonite deck comes to mind and maybe Stoutland for those wanting to try something different). It could also take advantage of the fairy garden stadium card to ease retreating."

The theme deck is of course referring to the Resilient Life deck. I'm not a fan of cards with abilities that require coin toss so I won't recommend the Roller Skates in the above list. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online: Yveltal/Seismitoad/Garbodor in the latest Standard format

I was checking out The Top Cut and a recent report on the Regional Championships shows a dominant showing for this particular deck: Yveltal/Seismitoad/Garbodor. Here's a video by the site featuring the deck (not an exact list of the ones used in competition and I think the amount of Seismitoad normally used might be 3-4) as well as gameplay. It is basically a version of the Yveltal/Garbodor deck (video) which was the US Nationals 3rd Place Deck (video). ProPokemon site had an article on Seismitoad EX and how it might affect the Meta and it turns out the suggestion at the end on adding Yveltal EX was spot on with what had happened.

Viagame's House Cup Decklists

Source: GosuGamers

A wealth of decklists from all the players as due to the format, each player brought out a deck for each classes. I am most interested in Kolento's and TidesofTime's.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Miracle Rogue from Hyped (Updated with TidesofTime version link)

Update#3: Found TidesofTime version from Viagame's House Cup decklists, as reported on GosuGamers.

Update#2: Deck List from Hearthstone Top Deck.

Update#1: After taking another look at the decklist, I notice it is actually a little fusion between Miracle Rogue and Turn 6/Backspace Aggro Rogue with the Arcane Golem and Coldlight Oracle, which was a cool innovation from Hyped.

I was checking out the WCA Hearthstone Tournament on Twitch and chanced on Hyped's matches with Savjz. He was playing a new version of Miracle Rogue, without Leeroy. It looks pretty cool and was able to win games fairly quickly. Here's the Reddit thread about it.

This is the deck list put together by them from the games. The discussion is also warning that it is more suited as a tournament deck than a deck to run rank ladder.

I've also been checking out the Hearthstone Top Deck site and notice a huge decline in Hunters deck, understandably from the huge nerf to Buzzard. The other surprise was to see Sludge Belcher overthrow Defender of Argus as the most played rares in the Most Played Cards list. I learnt from the WCA Tournament commentary that Sludge Belcher fits into most decks and Hyped's Tempo Storm teammate, TidesofTime, even uses it in his Miracle Rogue variant.

The WCA Hearthstone Tournament is currently ongoing at this time of writing and you can find the stream and past broadcasts on Kripparrian's Twitch page.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pokemon TCG Online Free Pack Redemption Codes, valid till 10 October 2014

Update#3: The code redemption is over.

Update#2: More codes were updated to the Reddit link.

Update#1: More codes were added to the Reddit link and some had expired. There is also an official statement from the developer that any abuse of the codes will result in banning.

Source: Reddit thread

It seems like quite a number of websites are getting these free codes to redeem packs. You do not need to type them in caps or include the dashes and they redeem unlocked packs so I intend to keep them for trading. The codes expires on 10 October 2014.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kolento and his BlizzCon Europe Decks

I do check out Hearthstone competitive news once in a while and a player that consistently do very well in tournaments is Kolento. (Twitch page, Wiki Page) He dominates them with very high win-rates and 0-1 losses in quite a few of them, which was very impressive. Here's the deck-lists to his 4 BlizzCon Europe decks:

Warlock Handlock




Monday, October 6, 2014

Star Wars: Assault Team removed from App Store, Google Play Store and Microsoft's app store

Source: Touch Arcade and Android Authority

I played it some time back and quite like the game. It was an interesting mix of card game with RPG turn-base battles. The graphics were nice and I only had an issue with the inconsistent energy recharge timings and pricing of the IAP between different accounts.

I check out the App Invasion forum and found this thread. It turns out there were bugs and the game was not being updated for a while. The game will also be retired on October 29, 2014 based on a message in-game. By retire, I assume the servers will be shut down? On further searching around, I found the GameFAQs forum and some more topics on the state of the game:

Luke and Leia cards (Luke, Leia and some heroes no longer drop from their respective missions but will still be added as temporary helper if a mission requires them, according to the developer's reply to the players. I remember realising I could get Luke from a mission and didn't find much of a need for going for crates as you can just complete missions for the rest of the heroes. It probably wasn't profitable to the developers so they made a "U-turn" on that and it caused some unhappy players in that thread)

Looks like everyone gave up (On top of the above reasons, the arena (PvP) became too difficult)

I guess the game probably should have stayed in Beta longer to iron out all the design issues: standardising a time for Energy Recharge, hero card rewards, etc. It definitely feels rush now that you looked back at it. I think the game was probably not making enough money to sustain the cost of keeping it up, hence leading to it being "killed" but it definitely is bad for players who invested money in the game, especially the newer players  joining after the hero drop changes. This serves as a stark reminder to all players and online-only games; it is only playable as long as their back-end servers continue running.

Thefishou's Aggro Mage

Gosugamers Article Link containing decklist

According to the article, it went 5-1 during the group stages so I think it is pretty consistent. Another thing I notice about the deck is that it runs only one Legendary card, Bloodmage Thalnos like Hyped's Miracle Rogue variant, this might be the new "first legendary craft" for new players after the Leeroy nerf. I also think this deck will probably be more suited for Ladder compared to Hyped's Rogue and it is a relatively cheap deck; Bloodmage Thalnos will have to be substituted with another cheap minion, like Harvest Golem, until you save enough dust or get it from packs. The article did state that there were 2 unknown cards, so you can also experiment around with those 2 slots.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Guardian Cross and old devices

I was preparing to send my iPhone 5 in for a replacement as it has the battery issue and I wanted to make sure the phone was clear of app data. I was checking out Guardian Cross in particular as it was mentioned to be locked to a device. To my surprise, a newly restored and re-setup iPhone with a re-downloaded Guardian Cross does not load up any game save automatically; you are required to login or start a new game. This is good news for people who wants to trade in or sell their old iDevices. Do check it out yourselves to make sure, just in case...