Tokyo 2020

Did you see the Tokyo 2020 teaser intro?

It was awesome! There’s captian Tsubasa, Doraemon, Pac-man and in the end the Japan prime ministry becomes Super Mario, jumps in a pipe and arrives in Rio!

You didn’t see it live?

Oh, bad luck! Unfortunately the olympic committee doesn’t allow distribution, takes down every mirror on YouTube… I don’t understand… you should be happy that your teaser is so great that has become a viral video, giving you free advertisement!! What’s the purpose in spending thousands of dollars to make a teaser, then forbid everyone to watch it?

I don’t understand this, like their war to the GIF videos on Twitter.

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Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat

Pirates_The_Legend_of_Black_KatBy chance I found this old PlayStation 2 game, it’s Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat. Kat stands for Katerina, not cat.

The story starts with a big mystery, not because of flashback or other suspense, it’s just because I don’t understand anything what’s going on.

There’s a video where a pirate tells a story to a little girl and then… you’re controlling a ship, without any tutorial, come on, sink the enemy!

After sinking the enemy without even a reason (what if they were good people?), there’s another video: someone is dueling with somebody else, talking on the classic lines of “you have to walk over my dead body”, getting his wish fulfilled.

Our hero, after sinking a random ship, sees some black smoke from far away: “hey, maybe my father is in danger!”. She runs back home and everything is on fire! And her father has been killed! Luckily he wrote a long letter with the explanation! But if he had all this energy to write a full page with a quill, couldn’t he try to escape? And the bad guy, that was giving fire to all corners of the villa, didn’t notice that his victim was writing a book?

From the letter we get a shocking news! Katerina’s mom was a pirate. I would never imagine that!
So starts her revenge: time to get back to the ship, moored on the other side of the island, of course. You have to kill all the enemies on the road: pirates wearing the same outfit, giant crabs and, if we enable a teleport to an “underworld” like in Stranger Things, we’ll meet also skeletons. Here also no tutorial, good, we’ll learn the buttons in the hard way! There’s no violence, defeated enemies disappear immediately and become gold or powerup.

This “underworld” stuff doesn’t make sense, at least at the beginning of the game… maybe it will make sense later in the game?

Something interesting is that Kat can “smell gold” like Scrooge Mc Duck: when you walk over a treasure, the controller starts to vibrate and she says “I smell gold”. If you want to take it you have to walk around pressing L2. It doesn’t always work: when I was in the “underworld” she kept telling me for 5 minutes that she was “smelling gold”, but I didn’t found anything. What’s the purpose of this gold, I don’t know yet, maybe later in the story we’ll find a store or something like that.

When you have killed everyone and arrived to the ship, you get the tutorial. Why???? Why after 25 minutes of play you put 30 pages of tutorial???? I already got the commands at that time!
When you are nearby to the water, a force field will stop you, you can’t jump into it: this saved the developers from unnecessary programming complications. Another thing that we are not be used anymore is that you can only save when you find a save point (a parrot), no checkpoints or automatic saves.

When you get in the boat, there’s the second game mechanic: sea navigation and cannon shooting. After all, if you ignore the bland story, it’s a good game: adventure, exploration, sea fights: you would be curious to see what’s in the next island.

Another extra point to the player vs player mode: who loses gets a more powerful ship. So, if you play against a friend who has never touched the game before, the game automatically balances the fight! Great!

Graphics and sound are obviously outdated, but if you consider that it’s a game published in 2002, it’s great: for example the water is transparent, with fishes and sunken ships, on sand you leave footprints and monkeys are playing cheerfully.

When a good idea is not enough: before Pokémon GO

This morning I read an article on Multiplayer.it where there’s a video showing a Pokémon GO “clone” from 2011. This is the trailer:

So, has Niantic copied the idea?

I don’t think so. The idea is similar but the game play it’s totally different.

Ok, the game isn’t working anymore, and if it still was, i wouldn’t work outside Korea (Olleh is a brand of Korea Telecom), so I didn’t personally try it, but from the video I can see the difference.

The purpose in Olleh catch catch was to catch as many Mon as you can, and then convert the points in coupon, while in Pokémon GO you gotta catch ’em all™ and become the strongest trainer.

It’s also monetized differently, in the first one, the target is increase customer loyalty, go in partner stores to gain coupons to spend in partner stores. In Pokémon GO instead the devs make money from in-app purchases (power-ups) or pokéstop sponsorships.

In the end I think that Niantic didn’t got inspired at all to this game, but simply has took (their) Ingress and simplified the gameplay in order to make it appealing to any age range.

What do you think?

The washable phone

On my first article wrote on Dandandin in the 2009, I talked about the “new” 3D phones fron Japan. We never got them, we got an autosteroscopic 3D screen 2 years later with the Nintendo 3DS and only one smartphone, the HTC Evo 3D, which I never saw in stores.

The 3D mania,let companies create products like the 3DeeShell for the iPhone, but were commercial failures.

Now, it’s trendy to make waterproof phones, but while Sony says that’s better to don’t get their waterproof phones wet, Kyocera in Japan launches the DIGNO rafre, the first smartphone washable with warm soap.

See the ad:

The official page doesn’t go in deep detail over the specs, but tells us more details: foam-resistant, scratch-resistant, and so on

Wow!!! In Florence I can line without actually stay in the line!!

Incredible! Today I went to the city hall to get a certificate. When I got in, I saw the waiting room… I had 30 people waiting before me… boring… I hate waiting in line. Then, I read a notice, using the Qurami app it’s possible to take a number and book the spot on the line. Cool!!! This is what I love about tech!!!

I always hated to waste my time waiting for hours for my turn! Now I can get on a virtual line and focus my time on something more important for example this:

Comune Pokemon