Tamagotchi Chibi and Tamagotchi Mini

This is a little look at these simplistic pets.

Gudetama Tamagotchi

Taking a look at the recently released Tamagotchi x Gudetama crossover.

Digimon Games - Part One

Diving into some obscure Digimon games.

Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories

Taking a look at the Android/iOS Harvest Moon title.

Digimon World Championship

Not quite Digimon World fun.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

For Mass Communication 342


On the morning of February 6, an event covering the socioeconomic needs of the LGBTQ community and strategies for improving the resources available to them in the South Carolina upstate was held in Winthrop University’s Owens Hall.

Winthrop University graduate student Ethan Johnstone had some attention-grabbing facts. “Members of the LGBTQ community are four times as likely to live in extreme poverty,” Johnstone said. “Extreme poverty in this case is making less than $10,000 a year.”

Johnstone also pointed out that resources such as steady employment are not always available to members of this community.

The next person to present was the Masters of social work candidate and researcher, Krista Parenti, who offered the qualitative findings of the research.

“We are seeing more implicit discrimination rather than explicit discrimination, such as violence,” said Parenti. “Part of the greatest fight is implicit bias, the unconscious thoughts and feelings ingrained in you. The key is being aware of them.”

Masters of social work, Monique Constance had some insight into the privileges that people who are not members of the LGBTQ community may not even realize they have.

“I can move about without fear of attack because of my orientation,” Constance said.
Other attendees also had thoughts on the matter. 

Rock Hill resident Joey Castellanos hoped for a positive outcome from this research. 

“It will be a good day when we no longer have to refer to ourselves as different communities,” Castellanos said. “We need to work towards being communities that can smoothly exist with each other.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

UraTama

Ura Jinsei Enjoi Tamagotchi Plus, or the UraTama as it is more commonly known, was released in Japan in 2006 and could be seen as a sequel to the previously released EnTama. The UraTama is comparable to the English Tamagotchi Connection V4.5.

One of the first things you probably notice upon turning it on is that the pixels are a nice, light blue color. Very relaxing, although a bit harder to see sometimes than the regular black ones. Not so much that it makes a huge difference, though.

Added to the status screen is a menu for your Tamagotchi's GUTS Points, which affect which character it will grow into. These points can be earned in a variety of ways.

*~*~*~*

The first way to earn GUTS Points is by playing one of the three games with it, the first game raising the first type of point and so on.

The first is a whack-a-mole type game, you use the left and right buttons to move your fan and the middle button to hit the things that pop out of the boxes. The goal is to hit the springy jack-in-the-boxes that pop up, but not the poop. Hitting that will end the game early.

In the second game, you choose which of three panels you think a jewel is hidden behind. If you guess correctly, you move onto the next round. If you guess incorrectly, it ends the game.

The last game is a brick-breaking game. There's a power meter at the bottom that fills up, you have to try and stop it using the middle button when it's as high as you can get it. The power requirement to break the bricks gets higher with each level.

The next way to get these points is though different teachers that come to your Tama starting at the child growth-stage. The one it has as a child helps it sing a little song. The one it goes to as a teen actually has you playing a little game where you choose between one of three panels. One has a GUTS points symbol under it, and if you choose the right one, your Tamagotchi gets to keep the points.
*~*~*~*

There are separate babies for each GUTS Points family. Each family has a certain set of Tamagotchis it can grow into, and which it grows into are decided by these points.

In the V4.5, you would choose when your Tamagotchi went to school and when you went to the shop. In the UraTama, however, you don't have as much control. The teachers and a shopkeeper come to you at certain times throughout the day, so you have to be on the lookout for that. The shopkeeper only sells one item at a time.

The UraTama's growth times are a little longer as well, since you have to spend so much time building up points so that it can get a good career. It reminds me a little of the long-lived vintage models rather than those of the Tamagotchi Connection and Plus era.

The V4.5 had you playing a mini-game at the job, but the UraTama doesn't include that.

One feature that wasn't carried over to the V4.5, however, was cooking. Sometimes, the shopkeeper will sell ingredients for cooking your own food. If they have the same GUTS symbol, they can be combined together, and you may end up with a new food item. Since you can't really control what the shopkeeper decides to sell at that time, it can take a while to build up enough ingredients to try cooking with.
*~*~*~*

I really like the blue pixels. They can be a little hard to see sometimes, but I like how it tries to mimic the blue 'glow' of the UraTama characters.

The sound seems a little more high-pitched than the EnTama and the English versions, but not enough to be irritating. Almost makes it a little musical.

I know some people weren't fond of the antennas Bandai used for the EnTama/UraTama and V4/V4.5, but I really liked them; I found them adorable.

The UraTama seems to be more common than the V4.5 at the moment, so if you have any interest in playing with one from this line, I'd suggest the UraTama. The differently-colored pixels and the cooking are features you don't get to see in many other Tamagotchi versions.

It's one I'd suggest getting if you have the chance.

Tamagotchi Connection V4

The Tamagotchi Connection V4 was released in 2007. It was based on the Japanese EnTama, but had some unique features of its own.

*~*~*~*~*

The status screen now has an area for displaying the skill points your pet has earned. These affect what character your Tamagotchi will grow into.

*~*~*~*~*

You can receive mail, which replaced the light icon. There are three types of mail you can get.

You can get fortunes, which give you one to three stars in three different areas: Gotchi Points, Love, and Skills. Three stars is a good fortune, and will give positive results in that category. Your Tamagotchi can earn more Gotchi Points or skill points after games, or become friendly with the Tamagotchis it connects with more quickly.

The next type of mail you can receive are letters. It shows a little animation based on what you got in the letter, if you got presents or points from the king, got a random gift, or were visited by a thief who steals your points.

The last kind of mail you can get is probably the most important. This last category is for when your Tamagotchi reaches important milestones, which allow it to go to preschool, school, and finally to work. It will get this mail when it reaches certain ages.

*~*~*~*~*

There are five different non-work mini-games you can play.

The first is Jumping Rope. A jump rope starts out above your Tamagotchi, and slowly moves down. You have to press a button to help your Tamagotchi jump over it. It gets faster and faster the longer it goes, and getting hit by the rope ends the game early.

The next game is Mimic. A partner shows up next to your Tamagotchi, and freezes with a certain expression on its face. Your Tamagotchi will scroll through a few different expressions, and you have to press a button to stop it on the same expression as your partner. It takes two correct matches to move onto the next round, and getting two wrong in a single round will end it early.

Shape is the next game. Shapes come down from the top on the left and right sides of the screen. You're given a shape at the middle of the bottom of the screen. You can change this shape by pressing the middle button. Pressing the left or right versions will fire copies of this shape to the left and right falling shapes respectively. Match the shapes to make them disappear. Don't let the falling shapes reach the bottom!

The next game is Dance. It sort of reminds me of the long jump game from the V2. There are three unfilled circles at the top of the screen. When they fill up with black, you need to quickly press the corresponding buttons in order to help your character perform the correct dance moves.

The final game is Flag. It's the same as the one from the V3. Flags will appear at the top of the screen and you have to press the corresponding buttons on the toy. Sometimes flags will appear on different sides or fake flags will pop up, so you really have to be paying attention to play this one.

*~*~*~*~*

The big feature that got added in with this one was the ability to send your Tamagotchi to school and for it to get jobs. Under the connection menu is the option 'Work.' Select this to send your Tamagotchi to preschool, school, or to work once accepted.

When it goes to preschool, your Tamagotchi will try to sing a song with its teacher. Sometimes it gets it right, and sometimes it gets it wrong. I haven't really been able to tell if this has any effect of its skill points or not.

When it first gets accepted to school, you can use the left button to scroll between three different teachers. Each one provides a different skill point. You play a mini-game with this one to earn some skill points, but its pretty simple. A skill point is hidden in a present box, which is then shuffled around with two others. It moves slowly, and is pretty easy to keep track of.

The place your Tamagotchi can go to with this option is its job. Before it can go to work, it has to be accepted at a job. You'll eventually receive an important letter once your adult character is old enough. You'll be brought to TamaTown where you'll be able to scroll between several different job locations. There are 15 in total, but not all of them will show up at one time.

When you see a place you like the looks of, press the middle button to select it. Three judges will appear. If they all give your Tamagotchi an O, it'll get the job. If any of them give it an X, you'll have
to choose a different job. Having higher skill points gives you a higher chance of getting a job. If you aren't able to get a job with this round, you'll be sent another letter giving you a chance soon. This gives you a chance to build up your skill points before trying again.

Each job has a mini-game. The more times you play it in a day, the more Gotchi Points you'll recieve in your paycheck when you go to work the next day. Some jobs always seem to payout more than others, though.

If your Tamagotchi lives long enough, it'll sometimes get more job offers, meaning it can have multiple jobs in its lifetime

If your Tamagotchi becomes an oldie, the king will come and give it a cane. Rather than going to work, they'll walk past the different locations until they get to where they last worked. They'll stop and look at it a little sadly. Looks like they've had to retire.

*~*~*~*~*

This Tamagotchi could connect with TamaTown when the site was still active. TamaTown even got an overhaul at the time to include things like the school and preschool and job locations. It was pretty cool to get to see that at the time.

*~*~*~*~*

This was a pretty fun Tamagotchi. It's a little hard to build up skill points without playing a lot of games with it, so it's not one I'd suggest if you don't have a lot of time to play with it.

Tamagotchi V4.5

The Tamagotchi Connection V4.5 was released after the V4 as an updated form of that version. It was based on the V4 as well as the Japanese UraTama.

*~*~*~*~*

The status screen has an area for displaying how many skill points your character has gotten.

*~*~*~*~*

You can receive mail, which replaced the light icon. There are three types of mail you can get.

You can get fortunes, which give you one to three stars in three different areas: Gotchi Points, Love, and Skills. Three stars is a good fortune, and will give positive results in that category. Your Tamagotchi can earn more Gotchi Points or skill points after games, or become friendly with the Tamagotchis it connects with more quickly.

The next type of mail you can receive are letters. It shows a little animation based on what you got in the letter, if you got presents or points from the king, got a random gift, or were visited by a thief who steals your points.

The last kind of mail you can get is probably the most important. This last category is for when your Tamagotchi reaches important milestones, which allow it to go to preschool, school, and finally to work. It will get this mail when it reaches certain ages.

*~*~*~*~*

There are five different non-work mini-games you can play.

The first is Climb. Clouds float by above your Tamagotchi, and you have to press a button to make it jump up onto them. The get faster and smaller as it goes on, so it gets harder to properly land without missing.

The next game is Tug of War. Press a button when a meter at the top of the screen fills up so your Tamagotchi can win a game of tug-of-war against its opponent. It takes a couple times of doing this to win a round, and there are several rounds to go through. This game can last a while.


Apple is the next game. Apples fall from the top of the screen on the left and right sides, and you have to hold the left or right buttons to help your Tamagotchi to move its bucket to catch them.

The next game is Shapes. Despite the name, it's different from the V4 Shape game. You're given three shapes at the bottom, a square, a circle, and a triangle. These same shapes will fall down from the top in different orders. You have to press two of the buttons at the same time to switch the corresponding shapes at the bottom so that they match the pattern of falling shapes.

The last game is Manhole. You're given three manholes, and items like points, hearts, and snakes will pop out of them. You have to press the buttons to close up the corresponding manholes just before the good things land on top of them. Try to catch the hearts and points, but don't grab any snakes!

*~*~*~*~*

This version keeps the school and work options from the V4, but it includes different jobs than the V4 had. Under the connection menu is the option 'Work.' Select this to send your Tamagotchi to preschool, school, or to work once accepted.

When it goes to preschool, your Tamagotchi will try to sing a song with its teacher. Sometimes it gets it right, and sometimes it gets it wrong. I haven't really been able to tell if this has any effect of its skill points or not.

When it first gets accepted to school, you can use the left button to scroll between three different teachers. Each one provides a different skill point. You play a mini-game with this one to earn some skill points, but its pretty simple. A skill point is hidden in a present box, which is then shuffled around with two others. It moves slowly, and is pretty easy to keep track of.

The place your Tamagotchi can go to with this option is its job. Before it can go to work, it has to be accepted at a job. You'll eventually receive an important letter once your adult character is old enough. You'll be brought to TamaTown where you'll be able to scroll between several different job locations. Not all of the job choices will show up at one time.

When you see a place you like the looks of, press the middle button to select it. Three judges will appear. If they all give your Tamagotchi an O, it'll get the job. If any of them give it an X, you'll have
to choose a different job. Having higher skill points gives you a higher chance of getting a job. If you aren't able to get a job with this round, you'll be sent another letter giving you a chance soon. This gives you a chance to build up your skill points before trying again.

Each job has a mini-game. The more times you play it in a day, the more Gotchi Points you'll recieve in your paycheck when you go to work the next day. Some jobs always seem to payout more than others, though.

If your Tamagotchi lives long enough, it'll sometimes get more job offers, meaning it can have multiple jobs in its lifetime

If your Tamagotchi becomes an oldie, the king will come and give it a cane. Rather than going to work, they'll walk past the different locations until they get to where they last worked. They'll stop and look at it a little sadly. Looks like they've had to retire.

*~*~*~*~*

This Tamagotchi featured some of the Ura Characters found on the Japanese UraTama, though it uses the standard black pixels instead of the blue ones the UraTama used. It was nice to see these characters outside of a Japanese release. I absolutely love UraVioletchi, and wish she could have more appearances.

*~*~*~*~*

It has the same issue as the V4, it's hard to build up skill points without playing a lot of games with it. If you have the time to do this, it's a lot of fun, but it can be hard to get different characters or good jobs otherwise.

Digimon Games - Part Two

Digimon Racing! The name really says it all; it's a cart-racing game with Digimon characters! There's
several to choose from, mostly from the Adventure 01 series, but there are a few special unlockable characters, too. When you select one, they'll say their name, and sound surprisingly good. I liked this, it helps to give the game a little more personality, I think.

You race around, and can collect different power-ups on the track that can let your character go faster or attack opponents to slow them down. You've got a power
meter on the side. When this fills up, your chosen Digimon will Digivolve to its Champion form! If you lose too much power, though, they'll end up degenerating, and can even fall to their In-Training forms until you fill up your meter, more.

There are some fun tracks to race on, and each set of four tracks contains a boss you'll have to race against.

*~*~*~*~*


This is a hack called Digimon: Fire Red Version. This is a separate game from Operation Digipedia, which was also based on Fire Red version, I believe.

Anyway, it's pretty much with Digimon replacing the Pokémon sprites. There's a nice amount available, but there don't seem to be any proper back-sprites; the Digimon look the same whether they are on your side or the opponent's. That's a bit odd, but not really a game-breaker. Some sprites do look... noticeably better than others, though.
what you'd expect,

*~*~*~*~*

The last game here is an extensive patch made for the Japanese-only game Digimon World: ReDigitize on the PSP. This was made by the amazing people over at Operation Decode. They work to create translation patches for some of the Digimon games that were only released in Japanese.

This is a true sequel to the original Digimon World game. You start out with an Agumon, and take care of him a lot like with a virtual pet. Feed him, train him, take him to the toilet... and let him battle other Digimon! There are around 74 Digimon that your partner can eventually become through the right combinations of stats and battling.

I'll probably do a more full review on at least this one, once I've gotten the chance to play it more, but I can already say that I'm having a lot of fun with this!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Giveaway - Gauging Interest

So, I was able to get a new 2017 Tamagotchi Mini, white body with black buttons.

I was thinking about doing a giveaway with that and some extra codes I have for different games, but I kind of wanted to gauge readers' interest first...

So, would anyone be interested in that? It would be open to anyone who could send me an email at the time. 

Just follow me and/or comment below so I can see if anyone is interested in this! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Digimon World Championship

Digimon World Championship. It's not exactly what I would call 'fun,' but... I keep coming back to it, anyway.

The game starts out with a pretty nice-looking opening screen, but it doesn't take long after entering the game to see how inaccurate it is. After getting in, it gives you a quick story about how the Digimon World Championship is held every four years, asks you to name yourself, and just kind of dumps you into the world. And by world, I mean a set of cages you can drag your Digimon around. You never even get to see a sprite or anything representing yourself, it's all overhead, and there's not really anymore story than what you see in the opening. It does offer a tutorial, but still feels the need to send you messages on how to play even if you chose to skip it.

The sprites are small. Like, really small, and hard to see, and not all that great-looking. There's not even really a way to get a good closer look at them like in the previous Nintendo DS Digimon games, which is a serious step backwards.

You start off with just a baby Botamon who will eventually Digivolve, but if you want more, you'll have to catch them. There's a section where you can choose a location and hunt down Digimon there. You have different tools you can use, such as a gun, traps, or meat you can use, and you'll unlock more later. When you find a Digimon that you want, you have to circle it with the rope tool, and drag on it until its stamina is depleted. Then you can tap on it to catch it. It's very... odd.

You train your new Digimon by dragging them to different types of pens that make up your main hub screen. Dragging them into different cages will raise and lower different stats. They can Digivolve based on different things you do with them, like attaining certain stats, making them battle a lot, or even having them revert back to DigiEggs a certain number of times. There's nowhere for you to see the parameters they need to reach, and if they aren't reached, they'll degenerate back into eggs that need to be hatched and trained all over again. This can be a real pain, especially if it happens right before the every-four-years-championship.

All of this might be okay if the battles were any good, but they really aren't. It involves the enemy's team and yours running around the screen, still too tiny to really see well. There's a running commentary that tries to help, but it isn't able to keep up with what's going on. Sometimes it zooms in
on them when they perform a special attack, but it just makes it look worse. And it lags when you get several Digimon moving around the screen at once. You can't even control them it battle. I've read that you gain the ability to control them after you complete the Digipedia, but what's the point? The rest of the game is so frustrating, why continue to play after that? And why even play it for that long?

It's like it's trying to be like the other Digimon World games, but with all the fun and sense of adventure removed. But, like I said, I keep coming back to it. Maybe I just enjoy virtual pets enough that I'm able to overlook the flaws. I don't know. I can't really say that anyone else should have to slog through this, though. It's mostly just a massive source of frustration.