games / Columns

Ask 411 Games 02.11.13: Pokemon Generations, Motion Capturing, Patent Wars, More!

February 11, 2013 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina

Hello, and welcome to Ask 411 Games! I am Mathew Sforcina, and my gaming has this week been sadly lacking. But I intend to rectify that in the coming weeks with all the games I have backlogged from Xmas. Although I may end up just spending it all in Fallout: New Vegas or Skyrim, but that still counts, right?


Anyway, lots of stuff to get to, thunderstorm outside my window, let’s get down to the important stuff, like Banner.

It’s #2. It tries harder.

411 on Twitter!

Me On Twitter~!

Remember, questions can go in the comment section, or, better yet, to [email protected]

Julien emailed his in, so he gets to be first off the block. It’s like pre-ordering!

Hey Matthew big fan blah blah. With all the talk lately of Sony and Microsoft trying to take steps to get rid of 2nd hand gaming. By taking out patents something crossed my mind thinking of all the patent Wars recently with phone companies. Could this be a way of them simply patenting the idea just invade they do decide to block 2nd hand games? Keep up the good work mate.

So the question is, are Sony/Microsoft and their ilk just filing patents for the hell of it, just trying to ensure that the other guy can’t get in first?

Short answer is no, long answer is not really. Patent law is a complex field, one that takes years of study to understand, but I think I vaguely get what is going on, so here goes.

The patent system doesn’t actually work in the sense of ‘You have an idea, you patent it, no-one else can do it’. I can’t waltz in and say ‘I’ve had an idea, a machine that allows you to travel through time’, patent it, and then wait for the money to roll in once someone invents the damn thing. You need to actually have a set diagram and specific labelled working systems in place first. You gotta prove you can build it, then you get the patent.

Now, that said, the Phone Wars that have happened recently actually aren’t unique or new. Ever since the patent system was established in the US, the number of lawsuits and issues has remained fairly constant. And there have been ‘Wars’ before. The 1850’s saw the ‘Sewing Machine Wars’, which were pretty much the same thing as the Smart Phone Wars. Lawsuits, overlapping patents, injunctions, the lot. There have been many such wars in the history of patents, from pharmaceutical patents in the early 20th century through to the Diaper Wars of the 80’s. It’s part of the system of patent law.

There is a difference, however, with those sorts of things and the Sony/MS/etc issue, in that normally patent thickets, as they have been called, tend to spring up when multiple companies work on the same product at the same time together, they both claim ownership of joint work. That’s what happened in the Smart Phone Wars, each side claimed they had a patent on stuff that the industry worked together on.

But even ignoring all that, consoles aren’t going to block 2nd hand games. What companies are trying to do is work out a way to detect second hand games, and then cut off content automatically, rather than downloading online passes, which impacts on the non-online fanbase too much. No company is going to be stupid enough to block second hand games full stop. They’ll be crucified.

And I’m sure that line will come back to haunt me later on. But no, Sony and Microsoft won’t get into a big legal mess like other wars, they are too separate, they’re just protecting their new tech. No more, no less.

Mr. Ace Crusher is all about speed, baby.

Also after seeing that speed/invisible tetris mastery, what is the most incomprehensibly fast game playing you have seen on youtube or other. Fast AND Skilled like Mr. Tetris Grand master.

You mean apart from Tetris, which is my go to for that sort of question? Well, there’s always the old favourite Pop ‘n’ Music.

Although I think my favourite ever moment of sheer insane speed skill was Daigo Full Parry.

But while it is a cliché, the fact is that professional Starcraft players in Korea have to have insane Actions Per Minute. Just watch them go…

I’ll be over here with my turn based games, thanks.

I have one or two in the backlog, so let’s have some funny gaming videos!

Cars going fast!

Referees attacking!

Actors bloopering!

And poetry.

Lobo demands answers!

What’s the appeal of Game Grumps? TELL ME.

So this is Game Grumps.

They are one of many, many, MANY youtube channels dedicated to playing video games and providing commentary for them. Both Grumps, JonTron and Egoraptor, had followings prior to joining forces, and I believe JonTron videos have appeared in this column at least once in the ‘comedy video middle section’.

As for the appeal… I guess it’s the same as why I heart NewLegacyInc so much, or why I watch Criken and Tobygames. People find them funny. The Let’s Play/Commentary market is rich with contenders, from the super serious to the stupidly ridiculous. There’s room for DeceasedCrab and Game Grumps in this world. Hell, even I’ve toyed with the idea of starting doing them.

I don’t watch Game Grumps, and what I’ve seen hasn’t made me laugh all that much, but comedy is subjective. One man’s Groundhog Day is another man’s Movie 43.

jayzhoughton wants to know how far your Pokemon can go.

Is there a way of playing from Pokemon red/blue all the way through to the latest ds version and carrying over your pokemon? I know you can transfer from Game Boy to Game Boy Advanced but I’m not sure after that.

No, there isn’t a way to bring your Red/Blue/Green/Yellow Pokemon all the way into the modern era. Pokemon work on a Generational system, each set of games makes up a new Generation.

Red/Blue/Green/Yellow = Gen 1
Gold/Silver/Crystal = Gen 2
Ruby/Sapphire/FireRed/LeafGreen/Emerald = Gen 3
Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver = Gen 4
Black/Black 2/White/White 2 = Gen 5
X/Y = Gen 6

Now excluding Gen 6, since that’s not out yet and we don’t know how that’ll work, there are 3 possible Generational switches. Only generations next to each other can trade, and there is no way to trade between Generations 2 (Game Boy Color) to Generation 3 (Game Boy Advance).

To switch between Generation 1 and 2, you visit any Pokemon Center and utilise the Time Capsule therein to hook up and trade Pokemon from a Gen 1 game to a Gen 2 game, via the link cable, with the Gen 2 games pretending they are Gen 1 while the trade occurs.

Gen 3 to Gen 4 is easy, as you can use the Dual Ports in the DS to insert a GBA Gen 3 game into one port and then inside the Gen 4 games, your 6 active Pokemon in the Gen 3 game will become catchable in the Pal Park region of the game. Although they can never return to the old game, once they upgrade, they stay there.

Likewise from 4 to 5, there is the Poke Transfer system, which is a minigame that uses the DS’ Download Play system to transfer Pokemon from 4 to 5, although again, once they transfer, that’s it.

But what of the 2-3 step? FireRed and LeafGreen were in fact made so as to allow all the early Pokemon to become playable, as they were remakes of Red and Green. The problem was that Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games can’t communicate, and the DS couldn’t read GB/GBC games. Some people have tried to work out ways to do it with PCs and the like, and there are rumors of dummied out Time Capsule devices in later games, but the problem is that between 2 and 3, the system in which Pokemon are stored as data sets radically changed, so the data is incompatible.

1 and 2 can go both ways, while 3 through to 5 is a one way street. Sorry.

Remember, questions can go in the comment section, or, better yet, to [email protected] I hope you get whatever your preferred equivalent of this scenario is in the coming weeks, but next week we’ll return to Ask 411 Games with more questions and more gaming talk.

Totally shocking I know.


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Mathew Sforcina
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