Month: November 2016

November 30, 2016 Article Published

Two articles in two days?  Fairly unprecedented, but certainly not a bad thing I’d say.

While yesterday’s story was my profile for the Features page, this story is quite a bit more entertaining.  I wrote a review for the Arts & Entertainment page for my buddy Kaleb, our A&E editor.  As a hardcore newsy person, it’s been pretty nice to let my skills expand a bit this semester, I have to say.  Because of my news-oriented background, I’m sure you all must be asking just what I wrote a review on exactly?

Well, Pokémon Sun and Moon of course.  What else would I write on, I’m pretty much an expert in almost all things Pokémon and have nearly 90 hours sunk into the game. Plus, I almost never get to mix my passions for video games and writing on this kind of scale, so how could I pass up the opportunity to vomit all my thoughts on a page for mass consumption?

Also, when I say vomit all my thoughts, I pretty much mean it literally.  I hit a weird place with this article to be honest.  On the one hand, I know so much about the series and about Sun and Moon that it was simple to run through the list of everything I enjoy and everything I find less than stellar about the games.  However, on the other hand I had to make sure not to get too in depth and nerdy with my writing because I was writing for an audience that probably won’t be as much of an expert in the subject as I am.

Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people that see the article have never even touched Pokémon in their lives – as hard to imagine as that can be for someone like me.

Because of how much I had to say, I wound up writing a fairly long piece about the games, one that I expected to get cut down for spacing concerns.  There wound up being far more room available than we expected in the end however, so the 1000+ word review ended up getting printed just about in its entirety.

I tried not to spoil any plot details or get too in depth with some of the deeper mechanics and things I enjoy about the games, but I still think I put together a really solid little review.  I’ve talked about them more than enough on this site here, so I won’t reiterate much, but it’s a nice summary of a lot of things in a (somewhat) succinct package.  So, check if out if you’ve got the chance, because I’m pretty proud of it!

If you want to see the review in its entirety, you can see it here.  You can also check out my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan through the link over on the right!

Oh, and just FYI, there may or may not be some extra multimedia content on the horizon to go along with this.  But I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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November 29, 2016 Article Published

This story has been in the making for a while.

Two of the articles that I’ve written over the Fall 2016 semester have been for my Communications 201 class: My TSU Annual Art Show article (A campus event story) and my Project Rebound article (A campus/community issue story).  This is the third and final one for that class, a campus profile story that I wrote about Anakaren Cárdenas Ureño.

Anakaren is a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton studying Public Relations, specifically crisis communications.  She did her undergraduate studies at the campus as well.

While still completing her graduate program, Anakaren was hired onto the CSUF College of Communication’s staff in September to be the college’s Digital Communications Specialist.  Essentially, she runs all the social media for the college to try and bolster a sense of community among students at a commuter campus.

“That’s one of my biggest things: making sure we’re putting out information that students care about,” she said.

Ankara is also a first-generation student: the first person in her family to go to graduate school.  A few teachers she has had at CSUF reflected on not only on how much of a smart and capable student and employee she is, but also how her background and age makes her a perfect candidate for the job she has been hired to do at a diverse university such as this one.

“She asks very good questions, and when I throw a discussion topic out, she’s thoughtful and articulate,” said Dean Kazoleas, Ph.D., communications professor and director of the Maxwell Center for International Communications. “She’s a very intelligent woman.”

I’ve had this article for quite some time, the problem with it mainly involved getting access to sources.

Even before Thanksgiving Break many of the people I tried to talk to were busy, so  although I was able to set things up before our week off, the story still wasn’t able to be published until now.

Between Anakaren, her two teachers and the director of online and social media engagement at CSUF, I had some pretty interesting sources, and got a pretty nice breadth of knowledge and opinions on how important social media can be for engagement with a college.

As someone who isn’t a hugely social media-oriented person, it was pretty eye-opening.

If you want to see the story in its entirety, you can see it here.  You can also check out my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan through the link over on the right!

The first Champion of the Alolan Pokémon League rises

After five days as part of a very conveniently timed Thanksgiving Break and over two days worth of playing, I have officially beaten the main campaign of Pokémon Moon by conquering seven Island Challenge Trials, four Grand Trials staged by the Kahuna of the islands in Alola and taking on the newly completed Alolan Pokémon League.

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I don’t have any fancy screen capturing equipment to take pictures of my game, so phone camera pictures will have to do for now.

Though I haven’t had the chance to start the post-game content as of yet, the main story alone has been absolutely wild as far as some of the twists and turns that were taken.  I won’t spoil anything on the off chance anyone sees this who hasn’t played but wants to of course, but the region is gorgeous, the Pokémon that were introduced are awesome (including those we were not shown before the official release), the characters that inhabit Alola are just as vibrant as the environment itself and each new mechanic and feature adds so much more to love.

For the most part, at least.  I’m not a huge fan of the new fishing system and the S.O.S. Pokémon summoning can be a pain to deal with when you aren’t looking to use the chaining features.  I haven’t had the chance to use it very much, but there are already plans in the work for some competitive teams I would like to build, so those should be seeing the light of day sometime soon.

Speaking of teams, I would be remiss not to talk about the group of six that got me through the story.  I spent a long time talking about who I wanted to use before the game came out, after all.

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One realization I’ve come to is that my team isn’t exactly a great cohesive unit.  There are a lot of holes in my type coverage/type resistances that became very clear as I took on the Elite Four.  For the first time I think ever, there are no Fire-types or Ground-types on my team, and though this made for new interesting combinations, it also led to problems fighting certain types.  Like Grass-type Pokémon or Steel-type Pokémon, for example.  Part of this may have admittedly been due to being a little under leveled toward the end of my journey, but really the lower levels made bigger fights at the end might more exciting in my opinion.

A lot of the move sets I’ve used for them are also a bit gimmicky or have conditions on how to work well, so I can see them working well with other teams, but not necessarily together.

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I love each individual member to death, however, and as far as in game immersion goes I would not have done things any other way.

Niles the Decidueye

My boy.  The first.  The one and only.  Niles the Decidueye.

Watching my impish natured Decidueye grow over time has been one of the best parts of playing through Moon so far.  I’ve been so excited to use this Pokémon for so long, and using him hasn’t disappointed.  I do wish he was a little faster, but considering the rest of my team his speed is actually one of his more superior selling points.

Utilizing a Scope Lens critical hit boosted STAB Leaf Blade and the signature Spirit Shackle attack, Niles is always ready to party hard.  On top of that, he always has that smug look on his face, which is what led me to his name.  Niles, after all, is the smug and caustic bisexual archer from Nohr in Fire Emblem: Fates.  In my opinion, the name fits really well, and now I can’t imagine calling him anything else.

Well, I might aim for a female Decidueye and name her Nina after Niles’ canonical daughter in the game when I breed Pokémon to use competitively, but I’m a fair bit of time away from doing that at this point.  Plus, I already have an Altaria nicknamed Nina after one of my high school friends, so who knows.

All and all, Decidueye kicks a lot of ass, and Grass/Ghost continues to be a wonderful type combination.  Though Generation 7 introduced another new Grass/Ghost-type we weren’t told about, I’m glad that I chose this one to spend my time with.

Remus the Lycanroc

Raising Remus has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, honestly.  Getting to find Rockruff in Ten Carat Hill was great, and he was the first partner I took on after Niles, but I felt like it took a long time to get to the point where I could catch one.  Granted, that may have just been from how excited I was to take in anything and everything when I started playing, but still.

He was fun to use even as a small pup, and though I had to use my sister’s copy of Pokémon Sun to get the version of Lycanroc I wanted, he continued to be a blast to fight with.  Accelerock is a great move, being priority-based and having Rock-type STAB, and the wolf turned out to be a great Stealth Rock/Roar switcher, as I discovered throughout my playing.

Using this strategy made Lycanroc a bit of a one-trick pony unfortunately, but that’s where my required dosage of Z-Power came in.  Continental Crush isn’t the most powerful it can be when used with Accelerock, but it still hits hard enough to do a lot of damage when combined with further priority attacks.

His name comes from the mythological founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.  In the Roman mythos, the twin brothers were discovered by a she-wolf after being abandoned, and then they went on to find the great city of Rome.  That’s where the name comes in well for Lycanroc, for me.  As far as being Remus specifically, in the same mythology he was killed by his brother for mocking the wall built around Rome.  Though I don’t see Midday Lycanroc fitting a mocking characteristic, I do see Midnight Lycanroc fitting a murder-happy characteristic.  Thus, a pair of Pokémon twin names was born.

Sebastian the Crabominable

Aptly named after the crustacean companion from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Sebastian was pretty much a Crabrawler up until the very end of my journey.  After catching him on Akala Island with a powerful adamant nature, the purple puncher beat his way through trainer after trainer, serving me and my team well while taking up an even bigger place in my heart over time.

Toward the end of the Island Challenge, his defenses gave me some trouble, as he was taken down more often than not before I could Power-Up Punch my way to an intensive sweep.  I waited for forever to see him evolve, knowing he did but not wanting to spoil how.  Then, after starting my trip into the Pokémon League, the cold environment allowed for an evolution into the formidable Crabominable.

Admittedly, I was more disappointed and surprised when I first saw the evolution.  I was so used to Crabrawler that such a jarring change took some time to get used to.  However, the unique Fighting/Ice-typing is super cool (pun only slightly intended) and his movepool has a ton of variety to allow him to be a formidable fighter.  He has quite a few weaknesses, and with a slow speed that can be an issue, but his attack is so sky-high that I’d say it more than makes up for it.

He’s the most powerful member of my team, even more than the enigmatic Wishiwashi.  Speaking of…

Pandora the Wishiwashi

My relationship with Pandora started off a little rocky.  Hoping to get a relaxed nature, I spent a long time fishing in Brooklet Hill encountering Magikarp after Magikarp between each Wishiwashi I found.  On top of that, I felt compelled to catch a female fish after concocting a story in my head about hordes of male Wishiwashi coming to her aid.

After a long time I eventually gave up the nature search and went with Quiet, boosting her Special Attack in exchange for a deficit to her already pretty abysmal speed.  Her name, Pandora, comes from the Greek myth in which a single girl, the first woman, unleashes all the evils of the world from her box.  The way my Wishiwashi brings chaos and destruction in her wake is meant to reflect that.

On that note, I found that Wishiwashi is a pretty incredible Pokémon stat-wise.  Despite having low health and low speed, both offensive and defensive stats in the physical and special realm are so high when in Schooling Form that everything in her wake (literally) doesn’t stand a chance.

When I go for a competitive breed, the plan is to focus more on defense to keep the Schooling ability active as long as possible.

Grodd the Oranguru

Originally a Lurantis was meant to fill this slot.  However, Decidueye became a hardcore physical Grass-type attacker, so I didn’t want to have two on my team at the same time.  So, instead, the Normal/Psychic-type Oranguru took her place, and he proved his power pretty much right away.

Grodd, named after the highly intelligent and psychically-powered Gorilla Grodd from the DC comics universe, came equipped with Stored Power right from the get-go.  Soon enough he learned Nasty Plot, and the stage was set for an extremely highly powered STAB boosted Psychic-type attack that quite literally wrecked lives.  Soon after collecting him from the Lush Jungle, Grodd was strong enough to take on both Plumeria and Akala Island Kahuna Olivia all by himself.

After adding Charge Beam to his roster, Grodd’s strength continued to prove invaluable and his attack set didn’t change for the rest of my journey.  Though it could be a pain to set up Nast Plots on every opponent, especially with a middling speed stat, whenever he was ready to go the battle instantly became a joke.

Therefore, when I build a competitive Grodd, I’ll have to have him on a doubles team where he can be protected long enough to kick ass and take names.

Charlotte the Mimikyu

Though I was disappointed in how long it took to find her, the last but certainly not least capable of my additions was Charlotte, my Mimikyu.  I adored Mimikyu far before the games came out, and that much never changed as I played through the game, even though you don’t see any appear until the third island.

Her name comes from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which I’m sure I referenced in the past when talking about Mimikyu, in which Charlotte is a witch that hides as a tiny, innocent looking doll.  Her appearance in the show is a painful moment to say the least, but I couldn’t imagine a better name to reflect the Pokémon.

Plus, Charlotte is just a cute name.  A cute name for my adorable little girl.

I set my Mimikyu up as a Swords Dancer, which only buffs her already pretty great attack stat way higher than it is during a protected turn with the Disguise ability.  Really, Mimikyu wound up being one of the best Pokémon on my team, and she has awesome stats overall, so building a competitive Mimikyu should be a blast once I get started.

I can see it now… Disguise, Focus Sash.  Two turns of protection instantly to use Swords Dance.  Then, a highly boosted speed stat to ensure she can get attacks off.  It will be beautiful in execution – at least I hope.

Might I add, one of the coolest things I discovered about Mimikyu is that the Disguise substitute actually protects against Z-Moves as well.  It literally never stops being funny to watch a Pokémon use a huge, time-consuming attack only to have it fail.


Now I can begin my trip through the Post Game content, including the Battle Tree and Pokédex completion.  I have some final papers to work on, so my zeal for playing might not be as strong as it has been for the past week, but I will continue all the same.

I did just want to leave things off with one last note, however.

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I caught Lunala.  With a Moon Ball.

The Emissary of the Moon.  In a pokéball.  Named after the Moon.  Built by the great Azalea Town pokéball-crafting Kurt I can only assume.

I just find that hilarious and figured I would share.  But now I shall let you all continue on with your lives.  However, if you’ve been playing Sun or Moon since their release, let me know how your experiences with the games have been in the comments below.

Are you in love?  Are you disappointed?  Is Team Skull not the greatest enemy team ever?  If you don’t think so, I might say you’re wrong, but I’m still willing to hear why you think so.

The time is now

After months of waiting, and months of putting together post after post about different reveal trailers.

After a pretty awesome little midnight pre-release party, where Pokémon music blasted over the speakers and TVs were set up with Pokémon Stadium and a final Generation 6 battle tournament was held.


A party where I got to hang out with one of my best buds – who also made that Super Mario Bros. 2 mask/Dartrix crossover.

Hey there, Juan.

After waiting in a long line for what had been the most preordered game in the history of Nintendo titles.


It is here.  The time is now.  Alola is upon us.


It’s time to not sleep for the next week.  Wish me luck on beginning my journey.

My (currently planned) Pokémon Sun and Moon team

My (currently planned) Pokémon Sun and Moon team

A game series like Pokémon, in which there are over 700 individual characters to choose from when pulling a team together, really lends itself to choosing favorites.  Everyone who has ever played a Pokémon game undoubtedly has a favorite monster, be it for their competitive viability, the strength of the character building and lore around them or simply the nostalgia factor.

Personally, my absolute favorite Pokémon of all time is the Hoenn native Psychic-type Gardevoir for a combination of all three. A powerful and feared hyper voice using Mega Evolution with a newly adopted Fairy-typing, a wonderful design alongside descriptors about emotional closeness with the its trainer and a consistent reminder of my childhood days visiting my Grandparent’s house in Florida, playing Pokémon Sapphire and catching a Ralts on Route 102 that would stick with me for the entire journey.  I always taught my Gardevoir the move Shock Wave in those days.  Not entirely sure why, but I did.

While I don’t know exactly how many Pokémon will be added to the National Pokédex in Generation 7 (As I’m still avoiding the data mining spoilers), I’m going to assume that the total number of  monsters will probably top 800 by the time we’ve counted through all of them, from Rowlet to the mysterious Crystalline Prism creature we were shown not too long ago and beyond.  That adds a lot of new favorite Pokémon for both series veterans and newcomers to choose from.

In that same vein, I’ve seen many people putting together videos and lists of what Pokémon they’ll be using during their initial journey through the Alola Region.  I did the same kind of forward thinking when X and Y were on the horizon, and I’ve honestly been doing the same thing while Pokémon have been unveiled over the last couple of months, so I figure why not talk about them here?

I actually do team building quite often, both for casual gameplay runs and for competitive team planning, something I started to do a lot more in Alpha Sapphire.  Typically, I try to follow some personal rules when doing so for either kind of play:

  1. All members of the team will typically be entirely different typings, no overlap whatsoever is preferred for the sake of variety and diversification of moves/abilities.
    1. On occasion, teams may deviate from this rule if the typing diversity in a region isn’t phenomenal when using dual-typings or if there are some Pokémon I can’t avoid using that happen to be the same type.
    2. Usually the exceptions to this rule will only apply once.  Mono-type teams tend to be avoided at all costs unless the team is being built specifically for a competition with that rule in place.
  2. The make-up of my teams tend to vary based on region.  So, more often than not a play through of Black and White will have a Unova team consisting entirely of Generation 5 Pokémon, a play through of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald or the remakes will have a Hoenn team consisting entirely of Generation 3 Pokémon and so on.
    1. Rare exceptions do exist for this rule as well, such as in X and Y where I considered Mega Evolutions to be Generation 6 Pokémon.  Thus, Mawile was on my initial team despite originating from Hoenn.
  3. Movesets, abilities and items used on each team member are usually decided on with single battles in mind, both for casual play and competitive building.  There are a few Pokémon I’ve built competitively that specifically exist to team up with another, however.
  4. While Pokémon can usually be either male or female (besides those with no gender or only one gender option), I tend to specifically pick a gender for a Pokémon that feels right to me and stick with it.  Thus, some I might refer to as he or she depending on how I personally picture that monster.
  5. No legendaries.  As much as I love legendary Pokémon in their own rights, I’m not a fan of mixing them into my team compositions.  Never really have been, it always seemed kind of cheap to me.  Sorry Lunala.

These rules are more my own attempts to make my life harder on myself, honestly.  Just choosing any Pokémon willy-nilly would be too easy, so it’s more fun to set up rules for myself as a way of encouraging more critical thought as far as building things ahead of time goes.

With that said, and without further adieu, I introduce the six Pokémon that will be accompanying me during my first adventure in Pokémon Moon.  Under this read more, naturally.  Could be some spoiler-y stuff for people avoiding any and all information, and  this post is already taking up a lot of space.

Continue reading “My (currently planned) Pokémon Sun and Moon team”

New Sun and Moon Information: Our final last new Sun and Moon information, for sure this time

When the final evolutions of the three Alolan starter Pokémon were released, I was happy letting everything else in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon stay secret, ready to be discovered through regular gameplay after Nov. 18.  Of course, there was all the data mining, but like I’ve said before I have no desire to spoil every detail for myself like that.

Then, just over this past weekend, a few pages from this month’s CoroCoro magazine were leaked, showing off more details about some Ultra Beasts and signature Z-Moves for the three starter Pokémon.  After that, I really should not have been surprised that we would be getting another video talking about those things in more detail.  That’s exactly what we’ve gotten.

While it isn’t a lot of new detail, this is presumably the last dump of new official information we’re going to be getting pre-release, so I figure I should still talk about it.  For old time’s sake, if nothing else.  It really has been a hell of a journey these past few months, one that I’m sad to see go… But not sad enough to elongate the wait.

Seriously can the games just get released right now?

Continue reading “New Sun and Moon Information: Our final last new Sun and Moon information, for sure this time”

New Sun and Moon information: Last minute CoroCoro leaks

Alright, I’m assuming that none of this stuff is necessarily new if you happen to be following the data-mined information leaks.  Some people can’t seem to leave things alone so they can be a surprise, so I’m pretty sure just about everything about Sun and Moon is out in the wild, wild West of the internet right now.

I personally want to keep everything not officially released by Nintendo/Game Freak/The Pokémon Company/whoever releases this stuff a secret.  I love having the surprise reveals naturally appear during gameplay, particularly with Pokémon and mechanics we haven’t been told about yet.  Though it certainly seems like there is not much left to reveal after the last few months of videos, leaks like this one we got today out of CoroCoro suggest otherwise. Continue reading “New Sun and Moon information: Last minute CoroCoro leaks”

November 9, 2016 Article Published

So this actually was not so much an article as it was a collection of briefs, but I’m pretty proud of the final product all the same.

Yesterday was a historic election, undoubtedly.  The end result wasn’t necessarily what I hoped it would be, which is an especially painful point considering it was my first time getting to exercise my right to vote, but still. I’m proud that I got to perform my civic duty, and I stand by our Democracy’s tradition of peaceful transition.  The fact that there are currently protests in the streets of Los Angeles akin to something we might otherwise see in countries like Egypt when military dictators come to power is honestly astounding to watch, in my opinion.

That’s all I’m going to say on the subject, however.  I’m not looking to make enemies or incite anything with this post by any means.

Even though the last couple of days have been pretty glum and somber due to the end of this vitriolic year and a half of electioneering, something good did come out of it.  I got to cover my very first presidential election as a part of a newspaper staff, and the coverage we came together with is pretty phenomenal if I say so myself.

We covered the election of President-elect Donald Trump, the local City Council, State Senate and Congress elections in Fullerton’s proximity and we covered the 17 ballot measures in California.  To see the full edition, you can check it out here:

While the issue as a whole is a hugely successful undertaking, one that we spent tons of time on and came out on the other end with pretty solid results, I’m particularly proud of how we handled the propositions.

The Daily Titan’s Nov. 9 issue – The Election of Donald J. Trump

On front page and page 2, we had a graphic representing each of the 17 propositions on the ballot in California.  Alongside those, we included whether or not the polls were leaning yes or no for that prop at the time we sent the paper to the printer.

To coincide with those graphics, I wrote a brief-length summary of each of the 17 propositions that we posted to the Daily Titan website.  At about 100 words each, give or take a dozen, I wound up writing nearly 1,700 words in what was essentially voter guide coverage of the propositions.

Originally the plan was to mention the online supplement to the graphics in print as a way of improving traffic to our website online.  However, our production went right to the deadline we’re restricted by, 2:30 a.m., and it wasn’t until the pages were turned into the printer that we discovered the supplement wasn’t mentioned in ink.

Sure, it sucks that my work didn’t get quite as much attention as it could have as a result, but we did advertise the summaries on social media so that the nearly 2,000 words did not go to waste.  Thus is the life of a journalist.

If you want to check out the list of propositions I wrote up, check them out here.  You can also check out the full list of things I’ve done for the Daily Titan to the right!

Hopefully things get a little less crazy and stressful now that the election is over and we have a bit of a quiet lame duck period to enjoy.

Road to Decision 2016

Road to Decision 2016

The 2016 election is the first national election I’ve had the chance to vote for in my lifetime.While the Presidential race itself has admittedly been… Less than appealing, it hasn’t changed my conviction to go out and do my civic duty for the first time.  

With a lot of pretty significant proposition on the ballot in California to vote for, as well as local and national offices out of my district, it was definitely still an important thing to do despite any national disillusionment.Now that the voting is done, all there’s left to do is wait.  Wait and see.

Naturally, since I work for a newspaper, waiting and seeing means I’ll literally be charting the progress of the national and local elections in Orange County.  It’s going to be a long, long day…So having some caffeine in my system will probably be a good thing.

No matter who you’re voting for, I hope you have the chance to go out and exercise your right in what seems like an unprecedentedly big turnout year!