Tag: Alola

New Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Information: Surfing Alola

On September 13 there was a Nintendo Direct. A rather long one, standing strong at 45 minutes worth of information regarding games of all shapes and sizes. Because of life being life I didn’t have the chance to talk about my thoughts regarding the Direct, but there was plenty of great stuff there. The new Kirby game looks really, really fun, as do the Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga remake, Fire Emblem Warriors and Mario Odyssey. Plus there’s plenty of updates coming for games like Splatoon 2, ARMS and Breath of the Wild on top of some interesting ports for games like DOOM, Sonic Forces and a remake of L.A. Noire.

One thing the Direct also addressed was Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, and there were some interesting information dropped that I sort of regret not delving into. Necrozma’s role in the games was elaborated on a bit more, there was a new Z-Move for Lycanroc shown off that varies depending on which Lycanroc you have and they even told us that new Ultra Beasts will join the line-up of available Pokémon.

Because I dropped the ball and missed talking about that update before I won’t slog down this post with too much discussion about it, but if you want to see the trailer that came with this new information you can hop over to this video.

After all, now isn’t the time to be slogged down in old-new information, we have some new-new information to discuss! I mostly wanted to include that introduction as a filler for the gap in my informative timeline, as today I’m looking to talk about the brand new informational trailer that was released for the world to enjoy.

As usual, I’ll be holding my long-winded discussion below this read more line in case anyone’s looking to not get spoiled on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon information. That may be counter-intuitive since I just spoiled the entirety of the last trailer right above this, but… That was a few weeks ago. I guess.

Just bear with me.

Continue reading “New Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Information: Surfing Alola”

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New Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Information: Plot lines, Pictures and Z-Moves

I’ve spent most of the day out in Fullerton covering a Project Rebound event for a story I’ll be publishing in the Daily Titan’s first issue insert on Monday. The event started at 9 a.m. so I had to get up pretty early to drive out, and then devote plenty of time to covering what was happening.

Frankly, I’m pretty tired after finishing it all and could use a bit of a break before jumping into more interview transcription. I’ve probably transcribed close to 2 and a half hours with of speech in the last couple of days so I’m a bit burned out on it.

Luckily, Pokémon has me covered in the quick distraction department.

The reveal of Lycanroc’s Dusk Form earlier this month was the first really substantial piece of information we learned regarding the upcoming releases of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. However, more new information was apparently dropped during the Opening Ceremony for the 2017 Pokémon World Championships today.

And you know I’m all over talking about anything and everything Pokémon.

So if you’re anything like me and down to put the upcoming semester’s work down for a bit, let’s journey into some new business regarding our second venture into Alola.

Continue reading “New Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Information: Plot lines, Pictures and Z-Moves”

New Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Information: Rise of the ‘roc, part 3

Been a while since I’ve had the chance to do one of these.

Since the games were teased for us back in June, we haven’t gotten too much new information on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the follow up sequels/reimagining/who even knows what for Pokémon’s seventh generation games Sun and Moon.

However, now it seems like some information is starting to swing around. In this case:

lycanroc
Image courtesy of Serebii.net

We have Dusk Form Lycanroc making an appearance. Now orange with green eyes, this third form of the beloved canine wolf from Alola seems to be a mix of its two alternate forms.

Image courtesy of Serebii.net

It keeps its overall quadrupedal look from the Midday Form while adopting a different color and a large tuft of back hair like the Midnight Form has.

We don’t know too much more about this new form past its appearance at this point. Though, it was also revealed that the Dusk Form Lycanroc will be what Ash’s Rockruff evolves into in the Pokémon anime. Whether it will have some insane stat spread or any extra moves unseen in the last two additions has yet to be revealed.

On one hand, I almost feel like this addition could simply boil down to needing to give Ash a super special version of a popular Pokémon, as he has been known to get in the past. If so I suppose that makes sense, though it would be a little disappointing to give such a great Pokémon what is essentially a ‘sell-out’ version. Cool, but clearly made for selling toys.

However, the idea of the Dusk Form does open up some interesting possibilities. While Lycanroc was one of the few Pokémon that got a special Sun/Moon differential treatment (not counting the more traditional version exclusivity), the fact that they’re adding a Pokémon based on the time between the ‘Sun’ and the ‘Moon’ suggests that there might be more of a unifying focus between the two Ultra sequels.

Plus, the fact that they’re adding at least one new Pokémon form in the first place leaves the possibility open that we could be seeing more new forms along the same vein as the Dusk Lycanroc, different significant in-game events, new Alolan Forms or even new Mega Evolutions in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

… Okay, new Mega Evolutions are a stretch, but a man can dream. I’m still holding out for Mega Solrock and Mega Lunatone to make an appearance in the Alola Region.

Now that my buddy Juan pointed out that these kinds of updates are starting to pick up, I’ll probably be talking about them like I did during the build-up to Sun and Moon last year, so look out for that.

How do you feel about the new Lycanroc form? Do you think it’s more of a toy/anime tie-in ploy? Or does it open the doors of possibility for more interesting new stuff to come down the pipeline? What would you like to see them announce for the new games? Let me know in the comments down below!

My thoughts on the June 6, 2017 Pokémon Direct

My thoughts on the June 6, 2017 Pokémon Direct

It’s that time once again, ladies and gentlemen. With a brand new Pokémon Direct this morning comes a brand new reason to get hyped up for the holiday season!

While the Direct itself is only about 8 minutes long, with half of that time filled up by a rather long trailer, there are still three main announcements to pull out: Pokkén Tournament DX for the Switch, Pokémon Gold and Silver coming out on the 3DS virtual console and (most importantly to me) Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon being announced for the 3DS, coming out later this year.

Oh yeah, that’s right. A new(ish) Pokémon game to look forward to again. What a time to be alive.

But I’ll get to that last, as it’ll likely be the longest thing I talk about. For now, let’s go in order and start off with Pokkén.

Pokkén Tournament DX

I’ll get this out of the way first – I have not personally had the chance to play the original Pokkén Tournament. Despite certainly being interested in the game, for some reason circumstances have led to it flying completely under my radar. I never bought the game and neither did any of my close friends, so we never got to experience it together either.

That being said, I won’t be able to judge whether or not I think the game will mesh well with the Nintendo Switch. However, I can say that based on my experiences playing Breath of the Wild and seeing the variety of play style options showcased on the trailer shown during the direct that it seems like the fighting game will work well on the home/mobile hybrid console.

Especially considering you can split the joy cons up to use as controllers for two people, making it pretty accessible to play with friends. That’s a nice looking addition.

Due to my lack of experience with the game, that’s all I can really say about it at the moment. I’m looking forward to hopefully making use of this second chance to try it out, and the additional fighters being added into the console version certainly help with encouragement. I’d main Decidueye all day, every day for… Well obvious reasons for anyone who has followed my blog for any stretch of time.

Alongside Decidueye, the addition of Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon and Croagunk brings the playable roster up to 21 Pokémon, with a pretty diverse range considering all the options that are available.

The game is coming out on September 22, 2017, so look out for that. I know I will be.

Pokémon Gold and Silver

Okay to be honest, there isn’t a hell of a lot to say here – not from me personally, but just from what was announced in general. Pokémon Gold and Silver will be available on the 3DS virtual console on September 22, 2017, the same day as the new Pokkén Tournament is being released. According to Sun and Moon’s Producer Junichi Masuda in the Direct, the games will look as they did on the Gameboy Color and be compatible with Pokémon Bank, so everyone will get to take their Red Gyarados from the Lake of Rage with them into the Alola region. Pretty sweet.

While this announcement is cool, I’ll admit it seems a little bit underwhelming. Not only does it simply follow the announcement of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, but Gold and Silver also don’t tend to carry the same general nostalgic weight as Red, Blue and Yellow do (despite being infinitely better games in my opinion), so there doesn’t seem to be as much fanfare for them.

However, Pokémon Crystal was the first Pokémon game I ever played, so I’m honestly excited to take up any opportunity to jump back into the Johto region. In other words… Count me in for some virtual console action.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Now here’s the real bread and butter of this little 8-minute Direct, the part where it seems Game Freak and Nintendo were intent on burying the lede of their story only to tease us with something on the horizon. When I say burying the lede, I mean they dropped the fact that these games exist and are coming soon in the last few seconds of the more than three minute trailer for Pokkén Tournament DX. Nice going guys, way to drop a bomb out of nowhere.

Before I get into talking about the games specifically, check out these logos:

Images courtesy of Serebii.net

These are some sleek-looking logos, if I do say so myself. Honestly, they remind me a lot of the logos for Black 2 and White 2:

Images courtesy of Serebii.net

Which, I might add, is a theme I’ll be returning to in a minute, so hang onto that thought.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon appear to be rehashes of Pokémon Sun and Moon with additional content. Specifically, we get to see a range of new cutscenes and are promised new Pokémon will appear in the Alola region than we saw during our last romp there. The only ones we get to see, however, are versions of Lunala and Solgaleo covered with black, crystalized parts similar in appearance to the Ultra Beast Necrozma.

From here on out, I will be referring to them as Necro-Mega Noivern and Necro-Mega Pyroar.

Okay probably not, those names are starting to get ridiculously long, but callback jokes are always appreciated in my own head at least.

Necro-Lunala and Necro-Solgaleo aren’t necessarily the most physically appealing special legendaries in my opinion, if I’m being completely honest about it. Solgaleo’s gear looks a bit cooler, especially with what appear to be metallic arms on his back, but Lunala’s face looks way more intense with the red-eyes-shining-through-black-crystal effect. I’ll probably stick with Moon, as Lunala is still my personal favorite of the two.

However, this is where the comparisons begin. The whole “main series legendaries fused with a third, less important legendary in a pair of sequels” thing has been done before. In fact, it was done in an eerily similar way for Black 2 and White 2, where Kyurem was fused with either Reshiram or Zekrom to form White and Black Kyurem. On top of that, Black 2 and White 2 have thus far been the only Pokémon game to come out with sequels for both versions of the game rather than just having a third game in a trilogy, whites exactly what Sun and Moon are now doing.

Granted, Pokémon X and Y did not even get a sequel version, so maybe it’s been Game Freaks plan to release two version sequels for every game starting in Generation 5… But who knows, really.

While the idea of dual sequels does not worry me necessarily, as Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are arguably some of the most high up games in terms of my favorite Pokémon titles, what does worry me a little is the idea that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon seem to be rehashes, like I said, rather than full on sequels. The titles suggest just that: Black 2 and White 2 followed up on Black and White, while Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are just “ultra” versions of their first counterparts.

Also if that is the case, I do feel like better titles could have been used than just the same things with “ultra” added on. I’m an advocate for Kirby Super Star Ultra as much as he next guy, but for a Pokémon title I think it could’ve been cool to do more space-specific terminology to add onto Sun and Moon. That’s more of a personal qualm, however.

Naming conventions aside, the reason why this idea worries me is because the idea behind Black 2 and White 2 being set three years after Black and White was what really made those games special and unique, in my opinion. While they went through the same general region, new Pokémon, set pieces and roadblocks were implemented to show the passage of time had taken effect. On top of that, characters in the game had special moments and scenes that showed their own development over the years since the first games took place, which helped to rocket most of them past most other non-playable characters in the Pokémon World as far as personality and intrigue goes.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon don’t seem like they’re necessarily going to get the same kind of treatment. Junichi Masuda says right at the beginning of his explanation for the games that the titles will feature an “alternative story taking place in the same world.” This alternative story does appear to have potentially new protagonists (based on their clothes at least, since facial features appear to be the same), new graphical additions (such as the Wingull flying overhead when the protagonists run past their houses), new locations (like the Pikachu-based area the trailer shows) and new cutscenes featuring a variety of Alolan Pokémon (including my favorite, Mimikyu).

However, it is not fully addressed just how far these changes go. Are they mostly aesthetic differences with new cutscenes on top of the same basic game?

The main thing that tells me that this won’t be the case is Necro-Lunala and Necro-Solgaleo. Most of the events throughout Sun and Moon are driven a least partially by Lusamine’s ultimate plan. Team Skull works under her orders, the Aether Foundation works under her orders and the Ultra Beasts become the true area of focus as the story progresses.

Yet, this focus on Ultra Beasts leads to the main box art legendaries Lunala and Solgaleo seeming to almost take a backseat as far as importance to the plot. Yes, they’re referenced throughout the game and receive a good amount of lore, but this lore mostly comes through things like legends in the Malie City library. At the end of the day, you use these Legendary Pokémon primarily as a means of transportation to stop Lusamine’s plan, rather than them being the embodiment of her plan like most other legendaries have been in the past.

Because Necrozma was not even acknowledged during the main plot in Sun and Moon (it only appeared post-Looker missions in the post-game), the fact that it appears to have a more significant place in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon’s storylines does give me a lot of hope. It suggest that these games, rather than just being a simple rehash of Sun and Moon, will actually be something much bigger. The additions they talk about look to me like Sun and Moon were originally planned to be much bigger games, but development time led to there being a bunch of content to leave out. Either that or perhaps these sequels were in the initial planning stages, and Game Freak has secretly been holding back on us this whole time.

Either way, the long ramblings on such a short reveal trailer should be more than enough evidence that I’m hyped and ready to talk more about the games as we get closer to their release for the 3DS on November 17, 2017.

Just seeing the extra cutscenes with Pokémon like Lycanroc, Mimikyu and Togedemaru were more than enough to get me invested, however. Just saying.

What did you think of the Pokémon Direct? Are you excited for the upcoming titles? And how do you feel about Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon? Do you think the games will be too similar to their predecessors? Or will they tread enough new ground to be exciting additions to the Pokémon anthology? Let me know you thoughts in the comments below!

Marshadow, coming soon to Pokémon Sun and Moon

Marshadow, coming soon to Pokémon Sun and Moon

I’ll be honest, life has kind of been stressing me out lately. A lot. Between classes throwing exams, papers and more at me while the semester winds down, four days of work at the Daily Titan constantly trying to keep sinking ships afloat (Since, as I like to say, news is and always will be a fickle mistress) and certain extra family obligations, it’s been hard not to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Sure, I have my typical daily distractions like Fire Emblem Heroes and Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links, but really I think I’ve started to miss writing about more creative subjects of passion outside of campus news. Here on this blog, at the very least.

I figured maybe I could talk about my mobile gaming obsessions to try and relieve some of the stress, but honestly there are a few barriers to that for me right now.

As far as Duel Links is concerned, I’m just not really sure what I would talk about. There’s no major events happening and I’m still working on building up my card collection enough to be able to build some better decks, so not much of a subject to jump off of… Even if it continues to suck up almost every bit of free time I don’t have.

However, there isn’t much I want to talk about in the realms of Fire Emblem either. I’ve been so busy with work that I’ve just about missed most of the current Pegasus vs. Wyvern riders Voting Gauntlet, and although supporting Team Minerva has proved fruitful up until now…

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Yeah. Not really too much to say when you see that kind of awe-inspiring disparity before you.

Oh, and I pretty much missed the boat entirely on hyping up Fire Emblem Echoes for myself considering it comes out in 10 days. Sure, I’m still going to buy and play the ever-loving life out of that game because it’s Fire Emblem, I just didn’t really delve into some of the complexities of reveal trailers and such because of my aforementioned lack of time.

I was beginning to think hope was lost, and that I’d just have to continue trudging through the daily grind of being a workaholic student journalist… But an old flame emerged, and quite literally breathed fresh life into my lungs.


Okay yes, that whole little introduction segment probably seems a little over-the-top and melodramatic, complaining about first world problems like not having enough interesting things in my video games to talk about…

And it was.

But hey, I wrote most of that at like 2:30 in the morning or something, because like I said I basically don’t have any time during the day and also apparently enjoy making life harder for myself.

Anyway, for as over-the-top as it was, the sentiment I tried to put across still stands. I really feel like this blog became my own little passion project during the build-up to Pokémon Sun and Moon, when every little leak got me excited to talk about my feelings and opinions into an essentially endless void meant to entertain myself more than anyone else.

So when I saw a pretty substantial new Pokémon-related piece of news come out, I just had to jump on it. It really did bring back that internal flame of excited passion to write, even if the subject matter may not be all that extensive in it’s own right.

On April 7 (yes a few days ago, but I’ll spare you all the 56th mention of my tight-packed schedule) two videos came out. The first of which revealed a new Mythical Pokémon preparing to grace 3DS’s all around the world:

It’s only 16 seconds long, but man did it feel reinvigorating to hear that battle theme play over a reveal trailer again… Even if that trailer is, in this case, more of a teaser announcing that more details will be “coming soon.”

Now, Marshadow is by no means a new reveal to anyone enveloped in the Pokémon Community. Literally every detail about this cute little Ghost/Fighting-type could be found on Serebii.net and probably just about every other Pokémon website right around when Sun and Moon first dropped last November – if not even before then.

Personally, I love his design and I love his typing. Marshadow will be our first Ghost/Fighting-type, and with access to the ability Technician, all the elemental punches and more, he’ll definitely be fun to mess around with. Even if I’m still not a fan of using Legendary and Mythical Pokémon just in general.

However what really helps Marshadow now stand out is the second video that was put out on April 7. A pretty substantial trailer for the next Pokémon movie: Pokémon, I Choose You.

When the first trailer for this new movie came out some time ago, I didn’t really pay it much mind. The Pokémon anime hasn’t been a part of the package deal that keeps my interest in some time, and the movies kind of get lumped into that same category for me.

Seeing this new trailer changed that, however. As it turns out, there are going to be far more liberties taken with the original anime story from the looks of it.

Most notably, which should be obvious by the way I’ve set this whole thing up, Marshadow appears in Ash’s shadow and acts as a guide for the new trainer and his friends. At least, according to the movie summary translation on Serebii. Yeah, I’m still leaning heavily on that site for my information – some things never really change.

The movie is also going to take a much more intense turn toward Ash’s relationship with the Johto legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh, who was famously first unveiled in the initial episode of the anime, essentially confirming that more Pokémon games would be coming out at the time.

A heavy focus on these two Pokémon isn’t the only thing that has been changed for the 20th Pokémon movie, however. Trainers and Pokémon from Alola appear to challenge Ash. It’s a nice touch considering there’s so much synergy between Alola and Kanto in Sun and Moon, as trainers are literally seen traveling between the two regions pretty frequently, though with this other point some things are brought into question.

At the same time as there is more of a focus on Alola, Ash’s travel partners are not the expected Brock and Misty we’ve all grown to know and love from the early years of the show. Some things are still the same, as many of the shots in the trailer parallel plot points in the original anime, but there’s still quite a bit that seems to be different.

Does this suggest that the movie is set in an alternate universe from the original show? Or is this retelling perhaps more of an attempt to reboot and modernize the original for a current Pokémon loving audience?

I’d be willing to wager the prior over the latter, but who knows at this point.

While we’ve yet to get the details on exactly how Marshadow will be released, whether the ability to download him will be linked to the movie in some form or another, it seems like there probably will be a tie-in with the movie in Japan before the rest of the world gains access to the Ghost/Fighting-type considering that’s the pattern we’ve seen many times with Mythical and Legendary Pokémon in the past.

Even if there’s a wait, I’m still excited. Pokémon has grown a little under my radar lately, and being able to talk about it and imagine possibilities involving lore again really has my motor running.

What do you think about Marshadow? Or the idea of the newest Pokémon movie changing up the well-known original plot of the original season of the anime? Are you excited about it? I know I am, so let me know what you think in the comments below.

A Pokémon update: Here comes the Bank and the Alola Friendly competition

A Pokémon update: Here comes the Bank and the Alola Friendly competition

The first week of school, adjusting to new courses, setting up things for our first few issues of the Daily Titan and some personal things happening at home have kept me incredibly busy for the past week or so.  In fact, they’ve kept me so busy that I haven’t been able to address some fairly big things happening with Pokémon Sun and Moon that have honestly been hugely of interest for me.

Namely the release of an update for the Pokémon Bank (or Pokébank for short) allowing it to be used with the Generation 7 games.

For the uninitiated in the room, Pokébank is an application out of the Nintendo 3DS eShop released during Generation 6 that allowed you to transfer Pokémon (with the help of the additional Poké Transfer application) from the Generation 5 games Black, White, Black 2 and White 2 into Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.  It also acts as a cloud-like storage space for Pokémon, holding 100 boxes that you can freely transfer Pokémon in and out of while playing the Generation 6 and now Generation 7 games.

You can also transfer Pokémon up from the 3DS ports of Red, Blue and Yellow… But I haven’t had the chance to play those yet.  So I can’t use that feature.

An added bonus in the update that allows the application to be used with Sun and Moon is access to the previously unavailable Z-Crystal Mewnium Z:

I haven’t had the chance to transfer a Mew into my copy of Moon yet, so I can’t use Genesis Supernova, but I’m excited to being able to as soon as I get the chance.

With Pokébank officially released, I’m looking forward to finally being able to do two things.  First, I’ll be able to fill out my PC boxes with my complete collection of every single Pokémon, a collection I spent quite some time fleshing out a few years back.  Second, I’ll be able to transfer all my competitively bred Pokémon over, either to use again or to re-breed with new strategies in mind for competitive battles.

On the subject of competitive battling…

alolafriendly
Image courtesy of Serebii.net

The Alola Friendly battle competition begins today!  I’ve actually spent some time picking through the four competitive teams I’ve bred thus far to pull together a complete squad that’s balanced and viable for battle together.  Though it probably isn’t objectively smart to give away the strategies of my team ahead of actually battling with them… I enjoy talking about what I’ve done with my cute and powerful Pokémon.

So, here we go.


Cuddles

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Cuddles, my Komala.  She’s sleeping, but she’s still ready to kick ass and take names all the same!  Entry hazards like Stealth Rocks and Toxic Spikes aren’t a problem when she can Rapid Spin them away, but her utility also extends to healing other team members thanks to the combination Wish and U-Turn attack pattern.

Oh, and STAB full friendship Return with 136 attack really, really hits hard.

Add on some extra healing from the leftovers and Cuddles isn’t a threat to… Sleep on.

And with that lousy pun, I officially move on.


Peek

img_4714

Peek-a-boo (Peek for short) is up next: My cute and not-so-cuddly Toxapex.  Toxapex is generally considered to be overused in the current pre-Pokébank competitive metagame, but I never really understood why.

Until I actually used a Toxapex.  Since then I totally understand the reasoning.

If her Toxic stall combined with the Recover attack and Regenerator ability wasn’t bad enough, Peek can Haze away any stat buffs her opponent tries to set up (I know I’ve certainly torn down a few Swords Dance-setting Pokémon) and Scald to potentially burn any opponents that can’t be poisoned.

My Toxapex is also a defensive monster, which gets even better in combination with extra Rocky Helmet damage each time the opponent makes physical contact.  Mix that all up with the attack stat-slashing burn status coming from Scald and Peek makes for an exceptional late-game stalling team sweeper.


Charlotte

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I may have talked about Charlotte before, but this isn’t exactly the same Charlotte as before.  Instead, she’s what I like to consider the competitive embodiment of the same Mimikyu I used during my main game play through.  All the same tricks with a far exceeding degree of power.

Seriously, Mimikyu remains one of my favorite Generation 7 Pokémon, and I love using the powerhouse that is Charlotte whenever possible… Even if I haven’t been able to successfully use a Z-Destiny Bond quite yet.  Leech Life makes for a good substitute though, as it makes use of her sky-high attack and allows her to regain some health at the same time.


Syrup

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I continue to hate the explanation for Raichu’s evolution that was given on the official Pokémon website leading up to the release of Sun and Moon.  Seriously, eating too many pancakes would not cause a ‘divergent evolution’ in a new land, it’s just the most ridiculous thing.

Yet, when I fell wholeheartedly head-over-heels in love with Alolan Raichu after seeing the Pokémon sit on her tail in mid-air like it was a bench in Pokémon Refresh, I knew I needed a cute name to give my little Electric/Psychic-type.  I couldn’t get that explanation out of my head… So Syrup just felt right.

At the same time, Syrup is incredible in battle.  Deciding not to make use of its ability, Surge Surfer (which requires an Electric Terrain effect to be set up as a means of doubling her speed stat), I set up my Raichu to hit hard with a Modest nature and move faster than just about all others with a Choice Scarf-boosted 162 base speed.  Most of the time she Volt Switches out to let another Pokémon come in and tank a hit from whoever the opponent may be, but even if she isn’t doing that her other special attacks hit hard on a variety of different Pokémon types.

Honestly?  Alolan Raichu has become one of my favorite Pokémon as of late, simply due to how useful my little Syrup is.  Guess I have her to thank for breaking my annoyance over the lousy background lore of her species.  I just can’t stay mad at a Pokémon so sweet.


Iris

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Iris, who I’ve named for what I feel is a pretty obvious reason, is one of the more… Unexpected Pokémon I’ve built thus far.  I’ve liked Masquerain since Ruby and Sapphire, but haven’t ever found a chance to use one until now.  The original team she’s a part of is a little more gimmick-y all together, but Iris definitely stands apart as something special.

Not only can she swap in on a physical attacker to cut their attack with her ability, Intimidate, she has a decently high speed stat and a pretty damn-high special attack stat, making her exceptional as a good Pokémon to force the opponent to swap out their Pokémon.  With a Flying-typing helping her dodge Ground-type attacks, that idea becomes even more useful in application.

Iris also works well with Peeks, since it’s always useful to cut a Pokémon’s attack before swapping into the defensive wall, or swapping out of the defensive wall into a Pokémon that can resist Ground-type attacks like Masquerain.  Such a good combination.

Sticky Webs make for a good entry hazard when I feel like playing speed games, but the real bread and butter for Iris comes from being able to hit a large variety of types with Expert Belt-boosted Super Effective attacks: STAB Air Slash and Bug Buzz, plus the addition of a Hydro Pump or Solar Beam (if I’m using a Sunny Day team at least).

All-in-all Iris has a great thing going for her, and she fits into the team I have quite well.


Cheval

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Wrapping up the team and ruining what could otherwise have been an all fatal female show of force is Cheval, my big bad Mudsdale.  Don’t let his gender fool you however, he fits in with the others from a power perspective more than well enough.

While I’ll admit his name isn’t the most creative, as it’s just ‘horse’ in French, Cheval puts in just the finest of work for me.

Usually I have him holding a leftovers, but considering I can’t have replicated items across my team members in official Pokémon battle rules, I decided to give my Mudsdale an Assault Vest instead.  Honestly, it makes him extremely viable to take hits on both the physical and special side since the item boosts his special defense by 50 percent.

The hard-hitting move pool this horse gets access to also makes him quite the asset.  In my experience, Cheval has been able to kill Alolan Ninetails and Mimikyu in one hit with Heavy Slam, which can really put holes in some teams.  Plus, STAB Earthquake and Close Combat makes it very easy to hit Steel and Rock-types, as well as many more. Finishing with Rock Slide allowing him to hit Flying-types as well and Cheval is an absolute monster.

It helps when Cuddles is able to heal the big horse with a Wish U-Turn as well.  Especially when I get to imagine the little Koala snuggling up to her big equestrian friend.


There’s only one problem that arises, even after all the work I put together to set this team up.  One problem that, no matter what I do to try and correct things, is unfortunately unavoidable…

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I’ve been so busy for the past week that I missed the registration window for the Alola Friendly competition.  Thus, unfortunately, my squad won’t be able to prove themselves in that official fashion.

Oh well, at least I can use them all together to duke it out in the Battle Spot and against my friends.  There will be plenty of battles for me to take part in later, I’m sure.

If you like the team I’ve built, or if you have any ideas for teams you think I could build (especially since all 800+ Pokémon are available in the latest generation) let me know below!  I’m always looking for new things to try, especially since I’ll need something to keep me from going nuts after hours of homework and newspaper shifts.

Until the Fire Emblem content comes around at least.

 

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.

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.

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”