Monday, February 27, 2012

Kotaku's List for Making the Best, Yet Actually Worst, Pokémon Game

So my faith in Kotaku has never been strong, however given thier most recent article concerning what they want in a new Pokémon game I think they've pretty much jumped the Sharpedo on this one. You can click the previous link and check out what they have to say, but here's basically what they are hoping to get out of Black and White 2 (which has been confirmed for US release in the fall).
  1. Customizable Trainer Sprites... I'm ok with this one.
  2. Remove the EV and IV systems. Umm.. what? EV's and IV's have always been around... they just weren't utilized that much until around Gen III. Kotaku's point is that EV training is too much work and they don't want to put in that much effort to be competitive. Well guess what, that means you're just not that into the competitive aspects... which is fine, but ask any person who plays a first person shooter or fighting game competitively. You have to work to be good. They also say that EV's and IV's force people to cheat. No.. actually people have been cheating at Pokémon since Red and Blue. Ever heard about the Missingno. cheat? Just because it's in game doens't mean it's not a cheat. It's taking advantage of a coding issue and thus makes your pokémon stronger (in terms of level) faster than someone who doesn't exploit this cheat.
  3. No New Pokémon. I don't even know where to start arguing this stupid comment. They said to work on the 450 we already have rather than adding more. Thing is we have over 600 now.. so yea. They don't know jack. I get the point of wanting to move away from 2-D sprites, that makes sense. However, if there weren't new pokémon the game would have failed long ago. New pokémon gens bring in new players. Just because your old, cranky, and prefer things to stay "the way things were when I was little" doesn't mean that new players should get slighted. It gives the new players pokémon to grow up with, theirs are just different than ours.
  4. Remove the Breeding Mechanic. NEVER have I heard such an argument! They say it removes from the thrill of the hunt since your can just breed pokémon. Thing is, you can ONLY breed pokémon if you ALREADY have some evolution stage of that line. For example, you can only breed for Pichu if you already have Pikachu or Raichu.. so you still have to catch things! In addition to that, if you want to be competitive, egg moves are important. Again, this is another aspect of pokémon that is optional. You don't wanna breed? Then don't breed.
  5. Allow players, after beating the game, to make thier own home or gym. While not being to customize gyms in older games is true, people could customize their homes/secret bases in several games. They didn't even mention that. I could see this happening eventually, just not in BW2.
  6. Keep the Story to a minimum... Seriously Kotaku? Minimal Story? Pokémon is an RPG!
  7. Customizable Pokéballs. Again, this was in Diamond, Pearl, and Plaitnum.. again not mentioned as if it is some new idea. It was at this point I began to wonder if they had even played a pokémon game.
  8. Some sort of Co-op element. Well, Black and White has Entralink... which is sorta co-op. While I agree it would be nice if it was fleshed out more, they didn't even mention it... so yea.. they know nothing.
  9. A better award for "Catchin' Em All". A decent point, I can actually respect this one.
  10. Don't give the main characters any backstory. Again with the reduction of story. I think they should just not even bother with any RPG. I hate to tell them that ALL RPG games rely on story.
So yea, everyone should go to the article on Kotaku and express thier love or disgust with it... or you can reply here and either agree or disagree with me.

ADDENDUM @ 6:15pm EST: This was written by a forum member so Kotaku themselves didn't write it (thanks for clearing that up for me a little, Ejia). However,the fact they posted this as an article and promoted it on Twitter means either they didn't read it, don't understand pokémon, or they agree.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Announcment of Black and White 2: The Resulting Windfall

Yesterday Pokémon Smash revealed information on a new pokémon game. Many had speculated it would be a "Pokémon Grey" and would feature a new Kyurem form. What we got instead promises to be so much more than a simple re-vamp, as for example Platinum was to Diamond and Pearl. Instead, it seems we will be getting a direct sequel to Black and White. This is something we haven't seen since Colosseum was directly sequeled by Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. As with the announcement of ANY new pokémon game, there has been a swarm of excitement and hate.

I'm actually very excited at the moment. Nintendo hasn't made a direct sequel within a single generation before (in terms of the handheld games). Usually the 3rd game in a gen, such as platinum to DP, are simple revamps. If this is a true sequel which continues the story, I'll be really happy. I feel the story is unresolved due Ghetsis escaping and N leaving. Currently, it would seem this is polarizing the community. On one side, there are excited people like me the others feel like, well, I don't really understand what they feel like. It seems like they wanted "Grey" more. Maybe they don't understand the possiblities a direct sequel can bring. For example, currently we cannot get the Hidden Abilities of Unova pokémon (outside of Darmanitan and Musharna) because the overworld sprites haven't been programmed into the game and unavailable in the Entralink. It is highly probable this issue will be resolved in BW2, either by having Hidden Abilities catchable in the wild or by simply adding the overworld sprites to the Entralink.

Anyway, I don't really much care about community opinion. There will always be people excited as well as those who think the idea stinks. Truthfully, I was currently only slightly excited about a "Grey" version. Sure it's a new game, but really it's just a prettied up version of a game we already have with a few added features. A real sequel promises so much more.

Another issue I've seen are those of who are upset it's not a 3DS exclusive. To me, that currently would make no sense. We are currently in the middle of a gen. There have been NO gens in the past that have been split between two systems. Gen 1 could be played on any Game Boy. Gen 2 worked best on GB Color, Gen 3 was playable on any GBA (and DS), and Gen 4 and 5 works on and DS since they both started at a time when there were multiple DS models available. Imagine the hate if Black and White had been 3DS exclusive when they came out. There would have been tons of people  would be upset that they had to go out and buy a new DS just play Pokemon.

There is no winning really, but it makes sense to wait until a system is either widespread to start a new gen OR at least make the game playable on several system models. Additonally, really little kids (around 6 I think) can't play 3DS due to possible eye damage. As kids are the major audience, why would they make a new game that their intended demographic can't even play? Financially, it makes no sense either. If your buyer base is either going to be everyone with a 3DS or everyone with a DS period, it would make more sense to hit the larger demographic (everyone with a DS period). That way noone would really be left out and need to buy a new system. However, there will be special features that the games can utilize if on DSi as well as some exclusive features if your playing on a 3DS. More than likely, you'll have to turn them on.

In the end, I've been playing since Red and Blue have hit the states. Ever since there has been Pokemon fandom online, there have been people who whine about whatever isn't in a game that they feel should be... and it started really big around gen 3 because people were upset thinking they wouldn't be able to get a majority of the gen 1 and 2 pokes. Then Nintendo surprised the community by releasing games like Colosseum, FireRed, and LeafGreen which calmed most people down. The exception was Colosseum. Before Collosseum came out, people whined about wanting a console story game. When they got it, they whined it wasn't everything they wanted. Then we got XD, then they whined about it too. That is exactly what is happening right now. Rather than being happy with the new possible features that will be introduced by a sequel, they complain about what MAY not be in it that they want.

Moral of the story: Crybabies gonna Cry. Who cares though. I'll form my opinion when I actually play the game like an intelligent person. No reason to form an opinion that's more in depth than the information given out thus far... and 2 pictures and a couple sentences about a game really isn't enough. From what I do know, it seems like they are trying to keep the series from be predictable, which I can appreciate.

What is your opinion about this announcement or what I have said?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Featured Pokémon: Alomomola

By: Matt G

On Valentine's Day we choose to acknowledge Luvdisc the Rendezvous Pokémon... wait... no? Alomomola? Oops..

On Valentine's Day we choose to achknowledge what everyone thought was going to be a Luvdisc evolution... Alomomola! Alomomola is the Caring Pokémon, and unlike Luvdisc I actually CARE to write a review of it. As Unova pokémon go, Alomomola is an HP beast. In fact, it has the highest HP of any Unova pokémon and it's physical Defense isn't too bad either. Special Defense, on the other hand, is one the big holes in Alomomola's wall... and one that many commonly used Electric and Grass attacks will exploit. It doesn't mean to not try to use Alomomola, it just means be creative.

While we're on the subject of things Alomomola has issues with, it doesn't really learn many moves, and many of the stronger attacks it learns are special. Of the offenses, though, Alomomola is better with physical moves. So what should Alomomola know? Support! Alomomola learns many moves to help partners in 2 v 2 or even in Single battles. Anyway, here are some of the movepools I've seen effectively used.

I'm a Hugger
-Helping Hand
-Heal Pulse
-Waterfall/Aqua Jet
Item:Mental Herb/Leftovers
Ability: Healer
Nature: Careful
EVs: 4 HP/ 252 Def/ 252 Sp. Def

A standard set used in the Unova Only Rules for VGC in 2011. This set is a 2 v 2 set meant solely to assist some sweeper. Helping Hand boosts the power of the attacks the partner uses, and due to Alomomola's weak offenses... it's the partner you'll have to rely on for dealing damage. Heal Pulse, another support move, heals Alomomola's partner. Protect can save Alomomola from damage for a turn, which could heal it a little if your running Leftovers or keep it from getting hit by your partner's attacks like Earthquake. Waterfall or Aqua Jet can either be used, but don't expect to do a lot of damage. In fact, their sole purpose is so if Alomomola gets Taunted, it can still do something. Luckily, Mental Herb will break Alomomola out of a Taunt once.. as well as moves like Attract or Disable. Of Alomomola's two avaliable abilities, Healer works best on this set. It will heal your partner of status which it nice. Hydration is pretty pointless on this set, and Regenerator isn't avalible yet. If you are putting Alomamola on a rain team, then Hydration would be better though.

A Wish From the Heart
Item: Leftovers
Ability: Hydration
Nature: Impish (or at best Careful)
EVs: 252 HP/ 252 Def/ 4 Sp. Def

First off, this guy CANNOT attack.. AT ALL. It's whole point is to attempt to support your team, or at best Toxic some pokémon. Here's the cool thing, with Soak, Alomomola can change the type of the opponent to Water. After doing that to a Steel or Poison type, it is now possible to poison them! It's gimmicky for sure, but man is it fun. The real treat here is Wish. Alomomola can heal so much HP with Wish it's ridiculous. Simply throw up Wish and switch to whoever you want to get healed. Wish will most likely completely heal or mostly heal whatever it is you happen to be using. If Alomomola needs healing, there's Rest. If you combo Alomomola on a Drizzle Team (either with Politoed or Kyogre) or someone who happens to have Rain Dance, it will immediately wake up after using Rest. Awesome. Works really well when battling in tournies that use Unova Only Rules or lesser used pokémon.

There other options I suppose, but I'll admit my experience with Alomomola is limited. Any other input will be greatly appreciated! Simply post a comment below, and be sure to put in a Name if you want any sort of credit for your ideas!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dream World Arceus and Electro Ball Mewtwo Event in February

Arceus has been released via Dream World in the US (and in other English games) today. The event lasts until May 1st 2012, so there is plenty of time to befriend it... but why not go ahead and get it on your game? To unlock Arceus go to the Promotional Page on the Pokémon Global Link. Choose the event "Receive the Mythical Pokémon Arceus." It will take you to a password page where you enter in the code ARCEUSVOTE. Once entered, the site will lead you through how to send Arceus from the Global Link to your game.

This is not the first Arceus event, however, there was one for Platinum as well which was held at Toys 'R Us (in the US). The difference between these two Arceus are thier moves, OT, ID number, and Pokéball. The TRU Arceus will have the special moves Spacial Rend, Roar of Time, Shadow Force, and the level up move Judgement. The Dream World Arceus, however, does not have any special moves. It has the normal level up moves of Recover, Hyper Beam, Perish Song, and Judgement. Also, the Dream World Arceus will have the OT and ID of the person who caught it which means it can be Nicknamed and it can potentially be traded on the GTS. Both the TRU and DW Arceus are caught at Lv 100.

Also, later this month there will a Mewtwo download via Wifi connection starting on Februrary 20th, 2012. The Mewtwo will be a lv 70, will be in a Cherish Ball, and know a move it can't normally learn (Electro Ball). Oddly, the Mewtwo is holding a King's Rock... who knows why. In addition to Electro Ball, the Mewtwo will also know Shadow Ball, Aura Sphere, and Psystrike which are a combonation of normal level up and TM moves. The event currently has no end date.

You know, it's intereseting that power pokémon like Arceus and Mewtwo are being released on the same month... Legendary throwdown anyone?