Wednesday, December 17, 2014

VGC 2015 Rules

As we posted previously on our Facebook page, as well as many other sites reporting on it, the rules for the 2015 Video Game Championships have been released.

The rules are as follows:
1)Only Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Game Cards or downloadable versions are permitted for use.

 2)The battle format is Double Battle

 3)Players may use Pokémon from the National Pokédex, from No. 001–719, that are caught in the game, transferred from a previous Pokémon title (e.g. X & Y), or received at an official event or distribution

 4)The following Pokémon may not be on a player's team: 150 – Mewtwo, 151 – Mew, 249 – Lugia, 250 – Ho-Oh, 251 – Celebi, 382 – Kyogre, 383 – Groudon, 384 – Rayquaza, 385 – Jirachi, 386 – Deoxys, 483 – Dialga, 484 – Palkia, 487 – Giratina, 489 – Phione, 490 – Manaphy, 491 – Darkrai, 492 – Shaymin, 493 – Arceus, 494 – Victini, 643 – Reshiram, 644 – Zekrom, 646 – Kyurem, 647 – Keldeo, 648 – Meloetta, 649 – Genesect, 716 – Xerneas, 717 – Yveltal, 718 – Zygarde, 719 – Diancie

5)Pokémon must be placed in the Battle Box.

 6)Pokémon are allowed to Mega Evolve.

 7)Pokémon may not hold the item Soul Dew.

 8)Pokémon above Level 50 are permitted, but they are auto-leveled down to 50 for the duration of battle.

 9)Players may use Pokémon with Hidden Abilities.

 10)Players may use items that have been officially released via Pokémon X, Pokémon Y, Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, the Pokémon Global Link, or an official event or promotion.

11)The Pokémon must have the Blue Pentagon proving that it was caught or hatched in Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire.

It's interesting to note that National Dex and Hoenn dex really were the only options for the upcoming season, and it's nice to see them choose National. This really opens up the options for what people can have on their teams. Additionally, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire contain every pre-Hoenn legendary (outside of those found in Gen 1 which are in XY). This means if you have access to X,Y, OR, and AS you could potentially have a team of containing some of the best usable legendary pokémon ever released. Some commonly used legends in previous National Dex VGCs include Tornadus, Thundurus, Landorus, and Cresselia. It will be interesting to see which tournament staples see continued use as well.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Back From Hoenn: A Post Game Wrap Up

As with immediately after any new Pokémon game release, we went on a bit of a hiatus here at Team KO. Basically, everyone was too fervently playing Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to write anything. Not only that, but this time I know that I personally took a much longer time completing the game that usual. It wasn't necessarily hard or anything, in fact it was relatively easy since I had played the originals. However, there were new added features which took up a lot of my time this go around. Since the game has been out for two weeks now, I don't feel bad posting elements within the game, however if you are someone who isn't getting it until Christmas there are major spoilers. You have been warned. Here are my opinions on the games.

The main story: I'm not going to spend too much time discussing this. If you are unfamiliar with the pokémon formula, then you may have been surprised from time to time. As someone who has played every pokémon game (including the original Ruby and Sapphire), I knew what to expect. Here are some of the things I think are highlights:

  • The additional Team Aqua/Team Magma Missions: I liked seeing them do new things, like the mission to Southern Island.
  • The deeper lore added to explain Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre, although I get annoyed they are called "super-ancient" pokémon. I don't get why "super" has to be added on, but whatever.
  • The addition of lore associated with Mega Stones.

Features: ORAS as a sweet of new features, most being added to features already in the game. For example, the PokéNav is WAAAAY better than in Ruby and Sapphire and Super-Secret Bases are a nice upgrade to the old Secret Base mechanic. Many of the features that were good from X and Y return, but sadly, trainer customization doesn't. Hopefully it will come back in some new game, however I wouldn't expect to see it in remakes of older games.
The Rayquaza is shiny
by the way! Click for larger
image.

  • Super-Secret Bases are a nice upgrade from Secret Bases. I missed not having them post-Diamond and Pearl. Also, they don't require directly linking with someone, so it makes getting them in your game a lot easier. Thanks to Streetpassing and QR code features you can basically have anyone's base in your game. You can also invite people to be "grunts" in your base to make it more like a mini-Gym. A welcome addition as people have been wanting to make their own Gyms for a long time now. This is also integrated into the new Pokémon Global Link. Any time you sync your game, the QR Code the site displays is updated with your new Base as well as the first 3 pokémon in your party. A nice feature, and if you set your privacy to "Everyone" for that page, anyone with the link can download your base. If you go to someone's base and they have a pokémon you don't you can add it to your Dex by battling. If they have a shiny, that registers too. You can even set the shiny to be the default picture in your Dex. If you want to see my current base, you can go here!
  • The PokéNav additions are amazing. I didn't find all of the additions initially, but after I did I found it being my biggest distraction from playing the actual story. I would often stop to track pokémon hidden in the grass for rare moves and abilities. To evidence how much I like this feature: I caught 7 Pelippers. Why? Because they had rare attacks or were holding Lucky Eggs. I hope future games have a tracking feature. I would hate to see this become a one shot thing.
  • The Safari Zone allows you to use your own Pokémon and Pokéballs. I like this mainly due to having so many rare pokémon run from me in the past.


The Delta Episode: This is where the game really shines. Although the "Asteroid Headed To Wipe Out Earth" plot has been done by other movies, books, and games, I liked the pokémon spin on it. It also gave us more insight into the importance of Rayquaza and why it's viewed as being over Groudon and Kyogre. It also does a good job of why Groudon and Kyogre revert to a primal form, but Rayquaza doesn't. The introduction of Zinnia and the Draconid people was interesting but I feel it was a tad rushed. It's likely due to the fact that it was just a post game mission. The idea that dimensions may play a bigger part in future games is interesting. Seeing the next possible games to be remade are Diamond and Pearl, I'm not to shocked. There are also a lot of comments related to "truth and ideals" which are heavy nods to Reshiram and Zekrom from Black and White. The nods to the Kalos War was a nice touch too. If you have the event Beldum/Metang/Metagross in your party during the story, Steven even mentions events that take place in the anime. The story did a lot to make the pokémon world seem even more connected. Batting Deoxys in space was also a welcome touch, I just wish I could have saved before fighting it.

Anyway, those are my opinions. Feel free to tell me what you think of the game!

Monday, November 17, 2014

So Now We're Headed to Space?!

Last week Pokémon announced there will be a special new mission in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. This new mission, which they call the Delta Episode, most likely takes place after the main story. Just to warn you, if you haven't read on this elsewhere, I'm about to post some pretty big spoilers. First off, there is a trailer for it below...


It would seem that, based on this trailer, this is already a part of the game or it is an early event download. There have been post story missions in the past that have been activated by downloading a certain item or pokémon from an event. For example, downloading the Member's Pass in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum would unlock a small mission involving Darkrai. This was only released for Platinum in the U.S. That being said, there have also been post story missions that are important to the story, but had not required a download. The best example would be the Looker Missions from X and Y. Usually, post story missions that don't require a download also don't feature any particularly rare pokémon. Since Delta Episode features Deoxys, it seems to make it more likely to be activated by some download. Regardless, it looks like it will be likely that we'll be able to capture our own Deoxys for the very first time since FireRed and LeafGreen, which was only available to people who lived near a physical Pokémon Center store.


The mission itself involves stopping as asteroid from hitting the Pokémon World by going in to space... its basically Pokémon-aggedon. According to Mr. Stone, it would seem that the asteroid has ties to the events 3,000 years ago in Kalos involving Xerneas, Yveltal, and the "Ultimate Weapon". Wallace even mentions AZ as the "huge man who visited from the Kalos region". Interestingly enough, several of Deoxys' Pokédex entries relate to it once being an alien virus that mutated when exposed to a laser beam. It is quite possible that the laser in this scenario was the weapon AZ created. If that is the case, Deoxys is the second pokémon to have been created by humans. The video also adds a new character Zinnia, as well as confirms that Team Magma and Team Aqua will be involved. If this is a post story episode, I guess that means Team Magma and Team Aqua won't completely disband.

Whatever the case may be, one thing remains certain....



Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting The Most Out of Fearow

Blue uses Fearow, and if you were half
as good as him you would too. That being
said, Ash went farther than he did at the
Pokémon League...
Fearow is one of those pokémon who's intimidating appearance and name set it up to be quite a formidable pokémon. It's too bad that Fearow has such a hard time living up to its name. It strikes fear in the hearts of bugs and rodents, but otherwise, it has a hard time competing with other common Flying types in the various regions. The poor guy is probably even more upset that its fellow Kanto native Pidgeot is getting a new Mega. Let's see if we can at least get the most we can out of Fearow!

Fearow is a Normal/Flying type, which is almost the most common type combination. It's up there with Bug/Flying. It is VERY vanilla. Granted, it's not the WORST combo. I think that right is reserved for Bug/Ghost and Grass/Psychic. Normal/Flying gives Fearow two immunities to two relatively common moves: Ghost and Ground. Normal doesn't really do anything for Fearow's weaknesses as it retains the Flying weaknesses of Electric, Rock, and Ice. Flying does get rid of the Fighting weakness, making it a standard damage attack. Fearow gets two abilities: Keep Eye and Sniper (Hidden Ability). Both are very situational, but Sniper is drastically better. Fearow has a couple moves with high critical hit chances, and Sniper will increase their damage if the move does crit. Keen Eye will stop people from Sand-Attacking you dropping your accuracy. This is only useful if you are Horde Battling Scraggy, otherwise it is pointless.

This is coming from the guy
who can't tell a boy from a girl.
Remember that.
Statwise, Fearow is pretty straightforward. Attack and Speed are its best stats (Base 90 Atk, 100 Speed). It's not going to be running circles around much, and it'll likely tie with a lot of pokémon (Salamence, Charizard, Slaking, etc). 90 Atk is nothing too exciting either. It ties with Weepinbell. When running Fearow, you will likely be crossing your fingers for that crit to pop up to do most of your damage. The nice thing is critical hit damage will get around defense boosts, so there's that. Defense-wise, Fearow won't be taking a ton of hits. Your best bet is to try to hit first and roll a critical hit. Fearow is a lottery. It's just a matter of hitting the crit. That being said, at least it isn't as big of a lottery as Metronome.

Now for moves. Fearow has got moves. The most interesting thing is Fearow gets Drill Run, a Ground type move that also has a high critical hit ratio. Time it right, and you could potentially do a good bit of damage to an Electric or Rock type trying to switch in. Other interesting moves include Tailwind, Sky Attack, Return, Quick Attack, U-Turn, Pluck, and Pursuit.

  • Tailwind: Helps boost Fearow's speed to something grand as well as helps your team.
  • Sky Attack: Waiting to attack stinks, but it's the strongest move in Fearow's arsenal (outside of Giga Impact). Also it has a high critical hit chance so it works good with Sniper. It may flinch the opponent as well.
  • Return: The next strongest move outside of Sky Attack (and Giga Impact). Plus, it has no drawbacks. Just make sure Fearow likes you.
  • Quick Attack: Sometimes you need to finish a guy off..
  • U-Turn: Sometimes you want to get in one hit and run!
  • Pluck: Great for removing Sitrus Berries from Walls.
  • Pursuit: If you expect the opponent to switch at least you can get one hit in.
This bothers me deeply.
With all of this info, I'm pretty on the fence with Fearow. Is it possible to even use it? Sure. You might get lucky and roll a critical VS Garchomp while your Tailwind is up and do tons of damage (maybe even OHKO it). Just don't expect that to happen too often. If you were to try to use Fearow, it fits better fighting pokémon like Raticate (although it pains me to say it). If you were to run Fearow, here is what I suggest.

Sniper On The Roof
Nature: Jolly
Item: Scope Lens/Choice Band/Life Orb
Attacks: Drill Run, Pluck, U-Turn, Tailwind (Return)
Strategy: Max out Attack and Speed in Super Training or by EV Training (252 EVs in each stat for you math people). If you do, your Fearow should be at 328 speed at 100, which is decent. Either have a partner or Fearow itself use Tailwind. This will cover speed issues somewhat. All of the items are meant to boost damage. Scope Lens is SUPER iffy. It's just if you want to try to boost the critical hit chance. It usually won't work though. Choice Band and Life Orb are more reliable. If you chose Choice Band, don't run Tailwind. Instead have a partner that can use it and have Fearow learn Return. Scizor makes for an EXCELLENT partner in Singles (which if I were to use Fearow it would only be in Singles or Rotation). Scizor can set up Tailwind once it gets it from a Move Tutor and it can Baton Pass Attack boosts from Swords Dance as well as Focus Energy.. which will increase your chances for a crit!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nerd Gatekeepers: The Downfall of a Culture

Just a little rant here relating to things like the recent #Gamergate fiasco, which continues my almost two month rant about how the Pokémon community, in association with other gaming and "nerd" communities, is digressing.

First of all, I was NEVER a popular kid. I was way into dinosaurs, and never cared about sports. I liked collecting transformers, and when Pokémon came out when I was thirteen I became an instant fan. I enjoyed the idea of collecting, I liked there were some who appeared dinosaur-like, and I enjoyed the RPG format, mainly because it was the first RPG I was particularly good at.

Pokémon came out at a bad time in my life. By that I mean it wasn't thought to be normal for a teenager to enjoy a "kid's game" so much. Had I been in middle school, it would have been fine. In my hometown, which is very rural, kids my age were off hunting deer or playing football. I had no interest in either. This led to me being frequently persecuted by my peers, predominantly those who now fall into what are considered "bros": males who posses athletic ability and an affinity for things that are stereotypical of teenage or college age males (drinking beer, fast cars, etc). It wasn't restricted to just males though. In fact, many of the people who treated me the worst were female. In the end, gender doesn't matter. Psychological and physical bullying is still just bullying, regardless of which gender perpetuates it. Since I didn't fit the established norm, many things about me were called into question. It's really hard to live a normal life when 90% of your peers would rather persecute you than just let you live your life in peace. My life was a living nightmare between 5th grade and 12th. Only toward the end of my senior year did I actually start enjoying being me, but that was mainly because I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. On the flip side, college was great. It was still near that rural town I grew up in, but as students came from around the world, the view of what is "normal" wasn't so small.

Now, this being said I'm happy that things that used to be considered nerdy and odd are now mainstream. I like that I can share my interests with others without fear of persecution. Unfortunately, people who grew up like me don't always share the same opinion. There are some who now feel the need to guard the "nerd culture" from the masses as they feel that it is being diluted. To me this is just as bigoted of a stance as the ones the "bros" used to perpetuate. Before I felt that I was doing good by working past all of the hate to maintain my identity. Now it seems that hate has shifted. Now we have "nerd gatekeepers" and "internet trolls" excluding others that don't meet their standards of what is acceptable in "nerd culture". In my opinion, these people are only hurting that culture. I find myself ashamed to be associated with these people based on our shared interests. I can only hope more people like myself, who are willing to be friendly to people who haven't caught every single Pokémon or watched every episode of the first series of Transformers, will stand up and decide to not be pulled down to the level these people inhabit. Just as we should have been allowed to enjoy our interests in the past, we should not be excluding others from enjoying it now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Megas and Details on the US Demo

New Mega Pokémon have been revealed this morning along with details on the release of the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Demo.


First off, last week Mega Pidgeot and Mega Beedrill were leaked, however I waited to post on them as I felt we would be likely getting more as the Demo started to be released. Mega Pidgeot gets a boost to Sp. Attack and the No Guard ability. Mega Beedrill gets a boost to Attack and Speed, and gets Adaptability as it's ability.


Also, thanks to the Demo, we now know that Steelix and Glalie will also be getting Megas. Although not much is known about them yet, we do know that Mega Steelix gets Sand Force. Mega Latios and Mega Latias were also show again, as well as a new mechanic that allows you to ride them to find other legendaries hiding in Hoenn.


Finally, the code to download the US Demo has been confirmed to be released through the Trainer Club's October News letter. If you haven't already signed up for an account on Pokémon.com, I would suggest you do so quickly!


UPDATE: Mega Glalie has been confirmed as a pure Ice type with the ability Refrigerate.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mega Rayquaza Confirmed



This morning during the 7 Hour Live Steam, Mega Rayquaza was confirmed. This is not entirely surprising, as Groudon and Kyogre have been powered up it only makes sense that Rayquaza get powered up as well. What is interesting is that Mega Rayquaza isn't Primal like the other two. The reason why is explained in a revised history of Hoeen:

His yellow "tattoos" now
float beside him like ribbons.
"It was a primal age, early in the world's history... The natural world was overflowing with energy. That energy granted Groudon and Kyogre an overwhelming power. Seeking ever more of that energy for themselves, the two clashed again and again, and their battles cast the people and Pokémon of Hoenn into great danger. Brimming with the overwhelming power granted by the energy of nature, this transformation was named by later people "Primal Reversion." And the people called their tormentors Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre.

One Pokémon looked down upon this battle from the sky above. The Pokémon that dances in the heavens: Rayquaza. Rayquaza is venerated by the people of Hoenn as their protector and savior. When Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre had battled for 20 dawns and 20 nights, the world began to lose its natural balance and tilt toward destruction. The people, unable to endure any more, cried out to their mighty savior Rayquaza before a great stone that shone with rainbow brilliance. And a change came upon Rayquaza, weaving in the sky above Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. Suffused in brilliant light, its body began to transform visibly. And then..."


This shows that unlike the other two, Rayquaza mega evolved at the request of humans (with the "great stone [...] with rainbow brilliance" likely being a giant Keystone). Mega Rayquaza gets the new weather ability Delta Stream. This ability overwrites any currently in effect weather as well as blocks weather moves (like Sunny Day) and weaker weather abilities (like Drought). The new weather type also reduces damage from moves on Flying pokémon to normal damage. The weather is removed if Desolate Land or Primordial Sea is activated second or if Mega Rayquaza is switched out. It also learns a new flying move, Dragon Ascent, which is likely a variant of Overheat.

Friday, September 26, 2014

More On Being A Good Sport

Click to Enlarge
This morning I noticed there was a new post by Kotaku showing a Dorkly comic that addresses the "7 Types of Pokémon Players" and it does a good job of spearheading some of the stereotypes that go along with people who play. As always, people in the comments have decided to bash one play style or defend their own. One such conversation does a good job of showing what I currently have the biggest problem with in the community. Someone who places themselves in the competitive "EV Trainer Group" takes the opportunity to point out that people who are in the "Play for Fun" group are smug. While I don't deny that some are, the way he explains himself shows exactly how smug he is:
"Oh, you actually put thought and effort into your team? Well isn't that nice. Yeah, I just play for fun."
This statement seethes with smugness on its own. By saying this, he is insinuating that anyone who plays for fun puts no thought or effort into their team. I personally take offense to this as even though I don't always use top tier pokémon, I do put a lot of effort breeding and EVing my pokémon. I find using unexpected pokémon is fun for me, so I'm playing for fun. Most players, like myself, likely fit into several categories. I have story teams of pokémon I just caught to beat the game that aren't EV trained. I have a ton of shinies I just caught and raised, despite them not being perfect. I also have fun teams and competitive teams.

Being a jerk is being a jerk, I don't care what side you're on. If you can't be a good sport, then I want nothing to do with you. I don't know when "fun" became a bad word, nor do I know when "competitive" did either. Someone, somewhere, decided to be a jerk to somebody for having a different way of doing things and people like "Tygore" continue to perpetuate it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I Dislike "Legal Hacks"

People who are self righteous about
cheating give me a headache.
I've been playing pokémon "competitively" for years now. Notice how I used quotations? Well, if you asked some people within the battling community they would strongly disagree that I'm competitive. Here are some of the things that make me "a filthy casual".
  1. Although I know about Smogon, and go there from time to time, I don't always follow their tier lists or ban lists for my teams. I typically don't use what they consider "uber" legendary (Mewtwo, Kyogre, etc), but that's typically where the similarity ends.
  2. I don't play Showdown. I figure if I'm going to play Pokémon, that I'll play the actual game. I have nothing against Showdown personally. I used to play NetBattle, but that was more because you couldn't play Gen III games online. If I wanted to battle friends elsewhere, Netbattle was the way to go.
  3. I don't use 3rd party software/hardware to edit my pokémon for tournaments. I have used things like GameShark in the past, however. The thing is, I never entered tournaments with it and actually after hacking a couple shinies I got bored with hacking. It took something away from the game for me.
I'm not even going to bother addressing the first two issues, mainly because I'm tired of having to defend myself when I feel I shouldn't have to. I don't battle in Smogon tournaments or play Showdown so I don't see why I would have to meet some kind of requirement for those two things, but if I ever post a moveset that involves Quick Claw or Double Team my post usually gets lit up with negative comments. Instead, I'm going to focus on the third.

Responses to "Why hack a
Parental Bond Mega
Houndoom?"
Those who know me know I am strongly opposed to hacking. Initially, I just didn't want to face someone who had things that would exist outside of normal gameplay. For example, at league during the Diamond and Pearl era I faced a fellow college student with a Water Absorb Entei. When he inevitablely beat me as several of his pokémon had illegal moves and abilities I was understandably annoyed. When I asked if he wanted to have a normal battle without hacks to see who really was the better of us he declined by simply saying, "why would I do that? I won didn't I?" This put a shadow of doubt in my mind vs anyone I fought who had something I deemed fishy (like a team of pokémon all in Master Balls). If that person could hack one thing, who is to say they didn't hack more to ensure their victory? One example of taking it to the limit is this video where a player hacked up a team of megas with abilities they can't normally have. The original poster to Google+ simply asked, "Why would someone do this?" The responses basically say, "because we can" as you see above. When I began proposing the idea that hacking, in this case, was a very obvious form of cheating people got angry. Really angry. Suddenly I was stupid for not allowing them to do whatever they want. I even argued I don't care what they do in their game as long as they don't take it online. One user suggested I should just not battle passerbys anymore if I was worried about people hacking. Now who is restricting whom? Now I am unable to enjoy a feature normally in the game because someone decided to alter their's to have something that is NOT a part of the game? Awesome.

That brings me to the concept of a "legal hack". In the pokémon community, a legal hack is a pokémon edited or generated using 3rd party software and/or hardware, but doesn't necessarily exist outside of the game's normal programming. Some would say this is ok, but not me. Although it doesn't break the normal parameters of the game, I feel it takes away from some of the integrity people should have as players. Competitive events often ban "hacked" pokémon, but those that are "legal hacks" may or may not flag a hack checker depending on the strength of the check and the severity of the hack. That leads to people "slipping by". I have a problem with this and I openly promote, "just because you get away with it doesn't make it right". Technically, you can go to the bathroom at a restaurant and not flush or wash your hands, however I think some people may take offense to that regardless of how much time you personally save. When I try to express my view point, many like to point out that I am not competitive or I must be stupid since I don't think "legal hacks" are ok. I'm assuming their stand point is that if I'm not willing to skirt the rules on a technicality, then I'm not a competitor. This infuriates me, and has led me to despise the very concept of hacking. If it were not for the rampant elitism that seems to come with being a competitive hacker, I'd probably just be rather annoyed rather than openly angry. I would like to point out that I'm not saying that elitism is only restricted to one side of this argument, it has just been my experience that it is heavily weighted on the hacker side.

I actually play the game to get what
I have. I must be a noob.
The other issue is I get tired of seeing all of the perfect shiny teams. They all have perfect IVs for what sites like Smogon say are best, they are all shiny, their moves have all been maxed with PP Ups, etc. I'm sure people will either reply or email me about how "being shiny doesn't affect competition!!!1!! You know nothing!" No, I actually know that. Being shiny is simply a palette swap. However, my point for this is it is supposed to be rare, at the very least rarer than the normal coloration. It's pretty much the opposite at organized events. That shows just how much control hacking gives the hacker. In my opinion it's too much. I will never buy into the "well I don't have enough time/am not patient enough to raise my pokémon". That is not a valid argument. Taking the time to make sure you have six max stats on a pokémon that only even utilizes three or four is optional. Ensuring your pokémon is a rare color is optional. So why do people do it? Bragging rights. I have had so many people butt into my conversations to tell me about how awesome their all shiny max stat team is or how they just got an Ice Hidden Power Zapdos from Powersaves that I want to hurl. You can cheat. Good for you. So can a lot of people apparently. No need to butt in and belittle the fact I caught a shiny Scraggy that is less than perfect, or bred a shiny Honedge that is missing that crucial 31 in one stat. It was rare and I got lucky. Why can't I be allowed to enjoy that fact? Oh yea, because you as a competitive player are more important and all of your stuff is perfect. Got it. I guess I'll just have to continue to hope I hatch/catch shinies, hopefully win the lottery for more PP Ups and PP Maxes, and actually spend more than ten minutes making a team.

The Tenants that make up the
"Spirit of the Game"
UPDATE: As expected I'm getting a good bit of hate from people who hack about this. Again, I was simply expressing why I don't like hacks and the fact it gives people some false sense of superiority. I have been called "a filthy casual" which is no surprise as well as a "bane of the game" which is a new one. A couple people even admitted to not reading the article at all, but felt the need to bash me based on the title alone. That's the sort of elitism I dislike. I can't say anything against "legal hacks", but people who hack can say whatever they want about me. I would like to point out that there is no such thing as a "legal hack" which is why I use quotations. It is a misnomer. They are currently undetectable hacks. That doesn't make them legal, it just means they are hard to catch. It'd be the same thing as someone who eats grapes before buying them and then puts the bunch back instead of purchasing. It's not "legal", but short of actually witnessing it, it is pretty impossible to prove. Now, if that person started talking down to me like an idiot for not doing their grape swipe method, then I would have a problem. Referring to someone as a "filthy casual" or "dirty hacker" is a violation of the "Spirit of the Game" as set forth by The Pokémon Company, plain and simple.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Primal Groudon and Kyogre In Game Footage

The Pokémon Company International has released a new video showing the new Megas as well as Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre in action. Here are some key points:
  • Primal Groudon gets the new ability Desolate Land. Desolate Land creates the new weather effect "harsh sunlight". This is different than the "strong sunlight" generated from Drought or Sunny Day. Harsh sunlight completely nullifies ANY water moves rendering them useless. It also stays in effect the entire time Primal Groudon is in play and weather changing attacks do not affect it. It would seem the only way to nullify it would be to bring in a Primal Kyogre...
  • Who said Kyogre was better? Ready to eat those words?

  • Primal Kyogre gets the new ability Primordial Sea. Primordial Sea creates the new weather effect "harsh rain". Like harsh sunlight, this is a powered up weather effect. It completely nullifies fire moves and attacks that change weather.
  • Primal Groudon gets the new signature move "Precipice Blades" and Kyogre gets "Origin Pulse". 
  • Although this isn't mentioned in the video, I would like to point out that ability activation is based on speed. That means if Groudon is sent out the same time as Kyogre and they both Primal revert, then Primal Kyogre would activate Primordial Sea, but then Primal Groudon (being slower) would nullify it with Desolate Land. This means that Primal Kyogre would not be able to use any water moves. Primal Groudon is confirmed to be Ground/Fire, but this 4x weakness to water wouldn't matter if water couldn't be used. It seems that Groudon is now on Kyogre's level. 

  • The video also highlights Rayquaza, but doesn't show anything new about it. This makes me think there is something that is going to be special about Rayquaza either announced soon or when the games come out.
UPDATE: It has also been confirmed that we will be getting a Demo for ORAS soon. Anything obtained in the demo will be transferable to ORAS once they come out. Niiiiiice. I'll post a release date when it is available.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Mega Impressions: Gallade, Sharpedo, and Camerupt

Just kidding guys. Chill.
Yesterday we got three new Megas: Gallade, Sharpedo, and Camerupt. This furthers the number of Gen III Mega evolutions to a whopping 18. The next gen that's even close to that kind of representation is Gen I with 13 Megas. That said, X and Y introduced 28 Megas total and so far we only have 13 from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (ORAS). That means we could see up to 15 more, or even more than that if Game Freak gets ambitious. I wouldn't predict too many more for Gen III since they are already so far ahead, but who knows? I know people are still foaming at the mouth for Mega Flygon.

Just like before I will be attempting to predict the usefulness of each of the newly revealed Megas. I will be rating them on their play-ability and design, as these are the two things that really govern if we will be seeing them or not. Basically, if someone is using it, they are using it because it's really good or looks cool.

Maybe those rips in his cape wouldn't
be there if he trimmed his elbow talons.
Mega Gallade - Mega Gallade is not that big of a shocker. Mega Gardevoir exists, so having a Mega for its branch evolution is reasonable. It would also appear that Wally (one of the rivals from ORAS) may have one at some point. I guess someone at Game Freak decided that Wally's male Gardevoir needed to go. It is quite likely they didn't want another major trainer to have a Mega Gardevoir, as Diantha already has that cornered in X and Y. Mega Gallade retains it's Psychic/Fighting type combo, which in my opinion is a blessing and a curse. The two types work well together, but it is now the third Mega to have that type combo. Unfortunately for Mega Gallade the competition for that one Mega spot on someone's team is going to be hard to win. If someone wants a Psychic/Fighting Mega they can choose between Mega Mewtwo X, Mega Medicham, or Mega Gallade... and it's hard to imagine why anyone would choose Mega Gallade over the other two. First of all, Mega Gallade gets Inner Focus as its ability. Not bad, but not great. Mega Mewtwo X gets Steadfast. Sure it may flinch, but then it gets a speed boost. It's already so fast, that it will likely outrun whoever is trying to flinch it next turn, therefore no more flinches. As for Mega Medicham, it has Huge Power, which doubles its attack. Yeeeaaa... Inner Focus can't hold a candle to it. Stat-wise, nothing has been said of M. Gallade's stats, but they will likely be raised similar to M. Gardevoir. Gardevoir gets a slight boost in attack, with other boosts in special attack, special defense, and speed. Gallade will likely get a slight boost in sp. attack, with other boosts in attack, special defense, and speed.
  • Design: 4 out of 5. It took me a day to warm up to the design. One of the first leaked pictures had his arms at a different angle and it made his blades look dull. The picture I included gives a better view and I like him more for that. He still has crazy hips though. I guess since he's a knight you can be sure that his hips won't lie.
  • Usefulness: 1 out of 5. I really just don't see it right now. Pretty much everything he could do is done better by Mega Mewtwo X or Mega Medicham. In a non-legendary tournament, he has more status and support moves that Mega Medicham, so maybe that will be useful? I dunno.
  • Overall: 2.5 out of 5. 

Arr.. I'll keelhaul ye!
Mega Sharpedo - One of the Megas that everyone saw coming, Mega Sharpedo. People have been making the claim that Archie had a keystone in his chain necklace since he was featured in a trailer. It would only make sense that someone with a keystone would have a Mega. In Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, Archie and Max essentially had the same team. The only difference was Archie had Sharpedo and Archie had Camerupt. Because of this, people have made TONS of fanart for these two as Megas. I don't think the fanartists saw this Mega Sharpedo as a possibility though. They seemed to have been inspired by the sawtooth shark aka the sawfish, and decided to give Sharpedo a bigger nose and teeth extending from it. It also looks like the "Bully of the Sea" has been in a lot of fights recently. Sharpedo keeps its Water/Dark type combo and gains the ability Strong Jaw. Mega Sharpedo shares its typing and Mega status with Mega Gyarados, so it has some serious competition. Strong Jaw is a good ability, and when paired with a Speed Boost Sharpedo, could be pretty fun. Basically, Protect one turn to get the Speed Boost, Mega evolve next turn and have access to a Strong Jaw boosted Crunch. Sounds great to me. It has also been leaked that Mega Sharpedo gets a boost to all stats. With Sharpedo's frail defenses, I don't see a defense boost really doing much for its bulk, but more attack and speed could make for a pretty ridiculous glass cannon. Just watch out for priority and outspeed them with Mega Sharpedo's own priority move, Aqua Jet.
  • Design: 4.5 out of 5. I really enjoy the design. The only problem I have was it still has no tail. I know I'm being nit-picky.. but a shark with no tail has always bothered me. I know Sharpedo is more propelled by shooting water out of its rear (Ew) like a torpedo. That doesn't mean I have to like it.
  • Usefulness: 3 out of 5. I'm optimistic here. Trying to compete with Mega Gyarados for a team slot is tough, but I feel Mega Sharpedo is different enough to warrant it some consideration. One thing it can do that Mega Gyarados can't do really well is hold it's own against many Fairy types. Access to Poison Jab is nice.
  • Overall: 3.75 out of 5. 

Somehow even less camel like than
Camerupt itself.
Mega Camerupt - Like I said before, this is one of the Megas everyone saw coming. However, I personally am no where near as impressed with it as I am Mega Sharpedo. It has no competition for typing, as it maintains its Fire/Ground typing. The thing is, it has no competition because no one wants to be in that race so it wins by default. Well, unless you count Primal Groudon I guess. In that case, I'd suggest going with Primal Groudon. Better yet just go with different fire type combo altogther like Mega Charizard Y. On the plus side at least it didn't become Fire/Rock. Mega Camerupt gets access to Sheer Force, and a boost to all stats except speed, which gets dropped. This likely puts it on par with things like Shuckle in terms of speed, which is crazy slow. Many people would tell you speed is the most important stat in the game, and it can be, but Trick Room does exist. You could turn Mega Camerupt into a beast on a Trick Room team, but that's the only place I see it doing well. Sheer Force is nice, but the primary reason to have that ability is to abuse Life Orb. Mega Camerupt can't have a Life Orb since it is already holding a Mega stone so that's out. It does have some good moves for Sheer Force like Rock Slide, Heat Wave, etc.. I just don't know if it will even get to attack. It's defenses were subpar as a Camerupt (plus it's 4x weak to water). It's going to need to get some crazy boosts in those stats to be seen at all.

  • Design: 2 out of 5. I'm being kind of generous here. It went from a dopey cow with some volcanoes on it's back pretending to be a camel to being a smug volcano backed corgi. I like the area around the volcano, as the blue circles on Camerupt never made sense to me, but that's about it. Well, and the "M" on it's head. That makes it clear it's the Team Magma "go to guy". I kind of wish Mega Sharpedo had a stylized bone "A" on it somewhere.
  • Usefulness: 0 out of 5. Yea. I went there. I'm one of the first guys who will try to make a pokémon work. I want to make a fun moveset for every pokémon to perform to the best of their abilities, but right now I have nothing for this guy. I can't figure out how I could use it effectively at all. I gladly welcome ANYONE to propose ANYTHING to make this guy useable. Once ORAS comes out, do some battles with him and post the battle video codes. I would love to see anything making this guy seem less tragic.
  • Overall: 1 out of 5. Ouch.


Well there you have it! The most recently released Megas for ORAS. Here's hoping for more! I'm still holding out for Mega/Primal Regigigas. You can also see what I thought of Mega Altaria, Mega Salamence, etc.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting the Most Out of Regigigas

D'awwww...
Poor Regigigas. It just has such a hard time getting things going. Sometimes it's hard to think a of a use for a pokémon like Regigigas. There are just so many pokémon that does what it can do so much better. Well, what do you do if Regigigas is one of your favorite pokémon and you want to use it anyway? You make the best of it, and that's what we do with the "Getting the Most Out of" series!

Now, you can't talk about Regigigas without highlighting it's biggest problem, Slow Start. Regigigas is the ONLY legendary to have an ability that straight up hinders it. It's almost like someone in game production hates him. Slow Start halves Attack and Speed for 5 turns. Anyone who plays Double or Triple battles knows lasting that many turns, especially without recovery moves, is extremely difficult to say the least. Oh, did I not mention that Regigigas practically has no recovery? Well it doesn't, outside of Drain Punch. Normal typing is rough too, seeing as Fighting moves are so common.

Not everything is terrible for Regigigas though, it's just hard to cut through all of the bad. First off, Regigigas has a great movepool like most Normal types. Real standouts include the elemental punches, Power Up Punch, Drain Punch, Return, Payback, and Knock Off. It even has some moves that can help it outlast Slow Start like Double Team and Substitute. It's stats are nothing to scoff at either. The only stat that is below a base 100 is Sp. Attack, and even then it's an 80 which isn't too shabby. Stat-wise, Regigigas is solid.

So, Slow Start? What do we do about it. Well, there are a couple strategies. For singles, run it alongside Cofagrigus. Have Cofagrigus with Red Card come out vs an offensive pokémon. If the pokémon hits Cofagrigus its Mummy ability will take effect and replace the opponent's ability. Red Card will then allow you to swap for Gigas. Next, have Regigigas hit the opponent, now Gigas has Mummy instead of Slow Start. It's stats will be back to normal immediately plus any other offensive pokémon that make direct contact with it will lose their ability which is pretty handy. This is sort of a one trick pony, but it may leave your opponent surprised as Regigigas starts wailing away on their pokémon.

As for Doubles or Triples, getting rid of Slow Start is a little easier and more consistent. Moves like Worry Seed and Entrainment will replace Regigigas with either Insomnia or the user's ability. Entrainment has the most promise. For example, Hawlucha can use Entrainment to give Regigigas Unburden. Combo this with a Regigigas holding a Normal Gem and you are going to end up with quite a speedy wall. Additionally interesting is Mega Lopunny. With Mega Lopunny you can give Gigas Scrappy, which with its large number of potential Normal and Fighting moves, Gigas could definitely become a major threat that's no longer blocked by Ghost types.

When it comes to choosing moves for Regigigas, it really depends on what you what the behemoth to be doing for your team. If you want to try and outlast Slow Start, then stalling moves like Thunder Wave, Substitute, or Double Team are the way to go. I would suggest a more proactive approach, however, using some of the strategies from above. Anyway, the real gems of Gigas moveset were mentioned above, however I will outline some I would strongly consider:

  • Return: This is Regigigas's strongest attack that doesn't have some sort of ill-effect or unpredictability. With the same type attack bonus (STAB) it is 153 power. You'll have to make sure Gigas's likes you, but raising it usually covers this.
  • Fire/Ice/Thunder Punch: Worth mentioning for covering weaknesses of other team members. Just pick the one(s) you need.
  • Power Up Punch: Regigigas with an attack nature and max attack has an attack stat of 460. However, if you decide to go with a defensive or speed nature, this could be used to make up for the lower attack stat. One or two hits from Power Up Punch, and you're golden.
  • Drain Punch: It is Regigigas' ONLY recovery move. Without it, you are accepting that you will never heal the guy (unless you have a partner with Pain Split or Heal Pulse).
  • Payback: Even at 100 base speed, Regigigas is still slower than a lot of common threats. Payback monopolizes on the fact it would be slower by doubling from 50 power to 100 after it is inevitably hit. You still need to dump Slow Start for maximum effect though.
  • Knock Off: ALWAYS a good choice. Unless you're facing a Mega, you can ensure that your opponent loses that all to important item for their strategy. Knocking off an item also increases the power of the move. Always nice.
  • Thunder: Wait... a special move? Really? Yes really. 80 base Sp. Attack is nothing the scoff at. Also, Slow Start has no affect on Sp. Attack, so Thunder is as good as it could possibly be, Slow Start or not. Seeing as most people who use Gigas would have it on a Doubles or Triples team, run it in the rain. Wynaut?
Knowing this, there are 3 potential movesets I plan on trying out on Gigas personally. There is the walling set, a physically offensive set, and a rain dance variant.

You Fought the Wall.. 
Nature: Impish or Careful
Item: Leftovers
Attacks: Thunder Wave, Confuse Ray, Substitute, Drain Punch
Strategy: Again, I don't care to wait for Slow Start to end, so this would likely be combo'd with one of the ability stripping strategies above. Mega Lopunny works best, but this could be done with the Cofagrigus strategy in Singles too. Although you would think a strong attack stat wouldn't matter for a wall, it does for Gigas. You want Drain Punch to be as strong as possible for maximum healing. Anyway, set up status and stall as long as possible.

And the Wall Won
Nature: Adamant
Item: Normal Gem
Attacks: Return, Knock Off, Fire/Ice/Thunder Punch, Earthquake
Strategy: I honestly just went through and chose Gigas's strongest most reliable moves. The set works best combo'd with Hawlucha giving Gigas Unburden. That way you get the speed boost, lose Slow Start, and have a max power gemmed Return all in one turn. That'll make your opponent shake a little.

Water Golem
Nature: Bold, Calm, Modest
Item: Leftovers
Attacks: Thunder, Icy Wind, Thunder Wave/Confuse Ray, Wide Guard
Strategy: A weird set to say the least, and definitely in need of testing, this is a support Gigas for a rain team. Thunder has 100% accuracy so it's a no brainer. Icy Wind will reduce the speed of both opponents, and Thunder Wave/Confuse Ray are there for disrupting status. Regigigas can't get Protect, but Wide Guard is useful in Doubles and Triples. It potentially protects Gigas for a turn from range moves. It also means that Gigas's partner can use Surf without hitting Gigas.


So there you have it. Regigigas may never be game breaking, but it can be fun. The best way to know is to experiment with it and see what you can do with it. If anyone has any suggestions or battle videos showing their Gigas in action, feel free to comment below!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Trailer

A new trailer has come out for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. It showcases many new cut scenes as well as the currently announced Megas. It also showcases some of the bonuses that come with reserving the game in Japan. It has been confirmed that Europe gets figures for reserving their games, but they look different than the ones in the trailer. The figures coming to the US are so far unconfirmed. We may get ones like Europe, Japan, or our own exclusive set.


Although the trailer doesn't reveal anything to ground-breaking (outside of Primal Groudon... haha!), it does do a good job of further hyping the games. It also let's us know that the Shiny Beldum event will run from the games' release date to January.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pokémon X Tekken = Pokkén

This morning the "surprising announcement" teased earlier was released: Pokkén Tournament. Pokkén Tournament is a collaboration between Pokémon creators Game Freak and Tekken creators Namco Bandai. The game looks like it would be a fun collaboration, however there is one bit of news related to it that bothers me: the release date. Well, specifically, the details of it's release. Apparently, it will be coming to japanese arcades in 2015. It was only alluded to be coming to consoles, but when would be the key note here. This worries me, in that it means it could be quite a while before we see this outside of Japan... if we do at all. Another pokémon arcade game, Pokémon Tretta, has never been released outside of Japan. I would hate to see the same thing happen with this game. Click here to see the news release on Pokemon.com.

Now, it's time to weigh in on this announcement. First of all, I'm personally a little disappointed. I was hoping for something for the Wii U that was more aligned with the main games. The fact this is another spin-off game (sort of) bothers me. More than likely this will have no connectivity with the main games at all. If you're a hardcore pokémon fan that must own everything pokémon, you'll want it. If you prefer to play the main series, you'll most likely be able to get along not buying it and be fine. When this was originally shown, a few months back a screenshot was shown at the pokémon game show that alluded to this game. Many people thought it was likely a pokémon fighting game, but I had hoped it would be an HD remake of Pokémon Stadium. Obviously, I was wrong. So far, it's unknown if pokémon that are not fighting type will be included or not. The only confirmed fighters are Lucario (and Mega Lucario), Machamp, and Blaziken.

Not everything about this announcement is disappointing, though. In fact, the main thing to focus on with any game should be "is it fun"? After watching what appears to be in game footage, I could see it being fun for people who are fans of the pokémon games and the fighting game genre. If you aren't that big into fighting games though, I'd stick to Smash Bros. This game will likely be of a more serious fighting game by comparison. Also, the idea to work with Bandai Namco to collaborate to make this game makes me hopeful for the future. Maybe they'll collaborate with Blizzard to make the MMO people are always whining about.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Mega Impressions: Altaria, Salamence, Lopunny, Slowbro, and Audino

Over the past couple of days we've gotten a total of five new Megas added to the roster. I had been waiting to talk about them until we got more info, and now that we do, it's time for my input. I would like to point out that 3 out of 5 of the new Megas are not Gen III pokémon. Most people assumed that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire was going to just focus on Gen III pokémon, but this seems to prove that is not the case. Keep in mind though, many Mega stones were not accessible in X and Y until post game, and this will likely be the case for many of the non-Gen III Megas as well. I am now going to rate these new Megas on a scale of 1 to 5 in how useful they will be for team building and my opinion of their appearance.

So FLUFFY!
Mega Altaria - Altaria has never really had much of an influence on the game, even in Gen III. In fact, unless you just really liked it, most people didn't use it much. Gen III gave us many really good Dragons (Salamence, Latios, etc), so Altaria has always kind of been in the shadow. Its typing didn't do it any favors, as other Dragon/Flying pokémon like Dragonite and Salamence out-shined it. In fact, I still don't even get why it's part Dragon to begin with.. it's a bird. By gaining a Mega form, Altaria is finally carving out a niche for itself. It changes from Dragon/Flying to Dragon/Fairy, so for the first time ever we have a Dragon that is completely immune to other Dragons. It's also been given the Pixelate ability, which is an outstanding ability that works well with Return or Hyper Voice. This gives Mega Altaria the ability to run Special or Physical moves effectively. It also apparently gets a boost to Attack, Special Attack and Defense. Pair that with the fact that Altaria has excellent boosting moves like Dragon Dance and Cotton Guard and you end up with a well rounded strong pokémon that can do a lot pretty effectively.
  • Design: 3 out of 5. It looks like Altaria just got a fluffier butt.. and a hat.
  • Usefulness: 5 out of 5. It can just do so much effectively. Having a unique type doesn't hurt either. I think Mega Altaria might be one of the Megas I'm most excited about just because it can be so unique. You really can raise one for a team, rather than having to raise a team around it.
  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Dragon/Spaceship Type
Mega Salamence - People have been pleading for Mega Salamence since the Gen III starters were announced. No, scratch that, they were pleading for this when Megas were announced. If the Mega Salamence we got was the one they were hoping for remains to be seen. Maybe it's not the Mega Salamence we deserve, but it is possibly the one we don't need right now. Seriously, does Salamence really NEED to be stronger? Apparently so, especially since Mewtwo got a Mega (OH WAIT it got two...). Obviously, being already broken to death doesn't exclude a pokémon from becoming more broken. Press releases have only mentioned that its Defense gets a boost, but truthfully that's already something to fear. Salamence already gets the opportunity to Intimidate the opponent, then it Mega evolves and gets a Defense boost. Also, once it Mega evolves, it gets Aeriate. All of a sudden, making a defensive Salamence isn't a terrible idea. Now by utilizing Aeriate, you can make up for the loss in Attack by going with a Defense nature or by investing some EVs in Defense. 
  • Design: 2 out of 5. I. Do. Not. Like. The. Wing(s). I was never a big fan of Salamence's weird blade wings. They never made sense to me. Now, it makes even less sense. I get it's supposed to look "sleek", but it just looks like the wings were glued on. Look at the picture above, they don't even look like they are a part of its body, just something tacked on. Also, why does it get this "sleek" look but then get a defense boost? Does this also mean its getting a speed boost too?
  • Usefulness: 4 out of 5. Salamence was always good.. now its better. The only reason it isn't a 5 is Dragon/Flying is still a pretty crappy combo. 4x Ice weakness and Stealth Rock weakness hurts. It's also possible that, depending on how stat boosts are allotted, that Mega Salamence falls into the same group as Mega Garchomp. Mega Garchomp is good, but the drop in speed makes it less used than its standard form. If Mega Salamence gets a drop in the wrong area, it could mean even Aeriate can't save it.
  • Overall: 3 out of 5

She works hard for the money...
Mega Lopunny - Ok, who saw this coming? No one, that's who. Well, maybe some people on DeviantArt, but that's about it. Mega Lopunny is an oddity. Lopunny is ok, but it really doesn't excel at much. Its speed is pretty good, but that's really all it has going for it. Most people used Lopunny for Switcheroo. Since Lopunny can have Klutz, you can Switcheroo items over to an opponent without receiving any ill effects from the item being given or received. Fun, but hardly game winning. If someone was using Lopunny, it's because they like Lopunny and that's it. Now with its new Mega, it might see more play. The Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire site says Mega Lopunny gets a "huge" boost to attack and a boost to speed. This makes it seem like Mega Lopunny will be a "glass cannon" sweeper. It can shell out the hits, but not really take them. It also gets Scrappy, so there's no worry about being walled by some ghost *cough* Mega Sableye *cough*. Lopunny also has a stupid amount of egg moves with some real gems that Mega Lopunny could get really good use out of like the elemental punches and Sky Uppercut.
  • Design: 3 out of 5. I get it, she's a fighter so she needed to get some "ear scrunchies" so they wouldn't get in the way as much. That's fair. She also has what appear to be leg warmers and tights... like she just got out of an 80's spin class. Makes sense. Also, I know Lopunny CAN be male, I just can't see myself having a male Lopunny. Same goes for female Seaking. My OCD brain can't handle it.
  • Usefulness: 3 out of 5. A Mega Scrappy fighter definitely has a niche, but I just don't know how big of a niche that is, and if it's worth taking up a Mega spot on your team to cover that. Time will tell on this one.
  • Overall: 3 out of 5

"Help...me...."
Mega Slowbro - Mega Slowbro looks good on paper. Slowbro can be pretty fun to use with Regenerator healing it on switches, and its bulk makes it pretty tough in combination with that fact. Giving a a Mega to a pokémon that is already pretty good, but with slightly lower total stat points than what one would like, seems like it would be a wonderful idea. The issue here is Mega Slowbro looses Regenerator, the ability that made it so annoying to counter. It now gets Shell Armor instead. Shell Armor isn't without its usefulness, as knowing that critical hits will never happen is nice. I just don't feel it's as nice as knowing that any time I switch that roughly a third of my HP will heal. Combo that with the fact that the Mega stone takes up the item slot so Leftovers can't be used and "ouch". I don't expect Mega Slowbro is going to get out much: not in battle or out of the invertebrate that is slowly devouring it. Also, I know some people are upset that Slowbro got a Mega, but Slowking didn't. Well, who's to say it won't? Maybe the Mega Stone for Slowbro is on one version, and the Mega Stone for Slowking is on the other version?
  • Design: 4 out of 5. Hear me out on this one. I like the fact that the "energy from Mega evolving" seems to have been directed at something rather than Slowbro itself, but rather the Shellder on its tail. It is very similar to Mega Kangaskhan where the "energy" goes to the baby. 
  • Usefulness: 1 out of 5. Well, no one would see it coming. Also, it is possible that Slowbro gets a defensive boost that makes it worth having.. but I don't have that information. Based on what I know, Mega Slowbro won't see much play at all.
  • Overall: 2.5 out of 5.

Proving it is possible to be "too cute".
Mega Audino - Another Mega no one saw coming. If you Google "Mega Audino" there is next to no fanart from people trying to predict what future Mega Audino may look like. That tells you something. If Mega Salamence is the mega that "we deserve, but don't need right now" then Mega Audino is the mega that "we didn't want, but we got it anyway". Audino's whole purpose in life is to be something that you can KO for large amounts of experience. I have never seen anyone use it, and I'm not too sure that getting a Mega will change that. That being said, it has been confirmed that have higher Defense and Sp. Defense, and Audino has pretty good HP, so who knows? Audino has always been framed as being a support pokémon, and Mega Audino is no different. It retains the Healer ability that Audino can normally have, and goes from being Normal to Normal/Fairy. If Mega Audino sees any play, it will only be in Doubles and Triples. Mega Audino makes no sense anywhere else currently.
  • Design: 4 out of 5. Although I don't like "super cute" pokémon, this does seem like it underwent a drastic change from Mega evolving, and it clearly shows off it's new Fairy typing. 
  • Usefulness: 2 out of 5. Like I mentioned before, it may have a use as a 2v2 support pokémon, I just don't know if I'd give up a slot for it unless it's a walling beast. It is immune to two types (Dragon and Ghost) and has a lot of moves to support its partners, so who knows? Maybe use Simple Beam on your own Magic Bounce pokémon to make Mega Audino a stat boosting fiend (it can breed for Amnesia). 
  • Overall: 3 out of 5

What are your opinions of these new Megas? Do you disagree with my ratings? Do you think Mega Slowbro is the next best thing to sliced bread? I would hope not.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Different Isn't Always Bad: Using Lesser Seen Pokémon

In the past few weeks, I've noticed a large increase of overused Pokémon on Battle Spot as well as WiFi battles and it makes one wonder, "What about the other Pokémon?" A vague question but it doesn't take too much brain power to understand where I'm going with this. What about the hundreds of other Pokemon that don't usually see competitive play? I've asked myself this exact question several times and to be honest, "New" isn't always a bad thing. Take for example: Swalot. At first glance you register that it is a 3rd Gen common Pokemon, nothing to crazy, and its stats are rather mediocre.

Click to enlarge
Click to Enlarge
The first thing that pops out at me is it's typing. Poison actually became a decent type in Pokemon X and Y due to the introduction of fairies and it also has 5 resistances. Next are his abilities: Liquid ooze, Sticky Hold, and Gluttony. Now these may not be the best of abilities but one in particular strikes my interest and that is Liquid Ooze. I can't count the amount of times I have been Leech Seeded in a battle and it is rather annoying, Liquid Ooze acts like a counter for that and any draining moves your opponent tries to go for. Sticky Hold is a great counter for Knock Off; stopping them from knocking off your item and they do not get the additional damage boost.

I have some personal experience with Pokémon just like this. A good friend of mine had raised a Swalot and I kid you not, his Swalot alone trolled about half of my team and I couldn't do anything about it.
This is just one of the many Pokemon that have the potential to become competitive, they just need a push in the right direction. Comment below some Pokemon that you have witnessed or have raised yourself that aren't necessarily competitive, but have the abilities to be so.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PokéBall Vivillon Released in North America

To celebrate the opening of the Pokémon Center Store Online, Nintendo is giving away the Pokéball Vivillon. This Vivillon was previously given away in France. This is the final known form of Vivillon, so now that it has been released it is now possible to have ALL of the Vivillon forms. The event is set to run from August 5th to August 12, 2014 in North America. To download it, simply go to Mystery Gift and download via Wifi.

To see the official news story: click here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Wii U Pokémon Game We Deserve

As of late, the validity of the Wii U has been called into question. I say as of late, but really, since it was introduced it had been seen as "less than next gen". In many ways, many many ways, it is. If the Wii U had come out alongside the Xbox 360 and PS3, I don't think that would have been the case. However, it didn't. Nintendo tried to preempt Microsoft and Sony by releasing this "Wii 1.5" and hoping that being out earlier would help it sell. The thing is, I don't feel the Wii U's technical capabilities are holding it back. In fact, when I do play my Wii U, I'm pretty happy with the experience. The problem at launch, and even still now, is games. There was an up turn when Mario Kart 8 came out. As someone who bought the game, I can tell you it was money well spent. In my opinion, if Nintendo wants the Wii U to try to recoup some losses, they are going to need more than just Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros (which is coming out this winter). Since Pokémon X and Y are probably the best selling 3DS games by a wide margin, it's odd that Nintendo hasn't capitalized on this. They would make money, and the fans could get something they have wanted for a while: a viable console pokémon MMORPG.

The idea of a pokémon MMORPG isn't new. Fans have been whining about it, and some even making their own, for years now. The most common request is for a game that contains all of the regions. As many of you know, I have always been fervently against an "all region pokémon MMORPG". Having a game where all of the pokémon, regions, and items are available kind of defeats the point of versions. I really doubt Nintendo and Game Freak would abandon this for one game. If they ever do, that will likely be the last pokémon game for quite some time, like a grand finale. I don't want to see that happen. I do think a pokémon MMORPG should happen, but I have some ideas on what else this game should entail to make it successful (although admittedly the chances of it ever happening and containing all I suggest are about as good as winning the lottery). First off, I'll describe the aspects which should be pulled from the old games.
  1. Many older fans remember how good Pokémon Stadium 1 and 2 were, and long for their return. Some have even suggested the games should be released for download for the Wii U eShop.
    The main thing commonly cited are the mini-games. I think Nintendo should bring back the original mini-games in HD format, with a few more added in that take advantage of the Wii U controller's touch screen similar to NintendoLand. These should have friend leader boards where you can compare best scores, times, etc with friends. Although Stadium 1 and 2 also had a battling component, I'll discuss that later. They also had storage, but I really don't see the point of storing too many pokémon on this game when Pokémon Bank exists. Instead, the game should allow you to have enough storage space to store maybe 100 pokémon at best. In this case, the idea wouldn't necessarily be to store a ton of pokémon you just randomly caught, but rather pokémon you are proud of or battle with. Also, if you happened to store a pokémon that is a playable character in a mini-game, then you could play as that pokémon similar to how you could play as your own pokémon in the original Stadium minigames.
  2. Fans of the 3rd Generation would remember the console games that came out after Ruby and Sapphire: Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. These games scrapped many of the features of the Stadium games, namely large amounts of storage and mini-games.
    Instead these games introduced a console exclusive region, new storyline, and new battle mechanics in the form of "snagging" and "shadow pokémon". In many ways, Colosseum was just a way to get pokémon that were unavailable at the time (2nd Generation pokémon). XD, on the other hand, gave us pokémon that were essentially "micro-events". Each shadow pokémon could be purified, and when purified would know a move not normally learned any other way. For example, Shadow Lugia, once purified, would know Deoxys' signature move Psycho Boost. I think this is where the story mode of a Wii U game should go. It should return to Orre (the Colosseum/XD region), however a more northern area of it where wild pokémon are also present. In Colosseum, there were no wild pokémon at all. In XD, there were certain areas where you could find them. In this game, the tall grass would contain wild pokémon as normal. However, in addition to catching pokémon like normal, you would also have the opportunity to "snag" pokémon from the evil team's rosters and purify them, like in XD, to get rare moves and potentially Hidden Abilities. This would be a good way to give us some of the unreleased Hidden Ability pokémon (looking at you Contrary Snivy).
  3. For the Wii, we go the most watered down version of a console game yet, Pokémon Battle Revolution. There were a lot of things cool about PBR, but there was a ton missing. There were no mini-games, no story, and no new region. However, PBR did give us online battles and trainer customization which we really appreciate in X and Y. It also gave use the ability to create "trainer cards" with a registered team of 6 pokémon that could be used, even if our handheld versions weren't currently connected.
    I think this is what the Wii U version should do as well. It should be able to "copy" the pokémon currently in our Battle Box for use online, and perhaps allow for use to store 5 or 6 Battle Box teams that we can switch between. Then, if you want to change a team, you won't necessarily always have to connect your 3DS. Instead, you would only have to connect the 3DS when you make new teams or make changes to moves or items. PBR also gave us "events" based on progress in the game. The Stadiums did this too (ex. Surfing Pikachu), but PBR did it more effectively.
Ok, so we've got a game concept that contains 1) mini-games, 2) a story and rare pokémon, and 3) a good online battle engine. What we don't have yet, is anything new. Well, here are my suggestions.
  1. If we are returning to the Orre region, it should be possible to play co-op with a friend. All of the battles in Orre are double battles, so playing with a friend makes perfect sense. When battling an NPC, you and your friend are only able to use the first three pokémon in your party, which together gives you a team of six pokémon. If you are playing alone, then you could all six of your pokémon like normal. All pokémon caught go to Player 1, as you would likely be playing their file. Player 2 would be primarily there to help acquire items, help in NPC battles, etc similar to the support characters in previous Pokémon games. While playing, it would also be possible to interact with other people playing the game as well. However, they wouldn't just be running around and getting in your way. Instead, they would be standing around similar to what the NPCs do even though they are actually doing something in their own game. To challenge or trade with them, you would walk up to them and send a request, similar to how the PSS works on X and Y. In which case, they would get a notice on their screen and they could either accept or deny. Also, just like the PSS, this could be turned off if you just wanted to play the story without interruptions.
    Occasionally, Nintendo could release a rare pokémon into the game for people to catch rather than just having it as a download. They could still do downloads, but adding these "missions" from time to time would keep the game fresh. You never know when an "unnerving" Mewtwo might attack the Orre Colosseum or when Miror B. may show up in Agate Town with a strange new shadow pokémon.
  2. There should also be an area that focuses just on battles. I know I mentioned the battle engine from PBR earlier, but I think it needs a revamp. It's cool that we can battle our friends and random strangers, but the battles usually end up being the same thing over and over again. X and Y have done a good job with the "Special" rules in Battle Spot, but I think we can expand on it. Where that expansion needs to happen is the Battle Frontier. This game would need to have a Battle Frontier equivalent, but rather than battle NPCs under different rules, why not battle other people? Maybe after beating so many people, you would fight an NPC boss. You could even make the game have an "offline" mode if someone wanted to just fight NPCs. I would suggest doing it similar to the normal and super modes seen in the Battle Maison. Normal is NPCs, Super is real people.
  3. Stadium 1 and 2 had the option to battle the Gym Leaders and Elite Four from their respective generations. I don't think that should come back. Instead, we should get the return of the World Tournament from Black 2 and White 2. While not technically a new idea since it was in a handheld game, I think this would be a fun feature. You could even add the badges of respective leaders to your profile or trainer card in the game once you beat them in the World Tournament. 
Anyway, that is some of my insight. Feel free to complain about how that I think an all region game is a terrible idea. I will continue to think so.