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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Featured PKMN: Battle of Legends 2014

The Battle of Legends is set to begin soon. Tournament registration is runs until July 24th, with the tournament running this upcoming weekend from July 25th - 27th. A rather unique tournament, this allows almost any pokémon to be used with the exception of Diancie. What is also interesting, is that you can use two "uber" or "event" pokémon. These pokémon include: Mewtwo, Mew, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Celebi, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Jirachi, Deoxys, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Phione, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Keldeo, Meloetta, Genesect, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde. Normally, these pokémon do not see tournament level play. I can count on one hand the number of times that "uber" legendary pokémon were allowed to participate. As of X and Y, this is the second tournament to allow "ubers", however the last one only allowed Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, and Mewtwo. In addition, this tournament follows double battle rules, and pokémon are raised to level 100 during the matches. 10 matches can be played in per day, meaning that 30 battles can be done per game during the tournament. Since the rule only restricts "ubers", trainers can also use pokémon migrated up with move tutor moves as well as Megas, etc. However, since "uber" legendary pokémon are usable, I plan on focusing on the five "uber" legendaries that I think will be all over this tournament.

5: Xerneas - As of the last tournament, Xerneas was on almost every team. The biggest selling point for Xerneas is Geomancy. I commonly saw trainers exploit a Geomancy + Power Herb combo. This allowed them to sharply boost their speed and special stats, turning Xerneas into a hard hitting behemoth. The beauty of this, is that means Xerneas can fit relatively well on any team since it can support itself quite well. Xerneas' weak point is its Defense, but even that isn't much of a weak point. To take Xerneas down, a strong physical poison or steel move is the way to go. If you are running Xerneas, a good second "uber" to consider would be Mewtwo, specifically, Mega Mewtwo Y. Mewtwo can hit poison types with super effective psychic moves and it can learn Aura Sphere or Fire Blast for steel types. Kyogre is also a good partner since it resists steel moves and is a special attack juggernaut. Xerneas can learn Thunder through TM, so rain support could be very beneficial.

4: Lugia - When I say Lugia will be common, I'm specifically thinking about Multiscale Lugia. Multiscale Lugia (which can be captured from the Dream Radar) will take less damage if its HP is full. With access to Roost and Recover, it can be relatively easy to keep Lugia at full HP. I would personally lean toward Roost. With Roost, Lugia will lose its flying type for one turn, meaning it will also loose those weaknesses for one turn. Just like Xerneas, Lugia can benefit quite well from Kyogre. Lugia has access to several high power water moves, as well as Thunder. The main reason I think Lugia is a little better over Xerneas is that you don't have to take the one turn to use Geomancy. Its bulk is already substantial, and its faster than an unboosted Xerneas. In fact, Lugia has access to Steel Wing so it could land a serious hit on Xerneas the turn it tries to use Geomancy. Lugia does have a downside though. This format is going to be saturated with Psychic types and ways to counter them. Basically, every high power Sp. Attacker has access to Shadow Ball or Thunder, which does impair it a bit. Multiscale helps, but even that can only go so far.

3: Darkrai - Unlike some of the legendaries allowed in this tournament, Darkrai is MADE for double battles. Dark Void is one of the biggest banes on anyone's existence in the double battle format. In other tournaments, the only way you would come in contact with Dark Void is from Smeargle. Now that there is a tournament that Darkrai is allowed in, however, it's a bigger problem. Darkrai has way better stats that Smeargle, primarily speed. In fact, Mega Mewtwo (X and Y), Deoxys (Normal, Speed, and Atk Forme), Shaymin (Sky Forme), Arceus (using Extreme Speed) and Meloetta (Pirouette forme) are the only legendaries that can outrun it without boosts. Most of the time, Darkrai will have more of a problem with the new Megas like Mega Gengar or Mega Manectric. Like Xerneas, Darkrai pairs well with most of the legendaries. The best pairing, though, would be with a sweeper legendary capable of hitting two opponents. Since Darkrai will primarily be putting pokémon to sleep, it's better to have the other one attacking. The main issue with Darkrai is it's frailty. Being weak to fairy and fighting hurts, as those are both common types with many legendaries learning moves like Aura Sphere. The best alternative may be to combo Darkrai with one of the legendaries that are faster than it, mentioned above. The other option, although not a legendary one, is to pair with Mega Gengar. That way Mega Gengar could lock the opponent in play with Shadow Tag and Darkrai could put them to sleep.

2: Mewtwo - As I mentioned in previous entries, Mewtwo is ridiculously good. Absurdly good could be even used to describe it. Mewtwo is a powerhouse on its own and has access to a wide variety of moves. In fact, it can hit most of the other legendary pokémon for super effective damage depending on which four moves the trainer has chosen to go with. Not only that, it has access to TWO Mega evolutions. That puts Mewtwo pretty high on this list. It fits well with pretty much any other legendary and team strategy. I'd personally chose Mega Mewtwo Y, however. Mega Mewtwo Y outruns almost every other uber legendary outside of Deoxys. It also has Insomnia, so after Mega evolving it can get free switch ins on Dark Void. I almost expect to see Mega Mewtwo Y on every team.

1: Kyogre - Kyogre just does beat out Mega Mewtwo Y as being the pokémon I expect to see the most of. Mega Mewtwo Y does certain things better, for instance it's faster, but Kyogre has a higher stat total, better defenses, and an ability that can help an entire team rather than just itself. There's a reason why Rain Teams do so well, there are just so many good ways to exploit the rain. In fact, even Mega Mewtwo Y can use it with Thunder. All in all, Kyogre is the best uber legendary pokémon do to its versatility more than anything. Also, many people run Kyogre with a scarf which outruns Mega Mewtwo Y, which is probably Kyogre's biggest threat. Most of the other legendaries would have to do some sort of boosting to survive more than one or two hits from Kyogre. Good thing this tournament isn't taking place in Alpha Sapphire. With Kyogre being this good already, I really doubt there would be a team that wouldn't have it's Primal version. I'd go ahead and suggest that if your pokémon can learn Thunder or Hurricane and has good special attack, to go ahead and teach to them. More than likely, you'll face a lot of rain... so you might as well get some use out of it yourself if you for some reason don't run Kyogre. I would strongly advise using it, but that's just me.

Which uber legendaries do you think will be the most common? Which two do you think make the best combo to build a team around?

UPDATE: Post Tournament

Along with this article, I had my readers vote on which legendary pokémon they thought would be the most common.

Based on the data, most of the people who voted agreed that Kyogre was going to be EVERYWHERE (and it was). The only projection we were off on was Lugia. This is most likely due to the rarity of Multiscale Lugia. Only one can be sent to Black 2 or White 2 by using the Dream Radar (multiple would require you to have multiple copies of B2W2). Additonally, just because you got one doesn't mean it would be particularly good. The fans, however, also predicted that Deoxys would see a good bit of play. It was possible, however, in my opinion Deoxys is more fit for singles. The defense form could likely do ok in Doubles, but the others not so much. Otherwise, the predictions of the fans and myself were pretty spot on.

Click to enlarge
Xerneas was a little more commonly used than we gave it credit for, but that's not that big of a difference. The image on the right shows the top 12 pokémon used in the tournament, which also includes some of the non-legendary pokémon that were often used.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mega Metagross In Game Footage, Additonal Info

The Pokémon Company has just released a video showing Mega Metagross ingame, as well as showing some the Gyms from Hoenn as well as showcasing Super Secret Bases. Although not mentioned in the video, the Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire official site has posted that Mega Metagross's ability is Tough Claws and that it gets boosts in Attack, Defense, Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and Speed. The site also makes a point to mention that the speed stat is "increased greatly). Steven has been confirmed to have a Mega Metagross on his team. Mega Diancie has also been updated in the site as to having an increased Attack and Special Attack. 

In online play (to which I'm referring to Battle Spot), and VGC play has seen Metagross kind of fall of the map after Steel's resistances to Dark and Ghost were removed as of X and Y. In previous generations, Metagross was a common staple on teams due to it's immense power and the number of resistances Steel/Psychic pokémon used to have. Well, the resistances aren't coming back, but is it possible this new increase in power will see it come back? Only time will tell.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mega Metagross Leaked

Mega Metagross leaked this morning. I can't help but notice that it appears to be a fusion of itself and it's lower evolutionary stages. Anyway, that's it. No additional info outside of some poor scans. More info will break soon I'm sure.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Secret Bases Confirmed For OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire

Although not incredibly surprising, Secret Bases will be returning in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. For those of you who played Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, Secret Bases were areas players could set up for other players to download into their games. Once downloaded (via mixing records using a Game Boy Advance Link Cable) players could battle a computer controlled version of their friend's team. Not only that, but players could buy items to decorate their base, with some items working like the obstacles in Gyms.

To set up a Secret Base, now called Super Secret Bases, players have to locate suitable areas and have their Pokémon use the move Secret Power. Once set up, players can decorate and share their base. Like in Ruby and Sapphire, players will be able to set up their bases in trees, mountain caves, and large shrubs. Bases can't be just made anywhere, they can only be in select locations with a square marker showing it is a base spot. This means there is finite number of bases that players can have in their game.

Since Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are remakes, there are upgrades to the system as well. Rather than having to physically link up, like in the past, players can share their Super Secret Bases (SSB) via Streetpass. This means if you go somewhere where a lot of people have a copy of the game (like a tournament or convention) you may find yourself with many new trainers and bases in your game.

Even people who don't attend these sort of things can still get bases in their games. The games also support a QR code function that allows players the ability to create QR Codes to share online. The QR Code "map" saves to the players SD card in their 3DS, so once they generate the "map" the player can remove the SD card and upload the QR code to various social networking sites. Although it is currently unknown if the SSB Trainers will keep the teams that they have at the time or if the team will be generated when the base is created, it's likely that the trainers will have their current teams. At the very least, this is how the Secret Bases in Ruby and Sapphire worked, so there isn't any reason to think this system would work any different. Players can also set up the kind of battles they hold in their secret bases. Single and Double battles are likely, but we may also see Triple and Rotation. If we are lucky, we may even be able to set up some really weird rules, like Inverse or Sky. I plan on making a Fossil Team for my SSB trainer to use, I'd love to also choose an obscure ruleset to make my opponent's sweat.

The Super Secret Bases will also have other functions, for example you can collect flags from players bases and show off how many you've found (as seen as the flag number on the above QR code). This function was not present in the original Secret Bases, however it was present in the bases players could set up in the Underground area of Sinnoh in Diamond and Pearl. Another new feature is the ability to become "pals" with the other Secret Base Trainers (the computer controlled version of your friends) and then have them visit your base of do favors (like hatch eggs) for you. Again, this was not present in the original Secret Bases, but it is similar to how your friends could do you favors in the Join Avenue of Black 2 and White 2.

All in all, Super Secret Bases appear to make good use of the Streetpass feature. Other main series pokémon games have attempted to do this, however in my opinion this is the best use of it. If we're lucky, this isn't the end of what can be done with these downloaded trainers. X and Y introduced the odd concept of battling in the Battle Maison using a trainer that "is a representation of a friend" from your 3DS Friend List. These creepy eyed avatars would use 2 randomly chosen pokémon in multi battles with you. Hopefully, this won't be the case in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and instead they will use two pokémon from their Secret Base team. I guess time will tell what all features Streetpass will bring to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. If we're lucky, it will also have a Spotpass feature. Wouldn't it be neat to check out the bases of various Game Freak developers or Nintendo representatives? Their Miis are already invading other games I own!

Thanks to Team KO member Patrice for posting info on Facebook about this!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ray Rizzo and the Case of the Dream Ball Aegislash

Dream Ball animation close up.
Fan sites and blogs have been fueled by recent events of Nationals in the US. A lot of what is on these sites relates to the events held, individual recounts of the tournaments, etc. Nothing to far from the norm. However, there has been one issue that apparently arose from this past weekend: Ray Rizzo's use of an Aegislash that emerges from a Dream Ball (as seen to the right). The issue here is that Aegislash is a 6th Gen Pokémon from X and Y and Dream Balls are only available in 5th Gen (Black, White, Black 2, and White 2). This makes it seem like RIzzo may have used some sort of cheat device on his game. Outcries of foul play, as well as defense of Rizzo have sprung up all over the internet. Many fans are calling for the Pokémon Company International to take a stand on this, and formally take action against him. Some suggest simply removing some of the Play! Points he earned (which are used to qualify for events like Worlds) while others are calling for his three previous World's Championships to be voided. This almost sounds like something you would hear happen to a major league sports player who is suspected of cheating, so those at his defense (and Rizzo himself) shouldn't be surprised. I don't really follow competitive players like they are major league athletes or celebrities, but many people do and therefore he is going to be under great scrutiny from these people. 

Despite the "evidence" against him, there are some things about this issue that nullify it. First of all, Rizzo explained on his Facebook page quote:

“Basically someone who I’m not going to mention because people might troll them over this and I don’t want that to happen, unknowingly bred a presumably hacked dream ball Aegislash and the ball passed down from one of the parents, so the completely legit baby Aegislash ended up having a dream ball too. The person who bred it for me didn’t notice because they thought the parents were perfectly fine. So then they traded the baby Aegislash to me so I could EV train it and use it. Let me tell you I don’t know anything about ingame. I have maybe 60 hours of gametime and I couldn’t tell you the difference between a dream ball and a dusk ball, so I had absolutely no idea it was in a dream ball. I just take my Pokemon through Nintendo’s hack check online on battle spot and at the competitions and they’re totally fine because they are always bred completely legitly, so I go ahead and use it. I simply do not play ingame, there’s no way I would have even known it was in a dream ball since it doesn’t tell you, and I wouldn’t have even known there was anything wrong with it being in a dream ball because it passes hack checks and I don’t even know what [...] a dream ball is or how you get dream balls.”

Aegislash being sent out.
Does this completely clear him? No, not really, but it doesn't really prove he hacked either. In my mind, this is a completely plausible scenario. This does mean that somewhere along the line, however, a hacker was involved. This is where I stand against hacking (yet again). If the previous quote is true, and I have no real reason to doubt it, then that means somebody willingly traded Rizzo's friend a hack which in turn put Rizzo in this situation. That is why I don't like people who cheat. They think they have the right to do whatever they want in the game, and to some degree they do. Pokémon games are becoming a really community game though. With the addition of the PSS system, it's easier than ever to interact with random people you don't know. When you hack your game and pass off your cheated merchandise as legitimate to someone who doesn't know how to tell, we end up in a situation like this. Someone who is innocent in the matter is publicly defamed. All because some jerk wanted to catch their pokémon in a rare pink pokéball.

Now, this is not to say that Ray Rizzo and his breeder friend are completely blameless either. You guys are in the big leagues. You should know as much as possible about this game, seeing how it is essentially your current claim to fame. Pleading ignorance in the tone Rizzo used doesn't jive with me. If he had been more like, "I haven't dealt with a Dream Ball before, so I didn't know this combination wasn't obtainable normally" I'd been fine with that. Not everyone utilized the Dream Radar or Dream World features last gen. (If a pokémon wasn't obtainable from the Dream Radar or World, then it should not be in a Dream Ball.) Instead he basically says he's ignorant of essentially anything ingame. That's not really a good defense. Any good lawyer will tell you that ignorance of the law does not excuse you from it. This is the same case, ignorance of an illegal combination, so he's kind of going to have to accept people thinking whatever it is they think. As for his breeder friend, he SHOULD know better. He breeds pokémon to trade, seemingly for competitive tournament play. He should know what combinations of pokéball, shininess (because some pokémon aren't legally shiny), etc are acceptable for tournament play. 

The Dream Ball
In the end though, I don't personally think Pokémon Company International has to do anything to Ray Rizzo. If the pokémon is reviewed as not having been altered by a cheat device then I see no reason for penalty. Keep in mind, I'm not just addressing stats, moves, or ability. I mean it should not have been altered AT ALL. Some people think it's ok to hack to change a pokémon to it's shiny version. I work hard to find them legally, so I do not. I know this has no effect on battle, I don't care. I worked hard for mine, and a hacker did not. That's the only reason I need to not like it. Also, Rizzo is at a point now, like it or not, where he has to prove unequivocally that he doesn't cheat... Aegislash can't get flagged for any reason or people will claim he is a hacker. Back to the Aegislash itself, we know the parent was obviously hacked, but that wouldn't transfer via breeding. In this regard I would say the Aegislash is 99.99% legit, and since the pokéball the pokémon is in is quite honestly "unimportant". Because of this, the pokéball would not flag a hack checker. Neither would shininess.. but I REALLY don't have any respect for people who have to hack just to get a different color and dilute the rareness of the feature.

An important note here is to learn from Rizzo's mistake. I would never suggest battling at a Video Game Championship with anything traded for via Wonder Trade or GTS. Instead, take that pokémon and breed it. Any pokémon bred legally, despite the legality of the parents, is legal as I previously mentioned. Also, if you don't know your pokéballs (since that is apparently an issue among the competitive battle scene), just breed with Ditto. All of your pokémon will be in regular Pokéballs so there will never be a question. Don't like regular pokéballs? You prefer pokéballs with patterns? Then take a couple minutes and learn them. Hopefully, Rizzo learned this lesson and will be more careful next time he's in the spotlight.

UPDATE: If you are concerned that some of your pokémon might be in a pokéball they aren't supposed to be, Serebii has added a new section that details all of the potential pokéballs that pokémon can legally be in.

Event Pokémon Farming: A Good Investment

After the release of the Fancy Vivillion, I promptly jumped into action and began hitting the Miiverse to attempt to snap up people's Fancy Vivillion. An action that many couldn't understand. As one member put it, "Why do you want so many??" Well, the answer is simple. I see it as an investment. Event pokémon are always a rare commodity eventually. Sure, right now everyone has access to one per game. That means at best, everyone in the know on pokémon events will have one (more if they have multiple games). Well, I currently have 1 game and 3 Fancy Vivillion.

So why are these Vivillion so important that I feel the need to give up my hard-earned legendaries like Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres? Because they weren't hard earned. In fact, I put no effort into catching these legends as they weren't even mine to begin with! I got them from trades. As someone who likes the breeding mechanic in the game, I often end up breeding WAY more pokémon than I could ever need (which is also way I offered Unburden Treecko and Iron Fist Chimchar). Well, rather than release them, I often Wonder Trade them. However, if I get a particularly good spare, I put it on the GTS and ask for an easily obtained legendary pokémon. Typically, the best thing to ask for are pokémon not used competitively, so pokémon like Thundurus or Landorus don't really work. You may have to wait a while, but eventually, a competitive player who doesn't care about their Articuno or Moltres will trade you. So here's the progression, I start off with a bred pokémon of which I have many. I trade it for a pokémon that is one per game. I then trade that one per game legendary for a CURRENTLY widely available event pokémon. 

So again, how is this an investment? Well, this particular event only lasts one month (July 7th 2014 - July 31st 2014). That means people who have or get X and/or Y during July will get one. Unfortunately, someone who doesn't have them will miss out. Same goes for someone who skips X and Y and gets OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire in November. At that point, I will have leverage because I have MANY Fancy Vivillion. I have done this in the past with other events as well. I would rent a spare copy of a game and get as many events as I could tolerate (download, trade to my game, reset rental copy, repeat). With the collapse of places like Blockbuster, though, it really isn't feasible anymore (unless you have a Gamefly account I guess). Anyway, those people who missed out are going to want the events they missed, in which case then I'll be in business. I'll be able to get version exclusive legendaries (I have yet to get a Kyogre I'm happy with), mega stones, and all manner of shiny.

Of course, my goals aren't all about me. I do run into those poor sorts that never get to go to events, have never caught a shiny, etc. I have been known to trade away events easy to people like this so they don't lose heart. I know I've thrown around a lot of Wishmaker Jirachi to kids who didn't start Pokémon until Diamond and Pearl. I'm also quite certain I'll meet some newbies who have just started playing pokémon with OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire in November. I don't think it's fair they would have to accept never getting the Fancy Vivillion since they didn't have games at the time, so I'll likely hook them up. I've also used my spare events to use a prizes for tournaments, which gives people who missed out on events another opportunity to get them. In the end, I think helping others out is probably most rewarding part of this investment, so if you get the chance to get some spares and pass them on I'd say do it. Even if the Fancy Vivillion never get so rare as to get you any shiny you want, you may end up brightening up someone's day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pokémon Trading Card Game coming to the 3DS Virtual Console

The Pokémon Trading Card Game for Gameboy Color will be released on the Virtual Console in Europe on July 10th, with other regions likely getting it afterwards. This game contains virtual cards from the Base, Jungle, and Fossil sets as well as promos that were distributed during that time period. The game also contains some game exclusive virtual cards. This marks the first pokémon game to be distributed on Virtual Console. Not only that, but personally I find it the oddest choice. Although the game was popular, there are many more popular options (such as Red and Blue). Sure, one could argue that FireRed and LeafGreen being remakes would make it pointless to have Red and Blue on Virtual Console, however the TCG game can be played online currently for free on Granted, you can't use the old cards, but still. My guess is this is meant to be aimed at nostalgic players of the TCG you have fallen out of the game since the original sets, many who are now in their late 20's.

The game was originally released in 2000 in the US. The point of the game was to collect virtual cards to build a deck and defeat 8 "Club Masters" the same way you defeat 8 Gym Leaders in the main series games. My suggestion is if you want to relive the awe-inspiring moment of pulling a Base Set Charizard, you'll likely want to get this. If not, then this might not be the game for you. I still have my copy and my Game Boy Color, so I'll just be nostalgic that way and still keep my fingers crossed for Red and Blue. I'd love to be able to play those games and actually save my progress.

Fancy Pattern Vivillon Event Live

Serebii is currently reporting that the GTS has finally hit 100 million trades, and the dates for the Fancy Pattern Vivillon have been announced. The download is supposed to last from July 7th - July 31st. As of 8:30 am EST, there is currently nothing about it posted on the Pokémon Global Link site or Poké This new pattern of Vivillon was officially unveiled in May, and is meant to commemorate the 100 million trades that have been done over the GTS since pokémon X and Y came out. As such, the OT of the Vivillon is GTS and has the ID number 00108. It is lv 12 andiIt also knows the event exclusive move, Hold Hands.

According to Serebii, Hold Hands does not do damage but rather "Ally pokémon hold hands. This makes them very happy." Most likely this means this is an effect boosting move like Happy Hour, the only difference is Happy Hour boosts the amount of money won in battles whereas it seems that Hold Hands will increase the happiness of the pokémon in battle. If so, it will help people evolve pokémon that are based on happiness such as Eevee to Espeon. In addition to Hold Hands, it also knows Gust, Struggle Bug, and Light Screen.

To receive this Mystery Gift, you have to be in range of a wifi hotspot.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Eevee Friendly Tournament Registration Has Begun

Registration has begun for the Eevee Friendly Tournament. To register, you need to go to the Pokémon Global Link website. You will have to had registered your game card with the site to participate. If you haven't done this already, you can sign up for a new account and register your game by following the instructions on the site. This tournament is only open to Eevee and it's evolutions: Jolteon, Flareon, Vaporeon, Umbreon, Espeon, Leafeon, Glaceon, and Sylveon. The pokémon also have to have been caught or bred in Kalos (the region in Pokémon X and Y). The format is a Rotation battle, and all pokémon will lowered to lv 30 for the tournament.

Also, you can register even if your team is not quite ready. So long as your team is ready by the time you want to do your first battle you are ok. The actual tournament isn't until next week (beginning on July 11th). Once your team is ready, they must be in the Battle Box on your PC. At the start of your participation the Battle Box will be locked and you will not be able to move the pokémon out until the tournament is over or you cancel your participation.

I wrote an article about the pokémon I had chosen to use in this tournament. If you want to see what I am doing to get ideas take a look.