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.

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

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.