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

  • 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!