Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scrafty Dealings with Gymleader Iris

I have a big list of things I don't like about Team Plasma, but perhaps the best way to illustrate this is to change numbers 1 and 2 to "nonsensical plans" and to read this over and over while pouring live beetles into your pants. I was so sure that the final battle with Team Plasma was going to happen--I literally have the Pokemon Zekrom in my item pouch (in "dark stone forme") and the legendary Reshiram has been awakened--there should be a final battle I need to be fighting right about now, right?

In typical Team Plasma style, N and Ghestis decided to play the hurry up and wait game and now that side-story has kind of just died out. I'm not sure if its over in the anticlimax of the century (with me getting the "dark stone" as a sort-of nuclear deterrent in the pokemon equivalent of the cold war) or just being held-off for the moment, because when I arrived in Opelucid City, the gymleader Iris and her older boyfriend (or is is uncle?) Drayden--who have been hyped-up to be experts on Dragon pokemon as well as legendaries--told me they had no clue what I should do--and that I should just continue with the whole getting badges thing.

Gymleader Iris was a pushover--and carried a "Haxorus", which the pokedex has identified as the final evolution of my Fraxure. Thanks for the spoilers Iris...

The reason Iris was such a joke was because of my new pokemon. As I was leaving for Opeculid City, Bianca challenged me to a battle which "Scrappy" the Scraggy won all alone--despite being several levels below each pokemon on her team. Afterwards, Scraggy evolved into Scrafty at level 39, who is seriously awesome. He might look a little crazy at first, but let him grow on you--he's really cool--and amazingly powerful.

With the Team Plasma ordeal either solved...or not...it is time to travel north to Victory Road...

Current Squad:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Zekrom No Findings Please, Cannot Finding Zekrom

In a shocking twist, it turns out that Zekrom suffers from "princess is in another castle" syndrome as the journey through the Relic Caslte was a colossal waste of time--he was not there. At this point, it is obvious that no one in the entire universe has any clue what is going on--and Team Plasma's success in awakening Reshiram HAS to be attributed to blind luck...honestly: they were probably trying to do something completely unrelated (because who would want Reshiram? Its ugly at best) and just played it off as being part of their plans all along. I'm reminded of Team Plasma's mission to steal the Dragonite skull from the museum (a million gyms ago) and how fruitful that turned out for them... So the "Zekrom or Lack-Thereof Award" goes tooooo the Relic Castle! Congratulations and thank you for wasting my time!

However, the trip DID reveal a few things about Alder--apparently he's more of a washed-up champion than a legitimate somebody. The Plasma sage named Ghestis (another one of those characters who the art directors started drawing and just never stopped), the guy with the laser-eyepiece from the opening video, revealed that after Alder became the most powerful trainer in the world, his favorite pokemon got sick and died and he hasn't battled since. Honestly I like this turn of events--it brings some much-needed drama to the scene--and also it hints of some kind of back story besides the expected "I worked real hard to train the pokemons and I made it".

Ghestis said that the "dark stone", the dormant Zekrom, was not there, but that we definitely need it in order to defeat N. At this point, Alder muttered something about not liking it that we had to play into Team Plasma's plans in order to defeat them. This was quite the shock to me because we were already doing just that by coming to the Relic Castle to awaken Zekrom just like N asked us to not an hour earlier. I'm not asking for much, but a little consistency from moment to moment would be nice.

After leaving the castle, I was immediately called to the museum in Nacrene City. There, Gymleader Lenora (the normal-typed gymleader) presented me with the very item I had been scouring the Relic Castle for.

I'm not sure why Nintendo figured that they should withhold that item from me for an extra 3 minutes. I mean, nothing else happened between me not having the dark stone in the Relic Castle and me getting it in Nacrene City...except I had to withdraw Deedoon to allow me to FLY there. Was it really necessary to do this?

The way it was presented it seemed like they just happened to find this incredibly important item just lying around somewhere--like they found this "dark stone" at a flea market. So many of the events in this game just seem to be lucky breaks, this is completely ridiculous!

So after finally finding the dark stone, and a lengthy conversation with everyone involved (whom I have nicknamed Team Pup-in-Suds to counter Team Plasma) the pimp of the year basically says, "so...now what?"

My thoughts exactly...

Current Squad:

Krookodile Evolved into...What?

Let me say that I have never been in this position before.

I've always wondered who it is that names the pokemon--and today that answer was revealed to me when my Krokorock who I nicknamed "Krookodile" evolved at level 40. There is nothing more ridiculous than seeing the message: "Congratulations! Your KROOKODILE evolved into Krookodile!"
Apparently, I named the pokemon of this generation. I'm impressed with his strength...now if only he could just learn Earthquake...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


As soon as I left the building, I was met by the namby-pamby squad of Cheren and Bianca who went on about...something or other...I don't really pay attention to what they say anymore. Anyways, Gymleader Bryce decided to join us where he pointed out that there were ninjas hiding behind our backs...no clue how we didn't notice this without his help...

I had seen these ninjas before--they're N's personal guard and they call themselves the shadow triad--why are they called the shadow triad? Why, because they lack subtlety of course!

They told me to meet N at Dragonspiral Tower, which has now been hyped-up more than Y2K, and I gladly obliged.

Dragonspiral Tower is a fairly boring ruin which is populated entirely by two things: pokemon called Golette (which I caught) and Team Plasma. After battling twenty-something of the goons and reaching the top without breaking a sweat, I found N at the top with what must have been the most gigantic pigeon in the universe--which he revealed to be the legendary pokemon Reshiram whose only rival, apparently, is a pokemon called Zekrom, the yang to his yin.

Right before N flew away upon the back of Reshiram, he told me that I should definitely awaken the second apocalyptic legendary pokemon, Zekrom. Now let me get one thing straight--it is never a good idea to awaken a pokemon whose last appearance caused the world to be destroyed in a flash of hellfire--and this is a fact that I just assumed everyone else agreed with me on. But as soon as I met up with Alder, Bryce, the pimp of the year, and the namby-pamby squad, they seemed to be under the impression that it was a good idea to listen to the bad guys and awaken the god of destruction.

Regardless of whether or not a ten-year-old boy had the ability to control a being from beyond time and space whose every movement causes ripples through reality and drive people in futures for decades to come insane, I just thought that it was never a good idea to play right into the plans of the bad guys.

However, this is a pokemon game and it looks like its time for the whole Team Plasma ordeal to be taken care of, so its off to Relic Castle!

Current Squad:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fraxured Facts

Now that I finally had a mission, I marched on Dragonspiral Tower--which was apparently closed for renovations because there was no entrance. Along the trip back, "Terk" evolved into Carracosta (who is, by the way, absolutely awesome!) so at least some good came from the journey.

I traveled East and found more evidence that this game was written by 12-year-olds because Team Plasma was once again standing in the middle of the path and talking quite loudly to no one in particular about how their friends were "working a job in Dragonspiral Tower which is near Iccarus City"--ZING! So...can't continue until I resolve Dragonspiral Tower, but can't get in yet...must mean it's time to get my seventh badge!

See, a gym badge is something you typically get as you're on your way to more important things--like you can pick one up when your wife tells you to buy some milk on the way back from work. But going into this battle I was a little apprehensive because both "Knives" and "Tusks" (the Axew) are incredibly weak against Ice. Turns out I didn't need to worry because Tusks single-handedly KOed every pokemon (which included one Vanillish, one Beartic, and one Cryogonal) within eight turns. Afterward, Axew evolved into Fraxure (I must be on a roll because this guy is awesome as well)!

So I battled Gymleader Bryce who definitely isn't Gymleader Pryce from Gold Version at all--and I totally called it that I would be meeting-up with the "namby-pamby squad"--Cheren and Bianca--immediately after the battle.

Current Squad:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Where the Legendaries At?

When you stop playing your game for a while and then pick it back up you tend to lose track of what you were just doing...I remember that there was something about a bunch of hippies and that my rivals were a bunch of cotton-headed ninny-mugginses and something else about the end of the world but it was all a bit hazy to me until I reread parts of my blog.

Turns out the last time I saved before my battery died was exactly in the middle of "Hazy Maze Cave" (Twist mountain) and escaping from this labyrinthine mess may have been the biggest challenge since the battle for my Volt Badge. What's more is the newly snowy weather blocked the entrances of the few caverns I DID remember, thereby changing the maze...I wonder if this game is deliberately messing with me... I picked up Cryogonal, Stunfisk, Mienfoo, Drillbur, and Beartic...then I immediately released Cryogonal because its just a useless snowflake...and in the end, it all turned up rosy because Pignite evolved into Emboar (who now has some serious stopping power)!

After finally arriving in Icirrus City (and meeting the coolest character in the game--a former member of Team Rocket!), I was greeted by the pimp I met from Mistralton City. He asked me if I had ever heard of the Dragonspiral Tower--I had not, but I had the feeling that I was about to be told in excruciating detail, so I made some popcorn for the stunning revelation:

Dragonspiral Tower is where the legendary pokemon "Reshiram" lives...and apparently that is supposed to mean something to me because everyone in the town has something to say to add to the puzzle--including a story about two brothers who couldn't ever agree that lived a million-billion years ago and Reshiram and an apocalypse.

Then the Pimp said something interesting--he seemed to suggest that all legendary pokemon come from this tower--like it is a legendary pokemon making-factory--which must mean that the tower is filled completely with 3rd graders who like drawing overly serious and powerful pokemon.

See, I have the feeling that preteens are the only people who like legendaries because they think that its cool to be infinitely powerful rather than infinitely clever. Take Darkrai for example.  He looks just like how the kids dress themselves these days.  And Giratina? There is way too much going on with that picture. Somebody picked up their notebook in study-hall and started drawing him and just never stopped drawing...

So, I know what has to be done--in order to stop even more lame legendary pokemon from entering the world--I will journey to Dragonspiral Tower...and destroy it...It is my destiny.

Current Squad:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Not Leveling Up

Usually by now I have a Venusaur.

Let me explain--when I played Red version, my Ivysaur evolved after I battled Giovanni for the first time--before I fought Erika for my 4th badge...this is not a one-time thing, the idea of me not spending millions of hours leveling-up my pokemon before entering a new area is very new to me!

Currently I have six badges and Pignite is only level 34. Granted I'm almost there but I guess this says something about the way I'm playing this game now. I'm not grinding levels like a madman--and I'm constantly shuffling my team, which I guess is too much to say for Ash Ketchum...

Ash's Pikachu HAS to be level 500,000 by now considering how much he uses it. Now I have to ask this because nobody else is: how is he still losing battles? He has no right to be losing battles with a level 500,000 pokemon--even a Magikarp could one-hit KO any pokemon in existence if it was level 500,000--and not just KO--a level 500,000 Magikarp's Tackle would have to be about as powerful as an H-bomb (and would leave nice, adorable Magikarp-shaped holes in the victims)...

The TV show should be less about Ash's journey to get gym badges, and more about how entire towns and communities are destroyed in his wake as he scours the land looking for something else for his Pikachu to murder.

This is most likely why I'm struggling so much as well...but to be honest, the game is a lot more fun this way... I mean, sure its funny the first few times you 6-0 sweep an opponent's team with a level-100 Metapod, but at some point you need to start challenging yourself...

Current Squad:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Sidenote: The Music of Pokemon White

Because I don't have my DS charger available at the moment (as it is still safely plugged-into the wall at my house in Vermont), I haven't been able to play much recently.

It is interesting to note that the season has changed to "Winter" in my game--and now it is Hailing everywhere I go. I was pretty surprised that this would happen--and honestly when I first saw it snowing in my game--and it was snowing outside my apartment--I was a little terrified. Turns out the weather changes every month--and April is a winter month.

As soon as I got permission to enter "Twist Mountain" by beating Skyla's flying pokemon, I set-off on my way--immediately to be stopped by Cheren, my "friend" (and rival). He was easy to beat as usual, but really I would like to bring attention to the game's music.

I'm not sure what this game is trying to pull--I mean at times the music is extremely good-- the gymleader battle theme is the best I've heard since Pokemon Gold/Silver's Kanto Gymleader battle music (trust me--click that link, its excellent). But at other times, including the battle with your rival--who is supposed to be your biggest motivation and challenge in the game--the music is just silly. Click that. I mean seriously, the music is even...plucky! Try listening to that WITHOUT thinking about clowns dancing around in a circle, falling down. I've started to just turn the sound off and hum something whenever I start a battle with Cheren or Bianca...

I keep coming across this guy with fire for hair. Whenever I do, someone around me always indirectly introduces him to me by saying something like, "Hey look its Alder! The Pokemon League Champion!" or, "Hey Alder! I heard he was the Pokemon League Champion!" because this game lacks subtlety.

He literally jumps off of Twist Mountain to give me HM Surf...now I'm not one for theatrics myself, but that is incredible service--he could not even take the time to walk down the ramp to his left because he had to get me Surf IMMEDIATELY.

I recently caught two cool pokemon and I only have room for one at this point--by replacing "Deedoon" (who hasn't been up to snuff recently). So, in my first ever community decision, I would like to ask my audience which pokemon to train of the following: Cubchoo the polar bear, or Axew the Dragon?

Current Squad:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Consecutive Wild Goose-Chases

I don't know if its just the writers for Pokemon games or Nintendo that think that their audience is made up of pillocks who are too dumb to pick up on certain themes unless they are repeatedly hammered-into their heads.

As soon as I arrived in Mistralton City, I was greeted by the crocodile hunter and some teenage girl he was escorting. He starts his conversation by noting how important it is for people (and pokemon) to be together and to have different opinions. Quite literally 40 steps before this conversation I was at the end of chargestone cave, where I battled N and had another long, excruciating talk with Professor Juniper about this exact same subject. I don't know what it is--maybe its just the fact that our culture in general has lost its attention to detail and thriftiness to the point that we NEED this kind of repetition because otherwise we'll be distracted by a nearby shiny object or passing butterfly and our focus will be lost forever.


The before-mentioned crocodile hunter is Prof. Juniper's dad who is apparently a pimp because the teenager was the local gym leader "Skyla" who is a pilot and obviously a flying pokemon trainer. Because nothing can come easy anymore she says she urgently needs my help on route 7's "Celestial Tower" because while flying her plane and certainly not paying attention to the whole "landing" thing, she saw an injured pokemon at the top and rather than let nature take its course, it was our job to meddle.

So, after meddling my way up to the top of "Totally-not-a-rip-off-of-pokemon-tower-from-red-version-at-all Tower" and catching Elgyem and Litwick on the way, I once again met up with Skyla who tells me that she was right, she DID see an injured pokemon, but that she already helped it and it left. Thank god too because I was really hoping to be sent on a pointless errand in the first place--and to have it ripped out from under me at the last second anyways is really just icing on the cake.

Yamask evolved into Cofagrigus who is really cool and all, but in the interest of science I adopted Elgyem instead to see what he evolves into.

Because flying gyms are always huge disappointments, I tried continuing into the next cave, Twist Mountain (which is probably followed by "Boogie Bay" and "Electric Slide Highway"), but was stopped by a guard at the entrance who said I needed the "jet badge" in order to enter--which is total bull because he let a group of hot girls in right after me cause they were "on the list". I don't know who hired a bouncer to guard a cave, but I decided to just let him do his job.

Originally, I was prepared to write one of those "Flying gyms are almost as bad as Normal gyms" blogposts, but I actually lost my first attempt against Skyla because I was being careless and her Swanna was acting like a jerk healing itself. My second attempt went off without a hitch when I realized Elgyem's Hidden power type was "Electric". Her Swoobat, Swanna, and Unfezant were handled easily. So I guess this was my second "goose chase" (this is a fowl sense of humor I have here)!

Current Squad:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Inescapable Chargestone Cave

Pokemon is pretty formulaic--walk in grass to fight pokemon, walk in caves to fight pokemon. It's a formula that has worked for years and the biggest complaint that I hear from people is that they always want "more pokemon".

This time around, Nintendo said, "Fine! Here are 156 New pokemon, go crazy!"

You would think that this would be a good thing right?

Would I even ask the question if there wasn't a problem?

Once when I was young I decided that I wanted to make the awesomest (its a word now) Lego Castle ever for a school show-and-tell project. I spent days planning it out--it would have towers, and a laser cannon, and a dungeon furnished with skeletons--actually I spent so much time planning out the best castle ever that I never actually made the best castle ever--and I had to scrounge something up for show-and-tell. It was the worst show that I have ever told...

My problem is that I spent too much time on quantity and not enough on quality--its called "spreading yourself too thin" and it's what Nintendo did this time around.

Take those monkeys for example: pansage, panpour, and pansear. They are the exact same pokemon.

Another example: Throh and Sawk. These are two different pokemon who are in no way related--neither by evolution or by any mention in the their pokedex entries--but just look at them! They are the exact same pokemon! Nintendo basically made Burt and Ernie (from sesame street) into fighting-types.


I'll get to why I brought this up in a minute--its been a while since my last update so bear with me a sec.

Rock Jock (Boldore) was awesome, but I managed to pick up "Terk", Tirtouga by resurrecting it from a fossil, so I put the turtle on my team for my first water-type!

Deedoon surprised me by evolving a second time into Unfezent, the most awesome-looking bird pokemon ever.

Leavanny, newly re-nicknamed "Knives" continues to be the resident powerhouse--snagging a critical victory in my last gym battle (number 5) against the ground-trainer Gymleader Clay.

And "Krookodile" the Sandile just evolved into "Krookodile" the Krokorok. His attitude in that picture just screams "Haters gonna hate'".

I just got out of the longest cave ever--Chargestone Cave. It wasn't long distance-wise, its just that I encountered a pokemon every two steps (not even kidding)--this isn't what I had in mind when I said "more pokemon".

Considering the name of the cave, I encountered some electric and steel types of varying creativity. I saw an iron-barbed seed named Ferroseed, an electric spider named Joltik, and the dumbest pokemon that I have ever encountered, Klink. Now, Joltik looks kind of cool--and hey, even Ferroseed looks like it can at least evolve into something that doesn't look like a sadistic easter-egg (it is, after all, grass/steel, so this forme must be a seed), but Klink is just the worst. Just to prove my point on how easy it is to come up with cool pokemon designs, here are some fake pokemon I JUST took 2 minutes to find on the internet that are each infinitely cooler than "Klink".  Note: I do not own these pictures.

Current Squad:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

There is no Magikarp guy...

Something slightly disturbing I noticed today was that I have yet to encounter "The Magikarp guy".

I broached this subject with a friend of mine and he knew what I was talking about immediately. There is, in every game, one trainer who is usually named something like "Fisherman Dale" or "Swimmer Arnold" who has thought it fit to have caught six Magikarp and believes himself to be unstoppable. Because Magikarp don't learn any attacks that cause damage until level 15, he spends the whole match using splash for "No Effect!" Really, he is just the game's biggest time sink.

I have found a "Basculin guy" who trains six Basculin (which apparently come in two flavors: red and blue), but he was actually a capable foe.

This would normally not be important but for the fact that I haven't found ANY old pokemon in the game at all. Where I would normally come across Zubat (namely: everywhere) I have found "Woobat" (real clever Nintendo...), there are no Wurmple, Caterpie, Pikachu--I haven't even come across a single Ratatta (what most would dream of doing).

I think this means that there are no old pokemon in this game--or at least that they don't become available until after I beat the main game...I'm not sure if this is awesome or sad.  I would be ALL FOR so many new pokemon if the pokemon I were seeing didn't look so lame. (Pictured: Klink, the gear pokemon...not kidding).

I guess what I'm saying is that if you're going to erase all your cool old pokemon, don't replace them with this:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Electric Battle with Elsa!

Let the Battle Begin!

In the opening volleys, Wiggles successfully burns the first Emolga, then Siglyph is sent-in to use Light Screen and Psybeam. The first Emolga is almost KO-ed, but Elsa saves it with a Hyper potion. Totem the Siglyph is Knocked-out soon afterward on Turn 7.
The following two turns I make a mistake. I had sent in Deedoon to lure Elsa into Volt-Switching rather than using a Hyper Potion, but she healed Emolga anyways. Light Screen wears off, and I switch to Wiggles to try to burn the second Emolga, but is instead KO-ed with Volt Switch when Elsa gets her first lucky critical hit of the match.
In the next three turns I capitalize on the free switch-in after one of my pokemon has fainted and send in Krookodile for a revenge kill. With help from intimidate, I wear down the Emolga until it is eventually KO-ed. Krookodile then becomes paralyzed due to "Static".At this point I know I'm in trouble--Krookodile is dead in the water and only one Emolga is gone. I decide to send-in Deedoon to force Burn damage and stall with Detect, then allow Krook to die so I may use a revive later. Next I send in Deedoon for more burn-stalling. The result of these five turns? Deedoon is dead due to a second lucky critical hit, Emolga has nearly succumbed to Burn damage, and Krookodile is revived.The next three turns start off very unlucky--but then ultimately turn the tide of the match in my favor. First, Emolga's Volt Switch has resulted in Zebstrika being brought to the front. Excited about finally setting-up Red for a game-winning sweep, I immediately send him in...where he is one-hit-KO-ed with a lucky critical hit "Spark" attack.  DAMMIT!!!! I retaliate with Rock Jock, who first uses Mud Slap to decrease accuracy, then uses Rock Blast, which luckily hits five times, once for a critical hit--and seems to be EXACTLY enough damage to knock-out Zebstrika...almost there...
Boldore is now more-or-less out of commission (because he is so slow that he will move second and surely be dead by then)--so I use this turn to use a super-potion on Krookodile in case I have once again underestimated Emolga's power. Rock Jock dies easily and I send-in the Krook. The combination of Intimidate and Burn make Emolga's attacks seem to strike like tissue paper--and Krookodile eventually KO's it with Bite on Turn 19!
Krookodile has certainly proven its worth, but I am unsure about replacing any of my current squadmates with him. Leavanny and Scrappy are both amazing fighters. This being said I may need Krookodile in the future--so I will be training him on the side--and keeping him and Siglyph up to par with my main team--as alternates--in case I need them again.

Team-Building Take 1

The team has been assembled and I'm ready to battle Elsa! Today's post will be a strategy rundown of the battle and how I hope it goes. Go ahead and skip if not interested.
"The Lead"
Yamask (Wiggles)
Types: Ghost
-Wiggles may have the least stopping power in the entire squad, but his real usefulness lies in his ability to burn with "Will-O-Wisp". By burning Elsa's pokemon, they will take 1/8 of their total HP damage per turn and their attack stat will be halved--which is necessary to give my team longevity.

"The Screen"
Siglyph (Totem)
Types: Psychic/Flying
-Totem is a pokemon I found while searching for the correct team anchor in the Desert Ruins and his place is simple: Set up "Light Screen" and then cause as much damage as possible before dying. Light Screen will allow my team mates to survive more "Volt Switch" than usual--and will hopefully allow my team to set-up easier

"The Meatpuppet"
Tranquill (Deedoon)
Types: Normal/Flying
-Deedoon may not make much sense on a team like this, but actually has a very specific, very important place--Deedoon is meant to be "Volt-Switch bait"--meaning he will be sent out to lure Elsa's Emolga into using "Volt Switch" so I may send-in my team anchor. Plus "Detect" will allow me to get a extra turn of burn damage on the foes Wiggles is able to burn.

"The Sweeper"
Pignite (Red)
Types: Fire/Fighting
-Red is meant to be sent-in against Elsa's Zebstrika and to use "Flame Charge" for damage and a guaranteed speed increase. This will allow Red to continue to deal damage by outrunning all of his foes.

"The Wall"
Boldore (Rock Jock)
Types: Rock
-Rock Jock's job is to be tough and deal damage. Rock Blast is an amazingly powerful move--and is super-effective against Elsa's flying Emolga. Rock Jock is meant to switch-into predicted flying type attacks and counterattack with Rock Blast.

"The Anchor"
Sandile (Krookodile)
Types: Ground/Dark
-The head honcho and the reason that I even have a fighting chance--I spent a long time looking in the Desert Ruins for this pokemon--and specifically, a Sandile that has the ability: Intimidate. With Intimidate, pokemon won't be able to attack as hard and being ground type, Volt Switch will not be a problem--the Emolga will be trapped. The idea is to get a free switch-in by sending him into a predicted Volt Switch to block an Emolga's escape, then let Burn and "Bite" take care of the pokemon. With Burn and Intimidate, Elsa's Emolga won't be doing very much damage anymore...

Hark Elsa! Your time has come!