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  1. Welcome to the sixtieth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Now is your chance to grab Celebi via the Nintendo Network. No trip to GameStop necessary this time; just get your Mystery Gift via any Internet connection. Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all! Speaking of... -------------------------------- Mark of Mastery Walking back and forth at the entrance of the Cerulean Cave, raising thirty Pokémon up thirty levels [collectively] to fill the last few pages of your Pokédex in Yellow Version... really gives you time to think. I“ve outlined how “catching ”em all” is (im)possible previously, but I“ve never really taken the time to reflect upon when I first reached that goal, and how reaching it in subsequent games has only gotten easier over time. Before I do so, for the record: My Kano Pokédex is indeed complete, and I“ve been validated in quite possibly the best way. This once and future Pokémon Master first achieved the Ultimate Victory on a copy of Pearl Version. It was before HeartGold & SoulSilver were a thing, so Johto Pokémon -- particularly its Legendary Trio plus Ho-Oh and Lugia -- were extremely hard to come by. I played through LeafGreen three separate times to get Suicune, Raikou and Entei, plus each of my starters. I traded my excess Legendaries (like Mewtwo and several sets of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres) for Pokémon I couldn“t get through normal means. Before the Wi-Fi Event in 2010, Mew was obtainable in My Pokémon Ranch. Jirachi, Deoxys and other Mythical Pokémon had distributions at GameStop every once and awhile. I honestly don“t remember how I managed to snag Celebi for the first time, but the Celebi I use to this day is from the Japanese HeartGold/SoulSilver Movie Event that unlocked . I traded my first ever Suicune for a Manaphy Egg. Darkrai and Shaymin were given out at Events before The Pokémon Company finally distributed their special items over Wi-Fi. And I got Arceus from an Event as well. Becoming a Pokémon Master isn“t necessarily an exercise in skill; it“s an exercise in patience. Playing through the same game twice to get another set of Legendaries to trade over GTS for any given Version Exclusive Legendary is often required. It“s been that way since the DS games, at least. HeartGold & SoulSilver alleviated the rarity of Ho-Oh and Lugia back in the day, though! And we got to (re)play one of the best games in the entire series, too. But what about now? I“ve mentioned it numerous times, but 2016 is absolutely THE Year to become a Pokémon Master. The ten-ish Mythical Pokémon have already started being distributed. And the remaining Pokémon -- yes, every last one of them -- are available to catch in both XY and ORAS, collectively. If I had to start all over again, back in February when Mew was being distributed, I could absolutely get right back to where I am now -- given enough time and effort, that is. “But some Legendary Pokémon are exclusive to each version!” Indeed; it“s true. The hard way to obtain the other set of Legendaries in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire [for example, Ho-Oh is in Ruby, and Lugia is in Sapphire] is to use Pokémon Bank to transfer your entire Pokémon collection, then restart your save file. The easy way? Use Chain Fishing to catch a bunch of legit Shiny Poliwhirl. Putting a slightly light blue Poliwhirl on GTS is how I got Xerneas for the first time, despite only owning Y. Shiny Pokémon -- now easier to obtain than ever, given enough patience -- are the hot commodity of the GTS... because no one really has patience anymore. Or they don“t know Chain Fishing is a thing. Either/or! The short version of what I“m saying is this: it may be daunting, and require more time than effort. But [given the current distribution of Mythical Pokémon] it is absolutely possible to be a Pokémon Master. It“s not an exclusive club, by any means, and I“m always eager to help out folks willing to take the time.
  2. Welcome to the fifty-seventh week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. This coming week is your last opportunity to grab Mew from participating GameStop stores. It disappears again for a while after February 24th! Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all! -------------------------------- Great Expectations As you“re all reading this, we“re just a week and a day away from February 27th, 2016--the official twentieth anniversary of Pokémon Red & Green Versions respectively, and what“s being marketed internationally as “Pokémon Day”. The proverbial Hype Train has been steadily rolling along since December, with crazy physical products available for our friends in Japan, all the stuff our Official Site has outlined, kind words from Mr. Masuda and others, and...even a brand new Pokémon. That last bit“s...kind of a big deal, right? I“ll blab more about Magearna momentarily, but there are a few brief points I need to hit first: First of all: Pokémon GO is going to be at GDC 2016 (March 14-18), featured in a panel where we“ll finally hear more information about it beyond the e“er popular reveal trailer. What does this mean? Well, it means the beta-tests you“ve seen going around are collectively just one meaningless hoax after the next. And it“s definitely not releasing on February 27th, like I“ve seen some brazen folks try to report. I know it“s a slow news cycle for many gaming websites, but the amount of stretching some people are doing makes rubber-bands look bad. Next: “Pokémon Fandom”--I am generally okay with your existence, even though I don“t necessarily identify with you at all. But could you all please stop begging for The Next Big Pokémon Game Announcement already? Just look at the replies on the Message from Masuda tweet I linked to above. It“s like every time The Pokémon Company tweets something out, they“re met with a bunch of hungry wolves after their next meal. Despite some reporting it as news: with the reveal of Magearna and the anime moving ahead full swing to “Pokémon XY&Z (emphasized to emulate how the Z appears in the logo)...the fact that they“re working on another Big Pokémon Project besides GO….is expected. ...Give them time, for goodness sake. They“ll show it off when they“re ready! Okay, last bit: The release of the old Pokémon games sure is unfortunately timed, isn“t it? Most of you hardcore RPG folks are going to be a week into Fire Emblem Fates. I“m choosing a different path (n“yuk n“yuk) and playing through Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen for the first time. Plenty of other folks are out there mashing their backlog, or working through new games I haven“t thought of. Is the draw of nostalgia going to be powerful enough to get you to put down what you“re currently playing through to play 20 year-old games? Personally, I“m probably going to buy and start whichever version I end up getting (let“s be real: it“s gonna be Yellow)...but I highly doubt Old Pokémon is going to be compelling enough to get me to stop my progress in New Dragon Quest. If I“m being honest with myself: I“d say only Mutant Mudds Super Challenge is the only game almighty enough to loosen Dragon Quest“s grip upon me. Now then--where were we? Oh, right. there“s a brand new Pokémon. Japan obviously got the news first, but the West didn“t have to wait six months to catch wind of it. ...Very interesting indeed. The reveal of Magearna pushes a couple of thoughts to the surface: Magearna doesn“t necessarily mean we“ll see a 7th Generation of Pokémon this year. We saw it with Marril, Kecleon, Lucario, Zoroark and others: sometimes the reveal of a brand new Pokémon is over a year off from the Actual Game that houses them. I suspect a third 6th Generation game will arrive before Magearna does, but I“ve certainly been wrong before. I“m keeping an open mind. Magearna“s reveal could mean the 7th Generation of Pokémon is coming this year. I mean, it“s the twentieth anniversary. Could a “portable NX”, as has been theorized, be coming this year...and launch with a brand new Pokémon game? The Internet would light with the fire of a thousand Charizards, and it would explain why we“ve gone so long without word from The Pokémon company. Which side of the 7th Generation Fence do you fall on? If you“re going to be picking up the old Pokémon games on 3DS in a week, which version will you start with? Plenty of questions! I“m very interested to hear your answers! ...I think I“m going to delay next week“s Individual Values and have it go out on Pokémon Day so I can quickly write impressions of whatever Special Things go down. We“ll see! Goodness knows, as I was writing this, it was announced that Pokkén Tournament will be showcased at the newly remodeled Nintendo NY in a tournament, where the winner will go on to compete in the Championships. (And hey, did you catch the “GIVE US POKEMON Z” among the very first replies of tweet showing new footage? Don“t ever change, Internet.) Also the retail version of Pokémon Rumble World is now confirmed for North America. News can really happen at any moment. It“s kinda crazy! Either way, it“s definitely a phenomenal time to be a Pokémon fan. Here“s something cool, but unofficial to leave you all with! As the wildly marketable catchphrase goes: train on, ladies and gentlemen.
  3. Welcome to the fifty-fifth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Don't forget that Mew is available at participating GameStop stores from now until February 24th! Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all! -------------------------------- Train On Prior to Great Detective Pikachu taking the world by storm, The Pokémon Company International released something else that was the center of attention, for a while. Turns out Pokémon fans won“t have to watch the Super Bowl to see the eagerly anticipated commercial. Also turns out I was completely wrong about what it could reveal or focus on. To be honest, even if I was expecting something completely different, I“m both extremely impressed and deeply moved by it! First of all, just from a presentation standpoint -- it hides handfuls of easter eggs: The chess pieces that the young lady plays with have Nidoking and Nidoqueen on them. There“s an ad for HM 03 on the television showing the kid that ran to the edge of a mountain. The football players“ helmets have the Cinnabar Gym Badge on them--and that can also be interpreted as the symbol for the fire element in the trading card game. As they run out, they point towards the words “LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS”. I“m certain there are many more littered across just seventy seconds of footage. As far as things to surprise and delight longtime fans -- this commercial definitely goes the extra mile. The thing that resonates the most with me about it, though, is its inclusiveness. Children and young adults of all colors and creeds, from all across the globe, are told “I can do that.” A lady competitor took center stage for a while. How everything was handled really helps to hammer in that Pokémon is a global phenomenon that shouldn“t exclude anyone. I loved what I saw, even if a lot of what made the commercial unique wasn“t necessarily target towards me -- or even the United States -- specifically. “Train on.” Those two words, especially within the context of the commercial, highlighted so much more than just the Pokémon games. It“s an encouraging message that intertwines the message of Pokémon with striving towards goals in one“s everyday life -- whether it be sports, a game of chess, exercising, journeying, aspiring to be the best...the list goes on and on. But... the way the commercial brought it back to Pokémon by showing its audience what a televised match would look like in real life -- man! It made even me start to anticipate Pokémon GO, as well as the things they could be capable of with new technology, or a return to Pokémon Stadium. One last thing to talk about when it comes to that commercial: how in just under a minute and a half, it made every new parent in the room, who could one day pass the proverbial Pokémon torch to their kids, a little emotional. The final words of the commercial weren“t “I can do that,” but, “You can do that.” It“s true. The same dreams and aspirations that filled my heart when I was ten are reaching a brand new generation of Pokémon Trainers, soon to be Masters. Kind of crazy if you think about it. If you haven“t seen the commercial until I linked it above, or if you“ve watched it a handful of times before reading this, what are your thoughts? Please do share!
  4. Welcome to the fifty-third week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. -------------------------------- Point Spread There“s just a few more weeks until February kicks off. I know of at least one person in the GP Community who“s working on completing his Pokédex. Are any of you all playing the newer games to prepare for the older ones? I“m going to bring up both of these generations today, to tackle a couple of interesting talking points: First and foremost: let“s talk (American) football. ...I never really thought the words “Pokémon” and “football” would ever go together outside of a strange sports hybrid game like you“d find in PokéPark Wii. But as most of us know by now, Pokémon will have an ad played during the Super Bowl in February. Which begs the question...what will it be? There are a few plausible ideas. The least likely, in my opinion, is the “comprehensive compilation” style commercial where they“ll recap everything I discussed last week, including mention of the old games on the 3DS eShop, the new card game expansion, etc. I don“t think it“s worth it to pay the obscene amount of money it takes to buy a piece of that advertising pie...just to reiterate what you“ve already said on YouTube. The “it could happen, but it“s kind of a longshot--but man it would be magical” theory out there is that The Pokémon Company will use their Super Bowl limelight to announce a brand new main game, a la “Pokémon Z”. Something like that would absolutely be worth the money, as it would get the word out to the US in an unprecedented way, and move to make waves and headlines across the globe. The only reason I“m one to call this “unlikely” is because it“s never happened before. I don“t have enough data! ...Still, if “Pokémon Z” doesn“t happen at the Super Bowl, I definitely feel like it“s going to happen before February“s over. The game a lot of people are expecting will be covered on the commercial is Pokémon GO. Most of you know how I feel about it, but I“ll be darned if that announcement video hasn“t soaked up millions upon millions of views. People are begging for more information about the game! It would be cool to see a U.S. (or even worldwide) release date and information blurb take place where the biggest television audience in the nation will soak it all in. What camp do you fall into? Do you think it“ll be another type of commercial entirely? Please do share! Next, let“s talk about the upcoming Virtual Console games. Japanese fans who purchase one of the old games net Mew for both their old and new games, as discussed last time. But Mew“s distribution is exclusive to GameStop here in North America, so many weren“t expecting we“d see him in the old games. When Nintendo talked up the upcoming release of the games recently, they said “you can catch all 150 Pokémon.” No mention of Mew--so probably no special Thing like our buddies in Japan. Disappointing. The more subjective disappointment that made waves this week: Pokémon RBY on Virtual Console will not have Restore Points like other games offered on the service. This was obviously done to prevent the cloning of Pokémon. If the games did have Restore Points, you“d be able to catch an Articuno, create a restore point, trade it away to a friend, then load the previous restore point to get your Articuno back. It“s a necessary thing to take away if Nintendo and Game Freak actually want folks to take the multiplayer component of the old games seriously. The only reason I“m kind of sad they took it away is because now we“ll all have to deal with the obscene capture rates that the old games have without save-state abuse. "You missed the Pokémon!" Can't. Wait. How do you feel about Restore Points being taken away? Do you agree with me, or think Nintendo should have chilled out?
  5. Welcome to the fifty-second week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. -------------------------------- Train Kept A Rollin' I figured the proverbial engine would ignite sometime in early February. But it seems the Pokémon 20th Anniversary train started rolling towards North America and Europe this week. While we don“t have a new main game in the series (yet), there are definitely things of note to discuss--as well a timely endeavor to consider. We may not be getting Japan“s same physical goodies, but North America is getting a New 3DS bundle that includes both Pokémon Red & Blue Versions, faceplates with artwork that honors them, and a bonus 3DS theme. You can take a closer look at the bundle, as well as a zillion exclusive plushies and products on the official Pokémon 20th Anniversary website. VIZ Media is releasing the first three Pokémon movies on Blu Ray this February, while all the rest are coming to iTunes and Google Play soon enough. The often alluded to from afar Pokémon X, Y & Z anime has been officially announced for North America as well as Pokémon the Series: XY&Z. It“ll air on Cartoon Network, on Saturdays starting in February. The Pokémon Trading Card Game is also getting an expansion dubbed Generations. I“m not nearly as familiar with the TCG as other aspects of the franchise, but do check the official site for more information on that! And now for the “timely endeavor” thing worth discussing. Remember when I talked about how it was theoretically impossible to “catch ”em all” because several Pokémon remained exclusive to Events? The big news that came out with The Pokémon Company“s big 20th Anniversary unveiling this week: every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed either in stores or via the Nintendo Network this year. If you“re just getting into the series for the first time with either X&Y or ORAS, the missing 11 Pokémon from the 720 currently obtainable will be available throughout this year. Here“s the deal (as it pertains to North America, anyway): Mew will be available via GameStop from February 1st through February 24th. Celebi will be available via the Nintendo Network from March 1st through March 24th. Jirachi will be available in April, also via the Nintendo Network. Darkrai will be available via GameStop in May. Manaphy will be available in June via the Nintendo Network. Shaymin will be available in July, also via the Nintendo Network. Arceus comes to GameStop in August. Victini will be available in September, via the Nintendo Network. Keldeo comes in October via the Nintendo Network. Genesect will be available at GameStop in November. And finally, Meloetta will be available via the Nintendo Network in December. One more time: that“s Mew, Darkrai, Arceus, and Genesect via GameStop, and every other previously unavailable Mythical Pokémon just via Wi-Fi. During the franchise“s twentieth anniversary, it will actually be possible for newcomers and returning veterans to “catch ”em all” with minimal hassle. That“s pretty incredible, if you ask me. It gives you something to look forward to every month this year, starting in February! I“m a little disappointed we don“t get the “Mew in the original games” promotion that Japan got, like I discussed last week. But hey, maybe that“s coming too. Oh, and did I mention they“re putting together (and paying an obscene amount of money for) a freaking Super Bowl commercial? I have no idea how they“ll use this previously unprecedented ad-space. Maybe the long awaited new game will be announced in front of a television crowd that big? The Pokémon Twitter is hyping “Pokémon Day” as February 27th, 2016. There“s a hashtag where people are sharing their memories of the series with #Pokémon20, and no doubt plenty more announcements to come throughout the year. Last but not least...and perhaps reminding me that I“m overdue to discuss this game at length in a separate piece sometime down the line: three brand new playable Pokémon were confirmed for Pokkén Tournament. They are Braixen, Garchomp and (the standard, non-dark) Mewtwo. That game“s releasing in Japan before too much longer; maybe I“ll wait to do a comprehensive piece until then. At any rate, that“s a ton of stuff to check out. Seems like the “hype train” is officially in full effect. What piece of news from the big reveal are you most excited about?