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  1. There once was a time when the only type of Pokémon storage was a series of boxes within a PC in whichever game you were playing. When you put the game down for good, your Pokémon were doomed to remain in their boxes ‘til the end of time. With the release of the Nintendo DS came a way to migrate Pokémon from the Game Boy Advance games to the DS iterations. And then came Pokémon Bank, which supplied a way to store Pokémon from the DS and 3DS games and move them around between any of the 3DS titles. Times have changed once again. Now that we have the highly popular mobile app that is Pokémon GO, the Nintendo Switch titles Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, and the upcoming Switch titles Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, a new storage method has been born – a cloud-based mobile app called Pokémon Home. Announced at the 2019 Pokémon Press Conference, the app is basically a ‘home’ for any Pokémon you have, housing creatures from GO, Bank, and any of the Switch titles. As the creators themselves explain it, it’s “a place where all Pokémon gather.” Storing and transferring your Pokémon aren’t the only things you can do with Pokémon Home, however. You will also be able to trade with friends, strangers nearby, or people in other parts of the world. They need the Pokémon Home app, too, of course. Pokémon Home will be available in early 2020, so stay tuned. Source: YouTube
  2. Jordan Haygood

    Pokémon Sleep Turns Snoozing Into Gaming

    For the past few years, millions have been enjoying the best excuse to get out of the house since a burning house, fittingly titled Pokémon GO. As the name implies, you play by...well, GOing places in the real world, doing all sorts of Pokémon-related activities, such as catching the creatures, battling with them, hatching eggs, and collecting items. It was a brilliant idea, to say the least. Now, it's time to take the idea a step further. No, we won't be playing in space or anything crazy like that. Instead, we'll be playing in our sleep. Nope, nothing crazy at all. Announced at the 2019 Pokémon Press Conference, we will be getting a brand new mobile app known as Pokémon Sleep, which will "turn sleep into entertainment." So basically, while Pokémon GO tracks movement to reward you for being active, Pokémon Sleep will track your sleeping habits and reward you for getting the sleep you need. In the end, the folks involved with these apps really want us to be as healthy as possible by using the Pokémon IP. And what better way, right? Coinciding with Pokémon Sleep will be a new gadget to play with. Remember Pokémon GO Plus? Maybe not. It's a little pokéball themed gadget that connects with GO to add a new and simple way of playing that didn't require looking at your phone. Well, get ready for a new version called Pokémon GO Plus+. No, you read that right. It's a bigger pokéball themed gadget (still small enough to stick in most pockets) that does what the original Plus did, only you can also put it next to your pillow when you sleep to use with Pokémon Sleep. Both Pokémon Sleep and Pokémon GO Plus+ will release sometime in 2020, so stay tuned. Source: YouTube
  3. Well guys, it’s Summer, and you know what that means… That’s right! It’s time to complain about how friggin’ hot it is. I mean, not everyone has to deal with 100+ degree heat like I do (lucky bastards!), but in your case, perhaps it’s just not hot enough to have a proper Summer experience. Seriously, why can’t the weather just be on our side for once? Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to be outdoors to have some Summer fun. Why not just stay cooped up indoors and have yourself a virtual Summer? Maybe not all day every day, but when you just want to get out of the insanely hellish or not-hot-enough Summer temperatures, what better alternative than to relax on the beach, only while chilling indoors? Well, if that sounds enticing to you, then allow me to share with you five games you should play over the Summer. 5. Dead Island In real life, I wouldn’t exactly call a zombie-infested island a great resort to spend your Summer vacation. Dead Island, of course, isn’t real life, so the vacation is actually kinda fun. I mean, didn’t you ever go to the beach and wish you could just shoot some zombies? I know I have. And really, you can go ahead and play whichever game in the series you feel like playing, as they pretty much have the same premise: being stranded on a sunny island resort with some pesky undead tourists roaming around. Sounds like a nice little Summer getaway, if you ask me. 4. Pokémon: Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon If you’d like to spend your Summer in Hawaii catching Pokémon, then great news! That’s basically what Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are. Taking place in the Hawaii-inspired Alola region, these two enhanced versions of Sun and Moon feature most of what you’ve come to expect from the series along with some interesting new creatures to capture, including Alolan forms of a few Pokémon you already know and love. A few other things that help to differentiate this generation from others include the replacement of gyms and the inclusion of “Totem Pokémon.” Oh, and Ultra Beasts. All in all, it’s a great iteration in the Pokémon series, and a fun game to play over the Summer. 3. Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Here’s a game where girls wearing bikinis play some volleyball on the beach. If that doesn’t scream “Summer fun,” then I don’t know what does. Of course, there isn’t much else to Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, but hey, I’m sure plenty of dudes are fine with that. Oh, me? Well, uh… No comment. If you’re a girl, of course, this might not appeal to you quite as much, but there’s still a bit of fun to be had aside from the, um, impressive “physics.” No, seriously, I’m no pervert! I don’t even like this game! PLEASE BELIEVE ME! Sigh… Guess this is what I get for including this game on my list… 2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker If your idea of Summer fun involves cruising the vast ocean, waves crashing around as you discover an island of Tingles (well, dunno about that last part, but if that’s your thing…), then you can’t go wrong with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Whether you have the original GameCube copy or the HD version for the Wii U, this game boasts vibrant visuals, a great soundtrack, and some delightfully quirky characters. Like Tingle. And his equally strange brothers. It’s just an all-around fantastic Zelda game and one that really gives you a nice Summer vibe. KOOLOO-LIMPAH! Oh God, w-why did I just say that? Guys, I think I might have a problem… 1. Super Mario Sunshine If you’ve got a GameCube laying around, or perhaps a backwards-compatible Wii (or maybe you could remaster this game already, eh Nintendo?), and have yourself a copy of Super Mario Sunshine (seriously, an HD version would be nice, or at least an eShop download), go ahead and boot it up for some wonderful Summer-themed bliss. The game takes place while Mario and Peach go on a vacation to Delfino Isle and, you know, obviously things don’t go as planned. As Mario, you must go around the island cleaning up goop. I promise, the game is a blast, despite the somewhat odd premise, and is the perfect game to play this Summer. What are your plans for the Summer? Do you plan on going to a real beach/resort? Or are you planning on playing some games instead? Let us know in the comments below.
  4. Jordan Haygood

    Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon artwork.

    © Game Freak, Nintendo

  5. Jason Clement

    Pokemon Snap is out today on Wii U VC

    You know what game would have been perfect for a brand new entry (and revival) on the Wii U? Pokemon Snap. It's still pretty surprising that it never happened given that the Wii U's set-up is incredibly ideal for the game, with the Wii U gamepad acting as a camera that could then look around the room and view different Pokemon in an in-game environment. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, but Nintendo has seemingly heard fans' pleas for a Pokemon Snap game because they've just released the next best thing (or maybe the best altogether depending on how you look at it) on the Wii U eShop: the original Nintendo 64 game. For those that aren't familiar, Pokemon Snap is a quirky on-rails game where you travel through a number of levels on a cart and take pictures of the Pokemon in the surrounding environment. At the end of each level, you'll select your best shots and then be graded on them -- getting the most points for taking the best shots possible (i.e. centered and catching the Pokemon doing a cool move or pose). Ironically, the game wasn't quite what fans wanted when it initially released, having come out at a time when many wanted a full-scale Pokemon adventure on Nintendo 64, but the title quickly went on to become one of the best and most beloved Pokemon console titles and is still widely considered to be the best one by many today. You can buy Pokemon Snap right now on the Wii U eShop for $9.99. Will you be picking up Pokemon Snap? Do you have any memories of playing it from back in the day?
  6. Welcome to the eightieth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed last week's, check it out. Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Victini will be available via the Nintendo Network until September 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! -------------------------------- Poké-Finding Your Place It“s very rare that I come away from Pokémon News feeling almost overwhelmed. Where do I even start this time? The stuff you can unpack from the newest trailer probably rivals a Snorlax in weight, so I think we should start by watching it. I should discuss everything our eyes take in here, even though multiple bits from it could probably stand to have future IV pieces devoted to them. So it goes. First and foremost, we have the new Pokémon Type: Null. Its typing [Normal] and ability [Battle Armor] don“t necessarily speak to anything remarkable about it...but that“s definitely a weird name, and a very bizarre appearance, too. Take a look at the website's listing for it, too. Type: Null seems to be a constructed Pokémon—kind of like Mewtwo, I suppose—that "can adapt to any situation". Here“s my theory, based on everything we've seen about it so far...particularly the fact that it wears a mask. We could be looking at what MISSINGNO turns into, if you transfer it from Pokémon Red, Blue or Yellow Version on 3DS by way of Pokémon Bank. Its overall appearance, name, and masked "nothingness" references kind of beg for this. Its stats from back then could certainly rival "Pokémon spoken of in mythology"! ... It“d be real weird and cool for them to make MISSINGNO canon in the anniversary games. Next up is Jangmo-o... a Dragon type Pokémon that“s likely going to be immune to Hyper Voice since it packs Soundproof as an ability. Not bad at all! Can“t wait to see what it evolves into. The Alolan Forme of Raticate is going to beg for memes as much as its pre-evolution. Those cheeks are the stuff of legends! And now for something a little nuts: Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon are set twelve hours apart from one another, but they“ll still operate in real time. This means that if you play a copy of Pokémon Moon at 4 PM Eastern, it“ll be 4 AM in the game. There“s a real possibility that Moon players will be in practically endless night, depending on when you“re most able to play the game. Both story and battle elements will play out differently in each version, as a result of this time schema. I can definitely see why they“re attempting something like this. It could certainly make for the biggest crop of version differences in series history. Also introduced is the Aether Foundation. There“s Lusamine, Faba, Wicke, and their employees. This group seems kind of like the opposite of Team Skull--existing primarily to protect Pokémon from harm, on a man-made island separate from the four major spots in the Alola region. The Internet is already predicting which one of them is going to end up a turncoat. I wonder how Team Skull's "Enforcer" will work into it. Oddly comforting to see a bit of nihilism in the Pokémon fandom. Call me crazy from reading a little too much of the Pokémon Manga lately--but what if the whole foundation turns crazy on us, deciding that humanity is a blight that are getting in the way of Pokémon and...seek to eradicate everyone but them? ...Moving on! There seems to be a whole sidequest involving the search for Zygarde's Cells and Cores, too. I guess the game is following behind the anime, in this respect. But could Zygarde's appearance in Sun & Moon bring more Kalos-specific characters besides Dexio and Sina from X & Y? I wonder if "Z-Moves" factor into Zygarde itself, too. While it“s not looking very likely that players will be able to journey to Kalos itself, I think a whole subplot involving Zygarde, Lysandre, and Team Flare will indeed factor into Sun & Moon somehow! And then we reach the point in the trailer where the Internet/fandom exploded: Pokémon Snap is returning to the main series, by way of the "PokéFinder". This gizmo is a camera for use with the Rotom Dex that lets you snap photos of wandering critters around the world. The trailers showcased things like a wild Pikachu striking a pose, a Dragonite flying through the air, an Eevee and Lillipup playing together, and more. Your photos can be rated--and as your sense of photography improves, you“ll gain extra features to go along with it [like the ability to zoom in]. Sure sounds like a fully functional "Snap" to me. Take a look at this tweet. Take pictures of every Pokémon? Yes, please! It seems like only certain areas in the Alola region will be "Snap"-friendly. Last, but most certainly not least: What the heck are Ultra Beasts? They're a thing that "poses a threat to both humans and Pokémon"--so I don“t think the newly revealed "UB-01" is a Pokémon at all. I'm piggy-backing off Twitter-friend @BombosMedallion here, but: what if these things help pave the way to actual RPG-style bosses in Pokémon? If they're not Pokémon themselves, they cannot be caught. And they're not Trainers, so they won't use other critters in battle. It could be crazy if these things end up being very high-powered foes to face in battle using tricks like Z-Moves to gain the upper-hand. Here“s another person that may be onto something. These UBs could resemble major characters in-game. What if their narrative is set up kind of like Persona, where we get a major character developed around a UB that ends in a big boss fight--not against the Trainer, but against a UB--like many an RPG sidequest? Certainly not unique to the genre, but absolutely a first for Game Freak themselves. I“m interested to see where they decide to take these things. ...Almost 1,000 words later: like I said, there“s a lot to unpack. What“s your favorite new reveal of the latest Sun & Moon trailer? Does the twelve hour time-difference make you rethink your previous "version of choice?" Be sure to share!
  7. If you've been following the Pokemon GO craze over the past month, it might not surprise you that Niantic's mobile game has done very well. Crazy well, in fact. The official report is that Pokemon GO has grossed a record-breaking 200 million dollars in the 31 days since it first released in North America. Niantic is still in the process of rolling the game out in other regions around the globe as we speak, so there's much more room for sales to grow. To put things in perspective, popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga made $25 million in its first month, and Clash of Clans made just under five times that much in the same period. In addition, the latter game's developer, Supercell, posted sales of $2.3 billion over the last year, so one can only imagine how much Niantic will make if Pokemon GO holds up among mobile players throughout the year. So hats off to Pokemon GO; now we wait and see what's next in store for the ultra popular app. Source: Destructoid Are you surprised that Pokemon GO has made as much money as it has in the last month? Do you think it'll make even more in the next month?
  8. Welcome to the sixty-eighth 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. Manaphy is going to be distributed starting June 1st, via the Nintendo Network. So, not now--but soon! 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! And hey, battles for the Johto Classic tournament begin today and last through the weekend. If you registered, you have a chance to earn Whitney's Miltank for participating. -------------------------------- Dog Day Afternoon When I covered Pokémon Snap last week, a small part of me expected it to show up on the Wii U Virtual Console prior to the published piece going up. While my wish didn“t come true -- we did end up getting something Pokémon-related: PokéPark Wii: Pikachu“s Great Adventure. I“m not sure if it was due to financial reasons or just too many other things to play at the time, but I never got around to that game or its sequel when they first came out. Maybe I“ll devote one of these IVs to playing that for the first time. For now: Let“s speculate s“more about Pokémon Sun & Moon in the weeks leading up to E3. A few things of note have come to light in subsequent screens and tiny bits of footage released since the big Alola reveal, and there“s even more news promised on June 2nd. There are two unique things about the above screenshots that you might not see unless you know where to look. The first image, courtesy of CoroCoro“s own unique starter trailer, show off what many believe to be a brand new dog Pokémon. I“m kind of curious if it“ll wind up being designed from a handful of exotic, even extinct dog breeds specific to Hawaii, like the Poi Dog, for example. Most generations have tried their hand at some sort of dog-like Pokémon. Growlithe is native to Kanto, Houndour to Johto, Poochyena to Hoenn, Lillipup to Unova, and Froufrou to Kalos. As each region has picked up a unique real-life counterpart, so too has its respective dog Pokémon. Am I blanking on a dog for the Sinnoh region? Seems like Diamond & Pearl had more cats! The second screenshot is even more interesting. I mean, it“s one thing that both battling trainers themselves are now shown in scenes, as we“ve seen since the reveal trailer. But if you look a little closer--someone“s spectating their match. This could be a special instance, and moments where someone“s watching your fight could only happen a few times. Or--if you“ll indulge me for a paragraph or two--it could be a much larger signifier. What if, for the first time in series history, battles don“t transition from the “overworld screen” to the “battle screen”? For the past twenty years, mainline Pokémon games“ battle interface has always looked similar to Final Fantasy, where the screen fades and opens up to the arena. It would be a pretty big change if, for the first time, the battle screen worked more like Chrono Trigger--where trainers simply take a few steps back and hawk their Pokéballs out on an arena in real time. It would account for there being little difference in the arena that the main character and his friend are fighting in, as well as allow for spectators to watch whenever the scene“s appropriate. What if a Gym Leader“s subordinates got to watch as you fought for your badge? What if your battle with the Big Bad Team Leader had a group of onlookers--or even civilians--watching as you administered defeat? This small, subtle Thing could be pointing the way for some rather big changes. “But what about tall grass?” That“s just it -- did you see any in ? We haven“t yet! What if every single Pokémon you encountered was a shadow that ran up to you, or flew out at you, like several have in various environments throughout Generations 5 & 6? The shadow could approach you, and then reveal itself as the game moves into “battle formation” from the same overworld screen. What if, instead of worrying about too many encounters in caves and on the waters of Alola, you could take measures to strategically avoid hanging shadows or other means of enemy encounters? ...Indeed, I realize that“s a bit of a stretch. But you“d be surprised how much just seeing an additional person in a battle scene has got my proverbial cogs turning. All right: one last thing. It“s been theorized that Alola will have a bunch of islands, like the Hawaiian islands themselves. But how will you travel between them? Like the guy behind Serebii dot net brought up -- I think Soaring is going to come back. I“d say you“ll travel by boat from island to island most of the time, but being able to take to the sky would solve the potential for another region with…”too much water”. And there we have it! There“s a little more speculation on my part, to lead us into the next reveal. I“ll be a happy guy if my educated guesses end up becoming true in the next trailer. I wonder if we“ll see the final evolutions of the new starter Pokémon as well. What do you hope to see?
  9. Jason Clement

    Serena Ingame Screenshot

    From the album: Editor's Gallery

  10. Welcome to the sixty-first 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! -------------------------------- Piece of Heart, Soul of Steel I always remember the anniversary of Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver in North America because it happens to fall on “Pi Day” (March 14th, or what“s commonly written as 3/14 here). Rewinding the clock back six years seems appropriate for this week“s Individual Values, since fighting games aren“t my thing. Before I do that, though, I do have a question to put out into the ether of the Internet that“ll help tie things together: The eShop Releases of Pokémon Red, [Green,] Blue and Yellow Version sold extremely well. And as we learned from the Direct a few weeks back on “Pokémon Day”, your critters from those games can be transported over to Pokémon Sun/Moon when the time comes. I wonder if, given the sales of the first games and these new capabilities...could an eShop release of Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal Versions be inevitable? What do you all think? Six years and four days ago, my lady and I were actually en route to go see a comedian in a city just a few hours north of us. I got to play HeartGold and set up my new Pokéwalker while we traveled. Thinking back: The Pokéwalker accessory is a major thing that made those remakes unique. They tried to capture the same lightning in a bottle that Pokémon Pikachu did back in the day, but did so in a minimalist fashion. There were many Pokémon otherwise unobtainable in HG/SS that could only be caught using the Pokéwalker. They were also the only way you could get Surfing and Flying Pikachus outside of Events in 4th Gen -- It“s really too bad you have to delete HM moves when transporting Pokémon from one set of games to the next. ...The 3DS, with its built in Pedometer and Play Coins...is actually perfect for another iteration of the Pokéwalker, too. I always wondered why there was never an app like Pokémon Dream Radar that encouraged kids to be active and carry their 3DSes with them. It could have worked in some StreetPass functionality, too. Missed opportunity! Pokémon HeartGold also marked the first adventure I ever had post-becoming a Pokémon Master. While I initially completed that goal in Pearl, I didn“t perfect it with the living Pokédex until after Platinum had come and gone. This game marked the first time ever that I was able to build an entire team from scratch, ahead of time. I still remember what they were. Houndoom, Skarmory, Lanturn, Hariyama, Flygon, and Mr. Mime. The game“s affinity to taking photos of your team helped mark the experience more memorable, too. Here“s a shot of my OG Kanto Team from LeafGreen. All the Pokémon I“ve mentioned are ones I still use today. Pokémon walking behind you really is the bee“s knees. They tried it with Amity Square in D/P/Pt, and they think the whole Pokémon Aime deal is similar to it. But there“s nothing quite like how masterfully they pulled it off in HeartGold. I think...if they tried it again in Sun/Moon, and made whichever region that game takes place in connect to Kalos, we could potentially have the next Greatest Pokémon Game Ever. But really, there are so many [other] things that make Johto itself memorable. It“s not like I did a Region Spotlight on it, or anything… While those are just a handful of memories and musings I have about the heart and soul of Pokémon...what are some of yours? Are you experiencing the games for the first time after buying ”em secondhand recently? Be sure to share!
  11. Jason Clement

    Pokedex completed

    From the album: Editor's Gallery

  12. Welcome to the fifty-ninth 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! -------------------------------- Childhood's End Remember last week, when I said the old Pokémon games couldn't possibly get me to put down Dragon Quest? As it turns out, I was lying through my teeth. I know I've mentioned going back recently, when I expressed my disappointment with TwitchPlaysPokémon. But my playthrough of Pokémon Yellow on the eShop has a sense of purpose that my journey through Red on its original hardware lacked. My goal is to complete the Kanto Pokédex--something I wanted to do as a kid, but never could. I came remarkably close back then, but a complication during a trade trashed my save data--years of hard work. That was the end of that. I suspect, moving at my current pace, my journey will be complete in a matter of days. I'll have done in two weeks what 1998 Jon was unable to do in years, even when he had the advantage of friends with other versions of the game. Playing through Old Pokémon again with this sense of putting my original childhood dream to rest once and for all...brought all kinds of memories flooding back. As 2016 Jon is and was unbelievably vexed by how fundamentally broken RBY is in comparison to the games that came after it...I think 1998 Jon knew very well that the games were stacked against him at the time, too. Take the Safari Zone, for example. This website details a lot of the finer statistics behind RBY, if you're interested in going down that rabbit hole. (You can learn exact percentages behind the Safari Zone, Legendary captures, how pesky Abra is, and more.) But let me indulge you with just one scenario: Say you want to catch a Tauros (whose encounter rate is tweaked from 1% to 10% in Yellow, by the way...probably due to the anime). Prior to throwing any rocks or bait at it, you have only a 10% chance of catching it per Safari Ball thrown. Problem is...Pokémon in the Safari Zone can run away. And Tauros has a 42% chance of running away each turn. If you want to throw a rock at it and increase your 10% chance of catching him to a whopping 20%? His chance of running away right after that increases from 42% to 84%. That's absolutely insane. How many hours did veteran trainers waste as kids fighting stupidly impossible odds like that? Just imagine what those same statistics look like for Scyther, Pinsir, Chansey, and other Safari Zone exclusives. You'd almost have better luck at the slots in the Game Corner. Just take a look at those coin values. Have you ever stopped to think about why MissingNo and the Item Duplication trick became as well known as they are today? It's because hundreds wanted to fight back against the time-waster that the Safari Zone, Game Corner, and grinding without a postgame are, collectively. Many of us did. Many more lost their save data playing with fire. The fact that MissingNo made it into the eShop releases of Red & Blue can be overlooked, I suppose. But nothing mystifies me more about how broken these games are...than what is commonly referred to as the Mew Glitch. Using only a Pokémon with Teleport or Fly, plus knowledge of where Trainers you haven't fought are, and maybe a Ditto...you can initiate an encounter with any Pokémon in the entire game. This is how most people outside of Japan have gotten Mew on the eShop releases. And--I won't lie--it's how I've caught many Pokémon I cannot normally find on a copy of Pokémon Yellow, like Meowth, Ekans, Jynx and more. I'm not encouraging my fiance to run and grab these old games, like me, because she knows how poorly they've aged. When it comes to achieving my goal of completing the Kanto Pokédex, I'm absolutely on my own. It's so bizarre, to me, how The Pokémon Company went through the trouble of adding trade features and removing Restore Points [whose inclusion would have unbroken the Safari Zone, by the by], but couldn't remove the single biggest exploit of the First Generation. If 1998 Jon had any idea this glitch existed, I wouldn't be chasing his ghost 18 years later. I could go on. Goodness knows, there are a plethora of game-breaking mechanics I could describe in detail. The move Tackle can miss. Wrap is competitively viable because if it's on a Dragonite with Agility stacked, your opponent will be unable to move--forever. Special Attack and Special Defense are combined as one simple "SPECIAL" stat. A Golem with Flamethrower is a thing you can manage. There are fifty TMs in the game...and only fifty slots for items to store in your PC, if I“m gauging correctly. Part of the reason I“m collecting TMs is to save them all for Sun & Moon, to see what teachable attacks from RBY I can port over to the new games (and hopefully breed as Egg Moves, etc). Anyone who insists, "The first generation of Pokémon is the best!" probably hasn't gone back to replay the old games. But, I“m not really here to rain on parades. I“m writing all this out to say goodbye to my childhood. After I complete the Kanto Pokédex and keep my Legendary Pokémon perfectly preserved to be ported over when the time comes, I“m going to park myself just outside Fuchsia City and make a point to never play these games again, outside of getting a higher score in the Still Mindlessly Fun "Pikachu“s Beach"...and definitely giving my little Pikachu a pat from time to time before I do. We're in an age where we can seamlessly communicate, battle, and trade with others via the Internet--so Pokémon Versions aren't really gated experiences overall, if you“re diligent. And Pokémon GO is probably the closest thing to the "Almighty MMO" we“re going to get. Recent years have proven we“re only just now achieving what we dreamed Pokémon would be like as children. Journeying through Kanto one final time on a monochromatic screen has honestly left me more angry and crazed than nostalgic. But I'm still attached to my Pikachu, and I care about the team I've raised. And if you told 1998 Jon he would one day marry the love of his life due to a common bond first ignited with Pokémon, I“m sure he would be absolutely ecstatic. (Let“s be real--he probably wouldn't have believed you. At all.) I may fare poorly in the Safari Zone, but—I really am a lucky guy.
  13. Welcome to the fifty-eighth 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. Celebi is next up in the big Mythical Pokémon Distribution train, starting in March! For now, if you want to grab the plush from your local Toys R Us, you can. Stock has already sold out online, so act fast! 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! -------------------------------- The Golden Sun/Moon Rises Early this morning on the [uS] East Coast, and at exactly midnight on “Pokémon Day” in Japan, the world was treated to a brand new . The trademarks being found the day before may have spoiled the surprise for many, but 'This Guy' couldn“t be happier with the fact that Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are coming to the Nintendo 3DS family of systems this holiday season. The Direct itself wasn“t a trailer for the game showcasing starters and stuff, like the XY Reveal in 2013. More than anything, I“d call it a celebration of Pokémon Day as a whole, with references to how far we“ve come in terms of technology, and the occasional juicy tidbit. More on that in a second. First of all, though, if I can put on my Speculation Hat: I think Pokémon S/M will answer the call to both the “Pokémon Z” crowd and the ones ready for the 7th Generation. Take a look at this. I“m interested to see if whatever New Region S/M takes place in is directly underneath Kalos... and connected to it. Wouldn“t it be the ultimate Anniversary Game if it took on the same philosophy as the runaway favorites Gold, Silver & Crystal with connected regions, connected stories, and the possibility for 16 badges and a fight with your former self at the end? If the New Region is connected to Kalos, I think Sun and Moon could address both the folks who wanted a 7th Generation and the “Pokémon Z” crowd. What if, after defeating the Elite 4 of the New Place, you unlocked the Zeta Episode that followed along the same lines as ORAS“s Delta, but took place in Kalos? But... speculation is just that. The only thing we know about the new games...is that we know painfully little. There were shadows of new Pokémon seen in the various bits of concept art, I think. We weren“t shown any starters, or given any real indication of what gameplay was like. Heck, it was only heavily implied that S/M was even “7th Gen” in the Direct. Jason and I have argued for eons about whether or not it“d be 7th Gen or “Z”. I think it“s hilarious that the big Sun/Moon reveal wasn“t even necessarily an absolute confirmation, at first. The official website, however, confirms it as a “new adventure in a new world with new Pokémon”. 7th Gen it is. I think both “sides” will get what they want, though. The seventh generation games will be heavily involved with Kalos and the new formes of Zygarde --possibly relegated to the postgame. That“s my theory, based on the speculation provided above. But... nothing is confirmed, nor will it be until at least E3, I imagine. BUT HOLY TOLEDO, DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS CONFIRMED? The digital copies of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow available on the eShop tomorrow in the US… will be compatible with Sun/Moon via Pokémon Bank. That is freaking crazy! It totally provides a whole new kind of incentive to go back and play the old games again. But it also begs the question -- If the Mew glitch and MissingNo are both still in the game... will they also be transferrable, or no? I think it would be hilarious if Game Freak somehow made MissingNo canon in S/M. But now I“m just dreaming~ Oh, one last thing that made me really excited, unrelated to the Direct. The Pikachu“s Beach minigame found in Pokémon Yellow (which required either Pokémon Stadium or a cheat device to teach your Pikachu Surf) is intact and playable in the eShop release of the game -- without the need for the move itself. Nice! It seems the new era of Pokémon is finally on the horizon. How do you feel about the Direct as a whole? Will you be getting the eShop releases of Red, Blue, and Yellow, or celebrating Pokémon Day in some other way? Be sure to share! Oh, and I would be remissed if I didn“t publicly link to this. ...One more interesting thing. When I grabbed an official logo file to use in this very piece, the text referred to "niji-en". Niji translates to "Rainbow", lending some credence to I've always dismissed as false, outright. It's been a really interesting morning.
  14. Today we have a slew of Ubisoft news for you, thanks to their quarterly call with investors. Ubisoft Yves Guillemot spoke on Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs 2, and more. Check out the headlines below! Quantum Break also coming to PC Okay, so this is unrelated to Ubisoft, but bear with me here because this is probably one of the biggest news headlines of the day. Yes, Quantum Break is no longer Xbox One-exclusive. Even better, anyone who buys the Xbox One version will get a free copy of the Windows 10 version (offer lasts until April 4). Remedy Entertainment has confirmed that the PC version is being developed in-house instead of being outsourced to another developer, which is also good to hear. In all, the PC port is great news to hear for those who don't have an Xbox One. Source: Gamespot Ubisoft confirms Assassin's Creed taking a break this year This actually isn't the first time we've heard this, but if there was any doubt, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot put them to rest today by confirming that there would be no Assassin's Creed release this year. Why? Apparently Ubisoft started to question the viability of having the series annualized around the time Assassin's Creed Unity came out, and then further confirmed their suspicions when Syndicate released last year, which had a slower than expected launch. Guillemot also mentions that he hopes the move away from annualized entries will give the different Assassin's Creed teams more time to implement new engines and technology in each game. Source: IGN Watch Dogs 2 is coming before April 2017 Oh, and another thing Guillemot brought up in the investor's call was Watch Dogs. Surely there must be a follow-up to their newest mega-hit game from a few years ago, right? Yes, the sequel is in the works, he confirmed, and is on the way for a release sometime within the 2017 fiscal year, which ends April 2017. If you enjoyed the hacking thriller, you can look forward to playing it sometime by before then! Source: IGN Ubisoft FY 2015/2016 sales breakdown Of course, one of the main things discussed in Ubisoft's earnings call was... well, what the company earned. As usual, charts were provided so investors could see how things were progressing, and one of the most interesting ones is the breakdown of sales across different platforms. Not surprisingly, games on PlayStation 4 accounted for the most sales during the 2015/16 fiscal year at 41%, followed by Xbox One (27%), and then PC (a staggeringly low 12%). Also surprising -- for the whole fiscal year, PS3 actually dipped below Wii U sales (2% vs 3%), and Wii sales actually beat out both other last generation consoles and the Wii U (with 6%). No doubt a lot of that is due to the continuing strength of the Just Dance series. With these statistics, it's not hard to see why Ubisoft mostly doesn't publish on Nintendo consoles these days, but perhaps that may change with the arrival of NX. For now, expect for many Ubisoft titles to get premium treatment on the PlayStation 4. Source: Ubisoft New Pokemon Magiana Surfaces We must be getting fairly close to an announcement of a new Pokemon game, because a new Pokemon has been announced, and it's called Magiana. Apparently it's the first "man-made" Pokemon and was created 500 years ago. It's also the star (alongside fellow recently revealed Legendary Pokemon Volcanion) of an upcoming Pokemon movie called Volcanion and the Contriving Magiana. That's pretty much all we know for now, but stay tuned for theories in predictions in Jonathan's Individual Values pieces in the weeks ahead. Source: Serebii Image credit by CoroCoro, via Serebii What are your thoughts on Quantum Break coming to PC as well as the different Ubisoft news? And will the announcement of Magiana lead to a new Pokemon game? Let us know below!
  15. Welcome to the fifty-first week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! Sorry for the unplanned two week hiatus. Let's just say the holidays were busier than expected! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. -------------------------------- Starting Off Just a little over a month from now, Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow will release on the 3DS Virtual Console. And around the summertime, Pokkén Tournament will hit the Wii U in the West. Pokémon GO! will get here eventually, too, probably around the same time Nintendo“s big push to mobile begins with Miitomo. Super Mystery Dungeon is still fresh on people“s minds, and I know a handful of people who still play Shuffle, Rumble World, and [Pokemon] Picross regularly. There are plenty of games out in the wild, and nostalgic winds are howling. But the announcement everyone“s been waiting for, the next mainline game... hasn“t happened yet. Fun fact: It was today in 2013 that X&Y were first announced to the world in a special Nintendo Direct. I feel like an announcement...and possibly the first Nintendo Direct of 2016...aren“t far off. Here“s why: The Nintendo 2DS has released in both North America and PAL territories, but not Japan -- until now. As seen above, a very 90s variant of the system is coming to our friends across the pond. There are physical versions of the old games, exclusive themes, and a New 3DS Faceplate that features Ken Sugimori“s original designs... Japan is getting all kinds of goodies that might not make it across the pond. Here“s the kicker, though. Alongside the announcement of the 2DS systems, a Mew Event was confirmed for Japan... for both the Virtual Console games and the sixth generation. Purchasing one of the Game Boy games nets you a code that unlocks Mew in the game you just bought, as well as another code that can be entered through Mystery Gift to grab it in your copy of X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire. There“s no way that promotion will stay exclusive to Japan -- it“s too good. The West hasn“t seen Mew since it was distributed as a Wi-Fi Gift in 2010, after all. While we may not get all the physical goodies that our friends in Japan can purchase, I“m extremely confident the same Mew stuff will happen here. The Pokémon Company have been oddly silent about this, though. We got confirmation of Volcanion, even though it“s likely months away from actually being distributed here. Why not confirm Mew as well? However, it's possible that all this information and more (like the big announcement we“ve been waiting for) is going to be confirmed in some sort of Pokémon-related broadcast coming prior to the games“ Virtual Console release. I guess we“ll see! Just wanted to start this year off on a Mew-related note, since it's definitely one of my favorite “Mythical” Pokémon. I hope the promotion here is identical to Japan“s; it will be great if Mew gets in more people“s hands again. Are you looking forward to playing the original Game Boy games? Still playing any of the releases from last year? Be sure to let us know!
  16. Welcome to the forty-ninth 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. -------------------------------- Evolutions From 1 - Generations: [Ten] years ago, when we first started dating, I knew [Holly] was "the one" when a bunch of Pikachu plushies happened to fall from the top of her closet when I first saw her place. She doesn't play games all that much, but after that, we'd found our first major gaming-thing in common. And we both started playing through the Game Boy Advance games—me with FireRed and her with Sapphire. While her mission was just to get to the end of the story and explore the world with her favorites from childhood, I found myself making the same "promises" to myself as I did when I was a kid that day. My personal definition of Pokémon has expanded far beyond the typical childhood nostalgia to include various pieces and parts of my relationship, and where we were in life at the time of our last Pokémon journey. On the night of December 4th, Holly and a small group of friends joined me in attending Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions, where we all experienced beautiful arrangements from every mainline Pokémon game up to X&Y. While I was obviously excited for the event, given my well-documented obsession with game music and appreciation for compositions in general, that night marked the culmination of things I'd been planning for several months. Before I get to that, though: I've attended Symphony of the Goddesses twice in total, once in 2013 and again this past July. The philosophy I gleaned from the Zelda concert seemed to be how everyone involved wished to tell a story through music from multiple games. The repeated parts from each season of the concert mostly treated the showcased games (Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and more) like movies--telling a tale that focused on a particular theme. Ocarina of Time“s piece, for example, focused on friendship--particularly the one between Link and Saria. This is where things began. If you've never attended Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions, and approach it thinking you'll hear every game“s major battle themes, Legendary themes, and Champion music--as they all tell a story of each game's hero like the Zelda concert would: think again. The Goddess Symphony definitely tells a story, while the Pokémon concert seemed far more focused on highlighting the best parts of each game“s region, much like my Region Spotlights have. I was in tears for a lot of the show, not only because I was getting engaged after it was over, but because many songs played during the concert were from the same spots I“d written about weeks or months before. For example: You won’t hear Steven Stone’s battle theme if you attend the concert in its first season, but you will hear a song called "Fallen Ash"...that celebrates the melody heard on Route 113. There’s also the “Routes of Sinnoh” and “Ecruteak City” from those games, which were chosen over more expected picks. Still--don’t be dismayed. Many people’s favorite song from Gold & Silver was still given the best tribute I’ve ever heard, in an arrangement called “...”. The first half of the concert focused on the memories of the first games, while the second half definitely had a much more emotional sentiment. Arrangements from Black & White and XY definitely had a stronger focus on the feelings of important people versus places. Notable arrangements were from “The Day I Became King” and “An Eternal Prison”. Finally the encores were a big surprise. Rather than tell you what they were--I’ll simply say the entire audience was singing along--something you’d never expect to see or hear at an orchestra concert. I actually don't want to review the Pokémon concert at length in this piece, because so much of what makes it special is the element of surprise. If you're a series fan, just go in expecting the unexpected, as far as musical arrangements go. The way the concert is set up has you eagerly anticipating what comes next. Rather than say, "We'll be playing these songs from these games," the emcee simply tells you where your journey will start and stop, leaving most of what you'll hear well-hidden. At the beginning of each arrangement, the title of the song is revealed from two slow-moving doors that open from top and bottom. The names each arrangement is given should instantaneously give diehard fans the clue they need to figure out what music they'll hear. There were plenty of widespread claps before the music even started, from the moment each arrangement's title was revealed. I really hope this concert series is met with enough success to warrant another season or two. While I was both surprised by and satisfied with everything I heard, certain key songs were definitely missing. I totally expected a focus on the new themes in ORAS like Zinnia’s battle theme, or the fact that you go into freaking space. And hearing a medley from the Pokémon spin-off games would have been nice, too. But hey: everything I heard was absolutely phenomenal. If a concert series leaves me wanting more, I guess that can only be a good thing! At intermission, my friend Emily passed the ring she'd been keeping for me while I took a step outside the concert hall. I shoved the box into my suit coat, thinking it“d be easy to take out and transition to a smooth proposal where I'd be on one knee, saying all the right things to Holly and whatever crowd of people managed to form above us. While everything about proposing on the Grand Staircase at the venue went remarkably well thanks to me planning far ahead with key people and getting ushers to stop the crowds from heading down the stairs...welp. If you look closely at the picture of the defining moment, you'll see the ring box I'm holding is snapped completely in half. I botched the element of surprise (but caught some classic moments on video reserved for friends and family) because the damn box got stuck in my coat, haha! So the words I'd planned for that night were reduced to just a sentence or two hammering the point (words that were mostly drowned out by the cheering crowd, too): For more than ten years, my now-fiance has accompanied me on many a journey. Whether we're having adventures in the real world or imagined ones, I'm elated to have her with me. (That artwork is courtesy of @LadyStarstorm. Thank you again, Christina.)
  17. Welcome to the forty-eighth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! And hey, I know a took a week off last week, but check out my review of Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon here. Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday. Previous Region Spotlights Region Spotlight: Kalos | Region Spotlight: Unova Region Spotlight: Sinnoh | Region Spotlight: Hoen | Region Spotlight: Johto -------------------------------- Region Spotlight #6 Kanto It“s the final month of the year, and it“s the final Region Spotlight! If you check up top, you can see all five previous entrees. It“s certainly been fun to take a quick look at various spots that made each game“s world special to me and all of you. As many of you are reading this, I“m heading down to Orlando to attend the Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions concert. I wonder if hearing the music will evoke memories of the regions as well! Without further ado: Pikachu“s Beach There are allusions to this place in Pokémon Snap and even the anime! But I“ll bet few managed to actually access it without a GameShark or similar cheating device. The legitimate method of getting here involves teaching your Pikachu from Yellow Version how to 'Surf' through Pokémon Stadium. You've got to unlock "Round 2," then beat its Master Ball Division with a team that contains your Pikachu. The only disappointing thing about the Pokémon GB games coming to the 3DS Virtual Console is that there“s no real way to teach Pikachu 'Surf'! This cool minigame will forever be bound to the original cartridges, I think. I know it served no real purpose, but I totally had a blast with it as a kid. Pikachu is one of my favorite Pokémon, and keeping that board straight while performing tricks is actually quite the challenge! Now, various mini-games are tied to online components like the PGL and Pokémon-Aime. There“s even whole games full of them in PokéPark and its sequel. Every once and awhile, I like to ponder what interesting stuff like this they could bring back to the mainline games, tied to certain moves. Maybe that“s something Nintendo could tie to a Pokémon amiibo, if they wanted. The Safari Zone The RNG behind this place is just... cruel. So many exclusive Pokémon were locked behind rock throwing and baiting -- it mesmerized me as a kid. There“s Chansey, Tauros, Scyther/Pinsir, Kangaskhan... even Dratini needed to be captured here. It's kind of crazy to think about how most, if not all these Pokémon have become fairly common in future generations. While plenty of Safari Zones have cropped up in all the Pokémon games, there“s nothing quite like the one in Fuschia City. Did anyone ever slightly tap the d-pad back and forth to not waste your steps? What about finding a Shiny Pokémon in FireRed/LeafGreen, only to have it run away? There are plenty of exploits and tragic tales to be told. Heck, two of the original game“s 5 HMs were found here. They definitely wanted it to be a place where players spent a ton of time. And I think they succeeded in all their endeavors. What Pokémon game has your ideal Safari Zone? Rock Tunnel This is showing my age, but—when Pokémon first came around for me, I had extremely limited Internet access. And it was mostly up to me to figure out where HM 05 Flash was. I couldn't ever find it the first time I ever played through the game—so I went through the Rock Tunnel by hugging walls -- and I came out the other side with my full team 5 levels higher after a few hours of struggling. By far one of the silliest things I've ever done. But then again -- Flash is a rather silly HM. The Rock Tunnel is the only place Flash ever needed to be used in the Kanto region. Even as a kid, I considered that a misstep. Wouldn't you want to make the Unknown Dungeon where Mewtwo resides super dark and deep? What about the Seafoam Islands where Articuno is? Why make it so a single HM move -- which can“t be deleted (the Move Deleter didn“t exist until Generation II) -- is needed to easily cross through a cave just one time in the entire game? The Rock Tunnel doesn't just stand as one of those places every 20-something has a story about struggling through. It stands as a testament that Pokémon level design is pretty archaic if you go back far enough. Cinnabar Island Oh, right. The old games aren't just archaic -- they're kind of broken. Remember all that struggling I did in the Safari Zone? Imagine my surprise and delight when I found out all you had to do was enter the Safari Zone, encounter a Pokémon, then flee to Cinnabar Island and surf up and down the beach to encounter the same species without the Safari Zone GUI to hold you back. I caught Kangaskhan on Cinnabar Island... before running into a Missingno that freaked me out and duplicated my Master Balls. Yeah, times sure have changed. So many exploits could happen thanks to that one particular strip of land in the game. It“s no wonder Game Freak decided to have a freaking volcano erupt on the island two years later in Gold & Silver. It“s almost like they wanted to literally bury the most fundamentally broken part of the first game“s history underwater. Still. Cinnabar Island tells the story of Mew and Mewtwo, as well as being the place where you revive Fossil Pokémon and fight Blaine, too. I almost wonder if the Missingno glitch was first discovered completely by mistake. The Unknown Dungeon "You missed the Pokémon!" For being the OG Champion of Champions, Red sure needs to work on his aim. I know Mewtwo is the Pokémon you“re supposed to use your Master Ball on in the original games, but I can“t remember what I did with mine. The first time I fought Mewtwo, I didn't have my Master Ball and had to get it the ole fashioned way. It took way more work than necessary. Now that I think about it -- since the RNG is based on a chance percentage value, couldn't you conceivably create and reload a Restore Point over and over again until the Pokémon you“re after was caught, instead of wasting 50 Ultra Balls? Couldn“t Restore Points be used to roll data back after trading a Pokémon away to a friend“s game? It“ll be interesting to see what happens with that. When FireRed and LeafGreen introduced Suicune, Entei and Raikou into the mix... well, they became the Pokémon to use your Master Ball on. So, when I re-fought Mewtwo for the first time, I couldn't use my Master Ball then either. Not if I wanted to save myself a major headache when fighting Suicune. There was more struggling. And again in HeartGold... except there was no struggling that time. I distinctly remember only hitting HG/SS“s Mewtwo once, then throwing my first Ultra Ball and catching him in a single try. That elated me. ...And that“s a wrap! All six regions of the known Pokémon World have been spotlighted! I do wonder what the Strange Souvenir could entail -- is yet another new region coming sooner than we think? Next week comes a review of the Pokémon concert I'm attending tonight! Look forward to that. What are your favorite locales from the original Pokémon games? What place will you be most excited to visit if you're planning on grabbing the games on the 3DS VC next February? Be sure to let us know!
  18. Welcome to the thirty-eighth 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. -------------------------------- Moment of (Z)en If there“s one thing that impressed me about Pokémon in the modern era, it“s the increasing transparency between what goes on with the series in Japan and the West. Things that would have never been acknowledged several years ago are now freely teased on Pokémon-related social media, like when we in the U.S. right alongside the initial announcement of the arcade game in Japan, or even the 30 seconds of Kyogre and Groudon in battle when Pokémon ORAS had just been confirmed. The most recent and out of left field example yet all but confirms the existence of a “Pokémon Z” game, and might even suggest an official announcement is right around the corner. Visiting the official Pokémon website in the United States leads to new information about Zygarde, front and center on the homepage right now. This Japanese-specific information leaked from/was confirmed by CoroCoro mere days ago, and the English Pokémon Twitter was pretty much right behind it with this official page. It“s extremely strange for the English website to bring up new information about the Japanese anime (we now know the identity of the blob Pokémon and shadowy figure -- both are Zygarde formes!), but if you check it out, you can learn about Zygarde“s five confirmed formes, as well as a brand new look for Ash“s Greninja. Here“s official artwork for everything. The strangest tidbit of all from that official page is...a specific date in which the refreshed Pokémon XY&Z anime begins to air in Japan: October 29th, 2015. Why in the world would they give American audiences a specific date like that? They“ve never honed in with this level of detail in the past. Could this just be complete transparency for the sake of it, or is this date going to be significant to North America and other territories somehow? The Mythical Pokémon Hoopa has yet to be released outside of Japan, and... these new Zygarde formes are explicitly shown during the upcoming (for the West) movie Hoopa and the Clash of Ages. Fans around the world have been wondering why The Pokémon Company have dragged their feet, when it comes to Hoopa“s movie and in-game release. Is a Hoopa distribution... and all this news we“ve been waiting for about both the new anime and “Pokémon Z” game...coming on or before October 29th, 2015? In light of all this new information and speculation on my part -- at least a new mainline Pokémon game is now a matter of when, not if. Definitely comforting, especially in the wake of Pokémon GO leaving many fans worried for the future of the series. We“re reaching the peak time of year when a bunch of stuff is happening in the gaming industry, again. The Tokyo Game Show is still ongoing at the time I write this, and there“s more than enough rumbling in the Pokémon fandom in particular. Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon“s release in Japan has happened as of yesterday, too. Definitely exciting times! What do you all think of the new Zygarde formes? What about the Pokémon Company“s willingness to talk up things in Japan well before they“re relevant here, so we“re not kept in the dark? I, for one, am a huge fan of their new approaches lately. Curious if you all feel the same! (And I know I promised not to get all conspiracy theory on y'all anymore, but isn't this whole "PROJECT AZOTH" returning things to [the beginning] and the next main game's legendary Pokémon being reduced to a single cell kind of...telling? Stay tuned!)
  19. Welcome to the thirty-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. -------------------------------- Going Places I was ready for it to be another slow week in the world of Pokémon. With Super Mario Maker releasing today in the west/already out in Japan, and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon headed their way next week...kinda figured we“d not get any major announcements until the end of the month. ...Hoo boy, was I wrong. I was nestled in bed yesterday evening, and I happened to check Twitter and see that a Pokémon Press Conference was happening. I was restless, so I stayed up and saw Pokémon GO revealed to the world. I“ve always felt creating a “Pokémon MMO”, like what so many want, would be an impossible endeavor. Perhaps talking about this new announcement at length will eventually beget an explanation as to why I feel this way--look for that soon! At any rate: The Pokémon Company and new partners Niantic, Inc. are effectively trying a different massively mutliplayer approach to break down the fourth wall. Millions of people will download the app, no doubt, and begin a quest to “catch ”em all” in the real world. Every type of Pokémon player across the globe -- young kids, young adults, and full grown folk like me -- will need to interact with one another in person, if they want to battle and trade the Pokémon they“ve caught. Everyone who plays this game will become a “real life” Pokémon Trainer. There are three ways that people reacted to this news. I“ll dismiss the first of these -- the “RIP FOREVER Pokémon THE MAIN GAMES ARE DEAD & WE“RE MOVING TO MOBILE” school of thought -- right away. Many reactions I saw last night were truly reaching, in this respect. We already have a confirmation that the will be revealed in next month“s CoroCoro. I suspect we“ll see the Pokémon Z-related announcement everyone“s been waiting for around that time. Even if Pokémon GO interacts with the main games and allows folks to transfer Pokémon they“ve caught on their phones to their respective Nintendo games, it“s best to treat the iOS and Android game as what it is -- an ambitious spin-off. If the game is met with wild success, it could ignite further integration into the main games over time, but: Nintendo and the Pokémon Company will never abandon their major-market handheld devices like the Nintendo 3DS (and possibly the NX going forward -- who knows?) in favor of smartphones. Optimism, and even excitement, are two perfectly understandable reactions to this news. Longtime fans of the series no doubt dreamt of a world where Pokémon were “real”. Augmented reality is about as real as it gets. Your quest to become a Pokémon Master will stretch as far as you do. Just the fact that this game exists could get people of all ages outside, actually exploring the world around them, hanging around places they normally wouldn“t. I recall Ingress, also by Niantic, Inc., inspiring my friends who played it to stretch their physical boundaries. We didn“t get a ton of information during the half hour-ish conference, but we got enough for people to go wild with possibilities and... their conjectures may not be too far off. Hopefully the confirmed micro-transactions will be painless and fair, like Pokémon Rumble World. If Pokémon GO leaves you elated/excited for the possibilities of what“s to come, I“m certainly all the more happy for you. Unfortunately, I“m in the opposite camp. I“m not going to spend too much time deconstructing the concept of Pokémon GO, because I“m really not a fan of raining on people“s parades. Even if I don“t like the idea or something doesn“t necessarily sit well with me about it, I know there are people who do. And it“s certainly an interesting premise, one I will give a chance before writing it off for keeps. Creating a “real” experience from a video game is something that“s always made me uncomfortable. When I“m not alone, I don“t like physically blowing away leaves on my DS screen in Pokémon Pearl. I wouldn“t go out of my way to engage in any activity that encourages me to break the fourth wall while playing a game marketed towards children. If I“m on a handheld in a public place -- which is no doubt what Pokémon GO would push its userbase to do -- I am far more likely to be found huddled in a corner in solitude versus hanging out with a group or community. I also miss the days of being able to stand outside your GameStop store offering an Event Pokémon via wireless and get it without drawing attention to yourself versus engaging a store clerk and obtaining a scratch-card with a code. I am an extroverted introvert at heart. I am fairly capable of being social and talking to friends and strangers alike. But gaming -- unless I“m with my closest friends -- has always been a more isolated experience for me. I rarely play multiplayer games. I set and reach my own goals. My Pokémon journey is a personal one that happens to involve folks like my girlfriend and close friends because... I let it. An experience like what Pokémon GO will attempt to do is just... as far away from my preferred type of gameplay setting as you can get. Gaming for me is about establishing a comfort zone, not stepping outside of it. And I“d much rather do as much as possible alone versus the face-to-face mentality that everyone behind Pokémon GO wants to encourage. ...So that“s that. Don“t worry; you“ll never hear the “mobile gaming is ruining everything” spiel from me. Even if I am averse to iOS and Android experiences in general, I know there“s a market for it, and there have been heaps of great games to come from the platform. A Pokémon spin-off game going in this direction makes perfect business sense, and it“s probably going to make a killing for the Pokémon Company. I hope they find success! I just probably won“t take part in it, beyond trying it on for size for a while, or experiencing it vicariously through Holly and other friends who“d be into this kind of thing. How did you react to this new direction? Are you elated or disappointed? I“m always eager to hear what you all have to say!