Blog Archives

The Bond of Gaming

Imagine a scenario where you are playing a game on its normal difficulty and you’re a quarter of the way through the game. You’ve been having a good time, especially for the last couple hours. Suddenly, your avatar’s speed is crippled to an agonizingly slow rate, with no explanation as to why. Every single motion that you try to make your character initiate seems as if it’s a monumental task when it’s something as simple as moving forward.

On October 16th, 2007 this type of nightmare mode was selected for my life. I was dead asleep after an exhausting day of classes. Out of nowhere, I heard my cell phone emit the tiniest “beep” – the indication that someone is trying to call when it’s charging. I glanced at the alarm clock and noticed that it was two in the morning. Wondering who could be calling, I flipped open the phone, groggily mumbling a greeting.

I was surprised to hear my father’s voice on the other end. He told me to “put my feet on the floor.” I wasn’t quite sure what was going on at this point; however, my legs swung over the edge of my mattress and my bare soles were pressed against the cool tile floor of my room. My father then proceeded to tell me what had happened, while my brain began to process the severity of the situation, wondering if this was some sort of demented joke. In the background, I heard a preternatural wailing and realized that it was my mother wracked with grief. All doubt left my mind: I had to accept that my brother, Derek, had died in a car accident.

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Pokemon Black and White Impressions

Well, I guess I called it, months ago. Welcome to the world of Pokemon, indeed.

I’ve not beaten Black and White; that would be ridiculous. Rather, I’ve sunk a good half dozen hours into the title, and this has given me time to form impressions of the game. Read on, to find out!
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Your new Pokemon

Lost in the bustle of Tokyo Games Show has been Pokemon Black and White nearing release in Japan. Oh, well, we didn’t forget. And neither did Serebii, who have all the Pokemon in the new game available in list form. With pictures, typings, and occasional stats. And you know you’re curious.

Some quick notes, because I’m sleepy. First, there’s twelve legendaries. TWELVE. Sure, they might not all be legendaries, but they’re mostly after the cover Pokemon in number, so I’m assuming they’re Pokemon. Second, there are a *lot* of three evolution Pokemon, by my count. This is not a scientific conclusion, but there are a lot of Pokemon that seem like they could be viable in the end game, which is pretty fantastic.

And the typings! Oh lord the typings. We have in new types: psychic/fire, psychic/flying, ground/dark, dark/fight, normal/grass, electric/flying, bug/steel, water/ghost (yes!), bug/electric, grass/steel, ghost/fire (yes!!), electric/ground, ground/ghost (fucker is a champ!), dark/steel, dark/dragon (fuck yeah!), and bug/fire. And in old but awesome types, we have new ground/steel, water/rock, rock/flying, water/flying (possibly the most adorable Pokemon ever, by the way), and dark/flying. Oh, and the legendaries are all batshit random types like dragon/ice.

Also, #614? Three penis bear. THREE PENIS BEAR!

What I’m trying to say is I like the little guys. I’m pumped. Pokemon’s one of the few series I’m excited for, and I can’t wait for this one.

October CoroCoro reveals more awkward Pokemon

Okay, I freely admit: at this point, four days from its Japanese release, I’m excited about Pokemon Black and White. Genuinely excited. The kind of excitement I reserve for things like Bastion, or for firing up a game of Solium Infernum in a couple minutes. When I’m done making fun of these Pokemon.

This will forever be the only post on the internet tagged both with Pokemon and a hex strategy game about ruling hell. I’d like to point this out.

Anyway, there are new Pokemon. Pocket Monsters, if you will. And we’ve got some fine, respectful comments about them, because this is the last time we get to do this. After this, I will endeavor to radio silence about Pokemon Black and White, so that I will be surprised when I find Pokemon X in Pokezone B.

(All pictures, and most information that isn’t slanderous, courtesy of Bulbanews, friendly newswiki bit of Bulbapedia. Which is a quality place.)
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To be the very best

Hello there! Welcome to the world of Pokemon!

My first memories of Pokemon came with an issue of Nintendo Power. Back in 1998, when Pokemon was just another Japanese thing destined to not reach American shores, Nintendo Power made inserts, half walkthrough and half comic, to insure us that yes, Pokemon was coming, and it would be good.

These inserts were a thing of beauty. Not like pictures you frame and put on your wall, but they were honest to god beautiful. They showed us a world, where you were able to go on the adventure of a lifetime. There was no story besides the story that you created, the path that you forged through friendship with Pokemon. Pure escapism, glued and stapled inside a magazine.

And, eventually, Pokemon came out, unlike all the other Japanese games we saw images of in gaming magazines, and we could play it. It was a physical thing, in our hands. This was the most confusing thing about it. We were used to seeing hordes of Japanese games, only to have the best, the brightest, not release for years, if at all. And here was this game, the most brilliant of the brilliant, getting a physical, stateside release. It was baffling. It was unheard of. It was fantastic. The only games I was more excited about when they came out were Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII, and they were franchises with years of history behind them.
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Pokemon Black, White to be different

And not different in that some Pokemon aren’t in one version that are in the other. Oh no. Oh no. We’re talking actual differences. See those two areas above? Well, the city’s going to be in Pokemon Black. The forest is only in Pokemon White. They occupy the same space in the game world, in fact.

Personally, I’m pretty enthused. I’ve been playing every Pokemon game that exists recently (have beaten Red and Crystal, now working on Emerald), and you know what? It seems like Nintendo finally has a good grasp on what makes a good Pokemon game and what detracts from the experience. Differences between the games is another good sign, because…it’s always fun doing different things than your friends when it comes to Pokemon.

There were also new Pokemon revealed, which are too blurry to comment on. One looks like a big ol’ blue octopus. I’ll leave it at that.

Source: Andriasang from the official site

New Pokemon!: the not so fun edition

Well, depends what your definition of fun is. I have good news and bad news. The good news is there’s new Pokemon, and they look pretty fantastic. The bad news is that, with so much awesome padding, I can’t really slag them too much. They look like Pokemon I’d love to have on my team, which makes it tough to insult them.

And you’re a cut away from pictures you could see on Serebii, and commentary you definitely couldn’t. Because we use mature language here!
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Pokemon Black and White to feature entirely new cast

You know, this is the best thing I’ve read all day. All week, even. Pokemon Black and White’s gambit is that every Pokemon you get until you beat the Elite Four (I assume there’ll be an Elite Four) will be completely, utterly new.

As much as the new Pokemon have kind of sucked, I approve of this decision. While I wouldn’t argue games like Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were hurt by having so many Pokemon, they were a very different experience from Red and Blue. Red and Blue were focused mostly on discovery, the novelty of the new Pokemon, while Diamond and Pearl were much more grinding-based experiences. Not that they had more grinding, but that was the focus, as opposed to Red and Blue. And I think when lots of Pokemon veterans say, “I hate this series!”, they mean they hate the grinding, and miss the exploration.

So good on Gamefreak for realizing what the people want, and then delivering it. They may have single handedly made me excited for the direction of the franchise again.

Source: Andriasang

New Pokemon Black and White trailer is long, informational

Informational if you speak fluent Japanese, at least.

And mostly information about the new contests, and the new….Pokemon flower garden. Hooray. Apparently your pokemon can live in a house, and have a garden, and Smugleaf can wear a bow on his head. I’m gushing with excitement here, and no one can accuse me of not being excited about Pokemon.

What we do have is two new pokemon! At 3:17, we get Bambi. You might say, no, shit, it can’t be Bambi! Nope. It’s Bambi. It’s FUCKING BAMBI. There is no negotiation here. It is an adorable deer. It’s probably normal type. It sucks. Oh, and speaking of normal type, at 5:25 we see the evolution of Kool Aid Raccoon, who you might recognize from my previous link. You can tell it’s an evolution because it’s got the same cancerous eyes. It’s just taller. And there’s 2 of them! Jesus Christ.

Other than that, it looks like a slightly improved HeartGold/SoulSilver. Incremental improvements, eat your heart out! We’ll keep you posted.

Go Back To Pallet Town in Alien Swarm

Alien Swarm. You probably have it, since it was free. People who make mods and are Pokemon fans have it, too. Well, technically, people who make L4D maps who then port those maps into Alien Swarm to see how the SDK holds up have it. Semantics! Take a look at this awesome mod that recreates Pallet Town in Alien Swarm.