Category Archives: Video games

A Kanto reboot might actually be a great idea.

There have been rumors of a Kanto reboot for the upcoming Pokemon game on Nintendo Switch. At first, I wasn’t very fond of the idea, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like it might actually be a great idea.

It’s true that there would be a nostalgic element to it, which is pretty obvious. While Kanto may have been done pretty heavily in Pokemon, it’s been a long while since the Kanto region appeared in a Pokemon game. It last appeared in a 4th gen game as a post game area, and it hasn’t been a central focus since 3rd gen, and right now, we’re moving on to the 8th gen. Therefore, while Kanto may be heavily represented, it hasn’t been overplayed in recent times. There might be some merit to returning to the region if there were some way to represent it that hasn’t been done in a long time.

A recent interview revealed that there was a pokemon that was scrapped before the release of Pokemon Red and Green, which was intended as an evolution to Raichu. It would have been called Gorochu, and it would have had fangs and horns. Not only that, it got into the original design concept for Pikachu, which was originally intended to be a squirrel pokemon that resembled a daifuku bun with ears.

Sometimes, game developers share their thought processes for character designs after a game is released. But this information comes so far after the release of the original games and is so specific to their iconic mascot, there might just be something to their decision to share it, especially considering just how tight-lipped they’ve been about characters that didn’t make it into the game.

If GameFreak were to make a new Pokemon game rebooting the Kanto region, what’s an obvious way to make it interesting? By using ideas that were considered for the original game, but might not have made it. There are quite a few elements that were considered for the original games that didn’t make it to the final version, and here are just a few we know about:

  • There were originally intended to be as many as 190 pokemon in the original games. When Red and Green were released, they had only 151 of those pokemon, with some of those pokemon included in the Gold and Silver versions, and we know of Gorochu as a pokemon that hasn’t been included in a game, yet.
  • There was originally intended to be a plotline putting trainers that were kind to their pokemon against the ones that were harsh. The harsh trainers carried whips on them. While the plotline wasn’t included, the sprite art for some characters in the final games still depicted them with whips, including Tamers, Team Rocket, and even the gym leader Sabrina.
  • Early art revealed a slightly different roster of gym leaders, with a young boy being pictured before Brock, and Giovanni being excluded from the roster. This boy may have been the original gym leader of Viridian City.
  • Data for Pokemon Red and Green contained trainer data for Professor Oak that wasn’t used in the final version of the game. His pokemon were top-tier, and their levels were high, suggesting that he may have been available to battle right after the champion. In the final games, he does appear in the champion room, but not as a trainer you can battle.

On top of this, there are new regions and game mechanics that can be used to make the game more interesting. In terms of gameplay mechanics, mega evolutions and Z moves are already a part of the more recent games. For new areas to explore, the last Kanto remakes included new areas called the Sevii Islands. Not only that, there’s the fact that Johto is located right next to Kanto that can make it a convenient inclusion.

Considering all this, there is certainly plenty that GameFreak can do with a Kanto reboot that would keep it interesting. The nostalgic elements would appeal to those who remember the original games, and might even draw some old players back in. The inclusion of elements that weren’t a part of the original games would guarantee that everyone playing the game would have something new to do.

Of course, it’s possible that the upcoming Pokemon game for Switch won’t be a reboot. It seems sensible for a new Pokemon game on new hardware to offer a new region with new pokemon, as has always been the case until now. One way or the other, it might not be a bad idea to avoid getting one’s hopes up for a certain outcome. Whatever it is that GameFreak ends up doing, they’d likely do it after carefully considering how they could give us the most interesting experience.

Having said that, Gorochu sounds like an interesting concept.

Hackers arrested and fined millions for PUBG hack

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Fifteen hackers have been arrested in China for a PUBG hack. News titles for this story are clickbaity, and would lead you to believe that the arrests occurred over cheating, which probably is illegal anyway, since it involves defrauding other players in an online gaming community of an experience that they pay money for and involves tampering with software programs that are protected by federal laws and international treaties, but I digress.

The arrests occurred over a Trojan horse in the cheat codes distributed, which then proceeded to mine that person’s computer for information. Most of us probably know someone who thinks that they are some kind of genius just because they can use the internet to download movies, video games, music, and lots of other stuff without paying for it, not knowing that those who provide these files illegally take what they can from them, as well.

Let’s get real here: hackers don’t do what they do out of the goodness of their hearts. What they are doing is highly illegal, and if caught, they can face some heavy penalties (millions of dollars in fines and years in federal pound-me-in-the-stinkhole prison). They’re taking an extraordinary risk in distributing something illegally, which they wouldn’t likely do unless they got something in return that could make it worth the risk of spending years in jail, where there are no video games, or much fun to be had at all, for that matter. We’ve already established that they have no problem with stealing from multi-million-dollar companies, which have legal teams that could retaliate against them big-time. Why wouldn’t they also steal from you, someone who can pretty much do nothing about it, if they can get away with it? If someone is taking the risk of going to jail for years, they’d likely take anything that they can to justify the risk.

Of course, your kid brother probably thinks that they’re safe because they also downloaded free anti-virus programs from the internet, which are just about the digital equivalent of placebos when it comes to locating, removing, and preventing Trojan horses. Then, after having illegally downloaded some files, connections for everyone else on the network slows down the moment that they open their cheap laptops as they unwittingly send piles of information to people who benefit financially from their illegal activity.

People who cheat in video games ruin the online experience for the rest of us, and people who download stuff illegally ruin the bandwidth for everyone else on the network, so I feel like laughing a little when they get what’s coming to them. They really can’t expect much in the way of sympathy if they get caught.

Is Pokemon trying too hard to relive its past?

Capsule_Monsters_mapThis place is so old.

There’s something that’s been on my mind for a while, and with recent speculation that the upcoming Pokemon game on Nintendo Switch may be a reboot of the 1st gen games, it gets a new sense of urgency. That concern is that Pokemon has been doing a bit too much to attempt to relive its past.

I do understand the strong attachment to the Kanto region, its pokemon, and the characters associated with it. After all, that’s the place where the Pokemon franchise got its start. My concern is that, if 1st gen elements are over-represented, they can wear old, especially for faithful players that have been playing Pokemon for a long time.

One of the main concerns that Pokemon’s development team has had over the years is that Pokemon can be perceived as a game that one can “graduate” from, and move on to other games. This is an understandable concern, as Pokemon’s more complex strategic elements may not be immediately evident. This being the case, I question the effectiveness of continually returning to Kanto as a means of appealing to players that were involved in the early stages of the franchise but moved on to something else, or as an appeal to nostalgia.

For one thing, a continual return to Kanto and repeated nostalgic appeals can create the impression that Pokemon hasn’t been doing much since its early days. A person who hasn’t played Pokemon in a long time might see continual returns to Kanto and over-representation of 1st gen pokemon, and think the franchise isn’t really doing anything new. And if it doesn’t give us an experience we haven’t already had, that makes it easier to skip it.

We’re still hoofing through Viridian Forest, on the way to Pewter City to get a Boulderbadge. We’re still taking on Team Rocket at Silph Co. and having repeated battles against Giovanni. We’re still going through several consecutive routes packed with trainers that have either Normal/Flying or Grass/Poison pokemon, with little variation. We’re still battling a rival for the championship.

Is it really necessary to buy a new game for the same experience we’ve already had in several games we already own?

That question is not hyperbole. Consider for a moment just how many core Pokemon titles have included the Kanto setting:

First Generation: The Red, Green and Yellow versions all take place in Kanto. I’m not including Blue in this tally, since it’s pretty much the same game as Green.
3/3

Second Generation: Gold, Silver and Crystal each include the Kanto region.
6/6

Third Generation: Ruby and Sapphire take place in an entirely new setting, but we see the first Kanto remakes in FireRed and LeafGreen before we see the Emerald version.
8/11

Fourth Generation: Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum all take place in a new region, but Kanto is included in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
10/16

Fifth Generation: Four new games, all taking place in the new Unova setting.
10/20

Sixth Generation: Two games taking place in the new Kalos region, and two rebooting the Hoenn region.
10/24

Seventh Generation: Four new games in the new Alola region.
10/28

Considering this information, there are a couple noticeable trends. For one thing, it’s that we’ve gone three generations without treading in the Kanto region. While this can be viewed as a sign that Pokemon has been moving forward and not leaning too heavily on nostalgia, this could be used as an argument that we’re somehow overdue for a Kanto reboot.

The second noticeable trend is that nine-fourteenths of the core games have included Kanto, which comes to nearly one-third! This wouldn’t be that much of a big deal if the franchise were still young, but considering that it’s at over two dozen core games, that’s a massive over-representation of an old setting!

Even during more recent times, we’ve been noticing a certain favoritism towards more nostalgic concepts. In the Kalos games, we got a choice between the three Kanto starters before long into the game, and they received mega evolutions. One of the early areas is a very close recreation of Viridian Forest, and one of the Gyms even reused the layout for the Saffron gym in Kanto! That’s a pretty obvious use of throwbacks.

What’s more, in the seventh generation, we were treated to special variants of Kanto pokemon. While this was a breath of fresh air in its own sense and gave us some great designs (such as Alolan Raichu), it’s notable that only Kanto pokemon got this special treatment.

And while speaking of the Alola region, the recent games (Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon), featured a team called Rainbow Rocket, which was a new Team Rocket. This team had Giovanni as it’s head, and saw the leaders of the other teams serving under the Team Rocket banner. That all these leaders with their conflicting visions could be united under Giovanni and Team Rocket are a clear expression of favoritism to the franchise’s more nostalgic concepts!

Another point to bring up is the release of the virtual console games during the 6th and 7th generations. These re-releases gave us access to the old first and second generation games. And, as noted above, this is a handful of games that each featured the Kanto region. This means that the 6th and 7th generation actually did see games with Kanto in them! What’s more, this recent over-representation of a single region would blunt any nostalgic feeling one would get from yet another Kanto game, such as the theoretical Kanto remakes for Switch.

This retreading of the 1st gen isn’t something that’s limited to the video games, either. We see it in the trading card game, as well. Within a few years of the debut of the initial Base Set expansion, we saw the release of Base Set 2, which mainly contained reprints of cards from the Base Set, and was widely regarded as a rip-off. More recently, we saw the release of the Generations expansion. While the cards were mostly redone with the game’s power creep in mind, that it was intended to be a throwback to the original Base Set is obvious.

As far as the anime goes, one needs only look to the more recent movies to see the nostalgic appeal. Last year’s movie was a retelling of Ash’s first departure from Pallet Town with Pikachu. This year’s movie will have a story featuring Lugia, who was a staple character of the second movie. Even the main anime recently had a story arc with Ash making a short visit to Kanto to visit Brock and Misty.

Pokemon is a great franchise, but it spends way too much time living in the past. And if GameFreak is going to be leaning on the same feelings of nostalgia that they have been for the upcoming installment on Switch, I might not be feeling very strongly about it. Considering that Pokemon was one of the most innovative and creative games of all time when it made its debut, I think it appropriate that the game’s maker, GameFreak, continue to demonstrate that they’re capable of innovation and forward-thinking. After all, we saw a watch with a touch screen in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl about a decade before they became commercially available!

Naked Statues Censored in Assassin’s Creed Origins

egypt now with seashellsStill hot for those with a seashell fetish.

Naked statues were censored in Assassin’s Creed Origins. It’s not as big a deal as it sounds, considering that what’s censored is a special educational mode that could likely be used in schools.

Just that in itself is mind-blowing: that Assassin’s Creed could be used to teach students about history. Not that Assassin’s Creed was the first game to try.

mario is missingRemember this one?

While it’s true that the act of censoring the statues seems unnecessary, there are people who are in so big a hurry to decry anything that they see as censorship that they don’t take a little time to look into the story to know what’s really going on. There are some who are making this out to be about Ubisoft caving in to pressure to avoid an AO (adults only) rating, even though the original game received no such rating.

The decision did have to do with ratings, but the ratings would have been for the stand-alone educational mode. The ratings issue had no bearing on the original version of the game, for which the educational mode would just be an optional extension that the player doesn’t even need to download or use. Ubisoft was merely acting to ensure that the mode, when sold as a stand-alone, would be accessible for a wider audience, considering that it may be used in schools.

It’s kind of ironic that a game about ancient Egypt is being praised for its historical accuracy when the game makers insist on removing the nudity, even from the statues. For one thing, the statues in ancient Egypt were likely painted. We know that this was the case in Greece, but the paint peeled off, which is why they look the way they do today. Also, public nudity was very common in ancient Egypt. In fact, persons were not even permitted to wear clothing until the age of 15. Even Pharaoh’s own children were not exempt from this rule. Imagine how well it would have gone over if Ubisoft had gone for historical accuracy in this regard. Also, imagine the money Egyptians saved on back-to-school shopping.

In spite of this, ancient Egypt was actually among the most moral societies in the ancient world. They get a bad rap today because, at one point, the Pharaoh refused to free some slaves that he should have.

Also, contrary to popular belief, ancient Egypt wasn’t the sandy wasteland that it is today. Egypt was actually fertile, particularly closer to the Nile. In spite of this, the Egypt of Assassin’s Creed Origins was sandy and gritty pretty much all over the place, which would lead one to question just how a civilization thousands of years old could thrive so long with such limited potential for agriculture.

So while you might get a nice history lesson from Assassin’s Creed Origins’ guided tour mode, don’t count on it to be entirely historically accurate. Even putting aside the gratuitous seashells.

The Right Way to Play Pokemon Crystal

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Pokemon Crystal is now on 3DS Virtual Console, with a special bonus: the game has been modified so that the Celebi event is now a part of normal gameplay! Not only that, the event can be accessed earlier than the original Japanese event would have allowed, so players can obtain one after beating the Elite Four!

This being the case, many players will make it their mission to breeze through the game as efficiently as possible in a mission to obtain Celebi. That’s where this guide comes in. This is a team building guide for Pokemon Crystal with the aim to choose the most proven and effective pokemon to get you through the game.

There are a few things I would like to point out about this guide. This guide is different from most teambuilding guides that you’ll find on the internet in several respects.

For one thing, this guide does not recommend for you a team of six battling pokemon, and there are a couple good reasons for this. First, most teambuilding guides out there don’t include dedicated HM users that can keep your team clean for you. The other reason is that leveling a team of six pokemon is cumbersome, and can take up a lot of time. Later in the game, the trainers that you see will not provide nearly enough experience to keep a full team of six decently leveled. All that experience spreads easier among only three or four pokemon, and it’s generally better to have a few stronger pokemon that can get the job done than a full team that can’t quite cut it.

Next, you’re going to want to get comfortable with boxing pokemon that are no longer pulling their weight. That’s especially true in this game, where there are several water types to choose from that can serve the team decently well, some for HMs.

What’s more, this guide assumes that you’re not exploiting glitches to get through the game fast. It’s also not a speed run guide, and the assumption is that you won’t be using external tools to get through the game. If you have a code-altering device and don’t care about playing fair, just hack yourself a Celebi and be done with it.

Okay, now for the pokemon. First up is your choice of starter:

cyndaquil

Out of the starters, the best choice is Cyndaquil. This is something you should have seen coming. Cyndaquil is useful against the most major in-game opponents, such as Bugsy, Jasmine, Pryce, Koga, Karen, and so on. Fire is a great type to have in this game, but there aren’t many that are available early on, and of the ones available through most of the game, Cyndaquil is the best. Not only that, it’s evolved form Typhlosion can learn Thunderpunch to hit the Water types that usually give it trouble. Also, it’s a pokemon that’s also an explosion. It’s not just strong, Typhlosion wins on principle.

Why not Totodile? There are many, many superb Water pokemon to choose from in Crystal, and they are abundant. Totodile’s evolved form Feraligatr would simply be outclassed by many pokemon of the same type. And why not Chikorita? Because it’s a punching bag. It has too many weaknesses and too few useful offensive moves.

sentret.png

You’ll want to catch a Sentret. Sentret can learn Cut, but so can Cyndaquil. Sentret’s main selling point is that it can learn Surf, and it’s the earliest available pokemon (besides Totodile) that can learn it and is available in grass rather than on water. Sentret can be found on Route 29 during the morning or day. But if it’s night and you don’t want to wait, you can instead catch Poliwag on Routes 30 and 31 during the night. Poliwag doesn’t learn Cut, but can learn Surf. Whichever one you catch, it will be quickly replaced once you can catch a better pokemon that can use Surf.

hoothoot.png

Next, catch a Hoothoot. You can catch it on Route 29 at night. Don’t bother leveling it up, its purpose on your team is to later learn Fly and Flash. It also helps to have a different pokemon to switch into to end status effects in battles. This is helpful against Falkner, because he likes to lower accuracy.

After this, you’re only going to have a few pokemon on your team. You’ll be relying on Cyndaquil a lot, so don’t be afraid to level it up. You’ll also want to save your money for later on, so being higher leveled means relying less on items. The ones you find lying around usually suffice. Early on, saving up money is important, and I’ll get into why shortly.

With this single-battler approach, the most troublesome opponent you’ll face along the way is your rival, who will have a level 16 Croconaw with Water Gun when you encounter him at the entrance to Ilex Forest. If you’re leveled sufficiently, you should be able to overcome it.

abra.png

It’s Casey! Most of you likely saw this coming. Abra is just too good to pass up. You can obtain one from the Game Corner, but it’s only level 5 in Crystal, so you may as well try getting a level 10 one from Route 34. Abra teleports at first chance, so your best bet is to try catching it as soon as it appears.

Abra is the reason you’ve been saving your money up. In the Goldenrod Dept. Store, you can buy the TMs for Thunderpunch, Fire Punch, and Ice Punch for 3000 yen each. You’ll want to teach your Abra all three. Once it evolves to Kadabra at level 16, it will learn a Special attack to match it’s type, and will have phenomenal Speed and Sp.Atk stats! With it’s awesome selection of moves and great stats for using them, you might find yourself relying on Kadabra a little too much!

And it gets better: Kadabra can evolve into the unnecessarily-strong Alakazam by trading! If you have the option to do this, the rest of the game might not be much of a challenge. But that’s the idea; you’re trying to win.

abra

The next pokemon you’ll want to catch is another Abra on Route 34. This Abra won’t be for battling, but trading to a guy at Goldenrod Dept. Store for a…

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Machop. This Machop serves just one purpose on your team: to take on Goldenrod Gym. It can just about solo it, depending on its level. It can level up fast due to being a traded pokemon, which also helps. You might have a better time of Goldenrod Gym if you level Machop a bit first, but that’s only a minor inconvenience.

Whitney herself takes a bit of strategy. One approach that works for me is sending Quilava (Cyndaquil) against Miltank first, then have it use Smokescreen as long as it can get away with it, or until it has lowered its accuracy as far as it can go. Miltank’s Rollout might seem like a problem, but it starts weak and gains in strength with successive hits. But if its accuracy is lowered, it’s really hard for it to get those successive hits in. After that, Machop shouldn’t have much trouble cleaning up.

After Whitney is beat, you can just box Machop. It’s served its main purpose for this team. However, if you want to keep it in your team, that’s not a bad choice. It evolves into Machoke at level 28, and performs decently well against Jasmine and Pryce, and if you have a friend to trade with, you can get a superstrong Machamp. It’s your call.

gyarados.png

Gyarados is basically a glorified HM slave as far as this team goes, but it can hold it’s own until you get Suicune if you choose to use it in battle. After beating Morty, your pokemon can use Surf out of battle, so use that to get to the shiny Gyarados in the middle of the Lake of Rage. It’s a one-off encounter, so be sure to save the game beforehand just in case you mess it up. Once you catch it, your Poliwag can be boxed if you caught one, as its purpose was to get you to Gyarados. Sentret can remain if you didn’t teach your Cyndaquil Cut.

Gyarados can learn Surf, Strength, Whirlpool and Waterfall, so it can grant you some serious mobility. Not only that, its stats are great, so using it as a battling pokemon isn’t a bad idea. Thrash is a recommended move if you choose to have it battle. Just know that there are no Water physical moves in Gen II, and Gyarados gets no offensive Flying moves, so much of its Attack potential goes to waste.

suicune.png

The phenom. Suicune has excellent stats all around, you can teach it Surf, and it’s only one level away from learning an Ice type move once captured. And it has a majestic appearance on top of all that.

At this point, your team should look like:

typhlosion.pngkadabra.pngsuicunehoothootgyaradossentret

Typhlosion (battler)
Kadabra (battler)
Suicune (battler)
Hoothoot (Flash, Fly)
Gyarados (Surf, Strength, Waterfall, Whirlpool)
Sentret (in case you’d rather not teach Typhlosion Cut)

With that, you should be set for the rest of the game. One thing I recommend is making sure that Kadabra and Suicune are leveled well, because strong Ice users will come in handy against Lance. It’s possible to solo him with Kadabra, but it would take either a high level or careful play.

But what about…

There are a few options that are left out, so I’ll go over them.

lapras.png

Lapras is an excellent Water type for your team. It can learn Surf, Ice Beam, and Thunder, and you can obtain it right after you get to use Surf. The catch is, you can only catch one on Fridays. You’re not likely to be playing through the game pretty quickly if you’re waiting for a certain day of the week to catch a certain pokemon. Therefore, you’re likely much better off not concerning yourself with getting a Lapras for your playthrough.

dratini.png

Dratini is available too late in the game at too low a level, and even once fully-evolved, there are still better choices against your late-game opponents. The Extremespeed Dratini gift in Blackthorn City is more of a trophy pokemon than one that you’d use in a serious playthrough.

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You might think that that Unown there is a joke, but you’d be surprised how many people get distracted during what is supposed to be a focused playthrough. You’re trying to get through Crystal quickly, getting distracted by ridiculous side-quests isn’t helping. Especially that Ruins of Alph side-quest. If you can find all the different forms of Unown, so what?

So, for your playthrough of this 17-year-old game, what’s your prize? Here it is:

celebi.png

A Celebi! Once you beat the champion, go to the Goldenrod Pokemon Center, take a step up, and try to leave. Someone will give you the GS Ball. Take it to Kurt. After that, you’ll have to wait a day for the event to continue, but then you can visit Kurt again, and he’ll give the ball back to you. Take it to the shrine in Ilex Forest to make a Celebi appear there! It’s a good idea to save the game before interacting with the shrine, in case you mess up catching Celebi.

The Celebi is at level 30. Sadly, its level will be high enough that it will have replaced its more competitively viable moves with different moves on its learnset, and there is no move relearner in Gen II. However, you can transfer it up to a Gen 7 game, and have it learn its moves in those games.

Also, you have the opportunity to get a shiny Celebi this way, though the odds of any encounter with one being shiny is 1 in 8192. Have fun soft-resetting, shiny hunters.

The right way to play Pokemon Platinum

1002px-Platinum_EN_boxart

Note: this post is largely just a joke. If you don’t have a sense of humor (due to some unfortunate accident or whatever), you’d be happier reading something else. But if you do take this advice seriously and play through Pokemon in this manner, let me know with a comment below.

With the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the real fans are disappointed because we wanted to see a Sinnoh remake instead of a remake of a game that’s hardly a year old. However, there’s already a Sinnoh remake that we can play on 3DS, and that game is called Pokemon Platinum.

You might have heard that there’s no wrong way to play a Pokemon game. This is a vacuous platitude that’s enjoyed by those who are satisfied with mediocrity. Every game has an objective, and that objective is to win. Winning is what this guide is about.

Another thing you might have seen around the intertubes would be guides on how to make the best teams for Pokemon games. Most of these guides are flawed because they suggest making full teams of six pokemon that are viable for battles. The problem with teams like this is that they tend to flounder in the late-game, when the levels of opponents are really high, but the team is under-leveled because the experience yield doesn’t spread as well among a larger team.

A better approach would be to focus on a battling core of two to four pokemon, with the rest of your team being open for utility pokemon and HM users. This way, you’ll have some higher-level pokemon that are better suited to take on late-game challenges while keeping grinding to a minimum. This is great, because in Sinnoh games, there’s often a need for late-game grinding.

The first major choice you’ll make in this game is to play as the girl, so when the prompt comes up to do so, you select this character:

Platinum_Dawn

Then you name her Dawn. Everyone likes Dawn, and this game lets you play as her.

Next, you get to name your rival. The character limit is too short for Flapjack, so we’ll just go with Barry, because that’s what they call him in the show.

barry v flapjack

Your next significant choice is to choose Piplup as your starter.

250px-393Piplup

I know that most guides will give you plentiful technical reasons why Chimchar is the better choice. But Piplup is the better choice because it’s much cuter, and GameFreak finally made a penguin pokemon that isn’t total garbage. When it evolves all the way to Empoleon, it gains a secondary Steel typing, which gives it plenty of useful resistances, and it can be taught Surf, which could potentially free up room in your party that would otherwise be taken up by an HM slave. Also, Dawn chose Piplup as her starter, so there’s that.

Next, you’re going to want to catch a Starly.

250px-396Starly

Starly is great on so many levels. For one thing, it and its evolved forms learn Defog and Fly, which takes care of those HM moves. Not only that, its final form Staraptor has excellent speed and attack stats, and uses them well with moves like Aerial Ace and Close Combat. Because it gains the Intimidate ability later on, it can lower the Attack stat of your opponents just by being sent into battle. This is one of the few early-game bird pokemon that remains good throughout the game.

bidoof_by_final_boss_emiko-dabpearSource

You’re also going to want to catch a Bidoof. Bidoof isn’t in this team for battling, it’s there for HMs. Bidoof can learn the Cut and Rock Smash HM. Its evolved form can additionally be taught Surf, Strength, Waterfall, and Rock Climb, so it can grant you some serious mobility. You’ll even be able to find Bibarel before you’ll need those moves, so there’s no need to level up your Bidoof. The only real catch is that it can only know four of those moves at a time, but you can have both in your team.

I know what some of you might be thinking: this team is too weak to electric moves. That’s why Gible was chosen to round out this team.

250px-443Gible

Gible doesn’t take long to evolve to Gabite, and late in the game, it becomes a superstrong Garchomp. What to do in the meantime? Teach it Earthquake, which is available in the very same cave you catch Gible in. You’ll have a seriously strong Ground type that also happens to be a Dragon. Why wouldn’t you? Also, it’s a land shark that can fly. Pokemon doesn’t mess around.

I know that some of you might be squeamish about going that far in the game with such a weakness to Electric moves, but it’s really not a big deal. Pachirisu could present a challenge, but it doesn’t learn an offensive Electric move until level 13, and you don’t encounter one that strong until Eterna Forest. Some trainers use Electric types on Route 206, but you’ll find the cave with Gible in it on the same route.

Note: Gible can only be found by using the cave’s hidden entrance, not the obvious one. The hidden entrance is under the bike path, not to the side of it.

And that’s pretty much your team. What, that’s not much? Of course not. This team works so well, that one or two slots don’t need to be used. You’re bucking the materialistic zeitgeist by playing like a Spartan! You won’t need as many pokeballs, because you’ll have just a few pokemon that can do the job. You won’t need as many healing items because you’ll have just a few higher-level pokemon that are better at taking attacks and dishing them out.

Some players either turn up their nose when it comes to legendaries, or prefer to put off catching them until it’s easier to soft-reset for an ideal nature. If you’re not one of these guys, then there are two pokemon that stand out as being excellent choices:

  • Giratina – Has excellent typing and defensive stats, and can be taught a variety of offensive moves. You have to encounter this guy as part of the story, but if you KO it, you can get another chance after becoming champion, so don’t feel like you have to catch this guy right away.
  • Azelf – Its typing isn’t that great, but it’s Speed and Special Attack stats are very high. Think “glass cannon”.

The question might come up: What do I do about such-and-such-opponent? Wouldn’t they be kind of challenging with this team setup? A valid question. The surest way to overcome any in-game opponent is with a tried and true strategy that I like to call, “assail with overwhelming force”. By maintaining a massive statistical advantage over your opponent, you increase your chance of victory.

If at any point you come across an opponent that’s too strong for you, here is what you do:

  1. Go into some grass or into a cave
  2. Walk around until a wild pokemon shows up
  3. KO that wild pokemon to collect EXP
  4. Repeat the process until your pokemon gains a level

Each time you do this, you increase your statistical advantage, making your pokemon much better at “assail with overwhelming force”.

Then keep going until you’re crowned the champion, and you’ll have beaten this game about friendship by demolishing everything in sight.

NBC News has lost its mind.

Who’s up for watching a train wreck in slow motion?

You can tell that NBC News has done something special here, considering the like/dislike ratio of this video:

nbc news disliked

Oh, hold on…

NBC News subscription count wah waah

Considering that NBC News is a huge media institution, that subscriber count is pretty low. For comparison, here’s the subscriber count for a YouTuber:

sargon subscription count

That guy’s subscription count is higher in spite of the fact that he’s not an outlet for the corporate media. He’s just a guy who gets on YouTube and talks about how crazy left-wing fringe groups such as feminists are. Even though he’s just a guy, he has more power on YouTube than NBC News. This is in spite of the fact that the YouTube main page tries to shove the channels of old media outlets up our butts.

Back on subject, NBC News has attempted to connect GamerGate with the Neo Nazi protests in Charlottesville and the grassroots movements that got Trump elected, and dragging Discord’s name through the mud, while they’re at it.

That in itself is a mouthful, and I don’t really have to say anymore. But I’m going to keep going. That old media is finding new ways to disappoint us is surprising at this point.

I’ve said already that old media doesn’t have to convince the smartest people among us for their ideas to gain traction, they only have to convince enough idiots to make a difference, and they are the ones that they are primarily aiming for. Today, the idiots that old media are aiming for is an old group that we’re already familiar with; the Pharisaical busybodies that see video games as some boogeymen that cause violent crimes. The tune has apparently shifted, because the social engineers have determined that the most effective way to drag someone down is to call them “racist” or “sexist”, because those are the words that currently have the most impact. Therefore, these ad-hominems are now being thrown at gamers.

If you’re among the brighter people among us, you’d look into matters before arriving at a determination, rather than taking old media’s word for it. Better yet, you wouldn’t have used old media to inform you to begin with. Of course, anyone using their brain will know that the connection between racists and sexists with video games just doesn’t exist. There’s a certain baseline for intelligence that NBC is aiming for, and they decided to exclude those who can think above it.

Today, NBC’s efforts to mislead the public are backfiring in a huge way, considering that most people play video games in some form, and understand that the presence of racists and sexists among us is greatly overstated.

If you haven’t watched the above video yet, here’s an interesting point to keep in mind as you do so:

Cherry Picking fallacy:
When only select evidence is presented in order to persuade the audience to accept a position, and evidence that would go against the position is withheld.  The stronger the withheld evidence, the more fallacious the argument.
Description from LogicallyFallacious.com, “Cherry Picking”

Can you find examples in the video above? Here are just a few to get you started:

  • Discord is made out to be a haven for racists, even though such communities on Discord are few, if any even still exist. Discord themselves have even shut such a community down.
  • GamerGate is made out to be a sexist movement because some members have made sexist remarks, as the video shows. In reality, these members don’t represent the movement as a whole, as the vast majority of the GamerGate movement are for ethics in game journalism. It’s their stated objective.
  • Footage was shown of someone using racist language in a game’s voicechat feature. This is treated as representative of gamer culture as a whole. It should be obvious why this is unfair.

I only went about halfway through the video before I decided to stop taking examples. It doesn’t stop there. It just keeps going.

gamergate romantic(EDIT 8-Nov-2017: This tweet has been found to have originated from Kevin Dobson, who directed them to Anita Sarkeesian. The problem? The Kevin Dobson tweets were issued a day before the #GamerGate hashtag was coined. NBC News has been caught editing the #GamerGate tag onto a tweet not associated with them to vilify them. It just gets worse and worse.)

But while most of it was a train wreck, there is one part that made me bust out laughing. That part starts at 3:41. That’s the part where Lester Holt, with a bright, enthusiastic smile, asked me to subscribe to NBC’s YouTube channel.

No, Lester Holt. No.