Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: First Impressions

Today’s Pokémon Direct has revealed upcoming Pokémon games, and it’s Sinnoh confirmed!

The new Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl versions are heading to Nintendo Switch this fall.

The overworld art features the characters in a chibi style reminiscent of the characters in the original versions.

While this was a surprise, it grew on me pretty quick. In a sense, it’s kind of like Link’s Awakening for Switch, in that its style isn’t dissimilar from the original. It’s a heartwarming look.

However, once the scene shifts to battles, the style more closely resembles recent Pokémon games.

The wild battles seem as though they’ll resemble the traditional wild battles, rather than the Let’s Go style that was featured in the Yellow Version remakes.

Until we see otherwise, it seems safe to assume that the upcoming remakes will be similar to the originals. There would be some understandable differences in terms of battle mechanics, which have changed slightly since the originals.

They seem to be bringing back the underground, which was a feature a lot of players liked. Perhaps this time around, it will be much easier to meet up with other players. Or perhaps it will be implemented differently, allowing you to play with other players online.

Diamond and Pearl were the first games in the series that used the system’s wi-fi to implement internet connection features for battling and trading. Perhaps they’ll implement the GTS as an in-game feature as it was in the originals, rather than implement it externally through an app like Pokémon Home.

Another neat feature that was in the originals was the Pokétch, which shows that Pokémon was really, really early to the smart watch dealie.

Obviously, they’re bringing back the character of Hikari/Dawn, who is a well-admired character. But you might have already known.

It’s a tad obscure, but I remember a special Manaphy egg as part of my early Pokémon Diamond experience. The Manaphy egg has a distinct appearance, and when it hatches, out comes the mythical Pokémon, Manaphy, at only level 1.

How or whether this special egg would be implemented, I don’t know. But it was a special part of my Diamond version experience.

My first ever import game was a copy of Pokémon Pearl from Japan. I was able to beat the game, despite it being in a language I didn’t know at the time. Considering this, I’m considering learning a bit more Japanese and playing one of the upcoming games with a Japanese-language setting.

I’m looking forward to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, though I’m still not sure which version to get. Are you looking forward to them, too?

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Yearly Pokémon Popularity Poll Results Are In: Dedenne Wins?!

Each year, a poll is conducted to determine the most popular Pokémon. The results for this year are in, and you may be surprised to learn that Dedenne has taken top honors.

This year, the poll was conducted in Japan alone, putting aside a few clever people who found a way to vote anyway. Because of this, Japanese sensibilities dominated the poll.

As it turns out, the Japanese have different sensibilities than we expected. The top Kanto Pokémon wasn’t Pikachu (at #7), it was Magnemite (at #5). The runner-up was Cincinno (#2), and after that was Sableye (#3). Barbaracle (#22) and Spheal (#24) also placed, which seems kinda odd.

Come to think of it, it’s possible that the poll was rocked by troll votes.

Dedenne is a small Electric/Fairy Pokémon. It bears a resemblance to Raichu, and considering that, I think I understand much of its appeal. It spent some time among the cast of main characters in the anime during the 6th generation of Pokémon games. It was caught by Clemont, a member of Ash’s group, who then allowed his sister Bonnie, another of Ash’s group, to care for it (Bonnie was not old enough to catch her own Pokémon).

To be honest, Dedenne doesn’t seem to have much competitive value. Though that’s not preventing some genius player from finding a way to become world champ with the little guy on their team, as Se Jun Park did with Pachirisu.

These may not be the poll results we were expecting, but it’s still great to see something different get the spotlight. Are we months away from seeing more Dedenne merch?

From ryanthescooterguy on DeviantArt

Congratulations, little guy.

Lawmaker Targets Games Like GTA Because of Real-Life Carjackings

I don’t know why it is that the anti-free-speech crowd insists on fighting the same battle, over and over again, regardless of the fact that they’ve lost it, every single time.

And what do you know, it’s the same group of people who are obsessed with the idea of entertainment media as influence, and are intent on reining it in when they perceive that it might influence people in a way they don’t like.

Chicago lawmaker Marcus C. Evans Jr. has called for a ban on games like Grand Theft Auto in light of an increase in carjackings in the city of Chicago. In Chicago, carjackings have increased 135% last year.

You know what else happened last year? The government lockdowns over COVID. Did it occur to Evans that when people lost their jobs in great numbers, they might turn to crime to make ends meet? Because there’s a lot of precedent for it. When manufacturing left Camden, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

Evans also seems unaware that a lot has happened since the nineties. Video games have long-since gone mainstream, and there are no longer as many people who misunderstand video games, whose ignorance he can prey upon.

Or there’s his own ignorance of the studies that found that video games don’t cause violent behavior.

Considering all that must be overlooked in order for Marcus to arrive at his non-sequitor, one would wonder whether there’s an ulterior motive, or if he’s really that ignorant.

As things are, the United States protects expression as a right. Because of this, efforts to snipe video games have never worked. Considering the relative lack of the number of people who view video games as “weird” or “strange” (as compared to the nineties), it’s unlikely that any legislation targeting them would get very far.

Because it’s axiomatic at this point, it doesn’t seem like it needs to be said, but some people are so far behind that they’d be surprised to learn it: people don’t play GTA to learn to steal cars, they play it because it’s escapism.

Normal people are aware that most video games are fantasy, and with the exception of educational games, aren’t intended to inform a person’s perspective of reality. Most abnormal people are aware of this, too. In the rare case that a person acts out what they see in a video game, the game itself is not held accountable, it being an object without agency, intended for entertainment.

It’s so obvious, that when a lawmaker proposes a ban on certain video games, I wonder what’s really going on. Could a Chicago lawmaker be do dense that he has no idea that mass unemployment due to government lockdowns is the cause of a spike in automobile thefts?

Or is it about control? With these kinds, it usually is.

Sharing From My Playbook: How I Argue Against Idiots

Sometimes, you get into an exchange with someone who is trying as hard as they can to justify themselves. The effort is there, but the capacity is not.

What does one do when they are arguing against someone who is plainly an idiot?

I can tell you what I do. Normally, it’s not a great idea to share from your own playbook, but I think that this approach is so effective, that the benefit to be had outweighs the setback that comes from putting it out there.

When I argue against an idiot, what I do is I allow them to take the floor. I ask them to explain their position, and allow them to spend as much time as they wish to do so. But as for me, my participation in the exchange is minimal.

This works well due to the misconception that if only one person is participating, then the one person who is contributing wins by default. That very assumption is simply not true.

Simply put: The more time a fool spends with his mouth open, the greater the potential for him to put his foot right in it.

Because you’re allowing the idiot to ramble on and on, you’re giving him more opportunity to slip up. There’s no need to call him out on it, either. The foolishness of their position and every blunder that they make are all immediately evident to anyone who is of at least average intelligence.

And what makes this work so well is the fact that, when you allow an idiot to speak to his heart’s content, he’ll think you’re doing him a favor.

When you allow idiots to argue long enough, you tend to notice a few things about them. For one thing, they tend to be characterized by illusory superiority. From what I’ve seen, they tend to be proud of whatever accolades they have, such as a college education. Most of us know that the hard part of most degrees is paying back loans afterwards, and most college programs amount to just showing up and wiping from front to back. Yet, an idiot would proudly boast of their accomplishments in an obvious effort to validate their superiority.

They also tend to appeal to authority quite a bit. Often times, they’ll think that their position is the pro-science position, and assume that any idea that’s scientific (by their reasoning of how science works) must be universally accepted by anyone who is of a sound mind. In many cases, they’ll get their “scientific” ideas by reading about studies on some content-aggregator website, not aware that what data that was trickled down to them was what made it through the filter of the aggregator’s biases.

They’ll let other people do the legwork for them, unaware that they’re merely being served a narrative under the guise of science.

Another thing you’ll notice about them is that they tend to simultaneously hold conflicting viewpoints. That’s not that unusual for people, but the nature of the conflict tends to be more egregious among those who think too highly of their own brilliance.

A notorious example is among intersectional feminists. They claim that they are about women’s liberation, but at the same time, they insist that all women do things their way. If a person insists that an entire category of people must march in lock-step with them because they believe that their ideas are better, they’re not about liberation, at all.

In other cases, it’s the ironic atheist who fancies herself a non-mystic, has plenty to say about your religion, but still attends dormroom seances and checks her daily horoscopes.

Another way that an idiot shows their hand is through psychological projection. This is particularly the case among the intersectionalists, or really just about anyone who tends to assume that the worst qualities are an innate feature among all human beings.

Often, the idiot would assume that if given the opportunity to commit a crime and get away with it, most people would go ahead and commit the crime. When you understand how idiots tend to project their shortcomings onto others, it becomes clear that the idiot is revealing more about themselves than other people. This is particularly revealing when it comes to the people who assume that people are inherently racist, or, more alarming still, those who believe that humans are rapists by nature. And it pretty much tells you what you need to know about those who believe that strangers are child-abuse waiting to happen.

What they fail to comprehend is that not everyone has their sensibilities, and the real problem is with themselves, and not so much with the people that they observe.

As I’ve pointed out before, those who virtue-signal the hardest usually do so with a guilty conscience, often because they themselves have committed the crime they speak so vociferously against.

There’s an expression: Never correct your enemy when they are making a mistake. In time, you learn to recognize those who err the most (and the hardest). In many cases, they’ll attempt to speak over you. But what they don’t realize is that, when you allow them to do so, you’re really not doing them any favors.

The surest way to expose a fool is to permit him to speak.

Burkas in Final Fantasy? Why is Saudi Arabia Investing Billions in Gaming?

Saudi Arabia has just invested billions of dollars into gaming. In particular, the middle-eastern country has purchased millions of shares in Activision-Blizzard, EA, and Take-Two.

Because of this, gamers the world over are wondering to what end the country is investing in American game companies, with emphasis on those having published big-budget titles played by many gamers the world over.

If one wanted to be suspicious, they might suspect that it was a cultural power-play. Game companies tend to try to avoid upsetting investors, especially those with large stakes in the company. To this end, the game companies may feel a stronger inclination to avoid publishing content that would be insensitive to their investors. That connotation of self-censorship would likely impact any creative works the companies might produce, and there may even be added pressure to present Saudi Arabia in a more positive light.

What may also be relevant is that Saudi Arabia has a rocky relationship with Iran, to put it lightly. Considering this, it’s possible that game companies may feel an inclination to publish content portraying the Iranian regime negatively.

Of course, it’s also possible that Saudi Arabia is merely interested in increasing its wealth through investments, and has observed the gaming industry as it has been growing. Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich country, and this commodity has long been a source of its wealth. However, western countries are more aggressively pursuing renewable energy sources, and seeking to decrease dependence on fossil fuels. In light of this, investments may be a practical choice for Saudi Arabia to maintain its wealth.

It might just be another case of people who are already hugely-rich finding ways to make piles more money, without having to work.

If the games offered by the publishers that Saudi Arabia invested in (Activision-Blizzard, EA, and Take-Two) don’t interest you, this news might not be terribly relevant to you. This holds especially true if your primary source of games is from Japanese companies like Nintendo and SquareEnix.

It doesn’t seem likely that the women of Final Fantasy would be redone by SquareEnix to depict them in burkas. If that’s your concern, you can rest easy.

Even Fear of Starvation Isn’t Driving Texans to Buy Fake Meat

Texas is in a pretty scary situation. Supply lines are disrupted, and shelves are being cleared out at supermarkets. In some cases, there’s no sign of more shipments coming in. Faced with the prospect of starvation, Texans are panic-buying.

But they’re not desperate enough for Beyond meat, an imitation meat product that Bill Gates hopes will end up replacing the real deal in the near future.

From what I’ve heard, fake meat like Beyond Burger and Impossible Beef pass for the real thing. But let’s be real, here: there’s no point in pretending to eat something that you’re actually not. If I know that a wine glass contains grape juice mixed with club soda, I’m not going to accept it as champagne. Simple as that.

The same goes with meat products. If someone were to pull some stunt on me by presenting me with a hamburger, then being like “Surprise, it’s actually an Impossible burger!”, I’d be pissed, because they committed fraud.

I don’t know much about investing, but I suspect that an investment in a company that fills shelves with products that no one buys would be total crap. Though, on the chance that Bill Gates himself reads this, he’s free to take to the comments and explain what it was he was thinking.

Diversifying Energy: Stating the Obvious

Sometimes, someone says the most obvious thing, and it’s just what everyone needs to hear. In this case, it’s former Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, in an interview with Fox News.

Yes, Fox News, the program that impressionable morons teach other impressionable morons to piss all over, because it might expose them to ideas that aren’t their own.

On Fox Business, Brouillette points out that it’s better to have more than one source of energy, which may even include non-renewables:

Within days of taking the President’s seat, Joe Biden pulled the plug on the Keystone Pipeline, putting 11,000 people out of work, because his idea of pursuing renewable energy is destroying what’s established while work on alternatives is still underway.

As if it weren’t already obvious that this was a stupid strategic move, Texas is paying the price for its over-dependence on wind power after having seen its wind turbines freeze during a winter storm. It gets worse: while many Texans are still without power, another winter storm threatens the state.

While leftists might just make Biden out to be a victim of poor timing, Texans are the greater victims of left-wing ideas.

Don’t get me wrong, I think renewable energy sounds great. However, it’s implementation should be strategic, which may even take the admission that fossil fuels may be the most practical choice for a little while.

Environmentalists like to say that there’s a lot at stake. But if that’s the case, then all the more reason to take a more deliberate, thoughtful approach. Surgery is performed with a scalpel, not a battle axe.

Netflix Offering Tuition to Aspiring Animators in Japan (Including Westerners)

Netflix is offering a tuition program to students in Japan who are interested in learning to make anime. The program will award tuition to about ten students, including western students residing in Japan who may be interested.

I was immediately suspicious of Netflix’s motives, because there’s a potential for it to be about more than increasing the potential for new programming. After all, anime is one of the great forms of entertainment left that still hasn’t been poisoned by western intersectional politics. Because western entertainment companies are obsessed with activism (at the expense of the product itself), I’m not warm to the idea of western entertainment companies increasing their presence in Japan.

However, as far as that goes, there really isn’t much to worry about. For one thing, Japanese animators mainly produce anime for Japanese audiences. Anime is largely produced from a position of Japanese sensibility, and as I’ve pointed out before, even younger Japanese viewers are treated to content that is more mature compared to what Americans see in the “CalArts” style.

The CalArts style, as shown ruining Thundercats.

It’s one of the reasons why more western youngsters are turning to anime for entertainment. It’s easier to take anime seriously, because anime takes its viewers seriously.

Another, more compelling reason is that Americans wouldn’t be interested in working in anime once they discover that in Japanese animation, there’s no work-life balance, and the pay is dreadful.

Your typical Japanese animator works shifts as long as 16-hours. Because they’re usually allowed to sleep at their desks, many Japanese animators don’t bother renting a home, but instead spend days at a time at their workplace.

They’re not payed very well, either. Japanese animators usually get paid the equivalent of a few dollars an hour. But because they’d have little need to buy a car or pay rent, that income isn’t necessarily earmarked. By the way, I’m not kidding.

Compare this to the typical American wage expectation. What Americans want is a house, a car or two, and to support a medium-size family, and have disposable income on top of that. The wages of a Japanese animator are almost never enough to support anything resembling this.

In light of this, you might wonder why anyone in Japan would make anime for a living. The ones that make anime do so because they like doing it. They’d pretty much have to, because if they decided to do so professionally, it usually takes over their lives for as long as they continue in it.

TL;DR: An American who saw what being a Japanese animator was really like would be strongly unlikely to want to try it for a living.

If it’s a testimonial you want, an American actually did succeed in being hired to make anime in Japan, and here is a link to a story about him (warning: links to Buzzfeed).

Considering all this, I seriously doubt that American intersectional insanity would stand a chance of ruining anime anytime soon.

Two Different Terrorist Bomb-Making Classes Go Awry Within Days

It’s already apparent to most of us that Islamic terrorists are on the wrong side of things. But if they are the type of religious folk that are dim enough to consider coincidences to be signs, these past few days would give many of their kind pause for thought.

Days ago, ISIS held a training class on how to make bombs. But just because they held a training class doesn’t mean that they know what they’re doing. A class went wrong when a bomb detonated, killing 21 of them. And because the blast alerted authorities to their presence, another 23 of them were arrested.

Not enough schadenfreude? Mere days later, a Taliban bomb-making class also went wrong, lightening the world by thirty incompetent terrorists.

The cultures of both groups are characterized by a certain grim fatalism flavored by overly-legalistic religion, and they had every intention on killing other people with their craft, which makes it kinda hard to feel bad for them.

According to their theology, had they died while actively engaged with an enemy, each of them would have been treated to 72 virgins in paradise. Doing the math, a product of 3,672 virgins would have missed out on the opportunity to perform favors for a small group of cave-dwelling fanatics.

If being religious to you means making financial decisions based on things like the contents of fortune cookies, that’s just stupid. But if you decide not to become an Islamic terrorist because they’re accidentally blowing themselves up out of hilarious incompetence, then you obviously think too hard to join the world’s deadliest flat-earthers.

The Star Wars franchise is still being threatened with Rian Johnson’s trilogy.

Rian Johnson, passing up the high ground

If at first you don’t succeed, keep chugging away at what resulted in failure. That seems to be Disney’s approach with Star Wars.

Sariah Wilson has announced on Twitter that Rian Johnson’s trilogy of Star Wars films is happening:

This news comes days after Disney fired Gina Carano for having a non-establishment opinion. That in itself was a poor choice, which makes the Rian Johnson announcement seem like a poor attempt at damage control. But it doesn’t make the situation any better for Star Wars, because the fans don’t want Rian Johnson making another Star Wars film, in light of the disaster that was The Last Jedi.

The indications we have so far is that Rian Johnson’s trilogy won’t involve the “legacy” characters. If his stories were to take place in a separate galaxy, then perhaps we can take relief in knowing that Johnson can’t do much more damage to the established material.

By Johnson’s own admission, things like world-building don’t interest him. That’s really a shame, because that’s one of the finer elements of writing. That also makes him the kind of person you wouldn’t want directing a Star Wars film, and certainly not a trilogy of them.

If you’ve cancelled your subscription to Disney Plus, it seems like your timing was great!