Archives For pokemon

Pokemon_Emerald

 

When I was a kid, I used to love the Pokemon games. I personally didn’t have any of them initially, as I was unable to afford a Game Boy, but I had a friend who had one along with the first generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Blue. At recess I would watch him play the game, and I enjoyed what I saw. When the anime (not that I knew what anime was at the time) began airing in North America, I watched it nearly religiously. I collected the cards, mostly of the water or flying type Pokemon, since those were my favourite. Like many of the people in my generation, I knew all the words to the theme song, and while I can’t do it now, I used to be able to recite the Pokemon Rap from memory.

 

I wasn’t until the second generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Gold and Silver, that I actually owned a Pokemon game for myself. I spent hours at a time playing the game, catching pokemon and raising level grinding, quickly filling out my team of favourites (lead by my fearless Pidgeot, which is my favourite Pokemon to date). I was never one much for battling other people, mainly because in those days battling someone required a rather bulky and expensive cable, and I knew very few people who owned one. So you would think if anyone would have been excited for the next generation, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, it’d be someone like me, right? Unfortunately, a few things conspired against me in that aspect.

 

When Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire (and eventually Emerald a year later) first released, I was more or less just starting high school. At that time, Pokemon wasn’t really “cool” anymore, and being the sucker that I am, ended up following this trend of shunning things we liked as kids because we were better than that. I also never owned a Game Boy Advance, which meant that even if I wanted to play the games, I wouldn’t have had the capacity to do so. For better or worse, Pokemon left my life for the time being, to be replaced with much more hip and cooler things. Like Magic: The Gathering.

 

Enter August 2013. Having just got home from visiting some family, I found myself both unable to sleep and itching to play some Pokemon after spending the weekend with my brother, who is a huge Pokemon fan. One thing lead to another, and I found myself playing through Pokemon Emerald (which has been out for less than 10 years but shhh). Being the grumpy old man that I am, I initially figured I would only stick to Pokemon I remembered from the generations I was familiar with. So I challenged myself. Specifically, I took on what is known as the Nuzlocke Challenge, a form of self-imposed challenged popular in the Pokemon community. (For those of you unfamiliar with the rules, there are only two of them: You can only catch the first Pokemon you see in a new area, and any Pokemon that faints is dead, and must be released or permanently placed in the PC)

 

After picking my initial Pokemon (Torchic, because birds), I found myself quickly getting sucked into the game like I did all those years ago when the franchise had first come out. I spent literal hours playing the game (I think my save file is logged in at 60+ hours at the time of this writing, and I’m still messing around with it every so often), leveling my companions to be the best they could be. While my main party was composed of a few old faces, namely the ever-reliable Gyarados and Bellossom, many of the pokemon I used throughout my adventure were new to me. Thanks to the nature of the Nuzlocke Challenge, I felt myself becoming rather attached to these new Pokemon (and suffering a few heartbreaks along the way), Pokemon that I had originally written off as being “dumb” or “stupid” when I was younger. Pokemon like Torkoal, the fire-breathing turtle of awesomeness, or Mawile, a defensive power house of a Pokemon that saved my ass in more than a few tough battles.

 

Looking back, I wish I could have experienced this game when it was brand new, to discover and raise these new and wonderful Pokemon at the same time as everyone else, and experienced the joys and wonders of the Pokemon community. With the fire of Pokemon love very much stoked, I find myself extremely eager to go forth and try the titles in this franchise that came after, to see what new and interesting innovations were made further down the line. Maybe I’ll find a new favourite Pokemon, or at least someone close (Pidgeot probably won’t be leaving that spot any time soon). I’ll just have to see where the next adventure takes me.

Pokémon: The Origin

Surrounds the story around the original Red and Blue Pokemon games. Following the story of Red as he sets out to challenge his Rival for their first Gym Leader, Brock, for his Boulder Badge. When this franchise surfaced I was wholly excited for it. However, containing my excitement to write about it had been hard for the first twenty or so minutes. Nintendo is finally doing it—recapturing childhood in the best way possible. There is no real footage otherwise suggesting Ash or his companions will be making an appearance—seemingly it is a new series altogether. By all means go for it Nintendo, it is about time if you ask me. Seeing as I have been a fan of the First Generation of Pokemon (151) seeing those stories put into animation will be pretty amazing.

And it is done so spectacularly with a completely engaging trailer. Already it is shown to have some pretty amazing art direction, while still affording the growth of seeing our stalwart protagonist reach the apex of his journey. While there is no true telling how closely they will stick to the game, until otherwise proven we can only hope that we get to see a full reenactment.

There are hopes that it is divided into a series of movies to extend this franchise, or at least a short seasonal television stint. There is still much to be uncovered about Pokémon: The Origin, but this trailer is a fantastic start to what could be a step in a great direction. Slated to launch in Japan October 2, 2013 only ten days before Pokémon: The Origin there will only be more bits of news dropping as the months drag on. Maybe the tail end of 2013 will be the year of the Pokemon.

So do you all remember when the Pikachu 3DSes started appearing in the wild on March 24th?  I managed to catch one through diligence, timing and, well, mostly sheer luck that a Toys R Us worker was opening a box of them the moment I walked in.   (Nintendo trolled the stores, only sending them 3-4 copies each!) There was also a game sale, thus I also acquired the freshly released Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.

Image

It was probably my best impulse buy, ever.

The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series has been going strong since 2005. This is the 9th installment and first of the series to launch on the 3DS.  The addition of three-dimensional graphics to the game has given it some seriously stunning visuals.  The colors are delightful– very easy on the eyes!  The Pokemon are beautifully rendered and now show their reactions on the screen and not just via avatar square.  But what really hooked me was the storyline. The dialogue is fresh and meaningful enough to appeal to all ages in the Pokemon fandom.  It may even hit a little close to home when they start going on about the sorry state of the world and its Poke-citizens.  For a kid’s game, it gets pretty deep.

You are magically transformed into a Pokemon (you can choose between Pikachu, Oshawatt, Snivy, Tepig and Axew) and, for reasons, you fall into the Pokemon world.  But the despite the happy-go-lucky cuteness and colors, you soon discover that darkness lurks.  It seems that the Pokemon world has become riddled with hostility, strife and deceit.  Here is a direct quote from Gurdurr:

“This world we live in… it’s all about who’s doing the lying and who’s being lied to. Honest folks just look like fools.  In a world like this, you’re the ones who get blamed for being tricked.”

Like I said. Deep, man.  At least they are honest with the kids, right?

Frustrated by it all, your newly introduced bff (Oshawott for me) asks you to help him build “Paradise” so his friends can have a safe, peaceful place to live and play in.  You’ll find he’s a very noble little fellow who probably won’t manage get on your nerves.  You are introduced to other Pokemon (mostly 5th generation) who will join your cause and assist you in your adventures.

Image

When you aren’t dungeon crawling for glory and prizes, the game has a sort of Animal Crossing feel to it, giving you a sense of pride as you slowly improve your Pokemon Paradise.

Gates to Infinity isn’t terribly difficult overall, but there are some noticeable challenges later on that you may find frustrating. There are extra dungeons that can be downloaded from Nintendo for a small fee, too.  Multiplayer options are there, but pretty limited.  You can team up with another player, but that person must have a copy of the game and be in the same place as you.

All in all, I have found the game to be engrossing, endearing and oddly entertaining.  If you are a Pokemon fan, especially a Mystery Dungeon player, this is not a game you should miss.  You will get your money’s worth and hours upon hours of mobile entertainment.

Also, here is a ridiculously adorable animated trailer of the game!