So this happened. I am at once very pleased with myself and disappointed with myself. I’m sure you all can figure out why. But what’s done is done.
Now I can finally start my adven-
Oh for the love of…WHAT NOW?????
My first Pokemon battle! It’s a shame we’re doing it in a laboratory and not a conveniently located ring made expressly for the purpose of Pokemon battles.
Alright, douchebag, let’s see what Pokemon you stole from me. Is it Bulbasaur? Charmander? Squirtle? I hope it’s Squirtle. You see, my Pikachu knows Thundershock, and Squirtle is a Water-type, which means I would have type advantage. You silly boy. Bring out your Squirtle. Be prepared for defeat!
Hrm. Well, so much for that.
So, we fight! Shocker opens with a mighty Thundershock.
This is not going well.
Yes! Things are looking up! I may have started out slow, but this is one battle I won’t be losing!
FUCK YES! First battle, won! Let’s see what kind of awesome rewards I get.
Okay, that’s stupid. Tail Whip? I’ll be getting rid of THAT move real quick. Well, it’s better than nothing, I suppose. Oh! That reminds me! When you defeat a trainer, they give you a nice send off. Everybody is nice in the world of Pokemon, right?
WHAT? Unbelievable! You’re a sore loser! But no matter, because now that you’ve been defeated, I can maybe start my adventure now? Seriously, this is the probably the third time I’ve tried to leave this stinking two-house town and explore the world. Will you guys finally let me get out of here?
…Is that…my Pikachu? Outside it’s Pokeball? What sorcery is this? Well, they did advertise this game as being more like the anime. So this is something to be expected. Let’s see how Pikachu is doing.
It doesn’t like me. Well, I suppose I should treat this like any other relationship. Give it time. I’m sure this Pikachu – Shocker – will come to love me in time. But for now…
Look at that. Three steps out from the town, and there is a very nice pallet change, from blue to green. Heh. See what I did there? Pallet change? I know, I’m not funny.
I’m now officially in Route 1. Adventure begins now!
Now that I’ve gotten over my anguish at not having Running Shoes, I can keep going with my adventure. Which reminds me. Why does this town only have two houses?!?!?
My house on the left. BONO’s house on the right. And PROF OAK’s lab down below. And that’s it. What about those three people wandering around Pallet Town. Where do they live? Are they just visiting? Why doesn’t my house have a lock on the front door? All these questions and more…well, actually, those are the only ones.
So. I’m going out on my “first” Pokemon adventure. Where do I go? Why, north, into the wild grey wilderness, that’s where!
…Are you serious? I’m going on a Pokemon adventure, don’t tell me what to do! Wait, what? Pokemon will attack me from the tall grass? Oh shit! What should I do?
Well, we all know what happens next. That stupid Professor comes out and gets into a battle in the first square. Heh. I got two squares out with no battles. Stupid old man.
Now, here’s the thing about Pokemon Yellow version. There is only one Pikachu in the entire game. Only one. And who gets to catch it? This old guy.
Aw! Isn’t he just the cutest thing! He’s got a little spiky tail, and two rosy red cheeks. He’s like a mouse or something. Except electrically charged. Well, let’s see what this guy does, eh? He’ll probably summon some awesome creature that is way too overpowered, use False Swipe to leave Pikachu with only 1HP and then catch it with an Ultra Ball. ‘Cause the Professor is bitchin’ like that. Oh yeah, I’ll bet he has a Venusaur, a Charizard, a Blastoise, or maybe even a DRAGONITE!
http://youtu.be/_Qe9O90cD80 < — watch this to understand. NSFW. Also, really, really bad language.
Um. What. The. HELL? Did he just…shit! This guy just threw a Poke Ball, the worst type of ball, at a Pikachu with full health, and caught it on his first try. That’s just inhuman. This guy is a beast. He didn’t even need to use his Dragonite, he just caught the bitch!
Clearly, this guy knows more about Pokemon than I thought. Every other Pokemon Professor gives you a Pokemon that was bred into captivity, purely for the purposes of being given away to 10 year old boys and girls who are about to start their Pokemon adventure. OAK is clearly the best of them all.
So the guy brings me back to his lab. And who else is there? BONO. That bastard. And OAK is all, like, “TYRION, go pick up that Poke Ball. It has a Pokemon inside, and it’s all yours!” And what does that dick BONO do?
He pushed me into the wall, and stole my Pokemon.
Okay. Deep breath. That dick-face just stole my Pokemon, even though his grandfather told him he’d get a different one later. Oak probably has another one hidden away somewhere. Maybe in the trash can? No? Hrm.
No…this can’t be…are you serious? The last Pikachu in the freaking world? You’re just going to give it to me? For FREE? If you don’t want this Pokemon then…your Dragonite must be level 100.
Nickname? I can give this miraculous creature a NEW NAME? This is a momentous occasion. What should I do? It is the last Pikachu ever, so nicknaming it seems cruel. And it’s not like I can give it a different name later. I could give it a silly name, or a dirty one. Or one that seems to be appropriate, but actually has some weird connotation that only people with dirty minds would get.
I am a horrible person.
What’s the first thing you do in a Pokemon game? You choose your avatar. Back in the Yellow days, you could only be a male character, which was simple. Nobody expected gender equality in a Japanese RPG. But you got to name yourself, which was simply badass.
Yellow. Ash. Jack. Two of those names make sense. Yellow is the name of the version, which is in keeping with the theme from the last two games, and the Pokemon Special manga. Ash is the name of the character in the anime, which this game is loosely based off of (very, very loosely). I have no idea where Jack came from, and frankly I’m a little uncomfortable using it. I could use my legitimate name, but…well…this is an epic nostalgia experience. I need a name that will strike fear into my foes, and instill the fiercest loyalty in my friends and partners.
You either get it, or you don’t.
Of course, for every great hero, there is a villain. A nefarious rogue who tries so hard to do whatever he needs to in order to stop you doing whatever it is you’re doing. Wow, can I be more vague?
This is still the funniest thing in Pokemon history. HE’S YOUR FREAKING GRANDSON! HOW DO YOU NOT REMEMBER HIS NAME? Crazy old bastard…
Any-hoo…Blue, Gary, and John just aren’t working for me. While Blue is the standard name for the character, and Gary ties in with that whole anime thing I mentioned earlier, John is another one of those weird, out-of-nowhere names. Seriously GameFreak, what the hell is this? How’s this for a name?
I can’t do it. I want to, but it’s juvenile, and it’s been done so many times before. There has to be something better…
Mwahahahahahahahahahaha! My (not very) secret hatred of U2 has influenced my gaming life, it seems. It must be so!
Evil laughter aside, naming the rival was always the worst part of the introductory sequence. I’m so glad they stopped that.
Honestly, who didn’t know about this? A free potion in your computer. Not that I ever use items, but whatever. There’s something about instinctively knowing that something is going to happen, or that a certain item resides somewhere specific…only from Pokemon.
Then I remembered that you don’t get running shoes until third gen.
Good Lord, what have I gotten myself into?
As a Nintendo 3DS Ambassador, I recently downloaded my 10 free GameBoy Advance games. The selection is beyond amazing, and way better than the 10 free NES games that came out back in September. But that’s a blog post for another day.
Getting these old games again (two of which I spent much of my youth playing: F-Zero Maximum Velocity and Metroid Fusion) rekindled a feeling of nostalgia that made me think farther back then I have in a long, long time. And this then happened:
It’s a screenshot from an emulated copy, not from my actual copy of the game itself. Sadly, my original copy of this game is well loved, and doesn’t work the way it should. And so I now am the proud owner of Pokemon: Yellow Version once again, except this time, I have the internet, and I can reminisce with the world.
Now, true to my Pokenerd self, I immediately started thinking about my ultimate party. Obviously my Pikachu would be the core of my team. How could it not? You only get one Pikachu. And he follows you around. Did someone say epic? No? EPIC!
But who else should join my team? Pidgeot? That was one of my staples back in the day. Because I’ll be playing Yellow Version, I’ll of course have Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise. But aside from the four starter Pokemon, what should I do? I distinctly remember blowing through this game way back when with just these four Pokemon. Should I even bother to use anything else?
But that’s all in the past. This is a new man playing this old game. This is a man used to Natures, and Effort Values, and thirty million different types of Poke Ball. This is a simple game, and I’m going to relive it with you all.
It occurred to me rather suddenly that, for a guy with a gaming blog, I don’t touch it nearly enough.
SO! Here’s what we do: start blogging more often.
Now is the perfect time to do so, as I recently purchased, oh, I don’t know, eighteen new games? Yeah, eighteen seems like the correct number. Let’s count them, shall we?
Dragon Age: Origins
Fallout: New Vegas
Iron Man 2
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom
LEGO Rock Band
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
Super Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
Donkey Kong Jr.
The Legend of Zelda II: Adventure of Link
Let’s break this down, shall we? Nine free games for the 3DS (thanks to my being a 3DS Ambassador), seven games for my Xbox (of which five are RPGs) and one for my GameCube. That’s right. My GameCube.
But I have to say the stupidest thing has to be the five RPGs that I purchased. These games alone will keep me busy for months, what with all the side questing and level grinding and multiple play-throughs that accompany games with branching story lines (I love you, Dragon Age!) that come with them. Granted, I won’t be playing Fallout: New Vegas until my wife plays it (as, technically, it’s her game, not mine) and she won’t be playing it until she finishes (my copy of) Fallout 3, so I have time to reach that elusive 80% completion rate for Xbox games that I have been trying for (and quite spectacularly failing at) since August.
The failing part comes from starting new games. At first, it wasn’t that big of a challenge. All I needed was roughly 100 Achievements won over five months. That’s a little more than one Achievement every two days. But then I bought Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (great game!). So that sent my completion percentage down quite a bit, adding 53 Achievements, of which I would need to get ~40 to attain 80% completion and even out my score. And then I purchased and started playing six more games over the course of about two weeks and completely shot any chance I had of completing this goal: 80% by the end of 2011.
Okay, so there IS still a chance. If I can manage to get 1.33 Achievements every day, I’ll get blast this goal to kingdom come right on schedule. Now, obviously, I don’t want to run any risks that I won’t get this, so here’s the plan:
Play just enough in something like Iron Man 2 or LEGO Rock Band to get an Achievement, and then switch to something like Dragon Age, Lost Odyssey, or Kingdom Under Fire, games which require a length of time to get one little Achievement. In this way, I will eventually start getting multiple Achievements per day, which will whittle away at that percentage goal a little bit faster.
Right now, as I’m writing this, my current completion percentage is 75.25%. I need to get a total of 152 Achievements in the next 114 days. (For those playing along at home, some simple math gives you that 1.33 number I used earlier.) Can it be done?
Realistically, yes. With LEGO Rock Band, I can conceivably get half a dozen Achievements in about an hour if I blow through playing just enough songs to unlock vehicles and Rock Power Challenges. The same thing goes for Iron Man 2. If I play long enough, I can complete a few missions, getting the Achievements for that as well as unlocking various different suit variants for use in-game.
Of course, none of this takes into account the fact that Gears of War 3 is coming out later this month, Batman: Arkham City comes out in October, November is host to Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Sometimes, I think my gaming hobby is getting the better of me.
It occurred to me, at some point recently, that I do a great many things over and over, and not in a good way. As I’m typing this, I’m in the middle of a video game boosting session with a bunch of gentlemen I’ve never met, playing Gears of War 2. The point of this session? To attain Rank 100 in the online multiplayer.
Here’s a quick summary of the boosting method: a bunch of people stand around in a circle, and a bunch of other people walk back and forth. Then the two groups switch places. This goes on for hours at a time, with the end result being a massive increase in the amount of experience awarded at the end of the match. We’re 40 minutes into a 4 hour session, and so far, I’m already bored out of my freaking mind.
Why am I doing this, you ask? Because I hate multiplayer. I know, that sounds illogical. Why would I be playing a mode that I dislike? The answer is actually quite simple, or at least it seems that way to me. You see, I’m also not very good at multiplayer, which means that there is no way in HELL that I would play this game enough to rank up on my own, but seeing as I’d like to get all the Achievements…
Well, my Achievement-whoring is a whole different post, for another day.
But back to the original premise. I repeat a lot of things. To a certain extent, repetition is a fact of life; each and every day we wake up, get dressed, eat food, etc. So I guess what I’m talking about really does relate mostly to my gaming habits.
With the Pokemon franchise, I routinely try to max out my Pokedex (as a Trainer is supposed to do) but I also spend far too much time training and breeding so as to have one of every single type of Pokemon in the game. Not just one from each evolutionary chain, but one of each and every Pokemon. I managed it in Diamond Version: all 493 were in my game. And now I’m doing it with Black Version. Now, I will be able to transfer over most of the original 493, which will save me a butt-load of time, but I still have to breed and train roughly 120 Pokemon to make sure that I have “‘em all”.
Let’s look at my Xbox 360 gaming experience. In order to get as many Achievements as I can, I do things like boost modes in games that I’m not particularly fond of: multiplayer being the one already mentioned. But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve played through entire games before just to make sure that I get those last few pesky Achievements that I didn’t take the time to get the first time I played through the game. and then there are games that REQUIRE multiple playthroughs in order to finish them off. MagnaCarta 2 springs to mind. In fact, I ended up playing that game through 3 times, twice to get all the Achievements, and another in order to write a guide that is now up on GameFAQs. And to be honest, I can’t really believe that I wasted all that time writing something. I mean, sure, it’s going to be useful for a bunch of people, and I’m sure I’ll get the occasional e-mail or LIVE message saying thanks, but I spent way too much time going through a game multiple times for no actual reward. Other than a job completed, which one might argue is reward enough.
I don’t really know what else I wanted to say through this. In some way, it’s really just a way for me to get my thoughts out of my head. It’s hard to discuss this sort of thing with others, as there are motivations and whatnot that even I find hard to understand. But as we all know, the internet is the most understanding thing in the world; it just likes knowing that you’re there.
Okay, so that sounds like it could be interpreted in a very bad way…
What I mean by the title of this post is that, as of today, I am officially a BlackBerry user. The wife and I upgraded our phones from LG Rumors to BlackBerry Curve 9300s. I can’t say all that much about it, as I’ve only had it for six hours, but so far I’m enjoying my time with the Curve. The menus are nice, the trackpad is easy to use, and a few of the free pre-installed games are actually quite good (Sudoku anyone?). I also like this BlackBerry Messenger thing they’ve got going on. Of course, it helps when you have three people you can add right away after you post your PIN on Facebook.
So while this particular post is quite short, at least you can take a small bit of comfort knowing that I’m happy with my new gadget. I’d fiddle around with it some more, but it’s charging for the recommended eight hours after the battery first dies.
So I recently purchased a little game known as Hydrophobia. It was on sale, and everything I’d heard about it was great. It’s a puzzle game where you’re trying to get off of a sinking ship. That’s an extremely watered down description, but you get the picture.
It turns out I should’ve done more research.
I liked the game, don’t get me wrong. The puzzles were intriguing, the story was well thought out, and the main character was very much a ‘regular joe’. Which is weird ’cause you play as a woman.
But I digress.
Everything was well done – you should see the water effects, they’re absolutely beautiful. I’ve never been more amazed by graphics than I was by the water.
No, it’s the ending. Or should I say, lack thereof. The ends comes literally out of nowhere. I thought the game was transitioning from one cut scene to the next, and then *bleep-bloop* Survivor – 25G pops up on my screen. The credits start rolling. And I’m sitting here, on my couch, saying to myself, “What. The. Fuck?”
So there are only two conclusions I can come up with right now.
1) The ending is that, no matter how good you are, no matter how determined the character may have been, she was destined to die at the end no matter what.
2) They plan on making a sequel, and use a crappy cliffhanger where you don’t actually know what’s happening to the protagonist until you purchase and start playing Hydrophobia 2.
Honestly, I would have extended the game for another ten minutes, let the main character complete that last objective she gets, and THEN end on a cliffhanger. If they’d done that, the ending would have made me feel a hell of a lot better. But it is so random, so shockingly sudden, that I can’t help but feel cheated out of my money.
Well, at the very least, I only paid 400MSP for it.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with a bunch of guys boosting a little-known game called Gears of War 2. Specifically, this mode that few people play called Annex. The thing about this, is that we’re going for winning on specific maps that show up scattered through the 29 map playlist.
Not only that, but it takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour for the two teams of five people we need to find a match where we can play together, which means that we can’t just quit out when we start on a map we don’t need. We have to go through all 29 maps in a row, switching back and forth so that all 10 people get wins on each map. To top it all off, we have no real way of insuring that we’ll end up with the same exact two teams as the week before.
So why am I doing this? Because even though there are so many ways it can go wrong, so many ways for it to take way longer than it should, boosting it is still faster than trying to do it legit.
Next week we’ll do it all again. I’m two maps in for the eight I need. But with the whole trade off thing….this is going to take a long, long time. Oy vey.
As of Friday, February 4th, 2011, I have caught ‘em all.
That’s right, my Diamond Version of the Pokemon games has 493/493. I have, in that game, a complete Pokedex. The last one I needed was Deoxys, an event legendary from third generation. And now, thanks to a random person I found on the serebii.net wifi chat, I have caught the last of them.
So what now?
Well, I’ve always wanted to actually HAVE one of each, so I’ll be going through Diamond breeding and training until my boxes are full. I still don’t know if I’m going to spend the time looking for those last 6 or so Unown types that I haven’t caught. Of course, all this will become meaningless in a month once Black & White come out, but that’s a story for another day.
Right now, however, I’m keeping myself busy by playing a Nuzlocke run. Basically, you start a brand new game, and you must catch the first thing you run into in any new area, and you must nickname it. You also have to release any pokemon that faints. The idea is that you establish an emotional bond with each pokemon, so that when they faint (read: die) you actually feel bad, instead of just running to the nearest Pokemon Center or using a Revive.
I’ve started my Nuzlocke run in my Pearl version. I never spent much time in that game anyway, as I had Diamond. I only got Pearl so that I could grab Palkia and the other version exclusives. Right now I’m running through with a female character named River (after River Song, from Doctor Who). My starter is a Chimchar named Maria (female! how lucky!) and so far I’ve caught a male Bidoof named Chuck (Route 201) and a male Shinx named Carlos (Route 202). I’m just about to fight my first trainer, so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully I’ll fair better than my buddy who’s going through in SoulSilver. He’s had a Pidgeotto (Pidge) and a Nidorina (Morley) die on him so far, but he has four badges, so it’s not all bad.