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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dueling Dragons. Again.

This blog needs more love. Luckily, Konami has done something that irked me enough to make a post.

 

So let's get this straight: YGO started the "Black Dragon VS White Dragon" thing, did it again in 5D's, Pokemon mooched it, now YGO's going back and doing it again just to be super-special-awesome hip. It's cool that we're getting REBD and BEWD in the same deck (YAY), but really? Reeeaaaallllyyy? The idea is bad on so many levels, especially with how they're doing it.

For starters, dragons have become truly bloated beasts in the fantasy industry. I daresay YGO's popularity helped stoke that particular flame. Counting this new dragon deck, the game has now had 4 Dragon-themed Structures in its history (not counting Seto Kaiba decks).

I'm not going to go into dragon aesthetics anymore. After trying the process out for myself, I have become convinced that they are just stringing random words together and putting "dragon" on the end. To 5D's' credit, the whole series had a Meso-American theme going; new dragons have no excuses for looking as twisted as they do. The new cover dragons suck in every sense of the word, unless the common supports somehow blow them out of the water.

The deck also has Chaos Sorcerer in it. While that particular Chaos monster has been off the banlist for a while,  its presence in this deck and the recent unbanning of "Black Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning" are worrisome. If this is indeed a Chaos Dragon deck, then Chaos Emperor Dragon will either be in the deck or come shortly after. We're all screwed.

On the plus side, existing dragon decks will now have a spare Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and several other cool reprints to play with. Hopefully things like Totem Dragon will get reprints, too.  Consider it a silver lining to the cloud. 

(Tangent: I can't believe they made Rescue Rabbit a Secret Rare. I realize it's a good card, but making good cards THAT rare is bad for the game. Up to your old tricks, I see.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Marvel...BAKUGAN?! + Damn You, Nintendo.

Just wanted to update with something. Here's something.

Marvel VS Bakugan.Yes, that is a real thing. Discuss below. :)

Also, someone please get me this and/or the new Serperior Tin for Christmas. The cute little sculpted figures in both packages are SUPER-detailed. I particularly like how he box set shows Reshiram's wings working; they're segmented at the digits (no, Reshi is likely not feathered), sort of like Avatar's Banshees. I've really been digging that segmented wing style as of late, so sorry if I come off as begging, but...please?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PokeDream: OH GODS NO.

Possibly as revenge for playing DQIV yesterday instead of training my Pokeymanz, I had a horrible, horrible dream related to the franchise that almost made me wake up screaming.

The 3DS has a scrolling side-bar for apps and the like. In my sidebar were two programs I had never seen before...with good reason.

Each program had a box featuring either Latios or Latias that looked like it had been drawn in Paint. The little box with Latias sad 'please be my boyfriend!" in scribble font above the image. The Latios one said something along the lines of "I'm emo." I did not click into either of them, just WTF'd and woke up.

This little dream essentially proves my theory that, after Gen III, Pokemon became a hotbed of furry wank. For those of you who have not seen the Pokemon Heroes movie, Latias was indeed interested in having Ash as her boyfriend...or at least a "friend who happens to be a boy." It was open to interpretation, but really, the sheer amount of Lati-wank leads me to believe that the relationship was very deliberately planned on Game Freak's part.

Good GODS, how much has being in the furry fandom scarred me?! Hell, the little Lati pics even LOOKED like they had been drawn by furries.  Someone please kill me before Nintendo makes this idea real.

Can't sleep...furries'll eat me...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm Going Digital!

One day, I was looking on eBay for deals on Pokemon White for my friend. The 3DS drive was a success in that I managed to scrounge up almost enough in gift cards to buy the system. This meant I still had to gift my friend in another way. Still on the hunt for that Pokemon White, guys.

While I did find a few good deals on Pokemon White, I also noticed a suspicious amount of deals on Pokemon. Not toys. Not cards. Actual little bits of data for your Pokemon B/W game. The main creatures up for grabs were (likely cloned) event and shiny Pokemon. Others were selling literally ANY Pokemon you could ask for with a certain price. Some came with attached Master Balls if one paid a certain amount. They were cheap and came with free shipping, but the idea of selling data (let alone HACKED data) over eBay still made me WTF inside.

Alas, I had seen this trend before. Yu-Gi-Oh! has it even worse. People will actually pay decently high amounts for Pot of Duality in the YGO online game. Sure, the shipping's free, but am I the only one who  feels a little leery towards the idea of selling data on eBay?

Comment below. Vote on the upcoming poll. Peace!

Monday, August 8, 2011

NCS Aug. 7th - Kuro Loves Hidden Arsenal.



Yes, I have a confession: Along with tins, I love Konami for Hidden Arsenal. I love the shiny. I love the art. Hell, the themes in HA are actually PLAYABLE. Although the packs are slightly overpriced for having less cards, it's forgivable, especially with the new 3-pack Special Edition box. Three packs of awesome and promo cards that gel with it? Count me in.

For starters, HA has some of the coolest themes I have seen in a long time.  Flaming dinosaurs, ice dragons, awesome thunderbirds, and animal-plant hybrids, and mythological beasts abound in sets full of foil. Every card in these sets is geared towards an effective, aesthetically-unified theme. Said theme may or may not be supplemented by cards in bigger sets. One pack of Hidden Arsenal has more trade potential than a normal pack of YGO cards by virtue that someone, somewhere, will actually be looking for these cards for their own themed deck.

SPARKLE SPARKLE, CHARLIE!

And if they aren't? The spare cards are still useful simply because they are shiny. A useful foil, some supplementary HA cards, and a LOT of commons makes for an excellent lot if you know how to sell it. I've seen "Reptile Decks" marketed with Worms and a few common Reptiliannes. Kids love shiny cards, a fact that nets people amazing trades every day. One can use packs full of shiny cards to one's advantage.

Keep doing these, Konami. YGO's main selling point is its art. Mix awesome art with playable foils and a lot of sparkle and I will keep buying.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pokemon HG/SS Reverse Holos Thus Far!

I'll let the pics speak for themselves:

 





5.5 pages' worth of awesomeness, and still not even halfway to getting all 123 cards in the set! I have the Legend cards already as well as all the Primes for the first set (from what I can tell). A BIG thank you to eBay user sephir08 for sharing his accumulated holos with me in exchange for shiny Legend cards he was after. There were over 30 in the lot!

Want a deal like that? Trade in your HG/SS base set (ONLY base set) reverse holos for something cooler! Rares like that really expensive Ninetales take priority. Offer MUST include nine or more HG/SS base reverse holos. I am also interested in the holofoil versions of the special HG/SS Energy cards with Johto Pokemon on them. You could get a great deal by helping this collection reach completion!

If you are interested in contributing to the collection, please send me an e-mail (ShadowKuroKarasu@gmail.com), G+ message (ShadowKuroKarasu), or Tweet (@kurokarasu) with the title/message "HGSS Collection Project." I will get back to you ASAP.

In regards to my DS issues: The 3DS will a price slash on August 12th, so I will be trying for that on the one day it is off. My friend will still get his copy of Pokemon White. I will be starting breeding projects like crazy, so if you missed out on Dream World Eeveelutions or want a female Droughtpix/Rainywag, keep your eyes on this blog. Each one of those will be GUARANTEED to have at least 1 IV in 31 and test as "relatively superior" all around (any lower will be GTS food). More great deals coming your way VERY soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28th NCS - Meh + Green Tornado Project.



The video says it all, really. What it doesn't say is exactly what the Green Tornado Project is, so allow me to explain that here.

Pokemon has an amazing variety of foils and allows one to foil one's entire deck without spending obscene amounts of money. In YGO, a foil version of a card can be up to five times as much as its common counterpart. Getting such cards usually involves scaling and/or ripping off little kids. Pokemon does not have to do that.

So I started a project to "bling" the Green Tornado Starter Deck. That is, every card in the entire deck, down to the last energy card, will be coated in shiny foil. Cards that are already foil, such as the cover Serperior, do not need replacing.

Thus far, I only have a few of the necessary commons. Any RH Snivy-family cards would be appreciated regardless of what version. ;) That DS drive is still going on, but people give up cards easier than money.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pot of Duality...WOW. + Thoughts on the latest JPN set.

So I was clicking around ShriekTCG randomly when looking at what I could possibly get from Gold Series 4. There were a lot of comments about "Pot of Duality" that must have been posted before the set was released. "Pot of Duality, Pot of Duality, Pot of Duality" kept coming up.

So I finally looked up "Pot of Duality." Good card. Secret Rare. Worth 70 bucks or so on eBay.

*Facepalm.*

Did you not learn your lesson from Mirror Force, Magic Cylinder, and Crush Card Virus? Making good cards like that so very hard to get is why people don't like you. At least you had the sense to reprint Pot of Duality decently quickly, and Mirror Force is now easy as pie to get.
Can't believe I'm going to binge on a Leviath Dragon Tin for Pot of Duality and Dark Simorgh alone.

Speaking of, I did not expect that I would like the latest set from Japan NEARLY as much as I do. I officially want to make a Blue-Eyes White Rabbit deck FOR TEH LULZ (Rabbi-Dragon will get its own blog entry soon).  The Evols look like they might be a fun theme to get used to Xyz's with, and I dig the DNA helix in all their tails. The shadow lizard thing and Light Serpent must be mine. Looking forward to seeing this set in English, as well as my own Leviath tin at some point.


Quick, GET THE HOLY HAND GRENADE!

Oh, and please don't hesitate to donate to my 3DS collector's White DSi fund. In short, I had a change of plans due to 1. shortage of funds and 2. a desire to see one of my friends get Pokemon White. Help me and a friend by pitching in! See you all again when stuff starts happening!

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11th NCS - POKEYMANZ and Card Sleeves.



Yeah, not the best pack set the coin has ever chosen for me...but also not the worst. It really bites because there were other bundle sets with HG/SS packs in them, and I kinda needed the RH's out of those. Ah well; my other RH's came in from Texas, so expect pics of my expanded collection very soon!

Also, even if YGO does use clip art a bit too much, said clip art makes for badass sleeves. I wish they had Ra sleeves. Ra seems to like me (see? I'm part of the Illuminati already).  Start putting these sleeves in tins so that we have more of an incentive to play the game, Konami.

Friday, July 8, 2011

July 8th NCS - I Really DON'T Know How to Quit Yu.



I thought I was done with YGO. I really did. Then I saw the Pyramid boxes and could not resist, for some reason. Nostalgic love, perhaps? Plus FINALLY getting a cool playmat? (They chose the mats really well; besides my BEWD one, there's a DMG one, then one with Dark Magician + BEWD.)

By the way, The Zone finally came to its senses and started stocking Pokemon. You know what I'm getting every other day of the week in thanks. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Crazy Little Projects.

I love shiny things. Really, I do. That goes triple for shiny, shiny trading cards with cool monsters on them like Pokemon. The reverse-holos included in every pack are why Nintendo owns a chunk of my soul, still. (Eff you for not doing the same, Konami; it is so good for TCGs/CCGs on so many levels.) Go figure I would think up a few projects to do with them.

Project 1: A collection of the HG/SS base set...in reverse-holo. So far, I have 19 of the RH-print cards, including all but 1 Prime, as well as a snazzy binder reserved juuust for this project. Kinda pathetic seeing as I don't know anyone around who plays the game. Will create a new entry when a bunch of HG/SS RHs I traded for come in.

Project 2: Bling your deck! In Pokemon, it is theoretically possible to have a deck composed entirely of shiny cards. The goal of this one is to make a copy of the "Green Tornado" deck entirely out of foil cards - even the Energy cards will sparkle! Started yesterday when I was tempted to put up a lot of B/W RH's, only to realize that hrrrrm, I could make a deck of 60 shiny cards.Again, this is kinda pathetic because my game store is too stupid to pick up a multi-billion dollar franchise with a much better game than YGO.

Plus, it looks great on this blog. Now I actually have something to do on it besides open card packs and bitch about how dragons are ruining the world!

Of course, the 3DS is still more important at this point. I never want to be on a long flight/road trip without Pokeymanz again. Plus, it's another means of accessing the interwebs, and seeing how both of my comps are sick, I could use as many of those means as possible. In all likelihood, the DS repair guy is gonna say my old system's gonna need like...100 bucks' worth of repairs, at which point I best get a new system anyways.

Also, I have no idea how texting charges work. So much for using the 'net on my phone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Pokemon Black and White.

Now that I've been deprived of my DS for more than a month, it's probably about time that I posted a piece I've been working on ever since school started: A thorough critique of Pokemon Black/White. I did not post it at first due to not experiencing everything I wanted to in Black, but I may as well post it since a new friend of mine so kindly asked about the games.

Here goes.


Zekrom and Reshiram appear by *Cachomon on deviantART

Pokemon Black/White: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

This past March, Pokemon Black and Pokemon White hit game stores around the world. Many were salivating for one reason or another: Improved graphics, unbreakable TMs, whatever new Pokemon have you, Dream World, or even the new evil bishounen, N. As more and more information leaked from the Japanese games, they began to sound better and better. 
But were they really worth the hype? We (i.e. a few friends and I) played them ourselves to find out!
The Good: 

Improved Graphics: The graphics are pretty good for a Pokemon game. We were probably expecting more (watch, Pokemon Gray/Sepia will improve it by MILES), but, for now, the visual style has improved. B/W really is trying to work in the third dimension. Whether it succeeds or not is up to you.

Along with this, the Pokemon are now more animated. Instead of just moving when released from their balls, the Pokemon move all the time in these two new games. It took you long enough, Nintendo, but at least you did it. 

Better Story: Team Plasma is not out to take over the world from the get-go. Instead, they resemble PETA - without saying too much, they believe that Pokemon should be free instead of trapped in little balls and forced to fight. This is far more sympathetic than the usual “world domination” gimmick and answers some objections that people have had to the franchise. 


But that fashion sense is soooo 1500's.

The need to see two sides of the story gives people a reason to get both games. Subtle differences in areas  and Pokemon help further the effect. These games really are two sides of the same coin!

Better Characters: It is obvious that some work went into the characters this time around. If I had to guess, a lot more work went into the characters, graphics, and story than any other areas. The rivals are not generic douchebags; one is a trainer searching for the true meaning of strength, the other is Luna Lovegood as a Pokemon character. N is the tool of an evil mastermind, not an evil mastermind himself.  I am also particularly fond of (!non-loli) Caitlin and Shauntal, but more on that later. 

The Two New Fossils: An Archaeopteryx and an Archelon? Many of the other designs easily fall under “the ugly,” but these two really deserve praise. Bless you, Nintendo, even if you are stealing from Fossil Fighters. (The less said about the third fossil, the better.) There are a few other cool designs (I really like Reshiram, too!), but these two struck me as being especially praiseworthy. It’s always cool to see fossil beasties besides standard dinosaurs, and the more people that know about prehistoric wildlife, the better. Also, the Archelon is an easy way to get Shell Smash, one of the best stat-boosting moves in the game, into your Water-type breeding projects. :)

Serperior: Just...Serperior. It is stunning that Nintendo made a snake Pokemon that not only looks good, but plays well, levels at a decent rate (unlike Seviper) and gives Grass a new option. Argue all you like that it’s a rather gimmicky Grass-Type (which will come up again later); snakes needed a boost, and Serperior was that classy, insane boost. It is easily my favorite Pokemon ever after cleaning out a whole Gym full of dragons. Good work, Nintendo. 

Even the bad CGI cannot stop Serperior from looking like it means business.

A Few of the Dub Names: Nintendo's favor towards dragons aside, the “ein,” “zwei,” “drei,” in the new psuedo-Legendary line's name is kinda cool. After a while, Snivy also grew on me (for being an accurate translation). 

New Abilities: Sturdy got a new modification: if an attack would OHKO a Pokemon with Sturdy, it retains 1 HP. Moxie is also pretty cool (kill something and get an attack boost). Contrary is broken. Overall, the new abilities and the modifications to old abilites are cool. 

EVIOLITE: This boosts both defenses of a  NFE (not fully evolved) Pokemon. It makes Chansey and Dusclops fierce foes, even in OU. Dragonair finally has a reason to be besides evolving into Dragonite! (Think about this: A Dragon-type with raised defenses and a chance of healing every turn? Mmm. ) Give not fully evolved Pokemon a leg up? Yes please! 

Wi-Fi options: Probably THE BEST THING about these new games is that, to trade or battle, you do not have to switch out your current team. You can pull them onto the internet straight from your PC Boxes! No more awkward team mistakes!  

The Random Battle feature is also sweeeet.  Although you can only use three Pokemon (as in the Battle Tower or Subway) it is JUST AWESOME to be able to battle someone in Japan or Italy that you have never met before. You don’t know what to expect. Neither do they. 

Seasons: The Pokemon you can find vary with the seasons. Pokemon is getting more and more realistic. Honestly, this is a really cool idea. MAJOR props for keeping time and day/night as well. 

Non-Linear Elite 4: There is no “order” to the Elite 4 in Black/White. You can pick who to fight first, second, etc. This leaves you with some options: Level up your team on easier members first, OR take the hard ones first and save the easy ones for when your Pokemon are exhausted. Eat dessert first or save it for after dinner. Your choice. 

Unbreakable TMs: Yes, you can now use TMs over and over and over. For those of us that want a lot of things with Earthquake and Stone Edge, this is a proper blessing. For those of you who liked earning Game Corner TMs (which will likely still be hard to get for anyone not in Japan), sucks to be you; the benefits of reusable TMs outweigh the bad points. Earn a TM once and have the right to use it forever. Sweet. 

The New EXP System: Long story short, weaker Pokemon gain more EXP from fighting stronger opponents, and stronger Pokemon gain less EXP from fighting weaker opponents. This makes a lot of logical sense, even if the result IS crazy EXP gain. It almost compensates for the obscenely high evolution levels of some Pokemon. Almost. 

Cynthia: Sorry, I’m a fangirl. Seriously, though? Her team makes more sense now that Togekiss has been replaced by a badass eagle. Plus, she helps get your team to Lv100 - never a bad thing! 

Dream World: Dream World takes patience, but is otherwise pretty cool. Old Pokemon, new abilities, and more entries for your Dex. There is no way that introducing Sunny Day teams into lower tiers than Uber could possibly be a bad thing.

The Bad: 

No Partner Pokemon: For all of you who enjoyed this feature in HG/SS, it’s gone now. Pokemon can no longer walk alongside you. It’s a shame; keeping partner Pokemon would have served the game’s plot well. 

Trainers Are Not Animated: Even though the Pokemon are. 

No Berries: Except in Dream World, one cannot plant Berries. Even R/S kept Berries after they had been introduced. Isn’t removing agriculture sorta sending players back into the Stone Age? At least they cannot remove Fire-Type Pokemon or the wheel (or Flame Wheel, for that matter). 

PokeShifter: In order to transfer Pokemon to B/W, you need three things: One, a B/W game; two, a Gen IV game; three, another DS to communicate with. After that, Pokeshifter makes you ‘shoot’ transferred Pokemon with Poke Balls in a certain time frame. This is harder than it sounds. Hunting them in Pal Park was bad enough. Now we have a time limit and hand-eye coordination to deal with. We also cannot send any of our items over from the old games. Nice, Nintendo. Nice. 

Obscenely High Evolution Levels: So, I like the Mienshao’s design (even if it DOES look a lot like a Digimon). The bitch of the matter is that the base form, a creature not unlike the “Badger Badger” badgers, has to be raised to Level 50 to evolve. That is a long time, although some would say that its stats justify the effort. 

This is not the only instance of needing an extremely high level to evolve. There is a larval form of a giant, fiery moth that needs to be raised to Level 60 to really get anywhere. The Pseudo-Legendary this Gen does not reach its full potential until it gets in its 60’s, either. This is not cool, Nintendo. Even with the new EXP mechanism, not cool. 

Some of the Designs: Honestly...they wasted three slots on a snow cone Pokemon designed by an American. Ice was not that desperate a type. The gear monsters are uninteresting in every single way. Also, that Garbage Pokemon is just that: Garbage. At least that last one carries Black Sludge. 

No New Eeveelution...or Support For Previous Generations: Luvdisc could use something to do with itself, like evolving into that heart sunfish. There’s a transfer system, but as the PokeShifter point says, it sucks. This game does not even want you to transfer items over. Granted, there is a reason for this (some items, such as Soul Dew, were supposedly deleted), but it still bites. 

Pokemon Musicals: Musicals with humans are already adequate laughing stocks (see High School Musical for details). What made you think that it would work any better with Pokemon? It would, however, be awesome to see a Serperior playing Elphaba in Wicked.

THOSE GODDAMN MONKEYS: At first, I thought the three elemental monkeys, Pansear, Panpour, and Pansage, were going to be like Eevee - that is, extremely rare in-game, so raise yours well. Nope. They can be found in the wild, have a male-favoring sex ratio, and everyone and their mother has one, if not all three, in-game. They would be tolerable if they were rarer; when, oh, hey, another trainer has a mutant Aipom or three, they get annoying fast.


Sure, they look cute now, but then you fight them over...and over...and over....

DRUDDIGON: There is one Pokemon that embodies EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THESE GAMES: Druddigon! It’s a dragon, it sucks (high ATK, but slow), and it looks like something drawn by a six-year-old. It feels like somebody at Game Freak said, “hey, Sugimori? We need another dragon Pokemon for the Opelucid City Gym!” so Sugimori asked his son to design a dragon on the spot. 

The English name bites double; it not only sounds bad, but the Japanese name did not even reference this Pokemon’s status as a dragon. If you were going to do that, Nintendo, there would have been a million classier ways to do it.

Think the idea of a dragon-gargoyle is cool? Think again.
(Druddigon/Crimgan: Clearly a product of Pokemon INbreeding.) 

Ash Still Exists: Because if you’re going to start the anime series for your brand-shiny-new games in a new region with all-new Pokemon, you just have to bring the oldest character in the series and his Pikachu along for the ride. People in Isshu are stunned by Ash's Pikachu. Probably could have saved the animators some work by just designing all-new characters. 

The Ugly: 

Zorua and Zoroark: Oh, wow...where do I begin? These were only two Pokemon we knew about for a LONG time, and they’re both event Pokes that require another DS and a super-special Legendary to encounter. (These Legendaries ONLY being available at GameStop at first just added insult to injury.) The new foxes got the Movie treatment just like Lucario did, complete with full support from the furries. 
While Zoroark is a very fun Pokemon, it (in the case of the event, she) is also undeniably furry bait. They are also undeniably useful in-game (but slightly less useful in PVP). The people who have those Shiny Beasts are going to be rich just from breeding Zorua for the deprived furries. This was not a good use of two Pokemon. Zoroark, I love you, but I really wish Nintendo had not handled you the way that they did.

We Were Expecting Better: The graphics in B/W are only slightly better than in Generation IV. They do new things, but in general, the quality is only slightly improved. The main silver linings are the animated Sugimori drawings, which have never been done before in a Pokemon game and thus have no precedent to worry about. It’s more like teaching an old dog new tricks than an actual improvement. 

Nintendo Has Become A Copyright Stickler: Back in September, Nintendo wanted PokeBeach and Serebii to remove all of their official images. This was probably because the sites were using sponsored links, thus making money off of Nintendo’s work. 

While this is understandable, really, Nintendo? Are you sure that you want to target privately-owned news sites as opposed to bootleg merchandise made in sweatshops and colored using child labor and lead paint? Those are probably stealing more of your money, and they’re killing people. Priorities. 

Many of the Designs: Without being outright horrible-looking, many of the designs fall into the nowhere-mire of “this could have been cool, but...” Much of it resulted from working backwards - case in point, the three djinn monsters (we wanted a pure Flying-type, so we got one). Some of them are also clear Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s references, which is also kind of sad. (Reshiram, for example, has very similar wings to Stardust Dragon...if a bit more plausible. The Nazca line Pokemon speaks volumes.) 

What is REALLY ugly, though, is the rift that Nintendo has created between those of us that loved Gen I and II and the new players, who may not experience the same dislike of the new Pokemon. I have never seen so many people both in favor of and against the new designs. Maybe it’s the usual “Old VS New” rift, but it feels more intense than that. I am honestly split this Gen. There were some designs I loved and some that I HATED, so I can see where both sides are coming from. 

Power Creep: Making this gap even uglier is the sheer power of the new Pokemon. There are Pokemon with better stats than ever before without half the effort. B/W Pokemon make all of the older Pokemon we know and love worthless. Sure, our old friends can do new things, but numbers talk; the new Pokemon completely outclass Pokemon from even one Generation before. 

Dragonhumping:  Dialga, Giratina and Palkia were the last cover trinity, and they were all dragons. They were also poorly-drawn, barely looking like dragons...or much of anything, really. Reshiram and Zekrom look considerably better, but some of the other dragons this Gen look like they were drawn by 6-year-olds.  I do not care HOW much you like dragons. That cave dragon (Druddigon, Crimgan, whatever) and Kyurem have no excuses for how horribly they were drawn, but people will want them just because “OMG DRAGONS!” (On a cultural note, it is also very weird for a dragon to be considered “yin” in a yin-yang pairing.)

Gimmicks: Yes, the Dream World Serperior is powerful, but its only real strategy is to spam Leaf Storm. Nobody is going to use Triple Battles ever, even if you give us cool new moves to use with them. There are a lot of things in this generation designed to work exactly one way, which will suck until Nintendo brings out some new move tutors. 

Isshu/Unova: It’s set in New York. Seriously, what? Sure, it led to a bunch of North American animals getting the spotlight for once, but there was not much need to stray outside of Japan (let alone to a wildlife-deprived part of the United States). There are still a few Japanese aspects left in, like shrines and dream-eating tapirs. Were you trying to please Lady Gaga, Nintendo? 

 
Then again, I'd like to please Lady Gaga, too.

The New Dub Names: For the first time ever, Nintendo has changed the name of the new region from “Isshu” to “Unova.” Presumably, this is a portmanteau of “United States” and “nova (Latin for ‘new’)”, but that does not make it suck any less. “Pansear” and the names of the other monkeys will be lost on most people. At least “Snivy” is a fairly accurate translation of the Japanese name. “Servine” is a blasphemy to the English language; it sounds waaaayyy too much like "cervine," which means "deerlike." Some of them have grown on me, but others have not. 

Too Many Things in Threes: Three is a magic number. This Generation sports three Legendary Trinities total, three mutated Aipoms, and two different styles of three-on-three battling. No matter how magical the number three is, I am quite sure it knows when it is being unnecessarily whored. Have I mentioned the monkeys? Yes? Okay. 

This Is How It Is Going To Be: Nintendo seems to have disowned the previous four Generations. They are not allowing any Pokemon from any region except Unova in the 2011 Championships. Expect very little support for all the Pokes you know and love. They better make a new Eeveelution or two in Gen VI. 

Does it need another evolution? Not really, but it shows you care, NIntendo.

Ruby and Sapphire Remakes?!: The new games have a lot in common with Gen III. The thing that really screamed “I’ve seen this before” to me was Route 17/18, which has a ton of annoying jellyfish and swift currents of water that tell you where to Surf. They also have a bay with a few Dive spots and a perfectly useless pink fish. This is going to get problematic and/or interesting if Black and White are indeed set in the future (how will Hoenn have changed?).

Double Talk: First Nintendo says that they will not put any old characters in the game, then they put Cynthia and the Magikarp guy from Kanto in. Dream World’s whole selling point is catching older Pokemon, and you need a Johto Legendary to get Zoroark, an extremely helpful Pokemon against the new Elite Four. What happened to “all new” and a “fresh feel?” 

I am personally worried about Caitlin, no matter how much I like her; the age difference compared to Caitlin in Platinum and HG/SS implies that years have passed between Gen IV and Gen V, which opens a whole new can of worms. Some have told me that B/W take place ten years in the future. That seems a little much, but some time has definitely passed.

What happened to the Battle Frontier? Did Sinnoh get hit by a giant earthquake nuked? How about Oak? Did he CEASE TO BE? Is he an EX-PROFESSOR? If so, it might explain why he is not in these games... 

For a game that’s supposed to be all new and fresh, Nintendo is blurring the lines a lot. Either make it super-shiny new or acknowledge that a lot of old stuff will show up. Cut the BS. 

Freemasons?: The background for Black and White is a checkerboard. Combine with the brainwashing N went through from a young age and one has a conspiracy theory in the works. That is, of course, if you believe such things.

Overall Verdict: 8/10. Famicom was exaggerating - these games are far from perfect.. If you can wait for Gray or whatever the Ruby/Sapphire remakes will be (...please don’t make them if you can help it, Nintendo), hold out. If you just have to get at least 6 of the new Pokemon, by all means get Black/White. Otherwise, you can probably wait. Stick with Gen IV games if you can.  Gen V looks better than Gen III, but that is not saying a lot. 





Sunday, May 1, 2011

Reshiram tin + Aiming for a 3DS.

 

Yep. I'm still alive. Barely. Was taking advantage of my new Toshiba (going with me to Rome) and got a new card tin at Target, so up it goes on my card game blog. 

For starters, I am sorely disappointed in ALL of Reshiram's arts for the first Black and White set. The tin promo looks like crap (but I love Reshiram), the first Reshiram (let's call it Reshi 1) looks a lot like the promo in a different pose, and the super-shiny premium art is put to shame not only for looking like something Sugimori would draw, but also for not looking as nice as, say, Primes, Lv. X's, or Ex's. I don't usually like the CG look that those cards have, but the graphic design overall is that much better. Hell, the Neo Destiny Shiny Pokemon and YGO Ultimate Rares would look more epic than that Reshiram. What a disappointing premium!


Hell, THIS looks cooler than any of the Reshiram cards so far.

The tin yielded a Zoroark and Emboar. Not too bad, there!

Second order of business: My DS has been spazzing out again. Since I'm not one of those types who ALWAYS gets the latest and greatest tech, I'm up the creek without a paddle for a bit. I do not know when/if DS-tan will recover, so, in tow with the keeping up with the times that I have been doing recently, I am looking for donations for a shiny new 3DS. If you are feeling generous, please click the button below:







(Just a rough guesstimate: If 25 people donate ten bucks each, I will have enough to afford the black 3DS. Any excess money will go towards making sure awesome people receive cool card game-related merch.)

There's something in it for you, too. I have seen people selling Pokemon -not games, not toys, little bits of Pokemon game data - on eBay. With too much excess stock from my projects, it makes sense to offer them as thank-you gifts for donations. :3

Donation gift Pokemon: 

First of all, I do not hack. All of the Pokemon up for grabs are legitimate. I do, however, know a few people with Action Replays, so if you would like a special item (such as an EV-reducing or pinch Berry) it's fine to request such.  Repeat: Pokemon below are legit, but Nintendo can be a DOUCHEBAG when it comes to things like Berries.


Current Breeding Project Extras:

(Male) Riolu with 31 ATK and/or Speed. 
(Male) Zorua with 31 HP,  SATK and/or Speed. A select few of my males have 31 in all 3 stats.
(Either sex) Pichu with 31 in HP, SATK, or Speed. 
(Either sex) Mienfoo with 31 ATK or Speed.
(Mostly female) Bellsprout, some of which have 31 ATK or Speed.
(Male) Snivy with 31 ATK, DEF, SATK, and/or Speed.  Yes, I bred a LOT of Snivy and will do more until I get two-three perfect snakes.
Feebas/Milotic. A lot. I mean that; there are several dozen on my Sapphire (enough to occupy three boxes). No guarantees, but if you want to get your hands on an easy female or easy Milotic, consider it done.

Future Projects (i.e. the sooner you donate, the sooner I can get cracking):

Drought Vulpix - High chance of getting a female, guaranteed to have Hypnosis and at least 1 IV in 31. Comes with a free Fire Stone.
Drizzle Poliwag - Can't make any guarantees yet, but I have some good Water stock to work with.
Eevees - Soon, I will be working on an Umbreon strain with 31 in HP/ATK, if not 4 stats in 31. After that, Leafeon. Espeon/Jolteon-friendly Eevees will be next.
Growlithe with Close Combat and/or Crunch. 31 in ATK and/or Speed.
Misdreavus, IV's uncertain. 
Absol with 31 ATK and/or Speed. Speed doesn't matter much when one has Sucker Punch, but still.
More Snivy. Yep.


Monday, January 17, 2011

NCS 1/17/10 - A friendly message.



Steelix Prime was my main good pull this time. That, the promo Latias and the coin will pay for the pack. Knew I could count on you, Raikou!

As a friendly reminder, starting today, the Shiny Entei that unlocks the Zoroark event will be available at GameStop. This Entei is Adamant-natured and comes with the moves Flare Blitz and Extremespeed, essentially making it a super-powered Arcanine. Now to soft reset like crazy and make sure that Kan'u has awesome stats. (A shame that I did not have my Diamond with me - then I could have gotten two.) Go get it if you have HG/SS, Diamond, or Plat!

Speaking of Pokemon...I FINALLY BEAT THE HALL! Breeding obscenely strong Salamence finally paid off! Now for a female Umbreon...*Evil laugh.*

 P.S.- Love Day chocolate rocks. Ghirardelli FINALLY did strawberry chocolate!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jumping the Shark - err, Dragon.



Congrats, YGO:5D's. You have officially jumped the shark. You have also proven that, by doing so, YGO is in fact a Glass Canon.

For those of you not in the know, there were, pretty much from the get-go, supposed to be only 5 Signers. 5 Signers, 5 Dragons - thus 5D's. Pictured above is the sixth Signer.

As of January 5th, Leo/Rua, brother of Luna/Ruka (the Signer connected to Ancient Fairy Dragon) is also a Signer himself. He bears the Heart of the Crimson Dragon on his arm (yeah, apparently birthmarks conveniently appear and reappear in this universe) and his signature card is the long-awaited 5th Dragon, Life Stream Dragon.

Wait a sec. Wasn't Black-Winged Dragon supposed to be one of the five, too? Crow has a Signer mark and everything. BWD participated in at least one ancient battle. It was, on all counts, a legitimate Signer dragon.

Now, just to be clear, there were a few hints that Leo could have been a Signer. There was a moment early on in the series when Luna said that Leo was a Signer just to cheer him up. He also had traces of his sister's magical powers. Power Tool Dragon even looks very similar to Life Stream Dragon.

Life Stream Dragon was legit from Day 1,  so why the extra mark? If anything, Black-Winged Dragon is extraneous. It's like a sixth digit on a human hand - unsightly and unnecessary. It does not look at all like the 5th dragon seen in flashbacks, even though it had a few flashbacks of its own. The series is called 5D's, not 6D's. If another Signer had died (for good), this would not have been so disappointing.

Konami, do you realize what you have done? You have given fanfic writers a blank check for madness. Now that you've made the Heart of the Dragon a viable mark, what's keeping people from using the lungs or spleen as fanfic fodder?


Does this thing even HAVE a heart? Or a spleen?

Whatever faith I had in 5D's just got shattered. Ra help us all. I'd trust Mega Ultra Chicken before THAT abomination.

Friday, January 7, 2011

"BAN IT!"

With Pokemon Black and White coming out this year, players (particularly the group Smogon) have been buzzing about the soon-to-be tournament scene. A lot of new Pokemon, abilities, and moves have come out to talk about...and possibly ban.

This is getting annoying.

First off, Smogon, although a fine resource on the competitive battling scene, is a fansite. That means that none of its information is official. Nintendo has, however, taken a few leaves out of the battling community's book and added Ubers - Legendary Pokemon with an obscenely high stat total and occasionally Pokemon with very good abilities (namely Tyranitar and Wobbuffet) - to official tournament restricted lists. This is their way of saying "our bad for making overpowered things that are only supposed to get you through the game."



One of their latest plots has been to ban two abilities: Drought and Drizzle. These set up sunny and rainy weather respectively. Prior to B/W, they were only found on two Pokemon: Groudon and Kyogre.

Kyogre in particular has been dubbed "the most powerful Pokemon in the game" thanks to its ability. It has monstrous SATK and an attack called "Water Spout" that does massive damage when Kyogre is at full HP. It's a beast, especially with rain set up.


Surf's up!

Gen V's Dream World brought with it two new Pokemon: Ninetales with Drought and Politoed with Drizzle. This gives Sun- and Rain-based teams a chance to shine without requiring an Uber to get off the ground. That was an ingenious move on Nintendo's part. Here, Nintendo; have a cookie:



Drizzle is not an inherently broken ability. It can benefit many a Rain Dance team, ubers or no. Same for Drought, although Drought has even less of a reason to be banned; what, are you really afraid of Fire and Grass Pokemon taking over the world?


Clearly a criminal mastermind.

If anything, Nintendo should be doing more instant field effects. Instant Hailstorm is nasty since only one type is immune; why not give it to another Ice Pokemon to curb Dragons further (darn you, Kyuremu)? A Trick Room from the get-go would stop the flow of Sweepers that came out this Gen. (Play your cards right and Mr. Mime might end up being useful - hint, hint.)  Instant abilities are not a bad idea in and of themselves. There is no reason to ban them. Just ban Kyogre.

The other thing that Smogon is trying to ban is ANYTHING that inflicts the Sleep status. Before you start saying "DURRR you've never been hit by a Sleep move!", that's not true. I get hit by them all the time in the Battle Tower. There are no Full Restores to save me. Sleep moves are legitimately annoying and game-winning.



But y'know what? Sleep has been a part of Pokemon since Generation I. Jigglypuff used to be one of my favorite Pokemon because its lullaby attack on the TV show was amusing. There are abilities that can block Sleep if you are that worried about it. It's good, but the sparse amount of Pokemon it can come on and general low accuracy of such moves compensates for how good it is. Freezing is much worse a status. Don't tell me you're planning on banning Ice Beam just because it can freeze, Smogon.

The sad thing is that this is happening with Pokemon. I'm used to this sort of talk from YGO players. Since the ban list was first born, there have been 'banlist babies' screaming "ban it!" at any remotely powerful card that Konami released. Some cards, like Fiber Jar, were worthy of the ban. Others such as Brain Control were not so deserving. It is still a common complaint in YGO, in part because the game is inherently broken. Pokemon is not as broken, and does not merit removing whole game mechanics.

That is just silly