Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ Pokemon ’

Black VS White

September 29, 2010 Commentary 6 Comments

All standard Pokemon games come in pairs. But while the reasons were often superficial, I have never had a problem choosing one over the other. Red over Blue. Silver over Gold. Sapphire over Ruby. Pearl over Diamond.

But now thisBlack or White? I am very torn. Very, very torn.

I got Red over Blue because I like the color red better, and because Charizard is more awesome than Blastoise… even though I started with Bulbasaur. Unfortunately, I have neither FireRed nor LeafGreen, but given that choice, it would have been LeafGreen. The version differences between the earlier generation games were pretty basic — just a handful of Pokemon exclusives, and for Red VS Blue, I didn’t really pay that much attention. In retrospect, I kinda wish I hadn’t missed out on Sandslash, Meowth, and Ninetales, but I’ve long since figured out that none of them were going to make my team anyway.

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The release of Pokemon Black and White last week knocked a few more type combinations off the list of the unused, including Bug/Electric, Grass/Normal, Dark/Steel, and a handful of others. It also introduced the first pure-type Flying Pokemon (#641, right), so finally, after five generations, we have a pure-type Pokemon for every type.

Still, there are a whopping 44 type combinations that still haven’t been used, which is ridiculous considering there are only 153 possible combinations of the 17 types (136 two-type combinations + 17 single types). This number can be reduced to 32 if we take out all the missing half-Normal types, like Normal/Dark, Normal/Electric, etc., but that’s still a big percentage.

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New Monster Cap: 649

September 16, 2010 Commentary, News 5 Comments

So Pokemon Black/White isn’t due to release in Japan until this Saturday, September 18th, but leaked screenshots and other goodies have been trickling online gradually all week as Amazon and other retailers began shipping things out early. As there isn’t a lot of shipping distance to cover in a small country like Japan, this meant that people were getting games way ahead of schedule. Today, poor-quality photos surfaced online of all 156 new monsters, bringing the full Pokedex total to six hundred forty-nine.

I am so excited.

Seriously. For me, the build-up to Black and White has been very similar to the build-up to Gold and Silver, which, as the very first new generation, was the Most Exciting Thing Ever. Sure, by now — generation five and almost fifteen years old — the franchise’s new additions are pretty predictable: new island (based off New York City, baby!), new trainers, new attacks, season changes, three-way battles, more Wi-Fi stuff, and of course, new Pokemon. But as tried as the formula is, I am still most excited about the new Pokemon. I like having new things to collect. Monsters were cool when I was eight. Monsters are still cool, dammit.

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Naturally, the Pokémon community exploded today with this much, much anticipated announcement. It’s something that pretty much everyone knew was coming, but I guess I was always one of those cautiously optimistic ones. I don’t like putting too much faith into things until they’re official, and even then, sometimes announcements don’t follow through. I probably should have known better though. After all, Pokémon is never going to die! So no worries! HeartGold and SoulSilver are now official! And it will have a lot of new/updated features and other awesome things that will make people want to buy it more than they already do!

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Today was Pokémon Platinum‘s North American launch date. Platinum is the 12th of the regular Pokémon games and rounds off the 4th generation, so I wonder when we should expect to hear about either 5th generation game plans or 2nd generation remake plans. A lot of people think that Pokémon should just end already — that they’ve milked the cash cow long enough and that no one wants more. Around when the 3rd generation was launching, I felt the same way, but now I’m kind of indifferent. Or really, in some way, I want to see just how long this franchise can keep its momentum, especially since it doesn’t show many signs of even slowing.

More than a decade ago, when I was collecting the Pokémon TCG along with every other kid in the neighborhood, my father told me that these sorts of hobbies were just money-wasters and that Pokémon would be dead in five or ten years. The holographic Charizard that was going for $75+ on eBay wouldn’t be worth a dime then. Well, it’s been more than five or ten years later. That holographic Charizard still goes for about $10+ if you know who to sell to; all things considered, I’d say that’s damn good. It’s quite a bit more than a dime, at least. The first edition holo Charizard will still fetch you $75 at least, if not $100+. And as for Pokémon being dead? Ha! Sapporo just got a brand new Pokémon Center, and even in the US, Pokémon’s presence in stores is being expanded once again. I don’t think it’s unlikely to think that the Nintendo World in Manhattan might actually be turned back into a Pokémon Center — I mean, it isn’t like they sell much else there anyway.

Satoshi Tajiri really did have a breakthrough idea when he came out with Pocket Monsters. Considering Japan’s already rampant collector’s attitude, creating a franchise based around collecting is just… genius. To some extent, maybe collecting runs in my blood — being a huge pack rat also contributes — but I think that everyone’s got at least a little bit of collector’s urge to them. Few things are as satisfying as having a completed collection, but each little piece along the way is a great milestone too. It’s true even for things that might never be complete — stamp collections, video game, manga, and DVD collections, whatever. And so, Pokémon has become very much the same. You will likely never “catch them all,” but that doesn’t make the games any less fun. It doesn’t make you feel any less triumphant every time you hit the current monster cap.

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I preordered this little bastard back in July. Truth be told, not long after I bought him, I tried to cancel my order because he did cost a pretty penny, and I probably shouldn’t have gotten him in the first place. But YesAsia doesn’t allow cancellations of preorders, so I thought I would resell him as soon as he got in. Long story short, I finally got a hold of him last week, but I couldn’t resist opening the package because he was just so damn cute. Just look at that grin! So… I guess I’m keeping him for now, and taking him out back to the woods for photoshoots. ._.

I was a bit surprised at how small he was; I’m pretty sure initial reports of the release had him labeled as a 12″ plush rather than a 9″. He’s also a lot stiffer than I expected. All of the leaves on his body, including his tail, but not including his ears, are made of hard felt. Since there are so many leaves, this means there’s plenty of semi-pointy things poking out of his body, making him not very huggable. The base of his tail is this weird plastic thing, probably to support the extra felt that’s there, and the leaf on his head is sewn so that it twists, which makes me feel like I’ll inadvertently mess it up somehow even though it seems pretty stable. The fabric of his body itself is pretty hard as well, which means he isn’t very flexible and attempts to pose him generally end in failure.

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They like to hide in trees, and I’ve trained them to attack fat bearded men that come in the night with gigantic sacks of toys. Pikachus, volt tackle~.

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