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First Impressions on Pokémon Sun

Howdy ladies and gents, I’m back from the underground to give you my initial impressions on Pokémon Sun, one of the two new Pokémon games recently released for the Nintendo 3DS. Now the game’s been out in the US since last week whereas us here in the UK only got it a few days ago and I wanted to bring myself away from the game just long enough to share with you readers how I feel about the 7th generation of the main series Pokémon games.

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So how’s the game? Well it’s pretty darn good. Here’s the thing, I’m not gonna act like I’m blown away by this game, however there’s a lot of interesting updates and surprises here and there that make this game worth picking up especially for veteran players like myself. I consider Pokémon Sun like a new season in a long-running TV show with this new entry bringing the nostalgia and freshness at the same time.

My Main Thoughts

Pokémon Sun does a lot of cool things, with the new Alola region (influenced by Hawaiian islands) it presents you with a brand new opportunities for a different landscape an interesting sense of style, culture and atmosphere. And of course it changes a few things up with the story, game structure and most importantly the Pokémon themselves.

What I’ve really liked so far is how the core game mechanics are still the same; you run around battling and collecting Pokémon, fight Pokémon in the wild or in battles with trainers and you can assemble a unique crew of Pokémon and level them up. All that stuff I love and enjoy. But there are some newer elements that been brought to the table like:

  • The Interactivity: This game must have the most interactive NPCs in the series so far, most people have something important, funny and informative to say and story-wise I feel like the two previous generations beforehand, this game has characters that accompany you on your quest that feel like they have personality and tell you interesting things mainly relating to the connection between humans and Pokémon and the Alolan culture.
  • Change in Structure: So far I haven’t seen any gyms, instead you have island trials which are a welcomed change and while simple, its different and entertaining. Plus the way you advance from point A to B feels slightly different with the way you gain items and come across trainers, but maybe that’s just me.
  • Exploring: While the game prevents you from going off the main path if key story and character material is going on, you are allowed to look around and you are rewarded for exploring with items on the ground with some that are easy to find and some that are hidden. Also with the Alola region there’s some differences with the route structure, design of the towns and activities to pass time with whether you’re using taking pictures with the Pokémon Finder or messing around with the Festival Plaza, both of which I’ve gotten lost in for a while in the first 4-7 hours.
  • Pokémon Refresh: Basically this was Pokémon Amie from X & Y except expanded, I haven’t played X since 2013 or 2014 so I couldn’t tell you what’s different, but so far I really like Refresh. While its annoying when you accidentally hit your Pokémon instead of petting them, I do enjoy feeding, cleaning and petting my Pokémon. Your connection to them feels more intimate and some of the Pokémon animations are so cute and fun, plus the effects of your close connections really helps in battle when it comes to landing critical hits, evasion and avoiding status ailments.
  • Visual & Audio Presentation: The game looks great, the art and animation are the best the series has seen so far, and because of the varied/dynamic camera angles, you travel through this world seeing all of the beautiful detail from different angles, it feels cinematic and larger in scope than previous games. There’s also minor yet notable updates to Pokémon battle animations, attacks and environments too. Also the music is really good, while not as immediately impressive as X & Y, Sun’s soundtrack is probably the most culturally diverse in the series so far along with familiar-sounding songs too in the vein of generation 6 too, I’m really starting to enjoy some specific songs especially the Evolution music (that sound is beast!).

Up to this point I’m enjoying myself, this game feels a little more personal, versatile and different, while being more of the same that I’ve come to expect from the series. While Sun doesn’t haven’t that wow factor that X did when I started playing that in 2013, this game has easily stolen many hours away from me to the point where I feel bad for not playing it. I’ve literally just started to get lost in this game with all of the new features, level grinding and catching different Pokémon and trust that I spent around 8 hours just doing as little of the story as possible, I didn’t even pass the first trial around 11 and a half hours in! If I have some nitpicks about the game is that it is a little easy in terms of the difficulty, some Pokémon take a little longer than I expected to evolve and with the new Pokédex you’re told exactly where to go whereas in the old games you just found your own way forward, but that’s just the traditionalist in me haha. Honestly I can’t wait to see where this game goes and hopefully I’ll be playing it at least beyond Christmas.

So are you playing Pokémon Sun and Moon and if so 1) Which version do you have? And 2) Are you enjoying it? Be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in Media, Video Games

 

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Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions Review

Howdy people of the internet, today I am here to give you my review of Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions, the orchestrated concert based on music in the Pokémon video game series. Last night, along with my sister, I went to London and witnessed this amazing musical sound and I just have to talk about it.

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As soon as I got into Hammersmith Apollo, I noticed hundreds of people around all buzzing about the show, some in cosplay and others in general Nintendo-based attire, and use I sat down, I turned opened my 3DS and checked my StreetPass and after that it just didn’t end. I was constantly getting StreetPass hits and I loved it haha. Also during the waiting period there was a huge screen below the seating area of the orchestra which had the whole “Who’s That Pokémon?” thing going on with various Pokémon throughout all six generations showing up in silhouette and then being revealed, I did alright, but some of them I could guess for the life of me.

20151220_190831Sorry about the picture quality, but this was the view from my seat before the concert took place.

Oh but when the concert started, man, the mood in the room was elevated and the feeling amongst all the fans was electric. And once everything started, the feeling overwhelming happiness never left my heart.

This was the setlist:

  1. Overture
  2. Pallet Town (from Red, Blue, and Yellow)
  3. Prepare for Trouble (from Red, Blue, and Yellow)
  4. Born to be a Champion (from Red, Blue, and Yellow)
  5. Ecruteak City (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal)
  6. Songs of the Towers (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal)
  7. … (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal)
  8. Ancients of Hoenn (from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald)
  9. Falling Ashes (from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald)
  10. End of the Road (from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald)
  11. Dreams and Adventures (from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum)
  12. Routes of Sinnoh (from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum)
  13. The Lake Guardians (from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum)

Intermission

  1. Pokémon Center
  2. The Day I Became King (from Black and White)
  3. N-Counter (from Black and White)
  4. Farewell (from Black and White)
  5. An Eternal Prison (from X and Y)
  6. Welcome to Kalos (from X and Y)
  7. Professor Sycamore (from X and Y)
  8. Friends, Fights & Finales (from X and Y)

Encore

  1. Gotta Catch ’em All (Pokémon Theme)
  2. KISEKI

What made the concert so great was musical was a combination of nostalgia, interesting musical arrangements and the sense of unity amongst the crowd.

So let me start with the nostalgia factor. For me, I’m not a hardcore Pokémon fan these days, however, back in the 90’s to early 00’s this franchise meant so much to me and even these days I still show love to Pokémon when appropriate. But seriously, hearing the “Overture” and seeing the title screens of all the Pokémon games from beginning to end was special and I could feel the emotion right in the center of my soul being lit up. After that hearing a lot of the music from Generation 1, 2 and 3 was kind of magical, like there was that feeling of being a kid/young teenager stepping into these games again for the first time when entering new places, going into battles or going to the Pokémon League.

As for the music, oh dear god. The music was gorgeous. Just like Symphony of the Goddesses, this concert really opened my eyes to how creative and surprising orchestrated versions of video game music can be when handled well. I mean to be honest there’s at least two or three well-known versions of the main Pokémon theme thanks to the 90’s anime show, and Super Smash Bros. Melee, but when the “Overture” came along, I was like “Damn, this is even more incredible than I imagined.” It was like if the main theme of Pokémon descended from heaven. Yeah it was that good and it set the tone so well. But what was cool about the concert was that not every arrangement was so powerful, intense or large in scale, some were quiet, intimate and had certain genre differences especially when it came to some of my favourites like “Ecruteak City“, “Songs of the Towers” (from Gold, Silver, and Crystal) and “Professor Sycamore“.

There were some beautiful moments in “Falling Ashes” (based on the music from Route 113 which was one of my favourite pieces from Ruby & Sapphire), while “Born to be a Champion” was delightful and “…” featured some of my favourite pieces from Gold, Silver, and Crystal especially the battle with Red which was AMAZING! But my favourite arrangement by far was “Prepare for Trouble” which was the music from the Silph Co building in Red, Blue, and Yellow, that’s always been one of my favourite songs in the series and to hear this dark, super dramatic, overwhleming beast of a song come and just rock my eardrums was fabulous. It sounded like something out of a film, maybe a thriller or a sci-fi adventure, either way, you could feel the impact of the song and it was just intense and badass. I WAS IN LOVE!

And then finally there was the sense of community. This crowd was very vocal, whether they were reacting to some of the funny dialogue on-screen from the NPC’s or just reacting to conductor Susie Seiter or the MC (who’s name I can’t reemember at the moment), everyone had moments to scream and shout in happiness. Oh but my favourite moment was when we all got to sing the main theme from the Pokémon anime, any fan knows the song, we’ve all sang it and to sing it there was frigging awesome!

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In conclusion Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions was a fantastic experience, it was nostalgic, powerful and interactive. Like when I went to the last two Zelda concerts, these concerts have presented very different and impressive orchestrated versions of classic video game music, and while I wasn’t completely familiar with all of the music, it was gorgeous and I would highly recommend it.

So if you’re a Pokémon fan have you experienced this concert before and if so how was your experience? Leave them below in the comments section and I’ll catch ya on the next review yo.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2015 in Media, Music, Reviews, Video Games

 

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The Importance of the Solo Gaming Experience

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another blog post from your online friend, the Hypersonic55! Today I wish to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a few days now and that is the importance of the solo video game experience.

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Now in recent times my sister has started playing Kingdom Hearts again (Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix to be exact) and it’s fun to watch her play and I would like to join in but I know I can’t because it is her game. KH is her game series and while I’ve helped on occasions, this has been HER thing and I know if I jumped in to progress the game she’d be pissed. Much like I would be if she impeded on my Zelda gaming. The thing about us is that since video games were introduced into our household my sister and I shared our games. Sure there were certain games that were exclusive to each of us, but a lot of games we shared like Streets of Rage, Super Mario Sunshine, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle and the Super Smash Bros. series among others. But what has become apparent is when I went to university, people asked me about the games I’ve played and I told which ones I’d played, but when we talked about certain games and specific things like completion, I realised that I hadn’t finished these games or experienced them for myself properly because I’d only played part of the adventure and my sister or friend had done the rest.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE playing video games with not only my sister, but my friends and people I don’t know in general. These days there’s barely any games that exist without a multiplayer component, especially when it comes to online gaming. That being said, there are those who still appreciate a solid solo gaming experience with a good main campaign, and I am one of those people.

The reason I like playing games on my own is because you get to experience the game in its fullest capacity. You get to take in the story, check out every inch of the gameplay, find out the secrets and see if what the replay value is like. With platforming games like the Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario or Mega Man series, it is fine to play the whole way through or just come back to in short bursts. The rules apply to racing and fighting games. But when it comes to game genres like adventure and RPG with story elements, that’s when it becomes a different kind of experience to other genres. The Legend of Zelda series is one that really requires just one gamer because most games don’t have multiplayer elements incorporated. Sharing my early years of Wind Waker with my sister was fun for sure, but these days I feel like I missed out on so much by taking it in turns to play the game. That’s why I had so much fun playing games like The Minish Cap, A Link Between Worlds and more recently Skyward Sword. RPGs especially are all about story and solo gaming and none of those games would be a complete experience if you switched between you and another player. RPGs require strategy, concentration and determination to solve puzzles, fight bosses, use items effectively and find secrets, etc. Playing games like Final Fantasy IV, Golden Sun, Fire Emblem: Awakening or the various generations of Pokemon would not be the same if I gave the games to someone else to play with me. Even some of the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games would not have the same level of satisfaction if I had shared it with other people, playing through Sonic 4: Episode 1, Adventure 2: Battle, Colours and Generations on my own was great experiences.

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When you share a solo-based game with someone else, some of the game’s experiences aren’t your own and while it may not matter to some; playing games to completion on your own is a big deal and some consider your game experiences hampered by playing it with other people. There is just something super satisfying with playing games on your own and experiencing everything that game has to offer for yourself without the aid or the distraction of others. These days I take my solo gaming quite seriously and try to take on most games when I can.

So going back to the Kingdom Hearts series, seeing my sister go through Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix has been fun, but at the same time has been very saddening as I would love to have played it all myself, but I can’t, because this is her game series, it is her experience and all I can do is occasionally level grind, and that sucks. I adore this game series, I love the gameplay, characters, replay value and story (though it is complicated and messy as hell), however, I’ve barely played any of the games myself. I’ve played good portions of KH1 & 2, but I still have tried the Birth By Sleep, Chain of Memories, Coded or Dream Drop Distance. The only game in the series I’ve played is 358/2 Days, the game that’s regarded as the worst in the series and I only got to play this because it was exclusive to the Nintendo DS. Most people despise that DS entry, but I quite liked it, 358/2 Days felt like a simplified version of the first game with a different kind of progression and levelling up system. Some of the portable games I should be able to play for myself, however I fear that when Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out I’ll probably not get to play that to the degree that I want unless I get a copy for myself or create a separate save file.

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Anyway to conclude I just wanted to point out that gaming, as fun as it is to play with others, I still value the solo gaming experience and would like to make sure that I get around to playing as many solo games as possible without having to share some of these experience with my sister.

So what do you think of this post? Do you agree that solo games should just be experienced by one person or could those games be shared with other people and still be a rewarding experience? I would love to read your thoughts below. Until next time, laters! 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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How I Feel In Pictures #8

Good day to you ladies and gents and welcome to the 8th edition of How I Feel In Pictures. In these posts I’ll upload a piece of art that I’ve drawn that basically represents how I feel at that current point in time. So this is the first post of 2015 for this series, and since I’ve drawn some new stuff I thought I’d post on this blog.

Check out my set of pictures below:

PowerPuff Girls

Gotta love the PPG.

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My all-time favourite Pokemon here looking all badass.

So as you can see above these pictures are fan art based on the cartoon show, The Powerpuff Girls and video game series, Pokemon. I drew the picture of Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup based on an old sketch I did from I think around 11 years ago, and since I was feeling a bit fancy I wanted to update it on Photoshop and this was the end result. As for Charizard, I drew a little picture of him in my mini sketchbook and thought that it would look good in colour with a background, and well, what you see above is the end result.

Both pictures represent a piece of me nostalgically. PPG was one of my all-time favourite cartoons from Cartoon Network, while Pokemon was pretty much the phenomenon that took over my world with the video games and TV show. Both pictures also represent, decent, if somewhat lacking pieces of work. I look at them and think, “Yeah they’re good, but I know I could do better. I expect better.” They feel incomplete and maybe that’s me expecting more from myself then I technically can deliver at the moment, but hey what would life be like without a little challenge. I think the way I feel in through these pictures can be summarized as proud and yet disappointed at the same time.

Well that’s it for this blog post, hopefully you liked what you saw and if you’d like to see more check me out at http://thehypersonic55.deviantart.com. Peace out!

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Life

 

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Pokemon Meets Tekken in Pokken, The Unexpected Crossover Fighting Game!

Howdy ladies and gents, time for me just to blog about a tiny bit of video game news that dropped yesterday that shocked me so much that I just had to talk about it. The following information comes from IGN:

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The Pokemon Company has just revealed Pokken Tournament, a new fighting game starring its infamous ‘mon and being developed by Bandai Namco’s Tekken team.

The announcement of the unlikely bedfellows has been teased for some time, with Nintendo promising a “shocking” announcement for today. It’s safe to say this fits the bill. The lead producers of Tekken and SoulCalibur, Katsuhiro Harada and Masaaki Hoshino respectively are both working on the project.

At the moment, there’s no news of a Western release or even if the brawler is set to arrive on consoles in Japan. It’s currently planned for arcade machines, with the initial information being pretty sparse. From what we’ve been able to gather, however, it’s aimed at a wide and casual audience, though aspects will make sure those looking for something hardcore should have something to look forward to.

Pokken Tournament isn’t arriving in Japan arcades until next year. We’ll be chasing up as much info as we can get on it in the meantime, so watch this space. Additionally, that 3D fighting game that was spotted at the end of a trailer last year? Looks like we know what it is!

Well this was definitely surprise, I did not expect to hear or see this, ever in my life. Now he have had 3D Pokemon fighting games before in the form of Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2 on the N64 or Pokemon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness on the GameCube and often forgotten Pokemon Battle Revolution. But unlike those games which was just a 3D version of the handheld game turned-based battle system, this game seems to be a one-on-one fighter just like Tekken or Dead or Alive. As for what we can see in the trailer, it looks interesting. I mean sure the graphics look okay with decent character models and animation, however there are games these days that do look better. Seeing Lucario and Machamp go up against each, seeing their varying attacks and move sets based on their Pokemon types is interesting, and if done correctly with a multitude of other characters this game could be cool. However with like 700+ Pokemon at their disposal I’m curious to see how they’ll incorporate each one in there and which ones they’ll leave out, whether they’ll infuse their various types and use type advantages and if there will be other things like flashy special moves or destructive environments.

While this is slated as an arcade-only game only set for release in Japan, if it is good one can hope it does get a western release on consoles. So what do you think of this announcement, are you down with a one-on-one fighting game involving Pokemon or does this disgust you? Be sure to comment below. 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Media, Video Games

 

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Rant 15: Ash Ketchum, A Failure of a Pokemon Trainer.

https://i2.wp.com/www.deelip.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/121.jpg Howdy people and welcome to another instalment in my blogging rants. Today’s rant will be on something that I’ve wanted to talk about for quite some time over the last six months or so, and it concerns one of the biggest failures in the history of cartoons and video games… I am of course talking about Ash Ketchum, the Pokemon trainer.

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Just look at this fool, he makes me angry just looking at him. 😡

So you may be wondering, why do I have such a massive beef with this little guy? Well I would like you to cast your mind back to the late 1990’s where fads were coming in left, right and center and Pokemon was the biggest thing in the history of the world. Besides the massive popularity and success of the video games and the trading cards, there was a little TV show that was probably just as big, if not bigger than the video games. This anime series focused on Ash Ketchum (pictured above), a ten-year old kid on a quest to become a Pokemon master. With his main Pokemon, Pikachu and his two friends Brock and Misty, Ash travelled all of the region of Kanto capturing Pokemon, defeating average trainers, taking on gym leaders for badges, beating up three idiotic members of Team Rocket on a regular basis. The show was made for kids and at the time it was pretty badass, to see all of the Pokemon in an animated form with voices, doing all their crazy moves and seeing Ash go on these crazy journeys it was fun, thrilling and exciting stuff. And some of us gamers had some things to say about the way in which the anime changed some of the basic elements of Pokemon Red and Blue, for the most part we liked it.

But by the time we got to Pokemon: The Johto Journeys (the third season of the anime), I started to notice the cracks in the foundation that made Ash Ketchum a likeable character. I mean he’d made some pretty foolish decisions before but I forgave him because I knew that the adventure wasn’t over and I assumed he would improve, however it was at this point I was like, “Dude what are you actually doing? Are you some kind of fool?” And unfortunately as time went on my respect for this boy declined more and more. By the time Pokemon: Advanced came around I was pretty much hanging on by a thread, the guy had come so far and yet still didn’t seem like he learnt anything plus he’d gotten rid of all his cool Pokemon for some really boring ones from the Ruby and Sapphire series. And when I had a look at the Black and White and saw that Ash was still chasing the same dream but was by no means any better of trainer than anything I had done in several of the games I had played, I knew that he was pretty much a failure.

Let’s just look at facts. Ash Ketchum wants to be come a be the ultimate Pokemon trainer and succeed at everything, but he’s so many things wrong like:

  • Ash doesn’t have basic battle tactics and still doesn’t use type advantages properly
  • The guy gets rid of most his good Pokemon after he changes region which is idiotic and not becoming of a person who wants to become a Pokemon master
  • Also if Ash wants to be a Pokemon master then why isn’t he trying to complete his Pokedex? The guy runs into so many Pokemon, especially rare ones and never catches one. FOOL!
  • The guy loses, A LOT and it isn’t because he fights really hard, but more because of rookie mistakes

Ash Ketchum started his adventure in 1997 and 18 series later he’s still trying to do what all of us in the video game world have done several times over across 6 generations of portable video games.

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Now those of us that have played the Pokemon games we have captured, battled and trained our Pokemon and completed everything and yet this prick, Ash Ketchum can’t even advance past the first Pokemon League in the first season. Weak. But what makes it even worse is that the game equivalent of Ash known as Red from Gold and Silver who you find in Mt. Silver is a beast! He pretty much has most of Ash’s Pokemon in their max evolutions (besides Pikachu) and their all in the 80’s, he’s a dangerous man if you’re not prepared… He is more of a man and a trainer then that Ash Ketchum will ever be.

Bloody hell just talking about Ash pisses me off. Over the years he has just gotten worse and worse.. I have re-watched some of his older adventures and it is his whole attitude, the way he battles, the type of Pokemon he’s collected, his lack of progression, everything about this boy screams of failure! And what makes him even more of a failure is that after watching Red’s performance in Pokemon: Origins he accomplished in a 4-part OVA what Ash has been doing for how many seasons of the main anime show. He sucks. Period.

So if you think that Ash is such a hero, just look at the following images:

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Well that’s it really. I hope this has been an insightful rant and if you’ve had any similar experiences please be sure to comment about it in comments below. Until the next time people, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Anime, Life, Media, Rant, Television

 

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Pokemon: Origins Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for me to give you an anime review on this chilled out Sunday. Today I’ll be reviewing Pokemon: Origins, an anime that I’ve been meaning to watch since before Pokemon X &Y came out, but because of my attachment to my 3DS and my uni work I hadn’t gotten around to watching it until now. Now I’ve watched it all in Japanese with subtitles so I won’t be covering the English version, nope, this’ll be a review in its purest form. Okay let’s get started.

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So the story in Pokemon: Origins is basically a TV special that unlike the current (and quite poor) on-going Pokemon TV series, Origins is more faithful adaptation of the first generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Blue (Green in Japan). Origins follows the adventures of the boy known as Red along with his first Pokemon, Charmander and as the travel across the region of Kanto they will do battle with his rival Green, taken on Gym Leaders, taken on the evil Pokemon organisation known as Team Rocket and all that other good stuff along the way.

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As an adaptation of the original games, Pokemon: Origins succeeds on nearly every level. The special is broken down into four main parts; “Red“, “Cubone“, “Giovanni” and finally “Charizard” and within each episode there was a specific plotline to follow related to the name of the episode. As soon as this first episode starts up you’re hit with nostalgia. The people behind the anime knows its source material and it knows its audience and anyone who knows the game will see that Origins is chalked full of references big and small. Everything from Professor Oak showing up at the beginning to the various Pokemon locations to your run-ins with Team Rocket and the Gym Battles, it’s all there and it is nostalgic perfection. There are so many aspects ripped straight from the games to the point where I think even some of the dialogue the characters say is exactly like the game, the level of commitment to the source material is pretty insane.

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Now as I said before this is an adaptation, so as per usual there were a few liberties taken with the source material. Since this special follows Red’s adventures, they had to flesh out the character so we have to watch him win, fail and grow as a trainer and while it works for the most part, there are a few conventional and convenient anime cliché moments that keep this from being better than it is.

In terms of characters there’s only really two main people to follow and that is Red and Green. Red is the star of this TV special. He’s a fiery little boy with dreams of completing his Pokedex, but at first he doesn’t have the right skills, he’s not a very good trainer as he doesn’t know the basics and has to learn as he travels and over the course of the four episodes he grows and become a more confident and capable trainer. Red for the most part was a fun character, but he was probably one of the key elements that made me dislike Pokemon: Origins for this one simple fact: he’s an idiot. My god, I have never seen such a failure of a Pokemon trainer in my life (not since Ash Ketchum). Seeing this boy struggle and fail was so painful to watch. Red doesn’t know type advantages, tries to capture another trainer’s Pokemon and doesn’t seem to fully understand strategic battles. Maybe I’m being harsh on him because he’s a newbie, but my god his foolish just pissed me off.

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Outside of Red there is of course Green. Anyone who knows the games will remember this guy as the little prick who came across every once in a while who was very overconfident and insulted you at every turn. Green in this adaptation was great, he was the best kind of rival who was smart, faster at learning the ways of Pokemon and was always one step ahead of Red.

Everyone else is either a supporting character or a side character. The appearances of Professor Oak, Brock, My Fuji and Giovanni were all pretty interesting and nice and were for the most part in line with what was in the games.

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Presentation-wise this is just some really awesome stuff. OLM, Production I.G and Xebec are the studios behind the creation of this special and their work is nothing short of wonderful. Of course there’s been an animated TV show for Pokemon since the late 90’s, but Origins feels far more accurate to the games with more active (and sometimes violent) Pokemon battles, wonderful drawn characters and incredible locations and the attention to detail is SO good! But what could be considered even better is the music, oh my god the music done by Masafumi Mima is GORGEOUS! The composer has taken the majority of the songs from the games and re-imagined them with a more realistic set of instruments and the end result is one of beauty! Almost every song you could imagine from the games has made it in, from the Gym Leader theme to the Lance battle theme to Green’s theme (my personal favourite), it’s all there and it kicks ass!

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In conclusion Pokemon: Origins is one hell of a nostalgia trip for fans of the first generation of Pokemon and is probably the most accurate portrayal we’re going to get in terms of an animated adaptation of the video games. This four-part special, while short, captured the essence of the games through the characters, locations, music and of course the battles too. While isn’t perfect due some inaccuracies and Red’s poor trainer habits and character flaws, otherwise this a bit of anime fun no fan should miss out on.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A good, nostalgic adaptation of Pokemon)

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Anime, Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Pokémon X Review

Hi people of the internet, time for me to do something I haven’t done for a while… A GAME REVIEW! AND IT’S A NEW ONE! Holy man, now don’t blow up ladies and gents, but I don’t really review any new games because I’m always broke or don’t have a console to play the games that I want. But anyway, today I want to talk about Pokémon X, a game I wanted to play for a while and just wanted to play for the sake of nostalgia. So now that my addiction for the game has died out, I think it’s time to review the game.

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There is a story in this game and as usual its kind of linear and never really overshadows your main playing experience. You mainly run around with four friends and from time to time they’ll show up out of nowhere and interrupt your fun to battle or join you on your adventure. Your rival is especially annoying because her timing can be particularly troublesome. Outside of that you’ll have to take on your typical evil Pokémon organization and there’s some crazy backstory involving Pokémon thousands of years ago in war and death, it is kind of surprising, but if you’re like me and only play Pokémon for the gameplay then the story won’t amount too much.

When it comes to the gameplay, there is a basic mixture of old and new implemented into this game that adds some welcome changes, but at the same time has some of the series’ problems still haven’t been rectified.

Firstly let’s talk about the new gameplay features and they include:

  • You can customize your character’s appearance (clothes, accessories, skin colour etc.)
  • Certain evolved Pokémon can use Mega Evolutions that make them more powerful during battle.
  • Also introduced are Sky Battles, mid-air trainer battles that only flying Pokémon can participate in, and Horde Encounters, in which players must battle against multiple wild Pokémon at once.
  • You’ll be able to choose from one of the classic starter Pokémon from Red & Blue later on in the game.
  • A new type of Pokémon is introduced in the form of the Fairy-type which were added to balance the Dragon-type.
  • Then there’s Pokémon-Amie which allows players to interact with their Pokémon, you get to play games and give them food that strengthens bonds.
  • Super Training features various mini-games that help build the base stats of the player’s Pokémon, which in turn unlocks training bags that can be used by Pokémon to grow stronger on their own.
  • The online experience has been streamlined and made absurdly convenient, allowing for trading and battling to be done in a quick and seamless manner.

Then you have some small variations to basic rules of the Pokémon series that make the experience move a lot faster and smoother than before especially for veterans. But outside of those differences/upgrades, the core gameplay of Pokémon X is exactly the same as it was before. You still start off as a little trainer who goes off and explores the world, catches and trades Pokémon, battles other trailers, takes on 8 gym leaders, take on an evil Pokémon organization and go to the Pokémon League and take on the Elite Four.

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As a person who’ been playing Pokémon games since the 90’s with Pokémon Red, I have experienced Pokémon in every form. Generation I and II were my favourites in the series, Gen III was good, but wasn’t leaps and bounds better than Gen II, Gen IV was okay, but very unremarkable and Gen V while different was not nearly as engaging or cool as previous entries. So I was SO glad that Generation VI was WAY more engaging and fun than any game I’d played in ages. I felt an immediate wave of nostalgia mixed in with whole new experiences that made me fall in love with Pokémon again! I liked training Pokémon again, I loved battling and going through the Kalos Region was just a delight.

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However for all those good aspects, there are a number of issues I have. Firstly the game is a bit on the easy side and while that’s not too much of a problem at first, it became noticeable towards the end of the game when I was pretty high level and took out the Elite Four pretty easily. Secondly and this is the biggest issue for me, THE GAME LOOSES SERIOUS STEAM AFTER THE MAIN GAME IS OVER! This has been an issue for most games in the series for a while now, but other than Gold & Silver, there hasn’t been a game in the series that has had a lot of replay value outside of the main campaign. Once you beat all the gym leaders and then take out the Pokémon League there isn’t much to do in the main campaign besides the dabble in some mundane tasks, get more Mega Stones and try out the Battle Masion. Unless you’re a completist or love battling and trading online, then this game will run out of steam very quickly.

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Presentation-wise Pokémon X is simply insane and never has the production values for a game in this series looked or sounded so good. Visually the graphics have had a major overhaul with the world and battles being completely rendered in polygonal 3D graphics! The world of Pokémon has taken a MASSIVE step forward in the graphical department and I say that is ABOUT BLOODY TIME! For the longest time I have been waiting for the series stop using sprites and go full-on 3D and now it’s finally happened. Seeing all of the Pokémon rendered in cel-shaded 3D models in battles with specific animations really make them stand out and emulate their traits from the anime shows. Outside of battles the new overworld looks brilliant, lively and more dynamic than ever with the varied camera angles, depth of field and a great deal of scope, especially with all the different NPCs on-screen in addition to these different environments. As for the audio it is pretty impressive on this side of things too. The soundtrack for this game is probably the best one I’ve heard since Ruby & Sapphire, it’s so different, realistic and upbeat, it is just a song for every scenario. My personal favourites would be the battle theme, Professor Sycamore’s theme and the gym leader music (which is totally badass). I think my only issue with the audio is the fact that not all of the Pokémon have voices like the anime and still rely on those terribly outdated sound effects (well, besides Pikachu).

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In conclusion Pokémon X is one of the best experiences I have had with this series in a long time. For the first time in ages there actually feels like there’s some actual change, innovation and rectifications to the franchise that it so badly needed. The fancy new graphics, refined gameplay and killer online features make it one of the most addictive games for a while. That being said, this game still lacks a good offline mode once the main quest is finished and unless you’re in love with trading and battling the fun factor runs out very quickly. When all is said and done Pokémon X is still a great game for newbies and a fun time for veterans too.

Rating: 8/10 (It may be easy and lacking in offline department, but there’s enough new features to make it a game worth playing)

So have you played Pokémon X & Y? And if you have, tell me what you think of Generation VI as a whole, was it everything you hoped it would be or did you want more? Whatever your thoughts drop them in comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Pokémon X has taken over my life!

Hi ladies and gents, just thought I’d do a quick blog post about my current status in the world of life and all that jazz. Basically I was meant to go to the cinema recently but because a little pair of new games by the names of Pokémon X and Y was released my time has been eaten up completely.

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Never thought a Pokemon game would get a would have my life again like this one has.

So yeah I’m back on the Pokemon hype. I have technically played at least one game from each generation of games right from the start of those pixelated games on the Game Boy back in the 90’s. In recent years the games haven’t been on my radar because there’s been a severe lack of innovation and no hook or addictive nature that the older games had. Both Diamond and Pearl and Black and White failed to do anything for me, but then comes X and Y which really has gone above and beyond to change the basic conventions of the series and it has done so very well.

The differences from the older games to this new game is insane! Just the small things from character customization to the cel-shaded 3D graphics in and out of battle to the new online features that make connecting with other trainers SO much better than before… My god the initial hours of this game have been some of the most addictive stuff ever. Me and my mate Craig got the game on Friday and was have the best times ever just talking about the new stuff and trading Pokemon.

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This was me and my mate right after we got our copies of the game. Such a happy moment!

I’ve been playing Pokemon X for two days now and I’ve been having a great session with it so far, but I’ve already fallen behind loads of other people who got the game when I did. My house mate had already gotten his mega evolution for his Blastoise and I’m sure there’s bare many people with stupid amounts of free time. I’m gonna fall so far behind yo. That being said I’m not in the mood to get into competitions with people, especially not when it comes to Pokemon. It’s just not my style. But all I know is that this’ll take up a lot of my free time so I’ll be a little late when it comes to reviewing, so sorry in advance.

But when it comes to Pokemon X I’m gonna be having a great session and I’ll take my damn time! 😀

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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Pokemon X and Y Announced For 3DS Out In October 2013! With Awesome New Tailer!

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Well this was a nice surprise to wake up to. I knew that there was going to be some big news for the Pokemon series announced this week, but to find out that it was a new Pokemon game for the 3DS, that was in full 3D and that it was also going to be out by October this year? Cool. While I wasn’t fussed about the whole Black and White series, I decided to wait for the next set of games that would show up for the 3DS… Then today I saw the announcement trailer and I basically blew up! Just check it out below:

Damn. All I can say it’s about time. Pokemon has needed to make that graphical leap from 2D to 3D for quite some time and the end result in this video looks incredible! I mean this is the exact style which I thought the game would take; taking on the new 3D graphics but with the 2D look still intact similar to cel-shaded visuals. If I had to compare this new look to other games of a similar style to Dragon Quest IX and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the DS where the 3D visuals are dominant but still have the 2D elements still there too. Pokemon X and Y seems like it has a lot of the 3D visuals that were implemented in Black and White when you’re running around in the overworld, but now it’s all 3D, colourful, dynamic and fresh.

The changes in camera angles and the way that you move throughout the worlds looks even fancier than before. And then the in-game battles… HOLY CHRIST WHAT AN UPGRADE! Visually the Pokemon characters look classically 2D but are not in full 3D sporting even more animation and style than before. Even the environments look vivid and support and dynamic camera that follows the action. There are all of these new and fancy animations like Pokemon land on the ground grass appears beneath them, Pokemon attacks are now in 3D too, Pokemon also move when it comes to physical attacks and support damage animations when getting hit (like in Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Battle Revolution).

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Here are our three new starter Pokemon in the form of Chespin, Froakie and Fennekin.

Along with the trailer Nintendo announced that Pokemon X and Pokemon Y would be launched together exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. Well since this game is coming in October that means the game must have been in development for quite some time, Nintendo and Game Freak are always working on new Pokemon games releasing them annually and while I wasn’t fussed about Black and White, but still want to try out Black and White Version 2, Pokemon X and Y could be some interesting stuff. While there’s no word on whether the game mechanics have upgraded or changed, al I know is that October 2013 will be an important point in the year for us gamers yo!

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Media, Video Games

 

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