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Pokemon in Dream World

It's an article on the Pokemon Dream World, which just reopened today! I managed to squeeze into the cramped server space and spent some time messing around with the minigames and even got a new Pokemon to boot.

http://nintendo5star.blogspot.com/2010/10/pokemon-in-dream-land.html

I apologize for not being able to do the entry here but because there were screenshots of my PC screen, and lots of it, and those would definitely not fit here without compromising many important details. So, read up there and comment here ^^; It's the least I can do.

Luvdisc and Mamanbou



Two pink colored, heart shaped fish? Both of them Water type? Mamanbou (right) was long thought to be the evolution of Luvdisc (left), and in hindsight, it really seems to be ridiculous.

Even before Pokemon B/W was released, as soon as the announcement got out that Pokemon B/W would be completely new Pokemon without any use of a single old Pokemon, people should already have understood that the two of them CAN'T be related. Then came the argument that you can catch Mamanbou in the game, and breed to get a Luvdisc.

More proof? Now that the game is out, it's pretty obvious to just try breeding one to debunk the theory, but we have enough evidence even without doing that.

The Pokedex entries. Luvdisc gather around lovers. Mamanbou helps drowning and injured Pokemon back up to shore. Both have completely different behaviors. Luvdisc was based on the discus fish. Mamanbou was based off the ocean sunfish ('manbou' is the Japanese word for ocean sunfish). Different species. You can get Heart Scales from Luvdisc. If Mamanbou really is its evo, there would be no reason why you can't get Heart Scales from it too. But it doesn't have a hold item. Luvdisc's male/female ratio is 1:3. Mamanbou's is 1:1.

I do agree that most of this can only be found out after the game's been released, but when you see people continuing to argue about their relationship long after the game's release, you have to wonder if people do their research or not. Or maybe they really, really want a real Luvdisc evo but didn't get it.

All new Pokemon are better than any new evo to an old Pokemon, anyday. Except Togekiss.

Pokemon B/W and the Internet

When the Pokemon Global Link website opened its doors to Pokemon Black/White players on September 18th, it was gatecrashed and overloaded within half a day, forcing the site to immediately close again (witness the power of Pokemon fans). Today's October 4th, the day the Global Link recovers from its initial shock. And we finally get to take a gander at the features on offer!

The main attraction, the Dream World, won't be open until next week, so boo for that. You can still put your Pokemon to sleep and upload them to the Net for other stuff. Once you make a Pokemon Daisuki account and sync your Game ID to Pokemon Global Link, it can keep track of how far you've gone in the game, your play time and how many badges you have too (creepy).

I sent Tabunne online and used the Customize feature to change the skin of my C-Gear and Pokedex cover (by sending Tabunne back down after I made changes here). What were once plain designs now have Pokemon pictures on them. Wanna see?


You can even download new shows for Pokemon Musical there, and later on, box wallpapers. This has to be the best online content I've ever seen in a Pokemon game, and all is done by means of your game ID. Sounds flimsy, but it works so well you'll wonder who came up with this stuff.

You can have a profile on Pokemon GL, customize your avatar, add friends, and go to Global Battle Union (GBU) to check on rankings and battles people have won or lost. Monitor your own ranking too (raise this by going to Random Match in your game).

Since all this will be open to all players worldwide, I guess the Pokemon Daisuki Club account won't come into play anymore when Pokemon B/W is released in the US.

You can view the website here. Due to still lingering server constraints though, you can only play in Pokemon GL for an hour a day if you're logged in, and you can send Pokemon to the Dream World only once a day. I'm pretty sure this will be fixed in the coming days. Can't wait to try out Dream World next week!

Oh my god I actually bought it.

YES! The Pikachu DSi Charger I wanted so much, it has arrived!

It's really, really large, not as small as what we saw in Kotaku's product shot a few weeks ago. The whole thing is a lightweight plastic shell, with a slot for the DSi, and an extra interchangeable one in case you have a DSi XL. The adaptor wire goes behind Pikachu's tail.

Here's the full box from the front.

It's not Pokemon Black/White merchandise, the Pikachu charger is actually merchandise from the latest anime season, Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!

And now my DSi is sitting happily in it. YES!

Pokemon B/W- New Pokemon, Old Techniques

B/W may be the latest Pokemon game, but unlike any of the previous games, it doesn't turn to making another billion new methods to evolve your Pokemon or another billion new evolution stones. There are still new methods, but those have mercifully been kept to a minimum, instead focusing on the use of existing evolution methods to evolve the new Pokemon. Old Pokemon which have lost their evolution method due to the new location and removal of certain features (heh, knew it'd come back to haunt Game Freak someday) also have replacement methods.

Old stones finally get a new lease of life. It's almost refreshing.

Fire Stone

Baoppu evolves into Baokki
to

Water Stone

Hiyappu evolves into Hiyakki
to

Leaf Stone

Yanappu evolves into Yanakki
to

Thunder Stone

Shibiriru evolves into Shibirudon
to

Moon Stone

Munna evolves into Musharna
to

Sun Stone

Monmen evolves into Erufuun
to

Churine evolves into Doredia
to

Dusk Stone

Ranpuraa evolves into Chanderaa
to

Dawn Stone

Chiramii evolves into Chirachiino
to

-----

Trade

Gantoru evolves into Gigiasu (in the same vein as Graveler to Golem)
to

Dotekkotsu evolves into Roobushin (like Machoke to Machamp)
to

Happiness

Koromori evolves into Kokoromori
to

Kurumayu evolves into Hahakomori
to

Old Pokemon who have lost evolution methods like Feebas, Eevee and Magneton have either got new trade items, or substitute places for them to level up and evolve. As for new methods, there are only two- one is a new trade item, and the other is a Pokemon species-specific trade. I won't elaborate on them, maybe not just yet~!

Pokemon B/W- The Great Color Divide


One of the greatest disparities in Pokemon Black/White and the most interesting aspect of both games are their version-exclusive locations, Black City and White Forest. They're on the same location of the Isshu map, which is to the east of Raimon City (4th Gym, Pokemon Musical). Not only are they completely different, but the things you get to do in there will make players with opposite versions want to co-operate with each other even more. It does matter if you're black or white.

In Black City, it's all technology and buildings, with not a single hint of foliage on the ground. Here, you can battle many different strong Trainers and rematch them daily, something you can't do in the White Version. You also have an opportunity to buy evolution stones and other rare items that don't appear more than once or twice in-game. All the evolution stones. From the first 4 elemental stones all the way up to the Dusk/Dawn stones of Diamond/Pearl. Black City has it all. Players of White Version would be jealous...or would they?

White Forest is also a settlement of people, except they live in symbiosis with nature and Pokemon around them. Although you don't get rare items or trainers, there are Pokemon living in White Forest which can't be caught in Pokemon Black after you obtain the National Dex. These Pokemon are at Level 5 in the wild, and can be battled by the trainers in Pokemon Black as their fully-evolved forms (for example, you can catch a Nidoran in White, but battle Nidoqueen in Black). Pokemon Black owners won't be able to catch these Pokemon. Thought there were just 3 different version exclusive Pokemon sets? Factor White Forest in and White has at least thirty more exclusive Pokemon.

White is disadvantaged by not being able to gain access to more items and EXP Points, while Black is disadvantaged by not being able to catch more Pokemon. Of course, the High Link connects the two versions by local wireless so each can reap the benefits of the other. The Pokemon you can catch/battle also changes when High Link is used. This is how Black/White makes players co-operate with each other. Clever, ain't it?

Pokemon White- first impressions

Okay, I have the import, I've played at least seven hours, and I'm ready to say what I think about this new Pokemon game. B/W is supposed to be 'a fresh start' for the series. It may sound like a gimmick, but spend half an hour in B/W and you realize that even though the core gameplay remains exactly the same, it couldn't be any more detached from the rest of the series.

Killed off all their darlings

B/W is wall-to-wall new Pokemon. Not even series staples like Pikachu, Zubat, Magikarp, Geodude or Tentacool were spared. No creature you see in the new Isshu region will have any connection with all 493 Pokemon of old (though new, similar Pokemon have been made to fill in important roles, like Tabunne to replace Chansey's nursing role). It may not sound like much, but having all-new Pokemon really does give you a feeling like you're starting all over again, catching every Pokemon you find, leveling them up just to see when they evolve or learn a new move. With each passing generation we've gotten sick of it purely because at least half the Pokemon we play with every region are old Pokemon we've seen before, to the point of absolute disgust. Here, it's like you're a new Trainer.

Easier to even out, harder to pull ahead

Pokemon has always encouraged training one team evenly, but no matter how hard Nintendo makes it to train Pokemon, the system has always been circumvented by gorging one Pokemon full of EXP(experience points) and breezing through the entire game. To make sure people don't spoil their own fun this time around, an advanced EXP gaining system was introduced. If your Pokemon's level is lower than the opponent's, bonus EXP is given out. If it is higher, it gets less EXP than it should. This makes things a little harder as it's difficult to face a Gym Leader with a level advantage due to the decreasing EXP gain per level for your Pokemon, unless you grind like hell. In a way, it's fun, as you can finally have a 6-Pokemon team that advances together with each other, and for once, a reasonable amount of challenge facing tough bosses.

Strict habitats

Unlike most other regions, Pokemon in Isshu, with the exception of the most common ones, will only be catchable in one or two routes each. A good thing indeed, as it ensures you always have something new to try and catch when you advance to a new route, instead of going to a new route and having to contend with ten old monsters just to get to a new one.

Impatient rares

As we advance through each new Pokemon game, there's one interesting fact about us- we're becoming less and less willing to spend time running away from a billion common wild Pokemon just to find one rare Pokemon. I don't know how many times I've tried to find one and after two hours of doing nothing but running away, became skeptical about the rare 'mon even existing on that route. Now, patches of grass and water will shake and bubble randomly, which is a sign that a rare Pokemon is there. Sound easy? The probability of that happening is still low. But, at least you don't have to worry about purposely going into the grass to look for rare Pokemon anymore. It's more convenient.

Look at the levels rise!

Route 1 Pokemon are typically, level 2 and 3. By route 2, wild Pokemon will be level 5 at the most, and 7 at route 3. But in Isshu, the wild Pokemon are bat**** insane. By Route 2 in Isshu, you already start encountering wild Pokemon at level 7 on average, and it quickly approaches double digits after the first Gym. What have they been smoking?

Status effects -2 annoyance

Poison no longer inflicts damage on your Pokemon while you're walking in the field. Confuse status has been made rarer, and not spammed by every second Pokemon you find in the wild, which is very, very welcome. The local bat Pokemon, Koromori, hasn't even tried to Supersonic me yet. Not even once. This is GREAT! Zubat has a worthy successor.

Large and in charge

The one city that's been in the news since the very beginning was Hiun City, which turns out to be the spot of the 3rd Gym Leader. As by god, is it big. It sounds like Nintendo is just giving us an attraction to play with, but when I got lost trying to find the Hiun City Gym (no, seriously. SERIOUSLY), you know Pokemon has transcended their high water mark in terms of city design and largeness. Now THIS is a city, not those stupid 'four houses in a square' microscopic things pretending to be cities. Even regular-sized cities have been sized up, with the smallest one, Karakusa Town, averaging the size of Goldenrod City in Johto (which was the largest city in the region, and speaks volumes of how big Pokemon has gotten with progress).

Pokemon White has had me completely gobsmacked from the beginning, from the different, gorgeous visuals, to the dynamic battle scenes, to the upgraded level of challenge, to the fantastic music, to the classic, unmatched core gameplay, which can remain unchanged for decades to come and still manage to feel fresh, something which cannot be said of many other games. Can't wait to play more!

I've lost touch with the gaming scene

You know, there used to be a time where I could rattle off the names of the most wanted games every year, not just for a Nintendo console, but for all three competitors. Even if I didn't own Sony or Microsoft's consoles, I still knew the most hyped-up games and could at least be excited for the people around me who are getting those games. When I bought my Gamecube in 2003, I remembered how Halo was the game to have on XBox, and how big Halo 2 was going to expand on it. I remembered Sly Cooper and Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank's first games. I remembered the promising previews for Doom 3. Further down the road I knew to get hyped up for Devil May Cry 2/3, Killzone, Metal Gear Solid 3, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Assassin's Creed and Gears of War even though I knew those weren't the games suitable to my taste and I would never lay a finger on them. I knew tons of people want them. I knew tons of gamers who want them. Yes, even the first-person shooters.

Not today, though. It seems with each passing year I feel more and more out of touch with the 'biggest names' in gaming. Two years ago I sensed overwhelming, euphoric hype for Halo 3 from all around the world. This year was the release of the next in the series, Halo: Reach. Regular gaming friends and occasional magazine articles aside, I didn't feel the same amount of excitement being generated. The hype was gone. Why? (I knew as much about Halo 3 as I do about Halo: Reach, and I've never played either one, so it's a fair comparison)

The only big games outside of my comfort zone which I really felt the excitement and heat this year was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Bayonetta (oddly enough). MW2 wasn't even this year's game. I picked up a recent games magazine covering the E3 2010 news, and despite all the 'big games', I didn't feel like I knew what the hell any of those were any more, despite half of the games being sequels to games which I fondly remember as killer apps back in their day. Killzone 3? Gear of War 3? Resistance 3? CoD: Black Ops? HAWX 2?.

The over-saturation of the gaming market with shooters and gritty, realistic games filled with the same guns, the same wars and the same generic people, has blurred my vision of the colorful, varied gaming world I once remembered. Hand me a new game title I haven't heard of. 9 out of 10 times, if I don't see a screenshot or a brief explanation, I think of a shooter game. 8 out of 10 times I'll think it's a realistic, blood-filled game with lots of swearing and boring environments. 7 out of ten times I'll think it's a war game.

Example. I saw the name 'Child of Eden'. First thoughts? Just like what I mentioned just now. By delving just a bit deeper only did I find a trippy Kinect rhythm game worthy of some respect. I'm sure I'm not alone in sharing such prejudices about games these days and I don't know about you but this is going to be very unhealthy for gaming if prolonged. My interest in gaming in general and chasing after the latest gaming news has weaned by half thanks to everyone wanting a piece of the shooter game market, and it's only going to get worse.

Gone are the days when one shooter game is complemented by one RPG, one puzzle game, one rhythm game, one platformer game, one sports game, instead, the former is gaining full dominance over everything. I am not a hardcore Nintendo fan, I support games on other platforms too, but only if they imbue the spirit of my ideal gaming world from 8 years ago, with creativity, new ideas, new concepts, new colors, new characters. The occasional sequel is nice. I do concur that there is hope at the end of the tunnel, since I've found a new, non-Nintendo platform game to obsess over- Marvel vs Capcom 3.

But much still has to be done to restore the industry to its former glory. A gaming world with nothing but violent shooter games is completely unimaginable and would destroy whatever little faith I have left in my own hobby.

P.S. I know I didn't cover shovelware games for Wii/DS but that's another story altogether. I will say this though- they're just as despicable as the situation mentioned above.