Chronos asks:

On a mechanical standpoint, do you think the gameplay would suffer if there were no chance involved with the pokeball successfully catching the pokemon (aka 100% capture rate for all pokeballs)?
Excluding legendaries from the discussion for the moment, the catch rate mechanic seems a unnecessary clunky relic. I liked how they simplified the TM/HM system and move deleter/rememberer in Sw/Sh and made managing teams and trying new combos much easier.
Not to mention from mid game onwards you usually have a surplus of pokeballs anyway, particularly Ultra and Quick balls, that when a capture fails it feels more like a waste of time than anything else.

Hmm.

So… not going to lie, my reaction to this suggestion was more or less:

“What?  No, that’s obviously dumb.

…wait, hang on, is it?”

Continue reading “Chronos asks:”

A Pokémon Trainer is You! XXXV: Lunacy

[Catch up on the story so far here!]

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

What moves should Scallion focus on?
– Razor Leaf and Sleep Powder

What moves should Nancy keep?
– Thunder Wave and Helping Hand

Now that Scallion’s bigger and can’t lift his own weight on his Vine Whips, they’re not as useful; may as well go into Razor Leaf specialisation instead.  He’ll still have the vines, obviously; they just won’t be as versatile or effective without continual practice.  As for Sleep Powder, it’s not only great in battle, it’s so useful for pacifying wild Pokémon – or potentially even people, if you run into “Team Rocket” again – that you can hardly pass it up.  Nancy, on the other hand, you think should stick to what she’s already good at.  Thunder Wave is just a great disabling technique, and Helping Hand fits her cheerleader schtick too well to get rid of it.  The other moves she could learn instead might be useful, but you don’t think she really has the temperament for trickery to master them.

Continue reading “A Pokémon Trainer is You! XXXV: Lunacy”

No “A Pokémon Trainer Is You” this week

Just what the title says. I’ve foolishly enrolled in a graduate diploma for high school teaching as long as I’m here in New Zealand not working on my PhD (and, uh… to be honest I’m less than enthusiastic about going back to the US in August for the start of the next academic year), and I’m a bit embroiled in course work at the moment, especially since I’m technically in seven different classes that are all responding independently to New Zealand’s third lockdown and we’ve all completely lost track of what we’re supposed to be doing. Hopefully there will be an episode next week, along with part 2 of this thing.

Pokémon Presents 27/2/21

Soooooooo, how was everyone’s daaaaaay?

Yeah, yeah, I know, let’s talk about the thing

So, not counting the usual self-indulgent montage of Pokémon’s history, there’s three Things in this here broadcast:

  • More gameplay footage of New Pokémon Snap (which… okay I somehow didn’t realise this before but apparently it’s literally called New Pokémon Snap, and that is certainly… a choice?).
  • Announcement of the long-anticipated remakes of Diamond and Pearl, which, in keeping with the style established by previous remakes, will be titled Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon: Shining Pearl.
    • I’m gonna keep calling them Timey Diamond and Spacey Pearl though; try and stop me.
  • Announcement of a totally different game, also set in the Sinnoh region, titled Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Continue reading “Pokémon Presents 27/2/21”

in anticipation of forthcoming announcements:

The February 26 “Pokémon Presents” broadcast is, for me in New Zealand, at 4 o’clock on the morning of February 27, and frankly there is no force in heaven or earth that will get me out of bed that early just to listen to an announcement from the people who have STOLEN MY LIFE AND REFUSE TO JUST LET ME DIE IN PEACE

I’ll get to it when I get to it, whether it’s Diamond and Pearl remakes, or Let’s Go Johto, or a gritty live action reboot of the TV show, or a new mobile game based on the Celadon Game Corner where you play the slot machines with real money to win a .gif of a Porygon, or just 20 solid minutes of Junichi Masuda bawling his eyes out and knocking back bottles of sake like Gatorade after a marathon because all the Dexit tweets are starting to get to him

for the record, that last one is my official prediction and I am taking no additional questions until further notice

EDIT: actually though I will be streaming Final Fantasy X with Jim the Editor on his Youtube channel as we do every week at 9am NZ time (8pm UK and… I don’t fµ¢£ing know, some other time US) and I’ll probably watch/listen to the broadcast while we’re doing that, so if you want to hear my unstructured and profanity-laden first impressions to the backdrop of an angsty bleached-blonde teenager with daddy issues killing monsters with a Welsh sword… y’know, I’m sure that’ll be in some way worth listening to. I’ll tweet when we’re live or something.

Pokémon’s Generational “Flagship Mechanics”

How you know $#!t just got real.

As part of my eternal contract of service to the Dark Council of my highest-tier Patreon supporters (to whom special thanks, and a mighty tribute of souls and magic, are as always due), I regularly solicit topics from them to discuss in longer articles – and once again, that time has come.  Today I’m supposed to be talking about the (so far) three generational flagship mechanics of the Pokémon games – X and Y’s Mega Evolution, Sun and Moon’s Z-Moves and Sword and Shield’s Dynamax – in all their aspects, both how they practically work in the game and how they influence the story and lore of their worlds.  “Flagship mechanics” is my own term for these, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else say it, but I like it better than “gimmicks” because I think it’s a better reflection of what the developers seem to want them to be, so I’m gonna keep using it, and you all just have to deal with that because… it’s my blog, so shut up.

Let’s start with a summary for people who might not be familiar with one or more of the games that introduced and featured these mechanics:

Continue reading “Pokémon’s Generational “Flagship Mechanics””

A Pokémon Trainer is You! XXXIV: At the Mountains of Moonness

[Catch up on the story so far here!]

Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:

Who do you want to spend time with?
– Magikarp

You really need to hurry to reach your destination and get on with that… mission… thingy… or whatever.  I mean, not that I give a $#!t but it seemed important to you.  The going’s going to be much slower now that you’re climbing the mountain and trekking through caves.  Still, Mount Moon isn’t completely inhospitable.  Yeah, the cave floors are pretty uneven – lots of stalagmites and unexpected potholes – and gravel and dust keep falling on your head in a very unsettling way.  Your Pokédexes have GPS, but with so much rock over your heads they might as well be cardboard compasses.  On the other hand, you and Blue both have torches (plus the glowing tail flame of Blue’s new Charmander) and Brock’s map shows the layout of the caves on your direct route in fairly high detail.  There are even a couple of softly-glowing phosphor lanterns that must have been left by the dig team as waypoints.  You more than once trip over an unruly Geodude, but Scallion and Aura both have Grass attacks that can quickly send them packing; with Blue’s Squirtle on your flank, they’re no trouble at all.  There are also Zubat just… everywhere.  You love all Pokémon, Professor Oak groomed you to be a paragon young trainer and scientist, but if there were ever a Pokémon that could stretch your patience to breaking point, it’d be the one constantly trying to perch on your shoulder and give you a quick anaesthetic bite so it can suck your blood unnoticed while you walk onward through the dark caves.  Fortunately, Nancy the Negator isn’t having any of that bull$#!t.  On top of everything else, you have this uncanny sensation of being watched by something just outside your torchlight.  When you bring it up, the Pokémon just seem to think you’re being paranoid, but Blue bites his lip and mutters something about how it’s not paranoia if “they” really are out to get you.

Continue reading “A Pokémon Trainer is You! XXXIV: At the Mountains of Moonness”

Unown asks:

There are rumors that (well by the time you answer this maybe it’ll be announced) this month will reveal diamond and pearl remakes. What would you hope to see implemented in the remakes?

So… I am on the record as not seeing any particular need for remakes of Diamond and Pearl, and I don’t think I’ve changed my mind about that.  But we’ll probably get them eventually, whether that’s this year or at some later point, so just for the sake of argument let’s talk about it.

Continue reading “Unown asks:”

[Yes, I know it’s January] asks:

Is there a Pokémon version of Christmas? Is there, like, Arceus-mas or Arce-easter where people celebrate Arceus instead of Jesus? I’m pretty sure there was a winter festival about gifts or something in the anime.

Well, the Kanto series of the anime had a literal Christmas episode – like, they met Santa Claus and everything.  So the easy answer is yes, Christmas exists, takes place during the northern hemisphere’s winter and is associated with gift-giving.  Therefore, Jesus, St. Nicholas of Myra and the Christian faith all exist, therefore the Roman Empire existed and the date of Christmas was fixed at December 25th at some point during the reign of Constantine I in the 4th century (probably by the logic of that date being nine months after Passover, which was thought to be the date of Jesus’ conception, which in turn means that both Egypt and the Jewish people exist); in addition, if the birth of Jesus was a significant event we have to assume that his death was likewise significant and that Easter therefore also exists… and so on.

I said that was the “easy” answer, didn’t I…?

Continue reading “[Yes, I know it’s January] asks:”

KHM asks:

Have you considered that Ribombee’s Fairy Typing might be influenced by how you can connect bee flies’ reproductive habits with the trope of the Changeling (a fairy left in the place of a kidnapped human baby)?

Mmm, I’m not sure I see it, for three reasons.  One, nothing about Ribombee really seems like a reference to parasitism; it’s not an idea that the design or the flavour text or Ribombee’s mechanical abilities seem to be evoking.  Two, Cutiefly and Ribombee’s dainty, gossamer-winged physical appearance already gives us a pretty clear reason for them to be Fairy-types; we don’t need an explanation for that.  And three… well, I think there are better animal kingdom metaphors for changelings – namely brood parasitism, like what cuckoos do; they actually slip their eggs into the nests of other birds to trick them into raising the cuckoos’ chicks.  Personally, that’s where I’d go if I wanted to play with changeling mythology.  I suppose I don’t think it’s impossible that Ribombee is doing something along these lines, but I’m not convinced.