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.

Patreon tier changes

I’ve made some changes to my Patreon tier structure, which will hopefully make small donations a bit more worthwhile. New benefits are as follows:

The “minion” tier ($1+) lets you jump the queue for my Q&A box by sending me questions via Patreon DMs. Right now I have so many unanswered questions, most of which are complicated ones that I can’t easily knock out in half an hour, that there’s a sort of wishing-well quality to putting anything in the question box. It doesn’t cost me anything to rearrange the queue, so I think it’s reasonable to give that to anyone prepared to support me, even for only a small amount.

I’ve never had anyone sign up specifically for the $8/month tier that included access to behind-the-scenes material, so I’m moving that to $5 and getting rid of the $4 tier (which used to have the question priority benefit).

And lastly, it’s now $10/month (down from $12) for membership on the Dark Council, which gets to make suggestions for a longer discussion article every month, as well as a unique title on my acknowledgements page and a shout-out at the end of articles.

If you like my writing and would like me to be able to do more of it, check out https://www.patreon.com/pokemaniacal and consider a monthly donation – every little helps!

Final Fantasy Friday

In principle Jim the Editor and I are supposed to be streaming Final Fantasy X tomorrow morning/tonight (7am NZ time, 8pm UK time). Unfortunately, Jim’s just moved to a new flat and doesn’t have a good enough internet connection for streaming. For this week, we’ve pre-recorded something and are going to have it go live with Youtube’s premier feature, so we can have it air at the usual time with a live chat. As always, come and hang out if you’re free!

“A Pokémon Trainer Is You!” is coming back!

This has been paused for far longer than I meant it to be, but starting tomorrow, A Pokémon Trainer Is You! is coming back! If you don’t know/remember what that is (in which case, well, I can’t blame you; I haven’t written anything for it in months) APTIY is an interactive story loosely based on the events of Pokémon: Red and Blue, where the main character’s actions and choices are determined by polls of the audience. It was previously on a weekly update schedule, but in future I’m going to aim for every two weeks, at least for the time being, to avoid taking too much time away from articles. If you haven’t read any of this story before, or just want a refresher on everything that’s happened so far, you can read it all here!

Streaming Final Fantasy X

Tomorrow morning at 7 am NZ time/8 pm tonight UK time, I’m going to be hanging out on Skype with Jim the Editor while he streams Final Fantasy X for his Youtube channel for about 90 minutes. If you’re free, come hang out and talk about the game with us!

EDIT: And here it is!

We kinda… wound up talking a lot about my research while Jim indulged in his favourite pastime – level grinding – so if you want to hear me ramble in an unstructured way about ancient glass to a backdrop of random encounters in Kilika woods, this is the video for you.

Should I write something about “Journeys”?

I want to do… some kind of coverage of Pokémon Journeys, the new season of the Pokémon TV show, because I’ve watched the first three episodes in English and really liked them but don’t want to go further before I’ve decided exactly how to approach it.  I’m concerned about taking time away from other projects – like Pokémon reviews, or restarting A Pokémon Trainer is You! – but it does also seem worth discussing.  For those first episodes, I give Jim the Editor a live commentary on Facebook Messenger, and it would be pretty low-effort to just, like… post that, largely unedited or with a few illustrative screenshots mixed in.  Or I could try to do short (like sub-500 word) write-ups of what I think of each episode as I go through them, which would be more thoughtful at the cost of splitting my time and attention.  Or I could just watch it all in my own time and keep my thoughts to myself until there’s time to do some more substantial articles on broader topics like characters and themes, maybe a few more months down the line.

Regardless of the actual form of discussion, Jim the Editor also suggested I could host Netflix watch parties, which… are not a concept I fully understand or see the value of, and would probably involve some awkward time zone contortions with me in New Zealand and most of my readers in America, but I’d be happy to give it a shot? I think basically it’s just a bunch of people all watching the same thing in Netflix at the same time, and also there is a chat window, which could be fun. Is that something anyone has any experience of, or would like to see me try?

Watch our stream!

So today Jim and I tried out streaming Final Fantasy X and chatting about it, and you can watch the result on-demand here:

I am clearly not good at this but we’re going to keep doing it every week, and maybe develop our, uh… live entertainment skills. So if you find this passingly amusing, stop by next week (8-9:30 pm Friday in the UK, 7-8:30 am Saturday in New Zealand); it’ll probably get better!

I guess this is also the first time anyone who reads this blog will have heard my voice? Except the handful of you who also know me in real life, obviously. I dunno if that’s a huge selling point for you. It’s a weird voice. Jim’s is much more representative of a New Zealand accent, mine is all over the place.

so yeah, that’s this thing