Category Archives: News

Pokemon Journal: Saved the Galaxy, Now I’m Lost in a Cave!

Pokemon Diamond Logo

Well, when we left off, I was just about to challenge the entire Team Galactic Eterna City Headquarters building. No easy task for a small 10 year old boy. Especially since they have the strongest security systems known to man in the Pokémon world, small trees strategically placed in from of the building. Despite their size, these small trees are impossible to pass without cutting them down outright, which is exactly what we did.

Jupiter Skuntank

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside, I got the vibe that even most of the members don’t actually know what the plan is, they’re just going along for the ride. I guess it makes sense, only the really higher ups would have to understand things like stealing energy from evolving Pokémon to open up a portal in space to summon an ancient god, or whatever their plan is. Everyone else is just trying to pay rent. Either way I can’t let them kidnap the bike shop owner…oh, and stealing Pokémon, I guess that’s not good either. That means I have to defeat their boss, Commander Jupiter. Her Skuntank actually gave me a lot of trouble, wiping out half my party before I took her down. But she was defeated and everyone’s Pokémon were returned to them. Out of gratitude the bike shop owner even gave me a free bike. Now I can ride the cycling road with all the other cool Pokémon trainers. It also means I can finally use the direct path between Eterna and Oreburgh, not that it does me much good now. I don’t want to go too far just yet though, I remember passing someplace I want to check out first.

Old Chateau Gastly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at the exit to the Eterna Forest, or I guess entrance if you’re coming in FROM Eterna City, there was a path blocked off with some of those impassible little trees. Past them is the Old Chateau, an abandoned manor in the middle of the woods rumored to be haunted. In fact, I know it’s haunted, I saw ghosts in there myself. In addition to the ghost type Pokémon Ghastly, who frequently appears, I also saw what looked like a butler float away after he saw me. Then there was a painting with glowing red eyes which disappeared when I got close. It’s all very creepy and I think I should run away as fast as possible.

Sinnoh Route 206

So with the ghosts far behind me, it’s time to battle my way down the cycling road. There were a few trainers, though no one of great interest. What actually caught my eye was the scenery below the road. A few grassy areas, some berries, and to the very north a small cave opening in the side of the mountain. I don’t know why, but I really wanted to know what was nestled away in that little cave, a curiosity I would soon regret. The whole cave is so dark I can only see a few spaces around me, and the paths are very confusing in the dark and I quickly got lost. The cave is full of Bronzor which were dealing out quite a bit of damage to my poor Pokémon. I was sure this is where I would die. That’s when I go very lucky, I found an escape rope on the ground and was able to leave the cave. Back to town I went to buy a few more to keep with me. Never leave town without an escape rope!

Mt Coronet

Now that my wallet is empty and my bag is full of goodies, it’s time to press forward through Mt Coronet. I didn’t make it far into the cave before someone runs up to me and starts monologuing at me. If he said his name I didn’t catch it, but just looking at him I can guess he’s part of Team Galactic. He was going on about how Mt Coronet was the origin of the Sinnoh region and how people are weak or something. I don’t really know. I was mentally prepping myself for battle at the time. Because really, whether it’s a game or real life, if someone runs up to me and starts monologuing, my only thought process is along the lines of “I’m going to punch this guy in the face until he shuts up.” The mental prep was unnecessary it would seem as he shut up and walked away all on his own without a fight, leaving the rest of the short walk through the cave very uneventful.

Buneary Keira

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon entering the next town, Hearthome, there was a fun little scene where I help a woman recapture her escape Buneary. While on its own, this is a cute little scene of being in the right place at the right time to help someone, looking deeper actually makes this rather dark. After being captured, Pokémon are loyal and obedient almost to a fault. They love their master and would do anything for them. For a Pokémon to actually RUN AWAY, that woman must have been horrible to it, and I prevented its one chance at freedom. But go ahead and see it whichever way you want.

Hearthome City

The rest of Hearthome is actually very friendly, with key places like the Pokémon Fan Club, the Poffin House, Amity Square, And the Contest Hall. The last of which a fellow traveler was nice enough to guide me straight to. There was another brief interaction at the door, this time with a woman named Fantina. Fantina happens to be this town’s gym leader as well as a self proclaimed contest expert. She even taunts me that she won’t challenge me until I become stronger, and then walks off. I’ll show her stronger, but first to check out the Pokémon Contests.

Johanna

Believe it or not, this is my mom. She looks like she’s 12 years old, but she’s somehow my mom…

 

Yet another surprise inside, apparently my mom has come to enter into the Pokémon Contests as well. I didn’t even know she had her own Pokémon. Usually your mom just stays home and lives in the kitchen. After a brief conversation with her and Keira, the woman I helped earlier, it’s time to enter the contests. Normally I don’t bother with these, but I felt like giving it a try. I entered my Pachirisu into the “Cute” competition. I didn’t know what I was doing, and Pachirisu is apparently more suited to the “Cool” competition, but somehow I managed to win. That was actually kind of fun, maybe I’ll come back and do more some other time.

Egg Happiny

 

 

 

 

 

 

With that out of the way, it’s time to show Fantina I’m no weakling… or not. I guess she was serious when she said she wouldn’t challenge me until later. Oh well. After a quick walk around to see the rest of the sites, I guess there’s not much else to do here until I’m strong enough to actually fight Fantina, so off we go. But not before talking to the random hiker by the gate. He gave me an egg which I’m just compelled to hatch now. So time to jump on my bike and get this egg hatched. It felt like it took forever, but it was worth it when it hatched into a happy little Happiny, Chansey’s pre-evolution. The Chansey family is notoriously hard to catch, and are actually pretty good defensive characters. Maybe I’ll have to swap her in at some point if someone in my party just isn’t working out.

Lost Tower

Anyway, I finally get back to my adventure to the next town, but it doesn’t take long before I’m sidetracked again. Just before the next town lies the Lost Tower, a Pokémon cemetery building. Why does every game have a cemetery? I still have nightmares of Lavender Town from the first game! The Lost Tower isn’t as big or as creepy as Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town, but some of the trainers inside are a bit questionable. Like the young couple apparently on a date. Who goes on a date to a cemetery?! Upon reaching the top, one of the old ladies gave me the HM Move Strength. It’s an odd choice if you ask me, but I’m happy to have it none the less.

Solaceon Town

Immediately north of the Lost Tower we find ourselves in Solaceon Town. This small little town is home to the daycare center, the only place where you can breed Pokémon. I haven’t mentioned this before, but I actually go out of my way to catch only female Pokémon for the purpose of breeding them. Not for any perfect Pokémon like some people do. I don’t even fully understand IV’s and EV’s and egg moves and all that other competition level metagame stuff. I just breed them so I can have a full Pokédex. Then when I play the next game, I can trade a baby Pokémon to the new game and get a full Pokédex there too. On a side note, I love how no one in the Pokémon world will admit where babies come from. No matter who you ask “no one has ever seen a Pokémon lay an egg, so no one knows where they come from.”

Solaceon Ruins 1F Unown

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, it’s a bit early to be worrying about breeding for a full Pokédex just yet. Instead I thought I should go check out that cave on the east side of town. This cave is actually the Solaceon Ruins, an ancient structure with mysterious ancient writings on the wall. I can’t even tell you how happy I am to see the Unown return as the ancient language of choice. If you never played it, the 3rd generation used Braille for the ancient ruins, a decision that pleased no one. Ignoring the fact that Braille isn’t old enough to be used as ancient writing, very few normal sighted people can actually read it, and any blind person obviously can’t see it or touch is as it’s intended, making it useless to virtually everyone.

First Floor Wall

The inscription on the first floor wall reads “Top Right, Lower Left, Top Right, Top Left, Top Left, Lower Left.” I took these instructions to indicate which of the four stairs to take while exploring the ruins. I followed them and found myself in a room with 4 items on the ground as well as another inscription on the wall. “Friendship. All lives touch other lives to create something anew and alive.” a wonderful message, unfortunately, now I’m lost in another cave. I guess I could explore a bit, but for now I think I’d rather just escape rope out.

A quick visit to the Pokémon Center back in town and it’s time to keep pressing forward to the next town and the next badge. But that will have to be for another time. I hope you’ll join me again as I explore the world of Pokémon Diamond.

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Current Team:

Prinplup Drifloon Pachirisu
Prinplup Drifloon Pachirisu
Level: 26 Level: 24 Level: 24
Cranidos Cherubi Bibarel
Cranidos Cherubi Bibarel
Level: 23 Level: 21 Level: 20

 

Play Time: 15h 10m

Badges: 2

Pokédex Entries: 59

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Article: Altered Beast (Genesis)

genesis_alteredbeast

The Goddess Athena has been kidnapped! It’s up to you as the resurrected shape shifting Centurion warrior to fight your way through an army of the undead to rescue her!

If that sounds like a good time, then check our my latest article! Altered Beast (Genesis)

Pokemon Journal: Filling Out the Party!

Pokemon Diamond Logo

Having beaten Roark, the first gym leader, it’s time to press onward. The next gym is located directly north in Eterna City. Of course, with this being an RPG, the direct path is off limits right now. There is a steep cliff I could climb if I had a bike. Unfortunately, bikes are sold IN Eterna City, so it looks like it’s the long way around for me. Back through the cave, through Route 203, all the way back to Jubilife city, and then head north to go the long way around to Eterna City.

Floaroma Town

Now that I have the first badge, Bidoof can use Rock Smash outside of battle to clear the way through Route 204. It was a peaceful little path leading right into Floaroma Town. If you can’t tell, the town name is a combination of the words “Flora” (Flowers) and “Aroma” (Smells). As such, the small town is covered in flowers. This is also were I was first introduced to Berries. I can’t wait to start farming berries. Then I’ll never have to buy potions again.

Valley Windworks

All is not well is this peaceful little town however. It appears the evil Team Galactic is causing trouble. East of town is The Valley Windworks, a wind powered power plant. Team Galactic has taken it over as well as held an employee hostage in order to harness the energy for themselves. Clearly this is a job for an unsupervised 10 year old. Not the police, never the police, actually I don’t think I’ve seen any police…

Mars

After beating up some of the grunts to get the key, it’s time to rescue the worker inside. The only way to do that is to defeat Mars, the Team Galactic Commander. I felt a little under leveled for this fight, and I didn’t think to heal before hand, so I had a little trouble with her, but in the end I won and saved the day!

Cheryl

With Team Galactic defeated, it’s time to continue on my journey to Eterna City. We’re almost there now, we just need to pass through the Eterna Forest first. There’s actually a pretty interesting story mechanic when you’re in the forest. At the entrance, a woman named Cheryl asks you to assist her through the forest. In reality, she is assisting you. The whole time she’s with you, all of your battles will be double battles. Even the wild encounters will have 2 Pokémon. On top of that, after every battle, she will heal your Pokémon back up to full health. The downside is that with her in the party, she might kill the wild Pokémon before you get a chance to catch them.

Eterna City

Either way, I finally made it to Eterna City. I’m so happy to finally make it to Eterna City because this is where you can get the Explorer Kit which lets you can play in the Underground. I remember when I briefly played years ago that this was my favorite part of the game. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a mini game where you run around in the underground tunnels digging up fossils and gems and even items out of the cave walls. This is also where you can set up your secret base and play games with your friends.

Pachirisu Drifloon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after about an hour playing in the underground, it’s time to keep moving forward. I want to challenge the next gym leader, but my party isn’t ready for that. I’m also not too happy with the combination of Pokémon in my party at the moment. So before we go after the gym leader, let’s fill out the party to my liking. Heading all the way back through the Eterna Forest and back to the Valley Windworks, I caught the first two additions to my party. In the grass I caught I wonderful little Pachirisu. It’s this generation’s version of Pikachu, and is just cute as hell. Plus if I remember right, last year’s official Pokémon champion had one and it was a big deal for a long time. I also waited around until Friday so I could catch a Drifloon. I always love to have a ghost type in my party, they always end up being great additions.

Cherubi

I didn’t mention it before, but back in Floaroma you can buy honey to spread on special trees to attract Pokémon. This is very reminiscent of the trees in Gold and Silver that you could head butt to find Pokémon. Though I never really paid much attention to them. This time I’m making an exception because I want a Cherubi. I know most people seem to hate the food Pokémon, but I love them. Also I think they must be stronger than any other Pokémon. Think about it, if you are something that someone could ACCIDENTALLY EAT because they didn’t know you were a living creature, you’ve got to be doing something right just to still be alive.

Skull Fossil Cranidos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s see, I have my water type starter Piplup, which has since evolved into Prinplup. I’ve got an electric type with Pachirisu. My ghost type Drifloon. And my grass type Cherubi. There’s also my HM slave Bidoof. Everyone hates him, but you know what, I once did a solo run with a Rattata (otherwise known as the Joey Challenge) and that Rattata was awesome, so maybe I’ll be surprised with Bidoof. That leaves one slot free, and I am lacking a tank character. So I’m going to incorporate my love for the underground, and head all the way back to Oreburgh City to revive my Skull Fossil into the once again living Cranidos.

Gardenia Forest Badge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So with my party filled out, and a little bit of level grinding behind me, it’s time to take on the second gym. The Eterna Gym is a grass type gym, so while I don’t have any fire types to make this really easy, Prinplup and Drifloon both have flying type attacks which are just as good. Before I get to fight the gym leader however, there’s a little bit of hide and seek with the junior trainers. Once I find and defeat the first junior trainer, they gave me a hint to where I could find the next and so on until I defeated them all. Only then could I fight Gardenia, the grass type gym leader. She actually gave quite a challenge, and I think I might have been a bit under leveled. But between Drifloon’s gust and Prinplup’s peck, I had nothing to worry about. Before long, I won and was awarded the Forest Badge as proof of my victory.

Galactic Eterna Building

With proof of my team’s growing power, it’s time to face off again against Team Galactic. They’ve apparently been stealing people’s Pokémon and now even the bike shop owner has gone missing ever since he went to talk to them. That’s unacceptable, I need a bike NOW!! Also I guess they shouldn’t be taking people’s Pokémon. That’s not nice. But that’s going to have to be a story for another day.

Thank you for following me on my adventure and you’ll just have to wait till next time to see how my battle with team galactic goes.

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Current Team:

Prinplup Drifloon Cranidos
Prinplup Drifloon Cranidos
Level: 22 Level: 23 Level: 20
Pachirisu Cherubi Bidoof
Pachirisu Cherubi Bidoof
Level: 20 Level: 17 Level: 14

Play Time: 10:03

Badges: 2

Pokédex: 40

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30 Minute: Quarth (Gameboy)

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a space shooter! It’s a block puzzle! It’s QUARTH!!

Quarth Full Cover

It’s the illegitamate love child of Space Invaders and Tetris and you’re sure to love it just the same!

So come read my latest 30 Minute Review: Quarth (Gameboy)

Pokemon Journal: An Adventure Begins!

Pokemon Diamond Logo

Hello everyone who has decided to follow me on this adventure!! If you’ve read my last post, then you’ll already know that I have a long, though rather distant relationship with the Pokémon series. I’ve purchased every game in the main series, as well as a few spin-off titles, but I’ve never actually played any of them since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire on the GBA. In fact, I only first played Ruby to completion last year. For a series that shaped my gaming habits so much, I feel this is a great disservice. So, I’ve decided that this year I want to play all the main series games I’ve been neglecting. Well, at least 1 from each set since they’re the same basic game and story.

Since I’m playing these games legit on a DS / 3DS, I can’t really get the screenshots like I normally would for an article. I also don’t think an article would do the Pokémon series justice anyway. Instead, I plan to keep a journal of my adventures and update it maybe once a week. Not really sure yet, we’ll see how much I do in a week and adjust accordingly.

Diamond Cover

So let’s start this adventure with Pokémon Diamond! Originally released in North America on April 22, 2007, it kicked off Pokémon’s 4th generation, and made the transition over to the then new Nintendo DS. It introduced the northern Sinnoh region of the Pokémon world, which is roughly based on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. I’m actually kind of looking forward to some snowy areas and probably and ice cave at some point.

Turtwig Chimchar Piplup
Turtwig Chimchar Piplup

So, now comes the most important decision of any Pokémon game, picking a starter. Should it be the grass turtle Turtwig? The fire monkey Chimchar? Or the little penguin Piplup? as much as I want to take all of them, I’ve got to choose Piplup. I’ve always wanted a pet penguin. They just seem like they would be so much fun.

Professor Rowan

After acquiring my starter Pokémon, it’s time to leave my tiny home town of Twinleaf Town and head over to Sandgem town to talk to Professor Rowan, this games Pokémon Expert. He gave me my Pokedex and entrusted me with the job of gathering data on all the Pokémon in the region. Clearly a task best suited to an unsupervised 10 year old boy.

Jubilife City

I continued on my journey until I eventually reached Jubilife City, possibly the largest town I’ve encountered in a Pokémon game to NOT have a Pokémon Gym. What this town does have is the Pokémon Trainer’s School, the TV Station, the Pokétech Company, as well as the Global Trade Station. This city is just so full of life, it’s such a nice welcome into this new world of pokemon.

Pokétch Poketech - Clock

 

 

 

 

 

While exploring the town, I’m given a free Pokétech by the owner of the company. I love the idea of the Pokétech, just something simple and useful to put on the bottom screen while you’re playing mostly on the top screen. Apparently I can even get more apps for it after I beat some of the gyms.

Zubat

Speaking of gyms, the first one is to the east in Oreburgh City. Unfortunately, there’s a cave between Jubilife and Oreburgh, which means there’s going to be a lot of Zubats. There’s ALWAYS so many Zubats in all the caves. They tricked me this time, now there are Zubats OUTSIDE the cave too!! Thankfully the cave itself, named Oreburgh Gate, isn’t very long. It’s only a few screens across and is a near perfectly straight path. There was even a hiker who gave me the HM Skill Rock Smash. So yeah, best cave ever.

Oreburgh City

As the name suggests, Oreburgh City is a mining community. There’s also a Mining Museum in town which reminds me of the Pewter Museum of Science from the first gym town of the first generation games. The first Gym leader isn’t around at first, I have to go find him digging in the mine before I can fight him.

Onix

While I was looking for him in the mine, I happened across an Onix that annoyed me so much. I love Onix, and I wanted to catch it, but even weakened down into the red, that stupid Onix took about 20 Pokeballs before I finally caught him. Every single one I owned at the time in fact. I would have been so upset if I wasted all those Pokeballs and didn’t even catch it.

Roark Coal Badge

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first gym leader, Roark, uses Rock type Pokémon, so my water type Piplup made quick work of him. I’m so glad I picked Piplup as my starter. Now that I have my first Gym badge, I’m officially on my way to becoming a Pokémon master!!!

So, that’s all for now. But soon, I will be the Sinnoh Pokémon Champion!!!

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Current Pokémon Party:

Piplup Onix Abra
Piplip Onix Abra
Level: 14 Level: 9 Level: 5
Bidoof
Bidoof
Level: 10

Play Time: 3 :17

Pokedex Entries: 18

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Squirtle, I Choose You!!!

Looking back, the Pokémon series has been an important part of my life, shaping many of my major hobbies. The Pokémon anime was one of my first animes, back before I really knew what anime was. The card game kindled my joy of building collections, against my wallet’s wishes of course. Most of all, the Pokémon games shaped me into the gamer I am today, specifically Pokémon Red.

Pokemon Red

I still vividly remember my first ever experience with Pokémon. My dad was driving me, my older brother and his friends to a concert. One of my brother’s friends had Pokémon with him and let me play for a little while. I was instantly hooked. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, because until then I had only played games like Mario, or Sonic. Fast paced action games that didn’t rely on story, so this really threw me off. I remember I bought a strategy guide for the game to study up on all the different Pokémon. I didn’t own the game yet, I didn’t even own the system, but I wanted to know everything I could about them.

When I finally did get the game, it was a collection of firsts for me. The Gameboy Color, in addition to being my first Gameboy, was also my first system that was completely mine. Not like the NES or the Genesis which were shared with my older brother. Pokémon Red was also the first game that was officially MY game. It was also my first RPG, the beginning of what is now my favorite genre. And of course, it was my first ever Pokémon. I chose Squirtle, a decision I’ve never regretted.

That Squirtle was my favorite ever and was in my party for the whole game. Eventually he evolved into a Blastoise, and with training made it to level 100, becoming strong enough to solo the entire Elite 4. For a while, he was basically my best friend, walking with me as I explored not just the Pokémon world, but also opening my eyes to the larger world of gaming.

I have since bought every major release in the Pokémon series, but the first games will always be my favorite. I’ve restarted and replayed Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow several times each. Every time I’ve let all my Pokémon become lost in the void by saving over my old game, all except for one Pokémon, my original Blastoise. No matter what happened, I’ve always traded him to a different cartridge if I wanted to play that game over.

Original Blastoise - Stats 1 Original Blastoise - Stats 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently became very upset because I saw one of the many articles saying how the Pokémon internal batteries should all be dying soon and I’d lose my Blastoise forever. That was unacceptable to me, Blastoise is one of my oldest and best friends, and he can’t be gone. I had to do something to save him, and I did. It took me some time to figure out what to do, but I finally managed to save him. I bought a flash cart for the Gameboy. Loaded it up with Pokémon Yellow, traded my Blastoise over, then backed up the save file to the computer. Now my Blastoise is safe in the cloud. Even after the batteries die in the cartridge, my Blastoise will be with me forever, and I couldn’t be happier.

So, now that you’ve gone through this journey with me, let’s start up another. As I said before, I’ve purchased every one of the main series Pokémon games. What I haven’t done is play any of them since ruby and sapphire were originally released on the GBA. Other games just kept getting in the way and I never made time to play them. So that is basically my new year’s resolution this year, to play at least 1 game each from generations 4, 5, and 6. Since they’re DS / 3DS games, I don’t really have a way to get screen captures, so an article is kind of out of the question, plus my usually style I don’t think would do Pokémon justice anyway. Instead I’m planning to keep basically a Pokémon Journal, updating it maybe once a week with major events. I’ve never really kept a journal, so this will be fun.

If that sounds appealing, then I hope you’ll join me on my adventures, starting with Pokémon Diamond. If not, well, no one is forcing you. At least I hope no one is forcing you. You poor thing if someone is forcing you to read my articles. I’m so sorry.

30 Minute: Home Alone (NES)

Home Alone NES Full Cover

He’s home all alone on Christmas, and burglars are trying to get into the house. The police have been called, but they won’t arrive for another 20 minutes. So it’s up to you to help Kevin McCallister defend his home from Marv and Harry, the Wet Bandits, until the police arrive. Use every trap and tool you can to slow them down in Home Alone for the NES!!

Merry Christmas / P.C. Greetings

It’s December 25th, so for everyone who is celebrating today

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

And to everyone else

POLITICALLY CORRECT GREETING IMPLYING MY WISHES THAT YOU HAVE A HAPPY DAY, THOUGH THAT IS IN NO WAY A DIRECT ORDER. YOU ARE FREE TO HAVE AS GOOD OR AS BAD A DAY AS YOU WANT REGARDLESS OF MY WISHES!

A bit of a mouthful but I think that’s the right way to say it.

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