Nintendo

POKELIST: RANKING EACH POKEMON GENERATION
July 15, 2016 12:41 pm

Upon downloading Pokemon Go and immediately choosing Charmander, the app was directing me towards two checkpoints closest to my house, a church and a McDonalds. I’ve read enough Thomas Pynchon (about 3 pages of V) to know that this whole thing has been a scam to reinvigorate capitalist strongholds that have been losing ground against snake people, so I deleted it right then and there.

I’m more of a purist when it comes to my love for Pokemon. I stick to the canonical video games, and not much else. I can’t even watch the show anymore without shouting about how terrible a trainer is. STOP GIVING AWAY YOUR POKEMON AND EVOLVE THAT FUCKING PIKACHU ALREADY, ASH. I hate you, Ash Ketchum. Truly, I do.

Unlike that dirt merchant from Pallet Town, each new game has gotten more sophisticated in its gameplay and denser with strategy. Every generation has its own unique traits to them, but there is no getting around the fact that there is definitely a pecking order when it comes to quality. Which is what I’ll be sorting out right now. I’ll be ranking each generation based on things like Starter Pokemon and overall new roster strength, Elite Four/Gym Trainer toughness, innovation, storyline, gameplay, and some other stuff probably. Let’s see where this goes.

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  1. Generation 3: Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Hybridized Pokemon types, the introduction of personalities, a deeper commitment to EV and IV training, running shoes! Dear God, I can not stress enough how much I love running shoes. The Elite Four was without a doubt the biggest cakewalk out of any generation, but the amount of all the aforementioned new features and the depth in trainable talent more than made up for it. I mean, you’ve got about 54 different Dragon types that are easily catchable to choose from, what more can you ask for?

  1. Generation 1: Blue/Red/Yellow

pokeAnd not even for the hokey ‘it was the game that started it all’ reason. Generation 1 still has the best storyline. Whether it’s Gary/Blue/Assface being the perfect antagonist measuring stick, the complete spookiness felt in Lavender Town graveyard, there is definitely a wider range of actual emotion that Red, Blue and Yellow wanted you to experience. Also, the game itself doesn’t revolve completely around a legendary Pokemon. Mewtwo is the only legendary Pokemon who was not featured on the game’s cover. Which is how it should be! Legendary Pokemon are crutches that should rot in Bill’s PC for all eternity. I have had this conviction ever since I started playing in grade school, which is probably why I had no friends and a bunch of level 100 Kadabras.

3. Generation 4: Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Generation 4’s bosses blows everyone else’s out of the water. Especially Cynthia, whose only rival is Mt. Silver Red, but her team is way harder to strategize against than Red’s. The talent pool is also strong, they created some fun and interesting new ways to evolve Pokemon, and they gave birth to the almighty Garchomp. But I feel like they had some missed opportunities with maximizing other talent. First, I do not know why there are so many Fire/Fighting starter Pokemon now. Blaziken was awesome, and sure, Infernape is really great, too, but that doesn’t take away from the derivative nature. Also, why isn’t Luxray any better? Just check out how bad-ass Luxray looks, how is it not more of a legitimate threat? For shame.

4. Generation 5: Black/White 

Lotsa big swings in Generation 5. I, for one, adored the infinite TM loophole. That was the epitome of a gift that kept on giving. And from top to bottom, this is the most experimental they got with Pokemon types. Yes, there was a Normal/Grass for some reason. Bug/Fire? Sure, why not. You know what, for your trouble, I’ll even throw in a Ground/Electric, which is the epitome of self hatred. All of that, however, and we STILL had a starter Pokemon who was Fire/Fighting. Please, make it stop. 

5. Generation 2: Gol/Silver/Crystal 

Do not get me wrong, I think the merging of Johto and Kanto was awesome and being able to get 16 badges was a very fun maximalist effort. But aside from the new Eevee additions and Houndoom there really aren’t a lot of new additions to the ol’ Pokedex that I’m gonna tell my grandkids about. They even added prequel Pokemon like Elekid and Magby for some unknown fucking reason, just to get me hot and bothered. 

6. Generation 6: X/Y

To be fair, generation 6’s graphics were on another level, had a lot of really fun new Pokemon (thank you, Delphox, and even introduced us to Fairy types. And Hawlucha might already be one of my 5 favorite Pokemon ever. I adore everything about Hawlucha. But throughout the game, you are gifted way too many free Pokemon. Really good ones, too. I don’t like it. Leveling up is easier than it’s ever been, too. Everything just feels too easy here. And worst of all, this is the generation that introduced us to Mega-Evolutions. Oh, how I hate Mega-Evolutions. They’re either superfluous add-ons for already great Pokemon, or a cop-out for not coming up with an organic evolutionary stage for ones that could use it. I DEMAND JUSTICE FOR SABLEYE.

 

Hopefully, the mega-evolutions get phased out and some better ideas get introduced in the next generation of games. Do not allow this app business to take your eyes away from the real prize, which is Pokemon Sun and Moon hitting stores this November. It should be lit. And if you disagree with my list in any way, just remember any legitimacy my opinion might possibly have is diminished once you realize that I am an adult writing about Pokemon.

CAUTION: POKÉMON GO’ERS AT PLAY
July 11, 2016 1:30 pm

Never have I seen a game do what Pokémon GO is doing right now in our world. Let me paint a picture for you…

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Last Saturday, my wife and I were in Rockville Square, Maryland, a hub for people and shops, and we decided to go on a walk to hunt some new Pokémon. We found a huge amount of items and Pokémon to catch on every street corner. As we meandered around looking at our phones, we slowly saw other people and groups all walking to the exact same places, on their phones, and we realized they were playing the same game, hunting for Pokémon, interacting with this augmented reality. I was surprised at how many people were there to find virtual creatures and ended up bonding in a half-real life, half-online way. It was a truly surreal moment to see everyone gather in this part of the city like that.

To break it down, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game in which the game tracks your location and has placed various things to interact with throughout every inch of the real world. You will be brought to real places of significance. Without even trying, this app with have you walking around for an hour and visiting places in your city that you’ve never been before. Pokémon Go is broken down into three key elements, catching and training Pokémon, finding Pokéstops and battling at Poké Gyms.

File_001Catching and Training Pokémon

To catch Pokémon, you have to go looking for them. It’s fairly random, but more populated places will help you find more Pokémon. When you find a Pokémon, your camera will come on and the Pokémon will appear to be in the real world, and it’s pretty awesome. There are items like Incense and Lure to attract Pokémon to you. Also catch as many as you can of all Pokémon, you’ll need them to strengthen your Pokémon. For more tips to actually train your Pokémon and evolve them, click here.

Poké Stops

You’ll find these at various places of interest: memorials, gazebos, or gas stations. Get close enough to the Stop to snag the items there. You’ll need all the items you can get, and there are often Pokémon lurking by, so hunting for Poké Stops is an easy way to progress quickly.

Poké Gyms

After your beginning hours in the game, you choose one of three teams, Mystic (Blue), Yellow (Instinct), or Valor (Red). The gyms are fighting grounds for the different teams and here, you battle to gain control of the Poké Gym and territory for your specific team. There seems to be no overall goal for now or major purpose for controlling the Gyms except bragging rights (if you have nerdy friends who, they probably have already posted some memes about the teams).

Overall the game is pretty fun, it isn’t perfect, and the server issues and long load times can be really rough sometimes. Down the road other features could be added, says CEO John Hanke. It might be a while before new features come, but that’s reasonable because the game is less than a week old. If you want to casually run around and catch some Pokémon or become crazy with powerful Pokémon, this game will satisfy your needs while enjoying some fresh air and good exercise. But please, be aware of your surroundings, be safe and don’t get in trouble. Get ready to walk more than you ever have while awkwardly bumping into other people playing the game, download the app and GO. “Gotta catch em’ all,” right?

E3: THE GAMERS’ MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
June 17, 2016 1:31 pm

Four days of video game conferences, new game trailers, demos and entertainment? This is the most anticipated week of the year for gamers and tech enthusiasts. And this conference was the 22nd gathering of companies and people for E3 with some serious surprises.

If you don’t know E3, here is a quick run down. It stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, and vast numbers of enterprises, journalists, bloggers, gamers and tech geeks flock to the event to go on a mad binge of tech demos, playing new games and nerding out to the max.

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Sony busted out a huge lineup of new games and some big show stoppers. God of War’s fourth major installment was announced and looks amazingly beautiful, an amazing surprise for fans. The Last Guardian’s release date for October 25th 2016 was finally announced after 9 long years of development. Hideo Kojima, legendary game creator of the Metal Gear series and others, announced a new original game, Death Stranding, which had everyone in awe and wonder. Lastly, Sony announced that their VR headset will be coming out October 13, 2016 with a full lineup of games, demos and all sorts of different experiences. A spectacular presentation, especially the live orchestra that performed the music for all the trailers. 

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Microsoft on the other hand really showcased their new consoles and some good games. Their biggest reveal was the Xbox One S (slim). It is 40% smaller, beautiful white design, supports 4K output, built in power supply and only $299. If you don’t have an Xbox One, this is quite the steal. But, they also oddly revealed the Scorpio, a new gaming console for next year that has 6 teraflops of power, which sounds made up but it’s a real thing. To explain, think of the difference between the power of a horse and car, that is roughly the difference between the Scorpio and it predecessors.

There is way too much information from E3 and I couldn’t tell you all about it here. Games like Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare, Gears Of War 4, Battlefield 1, Batman VR, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and so many more were shown and a lot of them playable. Check out Youtube’s gaming channel HERE and IGN has a great amount of coverage and demos HERE.

A great week for gamers and a superb E3 conference, from live orchestras and fantastic game demonstrations to tech surprises and amazing guest appearances, this was really an amazing event. What games are you most excited for? Tweet us @AtypicalBeasts with what you’re dying to play.

VAN-TENDO: THE FANCY FOOT-GEAR YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED
May 5, 2016 11:47 am

Beware gamers and shoe users! Hide your wallets because Vans and Nintendo have teamed up for some fine footwear coated by our many memories of 8-bit goodness. A line of stylish Vans printed with Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda and other classics, reminiscent of that wet dream from the 8th grade. 

Nintendo has had serious ups and downs over the last five years. They had produced monster consoles like the Gamecube and the Wii which did crazy good at first, but lost some steam and began to lose a lot of money around 2012. It wasn’t until 2015 that Nintendo made a sizable profit again and things are more or less looking up for them. As for now, Nintendo has been in a little bit of a bind in selling products, games and consoles, especially since their biggest games are being pushed to next year. With all that, they’ve expanded their branding, doing so in a super awesome way, I mean who doesn’t want Princess Peach and Goombas on their feet?

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As for Vans working with Nintendo, there is literally no reason why they wouldn’t do this. It expands their already wide audience into the gaming community with style and finesse. The shoes’ designs are sleek and simple, using the oldest version of these classic characters and their counterparts in smart designs. These shoes are prepared to fly off the rack so keep checking back to Vans’ site to see when they’re available, which is rumored to be in early June. 

Vans has also done a lot of band themed shoes including Metallica, Pearl Jam, Kiss, and Iron Maiden to name a few. I would love to see some Twenty One Pilot, Muse or Beatles shoes!

What would you want to see on your next Vans?

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