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.


  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.

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…

File_002 (1)

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?

February 16, 2016 8:41 pm

Animal Collective brings out the weirdos. Thankfully, some of these weirdos have art school assignments to complete, or just so happen to have a knack for editing avant-garde films and old cartoons in a way that blends seamlessly with some of AnCo’s best songs. When I was first getting into Animal Collective in high school, these videos were indisposible, because when you play one of their songs to someone who’s never heard Animal Collective, it’s probably not gonna go over well. So seeing concrete evidence that not only thousands of others loved this weirdo nonsense, they were so passionate about it that they made these meticulously thought out videos to honor them. I highly doubt any other band has as many of these as Animal Collective. The sheer quantity out there is seriously daunting. Here is a small sample of my favorites:

Prospect Hummer by Josh Wilmarth

Let’s throw you right into the weirdo wolves with this one. Here we have a cloaked boy in juggalo-esque face painting, rubbing leaves all over his face. I’m hoping that those teeth are part of the costume, but one can never be certain about these matters. Dental care often gets tossed at the wayside when on the hunt for new shrubbery to caress.

Someday I’ll Grow To Be As Tall As The Giant by AcetoacetilCoA

On Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, Animal Collective was really into using sound effects that would be right at home at an old timey carousel. Tribal women performing a synchromized dance around a bearded barbarian also fits the mood, too. They move so gracefully around this guy, and what makes it all so perfect is that it looks like he’s never seen dancing, or women, before. This song accommodates to that swirl of confusion.

Peacebone (Pokemon Cover) by Jacob Ruefer

I almost didn’t include this one because it’s a cover, and if I include covers to this whole thing, I’m opening up another internet rabbit’s hole. But this’ll be an exception because bizarre Pokemon incorporation here. Some people might be enticed by this video because of the pile of Pikachus in the beginning despite the fact that it’s the most overrated Pokemon ever. Seriously, do not train a Pikachu. Evolve it into a Riachu using the thunderstone. I can not be more serious about this.

Winter Wonderland by GOOMBAHlord

Speaking of rabbit holes, here is the oldest fucking iteration of Alice In Wonderland set to film ever. Anyone who’s used a computer for longer than two minutes is aware of the ubiquity of Alice In Wonderland fan-art, so this was pairing was inevitable.

Bluish by serpico

It’s fitting that the most straightforward love song Animal Collective’s ever done gets the Anime Ship treatment. For those unaware, ‘Shipping’ is when fans get so emotionally invested in two TV characters being together that they create fan-art and fanfiction celebrating it. Is there any Avey Tare and Panda Bear shipping happening anywhere on the internet? I’m not sure. Immediately contact me if you find anything, though.

Bees by Zach Johnson

Considering the name congruency here, I’m surprised this is the only Animal Crossing inspired video on YouTube. Maybe other people saw the perfection of this one and figured, ‘why even bother?’ The blurred drifting of each character works so well with the flowiness of the autoharp on “Bees.” Do not be surprised if the afterlife is just you in animated form running aimlessly across empty plains while this song’s being played from an unknown source.

Did You See The Words by racuchy

By far my favorite fan video out there. Most AnCo songs have true childlike whimsy to them, and “Did You See The Words” captures that type of wonderment best. Pairing it with the silliness of a Pluto cartoon where he gets punked out by a bunch of tiny little birds who eventually become his friends is all too fitting. There’s too much adorable to handle here!


Winter’s Love by The Simpsons

Yes, Animal Collective found their way on an episode of The Simpsons and it was magical.