Pokémon Center London Inspires 5 Hour Queues

Pokémon

Pokémon

Nintendo’s latest store expansion has opened today. The London Pokémon Center brings a tonne of new, exciting Pokémon merchandise to England’s streets. This new store opening coincides with Pokémon Sword and Shield’s release. Both upcoming generation 8 mainline games are set in the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom.

Any eager fans that visited Pokémon Center London came across some brutal queues. For example, some fans who began queuing at 8:30 am only managed to get in by 1 pm. Even as a huge fan, I doubt I could stomach a five-hour queue. Mind you, they do say the British love a good queue.

Much of the merchandise available is what you would expect. Plushies, trading cards, stickers, mugs. All those classics goods you often see at geek conventions like Comic-Con. Because this is a London store we’re speaking about, prices are not cheap. Smaller plushies feature a reasonable entry price of £20 but the largest one’s peak at £240. To be fair, these prices aren’t too different from existing Pokemon Centers worldwide.

For those more interested in the games side of Pokemon, the London Centre features a hardware area too. Here you can play a demo of Sword and Shield or pick up a Switch in preparation of its full release next month.

The Downside

Unfortunately, Pokemon Center London is not a permanent shop opening. Instead, Nintendo has announced it will only remain open until November 15th. Basically, the release date for Sword and Shield. It’s disappointing that we aren’t getting a proper full-time shop. After all, the glamorous Pokemon Center in Tokyo has stood strong for well over a year.

If truth be told, this isn’t the first time Nintendo has done this. For Pokemon X and Y, they launched a temporary Center in Paris too. If anything, we should be grateful. The Paris Center only lasted two weeks. In contrast, the London Center will remain open for double that.

Are you planning on visiting London over the next four weeks? If so, it’s probably worth checking out. Furthermore, this weekend signals the start of EGX London. A great two for one deal if you’re looking for a fun weekend in England’s renowned capital.

Pokemon Masters Producer Apologizes To Fans

Pokemon Masters

Pokemon Masters

Pokemon Masters has offered a mixed experience since its launch in August. On one hand, it’s a decent gacha game themed around everyone’s favorite series. On the other hand, it’s a classic Nintendo money-driven, greed trip that represents everything wrong with mobile gaming. I have to admit, I didn’t see anything changing considering Masters’ early success. However, producer Yu Sasaki has posted a public apology to all the disappointed fans.

Sasaki’s Apology

The apology opens up by thanking everyone for their support. Sasaki also announced that another producer has been hired to assist with any future development. He then continues on to address Pokemon Masters’ buggy state at launch.

Whilst there’s no doubt this is important, it’s the next part that stands out. Rarely do game companies go out of their way to highlight their own errors. Company announcements are generally vague and hold little meaning. Therefore, it’s a pleasant surprise to see Mr. Sasaki outline the exact problems DeNA has identified.

Pokemon Masters’ Core Issues

Sasaki goes over the issues highlighted by the Pokemon Masters community. Perhaps the most significant being that he feels there’s “not enough content for players to enjoy.” A common complaint about Masters is how little there is to do after finishing the campaign. An average playthrough lasts roughly seven hours. Outside of grinding for end-game content, these seven hours mark the end of meaningful content. It’s simply not enough to keep players engaged long-term.

Masters' Core IssuesThe other major point is regarding Pokemon Masters’ gameplay shortcomings. It reads “the overall battle difficulty and design are not satisfactory.” I’d argue the biggest problem is how Masters dumbs down type advantages.

Typing has always been a key part of the Pokemon battle system. Unfortunately, in Masters, most of its complexity has been removed. In its place is a straightforward single type weakness. For example, Misty’s Starmie is only weak to electric. In the main series of games, Starmie is weak to electric, bug, ghost, grass, and dark. This newbie-friendly approach has left dedicated fans feeling unsatisfied. All the strategy of competitive battling is nowhere to be seen in Masters.

DeNA’s Planned Resolution

So, what is DeNA planning to do about it? For one, they are going to improve rewards. It’s unclear if this means giving more rewards or giving more opportunities for rewards. I’d predict an increase in gem drops is the most likely outcome. Finally, Sasaki promises that “more story events,” can be expected in the future.

Hopefully, this honest breakdown of their own errors results in some much-needed improvement. I actually enjoyed Pokemon Masters, but many issues were apparent even at launch. DeNA’s failure to address these earlier is disappointing, to say the least.

What do you think about this statement? Is it too little, too late or can DeNA win back the trust of their fans?

Everything We Know About Pokémon Sword & Shield

Pokémon Sword & Shield

Nintendo recently announced a 24-hour live stream for Pokémon Sword and Shield. We don’t know much about the Livestream, but it’s thought to show off Galar’s Luminous Maze Forest. Since we’re about to get a tonne of new information, it feels like a good time to recap. So, here’s everything major we know about Pokémon Sword and Shield so far.

New Pokémon

New PokemonIt wouldn’t be a new generation without some fresh faces. The Galar region will introduce players to a large variety of new Pokémon. As of writing this article, we know of 18 new Pokémon. We can also assume that the starters Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble will have two evolutions each. That brings the confirmed number up to 24. The least new Pokémon ever added to a region was 72 in Kalos. Given this, you can expect many more to be announced for Galar.

So, what are the highlights? That depends on your tastes but it’s clear Sirfetch’d captured many fan’s hearts. An evolution of Farfetch’d, Sirfetch’d is a pure fighting type that uses a Leek as a sword. Also, it weighs 117kg for some reason. They must be some very heavy vegetables.

I’m sure Nintendo was thrilled when they came up with the pun Polteageist. Yes, it’s a sentient teacup. The classic ghost type trick where they make daily items come to life. Similar to Chandelure, Dhelmise, and Aegislash.

My personal favorite is Drednaw. This alligator snapping turtle is the water/rock type we always needed. I mean no disrespect to Carracosta, Relicanth, and Corsola, but they’re nothing special. Corsola is based on literal coral. Drednaw is a mix of a badass turtle and a god damn dreadnought. What’s cooler, a warship or some ocean plant?

There’s a little too much for me to cover here but feel free to check out the full list. On the whole. I’m impressed with the new Pokemon we’ve seen. There’s a good amount of variety and some very interesting designs.

Version Exclusive Content

Version Exclusive ContentPokemon Sword and Shield is the second Pokemon game to feature version exclusive gyms. In Pokemon Sword, you’ll face Bea, a fighting type expert. In Pokemon Shield, ghost type specialist Allister stands in her place. It’s very possible that more exclusive gyms will be announced closer to release.

Nintendo hasn’t been too open about version exclusive Pokemon. In fact, we only know seven differences so far. Of course, each title will have a different cover legendary. Pokemon Sword is represented by Zacian whilst Shield has Zamazenta. I’m crossing my fingers for a Loch Ness inspired legendary,

Pokemon Sword will have two dragon type exclusive evolution lines. Both Deino and Jangmo-o’s lines are unavailable in Shield. However, Shield will get both the Goomy line and Larvitar evolutions. Regardless, I wouldn’t overly worry about version exclusives. Modern Pokemon games make trading for exclusives very easy through the Global Trade System.

A major negative of Sword and Shield is the lack of all Pokemon. Nintendo has already confirmed the eighth generation won’t include the entire Pokedex. There’s an obvious worry that your favorite Pokemon could end up getting cut. Nintendo has not yet disclosed if any popular Pokemon won’t make it to Galar.

The Galar Region

The Galar RegionThe Galar Region is based on the United Kingdom. This isn’t too much of a surprise with Gamefreak moving towards foreign locations in recent games. Unova was the US, Kalos was France and Alola was Hawaii. Galar’s champion is the talented trainer Leon. Leon is the brother of Hop, the player’s neighbour, and rival. Leon has “never been defeated in an official Pokémon battle.” Finally, his signature Pokemon is Charizard.

The design of Galar’s map suggests players will work their way north to the Pokemon league. A small village like settlement can be seen all the way down south. At the top of Galar sits a glorious, London inspired capital. I’d predict this is where the Pokemon League will be. There are a couple of small islands on the outskirts of Galar. Potentially, these might be areas to explore or just decoration to fit the UK theme. Regardless, a Channel Islands inspired area could be fun.

Dynamax

DynamaxEvery new Pokemon game features a big new mechanic. In that sense, Sword and Shield are no different. Dynamax is a weird hybrid between mega evolving and Z-moves. When used, Pokemon will grow to several times their own size for three turns. This increases their stats and lets them use powerful Dynamax exclusive Max Moves. Dynamax can only be performed in special areas like gyms. Presumably, Dynamax Wailord will be a magnificent sight.

Raid bosses appear in both Sword and Shield. These raid bosses start out as Dynamax Pokemon. When captured, they will return to their regular size. This is very similar to how Pokemon Go handles raids. During raids, only one trainer will be able to Dynamax their Pokemon. When fighting raids, you can either team up with friends or just use A.I. Disappointingly, only one player will get the opportunity to catch a raid Pokemon. It’s likely that raid Pokemon will have better IVs and hidden abilities.

Miscellaneous Details

Miscellaneous Details of Pokémon Sword & ShieldThere are of course many smaller features that are difficult to all fit in. Given that, here are five smaller details that may be of interest to you:

  • After the success of Alolan forms, Nintendo has confirmed Galarian forms will be in Sword and Shield. Both Weezing and Zigzagoon have Galarian forms.
  • The bad guys this time are Team Yell. They support Marnie and will do anything to make sure she becomes a champion.
  • Gym battles take place in stadiums rather than traditional gyms. In Galar, battling is a spectator sport. This is a nod to the UK’s footballing culture.
  • Developer Shuntaro Furukawa confirmed Sword and Shield had been developed with handheld gaming in mind.
  • Pokemon Camp allows you to pitch up a tent and play with your Pokemon. This seems to be the new Pokemon Refresh system.

And that’s about everything we know so far. I have no doubt the upcoming 24-hour Livestream will announce plenty more though. I know I’m excited to give it a go.

Let us know what you think of Pokémon Sword & Shield. Are you bothered by the Pokedex cutdown or can you see the long-term benefits?

Top 5 Pokemon that Everybody Hates- Honest Review

Pokemon that everybody hates

We have recently shared list of Pokemon that everybody loves but what about the pokemon that everyone hates? What pokemon are out there that the vast majority of people despise? And well today I’m here to answer said question. By giving you guys the Top 5 Pokemon that Everybody hates. Now of course not every pokemon on this list is hated by everyone, because that’s literally impossible to have. But these 5 pokemon are some of the most infamously hated in the entire series by a vast majority of the community.

Number #1 Male Combee:

Coming in at the number 1 spot we have a pokemon that has been the bane of my existence since its introduction in generation , Male Combee. Now if this were a list of pokemon that I personally hate, then this pokemon would be way higher up on the list. Just look at this video here if you need proof of that, but since this is about everybody’s opinion I’ve decided to have it just barely make the list. The reason why its lower is because I feel that male combee is kinda underrated in terms of hate, as not a lot of people even really remember this pokemon to begin with.

But for those who do remember this hot piece of garbage they can go on for days as to why this pokemon sucks literal ass. Firstly if we take a look at purely its design you can’t argue how dumb and stupid it looks. Objectively it’s literally just a honeycomb with wings and three stupid faces. But not only does its design look trash but stat wise combee is just as bad if not even worse.

Sure Bug buzz is great but you don’t get that move until level  and by that time you should already have a vespiquen. Oh yeah but that doesn’t really matter since the only way to get vespiquen is to have a FEMALE COMBEE. Yes that means if you have a male combee, you’re essentially stuck with it for the rest of eternity.

I wouldn’t even wish that on my worst enemy. But honestly this wouldn’t be that much of a problem right? I mean how hard is it to catch a female combee? Well, considering the gender ratio is about % female let’s just say your going to be spending a long time slathering honey on trees. This might sound contradictory towards my stance on Salandit and Salazzle, but Salandit by itself doesn’t take hours to get, as well as the fact that you are able SOS chain them, making the process of finding a female salandit or salazzle much faster.

Number #2 Regigigas:

When it comes to Legendary pokemon, they’re always viewed as larger than life beings that can pretty much destroy anything without breaking a sweat. And in most cases that reigns to be true with the likes of rayquaza, mewtwo, dialga, palkia, zekrom, and of course the titans. But one of, if not the biggest disappointment out of all the legendaries to be introduced to the series has to be none other than the king of the titans, Regigigas. I mean it’s just not good is it.

Regigigas was hyped up to be this absolute monster by gamefreak telling us that it moved continents and created the regitrio. And when you take a look at its stats, it definitely seems to look like that’s the case. I mean base 160 attack and no statline besides special attack under 100, where could you go wrong? And well there’s two words you need to know, slow start. For those who don’t know slow start is an ability that halves the attack and speed stats of regigigas for 5 whole turns.

So that jaw-dropping  160 base stat is pretty much useless for  5 turns and that’s plenty of time for people to capitalize on that and take him out. I mean I know gamefreak had to nerf this pokemon, but did you seriously have to make it that weak. It’s literally unusable. And I have to say, it’s also kinda sad when your own creations, regirock, registeel and regice are literally stronger and more useful than you.

Number #3 Garbodor:

So we all know how much gen 5 gets ragged on for having bad pokemon so you gotta know that at least one of them were going to show up on this list. And since there are so many that are hated from the black and white games I’ve decided to limit the amount of gen 5 pokemon to just one. That may not make sense in the grand scheme of things, but its my list I do what I want. And with that said, this next pokemon, may sound contradictory considering it was in last weeks articles, but yes even though I like garbodor as a Pokemon I can’t deny the amount of hate this pokemon receives.

You cannot go to a single “Worst Pokemon” list on the internet without seeing this thing make an appearance. I mean out of all the quote unquote bad pokemon that came from unova most of them to people have some redeeming qualities. With the elemental monkeys it’s that simisage looks pretty cool, and with vanilluxe it’s got some tie ins to american culture, but Garbodor? Literally nothing about it to people is redeeming. It’s ugly, its garbage, and well its really ugly.

Even though that’s kind of the point people are repulsed by how much gross detail there is on garbodor’s design. I will say the pigtails and mouth can be a little much at times too, and these gross noodle fingers that shoots out liquid its just euhh, It’s disgusting! But at the end of the day it’s a pokemon based on trash and like it or not people don’t like looking at trash, that’s why naturally it’s always thrown out.

Number #4 Unown:

Next pokemon on the list somehow finds a way to top it. I mean, when it comes to disappointments, I can’t say there’s any bigger one than the Unown. I mean do we really have to go into it? These things have to be the most useless pokemon in the entire franchise. They’re weak, they know one move, and they have very uninspired designs. I mean they’re literally just letters and punctuation marks nothing much else to them.

Sure they didn’t need to be amazing designs and not everything needs to be competitively sound, but can they at least have some value in the game. I remember watching the rd pokemon movie with entei and the unown and saw how powerful all of them were and thought, hey maybe catching all of them would mean something. I mean they’re important enough to get there own movie, they gotta at least have some sort of relevance in the game right?

I spent days trying to catch all the unown, thinking that it would unlock me some super secret special event, but no I just wasted days of my life. And I know this is something people did as well as I see many posts online from people complaining about how worthless and useless these stupid things are. And considering you had to solve a puzzle to even find these things just adds up to it being a giant waste of time. Seriously gamefreak what was the point of all this?

Number #5 Zubat:

Yes, the number 5 pokemon that everybody hates has to be zubat. Now honestly there really isn’t much to explain here as it’s pretty much self-explanatory. Ever since the gen 1 games zubat has always been a thorn in peoples side simply because of how often you run into this pokemon in the wild. Especially when traversing through a long and annoying cave like Mt Moon or Rock tunnel. At these points in the game, you’re likely not going to have much money as you just haven’t battled enough or you’ve spent most of it on Poke Balls and potions, so it’s almost guaranteed you won’t have many repels to fend off these terrors of the dark. I mean look at these numbers. You have a 79% chance to run into zubat in Mt Moon and a 55% chance in Rock Tunnel.

That’s absolutely insane!

And if there’s the off chance you don’t have flash and you get lost in rock tunnel, you could have to deal with this (zubat cry) for a REALLY long time! And it’s not just the original Kanto games. Almost every single pokemon game ever made has Zubat appearing at least once, but usually more. It’s literally been torturing multiple generations of players, old and new. And if that wasn’t bad enough, in the only games that that zubat doesn’t appear in, being Black and White, we were cursed with it’s Unova counterpart Woobat, who appears pretty much just as often in caves as Zubat.

No matter where you go or what games you play, you cannot escape it’s curse. And even when you try to fight them off, they constantly hit you with annoying moves like Leech life, Supersonic, Astonish, and confuse ray. I’m convinced this Pokemon was 100% made with the intent to drive the player insane and I’m willing to bet anything that the majority of fans would agree. There’s no denying it, Zubat HAS to be the most hated pokemon of all time. If you are looking for best pokemon games and reviews you must visit Pokemonlog Blog

Pokémon Sun and Moon Starters and Legendaries Revealed

Pokémon

A new trailer for the upcoming 3DS games Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon was released this morning, revealing the new starter Pokémon, the legendaries that will be featured on the cover, and the new region that the games will be set within.

As usual, the three starters revolve around the dynamic of one grass, one fire, and one water type.  The new grass starter, Rowlet, begins with a rare combination of grass and flying types.  While the other two are pure fire and pure water types respectively, it’s possible that they’ll each develop a second typing as they evolve.  Getting back to Rowlet, its profile on the official Pokémon website further reveals that it will have the Overgrow ability, a staple of grass-type starters since the third generation, that strengthens grass-type attacks when the Pokémon’s health is down to one third or less.  It will also start out with a brand new move called Leafage, although this will likely end up being a fairly low-tier grass-type move on par with Ember and Water Gun, which the other two starters begin with respectively.

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn25hijDL7c” width=”500″ height=”300″]

The cat-like fire starter, Litten, has fur cloaked in flammable oils that it uses to generate its scorching attacks.  It has the Blaze ability, which is the fire-type equivalent to Overgrow.  While this hasn’t been officially confirmed, it seems likely that Litten will develop into a fire-dark type as it evolves.  Alternatively, it could become a fire-poison type given its relation to machine oil and several existing poison types relate to industrial waste.

Popplio, the water starter, is based on trained sea lions that were commonly seen performing in circuses and it can generate large, durable bubbles to perform tricks with.  It has the Torrent ability, which operates along the same line as Overgrow and Blaze.  What secondary typing it could develop as it grows is difficult to predict, but I would presume either psychic or fairy as the clown-like Mr. Mime has those types and Popplio is following a similar harlequin aesthetic.  We also catch a glimpse at the new professor that will be mentoring players and setting them off on their journeys, although there is no mention of his name.  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s going to be Professor Palm or something along the same tree convention that all previous professors have followed.

We also get an extensive look at the new Alola region that the games will be set in.  As many predicted based on details in the original reveal trailer, this new region will be heavily inspired by the tropical islands of Hawaii, its name even being derived from the Hawaiian phrase ‘aloha’ meaning peace and compassion and is used to say hello and goodbye.  This is entirely new territory for the franchise and the tropic atmosphere is sure to make for some of the most unique games in the series.

The new legendary Pokémon that will be featured on the cover art for the games were also shown in full.  A white lion will be the star of Pokémon Sun while a bat with a moon-shaped wingspan will represent Pokémon Moon.  No details on them were revealed outside of the appearances, but an earlier leak claimed that their names will be Solgaleo and Lunaala.  Even if that leak may be accurate, these may only be the Japanese names for these legendaries and their names for other regions may still be in the works.

Interestingly, I think that these new legendaries may actually be taking advantage of the Hawaiian setting by paying homage to a Hawaiian demigod named Maui.  Maui is a popular figure in Polynesian legend and his feats include battling the sun itself and taming it like a wild animal and slaying a giant bat.  Perhaps the new Pokémon games will have a central theme of recreating some of Maui’s adventures.  Then again, the series has never been exceedingly faithful to the real-life locations they’re based on, such as Black and White being based on New York City and having legendaries based on The Three Musketeers and Japanese deities.

One last thing to note is that the Japanese trailer is very different and has a few additional details not seen in the international trailer.  Namely, we have confirmation that character customization will return in some capacity as there are four different skin tones to choose from for your character.  While its a extremely weak amount of customization compared to many other RPG’s, it is a step up from X and Y where there were only three tones.  Whether or not costume customization will return remains to be seen.  The Japanese trailer also may have given us a glimpse at the new rival character at 2:07.

What are your thoughts on all the new information we’ve received with this new trailer?  Which starter has caught your eye as your personal favorite?  Do you have any theories on the significance of these new legendaries?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Pokemon Sun And Moon Announcement: Video Analysis & Theories

Earlier today (26/02/16), fans of the Pokemon game series waited anxiously to hear news and potential confirmation of the newest installments to the series leaked the day before. However, after a very tense wait, the details leaked prior were confirmed and the squeals of excited Pokemon fans echoed worldwide, Pokemon Sun & Moon are officially on the way, due later this year (2016).

Now, in correspondence with the order in which the Pokemon games are usually released, fans were expecting more of a Pokemon Z release, especially after the X and Y game releases followed by the Ruby and Sapphire remakes (Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire). I appreciate this makes little sense to those outside the community of avid Pokemon fans however, those within these borders will understand that it was what we were expecting. Now, that said when the titles Sun and Moon were trademarked, it was fair to say we were surprised however, the excitement for these new installments is still present regardless. Now, let’s look into the reveal video itself.

Although a brief video, we can make several assumptions about what we can inspect in the latest installment. The first notable thing we can see in this video is the new assumed flying type Pokemon, resembling either a woodpecker or humming bird of some kind. This leads us to believe the obvious that there are in fact going to be a number of new additions to the Pokedex in Sun and Moon. Could this mean some more mega-evolutions are going to be unveiled also? Furthermore, we can see numerous conceptual designs for vehicles. The most recent incorporation of cars and land vehicles in the Pokemon game series was in X and Y in which Lumiose City possessed a taxi service to help to traverse the enormous city. Could this be hinting towards a potential follow on to Kalos much like Black 2 and White 2? As it no longer seems we are getting Pokemon Z, or for a while at least shall we say.

 

new pokemon

 

Pokemon Sun And Moon Theories 

As expected of the dedicated Pokemon fans, many theories of the new installments have already arisen in regards to the new designated region, new potential mega-evolutions, legendaries and generally about how the new games are going to tie in with it’s predecessors.

From what I have gathered so far, there are several reoccurring ideas:

  • Zygarde and it’s newly released forms are to be associated with the sun game. This is because of it’s forms needing photosynthesis in order to develop.
  • Sun and Moon are definitely going to have some relation to Kalos, whether they actually be based in Kalos or islands situated around Kalos. This is due to references in X and Y for instance, the sundial in Anistar City (Pokemon Sun).
  • Potential Mega-evolutions of Solrock and Lunatone both representing each of the games, possibly posing as exclusives.

All of these are relatively plausible ideas seeing as Zygarde’s new forms would seem redundant if only used in the new Pokemon movie. Futhermore, it would seem out of character for Nintendo & Gamfreak to not incorporate Kalos into the new games in some shape or form also considering how they are due a Pokemon X and Y follow on of some sort.

 

zygarde forms

 

As this year progresses more teasers are bound to be put out there to taunt us but until the profoundly awesome moment in which these new games are released, it is fair to say we are going to let our minds run wild with these brilliant theories in order to get by.

 

Detective Pikachu Releases in Japan Next Week

In late 2013, Game Freak showed off early development of a Pokémon spin-off game where Pikachu would take the role of a Sherlock-styled detective and would be able to talk.  The concept footage put many fans off due to the inclusion of facial-recognition software to give Pikachu motion-captured animation that fell deep into the uncanny valley.  News on the game has been nonexistent since that early reveal and many assumed that it was an abandoned early concept.  As it turns out, not only is the game coming out, it will be releasing in Japan next week on February 3rd.  Great Detective Pikachu: The Birth of a New Partnership will be released as a downloadable title exclusively for the 3DS.  It will cost 1500 yen, which is roughly equivalent to $12.68 USD.  Whether or not there are any plans to give the game an international release is currently unknown.  The amount of translation that a dialogue-heavy game like this would require would be a great deal of work, but the combination of the Pokémon brand and the simple, morbid curiosity for a title this bizarre is likely to secure enough sales to justify it.

The game will star Detective Pikachu and his assistant, the human child Tim Goodman, as they investigate mysteries in Rhyme City affecting people and Pokémon alike.  There are few details on how gameplay will work or what the story will entail, but it’s worth noting that the showcase in 2013 mentioned the idea of a blue Pikachu acting as the antagonist.  There’s no hint of the blue Pikachu in the trailer, so it’s possible that this idea was scrapped.  Then again, they may also be saving him as a surprise.  What we do know is that, while Detective Pikachu can talk, he’ll still be a rare case in the game as we see another Pikachu only saying its name in the familiar voice we all know.

You can check out the official trailer here.  What are your thoughts on Great Detective Pikachu?  Do you hope to see it available outside of Japan?  Has Pokémon officially jumped the Sharpedo?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

5 Nintendo Characters Who Definitely Didn’t Win the Smash Ballot

Nintendo famously opened the floodgates for demand of new characters in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS with an open poll to vote for your favorite nominees.  There have been plenty of recommendations, both probable and obscure, but virtually anyone can be a candidate given the open nature of the ballot.  However, some folks are never going to make it to the big leagues no matter how much of a chance you give them.  Despite being owned by Nintendo, I’m willing to bet that not one of the following five characters received even a single vote.  Even while living in a world where Tingle and Lanky Kong can be considered viable contenders, there are some guys who just can’t catch a break.  Thankfully, the polls are already closed and there’s no chance of you readers voting for these losers just to troll me.

NegativeMan

5. Negative Man

The Mother/Earthbound series is famous for its quirky sense of humor, and perhaps the best example of it is the fight in Mother 3 against Negative Man.  Negative Man is aptly named as he is a being of pure negativity… That is, he suffers from crippling depression and spends most of the battle spouting melancholy phrases to himself.  Those downer quotes of his aren’t contextualizing some debuff he’s casting on you, he is literally just crying at himself in a corner for no particular reason.  Even when he finally does work up the courage to throw a basic attack, he’ll only deal one point of damage regardless of the level you’re at.  Fighting him is almost like the reverse of going up against an over-powered boss that you haven’t prepared for in the slightest.  The real challenge would be losing a fight with this guy on purpose, but I think he would implode from his own anguish before you could even pull that off.  It’s actually pretty cruel when you really think about oh, hey, he dropped a meteotite.

MTPT_Characters

4. Anyone from Mario Tennis: Power Tour

Did you know that Mario Tennis: Power Tour had a grand total of 38 playable characters?  That’s the largest line-up in the history of the series!  How is it that the Gameboy Advance was able to pack in that many characters while the upcoming Wii U game only has sixteen?  Well, the answer is that most of the characters are random losers that the developers probably threw together in a single afternoon.  Only six of the playable characters are actual Mario characters while the rest look like cheap, fan-made OC’s created for something other than Mario.  While Waluigi was also created for the Mario Tennis series, at least he remotely looks like he belongs in the Mario universe.  Everyone that Power Tour introduced looks like someone out of a generic sports anime that was cobbled together on a shoe-string budget.  Also, more than a third of the cast isn’t even capable of performing power shots, making them worthless.  I tried to single out one specific character as the absolute worse, but they just seemed to blend together into an unholy sludge of desperation the more I thought about them.  Still, there are a few highlights among the cast that warrant a brief mention.  There’s Flit, who looks like a low-budget Sasuke cosplayer, Sass, whose body is 75% chin, and Skipper, who is a guy dressed in pink and named Skipper.  There’s even one named Roy and we all know how much Smash could use another one of those.

Rip_Cheato

3. Rip Cheato

Hey, remember that time where Mario made shady purchases from a smelly hobo with a lightbulb coming out of his head?  I sure do!  Rip Cheato appears in Paper Mario living in the sewers beneath the Mushroom Kingdom.  This Hagrid lookalike with a name that makes him sound like a Chester Cheetah replacement for the MLG crowd makes a living by selling mystery prizes at the uniform cost of 64 coins.  That’s a decent price to be paying in this game, especially when it only gets you the single worst healing item in the game.  However, you have to go through his lousy prizes because it’s the only way you can get rare collectibles, including a one-of-a-kind equipment item.  It’s actually a fairly ingenious scheme, even if it can only really work on RPG protagonists.  Also, running into a homeless man with a thousand-yard stare and grinning through half a set of teeth who’s selling foul shrooms in the sewers of the otherwise idyllic Mushroom Kingdom is akin to finding a dead body in Disney Land.  It’s incredibly surreal, even though it should make sense.  Well, except for the lightbulb part, that’s still weird.

Unown

2. Unown

There are literally hundreds of Pokémon that could make for potential fighters, but there are also plenty that even the most die-hard Pokémon fans wouldn’t wish to see in Smash‘s roster in a hundred years.  You might have expected Magikarp to take this spot, but that floundering wimp would at least have great comedic value.  Unown, on the other hand, is weak to the point of not even being funny.  Those of you only familiar with Unown from their appearance in the third Pokémon movie may feel confused, thinking that Unown is some legendary Pokémon possessing incredible power.  In the games, Unown are actually easier to catch than the notoriously abundant Zubats and are more useless than Magikarp.  Unown can only learn one move, Hidden Power, which is an attack that can only be learned by literally every Pokémon in existence.  Yeah, you have to go out of your way to teach it to most other Pokémon, but it barely does any damage anyway so why would you bother?  The only notable thing about the Unown is that they have the gimmick of coming in different shapes for every letter in the alphabet.  If you’re honestly going to go through with catching each kind of these worthless pieces of junk (a feat that goes completely unrewarded), then you may want to see a therapist about your level of “Gotta catch ’em all” mentality.  Well, I suppose it is cheaper than amiibos.

SMG2_The_Chimp1. The Chimp

What am I even looking at?!  That came from a Mario game?  Not even from some obscure educational game that Nintendo licensed out to some no-name studio in the early 90’s, but from Super Mario Galaxy 2?  How?

The Chimp was introduced in Super Mario Galaxy 2 for its rendition on timed challenges where you race against an NPC to win a valuable collectible.  How is it that Nintendo was able to create a substantially more endearing character by recycling a basic enemy model and labeling him ‘Koopa the Quick’ in Super Mario 64 than when they actually went out of their way to design something?  The Chimp looks like someone that Poochie from The Simpsons would call a tool.  Just about the only thing interestingly about the twerp is how increasing ridiculous his various names get in different localizations.  Italy pretty much hit the nail on the head with Loafer Monkey, France knows him as Billy Banana, but his original Japanese name achieves a new level of selling-out by calling him the Wandering Playmonkey.  Sadly, no version of the game refers to him by my favorite name for the little dweeb, “Sin Against Nature”.

I sincerely hope that this list made for an enjoyable waste of your mortality.  Who do you NOT want to see make it to Smash‘s roster?  Who is the lamest character to ever appear in a Nintendo game?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Craziest Things to Ever (Intentionally) Come Out of Twitch.tv

Twitch.tv has been a fascinating new form of entertainment.  The idea that watching people playing video games, and not even just the highest level players, has grown into something that rivals Youtube is a concept I never would have thought possible just a few years ago.  Not only has it become an entertainment enterprise all its own, it’s spawned some truly unique and wonderfully bizarre events that wouldn’t really be possible anywhere else.  In celebration of the recent Twitch Con, these are some of the craziest things to ever be produced by the Twitch community.

Now, I’d like to specify that this is only going to focus on events that streamers actually organized under the regulations of Twitch rather than unintentional and/or potentially illegal happenings.  I’m not going to be talking about swatting or the various times streamers have left the camera running before doing something… Unseemly.  This is a tribute to the wonderfully ludicrous ways that people have found to get the most out Twitch’s livestreaming services.

HearthstoneOligarchy

Hearthstone Oligarchy

Hearthstone‘s Arena mode is tricky as you have to draft a deck from a random selection of cards and try to make the most viable build you can and match it against other players under the same condition.  Certain cards work drastically better in this mode than others and every pick can make or break a match.  So, let’s see what happens when one of the best Hearthstone players out there hands full control of the drafting process over to his viewers and has to play with the results.  Popular Hearthstone pro Trump selected viewers of his stream at random and gave them full command over selecting one card for his Arena deck, then took the resulting deck against random opponents for as long as he could before taking three loses.  The good news is that most of his viewers honestly tried to pick the best cards available.  The bad news is that a few couldn’t resist being mischievous and sticking him with some of the worst cards possible.  Even those who were honestly trying still weren’t always making the best decisions and made suboptimal picks.  The result was one of the worst Arena decks that Trump has ever drafted and a player that averages seven to eight wins per arena run left with only four.  Sadly, he’s only done this experiment one other time since and, given the amount of changes that have occurred in Hearthstone since both of those runs, it would be a very different experience today.  You can see the first oligarchy run here and the second here.

MaximusBlack3

MaximusBlack’s 20k Celebration

Sometimes, it’s just simple, joyous insanity that is the most enjoyable.  MaximusBlack was originally a Starcraft player that decided to move into streaming League of Legends.  It was clearly a wise choice as he garnered 20,000 viewers on his first day with the game and received over $10,000 in donations from his fans.  The money was enough to pay for his wedding, which was also streamed, and he showed his appreciation to his fans the only way he knew how: singing Tenacious D’s “Master Exploder” live on camera while dressed in full chainmail armor, wielding the Frostmourne blade from World of Warcraft, and chugging a bottle of champagne.  Also, his automated subscriber alert made sure to compliment his latest subscribers in a very “special” way the whole way through.  You can check out the footage here, but be warned that there is foul language.  While this celebration may sound mad, rest assured that it’s just another day for Twitch.

VGCWBirdsVDragons

Video Game Championship Wrestling

The VGCW is a CAW League, a fan-made wrestling series made using custom CAWs (Create A Wrestler) created in games like WWE 13 and WWE 2K14.  As you might guess, VGCW mainly focuses on bringing together video game characters of all types, but it also throws in other familiar faces such as Dragon Ball Z‘s Nappa and Valve co-founder Gabe Newell as prominent figures.  You might not think a show like this being aired on Twitch is too distinct, but the match-ups don’t actually involve the showrunners controlling the characters.  Instead, the ingame AI is given full control of the characters and matches are determined purely by the unique stats and moves of the characters, as well as whatever shenanigans the AI feels like pulling at the moment.

The unpredictability of the AI has actually played a major factor in shaping the ongoing narrative, such as with the career of Link from The Legend of Zelda.  Originally, Link was intended to be a major hero for the league as the one destined to defeat his formidable antagonist, Ganondorf.  However, Link’s CAW proved to be poorly made due to the showrunner’s lack of experience with the system and he consistently kept losing matches.  Ganondorf was eventually defeated, but it was by Bowser of all people.  Link, meanwhile, was eventually forced out of the league and has become a joke within the VGCW while Ganondorf and Bowser still enjoy healthy careers.  Speaking of story within the VGCW, it’s not uncommon for cosmic beings to threaten the league and can only be stopped by an atomic piledriver.  Hey, it’s not that much crazier than John Cena fighting satanic hillbillies.  Still, I could easily make a list of the craziest things that VGCW has done alone, and I probably will.  If you want to catch up on this series, which is currently on its eleventh season and has three active spin-off shows, you can check out their Youtube channel here.

FishPlaysPokemon

A Fish Playing Pokemon

Yeah, that about sums it up.  Programmers Catherine Moresco and Patrick Facheris used a modified emulator of Pokemon Red, a webcam, and software that reads a fish’s movement around his tank as button commands.  Then they put the results up on Twitch for the world to witness live.  The fish’s name is Grayson Hopper, by the way.  The stream is available for your viewing pleasure here.  Oh, and someone else did the same thing with two fish facing off in Street Fighter II.  You can see how bizarre that looks here.  Not much to really say about this one, so let’s move on.

JasonVSPredator

Jason Versus Predator: The Live Movie

Maximilian Dood is most famous for his fighting game tutorial/sketch comedy series Assist Me, which guides newcomers through fighting games and specific playable characters while he and his friends dress in costume and act out an intentionally ridiculous storyline.  When Max heard that his favorite character, the Predator, was joining the roster of Mortal Kombat X, he naturally wanted to pay tribute with his popular series.  However, he wouldn’t do so with just a typical episode, but instead create a sort of ‘live movie’ that interspersed a livestream of Mortal Kombat X with prerecorded segments that recreate and parody the original Predator film.  Max played live and directly interacted and discussed with his viewers while remaining in-character for all of the filmed segments that would seemlessly interrupt the stream.  You can check out the Assist Me episode, with all of the prerecorded bits and an indepth tutorial for playing the Predator in MKX taking the place of the livestreamed segments, here (language and spooky skeleton warning), but it just can’t compare with the experience of actually having been there and seeing Max’s coy roleplay.

TwitchPlaysPokemon

Twitch Plays

I’m pretty sure you all saw this one coming.  Watching games on Twitch is one thing, but who could’ve expected that we’d be able to play games through it.  For those that haven’t heard of Twitch Plays Pokemon, it’s a series of one-of-a-kind MMOs playable only via Twitch chat as the entire audience/player base simultaneously controls a single character.  The series began with Twitch Plays Pokemon Red and it quickly exploded into a cult phenomenon.  I mean that literally as a full-on religious movement (jokingly(?)) spawned out of constant attempts to use an unusable item from the inventory.  Yeah, the roleplaying that users had to explain events was beyond ridiculous, and it made the events of the playthrough all the more irresistible.  Of course, the flailing incompetence of our hive-minded shenanigans was a spectacle all its own with the simple act of walking in a straight line being a monumental task.  You can imagine how maddening things got when actual navigation puzzles got involved.  It was so hectic that the game’s creator had to overhaul the system mid-playthrough for the game to even be beatable.  Again, Twitch Plays Pokemon is something that could easily fill a list on its own.  Currently, Twitch Plays Pokemon is pitting its chat against itself by choosing sides in the versus mode in Pokemon Battle Revolution.  Oh, and there’s another channel on Twitch doing the same thing with Dark Souls.  And they already beat it.  Welcome to the future.

Knowing Twitch, I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of what the site has produced.  There’s bound to be dozens of bizarre things that I haven’t touched on, some even crazier than the ones I’ve listed here.  Be sure to leave a comment below with your craziest Twitch moment, though be sure to restrict it to actual planned events.

Tatsumi Kimishima is the New President of Nintendo

Tatsumi Kimishima

Tatsumi Kimishima

In a company-wide restructuring following the tragic passing of Satoru Iwata earlier this year, Tatsumi Kimishima has been appointed the new global president of Nintendo.  Kimishima is certainly fit for the position as he already had 27 years of corporate experience at Sanwa Bank of Japan before becoming the Chief Financial Officer for The Pokemon Company in 2000.  He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming President of Pokemon USA Inc. in 2001 and President of Nintendo of America in 2002.  Prior to his recent promotion to global president, Kimishima had served as Managing Director of Nintendo Co., Ltd., as of April, 2013.  Given the fact that Kimishima is already 65, it seems unlikely that he is intended to hold the position for long and is serving as an interim president as Nintendo works to restructure itself.  Here’s hoping that Kimishima leads Nintendo down the best path he can in his time.

There have also been a number of role changes made for other executives around Nintendo.  General Manager of Finance Shigeyuki Takahashi has also been given the role of Supervisor of General Affairs Division and placed in charge of the Quality Assurance Department, and General Manager of Marketing Satoshi Yamato has been placed in charge of the Advertising Department.  However, the most interesting change is that Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, and one of the lead developers of the Wii, Genyo Takeda, have been assigned the titles of Creative Fellow and Technology Fellow respectively.  The title of Fellow, according to Nintendo’s official statement, indicates a Representative Director with “advanced knowledge and extensive experience, and holds the role of providing advice and guidance regarding organizational operations in a specialized area”.  This is a new title within Nintendo’s corporate structure being put in place with this restructuring.  It’s an odd choice for a corporate title, and one has to wonder if this may be intended as a more hands-0ff, advisory position as these two industry veterans approach their respective retirements.  Then again, it may simply be another one of Nintendo’s quirky moments.  This restructuring seems to just be the first step as Nintendo prepares itself for the future.