Pokemon Sword & Shield – Escaping The Noise

When I was a kid playing Pokemon Blue I would dream of a world where you could see Pokemon out in the wild. They’d run around and you could chase after them or just watch them play and be themselves. The ultimate Pokemon game would be so interactive, fun, mysterious and exciting, and look beautiful. It would carry all the great design strengths of the main Pokemon series, and even offer new Pokemon itself in a new land. The ultimate Pokemon game. Back then people dreamed about what the first console Pokemon would be like. Now developers Game Freak have been dragged kicking and screaming to a powerful piece of hardware, finally, and what do we have? The ultimate Pokemon game? Could we finally be at that point? With the amount of fun I’m having right now with Pokemon Shield, I’m going to say yes. They did it. I don’t believe a perfect game will (or should) ever exist, but I believe this could be the best Pokemon game yet.

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The Pokémon culling is a disaster, here’s how it can be salvaged

Luxry's self sacrifice to save her crying trainer from dying of exposure.

Pokémon trainers around the world were shocked to learn that not all their carefully raised Pokémon, their friends, will be able to accompany them on their next journey. This news came from game director Junichi Masuda who sheepishly admitted at E3 that the full roster of Pokémon wont be playable after a lengthy preamble to soften us up with excuses. A week on, with the frenzied backlash dying down, this article will examine exactly what the culling of Pokémon means, evaluate the reasons given by the developer Game Freak, and make recommendations for how both Pokémon fans and The Pokémon Company can rectify the situation.

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Pokemon Let’s Go – Almost There

Could it be? A traditional Pokemon RPG on the big screen? Technically yes, but Let’s Go has a bit of an identity crisis that needs addressing first. To sum it up, it’s a remake of Pokemon Red and Blue that removes wild Pokemon battles for catching encounters. It’s meant to be more accessible but developers Game Freak have a very interesting definition of accessible. I want to first say that I enjoyed the game immensely, but it has some disturbing problems.

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Completing the Pokédex: Zeraora

On the 22nd of October, with a glint in my eye and my 3DS in my backpack, I got on my pushbike to acquire Zeraora and complete my Pokédex. It had been a long journey but it felt fitting to finish it off by travelling by bike and train, Red’s preferred methods of transport, even if asking a store clerk for a code to redeem online isn’t my favourite method of acquiring a Pokémon.  Continue reading “Completing the Pokédex: Zeraora”

Completing the Pokédex: Gameplan for the last 28.

This is really a personal entry, but by making it public I want you to hold me accountable. People who tell others about their goals are 70% more likely to complete them, or at least that’s what I’m told in the pop-psychology self-help blogs and diary products I have found myself glazing over during this now prolonged unemployment. Earlier I mentioned that part of the problem for me was the open-ended nature of Pokémon and by having partially complete save files across several games I’m left unfocused. In this entry I will delineate a path to follow through the games while leaving myself the flexibility to keep them fun and give myself multiple chances to pickup missing Pokémon along the way. This entry will be regularly updated with a checklist at the bottom crossing off accomplishments and in-game milestones outlined under each game subheading.

Last updated 29th of March, 2019. Pokédex complete. Most games sold.

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Completing the Pokédex: Learning to let go.

When we last spoke, I had just added Manaphy to my Pokédex and had another eighty odd monsters left to collect. It’s been a year, and progress as been slow but as of today I have just 28 left. Of the 58 caught over this time about 30 came in the last week due to a recent bout of motivation. Today’s update isn’t about those captures though, it’s about the sheer mental disarray these games have left me in due to their convoluted systems, open ended nature and emotional hooks. If I’m going to finish this job, and I must, I need to learn to let go.

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Completing the Pokédex: Manaphy

The other week I achieved something I hadn’t since I was 12 years old; I completed the Pokédex, I caught them all. Technically though, it wasn’t them all. It was only the 301 available in the latest game. Nintendo long ago realised the insanity of capturing now 802 Pokémon and dropped “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” from the branding, providing smaller, region specific Pokédexs in the game. The importance of the complete Pokédex, or National Pokédex as it is known, has been downplayed too, a post-game unlockable in recent generations and not appearing at all in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Completing the Alola regional Pokédex didn’t provide the satisfaction I thought it would, and the in game reward, a stamp in my in-game passport, was as hollow as the certificate of completion I received 18 years ago. I have decided that I will not be fulfilled until I really have caught them all. All 802 bastards, including the worst thing in Pokémon, “event” Pokémon, so yesterday I dug out my Pokémon games from the last 4 generations to figure out how to get Manaphy, the seafaring Pokémon. Continue reading “Completing the Pokédex: Manaphy”