Kurayami Monogatari

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GENERATION 2: Johto Bugaloo! January 20, 2020

Filed under: ~Teh Pokemon: 2nd Gen~ — solarblade @ 12:51 am

Yup we return to look through even more Johto…(er Johtonian?) Pokémon with the second batch which brought some more interesting inclusions!  Let’s get to it right?

026: Natu, 027: Xatu

natuxatu

First on this post, we have the Xatu line and for something like Johto (since it’s based around Japan) I guess I wasn’t thinking of Native American/Mayan tribal birds to be represented here.  Also with it being Psychic/Flying and Xatu being able to look to the future and past, it’s an interesting concept.  You’d think they’d be legendaries with that kind of ability.  Not one I had on my team, but it’s really intriguing.

Though ever since Generation 6, I always felt weird whenever Xatu flies…just doesn’t look right for whatever reason, just kind of stiff and floating.

028: Mareep, 029: Flaaffy, 030: Ampharos

mareepflaaffyampharos

When it comes to the Ampharos line I kind of understood it when it came to Mareep and Flaaffy being Electric-type sheep.  Though I think I got lost when I got to the shift from Flaaffy to Ampharos despite keeping the Electric-type.  Though if you checked Ampharos’ JPN name, it’s actually Denryuu which adds the feeling of a Dragon which was also kind of missed out on here.  Despite that, Ampharos is a pretty decent Pokémon and I remember using it a LOT in Silver.

At least they answered the Dragon inclusion in Generation 6 by introducing Mega Ampharos which adds the Dragon type to its already known Electric-type and adding long hair!

031: Bellossom

bellossom

Generation 2 also seemed to introduce a lot of new ways to evolve Pokémon, not only did they introduce new stones (in this case the Sun Stone), but it also introduced the idea of split evolution.  For Bellossom, you have to use the Sun Stone on Gloom here (instead of using the Leaf Stone, or you’ll end up with Vileplume).  With Bellossom also, it loses the Poison-type and ends up as a pure Grass.  I really do like both so it’s definitely great whenever I get to use them, it’s a really nice idea to bring in and really gives potential to other Pokémon.

032: Marill, 033: Azumarill

marillazumarill

Remember pre-Gen 2?  Yeah for all the older fans, they remember the hush-hush rumor of an undiscovered Pokémon named Pikablu which of course was debunked once the first Pokémon movie came out with the Pikachu short.  Though to be fair, the way Marill looks does kind of feels reminiscent but unlike other, future Pika-clones, the Azumarill line is a Water-type line which is pretty cool!  Plus, it was a Swarm Pokemon which made it a smidge more interesting.  Sadly not quite the Pokémon I’d use.

Though in Gen 3, we were introduced to Azurill which was a Normal-type baby form for the line, which was kind of unnecessary, but I suppose it’s fine.

Then Gen 6 happened and all 3 in the line got the Fairy-type added on which gave some new life to the line and Azumarill got a pretty big boost out of it too.  Still one of the cutest lines of Gen 2!

034: Sudowoodo

sudowoodo

One of the more memorable things from Gold and Silver was a tree that blocked your path in between Violet & Ecruteak City.  You’d think you could use the Cut HM to do it but instead use need to use water on it to get it to move and it turns out to be this Rock-type, Sudowoodo. It’s such a strange Pokémon though and I feel like as a block in the game (like Snorlax previous) and the fact it’s the only one in Gen 2, it sticks out.

Curiously enough, when the Gen 4 games came out we ended up with baby Pokémon again and in that we were introduced to Bonsly.  Odd that Sudowoodo got it, but I’m not angry for it.

035: Politoed

politoed

Once again we return to split evolutions and this time we have Poliwhirl having a choice between Poliwrath or by trading a Poliwhirl while it’s holding a new item, the King’s Rock and you’ll get Politoed!  I will admit I was surprised to see the color change and of course the fact Politoed is a toad and it sticks to being a pure Water-type.  I quite like it and just sticks out in a good way here.  Plus, it’s one of my favorite designs from Gen 2.

036: Hoppip, 037: Skiploom, 038: Jumpluff

hoppipskiploomjumpluff

Jumpluff’s line is kind of strange looking back on Gen 2 here.  I mean in the Beta design, this line was going to have more feline features about it which was a little off, but I mean with it thrown off, it’s dandelion-design worked better in the overall.  Also finding out that Hoppip learned the useless Splash and the kind of weird Grass/Flying mixture oddly made this forgetful (oops to Tropius and 2/3 of the Decidueye line).  One of the underused lines I think.

039: Aipom

aipom

One of the Pokémon of Gen 2 I definitely questioned its creation, Aipom was pretty out of left field to me.  If I remember right, Aipom was only found by headbutting trees (with said move Headbutt).  Though I failed to see potential since it was a one-stage Pokémon and its stats were pretty weak too, so for 2 Gens, it was kind of a useless one for me.

Though in Generation 4, if you teach Aipom, Double Hit and level it up, you get its new evolution, Ambipom.  A little bit better with stats, but still kind of a Pokémon that doesn’t impress me in the long run unfortunately.

040: Sunkern, 041: Sunflora

sunkernsunflora

If Bellossom wasn’t enough, we get two more new pure Grass-types in the Sunflora line.  Another set of Pokémon that I find lacking and kind of forgettable in the Pokémon series, for quite a while Sunkern was known best as the Pokémon with the worst base stats.  Though once given a Sun Stone, it can evolve into Sunflora and it just doesn’t do anything for me still.  Oh wells…

042: Yanma

yanma

Another thing introduced in Gen 2, your character can obtain phone calls from trainers you battled and some of them are special in the way they that fill you in when there’s a swarm of a certain Pokémon on a route.  This is the case for 6 of them in which Yanma was one of the 6 (Marill, Remoraid, Snubbull, Qwilfish, and Dunsparce are the others).  While none of them truly were all interesting (later gens will fix a couple), Yanma was the one I was more interested in.  It’s still kind of weak due to its Bug/Flying typing.

Though once Yanma learns Ancient Power in Gen 4 and leveled up, it evolves into the new Yanmega which kind of throws away the cuteness and went full dragonfly here (though oddly enough remains Bug/Flying).  Still, one of the cooler designs out of Gen 2 overall

043: Wooper, 044: Quagsire

wooperquagsire

Finally something to stop Electric types dead in its tracks!  the Quagire’s Water/Ground typing was a godsend in Gen 2 for me and really left a mark in my memory about having one on my team a lot of the time.  Though it has since been taken over by other better Pokémon, but at the time, this was a fun one to use and it’s so derpy and cute so it’s a win!

045: Espeon, 046: Umbreon

espeonumbreon

Yep, one Generation in and it seems we get two new Eevee evolutions (in the Beta it was going to be three with a Grass-type evolution, though it would reappear in Gen 4 as Leafeon).  In Johto, we got the Psychic-type, Espeon, and the Dark-type Umbreon.  Though interestingly enough you can only get these with Max Friendship and depending on the day or night is how you get Espeon (Day) or Umbreon (Night).  I LOVE Espeon since it’s given a lot of strong moves and Psychic is my favorite type.  Umbreon is decent (curiously when I read the Dex entries, it made me feel it was originally going to be a Poison type).  It’s better nowadays, but I didn’t think much of it back then, also both have great shinies.  Fantastic additions!

047: Murkrow

murkrow

To push out some more Pokémon based around the two new types introduced in Gen 2, we have Murkrow, a Dark/Flying type.  Curiously enough one of the few Pokémon that you could only find post-Elite 4 in the Kanto region of all places.  Not really that interesting either to me and is one of the weaker mons.  Though design-wise totally fits the crow theme.

Until Gen 4 when Murkrow got an evolution in Honchkrow which boosted it up nicely.

048: Slowking

slowking

Just like Gloom & Poliwhirl before it, Slowpoke also gets a split evolution though it’s more closer to Poliwhirl because it’s over the same held item, the King’s Rock.  Slowking doesn’t change types, but it does get more offensive power from it (and if the movie counts, it speaks!).  Really interesting choice and I kind of prefer it over Slowbro if I had to be honest!

Though with Galar, with the knowledge of Galarian Slowpoke and the hints of both Galarian Slowbro & Slowking…it makes me curious to what that all entails and the fact it has a darker, purplish look makes me think either it’s going to be a Psychic/Poison type (since it learns Acid) or maybe Dark-type who knows?

049: Misdreavus

misdreavus

Realizing it, Misdreavus is actually the ONLY Ghost type introduced which means we have OMG, two Ghost lines (Misdreavus & the Gengar line).  I was kind of surprised that Ghosts’ only get one new Pokémon in the generation and even then Misdreavus is one of the last Johto Pokémon you find in the wild at Mt. Silver.  Personally, Misdreavus is my favorite Pokémon of all time!  It’s just a cool whispy Ghost and I really loved when I caught it.

Despite that, Generation 4 brought in Mismagius, an evolution done by using the Dusk Stone on Misdreavus.  Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of its design, but it’s power was well-needed and gave life to Misdreavus.  Solid overall!

050: Unown

unown

One of the more stranger additions in Johto was Unown, who are Psychic-type Pokémon.  Though once the 3rd movie was up and running, we were shown that Unown was incredibly powerful and had a lot of potential which fizzled out immediately once the G/S/C games came around.  We ended up with a low base stat Pokémon that only can learn one move in Hidden Power which is hit or miss basically 1/16th of the time it sucks lol.  Add on that Gen 2 added the Unown Dex because god forbid there’s an Unown that represents every letter of the alphabet, so 26 variations of Unown.

However in Generation 3, two more were added to the list, the “!” one and the “?” one, bringing it to 28.  These two don’t provide anything additional, so the same stats overall.  Really useless in the meta and makes me wonder if they’ll ever make them usable in the future.

PART 3 NEXT TIME!

 

 

Let’s talk about Smash: The end of the Fighters Pass and the future!~ January 17, 2020

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 7:03 am

So, today we finally got the reveal of the 5th character of the Fighters Pass and the future since last time Smash announced more DLC!  But since there was time since September, I wanna go back and talk about Terry as well since there wasn’t much shown off in his initial announcement!

Terry Bogard

TerryBogardSSBU

Yeah, last time I was talking about Terry, it was just his announcement and a SMALL gameplay showing for him.  Though November was when he released and a lot of things revealed!

So Terry joining was really cool utilizing a lot of moves from the Fatal Fury/King of Fighters game which was to expected and just like Ryu & Ken also includes command moves.  What makes Terry stand out though is that when his percent goes over 100%, he’ll be able to do Power Geyser & Buster Wolf by doing it’s commands like it has been for the longest time.

About his stage, King of Fighters Stadium is an interesting one.  The stage itself is basically entirely flat, no platforms and it seems it’s a walk-off stage, but that’s where you’re wrong.  While it does look like one, there’s actually invisible barriers that stop you from going out, unless you’re at a higher damage percentage then the barrier will break from the force.  Add on a lot of cameos from characters of Fatal Fury and King of Fighters and it’s basically all that.

Overall, Terry Bogard might not be someone everyone would’ve thought of, but I definitely appreciate SNK getting the green light for Terry and the Smash love was really nice here!

Byleth

Byleth

Though most fans were super curious about who was going to be the 5th character in the first Fighters Pass and many had assumed it was going to be a 3rd party character (fair enough because of everyone else in the pack was at this point), but boy was everyone surprised that it turned out to be another character from Fire Emblem, more specifically from the recent game, Three Houses.  Despite the picture above, Byleth comes with 4 different weapons (sword/whip as his main, an axe, a polearm, and a bow & arrow).  Also, like with Robin and Corrin previous, there’s a female variant as well!

The stage that comes with Byleth is of course a traveling stage, Garreg Mach Monastery.  It goes between four spots in the area with cameos from other characters involved in Three Houses which is cool and the layouts are pretty simple but it’s nice it travels a bit.

My personal opinion on Byleth is that while I had figured we were going to get a Fire Emblem rep, I was kind of assuming it would’ve happened sometime in the 2nd Fighters pass.  Doesn’t help that Byleth looks so similar to Marth and Chrom (the female looking pretty close to Lucina) it’s kind of a bummer they ended up choosing what they did and not someone like Edelgard.  Also, kind of soured the fact it closed out the first Fighters pack as well.

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We also got some new Mii Fighter costumes here with Altair (from Assassin’s Creed) and the Rabbids (from the Rayman series) on top of returning Mega Man outfits from the X series and Battle Network series.  Though the best news here was that we were given a Cuphead outfit that really feels right for its style (plus it comes with a song similarly to Sans from Undertale.

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Though as I mentioned earlier, Sakurai kind of went in slightly further into DLC with the announcement of 6 more DLC characters for the 2nd Fighters Pass bringing the total to 12 DLC characters!  No announcement, but it seems there’ll be more space as the date says it should be done in December 31 of 2021.  Curious to see what this pass will be about that’s for sure.

 

SEE YOU WHEN WAVE 2 BEGINS!

 

Tsubaki Factory – Ishiki Takai Otome no Dilemma/Dakishimerarete Mitai January 15, 2020

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 3:40 pm

ishikitakai

Track Listing

  1. Ishiki Takai Otome no Dilemma
  2. Dakishimerarete Mitai
  3. Nineteen no Shinkirou (Reg A only)
  4. Hair up Sora e! (Reg B only)
  5. Ishiki Takai Otome no Dilemma (Instrumental)
  6. Dakishimerarete Mitai (Instrumental)
  7. Nineteen no Shinkirou (Instrumental)

1. Ishiki Takai Otome no Dilemma

As the leading A-side of the single, Ishiki Takai Otome no Dilemma is kind of an odd one for me because it does start off like a ballad (with similar piano skips like in Momosu’s “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe”.  At least that part is nice and I really love Kishimon’s high notes in the pre-chorus.  Though the chorus because more upbeat and danceable that sort of reminds me of “Fuwari, Koi Dokei”.  Putting that together, it’s kind of not a memorable song for Tsubaki unfortunately and it just fees like fluff to me.

2. Dakishimerarete Mitai

The other B-side also kind of feels similar to me, especially when this reminds me of “Junjou cm”.  Not sure what the style they were going for here, but I do enjoy hearing all 9 members singing here which is always decent for me.  I think it’s also a bit of a wintry song with some of the jingling I hear through the chorus (which we already had with “Teion Yakedo”.”.  I don’t know, but this one did fare better than the leading A-side so I suppose that’s good?

3. Nineteen no Shinkirou

So if you don’t follow the group or just not in the in, Nineteen no Shinkirou is a song that was released digitally, already last year, but that was tagged as a special version primarily due to Kiki’s absence.  So on this single it’s touted as the complete version as Kiki’s returned.  The song itself hasn’t changed and the presence of Kiki really doesn’t move things as much as I expected.  It’s still a song that feels better hearing live rather than getting a studio cut.  It’s upbeat, rockin’, and full of energy, but it’s just kind of how I feel about most of these songs.

4. Hair up Sora e!

Didn’t mention this but the single is split into editions of course and Regular A had “Nineteen no Shinkirou” while Regular B came with this track!  I’m pretty surprised it took them this long, but this song is the ending theme to the TROLLS cartoon in Japan (if you recall, “Mou Saikou!” was the opening theme).  I do prefer this over the aforementioned as it’s not as super girly and the kind of danceable feel mixed with the ~buhhh-da-daah~ is really nice.  Though it does feel like it repeats a lot.  Still, I dug it.

 

 

I’m gonna say it, but this is probably my least favorite single out of Tsubaki Factory so far.  When the TROLLS song ends up being my favorite out of the single it’s definitely a problem.  Ishiki Takai Otome no Dilemma and Dakishimerarete Mitai really don’t bring anything new to the table and they just feel like safe songs that really didn’t make them stand out (especially since it’s been almost a year since their last single, “Sankaime no Date Shinwa/Fuwari, Koi Dokei”.  As for Nineteen no Shinkirou, I think it was just a bad idea to have released a Kiki-less version and then to re-update it on this single, especially since the song is kind of throw-away.  Unfortunate single here.

 

Let’s Talk about Pokémon Gen 8: Post-release and Expansion Pass News! January 12, 2020

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 10:50 pm

Yeah, I know it’s been like 3 months since I last talked about it and yes, I have played and defeated the Elite 4 and completed post-game stuff.

I will definitely get to writing up about the new Galar Pokémon once all the Sugimori arts become available and I have quite a lot to talk about this generation!

Though the reason this post is up is because of the big news today that Pokémon Sword & Shield will indeed get DLC!

The Isle of Armor

The first to be shown off is the Isle of Armor which is due out at the end of June and it takes us to the Eastern part of Galar to an island-like area with lots of things to do.  It does introduce us to some new characters (Klara & Avery who from their outfits match the outfits you can buy from the shop in the gyms (Poison & Psychic respectively and I noticed because my character wears the Psychic uniform which looks a LOT like Avery’s. Let’s get talking though about the new Pokémon & forms!

Galarian Slowpoke

g-slowpoke

As kind of the first of the updates to be shown off and technically the first of the Pokémon from the DLC to be catchable, Galarian Slowpoke is a thing now.  Though it’s a bit different in that it’s now just a pure Psychic-type.  It is also confirmed that both Slowbro & Slowking have Galarian forms however Slowbro will be obtainable once this DLC releases while Slowking will be able to found once the Crown Tundra DLC releases.  There were slight previews of those but they were crossed out or blocked so you can’t really tell whats going on…though now it makes me curious!  Though I did say that it’s our first taste of the DLC because as of January now….this is kind of an event Pokémon that you can catch at the Wedgehurst Train Station.

Gigantamax Venusaur, Gigantamax Blastoise

gigavenusaurgigablastoise

I was hoping Venusaur & Blastoise would get added to the game and because of the datamine showing these two lines were coming, I was happy they didn’t get left behind (even if Charizard is still getting a LITTLE TOO MUCH love in the Pokémon company).  I mean this was pretty cool.  Venusaur looks like it took notes from Vileplume and Blastoise is just OP with all them cannons.  Interesting to see what they’ll come up with them with their G-Max move.

Gigantamax Rillaboom, Gigantamax Cinderace, Gigantamax Inteleon

gigarillaboomgigacinderacegigainteleon

I was surprised that the Galarian starters didn’t get Gigantamax forms from the start (was making me think it would’ve been like the case of the Kalos starters not getting Mega Evolutions (although Greninja had a unique form though, later on).  Still looks pretty awesome though (Inteleon with a sniper look is pretty badass and Cinderace with the huge ball of fire with a face, it’s just cools.

Kubfu, Urshifu, Gigantamax Urshifu

kubfuurshifuswordurshifushieldgigaurshifusinglegigaurshifurapid

So the main focus of the first DLC is actually centered around this new legendary!  It appears there’s a dojo on the island and you’re mission is to help train up Kubfu (a pure Fighting type).  While not stated in the PKMN Direct, I feel like it’s evolution is based on which game because of the blue (Sword) and Red (Shield colors).  Though what’s interesting is that it can evolve into Urshifu into a different form one being a Single strike (Fighting/Dark) and the other a Rapid strike (Fighting/Water).  Also they have Gigantamax forms too!  I mean it’s interesting and it’s good that we have a Fighting legendary, but we’ll see what becomes of this.

(EDIT: Well it seems that they aren’t version exclusives and the form you get depends on the choices you make during the story-arc)

The Crown Tundra

DLC 2 (releasing sometime in the Fall) takes us interestingly South into the mountainous area to this icy landscape (Circhester wasn’t enough?).  Though we did get some information on it like the basis of the plot and the fact we get to see inside these Dens and battle to obtain past legendaries, it brought some interesting reveals of Pokémon like the aforementioned Galarian Slowking and more curiously…

Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos, Galarian Moltres???

g-articunog-zapdosg-moltres

While not officially named that, we do have here what seems to be Galarian forms of the Kanto bird trio!  Not quite sure what to say, but it seems they’ll keep their Ice, Electric, and Fire status, but they obviously have differences that make me wonder if they’ll have a different secondary typing like Psychic, Fighting, and Dark?  It’s hard to tell, but I’m very curious about their role.

Regis…

regi1regi2

Not only did we get some interesting new forms for the Kanto birds, we also got two new Regis thrown out there as well apparently Electric and Dragon type respectively.  It seems they’re found in a temple that represents them. Makes me wonder if a 3rd one will be added to kind of fill the trio limit.  Regizolt or Regidrake for possible names?

Calyrex

calyrex

Though it seems the star of the show in this DLC is Calyrex, a Psychic/Grass legendary (makes me think of Celebi immediately).  Not quite sure what to think of Calyrex at the moment, but it seems if it Gigantamaxes it means the bulb on its head could bloom so I’m VERY curious on its backstory.

 

Hopefully Sugimori art of the remaining Gen 8 Pokémon will come out so I can talk about them soons!