Gaming Post 35: Pokémon Silver Version

The random number generator chose Pokémon Silver Version. That’s interesting.

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Pokémon Silver Version was a Game Boy Color game that came out in October of the year 2000. It was one of the two video games that introduced players to the second generation of Pokémon (the group of 100 Pokémon that were revealed to players after the first 151). Silver Version’s mascot is the legendary Pokémon Lugia, who had been introduced to audiences earlier that year in the second Pokémon Movie, “Pokémon the Movie 2000”.

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When Pokemon Gold and Silver came out, I didn’t get Silver right away, but I did get Gold Version the first day it came out. I chose Gold instead of Silver because I preferred Ho-oh over Lugia. To me, Ho-oh seemed like a Pokémon that was even newer than Lugia, and that is what made me decide to get Gold first.

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I eventually received Silver as a Christmas present, seemingly on Christmas of 2001, but it possibly could have been 2000. My memories of that time in my life are a bit fuzzy. The only evidence against me having gotten it for Christmas of 2001 (that I can think of) is that Pokémon Crystal was already out at that point, and Silver was considered to be inferior to Crystal. I can’t say for certain whether or not I got Crystal on its release date, but if I really did get Silver for Christmas of 2001, it seems that Pokémon Crystal might have been received on another occasion some time after its release date.

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Thinking about this feels like a time paradox.

I was about 9 back then, and looking back at it, I seemed to be more focused on playing through the story rather than playing beyond the end. I got all 16 Badges in the game and beat Trainer Red like I had done in Gold Version, but in Silver, that’s where I stopped. My starter Pokémon was Totodile because I had already chosen Cyndaquil in Gold, and because Chikorita was in my opinion the lamest of the three.

 

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In those days, I had a guide which I attempted to use with my friend Jonah to complete the Pokédex, but it was a fruitless endeavor. There was no known way to get Mew or Celebi without cheating, and I wasn’t goal-oriented enough to capture the other 249 that were possible to catch. My first real attempt at catching em all would have to wait until Generation 3.

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I lost this guide some time in the past 15 years.

I remember reading that Pokémon Silver Version was considered by the Scholastic Book of World Records to be the most sold video game. I don’t think it was true though, even at the time it was printed. Maybe it was the most sold game during a specific year, but I’m not sure. Even so, if it was true that more copies of Silver were sold than Gold, it seems to indicate that people favored Lugia over Ho-oh at that time, even though the metal Gold is usually considered to be more valuable and thus better than Silver. The reason for Lugia’s popularity might be its design, but it seems to me that people were starting to prefer Pokémon that they were familiar with over those that were perceived to be new. Lugia had its movie, and although Ho-oh did appear in the first episode of Pokémon on TV, I know I never saw that episode until years later, so to many, it was completely new. The sentiment of preferring the familiar would drive some people who had previously liked Pokémon to dislike the newer Pokémon simply based on the fact that they were new and not of the original 151.

 

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As for me, I liked the shiny cartridges.

Pokémon Silver Version was good, but it was pretty much the same exact game as Gold. It was because I had already beaten Gold and Silver that I later found Pokémon Crystal to be not worth finishing until I finally did in 2014, but that’s a story for another time.

 

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Technically, I have still not played through the remake of Pokémon Silver that came out in 2010. I played Heart Gold but it was my brother who played Soul Silver. I’ll be sure to think of an excuse to play through Soul Silver one day.

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In Soul Silver, the HM background color is Silver! Not Gold! It’s Different!

I played Pokémon Silver again in the year 2014. I won’t tell you why, but you may be able to guess. Until the time is right, I’m leaving it as a sloppily kept secret. By the way, here’s a trailer for The Yellow Quest!

 

And here’s a link to the playlist

Thanks for reading!

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Gaming Post 33: Animal Crossing (GameCube)

The random number generator chose Animal Crossing! Yay!
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Animal Crossing is a weird sort of game. Its premise is that you are a human who moves into a town inhabited by cartoon animals. There isn’t an explicit goal to the game except to have fun living in the town. What makes the game special is the use of the GameCube’s internal calendar to make things happen in your town based on the passage of actual days in real life.

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For example, Animal Crossing games have different things happen in different seasons.

Animal Crossing is one of the games I played a lot of when I was in Middle School. I couldn’t tell you for sure how I originally heard about it, but my friend Jonah was the first to play it, and he was also the first among the people I knew who had a Nintendo GameCube. He doesn’t remember much about that time, but I do.

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I started playing Animal Crossing as one of the villagers in my friend Jonah’s town. That’s when I learned to like the game. Jonah says it was one of the only GameCube games he had at the time, which might explain why we played it so much.

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I often sold oranges to the store, but I liked using the shovel much better. Each day I played, I’d dig up any fossils and Gyroids I found and donate the fossils to the local museum after getting them identified via mail. If the museum already had the type of fossil, I’d sell it to the store for some good money.

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I always saved the Gyroids I found instead of selling them, because I was hoping to possibly complete a collection of every Gyroid. I knew which ones existed because I had Jonah’s guide to the game that listed every item. I’m not sure if the internet would have been able to help me back then, but I wasn’t obsessed enough with the project to bring it to completion.

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One interesting thing about Animal Crossing was its inclusion of certain NES games that your character can put in his/her house and play. It was cool because it offered the player a substantial reward for finding a virtual object in the game.

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Villager’s first game was also his first crossover game with Little Mac.

Another game Jonah had around this time was Super Mario Sunshine. Unfortunately, as both Animal Crossing and Super Mario Sunshine are single player endeavors on the one GameCube and TV we had, only one of us could play at a time. Funnily enough, when I was really into Animal Crossing, Jonah mostly wanted to play Super Mario Sunshine, and when I finally wanted to focus on Sunshine Jonah was back into Animal Crossing. This sort of thing can happen with obsessive personalities like my own.

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Animal Crossing allows one town to be stored per memory card. The great thing about having a game like this on a disc is that you are only limited in the quantity of towns by the number of memory cards you have, as opposed to games like Pokémon that only allow one file to be saved per game cartridge.

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Sometimes, I just don’t know where to stop.

When I finally got a GameCube on Christmas of 2002, I borrowed Jonah’s copy of Animal Crossing, because he was completely done caring about the game. I then proceeded to build towns on different memory cards to help my overall progress, but my strategy wasn’t refined enough to work as effectively as it could have. I did know that an Orange sold in a town that started with oranges fetches 100 bells while its selling price in a town without oranges is 500 bells, so I used my GameCube’s second memory card slot to move between towns, bringing my town’s fruit to sell in the other towns and picking foreign fruit and bringing it back to sell it in my own town, but I could have easily replaced the fruit trees growing in my own town with foreign fruit trees which would have made paying off my loans a lot faster, but I was too afraid of messing up my town by chopping down existing trees because I didn’t have a clear idea concerning why some trees grew and others did not. I was also more focused on the immediate results of selling the fruit rather than the investment of planting it. At that age, my brain had a lot more development to undergo before I could really be good at video games.

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I traveled so much between my 5 towns that at one point I actually had 2 of the same animal villager (Fang) in one of my towns. I didn’t take a picture of it because it happened a long time ago before I started taking pictures of interesting things. Although I lack solid evidence I’m pretty sure it did happen.
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What caught my imagination about Animal Crossing was its customizability. In this picture from my old town, you can see that I made shirts themed on Mario Wario Waluigi and the Pokémon Kyogre. You can see that even back then, I was a big fan of rain, both in the game and out.
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I wasn’t against changing the date in the game to suit my purposes. I remember summer days when I would change the date to make it rain in the game, often when it was also raining in real life, and just go fishing on the beach. I would try to catch Coelacanths (which appear only when it is raining), Barred Knifejaws and Red Snappers, fetching 15,000, 5,000 and 3,000 bells respectively. All 3 of those species appear in the ocean, but if you catch a Sea Bass, put it back! It’s a waste of inventory space!

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I paid at least one considerable loan by selling fish to the raccoon. One weird thing about these games is that you can catch frogs the same way you catch fish, but there can also be frogs living in your town.

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One day my friend showed me how he had been cheating in Animal Crossing. He had an Action Replay and was able to use it to create any item he wanted in the game as well as obtain infinite money. He had me visit his town and wanted me to participate in a makeshift lottery game that he had set up, the prize being money he had created using the cheating device. I was annoyed because to me it seemed that the point of Animal Crossing was to work to make money. By accepting the cheated money, it would be the same as if I was cheating, so I refused. What puzzled me, however, was why my cheating friend bothered to play Animal Crossing at all given that he was cheating. This is when I started to consider the actual game of Animal Crossing to be somewhat stupid. I was in middle school, which is when a lot of people judge some of their old hobbies more harshly than they should.

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I stopped playing for a very long time, assuming in my little mind that I had finished upgrading my house and paying off my debt. My opinion of Animal Crossing changed and changed back as I matured. I played the DS sequel quite a lot, but I stopped playing that too after a few months. It inspired this riddle.

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What is forgotten and full of weeds? Your Town in Animal Crossing!

Having read the Iwata Asks about Animal Crossing: City Folk, I played a bit of it after its price dropped to $20, but I couldn’t really get into it maybe because I knew I didn’t finish paying off my debt in the DS Animal Crossing.

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It wasn’t until I mistakenly added Animal Crossing to my list of beaten games (thinking that I had paid off my debt to Tom Nook) that I rekindled my interest in going back to finish the other Animal Crossing games that I had started. I consider an Animal Crossing game to be beaten if 1: You fully upgrade your house and pay off your debt to Tom Nook, 2: You do everything else you want to do in the game. It’s pretty open ended, but you’d be a fool to attempt to really 100% an Animal Crossing game, unless you really feel passionately about it. It’s a game that can take over your life because you typically have to play it every day if you don’t want to miss out on things in the stores and stuff like that.

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An example of someone’s life being taken over by Animal Crossing New Leaf

I eventually found the memory card for my old Animal Crossing town, and I decided to visit it. My friend Cameron brought over his disc since mine (probably Jonah’s) wasn’t working. It was then when I discovered that I hadn’t really finished upgrading my house and paying off my loan, so I got straight to work continuing my game where I left off, possibly a decade before. I wonder if there are other games on my list that I haven’t technically beaten. If it could happen once, it could have happened again. I suppose the only games I’m not 100% sure that I beat are Pokémon Red and Blue, but I think I made a point of completing both of them before I got Crystal Version.

Gotta bring in the bells!
Gotta bring in the bells!

When I found out about my miscalculation, I had been on a roll in the other Animal Crossing games, finally perfecting my technique for planting the maximum number of foreign fruit trees in a single town and destroying every other tree. I believe there was at least one Apple Tree growing in town, so the first thing I did was buy as many axes as I could from the catalog (which can only be done prior to the DS version) and as they arrived, I chopped down every tree besides the apple trees. I also expanded the orchard of apple trees, using every grown apple as a seed for the next tree.
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I also planted money trees whenever I could. To plant a money tree, you need to find a spot on the ground that has magical light shining from it. You have to bury a bag of bells in the golden spot, but it can be risky. If the tree is planted in a bad spot, it might not grow to replace the money it took to plant it. If it does grow and a bag of 30,000 bells was planted, the profit is 60,000 bells.

“Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees.” At Least That’s What They Say, But What About That Money Tree I Saw The Other Day?

I continued the expansion of my apple orchard until my Microsoft Excel sheet indicated that It would take more effort to plant more apple trees than to just wait a few days and sell every apple that grows in that time to finish paying off the debt.
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In the end, Nook gave me a golden statue, and thus I beat Animal Crossing for GameCube.
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Along the way, I actually did succeed in finishing the fossil collection at the museum. That is something I felt pretty good about since it was one of my favorite parts of Animal Crossing.

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And here’s my Animal Crossing house, Assassin’s Creed Logo included. I simply call this image “AC”.
This monstrosity can be found upstairs, made from some of the extra fossils I didn't sell.
This monstrosity can be found upstairs, made from some of the extra fossils I didn’t sell.
Apparently electronics can get wet in this game without malfunctioning.
Apparently electronics can get wet in this game without malfunctioning.
This is my basement. I like this room.
This is my basement. I like this room.
 The 2015 portion of my gameplay was performed using this Super Smash Bros. GameCube controller. After all, Villager is a Smash character now.

The 2015 portion of my gameplay was performed using this Super Smash Bros. GameCube controller. After all, Villager is a Smash character now.

The passage of time in Animal Crossing makes the town feel like a living breathing place set in a virtual reality even though it’s really just a computer program. That’s why it can be interesting to come back after years have gone by, even only for a visit.

Animal Crossing

Is your town full of weeds?

– Zelgerath (@Zelgerath)

Thanks for reading!

THE FIRST EVER “CAPSLOCKE” OF LEARN WITH POKÉMON: TYPING ADVENTURE!!!

AND PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE!

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HELLO, I AM ZELGERATH, AND I RECENTLY PLAYED THROUGH A SHORT GAME CALLED LEARN WITH POKÉMON: TYPING ADVENTURE.

I BOUGHT THE GAME DURING AN ANIME CONVENTION, AND I HAVE SINCE BEEN WAITING FOR THE PERFECT TIME TO UNLEASH MY NEWEST “CHALLENGE SCENARIO” UPON THE WORLD.

THE SPECIAL CHALLENGE IS CALLED A “CAPSLOCKE”. MUCH LIKE A NUZLOCKE CHALLENGE SCENARIO THAT SOME PEOPLE PERFORM FROM TIME TO TIME, A “CAPSLOCKE” HAS A SPECIAL RULE BEYOND THE ACTUAL COMPLETION OF THE GAME. THE RULE IS NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE TO RECORD AND UPLOAD YOUR GAMEPLAY, BUT YOU MUST ONLY WRITE ABOUT THIS FEAT USING UPPERCASE LETTERS AND PUNCTUATION. NO LOWERCASE LETTERS ARE ALLOWED!

THIS IS WHY I AM TYPING THIS COMPLETELY IN CAPITAL LETTERS. IT’S NOT EXACTLY DIFFICULT, BUT IT IS TYPING THEMED, AND THIS GAME IS A TYPING GAME.

YOU MIGHT BE THINKING THAT THIS ENDEAVOR IS COMPLETELY SILLY, AND YOU WOULD NOT BE WRONG, BUT LET’S COMPARE THIS TO MY MOST RECENT CHALLENGE SCENARIO THAT I MADE UP…

IT’S CALLED A MAX RUN, AND THE VIDEO ABOVE SHOULD EXPLAIN ALL OF IT TO YOU.

NOW, YOU MIGHT BE UNSURE ABOUT WHICH CHALLENGE SCENARIO IS THE SILLIER OF THE TWO. I SURE AM UNSURE. THIS CAPSLOCKE IS THE SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR OF THE MAX RUN.

POKÉMON TYPING ADVENTURE WAS PRETTY FUN, AND I ACTUALLY LEARNED A THING OR TWO ABOUT HOW PEOPLE SAY CERTAIN LETTERS AND PUNCTUATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

FEEL FREE TO WATCH. YOU MIGHT NOT REGRET IT!

(YOU MIGHT NEED TO INCREASE THE VIDEO QUALITY FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE; IT’S USUALLY A GEAR IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER)

THANKS FOR WATCHING IF YOU DID! AND DON’T WORRY… THE NEXT ARTICLE ON THIS WEBSITE WILL CONTAIN LOWERCASE LETTERS AGAIN.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS ZELGERATH, SIGNING OUT!

Gaming Post 14: Pokémon Yellow Version

Excellent! The random number generator has decided that I should write about one of the most important games from my childhood.

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I would consider Pokémon Yellow to be my first video game. It’s true that I played computer games before I got Yellow, some of which are even on my list of beaten games (See JumpStart 3rd Grade), but Yellow was the first game I ever owned for a console, and back then there was a bigger distinction between computer games and video games than there is now.

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I was a big fan of Pokémon before I even owned any of the games. I watched kids trading Pokémon cards on the bus before they were banned, I watched my friend play Blue Version on the bus every day, I saw the movies in theaters when they came out, and I watched the TV show if it happened to be on. The only reason I didn’t own any Pokémon games was that my parents were resistant to letting me get into video games. One day, however, when I was almost 8 years old, my Mom asked me if I wanted to get a GameBoy Color, and I was totally on board with that. I did the math, and though I’m not 100% on it, I’m pretty sure it was August of the year 2000, and I’m guessing that Toys R Us was having a sale. My mom decided to get me a GameBoy so that I would make friends easier with people who had the same interests as mine (it worked).

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When I went into the store, I chose the lime green GameBoy Color, and though I had intended to decide between Pokémon Red or Blue, when I got there, I noticed that a third Pokémon game had come out staring Pikachu. I knew that it was the game for me, and so I named my character ASH and the rest is history.

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I was super excited to have a Pokémon game of my own, and also to be able to obtain badges faster than the real Ash did (I previously noticed that his progress was so slow, and it was bothering me).  However, try as I might, I wasn’t very smart back then and after getting to Vermillion City I lost Pikachu in the PC System, either because I didn’t know what Deposit meant or I accidentally released him. I didn’t think to turn my game off to return to the last save and I didn’t want to wait for Jonah’s advice the next day, so I started a new game with a vengeance. After all, even I knew that two badges wasn’t a lot to lose.

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The second time I got to the Battle with Brock, I somehow had a lot of trouble trying to beat him. I determined that this was because Pikachu only knew electric type moves and they don’t affect ground type Pokémon like Geodude or Onix. To address this, when my Dad had to go on an errand, I stayed in the car and trained my Pikachu in the patch of grass south of Pewter City for about an hour. It only took an hour to teach Pikachu the move Slam, and in the process, Pikachu got to level 20. That one hour of training made the rest of the game a breeze. I don’t exactly remember my pace, but I think that I remember watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade three months later while making my way through Victory Road for the first time. The next year, a Pikachu balloon would be added to the parade, but I know where Pikachu was during the 2000 parade. He was helping me beat the game.

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So eventually I did beat the game. It must have been hard work, but I don’t really remember. I know I eventually got Pikachu to Level 100 and that it felt like a pretty big deal. Having recently done the math (considering the US release dates of the games and movies), it may be that I actually bought Pokémon Gold Version before finishing Pokémon Yellow, but that fact must have previously been erased from my memory (The passage of time is strange when you’re young). I wasn’t quite good enough to catch all the Pokémon back then, but that would eventually change.

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In August of 2009, I returned to Yellow Version, and brought along a recording device. Some time this year I’ll be posting my abridged playthrough of filling my Pokédex in Yellow with all 151 Pokémon. I also added a feature for people who own Pokédex 3D Pro for the 3DS. Here’s the playlist of The Yellow Quest!

Thanks for Reading! =)

Gaming Post 13: Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

Ok! So the random number generator has chosen for me to write about a pretty recent game, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire for the Nintendo 3DS. The truth is that I actually covered my experience with this game fairly extensively in a recent video from my PKMNBlogger2 YouTube channel. It’s a pretty long video, so I’ll briefly summarize it, and you can watch it if you want to. The video also covers Omega Ruby, but I’ll stick to writing about Alpha Sapphire here, and I’ll write about the Omega Ruby portion of my quest later when the random number generator eventually chooses Omega Ruby.

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When a pair of two Pokémon games come out, usually a person decides to focus more on one of them than the other. Alpha Sapphire was my main game of the recent 2014 remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions. One of my favorite Pokémon of all time is Kyogre, and between the original Ruby and Sapphire, Sapphire was my main game, so deciding that Alpha Sapphire would be my main game between the two remakes was an easy choice to make.

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Just as I had done in my original Sapphire Version, I chose Treecko as my starter Pokémon. I first chose Treecko because I thought it looked cool, but by complete accident my strongest Pokémon ended up being a random Linoone, and Grovyle ended up falling behind and being deposited into the PC storage system.

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While I think that remakes of Pokémon games are pretty cool, this time I had a specific mission to accomplish. You see, from time to time, I make Pokémon related videos on my YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/PKMNBlogger2. Ever since Pokémon Platinum Version came out, I’ve been documenting the process of my capturing one of every species of Pokémon. Though no actual new Pokémon were introduced in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, new Mega Evolutions of existing Pokémon were. My objective was to beat the story of Alpha Sapphire, obtain every Mega Stone, and capture every Legendary Pokémon in the game.

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The thing about Alpha Sapphire that impressed me the most was the addition of something called the Delta Episode, not only for its added story but for making the Pokémon Deoxys (which was previously an “event only” Pokémon) available for anyone to capture forever. The implication of this is that the Event Pokémon of old could easily become “available anytime” Pokémon with further releases in the series. This is great because the exclusivity of Event Pokémon is seriously annoying.

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The end of the video has some of my theories involving what the next Pokémon game might be. If you want to skip to that part, it’s at 1:20:42.

(Quick link to 1:20:42, http://youtu.be/lgFi_XPfGAk?t=1h20m42s)

Enjoy! =)

Thank You for Reading And/Or Watching! =D

Gaming Post 9: Pokémon Emerald Version

Okay so, the random number generator wants me to write about the Pokémon game, Pokémon Emerald Version for the Game Boy Advanced (GBA).

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I remember importing this game from Japan before it came out in America. I played a little bit of it, as it wasn’t much different from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, but I didn’t play any significant amount of it.

Woah! Woah! Wait! That's what a Japanese Emerald looks like?! I guess mine was fake. It was gray. That's eBay for you...
Woah! Woah! Wait! That’s what a Japanese Emerald looks like?! I guess mine was fake. It was gray. That’s eBay for you…

I kept it in my clarinet case, and eventually I let Chris try to play through the game. I don’t remember if he succeeded or not, but Emerald Version eventually came out in America.

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Emerald mixed up the stories of Ruby and Sapphire a bit, and added something called the Battle Frontier. I was impressed, by the additions, but not in a lasting way, because I was quickly done with Emerald after I beat the main story (I wasn’t interested in the Battle Frontier). I have to assume I bought it the day it came out, but I don’t remember. At the time, I was completely focused on completing the Pokédex of 386 Pokémon. Thinking that I had a legitimate Deoxys, I wanted badly to capture Mew and Celebi to complete the collection.

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I knew that there was an event programmed into Emerald that would allow the player to capture Mew on Faraway Island, and this was my main reason to be excited about Emerald. However, we were never given a legitimate method for unlocking the Faraway Island event in America. The game is good compared to the original Ruby and Sapphire, but I never truly appreciated it, because I was so focused on trying to capture all of the Pokémon.

That said, I did appreciate how cool the cartridge looked. We lost a good thing when they decided that Nintendo DS cartridges would only come in gray and black.

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Well, this post has been kind of a downer. Remember, it gets better. The Pokémon Series continues to evolve, and the games themselves generally get better and better, even if they’re not surrounded by shiny plastic.

Until next time, Thanks for reading! =)

Gaming Post 5: Pokémon Pearl Version

The random number generator has finally chosen a Pokémon game for me to write about. Let’s talk about Pokémon Pearl Version.

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Pokémon Pearl Version was the first game that I got in the Fourth Generation of Pokémon. Like I do for all Pokémon games, I bought it the first day it came out on April 22, 2007.

It takes place in the Sinnoh Region, which is based on the Hokkaido Region of Japan. This was the first new Pokémon game I played after realizing that the Pokémon World is based on the real world. I knew what Japan looked like, so I immediately recognized Sinnoh’s placement on the real globe.

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Diamond and Pearl were the first titles of the Pokémon series to include internet features. Because of this, I was encouraged to start a YouTube channel called PKMNBlogger. I made a lot of crazy Pokémon Videos there, but in September 2010, the channel was taken down supposedly for copyright infringement. I replaced that channel with PKMNBlogger2, which has the most important videos from the original PKMNBlogger channel as well as every video I made after the original PKMNBlogger takedown.

http://www.youtube.com/PKMNBlogger2

As far as Pokémon games go, Pearl doesn’t stand out. You’re better off playing Pokémon Platinum Version which is essentially the same but better. That said, I have to give credit to Pokémon Pearl for inspiring me to become The Pokémon Blogger.

Until next time, thanks for reading! =)