Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Pokémon!

Hello everyone! With all the Pokémania going on right now in light of the release of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, I decided to list my favorite Pokémon. It was really fun to go through all the Pokémon I've used throughout the years and decide which ones were my favorites. I love these Pokemon for unique reasons, so it was difficult to rank one particular reason over another. Anyways, without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite Pokémon!
#10. Aurorus

Ever since I was a kid, I've always loved dinosaurs. Growing up, I even wanted to be an archaeologist. As a result, fossil Pokémon have always held a special place in my heart. The idea of taking a rock and reviving it back into a living creature has always intrigued me. Out of all the fossil Pokemon, Aurorus is my favorite. Aurorus' design is based off of the aurora borealis, commonly referred to as the "northern lights". The northern lights are a phenomena that occurs when solar winds emitted by the Sun come into contact with elements in the Earth's atmosphere, creating colorful streams of light in the night sky. Aurorus' sail (the flaps on its head and neck) lights up in a similar way, which is a really striking feature that is unique to Aurorus. It's always been a dream of mine to see the aurora borealis, and for me, Aurorus in an embodiment of that dream. Aurorus is also such a beautiful Pokémon in general. From its cool blue color, to its colorful sail, to its pretty diamond-like ice crystals, to its elegantly curled tail, Aurorus has an awesome design. 

Aurorus' beautiful sails in action. Did I mention that its shiny coloring (pictured) is s super cool as well? It trades its normal blue coloring for a pretty snow-white color.
However, the reason it's at number 10 is because of its typing. Aurorus is a dual Rock/Ice type, making it 4x weak to Fighting and Steel. It altogether has 6 weaknesses including one of its own, Rock. I just find it really ridiculous when a Pokémon is weak to itself, and its's something that I think really hinders Aurorus' potential. When I see Aurorus, I feel both happy and sad because while it is a really gorgeous Pokémon, it's not really viable in battle at all. Since nobody will use it in battle because of its awful typing, its cool design kind of goes to waste. However, it does have a good ability, Refrigerate, which turns Normal type moves into Ice type moves. It also has Snow Warning as a hidden ability, which summons hail when it enters battle which can then chip away at your opponent's HP. I hope that maybe in the future, Game Freak will realize the injustices it put upon Aurorus and make it more battle-friendly so that it can have a chance to kick butt and look gorgeous at the same time.

#9. Lapras

My love of Lapras began when I played through Yellow as a kid. The only way to obtain Lapras in Red, Blue, and Yellow was to receive it from a person working for Silph Co. As a result, Lapras has always felt really special and rare to me. Lapras is described as being kind and gentle, and enjoys ferrying people across the sea on its back. In Gen 6, it got its own surfing sprite which makes it all the more special to me. Being able to see my Lapras as she carried me across the seas of Kalos made me feel even closer to her.

Me and my Lapras, Caspian, in Azure Bay!

Despite being characterized as gentle, Lapras can hold its own in battle. It has the highest HP of any non-legendary Ice type Pokémon, and it can learn a plethora of useful attacks, including many of the one hit KO moves. The reason it's at number 9 is because I don't really use it much in battle because there are other Water types I like more that will be revealed in this list! However, Lapras will always hold a special place in my heart no matter what. 

The fact that Lapras is also really cute affects why I like it so much!

#8. Ninetales

There are a multitude of reasons why I like Ninetales. Firstly (and most shallowly), it is obviously a very beautiful Pokémon. Secondly, the Pokédex entries about it have always fascinated me. In various Pokédex entries, Ninetales is described as being vengeful, intelligent, and able to live for 1,000 years. It is also said to have the ability to read and control minds and lay curses on those who mistreat it. Another reason I like Ninetales is because of an episode of the anime that really intrigued me. In the episode titled "Just Waiting on a Friend", a 200 year old Ninetales creates illusions in order to lure Brock into being its new owner since its old one left it. In the episode, Ninetales is shown to have telekinetic powers, which I think is pretty cool.

Ninetales is also one of those Pokémon whose shiny coloring is just better than their normal coloring. Shiny Ninetales is a grayish blue color with blue-tipped tails; what isn't there to love? Ninetales' design is based of off the Japanese mythologic creature, the kitsune. According to Japanese legend, foxes (which are what Ninetales is based off of) that grow more than one tail are said to have mystical powers and long lives. Eventually, these long living foxes take on a spirit form, which is perhaps why Ninetales can learn Ghost and Psychic type moves. 
The reason why Ninetales is only at #8 is because, like Aurorus, I think it has untapped potential. Both Vulpix (its prior evolution) and Nintetales are version exclusive to Blue, while their counterparts, Growlithe and Arcanine, are exclusive to Red. Arcanine is more offensive, while Ninetales is more defensive. This may just be my bias talking, but I'd like to see Ninetales get a boost, or maybe even a dual typing in the future, considering that Arcanine is considerably more powerful. I think Ninetales could easily be either a dual Fire/Ghost type or Fire/Psychic type. I'd also like it to be able to utilize healing moves like Morning Sun (which Arcanine has access to). As it stands, Ninetales is the only Pokémon besides Groudon and Mega Charizard Y to have the ability Drought, which is a pretty good ability in my opinion. A Drought Ninetales can instantly use Solar Beam without charging up which can make quick work of pesky Water types that stand in its way. Ninetales is easily my favorite Fire type Pokémon, and one of my all time favorites in general.
Also, its attack animations in X and Y are super cool

#7. Ampharos

Next on the list is Ampharos. Not only is Ampharos really cute, but it can pack a punch as well. Amphoros is a really versatile Pokémon, as it can learn both Bug and Rock type moves by leveling up. Even better is the fact that Ampharos has good stats, and can take a hit. It can also Mega Evolve into the ultra fabulous Mega Ampharos, and gain even more power along with a dual Electric/Dragon typing. 

Plus, just look at it! Ampharos is happy all of the time; it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face! It also has a really cool shiny coloring, which again is one of those Pokémon where the shiny coloring is better than the original. In fact, I'm working on breeding a shiny Mareep to evolve into an Ampharos. Overall, Ampharos is an awesome Pokémon with an awesome moveset with an awesome design to boot.

What's pink and blue and happy all over? That's right! Shiny Ampharos!

#6. Politoed

There are a number of reasons why I like Politoed so much. Politoed is one of my friend's favorite Pokémon, and as a result, it became one of mine. Whenever I was sad, my friend would send me gifs of Politoed clapping happily and carefree like it does in the anime, and it would instantly cheer me up. Politoed's cute face coupled with its happy-go-lucky attitude puts a smile on my face every time I see it.

Politoed is adorable

Not only is Politoed insanely adorable, but it's a good Pokémon to add to your team as well. Politoed is the only Pokémon besides Kyogre to have access to the ability Drizzle, which summons rain when the Pokémon enters battle. The presence of rain speeds up Water type Pokémon with the ability Swift Swim, Water type moves are 50% more powerful, Fire type moves are weakened by 50%, and it gives the moves Thunder and Hurricane 100% accuracy. Politoed has it all: good stats, a good hidden ability, good move pool, and good looks!

My Politoed, Pauly!

#5. Gardevoir

Really, I should say that the entire Ralts line is one of my favorites. All 3 Pokémon look so unique and alien-like, which I love. I am a huge fan of sci-fi, and the Ralts line's design plays into that. But, I had to choose Gardevoir as my favorite from the line because there is so much mystery surrounding why it looks the way it does. There are many theories surrounding what inspired Gardevoir's design. It is said to be based off of a principal dancer, or the highest ranking dancer in a dance company. Principal dancers can be either male or female, which may explain why Gardevoir's gender ratio is 50/50 despite looking so feminine. Its pre evolution, Kirlia, is a Pokémon that closely resembles a ballerina, which goes along with the principal dancer theory. It is also said to be based off of a Japanese paper doll, or even a guardian angel since its Pokédex entries say that it'll give up its own life to protect its trainer. Gardevoir is also said to be based off of knights since its Japanese name is Sirknight. Gardevoir also appears to be wearing a masquerade mask, which brings us back to the dancer theory. In my eyes, Gardevoir is the perfect combination of chivalry, grace, and mystery.

Can you tell that I love shiny Pokémon? Gardevoir's shiny coloring gives it a blue head instead of a green one, and a red chest instead of a pink one. What's even cooler is that its Mega form gets a sleek black coloring instead of white. It's a dream of mine to have a shiny Gardevoir with the move Hyper Voice. Why? Because with Mega Gardevoir's ability Pixelate, the Normal type move Hyper Voice becomes a STAB Fairy type move with 175 base power and 100% accuracy. Hyper Voice also can hit multiple targets at once. In short, Mega Gardevoir is a force to be reckoned with. Another reason I like Gardevoir is because it has two of my favorite types: Fairy and Psychic. Both are really versatile types that come in handy, especially when they're put together. Since Gardevoir is a Psychic type, it can easily take down Poison types that threaten it. It is also a Fighting type's worst nightmare considering it has both Fairy and Psychic to deal with when faced with Gardevoir. Also, whenever I played through the Gen 3 games, I would always use a Gardevoir, so it has been a staple of my Pokemon adventures for years, and will continue to be for years to come.

My Gardevoir, Adivina! "Adivina" means fortune-teller in Spainsh

#4. Dragonite

Sure, people may think Dragonite looks goofy, derpy, and a little chunky, but that's precisely why I like it. Dragonite was the original Dragon type Pokémon, and is also a pseudo-legendary with a hefty 600 base stats. It also has a really useful hidden ability, Multiscale, which halves all damage taken if Dragonite is at full HP. Give Dragonite the move Roost and Leftovers and you'll have a bulky attacker on your hands. Dragonite packs a lot of power and still manages to look cute and kind. According to the Pokédex, Dragonite circles the world's oceans searching for people who need rescued. Dragonite is also said to be really intelligent. Coincidentally, Dragonite is also one of my friend's favorite Pokémon as well. He has a giant Dragonite plush that would be present during our gaming sessions no matter what. I have very fond memories cuddling with Dragonite in both the real world and in the game in Pokémon Amie.

I also love how Dragonite was portrayed in the very first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back. Dragonite acted as a mail deliverer. I love his cute little mail bag and how he flies so gracefully. I also recently bred a 5IV Multiscale Dragonite in X, so it has been a fixation of my Pokémon experience as of late and will continue to be for some time.

My 5IV Multiscale Dragonite, Comet!
#3. Milotic

Milotic is said to be the world's most beautiful Pokémon, and I am inclined to agree. Milotic is said to be the counterpart of Gyarados, as they both have the same amount of base stats, 540, and evolve from weak fish Pokémon, as Gyarados evolves from Magikarp and Milotic from Feebas. However, while Gyarados represents the transition from weak to strong, Milotic represents the transition from ugly to beautiful, which is one of the reasons why I like it so much. For me, Milotic helps me realize that no matter how many flaws you may have, you can overcome them and still be beautiful. I've struggled with self-confidence issues my entire life, and seeing Feebas evolve into Milotic gives me hope. Another reason I like Milotic so much is because of how rare it was to have one in the original Gen 3 games. Feebas (its pre-evolution) could only be caught on Route 119 in 6 random fishing spots along the river that runs through it. Not to mention that the only way to evolve Feebas into Milotic in Gen 3 was to max its Beauty condition, which took a lot of time, dedication, and Pokéblocks. I can only imagine how surprised people were when their shabby old Feebas evolved into gorgeous and elegant Milotic!

A golden Milotic statue appears in the Parfum Palace in X and Y. I would love to have one of those for my secret base in Alpha Sapphire!

In the Pokédex, Milotic is described as being able to calm combative spirits with its beauty. If only Milotic existed in real life; there'd be no more wars! However, even though Milotic is described as being peaceful, it can hold its own in battle. It has high Special Attack and Special Defense along with a high HP stat. It also can learn Recover, meaning that Milotic can be a bulky, self healing Special Attacker, and a useful addition to your party. I give my Milotic a Shell Bell, which heals a little bit of HP every time it lands an attack.  My Milotic has the ability Competitve which raises Special Attack when any other of its stats are lowered. Milotic also has a useful hidden ability, Cute Charm, which can cause the opponent Pokémon to fall in love with Milotic when it lands a hit on it. Milotic doesn't really need Cute Charm though because its so easy fall in love with regardless.

My 6IV Milotic, Rutela!
#2. Absol

Absol and Mega Absol

Absol is known as the Disaster Pokémon. Absol only appears before people to warn them of a incoming natural disaster, and as a result, people think Absol is the one who causes the natural disasters. In reality however, Absol is just misunderstood. I can relate to Absol because I'm always afraid people will judge me or misunderstand me. Also, I'd love to have an Absol in real life because I'm really scared of natural disasters like tornados and hurricanes, so being able to have an Absol to warn me ahead of time and keep me safe would be ideal. Mega Absol looks like it has wings, so in a way, I feel like it is like my guardian angel whenever I use it in battle. Speaking of battle, Absol is a force to be reckoned with. It has really high Attack and Speed stats, meaning it has the potential to be a good sweeper. Combined with its ability Super Luck, it can land critical hits easier and take out anything that stands in its way. Also, Absol is a really cool looking Pokémon. It looks menacing, but at the same time, it's really fluffy and cute as well. As a result,  Absol will always be one of my favorite partners. 

My Absol, Sombra! "Sombra" means shadow in Spanish.

#1. Mawile

Mawile is a tiny Pokémon that packs a huge punch. Mawile is known as the Deceiver Pokémon. It lures people in with its cute face, and then bites with its relentless jaws. It may be easy to underestimate Mawile because of its small size and adorable face, but you'll be sorry that you did. Mawile may be the shortest of all the the Mega Pokémon, but it has the highest base attack stat of any Pokémon at a whopping 678 due to its ability Huge Power. Mawile also has probably my favorite typing ever which is Fairy/Steel. With a dual Steel typing, Mawile gets all the perks of a Fairy typing without the disadvantages. Mawile has 2 weaknesses, is immune to 2 types, and resists 9 types. Mawile can take a punch and deal one out as well. I see a lot of myself in Mawile because I am also very tiny and people tend to underestimate me.

My shiny Mawile, Mentira! "Mentira" is Spanish for liar.

Mawile's design is based off of a Japanese legend. The Futakuchi-onna is a Japanese monster that is a woman with two mouths. Japanese mythology or not, Mawile will always be a legend in my eyes
Well, I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my top 10 favorite Pokémon! I plan to do more Pokémon top 10s in the future, so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting a sneak peak at Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire through the special demo version

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are nearly upon us, and Game Freak has been kind enough to release a demo version!

When I got the email that I was chosen to receive the special demo version of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, I waited until my roommate was out of the room, and then began squealing and jumping up and down from excitement. The Gen 3 games are very near and dear to my heart, having been the first Pokemon games I ever played and completed on my own. Not to mention that I rarely ever win or receive anything special, so having the chance to play this demo was a welcome change. So, how does the game live up to expectations so far in terms of what has been presented in the demo?

When I started up the demo for the first time I was greeted with the familiar, yet distinctively different title theme from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. It's been polished up and remastered for the new games and it sounds great. Honestly, one of the main things I was looking forward to was listening to all the music from the Gen 3 games be beautifully re-orchestrated. I'm happy to report that the music I've heard so far (including the wild Pokemon battle theme, Team Aqua and Magma Admin Theme, and just the normal Team Aqua and Magma Theme) does indeed have all the trumpets that Hoenn is so famous for—and they sound even better than ever.

Doot doot. Hoenn still has all the trumpets

In the demo, you play as Orlando, a budding Pokemon trainer that gets to pal around with Steven Stone, an avid stone collector (go figure) by flying on the back of either Latios or Latias all across Hoenn.  You go an various adventures with him and complete different quests. The first quest the player is tasked with is to go catch a Pokemon that is capable of mega evolving. But alas, both Team Magma and Aqua are after this Pokemon as well, and it's your job to catch it before they do. You battle Team Aqua Admin Matt and Team Magma Admin Tabitha alongside Steven. He gives you a Mega Bracelet and Mega Stone before the battle that will allow you to mega evolve whichever starter Pokemon you chose at the beginning of the demo. I chose Grovyle because he's my dude, meaning that I got to experience the power of Mega Sceptile firsthand!

Help me, Orlando! You're my only hope!

What kind of a guy is named Tabitha?!

During the battle, Steven uses a shiny Metagross which he then mega evolves. He says after the battle that he someday may give the Pokemon to you, referencing the shiny Beldum distribution that will be going on when Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are released on the 21st of November.

You sure you want to give it up, Steven? Not sure I want it after you're done with it...O.o

After defeating the Admins, you then are able to go catch the Pokemon capable of mega evolving. As far as I know, for everyone besides Japan, that Pokemon will be Glalie. Japan gets to catch Steelix. I wasn't too keen on Glalie at first (I prefer its other evolution, Froslass) but after battling with it and mega evolving it, Glalie has grown on me. Its mega looks pretty terrifying to say the least, and it packs a decent punch. You can transfer the Glalie you caught to the full game once it releases as well.

Mega Glalie = nightmare fuel. It gains the ability Refrigerate when it mega evolves. I regret not naming the one I caught Snowball :(

After catching Glalie, the first quest of the demo is over, and the player is gifted with a short cutscene that shows off more artwork, features, and a glimpse of Rayquaza. However, your adventures in the special demo version don't stop there. There are other quests that the player can participate in. After your first quest is completed you return to Mossdeep City, and Steven gives you the other fully evolved starters with their respective mega stones, and you have the Glalie you caught to use in battle as well. The other quests involve fighting trainers, finding lost kids, and locating Shroomish on various islands. The more you play through these quests, the more characters you can meet and you'll receive more items from Steven that you can then transfer into the full game. For instance I received both heal and regular Pokeballs from him. Apparently, there's a hidden quest within the demo where Orlando and May go to an island to fight off either Team Magma or Aqua. You gain access to this quest after you complete the demo a few times, although your chances of encountering it are random.

I've had it up to here with you, Tabitha.

Overall,  I was pretty happy with what the demo offered. I was really impressed with how smooth the character moves (it's seriously grid-less now; get hyped!), the ability to sneak through tall grass, and how awesome it was to fly through the skies of Hoenn on Latios and Latias. I also like how they kept true to the original style of the games by keeping some of the same color schemes and just overall updating the style of the game by modernizing it. Everything overall just looks gorgeous. The user interfaces also have a Hoenn-y style to them, and it's a nice nod to the original games. During the demo, the "BuzzNav" occupies the lower screen and gives tips and hints to the player. I'm guessing that during the full game, there will be other  features of the PokeNav to use on the bottom screen.

I know some people have griped about how repetitive and boring the demo is, but the fact remains that it is indeed a demo and not the full game. I went into it with that in mind, and I think that it's pretty decent as far as demos go.  I would've liked to play as May, have a look at the contests, and maybe surf around a bit, but that's what the full game is for. That being said, I am so excited to play the full game when it is released and share my thoughts on it with you all! 

Hoenn's coming, get hyped

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Heeere's Rachel! I'm back!

I'm back! Expect to see lots of posts about both the new and old Pokemon games

Hello everyone! I'm excited to announce that I am back! It's been a crazy two or three months with me being a freshman in college away from home. I think I've finally gotten the hang of things, and you all can expect to see more posts from me soon.
It's finally November as well, the month that we Nintendo fans have all been waiting for. ORAS and Smash Wii U are going to be upon us in just a few weeks now. Also, I'll be on Thanksgiving break here in a few weeks, so I'll definitely be able to play ORAS when it comes out. In fact, I got the special demo version and I'll be reviewing that as soon as I finish up this post.
There are a few ways this blog is going to change. Firstly, I won't be posting daily easter eggs anymore as it is too hard for me to keep up with them. However, I may start it up again over the longer breaks like winter, summer, and spring. I also don't have a Wii U (yet) as a result of me being a poor college kid but I will definitely be buying one as soon as I can...hopefully before the end of the year (fingers crossed!). So, I won't be able to review the new Smash when it comes out, unfortunately. So as a result, expect to see reviews/posts about older games.
That being said, I plan on doing a bunch of Pokemon posts celebrating the release of ORAS. I'll be doing reviews of the old Gen 3 games, listing my top 10 favorite Pokemon, and I'll be reviewing the new game, of course.
I've missed blogging so much and I'm so excited to get back into it! Thank you all for being so patient with me, and happy gaming!