Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finishing it off with False Swipe!

The Pokémon anime has got to be one of the most craziest shows to date. Granted, the plot pretty much follows a four step process each week:
1. Ash and friends go to a new town.
2. They meet a trainer with the Pokémon of the week.
3. Team Rocket attempts to steal it, Pikachu thunderbolts, Team Rocket blasts off again.
4. Ash and friends say goodbye to the trainer and Pokémon of the week.

Still, there are some hilarious, weird, and touching moments in the show.

One of the most memorable moments happens in a recent episode. Ash and friends meet a sneaky Purrloin and help a trainer reunite with it. All the while, Meowth and Oshawott are flirting with Purrloin trying to have it go out with them. The episode's almost over and the main conflict is resolved when Meowth and Oshawott offer Purrloin roses. Purrloin says something and her trainer tells the Pokémon that "Purrloin's a guy." Meowth and Oshawott's faces are priceless!
Yep, Purrloin's a guy

I bet Rhydon got a charge out of that!
This is a pretty famous goof. It's amazing how often Pikachu defies the type effectiveness chart, and this moment is just one of the many times that Pikachu sticks its tongue at the gameplay mechanics. Ash is fighting Blaine, the seventh gym leader of the Kanto region. At first, Ash orders Pikachu to use thunderbolt on Rhydon. As to be expected, electric attacks don't work on ground types. But then, inspiration hits the young trainer. Pikachu! The horn! Brock gives some stupid explanation that "the horn acts like a lightning rod" and Rhydon faints. It still does not change the fact that RHYDON IS A GROUND TYPE AND ELECTRIC ATTACKS DON"T WORK ON IT! 

We'll miss you old friend
Possibly the saddest moment in Pokémon history was when Ash had to say bye to his Butterfree. The day this episode aired must have been devastating for kids everywhere. Bowls of cereal were filled with tears as children watched Ash bid farewell to Butterfree on that dark, Saturday morning. It's surprising to note that Butterfree was only around for about 19 episodes before it left. Still, this was a memorable episode and it taught me that sometimes, you just have to say goodbye. While you might bid farewell, you'll never forget about old friends you made.  Butterfree is still one of my favorite Pokémon, and I'll never forget it. 

The twerps don't suspect a thing
Another classic Team Rocket moment. In an attempt to steal a Nuzleaf for the boss, Team Rocket decide to dress up Meowth as a Shiftry. Ash and his friends unsuspectingly believe Team Rocket until Dawn pulls out her Pokedex. Her Pokedex talks about "Meowth the Scratch Cat Pokémon" and the pesky feline blows their cover by talking. Even after all that, Ash still asks the trio who are they. Seriously kid, it's been over ten years. If Jessie's abnormal hair style didn't tip you off, then the talking Meowth should have.   

The girl who liked Brock
Oh Brock, there are just too many moments when you hit on girls. Officer Jenny, Nurse Joy, the trainer of the week, the list goes on and on. Too bad each and every time, Misty/Max/Croagunk ruin it for Brock and drag him away. There is one episode when the girl actually LIKES Brock. Unfortunately, he doesn't share the same feelings. Brock finally accepts her until she falls in love with James! Later on, things get heated in a battle and the girl gets knocked out by a water gun. Eventually she recovers, but then falls in love with the doctor who healed her. It's back to square one for Brock. Better luck next time. Besides, she was crazy to begin with.

After over 700 episodes, the show is still going strong. Oddly enough, Ash hasn't aged a bit. While I may not keep up with the show as much as I used to, it's still fun to tune in from time to time.
*Pictures courtesy of

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oooh...It's So Shiny!

One of my secret shames in Pokémon is that I'm a huge fan of shiny Pokémon! Out of all my creatures including EV training projects, RNG abuses, and perfect IV'd legendaries, nothing compares to the love I have for my shiny Pokémon. Shiny Pokémon are simply just an alter coloration of regular Pokémon, but the chance of finding them is rare. Long story short, the chance of encountering a shiny Pokémon is 1 in 8192 chance. That's approximately a .01% chance of encountering a shiny each time you run into a Pokémon. I've had the fortune of catching 12 of them! Each one has their own story.

My First Shiny!
I remember catching this guy back in the summer of 2007 when Pearl just came out. My grandpa was taking us to Kemah, the boardwalk attraction in Galveston, that day. While my brother was getting ready for the day, I caught a normal Regigigas. I was about to save when I decided I should go for a shiny Pokémon. So, on the car ride to and back, I kept on soft resetting with no luck. As me, my sister, and my brother were watching some old movies, this baby showed up! Hesitant to lose my first shiny, I chucked a Master Ball at it and caught it! It doesn't have any noteworthy stats or nature, but I still love it.

Immediately after catching Regigigas, I went after Rotom. I was hunting for this guy for two weeks without any luck. Being a huge Simpsons fan, I was excited to go to the midnight premiere of the movie. Unfortunately my grandpa got really sick so I spent the night at his place making sure he was ok. As soon as I got there, I soft resetted and encountered the beauty pictured here! Missing the Simpsons Movie premiere wasn't a big deal, my grandpa quickly recovered and I got a new shiny Pokémon to boot.

First Firered Shiny!
This was by far the quickest obtained shiny by far. It was now 2008 and I haven't caught a shiny in about a year. Right as soon as I got up, I turned on my DS and was at the Power Plant in Firered. I got to a Poke Ball, pressed A, and an Electrode appeared. Wanting to get a shiny one, I saved in front of it and kept on shiny resetting. 30 minutes later while I was brushing my teeth, shiny Electrode appears!

This it took a long time! I remember soft resetting for this guy for an entire year. In my Firered game, I would soft reset for him off and on at Route 12. About a month after I caught Electrode, I got Snorlax. It put up quite a fight and broke through three Timer Balls before I caught this guy. Being one of my favorite Pokémon, I was glad I caught a shiny Snorlax.

A few days after I caught Snorlax, I was shiny resetting in Pearl at the Valley Windworks while playing Pokémon Colosseum. It was shiny, but I wasn't really excited when I caught it. It's not like Drifloon looks ugly shiny; I absolutely love it. I guess it was that I just caught a shiny a few days ago so it wasn't a big deal. I
still caught it pretty easily, although it did break out of the first Repeat Ball I threw.

My First Random Shiny
This actually came as a surprise. While EV training my Blissey in Firered, I ran into a shiny Tangela! Luckily I had an Electabuzz who knew Swift, so I was able to weaken it and paralyze it with Static to catch it. Tangela was also my first shiny of 2009 and the first I got in college.

Wooper was another shiny I caught while EV training in Pearl. It was right before we got off for Christmas Break when I caught this cute guy in a Heal Ball. Nothing really special about this shiny, but you can't resist a pink Wooper! They look so cute!

First Heartgold Shiny
It was Spring Break when Heartgold came out. Less than ten minutes into the game, I ran into this shiny on Route 30! Luckily I didn't run into it any sooner or else I wouldn't have had any Pokeballs. Unfortunately I lost the original game where Pidgey came from, but I traded it to Pearl before then so at least I still have it.

Giratina took possibly the longest time to catch. I started shiny resetting for it back in the summer of 2010. My Platinum game was just sitting in front of Giratina for about six months until school started back up after Christmas. Right before I was going to the TSTV station, this guy showed up! Granted, a Quiet nature isn't the best, but after six months I didn't care. I quickly chucked a Master Ball at it and caught it! Not only was Giratina my first and only shiny in Platinum, it was also my first shiny of 2011.

Patrat was a total surprise to me. I was hunting for some synchronizing Munnas when a Shiny Patrat appeared in the Dreamyard! Luckily I had my Galvantula with me, so I paralyzed it and caught it with a Premier Ball. I love my first shiny in Black! I even recorded a video of me encountering it, but that won't see the light of day...

My personal favorite shiny Pokémon. I was hunting Latios at Pewter City for about two weeks. Me and my sister were driving up after spending Easter Sunday with our family. I pop open my DS, start shiny resetting, and bam! Shiny Latios appears! It was pretty stubborn and I almost wasted all of my Pokeballs to catch it. I finally snagged it with a Fast Ball. My synchronizer worked and Latios had a Timid nature. I EV trained it and plan on getting as many ribbons as possible for it.

Bidoof is probably the most perplexing shiny Pokémon I caught to date. After I went out to eat with a friend, I looked up some info on how to use the Pokeradar in Pearl to get a shiny. Apparently, if you use the fishing rod and defeat the Pokémon you lured, you can reset the grass shakes to get the desired patch. After a chain of two, I ran into a shiny Bidoof! However, I don't remember seeing the shiny patch. The next Pokémon I ran into was a Starly and my chain broke. So even to this day, I still don't know whether Bidoof was from a shiny patch or just a random encounter.

And those are my shinys I caught to date. Currently, I'm hunting for Rayquaza in Emerald, Suicune in Heartgold, and Spiritomb in Pearl. Maybe I'll get another shiny to add to this list soon enough. Good luck to all of you shiny hunters out there. Make sure you always carry Pokéballs with you; you never know when you'll encounter a shiny!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Day in the Life (Heartgold)

So what exactly does a typical day in the life of a trainer consist of? Today, we'll follow my exploits on Pokémon Heartgold.

8:47 PM- I start up the game at Saffron City Pokémon Center. I Tune in to "Pokémon Talk" Radio Show. Mary talks about a Ditto swarm. I turn off the radio.

8:50 PM- I walk around the city with Espeon. Espeon looks very happy! I receive a yellow flower from her and put it in my Fashion Case.

9:05 PM- I call Chuck up for a rematch. He takes a break from his 24/7 training and magically teleports to the Fighting Dojo.

9:17 PM- I sweep Chuck 6-0. He didn't stand a chance. Going back to the Pokémon Center, I go through my PC and discover I caught a Jolly Horsea sometime ago. I decide to EV train it.

9:20 PM- I take the Magnet Train to Goldenrod City. I visit the Goldenrod Mall and buy steroids...I mean vitamins for my Horsea.

9:34 PM- After 14 minutes of EV training, I find out that Horsea's ability is Sniper. Sad it wasn't Swift Swim, I shove Horsea in the dark depths of the PC.

9:40 PM- I decide to hunt for a Shiny Venonat. I make my way over to Route 24, mindlessly running in the tall grass over and over again.

9:57 PM- I give up hunting. I make my way back to Cerulean City. Joey calls, tells me about how his Rattata is in the "top percentage of Rattata". I facepalm myself and hang up the phone.

10:02 PM- I challenge Chuck again. After sweeping his team for a second time, mom calls. She said she used some of my money and bought me something at the store.

10:05 PM- After picking up the Yache berries my mom bought at the store, I return to the Pokémon Center in Saffron City. I save my game and end my day.

And that is basically the day in the life of my Heartgold game. Hopefully I can go one playthrough without Joey calling about his top percentile Rattata.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yes, I Play a Children's Card Game

While I've collected Pokémon cards for the longest time, I never got into the game until earlier this year. So this past Sunday, I went to the prerelease tournament for the newest trading card expansion, Noble Victories. At a prerelease tournament, you pay $25 and receive six booster packs of unreleased cards. You then build a 40 card deck, compete with other players, and see who will win. Needless to say, I lost horribly in the first round. But hey, I got some sweet cards out of it and two more booster packs to boot!

Everyone who entered gets a promo Victini. While low on HP, you get a 25 percent chance to dish out 120 damage with V-blast! That is pretty crazy to be honest. It has a cool design as well. If you had the Fire Victini on the bench, you could use its ability Victory Star to redo a bad coin flip.

I pulled this Haxorus from a pack! Haxorus is one of my brother's favorite Pokémon, so I can't wait to show it to him. Competitively speaking, I can't say that Haxorus is good or bad. 120 damage with Giga Impact is a lot, but not being able to attack the next turn is a downfall. Dual Chop requires good coin flips, but it can go for a max of 100 damage. Colorless Pokémon are great for any team mainly because any basic energy card could be attached to them. If anything else, the design looks cool enough.

I got both Conkeldurrs that were released during Noble Victories. This holographic one in particular was pretty cool. Besides looking pretty, this card is pretty decent in battle. Its ability Craftmanship gives an additional 20 HP for every fighting energy that's attached. Conkeldurr is already bulky without this ability. The added HP makes it a behemoth to take down. Top Down may look like an average attack, but good coin flips can literally devour your opponent's deck. I was planning on using this at the prerelease, but I didn't get a Gurdurr to evolve it from. Just my luck.

 Eviolite is great for Basic Pokémon like Druddigon, Kyurem, or Zekrom. Basically, any damage done by attacks is reduced by 20 after applying resistance and weakness. This also helps avoid damage that Pokémon can take while sitting on the bench. This is a pretty cool card, so I was quite excited when I got a reverse holo version of it. Like I said, this card works well with strong Basic Pokémon like Druddigon and Kyurem. Did I get any of those Pokémon? Nope. 

  I might not have the best luck when getting cards from booster packs, but it was fun to go regardless. I met cool people, made new friends, and got some new cards to add to my collection. I hope to attend another prerelease in the future with my brother, but in the meantime I still have two booster packs with his name on it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Life is Pokémon

You know those websites like "My Life is Average" or "My Life is Twilight"? I'm surprised there isn't a Pokémon one, it could be really successful. Granted, about a third of the posts would be from me, but that's besides the point. Since there is no website in existence, I'd thought I would share some moments where my life was Pokémon.

In my PR Principles class, we had to look up a PR campaign that won a Silver Anvil Award. My eyes were immediately drawn to a campaign with Pokémon. The group that worked on it? The Ketchum Agency. I'm not even kidding, here's the link to prove it:

One of my friends recently adopted a dog. Its name is Eevee. It's going to evolve into a Jolteon for Halloween. Her boyfriend is dressing up as a Flareon and she's going as a Pokémon Trainer.

Last semester I met a guy with the last name Safari. The first thing I thought of was the Safari Zone and much to his chagrin, Pokémon jokes ensued.

One guy's phone went off during class. It was the Item Received fanfare from Pokémon.

In high school, I told a guy that he shouldn't be outside during a thunderstorm. He could have been struck by lightning and then become paralyzed. He told me I played too much Pokémon.

Our professor asked what people were going as for Halloween. She's going as Ash Ketchum. I went up to her, showed my Pokewalker, and told her we were kindred spirits.

My high school economics class was dubbed "Pokénomics". We had ten minutes of lecture; the rest of class was dedicated to me and my friends playing Pokémon.

There's probably thousands of examples when life was Pokémon. Post some of your "My Life is Pokémon" moments in the comments! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Soothing than Jigglypuff's Song

One of the greatest aspects of the Pokémon franchise is the music. From intense battles to peaceful towns, the music of Pokémon expresses a wide variety of moods. Today, I'm going to show you a few of my favorite tunes, both original and remixed, from Pokémon.

PokeRemixStudio's latest entry (at the time of writing) is a remix of Celestial Tower/ Dragonspiral Tower from Pokémon Black and White. This piece is both energetic and soothing at the same time. This track features a well developed bass that wasn't present in the original. You can say this remix has evolved from its original incarnation (pun totally intended). PokeRemixStudio's Celestial Tower Remix is just an example of what makes this artist so great.

While originally catchy, I've grown tired of the original Black and White Bike Theme, mainly because I had to hatch so many eggs. With that being said, Sonicwave1000 puts a fresh spin on the track with a new arrangement and some DnB elements. On top of a good remix, the picture is simply to die for. If you find yourself about to blow up from listening to the bike theme over and over again, put your game on mute and play this track instead. You'll thank me later.

You just got through that blasted cave. Being the cheapskate you are, you don't buy any potions or revives. Bad choice because all your Pokémon are now either fainted or really weak thanks to those stupid Zubats and their confusion. 9 times out of 10, when you walk out of that cave, you'll hear this theme. Yep, Gary Oak is here to take advantage of you at your weakest. Red and Blue's Rival Theme is just as iconic as the Final Rival Battle. It still puzzles me how a ten-year-old can get a car full of cheerleaders, but that is a topic for a different post.

Speaking of the Final Rival Battle from Red and Blue, here's a pretty awesome remix I heard. I told Kevin that when we face each other off with our old school games, this theme will be playing. This is a pretty intense rock version; I was bobbing my head for awhile. I got dizzy in the middle and had to sit down. I hope I didn't brain my damage too much...

The original National Park from Gold and Silver was amazing, but Heartgold and Soulsilver's version really outshines it. The newer version stays true to the original tune but rearranges it to make it its own piece. I'm a sucker for the piano and I felt it really complimented the song. I absolutely love the electric guitar solo that comes in about half way through. Surprising enough, the song is still relaxing with the electric guitar. 

Cyrus and Team Galactic are at Spear Pillar to summon Dialga/Palkia. You're racing to the top through the blistering cold to stop them from their diabolical scheme to take over the world! Mt. Coronet's Peak was a winter song that was also intense and filled with a sense of urgency. Unfortunately this plays only in one location which is very hard to get to, so hearing this song more than once is pretty rare.

I could go on and on about awesome Pokémon music and give out thousands of links to listen to. But alas, my time is up and I must wrap up this post. What I've shown is just a sample of an appetizer of how many beautiful tracks exist in the Pokémon world. Simply put, the music of Pokémon are true masterpieces. So until next time farewell.
      Best Wishes,
                            Stephen "Smiles" Ramirtha

...Ok, I'll include one more song but that's it! There are no lyrics, but I'm sure you can still sing along to it ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On the Road to Viridian City!

Hey everyone and welcome to the Pallet Town Post! I'm Stephen, and as if you couldn't tell already I'm a huge fan of Pokémon! So, to chronicle my adventures in the land of Pokémon, I created this blog. So how did my Pokémon journey begin? Let me tell you!

Back in 1997 when I was in 1st grade, my mom told me about this article she read about some Japanese creatures making their way to the States. A year later, I find myself buying a Gameboy Pocket with my first Pokémon game, Red. I still have it!

My Gameboy and Pokémon Red. Good times!
 Of course, Pokémon wasn't just a videogame, it was an entire franchise. Nintendo pulled out all the stops to make Pokémon big. Videogames, trading cards, a T.V. show, the list goes on and on. Did you know that they even sold Pokémon sausage? Yep, they did...

After Pokémon Gold and Silver came out, most of my friends moved on from the series. My middle school days were the darkest times in my adventure. I was somewhat ashamed for playing the series in the first place, and was a closet player.I still played with my little brother, but I didn't talk about it in public. That all ended when Pearl came out and my friends were talking about it. Since then, I've never felt ashamed to say I'm a fan of Pokémon. No matter what people think, you should always follow your passion.

Starting from Pearl, my brother got into the series and we've been having fun ever since. Most recently, we've competed in the VGC competition earlier this year. I did ok (my first match is below. I'm the opposing trainer), but my brother advanced all the way to worlds in San Diego! He made quite a splash in the competitive scene, they even wrote about him in the papers. We were the first in line to meet Shigeki Morimoto and Junichi Masuda, the directors of the Pokémon games! It was pretty tight, not going to lie.

Meeting Mr. Morimoto and Mr. Masuda

My brother's picture used for the newspaper.

And here we are, it's been over 10 years since the series started and I've been playing since then. I recently restarted my Black version to get ready for the next VGC competition. I usually give out free Pokémon so if you ever want to trade, hit me up. :)

Best Wishes,
                     Stephen "Smiles" Ramirtha