Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So Long, GameFAQs (for now)

April 8/10: See most recent entry

On July 28, 2000, I made a stunning discovery - the site I had been hitting for the one hour a day I could use my ISP's dialup internet for grabbing Pokemon guides had message boards. And hey, I recognize one of the posters - it's the guy who wrote that really good FAQ for the Yellow version.

I picked a username that turned out to be, in retrospect, an unintelligble mess ("cmsnrub25") and started posting there. I started on the Yellow and Red boards, went to 217 (the "Pokemon" special interest board) and built up some great relationships with the regulars on the Pokemon Gold/Crystal boards as well that we ended up carrying over to a secret board. I gained the confidence to write FAQs for them and damn near got a job (only stopped by a Chapter 7) because of it.

I made Saturday picks, proved I could handle quadruple-overtime NHL games in Vancouver by posting on the NHL (sorry, "Hockey") board at 4:45am my time and xfd'd the Sharks.

I somehow managed to get invited to a second secret board - so secret that it doesn't exist - and did the right thing for a fellow poster when they were going to get boned over by my former employer. I was even considering getting into an Extreme Warfare Revenge diary.

That won't be happening anymore, thanks to a bit of my own stupidity.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Donald and Kozuki vs. Excessive Level Grinding

So I've played through all 16 badges of Heart Gold now and hit a massive roadblock - one that's going to require either more grinding that should be allowed by law, or me busting out my Action Replay for an emergency supply of Rare Candies.

The situation? I'm going to get slaughtered by Red if my party holds as it is.

Kallen (my character)'s team is as follows:

Butterfree (Rakshata): Bug Buzz, Psybeam, Gust, Sleep Powder
Utility, sleeper.
Electivire (Akatsuki): Thunderbolt, Thief, Ice Punch, Earthquake
Surrogate Electric killer, is going to get me a Light Ball when I eventually fight Red. Currently packing Fire Punch in that slot.
Scizor (Gurren): Bug Bite, Bullet Punch, Rock Smash, Strength
It's a freaking Scizor, with Technician. 'nuff said.
Houndoom (Seiten): Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Thunder Fang, Nasty Plot
Venusaur killer
Starmie (Gekka): Surf, Ice Beam, Psychic, Grass Knot
Fills in holes on the team, beats Charizard and puts a nice dent in Blastoise/Lapras
Hitmonlee (Burai): Hi Jump Kick, Earthquake, Blaze Kick, Rock Climb
Need Rock Climb to get to him, need HELLOJUMPKICK to get rid of Snorlax

The problem is, they're all L56.

Red's LOWEST Pokemon is L80.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Localized Walls of Text

First of all, the giveaway went as well as can be expected. That is to say, I gave myself everything over again but nobody else had a Pokemon game with them or already had them. (Hell, one of the guys had a freakin' Yu-Gi-Oh game with him. No, he was not a freaky fish guy. In America.)

I did end up getting both - Heart Gold was pre-ordered in full, Subpar Silver by way of swapping Rhythm Heaven (because I have no rhythm) and the first Layton game. In what can be only described as the worst trade since Kessel for 2 1sts and a 2nd, I also traded my unused Pearl and basically unused PBR for the first guide and $7 off the second.

Now that we have the North American versions, I can update the original review of the Japanese version with the stuff I didn't get to the first time...

The Pokewalker
Two MILLION steps? Are you frakking insane?

With that said, I'm actually using it quite a bit. Not for catching things yet - I'm trying to build up to 100,000 watts so I can get all of the Pokemon out of it, which by my estimation will take anywhere from two weeks to two months depending on how many walks I can justify. It's actually forced me to change my routine at work though - I'm on the 11th floor of a 18-story office building, so on breaks or lunch I go down to the ground floor, walking around the office complex and getting a good tour of the downtown. All while leveling up (random Pokemon here).

The times I've dared to use the Dowsing Machine or encounter Pokemon it's mainly been vendor trash - Geodude, Slowpoke, and Oddish with the more common items. I'd like to go back and get some of the rare stuff, but again, you need the Watts to unlock the courses - and the one you really want ("easy" Spiritomb, Feebas, etc)  is 100,000 Watts at 20 steps each.

Probably the most annoying thing is that if you level up to a point where you would learn a move, you miss the move. Whoopsie. Good thing I got to Blackthorn already, or that would really be a problem.

Oh, and I like how there's already people trying to cheat the Pokewalker. It's called running, folks. The only one I support is a dryer, tumble with no heat. Don't do what someone I know did and try to wash it, though. $10 for a refurb after shipping is not fun.

Voltorb Flip
"I miss the Game Corner already. Card Flip comes off like a high-risk Picross demo." - my 12:30am tweet on 3/16
 This was the first impression I got when arriving in Goldenrod and throwing a fit when I couldn't buy the coins for Dratini or TM 35. It's a tricky game at first until I was able to get a handle on the strategy for it - but it's still freaking annoying when you're up at L6 and get dropped because you misclick a bomb.

The strategy for it is summed up pretty well in this FAQ, and I'm not going to recreate it here. Just next time Pokemon Company, please include an option to buy coins. If you can afford it, then you deserve the rewards - and there's no gambling involved if the reason for taking out the slots was truly for the sake of avoiding the "gambling references" ESRB descriptor.

Also, it's dangerous to go alone. Take this.

Other Stuff
- As predicted, Dialga is a gamebreaker. I actually stopped using it after it sat back and laughed at Whitney for about 10 minutes straight before Dragonbreathing it to death. (Though to be fair, I ditched my entire team at that point for eggs).

- 1, 2, 3, 1, 2 still works for Extremespeed Dratini even when you know what the actual answer is.

- Now that I understand what they're saying when you talk to the Pokemon following you, I can actually somewhat tolerate it. Just do yourself a favour - don't look at your dragon's Orb the wrong way, or it may be YOU getting Dragonbreath to the face. Wonder what would happen if it was say, a Thick Club Marowak?

- I realized recently that there are actually five families that are post-National exclusive despite being in the Johto Pokedex - Porygon, Sneasel, Houndour, Electabuzz and the one I forgot... Slugma. Now do you see why I thought it was only four families?

- They kept Donphan in Gold, so these are remakes of the Japanese versions as I suspected they would be. So the final score is still 8-3-2 Heart Gold in the version exclusive race. So much for "Superior" Silver, right GAF?

- I am this close to setting up a Twitter feed for my Gold trainer. Watch this space.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Announcement regarding HG/SS Launch Day

3/12/10: Please note - the time has been moved up as EB Games is opening an hour early for the launch. I'll be there at 10:00 ADT.

Still waiting to pick up my copy of NA-version Heart Gold on Sunday, but I did come across a homebrew app recently that when combined with a DS flashcart, lets me create my own Pokemon distribution ROMs.

I'm choosing to use my powers for awesome, however - and I wish I could've done this at Platinum launch, but figure now I have the bigger platform of a blog so I can hopefully get some people to show up for this.

On March 14, I'm going to be at EB Games in Dartmouth, NS (Mic Mac Mall) to complete my preorder, hopefully get the Ho-oh figure and (maybe) the Monster Hunter Tri demo. The store opens with the mall at noon on Sundays, but I'm going to be there as close to 10am as possible.

And I'm going to have 2 DSs, and every relevant distribution ever done to make sure everyone's as ready as possible for the launch.