One and only

No sooner than I entered Victory Road, I could hear the faint heartbeats of frightened Trainers and their Pokémon, domestic or wild. It took me about ten minutes to get through, as I had nary a revive on my person. As soon as I exited Victory Road, I knew that there was no turning back, no running away from my life-long dream… to challenge, defeat, and become the Unova Champion, and overall Pokémon Master. I was aware of the obstacles the Elite Four would provide, due to my previous title from Pokémon Black. The Ghost-type member proved to be the toughest, due to my non-effective moves. As fate would have it, I triumphed over the Elite Four with overwhelming speed and dexterity. It was time for the battle of a lifetime: Iris, the Pokémon League Champion, was face-to-face with me, the toughest Trainer in all the land. I knew this was going to be a challenge. And what a challenge it was! I single-handedly demolished her team, one-by-one, until her Haxorus remained. I instantly compared Iris’s Haxorus to Lance’s Gyarados. In Pokémon Crystal, it took me eight tries to defeat Lance; Gyarados murdered my most powerful Pokémon (my level 43 Typhlosion was all I had to my name way back when) every chance I battled it. But by how much experience I had gained over the last eleven years, Haxorus was no match for me, as my level 71 Genesect instantanously KO’d it with one blow. Twenty minutes after I got out of Victory Road, I defeated the Unova League and regained my title as Pokémon League Champion; no healing at all ensued, no revives or potion used. The members of the Elite Four and the Champion were just my warm-up battles. The cries of their Pokémon were my wake-up call. With forty-eight Gym Badges and six titles to my name, I now proceed to the only challenge that would be worthy of my entry: The Pokémon World Championship. As for Iris, that’s all she wrote.

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Three days… and still loading!

When I started playing Pokémon White Version 2 on October 10th, it was a blast from the past. Everything stayed the same, exactly as I remembered. My name is Raymond; my rival’s name is Phillip (I could care less about the designated, predetermined names, although I choose not to). Starting out with a Tepig, whose kindred spirit I had met once before in Pokémon Black Version, I began my trek as a Trainer for the second time in this region. Genesect was my second Pokémon. This Pokémon was quick to disobey, as evidenced by my lack of experience. Soon thereafter, I had earned enough badges to make Pokémon of level 30 obey me. I earn three gym badges a day, so it was quite literally, all in a day’s work. However, I had two shadows following my every footstep, two paths diverged in a yellow wood: Phillip and Team Plasma. Although N had retired as King of Team Plasma, and had released his Pokémon, I knew I had to watch out for him, for he was the one whose foster father (Ghetsis) confronted him as a child and taught him the ways of malice and hatred toward Pokémon confinement. Three days (real time), or seventeen hours (game time), later, on October 12th, I had completed the main storyline, as well as defeated Iris, the Pokémon Champion. Along the way, I met and ensnared a handful of fascinating Legendary Pokémon with, not just unrivaled, but unfathomable power. I captured Reshiram with a Great Ball, and Kyurem with an Ultra Ball. Also, since I did not use it and thanks to Colress (the New Team Plasma leader), I have TWO Master Balls, perfect for catching a Volcarana or Haxorus.

My Team (so far):

#649 Genesect [Lv. 76]
#646 Kyurem [Lv. 71]
#643 Reshiram [Lv. 71]
#500 Emboar [Lv. 70]
#558 Crustle [Lv. 43]
#564 Tirtouga [Lv. 27]

Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 arrive today!

After five months of anticipation, the time has come for Pokémon trainers everywhere to come together in a game that will revolutionize the gaming industry for good. Nintendo has just released to market two new games. The games, Black Version 2 and White Version 2, are full-on direct sequels to last year’s Black and White. What’s more, these games have been upgraded from their predecessors in which the region, the characters (playable and non-playable), and the battles have all been dramatically updated to better the game-play of trainers and masters, inside and out. The Unova region, after two years, is enveloped in more ice than Snowpoint City receives. It’s already too late to pre-order (I pre-ordered White 2 on June 30th), but Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 are available for purchase from Wal-Mart, GameStop, Target, and Amazon.com for the price of $34.99. “Are you brave enough?” does not even come close to answering the innumerable questions that the games may hold. The true question is, “Are you worthy enough?”

15th Pokémon movie featuring Kyurem

A new Pokémon movie is making its way to TV audiences this winter. The movie, “Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice,” was released in Japan under three months ago, under the title, “キュレムVS聖剣士 ケルディオ“, or “Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo.” In this movie,  Ash, along with Pikachu and traveling companions Iris and Cilan, travel by train to reach the next location of their journey, but their ride is cut short when Kyurem, a Legendary Dragon-type Pokémon, attacks the train just as soon as Ash spots an injured, unknown Pokémon. It turns out that the injured Pokémon, Keldeo, had a previous encounter with the Legendary, and got separated from the three Legendary Swords of Justice (Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion) whom it had befriended. Although the Swords together have immeasurable power, it is not enough to defeat Kyurem, who is drawing power from Reshiram and Zekrom. In time, with the assistance of Ash, Pikachu, Cilan, Iris, and the Swords, an hidden strength awakes inside Keldeo…

As with all Pokémon movies, a preview was shown at the ending of “Pokémon the Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom” and “Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram“, the fourteenth movie(s). Also, Ash does not encounter Team Rocket for the fourth time in a row; however, Team Rocket does make a cameo in one scene, as well as the credits. “Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice” will premiere on Cartoon Network in less than four months – December 8, 2012 is the air-date in the US, while Canadians get to view it first on YTV at the end of November –  more than enough time to catch up to (and finish) watching and airing Pokémon BW: Rival Destinies. [The last episode is #737 in the United States]. Hopefully, by this November, Cartoon Network will start airing ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ シーズン2… Japan is ahead by seventeen episodes.

Here is the official trailer for “Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice“, courtesy of The Official Pokemon Channel on YouTube.

Also, here is the official poster for the movie.

Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice

Review: Pokémon Black and Pokémon White

In the generations of Pokémon, one color is representative of a version, be it Red and Blue or Gold and Silver. Never before were direct opposing colors used… until Black and White were announced. They were announced in Fall 2010 to Japan and the rest of the Earth. These versions’ worlds have an unbelievable similarity to that of the real world. Take Castelia City, the most populous and largest city in the Unova region. Castelia was inspired and modeled after a colossal burough in the United States: Manhattan, New York. Although it was not molded to fit the appearance of Manhattan, itself a metropolis, Castelia City remains an integral location in Unova, and one of the most fascinating and historical in the Pokémon world. Another example is the Skyarrow Bridge. Not only was it inspired by two real-life bridges, it is the longest in the games, with over three hundred steps (a great walk for a great Egg hatch). Black and White introduce the successor to Sinnoh’s Pokétch, the C-Gear, which allows wireless and non-wireless capability, as well as infrared connection in-between two players’ game cards. When using the C-Gear, all rules follow that of its preceding utilities. Never operate the C-Gear under hospitals or airplanes, for its radio waves may interupt the pilot’s and/or medical instruments’. Using the C-Gear’s wireless capabilities discharges the DS system’s battery life, so charging the DS while using the DS is highly recommended. These games are the second in the Pokémon franchise to adopt infrared and wireless communications.

Black and White are the best examples of Yin and Yang. Tossing and turning, these concepts spiral around each other, awaiting their untimely usage. In the wait, however, they sucumb to such matters as life and death, and, even though Yin and Yang are rivaling one another, they were each created by hand, on the same day, by the same entity. In Black and White, however, you play as the hero, or the heroine, to stop what a new face of darkness brought with them. Team Plasma, a team ordered out of fear, is led by a shadowy figure. The hero meets that character soon after being led to a rally which showcases the total annihalilation of the people’s spirits. Among those saddened countenances ,the hero spots a character who is indifferent toward the rally, and dreams of a world in which Pokémon are not oppressed and controlled by humans. Save for his last name and affiliation, he introduces himself as N. Later on, he reveals himself as the leader of Team Plasma, as his guardian is the leader of Team Plasma’s Seven Sages. Under the guise of an outsider, N speaks very quickly and recounts that as a child, he was isolated from humans and was raised by Ghetsis. N was asked by Ghestis if he wanted to join him on his quest to liberate Pokémon. He agreed, and was subsequently crowned King of Team Plasma. It could be connotated that N was a orphan, as he had no parents at the time of his isolation. He challenges the hero to a battle every now and then, using creatures that extended their appendages in friendship.

There are (as with every region) sixteen Gym Leaders in Unova, but the rigorous pathways that lead to the Leader are far more challenging than the ones from previous generations. The hero (in Gold/Silver and their remakes), upon defeating and becoming the Pokémon League Champion, had the chance to challenge the most powerful trainer in the games, Red. Black and White allow the hero to do the same, replacing N with Red, but with a twist: you must defeat both the leader of the Seven Sages and the leader of Team Plasma with a legendary in your party. Also, there are two major differences from versions past. The player has not one, but two rivals, Cheren and Bianca, and the professor, that presents you with your first Pokémon, Professor Juniper, is a female. Along with the changes in the character growth and development, Black and White introduce two new battle types: Triple and Rotation. Triple Battles are battles with three active Pokémon, while Rotation Battles are battles that rotate the active Pokémon (switches with another in your party) with every turn; it varies as the battle progresses. Also, another returning feature from Gold and Silver allows players to manipulate the weather depending on one sole factor: the month. The four seasons don’t conform to any calendar, and are instead designated each season to a month and cycling every four. Areas made inaccessible due to the weather may redesign themselves, with the seasons making those inaccessible areas accessible once more. But what you’ve read is just the beginning… buy it and try it.

Review: Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver

Opening a wide row of doors, Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver are the culmination of generations past. In these two games, history is repeating itself, as you are transported back to Johto, and reminded of the terrible havoc unleashed ten years ago… the same havoc that you created. The same havoc that you need to vanquish. Players of all ages will be delighted with the new and improved graphics and sound once before heard. One returning feature from Pokémon Yellow is that the lead Pokémon can now walk beside, in front, and behind you, and since this is a remake of a second generation game, the sprites of the Pokémon that you encounter, along with the players’ and items’, will be upgraded dramatically. Overhead views, as well as the battle sequences, stay unaltered.

Limited/special editions also include the Pokéwalker, a pedometer that acts as a Pokéball, as it transforms the steps taken into experience points, watts (to buy routes), and to establish a friendly relationship with your Pokémon. It is a reincarnation of Amity Square in Sinnoh. Also, a key item that players obtain after winning sixteen gym badges and/or completing the game is imperative for veterans to obtain, although used at will. The “GB Sounds” promises a soundtrack nostalgic of the past and combines it with modern day music, allowing players to recreate and continue their adventure from so long ago. The soundtrack from this particular, headphones-shaped item replaces the in-game music (battle and background) with 8-bit tracks from the original Gold and Silver entirely, making for a trip down memory lane that is completely and continually worthwhile.

Those features are just a few of several. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, boy or girl, novice or veteran, to appreciate what Game Freak and Nintendo have done for us Pokémon fans, by turning back time and developing/producing a new fabric out of old material. It just goes to show that if it looked good on the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance, it’ll look great on the Nintendo DS. This game is a must for players who have retained either their memories from the past, or the cartridge itself. In addition, players of the original Silver should indulge in HeartGold. The same is agreed for Gold players to purchase SoulSilver. This way, every player will have the chance to capture and battle with Pokémon different than that whom they had gotten before.

Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2

The recent release of Pocket Monsters Black Version 2 and Pocket Monsters White Version 2 in Japan was a pre-empted shock to those outside the world of Pokémon. Along with the summer arrival came the remorse (as its similarity to HeartGold and SoulSilver, themselves remakes, is striking) of the previous games. Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 are set two years after the fall of N and Team Plasma, with characters, concepts, and Pokémon never before seen. The story takes place at the same region, Unova, but with a different rival. Also, one of the rivals from the previous game, Cheren, is now a Gym Leader.

These games also have a new facility known as the Pokémon World Tournament. Not only does this feature allow players to battle every gym leader, as well as champion, from every region (with the exclusion of Koga), but it also changes the battle theme for each opponent they face, upgrading them from memories lost to memories regained, and transforms the game itself into a battle-field fit for all players of all genders and generations, making for a never-ending TRUE Pokémon battle between masters!

The Japanese release was last Saturday (June 23rd) at a retail price of ¥4800, but the American release will be on October 7, 2012, for half the Japanese retail price: you can pre-order it for only $34.99, at Amazon, GameStop, or Target. This marks the shortest time between the Japanese and the American releases: three (3) months. Remember, the number and types of Pokèmon vary from version to version, but if you purchase either Pokémon Black Version 2 or Pokémon White Version 2, you’ll never get lost, because memories don’t fade unless you want them to.