Pokémon Sword & Shield Top Ten! [Straight Outta Kanto]

Straight Outta Kanto

download (5)

Alola, PokéNerds! Welcome to this week’s Straight Outta Kanto blog post. Straight Outta Kanto is Ireland’s number one spot for Nerd Culture, Nostalgia, Nightmares and… more!

We hope you all found last week’s blog post about handy convention tips and tricks useful and can’t wait to see you all at our “Horror in Pokémon” panel atAkumakon 2020 this coming weekend!

It’s been a jellies-shakingly exciting time here at the S.O.K HQ. Producing, recording and editing our very first and very own Straight Outta KantoPodcast Radio Show – launching Tuesday 14th of January over on the Nerd To Know Media site on iTunes, Spotify etc. This will be a weekly magazine show all about nerdly news, nostalgia nods, spooky spots, hard-hitting petty fandom grievances and and weird things we’ve learned about Japan during the week. So do keep a cheeky ear out for…

View original post 1,255 more words

Pokémon Sword & Shield Top Ten! [Straight Outta Kanto]

download (5)

Alola, PokéNerds! Welcome to this week’s Straight Outta Kanto blog post. Straight Outta Kanto is Ireland’s number one spot for Nerd Culture, Nostalgia, Nightmares and… more!

We hope you all found last week’s blog post about handy convention tips and tricks useful and can’t wait to see you all at our “Horror in Pokémon” panel at Akumakon 2020 this coming weekend!

It’s been a jellies-shakingly exciting time here at the S.O.K HQ. Producing, recording and editing our very first and very own Straight Outta Kanto Podcast Radio Show – launching Tuesday 14th of January over on the Nerd To Know Media site on iTunes, Spotify etc. This will be a weekly magazine show all about nerdly news, nostalgia nods, spooky spots, hard-hitting petty fandom grievances and and weird things we’ve learned about Japan during the week. So do keep a cheeky ear out for that…!

It’s also been an emotional roller-coaster here because of last week’s Pokémon Direct announcement. Not only are we getting a *drum roll* brand new Sword and Shield Expansion Pass “Isle of Armor” and “Crown Tundra” we are also getting… *inhale* A BRAND NEW POKÉMON MYSTERY DUNGEON GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!!! “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX” will be released March 6th 2020.

Pokemon-Mystery-Dungeon-RT-DX_01-09-20

No, it’s not a Gen 4 remake announcement. And YES. We would have preferred a Pokémon Ranger instalment. BUT. Taking everything into consideration, a new Mystery Dungeon and extra content that will hopefully complete an incomplete game, things are certainly looking up.

There’s once again been tremendous controversy over these new Expansion Passes. Paying $30 for access to content that should have already been included in the games? It sounds dreadfully mercenary. It does. Yet. It’ll be cheaper than a new third Galar game (such as Red/Blue then Yellow, Gold/Silver then Crystal etc.) but it will be interesting to see whether or not Game Freak keep up this trend of pay-to-play or if this will be a once off. The great Sword/Shield divide sadly continues to tear the PokéCommunity apart.

However. I’m willing to give Game Freak the benefit of the doubt. This opinion in the past has had me scorned, ridiculed and called a “shill” by the Pokémon community at large, but Pokémon has been there for me these last 22 years. I will weather this storm. My loyalties aren’t so easily cast aside.

To counter all this anti-Game Freak and Sword and Shield hate, let’s celebrate the positive aspects of the game with a little… “Sword and Shield Top Ten!”

PSS-expansion-pass-1280x720

10. No HMs:

Let us raise a salute to the many fallen Bidoof of past Gens. In Galar we are living in a free world where unsuspecting Normal types are no longer taken under our dirty wing for the sole purpose of corrupting their youth and innocence. As our HM (Hidden Machine) slaves.

This frees up our teams meaning we can focus on building a full team of six with four fully functioning moves, thus improving competitive battling and game play. It also improves game play by making the Corviknight Taxi Service a fun new function. Plus, we get to ride our bikes on water now. Which is very, very cool. (In your face, Professor Oak…!)

9. CURRY!!!

In recent Pokémon games there’s been a non-essential function that allows a more pastoral and nurturing interaction with your ‘mon. Camping is Sword and Shield’s function. It allows you to heal the health of your Pokémon without items/Nurse Joy, raises EXP points and can boost friendship – which is essential for certain evolutions and can be handy in battle. Wild Pokémon can also wander in to your camp and join your team, which is very sweet. (And incidentally pretty much how Mr. Mime wandered in to the life of Delia Ketchum.) You also get to make… curry! And have a “Curry Dex” – which is a hilarious little side game and challenge.

8. Jedward of the PokéWorld:

maxresdefault (2)

Swordward and Shielbert (or make that “Shillbert…) are the two post-game villains and I love them. They are as camp as Christmas, slightly incestuous, have bizarre hair and are double-entendre dropping weirdos with delusions of grandeur. Standard Pokémon character design, basically. They also remind me horrendously of notorious X-Factor twins: Jedward.

7. Challenging Gyms:

gordie-melony-gym-mission

The inclusion of formal Gym Missions as well as an increased difficulty from the Gym Leaders themselves – higher levels, harder stats and more challenging move sets – meant more engaging game play. Each gym required more time investment and a more tactical approach to battling. Type-Advantages will always be a thing, but the Galar Gym Leaders weren’t going to let you get away with that old trick so easily…

6. Greater Game Differences:

It’s only been in later years that the differences between the two Pokémon games has become more pronounced. Initially the difference was slight Pokédex variations (to encourage trading), Legendary ‘mon, and a corresponding different hue tinting the exact same game. Later games increased the differences between the games, Black and White being the prime example with Black City/White Forest. In Galar, not only do you get the different Pokémon variations, you also get different physical Gym Leaders depending on what version you have. This leads to a richer and more varied fan experience.

5. You Came To the Wrong Neighbourhood:

download (10)

I think the Wild Area is fantastic. The variety of wild Pokémon, the camping, the PokéDens for Watts and Dynamax Raid battles, the Rotom Challenge, CURRY and, of course, being chased around in the open by wild Pokémon! This last point in particular I find encourages a more realistic trainer experience for the player. I think being chased out of a patch of grass by EIGHT Stufful guarding a flipping berry tree is an enormously realistic situation an actual Pokémon trainer could find themselves in…

4. Challenging Evolutions:

Sirfetchd-750x400

Don’t get me started.

Just get Googling.

Game Freak certainly aren’t spoon feeding you the new Pokémon Evolutions for certain ‘mon anyway, that’s for sure. No one can accuse them of being too lazy in that regard…

3. Responsible Adult:

people_leon_2x-crop.jpg

The number one thing for me with any new Pokémon game is the story. I love a good over-the-top villain (or two) and some end-of-the-world drama. But that’s just me.

I struggled with the story for Sword and Shield. It had no real evil team, per say, and there wasn’t really anything majorly apocalyptic, nothing spectacular, anyway. Any of the main “action” was mostly managed in the background by Champion Leon and other appropriately aged and experienced adults.

While I would have liked a more hands on Dooms-day journey in the game, it’s actually a more fitting and realistic scenario to have the Champion take care of things without handing it all over to a ten year old. The focus for your character is the Gym League, the actual core purpose of the games.

2. Galar Pokémon Designs:

872Snom

The Galarian forms, evolutions and the new Galar Region ‘mon are fantastic. Charming, adorable, surprising and endearing. You look into the eyes of a Snom and tell me otherwise. I DARE YOU.

1. THE SATISFACTION OF DESTROYING “HAU 2” :

maxresdefault.0

While I appreciate that the Rival set-up for Gen 8 is pretty much the exact same Rival set-up as every other game (bar Gen 2) … Come on.

There’s just something extra, extra satisfying about literally not only tearing down Hop’s dream every step of the way but also fulfilling his exact destiny right before his very eyes.

His one sole purpose in life was to knock his brother off the top spot as Champion. That’s a hardcore family odyssey right there and what did you do!? What did you do you smug bastard!? You DESTROYED Hop and everything he ever knew and loved and lived for. This rivalry was almost as grotty feeling as defeating Little Orphan Wally in Gen 3.

Grotty. But oh so satisfying. Because he was so bloody annoying. And a carbon copy model of Hau. Hop was basically just born to be hated from the get-go.

images (3)

There we have it, nerdlings! Keep watching the skeys! I mean, skies!

For more information on Straight Outta Kanto, feel free to follow our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StraightOuttaKanto91/

Listen out for the Straight Outta Kanto Podcast Radio Show

Join our Pokemon Fan Club Ireland group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623889321229114/

maxresdefault (1)

What a con! Comic Con tricks and tips 101 [Straight Outta Kanto]

Straight Outta Kanto

Alola, PokéNerds! Welcome to Straight Outta Kanto, your number one Irish blog for nerd culture, nostalgia, nonsense and… more!

Happy new year! We are so excited to have you amazing readers back for an even bigger and better 2020, and boy do we have some news for you…

Straight Outta Kanto is delighted to announce that they themselves will be hosting their infamous “Horror in Pokémon” panel at Akumakon in Galway, Ireland from January 17th – 19th. We will also be unveiling a brand new panel “The Evolution of Women in Pokémon” at *drum roll* Shurikon in Dublin, Ireland in February!

Akumakon and Shurikon are just the start of a long and ambitious Nerd/Comic/Animé/managa/RPG/Gaming/etc. Convention season in Ireland this year and whether or not you’re a hardened convention veteran or someone who’s always wanted to go to a con but don’t know where to…

View original post 1,235 more words

What a con! Comic Con tricks and tips 101 [Straight Outta Kanto]

Alola, PokéNerds! Welcome to Straight Outta Kanto, your number one Irish blog for nerd culture, nostalgia, nonsense and… more!

Happy new year! We are so excited to have you amazing readers back for an even bigger and better 2020, and boy do we have some news for you…

Straight Outta Kanto is delighted to announce that they themselves will be hosting their infamous “Horror in Pokémon” panel at Akumakon in Galway, Ireland from January 17th – 19th. We will also be unveiling a brand new panel “The Evolution of Women in Pokémon” at *drum roll* Shurikon in Dublin, Ireland in February!

Akumakon and Shurikon are just the start of a long and ambitious Nerd/Comic/Animé/managa/RPG/Gaming/etc. Convention season in Ireland this year and whether or not you’re a hardened convention veteran or someone who’s always wanted to go to a con but don’t know where to start – Straight Outta Kanto got you covered!

(1) RESEARCH:

maxresdefault

What are you in to!? What is your nerd-dom!? If you’re more introverted and like video games a smaller, local gaming con might suit you better than diving straight into one the hyper-huge DC/Marvel specific Comic Con style cons. However, if you like the wild crowds and even wilder big names then you dive right in to the deep end, baby!

Conventions are always a freight train of emotions and sensory over-loads at the best of times so a quick Google search or chatting to knowledgeable nerds in your community can be a great starting point for finding out what the local scene has to offer.

Whatever con you do decide to start out with, make sure you book your accommodation and source your travel well in advance – take it from me, no one wants to be stuck in the back arse of no where after a convention is over with no way to get home and all the hostels in the area fully booked. (Again…)

(2) ‘The Bare Necessities’: 

food

It feels weird reminding adults to eat food and drink water but it’s so surprising how easy it actually is to forget – especially during the excitement of a convention! I know the thought of bringing a large bottle of water and a packed lunch with you to a con is a cumbersome pain in the arse idea. Who wants to be carrying lunch around like an over-grown school child!?

The reality is however, depending on the location of your event, water and basic food may not be provided by the venue. On the occasion that refreshment is provided at a convention, it’s usually grossly overcharged, undersized and not filled with any sort of the good stuff designed to help your body last through a long hot slog through winding convention halls. Take care of yourself – and your wallet!

(3) BAGS! 

Plastic bag

Hands up if yer mammy has a plastic bag filled with lots of other little plastic bags somewhere in the house!

RAID. THAT. BAG BAG.

One of the top complaints at every convention I have ever been to is “Ah sure… my backpack’s full, I can’t carry anymore otherwise I’d buy this/that/the other.” Fill your big bag with little bags and bring it with you to the con.

Vendors and artists don’t always provide bags with their merchandise, and if they do, how long d’ya really think a small paper bag is going to fare over a full weekend of conning and travel!?

Think about the planet, think about your poor weak arms, shove a few placcy bags in your coat pockets and shop to your heart’s content!

(4) CASH IS KING: 

download (9)

While the future is plastic and Tap-pa Tap-pa Tap-pa regins supreme on the consumer trends – bring physical legal tender cash money to a convention with you. Larger merch stalls or big store vendors may have card payment options, but the chances are smaller stalls, artists, charity donation buckets, raffle tickets and a whole host of other convention related traders won’t. Also, I’ve seen it myself endlessly – card machines break, wifi wanes and batteries die – cash is KING. Take the pressure off your plastic and deny yourself no convention pleasure.

(5) Pain in the neck…

shoe

Going to a convention in full Cosplay!? Cosplay clothes are the epitome of “Fashion Before Function”. Be realistic – can you realistically walk, run, sit, stand, pee, poop, eat, drink, BREATHE, walk around a jam packed arena unimpeded in your costume!? If not, get some advice and make some cheat adjustments.

Same goes for non-cosplayers! Conventions in general are hot, crowded, long and tiring. You will sweat in strange places, your feet will hurt and you’ll (hopefully) be carrying loads of amazing rare merch from your childhood that you’ve just bought…! While looking glam at a con is the goal, not ruining your own day by wearing too much (or too little) and the wrong shoes is also a perfectly acceptable goal. Do you. Be comfortable.

(6) Support the Arts:

Conventions are an amazing opportunity to buy merch and memorabilia that you wouldn’t always have the chance to buy in mainstream stores. But, before you drop another twenty quid on yet another Pop Figure from the local Game Stop who just so happen to have a big ass vendor stall – think about the little folks in the artist alley who have reasonably priced, thoughtful unique and hand-crafted prints and wares just dying to be bought. You’ve all year to buy generic mass produced merch from big stores, when are you ever going to see this travelling artist or prop maker again?

(7) Permit me…

clipart-warning-sign-512x512-8bac

Conventions are photo-opportunity of the year! Almost everyone makes a massive effort costume and Cosplay wise. Even if you don’t, you’ll still be making precious treasured memories with friends that you’ll want to commemorate forever. HOWEVER. When wanting to get a photo with anyone at a convention, always ASK first! It’s just common sense and basic manners. Just because someone is all dolled up doesn’t mean they want to caught off-guard by your sneaky flash! Chances are, someone who has spent months hand making a costume WILL want to have their work admired and photographed, but give them the chance to say yes and the right to say no.

(8) Shake ya ass, BUT watch ya self…

download

Yes, conventions are (mostly) filled with happy shining people who are a magical bretheren of nerds and super nerds just waiting to take you under the wing of their fandom – but there are weirdoes and predators out there. Ya get’m in all walks of life and conventions are no different. Not everyone who wants to hug you or take a photo with you will just be a nice person. Sadly.

Make friends, but exercise caution. Trust your gut instinct. Practise basic ‘stranger danger’ – EVEN IF YOU’RE AN ADULT. Try not to go alone to places – and if you do have to split up from the group STAY IN CONTACT.

There’s all sorts of chancers out there, don’t let them take a chance with you.

(9) VOLUNTEER! 

hidethepainharold.jpg

Want free tickets to a convention? Behind the scenes access to all the excitement and activities? The chance to meet new people and gain experience for your C.V.!?

VOLUNTEER AT A CONVENTION!

Yes! It’s exhausting. Yes! It’s full-on. Yes! It’s WORTH EVERY SWEATY TANTRUM OVER FORGOTTEN DOOR-CODES AND FAILED POWER POINT PRESENTATION IN A ROOM FULL OF EXPECTANT GUESTS AND PANELISTS.

It’s good for you and supports your local scene – try it at least once.

(10) DON’T HOLD BACK:

pokemon-go-summerevent

Conventions are the one place you can forget about the real world and fully immerse yourself in absolute fantasy. DO IT. Attend as many panels as you can. Buy as many boxes of Pocky as you can cram in your mouth. Sample that Saké. Get an over priced photo of yourself on the Iron Throne. Speak Pigeon-Japanese to your peers. Befriend an artist. Buy back issues. DO. IT. ALL. Conventions come and go and are only once a year – don’t regret ANYTHING.

There we have it, nerdlings! Keep watching the skeys! I mean, skies!

For more information on Straight Outta Kanto, feel free to follow our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StraightOuttaKanto91/ or join our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623889321229114/

Follow us on Twitter: @KantoOutta.

74891506_581707469268268_2080470523115995136_n

Santa Paws – Christmas Pet Advice! [Straight Outta Kanto]

Straight Outta Kanto

SANTA PAWS – CHRISTMAS PET ADVICE:

42549-Golden-Retriever-pup-with-Christmas-crackers-white-background

Here at Straight Outta Kanto it’s not just Pokémon we care about – it’s all little monsters, pocket or pet! Here’s a few extra bonus tips and tricks I discovered while writing my “Pets Love Christmas” features for Ireland’s Christmas FM radio station this year!

Deck The Paws:

When decking those halls, check first what’s on the naughty list! Items such as poinsettia plants, tinsel, and sharp pointy baubles should be kept away from curious little paws.

However, Christmas roses, traditional paper chains and shatter proof ornaments are animal friendly alternatives!

And while you may not want to see Mommy kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe, artificial mistletoe is kinder to the environment and less hazardous to your pets for when you get merry this Christmas.

Holiday Hams:

Don’t know what to get your hamster for the holidays?

An environmentally…

View original post 999 more words

Santa Paws – Christmas Pet Advice! [Straight Outta Kanto]

SANTA PAWS – CHRISTMAS PET ADVICE:

42549-Golden-Retriever-pup-with-Christmas-crackers-white-background

Here at Straight Outta Kanto it’s not just Pokémon we care about – it’s all little monsters, pocket or pet! Here’s a few extra bonus tips and tricks I discovered while writing my “Pets Love Christmas” features for Ireland’s Christmas FM radio station this year!

Deck The Paws:

When decking those halls, check first what’s on the naughty list! Items such as poinsettia plants, tinsel, and sharp pointy baubles should be kept away from curious little paws.

However, Christmas roses, traditional paper chains and shatter proof ornaments are animal friendly alternatives!

And while you may not want to see Mommy kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe, artificial mistletoe is kinder to the environment and less hazardous to your pets for when you get merry this Christmas.

Holiday Hams:

Don’t know what to get your hamster for the holidays?

An environmentally friendly gift for all small animals are cardboard tubes and boxes filled with sugar free yoghurt drops and light tissue. Build a small sand bath out of lollipop sticks and some card or string some unwanted festive socks as hanging hammocks in their cage!

This ensures no one gets left out of unwrapping presents this Christmas

Festive Fatties:

Christmas may be a time for giving – but careful not to give too much to the cat and dog when they come begging for a share in the pudding and mince pies! Light snacks made from animal safe ingredients baked in festive moulds and shapes mean your pet can join in the feasting – but not need to join a gym!

Rover Roasting on an Open Fire…

Make sure the heat’s not too hot to handle for your pets this Yuletide!

When roasting chestnuts on an open fire always ensure a fire guard is in place on any holiday hearth and animals are not left unsupervised.

The same applies for candles! A classic centrepiece for festive displays – pet friendly alternatives are synthetic battery operated candles.

And while fairy-lights add a twinkling magic to any Christmas tree, those little bulbs and wires should be banished to the naughty list when tiny teeth are around!

Animal Advent:

Advent Calendars are a great excuse for a sneaky bit of chocolate – I mean CHEER, in the mornings! A purrfect way to include your pet in a nibble this Nollaig is to make your own animal friendly advent calendar.

Take an old cereal box and cut out 24 little windows. Fill the box with soft tissue then place a healthy, animal safe treat behind each window.

This is ideal for animals with a restricted diet or fussy tastes.

Encourage your pet to open the Advent Calendar windows with their paws – let them entertain themselves – and the family.

Hoppin’ Around The Christmas Wheek:

Do you prefer rabbits to reindeer? Guinea Pigs over the Grinch?

One way to keep your family fur-balls hoppin’ around the Christmas tree this year is with some home-made presents that are kind to your pocket – and the planet.

Cut out the bottom of an old cylindrical pop-up laundry basket, lay it on its side – and you’ve got a DIY bunny tunnel for hours of fun.

Old card board tubes stuffed with hay provide environmentally friendly feeders and boredom breakers.

Want to feed your pets and entertain your guests at the dinner table? A small twine washing line between table legs with fresh lettuce leaves pegged on make for an unforgettable dining experience!

Chilly Willy:

The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean winter can’t be delightful! Wrapping up like a Christmas present isn’t just for humans – your pets need to stay warm too!

Keep all beds, cages and tanks out of cold, draughty areas. Animal safe heat pads and lamps in and around your pet’s sleeping area is a hot idea for chilly nights!

And, if you want to keep your pets as cosy as a pair of fluffy socks on a snowy day, cutting up and re-purposing old Christmas jumpers and pyjamas is a cost-effective, and fashionable, way to provide extra blankets and bedding for your four-legged loved ones.

Winter Wildlife:

Want to ensure we can all keep walking in a winter wonderland? Helping out your local wildlife in a few small ways this season can ensure that everyone big and small can have a Merry Christmas.

Leave undisturbed wild areas in your garden. Piles of leaves and grass can make the perfect nest for animals to hibernate, hide and rest in.

Food for birds is scarce in winter so providing a range of seeds, fresh unsalted peanuts and table scraps such as apples, pears and cheese, dried meal worms and wax worms will really spread good cheer to our feathered friends!

Clean water and food will encourage any local hedgehogs to return regularly. Minced meat, fresh liver, tinned dog food and scrambled eggs are all a little hoggy’s holiday favourite

Paupers can Pamper Too:

Being brilliant on a budget can be a challenge at Christmas! However, home made DIY presents mean you can pamper your pets without being a pauper.

For cats and dogs, old clean socks filled with either their favourite cat nip or squeaky toy can be a handy stocking filler. Some strong rope wrapped around a small plank of wood can be a low-budget cat scratcher while a hollowed out tennis ball filled with treats can make any doggie smile.

For heart felt festive ornaments, take an imprint of your pet’s paw in some non-toxic air-dry modelling clay and then decorate the imprint with glitter and ribbons once it’s dried. Another crafty family favourite is to take an old photograph of you and your pet and create a decorative frame out of card!

Binge Babies:

Twas’ the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except maybe… the dog!?

The festive season is the perfect excuse for scrapping the usual day-to-day life and indulging in long, lazy nights in front of the T.V. with a good old box set – but try telling that to your pets!

While we may enjoy a break from the norm, it’s still important to ensure your pet maintains its daily routine to prevent any seasonal anxiety or stress. Turn walking the dog into a fun family activity. Make sure meal times stay the same.

And, if your home is about to filled with returning friends and family from afar, ensure your pet has a quiet safe space to relax away from the hustle and bustle while introducing them to any new guests one at a time at the pet’s pace.

There we have it, nerdlings! Keep watching the skeys! I mean, skies!

For more information on Straight Outta Kanto, feel free to follow our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StraightOuttaKanto91/ or join our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623889321229114/

Follow us on Twitter: @KantoOutta.

12-risks-of-Christmas-RVC

Gruesome Viewsome: J-Horror Obscure Part 1 [Straight Outta Kanto]

Straight Outta Kanto

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_78506135_151732331116_1_original

Alola, fellow Nerds! If, like me, you have an insatiable thirst for all things Japanese that will make your bowels want to mass exodus pantswards every time you need to switch the lights off at bedtime – then has Straight Outta Kanto got a treat for you!

As a certified J-Horror (and K-Horror, every-Horror, realistically) addict, I often get fatigued at the many lists of bland, generic J-Horror recommendations floating around the internet.

I would flatter myself to have watched a substantial amount of most of the J-Horror out there, the main ones and after many moons searching endlessly through the darker recesses of the web, the lesser known, obscure or forgotten J-Horrors.

Therefore, constant recommendations to watch Ringu, Ju-on and Dark Water leave me feeling sad for all the grim, gruesome and glorious horror out there that is not getting the credit it should.

Don’t get me wrong…

View original post 914 more words