Pokemon Movie Review: The Power of Us (2018) [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Alola, PokeNerds! Welcome to the 27th blog post of Straight Outta Kanto! Straight Outta Kanto, your brand new home-grown Irish blog for nostalgia, nerd culture, nonsense and (on occasion) more!

I hope you’re all gradually recovering from the heart-break that was Wednesday night’s Nintendo Direct conference where we were updated on all the new and shiny up-coming games for Nintendo Switch this 2019… WITH NOT A SINGLE POKEMON GAME MENTIONED!!! 

Now, some reasoned individuals in various Pokemon forums and groups online have asserted that new Pokemon games are never announced during a Nintendo Direct and that a specific Pokemon Direct on say the official Pokemon Day this February 27th is more probable a source of PokeNews or even the E3 gaming conference on June 11th – 13th this summer than Nintendo Direct was ever going to be. (Damn their logic, I was all hyped up into a frenzy…!)

I’m holding out hope for a Pokemon Direct this Spring because if we have to wait until Summer to hear news for winter/spring 2020 games for Pokemon…!? That means we’ll have little to NO Pokemon action this year which is unheard of because there’s usually SOMETHING in Spring/Summer for us PokeNerds!

But anyway, on with the show! I mean, the er uh, review.

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I was tremendously surprised to discover that the brand new Pokemon movie “The Power of Us” is released for home-viewing and relatively easy to procure from local DVD stores. I wandered in to my nearest Tower Records on my way to work Friday morning and picked up a copy of the movie – which I had literally just watched in late November/early December 2018. Speedy turn-around.

I know a lot of fans are wary about giving The Power of Us a shot because of the disaster that was 2017’s I Choose You Pokemon movie but honestly, I find The Power of Us to be a strong, vibrant film which with a bit of tightening up here and there plot-wise could even be considered on par with the original first three Pokemon movies.

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The movie sees Ash and his posse head to the fictional Fula City, City of Wind (pass the beans…!) where he crosses paths with a few too many characters. The over-all plot however involves fighting Zeraora’s Curse to return the magic Lugia flame to the top of Fula City so that Lugia will come and return strong winds to this ecologically wind-powered city – which can then in turn continue to thrive and prosper. However, considering Fula City‘s murky past, should they really continue to prosper…? *Dun dun duuuun!* (Note here in the movie the Ghibli-esque Pom Poko leanings of the plot.)

There’s also a big important science conference in there. And a massive Pokemon Catching Tournament. An annual Pokemon festival. A hyped up TV show presenter. And a sister’s promise to her hospital-ridden brother. And Ash’s mandatory ass-kicking the local lads in a high-tensity Pikachu heavy Pokemon battle.

Other than Ash and Co., this Generation 2 influenced movie centres around the glamorous (but dispirited) sports star Risa, the mayor’s young daughter Margo, a sickly young girl called Kellie and her hilarious, irascible and dodgy-as-heck Uncle Callahan. And an anxiety ridden scientist named Toren who looks like he’s definitely a cousin of King N from Generation 5. Oh. And a grumpy old lady with a dark secret and a heart of gold.

Like I said, a lot of characters and a lot going on in the story that occasionally muddies up the plot – but not in any serious way, the film is still relate-able and relatively easy to follow.

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As this is Generation 2 influenced the film is absolutely littered with cameos from some of Johto‘s finest Pokemon stalwarts, we’ve got Togepi, Teddiursa, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Xatu, Hitmontop, the works and more, all portrayed in the most charming and whimsical fun-loving manner.

As Ash’s Pikachu and Risa’s Eevee are the two lead Pokemon characters in the movie you can bet yer bottom euro looove that some low-level subliminal Pokemon Let’s Go: Eevee/Pikachu advertising was at play here… YVAN EHT NIOJ!

Genuine warmth and humour through out, a positive and up-lifting over-all message about everyone’s inner-Pokemon power and team work yada yada yada, a suitable amount of feelz (oh brace yo’self fo’ da feelz, they are in there…!) and a startlingly amount of peril (you will openly weep during certain scenes, OPENLY!) with a satisfactory resolve.

A bonus point is the feeling that you have just invested 93 minutes of your life in a movie that didn’t actually suck like you thought it would and was, dare we say it, a pretty good attempt at a classic Pokemon movie.

I would give this movie 5 PokeBalls out of 6 – only losing marks for too many characters and storylines going on at once.

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So that’s the review guys I hope you – wait a minute! I’m forgetting something. Or rather… someones…!!!

Everybody’s favourite ever-enterprising and odd-jobbing loveable losers once again make another doomed appearance in The Power of Us. Jesse, James and Meowth actually play an integral part of plot-propulsion and resolution in the movie this time and look both screamingly-hilarious and ridiculous in their latest “disguises.”

I’ll say no more, but there’s a beautifully nostalgic nod to the original Inidgo League incarnation of Team Rocket that would satisfy even the most hardened Gen Wunner. (Eh, also known as me…!)

So, give this new Pokemon movie a shot, at the very least just to say you watched it and to tide you over until you see the new Detective Pikachu movie…

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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 Pokemon Fanclub Ireland group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623889321229114/

Follow us on Twitter: @KantoOutta.

Thanks for reading!

memea

Pokemon Review: Let’s Go Eevee! [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Alola PokeNerds! Welcome to the first Straight Outta Kanto blog post of 2019. Straight Outta  Kanto – your brand new number one blog for nerd culture, nostalgia, nonsense and… more!

So, first and foremost, I wish you all a (belated!) wonderful New Year. May 2019 be the year we finally get our Gen 4 remake – it is the tenth anniversary of Pokemon Platinum‘s release after all so fingers crossed…!

Also, exciting news, Straight Outta Kanto has just been recruited by the fantastic Valkyrie Con to host a Pokemon Panel at this year’s Valkyrie Con convention in Dublin, more news on that sooooon!

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Right, down to business. I got Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee for Christmas 2018 and needless to say I crawled into a vat of gooey Switch based nerdness and did not climb out for several days. (I’m receiving Let’s Go: Pikachu for my birthday later this month!)

Let’s Go Eevee is literally a direct re-make of 1998’s Pokemon Yellow. Pokemon Yellow was the Gen 1 game created entirely as a T.V. franchise tie-in but captured the hearts of fans better than a Master Ball primarily due to the upgraded addition of being able to obtain all three starter Pokemon and a heavy dose of Kawaii As Feck-ness smeared all over it by mascot Pikachu. (And the inclusion of Jesse and James… JOY!!!)

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When the news first broke last Spring that the first main Pokemon excursion on the Switch would be a Pokemon Yellow/Pokemon GO mash-up, the feedback was divided. I’ve been championing a Pokemon Yellow remake for years now but don’t play GO myself so was excited but also apprehensive about how skewered a traditional gaming format we were going to get. Thankfully the game was almost completely playable as a standard Pokemon game, the Pokemon GO elements were more light touches and nods than heavily integrated features.

The main things I loved about Let’s Go Eevee are mostly superficial upgrades such as improved and and updated graphics and soundtrack – with each game and console we’re getting a more and more life-like Pokemon gaming experience which I don’t know about you but I am totally okay with. The more immersion in the Pokemon World the better if you ask me.

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Sadly there was little or not plot development beyond the basic Pokemon Yellow story line. Game Freak surpassed themselves in 2014 with the Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire remakes and have set a standard of rebooting that sadly Let’s Go falls far short of meeting. Don’t get me wrong, there are the odd tweaks and turns in the story that make an enjoyable and engaging time for old and new players alike but nothing that deviates too far from the original format.

There were also moments in the plot that felt like wasted opportunities – such as: Lorelei from the Elite 4 swimming down the lake by Rock Tunnel on her Lapras like a BOSS and helping you tackle Team Rocket. I thought that this meant the game was going to draw influence from the original Pokemon manga series (out at the time that Yellow was released) and have the Gym Leaders and Elite 4 members take a more invested interest in wiping out Team Rocket, but alas! Lorelei’s appearance was the one and only time the Elite 4 showed up in the fight against crime. This was a sore disappointment as all signs pointed to an increase in story development.

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Another high-point/disappointment was the fantastic show down in Team Rocket’s Celadon City Game Corner hide-out. There the game play became more like a Pokemon Ranger/Detective Pikachu game where Pokemon Eevee herself becomes more hands-on in the adventure. A really cool function I thought, but sadly this was the only instance in the game of this happening. If Game Freak were just testing this out this time around, I sincerely hope they’ll include it in future games.

Another controversial point was the method of catching Pokemon in Let’s Go. Instead of carefully battling the wild Pokemon you’d mimic GO‘s capture method of lobbing balls at the Pokemon instead. While I did feel a lack of emotional connection to my party Pokemon because I wasn’t grinding them and using moves in battle, I did enjoy this method of capture as it emulates how I primarily capture my own Pokemon in other games. Yes. I’m lazy.

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The complete lack of HMs was a godsend! Eevee learning all the cutsie techniques such as “Chop Down” and “Sky Dash” and “Sea Skim” was a welcome addition and also Kawaii as Feck pottering about the sky in a balloon machine with my Eevee. Eevee travelling with you outside the PokeBall and getting all dressed up in sweet little outfits was an adorable (yet superficial) part of the game. Also having the option to have an extra party Pokemon travel outside the ball with you and in some instance become a method of transport (flying over Kanto on Aerodactyl and leaving cool-as-hell Game of Thrones style dragon shadows over the buildings was an amazing feeling…!)

The Gym Leaders posed relatively no major competition, the stats of Pokemon grow considerably fast in Let’s Go, thankfully so getting to whup the old gang’s ass in beautifully renovated gyms was a pleasure! The option to re-battle all eight Gym Leaders once a day post Championship is also a new addition that is most welcome. Gary Oak taking over from Giovanni is also a great touch that, correct me if I’m wrong, could also hint at a Let’s Go: Gold & Silver version in the future, which I would dearly welcome.

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Beyond battling a terrifyingly hyper-powered MewTwo in Cerulean Cave, re-battling Gym Leaders and the Elite 4 and fighting with Alolan Fairy Trial Captain Mina every day in Vermillion City there’s not a whole heap of post-game content. Also, the PokeBall Plus console that I paid nearly as much as the game for was a disappointing and malfunctioning waste of money – it was nice to get the free Mew inside it, but oh my Jigglypuffs, what a fiasco, stay away from it!

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Look, as a non-main RPG Pokemon game this was a light and entertaining bit of fluff with really intriguing new elements that I hope they integrate into future Pokemon Switch games. I would give this game 7/10  for lack of plot development but for Eevee based cuteness it gets full marks. Wait till it comes down in price in the January sales and give it at least one decent play through, it’s worth that alone!

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.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

memea

Gary Oak’s 9th and 10th Kanto Gym Badges… Revealed!?

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Alola, PokeNerds! And welcome to the 25th instalment of… Straight Outta Kanto! So now that the spooking season is over (LIES! Every day is Halloween!) and we are literally soooo close to the November 16th release of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee (Why not buy both!?) I think it’s time to absorb as much Pokemon-fuelled mayhem and excitement as possible, and what better way to do that than with some bullshizzy fan theory post about something that isn’t actually real or even a remote possibility! But for the Jigglypuffs of it, let’s just run with this…

Gary Oak’s Two Mystery Kanto Badges: REVEALED!

(Or not, whatever, this is just for fun 😉 )

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So as we all know that for each Pokemon region in each Pokemon Nintendo game there EIGHT Gym Badges (barring Sun and Moon and their “trials”) that can be earned by hard-working and talented Pokemon Trainers, right? We also all know at this point that the anime takes tremendous artistic licence with their interpretation of the games, right?

However! The greatest artistic licence ever taken in the Anime versus the Nintendo Game wars (other than James Rocket having a fine ass pair of beach titties) was… Gary Oak’s mysterious ninth and tenth gym badge!

Now, anyone that has watched the 90’s Indigo League Pokemon anime series will know that there is an early episode where Ash meets some punk-ass trainer (with a gimped up Sandshrew) who runs his own indie Gym (hipster much?) that isn’t accredited by the official Pokemon League, but still is a challenge all on it’s own for those who wish to test their out their training thus far.

Teeeeechnically speaking Gary’s two extra badges could have come from two un-accredited but no less badge-giving-out indie Gyms and were for him a bragging right to include them with his own original eight official Pokemon League badges.

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HOWEVER!

I’ve got a little plot-hole filled theory that makes no sense that I’d love to share with you all based on two possible extra Kanto Pokemon Gyms based on the original Red and Blue games!

GYM BADGE NUMBER NINE – The Fighting Dojo Gym of Saffron City:

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So we all know that there is a redundant Gym in Saffron City that is home to a fearsome karate dojo with some kung-fu-tastic Fighting Type Pokemon. The Fighting Dojo Gym was originally ousted by Sabrina and her Psychic Type Gym, perhaps as a fun little side story that never got developed or perhaps just as a point to highlight the strength of the Psychic Type advantage over Fighting, maybe we were meant to get a ninth Fighting badge, who knows!

But.

What if in the anime series the Saffron City Fighting Dojo Gym awarded Gary Oak a gym badge!? What if that accounts for one of his badges – alongside the gimpshrew owner’s Gym Badge!?

It’s technically noooot beyond the realms of possibility.

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NOW!

Here’s a bizarre possibility for a Pokemon Gym that Gary could have gotten a Gym Badge from IF the anime creators were in anyway fuck-giving about what actually happens in the Nintendo game! (To be fair they do follow relatively closely as to what happens in the games and any deviation is usually an entertaining expansion on the Pokemon World)

GYM BADGE NUMBER TEN – Safari Zone Flying Type Gym:

This one I’ll admit is a little Farfetch’d, but Bear(tic) with me.

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This theory is based purely on the fact that there is a tremendous abundance of Flying Type Pokemon Trainers en route to Safari Zone, a lack of a Flying Type Gym present in the game as we know it AND the fact that the Safari Zone Secret House is surrounded by Gym Statues.

What if there was meant to be a Flying Type Gym in the Secret House of the Safari Zone!? And that was Gary’s tenth badge!? I know it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense as the Gym Statues are probably just a handy copy/paste design feature as a boundary marker and no real indication of any alleged plans for a Gym, but it bears thinking about in my opinion!

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Yes, I know Fuchsia already has a Posion Type Gym, but perhaps just like Saffron’s Psychic Gym over-powered the Fighting Gym, perhaps Koga took over from some unknown Gym Leader as the town’s top dog for the ass-kicking of the local ten year olds?

Or maybe Gary’s two extra badges were just a flight-of-fancy nonsense that the animators came up with on a whim to highlight how far advanced Gary Oak was on HIS Pokemon Journey in comparison to Ash’s own meagre efforts and no one was ever meant to write  blog post about it twenty years later!? Who knows! But I for one would enjoy a Safari Zone Gym and took great pleasure as a child kicking the arse of those Fighting Dojo trainers and liberating their Hitmonchan…!

Whether or not you agree with any of what I’ve just suggested, I think we can all agree that Gary Gary is our man and if he can’t do it no one can…! (So there’s hope for us yet, or maybe not!)

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Laters, Loser! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh8DsTP7qe0

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.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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