Pokemon: The Spooky Side. A Top Thirteen of… Terror! [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Greetings PokeFans and welcome to Day 5 of Straight Outta Kanto‘s Seven Day Blog Challenge! As a major horror fan and obsessee of all thangs spookeh it would be a little re-miss of me to blog consistently about Pokemon and not discuss the dark and disturbing side of our favourite super-massive franchise!

From spooky fan art, to creepypasta, urban legends and insane fan theories on Youtube, our cute and cuddly friends and dear childhood memories have been thoroughly shredded and well, quite frankly, I love it!

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I love a good scare and whenever Pokemon makes its odd little nod towards da shpookeh shtuff in the games, well, it just gladdens my evil little heart!

So, without further ado, I present to you, Straight Outta Kanto‘s personal Top Thirteen of Pokemon: The Spooky Side.

(13) … RED … :

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I know Red is usually discussed in more hushed, reverent tones from a #TrainerGoals point of view. Red is the ultimate trainer. To a Pokemon trainer those three dots “…” are the greatest words (if you can call them that) in the history of the world.

BUT.

I always found it a little creepy the way after completing his Pokemon journey Red just vanished without a trace to the then single most remote location in the games -Mt. Silver.

Why?

What had happened to him that he felt he needed to remove himself from normal daily life?

Sure, some might argue that he went off to further his training, but plenty of other in-game trainers did that, they meditate under Tohjo Falls or go off a-wandering around various regions and that’s fine, it’s not a weird mysterious thing.

I always thought there was something sinister about silent Red on top of Mt. Silver.

Did he feel remorse and guilt for what his Championship has cost him?

He did kill Gary’s Raticate after all, right?

How many other Pokemon and their trainers did Red destroy in order to attain his victory?

Did he escape to Mt. Silver to flee the demons of his past?

Or their ghosts…?

Just something to think about.

(12) Trickmaster of Hoenn:

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So, in Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, and their respective re-boots, there is a relatively unassuming house along the route that runs between the gloriously nautical Slateport City and the shopping district of Mauville.

The house is a wacky building filled with traps and tricks run by “The Trick Master” and your goal is to make it through the various hindrances in your path and escape from the house and win a prize.

In essence it’s mainly an opportunity to test our your various new HMs, such as cutting down small trees or smashing through rocks and each time you beat a new gym leader and unlock the next HM the house changes up to suit your advanced skills.

HOWEVER.

There are trainers in the house, who battle you of course, who can’t get out and openly bemoan the fact that they are indeed trapped inside the house with no way to escape.

I find the idea of an eccentric old man holding a bunch of young trainers hostage in his out-of-the-way house a rather dodgy notion and do wonder if Trick Master knows or cares that he has a strange teens trapped in his house…?

Maybe they’re not real trainers at all, maybe they’re the ghosts of trainers who died inside the Trick Master’s walls doomed to ever wander until they find a way out?

We’ll never know…

(11) Darkrai of Mystery Dungeon… and others: 

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Depending on what you read/watch/play, Darkrai can either be a tragic misunderstood figure, or, a destructive God of Nightmares hell sent and bent on wreaking total and utter nightmare-induced chaos.

In Pokemon Rangers: Shadows of Almia Darkrai is responsible for possessing the lead boss villain and trying to destroy the world (or at least the Almia Region) by plunging it into an ever-living nightmare.

In Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time/Darkness in a shock post-game plot twist it transpires that Darkrai was responsible for all the evil events that took place in the main game between Dialga and Palkia and he masquerades as a friendly Cresselia until it’s time to drag you and your partner ‘mon into a wee Marill’s nightmare and kick-start an epic showdown between good and evil.

Same goes for Pokemon Park for the Wii!

So, to sum it up:

Movie Version Darkrai: Love-able Emo.

Video Game Darkrai: Malevolent Bastard.

Just stay away from Darkrai, kids. He wants your soul. Or something like that.

And he won’t send no flowers after either…!

(10) The Haunted House of Lentimas:

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In Pokemon Black and White 2 there’s a fun little option of being able to fly in an aeroplane to a whole new set of little villages off Undella Town exclusive to the B/W 2 games. Part of this trio of new towns is Lentimas Town and the small route connecting the Reversal Mountain. Along this route is … The Strange House

Technically this could be included under our last number as it does include a Darkrai storyline, but the house itself is so freaky it’s worth a mention all on it’s own.

The music and lighting is atmospheric and eerie. Plates rattle. Bookshelves quake. Spectral figure flick in and out of view. The furniture moves around differently each time you enter/leave the house so that new parts are/are not accessible to your character meaning you’ve got to invest time and effort into unlocking this mystery.

This is a spooky little jaunt that has a satisfying conclusion, so well worth digging out the old Nintendo DS for a revisit to the Strange House of Lentimas Town.

(9) Pokemon X and Y – Route 14:

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In Wednesday’s article (—> found here, by the way!) Nostalgia Top Ten: Pokemon X and Y (2013) Nintendo 3DS/2DS [Straight Outta Kanto] ) I touched on the sheer decaying beauty of the Kalos region. Route 14 is one of the prime examples of this decaying beauty and is one of my favourite places in Kalos to… haunt.

Imagine Viridian Forest, but gloomier. Much gloomier. There’s a creaking and abandoned children’s playground (where the swings seem to play themselves…!) There are decrepit graves littered all up and down this murky route and ghost trainers wait around every dark turn to battle you. Sounds creepy enough. How can we make this creepier!? Let’s add a weird little house where a strange, be-suited gentleman tells you a full on jump-scare horror story…!

The whole vibe is unsettling. Why is there an abandoned playground? What happened to the children to play on it? Why are there so many graves along this route? Why are it’s inhabitants so suspect?

Maybe Route 14 was originally a proper forest and a graveyard and the townsfolk had to de-consecrate the ground there and vandalise graves in order to construct a proper “route” system through from Lumiose to Laverre and the souls disturbed there now wreak a terrible vengeance on anyone who lingers too long near their graves…

Part of me would like to think… maybe there was an horrific accident at the near-by PokeBall Factory in Laverre City that killed off a whole town and while Laverre re-built itself, Route 14, was perhaps un-salvage-able and left to rot to remind the townsfolk “never again…

Stranger things have happened!

(8) The Celadon City story:

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Here’s a li’l nostalgia for all you glorious GenWunners out there!

Remember going to the top floor of the Gamefreak building in Celadon City back in the day and hearing the spooky anecdote about the gobshite who road UP the DOWN hill of Cycling Road at night fall and thought he was being dragged backwards by some malevolent sentient being!?

‘Cause I sure as hell remember!

I loved the stupid plot twist of this random story from that NPC.

Cracks me up every time.

However!

Cycling Road from Celadon to Fuschia is by the waterfront… what if he wasn’t just cycling backwards because he’s a dope but something be-tentacled really was pulling him backwards to his doom…

That’s a doozy of a brain-melt all right!

(6) Eterna Forest: 

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This is probably the single best haunted forest out of all the Pokemon games!

The physical forest itself is perfectly cromulent, if not annoying by virtue of the fact you have the clingy Cheryl lost and teaming up with you so you can run into endless insufferable double-trainer battles. (Grr… My Pokemon were always way stronger than Cheryl’s and I had to carry the whole team for the entire journey, this wedding is horseshit, I didn’t want salmon…!)

Things start to get a li’l freak-ay once you get the old abandoned old haunted old chateau!

There are many fan theories about this place.

Some say it was originally Gardenia’s family home and she poisoned her whole family to become gym leader and that’s why there’s an antidote in the trash there that you can find. There’s also the Old Gateau that heals all status problems that comes from there.

This Old Chateau is clearly steeped in a toxic past…

The ghosts are a cute and creepy old family in a crumbling home where the walls have red glowing eyes (Gengar, betches!) and the dining table is still set for a last meal…

My favourite and the scariest Old Chateau interpretation is the one from that animated series Pokemon Generations they released for Pokemon 20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBp1quVhbjo —> available to watch here!

After watching this you will never go down to the woods today again, you’re sure of a big surprise…

(5) No, You’re Not The One… :

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Creepy ghost girl randomly appearing in odd places making lights get all flickery and shit and floating around saying spooky shit indicating she’s a lost soul looking for somebody!?

Ah hell no!

She’s turned up in Unova, Hoenn and Kalos that we know of… we’re certain she’s in other places too and she is the one genuine people ghost of the Pokemon series.

This is a long running mystery and I for one welcome our new creepy ghost girl leader!

(4) Hypno’s Lullaby:

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Watch this (enough said!) —>

(3) Lavender Town:

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My favourite place in the ENTIRE Pokemon universe!

I adored this place as a child and even more so as an adult thanks to all the bad creepypasta fan fiction, urban legends and theories floating out there!

The music alone is unsettling enough but the un-friendly town’s people and their genuine fear of the Pokemon Tower grave site is enough to give anyone the wullies!

While it does transpire that the really vicious ghost haunting Lavender Town is just poor old Mammy Marowak, the constant presence of  traditional Japanese style exorcists in the throes of possession thanks to the abundance of Gastly and Haunters lead me to believe that this place will always be haunted.

If you think the music is bad enough as it is already, here’s a clip of it playing… backwards:

Yeah, there’s a reason people thought that this music contained evil secrets note that induced gruesome suicides in the children that heard it…

(2) Alola!:

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I love it! I love it! I love it!

If you talk to one of the school kids on the beach just on the outskirts of Melemele island he will inform you that everyone’s too afraid to approach the school at night because of supernatural doin’s a transpirin’! (Personally speaking I found school to scary to approach during the day never mind the night, but whatever!)

Once you get to the school a strange foreign child approaches you and gives you a list of seven spooky mysteries you need to solve.

This is a surprisingly cinematic episode that contain genuine tropes from full on J-Horror moives, such as: stairs that lead on and on to nowhere no matter how far you climb, eerie mysterious lights, cold in-door breezes, terrifying noises speaking through the PA system, weird footsteps getting louder and louder, hallucination induced class rooms full of ghostly children…

Oh my god, I just loved it! There’s a little plot twist at the end also, but I’ll leave that one for you to find…! 😉

We also cannot mention Haunted Alola without mentioning:

Mimikyu’s Trial:

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I’m a sucker for an auld paranormal investigation and making an entire Pokemon trial based on such was one of my highlights of the entire series so far!

(1) The Fans:

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For me, personally, the scariest thing about Pokemon is all the thousands of fans who want to turn their favourite childhood memories into pure nightmare fuel!

There has to be some sick and twisted psychology going on there!

As a Creepypasta writer and horror themed Pokemon fan-artist I can’t really point the finger, I’m part of the problem, man, not the solution!

Gamefreak and Nintendo give us tiny tidbits of death and gore and we latch on to that like a Shellder on a Slowpoke tail and don’t let go until we’ve turned an innocuous incident into the darkest back story imaginable.

The internet is full of the most hideous and hilarious creepypasta and spooky fan theories that for copyright reasons I probably can’t delve too deeply into here, but go ahead and search. Don’t come crying to me because your childhood was ruined, we are the fans, and we are the ones ruining the childhoods…!

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There we have it you messed up nightmare fuelling nerdlings!

Keep watching the skeys, I mean skies!

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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/ 

For more information on the Pokemon related spook art of your autheuse Venus de Vilo, ta da! —> https://www.deviantart.com/venusdevilo.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Straight Outta Kanto Interviews: Pokemon Painter – Cat Dobson.

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Greetings fellow PokeNerds! Welcome to Straight Outta Kanto – your newest Irish blog for News, Nerd Culture, Nonsense and sometimes… more!

Today on Straight Outta Kanto we are shining a dirty great spot-light on an up and coming new talent on the Irish fanart scene, Sligo artist… Cat Dobson. (Occasionally known as “Dobby.” Keep your socks away from her however, I need a good servant around the place…!)

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(1) Tell me briefly about who you are and how you came about being a crazy Pokemon lady:

My name is Cat Dobson, I’m from Sligo, I became a not-so-crazy Pokemon Lady when I reached an age where I had more ability to invest in Pokemon as I wanted. When I was a kid, the whole pocket money thing was yeah, a thing! So shout out to my bro John Dobson for his diligence in us co-ordinating Pokemon Gameboy games to efficiently trade Pokemon, ya genius!

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(2) Tell me briefly about when and how you first discovered the Pokemon scene in Ireland and how and when you got into it:

Even though I first loved Pokemon from age eight or nine, I first discovered a Pokemon scene that felt more substantial when I went to ‘Eirtakon’, Dublin in 2009, where people of all ages were actively playing in battle tournaments, or talking cards or buying Pokemon merchandise, and that’s actually where my obsession with obtaining all Eeveelution Plushies started 😉

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(3) What is your personal experience with the Irish Pokemon scene? Do you feel it’s as represented as the scenes in other countries? Obviously Ireland isn’t as big as Japan or America etc. but still, do you think we’re small but hardcore? How do you feel females are represented on the Irish nerd scene?

My personal experience with the Irish Pokemon scene is definitely down the culture of Ireland; we’re a friendly, open minded lot in our green isle, and we bring that to the nerd community definitely.

We’re not as big as Japan or the US, but we party and play enough to make marks all the same! The banter and gameplay never ends with us!

From firsthand and from speculation, female representation is mostly warm and encouraging between the conventions, I’m even finding that girls are growing up within the scene, excited to cosplay and game and participate in cosplay masquerades and skits, and everyone is so receptive to their performances and hard work.

The haters or judgemental aren’t even worth crediting. [SOK – Preach Sista…!]

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(4) What are your hopes for your Pokemon activities/gaming etc for the rest of 2018 and onto 2019:

I’d definitely love to see more of intimate Pokemon battle groups, with their sitting cross legged in the corners, shouting ‘GET EM CHARIZARD!’ and their snacks (Pocky!) in the cons, and I know we’ve come so far from the likes of the Gameboy games, and will go further.
I’m a self professed Pokemon Go addict XD.
The selling of artwork, I would hope it goes very far, because it’s very rewarding, and I hope to sell Pokemon artwork myself (shout out to the horror musician/illustrator and Pokemon Blogger Venus de Vilo for giving me the idea back at Bro Con 2017, ya legend!) [SOK – We cheerfully accept your shout out.]
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(5)  What is your favourite Pokemon memory? 
Ooh, that’s definitely a tough one.
I’ve near danced in public from catching Legendaries and Snorlax (because he’s ma bro!) in public playing Pokemon Go, but I think my ultimate Pokemon memory was when my mum gave me a Pikachu and Pichu covered Gameboy colour as a gift, along with my Pokemon Silver as my first ever Pokemon game, I near cried I was so happy.
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(6) What is your most prized Pokemon related possession?
Toss up between the Pikachu Gameboy colour and my cartridge and Nintendo Pokemon games in first place, and then my plushies definitely follow.
My friends gave me Pokemon plushies and shirts as gifts, and I love them so much, I’m absolutely shameless XD
Though I did a large painting of a Dragonair, she’s my baby.
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(7) Do you feel that the Pokemon franchise is well represented on the Irish convention scene? 
In terms of conventions and their advertising, I usually hear more from other types of convention events before hearing about Pokemon ones i.e cosplay masquerades, voice actor panels, cosplay skits.
The most I’ve seen from Pokemon in conventions is either someone happens to be wearing a cosplay, or the merchandise and artwork is for sale, or there are Pokemon themed fairground games.
Though there was one an Eeveelution themed cocktail demo that I sadly missed xD So I would say to answer the question, the presence is there, but not in one big chunk of an event.
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(8) What is your favouritest Pokemon game/manga/show/movie etc of all time and would you like a remake/reboot/reshowing?
I think I’d say the original Pokemon tv show episodes were my favourite (I was so passionate about them when I was younger,morning cartoons before school were a lifestyle back then)
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Thank you so much Cat, that was illuminating!
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For more information on Cat’s kawaii creations: https://www.facebook.com/Cats-Corner-of-Illustration-238469029507866/?ref=bookmarks —> Please politely stalk her on this Facebook page here and also: https://www.instagram.com/catscorner13/ and https://www.deviantart.com/augustsilk
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All artwork here Cat Dobson originals and published with her express permission for use in this interview.
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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 group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623889321229114/

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

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Nostalgia Top Ten: Pokemon X and Y (2013) Nintendo 3DS/2DS [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Greetings Nerdlings! Welcome to Day 3 of Straight Outta Kanto’s “7 Day Blog Challenge!”. We are feeling fresh, we are feeling strong and we are feeling… NERDY!

Straight Outta Kanto – a brand new Irish blog bringing you news, nerd culture, nonsense and potentially more!

Today we’re going to discuss one of the more… contentious Pokemon generations – Gen 6 – Pokemon X and Y.

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This game is a source of great discussion amongst PokeFans mainly because it is one the greatest examples of wasted opportunity in the Pokemon franchise.

For Gens 1 – 3 the franchise was relatively fresh and still finding it’s feet, culminating in Gen 4 (Diamond and Pearl) which according to Gamefreak staff was considered a “Greatest Hits” of the generations so far, and wrapping up all they’d done to date.

This was why Gen 5 was one of the more polarizing games because the franchise was in essence starting from scratch.

So, with the alienation of some of the fan base after the cold, strange world of Gen 5’s Unova, Gen 6 was going to have to work hard to win back its old players.

As far as physical regions go, Kalos is one of my favourite and I have some very dear sentimental memories of the Christmas that I first received X/Y. However, a recent re-play of the game without my mushy-smushy glasses on has given me some new more objective opinions on the game that I am willing to share with you guys in… A TOP TEN!

Hey Ho, Let’s Go…

(10) Kalos is only gooooorgeous, wha’!?

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Honestly, Kalos is a breathtaking game scenery wise.

Inspired by the French country side the visuals in X/Y are an abundance of lush greenery and autumnal motifs. Wistful and decrepit graves litter many, many of the routes adding an intangible sense of lost history to its surroundings.

The enhanced technology mean that the sparkling lakes and rivers have a more authentic feel to them rather than just being the Blue Squares of old.

Crumbling castles, fields of wild-flowers, frost and snow encased villages, and lots, lots more. Laverre City alone is worth a mention, as is the exquisite sundial of Anistar City. The delicate details in almost every scene indicates the painstaking work that would have gone into designing Kalos.

The creators at Game Freak really threw a lot of style at this region, sadly, not a lot of substance leaked through. The region looks great, but each town and village sadly has little left to do in it once you’ve walked through it the first time.

Not to mention all the many mysterious caverns and caves that feel un-finished or forgotten. Like something cool or integral to the plot was going to happen there but didn’t.

Stunning visuals can only take you so far, but they really are something else in this game.

(9) I do my little turn on the catwalk…

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Personalising your character for the first time in the Pokemon franchise really added an element of emotional involvement to the games not previously felt before.

Also I just really like hats.

Thankfully the fashion function is something they carried with them into the Sun and Moon games and even experimented a little bit with Cosplay Pikachu in OR/AS.

Hopefully this unique characterisation is something that becomes part of the norm for future Pokemon games ’cause I can’t kick Trainer butt if I’m not wearing a jaunty fedora of my choosing.

(8) More familiar Pokemon designs:

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This may be a gross sweeping statement but I barely like any of the Pokemon from Black and White.

I think perhaps for the same reason I didn’t like any of the Pokemon from Ruby and Sapphire when it first came out. I found the designs of both too alien and off-putting and just over all un-Pokemon-like.

That’s why I loved Diamond and Pearl so much because the monster designs felt much more familiar and un-explainably more “Pokemon-like”.

There’s something about the creature designs for X and Y that feels… softer and more comforting to play with. The fossil Pokemon Tyrunt and Amaura are badass, Pumpkaboo and Phantump are kawaii and kowai all at once, the introduction of the Fairy type was surprisingly effective and the balance between old Pokemon designs and new feels more well, balanced.

Overall, I feel that the Pokemon from Kalos were a return to form.

Also, Slyveon?

‘Nuff said.

(7) Prelude to PokeRides:

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We had a light taste of utilising a Pokemon’s size and abilities for traversing the un-traversable in Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs where we got to hop on the back of Suicune and ride him up and down waterfalls – and this was also heavily used in Shadows of Almia – so saying X and Y was the first trial of Ride Pokemon wouldn’t be exactly accurate.

However, it’s the first time in a core Pokemon RPG where we have the opportunity to interact with Pokemon like this.

Gogoat-ing around the vast and sprawling Lumiose City, rough-riding it on a Rhyhorn around Spike Passage and taxi-ing a wooly Mamoswine around Frost Cavern – not exactly life changing, but a fun step in the right direction for the kind of Pokemon game I know that fans want to play.

This function also carried on into Gen 7 and was received well so hopefully Gamefreak continue to develop this function and make the Pokemon games a more real world experience.

(6) Intricate and beautiful Gyms:

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The doll’s house-toadstool-clock tower-tree filled with ornate rooms and gorgeously kimono-ed fairy cosplayers gym hands down wins out as my “Favourite Gym EVER” purely on visuals. #Valerie #MajorGirlCrush

Again though, style, but no substance.

This is a common trend in X and Y.

Intricate and heavily-detailed gyms that pose no real challenge to the trainer.

X and Y was the easiest game for Gym Leaders. I don’t even really remember the battles and I’ve played the game three times in the last five years.

A combination of the stats and Exp. Points being easier to gain through battling mixed with lower level heavily type-disadvantaged opposition teams meant on all three walkthroughs of this game I was able to BREEZE through my gym challenge.

It shouldn’t even have been CALLED a challenge.

Not a single gym did I struggle with.

They sure looked great in 3D, though!

(5) Least Challenging Elite 4 and Champion:

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My Jigglypuff DESTROYED Drasna.

My Blaziken wasted Wikstrom.

My Blastoise annihilated Malva.

And My Raichu savaged Siebold.

Battling Diantha was also the single least memorable Champion battle out of ALL the Pokemon games.

Ok.

Now that’s out of my system – critique!

Much akin to Unova’s Elite 4 the trainer has the option to choose what Elite 4 member they’ll battle in what order. This can be handy because you can battle the easier sounding members first and build up your stats a bit more before facing the more challenging trainer. I for one welcome that option!

The background scenery for the battles and the chambers which the Elite 4 members reside in, again, visually lovely and highly detailed but my high-level well balanced team was just too much for this E4. Almost every Pokemon was knocked out after one hit!

In some ways I liked this because Unova‘s Elite 4 nearly destroyed me mentally – now THAT is an unpleasantly challenging Elite 4, but the pendulum swung too far in the other direction for my liking.

I like my Elite 4 battles easy, not boring.

It was interesting, of course, that Team Flare‘s own Malva was one of the Elite 4, but again, that didn’t really amount to much in the end. It just was. And that was it. A little more backstory or in-sight into Malva and how she was an E4 member but also a villain would have been welcome. Another example of a wasted opportunity to make X and Y a little more meatier.

Movie star Diantha being the Champion was nice but heavily fore-shadowed and no real surprise. The Oscar does go to Diantha though for being the only Champion I have ever beaten first time around without really paying attention.

God, it feels like a constant refrain in this review: “Style but no substance…

(4) The NEW Champion’s Parade:

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I couldn’t find an actual picture of the little car and screaming fans at the celebration parade they throw for you but it is… GLORIOUS.

There’s confetti involved.

Honest.

To.

God.

CONFETTI.

Usually when you win the Pokemon League you just get dragged into a private side room with a dodgy old Professor and hope your innocence stays in tact while they record your victory, however, in X and Y THEY THROW YOU A FULL ON PARADE THROUGH LUMIOSE CITY!

Even if I didn’t earn a parade because my victory against such a weak E4 and Champion was so easy, it’s still a majestic moment.

They kind of throw you a party in Sun and Moon when you complete your trial, but a piddly little barbeque can’t beat a muddahuggin‘ parade down the streets of the Capital!

Also.

In X and Y, the Champion’s parade is not where the story ends. Oh no. You don’t just drive down the street with a big happy head on ya, oh no, an un-expected guest arrives and challenges you to a battle… And that challenger is…

(3) AZ:

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While the story in X and Y for the most part is the bog-standard “I’m new to the region, let’s befriend some annoying neighbour kids and go on a Pokemon adventure while thwarting some adult villains” – I will give credit where credit it due, the AZ element of this storyline is the strongest out of all the games.

Long story short for those of you don’t know/remember:

AZ was this Kalos king dude from 3,000 years ago who killed a bunch of Pokemon to make “The Ultimate Weapon” which he used to bring back from the dead his beloved Floette.

Once Floette saw how many Pokemon died just so it could live, it fled from AZ and AZ was cursed to wander to the Earth for all eternity until such a time as he redeemed himself enough to find Floette again.

The story itself is heartbreaking, and what happens to end this tragic tale once AZ challenges you post-game in the streets of Lumiose City will send your feelz into over-drive.

It’s a poignant and powerful scene of reunion and redemption and adds a long-overdue substantial element to the game’s over all flimsy story line.

Hankies.

NEEDED.

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*sob sob sob*

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(2) Team Flare:

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As a massive Lady Gaga fan I do appreciate the decision to use her backing dancers as the main villains in Pokemon X and Y but apparently just because you look the part doesn’t mean you fit the part.

Oh Team Flare.

Where do I even begin?

As I said before in this review, the plot for X and Y is not particularly fresh or stand-out. You arrive in a gorgeous new town, befriend some perky new pals, traipse around on a time-consuming adventure and defeat some villains along the way.

Except…

Team Flare aren’t exactly… villainous.

Apart from randomly challenging you to battle and barring your entrance from various places until it suits them, they don’t really do a whole lot, do they?

They held a siege at the Pokeball factory, but that seems to be their main claim to fame.

In other games the evil villains crimes were far more clear cut.

Team Rocket were Yakuza style gangsters who actively wreaked havoc on the land trying to steal Pokemon for profit and other dodgy profit building means.

Team Rocket 2 cut off the tails of Slowpoke and sold them for the craic. They also hi-jacked an entire city just to take over its radio tower so it could broadcast malevolent and hypnotic programmes to f*ck with the Pokemon of Lake of Rage.

Teams Magma and Aqua respectively attempted to bring about weather related apocalypsi for eco-warrior reasons.

Cyrus of Team Galactic was a charismatic socipath who inspired apocalyptic and nihilistic devotion from his followers.

Team Plasmaa 1 and 2 were a misguided cult with the liberation of Pokemon from enslavement by man at the core of their beliefs.

Lysandre likes nice things so he’s going to destroy the world?

What?

Team Flare look cool but they are the group whose core beliefs and reasons for villainry I still don’t understand or follow.

They are a weak and lacklustre rag-tag group of villains with no real purpose and no real goal and Lysandre just looks like a big Pyroar.

Team Flare grunts don’t even seem to believe in anything, they jut paid 5,000,000 Pokedollars to join the team because they liked the suits?

Lame!

I was always hoping beyond hope that Gamefreak would release a new Pokemon Z game and pad out the Team Flare storyline a bit more and add a bit more depth and meat to the loose ends and unexplored concepts and ideas in the game but that’s clearly never going to happen.

I always thought maybe X and Y were rushed and that by giving them a third companion would benefit the Gen and not make it feel like such a waste. But Kalos is wasted. More features and things to do would have been nice. A few more mysteries solved. Alas.

For this incomplete reason, sadly, my image of Team Flare as a load of impotent and incompetent nothings remains!

(1) Messed-Up Post Game Story:

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The X and Y post game was Pokemon’s best kept secret and most obscure to unlock out of all the games. For years myself and many friends believed there WAS no post-game story.

BUT THERE IS!

And it is dark.

I won’t say anymore in case you haven’t discovered it yet but I will give you a hint as to how to unlock it:

Post Pokemon League victory, explore EVERY side street of Lumiose City until you come across an old Pokemon friend by the name of… Looker…

Enjoy 😉

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So there we have it, a top ten of wasted potential and longing for a game they will never make. Hope you enjoyed today’s Nostalgia Top Ten!

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

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Pokemon Quest/Nintendo Switch Review! [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Greetings PokeNerds and welcome to Straight Outta Kanto – your brand new Ireland based blog for news, nerd culture, nonsense and maybe more! Most likely more, actually.

With all the hype and excitement (and grumbling and snobbery) from PokeFans young and slightly-less-young-but-certainly-not-old about this winter’s impending Pokemon Yellow/Pokemon GO remake/mash-up “Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee”  all eyes are on the relatively new-ish Nintendo Switch.

I, like many die-hard Pokemon fans, only up-grade my gaming systems when I am forced to do so when Game Freak releases a brand new Pokemon game that can only be played on whatever Nintendo’s latest model is. (Well played, Nintendo, well played…)

This means, that this Christmas it is time to put away childish Nintendo 3DS-es things and mature into the adulty world of… the Nintendo Switch.

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I, being a semi-functioning millenial adult with an equally millenial part-time job (can’t quite unlock Full Time Adulting Bonus Points, but I’ll get there one day, we all will…!) was in the lucky position of being able to recently procure a brand new (used) Nintendo Switch and got to sample all it’s zazzy and modern delights.

Right. Straight up. I am only going to ever use the Switch as a hand-held console in a horizontal and be-pyjama-ed position from my bed, (why change the habit of a life time?) so if you’re looking for a review of all the amazing and many home/screen/fancy console options I’m sure this machine provides, well, you’re just in the wrong place.

First port of call when testing out my new Switch? The free-to-download (but with sneaky hidden extra charges) game: Pokemon Quest!

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The best way to describe Quest is thusly: Imagine if a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon exploration team went on holiday to The Simpson‘s ‘Blocko Land‘ and suddenly decided exploring dungeons was crap and they all wanted to be contestants in Smash Bro‘s instead – and you’re part-way there.

This is a strange and silly game that is insidiously addictive and tremendous fun, but still feels like some not-very-rewarding or worthy mobile-phone game you’d kill some time with on loo during lunch-hour but is too shallow for more in-depth gaming at home.

It starts out on this mad island called “Tumblecube Island”. I think the lead-character is some kind of professor/researcher type thing and has sent their PokeBall coloured drone “MoBee” onto this island to peruse from afar…

You start off by be-friending a starter Pokemon (I went with Eevee, in the spirit of all this recent Eevee lurrve) and then you make some new chums, such as Rattata and Pidgey and go on small quests around various locations trying to defeat wild Pokemon Each time you defeat the “Boss” of each area you unlock a new area and advance further on in the game meeting more and more stronger Pokemon, building up your team levels and acquiring useful items.

Again, it’s not dissimilar to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, but square.

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The battling in Quest in frenetic and frantic and I honestly have difficulty discerning who is and isn’t getting their ass whupped on my team. The blocky animation actually works against the game’s favour in this regard. A big bunch of colourdy blocks crashing into each other all once? Yeah, there’s a lot going on.

You must also wait between 5 – 10 seconds per move as well, which can work against your Pokemon’s success rate in a battle as usually it means there’s one of you standing in suspended animation while eight Caterpie’s attack at once…

You can be knocked unconscious but your Pokemon does get the chance to revive itself as long as the other Pokemon are still active and battling in the team.

That being said, this style of battle does sweep you up in the frenzied excitement of the moment and once you get into a rhythm with your Pokemon team it does get easier. and more enjoyable. There’s a strange little Auto Play function for going on quests that means you get to sit back and watch your game play itself.

This function feels a little like when you’re over at a friend’s house and politely watching them play a video game – you’re politely happy they’re enjoying themselves but you yourself don’t feel particularly emotionally invested in the outcome.

Leave Auto Play alone if you want to really get your hands dirty in this game!

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Much akin to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon your character gets this nifty little Base Camp (look at me, owning land!) where you can let your Pokemon friends stretch their legs and mingle with the other ‘mon.

Here you can also cook (the only time I would ever be seen near food that doesn’t come from a toaster) little stews that attract various Pokemon Types based on the stew/soup/ghoulash/slop colour. IE: Yellow soup equals an electric Pokemon joining your team and so forth. The soup takes a few quests to complete so if you want to get new friends that way you better get questing!

As well as this, you can decorate your base with mildly fun and square Pokemon accessories. You do this by spending PM tickets. (I think it stands for Pokemon Mart… Duh…)

The PM Ticket thing is a little annoying. You receive these tickets through naturally occurring events in the game such as rewards etc, or you can buy them.

Nearly everything you want to do to proceed in the game beyond the first few levels requires PM Tickets.

You can speed up your stew, level up, charge your battery – apparently you’re only allowed attempt 4 – 5 quests in  row before your ‘battery‘ runs out and you either need to spend 25 PM tickets to recharge it and continue your game or literally halt your game and wait for a relatively annoying period of time before your ‘battery‘ recharges itself naturally.

So, you’ll be this close to defeating the Boss of a level and be full of fighting spirit to go charging back in to camp and destroy them and all they hold dear… but you can’t! It’s like being defeated by a Gym Leader or whatever and being told “Nope, you have to wait until we dictate otherwise before you continue playing… unless you wanna spend some PM Tickets and continue…?”

I find this really takes you out of the fantasy of the game and reminds me of tacky games that require you to spend real money to continue.

Yes, it’s only like 30 minutes or so you have to wait to continue playing your quests, but there just isn’t enough non-quest game play to kill time with while you wait to be allowed continue your adventure.

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There’s a Pokedex function where obviously as you advance through the game (if you’re allowed to…!) you’ll hopefully manage to fill all 150 slots. There’s a scary stats and levels and add power stones to your ‘mon function that also includes some kind of training programme where you run at a friend Pokemon, barrel them down and then they leave your team, but you’ve gone up 1 exp point so it’s all good…!?

I honestly probably haven’t played Pokemon Quest long enough to get to grips fully with the training and levelling up functions but I’m sure there’s mathsy people out there who’ll enjoy that!

But yeah, a Pokedex and some limited team editing and training, not nearly enough to spend time on while you wait for your battery to charge…!

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So, all in all, Pokemon Quest as a free download is worth getting purely to add to your Pokemon game collection and is a bit if fun summer fluff, just don’t expect anything too demanding (or at all) plot and story wise – this is as basic as it gets.

I can’t guarantee I will ever have the patience required to complete this but, if you’re looking for some light entertainment and a chance to get to grips with using a Switch before Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee appears underneath your crimbo tree, then Quest away my friend! Quest away!

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/

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Pokemon Yellow: Nostalgia Top Five! [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Hello fellow PokeNerds and welcome to another trip down memory lane with Ireland’s newest blog for nerd culture, nonsense and more… Straight Outta Kanto!

What with all the excitement of the brand new Nintendo Switch games Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee and the fact they are in essence light Pokemon  Yellow remakes, I  thought the time for a little Pokemon Yellow look-back was ripe. (And also, 20th anniversary much?!)

By the time Pokemon Yellow was released in Ireland in the early 2000s, I personally was already well and truly ADDICTED to the franchise and had spent MONTHS hounding my mother to buy this for me. As it was released at a time that was neither my birthday nor Christmas, that took some hardcore nagging-child-persuasion…!

I have a vague memory of my mother relenting only after ten year old me threatened to go… busking… of all things to raise money to buy the game. My mother then rose to the occasion and saved the people of Dublin’s ears from such a hideous act.

Pokemon Yellow has a very special place in my heart, despite the fact that I’m old enough to know now that it was mainly released as a cash-cow franchise tie-in with the super successful TV series… Nothing wrong with that, per say, just a little disillusioning for your warm and fuzzy childhood memories…!

So, strap yourself into the time-machine nerds, we’re going remembering!

(1) Kawaii as feck intro:

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Pikachu surfs… … …

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… he acts like a low-budget Jules Verne…

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… And he greets you gloriously on the game start screen!

The music is charming and unique and Pikachu’s little adorable antics make you feel all soft gooey inside (a bit like a heated brownie in a restaurant.)

This is still my personal favourite opening to any Pokemon game EVER. Fight me. 😉

(2) Pikachu is your starter ‘mon AND the prototype for outside-the-pokeball companion ‘mon!

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As Pikachu was now the official series and franchise mascot it was a magnificent gimmick to even MAKE Pokemon Yellow in the first place. While technically there are very few obvious changes (hence a top 5, not a top 10!) barring a few more tie-ins with the TV series – I think everyone can agree that getting Pikachu as your starter ‘mon was one of the single best things about the game.

Even better?

True to TV show Pikachu form your little fat friend won’t go inside a pokeball at all but needs to traverse alongside you for your entire journey. K… K… KAWAII!

Even BETTER THAN THAT!?

YOUR PIKACHU HAS EMOTIONS AND CAN COMMUNICATE THEM WITH YOU!

A bit like a more adorable tomogatchi, Pikachu expresses a range of visible emotions. From the initial mistrust and dislike of it’s new owner, all the way up to it’s extreme love of you. Status changing conditions such as poisoning and paralysis also affect how your pal feels and in Lavender Town your Pikachu full-on trembles in fright, his little voice quavering in fear.

This was a gimmick we wouldn’t see again until HeartGold/SoulSilver, but my god was it cute.

(3) Y’all don’t have to choose between Charmander and Squirtle anymore OR inevitably ignore and abandon yo’ Bulbasaur…!

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The whole appeal of the Pokemon series is to choose your starter ‘mon out of a choice of three. This inevitably ends with people Sophie’s Choice-ing it over whether they think the fire starter or the water starter would be more useful to them early on in the game and poor old Grass type gets left behind… BUT NOT IN POKEMON YELLOW!

Again, true to the TV show of the time, your in-game character acquires the original three starter Pokemon much in the same way Ash Ketchum does.

That’s just really bloody cool, it so is.

It’s also, as far as my limited knowledge is aware, the only game to do that so far in the Pokemon game franchise? There are options in later games to get a few extra starters, but none have ever offered the option to get all three main game ‘mon in one!

(4) Giovanni was no longer just a generic boss villain…!

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It’s so hard to discuss Pokemon Yellow without always making comparisons to the TV show, because there’s just so much TV show content in the game!

Apart from some wild Pokemon catching variations, the Pikachu surfing side-game thingy and various trainers having different type match-ups etc, the main changes just ARE the TV show tie-ins.

In Red and Blue Giovanni was always a boss (literally and figuratively) (and a bae) but over all he was just a generic-ish evil villain. Yes, he got all philosophical at the end once you handed him is ass for the millionth time, in his own gym, but he was still just a game boss villain you had to defeat.

However, I found Giovanni far more sinister in Pokemon Yellow after having seen how ruthless and cruel he was in the TV show. Primarily it was just his Pokemon changing in the game to match his TV character, but I still looked at him far more askance in Pokemon Yellow than I did in Red and Blue…

“I know what you did to Mewtwo, you little b*tch…!” is generally how I felt 😉

(1) “TEAM ROCKET’S ROCKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Firstly… check out this Team Rocket song on YouTube and then continue reading this article:

It’s bloody glorious, isn’t it!?

I love Team Rocket.

I know for a fact I’m not alone in being severely annoyed in Gen 1 on Nugget Bridge when you were offered a place in Team Rocket after defeating the gang leader only to have the game designers assume you’d err on the side of good and lawfulness and make your character turn down the offer. Don’t they know how positively eeeevil I am!?

Team Rocket were no longer generic men in black yielding whips and threatening you for your Pokemon… THEY WERE JESSE AND JAMES!!!!!!!!!!

Pure TV show tie-in but it worked… oh my god did it work.

Jesse and James are my two favourite TV show characters of all time EVER (sorry, Jon Snow!) so to have them actually be the villainous antagonists in Pokemon Yellow was majestic. Being called “Twerp” in game was great fun and again, added an extra dimension to baddies you were thrashing!

 

Over all Pokemon Yellow gets 4 PokeBalls out of 6 from Straight Outta Kanto, mainly because it only added TV show tie-ins and nothing else new, but was still cute and entertaining none-the-less.

Hopefully Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee will add extra dimensions to this particular re-boot! Better start saving up for those Switches now, guys! 😉

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/

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Straight Outta Kanto Interviews: Competitive Gamer & Nerd Content Creator Mike Culligan.

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Hello PokeFans! Welcome to “Straight Outta Kanto” – your brand new number one blog for nostalgia, nonsense, nerd culture and more!

Today’s interview segment of our blog features a long time friend of Straight Outta Kanto and one the single most hardcore Pokemon fans I’ve ever come across in my entire life. Nerdlings and gentlenerds, may I present to you, poke-addict and Cartoon Karma Youtuber: Mike Culligan.

Straight Outta Kanto first met Mike three years at PokeCon 2015. Ah, 2015. This was a golden era of conventions, sadly an era that seems to have passed… But we will not wallow in convention-based-wallowing, we shall proceed with the interview!

Buckle up nerdies, it’s about to get… in-depth!

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Greetings, Mike! Tell our good readers briefly about who you are and how you came up with your moderately successful but growing Youtube channel Cartoon Karma:

A: The name’s Mike, Mike Culligan. Just your average (read: very NOT-average) 23-year-old Irish animation lover who also digs Nintendo gaming, but especially Pokemon. 

During early 2015, arguably one of the best periods of my life, I was quite fond of a series on YouTube called PokeSins, which began as a CinemaSins parody on the early Pokemon anime but evolved into its own thing. I got to thinking about giving YouTubing a goal, as I had learned basic video editing skills in that year from college.

That summer I tested the waters by making a Jimmy Neutron music video, to get used both to the software and the choices to make when syncing video to audio. It was fun, and that video is still my most-watched one I’ve ever made, though you won’t find it on my main channel.

Finally, in September 2015 I launched my first CartoonSins video, on Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. I fully acknowledged it was inspired by CinemaSins but more by PokeSins, and though I only got peanuts in views those first few months, the following videos on the first Spongebob movie, Kung Fu Panda and the first Wallace and Gromit short were fun.

In January 2016 when CinemaSins published a video on Kung Fu Panda, my video on it received a fair bit of traffic for a few days, but also its fair share of criticism. I realised that sticking to the current format would not pay off in the long run, and by May I had renamed the channel to Cartoon Karma, as it sounds more fair and positive rather then the cynical nature of the word “Sins”. It worked – I can count the number of times viewers have commented and compared it to CinemaSins since then on one hand. While the video format hadn’t changed, the style and tone has, veering away from knee-jerk reaction points and jokes and more towards legitimate analysis and thoughtful points. And though the channel’s still tiny, I am proud of it.

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Q: Tell me briefly about when and how you first discovered the Pokemon scene in Ireland and how and when you got into competitive gaming:

A: Back in Gen IV, I became kind of familiar with the basic of competitive battling in terms of stats, Effort Values, a balanced team and all that. I had a loose ad-hoc team that I used to play online randomly against other players on Pokemon Battle Revolution for a while, and while I lost more then I won, it was fun. My biggest memory from that was the stall Registeel with Iron Defence, Amnesia, Rest and Toxic that I used, though.

Fast forward through Gen V, which I was into less, and to Gen VI late 2014. I had started watching actual competitive play, capped by the now-legendary Pachirisu by Se Jun Park at the 2014 World Championships (seriously, players, look that finals matchs up on YouTube, it’s poetry in motion).

In March 2015 I heard about a PokeCon, which piqued my interest. I’d never been to a convention or really any Pokemon gathering. When I read it would have a VGC-format Pokemon tournament, I was sold enough to actually make a team in time and give it a whirl. PokeCon was great, and it’s a pity NCI lost the funds to run it again. I did well enough for my first tournament, 3 wins 2 losses. In general that year was a great one for me, I tried so many fresh things, and expanding my Pokemon love was one of them.

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Q: Tell me briefly when you decided to try for international competitions:

A: After PokeCon in April 2015 I went to Anime Dublin the following weekend because I heard there would be another friendly VGC tournament there. Somehow, I actually won it! As I recall you also gave it a whirl dear, but found it wasn’t wholly to your liking (feel free to omit that last sentence). [SOK: I DID find it to my liking, I just got my ass thrashed by a kid several years my junior…! #TooGenWun4DisWuurld] 

Granted, it was a friendly tournament at a small convention, but still! There was a Premier Challenge next month, which are the lowest-level events that give Championship Points to qualify for Worlds, and what motivate players to play at all. I passed on that one because of it being in the middle of exams. Of first year. Make of that what you will.

Anyway, that Summer I bred a lot more Pokemon so I would have a choice in my team roster and not be restricted to my original six, awesome as they were. I started attending Premier Challenges as they happened monthly after Summer, getting a real kick even though it took several before I was making points from there.

I was also getting back into the Trading Card Game by attending a weekly Pokemon League meetup in Dublin City, and making great friends there, some of the best I know. That November there was a Regional Tournament in London, that was for both the card game and the video game (though this is the norm now, Regionals that year were still not officially run by the Pokemon Company, and there were far more TCG regionals every year then VGC ones, so this was a rare event). My and my League friends got to talking, and we decided to give a bigger tournament a whirl.

Though I’d be playing the video game and then the card game, that didn’t matter. We went and had a blast despite me doing only okay both there and at the next two. And from there, through playing the video game that season, the card game in the 16-17 season and taking the year out in 17-18 due to 4th year, I’ve kept up with it all. Stressful at times? Absolutely. But totally worth it as long as you do it at whatever level works for you.

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Q: What is your personal experience with the Irish Pokemon competitive scene? Do you feel it’s as represented as the scenes in other countries? Obviously Ireland isn’t as big as Japan or America etc but still, do you think we’re small but hardcore?

A: Dublin is really the only place big enough to have enough of an interest for anyone to run local tournaments that give points, either for the VGC or the TCG. Thus attendance is small enough for both that everyone knows everyone quite well, even just the relative casuals. It’s nice in a way, but it does mean there’s some disruption. In the three years since I started, but especially lately, there have been constant shufflings between who’s hosting the video game PCs, with quite a few months-long periods of there being none. The organisers have either had other commitments or lost interest, and new ones have to host three non-points tournaments at one a month before they can. It’s the population thing; we have to travel over Europe to get noticed at big tournaments, so for competitive players elsewhere we’re just like Wales, an offshoot of the UK, even with Brexit and all. Or any of the smaller-populated European countires, like Belgium or Denmark.

That said, the nice thing is that players can play competitive on a lower level even if they live remotely in Ireland, thanks to PTCGO for the card game and online play for the video game. For us they’re practice tools, but for many players that’s enough for them, and that’s great.

As a country, we got noticed a bit for sending a player to Worlds three times in a row, Kelly Mercier-White (though he’s actually a Canadian immigrant, a fact we don’t hesitate to mock him for when he slips up), but our sample size is still small enough that it doesn’t take much for us as a community to fly off the radar at points. The VGC’s up and down lately, the TCG’s getting bigger. But the nice thing about a small size like that is it gives plenty or room to regrow. We’re Irish and we stick by each other, you know? We’re here to stay! Despite difficulties, the close camaderie has made it all worth it. And that’s what Pokemon is all about – friendship. Just not as much as with magical cartoon equines is all.

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Q: What is your personal experience so far as a Youtuber: 

A: Honestly? It’s been mixed. My videos got more views on average when the channel was called CartoonSins, as that does at least instantly tell the viewer what the videos about about, while Cartoon Karma as a name requires a leap of faith. Echoing a hot channel like CinemaSins is a clickbait shortcut when the videos are on films they haven’t done, as most of those early ones were (8 of my 25 Karma videos are on films they’ve also done).

So while the viewers that do watch tend to stick around now, there is less of them. The channel’s still a hobby, which it would have to be, given how screwed up YouTube’s ad revenue has become lately in terms of being enough to live off of. Though I have 2,200 subscribers, that’s been accumulated slowly over 2 and a half years, actually being slower in the second then the first. Most of my views come from non-subscribers, which means less comments and retention that that 2,200 figure would suggest.

Now, I wouldn’t have kept at it if I didn’t really love it. But the above are examples of some struggles I’ve had. When other stuff is going on in my life, I get a mental block that makes it hard to focus on things like Cartoon Karma even when I have the time, which is why video output has slowed to a crawl every now and then. I tried to combat this by reviewing new films as they came out, hoping they would be appetizers between Karma videos, but it didn’t pan out.

Review videos are a dime a dozen to find, so they grab few views and have no longevity in their life once the film’s left the box office, as I still script and edit them professionally. Didn’t help that 2017 was a dire year for theatrical studio animation, so videos on such films as The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, The Star and the Emoji Movie and so forth irritated me as much as the films irritated viewers. However, had I not done these video, I wouldn’t have seen My Little Pony: The Movie, and subsquently binged all of Friendship Is Magic between Haloween and Christmas. The subtitle is true, folks, those magical cartoon equines got me through 4th year, and I’m now a committed fan. Maybe not a Brony yet though.

Anyway, it’s neither easy nor successful for me, especially as hardly anyone I know in real life keeps up with the channel, but I’m keeping at it. My viewers do like my content. I just need to better streamline it even more then I have already.

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Q: What are your hopes for both your YouTube Channel and your competitive Pokemon playing for the rest of 2018 and onto 2019?

A: I got big Cartoon Karma plans, my friends. I’ve scaled back the review videos so I’m not obliged to see such pandering fare as Sherlock Gnomes or the currently-playing Duck Duck Goose, restricting review videos to films worth talking about, such as Isle of Dogs, which I’ll be seeing soon. With 4th year basically done bar exams, I’ll be getting back to main Karma videos. But more then that, I want to branch the channel out. People still think of it as “that guy who does CinemaSins AND CinemaWins in one for animation” and I want to try to change that. My plan is to try other video types, far removed from what’s come before. Just to test the waters at first. That’ll take me through Summer 2018. Beyond that will depend on how reception to them fares, but I’ll keep up main Karma videos while all this is happening, while trying to acclimatise viewers to me being more versatile and not locked down to one particular video type.

Oh, and I also plan to channel the channel logo and branding, including an animated (or at least partly-animated) channel mascot. The current logo doesn’t do a whole lot, I’ll admit, charming though it felt at the time.

As for competitive Pokemon, given I took this season out from competitive play, I won’t be attending any tournaments outside of Ireland for the remainder of this season, so none until late July. During 4th year, rather then play in the local tournaments, I became a registered League Organiser for our League, and took to running almost all the local TCG events. Partly this was because the League Organiser was missing out on playing in them himself, so I wanted to let him play in some of them. And with 4th year being in the way, I figured, why not do them all? So I have, and honestly? It feels great! There’s such a satisfaction to running these and facilitating people playing, you really feel like you’re giving back to the community. While I still play at the League meetups, I think I enjoy running the local TCG  tournaments rather then playing at them. So for the time being, I plan to keep to running them.

After not playing it for a while, I’m itching get back into the VGC format. I prefer it, and I think it suits my skills more, as my results for the year I did it were a lot better then the year I played the TCG. Though both have expanded a lot in playerbase in the last few years, the VGC is still the smaller by a significant margin, so being better at it, I feel I’ll fare better there. Since big tournaments wouldn’t be much value until next season, for now I want to go back to the next PC, as I haven’t been to one in ages. I’ll probably go for Regionals in other European countires again in the 2018/19 season, and more likely for the video game then the card game, but for now, I just plan to get settled back in, and re-acquainted with my old VGC chums, as well as the new ones that have joined since.

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Q: What is your favourite Pokemon memory?

A: I literally can’t pick, there’s so many, and no particular one rises notably above the others. Some highlights include PokeCon, a few particular tournament results, the community in general, particular Pokemon and so forth. But really, it’s all of it together that makes it so great. Greater then the sum of its parts and all that.

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Q: What is your most prized Pokemon related possession?

A: Does a collection of nearly two decades of memories count as a possession? [SOK: Yes Mike, yes it does…!] It’s hard to pick one. There’s a few items signed by [Voice actor of Ash Ketchum in the original Pokemon TV show] Veronica Taylor, but to be honest I rarely go around chasing down that sort of stuff.

All that said, I love these two, they have a place of pride of my desk, and not just because they’re two of my favourite Pokemon:

Jigglypuff & Gengar

I’m quite proud of my complete save in my Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team game. Complete as in Living Pokedex, as in I have one of all 386 Pokemon spcies at the time, plus all Unown forms (so 413 in total). I’m very fond of the early Mystery Dungeon games, but that one was difficult in the post-game for a young kid, especially to get all the Pokemon. Took me over 500 hours and a little over a decade, but I finally managed got the last few last year!

In comparison, Explorers of Time took me a little under half the play time to get all 524 Pokemon in it (491 at the time, plus 27 extra Unown forms, 2 extra forms for Burmy and Wormadam each, and 1 extra for Shellos and Gastrodon).

Very few people would have legitimately bothered to complete a Living Dex for the first Mystery Dungeon, so I stand by that.

And if we’re counting possessions [Or Snowmon…!] no longer with us, there’s also this life-sized cool (literaly!) cutie from back at the start of March. Irish readers will know to what I’m referring.

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I also designed 14 custom Pokemon cards last summer. I mean thought hard about balanced concepts that fit the game and worked on them over time before finally drafting them up. Just tossing that out there.

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Q: Do you feel that the Pokemon franchise is well represented on the Irish convention scene?

A: Used to be! That first PokeCon I attended was a blast, and I was on enough of a convention kick that year that even after Anime Dublin I attended ArcadeCon that summer as well as Eirtakon, Ireland’s biggest anime and manga convention, which had quite a few neat Pokemon tournaments and events. 2015 really was the bomb, there was a real sense of growth then.

Alas, it’s petered out since then. PokeCon failed to get funds in the college that runs it the following year and has yet to return, Eirtakon’s last year was in 2016, and a fair few other conventions that could conceivably have notable Pokemon things have scaled back or closed up shop too. There’s still enough conventions around, but you’re not going to get much Pokemon-related at a offically-run one like Dublin Comic-Con, great as it is.

So right now, while you’ll get plenty of Pokemon-related merchandice and fans at conventions and even the odd Pokemon event, it’s not very well represented lately at all. We really need a PokeCon to come back, if not with NCI then somewhere else.

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Q: What is your favouritest Pokemon game/manga/show/movie etc of all time and would you like a remake/reboot/reshowing?

A: I haven’t read enough of the manga but I’m quite fond of the Ruby/Sapphire chapter, it’s quite gritty and appealing for it, and Team Magma came alive even more then they already had in other media. The more adult teenage-aiming manga is more niche then almost everything else this child-friendly franchise puts out, and that’s really great.

Favorite movie would be Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, it’s the best structured, avoiding many repeating plot points in many other films. Plus, the Regis appear. Got to love those Regis, the most alien Pokemon before the Ultra Beasts came along.

Favourite show – either the Kanto era due to nostalgia or Diamond/Pearl due to some really solid storylines and probably the most strategic and planned out battling the series has ever seen. I’ve heard XY does that well too but I only started re-watching towards the end of that, so some of it’s lost on me.

I literally can’t pick a favorite game. Crystal was my first, but it overlapped with Ruby & Sapphire enough that no one game influenced me enough or is a clear favorite.

Diamond did a lot for how I approach Pokemon nowadays even if it hasn’t aged well, and so if the Gen IV remakes come to pass, I’ll greet them with opens arms. From fixing the available Pokemon imbalance, to the slow speed, incorporating the no-more-HMs-ride-feature of Gen VII and polishing the script for Galactic, there’s potential for a real winner here, if Game Freak don’t rush to deliver it for a Holiday season the way they have from XY onwards.

So there we have it: the Pokemon world according to Mike Culligan! Thank you to Mike for taking the time to chat with us all today! If you would, and I recommend you do, like to check out Mike’s Youtube channel “Cartoon Karma” – find him here: https://www.facebook.com/cartoonkarma/

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/

pika

Thanks for reading! 🙂

POKEMON LET’S GO: PIKACHU/EEVEE… EXCITED! [STRAIGHT OUTTA KANTO]

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Greetings fellow Kantonians and welcome to today’s extra special and extra special and extra exciting Straight Outta Kanto blog post! Straight Outta Kanto, your number one new Irish blog for all things nerd culture, nonsense and more!

So, a little under 48 hours ago the BIGGEST news of the year for PokeFans dropped with this ultra kawaii trailer, observe:

This trailer was rolled out during a massive Nintendo/Pokemon conference featuring the director of Nintendo and some of the main names of Pokemon creators Game Freak. View the full Nintendo/Pokemon conference here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1680&v=VzV5dHio8QA

We are finally getting our new Pokemon RPG series for the Nintendo Switch – November 16th 2018 guys, carve that date in your diary!

While the Pokemon/Tekken mash-up Pokken has already been out for a while, this will be the first “proper” (but also not “proper” Pokemon game for the Switch.)

The games are “Pokemon Let’s Go: Pikachu/Eevee” –  a nostalgic return to Pokemon Yellow in it’s 20th anniversary year. There IS a whole brand new core RPG series coming for the Nintendo Switch in 2019, but this is our “filler” game if you were, to continue making the big shots money and to keep us fans from remembering there’s such a thing as natural daylight and an outside world…!

We return to a highly visually updated Kanto to adventure with either our Pikachu or our Eevee – who god forgive me now has their own unique “Eevee cry” that might even be, dare I say it, cuter than Pikachu’s!? (Forgive me, oh Yellow One…!) From the trailer it looks splendid and expansive and features a plethora of new additions to game play.

Were this a standard Pokemon Yellow re-make, much in the style of Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, I think reception wouldn’t be as… mixed.

While I am absolutely beside myself with giddiness and preparing to impoverish myself to save up for a Nintendo Switch between now and the next six months, other fans aren’t so keen.

The “Let’s Go” part of the new titles refers to of course, Pokemon GO, the massive Niantic produced Augmented Reality game for people with unbridled free time and fancy phones.

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It appears that Nintendo are now combining the brand new Pokemon Yellow re-make with Pokemon GO to make for some very convoluted and perhaps redundant game play mechanisms. Personally, I hate the community spirit and outdoors driven aim of the Pokemon GO games and prefer to hide indoors in solitary fervour playing my Pokemon games, so any social features of the Pokemon Let’s Go will be, quite bluntly, ignored by me.

Junichi Masuda, director of the Pokemon game series, say Game Freak wanted to utilise the vast tools and opportunities for game play the Switch can bring to a Pokemon game that a basic Nintendo console couldn’t. And that’s fair enough I think. Only time will tell if the new, more player integrated way of catching Pokemon will actually be enjoyable or just a faddy nuisance (I know some Pokemon trainers who certainly think it will be…!)

Personally I’m a little more open minded in my old age and am willing to give this series a chance! I think after the excruciating monotony of the Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon games, the series and game play could definitely do with a shake up.

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PokeBall Plus is also an added feature this time around. It’s basically a swishy Tomagatchi pokeball that you can use as a game controller around your wrist and then carry around with you in the outside world.

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It remains to be seen whether this will just be a functional PokeWalker Part II, or a refreshing new way of bringing the Pokemon world experience to life. I’m optimistic on that part, we’ll just have to see what the price tag is…!

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The 2019 core RPG game is still being kept under wraps, with a release date pencilled in for the second half of the year with an announcement date scheduled for Spring(ish) 2019.

My mind can’t even handle all this new information. GEEKGASM! GEEKGASM! GEEKGASM!

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Last, but certainly not least, we have a free to start digital game called “Pokemon Quest”. It’s downloadable onto your Nintendo Switch and looks a bit like a Minecraft rip off, but according to feedback from gamers – isn’t!

Here is the link and trailer for more Pokemon Quest information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1680&v=VzV5dHio8QA

No doubt endless rumours, fake news, speculation and tears (whether of joy or revulsion) will abound between now and the 16th of November. Buckle yourself in, PokeFans, it’s about to get thrilling!

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/

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Straight Outta Kanto Interviews: Shurikon Ireland Convention [2018]

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Hello PokeFans! Welcome to “Straight Outta Kanto” – your brand new number one blog for nostalgia, nonsense, nerd culture and more!
This is exciting news for a wee little blog such as myself. Today I have the absolute pleasure of sharing an interview with one of the newest, and in my opinion one of the most promising, anime/manga/gaming/nerd culture conventions in Ireland, Shurikon.
I first met the pre-Shurikon crowd as a mature-student at DIT back in 2015/16. Sick of my office job and the whole full-time adult-ing thing *yuck* I decided to return to college part-time and relive my lost youth with weekly anime screenings and free pizza from the DIT Japanimation Society.
Well, the DIT Japanimation crowd have gone above and beyond just anime screenings and free student pizza, they now run the award winning and people’s favourite convention Shurikon, obviously.
In a country where big anime cons are on the decline, Straight Outta Kanto is hoping that Shurikon can last the distance – as an attendee in 2017 for the first con and then as an event volunteer in 2018 for the Pokemon tournament I can certainly say the future looks promising!
Promising, especially, as Shurikon are the first convention either ever or in a very long time in Ireland to hold a full on 8 person Gym Leader Pokemon challenge (I was the Dragon Gym Leader!!!)  with the top five winners being crowned Champion – and resultant Elite 4… Let the interview beginulate!
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 (1) Tell me briefly about who you are and how you’re connected to Shurikon:
Gareth Staunton here from Shurikon and I was the public relations officer for 2018.
My connection to Shurikon was being a part of the group that came together from the DIT Gamesoc and Japanimation societies to organize the convention.
For that year I managed the finances as treasurer and this past year as public relations officer.
(2) Tell me briefly about when and how Shurikon was born:
Shurikon’s conception began during the summer of 2016 when members of DIT Gamesoc and Japanimation came together to plan a new convention.
The idea came about from Gascon which is a convention we used to run a few years ago, but we wanted to have our own spin with cosplay and gaming so Shurikon was born.
(3) Tell me briefly who decided to run a Shurikon Pokemon League and how did that come about?
Thanks to our imaginative member Ciaran O’Flaherty, he thought during a brainstorming session on a break that it would be pretty fun to try organize a Pokemon League since we all enjoy the games so much.
Discussing between himself and the committee yielded the rough plan but then we couldn’t decide who the elite four would be when a light bulb struck, each years winners fight it out for the positions and that was enough to get the go ahead!
(4) What did think/how did you feel the first ever Shurikon Pokemon League went for you this year?
Honestly, it could have gone better. [Nonsense!!! As the Dragon Type Gym Leader and victorious Champion from the VGC Tournament I beg to differ – but appreciate your honesty…! – SOK]
Our hopes were for at least 20+ participants but we encountered a problem none of us expected, attendees looking to participate who never brought their own system.
Due to oversight in not emphasizing that you needed to bring your own DS and relevant gamecard, we had a number of attendees without either that still wanted to play.
Handily the solution for next year is to advertise that bringing these are a requirement for participating and hopefully that should fix it all.
(5) What are your hopes for both 2019’s Pokemon League and the convention in general?
The general consensus for the con overall is to run the event for two days so that we can run all the events coming up in the event roster.
This will also make the event worthwhile for anyone travelling a large distance to the con instead of being a brief trip.
For the leauge, we plan to have a DS charging station available, a fully fledged roster of gym leaders and our winning elite four from 2018 to face off any challengers through the day. [I’m the Elite 4 Champion – feckin’ come at meh, bros…! – SOK]
We hope better advertising will lead to an increase in participation creating a tense tournament at the end for the reigning seats!
(6) A pretty little birdie told me you guys have just won the best college run event award? Congratulations and can you tell me more about that? How did this come about?
Thank you! Yes we won Best Event in the Large College catagory at the BICS awards (Board of Irish College Societies) against some tough competition including our fellow cons Kaizoku con and Akumakon. [Wow, that’s some tough competition! – SOK]
How it works is we first make an application to our own colleges society awards, if we win that we then get to compete at BICS at the national level.
For these we have to make a new more in depth application and portfolio for judges to mark, this is sometimes followed by an interview at the awards depending on your category.
(7) Are you a Pokemon fan yourself and if so, how and when did you get into it?
Been playing Pokemon since Christmas of 1999 starting with Pokemon Yellow so definitely always been a fan!
I started playing it on my uncle’s Gameboy Colour and loved it so much that I harassed the whole family into visiting him on a weekly basis, lo and behold I woke up the next Christmas with one of my own. [Well played, Gareth, well played…! – SOK]
(8) What is your favourite Pokemon memory?
Probably my first Nuzlock of all things, for those that don’t know a Nuzlock is a specific set of personal challenges you impose on yourself ie no reviving downed Pokemon, only catching one per area etc.
Just starting another game of Pokemon Emerald, I decided to pick Mudkip (the starter I never chose) and named him Rick, after many close battles where his very life was on the line I grew attached to him like I had with every team when I first started playing.
That play through was the most rewarding and heartbreaking game I have played even to this day.
(9) What is your favourite non-Shurikon convention in Ireland?
Probably Kaizoku con, Eritakon was my first but since I was only there for its last two events Cork has been where I have truly gotten the chance to love the con scene.
Their mix of amazing panellists, casual gaming, rpgs of passion and just all round as an event are an unbelievable bunch, the work they do is amazing and they somehow fit in time to raise a ton of money for charity too!
(10) What’s your most embarrassing convention memory/funny convention story?
Like many stories it began in the bar, drinking pints we ordered at Kaizoku con while adding our own “water” to the mix because of course you should always drink responsibly!
After this our intrepid adventure of the con began and ended the moment we left the bar because in that circular plaza just outside we found our perfect spot to play some ninja.
Our 20 person game exploded into too many for any one of us to count, with people running to jump into the game leading to more waving, dodging, falling and slapping in a mess of choreography only “watered” people can achieve.
After ruining myself (and the family jewels) with a solid skull to the groin following a disasterous attempt to knock out an opponent, we tripped off to the J. Micheal Tatum panel (aka that sexy voice known as Black Butler’s Sebastian). [He’s one helluva voice actor… – SOK]
With the man being the legend that he is [HE IS!!!] and following a slew of confessions and dares, my colleagues participated in a fully clothed “Eiffel Tower” with the voice actor on stage, a sight that had me in tears from laughter all thanks to it being my friends birthday.
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…Oh lord, that actually sounds hilarious… that mental image will stay with me a loooong time!
So, thank you so much to Gareth and the Shurikon crew for participating in this interview. For information on next year’s amazing Shurikon and Pokemon League, stalk them on the auld BookFace: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013890649788 or https://www.facebook.com/Shurikonireland/
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/
Thank you for reading, please feel free to share this around, spread the nerd and the love, and keep watching the skeeys, I mean, skies!!! xxx
pika

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NOSTALGIA TOP TEN: POKEMON GOLD AND SILVER NINTENDO GAMEBOY COLOUR (1999/2000) [STRAIGHT OUTTA KANTO]

NOSTALGIA TOP TEN: POKEMON GOLD AND SILVER NINTENDO GAMEBOY COLOUR (1999/2000) [STRAIGHT OUTTA KANTO]

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Hello PokeFans! Welcome to “Straight Outta Kanto” – your brand new number one blog for nostalgia, nonsense, nerd culture and more!

I hope you all enjoyed the magnificent bank holiday spring-turning-to-summer sunshine of the past few days. I, a hardened gamer, have personally been avoiding natural daylight within my Fortress of Doom and Comfort (aka my mom’s house) and replaying the eVersion of Pokemon Crystal on my Nintendo 2DS.

It’s been a glorious replaying.

As Gen 2 is my all time favourite Gen and Johto my number one favourite region, I thought it was only fitting that I say a few words on the matter. So my fellow PokeNerds, let’s rev up the time machine and take a nostalgic trip back in time to the late 90s/early 00s –  It’s Nostalgia Top Ten TIME!!!

  1. Eggs & Baby ‘mon:

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While I personally feel that the whole Pokemon population has gotten out of control and that Satoshi Tajiri should kill off at least three, PS. I am not a crack pot, *a The Simpson‘s reference, for the un-illuminated…!* I did always feel that the baby Pokemon of Gen II and the Stage 2 evolutions of Gen IV were always the best, most effective and balanced additions to the Pokemon family.

The whole Pokemon Day Care and Egg finding has always been a murky area morality wise and has lent itself beautifully to some utterly filthy and hilarious memes, but back in the day (a more innocent and care free day) it was a fun new gimmick for the game. More than a gimmick, actually, it was a novel way to not only add to your Pokedex but also reinforced the nurturing element of Pokemon that helped make it the super-success it is today.

You walk around caring for this fragile little egg, you take care of it, you battle every wild Pokemon you see no matter how annoying or weak they are, you cycle like your little digital legs depend on it – because they do! Well, at least your little eggy ward depends on it.

And then when the moment you’ve been waiting for happens, this little egg hatches at last, what hatches out of it!? A ridiculously cute baby Pichu, or Magby or Togepi or anything else you’ve decided to forcibly breed in the backyard of that shady old couple’s house…!

  1. Night and Day:

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Personally speaking I find it easier to invest emotionally in a game that mimics real world conditions, even something as simple as having a day/night and a day of the week function. It was challenging and entertaining as well to have certain events only occur on certain days and also to have certain Pokemon only occur at certain times. After coming straight from the terrifying permanent daylight world of Red and Blue, this was a refreshing addition.

I know it was a harsh sacrifice, having our internal batteries drain and our games ultimately die and then we all have to hold little tiny Nintendo funerals for them just so we could have this clock function and be more invested in the game but I don’t regret a thing. (Except the loss of my games…!)

  1. Diverse landscape:

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Johto is my favourite region, closely followed by Sinnoh and Hoenn. By the time the Gold and Silver games were in production technology has advanced for Nintendo just that little bit farther down the road. We had colour now, (Witchcraft! Witchcraft!) and the ability to make Nintendo games look more realistic than they were for Red and Blue.

This more up-to-date technology helped bring Johto to life. To me Johto always had a more Japanese feel than the other games felt primarily in towns like Azalea, Ecruteak and Blackthorn. As well as this there were ice caves and mountains, the Whirl Islands, a national park – with beautiful piano accompaniment that got a stunning revamp in the HG/SS reboots – Ruins of Alph, a lighthouse, a wee Miltank farm, forests, more nooks and crannies for exploring than in its predecessor – as well as having a state of the art Magnet Train system (based off Japan’s bullet train) and a ship you could actually travel on, unlike S.S Anne (come back, sob, come back, don’t sail without me!) The Sprout, Tin and Burnt Towers were also exceptionally atmospheric. There was a Lake of Rage and a Dragon’s Den – how cool is that!? MT. SILVER!!! It’s also linked to Kanto!!! Enough said.

While there are arguments for and against all the other games, Johto will always have a special place in my heart. The #1 place .

  1. Mod Cons:

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I know they’re lame now, but in the early 2000s the Pokegear was the Bees Knees, the Cats Pyjamas, a real hip thang! A map, a radio AND a telephone!? We didn’t know we were born! Talk about modern. The radio only got three channels and the phone could only hold ten numbers, but it was still the height of cool at the time. Again, having communication features such as this added to the real-world feel of the game and furthered a player’s emotional investment in the game.

I don’t think the following games ever managed to make their PokeTech as cool as this, the PokeEtch Apps of Sinnoh and the PokeNav from Unova never really had the same functionality of the PokeGear. Maybe it’s a cultural context thing? When G/S came out with it’s PokeGear that was the height of technology, as the games progressed and so did other software, on mobile phones etc things like the PokeEtch Apps and PokeNave felt redundant and outdated already even in the new games.

Viva La PokeGear!

  1. Cool Eeveelutions:

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Another point in favour of the Night/Day function in G/S was the fact that they now had not one, but two Eeveelutions dependent on it. Level up the friendship of your Eevee and play by day and you get Espeon, by night, Umbreon. Espeon and Umbreon are possible two of the most popular fan favourites of the Eeveelutions – if the cosplays at every convention I’ve ever been to can be trusted…! Psychic Espeon (ESP- Extra Sensory Perception) and dark Umbreon (Umbra is a moon term) – two badass Eeveelutions that are easy enough to attain!

  1. Badass legendaries:

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Another cosplay convention favourite: the legendary doggo trio of Entei, Suicune and Raikou. As well as graceful Lugia and Ash Ketchum trolling Ho-Oh. The number of legendaries in the later games became a little congested and confused, but at the time these Johto legendaries suited perfectly to their location, had a poignant and believable back-story and were well balanced to the Pokedex.

  1. More in-game and post game content:

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There was just more to do! More locations to explore, mini-events that you could only unlock on certain days of the week (Friday was Lapras Day at Union Cave…!) , the bi-weekly bug catching competitions, once you got to Kanto there was the daily challenge at the Battle House in Viridian City, the list goes on! With two regions to explore, a larger Pokedex to fill and clock based events – the game never really ended. These features and post game qualities were greatly expanded on in the HeartGold SoulSilver reboots.

  1. Better Gym Leaders:

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Right, if we ignore Whitney and her damn Miltank #Boourns, the gyms in Johto were challenging, but not too challenging, had a nice pace through out the game and were a diverse mix of battle types. They also included the new Steel type in Jasmine’s gym, as a spooky freak the inclusion of Morty’s Ghost type gym was much appreciated! My favourite gym challenge of all time comes from Gold and Silver.

Blackthorn City Gym Leader Clair.

Ah, Dragon Gym Leader Clair, mama of dragons and cousin of Pokemon League Champion Lance.

The dragon gym leader Clair refusing to accept defeat and sending you off on a quest to Dragon’s Den – which has some of the single coolest game music featured in this segment – was unspeakably badass to retrieve a dragon object from the centre of the cave.

This added an extra dimension to the characters, portrayed the gym leaders in a more human light. (Particularly when Whitney cries like a little beetch when you kick her Miltank’s butt!) and encouraged the player to invest emotionally in the game. (I’m a big fan of emotional investment, clearly!)

  1. Kanto three years on:

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As a hardcore GenWunner nothing made me happier than going back to my beloved Kanto, nothing! Except. We weren’t just going back to Kansas, Toto, oh no – we were going back three years later! Cinnabar had erupted, Gary was a gym leader Copycat was still copying people and the world was and was not as we had known it.

And it was good.

Nintendo Dude Satoru Iwata (RIP 😦 ) himself had physically invented a whole new method of saving a larger amount data JUST so we could go on the ultimate in-game nostalgia trip. It was amazing to see how the landscape and cities had evolved (see what I did there…!) over the last three years adding a simultaneously familiar but also poignantly alien vibe to the Kanto section of the game.

I think the Kanto return story is one of, if not the, greatest event in a Pokemon ever. Nay, it IS the greatest in-game event ever. Fight me.

1. …

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Thanks for reading, and until next time: keep watching the skeeys, I mean, skies!

If you or anyone else you know would like to know more about Straight Outta Kanto, please get in touch through our official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StraightOuttaKanto91/

You can also stay in touch with strange memes and all the latest news on our group “Pokemon Fanclub Ireland” – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623889321229114/ – we’d love to hear from you!

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TOP 5 ANNOYING THINGS ABOUT POKEMON! [STRAIGHT OUTTA KANTO]

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Hello PokeFans! Welcome to “Straight Outta Kanto” – your brand new number one blog for nostalgia, nonsense, nerd culture and more!

As much as we all fervently worship and obsess over the holiest of holy that is the Pokemon franchise, you’ve got to admit that the emotion love is the opposite side of the coin to hate. Or, well, maybe hate is too strong, but bloody well irritating!

Today we’re going to take a brief glimpse of some of the single most annoying things about our favourite game… Pokemon!

(5) Wild Pokemon who are TOO intense:

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So the other night I was casually surfing around the Whirl Islands on my way back to Olivine City to appease Jasmine and heal her ailing Ampharos – I’m replaying Crystal in the digital format on my 2DS. Anyone who’s ever surfed in Pokemon will know that the waters in a Pokemon game are more infested with Tentacool than Mt. Moon is with Zubat. So obviously as I’m surfing to and from Cianwood pharmacy I’m inundated with wild Tentacool battles, lucky ole’ me, bell of the ball, shucks! (Or… Shuckles!)

However, almost every single Tentacool battle refused point blank to let me escape. Not only could I not flee from battle, these overly-intense jelloids decided to use a confusion move, a constricting move AND a poisoning move! So not only am I now physically trapped in a battle I don’t want, my Pokemon are attacking themselves in confusion and losing HP through poison. Then when my poor ‘mon finally faints – I’m still not allowed escape!? I have to trot out another little lamb for slaughter…

AND I DIDN’T WANT THIS BATTLE IN THE FIRST PLACE! I’M TRYING TO ESCAPE THE WHOLE TIME!

I can’t even sympathise with the opposing Pokemon, ya know? Maybe he’s got a sick family to look after and be strong for therefore he needs to aggressively force lead characters into insufferable and excruciating battles that don’t even lead to medium level EXP Points in order to bulk up and defend his family or some shizzle like that, I don’t know, I don’t care, stop doing a Gandalf on me, JUST LET ME PASS!!!

What’s even worse was the Wild Call for Helps in the original Pokemon Sun and Moon… it wasn’t so bad in Ultra, but there’s nothing more annoying than being trapped in a pointless and endless wild battle you don’t want to be in – especially when the original wild Pokemon has fainted and now you’re just battling the Call for Help’s Call for Help!!!

Grrrr…

(4) Warp Panels:

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While I appreciate that they can at times be fun and exhilarating, I generally find them dizzying and irritating! Nothing was worse in Pokemon Red and Blue than when I’d finally conquered the Siege of Silph Co. and it’s interminable warp panels and I could finally saunter off to Saffron City gym only to find that Sabrina favoured… WARP PANELS as her gym obstacle of choice.

Nothing spells fun like going around and round and round in teleportational circles!

Warp panels are a recurring theme through-out the secret hideouts of the various Pokemon villains, and while I understand they add a futuristic, scientific ambience to the particular locations – they also add a massive pain in the arse! (In my opinion, anyway!)

(3) Having one gym battle left after the main villain story ends:

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I first noticed this particularly strongly in Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, but it’s prevalent in all the Pokemon games. So, from the third Gen onwards the Pokemon villain stories took a darker more apocalyptic turn. Our character was required not just to take down some petty crooks, but save the world from utter annihilation. Saving the world from utter annihilation, you can’t really get much more intense than that, can you? Call me old-fashioned but thwarting some super villains atop historic and sacred locations, summoning god-like ‘mon and battling alongside them in epic battles of good versus evil would, in my opinion, change a person.

These events always happen during the middle of our Pokemon League journey and usually reach their climax while there’s still one damn badge to go. BUT.

I’ve just thwarted some super villains atop historic and sacred locations, summoning god-like ‘mon and battling alongside them in epic battles of good versus evil, what do I care about some silly little League!? My very faith and beliefs have been shaken to the core. I’ve seen things, man! I’ve battled the strongest of the strongest, nothing you throw my way can ever beat that!

A final gym badge does pale in comparison to beating the main-game quest.

As I said, in D/P/PL having to spend a bull-shizzle amount of time being stuck in Volkner’s electric mechanical gym after I’d just befriended the gods of Space and Time and banished Super Satan ‘mon back to his Super Satan Crib felt like a not a very productive use of my super hero time… I’m jus’ sayin’…

(2) When the game seems rigged against you during crucial battles:

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Ok, I’m first to admit that I can be paranoid at times, especially about Pokemon (and alien conspiracy theories, they’re feckin’ out there, man!) BUT has anyone else ever noticed, particularly during Elite 4 and Champion battles that the game at times seems unfairly rigged against you?

I’m not just talking about when your opponent has 1HP left and then brings out it’s unlimited supply of Full Restores, I’m talking about when your moves that have been landing critically or effectively suddenly miss at the eleventh hour or for some unknown reason just don’t do as much damage as they have been, leaving your opponent just enough HP to hand your ass to you on a platter when otherwise you would have strolled out of there the victor?

Ever notice any other subtle nuances like that during the big battles that always tip the outcome in your opponents favour…?

Well I have.

I’ve noticed that endlessly throughout the franchise. I’m not just saying this because I’m a sore loser or anything like that, I’ve been playing Pokemon for nineteen years, I know how to battle – I also know how to take the sweet with the sour. I know some rational non-paranoid people would say that it’s just the odds of the game, mathematical algorithmic luck, but sometimes the coincidences are just a little too coincidency for my liking…!

(1) The Last Patch of Grass:

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The last patch of grass.

You’ve made it, like of course you’ve made it, there’s only one patch left, how could you not have made it?

And then there goes the music.

And the screen goes black.

This is why I have trust issues.

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Thanks for reading, and until next time: keep watching the skeeys, I mean, skies!

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