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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


10. No HMs:

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

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

9. CURRY!!!

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

8. Jedward of the PokéWorld:

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

7. Challenging Gyms:


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

6. Greater Game Differences:

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

5. You Came To the Wrong Neighbourhood:

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

4. Challenging Evolutions:


Don’t get me started.

Just get Googling.

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

3. Responsible Adult:


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

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

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

2. Galar Pokémon Designs:


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



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

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

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

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

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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/

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Top Ten 90’s Theme Tunes from your childhood! [Straight Outta Kanto]


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

Today we have a dirty great steaming vat of 100% proof undiluted nostalgia for you to wallow in. Following on from a lively, heated debate with a family member this week about which childhood era had the greatest T.V. theme tunes I decided to make this blog post and prove them wrong! For surely, my fellow Millenials, you too agree that the 1990’s had the greatest T.V. theme tunes… don’t you?

Well, if you don’t that’s fair enough, but let me try to change your mind. So step right up to the nostalgia machine and strap yourself in. Buckle up. IT’S THE 1990’s!

(10) South Park:

South Park here gets a mention as it heralded in a new age of truly adult cartoons. While The Simpsons on the Tracy Ullman show back in the day was the original “adult cartoon”, South Park’s envelope and boundary pushing characters and storylines smashed through our poor 90’s T.V. sets and in to our filth-ridden hearts.

(9) Saved by the Bell:

Ah. Zack and Kelly. The original Ross and Rachel. Between the “hi-tech” opening graphics, the chunky brick cellular phones and the outfits that fashion forgot (but can forgive) – I think I can safely say that Saved by the Bell is one of THE most painfully 90’s theme tunes.

(8) Sailor Moon:

I love badly dubbed, weirdly drawn, strangely plotted but deeply nostalgic 90’s Japanese-to-Western anime. And you do too. Bit of a crush on Tuxedo Mask too.

(7) Teletubbies:

Well… It IS. You can’t argue with me there. One of the most iconic children’s T.V. themes of the 1990’s and started a new trend of almost cultishly shit kids televisual viewing that could never quite stand up to the idolatry of the auld ‘tubbies. I’ll say no more and move on to the next one…

(6) Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers:

GO! GO! POWER RANGERS!!! One of THE most metal kids theme tunes EVER. Fight me. I was absolutely OBSESSED with this show back when it first came out.Every new episode I would watch religiously after school every week and then immediately afterwards proceed to break either a body part of piece of family furniture re-creating the episode I had just seen. Everything about this show just spoke to me.

The dodgy Japanese scene-inserts, the spandex costumes, Tommy, a giant floating bald head in an ooze-tube – WHAT MORE COULD A 90’s KID ASK FOR!? I had the absolute pleasure in 2017 of attending a panel of the original Power Rangers at MCM Comic Con in Dublin and we all got to do the “It’s Morphin’ Time!” thingy together WITH the original Power Rangers and it was delightful.

(5) Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

I used to secretly watch this every Friday night on Sky One whilst pretending to my mater that I was watching a late night episode of Home & Away. (That’s also how I got away with South Park.) She never doubted me. Bless. But Buffy, man! The Buffy/Angel/Spike love triangle, the 90’s outfits, Giles, the new monster mash every week. Gosh. It just thrilled me to my spooky little bones. Who doesn’t get a chill when they hear this!?

(4) The Fresh Prince of Bel Air:

Who else tells people at parties that they can rap all of this perfectly then completely ail when attempting it!? Mise!

We’ll leave all the dark and disturbing internet theories about how the entire series is just a fantasy of the comatose Will Smith ’cause he really did get shot at the start of the series in that playground and just focus on the wholesome 90’s joy that is… Will Smith.

(3) F.R.I.E.N.D.S:

Ah come on, lads! This is an iconic, albeit over used, slice of pure 90’s nostalgia that would be distasteful to ignore. F.R.I.E.N.D.S is like a slice of life time-capsule perfectly preserving a very unique part of both the 1990s and it’s ever changing attitudes to a multitude of of-the-day topics but also of every 20-something (me!) year old’s lives, friendships and relationships. I know this makes the list on nearly every 90’s list out there, but it deserves it, it really does.

(2) Rugrats:

Out of ALL the incredible 1990’s Nickelodeon children’s T.V. theme tunes to choose from (and my god, there were SO many to choose from) the one that kind of started the whole Nick Generation in my opinion and was one of the classics IS the Rugrats. The unique toy-piano tune with the goofy kids noises made it a charming and stand-out stalwart of our 90’s childhoods. No. It didn’t have the slick, highly polished lyrics of say, the Spongebob Squarepants theme tune or the snzzzy costume changes montage of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but it was a wholesome, honest tune. And I love it.


Now. We move on to Numero Uno. And I’m not just picking this as the number one telly tune of all time because I’m a million percent biased towards this show, I’m picking it because not only am I a million percent biased towards this show, it is one of the most triumphant, dynamic and air-punching-ist theme tunes ever with one of the highest singability rates out there. Fill your lungs and prepare to Sing ’em All, I am of course talking about…

(1) Pokemon:


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/

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