Top 5 Worst Pokemon Gym Leader Hairstyles:

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Greetings my beautifully coiffed PokeBabes! Today for our “Silly Saturday” post (to counter-act our heavy weight “Big Wednesday Blog Post”) we are going to lather, rinse, repeat our way through some long and luxurious nostalgia!

The world of anime has always presented some magnificent opportunities for us mere mortals to bask in the reflected glow of some laws of physics and gravity defying “Anime Hair” and Pokemon, my dear salon savvy chums, does not leave our eyes un-bedazzled in the weird anime hair stakes.

Look at Jesse Rocket’s magnificent envy-inducing red locks. Professor Oak’s earnest but handsome short, back and sides. Gary Oak’s bad boy points. Nurse Joy’s strange but kawaii pink creations. Pokemon characters have some truly inspiring hair.

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But then.

They also have some hair that pushes the envelope a little too far and starts leaning towards U.G.L.Y territory.

Today, my pomaded pompodours, we are going to pay a loving tribute to some of (there are plenty I couldn’t include in just a Top 5) the worst hair in the Pokemon universe:

(5) Clair:

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I freely admit Clair is an absolute Boss and my first real girlpower crush as a kid, but oh mah god. There’s just so much going on. In so many directions. It’s Power Dressing gone into over-drive. I get how she’s rivals with Lance and has to prove herself as a competent and strong confident dragon leader in front of all the male elders and I love Clair, just… a little less styling gel, perhaps? You’re not actually a Dragonair… Clair…

(4) Grant:

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To be fair I really like Grant and I enjoy his rock climbing gym immeasurably but just… I know his hair is meant to emulate a mountain but… hair shouldn’t emulate mountains!!! Grant looks like someone who fell asleep on a couch at a fellow rock climber’s house party and they put a load of stuff in his hair while he was asleep to mess with him and then Grant woke up and no one told him how bad his hair had been pranked so he just went off Gym Leadering for the day without checking a mirror…

(3) Kiawe:

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Very similar to Grant is the reason Kiawe’s hair grates on me. I get that Kiawe’s hair is meant to be symbolic of the towering inferno from which he and his backpacker stoner friend do crazy dance  trials from up on the mountains yada yada yada but Kiawe just looks like he’s going through a teen-angst-rebellion phase and stole his sister’s henna and died his hair ‘all different cos he’s such a non-conformist, mom…! Also, you can’t see it here because this picture is pants, but Google search Kiawe’s eyebrows – they deserve a blog post on their own…

(2) Iris/Drayden:

hair 2 That’s not a hair style that’s a beanbag glued to someone’s head.

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I’m as a partial to a nice beardy bloke as the next person (and a silver fox to boot) but seriousyl Drayden. Check yourself. And his actual hair is so nice and manly and normal looking… But that beard man. Sort it out.

(1) Samson Oak:

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Business at the front, party at the back… Nothing says Ladies Man Party Animal like a Mullet. Clearly a direct counter-part to Professor Samuel Oak’s straight laced traditional stuffed shirt educated man spiel, Samson is Samuel’s wild Hawaiian, sorry Alolan, party spirit set free!

Now, I’m not saying I don’t love a good Mullet, but I think it’s fair to say that in the fashion stakes a Mullet is Number One on everyone’s Shit List…! This is why, despite not being a Gym Leader, Professor Mullet just HAD to top our list…!

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

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Nostalgia Nerd: Pokemon Trading Card Game for Nintendo Gameboy (1998) [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Greetings PokeNerds and welcome to Straight Outta Kanto – your brand new number one Irish Nerd Blog for all the latest news, reviews, rumours, nostalgia, nonsense and occasionally… more!

Today we are going to discuss a game that, I freely admit, I still have not completed – yet: Pokemon Trading Card Game for Nintendo Gameboy Colour.

As I was browsing through the Nintendo eShop a few weeks back I discovered that for five human dollars (are dollarydoos) you could download a wee digital version the Pokemon TCG for Gameboy Colour game. This thrilled me immeasurably as this was one game for the original Gameboy Colour this GenWunner never got to play for first time around.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game in general I am relatively new to. Like I said, this Nintendo game by-passed me as a child, and the actual cards – believe it or not – weren’t as big in my school as they were in others so apart from receiving the odd token packet of cards at Christmas from the odd (and odd) uncle, the anime and manga held much more appeal to me than a side-game I knew little of.

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, in 2015 I discovered PokeCon Dublin. There I met all my current friends and finally Came Out of the Nerd Closest. Finally I had my eyes opened to the fact that I no longer had to keep my childhood Pokemon obsession secret, because there were many, many other people who shared the same passion for Pokemon as I did – and a lot of them were a heck of a lot older than I was – no more shame, hooray!

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During that glorious first wave of fandom (as it were) in 2015 I discovered the physical Pokemon Trading Card game. I was walking past my local Toymaster and saw their Pokemon Card themed window display  and well, the rest (and my credit card) is history…

That summer I first collected the cards, dug out my old “token” cards from the 90’s, bought more and more and more cards, eventually had my good friend and S.O.K interviewee Mike Culligan actually teach me how to play the card game in real life.

I… enjoy the collecting I think more than the battling and appreciating the artwork rather than that technical mechanics of the game, but give me the wrong ten year old with a crappy deck and I can still show them who the boss is…!

The old games of the Pokemon series that I don’t have or missed out on first time around always hold a sort of rose tinted romanticism about them, like this very game. Once I learned to play the card game I was determined to find a physical copy of the Nintendo version, to no prevail! The one copy I did buy second hand that summer was utterly banjaxed and completely put me off buying another copy…

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However! Thanks to the glorious power of the internetables I now own a digital copy of the game  and was able at last to relive a little of my lost(ish) childhood!

So, call a spade a spade. This game was clearly some class of a cash-in based on the insane popularity of the actual cards – one of many cash-in side-games that have peppered the Pokemon franchise through-out its history. (But we won’t get in to that today…!)

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In the game you play a cool young guy who lives in a place the resembles one of those old Super Mario world maps. The token Pokemon professor is Professor Mason and he has given you the task of “travelling” (also known as clicking your character around this tiny map) to various Pokemon Card Clubs (a bit like Pokemon Gyms) duelling the trainers there with your Pokemon cards (just like in a regular Pokemon Card battle) until you unlock the club Master (Gym Leader!)

You do this eight times until you defeat all eight Pokemon Club Masters and are then entitled to face the four Grand Masters (Elite Four) and hopefully obtain the coveted Legendary Cards.

All the eight Pokemon Club Masters are Type based ie: Fire, Grass, Water, Electric etc and you literally just endlessly duel at random until you manage to defeat them.

There is also the Pokedex based element of “Gotta Collect ’em All!” as you acrue more cards through out the game.

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Each time you succeed in your duel with a Pokemon trainer you receive a booster pack (just like in real life) and are then able to expand and edit your own card deck based on the available boosters and hopefully build stronger and stronger decks. This takes a long while to do and the actual game play itself for the parts of the game that I have completed are entirely luck based. You can go against a club Master and get a hand with one Caterpie and the opposition can come at you with five super-strong high level Tauros and Charizard cards.

This random “out of your control” element of the game makes for, in my opinion, a slow, frustrating and monotonous advance through the game. From a nostalgia point of view it’s great to see all the old cards again, see the artwork (the trainer with all the promo Piakchu cards is a particular delight) and get insight into what booster packs of yore was like, but I just don’t know if I have the patience to complete this game!

Eight year old me would have had little else to do with my time but complete this game, however adult me twenty years on has been spoiled rotten by more attention grabbing softer games with easier wins.

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That being said, it is a fun game, the animation is RetroGlorious and the soundtrack is dripping with charming and nostalgic ooze and I will one day complete it and it’s a nifty addition to any collector’s collection.

According to Wikipedia there was a Pokemon Trading Card Game 2: Here Comes the Great Team Rocket! available solely as a Japanese release and the original game was apparently banned in Saudi Arabia because of the use of stars on the Pokemon Cards and the star’s connection to Israel… Makes… Sense!?

For curiosity’s sake I’d love to get a nose at that Team Rocket sequel to the game, but I better finish the first one first…!

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

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Pokemon: 5 Things In The Old Games You Couldn’t Get Away With Today! [Straight Outta Kanto]

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Well hello there, PokeFans! Straight Outta Kanto here! Your brand new Ireland based blog exploding with news, nerd culture, nonsense and an obscene amount of… more!

We made it! This is Day Seven of our Seven Day Blog Challenge!

We are rewarding you today for your hard work and perseverance of having to read a brand new Pokemon related post every day this week by appealing to your slightly naughty sense of self. Today, my dark and dirty dears, we are going to lightly touch on the slightly more… deviant side of Pokemon.

May I present to you… 5 Things In The Old Games You Couldn’t Get Away With Today!

(5) Whirl Island Child Abuse:

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I’m sure many of you have noticed this one by now, but just in case you need a refresher…

In Pokemon Gold & Silver there is a house in Olivine City where a little girl informs your character that there’s a monster in the Whirl Islands and that that’s where bad little girls get sent as punishment. Her father also confirms that the Whirl Islands are a great place to send misbehaving children – eh, great! Not.

While the purpose of this abusive bragging is most likely just to foreshadow the fact that the legendary Pokemon Lugia (gentle giant of the ocean) resides in the Whirl Islands – such blatant cruelty would not be seen in the far more PC and user-friendly-content of today…!

(4) Gambling & Vice:

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Since the games are originally Japanese and made in Japan by Japanese people it’s fair to say that certain, shock horror, Japanese elements wind up in the game. Such as… a pachinko parlour with some Yakuza connections turning up. They were all the rage in 90s Japan (If Takashi Miike films are anything to go by anyway!) and as the evil do-ers in Pokemon Red and Blue are in essence a trumped up Yakuza gang, it’s no surprise that some sort of gambling establishment was included as a hang-out in one of the main cities meant to have a heavy Team Rocket presence.

Even in later games the Game Corner with its slot machines and card games offering the opportunities to acquire rare Pokemon and prizes were a constant presence. (I can use presence twice in one article, right?)

However! The more the games advanced into the modern age of snowflakes and the PC Brigade, the game corners disappeared, replaced by more wholesome mini-games and so forth.

Even in the Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire re-boots the owner of the Mauville Game Corner stands sadly outside his shuttered store bemoaning how all he wanted to do was make people happy, but all parents wanted to do was complain…

 

(3) 50 Shades of… Pokemon Trainers!? 

whips!

Pokemon has always had a weird cult of haters obsessed with comparing catching, training, battling Pokemon to real life animal fighting and other evil things.

I call… BULLSHIT.

It’s just a fun little Pokemon game (no, actually, lie, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE!!!) but still, chill yer tits animal activists, I’m with you on most things, but not on this.

Pokemon is literally just Pokemon.

No one tries to go around in the real world stuffing cats into hollowed out orange wedges or whatever and throwing them at other people’s cats and making them battle just because of a Pokemon game.

It’s just a game. (That also happens to be a hardcore way of life for us nerds)

BUT.

There were a looooooot of whip holding trainers in Pokemon Red and Blue.

I would imagine those whips were used more in the lion tamery way than the Christian Grey way, but still…

Those animal activists may have had a point at the start of the franchise, but thankfully we’re more Pokemon friendly now with our enrichment and battling and trainers can leave those whips behind in the boudoir where they belong!

(2) No Post Game Story:

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This is a bit tame after all the bondage and gambling but in Pokemon Red and Blue there was nooooooooo post-game story or activities. At all. ALL. You had three choices when Pokemon Red and Blue ended:

Choice A: Go talk to AfroMan in Cerulean City and go catch a Mewtwo. (That killed an hour or two.)

Choice B: Befriend real life living human being friends to trade Pokemon with so as to complete your Pokedex. (I… did not do any of this.)

Choice C: New Game.

We are literally spoiled for choice these days with our Rainbow Rockets and our Delta Episodes and Ultra Beasts and Battle Zones… non GenWunners will never know the pain of a non-post-game-that’s-more-intense-than-the-pre-game world…!

(1) Extreme Sexism:

women!

Pokemon is surprisingly… dodgy. The anime, not so much the manga, but very much the games. From scantily clad swimmers begging you to question where she keeps her balls, Olivia’s bachelorette-ness all the way to dorrty old men standing outside Erika’s all-women gym.

Personally speaking none of that offends me and the odd mature raunchy double-entendre is a bit of a larf, but they will never be able to get away with such blatant oogling as this old man in Celadon City. Oogle on, old man, oogle on! Our timing is passing, old friend of the oogling eyes!

So there we have it. 5 random mad things they did back then they couldn’t do today in Pokemon! Did you spot something I didn’t mention? Do you have an even filthier Pokemon related fact to share? Get in touch with the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StraightOuttaKanto91/ or join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623889321229114/ 🙂

Thanks for reading and remember, the Pika is out there…! 🙂

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Pokemon Top 5 Pain in the Arse Gym Leaders! [Straight Outta Kanto]

Konnichiwa PokeNerds! They say time heals all wounds… well today at Straight Outta Kanto HQ we intend to find out if this is in fact true by doing a brief Top 5 of the most annoying Pokemon Gyms we’ve faced to date!

So buckle up nerds, we’re going remembering!

(5) Brock:

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December 25th 1999.

Straight Outta Kanto receive their first Nintendo Gameboy and Pokemon Red Cartridge.

December 26th 1999.

Straight Outta Kanto embark on the epic and seemingly endless challenge of trying to defeat a Level Twelve Onix with a low level Charmander and a purple rat.

July 7th 2018.

Straight Outta Kanto still in therapy for Brock related PTSD.

 

(4) Wallace:

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What is it with pretty much all the ice and snow gyms in the Pokemon universe requiring an obscene amount of patience and pain-in-the-arsery!?

Wallace’s gym really takes the biscuit. (Not my biscuit however ’cause Joey doesn’t share food…!)

The whole only being able to walk on one ice tile at a time in one direction ONCE or else you crash through the bottom and have to start again still rankles me to this day.

And I love Wallace! I totally ship the flamboyant Wallace and the snazzy Steven Stone… Just your gym Wallace, your gym I don’t love!

(3) Sabrina:

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I LOATHE TELEPORTATION TILES!!!

I get travel sick, okay!?

Even just looking at the amount of spinning my character does on one of these confusing feckers gets me dizzy – never mind how lost and confused and you get trying to navigate how to get around!

I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who thoroughly enjoy a good teleportation tile, but whenever I see them pop up in any of the later games I die a little inside.

(2) Volkner:

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Trust an Emo to have an annoying as hell gym.

I absolutely despise this gym.

While Volkner himself didn’t pose too much of a threat, the mechanical cogs needing to be turned in the right place at the right time was just too hard. Too hard! I still don’t know how I managed to get through this gym. All I know is this gym is genuine deterrent from any more future replays of this game…!

(1) Lt. Surge:

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Snitches get switches…

It could be the GenWunner in me but I have a lot of affection for this gym!

I think Lt.. Surge’s gym was a lot of people’s first experience with a gym where you couldn’t just walk up to the leader and straight up challenge (and that’s why it is listed as my number one most annoying gym.)

Finding an alternating set of switches hidden in the trash cans – that also happened to switch around whenever you left the gym or re-set themselves after a wrong guess- was a royal pain in the butt but nostalgia has coloured my anger and frustration with more of an “Awh, I remember how hard that gym was, how cute!”

Needless to say, the only Switch I want to see in Pokemon is the new game for Nintendo Switch… har har. Sorry! Couldn’t resist.

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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!

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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:

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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!

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Thanks for reading! 🙂