Category Archives: Video Games

Break the Ice (or how to improve the fragile Ice Type in Pokemon)

Over the past few Pokémon generations, Gamefreak continuously tweaked and balanced Pokémon to the point that weak types (like Poison) were strengthened while other types (like Fighting) were checked.  New moves, abilities, and stat changes made weak or irrelevant Pokémon respectful.  But through it all, one type has remained virtually unchanged since Generation 2 and that’s the Ice type.

The Ice type is notorious for its great offensive lineup but abysmal defense.   The only type it resists is itself and it’s weak to Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel moves.  Keep in mind, Fighting, Fire, and Rock moves are plentiful due to the plethora of Pokémon that can learn them.  As such, many hardcore players favor fast, hard hitting Ice Pokémon, like Weavile, if they want to use them at all.  Meanwhile, defensive Ice Pokémon, like Avalugg or Cryogonal, can not fully live up to their tank desires.  Personally, I usually train dual-typed Ice Pokémon to mitigate their poor defenses.

Ice Pokémon as such, are in desperate need for an upgrade.  Gamefreak needs to fully realize this type and bring it into the fold as a well-rounded type.  But how can Gamefreak do that?  In order to answer this question I decided to do a quick analysis of all 18 types of Pokémon and determined which types could be nerfed in order to advance Ice Pokémon.

In short, I compared each types Super Effective (SE) to Not Very Effective (NVE) ratios for both offense and defense.  Some types are better defenders than attackers (e.g., Poison and Steel) while others are vice versa (e.g., Ground and Rock).  In our case, we want to up Ice type’s defense to be on par with the average type.  At the same time, however, we want to ensure that other types aren’t severely nerfed.  After a lot of tinkering, pondering and calculating, here’s what I came up with.

Changes to Ice Type

Steel normally damages Ice

Ice resists Ground

Ice resists Ghost

Hail boosts Ice Type’s defense by 50%

 

This may surprise some of you for my choices so I’ll break it down why I chose these types to improve Ice.  First off, Steel can just get out of here!  Steel is the best defensive type in the game, period.  As such, Steel does not need to be SE against three different types.  I love how Steel is powerful against Fairy as that really plays into the mythical history of fairies and forged weapons.  But Ice???  I don’t honestly see why it’s SE unless you’re a snowplow.  There are plenty of types out there that are only SE against two types such as Electric, Dark, and Poison so we can shove Steel into that category.

Ice losing its Steel weakness does not majorly affect Ice as Steel moves aren’t that common as mainly Steel Pokémon use them.  Plus, as mentioned before, Rock, Fire, and Fighting are very common moves so you can easily use these types to take down Ice (Steel Pokémon also commonly learn Rock moves).

Speaking of common attacking types, let’s talk about Ground!  Ice is already SE against Ground so it wouldn’t be surprising if Ice gained a resistance towards them as well.  Sooooo many type combos have this relationship including the famous precedent of Fire-Grass-Water.  Ground and Ice should be similar.  Ground also has the best SE to NVE ratio out of all the types being SE against five types with only two types resisting and a third with immunity.  I ask the court to look at Fighting for my justification as well.  Fighting has five SE and six NVE/immune defending types.  An added resistance would still not place Ground on the same level as Fire.  In short, Ice’s resistance towards Ground would not hugely impact Ground’s usefulness.

Which comes to my final type change, Ice resisting Ghost.  After I decided Ice should resist Ground I was debating whether to even add another resistance.  After all, the Ice Type is a GREAT offensive type.  It’s SE against Dragon, Grass, Flying, and Ground.  A great mixture that leads to quite a few 4x weaknesses.  When compared to other types, Ice is above average when it comes to attacking.  As such, Ice should still be below average when it comes to defense.  But here’s the thing, quite a few types have four or more resistances so having a third resistance would still place Ice in the below-average category.  But which type?

When I first started this project, I leaned heavy towards an Electric resistance as ice in real life conducts electricity rather poorly.  Electric also only has one weakness.  However, Electric already has a rather poor showing in the attacking category as only two types are weak to it whereas three resist and one is immune to it.  I eventually chose Ghost as only Normal and Dark can counter it.  Plus, when Gen VI rolled around, Gamefreak removed Steel’s resistance of Ghost giving it a mild boost.  As such, I don’t think it would harm Ghost that much if Ice gained a resistance out of it.

BTW, what’s the logic behind Ice resisting Ghost?  Well, I kind of feel like it would counter the shiver people get when their scared.  Since Ice types are already cold, they can’t shiver like Ghost Pokémon would want them to, hence, they resist Ghost attacks.

Finally, let’s talk about the weather!  Back in Gen V, weather teams were all the rage.  Thanks to the like of Hippowdon, Ninetales, Politoed, and Tyranitar, weather effects on the battlefield were common except for Hail.  Snow Stream may benefit Ice Type’s and their abilities but that’s about it.  Even Sandstorm gave Rock Pokémon a 50% boost in their special defense.  Why can’t we say the same thing about Hail?  With this addition, Ice Pokémon can “weather” out attacks and stay strong on the battlefield.

Who benefits the most out of this?

Obviously all Ice Pokémon would rejoice if they were to hear these news but these changes would benefit some Pokémon more than others specifically…

Defensive Ice Pokémon

Avalugg, Cloyster, and Cryogonal would now shine in their tanky roles.  Cloyster was already an effective tank but it had to use its Water typing to get an edge.  With this update, Cloyster now resists five types and is weak to four.  Cloyster can be used as an effective check towards such Pokémon as Scizor, Aegislash, and Excadrill.

Alolan Sandslash, fresh off of Sun and Moon, would benefit nicely as well with its 120 defense power.  A Ground weakness is now neutralized leaving a 4x weakness to Fire and Fighting.  This adds up Sandslash’s resistances and immunities to 11, a fantastic, defensive Pokémon.

Thick Fat Users

Thick Fat is an ability that halves damage from Ice and Fire attacks.  Dewgong, Mamoswine, and Walrein all have this ability which helps them tremendously.  The updated Ice Type would definitely benefit them especially Mamoswine.  Now, a Thick Fat Mamoswine would resist four types, be immune to one and be weak to three.  Mamoswine could finally be a decent switch-in against many Pokémon including prominent Ground and Steel types.

Former Ghost-weakness

Froslass and Jynx would now be one of the few Ghost and Psychic Pokémon that have normal resistance to their dreaded Ghost foes.  I feel like Froslass, with its average stats, would profit the most out of the two by gaining some sweet advantages.  Froslass can now Shadow Ball her Ghost comrades and serve as a decent counter to the likes of Golurk, Palossand, and Aegislash.  This is not to say that Jynx wouldn’t benefit as well as now she can serve as an effective status inflictor and a by-the-books offensive sweeper.

Hail users

We saved the best for last.  With a 50% boost in defense in Hail, Ice Pokémon can now become tough-as-nails in their weather.  Plus, many Ice Pokémon have abilities that directly benefit from Hail including Snow Cloak, Ice Body, and Slush Rush.

Let’s start first with Abomasnow.  Ice Pokémon hail their pine tree bro as he gets the party started with his sweet Snow Warning ability!  Abomasnow would be a great switch in to Rain Dance/Sandstorm teams as he could withstand oncoming Ground and Water attacks and dish out a 100% accurate Blizzard (plus it doesn’t hurt that he can Mega evolve).  After you got a decent Hailstorm brewing start throwing in your tanky Ice types to sow anger and discontent among your foes.  Ice Body users like Glaceon and Avalugg will be blessed by their increased defenses while a Walrein with Leftovers would be extraordinarily difficult to take down.

This scenario will make Hail a now viable weather scenario that could be taken seriously among hardcore players.  Hail would still not be as popular as Sandstorm and alike but at least it would be treated respectfully.

 

Could this ever happen?  It’s hard to say in all honesty.  Gamefreak’s continuous modification to Pokémon means anything’s on the table.  Maybe Ice wouldn’t gain these respective resistances but a new type could shake things up and make Ice defensively viable.  Granted, this probably won’t happen until the next Generation which would be awhile and that’s fine.  But until then, fingers crossed!

 

All images from pokemon wiki

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Console Wars: 2 Good 2 Be True

For over a dozen years, I’ve been looking for a good book about video games. For such an influential media, it’s surprising that there are very few books that dive into this topic that are seriously good. When I heard about Console Wars, I knew I had to check it out and I finally did this summer.

Console Wars focuses on one of the most exciting years in video game history, namely, the war between the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. And rather than being a standard nonfiction book (dry and full of references and quotes), author Blake Harris crafts a novel that’s more story than essay yet does not lose the flavor of reality. His book throws you into the early nineties and drops you into the heated moments and settings that shaped the era of videogames. The author’s love and enthusiasm for video games really comes through in this novel and as such, I had a hard time putting this book down.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Console Wars is how big it is. This book is dense but thankfully, does not overload the reader. Even though I knew a lot about video game history, mainly thanks to the internet, before reading this novel, I was surprised at just how little I actually knew, and that was great!

Some of my favorite moments in the book are those that seem like they’re straight out of a movie. I particularly liked the scene involving the recording of the infamous “SEGA!” scream used in commercials. Then there’s the part where the Sega employees were inspired to do a worldwide release of Sonic and Tails on Sonic 2sday. It’s moments like these that really help the book come together nicely.

Now truthfully, this doesn’t mean Console Wars is perfect. There are some problems I have which fortunately didn’t dampen my love for this book. One of which was the many characters. Although the photo section was helpful, I wish there was a simple group shot of the Sega team as I kept losing track of who was who. The biggest problem I had however was one of the big conflicts in the book; the Sega of America vs. Sega of Japan conflict was mainly from the Sega of America point of view. This, unfortunately, paints Sega of Japan as mean, subversive, and unpredictable. I wish we got more scenes from their point of view to understand exactly why there was so conflict between the two. Same thing can be applied to Nintendo as well. Nintendo in this book was like the antagonist in an action movie; we would get scenes of them every now and then and peek into their diabolical plans for their plucky foe. I wish we could see more of them to really help us understand what they were thinking.

But the thing is, that’s not really the point of the book, the point of the book is how Sega, through Tom Kalinske, president and CEO of Sega of America, was able to bring Nintendo to its knees and really shape the video game market. As such, “Console Wars” as a title is a bit off and perhaps a better title would be “the Rise and Fall of Sega” (but then it wouldn’t be catchy).

On another note, I’m pretty sure Blake Harris is a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd. There are several spots in this book that seem a lot like what AVGN has said before. The casual reference to the porno Atari game, Custer’s Revenge, was too on the nose as nobody knew about this game until after AVGN did an episode on it. Even more obvious was the reference to LJN’s bad video games, I mean, that’s one of AVGN’s gimmicks! He hates LJN games! But I love it and I find it funny to think that Blake is a fan of the Nerd.

I was sad when the novel eventually finished as I would have liked to see the battle between the N64, Playstation, and eventually the Sega Saturn. However, part of me is glad that Blake did not talk about that. This is the story of Tom Kalinske and how he turned Sega from a joke to a star. That era of video games was not under his jurisdiction. As such, Blake Harris should seriously consider writing another novel on video games (whether it be nonfiction or fiction) as his love for the material is fantastic. Perhaps a book about Nintendo’s comeback via the Wii? Or on the Atari era and why it eventually collapsed? Or even why the Playstation 2 was such a huge success? All of these are great topics.

And yet, nothing can ever hold a candle to the Console Wars of the early 90s. So much was happening at that time that it almost seems unreal. New video game franchises were born, records were broken, the media boundaries were pushed, and deep rivalries formed.  I doubt there will ever be a time just like the early 90s for video games.

As for me, I’m glad I was finally able to read a book about video games. Thank you Blake, you kept me up late many times.

Reaction to Civ Battle Royale Part 40

Map created by /u/LacsiraxAriscal

Summary

-For once, relevant wars are fought on all six continents creating another exciting part in the latest CBR. Some notable highlights include the Blackfoot most impressive city capture of the game (Olongapo from Champa) and Finland sending paratroopers to Arabia (a civ that it doesn’t even share a land border with).

-The Great Pacific War continues as Vietnam resurges forward and annexes many coastal and island cities. Kimberly defenses begin to weaken but have still held up strong against Australia’s onslaught.

-In what is dubbed by the latest Power Rankings as the “War of South American Relevance” Chile and the Buccaneers declare war on Brazil and Inca creating one of the most exciting wars that South America has produced since the beginning of the game. Brazil invades Chile while the Buccaneers shell the Incan coastline.

-The Inuit’s advances stall under heavy Canada and Texas defense but continue to bring advance units to the frontline. By the end of Part 40, Texan defenses broke down and the White Walkers are advancing southward with gusto.

-Sparta has found its foothold again and is fighting back against Sweden in the Second Sweden-Sparta War.

-Mughals adopt Freedom in a world where only tyranny exists. Good for you Mughals!

-Argentina is eliminated by Brazil making it the 18th civ to be eliminated from the game.

Lower Half Civs: #23-44 based off of Power Rankings Part 39

This was a bad part for: Argentina, Inca, Ayyubids, Champa

Truth be told, I’m kind of surprised that Argentina got eliminated due to its last city nestled in the mountains but Brazil’s determination did not let that faze them. Argentina’s neighbor, the Incans, is now the new South American punching bag as the Buccaneers ravage their coastline cities.  Finally, Ayyubids continue to circle the drain as, despite regaining Cairo a couple of times, they ultimately lost their capital, along with Aswan, to their hated Carthagian rivals. Ayyubids’ fate may soon be like the extinct Argentina, or worse, irrelevant like Japan. Over in the Pacific, the Champa have been kicked off the mainland by Vietnam and now reside on island cities. I think Champa may retake Kauthara but I feel like Vietnam has a good grip on the situation and have shut out Champa from the rest of Asia. If the weakened Champa isn’t too careful, Burma might surprise us all and DOW. That would be neat.

This was a good part for: Sparta

Sparta managed to reverse the Sweden conquest and is now pushing back north. They have reclaimed Cumae and Ohrid and now have the units to go on the offense. Their next target would probably be Tegea but Sweden cannons and troops protect the city. Expect much blood to be shed by these two civs in the next part.

Upper Half Civs: #1-22 based off of Power Rankings Part 39

This was a bad part for: Texas, Sweden

Although Texas didn’t lose any cities by the end of Part 40, the situation certainly looks grim for them. Near the end of the part, we see Inuit forces bursting through the borders, causing wreckage and mass chaos throughout the territories. What’s more, Texas’ Sisseton is at zero health, and Corpus Christi is in yellow. Further tightening the noose is the big tech difference as Inuit has modern infantry, helicopters, bazookas, and airplanes, against Texas’ cannons and great war infantry. Canada and Inuit may stalemate hard, but Texas is about to fold.

Sweden had perhaps reached its peak at the end of Part 39 as now it is facing a resurgent Sparta. Although Sweden may be able to hold onto its other conquered cities, what’s most troubling is the lack of troops that defend its core cities in the north. As the narrator points out, Sweden’s paucity of soldiers looks quite delicious to Finland…

This was a good part for: Vietnam, Carthage, Buccaneers, Boers

Perhaps the biggest winner this part was Vietnam. Vietnam was definitely not looking good in the last part but all that has changed. Their horde of submarines has fought off Australia’s armada, and now, their troops and ships are capturing or recapturing many coast line cities. Granted, these cities could flip in the next part but nonetheless, Vietnam is looking better off and should continue to push forward and try to take other island cities that host Australian aircraft. Not only will this expand their homeland, but it will also provide relief to their core cities from Australian bombers.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers, fresh off their Portugal war, declare war on Brazil and the Inca and become allies with Chile which sandwiches their rivals neatly. Although Buccaneers are extremely light in their land defense in northern South America, at least Brazil is heavily distracted by Chile which was well played by the pirates. What’s more, their intense armada is shelving Incan cities and have even sniped them from Chile! If I was playing Chile I would be embarrassed right now. The Buccaneers need to be careful though as the Brazilian core cities could start producing armies that will stop their total conquests. Watch the entanglement between Brazil and Buccaneers to see how it all plays out in Part 41.

Carthage has done well thanks to their persistent conquest of Ayyubid territory. Not only do they have Cairo firmly in their control, they also occupy Aswan and still have a (relatively) strong army to boot that is now marching towards Baalbek. Carthage’s conquest may be impressive if it wasn’t for the fact that they occupy a border with the Boers. Ouch.

Speaking of which, the Boers continue to surprise us as they skip tanks and go straight to modern armor. Of course there is also the fact that they have AN ATOMIC BOMB at their disposal, so, you know, no biggie. Their development also highlights the new timeline TPang has introduced into the gameplay. I myself have yet to play with the new timeline so I am unsure how all of this will turn out but nevertheless, I am now more than ever convinced that Boers will be the winner of the CBR. At this point, only a few civs have even a chance of stopping them. We’ll just have to wait and find out.

If…

If Mexico declares war on Texas…

Although we haven’t seen Mexico much during this last part, what little we have seen has shown us a respectable army that is nothing to sneeze at. Both Blackfoot and the Mexicans have taken a very neutral position for the Inuit vs. Canada+Texas War, but it is Mexico that could have the bigger effect here. Blackfoot’s army is a joke next to the Inuit so Blackfoot would only make a small dent to the Inuit. However, if Mexico were to intervene on the side of the Inuit, it would spell disaster for Texas (and to an extent, Canada). Mexico has proven in the past that it could take Austin so no one would doubt Mexico’s competence. What’s more, Texas is weakened but still respectable; if Mexico were to intervene then Texas could falter majorly. This would only benefit the Inuit who could swing around and add another front to Canada.

Reaction to Civ Battle Royale Part 39

So for the past eight months or so, I’ve been following Civilization Battle Royale Mk. II on the civbattleroyale subreddit and it has been amazing.  For the unfamiliar, this subreddit follows a huge game of civilization where 61 A.I. civs fight for global domination in a winner-take-all story.  I’ve been following this closely and now, I wanted to release my reaction to the latest part (39) as it has been a doozy.  This article is for all the fans of CBR!

Map created by /u/LacsiraxAriscal

Summary

-The War of Oceania Supremacy explodes across the Pacific Ocean as Vietnam, Australia, Kimberly, and Champa fight tooth and nail. Kimberly and Australia flip many island cities and the infamous Wobbegong Navy is neutered thanks to Kimberly’s smaller, but more modern, navy. Kimberly has lost its Red Fort though and this likely signals a turning point in the war. Now, Australian troops head west towards Kimberly’s core, costal cities.

-War of North American Supremacy continues to be a bloodbath draw with the Inuit having a slight upper hand over Canada and Texas. The Inuit have several times come close to occupying Ottawa’s territory.

-Brazil solidifies itself as the ruler of South America thanks to its amazing invasion into Argentina.

-Israel is eliminated by Armenia making it the 17th civ to be eliminated.

Lower Half Civs #23-45 (as of Part 38)

This was a bad part for: Sparta, Israel, Argentina, Portugal, Ayyubids

The writing was on the wall by the end of Part 37 that Israel and Argentina were going to have a bad time in Part 38. Sparta was the civ though that had a chance to recover against Sweden and reclaim core cities. This didn’t happen and instead, Sparta lost additional cities in this brutal war. But hey, at least they got Rome? This would be an achievement if it was from any other civ except Portugal. Speaking of which, Portugal lost its final core city to the Buccaneers which really sealed the deal that Portugal would in no way recover. Ayyubids also lost its capital to long-time rival Carthage, which divided the country up into four city states. Woof. Good luck trying to come back from that.

This was a good part for: Armenia, Carthage

Armenia, surprisingly, joins the small list of civs that dealt the killing blow to a civ. Thanks to a free city from the USSR awhile back and now Jerusalem, Armenia looks good but now needs to tech up fast and continue to pick off lesser civs (Ayyubid looks delicious right now). Carthage is also the surprise winner here as it finally became serious of its half-assed war against the Ayyubids and captured its capital, Cairo, effectively splitting the rival nation up into four parts. Although Cairo may flip, Carthage should hold sway over it by the end of the war. Carthage’s tech lead may also spell the end to the Ayyubids in the near future.

Upper Half Civs #1-22 (as of Part 38)

This was a bad part for: Vietnam, Kimberly, Canada+Texas

Really, the suckers in this part are the losers in the Inuit and Australia wars. Poor Vietnam, although your Unique Unit may be a fantastic defensive bonus, it sucks for Battle Royale in that it can’t capture cities and it seems Vietnam hasn’t figured that out yet. Kimberly’s strong fight against Australia finally falters at the end of Part 39 as Australian soldiers head towards important, western coast, core cities. Expect Kimberly to tumble in the rankings—and as a regional power—by the end of the next part. Over in North America, Canada and Texas are having a rough time against the Inuit despite their consistent troop supplies. Although their hardy defenses are something to praise, I have to point out that they aren’t making a strong offense into Inuit territory. Sure, by the end of the war, all three civs may be worse for wear, but the Inuit will still have its core cities unharmed while Canada and Texas’ will probably lose a few. If Canada and Texas want to turn the tide of the war, they better beg to neutral Blackfoot for help.

This was a good part for: Brazil, Boers, Buccaneers, Inuit, Australia, Sweden

Australia and the Inuit may be winning their respective wars but city flips and loss of units is hurting their cause significantly. Out of the two civs, the Inuit is the one that’s probably better off as they still retains their core, and so far unflipped, cities, and they are making decent strides into Canada (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Inuit managed to capture Ottawa by Part 40). But the civ that has the best progress so far is Brazil as they are waging one of the most efficient wars we have seen since the Boer-Zulu war. Argentina is now reduced to one city that is nestled in the Andes Mountains with barely an army to defend it. At this point, Brazil doesn’t need to take them out but it looks like they’re going for it so good luck there! In Europe, Sweden’s progress has been stellar against Sparta but I worry this may be the end to their expansion. Sparta still has a strong Mediterranean navy fleet that can easily recapture coastal cities. Sweden should peace out soon instead of fighting for pointless coastal cities (hopefully, other civs like Carthage will jump on Sparta, further fueling Sweden’s successes). Finally, Buccaneers wisely peace out in their successful Portugal War and now rebuild towards their next fight, good job Buccaneers!

Although Boers didn’t fight anyone and largely stayed out of the limelight, they still get a shout out for being the first civ to reach the Information Age! This is in relation when other civs are still reaching the Modern Age such as Mexico. The Boers are doing fantastic and we are eager to see them fight their next foe.

The Best Pokémon Games and Types for a Single Type Run

Self-made video game challenges and runs have been a staple in recent gaming and can create exciting and new ways to replay your favorite games. There are a whole variety of them ranging from a no-kill run in Metal Gear Solid to only using your knife as a weapon in Resident Evil 4. Pokémon is no exception to this rule as one of the most famous video game challenges of all time is the Nuzlocke Run which actually makes the Pokémon games exceedingly difficult. Today, I offer you a different sort of run, one that although is not as challenging as a Nuzlocke Run, is still very enjoyable. I give you, a Single Type Run/Challenge.

Simply put, a Single Type Run is where you catch Pokémon who only belong to a certain type whether it is Water, Bug, Dark, or Dragon. If a Pokémon does not have a type in that category then it’s out.   This is a great challenge I think because you can form a team around your favorite type(s) and not have to worry much about picking your favorites. Your team’s weaknesses are what make this challenging as you have to look out for moves or Pokémon that may defeat you. And to be fair, this isn’t exactly a brand new, exciting concept; many people have done this Run for a long time. That is why today, I’m going in depth and telling you what Pokémon games and types are the best for a Single Type Run. Let’s take a look!

If you want to cut right to the chase, just click the image below that will explain everything to you concisely. Below the chart I have written my methods in approaching this monumental task and the overall best games and types for a Single Type Run.

Pokemon, Pokemon Single Type Run, Single Type Run, Single Type

Before I analyzed a whole bunch of different pokedexes, I had to design a series of rules to make sure I kept my analysis consistent. As such, here are the rules for my version of the Single Type Run.

  1. A type must be selected before starting the game. Upon playing the game the player must make all attempts to capture a Pokémon of that type as soon as possible. Once captured, the previous Pokémon of the party must be disregarded if they are not of that type.
  2. Pokémon that have yet to evolve into that type (e.g., Nidoran in a Ground type Run or Caterpie in a Flying type Run) may be caught but must be evolved as soon as possible.
  3. Mega Evolutions that changes a Pokémon to your type are allowed provided you mega evolve the Pokémon as soon as their battle begins.

Of course, everyone has their own version of the rules and that’s totally fine! This is just how I approached the analysis.

In order to determine which Pokémon games are the best for a Single Type Run I had to design a categorizing system that was nonsubjective. What’s more, I had to find a simple but effective rating system that can satisfy all 406 possible combinations between typing and the games. This was solved by a dual grading system using numbers and letters. Every typing and video game combination has a one letter (A-F) and one number (1-4) grade for how beneficial a Single Type Run would be. Numbers indicate a game’s type diversity. For instance: 1=At least six unique catchable Pokémon, all weaknesses are neutralized/covered; 2=At least six unique catchable Pokémon; 3=Three-to-five unique catchable Pokémon; 4=Only one-to-two unique catchable Pokémon. Letters indicate how early you can catch a Pokémon: A=First Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym; B=Between the first-second gym; C=Between the second-third gym; D=Between the third-fifth gym; F=After the fifth gym. For example, if you were to do a Ground type run in Pokémon Red, you would have a 2A rating (i.e., you can catch at least six Ground type Pokémon and the first Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym (the Nidorans)).

As such, a 1A rating in Single Type Run is the best rating you could get when selecting your type and game. You can catch a Pokémon fairly early on and you can get a diversified team that has all of its weaknesses covered. If that doesn’t bother you and are fine with doubling up, then hey, that’s cool. Surprisingly, given all the strict guidelines, there are a whopping 145 combinations that have a 1A rating. That’s 36%! This is mainly thanks to Generation 6 which had a huge diversity of Pokémon in their respective games (64% of their possible type combinations had a 1A rating).

For the purpose of saving a lot of headaches, trading was not included in the Single Type Run Chart. Trading defeats the purpose of the Run as it’s much easier to get a team of six Pokémon (especially in the later generations) that has all of its weaknesses covered. This is why a lot of games on the Chart (such as Generation One for Bug types) won’t have the full team even if they have the diversity needed (Scyther and Pinsir are version-exclusive Pokémon). Also, Pokémon catchable after the Elite Four were not included as, in my opinion, you’re at the end of the game. I imagine you win the challenge once you beat the Elite Four. True, some games have a lot of content after the Elite Four (such as the Johto games), but this is only after hours and hours of playing the games. Tyranitar in Gold/Silver is a great example as you can catch Larvitar at Mount Silver but that’s only after you acquired 16 badges (and by then, what’s the point?).

The Best and Worst Pokémon Games for a Single Type Run

By far, the best Pokémon games for a Single Type Run are Pokémon X and Y followed by Pokémon AlphaSapphire, and then Pokémon OmegaRuby and Pokémon Platinum. Both Pokémon X and Y had a remarkable 1A ratio of 13-18. That’s unreal! And the other types that did not get a 1A were also pretty good as the worse rating was only a 2B (Dragon). And considering how this is one of the few games that an Ice type Run is actually feasible, I think this is a good bet to go for! Alpha Sapphire is the other game I recommend you play for a Single Type Run. It has a high amount of 1A ratings (11-18) and is the only game in the entire series to have a 1A rating for Ghost! This is thanks to Nincada in Route 116, a Sableye in Granite Cave, as well as the plethora of catchable Ghost Pokémon near the end of the game.

The games to avoid would definitely be the Generation 1 games and that’s not surprising given the games’ initial lack of diversity. Pokémon Blue and Yellow only have one 1A rating (Normal) while Red has that and Electric. Ironically, the Electric type only sometimes acquires a 1A rating given their low diversity. If you want to do an Electric type Run in Yellow, catch a Pikachu and later catch a Magnemite, then Jolteon, Electabuzz, Voltorb, and Zapdos. I wouldn’t recommend this though given the mentioned Pokémon have a rather low movepool (look towards B2 and W2 if you want an Electric type Run).

The Best and Worst Types for a Single Type Run

Normal, Normal, Normal, Normal! The Normal type is the only type that has a 100% 1A rating. This is thanks to Normal type having only one weakness (Fighting) which it can easily cover! Oh, and guess what! The Normal/Flying type combination is the most common type combination in the games. Every generation has introduced one and you are more than likely to run into one in the game’s first route. Boom, Normal’s commonality combined with its low weaknesses and early route availability makes it the perfect type for a Single Type Run. I recommend going old school and do a Normal type Run in Generation 1 as you can catch a plethora of iconic Pokémon like Jigglypuff, Pidgey, Tauros, Kangaskhan, and Snorlax. You will have a fun time as they are strong and can learn a variety of moves.

If you don’t want Normal I would then recommend a Water type Run (although Ground, Bug, and Flying are also good). Again, their commonality and low amount of weaknesses make them a great type to do a Run. Water/Ground and Water/Flying Pokémon are surprisingly common and are introduced in almost every generation. These two potent combos cover Water type’s weaknesses and more than help you have a good time. If I were to recommend some games they would be Pokémon Sapphire, Emerald, and Alpha Sapphire. Pick Mudkip as your starter (Water/Ground), catch a Lotad (Water/Grass) in Route 102, and Wingull (Water/Flying) in Route 104 and you are set. From there, you are given a huge range of great Water Pokémon. Some off the top of my head are Gyarados, Crawdaunt, Sharpedo, Lanturn, Tentacruel, Marill, and Relicanth.

Ice and Dragon type are the worse types for a Single Type Run. This is not surprising given they are usually available fairly late in the game and their diversity is rather lack luster. Surprisingly, Ice type received a 1 rating in Silver and Crystal but is severely marred by their late game status. If you want to do an Ice type run go for X and Y. Pick up the Sail Fossil, resurrect Amaura, and start catching some great Ice Pokémon. Unfortunately, Dragon type never gets a 1 rating although it has come close. As for which game, I’m honestly torn between XY and ORAS. On the one hand, you can get a Mega Sceptile/Altaria in ORAS although in X you can get a Mega Charizard X. Tough call.

Trivia

-If you want to do a Water type Run in Pokémon Yellow, your first Pokémon will be a Magikarp from the Pokecenter salesman outside of Mount Moon. Have fun!

-In general, the third game in a series (Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, and B2W2) will have an increase in 1A ratings due to an increase in diversity. The only exception to this is Pokémon Yellow.

-Remakes’ (FRLG and HGSS) ratings are generally similar to their original games as Pokémon availability are generally the same. The major exception to this is ORAS which introduced the National Dex before the Elite Four and not after. ORAS has a 1A rating of 11/18 (61%) while Ruby and Sapphire averages out to 6.5/17 (38%).

-Despite being introduced in Generation Six, Fairy type has a 1A rating of 100% in all four Generation Six games. This is thanks to the variety of Pokémon from previous generations changing to the Fairy type like Mawile, Gardevoir, Marill, and Wigglytuff.

Final Thoughts?

So that’s the article! I worked on this for a couple of months, whenever I had time to kill or just wanted a break from my normal work load. I double checked my sources although I know I might have messed up a rating so if you spot something that’s incorrect, let me know! Happy playing!

Crazy Theory: Missingno. is in Pokemon Sun and Moon

Okay, crack theory time.

In the latest Pokémon Direct (February 26th, 2016), the Pokémon Company revealed that you can transfer your Pokémon in Red, Blue, and Yellow, from their Virtual Console games, to Pokémon Bank, and to the newly revealed upcoming games, Pokémon Sun and Moon. This is exciting news. As I’m sure you are aware, fans were very displeased when Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were released as you couldn’t transfer your Pokémon from Generation 1 or 2 to these games. You had to leave your old Pokémon behind.

But now that’s changed. Not only can you replay the original Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow games, now you can play them and transfer them to new games and still be with them.

And in all of the excitement of transfers, I would like to bring up Missingno. which has been confirmed, via fan footage, that you can capture this “Pokémon” again in the new virtual console games. The question though begs to be asked, can you transfer this glitched Pokémon to Pokémon Bank?

In Generation 1 when you transfer Missingno. to Pokémon stadium, it can become a ditto or a substitute doll no matter what form. Will the same thing happen to Pokémon Bank? In this case, will Missingno. turn into a ditto upon upload?

I (like to) think not and here’s why. One, Nintendo knows that Missingno. exists as evidenced by their Customer Service account. Two, since they do know it exists, and the potential harm Missingno. can have on saved accounts, why would they bother to still keep it in the game? At the very least they probably programmed it so you can capture a Missingno. and still have infinite items without messing up your data.

As such, I propose my very crazy theory in that Missingno. will be an actual, for real Pokémon, in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Not only will it be a Pokémon, it will be an story driven Pokémon that the evil team will use to glitch the world into their favor. Maybe they won’t use it in Sun and Moon (perhaps in a sequel), but the possibilities of Missingno. are endless as the evil team could use this Pokémon to create infinite items, say Master Balls, and use the Pokémon to exploit the world you live in. And if they’re not careful, could throw the whole world out of whack. Super scary thought for sure.

Although the above scenario is highly unlikely, I still find the upcoming events of Missingno., Virtual Console, Pokémon Bank, and Sun and Moon quite interesting so keep an eye out for that when more information is revealed.

Favorite Games I Played in 2015

2015 was another good year for video games for me and I played a variety of them ranging from indie games (a rarity for myself) to big blockbuster hits and from JRPGS to an unique spin on the first person shooter genre.  Many of these games I’ll likely play again down the road but for now lets dive in!

Games I played in 2015

3DS: Link Between Worlds, Phoenix Wright-Dual Destinies, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Majora’s Mask

DS: Apollo Justice (started), Hotel Dusk: Room 212 (started) Fossil Fighters (gave up on)

PS2: Dragonquest 8

PS3: South Park: Stick of Truth

Wii U: Mario Maker, Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X

PC Games: Her Story, Undertale, Huniepop, Tales from the Borderlands, Wolf Among Us, Star Wars: KotOR

image from gamerevolution.com

Biggest Timesink: Dragonquest 8

So I bought this game on a whim at my local video game store shortly before my internship last summer.  With no internet in the residence building, my primary entertainment indoors was either Battlestar Galatica and Dragonquest 8.  The funny thing was that I was planning on playing multiple games but this game was so big and I had sank so much time on it (last check was well above 70 hours) that not only was it the only game I played, even King Trode scolded me for lollygagging.  But I can’t help it!  The minigames, the sidequests, and those damn Minimedals took up a lot of my time.  The game was fun (even if the voice acting was a bit hokey), challenging, and entertaining all around.

Favorite Indie Game: Undertale

At initial glance, Undertale appears to be another SNES-style RPG with the only thing going for it a unique combat system. However, this is definitely not the case as the game will make you question many standard video game tropes and what it means to be the protagonist of your story. These ideas were further enhanced for myself as I had just played Dragonquest VIII, a fairly typical RPG, which adhered strictly to these tropes. The characters were stellar, the music was top notch, and the story was a wild ride, definitely check it out.

Biggest Guilty Pleasure: Huniepop

Okay, just hear me out; I initially bought this game because I saw YouTube-star Markiplier enjoying the hell out of it. From what I saw, it was a crude, raunchy, dating-sim parody that you play for laughs. What I got was not only a, dare I say, strategic game where you have to plan your gifts and puzzle actions, but a tongue-in-cheek look at how video games clumsily handle women characters. Is the game’s humor and overall appeal satirical or intentional? You’ll be the judge of that. Who knows, I might even dedicate an article to this game on my blog but for now, let’s just let it be.

Best Moment: The Fart Battle in South Park: Stick of Truth

God this game.  Unsurprisingly, this game was so damn funny and I understand why people like it so much.  There were so many great moments but the one that I have to go for is the epic Fart Battle I had against Cartman.  When this happened, I was simultaneously laughing my ass off while pressing the button as fast as I could.  This went on for at least five minutes and in the end I couldn’t make it but god damn was that great.

Worst Line Delivery: The Character Nikki Ann-Marie in Huniepop

In Huniepop, you can date a variety of girls that fit the standard tropes in anime, video games, and so forth.  One of those girls, is the geeky introvert, Nikki Ann-Marie.  Rather than trying to pass her off as aloof but still have some sense of humor, kindness, and passion, Nikki’s voice actress instead portrays her as a character whose constantly bored.  It’s kind of annoying after awhile as Nikki has the potential to be as memorable as some of the other girls.  I think what really seals it for me though is Nikki’s reaction towards your gifts comes off as feign interest rather than genuine intrigue and that’s too bad.

Best Supporting Cast: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Ah KotOR, although I’ve had my fair share of amazing characters, especially in Undertale and Tales from the Borderlands, KotOR takes the cake.  You can’t help but love your ragtag team even if Carth is a wee bit of a nuisance with his “Carth wants to talk about something/no he actually doesn’t.”  What I like about my crew is that there’s always a situation for one of them even if I use some more than others.  Plus they got great chemistry!

Favorite Antagonist: Handsome Jack from Tales from the Borderlands

Flowey is evil because he has no soul, the Crooked Man does what he does to improve fable lives, and Dhoulmagus wants to resurrect the greatest evil of all time.  These are all noteworthy antagonists but the one to take the cake is Handsome Jack.  Although we see Handsome Jack prominently in Borderlands 2, the biggest change here is Rhys.  Now, Jack can directly interact with you and it’s awesome.  How far should you trust him?  He’s a smooth talker with bouts of rage and lots of charisma.  Jack dramatically affects Rhys’ storyline and makes him change for the better.  Jack is insane, conniving, and hilarious and I love every bit of it.

Surprise Hit: The Wolf Among Us (tWAU) and Her Story

So I bought tWAU on a Steam sale around March, 2015 as I always wanted to try out a TellTale game but without paying full price for a game. After checking a few reviews online, I thought this looked good and dove into it. Wow, that’s all I have to say about that. I kept coming back again and again to play this game. Many times, I would start and end each chapter in almost one sitting. TellTale really told an immersive story that made you think about your decisions. Bigby is a great protagonist whose personality can range from angry law enforcer to a “jerk with a heart of gold” depending on how you play him. This game was great and I’m sad there’s not a sequel to it yet.

Her Story is another game that took me by surprise. I actually played it fairly late in the year (December) after I first heard about it in the Video Game Awards. Going into the game, the only thing I knew about it was the tagline “A Video Game About a Woman Talking to the Police.” Mary actually played this game with me and she was my note taker. We went back and forth what to look up next and she would write down many different dates and search terms to help us organize the story in our head. If you want a good detective game with no hand-holding, go for this one!

image from craveonline.com

Favorite Game I played: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

In 2015, I sunk a lot of time into several games, especially when I was interning at Fossil Butte. Even after I turned off the TV, I still looked forward to playing these games again whether it was because of their comedic value (South Park), story (Wolf Among Us), characters (Undertale), or immersive gameplay (Splatoon+South Park). It’s quite hard to pick which is the overall favorite new game I played in 2015 cause a lot of the games were good for their own reasons. However, if I had to pick my favorite it would be Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic just edging out the Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds.  Both of these games were great RPGs that gave you a large degree of choice in progressing the narrative.  But while a Link Between Worlds basically retold a Link to the Past, KotOR told a whole new story using the Star Wars background.  So many characters were good and I wish I got to know more about them like Canderous, HK-47, and Jolee.  The morality scale, the missions, and the planets were so well done.  It’s too bad I got spoiled for the game or else it would have ranked even higher in my love for it.  After playing this game, I really wanted to try out Mass Effect so that may be for another day but still, this game was amazing and definitely my favorite game I played in 2015.