Category Archives: Video Games

Need Input for New Pokemon Challenge Run Articles

Hello everyone!

Last month saw the release of my (at this time) final Monotype Article, “Best Pokemon Games for a Dragon-Type Run.” Now, all 18 Pokemon Types and every main line game (as of this post) have Monotype articles! I wrote these articles whenever I could and it took me several years to complete.

These articles have been amazing for my blog and I frequently get compliments and referrals to them. I appreciate all of you for your love, your corrections, and your input! Now that I’m done writing the articles (besides small corrections here and there), I’m ready to move on to other projects. My question to you all is what other type of analyses or articles would you like me to do for Pokemon? I’m already looking into Monolocke Runs, which has been interesting and more complicated than I thought it would be but I’m up for other ideas as well. You all know I put a lot of love and effort into them so rest assured if there’s an idea that I like I will give it my all.

Anyway, thank you everyone for reading and contributing to this blog. I love you all very much and fingers crossed for a Diamond and Pearl remakes! Lord knows those games could go for an ORAS-like adrenaline shot for Monotype Runs.

Pokemon Monotype Chart Updated to 2.03

Hey everyone!  Quick update, the Pokemon Monotype Chart is now updated to 2.03.  Thanks as usual to everyone who has send me in corrections!  I appreciate all of you very much!

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

Most of the changes are minor (add or subtract a Pokemon here or there) but there were a few moderate corrections of note.

-Ground and Rock teams in B2W2 went from a “D” to a “C” rating.  In the Castelia Sewers, you can connect to a small leg of Relic Passage before the third gym.  Still not the best to train Rock or Ground Pokemon in those games but it’s still an improvement.

-Apparently, the version exclusive Pokemon in RBY is different from FRLG.  I was very shocked!  Slowpoke, for instance, is absent in FireRed but present in Red, Blue, and Yellow.  That was frustrating to go back and correct…

-You can only catch a Sableye after the championship in Shield meaning your Ghost team is exposed to Ghost attacks.

-In Platinum, although Rampardos and Bastiodon are available, you can only train one and not the other!  It all depends on your trainer ID number.  If the last digit is odd you get a Rampardos and if it’s even you get a Bastiodon.  Boo!

Finally, the chart does not include DLC for SWSH.  I don’t think it’s fair to upgrade the chart if people only have the base game and that’s it.  I might update the SWSH article in the future but I don’t have any immediate plans for it yet.  SWSH already has very good teams so it’s not a huge pressure to change it.

Thanks for reading!

“Return of the Obra Dinn” Sequel Ideas (feat. Mothman)

I wrote recently about my love for the hit indie game “Return of the Obra Dinn” (ROD) but now I want to talk about something else on my mind, sequels.  “ROD” has a huge potential for creating other stories set in the same universe (not just the mystery aspect but all the dark, fantastical creatures that reside in this world) that you can easily make a mini series based on the game.  Now I want to say upfront that Lucas Pope, the creator of “ROD,” doesn’t seem like a fellow who would be willing to make sequels.  His previous game, “Papers, Please” was another indie hit that told a story that could only be done through video games.  He seems like a person who wants to create insightful stories revolved around unique concepts which I can respect.

But it’s fun to create sequel ideas for such a fun concept so rather than dwell on the probably-nots, let’s instead dream about the what-ifs.  What would a sequel to “ROD” look like?

Return of the Obra Dinn on GOG.com

First, the Obra Dinn’s story is told and done.  We don’t need to come back to the ship or its characters.  Instead our sequel will revolve around the key item that makes the game work, i.e. the death watch itself, Memento Mortem.  Our “ROD” sequel’s protagonist, who could be the same one as the first game but is not required, will investigate a mystery using the magical watch.

These sequels can also improve the gameplay and story from ROD.  In an interview on eurogamer.net, creator Lucas Pope said

“…I really like I can only tell story through moments of death, the instant when somebody dies. But to relay a story to the player is kind of tricky, because you can only tell them things when somebody dies. So first off, people have to be dying left and right, and you need a reason for people to be dying constantly. And that’s sort of unusual, people don’t generally die all the time. Getting that working with the story in a way that the player can understand took a long time.”

To ease the burden of creating a story through death we can find other ways to tell this world’s story.  First off, we can have more deaths that aren’t human.  In “ROD,” the watch worked not only on humans but on animals (the cow and the monkey) and beasts (the mermaids and the crab soldiers).  If we lean more heavy on the animal deaths, which are more common, we can find ways to continue the story without running out of bodies quickly.

The other way we can expand the story is through old fashion detective work.  When you’re at the scene of the crime, you can read journals and observe items which can clue you in on the victims’ identities.  After all, we’re still trying to answer the two key questions of “Who is this?” and “What was this soul’s fate?”  Reading pages in a journal can clue us in to past events or a character’s actions.  Observing items can help us trace their path in dead memories and see how they went from point A to point B.  The catch of this is that you can only interact with these items in the present and not in the memories.

This is important because we can space out the deaths if needed.  In ROD’s ten chapters, the last seven very likely took place in the span of hours which is incredible to think about.  In the sequel, we can space events further from each other and allow us some breathing room, maybe have a story that takes place over a few days.

So now we need a story.  A story that involves a lot of deaths.

Keeping some consistency with “ROD,” let’s place our new story in the early 1800’s.  It doesn’t have to be exactly 1807 but as long as we hit the ball park range we should be good.  Two ideas come to my head that would create very interesting stories for our “ROD” sequel: a Ghost Train and a Ghost Town.

(love this song, this would be great to have as a theme)

Let’s start with the Ghost Train idea.  The story synopsis would be that a train has just arrived at its station but everyone on board is found dead or missing and you’re tasked to find out what happened to it.  As you can see, it’s very similar to the Obra Dinn structure so we can find some similarities there.  First, train cars will open up to you as you further your investigation just as the Obra Dinn opens up its lower levels.  I imagine that the caboose might be an important part for the investigation given its cargo-holding function.

Next, we can get a wide collection of individuals, mainly passengers, who are trying to get to a certain destination.  And what’s handy is we can have a passenger list with their names, if they bought a first class ticket or not, if they booked a round trip, and etc.  The passengers can be diverse and come from different countries, states, occupations, social standing, and etc.  This can also be the maiden voyage for this train and to celebrate the occasion everyone on board, both passengers and employees, took a (unlabeled) group photograph.

Admittedly, animal death would be minor in this game but I can see a few ways we can still use it.  An (unfortunate) death of a pet would be one but we can also have a bison death which could’ve stopped the train halfway through it journey and unknowingly pick up some hitchhikers.  These hitchhikers may bring with them a curse or amulet or whatever that starts the fantastical shenanigans.  Beside the hitchhiker, you can also have bandits who may attack the train.  Once you find evidence of the bandit attack, you suddenly gain access to wanted posters of them!  You can then pin the bandit faces to their posters which would be cool.

There would be a good potential for fun reading material such as journals, newspaper articles, and other lettering.  You can have a doctor’s notes about an onboard patient, a lawyer’s case files, or even as something as simple as a person’s recipe which contains an allergenic ingredient that kills a passenger!  I like the idea of the conductor taking careful notes about the train where a small, seemingly innocuous detail unravels the whole case.  A lot of fun can be done here.

As for the fantastical element?  I can imagine a few creatures like gargoyle-like bats, a plague of insects, a terrifying spirit, or hell, even dinosaurs intercepting the ride.  What I like in “ROD” was Lucas Pope’s addition of the spider crab soldiers which is so excellent.  Taking an unused animal and giving it horror-filled qualities would be great such as a mutated pronghorn, giant cicadas, or quill-shooting demon-porcupines.  The problem is you can’t have a large beast, like “ROD”‘s the Kraken, because that may topple the train altogether.  Although you never know, perhaps a beast did stop the train and the passengers have to clear or fix the railroad so they can survive another attack; that would be suspenseful!

File:Rainy Blue Ridge-27527.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

My favorite idea though is the Ghost Town which would definitely expand the setting’s scope but will see a huge rise in complexity and game development.  This would definitely be the bigger budget, more manpower, game but would create some interesting ideas.  Now, we don’t have to get too carried away but I feel maybe 80 people or so would be reasonable enough to have for our village size.  After all, in “ROD,” a real crew for a ship of that size would be much bigger (the original crew was 51 plus the 9 passengers) but we maintained our suspension of disbelief easily.  Also, more people does not mean it would be better.  It would make the game too frustrating and hard to keep track of.  So I think 80 people would be fine.  You can even divide the village up into smaller groups like a scene with just the miners or just the farmers to help with the logic process.

Our Ghost Town would take place in the Appalachian Mountains near a mine.  The story is as follows: after a terrible blizzard cutoff all communications with the mountain village of Hellbender, the town was found completely deserted and what few people remain were dead.  Something happened to the villagers.  You are hired by the state government to investigate the town and find out what happened.

You are given the Memento Mortem (of course) along with the town’s census list which documents their addresses, their family names, and their occupations.  You also find within the town hall a painting/photograph of the town’s village celebrating its official opening.  Armed with these few crucial pieces of evidence, you begin your investigation.

Compared to our Ghost Train story and the original “ROD,” Hellbender can give us a lot of fantastic potential for some great game play moments.  First, we can find lettering scattered throughout the village, with many of the same things found on Ghost Train found here like the journals, letters, and etc.  But we can get some other good stuff as well.  A foreman’s official documentation on mining activities, a constable’s notes on recent arrests, or a store clerk’s inventory on their goods.  A doctor’s notes would be especially great given how he would regularly visit most if not everyone in town and have keen knowledge on the town’s overall health and well being.

Obviously, Hellbender’s setting is going to be its best selling point.  The memories in the weird “deadception” pocket dimension of the Memento Mortem will open houses and stores up which may otherwise be inaccessible.  You may even reach the mine to see what exactly happened inside of it.  I also imagine the local graveyard would be a fantastic source for memories since the bodies are just sitting there waiting to be buried.  So the game will have a nice steady progression as more and more of the town opens up to you.

The deaths will be awesome; so many great ways to die!  Besides freezing to death, which will probably happen in the last chapter when the blizzard kills off the last few remaining survivors, we can get other interesting fates as well.  First, although the town is isolated, that doesn’t mean its impassable; unlike the train or ship, it would be easier for people to leave, and try their luck in the wilderness.  How many of these deserters will survive or not is up to the story…

But we can get a huge variety of deaths, too many to list here but include the usual gunshot, explosion (there’s a mine after all…), and the standard disease.  I imagine whatever curse fell upon this town (along with spicy human greed) will give us some great variety like strangulation, stabbing, and bludgeoning.

The creatures and animals though are the real selling point.  Wolves and other feral animals may harass the town but we can get some good, crazy-ass monsters here.  Giant crocodile-like salamanders can prowl the river and man-size naked mole rats can be freed in the mine and wreck havoc!  I also like the idea of seeing bigfoot just randomly showing up and ripping a guy in half (which would be morbidly hilarious).

Mothman - Wikipedia

Obviously, a horror-themed Mothman should be our antagonist (?) that catalyzes the series of misfortunes that fall upon the town.  Imagine this for our first memory.  You find a body at the bottom of a cliff next to the remains of a bridge.  This is the only bridge that connects Hellbender to the rest of the world and its collapse causes the town’s isolation.  In the memory, you see the individual as he makes ground contact but in the background you see the Mothman…eyes glowing brightly.  In fact, his eyes glow just like the shells do in “ROD,” in the memory world where everything seems still, the Mothman’s eyes are ablaze.   And in the rest of the memories, you can find his eyes in the distance, still watching as the town falls prey to whatever supernatural fate fell upon them…

Obviously, these thoughts and ideas are just a fan day dreaming but I nonetheless hope to play another game like “Return of the Obra Dinn.”  What about you?  Would you like to see a sequel?  If so, where do you think the sequel should take place?  Love to hear your thoughts on this excellent, mystery game.

I still can’t stop thinking about “Return of the Obra Dinn”

Warning: this article contains spoilers for “Return of the Obra Dinn”

Return of the Obra Dinn on GOG.com

It’s been a year and a half since I first played the hit indie game “Return of the Obra Dinn” and I still can’t stop thinking about it. It has become one of my favorite games in recent memory and there’s nothing else quite like it. The visuals are unique, the soundtrack is great, but the gameplay really sells it. You investigate a ghost ship and determine what happened to it using the Memento Mortem, a pocket watch that reveals the last things a person heard and saw before their death.  Once you correctly identified three people and their cause of death, the journal given to you will lock their fates in place affirming your deductions.  Through these death scenes and context clues, you are able to piece together the Obra Dinn’s story and (mostly) figure out what transpired.

I first became aware of this game through one of my favorite Youtubers, Game Makers Toolkit, who did an episode on detective games. At the time, the game hadn’t been released yet but he commented on it and thought it would likely be a good mystery game. Turns out, he was right! He, and other reviewers, praised “Return of the Obra Dinn” and awarded it for its unique and fun gameplay. After I saw his 2018-best-of video, I decided that it was time I tried it out as well.

To say the least, this is one of those games that I never knew wanted until I played it. I love playing mystery games.  I enjoyed all the Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton games, full-motion-video games like “Contradiction!,” “Her Story,” and “The Shapeshifting Detective,” visual novels like “Danganronpa,” and the unique mix-and-match setup of “Tangle Tower.”  The list goes on. But of all the games I played, I honestly think “Return of the Obra Dinn” is my favorite mystery game despite it’s very nontraditional-Mystery Genre setup.

Return of the Obra Dinn review - The Verge

First, there are many things that a mystery game should excel at for its audience like

  • It should give you clear question(s) for you to solve and work towards
  • You should be able to collect and analyze clues and determine their importance to the mystery (some games only give you the bare essentials while Sherlock Holmes gives you waaaaaay too much useless information)
  • You should work for your answer without spoon feeding it (unlike Phoenix Wright)
  • It should give you a wide range of possible answers that you can systematically eliminate (many Layton games don’t even give you the option to figure out the crime).
  • It should make it hard to guess the correct answer but at the same time not make it too frustrating (“Contradiction” was unfairly hard)
  • Plot twists are welcome but shouldn’t be so far left field that there was no way you could’ve guessed the correct answer (Layton is a frequent victim of this which is why normally he answers the mystery and not the player)
  • It shouldn’t overly criticize the player for mistakes or wrong answers (the full-motion-video Sherlock Holmes games made me feel dumb)
  • And if there are any fantastical elements, it should be constrained to a very strict, easy-to-understand rules (which “Danganronpa 2” miserably failed at)

This is a very tight rope to balance and it’s easy for one of these key features to disappoint the players.  With few exceptions, “Return of the Obra Dinn” excels at these standards.

  • It gives me a clear question: “What happened to the Obra Dinn its crew?”
  • It allows me to analyze a whole suite of clues that are neatly arranged like the crew list, the ship map, the sketches, and of course, the memories.  Using these pieces of evidence, I can make reasonable assumptions on who is who.
  • The watch has some clear usage rules (find a dead body and activate the memory) if there’s another dead body in the person’s memory you can reactivate the watch again and see that corpse’s memory.  The watch and journal follow their stringent rules tightly but still find creative outlets like the watch’s effect on dead animals (or beasts) or the journal documenting the disappearance of certain souls.
  • Speaking of the beasts, they themselves do not confuse the cause of death and make it very clear what transpired (strangulation, spiked, and etc.).  If there is some debate of the cause of death there can be multiple right answers (e.g., a seaman died from a cannon blast that was pointed to them by the kraken’s tentacles, yet the cannon was lit by a another seaman, which one is the murderer?  Both answers are correct in this case)
  • I love that I don’t have to answer a series of multiple choice questions.  I want to be in control of this detective story and I don’t want the game tell me I’m ready to solve it.  Throughout the whole game I have to answer just two questions for all sixty souls, “Who is this?” and “What is their fate?”  The simplicity makes the game satisfying to solve.
  • I don’t feel stupid while playing the game.  In fact, if you play it smartly, you can have two souls that you’re positive on, and then work on a harder third soul and play around with the names until you land on the correct answer.  Even so, when you have an incorrect entry, the game doesn’t ring an incorrect buzzer or deduct points (it straight up doesn’t have any).  It’s the story that matters and that’s it.
  • Granted, there is some guessing, especially near the end of the game for the countless seamen but by then you are pretty close to solving it all and sometimes you just need to rearrange names a few times before you get it right.  Even then, this guessing doesn’t feel cheated as, well, of course you’re not able to get everyone’s name 100% correct since it’s not like they say their name out loud when they die…
  • And probably my favorite bit in the game is the “Eureka!” moment.  Hearing that string instrument gave me such joy as well as seeing my hard work deductions turn into correct answers.  God it’s so good.

Return of the Obra Dinn Announced for Consoles | Gaming Instincts

God this whole scene was crazy…

“Return of the Obra Dinn” left an impact on me that no other mystery game has come close to touching.  I wish I could magically forget and replay it just so I could have those satisfying “Eureka!” moments.  I did replay it again recently and it was still satisfying to solve as I forgot the countless souls on board and only remembered a few key clues.

Game Maker’s Toolkit said it best that many mystery games use realism to try to create the perfect mystery game but that perfection leads to awkward gameplay and makes it hard to fully enjoy the game.  But “Return of the Obra Dinn”‘s contrived setting changes the traditional Sherlock Holmes formula and completely restructures the mystery genre.  I’m hoping that other mystery games follow suit and gives us something exciting and different.  “Her Story” and “The Shapeshifting Detective” both are standouts that change the formula and excel in their new gameplay.  Hopefully other games follow suit but in the mean time, I’m hoping for a sequel to “Return of the Obra Dinn” in a different setting!  That would be awesome.

What do you think?  What has been your favorite mystery game and why?  Love to hear your answers!

Potential Partners For A New Paper Mario Game

Paper Mario Partners

So last night, I started replaying the stellar Super Mario Odyssey and while I was playing it I couldn’t help but admire all the citizens and characters from the very different kingdoms. It got me thinking how these citizens would serve as great partners in a classic Paper Mario game (Paper Mario 64 and Thousand Year Door).  And with the rumors that there might be a new, classic-based, Paper Mario game coming out (yay!) I thought to myself…well…who would Mario’s new partners be?

It’s been 16 years since Thousand Year Door was released and since then we’ve seen a slew of remarkable games like Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D World, and of course, Mario Odyssey.  In these games we see bad guys and allies of all sides come and face or aid Mario’s quest.  They include Lumas, Moe-Eyes, Jaxis, as well as characters like Nabbit too.  These new characters, along with classics like Shy Guys or Hammer Bros., can be very useful for Paper Mario’s journey.  But who to choose? Before we answer that let’s look at the first two Paper Mario games to gleam some ideas.

A good Paper Mario team needs to have diversity to help Mario progress in the game. This can be anything from blowing up walls with Bob-ombs, riding a Yoshi or Parakarry over gaps, or swimming with Sushi between docks. The team should also be good at traversing through hazards like Lakilester’s cloud or Lady Bow’s and Vivian’s intangibility. Finally, there should be a partner who can add insight to the world like our Goombas or find items like Watt or Ms. Mowz.

They should also be good with combat. The huge diversity of enemies means you need a lot of tricks to knock them out. This includes the Koopas’ Power Shell to knock through ground enemies, Watt’s or Yoshi’s defense-ignoring attacks, or Sushi’s advantage over fire enemies. What if the combat is too tough? Not to worry! Lady Bow’s Spook and Flurrie’s Gale Force can get them out of here! Mario’s stats looking bad? Give him a boost with Sushi’s Water Block or Koops’ Shell Shield! Don’t know your enemies’ stats and weaknesses? The Goombas can tattle on them! You guys get the idea.

With this in mind, I wrote up a complete team of new partners who’d be wonderful to have along with some honorable mentions.  Let’s take a look who Mario’s new partners could be!

Moe-Eye | Fantendo - Nintendo Fanon Wiki | Fandom

Moe-Eye
Ability: Find hidden objects
Attacks: Search, Headbonk, Pinpoint, Headbonk Hop

One of the more charming new citizens in Mario Odyssey are the Moe-Eyes; Moai statue-like people who roam Sand Kingdom.  When Mario captures one, he can lower his shades and see hidden platforms or objects similar to the Lens of Truth from the Legend of Zelda.  Although his Moe-Eye form cannot attack or jump, it’s very helpful to figure out how to get to, seemingly-impossible to reach, places.

Mario’s Moe-Eye Partner, we’ll call him Moe, can fill a combination of Goombella and Watt’s roles.  Not only can he give us background information on people, objects, and locations, but he can don his sunglasses to look for hidden objects.  Given that you may have Moe right at the beginning of the game, it might work better to give his ability to see hidden objects sometime later that way players aren’t constantly looking for invisible things.  Maybe Moe get’s a new pair of sunglasses later?

Battle-mode Moe is basically Goombario 3.0.  He has a “Headbonk” ability and he has his own version of tattle which would be called “Search.”  Standard stuff for a first party member.  However, we want to make Moe continually useful and not fall to the wayside like Goombario.  I think we can make Moe useful by giving him an attack called “Pinpoint” where he finds weaknesses in a foe’s defense and make them susceptible to attacks.  His final attack, “Headbonk Hop,” would allow Moe to jump from foe to foe until the attack’s timer runs out.

Capture List - Super Mario Odyssey - Mario Party Legacy

Uproot
Ability: Reach high places
Attacks: Root Uppercut, Vine Whip, Absorb, Timber!

Another partner from Mario Odyssey but this time it’s the antagonistic Uproot.  When you possess Uproots you’re able to reach extremely high platforms and minihop onto them.  Not only was that helpful for exploration but Mario also used an Uproot to defeat the spaceship boss Torkdrift by attacking it from below.

Prune, our Uproot partner, will again fill a similar niche role.  She can carry Mario to extremely high places where they can hop off to nearby platforms (she could even get a power-up and reach even higher places as well!).

We also have some interesting implications for Prune on the battlefield.  She can hit the flying opponents but how about hitting them from below???  She can walk underneath them and just rise up and hit their soft belly (“Root Uppercut”)!  That would be fun.  And she could also do a simple “Vine Whip” attack to hit any ground-based enemies.  Through “Absorb,” Prune sucks the enemy’s HP and regains hers, and “Timber!” would be her growing extremely tall and falling on all her enemies doing bonus damage to flying foes.

Boomerang Bro | MarioWiki | Fandom

Boomerang Bro
Ability: Hit distant switches and grab objects
Attacks:  Boomerang, Sky Shot, Shell Up, Juggling
Bonus: Additional Defense but lower Max HP

This time we’re pulling from the classics and using a Boomerang Bro who made their debut in the iconic Mario Bros. 3 game.  Since then, these boomerang-chucking foes have been a semi-regular staple in the games and they can be tricky foes to defeat.  Mario himself face Boomerang Bros a few times in the classic Paper Mario games and we can base his BB partner off of those guys.

Boomer, our Boomerang Bro, would fill a very similar role to the Koopa partners in that he can hit distant switches and grab items but this time with his boomerang.  Yeah, that’s pretty much it!  He will be a very useful partner grabbing the likes of items, badges, and star pieces.

Boomer’s attack, “Boomerang,” would be a cross between Goombella’s multibonk and Bow’s fan.  He’ll throw the weapon out, hit the enemy, and the boomerang will come back and hit the enemy a second time, stealing any items along the way.  His final attack, “Juggling” would be this but could hit all the ground dwelling enemies AND ignore their defense.  “Sky Shot” would be similar to “Boomerang” but would hit just Sky dwelling enemies and “Shell Up” would give Mario a boost in defense.

Japanese Nintendo

A Shy Guy With A Chain Chomp
Ability: Wall Buster
Attacks: Chomp, Intimidate, Let Loose, Glare

Admittedly, Mary came up with this idea but I loved it so much I had to use it.  Mario’s next partner would be a duo; a sweet Shy Guy, named Shia and her pet Chain Chomp, Chompy.  Their role in the overworld would be similar to Mario’s previous Bob-omb partners but instead of blowing up walls they smash right through them!  Shia will direct Chompy to crash through any walls and her faithful companion will bust them up!  These down busted walls can lead to rooms and hallways and open up new areas of the map.

In battle, Chompy will be doing the heavy lifting.  His “Chomp” attack would pierce an enemy’s defense and hit any foe (although he’ll take damage if he bites a spiked enemy).  “Intimidate” would scare away foes similar to Bow’s “Spook” whereas “Glare” could lower an enemy’s defense down by frightening them.  For “Let Loose,” Shia lets go of Chompy’s chain allowing him to do massive amount of damage albeit to a random foe.

X-Naut PhD | Mario Kart Wii Wiki | Fandom

X-Naut PhD
Ability: Intangible
Attacks: Bomb Lob, Intangible, Minimize, Explosion!

X-Nauts were the main antagonists for Thousand Year Door and although their occurrences after the game have been very minimal, I think it would honestly be cool to bring them back.  Maybe after Sir Grodus’ (leader of the X-Nauts) failed to take over the world, the rest of the X-Nauts disbanded and positively integrated into society.  X-Nauts themselves are general mooks although there are higher-level X-Nauts, called X-Naut PhDs, who use chemicals to hurt Mario or buff their allies.

Mario’s partner, Dr. Xander, can serve as Mario’s support both on and off of the battle.  His overworld ability would be intangibility akin to Bow and Vivian’s ability.  After years of tireless work,Dr. Xander finally and successfully invented a device that will make you intangible.  Sure it only lasts for a few seconds or so but it works!  So when Mario’s walking into a dangeorus situation, he can push a button and swoosh! he and Mario are safe from rolling boulders or sudden spikes.

Dr. Xander can use “Intangible” in battle to protect Mario from charged up attacks that would otherwise do massive damage to him.  Unfortunately, the device’s cool down rate will make Dr. Xander inaccessible the following turn meaning it will just be Mario for awhile.  Thankfully, Dr. Xander’s other attacks that will make him quite useful.  Through “Bomb Lob,” Dr. Xander throws an unstable potion to an enemy causing explosive damage with a high probability of burning them.  In “Minimize,” he throws concoctions that will shrink and diminish an enemy’s attack power (and the better the player is in the quick time event, the more enemies will be shrunk by the attack).  Finally, in “Explosion,” he mixes together volatile chemicals to create a super explosion that will do massive damage to all opponents!

Paper Mario Duplighost - Roblox

Duplighost
Ability: Disguise
Attacks: Headbutt, Duplicate, Fooled You!, Mario Mimicry

Our last partner is a bit high concept and would be hard to program but would nonetheless be the most entertaining!  One Mario mook that’s only seen in the Paper Mario games are the Duplighosts; fiends who can almost perfectly copy a person or species right down to their weaknesses.  Doopliss, a chapter antagonist in Thousand Year Door, is a Duplighost who managed to steal Mario’s identity without fooling his partners!  In a game with notable scenes and chapters, this one really stood out to a lot of people and definitely change up the game’s formula.

Our Duplighost, Mimi, will use her Disguise ability to infiltrate fortresses and bypass guards who may otherwise kick Mario and his crew out.  I imagine it would be very similar to the umbrella mechanic that Peach briefly used in the original Paper Mario game.  Mario will direct Mimi to a nearby enemy who will change into and perfectly match them (except for the voice which might be hilarious writing).  While transformed, Mimi can lead Mario, through a guise that he’s a hostage or she’s a chauffeur, through the area.  This will cut down on the stress level A LOT as you can walk through an area without anyone attacking you which would be sooooo niiiiice.  When done, Mimi will transform back and change into another foe!  But if Mimi changes back too soon, the enemy will be startled and immediately attack!  So you want to be careful where you change.

Mimi is going to be a high-strategy partner like Dr. Xavier in the battle.  She has a simple “Headbutt” attack but after that it’s going to get crazy.  “Duplicate” will transform Mimi into an opposing foe.  Why would you want to do this?  I imagine you could have enemies whose only weakness are themselves akin to when Baby Yoshi would swallow and spit opponents in Thousand Year Door.  You could do this for literally any enemy of the game so you would have similar attack power regardless of the enemy.  This is by far her most complicated attack so thankfully her boosted attacks are less mind-boggling.  “Fooled You!” will confuse the enemies so much they become dizzy and “Mario Mimicry” will temporarily transform Mimi into Mario allowing her to perform any actions Mario could do too.

Mario Pokio PT 2 by PrincessPuccadomiNyo on DeviantArt

Honorable Partners

There were a few other partner ideas that I had that didn’t make the cut.  Some partners I like the idea of but couldn’t figure out how they would be useful!  So I can leave that in your hands if you want.

Piranha Plant-burn environmental objects
Paragoomba-tattle or lift Mario
A Koopling-transport Mario through rough terrain or hit switches with their hammers
Jaxi-travel rough terrain
Glydon/Waddlewings-Fly through air
Nabbit/Bandit-Steal items
Luma-???
Ookio-wall…peck…jumping?

What about you reader?  What partners would you love to see in the next Paper Mario game?  What abilities would they have?  Let me know in the comments below and thanks as usual for reading!

Tangle Tower Review and Overall Thoughts

Spoiler-Free Review Summary: Despite no previous experience with Detective Grimoire, I was able to almost instantly fall in love with Tangle Tower thanks to its kooky characters, twisting story-line, hassle-free gameplay, and soothing music.  Fans of either Professor Layton or Ace Attorney would enjoy this point-and-click adventure game as time and time again I felt very happy and satisfied when clues came together and solutions arise.  The game’s art style is incredibly appealing and unique and I love each characters’ many expressions and voice acting.  The game’s main shortcomings stems from its shortness as it can easily be finished in just a few sittings.  Because of which, the ending left a lot of questions unanswered and made me yearn for more (in both a positive and negative way).  Nevertheless, I eagerly look forward to more Detective Grimoire and Sally games by the small but impressive video game company SFB Games.

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Overall Thoughts and Opinions (Spoilers): 

In the span of a few months Mary and I have played together two point-and-click (PaC) adventure games on the Switch; Thimbleweed Park and now Tangle Tower.  Of the two, I honestly think Tangle Tower does a better job with its concept and execution and left us more satisfied and less frustrated.  First, and foremost, Tangle cuts down on the frustrating pixel-hunting features that can plague PaC games including Thimbleweed.  It helps that objects are nicely drawn and recognizable which is further aided by Grimoire and Sally wry comments on said-object even when it has no relevant to the plot point.  This translates nicely to the puzzles (second), which did not feel frustrating as Mary and I fiddled with the gears, contraptions, and levers.  If we wanted a certain part to go in a certain place the part would snap to it without unnecessary fidgeting.  Finally, Thimbleweed was too full of itself and left an ending that was ultimately unsatisfying unlike Tangle which, despite some head-scratching unanswered questions (more about that later), overall left me satiated.

Overall, Tangle Tower was a fun and amazing time for Mary and I!  We loved it and found the game’s laissez-faire approach to let us do our own thing very rewarding.  The clues and mysteries definitely reminded me of Professor Layton but handled better as we were the ones solving these crazy questions.  The game’s intuitive approach of letting us mix-and-match solutions with nouns and verbs was a very fun process and something that was actually helpful if we weren’t sure how to solve the question.   The lack of a penalty for incorrect guesses may make the game easy for some but to us it was still a rewarding experience.

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But God, those characters are just the real selling points.  I just love the way they’re designed from Fifi’s squashed body, mass-of-hair, and single eye, to Professor Pointer’s melting face, rooftop hair, and squirming fingers.  And they all are just so beautifully animated with those squiggle lines and various dramatic poses.  You can tell that SFB Games has really placed a lot of love into this game further boosted by the years of programming experience they accrued.  Even our main characters have a sense of style to them and I especially like the sarcastic Sally with her three-sphere hair design and cute, tiny jacket.

Each character also has their own leitmotif and there are quite a few exploring themes as seen on the game’s website.  This helps reduce the repetition and really hone in on a room’s personality which is quite nice.  My favorite songs are ones that involved the piano with their slow and thoughtful tunes; part of me wishes the whole soundtrack was like that so I can listen to it while studying.  As a side note, the music and animation honestly remind me of the Microsoft computer games I grew up playing like Math Blaster or Magic School Bus.

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So one of the things I like about Tangle Tower is that you can show each character either a clue or a character’s portrait and with only a few exceptions out of the many combinations, the characters will respond with unique dialogue AND I LOVE THAT.  I’m so used to earlier PaC games, even Professor Layton and alike, to give generic dialogue when an irrelevant item is shown to a person (“I don’t know what that is” or “I can’t help you with that”).  It helps that there’s only like nine characters but still, the amount of dialogue in this game is tremendous.  And I like how the characters responses either reflect their personality, or give insight to a clue or another character, or point you to another character who could better assist you (it honestly reminds me of the Full Motion Video detective game “Contradiction!” which you all should check out).  One of the best examples of this is Poppy’s old photograph and how everyone kept lying who the girl is even though they know full well it’s Poppy.

These clues and character dialogue really make it fun to piece together the evidence and draw conclusions.  Mary and I would frequently bounce ideas and inferences off each other and usually by the time we had a great idea, Grimoire and Sally weren’t far behind.  This created an almost frustration-free environment as some games, like Ace Attorney, I’m just impatiently waiting for the detective to catch up to me when I have already figured it out 20 minutes ago.

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Unfortunately, many of the interesting plot points or character mysteries go unsolved or fall by the wayside at the end of the game.  I imagine that some of them acted as red herrings, to distract us from the bigger picture, and if that was the creators’ intention then it certainly worked but it still doesn’t explain some of the more pressing issues or confusing head-scratchers I felt should have been solved.

This includes but not limited to

  • Why did the lake rise and was that related to the new towers?
  • What was the other 10% of the Golden Beetle’s shell made of?
  • When did Penelope switch the red ink with the blood when she had very limited time to escape the attic and change clothes?  Was it before Freya started painting?  Also, WHO’S BLOOD IS IT???
  • What happened to that Inkdip bird?

And then there’s the other confusing evidence and plot points that I felt could’ve been straightened out a bit nicer like

  • Didn’t Grimoire realize during the statements review that Felix CLEARLY said he heard two people going down the stairs???  I felt like that should’ve been addressed by him or Sally during their review.
  • How the hell did Penelope/Hawkshaw manage to change in and out of costume without raising any kind of suspicion?  I feel like that should have been noted by the family members.
  • Why did Penelope have to kill Freya exactly?  Even though Freya found out the family’s secret was it going to jeopardize anything?

I think many of these problems stem from the game’s rather rushed ending which seems to be the biggest complaint a lot of people have for this game.  I think Mary and I finished it in like 6 hours or so?  It wasn’t very long that’s for sure.  It was actually kind of funny because the first couple of chapters or so were pretty long and then all of a sudden they just kept coming bam, bam, bam, one after the other!  The introduction of the mystids, the ambassadors, and the secret rooms, were fine but I felt like we could’ve stayed on them much longer.  I wish I heard what the other characters thought about the ambassadors and the secret room.  I also wanted to explore all four of the mystids including the amphibious creatures.  If the game added an extra hour of gameplay I felt it could’ve wrapped it up a bit nicer and not as an exposition dump in the end.

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I agree with you Grimoire, this was another minor thing that bugged me too

At this point though I am nitpicking a very fun and smart game.  You know that feeling you get when you play something and realize it was something you didn’t need until the moment you had it?  That was me for Tangle Tower.  It felt both new and familiar at the same time and I just love everything that made it for what it was.  I’m going to be playing “Detective Grimoire” after this but I got the sneaking feeling I won’t be enjoying the game as much as this one thanks in large part to the art style but we’ll see.  SFB Games, when you make another game, please include Sally in it as she really makes the game that much better.

Final thoughts and notes

  • I totally ship Fitz and Poppy, such a potentially cute couple
  • The creative puzzles were at the right level of difficulty.  That magnifying key puzzle was a bit of a pain but we got through to it in the end!
  • The damaged cassette tape was pretty creepy with the humming and all.
  • The map was amazing and definitely helpful to visualize where everyone was during the murder
  • Kind of disappointed that Penelope didn’t have bird arms in the end
  • So Felix just straight up didn’t carve a Fifi statue for Flora (her mom).  Yikes, poor Fifi.
  • Can we agree that Professor Pointer is a creep for peeping on Flora?
  • Love all the side conversations and settings of Tangle Tower, really hones in the history of the place.  I think this was most apparent for Freya’s storage-turned-bedroom.  Really shows how the family thought of her.

The Pokemon Types with the Best Move Diversity of 70 BP or Greater

TL:DR-I looked at every fully evolved, non-legendary, Pokémon and noted who can learn moves with 70 BP or greater. I then divided the Pokémon up to their respective types to determine which types had the greatest move diversity. Dragon type Pokémon had the greatest move diversity averaging 11 types per Dragon Pokémon, followed by Fighting (10.39), and Normal (9.93). Grass Pokémon had the least diversity learning on average 6.67 types per Grass Pokémon followed by Electric (6.92), then Bug (6.95). On average, 99% of Pokémon from each type can learn a Normal type move of 70 BP or greater. The next most common type was Ground and Steel (61%). On the opposite end, on average 20% of Pokémon from each type could learn a Fairy move of 70 BP or greater, followed by Dragon (25%), then Flying (28%).

I think a lot of Pokémon fans, whether consciously or subconsciously, are aware how some Pokémon types have a greater move diversity than others. Grass Pokémon don’t seem to expand beyond Grass and Poison moves, Ground Pokémon can learn a lot of Rock moves and vice versa, and Fighting types can learn a lot of elemental punches. But I was wondering, well, which Pokémon does have the greatest move diversity? And furthermore, what are the most common types a Pokémon will likely to learn? This is the question that my project hopefully answers.

Or at least begin to answer because there are a lot of ways to document a Pokémon’s movepool. Going through every different move would be exhausting on my part and will probably lead to a not very satisfying answer. To streamline the process I look at only moves with a 70 base power (BP) or greater a Pokémon can legitimately learn through Leveling Up, TM, Egg, Tutor, or even Transfer. I want to focus on attacking moves as that was what I was most interested in and I wanted to additionally focus on strong moves as most of the time, on a general playthrough of the games, people would probably focus on these moves and get rid of the weaker ones. So this takes away obvious moves like Scratch to Aerial Ace but I also weeded out certain multi-hit moves like Double Slap (which doesn’t guarantee 70+ power), Rollout (which takes time to get to 70+) but left in Dual Chop (as 40 x 2 = 80). I also did not take into account a Pokémon’s ability (like Technician) as that would cause additional headaches and would wobble the playing field a bit.

I also eliminated Legendary Pokémon as they can heavily tilt certain types to much higher type distribution. Types like Dragon, Psychic, and Flying can get an unfair advantage from these heavy hitters while Poison and Bug Pokémon are more likely to miss out. Eliminating these Legendary Pokémon gives us a better idea what the “average” Pokémon can learn.

The information was provided from Pokémon Database with all the information coming from Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon.

Results

Type Versatility Chart Website (EXCEL Download)

Check out the document for the detailed reports but basically, about 99% of Pokémon from each type can learn a Normal move with 70 BP or greater (this is thanks to moves like Façade, Slash, Hyper Beam and more). Much further behind, with very similar scores, is Steel and Ground with 61%. Steel type moves get a boost from random moves like Steel Strike or Iron Head that seem to pepper random Pokémon. 74% of Flying Pokémon can learn a Steel move thanks to Steel Wing (and in fact, if it wasn’t for the Bug Pokémon, that percentage would be much higher). The main reason why Steel is so popular is Iron Tail which has an incredible range of Tutor-potential Pokémon. Meanwhile, Ground type is popular thanks to the ubiquitous Earthquake TM. If you’re a large Pokémon, chances are, you can learn Earthquake! Smaller Pokémon can learn Dig and the new Stomping Tantrum has an incredible range of Tutor-potential Pokémon. Random Pokémon like Delcatty, Komala, and Dodrio can now learn strong Ground moves because of which.

On the flip side, about 20% of Pokémon from each type can learn a Fairy move; this is probably because Fairy was introduced only recently and there are only three moves, Moonblast, Dazzling Gleam, and Play Rough that are common enough for a Pokémon to learn. Psychic types have the second highest rate of Fairy moves at 42% which is abysmal! So if it feels like you’re having a hard time trying to find a Pokémon that learns a Fairy move, that’s not you, it’s the games. The second rarest move, Dragon, comes in at 25% because of the extreme rarity of its moves (that are not unique to legendaries). The main reason why they’re peaking at 25% is because of Outrage and Dual Chop. Outrage can be learned via Move Tutor and TM by Pokémon with anger issues; Dual Chop can be learned via Move Tutor by Pokémon with fists. To further illustrate my point, 57% of Fighting Pokémon can learn a Dragon Move of 70 BP or greater primarily because of Dual Chop. Bringing up the rear, we have some Pokémon that can learn Dragon Pulse via Move Tutor or TM like Clawitzer.

Dragon Pokémon had the highest move diversity by far with an average of 11 moves per Pokémon while Grass had the fewest with 6.67 per Pokémon. Let’s take a look at each of these types going from most to least diversity along with each type’s best and worst Pokémon.

Dragon

Average Moves per Dragon: 11

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Steel at 100%

Lowest Type: Fairy at 18%

Most Diverse: Drampa with 16 moves

Least Diverse: Kingdra with 7 moves

Thoughts: Dragon Pokémon being the #1 most diverse type I think should not surprise many people (Drampa is the #1 most diverse Pokémon according to the rules here, we’ll see it again in the Normal section!). They are very strong and they aren’t specified for one gimmick or purpose. So again and again we see Ground, Fire, Rock, and Fighting moves dominate the Dragon Pokémon. The fact that they broke 11 moves as a mean is pretty amazing and only four of the 17 Dragon Pokémon have less than 10 different type moves. They are powerful creatures that can control powerful forces.

Most interesting is Dragon’s 100% rating for Steel moves; what’s going on here? Well a few things give Dragon a perfect Steel rating. First is Steel Wing and the plethora of Dragon/Flying Pokémon. Additionally, Iron Tail makes a strong showing along with Iron Head. This is fantastic given Dragon’s Fairy weakness. Many times, a Dragon can learn more than one Steel Move which further illustrates how diverse they are.

It’s pretty funny how only 18% of Dragons can learn a Fairy move. Man do they dislike the Fae! I mean, Fairy IS the rarest type but still. I guess not many Dragons like to Play Rough or are feeling Dazzling Gleam. Only three Dragons can learn a Fairy move; Altaria, Drampa, and Dragalge. I’m not surprised about Altaria or Drampa but Dragalge? Really??? But yes! They get it by, of all things, breeding with an Azumaril who knows Play Rough. Hilarious to think they’re compatible!

 

Fighting

Average Moves per Fighting: 10.39

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Rock at 100%

Lowest type: Fairy at 4%

Most Diverse: Gallade and Pangoro with 15 moves

Least Diverse: Hitmontop with 5

Thoughts: Another 100%? How exciting! But yes, every Fighting Pokémon can learn a Rock move thanks to Rock Slide which works well against the birds. Additionally, Fighting has such a superb move distribution and not just because of the elemental punches. Earthquake, Dual Chop, and Throat Chop are just some examples. In fact, 82% of Fighting Pokémon can learn a Poison move thanks to Poison Jab.

Again, no surprise on the rarity of Fairy moves, only Gallade can learn a Fairy move. Going up the ladder, only five Fighting Pokémon can learn a Flying move, Hawlucha, Blaziken, Hitmonlee, Toxicroak, and Mienshao and they ALL know Bounce! I’m honestly surprised other Fighters don’t jump on the Bounce-wagon.

 

Normal

Average Moves per Normal: 9.93

Highest Type Learned besides itself: Steel at 80%

Lowest type: Dragon at 20%

Most Diverse: Drampa with 16 moves

Least Diverse: Smeargle and Ditto at 0 moves

Thoughts: I honestly thought Normal would be #1 but Fighting and Dragon had a very strong showing and Normal suffered from some weird Pokémon (no judgment). But regardless, the Normal type had the most consistent move percentages out of any type. Its standard deviation, which shows how diverse a certain set of data points are, was the lowest among all 18 types. To better illustrate what I mean, look at Normal’s graph and now look at Bug, Grass, or Electric’s graph. In those charts we’re seeing a few highs and a lot of lows but for Normal, we’re seeing a lot of type percentages that are near each other. This is showing us that Normal Pokémon don’t really favor one type or another besides itself. Yes, there are a few lows but overall, pretty good consistency.

What this data is telling us is what we all knew for years. Normal Pokémon can learn a huge diversity of moves. They may be lacking in certain areas but overall, when you train a Normal Pokémon you’re more than likely be able to teach it quite a few different type moves.

 

Dark

Average Moves per Dark: 9.52

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Ghost at 76%

Lowest type: Fairy at 21%

Most Diverse: Pangoro with 15 moves

Least Diverse: Spiritomb with 4 moves

Thoughts: I’m honestly shocked that Dark ranks #4. I thought Ghost or Psychic would be up here and Dark would be further down. But Dark consistently ranked over 50% for many types like Ghost (Shadow Ball/Claw), Psychic (Psychic), Bug (U-turn and X-Scissor), Poison (Poison Jab), Steel (Iron Tail), and Ground (Earthquake and Dig). Dark Pokémon also have a lot of type and design variability creating a great concoction to learn a variety of moves. Even it’s lowest type, Fairy at 21%, is still better than the previous three types’ worst move type. I’m not surprised though that Ghost is its third highest as these two types seem almost interchangeable at times. Shadow Claw and Ball fit in neatly with the grim, moody, and nocturnal aspect of Dark Pokémon.

Spiritomb sitting with just four moves shocks me. You’d think that Gamefreak would take pity after Fairy was introduced and give Spiritomb a few more moves. As of right now, it can learn Dark, Psychic, Ghost, and Normal above 70 BP and that’s it. Hey Pangoro, wanna give up one of your moves? I think you got enough!

 

Psychic

Average Moves per Psychic: 9.00

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Bug at 89%

Lowest type: Dragon at 3%

Most Diverse: Gallade with 15 moves

Least Diverse: Wobbufett and Unown with 0 moves

Thoughts: The first thing that stands out here is Psychic’s huge fondness for Bug moves. That’s very odd and I would have never predicted that. But here’s the thing, Signal Beam is the most common move a Psychic Pokémon can learn. Why? I don’t know!   It’s one of those odd attacks that just found a niche in another type’s home. Following Bug we have Ghost (78%) thanks to Shadow Ball, and Grass (67%) with Energy Ball and Giga Drain. I honestly though Ghost would be much higher but you have the likes of Bruxish, Alolan Raichu, Exeggutor, and, of all things, Malamar who do not learn any strong Ghost moves.

Fairy is also a weird type to talk about. First, only 42% of Psychics can learn a Fairy move but that’s the highest percentage an attacker can learn after Fairy itself! I’m honestly shocked it’s not higher, I thought these two types go hand in hand. Still though, Moonblast and Dazzling Gleam are popular moves that fit well in the Psychic mold.

Also, no surprise, that Dragon is Psychic’s worst move. Psychic Pokémon don’t really scream DRACONIC to me. And because we eliminated the likes of Lati@s we lost some good sources for Dragon moves. Only Gallade can learn a Dragon move and even then, it’s Dual Chop.

 

Ground

Average Moves per Ground: 8.77

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Rock at 97%

Lowest type: Fairy at 6%

Most Diverse: Rhyperior and Nidoking with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Mudsdale with 5 moves

Thoughts: We reached the point in our rankings where the types on average learn less than half of available type moves. We’ll start to see types that are either all or nothing for certain learned move types. We are still treading pretty well though and in fact, it will be a gentle decline in stats before we hit the last four types.

You may be wondering who is the one Ground Pokémon who can’t learn a Rock move, well it’s Wormadam-Sand Cloak variant. This is such a weird exception that you can basically guarantee that whoever you’re training, your Ground Pokémon can learn a Rock move whether it’s Rock Slide, Head Smash, or Stone Edge. Good on them! No wonder Flying Pokémon have a hard time surviving. Steel and Fighting moves are very common as well which further protect Ground Pokémon from any potential weaknesses.

There are only two Ground Pokémon that can learn a Fairy move, Donphan with Play Rough and Claydol with Dazzling Gleam. That’s it. This is probably because there’s only one family line of Ground/Psychic and no lines that are Ground/Fairy. I myself trained a Donphan with Play Rough thanks to ORAS’ cool catching mechanism and that was fun.

 

Fire

Average Moves per Fire: 8.73

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Grass at 85%

Lowest type: Water, Ice, and Fairy at 4%

Most Diverse: Charizard, Infernape, and Alolan Marowak with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Magcargo with 5 moves

Thoughts: We reached the middle tier but I’m still surprised how high Fire is on our list. I thought it would be Grass moves and that’s it. But you have that and a strong showing of Ground and Steel moves and more than half of Fire Pokémon can learn a powerful Electric move as well. Back to Grass, we have Solar Beam and Energy Ball that are easy additions to Fire Pokémon thanks to the moves’ sun reliance. Watch out Water Pokémon!

Water, Ice, and Fairy were each learned by one unique Fire Pokémon. Delphox (our Fire/Psychic) can learn Dazzling Gleam via TM. Emboar can learn Scald via TM, which really, why the heck can’t other Fire Pokémon learn Scald??? As far as I can tell, there’s nothing really special about Emboar and steam…it’s odd.

Even odder, and I’m going to get flak from this, is Alolan Marowak, the only Fire type to learn a strong Ice move by a technicality. You see, if you teach a Cubone in Red, Blue, or Yellow Ice Beam by TM, you can transfer it over via Pokémon Bank to the Alola Region and then evolve it into an Alolan Marowak. And it still has the Ice Beam move! These move transfers happen very rarely and Cubone is one of them, thankfully. Other than that, there is no way you can teach a normal Fire Pokémon a strong Ice move.

 

Rock

Average Moves per Rock: 8.53

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Ground at 100%

Lowest type: Flying at 10%

Most Diverse: Rhyperior with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Carbink, Magcargo, and Shuckle with 5 moves

Thoughts: We’re moving into territory where the main type can learn a few types very well but the rest are okay or poor. Rock shows this in spades as Ground and Steel (63%) are common moves for it. Rock’s 100% Ground coverage I think reflects these two types very close relationship (to the point that it can seem interchangeable). Even weaker, smaller Rock Pokémon, like Carbink, can still learn moves like Stomping Tantrum. I’m honestly more surprised that Steel isn’t more common.

The Rock Pokémon overlooked Flying moves even though this would help them against their weaknesses. Archeops and Aerodactyl are your two main Flying-attackers but Relicanth snuck in with a Bounce move that it probably shouldn’t have.

 

Ghost

Average Moves per Ghost: 8.14

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Psychic at 86%

Lowest type: Dragon at 5%

Most Diverse: Golurk with 13 moves

Least Diverse: Spiritomb with 4 moves

Thoughts: Ghost and Psychic Pokémon are basically buddies as they can learn each other’s moves (only Aegislash, Decidueye, and Dhelmise cannot learn any strong Psychic moves). We also see a very high rate of Dark (82%) moves and a surprisingly strong showing from Grass (64%) moves (Energy Ball and Giga Drain are favorites here). Also, Golurk’s Ground/Ghost pairing gives it sooo much variability in its moveset. The humanoid shape throws in some elemental punches as well.

Alolan Marowak is the only Ghost Pokémon that can learn a Dragon move (Outrage). There are also only two Ghost Pokémon that can learn a strong Water move, Jellicent (obviously) and Dhelmise (which makes sense given its shipwreck esthetic).

 

Poison

Average Moves per Poison: 8.07

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Grass and Dark at 66%

Lowest type: Flying at 17%

Most Diverse: Nidoking with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Toxapex with 4 moves

Thoughts: I honestly thought Grass and Dark would be a bit higher for Poison Pokémon given their predilection towards malicious and parasitic tendencies. On that thought, here’s the problem with Poison Pokémon move diversity; a lot of them are paired with Grass or Bug Pokémon which don’t have the best move selection. Most Poison Pokémon that have a great move selection are those that do not belong to this type excepting Scolipede’s 10 moves. Even pure types like Weezing, Arbok, or Muk have a better move selection than those dual types.

That said, Toxapex is the footnote to this idea. Good lord does it not have a good attacking movepool which is fine given its preference towards defense. Other defensive Pokémon have this trait as well. And come on Bug/Poison Pokémon, a lot of you have wings! Use them to learn Flying moves! Ariados has a Flying move and it’s Bounce for Pete’s sake!

 

Water

Average Moves per Water: 8.05

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Ice at 98%

Lowest type: Fire at 8%

Most Diverse: Slowking with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Pyukumuku with 0 moves

Thoughts: The sheer diversity of Water Pokémon buoyant this type as well as it could but it still suffers from low movepool selections.   Regardless, all but Pyukumuku could learn a Normal, Water, and Ice move giving Water Pokémon a leg up against Grass types. Over half can learn a strong Ground move as well, furthering their type coverage (we have a lot of large Water Pokémon and quite a bit Water/Ground types).

There are five Water Pokémon that can learn a Fire move and they’re Octillery, Slowbro, Slowking, Gyrados, and Ludicolo. Ludicolo is the one that surprises me the most out of this bunch. I guess pineapples have fiery fists.

 

Steel

Average Moves per Steel: 8.04

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Rock at 68%

Lowest type: Fairy at 12%

Most Diverse: Lucario and Aggron with 13 moves

Least Diverse: Magnezone and Klinklang with 4 moves

Thoughts: Darling favorite, Lucario stands tall amongst the Steel Pokémon along with ceratopsian-inspired Aggron. I find it interesting that so many Steel Pokémon dropped the Rock Slide ball and just didn’t make an impressive statement for its Earthy counterpart. Hopefully next generation will improve their Rock movepool.

There are just three Steel Pokémon that can learn a strong Fairy move; Klefki, Mawile, and…Probopass? Really? And it’s Dazzling Gleam?? Okay, hold on. If Probopass can learn Dazzling Gleam…why can’t Magnezone or Klinklang learn it as well since they both know Flash Cannon, Signal Beam, and Electric moves?? Odd.

 

Fairy

Average Moves per Fairy: 8.00

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Psychic at 82%

Lowest type: Dragon at 5%

Most Diverse: Granbul with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Comfey and Florges with 4 moves

Thoughts: Fairy is a weird type as there are still not a lot of them available and they’re all so different. The variation in the data is wild as you have a some who know little or some who know a lot. I guarantee you Fairy Pokémon’s move diversity will drastically change the following generation once we get new Pokémon to analyze. I frankly wouldn’t be surprised if Fairy Pokémon found themselves averaging 9 moves. Also, I too was shocked that Granbull was the #1 spot for Fairies. Granbull additionally is the only one to have a Dragon move (Outrage). Clefable has a pretty good move diversity though (13) which is probably a tie over from its days of being a Normal type. A lot of Psychic love here but we also have about 3/4th of the Fairy Pokémon sporting a Grass move. The stories and legends of Fairies and their mushrooms and forests translated well for Pokémon.

Few Poison moves from this type (doesn’t quite bode well with living in harmony of the forest) but 50% of them can learn a Steel move! I guess Fairies are a bit ambivalent when it comes to forged metals.

 

Ice

Average Moves per Ice: 8.00

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Steel at 80%

Lowest type: Fire at 0%

Most Diverse: Alolan Sandslash and Weaile with 11 moves

Least Diverse: Vanilluxe with 4 moves

Thoughts: The fact that Ice Pokémon is not in the bottom three speaks volumes of how restricted other types can be. Ice Pokémon diversity gives them a boost that Electric and Grass types sorely need. The hard and durable Ice type are big fans of Steel moves and we see a lot of Smart Strike, Flash Cannon, and Iron Tail moves among the cold Pokémon. It’s…somewhat useful…I guess but at least over half can have a Ground move. With the abundance of Water/Ice types we also see a plethora of Ice Pokémon that can easily learn Surf (much more useful against the Fire Pokémon).

I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re ready for a Fire/Ice Pokémon. What would it look like? Not sure, maybe an icy volcano? Still, none of the Ice Pokémon in this survey can learn a strong Fire move (a trait that the Fire Pokémon would also have for Ice moves if it wasn’t for Alolan Marowak). Delibird is the only Ice type here that can learn a strong Flying move and that’s about it. None of the agile Ice Pokémon can even learn Bounce.

 

Flying

Average Moves per Flying: 7.66

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Bug at 76%

Lowest type: Fairy at 14%

Most Diverse: Archeops, Charizard, Hawlucha, Noivern, and Salamence with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Oricorio with 4 moves

Thoughts: Diversity did NOT help Flying Pokémon for move variability. The problem is that so many of these Pokémon are just so specialized in design or purpose that they can’t expand outwards. Emolga, Drifblim, and Jumpluff are just a few of the Flying Pokémon sitting with 5 moves. You also have a handicap of consistently being paired up with Bug which also doesn’t have the best move diversity (and they can’t even learn strong Flying moves!). Regardless, Flying Pokémon have a high rate of Bug moves not just because of the insects but because of U-Turn as well, a favorite for fast hitters. And oh man! Steel is at 74% thanks to Steel Wing! A very handy move against Ice and Rock types. And as a quick shoutout, a lot of Flying Pokémon can learn Heat Wave via Move tutor, just found that interesting.

 

Bug

Average Moves per Bug: 6.95

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Grass at 73%

Lowest type: Dragon and Fire at 3%

Most Diverse: Golisopod with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Kricketune with 4 moves

Thoughts: We reached the bottom three of our list with each of these types, on average, learning less than 7 type moves per Pokémon. I look at this graph and I see a few (typical) highs but a lot of lows. Since the beginning of the series, Bug Pokémon have been considered weak, ineffectual, and subpar, and unfortunately, this data does not convince otherwise. But that’s why we can’t always rely on one set of data points. Sure, Heracross, Volcarona, and Scizor does not learn many moves, but are they weak? I definitely wouldn’t say that. And Golisopod and Scolipede have both the diversity and the strength to make for some fun Pokémon to train! And on a personal level, I love Dustox and took one to the Elite Four despite its move limitations.

Grass moves like Giga Drain pair nicely with the sometimes parasite tendencies of Bug Pokémon. Over half of Bug Pokémon can also learn a strong Dark move, like Crunch or Night Slash further countering Psychic Pokémon. On the other end of the spectrum, only Golisopod can learn a Dragon move (Dual Chop) and Volcarona can learn multiple fire moves.

 

Electric

Average Moves per Electric: 6.92

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Bug at 92%

Lowest type: Fairy, Ghost, and Ice at 8%

Most Diverse: Eelektross with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Electrode with 4 moves

Thoughts: Electric Pokémon have the biggest disparity between move abundance, you either know it or you don’t. Electric types love their Bug and Steel moves but everything else is a soft fart. Why? Signal Beam (Bug) and Flash Cannon (Steel) pair nicely with the energy and laser based attitudes of Electric Pokémon. So many of them can learn these moves even by simply Leveling Up which is nice. This is why I’m confused Dazzling Gleam isn’t more popular, especially with this crowd.

Eelektross has a fantastic move diversity and is one of the reasons why I love it so much. In fact, Electivire can learn 11 moves so you don’t need to have a secondary type to boost your diversity. Unfortunately, Electrode did not get that memo and is stuck with only four moves.

 

Grass

Average Moves per Grass: 6.67

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Poison at 58%

Lowest type: Ice with 5%

Most Diverse: Chesnaught with 11 moves

Least Diverse: Cherrim and Lilligant with 3 moves

Thoughts: And we come to the end of our list, Grass Pokémon have the smallest type diversity movepool of 70 BP or greater. Even Poison moves don’t crack 60% despite the plethora of Grass/Poison types. Beyond that, we have Fighting and Ground peaking above halfway at 51% but everything else is less than half.

So who are the lucky few that can learn Ice or Fire moves? On the Ice side we have Abomasnow (of course) and Ludicolo via TM (thank you Water Type). Then on the Fire side we have Gourgeist (pumpkin theme coming in strong), Alolan Exeggutor (Dragon), and again, Ludicolo (who can already learn an assortment of odd moves). As Sword and Shield arrives to us later this year, I would hope that Grass Pokémon can catch a break. Realistically speaking, Grass Pokémon should be able to learn Fairy moves given their strong ties to nature. I would also like to see more Water moves as well due to their strong desire for water to keep them alive.

 

Final Thoughts

The mean and confidence interval of the average number moves each Pokemon Type can learn of 70 BP or Greater.

Take a look at the above graph, it shows the average different types an attacker can learn. The lines represents a 95% confidence that the mean falls within this zone.  What does this mean? Well there is a looooooot of overlap. I guarantee that by next generation, many of the attacking types’ ranks will change, maybe even drastically. Dragon could fall to 3rd place while Fairy could jump to the upper third. Why is there a lot of uncertainty in the data? Primary, it’s because, after we weeded out all the legendaries and the not-fully-evolved Pokémon, we are left with less-than-robust numbers that lead to shaky data points. Bug and Water have probably the statistically strongest data points due to Water’s vast numbers and the almost consistent number of moves each Bug Pokémon can learn. Fairy is just all over the place as there’s hardly any of them and we see a big range of Fairies learning a few moves or a lot of moves.

70 BP was such a brutal cutoff for a lot of different types. If I had pushed it to 65 BP we would have seen a huge boost in type diversity with Bubblebeam, Knock Off, Fire/Ice/Electric Fang, and Psybeam. But if I had pushed it up to 75 BP then we would’ve lost U-turn, Steel Wing, Sucker Punch, Shadow Claw, and Night Slash. I’m pretty darn sure Flying Pokémon would be dead last in move diversity without Steel Wing and U-turn. Dark and Ghost Pokémon would also tumble downwards in their diversity. Without the Steel move support, Ground moves would be by far the second most learned type. Looking at the data, I still think I did right with that 70 BP cutoff but whose to say? This is, after all, just my point of view and not the tried and true method of measuring a Pokémon’s diversity.

This research took a long time for me to do but I liked it. Just a fun project on the side for me to do without any major stress or deadlines to it. I tried my best to ensure its accuracy but if you have found mistakes in my data let me know and I’ll fix them! I won’t be offended at all.

Future

I can’t imagine myself doing a project like this in a long while but thankfully, this data will be continuously useful to me as I’m still writing my Single Type Run articles. When I’m focusing on a particular type, like Fire for instance, I can go to my data, look at the Fire type, and understand which Pokémon have the best move diversity and which Pokémon you might avoid.

I hope you enjoyed this article and I look forward to hearing about my mistakes!

The Best Pokemon Games for a Grass Type Run

Update 12/28/2019: This article now includes Sword and Shield.

If you’re looking for a challenging but doable Monotype (or Single Type) Run in Pokémon let me suggest the Grass type. Unlike Ice, Dragon, and other difficult types, Grass Pokémon are (most of the time) available at the game’s beginning due to your starter. As such, you have a companion you can rely on for the entirety of your game regardless of team size or diversity. However, you will have to overcome difficult feats like low movepool and dual-type diversity and a large amount of weaknesses. These difficult feats make Grass a challenging but not impossible run to do. So which games are the best for a Grass type Run? Let’s find out.

First here are the rules for a Monotype Run

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to disregard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No trading allowed.
  5. Mega Pokémon count as long as you Mega Evolve them as soon as they appear on the battlefield.
  6. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

The Best Games

The good news is that most of the series’ games will give you a full team of Grass types with the bad news being not all of them will cover your weaknesses. But for you die hard fans I recommend looking at Pokémon Sapphire, Emerald, X, Y, AlphaSapphire, and Shield thanks primarily to this beautiful Pokémon right here.

Yep, Ludicolo’s Grass/Water makes him a valuable Pokémon. I’ll go into Ludicolo later but for now understand that if you want a slick Grass type run, find a game that has this dancing Pokémon in it. If this doesn’t bother you, however, consider Ruby, Omega Ruby, Sword, and any of the Sun/Moon games as they have reasonable diversity with some fun Pokémon.

Given the choice I would choose XY as you have a lot of beautiful Pokémon working together. Your starter Chesnaught gives you a strong fighter and learns Rock Slide to handle Bug Pokémon. Mega Venusaur’s Thick Fat ability neutralizes Fire and Ice weaknesses so if you don’t want Ludicolo then you’re fine. I’d still push for Ludicolo as it can learn Ice Beam which is rare among Grass types (and of course Surf takes care of your Fire Pokémon). Exeggutor and Trevenant learn some unique moves featuring Psychic and Ghost which further aid your run. Finally, Ferrothorn rounds off our team by being a wall and shutting down the like of Ice, Flying, and Poison types. If you’re really worried about Flying Pokémon then get a Mow Rotom and zap them down. These Pokémon (and more) are spread nicely throughout the game you have decent progression of your team.

Worst Games

The worst game in the franchise for a Grass type run is probably Pokémon Yellow, Bulbasaur is not a starter and you can get him only right before the second gym (at least in Pokémon Let’s Go you can get a Bulbasaur in Viridian Forest which is leagues better). Even then the Kanto games are not the best as your dealing with a less-than-full team with half of your team being Grass/Poison which is pretty bad considering Psychics reign supreme in those games.

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

Your Starter

Duh! This is the Pokémon you’ll be hanging out with for all of the game! Doesn’t matter who, you’ll want to take your starter to the Elite Four as they all have great stats. Quite a few of them even have dual typing which further expands their moveset and can counter common weaknesses. Mega Sceptile neutralizes Fire moves (at the cost of 4x weakness to Ice) and Mega Venusaur neutralizes Fire and Ice moves. Torterra can learn Rock and Ground moves while Deceidueye gives you some sweet Ghost moves. Serperior has the rare Coil move which can make it a tank. Meganium is probably the worse out of the bunch but at least you can teach it Earthquake.

Available in: All the games

Ludicolo

As mentioned before, if you want to cover all your Grass’ weaknesses you’ll likely need this pineapple Pokémon.  Ludicolo has okay stats but is boosted by a decent movepool selection. Besides its Water moves it can also learn Ice Beam, Zen Headbutt, and Focus Blast countering the likes of Flying, Poison, and Ice Types (along a host of other Pokémon). If you’re up for it, you can also run a Rain Dance set on it due to its rain abilities (and dampening Fire type’s super effectiveness).

Available In: Sapphire, Emerald, X, Y, AlphaSapphire, Shield

Grass/Poison Pokémon

The dual Grass/Poison combo is the third most common dual type combo and is available in every game. This commonality means you are guaranteed to neutralize Bug and Poison moves. Unfortunately, a Grass/Poison Pokémon for a Grass team is kind of meh due to said abundance and a glaring weakness to Psychic moves. But a lot of these guys can learn Earthquake so it’s not all bad.

Available in: All games

250px-598Ferrothorn

Ferrothorn

Generally speaking, when you do a Monotype run of any type, you’ll want your type paired up with Steel and man is this a fantastic combo! Steel neutralizes Grass’ Poison, Bug, and Flying weaknesses while the favor’s return by neutralizing Ground. I need to doubly stress that Flying weakness as there are very few Grass Pokémon that can do that. Ferrothorn is a fantastic wall thanks to its high Defense and Sp Defense and Iron Barbs ability. Although you won’t get any Spikes or Stealth Rock via leveling up you’ll still have some great Steel moves. Ferrothorn’s biggest flaw might be its lack of move diversity (despite it defending your team against the birds, it doesn’t learn any strong Rock moves to use against them unlike our next candidate…).

Available in: Black/White/B2W2, XY, Sword and Shield

Cradily

Your other major counter against the birds will be Cradily who can actually learn Rock moves but you’ll have to use a TM like Rock Tomb or Rock Slide, bleh! But! At the same time it can learn TM Earthquake! This means Cradily is effective against the like of Fire Pokémon which is quite impressive. However, Cradily suffers from its horrendous speed, its lackluster ability, and a hit-or-miss availability.

Available in: Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, ORAS, X, and USUM

Image result for alolan exeggutor

Alolan Exeggutor

By itself, Exeggutor is a fine Pokemon but the real star is its Alolan form.  Alolan Exeggutor boosts the move diversity to a respectable degree.  It’s one of the few Grass types that can learn Flamethrower, which is baller, and it can learn Dragon Hammer which is very rare and can only be learned from A. Exeggutor and Tropius (via breeding).  The Dragon typing it not bad either as it neutralizes the Fire Weakness (but watch out for Ice!).  This neutrality to Fire means you can teach A. Exeggutor Earthquake and go to town against hot opponents.  Also, why wouldn’t you train one?  They’re hilarious!

Available in: SM and USUM, and Let’s Go

Mow Rotom

There’s one more Grass Pokémon that resists Flying moves and it’s one I’m sure you may have forgotten! In its base form, Rotom is Ghost/Electric but after Generation 5, its forms change it to different types. Mow Rotom thus is the only Grass/Electric type out there and it’s strange. You got Levitate, some weird resistances here and there, but most importantly you got Thunderbolt. It’s very rare for a Grass Pokemon to learn an Electric move which is why Mow Rotom deserves to be on this list.  Additionally, the form Rotoms are much stronger than regular Rotom and you get a Pokémon with great Defense, Sp. Attack, and Sp. Defense. Now, it’s going to be a pain to get this Rotom but if you love this Pokémon, then it will be worth it!

Available in: XY, Sword and Shield

Suggested 3rd-Party Ports for the Nintendo Switch

With the myriad of ports hitting the Switch I wanted to write a short list of pre-released 3rd party video games that I think would do well on Nintendo’s newest platform.  I tried not going for big-name, highly profitable games as those I felt would be too obvious (with one exception). I also picked games that would port well to the Switch without facing a noticeable downgrade in quality. Now true, there have been a few recent games, like Doom, that ported reasonable well to the Switch but from what I understand the developers had to make a lot of cuts to make it work. I’m definitely no video game programmer so I’m avoiding games like Resident Evil 7 or God of War as those seem like a big challenge. Nonetheless, there are tons of other games that the Switch would love to have. Without further ado, let’s take a look!

Fez

It’s been six years since Fez was released but the charm of that game still stands strong for me. Surprisingly, Fez hasn’t been ported yet to any Nintendo console so the Switch may be a great way to get some attention again. Customers’ strong indies support will easily boost Fez’s sales. The only issue is that Fez’s programmer, Phil Fish, left the video game world for several years now so seeing him (or in general Polytron, the developer behind Fez) come back just to make the game compatible with the Switch seems unlikely.

Danganronpa Trilogy

Spike Chunsoft has a history developing games for Nintendo. Not even counting Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, we also have the underground hit series “Zero Escape” who’s dark, and honestly mindfuck, story isn’t a far cry from Danganronpa. So the connection is clearly there we just need the idea to take hold! The original Danganronpa games were on the Playstation Vita games so I imagine it wouldn’t be difficult to move them over to the Switch as well. Packaging the whole trilogy would make the games more enticing for newcomers as well. And frankly giving a discount on the first two games would make me want to spend money on it again just so I can have some fun on the big screen.

Fallout

Okay, so I know I was trying to avoid big-name games but I couldn’t help but mention Fallout. Recently, Bethesda commented how pleased they were on the sales for their Switch games. This mainly includes their game-of-the-year quality games, Skyrim and Doom. If they could do a decent port of Doom, why not Fallout 3, New Vegas or even 4? I don’t know if I’ll buy Fallout NV again but I’d definitely put some money down for Fallout 4. The Switch flawlessly handled Breath of the Wild and Skyrim’s open world-system so I imagine it could manage Fallout’s world. Plus, the thought of seeing Pipboy on the Switch and Switch skins seems so hilarious to me.

Persona 5

P5’s infatuation towards subways would transition well for playing it on an actual subway. I can imagine this to be a great on-the-move game as P5 is broken up by story events, battles, and side quests. True, you would (more than) likely get lost in the palaces if you stopped midway and picked it back up eight hours later but if that’s the port’s only fault, I’ll take it! What’s more, P5 was initially developed for the PS3 before transitioning over to the PS4. I bought the PS3 version and it runs pretty great! The load times are supposedly longer compared to the PS4 but I never felt they dragged on or were infuriating. Plus, Atlus already has a healthy relationship with Nintendo and even developed a Persona game, Persona Q, and its soon to be released sequel Q2, on the 3DS. Out of all the games on this list, P5 is the one most likely to happen.

Katamari Damacy

Why the hell does Nintendo not have any Katamari games? I’m still surprised by this just thinking about it. Katamari’s weird, offbeat humor would mesh well with Nintendo’s imagry. Namco could also go above and beyond their port by implementing motion controls. Perhaps you can give yourself a workout by moving your hands back and forth like our prince character. Or you could move just one Joycon forward, backward, and side-to-side to control the general direction of your katamari. Either way, I would be down to trying and playing it with motion controls. Katamari could also have a bonus level in the Mario Kingdom or Hyrule which would be hilarious! The thought of rolling up Gorons, Goombas, Koopas, and Octorocks would be a blast.

Journey

This is a curveball but I believe a Journey-port would be a fantastic hit on the Switch. Not only has it been years since its first and second release on the PS3 and PS4 respectively but it’s a game that has held up extraordinarily well. The distant mountain you strive towards evokes a similar feeling when Link steps out of the Shrine of Resurrection and looks out to the huge, expansive world of Hyrule. And meeting a fresh new group of journeyers like you along the way would be so spine-tingling heartwarming and bittersweet. Journey is all about…well the journey. And to experience that once again on the Switch would be touching.

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