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Best Pokemon Games for a Rock Type Run

I feel so sorry for the Rock type.  There are many Rock-only runs that are borderline great but fall short due to late availability, limited diversity or weakness exposure.  Yet there are a few Pokemon games that are pretty good for a Rock Monotype Run.  A Monotype Run is a self-imposed challenge where you only catch and train one type of Pokemon in the games.  In this case, you can be like Brock but better!  So let’s take a look which games you should play (and avoid) and which Pokemon you should definitely have on your team!  Let’s Rock and Roll!

Rules

  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 discard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No outside 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.

Pokemon Monotype Chart Version 2.02

Best Games
Rock’s biggest downfall is its struggle to deliver an early available Pokemon.  There are no starters (yet) that evolve into it and you can’t catch one until after the first gym in over half the games.  You also have a big lack of diversity with a lot of lackluster Rock/Ground or Rock/Water Pokemon filling up your slots.  So (most of) the games I recommend push for that early availability and diversity.

As such, the best games, by technicality, would be Sword/Shield.  Not only do you catch a Chewtle by Route 2, all your weaknesses are covered before the first gym thanks to the Wild Area (which is good since the gym is Grass oriented).  Also, that Coalossal is niiiiice, good way to stick it to your Steel and Grass foes!  You can also get two Pokemon with the Sand Stream Ability (Gigalith and Tyranitar in Shield).

If you can stomach the wait, you might want to consider XY.  Yes, I know the first Pokemon you get isn’t until well after the first gym but holy crap once you get your first Rock Pokemon the rest will come crashing down on you like an avalanche!  You get Dwebble and Binacle back to back; then Glittering Cave gives you a host of them, and then you revive either Tyrunt or Amaura; all before the second gym.  Also, you get the very rare Aerodactyl!!  Y edges out X due to the version exclusive Tyranitar (which again, has Sand Stream), but X gets Aggron so it’s a dinosaur trade-off!

I’m just going to throw this out there because why not but think about HeartGold and SoulSilver.  You get a Geodude very early in the southern tip of Route 46 and an Onix/Geodude in the Pokewalker.  Also, HGSS has Magcargo AND Tyranitar which the original games do not have so that’s cool.  You’re a bit limited in diversity so just keep that in mind!

Worst Games
Oh man, which one should I choose???  They’re all so tempting.  I mean, to be fair, a lot of these games are just riding hard on that meh horse.  Some of the games you just have to wait until after the first gym and then after that it’s fine.

I think I’m going to give it to Pokemon Diamond.  Your full team is a Graveler, Onix, Sudowoodo, and Rampardos so you are exposed to every single one of your five weaknesses.  In fact, the DPP series are the only games where Rock doesn’t neutralized its weaknesses!  I know, crazy, right?  Pearl switches Rampardos with Bastiodon and Platinum gives you Rhydon and Probopass but it’s still not great.  

Also, Kanto games are really rough.  You get a Geodude after the first gym and that’s it for a looooong time.  You have to take that Geodude to Misty (Water), get an easy break with Surge (Electric), and then after catching Onix you face Erika (Grass).  It’s going to take a long time before you can finally go to Cinnabar and revive Aerodactyl and another Fossil Pokemon.

 

Rock Teams in Pokemon Games

Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen
Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Onix, Aerodactyl, Omastar/Kabutops
First Pokémon: Geodude at Mount Moon after first gym
Covers weaknesses? Surprisingly, yes

Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, SoulSilver
Ideal Team: Tyranitar (HGSS via Safari), Rhydon, Graveler, Sudowoodo, Corsola, Magcargo (HGSS)
Optional: Shuckle, Onix
First Pokémon: Geodude via southern portion of Route 46 before the first gym; via Pokewalker then Geodude (Rugged Road in 0+ steps) and Onix (Rugged Road in 4000+ steps or Dim Cave in 1000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Note: In HGSS, you can get a Slugma Egg from Primo in Violet City center.  You’ll need to give him a phrase which is dependent on your Trainer ID which you can receive here.

Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, OmegaRuby, AlphaSapphire
Ideal Team: Rhydon, Aggron, Lunatone (S, AS)/Solrock (R, E, OR), Magcargo, Relicanth, Armaldo/Crustle (ORAS)
Optional: Graveler, Cradily, Boldore (ORAS), Barbaracle (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Geodude and Aron (RSE only) via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Ideal Team: Graveler, Onix, Rampardos (Diamond and Platinum)/Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum), Probopass (Platinum), Sudowoodo, Rhydon (Platinum)
First Pokémon: Geodude either Oreburgh Gate or Ravaged Path before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? No, in all versions Water, Ground and Fighting moves are not neutralized. In Diamond, the Rock type is additionally weak to Grass and Steel moves.
Note: Please be aware that you can only get Rampardos OR Bastiodon in Platinum!  It depends on your Trainer ID number.  If the last digit is even you get a Bastiodon and if it’s odd you get a Rampardos.

Black, White, Black2, White2
BW Ideal Team: Boldore, Crustle, Carracosta, Terrakion
Optional: Archeops
First Pokémon: Roggenrola via Wellspring Cave after first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes, if you pick Carracosta over Archeops as it gets rid of the Steel and Water weakness.

B2W2 Ideal Team: Crustle, Corsola, Terrakion, Aggron, Probopass, Lunatone
Optional: Onix, Gigalith, Solrock, Shuckle
First Pokémon: Onix and Roggenrola via Relic Passage (Castelia City side) after the second gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: You can get a Gigalith from a hiker on Route 7

X, Y
Ideal Team: Tyrantrum, Barbaracle, Crustle, Aerodactyl, Probopass/Aggron (X), Tyranitar (Y)/Lunatone
Optional: Solrock, Aurorus, Relicanth, Rhydon, Onix, Boldore, Carbink, Corsola, Graveler, Magcargo, Shuckle, Sudowoodo
First Pokémon: Dwebble and Binacle via Rock Smash in Ambrette Town.  This is well into the game but is still before the second gym. Get the Rock Smash TM from the girl outside of the Aquarium.  You can then get Rhyhorn, Onix, Solrock, and Lunatone almost immediately afterwards in Glittering Cave with the fossils following shortly thereafter.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes

Sun, Moon, UltraSun, UltraMoon
SM Ideal Team: Rhydon(scan), Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(Sun), Bastiodon(Moon)/Probopass, Lycanroc, Golem
Optional: Sudowoodo, Rampardos (Sun), Archeops (Moon), Carbink, Corsola, Boldore, Minior
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: You can get an Alolan Golem via in-game trade at the Tapu Village Pokemon Center, you will need a Haunter.

USUM Ideal Team: Tyrantrum (US)/Lycanroc, Rhydon(scan), Tyranitar, Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(US), Bastiodon(UM)/Probopass
Optional: Lycanroc, Sudowoodo, Rampardos (US), Archeops (UM), Omastar (US), Kabutops (UM), Graveler, Armaldo (US), Cradily (UM), Carbink, Aurorus (UM), Boldore, Corsola, Minior, Onix (scan)
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Sword, Shield
Ideal Team: Crustle, Drednaw, Coalossal, Stonjourner (Sword)/Tyranitar (Shield), Gigalith, Solrock (Sword)/Lunatone (Shield)
Optional: Sudowoodo, Rhyperior (Raid), Shuckle, Onix, Barbaracle
First Pokémon: Chewtle by overworld (10%) via Route 2.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!  Which is good because it’s Grass, see if you can evolve your Rolycoly before you fight Milo otherwise you might need to lean on Dwebble.  Also, get the Sandstream Ability from Gigalith.

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Tyranitar (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Tyranitar

The most powerful non-Mega Rock Pokemon, Tyranitar is the go to guy for your team.  There are just so many reasons why you should have one on your team.  It has incredible stats (600 BST) making it stronger than Legendary Rock Pokemon like Terrakion and it can hit hard and take a beating.  It also has among the best move diversity for Rock Pokemon; it can naturally learn powerful Rock, Ground, and Dark moves and be taught fantastic Electric, Fire, Ice, Ghost, Dragon, Steel, and Fighting moves.  Tyranitar is further boosted by its Sand Stream ability which automatically starts Sandstorm and gives all your Rock Pokemon a 50% increase in Special Defense stats (which a lot of them need).

All the games that I recommend for a Rock playthrough have Tyranitar which is its main problem.  It’s not very common.  Sometimes they’re non-existent or just show up too late like GSC or the Black/White games.  Also, Tyranitar evolves really late (level 55) so you won’t be able to use its Sand Stream ability until the end of the game.  You might have to babysit it for awhile but man it will be awesome when you finally evolve it!
Available in: HGSS, Y, USUM, Shield

Omastar (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...Kabutops Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...
Rock/Water Pokemon

The Rock Type has a ton of weaknesses (Grass, Water, Steel, Ground, and Fighting) yet oddly, every game except the Sinnoh series neutralizes its weaknesses.  And that’s because you have the stellar combo of a Rock/Water Pokemon with a Rock/Flying or Rock/Bug Pokemon.  If you have an Omastar with Aerodactyl or a Carracosta with Crustle on your team then you’re set!  All your weaknesses are covered.

Rock/Water Pokemon like Kabutops, Drednaw, and Relicanth are available in every region except Sinnoh (which is why Sinnoh games are bad for Rock runs).  Having that Water typing gives you some great diversity juice with the likes of Water and Ice attacks.  Unfortunately, some of these Pokemon are lackluster (like Corsola) but you get some pretty good ones!  Omastar has the highest Special Attack stats for all non-Legendary Rock Pokemon and Barbaracle is really strong and further boosted by its Tough Claws Ability.
Available in: Every game except Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

Armaldo Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...
Armaldo, Crustle, and Shuckle
Paired up with your Water Pokemon are your bugs who neutralize the other weaknesses (Fighting, Grass, and Ground)!  These guys are also relatively common in the series so you could run into one during your journey.  Obviously, Shuckle…not that fun to train!  Great for the metagame but training one on your Rock team…?…bleh.  That’s why Armaldo and Crustle are the go to Pokemon for your team.  Great Attack and Defense stats and just overall very appealing Pokemon!  I like their designs and concepts.  Unfortunately, not a lot of move diversity going on here but at least Armaldo can learn some decent Water moves like Aqua Tail and Aqua Jet.  Also, teach your Crustle Body Press in Sword and Shield; the move’s power is based on the user’s defense which is fantastic for Crustle (125).
Available in: GSC (Shuckle), RSE (Armaldo in all three and Shuckle in Emerald), HGSS (Shuckle), BW (Crustle), B2W2 (Crustle and Shuckle), XY (Crustle and Shuckle), ORAS (Armaldo), US (Armaldo), SWSH (Shuckle and Crustle)

Aggron (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Aggron, Bastiodon, and Probopass

Among the best Rock Pokemon for Defense and Special Defense stats, these three Rock/Steel Pokemon are going to be the tanks on your team.  They can also block Grass and Steel attacks but with a trade-off of the 4x weakness to Fighting and Ground moves.  Still, these guys are great.  Really lean into defense and support moves for Probopass and Bastiodon but for Aggron just go all out offense!  It can learn a variety of moves like the elemental punches, Dragon Claw, and Aqua Tail which are all very great and Aggron ranks among the best Rock Pokemon for move diversity.  Unfortunately, you can’t Mega-evolve Aggron in ORAS as it loses its Rock typing but it’s still a great Pokemon all the same.  And who doesn’t want a ceratopsian on your team?!  You can get two here!
Available in: RSE and ORAS (Aggron), Pearl (Bastiodon), Platinum (Probopass and Bastiodon), B2W2 (Probopass), X (Aggron and Probopass), Y (Probopass), Moon and UM (Bastiodon and Probopass), Sun and US (Probopass)

Aerodactyl (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...
Aerodactyl
The fastest Rock Pokemon around with a fantastic 130 stat, Aerodactyl is the must-have flying reptile for your team.  First, it has an immunity to Ground moves and counters Fighters and Grass Pokemon easily.  Pair this up with your Omastar or Kabutops and you’re all set!  But also, Aerodactyl carries some really nice moves like Iron Head, Crunch, elemental fangs, and Dragon Claw.  Aerodactyl can be set up like a revenge sweeper just going in and quickly wiping out the opposing team before they can do too much damage.

Two big setbacks.  The first is that Aerodactyl is pretty awful in learning Flying moves mainly Wing Attack, Sky Drop, Aerial Ace, or Fly.  Not a lot of good choices to choose from.  Also, despite having the Rock Head ability, Aerodactyl doesn’t learn a lot of recoil moves.  Mainly Double Edge and Take Down and that’s it.  Not even Head Smash, a Rock-type move!  Boo!
Available in: RBY, FRLG, XY, SM, USUM

Lunatone Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...
Lunatone

I was really debating about putting this meteorite in but I figured why not.  Lunatone is an overall…alright Pokemon!  It’s the kind of Pokemon that makes you shrug and say yeah, it’s not bad!  For a Rock team, I think it’s pretty special; it has the Levitate Ability (so no Ground weaknesses) and its Psychic typing counters Fighters and gives you some interesting move diversity.  Lunatone ranks among the best Rock Pokemon for Special Attack with an alright 95 power!  Haha.  Not a lot but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.  But with that, it can use all its awesome Fairy moves like Moonblast as well as Shadow Ball, Psychic, Power Gem, and Ice Beam.  Pretty good for a Rock Pokemon!

But where’s Solrock…?  Well…Solrock and Lunatone may be similar with its typing, and ability but its their stats that makes a difference.  Each of their stats are the same but rearranged differently and for Solrock, its Physical Attack is 95.  So two problems, one, a lot of other Rock Pokemon can match that stat or better and two, Solrock FAILS tremendously on its moveset.  Solrock packs mainly Special moves but can’t use them at all with its puny 55 Special Attack stat.  It’s really sad.  That’s why you should go for Lunatone instead.
Available in: Sapphire, Black2, White2, XY, AlphaSapphire, Shield

Need Input For Future Monolocke Article

Hey everyone, if you’re not here for my Monotype articles just skip this but for everyone else I have an announcement.  Based on a rise in popularity and search histories, I will be writing a Monolocke article similar to my other articles.  A Monolocke Run is a combination of the infamous Nuzlocke Challenge with a Monotype Run.  I have never done one personally but I’ve been thinking about how it could work and which games and types would be the best for it.

However, as there are rule variations of it online I wanted to get some second opinions.  As such if you have any experience in a Monolocke Run, or just have your own thoughts, then I would love to hear from you.  They can be on rules, how feasible it is or which games and types would be the best/worst.  Just leave a comment here or message me for your input!  As usual, I always love hearing from you guys and I hope you will find my article enjoyable once it comes out.  Cheers.

Episode 15: Bug Fables Review and Discussion

 

In our first review for the podcast we talk about the charming indie video game Bug Fables.  Please be aware that we cover mild spoilers up until the 8 minute mark and after that we go into full spoiler territory!

“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!

Best Pokemon Games for an Electric Type Run

If your favorite Pokemon type is Electric then I bring some good news for you as there are some great Pokemon games to do an Electric type run.  Admittedly, a Monotype (or Single Type) Run for Electric Pokemon can be hard as it ranks among the worst for movepool diversity and they can be quite rare but there are a few games out there that take care of this problem. So let’s take a look at which games are the best, the worst, and which Pokemon you should have on your team.

Rules

  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.

Pokemon Monotype Chart Version 2.02

Best Pokemon Games

For the Electric type, you want a team that’s more about diversity and less about weakness coverage, so while there are a few teams early in the series that may be immune to Ground attacks, the Pokemon you’d train would be very restrictive.  As such, B2W2, XY, USUM, and SWSH are your best bets.  These teams favor Pokemon who can learn different move types and are available early which is very crucial for your team.

If you were to twist my arm I’d pick SWSH although B2W2 is my favorite for personal reasons (Magnezone, Eelektross, Ampharos, and Galvantula is a winning combo with a Mareep pre-first gym).  SWSH has the most diverse Electric team out of any of the games and these Pokemon are strong; two fossils with great type combos (Arctozolt and Dracozolt), an amazing rock star (Toxtricity), two bugs (Vikavolt and Galvantula), a  form-changing poltergeist (Rotom), and a host of supports (e.g., Jolteon, Pincurchin, and Boltund).  This team is pretty great and you get a bunch of them well before the first gym thanks to the Wild Area.

Worst Pokemon Games

Many Electric teams straddle the line between bad and okay and while their potential isn’t as poor as the average Ice or Ghost team…they’re still not good.  The worst Electric team is probably Pokemon Crystal.  Mareep, for some reason, is not available in that game.  In Gold and Silver you can catch one just after the first gym but here they are gone and you’ll catch a Magenmite instead after the second gym.  This drops your team diversity below six Pokemon as well.

People make fun of Diamond and Pearl for their lack of Fire Pokemon but the same can be held true with Electric which has the lowest Electric diversity with just three Pokemon!  And it’s just a horrible team setup; Pachirisu, Raichu, and a Luxray.  Yeesh.  At least Crystal had Lanturn.

 

Electric Pokemon Teams

Red, Blue, Yellow, and FRLG
Ideal Team: Raichu/Pikachu, Electrode, Electabuzz (Red, FireRed), Magneton, Jolteon, Zapdos
First Pokémon: Pikachu in Viridian Forest or Pikachu as a starter in Yellow
Covers weaknesses?  Yes

Gold, Silver, Crystal, and HGSS
Ideal Team: Raikou, Ampharos (G, S, HG, SS), Magneton, Lanturn, Electrode, Jolteon
First Pokémon: Mareep via Route 32 after first gym (except Crystal which would be Magnemite Route 38 after the second gym). Via Pokewalker Magnemite (Suburban Area at 1000+ steps), Elekid (Suburban Area at 5000+ steps), and Voltorb (Town Outskirts at 3000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground is not neutralized.

Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and ORAS
Ideal Team: Manectric, Magneton/Magnezone, Lanturn, Galvantula (ORAS), Jolteon (ORAS), Eelektross (ORAS)
Optional: Minun/Plusle, Electabuzz (ORAS), Zebstrika (ORAS), Electrode, Luxray (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Electrike, Plusle, and Minun can be caught at Route 110 after the second gym in ORAS (as well as Magnemite by Horde).  In RSE you can skip the second gym by giving Steven the letter, take the boat to Slateport, and capturing your Pokemon on Route 110.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes for ORAS but in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, Ground is not neutralized.

Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
Ideal Team: Luxray, Raichu, Jolteon (Platinum), Rotom (Platinum), Magnezone (Platinum), Electabuzz (Platinum)
Optional: Pachirisu
First Pokémon: Shinx in Route 202 before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? Only in Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl the Ground type is not neutralized.

Black/White and Black 2, White 2
BW Ideal Team: Zebstrika, Emolga, Galvantula, Eelektross, Stunfisk, Zekrom (W)
First Pokémon: Blitzle via Route 3 after the first gym
Covers weaknesses? Yes

B2W2 Ideal Team: Ampharos, Magnezone, Electabuzz (W2)/Jolteon, Emolga, Galvantula, Eelektross
Optional: Zebstrika
First Pokémon: Mareep via Floccesy Ranch before first gym
Covers weaknesses? Yes

X and Y
Ideal Team: Heliolisk, Lanturn, Rotom, Magnezone, Ampharos, Stunfisk
Optional: Manectric (Y), Jolteon, Pachirisu, Raichu, Emolga, Dedenne, Electrode, all the other Rotom forms
First Pokémon: Pikachu via Santalune Forest, before 1st gym
Covers weaknesses? Yes

Sun, Moon, and UltraSun, UltraMoon
SM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golem, Magnezone, Raichu, Oricorio, Electabuzz
Optional: Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn
First Pokémon: Pichu and Grubbin via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: You can get an Alolan Golem via in-game trade at the Tapu Village Pokemon Center, you will need a Haunter.

USUM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Graveler, Magnezone, Raichu, Oricorio, Electabuzz
Optional: Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn, Ampharos, Manectric, Dedenne
First Pokémon: Pichu and Grubbin via Route 1
Covers weaknesses? Yes

Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Toxtricity, Wash Rotom, Galvantula, Dracozolt, Arctozolt
Optional: Manectric, Jolteon, Other Rotom Forms, Boltund, Raichu, Morpeko, Togedemaru, Pincurchin, Heliolisk
First Pokémon: Grubbin by random encounters (10%) via Route 1.  Yamper will follow soon after on Route 2 by overworld (5%).
Covers weaknesses? Yes

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)
Unlike other types, there’s no one Pokemon or group of Pokemon I can point to and definitely say this is the best and you need to have it on your team.  Electric Pokemon are boosted or hampered by their availability, stats, abilities, type combos, and move diversity, so saying one is the true MVP would be foolish.  So instead, I’m listing seven great Electric Pokemon alphabetically.  There are many others that can be included but I didn’t want to go overboard.

Ampharos Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Ampharos
Ampharos is a Pokemon that becomes better and better as the generations progress mainly thanks to the variety of moves it can learn!  Starting with just Fire Punch and Iron tail (by TM), Ampharos took an upgrade and acquired new moves through standard level up!  By Gen 4 it can learn Power Gem and Signal Beam and by Gen 6 it can learn Dragon Pulse!  And with a nice 115 Special Attack and hefty bulk, this is an Electric Pokemon that can survive hits and deal them back!  Ampharos’ is held back by its scattered availability but at least its pre-evolution Mareep is usually found early in the games.
Available in: GS, HGSS, B2W2, XY, USUM

Galvantula Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...Vikavolt (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...

Bug Pokemon (Galvantula and Vikavolt)
Galvantula and Vikavolt neutralize your Ground weakness which is nice but they’re here because of their moves, abilities, and stats.  Starting with my OG Galvantula, you gotta find one with Compound Eyes ability because that will increase his accuracy which means you’ll have a Thunder attack with 91% accuracy!  Paired that with Bug Buzz and Energy Ball and you have a fast spider that can hit a lot of Pokemon at least neutrally effective.  Galvantula is frail though so get him out of there with Volt Switch!  Vikavolt is much slower but makes up for this with its bulk and higher Special Attack.  It also has that sweet Levitate ability!  It can also learn Energy Ball as well as Air Slash which is great.  Both of these bugs as such can be a soft Ground counter but be wary of Rock moves!
Available in: Galvantula in BW, B2W2, ORAS, SWSH and Vikavolt in SM, USUM, SWSH

Eelektross (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...

Eelektross
Electric Pokemon are among the worst types for Physical Attackers favoring Speed and Special Attack instead.  Fortunately, Eelektross has an impressive 115 stat for Physical Attack (and a very nice 105 for Special Attack) so if you want a brute then get this guy!  Eelektross is also one of the best Electric Pokemon for move diversity with such moves as Flamethrower/Fire Punch, Crunch, Giga Drain, Aqua Tail, Brick Break, and Rock Slide.  If you really want to be smart you teach it Coil (ups Attack, Accuracy, and Defense), and teach it Drain Punch, Wild Charge, and Superpower.  It’s a risky but fun moveset!  (Also helps that Eelektross’ Levitate Ability pairs nicely with Aqua Tail and Giga Drain).

Biggest setback is you need to train its first stage, Tynamo, up to Level 39 before you can evolve it and then evolve it again with a Thunder Stone.  Also…Elektross is uncommon so unfortunately you won’t run into them often.  Even in Generation 7 you can only catch one after the Championship which breaks the rules of the run.  Bummer.
Available in: BW, B2W2, ORAS

Lanturn (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...

Lanturn
The Light Pokemon will be a shining beacon for your team.  Lanturn carries moves that very few other Electric Pokemon have namely Water (Surf and etc.), Fairy (Dazzling Gleam), and Ice (Ice Beam and etc.) type.  Water and Ice are especially nice if you’re in a pickle against some Rock and Ground types but it comes with the risk of being OHKO’d by an Earthquake or a decent Mud Bomb.  You also have some interesting move choices to consider like Aqua Ring, Confuse Ray, Scald, and Thunder Wave to debilitate your enemies and the Volt Absorb ability could be used to regenerate your health by friend or foe.  Unfortunately, Lanturn is hurt by a below average Special Attack (76) and doesn’t have a way to raise it through Calm Mind and such.
Available in: GSC, RSE, HGSS, XY, ORAS, SM, USUM

Magnezone (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...

Magnezone Family
Although Magnezone and its pre-evolutions have a 4x weakness to Ground attacks it’s a really good defensive Pokemon with among the highest stats for Defense and Special Defense for Electric Pokemon and its Steel combo gives it the most resistances and immunities out of any Pokemon. In fact, it’s the second strongest, non-Mega, non-Legendary Electric Pokemon, just behind Electivire (but Magnezone doesn’t need to trade to evolve!).  It also has a beastly 130 Special Attack so teaching it Thunderbolt and Flash Cannon will do massive damage to many foes.  Unfortunately, it is really limited by its move diversity.  It’s basically going to be those two types and that’s it!  Sure it can learn Signal Beam but many Electric Pokemon can learn that so it’s not too special.  At least it’s quite common!
Available in: Magneton in RBY, GSC, RSE, FRLG, HGSS and Magnezone in Platinum, B2W2, XY, ORAS, SM, USUM

Rotom Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon Database

Rotom
One of my favorite Pokemon ever, Rotom is a must have member due to its moves, ability, and crazy form changes!  By itself, Rotom is fine and having one on your team in Platinum is pretty fun!  Very few Electric Pokemon can learn a strong Ghost move and paired with its Levitate ability gives you a soft counter to your Ground foes.  However, the main reason Rotom is here is its forms which you can access in later generations.

Rotom’s five forms changes its Ghost type to match its new form (e.g. Heat Rotom becomes Fire/Electric) and gives Rotom a biiiig stat boost which makes Rotom a very nice tank with great Special Attack stats (105).  You can also learn some devastatingly powerful moves for each form which are Overheat, Blizzard, Hydro Pump, Air Slash, and Leaf Storm.  This gives you some much needed move diversity.  As you can tell, some of these moves have some trade backs like low accuracy (Blizzard/Hydro Pump) or drop of stats after use (Overheat/Leaf Storm).  You still get that Levitate ability though so for an Electric team a Wash Rotom is great because your immune to Ground attacks and can deliver a STAB Hydro Pump!

But man Rotom is a pain to catch.  I mean seriously.  A lot of times it’s after the Championship like Diamond/Pearl and USUM.  And sometimes it’s on a specific day (Tuesday in XY), a specific time (Platinum), or a specific weather condition (SWSH).  And getting the forms are harder with the only legitimate way to get them before the Championship is in XY or SWSH.  You really have to work hard if you want a Rotom.
Available in: Platinum, XY, SWSH

Best Pokemon Games for a Psychic Type Run

Psychic type | Pokémon Wiki | Fandom

Ah, the Psychic Type.  For many people, it’s their favorite Pokemon Type and I don’t blame them!  There’s so many cool and weird Psychic Pokemon that are amazing and wonderful  And starting in Generation IV, we started getting Psychic Pokemon that not only had high Special stats but Physical stats as well!  As such, having a team full of Psychic Pokemon is surprisingly doable in many games.  So let’s take a look which Pokemon games are the best (and worst) for a Psychic-only team and which Pokemon you should look out for.

Rules

  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 discard 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.

Pokemon Monotype Chart Version 2.02

Best Pokemon Games

The Psychic Type has a surprising range of games you can choose for your Monotype Run.  I’d say it’s even doable as far back as Pokemon Gold/Silver so you have a collection of nice choices   XY is probably the best games with X edging Y due to version exclusive Starmie.  But that honestly won’t be a problem as you can train at least 21 Psychic Pokemon in either game!!  The diversity in this game is incredible AND you have Fennekin as your starter who is main reason why XY are the best games.

There are still plenty of other games to choose from for your Psychic Run that won’t be disappointing including ORAS, USUM, and SWSH.  I really like ORAS as you can catch Ralts very early in the game and evolve them into a powerful Gardevoir/Gallade.  However, it will be awhile before you can catch other Psychic Pokemon so keep that in mind but at least you can catch one of the Lati@s!  USUM gives you a little more selection at the beginning and you can train a Metagross which is very nice.  Finally, SWSH unloads a torrent of Pokemon on you to the point that you can have a full team with all your weaknesses neutralized right before the first gym!

 

Worst Pokemon Games

I would avoid the Kanto and Unova games with the worst one being Yellow.  What they all have in common is a later-than-usual appearance of Psychic Pokemon and a team exposed to common weaknesses.  Despite B2W2’s abundance of Pokemon, I would avoid them as Eevee is your first Pokemon and that’s well after the 2nd gym.  Yellow is especially dismal because your first Pokemon appears after the 2nd gym and you barely have a full team of six Pokemon.

Delphox (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...

List of Pokemon Psychic Teams

Red, Blue, Yellow, and FireRed, LeafGreen
Ideal Team: Hypno, Mr. Mime, Exeggutor, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Starmie, Slowbro
Optional: Kadabra
First Pokémon: Abra via Route 24 after Mount Moon for all versions except Pokemon Yellow, just before the second gym.  In Pokemon Yellow the first Pokemon would be Drowzee on Route 11 after the second gym.
Covers weaknesses? No, Bug and Ghost are not neutralized.

 

Gold, Silver, Crystal, and HeartGold, SoulSilver
Ideal Team: Espeon, Exeggutor, Girafarig, Xatu, Jynx, Starmie/Slowbro
Optional: Lugia (S, SS), Kadabra, Hypno, Wobbufett, Mr. Mime (HGSS via Safari), Unown
First Pokémon: Unown at the Ruins of Alph before the first gym; after Unown you can get a Slowpoke at the Slowpoke well before the second gym.
Via Pokewalker Abra (Town Outskirts at 5000+ steps), Wobbufett (Noisy Forest at 4000+ steps), Slowpoke (Beautiful Beach at 1000+ steps), Smoochum (Dim Cave at 5000+ steps), and Staryu (Beautiful Beach at 5000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized

 

Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and OmegaRuby, AlphaSapphire}
Ideal Team: Gardevoir, Medicham (R,S,ORAS)/Gallade (ORAS), Girafarig, Xatu, Claydol, Starmie/Slowbro (ORAS)
Optional: Lunatone (S, AS)/Solrock (R, E, OR), Lati@s (ORAS), Grumpig, Espeon (ORAS), Bronzong (ORAS), Gothitelle (ORAS), Hypno (ORAS), Beheeyem (ORAS), Musharna (ORAS), Unown (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Ralts via Route 102 before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? Yes, except Emerald where Dark is not neutralized

 

Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Ideal Team: Mr. Mime/Gardevoir (Platinum), Bronzong, Medicham/Gallade (Platinum), Kadabra, Girafarig, Espeon (Platinum)
Optional: Chimecho
First Pokémon: Abra via Route 203 before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Black/White and Black2/White2
BW Ideal Team: Musharna, Swoobat, Sigilyph, Gothitelle (B)/Reuniclus (W), Beheeyem
First Pokémon: Munna via Dreamyard right after the first gym
Cover weaknesses?  No, Dark and Ghost are not neutralized.

B2W2 Ideal Team: Sigilyph, Gothitelle (B2)/Reuniclus (W2), Starmie, Claydol, Metagross, Solrock
Optional: Grumpig (B2), Swoobat, Lunatone, Beheeyem, Espeon
First Pokémon: Eevee via Castelia Park before the third gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

X and Y
Ideal Team: Delphox, Gardevoir, Gallade, Malamar, Slowbro, Sigilyph
Optional: Kadabra, Meowstic, Medicham, Grumpig, Lunatone, Solrock, Swoobat, Espeon, Chimecho, Mr. Mime, Wobbuffet, Reuniclus, Exeggutor, Jynx, Gothitelle, Starmie (X)
First Pokémon: Fennekin via Starter
Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Sun, Moon, and UltraSun, UltraMoon
SM Ideal Team: Oranguru (Moon)/Gothitelle (scan), Starmie, Espeon, Metagross, Raichu, Slowbro
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Reuniclus (scan)
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized in Sun and Moon.

USUM Ideal Team: Oranguru (UM)/Malamar, Slowbro/Starmie, Gallade (scan), Metagross, Gardevoir (scan), Delphox (scan)
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Xatu, Claydol (UM), Beheeyem, Mr. Mime, Espeon, Raichu, Slowking (S.O.S. by Slowpoke in Kala’e Bay), Jynx
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes, all weaknesses are neutralized.

 

Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Orbeetle, Sigilyph, Bronzong, Gardevoir, Gallade, Malamar
Optional: Swoobat, Musharna, Solrock (Sword)/Lunatone (Shield), Meowstic, Reuniclus (Shield), Gothitelle (Sword), Hatterene, Mr. Rime, Espeon, Claydol, Xatu, Wobbuffet, Beheeyem, Rapidash (Shield), Indeedee, Oranguru (Shield)
First Pokémon: Blipbug by random encounters (30%) via Route 1
Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Gardevoir Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...Gallade Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Gardevoir/Gallade

Starting in Generation 3 the Gardevoir line has been incredibly popular, both in real life and in games, and will be incredibly useful for your team.  They also keep getting better and better with Generation 4 introducing Gallade and Generation 6 adding the Fairy type to Gardevoir and giving both Mega forms.  It also helps when you can find Ralts very early in the game, a lot of times before the first gym.

Gallade and Gardevoir are the must haves for your team.  They fill in different roles and counter different Pokemon you may encounter.  Gardevoir has high Special Attack, can learn a variety of Special moves, and the Fairy type neutralizes Bug and Dark attacks.  Meanwhile, Gallade has a high Physical Attack, can learn a lot of Physical moves, and can also easily counter Bug and Dark foes.  Gallade is especially important for that high Physical Attack, something that a lot of Psychic Pokemon don’t excel at.

Honestly, the biggest disadvantage to them is trying to find a Dawn Stone for your Kirlia.  They can be a pain in the butt to acquire.  Even in ORAS, you don’t get one until right before the Elite Four which stinks.  So if you’re having trouble getting that Gallade, especially if your playing Generation 3, then you might want to consider Medicham instead.

Available in: RSE (just Gardevoir), Platinum, XY, ORAS, USUM, SWSH

Metagross Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...Bronzong Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Metagross/Bronzong

Our Steel bois are top tier for team members and although they lost their nifty Dark and Ghost resistances in Generation 6, they’ll still provide a great support.  Both of these Pokemon also fill different roles for your team so if you want offense then go with Metagross but if you want defense then stick with Bronzong.  Bronzong’s abilities give it a further immunity, which is nice, and so if you want outstall a team or setup some great moves then hell yeah, train that bell!  Meanwhile, Metagross is the strongest non-Legendary, non-Mega Psychic Pokemon so you definitely want him on.  Metagross also carries a ton of Physical moves like the awesome Meteor Mash and the fantastic Earthquake.  Metagross can definitely fill in missing spots or holes that you would be lacking.

I would say their biggest downside is their exposed Ghost and Dark weaknesses.  It’s too bad this were to happen to them so if you’re pining for those good ol’ days I’d suggest Pokemon Platinum as Bronzong reeeeeeally shines as that defense.  And like I said, Bronzong is NOT an offense Pokemon so don’t try to make a shield into a hammer.

Available in: DPP (Bronzong), B2W2 (Metagross), ORAS (Bronzong), SM and USUM (Metagross), SWSH (Bronzong),

Xatu Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon DatabaseSigilyph Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Flying/Psychic Pokemon

Xatu was one of the first Psychic Pokemon introduced to counter a Psychic weakness, in this case Bug type.  From there, Xatu, and later Sigilyph and Swoobat, offer common and decent support for your Psychic team.  Of course, Flying moves are super effective against Bugs but you could also use them against foes like Scrafty or Medicham who may resist Psychic attacks.  Sigilyph also has some weird support moves that can boost its stats and lay down some crazy moves on your opponents.  Swoobat can be found relatively early in Black/White and even though I love this bat’s design…their stats are pretty low so you may want to switch to Sigilyph once you catch one.

I will admit they are not the strongest Pokemon out there but I would argue their unique typing and movesets offsets their weaknesses, barely any of the Psychic Pokemon can learn a strong Flying move so they can fill that hole.  The flyers are also quite common so if you wanted an easy anti-Bug member then they are more than likely there to support you.

Available in: GSC and HGSS (Xatu), RSE (Xatu), BW and B2W2 (Swoobat and Sigilyph), XY (Sigilyph), SM (Oricorio), USUM (Oricorio and Xatu), SWSH (Xatu, Sigilyph, and Swoobat)

Girafarig Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Normal/Psychic Pokemon

Bug counters won’t be too difficult for you to find (and heck, neither will Dark types) but you’re going to have a rough time trying to find a Ghost encounter; there’s just not that many Psychic Pokemon out there that can do it.  Thankfully, there are three Pokemon  who are completely immune to them!  Girafarig, Oranguru, and Indeedee’s Psychic/Normal typing gives them a perfect counter to Ghost foes.  Additionally, Girafarig can naturally learn Crunch, Oranguru can be taught Shadow Ball, and Indeedee can be taught Shadow Ball and Dazzling Gleam.  Sure, they may not be the strongest Psychics on your team but if you need a Ghost counter then they’re your best bet!

Available in: GSC and HGSS (Girafarig), RSE and ORAS (Girafarig), Moon and UM (Oranguru), Sword (Indeedee), Shield (Indeedee and Oranguru)

Slowbro Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...Starmie Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Slowbro/Starmie

I add these Pokemon here because of their commonality AND their fantastic stats combined with a stellar move diversity.  Slowbro can act as a tank and can learn Flamethrower; Starmie can be taught Thunderbolt and is incredibly fast.  And of course, both of these Pokemon have been around since Generation 1 so there’s a high chance you’ll run into either of them.  Slowpoke can even be cause early in Johto before the 2nd gym which is sweet.  You can also get a Mega-Slowbro in ORAS so don’t let that slip you bye!

Available in: RBY and FRLG (both), GSC and HGSS (both), RSE (Starmie), B2W2 (Starmie), X (both), Y (Slowbro), ORAS (both), SM (Starmie), USUM (both)

Malamar Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Malamar

Rounding out our crew is Malamar the funky calamari Pokemon!  I still find it funny that our first Psychic/Dark Pokemon is an upside down squid, lol.  But Malamar is honestly pretty good!  The Dark typing is the main reason why it’s here but it works great as a soft counter to other Dark Pokemon and a hard counter to Ghost types.  I honestly recommend you have a Malamar with a Contrary Ability cause it can naturally learn Superpower which instead of lowering it will raise Malamar’s Attack and Defense stat so use it!  You can also catch an Inkay at the beginning of USUM which is super nice and immediately eliminates two of your three weaknesses.  Speaking of which, if you see a Bug Pokemon then get the heck out of there!

Available in: XY, USUM, SWSH

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.

Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon Let’s Go

The Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu (LGP) and Eevee (LGE) games gave fans of the series a new opportunity to dive back into Kanto and replay Pokemon Yellow but with many improvements. But if you want to try something new and not go through the same old routine, why not try a Monotype Run? A Monotype Run is a run where you only catch and train Pokemon of a certain type (emulating the role of a Gym Leader if you will). This offers a layer of challenge to the games you may not experience and give you an opportunity to train other Pokemon you may originally pass over. The new catching system and the introduction of Alolan forms have also given new life to certain types, like Poison or Grass, who may have been lackluster in the original games. With that said, let’s take a look at the best and worst types for Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee!

RULES

  1. You can only catch and train Pokémon of a certain type. Once you capture your first Pokemon of that type, disregard any previous Pokemon on your team.
  2. If a Pokémon evolves to said type you may train it but evolve it ASAP.
  3. No outside trading allowed, this includes from Pokemon Go
  4. If a Pokémon changes to said type via Mega Evolution you are allowed to train it provided you Mega evolve it every time.
  5. Only Pokémon caught before the Elite Four are counted.

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Best Types

Hold onto your butts everyone, I think exclusive Pokemon affect the Let’s Go games more than any Pokemon games in the entire series! This is primary because A. the amount of Pokemon is limited and B. many of the exclusives have Alolan forms which further compounds the issue as you have to trade a non-Alolan Pokemon to get its Alolan form. So PLEASE pay attention which version you have as this can drastically change your first Pokemon and your team.

With that said, I think the Normal type is the best type in the games for a Monotype Run followed by Poison (LGP), Electric, and Flying (although I would also consider Bug, Ground, Grass and if you’re patient, Water and Rock). Normal is the overall winner here due to its abundance, strong late-game Pokemon, and of course early availability whether it’s a Route 1 Pokemon or, of course, your starter Eevee in LGE. Normal Pokemon also can learn a variety of moves which is super fantastic! Wigglytuff’s Normal/Fairy typing is really nice against Fighters and Snorlax is so iconic you just have to ask why wouldn’t you train one??

I’m a huge fan of Poison type so I’m bias but I think LGP is among the best in the series for a Poison run! That’s right! You heard it here first. You can catch an Oddish in the first route, catch both Nidorans right afterwards in Route 22, then catch a Weedle and Bulbasaur (!) in Viridian Forest. Of course, you have Tentacruel, Golbat, Venomoth, and Haunter backing you up but the real kicker that puts LGP above LGE is the Alolan Muk which gives you that sweet, sweet, immunity to Psychic Pokemon who are so very common in Kanto. I’m currently playing the game for a Poison run and it’s like every dream coming true for me.

Electric was already decent in RBY but I think it’s much better here as Electric Pokemon can now learn a variety of moves and you can get an Alolan Graveler and an Alolan Raichu which gives you that nice variation that many Electric teams are really lacking in. Throw in the Zapdos and your partner Pikachu and you’re in for a fun time!

Finally, Flying type is really good as you can catch all three legendary birds before the Elite Four, acquire a Pidgey in the first route, train a Dragonite and Charizard, resurrect an Aerodactyl, and farm Magikarps for that amazing Gyarados. Your only issue here is that weakness to Rock attacks which can be covered thanks to Gyarados’ Water attacks.

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Worst Types

Quite a few of types I would not recommend unfortunately. Ghost is probably the worst as you can only catch one after the third gym and you basically have two team members, Haunter and Alolan Marowak. Dark type is also very abysmal as you only have two partners, an Alolan Raticate and either an Alolan Persian (LGE) or Alolan Muk (LGP) which are acquired much later (plus, LGE is exposed to all of Dark’s weaknesses). Dragon Pokemon are very rare and although you can catch a Charmander early on, your first true Dragon Pokemon won’t come until after you get the Sea Skim ability which is basically just past the game’s halfway point. Other types I would not recommend due to late availability would be Ice, Steel, and Fighting (LGE).
Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Parasect, Venomoth, Scyther (LGP)/Pinsir (LGE), Butterfree, Beedrill

First available Pokémon: Caterpie and Weedle via Route 2 before the first gym.

Cover weaknesses? No, Flying, Fire, and Rock not neutralized.

Dark

Ideal Team: Alolan Raticate, Alolan Persian (LGE)/Alolan Muk (LGP)

First Available Pokemon: Alolan Rattata in Cerulean City before the second gym

Cover Weaknesses? Yes in LGP thanks to Alolan Muk. In LGE, Fighting, Fairy, and Bug are not neutralized.

Dragon

Ideal Team: Dragonite, Mega Charizard X, Alolan Exeggutor

First Available Pokémon: From a certain point of view, Charmander via rare spawn in Route 3 after the first gym. You can catch a Dratini via Route 10 after you get the Sea Skim ability.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Dragon not covered

Electric

Ideal Team: Pikachu/Jolteon, Alolan Graveler, Electabuzz, Magneton, Alolan Raichu, Zapdos

Optional: Electrode

First Available Pokémon: Pikachu in Viridian Forest in LGE or Pikachu as a starter in LGP

Covers weaknesses? Yes

Fairy

Ideal Team: Wigglytuff, Clefable, Mr. Mime, Alolan Ninetales (LGE)

First Available Pokémon: Clefairy in Mt. Moon after first gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Poison or Steel are not neutralized

Fighting

Ideal Team: Machoke, Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Primeape (LGP), Poliwrath

First Available Pokémon: For LGP, Mankey via Route 3 after the first gym. For LGE, Machop via Rock Tunnel after the third gym.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying or Psychic not neutralized.

Fire

Ideal Team: (Mega) Charizard, Arcanine (LGP)/Ninetales (LGE), Magmar, Alolan Marowak, Rapidash, Moltres

Optional: Flareon

First Available Pokémon: Charmander via Route 3 after the first gym (special spawn)

Covers Weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized

Flying

Ideal Team: Charizard, Dragonite, Aerodactyl, Gyarados, Zapdos, Articuno

Optional: Pidgeot, Fearow, Dodrio, Scyther (LGP), Moltres

First Available Pokémon: Pidgey via Route 1

Covers Weaknesses? No, Rock is not covered.

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter, Alolan Marowak

First Available Pokémon: Gastly at Lavender Tower well after the third gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark is not covered

Grass

Ideal Team: Mega Venusaur, Exeggutor, Vileplume (LGP)/Victreebel (LGE), Parasect, Alolan Exeggutor, Tangela

First Available Pokémon: Oddish (LGP) or Bellsprout (LGE) via Route 1

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying and Ice is not neutralized.

Ground

Ideal Team: Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Rhydon, Onix, Alolan Dugtrio, Sandslash (LGP)

Optional: Graveler, Dugtrio

First Available Pokémon: Nidorans in Route 22

Covers Weaknesses? No, Water is not neutralized

Ice

Ideal Team: Lapras, Articuno, Dewgong, Jynx, Cloyster, Alolan Sandlash (LGP)/Alolan Ninetales (LGE)

First Available Pokémon: Alolan Vulpix (LGE) or Alolan Sandshrew (LGP) via trade in Celadon City before the fourth gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes in LGP thanks to Alolan Sandlash. In LGE, Rock is not neutralized.

Normal

Ideal Team: Snorlax, Tauros, Pidgeot, Wigglytuff, Kangaskhan, Eevee (LGE)/Chansey

Optional: Porygon, Fearow, Dodrio, Raticate, Persian (LGE), Farfetch’d, Lickitung, Ditto, Alolan Raticate

First Available Pokémon: Eevee as a starter in LGE or Pidgey and Rattata in Route 1 in LGP

Covers Weaknesses? Yes!

Poison

Ideal Team: Venomoth, Alolan Muk (LGP)/Haunter, Venusaur, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Tentacruel

Optional: Vileplume (LGP)/Victreebel (LGE), Weezing (LGE), Arbok (LGE), Golbat

First Available Pokémon: Oddish (LGP) or Bellsprout (LGE) via Route 1

Covers Weaknesses? Yes in LGP thanks to Alolan Muk. In LGE, Psychic is not neutralized.

Psychic

Ideal Team: Alolan Raichu, Mr. Mime, Exeggutor, Jynx, Starmie, Slowbro

Optional: Kadabra

First Available Pokémon: Abra via Route 5 after the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost is not neutralized.

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Onix, Aerodactyl, Omastar/Kabutops, Alolan Graveler

First Available Pokémon: Geodude and Onix at Mt. Moon after the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Surprisingly, yes.

Steel

Ideal Team: Magneton, Alolan Sandlash (LGP), Alolan Dugtrio

First Available Pokémon: Alolan Diglett via trade in Lavender Town after the third gym.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground, Fighting, and Fire not neutralized.

Water

Ideal Team: Blastoise, Slowbro, Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon

Optional: Starmie, Gyrados, Omastar/Kabutops, Cloyster, Dewgong

First Available Pokémon: Magikarp via the Pokecenter just before Mt. Moon, after the first gym. Psyduck can be caught right after Mt. Moon thankfully in Route 4.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Electric is not neutralized.

Best Pokemon Games for a Bug Type Run

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Update 12/30/2019: The article now includes Sword and Shield

If you were doing a Monotype (or Single Type) Run in Pokémon, would you go for a team with a lot of diversity that shows up late or a team with low diversity that appears very early on? I think, given the options, trainers would choose the latter rather than the former. And if you’re the case, let me suggest training a Bug Team in Pokémon.

Bug Pokémon have one of the highest rates of early availability in the Pokémon games. Not counting the starters, they are just behind Normal and Flying type for their early availability occurrences. As such, they are great if you want to get your team rolling almost right away. However, be prepared for low diversity as a huge number of Bug Pokémon are part Poison or Flying type, types that don’t give them a lot of variability. Bug Pokémon also suffer from an abysmal movepool by primarily favoring Bug, Poison, and Flying moves. If you want to stop Fire, Flying, and Rock Pokémon, you got to have the moves to back it up. Diversity will play a very strong role to make your team great.

Finally, Bug Pokémon, on average, have the worst stats out of all 18 types. Now, before I go any further, Bug Pokémon have a huuuuge disadvantage to this because there are very few Bug Legendaries. Even then, fully evolved Bug Pokémon are relatively weak as they are treated as early Pokémon you can train before moving on to bigger fish. It’s a trade off for their early availability. Thankfully, later generations change this perception which is why you’ll see me more likely recommend later rather than earlier games. As a side note, Generation 5 was probably the best generation for Bug Pokémon as it introduced an incredible range of Pokémon that are actually very strong and diverse. Expect to see a few of these Pokémon in our MVP list.

Let’s take a look at what your team may look.

Rules

  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 discard 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 2.02Worst Pokémon Games

I want to start with the worst games because frankly, there’s not a lot of necessarily bad games for a Bug type run. The Kanto games are arguably the worst games for a Bug type run as they have abysmal diversity with a rather weak team. Oh, and watch out for Blaine and his fire comrades, they’ll roast you! Jumping a few generations later, Black and White is a mixed bag as the first Bug you can catch is after the second gym, the latest out of any of the games. Even then, you’ll still have great diversity with Volcarona and Galvantula giving you stellar support…you’ll just have to wait a bit before you can catch that Venipede.

 

Best Pokémon Games

The rest of the games honestly range from decent to fantastic; in fact, a lot of them have a “*6A” rating or better as seen in the chart above. Even starting in Generation 2 we have a team that can neutralize weaknesses thanks to Heracross and Shuckle.

Personally, I like Black 2, USUM, and Sword and Shield. The other games are great but these are packing some of the best bugs around! What these games have in common is a slow but steady increase of teammates throughout the game and a nice variety of Pokémon to cover your weak points. Sword and Shield are probably the best as you can catch a whole team of Bug Pokemon who neutralize your weaknesses RIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST GYM!!!  These games also have the rare but coveted Move Tutors who can teach you anything from Scolipede’s Aqua Tail to Forretress’ Stealth Rock. Check out the team combos below.

XY and ORAS are also really good, probably not as stellar as the previous examples but that’s a high bar to reach.  I really like the diversity they offer and the early availability of Pokemon.  ORAS you will have an issue of weak Pokemon near the beginning of the game but that will clear by the middle of the game when you get Heracross and Armaldo, and later with Galvantula, Volcarona, and Forretress.  Both games offer Shedinja as well which neither Black 2 nor USUM has.  Shedinja!  They’re great!  I mean they’re not very strong but they’re super adorable.  Love these cicada ghosts.

 

Bug Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon RBY and FRLG
Ideal Team: Parasect, Venomoth, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Pinsir (Blue, Leafgreen, Yellow), Butterfree, Beedrill (all versions except Yellow)
First available Pokémon: Caterpie and/or Weedle (except Yellow) via Viridian Forest.
Cover weaknesses?  No, Flying, Fire, and Rock not neutralized.

 

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Heracross, Venomoth, Shuckle, Parasect, Scyther/Yanmega, Forretress
Optional: Butterfree (G, C, HG), Beedril (S, C, SS), Ledian (S, C, SS), Ariados (G, C, HG)
First Pokémon: Caterpie (G, C, HG)/Weedle (S, C, SS)/Ledyba (S, C, SS)/Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30 before the first gym. Venonat and Paras via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon RSE and ORAS
Ideal Team: Dustox/Venomoth (ORAS)/Beedril (ORAS), Heracross, Volcarona (ORAS), Forretress (ORAS), Galvantula (ORAS), Armaldo/Crustle (ORAS)
Optional Pokémon: Pinsir, Beautifly, Shedinja, Ninjask, Leavanny (ORAS), Parasect (ORAS), Kricketune (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon DPP
Ideal Team: Vepiquen, Wormadam (Steel and Ground form), Heracross, Dustox, Mothim/Yanmega (Platinum)/Scyther (Platinum)
Optional Pokémon: Kricketune, Beautifly
First Pokémon: Kricketot via Route 202 before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized

 

Pokemon BW and B2W2
BW Ideal Team: Scolipede, Leavanny, Crustle, Galvantula, Volcarona, Durant
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet
First Pokémon: Sewaddle and Venipede via Pinwheel forest after second gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

B2W2 Ideal Team: Galvantula, Scolipede, Crustle, Vespiquen, Heracross/Leavanny, Volcarona
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet, Pinsir, Shuckle
First Pokémon: Sewaddle via Route 20 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses?  Yes.  HOWEVER, be warned that in White 2 you can only get a Heracross via Hidden Grotto in Lostlorn Forest and even then it has a 0.75% of appearing.  So technically you can cover your weaknesses it would just be very annoying.  At least in Black 2 you don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

Pokemon XY
Ideal Team: Vespiquen/Yanmega, Shedinja, Scolipede, Crustle, Heracross (Y), Durant
Optional Pokémon: Beedrill, Butterfree, Viviilon, Ninjask, Masquerain, Pinsir (X), Shuckle, Scyther, Wormadam and its various forms, Mothim
First Pokémon: Scatterbug via Route 2 and Weedle (X)/Caterpie (Y) for Route 2 as well but you can catch them both in both versions at Santalune Forest.
Weaknesses Covered?  Regardless of versions, you’re good!

 

Pokemon SM and USUM
SM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Scolipede (scan), Masquerain, Romblebee
Optional: Parasect, Butterfree, Ledian
First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, Grubbin, and Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized in Sun and Moon

USUM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Volcarona, Forretress, Armaldo (US)/Masquerain, Romblebee
Optional: Masquerain, Parasect, Butterfree, Ledian, Ariados, Beedril (scan)
First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, Grubbin, and Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes, every type is taken care of

 

Pokemon Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Crustle, Centiskorch, Durant, Orbeetle, Galvantula, Araquanid/Golisopod
Optional Pokémon: Butterfree, Vikavolt, Shedinja, Ninjask, Escavalier (Sword Raid), Accelgor (Shield Raid), Ribombee, Vespiquen, Shuckle, Frosmoth
First Pokémon: Blipbug, Caterpie, Grubbin by random encounters (30%, 15%, and 10%) via Route 1.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

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Heracross

Ah yeah, Heracross, baby! One of the best Bug Pokémon, Heracross offers so much for your team and is just cool overall. What’s more, Heracross is one of the most common Bug Pokémon you’ll likely encounter in a Bug playthrough so be prepared to find and train one. What’s nice is they usually show up about midway through the games so you won’t have to wait until the end to catch one.

Heracross’ signature move, Megahorn, is the move that helped define Generation 2 and was Gamefreak’s answer to the overpowered Psychic Pokémon. After G2, other Pokémon acquired it as well but Heracross started it and is a very strong STAB move to fight against your foes. Of course, Heracross learns other cool moves like its various Fighting moves and Night Slash which is very fine. But check out the TMs; Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Shadow Claw are moves you’ll need to stop your Flying, Rock, and Fire Pokémon (except Shadow Claw, it’s just pretty sweet).

Unfortunately, it’s not all honey sap and apricorns for Heracross. That 4x weakness to Flying moves is brutal and can be a pain to counter. And despite having the most powerful Bug move yet, Heracross is weak to Psychic moves which is a huge bummer. Thankfully, the Rock neutralization makes up for this and Heracross is packed with sufficient Rock-countering moves.

Available in: GSC, RSE, DPP, HGSS, B2W2, Y, ORAS

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Volcarona

Volcarona is the most powerful, non-Legendary and non-Mega evolved Bug Pokémon (quite a mouthful). Impressive on its own but even more impressive is its unique Fire/Bug typing, which only it and Centiskorch share. As such, Volcarona can learn a plethora of Fire-based attacks and even Psychic via TM. Let me doubly stress this as Volcarona is the ONLY Bug Pokémon that can learn Fire attacks; Fire attacks can hit so many Pokémon super effectively and is a must for your team. The fantastic Quiver Dance is also nice as each use raises your Sp At., Sp Def., and Speed, by one stage each (already raising its monstrous Special Attack stat). Once you up your stats, use Roost (by TM or by Move Tutor), replenish your health, and go to town! If you’re feeling up to it, you can even teach it Hurricane for a very strong Flying move.

Like Heracross, Volcarona has a 4x weakness but this time for Rock. This is very rough, so tread carefully among the Ground, Steel, and Fighting Pokémon. And like a lot of strong Pokémon, Volcarona doesn’t evolve until Level 59 which is incredibly rough as by then you’re knocking on the Elite Four’s door. Thankfully, you can catch a fully evolved Volcarona in B2W2 after the Quake Badge.

Available in: BW, B2W2, ORAS, USUM

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Shuckle, Armaldo, and Crustle

Bug/Rock Pokémon are nice as they neutralize both Flying and Fire and offer a STAB, counter offense to them. How effective this…depends on which one you catch and train! Obviously, Shuckle is super defense heavy so be prepared for long, sluggish battles but the other two offer more offensive-based attacks. I highly recommend getting one of these guys as I can’t tell you how headache inducing it is to fight a bird without anything significant to counter them.

Unfortunately, their move diversity is just okay. They know some Ground moves, maybe a Poison or Ghost move, but you’re not going to get anything more than that, especially for earlier generations. Crustle gets a boost though in Sword and Shield thanks to the TRs but most importantly it can learn Body Press which relies on the user’s Defense and not Attack stat.  For the love of God you should teach it to Crustle as its Defense is 125!!  That’s a really nice move to have on your team.

These guys are also pretty slow so be prepared to take a hit or two before you can finish off an opponent. And ironically, they’re still weak to Rock! Don’t forget about that! I have done that more than a few times.

Available in: GSC (Shuckle), RSE (Armaldo in all three and Shuckle in Emerald), HGSS (Shuckle), BW (Crustle), B2W2 (Crustle and Shuckle), XY (Crustle and Shuckle), ORAS (Armaldo), US (Armaldo), SWSH (Shuckle and Crustle)

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Forretress and Durant (and I guess Trash Wormadam)

It may surprise you how common Bug/Steel types are even when we subtract Scizor, Genesect, and Escavalier. Forretress, Durant, and Wormadam are scattered throughout the games so you’ll probably run into one when you do a Bug run.  Like Rock, Steel neutralizes two of Bug’s three weaknesses, namely Flying and Rock. If you want to play up that defense then look towards Forretress but if you want a speedy offense, look towards Durant instead. Wormadam…is okay, it’s stats are better than other Bug Pokémon but you can do better.

Of course, that 4x Fire weakness is horrendous. You’ll be roasted so bad by any kindlers or circus performers. And, unfortunately, these guys do not have a great move diversity. Move tutors can alleviate this but not by much. But Forretress doesn’t really need move diversity for what it’s trying to pull; it will act as your wall, set up spikes and wear down your opponents. And at least Durant can learn Rock Slide and Shadow Claw by TM.

Available in: GSC (Forretress), E (Forretress), DPP (Wormadam), HGSS (Forretress), BW (Durant), XY (Wormadam, Durant), USUM (Forretress), SWSH (Durant)

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Galvantula and Vikavolt

I love Galvantula, I really do. And although I was sad I couldn’t train one again in Alola, we got a nice counterpart via Vikavolt. The Electric type pairs nicely with Bug as both compliment their strength and weaknesses. In this case, neutralizing that Flying weakness and zapping the birds from the sky! Galvantula also has the ability Compound Eyes which makes your Thunder attacks about 91% accurate which is sooooooooooo goooooooood. Your biggest drawback is your limited movepool. Both Pokémon can learn Electric and Grass moves and that’s about it. Granted, those moves are pretty decent for Bug Pokémon so it’s not too bad.

Available in: BW and B2W2 (Galvantula), ORAS (Galvantula), SM and USUM (Vikavolt), SWSH (Both)

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Golisopod and Araquanid

We end our list with the latecomers whose main fault is their few appearances which will likely change as new games are produced. Both of these Pokémon have the amazing Water/Bug type and really deliver it justice (unlike Surskit introduced four generations earlier). Golisopod is second in natural strength to Volcarona but first in move diversity. Teach your Golisopod a variety of moves (especially if a Move Tutor is involved) such as Rock Slide, Poison Jab, Shadow Claw, and Sucker Punch. Of course, teach it its trademark move, First Impression, to deliver a very strong attack right at the beginning of the battle! Araquanid, meanwhile, makes up for its low move diversity and alright stats for a very nice ability in Water Bubble. Water Bubble halves Fire attacks, doubles Water attacks, and prevents a Pokémon from being burned. This is great! You hardly ever get an actual resistance to Fire attacks for Bug Pokémon! Just remember that you’ll need to nurture your Wimpod as a baby so be patient with it and Araquanid is more defense oriented so don’t expect it to win battles by quick KOs.

Available in: SM and USUM (Both), SWSH (Both)