High Hopes (A Shield Nuzlocke): Chapter 3

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

This is chapter three of my Nuzlocke. If you missed the first chapter or want to be reminded of the rules, feel free to go back to that post. Or, if you missed chapter two, that post is right here. Hope you enjoy this piece!

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Chapter 3:

Current Team: Bond the Sobble, Piccolo the Blipbug, Ryder the Rookidee
Body Count: 0

It was bittersweet watching the landscape of Wedgehurst — with Postwick in the distance — blur as the train lurched out of the station. My stomach tumbled and I suddenly felt homesick despite just giving Mum a hug goodbye not ten minutes ago before leaving.

Hop nudged my foot under the table at our seats and I turned my attention from the window to him.

“This is going to be fantastic,” he said, his face in his Rotom phone. “We’ll conquer the gym challenge together, Kris. Galar will soon know who we are.”

“Oh, I’m part of this?” I teased. “I thought I was just helping to further your legend.”

He scoffed. “Of course you are,” he said, “which means you’re very important. You’ll be my closest rival, like how Raihan is to Leon!” He flipped his Rotom phone around so I could see the social media posts he was scrolling through.

Raihan was one of the gym leaders of the region. He was one of the strongest, in fact, and I remember Hop passing along stories that he heard from Leon about Raihan challenging Leon to a battle here and there. Vaguely, I wondered if it was due to those stories — of Raihan always calling himself Leon’s rival — that Hop was so adamant that we were rivals.

Hop chatted away, our conversation during the train ride easing my nerves about the upcoming gym challenge. It would be a great time, I was sure of it, but I was also constantly reminding myself that I was never too far away from home. I could go back anytime. Mum would be delighted to see me whenever I walked in the door.

…I really needed to get out more.

I gazed back out the train window as we slowed during a lull in the conversation, understanding that this would be the best thing for me. And I would be with my best friend, who…

…was no longer in his seat.

I glanced around. “Hop?”

“Kris, we stopped!” He was near the front of the traincar and, indeed, we had stopped. Puzzled, I noticed no buildings or anything out the window and hurried to catch up with Hop. He paused long enough for me to reach his side before he caught one of the conductors’ attention. “What’s going on?”

“Sorry, young man,” the conductor said, tipping his hat. “There’s a herd of Wooloo on the track, so we had to stop for them. We’re at the Wild Area now. If you wish to disembark, you can cross the Wild Area to Motostoke. Otherwise, our delay may be about an hour.”

I shrugged. “An hour’s not bad–”

“This is great!” Hop, in one breath, thanked the conductor, dragged me off the train and out of the station, and rambled about all the Pokemon we would encounter.

I gasped at the landscape before us. The rolling hills and the lakes nestled between them. The rows of trees on our left, a dark tower emerging from the horizon. The beginning of Motostoke across the way, far away enough that I seriously thought it may take a day or two to reach it from the Wild Area station.

Arceus, how did Leon get through this place when he took on the gym challenge? It could take weeks for a normal person to explore the entirety of the Wild Area. For someone missing his sense of direction, who knows how long it took him to get around the place?

Hop was ecstatic. “Imagine what kinds of team we can build!” he was saying. “Look at all of the Pokemon!”

“Look at that Onix!” I hid behind Hop, spying the giant rock monster casually slithering towards the trees on the left. It’d be able to eat my team and myself in one gulp. “Shouldn’t it be underground?”

Hop cleared his throat and shifted more so towards the right, taking me with him. “Heh, yeah, maybe we’ll go a different way to Motostoke…”

“Don’t bother it and it won’t bother you.” Sonia appeared behind us, twirling a strand of her hair around her fingers as she gazed at the Onix as well. “…Well, probably.”

“Probably?” I echoed weakly.

“Hey, what are you doing here?” Hop asked her, apparently already forgetting about the Onix.

Sonia sighed. “Gran saw how enthusiastic you two were to go on a journey and thought it’d be a great idea for me too.” In a rather impressive impression of the professor’s warbled voice, Sonia said, “‘Those two young trainers are setting off on a journey, but what are you doing with your life?’”

I winced. “Ouch.”

“Ah, don’t worry about it,” Sonia said, waving away my sympathy. “Besides, I’m interested in that Pokemon you guys said you ran into in the Slumbering Weald, so it’s good timing. Maybe I’ll discover something new and exciting enough that’ll make Gran admit I have some talent!”

“Yikes,” Hop said. “Being an adult has got its own challenges, eh?”

Deadpanned, I said, “Hop, you’re making it sound like we’re ten-years-old or something…” He grinned and winked, and I rolled my eyes.

“I’m looking forward to being on the road again,” Sonia said. “It’ll be great to camp out and rough it. If you guys are going through the Wild Area, be careful. Some spots are prime areas for wild Pokemon to dynamax.”

“Alright, I’m off to beat as many of them as possible!” Hop darted away, going the opposite way of the Onix, I noticed. Before he was completely gone, he shouted back, “Meet you at Motostoke…!”

“What cheek!” Sonia gazed after him, hands on her hips. “He really should be careful, or at least think to dynamax his own Pokemon if he does encounter a wild one…”

“I’m sure he’ll be fine,” I said. “Didn’t you know? We’re witnessing the beginning of a legend.”

She gave me a withering look but said nothing. We chatted a few more minutes and she showed me a couple of more tricks with my Rotom phone before we parted ways. She returned to the station for a bit of shopping and I made sure the Onix was far enough away before I ventured further into the rolling fields.

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Character Spotlight: Hop (Pokemon Sword/Shield)

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Guess what? It’s the first Character Spotlight of 2020! Exciting, yes? Maybe. We’re talking about Hop from Pokemon Sword and Shield – a character some people love and some people hate.

Character Spotlight: Hop | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Pokemon Sword | Pokemon Shield | Pokemon | DoublexJump.com

Hop is a delightful character from the latest Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. He is your friend and rival who grew up in the same town as you. He’s from the Galar region living with his unnamed mother. His older brother is Leon, the current Champion of the Galar region. Hop feels like he has some pretty big shoes to fill but he’s eager to head out into the world and begin his Pokemon journey alongside his friend, you.

I absolutely loved Hop’s storyline throughout the game. In most Pokemon games, all the “good” characters want to be the very best while the “bad guys” want to take over the world and steal other people’s Pokemon and the like.

Sword and Shield aren’t like that. While the story may be lacking, the characters are not flat and it’s awesome. It’s such a nice change of pace. Hop is a prime example of this.

Hop begins his journey ready to take on the world and, of course, become the next Champion following in his brother’s footsteps. He takes you on as a rival since you’re friends, ultimately have the same objective, and you guys just happen to be starting out at the same time.

Throughout the game, Hop loses faith in himself. He loses to you in battle, he loses to other big NPC characters, and it takes a toll. It’s a gradual toll throughout the game and is paced nicely. I felt for him even though I loved every moment I kicked his butt in battle.

While his dialogue felt flat at times, he actually helps you out at the end and plays a big role in the plot. I was glad he had his chance in the spotlight even though I beat in him and his brother. The Champion title is no longer in the family, boys!

Overall, Hop is a well-rounded character. He’s encouraging to you and had his own hopes and dreams. Character development is shown throughout the game and is done nicely. I love this kid and can’t wait to see him in the anime (whenever I get the chance to watch it).

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High Hopes (A Shield Nuzlocke): Chapter 2

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

This Friday, we are continuing my Pokemon Shield Nuzlocke, “High Hopes.” If you missed the first chapter or want to be reminded of the rules, feel free to go back to that post. Otherwise, hope you enjoy this piece!

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Chapter 2:

Current Team: Bond the Sobble
Body Count: 0

My first experience with the overgrown grass in Route 1 was tripping over a Blipbug.

I decided to blame Hop. He had taken off down the route towards Wedgehurst, saying how we needed to meet the professor, and I was just trying to catch up. I was lucky I didn’t land on and squash the poor thing. Instead, it ran right into Bond, who was startled enough to Pound it with a tongue-lashing. Considering it was dazed, I tossed a pokeball and caught it.

“Well, what do you know,” I murmured to Bond as I picked up the Blipbug’s pokeball. “We got ourselves a new teammate.”

Said new teammate was dubbed Piccolo and — after reaching Wedgehurst, meeting the professor’s assistant and granddaughter Sonia, and receiving a Pokedex from her — was then almost eaten on Route 2 by a Rookidee.

At my shout, Bond leaped to Piccolo’s defense, soaking the offending Rookidee with a Water Gun. The Flying-type gave off a shrill scream before flapping up into the air, avoiding Bond, and diving at Piccolo again. On reflex, I chucked a pokeball at the bird, both the ball and the Pokemon colliding together.

As the pokeball stilled, signalling another capture, Bond, Piccolo, and I all took a collective deep breath.

“I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this,” I muttered, returning my Pokemon and picking up my new Rookidee’s pokeball. I backtracked to Wedgehurst, figuring that Hop and Leon could wait a bit longer for me. I wanted to get appropriate food for my Rookidee so he didn’t try to eat Piccolo again.

Heading back to Route 2, there were a few other beginning trainers that gave my team some experience, and it wasn’t until it was nearly sunset that Professor Magnolia’s house appeared on the horizon. Hop was there in front of the property, gazing towards the lake, but he gave me a grin when he spotted me finally showing up.

“‘Bout time,” he said. “I thought you got lost, but I figured if Leon could figure out how to here, then you’d be just fine.”

“It’s a straight way from Wedgehurst to here,” Leon said dryly, catching Hop’s words as the pair of us caught up to the champion by the professor’s door. Leon ruffled his brother’s hair, adding, “I’m not that bad.”

“He kinda is,” Hop whispered to me as we followed Leon into the house, and I stifled my chuckles as we were introduced to Professor Magnolia.

She was a nice old lady, talking about the wishing pieces and dynaxing Pokemon, and spoke up for Hop and me when Leon seemed hesitant about endorsing us. To be fair, I was as hesitant as Leon, but before I could blink, it was decided that Hop and I would battle to see if we were worthy of the champion’s endorsement. As Hop and I got into position on the makeshift battle arena outside of Professor Magnolia’s house, I wondered if Hop would hate me if I told him that I really wouldn’t mind if Leon didn’t endorse us for the Galar Gym Challenge.

I mean, sure, it would probably be a good time. Growing stronger with my Pokemon wouldn’t be a waste and it would be a good excuse to go off and explore the region more thoroughly. Yet, unlike Hop, I didn’t feel that pull to become the next greatest trainer in the region.

I’ll play the role of rival in The Legend of Hop and support him as well as I could, but if Leon could only endorse one of us after our battle, I wouldn’t be heartbroken if it was Hop.

“C’mon, Kris!” Hop was stretching from the opposite side of the makeshift battle pitch, his grin infectious. “Come at me with everything you got!”

“Alright, alright,” I said, making a show of brushing off imaginary lint from my shirt and giving my friend a crooked smile at his excitement. Glancing over at Leon, I saw Professor Magnolia join him on the sidelines, the older woman interested in seeing how well Hop and I battled. 

Leon said, “Listen up, you two,” and gave us a pep talk about always learning from every battle. I mulled over the few battles I’ve had with other trainers on the route when heading towards Professor Magnolia’s house, trying to figure out if there was anything I learned aside from paranoia whenever my Pokemon took a little too hard of a hit. Leon snagged my attention again as he added, “So show me something good in this battle!”

“You got it!” Hop wasted no more time as he tossed out his first Pokemon. Predictably, his Wooloo bleated as it emerged and shook itself.

I knew his Wooloo. It was gentle and sometimes showed a little more common sense than its trainer. Taking a deep breath, I called out my own Pokemon.

Piccolo blinked her big eyes as she stared at the Wooloo before her. My Blipbug didn’t seem too surprised, probably from having seen plenty of wild Wooloo on Route 1. What Piccolo was surprised about, apparently, was me commanding, “Struggle Bug.”

Whether she was surprised I was reminding her of the only move she knew or just to attack in general, I wasn’t sure. Being tiny meant that Piccolo hadn’t spent too much time helping Bond and Ryder the Rookidee battle the few other trainers on Route 2.

Unfortunately, her pause meant that Wooloo, who had no such problems with listening to Hop and attacking, barrelled into Piccolo with a Tackle.

Oh, shit.

Piccolo flipped backwards with a somersault as Wooloo rolled right on over her and back to position in front of Hop. She gave a delighted bleat as I debated on whether to return Piccolo already. My Blipbug, however, shook off the Tackle and charged as fast as her species could — which, really, wasn’t wasn’t that fast — at her opponent. Wooloo stared at Piccolo as she went closer.

Hop didn’t waste time in commanding a second Tackle, and I preemptively winced. Wooloo, again, ran over Piccolo, but Piccolo hung on to Wooloo this time around.

Wooloo tried shaking itself to dislodge Piccolo, but Piccolo nearly buried herself in Wooloo’s thick wool, biting as she used Struggle Bug on her opponent. In a desperate move to get Piccolo off, Wooloo rolled right into the stone wall surrounding Professor Magnolia’s property, knocking itself out.

“Great try, Wooloo,” Hop said, returning his Pokemon. Piccolo stumbled back towards me as I congratulated her. Immediately, I returned her when Hop tossed out a Rookidee.

“Ryder!” My own Rookidee exploded from his pokeball, eager to battle again, and dove at Hop’s Rookidee with a Peck attack.

The two birds traded Peck attacks a couple of times until Ryder broke off and honed his claws against the professor’s stone wall. Hop’s Rookidee chased it, getting another hit in, but Ryder’s sharper claws snagged it so Ryder could get one more good Peck in.

“Ryder, enough!” I called my Pokemon back as Hop called his to return. Together, Hop and I sent out our starters to face off once again.

Scorbunny set the battlefield on fire with an Ember and Bond nearly panicked. He leaped onto one of the nearby trees, using Water Gun to put out the few flames that Scorbunny kept kicking up.

“Aim for the rabbit!” I said, ducking from one such wayward Water Gun.

Bond got the hint and directed his next attack at Scorbunny. Scorbunny’s ears flopped with the water and it shivered before Hop commanded it to Tackle my Sobble. Scorbunny dashed up the tree, its feet connecting with Bond enough to make both of them tumble back to the ground. Bond got up first, using his tongue to Pound the Scorbunny even further into the field before his Water Gun met Scorbunny’s next Ember attack.

Another Tackle to Bond, another Pound to Scorbunny, an Ember, and one last Water Gun revealed Bond — and me — as the victor.

“Heh…” Hop returned his Scorbunny, giving me a lopsided smile. “I’d expect nothing less from my rival.”

“It was a good battle,” I said, hoping that I could avoid every other wild Pokemon and trainer on Route 2 to get back to the Pokemon Center.

“Well.” Leon came up to the pair of us, pausing only to stomp on one last little ember on the battlefield to snuff it out. “After seeing a battle like that, I’ve little choice but to give you both an endorsement as Champion.”

“YES! Thanks, Lee!” Hop cheered, and I thanked Leon as well, before Hop turned to me. “Alright, Kris! You and me are going to train up against one another to aim for that Champion’s title!”

I paused, but Hop’s enthusiasm was contagious. I couldn’t let him down.

I returned his grin. “Absolutely.”

Who knows? Maybe becoming Champion wouldn’t be such a bad goal after all.

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High Hopes (A Shield Nuzlocke): Rules & Chapter 1

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, Rachel started streaming a Pokemon Sword Nuzlocke over on our Twitch channel. While you can watch hers live or on a VOD, I’m joining the challenge with a Shield Nuzlocke of my own in fanfiction format. I hope you enjoy it!

Pokemon | Pokemon Nuzlocke | Nintendo | Pokemon Shield | Video Games | Fanfiction | Doublexjump.com

Shield Nuzlocke Rules:

  • Fainted Pokemon are considered “dead” and must be released.
  • Nickname all Pokemon to form deeper bonds.
  • Only the first randomly encountered Pokemon may be caught.
    • Duplicate clause: if random encounter is a Pokemon species that was already caught, you may try again with the second random encounter.
    • In areas with no random encounters, first wild Pokemon fight counts.
  • After the initial trip and first random encounter through the Wild Area, one new Pokemon may be caught in a new zone after each gym badge collected.
    • This was amended from a previous rule being that only 3 Wild Area Pokemon could be caught before Motostoke and before Hammerlocke; since 3 Pokemon were initially caught, the new rule will be instigated after the 4th badge is earned.

Chapter 1:

Current Team: Bond the Sobble
Body Count: 0

“Hop, this was a terrible idea.”

“Pretty sure this was your idea, mate.”

“Was not.” I huffed, squinting my eyes as if that would help me see better in the thickening fog.  “You would have gone straight into the Slumbering Weald after the Wooloo no matter what I said, and you know it.”

“Come off it,” Hop’s voice said from somewhere in front of me on the overgrown path, his outline just barely visible. “There was no hesitation from you when I asked what we should do when we saw the broken fence.”

I glared in Hop’s general direction. The Slumbering Weald had always been off limits for us. I thought it was just due to the wild Pokemon in the area, but if it was always foggy like this… Well, point taken, Mum.

“Bond, where are you?” I paused and glanced down at my feet just as my new Sobble smacked into the back of my leg. He placed a little hand on my calf, his few digits trembling despite the physical reassurance of my presence. I scooped him up and he heaved out a sigh.

“This is mad. I can’t even see my own hand in front of my face!”

“And I can’t see you,” I said in response to Hop’s voice, quashing down my own panic. Bond whined in my arms, and I tried to be brave for both of us. “Hop, come back!”

“Kris, I’m right here.”

“You are not,” I said, reaching forward blindly with my free hand. “We should have asked Leon to go and save the Wooloo…His Charizard would have been able to blow away this fog or something…” My hand collided with denim and I snatched it. “Please tell me this is you, Hop.”

“As long as you tell me that it’s you gripping my sleeve,” my friend said. His own hand reached out from the fog and nearly smacked Bond in the face. I grabbed Hop’s hand before he could.

“Let’s stay together,” I said.

“Yeah, sorry about going a little too far ahead,” Hop said as we walked together. “I’m just worried about the Wooloo. Can you imagine if we had sent Leon in here? With his sense of direction, he’d end up in Unova or something–”

A gust blew and with it came an eerie howl. My Sobble hiccuped in my arms as Hop and I stepped closer together. The howl washed over us, seemingly coming from every direction, until the fog opened up before us.

Stepping forward was a canine-like creature, crimson and blue fur standing out amid the silver fog. I had to crane my neck up to see its golden gaze scrutinizing us.

“Is that… Is that a Pokemon?” Hop asked, the pair of us trying to walk backwards before he tripped over my foot. He tumbled to the ground, me being yanked down with him, and Bond fell out of my arms.

The creature howled again, the sound vibrating through the air. Despite his shivering, Bond shot a blast of Water Gun at it. The attack only reached the creature’s ankles, if it had hit…

“It has no effect…” Cold dread sat in my stomach at the realization and I reached forward for my Pokemon. I just got my Sobble maybe half an hour ago, and I had no interest in it getting hurt by some ghost canine thing! We’d have to try to run.

The creature’s gaze was fixated on us, even as Bond tried a second Water Gun. I grabbed onto my Sobble as the creature howled again, its voice thickening the fog. Hop’s hand scrabbled for my sleeve.

“I can’t see anything,” he said, his shout wavering with panic. My head grew fuzzy as I tried to turn to him, but I couldn’t even respond when he asked, “Kris, are you ok? Kris…?”

The fog swallowed us.


“…ris…”

“…Kris…?”

“Kris, wake up…”

A groan reached my ears and I belatedly realized that the sound was from me. Something was shaking me by the shoulders and I lashed out.

“Ow!”

I blinked rapidly, trying to figure out where I was, only to see Leon in front of me rubbing his nose. Bond appeared in my view, my Sobble’s eyes wide and shiny with unshed tears.

“Uh… sorry?” I sat up gingerly, keenly aware that I probably punched the Champion in the nose. I reached over with one hand to rub the top of Bond’s head while the other held my own temple. “Did I just hit you?”

“Yeah,” Leon said, sitting back to give me more space. With a crooked smile, he added, “Think I was more startled than hurt. I’m glad you’re awake. You both seem to be okay.”

I glanced over to Leon’s other side, seeing Hop sitting there looking just as groggy as I felt. Just beyond Hop was Leon’s Charizard, its wings flared out protectively with the little Wooloo settled next to it, looking none the worse for wear. There was no fog competing with the shadows and flickering patches of sunlight peering down from the treetops.

“How’d you even get here, Lee?” Hop asked. “You’re pants with directions.”

“Gee, thanks,” was Leon’s deadpanned response. “I came looking for you two when you didn’t show to go to Wedgehurst. Let’s get out of here. You’ll be okay now that Charizard and I are with you.”

“Thanks, Leon.” I stood up, my legs only slightly wobbly but more than willing to leave the Slumbering Weald behind. I returned Bond to his pokeball, sure that my Sobble was more than spooked as well, and followed Leon and Hop out of the forest.

I only half listened as Hop told Leon about the creature we had encountered. Leon wondered if the rumors of the powerful Pokemon in the area was merely an illusion since Bond’s attacks went right through it. I bit my tongue to stop myself from arguing.

That Pokemon was no mere illusion.

“Hey, Kris.” Hop turned back to me with his usual grin as we reached Postwick again, the shadows of Slumbering Weald gone. “Don’t forget to tell your mum that we’re leaving for Wedgehurst. She’ll go spare if you leave without a word.”

“Don’t have to tell me that,” I said, already wondering how Mum would be just hearing that I stepped foot into the Slumbering Weald. “See you by Route 1.”

Mum’s heavy frown met me as soon as I walked into the house.

“Leon told me what was going on,” Mum said as a greeting. “I’m glad someone bothered to tell me! He mentioned how Hop and you were supposed to meet him to go to Wedgehurst and, instead, found the gate to the Slumbering Weald open.”

I took a deep breath and relayed what happened to Mum. “Hop and I have our own Pokemon now, more than just his Wooloo,” I reminded her. “We didn’t think it’d be that dangerous.”

“Kris, your Sobble is a sweetheart, but young,” Mum said, pinching the bridge of her nose as she tried to remain calm. “You both could have been seriously hurt.”

“…Yes, we can,” I said, my hand reaching to my belt where Bond’s pokeball was clasped. “Should we even go to Wedgehurst?” Bond and I could totally stay home with Mum. I’m sure he would like growing up amid Mum’s Budew.

Mum said nothing for a moment before I felt her hands cup my chin and make me look up at her. Her smile was small, but her eyes shone.

“Yes, you should,” she said after a moment. “Go out and see the world. You will make mistakes. You may get hurt. Your Pokemon, your friends may get hurt. It can be dangerous out there, but you’ll find plenty of opportunities and reasons to call the world beautiful.”

I took a deep breath and nodded. “Alright… Thanks, Mum.”

She kissed my forehead before shoving a small purse into my hand. “Here’s some pocket change and some pokeballs for Galar’s newest trainer. Go out there and follow your dreams.”

And Mum looked so excited, so proud of me that I could only think to say, “I will, Mum,” before giving her a hug and heading out the door.

I guess figuring out my dream would be my first goal of this journey.

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Galar Pokemon

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

The end of 2019 was pretty good in the sense I spent most of my time playing Pokemon Shield. Aside from knowing the baby starter Pokemon (not their evolutions) and a handful of other Pokemon, I didn’t know what to expect from brand new Pokemon going in. And that’s the way I like it. I was pleasantly surprised at the new Pokemon and love so many of the new designs.

Top Tuesday: Favorite Galar Pokemon | Video Games | Nintendo | Pokemon Sword | Pokemon Shield | Galar Region | DoublexJump.com

Chewtle

I absolutely love turtles. They’re one of my favorite animals. When I first saw Chewtle, my heart melted. He looks tough but he’s just a small, adorable guy with an abnormally large head. He’s slow too, which makes camping all the more fun. If you call him from afar, you’ll be sitting there for a few minutes while he happily “runs” toward you.

Cinderace

I enjoy all the evolution forms of Scorbunny. However, its final evolution is awesome. Cinderace looks like the older brother type for the rest of the Pokemon on my team. His clothes are awesome, he has a cool stance, and I love his animations when he attacks – especially with Pyro Ball because it looks like he’s playing soccer and it looks cool.

Carkol

I’ve never met a fire type Pokemon I didn’t like. I didn’t have Carkol on my team because I already had Scorbunny, but the Rolycoly line looks amazing. Out of the three evolutions, Carkol, the middle, is my favorite design. I like how he’s a minecart. I think it’s pretty clever.

Barraskewda

I’ll be honest. I haven’t trained too many “fish” Pokemon. I normally get a water Pokemon before you get the fishing rod in the game. You can fish right away in Sword and Shield, though I didn’t realize that at first. I didn’t have a Barraskewda on my team, but I enjoy the design of the Pokemon. I think it’s pretty cool how they made its fins and tail act as motor propellers as though it’s a boat.

Eiscue

Have we had a penguin Pokemon before? I can’t think of one at the top of my head and I’m too lazy to look through all 890 Pokemon to find a penguin. While Eiscue looks a bit odd with a block of ice for a head, I think it’s out of the box which makes it pretty cool overall. Not to mention, now they have plenty of opportunities to make other penguin Pokemon – macaroni penguins, baby penguins, emperor penguins, and more.

What are some of your favorite new designs for the Galar region? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Top Tuesday: Favorite New Features In Pokemon Sword & Shield

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

I’ve been playing Pokemon Shield almost non-stop. I’ve almost completed the Pokedex and am prepping to begin a new journey in Pokemon Sword. I love the game if you couldn’t tell. Here are some of my favorite new features from it.

Top Tuesday: Favorite New Features In Pokemon Sword and Shield | Pokemon | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Gaming | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

The Wild Area

I guess this is kind of a given, but the Wild Area is such a cool place. I lost so many hours in this part of the map even before I beat the game. There’s just so much to do even if you can’t do it all right away. Seeing Pokemon wander around in and out of the grass but have different strengths depending on where they appear are cool. I also like the fact that most of the Pokemon live in harmony in the Wild Area. It almost feels like a reserve (despite us all barging in there to catch them all) and it’s awesome to see so many species in one place, yet they stick to their own biomes.

The Weather

No, the weather isn’t new, per se. And yes, this is another feather of the Wild Area. I enjoyed how vast the Wild Area is that each section has its own weather. Depending on what weather you have, different Pokemon appear. Even a gym leader uses weather as a battling tactic which was interesting. Other than having a specific type, the gym leaders never really had too many “strats.” The weather was fun to work around and counter.

Pokemon Camp

Okay, they finally did it. They upped their game when it comes to playing with your Pokemon. I enjoyed Pokemon Aime but seeing them actually walk around, engage with one another (and you), and play, the Pokemon Camp is awesome. I could spend hours in there with my team and everyone in my box. I love watching them race each other (poor Drednaw and Eldegoss are so slow compared to Cinderace and Boltund).

In addition, you get to cook for them. It’s not exactly my favorite thing to do, but I enjoy watching the Pokemon eat and it’s always great to give them a boost in experience points or heal them.

Character Development

I know this isn’t exactly a “feature” but I needed to talk about the character development. Every Pokemon game is the same. There’s a bad guy team that wants to steal Pokemon and take over the world. It’s up to you, a child, to stop it all. There wasn’t any of that (for the most part). Every character – your rivals, gym leaders – all had their own stories. By the end of the game, they all had an ending to their story or a new beginning. It was great. I wasn’t just invested in the Pokemon and the gameplay, I was invested in the characters. No, there wasn’t much of a story, but there was still more to the game than just Pokemon battles and I thought that was really cool.

What are your favorite parts of Pokemon Sword & Shield? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Pokemon Sword & Shield [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Game Review | Pokemon | DoublexJump.com

Title: Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: GAME FREAK, Inc.
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-Playing, Adventure
Release Date: 
November 15, 2019
How we got the game:
We pre-ordered both games

krismii
We were wicked excited for Sword and Shield to finally come out on the Switch! To have another core Pokemon series game, one in a new region, was fantastic. Despite some of the backlash that was seen on the Internet, we always had faith that we would enjoy the games.

rachmii
I was extra excited about this game because there weren’t too many spoilers on what the new Pokemon looked like. I was able to go into this game fresh.

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Like most Pokemon core games, Sword and Shield have the typical gameplay formula. As the avatar character, you explore the region while catching and battling with the Pokemon you encounter. The routes and towns are usually diverse with different Pokemon and people for the avatar to interact with, with opponents getting stronger the further in the game you go. Moving is intuitive with the analog stick — and you can make your character spin around and strike a pose! — and speaking with people and most general interactions are simply with the A button.

rachmii
The major point of Pokemon is to explore the world and “catch ‘em all.” Sword and Shield don’t disappoint in that regard. I honestly felt as though the Galar Region is more of an “open-world” in some cases. For example, the Wild Area is a new feature added in this game. The Wild Area stretches for most of the Galar map and it’s where just about every Pokemon imaginable lives. The Wild Area has different areas from snow to desert to grasslands and more. It’s easy to stay there for long periods of time and not progressing with the actual gameplay.

 krismii
The Wild Area is also where it’s easiest to connect with fellow players. While there may be lag depending on the servers and the strength of your Internet, it’s awesome to see so many other trainers zipping about the world. Talking to one another usually nets you free items, mostly for curry in the Pokemon Camp, which we’ll get to in a minute. You can also trade and battle one another, as well as battle with each other in what’s called Max Raid battles against special wild Pokemon.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Pokemon have the ability to Dynamax in Sword and Shield. It’s the new Mega Evolution and Z-Move. Dynamaxing enlarges the Pokemon to about ten-times its size and gives them all-powerful moves depending on what they’ve already learned. However, you can only Dynamax in certain areas – like gym battles and max raids, for example.

krismii
Admittedly, we weren’t sure about this game mechanic when it was first introduced. It sounded a little gimmicky, like the mentioned Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves from the sixth and seventh generations, respectively. Keeping the Dynamax technique to certain areas, though, made it a bit more special and exciting to use, especially in the gym battles. It works out pretty well and even makes you use a bit of strategy in that Pokemon can only Dynamax for three turns in gym battles.

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krismii
I really enjoy the graphics on the Switch consoles themselves, and Sword and Shield were no exception. Our avatars actually get expressions this time around, and the animations of the Pokemon and other characters were great. The open world-like Wild Area and several towns of the Galar region were just absolutely beautiful!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I love how our characters actually have expressions. Knowing the sort of graphics that can be on the Nintendo Switch, I feel like Pokemon could improve a bit. However, I love it just the way it is because it’s how Pokemon is. The characters always moved in a certain way that screams “Pokemon”. As for the new Pokemon in this region? I absolutely love all the new designs. I think the Pokemon are really unique and outside the box. (Even though Galarian Meowth and Perrserker look like they belong in Where The Wild Things Are.)

krismii
Anyone who’s played these games and said they did not enjoy the gym battle themes are liars. The battle themes were definitely my favorite tunes, but hearing all the background music as you traveled through the region was also wonderful. They were familiar and new at once, familiar in the sense that you knew the music was from a Pokemon game, but new for the Galar region itself.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Any music from Pokemon – songs, sound effects, Pokemon cries – is fantastic. Sword and Shield were no exception and I agree with Kris. The gym battle themes were the best. Coupled with the cheering crowd in the background, it made it all the better. It really hyped me up.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The typical storyline of most core Pokemon games is that your avatar journeys throughout their home region on a quest to “catch ‘em all” and “be the very best.” Sword and Shield are similar, in which there is a Gym Challenge for trainers to partake in. With their teams of Pokemon, trainers challenge all eight gyms in an attempt to participate in the Pokemon League or, in this duo of games, the Champion’s Cup.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
On the flip side, while you journey around the world, you typically have to stop an evil group of Pokemon trainers with a fancy (or not-so-fancy) name who wants to dominate the world or steal Pokemon or what have you. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t the case in Sword and Shield. There is a bad guy team called Team Yell, yes, but they’re not bad in the way you’d assume them to be.

krismii
Sword and Shield do have a bit of lore behind them, with part of the story involving the region’s professor’s assistant (well, granddaughter) looking into the history of the Galar region itself. Involving two ancient heroes, one with a sword and one with a shield, and what was called the Darkest Day, you try to help unravel the mystery of why the lives of the heroes are not known more.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The story of the game doesn’t come together full-force until the very end of the main gameplay. The game itself is quick because of this and then it all comes together at the end. To avoid spoilers, I won’t say too much else other than I enjoyed how they did it this time around.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
While Sword and Shield have a fairly linear plot to follow, the replayability value lies in all the Pokemon you can tame and battle with. Considering there’s hundreds of Pokemon to find in the game, and a huge community to trade with, replaying the game with a new team every time helps to keep the plot fresh.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is certainly a game I’ll go back to quite often, like all the other Pokemon games. I will be sure to reach level 100 with my Pokemon, catch them all, and hunt for shinies. I’m in this for the long haul.

Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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Pokemon Sword & Shield Updates

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Pokemon Sword & Shield are getting closer to being released. We have a little over two months left to go and they’re still talking about new mechanics and features of the game.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Updates | Pokemon News | Gaming News | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

The Gyms

First off, these games are going to have 18 gyms. After Sun and Moon where there weren’t any gyms at all, I’m excited to get back into the gym battles. To make it even better, instead of having the eight gym badges and then moving onto the Elite Four and Champion, there will be 18 gyms to go through – one for every Pokemon type. Apparently, the gyms are split between the major leagues and the minor leagues and I don’t know if you need to go through them all in order to reach the Champion (assuming there is one) or if you can pick and choose. Me, personally, I’d love to battle them all and collect 18 badges (assuming there are badges).

I’m mainly excited about this because the types for the gyms and Elite Four have been so uneven over the years. I made a list of how many times each type is the main for a gym battle or Elite Four member or Champion and it’s crazy uneven. Champions and Elite Four members tend to favor Ice and Dragon types and, of course, even though Dark was introduced in Johto, it has never had itd own gym. Three different Elit Four members have mained in Dark, but there are no Dark gym badges. Fairy got its own gym when it was introduced in the Alola region, but that’s the only time it’s appeared.

I think it’ll be cool to have a gym battle for each type this time around.

Auto-Save

People have been talking about this one a decent amount. There will be an auto-save feature in the game. While I think this is a good idea, I’m happy there will be an option to turn it off. Supposedly, “it’ll constantly save the game” and I like to save before gym battles or if I’m searching for a certain Pokemon. If I try to catch a legendary and miss it, I just reset my game and try again. If it saves after a battle and I missed catching a Pokemon, I’m going to be pretty sad about that.

Still, I do think it’s a good idea to have the option to auto-save, just in case.

EXP Share

In Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee, there’s no EXP share. If you have Pokemon in your party, they automatically get EXP for every catch or battle. It seems as though that will be the case for Sword and Shield as well. I don’t really mind this, though I have turned the EXP share on and off in the past in case one or two of my Pokemon get a few levels ahead of everyone else. There’s no word on whether this will be able to get turned off or not but it’ll be there.

How much are you looking forward to Pokemon Sword and Shield? Are you excited to have 18 gyms? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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New Galar Research Has Been Shared

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

New Pokemon have been discovered in the Galar region and… I have to say, after the Alola region, I’m not all that surprised at what they showed.

New Galar Research | Pokemon | Gaming News | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Pokemon News | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

I’m only going to talk about the new Pokemon and not the people they announced mostly because I care more about the Pokemon than I do the people. I have more opinions on the Pokemon anyway.

New Pokemon

Morpeko

This may be the Pikachu-look-a-like for this region. It’s known as the two-sided Pokemon (though it’s a mouse, let’s be real) and it has two forms: Full Belly and Hangry. When Morpeko uses it’s energy and becomes hungry, it changes it’s colors and type from yellow-electric to purple-dark.

I think this is pretty cool and it will really add to the strategy of Pokemon battles since you’re working with two types, though not necessarily together. It reminded me of Wishiwashi from the Alola region, except WishiWashi’s type didn’t change at all. I’ll be curious to try out Morpeko on my team.

Galarian Forms

Okay. They did this for Alola. It confused me then and it confuses me now. I understand that the same Pokemon who live in different regions will change and adapt to the living conditions, but I’d prefer to have all brand-new Pokemon.

Weezing

Our Kanto friend, Weezing, has a new form and it reminded me of Exeggutor’s Alolan form with the long neck. Now Weezing seems to have a chimney on top its head resembling a top hat and what seems to look at like a mustache made out of smoke. I’m assuming they did this because of the response Exeggutor got. I’m not dissing the design at all, though it’s not something I would have chosen.

Weezing is now Poison/Fairy, which I feel like it should be Poison/Dark… I don’t know, I look at Weezng and see “pollution.” Also, Koffing wasn’t shown. I assume, as the pre-evolution of Weezing, Koffing will have a similar Galarian form, but who knows?

Zigagoon & Linoone

Two normal Pokemon from the Hoenn region are in the Galar region and they’re not just normal, but they’re also dark and look like they’ve been to one too many rock concerts. Like Weezing, I don’t mind the design, but I’ve always had a certain image of these two Pokemon in my head. Seeing the fangs and tongues hanging out, makes me question all that. These two just don’t seem like the same Pokemon I fell in love with while in the Hoenn region. I’ll still give them a try though, of course. Same with Weezing.

New Evolutions

I’ve been hoping to see some new evolutions of some Pokemon – namely Eevee. They announced one new evolution for Linoone, which is cool, but it’s only for the Galarian form.

Obstagoon

This looks like a cool Pokemon. Being Dark/Normal like its pre-evolutions, I think Obstgoon will be a force to be reckoned with. I’d love to see Obstagoon as though it was originally from the Hoenn region, mostly because I’m curious to see how different it would look.

Though, I understand why. The Pokedex states that due to survival and living conditions, Zigagoon and Linoone are having a life crisis, hence Obstgoon being born. Which makes me a bit sad because they have harsh living conditions while Weezing looks polluted… the Galar region looked so nice when they first showed it off.

Needless to say, I’m intrigued now more than ever.

What do you think of the new Pokemon? Are you still excited for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Sword & Shield Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Like a couple of weeks ago, this Friday’s Favorites post is dedicated to a wish list. With Nintendo’s latest Pokemon direct, there is so much speculation and hope about the newest Pokemon games coming out, Sword and Shield. Here is what I wish to see in the games.

frifavesswishlist

True Co-Op

I have no idea how plausible this is. However, when the Let’s Go duo was released and boasted a co-op mode, Rachel and I were disappointed at it. Granted, it was fun seeing another trainer run around with you in the over world and help out with battles, but it wasn’t what we expected or wanted. I would love to see a co-op mode where your trainer is exploring and battling on their own, but your friend’s trainer is still there in the over world doing their own thing as well. I want to experience the journey with my friend’s avatar there beside mine, even if all we get is just seeing the other avatar running around. Of course, granting us the option to do double-battles together, each with our own Pokemon, against NPCs would be awesome. We’re able to go online with Smash and Mario Kart together — why not Pokemon? (Or would this be too close to a Pokemon MMORPG?)

Pokemon Following the MC

I don’t remember seeing Pokemon following the main characters around in Sword and Shield’s footage from the direct. I understand that not all the footage was from the game and the game itself wouldn’t be finalized just yet, so I’m remaining optimistic that they keep the option of having your Pokemon follow you around as you explore the region. It was adorable, fun, and since random battles seem to be back rather than over world Pokemon, it’ll help the game seem more alive.

A Good Story

I want to be completely invested in the plot line of Sword and Shield’s adventure. I’m sure it’ll boil down to the world needs to be saved by your young MC, but still. Give me a story to truly care about. I adored the story lines involving the regions’ legendaries in the earlier generations, especially Johto and Hoenn, and I severely miss the extra oomph that the stories received in the third-tier games. Speaking of which…

A Third Game

This is obviously a long way off, but I would love it if Nintendo went back to bolstering the story lines of the games with a third game for the region. Crystal and Emerald were some of my favorites and I was seriously disappointed that Black 2 and White 2 existed instead of Pokemon Gray for the Unova region. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon didn’t bring much of anything new to the Alola region, and poor Kalos was skipped out entirely when a plot line involving Zygarde could have been created to balance out X and Y. I’m hoping Sword and Shield will break the trend of “sequel” games for the Galar region and give us a more in-depth story with a third Galar game.

Are you looking forward to Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield? What are you hoping for in the new Pokemon generation? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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