Confession: I Don’t Like Z-Moves

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy New Year, everyone! May 2018 treat you even better than 2017 did!

We’re going to dive right into my perhaps controversial thoughts regarding a major feature of the latest generation of Pokemon games.

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The Pokemon franchise has always been a favorite of mine ever since I got my first GameBoy Color and the trio of the first generation games twenty years ago. It’s been an amazing ride seeing how the series has evolved, with the creatures, the stories, and the technology of the games. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed seeing the improvement, but there are sometimes new aspects of the latest games that make me scratch my head in confusion.

In the case of the Alola games, I don’t know why the Z-Moves exist.

The graphics for the Z-Moves are great for the handheld systems, but… I don’t understand why they are needed. Perhaps Nintendo had wanted to do epic graphics for every move but, due to time and technology constraints, could only do so for one to two moves per type? The little dances done for the Z-Moves were cute the first couple of times I’ve seen them, but I’m more interested in getting back to the battle rather than watching my character look a little silly for a minute or two.

Power-wise, it makes sense that a Z-Move can only be used once per battle. If that’s the case, then, what’s the point? I generally forget to use the Z-Moves because I tend to try to strategize my Pokemon’s attacks rather than use one all-powerful move as a cop-out. That, or I try to “save” my Z-Move for when I need it but it doesn’t work out that way. At the very least, with Mega Evolutions from the Kalos region, you were able to keep a Pokemon in their Mega form for the duration of the battle.

Speaking of Mega Evolutions, what happened to those? Nintendo had introduced them in the previous generation only to drop them in favor of Z-Moves. I would rather explore the world searching for Mega Evolution stones for my team than collecting Z-Crystals as makeshift gym badges from trials. I wonder if Z-Crystals were partly created to try to ease the players into the idea that gym battles were not part of Gen. 7, a little token that had more of a role — however small it was — in battles instead of a pixelated gym badge.

This is all just my opinion. Perhaps disliking one of the major new features of the latest Pokemon games is a sign that I’m starting to get old, haha!

What do you think of Sun and Moon’s Z-Moves? Are there any other new features that you like or dislike about the newer Pokemon games?

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Trials In Pokemon Ultra Sun

Happy Tuesday!

While Pokemon Ultra Sun didn’t have any huge differences from Pokemon Sun, there were some slight changes to some of the trials, which I enjoyed much better than the other version.

 

3. Acerola’s Trial

I’m pretty sure this is the same as the trial from Pokemon Sun. However, it was one of my favorites then and it’s a favorite now. I like ghostly things and going through that abandoned area is creepy and keeps you on your toes, especially since you have to use the camera to search for ghosts.

2. Sophocles’s Trial

They really changed this and made it for the better. You have to solve a couple of puzzles in order to get the generator working that calls the Totem Pokemon. While the puzzles are super easy, it was a nice change of pace from everything else.

1. Mina’s Trial

Mina is the last trial you go through and it makes sense why. She wants to make you a special flower for completing all your trials, but you have to collect rainbow petals for her to create it. In order to get these petals, you must go back to the other captains and battle them. If you will, they’ll give you a petal. While I was disappointed this trial had nothing to do with Mina herself, I enjoyed that I had to go back and battle everyone. Battling is Pokemon, after all.

What are some of your favorite trials? Did you like them better in Ultra Sun/Moon rather than Sun/Moon? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Friday Favorites: 2017 Games

Double Jump Kris MiiOnly a few more weeks until Christmas!

Amid everything happening in life, we’ve played quite a few awesome games that came out this year. This week, I’m celebrating some of my favorites that I’ve played!

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Alrightie, so this was more or less an improved version of a game that has been out for a few years. Nonetheless, when we had gotten the Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was one of the first games that we put on our list for the new console. With the new characters and tracks that had only been available previously as DLC, it was a good investment for us. Since then, we’ve had tons of fun playing the game with our cousins and the rest of our family!

Miitopia

This addictive and, at times, silly RPG was one of my top games due to how well it was written and how charming the graphics and characters were. Being able to customize your party and characters however you wanted while going through an intriguing adventure all helped push the game onto this list!

Fire Emblem Warriors

Hyrule Warriors was a great game for the Wii U, with placing characters from a favorite franchise into a new style of gameplay. Fire Emblem Warriors did something similar, and I had so much fun with the hack-and-slash game! While Hyrule Warriors had more diversity when it came to characters and attacks, Fire Emblem Warriors had more of a strategy and battle chaos that made me enjoy the gameplay much more.

Pokemon: Ultra Moon

It’s Pokemon. Obviously, the Pokemon game of the year is going to be on this list. I’m still playing it and, honestly, the story isn’t too different from the original Moon game yet in a way that has disappointed me a bit, but it’s a great adventure nonetheless. Seeing the Pokemon additions to the world, letting you fill up the National Pokedex easier than the previous versions, is fantastic. While your avatar still has a dopey smile on nearly the entire game, the other characters — Hau, Gladion, Lillie, for example — are wonderfully written.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

You guys really shouldn’t be surprised that this game is at the top of my list. I’m a Zelda fangirl through-and-through, and I have been waiting years for this game to come out. To see it in all of its open-world glory with a new twist on the same wonderful story was amazing to me! It’s a game that I’ll return to again and, honestly, probably won’t mind the DLC that gets released for it. I’ll use any excuse to return to that version of Hyrule.

What are your favorite games from this year?

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Friday Favorites: Best Pokeballs

Double Jump Kris MiiI can’t believe it’s already December… Everyone else ready for the holidays?

Rachel and I are still exploring Alola in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, with Rachel being a little farther than me. While we’re both a bit more interested in the story and seeing where it goes, we do our best to try to catch any wild Pokemon we don’t have in our Pokedexes. Today is all about the best pokeballs, in my opinion, for the job!

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Dusk Ball

For the Alola generation of Pokemon games, I started off with Moon versions of the pairs. In Moon and Ultra Moon, the game is 12-hours ahead of the Sun versions (and the 3DS clock), making it nighttime when you play the game during the day. Dusk balls make it easier to catch Pokemon at night, or in dark places like caves, making them incredibly useful for me, especially this time around. Even when they were introduced in Generation IV, I used them often enough since I generally played the games later in the evenings after work.

Nest Ball

As someone who goes tends to go through the story parts of the game first then backtracks through routes to catch any wild Pokemon that may have been missed, I’m finding myself using Nest balls more often. With how quickly our parties of Pokemon grow with Exp. Share and plenty of battles, it’s easy for my Pokemon party to be too overpowered to merely weaken the wild Pokemon. Nest balls help when it comes to catching the lower-leveled Pokemon.

Friend Ball

Back in Generation II, when Happiness was first introduced, I loved being able to get Friend Balls from Kurt in Azalea Town. Even just the thought of a Pokemon being more friendly towards me when I first caught them was enough motivation for my younger self to use these pokeballs — I wanted my team to like me! They were always fantastic in helping to give Happiness a boost to the caught Pokemon.

Quick Balls

Whoever thought up of these pokeballs was a genius. Rachel and I tend to stock up on Quick Balls whenever we pass by a shop that sells them. Considering they work best when thrown at the beginning of a battle, it’s usually simple to just catch the wild Pokemon and move on, no weakening required. It’s not foolproof, no, but they work well for the most part.

What are your favorite pokeballs to catch Pokemon with? Any certain types of Pokemon that you love adding to your Pokedex?

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Character Spotlight: Gladion [Pokemon]

Happy Tuesday!

I can’t believe November has come and gone already… This month (the whole year) has flown by.

With the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite characters from the Alola region.

Gladion from Pokemon

Gladion was first introduced in November 2016 when Pokemon Sun and Moon was released for the Nintendo 3DS. He was a member of the rival team, Team Skull. His sister is Lillie, who happens to be a good friend of yours.

However, Gladion has different motives than Team Skull. One of the reasons I love Gladion is because he’s kind of an anti-hero in a way. He’s a double agent trying to do what’s best for Alola on the inside. He doesn’t agree with what his mother is trying to do, so he’s subtly rebelling.

He’s a good character and I think he was well rounded throughout the game. His character development was on point throughout the game and even though you’re meant to dislike him in the beginning, I always liked him. His character was intriguing to me and I had wished he was one of our friends from the very beginning.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pokemon Sun and Moon had the best character development for all of their characters. I absolutely loved each character and Gladion is by far one of my favorites.

Do you like Gladion? Who’s your favorite character from Alola? Let me know in the comments below!

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First Impressions: Ultra Moon

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday! How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? I hope you all had a great weekend filled with family, friends, and fantastic food!

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful… then Rachel and I spent the rest of the weekend playing Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon!

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Rachel and I tend to try to “reward” ourselves with new video games around Thanksgiving for completing NaNoWriMo. After Thanksgiving dinner is over, our family rents a house in the mountains for the weekend where Rachel and I spend the time playing our games (with the occasional break for going out to eat and maybe shop with our parents).

Last year, we had Pokemon Sun and Moon. This year, it’s Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

It was fun getting back to Alola, especially since I haven’t really played Sun and Moon since this time last year. However… I expected a much different opening.

Honestly, when I first turned on Ultra Moon and saw nearly the same opening story, I paused and wondered if I had accidentally put last year’s game into my 2DS. The only difference seemed to be the appearance of the Ultra Retcon Squad, or whatever the robotic characters are called. I expected the Ultra pair of games to have more of a different story, like how Black 2 and White 2 took place after the original Black and White games. Instead, the story so far seems to be remarkably similar and it was disappointing.

Don’t get me wrong, Ultra Moon is still fun, and it’s been nice seeing the plethora of Pokemon that inhabit the islands, but I’m looking forward to when the story really starts to pan out. Otherwise, it feels as if I just paid for the same games as last year, almost as if the Ultra pair are expensive DLC. If the Ultra pair are supposed to be an improved version of Sun and Moon, I almost wish that Nintendo would have waited the extra year and just released the Ultra pair rather than the original games.

I’m about halfway through the trials at this point. Let’s see if it gets more exciting from here!

How are you liking Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon so far?

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Are You Excited For Pokemon Ultra Sun And Ultra Moon?

Happy Thursday!

It’s no secret that Pokemon is one of my favorite game franchises of all time. So, with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon around the corner, I’m getting pretty excited.

 

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

When Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were announced, I wasn’t impressed. I mean, I was excited about another Pokemon game, but I didn’t get it.

Whatever happened to Pokemon Z for Pokemon X and Y? What about Stars for Sun and Moon?

I liked having the third game. I wanted Gray or Rainbow for Black and White and ended up with Black 2 and White 2. So, I assumed X and Y would have Z or X-Squared and Y-Squared. But we got nothing.

Now they’ve gone back to giving us two more “sequel” games just one year later since the first ones came out.

I’d complain, but it’s Pokemon. I know I’m going to get both games. I know I’m going to enjoy both games. And, as I said earlier, now I know it’s about a month away from being released, I’m beginning to get super excited all over again.

In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, we’re able to finally go through the Wormhole and explore Ultra Space. I didn’t realize this was a thing I wanted until I saw the latest trailer for it.

New Ultra Beasts are introduced and so are new areas in an alternate dimension. It seems as though we have to play a certain “mini-game” to get there as well, which is a pretty cool touch. Who doesn’t want to ride Lunala or Solgaleo and control them? Even if it is for that one moment.

The areas inside the Ultra Space look pretty as well. Why we’re disturbed the poor Ultra Beasts in their home territory, I have no idea. However, there does seem to be a new plotline with new rivals, The Ultra Recon Squad.

Maybe they’re not “bad guys,” but they sure look like it.

And then, of course, there are new Pokemon. You can’t go wrong with new Pokemon.

I’m sure there are other updates to the game. I’ve heard there’s a new Trial and people are spreading rumors about Pokemon possibly being able to follow you, but… we’ll see.

Are you excited for this updated/sequel Sun and Moon? Let me know in the comments below!

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