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.
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).
Do you like Hop? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
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!
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.
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.
Have you ever failed a Nuzlocke challenge? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
This past Thursday, we got a Pokemon Direct from Nintendo and holy crap. Let’s just say that we were pleased by this direct, despite the complaints that we’ve seen bopping around the Internet. The first two minutes of the direct showcased the remake of the Red and Blue Rescue Team Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games and, while the mystery dungeon games weren’t my cup of tea, I think Rachel enjoyed seeing the tease.
Like many others, I’ve been waiting for a new Mystery Dungeon game for quite some time. The latest Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game came out in 2015. It’s been some time and while this isn’t a brand new Mystery Dungeon game, I’m pleased the two original titles of the series (originally for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS) are getting a chance in the spotlight once again. It seems as though they smooshed the two games together into one and not only remastered it but updating it with new elements such as mega evolution. I’m excited!
I’m glad you, and so many others, are excited for Mystery Dungeon! Personally, I was much more excited for the rest of the direct. I’ve always enjoyed the third-tier Pokemon games that gave more lore and story elements to the regions, and have been disappointed by the “sequels” that didn’t give much new content. They were too similar in story to the original pair of games for the region to warrant the full price of a new game. I think having DLC for Sword and Shield is a great happy medium. To give us more content past the champion route without having to play the story again, along with some more Pokemon included, is perfect.
I have to admit I was wrong about what they were going to do next with Sword and Shield. So many people speculated DLC and I said a hard “no.” Pokemon has never had DLC before. I didn’t think they’d start now. While I’m not pleased with the idea that they might go down the “DLC rabbit hole” I’m excited for the expansion pass for the games. I can’t wait to have more story, more max raid battles, more places to explore, and new Pokemon to meet!
Generally, I’m not a fan of DLC either, but I feel like Nintendo does DLC well. They release full games and DLC is an expansion on what we already have. Just take a look at Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses for a few examples. The DLC is usually not the price for a full game, either. While I prefer free DLC, as I’m sure everyone does, I don’t mind paying a bit to support the developers for giving us a fuller experience in games. In Sword and Shield, I enjoyed having something to do after becoming champion, and I’m excited to see what comes next with the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra!
While this is true, Nintendo also usually comes out with “deluxe” versions later on that end up having the full game plus all the DLC included. We were lucky not to buy any DLC for Mario Kart 8 so when we got Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there were some new things for us. Overall though, I am looking forward to the expansion pass. It’s $30, which is cheaper than I expected it to be. I’m certainly not complaining about that. I only wonder if we’ll have to buy it twice? Sword and Shield don’t have cloud save data. I’m playing through Sword twice on the same profile, but one is on our home Switch and the other is on my Switch Lite. If we buy the DLC on our home Switch, will it appear on my Sword file on my Switch Lite? We have a physical copy of the game, but without the cloud save data it doesn’t matter if I play the game on the same profile on different consoles. I hope I’ll be able to use the DLC on both consoles so I can have it for all of my save files of the games, especially since I one-hundred-percented Shield on my Switch Lite.
I’m hoping we can download the expansion pass per Nintendo account and profile. That way, even if you switch between your Sword games on the home Switch and your Lite, your profile will still recognize that you have the expansion pass. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see, though. That’s a concern, unlike some of the harsher reactions we’ve seen on the Internet regarding the expansion pass. It’s a shame people were complaining about “Game Freak turning into EA” when it comes to paid DLC, but that doesn’t even make sense. In previous Pokemon generations, you would have to buy another whole game, one that only enhanced the original story, for full price. I suppose the expansion pass for both Sword and Shield is still the price of a full game put together, but I feel like it’s better than having each version’s expansion pass be a whole $60 or so. Hearing folks complain about the old Pokemon just arriving now is a bit silly as well. True, it would have been nice to see as many Pokemon as possible already in the Galar region, but I would like to believe that Game Freak is adding more Pokemon due to the backlash of no National Dex. Besides, it’ll make the new areas seem fresher with new species to the Galar region.
I think it’s ridiculous how people are overreacting to this. Honestly, everyone is going to buy it and enjoy it anyway. I think part of the reason Game Freak chose to do this was due to the backlash, yes. But I also believe it was done as a business move because they had already announced Pokemon Home. It’s easy to suck people into the “catch ’em all” mentality. So, adding more Pokemon – new and old – are going to make people buy this regardless of the new areas. For some people, anyway. I’m looking forward to it overall and I do hope I’ll be able to truly catch them all in a single game, though I know that’s a bit unrealistic. So, for now, I’m super excited and my only “complaint” about all this (which isn’t really a complaint at all) is the fact that my Pokemon Sword and Shield guide and Pokedex are already outdated and I just got them. So, I hope they come out with an updated guide and an updated Galar pokedex for my collection at home.
I’m curious as to how Pokemon Home is going to work between Let’s Go and Sword and Shield. It’s supposed to be similar to Pokemon Bank, but the only compatible games at the moment for it are those on the Switch and, even then, only a percentage of the Let’s Go Pokemon will be able to transfer to Pokemon Sword and Shield. I’m cautiously optimistic that more Pokemon games will be coming to the Switch, like a couple of remastered Sinnoh versions or a duo of Let’s Go titles for Johto.
(Yes, like Psyduck.) I hope they remaster some of the older games and slowly bring more and more Pokemon from those games to Home to Sword and Shield… I’d also be happy with an updated version of Pokemon Ranch. But I guess that’s another topic of conversation for another day.
Did you watch the Direct? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
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!
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Have you completed a Nuzlocke challenge? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The last Monday of 2019… I’ve had a bit of downtime after the holidays, so I took advantage of some of the peace and quiet to play around more with some digital art.
I got my Wacom tablet… maybe a year ago? I’m not even sure at this point, to be completely honest, but it came with a few licenses to some art programs that I just recently remembered. One program was Clip Studio, and I’ve been having fun exploring it! The program does illustrations, comics, and animations, and I wish I thought to download it when I first opened my Wacom tablet.
Being December, I wanted to do something that had to do with snow and ice, and Frosmoth won out. I think Frosmoth has one of the prettiest designs of the Galar Pokemon, so I figured I’d take a shot and try to do a picture showcasing it. There were a few layers — one for the background, another for a quick sketch, a third for colors, and a forth for the speckles of hail and snow — and the program had some fun stamps and decorations to help with the quick background, such as the foliage. The sky itself was part gradient and part blending of a few different darker shades.
While Frosmoth isn’t as detailed as I would like, I am happy with the final result. It’s softer and bright against the background, and it was fun trying out all sorts of different tools to design it. Any kind constructive criticism is appreciated, especially if you have tips on use Clip Studio!
Do you create fanart? What do you think of Frosmoth’s design? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
With the holidays and cold season upon us (well, in our neck of the woods, anyway), we wanted to find some chill music — pun intended — to combat the stress that no doubts comes with Christmas, despite how wonderful the holiday can be.
We found the YouTube channel GameChops, a record label that offers video game music and remixes, mostly in the chill out and hiphop genres. It has tons of videos dedicated to high quality music from video games, and they’re definitely worth checking out.
We hope you enjoy this video of relaxing Pokemon music remixes!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Pokemon Sword and Shield came the ability to have Pokemon Dynamax in certain battles in the game. Playing Sword and Shield, though, made me feel as if I’ve seen a Dynamax Pokemon long before the Galar region existed…
We’ve been playing a lot of Pokemon Sword and Shield lately, which probably isn’t too surprising to those who know us. The newest gimmick, or form of battling, in those games involves Dynamaxing your Pokemon. Dynamax Pokemon are giant versions of themselves with increased HP and other stats for a few turns.
It took a little while, but eventually I remembered another, much earlier instance of a “Dynamaxed Pokemon.”
Pokemon, being the ginormous franchise it is, has a plethora of other mediums to reach the masses. Aside from video games and television shows, Pokemon also has a few different comic book and manga adaptations. I remember having a couple of sets of Pokemon comics and, after playing Sword for a while, recalled one such comic having a giant Haunter.
Doing some research, I found the comic adaptation. Called The Electric Tale of Pikachu, it was a four-volume Japanese manga translated for the west by VIZ Media (which, apparently, is the much cleaner version of the manga for international and younger audiences) that loosely followed the anime series up through the Orange Islands League. While I don’t believe we had the entire collection, we had enough of it for me to remember the giant Haunter.
Nicknamed the Black Fog, this giant Haunter killed many — humans and Pokemon alike — by sucking out their souls using Dream Eater. In the comic’s timeline, Sabrina is the latest victim, falling unconscious when she attempts to defeat the beast after it began terrorizing Saffron City. The comic then depicts Ash, Brock, and a handful of other volunteers heading to the Haunter’s lair in order to battle it and try to capture it with a specially-made, enlarged pokeball. The Haunter used Explosion to escape the large pokeball, during which brings its health to nearly zero, weakening it enough to use a regular pokeball. However, when Ash attempts to throw an Ultra Ball at the giant Pokemon, the Haunter uses Self-Destruct, opting to die rather than be caught.
While I remembered the basic story line from when I read it as a kid, I honestly didn’t realize the depth of the story at that time. Before doing more research on it, I thought that the Haunter was caught at the end.
I honestly don’t believe I would have remembered this manga adaptation if Pokemon Sword and Shield did not have Dynamax Pokemon. The similarities are remarkable — the sheer size and power of the Pokemon, Haunter having a lair while Dynamax Pokemon have dens, having a team to bring down the HP of the Pokemon, enlarged pokeballs to catch the creatures — and I’m curious if it’s a coincidence or if someone recalled Black Fog from a comic back in the 90s.
Have you ever read the Electric Tale of Pikachu? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Something that I love about Pokemon Sword and Shield is that that they brought back traditional gyms. The missions and hyped-up stadium battles got me excited again to be the very best. This is a list of my favorite gym missions and leaders from Pokemon Sword!
The mission in the water-type gym in Hulbury was fun to me as a puzzle. It wasn’t particularly difficult, no, but to see the sheer size of the puzzle and the graphics of the water was awesome. I do wish it was a bit more challenging, but I was enamored with the art style of the place.
Yes, this mission was simple, but I was delighted at the adorable Wooloo that you had to herd and the occasional Yamper that was around to disrupt said Wooloo. It was ridiculous, but having the opportunity to somewhat engage with Pokemon outside of battle was fun.
This gym’s mission had your avatar sit in a carnival ride and spin your way down a course, bouncing off the walls and spring-loaded punching gloves. If this was something I’d have to do in real life, I’d get sick — seriously, I can’t ride Disneyworld’s tea cup ride — but it was amusing to do in the game.
While this mission wasn’t a puzzle, it was probably my favorite. Raihan pits you against his gym trainers in double battles, testing your ability to strategize with your own Pokemon. Double battles are my favorite battling format due to being able to do just that, so I enjoyed being given the chance to use my Pokemon in double battles.
What are your favorite Sword and Shield gym missions? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.