30 March 2011

Dark Type Pokémon, or The Fall of the God of Psychic

Stop laughing. All my Pokémon are dead.

Oh, Sabrina. You remember Sabrina, leader of Saffron City's gym: the unassuming little girl who uses Psychic-type Pokémon. At this point in the game, you haven't fought very many of those, but if you were smart, you picked up an Abra early on. By now, you should have a faithful Kadabra (or Alakazam, if your parents loved you enough to buy you a Game Boy cable. Mine didn't.) by your side, kicking the ass of Machokes left and right. Knowing this, you can probably guess that Sabrina will be tough to beat.

Pokémon is like an ultra-complex game of rock-paper-scissors. Everything is strong against something, and weak to something else. So what is Psychic weak to? Bug and Ghost. Great! I picked up this Gastly in Lavender Town. And hey, in the anime, Ash beat Sabrina with nothing but a Haunter, so all I have to do is get this thing up to level 25 and I'm set!

My ticket to victory.

Aaaand then you get to the gym and realize that something the anime neglected to mention about Haunter is that it is a dual-type Pokémon: Ghost AND Poison, which makes it horribly weak to Psychic attacks. Oh, and it only has two Ghost moves: Lick (crap) and Nightshade (double crap.) One blast from Psybeam and Haunter is KO'd before he even gets a chance to whip out his tongue. Your ass: instantly kicked.

Your many painful defeats at the Saffron City gym left you with a bitter taste in your mouth and an important lesson: the Pokémon world is set up with a system of checks and balances, but Psychic-type rules all. Better start leveling up that Blastoise.

Obviously this all changed with the "discovery" of Dark-type Pokémon in Gold and Silver. Now there are good, powerful moves that are super effective against Psychic-types, AND Dark-type Pokémon are completely immune to all Psychic attacks.


Gold and Silver also tempered out Psychic a bit with the addition of the Steel-type, which is resistant (but not immune) to Psychic-moves, as well as the addition of pure Ghost-types and more powerful Bug moves. From Generation 2 onward, Psychic-types were demoted from terrifying demigods to impotent, sorry bastards who can be obliterated by a fucking firefly.

My problem is that I still have PSYCHIC=KILL EVERYTHING deeply ingrained into my head. I still think "Bite" is a Normal move. Then I encounter a level 16 Poochyena, and half my team is writhing on the floor in agony. I realise that the game needed to be more balanced, and that the advent of Dark and Steel also meant that Fighting-types stopped being so utterly useless, but I still remember the good old days when all I had to do was feed Rare Candy and PP Ups to my Kadabra and the Pokémon League Championship was mine for the taking.

Side note: There's a lot of talk in the Pokémon fan community about the possibility of a Light-type to counter the Dark-type. I thought it was fairly obvious that Dark-type is the counter to Psychic-type, but this would imply* that Psychic-type were somehow "good", which contradicts my assumption that Psychic-type Pokémon like Alakazam and especially Mr. Mime are inherently evil.

*Not necessarily, I suppose. It may be a case of evil versus more evil.

The Top 5 Dark Type Pokémon
Pokemon Season 1 Box Set - Indigo League
Pokemon HeartGold
Pokemon SoulSilver

27 March 2011

Pokémon Airlines

26 March 2011

my Woobat is in like the top percentage of Woobats

Gonna try to do more Pokémon art these days, so look for it here or at my deviantART page. :)

22 March 2011

TM Trouble

Oh, like I'd waste a TM on a Meowth.

A lot of buzz has been going around about new features in Black and White, namely that TMs can be reused. This makes sense; when I buy software or a DVD, it doesn't explode after one use. So now we don't have to stress out about which move to teach to what Pokémon. They can all learn Thief if we want them to! This is a special breakthrough for me because maybe, for the first time ever, I'll actually use a TM.

In the previous 4 generations of Pokémon games, I never used my TMs. Like, ever. Any of them. Not because I couldn't find them, or didn't care for the moves they held, or because I had some stupid notion about keeping my Pokémon "organic". I didn't use them because I was saving them. For what? Naturally, the ultimate Pokémon team that I never actually bothered to put together. You know, the perfectly balanced, fully EV trained, level 100 power team, each with a move set carefully planned to be unbeatable. I was saving my TMs for SuperAerodactyl and GigaHitmonchan.

So any time I'd think, "Hey, maybe this Pokémon would benefit from a new move," and start to boot up a TM, I would reconsider. Once I used it, it would be gone. Gone gone. It wasn't like Rare Candy, where I at least had a chance of picking another one up. With a few exceptions (like ones sold in shops or Game Corner prizes), there was only 1 of each TM in the entire game.

I think my hesitation may be trauma from wasting a TM doing something really stupid in Blue, like teaching Dig to a Diglett, but most likely the problem is rooted far deeper. I do the exact same thing with real life objects: I save them up thinking that they'll be more useful in some future event which, of course, never comes. I was so desperate to be the well-prepared ant (as opposed to the foolish grasshopper), with my giant stash of TMs just waiting to be used in the right moment. Instead I was just a dumbass lugging a giant sack of laser discs around Kanto.

Sidenote: I didn't just do this in the early games. My TM sack in SoulSilver is just as heavy.

02 March 2011

Countdown to Black & White!

Just 4 more days! Don't forget to stop by a GameStop store for their Celebi giveaway. You don't have to buy anything, just go lurk in a dark corner, switching game cartridges so you can download 4 of them on all your different games. >_> After you get Celebi, take him to Ilex Forest in HGSS to unlock a cool time travel Easter Egg! Be prepared to battle!

If you haven't preordered already, I highly recommend going through amazon.com. Both Pokémon Black and Pokémon White offer $10 rebates (good for purchases on amazon.com) if you preorder! So you can buy the game now, then buy some accessories (or this adorable Zorua plush) later!

For the record, I ordered White. I will eventually get Black so my boyfriend can play with me, but I wanted White first. My decision was mostly spurred by the fact that the exclusive area (White Forest) looked really cool. >_>
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