Category Archives: Pokemon

Get Meganium, Typhlosion, and Feraligatr By Subscribing to Pokemon Bank

Nintendo has an offer up that will allow you to get the fully evolved versions of the starter Pokemon from Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver, each with a bonus special ability.  All you have to do is be up-to-date with Pokemon Bank.

Pokemon, with banking logo

Pokemon, with banking logo

Nintendo giving people special Pokemon… even starter Pokemon from past games… isn’t a new thing.  They have been doing it since the most primitive networking days of the GameBoy.  I wrote about a download even for the Pokemon Black & White starter Pokemon just about a month back.  (That event is still active, so don’t miss your chance.)

What makes this event ever so slightly different is that rather than being just a promotion for the installed base, it is really a subscriber bonus that is showing up at just about the time people will need to resubscribe.

Subscriptions?  Resubscribe?  In Pokemon?

Well, yes… at least with Pokemon Bank.

Pokemon Bank is an online service for the Pokemon franchise.  It was put in place to allow users to move Pokemon between versions of the game without having to have two Nintendo DS/DSi/3DS hardware units (OMG, solo play wins out over social again!) and to give players a place to store Pokemon beyond the limits of any particular game.

All you had to do was get your Pokemon into Pokemon Black & White or Pokemon Black Version 2 & White Version 2 via the old fashioned method in place since Pokemon Diamond & Pearl.

From that point you could then use the special Pokemon Transporter application on your Nintendo 3DS to send your Pokemon on a one way trip out of the DS/DSi generations of the series and into the 3DS generation and Pokemon Bank.

Pokemon Bank - $5.00 a year

Pokemon Bank Process

Once in Pokemon Bank any 3DS generation version of Pokemon could withdraw or deposit your Pokemon.  I wrote about running Pokemon through the process back in September, if you want more detail on it.

The thing of it is that, in order to fund this service and keep it a viable, ongoing proposition for Nintendo, they charge a yearly subscription fee for it.  For the princely sum of $5.00 you get a year’s worth of access to Pokemon Bank.

And, as I mentioned a little ways up the post, Pokemon Bank has been out for a little more than a year now, so that first year’s subscription has started running out for the early adopters.  Faced with this, Nintendo could either send out nagging reminders asking people to re-up for another year of Pokemon Bank or, I suppose, they could just put out a special offer only available to those who have active Pokemon Bank accounts.

Well played Nintendo, well played.

All you have to do is log into Pokemon Bank between February 27, 2015 and November 30, 2015, at which point you will then be able to download the special Pokemon.  Details about the even are available here.

Meanwhile, Nintendo is tentatively glancing in the direction of smart devices like iPads and such, while still vocally sticking to its long tradition of control over both software and hardware.

Pokemon Download Event – Get Serperior, Emboar, and Samurott

I haven’t written about Pokemon in a while, mostly because I have been a slacker on the Nintendo front recently, largely thanks to garrisons in World of Warcraft.  I only have five gym badges in Alpha Sapphire.  But I still pay attention to the franchise and Nintendo sends me updates, like this one!

Between now and November 15, 2015, players of Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire can download level 50, fully evolved versions of the starter Pokemon from Pokemon Black & White.

PokemonORASDownloadsUnlike most past download events, where you could just get the Pokemon over the internet, this one requires you to use the get with code option.  Fortunately, the codes are not too difficult, as they each correspond to their National Pokedex identity.  They are:

  • for Serperior enter POKEMON497
  • for Emboar enter POKEMON500
  • for Samurott enter POKEMON503

Otherwise the download follows the usual rules and requires you to stop by a Pokecenter in game in order to pick up the downloaded Pokemon.  They each have a special ability that will make them powerful/annoying in competitive play.  My downloaded Samurott, as an example, is immune to crits.  Fun.

And while I am always keen to download any Pokemon that Nintendo cares to throw my way, this event does illustrate one of my problems with the franchise.  I am often quite enamored with the initial versions of Pokemon, but the evolutions don’t really do much for me.  So while those three Pokemon are undeniably powerful, part of me wishes they stayed looking like these guys:

Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott

They started as Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott

Finally, you cannot just enter other National Pokedex numbers to download other Pokemon.  I tried on the off-chance that it would work.  It doesn’t… at least for none of the combinations I tried.  I didn’t think it would work, but I felt I had to give it a shot.

Pet Battling Across Azeroth

They [Blizzard] are obviously planning to go free-to-play and are looking to cater to a younger audience and the Asian market more than their former fan-base.

Reaction to a post here about Pet Battles, October 2011

Pet Battles came into World of Warcraft with the Mists of Pandaria expansion back in 2012.  When the feature was announced as part of the expansion at BlizzCon the year before, it seemed interesting.  But that was also the age of discontent and cancelled subscriptions, and our group wandered off to try other things and did not return until Mists of Pandaria was already a year old.

And then, after the rush back to Azeroth, we had some catching up to do… like all of Cataclysm… and finishing off that last bit of Wrath of the Lich King that came out after we had done all the initial instances.  The year long content drought didn’t bother us too much.  As a group we barely finished of the Pandaria instances in time for Warlords of Draenor.

During that time I did not exactly ignore pet battles.  I captured some pets, leveled up a few, but it was never really a focus.  I had a modest collection of pets going into Pandaria; there were some pets from quests and others from holiday events like Children’s Week and the pets from getting the BlizzCon stream and the six store pets I got when World of Warcraft Magazine folded up shop after five issues.

That actually gave me a pretty good set of nice, rare quality pets to work with.  I did not actually do that much with them, aside from catching pets for my collection, regardless of quality.  I did a lot of that during my failed attempt at the Loremaster achievement last summer, which had me wandering around lower level zones.  That also gave me a chance to level up a few of my pets.  But pet battles were mostly a side task, and I had bigger fish to fry, and all the more so since Draenor showed up.  Sometimes literally involving fish.

That's 700 fish caught

With the Terrible Turnip by my side

But Draenor also brought along garrisons, and garrisons have buildings, and one of those buildings was the battle pet focused menagerie.  And so pet battles became a thing because… must upgrade all buildings!  Which meant taking stock of my pets.

More after the cut because… pet battle writing spew!

Continue reading

December in Review

The Site

Welcome to the 100th month in review as well as my 377th, and final, post of 2014!  At least I am consistent in getting these posted on the last day of every month.

I actually changed the theme for the site… again… but this time I have actually stuck with it for a while… mostly because nobody has screamed bloody murder yet, like when I went to that dark theme.  There are still things I do not like about it (like the fact that it feels it can break/hyphenate words at the end of a line when it damn well pleases… it isn’t me doing that, I swear), but it has some advantages over the old theme, including being on WordPress.com’s actively supported list.  That should mean that new features should not break this theme the way the old theme used to get hosed now and again.

And, speaking of new features, WordPress.com has decided that, in addition to their brain dead “new and improved” post editing interface they need a new stats page as well.  I am not happy with it.

To be charitable, it does allow at least one more way to view traffic data.  But otherwise it is a muddle, a confused attempt redo something that already worked pretty well.  And worst of all, it isn’t hooked up right.  While it seems to know that the blog has been around since 2006, it shows now traffic until 2009.

The first few years don't count

The first few years don’t count… also, 2014 stats with 10 hours left in the year

There also does not appear to be a way to see total stats for the life of the blog, and those nice tables that I include at the end of every anniversary post (see the 8 year post for an example) are missing completely.

I am at a loss to see what WordPress.com is thinking, that somehow people are going to be happy with less functionality.  But that might just be me.  Anyway, I hope they don’t kill off the “classic” stats and dashboard in favor of this new bilge.

WordPress.com has their own year in review report for this blog (and my other blog).

One Year Ago

It was the final shut down for Warhammer Online.

It was also the end of the road for World of Darkness at CCP, which shut down the project and laid off much of the staff.

CCP did give me a copy of the EVE Online Second Decade Collector’s Edition.

Actually in EVE, I was looking at flying a dreadnought, looking at my hull tanking certificate, and actually went on a couple of ops, blowing things up in NS2L-4 and BW-WJ2.

Shroud of the Avatar was an actual thing.  You could log in and see stuff.  Granted, a year later it is still in alpha and has a long way to go, but at least progress is being made I guess.

Turbine threw their hat in the ring with their own insta-level scheme for Lord of the Rings Online.  It got you all the way to the doors of Moria.  I was not impressed.

Blizzard put a cash shop in World of Warcraft.  But don’t call those microtransactions, because they are not.

The instance group in World of Warcraft ventured under the sea and into the Mount Hyjal region, then ran through the Throne of Tides and Blackrock Caverns instances.  Meanwhile, I had an alt finish up The Burning Crusade for me.  And then there was my character a level cap, swamped with options including Timeless Isle.

I reviewed my goals and tried to sum up 2013.

I did some book reviews of a sort, looking at The Kindly Ones, The Circle, and some space operas.

Finally, we were very sad at our house last year when our cat Fred died.  We still miss him dearly.

Five Years Ago

Let’s see… a random reader wrote in to tell me that the social aspects of MMOs are insignificant.  I don’t think he understood what he was talking about.

People seemed to be getting worked up as to how you define content in an MMO.  Can you compare sandbox and amusement park content fairly?  Taking some of this to its logical extreme, I demonstrated something that trumped all MMO content.

Also getting people worked up was the catch in the whole free to play model, brought up by changes to the store in Battlefield Heroes.  That actually got responses all over the place.

The US release date for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver was announced.

People were warming up for Star Trek Online.  There was a confusing array of pre-order options.  But it was missing some items I really wanted. (I think the awful early movie uniforms eventually appeared recently in the C-Store.)

In WoW we were busy wrapping up the holiday achievements, including wrapping up Pilgrim’s Bounty.

We were also playing with this new Dungeon Finder thing that showed up with WoW patch 3.3.  Automated cross-server instance group matching with random strangers?  It will never work.

The instance group, in its horde RP-PvP server form was hitting Gnomeregan and Shadowfang Keep, both of which seemed… much easier.

And I was officially epic… proven by the achievement.  Of course by that time, somebody already had all the possible WoW achievements.  Too epic to be believed.

Meanwhile, this horrible image was keeping me up at nights.  You just cannot unsee things once you have seen them.

Finally, there was an actual podcast interview with Erik “WoW isn’t easy enough” Estavillo.  He was a surprisingly good sport about being the subject of mockery.

New Linking Sites

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogrolls, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in December

  1. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  2. Three Science Fiction Series Starters
  3. Preparing for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
  4. This is EVE and EVE is Different
  5. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  6. Tech 3 Destroyers and Other Tidbits from EVE Vegas Keynote
  7. Does PLEX Work Anywhere Besides EVE Online?
  8. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  9. The Insta-90 Choice is… Death Knight
  10. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  11. Rhea Ushers in a New Era of Clones, Wormholes, and Graphics to EVE Online
  12. Reviewing my Predictions for 2014

Search Terms of the Month

money talk porno
[Enough money and porno will talk any way you want baby]

eq best plat farming location paladin
[Is plat still a thing of value in EQ? When I got that insta-85, I got 15K plat.]

when will wod price go down
[January is my guess.]

pokemon named by noob
[How about a Skitty I named “Kargath?”]

i skipped the starting quests in everquest, how do i go back
[I’ve been trying to go back for years. It is a futile quest.]

EVE Online

After wrapping up our deployment to Querious, I have been on a mild break from New Eden.  Deployments are bursts of high activity and lots of hours playing, so the pattern for me has been to take a break in-between, and doubly so during the holidays when things can be a bit busy.  However, a new year will bring a new deployment and new things to shoot.

EverQuest II

A burst of 10 year anniversary nostalgia hit and for a couple weeks in December EverQuest II was my main game.  I now have a level 74 berserker (previous high was a 62 swashbuckler) and am into the 2007 game content of the Rise of Kunark expansion.  It is a fine solo experience, with a mercenary to heal and a main that can tank.

Pokemon

While I am enjoying the latest outing, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, I have been playing through at a rather slow pace.  A month in and I am only at the 5th gym battle.  But I have also been playing through in a very systematic way, trying to check every side path and talk to every person I meet along the way.  Since the end game doesn’t do much for me, making the most of the story is my current plan.

World of Warcraft

After a burst of activity with the launch of the Warlords of Draenor expansion, where my first character hit level 100 and I started two more into the expansion, I got hit with a bit of garrison fatigue and took a bit of a break as I headed of to a vacation in EQII.  I have been back and playing more in the last week, but I fear I won’t get into a Molten Core group before the anniversary content is withdrawn.  I hit item level 614 last night.  Still have to get one more point and then actually find a group at a time when most people are done with the raid.

Coming Up

Holy crap, it is going to be 2015.  I spent so much of my life measuring the distance to the year 2000, which was going to be a big deal right (and not just some arbitrary number on a timeline) that I still have trouble grasping that the whole thing happened 15 years ago.

In EVE Online there will the Proteus expansion dropping soon.  Proteus stole fire from the gods, so that is a pretty big name to live up to. [Or maybe that was some other Greek deity.]

The final day of the Steam holiday sale is coming.  Will there be something to tempting to resist on the last day?

I am warming back up to my garrison in WoW, but I need more followers.  I am going to have to work on that in 2015.

Then there is the question of how long my vacation in EQII will last.  My basic goal of getting into the Rise of Kunark expansion was met.

And, finally, I have a goal to get some sort of forward looking predictions post for tomorrow.  Only I haven’t really started yet.  I have one written down.  Time to think outrageous thoughts.

November in Review

The Site

It was actually a pretty busy month here, traffic-wise.  You might think that odd, given that I spent nearly a week without a functioning computer and, thus, put up very little in the way gaming posts.  But Google seemed to take a shine to me this month, making November the month highest average daily page views this year.  It would have had the most page views as well, if it had 31 days.  That was all mostly thanks to people searching for Warlords of Draenor related topics, as you can see by the “most viewed posts” section below.

On the WordPress.com front, they continue to annoy me in various ways.  They broke a couple of things badly early in the month, but have since fixed them.  And they do persist in trying to push their new “improved” editing interface.  It is dumbed down and not very responsive to boot, so I remain with the old one and pray that they won’t make the new one mandatory.  And, just in case I forgot who I was, they put my portrait in one of the navigation menus.  I guess if you use multiple accounts that might be helpful, but it just wastes space for me.

WACircleSquare

Also, what is it with putting rectilinear avatar pictures into circles?  Google+ is big on this as well.  I made a square portrait with a white space around it so the horns on my helm would appear to be escaping the picture, but putting it in a circle ruins the effect.  I will be glad when this fad passes.

One Year Ago

TorilMUD, measured through its lineage via Sojourn MUD, hit the 20 year mark.  So I was playing that before there was any sort of Warcraft.

Time was running out on Warhammer Online, but they were going to give people a last chance to see the place… for free.  A pity I couldn’t get my account to work.

There was a scathing quote of the day about what “social gaming” had come to mean.

The Tears of Veeshan expansion launched in EverQuest II while we said farewell to EverQuest: Macintosh Edition.  Meanwhile, EverQuest veteran Aradune was back in play talking about a new MMO he had planned.

The Rubicon expansion for EVE Online went live, complete with lots of stats.  The update did not save us from the node crash at E-YJ8G.  Big fleet battles, with thousand of drones in play, were taxing the servers beyond their limits.  Meanwhile, there was the Long Guy Fawkes Day… another node crash, but only after 6 hours of crushing TiDi… and we were headed back to Curse again.

EVE Online community site EVE Bloggers found a new home at last.

BlizzCon rolled around, generating much excitement for WoW players with the Warlords of Draenor announcement, though few thought it would take a year for them to ship it.  I was already back and binging on the game, but the rest of the instance group came back as well after the announcement… and we basically did what we should have done a few years back, we got out the old group and picked up where we left off.

I was dropping bombs in War Thunder.

And, after having read Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire at its 20th anniversary, I got around to reading the other two books in the series.  The title of that post is a spoiler.

Five Years Ago

I was writing about how I had not changed the blog format since I started.  Sound familiar?

Our Thanksgiving entertainment was Rock Band 2.  While I was really bad at it, it was a lot of fun.  The next year we played Super Mario Bros. Wii, which I was also really bad at, but which isn’t nearly as much fun.  However, the kids liked it.  I rode along in a bubble most of the time.

And while Tech Crunch was exposing the odious practices favored by Mark Pinkus to get FarmVille and Mafia Wars profitable, the New York Times was gushing over this wonderful new virtual goods market, which I summarized and provided links to here.

I managed to get some playtime in with the original Torchlight, though there were some problems.  It turns out that if you bought the game from the wrong vendor, you could be a while waiting for patches.

The first LEGO Harry Potter game was announced, which I had anticipated would come to pass almost two years before it was announced.

Warhammer Online announced that levels 1-10 were going to be free, making me wonder if they were just going to breed a mass of level 1 twinks.  I think that is what the end result was.

In EVE Online, PLEX was off to a booming start.  The price of a PLEX has risen some since then (~300 million then, over 900 million ISK now).  Meanwhile, the first Hulkageddon was on and even I noticed something was amiss.  Eventually somebody pointed me in the right direction in the comments.

I wondered if fishing was really the secret ingredient for MMO success.

I got all nostalgic for Star Trek because of Star Trek Online’s impending release.

World of Warcraft and EverQuest II both hit their five year anniversaries.  Then I had the temerity to say that there were things that EQII didn’t do very well in my opinion.

On the WoW end of things, somebody was suing because they felt the game wasn’t easy enough.

Then there were Mr. T Mohawk grenades and a 24 slot Portable Hole, outrages both along with the $10 vanity pets.  And I was complaining about not getting the Headless Horseman’s mount during Hallow’s End.  Again, sound familiar?

I wrote a very short post about Pilgrim’s Bounty which went on to become the most viewed post on the site November of five years ago.

And the instance group started in with Ragefire Chasm, Wailing Caverns and Deadmines on the RP-PVP server.  Actual PVP occurred since we had to walk to the Deadmines.  We get called griefers for daring to engage in PVP on a PVP server.

New Linking Blogs

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogrolls, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in November

Search Terms of the Month

nobody likes to carol with yoda
[Because he’s all “With boughs of holly the halls be decked, yes! Hmmm?”]

photo tiger playing bagpipes
[I could find dogs playing, but no tigers]

tube tv vertical punctuation
[I prefer Zero Punctuation]

EVE Online

After coming off of a busy October, with deployments down south, I tapered off my time in New Eden a bit for the Warlords of Draenor launch.  It just so happened that we finished up our first post-Phoebe deployment just in time.  Phoebe has made travel more tedious in null, which both sides in the CFC vs N3/BL conflict of the moment have been trying to take advantage of.  Lots of talk about the CFC being forced to move between fronts via gates, but no mention of the Reavers reinforcing structures and knocking down towers in Querious while N3 is busy in Delve.

EverQuest II

I actually spent some time in post-cataclysm Norrath for the 10 year anniversary.  I didn’t adventure or even ear a single experience point to my knowledge.  But I did play around with housing and the new Isle of Refuge prestige house/zone we were given as an anniversary present.

Pokemon

Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire launched.  My daughter and I got our copies right on launch day thanks to oppressed workers in Amazon’s Fernley, Nevada shipping facility.  With this and Warlords of Draenor, I was wondering who would win out for play time.  WoW seems to have won for the most part.  The new Pokemon is good.  I am about 10 hours into it.  But the draw of WoW is stronger.  Gotta check up on my garrison!

Total War: Rome II

I managed to miss every Friday night game in November.  I was really tired this month, so it was tough to stay up past… 9pm.  It must be some urge to hibernate now that we have a bit of cold weather. (Cold for coastal California anyway.)

World of Warcraft

Big expansion launch.  Lots of players back in the game.  A beautiful new set of zones to play in.  Plenty of orc bad guys leading us on a merry chase.  But a lot of people are already level 100 in Warlords of Draenor.  Even with some down days and a meandering pace where I try to see it all, my first character in is already closing in on level 99.  I hope Blizzard has a game plan for dealing with most everybody at level cap in two months, or it is going to be a long 700+ days until the next expansion.

Coming Up

It will be December shortly, which will mean all sorts of end of the year, what in the hell happened sorts of posts.  I have some predictions to score and all that. (Plus more to write.)

CCP will be springing yet another new expansion on us in the form of Rhea.  Coming December 9th.  That will mean the end of skill point loss, the start of tier 3 destroyers, new wormhole space, and a bunch of things I have already forgotten.  I don’t know how things feel at CCP, but it is exhausting just keeping up with the changes on the outside.

We are in the midst of the Steam Holiday Sale, and I have purchased nothing so far.  And why do the Steam sales, summer and winter, seem to be coming earlier and earlier?

And, having been given a clean slate when it comes to… well… all the software on my computer, it will be time to decide what gets installed again.

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphired Launch Today

The busy November continues as another launch I have been waiting for arrives.  Nintendo and Game Freak’s remakes of the Game Boy Advance titles Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire are finally here.

Today is the day

Today is the day

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby are now available and, if Amazon keeps its word, a copy of each should be waiting for my daughter and I when I return home from work today.  After playing Pokemon X and Y, I am looking forward to another round of Pokemon on the Nintendo 3Ds platform.

Hoenn region revamped

Hoenn region revamped

I know the reaction to this release being a remake has been “yawn” or “boo, hiss” in some quarters… and not just from the lost cause sons of Digimon types… but remakes are pretty much part of the Pokemon tradition at this point.  And Pokemon is pretty much steeped in tradition at this point, so one might as well embrace it.

There have been four consolidation remakes, a seemingly discontinued tradition at this point as Game Freak seems to have streamlined their development process to allow production of new titles more frequently, where they would take the current pair of games, such as Diamond and Pearl, and make a combined version, such as Platinum, that had Pokemon from both games and a few small differences.

Then there have been the generation-crossing remakes, where an older version of the game that is no longer available on the current platform gets remade with the current technology, with Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby being the third on that list.  Those remakes have been well received.  Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen were top sellers, while Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are still my favorite Pokemon games from the DS Lite era.  And, of course, they are great ways to bring old rares back into the population.

So given the history of the generation-crossing remakes, I am pretty excited for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby.

Of course, this means that I will likely continue to move slowly through the Warlords of Draenor expansion… and all the more so since, unlike WoW, where I binged for a couple weeks before the expansion, I set Pokemon aside for the last month or so, stopping that binge shortly after wrapping up Pokemon White Version 2.

So we are primed.  Our Nintendo 3DS XLs are charged up, my daughter and I have the next week off from school and work respectively, we will have a fresh video game in our possession, it is dark, and we are wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.

Wrapping Up and Summing Up Pokemon White Version 2

I made it to through the final four and defeated Iris, the Unova champion, the evening after my last Pokemon post.

Iris awaits

Chamber of the final battle

It was pretty much inevitable that I would win sooner rather than.  I had already made it through the final four to Iris on my second attempt.  It was just a matter of tuning up my team a bit.

I used some of the stat increasing items I picked up along the way on my team, and bought a few more at the department store on Route 9.  I trained LazTel my Azurmarill the Ice Beam move, which was a key weakness in Iris’ lineup.  I used a few PP Ups to increase the number of times I could use key moves.  As an example my only grass attack, Giga Drain on Wibla my Verizion, only had five uses, which was not enough.  And I tossed out a couple Rare Candy level ups and made sure everybody was holding an item that would boost key aspects of their abilities.

All that, plus knowing now which abilities to use against which opponents meant that the run was pretty smooth.  My victory was not in doubt.

My winning team

My winning team

I still need to work out the best way to take pictures, but I think I am getting a little bit better.  There, from the 6 o’clock position, moving clockwise, are:

And there we are.  The last great battle, the main story arc is over, and roll the credits.

That last item is literal, when you finally defeat the regional champion, the game saves and then shows you the credits.  It is one of the conventions of the series.

Of course, the game is not done yet.  Not by a long shot.  Technically, you are not even done with the story yet.  There are still remnants of Team Plasma to encounter, some more key battles to fight, half a dozen key locations to visit, and legendary Pokemon to catch.  In regards to that last, Pokemon White Version 2 was a bit stingy compared to its immediate predecessor, which let you catch one of the legendary Pokemon before the championship battle.

This is generally where the official guide book for a given Pokemon game tends to become very useful to me, as a lot of the end game stuff can be… obscure, for lack of a better word.

I know with enough patience I could figure a lot of it out.  12 year old me would have had no problem, current me is no longer motivated enough for that sort of thing.  For example, in Pokemon X & Y, one of the legendary Pokemon you can catch post-story is Moltres, who has been around since the original games.  You run into him pretty readily if you are stomping around in the tall grass where Pokemon show up.  However, he flees immediately upon entering battle, so you cannot catch him.  The “figuring it out” bit is that you have to encounter and lose him eleven times… and you can only find him once per day… before you can go to a specific spot for a chance to catch him. (And I only get Moltres because I chose Froakie as my starter Pokemon.  It is convoluted, but that is part of the appeal of the series.)

I did not buy the official guide this time around, but the internet knows all.  You can find guides in plain text, HTML, pictures, and even in video format.  I just can’t sit over on the couch or in bed, away from my computer with the game in my hand and the book at my side, which is one of the aspects of the handheld console gaming I enjoy.  Well, I can with the iPad in tow I guess, but I find web navigation much more efficient with a keyboard and mouse.

The upshot of this is that there is still a pile of Pokemon in the game to be caught.

And then there is the moving of Pokemon from the older DS generation games into Pokemon White Version 2 so I can use the Poke Transporter to send various Pokemon on a one-way trip to Pokemon Bank, where the 3DS generation Pokemon games will be able to access them.

Pokemon Bank - $5.00 a year

Pokemon Bank – a deal at $5.00 a year

Getting the Pokemon out of Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, or SoulSilver is a process that requires two Nintendo DS consoles. (Not a problem in our house, where we have five)  You download a special game from the DS running one of the Pokemon Black and White series, pick six Pokemon you want to move over (usual restrictions apply, no Pokemon with hidden moves… never train hidden moves on your legendary Pokemon…), and then play a little game where you have to catch your chosen Pokemon before they will be moved over… because nothing is ever easy.

Aim and catch

Aim and catch

This involves shooting Pokeballs at the Pokemon who are hopping around the screen or hiding behind bushes.  There is a timer, and anything you don’t catch goes back, though you can load them up and try again.  It seemed like it might be a chore at first, especially since the more rare Pokemon seem to move a lot faster.  However, since I have never failed to catch all six in half the time allocated, it is probably okay.  And you can do it as many times a day as you like, unlike the .  Now I just have to figure out which Pokemon I really want to move over and where they are.

So Pokemon still to catch and Pokemon to move.

Along the way I think I also figured out why the DS generation Pokemon games are in short supply, with unopened copies selling for a premium most places.  One of the things that Nintendo did as part of the changing of hardware generations was turn off all of the back end services for those games back in May.  There is no Global Trade Station or other online content available for them any more.  If you try to access anything like that… and by the time they got to Pokemon Black & White Version 2 there were quite a few features that required back end support… you just get an error indicating that the service is no longer available.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, all of those online features are heavily advertised on the various retail boxes and the sites dedicated to the various titles.  So I suspect Nintendo decided to cut whatever liability it feels it might have in no longer supporting those online features by no longer shipping any of those titles.  That Amazon is blowing out their back stock of Pokemon White Version 2 hints, at least to me, that Nintendo might have future plans for those titles.  We shall see I suppose.  But if you want a new, in box copy of one of the other DS generation Pokemon games, be prepared to pay a premium.

Finally, I returned to Pokemon Y to pull some Pokemon over from the Poke Transporter app, which led to some odd moments.

I said a while back that the new rendered graphics style of Pokemon X & Y felt pretty natural when I picked up the game.  Then I went back to finish up Pokemon White and then Pokemon White Version 2, which involved a few weeks of binge playing.  That transition wasn’t too bad either.  I quickly got used to the sprite based graphics again.  Visual closure is a wonderful thing and their overly blocky look on the bigger XL screen soon seemed quite natural.

Then, after all of that, I went back to Pokemon Y and it really felt strange.  I think the most noticeable difference is that it just doesn’t feel like you see as much of the world around you as you do in the earlier games.  That and your character and everything else is so much bigger on screen.  It was a little disorienting upon my return.

However, after about 20 minutes my brain settled down and accepted the game as it was and I got back into that groove.

Now it is just the clean up and catching and breeding and such prep work while we wait around for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to come out this November.  My daughter and I have already turned in our coin jar for an Amazon gift card and pre-ordered the titles.  We’ll just need to find time to play them.  November is going to be a busy month for releases.