Tag Archives: Pokemon White

And Then I Totally Binged on Pokemon…

Raptr sends me a report every Monday telling me how many hours of video games they tracked me playing the previous week.  When yesterday’s report indicated I had played less than two hours in the last week of August, I should have been quite skeptical.  It had me playing an hour and ten minutes with the Strategy Group on Friday night, with a bit of World of Warcraft, and about enough time in EVE Online to account for logging in to update skill training queues.

Last week was a bit problematic for Raptr.  They pushed a new version that doesn’t seem keen to log into the system, and so never goes live and never tracks any game time.  This sort of pushes my “Why am I using Raptr again?” doubts to the forefront.  But even if Raptr had been working, it probably wouldn’t have caught much more play time on my PC because I was busy playing Pokemon.

I mentioned that I starting to prepare for a potential run at the National Pokedex when Pokemon Alpha Ruby and Omega Sapphire come out later this year.  So I have been playing some Pokemon Y fairly regularly in order to catch Pokemon unique to it.  I could stuff those in the Pokemon Bank and bring those in when needed in the new game.

However, I still had a large number of Pokemon stored away in older versions of the game.  Rare Pokemon that I am unlikely to get in trades or be able to catch in the new versions.  The only path t0 being able to bring those forward was to finish Pokemon Black, White, Black 2, or White 2.  You can transfer from the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl forward into those four, and from those four there is a one-way ticket available into the Pokemon Bank, which will make them available to the Nintendo 3DS generation of Pokemon games.

Pokemon Bank - $5.00 a year

Pokemon Bank – The Black and White route

So I got out my Pokemon White cartridge to see what could be done.

According to the tracking on my copy of the game, my character (always named Wilhelm) started his journey on March 6, 2011.  That was launch day back in 2011.

Pokemon Black and White

Pokemon Black and White

My wife even incorporated the whole black and white theme into my birthday.

Black and White all over

Black and White all over

The haul included the games, a black and white Wii remote, and the special edition, hard bound copy of the guide book for Pokemon Black and White.

My daughter and I went straight into the games, with her playing Black and I playing White.  As usual, she got out in front of me quickly using her usual plan of just leveling up her lead Pokemon as much as possible and hoping like hell that it can take on all comers at each gym battle.  I tagged along, always a gym badge behind, trying to balance out my party and level up a full set.  So she usually goes into gym battles way over level and wins straight up… unless the gym is focused on her main Pokemon’s weakness, which means a water gym because she always picks fire… while I tend to go into gym battles with a full party that is somewhat under level for the attempt.  But I mostly muddle through.

Somewhere along the way we lost interest though.

The game shows that I picked up the 5th gym badge on April 23, 2011.  I know I played a little more after that, but I started to lose interest.  I think it was in the ice caves.  There are always ice caves in a Pokemon game.  There are always a bunch of standard events or locations in a Pokemon game, and I think that was starting to wear on me.  By this point I had played through Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, and SoulSilver in pretty quick succession and might have started to tire of the specific tropes of Pokemon games.  Plus this was about the time that middle-age eye sight issues started to show up.  I started needing reading glasses and the little screen on the Nintendo DS Lite is pretty small.  So I doubt I continued to play past May of that year.

So here it was, more than three years later and I was going to try to carry on and finish the game.  Hey, I had five of eight gym badges, so I just needed three more.  Then it was the final four, the regional champion, with a side trip to finish off Team Plasma somewhere along the way, and I should be set.

Of course, first I had to shoot myself in the foot.

I didn’t have to look far to find my Pokemon White cartridge, because it was already in my 3DS XL.  I had already decided to play with Pokemon Bank and had vacuumed up every Pokemon in my storage boxes in White.  So when I went back to play I only had the six Pokemon in my party.

Blitzle!

Blitzle!

Not a bad set of Pokemon I suppose.  That group could probably take down the final four without too much effort, carried by Reshiram and Mewtwo alone.  But I was only just done with the 5th gym badge, and one of the things that gym badges bestow upon you is the ability to control Pokemon over a certain level.  I was currently good to level 50, and would be good to level 70 with the next gym badge.  But for the moment I had to deal with two of my team that would only do what I wanted maybe 20% of the time.  That is what happens when you have a Pokemon over level.  They won’t do what you ask during a battle.  And while, certainly in the case of a level 100 Reshiram, they generally aren’t in any danger of dying, it can take some patience as the loaf about, fall asleep, or otherwise ignore you.

In no danger of dying

In no danger of dying

And I also had to be careful not to level up Zoroark, as if he hit level 51, he would join the uncontrollable contingent in my party.  But I managed to muddle through.  I dropped Blitzle at the earliest opportunity and picked up a Mienfoo in the Dragonspiral Tower, who hit 45 by the time we were headed into the final four.

Mienfoo - Fighting Pokemon

Mienfoo – Fighting Pokemon

I named him Chow Fun and he turned out to be quite the asset to the party, though after the final four he hit the point where he evolved into a Meinshao, which does not look nearly as cool.

After the 8th gym badge I made my way up victory road, which is always a bit of a maze… yet another Pokemon trope… and was able to take down the final four.  Then the game surprised me a bit by deviating from the normal resolution.  First I had to capture Zekrom (which I managed on the third try without using my master ball), at which point I swapped him in for my Tranquill, which was an Unfezant by then, but which hadn’t kept up in levels.  Then it was time for the final battle and victory.

While Reshiram was the ace in the hole, Mewtwo actually carried the day through most of the fight.  Mewtwo didn’t have moves quite as powerful Reshiram, but all of his moves allowed 10-30 uses, unlike Reshiarm, whose key moves were set at 5 a piece.  Actually, three big attacks at 5 runs each would probably have been enough, but I put in my other guys just to get them the exp.  In the end I won.  See the horrible picture of the screen taken with a digital camera because you still cannot take screen shots in Pokemon.

The winning team

The winning team

So, step one was complete.  I finished the main storyline. And one of my key worries was dispelled.  I thought that, after growing used to the rendered look of the series in Pokemon X and Y, that I would find going back to the old, sprite based graphics difficult to look at.  But, as with playing Diablo II on my big monitor, while it looks blocky at first, visual closure has you covered and you stop noticing it pretty quickly unless you are trying to see it.  And the nice screen on my 3DS XL is big enough that I do not have to wear reading glasses to play.  So all went well.

Now I just had to find the place where you could transfer Pokemon from other games without having to do a 1 for 1 trade.

Another trope of the Pokemon series is to have such a direct, one-way transfer method, but to require the player to jump through hoops in order to accomplish it.  I remember back with Pokemon Diamond and wanting to transfer some Pokemon from Pokemon FireRed, where I was importing Meowths, as they were totally in demand at the Global Trade Station and I was able to trade them for a lot of Pokemon I needed to fill out my Pokedex.  To do that you had to bring up FireRed on your system, having plugged it into the GBA slot, select 6 and only 6 Pokemon for transfer, put them in transfer limbo, and then exit the game.  Then you had to bring up Pokemon Diamond, go to the Safari park, and then go find and catch all 6 with a limited number of Pokeballs in under a given time limit.  And you could only do this once per 24 hour period.

Well, Pokemon Black and White are on board with that, having their own little twist.

You need two Nintendo DS units to do this.

First you get to the PokeTransfer Lab on Route 15 in Pokemon Black and White.  There an NPC explains the process as well as possible, but it still left me going, “Huh?” until I actually did it.  You start the process at the Lab, which then tells you to start up the second DS unit.  When that comes up, you need your Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, or SoulSilver cartridge in the DS.  It works for all of those games.  But rather than launching the game, you choose the DS Download Play option at the main screen on your DS.  This downloads a special app that lets you browse the Pokemon stored on your cartridge, showing which ones can or cannot be transferred. (As usual, Pokemon with HMs are verboten from transfer.)  You select the six Pokemon you want to transfer and then you have to play a game.

This time around the six Pokemon appear on the upper screen of your DS, while a crossbow-like Pokeball launcher appears on the lower screen.  As you move your stylus on the lower screen you can see a targeting reticule moving on the upper.  With this setup you have to shoot Pokeballs at the Pokemon on the upper screen and hit them to catch them.  Of course, it isn’t a slam dunk or anything, the Pokemon are jumping around the screen or hiding behind bushes.  You have to time your shots to get them on the move, and when they are hiding you have to flush them out by shooting them before you can catch them.  And there is a time limit for this.

While it wasn’t easy, it was manageable.  I did get all six on my first try before the timer ran down, which wasn’t bad because the game doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining what to do.  And, on the plus side, there is no limit to the number of times a day you can do this.  You just have to expend the required effort catching Pokemon, six at a time, over and over again if you have a long list to move.

I did three batches then took a break.  But at least now I have a way to move Pokemon from all the way back in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl… and even earlier, since I can get stuff off of the GBA Pokemon games I have sitting around if I really want… and into the Nintendo 3DS generation of the game.

And, banging out Pokemon White made me consider picking up Pokemon Black 2 or White 2. though looking at the pricing at Amazon, I think it might have to be White 2.

Amazon Pricing

Amazon Pricing

For some reason White 2 is about half the price of Black 2, and that isn’t just an Amazon oddity.  It seems like stocks of Black 2 must have run low and now people are charging a premium for the game.  But I think I have enough of a gift card left to cover a copy of White 2.  Hrmm…

Anyway, Raptr did not track much for me last week because I was playing a game that it does not track, Pokemon!

Pokemon Video Game 2012 Regional Championships – April 15

Pokemon.com has the information up for the Spring 2012 Pokemon Regional Championships.


Unlike last year, where the regional matches were part of a big Pokemon road show and occurred on consecutive weekends throughout Spring, this year the matches are being run by regional partners and are all taking place on the same day, April 15.

Locations and Times

In California, the nearest regional event is still close by my home, just across the bay in Pleasanton.

The Pleasanton event is being run by Second City Gym, which has details about the event on their own web site.  You can also pre-register for the event there to secure yourself a spot.

Links to information about other regional matches are available at Pokemon.com.

The US National Championships will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 30th – July 1st, 2012, and the World Championships will happen in Waikaloa, just up the road from Kona, on the big island of Hawaii on August 10th-12th, 2012.

Reshiram and Zekrom Download Event for Pokemon Black and White

Pokemon.com has announced that Nintendo is offering a chance for owners of Pokemon Black and White to get the legendary Pokemon that is not available on each given game as part of the regular adventure.

Zekrom and Reshiram

The text of the announcement reads:

Add the Legendary Pokémon Reshiram or Zekrom to your game with a special distribution event beginning on March 10th and ending April 8th via the Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection service*! The Pokémon that you’ll receive into your copy of Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version will be the Pokémon that is not available in that version during normal gameplay. So, you’ll receive Reshiram into your Pokémon White Version game and Zekrom into your Pokémon Black Version game.

These Legendary Pokémon are Level 100, and have moves that make them extremely powerful in battle. Plus, you’ll know they are special Pokémon because they come in a Cherish Ball and are adorned with a Wish Ribbon.

The opportunity to get these Legendary Pokémon won’t be around long, so don’t miss your chance to get Reshiram or Zekrom for your game!

*Wireless broadband access required for online features. For more info, go to support.nintendo.com.

What is boils down to is that for a limited time, if you have Pokemon Black, you can download the legendary Zekrom.

And if you have Pokemon White, you will be able to download the legendary Reshiram.

The downloads are available now.  I have downloaded Reshiram to my copy of Pokemon White already.

The event is slated to last from March 10th through April 8th, though as we saw with the Mewtwo download event, Nintendo some times changes their mind, so download yours sooner rather than later.

These special Reshiram and Zekrom also unlock a special in the Pokemon Dream World.

This is not an in-store event.  This download is only available via Nintendo WiFi.  Instructions are available here at Pokemon.com.

Pokemon Black and White Version 2 – Nintendo’s Least Creative Names?

Nintendo has announced the next versions of the ever popular Pokemon franchise on their handheld game system.  They are to be, giving them their official names, Pokemon Black Version 2 and Pokemon White Version 2.  These two titles will be out in Japan by the summer and in Europe and North America some time in the fall.

More black and white Pokemon

This sort of breaks the pattern of Pokemon game releases that have gone before it.

Over the years, a pattern has evolved that Nintedo will release a pair of games, like Diamond and Pearl, each of which has some Pokemon not available on the other.  This is to encourage, depending on your level of cynicism, playing and trading with friends, buying both damn versions of the game, or boosting the sales of those cheat add-ons which some no doubt believe Nintendo secretly funds.

Then, in a year or so, Nintendo will launch a single, slightly revised version of the the two games, Pokemon Platinum in this example, which has all of the Pokemon from both Diamond and Pearl, so you can feel like a schnook for playing through both of the original games AND the new one.  Pokemon Emerald and Crystal were also examples of this sort of update.

And then Nintendo goes back to remake an older version of the game.  HeartGold and SoulSilver were remakes of Gold and Silver.  Remakes always get that modifier in the name it seems.  FireRed and LeafGreen were further examples of that.

Then, finally, Nintendo gets around to knocking out a new version of the game, which is where new Pokemon get introduced (and I have to think this is the tough part, putting together a batch of 150 new Pokemon that are balanced and useful and don’t seriously offend any cultures that buy a lot of these games) in a new land.

So really, while there have been about 20 Pokemon games (not the spin-offs, the classic Pokemon role playing games), there are only really five settings in which they take place and, honestly, one damn story played out over and over again, a young boy/girl sets out to defeat some oddly dressed bad guys and become the reigning champion in a world obsessed by Pokemon.

And while I sound cynical, the system has worked.  I have the games on the shelf to prove it, and the sales numbers do not lie.  Any year a classic Pokemon RPG title gets released, it is on the top 20 list for game sales that year, and often the next year as well.

So it is always a bit surprising when a company like Nintendo, which has been living off Mario for 30 years and Pokemon for the last 15, deviates from their traditional path, especially when such deviations often fail. (Compare Mario Party 8 sales to Wii Party… Mario Party with Miis versus Mario… and well, they are not that far apart actually, but Nintendo is still going back to tradition and Mario Party 9 will be the next version.)

I was expecting that single wrap up title to come out, to combine all of the Pokemon in Black and White with a name like… well, Gray isn’t a great plan I guess… maybe Pokemon Checkerboard?

Instead, we are getting two rework games with the continuation of exclusivity of Pokemon between the two and what have to be the worst name choices ever in the main Pokemon game line.  Version 2?  Really?

And even the main Pokemon in the game, the legendaries that you play through the whole game to catch, are on the lame name bandwagon.  Rather that two distinct yet unpronounceable names, we have Black Kyurem and White Kyurem.  And they appear to be basically the same Pokemon with just a different color scheme and a slightly different accessory kit.

There is not much out there… at least not in English… about the Black and White Version 2 story or new features that might get introduced, but at a high level it feels like the Pokemon team is running out of ideas.

I know, complaining that the latest two games feel repetitive when the whole series is, quite frankly, the same game retold nearly 20 times is silly, but it is like they aren’t even giving us the fig leaf so that we can pretend that this is something new.

In the end Nintendo will have to do more than merely crank up the repetitive dial another notch in order to keep this from being a best seller.  There are a lot of people out there who are mad for Pokemon.

And a new release will mean launch events and special downloads and all sorts of thing that I will no doubt participate in over the spring and summer.

And when fall comes, I am sure we will buy a copy of each game.  Because that is the way it works.

Mewtwo Available for Download from Nintendo

As mentioned previously, Mewtwo is now available for download from Nintendo via Nintendo WiFi, and will remain so through March 6, 2012.  I downloaded mine already.

The Mighty Mewtwo

While the event is really just to bring attention to updates to the Pokemon Trading Card Game, those of us who only play the video game benefit.

The full instructions for the event are available at Pokemon.com, along with this information:

You’ll have a new opportunity to get the Legendary Mewtwo once again! Between February 12th and March 6th, you can receive Mewtwo in your Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version game. Don’t miss this limited-time distribution event to get this amazing Pokémon via the Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection service (wireless broadband Internet access required. For more info, go to support.nintendo.com).

When you take this Level 70 Mewtwo into battle, know that you have one of the strongest Pokémon ever. Its moves are powerful and well suited to take advantage of Mewtwo’s strengths and cover its weaknesses. Psystrike is a new signature move for Mewtwo that does damage depending on its opponent’s Defense. Ordinarily Mewtwo doesn’t learn Psystrike until Level 100, but this Mewtwo already has the powerful attack! Mewtwo also has Shadow Ball, a Ghost-type move that is super effective against the Ghost-type Pokémon that can cause problems for Psychic types. Mewtwo is also weak against Dark-type Pokémon, so its third attack, the Fighting-type move Aura Sphere, is a good counter to their attacks. Lastly, this special Mewtwo knows Electro Ball, a stunning Electric-type move that Mewtwo cannot normally learn!

When you get Mewtwo, it will be holding a King’s Rock, an item which occasionally makes its opponent flinch in battle. You can also give it to certain Pokémon and then trade them to make them evolve. Plus, Mewtwo comes with a Premier Ribbon, a special Ribbon that you can’t get through normal game play!

Mewtwo will be available via a Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection distribution event that runs from February 12th through March 6th.

A reminded, this is not an in-store event, but a download available over your local wireless internet connection to Pokemon Black or White only.  For instructions on setting up that connection, go to the US Nintendo support site.

Mewtwo for Me and You – Pokemon Download Coming Soon

Pokemon.com has been teasing visitors for over a week now with an upcoming download event for Pokemon Black and White players.  The Pokemon being dangled before us is the rare Mewtwo.

Mewtwo

Pokemon who get their own entry in Wikipedia are pretty rare, there being 646 Pokemon available at this point, so Mewtwo is pretty important in the Pokemon mythos.  Nintendo says about the impending Mewtwo event:

The legend of the Genetic Pokémon Mewtwo has grown ever since it debuted in the Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version games. The Psychic-type Pokémon has always been considered one of the most powerful Pokémon available, and also very tough to catch.

You’ll have a new opportunity to get the Legendary Mewtwo once again! Starting on February 12th, you can receive Mewtwo for your Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version game. Take part in a limited-time distribution event to get this amazing Pokémon. This Mewtwo is incredibly strong and fast, and it even has an exclusive move that Mewtwo cannot normally learn!

However, while Nintendo is being coy, Siliconera is reporting that they have already done this same download event in Japan and they are unlikely to change things up for the distribution in North America.

So if you have Pokemon Black or White, be ready come February 12th for this Nintendo WiFi special offer.  I suspect the instructions will be similar to the Victini event they had at the end of December.

Augmented Reality Pokemon for the Nintendo 3DS

Pokemon.com announced a while ago the release of a 3D Pokedex for Pokemon Black and White in the Nintendo eShop for use with, and only with, the Nintendo 3Ds.

That seemed to me a bit of a gimmick, though at least it was a freebie.  And people who bought 3DS units right away probably need all the support they can get, what with the short battery life and such.

But there was a more recent announcement about the 3D Pokedex, regarding the addition of augmented reality to the app.

This allows you to print out what they call and “AR Card,” place it at some real, physical location, such as on your kitchen table, and then, when you view that through the 3DS, the Pokemon whose AR Card you have appears to be there, on the table.

A Pokemon and its AR Card

Again, something of a gimmick in my mind.  People have played with this sort of thing.  Apparently, the side of the card you print out dictates how big the item will be when viewed, so there was a story over at Kotaku about people printing out poster sized cards to insert life-size Marios into the world.

Nintendo even has a poster sized AR Card that will let you view your Mii (yes, the 3DS has Miis) in full, human scale height.

Not having a 3DS as yet (call me when they get to the second generation… and only if they improve battery life) I do not know exactly what you can do, other than view the images and take pictures of them.  Though that might be enough.  I’d put a giant Mario next to my car for a photo op if I could.

But the Pokemon AR Cards also give you something else.

Use the AR Viewer in Pokédex 3D to view Pokémon projected into the real world! When you point the camera at these special Pokémon AR Markers, you’ll be able to see and take pictures of Pokémon in 3D. In most cases, when you view one of these Pokémon AR Markers you will increase your chances of receiving the Pokémon that you’ve scanned. But if you scan certain Legendary or Mythical Pokémon’s AR Markers, you will receive those Pokémon instantly!

Okay, you can only see Pokemon you already have.  And using the AR Card for ones you do not have will increase your chance of getting that Pokemon as part of a SpotPass.

But if you view a legendary or mythical Pokemon, and you do not have it, you will receive it immediately?

I hate to cry “welfare epics,” but isn’t stalking and catching those rare and elusive Pokemon part of the reason to play the game?

Okay, I suppose when the obsession is upon you, you will do many things to fill that Pokedex.  I know how that mania feels, and the lengths to which you will go to catch them all.

I can even go along with the SpotPass option, as it is one of the ways of getting Pokemon that are not in your version of the game. (Black and White each have their own exclusives.)

But handing out legendary Pokemon for printing out an AR Card?

That seems… hollow.

At least to me.

Yes, I have gotten my share of legendary Pokemon from download events.  But at least those were out of the house, limited time, go somewhere and see other Pokemon players activities.

Ah well, gotta sell those 3DS units somehow I suppose.  I bet some Pokemon fan is even now planning to buy a 3DS just to get the legendary Pokemon.