Top Three Thursday 5/28/15: Reasons for lack of inspiration

Okay, I’ll be honest: it’s past 10 pm and I really don’t know what to write for Top Three Thursday. So, I will use this post as an explanation of why I find it so hard to formulate a topic nowadays.

3. Getting serious in Guitar Hero

Particularly Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. I wish to full combo (FC) the song “If You Want Peace… Prepare For War” and finally get up to 88/93. At first, I tried to start a routine, but I dropped it after three days. Now, I try to do at least one real run per day, maybe more if I’m feeling confident. Today I FC’d the Synth Solo in a real run for the first time in my life. Later, I hope to get a full solo FC and eventually knock out the full song. And…I don’t know what I’d do afterwards, to be honest…maybe go for “The Way It Ends” on GH3?

2. Freemium Pokémon games

It’s not just Rumble World now. I got into Pokémon Shuffle recently, and it is way more fun than I expected. Nowadays, I try to make sure I get as many events done per day as possible for both games, which is kinda difficult at times due to the way I optimize it for Pokémon Shuffle; what I tend to do is predict at what time in the future I will have 4 hearts and spend them all at that time before obtaining the 5th—this way, for every second time I complete this sequence, I will be able to take care of the White balloon in Rumble World as well (the time I take care of events in Rumble World only depends on the recharge time of the balloon that takes longest to recharge; any quicker rate and it would be too much of an addiction, as I’ve found out the hard way).

1. Real life issues

Aside from eating, sleeping, and bathing, I’m making up a class that I would have otherwise failed, so I would sometimes prefer to dedicate my time to activity for that class. There are also times when my parents wish to take me out for whatever reason, whether it’s to eat out or to visit my sister, or both. Also, there is a high possibility that I will have to gather some internship experience, although the details surrounding that are up in the air.

 

Also, not listed here but nonetheless worth noting is keeping up with weekly puzzles and anime. Every Friday, when I wake up, I go to the “Play online” page of the Conceptis website and do at least most of the weekly puzzles. Obviously, the ones I am least likely to do are Maze-a-Pix and Dot-a-Pix, but there are a select few number logic puzzles that I will give up on due to difficulty (examples: 8×8 Medium Calcudoku (this happened two weeks in a row once), Medium Hashi, Medium plus Slitherlink). As for anime, along with the three I mentioned on Spontaneous Saturday 5/9 (Hello! Kiniro Mosaic, Nisekoi:, DanMachi), I also decided to pick up Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo, making that four anime series I keep up with weekly.

(There’s also viewing Twitch streams, but that kinda ties in with eating, because I generally view Twitch streams while eating.)

Nowi Wins Please understand.

Spontaneous Saturday 5/23/15: Super Randomizer Nuzlocke – a follow-up?

Previous Super Randomizer Nuzlocke post (please read before viewing “HeartGold progress update”): http://wp.me/p4GI1b-3h
Link to super randomizer: http://pokehacks.dabomstew.com/randomizer/

Recently, I feel like I’ve regained interest in Pokémon Super Randomizer (for whatever reason). However, I do not feel like returning to my Black or Black 2 playthroughs because…well, in an ordinary playthrough, you can easily catch as many Pokémon as you want and pick and choose what you want to have in your party. In Nuzlockes, on the other hand, you can only catch the first Pokémon you find in a route or area, which, along with the possibility of Pokémon dying, makes things a lot more interesting.

 

HeartGold progress update

Well, I managed to beat the Elite Four first wave, but not without my share of casualties. The following three of my party Pokémon died during the Pokémon League challenge:

 MyTurn – Swampert (M)
Level: 42
Nature: Brave
Met at: Cherrygrove City (Lv.10)
Characteristic: Likes to fight.
Type: Grass/Electric
Stats: 164 HP, 108 Atk, 93 Def, 50 Sp.Atk, 88 Sp.Def, 64 Speed
Ability: Soundproof
Moves: Wood Hammer / Crabhammer / Rock Slide / ExtremeSpeed

Cause for death: It’s stupid, honestly. When I was battling Will, he had a Smeargle. Because I had already caught a Smeargle before, I knew it was part Ice, so I used Rock Slide. Now, here’s the stupid part: the Smeargle survived at extremely low HP and just so happened to have Counter. Definitely my saltiest moment during the entirety of the Elite Four.

 cirLewd – Golem (F)
Level: 43
Nature: Naughty
Met at: New Bark Town (Lv.5)
Characteristic: Good endurance.
Type: Flying
Stats: 152 HP, 102 Atk, 84 Def, 70 Sp.Atk, 79 Sp.Def, 77 Speed
Ability: Hustle
Moves: Fly / Bonemerang / Spacial Rend / Horn Drill

Cause for death: Koga had an Arbok, which just so happened to have Thunder. cirLewd was at an HP value so high that I just didn’t even care, but she got taken down easily. RIP starter.

 KAPOW – Sunflora (F)
Level: 42
Nature: Modest
Met at: Route 34 (Lv.11)
Characteristic: Proud of its power.
Type: Fighting/Flying
Stats: 151 HP, 39 Atk, 85 Def, 81 Sp.Atk, 66 Sp.Def, 69 Speed
Ability: Volt Absorb
Moves: Wring Out / Surf / Fire Blast / Softboiled

Cause for death: Died valiantly in the battle against Lance. At that point, I had only 4 Pokémon left, and I leaned on my defensive core of KAPOW and cirFairy because chrisWOW has poor defensive typing and chrisKiss has poor defenses. Anyway, the cause of death: Lance had a level 50 Tentacruel with Nasty Plot and Chatter.

 

On a saltier note, I lost three other Pokémon to…grinding. Freaking grinding. That is extremely provocative because the point of grinding is to prevent your Pokémon from dying, not line them up in death row! The three Pokémon I lost were:

 talRIPUrn – Darkrai
Level: 24
Nature: Hasty
Met at: Whirl Islands (Lv.23)
Characteristic: Impetuous and silly.
Type: Ground
Stats: 79 HP, 68 Atk, 26 Def, 89 Sp.Atk, 49 Sp.Def, 53 Speed
Ability: Static
Moves: Mud Shot / Crabhammer / Aerial Ace / Pursuit

Cause of death: Hiker Parry (on Route 45) had a Pidgeot with Selfdestruct. Like, geez, of all things.

 RuleFive – Gyarados (F) shiny
Level: 31
Nature: Lonely
Met at: Lake of Rage (Lv.30)
Characteristic: Alert to sounds.
Type: Steel/Bug
Stats: 113 HP, 84 Atk, 58 Def, 62 Sp.Atk, 58 Sp.Def, 64 Speed
Ability: Cloud Nine
Moves: DragonBreath / Fly / Strength / Double-Edge

Cause of death: Ace Trainer Jamie (on Route 26) had a Murkrow with Magma Storm. Freaking Magma Storm.

And, worst of all:

 cirFairy – Uxie
Level: 43
Nature: Careful
Met at: Route 40 (Lv.17)
Characteristic: Good endurance.
Type: Normal
Stats: 197 HP, 92 Atk, 51 Def, 63 Sp.Atk, 94 Sp.Def, 127 Speed
Ability: Poison Point
Moves: Cut / Façade / Waterfall / Assist

Cause of death: Get this: a wild level 23 Dialga. It used Metronome to call Hail and Nasty Plot, but that’s not the worst part. It used Magma Storm…and got a crit. cirFairy was reduced to an HP value where Hail and Magma Storm would finish it off. Honestly, this left me with a level of saltiness that I had not experienced in ages. I mean, cirFairy was my bulkiest Pokémon! Now I’m stuck with chrisWOW and chrisKiss, arguably the most frail of the Pokémon League competitors, and my trainees.

 

Yep, Magma Storm is officially the bane of my existence. First FailFish (died to an Espeon), then RuleFive, and now cirFairy. I would say that this provocative turn of events has caused me to put this playthrough on indefinite hiatus, this time on a saltier note than before. I suppose I’ll also list my current party and any new boxed Pokémon I may have obtained.

Current Party:

 DansGame – Exeggutor (F)
Level: 23
Nature: Hasty
Met at: Olivine City (Lv.10)
Characteristic: Somewhat vain.
Type: Fire
Stats: 100 HP, 63 Atk, 63 Def, 18 Sp.Atk, 50 Sp.Def, 20 Speed
Ability: Immunity
Moves: Rock Slide / Strength / Ice Shard / Skill Swap

 dssAmeh – Monferno (F)
Level: 23
Nature: Modest
Met at: Burned Tower (Lv.14)
Characteristic: Proud of its power.
Type: Steel
Stats: 62 HP, 15 Atk, 53 Def, 72 Sp.Atk, 37 Sp.Def, 31 Speed
Ability: Mold Breaker
Moves: Surf / Focus Blast / Earthquake / Draco Meteor

 OpieOP – Ludicolo (F)
Level: 24
Nature: Lonely
Met at: Route 48 (Lv.24)
Characteristic: Often dozes off.
Type: Fighting
Stats: 68 HP, 60 Atk, 28 Def, 19 Sp.Atk, 80 Sp.Def, 58 Speed
Ability: Cloud Nine
Moves: Waterfall / Fly / Razor Leaf / Tickle

 Shazam – Manectric (M)
Level: 35
Nature: Docile
Met at: Vermilion City (Lv.35)
Characteristic: Strong willed.
Type: Psychic/Dark
Stats: 111 HP, 106 Atk, 61 Def, 75 Sp.Atk, 60 Sp.Def, 28 Speed
Ability: Super Luck
Moves: Sludge Bomb / Ember / Fly / Cut

 chrisKiss – Cresselia (F)
Level: 43
Nature: Modest
Met at: Route 39 (Lv.16)
Characteristic: Loves to eat.
Type: Poison
Stats: 144 HP, 35 Atk, 59 Def, 213 Sp.Atk, 49 Sp.Def, 157 Speed
Ability: Frisk
Moves: Surf / Trump Card / Rock Smash / Whirlpool

 chrisWOW – Ariados (M)
Level: 44
Nature: Quirky
Met at: Dark Cave (Lv.2)
Characteristic: Likes to fight.
Type: Ice
Stats: 157 HP, 49 Atk, 80 Def, 93 Sp.Atk, 42 Sp.Def, 57 Speed
Ability: Pure Power
Moves: Wake-up Slap / Shadow Claw / Earthquake / Heat Wave

Newly Boxed:

 muhBoopies – Pachirisu (F)
Level: 30
Nature: Rash
Met at: Route 26 (Lv.30)
Characteristic: Very finicky.
Type: Fighting
Stats: 62 HP, 56 Atk, 74 Def, 59 Sp.Atk, 39 Sp.Def, 37 Speed
Ability: Poison Heal
Moves: Hypnosis / Focus Punch / Sucker Punch / Icicle Spear

 FRZ – Sealeo (M)
Level: 33
Nature: Adamant
Met at: Victory Road (Lv.33)
Characteristic: Likes to run.
Type: Electric/Ice
Stats: 93 HP, 35 Atk, 48 Def, 66 Sp.Atk, 43 Sp.Def, 72 Speed
Ability: Oblivious
Moves: Air Cutter / Switcheroo / FeatherDance / Screech

 

Pokémon Black 2: A new adventure!

I know it’s odd to start a new Nuzlocke while already in the middle of one, but bear with me here. Salty over the loss of cirFairy in my HeartGold Nuzlocke, I decided to start another Nuzlocke, this time for Black 2. I thought, you know, it would be a safer ride with the presence of reusable TMs. Unfortunately, I suppose I was wrong because, as of the second gym (where I am now), there are only 5 areas in which to obtain new Pokémon. Now, get this: two of them died (contrary to my expectation, my starter was the first to die), and one of them I killed in the wild. That said, I realize the “safeness” of a randomizer Nuzlocke depends entirely on luck, and I must have been really lucky in my HeartGold Nuzlocke. Finally, I confess that I had to redo the randomizer once because the first starter I got had Defeatist, and that is one thing I will not tolerate: a starter with Defeatist. Please understand.

Anyway, before I ramble any further, here are the rules I used for the Black 2 Nuzlocke (the listed sub-items are selected; everything else is left unselected): http://pastebin.com/vTbNu79P

Now, here are the Pokémon I caught (named after anime characters):

Current Party

Izayoi – Ekans (M) [Anime: Problem Children]
Level: 18
Nature: Gentle
Met at: Route 20 (Lv.4)
Characteristic: Quick to flee.
Type: Electric
Stats: 49 HP, 14 Atk, 53 Def, 21 Sp.Atk, 22 Sp.Def, 17 Speed
Ability: Speed Boost
Moves: Thunderpunch / Icicle Spear / Relic Song / Leech Seed

Rabi – Houndour (M) [Anime: Unbreakable Machine Doll]
Level: 18
Nature: Quiet
Met at: Virbank Complex (Lv.11)
Characteristic: Highly curious.
Type: Dark
Stats: 55 HP, 27 Atk, 31 Def, 30 Sp.Atk, 27 Sp.Def, 11 Speed
Ability: Sand Force
Moves: Brick Break / Mist Ball / Cut / Recycle

Dead

Jiggler – Whismur (M) [Anime: Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo]
Level: 11
Nature: Naïve
Met at: Aspertia City (Lv.5)
Characteristic: Capable of taking hits.
Type: Steel
Stats: 35 HP, 19 Atk, 14 Def, 11 Sp.Atk, 9 Sp.Def, 19 Speed
Ability: Bad Dreams
Moves: Signal Beam / Return / Twister / Wild Charge

Cause of death: Youngster Kenny (in Floccesy Ranch) had a Carnivine with Work Up and Searing Shot. It broke through confusion twice and lived on ridiculously low HP, delivering a swift OHKO to Jiggler.

Saki – Mareep (F) [Anime: Acchi Kocchi]
Level: 12
Nature: Modest
Met at: Route 19 (Lv.3)
Characteristic: Proud of its power.
Type: Rock
Stats: 34 HP, 20 Atk, 25 Def, 15 Sp.Atk, 17 Sp.Def, 10 Speed
Ability: Unaware
Moves: Icicle Spear / ExtremeSpeed / Kinesis / Protect

Cause of death: Hiker Jerome (Route 20) had a Hariyama with Hydro Pump. Needless to say, it was an OHKO, not to mention Hariyama outsped.

 

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!) Yet…perhaps, for my Nuzlockes, there will be no “next time.”

Poké Monday 5/18/15: Vigoroth

RNG (Vigoroth) 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Normal
Base Stats: 80 HP, 80 Atk, 80 Def, 55 Sp.Atk, 55 Sp.Def, 90 Speed
Ability: Vital Spirit

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Blizzard, Body Slam, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Double-Edge, Earthquake, Encore, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Frustration, Gunk Shot, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hone Claws, Ice Beam, Ice Punch, Low Kick, Night Slash, Play Rough, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Pursuit, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Shadow Ball, Shadow Claw, Slack Off, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Taunt, Thunder, Thunder Punch, Thunderbolt, Toxic

Overview

First off, I realize Slaking is NU, making Vigoroth qualify by definition as a Pokémon affected by my update rule (see http://wp.me/p4GI1b-3l for more details). However, I consider Vigoroth an exception to the rule because, unlike Slaking, it lacks the hindering ability Truant, giving more diversity in its options so it’s not just a brutish offensive threat. As a matter of fact, it’s better off hardly being offensive at all. I mean, base 90 Speed isn’t too bad, but it’s gonna have a hard time punching through anything with its below average base 80 Attack. That being said, it’s better off with a more defensive role, what with Eviolite giving a substantial boost to its respectable 80/80/55 bulk (which, might I add, is similar to Gurdurr’s 85/85/50). To complement its defensive prowess, it has the luxury of a reliable recovery move in Slack Off. Thanks to these traits and its can’t-go-wrong Normal typing, Vigoroth has potential as a Bulk Up user, although it pretty much requires setup to function as an offensive presence.

Set

Vigoroth @ Eviolite
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
– Bulk Up
– Return
– Slack Off
– Taunt

As mentioned, Vigoroth has respectable bulk thanks to Eviolite, which can be boosted further through Bulk Up. Return is its main offensive move; it’s reliable, has a decent base power, and offers acceptable neutral coverage. Slack Off offers reliable recovery of which only few setup attackers have the luxury. Taunt is useful for preventing non-offensive but threatening moves such as Stealth Rock and Toxic, while also preventing setup wars if Vigoroth happens to be face-to-face with another Bulk Up user.

Investment is difficult; it’s hard to decide where to pool the EVs, be it fully offensive, speedy and bulky, bulky with speed creeps, or just purely bulky. I mean, Vigoroth is fast despite being defensive, so even without speed creeping, it outspeeds a good majority of defensive Pokémon out there. That said, here are a few “speed creep” investments I can think of:

  • 32 EVs: base 52 (Huntail/Gorebyss)
  • 60 EVs: Defog Lumineon
  • 64 EVs: 16 Spe Timid Misdreavus
  • 68 EVs: base 56 (Torterra)
  • 84 EVs: base 58 (Aurorus/Rampardos), uninvested Miltank
  • 100 EVs: 136 Spe Modest Misdreavus, max Spe Modest Poliwrath
  • 124 EVs: bulky Cryogonal, standard Klinklang
  • 140 EVs: Adamant Kingler
  • 144 EVs: base 65 (Kricketune)
  • 164 EVs: base 67 (Fraxure)
  • 172 EVs: base 68 (Barbaracle)
  • 180 EVs: Stealth Rock Mesprit (NU)
  • 188 EVs: base 70 (Ludicolo)
  • 216 EVs Jolly: base 85 (Articuno)
  • max Speed (Jolly): base 89 (Vivillon)

Other Options

Yawn (although not listed under “Usable moves”) can be used to either put things to sleep or force switches. Toxic can be used against things that can take its Returns for days (e.g., Rock-types). Encore can be used to lock an opponent into a setup move, although Taunt is generally more preferable for preventing the setup in the first place. Its other offensive moves are not worth considering because, like I said, its base 80 Attack isn’t going to accomplish much.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/h1xtWFHm – Bad. It lost its first battle, not to mention Vigoroth doesn’t even have the right investment. (It’s fully invested in offense.)

Top Three Thursday 5/14/15: Favorite speedruns to watch

Since I spend a good portion of my time watching speedruns, I figured for today’s Top Three Thursday that I would make a list of a few in particular that I like.

 

3. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Of all of the games in the Kirby franchise, Kirby 64 has always interested me the most due to its mechanic of combining types, not to mention it has some awesome music, particularly in Ripple Star level 3. Although I don’t remember the gameplay too well, I have a good understanding of it by watching speedruns of it. I find 100% to be the most interesting category; while it takes slightly longer than any%, at least it has more in store than just fire spam. (Fire and double fire are the fastest types in the game.) There are these collectibles called Shards, all of which are required for 100%, some of which require particular type combinations to get (which are generally indicated by color), which is why the 100% run is more diverse in what types are used. In closing, the game and the routing (of 100%) are what make speedruns of it fun to watch.

World record (WR) run at the time of publishing – 1:10:32 by Swordsmankirby (http://www.twitch.tv/swordsmankirby/v/4916543)

 

2. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy

Even though I’ve only ever seen one run of the game (http://www.twitch.tv/romiplaysgames/c/4654794; WR at the time of publishing) via the SGDQ 2015 submissions page (shame that the game got rejected), it’s still an interesting speed game to me. First, I never figured that you could destroy the crystal to discover an alternate ending (the full extent of which can be viewed on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXlynyxRYFU). Second, the strategy of using Reflect and casting Black Magic on teammates to increase damage output is really creative. Third, to be honest, in all of my hours of playing the game, I never considered manipulating the encounter rate like Romi did. (Rather than random encounters, he used planned encounters (e.g., in Florem Gardens) and Barbarossa to gain experience.) I also like how the route takes into consideration a number of jobs and abilities that increase damage output and/or make things faster/safer (e.g., defeating Mephilia to obtain Girtablulu, which solves the problem that the Land Turtle (one of the mandatory bosses) can cast Reflect on itself; defeating Qada for Compounding, allowing the ability to use Font of Life (Hi-Potion+X-Potion) to grant Reraise to allies; and leveling up as an Arcanist for Black Magic Amp).

Even though Bravely Default is a turn-based RPG, speedruns of it are definitely not boring (especially due to how unforgiving RNG can be, e.g., the Behemoth’s crits in Romi’s run), and my first time watching the run has taught me things that I had either forgotten or overlooked in my 100 hours of playing the game. (Then again, the alternate ending video did as well, mainly how useful Mimic can be.)

 

1. Donkey Kong 64

Like Kirby 64, I don’t remember Donkey Kong 64 too well (in fact, even worse). Still, it seems to be the most enjoyable speed game I can think of. It’s one of several games that is so broken that nobody runs it “glitchless.” I mean, the closest to “glitchless” you can get in DK64 runs is No Levels Early, which merely restricts accessing level lobbies before intended and skipping B. Lockers without the required golden banana count. (I suppose you could consider it like 70 star in Super Mario 64.) Really, the game is so broken that you can swim through vertical walls (sometimes abbreviated STVW), clip through ledges at a certain pixel (buffered through first-person mode, which allows you to skip Troff and Scoff doors), perform a special kick as Donkey Kong with drastically increased height (called a moon kick), and skew your character model in order to clip through walls (demonstrated on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQKDAJVfS_k at around 14:10). On the original Nintendo 64 version, you can use oranges to lag the game and make your character fast enough to clip through certain walls. (N.B.: This does not work in the Wii U Virtual Console version because lag was removed.) It’s really fun to watch, even if it drives runners mad sometimes, especially because of Lanky Kong. Really, I’m glad that No Levels Early got accepted into SGDQ 2015, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

WR runs at the time of publishing:

 

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Spontaneous Saturday 5/9/15 (slightly late): Thought Dump 4

Well, now that I actually have a moment of respite, I suppose I can actually make a proper thought dump. (N.B.: The use of “proper” in this context is to be taken with a grain of salt.)

Shoot, sorry this is being published way late. I’ve been too caught up in Pokémon Rumble World (more information below) to be able to properly write out my thoughts and make it any earlier than the last minute. (In fact, I couldn’t even publish before 5/10 at midnight…)

Previous thought dumps: 1 2 3

 

Game talk

I have been playing Pokémon Rumble World…a lot. April 30 is when I first downloaded the game, and I’ve been playing the crap out of it since then. While it’s not exactly my first Pokémon Rumble game, the only other game is the Pokémon Rumble demo, which I only remember faintly. Note that I play Rumble World in French, so I have no real idea about the English counterparts of the terminology used (noted in brackets).

I’m not a huge fan of that so many things cost diamonds, which are difficult to obtain without paying. A few examples:

  • For the air balloons [Fr: Montgolfières] to recharge, you have to wait a certain period of time, but if you pay 1 diamond, you can go there immediately.
  • The roulette is so RNG-dependent, it’s stupid. Well, at the cost of 2 diamonds, you can manipulate the roulette by pressing X.
  • Died mid-battle? You can revive for 2 diamonds.
  • Want access to the most powerful/useful moves in the game? Guess what? They cost diamonds. I mean, I can get by without access to these moves, but it’s still worth noting.
  • All Mega Stones, except for the first one you get, cost diamonds (5 each).
  • Most items [Fr: Objets] in the store [Fr: Boutique], such as space upgrades [Fr: Maisons Pokémon] and certain trees [Fr: Arbre Étourdissement, Arbre Monnaie, Arbre Dénomination] cost diamonds.
  • Air balloons cost diamonds. (This is what motivates me to save diamonds.)
  • I don’t know if this pertains, but diamonds cannot be bought with Poké (coins).

But hey, it must be so in order for the game to make money, I suppose.

Currently, I have fully completed 14 missions [Fr: Batailles spéciales], 11 on hard mode [Fr: mode difficile], and am on the 15th [Fr: Tournoi royal : 1/4 de finale], which I haven’t unlocked yet. As for air balloons, I have the first three [Fr: Bourgeon, Océan, Brasier], Ruby, Sapphire, Gold, Silver, and Pearl [Fr: Rubis, Saphir, Or, Argent, Perle], among which I have only captured all species of the first three (although I am at least half way in all the rest, at least 9/10 for every balloon except Pearl). My highest powered Pokémon, at 1175, is a Latios with Dragon Claw [Fr: Dracogriffe] and Dragon Dance [Fr: Danse Dragon], second being a 1112 Darmanitan-Zen [Fr: Darumacho mode Transe] with Zen Headbutt [Fr: Psykoud’boul] and Flame Charge [Fr: Nitrocharge].

Yeah, going full F2P (free-to-play) may be one heck of an RNG fest, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Sometimes it’s really fun, but sometimes it can be really frustrating.

For example, mission 4 [Fr: Un nouveau restaurant] was extremely annoying to beat on hard mode because of that stupid Slurpuff and its extremely annoying Swirlix cronies. Honestly, the Slurpuff can recover, Fairy only has two weaknesses (Poison and Steel), and the Swirlix are especially annoying; they use a heart move that reduces Attack and stuns for a painstakingly long period of time, so approaching Slurpuff recklessly will more than likely result in time running out. For that particular bout, I somehow managed to obtain an Excadrill that could spam Metal Claw and win.

Also, getting bad luck on the roulette is not all bad, as you have the potential to obtain more powerful Pokémon and can spam Knock Off, preferably with the title [Fr: Dénomination] that gets you more Poké [Fr: Somptueux] (although I don’t exactly know if they stack), in order to obtain as much Poké as possible.

Above all else, though, I hate accuracy drops and Confusion. That reminds me also, the game stays at least somewhat faithful to the original series, what with those two statuses being the absolute worst, a Pokémon’s base stats playing a role in its combat capabilities (Attack/SpA, Defense/SpD, Speed, and HP), and the moves in terms of their power and charge-up time (the latter of which is the game’s way of simulating accuracy). However, there are numerous differences: volatile statuses and stat changes wearing off, the replacement of abilities with titles [Fr: Dénominations], the lack of difference between physical and special attacks, lack of immunities, a distinct lack of the words “Not very effective”, the new stun condition, and the radically different gameplay. Instead of having to fight Trainers, you fight a bunch of rogue toys and collect them through the balloons [Fr: Montgolfières], only two moves per Pokémon (which means if you decide to run a setup move, like I usually do, you only have one offensive option), boss Pokémon, Mega Evolution (which can be done on multiple Pokémon per battle, as I noticed Sucker4Jessica tweet) causing massive damage to surrounding Pokémon, forts that generate enemies (only in mission areas), and a combo system of which I honestly cannot comprehend the purpose. It is also worth noting the mechanic that the first move used after a boosting move takes longer to execute.

Overall rating: 9/10. Annoying to wait for in F2P, but is it really worth paying for? Either way, the gameplay is stimulating, at least.

 

I’ve been playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 as well. Watching people stream it on Twitch, notably 360chrism, has inspired me to play the game again so that I can beat The Perfect Run for once in my life. Unfortunately, because my save data got wiped when the old Wii got bricked (and I mindlessly deleted any data I might have saved on a certain SD card), I had to start completely from scratch. As of now, I have obtained the first 120 stars, all of the green stars in World 1, and also the Supermassive Galaxy green stars (because I use the galaxy to obtain infinite lives). My plan for now (subject to change depending on circumstances) is to do one world of green stars per day.

 

Anime talk

Kiniro Mosaic – I am now fully caught up with this series, and I have to say, it is some good stuff. It’s slice of life with English elements mixed in (English in this case being from the country of England). Of course, there were some comedic moments and some touching moments, and I especially enjoy some of the relationships between characters. In particular:

  • Aya and Yoko – Their hair colors are somewhat symbolic; Aya (blue-haired) is the more calm one, while Yoko (red-haired) is more hot-headed. Their relationship is somewhat difficult; Aya, being a tsundere, finds it hard to express her true feelings, while Yoko is too dense to read between the lines, so to speak. It reminds me of the relationship between Mio and Ritsu from K-On.
  • Karen and Kuzehashi-sensei – Kuzehashi-sensei, a character not introduced until season 2, is a foil to Karasuma-sensei from season 1; Karasuma is a likable teacher who struggles to be punitive, while Kuzehashi is a punitive teacher who struggles to be likable. The thing about when Karen is added to the mix is that Karen always likes to bug Kuzehashi despite that the former is on bad terms due to her poor conduct as a student. And, while Kuzehashi is always ready to give Karen a scolding, the act of Karen bothering Kuzehashi sometimes causes the latter to feel grateful.
  • Shinobu and Alice – Basically the main relationship of the series. To think that Alice would travel overseas just to meet her friend and transfer into her friend’s school; that is inspiring. In turn, Shinobu’s obsession with blonde hair has caused her to take a liking to Alice (and Karen) and decide in her career path to become an interpreter. Even though there may be some tension due to Shinobu being infatuated with Karen’s hair as well as Alice’s, Shinobu and Alice are a pair that will always make up in the end, much like Run and Tooru from A-Channel. In fact, that last part pretty much summarizes their relationship. They’re always there for each other, one is a ditz (Shinobu/Run) and the other is short (Alice/Tooru), and there is a third party that causes tension (Yuuko in A-Channel, Karen in KinMoza).

Top three characters in ascending order: Yoko Inokuma, Isami Oomiya, Aya Komichi

 

Nisekoi – I honestly don’t have much to say about Nisekoi. I will note the following:

  • The whole story involving Chitoge and her mother gave me feels.
  • Only a few characters are introduced in the second season (at least up to episode 5): Chitoge’s parents, Paula McCoy, and Haru Onodera (and the last, although actually introduced in the OVA, has had little to no character development).
  • The opening theme for season 2 is pretty catchy. It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s at least better than average.
  • Season 2 taught me that Shuu is not just some comic relief character; he’s actually portrayed as a good student as well (better than Raku at the very least).
  • The fact that the second season is to run 12 episodes as opposed to the first season’s 20 episodes does not disappoint me in the slightest.

Top three characters in ascending order: Seishirou Tsugumi, Ruri Miyamoto, Kosaki Onodera

 

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka – Oh, hey, another anime with a ridiculously long title. Commonly shortened to DanMachi, this anime is about goddesses living as humans and living with humans, and Bell Cranel’s pursuit of becoming stronger in order to measure up to Aiz Wallenstein, on whom he’s had a crush since she saved him from a minotaur. I suppose it’s really a demonstration of the lengths to which people will go for the sake of love. I mean, Hestia acquired a weapon for Bell that she couldn’t afford and thus was forced to work as an assistant in Hephaestus’s shop. Bell showed compassion for his supporter, Lili, despite being deceived multiple times and being yelled at by her. Eina, Bell’s advisor, asked Aiz to come to Bell’s rescue, knowing that he would be in danger. I’m sure there are and will be plenty more examples, so…yeah.

Top three characters in ascending order:  Mia Grand, Liliruca Arde, Bell Cranel

 

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Poké Monday 5/4/15: Cloyster

RNG (Cloyster) 

Smogon official tier: UU
Type: Water/Ice
Base Stats: 50 HP, 95 Atk, 180 Def, 85 Sp.Atk, 45 Sp.Def, 70 Speed
Abilities: Shell Armor, Skill Link, Overcoat (HA)

Usable moves: Avalanche, Blizzard, Double-Edge, Explosion, Façade, Frustration, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Ice Shard, Icicle Crash, Icicle Spear, Poison Jab, Protect, Rapid Spin, Razor Shell, Rest, Return, Rock Blast, Shell Smash, Signal Beam, Spikes, Substitute, Surf, Toxic, Toxic Spikes

Overview

Get your head out of the gutter! This ain’t a woman’s private area you’re looking at!

Nay, what we have here is the best Shell Smash user of all time, as well as the best Skill Link user (except maybe Mega Heracross). Its HP and Special Defense are rubbish, but its Defense is really high and its offensive stats are not too bad (not to mention it’s the fastest Shell Smasher, although only 2 points ahead of Barbaracle, which is pretty much insignificant).

Now that I think about it, it may seem odd that Cloyster is in UU, yet Barbaracle, which has significantly more special bulk, a higher Attack stat, and only 2 less Speed, is NU. Well, Barbaracle has worse typing, worse physical bulk, precious little (if any) mixed potential, and no useful 100% accurate STAB (can’t learn Waterfall…sheesh). Meanwhile, Cloyster is rockin’ that base 125, 100% accurate, Ice-type, physical, Substitute-slaying STAB known as Skill Link Icicle Spear. At any rate, Barbaracle’s higher Attack is irrelevant because its STABs (Razor Shell and Stone Edge, which are equal in power thanks to Tough Claws) are that much weaker than Skill Link Icicle Spear. Don’t believe me? Here’s some proof.

252 Atk Tough Claws Barbaracle Razor Shell vs. 252 HP / 232 Def Florges: 144-171 (40 – 47.5%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 232 Def Florges: 170-210 (47.2 – 58.3%) — approx. 35.2% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Anyway, enough comparing Pokémon two tiers apart. Skill Link Icicle Spear is what makes Cloyster Cloyster, so if you’re not running Icicle Spear on Cloyster, you’re doing it wrong. Also, pro tip: if you plan to set up with Cloyster, do so against a physical attacker.

Set

Cloyster @ White Herb
Ability: Skill Link
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
– Shell Smash
– Icicle Spear
– Rock Blast
– Hydro Pump

Shell Smash and Icicle Spear. No offensive Cloyster would be caught fainted without the two of these moves. Shell Smash boosts its offenses and Speed to +2, making it an offensive force to be reckoned with, at the cost of reducing defenses to -1, which is prevented once thanks to White Herb. Along with Icicle Spear, Cloyster gets another multi-hit move in Rock Blast, which allows it to hit Fire-types and most Water-types for neutral or higher damage. You may have thought, “Well, if it’s going to be physical, why not give it Razor Shell?” Simple: Mega Aggron. At +2, Hydro Pump is a guaranteed 2HKO on 252/240 Mega Aggron (heck, even 252/252+), while Mega Aggron cannot OHKO with anything thanks to Cloyster’s monstrous Defense stat (and it has to run Stone Edge to 2HKO). I realize some Mega Aggron run Roar, but it’s still worth noting.

Other Options

I noticed the damage calculator suggesting Ice Shard. What for, though? Mach Punch Infernape? Avoiding Sucker Punch from Honchkrow? Getting an unexpected revenge kill before setting up? I mean, when it’s at +2, it outspeeds everything until Choice Scarf base 110 with +Speed nature, and who even runs that? I don’t know. Every “other option” is just as situational as the next; all it really needs is Shell Smash and Icicle Spear. I mean, what other purpose does Hydro Pump serve outside of nailing Mega Aggron, right? (It hits Forretress hard too, but that’s beside the point.) If you want to keep physical and not reduce your already pitiful Special Defense, you could run Razor Shell, and I’m not stopping you from doing so, but I just don’t see why. Hidden Power Grass is a niche option for 2HKOing 252 HP 252 Def 4 SpD Relaxed Quagsire, and if the Quagsire is specially defensive, it risks this:

252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Unaware Quagsire: 195-230 (49.4 – 58.3%) — approx. 68% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Plus, Quagsire can only manage to 4HKO Cloyster, so…okay, maybe it’s an irrelevant threat.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/4LtTkbji – Blue Cloyster Cult. Hehe, puns.