Spontaneous Saturday 8/29/15: Actually spontaneous

No rules, no format, no nothing. Just…

Nowi WinsNowi WinsNowi WinsNowi WinsNowi WinsNowi WinsNowi WinsNowi WinsNowi WinsNowi Wins

…spontaneous.

 

Like I can just write quality content at the drop of a hat, right? It’s so close to Sunday that I might as well just speak my mind as accurately as possible.

 

Persona Q is actually a darn good game. I’m on the third labyrinth right now. I have to say, the second boss is very interesting. At the beginning of every other turn, it says something along the lines of, “You must vow to me…” something, and then it summons a bunch of coffins, at least one of which is colored. Sometimes, it may say, “You must vow to me all manner of things!” or something along those lines. Before that point, you’d have to memorize what exactly the coffins do, or just figure out that the colors correspond to the colors of menu actions (red = Attack, yellow = Skill, cyan = Leader Skill (in the boss’s terms, “being bossy”), green = Items, orange = Defend). Handicaps are fun…except for some of the laws in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (for instance, the one that forbids “Harming the weak”).

By the way, I have this game on rental, I chose the Persona 3 protagonist, and my supposed “destined partner” for the second labyrinth was Fuuka. It makes me think, though. The mad clergyman (or whatever that second boss is called) tried to force us into marriage, but Aigis came to the rescue. So, I wonder if Aigis is a more likely candidate… ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) I mean, she is my favorite character, and the main reason why I chose the Persona 3 protagonist. (She is a robot, but still…)

Also, I should mention that the 3DS I own is currently living on its left hinge. Maybe it’s time for a new one.

And Persona Q’s labyrinth boss music is pretty cool.

 

My penultimate semester of college has started, so the likelihood of me producing “quality content” (if that even means anything in terms of this blog) is relatively low. Just a heads-up.

 

Nowi Wins That’s all, folks!

Poké Monday 8/24/15: Cacturne

Rejected numbers: 665 (Spewpa)

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 1.27.37 AM 

Tier: NU
Type: Grass/Dark
Stats: 70 HP, 115 Atk, 60 Def, 115 Sp.Atk, 60 Sp.Def, 55 Speed
Abilities: Sand Veil, Water Absorb (hidden)

Usable moves: Body Slam, Brick Break, Bullet Seed, Dark Pulse, Destiny Bond, Disable, Double-Edge, Drain Punch, Encore, Energy Ball, Façade, Focus Blast, Foul Play, Frustration, Giga Drain, Grass Knot, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Leech Seed, Low Kick, Nasty Plot, Poison Jab, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Rest, Return, Seed Bomb, Seismic Toss, Spikes, Spiky Shield, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Superpower, Switcheroo, Swords Dance, Synthesis, Thunder Punch, Toxic

Overview

Cacturne comes from an unfortunate batch of Pokémon introduced in Gen III that are simultaneously slow and frail. (Other examples include Seviper, Camerupt, and Crawdaunt.) That is why it has been sealed in the depths of NU since Gen III (not unlike Seviper, but Crawdaunt and Camerupt saw improvement through Adaptability and a Mega Evolution, respectively). That said, its Attack and Special Attack are astounding, not to mention it has the strongest Sucker Punch in the tier, and it has two potential immunities in Psychic (naturally) and Water (through Water Absorb) that help it switch in for teammates that don’t appreciate moves of those types. Simply put, it is a wallbreaker. It’s meant to punch holes through teams and pick off weaker offensive threats with its strong Sucker Punch.

Set

Cacturne @ Life Orb
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Swords Dance
– Sucker Punch
– Seed Bomb
– Drain Punch

Life Orb to maximize damage output, Water Absorb for the extra immunity (notably to Scald and Aqua Jet). Max Speed is more useful than you’d gather from a Pokémon of such sluggish Speed; it ties with Adamant max Speed base 65s (like Flareon) and cuts past slower ones (like Aurorus), and it passes uninvested base 95 and below (although that’s not too useful). Swords Dance boosts its Attack to scary levels, Sucker Punch is required because of its sluggish Speed, Seed Bomb is secondary STAB for walls that opt against attacking, and Drain Punch is for Steels and light recovery.

Other Options

Cacturne can pull a specially offensive set with Nasty Plot, Giga Drain, Dark Pulse, and Focus Blast, but a set like that lacks priority and…well…contains Focus miss. I mean, Giga Drain provides light recovery (like Drain Punch on the above set plus STAB), but that’s the only silver lining. It can also use Spiky Shield (a neat new tool brought to you by ΩRαS) to punish U-turners and opposing priority users, or set up Spikes to support the team. Note, however, that Maractus can do the same thing, only with slightly better bulk and Speed (plus Storm Drain) at the expense of weaker offense and a lack of Dark STAB (but at least Maractus gets Knock Off).

Also note that its primary ability, Sand Veil, is now legal in Gen VI thanks to the lack of permanent weather. This means that Cacturne can be used as a check to the bulky Waters that sand teams hate, and that Sand Veil slightly bumps up what little survivability Cacturne has. However, this sort of approach requires the luck of the draw, so Water Absorb is preferred.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/nUea42uc – What a coincidence that this URL has “NU” in it (not with the same capitalization, but whatever). This team was hastily thrown together and, naturally, lost its only battle. So many weaknesses, so little recovery.

This team contains:

  • Cacturne (set above)
  • Weezing for baiting Psychic-type moves and taking care of Fighting-types
  • Rhydon for baiting Water-type moves, setting up Stealth Rock, and inflicting damage
  • Magmortar for more special offense
  • Lanturn for Heal Bell and…okay, I don’t know what else
  • Cryogonal for hazard control and Ice offense

Come to think of it, there’s honestly not much reason to have Ice Beam on Lanturn if I have Cryogonal. There are so many things wrong with this team…it’s hard to even call it a sample team.

Top Three Thursday 8/20/15: Favorite Japanese music

Once again, it’s 10 pm and I honestly have no particular topic of interest, so I’ll just have to use the first thing that comes to mind and is within my comfort zone.

This is sort of, but not really, a redux of the top three anime theme song list I did last year. Since I’ve suddenly gained an interest in Project Diva (Vocaloid) streams on Twitch, I decided to broaden the scope beyond just anime theme songs because otherwise I wouldn’t have much to explain beyond what I previously listed. (Maware! Setsugetsuka has become my favorite anime theme song, followed by Jinsei☆Kimiiro (Jinsei ending theme) and black bullet.) Also, like before, these are YouTube videos, so sorry if they are muted or taken down because of copyright or whatever.

 

3. “Let’s Say the P Names!” by Rin and Len Kagamine

I’ll admit: I am a sucker for upbeat music. As long it doesn’t have any flagrant cursing in it, it’ll at least capture my interest. I think the first time I became interested in Project Diva gameplay was when I happened to catch Twitch streamer DarkSpinesSonic playing an edit of the song above in an attempt to “get good” at the game. He does, in fact, have a Perfect on it, and I believe that is what piqued my interest in the song. Well, it was actually more when I started watching Cirno_TV play the game, but the aforementioned Perfect is at least partly responsible for when this song game to mind as I considered which of the songs I especially preferred.

 

2. “Maware! Setsugetsuka (回レ!雪月花)” by Hitomi Harada, Ai Kayano, and Yui Ogura

It was the start of 2014 when I started liking that song (when I first heard it, i.e. when I watched the first episode of Machine Doll to full completion, I was embarrassed by it, but that tends to happen with songs that I end up liking) and I must say that it is still awesome. black bullet has lost its luster (to me, anyway), and since I don’t feel that way about this song (and I haven’t found many other diamonds in the rough), it has become my new favorite anime theme song. It really is catchy, and that’s why I enjoy it so much. Plain and simple.

 

1. “Gothic and Loneliness” by Rin Kagamine

Seeing Cirno_TV play Project Diva edits is what got me interested in this song. The more I think about it, the more similar it seems to black bullet, mostly because of the similarity of the percussion, how appealing the vocals are, and how much it seems to reflect the essence of a battle in action. I will admit, though, the A#6 (or is it A#5? I’m bad with octaves…) at the end of the song is another factor that has me attracted to it.

 

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

Spontaneous Saturday 8/15/15: Phoenotopia

Click to see the game

The one-year anniversary of Phoenotopia, one of my favorite internet games, is approaching soon. What a coincidence that it’s been on my mind lately, and what better time to write an analysis on it, right?

Phoenotopia is a pixelated RPG-style 2D platformer starring the intrepid pink-haired Gale on a quest to rescue her fellow villagers from abduction (well, after the first boss).

StraightOuttaSomewhere meme

What do I have to say about it? I’ll keep it simple. The sprites are cute, the gameplay is fun, the items and enemies are interesting, and some of the music is catchy (especially Sunflower Road). It also presents some difficulty in the secrets it possesses that would be almost unthinkable without a guide.

For instance, it’s difficult to 100% without a guide (I used this one, which helped me learn how to get the Lucky Belt, which I would have never figured out otherwise), let alone collect all of the medals. I also remember it took me a while to figure out how to defeat the Kobold Mercenary General (the boss in Prince Tower), and I never knew until today that you could use bombs to destroy the magma patches that Bubbles the Sand Dragon (the boss in Bandits’ Lair) sets after being rendered vulnerable once. I’m sure with the latter boss battle that I just winged it with a set of healing items back then.

I don’t know how to feel about the whole gold exchange thing. The woman who sells the gold bars sells it for a random price within a certain deviation from 100 Rai (Rai is the currency of Phoenotopia) and will take gold bars for 100 Rai exactly. This means that if she sells gold bars for under 100 Rai, it is possible to keep buying and selling them to reach the cap of 4999. It’s…weird, I have to say.

On another note, as a speedrunning enthusiast, I thought for some reason that Phoenotopia would be a good speedgame (I mean, it even has a medal called “Speed Runner!”, which is earned by beating the game in under 64 minutes). Sadly, it doesn’t have a leaderboard on speedrun.com, so I thought of making my own route for the game, and I’m currently in the middle of it (at the time of writing, I’ve routed just past the second boss). Here’s what I have so far.

12/25 EDIT: The any% route is finished! In a segmented run, I managed to get 1 hour 2 minutes in-game time and earn the “Speed Runner!” medal for the first time (and also defeat Big Eye damageless for the first time). This was without turret skip and with save statue stops that are relatively out of the way, so I’m thinking sub 1 is possible.

I’ve also taken some time to make compendia of purchasable items and enemies / environmental hazards. The latter is not finished, however; I still have to gather data for Big Robot and Kobold Mercenary General. These are finished now.

8/22 EDIT: Upon further reflection, I decided that I would prefer to run 100% first because it is a much safer route. I’ve also been looking into a glitch that I call Loot Duping, which is when a loot container (i.e., a chest or a piggy bank) collides with two objects at once and drops twice its spoils (note that items like Honeyed Tumond and Moonstones cannot be duped), and trying to figure out in what places the glitch is applicable (the list I have so far can be found here) before considering which ones to put in and which ones to keep out.

Overall rating: 10/10. Phoenotopia truly is a wonderful game, especially for being completely free. I am excited for the sequel, which I believe is still in the works and will hopefully be worth the wait.

 

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

Poké Monday 8/10/15: Plusle

RNG (Plusle) 

Tier: NU
Type: Electric
Stats: 60 HP, 50 Atk, 40 Def, 85 Sp.Atk, 75 Sp.Def, 95 Speed
Abilities: Plus, Lightning Rod (HA)

Useful moves: Agility, Baton Pass, Body Slam, Discharge, Double-Edge, Encore, Façade, Frustration, Grass Knot, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Light Screen, Nasty Plot, Nuzzle, Protect, Rest, Return, Seismic Toss, Signal Beam, Substitute, Thunder, Thunder Punch, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Toxic, Volt Switch, Wild Charge, Wish

Overview

There are many Electric types in the NU tier: Dedenne, Electivire, Electrode, Emolga, Lanturn, Luxray, Minun, Pachirisu, Pikachu, Plusle, Raichu, Rotom (and its fan and fridge forms), Stunfisk, and Zebstrika. So, what makes Plusle so special? Well, it is one of the few (along with Minun and Emolga) to learn Baton Pass. What distinguishes Plusle in particular is access to Lightning Rod, which boosts its Special Attack when targeted with an Electric-type move (and keep in mind that this includes Thunder Wave), meaning it can potentially pass a Special Attack boost without having to set up. Note, however, the Baton Pass Clause: “Players cannot have more than one Pokémon with the move Baton Pass. Furthermore, a Pokémon cannot have Baton Pass while also a move that boosts Speed and a move that boosts another stat.” This means, for instance, that you cannot run Nasty Plot and Agility on Plusle (but why would you want to anyway), and you also cannot have a Baton Passer other than Plusle if you decide to use Plusle for that purpose (which is pretty much necessary so it doesn’t get outclassed by Raichu, who has objectively better stats and a more diverse movepool but lacks Baton Pass).

Also note that there are better Pokémon to be used for the sole purpose of passing Special Attack boosts. Volbeat is the most notable, having access to the Prankster ability and Tail Glow, both of which make it second to none in its Baton Passing role. Girafarig can pass Nasty Plot boosts like Plusle, only Girafarig has better physical bulk, slightly better Special Attack, and a natural immunity (Ghost) along with its ability-based immunity (Grass through Sap Sipper, which actually makes it capable of passing Attack boosts), although Girafarig’s Speed is 10 base points less and it has more weaknesses (notably to the common U-turn and Knock Off). Mr. Mime can also pass Nasty Plot boosts, sporting a natural Dragon immunity (although dragons are a rare sight in NU), awesome special bulk, and the best mono-attacking STAB type in Fairy, although its physical bulk is nearly nonexistent. Minun? Well, it’s slightly bulkier (60/50/85), but it has a weaker Special Attack stat of 75 and gets Volt Absorb instead of Lightning Rod, making it less capable of fighting on its own.

In a nutshell, Plusle has its niche in being an Electric-type Baton Passer with Nasty Plot and Lightning Rod that can fend for itself, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good.

Set

Plusle @ Air Balloon
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Nasty Plot
– Baton Pass

This is about the best set that Plusle can run without being outclassed. Air Balloon gives it a temporary immunity to Ground, leaving it with no weaknesses the moment it is sent out. (Note, however, that it has 60/40/75 defenses, so don’t expect it to take a hit that easily.) Lightning Rod is its absolute best ability choice, especially because its other ability, Plus, is useless in Singles. Thunderbolt is its most reliable STAB, and Hidden Power Ice is there for coverage. As mentioned before, being able to Baton Pass Nasty Plot is what prevents Plusle from being outclassed by Raichu.

Other Options

Encore can be used over Hidden Power Ice to make it easier to open an opportunity to set up, although a supportive option like that is better left to Minun. Aside from that, there are no other options.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/GNZDgh43 – This team has lost more battles than it has won, so please don’t take it too seriously.

This team contains:

  • Plusle (set above)
  • Mantine for baiting Electric-type attacks (although those are not very common where I am on the ladder)
  • Audino for team support with Heal Bell, Wish, and Knock Off
  • Crustle for hazards and Knock Off
  • Kadabra for revenge killing and receiving Nasty Plot passes (although some buffoon decided to run Assault Vest Electrode, which lived a +2 Psychic from the Kadabra, to spite me)
  • Sandslash for Rapid Spinning and heavier physical offense

Top Three Thursday 8/6/15: Fun things to do in Pokémon

Note that this only concerns the main series games, no spinoffs included.

3. Surf on Sharpedo (ΩRαS)

In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Sharpedo is insanely fast on water, and I mean faster than a Mach Bike on land. It also has high speed underwater, although not nearly as much (about the speed of an Acro Bike popping a wheelie if I had to estimate). Heck, it’s so fast, it doesn’t even have a Waterfall animation; it’s just a splash of a screen transition instead.

Therefore, when I hunt for Secret Bases (or go exploring anywhere, really), I do so with the help of two HM users: 1) a Sharpedo with Waterfall, Surf, Dive, and Strength; 2) a Hawlucha with Fly, Rock Smash, Cut, and Dig. Sharpedo is one of a kind, and of the five Pokémon with access to Hawlucha’s moveset (Charizard, Mew, Archeops, Smeargle, and of course Hawlucha), Hawlucha was the easiest for me to access. (All it took was a transfer from Pokémon Y.)

2. Voltorb Flip (HGSS)

In the Game Corner of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is a game called Voltorb Flip which, despite its location, doesn’t necessarily involve gambling (mainly in that you can’t lose coins, only gain a predetermined number of coins or none at all). I suppose it was part of the process of GameFreak abating any potential encouragement of gambling, hence the lack of any sort of Game Corner in gen 5 or 6 (which they even pointed out blatantly in ΩRαS).

It’s still fun, though. It’s based around a 5×5 layout of cards, each labeled 1-3 or with a Voltorb. Each row and column is labeled with two numbers, the first being the sum of all the numbered cards and the second being the number of Voltorb cards (which, by the way, prevent any winnings from being earned). The number of coins earned per round (given you don’t flip a Voltorb card) is equal to the mass product of the numbers on the number cards flipped. I don’t know a darn thing about level-ups, though, but it never really bothered me enough to be worth investigating. I do know that a higher level means a higher expected coin yield at the risk of increased board difficulty. I also know that Voltorb Flip has a higher level cap in Celadon’s Game Corner than in Goldenrod’s.

1. Breeding

Ah, breeding. Introduced in gen 2, made more complicated in gen 3, somewhat improved in gen 4, pretty much unchanged in gen 5, and perfected in gen 6.

It’s always been interesting to me, the concept of two Pokémon creating another. It’s so mysterious that, even to this generation, the Daycare people claim to not know how Pokémon produce Eggs. On that note, can we just talk about how Ditto can breed with anything? How does that even work? How does it happen to transform into the opposite gender of any species? Heck, how can it breed with genderless Pokémon like Magnemite and Voltorb? It’s all very mysterious indeed…

Gen 3, with the introduction of natures, IVs, and abilities, teaches us a valuable lesson that genetics should not be taken for granted. With 25 possible natures, over a billion different IV sets, and sometimes multiple abilities, chances are no two Pokémon will have the same potential. Getting the right stats is difficult since everything is completely random (except, for whatever reason, the Everstone is a helper in transferring a parent’s nature to its child, and a child will have a greater chance of having its parent’s ability). Thankfully, as a sort of compensation for all of the complication it dragged in, gen 3 also introduced the abilities Magma Armor and Flame Body, which both have the overworld effect of making an Egg easier to hatch.

The improvements of gen 4 were more in HeartGold and SoulSilver than in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. In HGSS, the Power items—Anklet, Band, Belt, Bracer, Lens, and Weight (representing Speed, Special Defense, Defense, Attack, Special Attack, and HP, in respective order)—allowed a guaranteed transfer of a parent’s IV to its child, making things less random. Somehow, unfortunately, only one IV can be transferred from one parent to the child in this manner.

And now, we arrive at the present. The legendary Destiny Knot (which was thought to be next to useless before because it only had its original effect, i.e. infatuating a Pokémon that infatuates the holder) transfers a whopping 5 IVs out of 12 from the parents to the child, making it loads easier to find the perfect Pokémon. It’s also worth mentioning that gen 6 makes it possible to transfer TM moves from father to child and transfer Egg moves from mother to child (which weren’t possible in previous generations), as well as that a Hidden Ability can be passed down if a male with its Hidden Ability breeds with a Ditto.

Simply put, perfect Pokémon are relatively easy to get in gen 6 (definitely more so than any other generation) thanks to how breeding mechanics have evolved. Thus, it has become easier to find the right Pokémon to satisfy the needs of its Trainer, whatever those may be.

 

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

Spontaneous Saturday 8/1/15: Thought Dump 6

First off, welcome to August!

Because I will be on vacation from the 5th to the 12th (at an estimate) and I have no single topic in mind for this Spontaneous Saturday (I already covered SGDQ specifically in the most recent Top Three Thursday), it’s time for another thought dump.

Note that the next Top Three Thursday and Poké Monday will be prepared ahead of time and scheduled for their respective dates in case I end up in a place where I cannot access wi-fi or would have a hard time doing so.

Video game thoughts

In Pokémon Omega Ruby, even though I finally have the Reshiram I wanted, my legendary hunt yet continues. Right now, I have Virizion, Entei, and Tornadus left of the legendaries I can access. Entei in particular has been one heck of a problem. At first, I didn’t think I’d worry too much over the specifics of Entei because it only gets Extreme Speed (a move which is on pretty much every set) through event, then I noticed a set in the Smogon Strategy Pokédex:

Even though it is a VGC set and I’m not into VGC (and probably never will be), it is the only set in the strategy dex that does not contain Extreme Speed, so I figured it’d at least be worth something. Given the spread of the set, I figured it’d be best to have perfect HP, Attack, and Speed with acceptable bulk.

The difficulty of finding such a spread lies mainly in the specificity of the spread. In catching it, I have to go through two main procedures: judging its bulk based on how much damage a Brick Break from my Gallade deals to it (I use a Gallade with Thunder Wave and False Swipe to help capture Pokémon), and going through a process similar to what I did while catching Reshiram and gauging the damage it deals before I succeed in catching it. Much like Reshiram, I unfortunately lack a Pokémon that can be used to check its Speed (which ideally would be 120 and thus would require a 119 Speed Pokémon, which I lack), so I can only estimate its bulk and check its offensive prowess.

How do I check its offensive prowess? Using a GUI, of course! It’s a similar GUI to the one I used while judging Reshiram’s offenses, but with a few tweaks to improve its design and to account for the presence of burn damage (which Entei can cause with Fire Fang or Flamethrower) and the lack of Fusion Flare.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 9.26.51 PM

As an improvement from the original design, the most noticeable difference is the new layout, which requires one less component than the previous design. Also, there are labels above the HP components, moves, damage output, and rejection status, making it much easier to tell what purpose they serve.

The buttons also serve different purposes. The “Ouch!” button updates the “Damage” label to the difference between “HP before” and “HP after”, updates the “HP before” label value to match that of the “HP after” text field, and updates the “Reject?” label to show whether the damage dealt is accurate based on the move selected and whether or not it was a critical hit. (Damage from physical attacks helps determine whether Entei is max Attack, while damage from Flamethrower helps determine whether it has an Attack-hindering nature.) The “Burn damage” button subtracts the value in the “HP before” label by 28, the damage Gallade takes from burn. The “Reset HP” button resets the “HP before” label value to Gallade’s maximum HP, 230.

All in all, the GUI is situational, but at least it’s improved.

Estimating the Entei’s bulk, on the other hand, is more of a judgement call than a calculation. Given perfect bulk with Adamant nature, Entei would take between 78.9% and 93.1% from Gallade’s Brick Break. Because percentages in terms of the HP bar are difficult to judge, I just decide to capture the Entei if it survives the Brick Break with any higher than 3-4 pixels of HP.

It’s such a pain to deal with, though, and I’d rather keep in touch with Pokémon Rumble World and Pokémon Shuffle. In Rumble World, I finally managed to beat mission 24 (with 2 extra goals) using a tag team of: a 1779 Ho-Oh with Sacred Fire and Safeguard (main attacker for a majority of the mission), a 1564 Gardevoir with Heal Pulse (to heal the Mii before/during the wave of Zorua/Zoroark and/or after the first half), and a 1656 Xerneas with Moonblast and Geomancy (to defeat Yveltal at the very end). I tried to get the third goal (to beat the mission in 3 minutes), but the fastest I could complete it was around 30 seconds off of target time, and I just gave up after that. I’ve also caught every species in every balloon up to Fairy, aside from the Dark balloon, for which I only need 10 more diamonds.

In Shuffle, I’ve been trying to get more S-ranks and take care of the EX levels while also keeping up with the daily/weekly/monthly events through wi-fi. So far, I have S-ranked every main stage up to 172 and unlocked every EX level up to 22, and I have caught every Pokémon in those EX levels except for Chesnaught. Chesnaught is really causing me problems, though; even if I buy Mega Start and Disruption Delay, I can only get a catch rate of 17% at maximum (base catch rate 1%, multiplier 4, done in 12-14 seconds) which, even with a Great Ball (which would boost the catch rate to 34%), still fails to catch. What also irks me is that the catch rate boost never seems to happen against Chesnaught in particular, which is most likely bad luck (typical Shuffle). Since I rack up 6000 coins every time I prepare for the battle, it frustrates me every time I fail to capture Chesnaught.

Also, I have been watching SGDQ 2015 selectively, and I shall make note of what moments I have particularly enjoyed so far:

  • Yoshi’s Island 100% (5-4 skip successful!)
  • the Tetris Grandmaster block (which I hadn’t watched during the last GDQ it was in but I heard some good things about so I decided to watch during this GDQ)
  • Metroid Prime Hunters all items (particularly the end, when Shasta literally finished Gorea 2 while dying)
  • Donkey Kong 64 No Levels Early (of which I actually had to watch a video highlight because it was so late that I couldn’t possibly stay up past my curfew to watch it live; it was worth watching, though, especially the parts when 2dos pretended like he had no idea what he was doing (notably during the MMM setup and DogaDoneQuick))
  • TASBot (I enjoyed its performance in AGDQ 2015, so naturally I wanted to watch the next one; nice of them to demonstrate how a TAS works; Mega Man was broken, Sonic Advance was fast, and Ikaruga was beyond me)
  • Super Mario 64 any% race (amazing performance by both racers; 360chrism got the 0 star run, while GamerDomey got perfect Bowser 3 throws)

I may watch the Pokémon Blue 151 and blindfolded race video highlight later (the entire blindfolded race and 1/4 of the 151 were past my curfew, and I missed the other 3/4 of the 151 in favor of watching the DK64 highlight) or the run of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (because I have no clue what goes on in runs of that game, and hopefully that run in particular will educate me). In the end (I mean, Chrono Trigger isn’t over yet, but I don’t care enough to watch it), I say it was a great GDQ, especially seeing how it has raised over a million dollars for charity.

Anime thoughts

Recently, I decided to watch Hibike! Euphonium because I heard good things about it from the MAL Slice of Life club (especially because someone in particular said it was like K-On but better), and it did not disappoint me in the slightest. Episodes 5 and 13 were particularly pivotal moments in the anime, and they make me feel pressure beyond any other anime I’ve watched, especially episode 5, which had me shaking even long after it was over. Heck, even thinking about those particular episodes makes me feel pressure. The other episodes have their merits as well, and they set the scene wonderfully for the two highlight episodes. I also have to say that the moments shared between Kumiko and Reina are emotionally gripping. Overall, I will have to agree that Hibike! Euphonium is better than K-On, and thus it is my second favorite anime overall. (Also, before then, I had no clue what a euphonium was. Apparently it’s a wide-ranged brass instrument used in bass sections.)

As for this season, there’s nothing particularly outstanding about it. There were some series that caught my interest at first but didn’t make me want to continue watching, some sequels to series I have already watched, and some series that continue to interest me whether or not they deserve it.

Series I dropped that briefly caught my interest:

  • Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Seneki (sounded interesting by its title and maybe its cover, but the first episode…wasn’t so interesting)
  • Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri (was said to be like Outbreak Company, but I didn’t care enough to continue past episode 1)
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan (I couldn’t explain what even got me considering this, but I decided against continuing to watch it past episode 1 due to how ridiculous it is that a girl can put on such a perfect façade in public while being such a mess in her and her elder brother’s apartment home…although the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it might teach me a lesson about how to deal with people like Umaru’s inner self, so my decision to drop this particular anime is tentative)

Sequels to series I have already watched:

  • Non Non Biyori Repeat (sequel to Non Non Biyori): Having finished the first season (and OVA) before the airing of episode 2 of season 2, I have to say that this series is…certainly something. Basically, it involves a rural setting where students of different years (1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th) are taught in one combined class, one of whom (Hotaru Ichijou, 5th grader) moved in from the city. It’s intended to be a calming anime with some comedic elements, a picturesque view of what it’s like to live in an area surrounded by nature. Not stellar, but still pretty good. The theme songs aren’t the best, though, especially the second season’s opening (of which I dislike the vocals).
  • To LOVE-Ru Darkness 2nd (sequel to a sequel of To LOVE-Ru): In a world where humanlike aliens and humanoid weapons exist, Rito Yuuki is destined to become king of the universe thanks to a fateful(?) encounter with Lala Satalin Deviluke, whose sister Momo Belia Deviluke plans to create a harem for Rito in an attempt to bring happiness to all of his female acquaintances (including herself). I believe the intention of this series with every season is to start off light and get heavier as the episodes go on. The heart of the issue in Darkness lies not chiefly in Rito’s harem but rather in the destiny of Konjiki no Yami (Golden Darkness) as a human weapon destined to kill. Other important characters include the observant Mea Kurosaki (another human weapon) and a Kili-like character in Nemesis. It’s been interesting so far (although Rito’s constant falling has become quite predictable by now), and I’m excited to see how the rest unfolds.

Series that continue to interest me:

  • Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou: I feel like this series is more interesting to me than it should be (and definitely more so than I expected). I’ve never read the manga, so I’m not familiar with all of the characters (only the ones that have appeared in episodes 1-4), but from what I can tell, the general structure seems to involve introducing one “monster” per episode. So far, as of episode 4, we have Miia the lamia, Papi the harpy, Centorea the centaur, and Suu the slime, who all somehow end up under the hospitality of the human Kimihito Kurusu and, to a lesser extent, Sumisu. (Well, not so much Suu; episode 5 will tell whether she gets to stay.) I don’t know what it is that has me interested, though. Perhaps I’m actually fascinated with how non-humans can live life with humans. Maybe that’s why I like the Pokémon anime.
  • Wakaba*Girl: Truth be told, the only reason why I watch this anime is because it’s short and sweet; the episodes are only about 7 minutes each. From what I can tell, the story is about a rich girl (Wakaba Kohashi) who tries to become more girly with the help of her three friends. Think K-On but with Mugi as the central character (minus the musical instruments). One particular shot that caught my attention:
    so this is a knife
  • Sore ga Seiyuu!: I’ve actually only watched one episode of this anime, so my interest in it is tentative, but I am interested for now. It involves the lives of voice actresses (plus a few actors), most of whom are young, told mostly from the perspective of Futaba Ichinose who, despite obviously not having the raw talent of a voice actress, pursues voice acting as her dream. I imagine the anime follows the classic structure of a newbie getting used to his/her environment and getting the viewers to learn along (in this case, with the help of Futaba’s stuffed doll). It seems like a type of anime I can get into.

So, I guess that’s all I have to say for now.

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