Bunnelby (Poké Monday 3/26/18)

Type: Normal

Base Stats:

  • 38 HP
  • 36 Attack
  • 38 Defense
  • 32 Special Attack
  • 36 Special Defense
  • 57 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Pickup Bunnelby, if not holding an item, have a 10% chance of ending up holding a random item after battle. During battle, if another currently active Pokémon deliberately uses its item without regaining it while a Pickup Bunnelby is not holding an item, then the item falls into the Bunnelby’s possession.
  • Cheek Pouch Bunnelby recover up to 1/3 max HP upon gaining the effect of a Berry.
  • Huge Power Bunnelby have their Attack doubled. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Brick Break, Earthquake, Frustration/Return, Iron Head, Quick Attack, Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Thief, U-turn, Wild Charge

Notable status moves: Agility, Bulk Up, Spikes

Notable Z-moves:

  • Breakneck Blitz (Normal) – Coverts one use of Return or Frustration into a base 160 physical Normal-type attack (or Last Resort into base 200).
  • All-Out Pummeling (Fighting) – Converts one use of Brick Break into a base 140 physical Fighting-type attack.
  • Gigavolt Havoc (Electric) – Converts one use of Wild Charge into a base 175 physical Electric-type attack.
  • Supersonic Skystrike (Flying) – Converts one use of Bounce into a base 160 physical Flying-type attack.

Overview

In Little Cup, Bunnelby is one of only two legal users of Huge Power, and arguably the superior, sporting a peak Attack stat of 28 (base 163-172 equivalent), a manageable base Speed, and definitely enough of a movepool to do what it does best: hitting hard on the physical side. That said, it does lack a few helpful tools that its evolution possesses: Swords Dance, Knock Off, Superpower, elemental punches, and Foul Play. Thankfully Bunnelby gets Earthquake, granted without STAB.

To put it another way, Bunnelby is a byproduct of GameFreak making non-useless early-game Normal-types…and it works. Maybe not as much in Little Cup, but definitely as a whole.

Sets

Set 1: Choice Scarf

Bunnelby @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Huge Power
Level: 5
EVs: 52 HP / 228 Atk / 220 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Return
– Earthquake
– U-turn
– Stone Edge

The sets mentioned here are centered around patching up Bunnelby’s average Speed so that it can keep up with otherwise faster threats and to ensure that its relative frailty is not exploited. This set demonstrates method 1: using a Choice Scarf for an immediate Speed buff. This gets it past the unboosted metagame, up to speed with other Scarf users, and tied with Jolly +2 Tirtouga, all without having to spend a single turn.

Return (or Frustration if you prefer) is Bunnelby’s primary method of damage output: a reliable base 102 STAB attacking move with not-too-shabby coverage and a whopping 32 max (20 base) PP. Earthquake is Bunnelby’s best and most reliable method (almost as reliable as Return, not making contact but being slightly weaker and with half as much PP) of dealing with the Rock- and Steel-types that resists its STAB. U-turn works for pivoting against the gargantuan walls that can take a hit or two, or simply scouting switches. Stone Edge is an option that hits most Flying-types, but its 80% accuracy and 8 max (5 base) PP make it nowhere near as reliable as Bunnelby’s other attacking options.

The set above yields a raw stat line of 21/13/10/8/10/16. Factoring in Huge Power and Choice Scarf, its Attack and Speed become 26 and 24 respectively. If it went Adamant, it would lose 1 point in raw Speed, resulting in a 2-point loss of Scarf speed.

Set 2: Agility

Bunnelby @ Life Orb
Ability: Huge Power
Level: 5
Happiness: 0
EVs: 228 Atk / 52 Def / 220 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 23 HP
– Agility
– Frustration
– Earthquake
– Stone Edge

Method 2: Use Agility. This takes one turn but, if successful, results in greater overall offensive prowess than the Scarf variant. This set demonstrates that Frustration can be used to the same effect as Return; the two moves have identical power caps. It also employs the usual Earthquake and Stone Edge for coverage. This time, however, Life Orb is the item of choice for the most offensive benefit with the least drawback.

The raw stat line here is 19/14/11/8/10/15. Factoring in Huge Power, its Attack stat becomes 28. With a single turn of Agility, its Speed becomes 30, enough to outspeed most Scarf users and opposing Speed boosters. 19 HP, which requires an IV of 4-23 and a lack of investment, is essential in letting Bunnelby take 1 damage per turn from Life Orb instead of 2. The EVs normally put into HP are instead thrown into Defense, because the leftover EVs from fully investing in offense are not enough to throw into Special Defense.

Other Options

As an alternative to boosting Speed, Bunnelby can use Bulk Up to augment its wallbreaking potential, but it has to resort to Quick Attack (or Agility if it’s daring enough) to keep up with faster threats, and it can only dedicate so many moveslots to its tools. Bunnelby can also set up Spikes, but there are dedicated Spikes users—such as Dwebble, Ferroseed, and Trubbish—that do the job better.

Wild Charge is an extra anti-Flying coverage option, which has more accuracy and PP than Stone Edge but with the drawback of recoil, less power, and not as effective coverage. Rock Slide is a noticeably weaker but more accurate alternative to Stone Edge, and the 30% flinch chance is helpful for speedy sets. Iron Head deals extra damage to Amaura and Lileep and is a more reliable option for Archen, not to mention it also has the 30% flinch chance that Rock Slide does. Brick Break hits Amaura and Lileep for as much efficacy but less power than Iron Head—in addition to hitting Ferroseed, Pawniard, and Alolan Sandshrew—and can serve as a means of removing opposing Aurora Veil. Thief is Bunnelby’s strongest option against Bronzor and Gastly, as well as a form of karma for the event that its item gets removed. Flyinium Z with Bounce is an option for nailing Fighting-type attackers that hope to force it out.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Fighting-type attackers, with their super-effective STAB, are most problematic to Bunnelby.

Croagunk and Timburr are particularly threatening with Vacuum Wave and Mach Punch respectively, while Riolu has Prankster Copycat for turns after its first.

Stufful, by virtue of Fluffy, takes regular damage from Bunnelby’s STAB and can retaliate with its own STAB.

Crabrawler and Mankey naturally outspeed Bunnelby, so they can get the jump on Agility variants or, if holding Choice Scarf, outmatch Scarf variants.

Rock- and Steel-types relatively unfazed by Earthquake are decent candidates for taking Bunnelby’s attacks. Most of the above are capable of setting up Stealth Rock (although Ferroseed prefers Spikes), Lileep has Recover, Bronzor has Trick Room, and Ferroseed punishes Bunnelby’s STAB (and Brick Break too) via Iron Barbs.

Partners

Spritzee is a usable cleric and pivot for Bunnelby, notably being able to take Fighting-type attacks and cleanse burn and paralysis with Aromatherapy.

Mudbray defends well against physical attacks, and most Fighting-types are physically oriented. Additionally, the problems listed above, with the exception of Bronzor, do not take Mudbray’s STAB very well.

 

Super-size Pumpkaboo is another candidate for taking on Fighting-types, and it has Will-O-Wisp for punishing the physical sort.

Natu also works as a Fighting-type check and has Magic Bounce to not be setup fodder against hazard setters.

Ponyta, as the premier Fire-type in LC, can deal with Bronzor and Ferroseed with relative ease. It is also (under normal circumstances) faster than the Fighting-types with problematic Speed tiers.

Advertisements

At a standstill 4 (Whimsical Weekend #22)

Somehow I feel like it’s been quite a long time since the last time I said I was at a standstill. At the very least, quite a bit has happened since then.

Again starting with Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2. Turns out I managed to complete absolutely everything (including 100 mil credits and Colosseum plans) except Stella’s Dungeon. I was thinking at first that it was rather tedious (and I don’t want to cheat my way through it), but I feel like, if I approach it as I did the Pokémon freemium 3DS games back before working full-time, it might not be so bad. Going beyond, as eager as I am to finish the trilogy with Re;Birth 3, I feel that perhaps it would be preferable to savor the fruits of the effort taken to complete Re;Birth 2. And also…

I recently started Doki Doki Literature Club, a free-to-play visual novel on Steam. It disguises itself as a cutesy, anime-inspired dating simulator, but it’s no secret that beneath this surface lies some disturbing content. Even so, at this point in time, I am prepared for anything, specifically a psychological thrill to throw off my attraction towards Japanese culture. With that in mind, I am putting off Re;Birth 3 until after completing DDLC, if nothing else.

Also since last time, I discovered all the remaining shrines of Breath of the Wild (including the new DLC ones) and increased my Korok seed count to 533 (admittedly mostly thanks to the Korok Mask from early DLC). I’ll be on and off searching for the remaining seeds, because the seeds are tedious to search for, but the game is still fun to play from time to time.

…And that’s about it to report.

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Bronzong (Poké Monday 2/26/18)

 

Type: Steel/Psychic

Base Stats:

  • 67 HP
  • 89 Attack
  • 116 Defense
  • 79 Special Attack
  • 116 Special Defense
  • 33 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Levitate Bronzong are treated as if airborne. That is, they are unaffected by Ground-type attacks, (Toxic) Spikes, Sticky Web, Rototiller, Arena Trap, and Terrains. This Ability is nullified if the Pokémon is grounded by means of a move or item affecting it (such as Iron Ball, Gravity, or Smack Down).
  • Heatproof Bronzong take half damage from Fire-type attacks and the residual effect of Burn.
  • Heavy Metal Bronzong are treated as if having double weight, which equates to 824.6 lb (374 kg). (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Earthquake, Explosion, Gyro Ball

Notable status moves: Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

Notable Z-moves: N/A

Overview

Bronzong is the only Steel-type with Levitate, as well as the only Levitate user with two additional Ability choices. (Well, not that it would ever use Heavy Metal, but that’s beside the point.) Its typing, Steel/Psychic, was really good for two generations since its debut, only having two weaknesses that are each covered by its two Ability choices. The 6th generation, however, gave it two more weaknesses: Ghost and Dark. The latter weakness is particularly annoying because of the Knock Off buff in the same generation. Another debuff from Bronzong’s generation is that Explosion no longer takes half the opponent’s Defense in its damage calculation (that was the case from gen 1-4), so it doesn’t have quite the oomph that it used to.

Speaking of generations, Bronzong was pretty bulky for its generation, but the power creeps of the generations thereafter, slowly but surely, caused its influence to decline. It is one of the few Steel-types in its tier, but that is a result of Bronzong declining in usage: an inevitable consequence of this stagnant bell in the ever-changing metagame.

For starters, Bronzong doesn’t have much of a movepool. Its only real utility options are Stealth Rock and Trick Room, and its only real offensive options are Gyro Ball and Earthquake (off of base 89 Attack, even). Trick Room aside, Bronzong faces competition with Registeel, which has better bulk, arguably better typing (despite lacking a weakness-mitigating Ability), and more reliable damage output in Seismic Toss.

An even greater issue with Bronzong (which also applies to other Steel-types in the tier) is its lack of recovery beyond Rest, which means that it is easily worn down in spite of its typing and its Ability choices.

Simply put, Bronzong is best used as a Trick Room setter, and its Ability choices alone make it considerable over Registeel as a Stealth Rock setter.

Sets

Set 1: Trick Room

Bronzong @ Macho Brace
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Trick Room
– Gyro Ball
– Earthquake
– Explosion

Bronzong is one of the best Trick Room setters in its tier due to its decent bulk, comfortably low Speed, and neat typing in conjunction with Levitate. Macho Brace (Power items work too) supplements its Speed value to make it roughly equivalent to base 15, allowing it to outslow things like Escavalier and Mega Camerupt. The reduced Speed also amplifies the power of Gyro Ball, Bronzong’s most effective STAB. Earthquake is valuable coverage for Fire-types, Electric-types, and fellow Steel-types that resist Gyro Ball. Explosion is there for scenarios where Bronzong has expended its worth and needs to grant a free switch to an ally. It can also put a dent through defensive threats (particularly Water-types) that can take Gyro Ball and Earthquake with impunity.

EVs, Nature, and IVs are for maximizing offensive output, amplifying bulk, and minimizing Speed to optimize Trick Room and Gyro Ball. Levitate is the preferred Ability here because of the hazard immunity that it provides and because Ground is a more common attacking type than Fire.

Set 2: Stealth Rock

Bronzong @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Stealth Rock
– Gyro Ball
– Toxic
– Earthquake

Bronzong can also use its bulk and typing-related strengths to serve as a Stealth Rock setter. This set is similar to the above, only it uses a more defensive investment, Leftovers for gradual recovery, and Toxic to keep its passivity in check while granting freedom of investment. Speaking of investment, it doesn’t necessarily have to be physically defensive; it can be specially defensive or mixed defensive, whatever fits the team’s needs.

Other Options

The legality of Drizzle in lower tiers is a bit ambiguous, but I believe Bronzong’s tier does not allow it. For that reason, Rain Dance is a considerable option for mitigating Bronzong’s Fire weakness and supporting certain Water-type attackers, particularly the likes of Araquanid and Golisopod who benefit from Trick Room. This should be used with Damp Rock for maximum potency.

Iron Head and Zen Headbutt are extra STAB options. The former has about average damage output compared to Gyro Ball, coupled with a flinching chance that could come in handy in Trick Room. The latter is similar, but it uses a different (and arguably worse due to Dark-types being immune to it) STAB, has 10% accuracy, and is less likely to flinch. As such, Bronzong does not have room for either of these two attacks.

Despite Special Attack being Bronzong’s lower attacking stat, Bronzong has an interesting special repertoire notably containing Calm Mind, Psychic, Flash Cannon, and Bloom Doom via Solar Beam (primarily for Quagsire). However, there are many better special attackers in the tier such as Gardevoir and Necrozma.

Problems and Partners

Problems

In general, it is key to avoid super-effective types. Mega Banette is particularly worrisome with Prankster Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, and Destiny Bond alongside hard-hitting STAB. Dhelmise is faster prior to Trick Room, doesn’t take much from Gyro Ball, and has STAB Shadow Claw off base 131 Attack. Mega Camerupt resists Shadow Ball, outspeeds Macho Brace variants before Trick Room, and hits obscenely hard with its Sheer Force boosted STAB. Pangoro also doesn’t take much from Gyro Ball and has STAB Knock Off. Rotom-Heat quad resists Gyro Ball and is immune to Earthquake thanks to its own Levitate. Salazzle hits hard with Fire STAB, but it doesn’t take Earthquake well, making it a check at best.

By virtue of Thousand Arrows, Zygarde-10% can make Levitate variants prone to Ground-type attacks and deal heavy damage to Heatproof variants.

Partners

Slow Pokémon are the best allies of Trick Room variants. Fire, Ghost, and Dark resistances have particularly good synergy with Bronzong. Mega Camerupt deals well with most of the threats mentioned above, and Rotom-Heat can’t do much back to it. As for Pangoro…well, the resistances are reason enough.

Bulky Water-types are also valuable due to their ability to take on most Fire-types with relative ease. Rotom-Heat checks them but has a hard time switching into Water STAB.

More Phoenotopia on my mind (Whimsical Weekend #21)

The root cause of this sudden flash (no pun intended) of inspiration is that the Phoenotopia dev blog announced in December 2017 the existence of a dedicated Discord server. The community grew quite a fair bit in the first few months, and there was even enough interest in speedrunning the game for a #speedrunning channel to be created. This made me consider that perhaps there is more to be done for the speedrun.com leaderboard.

For starters, there was talk about doing any% without buying the Iron Hammer. Low% would be an inaccurate name for the category because Phoenotopia’s percentage counter is independent of the Iron Hammer, but when I thought back to the Most Dangerous Arsenal miscellaneous category idea, it dawned on me. That’s when I decided to stop saving additional categories until I do runs of them (and that’s kinda unfair in the first place) and establish two new miscellaneous categories:

  • Most Dangerous Arsenal – Based on a medal of the same name, this category involves completely filling all the TOOLS and MISC slots in the pause menu. (P.S.: The armor slot must contain Ancient Armor.)
  • Least Dangerous Arsenal – Based on the previous category, this category involves beating the game with minimal equipment. This means that only the following items may occupy the TOOLS and MISC slots:
    • Wooden Bat
    • Slingshot
    • Artifact
    • Rolling Technique Scroll
    • Bombs
    • Rocket Boots
    • Javelin
    • Floatation Donut
    • Green Bracelet / Bandit Boss / Golem Head

I also established a No Major Glitches subcategory that prohibits the use of Loot Duping, Pot Head Clipping, and Door Pushing.

On top of that, remember when I said that All Heart Rubies was a bad idea? Well, I considered the coexistence of All Moonstones and Most Dangerous Arsenal. They are more similar than you’d think (you have to get 25 moonstones (for one of the Asteroid Rocks for the Morning Star) to complete MDA), and perhaps 100% and All Heart Rubies are in the same boat (you have to have 40 moonstones to obtain the Heart Ruby at Hidden Village), so…yeah, now All Heart Rubies is also established as a miscellaneous category.

In light of the newly established categories, I wanted to do a Most Dangerous Arsenal run, but several attempts yielded nothing satisfactory. Then February came along, a telltale sign that Flash Marathon III was drawing near. Thus, I decided to put MDA on hold and focus on All Moonstones. At first I figured that the category could use a bit of rerouting, which later led me to wanting to PB before the marathon. (If I ended up not getting the PB over this weekend, I would have discarded the idea and focused on practicing the no-reset and commentary-related aspects of the marathon run.) Thankfully, I ended up doing so.

I’m honestly still kinda irritated about how Forgotten Forest pressure plate puzzle went, but everything else was totally acceptable.

So, next up is practicing for the marathon (and, obviously, running in said marathon). Afterwards, I’m considering transitioning to Any% No Major Glitches (which, if there ever happens to be a fourth Flash marathon, will probably be my next marathon category of choice).

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Clauncher (Poké Monday 1/29/18)

 

Type: Water

Base Stats:

  • 50 HP
  • 53 Attack
  • 62 Defense
  • 58 Special Attack
  • 63 Special Defense
  • 44 Speed

Ability: Mega Launcher boosts Clauncher’s pulse moves by a factor of 1.5. (Specifically, this includes Water Pulse and Dragon Pulse.)

Notable physical attacks: Aqua Jet, Crabhammer, Rock Slide, U-turn

Notable special attacks: Dragon Pulse, Flash Cannon, Ice Beam, Scald, Water Pulse

Notable status moves: Swords Dance

Notable Z-moves:

  • Hydro Vortex (Water)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Crabhammer into a base 180 physical Water-type attack.
    • Special – Converts one use of Surf into a base 175 special Water-type attack.
  • Supersonic Skystrike (Flying) – Converts one use of Bounce into a base 160 physical Flying-type attack.
  • Z-Rain Dance (Water) – Grants +1 Speed with one use of Rain Dance.

Overview

Considering how specially oriented Clauncher’s Ability and evolution are, it might come across as a surprise that the mon in question has balanced stats. As such, Clauncher doesn’t have much to distinguish itself from the sea of Water-types within Little Cup. In terms of offense, it is outclassed by Carvanha, Corphish, Krabby, Shellder, and Staryu. In terms of defense, it is outclassed by Mareanie, Shellos, and Slowpoke. Utility-wise, it doesn’t offer much.

If anything, what distinguishes Clauncher from the crowd is access to a pivot move (U-turn) and a priority move (Aqua Jet). It also gets pseudo-STAB on Dragon Pulse thanks to Mega Launcher, making the move a strong coverage option against the Dragon-types and opposing Water-types that resist its STAB and Ice coverage. On a lesser note, Clauncher gets double STAB on Water Pulse, making it an actually viable move, granted no stronger than Surf and no better than Scald (let alone in this generation, with the confusion nerf).

Not much left to say here. I guess “bulky pivot” would be the best way to describe Clauncher as a whole.

Set

Clauncher @ Eviolite
Ability: Mega Launcher
Level: 5
EVs: 12 Atk / 180 Def / 52 SpA / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
– Aqua Jet
– U-turn
– Scald
– Dragon Pulse

A pivot set that makes the most of Clauncher’s STAB, coverage, and rather lackluster utility. Aqua Jet is priority for picking off weakened foes. U-turn is the pivot move in question and, considering Clauncher’s below-average Speed, grants one teammate a safe switch-in in most situations (well, given it can take a hit). Scald is reliable supplementary STAB that can also be used to spread burns. Dragon Pulse with Mega Launcher deals particularly high damage for a coverage move, especially against Dragon-types and opposing Water-types.

The Nature and EV spread provided give it a stat line of 21/10/16/13/16/11. This makes for as good a balance of bulk and offensive prowess as it can get, taking into consideration that odd numbers are better for HP and even numbers are better for defenses (because decimal values, notably residual damage and Eviolite-boosted defenses, are generally rounded down in the Pokémon games).

Other Options

Ice Beam hits Grass-types, notably Foongus and Morelull, harder than its main options. Hidden Power Fire is a considerable option for Ferroseed, because Clauncher unfortunately does not get Aura Sphere unlike its evolution. Flash Cannon (or Iron Tail on the physical side) is a less orthodox coverage option for Fairy-types such as Spritzee.

Speaking of the physical side, Crabhammer is easily its best physical STAB, and Flyinium ZBounce or Return/Frustration is its best bet in terms of coverage. It also has Swords Dance and Waterium ZRain Dance for boosting options. But you know, there are better options for that.

  • Krabby has a more reliable Speed-boosting move in Agility, slightly better STAB in Sheer Force Liquidation, and better coverage in Knock Off.
  • Corphish has Dragon Dance and also has Knock Off, and its Water STAB is boosted by Adaptability.
  • There are also a number of Shell Smash users such as Shellder and Tirtouga that perform better offensively.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Ferroseed is tough for Clauncher to break down without Hidden Power Fire. If the two are faced with one another, then Clauncher is very likely to become setup fodder. Even worse if Ferroseed carries Bullet Seed.

Chinchou also resists most of Clauncher’s coverage options and has super-effective Electric STAB.

Helioptile’s Dry Skin means that it can take anything that Clauncher can throw at it, and super-effective Electric STAB means that it can easily make short work of Clauncher’s HP. Not to mention Helioptile is evidently faster than Clauncher.

In a similar vein to Helioptile, Lileep has Water Absorb and super-effective Grass STAB. There are a few coverage options to be considered here, but Lileep is bulky enough to take at least one.

Aside from that, anything faster with super-effective STAB and/or coverage is an effective check for Clauncher. Take these four for example.

Partners

As a pivot, Clauncher’s primary purpose is to provide switch-in opportunities for teammates that benefit from such opportunities. Here are a few examples.

On the other hand, Clauncher will not likely be able to do its job alone, and Spritzee is the most likely helper by virtue of its access to Wish and Aromatherapy.

And, in terms of typing, Foongus is a good defensive backbone. That is to say, resistances to Grass and Electric are key.

Radiant Historia (Whimsical Weekend #20)

Still a weekend thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Radiant Historia is a DS game dating back to 2011 (in North America, at least), so it might seem strange that I’m reviewing it now of all times. Well, to tell the truth, I never knew about it until I received it as a present just last Christmas. That said, I managed to beat the game just last night (with 40+ hours of gameplay, level 61 Stocke and Marco, and level 60 Aht), and I ended up completing all but 40 nodes in the White Chronicle, which includes having missed:

  • 3 Marco scrolls
  • 2 Raynie scrolls
  • 2 Rosch cores
  • 2 Gafka books
  • 2 Stocke pacts
  • 2 Aht pacts
  • 1 Eruca pact

…which is a shame, because my two partners of choice ended up being Aht and Marco.

Why? In the initial stages, I only ever used Raynie and Marco, apart from scripted events and one super annoying miniboss fight (I’ll get to that later). But later on, when I got to the Cygnus part of the story, when Stocke finds Aht before any other of his allies, I came to really admire Aht’s fighting style. She places traps on the field that deal insane damage, and I’ve always liked being able to push enemies around, so…yeah.

So, that’s the reason for Aht. As for Marco: He, Rosch, and Gafka are the only characters with easy-to-acquire skills that pull enemies forward, and I figured that Marco would be the most beneficial due to his access to plenty of healing skills (not to mention Rosch and Gafka aren’t around as often).

And even if traps are out of the question (such as if the enemy takes up all 9 opposing tiles), Aht still proves to have decent damage output with Cross Star (especially if boosted by Marco), and the two partners are robust in the support skills that they possess. That is to say, not only are both very effective healers, but Marco can boost all allies’ Defense, while Aht can boost Magic Defense and, more importantly, ailment resistance. On another note, both have Weakness Scan.

So…yeah. Aht is a literal and figurative beast, and Marco is a robust supporter.

Other things I enjoyed about the game:

  • The timeline mechanic is a pleasant reminder of the Zero Escape series, but applied to an RPG instead of a visual novel / puzzle.
  • The combat places enemies on a 3*3 grid reminiscent of the MegaMan Battle Network series, and core mechanics include pushing enemies around and changing turn order. It may be turn-based, but all ally turns are executed before the next enemy turn, so combo execution can really feel good and look cool.
  • I like that the main character (Stocke) is laconic and antihero-ish but still has the basic social and combat skills to deal with most situations. Also brings into relief the side characters of the game.
  • Speaking of, I have an unhealthy obsession with Lippti.
  • The music is composed by Yoko Shimomura, who also composed for the Kingdom Hearts and Mario & Luigi series. So, naturally, it’s good music. Has emotional tunes, upbeat tunes, and everything in between. My personal favorite track is the miniboss music.

But, even the best of game experiences come with a few gripes.

  • Backtracking to a node in the timeline puts you at the beginning of the cutscene associated with that node, instead of the moment when you are first able to assume control of Stocke. Sure, you can speed through text boxes by holding the X button, but that’s just text boxes; the animations take the same amount of time every time. I find this particularly bothersome for the beginning node of Alternate History Chapter 1 (A New Mission), which has an exceptionally long cutscene for what it’s worth.
    1/16 edit: Well, it just came to my attention that you can skip cutscenes entirely using the Start button. Now I feel stupid for not trying that.
  • I can’t help wishing that Elm (Celestia’s military commander) had full art instead of just a sprite. She seems like she would look cute.
  • The miniboss battle in Alternate History Chapter 4, just past the Celestian War node, is honestly the most annoying fight I’ve had to deal with. At the time, the main three (Stocke, Raynie, Marco) were at level 40-ish, and Rosch was at around level 20. The battle starts off with a thaumachine (story term for an automaton) taking up the top and center tiles of the enemy grid, backed with four naval mine lookalike enemies called Clockwork Thunder taking up the corners. The Clockwork Thunder enemies cannot be pushed around, they’re difficult to one-shot with multi-target skills, and they only ever use a skill called Self-destruct that deals an easy 200 damage to whatever it targets (which, at the time, was at least half every character’s HP), only at the expense of disappearing from the field. What’s more is, when the Clockwork Thunder enemies are all gone, the thaumachine uses Floating Bomb to summon a row of three in the farthest available row in the back (unless it’s at low HP, in which case it can use Bull Crash, another painstakingly strong move). I ended up being able to survive with Rosch and Raynie as partners, and my general strategy was to keep the thaumachine in the back and use Rosch’s Gull Swing to take out the Clockwork Thunder enemies all at once (at the time, Gull Swing would barely fall short of KOing Clockwork Thunder in the back), all while using Raynie’s Thunder and Stocke’s Fire (well, in the few opportunities when Stocke didn’t have to heal anyone) to whittle away at the thaumachine. What a pain it was.
  • Another annoying part of the game is the second room of the final dungeon. The gimmick behind the room is that you defeat these floating block enemies and they become obstacles to push and create paths. It’s not a huge issue per se, but there are some crystal enemies along the path that respawn during the cutscene where the blocks become movable. It’s especially a pain for completionists (like me) who want to get the two chests at the beginning of the room (behind rocks that can only be exploded by hidden barrels at the end of the path). I mean, it’s really only the respawning thing that cheeses me off, but this is a prime example of that.

I think that’s all that needs to be said about Radiant Historia. There is a 3DS remake (titled Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology) slated for overseas release next month, but I’ll just settle for having played the original. As for the remaining 40 nodes and stuff, I will scoop them up using walkthroughs (such as this one) because I’d rather not go through the tedium of scouting them out on my own.

Overall rating: 9.3/10. Simple but fun.

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Regigigas (Poké Monday 1/1/18)

 Happy 2018 from Vouiv-review! 

 

Type: Normal

Base Stats:

  • 110 HP
  • 160 Attack
  • 110 Defense
  • 80 Special Attack
  • 110 Special Defense
  • 100 Speed

Ability: Slow Start gives Regigigas half Attack and Speed when it is sent out. This effect wears off if Regigigas stays in for 5 consecutive turns.

Notable physical attacks: Drain Punch, Earthquake, Fire Punch, Frustration/Return, Ice Punch, Knock Off, Power-Up Punch, Thunder Punch

Notable status moves: Rock Polish, Substitute, Thunder Wave

Notable Z-moves:

  • Breakneck Blitz (Normal) – Converts one use of Giga Impact into a base 200 physical Normal-type attack.
  • All-Out Pummeling (Fighting) – Converts one use of Focus Punch into a base 200 physical Fighting-type attack.
  • …That’s it, actually. Not a very good idea to give this thing a Z-Crystal.

Overview

Few Abilities can detriment a Pokémon enough for even Uber-level stats to be demoted to the lowest of tiers. Slow Start is one of them. I mean, 160/100 offenses may seem outrageous, but Slow Start makes them equivalent to a laughable 55/25 for five whole turns. And you would think that 110/110/110 bulk would at least somewhat compensate for that, but consider that Regigigas cannot regain its HP by any means other than Drain Punch or held items. Not to mention Regigigas lacks Protect and Rest, luxuries that are accessible to most other Pokémon and would at least somewhat improve its viability. You would also think to use special attacks—such as Nature Power (which defaults to Tri Attack), Focus Blast, Earth Power, Thunderbolt, and Icy Wind—while Slow Start is active, but with only base 80 Special Attack and no way to reliably boost it (its only methods are Z-Confuse Ray and Z-Gravity), it won’t get far. (Plus uninvested base 80 Special Attack is equivalent to fully invested base 40.) And it really doesn’t help that both Thunder Wave and confusion have been nerfed since last generation (having become 90% accurate and having a lower 33% immobilizing chance, respectively).

But hey, not all is bad for this unfortunate golem. At least it has reliable STAB in Frustration/Return, along with utility in Knock Off and Thunder Wave. Knock Off is also great coverage that hits most of the tier for neutral or greater damage, and the few resistant typings (Dark/Steel Pawniard, Fairy/Rock Carbink) are hit by Drain Punch and Earthquake. Regigigas also has boosting options for its Attack and Speed, although its best Attack-boosting option, Power-Up Punch, only gives a 1-stage increase per use and does not work on Ghost-types…not to mention it’s tough enough leaving Regigigas in for five turns straight, let alone allowing it to get enough boosts to compensate for its Ability. (Think about things like Will-O-Wisp and Whirlwind that could completely stop its potential rampage.)

Simply put, Regigigas is a prime example of how a terrible Ability can hinder an otherwise ridiculous set of stats.

Set

Regigigas @ Leftovers
Ability: Slow Start
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Def
Adamant Nature
– Return
– Knock Off
– Thunder Wave
– Drain Punch

This is the best way that Regigigas can weaken and/or hinder the opposition while hoping that it will survive more than five turns on the battlefield. It uses Return (or Frustration, depending on preference) as STAB, Knock Off for coverage and item removal utility, Thunder Wave to cripple faster threats, and Drain Punch for extra coverage and the only thing other than Leftovers that keeps it healthy. Adamant Nature with max Attack is preferred for maximum damage output at all times, and the remaining EVs are dumped into bulk for survivability. Note that HP investment is slightly less than maximum so that Regigigas takes a bit less damage from hazards such as Stealth Rock.

Other Options

Substitute is the best alternative option available (preferably over Drain Punch), as it protects from status conditions (particularly burn) that could hinder what little potential Regigigas may have on the battlefield.

As mentioned in the overview, setup options such as Power-Up Punch and Rock Polish allow Regigigas to improve its offensive prowess, but having to survive five turns is difficult enough. It can also utilize its special movepool featuring Nature Power and such, so that its damage output is entirely unhindered but its offensive prowess is worse overall.

Earthquake is a powerful option that hits Magcargo harder than any other move Regigigas can run.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Super-size Gourgeist has the physical bulk and Ghost typing to comfortably take on Regigigas. This is further enhanced by reliable recovery in Synthesis, a crippling status move in Will-O-Wisp, and high damage output in Foul Play. (Note: The damage output of opposing Foul Play is unaffected by Regigigas’ Slow Start.)

Sableye has lower stats, but it’s a bigger problem with its higher PP recovery, neutrality to Knock Off, and STAB on Foul Play.

Fighting-type attackers can use their STAB to effectively wear down Regigigas. Be especially careful of them during Slow Start turns.

Partners

Ghost-types (notably the main two that Regigigas has problems with) can deal with the mostly physical Fighting-types of the tier, although Gourgeist-Super should be wary of Knock Off and similar coverage options.

Haunter can check the aforementioned Ghost-types and even has Dazzling Gleam for Sableye.

And anything with Aromatherapy, Heal Bell, and/or Wish can be helpful for keeping Regigigas healthy and status-free.