Archive | June, 2014

My Top 10 Unevolved Pokemon (Design) Part 1 of 2

16 Jun

Humans have an obsession with lists. They have wishlists, shopping lists and criminal offenders lists. In a world of chaos and unpredictability, lists offer us a way to rationalise our environment onto a piece of neat paper.

In modern and digital times, lists still exist. They express someone’s opinion with cute little numbers. These lists may be personal or perhaps, financially influenced. Someone’s list of favourite Video Games may be sincere, but a list of “favourite PC hardware” is vulnerable to external influence.

You’ll be pleased to learn that my personal Pokemon list hasn’t been paid off. If I had hypothetical billions of followers, I wouldn’t be sure what the benefit would be.

The criteria of this list is:

  1. The Pokemon still has an evolution to go
  2. The Pokemon’s next stage evolution looks worse (in my opinion)
  3. The final evolution of the chain is not redeeming

The number at which the Pokemon appears will be based on the personal appeal I have towards the design and how much the design is “ruined” by its evolution.

So with the rules of the list explained, shall we get going?

 

#10 Spearow

ImageI do have some personal attachment to this Pokemon. During the first Gen, I noticed that Spearow and Fearow appeared to have more offensive capabilities than its pudgy pidgeon counter-part: Pidgey. Perhaps learning the move “Drill Peak” helped assert this impression. After discovering this, Spearow would become a strong contender for that “Fly user” slot in playthroughs. This cute Pokemon got dethroned by Taillow who had an equally amazing and looking evolution in Swellow.

Spearow would be a Pokemon I’d pick up to use if Fearow didn’t look so strange in comparison.

ImageWhat I don’t like about Fearow’s design is the strange chicken plume it has on its head. The red seems a bad use of contrast. I don’t think the plume adds anything. I find its beak is too long for my liking. I can see how a Spearow would evolve into Fearow, I just wish it hadn’t. Chatot has done well for being a “cute little bird” without an evolution, why couldn’t have Spearow been like that?

 

#9 Rhydon

ImageI’ll confess, I used to prefer Rhyhorn. I was not keen on the humanoid appearance of Rhydon. However, one day something happened. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl came into existence, dragging a malformed demon from the abyss (I liked Diamond and Pearl, I just didn’t like some of its evolutions). It brought Rhyperior.

ImageI can see what they were trying to do. They wanted a “Tanky” looking Pokemon that was more dinosaur in appearance. But it just looks vile. Its proportions look wrong. It looks too short and too wide. It looks plodgey. It has these horrible orange rocks around its body. Its upper arms look too thin to support its hammer-like arms. His elbows have these weird stoney spines erupting. I just wished this Pokemon never existed. On the plus side, I can run Rhydon competitively with Eviolite.

I think the biggest crime is that you have to trade to evolve Rhydon into this. Rhydon must hold a special item. To get this ugly Pokemon’s Pokedex entry you must jump through obnoxious hoops. Erghhh.

Why would you want to evolve such a happy looking rhino into a pudgey grumpy pants?

 

#8 Spheal

ImageSpheal is a cute and simplistic design. Perhaps a little bit silly with its reminiscence of a beach ball, but cute. Unfortunately this design cannot be improve on. Any option would ruin it. It can also never run with Eviolite well, so that’s sad. Poor thing has to evolve into the monstrous Walrein. Which looks both terrifying and daft. That is never a good combination. Walrein is like a clown with a knife. You’re welcome.

 

#7 Munchlax

ImageBaby Pokemon are gimmicky and pointless. They shoe-horn a first stage evolution that is difficult to acquire. It scrambles up everything. It makes it complicated to integrate them into the Pokemon TCG. They add a pointless new item that’s required to breed with (incense). However, Munchlax is the only baby Pokemon I actually like. It’s existence is still mechanically pointless, but at least its design is good. It’s a cute organic dustbin. It will omnomnom everything and look cute doing it. It looks so much better than its evolution form: Snorlax.

ImageSnorlax’s biggest problem is its serial killer eyes. Or lack of. There’s something terrifying about a monster where you cannot see its eyes. Snorlax just scares me. I want to keep Munchlax thank you.

 

#6 Buizel

ImageBuizel is a darling little sea otter, who strangely has two tails. It has a very odd ring round its neck… but I pretend it’s just a mane of yellow fur… yes… it is… ssh.

ImageAnd then you get Floatzel. Floatzel takes the most, unusual and strange aspects of Buizel and amplifies them. I just find it a shame. Buizel was perfect how it was, I don’t want a weirder Buizel. Ah well… at least it’s not a Rhyperior level of defilement.

 

 

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Choo chooooo! Chugga chugga chugga chugga. Choo! Chooooo!

10 Jun

Well Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby have been announced. Including MegaSceptile of Dragony Grassy Thunderroddiness and MegaSwampert of BulkygoodRainSwimmer.

As well as copious amounts of hype train things. Like this post!

Youtube has so many hype videos, it’s quite amusing really. They generally recite the same information. Sometimes they even have the bonus feature of opinion. Which is strange, since some of these videos are made by people with very little viewership. The issue is, people probably don’t care about their opinions because they aren’t popular enough. Like how barely anyone cares about my opinions on this blog due to its low readership.

But, if you’re a small channel or a big channel, it’s a good time to exploit the buzz to attract potential new subscribers. It’s like walking through a forest which has been developed into affordable Gingerbread Council housing. Once you’ve visited one house and gluttoned yourself and murdered a witch, why would you visit another house?

I must say some of this typingness has come from a Verlisify video that comments on this strange sub-culture of gaming Youtubers. It’s a world where if you’re not first with reporting gaming related news, you suffer for it. However, Pokemon is a gift that keeps giving. Pokemon has a large fanatical fanbase. People crave for every ounce of new information. Which means this can be exploited for monies or views. People need to make a living, but it’s a depressing thing never the less. I know money making in the real world is like this, full of immoral decisions. But really, how sustainable is this practise? Won’t the audience/customers get smart and get angry that they’ve been exploited so? Why do they have to accept this as being the way?

If you have acquired the news from your favourite Pokemon site or Youtuber, do you really need to get it from elsewhere?

I know hype is a window that can be exploited, but if you’re adding nothing new to the sea of screams and shouts, why even bother? It’s like turning up to a market and everyone is selling apples. The only way you can get away successfully is to sell a unique variety of apple, or selling something else.

In my opinion, Youtube channels are like businesses. They deal with people’s time. You need to show to a potential viewer that you are worth their time. If you upload a news video about something already covered, why is that viewer going to hang around? You have to hope your silky smooth voice or ravishing good looks seduce the viewer, otherwise they’ll be gone for good regretting they gave you that view. Regretting they let you earn a little bit more money from not-great content.

People have a finite amount of time in their lives. Give them a good reason to spend some of that listening to you or looking at you.

Paths

1 Jun

This post is going to be very general.

I am a person that seems to often reflect on my past. I think it is a strange thing to do at only twenty five years of age; I should be thinking about the future. But it’s something I do despite my self aware criticisms. I am also someone who enjoys pointing out coincidences. I do not believe they are part of some grand plan or something in the background is gently influencing reality. But it does not stop me from seeing the beauty of these isolated events that seem to cross.

I could probably write a whole blog post on my own personal perception of coincidences, so I will focus solely on this post’s topic. I will stay on path.

Have you ever wondered: “What if…?” It seems to be a common question that we bounce in our minds. We seem obsessed with wanting to know what may have happened if things happened differently. Armed with hindsight, we wonder if our current situations would be different and in what way.

I look back at my past and I see connections between events significant and insignificant that are reliant on each other. Often related to social links I had made. I do think some of my current hobbies and interests may have been influenced by the people I had interacted with in the past. I’ll give an example:

I live in a village. In this village there is a boy a year younger than me with the same name. Jump forwards a decade and a half, I am introduced to his friends through MSN. A few of his friends play World of Warcraft, I decide I want to play to. I play on the same server as them, but they stop playing. I keep playing because I am invested and enjoying it. I join a few guilds until I join a raiding guild. That guild lasts for less than a year. I take break from the game. I return to the game to play with two people from the same recently disbanded guild. We now play on a different faction and another server. We go through different guilds until we settle on one. I effectively stay in contact with one player from that new guild for a few years. In the process I get into contact with his real life friends. Through them I get influenced to start playing games like Diablo 3. I myself get them to play Heroes of Newerth (and then they move onto DotA2). And then communications just evaporate. Oddly enough, I play Heroes of Newerth because of some of the people I met from that WoW guild that disbanded.

If I had never lived in that village (where I still live now), I may have never discovered Diablo 3.

 

Or, that’s not how it works.

That statement of “If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have that” assumes too much. I have literally no evidence to support that things may be even different if a factor in the above story gets changed. When I make a decision now, it rarely ever blocks off alternatives completely. Given my interests are of the “Fantasy Role Playing” genre when it comes to video games, there is a good chance I would have discovered Diablo 3 at some point anyway. Especially nowadays where video games published from huge companies gets so much exposure.

For example, last year I applied for a place on a Post Graduate Teaching Course and I was unsuccessful. I keep wondering what may have happened if I was successful, but that is pointless. Firstly, I am still learning to drive. Therefore it would have made completing my course a challenge since the course would be me attending lectures in a University Campus sometimes and gaining experience teaching in a school some other times. I would have had to been reliant on public transport which wouldn’t have been feasible. Secondly, if I wasn’t chosen for the course, I wasn’t chosen for the course. By thinking “What if” a lot, it wouldn’t change the fact it was decided I wasn’t suitable for that course at that time.

I do look back and see moments of regret. However, if I were to relive those events again, I would probably act the same way again and again. Without hindsight, my actions wouldn’t change. I chose what i thought was the best thing to do for what ever reason I had.

So in a way, we carve a path in our lives that’s ridged. It cannot be changed. There is no “What if”s because there is no alternatives. Even an event that’s dictated by randomness if relived would probably exhibit the same result. It is pointless to thinking about what did not happen. But we still do it. We are so fascinated with what was never was.

Which then brings my thoughts on the future. Assuming there is no celestial thing guiding (or shoving) us, do we actually have free will? Looking back at what’s happened, knowing if we’re experienced those events, the path wouldn’t shift, do we actually have free will? Perhaps yes and no.

Our current mental state will decide what actions and choices we will make. So I suppose, for best hope for “freewill” is to learn from the past. It may not even be freewill, but at least it would be preset path we’ve designed.

So in a way, it is good to reflect regardless of how young you are. It’s important to not get lost in the past, but to use the past to assist us making better choices for the future.

So in a long winded way, I have basically came to the conclusion of “Choose the best decision”. At least you have that exploration of coincidence to look forwards to in the future.