I Choose You! (Pokemon Yellow)

I’ll be honest. I was going to get Blue. But at the last minute I read up on the benefits of Yellow and thought, “I guess I can stick Pikachu in a box somewhere. Yellow is far superior.”

Before you get mad at me, I’ll agree with you that yes, Pikachu is adorable. He is rather cute. But he is also not very strong, and Yellow takes away his ability to evolve into Raichu for… anime… reasons… But worry not. When I named him (for I’ve decided to nickname all 151 as I obtain them), he turned around and said, “Pikachu!” And goddamn it, that little yellow bastard is never leaving my party.

I’m currently six and a half hours into my playthrough, and I’m only just about to depart from Cerulean City. I know, that’s astonishingly slow progress, but I’ve decided to take things slowly, grind levels for my Pokemon when necessary, try to collect as many as I can on the way through the world, and perhaps destroy all the trainers while I’m at it.

hwyvpke
Hello there! (All images will be this level of quality. There is no alternative!)

Allow me to give you a rundown of my team, in order of when they were obtained:

Leading the party we have ZAGONAL, my level 15 PIKACHU. He currently knows THUNDERSHOCK, THUNDER WAVE, QUICK ATTACK and DOUBLE TEAM.

w618ify
I forgot to take a picture of this fated encounter, so uh… here’s the first obstacle I came across in the game.

 

Next up we have AERGUL, the obligatory PIDGEY, level 16. AERGUL knows GUST (which is, infuriatingly, a normal type move in gen 1), QUICK ATTACK, and SAND-ATTACK, which may be the only stat-affecting move I commonly use. That shit is overpowered.

qvsw2dm
Level 5 and looking live. Many Pidgeys were fainted in the making of this image.

Following the mighty, erm, pigeon is REGIPIN, my level 16 NIDORINO. He knows HORN ATTACK, DOUBLE KICK, TACKLE and LEER. I look forward to the day he evolves into the frankly terrifying NIDOKING.

wixgbfp
I didn’t skip AGGRO. He just didn’t stay on the team.

Somewhere along my travels I picked up RAZCRAG, my level 16 SANDSHREW. For years now I’ve claimed to love Sandshrew / Sandslash, but I’ve never actually used one. He’s an absolute bastard to level due to his sparse moveset, but he’s starting to finally be worth his while. He currently still only knows SCRATCH and SAND-ATTACK, but I’ve just recently obtained TM28-DIG, which I’ll quite happily hand over to him.

vxurv73
I was experimenting with playing the game in its native resolution when I caught Sandshrew. You can do this by holding SELECT as the game starts.

 

During my travels through Mt. Moon I encountered MELUNA, my level 16 CLEFAIRY. Quite amusingly, I found a MOON STONE right next to him and immediately went for the evolution, before stopping to check and see if I should wait for him to learn some moves first. It was with some horror that I learned Clefable won’t learn any moves by itself, and that one should most definitely wait a while. Luckily, I’d saved just beforehand. MELUNA still only knows POUND, GROWL, and the ever-useful SING, and so I shall hold off the evolution for a while longer. I’ve never actually used a Clefairy before – younger me thought it was too pink, and older me found it too annoying – but I finally stopped to consider that if Clefairy is an annoying Pokemon to fight, it must certainly be a prosperous one to train. Thus far, I have no regrets.

al6uz58
I wonder what determines the colour the Pokeball turns when the Pokemon is caught on this screen? All balls thrown here have been regular.

 

Finally, BURGEON is a level 19 IVYSAUR, who gained many of his levels through the decimation of Misty’s gym. (Sorry ginge.) I typically go for Bulbasaur as a starter, so he’ll be accompanying me throughout the rest of the game. He currently knows TACKLE, VINE WHIP, LEECH SEED and GROWL, but hey, what do you want from him? He’s got a lot to learn.

g8zw0cm
This special snowflake was encountered OUTSIDE of his Pokeball. We got a regular Pikachu over here.

I’m fairly certain that my team will remain as-is, for the most part, unless I find a good flying type to replace AERGUL, the obligatory Pidgey. I did originally have a Mankey named AGGRO, but sometime after Brock’s downfall he began to fall off in terms of usefulness, and I needed room for BURGEON, so… I boxed him. Sorry, bro.

As you can see, I’ve been having an intensely enjoyable time with the game so far, even if the going is slow. I’d actually been worrying that after all this hype, I may have been disappointed to find that the classics didn’t live up to expectation, as I’ve not really played them outside of their gen 3 remakes. These worries proved completely unfounded, however, with me enjoying most of the aspects which worried me. For instance, the lack of an XP bar was a quality-of-life addition in later games that I worried I couldn’t live without, when in actual fact I almost prefer it not being there to constantly remind me I have more grinding to do. The lack of a run feature has me slowing down to appreciate the, uh, scenery, and speaking of which the graphics have more charm to them than I’d originally anticipated; there’s something satisfying about that battle screen which reminds me of when you finish giving colour to a drawing on a previously blank piece of paper.

I plan on sinking many more hours into this game through completion of story and Pokedex, so expect a more journey-esque blog post within a few weeks, months, or years (for sometimes I take Pokemon games real slow). For now, though…

Ah, damnit. It’s official. I’ve become a genwunner.

Advertisements

Wait… This Isn’t Mario Kart (RC Revenge Pro)

Halloween is just round the corner, so without further ado, let’s fail to capitalise on this holiday in any way whatsoever and discuss a game from my childhood.

RC Revenge Pro has been something of a wonder for me. It is an arcade racing game made by Acclaim, originally without the “Pro” and as a Playstation One game. Its next generation sequel was essentially the same game, but with better graphics and a few new cars and courses. A HD remake before HD. A remake before remakes. Having spent many hours playing its predecessor, I soon abandoned it in favour of this new edition and spent countless hours driving around the thematically charged tracks.

Jungle Ranger was your main enemy all throughout the Bronze and Silver cups until you unlocked him at the end of the Silver cup.

Many years later, after having a bizarre dream in which I discovered that the series had been blessed with a sequel, I decided to scour the internet for any hints of this being the case. Instead, I found that RC Revenge was in itself a sort of spiritual successor to Re-Volt. More than that, I found precious little news of RC Revenge’s existence in the first place. A quick Youtube search yielded no playthroughs, and hardly any videos in the first place. I’d find out later that there were a few more games from my childhood that fell into this dramatically underrated category, a category born from curse of copious quantity.

I can’t quite explain my thirst for this game. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, and if it was made nowadays I’m sure it’d be a fairly successful indie title which you could sink a few hours into. But as a child, I was obsessed with fully completing the game and unlocking the last two cars; the Concept 3000, and, more importantly, the UFO. Being a child, however, I determined that I could do this by completing the Reverse Platinum Cup by finishing first in every single race. When this failed, I turned my attention to completing all the mirrored tracks, and the mirrored reverse tracks (Acclaim knew how to milk their content). Of course, they were unlocked by completing the Time Trials, a fact which should have been obvious to me had I not be so vehemently against racing through the track by myself.

Cars Attacks was one of my favourite levels of the game, providing interesting scenery and adopting a fun track layout.

I suppose this was my Mario Kart. I didn’t discover Mario Kart (or any Nintendo, really) until I got a Nintendo DS in 2005, at the ripe old age of 10. I loved Mario Kart DS, and my old original DS (none of this Lite or DSi business) is still going steady. I bring this up because it might be amusing to hear that my first impression of Mario Kart was that it was too cartoony; too bright; too dull in its weaponry. There was something boring about throwing koopa shells at people when I’d previously been sending rockets; something bland about throwing banana peels down when I’d been dropping mines. I felt that this was too obviously a pre-existing brand slapped onto a kart racer, whereas RC Revenge was its own beast. And yet, today I’m playing Mario Kart 7 and RC Revenge is but a nostalgic blog post.

I’d love for there to be a sequel, but we’re two console generations ahead and Acclaim is a distant memory. Judging by the lack of footage and the reviews, this wasn’t a game that found its way into mainstream popularity, and for that I am sad. It is worth mentioning, however, that if it were to be remade today, it would likely be condemned as another wannabe kart racer that brings nothing new to the table. If you ever get the chance, though, give it a try, and tell me what you thought of it. If you’re interested in seeing the game in action, here is some gameplay I managed to find of my favourite track in the game.

Thank you FUTUREGAMEZ.net and jeuxvideo.com for providing the images; I do not have the technology to capture my own when it comes to console games.