I mentioned last week how I’m going to revise some of my earlier novels? Well, I’m still doing that, and I have to say that I’m surprised how happy I still am with Verde’s Doohickey. I did spend a lot of time at it, but I normally hate my work right after I finish it and always think that it can be done better. It’s actually been quite the confidence booster to reread it and edit a few minor elements. Heck, I would officially publish it if I had a cover, and I think I’ll start pursuing that fairly soon. Possibly from the artist who drew this week’s header image
There has been yet a another bomb of Pokemon news this past week, and as always, I need to report on it. Firstly, the new Pokemon themselves. Gumshoos is the evolution of the mongoose inspired Yungoos, and serves as this generation’s Normal type Raticate, Furret, Linoone, and so forth. With its mongoose inspired design resulting in a very stoic and hardy looking Pokemon, with a bit of a vicious side, which I like. Mudbray is the pre-evolution of Mudsdale, the cool mud horse that weighs a literal ton, and are a dorky looking baby horse with big eyes, a mane that reminds me of a bowl cut, and donkey ears. Also, they are nearly extinct and probably lessened their numbers after one of them used their horse strength to collapse a mine… Golly do I love Pokemon lore!
I also adore alien themed Pokemon, as is the case with Minior, a Rock Flying type that resembles a meteorite and breaks open once at 50% HP to reveal an adorable star shaped gummy that comes in four delectable flavors core that comes in four alternate colors. Flormantis and their evolution, Lurantis, adopt the pure Grass type mantle, and are very elegant in their designs, looking like a lovely pink hued flower, but has little else going for it aside from being supposedly quite powerful. Still, a pretty solid designs, even they just make me want to use a Whimsicott and Lilligant for something.
Oricorio is a dancing bird Pokemon, who operates under the same multiple form pretense as Burmy and Wormadam, in that its shape changes with its current forms, all of whom are birds incorporating a different style of dance, from a cheerleader-like energetic little number to an eloquent fan dance. With Fire, Electric, Psychic, and Ghost type variants along with the unique ability to mimic any dance another Pokemon does, they are certainly an interesting Pokemon, but I don’t know if they’d be quite that viable because of stats and such.
On that note, I should talk about Pokemon forms. They aren’t anything new to the series, with Castform, Deoxys, Cherrim, Rotom, Arceus, Deerling, Burmy, you get the idea, all having multiple forms. In theory, I’m fine with them, and I don’t have any problem with Legendary Pokemon having access to alternate forms. Rather, my problem is when a regular Pokemon is given two forms that vary based on their types, stats, and designs while also being permanent forms that cannot be changed.
This qualm only applied to Wormadam in the past, and my proposal to remedy it would be to count each version of Wormadam as its own Pokemon. I am all for increasing the number of Pokemon designs and general number of Pokemon this way, by treating alternate forms as wholly new Pokemon, but GameFreak clearly does not agree with me. This is also why I don’t like Mega Evolution, as the fact that they are alternate forms just sounds lame when we could have had a proper evolution for a Pokemon.
What I’m building up to is how there are new permanent and unchangeable forms in this game for Exeggutor, Vulpix, Ninetails, Sandshrew, and Sandslash. Exeggutor is now thirty feet tall thanks to a frighteningly long neck, and is a Grass Dragon type Pokemon, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but they look so dopey that I can’t help but love everything about them. Vulpix is an Ice fox with more wispy hair and an appealing white and light blue color scheme, while Ninetails is an Ice Fairy type who looks utterly beautiful with their design that evokes the spirit centered origins of the Pokemon with its flowing hair.
This leaves Sandshrew looking adorable as always, but sporting a thick icy head to better fit its Ice Steel type, while Sandslash looks positively vicious with its massive back ice spikes and claws made for digging, rather than slashing. Which looks wonderful. I really wish these alternate forms were just new alternate evolution paths, but they aren’t. Instead, they are just the Alolan variants of these Pokemon, when they could be something greater.
Moving onto the gameplay shown in the trailer, there are two major changes to how the game operates. One is that gym leaders have been seemingly replaced by Challenges specific to each of the four islands in this region, where the player needs to do a trial of some sort, one not involving a battle. This is done before fighting against a Totem Pokemon, along with the helper Pokemon they call in. Which is followed up with a battle with the Kahuna of each island, where you will test your might and earn the right to visit the next island. It certainly sounds more interesting than taking on another eight gyms.
Then there are Z-Moves, type specific super powerful moves that warrant their own splot, and serve as attacks that can devastate an opposing Pokemon with something I’d compare to a limit break. Though, the fact that its use is relegated to a holdable Z crystal does make it substantially less cool than a permanent addition to a Pokemon’s movepool. Regardless, there are plenty of interesting things being done with this latest installment, and while I do moan about some things, it’s only because I really love Pokemon and want this series to be better than it already is.
Am I done yet… Well, not quite. This new trailer confirmed information that accredited some rumors and supposed leaks that have been circulating around for the past month or two. Such the final evolutions for the starters, all of which I really enjoy, much like most designs I’ve seen for this generation so far. Or a leak from a similar source, which said some very interesting things about alternate Alolan forms for Pokemon.
Goodness, that ate up two pages, onto the rest of the rundown, with a game I did not hear about until a few hours after last week’s rundown. Lost Soul Aside is a character action game heavily inspired by both the visuals and gameplay of Final fantasy XV. One that looks incredibly polished for a prototype, runs in Unreal Engine 4, and most surprising of all considering the AAA production values behind the game, is being apparently developed by a single person, a man from Seoul, South Korea by the name of Yang Bing.
The worst thing I could say about this trailer is that it looks a bit too much like FFXV, and uses some store bought assets. However, it would be an understatement to say this looks impressive, especially when you consider that everything shown was developed in roughly two years while the developer was attending university. It took Sony and Epic games three days to contact this man, and that’s probably only because he unveiled his awesome looking game on a Saturday
Two more Vita games are coming to PC via the unfortunately omnipresent force that is Steam. The first had been predicted eight months ago in a massive Steam Database leak, the Experience Inc developed dungeon focused RPG Ray Gigant. A game known for its incorporation of proper 2D animation for all of the playable characters and enemies, an interesting system about attacking enemies from multiple angles, giant murdering, and for being rather easy all things considered. Nevertheless, a solid title that is coming on on August 10th. Hopefully the assets will be designed for an HD screen, as upscaling 2D assets just make them look crappy, as seen in the PC ports of the first two Danganronpa games.
The other Vita game coming to Steam is Monster Monpiece, that Vita card based Strategy RPG that Idea Factory International put out and is filled with monster girls who you rubbed on the Vita’s screen as they dished out those horrifying sex moans. Yeah, there was some hubbub about this when it came out on Vita, and while the game behind this fanservice laden wall may be worthwhile, I can’t say I’m interested in checking it out, as I really do not need any more lewdness in my life.
Though, I could always use more Spike Chunsoft games, and based on a recent Twitter survey, they are interested in bringing over a couple of games to PC, or rather to Steam. The games they mentioned were 428, a mystery themed visual novel that follows five different protagonists and was only ever released in Japan. Kenka Bancho Otome, a Japanese only Otome game, obviously, about a girl infiltrating a all-boys school for delinquents to find her brother, but instead finds her husbando. Kamaitachi no Yoru, also known as Banshee’s Last Cry, a genre defining horror themed visual novel that was released saw an English release on iOS in 2014.
The final game and outlier here is a title from the Shiren the Wanderer series, a collection of roguelike games that Spike Chunsoft has been making for nearly 20 years, and gave way to the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. Though, they would most likely port the Vita game that just came out in North America less than a month ago. Now, all of these games sound appealing in their own way, but 428 and Kenka Bancho Otome are not localized, so they should be the ones voted for, as this will be one of the only opportunities to ever have these games leave Japan.
As one final bit of news, hot off the heels of the NX news bomb from last week, MCV has reported that, according to their sources, the NX will see a Zelda, Mario, and a Pokemon game via GameFreak within the first six months of release. Which is unexpected, but great. Said sources also confirmed that everything Eurogamer mentioned in their story from the past week was accurate, and claimed that the NX’s power laid somewhere between a PS3 and PS4, which I would take with a grain of salt. Remember when people said that the Wii U was weaker than a PS3 or Xbox 360, when it isn’t. Or when the 3DS was about as powerful as an Xbox 360 or PS3, and it was less powerful than a Wii. Yeah, dev kits don’t express exactly how powerful a console actually is. Besides, it doesn’t matter all that much.