Well, I finally beat Pokémon Sun today. Yes, I know, I keep taking forever with these, but I kinda have a reason for that this time, and I’ll get to that at the end. For now, let’s go over my Hall Of Fame team upon beating the game the first time, starting with, of course, my starter.
Yeah, you’re probably gonna notice one or two similarities to my X team, and one is that I chose the Grass-type Starter Pokémon. Doctor Hoot was Level 56 upon first completion of the game, carrying no items, and having the moves Leaf Blade, Spirit Shackle, Sucker Punch, and Acrobatics (hence the lack of items). He has a Relaxed nature, and characteristic is that he…likes to relax. lol While he didn’t use them in the League, he frequently used the Z-Moves Bloom Doom, Breakneck Blitz, Never-Ending Nightmare, and Sinister Arrow Raid. The Arrow Quill Pokémon was instrumental to my victories over the Kahunas Hala, Olivia, Hapu, and the Totem Pokémon Wishiwashi, as well as being the first Pokémon out for the championship match.
Not necessarily a Pokémon I was expecting to use on my team going in, but one I’m glad I decided on. Lycanroc was Level 54 upon initial completion of the game, carrying the Rockium Z, and knowing the moves Stone Edge, Crunch, Brick Break, and Stealth Rock. She has a Rash nature, and her characteristic is that she has good perseverance. Thanks to her Rockium Z, she can use the Z-Move Continental Crush on the really tough foes, though she’s also used All-Out Pummeling. The Wolf Pokémon mostly played support and backup in battles, but was a huge asset in battles against Guzma and Team Skull, once defeated a Lycanroc Midnight Form in one-on-one combat where both were at the same level, and was the one to score the final victory of the Alola League Championship match.
Yup, once again, went with Raichu for my team. But, this time, with the reveal of the Alolan Raichu, more than a bit different from my X team’s Raichu. Raichu was Level 56 when I first beat the game, carried the Aloraichium Z, and knew the moves Thunderbolt, Psychic, Brick Break, and Nasty Plot. He has a Brave nature, and his characteristic is that he loves to eat. Through the power of the Aloraichium Z, he can use Stoked Sparksurfer, though he’s also used Z-Moves such as All-Out Pummeling, Gigavolt Havoc, Breakneck Blitz, and Catastropika during his time as a Pichu and then a Pikachu. The Mouse Pokémon was a major player on my team for battles against the likes of Olivia, Team Skull, Kahili, Hau, and Hala.
And, once again, I had a Water-type Starter Pokémon from a previous game who could perform a new, powerful transformation. lol Greninja was Level 57 upon the first completion of the game, carried the Waterium Z, and had access to the moves Water Shuriken, Night Slash, Aerial Ace, and Extrasensory. He is Naughty by nature, and has the characteristic of being alert to sounds. The Waterium Z allows him to use the Z-Move Hydro Vortex, and he’s also used Black Hole Eclipse on multiple occasions. Furthermore, Greninja has the Ability known as Battle Bond, allowing him to transform into Ash-Greninja. The Ninja Pokémon was a late addition to my team, but was instrumental in defeating many powerful foes, such as Nanu, Hapu, Acerola, and Olivia.
Now HERE’S someone I knew I was going to add to my team from the first time I laid eyes on it. Mimikyu was Level 55 when I first became champion, was carrying the Fairium Z, and knew the moves Play Rough, Shadow Claw, X-Scissor, and Hone Claws. His nature is Sassy, and his characteristic is that he’s capable of taking hits…no doubt due to his Disguise Ability. lol Thanks to Fairium Z, he can use the Z-Move Twinkle Tackle, but has also used Never-Ending Nightmare in the past. The Disguise Pokémon’s unique typing made it one of my more useful team-mates, and he was a big help against all four members of the Elite Four and in the championship match.
Ah, the Pokémon who can only be female and runs its own reverse harem of male Salandit… … …I’m not even kidding. Look it up in the Sun version Pokédex. lol Salazzle was Level 53 when I first beat the game, carried the Firium Z, and knew the moves Flamethrower, Sludge Wave, Dragon Pulse, and Toxic, the last of which I made full use of due to her Corrosion Ability allowing her to inflict Poison status on ANY Pokémon, except those with Immunity. Her nature is Quirky, and her characteristic is that she has good perseverance. And, because she was carrying the Firium Z, she could use the Z-Move Inferno Overdrive, though I did occasionally have her use Acid Downpour. Despite being the lowest leveled Pokémon on my team most of the time, she was a big help against many foes thanks to her ability to poison almost any enemy, and was a major tide-turner against the Totem Pokémon Lurantis and in the final battle for the championship.
…So, let’s get to what I’ve been putting off saying for a while now. As I’ve alluded to a numbers of times, I’m a very old-school player of these games. My first Pokémon game was Pokémon Red, which I didn’t even own a Gameboy to play on, so I got a Super Gameboy to play it on my Super Nintendo. I had no one to trade or battle with, meaning I had to miss out on a big part of what made the game so special. When I finally got to enjoy that part later on, upon getting the Gameboy Color so I could play Pokémon Silver, I realized what an amazing game-changer this series was, and I’ve enjoyed damned near every step of my near two decade long journey…
… … …but this is my last stop. As I’ve revealed a while back on this blog, I’m currently on welfare and am unemployed. I can’t afford a new system, and it’s clear from playing this game that the Nintendo 3DS has been pushed to its fullest potential, meaning future Pokémon games in the main series won’t be released on it. If that changes someday down the road, and I am hoping it does pretty soon, great. But for now, I’m looking at this as my last journey, at least when it comes to the new games. And I have to say, while there are things I would change, and things I hope are added with the rumoured Pokémon Stars port for the Nintendo Switch, I really enjoyed Pokémon Sun. I don’t wanna spoil too much of the story, but I will say that a really gratifying part of it is watching the characters, one in particular, grow and change over the course of the game. And, you know, we’ve all grown and changed as we played along with these games, so it was a nice thing to see. And I hope that those who haven’t played through the game yet enjoy that aspect as well. If nothing else, though, I feel at least like, if this is the end of my journey, then at least it was here, in the game that celebrated 20 years of Pokémon. And so, with that said, I wanna take this time to thank one person in particular for changing my life, as well as the lives of many others: Satoshi Tajiri, creator of the initial concepts that led to the creation of Pokémon, and the current CEO of Game Freak. I don’t know how long you’ll continue to do this, but I hope it remains a hell of a ride, and I hope that you continue to inspire people and shape the world. In the end, Pokémon is all about friendships. It’s about people coming together and becoming something more by the experience, and I hope that never, ever changes.
… … … … … …Shut up, I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying. lol Anyway, feel free to leave your own memories of this and other Pokémon games, as well as your own Hall of Fame teams for Sun and Moon in the comments. Ja né, and train on.
OMG, I just now realized I was wearing my Superman hat and Heroes Beacon (local comic shop) t-shirt while watching two superhero movie trailers. lol Anyway, if you haven’t seen them, here’re the trailers we watched today…
…and here’s our reaction to them. Enjoy!
Welp, Injustice 2 is four months away, and we’ve got a new story-based trailer up, so let’s take a look, shall we?
So, with this trailer, we have confirmation of Robin, Poison Ivy, Brainiac, Bane, and Darkseid all either being playable or playing a role in the story. If they are all playable, then they join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Atrocitus, Aquaman, Deadshot, The Flash, Gorilla Grodd, and Harley Quinn. Also, as I understand it, at least A Green Lantern (probably Hal Jordan) will be in the game, there’ll be skin/voice patches to include Reverse-Flash, John Stewart, and Power Girl, and we’ve had hints that Doctor Fate and Captain Cold will be in the game. All in all, a rather impressive roster so far.
As for the trailer, I could do without the call back to Lois and little Jon’s murders, since, as you all should know, that’s kind of a hot button issue with me. Wasn’t fond of it when it was first revealed, still don’t like it now. But, I understand that it was the event that kicked Injustice off in the first place, so it would be impossible to continue this story without it. It sucks, but what can you do?
Anyway, still plenty of spots open on the roster, and more to come via DLC, so who would you like to see announced? Lemme know in the comments below, and we’ll see what happens between now and May 16th. Ja né!
So yeah, even though Guardians of Gaia isn’t finished yet, and is actually on another hiatus, I’ve already been compiling a list of ideas for a future PR fic, assuming I ever do one. And, as always, I’m eager to get input from my friends and fans, as well as general fans of Power Rangers. So, for now, here’s a list of ideas I’ve got, with the bold ones being must-haves.
- Layla as the mentor of the team: Basically, the idea goes that Layla, my Blue Ranger in GoG, would return as the mentor for the new team. She would supply the team with their tech, and impart her own experience as a Power Ranger to the next generation.
- A thick-bodied female Ranger: Okay, I know that Saban (and Disney, back when they owned and ran the show) may feel inclined to cast fit, skinny actresses as their Power Rangers as a means of having them be at least close to the build of their Sentai counterparts. And I’m not saying this as any kind of slight against any of the women who have been Power Rangers, either, as there’s not a single one of them I have any kind of real issue with. I’m just saying, it would be nice to have a thick girl as a Power Ranger someday, and if it’s never gonna happen for real, then I feel like I should at least do it for a fanfic.
- A male Pink Ranger: Alright, maybe this only really bothers me as a member of the LGBTQ community (yeah, what a shock, and I’ve been hiding it SO well over the years, lol), but really, why is this a thing? Why is a guy in pink still considered odd? Why is it that guys seemingly only know the names of different shades of colours when they have to insist something of theirs (usually their clothes) isn’t pink when it is? Seriously, there are plenty of guys, even 100% straight, white guys, who can pull off pink just fine. So why is it that, after four decades of Super Sentai, we still do not have a guy in pink? The closest we’ve come is the all Pink Ranger Gokai Change from one of the Gokaiger movies. And yeah, isn’t it odd that, in a series that ate through as much Sentai footage as it could, we never saw that in Power Rangers Super Megaforce? And yeah, I know, I had that team go Legendary Pink Ranger Mode in a fanfic, but I still kinda wanna do a full-time male Pink Ranger.
- A team of Rangers that represent different emotions: Think of it kind of like the different Lantern Corps, just not necessarily the same colours or emotions. I mean, we’ve had enemy factions in both PR and the Sentai (and in Kamen Rider, for that matter) who are sort of representatives of different emotions, but never a team of Rangers that does the same thing.
- A group of Zords based on animals we’ve never seen used before: Be honest, we all are always wanting to see this. If nothing else, the core set of Zords used by teams in the past have found themselves repeated over and over. In particular, tyrannosauruses, sharks, triceratops, lions, wolves, pterodactyls, elephants/mastodons, and tigers of all sorts have been used repeatedly over the years. We usually only see other, more outside-the-box animals and creatures used when the Rangers have massive fleets of Zords.
- Team-up with Guardians of Gaia: Really, I honestly can’t imagine doing a second PR fic and not having a team-up with these guys. And really, there’s no reason not to, either. It’s my team and my story, and there are plenty of ways to justify a crossover, especially if I went with the first idea on this list.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got so far. What would you like to see added to this list? Let me know in the comments below, and we’ll see what happens when GoG wraps up. Ja né!
“I love this world. But there’s something missing.” By now, the current crop of DC Comics fans should be well acquainted with these words. They’re the words of a hero whose return to the DC Universe has brought back life, optimism, and legacy to it. His name is Wally West, and he is the fastest man alive… … …aaannd he’s wearing some pretty awesome new threads. ^_^
With the end of The New 52 this past June (happy birthday to me, btw, lol), a new era has begun in DC Comics. While it continues telling the story of the universe established at the end of Flashpoint, it’s nonetheless balanced things out to be more similar to how it was prior to the reboot, as well as set up the groundwork for some big stories in the future. It’s also helped to establish exactly how and why the characters and their stories are different from how they once were. This is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth officially started with DC Universe Rebirth #1. However, the seeds of what would become Rebirth were planted almost exactly one year beforehand during DC Convergence. In that story, several pre-Flashpoint worlds were reintroduced, and the events that led to the collapse of the original Multiverse were undone, causing it to become infinite in size once again (though with the currently established Multiverse at the center). In the year that followed, several stories followed up on those events. In particular, we learned that the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, his wife Lois, and their new son Jon had all someone been transported to the current Earth 0, AKA Prime Earth. Furthermore, as a result of events in Justice League and his main books, the New 52 Superman found himself dying and, before the end came, asked his pre-Flashpoint counterpart to continue protecting the Earth in his stead. This brings us to today, where Clark is Superman once again, and his son Jon is the new Superboy…and there’s another Clark Kent who has no powers who may or may not be the New 52 Superman, I’m honestly not sure what that’s all about. We’re supposed to get an explanation in March, though.
Another thing that happened in the year between Convergence and Rebirth was the return of the Titans. Basically, it was retconned that the original Titans team really DID exist (although how is anyone’s guess when one considers the backstory of the New 52 Donna Troy, and that’s ALL I’m going to say about that, lol), but that they all lost their memories of ever having been a team. After a while, they finally all came back together, minus one individual who they knew was missing but couldn’t pin a face or a name to. Luckily, as it turned out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
Anyway, those were all big parts of the Rebirth, but the official era didn’t actually kick off until DC Universe Rebirth #1. In it, we see the pre-Flashpoint Wally West has apparently been trapped in the Speed Force, is regressed in age by a few years, and is back in his Kid Flash costume. Also, it turns out that he and the New 52 Wally West are cousins. Might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I have both a brother and a half brother named Randy, so I can tell you from past experience, it ain’t impossible…though it IS confusing. But more of a big deal is the fact that nobody remembers him. He keeps trying to remove himself from the Speed Force by making contact with people he knew, but without that connection, he keeps falling back. Even Linda Park doesn’t remember him. Finally, he appears to Barry Allen, ready to disappear, but at the last possible moment, Barry remembers him and pulls him back into the world. After five years, Wally West has returned.
Wally gives some exposition, and between it and stuff we can make guess work at, we learn that someone has literally taken away 10 years of history. At this exact moment, we don’t know how, why, or which 10 years exactly were the ones taken. We don’t even know if they were 10 full years or just bits of time here and there that added up to 10 years. But here’s what we do know: The New 52 DC Universe is essentially the same universe that existed prior to Flashpoint, just with those 10 years taken away. That’s the biggest contributing factor as to why this universe is so different. Because, without certain key moments that occurred during those 10 years, relationships were either changed or outright erased, characters were de-aged, and several other contributing factors occurred to completely mess with peoples’ lives, who they were, and what they meant to the universe at large.
Now, with that said, you might ask “But Jyger, wasn’t the reason the DC Universe was changed was because of Barry’s traveling through time and Pandora’s merging elements of the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes with it?”, to which I reply “Yes, that WAS the reason given”… … …Ugh, okay, let’s TRY and unravel this, shall we? So, first off, let’s assume for the moment that this isn’t just a blatant retcon (although, let’s be honest, it probably is). If I had to make a guess at what happened, it’s that someone took advantage of Barry’s breaking the time barrier and used that opportunity, when history itself was vulnerable, to remove 10 years. Pandora, seeing what had happened, decided to strengthen the now weakened universe by fusing it with the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes. That, I THINK, is what has happened here: That, while having some cosmetic differences and whatnot, the New 52 Universe wouldn’t have been AS different as it has been without the loss of that decade worth of history. Oh, and speaking of Pandora, during the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, she was apparently fried…in a very familiar fashion, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Also, because of certain other events going on in some of the newer stories, I have my doubts that she’s really gone.
Anyway, other stuff happened in DC Universe Rebirth #1 that has started to balance things out to be more like the previous continuity. For starters, Aquaman proposed to Mera, so we can finally put it to rest as to the nature of their relationship. Green Arrow and Black Canary met up during an investigation into New 52 Supes’ death and were left with a feeling like something was missing from their lives, which is being explored in the current Green Arrow book where the two are finally tag-teaming against criminals and dating again, except without the baggage of some of the shittier things Ollie did while they were involved in the previous continuity. And characters like Ryan Choi, Jackson Hyde, Ted Kord, Johnny Thunder, and Saturn Girl were given their appropriate reintroduction to the universe (okay, technically, we’d seen Ted beforehand, but now he’s working with Jaime as he should be).
In the midst of all of that, though, we found ourselves with hints of what was to come. Batman was seen investigating the revelation that there are apparently three Jokers…and yeah, not sure what to make of that, other than the fact that, with the Silver Age Joker supposedly coming back as his own character, we’ll at least have a Joker who is FUN again. Superman was visited by a figure known as Mr. Oz, who we’ve actually seen in the Superman books of the New 52 before, and who gave some rather cryptic remarks regarding the nature of both Supermen’s existence. Like the new Clark, we’re supposed to get some more info on Oz in March, and we’ve even seen him in the newer Detective Comics issues as well. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, turned 13, hinting toward his future alignment with the Teen Titans. Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) let Ted Kord know that the Scarab is actually magic…because, for some reason, we’ve now gone backwards through retcons. Seriously, I don’t get why they switched BACK to the Scarab being magical in nature, other than as a means to involve Doctor Fate, and with the Justice Society apparently coming back soon, it’s not really necessary. We learned for absolute certain that New 52 Wally West is a speedster, and pre-Flashpoint Wally gave his blessing for him to be the new Kid Flash, which I’m actually fine with. Now that we’ve established the two as completely separate characters, New Wally is free to be his own character. And we found out that Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 will be having to work directly with Simon Baz, AKA the one Green Lantern who carries a gun.
However, all of that paled in comparison to the big reveal. After being brought back from the Speed Force by Barry, Wally told him everything he knew about the current situation and how he felt this wasn’t completely Barry’s fault. In the end, though, he couldn’t place a face or a name to whoever was responsible for taking away time. However, it seems he may have left a clue nonetheless, as Batman investigated where Wally had originally appeared in the Batcave, and found something embedded in the stone wall: A single smiley face button with a drop of blood smeared across it. And so, the story ended with the image of a watch on Mars, along with the following familiar dialogue…
“I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.”
“In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
…Yup, turns out the culprit is none other than Doctor Manhattan. How and why is still unknown. Hell, for all we know, Jon didn’t even do so intentionally. However, considering the all-too-familiar method by which Pandora was killed (as well as Owlman and Metron at the end of Darkseid War, and yes I AM still planning to do a full review of that someday), chances are he’s very much doing this blatantly. But regardless, we do have a reason for Doctor Manhattan’s inclusion from a meta standpoint: Simply put, there are a LOT of writers out there who look at a book like Watchmen and think that the reason it was great was because it was dark and dire, so they try to copy that approach, not understanding that dark stories don’t automatically equal something good. As far as I can tell, between what’s being presented and what Geoff Johns has said in interviews since the release of the comic, Doctor Manhattan is basically being cast as just that: Someone who doesn’t understand that the way his dark story is being written doesn’t work. Of course, no one bothers to mention that Geoff Johns himself has done this in the past, whether he realizes it or not, but he still has a good enough idea as to how things are supposed to work and how characters are supposed to behave that I trust him with this. How exactly that gels with what happened at the end of Watchmen is yet to be seen, but between his involvement and the dialogue at the end of the book, I think we might just know who exactly “Mr. Oz” really is, who has since abducted both Doomsday and Tim Drake for reasons that are currently a mystery. Personally, I’m kind of expecting to see this resolve in some big DC Rebirth vs Watchmen event. How that’ll play out, and just to what degree will its existence piss off Alan Moore, is still a mystery, but it’s still likely to happen nonetheless. Hopefully, they take their time building to it.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “Well, that all sounds well and good, but if that’s the case, then why in the hell has it taken you this long to discuss Rebirth?”. And…yeah, I fully admit that I kind of procrastinated at that. However, in the end, I’m kinda glad I did. Why? Because it gave me something POSITIVE to talk about at the end of the year, and as I alluded to the other day, there hasn’t really been a lot positive to discuss regarding 2016. And while Rebirth hasn’t been perfect, and there are still some issues from the previous era left to iron out, it’s most definitely been an improvement, and I’d likely consider it the best thing to happen in comics this entire year. I’ll probably go more into detail as to some of the ups and downs of Rebirth once it’s a year old…at which point, I’ll be 32 years old…God, I’m ancient. But, for now, stuff like seeing the Titans and the Birds of Prey back together, the pre-Flashpoint Superman training his son, Dick Grayson being Nightwing again, Barry teaming with the new Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman being written by Greg Rucka again (who is fixing EVERYTHING that went wrong with her in the New 52, btw) are all major pluses. Oh yeah, and they’re also hinting at the return of the Blue Lanterns, THANK GOD. You have NO idea how hard it’s been to keep optimistic about a comic book universe that seems to actively hate hope, and to see it on its way back is such a relief.
But for me, the biggest point about why Rebirth works and The New 52 didn’t is because the characters FEEL like themselves again. It’s not just the situations and circumstances, it’s WHO THEY ARE. How they act, how they respond to different situations, and so on. Everything just kind of fits again, but without excluding any of the things about The New 52 that worked. Because this isn’t about pretending The New 52 never happened. This is about putting the DC Universe back on the right path, one that isn’t devoid of hope and fun, nor forgets the lessons learned from the mistakes of yesterday. Really, the only thing about the previous era that’s been undone is the vast majority of what happened to Wonder Woman. And even then, it’s not like those events never happened, it’s more damage control for her origins and the Amazons, and it all unfolds in a way that makes sense and helps make things feel like they’re supposed to be. It’s not just that Lois and Clark are back together. It’s that Lois and Clark FEEL like Lois Lane and Clark Kent. And I hope that, in continuing with DC Rebirth, the writers and higher-ups of DC Comics remember that point and continue to learn from their past mistakes.
But hey, that’s all just my opinion. What do you think of DC Rebirth? What have some of your favourite or least favourite titles been? Lemme know in the comments, as well as how you hope to see things unfold from here, and we’ll check back in June with how Rebirth has been upon turning one year old. Ja né, and Happy New Year!