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Monday, September 20, 2010

Generation 5 Discussion: Part 1

So, if you haven't seen it yet, the full pokedex for Black and White has been leaked here. Obviously, since we're still early, without held items, no idea where the metagame will go, abilities still unknown, etc., it's impossible to fully predict what will happen. Plus, with everything that isn't blatantly uber starting off in OU (sorry guys, no Mewtwo), this generation is going to be hectic, and Garchomp is going to want it's bitches back. But, yeah, let's go for an analysis anyway, because I have nothing better to do with my time. This'll probably end up posted a while from when I first started writing it, because there's a lot I have to go through, so feel proud you're so worthy of my time, blog reader. Course, if it's up earlier, there'll probably be a part 2, since there's no way I can finish it so quickly.

So, anyway, from the top:




Victini
Psychic/Fire
Ability: Victory Heart
BST: 600
HP: 100
Attack: 100
Defense: 100
Sp. Attack: 100
Sp. Defense: 100
Speed: 100
Since this gen wants to be different, the first pokemon in the pokedex is the base 100 in everything fairy, Victini. Obviously it's stats are effective, as proven by all the others before it, but the typing is quite interesting. It doesn't really provide many useful resistances, and gives it weakness to dark, water, rock, ground and ghost, since fire and psychic don't really cover each other at all. It does give a neutrality to Bug that Psychic otherwise wouldn't have, but I can't see the typing being fantastic. Offensively, psychic also isn't too useful, due to not hitting much at all for super-effective and hitting dark for nothing, but fire is at least somewhat useful. It'll probably all come down to a) how many steels there are, and the importance of SR in the metagame and b) what Victory Star does, since, for all I know, it could double it's stats in everything. Nonetheless, not too much to say, since you've all seen this spread before.

Jaroda
Grass
Ability: Overgrow
BST: 528
HP: 75
Attack: 75
Defense: 95
Sp. Attack: 75
Sp. Defense: 95
Speed: 113
Onto the starters, we get to start with the final, suitably royal evolution of Smugleaf. Unfortunately, though it looks like it should be, it's not the Grass/Dragon everyone wanted, and is just pure grass. At least it's not grass/poison, though, blech. Base 75 offensive, while terrible, isn't exactly fantastic, so you're probably going to want to slap a Choice Band/Specs on it if you want to sweep with this thing. It's speed is fairly nice, at 113, allowing it to outspeed non-Scarfed Gengars, Latias (since she'll start off OU) and Infernapes, though without a good movepool I can't really see what you'd do to Infernape. All in all, it's a slightly more bulky, for a less damaging Sceptile, so I can't really see it doing much without a good defensive movepool, and even then, Venusaur probably will do it better. It all depends on how important speed is this generation.

Enbuoo
Fire/Fighting
Ability: Blaze
BST: 528
HP: 110
Attack: 123
Defense: 65
Sp. Attack: 100
Sp. Defense: 65
Speed: 65

Don't you just hate it when there's a wall up in your grill, blocking your shit? Fear not, Enbuoo is here to punch a hole in them all. While those defenses are fairly flimsy, 110 HP is probably enough to make up for it, and those two attack stats are phenomenal on a starter. Slap a choice scarf on it, let it hit Blaze activation and your Fire Blast will be making chumps out of anything. Obviously, fire/fighting has been done a bit in the starters before, but this creates a nice little continuum to pick from. Stupidly fast, but fragile and not as strong (Inferape, probably still better), stupidly strong, but slow (Ganondorf in fire form) and the middle ground (lolBlaziken). In the end, Infernape will still probably be most used, but I can't see this thing not being used while Choice Scarf exists, especially if it gets Fire Blast and Close Combat.

                                                    
Daikenki
Water
Ability: Torrent
BST: 528
HP: 95
Attack: 100
Defense: 85
Sp. Attack: 108
Sp. Defense: 70
Speed: 70

So, last of the starters is Wotter's final evolution, and it's got a rather well-rounded stat base. Water has never really had a good mixed sweeper (except Kingdra) before, so, depending on movepool, this guy could do it. Torrent is a fairly boring ability to talk about, since it's not really something you can abuse on most pokemon, but a mixed water sweeper with Waterfall and Surf, hiding behind subs and nomnoming a Liechi Berry, could be something that can properly abuse it. It doesn't really outrun much, though, and I'm not sure if it's other stats are good enough to get over that. After all, with Swampert and Gyarados out there, water isn't exactly lacking good Pokemon. 


Muraando
Normal
Ability: Sand Throw/Intimidate
HP: 85
Attack: 100
Defense: 90
Sp. Attack: 45
Sp. Defense: 90
Speed: 80

Even though he looks awesome, the main reason I've got him here is because he has Sand Throw (doubles speed in a Sandstorm), which could give him a spot on Sandstorm teams down the track. His stats aren't too bad, but Normal isn't really the best offensive or defensive type, so they generally need better than average stats (i.e. Snorlax and Blissey) combined with a good movepool to be useful, so, we'll see how life ends up going for him later. 

Yanakki
Grass
Ability: Gluttony
HP: 75
Attack: 98
Defense: 63
Sp. Attack: 98
Sp. Defense: 63
Speed: 101

First of the monkey trio is Yanakki, and really, I only need to talk about him because the other three are exactly the same except for the typing. Being grass, he's probably inferior to Hiyakki, since Water is the best type (as we all know), but better than Baokki because he's not weak to Stealth Rock (and realistically, SR isn't going anywhere). The stat distribution is fairly frail, so he will probably die to most sweepers from a neutral hit, but it's quite fast with a good offensive distribution, so he can pretty easily wallbreak, movepool pending. Gluttony isn't doing him any favours as an ability, though, being one of the few things always worse than starter abilities. Dream World gets him Overgrow, but then he loses access to egg moves. So, he has a lot of potential, like the other two, but we'll have to see where it takes him.

Mushana
Psychic
Ability: Forewarn/Synchronize
HP: 116
Attack: 55
Defense: 85
Sp. Attack: 107
Sp. Defence: 95
Speed: 29

Mushana, everyone's favourite pink blob, is here pretty much because I love Synchronize. It's such a fun ability. You can cause so much havoc with it in the right situation. Nonetheless, Mushana isn't really a pokemon you want status to hit. With it's better than average HP, defense and special defense combination, it's suited to wall, but Psychic is a rather mediocre defensive type. With the right movepool, of course, with it's great special attack it could be a nice RestTalker, but I can't see it being very useful otherwise. Synchronize could be hilarious fun on a status absorber like a resttalker, though, so fingers crossed for the little blob.

Kenhorou
Normal/Flying
Ability: Pigeon Heart/Super Luck
HP: 80
Attack: 105
Defense: 80
Sp. Attack: 65
Sp. Defense: 55
Speed: 93

Yeah, you've all seen this stat distribution before, and it's still nothing special, but I couldn't resist uploading the sprite because it looked so silly. So, yeah, nothing special, there's probably better, but if there isn't, it's not so much better that no one's going to notice.

Zeburaika
Electric
Ability: Lightningrod/Motor Drive
HP: 75
Attack: 100
Defense: 63
Sp. Attack: 80
Sp. Defence: 63
Speed: 116

With the changes to Lightningrod, this zebra will now be absorbing electric attacks regardless of what you do, it just depends what stat gets buffed. Given it's already good speed, it probably doesn't need the Motor Drive boost, but given it's Sp. Attack is inferior to attack, the Lightningrod boost probably won't be relevant all the time, so you'll run Motor Drive anyway. Also, this will, as always, be paired with Gyarados, without question, at least by scrubs. This thing could have the worst movepool in the world, and they'd still do it. Anyway, this isn't really anything new, it's specially inferior to Jolteon, probably mixed inferior to Electivire unless it has a great movepool, moving on.

Gigaisu
Rock
Ability: Sturdy (!)
HP: 85
Attack: 135
Defense: 105
Sp. Attack: 60
Sp. Defence: 70
Speed: 25

Just to make sure everyone is on the same level here, Sturdy is now a free Focus Sash. That's right, free. You get to have a Sash and Leftovers. This guy, in addition, learns Stealth Rock, Stone Edge and Explosion all via leveling up. If he doesn't herald the return of the bulky lead, then they're never coming back. Really, though, even if he doesn't find a spot as a bulky lead (which he will, unless Metagross is the undisputed best lead ever now for whatever reason), then he'll find a spot on Sandstorm teams, where his Sp. Defense is buffed into 'I'm pretty amazing' tier. I'll definitely be giving this guy a try after Pokemon Online/Shoddy gets updated.

Doryuuza
Ground/Steel
Ability: Sand Throw/Sand Strength
HP: 110
Attack: 135
Defense: 60
Sp. Attack: 50
Sp. Defense: 65
Speed: 88

Really, that typing and those abilities should be a pretty large yell: this guy's meant to go with Sandstorm. You can either run him regularly, with the Swords Dance he learns via leveling, and have Sand Throw let him outrun anything of his choice, or Scarf him and Sand Strength (buffs the strength of rock, ground and steel moves in a Sandstorm) his Earthquake to stupid levels. He probably won't be too intricate of a pokemon, since his purpose is obvious: point him at the opponent during a sandstorm, and run. 

Roopushin
Fighting
Ability: Guts/Encourage
HP: 105
Attack: 140
Defense: 95
Sp. Attack: 55
Sp. Defense: 65
Speed: 45

This guy is one of those guys in the horrible range of 'even if you pass me speed, I'm still slow'. While this has been done before with Rhyperior, it hasn't really been done with a fighting type, nor a Pokemon with actually useful abilities before: Guts to ward off status, Encourage to just buff your damage output. Like the above pokemon, Roopushin is probably going to end up straight forward: you haven't got time to do anything tricky, so just punch a hole in the opponent. Unfortunately, however, he'll probably end up like Rhyperior: relegated to UU since he's not fast enough to compete in OU. He isn't weak to Bullet Punch, EQ or Close Combat, though, so he could make his way into the edge of OU, but I doubt it.

Gamageroge
Water/Ground
Ability: Swift Swim/Poison Touch
HP: 105
Attack: 85
Defense: 75
Sp. Attack: 85
Defense: 75
Speed: 74

The main thing this guy has going for him is Swift Swim, as it allows to him to do different things to Swampert, who causes every other water/ground pokemon to die. His attack stats, while kinda medicore, allow him to be a mixed and semi-bulky sweeper for rain teams, though, really, I'm not too sure they need another one when they've already got Kingdra. So, he's probably redundant, but he does look pretty cool.

Nageki
Fighting
Ability: Guts/Inner Focus
HP: 120
Attack: 100
Defense: 85
Sp. Attack: 30
Sp. Defense: 85
Speed: 45

The more bulky and slower of the new fighting pair, Nageki is clearly meant to absorb attacks and then dish back damage. Guts probably limits his lifespan too much while active to be useful, so I'd probably use Inner Focus on him, assuming Togekiss and Jirachi remain used. While I don't like him as much as his brother, Dageki, I can still see how'd he have a place on a team, but really, he seems inferior to both Roopushin and Dageki in various ways, so let's move on.

Dageki
Fighting
Ability: Sturdy/Inner Focus
HP: 75
Attack: 125
Defense: 75
Sp. Attack: 30
Sp. Defense: 75
Speed: 85

Given that he has better attack and speed, I prefer Dageki to Nageki. In addition, his lessened bulk is covered by Sturdy, giving him a Focus Sash even if he's got a Choice. Once again, movepool pending, but given his free Sash and/or Inner Focus, he could make quite the anti-lead. While, out of the current leads, he'd lose to Azelf, he would quite decisively beat all the other regular leads, and has a good shot against most of the anti-leads. If he's got Fake Out, or a good dark priority move, I'm definitely giving him a shot on my team as an anti-lead. 

Doreida
Grass
Ability: Chlorophyll/Own Tempo
HP: 70
Attack: 60
Defense: 75
Sp. Attack: 110
Sp. Defense: 75
Speed: 90

I didn't really like the other grass one at all, and cbf'd doing it, so I skipped to this much more useful one. Base speed 90 and Sp. Attack 110 is really not too shabby, especially on a grass type, which hasn't really seen such usefulness before, but combined with Chlorophyll, it's a pretty amazing special sweeper during Sunny Day. Firing off Solar Beams in one turn buffed by that defense is really quite good, and, if I decide to run a Sunny Day team (which I inevitably will), this'll definitely have a shot on my team. The only downside is the whole 'it's weak to fire which is buffed in Sun' thing, which is really the weakness of all Sun teams, but I'm sure HP-Water or something can help there.

Warubiru
Ground/Dark
Ability: Overconfidence (formerly known as Earthquake Spiral)/Intimidate
HP: 95
Attack: 117
Defense: 70
Sp. Attack: 65
Sp. Defense: 70
Speed: 92

The awesome crocodile's full form is way more awesome than most people were expecting, really. Overconfidence/Earthquake Spiral (I'll keep calling it that, even though it's apparently not it's name) can be quite the ability if the user is right, and I think this guy is the right user. Ground/Dark is a good offensive combination, hitting lots for at least neutral, and if it lands even one kill, Earthquake Spiral can push it's attack into stupid regions. If you don't want to risk it, though, it's other ability is Intimidate. Yeah, you're not really pressed for choice with this guy. Oh, and he learns both Earthquake and Crunch via leveling up, in case you were worried he'd have a mediocre option for STAB.

Hihidaruma
Fire
Ability: Encourage
HP: 105
Attack: 140
Defense: 55
Sp. Attack: 30
Sp. Defense: 55
Speed: 90

Kinda what Flareon wants to be, Hihidaruma is a pretty good physical fire sweeper. It's low defences are kinda counteracted by it's high HP, but dayum, that attack and that speed isn't something you often seen outside of a psuedo-legendary, as proven by the two big slow fighting guys above. Encourage combines with the attack stat to make it into a destructive engine that I really can't fathom not being used. Course, SR weakness is bad on something so kinda-fragile, but it's not a huge thing unless you're 4x weak to Rock. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pokemon Through the Generations


The opening sprites are appropriate for several reasons. First of all, Snorlax is omnipresent in the Pokemon generations: he was there in gen 1 and has been constantly blocking paths at least once a generation (admittedly, only thanks to the remakes). Further, Snorlax is my favourite pokemon, because he's so big and cute and daww :3, and also a total engine of destruction. The fact he's so incredibly powerful has led to him being commonly used by top players in every generation so far, which leads into this article quite well: a quick history of competitive Pokemon trends.

Generation 1 is by far the most signature generation of Pokemon, and is known by people who don't play Pokemon to be 'the best generation and all other generations suck shit'. While it probably is the best in terms of actual pokemon, it was really rather bad as a game in hindsight, comparatively to the other games. It had quite a few flaws that made it really interesting competitively, though, if a bit stale and slow. First of all, there was no Special Attack or Special Defense: just Special. This led to Alakazam being a bit less frail than he is today, and more of an unstoppable special tank of death. Amnesia was also an amazing ability, causing Slowbro to steam roll teams by becoming both a tank and sweeper at the same rate as Swords Dance does only sweeping. In the end, this ended up rather silly, and made Alakazam and Slowbro infinitely more effective than they are today. How the mighty fall.

Of course, while this was a flaw with every generation up until 4th, special and physical were defined by types rather than moves, i.e. normal was always physical. This really isn't too bad, but combined with the infamous Hyper Beam glitch (if a pokemon is fainted by Hyper Beam, the pokemon that used it doesn't need to recharge), this made Snorlax and Tauros both insane physical sweepers. An amazingly strong STAB physical move, even if it has to be the last hit? Yes, please. You basically had to pick between speed or health, which isn't too bad of a choice, really. 

My most favourite thing ever, though, is the ultimate stall machine this engine introduced, and it really wouldn't be what you'd expect: Dragonite with Agility. Once it gets an agility off, it outruns everything legal that hasn't also been boosted. From there, it paralyzes you and then Wraps you. In Gen 1, if the opposing pokemon uses Wrap and outruns you, you can't move, leading Dragonite to agonizingly slowly kill anything short of Gengar. Which, incidentally, leads to Gengar being OU, despite being hit by Earthquake from Tauros and Snorlax for excessive amounts of damage on its pitiful health and defence.

Alot changed from Gen 1 to Gen 2 with the special split to special attack and special defence, as this ruined Amnesia. Really, nobody cares too much about buffing your special defence, it's kinda pointless. Slowbro's usefulness was also lowered due to not being an engine of special destruction. Mewtwo and Mew were joined by Ho-oh and Lugia in their beloved Ubers tier, and the Hyper Beam glitch went away, putting the move we all know and love in its current place of useless. Course, held items were also invented, and Leftovers found its way on pretty much every pokemon ever, doing its little bit to keep you alive.

The most famous local change to come out of Gen 2 in the long run is the amazing move, Curse. On most pokemon, Curse is rather mediocre, since most sweepers aren't bulky enough in both defences to waste their speed. However, one pokemon is amazing enough in both defences and physical attack, yet with such terrible speed that it's worth spending on attack and defence: Snorlax. Snorlax, armed with Curse, quickly devoured the Gen 2 metagame, becoming more than just a good physical sweeper like it was in Gen 1, and became an infamous set up sweeper that would quickly win the game if you let it get away from you without a phazer, and so, late game, Curselax would devour teams. This, incidentally, was when I got into Pokemon competitively, and was amazed my favourite pokemon could be so good. This was also the only period of time where Wobbuffet was actively rediculed as being bad, so, keep that in mind: there actually was time when it was bad. 

All in all, Gen 2 was much like Gen 1 without special sweepers also being special tanks. A few pokemon that had their special stats become worthless with the split (Lapras comes to mind) become quickly useless, and wished Gen 1 would come back. Tyranitar, Suicune and Umbreon made an impact as generally useful pokemon, and Misdreavus became a gimmick, with its Mean Look/Perish Song laughing at teams not designed to handle it. As gimmicky as it was, it was really quite effective. Shadow Ball also came into existance, giving Gengar something to hit Psychic types with for stupid damage now that Alakazam wasn't a tank, and everything was right in the world.

Course, then Gen 3 came along, introducing abilities to shake things up. Tyranitar, Gengar, Dugtrio, Weezing and Vaporeon instantly gained a ton, suddenly becoming much better at what they wanted to do. Weezing and Gengar finally got to laugh at Earthquake destroying them, letting Gengar sweep more effectively and Weezing actually act as a physical wall. Seriously, nobody wants a physical wall weak to EQ that isn't Steel, it's just stupid. Sand Stream made Tyranitar more of a special wall by accidentally buffing its special defence stat due to it being a rock-type, Dugtrio became an awesome revenge killer via Arena Trap and Vaporeon's Water Absorb made it into a great switch in.

Of course, this new generation offered up a ton of powerhouses. Swampert, who still stands up today due to it having higher base stats than every other starter for no good reason in addition to great typing, and Blaziken overshadowed their poor grass-starter brother, while the psuedo-legendaries, Salamence and Metagross made a large impression as well, due to their amazing physical sweeping ability. The metagame, by this point, had evolved into slow tanks denting the others as much as possible, as shown by (a fact most people forget) Slaking actually being used a lot. Spikes were rampant, and SkarmBliss reigned the defensive combination world. Heracross took over Snorlax's spot as most used physical sweeper (though Snorlax was still no slouch), and the mighty Reversalcross, a set that aimed to use STAB Reversal and Heracross' amazing base attack to destroy the opposing teams ended up with Heracross banned in Japan. Unfortunately, it was beaten the post as the first non-legendary banned, as Wobbuffet and Wynaut had already gained Shadow Tag and Encore, laughing its uncounterable way to banned tier by annihilating teams by itself. 

Choice Band was responsible for most of this, as it pivoted the metagame towards physical (due to a lack of Choice Specs at this point), and it presented a metagame run by sheer power (due to a lack of Choice Scarf at this point). Heracross' absurd damage was made possible by this, and there wasn't really much that could counter it at higher speeds without having to use Agility to get it up to those high speeds first. 

Though there's not much to say about it, and it was down the low end of OU, Ludicolo gets an honourable mention here as an awesome pokemon introduced here. Rain Dance was more prevalent due to lack of abuse for Sandstorm (i.e. no Gliscor or Garchomp to Sand Hax it up), and Ludicolo/Kingdra made for a great sweeping base, due to Ludicolo's good base stats and typing, combined with Swift Swim. Course, that's what it does these days. Back then, it did its infamous stalling set much more effectively due to the slow pace of the metagame, and Rain Dish + Toxic + Leech Seed made it pretty much a repeat of Gen 1 Dragonite in terms of killing pace, and denying moves. 

And now we make it to Gen 4. When the Generation first came out, I can still remember the cries of overpowered for Rampardos due to its high attack. It turned out to be near useless due to its low speed and defence. Tangrowth held its own in OU for awhile as a solid counter to Gyarados, before eventually falling (though it still does counter Gyarados pretty well). Azelf lead the way for the pixies, Garchomp became God, and slowly but surely, the metagame was completely redefined from what it was in Gen 3. While strength was more important than speed before, speed became so much more important. Fast sweepers like Azelf and Infernape were able to do damage to the slower ones (like Heracross) more so than before, and priority became more apparent (thanks mainly to Extremespeed on Lucario, really). Garchomp slowly but surely took over the metagame, ending up in a whopping 81% of all ladder battles in the month it was banned, with only really Gengar to rival it (thanks, in part, to it being able to outrun Garchomp and also thanks to Hypnosis for lead Gengar). Platinum hammered this home, granting the most used pokemon in current standard the move that would eventually become this blog's name: Bullet Punch. Scizor, armed with Bullet Punch and Choice Band, redefined what priority could do, and the metagame ended up looking nothing like the last. Champions like Heracross and Snorlax cling on barely at the bottom of usage, while Scizor, as a relative newcomer to usefulness, having only just found Technician as well, reigned supreme. 

While it was the death of some old titans, like Alakazam, Dugtrio and Rhydon (newly evolved into Rhyperior), some old battleaxes still remain at the top, like Gyarados, Tyranitar and Gengar. Skarmory still holds its title as the entry hazard go-to guy, and Blissey still absorbs special like its nobody's business. In the same boat as Scizor, Tentacruel also found its way in competitive use, due to its neutrality to common water counter move, Grass Knot, and ability to set up the new Toxic Spikes, which could quickly derail a Stall team's capabilities.

All in all, my favourite generation for competition has to be the current one. But, I've always really thought that about the current generation at any one time, so I'm really looking forward to what Gen 5 has to offer. Hopefully, the starters will be useful, and the changes to Sturdy (making it act like a Focus Sash in addition to disabling OHKO moves), adding abilities to the old starters/eeveelutions/etc. will shake up the metagame in a way that makes it much more interesting. And yeah, I know I skimmed over some points, there'd be way too much to talk about if I talked in full about every generation. 

Mata ne,
Pete278

Sunday, August 8, 2010

翡翠ちゃん!

So, here we have my Hisui keyring, with its little neko arc identifier. Its not especially big, since there's nothing to judge size off in that picture, but it is big enough for a keyring, really. Also, you may not be able to tell from the lighting, but Hisui is blushing, and really, that makes this keyring extremely cute. Even if I had some keys to put it on, I'm not sure if I would, since I'm really scared of getting it damaged and losing the only bit of Tsukihime/Melty Blood fandom I have at the moment. I know none of you guys will really care, since its not Ciel/Kohaku/Rin, but meh, you all know full well Hisui is infinitely cuter than every other Type Moon female (although Roa is sexier). Updates to /toy/ coming in a bit, just gotta finish this math assignment (stupid rectilinear motion, so easy, yet time consuming to write out).

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ride the Wave

So, its been 5 days since the now infamous log post, and I've kinda just been hoping a post would write itself since then, but alas, I've got nothing, really. There's no news, except maybe Apex about to start, Trill trolling blatantly and everyone still raging at it, and me discovering that Rob Thomas has the greatest video clip ever. Well, no news I want to publically reveal. Of course, today was the greatest day of my life so far because about three different awesome things came together in perfect harmony, most notably the return of my laptop, with a brand new vga card. Of course, its the same as the old one without the overheating problem, but it still feels so much better than everything after being stuck on a 8 year old computer for two weeks. Like, really, the 1680x1050 resolution on boot just felt amazing compared to 1024xBad. New pictures of the Hisui keychain should be up tomorrow, as well as a probable update to the /toy/ page to include everything I own, including stuff never before seen, like my Dalek and two Snakes. So, uh, yeah, bit of a placeholder post, but whatever, I've got nothing much else to say for now. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pete's Rant #1: Competivity

For the new blog post, go to this link:
http://www.ausmash.com/2010/07/petes-rant-1-competivity/
Or just read further down, whatever:

Hello everyone, and welcome to Pete278’s rant/essay/article/whatever else you want to call it. You’ve probably seen me on the boards, and probably reported at least one of my posts for trolling. Truth be told, while I am trolling some of the time (and am a member of Perth’s infamous Troll Patrol, the much superior, subtler trolling brigade which exists to counterbalance Alzi’s blatant trolling achieved through his existence alone), I am a heavily opinionated person by nature, and possess what I’ve nicknamed Devil’s Advocate Syndrome; I tend to get into debates with people on the subtlest of points, or on pure semantics because, in my mind, it matters. So, who better to write a rant than someone who has such strong opinions?

Anyway, so, you’ve read this far, and are probably wondering ‘Pete, what’s the subject? Surely you won’t talk about yourself the whole time?’ Well, I probably could if I wanted to, but I doubt S.D would publish it, so I’ve decided to write about an ambiguous term which generates much debate and discussion on Smashboards: the word ‘competitive’, and how it affects the smash community.

A lot of people have their own opinions on what makes a game competitive, what we should do to make the game more competitive, and so on. I’ll try to remain neutral about the topic, for the sake of an objective write up, but, if you’ve read anything of mine, you’ll know it won’t end up that way.

Since we, as a community, play this game in tournaments, there are two main goals of the smash community, and every other competitive community: to have fun and to make the game as competitive as possible. Obviously, having fun is completely and utterly subjective, and is nigh impossible to achieve for every person in the same context. It is something that must immediatly come into consideration in the mind of someone who wants to play a game/do a sport/whatever competitively, they must ask themselves the fundamental question: do I have fun doing it? If not, and money is your only concern, I’d probably get a job or play a different game, since you’re not going to make nearly enough money to make up for the fact you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. If you do have fun doing it, then congratulations, you’ve made it past the first step to deciding whether or not the game is worth playing. As you progress through the ranks of skill, though, the fun quality of the game can change, as people become more cutthroat and less forgiving. I’d recommend if, at any point, you stop finding the game fun, to take a step back, look at what you’re doing and decide whether it’s worth it. Nonetheless, it’s pretty difficult for us to maximize the fun aspect without severely injuring the second aspect: competivity. No, that’s not a word, but I’m going to use it as one, since there isn’t a noun form of competitively in the way I need it.

The definition of ‘competivity’ I’m going for is kind of like ‘The aspect of a competition that defines how frequently the better player/team of competitors will win the set.’ For instance, four player free-for-alls would have a rather low competivity, since you can never even get close to a high percentage chance of the best player in the four winning. If everyone just focuses on that player, he’ll get raped and thus, the skill margin necessary for the best player to win a large percentage of matches is a lot higher than it should be. That one player has to be a lot better than the remaining three to guarantee that, even if he gets focus fired, he will still win. Games on WarioWare lower it as well, since the ‘prize’ given for the mini games is random, and if the inferior player gets a star, and the better a mushroom, then that’s definitely going to hinder the chances of the better player winning. As much of a dick I think Sirlin is (hurr I invented Yomi it’s kind of a big deal), playing to win is fairly spot on about this aspect of competition, even if it doesn’t refer to it the same way as I do. However, after the more obvious aspects, it gets a little more blurred and opinionated. For instance, if you wanted the game to have maximum competivity, you’d have to ban all characters except one and make all games be played on the most fair stage for that mirror, otherwise San, for instance, could lose to an arguably worse Metaknight player because of the matchup, meaning the better player lost. People tend to ignore situations like this though, since it is San’s own fault he’s restricting himself with Ike. You don’t ban weightlifters from tying a couple of tons to their hands before lifting the dumbbell, after all.

Normally, this is where the argument would end. Most fighting games, like Street Fighter, would just say ‘okay, ban any character that makes the rest irrelevant (i.e. Super Turbo Akuma, Gill, whatever), ban any stages that are annoying to look at/hinder colour blind people/lag the game, and we’re done’ and be done with it. The timer is another arguable thing with those games, but 99 seconds seems to work universally well, and hasn’t really been argued by anyone, since games tend to end before the timer anyway. However, Melee and Brawl both have more aspects (maybe too many aspects) that players can pick from that impact the game, those being stages (most obvious), items (generally hated by everyone, though that doesn’t necessarily make them bad), game mode (read items), and so on. Within each of those realms is a multitude of individual choices, making Melee and Brawl extremely difficult games to write rule sets from scratch for. This is the main reason why scrub tournaments end up scrub tournaments: the Tournament Organisers don’t play the game, don’t know where to go for the rules, assume everyone plays the game like them, and then you have a four way free for all items on Temple only tournament.

Starting off, it’s easy to scratch the stages that blatantly change the game for the worse, or don’t work at all for 1v1, the dominant competitive paradigm. Mario Bros. is my favourite example of this, as it’s completely random who wins once you know what you’re doing, and the game you’re playing isn’t really Brawl anymore. 75m, Spear Pillar, and a few others are easily slotted in here, along with Rumble Falls, which, in my opinion, is irrationally hated because it resembles a stage that was horrible. Nonetheless, that’s neither here nor there now, and Rumble Falls is gone for the moment.

The easiest way to remove the remaining stages is, of course, by removing ones that polarize matchups too much. Stages like Corneria, which give one character a huge advantage against the majority of the cast, will inevitably make a Game and Watch (using Corneria as an example here) player win a majority of games on that stage regardless of whether they’re the better player. Infamously, at a tournament eternities ago when Corneria was legal, I, as a scrub at my first tournament, defeated Vlade’s Metaknight with Game and Watch on Corneria. Obviously, personal evidence doesn’t mean anything in an argument like this, but you can see the point I’m trying to make there. Bridge of Eldin is another good example, as it will give the Dedede player wins a lot of the time regardless of whether or not he’s the better player. This entire point and paragraph, however, can be argued with the same point as the weightlifters weights: why not play characters that can abuse the most stages? If Dedede can walk off on a lot of stages, is that a problem with the stage, or a problem with you for not playing him? In the end, though, even if everyone plays Dedede, the game becomes too ‘random’, where top players will end up with randomly assorted top eights even if you could argue one is better than the others, based solely on who could get the first grab off. A regular game would be forced to ban Dedede, but, because of Brawl’s modular nature, we can simply ban the stages that enable that effect instead.

Now that you’ve narrowed the stages down to the remaining few, it becomes a lot less obvious to know what to do. Do you keep it like that, or keep trying to modify it until its perfect? You could argue Rainbow Ride for the second ban ‘criteria’, so why not ban it? How do you define a starter? As I’m not considered a top player, my arguments here will be read and considered by none, so I’ll try to just stay on the philosophical side. If you move on from stages at that point, you still have items and ‘bannable techniques’ to consider.

Items, inherently by their random distribution, lower the competivity of a game, and thus they, except for perhaps the most useless of items, really shouldn’t be considered at all for a competition, even though they make Ganondorf kind of viable. Character viability tends to be overrated by most, as once you have a viable top tier consisting of more than, say, three characters, the game has enough variation and balance to be playable and thus, after that point, it shouldn’t be factored in at all to stages and other variables unless you would make one character the only viable character. Nothing you can do is going to make Lucas a viable character without hindering the competivity of the game, so there’s no point whinging that something hurts him. It’s best if you can maximize the viable characters, yeah, but you don’t hinder the game itself by doing so. A good example is banning Dedede’s infinite on DK. What happens if someone accidentally does a loop of it? Do you take the game off them? What if someone times it perfectly so that you have one frame to dodge out of it? They’re not using the infinite on you, just grabbing you repeatedly as you fail to dodge it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to really enforce it, and check whether it was escapable, and thus, you can’t ban the infinite.

Since this is looking kind of long right about now, and this is a good place to end for the moment, I’ll wrap it up here. If it gets read by someone, and S.D will let me, I’ll continue writing this on other topics it logically flows into, but for the moment, you’ll have to settle for this. Hope you enjoyed reading this and, assuming it doesn’t get any follow-ups, you can read more of my writing at www.bulletpunch.com (shameless plug inserted).





Actually, on an unrelated note, I might as well explain the ads here, since I kinda didn't. Basically, the Amazon ads are context sensitive, and thus pick up main topics of this blog, and then procure items of interest based on them. If you see anything you want and want to buy on it, buy it, since I get a comission from it. Otherwise, I get nothing from it

On another unrelated note, the two maids in the background are Hisui and Kohaku, if you don't know them. Hisui is the much superior one on the left, with the blueish eyes. Remember their names well.The banner is made up of a few games, though, including Pokemon (CAN YOU SEE THE SNORLAX? ITS FAIRLY WELL HIDDEN), Melty Blood, Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, Street Fighter and Arcana Hearts. It'll be redone later once I get my laptop back so it'll look less shit and pixally, but you can blame the gods of Nvidia for it not being here now. Also, new poll, check it out, especially if your name is Vlade (sorry Vlade).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Street Fighter x Tekken (make sure to get the order right yo)

So, gameplay videos have made it onto the net of Ono's announcement that vastly eclipsed Third Strike for PSN and XBL, even though 3S is hype as fuck and you all know it. So far, only Ryu, Chun, Kazuya and Nina have been shown, and its only in alpha, but dayum, it looks so hype. Tag team super combos, Kazuya's epic EWGF to the sky, wallbounces, fuck. Its got everything. The fact the roster is restricted to SF and Tekken makes me even more hype, since Q could finally be represented in a crossover game, and Q is amazing. Here's the video if you have yet to see it:






So, yeah, not much actual gameplay, and I really doubt they'll leave it hubless, but really, this is the biggest possibility for fanservice fighting game players have ever seen. It looks like they intend on having awesome character-specific rival intros, which could, quite frankly, be fucking hype for some rivalries, tag team specific super combos (since Kazuya's followup super EWGF looks like its part of the cinematic), and just anything else they wanted. I was suspicious at first of it working, since the two engines are so different, but if they do have two games, and the quality of both is high, then why not? Also, fuck yeah roll techs, I missed you so much. But, yeah, as I said, not much to really talk about yet.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

God Tier

So, in-game footage has been shown of Amaterasu and Thor (how clever was my pun?), and they're looking quite interesting. Amaterasu seems to have a few 'stances', which change her specials, including a sword and ice spam. One of her supers is a generic nuke the screen super that seems to hit OTG, which means it'll combo from basically anything, so yay free damage. The other seems to slow time down (lolol Atemon Game as a super) and should be useful, though I don't know if it'll always be worth the meter, which could be spent DHCing or just nuking them in general. Her level 3 wasn't shown, and if she has any other supers, they also weren't shown, but I don't think I can really judge a stance character at all from a video.


Thor, on the other hand, looks like a fairly 'simple' character, relative to Amaterasu. As expected, he has lightning everywhere, including a move similar to T.Hawk's EX Upper, i.e. it does a headbutt at a 45 degree angle, then dives down, which seems to be quite useful in extending combos. He also seems to have something similar to Captain Corridor (CapCom's lighting bolt that covered the entire vertical axis of the screen), which could be very useful as an anti-air. He wasn't shown flying, but that doesn't rule it out, so fingers crossed. He also got Magneto's Magnetic Shockwave super, which carries the opponent quite far in this, though not as far as Magneto's, it still looks useful for easy cornering for a character that looks quite good at pressure. His other super was a vortex of wind and lightning that covered him, which looks like a fine aerial combo finisher.


More updates tonight at 1 in the morning after Ono's announcements, so get hype.

Friday, July 23, 2010

SSF4 News

Forgot to mention earlier, probably should've. Two black silhouettes are on the arcade SSF4 character select screen, so that probably means two new characters to be announced. Tomorrow, maybe? Arcade Super is close to release, so, it should be fairly soon if they get announced. Maybe it really is the rumour of Alex and Rolento? If not, I'd expect R. Mika and Rolento, though I hope for Q and Urien. Who do you want, and why?

Comicon!

So, if you haven't realised, are one of the plebeians who doesn't read comics at all, or don't really enjoy fighting games (lol), its currently the Comicon weekend. This is important because, as of recent, fighting games are apparently comics, and thus they get quite a show. Obviously, Marvel vs Capcom 3 will probably get the most, since its actually related to comics, and looking quite awesome, but Ono will be making some announcements tomorrow (probably either Super Street Fighter 4 DLC or Namco vs Capcom, or Darkstalkers 4/Vampire Saviour 3, or god knows what), and Skullgirls will be there, so hopefully MikeZ has got some new footage to show us that I can talk about.

Starting off with something that isn't at Comicon but happened this weekend, however, is Arc Sys's heralded announcement. While it wasn't the Guilty Gear XXX many were expecting/hoping for, it was almost as inspiring. Arcana Hearts 3 will be ported to the current gen consoles by Arc Sys, meaning this is the first time in history Arcana Hearts won't have a god awful console port that kills the community. Is this the herald of a multi-cultural Evo2011, with more brands than you can poke a stick at? I certainly hope so. Super Street Fighter 4, Tekken 6, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Melty Blood: Actress Again, BlazBlue and Arcana Hearts 3 would be a pretty damn amazing line up, really. It'd also tie in well with the 'global presence' they're trying to secure for Evo, and the Japanese Evo coming along later this year. Oh, and it'd be cool if Melee was there, but, yeah, no, I don't have very high expectations given the meshing between the Super Smash Bros. community and Shoryuken community in previous times. Anyway, with the lack of Guilty Gear, it seems the BlazBlue community will survive. Be thankful, BlazBlue fans, that your game isn't going to die due to the infinitely superior series returning. :P

Returning back to Comicon now, we've got the announcement of 4 new characters and the accidental announcing of 2 others for Marvel vs Capcom 3. This video:

Shows 3 of the 4 intentionally announced characters, Doctor Doom, Super Skrull and Chun Li. As you may have gathered from my previous post, I am a Doom fanboy, and the Marvel team (Doom, Skrull and Deadpool) is really pretty close to what I'd choose out of girlish fan screams at the moment, though I probably wouldn't go for it for gameplay reasons. Skrull is looking pretty silly damage wise at the moment, but he also looks fairly unsafe, so I'm not sure what to think, though I know for sure I love the Invisible Woman's shield and the 'He loves you' religious banter before his super. Doom didn't really do much except wiff Sphere Flame alot, and zone with the pink (now yellow light laser electricity things) beams, so he's looking fairly vague at the moment. As I said before, his Molecular Shield is looking pretty nostalgic, with nice chip, so let's hope it stays that way for the Doom/Strider players everywhere.

Chun Li maintains her three jumps from Tatsunoko vs Capcom, letting her combo higher and further than ever before in the Marvel series, though her health is either lacking severely or Skrull just lolowned her. Her super follow up combos seem to make Kikosho irrelevant for anything except chip, but we'll see as time goes on. The other three characters who were announced/'announced' are Trish (of DMC fame), Amaterasu (from Okami) and Thor, from Thor. Trish has the most shown of her, being in the trailer, and is looking fairly magicy, having a flight mode, being the first confirmed Capcom character to fly outside of Devil Trigger in the Marvel vs Capcom series. Bravo, even though Morrigan should've got it first, damnit. Amaterasu, being a wolf, is distinctly shorter than a human, and thus is bringing back memories of Servbot with her hitbox, though it is extended horizontally and could thus be lol in aerial approaches. Thor, being Thor, will probably have giant lightning bolts everywhere in his moveset, but as only one of his moves has been shown (and, lo and behold, its a giant lightning bolt), I can't really judge anything of him yet, as with Amaterasu.

That's it for the moment, but tomorrow, I'll be back with more stuff to comment on (hopefully more gameplay of Marvel vs Capcom 3, as well.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Woooaah Shit


So, it would seem that, at last, the pawns at Capcom have decided to reveal the greatest character in Marvel vs Capcom 3, the great lord Doom. Bow before his superior body, his magical talent and scientific splendor. Oh, and we'll make sure to beat up Super Skrull, because he kinda resembles Richards. Damn Richards. In other news, Super Skrull, Chun Li, Trish, Thor and Amaterasu also confirmed for MvC3, but really, why would you care about any of them when motherfucking Doom is around?

He's already been shown to keep Molecular Shield (and its chip!) so if he gets it as an assist, he'll probably be back up the usefulness tier list with such an amazing assist. Seriously, the amount of crap you can do with Molecular Shield is just so amazing, that even if I hated Doom, I'd still probably want it on my team to cover Deadpool's approach even better than his grenades can do. On that note, Deadpool's pineapple + Doom assist looks like it'll be pretty mad lockdown. Alternatively, Chris Redfield's anything + Doom looks pretty lockdown. Either way, Molecular Shield will be awesome again assuming they don't make it shit on purpose. Also returning are the pink beams but, they're not pink this time. Still looks its his best super finisher for a combo, mind you, and they look even flashier as a 3d light show. Its a good time to be a servant of the lord Doom

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

そこよ、翡翠ちゃん。~

いい機会だから、オレのブロッグに書きたいと思うよ。さあ、これのポストをたのしんでくださいよ。

If it weren't for Andrew's pestering, this post wouldn't exist, so be thankful for him doing so. Or yell at him for doing so. Either way, bring it up with him. Nonetheless, I do have some (relatively) important news (relative to the Pokemon updates, that is). Basically, up until my exams, I will be doing my goshdarn best to spread word of both BlazBlue and Melty Blood, i.e. two more obscure fighting games that really deserve a scene due too awesome. Though I may be a bit optimistic with Melty, I'm sure I'll find -someone- out there. Then, after my TEE, I'll be hosting a dual tournament for both, and from there, starting a scene. So, basically, any of you who enjoy BlazBlue or Melty and live in Perth that I haven't talked to about this yet, get ready for the tournament in 16 weeks.

Also, this means that, in between the little studying I'll do and the procrastinating of study that I really should be doing, I'll be practicing the two to make sure I can be a good representative of the future to-be scene, because nobody likes a scrub community manager. :P Plus, maining a low tier character as the community manager means you'll be more popular, since you're not just another tier whore in the eyes of the scrubs, and thus will more easily spread word of the scene. Maybe I should play C-Roa and Rachel, then. Eh, I'll probably stick to Hisui and Hazama, in the end, and be a solid mid tier main, and lose the 'low tier popularity vote' but I guess seconding H-Roa would be fun. Always liked Roa, since he is still the sexiest man alive.

Current list of recruits:

Melty:
Trav
Nasch
Vlade

BB:
Trav
Nasch
Vlade
Jesse
Kane/Romant1k

Let's see how it goes, eh?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More new stuff!

So, in the wake of a fantastic recommendation from Andrew/Zero and Tom/Summoner/Pete278 (cwatididthar?), I was still quite hyped for Angel Beats yesterday when, on facebook, I discovered Tokyo Underground had imported a new magazine which came with a free Kanade Nendoroid. So, as soon as I got into the city today, I went down, bought a copy, and got hyped to get it ready for display. So, without further adue or pointless hype, behold, Kanade:
Cute, isn't it? I love how she's holding her arm so shyly :3

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pete's Arcade!

So, as some of you may know, I have the life dream of running an arcade. Obviously, since I live in Perth, its impossible for me to live of this, since I'd die 9 times of starvation and taxes (yes, taxes are lethal) before I hit 30. So, while I have to get a job and raise the funds first, the machines will still be being made as a hobby until I reach the ripe old age where I can finally get the land for it. Course, on the flipside, since this is Perth, it might just be so barren that I'd be able to live off it because no-one has anywhere else to go, but I'd rather not take that chance.

This doesn't even really qualify as a blog post, but I'm going to pretend it does. On the right of this post, just over there, you can see a poll. Vote on the poll and all your dreams will come true, trust me. If not enough people vote, then fuck you all and I'll decide for myself, you bunch of dicks. If enough people vote, then I love you all and the top machine will be chosen. Because I'm a cheap bastard at the moment, the parts won't be top notch and the machine probably won't be legit (I don't know, maybe some would be cheap enough to do legit), but it'll be done and it'll exist nonetheless.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Updates are fun.

Next week, there'll be another tournament, and what'll possibly be the most hype fighting game weekend of my life. First off, Evo starts on Friday, with a few games I'll be hype about (though, I'll be honest, if it copied the SBO roster and added MvC2, I'd have died of hype by now) like SSF4, TvC, MvC2, MBAA and, best of all, MvC3 exhibition from a build newer than the E3 one! It'll be on the stream for an hour on Sunday, which should be good. I might make a temp room to talk about Evo on the ausmash server, just so I have a place to ramble.

Next of all, on Saturday, is my first tournament as a seeded competitor! Can't believe I finally got into the PR, let's just hope I can keep my spot there, because really, I doubt I can. :P But yeah, being seeded means there's a higher chance of me winning two games in a row in winner's, which is a huge leap compared to winning 1 and then losing. So many rounds you can skip in Loser's. I have a feeling I'll let down Trav in doubles, since I didn't get time to practice my MK with Kane, and Olimar is bad in doubles, but we'll see how it goes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quick update

Nothing much special today, except PETE'S FIRST GUNDAM. BREAKING NEWS.

Yeah, he's an SD Gundam, but I have no idea what he's called (can't read the kanji ;_;). He looks awesome, though, with his wrecking ball and shit.

Next up we have the present my mother gave me from Melbourne, and it is pretty awesome.



So, if you can't tell from the picture, its a Luigi pillow, complete with giant nose and all. There may or may not be more detail later, but really, you don't need much more. Pictures say a thousand words, etc.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

HOLY FUCKING DICKS

THE PANDORICA OPENED AND MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING. HYYYYYYYPE FOR NEXT SATURDAY.

That's all I'm going to say on that topic, for those of you haven't seen the Pandorica Opens yet. But by god it was awesome. Also reignited my interest in toys, though I didn't manage to find the Dalek figure I was after, so the Doctor Who toy interest was rather short-lived for the moment.

Instead, let me introduce you to my new friend. His name is Victorymar:

To celebrate my recent triumph onto the Perth Power Rankings (sure, its only 10th, in the most barren state in the world, but hey, its better than nothing), I decided to splurge a whole $19 on a plushie I've been looking at for a while. Olimar, being commander of the pikmin, goes rather well with my previous purchase on a purple pikmin:

Though, as you can see, he's easily overpowered by the Pikmin.

In other news, I decided to actually (!) OPEN TRON BONNE.


Yeah, I know, quality isn't amazing. I'm working on it, along with a backdrop for me to take future and superior pictures of my collection, rather than just 'wherever they happen to be on my bed or desk'. So, expect a much superior shot of my collection in the /toy/ section of my blog in the future.

With the quiz day on Friday, me and Kane will be working on the questions soon, and I may or may not post a list of them up on this after the quiz is over, for any of you who hope to test your skill against me and aren't going to be there. I'll also be trying to get a new PPPP up (ideas are currently 'current Perth scene' discussion with Vlade and Jesse or another interview with Kane or Andy, and you won't find out which until you watch it when it comes out!)

So yeah, that's the brief update for news in Pete's world, tune in tomorrow for more groundbreaking advancements.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pete's awesome toys

So, I'm sure alot of you are thinking, "Pete, you're a giant nerd, surely you have a bunch of toys that you really shouldn't unless you were a manchild', and you'd be right! Today in the mail arrived my newest addition to the collection, a Tron Bonne figure from the Capcom Girls Collection, complete with little Servbot (or Kobun, if you prefer the Japanese name).


I'm too frightened to actually take them out of the packaging for the moment, due to a lack of anywhere to put them, so more pictures will be up later of her and Servbot outside the packaging. :P

For now, though, a few other pictures of some morsels from my room should suffice, no? First of all, we have the second newest addition to my collection, Wobbuffet, courtesy of my good friend (more like awesome bro <3)

So, as you can see, Wobbuffet is a nice sized (though I was hoping for a giant 13" Wobbuffet, but nonetheless) plushie, including the key details from the Pokemon sprite, such as eyes and a mouth. Amazing how much effort they put into some pokemon, isn't it? Though, admittadly, he does have a rather unique tail.

The tail is rather nice quality, though it feels a bit loose. I doubt it actually is, mind you. In addition, his arms are too small to actually assume his standard 'SOUUUNANSU!' pose, so that's a bit of a letdown. All in all, though, I love Wobbuffet, so I love this awesome plushie. :D

Next up, a much older set, but one of my favourites because, let's be honest, who doesn't love fingerpuppets?

These finger puppets were secured by me in 2008 in a trip to Japan (really wish I could've bought more while there :() and are the first 10 movie signature pokemon. Sadly, it didn't go upto 11 because that'd look weird, even though I wanted Giratina. Nonetheless, its fairly awesome, but would be better if Latias and Latios were a separate puppet and Entei was more than a head.

That's all for now, more pics later :D.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It takes a real man to wear sunglasses on a night operation

The completely irrelevant title out of the way, here's some creative writing to keep myself entertained. It'll probably finish abruptly when I go have lunch and forget about it.

"Reports have come in indicating the Chinese military has tripled its investment in Metagross cavalry, showing the rising tensions as they match the US army. The UN has come out saying it will do everything in its power to prevent a world war, but the opinion polls show the people don't have faith. Silph Co. has also commented on the tension, saying it promises every and all developments will be released globally, and they're not taking sides in the conflict. This was sparked by rumours they would only sell their military developments to the Asia-Pacific countries, which would hinder NATO forces should a war outbreak. More news on the rising tensions at 11." It was easy for everyone to see that this pseudo-war had gotten everyone nervous, but nobody could admit it. You could see in the reporter's eyes, even through a television set, that he was scared, and that he didn't want to believe what he was reporting, but he had to.

What happened to this world? Poaching is at an all-time high while the Rangers fail to stop it. Wild Stantlers and Staravias are being shot, stuffed and mounted faster than the species' can reproduce, and its going to show, but nobody can stop it. The smarter Gengars are eagerly taking sides with thieves and petty criminals, just waiting to cause some chaos in the system. If someone doesn't stop the crime rings soon, the economy is going to hit a depression purely from the banks being broke. Rumours abound that the Russian Spetsnaz are employing Ghost Squads, equipped with not only sleeper agents, but trained and armed Scizors and Salamence. The government promised that Mewtwo doesn't exist, and no such genetic experiments were done, but you can almost feel the lurking threat of Mewtwo and his army, ready to make a new world out of Earth. What is the world going to do about something that can deflect anything you throw at it, and snap your mind in half when its done?

The world could be doing so well, too. The new wrestling leagues are great, with Machamp and Heracross that can actually do the fighting the old pro wrestlers had to act, and its plain to see for anyone that they enjoy the competition. The communication industry is booming, with the old Magneton satellites being replaced by the new Magnezone ones. The Olympics is going to be on soon, as well, with the extremely popular Charizard riding finally getting its first shot as an event. Maybe all the laughter is just a way to avoid the oncoming destruction nobody wants to talk about.

Leaving my apartment, and stepping out into the cold air, it looks exactly like a world on the brink would. Everything's grey, and everyone walks briskly down the packed sidewalks, ignoring everything except their destination and the pokemon at their side. Everyone's got a Scizor with them these days, to protect them from muggers, though they're not as necessary after the government outlawed public usage of Garchomps. Still, everyone wants to feel safe, and the crime lords are hardly going to listen to the law now. Its funny how, despite all the negative abuse by the Soviet Union in the days of old, Scizor is probably the only thing holding this world together.

Not many people can notice it, either, but its possible to pinpoint the day the world started this slide down. The day the two Deoxys entered the atmosphere, the day the government abducted one and began research on it, and the day the original Deoxys virus was released into the public by accident. Its mostly hidden from the public eye, but Deoxys was a virus corrupted and mutated by falling through the atmosphere, and the the people of Earth just weren't well equipped enough to handle the plague when it came. The other Deoxys released the virus as part of a defence mechanism to get its comrade back, but the secret government refused to release such a great tool. The other Deoxys is still out there somewhere, maybe with Mewtwo, maybe with Russia, maybe on its on, but I can guarantee its not going to sit down and cry about it. The plague crashed everything, sending millions of people sick and overloading the hospitals. Hundreds of thousands died, and are still dying today, as the plague still continues its way through Hell's Kitchen. I can't even imagine how the world'd be today if we never tried to control Deoxys.

That's what caused the Mewtwo Insurrection, as well. We couldn't use Deoxys, so we decided to make something better with the research from Deoxys. Mewtwo was too smart, too good, though. When Deoxys just died, Mewtwo got enraged, and destroyed the research facility, taking the other test pokemon with him. We don't know where he is, now, or what he wants. I joined the army to help the people, but how am I meant to help when the world is infected with greed?

My walk to the free clinic is as normal. The sky looks sickly and black, and has done ever since people tried to control Kyogre and Groudon. If Rayquaza was still around, maybe we'd be able to fix the weather, at least, but nobody knows where it went. We knew it could block our radar with its air lock, but no planes we've sent to scout have reported anything. Why Rayquaza is hiding, I can't begin to fathom, but a nagging part of me says it can't bare to look at what's happened to its beloved planet. Its the same thing with the old temples. The Regi guardians that stand guardian to the temples won't allow any people in, and are prepared to die rather than lay down their arms. As far as the records show, the only thing inside was a giant statue that resembled the Regis, with no value in a war, but if they're worth guarding, there must be something else inside.

I don't know what I was expecting, but the sight of the free clinic being packed to the brim again fills me with sorrow. The Deoxys Plague can mutate like the common cold, so even surviving it once isn't a safety. There's a vaccine in the works, but even when its finished, its so expensive it'll only be administered to the 'important' people, and these people in the slums, the ones who can't escape its death grip, will never even hear of it. I'm lucky, because the military wanted a test subject for it, and I obliged, so I could help out here. If they're lucky, they'll die now, and won't have to go through the disease again and again until they do die. The Chanseys and Blisseys can help with the pain, but the way these people are screaming, I can't imagine they can do enough. If only Celebi or Jirachi were more than just old legends, then they could help everyone here.

The Church of Arceus is calling this the End of Days, because we've sinned, and Arceus has sent his divine retribution in the form of Deoxys. We tried to control what we shouldn't, and so now we die. Seems like an ample punishment to me, given the circumstances. When you need armed guards, teamed with Garchomps and Wobbuffets protecting a free clinic, its obvious something needs to change. Maybe a war would be best, if it ended right. Or maybe it'd end wrong and everyone would die, or Mewtwo would succeed in his genocide, or Deoxys would finish the job and get his revenge. Still, I need to keep my mind on the job at hand, and start handing out the painkillers to the people crying in the halls.

"Recent evidence discovered by the police indicates that the child kidnapper in Brooklyn isn't a human, but a Hypno. It is yet to be discovered whether it is working for a trainer, or is acting alone. This interview was recorded with the chief investigator on the case earlier today," The same reporter from before caught my eye on the small CRT hanging in the corner, as it cut to the interview. "It is a known fact that Hypnos need to feed off dreams, but we've never had an outbreak like this where a Hypno would kidnap anyone in a suburban city just to feed. We're currently assuming a trainer is bribing it with the dreams to get the children." The officer looked afraid as he said that, almost wanting to blurt out that it was more likely the Hypno was acting alone, but couldn't.

A scream from outside broke my train of thought, as I dropped everything and ran to help. "Wooooobuffet!" was the only noise I could hear over the two armed guards chuckling to each other, as the man lay helpless, almost catatonic, on the ground. "Idiots don't know when to quit, do they?" One of the guards was muttering to the other, before turning to the crying man. "How's the Shadow Tag feel?" The guard continued, laughing as he spoke. "Have you ever been Shadow Tagged, sir? Do you know the horrible mental agony it puts you through?" I yelled at the guards, doing my best to help the civilian. "This man attacked us, so we responded with non-lethal force. Or would you rather my Chomp tear him to bits?" The guard sneered, as his Garchomp roared with anticipation. "Everyone's in a panic right now. You could've just tasered him, you didn't need to Shadow Tag." I replied, helping the man to his feet into the clinic. The guards continue to laugh, and as I turn to reply to them, something catches my eye. In the sky, for barely any time, I could swear I saw Ho-oh, before it rose back through the smog-like clouds. I decide not to yell at the guards, smiling with hope as I walk back into the clinic. Maybe this world can be saved.