I meant to write and post this article on Thursday. Regular readers of the page know that is one of the warning signs that I might be falling off on regular updates of the page. I promise you that’s not the case this time. I am cram studying for a placement test for a Master’s degree program in computer science. But, I took a break this morning to update the page with my thoughts about the Pokemon Cube Redux.
The actual sequel here is simply this article. I never actually finished the cube that I started a couple of years ago. What can I say? I searched for the cards on the list and started to put together a cart on eBay. And, I discovered that it’s not just Magic the Gathering cards. People pay quite a bit for these little rectangles of cardboard.
“Planning” the Cube
“Planning” the cube actually went very quickly. I searched “Pokemon Cube” and one of the links lead me to a Google sheet that I then looked through with our cards to see which ones we already owned. Perhaps surprisingly (and perhaps not), our collection included a good amount of the cards. Even so, I still needed to purchase three quarters of the cards to finish out the cube.
But, as I said above. Collectors know what they have in this day and age of the internet. They charge a lot even for Pokemon cards. So, my inspiration and drive to finish the cube waned and eventually died. What brought back the spark? I’m glad you asked.
Chris got married a few weeks ago. I even shouted out the website during my best man speech. Don’t worry. I promise it was sincere and not tacky. Anyway, in the months leading to the wedding, we put together a couple of text chains for the groomsmen. One of the guys in the chain actually has a history here on the page as part of a night out where Chris and I went over to his play to play some MTG. He talked about ordering a bunch of proxies for his own cube (possibly inspired by my talk of a Pokemon cube) and then I felt like a huge idiot. Circle of life and all that.
Building the Cube
Even ordering the proxies (which admittedly are of good quality) from the web page that he mentioned would be somewhat cost prohibitive for me. And so I went back to Google and searched a for a page that offered even lower cost, or free, proxies. I found Limitless and started typing cards into the search bar. I made it about two-thirds of the way through the list of cards before I needed to take a break.
From now, I need to finish the list, print out the cards (this will be tricky since we no longer own a printer again) maybe at Staples or one of the University libraries. I don’t want to misuse the resources at work for this project, obviously. Once I print everything out, I want to do a test run with the boys.
The only thing I worry about in this Pokemon Cube Redux is that I’ve chosen grey scale cards to save time and money. Just looking at them on the screen, some of the cards look like they might be difficult to read in that format. That’s not a deal breaker, but it is something to consider. Ultimately, though, come back in December or January for my report on our experience with the cube.
I’ve written about the Gaming Dad’s Lament in the past. As a parent, we both celebrate and mourn the passing of childhood. In fact, I recently posted something on Instagram about the boys growing up. I never give in to the “you’re going to miss this crowd” because honestly, most of it you don’t miss. That’s why when you become grandparents, you are happy to give the kids back at the end of the day. You get all of the good and very little of the bad.
However, I admit that every now and then, I do get a pang of the old times and wish for just one more day of playing Thomas the Tank Engine or watching endless episodes of Paw Patrol. In fact, I suffered just such a pang the other day when Aiden came down with a box of Heroclix that he sold on eBay. You may wonder why this hit so hard, seeing as how Heroclix has to be one of the least referenced games on the page.
Farewell Heroclix: Gaming Dad’s Lament?
Honestly, the sadness surprised me as well. I can count the number of times I played Heroclix on one hand and the number of times that I played Heroclix with the boys on one finger. Why such a strong emotional response, then, to losing them? I wish I knew.
As I wrote a few years ago in the article about the train show, forgive me my indulgence as I work through some emotions here. You are free to completely ignore this article until something more appropriate tickles your fancy. We are getting together on Saturday to play Commander, so expect that article sometime next week.
I suppose the sudden finality of it all hit me hard. As I said, we never played the game. But, to know that we never will brings a somber realization with it. But, and I need to focus on this, some positive came from that realization. Quinn just bought a new Pokemon deck with a gift card he got for Christmas. That inspired me to build a deck. Also, Aiden mentioned that he wanted to play Dicemasters again. When that game gets the heave ho, expect many more words about the passage of time.
Initially, I mourned the loss of our Heroclix. Much more than I ever worried about Skylanders getting sold or YuGiOh cards put into a binder and into the closet. We played both of those games far more than Heroclix. But, I got over it, shipped them, and just told Aiden that I found my Dicemasters teams. All that’s left is to actually build that Pokemon deck. How do you let go? I just hold on to what I still have.
A few years go, right after Pokemon Go released, like many people I became obsessed. At the time, all the game involved was walking around and catching Pokemon. That was enough for me. I walked around and I caught Pokemon. Eggs hatched. I waited patiently for the inevitable updates that allowed gyms, trainer battles, and trading. Taking the warnings seriously, I never drove and Pokemon Goed (Pokemon Went?) Several years later, I’m obsessed again. Pokemon Go is my choice for Mobile Game of the Year 2020.
What brought Pokemon Go back into my life? Well, as with many things when you are a parent, my kids started playing the game. They received phones for Christmas last year. Additionally, due to the Covid restrictions, Liam developed a walking habit. Like me, he figured if he was going to walk anyway, why not hatch some eggs and evolve some Pokemon.
I heard the boys talking about Pokemon Go, so I loaded up the game one day. Then, we all discussed the game on the beach one day during Seedot community day in the spring. This common interest lasted until Aiden’s phone broke a couple of months ago. Then my phone dies. I stopped playing any mobile games, including Pokemon Go. Honestly, I miss this game the most out of all of them. Why? Until that last word, I had no idea how to structure this article. Now I know. Though I usually hate top lists, I will do a top 5 reasons Pokemon Go is my mobile game of the year 2020.
5 Reasons Pokemon Go is the Mobile Game of the Year 2020
Note: I went from being almost week ahead to a couple of days behind my deadlines for no particular reason.
#5 Exploration – Unlike Geocaching all those years ago, I won’t go so far as to say that Pokemon Go has caused me to explore new places. However, whenever I was in a new place, I opened the game to see what new and interesting Pokemon might be offered there. That has led to some “Oh, wow! Look at that!” moments between me and the boys.
#4 Exercise – I will go as far as to say that Pokemon Go has inspired me to exercise more. Okay, maybe exercise is a stretch. But, I did start the summer only walking far enough to get one candy per day. Eventually, I extended that walk until I was getting multiple candies per day. For the uninitiated, that means I went from a roughly two mile walk to 7 or 8 miles. I think I even extended it out to 10 miles right at the end of summer.
#3 Updates – When I stopped playing Pokemon Go, I called it a boring game without much going for it. Basically all you could do was walk around and catch Pokemon. While fun, the novelty wore off very quickly. When I came back this year, it was like a whole new game. You could battle in gyms and trade between trainers. There were daily and weekly quests. Niantic added events that ran at least once a month. Community days featured a specific Pokemon, allowing you to evolve it if you dedicated some time. All in all, the game is fun. And, this time, the novelty hasn’t worn off.
#2 New Pokemon – While this could easily fall under the previous category, it is strong enough for me to consider on its own merits. Admittedly, I don’t play Pokemon much these days. I played through Shield a little bit last year. However, several times over the summer, I said, “What Pokemon is that? That thing is cool!” As I mentioned, that alone isn’t enough. With the rest of the updates, though, it makes for a stronger experience.
#1 My Kids Played It – Liam has been walking every day. Not all of that is due to Pokemon Go. Much of it is, though. Even Aiden, who often doesn’t have the attention span for a game like Pokemon Go loaded it on a daily basis. He’s in the same boat as I am with a busted phone, so we’re both out of commission. Hopefully that will change after Christmas and we can get back to catching ’em all.
I played more mobile games this year than at any other time in my life. Heck, I played more mobile games this year than any other type of game. The end of the year is seeing a resurgence in PC and console gaming (as you will see in next week’s articles). However, 2020 was the year for mobile here at 2 Guys Gaming. One game, above them all, reigned supreme and that game was Pokemon Go. I can’t wait to get my new phone and get back out there.
I started this month of reminiscing about my year of gaming with a mobile look back. (Note: I’m so far ahead of my schedule right now that I can’t link that phrase yet. I’m writing this on Thursday and Friday December 3rd and 4th.) In this article (and for the next three Wednesdays), I’m going to take a look forward in each genre of gaming. Honestly, though, I’m not sure how this mobile look ahead will go.
Seeing as how I’ve finally paid (yet another) price for my Hearthstone tantrums with a broken phone, I haven’t played a single mobile game in at least two months. I think I mentioned in the previous article that I also just ordered a new laptop and I’m eyeing a PS4 bundle for after Christmas. I don’t think a new phone is in my future any time soon. We will see if I end up getting a check for my stipend work. In any case, let’s start this mobile look ahead with the possibilities I’m considering if I can ever afford one.
New Phone Possibilities
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Funny story about my current phone. While it is true that several pieces of electronics have ended because I didn’t properly take care of them (including my current S10), my previous phone was not one of them. I was at a friends house and I left my S8 in my car because I was visiting with a friend.
Well, it was summer and the phone got very hot. As I drove home, I took the phone out of the case and held it out of the window so that the breeze would help cool it. As I was doing so, the phone fell out of my hand and skittered along the ground. I drove back to look for it with no success. I immediately ordered an S10 to replace it. Because, we all need phones these days, right? Right?!
Perhaps before Covid, you could make that argument. Now, maybe not so much. Long story short, I got an email from someone who found my S8 lying on the side of the road. I went to get it from the local police department. Here’s the ridiculous part. Other than some cracking on the back, the phone was fine and worked perfect. So, I could downgrade for a few months. If only I could find the dang gone phone.
Samsung Galaxy S10 – I could just buy another version of the phone I already have. Not very exciting, but money efficient at least. Plus, I really like the phone and have been playing Hearthstone exclusively on my PC, so no danger of it being thrown into my bedpost this time.
Google Pixel 4a – When I was looking at phones before I got a crazy deal on a new laptop, this one was on the list. We’ve already all sold our souls to Google for convenient search results, so why not give them back the cash that they didn’t pay me for that soul. It is about a third of what the Samsung phones cost and seems to have the same game functionality. This will probably be the phone I get when I finally relent.
BlueStacks – This is the most likely interim solution. Aiden discovered this little trick a couple of months ago when his phone started doing funny things due to cracked screen. I used it a bit a few years ago. I’m sure there have been improvements since then.
Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Might Play
Plants vs Zombies 3 – I mentioned the first one in the previous article. I also said that I never played the second one or any of the console versions. I just got bored with the same set up each time basically beating every single level. According to the preview I found, the 3rd game is supposed to offer more “complex strategy and game play”. Okay.
Batman: Arkham Underworld: When I first saw that it was a Batman Arkham game, I put it in the definitely play category. Then I saw it was basically a mafia game with a Batman wrapping. So, I might give it a chance. But, it’s not likely to last very long.
League of Legends: Wild Rift – I have a short and checkered history with League of Legends. I tried playing the game for 5 matches. In one of them I got a player on a smurf account who was willing to work with us noobs and help us win the match. The other four were the entire team fighting among themselves while the other team steamrolled us. It was a similar experience in Blizzards Heroes of the Storm. At least in that game, you can queue bots.
I do like Teamfight Tactics and will probably download it on my new laptop. So, I’m not sure if I will play this game very much. I’m sure to try it and see if simplifying the game for mobile makes it more user (and specific to me, noob) friendly. If so, it might make it into the rotation.
Marvel Super War – If I’m going to play a mobile MOBA (that’s silly to say), then it will be this one. The likelihood of that even happening is quite low actually. Granted, I’ve never played a MOBA on mobile, but I don’t understand how the mechanics are supposed to work. Besides, there are just too many other games out there that I definitely want to play.
Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Will Probably Play
Pokemon Unite: Another MOBA game? I know I said I would most likely play the Marvel MOBA just mentioned. This one is Pokemon, though. I feel like they will provide more variety in their play styles than the Marvel Heroes. At least, that’s what I’ve found in Pokemon games vs. games based on Marvel. They’re both fun, but Pokemon are more interesting in my opinion.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! – I have to be honest. I’m surprised it took so long for this game to happen. The old third person “behind” levels are identical to many of these run style games. I do enjoy these types of games as quick diversion. So, if this one is any good at all, I will probably end up playing it.
Warhammer Odyssey and Total War Battles: I already own a few Warhammer games through my Steam account that I’ve only played a little bit. I like the idea of Warhammer and would love to play the miniature game. I don’t have the time or money for that, so the next logical step is playing the video games. Maybe some day.
Fallout Shelter Online – Well, I guess I got an answer to why support for Fallout Shelter fell off at the end there. They’re developing an online version of the game. I enjoyed the gameplay of the original. If they make the online capabilities decent and support it for longer than a year, it will be worth it to try.
Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Will Definitely Play
Lego Star Wars Battles: Tower defense game set in Lego Star Wars. I’m not sure about it being a tower defense games. I mean, they can be fun on mobile. But, Lego Star Wars is a fun setting, so I will definitely find time to play this game and convince myself that I enjoy it.
Diablo Immortal – As they do, fans crapped all over this game as soon as it was announced. What was the whole issue that people had? I remember that there was an issue. Started playing Diablo 3 on the XBox One again this year. I will be sure to play the hell (no pun intended) out of this one, I’m sure.
Minecraft Earth – This one has been in Beta for at least a year and probably longer. Some of my students last year were playing it during free time in class. I think Aiden might have downloaded it, too. I loved (and rediscovered that love this summer) Pokemon Go as an augmented reality game. This one offers so much more variety than Pokemon. I will lose months of my life to this game.
The games announced so far for mobile next year look great. There are a ton of games that I will at least try. Whether I buy a new phone or simply use an emulator, I will be busy with these games plus catching up on what I’ve missed over the last month in my already established games. Minecraft Earth will definitely push me to get a phone, though. Also, think of all the Pokecoins I’ve missed.
What have I been doing in Pokemon GO Summer 2020? Well, first an explanation. We took an unintended break for a couple of days. I meant to post this on Saturday, but then we were on a last vacation of summer over the weekend. Then, if I’m being perfectly honest, I forgot about my plans for the page for this week. I was going to do DOOM this week and I think Nintendo next week for our retro week.
I swear that I didn’t just mention DOOM so that I could share the inkjet printer running the game again. Okay, it wasn’t the only reason. The point is that I haven’t prepared properly to write about DOOM this week, so I’m pushing it back to next week and talking about Nintendo this week.
Yes, Pokemon GO isn’t strictly retro. However, the source material certainly is. I remember when I was first introduced to Pokemon. I was working at K-Mart and a woman inquired about the game. Having heard a news report, I diligently repeated back to her what I had heard about the “Pocket Monsters”. A few weeks later, I bought Pokemon Red for my original GameBoy. Yes, I’m intentionally leaving dates out, but those subtle clues should lead you in the right direction. Nevertheless, let’s see what’s up with Pokemon Go Summer 2020.
That’s a valid question. We haven’t talked about Pokemon GO on the page in over 3 years. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did do a quick update article in June. It might have been under the same circumstances as this one. I should also probably read that article to make sure that I’m not just repeating myself. Okay, that article was a review, so there’s no chance of a repeat. Now, let’s answer the question.
But, those of you who are regulars at the page know that isn’t always as simple as I just made it sound. Oftentimes, answering a question means meandering from topic to topic before I actually give a succinct answer. So, meander with me. Part of the reason that I forgot about the web page was that I’ve been working on another of my recent hobbies.
A few years ago, I learned about microprocessors and I saw that I could get an Arduino board and some components for a good price. I did a few of the projects from the book, but life got in the way and it’s too easy for me to make excuses to not do anything, so I ignored them for a while. Aiden had taken his out (because I bought one for him and Liam) and that inspired me to mess with mine again. I asked Aiden to join me, but he and Liam have been battling it out in Pokemon X and Y for the last few days.
Well, something reminded me that I was going to write about DOOM this week on the web page. Simultaneously, I remembered the stories that I had been writing up until last week. I have too many hobbies and not enough discipline to plan accordingly. So, to answer the question. It’s now because I forgot and then I remembered.
What’s Changed in 2 Months?
In all honesty, nothing. I’m not sure why I planned this article for the weekend. Maybe I just forgot that I had written the review in June. Oh well. I need to get back in to the practice of writing and this article will help with that.
So, what’s happened? They tried a virtual Pokemon GO Fest. I wasn’t able to get the full experience because we were on vacation. Something went wrong and they did a do over. Again, I wasn’t able to partake because we were on vacation. Other than that, I finally got 50 km walked in a week and the game is still keeping me entertained on a daily basis. Get out there and join me
I’m back to playing Pokemon Go in June 2020. I started playing when it first released and then got bored. It was an unfinished product, there were many bugs and exploits, and nobody else I knew really played it. I’ve checked back in with the game periodically over the last few years, but never got back into it completely.
Well, that changed a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that my older sons were playing the game. There was also a community day around Seedot where the appearance rate of the Pokemon was increased. There was also an increased chance of shiny. Aiden got like 4 of them that day. Liam grabbed one or two. I…got zero, of course. Nevertheless, I had so much fun that I’ve been playing Pokemon Go again daily.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I did take an unintended week long break. Other than that week, though, I’m back into the game in a big way. In case you’re not entirely sure what Pokemon Go is (and if you’re here, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t), it is a mobile game that allows you to catch Pokemon in the “real world”. You can also hatch eggs, defend gyms, and complete quests. It’s not exactly Pokemon, but it’s pretty dang close.
I’ve already gone into this in the introduction. You walk around and you catch Pokemon. As you walk, you can incubate and hatch eggs to get more Pokemon. Various tourist destinations are Gyms or Pokestops where you can fight to control the gym or receive items to help you in your journey. A professor approaches you periodically to offer quests for experience and loot. It’s not exactly a Pokemon game in real life, but with every addition it gets closer and closer.
Whereas Pokemon is traditionally a 1 player game, Pokemon Go really requires you to have an active social life to truly appreciate the game. Many of the raids require several players. Your friends can send you gifts for more items to help you level and level your Pokemon. This is partially me being a socially anxious person who lives in a small town. However, I can’t help but feel that I’m missing a big part of the game.
As a follow up to the previous post, certain Pokemon are only active in certain parts of the world. There have been spoofing programs that people used to “travel” to get some of the more rare Pokemon. Thankfully, Niantic and Nintendo worked to ban people who did that. However, I can understand the frustration at having to travel across the world simply to find a digital monster. Sure you could trade people. But, see above.
Pokemon Go in June 2020 has me walking more. It gives me another topic of conversation with my two older kids. My youngest son has also expressed an interest in playing. It’s a fun diversion. That’s all I ask from games lately. Will it entertain me and let me forget for a little bit about everything else?
Pokemon Tabletop United RPG first look? Yes, as usual, I’m behind the times. It looks like the game was a labor of love by some fans and they’ve stopped updating and supporting it. That’s fine. From just a quick perusal of the rulebooks and “start here” message, it seems like they actually got a solid game put together.
Oh, you mean you weren’t aware that there was a Pokemon tabletop RPG? If I’m being honest, neither did I. After I decided to make this Pokemon week, I went searching for one. I’m surprised that WotC hasn’t jumped on something. Maybe they just own the rights to the TCG and can’t develop beyond that. Eh, a quick Google search would probably turn up an answer.
As with my D&D Ravnica article, I’m only going to go through some of the lore and the character creation process. It’s been too nice here after being locked up for too long to sit around playing an hours long session of an RPG lately. I’m sure we will end up playing it at some point at least with Liam and Quinn because they’re both big Pokemon fans. And, there has to be a rainy day or two at some point over the next few months, right?
In Depth – To be perfectly honest, it might be a little too in depth. But, more on that later. I’m impressed that this is simply a labor of love by fans of Pokemon. There is just so much information in this game. Also, it is presented in a professional way. I was excited to discover the game. After reading through some materials, I can’t wait to play an actual game to see if it lives up to my hype.
Well Integrated – Similar to the Ravnica book that I reviewed previously, it would have been easy for them to just slap the Pokemon name on an already established RPG and call it a day. Of course, it would have been much more disappointing if a big company like WotC had done that. I would have forgiven these guys for taking shortcuts in developing their Pokemon game. But they didn’t and bully on them!
Good Walkthrough – In keeping with the praise, they have a good walkthrough to help in creating a character. There are explanations, examples, and a thorough step by step process. Somebody should pick this game up and continue to develop it. Yes, I realize I’m somebody. Who knows, maybe I will.
Supplements – In addition to the main DM/Player’s Guide, there are 3 supplementary books. And that’s not even including the Alola Pokedex that is included. One deals with legendary Pokemon. One introduces sci-fi elements. The last fleshes out the supernatural. Did I mention that I got all of this for free? Man, I love the internet sometimes.
Errata – There is also errata for the game based on some play testing. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but there can be such a thing as too much information. It’s a lot to take in initially. Yes, there is always the RPG rule of forgetting things that you don’t want to use. Even so, a new player is sure to be overwhelmed at this point.
Too In Depth? – As I mentioned earlier and, following up on that last point, the game might be a bit too in depth. I don’t think that it is. However, I am a 30 year veteran of RPGs. I know how to navigate the landscape. For new players, like Chris, all of the information is overwhelming. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that the game never took off and isn’t being updated anymore.
Thanks for reading my Pokemon Tabletop United RPG First Look. I never did get around to making a character, but I surely will over the next few weeks. Then, when we get a rainy day, maybe we can play some D&D and this game. I’ll be back with a more in depth review after that. If you’ve played the game and want to let me know how it went, email, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter us!
I’m probably the last person in the world to write a Pokemon Shield Review. I did a first impressions article back before the game came out. Then, my son got the game (because he’s a huge Pokemon fan and always buys the games), but I never played it. Since this week has become Pokemon week, I figured why not play the game and write my review finally.
Besides, it’s not like the article isn’t topical. As I was trying to figure out how to load the game without screwing up Liam’s save file, I saw that they’re coming out with an expansion for the game. It’s releasing next month. So, you might get Pokemon week two months in a row! I mean, after the news I just got, we are going to do Minecraft twice this month, so anything’s possible!
Hot Keys – Since I only play the games once every other generation or so (though I have played the last two releases), I’m not sure when this became a thing. However, it is quite the quality of life improvement. I noticed as I was battling once that the Pokeball came up as a hotkey of the “X” button. Again, not a big deal, but that means that you can throw a Pokeball without having to navigate through the menu. Great addition. I will have to look to see if you can expand that capability to other things like potions.
Graphics! – That’s exactly how I wrote it in my notes. I knew there was a reason that they moved the Pokemon series to the Switch. I mean, besides the obvious of trying to sell more consoles. The graphics on this game are like nothing I’ve ever seen in a Pokemon game before. I mean, Sun and Moon were good, but this is great. It’s like you are playing a cartoon. I’m blown away.
Story – Those of you who know me at all know that about 90% of the reason that I play games is for the story. Pokemon games aren’t exactly know for their strong stories, but they are consistent, at least. Honestly, this one is pretty decent. Maybe not as fun as Sun and Moon, but it will keep me coming back to play the game.
So Many Pokemon: I’m also on record as being a grumpy old man gamer who wants all these Pokemon to get off my lawn. However, I’ve eased on that stance a bit and I quite enjoy there being so many pocket monsters. It means I’ll never in a lifetime “catch em all”. However, that was always the reality.
Wild Area – Maybe I’m proceeding through the game too quickly, but it feels like this came very early. There is just little warning for what you will potentially face in the area. Sure, they tell you (more or less) to stay away from the glowing parts, but I could figure that out myself. The thing that really blew me away was the overpowered Pokemon wandering around. The first one I tried to fight and got destroyed. The second I ran into accidentally. I mean, they’re easily avoided, but that was a rude awakening.
The Music – There should be some nostalgia factor to this and I guess there is. What I should have said is the battle music. It’s loud and grating and repetitive. I mean, my youngest likes it and he’s the target audience, so they must be doing something right. I just have to mute the whole game because of it. Maybe it’s good that they haven’t gone to voice actors since people like me just mute the game.
Thanks for taking the time to read my Pokemon Shield review. Overall, the game is a lot of fun and I’ll be playing it quite a bit in between the new Mortal Kombat story and Minecraft dungeons over the next couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll revisit after that to see if it is still fun. However, both of my kids are still playing it 6 months later, so that seems like a rousing endorsement. Go catch em all!
Thanks for reading my Pokemon Rebel Clash VMAX card review. It has been a while since we’ve had any Pokemon content on the page and that was an article that ultimately never led anywhere. I’m not even sure if I have the cube that I started. Man, I am the king of unfinished projects. Now, though, as has been mentioned, I seemingly have all the time in the world. So, maybe it’s time to start finishing some things.
In the meantime, I noticed that a new Pokemon expansion came out at the beginning of the month. Our Pokemon TCG playing is intermittent. Quinn and I played a game about a month ago that I thought might lead to more consistent games. It didn’t. I’m not entirely sure why.
He seemed like he had fun playing the game and event went to tweak his deck to play again. Then, we didn’t. I mean, don’t feel sorry for us or anything. We’ve played dumb amounts of Minecraft and Lego Ninjago Movie video game. Maybe I should have made this week Lego week instead of Pokemon. Oh well, it is what it is and the new Pokemon set looks neat.
A Note about my Rating System
I don’t usually rate cards, but it felt like the correct way to analyze this set. Since I’m choosing just each VMAX Pokemon from the set, giving them a rating seems like the appropriate way to handle it. 1-10 always feels arbitrarily large and I’ve always been told not to have a “middle rating”. Therefore, I will rate them 1 Pokecoin (I’d never play) to 4 Pokecoins (I’d absolutely play).
Grass Energy (Rillaboom VMAX)
I’m not sure what they’re trying to do with this card. Having not played Pokemon TCG very much recently, I don’t know what the individual energy strategies are. By the looks of it, grass has become stompy. If so, this is a pretty stompy creature for sure. Even so, I’d only give this 2 Pokecoins.
Fire Energy (Cinderace VMAX)
I really like this creature. There’s not much energy investment in either ability. The first one is nice because it might make your opponent think twice about using a big attack. And, the second one burns the opposing Pokemon, which can go a long way to doing some damage over time. I give this one 4 Pokecoins.
Water Energy (Inteleon VMAX)
This is another nice one. With the first attack, you can keep bouncing energy from the opponent’s Pokemon to prevent them from attacking. Or, with the second one, you can snipe weak benched Pokemon and collect prize cards pretty quickly. This guy gets 3 Pokecoins.
This guy only has one attack and it is a bit conditional. I mean, 160 is nothing to sneeze at and 240 is overkill in most cases. Even so, this one just doesn’t impress me. I had given the grass guy a 1, but I amended that. This is the new standard for 1 Pokecoin.
Psychic Energy (Dragapult VMAX)
I find this Pokemon intriguing, but not particularly good. Usually, in Magic the Gathering, that means that I’m going to try to find a way to use the card. It could be a one in a million combo that I’ll never actually pull off unless I’m goldfishing, but I’m gonna push that combo. This guy gets 3 Pokecoins.
Dark Energy (Malamar VMAX)
In the past, I’ve been a huge dark energy fan. Usually, I make decks that are dark and psychic. I was looking forward to the dark VMAX Pokemon. I should have tempered my expectations. This card is garbage. If I could, I’d give this one negative Pokecoins. Moving on.
Metal Energy (Copperajah VMAX)
The first attack is decent against beefy basic Pokemon. Otherwise, it’s not bad. The second attack has a huge energy investment, but 240 damage is pretty good. Overall, not a great card, but not a terrible one. If I left myself the wiggle room of a middle rating, I’d give this one that. Since I’d be more likely to not play it than play it, I have to give it 2 Pokecoins. See, that’s why you don’t give a middle rating. Then, you actually have to think about your ratings.
Pokemon has always been my second favorite collectible card game. And, if I’m being honest, it’s pretty far down there. Magic the Gathering is, by far, my favorite and the others are sort of jumbled together in 2nd place. This Pokemon Rebel Clash VMAX card review hasn’t changed my mind much. I’m not going to drop the money on a booster box of the set or anything. I might pick up a deck or some packs, so I guess it puts it firmly in the 2nd place for right now.
Note: All images courtesy of Pokecollector.com. I found them searching for spoilers on the Google machine. Hope they aren’t a litigious bunch!
It would seem that our “week” of Pokemon coverage has expanded into weeks and might even surpass a month once all is said and done. If you’re okay with it, I’m okay with it. I’m just glad to be covering gaming content again on the gaming web page. That’s why it is exciting to be covering Detective Pikachu.
Wait, what’s this? It’s a movie? There’s a Pokemon movie and it’s not the one where Ash is perpetually 8 years old? I’m going to steal from my own Facebook page and say, “What even is this?” Well, the kids like Pokemon and it’s raining out. Might as well give this a chance.
The Great (There’s quite a bit to enjoy about Detective Pikachu)
Pokemon are real – If that statement sounds weird, that’s because it is. I mean, who among us didn’t want to live in a place where Pokemon are real at least once in our young lives. Well, technically not me because I was well into high school when Pokemon released, but you get the point. How cool would it be to live in a world with Pokemon.
Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu – Wait, that voice is familiar. Is that…Deadpool? Yes, true believers, your favorite merc with a mouth is voicing Pikachu for the movie. My wife, who is hopelessly in love with him, said, “Oh, I’ll stick around if he’s in it.” Well, jokes on you, Missy, it was just his voice! Ha! Take that! Jealous? Who’s jealous? Deadpool wasn’t even that good.
Easter Eggs – There are so many references to the games that I lost count very early in the movie. Obviously, the kids (especially Quinn, but Aiden, too) were name checking every Pokemon that showed up. However, if you’ve ever played a Pokemon game, chances are that you’d have recognized many of the references in this movie.
Mewtwo! – Mewtwo has been my favorite Pokemon since I learned about the existence of him as the mythical 150th Pokemon. Sure, I didn’t include him in my cube, but that’s more a function of simply copying something that already existed. Perhaps my next swing at a cube will involve Mewtwo. You know what. It most certainly will.
The Good (As you might expect, a movie about Pokemon in the real world is a bit uneven)
Funny – There was more than one part where we were all (minus my wife who was probably just imagining Pikachu in a Speedo) laughing hysterically. The movie is funny and not just in an inside joke way, either. Of course, there are the jokes that only Pokemon fans will get, but the movie does attempt to appeal to a broader audience.
The Decent (What even is Detective Pikachu?)
Weird Story – While I appreciate that they went away from the perpetually 8 years old Ash as the protagonist, I’m not entirely sure where the inspiration for this story came from. I do appreciate that the tongue in cheek film noir vibe that the movie is trying to emulate. But, it’s just so weird.
Audience? – Speaking of weird, I’m not sure who the target audience is for the movie. Obviously, you would think kids and that would make sense. However, I remember when the movie came out that some people were saying the movie most definitely wasn’t geared to kids. That might be true but it made me think that it would be more “adult”. But, it isn’t. It’s in this in between mode that adds even more weird to the proceedings.
The Verdict (Detective Pikachu is mostly harmless)
The kids enjoyed the movie. You could tell by the way that they name checked the various Pokemon and Liam especially was enamored with the region that was the movie’s setting. Christine didn’t like it. She was not shy about saying to Quinn, “No” when he asked if she liked the movie.
I was busy cooking a turkey dinner during the movie so I can’t say definitively if I liked it or not. You might expect that I didn’t because I kept referring to it as “weird”, but that’s not entirely true. I liked what I saw of the movie and I’d like a second chance to see if I can figure it out.
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