Posts Tagged ‘Pokemon’
Pokémon is child’s play, right? Between the animé and the adorable plushies sold, it probably seems so. However, the world of competitive Pokémon battling is extremely in-depth, and requires more knowledge than is initially assumed. The first place to visit is Smogon; one of the best resources at your disposal while learning the ropes of battling.
The most important point of competitive Pokémon battling is the idea of tiers. Pokémon are categorized into various tiers, to create a balanced metagame. The tiers are Uber (everything goes), OU (overused), BL (borderline), UU (underused), and NU (neverused). (Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the tiers are still being decided for the Black & White metagame, so the tiers are based on usage rather than actual strength. In a few months, enough playtesting will have occurred that each and every Pokémon properly be placed in a tier.)
When playing an NU battle, only NU Pokémon can be used. In a UU battle, UU and NU Pokémon can be used. This continues until playing Ubers, where you can use every Pokémon. The most commonly played tier is OU, but people sometime tire of seeing the same Pokémon over and over, and play UU battles as well. The reason for these tiers is to provide a scale on how strong each Pokémon is, so there aren’t battles where one trainer has vastly superior Pokémon to another in-battle.
On the surface, the Pokémon games are deceptively simple – catch some Pokémon, level them up, fight eight gyms, fight the Elite Four, win. For the main story, that’s pretty much all there is to it. Ok, there are a few exceptions – no amount of work is going to make a Farfetch’d a dangerous Pokemon that’s usable throughout the story. But for the most part, probably because Nintendo are aware that kids play these games, the story is pretty hard to screw up in.
And then you go to the Battle Tower or you play a random wifi match after clearing the Elite Four, and your team that decimated everything gets wiped away as if it wasn’t even there. Hmm. The rules of the story, where everything is fine, and even something rubbish can be improved by just adding ten levels no longer apply there. So how do you improve here? And that is where the metagame comes in.
Back in an ancient era of video gaming, when a portable console was something risky and unusual, two games, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue were released. These games were focused on the collection of 151 Pokémon. However, through exploiting a common glitch, players were able to access some more Pokémon, ones the designers had not intentionally created. The most famous and easiest to access of these is MissingNo, the subject of this article.
MissingNo, and its counterpart ‘M, are the two that most people will most commonly come across. Usually, this involves the old man glitch. The cause of this glitch is related to the low memory environments that the Pokémon developers had to deal with. Each Pokémon in game is assigned a number between 0 and 255 (256 slots). This is not related to the Pokédex number. Each area with grass in it has a list of Pokémon that can be encountered, and the Pokémon are represented by these index numbers in the list. Of course, 256 – 151 means there are 105 unused slots. Under normal circumstances, these won’t have any effect – but there are one or two circumstances where they can.
by Ronan Forman
Pokémon Black and White are the newest additions to the Pokémon franchise, set in the region of Unova. The Pokémon have had a complete overhaul and 156 new Pokémon have been created. The main character in the game this time round is 16, a change from the usual 10 year old child, with gender of your choosing, and a mission to catch every Pokémon and beat all the Gym leaders (bosses). Joining you on your quest are two friends called Cheren and Bianca. At the start of the game you have a choice of 3 Pokémon: Oshawott, Tepig or Snivy, and don’t think about picking the one best for the first Gym because it changes Pokémon to have an advantage. Cheren will proceed to pick the one most effective against your choice and Bianca will choose the remaining. Annoyingly in this game the two will choose to fight you at every plot point.