Nostalgia: Controlling & Influencing

If there is anything that can make us feel humble and send a euphoric shiver up our spines to make us feel like life is incredible for a second it is nostalgia.

I have been pondering for some time that with the growing of the internet it has become more accessible to experience nostalgia. We can see things on a commercial scale that we once adored and potentially have the opportunity to purchase again. There are many mediums on the internet platform that provide us with benefits. Google images and Facebook can let us see images of places we once visited or how our home towns used to look. YouTube lets us watch videos of shows we watched or videos of places we lived/visited and eBay enables us to buy the stuff we threw away because what did it matter back then?

In media we are always seeing what we grew up with return and it can either be welcomed or resented. A movie reboot of a classic series never seems to go down well as it is a real pull on the heart-strings and the developments of cinema and technology damage the originally we hold so dearly. A random band you might have forgotten about might make a return and even record new music. It will never feel the same though (Busted). Time progresses and those things we loved try to keep up and change with the times yet we resent it.

Video games are a major nostalgia factor as they developed from a niche to a mainstream over the last 25 years. That makes those that played video games in the 90’s and whenever before feel very close to games I find. When a game gets remastered it is usually cheered as it reminds us of the simplicity of childhood. Pokémon GO was the perfect example of Nostalgia and last year The Pokémon Company rode the nostalgia train quite proudly. The game series which branched off into everything in the 90’s celebrated 20 years with all kinds of merchandise and a mobile app and new games Sun and Moon that saw a lot of people revisit the creature catching series. Everything about the games was different but it seemed to work for a lot of people. Pokémon GO appeared to be a groundbreaking piece of tech allowing people to hunt for Pokémon as if they were playing the game.

To be fair in that sense it is really nice to give people that opportunity and it was quite beneficial for everyone to get out and communicate. Another issue with this is that Nintendo rode nostalgia in a heavy commercial manner and the same thing appears to happen everywhere and not just in the video game market. It strikes me more as I love video games. Hearing the start-up screen of a Playstation 1 is an incredible feeling and something I hold near and dear.

So why is nostalgia is important? Is it due to all aspects of life and the nihilistic feeling that we’re all just going to die and rot in the ground so might as well hold onto what memories we have whilst also trying to avoid the reality of life and that we’re edging further away from said memories and we are fools for not appreciating our childhoods because of the lack of responsibilities and wonderful things we had? Maybe. Or maybe it is necessary to experience nostalgia as a means of appreciating life and the things we have done because humans will naturally remember more bad than good. Maybe that is an unsatisfying feeling we have where we never get what we want and so the parts of our past that stand out and make us feel warm are the greatest feeling in the world.

If we do not learn from the past then we are to carry it on into the future or at least what we do in the past plays a major role in the present and future and nostalgia is just that for me. A lot of the things I enjoy now in terms of TV, music, entertainment and job prospects are because of what I did in the 90’s or what were in the 90’s. Now I may only remember segments of the late 90’s but, what I felt in those times is better than the crippling realities of socio-economic happenings and being obsessed with a time period I was in stands out a lot more to me than one I wasn’t such as 60’s-80’s. Politics seems to play a major factor in my nostalgia due to studying Britain at A-level and seeing which time periods were better…they don’t look appealing.

In terms of my work I want to write about media such as video games and anime as I watched and enjoyed them as a child and they have stuck with me. I work in a store which I favoured greatly as a child and is really one of the only stores I can remember going to. Working there is a completely different kettle of fish to how it felt in the 90’s but there is a comfort somewhere. You see a lot of nostalgia-referenced stories in media outlets like Buzzfeed’s ‘top ten 90’s toys’ or, look at this catalogue for 1985 Christmas and this helps remind us when we have forgotten what bliss times they were. When a store closes like Woolworths, Virgin Megastores, Gamestation or British Home Stores (BHS) it reminds us that nothing lasts forever and then we wish it wouldn’t go but it is too late and we have to move on with the memories.

While it has its positives and negatives to how it dominates our lives in a sense that we are influenced easily and look to shelter ourselves in the past, it is a wonderful feeling. I find nostalgia to be one of the strongest drugs of them all, a positive hallucinogenic. The show South Park touched on this with the whole ‘Member Berries’ skit and how political frameworks can be based off of ‘it’s not as good as it used to be’ and we all just want to have a good time and experience the tranquility of our personal lives.

This post was merely a ramble about a topic that has been a centre-point for me for the past couple of years and I wonder how relatable people will find it. Nostalgia sells.

Balgenkamera Old Nostalgia Nostalgic Camera

 

Pokémon Evolutions: The kid in you is calling

If you’re like me, a kid who grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s then at some point in that time you probably owned Pokémon cards and heck…some of you might have actually played the game! Well remember getting those Base Set cards and aspiring for Charizard, Mewtwo, Blastoise and Venasaur? Well guess what…you have a second chance.

Pokémon X & Y: Evolutions is the final trading card game (TCG) set from the X & Y series of cards and is practically the series as a whole coming together full circle in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Pokémon. It released yesterday (November 2nd) and should hopefully be hitting the shelves in the UK soon.

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Another 20th anniversary set was released a couple months back called the ‘Generations’ set. This include a ton of EX and full body art cards. Most Pokémon cards range from £3-3.80 whereas Generations was £5 retail value. This meant getting the Elite Trainer Box was a way better bargain and you usually got great looking pulls. The box featured two throwback cards which were Tauros from the Jungle series and Slowpoke from the Fossil series.

What makes Evolutions different is that the large majority of cards are remakes of the original base set with certain elements of the cards given a little boost. Certain placements of the Pokémon on the cards may have altered as well as with the Staryu card it appears Staryu isn’t directly in the middle. Not all the cards have been re-published however, as some that you would expect or hope for are still mega ex cards like Blastoise. Pidgeot also gets a fair few EX cards along with Charizard and Mewtwo. There will be a Mega Slowbro card and Break cards are continuing featuring Pokémon such as Machamp and Ninetails.

All other cards are back to their classic style such as the energy cards and the holos are reminiscent to that of the Wizards of the Coast packs. The only real difference is that there are better attacks and damage points to compete with modern matches and the card layout is a bit more polished. All levels remain the same as before however.

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Who had a shoebox full of swaps?

That fatty Pikachu (probably one of my first cards) is back in the set and there will be two special booster boxes with confirmed cards and these will be a Pikachu and Mewtwo set. This is a lot like the Pokémon Base 2 theme sets. There will also be elite trainer boxes featuring the starter Pokémon evolutions on the cover.

Brock and Misty have full trainer card artwork and so it is trying to mingle in the three factors of Pokémon we all know and love: the games, anime and cards. This new set will also feature old promo cards such as flying Pikachu, Surfing Pikachu and the strange Imakuni?’s Doduo (finally in English).

If you have been wanting to get back into Pokémon cards or Pokémon in general and the nostalgia is exceedingly great then I do recommend purchasing these cards for old times sake. Certain card distribution websites do sell 36 card booster sets for just under £100.00 and economically that does work out better.

Oh and one more thing…you can get the original holo Charizard card with updated card features such as HP.

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Notice anything different?

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Pokémon Company decided to re-release other series’ such as Rocket or Gym Leaders. Stay tuned for more! Each pack contains ten cards and will feature either Mega Blastoise, Mega Charizard Y, Mega Venasaur or Raichu on the cover. If you did want to compete I would suggest picking up earlier packs…especially some crafty trainer cards.

Pokémon Sun & Moon: One final big update?

November is upon us and it looks like we almost have all the Sun & Moon information we need and that we are going to get until the games are released. One major factor this update leaves is that: will the Pokémon games be updated once released, or is this the core of the game?

First off, following a Pokédex leak last week we finally have images and names for the starter Pokémon’s final evolutions. Rowlett will evolve into Decidueye who is a grass/ghost type and has the ability ‘overgrown’. This is the second owl Pokémon since Noctowl and does bare some resemblances and gaining a ghost-type will definitely change some people’s views on the bird. Each Pokémon will have a signature move and Decidueye’s is called ‘spirit shackle’ and makes it so opponents cannot switch-out their Pokémon (like mean look).

decidueye

Litten will evolve into Incineroar (that name though) and it is a starter fire type that has avoided a dual fighting type. Instead it is a dark type and has the ability ‘blaze’ Litten may have not looked much different in its second stage but now the cat is grown and on its hind legs ready to fight. Incineroar’s signature move is ‘Darkest Lariat’ which ignores the opponents stat changes (amazing to be quite honest).

incineroar

A third but by no means least Popplio will evolve into the beautiful Primarina. It is a water/fairy type which is new to the series and will have the special ability ‘torrent’. Primarina’s signature move will be ‘sparkling aria’ which heals the burns of any target it strikes.

primarina

Now before we had seen Tapu Koko and it turns out there are three other Pokémon like it. As the Alola region is split up into four islands, each island has a guardian all beginning with ‘Tapu’. Each Pokémon is a fairy type with another dual type. Tapu Lele is a psychic type with the ability ‘psychic surge’ and is the protector of Akala Island. Tapu Bulu (a bull) is Ula’ula’s guardian and is a grass type with the ability ‘grass surge’. Finally, Poni Island’s guardian is Tapu Fini who is a water type with the ability ‘misty surge’ and each of these Tapu Pokémon have a special Z move. This announcement has now revealed the names of the different islands.

We are still seeing a couple new faces for the roster which include the adorable psychic type which could give Solosis a run for its money, Cosmog who has the ability ‘unaware’.

cosmog

As you have seen before, Meowth received an Alolan form and its evolution does too. However, Alolan Persian doesn’t give off that cool persona that Meowth does and certainly doesn’t give off the fierce look the regular Persian does. I’ll just drop the image below and let you be the judge. It will be a dark type with the special abilities ‘fur coat/technician’.

alolan-persian

It has been brought into question whether their will be a Pokémon league as gyms have been replaced with trials. The trailer said that we would witness the beginning of the Alolan Pokémon League so it is debatable whether you will be fighting an elite four. It looks like it could be on Mount Lanakila which is the highest point in Alola. Instead of the elite four you do get to partake in the Battle Tree which has a few surprises…

pokemon-league

SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE TRAINERS FROM PREVIOUS GAMES HAVE RETURNED!

Wally (gen 3), Cynthia (gen 4)…RED AND BLUE will battle and team up with your with their signature Pokémon from the games. This includes Garchomp, Gallade, Red’s team in Gold/Silver/Crystal and most likely Blue’s from the first games.

That’s all for now folks, smell you later!

blue

 

Pokémon Sun & Moon: the starters have finally been given evolutions

You may have been wondering which starter will I choose? Well yesterday we finally got to find out the 1st stage evolutions for Rowlet, Litten and Popplio.

Rowlet will evolve into the majest Dartrix which is reminiscent of Noctowl. Litten will evolve into Torracat which hardly looks different and Popplio will evolve into Brionne which looks just as bizarre.

dartrix

torracat

brionne

Players are able to connect in new ways with the ‘Festival Plaza’. It is a secret place where you can earn festival coins by fulfilling other player’s requests. You can take players to events, for food and visit a variety of shops to increase your Pokémon’s stats. On top of this you can buy rare and valuable products from all of the different reasons.

tauros

Most of the time the Pokémon in your PC are just sitting there waiting for you to pick them up for a battle or to evolve. In Sun & Moon however, there is now the Poké Pelago. It is a paradise for your Pokémon and here they can meet other Pokémon, level up and search for items. This can include rare evolutionary stones and each island is for different purposes.

poke-pelago

Finally it has been revealed that Mega Evolution will be featured in the game and will of course connect with the Z ring. This will work in the new battle system with already exisiting evolutions.

mega-evolution

Finally, the last bit of news is that the demo of Sun & Moon will be available to play from October 18 and included is a special Greninja. When battling it creates a special bond with you and forms into Ash-Greninja which is a reference to the anime. This adds some different features to Greninja and can be added to the game once it is released November 23.

ash-greninja

 

 

Pokémon coming to NX & new game specific Pokémon for Sun & Moon

It’s been on our minds for a while and has been a rumour that has been cropping up now and again – will Pokémon be on the NX? Well today it has been confirmed that when the console launches next March there will be a Pokémon title.

The executive of the Pokémon Company Tsunekazu Ishihara said to the Wall Street Journal that there are Pokémon Games in the works for Nintendo’s next console. Now we have had Pokémon titles on all of Nintendo’s consoles since the N64 so it will be interesting to see what they do next. Maybe a follow up to Pokkén Tournament.

As the NX is supposedly merging together home console and handheld whilst trying to change the experience of gaming, there couldn’t be a better franchise that gets onboard like Pokémon. All is known so far is that Game Freak will be working on the games.

passimian

Before we get to March, we still have Sun & Moon to play first! There have been more Pokémon announcements with two sets of game secific Pokémon. First up there is Passimian which is a fighting-type. It has the ability ‘receiver’ which means if in a double battle, when the other user’s Pokémon faints in battle, Passimian takes their ability. One example is taking the ability ‘levitate’ which makes a Pokémon impervious to ground-type moves.

oranguru

The other ape in the game is Oranguru. It is a psychic/normal type and has the abilities inner focus and telepathy. Using this ability enables Oranguru to instruct other Pokémon in double battles what move to use and will not be affected if it is an all-party move like surf.

Base Pokémon Rockruff has two evolutions. However, the evolutions are specific to Sun & Moon with the same Pokémon having midday and midnight looks. That Pokémon is Lycanroc and is a rock type with the abilities keen eye and sand rush/vital spirit depending on the game.

Moving on to game updates, Pikachu and Eevee will have special Z-target moves in the games. Pikachu’s is called ‘catastropika’. Eevee’s shows it harnessing the abilities of all of its evolutions which raises its attack, speed and defence stats. The move is called ‘extreme evoboost’.

Finally,  Sun & Moon will be carrying on with the fashion aspect of Pokémon X & Y by letting you change even more about your character. You can change hairstyles, colours, eye contact colours and different pieces of clothing. You Pokémon can also be kept well pampered too in ‘Pokémon Refresh’ in which you groom them. It is a bit like the screen on X & Y where you can play with your Pokémon and feed them treats and play in mini-games.

fashion

It just goes to show we don’t know everything yet about Sun & Moon and there is still plenty of content to push out.

 

Pokémon Sun & Moon: A return to the 90’s and the times are changing

Pokémon Sun & Moon is really shaping up to be something special. The Pokémon Company and Gamefreak are adding a ton of never-before-seen content that is really letting the Alola region stand above the rest. Setting in a new landscape with higher quality Nintendo 3DS technology has really spoiled us and who knows what is around the corner.

First off, Raticate has got an Alola form which to be honest is expected. It looks like a chipmunk storing nuts for the winter in its cheeks which relates to the gluttony special move it has. New Pokémon have also been discovered, some are lacking in information but first we have normal type ‘Null’. The video said ‘type-Null’ and it has the ability ‘battle armour’; it’s definitely one of the coolest looking Pokémon so far.

null

Following this there is Jangmo-o (some of the names so far are quite extraordinary). It is a dragon type with the ability bulletproof/soundproof and looks like one of those fake Pokémon game advertisements on social media. On top of this there are new ‘ultra beast’ Pokémon with only one being announced so far called ‘UB-01’. It looks like an alien jellyfish but potentially a human.

 

In Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire there were time-based events, but in Sun & Moon the two games are 12-hours apart. One in the day and one at night the two games will have different events such as coming across different Pokémon. It is a nice return to second and third gen qualities.

day-and-night

As well as Team Skull there is the Aether Foundation. I am wondering with a name like ‘Aether’ whether there will be any religious of heaven connoations. There was a Team Skull announcement with a new member ‘Gladion’ who is their enforcer. He says when facing you that ‘you’ll just get your Pokémon hurt’ however, it looks like Team Skull sell Pokémon.

 

Aether includes the ‘glorious’ president Lusamine who loves all Pokémon and calls herself the mother of them with references to other generations. There is the branch chief Faba who looks like a scientist. He references that their base is on an artificial island that has been created my human technology. Finally, we have Wicke who is the assisstant branch chief and apparently the organisation tries to protect Pokémon from Team Skull, and there is the employees for the foundation.

lusamine

There is a collecting aspect in the game and we finally have more Zygarde details where you will receive a cube to locate pieces of Zygarde. Finally, there is a major addition to the game.

zygarde

After 17 years we might have a return to Pokémon Snap. The Rotom Pokédex turns into a camera and you can take pictures of Pikachu and harder to get Pokémon such as Dragonite. You can take multiple images and then people online can rate them. It’s like a modern Pokémon Snap but inside another Pokémon game! Amazing!

Pokémon announcements from this week: pancakes and companians

Following the most recent Nintendo Direct, plenty of Pokémon news has come about for both Sun & Moon and Go with exciting additions.

Firstly, according to Niantic (the creator of Pokémon Go) the ‘buddy’ Pokémon system for the game is right around the corner. This means that you will be able to have one your caught creatures follow you around as you traverse your local area. Going to the shops? Bring Charizard along.

This will be similiar to having Pikachu follow you around in Yellow and generations one to four following you in Heart Gold and Soul Silver. This is said to open up unique in-game rewards and experiences and will most likely have unique animation depending on the Pokémon such as flying types. Your profile should present you next to your Pokémon and when playing the game an icon for them should appear. It will be interesting if they only have certain Pokémon at first or just have the whole roster.

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Now onto Sun & Moon, more variantions have been announced for the game and once again it has been altered generation one Pokémon.

Rattata has grown a mustache and taken a black coat of paint for its fur and is now a dark/normal type. Its special moves are gluttony/hustle which makes sense due to it being a rat. Other first gen Pokémon have special ‘Z moves’ as well. Raichu, whose Alola form has been seen to be riding its own tail, surfs around the screen and attacks its opponents in a move called ‘Stoked Sparksurfer’. Like other moves there’s a strong beach Hawaiian feel throughout the whole game.

ratatta

Raichu isn’t alone as Snorlax which is already a pretty powerful Pokémon also its own ‘Z move’. This is part of a special bonus if you pre-order the game as well. When purchasing the game in advance, you will receive a special Munchlax so you’re ensured a Snorlax. After that, you give it a ‘Snorlium Z’ to hold which gives it the move ‘pulverizing pancake’. I know right.

munchlax

The move shows one of the best animations where Snorlax awakes (finally) with evil eyes and runs across the screen before jumping high up in the air to bring a decimating end to the opponent.

It would be nice to see other generations getting attention however, this obsession over the first generation will definitely be getting a lot of people’s attention.