21st Pokémon Movie announces its Western title: ‘The Power of Us’ and hints at previous movie throwback

Previously known in Japan as ‘Pokémon the Movie: Everyone’s Story’ the next Pokémon movie to be released will be titled in the West as ‘The Power of Us‘. Judging from the name and with the poster featuring Lugia at the top it looks like there will be some references to the second movie in the franchise ‘The Power of One’.

The main premise of the movie will be of a town that lives in harmony with the wind and holds a festival each year to celebrate the legendary Pokémon Lugia (who is previously known for bringing balance to potential weather disasters and in this movie keeps the wind blowing). Lugia isn’t the only dynamic Pokémon to feature in this movie as new mythical Pokémon Zeraora who was revealed in Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon makes their first on-screen appearance. From the trailer it looks like Zeraora has a connection to one of the newly introduced characters.

It’s a classic Pokémon movie where everything is going well and then disaster strikes and it is up to our heroes and their friends to save the day…what’s not to love?

From the trailer it appears that there is a message in the movie: ‘if you feel you cannot do something on your own, together with your friends you can achieve it’. The movie has introduced multiple characters all of different ages and I’m sure their backgrounds will be revealed in the film. The recent Pokémon series related to the Sun & Moon games have certainly provided a maturer feel to its content and it looks like this movie will carry on that approach will nicely reflects those fans who have grown up with the series over the last 22 years. Judging by the Pokémon in the trailer I presume this will be in the Johto region and will be interesting to see if Ash has any of his other Pokémon with him.

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Ash is once again sporting his classic cap.
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Team Rocket will also feature in the movie and are the only noted original characters besides Ash and Pikachu to be shown in the trailer.

The movie will be in US cinemas at the end of November in association with Fathom Events due to the success of last year’s special showing of the movie ‘I Choose You’ which was an alternate idea towards the origins of Ash and Pikachu as well as featuring the legendary bird Ho-oh. It has not been announced yet whether the movie will be shown in cinemas in the UK and Europe but fingers crossed! It would also be great to see a Pikachu short this time around as the nostalgia of having a Pokémon movie in the cinema was great, but nothing starts off a Pokémon movie better than a Pikachu adventure.

Here is the official movie poster:
pokemon poster

 

 

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Kanto’s Calling: Let’s Go Pikachu & Let’s Go Eevee announced for the Nintendo Switch

It has been rumoured for a long time but finally Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch in the form of two titles: ‘Let’s Go Pikachu‘ and ‘Let’s Go Eevee‘ which represent the starter Pokémon from Pokémon Yellow. The games which are set to be released November 16th and are being made by Gamefreak, will see players return to Kanto from the first generation of games. However, the games you once knew have been given major updates and a fresh coating of paint.

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Protagonist Red is seen here with Pikachu clasping to his shoulder similar to the anime. Pikachu (and Eevee) will travel outside of their pokéball like in Yellow.

The new titles which take place in the first generation of the games have a new 3D look and gameplay which looks more like Pokémon GO than the traditional Pokémon style. The majority of the trailer shows players catching Pokémon rather than battling them (although the trailer shows trainer battle glimpses) like you would when playing Pokémon GO. One way of catching the creatures is to detach the joy-con controller from the Switch console and use one of them free hand and incorporate the motion controls to throw a pokéball which makes the experience all the more realistic. Even more so is the addition of the ‘Pokéball Plus’ which is like Pokémon GO’s ‘Plus’ watch but with many more upgrades such as it working as a controller and letting you carry Pikachu or Eevee with you wherever you go like the pokéwalker you got with Heart Gold and Soul Silver.

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Towns will appear much bigger due to the 3D design and have a great colour scheme.

That’s not the only similarity to the aforementioned games, because once again Pokémon will travel with you outside of the pokéball with certain Pokémon appearing much larger now that they’re in 3D such as Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Electrode and Gengar whom were shown in the trailer. Riding Pokémon appear to be continuing in the games which were introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon where you can use certain Pokémon to travel through terrains and this is shown with Onix, Lapras and Charizard for rock surfaces, water and air travel. Starting with Pikachu or Eevee feels like a major throwback to Yellow and because of another feature to the game I imagine that you will be able to catch the starter Pokémon as well.

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A preview of what it might look like travelling on a Charizard and will feature shadows on the ground as well. 

The feature I am referencing is the Pokémon GO catching style to which I would assume you can catch Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander in the game as there is a Bulbasaur featured in the trailer. The interesting part to this would be where will these Pokémon be placed because in a shot of Mt. Moon the Pokémon you see inside are the ones you’d expect to find. In Yellow the starters were given to you in different towns…but obviously the gameplay looks to be different. The Pokémon that were seen in Mt. Moon were ones that you could actually see which finally confirmed that roaming Pokémon are in the game (like GO) and the sprites used like really well designed and colourful.

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Inside Mt. Moon with Pokémon roaming freely. 

In the image above there are two trainers and this is because grabbing the other joy-con enables a second person to enter the game and that helps with catching Pokémon where there are two pokéballs used. This adds an extra chance of catching Pokémon by the looks of things and two people can battle together against trainers in the game as well…which sets an unfair advantage for Youngster Joey and his top percentage Rattata. This raises the question of how battling and levelling up will work in the game if you don’t catch Pokémon by battling which is sad because that’s one of my favourite aspects of the game but only time will tell. Having two people on the same screen together reminds me of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl where you and a friend could link up and harvest fossils and gems underground (where is our gen 4 remake Nintendo?). From other images the game appears to play out similar to the first games featuring notable landmarks and faces such as Professor Oak, Team Rocket and the all-powerful Mewtwo.

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Professor Samuel Oak who definitely looks like he’s had a few years taken off of him.

Pokémon GO is definitely a big part in influencing this game (it’s sort of in the name) and it is practically a part of it as well because you can send Pokémon that you have caught on your mobile over to the ‘poké park’ on the Switch games. It is not said whether these will be used in the regular game, but it wouldn’t surprise me after a certain point in the game if you could…maybe a new Safari Zone? This kind of makes me wish I had done more events on Pokémon Go to build a better roster. I assume there will be a way to care for your companions in the park like feeding them berries or brushing them like in Pokémon X and Y. Those titles introduced character customisation and outfits and funnily enough the trailer shows that you can get custom outfits for Pikachu and Eevee which I assume may be limited to just them or certain characters.

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Pikachu will now be stylin’, profilin’ and electrifying!

The final thing to add is that the trailer finished off by saying we will meet a very special Pokémon in the game or perhaps receive in an event as it looked like it was being opened as a gift received from GO. This could potentially be Mew, a new evolution for Pikachu or Eevee or maybe a generation 8 Pokémon as it is said a new line of games will be out next year.

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Who could it be? It looks as though the special Pokémon will be on both Go and Let’s Go.

The announcement has certainly created a lot of excitement with Pokémon trending all over social media and I assume a lot more will be revealed at E3 in a couple of weeks. It looks like this will be one of the most adventurous Pokémon titles with you playing the game on the go and connecting your smart phones to the Switch. Will Pokémon be on different games like Vulpix and Growlithe? How many Pokémon can you hold at one time or will there be a GO carry system? Will there be other generation Pokémon? How many Eeveelutions will there be? Will there be monthly events? Can we trade via the Switch?  How are levels and moves based? Will gyms be like raids in GO? Does this dress make Pikachu look fat? Stay tuned for more information here on Wardculture!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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