Pokemon News and Episodes

Friday, 4 September 2015

HOW TEENS EARN $25,000 SCHOLARSHIPS PLAYING POKEMON

This year’s Pokemon World Championships in Boston was the biggest in Pokemon history, measured by both turn-out and prize values. Competitive Pokemon itself, however, remains a relatively quiet scene. Is it just for kids? Is it an eSport? The truth, as it often does, lies somewhere in the middle. Pokemon is in a competitive gaming category all its own.
I talked to two competitive video game players while at Worlds, brothers Aaron and Brendan Zheng. Aaron, 17, is a partnered Twitch streamer and finished in the Masters top four at this year's Nationals event, while Brendan, 13, was the Juniors division World Champion in 2013 and is a veteran of the scene — he’s been playing seriously for five years already.
Pokemon Is for Kids… Right?
Competitive Pokemon in both its video game (VGC) and trading card game (TCG) varieties comes in three age divisions: Juniors, Seniors, and Masters. This year, Juniors are born in 2004 or later, Seniors are born between 2000 and 2003 (ironically, since that mostly doesn't include seniors in high school), and Masters are anyone older than that. Aaron competed in Masters this year, while Brendan was a Senior.
Unlike other competitive games, there’s never millions of dollars in cash on the line in Pokemon. No one plays to earn a living, and new, excellent players are emerging all the time. It’s mostly kids and very young adults, and entire families came to Worlds to support competitors — there were more than a few infants in attendance.
“There’s no other game where you’re gonna see 12 year olds competing,” Aaron said. “I think it’s good, because I used to play in the younger divisions, and so it helped me build confidence in myself as a player.”
Unlike other competitive games, there’s never millions of dollars in cash on the line in Pokemon.
The younger kids I saw at Worlds this year were clearly confident and very impressive. Kotone Yasue, a 10-year-old Juniors VGC World Champion from Japan, played brilliantly in her championship match. Her team showed a lot of foresight. One of her Pokemon had a move, Trick Room, that allows slower Pokemon to move first for a few turns, so she bred another Pokemon on her team to be slower than normal in order to really take advantage. She was also the only female champion and the only girl in the finals (out of 12 competitors total) for both the VGC and the TCG.
Pokemon events in general are very friendly to children and families, since the games are largely geared toward kids and online play made safe for younger players. Nearly all of the competitors are very young. As a result, instead of cash prizes, competitive Pokemon grants scholarships to winners. I spoke to J.C. Smith, Director of Consumer Marketing for the Pokemon Company International, about the reasoning behind that decision.
“Scholarships are important because it’s really about making sure it’s the right crowd of people, and I think scholarships attract a group of people that want to play for the love of it,” he said.
Pokemon Can Pay for College... But So What?
At Worlds this year, the first place TCG winner received $25,000 in scholarship money, and the first place video game player won $10,000. That's $15,000 and $6500 more than last year's World Championships, respectively, and that means more to competitors than just motivation.
“I don’t think any of us play Pokemon for the prizes. It’s not like other eSports where you actually make a living off of [it]. Like, League of Legends players train hard and they’re getting paid a salary to go to these tournaments,” Aaron said. “At the end of the day, none of us are playing Pokemon for the prizes.”
Brendan echoed his brother’s sentiment: “I don’t think [the scholarship money] is the main reason why I play Pokemon. The main motivation is just proving to myself that I can become a World Champion. The scholarship is more an extra. I’m not playing Pokemon just for the prizes, I’m playing Pokemon to meet new people, to get a new experience.”
None of us are playing Pokemon for the prizes.
Aaron later explained that prizes do have a purpose, just not the motivational one we’d think of first. “I think Pokemon is finally recognizing [the competitive scene]. It’s not like other companies like Riot or Blizzard where they’re putting in millions of dollars because that’s what they do, that’s how they grow their game. Pokemon’s organized play is just one section of their entire brand,” he said. “But now we’re seeing a lot more scholarship money going into it.”
He added, “I do think prizes are part of it because then you can sell it off: ‘Oh, look at this tournament, it’s a Pokemon tournament with millions of dollars on the line.’” To Aaron, prizes make competition more legitimate in other people’s eyes, even if most of the players aren’t there for money.
Competitive… or Not
Competitive Pokemon is unique. Sure, the top players work hard to win, and yes, losses result in tears and disappointment like any other competition, but camaraderie and friendship was undoubtedly put first at Worlds. As I was walking with Aaron, several other players stopped him to say hi or introduce themselves. There were players from all over the world at the event, and they spent their down time befriending each other.
“I think Pokemon isn’t something that you have to be good at, you just have to go to these tournaments, and you can meet new people and talk to them. I’ve made so many new friends from Pokemon,” Brendan said when I asked him about his favorite part of playing Pokemon competitively.
Pokemon isn’t something that you have to be good at.
Aaron provided some insight as to why there’s an absence of fierce, harsh competition. “I think for Pokemon especially, since all the top players can be easily beaten by other players, it’s not like other games where there’s a very defined top five or top 10, like these guys can’t be touched by anyone,” he said. There’s definitely an element of chance in Pokemon battles — for example, a lot of moves have a small chance of missing, and that can and will make or break a game. Some teams also fare better against certain Pokemon than others, so player-to-player matchups matter as well, not just skill.
“Pokemon’s a game where there’s luck involved in it,” Aaron said. “It’s a game where top players lose all the time, and I think that makes it exciting, because then newer players will be more incentivized to join the game.”
Aside from three-time champion Ray Rizzo, no one has really dominated the competitive scene. Rather than engaging in high-stakes competition between elite players, the players I saw and met at Worlds all seemed to understand that they could do their best and still lose, and that it was okay. All of that stems from Pokemon’s origins, and that’s what sets Pokemon apart.
“The game was created to encourage communication. It was the trading with the link cable on the original Game Boy, it was trading cards. It’s all about bringing people together,” Smith said.
“It’s not cutthroat, it’s collaborative.”
Even with college tuition on the line.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

New Pokemon and Star Fox games rumored to come out on Wii U

E3 2015 is just around the corner with high expectations from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to deliver big time in the gaming world. The latest rumor comes from Nintendo who is allegedly going to announce a Pokemon game for the Wii U, simply called “Pokemon” and a new Star Fox Game, “Star Fox Cross” at E3. The rumor came from a leaked summary online containing Nintendo’s plans for E3 2015.
The Pokemon game features the trainer from Pokemon Red and Blue, in third-person, going on an adventure in the first region of Kanto. It will allegedly come out next year for the Wii U. “Star Fox Cross” is the newest addition in the Star Fox series. It brings features like the ability to create your own avatar, offline and multiplayer, and Miiverse connection. Information in the leak also points to the announcement of another title “Angel Blood”.  Angel Blood brings a dark, more gruesome and intense game-play experience to Nintendo users. It features a blonde assassin who has been assigned the task of killing powerful Yakuza members.
pokemon_fire_red_leaf_green_main_169
The release of a Pokemon and Star Fox game just might be what the Wii U needs to boost its sales as they are some of the most intriguing and popular franchises in Nintendo’s belt. Do bear in mind these are rumors, however it seems that Nintendo has something big planned for E3 2015 and we’re looking forward to it.
Let us know your thoughts on the article in the comments below.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon Trailer, Pokemon Z Release Date Still Unconfirmed

 <br/>
Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon is launching this fall, while Nintendo has yet to confirm the Pokemon Z release date. Both games are expected to be available on Nintendo 3DS upon date of release.
Japan to Receive Super Mystery Dungeon First 
On September 17, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon will be launched in Japan. A worldwide release is likely to follow this winter, even though it is uncertain exactly when the game will reach U.S. shores.
This latest information was announced recently via the official Super Mystery Dungeon trailer, which was shown during the Nintendo Direct Micro Broadcast in Japan on May 31. A copy of this video is already available on YouTube.
Described as a dungeon-crawling RPG, Super Mystery Dungeon has players assuming the role of a Pokemon. There are 20 to choose from. Players will be joined by partners as they negotiated treacherous enemies and dangerous traps. Nintendo announced that the game will feature 720 types of Pokemon.
Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon is the follow-up to the 2005 Pokemon Mystery Dungeon videogame. Developed by Spike Chunsoft, the two titles are exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS portable console.
Pokemon Z Release Date Still Unconfirmed
The rumored successor to Pokemon Y is still a mystery, considering that Nintendo has yet to unveil any meaningful information. For now, it seems that the so-called Pokemon Z exists solely within the wishful thinking of diehard fans.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Pokemon Shuffle is getting new stages, a Giratina event



Pokemon Shuffle just got an update that makes it slightly less sleazy, but it's still predicated on spending currency to get more Hearts -- because of that strict limitation and low return rate for energy, I likely won't be returning anytime soon. For those of you who still play, there's a lot coming up next week. A Giratina event will run from June 8 until June 22. It will get more difficult the more you play it, and the rewards will increase in value.
As for new stages, more are coming this Monday -- they will take place in the Pedra Valley, and will include Garbodor, Doublade, and Conkeldurr. There's also three new Expert stages. Not a bad update! I just wish the Heart limit was increased to 10 or something thereabouts.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Episode 848 – Splitting Heirs!


Episode 45 – Splitting Heirs!

Episode 847 – Showdown at the Shalour Gym!


Episode 44 – Showdown at the Shalour Gym!