Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 28)

There’s a certain time in every Pokémon game, it might come after about the fifth badge, when your team is fully established and indeed, most of them are fully evolved. It’s around this point of the game that you might begin to encounter the below creatures and ask yourself the classic question of Blackjack: do you stick with the previously reliables, or twist with some of the new shakers below? Well, that’s what I’m here to help you with, innit? Just don’t blame me if you’re left with a load of undeveloped babby Pokémon before the sixth Gym Leader battle.

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Image rights infringement? Shurely shome mishtake

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990) NOTX

So, have you got any lookalikes? If you do, I hope they’re flattering ones; after all, there’s nothing than someone piping up, “you look like Woody Allen!” as if a resemblance to any celebrity at all is some kind of compliment. Talk about a day-ruiner, especially if you’ve been putting in serious effort at the gym.

It’s slim pickings for me in the lookalikes stakes, I’m afraid, in fact I wouldn’t be too upset about being linked to Slim Pickens at this stage. Probably the worst one I’ve gotten is deadpan “funnyman” Jack Dee, but you can hold on to your giggles because you’re talking about a Celebrity Big Brother winner there.

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It goes down sweet and smooth, but it’ll cost you a few Golds

Faxanadu (1990)

I’ve done some pretty crazy things and mad things to where I get close to women you know without getting arrested, that is, and chiefly among them is temporarily taken up smoking. Now, I came from a heavy smoking household. I used to be under the impression that the terms are super nintendo yellow. All the smoke it was that bad, but for my parents that is who have both since given up in fairness to them. I hope it isn’t too little too late.

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 27)

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 27)

Ice creams and gears, we’re at the heart of Generation V now. The last great Pokémon Generation, I called it. But listen, these things are always cyclical. I’m only denouncing later Generations now, the ones that younger players love today, in the same way that people probably dumped all over Generation II when it was the most gobsmacking thing I’d ever experienced, at the time. And if you go still further back, older folks would have looked at me memorising all of the original 151 Pokémon, their types, their moves, their cries, and said “put that down, you fool. Go out and get yourself a girlfriend.”

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“Begun, the waifu wars have”

Fire Emblem Fates (Birthright) (2016)

I’m as lazy, uninspired and bone-idle as the next man, but even I suffer from that strange phenomenon of the 2AM jolt of motivation, that moment where you’re lying in bed, nowhere near deep sleep, and you suddenly resolve to learn 2 languages, design a video game, write a book ad lose fifty pounds, and you’re even crazier if you think you’ll do it in that order. This is all forgotten about the following morning of course, when you awake startled, frazzled and you must shamble into school or work. But eventually, through early morning perseverance and more than a little keeping up with the Joneses, there is a change.

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If only panda bears could do it on command

Star Fox Command (2007)

When I was over in Munich, which by a very happy coincidence and completely unbeknownst to us was at the same time as the Oktoberfest, we eventually peeled ourselves away from the dancing tables and found ourselves in a busy park. Not busy with people, but rather there was a WWF display.

It wasn’t HHH versus Stone Cold under the trees, more’s the pity. No, this was the World Wide Fund for Nature, and they were hosting a display of hundreds of little plastic panda bears, which represented the amount of pandas left on earth.

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I put my blood, sweat and eyesight into these games for you, you know

Game Boy Advance (2001)

I came to the depressing realisation a number of years ago that I’m a slave to screens. I would spend, and continue to spend, pretty much every waking hour looking at a screen of some description. I go from my work PC to the TV to the games console, with healthy amounts of phone thrown in. And I came to this conclusion even before smartphones were “ubiquitous”, so you can only imagine what it’s like for me now.

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Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 26)

Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 26)

We’re just about getting to the halfway point of the Unova Dex, which is traditionally where the Pokémon designs begin to get a little more interesting. You’re far away from the generic birds and rats, and getting into heavy metal crocodiles and ghostly coffins. Mind you, you occasionally get the odd trashbag cropping up in places of the Pokédex where it really shouldn’t be – like Stantler being near Blissey and the Legendary Dogs in Johto, or the many generic Water types taking up residence next to the Regis in Hoenn. This time around though, I fear the trash may be just a bit too literal.

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The dawn of strategy games, the twilight of real war


Command & Conquer (1995)

All young boys have had army man fantasies, and judging by that airsoft fad we had a number of years ago, not to mention the amount of stag parties that go paintballing, there’s still a whole load of manchildren out there willing to take up the flecktarn. It’s well and good noscoping people in Battlefield and reckoning you could do the same in real life, but they never seem to realise that modern war just isn’t like that.

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Well fire my emblems, I didn’t think the Wii could do Hard Mode

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2008)

Oh God, it’s happened. I have suffered the most ignominious of gaming embarrassments. No, it’s not that I died to the first Goomba in Super Mario Bros; when you think about it, that guy has probably claimed more Marios worldwide and throughout history than any other.

No, I loaned my PS2 and Metal Gear Solid 2 game to my pal, who was wanting to get up to speed up on the Metal Gear lore. No small task trying to make sense of that whole series, of course. I suppose it must be a bit like wanting to get a copy of War & Peace for your bathroom. But in any case, he took a look at the save file I previously had for the game, and there it was, in plain black and white text – the designated difficulty level for my playthrough was ‘Very Easy’.

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