Detective Pikachu Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 11h 14m

Detective Pikachu Review

I watched the movie for Detective Pikachu a long time ago and it was definitely a lot of fun. It’s taken me long enough but I finally got to buy the game as well. I do like the idea of the game with solving mysteries and cracking puzzles but in this case I think the premise far outstrips the execution. It’s aimed a bit younger than I expected in terms of the gameplay so it’s a true cakewalk. You aren’t going to die here and at most you may just take some time on some of the chapters because you have to talk to everyone so much. There is very little dialogue here compared to the text you’re reading. It almost becomes a visual novel at some points.

The story follows a kid named Tim who is trying to find out what happened to his father. Tim’s father was working on a very dangerous case when there was a car crash and then he was never seen again. Tim is confident that his father still lives since the body wasn’t found but in order to dig up any clues he is going to potentially have to cross paths with a very powerful criminal underworld. These guys don’t play nice so that means a single mistake can really have you in a jam. Fortunately Tim meets up with an interesting Pikachu who wears a detective’s cap and Tim can even understand him. This Pikachu acts a whole lot like a human too and even drinks coffee. Unfortunately he has a case of amnesia and won’t be able to help out much in uncovering the truths through what he recalls but apparently he was Tim’s father’s Pikachu so at least he was close to the situation. Perhaps his memories will come back later on.

Along the way you meet up with a reporter and her friend as well as their boss and then a bunch of other characters. The cops are here to help and before long you have a lot of suspects to work with. There are 9 chapters in the game and they all help you build up some clues and they each get you closer to finding the mastermind behind the operation. One thing’s for sure, this won’t be easy for Tim.

Now the main issue with the game is that all of the chapters start to feel very similar because there is no variety in the gameplay or the structure. Basically the flow is that you will talk to everyone once and get some ideas/clues for the case that you’re working on. This triggers a new idea/clue and then you have to talk to everyone again. You rinse and repeat until you’ve solved the case at which point Pikachu will start recapping it. Then you get a quick time event to wrap up the chapter and start the steps again. The weakness to this style is that if you solve the case ahead of Tim and that’ll happen often, you still can’t proceed until you officially get the clue.

This happened to me quite a few times but the most intense was in the final chapter where I missed one character to talk too and that was enough to prevent me from moving forward in the case. It would help if you didn’t have to talk to everyone each time. Additionally whenever you talk to a Pokemon for the first time you get a whole intro for that Pokemon which can get a bit repetitive. The game likes to recycle animations. Also Pikachu will occasionally call to you and usually it’s to give you advice for a case but sometimes it’s just for a little skit. The problem is that it’s impossible to know which is which and some of these clues are required for you to move on so it’s always a guessing game.

Meanwhile I enjoy the quick time events but it would still be nice if there were more I could do on my own. Let me fight as well because otherwise all I can do is move around in the game. A fun tribute to the franchise would have been if it turned into a turn style based combat for the final level of the game. You have to admit that would have been super awesome and it could have helped make things feel special. Instead the final chapter is just like any other.

Now there is still a good amount to like bout the game and that makes sense since the score is still going to be positive here. The game has voice acting at times and fully animated cutscenes. That’s always a lot of fun and makes the game feel more special. You can tell that a good amount of budget was put into this one without a doubt. The graphics hold up really well. The soundtrack also gets surprisingly intense during the quick time events. Suddenly there is a decent amount of rock and roll music going on. It’s nice and fast paced and helps to really take the music to the next level.

In terms of length I wouldn’t say it’s great but it’s long enough. It’ll take some different batches to defeat it for sure. Maybe around 10-12 hours would be how long the game takes. There isn’t any replay value as the game just stops and then you can’t go through a level select or anything like that. There’s no collectibles or anything so it makes sense. You’re playing this one for the mystery and that’s it. The ending does leave a lot of room for the sequel though since they don’t actually wrap everything up. You could say that the adventure is just getting started.

Tim is a decent main character. He wants to save the day and find his father. There admittedly isn’t a whole lot more to him than that but it’s enough to at least use as a starting point. Then you have Pikachu who is very confident in himself and he deserves it. He is actually a really good detective here and lllcan hold his own on any case. That’s exactly the kind of character I like to see. The reporter is good as well and you’ve got a fun cast here. If they ever do make the sequel and just add some more interactive gameplay then I’d say we will certainly have a winner here. I like to see the Pokemon games trying new things but I just think you have to give people a little more than this. I got it for a great price but at full price it just ends too soon and wouldn’t have given you the big experience you were expecting.

Overall, This game wasn’t quite as good as I expected but it was still a good game. It’s fun to see how different it is from the movie. They have a lot of common elements but also really ended up doing their own things in the end and the nice part about that is you don’t have to relive the same story twice. Instead you get to see the characters again but in some new settings. If you’re looking for a fun little Pokemon adventure that is more of a book than a game then this is the one you will want. If that doesn’t sound quite energetic enough for you then you should probably get something like Pokken instead and keep this one on the bench for now.

Overall 6/10

Pokémon Journeys Review

Pokemon Journeys was a really ambitious anime that brought a ton of old characters back. It was like a trip down memory lane and really worked well as the final big stop on Ash’s journey. A lot of people who stopped keeping up with the series made sure to come back for this one and you can absolutely understand why. It was such a big deal for Ash to be competing against other champions and the nostalgia was off the charts. This manga series chronicles those adventures to an extent but it’s only 4 volumes long so it ends up being a very abridged version.

The series starts off by introducing us to Ash and Goh (Go, Gou…it’s spelled so many different ways but I’m used to Goh the most so I’ll use that one for this review) as they set off on their journeys. Ash wants to become a Pokemon master, a trainer who is without peer. To this end he is gearing up to enter the World Coronation Series which is a massive tournament with around 1000 trainers. You have to keep winning to rise up the ranks until you are in the top 8. Only at that point are you entered into the bracket segment of the tournament where you will be fighting with other opponents with the highest of stakes.

Meanwhile Goh wants to catch every Pokemon that ever existed. This includes Legendaries and of course it is a very ambitious task. I don’t think anyone has ever caught all of the Pokemon in this world and it’s hard to picture that changing. There are so many hundreds of Pokemon and then a lot of them need to be evolved as well so you will need to spend time to train them up. I’m not sure if Goh has that kind of time although of course it would be great if he could pull this off. The two of them meet up and form a duo as they go along the region and have their big adventures. Will they be able to accomplish their objectives and get along?

Right away you can see how the series is moving at a super high speed though. Some Pokemon captures are basically off screen and I’d say this feels more like a “Best Hits” collection than anything else. It’s sort of like the manga is adapting all of the stories they felt would be the most exciting and that’s absolutely a valid approach but at the same time that also means if you are reading this without watching the show then you won’t get the most impactful experience out of it. It just goes by really quickly the whole time. In some ways it reminded me of the Dinosaur King manga which may feel a bit random but it was also a really quick adventure. That one did have more of a focused plot though because it chose to take a different path than the show.

That probably would have been the best way to go with this one if they knew that the volume count would be limited. Still, it’s always fun to see Ash around which is why I’d say that this series is pretty good. I don’t think you will find it particularly memorable in the end but Pokemon adventures are typically always good by default. You get some fun fights here and Ash is always a solid main character. By this point in the series he is very experienced and has a lot of good tactics. You can count on him to do well with Pikachu and so of course they do tend to shred most of the competition.

Meanwhile for Goh he’s not my favorite character yet but he has potential. Mainly he gets teased a lot by Gary and tends to lose those fights but Ash was also verbally defeated by Gary all the time back in the day. It’s not really something to feel bad about as a result. It’s just how it goes and of course Gary has way more experience on his end than Goh does. I like Goh’s goal of trying to catch all of the Pokemon though. Even if I think he’ll never pull it off, it’s something different than the previous rivals and helps to really switch things up. If he can just be a bit bolder and more ready to fight then that would help him out instead of making excuses that he’s just not used to battling. Nobody’s buying that after all.

The artwork is good but not great. The manga likes to go all in with the facial expressions and it’s clear enough but at times there aren’t a lot of details. To me this looks more like what I would consider a cash-in manga to be. It works out since that’s effectively what this title is but I’d still like to be surprised with something a bit more high end like Pokemon Adventures. The fights are on point though and that’s what counts.

It’s also nice to see Leon a bit even if he only has time for two quick matches. The guy would go on to become one of the strongest of all time after all so you really want to see what he can do early on. I remember when this fight happened in the anime as well. Ash definitely did pretty good all things considered and I like to think that if Pikachu had just a bit more time that he could have pulled out the win. He still has a lot of speed and experience on his side after all. At least it wasn’t a blowout. At this point I just don’t think that any Pokemon can possibly hope to crush Ash like that.

Raihan, Bea, Lance, and other trainers are all around as well. One strong aspect of Pokemon has always been the really solid supporting cast and that doesn’t change here as well. All of these guys are fighters and have made it this far for that reason. Seeing Ash be able to brush shoulders with all of them is great and shows how far he has come. Honestly I wouldn’t have minded if they just cut right to the giant tournament and just adapt every battle. In a way that’s really what put Journeys on the map although I know people enjoy the normal episodes as well. It’s just that the World Coronation Series is too exciting to miss out on and it’s a shame that the manga couldn’t adapt more of it.

Of course Gary also shows up here which is nice. It’s still too bad that he’s not as much of a fighter nowadays since he was so good. I hope he gets a big fight at some point in the future. He has grown up though which is impressive in itself since Ash hasn’t really changed all that much. It does help the theories that someone froze Ash’s time somehow and that would be an intense plot point to explore. As one of the last Ash adventures I suspect this manga will grow even more nostalgic over time.

I feel like almost all of my complements to this series feel like they are back handed ones. It’s just not trying to do anything special or be anything more than a standard Pokemon manga though. It’s going through the motions and that’s really all that you need it to do. It’s a very easy read that you can pick up at any time and just blast through. There aren’t any big character arcs to speak of or any big overarching plot to complete like in Legendz. So that’s also why there isn’t a whole lot to say because it’s just quickly adapting episodes and moving fast. How much you enjoy it will depend on how much you like Pokemon. At the end of the day I do like the series a lot though so even a mini manga like this will be fun for me and I would still recommend it to anyone out there. You can’t really go wrong with more adventures for Ash and Pikachu after all. They’re still the classic Dynamic Duo for a reason.

Overall, Pokemon Journeys is a good manga but one that almost feels like a commercial for the show. If you like this title then you’ll want to go and watch the episodes to see how things end. Of course if you pick up from where this one left off then you will be missing some adventures since the manga does a lot of skipping around. I think the skips make sense to some degree but they could have done it a bit smoother so that it wouldn’t be obvious that something was skipped. For example I don’t think the manga should skip any Pokemon captures or battles that are referenced later on. We get that with one of the rematches here where it’s odd since we didn’t see the original. You’ll have a good time either way though and if you see this on the shelf you may as well pick it up. It’s a nice way to zoom through the early parts of Journeys and then you can jump ahead to the big part of the tournament.

Overall 7/10

Pokemon Scarlet Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 20h 19m
Badges Collected 18
Paldea Pokedex 54 Pokemon Caught 197 Battled

Pokemon Stats

Skeledirge Level 68
FLoatzel Level 66
Talonflame Level 66
Ampharos Level 67
Lycanroc Level 67
Dugtrio Level 69
Wattrel Level 12
Vivillon Level 12
Yungoos Level 12
Igglybuff Level 14
Psyduck Level 13
Lechonk Level 12
Skiddo Level 15
Gastly Level 15
Hoppip Level 12
Fidough Level 13
Tarountula Level 13
Azurill Level 16
Eevee Level 45
Vigoroth Level 45
Girafarig Level 35
Cubchoo Level 35
Foretress Level 45
Hattrem Level 35
Lilligant Level 45
Mudbray Level 16
Mankey Level 15
Nymble Level 14
Capsakid Level 16
Nacli Level 14
Phanpy Level 16
Dratini Level 35
Deerling Level 12
Rookidee Level 12
Flittle Level 17
Drifloon Level 16
Charcadet Level 16
Shinx Level 20
Indeedee Level 35
Silicobra Level 12
Skwovet Level 12
Foongusd Level 20

Pokemon Scarlet Review

It’s time for the next big Pokemon event game! It’s always fun to have the Gym Leaders and Elite 4 running around. It’s been a little while since we really got to have that whole setup here as Arceus was a bit different from the usual path. All in all I would say this was definitely a big success. The plot may be the weakest one among all of the main-line Pokemon games but the gameplay is nostalgic and you should have a really good time here.

The game starts you off as a new student who will be attending a fun Pokemon school. There are 3 paths for you to embark on, the Gym Leader course, the Titans course, and stopping the Starfall group. Only after you have completed all 3 routes will you be able to unlock the final story and complete the game. Initially I thought it was going to be more like you complete one path and beat the game, then optionally play the others but in the end they’re all interconnected. The levels also match up that way and each path has their perks so I recommend just always going for the one closest to you.

The game has a map which is handy since the world is so big but it also does have its limitations. You can’t tell what level a raid is until you walk over there. It’s also hard to tell which gym/encounter is next on the list but I was okay with that one because it does help to emulate how a trainer might tackle things out of order. I found this to be the most difficult Pokemon game by far as I actually lost some battles and had to go back and train. It turned out that I was playing the Gym Leaders in reverse order by mistake. No wonder one of them had Level 50s early on. I must have taken a wrong turn on one of the routes but either way it was cool.

It did mean that the second half of the game mostly turned into a cakewalk though as I fought a guy with level 15s near the very end of the game. It did explain why my rival Nemona was so much weaker than the gym leaders at first since I guess the programming has a set level for her Pokemon based on how many badges I’ve obtained as opposed to which ones. Once you unlock sprinting and gliding you have a lot more fun traversing the world. It may be hard to adjust to the lower speed after playing Sonic Frontiers for so long but you get the hang of it. It was an ambitious map and I would say the game did a good job of it.

The gameplay feels like classic Pokemon once you actually get into the battles. For the first time in a while I also got to fight blind to an extent as I don’t know almost any of the new Pokemon and their types. It was fun getting that sense of mystery as I struggled to find the right attacks to use. This especially became big during the Elite 4 battles which are handled perfectly. You feel the majesty and mystery surrounding each fighter and the new musical theme that is introduced there works really well. Definitely no issues on the gameplay here.

The game succeeds because it’s just a lot of fun. At the end of the day who doesn’t like just getting out there and fighting in Pokemon battles right? What does hurt the game when comparing it to other big ones like Ruby and Fire Red is the story though. As I mentioned earlier, it’s just not that good. Most of it feels rather aimless and low stakes even for Pokemon. You fight a Titan and get a little cutscene, then this is repeated over and over for each fight. Likewise the Starfall events all have you beat someone and then see their tragic story. For the first time that I can think of, there is no evil group here. (Pokemon Shield may not have had an evil group either although I’m not 100%. If that is the case maybe they’re being phased out) So you’re never in any actual danger there.

The gym leaders are fun even if it’ll take me a while to learn their names. Larry is definitely the highlight there and it’s extremely impressive that he actually performs double duty as a gym leader and an elite four member. That has to be a huge time commitment and he makes it look easy. The game does start to turn up in the climax though so at least the final story event is pretty hype. I enjoyed the last battles but it felt like a preview of what the whole game could have been like. I’m not asking for anything crazy but even having an antagonist like Team Rocket running around would be fun. Give me some kind of trial to surpass as I prove that I’m the true Pokemon master.

A highlight from the characters perspective is Nemona though. She’s your rival here and while she is on the nicer side, she really likes battling. She constantly talks about challenging you and is very enthusiastic. Nemona is a supportive character who just wants to help the lead do his best and the fact that she beat the Elite 4 and the old champion so easily is impressive. Not only was she holding back but she was fairly young when she conquered them based on the dialogue. Yes, this looks really bad on the original champion who may be the least impressive one in the franchise but Nemona makes up for it by being the most memorable rival in a very long time. I am inclined to say that she beats every rival after Ruby in the game series.

As for the graphics, you’ve certainly seen the memes all around. There are a lot of visual glitches running around here like things popping in and out, character models being off point, and some severe lag. It’s clear that graphics weren’t a big point of emphasis here but ultimately it still looks good. In the context of this being a AAA Switch title then it’s well below expectations as it looks more like a Wii game but ultimately you can always tell where you’re at and the colors are fun. I didn’t really have a problem with it and you likely won’t run into any real glitches that affect gameplay so you’re good on this end.

The soundtrack is definitely on the weaker side though. Most of the new tracks don’t really land all that effectively. I liked the Elite 4 theme and the final boss theme but the rest weren’t so great. Still decent though and I don’t mind listening to them but they are a step below what you would expect. I think the issue is that most of the themes try remixing older tunes or taking elements from them instead of trying something completely new and that was a mistake. You always have to try and innovate as much as possible.

The campaign took me around 20 hours to complete so that’s a pretty reasonable amount of time. Between the 3 paths and then the last one it felt like there was a lot of content to play through. The game also has a post game that you can work on completing as well which involves a lot of battles. The game isn’t afraid to get a little difficult so you could look forward to some fun challenges there. In the end it did a great job of not being a cakewalk and so you do have to actually put some effort into the game if you want to complete it.

Overall, Pokemon Scarlet is a great game. At the end of the day it gives you all of the classic Pokemon staples that you would hope to see here. There’s a whole lot to enjoy and just filling up the Pokedex will likely take a very long time. I believe I caught less than 40 Pokemon and there are several hundred in here. Go forth and try to claim your mantle as the champion! Not sure how long it’ll be before we get the next big installment with a bunch of new Pokemon but this game can certainly last a whole lot longer if you want it too and then the gap won’t feel so large.

Overall 8/10

PokeToon Review

Pokemon has been getting a lot of little shows here and there. This is the latest one and it’s going for a more low key vibe as the anthology switches animation styles a lot. Some of the shorts are pretty solid while others are definitely weaker. In general I would say this one doesn’t hold up to the last few shows but you should still have some fun here. With only 8 episodes that are shorter than normal ones, it won’t take you long to blast through them all.

The first short is about Scraggy as he fights with Mikikyu in classic Looney Tunes/Mickey Mouse style. The animation is very much going for that kind of retro look and so there is a lot of battling going on. It’s very nostalgic to see this style and it’s nice enough but what I do miss about it is that there isn’t any dialogue or anything like that. So there’s barely a plot here. It works well enough since the short is….well short, but if this was full length then it would eventually drag on. This would be in the lower tier from the 8 episodes at 7th place overall.

Then next up we have an episode about Pancham and now this was a really solid one. I would put it as the 2nd best. Basically he wants to be a hero like his role model Arcanine but the problem is that the way evolution works, he can never be an Arcanine which shakes him up a bit. Still, he decides to train hard and become a respectable hero in his own right. One day there are a bunch of miners stuck behind a cave-in and it’s up to Pancham to save them.

It’s always nice seeing a Pokemon with a lot of personality and ambitions of his own. I liked Pancham right away and the story is very satisfying as he works to achieve his dream. The kid also wasn’t super annoying here although he could have let Pancham know about the situation a little sooner instead of just running around. At the end of the day Pancham is someone that you know you can count on to help save the day and take the right steps to saving the people.

Next up is a short that’s more about the human this time. Blossom wants to be a Pokemon trainer but her Mom denies the idea while her father is too nervous to do much of anything. She figures that she will just have to leave without permission and finds a nice Nidoran but unfortunately there is a misunderstanding and now his parents want to crush her. Blossom retreats to the village but with NidoKing and NidoQueen fast approaching, has she just doomed the village?

I liked the idea of the story more than the execution which is why this one has to settle for third place. I was thrilled when some Pokemon Trainers showed up right away because the idea of a village without trainers would be crazy. So that was cool and it also just made a lot of sense. The fact that they were losing is quite embarrassing but I can also get behind this especially with how the new Arceus game presents the world. If you live in a low level area then you might have weak Pokemon so when a tough wild one shows up then you’re sunk.

This does make Blossom’s dad look awful though. He just couldn’t care less and even when he hears the large explosions in the distance he doesn’t do anything. When Blossom shows up scared and desperate he coldly reminds her that his Charizard won’t listen to her. Throughout the adventure he just isn’t helpful at all even through to the climax as he lets his daughter take all of the risks. The special was trying to make him appear as the guy who appears to be rather helpless but is actually really tough. It just completely failed on that note.

The special itself is nice because of the action and Blossom is a good character but the Dad definitely makes it fall down a notch this time. I still like the idea of some Pokemon storming a village with trainers. I’d actually like to see something similar with Team Rocket someday. At this point all villages should have a bunch of trainers so that would make for a great premise to a short.

Now we can talk about the weakest special of the 8 which is about a Magikarp. This one is going for a very quiet kind of short like the first one. There is no dialogue here or anything like that. So it’s all about this one kid who plays by the lake and his music is really appealing to Magikarp. One day the kid leaves so the Pokemon has to try and find him. It’s one of those shorts that would be a lot more emotional with some dialogue and more of a full story. The abstract design of the short really doesn’t work nearly as well. It’s not all that interesting so it really couldn’t keep up with the others.

On the upper half of the 8 specials was one about Slugma at 4th place. This one is about a girl who always tries to be friends with Slugma when she stays at her grandma’s house, but the Pokemon is very shy and always hides. Still, Slugma is a nice Pokemon and does his best to make sure that she’s comfortable by always supplying a lot of heat to the house. There’s not a whole lot going on in this one but it’s a nice wholesome story. I also just like seeing all of the Pokemon just hanging around the house. They really would be a lot like having pets in the real world.

One of the longer specials was about a girl trying to survive past the Pokemon scare challenge. Basically there is a haunted spot in the school and so a bunch of guys decide to check it out. The main girl here gets spooked by a ghost and raises her hand by accident so she has to come along but then she is turned into a Gengar, one of the very Pokemon that used to frighten her. With the other kids stuck in the school, she will have to try keeping them safe from the other Pokemon and conquer her fears at the same time.

I put this one as a bit weaker than the others at 5th because while the idea is good, I don’t think the short did a whole lot with it. The kids aren’t very likable and I’m also not sure why they would all be super scared of ghost type Pokemon. I feel like if there were real ghosts here then that would make sense but in a world where Pokemon are so common place, I don’t see them being thought of as super scary or anything like that. The kids are very young so I can cut them a little slack, but only a little.

It was cool to see the girl turn into the Gengar since that’s like something out of Mystery Dungeon but the special just wasn’t all that exciting. The more emotional stories are definitely the ones that would tend to be a lot more high ranking and this one wasn’t going for those vibes. At least we got some cool effect with the whole dimension shifting.

Then there is the Snorunt episode which is one of the weaker ones at 6. Basically a few kids have a secret base which is a nice homage to the old Pokemon games. One day they come across a Snorunt that is outside but the problem is that they live in a very warm climate so it’s not good for the Pokemon. They have to decide if they should take him to the PokeCenter in which case their secret base could be exposed or just try to save him themselves. Fortunately they make the right call.

It’s a decent enough short but the animation wasn’t as good as some of the others ones and I wouldn’t say that the story was super explosive either. I also don’t think that this would necessarily expose their base’s location. I’m thinking that the rationale would be that they would have to say where they found the Snorunt but they could always hide the base for a day when the adults go to check on it and then blow it up again. Still, it was good that they made the right choice.

Finally we have the Jigglypuff short which I rank as the best out of the 8. This one is about a girl who befriends a Jigglypuff but for some reason she’s afraid to sing. What’s worse is that another girl has a Jigglypuff that loves to sing so they start blaming the Jigglypuff and even the main girl for this which leads to a lot of tear and emotional moments. This Jigglypuff may not be able to sing, but at the end of the day she still tries her best so as not to disappoint her Poke trainer.

There’s no danger or action here but it’s a pretty good story. I liked the animation and it had solid vibes here. On a technical level is probably had the highest budget and I could easily see a slice of life kind of show in this setting. It was a good way to end things and it’s easy to root for Jigglypuff. Always good to end on a high note and that’s exactly what PokeToon did.

At the end of the day, the anthology format is what really holds this one back a bit. We had some solid shorts here but also some very weak ones. Some would have good animation like the final short and others looked incredibly rough. In general this does not look as good as any of the earlier Pokemon shows and I wouldn’t say that it manages to beat any of them either. It’s still not a bad show though and it’s so short that it’s worth a watch. I would like the next series to be a little more focused though or if not, at least stay consistent in the animation instead of going for more experimental styles. Build a whole show off of the last special and that would really work well.

Overall, PokeToon is a solid online series. As a mini series it fills the bill of being entertaining and I’ll always take anything to extend a franchise even more. It ultimately won’t be making any waves or claiming any big victories but it’s a show that you can pick up and play at any time. You don’t have to try and remember a lot of characters or what’s going on. Just pop in a short episode and you’re all set.

Overall 6/10

Pokémon: Hisuian Snow Review

It’s time to take a look at a fairly quick mini series. This one only had 3 episodes and combined they’re only about the length of one normal one so it’s over pretty quick. I’m always up for more Pokemon animations though so it’s good to have it and hopefully we get some more in the future. This adventure takes place in the far past to tie in to the recent Pokemon Arceus game. The setting may not be quite as interesting as the modern areas but it’s been a while since we got a snow adventure.

The story follows a kid named Alec who had always been fond of Pokemon. Unfortunately he was born into an era where people don’t get along with them. Humanity is afraid of these powerful creatures and think that it is best to just leave them alone. Keep a safe distance and then they won’t bother you. Humanity even build up walls around their village to ensure that no Pokemon gets close but one day while outside, Alec gets separated from his father. He injures his knee but is helped by a Zorua. Now he has to find his way back to the village with his Pokemon companion but will he be taken in with open arms?

The story also jumps to the present with Alec returning to the village in time for another Pokemon incident. The humans definitely are never too accommodating here and it does make them look a little ungrateful. Especially the father who is quick to be antagonistic to Zorua despite the Pokemon saving his kid’s life. That was definitely a shame but at least Alec was able to settle things later on. Ultimately Zorua was a true friend who helped out even if no gratitude was guaranteed. That’s the kind of Pokemon that you want to have your back without a doubt.

Alec wasn’t bad for a kid either. At least he did try to help the Pokemon out. In the present he even became a bit of a doctor and really went out of his way to be a good person. He’s someone who learned the right lesson from his experiences. The rest of the humans are not impressive at all though and don’t really stack up. The next best character would definitely be Zorua for being a good pal. The special shows that the Pokemon at the end of the day are always the most heroic ones.

In the final episode we even see two Abomisnow’s defend Alec as he tries to heal their injured partner while the humans just stand around. We get a pretty decent fight scene there too although it’s very short. Action isn’t really the main genre of this special after all, it’s really more of a full time adventure. I always enjoy the action when we can get it though. The animation pops out when Pokemon use their special attacks. I wouldn’t say it’s anything super high end but it does look nice and works well for what it’s going for.

The soundtrack is more on the forgettable side. With quality writing and good pacing, this is a miniseries that you could recommend to anyone. It’s still too bad that it was only 3 episodes as I think you really could have turned this into a much longer adventure. Give more time for Alex and Zorua bonding by having them get lost deeper into the forest. With the outside world not being explored all that much, it would be reasonable for the humans not to be able to find them for a while and so a few episodes could just be them walking around and trying to survive.

It doesn’t quite hurt the show that it’s so short but it does mean that it’ll be a little less memorable. Down the road when talking about the various Pokemon titles and all, it would be very easy to just forget this one entirely. Maybe one day they can bring the characters back at least but it seems like they are having more fun just experimenting with a bunch of different characters so I would be surprised to see them again.

Overall, Hisuian Snow is a good episode’s worth of content. It may not be action packed but the story is interesting enough and it’s good to see Zorua getting his hype. The Pokemon always end up taking the high road even when the humans don’t. The world has certainly come a long way since these days as in the present even little kids play with Pokemon. You could say that the Pokemon world got something close to world peace by the end. Sure, you’ve got Team Rocket and friends but by and large it’s a very peaceful world. I still would have liked a formal apology from Alec’s father and the rest of the village by the end though.

Overall 7/10

The Alain vs Leon fight should have gone very differently

It goes without saying that this will have spoilers for the currently ongoing World Coronation Series in the Pokemon anime. If you haven’t gotten caught up yet then you’ll want to skip this one. I’m going to be talking in depth about the biggest tragedy since Ash vs Alain back in the Kalos league where Ash should have absolutely taken the win but in losing it made this fight impossible to buy into.

It’s time for a quick discussion on why Alain should have defeated Leon. Right now for context the Pokemon anime is currently in the middle of the World Coronation saga. Easily the most epic tournament since the Johto league. It consists of the top 8 trainers in the entire planet. That’s right, Ash has now made it to truly elite company as it should be. I always thought he had more potential than constantly losing in every league. (Sure, he beat some kids in Aloha but nobody counts that) Well, now is his chance to win it all. It’s been a pretty hype adventure all around but nothing’s going to top this part of the arc.

That said, as soon as the brackets came out, I think we all had a sneaking suspicion on what was going to happen to Alain. I can’t say that I’m crazy about the matchups at all since it takes away a lot of potential. The first round battles were Alain vs Leon, Ash vs Steven, Iris vs Cynthia, and Lance vs Diantha. It’s fair to say that you already suspect who will win in most of these battles but that’s fine since usually you can piece it together really quickly based on the narrative. That’s why everyone was dismayed at Alain having to go up against Leon. Leon is the #1 ranked fighter and so it is extremely likely that he will be fighting Ash in the finals. (Ash better make it there this time!)

So Leon is no slouch in combat and I definitely want to underscore that before getting into this. He is #1 for a reason and at least within his region he is seen as unstoppable. If I were to rank the Top 8 fighters in terms of power, he would be pretty high.

1. Prime Ash
2. Kalos Ash
3. Alain
4. Current Ash
5. Johto Ash
6. Leon
7. Cynthia
8. Sinnoh Ash
9. Hoenn Ash
10. Lance
11. Kanto Ash
12. Iris
13. Steven
14th Diantha
15th “I only need Pikachu!” Ash

So Leon is the 3rd strongest fighter in this current competition and I dare say he should give the other two a spectacular fight. This guy really knows how to rumble and he has a lot of experience. I would still go to Alain winning this one. Not only has he taken down numerous mega level Pokemon in the past but he’s always shown an excellent level of tactical awareness. Just look at his fight with Ash back in Kalos. Now, it is impressive that he happens to now have been in 2 of the most controversial Pokemon battles of all time on both the winning and losing end. It shows that Alain is always in the mix and everyone is invested in the guy.

That’s why it just doesn’t make sense for him to have been done so dirty here. To recap the fight, Alain immediately called his Charizard back to his Pokeball when Leon took out his. What? Does Alain really think his would lose in a battle of skill? Alain’s Charizard is canonically the strongest in the verse, just look at his feats in all of the previous battles. His Charizard is absolutely insane and even has thunder type abilities. He would not be losing this battle so just trust in your starter.

Instead Alain brings out some jellyfish that immediately gets one shotted as if this is One Punch Man and just wasted a turn. Reminded me of Goodra choking in the Kalos finals for Ash. If Ash somehow loses to Leon I’ll definitely be watching closely to see which Pokemon to blame this time.

All right, so Alain is effectively fighting 3 vs 2. Now the next issue comes down to earlier in the fight. Both of them use their grass type Pokemon and I was actually completely cool with this one. It was a really nice fight with a lot of back and forth. Nothing to really dislike here and both trainers showed their expertise and why they are ready to fight at this level. It was a great fight and while Alain was on the losing end, that’s cool. If the whole fight was like this I probably wouldn’t have had much complaints…..but if we look at this a little deeper than Alain should have won the first fight as well.

What you have to realize is that Leon’s Pokemon used his gigantomax…and did absolutely nothing with it. He was too large and too slow so Alain’s guy was running rings around him. How did this suddenly get flipped when it wore off? Unless you’re telling me that Gigantomax actually just makes you weaker then I’ve got some big questions here. So yeah I was cool with it because it was a good back and forth fight but this is definitely one that Alain should have won as well.

Still the biggest issue is with the Charizard battle. So long story short, Leon wins without his Charizard even having to use his gigantomax. His base form beats Alain’s mega mode with a single good shot. There are numerous things to point out here about how that’s crazy. You’re really telling me that Leon’s base Charizard is that powerful when Ash already pushed him to have to Gigantomax in their fight? The power scaling is shot to pieces at this point and it just doesn’t add up. I’m all for giving Ash hype because he’s great but the gap in power cannot be that huge. There’s just no way.

Alain’s Charizard is shown to be significantly weaker in this fight with almost no durability at all. He’s a glass cannon that shatters after being hit. That doesn’t track though, not at all. Alain’s Charizard is still very experienced and has been through his share of fights. I can accept him losing in a hard fought battle to Leon’s Charizard as both were at around full strength but not after he mega evolves. Leon should only be able to possibly win if he does the Gigantomax but not in base mode.

Also, in the games you can only Gigantomax once per battle. I don’t know if the anime follows the same rules but if it does that explains why they had Leon win in base. Because if that were the case then he couldn’t transform and by all accounts Alain should have absolutely clobbered him here. You can’t underestimate how incredible the stat boosts are by mega evolving. It makes you a whole new beast in combat and it’s still my favorite mechanic for that reason. Forget Gigantomax and Z moves, Mega evolution is still the most powerful form of combat.

On a narrative level I’m also surprised we didn’t get to see a mega vs gigantomax fight here. It would have made a lot of sense and a big part of the hype in the tournament is seeing all of these different gameplay mechanics and strategies going up against each other. It felt like the fight was just way too rushed and should have absolutely been given a grander feel. Again, I do think Alain is stronger than Leon and should have won their fight but I at least could have accepted his loss a little easier if it was a really hard fought battle. Leon also absolutely had to transform his Charizard because otherwise I can’t buy a mega losing to a non mega. Additionally Leon didn’t even need to use his third Pokemon which was like extra disrespect being thrown in.

I suspect that Alain was dumpstered here as an apology of sorts for having him beat Ash in Kalos. There was a lot of deserved backlash for doing that but in trying to correct this they went too far in the other way. Like it or not, he beat Ash that time so he doesn’t just lose that strength overnight. In theory he should be even stronger now than he was then and should have had a fight to show that. It was a rough start for the tournament but of course I’m still hyped to see how the rest of the battles go out. With Alain out of the picture I’m riding with Ash all the way. In terms of how I would like the matches to go, ignoring who will likely win each set, I’d like Ash, Cynthia, and Lance to advance as well. Then we’ll see how the second round goes. Who knows, maybe they can throw Tobias in as the secret champion to go up against.

Maybe Alain will get another fight someday but this feels like it’s probably it for him. It’s hard to picture the anime doing another world championship ever again as this is usually more of a one time deal. If they do a second year like Beyblade to defend the title or something that’d be awesome though. This time I’d like to see more of the big shots appearing though like Gary, Paul, Ritchie, and the whole gang. Instead of an 8 man bracket, make it a traditional 32 character tournament. It makes for a lot more interesting theories and analysis on how the tournament will go down since there are so many more variables.

Check out this cool fan edit in the twitter link below which has a much better structure on how the fight should have gone. Again, if Alain was going to lose then it should have been after pulling out all of the stops like this. The Charizard vs Charizard fight was what everyone came to see after all.

So, what do you think? Was Alain losing to Leon acceptable? How about the way he lost? Mega losing to base and Leon not even needing a third Pokemon? You know my thoughts on this and I’ll be ready with more Pokemon editorials as needed although I don’t think there is any that would warrant a big post on this unless Ash somehow loses…..he better not!

Pokemon Go Update

It took about 7-8 months but I have now made it to Level 49! That means just one more level up and I will have made it all the way. It’s kind of emotional to think about but I can nearly say that I have completed the game. Not that it ends there or anything but I’ll definitely take a long break from the mass evolution runs for a while until they announce more levels. This has definitely been an app game that has withstood the test of time.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 22h 28m
Star Rank 6/10
Pokedex 147 Seen 107 Caught

Pokemon Stats

Heatran Level 78
Cresselia Level 78
Dialga Level 80
Scizor Level 7
Goodra Level 75
Palkia Level 78
Drapion Level 45
Tangela Level 27
Azelf Level 73
Toxicroak Level 46
Blissey Level 62
Uxie Level 70
Luxray Level 58
Regigigas Level72
Typhlosion Level 57
Mespirit Level 70