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Jacob asks: What are your thoughts on franchises in video games? I tend to think that they become worn out after a sequel or trilogy, and that after that they’re just rehashing the same formula the majority of the time. With a slew of sequels and more on the horizon, I’m becoming less impressed with game developers and companies. You bring up some good points, Jacob, and just in time for an issue dedicated to a historic franchise’s latest title. And while you have a valid point, a lot of people love that aspect of franchises. Many of them, while repeating the same basic formula, add to it. And while I’d love to see some variance in the copy-paste storylines, there’s only so much you can do. My suggestion is to look into other games from smaller publishers. I find that a lot of them are more creative, thought that isn’t always a good thing. ~Michael Richter

Then the answer goes here. Something witty or something in depth and serious as a reply, it depends on the staff member who answers. ~Johann Seymour

Ivan asks: Another random question here. Another random question here. Another random question here. Another random question here. Another random question here.

Ranter says: Some really long diatribe about why something is wrong with something and how he thinks it should be improved. He makes valid points and is articulate, although goes on an on about it and often repeats the same point too many times in a drive to push it into everyone else’s head. However, one of the staff decides to counterpoint it just for the sake of doing so.

Well, that’s a great question, and I’d love to answer it here but if you flip over to page fifteen, you’ll find that we have a two page article on the topic.

And then here is the counter. The staff member agrees with the points the ranter makes, while expanding and improving on the solution that was presented.

George asks: Another random question here. Something serious or stupid but a question nonetheless.

Glad you can answer your own question Mark. :) ~ Julian Verne Micah asks: Another random question here. Another random question here. Another random question here. Another random question here. Another random question here.

A counter statement, basically telling the reader that the article was an opinion piece. ~Carey Irving

~Michael Richter

Markus asks: In the last issue, you guys made a case arguing against monthly fee online games. Why do most gamers feel so entitled when it comes to online? As a PC gamer, we’re used to paying monthly fees, as that’s how we get our dedicated servers.

Lloyd asks: Not a question this time, but a complaint from some annoyed reader about an article in a previous issue.

Then the answer goes here. Something witty or something in depth and serious as a reply, it depends on the staff member who answers. More text more text, and more text. This is a longer reply, obviously. ~Wilma DeCante

~Mishka Valenshka


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Markov


As with every new generation, the player will find themselves exploring new and unfamiliar lands, but with common themes and the ever present pokémon. These creatures, filled with power and mysterious abilities, inhabit the lands of Unova and should be familiar to anyone who knows about the Pokémon franchise; however, since the first time since Generation I, the game will involve entirely unseen pokémon, exclusively debuting in the Unova region. You’ll have to travel all through this new region to find and capture all 155.


As with every game in the Pokémon franchise since the second generation of games, you’ll be given the choice of picking the protagonists gender and name. This time, however, the player character is much older than in previous games. While past games have not strayed too far from the main theme of catching pokémon and beating up the bad guys, this time the themes are a little darker and more serious. While that doesn’t keep younger gamers from enjoying this region, it does show a maturation of the franchise.

As always, it wouldn’t be a Pokémon game without an ensemble cast of other characters. Rounding out the hometown crew, you’ll be join in your journeys through the Unova region with Cheren and Bianca. Cheren, first on the right, is the brooding bespectacled one. While he holds a greater knowledge in Pokémon than his friends and tends to offer the player advice during the course of their journey, his comments are often somewhat snarky. His goal is to to become the Champion and he is always striving to become stronger. He’ll be your ‘true’ rival, choosing the type advantageous to your pokémon. Bianca, far right, is the airheaded childhood friend. Though she is somewhat unreliable and a bit of an airhead, she also has a strong side, as shown when she embarks on a Pokémon journey despite her father's strong opposition.


Displayed to the right are this region’s three starter pokémon. Tepig, the Fire-type pig; Snivy, the Grass-type serpent; and Oshawott, the Water-type otter. The standard formula since Generation I, nothing changes here. All of them have relatively balanced stats and will help complement any team that the players choose to build. And as usual, the Unova region’s pokémon professor, Juniper, will be the one to give them to you. Pictured to the right, Professor Juniper is the first female Professor in any of the main generation games. And along with your starter pokémon, she will ask you as always to complete a pokédex. The difference this time is that the entire region is filled with all brand-new pokémon, with not a single one from previous regions.

Of course, what would a journey be without a little bit of trouble? Everything starts when you enter Accumula Town. Once there, you’ll run into Team Plasma as they just finish a speech, and the mysterious trainer N. He’ll challenge you after the ne’er do well’s speech is over. During and after the battle, it quickly becomes apparent that while N is also a trainer, he dislikes the slave like nature pokémon endure. Throughout your adventures, the player will meet N again and again and do battle as the story unfolds. But along with that, the dubious Team Plasma is this region’s Rocket counterpart. Like all the other Teams, they to seem to quest for pokémon to control and use for their own purposes; howevaer, their leader, Ghetsis, seems to wish for people to release their pokémon, setting them free. Planning to liberate pokémon from their trainers just what is Team Plasma’s real goal?


Snivy is a reptilian Grass-type Pokémon, and one of the starter pokémon available to the player. In spite of being snake-like in appearance, it has fully-developed limbs. Snivy seems to be based off of European royalty, with a smug air to it. This is a good choice for trainers looking for a bulky, defensively oriented pokémon to add to their team.

Oshawott is a bipedal sea otter Pokémon, and Unova’s Water­ -type starter. An interesting feature is their “scalchop”, attached to their bellies, which can be used in various ways; mainly, as a weapon. Oshawott provides a good offensive pokémon and is one of the few Water-types in this generation, making him a good choice for team synergy.

Finally we have Tepig, the cute and adorable bacon, er, I mean Fire-type starter of Unova. While most trainers have a tendency to choose fire starters since they’re generally a rarer type, in this case there’s a better substitute found in the wild later in the game. But for those that like their starters, this is another offensive Fire/Fighting later down the line to pick up.


The first gym you’ll encounter is found in Striaton City. This gym is run by the three brothers, Cress, Cilan, and Chili. However, not to worry, the three brothers won’t fight you 3-to1; instead, you’ll battle one of them based on which starter you chose. Whichever it happens to be, they’ll come at you with the type advantage and test you and your newly acquired starter’s mettle. Trainers who defeat Striaton Gym will receive the Trio Badge, along with TM83 (Work Up).

The second gym you’ll run into is run by Lenora. She’s the gym leader of Nacrene City, and specialises in the Normal-type. When you defeat her, you’ll be given the Basic Badge, along with TM67 (Retaliate). This TM allows you to come in after one of your pokémon was KO’d and deal double damage with the move’s 70 base power­—a good thing for any pokémon. Fighting Types are a must at this gym.

Our third gym is located in the large city of Castelia. The leader here is Burgh, who has a flamboyant style­—and many many terrible puns related to his Pokémon type. He’s the Gym leader of Castelia City, and specialises in the Bug-type. When you defeat him, you’ll be awarded the aptly named Insect Badge, along with TM76 (Struggle Bug). His gym features a gooey ordeal. Bringing Fire and Flying-types is your best bet for an easy win here.


This supermodel makes her debut, serving as the Nimbasa City gym leader. This Gym is the fourth that the player may challenge. The player can challenge her to a battle after riding a series of roller coasters to her location, a process involving the flipping of multiple switches so the tracks take the player to her, each guarded by a trainer. Elesa specializes in Electric-type Pokémon. She utilises a strategy that involves using Volt Switch between her two Emolga, and later Zebstrika. Upon defeating her, she will reward the player with the a Bolt Badge and TM72 (Volt Switch). Ground -types are the best matchup in this gym, avoiding her attacks.

Clay appears in the games as the gym leader of Driftveil City. Trainers who defeat Clay will receive the Quake Badge. Shortly after, he appears on Route 6 to aid the player in removing the Galvantula web blocking the entrance to the Chargestone Cave. After his Krokorok removes the web, he gives TM78 (Bulldoze) to the player. He specialises in Ground-types, with the tough and bulky Excadrill being the keystone of his team. Water and Grass-types are the best for damaging his pokémon.

The sixth gym, just after Chargestone Cave, is located in Mistralton City. Skyla has a passion for flying, and is said to be the grandaughter of a legendary pilot. When you defeat her, she’ll give you the Jet Badge, along with TM62, containing Acrobatics—a move that deals full power when your pokémon isn’t holding an item. Unfortunately, you’ll have to head north to Celestial Tower before she’ll battle you. After the player talks to her and rings the bell at the top of the tower, she heads back to the gym. Make sure to bring Electric and Rock­-types to deal with her Flying-types.


Brycen is the Unova region’s seventh gym leader, residing in Icirrus City’s gym. Brycen was a former movie star, but grew bored of making films. Unsure of what to do with himself, he took the advice of Alder and became a Trainer. He traveled alone to an icy cave and trained in silence to gain as much knowledge as possible. Brycen also places importance on concealing his true identity from others. A Ice-type specialist, he’ll reward players with the Icicle Badge, and TM79, Frost Breath. Fire-types, along with Ground and Steel-types will be the best choices against him.

She is one of the two gym leaders of Opelucid City. She will battle trainers who purchased White Version. She specialises in Dragontypes, and will give the Legend Badge to any trainer who defeats her. She also gives TM82, Dragon Tail, a move that deals damage and then switches out the opponent. Bring Ice-types to deal super effective damage to her dragons.

The elder gym leader of Opelucid, Drayden will be your opponent if you purchased Black Version. He is also a Dragon specialist, using the same pokémon as Iris. Upon defeating Drayden, you will be given the Legend Badge, along with TM82, Dragon Tail, a move that deals damage and then switches out the opponent. As with Iris, bring Ice-types to deal super effective damage to his dragons.


And what Pokémon game would be complete without the Elite Four? These trainers are the best of the best among the Unova region, and taking them lightly will get your butt handed to you. Unlike previous regions, you can fight each of them in whichever order you please­—but you still have to fight all four. As usual, they’ll each specialise in a different type; however, their tactics are smarter and their pokémon make good use of type coverage to get over their more obvious weaknesses. Shauntal

Caitlin

To the south­-west entrance, you’ll find the Ghosttype member of the Elite Four. She’s also a partime writer with a fashion sense stranger than Burgh’s. Shauntal will come at you with a total of four pokémon: Cofagrius, Frillish, Golurk, and Chandelure.

Someone you’ll remember from the Battle Castle in Generation IV, Caitlin has moved to the Unova region. She’s to the north-east, and intends to keep you out of the Champion battle. She’ll use mostly pure Psychic-types: Reuniclus, Musharna, Gothielle, and Sigilyph

Grimsley

Marshal

To the north­-west entrance, you’ll find Grimsely, a master of Dark-types from a ruined family. Since then, he’s grown a gambling habit. He also carries for pokémon, three of which are mixed types: Scrafty, Liepard, Krookodile, and Bisharp.

A master of Fighting-type pokémon, and a self proclaimed student of Alder, although he remains largely unaware of Alder’s thoughts. His team consists of entirely pure Fighting-type pokémon: Throh, Sawk, Conkeldurr, and Mienshao. Unfortunately, they carry moves to cover their weaknesses.


The fifth generation is an all-new installment in the Pokémon franchise. As with each new generation, this series of games introduces a new region and brand new pokémon to find and capture. However, it’s not just more of the same old tune. The Unova region is filled with completely new pokémon, and you’ll only be able to find or import older generation pokémon once you beat the Unova League’s Elite Four. Along with brand new pokémon comes a graphical upgrade. This game is lightyears ahead of the last generation, and it shows throughout the game. During battles, pokémon now wiggle and squirm about. In the overworld, there are many new camera angles showing off completely 3D vistas. There are also rustling grass, shadows in water, and even feathers falling from the sky that you’ll encounter. Among other things, the game is extremely immersive and improves on the already addictive collector’s mentality of the franchise’s audience. But not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Black and White feature a slightly darker plot. It involves a mysterious Team Plasma, who stage public rallies and speeches, urging people and Trainers to release their pokémon and end the enslavement of all pokémon. With a goal to eradicate the enslavement of pokémon, what will the trainer and others do? Although the topic is grim, the game always shines the positive light. Trainers around the globe won’t have to worry about this being the last game, or even having to give up their pokémon. But the plot does highlight the darker side of the Pokémon universe and shows that not everything is peachy in the Pokémon world. In general, the new games show a maturation of the staff creating them, and show that even after a disappointing previous generation as felt by some, the franchise is still strong. It also helps that there is more complicated plot, and the adittion of a few, deeper characters who do more than simply plan to take over the world is a welcome sight.


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//article on page 23



1up Gaming - Pokémon Black/White