I'm not super-active anymore, but I should always get any PMs that come my way through email alerts.
I have a Backloggery, though I'm a bit inactive: backloggery.com/chariblaze
Chariblaze's Dump of Thoughts:
Deoxys in ORAS: I just can't get over this. It's such a bizarre idea to me--a once event-exclusive Pokemon has been rendered mere legendary, to the point where it's required to complete the Pokedex. That's just... crazy. I never thought I'd see the day where Game Freak would say "Oh, this thing? The thing that's only been distributed a few times in over ten years? Yeah, everyone can have it now." It's true that this isn't the first event Pokemon made remotely obtainable--see Jirachi and Celebi in the Colloseum pre-order disc, Mew in My Pokemon Ranch--but even those methods were obscure. I mean what's next? This opens a lot of doors. I could totally see Arceus becoming a super late-game thing in the hypothetical DP remakes, especially since the Azure Flute was never distributed. Or Keldeo in BW remakes. Or Mew under that truck by the S.S. Anne in RB re-remakes (I imagine these re-remakes would be their own little thing, completely incompatible with the main series, but still compatible with each and still containing a Pokedex, and so it'd count). This is just... whoa.
Battle Chateau: Today's entry in why X/Y are the best games in the series... haha. The Battle Chateau in X/Y is similar to the restaurant in D/P/Pt and the sports stadiums in BW/BW2--you fight a bunch of Trainers, and then more come up later. Refightable Trainers, for when you've run out of normal ones. Only, the Battle Chateau goes and makes things crazy--bring in new Trainers daily, like the restaurant/sports stadiums? Nah, we'll refresh the whole place every few hours. Use a mix of normal Trainers you'd battle on your journey? Nope, they're all rich people! Wait until you get a new gym badge/beat the E4 before leveling up the Trainers? Why do that when you can level up the Trainers based on how many times you fight the roster? Oh, and one of the types of people that come to the facility *only* bring Audino. Combine these changes with the Exp. Share, Lucky Egg, and Amulet Coin (something I've *always* equipped on my fire starters), and you've got a heck of a facility. I was able to replace my Lv. 50-ish Pikachu with an Ampharos that started as a Lv. 13 Mareep, thanks to this facility. And I was able to buy a $600k outfit before I left for Route 14, haha. This place is great.
XY's Exp. Share (mid-game spoilers for XY): This is probably the best invention since sliced bread. Like, holy crap. Before XY, I was an ardent solo runner--I always leveled my fire starter, and nothing but my fire starter. I don't really remember *why* I went this way, but probably because it was the simplest thing to do, and it made things easy. I suppose I continued doing that through BW2 for those same reasons--why fix what ain't broke? And looking at the alternatives, I think I made the right choice; had I raised a full team, I would have had to constantly switch around my party, and worse, if I had started raising a Pokemon, poured 17 levels into it, and then decided I want to replace it with something else, I would have basically lost those levels to the abyss. If there's one thing I hate, it's wasted experience. But with the XY Exp. Share, I never have to worry about that. I started the game by leveling my fire starter (of course), but then I got a Pikachu and a Charmander (because Charmander, don't question my double fire-starters
) and decided it'd be a good idea to level them equally this time--it only takes a little more effort, and, yeah, it adds variety to the game. What's the worst that could happen? And yeah, that worked nice. Party management was pretty low--everyone was leveling up sorta-equally. But then I got a Marill, my first Fairy Type *and* a Water Type. "Huh. Yeah, I should probably add this to my party, just in case." When I noticed that Marill was only a few levels behind my other Pokemon *and* was keeping up with them due to the Exp. Share, I added it on as a full-time member. Then I added a Pancham for Fighting, and Amaura because fossils. All great Pokemon, and some decent Type coverage. But when I reached the point in the story where I was given a Lucario, I had a dilemma. Do I go with Pancham, who I've been leveling for a while and who will evolve into a cool bear thing, or do I go with Lucario, a classic Gen IV Fighting/Steel powerhouse that Mega Evolves and is given as part of the story? I ultimately went with Lucario, but that was the first time in Pokemon where I've ever agonized about my team. It was even worse when I got Lapras--the Water/Fairy Azumarill I had evolved, or the Water/Ice classic surfer Lapras (I ended up with Lapras because OH MY GOSH IT SHOWS UP IN THE OVERWORLD). The XY Exp. Share gave me the opportunity to experience what many other players do with every game, with little wasted time, and I love it for that. And no wasted experience! :O
Pokemon TCG Online: After playing early in the beta, I've started playing TCGO recently. Mind, I only play in the Trainer Challenge, as I don't collect real cards and thus would suck against others. Anyway, in case you've never messed around with it, Trainer Challenge is made up of a series of 36 computer-controlled opponents. Each person has their own cute little backstory, and it's pretty cool. You're given 6 (it used to be 3) theme decks to use against these opponents, and you can swap decks at any time. Each time you beat an opponent, your deck is automatically modified with some cards the game thinks works better; each deck has seven of these. Most of them are swapping out energies for trainers or something, but there are some that'll give you an evolution or two. It's a pretty neat system for something free, but something's happened recently: The opponent's decks have been reworked! So now you're dealing with these (not-so-dinky) BW decks based around the Unova starters, and your opponents are just whipping around their Darkrai EX's and Entei EX's and Kyogre EX's and... yeah. It's not that these new decks make the opponents too hard, as they're pretty easy to beat (even on Expert), but it's bizarre when they whip these things out. There is an incentive for you to buy real-life decks, as you can use a packaged code to unlock the deck in TCGO, so yeah, they might be basing the new decks on that, but whatever. TCGO is TPCI's online platform for the TCG; it's not really meant to be a complete package, and you're supposed to buy things (indeed, Canadians have access to a beta that lets them buy gems with real money to swap for things like theme decks and boosters), but even so, the free content that's here is pretty great. MTG is a bit better, since they split their software into the Online program and the Dual of the Planeswalkers games (yearly ~$10 packages that give you a game like Trainer Challenge, and online multiplayer), but at least it's not Yu-Gi-Oh. There, you start off with a crummy deck that can't be improved without buying boosters, and the only singleplayer content are some matches against Yugi and the like. At least the graphics are pretty, heh.
Pokemon TV on the official site: Recently, I've been getting back into the anime with Pokemon TV, TPCI's free catalog of episodes. For the most part, it's pretty cool, if a bit overwhelming: The show is split into the five regions, with Seasons 1 and 2 in Kanto, Seasons 3-5 in Johto, Seasons 6-9 in Hoenn, Seasons 10-13 in Sinnoh, and Seasons 14 and 15 in Unova (I don't think we'll get Season 16 until it finishes airing). Each week, 5 episodes are put in each category, and 5 episodes are removed. This means there are 25 episodes put up each week! It's crazy, but it's a good way for me, someone who vaguely remembers some of the anime I've seen, to catch up. Anyway, I have a few qualms: All the Johto episodes are missing their intro! This'd be fine if I was just missing a cool song, but no, the videos they give skip right to the episode title, meaning you miss whatever was at the beginning of the episode; this forces one to watch these intros elsewhere, which kinda goes against the point of preventing piracy. It's stupid, but it only happens with Johto, and I can't put my finger on why. "Is it because they're afraid they'll be in some sort of copyright violation by showing the original theme with its original singer (David Rolfe <3)?" Nope, all the Hoenn intros are intact. "Could it be some wacky thing with Miramax since they distributed Movies 4 and 5?" Well, I suppose I can't verify that since Season 3 isn't in rotation yet, but I think that's quite a stretch. Anyway, one more qualm: There's some sporadic skipping in Season 2! Like, they'll just completely leave out a certain episode for seemingly no reason. This even went far enough that "Get Along, Little Pokemon" skipped directly to "The Pokemon Water War", a gap of four episodes that included Ash's third gym battle and Charizard's obedience. Unlike the Johto intros, though, I think I might have an eye on what's happening here: In most of the skipped episodes, specific dub music was used. Like, in "Stage Fight", a slight chorus sings a form of the opening song; maybe TPCI's afraid of breaching some copyright lines with whoever provided those voices for that specific song or something. In "Charizard Chills", the opening song is used near the end, so yeah. And in "Misty Meets Her Match", the famous dance music is used. Easily, that music was originally a part of 2.B.A. Master, and there could be something there... but at the same time, a lot of this contradicts other evidence. The Season 1 opening is used in an episode after the close of the Pokemon League, and "Together Forever", among other songs, are spiced throughout various episodes. Eh.
If you see any broken images in my posts, PM me; I probably have them archived.
I go by Chariblaze nearly everywhere, though I do sometimes use Flamer when I want to. There are a few places I've found where Chariblaze, by odd chance, is taken. Here's a list of people who aren't me:
Battle Subway Battle Videos (catchy, no?) (team by Yakkov):
Singles match with Ingo: 83-06528-35083
Multi match with Ingo and Emmet: 15-61213-29688
Doubles match with Emmet: 99-85554-38226
2012 International Challenge Battle Videos (team by Yakkov):