The Choices We Make

I have technically been an adult for 9 years, but in many ways, I feel like I’m not quite there. I sometimes forget that I am the master of my own destiny, the bearer of my own burdens, the navigator on my own stretch of road, and I determine the path, and how to handle the obstacles that arise. I can go out, buy a whole cake, and eat it all by myself if I feel like it, with no one but my conscience to stop me.

I’ve wanted a Nintendo Switch for a while now, and planned to buy one next month. Thanks to an employee special at work, I would be able to get one for a great price. And then, come November, I’d be playing Pokemon Shield, and making my way across the Galar region. And there would be a lot of Mario Kart, and maybe some Let’s Go Eevee! until then. Plus, I could play online with my two best friends – Mario Party is great fun when the three of us play together.

But I had my car inspection this week on my beloved Nissan, Vice. It has been a long while since I’ve needed anything done to it – I usually breeze through inspection with maybe a couple of tweaks, nothing major. So it was time, and $337 later, my wallet was a bit thinner than I would like it to be – and I’m looking at new tires in the near-ish future. Which won’t come cheap.

And so, I had a moment of clarity – that the choices we make can reflect where we are in our lives, and our values. I have bailed on plans because I don’t have the funds, but have also spent money on things that aren’t necessities. No matter how badly I want that Switch, it is going to have to wait until my Nissan has some new tires, even if I miss my initial chance to become the champion of the Galar League. So, I must be an adult for now… but eventually, play time will come around again.


Hall of Fame pt. 2

Much like my post last Monday, where I detailed my return to Pokemon Alpha Sapphire after a five year hiatus, I picked up Pokemon Moon this past week, determined to conquer it. I got to the Team Skull base in Po Town last time around, but never actually finished the game.

This time, when I booted up a new file, I amended a past wrong – in my first failed run, I chose Litten as my starter. But I chose Popplio for this attempt, because I have always had my best results when I’ve chosen the water starter. Water starters 4life. Though Primarina is definitely my least favorite of the water starters thus far.

Alola definitely isn’t my favorite region – none of them come close to Johto, for me – but I did admire the changes the games implemented. The trials were fun, though I much prefer standard gyms. Z moves were fun, but I kind of missed Mega Evolution. The Alolan dex is also my least favorite dex, though I LOVE the Alolan variants of the Kanto Pokemon, like Raichu and Marowak. The story-line was compelling, though I’m not sure I’ll delve too deep into the post-game. I’ve been wandering a bit, collecting the Zygarde cells, finding hidden paths, and might just take a peek into what the Ultra Beasts are all about…

However, on this run, I also tried to do things that I normally don’t. I managed to secure a team with a solid theme – half cute, half scary. Team Cute n’ Scary, if you will. And I was super pleased with the balance of my team, as I think I used everyone just about evenly and had a way to combat just about every type of competition. I also finally achieved my goal of using a fairy-type on my main squad. Thus, now that I’ve become Alola’s first Champion, I thought I’d document my team. Team Cute n’ Scary consisted of…

lvl. 59, holding the  Primarium Z
Moves: Hyper Voice, Sparkling Aria, Hydro Pump, Moonblast
HP: 177
Atk: 121
Def. 115
Sp. Atk: 187
Sp. Def: 153
Speed: 91

lvl. 59, holding the Sharp Beak
Moves: Beak Blast, Bullet Seed, Drill Peck, Hyper Voice
HP: 184
Atk: 177
Def. 106
Sp. Atk: 112
Sp. Def: 118
Speed: 96

lvl. 59, holding the Electrium Z
Moves: Discharge, Echoed Voice, Nuzzle, Psychic
HP: 159
Atk: 128
Def. 90
Sp. Atk: 130
Sp. Def: 123
Speed: 160

lvl. 59, holding the Amulet Coin
Moves: Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Crunch, Counter
HP: 193
Atk: 176
Def. 126
Sp. Atk: 79
Sp. Def: 94
Speed: 137

lvl. 59, holding the Fairium Z
Moves: Dazzling Gleam, Moonblast, Swift, Draining Kiss
HP: 198
Atk: 124
Def. 99
Sp. Atk: 144
Sp. Def: 177
Speed: 92

lvl. 60, holding the Scope Lens
Moves: Thrash, Flare Blitz, Bonemerang, Flame Charge
HP: 148
Atk: 128
Def. 147
Sp. Atk: 92
Sp. Def: 111
Speed: 97




Hall of Fame

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were released for the Nintendo 3DS way back in 2014, and, like a good Pokemon trainer, I bought my copy of Alpha Sapphire in advance so it would arrive on release day. But Hoenn has always been my least favorite region, so, as video game burnout set in for me, I played the game for only a couple of sessions and then stopped completely.

I had three badges when I set it down, and my team consisted of a Swellow named Fio, Marshtomp named Warin, Aron named Raze, Mightyena named Jolly,  a Numel named Bram, and an Electrike named Volt.

Recently, I’ve had the itch to play Pokemon again. And I’ve been in a general slump, so I’ve been looking for some things to boost my mood. So last week, I dug out my 3DS, charged it up, and booted up the ol’ Alpha Sapphire save file, five years later.

I can now proudly say I am the champion of the Hoenn League, twice over! But this time I did things differently. I stuck to a few of my general rules, such as keeping the starter on my team the whole time, fully evolving my starter before the fourth gym, and having the entire team be lvl, 60+ before entering Victory Road.

Whenever I played the original games, I had the same team – Swampert, Swellow, Mightyena, Aggron, Absol, and Skarmory. Every time. I always tried to get a Manectric and Camerupt, but always gave up on it, every time. Like I said, Hoenn is my least favorite region, and I never really gravitated toward many of the Pokemon that were added in gen 3. Besides Mudkip, of course. But this time, when I kicked off again, I put Mightyena and Swellow in the box, and replaced them, over time, with a Swablu named Loom and a Girafarig named Griff. I’d always wanted to use both, but never achieved it, so they became main team members, and I hung onto both Numel and Electrike until they evolved. They ended up being the two best Pokemon on my team, stats wise.

And so, now that I’ve swept the League twice, done all the optional mini games and quests, and caught all the legendaries available to me without trading, here was my Hall of Fame team! I was pretty proud of them, so I’m documenting them here!

lvl. 77, holding the Aggronite
Moves: Rock Slide, Rock Smash, Ice Beam, Iron Head
HP: 208
Atk: 202
Def. 294
Sp. Atk: 113
Sp. Def: 139
Speed: 111

lvl. 85, holding the Cameruptite
Moves: Fissure, Flamethrower, Will-O-Wisp, Earthquake
HP: 248
Atk: 229
Def. 163
Sp. Atk: 193
Sp. Def: 157
Speed: 123

lvl. 80, holding the Manectite
Moves: Bite, Charge, Thunder, Thunderbolt
HP: 233
Atk: 141
Def. 137
Sp. Atk: 202
Sp. Def: 137
Speed: 237

lvl. 86, holding the Swampertite
Moves: Earthquake, Surf, Hammer Arm, Scald
HP: 302
Atk: 234
Def. 175
Sp. Atk: 181
Sp. Def: 159
Speed: 141

lvl. 84, holding the Amulet Coin
Moves: Crunch, Psychic, Zen Headbutt, Strength
HP: 249
Atk: 170
Def. 136
Sp. Atk: 201
Sp. Def: 129
Speed: 178

lvl. 100, holding the Rocky Helmet
Moves: Fly, Moonblast, Dragon Pulse, Draco Meteor
HP: 289
Atk: 215
Def. 206
Sp. Atk: 159
Sp. Def: 252
Speed: 209


Maybe I’ll replay Y next…although, I never did finish Moon…