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Old 12-03-2013, 12:13 AM   #26
Talon87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balmund View Post
Short answer: No, you can rest easy man.
Alright then, thanks. When I resume tomorrow, I'll be sure to cancel evolution for now.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #27
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Santalune City Trainers School: I was honestly expecting to be surprised by something here. Perhaps a small tweak to a status. Perhaps a newly-invented seventh status. Not only was nothing of the sort discovered, I didn't even get some experience or items from people! It can truly be said of Santalune's school, more than any other school in the series, that if you skip it you miss nothing. ^^; Oh well.

Roller Blades: When I first saw glimpses of this some time in the late spring / early summer, I didn't pay it much thought. Thought it was sort of gimmicky, to be perfectly honest. "They're worried the bikes have gotten stale and they're trying to do something new. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it, guys!" Well, after having tried out the roller blades a couple of times, I can say that I am a firm believer in their superiority over the bikes. Two things, one inherent to the roller blades themselves, the other not:
  1. having the ability to move in more than just four directions is very nice. While the controls leave a little to be desired -- not sure how much of that is the game, how much of that is the 3DS, and how much of that is my specific 2DS -- I really like the general concept, the idea that we can now round corners without stopping or making jerky motions.
  2. the lack of music for the roller blades is amazing. I didn't even notice it at first, but when I was returning from Route 4 to Santalune City to drop off some new unwanted captures, I noticed that while the songs still change when you go from area to area, there had never been a "bike song" to be interrupted in the first place.
The second of these is obviously something that they could have done with bikes too if they had ever though to, but that's not my concern. All I know is that these roller blades have the feature when every other generation's high-speed self-transport have not. This is such a welcome change, one which should remove a lot of the Hellish Pavlovian conditioning that inevitably made me hate the bike jingles in most generations (since I came to associate it with unwelcome interruptions of the city or route music).

I should disclaim though: I don't roller blade very often. I still walk -- not run -- most places. The only times I roller blade are when I am backtracking (like when I was trying to quickly get from Route 4 to Santalune City to deposit Pokémon). Whenever I explore new areas, I am still so enamored with what Game Freak is showing me that I simply must take my time and walk, soaking up every morsel there is.

Santalune Gym: I liked this. The paintings were nice. The way my character got onto the fire pole and slid down looked nice. The spider web with water droplets, while ultimately pretty pointless, was visually appealing and fun. I actually didn't notice that the water droplets were placed there to help you navigate the maze! ^^; I was chasing after them half because it was simply fun and half because I wondered if knocking them all off the web would unlock something. It wasn't until I ran straight into Gym Trainer #3 that I realized what was up and I was like, "Okay. Time to backtrack and fight the other GYs for delicious experience."

Viola was fun. I can easily see how, in an older generation, she would have seemed unbearably dopey with her dialogue and character profile, but something about the visuals adds strength to her ... to her ... how do I put it ... seeing her and her studio more clearly in 3-D makes me accept that she really is a sincere photographer and not just some lame-o Gym Leader #1 for me to knock out early. I could just as easily see her being Gym Leader #5 or #7 as I could see her being Gym Leader #1. That was nice.

The battle with Viola was likewise fine. I had only two Pokémon -- Fletchling and Fennekin -- and it played out as one might expect. Fletchling took down Surskit but accrued enough damage to be taken out by Vivillon. Fennekin then went out and finished the job with three Embers. (The second one took Viola down to the low red, who used a Potion at the top of Fennekin's third turn. To no avail! ;D) Obviously the battle is Easy Mode, especially with a Fire-type starter who's been fully EV trained, so there's no bragging rights to be sought after here. Just reporting what happened.

Route 22: So after you beat the gym, you can go left to where Alexa is or you can go right. Opening the Town Map, I became curious and decided to try out the right first. Once I saw it said it was Route 22, though, I headed back to Route 4. But then I changed my mind again and decided to explore as far as the game would let me before turning back around. So I did. Not much to say about this route other than that it disappoints me that the trainers are all so low-leveled (obviously because it's directly accessible from Santalune City) despite being associated with such a high-numbered route that feeds directly into the Pokémon League's headquarters.

Meet Flabébé: Of all the Pokémon I saw on Route 4, the only one who really caught my interest was the little flower fairy, Flabébé. Maybe it was because she was mono-Fairy despite clearly having a Grass-type theme? Maybe it was because I was intrigued by her stats. Furthermore, maybe it was because of the fact that her nature, Sassy, made it difficult for me to tell whether all Flabébés have low Speed or whether it was just mine. But in the end I said "Fuck it! \o/" and decided to go ahead and add her to the team. I already have two glass cannons, so a pseudo-Reuniclus wouldn't be bad.

Flabébé's EV training: Oh good lord. ^^; I was not prepared for this. Flabébé is ... interesting. ^^;; While most of the other Pokémon I've toyed around with just kick fairly ordinary soccer balls (black, yellow, blue, whatever) one at a time, Flabébé ... is an unrestrainable machine gun. I quickly learned that in order to win with her in these training modules, I had to change strategies:
  • Standard Strategy: "slow but steady wins the race" -- aim diligently at each goal, charging the shot up to max power for max points. Towards the end, be scoring 300, then 300, then 300, then 300, and so on every two or three seconds.
  • Flabébé Strategy: spray the field with soccer balls to get all of the standard white goals out of the way as quickly as possible. (Don't worry that the goals score for so little.) Then once you've forced the enemy to cycle through to its red goal, machine gun it for all you can.
I quickly discovered that Flabébé won in the training modules just as as easily as anyone else did once I modified my strategy to suit her unique way of kicking soccer balls. Where others would go 300, 600, 900, 1200, 1500 in total, Flabébé would be going 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and then 1500 in total. To my delight, her strategy was especially well-suited to the courses I had her taking on.

Fennekin Evolves! Meet Braixen? Last night -- right before I posted -- I decided to go ahead and sneak a peek at what Fennekin evolves into by allowing her to evolve when she hit Level 16. And ... and ...

Spoiler: show
HUUUUUUUUUUMANSHAAAAAAAAAAPE!!! D:

Now granted, it's not the end of the world. ^^; But damn it. God damn it, Game Freak. ^^; Why you gotta do this to me!? First Torchic, now Fennekin! Why you gotta take these adorable starters and turn 'em into furry fuel!?

That stated, as far as humanshapes go, I actually like Braixen. :o I don't know what it is exactly. Probably a lot of little things added together. The quirky stick sticking vertically out of her tail. The color palette. I dunno. She's not Gothitelle or Conkeldurr, that's for certain! But man ... man ... why couldn't we have just had her be an animal, Game Freak?

From the moment I realized that Fennekin's face reminded me of Sonic's Shitty Friends, I knew this was a distinct possibility. ¬¬;

More Surprises from Fennekin: So with Balmund's help, I was able to comfortably make the decision to reset my 2DS (I had saved just before the fight which led her to evolve) and play on with Fennekin. I should note, though, that before I did this, I did sneak a peek at Braixen's summary page and couldn't help but notice that, *sigh*, she was still mono-Fire.

Now, I should explain something here. Not the very day I found out about the Fairy type, no, but not longer after either, I became convinced that Fennekin's line would end up becoming Fire/Fairy. I haven't really mentioned this too too much before now because I didn't want some idiot spoiling me in either direction with a "Yeah, she is! " or a "No she's not, silly! She's Fire/____! " But this was my suspicion going into the game. I've even been mentioning it to AK2 on the phone quite a bit over the past few months.

So imagine my surprise when Fennekin hits level 17 and learns ......................... Psybeam!? C-...could it be? C-...could Fennekin's line be the Fire/Psychic type I have longed for for many generations? The way I see it, there are two possibilities:
  • This is Butterfree all over again. "Yes, I learn Psychic attacks by leveling up. No, I'm never part-Psychic."
  • This is a sign of things to come with Fennekin's final form.
I have no idea yet since Psybeam is only just one attack. It's not like learning Revenge made Dewott into a Water/Fighting type. (Sadly. -_-; ) And it's not like learning Close Combat made Staraptor into Flying/Fighting. (Sadly. -_-; ) But I dunno ... I dunno. :o Do I dare to dream? The answer is yes. My mind is aflutter right now with competing thoughts of whether Fennekin's line becomes Fire/Fairy, Fire/Psychic, or remains mono-Fire. Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase don't remain mono-Fire. D: I'll be so disappointed if that happens.

Suffice to say, no spoilers, please. This is one thing I definitely want to find out for myself in-game.

Route 04: So I know I've already mentioned going onto the route, but let's actually talk about it. I like it! Game Freak has really busted out their A-game aesthetically this time. I love how I can actually run into the tulips and other flowers and encounter wild Pokémon there. I love the Perle Fountain. I love seeing people looking like they're just having fun living life here. As for the offerings on the route, I saw Flabébé, Budew, Ledyba, Combee, Skitty, and a couple of others. I caught one of each of these and was mildly disappointed to see that neither Ledyba nor Skitty were part-Fairy. (Again! Not that I would expect them to be! I'm just on the prowl for retyped Fairies. ) I caught a female Combee but sadly she was Naive and I don't feel like wasting time hunting for a female with a good nature when there are so, so many other Pokémon in the grass worsening those odds.

Meet Zigzagoon: I decided to bust open the PokéDex and see which routes Zigzagoon appears on. And I noticed that he only seems to appear on Route 2 and that's it. ^^; So I backtracked to Route 2, caught a Zigzagoon (male, Careful) and decided to EV train him because I'm crazy like that. No, seriously, I wouldn't have done it in any other generation, but here, it's really not that bad. If EV training him means I'm less inclined to jettison him because "he's got crap EVs", then I'm for it. Do I think I'll be keeping him around forever? Probably not. I already EV trained a Zigzagoon during Story Mode once before -- Ziggy, my de facto starter in Pokémon Emerald -- and built fond memories with one there. While I'm not against doing it again with another Zigzagoon, I also don't thinkI'm going to cling to him should three other huge wants come along. Also, it's worth pointing out that this Zigzagoon isn't even Jolly or Adamant -- he's Careful. (+SpDef, -SpAtk) Not a bad nature for a Zigzagoon but not ideal either. I swear, I'm not crazy for EV training this little guy. ¬¬; Anyway, Zigzagoon's on board for primarily one reason: good ol' Pick Up. I'll feel much less bad about dumping experience points into him if he's properly trained, and he'll be of much more benefit to me at higher levels than he will at lower ones.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:40 PM   #28
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After finishing with Zigzagoon's EV training, I resumed playing the game proper.

Welcome to Lumiose City: Wow. Just wow. This is what I think they were shooting for when they invented Castelia City in Gen 5. That city I thought wretchedly ugly and a bitch to navigate. This one's even more of a bitch to navigate ... but goodness me if it's not gorgeous. Absolutely delightful to stroll down these boulevards. Minus the fact that the steering is so awful. Seriously: whose bright idea was it to make Left and Right suddenly become pivotal instructions and you can only move via Up and Down? The analog stick doesn't seem to behave this way, so why the D-Pad? Anyway ... the city's really pretty. Barely seen any of it so far though. Looking forward to touring the rest of it later.

Meet Squirtle: So I go to the research lab and yeah ... it's time to get a Kanto starter. Sadly, this was spoiled for me right around the time Pokémon: the Origin came out. Of all places, it was Bulbapedia who spoiled it. (Well, sort of ... it's a long story.) But to be honest, I don't mind too much. And that's because ... I don't really want any of the Kanto starters on my adventure. ^^; At least, that's my thinking right now. Why?
  • Bulbasaur line: I love it, but I'm not really dying to raise one for Story Mode, oddly enough. ^^; I'd much rather either raise a) some appealing Kalos Grass type, b) a Grass type I've wanted to EV train but never got around to, or c) my Flabébé should she end up becoming part Grass.
  • Charmander line: Love it ... but with Fennekin and Fletchling on the team already, I've really no need for additional Fire or Flying types. Furthermore, I'm not a fan of how Mega Charizard Y looks. (Mega Charizard Z has his problems too, but I think I'd prefer him to Mega Charizard Y. Looks-wise, at least.)
  • Squirtle line: This is a sadly neglected line in my world. I absolutely adore Squirtle, and I think Wartortle is one of the best stages of evolution of any of the starters in the history of the games. (My only complaint with him are those silly Mercurial head-wing things.) But Blastoise ... I've never been a fan of the Pokémon, not even back when we were kids; and I'm not going to deny that years of associating the cannon-toting terrapin with a certain individual has made me resent the creature. But mostly, I just don't like those mechanical cannons. :p Don't ask me why, but while I am a-okay with mixing animal and plant life in one organism, I cry foul when Pokémon tries to mix beasts with machinery.
So what is a guy to do? Well, I thought about it. I thought about it long and hard. And in the end I decided ... to give Squirtle the love he deserves. Come 'ere, you little cutie, you!

... and then Professor Sycamore surprises me by making me fight all three of them first. Ooooooooookay. And then it dawns on me: "Shit. I'm not going to be able to reset easily if I want to." Torn and looking for excuses to reject my Kanto starter, I say "Fuck it, let's just keep whatever we get." I notice that Sycamore's Pokémon are all male, including Squirtle. "Figures," I say. "Either this is fixed or I just got very unlucky again." Sigh. Oh well. There's always Ditto for this sort of thing. Besides, it's not like I want a female Squirtle anyway. Though it sure would be convenient for breeding, I guess.

But I'm telling the story too fast. Because I forgot to mention the part when Professor Sycamore sent Squirtle out. And I took one look at those brilliantly purple eyes and I just "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww "'d and knew I'd made the right pick. So yeah, fast forward thirty to sixty seconds later and the battle is over and I'm reading the text the game is trying to shower me with, eager to check out my new Squirtle. Is he Modest? Is he Bold? What is he? I go to the menu and ...

... is that a I see? I click on her. Yuuuuuup: definitely female. Hooooooooooly shit, would you look at that. What are the odds!? (Before any of you say "1/8" I'll beat you to it. :p) I look over at the nature ... Calm. I'll take it. It may not be Bold or Relaxed (Smogon's advice for Old World Blastoise) and it may not be what's ideal for New World Blastoise (I have no idea), but all I know is that it's -Atk/+SpDef and that seems like a pretty good deal to me.

A Question About Blastoise: So, I want to know: what is the word on the street right now for the best EV spread(s) and role(s) for Gen 6 Blastoise? The answer may be for ordinary Blastoise, Mega Blastoise, or both, but please be sure to specify which it is when you answer. Here's an example:
Quote:
Blastoise, Bold, 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpDef
- Rapid Spin
- Toxic
- Scald
- Foresight
Here's another:
Quote:
Mega Blastoise, Adamant, 252 Atk / 252 Speed / 4 HP
- [Gen 6 move you've probably not seen yet, Talon]
- Return
- Earthquake
- [Gen 6 move you've probably not seen yet, Talon]
If there's more than one popular answer on the street, I'll hear it. For example, if some people insist that Mega Blastoise is to be used as a battering ram while other people argue it's best used as a wall which just so happens to pack a surprising amount of bite, then I want to know.

For now, given that my girl is Calm, I'm thinking of doing the following with her:
- 252 HP
- 252 SpDef
- 4 Def
Basically it's an inversion of the Smogon-recommended Bold set. I'm not saying it's better or anything. I just think it'd be something fun to try out. The thing I'm worried about, though, is that she's going to have like no offensive power whatsoever. :\ That she's going to be really, really boring to use in Story Mode. Which then leads me to wonder if I should instead do ...
- 252 SpAtk
- 252 Def
- 4 HP
And just sort of treat her as a for-fun Story Mode Squirtle who punches hard and who also has decently well-rounded defenses.

I dunno. Input would be appreciated. Until I hear back, I'll probably a) dick around Lumiose City and b) raise my other four, leaving Squirtle in the PC. But the sooner I can withdraw her, EV train her, and add her to the team, I think the happier I'll be.

Oh! One more very important question!

The Infamous Lumiose City Save Glitch: Here's what I'm wanting to know:
  1. Are certain parts of the city confirmed safe to save in no matter what? (For example, what about the Pokémon Center?)
  2. Remember how I couldn't play the game until I connected to the Internet and updated, so said my 2DS? Was that the system forcing me to install the patch you guys all had to download at a later date? The reason I ask is, my 2DS has a memo in its memo area which details instructions for how to manually download the patch. Which confuses me since ... I thought it already installed on its own automatically. Did your guys' install automatically too? Or did you have to jump through hoops to install it?
  3. What exactly happens again if you're not patched? ^^; Does it brick your save file permanently? Or does applying the patch fix it and make you able to play again?
Basically, I'm scared to save in the forbidden areas. So help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #29
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>Basically, I'm scared to save in the forbidden areas. So help would be appreciated.

There's a patch you can download on the E-Shop for carts and digital downloads. It'll make it a non-issue.

>Blastoise

Mega 'Stoise is Specially-based, but you won't get any of its good moves without breeding. So doing a bulky special tank would be your best option.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:18 PM   #30
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I have a 3DS, but yes, I had to manually download the patch from the e-shop. It did not download automatically. That said, you only need to download the patch if you bought a cartridge or downloaded the game before October 25th. If you downloaded the game after October 25th from the e-shop, it should come with the patch included.

Lumiose City has a lot of interesting stuff! Definitely a city worth exploring.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #31
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Okay, I think the update I was prompted to do on Day One must have been a 2DS operating system upgrade. (Which is strange considering the hardware is no older than the game itself, same release date and all ... ¬_¬) I went ahead and loaded the Nintendo eShop (which I'd loaded only once before), and this time it waylaid me immediately and said something about having an update for software I'd previously installed. I click the message ... and see that it says "Pokémon Y Update Ver. 1.1".
Quote:
An update is available for Pokémon Y.

This update fixes a bug related to resuming your game after saving data in Lumiose City. It also improves the filtering feature within the Global Trade Station (GTS).

Note: This update is only for Pokémon Y. An identical update is also available for Pokémon X in the Nintendo eShop.
This was the exact same message I mentioned in my previous post seeing in the Notes part of the 2DS's Home page. So I'm not really sure how/why I saw the note without getting the upgrade itself, but whatever.

Can you guys confirm though that it's safe to save anywhere in Lumiose City now with this upgrade? Like, have any of you guys dared try it? I know I'd be scared to. ^^; But it's an inconvenience to have to leave the city and save outside of it. :\ Especially since it seems like such a hub.
  • In my Data Management subsection of my Settings channel, the upgrade shows up as "Pokémon Y [Update Data]" and says that it's 227 blocks in size.
  • From the main menu, on the bottom right corner of the bottom screen and from when you're looking at loading your game's save file (the one with your picture, hours played, etc.), I see "Ver. 1.1".
Is that what you guys have? I assume so. Just being overly cautious here.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:05 AM   #32
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> Can you guys confirm though that it's safe to save anywhere in Lumiose City now with this upgrade? Like, have any of you guys dared try it? I know I'd be scared to. ^^; But it's an inconvenience to have to leave the city and save outside of it. :\ Especially since it seems like such a hub.

Nintendo reps confirm that it will not only prevent the glitch from negatively affecting games, but will also fix any games affected. I haven't tried it myself, but I don't think it's a problem anymore. Your game shouldn't be bricked because of it.

If you're that worried, just save in a building. Only the overworld was ever dangerous.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:48 AM   #33
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>Mega Blastoise
Megastoise has significantly more firepower than regular Blastoise, and with lack of Leftovers you're better off sticking to a moveset and spread that makes him either a hard-hitting tank, or a bulky tank that can hit back surprisingly well.

For the nature you got, I would use:

-Scald / Water Pulse / Hydro Pump
-Dark Pulse
-Ice Beam
-Rapid Spin / Focus Blast

And a spread of either 252 HP / 4 Satk / 252 Sdef or 252 HP / 252 Satk / 4 Sdef. For story mode, either of these work. In fact, you probably won't really need Rapid Spin through all of story mode either, so you might slash in another offensive option or something else even. You can then later breed a competitive Blastoise afterward with a different nature and one of its new Egg Moves that further make use of its ability.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:55 AM   #34
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I would personally consider throwing Flash Cannon on Blastoise if you evolve it.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:34 AM   #35
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The Mega Blastoise I use competitively is a Modest one that designed to kill all the spin blockers. I don't want to spoil one of its egg moves but currently the moveset is:

Blastoise @ Blastoisinite(or however the hell you spell it)
Modest
252 HP/ 252 Sp.Atk/ 4 Def
-Rapid Spin
-Scald
-Dark Pulse
-[SPOILER]

It can perfectly well run a defensive set however, so don't worry, you still got a pretty good nature. Don't listen to people who say "Use Water Pulse!" Scald is so much better than it...though that is something you should already know.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:17 AM   #36
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For the SpDef set (which is what I ended up going for), that's even more obvious. The burn, when it goes off, helps to make a 252 HP / 252 SpDef Calm Blastoise into something of a super-tank ... though really I should drop the "super" since Blastoise has never been that much of a tank. ^^;

Blastoise:

That stated, I'm not likely to run Scald on my Blastoise while she's helping me clear the story. I mean, she'll certainly have it alongside Surf if the TM should become available early on, but she's much more likely to have other moves instead for type diversity's sake. I don't want/need two Water moves on her, and Surf is the obvious choice while playing through the game. Likewise, Rapid Spin's the sort of move that I would keep if it weren't a Level Up move but since it is I have no qualms with deleting it and, at some future date, giving her it back via the Move Reminder.

Progress update later today when I've actually made some. For now, all that's happened since last night is that I began effort training Squirtle and made about 10% progress. Still have the other 90% to go. Once that's done though, it's time to go find Calem in Lumiose City!
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:01 PM   #37
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EV Training Squirtle: With Pidgey and Fennekin, I had good custom balls. (Blue and yellow, respectively.) With Zigzagoon, I had a standard ball (black). With Flabébé, I had to "unlearn what I had learned" in order to succeed but quickly discovered that she is mad broken when used right. But Squirtle threw a curve ball at me with her large, slow-as-molasses green balls ... and man do they suck. ^^; The idea behind them is "What we lack in speed, we make up for in points." The problem with that philosophy, as already demonstrated by Flabébé (who does the exact opposite), is that while low points can be made up for by scoring frequently, high points that miss can't really be made up for. And that's Squirtle's problem: she can't do moving targets very well. The HP stages (like Wailord's) seem like they're custom-made specifically for her, but the SpDef stages are a different story. She can handle them -- I did fine! :p -- but she struggles compared with the other creatures.

If I had to rank the soccer balls, my current impressions would be:

single yellow (Fennekin) >= single blue (Pidgey) > machine gun yellow (Flabébé) > plain black (Zigzagoon) > large green (Squirtle)

Anyway ... after I finished EV training Squirtle, I skated back north to Lumiose City. Time to explore and advance the plot!

Lumiose City - South Side: I went into every single building the game allowed me to. ^^; I won't bore you with all of those specifics since most things were mundane. Keeping the list o' impressions short here:
  • the Skiddo sleeping on the street was adorable
  • I was very confused by Calem saying that he wanted to battle me right now ... only for him to not battle me. Freaked it out was a glitch caused by the save patch. Googled. Found out other people had the exact same experience as I did. Played on. Very odd script choice, Game Freak.
  • Lysandre. (See below. He gets his own section.)
  • Disappointed by how ugly the Times Square-style television screen is. :\ Why did they code it to display 64x48 images or some such? They look awful. I realize the 3DS isn't a device with a Retina display screen, but c'mon, guys: at least match the resolution to the other stuff I see on screen.
  • Disappointed by the very limited color options at the salon. Ended up resetting and leaving without making any changes to my hair. Was really hoping I could change eye color too. :\
So, about that villain ...

Lysandre: The only thing I dislike about Gen 6's villain is that he's a bit too lol-obvious what with the hair and the speeches and such. If Game Freak would've just toned it down some, he might've been perfect. And that's because I like the other things they seem to be doing with him.

They surely have realized by now that they hit the glass ceiling in Gen 4. It doesn't get much bigger than "I am going to destroy the entire Universe and give rise to a new Universe in its place." With Gen 5, they struggled to go bigger and badder, and they ended up maintaining the same heights, I'd say, but flew off in a different direction, exploring (arguably) the greatest crisis or challenge to ever face the Pokémon universe: the very question of whether humans ought to be capturing and training Pokémon in the first place. But that was a desperate attempt at maintaining players' interest, and while I think it's fair to say that most of us highly valued Gen 5's story, Game Freak has to have accepted by now that they're never going to be able to top what they did with Gen 4's villain.

So.

Where do we go from here?

Meet Lysandre. Like Cyrus and N+Sages, he's clearly a well-meaning villain. Like Cyrus and N+Sages, he probably doesn't even see himself as the villain. But what exactly is his goal? Is it the destruction of the Universe? Is it the liberation of Pokémon? No, it's ... something simpler. Y'see, Lysandre is simply a man who ... abhors ugliness in this world. He wishes that everything were beautiful, and that all which is already beautiful would forever remain as such. He wants to find ways to not only make things more beautiful but to keep things from ever becoming ugly. And it's with these "Ohhhhhh boy , I see where this is headed ..."-goals in mind that the man is going to slip down the slippery slope towards villainy.

What I like about Lysandre (or at least early Lysandre) is this apparently tragic connection he has with Professor Sycamore. It's thanks to Sycamore that Lysandre set out on his quest to become a Pokémon trainer. Lysandre clearly looks up to Sycamore. I forget the exact words he said, but I got the impression that, for Lysandre, Professor Sycamore is the sort of man whose respect he seeks and whose opinion he values. So it's going to be an interesting bit of human tragedy when the Sycamore-Lysandre-Protagonist triangle of characters all comes crashing together, with Sycamore realizing that he helped birth a villain (Lysandre) but that he also helped birth a hero (the protagonist). Well, assuming this even happens. Don't let me down, writers!

Another thing I like about Lysandre, going back to what we were discussing before, is how acceptable his goal is to us, as readers/players, acceptable in terms of vision and scope and graveness, without being another "OMG END OF THE WORLD" story. That was the plot thread which Gens 1 through 4 followed, first with a criminal takeover of a region, then a criminal takeover of a nation, then a criminal threat to the entire planet, and finally a criminal threat to the entire Universe. Gen 5 took a same-height detour. But Gen 6 says, "Y'know what? It's okay telling small stories. Not everything has to be so big and flashy and Michael Bay-ey all the time. So what Lysandre isn't a threat beyond Kalos? So what he's not dabbling in science which concerns the seas, the continents, or space-time? He's still a significant-enough threat for the people whose lives he's affecting and he needs to be stopped."

Finally, what I also love about Lysandre's angle -- this hatred of ugliness -- is how it explores a very relatable, a very human desire. It's really hard for me to justify in words. Like, I've struggled here at the keyboard for five minutes trying to think of how I want to explain this intangible but certain feeling I have. The best I can manage is to say that the thought of destroying the entire city / state / country / planet / universe comes from a very different part of the brain than the thought of wanting to erase ugliness from the world. The latter can often motivate the former (as we saw with Cyrus, who sought to create a world freed of suffering), but the actual idea of "I want to rebuild the Universe" comes from a ... I dunno, a book-learned part of the human brain quite different from "I want to conquer Death" / "I want to conquer Ugliness" / "I want to conquer Stupidity", etc.

Anyway, enough about a villain I've seen all of two times. Let's move on, shall we?

Route 5: So, this is where I was supposed to discover hordes. Except I ended up slathering honey on zero trees, largely avoiding the grass, and neither Tierno nor Trevor ever demonstrated a horde battle for me. Guess I'll just have to discover them at some later date.

This route is where we get our first tastes of several game elements. One is the roller blades' equivalent of the Acro Bike's beams in Hoenn -- the skater park rails that you can hop up onto and skate along. Another is the return of trees that grow berries. (IT'S ABOUT TIME! I can't believe that, if I'm not mistaken, this is the first game to have featured something like this since HeartGold / SoulSilver three to four years ago. )

Camphrier Town: Lovin' it. Little about Unova made me feel like I was in the United States. Even less about Sinnoh or Hoenn made me feel like I was specifically in Japan. But there's a solid European feel to this castle town that I dig. (Maybe it's ... the castle!? ) I like the roads too.

Route 7: Not much to say just yet.

Route 6: This was gorgeous. Loved going down that long path with trees on either side. LOL @ all of the stereotypical Japanese tourists though. ^^;

Parfum Palace: I'm sorry, do you mean Versailles? This was AWESOME! God, it looks so gorgeous! I took two photos with the gate closed -- one zoomed out and one zoomed in -- and tipped the guy Ą500 each time. But I didn't care! Versailles!

Going inside was even more amazing. It's obvious that Game Freak went on site and were quite impressed with Versailles. Because man oh man did they do a spectacular job with Parfum Palace. While it's disappointing that the château is relatively empty JRPG-wise, that's Versailles for you. But man oh man was it exciting to explore every room, check out all of that gilded decor, go explore the gardens, etc.

Shauna and Parfum's Lord: So, this scene had the potential to be really great if it were done right. Unfortunately ... I don't know if something was simply lost in translation or if even the original Japanese script was like this or what, but ... did any of you guys also get the feeling that Shauna was disproportionately negative all the time? Like, I totally get why she was negative. And she was totally right about the things she was saying. But so little of it felt appropriate given what we'd just heard the lord say. Like ... paraphrasing the dialogue from when we rescue the dog:
Parfum's Lord: Oh, my darling Furfrou! I'm so glad I found you! Let's celebrate with some wonderfrou fireworks!
Shauna: Y'know, Corinne ... I'm beginning to think that Furfrou would have been better off if we hadn't found her.
What the hell!?! REOOOOOOOOWR, Shauna! Why you gotta be so bitchy when all the guy did was make one bad pun, claim credit for finding his lost dog, and exclaim joy at being reunited? It's not like he did one of these numbers!
Parfum's Lord: OH, FURFROU! My snoogy woogy woggumkins! I'm so glad I FOUND you! Yes! Yes! Who's a good doggy? Yes, who's a good doggy?
Furfrou: *anime-style sweatdrop*
Shauna: Y'know, Corinne ... I'm starting to have doubts whether we did the right thing or not. ^^;
But no! That wasn't what happened at all. And it wasn't just that one scene -- every time Shauna whispered an insult about the Versailles dude to me, I was like, "Y'know, I agree with you, mildly, insofar as I can see that Game Freak intended this character to be perceived as the sort of person you're describing ... but y'know, Shauna ... he's not really that bad. ^^; Game Freak really hasn't done a good enough job of clearly establishing that this guy is an undeserving rich asshole." Like, when he gave the PokéFlute back free of charge, that was obviously a pretty nice thing for a guy like him to do given that he originally collected it as financial compensation in lieu of money for a loan he'd given Shabonneau Castle's lord. Like, sure, he may be a bit of a rich ass, Shauna, I totally agree ... but you act like he's the Meowth owner from Go West, Young Meowth! and I'm just not seeing it. ^^;

Honedge, a.k.a. WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT!?: Well, I wish I could act more excited, but sadly this was the very last X/Y spoiler someone spoiled me on. :\ Yes, Game Freak finally decided to give us ... the lol-broken, oh-so-glorious Steel/Ghost typing. However, I decided to go ahead and box him for now. Atrocious speed's not an issue if you're going for a defensive build, but everything about Honedge seems to scream "SWORDS DANCE + FURY CUTTER + 252 ATK EVs YOUR WAY TO VICTORY, TALON! " Which reminds me ...

Retooled Fury Cutter: Another thing I was spoiled on (different person), but a welcome re-discovery. Gotta love that base 40 power. If only it were Steel type ... and Flying was weak to Steel ...



She's the one on the top left. Click here for stats.

Snorlax and the PokéFlute: Disappointed in Game Freak that they wouldn't let us keep the item in the Key Items pocket. But pleased that, given this reluctance to let players own the infini-Awakenings item again, they were kind enough to pay their respects to the flute, not only by giving us a route-blocking Snorlax, not only by having it be roused by the flute, but by even matching the flute's melody to the same melody we've known in all the other games with it. Pretty cool.

I caught a male Impish Snorlax with Immunity. Since he has the "wrong" ability (Immunity isn't bad, but duh it's no Thick Fat) and the "wrong" nature (Impish, +Def/-SpAtk, is pretty much what the Doctor ordered for Snorlax ... except that since we'd be boosting Def with Curse anyway it's better to pad SpDef as much as we can), I'll be boxing him.

The Kalos Daycare: So this was a pleasant surprise. After the stunt they pulled in BW2 (locking you out of the Daycare until after you beat the game), I figured Game Freak was going to do this "forever" (read: the next one to two generations). I guess not. :o Well that works for me. Except ... I don't really have any great candidates for the Daycare right now. ^^; Maybe if I had a Level 55 who was done learning his moves ... Anyway, I decided to toss in a random Pancham and Sentret. Will be interested to see what, if any, type changes result per their evolutions. (YES, I'M STILL HUNGRILY ON THE HUNT FOR FAIRY RETYPINGS! You never know, Game Freak could've gone crazy and rendered Furret a Fairy type ... ¬_¬)



And that about does it for now. Long update is long. In the next post, I'll be mentioning some general impressions thus far.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:21 PM   #38
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Try looking a little more in the Trainer Video building. You might be pleasantly surprised if you do.

I wish there was an online Trainer Customization simulator or something. I think showing off our trainers' looks would be neat. After messing around with my trainer, I think default Serina looks dull.

Also I agree with the hair colors. Realistic hair colors are dumb. I stayed with my default one through most of the game. Well atleast until I found an outfit my default hair color looked pretty bad with.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #39
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Here are some general impressions or topics I wanted to discuss. If you want something more along the lines of a progress report and impressions I have with plot-specific things, look at my post above.

Skewed Evolution Pacing: For some people, evolution cannot come fast enough. For others, the time we spend with our Pokémon at each stage in their life cycles is something to be cherished. I find myself in the latter camp, and it's one reason why I've been somewhat frustrated by just how easy Gen 6 makes it for you to level up. I haven't even reached the second gym yet and already my starter is at Level 22. I've had to cancel evolution seven times for her already. This is ridiculous. It was bad enough in earlier generations like Hoenn where I had a Level 15 Torchic by the time I challenged Roxanne without even trying, but for me to have a Level 22 Fennekin already despite Gen 6 Exp.Share turned on is just friggin' ridiculous.

One of the culprits appears to be the fact that Fennekin is gaining experience points as though she were a traded Pokémon. I have no idea why. I've noticed that Squirtle is doing it too. Is it because they're both past the point where they normally would have evolved? Is it because they're both starters and this is a special perk that only starters get? Is it a glitch? I have no idea. All I know is, Fennekin is gaining enough points per KO that she gains a new level roughly once every two fights -- against wild Pokémon half her level. That's insane. I shouldn't have a Level 21 Fennekin KOing one Level 11 Honedge and one Level 12 Oddish be told, "Shiina grew to Level 22!" I mean, I'm sure plenty of kids out there right now are grateful for this and are saying, "THANK YOU, GAME FREAK! " But not me. ^^; I resent that you keep making me feel like I'm the freak for canceling evolution every time she gains a level just because I'd like to have her around for at least two gym battles. Is that really so much to ask? Is it really such a problem to want to have your starter be a baby for Gyms 1-3, be a teenager for Gyms 4-6, and be an adult for Gyms 7 and 8? Apparently. Because I can tell you this: if I end up hitting Level 30 and Fennekin is still unevolved, I think I'm going to have to allow her to evolve one way or another. And that's because I don't want to spend only two or three levels with her as a Braixen only to then have to let her evolve into her final form at (say) Level 36 because you guys tell me, "Oh, Talon! :o Be sure to let her evolve! Because if you don't, you'll miss out on {name}'s best move in the game!"

This discussion brings us to my next general talking point, which is ...

Lopsided Gym Placement: This wouldn't even be a complaint if I hadn't already been accidentally spoiled by a friend who gave away that Gen 6's Story Mode is rather on the short side. If I didn't know that, and I were playing the game right now completely uninformed, then I'd be in Heaven right now, convinced that Gen 6 is the first generation ever where you get like 5 hours of gameplay in between every gym. Because that's certainly been my experience so far! Santalune Gym feels like it was ages ago on the Pokémon video games' time scale, and yet still there's no sight of Gym #2. (Even if it ends up being the castle in Camphrier Town, which was my original suspicion on arriving, I still haven't fought anyone in it.) This seems like a very odd design choice if Game Freak knew that they were going to make a shorter game this go around. Why would you do this:

Gym 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gym 2 Gym 3 Gym 4 (etc)

instead of doing this?

Gym 1 . . . . . Gym 2 . . . . . Gym 3 . . . . . Gym 4 (etc)

I'm all for shaking up the formula, I guess, but -- see above complaints re: leveling too fast -- if the story is going to end up rushed in the end, I feel like you're putting the cart (originality) before the horse (a satisfying experience).

NPC Trainers' Teams: There's one thing that's quite pleased me and one thing that's really disappointed me. Let's do the bad news first. :p

What I'm not happy with is just how tiny everyone's teams are. Most opponents have only one Pokémon. Next up from that are the ones who have just two. I think I've fought a grand total of three or four trainers all game who have had three or more Pokémon. I know I was complaining about leveling too fast earlier (LOL! [b]MAKE UP YOUR MIND, TALON! ) but few things in Pokémon agitate me more than a trainer having only one Pokémon on their team.

So if that's the bad news, what's the good news? Well, the thing I quite like about the Gen 6 trainers' teams is ... the diversity. It seems like, with over 600 creatures to choose from now in the catalog, Game Freak is having a very easy time making each opponent seem fresh or different from the ones before. In past games, you could count on NPCs of the same trainer class having 50%+ identical Pokémon. Kanto bikers and their Koffing/Weezing. Johto hikers and their Geodude/Graveler or Onix. Hoenn bikers (on Cycling Road) and their Magnemite. Even Unova had predicability like this, what with the Plasma grunts having Purrloin/Liepard all the time. But so far, I haven't seen any of that here in Kalos. The shorts-wearing boys ... have each seemed unique. The preschoolers ... have each seemed unique. The PokéFans ... have each seemed unique. I feel like every time I fight a trainer, there's an increasing chance of me seeing something again that I've already seen this playthrough but that, even if it's increasing, that probability is still relatively small.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:43 PM   #40
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>Level 22 Fennekin already despite Gen 6 Exp.Share turned on

Exp. Share gives all Pokémon in the party half the amount of Exp that the Pokémon battling gets. Said battling 'mon gets full Exp.

This is why I was able to rotate a team of 15 Pokémon in Y and keep up with the in-game curve despite doing no grinding.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:55 PM   #41
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Whoops. Forgot one last thing above before posting. First that, then answering bbb.

Skewed Evolution Pacing (Con't): So what would I like to see Game Freak do to fix this? This has been a long time coming, and I'm sad to see that Gen 6 wasn't the generation they decided to implement it. What I would like to see ... is an across-the-board revamping of the levels Pokémon evolve at.
  • Bugs: bump them up so the babies evolve at Level 10 and the teens evolve at Level 30.
  • Everyone else: bump them up so the babies evolve between Levels 25 and 35 and the teens evolve between Levels 45 and 55.
This is still far, far away from a symmetric balance throughout 100 levels (i.e. evolving at 33 and then again at 66 if you evolve twice; evolving at 50 if you evolve only once). But it would at least bring some sanity back to the games. Instead of having a friggin' Venusaur by the time I reach Lt. Surge or (at this pace) the final evolution of Fennekin's by the time I reach this game's third gym, the proposed revamped scale would make it so that most players would not get their starter's first evolution until around Gym 2 or Gym 3 and would not get their starter's second evolution until some time around Gym 6 or Gym 7.

Am I saying I want to force my ideal on you? No. I'm just soapboxing. If you like the games the way they are, good for you. I don't. At least not this one particular aspect of them.

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Originally Posted by big bad birtha View Post
Try looking a little more in the Trainer Video building. You might be pleasantly surprised if you do.

I wish there was an online Trainer Customization simulator or something. I think showing off our trainers' looks would be neat. After messing around with my trainer, I think default Serina looks dull.

Also I agree with the hair colors. Realistic hair colors are dumb. I stayed with my default one through most of the game. Well atleast until I found an outfit my default hair color looked pretty bad with.
I didn't agree to let the VR guy do anything with me because:
  1. it seemed like it was one of the game's Internet features and for now I'm not doing any Internet stuff
  2. it seemed dumb
  3. it seemed like it was either going to:
    1. use the 2DS's camera to record me IRL for 10 seconds
    2. allow me to customize the protagonist's 3-D model into a variety of poses or something for a "video" lasting 10 seconds
    and neither of those two things sounded appealing to me.
What exactly is the deal with it? I suppose I could read up about it on Bulbapedia later, but I may as well ask you to explain it to me in your own words.

If the benefit you're alluding to has nothing to do with recording videos -- if, for example, there's a TM or hold item hidden somewhere in there -- then I can go back and look, sure, but normally I'm pretty thorough about scouring every square inch of those buildings, clicking A on all of the trash cans, etc.

If what you're alluding to is that the VR videos allow you to change your character's eye color, that would be pretty cool ... but I'll be disappointed if they let you change eye color but not hair color. That's just so dumb of them. Dusty brown or black? Seriously? Those are the only two color options you're going to give me? You couldn't at least give me eight human hair color options to choose from? I only get three!? (Two new + one current.)
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:00 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTheFishGuy View Post
Exp. Share gives all Pokémon in the party half the amount of Exp that the Pokémon battling gets. Said battling 'mon gets full Exp.
Yeah, I figured something was off with it. :\ I noticed that whether I had the item turned on or turned off, my lead got about the same experience from two different Pokémon of the same species and roughly the same level. But I figured it had to be me imagining things. Really? They really went and "borked" (or is it glori-fixed?) Exp.Share? To someone who's been playing Pokémon games for fifteen years this Christmas, it almost feels like cheating to have an Exp.Share that says the active Pokémon gains 100% of the experience instead of only 50% (at best).

Well, I guess that means it's completely irrelevant whether I had the item turned on or off: Fennekin would be gaining points regardless so long as she was in the lead. (And since the goal is bonding with the character, yeah, she's been in the lead most of the game.)
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:33 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post

I didn't agree to let the VR guy do anything with me because:
  1. it seemed like it was one of the game's Internet features and for now I'm not doing any Internet stuff
  2. it seemed dumb
  3. it seemed like it was either going to:
    1. use the 2DS's camera to record me IRL for 10 seconds
    2. allow me to customize the protagonist's 3-D model into a variety of poses or something for a "video" lasting 10 seconds
    and neither of those two things sounded appealing to me.
What exactly is the deal with it? I suppose I could read up about it on Bulbapedia later, but I may as well ask you to explain it to me in your own words.

If the benefit you're alluding to has nothing to do with recording videos -- if, for example, there's a TM or hold item hidden somewhere in there -- then I can go back and look, sure, but normally I'm pretty thorough about scouring every square inch of those buildings, clicking A on all of the trash cans, etc.

If what you're alluding to is that the VR videos allow you to change your character's eye color, that would be pretty cool ... but I'll be disappointed if they let you change eye color but not hair color. That's just so dumb of them. Dusty brown or black? Seriously? Those are the only two color options you're going to give me? You couldn't at least give me eight human hair color options to choose from? I only get three!? (Two new + one current.)
I was trying to be vague because I didn't think you'd want me to spoil you. Though uhh...I guess I'll still be a bit vague. Basically you get an item in the VR studio. I forget where. I either got it from the guy besides the changing room, or the video guy gave it to me after doing a video (they have premade ones if you don't want to bother making one). I don't care for the videos myself either. I just use it because it's the only way to show off my trainer's look to my friends.

Also there should be 5 hair colors available at your point of the game.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:01 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
One of the culprits appears to be the fact that Fennekin is gaining experience points as though she were a traded Pokémon. I have no idea why. I've noticed that Squirtle is doing it too. Is it because they're both past the point where they normally would have evolved? Is it because they're both starters and this is a special perk that only starters get? Is it a glitch? I have no idea. All I know is, Fennekin is gaining enough points per KO that she gains a new level roughly once every two fights -- against wild Pokémon half her level. That's insane. I shouldn't have a Level 21 Fennekin KOing one Level 11 Honedge and one Level 12 Oddish be told, "Shiina grew to Level 22!" I mean, I'm sure plenty of kids out there right now are grateful for this and are saying, "THANK YOU, GAME FREAK! " But not me. ^^; I resent that you keep making me feel like I'm the freak for canceling evolution every time she gains a level just because I'd like to have her around for at least two gym battles. Is that really so much to ask? Is it really such a problem to want to have your starter be a baby for Gyms 1-3, be a teenager for Gyms 4-6, and be an adult for Gyms 7 and 8? Apparently. Because I can tell you this: if I end up hitting Level 30 and Fennekin is still unevolved, I think I'm going to have to allow her to evolve one way or another. And that's because I don't want to spend only two or three levels with her as a Braixen only to then have to let her evolve into her final form at (say) Level 36 because you guys tell me, "Oh, Talon! :o Be sure to let her evolve! Because if you don't, you'll miss out on {name}'s best move in the game!"
My starter still earns more exp than normal too (like yours, as if it were traded). I turned my Exp Share off, and he still does. I wonder if it has something to do with him being an EV Trained starter?
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:13 PM   #45
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I am willing to bet it was the EV training. I have noticed no such leveling advantage and it's been a little frustrating for me to keep the whole team up to pace with the wild Pokemon. Maybe it's the lack of Super Training?

New exp share is literally the EXP All only less annoying. Thank God.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:21 PM   #46
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The thing is, I didn't notice it with Squirtle until she went from Level 16 to Level 17. Likewise, I didn't notice it with Fennekin until after she was past Level 16. So while it's possible that it had been happening before and has no connection to what I'm about to say, I can't rule out that it might have some tie-in to their being already past the point where Game Freak has declared they're ready for evolution. Perhaps it's intended as some sort of sick reward for players who cancel evolution. "If you're willing to make the tradeoff of power for experience gain, we're willing to reason with you." Something like that. I'm playing with a weaker creature so they reward me by giving me more EXP than I should be getting.

I've only had one other Pokémon try to evolve -- Fletchling -- and since I permitted that evolution due to not knowing what would happen if I did not (and not wanting to be greedy asking you guys to hold my hand through every single evolution ), we don't have her to examine as a case of a non-starter exhibiting the rapid experience gain.

jolteonjak, have you also been keeping your starter from evolving? Or have you allowed it to evolve the very first time it's asked you to each time?

For what it's worth, Shuckle, the experience gain is noticeable not just because of the amount of points but also because of the text: it reads similarly to how it does in older games for traded Pokémon. Something like "Shiina gained 452 boosted experience", with extra text conveying that something non-normal is happening.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:32 PM   #47
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Raising a pokemon past a level where it would evolve earns some bonus exp.

EDIT:
Quote:
The thing is, I didn't notice it with Squirtle until she went from Level 16 to Level 17. Likewise, I didn't notice it with Fennekin until after she was past Level 16. So while it's possible that it had been happening before and has no connection to what I'm about to say, I can't rule out that it might have some tie-in to their being already past the point where Game Freak has declared they're ready for evolution. Perhaps it's intended as some sort of sick reward for players who cancel evolution. "If you're willing to make the tradeoff of power for experience gain, we're willing to reason with you." Something like that. I'm playing with a weaker creature so they reward me by giving me more EXP than I should be getting.
Basically this, you've got the right idea. If you had elected not to evolve Fletchling it would have been the same.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:50 AM   #48
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>To someone who's been playing Pokémon games for fifteen years this Christmas, it almost feels like cheating to have an Exp.Share that says the active Pokémon gains 100% of the experience instead of only 50% (at best).

The game was designed to keep pace with the EXP share, so you'll find if you turn it off that the level curve quickly gets ahead of you.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:08 PM   #49
Kindrindra
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To summarize, keeping the EXP Share on all the time is basically the equivalent of BW2's Easy Mode, and keeping it off all the time is basically the equivalent of BW2's Challenge Mode.
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Though, I also dislike the concept of lamenting the current day while wishing to re-experience the past. At least, my modern attitude is to try and make each new day magical even if it's not, since exclusively reminiscing about the past is too pathetic.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:15 PM   #50
Talon87
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Haven't gotten to play too much since last time, but here's what has happened, as well as a few things from previous updates that I forgot to mention.

Fletchling evolves! Meet Fletchinder: Like I indicated in one of my posts yesterday, I didn't want to pester you guys with every evolution constantly, so when Fletchling asked to evolve, I decided to go ahead and allow it. She looks nice. I like everything except maybe the eyes. She hasn't learned any other moves since evolving so I've no idea if Adamant is the right nature for her or not. Eyeballing the stats though, I'm fairly confident that she's not intended for SpAtk abuse.

Since I have both Fennekin and Fletchinder on my team, this is +1 reason why it would have been a bad idea to get a Charmander from Professor Sycamore. Yeah, yeah, I miss out on the Charizardite, but hopefully Nintendo allows us to get some of the other Mega Evolution stones via WiFi giveaways or the next Gen 6 game.

As of last night, I put Fletchinder in front of my team. Part of the reason was what you guys taught me about Exp.Share in this generation, but part of it was also the fact that I had started to feel like Fletchinder was just sort of ... there, not really a member of my team. And I didn't like that feeling at all. Fletchling definitely felt like a team member, perhaps because it was the second Pokémon I ever EV trained in this game and one I had had with me for my entire adventure up until its evolution, but Fletchinder felt about as much a part of the team as any ol' capture. I decided to try and change this by putting her at the front of the team.

But what about Fennekin?

Pokémon-Amie: I neglected to mention that I finally got off my butt and explored this yesterday. I think the games are a cute little diversion. I'm a sucker for tile games, personally, and have played them already maybe ten to fifteen times here. But what's proven to be the real draw ... is the affection screen. Or whatever the hell its official name is. The screen where you pet the Pokémon, feed it, call its name, etc. This has been an AMAZING way to bond with my Fennekin while she's sitting out most battles. I go into Pokémon-amie maybe once every 30 minutes or so and I interact with her there. (I have yet to interact with anyone else there. MY HUNGER FOR FENNEKIN TIME KNOWS NO BOUNDS! ^^; ) I can't really see myself delighting in Pokémon-Amie quite as much with Braixen though. Only time will tell, but for now at least, interacting with Fennekin feels more like petting and d'awwwwing at a kitten while doing the same things with Braixen might feel ... weird.

Spoiler: show


Yeaaaaaaaaaah ...

Jokes aside, I'm serious that I imagine it just won't be the same with Braixen in Pokémon-amie as it is with Fennekin right now.

I guess this talk of Pokémon-amie is a nice segue into ...

Friendship (?) Benefits in Battle: So, last night, my Fennekin got poisoned during a fight. Afterwards, I healed the entire party, but whenever I sent Fennekin out, she would keep acting like she was poisoned. She'd plop out onto the ground ... and then rapidly move from left to right as though poisoned. No purple colors or anything, just the left-to-right-to-left movement. When I saw that no one else was doing, I tried healing everyone again. When I saw that that didn't fix it, I began to panic. And then there was a message: "Fennekin's not looking so hot" or something like that. Not those exact words, but something which made me panic that she either was suffering from some perverse "Overleveled Sickness" where if I didn't allow her to evolve soon she would quit functioning well in battles or else that maybe she'd gone and caught the PokéRus. So I googled the expression word-for-word last night and lo and behold: apparently there's a whole economy of happiness points in this game connected with Pokémon-amie that have consequences in battle. According to the Bulbapedia article (yes, I read it), Fennekin's currently at Level 2 out of a max of 5, I guess? So this suggests I should probably ...
  1. try to raise her level even higher
  2. try to share the love and do Pokémon-amie with my other teammates
However, I'm not too keen on some of the "benefits" this happiness stuff seems to bring with it. Increased chance of critical hits? Cool for trainer battles, I guess, but I'm already OHKOing most things. Terrible for capturing creatures in the wild. Extra experience gain? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Shaking off status conditions? Cool, obviously ... but isn't that kind of ... Easy Mode? Auto-holding a Focus Band? Oh come on! So I dunno. I love doing the Pokémon-amie stuff with Fennekin, but it kinda irks me that the more I do it, the less bragging rights I get to have.

Then I remind myself: "Talon. This is Pokémon. No one here gets bragging rights pertaining to a non-Nuzlocked, non-speed run adventure through Story Mode. " Then it's all better.

Hazel Will Do Fine: Per bbb's semi-cryptic advice, I returned to the VR, PR, whatever the hell it's called Studio and talked to the guy at the desk. Let him make a default video for me. Got to walk past him. Talked to the lady near the green screen. LENS CASE, GET! Went to the changing room and ... NO CUSTOM COLORS!? D: NO GOLDEN YELLOW!? D: But they did have something was preeeeeetty close: hazel. She looks ten times better already. Now if only I could make the hair color match ... that stated, I didn't bother trying to go back to the salon with the Furfrou just yet. I know bbb said that I should have more hair colors available to me there by now, but I wonder if it has something to do with badge count or something (like the clothes supposedly do), so I figured I'd go back once I get my second badge.

I Dream of Gardevoir: I decided to rummage through the PokéDex and see who all I'd seen is available where. To my surprise, the PokéDex's creatures are highly regimented by where you can find them in this generation. O_o Like, everybody from (say) 29 to 42 will be on Route 3 and Route 3 only. And then everybody from 43 to 72 will be on Route 4 and Route 4 only. It's very strange, but it's also exceedingly helpful information since it tells you whether you need to go back and revisit older areas now, before you get too far ahead, or whether you can wait.

So when I saw that Ralts only shows up on Route 4, I was like, "Okay then: time to go to Route 4." 'Cause we gotta gets ourself a lady Gardevoir! ;D

Thing is, I'm not sure if I'll raise one for Story Mode or not. Should Fennekin wind up evolving into the mythical Fire/Psychic type, I really won't need another Psychic on the team. And should she evolve into my original call of Fire/Fairy, well, combine that with Flabébé's Fairy typing and I certainly don't need Gardevoir adding a third to the mix, intriguing as this new type may still be. But maaaaaan D: ... I've long loved Gardevoir, had a male in Gen 3 I never ended up finishing training, and was totally, totally envisioning her on my Gen 6 team as the representative of the new Fairy type. So I dunno.

For the time being, I think I've decided against it -- maybe -- the reason being that I tried to plop my capture (a female, thank God -_-; ) into the Daycare to breed for a Modest, Bold, or Timid female baby ... but never mind the gender, I didn't get a single one. Four eggs, all the wrong nature. I know, I know, "only" four eggs. But when you're eager to resume playing the story, well, you know how this is. And the thing is, it's so hard to find Ralts on Route 4! T_T I tried and I tried for a good half an hour, I want to say, before I finally ran into one. Thankfully it was female; had it been male, I don't know what I would have done. Probably spent another half an hour looking for Ralts. If it were easier to find in the grass, then duh, I'd go the grass route over the Daycare route. But it's precisely because that doesn't seem to be the case that I went with the Daycare instead.

Status Report:
Time Played: 18 hours 45 minutes (subtract ~7 hours for EV training)
Badges: 1
Money: Ą10,542
Pokémon Seen: 61
Levels: Lvl.26 Fennekin, Lvl.22 Fletchinder, Lvl.21 Squirtle, Lvl.18 Flabébé, Lvl.18 Zigzagoon
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