Archive for the ‘pokemon’ Category

The mythos and meaning behind Pokémon’s most famous glitch

February 18th, 2019
Being the result of a glitch doesn't make MissingNo any less real to players—or researchers.

Enlarge / Being the result of a glitch doesn't make MissingNo any less real to players—or researchers. (credit: Nintendo / Wilma Bainbridge)

In my flowery ring binder of Pokémon Red and Blue cheats, there was one set of instructions that spoke to my eight-year-old self most of all. I'd heard from friends (and many, many GeoCities pages) that 'the MissingNo cheat' could destroy your game—but it could also get you unlimited Rare Candy. This seemed like a fair trade to me.

The first Pokémon games for the Game Boy included 151 Pokémon (including the ultra-rare Mew, if your parents were long-suffering enough to drive you to one of the Nintendo promo events where it was distributed). But by following a seemingly random series of steps, players could encounter a 152nd Pokémon, MissingNo (Missing Number), which took the form of an L-shaped block of pixels.

The utter strangeness of MissingNo fascinated me, my childhood friends, and a bunch of other kids on the Internet at the time. But what I didn’t know then was that it would eventually also catch the interest of sociologists, who were intrigued by the mythology players had created around the Pokémon and the way that the glitch changed our relationship to the games.

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Posted in Classic, Features, Game Boy, Gaming & Culture, Glitch, missingno, pokemon | Comments (0)

Pokémon Let’s Go fits surprisingly well into my grown-up gaming life

November 16th, 2018
High-five, Eevee!

Enlarge / High-five, Eevee! (credit: Nintendo)

Earlier this year, I took the world's first "true" console Pokémon games for a press-demo spin, and I was almost instantly... bored.

The new (optional) Poké Ball-shaped controller was uncomfortable. The waggle-loaded capturing system was simplistic. The E3 demo's brief gameplay slice was repetitive. And the zone was one fans have played through a zillion times. Pokémon was coming to Nintendo Switch, alright, but this was not the "Generation 8" many fans had hoped for.

Yet something about that brief glimpse at Pokémon Let's Go put a little worm into my brain. (Probably a Weedle.) Weeks later, I wondered: Is there something here? Was Nintendo breaking down the sinewy tissue of age-old JRPGs in a way that seems boring in a crowded expo hall but might prove perfect for a lengthy, semi-portable adventure?

Especially for someone who—let's face it—never fit Pokémon into his gaming diet?

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Posted in game review, Gaming & Culture, nintendo switch, pokemon, pokemon let's go | Comments (0)

A new “fuzzy Pikachu” debate headlines a trailer-filled Monday

November 13th, 2018

Three film and TV studios elected to dump their latest trailers online on Monday, as opposed to spreading the love out over the week. Alone, each trailer is each intriguing, but their combined nerd power lets us glimpse what's to come from three world premieres.

The highlight of this year's Veterans Day trailer explosion is Detective Pikachu, a live-action (and decidedly Western) take on the odd video game of the same name. That title means a few things. First, like the game, this fork of the Pokemon universe appears to exist outside the collect-'em-all series' game and anime entries. That means there's no sign of familiar human characters like Ash, Daisy, Brock, or Team Rocket.

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Posted in detective pikachu, Gaming & Culture, MST3K, Pixar, pokemon, toy story 4 | Comments (0)

Niantic cancels European Pokémon Go gatherings after Chicago fiasco

July 31st, 2017

Enlarge / Much of Europe will have to wait for Niantic’s planned Safari Zone events.

Niantic’s first attempt at a live Pokémon Go gathering in Chicago last week went so badly that attendees are organizing a class-action lawsuit after shoddy cell reception prevented most of the 20,000 attendees from playing the game during the paid event. In the wake of that fiasco, the Pokémon Go developers are postponing long-planned similar events in Copenhagen, Prague, Stockholm, and Amsterdam that were set for the coming weeks.

In a statement, Niantic said the European “Safari Zone” events originally scheduled for August 5 and 12 would be pushed back to some time in the fall “in order to guarantee the best possible gameplay experience for European Trainers.” Other events planned for France, Spain, and Germany will still take place in September, however, and a “Pikachu Outbreak” planned for Yokohama, Japan will still take place in August.

The Safari Zone events were billed as a chance for European players to catch Pokémon that rarely or never show up in the region and to team up for multiplayer battles against Raid Bosses. “As a special surprise, we understand that some Pokémon that are rarely seen in Europe will be appearing soon in certain European cities for a brief time,” Niantic writes by way of apology. “We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you understand that our priority is to ensure a great experience for Pokémon Go Trainers in Europe and around the world.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, niantic, Nintendo, pokemon, pokemon go | Comments (0)

Convicted child predator arrested for allegedly playing Pokémon GO with kids

July 18th, 2016

…in violation of his probation terms … on the lawn outside the county courthouse … which houses the probation department.

Posted in child molester, Law & order, Mobile, pokemon, pokemon go | Comments (0)