I’m Boring But Overcompensate with Headlines

[The Takeover, The Break’s Over – Fall Out Boy]

Pokemon X & Y is coming out in less than two days, and since I’ve basically had my name down for it since the day it was announced back in February, you can say that I’m close to dying, thinking about how far away Saturday is.

Unlike the launch of Pokemon Black and White, and their sequels, I was up close and personal with all the details every step of the way, digesting and re-digesting all the Nintendo Directs that came about. I had my finger on most of the official news and discussions. But, in the last week or so, I started to not read TOO much of the discussion, especially the unofficial ones, because it turns out, most of them are leaked spoilers.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that having trailers, bits of info, released images and gameplay footage etc is a good thing. I especially hate those “cinematic” game trailers that show mostly excellently rendered cutscenes, or just plain non-game scenes, and it gets you all excited for the premise of the game (which is also important) but the game itself ends up not being what you expected. This happened to me a LOT with Assassin’s Creed (all iterations), because I was settling down for a game where I go around kicking ass and in general being an assassin, but the trailers never actually mentioned anything about me having to spend 90% of my time staying under the radar and sitting on benches or whatever. I’m not saying that’s not a good part of the game, but I personally don’t have the patience to have to do that, I’m the type who goes in guns blazing.

I digress. I was really excited for Pokemon X & Y because from almost the get-go you got to see gameplay footage. And that’s really, really important to me, especially for Pokemon, because I’d definitely expected a 3D Pokemon game when I heard there would be a 3DS, and trust me, I’ve definitely had my long-winded rants about how there should be a Skyrim Pokemon mashup. When I saw how this new generation came so close to my dream of having a lower third-person camera POV gameplay than the overworld sprite so prevalent in the series so far, I because crazy excited. I knew, of course, that this game couldn’t be my Skyrim Pokemon (I think the only thing that could be Skyrim Pokemon would either be a Skyrim modded to be Pokemon itself, or Virtual Reality, or, I don’t know, real life but with Pokemon) but it was a HUGE step closer. The more I pored over that first trailer, the more I was sure that this game would be bigger than the rest – and the rest were already too big for my comprehension.

As the months went on, we got to see more and more of the game. Yes, there was that weird sword Pokemon, which is probably going to be pretty awesome but from first glace it looked strange. Then we saw the Mega Evolutions, and as much as it sounded like a hassle, I was pretty sure I’d be jonesing to evolve everything into Mega if I could. Finally, we saw the secondary evolution of the starters, and this is where I bring up my point.

I was listening to Tiny Cartridge’s latest podcast, where they discussed the huge amount of leaks that’s been taking place for the game, as well as the consequences. Now, because I’d been on purposely avoiding anything that would spoil my first moment ripping the plastic off my Pokemon Y (then taking a photo for Instagram because why the hell not), putting it into my fully charged 3DS (then taking a photo of the title screen again because we live in a SHARING TIME), then playing the crap out of it until that 3DS dies, I’ve also managed to avoid all those leaks. In fact, because I only follow some official blogs on Tumblr and Twitter, and because they’re considerate, I’ve completely missed that the leaks existed at all. There were a few that came through, and I’ll discuss it now.

So one of the huge leaks that came through was actually the final evolutionary stage of the starters. When I saw the official release of the secondaries, I thought, “man, Fennekin kinda evolves unexpectedly,” because like the million others, I was going to go for that adorable little fennec fox. The secondary doesn’t look as powerful as I’d hoped, but it still looks cool. But when I saw the final evolution’s leak, I thought, “aw, so Fennekin didn’t go the way of Torchic and end up a BAMF!” And, looking at the leak of Froakie’s final evo, I actually started considering getting Froakie instead. (This is sort of what influenced me to ditch my usual fire starter choice and go for Oshawott, but also because Oshawott is pretty rad in itself.)

The podcast mentioned how leaks actually hurt, because it takes away your moment of discovery. Before I saw the leak, I was still pretty set on Fennekin, even though the secondary looks odd, because Fennekin will end up being Fire/Psychic, which is strong both again the pure Grass which is Chespin’s final, and the Dark half of Froakie’s final. But after seeing the leak, I was actually considering Froakie. Now, that’s pretty unfair to Fennekin, who would have otherwise been picked because I didn’t know, and by the time I’ve trained my little fox (I’m going to call it Mako because Avatar), I’m not going to care what it looks like, I’ll love it. So, I guess in that sense, the leaks do hurt, because it takes away the joy of coming across a Pokemon for the first time, wondering what the hell it does, thinking “hey, I’ve been in this area for like 20 minutes and I haven’t seen one yet, this one must be rare!” and capturing it only to see 5 pop up in a row…those are all part of the fun! If I avoid one Pokemon just because I saw it on a leak and thought “pfft, looks dumb”, then I would be missing out. Besides, I’m hardly a player for collecting, battling or EV Training. I play games for the sense of achievement and for the entertainment, so it doesn’t really matter if the ones I catch are strong or not!

So, it is annoying that certain people in Canada and Europe had gotten their hands on a copy almost a week and a half early, because retailers began to sell them (annoying because I work for a bloody video games store and I don’t get those perks). It is annoying that they’re posting spoilers which may be huge (for example, I’ve now seen a list of which Pokemon can and cannot Mega Evolve), such as Gym Leader lineups etc, or spoilers which are inconsequential but took away the joy of finding out for ourselves. It’s also annoying because Nintendo painstakingly took the effort to make sure everyone started on (almost) the same day, and now these guys have got a week’s headstart in the new world.

But is it illegal? (Well, yes.) Is it wrong of them, and they should be blamed and fined? (Well, the retailer probably broke some sort of contract.)

At my own volition, I went and found the list of Mega Evolutions to look at. At my own volition, I watched a video of Fennekin’s final evo. But it will also be at my own volition to choose Fennekin anyway, or change to Froakie when confronted with those three Pokeballs. It is my choice if I choose to remember all the little details that I got spoiled on when I play, or just concentrate on the game at hand. It’s not my fault that some players got it first, and the fault lies so far away that I can’t do anything about it anyway, so I might as well find something to do in the meantime, go to work tomorrow, then wake up on Saturday and head down to my store and get the game. 

I’m tagging this pretty heavily, so if by chance I get a lot of traffic and someone read through all of it, shoot me a comment! Tell me what you are going to pick for a starter (and also what your Kantos starter will be). Tell me how well you’ve kept away from the leaks and spoilers, and also tell me if you care about leaks like these. Or just comment anything, really.

Alex.

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Moonlight Would Provide The Spark

[Three Cheers For Five Years – Mayday Parade]

Serena brought it to my attention that I never finished this post.

As this was two years ago and I’m not bothered enough to check back, I’ll do them all now. I actually have a post in draft for the last few days that I didn’t write, but since I have to sleep within the hour, this might be faster.

Day 01: Your views on death, how you cope, etc. – If I answered this already, forgive me. I guess my answer will be different now. Since then, I’ve come across two deaths, one close but not extremely close to me, and another in my own family. Both were very sad but not in the shock tragic way. The former is definitely very upsetting, since it was my friend who battled cancer for eight years, and who ultimately lost to it. The thing is, the whole family knew it was coming, so they had time to prepare, to spend time and to smile and laugh. Her last days were spent in the company of her friends and family, so all things considered, it was pretty beautiful. The second death was my own grandfather, and it was a bit of a shock, but he was old, he lived a full, happy life, and there were no prolonged pain and suffering. He left my grandmother with a place to live, money to spend, and they had a lifetime of memories together. So my views? Death sucks, obviously, since it’s the ending of an existence, but I’d prefer to think about them when they lived, and how good they lived, and in that way they can continue existing in a sense, and positively so.

Day 02: How you introduce yourself to new people. – I try to be myself, but for the most part I gauge the situation. It’s easy to create a public persona, a funny, slightly inappropriate jokey, kind of persona, and just let that take care of the social conventions. But let’s be honest, we all do that. It’s how society is made for us to survive in, and instead of condemning it, think about the kind of people in your life around whom you could drop your public persona easily. It makes times with them even more special.

Day 03: What you think about love. – Judging by the time stamp, this was initially written just before I met Amelia. June 2011, I was pretty into someone else, and it wasn’t requited. I would have been a bit naive, hopeful but ultimately cynical about it. Now, I think it’s probably at the stage where I think love is definitely something which can fix someone, but also an elusive something which you may never know you’ve had, because who knows what love is? How can you tell you’re in love, and not just deep infatuation? And more importantly: does it matter? If you’re happy, and they’re happy, and your sex drive is VERY happy, then does it matter if it’s not really “love”?

Day 04: Write about someone you love. – Please see previous posts about Amelia. SORRY I just have to sleep very soon.

Day 05: A list of things you fancy doing. – Lately, I’ve been working more, so I do appreciate down times when I can read a good comic or book, or watch some shows while playing Jetpack Joyride, or reading about cool new techie things. I also really, really enjoy cuddling Amelia’s dog Meg.

MEG3

Day 06: Recommend some books to read. – This might just show my immaturity and taste in literature, but a few books I’ve been recently reading that I really enjoyed:

Perfume – the Story of A Murderer by Patrick Suskind (yes, I saw the movie first)

A Song of Ice and Fire (the series Game of Thrones is based off of) by G. R. R. Martin

Repotting Harry Potter – A Professor’s Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader by James W. Thomas (a wonderful way to also read through the series itself as you go along)

The Casual Vacancy (Where Rowling shows she really, really understands how people work) by J. K. Rowling

White Fang (literally one of the first adult English books I ever read, and I fell in love with it) by Jack London.

I’m also going to recommend some comics which I like.

Saga – Image Comics. The illustration is astonishingly beautiful, and Fiona Staples conveys emotions so artfully that some panels are laugh out loud funny, because of the way she’d draw the characters. The story is also compelling, but now that I’m waiting monthly for them instead of consuming them in one go, I feel like it’s so slow!

Chew – Image Comics. I have a thing for Image. Chew is funny and then punch-you-in-the-guts heartbreaking without notice. It takes quite a lighthearted approach at a really, really morbid theme, and it’s so fun to see where everything is headed.

Rising Stars – Image Comics. This series ended a while back, and I blew through it in one day. I’d wanted to savor it slowly, but before I knew it, it was pitch black and I had a sore butt, but I was just sobbing at how things turned out. It’s like Heroes, but better (which isn’t saying much, I guess).

American Vampire – Vertigo. Ever since reading Preacher (which is also good, but I won’t put it on my list), I thought Vertigo would come out with weird-ass things (just like Hellblazer too), but American Vampire’s story really SUCKED me in, even considering the fact that it had time jumps and deviations in protagonist focus. The world which Snyder created is so engrossing I wish they could make a bigger thing of it.

Fables – Vertigo. Also a surprisingly not weird series. It’s like Once Upon A Time but not so whiney. The reason I got into it was because I read a review for Wolf Among Us, which is the Telltale Game’s prequel to Fables. The game sounded fun, and the comics did too, so I gave it a go. Great decision, cannot wait for the game now.

Numbercruncher – Titan Comics. This was one of those random new comics recommended by Comixology, and I gave it a go. It was strange to start with but then the premise really grabbed me, then it continued being extremely awesome, and it’s something I’d totally re-read slowly while contemplating the idea behind it.

The Bunker – Hoarse and Buggy Productions. Yet another random digital-only recommendation, which turned out to be very time-travelly mind-bendy stuff. It’s slow in picking up and just started, so it’s not built up to much yet, but the creators are promising something huge, and I hope they deliver!

Day 07: Write about the arts (music, art, dancing). – Obviously, these things are all around us and we don’t realize it. It feels like these institutions have been built to such an elitist state that, if you’re not AMAZING AND TOTALLY ACE at it, then you’re relegated to “sucking” and “keep it as your hobby”. I mean, for most people, it probably is a hobby anyway, but they don’t need you to tell them that. I wish I was good at all three, because musicians/artists/dancers are sexy, but I think I’m okay with just writing and storytelling.

Day 08: Write a poem. – I once took a creative writing class where one of the assessments was to write a poem. I think poems are also built to be something more than it needs to be. Poems are meant to be a gathering of words in a way which draws beauty and instills thought and emotions into the reader. Just because you didn’t write it in a bloody sonnet format doesn’t make it any less special. A limerick isn’t any lesser than a haiku. A kid who wrote an acrostic poem using the word “MOMMY” and writing about how much they love their mother means a lot more to that mother than anything Hemingway could have come up with, because poetry isn’t about how poncy you are, it’s about the emotion behind it. In other words, I can’t really be bothered writing one right now.
Day 09: Photo of your favorite pillow. – I only have one pillow, and it’s light blue. Unless you want a photo of Meg again?

Day 10: How you wake up in the morning. – I tend to wake up more often to alarm clocks than not, then I take 10 minutes to scroll through my overnight Twitter feed, especially for interesting news, then I get up and do my stuff.
Day 11: Write about your sibling(s) or what it’s like to be an only child. – Being an only child can be lonely sometimes, and also your parents pressure you a lot, since they only have you to make them proud. But, you get lots of stuff, so whatevs, right? It’s getting late and these questions ask too much of me!
Day 12: Your relationship with your parents. – I think this is a bunch of worms which need to remain in the can for tonight.
Day 13: Write about what you believe in, be it God, yourself, etc. – I believe in finding happiness, and one’s innate right to be happy, no matter how. Of course, if being happy means you absolutely need to go on a killing rampage, then maybe you shouldn’t be happy, or even alive. I’m not really one for all-life-is-sacred, because in the end we have about 6 billion on this planet, (I’m the only one with the uncanny ability to be awesome,) about half of them is in a constant state of poverty and probably dying, and the other half cares that a deranged gunman not get a death sentence? Again, let’s keep those worms for another day. My point is, being happy is all you should aim for, because once you die, who knows what else comes after?
Day 14: What you do for Valentine’s Day. – I’m not allowed to celebrate this day because Amelia hates it.
Day 15: Write about the best gift you’ve ever received. – It’s hard for me to pinpoint the best gift, since I constantly want and get tired of new things. I think that a photo album that a friend gave me when I left my old school was probably the most heartfelt and sweet thing, though.
Day 16: Write another poem, about the weather. – Roses are red, the sky is blue, the rain is gray, brown is poo.
Day 17: Post your favorite gif.

Cry3I used this reacting to when Amelia said that we were no longer in the honeymoon period.
Day 18: Your plans for tomorrow. – I work 8 hours.
Day 19: Write about something you fear. – I’m scared that Amelia will find being with me too tiresome as times goes on, because we either have to hide it from our families forever, or come out and face the consequences. We’re both bi, so I’m worried she’ll end up finding it easier just to be with a guy who she can be public with. But that’s silly, because she loves me, and her dog has basically imprinted on me so it will take too long for it to love someone else.
Day 20: What did you eat for dinner last night? – Dad fried up some Spam and we ate it with burger buns and he also made soup.
Day 21: Your favorite thing to drink. – SO I HAD MY FIRST WET PUSSY (well…”second”) TONIGHT AND IT WAS DELICIOUS AND I LOVE IT.
Day 22: How you take your coffee or tea. – I usually have a latte with one sugar, but I used to do double shots with one sugar as well. I take tea black with one sugar, unless it’s green, then no sugar.
Day 23: Your favorite thing to wear. – I like wearing hoodies because they feel like mobile blankets.
Day 24: Another poem, about the shoes you wear most often. – Roses are red, my shoes are purple, some bits are black, so black and purple.
Day 25: Write about where you live. – I live on a street predominantly white, and we used to have a problem with some kids down the road, who would ding-dong ditch us, and they escalated to kicking our trash over, harassing my mom when she’s working in the front yard, and once egged our house. They’ve stopped recently, though.
Day 26: Your favorite smell. – Amelia! Also bacon. OH IMAGINE IF AMELIA COOKED BACON!
Day 27: Your thoughts on the internet. – I don’t see a problem with the internet itself, I see a problem with people. It’s like guns. Yes, guns are bad things and they kill people, but honestly, a gun sitting there by itself wouldn’t be that scary, but you put a pair of hands on it and WOAH it’s a problem. It’s the same thing with the internet. It’s a great way to connect things that are otherwise unable to be connected, but once you put a human behind the mouse and….
Day 28: Write about how you feel today. – I’m a bit annoyed that I spent all day watching TV and not doing some writing, but it is my rest day after all, so I should just be happy I got to rest. Next week is a tough working week, but I’ve got Pokemon Y to look forward to on Saturday!