Pokemon Sun and Moon Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Pokemon Sun and Moon RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Best and Worst of Pokemon — Trends Through the Gens https://www.gameskinny.com/sr3ly/the-best-and-worst-of-pokemon-trends-through-the-gens https://www.gameskinny.com/sr3ly/the-best-and-worst-of-pokemon-trends-through-the-gens Wed, 18 Dec 2019 09:00:01 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Pokemon has been around for over 20 years, spawning eight generations of mainline games and countless spinoffs. We've seen series come and go in that time, some quietly fading from existence and others, like Fire Emblem and Zelda, evolving.

The Pokemon series has a rich legacy to build on with every new entry, though surprisingly, the evolution of Pokemon is less straightforward than merely improving every time. 

Pokemon's journey is thornier than an angry Ferrosseed, full of tweaks and experiments that should have worked but didn't, some that did work and got left behind, and some that completely baffle the mind.

With the latest Pokemon games  Sword and Shield  smashing sales records left and right, we decided to dig into what makes the series work and where it falls flat. We're only talking mainline games in this retrospective, though, because the spinoffs are a whole 'nuther creature.

The Best and Worst Pokemon Regions

Pokemon didn't start having actual stories until Gen V, so there's not much use comparing them. Instead, it's the region that helps contribute to each generation's personality.

Some regions are bland, but hassle-free, while other regions present more challenge and visual interest at the expense of convenience. It's understandable, though, because designing a host of new creatures and an entire world for them is a lot for a small team working on tight deadlines.

When You Give Pokemon Crayons and Construction Paper

Mentioning Sinnoh right away seems a bit contradictory. It's the place that introduced "HM bloat" after all. Whoever thought creating Defog and Rock Climb while making them mandatory HMs was obviously in desperate need of an extended vacation.

Outside of that and some iffy bits on Mt. Coronet, Sinnoh may be the last great Pokemon region in overall design — at least for a while.

Sinnoh presents a good balance of long, tough routes with plenty of environmental points of interest, plus some shorter routes that cram challenges in a tiny space. On top of that is a generally wider variety of designs, especially compared to Hoenn, with snowy routes, mountaintops, sea routes, flower fields, and stone cities. Every section of Sinnoh is unique.

That's part of the game's central premise, too: the idea of a diverse and varied world full of different kinds of life. What's particularly interesting here is how it builds on failure.

Hoenn tries to create a region based on a plot theme in land versus sea, but that flops. In theory, a region split between land and water sounds interesting. However, you can't do all that much on the water other than swim. Diving is just swimming underwater, and then you swim some more. The towns and cities are afterthoughts.

Sinnoh benefits from being a bit less rigid with making the theme the central focus, letting the general idea of a wild world created by different Pokemon take hold.

PokeGlobe Trotting

And then it stopped.

Easily the worst aspect of region design is when Game Freak decided to explore other cultures. It's a noble idea, exposing young people to different ways of life. But the result — at least for a while — turned out like a Pokemon version of "It's a Small World," prioritizing over-the-top references to other cultures instead of doing anything exciting or meaningful.

Gen V's Black and White started a trend towards PokeTourism, moving away from the idea of a region built around a story concept and making the region itself the concept.

The only thing is, Pokemon's NPCs are too one dimensional to make that push towards other cultures work well, so it relies on the entire region to pull it off. Unfortunately, the U.S.-vibe Unova is supposed to give off doesn't continue outside Castelia City, and even then, it doesn't serve much purpose other than showcasing the Nintendo DS' hardware capabilities.

There's the entertainment city Nimbasa, but Jubilife and Goldenrod already have that covered. Opelucid is just Blackthorn with a twist. The entire eastern half of Unova has no relevance to the main game. And then you get places like the vast Icirrus Moor, which is big, and that's it. 

Kalos is a Unova repeat, sending you around a big circle, hitting all the main terrain notes: rocky, ice, seaport, flashy big city, and so on. There are a few French-inspired things added as dressing, with some story about a 3,000-year-old zombie king that can be filed under "H" for "hash-induced."

Alola does the same thing, making a meal out of the Hawaiian location without integrating it into the story or gameplay mechanics.

Galar, The Happy Medium

Sword and Shield's Galar region is a happy marriage of these two concepts, of planned design that emphasizes culture. It's inspired by a specific culture again, yet it's just a few aspects that get the focus. These are built into the area's core, like the Champion Cup. Everything else flows from there.

That makes Galar a sharp contrast to the superficial regional flavors of Alola that are constantly shoved in your face but don't do much else.

It's true we still have some forced regional dialogue in Galar. Again, we also have vast open spaces, exciting cities, and enough varied geography to offset the same-y-ness of the ice, forest, and rocky settings. The routes are still not quite as impressive as those well-worn Sinnoh paths, but the Wild Area exists to make up for that.

If Game Freak is going to keep creating regions based on specific cultures, hopefully, the changes we saw with Galar continue.

The Best and Worst Gym Leaders

Outside of the regions themselves, another important aspect of any Pokemon game is who you face as your primary opponents: the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four.

The Gym theme is one of the staler aspects of Pokemon and has changed the least over time. You can bet there's always going to be a Fire, Water, Grass, and Rock-type Gym, with other types in rotation, like Psychic, Ice, and Dragon. That means there are only two candidates for "best Gym Leader rosters."

Shattering Expectations in Diamond and Pearl

The first two games of Gen IV shook up the Gym system. Not like Sun and Moon did, through complete abolition, but by throwing curveballs with Gym-themed Pokemon that can take out your team.

A good many of the leaders toss in at least one dual-type Pokemon after the second leader — Maylene's Lucario and Meditite, Byron's Bronzor, Candice's Medicham, and half of Volkner's team. Crasher Wake might be more traditional, but his Gyrados can crush a fragile Electric-type in seconds.

Typically, you get Gym Leader rosters with either pure types. Platinum nerfed this feature with more traditional and less challenging Gyms, unfortunately, and we haven't seen it since.

Even the Galar Gyms in Sword and Shield are relatively traditional, though the inclusion of Gigantamax Pokemon — with special Gigantamax moves — from the third Gym on does shake things up.

Alola, The Confused One

Talking about Gyms and changes throughout the series means we must naturally touch on Alola — again. There isn't much to say here, though your opinion will naturally vary.

Gen VII replaced Gym challenges with Trials, but these can't be considered improvements. Some people like them, but I don't see how "which dancing Marowak is different??" can compare in any way to "challenge this super-strong Gym leader."

These always end with a battle against a turbo-powered Pokemon anyway, so why even bother with the goofy mini-game? It was a further step towards patronizing players and assuming young children are naturally stupid, and it's a mechanic that hopefully never comes back.

If something has to be changed, why not go for typeless Gym Leaders, taking the original Sinnoh concept further?

Then there's Galar's move towards putting Gym Leaders in your path more often, which also opens some possibilities for the future of Gym challenges. In short, significant change isn't always for the better, especially if that change is done only for the sake of change.

The Best Elite Four

Unlike Gym Leaders, the Elite Four does tend to vary wildly from game to game, though with no real visible trend (unless you count "rehash"). With a different set of trainers focusing on different types, you'd think there wouldn't be a way to compare them.

However, there are some definite winners and losers when it comes to the Elite Four, and the Elite Four exemplifies the struggle with the change that Pokemon has faced from the beginning.

Karen Will Be Your Opponent

Johto does a lot of things right, but the Elite Four isn't one of them. Will is an altered Lorelei, Bruno is as ridiculously easy as ever, and Koga isn't much better. Then we have Karen, the Agatha of Johto.

Karen is a trainer meant to take advantage of an underused type, except oops — there aren't enough Pokemon of that type to make it work. Johto introduces the Dark-type Pokemon, with a total of three Dark-type Pokemon: Umbreon, Houndour/Houndoom, and Murkrow.

Karen uses them all, though Murkrow doesn't count. And even though Murkrow isn't a pushover, the Pokemon wasn't much to write home about until Gen IV introduced its evolved form, Honchkrow.

So Karen has to supplement that missing piece with two non-Dark types the same as Agatha, opting for Poison instead. Sorry, but the manager says you're wrong: Vileplume isn't a Dark-type, KAREN.

Hoenn — Prepare for Trouble

After the too-familiar Johto Elite Four, Hoenn's diverse types and brutal opponents are hugely welcome, and you can see a bit of that Sinnoh Gym Leader philosophy on display here.

If a member of the Hoenn Elite Four doesn't have a dual-type 'mon to mess you up, they pack obnoxious status moves or monster Pokemon  like Walrein or Drake's Altaria  that can destroy you before you even have a chance to do anything.

The big standout here, though, is Steven. No, a Rock-type Pokemon trainer isn't that special on its own. Two generations of Brock then Roxanne saw to that. What makes Steven unique alongside his dual-type team from Hell is how he's the first Champion who isn't Lance, which means he's also the first Champion who doesn't use Dragons.

Steven didn't completely shake up the Champion mechanic — that happened with Cynthia — but it was an injection of newness into a formula that would have become stale very quickly with another Dragon master.

Sinnoh — And Make It Double

The Sinnoh Elite Four follows a similar path as the Hoenn League and ups the challenge — like, y'know, the strongest trainers in the region should do.

Diamond and Pearl toss dual-types and weird roster members in the mix, much like Flint's Lopunny and Drifblim. Diamon and Pearl was the first time it seemed like the top trainers earned that title since they tried to be well rounded. Plus, it forced players to bring a well-rounded team, except Bertha, who was crap.

Platinum nerfed that again but increased the overall power of each Elite Four member's team with more and stronger Pokemon for each — except Bertha, who is still crap.

Cynthia is the real star, though, even more than with Steven. That she's the first lady Champion is one thing, though Pokemon never had problems with strong women. It's not even because she is like Lance 2.0 with the significant role she played in the story. No, Cynthia is the first Champion with a diverse roster of Pokemon custom-made to trash you no matter what, and it's telling she's the only trainer not to get a significant roster change in Platinum.

Remember Me?

Alola doesn't really have an Elite Four until it does at the end. Then it's just the same Kahunas you already fought — for the most part.

There's some interesting story integration, but it's a bit stale feeling.

Kukui has a few glaring weaknesses and a roster seemingly chosen at random that make the fight anticlimactic compared to Cynthia or even Kalos' Diantha. This, combined with the story that takes center stage throughout the games, means your League fight is sort of just a thing that happens and whatever.

Moving Back Towards the Center with Galar

Galar, unfortunately, has a similar setup, where you fight some of the same Leaders you fought before. However, it improves on the Alola formula in a few key ways.

The story integration works a bit better in Galar since Sword and Shield are built around everyone vying for a spot in the League against the Champion. Plus, you end up with a total of seven fights instead of the usual five. It's the closest to the Pokemon anime that any game has gotten, with the idea of multiple rounds.

More importantly, each opponent has at least one 'mon meant to throw you off like the Hoenn and Sinnoh Leagues, with Raihan's near-invincible Duraludon being the best example of the lot.

Leon is one of the best Champions since Cynthia as well. Not only does he give you your first Pokemon, but he's also held up as the pinnacle of the Pokemon world. It imbues the match with an urgency missing for a long time, helped by Leon's relatively challenging and Cynthia-like roster that will put your skills to the test.

It's a good lesson, and one Game Freak hopefully takes to heart. 

The Pokemon — Best and Worst Pokemon Design

Pokemon design doesn't follow much of a trend, either, though one could argue the road got a bit bumpier after Gen III. It's easily the most divisive topic as well. You might hate my favorite Pokemon, and I could think your favorite Pokemon is complete garbage. Heck, some Pokemon literally are complete garbage.

Pokemon design has always bordered on the bizarre. There are animal-inspired designs like the Squirtle family mixed in with seductive Psychic humanoid creatures and genetically modified mutants. That doesn't leave much room for saying any Pokemon is "bad" or "weird," but it's safe to say Game Freak tends to do its best work when the developer isn't tied down to previous generations.

When Old Was Still New — Johto and Hoenn

Johto is a bit of an exception to that rule. Game Freak designed 100 new Pokemon to populate the region. Still, instead of rehashing the Kanto bug trilogy or making another new bat 'mon, these older Pokemon live alongside the new ones. Such a design felt like a healthy balance between nostalgia and newness, with plenty of fresh designs to make it sparkle.

Gen III did the exact opposite, and it was a smart move despite being a bit of a gamble. For it to work, the designs had to be exciting and engaging — and they were. Gone are most of the familiar faces, and in their place waddle strange little rabbits called Whismur, deadly sloths, and a familiar-seeming caterpillar. Still, none of these have much to do with their specific region; they just exist.

Look, It's New! Just Kidding, It's the Same Thing

Looking back, you can see Gen IV is where things started to get a bit confused. The Sinnoh Pokedex is notable for how few completely new Pokemon it adds, with many of them just being different variations on existing 'mon. Some can reasonably be called palette swaps as well, like the Starly line that isn't Pidgey — but is basically Pidgey — or Fat Persian, er, I mean "Purrugly."

Gen V tried adopting a Hoenn model, with a whole massive new roster of completely new 'mon, but it also suffers from Sinnoh syndrome.

Yeah, a lot of these new Pokemon were great, like Zebstrika and the Litwick family. But a lot of them were variations of what came before, and it just seemed like ticking the boxes: Rock-type and Fighting-type families that require trade to evolve? Check. Normal/Flying bird trio? Check. Two bug lines, one aggressive, the other not? Check. Version exclusive Grass lines? Sigh...check.

From there, the trend has been increasingly towards the familiar, with Gens VI and VII giving us massive Pokedexes with less than memorable new Pokemon, or if they are memorable, they get swamped by the hundreds of other 'mon vying for attention.

Regional Pokemon Flavo(u)r

Interestingly, Gen VIII has the fewest new Pokemon of any recent game, yet these stand out the most. Part of that is because we didn't see them all until later. But the other part is how they're handled. Just some slight tweaks to the formula keep it seeming fresh.

Your Rock-type Rolycoly is a dual Fire-type, is fast, has high special attack (??), and doesn't have to be traded to get its final evolved form. There's a cutesy Normal-type right at the beginning, but it's a freaking monster squirrel-tank that can power through most opponents. There's a new Bug line, but it's weird, and it's a Psychic radar to boot, and the new Flying line is part Steel — not new in itself (Skarmory), but it's how it's handled that makes a difference.

The familiar is still here, and you can forget Blipbug and get your Caterpie if you want. Like in Gen II, the new and old complement each other, and like Gen III, there's enough difference in how they're handled to convince long-time players this is a brand new adventure.

Even the silly ones like Alcremie have a purpose, and more importantly, you get to interact with them. You have to whip Milcery (not literally) to get Alcremie, find out if Sinistea is authentic or forged, and push Farfetch'd to greater heights of bravery until it evolves.

Like with the Champion Cup, this is yet another way the Galar region makes the Pokemon world feel more alive and closer to the anime. Even if there aren't as many new Pokemon, this is the best way forward for the series. It doesn't require shaking the formula up that much.


It's surprising to see a series as revered as Pokemon have a bit of a design potluck from the beginning.

The core gameplay might remain the same, but there have been a lot of changes in how these things are implemented. Region design experienced a bit of a crisis when it went from Japan-only inspiration to global. Still, hopefully, the design team has a better idea of how to make them interesting from here on.

The same goes for the Gym Challenge and Elite Four. Chances are, though, feedback on difficulty and overall goals for the next gen mean there probably won't be any identifiable pattern or logic in how the games' challenges move forward.

The Year of Legendary Pokemon Concludes with Lugia and Ho-Oh https://www.gameskinny.com/wm3ti/the-year-of-legendary-pokemon-concludes-with-lugia-and-ho-oh https://www.gameskinny.com/wm3ti/the-year-of-legendary-pokemon-concludes-with-lugia-and-ho-oh Fri, 02 Nov 2018 14:31:50 -0400 William R. Parks

"It's going to be a huge year for Pokemon," The Pokemon Company wrote in January, "and there's no better way to celebrate it than with Legendary Pokemon!"

And thus, the Year of Legendary Pokemon began, a yearlong celebration that has given owners of Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon access to an array of downloadable, Legendary Pocket Monsters.

November marks the conclusion of the festivities, and with it come two final Legendary Pokemon: Lugia for fans with copies of Sun or Ultra Sun and Ho-Oh for those with Moon or Ultra Moon.

Trainers can pickup the download codes required to activate these Legendaries exclusively at GameStop from November 2 to November 25.

With a code in-hand, these flying Pokemon can be accessed by selecting Mystery Gift on your game's main menu, then Receive Gift, and finally Get with Code/Password, where you will enter your download code.

Then, simply speak with a delivery person in any Pokemon Center and voila, your Legendary Pokemon has arrived.

As has been done with the Pokemon previously distributed for the Year of Legendary Pokemon, the versions of Lugia and Ho-Oh for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will be Level 100 while those for Sun and Moon will be only Level 60.

Additionally, the Ultra versions come with a Gold Bottle Cap for Hyper Training and a different move-set than their non-Ultra counterparts.

Here is a full look at these last celebratory Legendaries from the press release:


Lugia's wings pack devastating power--even a light fluttering of its wings can blow apart regular houses. As a result, this Pokémon chooses to live out of sight deep under the sea.

Lugia will be distributed with the following characteristics:

Pokémon Ultra Sun
Lv. 100
Ability: Pressure
Held Item: Gold Bottle Cap
Moves: Aeroblast, Earth Power, Psychic, Tailwind

Pokémon Sun
Lv. 60
Ability: Pressure
Moves: Skill Swap, Aeroblast, Extrasensory, Ancient Power


Ho-Oh's feathers glow in seven colors depending on the angle at which they are struck by light. This Pokémon is said to live at the foot of a rainbow.

Ho-Oh will be distributed with the following characteristics:

Pokémon Ultra Moon
Lv. 100
Ability: Pressure
Held Item: Gold Bottle Cap
Moves: Sacred Fire, Brave Bird, Earthquake, Tailwind

Pokémon Moon
Lv. 60
Ability: Pressure
Moves: Burn Up, Sacred Fire, Extrasensory, Ancient Power

With the looming November 16 release of Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, as well as a core entry scheduled to come to Switch in 2019, Pokemon fans have plenty to be excited about.

In the mean time, why not dive into these wonderful, handheld entries one last time with a new Lugia or Ho-Oh?

Get Zekrom & Reshiram for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon This October https://www.gameskinny.com/hvbuk/get-zekrom-reshiram-for-pokemon-ultra-sun-and-moon-this-october https://www.gameskinny.com/hvbuk/get-zekrom-reshiram-for-pokemon-ultra-sun-and-moon-this-october Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:27:52 -0400 Zack Palm

There are always more Pokemon out there for you to collect. Now GAME FREAK have partnered with Target to bring legendary Pokemon Zekrom and Reshiram to the Alolan regions in Pokemon Ultra Sun, Pokemon Ultra Moon, Pokemon Sun, and Pokemon Moon versions.

Zekrom and Reshiram are limited to specific versions. If you have Pokemon Ultra Sun or Pokemon Sunyou'll receive Zekrom. If you have Pokemon Ultra Moon or Pokemon Moon, you'll receive Reshiram. You need to visit a Target in your area participating in the event. When you're there and receive the code, you'll need to follow these steps to receive your new legendary creature.

  1. Open your game.
  2. Locate the Mystery Gift on the main menu.
  3. Select Receive Gift
  4. Select Get with Code/Password, then Yes, then Yes again to connect to the internet (make sure you're at a location where you can connect).
  5. Enter the code you received from Target.
  6. Watch the arrival animation of your legendary Pokemon.
  7. Speak to the delivery person at any Pokemon Center to receive your legendary Pokemon.
  8. Save your game.

That's all there is to it! You'll have your respective legendary in no time. Each of the different versions of the Pokemon come with a different level and move set. 

Pokemon Ultra Sun (Zekrom)
  • Level: 100
  • Ability: Teravolt 
  • Held Item: Gold Bottle Cap 
  • Moves: Fusion Bolt, Bolt Strike, Outrage, Stone Edge 
Pokemon Sun (Zekrom)
  • Lv. 60
  • Ability: Teravolt 
  • Moves: Slash, Zen Headbutt, Fusion Bolt, Dragon Claw 
Pokemon Ultra Moon (Reshiram)
  • Lv. 100 
  • Ability: Turboblaze 
  • Held Item: Gold Bottle Cap 
  • Moves: Fusion Flare, Blue Flare, Draco Meteor, Earth Power 
Pokemon Moon
  • Lv. 60 
  • Ability: Turboblaze 
  • Moves: Slash, Extrasensory, Fusion Flare, Dragon Pulse 

Head to your nearest Target location between October 19 to the 28 to receive your Legendary -- don't miss out!

September's Legendary Pokemon: Get Latios & Latias https://www.gameskinny.com/f3gmf/septembers-legendary-pokemon-get-latios-latias https://www.gameskinny.com/f3gmf/septembers-legendary-pokemon-get-latios-latias Tue, 04 Sep 2018 13:52:44 -0400 Bryant Pereira

The Pokemon Company spent the majority of this year distributing legendary Pokemon through various means to owners of Pokemon Ultra Sun & Moon and Pokemon Sun & MoonThis month's legendary duo is Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire's dragon/psychic Pokemon Latios and Latias.

From September 2 to 29, trainers can visit local participating Best Buy stores to receive a code that can be redeemed in-game. Latias will be available to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Sun players, while Latios can be downloaded to Pokemon Ultra Moon and Pokemon Moon games.

Depending on which game you have, the level and items of your Latios or Latias will differ. Here are the stats for each type of Pokemon.

Pokemon Ultra Sun Latias
  • Level: 100   
  • Ability: Levitate
  • Held Item: Gold Bottle Cap
  • Moves: Mist Ball, Psychic, Draco Meteor, Tailwind
Pokemon Sun Latias
  • Level: 60
  • Ability: Levitate
  • Moves: Mist Ball, Dragon Pulse, Psycho Shift, Wish
Pokemon Ultra Moon Latios
  • Level: 100
  • Ability: Levitate
  • Held Item: Gold Bottle Cap
  • Moves: Luster Purge, Psychic, Draco Meteor, Tailwind
Pokemon Moon Latios
  • Level: 60
  • Ability: Levitate
  • Moves: Luster Purge, Dragon Pulse, Psycho Shift, Dragon Breath

The Gold Bottle Cap item that comes with the Ultra versions of the games is a very valuable item, as it can be traded in to maximize all of a Pokemon's IV (Individual Values) -- an incredibly useful feature for competitive players.

Next months legendary distribution will give trainers the chance to get Reshiram or Zekrom, with Ho-Oh and Lugia following in November.

With Pokemon Lets Go Pikachu and Lets Go Eevee on the horizon, players have a limited time to get all the legendary monsters they can. Gamefreak and The Pokemon Company have not confirmed if Pokemon Bank will be compatible with the new games.

Related Content: 
Kyogre and Groudon Make Way to Pokemon Sun & Moon via GameStop https://www.gameskinny.com/vihrd/kyogre-and-groudon-make-way-to-pokemon-sun-moon-via-gamestop https://www.gameskinny.com/vihrd/kyogre-and-groudon-make-way-to-pokemon-sun-moon-via-gamestop Fri, 03 Aug 2018 16:32:59 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Another wave of Legendaries has to made its way to Pokemon Sun & Moon and Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon. From now until August 25, Pokemon Trainers will finally be able to add either Kyogre or Groudon to their collection.

Trainers in the United States and Canada will be able to stop by their local GameStop or EB Games, respectively, and get their own code to add one of these classic Legendaries to their Sun & Moon Pokemon collection. If you're a Pokemon fanatic or just a fan of Sapphire and Ruby, now's the time to grab one of these awesome Pokemon up before they become unavailable.

September will bring two additional Legendary Pokemon from the third generation of games: Latios and Latias. The time will pass before you even know it.

The rotation of free Legendaries doesn't come alone: With it is the new Pokemon TCG expansion, Sun & Moon: Celestial Storm, which boasts some impressive new GX cards and Prism Star cards for Latias, Latias, and Jirachi. It's a good time to be a Gen 3 fan.

Pokemon Sun/Moon & Ultra Sun/Moon Players Can Get a Free Legendary a Month https://www.gameskinny.com/uvln5/pokemon-sunmoon-ultra-sunmoon-players-can-get-a-free-legendary-a-month https://www.gameskinny.com/uvln5/pokemon-sunmoon-ultra-sunmoon-players-can-get-a-free-legendary-a-month Tue, 23 Jan 2018 13:43:48 -0500 Kerry-Lee Copsey

To kick off the year, The Pokemon Company has announced a new promotion for Pokemon Sun/Moon and Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon players. Owners of the 3DS games will be able to pick up a free Legendary Pokémon nearly every month throughout 2018.

The “Year of Legendary” promotion starts in February and will run through November. Further details on how to claim the free Pokemon will be released closer to the time. If previous events are anything to go by, Nintendo will partner with retailers to distribute the freebies or make them available via online redeemable codes.

Get ready to fill out your Pokedex here's the full list of Legendaries up for grabs each month:

  • February: Dialga or Palkia (Sinnoh)
  • March: Regigigas or Heatran (Hoenn/Sinnoh)
  • April: Raikou or Entei (Johto)
  • May: Xerneas or Yveltal (Kalos)
  • June: Zygarde (with Kalos and Alola Formes)
  • July: Tornadus or Thundurus (Unova)
  • August: Groudon or Kyogre (Hoenn)
  • September: Latios or Latias (Hoenn)
  • October: Reshiram or Zekrom (Unova)
  • November: Ho-Oh or Lugia (Johto)

To celebrate further, the company will be launching new Legendary-themed collections and GX cards for the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Additional details can be expected in the near future.

In the meantime, check out our guide for 20 things to do after you’ve beaten Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

10 Sexiest Bachelorettes in the Gaming Universe https://www.gameskinny.com/ner1f/10-sexiest-bachelorettes-in-the-gaming-universe https://www.gameskinny.com/ner1f/10-sexiest-bachelorettes-in-the-gaming-universe Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:00:02 -0500 ThatGamersAsylum


Player Character from Every Game that Lets you Create Your Own Character, EGTLYCYOC


Whether you are playing Skyrim, Mass Effect, or Fire Emblem, you can rest easy knowing that when the control is placed into your hands, you can create your ideal woman, or at least the one who most nearly approximates your ideal woman based off of the customization options available at your fingertips.


Some RPGs leave the story so open-ended that you have complete freedom of interpretation; in other words, you can decide your own character traits. So if there's a quality your dream girl would have that no sane game developer would have the guts to include, then you can take solace in knowing that she has it, even if it is an unspoken truth that only you and she know about.




Phew! That was exhausting. It’s hard to write about so many beautiful women without getting a little worn out. But alas, my mission is complete, and we have brought together the 10 sexiest bachelorettes in gaming. Since I already know I am inevitably wrong, who would you have loved to have seen on this list? And which entries do you think should be taken off? We’d love to hear about what fictional ladies keep you up at night.


Note: If fictional ladies are literally keeping you up at night, you might want to contact your physician about that. Our comment section is not a sounding board for medical advice.


Gardevoir Jane Doe from Pokemon series


I know what you are thinking:”But she’s a Pokemon .…” This is factually accurate. But before you hop onto your high Rapidash and start making comparisons to bestiality, I’d like to point out that while many Pokemon are rather beast-like, there are also a lot of animated objects — aka not beasts. That’s not even to mention all the ghosts, most of which are actual human beings’ souls manifest in different fashions. To further humanize Gardevoir, I would like to point out that she specifically belongs to the human-like egg group, which is sort of a contradiction since we humans don't breed via externally laid eggs, but my point stands! Gardevoir is also a psychic type, many of which have been shown to be capable of communicating with humans telepathically, which is arguably an even more advanced form of communication than vocal expressions of language.


In fact, Game Theory’s old video titled Humans are Pokemon, embedded below, gives plenty of great reasons why it’s not really all that crazy to think that Pokemon are related to us, including ancient lure that suggests human and Pokemon were once interchangeable as well as evidence that evolution plays a role in the Poke-verse. As such, it's not all that hard to believe certain Pokemon, like Gardevoir, are biologically very similar to us humans.



With the realization that Gardevoir is actually of a species that is merely a lateral move away from human beings, I have decided to strike through her name in the header and instead recognize her as Jane Doe until the liberated members of the genus Gardevoir have each independently chosen their own names.


For this reason, seeking out a Gardevoir as a partner is not about "catching" a foine humanoid Pokemon. In fact, it is something that can't even be truly sought until a whole societal structure has been toppled. A societal structure that has willingly placed close genetic relatives of human beings into subjugation next to literal trash monsters. 


This may have started out with an edgy joke about hitting things off with a Gardevoir, but this has now become a call to arms. Things must be changed. Join our cause and help save our brothers and sisters in captivity today!


Cortana from Halo series


I might have said that Yuna represented the perfect balance between desirable and attainable, and that’s true within the context of the article. That is to say, assuming she’s real and attainable. As such, Cortana represents a somewhat meta-selection for this list. Assuming digital girls are obtainable still leaves Cortana unattainable, because she's a program inside of a program. As such, she would only be a viable mating option if viewed through an in-universe "Top 10 sexiest AIs in the Halo Universe" article. 


Cortana is also notable for being a high-profile character that becomes increasingly more voluptuous as her series goes on, while the reason behind her being voluptuous in the first place was never clear. According to a guy who transcribed a GamesRadar interview, franchise chief Frank O'Connor seemingly admits that Cortana was made to be sexy and that any reasoning as to why that might be was only thought about after the fact. Which would be fine if he didn't hide it under some sort of logic where she uses sexuality to manipulate people. All I'm saying is that I couldn't ever imagine a situation where her sexuality would be utilized to leverage me to place her in a position that her mere wit would not; she's only on this list for her wits. Her sexy, blue wits.


Yuna from Final Fantasy X and X-2


Lady Yunalesca has a ton of attractive qualities without overwhelming you with, "I'm a strong female lead who's super badass!" (Although she is badass.) Watching her character arc over the course of the first and second games shows someone who goes from being shy, timid, and reserved to her place in the world to being someone that is willing to carve out her own place in the world and let loose a little bit while still caring for others. That’s not to mention that she’s cute, quirky, awkward, loyal, kind, and other superlatives you’d throw at someone. If she has one character flaw, it’d probably be that she cares too much. (No seriously, she was willing to sacrifice herself and marry the creepiest guy this side of the farplane.) Okay, so in a lot of ways, she is a traditional leading character. 


Thankfully, the guy that was her romantic pursuit and who helped shape her along this great arc was actually like a ghost or something the whole damned time. It’s actually kind of confusing. Regardless, he’s not in the picture, and that’s perfect. Because while Yuna is all of those great things above, she has daddy issues since he sacrificed himself to “save” the world when she was a child, and she’s grieving the death (re-death?) of her lover. If there’s ever a better, more opportune time to strike gold, then I haven’t seen it.


I’m not saying it’d be easy, but half of what makes someone attractive is their availability. Too hard to get and it’s unattainable. Too easy and it’s not fun. Yuna’s just right, though, and that’s why she makes this list.


Mother Brain from the Metroid series


If brains are important to you, then — in a very literal sense — you are in the right place. Mother Brain has a ton of brains because she basically is just a giant brain (I know some iterations have the brain on top of a giant monster, but I'm not about that life, fam.). Some might say that beauty isn’t just skin deep, and I could hardly agree more, considering that Mother Brain doesn’t have any skin at all — just a brain surrounded by a giant glass container. Sure that might be disconcerting for some, but not me. I love brains.


Am I completely missing the point of the skin-deep cliche by only loving her for the physical beauty of her brain and not the actual personality stored within? Why yes. I most assuredly am, but I might also be missing the point of this article.


That’s right, Mother Brain might not be a bachelorette at all. I mean her name is MOTHER, and if there is a mother, there must be a father somewhere. Usually, fathers are husbands, and while the possibility of a breadth of Baby Dad Brains is completely possible, this is Nintendo we are talking about, so I highly doubt it. They’d keep things PG and only allude to consensual sex between Mother Brain and Father Brain, obviously.


Lastly, I’d be remiss if I weren’t to mention her physical appearance. Look, I know she’s a BIG brain, but big girls deserve love too. On top of that, she has a beautiful, glaring eye that you could just get lost in for days. Combine that with her giant, sleek spikes, which make her feel playfully unapproachable, dangerous, and edgy, and you really have someone that is irresistible. She’s the whole package ... except for a body. She doesn’t have one of those, but basically, everything else you could want is there.


Zelda from the Legend of Zelda series


After nearly three decades of having little to no personality, it is nice to finally see Princess Zelda become a fleshed-out character — well, as fleshed out as video game characters get. I’ve always liked the quiet and shy type, and there’s nothing that says quiet and shy quite like not saying enough over three decades to warrant having a discernible personality.


To make things even better, Zelda also spices things up with some classy, story-convenient amnesia that leaves her acting like a pirate in Wind Waker. Talk about personality! Pirates always have a ton of personality, whether it’s stealing things, pillaging (or in the case of Nintendo, sort of gently harassing people but never really causing any discernible harm), or, well I guess that’s about all pirates do.


Oh, and there was that time where Zelda cross-dressed and turned into Sheik. She's truly an odd girl.


You might argue that Zelda isn’t actually a bachelorette. But let’s not play coy: if a girl leads you on for three decades before finally talking to you, I’d beg to say she’s probably not that into you. Anyway, even if she was into Link, it’d be hard to not notice someone and be at least remotely interested after he’d saved your life and/or kingdom for like the 20th time — I don’t really think things would turn out that well, considering that the only character in the series who has struggled with exhibiting any sort of personality or emotions more than Zelda has been her savior, Link.


GLaDOS from the Portal series


Who doesn’t love GLaDOS? Isn’t that solid-enough logic to land her on this list, or am I -- much like GLaDOS -- fundamentally misunderstanding a core part of what drives human beings? I mean, everyone who has played Portal loves her and says she is one of the best parts of the game. Naturally, that means she should be desirable on a list like this. Sure, she’s a little murderous and seems to mostly lack empathy, but if you’re a sub, then that should be right up your alley. And as I am sure I have mentioned at least once or twice so far on this list, I am nothing if not inclusive.


Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series


Lara Croft was the poster girl for video game girls from her inception in the 90’s until, possibly still now? There really aren’t many franchises based around women in video games. With her short shorts, long braid, and giant, blocky, pyramid-shaped, polygonal breasts, Lara Croft caught the attention of just about every gamer, for better or worse. In a move that drips with the forced shock and edginess of the '90s, Lara Croft’s sex appeal was leveraged into Tomb Raider’s silver screen translation of the same name, Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie.


I saw this movie as a child, but I don’t remember much about it. What I do remember, rather distinctly, is the conversation my mom and aunt had afterward, wherein both proclaimed that Angelina Jolie was so hot that they could see themselves going gay for her. Which was sort of odd.


I had to agree: she was definitely very hot. But what if Angelina Jolie were to become my second mom? Then I’d be like,”Damn second mom, you are, like, really hot!” And that’d be all sorts of weird and would give me extremely conflicting issues into adulthood, along with some mommy problems. I guess I should just be thankful that Angelina Jolie never came beckoning at our door.


So here's to Lara Croft for making me ask weird questions about how I’d feel with a hot, unrelated, celebrity lesbian mom. I probably would've been fine with it ....


Lusamine from Pokemon Sun and Moon


A list like this is always going to be fundamentally flawed. For instance, it is likely to be dominated by characters from games people actually know or care about. Moreover, it will also be dominated by characters the author is familiar with. But perhaps the most glaring flaw is that it will be dominated by characters that the author finds attractive, which is at least partly the purpose of the list and yet also seems to fly in the face of it. I mean, no one wants to just know which 10 video game girls I find the hottest.


And yet, with Lusamine, my weird sense of humor and my attraction to a character combine, resulting in me both adding her to this list and to an hour-long break from writing this article that leads me into dark places of the internet where hentai rules all and Lusamine is a proverbial queen. I mean, she literally is engulfed by a giant tentacle monster in the actual video game, so Nintendo kind of dropped the ball on that one.


Tracer from Overwatch


Yeah. I know, I choose one of the most basic options to start out, but I just wanted to make sure to ease you into things, okay?


You frankly can’t have as much porn made involving you as Tracer has and not at least be considered for this list. I know this technically makes half of the Overwatch cast subject to being placed on this list, while the other half are either men or robots. But it’s because of this that I view Tracer as somewhat symbolic and representative of the larger female portion of Overwatch’s cast.


Tracer was one of the first characters shown off. She is generically heroic and preppy, as opposed to characters like Widowmaker. Oh, and she’s on the game’s freaking cover! It’s hard for Blizzard to be any more clear about the fact that she is the game’s primary mascot. You can like whichever character you want, and the love seems to be spread around, but Tracer is their darling. Lastly, she’s also the only LGBTQ character on this list. While I'm no SJW -- not that many people seem to profess that they are -- I had to show some love for the ladies that love the ladies.


So, while I don’t REALLY need to defend why I choose this Overwatch female for my list of sexiest bachelorettes in the gaming universe, I did. Enjoy!


Ah, can’t you smell that? Love is in the air, and it’s time for everyone who's anyone to cash in on the ensuing Valentine’s Day-themed money rush. (Look, I can be complicit to the system while still criticizing it.) Anyway, what trouble did choosing our favorite video game gals based off of random, varying, and ill-conceived criteria ever cause anyone?


Changing gears, I’d like to place some caveats on this list: I can’t promise all the women on this list are bachelorettes. And even if they are at the time of writing, this list will not be updated to reflect their future relationship statuses, so be warned. Likewise, I can’t promise that the above non-existent criteria for who I choose will line up with your likely existent, yet ill-advised, and poorly contemplated criteria for who I should have chosen. As such, you might disagree with some of my entries on this list.


That being said, to the best of my knowledge, all of the women are indeed women, even if they only loosely fit the criteria that you might hope would define it, such as having a body. If nothing else, rest assured all of these fine ladies are from video games.


Now, without further ado, let’s get started.

10 Pokemon That Should Have Never Existed https://www.gameskinny.com/7rttf/10-pokemon-that-should-have-never-existed https://www.gameskinny.com/7rttf/10-pokemon-that-should-have-never-existed Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:00:01 -0500 bazookajo94

When someone has to design over 800 different Pokemon, obviously, ideas are gonna start running short. Developers are going to have to make some tough decisions: give fans new Pokemon to keep the games fresh (though they may not be the best), or keep the good designs and hope that fans retain their interest though nothing new is added? 

While GameFreak has found a nice balance over the years between the approaches, that has still not stopped them from introducing some stinkers into the mix. While some new additions melt the hearts of players everywhere-- Mimikyu, I want you to choose me-- others don't.

Compiled here are but ten of the dumbest designs for Pokemon that probably should have received a hard pass when their presentation came up, rather than a, "Eh, good enough." 



Pokedex entry (Alpha Sapphire): Klefki never lets go of a key that it likes, so people give it the keys to vaults and safes as a way to prevent crime. 

Who did this? Who looked at their car keys and thought,"I wish I could put you in a ball and make you fight for me"

Because that's weird. And lazy. But mostly weirdNever mind that some competitive players vouch for its kick-ass special defense and competitive battling skills thanks in no small part to its Steel-Fairy typing; no one wants to enter battle with a key ring protecting them from a fiery dragon. 


Pokedex Entry (Moon): It feels pleasantly cool when embraced. This Pokémon is treasured by households in warm regions.

If we hadn't been confused enough about whether or not they eat Militank burgers, now we have to ask about this Pokemon that's explicitly a delicious dessert. All I'm saying is if you leave me alone in a room with your Vannilite you might not find it when you come back.

I get it, though. Sometimes, people like food a little too much. And I haven't met anyone who says no when someone asks, "Wanna get ice cream?" But as a Pokemon? As an actual dog blessed pocket monster? Okay. Sure, lemme just put my dripping vanilla ice cream cone in the balls in my pocket and start telling people that it's cute and fights good, no seriously, it's cute, trust me.



Pokedex entry (Ultra Moon): If a young Pokémon or child breathes in the toxic gas that Trubbish belches out, it could be a life-threatening situation.

It's true: I have a weakness for things with big eyes and sharp teeth. But for a bag of garbage with big eyes and sharp teeth? And it evolves? Why would I want even more trash? 

Seriously, though. Why would I want a trash Pokemon? And that's not even a pun, like, this Pokemon is literally trash. When the Pokemon you designed literally is the insult you'd wish to hurl at it, you might want to return to the drawing board. 


Pokedex entry (Ultra Moon): Although it can control its units known as Mini-Noses, they sometimes get lost and don’t come back.

The first thing I think when I see Probopass is, "Hahahahahahahahahh." The second thing I think is, "Why?" 

It looks like a man who you would walk across the street to avoid. Or if someone who vaguely knew what Mario looked like was asked to draw what Mario would look like as a Pokemon. Oh, and for some reason, it is wearing a Devo hat. 


Pokedex entry (Sun): When it finds a trace of its prey, it patiently stakes out the location...but it’s always snoozing by nightfall.

What happened, Yungoos? What happened that you would evolve from the cutest big-headed, sharp-toothed thing in the bush into this? This gangster-esque, two-footed beast with slick-backed hair and a goatee. It's everything I hate to see in the real world forced onto a Pokemon. Bring back my Yungoos. Bring him back. 


Pokedex entry (Sapphire): LUVDISC’s heart-shaped body is a symbol of love and romance. It is said that any couple meeting this POKéMON is promised a loving relationship that never ends.

It's a heart. That's it. That's all I can say about it because that's all it is. It's a heart. A heart fish. Oh, excuse me, I mean a Luvdisc. While we're on the topic of names, might I also point out that disc is literally just referencing the fact that it's thin? Why? It's not like we call Snorlax, Snorfatty or Rotundlax.

I didn't want to dip this low, but there are not enough things to complain about in regards to Luvdisc as to be able to adequately represent my distaste for it, so let me just say this: Luvdisc is an absolute trash Pokemon. It'd lose in a head-to-head matchup with a Magikarp. Splash splash.


Pokedex entry (White): They pretend to be elaborate coffins to teach lessons to grave robbers. Their bodies are covered in pure gold.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before GameFreak ran out of creepy ghost ideas and had to resort to burial means, and the idea had merit. I mean, sarcophagi are scary enough just on their own. But somehow, Cofagrigus takes away all that fear. Maybe it's the eyes?

Nah. It's gotta be the hands that look like those sticky hands toys you'd get out of the toy capsule machine at a Cici's Pizza buffet which you'd inevitably get dirty in 5 seconds, thus losing all its stickiness. Then you'd get it taken away from you for trying to hit your siblings in the face with it after about 10 seconds. Come on, Game Freak! No one wants a Pokemon whose sticky hands need to be cleaned every 10-20 seconds.  


Pokedex entry (Diamond/Pearl): Its body is composed of plasma. It is known to infiltrate electronic devices and wreak havoc.

Rotom is on this list as much for what it is as what it is not. The idea of an electric ghost made of plasma that possesses appliances is awesome. Until you realize what it's actually possessing...

Look, maybe a chainsaw would have been too much, but... actually, now that I think about it anything that it could have possessed that wasn't a chainsaw or transformer (Mechámon anyone?) would have been a huge letdown. Maybe this Pokémon was doomed to fail.


Pokedex entry (X/Y): With their powerful ears, they can heft boulders of a ton or more with ease. They can be a big help at construction sites.

I didn't think any Pokemon could look as dumb as Bidoof (who has its own circle in hell and thus didn't need its own showcase here) until I saw Diggersby. 

Why? Why would you take a cute, fluffy bunny and turn it into an excavator with arms for ears? That's right! Arms for ears! What does that even mean? This isn't even the first time Game Freak has completely gone off rails with a bunny design!

And don't even try to say to me, "Diggersby tho?" because I already know. 

Persian (Alola)

Pokedex entry (Ultra Sun): Although the jewel on its forehead appears to be a different color than those of Alolan Persian, it’s mostly made of the same material.

A dark Persian sounds like a great idea. Alolan Pokemon sounds like a great idea in general. And the system seemed to be working when we got a dark version of Marowak and an ice version of Vulpix. 

And then this happened.

A majestic, "classy cat Pokemon" was downgraded to this derp of a beast, and we're left to suffer knowing that a dark Persian could have and should have looked 10 times cooler than this.


But, you know what? Despite it all, I think that if I actually lived in the Pokemon universe and had the real opportunity to catch these Pokemon, I'd probably feel differently. I probably wouldn't care how unfortunate they looked or the fact that I'm battling with a lawnmower. I'd just be happy they existed because I would live in a world where Pokemon exist. 

On the other hand, if I actually lived in the Pokemon universe, one look at Mimikyu would kill me, so, you know. Guess I'm dying for love. 

Why Pokemon Needs HMs Back in Place of Poké Ride https://www.gameskinny.com/rnlxt/why-pokemon-needs-hms-back-in-place-of-poke-ride https://www.gameskinny.com/rnlxt/why-pokemon-needs-hms-back-in-place-of-poke-ride Fri, 01 Dec 2017 13:39:07 -0500 ThatGamersAsylum

With the release of the seventh generation of Pokemon titles -- Sun and Moon last year and the recent Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon -- there’s been something on my mind. As anyone who has played these titles knows, there were large changes made to the classic series's formula in this gen. In particular, I want to talk about the removal of HMs (Hidden Machines) and why said removal actually hurt the franchise more than anything else.

The Basics

Then . . . 

Every mainline Pokemon game up until this point had included HMs. HMs were items you obtained that let you teach your Pokemon a special move which, unlike all other moves, could be used not only in battle but also in certain overworld situations. While specific HMs varied from game to game, there were some that were consistent across the whole series, such as Surf, which allowed you to swim over large bodies of water, or Fly, which allowed you to use a flying Pokemon to return to previously visited locations (aka fast travel). Like any other move in Pokemon, only particular Pokemon could learn particular HMs. For instance, you needed to be able to fly to learn Fly.

. . . and Now

In place of HMs, we were given the Poké Ride system. Instead of teaching a Pokemon a move, you were given a particular Pokemon you would summon exclusively to execute the functions that you previously used your own Pokemon for. Whereas you previously used your Pidgeot to fly, you were now using a generic Charizard to get the job done. And while you were using your Swampert to surf previously, now you were going to be using a generic Lapras, Sharpedo, or Mantine. In that same light, surfing on your Pokemon would cause a black, unidentifiable blur to appear underneath your character so that the developers would not have to actually create and animate hundreds of different Pokemon sprites or models; now there are custom models.

On the surface, replacing HMs with the Poké Ride system only seems to affect the game in small ways; however, considering the actual reason these systems were created in the first place reveals what is actually going on behind the scenes.

The Good

HMs Are the Swiss Army Knife of Design

It should be noted that HMs actually have a lot of uses in the world of Pokemon, and I am not just talking about the literal function of the skills themselves. Whether it was the in-world uses of HMs or their combat uses, there was a wide spectrum of uses for HMs over the years. That being said, HMs allow you to interact with the game world using your Pokemon in a way that does not just represent beating up other Pokemon.

HMs Keep You On Track

The overworld uses for HMs allow the developers to organically add in layers of exploration by gating off content. In other words, you may be able to see that you can get to a small, item-bearing island in the middle of a lake from early on in the game, but it’s only later in the game that you can actually return to this spot to get said item. Moreover, HMs can ensure that you cannot surf until you actually get everything required to surf -- HM, badges, a Pokemon that can learn Surf, etc. -- meaning they know you cannot get to locations you are not supposed to be at until the appropriate time, which is important in a game where you can freely trade Pokemon around.

This is very clearly the part of HMs that the developers wished to preserve with their implementation of Poké Ride.

HMs Let YOUR Pokemon Interact With the World

HMs also serve to tie your Pokemon to the game world, thus grounding the experience (well, as much as that is possible in a game world as ridiculous as Pokemon). It makes sense that you could use an HM like Strength to bot push boulders in the open world and to push around Pokemon in battle.

Moreover, since YOUR Pokemon have to learn these HMs, it feels like your team and by extension, you, are affecting the game world. This aesthetic, emotional value is something that, while secondary in purpose, is nonetheless very powerful. It grants you autonomy and power over the world in a way that the Poké Ride just doesn’t.

HMs Ensure You Can Keep Up with Your Foes

But perhaps most importantly, HMs completely shape your team from start to finish. Usually, HMs are not optional. While this has changed over the course of the series, with certain HMs like Cut becoming almost completely optional, at their best, HMs help shape the exploration. This is seen through the extensive use of boulder pushing puzzles in early games, as well as in Surf, which has been required for extensive portions of every game.

Most importantly, however, you are required to have a Pokemon that can learn it. For instance, Surf is a water move and can be learned almost exclusively by water Pokemon, meaning that there’s a good chance you have a water Pokemon, or at the very least, you have a water move. From the developer’s point of view, this means they know you can most likely fight off fire-type, ground-type, and rock-type Pokemon. In that same vein, they know there’s a really good chance that you have a Pokemon that knows Fly, which is a flying-type move, that can help you with fighting-type, grass-type, and bug-type Pokemon, which are all common enemy types. (Why do you think there is always a "starter bird," e.g., Pidgey, Starly, Fetchling, etc.?)

This meant that the developers could force you to learn HMs to get past overworld blocks while also ensuring you had the combat weapons needed to adequately handle the enemies going forward. This helped subtly lead you toward using Pokemon that could learn these essential moves, thus helping ensure you had a balanced roster.

The Bad

Now, you might think I'm looking at HMs through some odd rose-tinted glasses, but you’d be wrong. All of this wonderful design aside, the HM system has had some major issues since its inception. In fact, it is amazing that the rules surrounding them were never changed over the course of nearly 20 years. Let's look at some of the larger problems with the system.

HMs Can’t be Deleted

Well, except by one particular person in each game, which is needlessly annoying. This creates a TON of problems.

This eats up 1/4 of a certain Pokemon's moveset. Some of the games have up to 8 HMs, meaning one or two Pokemon might have half their moveset dominated by these moves. The autonomy that HMs add on the overworld is counteracted by the inability to choose moves for particular Pokemon on your roster. 

Most HMs Really Suck

This is relatively straightforward. Most HMs are not exactly what you would call "useful" moves. Rock Smash hits with a whopping 40 damage (it was only 20 in gen 2 and 3). Flash literally only lowers your foes’ accuracy, which might not even be something you are interested in. There’s also been a propensity toward crappy Normal-type moves, which fails to take advantage of HMs' ability to balance rosters. And don’t even get me started on Defog.

Even the ones that are good, like Surf, are not great for all Pokemon that can learn them since moves are split between Special and Physical types. This means a physical attacking Water Pokemon, such as Swampert, will find a lot less use from Surf than a special attacking Pokemon like Kyogre.

There have also been four different Water-type HMs -- Surf, Waterfall, Dive, and Whirlpool -- over the course of the series, which is kind of crazy considering there are eighteen different Pokemon types, most of which have never had even one HM. This, in turn, puts a huge burden on water-type Pokemon to learn multiple HMs despite you maybe not wanting or needing that.

Problems Born of Other Problems

These two major issues also lead to the emergence of other problems, like the so-called “HM Slaves,” which are Pokemon you only ever keep around because they have learned four different, crappy HMs that you’d never want your actual combatants to learn.

Practical Solutions

As much as I am willing to merely complain talk in hypotheticals, I will actually give some practical solutions to this problem, which has frankly been completely mishandled over the duration of the series.

Potential Is Material

You should be able to use an HM on the overworld without forcing a Pokemon to actually learn it. This means that HMs don’t have to be great moves, nor will you be forced to learn crappy moves. This does mean that you can't rely on the fact that a Pokemon knows a certain move just because they are using a certain HM. That is to say, a Pokemon could use Surf on the overworld, but the dev doesn't explicitly know whether you actually have a Pokemon that knows a water move; they just know you have a Pokemon that is capable of learning a water move. However, this is a cheap and easy fix.

Diversity & Balance

HMs should be represented by a large diversity of Pokemon types. So, maybe there is a fire equivalent to Surf, which would then allow you to ride on lava, which would be freaking awesome. Maybe there is a ground equivalent to Dive (the already-existent Dig?) which allows you to burrow down into certain areas. Maybe there is a fairy move which allows items in the world to begin to float, similar to the way fairy dust is used in the Peter Pan/Tinker Bell universe.

Above and Beyond

While I have largely focused on how HMs tie into combat, another shortcoming of HMs is that their overworld usages truly fail to inspire. In short, I would describe them as not being either action-oriented or logic-oriented enough. For action-oriented, you would want something that has some feel to it. Something that you can get better at controlling with skill, which might take some amount of timing to truly master and utilize. For logic-oriented, you would want something that works well for puzzles. Something that makes you think in an abstract way, which could then be utilized in a variety of ways.

Imagine being able to hotkey certain HMs to your face buttons to then be able to make rapid-fire, Zelda-esque moves on the overworld. In fact, looking back at old 2D isometric Zelda titles reveals a ton of different items that could literally be stolen outright.

Imagine if Cut was turned into something that was equivalent to Link’s sword. Merely pressing A, your hotkey for Cut, on the over world could allow you to cut down grass, just like in old-school Zelda titles. In fact, older games in the series let you cut swathes of grass using Cut, but it required you to go into the menu to activate it. Strength could be used to push boulders like it always has, or maybe it could let you pick up and throw boulders. Maybe Iron Defense could become a steel-type HM used like Link’s shield. And electric Pokemon could use magnetism similar to the Magnetic gloves in Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.

Sure, all of this would be harder to abstract now that the series has moved away from its isometric 2D roots, but the potential to completely revolutionize Pokemon by reusing old Legend of Zelda ideas is damned near limitless.


In summation, I think that the implicit team-balancing capabilities of HMs more than prove why they should have stayed around. In fact, I think they would have stuck around had they actually been innovated upon. If the devs had merely bothered to actually balance HMs so that they were more diverse and less crappy, then the system wouldn't have needed to be changed. More importantly, people would not have wanted it to change, because it would have been a pivotal part of the world's design rather than being a vaguely interesting but ultimately annoying footnote. 

Why Does Game Freak Keep Making Mid-Gen Expansions? https://www.gameskinny.com/qbns3/why-does-game-freak-keep-making-mid-gen-expansions https://www.gameskinny.com/qbns3/why-does-game-freak-keep-making-mid-gen-expansions Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:14:41 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Pokemon is one of the most recognizable franchises in gaming and pop culture. The series rocketed to fame almost instantly upon release in Japan and in the West, taking developers and consumers by surprise, and it's still going strong 20 years later. With all that success, one might be forgiven for thinking that Game Freak is tempted to abuse the franchise, and many often point to the mid-gen expansions like Pokemon Crystal and Pokemon Platinum as proof of that. These expansions don't always offer drastic changes to the formula, it's true. However, they serve several important purposes, from being a testing ground for developers to giving fans what they want, while offering the definitive version of that generation for newcomers as well.

In the Beginning...

The first three generations saw expansions that didn't add much in the way of content, but provided just enough to help encourage players to dip back into the franchise.

Of all the expansions, Pokemon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition is the easiest one to point at and say "cash grab." Its main purpose for existing was for the developers to tie the game franchise more closely with the anime series that was blossoming nicely at the time. Your first Pokemon had to be Pikachu, Jessie and James (and Meowth) took the place of a few key Team Rocket battles, and you could obtain all three starters over the course of the game. Otherwise, apart from being colorized, there wasn't much difference between it and its predecessors.

But Game Freak made it difficult to easily pass off the game by making it so good. It was the perfect way to capture new fans who had seen the show but not played the games, and the fanservice was moderate enough to keep from harming the overall package and just enough to make it worthwhile. The challenge of having to use Pikachu required players to develop new strategies, and it introduced an important mechanic that still plays a role in the series as well, the friendship mechanic. Despite not offering a whole lot of new content, Yellow is almost always at the top of the 3DS eShop sales list.

Pokemon Crystal was a bit more conservative, though it did introduce battle animations for sprites and the option to choose gender. It experimented with story additions and laid the foundations for the Battle Frontier later too. There wasn't quite as much to justify returning to Johto, yet fans hold it in high regard as the definitive Gen II experience. Like Yellow, it offers just enough to entice owners of the original two and makes for an even smoother entry for newcomers, even if it's a bit sparing as far as expansions go.

Changes Afoot

Pokemon Emerald was the true gem of the first three expansions, though. It was the first to add significant changes to the story and tweak the gameworld enough to make returning interesting, switching around some key character roles and adding a wealth of new features, including the fan-favorite Battle Frontier. The story changes were the most significant, though, combining the plots from Ruby and Sapphire and giving you an actual reason to catch all three of Hoenn's legendary Pokemon, while refining the overall experience.

Despite being widely criticized for not radically changing the series, these seemingly minor alterations fit in with the studio's vision for the series. For example, the developers wanted to add more unique challenges, but the Frontier was deemed too difficult for Ruby and Sapphire, so it was left out. Like the others, the level of investment on the player's part depends entirely on how much they enjoyed the originals, but also like the others, most fans consider Emerald the pinnacle of its generation.

Expanding the Expansions

From the 4th generation onward, the series brought with it a wide variety of changes as it gained a more secure footing in the industry. The expansions were no different, as Game Freak added a number of changes to entice players back for more.

Generation IV's expansion brought with it more significant changes. Pokemon Platinum followed Emerald's footsteps and revamped the story, giving both legendary Pokemon new roles and making them central to the plot. It wasn't a gripping plot like you'd expect from a Final Fantasy game, of course, but it went a long way in creating a more coherent world and giving concrete motivations to the villains therein. Here is where Game Freak started using expansions to fit their overall goals for the series as well. They improved and expanded the role of Wi-Fi, which served the dual purpose of making the games perfect for the competitive scene and making it easier for people to connect over their shared interest in the series.

Sinnoh itself was changed a fair bit, more so than in previous expansions, with aesthetic changes throughout, redesigned gyms and updated gym rosters, and, even more importantly, a streamlined battle system. Gone was the lag between actions and their effects from Diamond and Pearl, with everything functioning much more smoothly overall. The Battle Frontier was greatly expanded too, providing even more incentive to play after finishing the main campaign, along with the ability to face off against major figures again in tournaments. Little wonder, then, that Generation IV was the best-selling generation in the series.

New Territory

The series stumbled a bit with Generation V. Black and White divided some with its too-linear progression through Unova, unique design choices, and stilted storyline (ethics are good, but a series where you imprison innocent creatures and force them to fight isn't really the best platform for an ethical message). Black 2 and White 2 aimed to fix those issues and add even more. Game Freak's chief goal with these was twofold: to defy players' expectations by not making a Grey version and to expand the world of Unova in ways they didn't have a chance to for the previous entries, hence the choice for a direct sequel. Junichi Masuda, the games' director, said he wanted to create a world that had changed in the two years since the original games to help give players a sense of that progression and make it seem new again.

Unova received a completely new makeover, and the way players moved about it changed a good bit as well, along with alterations to gym rosters and the ability to create a varied lineup early on in the story. The story received a good bit of flak for returning to the old gangsters-versus-child line but managed to still add something unique to the plot with the divisions in Team Plasma. One of the biggest changes Masuda was excited about was Pokewood, since it gave players an opportunity to engage in something similar to a puzzle challenge the more they progressed with their films. None of it was the huge shakeup of the franchise many called for, but the developers listened to their fans and gave them what they wanted.

The Red-Headed Stepchild

Then there was Generation VI with Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. Both received high praise in reviews and disappeared from shelves much faster than other installments for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the jump to full 3D models. They built on some of what made the Black and White sequels successful, but a cursory look through fan communities is enough to tell you that people wanted more. "Kalos was underdeveloped, the plot needed more to it, and the constant presence of the player's posse stole the thrill of adventure and exploration" is how the most common complaints usually go.

And it's true. For such a major milestone in the series in terms of presentation, the gameworld, and the sheer number of available Pokemon, there should have been follow-ups to help tie it all together in a definitive package. For example, as goofy as Team Flare is, and Y took the series' storytelling in a more serious direction. There's plenty of material for an expansion or alternate timeline to help make that story more potent. As intrusive as Shauna and the gang could be, expansions would have provided the chance to give them more of a real place in the game, either through battles or significance to the plot. But fans wanted remakes of Ruby and Sapphire. So that's what they got, with some minor tie-ins to X and Y, leaving Kalos a slightly odd, lonely addition to the Pokemon world.

Critical Reception

Critical reception of these expansions tends to be mixed. They always receive high scores, with the exception of a couple here and there for the Black and White sequels, but the primary complaint remains the same: there isn't anything new to make playing them worthwhile. Some argue that the expansions come too soon on the heels of the originals, as with Black 2 and White 2, not giving players enough time to really want to come back. Even those that rate highly will sometimes deride the expansions for not really adding anything drastic to the overall experience.

But these criticisms miss a few important points. After Gold and Silver, it was widely believed that the "Pokemon fad" was dead, making the development of Ruby and Sapphire a very stressful experience. Preserving what made the series successful to begin with became very important, to keep from alienating fans and creating a sharp divide between those who played older Pokemon games and newcomers. (And given what happened with what I call the Sonic Effect, where Sega strayed from the series' foundations with each new entry, that surely wasn't a bad decision.)

Game Freak used expansions as a way to add in extra ideas that might not have gone over well for the base installments -- either by adding too much content or straying from the core experience -- and it's a way for Game Freak to train newer members of the development team while veteran developers work on projects with higher stakes attached. Most importantly, though, it's a bit unfair to judge expansions for not radically altering the franchise when that isn't their goal to begin with. It's like complaining that vanilla ice cream isn't chocolate when it never tried to be anyway.

The New Kids on the Block

Fast forward to 2017, and there's another set of proper expansions contending for players' time and money: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. After the major changes that were the original Sun and Moon, these seem set to be more in line with Black 2 and White 2, providing some alterations in world structure, different Pokemon, and a much meatier plot. Many fans complained about how restricted Alola seemed, and like with Kalos, it's not hard to see why.

Sun and Moon made big promises with story and the world itself, and despite the finished products being worthwhile themselves, they leave the player wanting more -- more to do with these new Pokemon, more to see and explore other than just another quest to catch some additional legendary Pokemon. Many of these complaints addressed problems Game Freak believed existed anyway but just didn't have the time to address.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are set to provide fans everything they wanted, but most think it's too much, too soon. Fan communities are echoing the critics of yesteryear and saying there isn't enough to justify purchasing new games only a year after Sun and Moon released. In all fairness, The Pokemon Company hasn't done much to help market the games either. Sun and Moon were almost over-marketed, being featured at the 2016 E3 show and with countless little info drops that practically spoiled the games anyway. It's a shame, really. The new entries are set to strike a perfect balance between the major changes of Sun and Moon and the more conservative alterations of the previous expansions, with a heaping helping of new content on top.

The Verdict

Even though they don't always add loads of new content, there's more than enough to draw fans back in, and the fact that the expansions are always as well made as the originals makes them worthy as standalone entries anyway. Yet it's easier for those who miss a generation to value the mid-gen expansions, since money isn't as much of a question and almost everyone recommends Emerald or Black 2 over their respective predecessors. In the end, however useful and practical they are, it's down to the individual consumer to make the choice.

What do you think about Game Freak's mid-gen expansions? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Let us know in the comments.

Ash's Hat Pikachu Now Available in Pokemon Sun and Moon https://www.gameskinny.com/bcljq/ashs-hat-pikachu-now-available-in-pokemon-sun-and-moon https://www.gameskinny.com/bcljq/ashs-hat-pikachu-now-available-in-pokemon-sun-and-moon Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:02:19 -0400 adelgirl

Around the time that Pokemon Sun and Moon first game out, it was revealed that at some point after the game's launch, various special Pikachus, all wearing different Ash hats from the anime series, would be released in special events. 

The first of these Pikachu just became available, and it's wearing the hat that Ash wore in the anime from the start of his journey through the Johto League. To get this original hat Pikachu, players will need to enter a special code (Pikachu20) in their Mystery Gift menu by September 25th. Full instructions for redeeming this can be found on the Pokemon Company's website

Before downloading this hatted Pikachu, though, players will want to take note of the disclaimer in the official announcement: 

Although there are six different behatted Pikachu to choose from, you will only be able to get one of them via this special code. The Pikachu you get will vary depending on when you enter this code.

That means you'll only be able to pick up one of the 6 available Pikachus, so decide which one you want before redeeming your code, then wait for the right time to pick that version up. 

The event for Pikachu in the original Ash hat runs from September 19 to September 25. So if this is the version you want, be sure to pick it up before it's too late. 

There are more Pikachu events scheduled. The day after this event ends, a new one will start that features Pikachu in a different hat -- and the Hoenn hat is coming up next. These events will keep repeating in this fashion until all the Pikachu variations have been released. 

Which hatted Pikachu will you be picking up for your collection? Let us know down in the comments! 

The Pokemon Company Announces US Marshadow Distribution https://www.gameskinny.com/xwfri/the-pokemon-company-announces-us-marshadow-distribution https://www.gameskinny.com/xwfri/the-pokemon-company-announces-us-marshadow-distribution Mon, 28 Aug 2017 16:34:55 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Pokemon Company recently announced that GameStop will be handing out distribution codes for the legendary Marshadow from October 9 to October 23. This news may be especially pleasing to Pokemon Sun and Moon owners, as currently the only method of obtaining Marshadow is via special distribution, and the only event that's distributed the Pokemon thus far took place in Japan over the summer.

Marshadow is a unique Pokemon, being the first (and only) Fighting/Ghost type monster in the series. It can learn a variety of moves, from Rock Throw to Shadow Claw -- though the Gamestop-distributed Marshadow will be at level 50 and know Spectral Thief, Close Combat, Force Palm, and Shadow Ball, with Technician as its ability. Spectral Thief is Marshadow's special move, allowing it to damage opponents and steal their stat increases at the same time. It also comes with a special Z-Crystal, Marshadium Z, which gives Marshadow another signature Z-Move attack -- the Soul-Stealing 7-Star Strike.

For those of you who aren't familiar with obtaining gift Pokemon via distribution, here's what to do once you get your code:

  • Make sure your system's wireless is enabled, then launch your Pokemon Sun or Moon game.
  • Choose Mystery Gift from the main menu
  • Select "Get with Code/Password"
  • Select "Yes" twice to connect to the Internet
  • Enter your code

After that, load your game and chat with the delivery man in your nearest Pokemon Center to receive your Marshadow. That's all there is to it!

Are you excited for this new gift Pokemon? Let us know in the comments if you plan on picking one up!

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon: New Form Details from the Pokemon Company https://www.gameskinny.com/cl2ig/pokemon-ultra-sun-and-ultra-moon-new-form-details-from-the-pokemon-company https://www.gameskinny.com/cl2ig/pokemon-ultra-sun-and-ultra-moon-new-form-details-from-the-pokemon-company Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:39:20 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Apart from a short teaser earlier in the summer, The Pokemon Company has been rather silent about Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the upcoming sequels to last year's wildly successful Pokemon Sun and Moon games. However, a short while back, it revealed Dusk Form Lycanroc, a brand new Pokemon form, and recently offered a wealth of details about it.

Like its Midday and Midnight counterparts, Dusk Form Lycanroc evolves from the irresistibly cute Rockruff and retains its Rock-type nature. It also combines the best of both evolved forms in terms of personality and appearance. Like Midday Lycanroc, the Dusk Form is quadrupedal and unfailingly loyal, but its eyes flash red when attacking an opponent, just as Midnight Lycanroc's do. Dusk Form Lycanroc sports the Midday form's rock necklace too -- though it doesn't seem visible in the photos released -- and complements it with the Midnight form's mane, adding its own unique dusky coloration to set the whole look off.


Dusk Form Lycanroc also gets an interesting mix of old and new for its combat, and the Pokemon Company expects players to develop new battle styles than they were used to with the previous forms as a result. It learns the Midday form's Accelrock, a Rock-type version of Quick Attack that goes first every time, and Midnight's Fighting-type Counter, a more passive move that deals high damage if the user is attacked by a foe in that turn. However, Dusk Form Lycanroc also gets its own ability, Tough Claws, which raises the power of physical attacks.


Yet you won't be able evolve any Rockruff by leveling it up bathed in the setting sun's fiery glow. Dusk Form Lycanroc only evolves from a special Rockruff, and that Rockruff will only be available via special distribution. Like the special Munchlax in Sun and Moon, this Rockruff will be available for a decent period of time, from the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon launch date of November 17 until January 10, 2018.

There is another piece of Lycanroc news that is sure to delight collectors and fans of fuzzy-wuzzies alike: plush Dusk Form Lycanroc. Siliconera reports that as of now, the plush is only listed on Japanese sites, with no word yet on Western availability. At the very least, this is one import you don't have to understand Japanese to completely enjoy.


Introducing Plush Form Lycanroc! I'll take twenty...


Does this new form mean there will be more new Pokemon forms to follow? Will dusk play a central role like day and night did in the original Sun and Moon? Only time will tell, but be sure to check back for any new Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon updates!

Pokemon Sun and Moon Guide: How to Grab Your Shiny Tapu Koko https://www.gameskinny.com/npfg8/pokemon-sun-and-moon-guide-how-to-grab-your-shiny-tapu-koko https://www.gameskinny.com/npfg8/pokemon-sun-and-moon-guide-how-to-grab-your-shiny-tapu-koko Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:26:16 -0400 Zantallion

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon may be on the way later this year, but if you can't wait til then to get more of your Pokemon fix, Nintendo's still got plenty of goodies in store for you in the non-Ultra games.

Marshadow and Ash Hat Pikachu are on their way in the future, and right now you can pick up the otherwise unobtainable Shiny version of the Legendary Pokemon Tapu Koko in Pokemon Sun and Moon

Tapu Koko is an Electric/Fairy type Legendary Pokemon. While you can catch it in the games normally, this is currently the only way to obtain Shiny Tapu Koko -- as the in-game version cannot be Shiny, no matter how many times you reset. Shiny Tapu Koko comes with the Electric Surge ability, holds an Electric Seed It knows the moves Discharge, Agility, and Electro Ball -- alongside its signature move, Nature's Wrath. 

How can you pick up this Pokemon for yourself? We'll give you the rundown in this short guide!

How to Get Shiny Tapu Koko in Pokemon Sun and Moon

To get this lustrous legend, you'll need to first connect your 3DS to the Internet. Once you've done that, go ahead and select Mystery Gift from the startup menu, then select Receive Gift. From the options there, pick Get Via Internet, and finally, hit Yes when asked to connect. After that, you'll download your Shiny Tapu Koko.

Once you've downloaded your Tapu Koko, make sure to pop by the deliveryman in any Pokemon center in-game to actually add it to your collection.

There's no indication that Shiny Tapu Koko will be available again in the future, so make sure to grab it before the event is over on August 14. Otherwise, you might miss out on it forever.

That's all there is to it! Check out the rest of our Pokemon Sun and Moon guides if you need more tips for the game or instructions on catching other Legendary Pokemon:

How to Unlock Marshadow in Pokemon Sun and Moon https://www.gameskinny.com/bqcx3/how-to-unlock-marshadow-in-pokemon-sun-and-moon https://www.gameskinny.com/bqcx3/how-to-unlock-marshadow-in-pokemon-sun-and-moon Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:45:23 -0400 Michael Dellapi

Although Nintendo has already given Pokemon fans a first glimpse of the newest Legendary coming to Pokemon Sun and Moon several months ago, additional information has been revealed about Marshadow to further entice players. Marshadow, the Gloomdweller Pokemon, is a mysterious creature that likes to literally hide amongst the shadows -- learning the techniques and tendencies of others while staying out of sight. Despite having a rather foreboding ability, Marshadow is known to be incredibly careful and rarely makes its presence known.

The Gloomdweller Pokemon will be the first in history to have a Fighting/Ghost type, making it particularly useful against Psychic types that would usually have an easy time against Fighting types. At the same time, it is completely immune to other Fighting types it may go up against. 

Marshadow's moveset is as unique as its very particular typing. This is the only Pokemon that can learn the move "Spectral Thief." Spectral Thief allows Marshadow to steal the stat boosts of its opponent, while still dealing damage! This is a great ability for turning around a fight that might not be going your way. Marshadow can also learn a powerful Z-Move if it already knows Spectral Thief.

But in spite of everything we know about Marshadow, there's still one questino players are asking: how will we be able to get this little guy in the game?

Unlocking Marshadow in Pokemon Sun and Moon

Marshadow has been confirmed to be a Mythical Pokemon, meaning that it will only be unlockable through a specific event. Sadly, that means you will unable to be access it right now.

We will update this guide once more information is released regarding when and where you can be able to pick up Marshadow for yourself. So stay tuned! And while you wait, be sure to check out the rest of our Pokemon Sun and Moon guides to get a competitive edge in the game. 

The Latest Expansion for Pokemon TCG: Sun & Moon Drops August 4th https://www.gameskinny.com/cbh1r/the-latest-expansion-for-pokemon-tcg-sun-moon-drops-august-4th https://www.gameskinny.com/cbh1r/the-latest-expansion-for-pokemon-tcg-sun-moon-drops-august-4th Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:34:26 -0400 Paige McGovern

In February, Sun & Moon joined the Pokemon Trading Card Game series. Only six months later on August 4, Sun & Moon's first expansion will debut: Burning Shadows.

The expansion is set to bring a host of new content to the Pokemon trading game fanbase. Here's what players can expect when the new content drops in a few months: 

  • New PokemonPlay with Necrozma, Marshadow, and many more from the Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon video games.
  • Alolan Pokemon: Classic Pokemon will return with a unique appearance to match the proprietary Alolan forms of Sun and Moon.
  • New Theme Decks: These 60-card decks are ready for players to play immediately. 
  • New Booster Packs: The packs contain 10 new expansion cards. One card in each pack will be rare. 
  • New Cards: Have over 140 cards at your disposal, including 12 new Pokemon-GX and Supporter cards with full art.
    • Get ready to play with Machamp-GX and Charizard-GX.

You can read more about Burning Shadows by visiting the Pokemon official website. To pick up this merchandise on August 4, find a participating retailer near you. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for all the latest Pokemon news!

8 Monster Collecting Games You Can Play Instead of Pokémon Ultra Sun & Moon https://www.gameskinny.com/tt295/8-monster-collecting-games-you-can-play-instead-of-pokemon-ultra-sun-moon https://www.gameskinny.com/tt295/8-monster-collecting-games-you-can-play-instead-of-pokemon-ultra-sun-moon Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:07:28 -0400 Erroll Maas


Stars Not Yet Aligned


While these games may not have the popularity or staying power of a franchise like Pokémon, they are still decent alternate options for players looking to play other monster collecting games. There are plenty of other monster collecting RPGs you can play as well -- such as Dinosaur King, Monster Rancher, Moco Moco Friends, and Spectrobes, just to name a few. Those featured on this list are just some of the more recent and notable ones.


Although a mainline Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch may still be a few years away, hopefully we'll have these games, their upcoming sequels, and maybe even others yet to be released to help satisfy our need for capturing hundreds of monsters until then.


Monster Hunter Stories

Nintendo 3DS

The most recent game on this list to be released in Western territories, Monster Hunter Stories is a turned based RPG spin-off of Capcom's popular hunting action series.


In Monster Hunter Stories, you take on the role of a Rider from a hidden village. Instead of hunting monsters, the riders of this particular village befriend monsters by stealing eggs from nests then hatching and taming them. 


In battle, both the rider and your companion monster are able to attack the enemy -- and the rider character has access to different skills depending on the weapon and equipment used. Additionally, companion monsters can be ridden in the overworld.


Companion monsters can also be customized by using a feature called the Gene Bond  -- a system somewhat similar to breeding in other monster collecting games -- in which you transfer Bond Genes from one monster into another monster’s slots in order to obtain different stats and abilities.


Monster Hunter Stories  should be able to provide plenty of enjoyment for those not interested in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and additionally, in true Monster Hunter fashion, has plenty of post game content. 


Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance

Nintendo 3DS/ PS4

While this game doesn't focus solely on monster collecting, it's still an important aspect of the game.


In Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, instead of running around various Disney worlds with characters Donald and Goofy, you explore select worlds with new creatures called Dream Eaters. Friendly dream eaters are called spirits, while the enemy dream eaters you fight are called nightmares.


Spirits are created by combining Dream Fragments together with an item or spell, either by trial and error or using recipes found throughout the game. The player characters can also link with Spirits to perform unique attacks.  You can even pet and play with your Dream Eaters which will help them gain new abilities, similar to Pokémon-Amie, although surprisingly this game did it first.


Although not a monster collecting RPG at its heart, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance can still be played as an alternative to Pokémon if you focus more on the spirit creating aspect, and you get the additional benefit of getting to visit several amusing Disney-based worlds on the way.


Fossil Fighters: Champions 

Nintendo DS

Fossil Fighters: Champions is a sequel to the original Fossil Fighters -- also for Nintendo DS -- and greatly improves upon the gameplay introduced by its predecessor. i


To obtain monsters in this game -- called Vivosaurs --  you have to dig up their fossils and clean them off using the touch screen. This system of obtaining monsters is quite unique and can be rather exciting for awhile. Having to clean every single new fossil you find can become tedious and frustrating early on, but certain items obtained later can help speed up the process.


The combat system isn't too deep, and each vivosaur has a predetermined moveset of only 4 or 5 attacks they learn from leveling up. But if you don't mind that, then Fossil Fighters: Champions can still be a fun experience.


With strong charm and atmosphere, great and memorable characters, and awesome looking creatures, Fossil Fighters: Champions is a nice way for you to get your monster collecting fix -- especially if you happen to be a fan of Fossil Pokémon and wish there were more.


Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2

Nintendo DS

Perhaps the most challenging game on this list, the sequel to Dragon Quest Monsters Joker, and the fifth game in the Dragon Quest Monsters spin-off series, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 vastly improves the gameplay of its predecessor.


The Dragon Quest Monsters series has always had a strong focus on breeding, even before Pokémon had the option. Breeding powerful monsters takes a lot of trial and error to get what you want, due to having very few rules. Because of the detailed breeding system, catching every new monster you encounter is obligatory if you want to create a monster with the best stats and skills. Monsters may also have hidden bonuses that won't be obvious to new players at first.


Another factor that motivates catching many monsters is the difficulty of the game. Sometimes you won't be able to progress to the next part of the game until you have a monster strong enough or have reached a high enough rank. The game expects you to stay on top of everything, so if you aren't properly prepared for an especially challenging battle, you may have a difficult time getting past it.


Featuring a more challenging difficulty than most other monster collecting RPGs and an extensive post-game, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 is great for any monster collecting RPG or Dragon Quest fan looking for a new challenge.


Hopefully the Nintendo 3DS sequel, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3, will be announced for Western release soon. 


World of Final Fantasy

PS4 & PS Vita

This is Final Fantasy returning to it’s classic turn-based formula, while at the same time also trying to take a stab at the monster collecting genre. To prevent clutter during battle, a new mechanic called stacking was created for the player characters to fight alongside their monsters (known as mirages). There are also summons called Champions -- chibi forms of famous Final Fantasy characters which are summoned temporarily, including Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII and even Sora from Kingdom Hearts.


The story of the game isn’t quite as interesting as other Final Fantasy games, but a revelation near the end of the game about the main characters might surprise you. At times, the game can be pretty boring, and as much as using the fast forward function helps in battles, sometimes it doesn't feel quite fast enough. Part of the last dungeon can be pretty frustrating too, due to lack of a proper map.


Despite its few pitfalls, World of Final Fantasy is not only a great alternative to Pokémon, but a great start for anyone looking to play a modern Final Fantasy game with more traditional gameplay.


Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth

PS4 & PS Vita

 After a drought of localized Digimon games, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth was finally released in the West in February 2016. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth had almost everything an avid Digimon fan wanted in a new Digimon game -- similar battling to the beloved Nintendo DS titles, a decent amount of Digimon, and a world which felt like the near-perfect combination of the popular anime films Summer Wars and Digimon: The Movie


There are a few glaring flaws, but how much they're noticed depends on the player's prior knowledge of the franchise.  Some digivolution lines are intact, while others are all over the place and connect Digimon species who would otherwise be unrelated to each other. In addition to this, Digimon you haven’t seen or obtained will show up as "who’s that Pokémon" style silhouettes, so you'll have to find out what they are yourself or look up a guide.


It's not the worst since you can just dedigivolve them and level them up again if you you're unsatisfied -- an easy task when having experience boosting Digimon and items later on in the game, but a tedious activity in the earlier parts. The most irritating part of the messed up digivolution lines is that some Digimon which are not obtainable in the game (despite the rest of their line being obtainable) will still be seen on collectible medals. So it's a bit odd these missing Digimon were still put in the game that way. 


Hopefully, the upcoming sequel, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory, adds plenty more digital monsters, and fixes these and other minor flaws from the original. But otherwise, Cyber Sleuth is another great alternative to Pokémon.


Yo-Kai Watch

Nintendo 3DS

The first game in this series, plus its corresponding anime series and movie, finally came to the U.S. in 2015 after originally being released in Japan 4 years prior. The second game(s) released in the U.S. in September 2016 -- taking a hint from Pokémon with two versions, Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls. The third, updated version, Psychic Specters, is coming this fall. 


In the first game, the main character is given the titular Yo-Kai Watch, which causes them to be able to see Yo-Kai -- spirits that cause all kinds of odd everyday occurrences good, bad, or just plain weird. A significant difference between this game and other monster collectors is that the player does not technically capture Yo-Kai, but instead befriends them by feeding them their favorite foods -- and is given their medal so that they can be summoned from the Yo-Kai Watch at any time.


Yo-Kai Watch has been losing steam recently after the third iteration didn't sell as well as the previous ones -- possibly due to Pokémon's comeback, the lack of creativity with some of the newer creatures, and the absence of true backwards compatibility between the games and the toys. The series also isn't nearly as popular in the West as it was in Japan, but it has found a pretty decent fan following in Europe -- with plenty of kids (and some adults) all over the world still enjoying it.


Although the gameplay is a little outdated being mostly touchscreen-based, the Yo-Kai Watch series is still a fun, and more inherently Japanese,  alternative to Pocket Monsters.


Ni No Kuni

PS3 & PS4 (via PS Now)

Created by Level-5 and Bandai Namco, with art and animated cutscenes by Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies etc.), Ni No Kuni is a great game to help satisfy your monster collecting RPG itch.  


In Ni No Kuni, you play as a boy named Oliver, who has just lost his mother and only parent, and is racked with guilt. His tears bring the fairy plush toy, Mr. Drippy, back to life and they venture into the world of Ni No Kuni to find Oliver's mother and defeat the Dark Djinn, Shadar, and the titular villain of the game, the White Witch.


In addition to having different spells and abilities themselves, each of the three rotating members of your party is allowed to use one monster -- called familiars -- at a time, in which the human and their respective monster share a health bar. Similar to other games, you can capture more monsters to expand your collection. These monsters all have evolution trees as well, although sometimes changes are more subtle, such as adding accessories or just palette swapping.


The sequel, Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, will be coming soon -- and although the gameplay will be a bit different, playing or replaying the first game would be a good refresher before the sequel's release.


Many were disappointed by the announcement of the new Nintendo 3DS exclusive sequels to Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon -- called Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon respectively -- despite not being given much information.


After changing up the long standing tradition of an updated third version with the the release of Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 in the fifth generation, and entirely skipping an updated version of of the sixth generation games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, players weren't sure what to expect for the future of the seventh generation.  Many were expecting either the long rumored Pokémon Stars for the Nintendo Switch, or at least some kind of Switch port of Sun and Moon with cross play compatibility, similar to the recently announced Monster Hunter XX (double cross).


Many players, however, forget that there are plenty of other great monster collecting games out there. They might not be as popular as Pokémon, but they are still great games which can stand out on their own. Here are 8 monster collecting games to try if the announcement of these new Pokémon games made you bitter like the taste of a Switch cartridge.

3 Franchises Nintendo Needs to Touch On This E3 https://www.gameskinny.com/xvnec/3-franchises-nintendo-needs-to-touch-on-this-e3 https://www.gameskinny.com/xvnec/3-franchises-nintendo-needs-to-touch-on-this-e3 Thu, 04 May 2017 15:00:01 -0400 Erroll Maas

E3, the biggest video game event of the year, is right around the corner. Microsoft, PlayStation, and Bethesda have already announced the dates, times, and some featured content for their conferences, but what about Nintendo?

Now that their new handheld hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, is released and is selling extremely well along with some of its  games-- such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 DX-- not to mention plenty of already available and upcoming indie titles, what else does Nintendo have to show us? There are 3 important franchises from Nintendo's past which they should touch upon this E3, and they are the following:

1. Metroid

There hasn't been a proper Metroid game since 2007's Metroid Prime 3: Corruption,  even last year during the 30th anniversary of the franchise, so the series is due for another title which even the biggest Metroid  fan will be able to enjoy.

The last game to be released in the franchise was the Nintendo 3DS game, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a cooperative first person shooter which bared little resemblance to the Metroid series and seemingly had the name tacked on. The game received mixed to negative reviews after release, and most fans haven't been very fond of it ever since it's initial announcement. Producer Kensuke Tanabe hoped the plot of Metroid Prime: Federation Force would lead to a future Metroid Prime game focusing on the relationship beween Samus and Sylux, a character introduced in Metroid Prime Hunters who followed Samus and the end of Metroid Prime 3, with some added involvement from the Galactic Federation.


The developers of the Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios, has been working on a new game--not yet announced--for awhile, so lets hope it's a brand new and true Metroid game for the Nintendo Switch, and a true successor to the Metroid Prime series.

For a Metroid game on the Switch, they could even add a multiplayer mode similar to Metroid Prime Hunters as an extra feature, which may help interest those who aren't as enthusiastic about the series.

2. Super Smash Bros.

After the release and success of Mario Kart 8 DX, the fastest selling game in the Mario Kart franchise, this should be a no-brainer. Nintendo could even call it Super Smash Bros. DX if they wanted to.

Like its kart racing counterpart,  Super Smash Bros DX would feature all previous DLC characters and stages, as well as a few balancing tweaks.

The definitive version of the Nintendo crossover game would also feature a few new stages and characters. The new characters could be Bomberman, an older video game character--although a bit younger than Pac-Man-- who has recently made his return after a few years of absence, on the Nintendo Switch with Super Bomberman R. Inkling Girl and Boy --as a skin swap for the same character-- from Splatoon, and either Spring Man or Ribbon Girl from upcoming Nintendo fighting game, ARMS, would be the other 2 new characters. Each new character would also help add a new stage based on their respective games.

Obviously there are plenty of other characters and stages Nintendo could add to their definitive version of Super Smash Bros., but these three seem to be likely contenders.


3. Pokémon

The seventh generation of mainline Pokémon games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, only came out last year, but players need to know which rumors, if any, are true. The third, updated version for the seventh generation of Pocket Monsters, possibly called Pokémon Stars, has been heavily rumored for awhile now. In addition to this, dataminers have found files with certain unused assets, such as walking Pokemon sprites akin to those in Pokémon Heartgold and Pokémon Soulsilver versions, the fourth generation DS remakes of the second generation games, Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions for the Game Boy Color. Just recently, there has also been speculation that Nintendo may be starting to tease the existence of Pokémon Stars with their new "Look Upon the Stars" line of merchandise exclusive to Japan. Junichi Masuda, composer, director, producer, designer, and producer of Pokémon previously tweeted a moon right before the reveal of Pokémon Sun and Moon, so fans should keep an eye out for more hints leading up to E3.

Pokémon Stars may not be the only future Pokémon game, however, as there is also a possibility of remakes for the fourth generation of games, Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon Pearl, and Pokémon Platinum versions. This is due to the numerous references in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon which reference different things from the fourth generation including: Sinnoh Elite Four Champion, Cynthia, being an opponent at the Battle Tree, notes in the dimensional research lab on the Ultra Beast which mention the Pokémon Giratina, Palkia, and Bronzong, and a lab in the Aether Paradise area which contains files about the development of Type: Null, a seventh generation Pokémon based off of Arceus from the fourth generation, which claim that materials for development were collected from the Canalave library, as well as a few less notable references.

One other possibility for the next Pokémon game, which would be a bold move and probably not as likely, would be full HD remakes of the original games but featuring some Pokémon from every region in addition to the original 151. In Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the main character and their mother are originally from Kanto, Red and Blue make an appearance at the battle tree, and at the end of the games story the characters Lillie and Hau go on separate adventures to the Kanto region.

In addition to these in game references, the Pokémon anime is getting an alternate movie reboot this summer with Pokémon I Choose You!--titled after the first episode of the anime series, which features new characters as well as Pokémon from later generations not originally present in the first series. So, why not have a game based off of that same concept? It may not be as likely of a game to exist as the other choices, and it's possible they could just add the Kanto region to Pokémon Stars, but a full HD remake is definitely still a possibility as well. With a few different options on the table, Nintendo's bound to mention at least one of them.

Those are 3 important franchises Nintendo should touch on during this years E3. The date and time of Nintendo's presumed digital event is yet to be announced, but news should be coming soon with E3 right around the corner. Be  sure to tune in and keep an eye out for these 3 franchises.

Do you agree with these 3 choices? What franchise do you think Nintendo should touch on this E3? Let us know in the comments!

5 Video Game Mothers So Bad They'll Make You Thankful For Your Own https://www.gameskinny.com/x6evk/5-video-game-mothers-so-bad-theyll-make-you-thankful-for-your-own https://www.gameskinny.com/x6evk/5-video-game-mothers-so-bad-theyll-make-you-thankful-for-your-own Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Erroll Maas


Thank Your Mom For Not Being Like Them


Luckily, these Moms are all fictional, so you don't have to worry about being their child unless you're a videogame character. 


So when you celebrate your wonderful mother(s) this Mother's Day, make sure to thank them for not being obsessed with a strange perception of beauty, a grotesque giant trying to kill you, or an evil queen.


Also make sure to thank them for having a better fashion sense than Jimmy's mom, because let's be honest, none of our moms fashion senses are that bad.


Ex-Mrs. Hopkins


Sure, main character Jimmy Hopkins isn't the most stand up guy, but can you really blame him? His mother does seem pretty terrible after all.


She leaves her son at private boarding school, Bullworth Academy, so he'll behave better, although compared to some of the kids and even adults there, Jimmy's almost a saint. She may only appear in the opening scene of Bully, but just from that brief appearance we can tell that she would be the kind of mother who doesn't listen to her child even when he has something important to say.


Jimmy is a teenager dealing with his parents divorce and a stepdad he doesn't like, so of course he would act out. Instead of actually sitting down to have a conversation with him, she'd rather let someone else deal with him so she can go on a year long honeymoon vacation.


Perhaps the most realistic bad mother on this list, if we were shown more of her as a character, she would surely be one of the adult bosses in Persona 5.


Queen Brahne

Final Fantasy IX

Mother of the real Princess Garnet and foster mother to her lookalike of the same name.


Before the events of the game, Brahne was known as a peaceful ruler, but she seemingly changed after the death of her husband.


Throughout the course of the game Brahne gains weight, turns evil due to manipulation by Kuja -- the main villain of the game -- declares war on neighboring countries and even destroys a few rival kingdoms, orders her henchmen to extract powerful beings from her daughter due to her daughters special ability -- a  rather painful method -- and later repents and dies in her daughter's arms.


Queen Brahne may not have been the best mother to either of her daughters after her husband died, but at least she was able ask for forgiveness, die, and be remembered by her people as the woman she once was.


The Queen


The Queen is Ico's main antagonist and the mother of the character, Yorda. She intends to sacrifice her own daughter as a spiritual vessel so that she can avoid death.


Her plan seemingly fails once the titular horned boy protagonist of the game escapes, frees her daughter, and goes to find a way for them to escape the castle.


The Queen only appears a few times in the game, preferring to have her minions do her dirty work for her, but it's her intentions which make her one of the worst mothers in video games.



The Binding of Isaac

This final boss of the acclaimed roguelike may not have much in terms of characterization, however she is the main reason for all of the horrors Isaac has to face throughout the course of the game.


Due to her massive size, we don't get to see that much of her, but she still proves to be terrifying nonetheless.


There isn't much more detail about her, but she is definitely one of the worst, as well as worst looking, moms you have to deal with in a video game.



Pokemon Sun and Moon Version

At first, Lusamine seems like a kindhearted individual, but in reality, she is obsessed with things she finds "beautiful". This obsession comes after her husband mysteriously disappeared into the world of the Ultra Beasts, after years of trying to find him with no hope in sight.


Due to her strange obsession, she neglected both of her children, although she falsely believes that hey are ungrateful and that she always gave them the attention they needed. She even made her daughter Lily dress in a fashion similar to the Ultra Beast, Nihilego, which she had been obsessed with ever since catching a brief glimpse of it in the past.


Not only does Lusamine neglect her own children, but she manipulates others as well. Lusamine takes advantage of Guzma, the leader of Team Skull, and convinces him to work for her as a hidden mercenary for the Aether Foundation which she founded.


Eventually, she wishes to be in a world where only her and Nihelgo exist, which she views more as family than her own children, since it's more obedient. She's eventually driven insane, but retains some sanity after being defeated by the player and goes into a coma.


With some disturbing obsessions and a terrible hairstyle, Lusamine is definitely one of the worst video game mothers in recent memory.


And you thought the world of Pokemon Sun and Moon was all happy.


The Mothers No Child Could Love


Video games have had plenty of notable mothers over the years, from the mothers of the Pokemon series to the Cooking Mama of many talents who can babysit, make crafts, go camping, and enjoy gardening in addition to cook, and everything in between. Ranging from smaller parts to more significant roles, Mothers are everywhere in video games, whether they be good, evil, or indifferent.


But not all video game mothers are created equal, some are sick,  twisted,  and even downright despicable. Mothers aren't villains in video games as often as they are in other media -- such as anime -- but when video game Mothers are bad, they are some of the worst characters around.


Here are five video game mothers so bad you'll be thanking your own this Mother's Day for not being like them.

The 8 Video Game Villains Who Deserve Their Own Solo Game https://www.gameskinny.com/7f040/the-8-video-game-villains-who-deserve-their-own-solo-game https://www.gameskinny.com/7f040/the-8-video-game-villains-who-deserve-their-own-solo-game Mon, 08 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

Certain villains in recent gaming history certainly left their mark on gamers and left us wondering why there isn't a solo game from their perspective. The protagonists in video games always rise to victory, and even anti-heroes get their moments to be a badass for good causes.

The one underserved market in video games, especially in series, is where the villain's point of view is fully seen and respected. So with tons of iconic video game villains, which deserve their own path on the way to victory with gamers at the helm?

Let's find out.


From the game Pokemon Sun and Moon, Lusamine is the president of the Aether Foundation which pledges to protect Pokemon, but their plans are actually much different. Lusamine actually wanted to own Pokemon and gain their power. This extended directly to Pokemon called Ultra Beast; which are legendary Pokemon who reside in another dimension called Ultra Space.

How the deceptive leader came to be is a story that remains unknown, but her rise to power and desire to capture the legendary Pokemon would be quite the adventure for players. A solo game could even explore what would happen during another scheme to create her own version of a Pokemon Utopia as she gains more power, slowly spinning further into wickedness.


The Witcher series introduced gamers to the kidnapping King of Aen Elle, Eredin. As the main antagonist of the series, his journey encompasses all three games, and most likely future ones. It wouldn't be hard to imagine a game focused entirely from his perspective due to his presence in each game. Playing as someone called the lord of nightmares would certainly add its' own air of dark deeds that might be uncomfortable at times, but in the world of Witcher, there are plenty of unsavory deeds and challenges to conquer.

The Joker

The infamous villain has certainly appeared in a ton of different media, but in the Arkham series he remains a constant threat, even in death, to the Batman. When players were briefly able to use the Joker in the last series installment, Batman: Arkham Knight, it was a mere taste of what a solo Joker game would look like.

Further, having a game like this would finally answer how he and other villains can set up these elaborate schemes, but still be foiled in the end. While this would be another villain whose dark mind would tempt some gamers to stray away from the game, we can't deny how awesome it would be to play as the clown prince of crime.

Pagan Min

The leader of the Kyrat region in the game Far Cry 4, Pagan Min is an entertaining and, when necessary, ruthless leader. His panic as the players protagonist liberates the region from Min's rule allows for funny moments as he assures his people that all is well. Though the story and action of the game may be more predictable, Min shines as a dynamic villain with origins that were only briefly covered.

A solo game exploring his childhood and upbringing, and ultimately his rise to power, would be a story gamers could enjoy without feeling too guilty about their actions along the way. Similar to the Joker, there would be plenty of witty commentary with Min as the lead.

Rafe Adler

Treasure hunter and Jake Gyllenhal look alike, Rafe first appeared in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, and would have been an even better villain if his character was more fleshed out. While the most recent antagonist in the Uncharted franchise, his motivations are not unlike main character Nathan Drake's, but take a bitter turn due to revenge.

A game following Rafe's own treasure hunting could be very similar to the main franchise's take or even similar to the upcoming spin off involving Rafe's one time partner Nadine. Playing as a scorned Rafe before or especially after the events of the last game would be one of a vengeful and greedy man, showcasing the other side of treasure hunting in the world of Uncharted.

Dušan Nemic

Appearing in Watch Dogs 2 Dušan Nemic is the head of Blume and controls CTOS 2.0 in the game. A masterful manipulator, he acts as the perfect alternative to the main protagonist Marcus as he uses technology to invade the lives of people without their knowledge. Though he may appear to be the average jerk, Nemic has immense control over the operating system that the protagonists group Dedsec want taken down.

Getting to play as this villain would showcase the duality of technological invasions of privacy best seen in the Watchdogs series. Like Marcus, Nemic is talented, smart, and resourceful and players would be able to see the other side of things while getting to play as him. Further, a solo game would offer a rare glimpse at how the average tech we use in real life can be manipulated by a team of talented individuals for evil.

Steve Haines

For lists like this, choices usually revolve around villains who prove that sometimes it's good to be bad. Unlike those other entries, playing as FIB agent and reality show star Steve Haines from Grand Theft Auto V would prove the good guys aren't always who they appear to be. Haines is a cruel agent who wants results and while he appears ruthless, and sadistic will cower at the first sign of possible defeat.

While players may not have fallen in love with this villain, it's undeniable that the most real and pressing evil is that of lawful evil. The GTA series never lets players dive into the other side of things and focus on a law enforcement perspective. Allowing players the choice to do what's right even though "necessary evils" would be a fun twist on the game, never seen before.


Re-released on the WiiU in 2014, Fire Emblem The Blazing Blade, introduced gamers to the dark druid Nergal. A former good guy himself, Nergal created small golden eyed beings to search for power and return it to him for absorption. While a more basic plan for a villain, the character himself is what gives him a place on this list. Through successful completion of side quests, Nergal's true story of trying to save his children as the reason for his initial desire for power are revealed. Sadly for him however, he was lost amidst the darkness and became the classic villain we know today.

An updated game starring him would be centered around his amazing origins and a series of choices that led him down the path to darkness. The solo story could also fill players in on some backstories of popular series characters like Athos and Nabata, who Nergal met before he was evil. 


While we can agree that sometimes it is good to be bad, video games don't always allow that to shine with their protagonists. Giving the characters listed here a chance to shine in their own game will not only flesh out more of their backstory and motivations, but would be a fun experience for players to see a unique story.

Liberties can be further taken with some villains if they live on as their next plot could always be improved upon after their initial defeat. Gamers would love to not only see things as the hero, but what exactly makes it worth it to be the villain.