Friday, February 29, 2008

Pokemon Pearl, printmaking moving along, might try out for PotterCast acting troupe, etc.

After listening to several eps of the Pokémon podcast WTPT, I got inspired to update my collection of Pokémon games, which up till now had consisted solely of copies of Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Silver, bought for $4.99 apiece, the GameCube game Pokémon Colosseum, and Pokémon Stadium 2 and Pokémon Puzzle League for the N64 (and also Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Snap in the past). Unfortunately, it turned out I could only afford initially to buy one of the three handheld games I don't have and want (Sapphire, Leaf Green, and Pearl). So I bought Pearl, one of the new Pokémon DS games. (I may buy the other two later, but probably used, to save money). I have played a little more than 10 hours into it in the last few days, using my recently-purchased Coral Pink Nintendo DS Lite (purchased to replace my broken red DS).

Anyway, Pearl is pretty cool. As one of the two first Pokémon RPG games for DS (Pokémon Diamond, Pearl's partner game, is the other), it does utilize the DS's features quite well. For instance, it uses the stylus well, but most stuff the stylus can do the buttons can do also, if you need to stow away the stylus for some reason.

Since the last handheld Pokémon game I'd played was Silver (^_^), I was in for a surprise with this game. The graphics are SOOO much better (as I suppose they should be), you can now compete in both contests and gyms (which I guess is not new -- it came along in Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald), Team Rocket has been replaced with Team Galactic, and several other things.

Today I had a new experience. Since I was in Hearthome City, home of the Pokémon contests, I used some of the many berries I've acquired to make Poffin. The Poffin concept is new. I guess they're like buns. Anyway, you make Poffin from berries, as I said, and once you make it, you can feed it to your Pokémon to make them look better for contests. The process of making Poffin mostly involves a bunch of stirring. The thing that struck me about it though was that the Poffin bowl appeared on the touch screen, and you stirred it using the stylus. This is exactly the same way you stir potions during Potions lessons in the DS version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which I also own). Interesting similarity.

I have seen about 40 Pokémon but only actually caught a few. Let's see. I have a Budew, a Zubat (which I caught to get a Heal Ball), a Buneary, and an Abra (which I got in a trade) in my box. In my main party of Pokémon I'm fighting with, I have six Pokémon I have all given nicknames to. Here they are:

~ Prinplup (evolved from my starter, Piplup) - nicknamed "Prynne," after Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter, a book I like
~Staravia (evolved from a Starly I caught) - nicknamed "Star."
~ Luxio (evolved from a Shinx I caught) - nicknamed "Shii" (short for "Shinx").
~ Machop (caught outside Jubilife City) - nicknamed "Mac."
~ Pachirisu (caught someplace) - nicknamed "Pachie."
~ Geodude (caught in the Ravaged Path, met by accident) - nicknamed "Gio."

As you can see, I am trying to balance out types as much as possible. I have a Water type (my starter), a normal/flying type (Star), two electric types (Shii and Pachie), a fighting type (Mac), and a rock type (Gio). Granted, I don't really need two Electric types, but both Pokémon were so cute I felt I really wanted them. Plus Shii has some non-type moves (Hidden Power and Bite) that come in useful. I could use a Fire-type, but judging from the Sinnoh Pokédex, the only fire-types in the game, besides the Fire-type starter (Chimchar) and its evolutions, appear to be Ponyta and its evolution Rapidash. Although the Pearl-exclusive Houndour family is part Fire-type so I suppose they count (their other type is Dark, which gives them lots of resistances).

And yes I did meet Gio by accident. I went into the Ravaged Path early in the game to see if it went anywhere, and it didn't at that time, so I started to leave and bumped into a Geodude on the way out.

Oh and I did a contest -- my first -- and I WON! I guess my practice paid off. I thought for sure I would lose cause I did so badly on the Dance Competition. I only did well on the Visual Competition because today I bought a player's guide for Diamond and Pearl, and it lists which accessories go with which themes. You go with the theme, you get more points. So the only one I truly won on my own merits was the Acting competition, which has you show off your Pokémon's attacks to three judges. If you can work each round well so that you have your own judge each time (i.e., you don't share him or her with another contestant), you do better cause you have more of the judge's attention. The way I went about this was that I chose a different judge for each of the first three rounds. When I had to repeat a judge for turn 4, I would go for the one the other contestants weren't likely to pick. This helped my score tremendously. Though I used a Poffin-improved Star in the practice sessions, I ended up using Prynne in the actual contest, since it has a variety of moves and I knew that would give me an edge in the Acting competition.

The Visual one just involves dressing your Pokémon with accessories, even if it ends up looking a little silly. The Acting is attacks, as I said. The Dance competition has you follow the steps of the lead dancer to a certain beat. My timing was off most of the time, as it was during a similar challenge in the "Hot Thief" episode of the DS game Totally Spies! 2: Undercover.

Ok moving on real quick.

~ Printmaking: I have things set up for printing out my first blockprint in the print shop. We have to have the second blockprint done this coming week too, so I am going to try to work almost exclusively on it on Tuesday, since I haven't even started it (though I have the image picked out - that was my main problem with the first one; this time it'll probably go faster). Maybe I'll even go and work in the print lab Monday after work, since I need to go to school to buy my March bus pass anyways. Or maybe not. I'll probably be tired.

~ PotterCast Acting Troupe: they announced this a long time ago (must have been September, cause I heard that podcast when I was heading home from the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit) but they are finally doing auditions. The auditions were due March 1st (tomorrow), but they've been extended through the 8th. I think I will audition reading as Hermione, my favorite character, even though the first story will be about the "next generation" (Harry's kids, Ron and Hermione's kids, etc), since the other option is to read a line the character you want to play says in the DH Epilogue, and I have no clue what kid I want to play. The only little girls in the Epilogue are Lily Luna Potter (Harry and Ginny's daughter), Victoire Weasley (the daughter of Bill and Fleur, born one year after the Battle of Hogwarts - hence the name Victoire, which means "victory" in French), and Rose Weasley (Ron and Hermione's daughter). Supposedly, Victoire is pretty old at this point, maybe out of school already.

Ha ha. Just was poking around the Harry Potter Lexicon, and it says that Ginny post-DH went on to play for the Holyhead Harpies (a Quidditch team known for being entirely female) and later retired and went on to be the head Quidditch reporter for the Daily Prophet. We always knew Ginny would go for Quidditch!

Ha ha. Angelina Johnson married George Weasley! She's the one who was always yelling at Harry in Order of the Phoenix for missing Quidditch cause of getting detention with Umbridge. Anyway yeah she married George and they have two kids, Fred and Roxanne. (Roxanne? Why Roxanne?).

Hermione - yay Hermione - started her career working to improve the conditions for house-elves and other "disenfranchised creatures" via the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and then went on to work for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and "put an end to pro-pureblood laws" (a very Muggle-born thing to do). Dang, isn't that just like Hermione? Further S.P.E.W. (the Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare) and then go on to help Muggle-borns like herself. I love Hermione!

Ok I'm tired. Good night.

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