Zoinks! Its a ghost!

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It has readily become apparent to me, after playing through Pokemon X and Y and after examining all of the latest 6th generation Pokemon, that the ghost type has some of the best designed Pokemon in the entire game. Most types have at least a handful of great designs, but the ghost type is absolutely littered with them. This creates quite a problem for those formulating a new team with a desire of including one of these great designs. Which ghost Pokemon do you choose? You are literally spoiled for choice. In my more competitive team I opted for Aegislash (obviously) but this meant missing out on some great Pokemon. In light of this I decided to create a full on 6 Pokemon ghost type team.

Now, mono type teams are always risky for obvious reasons, but if you feel like putting one together then ghost is a pretty good choice. Weak only to dark and other ghost types the low type weakness ratio is a good start. However, dark type Pokemon attacks can be learned by a pretty large variety of Pokemon so beware on that front. However, I have tried to put a ghost type team together which could at least stand a chance against normal Pokemon teams, as competitive teams are a bit beyond a mono type team (usually.) Below I have listed my 6 choices along with their move sets and EVs (and the assumption of at least 4 perfect IVs) along with a reason for selection.

Mismagius (Ghost)

Ability: Levitate

EVs-  220 speed, 180 special attack, 100 defence.

Dazzling Gleam, Thunderbolt, Power Gem, Shadow Ball.

Types covered: Dragon, fighting, dark, water, flying, fire, bug, ice, ghost, psychic.

The choice for a pure ghost type Pokemon came down to a toss-up between this Pokemon and Dusknoir. This Pokemon is a mischievous ghost wizard with a cool hat and so earns a selection. With great speed and special attack, along with a large moveset, this Pokemon will make a great sweeper against a large variety of foes.

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Trevenant (Ghost/Grass)

Ability: Natural Cure

EVs- 250 defence, 250 Special defence, remaining into attack.

Leech Seed, Horn Leech, Phantom Force, Rock Slide.

Types covered: Water, rock, ground, ghost, psychic, fire, ice, flying.

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I love this Pokemon. It looks fantastic; an ent-like cursed tree which could have been taken from an awful horror film. Fulfilling a more defensive role, this Pokemon’s ability to use leech seed and horn leech to replenish health, coupled with higher defence and special defence stats means that this Pokemon will be more able to take hits. Phantom force allows Trevenant to replenish health whilst being out of harms reach and also offers a way to bypass and potential protects used by the opposition. A fair attack stat coupled with rock slide allow Trevenant to have a decent chance at taking out Pokemon which it is weak against. The potential for using a sitrus berry combined with the Harvest hidden ability offers further HP replenishing opportunities.

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Chandelure: (Ghost/Fire)

Ability: Flame Body

EVs- 160 Special Attack, 250 Speed, 100 Special defence

Flamethrower,  Shadow Ball, Energy Ball, Will-O-Wisp.

Types covered: Grass, Steel, Ice, Ghost, Psychic, Water, Ground, Rock.

Another sweeper with good special attack and speed, this Pokemon has a varied moveset allowing it to take on a multitude of foes. Very few, if any, Pokemon will have a resistance to all of these attack types, and the status move and flame body offer huge potential for inflicting burns as a last ditch move when low on health.

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Aegislash: (Ghost/Steel)

Ability: Stance Change

EVs- Defence 250, Special Defence, 250

Shadow Sneak, Sacred Sword, Sword Dance, King’s Shield.

Types covered: Ghost, Psychic, Rock, Steel, Dark, Ice, Normal.

A Pokemon worthy of any team, Aegislash was always going to feature on this ghostly line-up. Far more technical to use, this Pokemon offers huge potential. Extremely high special defence and defence offer protection for setting up a few sword dances which will allow Aegislash to take out all but the strongest Pokemon in one hit, aided by the stance change which switches attacking and defensive stats depending on the move used. Shadow sneak offers priority to guarantee first move except against moves with higher priority, and King’s shield offers a way of switching back into the defensive shield form and the potential to lower the opponents attack. If used right, this pokemon is to be feared.

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Gengar: (Ghost/Poison)

Ability: Levitate

EV’s- Speed 200, Special Attack 200, Special Defence 100.

Shadow Ball, Dazzling Gleam, Sludge Bomb, Thunderbolt.

Types covered: Ghost, Psychic, Dark, Fighting, Dragon, Grass, Fairy, Water, Flying.

High speed and special defence coupled with a varied moveset make Gengar a great multi-purpose hitter able to take on a variety of foes. The potential for mega evolution with this Pokemon give it an edge in a potentially tight corner. Note that the mega form negates the levitate ability leaving it vulnerable to pesky earthquake users such as Garchomp.

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Spiritomb: (Ghost/Dark)

Ability- Pressure

EVs- Special defence 200, Defence 200, Attack 100.

Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Hypnosis, Toxic.

Types covered: Ghost, Psychic.

Decent defensive stats coupled with a grand total of one type weakness have made Spiritomb a more defensive selection. The toxic/hypnosis moves should help to cause some serious status problems, and the priority moves of both shadow sneak and sucker punch allow Spiritomb to mete out at lest some damage as well.

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Do you agree or disagree with these selections? What type would you make a single type team out of? Let me know!

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The Ghost of Christmas Past- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

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‘Wait a minute- Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon was released ages ago, why review it now?’ I hear you say. Well, despite the fact that I have had the game for a while now, I didn’t want to write anything about it until I could spend more time playing through it, which I have now managed to do.

Diving right into the game, the premise is as uncomplicated and straightforward as that of its predecessor. You are given a Poltergust (ghost vacuum) and pointed in the direction of a series of locations which need to be rid of a slew of ghosts ranging from the mildly pesky to the down-right deranged. It sounds simple, and it is. This is a game which you really can just pick up and play right off the bat; no lengthy tutorials or back story break up the pace of the game. The mechanics are simple; stun ghosts with a burst from your flashlight and then use your Poltergust to hoover them up and trap them in a miniature ghost prison. The bigger and more powerful the ghost, the longer and more difficult this process becomes, with some requiring upgrades to both the torch and hoover to defeat. Upgrades are bought via treasure collected throughout the various levels, adding an incentive to flash and hoover literally anything that might contain treasure.

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Sounds simple? Yes, it is. Is it boring? Actually, no it isn’t. Despite the fact that you are essentially wandering around scooping up ghosts and treasure, the game manages to keep this feeling fresh and engaging. This is in part down to the visuals. The game looks great, with wonderful animations on both Luigi and the ghosts, and beautifully rendered environments which have a charmingly haunting, macabre look to them. The spectral effects on the ghosts is impressive, enabling them to act as you would expect a ghost to. In places they almost appear to be fluid, phasing through objects, hiding in vases and turning invisible to try and trick the eye. In addition to this, the game actually makes a good use of the 3D option. The game looks beautiful to begin with but the 3D really does bring the game to life (metaphorically speaking.)

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The musical composition for this game is also very good and contributes well to creating a haunting atmosphere which enables you to become fully immersed in the act of ghost hunting. Each level has its own theme music which I can guaranteed you will end up humming to yourself for days after playing. The manic cackling and gibbering of the ghosts as they go about their nefarious deeds is a nice touch which helps to add a bit of character to the games’ main enemies.

Potentially my fvourite thing about this game are the nice little Nintendo in-jokes and references scattered throughout the game such as the professor’s constant jibes at Luigi’s expense and the fact that Luigi’s mobile phone is an old DS with the Luigi’s Mansion theme tune as its ring tone. The quirky humour and simple, addictive gameplay combine to make a highly enjoyable game which you can pick up and play at any time without suddenly losing hours of your day. The levels come in short enough bursts to allow this while still retaining an air of substance. The main criticism of this games predecessor on the GameCube was that it was far too short, and i’m happy to say that this has been heeded, there are now plenty of levels to play through, but not so many that it becomes stale.

Any downsides? Well, there is no denying that the game is pretty easy overall. The game can be beat without too much difficulty. However, the main difficulty is found in trying to find all the Boo’s hidden within each level and scoring the highest level grades for capturing all ghosts and treasure without taking too much damage or losing too much time. Despite some problems with difficulty levels this game is well worth a look and is yet another example of quality 3DS gaming.

Pokemon: Simple or Frighteningly Complicated?

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After trying to improve my skills at Pokemon battling online, I found myself still being regularly defeated and clueless as to why this should be the case. I had put a decent enough team together; one that could handle pretty much any type combinations that my opponent could throw at me. However, my Pokemon seemed to do low damage even to Pokemon they were strong against. Team formation had never seemed to be too important when playing through the single player modes. In desperation, I turned to a friend for advice, who, as it turns out, is a sort of Yoda-esque fountain of knowledge on all matters pertaining to Pokemon. A Pokemon wizard, if you will. Now the Pokemon wizard maintains that this is a result of a misspent youth, but to that I say ‘Well, what else is your youth supposed to be spent on?’ The explanation given to me by the Pokemon wizard made me realise that the Pokemon games were not as simple as I had always supposed; a simple case of learning your type matches and hoping for the best. He immediately launched into an explanation of Pokemon individual stats (IVs), effort values, breeding techniques, item usage, Pokemon natures and so on and so forth.

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The feeling that this left me with is not too dissimilar to that of walking around all day oblivious to the rip in your jeans or the small food stain on your tie. When these factors of Pokemon battling were pointed out to me, I immediately felt like a fool for not realising their importance (or even their existence in some cases, effort values i’m looking at you) straight away. I also felt a bit of a sense of loss. I had clearly been playing the games wrong pretty much since Red and Blue, and this is a shame because since learning of the added layers to Pokemon raising and battling, the game seems to have altogether more depth and is ultimately more enjoyable as a result. Since learning more about the deeper mechanics of the Pokemon games, I have strived to put them into practice and become better at battling and at putting together a more competitive team.

In this I feel that I have only been partially successful. My latest team is indeed enjoying more success in the online arena, but I quickly realised that to make a truly competitive team with maxed out EVs and IVs would take more time than I care to spend, considering that I have already sinked about 70 hours plus into Pokemon X as it is. There are some mechanics in the game to make this easier, such as the new horde battle system (which I completely hated until its actual function was pointed out to me) but on the whole, it still takes some time to breed a Pokemon with a good nature and IVs and then to max out its EVs. I will continue to dabble in online battling, but I will not put anymore time into finding or breeding new Pokemon. However, I now look forward eagerly to the next release of Pokemon as I will finally be able to play a Pokemon game the way it was meant to be played from the beginning.