Top 5 Most Annoying Doubles Pokemon

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So, as readers of my most recent blog posts will know, I have recently taken up competitive Pokemon battling, more specifically, competitive doubles battles. This has gone fairly well; I’ve battled my way through the battle spot to become rated in the top 20 in the UK. Those of you who would point out that this may be down to the UK only having 20 competitive players may have a point, but either way its going well. However, one thing that has become apparent is that there are some Pokemon which are so overused or annoying that their mere appearance in a battle is enough to send your blood pressure through the roof. Now, don’t get me wrong, these Pokemon do have their counters, but often they are so limited or specific that if that option has become unavailable for whatever reason, they can become a nightmare to deal with.

5. Landorus
I’ve picked on Landorus here, but really any of the three genie Pokemon could feature in this spot. With good speed and attack power, decent defences and intimidate ability, this Pokemon can hit hard and severely reduce your Pokemon’s attacking capability. This in itself is not a huge problem, but often these Pokemon run the Choice Scarf item which hugely increases the speed of the Pokemon. Given the good base speed it becomes very hard to outspeed this Pokemon. You are then guaranteed to endure rockslide after rockslide to huge damage with a pretty high chance of being flinched and being unable to attack back. This can shut down a battle very quickly if you are caught unprepared. Sadly, this Pokemon is also everywhere, so your chances of running into it are pretty high.

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4. Smeargle
This is one of the most bland and uninspiring Pokemon that I have encountered in a while. Unfortunately it is also used pretty frequently. It can learn any Pokemon move that isn’t ghost type, but there is only one reason that anybody uses this Pokemon: Dark Void. This move puts both of the opponents Pokemon to sleep, rendering you absolutely helpless for anything up to three turns. Unless you have filled a slot with a Pokemon specifically designed to tackle this problem then your options can be pretty limited. Words cannot describe the rage of sitting there as both of your Pokemon sleep away taking an absolute battering. You can switch out of course but that Dark Void will be coming back with a vengeance. I don’t mind gimmicky play, but there is something offensive about it coming from a Pokemon as bland as Smeargle.

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3. Darkrai
This Pokemon suffers from all the same problems as Smeargle only more so. Not only does this Pokemon know Dark Void, but it also has the ability Bad Dreams, which slowly damages all Pokemon who are asleep. Not only will your Pokemon be getting damaged every turn by other moves, but you will also slowly be leeched of health for all the time that sleep lasts. Oh, and Darkrai is tougher and more powerful than Smeargle in almost every way. Fun, eh?

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2. Rotom Wash
Don’t get me wrong, I like most of the Rotom forms, particularly heat and mow. I also like Rotom wash. It is undeniably annoying though. It’s too useful. Its pretty bulky, has good special attack and is only weak to grass due to its levitate ability. Given the other popular Pokemon in doubles, it really is pretty hard to not take this Pokemon. As a result it really is everywhere. Be prepared.

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1. Mega-Kangaskahn
Possibly one of the most over powered mega-evolutions, this Pokemon’s ability Parental Bond allow the Pokemon two attack twice each turn, with the second hit doing a third of the damage of the first hit. This is pretty powerful in itself, but where things get really crazy is that any move which has an effect will happen twice. For example, power-up punch will hit twice and increase attack by two stages. This is stupidly powerful as your next turn you will be able to get two attacks in with your already powerful attack raised by 2 stages. There are ways of taking this Pokemon down, but if you make even a single mistake its game over.

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As always, if anyone wants to battle just drop your friend code into the comments section and we can set something up.

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Top 5 Video Game Soundtracks

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When we talk about video games that we love, we invariably find ourselves often praising elements such as graphics, gameplay, re-playability, addictiveness and so on. These factors are, of course, very important and without some or all of these factors being done well, a game may well end up dead on its feet and relegated to the 3 for £10 section of used game stores. One element that I seem to remember most about many of my favourite games is the strength of their soundtracks. For me, this can either make or break a video game. In recognition of this fact I’ve put together a list of my top 5 video game soundtracks and in game music.

 

Pokémon (All generations)

Ok, we all know that this was going to feature on my list somewhere, but its place on the list is well warranted. The original Pokémon theme is a classic in its own right and the very sound of it summarises childhood for many video game fans. Not only are the main themes for the Pokémon games extremely iconic and catchy, but the in game wild/trainer/gym leader battle music is incredibly emotive and addictive. Even in the earlier generations when sound quality from those tiny speakers was pretty dodgy at best, the music still managed to worm its way into your brain to be regurgitated at the most socially inconvenient times. Humming the Pokémon theme tune on the bus is guaranteed to get you a seat by yourself and earn you reproachful looks from all and sundry.

 

Banjo-Tooie:

This is one of my favourite games of all time. People who have read my posts before will probably be tired of me talking about this game but it really is that good. The gameplay, level design, characters and atmosphere are all phenomenal, and the soundtrack is no less than brilliant. From the jolly opening sequence theme, which creates immediate happiness to all familiar with the game, to the in-game music the quality is outstanding. Noteworthy mentions include the melancholy spiral mountain soundtrack, Mayahem Temple, Witchyworld, Terrydactyland levels and, my personal favourite, Hailfire Peaks (both Icy and Fire sides) which never fails to blow me away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cws3qjFU94

 

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask:

To be honest, almost any Zelda game could feature on this list, Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess in particular have some cracking soundtracks to their levels which are incredibly memorable and emotive. However, Majora’s Mask just edges it for me. The music to most of their levels and the ocarina melodies are just so incredibly moving, melancholy and just downright weird. The song of healing, Clock Town’s main theme and the music for the Stone Tower stand out in my mind but there are many other examples of stunning musical composition in this game (I’m looking at you Elegy of Emptiness.) The audio effects for Zelda have always been spot on. I would recommend, if you have not already done so, to pick up a copy of the special orchestral soundtrack CD which was released with Skyward Sword, the 7 or 8 tracks included on the CD are all beautifully performed by a full orchestra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNDLoncWz30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDX4ZwUeOok

 

Donkey Kong 64

Jazz. Bongo drums. Singing Simians. This game literally has it all. The music for the in-game levels is exceptional from the joyous Jungle Japes to the dank Gloomy Galleon. Each level’s music perfectly mirrors the intended atmosphere of the level in question. My personal favourite is the classic Angry Aztec level but there are many others of an equally high quality. Except the DK rap. Never the DK rap. That can go straight to hell. (As a side-note, I never actually got to finish this game; the stupid mini game was too hard.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smx_2U6I5_A&list=PLF089B4078C19D358

 

Super Mario 64:

Where to start with this game? Super Mario 64 is one of the best games of all time with a soundtrack to match. This game features some of the best level design on a 3D platformer ever and the music only helps to enhance the gameplay. Each tune complements the level perfectly and creates a distinct atmosphere, making each level a hugely memorable experience. I defy anyone who has prior experience of this game to hear any of the level themes on this game without being transported into a state of childhood delight. Honourable mentions include Lethal Larva Land, Shifting Sand Land, Cool, Cool Mountain and Bowser: In the Dark World. The music on the run-up to the Bowser confrontations is epic and really ramps up the tension. It’s hard to believe that anyone could not have played this game, but if you haven’t do so, but make sure it’s the N64 version rather than the DS, its way better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vthq62tj5XI&list=PLB4DC2508C4D0076D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSonGBpRMrI