Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gamer Drama: A Story Review of Pokemon Y

   Before you say anything—I know. Pokémon isn’t meant to be played for the story. The point of any Pokémon game is the Pokémon themselves—catching them, (EV) training them, and making the best team you can put together. The goal is always to beat the Elite Four, and then the Champion. It is to be the very best, like no one ever was (yes, I went there).

   In case you don’t know, Gamer Drama is the name for my collection of video game reviews. In these reviews, I typically focus on the story-telling aspects of the game—setting, plot, characters. Obviously, this is why the Pokémon Y edition of Gamer Drama will be shorter—the setting and main characters are nearly indistinguishable from edition to edition. Sure, you go to different regions, but they all look fairly similar. There are different Pokémon and different gyms, but the story experience of playing the game doesn’t really change significantly from game to game. This is why I’m only going to focus on the storyline.

   In Pokémon Y, your character (and four of your friends) receive starter Pokémon from Professor Sycamore. The ladies’ man prof is more laid back than previous professors, and encourages each of you to pursue your own Poké path. Shortly after meeting the professor in the Kalos region’s central city, Lumiose, he introduces you to Lysandre. This man is Kalos’s wealthiest citizen, and a genius inventor. However, he seems a little downtrodden, and he bemoans the state of the world. It’s obvious that something’s up with him.

   But that’s not your concern at the moment. You continue to make your way through the Kalos region by completing quests, catching more Pokémon, and defeating gym leaders. You begin to clash with the flamboyant members of Team Flare—who make vague references to the end of the world, and assert that they’ll be safe. While you and your rival are willing to fight Team Flare members when they pop up, you’re only mildly curious about what’s going on.

   After the seventh gym, though, you receive a message on your Holocaster. Lo and behold, Lysandre announces that he and Team Flare are going to kill almost everyone (and every Pokémon) in the world.

   Sure, there are hints of what’s going on, but they remain at the same level throughout the game. It’s only after getting seven gym badges that you’re suddenly contacted by Lysandre and the main conflict of the game crashes over your head. In Pokémon Black, the conflict between your character and Team Plasma evolved over the entire game. It almost seems like they completely forgot about making a storyline for Pokémon Y, though, and just tacked one on at the end.

   The only thing that shows the developer had plans for this storyline is the integration of the legendary Pokémon, Yveltal. Yveltal awakens every few centuries to rain death upon the world, and he powers the machine (originally created by a mysterious giant man). The only opportunity for you to catch the legendary Pokémon comes when you try to stop Lysandre’s genocide.

   The mysterious giant, I think, is the single worst part of the storyline. You see this guy once while wandering the “wilderness” of the Kalos region. The next time you see him, he’s locked up in Lysandre Labs. You witness him telling the story of an ancient war, in which he lost his beloved Pokémon. Unable to deal with its death, he builds a machine to resurrect his Flabébé. In order to do this, though, the machine kills a bunch of other people and Pokémon. Tortured by guilt, the giant’s Pokémon abandons him, and he begins to wander the wilderness for hundreds of years with the goal of finding the Pokémon again. After defeating the Elite Four, you battle the giant—the ancient King of Kalos—and in doing so, the example of your love for your Pokémon redeems him. His Flabébé floats down from the sky and rejoins him.

   The entire plotline could have worked without this character and his story. Sure, Lysandre is using his ancient machine to kill everyone, but Lysandre could have built a machine himself. He’s a genius, after all. If the main conflict was sudden, the importance of the giant is completely out of left field. It just emphasizes the lack of effort that was put into the plot of the game.

   All in all, the plot of Pokémon Y is one of the weakest in the series—at least, of the games that I’ve played (I got lost somewhere between Leaf Green and Soul Silver). As I said, though, the Pokémon games are not meant to be played for the plot. They’re just there to add a little flavor to the experience. So while the story behind Pokémon Y isn’t very good, the game is still a great experience. The innovations in the sixth generation are certainly worth checking out. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Top Five: Favorite Pokemon New to the Sixth Generation

As I said a few posts ago, I have been spending a LOT of time playing Pokemon Y. It's a little ridiculous how much time I've logged into the game since getting it the day after Christmas. I've finished the story lines, almost caught 'em all, and my time with the game is winding down as I find less and less reason to play it. But all the time I've spent playing Pokemon Y has made me an expert on the new generation Pokemon, so I present you my list of my five favorite new pocket monsters. These aren't the best, or strongest, or most badass--just the five I've enjoyed the most. I ruled out the Mega Evolutions--because they're either awesome or silly--but otherwise, everything is fair game. 


Litleo was the Pokemon that I was most excited to catch and train (read: play with in Pokemon Amie) in the sixth generation. He’s a little lion cub, which is adorable. He also has fire on him, which is awesome. Of course, Litleo and its evolution, Pyroar, are pretty much just average when it comes to Pokemon battles. Good thing I only keep this guy around for his looks.


While I chose the Sail Fossil and received the Pokemon Amaura (and its evolution, Aurorus), Tyrun and Tyrantrum are obviously the cooler choice—which is saying a lot, since Amaura is an Ice-type (see what I did there?). Who hasn’t wanted their own badass T-Rex? Tyrantrum is also the more powerful of the fossil Pokemon in the Sixth Generation, and a pretty stable member of your party. His attack and defense stats are great, and he learns better moves than Amaura/Aurorus. Also, I may not have mentioned this: he’s a T-Rex.


The internet is pretty crazy about Sliggoo’s predecessor, Goomy. It’s also fond of Goodra, Sliggoo’s evolution. But I haven’t seen Sliggoo get much love out on the web, which is a shame. Sliggoo looks like a pink and purple snail, and has a goofy smile and goofy eyes. Sliggo learns some excellent moves, had decent stats, and is a pure Dragon type—which has few weaknesses. I liked my goofy-looking Sliggoo more than my, well, goopy-looking Goodra. Team Sliggoo all the way!


You may have heard of Aegislash—this is the Ghost-type Pokemon that looks like a sword and shield. They hype about Aegislash online was huge before the game came out, and he didn’t disappoint. A third evolution, Aegislash has excellent attack and special attack stats, making its weaknesses not that upsetting. He also learns some fantastic moves. Also, I gave mine the nickname Sting. That is all.


Yveltal is the legendary Pokemon in Pokemon Y. My brother got X, and I was initially sad because I wanted the pretty deer legendary Pokemon. And then I met Yveltal. He’s a Dark/Flying type BIRD OF DEATH. Literally. He was going to be a weapon used to destroy most of life on the Poke-Planet, but then I caught him and now we’re besties. I pet him on the head, and feed him Poke-Puffs, and also use him to mow down the Elite Four and the Champion without breaking a sweat. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Yveltal.

Have you been playing Pokemon X or Pokemon Y? If you have, you should add me as a friend: my friend code for my 3DS is 3883-6512-3963. You should also leave a comment below telling me your favorite new Pokemon! Narrowing the list down to five was so difficult! I didn’t even get any of the starters on there (and, though I deliberately left out the Mega Evolutions, those are awesome, too).

Come back tomorrow for a mini edition of Gamer Drama for Pokemon Y!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Geekphoria's Second Anniversary!

The internet at my parents' house is a little wonky, so I wasn't able to post yesterday. What was I going to post about?

The fact that January 11th marked two years since my first post on Geekphoria!

Of course, I only really started posting on here with any sort of frequency the year after I began the blog, but still! Two years!

I'm planning a few things to mark the second anniversary of Geekphoria, including freebies, a giveaway, and a surprise. 

Though I suppose I can start things off a little early by showing you my new, official Geekphoria logo! If you've been on my personal Twitter page, you've already seen it, but if you haven't, I hope you'll tell me what you think:

I'm back at school starting January 19th, so all the "official" Anniversary celebrations will start then! Until then, stay tuned for your normal programming!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year Geek Tips: Planning Ahead for Con Season

January means a new year, and a new year means that convention season will be here before we know it (and, in some areas, is still going strong). Cons don't really start in Chicago until C2E2 in April, but because I'm a poor graduate student, I do like to (and need to) plan ahead in order to know exactly when I need to have the cash to play for badges/registration, hotels, and travel. My plans aren't 100% for later in the year (I want to go to Dragon Con, but I need to figure out if it's logistically possible for me), but here's a brief overview of what I'm planning for 2014 with an approximate idea of costs. Making a list of the conventions, dates, locations, and costumes for the year ahead helps me to stay organized for the year--and it could help you, too, which is why I'm sharing this.

I'm also laying out the costume ideas I have for each con, because my major "resolution" in 2014 is to expand my cosplay portfolio.

Con #1: C2E2

Where: McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
Dates: April 25(?), 26, 27
I teach until 3pm on Fridays, so I'm not sure if I can make it to the city before the end of festivities on Friday afternoon. Still, though, I purchased a 3-Day pass ($60 if purchased before the convention). I also reserved a hotel room for Saturday night at the con hotel, but the costs of that will be shared and be $70 at the highest. Gas up to Chicago from school is about $30.
Base Cost: $160

Cosplay Ideas

1. Rogue from X-Men: Evolution

2. Enchantress from Justice League Dark (If my brother doesn't come)

3. Death from The Sandman (If my brother does come)

Con #2: Anime Central

Where: Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Rosemont, IL
Dates: May 16th-18th, though I'm not 100% on which dates I will attend due to final exams.
I haven't purchased anything here, but weekend passes are currently $53. I won't get a hotel room, most likely, unless several people want to go in on it with me (which is a possibility). I'd expect to spend around $50 on a room, then. Gas to Chicago is about $30, but since we're going on a family vacation a couple days later, I won't count it as a con cost since I'll be there already.
Base Cost: $53

Cosplay Ideas

1. Aqua from Kingdom Hearts

Con #3, Possibility 1: Chicago Comic Con

Where: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL
Dates: August 21-24 (it's late this year, and the weekend RIGHT before classes begin. Thanks, guys.)
Chicago Comic Con has been my yearly convention, but I'm willing to forego it in order to go to Dragon Con, if I can afford it and get down there in time after teaching on Friday. Weekend tickets are $90, and I will be staying at my parents' house (per usual). Gas to Chicago (if I'm not there already) is about $30
Base Cost: $90- 120

Cosplay Ideas

1. Spoiler (Though I may switch her with Rogue for C2E2)

2. Riven

Con #3, Possibility 2: Dragon Con

Where: Atlanta, GA
Dates: August 29- September 1
I want to go to Dragon Con so badly. I just don't know if I'll be able to afford it--I'm not paid between June and September 16th, which would make things hard. Still, I really want to try to make this happen. I'd use the same costumes for Dragon Con as I would for Chicago Comic Con. Dragon Con costs between $85 and $100, depending on when you get tickets. I would expect to drop another $60 on my share of gas and $200 on my share of the hotel room. 
Base Cost (Estimate): $305

Con #4: Chicago TARDIS

Where: Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
Dates: November 28-30
I had so much fun last year that I just had to make plans to go again. I also have a few people coming to Chicago TARDIS with me this time, and I'm really excited to share the time with them that holiday weekend. Tickets aren't on sale yet, but it was $50 for last year. I would be driving to and from the con on Saturday and (maybe) Sunday. Travel costs from my parents' (it's the weekend after Thanksgiving) would be negligible. 
Base Costs: $50

Cosplay Ideas

1. Member of the Sibylline Sisterhood

Total Base Con Costs (With Chicago Comic Con): $353-383
Total Base Con Costs (With Dragon Con): $568

And that, my friends, is why it's important to budget and stay ahead of things. This doesn't even include costume costs, food/drink, or spending money at the con.I plan to chronicle my C2E2 costumes very closely, including all the costs of making costumes for you beginning cosplayers out there. So keep an eye out for that around March, and I'll update some of these costs to reflect those costs.

Hopefully this is helpful for those of you who plan to develop a yearly con schedule (with or without cosplaying). Part of my goals for this next year is to be more responsible financially, and this my start. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How I've Slacked Off Through The First Week of 2014

I'm a Ph.D. student, which means that I get about a month "off" each mid-December to mid-January. Technically, I should be working on my own research during this time. This year, though, I've been really bad about keeping on track of things. I was working on my finals up until the day before Christmas Eve and then, on Christmas, I received a Nintendo 3DS. Add Pokemon Y, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Resident Evil: Revelations, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds to the mix and my productivity has been down to zero.

My precious...
I've been pretty quiet on the internet since Christmas as I've been making my way through these games, but I'm going to try to be better about it this week. I have a couple of posts in the making, and I have a tee DIY on the horizon as soon as I brave the cold to get to the craft store. Or it gets warmer. Whichever comes first.

In the meantime, check out some of my recent work on Junkies Nation (I've been pretty quiet over there, too, but there's plenty to catch up with):

My review of the first episode of Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 2.
My weekly cosplay review, Weekly Cos-Day.
My review of the Indie game Cubicity.
My weekly indie game spotlight Indie Game of the Week.

I have some other things that aren't really timely (like my review of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode), but I'd appreciate the views on my other things over on JN.

Until tomorrow...