Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 6-Pokemon Heroes Music/Oceania IC 2017

This time we have two segments. In the first (0:46-41:27), Anne from Pikapi Podcast is back again to debate the merits of the English and Japanese ending themes of Pokémon Heroes. These two songs provide quite a contrast, so you should find it interesting.

Our second segment (41:53-58:29) is a series of interviews from the recent Oceania International Championship in Melbourne, Australia. I had a chance to interview some of the top finishers, as well as a collector of Pokémon merchandise.


Segment 1:
Pikapi Podcast
Songs for upcoming Perfume/INXS discussion

Segment 2:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pokemon TCG League Cup: Madison, WI

Daniel Martinez
The following is an interview with Daniel Martinez, one of the top four finishers in the Masters Division at a recent League Cup event in Madison, WI, who used a Lycanroc deck for the tournament.

Where are you from, and how did you get into the Pokémon TCG?

I was born and raised in Stevens Point, WI. I started collecting Pokémon cards as a child when the very first set was released, however I didn’t actually learn how to play until August 2015, around the time the Ancient Origins set came out. I got into playing the TCG from a friend who invited me to a league event one night, and from there I was hooked.

What’s the basic strategy of the deck, and why did you end up using it for this tournament?

So, funny story-my friend and I were talking about this deck and I told him it could be a good deck and he disagreed, so I actually made this deck just to try and prove him wrong. The strategy of the deck is to get the Carbink out so EXes can’t hurt you, then get the Carbink BREAK out and use the attack “Diamond Gift” to start powering up Rockruff/Lycanroc on the bench. I also ran Hammers to make it harder for my opponent to get themselves powered up.

What are some other important cards in the deck?

Definitely the Silent Lab Stadium card as it can shut off Volcanion’s “Steam Up”, as well as taking care of Shaymin EX and Hoopa EX, which makes it harder for the opponent to set up as fast as they would like. Also, the Strong Energy turned out to be the one of the most important cards, especially for Shaymin and Yveltal as they have Fighting resistance, which makes it hard to one-hit KO them. Another important card to mention would be Assault Vest. It reduces damage from defending Pokémon who have special energy attached to them by 40, so it really saved me against Mega Mewtwo decks.

What worked well?

Overall, the deck flowed pretty much how I wanted it to. The energy removal from Crushing and Enhanced Hammers allowed me to get a jump on opponents, especially ones with high energy cost attacks.

What didn’t work so well, and what might you change if you used this deck again?

I never accounted for the fact that I had no way to get my Rockruff back from the discard pile. This cost me a game against a Mega Mewtwo, where my opponent just kept switching out my Rockruff and knocking them out in one shot (they have only 60 HP). I had no way to get them back so my deck was essentially shut down. I’d definitely want to run Super Rod in the future.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Shelved Pokemon 20th anniversary tribute album revealed

An insider from a major American record label recently revealed to Poke Press the existence of a shelved tribute album, originally intended to be released as part of 2016's Pokemon 20th anniversary celebration. The album contained a number of re-arranged covers of Pokemon songs performed by a range of artists. According to the information provided, the album was put on hold shortly after the release of Pokemon Go, as the resources needed to support the game forced The Pokemon Company to shift its focus. The source did not know of any immediate plans to revive the project.

According to the source, in early 2015, The Pokemon Company approached several labels about the possibility of having some of their performers do a cover of one or more songs. In some of these instances, The Pokemon Company suggested specific combinations of songs and artists, and in other cases it was left up to the label. Either way, artists were encouraged to tweak the songs to better fit their style.

Production continued through 2015 and into 2016, targeting a November 2016 release. However, as the album was nearing completion, Pokemon Go was released, placing an unexpectedly high demand on employees at The Pokemon Company, forcing them to assign the individuals working on the album to other tasks. The future prospects for the album remain uncertain.

The insider was able to provide a partial track list:

Double Trouble (Team Rocket)-Fall Out Boy
Misty's Song-Katy Perry
The Legend Comes To Life-London Symphony Orchestra
Pokemon Johto-Pentatonix
Nobody Don't Like Christmas-Mannheim Steamroller
Aim To Be A Pokemon Master-2Cellos

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Oceania International Championship 2017

At the recent Oceania IC in Melbourne, Australia, I had an opportunity to interview several attendees. In the first, Pablo Meza talks about the Decidueye GX deck that took him all the way to second place in the TCG event:

In the  second, Zoe Lou (not Low) discusses the team she used to win the 2017 Pokemon VGC Oceania International Championship, as well as some other aspects of the game:

Finally, Asad from PokeCollection took some time out of the event to talk about his hobby of collecting Pokemon (and other) merchandise:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Anime Milwaukee 2017: Lucien Dodge

In this excerpt from a press session at Anime Milwaukee 2017, Lucien Dodge (the voice of Blue in Pokemon Origins, Chili in the main series, and Silver in Pokemon Generations), explains how he got into voice acting and how the characters he voiced differ:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 5-Pokemon 4Ever/Anime Milwaukee 2017

For this fifth episode, we have two segments. In the first (0:46-39:24), Anne from Pikapi Podcast returns to discuss the English and Japanese ending themes of Pokémon 4Ever. We talk about the songs themselves, and which one we prefer.

Our second segment (39:32-46:57) is from Anime Milwaukee 2017, where I interviewed the winner of the Pokémon Sun & Moon Tournament, who just so happens to be a YouTube Manga reviewer. Find out about his team, and his channel.

Note: During the first segment, Anne incorrectly states that Russel Velazquez wrote "Two Perfect Girls" and "Biggest Part Of My Life" on Totally Pokemon. The only song from that album he wrote is "The Game".


Segment 1:
Pikapi Podcast

Segment 2:
MangaMan's Channel
Anime Milwaukee

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pokémon TCG Sun & Moon Prerelease: Madison, WI

Zane Rego
The following is an interview with Zane Rego, a participant from a recent Pokémon TCG Sun & Moon Prerelease event in Madison, WI.

Where are you from, and how did you get into the Pokemon TCG?
I am from Stoughton, Wisconsin. I always collected Pokémon cards since I was young, so I had a lot of cards but no idea how to use them. Eventually (about a year ago), I decided to learn how to play the game through the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.

What got you to come to this prerelease?
I really wanted to get my hands on some cool cards right away. I also thought that building your deck out of random cards was a fun idea. This prerelease was the closest to me so that made it convenient to go.

What are some cards you liked from the Sun & Moon set? What did you like about them? 
The three cards I liked the most were Professor Kukui, the Oranguru prerelease card, and Lapras GX full art. I liked the Professor Kukui card because it was interesting; it doesn’t have the same effect as past professor cards. I liked the Oranguru prerelease card because as a collector having something unique and limited is what I like. The Lapras GX full art looked super good to me-the way the card shines catches your eye with ease. Not knowing much about the meta of the game, I don’t know how well it would do in play but I really liked pulling a rare card.

What's your opinion on the new GX mechanic? How does it compare to EXes?
I think the new GX mechanic will add another layer of strategy to the game. Being able to time when you use your GX move could help you win the game or maybe flip it in your favor. Being able to shift the course of the game that way makes them more interesting than EXes to me.

What kinds of things would you like to see in future Sun & Moon sets?
Personally, I would like to see more amazing art on the cards. Being a collector, that’s what I love most about them. Cards don’t have to be an EX or full art-I like the cards that are hand-drawn or clay. In this newest set, I have a Poliwag card where the art on the card is made of yarn. I think that is super cool. I also want to keep seeing more full art trainer cards.