Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Boxing Day!

(pulls out a Pokeball, pushes the button)

(Hitmonchan comes out in a flash of light, fists flying)


Oh wait - it's not about that kind of boxing.

(puts Hitmonchan back in Pokeball)

(walks off with a sheepish look on her face)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A little Christmas Eve fun....

For this year's Christmas Eve offering, the Warp Point brings you Twas the Night Before Christmas: Florida Style. Having lived in Florida most of my life, I can tell you it's tooooo accurate.

As always, NORAD is tracking Santa at this very moment. Kids (and adults!) can keep a watchful eye on Santa's travels (and maybe learn some geography in the process). Just make sure the little ones are tucked in before midnight!

That's all for this year, and may you and yours enjoy the holidays!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A musical Advent calendar

Yep, it's another Advent calendar - this time with classic Christmas music videos. I'm sure this will bring back many a memory. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011's 2011 Advent Calendar

The holidays are upon us again, and that means it's time for's Advent Calendar! The 2011 edition can be found here, and like always, it's chock-full of puzzles, games, and downloadable icons and wallpapers. Be sure to visit every day from now until Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Neo Fights: A guide to Pokemon TCG terminology.

Since it's been a long time since the last Neo Fights article....

The helpful folks at the PokeBeach forums are assembling a glossary of Pokemon TCG terminology that may be useful for newcomers and veterans alike. The glossary covers deck and card nicknames, game play, tournaments, and common tournament formats. Well worth a look.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"She'll be comin' round the (Rugged) Mountain when she comes..."

Well, I'm back from Regionals, and I'll let you know I had a great time. I finished 9th in the pre-top-cuts  standings (out of 182 Masters), but got knocked out in the Top 32. (Curse you, Vileplume and Reuniclus!) Still and all, it was great fun, both ins and out of the tournament hall. (So much has changed in Old Town since last I went there....)

For those of you with the 5th Generation Pokemon games who really love the Dream World (and who doesn't?), a new region has opened up for you to discover! The Rugged Mountain is filled with Rock- Ground- Fighting- and Fire-type Pokemon who'd love to make friends with you. Many of these Pokemon are otherwise hard to find in the regular games: Cacnea, Torkoal, Spinda, Burmy, Machop, and many others. A new mini-game has also been added; in it you have to draw lines to navigate Sableye's mine cart through a tunnel and collect gems. (It's nigh-impossible to play on a laptop, let me tell you that!)

Several new Pokemon have also been added to the Sparkling Sea: Seel, Chinchou, and Shellder.

All in all, it should provide hours of fun for any Pokemon fan. Happy hunting!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On hiatus for a few days.

From Friday, November 11 to Sunday, November 13, I will be in Orlando during Regionals and thus will be away from my computer. Until then, just sit tight - I'll be back with more exciting Pokemon content!

Friday, November 4, 2011

YouTube of the Whenever: Warmest wishes for the holidays.

For this installment of YouTube of the Whenever, a little something to warm those cold winter nights and get you into the holiday spirit: a virtual fireplace, complete with Christmas music.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Snarl if you love Zoroark!

For those of you in the US, Canada, or Australia, a very special Zoroark is available via Mystery Gift at your local Toys 'R' Us store. What's so special about it? Well, it just happens to know Snarl, a halfway decent move that was previously unavailable (since it comes in a TM that is itself unavailable by normal means). Furthermore, this Zoroark is male, so you can breed Snarl onto any Pokemon that can learn the move. Cool, huh?

This Zoroark will only be available from now until the 25th in the US, the 24th in Canada, and October 16 in Australia, so don't delay!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never forget...

...that freedom isn't free.

May the light of goodness and love never go out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oh, Deer(ling)! More C-Gear skins?

Yep, the C-Gear skins just keep on coming! First up, the password for a Croagunk C-Gear skin has been revealed to Nintendo Power subscribers. For those of you who are non-subscribers, the password is NPCGEAR. It is available from now until March 1, 2012.

Next up, we have several Deerling skins - one for each of its forms. The password for the Spring form is JJW2X97D. It is available from now until October 11, 2012. The passwords for the other three forms will be posted as soon as they are revealed.

Finally, a Zoroark skin is available from now until January 11, 2012. The password is ZoroarkMonth11.

Monday, August 15, 2011

More C-Gear skins available

Sorry for the lateness of this post - when your AC is busted, you just don't feel like blogging. ;)

Two more C-Gear skins have recently been made available on the Pokemon Global Link site:
  • A Worlds-themed skin featuring Pikachu can be unlocked using the password WorldsCGear (BTW, congrats to all who participated!);
  • And for those who can't get enough of Audino (or who can't stand her pretty face!), the Earful Audino skin can be unlocked using the password YAHOOAUDINO.
These skins are only available until September 15, so get them while they last!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two new C-Gear skins revealed!

For those of you who thought Munna was too girly for your C-Gear, I have great news: the Pokemon Global Link site has two new skins available! From now until the summer of 2012, Pikachu and Mincinno C-Gear skins will be available for those who have the appropriate password. The passwords are:
  • Pikachu: PikachuCGear
  • Mincinno: PGLWELCOME

Saturday, July 9, 2011

YouTube of the Whenever: The final countdown.

Since I haven't done a YouTube of the Whenever in a while....

After 30 years and 135 missions, the Space Shuttle program is about to come to a close. Yesterday at 11:26 am ET, Space Shuttle Atlantis started its final mission: a 13-day journey to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

Contrary to what some people believe, this does not mark the end of the USA's space program. It does, however, mark the beginning of a hiatus in American manned spaceflight. In the interim, the Russians will send people to and from the ISS.

I'm going to miss the Space Shuttle; watching it take off (even from South Florida!) was one of the perks of living in Florida. I will, however, be keeping an eye on the various commercial enterprises who are hoping to establish a presence in the final frontier. Things have looked pretty good for them so far.

Godspeed, Atlantis.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gotta forget 'em all!

A picture that has been making the rounds in the blogosphere shows one person's vaguely-remembered names of the original 150 Pokemon. Some of these would make interesting nicknames (e. g. "Herpderp" for a Slowbro).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Soylent Brown?

Only in Japan....

Japanese scientists have made faux meat out of the most unlikely of sources: human poo. (Well, actually, it's a mixture of fats and proteins derived from sewage bacteria mixed with soy protein, but close enough.) Now that's one "steak" I'd want cooked well-done, thankyouverymuch....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Early rotation to HGSS-on

This is a reminder to all Pokemon trainers who are thinking of attending Nationals and/or Worlds (and even those who aren't). As of July 1, the official Modified Pokemon TCG format will be Heart Gold Soul Silver-on. Please construct your decks accordingly. That is all.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Final 3 2010-2011 League seasons and their promos

This is fairly old news, but I've been extremely busy, with most of my attention divided between work, Battle Roads, and trying to build new decks for the upcoming format (more on that later).

Anyway, the final seasons of the 2010-2011 Pokemon League year will be based around Pokemon Black and White's starters: Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott. The season promos will be as follows:

Patches featuring these Pokemon will also be available for those who fill up their League scorecards.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts on a failed Rapture

So, May 21, 2011 has come and gone, and the only thing that was "raptured" was the Internet access on my laptop. (Fortunately, my father fixed that, although he's not sure how). Harold Camping, the perpetrator of this failed prophecy, has since skedaddled, taking over a million dollars with him - but not without changing his Rapture prediction to October 21. (Some people just don't know when to quit). His radio station has also been left empty. Thousands of his followers have been left homeless, having sold their possessions and quit their jobs. One woman even slit her and her children's throats out of fear of the end. (Fortunately, they were taken to the hospital before they bled to death.)

This has been a tragedy on so many levels.

Now, I'm a Methodist, and not a big believer in the Rapture concept. There are Bible verses talking about the dead and the living rising up together to Heaven on Judgment Day, as well as Jesus talking about some people being taken and others left behind at the end, but nowhere does it ever give an exact date. In fact, the Bible warns us time and again that mortals won't know the day or the hour that the Lord will come. Camping and his fellow date-setters are fools, decievers, and worst of all, scaremongers. Our religion is supposed to be based off of love, not fear.

I'm going to close this post by giving my fellow Christians some words of advice:

1. Don't quit your day job or sell your possessions just because someone tells you the end is near. Only the Lord knows when the end wil happen, and the rest of us will never see it coming. All Christians can do is make sure their souls are prepared.

2. Don't get taken in by glib-talking false prophets. And that includes many televangelists.

3. Whatever good you can do in this life, do it as soon as you are able. Don't be so heavenly minded that you forget your earthly mission. Live, laugh, cry, work, and play. Appreciate the little things a bit more. Get more involved in church activities. Volunteer at the non-profit of your choice (who knows, it may net you a job). Clean out the pantry and donate something to a local food bank. Set aside some money at the beginning of a month and donate it to charity. If there isn't one in your area, start a Pokemon League (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Just do something other than sit around.

4. Read your Bible a little more than usual. You don't have to read it in one day; a chapter or three a day will suffice. If you don't know what the Good Book says, you won't be well-prepared to counter the teachings of false prophets like Camping.

5. Finally, keep preaching the Good News - and not just with words. The best thing we can do is set a good example. "And they'll know we are Christians by our love."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Munna C-Gear code leaked

For those of you who are unable to find, don't want, or are too cheap to get the Official Unova Pokedex and Guide, the password to unlock the Munna C-Gear skin is: PGLDR34M. This download is available from now until October 25, 2012.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pokewalker more accurate than traditional pedometers

This one's going to be a brief post - I'm far too busy enjoying the royal wedding festivities on TV. I wish Will and Kate the best of luck, and hope the British monarchy's "dysfunctional" period is over. But I digress....
Anyway, an Iowa State University (woohoo!) study showed that the Pokewalker - yes, that little doohickey that came with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver - is not only cuter than your ordinary pedometer, it is also more accurate than your ordinary pedometer. The details of the study can be found on the ExerGame Lab blog.
Now if I only knew where my other Pokewalker went....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pokemon Global Link now open for business!

The Pokemon Global Link just opened today after a 2-week delay, and I must say, I like what I see. Not only can you have amazing adventures catching Pokemon in the Dream World, you can also download stuff like C-Gear skins and Pokemon Musicals to your copy of Pokemon Black or White. I highly recommend you bookmark the site today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pokemon Trainer Challenge now in open beta!

...and it's looking pretty good. The Pokemon Trainer Challenge enables anyone with a Pokemon Trainer Club account to play the Pokemon TCG against 14 different virtual Trainers, each with a different deck, personality, and skill level. You can use any one of three decks (fire, water, or grass) to challenge your opponents; when the Black and White theme decks come out on April 6, they will contain codes you can use to play with their virtual versions.

As you might expect, the Trainer Challenge works a lot more smoothly than third-party simulators like Redshark - deck shuffling and card drawing are automatic, only legal moves are allowed. The AI needs a little tightening up, though; opponents will often use Trainer cards when there is little need to use them (e. g. Potion on a Pokemon that has only 1 damage counter on it). Hopefully, any kinks that might be present will be ironed out when player-vs.-player matches debut in the fall.

The Trainer Challenge is also a great opportunity for players to get acquainted with the new Black and White rules before they come into effect (whenever that is). The two most important changes are:

  • You can play Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums on your first turn, even if you go first.

  • You cannot play Rare Candy on the first turn of a game or on the first turn a particular Pokemon is in play.

The Pokemon Trainer Challenge can be found at It's a great place for newcomers to learn the ropes and experienced players to hone their skills.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More earthquake-related Pokemon news

As the drama in Japan unfolds, the effects on the Pokemon world continue to manifest themselves. Japan's Worlds qualifiers have already been canceled; no word on how or even if they will pick who gets an invite. This will have a major effect on Worlds itself in August. Perhaps Americans will sweep this year?

Also, for those of you who have been itching to have fun in the Dream World, the Pokemon Global Link's international debut has been delayed until further notice. It was originally intended to open on March 30. C'mon, I want it now....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japanese Earthquake Update - the Pokemon perspective

I'm sure everyone has seen pictures of the devastation wrought by the recent earthquake in Japan, and let me tell you, words can hardly describe it. It may sound crass or tasteless to some, but images of Hiroshima spring to mind. Yes, the damage was that severe.

As you might imagine, this has had an effect on the people who helped make the Pokemon games possible. I'll start off with what needs to be said: contrary to what some media outlets have said, Satoshi Tajiri (Pokemon's creator, if you didn't know this by now) is alive and well. Two of the artists involved, however, ran into problems: Ken Sugimori, head artist for the Pokemon games, was stuck in Naha Airport in Okinawa for a few days, whereas Midori Harada (one of the better artists for the Pokemon TCG) couldn't leave her office for 3 days due to a damaged elevator. Both are now home safe.

The main Nintendo headquarters suffered no damage from the quake.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan

Since this is a disaster of major importance and since Pokemon is a Japanese game, I simply have to blog abot this.

Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that a magnitude 8.9 earthquake and its accompanyting tsunami struck Japan yesterday, causing untold destruction and great loss of life. As always, my prayers and condolences go out to the victims of this disaster. Let's hope all the great Pokemon TCG players escaped unharmed.

Monday, February 28, 2011

More Evolution Packs are out!

(Less than a week before Pokemon Black and White come out in the US...the anticipation is killing me!)

Anyway, two new Evolution packs have come out, this time featuring Blastoise and Torterra from HS: Unleashed. Each comes with a HGSS-series booster pack and a full line of their respective Pokemon (including a holofoil Stage 2). The Blastoise is excellent with Feraligatr Prime from HGSS; the Torterra, alas, has no such combos. Still, if you're a promo hunter like me, you may want to pick these up. At $5 a pop, the price is right.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'll take "Reasons the World Is Screwed" for $200, Alex.

Well, the first part of a historical Jeopardy! match between IBM's Watson supercomputer and puny humans Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter has just finished, and I must say, I'm impressed. It didn't turn out to be the curbstomp many expected, but Watson sure gave his human opponents a run for their money.
Depending on how the rest of the 3-day series turns out, this could be an important milestone in the development in human-level AI. This could have implications for the future of search engines: imagine a search engine that can handle questions in plain English when you have no clue what the answer to your question is. Once they iron out some of the kinks, that is....

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Monday, February 7, 2011

More Pokemon Black and White-related downloads

Good news for those who were unable or unwilling to go to a Gamestop last month: the Shiny Legendary Beasts will be available for download over Nintendo WiFi. Raikou will be available from now until February 13, Entei will be available next week, and Suicune the week after that.

A special Celebi will be downloadable in North American Gamestop stores from February 27-March 6, as well as in a few European venues (e. g. Spaceworld stores in Norway from February 14-March 4). This little green fairy does double duty: not only will it unlock a bit of Team Rocket-related backstory when downoaded or traded to Heart Gold or Soul Silver, when it's transferred to Pokemon Black or White, one can obtain a level 10 Zorua from a young boy in Castelia City.

Also, the first Nintendo WiFi download for Pokemon Black and White has been announced. The Liberty Pass will be available in North America from March 6-April 10 and in Europe from March 4-April 22. This item will allow you to travel to Liberty Island where you can capture Victini.

It's going to be a busy month for Pokemon players. Hope y'all have Pokemon Black and White preordered!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Reminder: Pokemon Black and White release dates

Pokemon Black and White will be released in Europe on March 4, 2011, in North America on March 6, 2011, and in Australia and New Zealand on March 10, 2011. Mark your calendars accordingly.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pokemon Black and White Sneak-Peek Tins coming out in March!

A new set of tins is coming out in March, and they look better than ever! The Black and White Sneak-Peek tins are going to be packed: Not only will they come with 4 booster packs (1 Call of Legends, 3 older but still Modified-legal packs) and 1 of 3 exclusive promos (Snivy, Tepig, or Oshawott), they will include a figure and a mini-pack containing 5 preview cards of the upcoming Black and White set, all featuring 5th-generation Pokemon. Because of this, these tins will be a bit more expensive than their earlier counterparts ($15.99 each).