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> Love4Yumi's Review Station, Video games, movies, shows, top 10's,
Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jun 2 2010, 03:24 PM
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Hey everybody, I've noticed a lot of review topics & thought that I would make one as well. I'll start with the show that brought us all together... That's right. I'm reviewing...

HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI (yay!)
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/06/an...ffy_amiyumi.jpg


MY BACKSTORY
I originally thought this show seemed like a stupid girly show. But one fateful day, I was SO bored. Seriously, there was NOTHING to do. (Must be divine intervention) I flipped through the channels & saw this show on. I thought nothing more then "mabye I'll make fun of this for a while." I was very surprised. This show was actually good. Very good in fact. So good, I kept coming back whenever it came on, wanting to see more & more of it, till I got hooked in. Then I found the HHPAY fourms & the rest is history.
END OF BACKSTORY

This show is based on two real musicians Ami & Yumi... Okay, I'm at SHHPAYD, do I honestly need to explain it? The animation style was quite unique, I usually don't care if something is CGI or 2-D. I either like a show or not, regardless of HOW it's animated. This may be the only time I ever point out the animation in a show. Now THAT'S saying something.

What really makes this show appealing are the characters. Ami is just simply adorable & is always upbeat & positive. What makes Ami special though, is that despite her character trait as the "happy lala" type, Ami never gets annoying. She's always just adorable, regardless of situation.

And Yumi is a perfect contrast to Ami, although they still have enough in common to get along. Yumi's the sarcastic member of this dynamic duo & maintains a cool attitude throughout the series. What I like most about Yumi is how much of a tomboy she is, but not enough so to get annoying. I've always liked the ladies with attitude, (Yumi & Renamon also have blue eyes, coincidence?) so that played a big factor as to why I like Yumi so much. She's often the funny one of the group, not to say that Ami dosen't have her moments either. I don't have Yumi in my username for nothing.

And Kaz, the manager of the band, is a cheapskate. But despite that, even Kaz is pretty likeable. I think he's SOOO much better then Mr.Krabs of recent Spongebob episodes, because despite dragging Ami & Yumi into things, he does appreciate them. When even the "selfish" character is likeable, you know you have goo characters.

The episode plots are actually pretty interesting. Even if ideas like secret agents or doing something for somebody who gets hurt were done already, HHPAY has a unique style to it that makes it funny & entertaining & the episodes starring their cats & Kaz remind me so much of Tom & Jerry cartoons.

But tragedy struck... In Julie AmiYumi, after Julie's evil plan is foiled, she swears vengence... CANCELLED! Cartoon Network had the stupid idea to cancel this show. Cancelling this show spelled the end for CN's ratings as they have never put on a good show since.

When it is all said & done, HHPAY was one of the best shows I've ever seen & easily gets a perfect 5 out of 5. Even when CN's other shows sucked, HHPAY was there to keep me from noticing. Now that it's gone, CN's terrible shows have been exposed & their ratings are down the toilet. But HHPAY will live on in all our hearts & our fanfics.

PROS
- Fantastic characters, all were likeable
- A unique animation style
- Interesting stories with unique twists

CONS
-Was stuck on an incompotent channel.

Hope you all enjoyed this review.

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Zillaman
 Posted: Jun 8 2010, 05:25 PM
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Great review! I'm looking forward to more of your reviews.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jun 9 2010, 05:31 PM
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My next review is on the beginning of my favorite video game series... The series where I based The Nathan Chronicals from.

RATCHET & CLANK
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Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando was actually my first experiance with R&C & the original R&C was the last R&C game I bought till A Crack In Time came out.

Anyway, the story begins with Ratchet working on his spaceship but needing a key component, a robotic ignition system, which he does not have. Meanwhile, at a sentry robot factory, the computer makes an error & spits out a tiny little robot. This robot finds what's called an infobot that exposes his creator's evil scheme. The robot tries to escape in a ship, but is shot down over planet Veldin, Ratchet's home world. Ratchet sees the robot's ship & decides to check it out. Ratchet recovers the robot from the wreck. The robot wakes up & alerts Ratchet to the main bad guy, Chairman Drek, who's plan to solve the issue of his polluted planet, is to tear large portions of other planets & mold them into one super planet for his race of Blaarg. The tiny robot asks Ratchet to help him find a superhero named Captain Qwark to help him stop Drek. The tiny robot has a robotic ignition system built into it, which will allow him to start Ratchet's ship. Along the way, Ratchet gives the robot the name Clank & their adveture begins.

The game has a decent story, not the best ever in a R&C game but hey, we all have to start somewhere right? Anyway, the story does have a major plot twist that changes everything. After tricking Ratchet & Clank to navigate through a deathcourse on planet Umbris, it's revealed that Qwark is actually working for Drek & after Ratchet defeats Qwark's Snagglebeast, becomes bitter towards Clank (who lead him & Ratchet into the trap) & vows revenge on Captain Qwark in a way that's similar to Jak wanting revenge on Baron Praxis in Jak II. Ratchet & Clank must learn the hard way to cooperate with one another & it's not till Ratchet finally does get revenge on Qwark in a space battle does he realize what a selfish jerk he was for not taking Drek seriously as the bigger threat.

Now on to the gameplay. Ratchet & Clank is quite diffirent from other shooters like Call Of Duty or Halo because it's not just a shooter, it's also a free-roaming platformer like Insomniac's Spyro The Dragon series. And I would be a fool not to mention the weapons. Sure there are the typical rocket launcher, the rapid-fire weapon (blaster) & mines, but there are plenty of unique weapons like the Tesla Coil which fires an arc of electricity at enemies, a flamethrower, the Visibomb Gun which launches a self-steering missle & a chicken morphing ray! (An upgrade makes the morphed chickens even bigger! Where's a KFC when you need one?) And the ultimate weapon... The one that started a chain... The original R.Y.N.O (Rip Ya a New One) which pretty much puts the challenge level at 0%. The focus on weapon combat was very diffirent from other platformers at the time, although there were a few weapons/gadgets I thought were useless. (The Taunter just makes noise, yeah, that's worth thousands of my hard-earned bolts)

The graphics are very colorful & all the planets have bustling citys, especially Metropolis, which is pretty much a futuristic New York City.

To be perfectly honest, although the characters are all intoduced, they aren't really that great. The characters are kinda generic. Qwark's a glory hog like John Cena, Clank's a naive know-it-all & Ratchet's kind of a whiner who sounds like a surfer dude. (Let's catch some waves, homey!) The sequal improves on the characters, which is good news.

The music is just like something you would hear in a sci-fi movie which being in a series of alien worlds is fitting.

As for difficulty, this is the second most difficult R&C game (Deadlocked being the hardest) especially the final boss Drek. He's VERY hard without the R.Y.N.O which is why most guides suggest saving up for it or exploiting glitches for bolts.

All in all, this is the beginning to a legendary franchise. Although it's not perfect, it sets up for the sequel, which will change the franchise.... Forever!

Score: 4/5

PROS
-Excellent graphics for an early PS2 game
-Difficulty is just about right, with puzzles that require a bit of thinking
-Excellent graphics that depict a futuristic space society. (like Star Wars)
-Great variety of weapons. All of them are diffirent from each other.
-Unique weapons that no other game series has.
CONS
-Not very intresting characters; Ratchet's a whiney surfer dude.
-A few weapons/gadgets are just useless & not worth bolts

I'm thinking about making a top 10 list for next week, so see ya then!

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Zillaman
 Posted: Jun 9 2010, 07:57 PM
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Great review.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jun 16 2010, 05:38 PM
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One of my sister's friends decided to show us how to play the Pokemon games on our PC which is really quite addicting. But I also remember my experiance with Pokemon Silver & remember a few of the mistakes I made & so I would like to make a top 10 list.

TOP 10 THINGS NOT TO DO IN A POKEMON GAME

#10 FAIL TO REPLACE YOUR WEAKER MOVES
I made this mistake with my Typlosion. I had both Flame Wheel & Flamethrower on my Typlosion. Flamethrower is the better fire attack. If I had gone up against a rock or water type, 2 of my 4 moves (half) would be ineffective. Let this be a lesson. When the oppurtunity arises to get a stronger attack that's just as accurate, take the stronger attack.

#9 PUMP YOUR POKEMON ON RARE CANDIES
If you find Rare Candies & give them all to one Pokemon, it's a mistake. Rare Candies are bad for your Pokemon's stats. It's often better to raise your Pokemon the hard way, through good old-fashioned battles.

#8 CATCH A HIGHER LEVER VERSION OF A POKEMON YOU CAN CATCH AT A LOWER LEVEL
Say you run into a LV30 Pikachu & catch it. Then say you have a LV3 Pikachu & work it to LV30. Notice anything? The Pikachu you raised since LV3 most likely has better stats then the one you caught at LV30. Again, raising them the old-fashione way is better for their stats.

#7 CATCH AN EVOLVED POKEMON AND CATCH IT'S LOWERED FORM
Say you catch a Raticate... And you've also caught a Rattata. It's often easier just to raise said Rattata till it evolves into Raticate. Especially when you try to store your Pokemon in boxes. Makes it easier to organize & saves you from having to release a lot of Pokemon.

#6 MAKE A LOT OF IN-GAME TRADES
Most of the in-game trades are not very good. Like trading a Haunter for Xatu. Wouldn't it be better to just raise a Natu without having to get rid of your Haunter? Unless there is no other way to get a Pokemon in-game (You can get an Aerodactyl in exchange for a Chansey in Pokemon Gold/Silver. It's the only way to get an Aerodactyl) or get something that's useful (can get a Machop in exchange for Abra) it's often better not to use in-game trades.

#5 GIVE SERIOUS BATTLERS HM MOVES
HM moves like Cut or Strength are needed to navigate places in the Pokemon universe but in battle, those moves arn't very good & you're often better served with moves like Body Slam or Return. Catching a pokemon just to dump needed HMs on it is actually a good idea.

#4 NEGLECT YOUR ITEMS
I can understand saving Potions for trainer battles, but remember that you have them. Key items like Burn Heal, Awakening or your Potions can turn the tide of a battle back in your favor in an emergency. (Items not allowed in battles with fellow human players)

#3 BATTLE LOW-LEVEL WILD POKEMON FOR EXPERIANCE
Trying to raise a LV30 Dragonair into a LV55 Dragonite will be almost impossible if you're battling LV3 Caterpies. Case closed.

#2 WASTING TM's
Here is one of the biggest mistakes I've made. I had TM22 which contained Solarbeam. I could have given it to my Ho-Oh or Houndoom & made a combo with Sunny Day to give water-types a nasty surprise... But no... I gave it to a Togetic. A FLIPPING TOGETIC! And with most TM's, you only get one. There are some you can buy, but they are very expensive. Be very careful with your TM's cause most of the time, you only get one.

#1 RAISE ONE POKEMON ABOVE EVERYBODY ELSE
I am most guilty of this. My first pokemon Cyndaquil I raised above everybody else. I managed to get my Typlosion to LV100 but I sorely neglected everybody else, which my game experiance a lot harder then it should be. If you raise one Pokemon over everyone else on your team & it goes down... You might as well give up.
_______
There was 1 more mistake I forgot to mention.
TRYING TO BEGIN A NEW GAME WITH YOUR FRIEND'S LV70 POKEMON
This is a terrible idea because thanks to Pokemon's badge system, that LV70 beast won't obey you at all until you get a badge that allows you to control LV70 Pokemon. That badge does not come until near the end of the game.
_________________________________________________________
This Top 10 list is brought to you by vgcats.com, home of the Super Effective Pokemon web comic. See you with a review next week!

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Zillaman
 Posted: Jun 16 2010, 08:22 PM
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Great tips.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jun 23 2010, 03:10 PM
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My next review was on a movie I've watched with my sister. This movie is from the same people who made Taledegga Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby.

SUPERBAD
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This movie is about these 2 losers named Seth (left on the picture) & Evan (right on the picture) who are almost done with their final year of high school & heading off to diffirent collage universities. Seth is upset by the fact that he & Even have never mated with hot girls before & that they are supposed to be "experts" at it by the time they get to collage... Which is a load of hogwash, by the way. I was homeschooled since the first grade. I'm in collage now & I've NEVER had a girlfriend & no one makes fun of me for not engaging in sexual activity.

Anyway, one day in a cooking class, Seth meets this attractive girl named Jules, who is having a party at her place. Of course, Seth is shocked that he was actually invited to this party. Then Seth & Evan's mutual friend named Fogell (who looks so much like one of my friends that it made me chuckle) arrives & tells Seth & Evan about his plans for a fake ID used to buy beers & such. Upon hearing this, Jules trusts Seth with about $100 or so to go buy drinks for her party. Seth, without a moment's thought agrees.

Outside the school, Fogell reveals his fake ID as a 25 year-old organ donor named only "McLovin". Of course, Seth & Evan think that's totally stupid, but they trust "McLovin" to retrieve the drinks at a drug store. There, he gets mugged by a robber & the cops show up.

Assuming that Fogell got arrested, Seth & Evan ditch Fogell & begin their hijinks to get the drinks for Jules' party in any way possible.

Meanwhile, Fogell shows the cops his fake ID & the cops eventually buy it & being rather irresponsible, decide to take "McLovin" on a road trip through the town.

There's the plot, but the first half-hour of this movie is so full of sexual dialouge that when I first watched it, I turned it off at about 35 minutes. And the part where Seth reveals what happened in his childhood... It's very disturbing to say the least. Hey, let's play a drinking game. (Get it? Cause the movie's about getting beers? Hahaha) Every time they say something sexual in the first half-hour of the movie, you take a drink. I am certain you won't stay sober for 30 minutes.

Anyway, I know this is an M-rated movie, but Seth & Evans exploits are actually very boring. Evan shows almost no personality & Seth is just selfish & obnoxious. The only reason Seth is going through with all this is because he thinks he can Jules drunk enough to sleep with him. You know that frat boy jerk at your high school who's seemingly obssesed with getting drunk? That's Seth in a nutshell. To be perfectly honest, Seth & Evan almost ruined the movie for me.

On to "McLovin" & the cops, the most intresting characters in this movie. I think these guys are why Superbad has won comedy awards. I can see why. Whether it's setting their police car on fire, practicing gunfire on a stop sign, or saying "Oh geez, it's the cops!" when another police car shows up, they are always tickling my funny bone. They are the exact opposite of what you would expect from officers of the law & McLovin unintentionally stopping a drunk guy from running off with a bar's beer was also quite humerous.

About the ending, I'll just say that well, almost nothing really happened except hangovers. The end.

All in all, while Seth & Evan are as boring as a pet rock, McLovin & the never quite grew-up cops are the real stars of the movie & almost overcome a boring story.

Score: 2/5

PROS
-McLovin & the cops are very comedic
-Overly sexual dialouge stops after the first half-hour.

CONS
-The first half-hour is perverse.
- Seth & Evan make Ben Stein sound like Jim Carrey.
- The plot's not very intresting. (Getting girls drunk. Guys are always doing that, what's so special about it?)

Well, I've done reviews on a TV show (Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi), a video game (Ratchet & Clank), A top 10 list (Mistakes in Pokemon games) & a movie review (Superbad). I might celebrate next week with a review of Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Have a nice day, this has been LoverYumi's Review Station.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jul 2 2010, 02:28 PM
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My next review is on the game that started my experiance with the Ratchet & Clank franchise, the game that forever changed the franchise... That's right... It's time for...

RATCHET & CLANK: GOING COMMANDO
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This was actually my first experiance with the Ratchet & Clank franchise. I saw the Insomniac Games logo on the game box & remembered that these were the same guys who made the Spyro series for the PS1. (Another fantastic series I loved. R.I.P Spyro) What a great way to start loving a series.

The story begins with Ratchet & Clank being interviewed in the show "Behind The Hero". Ratchet & Clank's accomplishment of defeating Drek has settled down a little & life has become a bit boring for our heroes with nothing to do. Till a man named Ambercrombie Fizzwidget who debacle the english language beams them up to his ship (insert Star Trek quote here) & tells them of a stolen furball experiment known as the Protopet, who is stolen by a masked criminal. Ratchet eagerly agrees while Clank tries his best to be a spoiled sport, so Fizzwidget gives Clank an apartment in Megapolis & trains Ratchet in many arts including stealth & ballroom dancing. (chuckles)

Eventually, Clank gets kidnapped by the thief, Ratchet rescues him, Theif got away & now R&C must chase after the thief together. They eventually defeat the thief & return the experiment. Game over right? (Hint: HECK NO!)

This game has similar graphics to the original with whole new world to explore & blow up. There's a desolate desert, a beautiful looking, but dangerous frozen wasteland & quite a few bustling cities. The game definatly has a similar look to the original Ratchet & Clank.

The gameplay is really where this franchise has made strides. Perhaps the biggest addition is the nanotech upgrade system which upgrades your health as you defeat enemies, but wait! That's not all! Nanotech from defeated enemies also goes to your weapons & when your weapon reaches a certain point, it upgrades into something more powerful & usually way more useful. (Except the Lava Gun, then the upgrade kinda sucks) There is also the arena, where you can beat the snot out of enemies for cash prizes, something that is also a mainstay in the franchise. Another mainstay of the series from this point on is the challenge mode option that becomes avaliable after you beat the game. In challenge mode, your enemies are much tougher then before, but you have what's called a bolt multiplier. This multiplier increases the cash you earn. This multiplier goes all the way to 20X but resets to 1X every time you get hit. It really makes you pay attention in combat to keep up that multiplier & buy the mega versions of your weapons. You basically have 4 levels of weapons, which is a definate boost to the replay value.

The soundtrack is one of the better soundtracks I've heard in a video game. The gladiator fights have an eerie combat tune & the soundtrack in the desert level is probably one of the most popular soundtracks in the R&C franchise. Every level fits the atmosphere nicely, no peice of music ever feels stupid & unfitting.

There is also the returning weapons feature. If you have data of R&C 1 on your memory card, you can get familiar weapons for free. But to be quite honest, the returning weapons suck & are outclassed by a lot of your newer weapons.

By the way, they really expanded on the weapons. You still got your rocket launcher (Megarocket Cannon), machine gun-like laser gun (Lancer) & your mines (Hoverbomb Gun, which is super powerful) & the morphing weapon (This time, enemies turn into sheep!) & the R.Y.N.O II (Sweet!) But there are plenty of new weapons, the Plasma Coil, which fires a ball of plasma that zaps nearby enemies. And there is the Bouncer, which makes a big bomb & explodes into smaller bombs, causing more damage to foes. There is also the Spiderbot Glove, which is basically an upgraded Visibomb Gun where you steer a spider-bot & explode on enemies around a corner. And finally, the Lava Gun, which spews a string of lava at enemies the longer you hold the fire button. The weapons are all much more useful then before (Hint: The Zodiac sucks though. It basically wipes out all enemies on screen but you have to hold still & charge it up, which leaves you a sitting duck)

There are also ship battles for these glowing rocks called raritanium which can be used to buy upgrades & paint jobs for your ship. The upgrades come in handy for those few times in the game where you engage in space combat which is kinda similar to the Star Fox series. (Hint: Especially shield upgrades)

One last thing is the characters. The characters are much improved over the original R&C. Ratchet no longer talks like a surfer dude & is more beleivable as an adventure seeker while Clank shows more curiosity & is less of a know-it-all. I won't spoil anymore characters because the story has quite a few twists.

This game set the foundation for the rest of the franchise, a formula that never gets old & the gameplay that many Ratchet & Clank fans will immediently recognize if they ever play any other shooter & or platformer that uses an RPG level-up system. With HUGE replay value & perfect refinement of the original game, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is the perfect sequel, just like Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage was for the Spyro series.

SCORE: 5/5 (more like 5 million out of 5)

PROS
-RPG elements to get progressivley stronger really makes blowing up enemies addicting.
-Tons more weapons, many of which are very useful.
-Improved characters over the original.
-Replay value is through the roof, especially with challenge mode.
-A memorable soundtrack for anyone who plays this game.
- Actually rewards you for being familiar with the series with free weapons. Good marketing Insomniac!

CONS
-Uhhhhhhhhh.... (pauses for half-an-hour) Could be a little longer?

Next week, I'm thinking about discusing the history of the 4 generations of Pokemon battling. (Not all of Pokemon though, or I would NEVER get done.)

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Zillaman
 Posted: Jul 2 2010, 09:49 PM
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Great review.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jul 6 2010, 04:40 PM
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I know that I said that I was going to talk about the history the history of the 4 generations of Pokemon, but after watching Spongebob's latest TV special, I've got to talk about this.... It's time for an early review of...

THE CLASH OF TRITON

It's King Neptune's 5,000th birthday & he just can't seem to stop thinking about his son Triton. His wife suggests that he celebrates his birthday at The Krusty Krab to take his mind off Triton.

Things start off well until Spongebob keeps pointing out that Triton is missing. Neptune tells Spongebob what happened with his son Triton. One day, King Neptune tries to teach Triton how to use his divine powers to put fear in his subjects. (Mortals) Instead, Triton finds mortal things like baseball & chemistry fascinating. This angers Neptune, who locks his son Triton on a deserted floating island for 1,000 years "until he learns to use his powers". With the party turning south, Spongebob heads to the deserted floating island (which reminds me a lot of Angel Island from the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise & he also took a bus to this island... So buses can fly now? Weird) to set Triton free & re-unite him with Neptune.

Of course, everything goes wrong from that point on. Allow me to point out the problems with this episode.

1: IDIOTIC POPULACE
Upon hearing of the Neptune family's arrival to The Krusty Krab, the people of bikini bottom pay Mr.Krabs $5 each... To watch them eat. Let me repeat that in capital letters.... THEY PAY $5 TO WATCH OTHER PEOPLE EAT!!!!! The people of bikini bottom have got to be the dumbest nitwits ever to inhabit a city. This is not the only instance of their stupidity either.

In "Chum Caverns", they order food from Plankton's newly discovered cavern, stating that the "food is hideously inedible but your place looks so nice, I can't help but spend money here." You don't have to buy anything just to stare at beautiful scenery!

In "No Hat For Pat", they pay Mr.Krabs $5 to watch Patrick fall on his face over & over again.

In "Giant Squidward", they make the enlarged Squidward do stupid things for them, then go into angry riot mode because Squidward forgot to say "bless you" when someone sneezed.

In "Slimy Dancing", they find suffering a cramp to be an awesome dance move.

In "Greasy Buffoons", they fail to notice all the smelly grease scattered around The Krusty Krab & they pay money for "Wow Soup" which is grease on a paper plate. Let me repeat that, grease on a plate!

Trust me, there are a lot more examples, but I'd never get finished with this review. Gosh, these idiots deserve to be destroyed by Triton.

2: SPONGEBOB DOES NOTHING
Speaking of which, the previews said that Spongebob would have to save bikini bottom from Triton's wrath. He hasn't saved bikini bottom from something since that super highway episode with an enviormental message. (Groans at message) But guess what? He doesn't! He didn't even open the lock that set Triton free in the first place, he called Patrick to come & do it for him. When Triton traps Neptune in a cage as an act of revenge, Spongebob & Patrick sneak into the area to undo the lock & free Neptune while being disguised as a grill. (One wonders how Triton, the son of a god, fails to notice a grill slowly coming towards him) When they get close enough, Patrick releases Neptune & the day is "saved". I put "saved" in quotation marks for my last point.

3: THE ENDING
So Triton terrorizes Bikini Bottom, causes a lot of damage & is just a *beep* in general. But what does Neptune do about it? (Come on, take a guess...) Praises his son for "understanding his powers". So you're celebrating a *beep* for being a *beep*? Nickelodeon, what do you think that is telling kids?"

"Hey kids! Be a destructive *beep* and your daddy will love you."
And when Neptune tells the city that none of this would have happened without Spongebob, the people of bikini bottom know that Spongebob & Patrick were responsible & chase after them with torches & pitchforks. The end.

SCORE 1/5

PROS
-Neptune's design resembles what he looked like in the first season of Spongebob.

CONS
-The people of bikini bottom are idiots.
-Spongebob doesn't do anything.
-The ending was terrible

Dang it Nick, you did it again! You've once again overhyped a dissapointing Spongebob special. The only TV special you've made that was any good was The Penguins Of Madagascar special "Dr.Blowhole's Revenge".

I'll still have my history of Pokemon's 4 generations tommorow, but I thought I might as well review what Nick's latest hype was about. This has been Love4Yumi's Review Station. See you next time!

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Zillaman
 Posted: Jul 6 2010, 07:43 PM
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Wow, thank goodness I don't watch Spongebob anymore.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jul 7 2010, 02:53 PM
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Has it really been so long since Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow? Ever since those games gave people a legit reason to own a GBA, they have gone through many changes over the 4 generations of Pokemon battle. So how does one battle these pocket monsters exactly?

It's really quite simple. You use attacks that drain your foes HP to zero. There are a lot of ways you can do this. Basic attacking is pretty much what you're going to use early in the Pokemon games. But you can also use moves that inflict status problems like sleep, (which puts your opponents to sleep, making them unable to move for a little while) poison, (which steadily drains their hit points) Paralysis (which cuts their speed & possibly leaves them unable to attack) confusion, (They can possibly attack themselves) burn is like poison only it cuts the foe's attack power & freeze. (which works just like sleep) You can use items to heal hit points or cure status problems in battle. The battle ends when all of yours or your opponent's Pokemon faint.

It basically sounds like any other RPG, but what I think seperates the series, is catching Pokemon and the type matchups.

To catch Pokemon, you want to weaken them, but you do not want to reduce their HP to zero. You want to weaken them to a sliver of health & inflicting a status problem like sleep before you start throwing Poke Balls to capture them. It's an intricate process that other RPG's don't have & catching Pokemon (Espcially legendary ones like Zapdos or Mewtwo) takes a LOT of pateince & persistance. (Unless you cheat & get a bunch of master balls, you no good cheater)

Also, the type matchups are really what makes Pokemon battles intricate. Pokemon & their attacks have their own types, which bring strengths & weakness to them. For example, the Water type Squirtle has an advantage over Fire types. Fire types have a weakness to water type attacks. (It says "It's Super Effective!") The water-type move doubles in power against the fire-type Pokemon, encouraging you to use those moves. On the opposite side, the fire-attack is "Not Very Effective..." cutting the fire-move's power in half.

Each type comes with it's own strengths & weaknesses, forcing you to consider those match-ups before you make a move. In case you're at a disadvantage, you can always switch your current Pokemon with another on your party (you can carry up to 6 Pokemon) but it costs you your turn & could leave you open to attack.

But enough of basics, let's delve into the 4 generations of Pokemon games.

RED/BLUE/YELLOW
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Ah, humble beginnings. This is regarded as the most difficult of the 4 generations of Pokemon. Trainers in that game, especially the Elite 4 at the game's end, used high-level creatures, forcing you to train really hard & level up your Pokemon by winning battles... A lot of them.

Anyway, the psychic type was really popular. The psychic type had high Special stats (at the time, Special Attack & Special Defense were one stat) & few weakness that were rarily exploited. The psychic type was quite the force & it was not uncommon to see many players who had more then one psychic type on their team. (Alakazam, Starmie & Exeggutor were good examples) Speed dominated standard play because somehow high speed ment more critical hits. (occasionaly your move doubles in power cause it strikes a weak spot) Pokemon like Persian (who had the guarentee critical hit move Slash) & Tauros were very popular for that reason. Hyper Beam was actually a good move in this generation because it was so powerful & players did not mind doing nothing the next turn if Hyper Beam wiped out your opponent's Pokemon. There was no way to immediently cure a status problem, so moves like Sleep Powder & Confuse Ray were popular.

And the Uber tier only had two Pokemon.... Mew & Mewtwo. (The Uber tier houses Pokemon that were so powerful, they became banned from standard play) Mew could learn ANYTHING from TM's & HM's. Want a surfing Mew? You could do that. Want Mew to Selfdestruct? You could do that too. And it had the stats to do anything very well. It had the speed to strike first &the defense to take a hit & live.

But Mewtwo... Mewtwo was honestly unstoppable in R/B/Y. Nothing had a Special stat this high & after one use of the move Amnesia, Mewtwo's attack called Psychic could destroy anything, it could even hurt other psychic types with it. (Usually an attack move the same type as the target Pokemon is "Not very effective...") Mewtwo also has a wide variety of moves. It could learn the powerful ice move Blizzard, the electric Thunderbolt, no one was safe from Mewtwo's power & it's no surprise that Mewtwo is banned from standard play.

To make a long story short, unless you were a really durable attacker, (Golem, Rhydon & Snorlax) speed was the key stat in the standard game while Mewtwo waited in the uber tier, ready to unleash it's power on any fool who dared to challenge it.

Tommorow, I'll discuss Gold/Silver/Crystal, the generation that made as big a change as Going Commando did for the Ratchet & Clank franchise.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jul 8 2010, 03:30 PM
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Time for Generation 2.

GOLD, SILVER & CRYSTAL
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My first experiance with the Pokemon game franchise, Gold, Silver & Crystal made a ton of changes but kept the basic formula from the first series of games. A lot like Going Commando did for the Ratchet & Clank series.

Where to begin? There are a lot more Pokemon then before, up to 251 from the original 151. All Pokemon games add about 100 or so new Pokemon so let's move on to something else.

One key change was that the Special stat had been split into Special Attack & Special Defense. This changed how a lot of Pokemon were used. Chansey had a tiny bit of offensive ability in Red, Blue & Yellow. But thanks to the Special split, it is an entirley defensive Pokemon now. Alakazam is now a hardcore Special Attack user with little special defense.

Gold, Silver & Crystal introduced two new Pokemon types as well. Meet the dark & steel types, two types with very popular Pokemon. Dark types are effective against psychic & ghost types, but weak to fighting and bug types. With the introduction of the dark type, psychic Pokemon finally had a real weakness. (Gengar was ghost & poison, giving it a weakness to psychic attacks, while bug types lacked good bug type moves, were part poison, or just sucked in general) In fact, dark types were IMMUNE to psychic attacks, as in, psychic attacks do no damage to them. One popular dark type was Tyranitar, a vicious rock/dark Pokemon with an incredible bunch of moves to choose from. It learned Crunch, Earthquake & Rock Slide by leveling up. (The best dark, ground & rock type moves respectivly) It could learn Fire Blast, heck it could Surf too. (Yes, a rock type has the stats to use Surf, too bad for you Rhydon) With the introduction of the dark type, Fighting types became more popular (Machamp & Heracross come to mind). Speaking of Heracross, Megahorn is perhaps the ONLY good bug type move & Heracross learns it. (Darks cringe at the sight of Heracross)

The steel type is immune to poison type moves & gave poison types a reason to carry Fire Blast. Steel types also have a lot of resistances. Let's see, they resist... Normal, Rock, Grass, Ice, Poison, Flying, Psychic, Bug, Rock, Dragon & Steel. That's 11 of 17 types types in total! Steel types also had great a great defense stat, unless your physical attack was super-effective, a steel type could shrug it off. Popular steel types included Skarmory, Fortress & Steelix.

Pokemon could also hold items in battle. In battle, items could do certain things like immediently cure you of status problems, increase the power of certain moves & restore hit points. A lot of thought & strategy goes into what items you make your Pokemon hold, because in battles againt fellow players, you can only hold one of a certain item. In particular, the item Mint Berry made the move Rest very popular. Rest restores all your hit points & cures any status problem... But it puts you to sleep for 2 turns. Not with the Mint Berry. When it fell asleep, the Mint Berry would instantly wake it up & it'd be ready to go on your next turn. Also, one item in particular gave new life to a Pokemon... Made it a powerful Pokemon that all need account for... No, not Pikachu's Light Ball silly, but Marowak's Thick Club. The Thick Club boosts Marowak's attack power to riddiculous levels, it's attack power is even higher then a typical legendary Pokemon. That's frightning.

Another change was the addition of the move Hidden Power. Hidden Power is a random type of random power. Expert players say that there's a way to figure out what type & power your Pokemon's Hidden Power is but it's quite complicated & I just don't like using this move. But it's very popular.

Gold, Silver & Crystal has been called a stall fest because many Pokemon have been used to prolong a battle & drain hit points indirectly. Blissey would Light Screen to boost the special defense of it's teammates, Pokemon like Umbreon would Mean Look, Toxic & use Protect to be just a pest. Misdrevous was despised because of this movepool.

MISDREAVUS
Mean Look, Protect, Hypnosis & Perish Song.

Mean Look would make the opponent unable to switch out his Pokemon with another. Protect would protect Misdreavus from just about anything (seriously). Hypnosis would put the foe to sleep, leaving them unable to do anything. Perish Song would cause both Pokemon to faint in 3 turns. (Protect could protect Misdreavus from Perish Song's final turn, making the opponent faint, but not you. How annoying.)

Last generation, Mewtwo was lonely being the most powerful Pokemon in the game... So they gave Mewtwo some friends. Meet Lugia & Ho-Oh, massive birds with gobs of hit points, great movepools & are just a terror against anybody. Lugia has the move Aeroblast, which is very powerful, accurate at about 90% & has high odds of a critical hit, doubling it's power. It's defense & special defense are massive & some of the more powerful attacks in the game barely dent Lugia's hit points. And let's not forget that Lugia can recover hit points with Recover or use Rest to also heal status problems. Gosh, no wonder it's banned from standard play.

Ho-Oh is the more offense-oriented bird. Ho-Oh's offensive stats are comparable to Mewtwo's with physical attack being Ho-Oh's trump card. Sacred Fire is as accurate as Aeroblast, very powerful & has a 50% of inflicting the burn status problem. Burn cuts physical attack, rendering physical attacks less effective. Ho-Oh can use Recover & Rest too & the fact that it learns Earthquake, a powerful physical attack that takes advantage of Ho-Oh's best stat, scares fragile electric types like Electabuzz or Jolteon.

And of course, Mewtwo is still Mewtwo. It is still very powerful, fantastic movepool, speedy, can even defeat dark types if it knows Submission.

With new types, new strategies with held items, Ho-Oh & Lugia, new moves, certian moves changing, this generation has a lot of deep strategy behind it & started trends that are still poular in today's generation of Pokemon. Let's see how they follow up to this in generation 3.

Pokemon Ruby/Saphhire & Emerald (generation 3) will be disscussed tommorow.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jul 9 2010, 02:44 PM
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Welcome. If you've been following my discussion of Pokemon up to this point, you would know that it's now time for Generation 3, Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald.
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Like the previous generation's Gold, Silver & Crystal games, there were signifigent changes to Pokemon battles. While there are no new types, these changes made here had just as big an impact on the battling scene.

The first change was the addition of "abilities", certain things that your Pokemon is capable of doing. These abilities range from something outside of battle to something that can turn the tide of a battle. For example, the ghost Pokemon Gengar has the Levitate ability, giving it an immunity to ground-type moves. That's really handy, seeing as how Gengar used to have a weakness to ground attacks. Popular abilities included Intimidate, which lowered your foe's attack stat, Levitate for ground type immunity, Guts, which increases your attack when you're given a status problem & so on & so forth. These abilities brought new life to Pokemon who otherwise didn't see much use (like Dugrio's Arena Trap, which keeps enemies from switching out & Gyarados' Intimidate). Some Pokemon also suffered from having lackluster abilities (Keen Eye keeps Pideot's accuracy from being lowered. Terrific! No one uses moves like Sand-Attack anyway! Huzzah!). Abilities really made you think about what Pokemon to use for your team & how your team can benefit from your Pokemon's abilities.

Your Pokemon also have personalities now. (What's next? Will the upcoming 5th generation of Pokemon pull a Madden NFL 11 & measure a Pokemon's swagger?) Some personalities do nothing but most have a direct impact on your Pokemon's stats. For example, want your Electrode to be as fast as possible? You'll want a Jolly Electrode. Want a Tyranitar with maxed out Attack? Get an Adamant nature. Personality traits such as Naughty, Modest, Adamant, etc., raise a stat but lower another stat. Let's look at Adamant shall we? Adamant raises Attack but lowers Special Attack. I don't quite remember the personality that raises Special Attack at the cost of Attack, but you know what I mean. To be honest, this feature kinda irks me. If I wanted the best out of my team, they would have to have certain personalities. (I caught Zapdos!... It's Naughty? Aw man!) And there is no way to change your Pokemon's personality either, so you're stuck with it unless you want to go through the tedium of catching the right personality.

Another thing that irks me are these things called EV's (Effort Values) & IV's (Individual Values). Supposedly, effort values are the stats that your Pokemon gets boosts from after defeating certain Pokemon in battle. (Beat an Electrode & get Speed boosts) Competitive battling has basically become a bunch of mathmatical, complex gibberish. No I don't know diddly squat about my Individual Values & I just don't care.

Moving on, I noticed that the ghost & dragon types got a big boost in this generation. Before Pokemon like Dusclops, all we had was Gengar & Misdrevous. Gengar was part poison, so it had a psychic weakness & Misdrevous was laughable on offense, but an annoying staller. But with powerful ghosts like Dusclops, psychic types had more to fear then just Gengar & Misdrevous. Dragons though had the biggest boost of any type. Dragons used to be just Dragonite & Kingdra. (Kingdra had a great type of Water/Dragon, but a lousy movepool) Say hello to Flygon & Salamence. Flygon had both great typing (Dragon/Ground) and good moves. (Earthquake, Rock Slide & Fire Blast) Salamence was seen as a superior Dragonite (Not true though). Salamence had both Intimidate & a fantastic movepool (Earthquake, Flamethrower, Rock Slide & Dragon Dance to name a few). Every team had to have an ice-move on a powerful special attacker to account for Salamence. Dragonite also had a good movepool as well & besides, I like Dragonite. It's got better defenses then Salamence.

And now to my favorite part of my latest Pokemon rants... The legendary Ubers. Apparently 3 isn't a crowd for Pokemon, as Ho-Oh, Lugia & Mewtwo have more company. Say hello amigos to Groudon, Kyorge & Rayquaza. Rayquaza is what I call "Mega Salamence" because... Well... It is.

Groudon & Kyorge not only have unique abilities but perhaps have even more power the Mewtwo does. (Scary huh?) Groudon's ability to bring out the sun powers up it's fire attacks & makes Solarbeam an instant attack move (Solarbeam usually needs to charge for a turn).

Kyorge though... I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of this thing. Kyorge summons rain when it's brought out to battle. The rain powers up water moves & gives Thunder swift accuracy. Want to know what's scary? Take a look at it's signature move Water Spout.

Water Spout= 150 in power
Kyogre's a water type so a water type using a water move multiplies it's power by 1.5x.
Water Spout= 225 in power
Kyorge's ability summons rain which increases water-moves power by 1.5x
Water Spout= 337.5
A held item like Mystic Water increases water-moves by 1.5
Water Spout= 506.25(!)
Let's factor in "not very effective" which cuts Water Spout in half.
Water Spout= 253.125(!!!!)
Gosh, even grass & dragons need to watch out for this. The only downside is that Water Spout is at max power with hit points at full. But Kyogre's not terribly slow, so it could get off a Water Spout & devastate you in the process.

There's also Latias & Latios. The're Dragon/Psychic types (unique typing) & really fast. Catching them is like trying to catch Raikou, Entei & Suicune... So expect frusteration.

But that's not all... Meet arguably the scariest Pokemon in the game... Behold... it's... WOBBUFFET!!!! (Screams in horror) Yes, Wobbuffet. Last generation, it was only used by people with psychic powers it needed so much prediction. But Wobbuffet now knows Encore, a move which forces your opponent to repeat the move they just used... Over & over again... And Wobbuffet's Shadow Tag ability keeps your opponent from escaping either. Do you know what this means? Wobbuffet would survive your attack, Encore to force you to use it again & hit with Counter or Mirror Coat for fatal damage & Shadow Tag would keep you from doing anything about it. You better have a dark type for this thing.

Competitive battling has officialy become mathamatical IV, EV gibberish, but Pokemon is still great for casual battles with friends. Tommorow is the final chapter... The current generation of Pokemon battling.

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Love4Yumi
 Posted: Jul 10 2010, 05:35 PM
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And now... The final generation of Pokemon as we currently know it... Pokemon Diamond, Pearl & Platnium.
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This is the latest (though not for long) generation of Pokemon battling... And to be quite honest, there was only about 2 things that changed the game.

The biggest change of all was the Attack/Special Attack split. What this did was split special attack types into having both special & physical attacks. What does that mean? It ment there were now physical water moves & special water moves. All of a sudden, Pokemon who had better attack then special attack had a use for otherwise special typed moves or vice-versa. Take Gyrados for instance. Gyarados had a much better attack stat then special attack. It's special attack was terrible & in order to get Gyarados a decent moveset, you had to reach for moves like Thunder or Blizzard, which had accuracy issues & wern't too great thanks to Gyarados' lacking special attack. But now, moves like Ice Fang, Fire Fang & Thunder Fang finally gave Gyardos type coverage that would take advantage of it's best stat. (Scary) Another example is Gengar. A ghost Pokemon using a ghost move should make sense right? Back in the day, it didn't make any sense with Gengar. Gengar had a lousy attack stat, so it really had little to no ue for moves like Shadow Ball or DynamicPunch. But now that Shadow Ball is a special attack, Gengar has more use for it, as do psychic types. By the way, quite a few psychics learn Focus Blast, a powerful move that finally gives psychics a legit chance against dark-types.

Speaking of the attack/special attack split, the popular move Hidden Power was made into a special attack, meaning Pokemon with high attack stats had no use for it anymore. (Thank goodness, most of my Pokemon back in the day, needed the right type of Hidden Power according to the "experts") Now you'll only have to put up with that DV nonsense only if your special attacker had a shallow movepool, which most good ones don't.

Another big change was the move Stealth Rock. Stealth Rock is basically a mega version of Spikes. Stealth Rock damages the opponent Pokemon as they enter the battle. The damage they take varies depending on the type of Pokemon sent out.

Weak to rock moves= 25%. 50% if both of the opponent's dual types have a weakness to rock.
Resist rock moves= 6.25%. 3.125% if both types resist rock.
Neutral= 12.5%

This move just doomed the fire type. Competitive battling was no longer safe for fire types, cause losing a quarter or half of your hit points before it even gets attacked really sucks. For the upcoming Pokemon generation, I would not be surprised if they made versions of Stealth Rock for other types. (Like say, Stealth Wave, Stealth Ivy or something) When even Ho-Oh fears this move, you know it's going to be popular.

Speaking of which, on to the legendary Pokemon. Ho-Oh has a similar benefit from the attack/special attack split as Gyrados. Ho-Oh has a giant attack stat & it's signature move Sacred Fire is now a physical attack. Ho-Oh also has the powerful recoil move Brave Bird to take advantage of it's flying type. Yeah, I think Ho-Oh received big benefits from this generation ignoring Stealth Rock.

But that's not all. There's Darkrai, who comes with move Dark Void, a 90% accurate sleep move & it's ability Bad Dreams to cause Stealth Rock neutral damage while the opponent sleeps is one thing, but to do that & boost it's Special Attack with Nasty Plot to riddiculous levels earned it a spot on the Uber banned list.

Another Pokemon is Garchomp, a Dragon/Ground type who was once legal in standard battling but they quickly realised that mistake & put in the "let's play with Mewtwo & company" tier. Garchomp had great attack power & it didn't need a turn to set up like other heavy attackers do.

Returning is the Deoxys forms, each with their own remarkable strengths & cons. But the pros outweigh the cons.... By a football field's length.

There are also the two forms of Ghost/Dragon (intresting type) Giratina, Giratina & Giratina-0. The only major diffirence is that one is more defense oriented then the other while the other is more offesnive.

Manaphy... Uhhh... I don't think this thing stands much chance against fellow ubers & Kyogre just covers the water type better.

Shaymin-S is an alternate form of the green forest hedgehog with Mew stats who looks like a reindeer... And has Mewtwo-ish special attack & speed, no biggie. (Sarcasm)

Now it's time for the cover Pokemon of Diamond/Pearl. Meet Diagla & Palkia. You may have seen them before in the Spear Pillar arena in Smash Bros. Brawl. To be quite honest, there's no much diffirence except Diagla is Steel/Dragon & Palkia is Water/Dragon. Both have phenominal offense & good defenses.

And finally... The god of Pokemon. No seriously, that's basically how the game describes it. Meet Arceus. (One wonders how the god of Pokemon gets stuffed in a tiny Poke Ball by a 10-year old, but I'll ignore that for now). Arceus is basically a super powerful Mew. It's got Mewtwo's special attack stats in every department from hit points to speed. It learns just about everything & by holding certain plates, Arceus can become any type. Want a dragon type Arceus with Draco Meteor? Got it. Want a dark type? Check. Want an electric type Arceus? That too is possible. Arceus can & does do well at ABSOLUTLY EVERYTHING!!!! How can the Pokemon creators possibly top this in the next generation?
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To conclude my 4-part post, Pokemon has the basic fundementals of an RPG but so much intricate strategy behind it with countless creatures & options that it makes Pokemon handheld games the most popular RPG type game & that includes World Of Warcraft & Final Fantasy. The things we can count on are moves that change the battling landscape or make major changes, 100 or so new creatures to choose from & new Pokemon that get banned for their juggernaut levels of power.

So keep throwing those Poke Balls, cause it's not coming to stop anytime soon.

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