Pokémon of the Week

Something I had done every Friday while a student at Waynesburg University was a radio show that I called Pokémon Friday.  It was not much different than a regular radio shift, just playing music and giving updates, etc… except that I always did a Pokémon of the Week segment.  Now I no longer have a radio show, but I wanted to bring life back to the Pokémon of the Week.  So, without further adieu, the Pokémon of the Week here on Uruzar’s blog is…

Number 212 in the PokéDex, Scizor, the Pincer Pokémon.  This Bug and Steel type combination Pokémon hails from the Jhoto region and has the abilities of Swarm or Technician, as well as the hidden ability of Light Metal. Scizor evolves from the Kanto Pokémon, Scyther, when traded when holding a Metal Coat and is part of the Bug egg group.  Scizor also has the ability to Mega Evolve when holding a Scizorite.  At level 50, Scizor can learn the powerful Steel type attack, Iron Head.

Scizor is the evolution of my favorite Pokémon, Scyther.  I usually only evolve my Scyther to get the PokéDex data for Scizor, but Scizor does have some advantage to him.  Having the duel type of Bug and Steel does make Scizor weak to fire by four, but it also gives Scizor some advantages against other past issues that Scyther has, like Fairy and Rock types.  Also, the Mega Evolution really boots Scizor’s base attack to 150 and the defense to 140.  With average speed and special defense, it makes Scizor a very useful Pokémon for competitive battling.  And that is something I have learned first hand; not from use, but from the amount of times that he has been used against me in the Pokémon Battle Federation.

Plus, Scizor’s ability of Technician (the ability he has automatically when Mega-Evolved) is key to some of his moves.  Technician doubles the power of any attack with a base power of 60 or lower.  Add that to some attacks like Aerial Ace or Bullet Punch get a huge boost from this ability.  This ability makes moves that are used more for their secondary effects or for priority very powerful and able to knock out other Pokémon swiftly.  Again, something I have learned from experience from the PBF.

I welcome all requests for the next Pokémon of the Week.  If you have one, please post the name of the Pokémon in the comments.  Please be aware of the following rules:
I will not do the same region within three weeks of itself
I will not do a duplicate Pokémon until I have gone through all of them (That will take some time!)
I will no do a member of the same evolutionary chain as the Pokémon of the past week (Example: I will not do Magmar one week and Magby the next)
All requests have to be in by 10 pm ET on Thursday for the request to count for that upcoming Friday.
All requests must be posted on the most recent Pokémon of the Week post.  Anywhere else will be disregarded.

Photo credit: Bulbapedia

Pokémon of the Week

Something I had done every Friday while a student at Waynesburg University was a radio show that I called Pokémon Friday.  It was not much different than a regular radio shift, just playing music and giving updates, etc… except that I always did a Pokémon of the Week segment.  Now I no longer have a radio show, but I wanted to bring life back to the Pokémon of the Week.  So, without further adieu, the Pokémon of the Week here on Uruzar’s blog is…

Number 458 in the PokéDex, Mantyke, the Kite Pokémon!  This Water and Flying type combination hails from the Sinnoh region and evolves into Mantine when leveled up while there is a Remoraid in the party.  Mantyke has the abilities of Swift Swim and Water Absorb, and the hidden ability of Water Veil.  Mantyke is part of the Undiscovered egg group.  If you hold off on evolving Mantyke till level 49, he will learn one of the most powerful Water-type attacks, Hydro Pump.

Mantyke, or baby Pokémon in general, are not ones I dabble with often.  Usually I just catch and evolve the Mantyke a quickly as I can for the PokéDex data and then store him in the PC, never to been heard from again.  Ruthless, I know, but baby Pokémon are very difficult to work with in my eyes.  Yes, they are great for the Little Cup if you are in to that kind of competitive fighting, and yes the baby Pokémon do have some nice evolutions, but all-in-all, they are, more often than not, just PokéDex fodder for me.  And do not get me wrong, I love the egg-hatching aspect of Pokémon and I enjoy having the baby Pokémon in the game (I still remember hatching my first Togepi on Pokémon Gold… Ah, memories!) but the Pokémon themselves are often not ones I use in my regular party. That all being said, Mantyke is not a half-bad baby Pokémon.  Mantine is a fun Pokémon (even if the Water/Flying type combination is a bit of a drag) and I really enjoy the way to evolve Mantyke.  Needing a Remoraid in the party is a great little hat-tip to the original art of Mantine where he has a Remoraid at the bottom of his wing.

I welcome all requests for the next Pokémon of the Week.  If you have one, please post the name of the Pokémon in the comments.  Please be aware of the following rules:
I will not do the same region within three weeks of itself
I will not do a duplicate Pokémon until I have gone through all of them (That will take some time!)
I will no do a member of the same evolutionary chain as the Pokémon of the past week (Example: I will not do Magmar one week and Magby the next)
All requests have to be in by 10 pm ET on Thursday for the request to count for that upcoming Friday.
All requests must be posted on the most recent Pokémon of the Week post.  Anywhere else will be disregarded.

Photo Credit: Bulbapedia

Soundtrack Sunday

Soundtrack Sunday is a weekly segment that highlights a soundtrack from a movie, TV show, or a video game.  I think soundtrack music is some of the best music out there and it encapsulates all genres of music.  The rule for this is pretty simple; it must have been part of a movie, TV show, or a video game.  I am going to focus mainly on original scores, but I will occasionally dip into songs used in the aforementioned aspect.  In this post will also be a link that will take you to the song (more than likely from YouTube) for your listening pleasure. And the Soundtrack of the Week is…

From the PlayStation (1) classic game, the soundtrack to Spyro the Dragon.  In honor of its 18th birthday that was a little over a week ago, this soundtrack was composed by Stewart Copeland for the game that came out on September 10th, 1998.  While the Spyro the Dragon soundtrack is his best know movie/video game work, Copeland did a lot more than just compose this kind of music as he was part of the band known as The Police, as a drummer, and was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Spyro the Dragon was a well received game for its play and for the music, which is has a progressive rock theme to it.  Spyro was one of my first video games and was the first PlayStation game I played and the rock-themed music was very catchy and pleasing to me.  It was a great addition to the game, being soft but memorable background music that did not interfere or distract from the game-play.  To me, that marks a very successful gaming soundtrack.  Something that, when you listen to it alone, is catchy and really enjoyable, but something that does not take away from the game itself.  Another great thing about the Spyro soundtrack is that it fits each level well, from artisan to exploring, winter-themed to dark to mysterious.  My favorite tracks are the ones that play in the levels “Wizard Peak” and “Town Square”.

The link to the soundtrack is here, starting with the “Title Screen” track, and having 47 total tracks.  Usually, a full soundtrack is not something that will be done on Soundtrack Sunday, as the point is to highlight one specific track, but because Spyro had its birthday recently, this was worth an exception.  Spyro the Dragon is a game I would be very glad to see get a HD-Remix, the way Sony and other companies have done with older games.  The soundtrack holds a lot of nostalgia for me as I remember the hours I spent as a child playing the Spyro games.  While it never won any awards and it is not one mentioned often, the Spryo the Dragon soundtrack is not only one of the reasons that the game was vastly successful, but it also helped to guide soundtracks to be true background music that is enjoyable but not distracting, yet able to hold attention and have value in listing to it alone.

If you wish to make a request for the Soundtrack of the Week, please observe the following notes:
All requests need to be made in the comment section of the most recent Soundtrack of the Week post.
The deadline for requests is Saturday at noon (ET).
I will be alternating between movie/TV and video game each week and I will not do the same universe within two weeks of itself.

Pokémon Friday

Something I had done every Friday while a student at Waynesburg University was a radio show that I called Pokémon Friday.  It was not much different than a regular radio shift, just playing music and giving updates, etc… except that I always did a Pokémon of the Week segment.  Now I no longer have a radio show, but I wanted to bring life back to the Pokémon of the Week.  So, without further adieu, the Pokémon of the Week here on Uruzar’s blog is…

Number 636 in the PokéDex, Larvesta, the Torch Pokémon.  This bug and fire type combination hails from the Unova region, has the ability of Flame Body and the hidden ability of Swarm, and is part of the Bug egg group.  Larvesta does evolve into Volcarona, but have some patience as it will take until level 59 to do so.  If you postpone that evolution a little bit longer, Larvesta learns the Fire type attack Flame Wheel at level 60 and the powerful Bug type attack Bug Buzz at level 70.

Larvesta swiftly became a favorite of mine as it combines two of my four favorite Pokémon types.  Bug types are very useful in the games and battling, but more so when combined with another, powerful type.  Yes, Larvesta has a four-times weakness to Rock-type attacks, but he also holds six resistances and can learn a diverse move-set by both leveling up and through other move-learning techniques (such as TMs).  And with Larvesta having an average special attack base stat, his evolved form Volcarona has a very high base sepcial attack which works well with most high-powered Bug and Fire type attacks.  If given a chance to be a type-based gym leader, I would choose either Bug or Fire type and in both cases, Volcarona would be part of my battling team.  And while evolving and hatching a Larvesta in Black and White does take quite a bit of time, it is well worth the wait.

I welcome all requests for the next Pokémon of the Week.  If you have one, please post the name of the Pokémon in the comments.  Please be aware of the following rules:
I will not do the same region within three weeks of itself
I will not do a duplicate Pokémon until I have gone through all of them (That will take some time!)
I will no do a member of the same evolutionary chain as the Pokémon of the past week (Example: I will not do Magmar one week and Magby the next)
All requests have to be in by 10 pm ET on Thursday for the request to count for that upcoming Friday.
All requests must be posted on the most recent Pokémon of the Week post.  Anywhere else will be disregarded.

*Photo Credit: Bulbapedia

Soundtrack Sunday

Soundtrack Sunday is a weekly segment that highlights a soundtrack from a movie, TV show, or a video game.  I think soundtrack music is some of the best music out there and it encapsulates all genres of music.  The rule for this is pretty simple; it must have been part of a movie, TV show, or a video game.  I am going to focus mainly on original scores, but I will occasionally dip into songs used in the aforementioned aspect.  In this post will also be a link that will take you to the song (more than likely from YouTube) for your listening pleasure. And the Soundtrack of the Week is…

The Imperial March.  Written for Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and composed by John Williams, this piece became very synonyms with Darth Vader as it was given a second title as “Vader’s Theme”.  The song was heard three weeks before the premiere of the movie as John Williams had done a concert in Boston and chose to feature the song.

The Imperial March easily became one of the most recognizable tunes, not just for the character of Vader, but for evil in general.  Not being alive in 1980, I do not know for sure the relationship to the song and the people when it was first heard, but when I first heard it as a child, it became a staple to my love of soundtrack movies.  I could recognize it at sporting events or when it was played during commercials, as well as being able to pick out parts of the tune during the second Star Wars trilogy.  The Imperial March is also known as a leitmotif, which was a style of music that John Williams has excelled in creating through out his career.

I believe that The Imperial March is John Williams’ best individual work.  Williams is my favorite movie composer and he has done a plethora of grand work in his career, and still is doing so.  And while he has done other tunes that stick out very well and are recognizable at the drop of a hat, I still believe that The Imperial March takes the cake.  It is a dramatic song, one that you can visualize Darth Vader moving to, one that you connect with evil and yet is still love because of the connection that is made with Darth Vader due to the Star Wars films.  While all of that is not the byproduct of Williams’ work, he took in consideration everything he could of the character Darth Vader and made a theme song for him that has become one of the best movie soundtrack songs of all time.

If you wish to listen to this tune, and who would not want to, click here for the link.

If you wish to make a request for the Soundtrack of the Week, please observe the following notes:
All requests need to be made in the comment section of the most recent Soundtrack of the Week post.
The deadline for requests is Saturday at noon (ET).
I will be alternating between movie/TV and video game each week and I will not do the same universe within two weeks of itself.

Pokémon of the Week

Something I had done every Friday while a student at Waynesburg University was a radio show that I called Pokémon Friday.  It was not much different than a regular radio shift, just playing music and giving updates, etc… except that I always did a Pokémon of the Week segment.  Now I no longer have a radio show, but I wanted to bring life back to the Pokémon of the Week.  So, without further adieu, the Pokémon of the Week here on Uruzar’s blog is…

Number 330 in the PokéDex, Flygon, the Mystic Pokémon.  This Ground and Dragon type Pokémon hails from the Hoenn region and has only one ability, Levitate.  Flygon is the final member of the Trapinch evolutionary chain, evolving from Vibrava starting at level 45.  Flygon is in the Bug egg group and can learn the powerful Dragon type attack, Dragon Rush, at level 47, but only in Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby.  In X and Y, the last move Flygon can learn is Dragon Claw at level 55, but you can skip that wait just by using TM 02.  Flygon was requested by my good friend Matt, even though he cannot pay attention to the rules and did not make the request in the comment section on last week’s Pokémon of the Week post…

Flygon is not a Pokémon that I use often, but is one I am very familiar with.  Flygon does continue the early trend of Dragon type Pokémon having a four-times weakness to ice type attacks and is used by many for a Ruby and Sapphire or OR/AS run-through.  Competitive wise, Flygon is not one that is seen often, but does have a good statistical balance: 100 on base attack and speed, with a base of 80 on all the other stats.  I tried using Flygon once in a competitive league I am part of, known as the Pokémon Battle Federation (PBF), which is run similar to that of a Fantasy Football League; snake draft to choose the Pokémon and then a different opponent each week to battle.  Flygon was a late round pick for me, someone I was trying to see if I could spin a surprise or two out of, but he was not quite the “ace-in-the-hole” I had hoped that he would be.  Of course, I am honestly not the best at competitive battling so I often find myself in the bottom of the PBF standings each season… But more on that some other time.  Flygon, tip of the hat to you for being the Pokémon of the Week.  Maybe if you get a much clamored for mega-evolution in Sun and Moon, there might be a little more to talk about for you.

I welcome all requests for the next Pokémon of the Week.  If you have one, please post the name of the Pokémon in the comments.  Please be aware of the following rules:
I will not do the same region within three weeks of itself
I will not do a duplicate Pokémon until I have gone through all of them (That will take some time!)
I will no do a member of the same evolutionary chain as the Pokémon of the past week (Example: I will not do Magmar one week and Magby the next)
All requests have to be in by 10 pm ET on Thursday for the request to count for that upcoming Friday.
All requests must be posted on the most recent Pokémon of the Week post.  Anywhere else will be disregarded.

TV Time: A look at Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I finished season three of Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (AOS) yesterday on Netflix and I was left with a multitude of thoughts and reactions.  First off, yes I am aware of the fact that this is very late.  I did not have the chance to watch the show live because I was still in college and my “watch list” on Netflix is pretty long, so it took me some time to get to AOS.  Second off, I am a huge Marvel fan.  I love to read comic books, watch the shows and movies, and play the games; overall, I just love being part of the Marvel universe and I have found myself dreaming and day-dreaming that I have been able to join that universe, with and without superpowers.  And yes, this article will hold spoilers; maybe not in large detail, but at least in vague ways.

AOS is not a terrible TV show.  I will admit, the first season was a little slow to get going, but once it did, I was pretty hooked through season two.  I enjoy the tie-ins with the movie, the inclusion of the Inhumans, and the references and cameos to other super heroes that happen on occasion (Sif shows up occasionally in the show, references to the Avengers happen and I think there was even a Daredevil reference once, if I am not mistaken).  The season two story arc and the progression from it in season three was pretty enjoyable because I have always thought that the Inhumans were an under-rated aspect of the Marvel universe and one that was poorly known.  I would, however, like Marvel to skip over the Inhumans who are slightly… well unimportant (as seen from the fact that most of them have died) and get to the Inhuman Royal Family with Black Bolt, Medusa, Mad Max, etc…

Hive was a lot of fun, but I hated the obsession with the need to have Grant Ward be present in this show.  I get that his appearance shook the S.H.I.E.L.D. team and that his character was familiar to the fans and the good guys, but I feel like Hive’s real appearance, the more alien one, would have done the show more good because a) Grant Ward was way over played in this show and b) this season was about humanity facing an alien threat that is different than the Chitauri from The Avengers.  The alien look should not have been something that was brought out right away, and it was not, but once Gideon Malick was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. they could have done away with the farce, especially since Hive’s true agenda was to make more Inhumans around the world that were just like him.  So he would not have wanted to hide his true form.  Hive died still looking like Grant Ward and that… well that was just dumb and unnecessary.  And if Grant Ward is some how back for season four, I will scream.  And probably stop watching the show, depending on how it is he is brought back.

Another issue I had with season three was Daisy.  Yes, I understand that she, among all the characters, is the main protagonist right now, but her in-season development is the same each season.  She is part of S.H.I.E.L.D. in some form or another, something big happens to her, she has doubts about S.H.I.E.L.D., changes sides, changes back right near the end, and helps to save the day.  I also get her importance to the show and to S.H.I.E.L.D., but a lot of resources and lives are used all for Daisy’s sake.  I hope that Daisy, also known as Quake, gets a lot more character development in the fourth season because, honestly, I am starting to very much not like her and no longer caring if she lives or dies.

Finally, AOS had a lot of romance in this season; romance that almost seemed forced.  Of course Coulson falls in love with the ATCU director, Rosalind Price who dies shortly after.  Of course Daisy and Lincoln have a romance that ends in the death of Lincoln.  The playing of the romance, or failure of, between May and her on-again-off-again ex-husband Andrew.  Of course Fitz and Simmons become a full-blown couple and start to think about taking long trips alone and possibly leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. just like Bobbi* and Hunter did after they fall in love with each other again.  And there were also seeds of romance planted for Mack and Yo-Yo.  That is every person of the main S.H.I.E.L.D. team and every main character, sans Ward who had his romances in the first two seasons (even though his get played up a little bit when he is Hive so…).  Some romance is good for a show, but over-doing and sometimes even forcing it gets annoying.

*Side-Bar: Bobbi is also known as Mockingbird, a name I do not recall being used in the show at all.  She has currently left S.H.I.E.L.D. but with her connection to Hawkeye in the comics, respect for both Coulson and Nick Fury in the show and the comics, and her later inclusion to the Avengers, give me hope that she will return in some fashion.  And maybe actually be called Mockingbird.

Do not let my three problems with season three of AOS fool you, I still enjoyed the show and I am excited for season four.  It is to include Ghost Rider and have a strong connection with the fall-out that happens in Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Dr. Strange film.  It gives me hope that my issues with season three will be resolved and what the show does with Holden Radcliffe.  I am also curious to know if this season really did completely kill of Hydra or if there is still some part of it alive.  The Red Skull could still be a thing and he did have a daughter, Sin, who could also come in to things at any moment.  It could lead to the return of DeathLok, a way to bring in the other Inhumans above, or, least likely but I enjoy finding loose connections, a way to introduce the Runaways by bringing Death Locket and her strong connection to them.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)