The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 125 – Hand Wavy Nonsense

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

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Big News

This week we chat about Disney+ and the Loki and Cassian series coming to the service, the Toy Story 4 teaser and the Once Upon a Deadpool and Detective Pikachu trailers, Aquaman presales, and the Birds of Prey film.

No Screentime this week!

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam Watch by Keith Buckley/Daredevil Season 3, The Haunting of Hill House, Altered Carbon, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix/Shadow of the Tomb Raider on PS4
IanUFO Drawings from the National Archives by David Clarke/Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Red Dead Redemption 2 on PS4

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

I Want to Be the Very Best – Pokémon Go Launch

 

Nath sometimes writes for the site. This is one of those times.

Unless you have been living under a Geodude for the last few weeks, you may have heard that Pokémon Go has been released across the majority of the world. The app has taken the world by storm, it is now one of the most downloaded apps in history and is currently on 10.8% of android devices. However, does the app live up to the hype? Hopefully this review will give you some clarity.

The Premise

The start of the game is similar to the Pokémon games of old. This time  it is Professor Willow who offers you a choice of 3 Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. The 3 Pokémon appear on your mobile phone screen and you tap the one you want to start off with. There is a hidden Easter Egg where if you walk away from these 3, you can catch a Pikachu instead. I went for a Charmander in this scenario as I have always started with one. To catch him, your phone camera turns on and you can view the Pokémon via your screen.

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Once you have caught your first Pokémon, you will then have to visit Pokéstops in order to obtain items and experience. This means the app is forcing you to go outside in order to explore certain points of interests around your home town. I managed to visit one and swipe to obtain a few extra Pokéballs, then a Rattata turned up nearby. So like an eager Pokémon trainer, I went to catch my first Pokémon. To do this you simply point your camera at the Pokémon and swipe the screen to throw the Pokéball at the Pokémon. Doing so, earns you EXP, stardust (used to level up Pokémon) and candy (this allows you to level up or evolve your Pokémon)

Levelling up Pokémon is done by either giving it a mixture of stardust and that Pokémon’s candy in order to increase it’s combat power, or giving it a load more candy to evolve it. Increasing combat power doesn’t give you experience, but evolving them does, so the key would be to evolve the weaker Pokémon and level up the stronger ones to make them stronger.

Once you have a strong enough team, you can then head out and start taking down gyms. Before you do this, you have to choose a team to be on: Team Instinct, Team Mystic or Team Valor. There isn’t a benefit to choosing a certain team over another, so I chose Team Valor. Once you are at a gym, you can then battle your Pokémon. This is done by tapping the phone to use your Pokémon’s normal move to build up power for it’s special move. You can also swipe to dodge the rival Pokémon’s attack. If you win and take the gym down, you place your own Pokémon there to defend it.

Additional Features

There also many features of the game which I thoroughly enjoy, mainly the egg hatching, as the only way to hatch eggs is by walking the distance that is needed to hatch them. There are 3 egg distances, 2km, 5km and 10km. The 2km ones are for fairly common Pokémon whereas the 10km are for the more rare kind. I have managed to hatch 2 5km eggs and 1 2km egg. The 5km eggs produced a Staryu and a Paras and the 2km egg produced a Magikarp. I don’t have a 10km at present, but it will be egg number 1 when I do get one. It also seems that location doesn’t restrict you to what type of Pokémon you can catch. I once caught a Goldeen in the middle of a field, with no rivers, lakes, sea or puddles around me.

I suppose the best feature is how well the online community have responded in regards to the app. There are numerous pictures online of funny encounters with Pokémon, my personal favourite being one with a Magikarp in a frying pan. Twitter has gone mad with PokémonGo fans as well, lots of people sharing what they’ve caught, the hilarious names they’ve been given and the problems people have faced.

Media view

It has also been noticed by the media too, there have been many horror stories related to PokémonGo. You may have seen the news story about the girl who stumbled across a dead body whilst searching for Pokémon. I really hope that doesn’t matter to me. My favourite story is the Pokémon Challenge issued by Twitter users. This is a series of challenges that trainers must to do to cross it off a checklist. There is no prize, only pride but the first challenge was to place a Pokélure (a lure for Pokémon to come to) at a hospital. I did wonder why until I realised what they were trying to accomplish. Unfortunately there are children who are ill and cannot leave hospital for days, maybe even weeks or months at a time. So the whole point of the lure was to bring Pokémon to the hospitals so they can continue playing. I was genuinely touched by this story and it was fantastic to see how well the online community has taken to this game.

I did see a story recently where one user walked into an open road and got hit by a car. The girl blamed the app for this, however it clearly states that when the app is loading to be aware of your surroundings.

Problems

There are of course some issues with game. The servers have gone down a fair bit since release which has angered the community. The excuse mainly being that the developers didn’t think it would be so popular. I’m sorry but this is a terrible excuse, people like me in their late 20’s have wanted to catch Pokémon in the real world since the games first came out on the original Gameboy. The servers are back up and running which is great, but you do wonder what is going to happen when other countries get hold of the app.

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Another issue is the battery life. Most smartphones use up a lot of battery anyway but this app is the ultimate battery drainer. You can turn on battery saver mode in the game and put your phone in stamina mode (Android users only) but it still drains. You will need to invest in a power bar if you plan on going on an adventure for a large amount of time.

There are also some questionable Pokéstops and Gym locations. One stop nearby to me is the Royal Mail Sorting Office. I mean seriously, it is not a point of interest but if it does get me a few potions then I can let it slide. There are some Pokéstops in rough areas of the USA and teenagers are already getting their smartphones stolen by wandering into those area. There is also a Gym right outside someones house and he is getting very aggravated that people seem to be loitering outside.

The biggest problem is crime caused by the game. There have been a lot of reports of trespassing on other peoples properties in order to catch rare Pokémon, as well as a lot of people using the app whilst driving to essentially drive-by stops, gyms and catch Pokémon. It is only a matter of time before we see a news article saying that someone has crashed their car trying to catch a Dratini or something and this needs to be taken into serious consideration.

Conclusion

That being said, I have now been playing the game for almost a week and I have to say it is fantastic to be a Pokémon addict again. I have assembled a strong team and have started to dominate gyms around where I live, much to the annoyance of certain kids who have shouted at me to leave the gyms alone. I have also caught one of the rarest Pokémon in the game (Aerodactyl) and have evolved many other Pokémon in order to complete my Pokédex. The app, even though as a bit clunky to begin with, will forever go down as one of the most popular apps ever created, bringing together a fantastic online community. I have to say a massive congratulations to Niantic for creating such a fantastic app and for attempting to resolve server issues as quickly as possible. I will give the app 9 towns full of Rattatas out of 10. There are a few things that need sorting out still and features that need fixing. Server crashes happen quite a lot at the moment and this does need resolving as it’s not just me that is getting irate about it. That being said, this is something that can be resolved hopefully in the long run. Also this is the first 151 Pokémon available, there are still many more to be added into the game. I am loving this game and I’m sure that I will be continue to play for this many years to come.

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I Wanna Be the Very Best – Pokémon Go

Nath is excited about Pokémon Go. Like, really excited guys.

I have been a Pokémon fan for many years now. I watched the cartoons, saw the films, played nearly every game and collected the cards. Safe to say that Pokémon has made a lot of money out of me over the years, but I did think that it was somewhat lacking a little bit as with all the latest technology that was available, there was a distinct lack of a 3D port. There is a free-to-play one online I believe but still something that should be looked into.

 

However, September 10 2015, a massive announcement was made, particularly for the fans of the franchise. Pokémon GO, a Pokémon game app on your smart phone that links to a Bluetooth device that sits on your wrist that uses real world location information to capture, battle, train and trade virtual Pokémon. This means you can be a real life Pokémon master. Words cannot describe how excited I am about this. The release is due in 2016 and will be available on iOS and Android devices (sorry windows phone users).

Early notes say the app is free to purchase but there will be in-app purchases like most apps available. I haven’t found any details regarding the wristband as of yet, all I know is it will flash and vibrate if you run into a Pokémon in the real world. This is a massive benefit for myself as my job does take me all over the UK so hopefully I can explore most locations and hopefully capture a variety of Pokémon. No doubt I may have to start with a Rattatta or a Pidgey, but still Pidgey will eventually evolve, I never bother with Rattatta to be honest. I certainly don’t want to be running through forests to try and capture Beedrills, I hate bees.

I believe this a fantastic move by Nintendo. To be honest they did say they wouldn’t enter the smartphone market, but this first move is absolutely fantastic. It also also means it will force children who play Pokémon to go outside whilst trying to find Pokémon. Maybe in the future they can set gyms up around the world or hold Pokémon tournaments like they do in the series in order to see who is the true Pokémon master. I would sign my name up for that in a heartbeat.

However there could be some issues along the way. My first thoughts are how many Pokémon will they release into the world. My knowledge of Pokémon goes up to Platinum and that’s about it. I could think of a team consisting of anything within that range, but anything after I would be stuck. If the original 150 are released then I would be absolutely fine.

Another problem is what are the in-app purchases? Pokéballs? Master Balls? Pokémon Centres? We will need more information, but I imagine this will come in time. Will there be a currency system used in the current games as well? Can you buy currency with real world money? I certainly hope not as the game will be flooded with money and would cause further problems.

Also what about water Pokémon? My phone is waterproof but I don’t want to be searching for Gyarados in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Also it rains a lot in the UK, will we just be inundated with water Pokémon and will my Charmander die in the rain?

Aside from the potential issues, I do believe this is something we can get excited for. Being a real-world Pokémon master would be epic. I’m sure going outside has it’s benefits too. I imagine it may get a bit annoying though if I say I want to go to a beautiful part of the UK and then suddenly stop and say “OMFG there’s a rare Pokémon here, stop I have to battle it.” It won’t matter though, I will be the the very best that no one ever was.

Nath

Pokémon Showdown – The Fan Based Battle Simulator

Back in our day there were only 151 Pokeymans. And you played them on a ‘Game Boy’. This is Nath’s confused look at a new way to play.

Do you want to be the very best, like no-one ever was, without catching them as your real test and not train them be your cause? I could go on and continue the song and rewrite the lyrics all the way thought but that’s for another time. I was sitting down eating some curry in my girlfriend’s student house when her housemates mentioned this game. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

It is a web based game, but with a downloadable console too. You have a couple of choices of how to play the game. The first part is a random battle generator. You are given 6 random Pokémon between levels 70-85 with different moves as does your opponent, the aim is wipe out the other opponents Pokémon, pretty standard really. It is all online gameplay so there can be connection issues, but it is brilliant.

The only issue I have is I’ve played my fair share of Pokémon games, from the original Red all the way up to Platinum, however I am yet to grace Black and White and X and Y. It’s safe to say I have no idea what some Pokémon were and really needed some help, but stuck with it all regardless.

So my team consisted of the following:

  • Galvantula – What the hell is that? An electric Spider?
  • Alakazham – Absolute classic and one I used a lot, solid Pokémon
  • Carbink – Again what the hell is that?
  • Heatmor – A fire/grass/dark/fighting cross breed?
  • Yveltal – What?
  • Glaceon – The ice evolution of Eevee

Turns out I’m still pretty bad ass as I won comfortably with some issues to begin with. Glaceon got absolutely destroyed against a rock type and thought I was out of touch, but I picked myself in true Pokémon spirit. I didn’t even get to see what a Yveltal was!

So that was that, so I thought lets try the other mode and needless to say it was very difficult. Trying to build a team from 720, that’s right 720 Pokémon is really difficult, especially when I haven’t played the last 2 games. So far I’ve only chosen 2, a Metagross because its Steel and Psychic, pretty awesome combination and a Gengar, standard Ghost type that’s pretty awesome. I don’t know who to select for the last lot, thinking maybe an ice/water type, an electric type, a dragon type and fighting/rock/ground type. But then what about flying type, dark type, fire type? Also there are mega variations of Pokémon now? That changes everything because I have no idea what they are and if they are any good? Also you have to pick the items and the moves and there are loads. It is hard work.

Safe to say I really need to think about the build a bit more, but all in all it is a truly brilliant idea for lovers of the Pokémon franchise. I’d give it 8/10 no I didn’t use a burn heal. Still in beta mode but things will get better.

Nath

 

More Than One Million People Didn’t Need a Burn Heal!

If you have seen the news recently, or you may decided to look at some news because you were bored at work, you may have stumbled onto a new internet social/gaming experiment entitled “Twitch Plays Pokemon.” No doubt you’ve heard of it, but if not, it is simply an online version of Pokemon Red, but with a twist.

You start in a chat room and basically there are 2 modes of gameplay. Democracy gameplay is where each player inputs a command over a 30 second period and the key with most votes is inputted into the game. However when Anarchy gameplay starts, any key that is pressed is inputted into the game, allowing for a mass amount of chaos.

As you can see, it looks like a giant clusterf**k of people just hitting in commands in order to complete the game, but eventually it was completed. However it wasn’t an easy process due to the amount of absolute assholes who started playing and thought it would be funny to make the gameplay more difficult.  Asshole might be an understatement when you consider the following occurred:

  1. People jumping off  ledges during the long maze areas of the game
  2. Bloody Sunday where 12 Pokemon got released
  3. Repeated use of the start command and using items that really weren’t necessary
  4. Constant use of the Pokedex
  5. Constant saving

I know some of the above may not seem too much of a problem but seriously people, releasing 12 Pokemon? What the actual fuck? That’s 2 teams of Pokemon. You people who call yourself “Trolls” and think it’s funny are just fuckheads. You even released the starter Pokemon! A level 34 Charmeleon! He was 2 levels away from being a Charizard!? Charizard is one of the best Pokemon in the game. He flies and breathes fire. I hope you’re all ashamed of yourselves and you quietly die in a hole.

Maybe a bit over the top, but nevertheless, the trolls probably did die in their respective holes as the game was completed. It proves the gaming world is full assholes but eventually, with enough perseverance, gamers can rally together and finish one of the greatest games ever made.

If I’m honest, I wish I had the opportunity to take part in this experiment, but luckily the anonymous designer has applied the same idea to Pokemon Crystal. I will having a crack at that and make a valid attempt at completing it as my life plan is to not die in a hole.