One of the fun things that Pokémon Silver introduced was the day/night cycle. This concept also introduced Pokémon that were only obtainable during certain times of day. One of the examples is Hoothoot the owl who only shows up at night but also a Pokémon like Ledyba who would only show up during the morning hours.
I’m kind of sad they have mostly let go of this concept in later generations. Ofcourse Sun & Moon have a day/night cycle of their own and it influences the Pokémon that spawn. But night exclusive Pokémon or morning exclusive Pokémon have become a thing of the past.

Another thing I had forgotten about this game is how grindy it actually is compared to the last few generations. Pokémon take way longer to level up, everything hits you harder and there is no party-wide experience share to be had early on. I’m now a little over 2.5 hours into the game and I’ve just cleared my way through the Bellsprout tower in Violet City aswell as beating the first Gym leader: Falkner.

Bellsprout tower is kinda fun. It’s basically a tower which has a swaying pillar in the middle and is filled with monk trainers who all use.. Bellsprouts. It’s really the place you want to go before you challenge the Pokémon Gym to train all your Pokémon to around level 10. It’s also one of the few places in the game where you can catch Ghastly, which I did. After defeating all the Bellsprout using monks you end up at the head monk who has just battled your rival. You see a bit of dialogue, your rival disappears and you can challenge the guy so you can earn your first HM of the game: Flash.
Bossmonk (that’s how I called him atleast) uses three Pokémon: two level 7 Bellsprouts, who were easily dealt with by my Pidgey and a level 10 Hoothoot that I killed with my Cyndaquil (Quill). He hands you a HM for Flash and you can use an Escape Rope in the corner to get out of the tower faster than when you’d have to walk back through all the rooms.

After I was done there I headed to the Pokémon Gym to earn my first badge.
Falkner uses Bird Pokémon and, especially if you’ve chosen Chikorita at the start, is quite a tough cookie to beat. You don’t have any reliable Bird Pokémon counters at this point and really have to brute force your way through this Gym. Make no mistakes, this isn’t the stomp that you expect it to be even if the Pokémon used aren’t over level 9. The first trainer in the Gym uses a level 9 Spearow who easily 3-shot my Sentret if I had allowed it. Peck does ridiculous amounts of damage at this stage in the game and I almost lost a Pokémon to it, even though it was on the same level. The second trainer has two level 7 Pidgeys and is a bit easier to take on. Falkner himself has a level 7 Pidgey and a level 9 Pidgeotto (yes I know, he cheats!). He doesn’t use any potions on his Pokémon and I used Quill to beat the Pidgeotto at the end.
Once you’re done and defeated Falkner you get to use your newly obtained HM and he gifts you a TM to teach one of your Pokémon Mud-Slap. I’ve chosen to hold on to this TM for now seeing as it’s a one time use still in these games and I wouldn’t want to teach it to the wrong Pokémon.
Stepping outside of the Gym I got a call from professor Elm. He discovered something new about the Pokémon Egg you delivered to him at the start of the game and he’s sent his assistant to hand the Egg over to you. They want you to hatch it and then report back.
I wonder what Pokémon will hatch from it…

Pokémon Silver team after 1st Gym

My team after beating the first Pokémon gym!

I stopped playing after that but I did want to share my current team with you guys. As you can see 5 active Pokémon. Sentret the Sentret, Quill the Cyndaquil, Flycatcher the Bellsprout, Duiffie the Pidgey and Ghastly the Ghastly. I actually forgot to give my Ghastly a new name. There is a chance I will later on in the game and change it to “Spookster” just because I can. Personally I feel like I’m starting to have a well rounded team. There’s a Fire and Grass Pokémon, a Ghost Pokémon and a Normal and Flying. I want to get atleast a Water Pokémon in as replacement for Sentret later on and after the Egg has hatched I need to think about what I want for 6th Pokémon. I’m doubting between an Ice, Electric or Rock for now. I guess I’ll see how the game evolves.

See you next installment!

 

 

Last friday one of my favourite childhood games came out as virtual console game for the 3DS: Pokémon Silver.
I’ve talked about my love of the Pokémon games before, I have played every generation (and now I can honestly say that because I have White 2) and sunk a lot of hours into every game that came into my hands. I’m currently at 42 hours played in my Pokémon Moon and I’m only halfway through the Pokédex and I’m still playing regularly and I hope to “finish” the game before Ultrasun comes out. I have atleast 50 hours clocked in almost every Pokémon game and currently the savefile that is longest is Pokémon Black, with over 70 hours played. I’m pretty sure my original Blue playthrough and my original Silver file were atleast 50+ hours aswell, however I’ve saved over Blue and my original Silver cartridge doesn’t work anymore, so I can’t really check.
Out of the entire series Silver has always been my favourite. I really liked the story and being able to catch Lugia. The game was massive at the time and I remember playing it a lot. So when they announced they’d be bringing Gold and Silver to the 3DS I was super happy. It gave me the chance to relive the game again, like Blue, and hopefully capture some of the magic I had as a 11-year old playing this game.

Now comes the really interesting part. Silver is one of the games where the amount of Pokémon is still somewhat manageable. I think the Pokédex consists of 252 Pokémon total, instead of the crazy 800+ we have now. I also want to write more on my blog and I figured, why don’t I combine playing Pokémon Silver again with blogging about it? And thus my new series is born: Pokémon Playthrough. And today will be the first entry. So without further ado…

I’ve only played about 15 minutes so far to get started with the game. You start in your room and talk to your mom. However instead of going out of town you actually go talk to the Professor (in this case Professor Elm) to get your first Pokémon. In my very first playthrough of Silver as kid I chose Chikorita. This time I decided to pick something else and so I went with Cyndaquil. Because I want to get a bit more involved/attached to this game I decided to name atleast my starter Pokémon. I used to do this a lot but the last generation on the 3DS I just couldn’t bring myself to name stuff.
After you talk to your mom and get your Pokégear (which has a phone!) Professor Elm sends you to find mr. Pokémon who has a package. Once you get past the first town and to mr. Pokémon’s house you find a very familiar face… Professor Oak! He chats with you a bit and hands you a Pokédex, followed by mr. Pokémon handing you a mysterious Pokémon egg.
Just as you leave the house Professor Elm calls you in panic. Something terrible has happened at the lab and you’re to return immediatly! On your way back you are stopped by a mysterious redhaired boy who wants to fight and uses a Totodile. After you beat him you get back to the lab and find out that boy has stolen Totodile from the lab. Welcome to your rival (which you then get to name). The police talks to you and goes away, you deliver the Egg to Professor Elm and then your adventure can really start. One of the professor’s Aides gives you Pokéballs, you talk to your mom who offers to save money for you and then you can start catching!
This is the point where I kinda decided to pauze for a bit and think. I know there’s a glitch that allows you to get all three starter Pokémon and I had to decide whether or not I wanted to take advantage of this. In the end I decided not to. I want this playthrough to be glitch free so it stays the way it’s intended to play. I caught a Sentret and Rattata and went to the first town and saved my game there.
I’m aiming to get to the first gym this week and to catch every new Pokémon I come across in the process. I might name some of them, especially when I expect to use them in my endgame team, but we’ll see. For now I’m just really happy to be playing this game again and it’s probably the only non-MMO game I’ll be playing for the moment.

It’s odd when you have too much time to yourself to think about stuff. Even with a job and somewhat of a social life I find myself being very lonely, especially on the weekends. Not really having someone there to confide in, who will make you happy when you’re sad or just simply tell you you’re doing great is devastating at times.
I’m very disappointed with how my life has turned out. If someone told my 18 year old self that I would still be living at home 10 years later and not only that but I still wouldn’t have finished school I would have laughed in their face. Yet here I am, a thousand big and small tragedies later.
Life has not been kind to me. I’ve had to face the loss of a parent very early on and almost the loss of my second one a few years ago. Nothing quite shakes you awake knowing that maybe when you wake up you’ll get a call from the hospital that your dad has passed away. It was a really tough time back then and it really fucked with my entire life. It made me stop my master’s thesis and almost had me fail my Master’s completely. I don’t think I ever really recovered from that properly.
I’ve had my hormones messed with when I was around 20 years old, basically putting me in menopauze because my body was hurting itself. Around the same time I got told that I probably can’t have kids of my own and that if I ever wanted to, I would have to start trying around 25 because when I turned 30 my chances would drop even further. These are not things you want to hear when you’re barely 20 years old and still have your entire future ahead of you.
I’ve been in therapy twice in my life. The first time when I was 16 and was diagnosed with PTSD for finding my mum dead in our house. The second time was two years ago because I was depressed and stuck in life. I couldn’t see a way forward and would spend the entire day in bed staring at my ceiling. I could’ve done many things in that time, like finish my Master’s degree, but I didn’t. I just simply didnt have the energy for it or the willpower. I have struggled for a long time in therpay trying to figure out what was making me so scared of moving on… And it came down to change itself. In the end therapy helped me land my first real job, but I was still stuck in my school situation with no one knowing and no one to help me get through it.

Fast forward to the present and I’m still suffering in my own way. I’ve been (eventually) diagnosed with a persistant lung infection after visiting two different doctors and taking 6 different kind of medicine to treat my cough and my breathing troubles. I’ve had heart palpitations and I’m still tired 24/7. I’m still struggling with school and I can slowly feel myself slide into a state again where I just want to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling.
Everything is costing me energy and everything that isn’t going my way is causing me major frustrations. Frustrations that I can’t air well and that has been giving me trouble mostly in my online life. Right now I really just want to crawl alway in a little corner of existence and not have anyone bother me for anything. I don’t want to talk to anyone, deal with anyone or even see anyone in my immediate vicinity. I want to be left alone and I want to cry and kick and scream. But most of all I don’t want to go back to the dark pit I crawled out from two years ago. Because I’m scared that when I do go back there I might not come out again.

Things have been weird for me lately. Both ingame and in real life. I can’t really describe it properly and I’m noticing I have a very difficult time expressing myself properly in English about this. I’ve been playing around with the idea of having a Dutch blog on the side that I can mostly just talk about my personal life on and the struggles I am having in day to day life with various things and talk a bit about my opinions on hot topics these days.

For now though I barely blog here and I know I probably won’t do much on a new blog once I make it so I’m holding off on the idea untill I’m a bit less occupied.
A few areas of my life have not been going well at all. I’m still struggling with uni stuff and I’m kicking myself in the head over it because I should’ve been done over the summer. For some reason just sitting down and writing has been hard and I’m not sure why I just have this wall when it comes to finishing this project. I’ve worked so hard on this twice now and I really want it to be done. I want my diploma and move on with my life. At this point the diploma doesn’t even mean that much to me anymore, I’m purely getting it out of spite and because it looks good on my resumé.
At work I’ve come to the point where I want to move on and look for something more challenging. I love the department I’m on now and I get along with a lot of my coworkers but I’ve hit my ceiling and the challenge and fun of showing up for work four days a week has been more or less drained. I can’t really develop here and because I know the department is going to be gone soon I’ve started thinking about what I would really want to do. For now I either want to go the direction of Support/IT or maybe something in commerce. I like being the spider in the web, connecting departments together and fixing problems so I hope I can find a job that will be exactly that.
I still live at home with no real option to move out anytime soon and I’m still depressingly single. Partly this comes down to me not really actively searching for a partner and partly it’s because my self image is at an all time low. I feel fat and ugly and tired and I’m not really sure how to change this around. I’ve not felt this down in a very long time and it’s costing me a lot of energy to just do my normal day-to-day stuff, let alone start getting my stamina and muscles up to a certain level again.

Next to all of this I’m slowly realizing that I need to spend less time looking at screens in general. It feels like I’m always looking at a screen of some sort and it’s making me shallow. If it’s not for games it’s for work or constantly checking my phone. Then there’s the tablet and e-reader which are both screens aswell. It’s slowly making me, and everyone else around me, antisocial. During lunch everyone stares at their phones. You plan a meeting with someone and phones are on the table. I stare at a screen at work for eight hours a day only to get on the train and stare at my phone screen and come home and stare at a monitor. It’s kind of driving me nuts. The actual social connections are becoming hard with this. Even visiting my best friend there’s not a single time that the phones don’t come out to message people or look at stuff. It’s kind of weird and it’s making me, and a whole generation with me like this, very unhappy. I notice that my concentration is taking hits. I used to be able to spend all day working on an embroidery project or reading but now I keep taking breaks to check my phone or start up a game. It’s become an addiction and I’m starting to notice the bad side effects that come with this.
Now obviously breaking the trend in a smartphone heavy world is hard but it’s something I feel like I need to do. I don’t want to go through live like this anymore and the only person that can change this is me.

In games I’ve been struggling aswell. My static is still going and they’re a great bunch of people but I’ve been frustrated with my performance on Ninja so much that I bitched about everything to people and now apparently they leaked this back to the static. Things have gotten complicated. I’ve said stuff I didn’t mean and I’ve been grumpy about things that have nothing to do with them but with myself and it’s not really something I can easily discuss with them as group. I don’t want to be taken pity on because I’m not in a position to be pitied. I picked a class to play this expansion and although I’m enjoying it greatly I’m not on the performance level I should be and I’m having a really hard time adjusting. In hindsight I probably should have switched to Bard when I had the chance but I’m determined to make Ninja work and clear O4S. I just really hope my static will give me another chance at doing this and that I can keep my cool about all of it.
I don’t want to be angry about games. They need to be fun and a way to get rid of frustrations, not create them. I’m really desperately finding a way to make it so they are but I’m not there yet. I know partly it’s because I’m having a rough time in my personal life right now that I can’t really seem to find the peace in the games I play that I so desperately want. I’ve used gaming as an outlet for so long now that I don’t think I’ve learned proper coping mechanisms for stuff and it’s impacting everything now, including the games I love so much. And I need to break out of this.

The only question is… How?

Wow. I can’t believe it’s September already. Time really is flying the last few weeks and I’m struggling to keep up with it all.
First off, let’s start with some good news! I passed my first Web Specialization course: Introduction to HTML5. I got a shiny certificate from Coursera and I’m quite happy with my progress overall. I’ve started the second course now, which is an introduction into CSS and I hope it goes as fast as the HTML one. I’m really motivated to finish this specialization, mostly because I know it will give me a little boost on the job market. Which I’m starting to need because my current contract only goes untill the end of the year.

I”m still struggling with my thesis. It’s hard to sit down and work on it while being very tired. I am making some progress and I hope to be done very soon. In the meantime I’m plowing along at work and at life. Health wise I’m actually starting to slowly feel better. I have a bit more energy and I’m planning to spend my weekends trying to get some exercises done. We have a hometrainer upstairs and I have a few weights lying around so apart from feeling very dead there’s nothing really stopping me to start working on getting back in shape again.

Games wise I don’t actually have much to tell. I’m playing FFXIV still and had gotten my Bard to level 70. I’m working on leveling my White Mage in the battle class department and I’m leveling up Botanist and Miner together. All these classes are coincidentally at level 56. It will be nice to finally see a bit of “endgame” on my gatherers early on in the expansion. It’s nice to just run around and mine things when I don’t really feel like doing anything else and, aslong as I’m still leveling, I’m slowly working towards my goal of getting every class to level 70.
I am looking forward to the Destiny 2 launch on Wednesday. I can’t really play due to having to raid but I have Thursday off and I will have the entire day to dive into the game and play the sequel of the only FPS that actually ever got me hooked hard.

So yeah, for the next week next to FF raids I will probably spend most of my time in Destiny 2, playing the story and leveling my warlock and exploring endgame.
I know it’s a bit of a short post this way, but I don’t really have much to talk about.