Music Monday – Coffee Shop

I played Coffee Talk last week (look out for a post) and it’s inspired me to do a coffee shop themed Music Monday. So grab a hot cup of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate, or whatever you drink), and get ready to chill.

Moon Bright – Coffee Talk

I was really excited when I heard this remixed Clair de Lune in Coffee Talk. Really great for a coffee shop that’s only open at night. Can I get a remixed Moonlight Sonata as well?

The Roost – Animal Crossing New Leaf

The Roost is one of my favorite fictional cafés and I anxiously await its appearance in New Horizons (while Brewster has been confirmed for the game, we’ve seen nothing of his café so far). This is perfectly relaxing music for enjoying a piping hot cup of Brewster’s own special blend, and chatting with your favorite villager.

Milk Bar – Majora’s Mask

It’s not a coffee shop, but the milk bar from Majora’s Mask has the vibe I’m going for in this post. The track itself is a little unusual for the dark tone of the game, but its fitting for a bar where everyone goes to forget their troubles (and the looming, falling moon). And the jazzy break 30 seconds in is just wonderful.

Nacrene City – Pokémon Black/White

Okay, this is a whole city, but it’s an artsy city with a café warehouse, and its track has a very coffee shop feel to it. A lot of Pokémon Black/White’s soundtrack, as well as Diamond/Pearl’s would go great in a coffee shop playlist.

Tenderhearted – Coffee Talk

I wanted to round out today’s Music Monday with another track from Coffee Talk. This one’s super chill and relaxing – more for mellowing out with a cup of coffee after a long day of work.

I hope y’all are having a good Monday and happy listening!

Favorite Fire Type Pokémon

Now we’re really getting into my favorite pokémon. Fire types, and many of the types formerly classified as special types, always have a place on my team.

Gen 1 – Kanto – Ponyta

Ponyta is one of my favorite pokémon of all time. It’s my favorite animal as a pokémon. I love its new Galarian form too. I’ve used ponyta on my team in at least four games, and I will absolutely use it again. Ponyta was also the first pokémon I attempted to shiny hunt, with the radar in Diamond – I had no success. I did get its shiny form in Let’s Go.

Gen 2 – Johto – Cyndaquil

I have some shocking news – I’ve never used cyndaquil on my team. I was always a huge fan of chikorita – one of the starters that gets the most hate. But I do think cyndaquil is adorable – and its flames are really cool.

Gen 3 – Hoenn – Torchic

I think they nailed it with the gen 3 starters. Gen 3 is the only game where I went back and restarted with each of the starters – I had such a hard time choosing.

Gen 4 – Sinnoh – Chimchar

I….just read chimchar’s pokédex entry and I regret it. I still think it looks cute though.

Gen 5 – Unova – Pansear

I’m not 100% sure but I think I had pansear on my team for a little bit. It’s one of the rare fire types you can get early in the game.

Gen 6 – Kalos – Fennekin

First off, I love the way they did starter typings in gen 6. The final evolutions each gain a secondary type, creating another type triangle (psychic, dark, fighting). I also love that they made a fire type with a psychic secondary type, instead of fighting. I’m also quite fond of the fire fox – vulpix was the runner up for my favorite gen 1 fire type.

Gen 7 – Alola – Litten

Oh litten. I love you so much. I was SO excited when you were revealed. And so nervous. See, Game Freak has a habit of making the final evolution of starters bipedal. I didn’t want them to do that to you. And boy was I disappointed. So disappointed that I chose rowlet as my starter instead. I eventually came around and chose litten for Ultra Sun, but I’ve been keeping torracat from evolving.

Gen 8 – Galar – Scorbunny

A little soccer player fire bunny? Just awesome. If sobble didn’t exist I’d be all over this dude.

What are your favorite fire types?

Favorite Steel Type Pokémon

I honestly think steel types are really cool, I just haven’t use them on my teams very much. It’s another one of those types I like as a secondary type. I’ve decided to skip Gen 1 because it only has two steel types (retroactively added), magnemite and magneton. So we’ll begin with Johto.

Gen 2 – Johto – Skarmory

Skarmory is a very unique (and cool) looking bird pokémon. I like the detail of rust-colored feathers. This detail extends to the shiny form, where its body is bronze and the rusty feathers turn green, like corroded copper.

Gen 3 – Hoenn – Mawile

I’ve always thought mawile was pretty cool looking, but I’m just now using it on my team for the first time in Pokémon Ultra Sun (which I took a break from playing when Sword/Shield came out, so I have to go back and finish it).

Gen 4 – Sinnoh – Bronzor

Bronzor is a weird little dude. It kind of reminds me of a snowflake for some reason, I guess because it’s got 6 points (the spheres)? I also like that it doesn’t have that silver coloring that a lot of steel pokémon have. It looks pretty different from most steel types and with no prior knowledge of it, I wouldn’t guess it was steel type.

Gen 5 – Unova – Pawniard

Part of the reason I chose pawniard is definitely the way it runs around in pokémon camp. I also think the blades for arms look is pretty cool. And I like the dark/steel dual typing.

Gen 6 – Kalos – Honedge

Another ghost type possessed-object…and I love it. I chose honedge out of its evolutionary line because I like its color scheme best, but I love the whole line.

Gen 7 – Alola – Togedemaru

Ah, the pikaclone of gen 7. Imagine if there were mimikyu forms that dressed as different pikaclones. I like that they went with the hedgehog direction – it’s really adorable.

Gen 8 – Galar – Copperajah

I love the way its design uses both colors of copper. I also love to see the use of different metals for steel type pokémon – this is the direction I want rock types to go in.

What are your favorite steel type pokémon?

Just a Few Non-Spoilery Thoughts about Death Stranding

It’s been a wild ride with Death Stranding. I went from being really intrigued by it to not being sure if I was gonna get it, to buying it and thinking I would get bored of being an Amazon delivery boy real fast. And then I got very excited by the prospect of building highways and delivering pizzas (exciting stuff, I know). Anyway, I’m expecting a pizza delivery sequel/spinoff for the next game.

I was confused by BBs and BTs and chiralium, but much of the game felt plenty familiar, with fetch quests and stealth and common tropes. My first real WTF moment came in chapter 4, which drastically changed the game for me. It was a surprisingly fun chapter for me, considering it reminded me of games I don’t typically play. And it changed things up from the normal gameplay, where the main game mechanic is walking and managing your inventory.

Speaking of which, the walking mechanics were a reminder of how we take an action as simple as walking in a game for granted. Usually we just have to controller the character’s direction, perhaps occasionally pressing another button to climb or jump or swim. But you can’t just carelessly run around in Death Stranding. Going too fast downhill or over rough terrain puts you at risk for falling over (and damaging whatever you’re carrying). You have to keep your balance, especially when you’re carrying lots of packages . It keeps you constantly engaged with the game.

Admittedly, I didn’t love this mechanic, but I thought it was interesting. If it was something I had to do the whole game, I don’t think I would’ve liked it as much. Thankfully, along with those highways, the game introduces vehicles which give you a break from this mechanic.

Another big mechanic in the the game was timefall, a rain or snow storm which accelerates time for anything it touches. In most cases, this causes damage to packages and equipment. And where there’s timefall, there are usually dangerous BTs hanging around. But it’s not always a negative thing. Timefall farmers use the acceleration of time to their advantage, growing wheat much faster which allows them to provide staples like bread to a world where supplies are limited. They also brew a nice Timefall Porter. Fun fact (which I learned from the game) – porters are thought to be named so because of their popularity with cargo-carrying porters (like Sam). It’s little details like this that make me really appreciate a game.

What really stood out in the game for me was the relationship between BB and Sam. Death Stranding is a game about making connections between people across the United States in a world where we’ve lost the internet (which I think is a fascinating contrast with the way people accuse the digital world of severing personal connections). But the strongest connection you make in the game, is the one you (Sam) make with BB. You’re constantly reminded that BB is just a tool, and yet it’s all too easy to get attached. BB is your constant companion, helping you detect BTs and staying out of danger. And you have to keep BB from getting too stressed when you get into dangerous situations, soothing it by rocking it back and forth and whistling.

The game obviously sets you up for this bond with BB, but it created and attachment that took me by surprise anyway. It was such a nice touch to add “BB looks happy” text when you’re speeding down a zip line or a highway, and not just when you’re soothing it. Honestly, BB and Mads Mikkelsen’s character (who I will say nothing about to avoid spoilers) are what kept me invested in the game.

This game is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly a weird and unexpected adventure.

Favorite Ghost Type Pokémon

Okay, so I had a similar post around Halloween, so some of these are going to be a little redundant. But because I’m only choosing one pokémon from each generation, the list had to change slightly (more additions than subtractions fortunately).

Gen 1 – Kanto – Haunter

Haunter is one of those instantly recognizable, iconic pokémon, and it’s probably one of the first you think of when you think of ghost pokémon.

Gen 2 – Johto – Misdreavus

Sometimes misdreavus looks menacing. Sometimes, like in this picture, it looks adorable. It’s kind of a classic “ghost-looking” pokémon (as opposed to possessed-object ghost pokémon).

Gen 3 – Hoenn – Shuppet

I’m disappointed they didn’t give its shiny form candy corn eyes…idea for fan art? Also, I’m sorry duskull, you were a very close second.

Gen 4 – Sinnoh – Rotom

I love the way rotom zips around in the overworld in Pokémon Sword and Shield. This guy has been your trusty pokédex, your phone, and your bike – it’s important to every trainer whether it’s on your team or not. And it’s got such and adorable face.

Gen 5 – Unova – Chandelure

A lot of people use this design when discussing how unoriginal pokémon designs are coming. But I think it’s fantastic. It’s one of my favorite pokémon designs and I did a chandelure design for my jack-o-lantern last Halloween. I love the whole sentient object pokémon thing.

Gen 6 – Kalos – Pumpkaboo

It’s a jack-o-lantern! With a cat-looking thing on top! It’s the perfect Halloween pokémon! And its shiny form is purple, which is just perfect. Speaking of its shiny form, I’m on a very long encounter method hunt for it in Shield…which I hope comes to an end very soon.

Gen 7 – Alola – Mimikyu

This poor little thing just wants to be loved…I think? Anyway, you don’t want to see it with its disguise off or you’ll die. I just realized that I’ve never played with it in pokémon camp, so it’s time to do that now.

Gen 8 – Galar – Polteageist

Do you have an authentic polteageist? I do! This is another charming possessed-object pokémon that fits perfectly in the Galar region.

What are your favorite ghost pokémon?

Animal Crossing Diaries #15

It’s been awhile since my last Animal Crossing Diaries. I haven’t been playing much; I’m mostly waiting for March so I can catch my last fish and my last diving creature. But I didn’t want to wait until next month to post.

There will be one or two more Animal Crossing New Leaf Diaries, and then I’ll begin my New Horizons Diaries! I’m very excited – there will be so much to update on and posts will be frequent! And there’s an Animal Crossing Direct tomorrow!

Anyway, there was a meteor shower on Valentine’s Day, so that was pretty cool.

Had a nice Valentine’s Day photo op…excuse the messy hair…time for a haircut!

Hmm, not sure I’m into that cut/color combination. I think I’d like the hairstyle more with a different color, and the color more with a different hairstyle. I do like the hairpiece in the back, though!

Gracie’s shop was holding a sale, so I got a black veil to cover up the hairstyle for a bit.

And now I’m enjoying one of the last snows of the season. I’m still hoping for a good snow in real life (it happens in March around here sometimes), but I’m also ready for warmer weather.

30 days until New Horizons!

Favorite Bug Type Pokémon

Bug types occasionally feature on my team very early in-game, before being replaced. That’s because they’re easy to get early in the games. And while they don’t stay on my teams, I’m still really fond of some of them.

Gen 1 – Kanto – Butterfree

This is another one of my “I copied Ash’s team in gen 1” pokémon. And I think it’s the only bug pokémon I’ve used on my team for the whole game.

Gen 2 – Johto – Scizor

Scyther probably would’ve been my gen 1 pick if not for butterfree, so its evolution gets my pick for gen 2.

Gen 3 – Hoenn – Beautifly

I picked beautifly because it’s beautiful. And that’s all I have to say about it.

Gen 4 – Sinnoh – Combee

A honeycomb bee?!! It’s perfect! I mean, that’s such a cute, creative design. And it looks so happy – that smile is contagious.

Gen 5 – Unova – Joltik

They really did make a spider pokémon that looks adorable. I like the bug/electric typing too.

Gen 6 – Kalos – Vivillon

I loved trying to collect all the vivillon forms in gen 6 and I’m curious how it’s going to work in Pokémon Go. Will the regions match up with the regions they used for X/Y? Will they make it easier to get all the forms? I remember it being pretty tough to get some of the forms on the GTS. I believe I had the modern form vivillon (pictured), but my favorites were the marine and meadow forms.

Gen 7 – Alola – Ribombee

I’m noticing a lot of yellows in the bug pokémon I’ve chosen. And yellow’s my least favorite color, so it’s pretty impressive that I think it looks good on all these pokémon. Would I complain if they were blue or pink instead? No, but the yellow looks great, and I wouldn’t change it (those are extremely acceptable colors for shiny forms though).

Gen 8 – Galar – Dottler

Dottler was on my team for a bit before replacing it later on. It like that it has a ladybug design that doesn’t look too much like a ladybug.

What are your favorite bug type pokémon?

Music Monday – Island Vibes

As Animal Crossing New Horizon approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about its island setting and I wanted to put together a Music Monday of island themes.

Tortimer Island – Animal Crossing New Leaf

I couldn’t not include Animal Crossing’s own island theme. I’m glad Tortimer’s enjoying his retirement here.

Dragon Roost Island – Wind Waker

This is one of my favorite Zelda tracks of all time, this is the music that comes to mind when I think of Wind Waker.

Dewford Town – Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

A quaint little beach town you need a boat to reach before you learn surf or fly, I loved just hanging around here, leaving footprints in the sand, fishing, and trying to set new trends. And it’s got some nice music to listen to.

Misty Island – Jak and Daxter

This one’s a little different, huh? Not exactly the beachy, summer-y vibe of the others. But I wanted to mix things up a bit.

Virtual Villagers 3 OST

I love the virtual villagers series – I have all 5 on my phone and it’s a nice game to get back into every once in awhile. And its music is so relaxing.

What video game islands do you enjoy hanging out on?

Favorite Rock Type Pokémon

I’ve alway thought it would be cool if we could get a little more diversity in rock type pokémon by including designs that make use of precious rocks (a gemstone pokémon) or a geode pokémon (there’s a perfect opportunity to make a regional form of geodude that’s an actual geode). Also, how cool would it be to have crystal onix in a game and not just the anime? That brings me to my gen 1 favorite…

Gen 1 – Kanto – Onix

What a cool looking guy who I have never used on my team. Also, shoutout to Brock’s Onix.

Gen 2 – Johto – Tyranitar

One of the great things about pokémon go is that it made me get far more acquainted with all the pokémon in each region. Though I’ve never used tyranitar in a main series game, I use it quite a lot in pokémon go – it’s a great pokémon!

Gen 3 – Hoenn – Solrock

It was really a toss up between solrock and lunatone here. Their appearance in Hoenn made it extra strange that the games were missing a day/night cycle – almost as strange as the fact that they don’t appear in Sun and Moon. I’d probably never use them on a team, but they’re pretty cool looking, especially as a pair.

Gen 4 – Sinnoh – Cranidos

A good old fossil pokémon – I love these guys that look like dinosaurs. It’s always super exciting to restore a fossil and discover what the pokémon looks like.

Gen 5 – Unova – Tirtouga

Turtles are awesome. Are there enough turtle pokémon for a turtle team? Tirtouga is another fossil pokémon…I just think they’re neat, okay?

Gen 6 – Kalos – Tyrunt

This is the last fossil pokémon, I promise. It’s a t-rex!!! I love it so much.

Gen 7 – Alola – Rockruff

It’s a pupper! And it can evolve into a werewolf. It’s also the only pure rock type I’ve ever used on a pokémon team. I also just realized that its shiny form is blue! This guy is now in the running for my favorite gen 7 shiny.

Gen 8 – Galar – Rolycoly

I thought rolycoly looked pretty cool from the first time I saw it in the overworld. I may not have used it on my team, but I do have its final evolution, coalossal in my party for my masuda method shiny hunts – it has flame body, which shortens the steps needed for eggs to hatch.

What are your favorite rock types?

Favorite Ground Type Pokémon

I actually really like having pokémon on my team who have ground as their secondary type – I love mudkip. And it’s super nice to have a pokémon who knows earthquake. But I’ve only used a pure ground type once, and I’ll let you know below.

Gen 1 – Kanto – Cubone

I’ve never used cubone on a team (I have used alolan marowak on a team, but it’s fire/ghost), I just think cubone is a memorable pokémon with a great in-game story in gen 1.

Gen 2 – Johto – Phanpy

Phanpy is a cutie and it’s one of many gen 2 pokémon I was introduced to while playing Pokémon Ruby (I only played a borrowed copy of Crystal very briefly, so my real introduction to Johto was with HeartGold). I strongly associate phanpy with the safari zone, which I had a lot of fun with in gen 3.

Gen 3 – Hoenn – Camerupt

It’s a volcano camel! One of the things I really loved about Hoenn was that despite its reputation of having ‘too much water,’ it’s very geographically diverse. Camerupt reminds me of how great the volcano and desert areas were.

Gen 4 – Sinnoh – Gastrodon

Gastrodon’s kind of a weird-looking guy, but I liked that we got 2 different versions of it. I’m an east sea fan myself.

Gen 5 – Unova – Sandile

I just think sandile is a cool looking guy, okay?

Gen 6 – Kalos – Diggersby

Weird choice? I thought so too when I went back and looked at my list. Turns out it wasn’t a choice – it’s the only ground pokémon added in gen 6.

Gen 7 – Alola – Mudsdale

I really love mudsdale. I was excited to see another horse pokémon (one step closer to fulfilling my dream of having a horse pokémon team), and this guy’s really tank-y.

Gen 8 – Galar – Silicobra

Snakes are pretty cool. And it’s pretty cool to see a snake pokémon that isn’t just a poison type.

What are your favorite ground type pokémon?

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