Are Dragonball Z Battle of Z and Pokemon X & Y a glimpse into future games?

By Jeremy Carden

From what I can tell both of these games show that the video game market is focusing on expanding online and multi-player game play like never before!

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Pokemon X and Y demonstrated that the Pokemon Company wanted the entire world to experience these new games together. In the past, Japan would get the new Pokemon games months before the United States and other countries. However, this all changed when it was announced back in January that Pokemon X and Y was going to have a worldwide release.

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This was huge news for Pokemon fans everywhere and a great start to 2013! Fans everywhere waited in anticipation for any news leaks from the games about new features, game play and of course new Pokemon. Something very interesting about the announcement trailer was that Pikachu was on top of what appeared to be the Eiffel Tower. From there it used an electric attack that scattered over the globe. This seemed to be an illustration of how there would be a connection worldwide with people trading and battling around the world at one time.

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With Dragonball Z Battle of Z being released next month, a demo has already been made available for fans who want to experience the game before they buy it. This DBZ game has new features that allow up to 8 players to fight on the same battlefield at the same time! An expansion like this will let players experience fighting  like never before. It won’t be one player vs. another player like in the past; it can be 1 vs. 7!

Of course with these new additions there seems to be a few cons to go along with the pros.

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Pokemon X and Y introduced the lowest number of new Pokemon in a new game totaling 69 along with 28 Mega Evolutions for Pokemon from previous generations. This made many of the older fans upset because it seemed like their favorite Pokemon from earlier generations were being tampered with. A lot of fans love the new 3D Pokemon and overall game play. However, the fact that the game is easier to beat than past generations due to the Exp. All allowing a person’s Pokemon to level up quickly in order to overpower their opponents all the way up through the Pokemon League with ease is one complaint fans have.

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It also seems that there is not a Move Tutor in the game to teach moves like Ice/Thunder/Fire Punch and other useful moves players have become accustomed to accessing at some point in the game. Not to mention a lack of post-game story arcs to play like a Battle Frontier.

It appears that the primary focus of X and Y is about the expansion in the Wi-Fi department for battling and trading with other players rather than the actual story mode.

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Players who have been through the demo for Battle of Z have complained about the complex controls and not so stealer graphics. Also the cutscenes that come from using Super/Ultimate Attacks are not present either. Which makes sense because if 8 players are releasing Kamehameha Waves, Big Bang Attacks, Death Balls or other moves at once it would take forever to cut to each player as their fire their moves.

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Another downside is a lack of in game transformations, but again this makes sense especially if you have a team of one particular character. For example, you can form a team with ALL of Cell’s forms so it wouldn’t make sense for Semi-Perfect Cell to transform into Perfect Cell when Perfect Cell is already on the team. However, I wish you could transform if you have a standard team that does not include multiple forms of the same character.

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Ultimate Tenkaichi was the last game released and although it wasn’t the best game, fans have praised the Character Customization feature. Though it will not be present in Battle of Z, but it is something X and Y fans were excited to see in the trailers for the game. Finally being able to dress up their character, add accessories and change skin tone was something Pokemon fans have been waiting a long time to see.

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The game seems to have a story mode that strays from the original that most fans are accustomed to. In the demo when fighting Raditz, there is both Krillin AND Goku there battling Goku’s brother which is not what happened in the manga or TV show. Fans can only judge Battle of Z from the demo meaning there is a possibility for more great features to be revealed when the actual game comes out. Hopefully it does not disappoint everyone who has been anticipating a new DBZ game for the past 2 years.

Do I think it will be the best DBZ game out there? Not really but I feel like it is the introduction of an even greater DBZ game in the future.

Something tells me that these games are kind of a “trial and error” slowly introdcuing fans to something potentially bigger for both Pokemon AND Dragonball Z. There is no telling what they will bring to us in upcoming games, but I for one cannot wait!

I’m sure this new style of enhanced multi-player action is for game developers to see how customers respond and in future games more will be added like additional story elements, characters, etc.

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Most sources are saying that Battle of Z is going to be the last DBZ game for the Xbox 360 and PS3 systems.

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A lot of fans are speculating that Pokemon Z will be the game to follow up X and Y.

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I’m hoping for that instead of an X2 and Y2 like they did for Black and White which made fans spend more money if they wanted both instead of just one.

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In terms of DBZ, based on the success of Battle of Z perhaps there will be a Tenkaichi 4, Raging Blast 3 or something completely new.

Who knows but one thing is for sure I think these games are just a taste of things to come!

How about you?

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A Message To Single People: God Is Love

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by Jeremy Carden

This story happened early in November around the time that I was going through some girl problems. It seemed that no matter what I did or didn’t do I was being turned down left and right.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t going up to every girl I saw and asking “Would you go out with me?” because that wasn’t the situation at all. For some reason I was being put in the friend-zone.

I was going through a period where I was no longer content with being single. Every day I would ask God why I still haven’t found the woman of my dreams.

One night I was really depressed and was just lying in bed for about an hour. I was praying to God for some kind of direction because I really had no idea what I wanted to do next semester. I didn’t have a real reason to come back to campus (well I will admit that I was just looking at how I didn’t have a girl to come back to next semester), what to do after I finish graduate school in May and how to keep from getting turned down like this even by girls who I do not even have a romantic interest in.

And the questions went on until I asked for some sort of sign from God before finally falling asleep.

So to get my mind off of my troubles, the next day I just stayed in my room and did all kinds of busy work that I’ve been putting off; some cleaning, non-school related writing and other things like that.

Around 6 PM, I decided to make a quick trip to Ollie’s just to get out of my room and get some air. I made it to the bus stop and missed the bus by a few seconds meaning I’d have to wait 20 minutes for the next one. Instead of going back to the dorm and coming back, I just decided to sit on the wall next to the bus stop and listen to some music.

Not too long after I put my headphones in, another bus pulls up and a guy getting off the bus just comes up to me and says Hello. I said hey back thinking to myself whether or not I’ve seen this guy before and it turns out that I hadn’t. He asked where I was headed and I said Ollie’s but I had missed my bus. To my surprise he offered me a ride.

Well Mama always said not to take ride from strangers and after saying that I’d wait for the bus he kept insisting that it was no trouble at all. So, we start walking to his car and he asks “If I knew Jesus?” right away my first instinct is “Oh geez, this is just some evangelism student probably doing his Witnessing Project…”

Turns out he wasn’t, I didn’t ask him but I could just tell. Before I could answer his question he said you know what I think that you do know Jesus. I asked him how he knew that and he said that he could just tell. I told him that I was told long ago that the way you carry yourself can show other people the God in you and he agreed so we just talked about how and when we got saved, what we were majoring in at Liberty University and just simple small talk.

About 5 minutes later, he stopped the car in front of Ollie’s. Right as I was getting out of the car after thanking him for the ride, he told me “God loves you.” After taking a moment to reflect on that I thanked him again and he drove off.

Those 3 little words…God loves you

With a few letdowns in terms of women, a night full of doubt stressing about what to do next and questioning where God was when I was going through all of this just disappeared in that one moment! The thing that hit me was the night before I was asking God for a sign and He delivered it so quickly!

This might seem a bit cliché since I’m sure everyone has heard this many times; the most important relationship that you can have is a relationship with God. From that experience, I can honestly say that I could not agree more with that statement. Since that moment I’ve been trying to look at life a little differently. Doing my best to look at the positives instead of the negatives has made things a bit easier for me. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that I sometimes wonder the answer to, but one thing is for sure: GOD LOVES ME.

Pokémon: How Come Charizard Refused To Obey Ash?

 by Jeremy Carden

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Anyone who has ever watched the original Pokemon series has pondered this question: Why did Charmander stop obeying Ash after it evolved into Charmeleon and then Charizard?

My own personal theory as to why Charmeleon and Charizard refused to obey Ash was because he pushed it too hard.

In the Season 1 episode The March of the Exeggutor Squad, Charmander evolved into Charmeleon.

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Melvin the Magician’s Exeggcute hypnotized Ash into helping Melvin capture a large number of Exeggutor using his Pokemon; Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmaner. Melvin ended up capturing them all but at the cost of Ash’s Pokemon battling until they were exhausted.

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From what I can tell none of them knew that Ash was not himself when ordering them to attack such a large number of Pokemon at once without rest.

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At the climax of the episode, the entire Exeggutor herd was stampeding into the city and the group’s only hope was Charmander’s Flamethrower. Ash was finally back to normal no longer controlled by Hypnosis, but again Charmander was exhausted from a barrage of Fire attacks.

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Melvin mastered his Raging Fire attack which unleashed a large stream of fire from his magic wand. He combined it with Charmander’s Flamethrower and it was enough to stop the Exeggutor in their tracks and they went back into the forest.

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Then Charmander evolves into Charmeleon and from that point on it refused to obey Ash.

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A few episodes later it evolves into Charizard in what looked to be an attempt to rescue its trainer from an Aerodactyl.

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However, this was not the case as it was just the urge to battle a strong opponent which led to Charmeleon evolving.

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Time and time again Charizard’s refusal to battle has resulted in Ash losing important matches. One of the few times Charizard obeyed Ash was when it battled Blaine’s Magmar earning Ash the Volcano Badge. Brock pointed out that the only reason for Charizard obeying Ash was because it wanted to test its strength against a powerful opponent like Magmar. That always struck me as odd because if Charizard wanted to battle a strong opponent like Magmar, and won under the commands of Ash then how come it didn’t deem him as a trainer worthy of its power?

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Moving on to the Orange Islands, Charizard once again refused to battle after Ash calls him out to battle a Poliwrath. Battling on his own terms, Charizard suffers a tough loss being frozen by an Ice Beam attack.

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Charizard finally obeyed Ash after he takes cares of it all night in order to thaw it out. It seems that Charizard finally understood that Ash cared for it a lot and from that point on the two battled together as a team. If my theory as to why Charizard did not listen to Ash is correct: Ash’s love and care proved to Charizard that he DID care for him.

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Seeing Ash do whatever it took to keep Charizard warm reminded me of how he kept Charmander’s tail from getting wet when it was outside in the rain.

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Some people speculate that since Ash did not have enough badges he was not able to control Charizard. At the time of Charmander’s evolution into Charmeleon, Ash already had 6 of the 8 Kanto Badges. Charmander was the Pokemon used to defeat Koga’s Golbat for the Soul Badge.

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The reason for this theory is because some fans consider Charmander somewhat of a “traded Pokemon” since it had a former trainer Damian. In the video games, if a Pokemon obtained in a trade is at a high level that exceeds the limits of the badges a trainer has on hand it will refuse to obey them. I don’t feel this is good evidence because Damian tricked Charmander into waiting for him on a rock, but it turns out that it was abandoned by its trailer. So technically speaking, Ash “caught” Charmander as a wild Pokemon.

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Not to mention in the Pokemon League, Charizard flat out refused to listen to Ash. Despite having all 8 badges and making it to the fifth round of the tournament, Charizard took a nap. In the video games it is stated that anyone with 8 badges can command a Pokemon of ANY level without fail.

*Professor Oak speculated that Charizard did not see Ritchie’s Pikachu as a worthy opponent to battle.*

In any case, its refusal to battle resulted in one of the most shocking disappointments of any child born in the 90s: Ash lost his first Pokemon League Tournament.

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This is why the Pokemon game mechanics do not blend so well with some of the things seen in the anime. It appears that a Pokemon will only obey its trainer in the show if it trusts the trainer and some Pokemon will only obey if they deem their trainer worthy of commanding them.

Overall, it seemed that Charmander began to look at Ash the same way it finally saw Damian for what he truly was: a trainer who only cared about it just because it was strong.

Although Ash cared for all of his Pokemon, making Charmander battle multiple times reaching its breaking point is probably why Charmander stopped obeying him after evolution. Need more proof?

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Remember that Charmander attacked Damian with its Flamethrower when it decided it was no longer going to be treated wrongly because it was deemed by Damian as weak or battle  to its trainer’s content just because it was finally seen as powerful.

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After evolving, the first thing Charmeleon did when Ash hugged it was use a Flamethrower that nearly burned part of his head!

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In The Problem With Paras, Charmeleon scored a direct hit burning Ash’s face.

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Charizard has used its Flamethrower on Ash multiple times in the series whenever it felt that Ash was getting on its nerves.

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After finally obeying Ash, Charizard would use his Flamethrower as a greeting when returning from its training in the Charicific Valley. This was just its friendly way of saying “Hello” to its trainer. Similar behavior is demonstrated when Heracross sucks on Ash’s head or Turtwig biting Ash on the arm or head.

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Despite being one of Ash’s most difficult Pokemon to work with, the bond between Charizard and Ash is arguably close to the bond between Ash and Pikachu. Keep in mind that Pikachu was not Ash’s buddy when they first met. It took Ash risking his life to protect it from  flock of Spearow for Pikachu to begin to trust its new trainer. 

Do you agree with my theory?