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Nintendo Has Sold Over 300 Million Home Consoles

Earlier this week we reported on the impressive fact that Sony has sold over 500 million total PlayStation consoles since the original PlayStation debuted in 1994. That got me thinking about another titan in the industry with an even longer history. Nintendo has officially released sales data for all of its major hardware releases since the Famicom in 1983, so I did a little digging to see what kind of numbers they’ve piled up over the years and how they compare to Sony’s.

Purely by luck, it seems I had great timing in picking now to total everything up. As of Nintendo’s last official update on June 30th, Nintendo home consoles sales have just passed up the 300 million mark. The Wii makes up over one-third of this total (and almost all of that within its first four years) with over 100 million units sold. Here’s how it all breaks down:

Nintendo Home Console Sales (all numbers in millions)

  • NES — 61.91
  • SNES — 49.10
  • N64 — 32.93
  • GameCube — 21.74
  • Wii — 101.63
  • Wii U — 13.56
  • Switch — 19.67
  • Total: 300.54

Sales figures for the Famicom are added to the NES total in Nintendo’s official data. 35 years after it first graced living rooms in Japan, Nintendo has sold more than 300 million home consoles worldwide. That takes care of the living room, but a huge part of the Nintendo experience is playing on the go. What do their handheld sales figures look like?

Nintendo Handheld Sales (all numbers in millions)

  • Game Boy — 118.69 (includes Color)
  • Game Boy Advance — 81.51
  • DS — 154.02
  • 3DS — 72.89
  • Total: 427.11

As you can see, Nintendo’s handheld business has proven even more successful than their home console lineup. DS accounts for over one-third of total sales, and it sold alongside Wii, making that period one of the most lucrative in Nintendo history. The original Game Boy extended its life with the Color version (which Nintendo considers all part of the same family, much like DS and DSi) and eventually sold over 118 million.

Combining the home console and handheld totals together gives us a grand total of 727.65 million. All of these numbers come from Nintendo’s investor relations website, which does not list official data for NES Classic Edition, SNES Classic Edition, Virtual Boy (all three of which combine for a little less than 10 million), or any of the various Game & Watch lines For comparison’s sake, we’re just going to use Nintendo’s officially listed figures.

So how does that stack up against Sony? Famicom made its debut in July of 1983, giving Nintendo 35 years and one month in the business. PlayStation launched in December of 1994, giving Sony 23 years and 8 months in the hardware business. If you do the math, that comes out to 20.7 million units of hardware sold per year by Nintendo and 22.12 million units of hardware sold per year by Sony.

The two companies have combined to sell an astonishing 1.253 billion consoles altogether, bringing joy to hundreds of millions of players along the way. Here’s to another billion!

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Here Are Some Things You Should Know Before Getting Into Kingdom Hearts

2018 is going to be an exciting year for fans of the Kingdom Hearts franchise because we’re finally approaching the release of the grand finale to the current story arc, Kingdom Hearts III. For those both inside and outside the series’ community, there is an undeniable sense of hype surrounding this game. That much excitement is bound to draw in some newcomers, and that’s awesome! Now is arguably the best time to introduce yourself to the series. However, there are some things you need to know before diving in.

Regardless of the hype,
Kingdom Hearts never has been and never will be a perfect franchise. It has a ton of flaws you should know about before getting into it. This is coming from somebody who has been a loyal fan since the original game’s release 16 years ago. So if you’re thinking about catching up on the Kingdom Hearts series, take all of these things into consideration first.

The Story

You’ve probably heard of this by now. The storyline of the Kingdom Hearts series is a convoluted mess. However, there is a misconception as to why the plot is like this. Many assume the story itself is confusing, but that’s not really the case if you play the games in order of release.

Kingdom Hearts is filled to the brim with plot twists, retcons, visual storytelling, and many other elements that are important to pay attention too. If you play the games in the proper order, things will make sense and the particular plot points will have their intended effect on you.

For instance, you wouldn’t want to tell somebody what happens in the seventh season of a television show without the first six seasons for context. You would sound insane.
Kingdom Hearts works in a similar way.

With that being said, how are people so confused when it comes to the story? Kingdom Hearts used to span multiple consoles before the dawn of the HD collections. As it was before 2013, you had to own a PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance (unless you picked up the PS2 remake of Chain of Memories), Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, and a Nintendo 3DS (which could play the DS games, but it wouldn’t matter if you were picking them up on release day).

This caused a lot of confusion. At this point, there were seven games in the
Kingdom Hearts series. Kingdom Hearts and its sequel landed on the PlayStation 2, while numerous interquels, prequels, and even two sequels made their way to various handheld systems. With this confusing release pattern, many fans were playing the games out of order. Thankfully, this is easily avoided with the recent HD collections.

The HD Collections

This is by far the best way to experience Kingdom Hearts. These versions of the games have additional content, higher quality graphics, and even improved framerates on the PS4 versions.

With
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Square Enix has put the entire series on one platform. To get the best experience, you should play the entirety of 1.5+2.5 first in the following order:

  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded

If you don’t like the gameplay of Chain of Memories, feel free to watch the cutscenes online. A lot of people learn the story this way. However, it is a really fun deck building game, so I recommend playing it. After you finish that collection, move on to 2.8 and play the games in this order:

  • Kingdom Hearts HD: Dream Drop Distance
  • Kingdom Hearts χ: Back Cover
  • Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage

Wow, that’s a lot of games! Thankfully,
358/2 Days, Re: Coded, and Back Cover are all simply cutscenes stitched together like a movie. A Fragmentary Passage is also relatively short, since it was originally supposed to be the prologue for Kingdom Hearts III.

So
Dream Drop Distance is a remaster of a 3DS game. A Fragmentary Passage is sort of like the Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zero of Kingdom Hearts III. But what is this mysterious χ: Back Cover? It’s a lot different from the other games and it doesn’t even feature any of the familiar characters we know and love.

If you’ve stayed with me so far, awesome! I’m so sorry if I lose you after this next part, because things get very complicated when talking about this game.

Kingdom Hearts χ

After the release of Dream Drop Distance, Square Enix released a web browser game called Kingdom Hearts χ. The game is a prequel that predates any of the current games by hundreds of years. Many people shrugged off the cutesy style of the game, thinking that Square finally released a spinoff game that wasn’t important to the story.

But Tetsuya Nomura can’t be satisfied unless he makes you play a different
Kingdom Hearts game on every platform known to man. Kingdom Hearts χ, unfortunately, is presumably important to the story. Thankfully, the game finished a long time ago and all the cutscenes are available online.

Things are never this easy for
Kingdom Hearts though. In 2015, a mobile port of the game called Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ was released. This was originally thought to be a port of the mobile browser game. But like I said, it can never be that simple. The story of Unchained χ deviates from the original about halfway through the game. New elements start to pop up, and it starts to become clear why the games have two separate names.

About a year ago, the main plot of the game severely strayed from the original. Along with some additional story and game mechanics, Square renamed the game to Kingdom Hearts Union χ (Cross).

Originally, it was believed
Kingdom Hearts χ: Back Cover would streamline the events of the mobile and browser games so fans wouldn’t have to play them. But Back Cover contains information you won’t find in the mobile game. Unfortunately, the same thing can be said the other way around. The three titles coexist, and you have to understand them all to fully grasp the story.

The worst part about
Kingdom Hearts χ is the fact that Union χ is still going. The story isn’t even finished and is unlikely to be finished by the time III comes out later this year. On top of that, the Japanese version of the game is way ahead compared to the English version.

Now this might not be a big deal. Nobody has a clear answer as to how impactful
χ will be in the future of the series. But if the past has any answers to give, the games will probably be important.

If you’re still with me after all of that, there’s one more thing you have to know about
Kingdom Hearts before you start your journey. It’s a far less serious topic, but one that I’m sure will affect your enjoyment of the series.

Kingdom Hearts is Incredibly Goofy, Stupid, and Sometimes Cringey

When I played Kingdom Hearts for the first time, I didn’t question a lot of things about the game. The premise of Disney and Final Fantasy characters existing in the same universe wasn’t that crazy for a young child to grasp. Now, the idea seems quite ridiculous.

Every time I replay a game in the series, it’s hard to swallow some of the dialogue. The writing in general is incredibly cheesy. There are moments where I actually let out heavy sighs because a line of dialogue didn’t land appropriately at all. Lines like
“that was undeniable proof that we totally owned you lamers” are sometimes incredibly difficult to get past. So if you’re wanting to like Kingdom Hearts, you’re going to have to get over some bad writing.

While the story is gripping by nature, the sudden whiplash you’ll experience can be a bit much. One moment you’ll be jumping on a trampoline with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Next thing you know, there’s a serious sword fight going on between two dudes with spiky anime hair. Simply put, the tone is inconsistent throughout. Seeing
Final Fantasy characters do goofy Disney things is strange. Seeing Disney characters go through super serious JRPG story arcs is even weirder. If you want to play
Kingdom Hearts, just be fully prepared to go through some of the dumbest moments you’ll ever experience in a video game.

So if you’ve made it all the way to this point and you’re still interested in trying
Kingdom Hearts, that’s great! The series has a lot more great things going for it. The story is incredibly engaging, the combat is fluid and improves with each entry, the presentation is absolutely gorgeous, and the worlds all have unique features from their respective Disney films.

Kingdom Hearts has a lot to love, but you have to accept its quirks. If you can’t accept a game for both its perfections and its flaws, it’s really hard to enjoy it. Right now is the best time to become a fan of this franchise. So if you made it this far, do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5 and 2.8. Once you play through those, you can join the rest of us and patiently wait for Kingdom Hearts III.

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Even If It’s Not the Best, What Game is Most Important in Your Life?

Everybody has one special game in their life that they consider the pinnacle of perfection. It’s the one thing you can always go back to that stands out above the rest. You never grow tired of it, and it always puts a smile on your face. You’re often willing to look past all of its flaws because it had such a powerful impact on you as a person.

For me, that one game is Kingdom Hearts II. It’s been about twelve years since the game released in the US, and I still play through it at least once every year. I’m not entirely sure what keeps bringing me back to this title in particular. It has lovable characters, a great story, super satisfying combat, and some of the most exciting challenges a game has ever offered. But this is true with a lot of games I play. There’s not a whole lot separating other Kingdom Hearts titles from that same description, and yet Kingdom Hearts II still resonates with me above any other game I’ve played. Even I know that there are plenty of games better than Kingdom Hearts II in a lot of ways, but for some reason they don’t quite captivate me in the same way.

So which game is it for you? Which title do you always find yourself coming back to, despite its flaws? Even though you’re aware it’s not the best game in the world, what game are you willing to throw out their as the most important in your life?

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What Is Your Favorite Music to Jam Out to When Playing Video Games?

I know what some of you are thinking. “Why would you ever listen to music when you can enjoy the lovely soundtracks video games have to offer?” That’s a fair point, and I used to agree with that. But there’s a certain point when I can’t stand the constant “wahoo!” of Mario Kart or the boring ambient sounds of League of Legends. I need something fresh. I need something that gets me pumped.

That’s why I have several different playlists dedicated to playing video games. If I’m feeling pretty confident about mowing down Stormtroopers in Battlefront, I’ll put on some mid 2000s emo rock. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but try to play any shooter with some classic Thirty Seconds to Mars to back you up. That creates some real hype.

If Mario Kart is feeling too slow for you, crank up the tension with a drum and bass playlist. This adds a whole new layer of excitement to the racing experience, and I guarantee you will get way too into it. My personal favorites include Fox Stevenson’s Better Now and Feint’s We Won’t Be Alone.

What about all of you? What are your main jams when playing video games? Or do you just enjoy the sounds of the game? Let us know your preferences in the comments below!

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New Super Mario Bros. Speedrun World Record Smashed

Summer Games Done Quick 2018 is just around the corner, but you don’t have to wait that long to see some amazing speedrunning action. Speedrunner and streamer MyLittleWalrus recently set out to break the world record run on New Super Mario Bros., the hit DS game. With a run of 30 minutes and 37 seconds, he succeeded!

This wasn’t an ordinary run either. MyLittleWalrus decided to tackle the “No Power-Ups” category, which means he had to beat the entire game without collecting any kind of aid. The second best runner in this category has a time of 31 minutes and 24 seconds, which is nearly a minute longer than what MyLittleWalrus was able to accomplish. You can check out this amazing run in its entirety by clicking the video above!

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Pokémon Black and White Got Sequels Instead of a Third Title Because of Their Central Theme

Back in 2012, just after the release of Pokémon Black and White, many fans were expecting Game Freak to announce a third version like they had done with past Pokémon games. However, the company averted expectations when a brand new set of games were announced: Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. Ever since then, Game Freak hasn’t been consistent with releasing a third version of their games with each new generation. Now, Junichi Masuda has explained why they originally turned away from this tradition.

“A lot of people were expecting Pokémon Gray at the time, but the concept of Black and White was kind of these opposing forces – a yin-yang kind of thing. If we went with Gray, it would have moved away from that concept so we decided to keep the titles there.” — Junichi Masuda

Since we haven’t seen a third version of a Pokémon game since Platinum, it’s safe to assume that Game Freak is no longer holding on to this pattern of release. And with the release of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon later this year, it seems that the developers are more interested in making new stories in the same world rather than just expanding on elements of the old story.

What do you guys think? Did you enjoy Black 2 and White 2? Would you have preferred a third game like Pokémon Gray? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source: Game Informer (via Nintendo Everything)

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It Sounds Like Nintendo is Rethinking the Virtual Console Before it Comes to Nintendo Switch

In 2011 Nintendo launched the “Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program,” granting then-owners of the Nintendo 3DS exclusive access to twenty downloadable games. The program included ten NES games, which were later released to the public as Virtual Console games, and ten Game Boy Advance games, which remain exclusive to Ambassador Program members to this day.

At Nintendo’s latest investor meeting, one investor asked whether Nintendo has thought about distributing these games publicly. Senior Executive Officer Satoshi Yamato responded, and though he neglected to answer specifically whether these Game Boy Advance games will make it to the 3DS’ public Virtual Console space, he did offer a glimpse into how Nintendo may distribute classic games in the future.

“We have been thinking about a lot of different ways to make use of Virtual Console titles, and not just Game Boy Advance titles. Similar to these software titles we have made available on a variety of platforms over the Internet, we consider the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Famicom … to be a type of Virtual Console. It would be possible to sell these titles as packaged software or via download cards, but if we were to start selling products like this in the future, I think we would first have to consider whether we can establish that kind of business model, and do our due diligence in finding out if there is sufficient demand for it.” —
Satoshi Yamato (The full Q&A can be read here.)

This is especially illuminating for Nintendo Switch, a platform whose owners have been eagerly awaiting a Virtual Console feature like that of its predecessors.

But perhaps Nintendo’s previous services shouldn’t define our expectations for the future. Nintendo of America’s President and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé was recently careful not to associate the name “Virtual Console” with Nintendo Switch. “We’ve not used the term ‘Virtual Console,’” he told Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo before reframing the subject to focus on Nintendo Switch’s online services and promising more information in the future.

Yamato’s statement makes it clear Nintendo considers their Virtual Console program to be distinct from the platforms on which it appears: one which can manifest as digital downloads, packaged software, and even miniature replications of classic consoles. It seems Nintendo is specifically rethinking the Wii-borne Virtual Console model and exploring new ways to approach their legacy content.

That doesn’t mean Switch owners won’t have classic games to play.
Nintendo has already announced a subscription service which grants access to a library of classic games, including Balloon Fight, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario, enhanced with online multiplayer features. Perhaps the ideal endgame for consumers would be for this service to encompass Nintendo’s entire back catalog, but Nintendo’s likely to take a more nuanced approach which considers the specific business opportunities for collections and remasters on a game-by-game basis.

Ultimately how the Virtual Console manifests itself in the future is largely unknown, at least to the public. But one thing seems clear: just because its appearances on Wii, 3DS, and Wii U bore strong similarities doesn’t mean the old model will persist forever.


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This Could Be Nintendo’s Secret Plan to Capture the Chinese Gaming Industry

For well over a decade, China banned the sale of all outside video games and consoles in the region, but this policy was finally repealed in 2015. Since then, Microsoft and Sony have each launched their respective consoles in China, but sales have been abysmally low. PC gaming, mobile gaming, and third-party consoles left little room for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to attempt to establish themselves after the lengthy ban.

Nintendo never gave Wii U an official release in China, and they haven’t announced any plans to bring Switch to the region, but they may be poised to enter the market another way. While Microsoft and Sony learned the hard way that moving new hardware in China is quite a tall task, Nintendo could instead focus on its biggest strength: software.

While outside video games are no longer universally banned, the Chinese government still requires that games be submitted for approval, and Nintendo recently submitted (and received approval for) New Super Mario Bros., the hit DS game from 2006. Why is Nintendo seeking permission to release a popular game from a console that isn’t available in China?

Daniel Ahmad (an analyst at Niko Partners who specializes in covering the digital market in China and Southeast Asia) shed some light on the situation and offered his take recently via Twitter. According to a Chinese news site, Nintendo is planning to release some of its popular games (including New Super Mario Bros.) in China via the Nvidia Shield. Rather than attempting to market Wii or Wii U in China, they would port their titles to Nvidia products like the Shield that already have an established audience in China.

The situation gets even more interesting when you consider that Nintendo and Nvidia have partnered up to create and launch Nintendo Switch. The upcoming hybrid console runs on a modified version of the Tegra hardware that powers Nvidia’s existing products, so porting Switch games to the Shield for a Chinese market release should be quite manageable in theory.

While all of this seems quite plausible (and Ahmad personally believes the Chinese news site report), I’d like to stress that the only confirmed information is that Nintendo has sought and received permission to release New Super Mario Bros. in China. If Nvidia Shield is later revealed as its target platform, we can likely expect Shield to serve as a Nintendo hub and potentially a pseudo-Switch for the Chinese market.

Source: Daniel Ahmad (1, 2, 3)

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Nintendo Week: Everything Amazing and Everything Terrible About Nintendo Switch

There are tons of gaming podcasts in the wild, but Nintendo Week stands alone as it recaptures all the fun of Nintendo in the form of a weekly show. Every episode brings news recaps, discussions, games, music, and more to create a show for all kinds of Nintendo fans, whether they’re new or old, passionate or passing-by.

Join Alex, Ben, and Colin for the first Nintendo Week of 2017, doubled in length as we emerge from our slumber with rusty podcasting skills and much to say about Nintendo Switch and all that surrounds it. We cover everything we learned from the Switch Presentation, including hardware, software, pricing, third-party relations, and so much more, before moving onto what all this tells us about Nintendo’s prospective future.

You can check out all this and tons more in the episode below—or if you’d like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now.



Nintendo Week is currently available in full on iTunes, Podbean, and right here at Gamnesia—and tons of videos from the show are available on YouTube where it’s easy to find them based on your favorite subjects… Between it all, there are plenty of ways you can engage with Nintendo Week, one of the best places to find all things Nintendo. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes for the earliest possible access to new episodes, or subscribe to our channel on YouTube for totally neato visuals. But if you’d rather not subscribe, you can still find all of our Nintendo Week content right here at Gamnesia.

If you’d like to be heard on Nintendo Week, please email me at [email protected]. We regularly run segments for listener questions, gaming advice, suggestions on discussion topics, and more from listeners like you, so we’d love for you to reach out! You can also reach me at that email address with any feedback you have, and we’ll do our best to improve our show! We want to give you guys the best podcast we can, so please don’t be afraid to leave suggestions.

Get More from Nintendo Week:

More Information on This Week’s Stories:


For our outro music this week, please enjoy insaneintherainmusic‘s performance of Dolphin Shoals from Mario Kart 8.

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Everyone at Nintendo Originally Hated Their Most Successful Console of All Time

Nintendo DS is the highest-selling dedicated video game handheld of all time, and the second highest-selling video game console of all time behind PlayStation 2. The DS’ two-screen, clamshell design has been a huge hit with millions of players around the world, and Nintendo loved it (and the gameplay opportunities it created) so much that they made their next two consoles (3DS and Wii U) use a two-screen design as well.

Nintendo was passionate about promoting DS and the benefits of two-screen gaming, but that wasn’t always the case behind the scenes. According to Satoru Okada, a Nintendo employee for more than 30 years and the former general manager of Nintendo Research & Engineering, everyone at the company initially hated the design. Speaking with Retro Gamer, Okada gave us some insight into the early days of the DS’ development.

“Actually, after the SP, we were working on the newest model in this range. The code name for this new Game Boy was IRIS, like the flower. The explanation for this name is simple: since it was for us the fifth generation of Game Boy, we chose the symbol of May (the fifth month of the year). In the Hanafuda playing cards, the month of May is symbolized by the iris.

“The project was moving forward at a good pace but during the development, something at unexpected happened. President Iwata then came to see me. He was obviously bothered and he said: ‘l talked to Yamauchi-san over the phone and he thinks your console should have two screens… A bit like the multi-screen Game & Watch, you see?’ Everybody is aware of this, but what people do not know is that at the time, everybody hated this idea, even Iwata himself.

“We thought it did not make any sense. Back in the Game & Watch days, it was different because a second screen allowed us to double the playing area and the number of graphic elements on display. But with the modern screens, there was no point. We were free to choose the size of our screen, so why bother splitting it into two? Especially considering that it was impossible to look at both screens at the same time. This is why we did not understand his idea.”
— Satoru Okada

The idea of two-screen gaming seemed confusing and pointless to many Nintendo employees at the time, but they stuck with the idea, and eventually they began to realize all of the ways they could take advantage of the new handheld. Nintendo DS went on to sell over 154 million units worldwide. Its successor, 3DS, has sold over 61 million units to date.

Source: Retro Gamer (via Nintendo Everything)

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New High Resolution Images Give Us a Close Look at the Original Prototype for Nintendo DS

Evan Amos is the man behind the camera for many of the most popular images of video game consoles in the world, and he recently shared a treat with Nintendo fans on Twitter. Amos posted a series of high resolution pictures that show the original prototype for Nintendo DS. This version of the handheld looks quite different from the finished product (and much closer to the version shown off by Reggie Fils-Aime at E3 2004), and the images came from Nintendo’s FCC filing for the console. You can check them out by clicking the gallery below!

Source: Evan Amos

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Nintendo Week Ends 2016 Discussing Nintendo Switch’s Public Debut, Gen II in Pokémon GO, and More

There are tons of gaming podcasts in the wild, but Nintendo Week stands alone as it recaptures all the fun of Nintendo in the form of a weekly show. Every episode brings news recaps, discussions, games, music, and more to create a show for all kinds of Nintendo fans, whether they’re new or old, passionate or passing-by.

Join Ben and Colin for an hour-long end-of-year extravaganza, as they discuss a ton of news from the past week, including the Nintendo Switch’s public debut on
The Tonight Show, Super Mario Run‘s approaching release, Pokémon GO‘s upcoming set of Johto Pokémon, and tons more. You can check out all this and tons more in the episode below—or if you’d like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now.



Nintendo Week is currently available in full on
iTunes, Podbean, and right here at Gamnesia—and tons of videos from the show are available on YouTube where it’s easy to find them based on your favorite subjects… Between it all, there are plenty of ways you can engage with Nintendo Week, one of the best places to find all things Nintendo. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes for the earliest possible access to new episodes, or subscribe to our channel on YouTube for totally neato visuals. But if you’d rather not subscribe, you can still find all of our Nintendo Week content right here at Gamnesia.

If you’d like to be heard on Nintendo Week, please email me at
[email protected]. We regularly run segments for listener questions, gaming advice, suggestions on discussion topics, and more from listeners like you, so we’d love for you to reach out! You can also reach me at that email address with any feedback you have, and we’ll do our best to improve our show! We want to give you guys the best podcast we can, so please don’t be afraid to leave suggestions.

Get More from Nintendo Week:

More Information on This Week’s Stories:

The Lightning Round:


For our outro music this week, please enjoy
insaneintherainmusic‘s rendition of the Vast Poni Canyon theme from Pokémon Sun and Moon.

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Nintendo Week Talks About Switch’s Launch Lineup and Third-Parties, Pokémon Sun and Moon, and More

There are tons of gaming podcasts in the wild, but Nintendo Week stands alone as it recaptures all the fun of Nintendo in the form of a weekly show. Every episode brings news recaps, discussions, games, music, and more to create a show for all kinds of Nintendo fans, whether they’re new or old, passionate or passing-by.

Join Alex, Colin, and Ben, as we break down another huge amount of Nintendo news, including EA’s support for Switch, Phil Spencer’s wish to see Banjo in Smash, what feels like yet another delay for Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and tons of reports about Nintendo Switch’s software lineup. After the break, we sit down to talk about the newly-launched Pokémon Sun and Moon, and our full thoughts on what they do so right and so wrong. You can check out all this and tons more in the episode below—or if you’d like to save it to listen later, you can
check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now.



Nintendo Week is currently available in full on
iTunes, Podbean, and right here at Gamnesia—and tons of videos from the show are available on YouTube where it’s easy to find them based on your favorite subjects… Between it all, there are plenty of ways you can engage with Nintendo Week, one of the best places to find all things Nintendo. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes for the earliest possible access to new episodes, or subscribe to our channel on YouTube for totally neato visuals. But if you’d rather not subscribe, you can still find all of our Nintendo Week content right here at Gamnesia.

If you’d like to be heard on Nintendo Week, please email me at
[email protected]. We regularly run segments for listener questions, gaming advice, suggestions on discussion topics, and more from listeners like you, so we’d love for you to reach out! You can also reach me at that email address with any feedback you have, and we’ll do our best to improve our show! We want to give you guys the best podcast we can, so please don’t be afraid to leave suggestions.

Get More from Nintendo Week:

More Information on This Week’s Stories:

The Gossip Stone:

The Lightning Round:


Our break music this week is
Bulby‘s excellent 8-bit rendition of the Hau’oli City theme from Pokémon Sun & Moon. For our outro music, please enjoy Theophany‘s gorgeous rendition of the Deku Palace theme from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which you can find in full on his incredible remix album, “Time’s End, Part II.”

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Game Clash: Which Pokémon Generation is the Best?

It’s time for another weekly installment of Gamnesia’s Game Clash! Every weekend, we pit two (or more) games against each other, and the winner is decided by your votes. We’ve been doing a month of
Pokémon battles in preparation for the launch of Pokémon Sun and Moon, and now that they’re here, it’s time for one final showdown. Over the past few weeks, you voted for Generation II over Generation I, Generation III over Generation IV, and Generation V over Generation VI, and now the winners are going head to head. Cast your vote to decide the Pokémon champion!

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Which Pokémon generation is the best?
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Did You Know Gaming Explores Secrets and Censorship in ​Pokémon

Pokémon Sun and Moon are out now on Nintendo 3DS, and Did You Know Gaming is getting in the spirit by taking a look back at the series. Their latest episode explores some of the lesser-known secrets of the franchise, while also diving into some of the localization changes and censorship decisions. Did you know the games were once planned to feature a Charisma stat that impacted your ability to catch Pokémon or that humans and Pokémon used to get married according to the Japanese text? Get the scoop on these facts and more by clicking above!

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3DS DS Features Nintendo Retro

The Top 10 Fairy-Type Pokémon

Pokémon Sun and Moon are coming out tomorrow (hype!), and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that’s why, for the eighteen days leading up to the launch, we’ve been revealing our team’s Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! We’re nearly at the end of this journey, but we still have one Type left to discuss: the newest of them all, the Fairy-Type. While we may be distracted by our impatient need for midnight to hurry up and get here, we still managed to sit down and work out which ten of these magical creatures are our favorites.

Let’s help the clock tick by with a look at our Top Ten Fairy-Type Pokémon!

10. Jigglypuff

“When its huge eyes light up, it sings a mysteriously soothing melody that lulls its enemies to sleep.”
— Pokémon Red & Blue Versions

Well now, this little guy certainly looks familiar! We did try to avoid having the same Pokémon appear on two different lists by recommending that our staff vote based solely on Primary Typings, but enough people ignored that suggestion to get Jigglypuff into the Fairy-Type list as well (the small number of Fairy-Type evolutionary lines didn’t exactly hurt its chances, either). Not that we’re complaining about seeing the Balloon Pokémon again, but we already gave most of our reasons for loving it
in the Normal-Type list; rather than repeat ourselves, you can head over there if you’d like to see our reasoning.

9. Spritzee

“It emits a scent that enraptures those who smell it. This fragrance changes depending on what it has eaten.”
— Pokémon X

Moving on to primarily-Fairy-Types, we come to one of the brand new Pokémon introduced in Generation VI: Spritzee, the Perfume Pokémon. Depending on its diet, it can give off a variety of scents, but each of them smells wonderful. In ancient times, women of the nobility and royalty would even forego perfume in favor of carrying a Spritzee with them wherever they went. It’s an interesting idea to base a Pokémon around, but it certainly does seem to work, especially with the cute little bird-like design Game Freak opted to go with.

8. Florges

“In times long past, governors of castles would invite Florges to create flower gardens to embellish the castle domains.”
— Pokémon Y

Serving as the final evolution of Flabébé and Floette, Florges is the Garden Pokémon, a pure-Fairy-Type that creates and lives in expansive flower gardens, which it then draws energy from to sustain and empower itself. Its appearance has a dual inspiration, reflecting both the look of a woman wearing an elegant gown—fitting, as this evolutionary line is exclusively female—as well as a nicely-wrapped bouquet of flowers. Florges is a powerful creature in battle, especially in team battles, as its unique abilities Flower Veil and Symbiosis are only at their full potential when you have multiple Pokémon from your team battling at once.

7. Snubbull

“Although it looks frightening, it is actually kind and affectionate. It is very popular among women.”
— Pokémon Gold Version

When Gen VI rolled around and introduced the Fairy-Type, a number of Pokémon from previous generations got converted into this new Typing to help fill out its ranks. Snubbull is one such case that left us scratching our heads; even though it is literally categorized as the “Fairy Pokémon,” and has been since it first appeared in Gen II, we’re still a bit bewildered by it. Our confusion doesn’t stop it from being a cool creature, of course. Much like the bulldogs it was designed after, Snubbull can appear scary, but this mainly seems due to its cowardly nature, which it attempts to hide by scaring off foes instead of fighting them. When it’s safe, though, Snubbull lets down its guard and becomes quite affectionate towards its trainer and friends.

6. Slurpuff

“It can distinguish the faintest of scents. It puts its sensitive sense of smell to use by helping pastry chefs in their work.”
— Pokémon X

Here at Gamnesia, we all adore well-prepared sweets and pastries, so of course we would adore a Pokémon based off those things just as much. The evolved form of the cotton candy-esque Swirlix, Slurpuff is the Meringue Pokémon and certainly resembles that dessert, as well as other things like cakes. Not only does it look like them, but Slurpuff also often makes such desserts for others to enjoy, using its incredibly effective nose to pick out the perfect aromas and ingredients for its creations. Its sense of smell is said to be 100 million times better than a human’s, so that it can even function better than sight when it comes to surveying an area or finding an opponent.

5. Togekiss

“It shares many blessings with people who respect one another’s rights and avoid needless strife.”
— Pokémon Platinum Version

The final and strongest member of the Toge- line, Togekiss is a Fairy/Flying-Type creature that entered the series during the fourth generation, evolving from Togetic when exposed to a Shiny Stone. Known as the Jubilee Pokémon, Togekiss is said to always visit peaceful regions, “bringing them gifts of kindness and sweet blessings;” meanwhile, it avoids areas of strife at all costs, never appearing there. Togekiss is a symbol of what we all want the world to become: a place where people love and help each other, and it blesses all those whose lives fall in line with that vision of the future.

4. Clefairy

“On nights with a full moon, Clefairy gather from all over and dance. Bathing in moonlight makes them float.”
— Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 Versions

Hailing from all the way back in Generation I, Clefairy is the original Fairy Pokémon, and it too became an actual Fairy-Type when Gen VI arrived. Inextricably tied to the moon, with them living in Kanto’s Mt. Moon, requiring a Moon Stone to evolve, and theorized to have originated on the lunar landscape, Clefairy draw in energy from moonlight and use it float in midair. They are admired throughout the Pokémon world—and our world too, no doubt—for their cute appearance and their playfulness, but Clefairy are also very rare creatures, hiding themselves away most of the time and only venturing out at night to dance beneath the full moon. It’s a very mysterious creature, in the end, and one we’d not mind getting a bit of focus someday; perhaps
Pokémon Moon will give us that? I guess we’ll see soon enough!

3. Togepi

“Its shell is said to be stuffed with happiness that it shares with kindhearted people.”
— Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Versions

A number of our staff members may love Togekiss, but even more of us adore its original baby form of Togepi, no doubt as a result of the copious amounts of screentime it was given in first few seasons of the anime. Not counting the mysterious rainbow bird in the first episode that we’d later come to know as Ho-Oh, little Togepi was the first Generation II Pokémon ever revealed to the world, hatching from an egg and adopting Misty as its mother; as such, we got to see plenty of this eggbound creature and came to enjoy it immensely. Its innocent nature was contradicted perfectly by its more mischievous tendencies, and it even played a key role in several episodes by secretly using Metronome to get our heroes out of a tough spot.

Being a Baby Pokémon, Togepi has little in the way of combat expertise, though it can still learn the aforementioned Metronome as well as some really powerful attacks once it reaches higher levels, like Double Edge. It’s also got access to some great TM moves—though really, if you’re trying to make this little guy a fighter, you’ll have evolved it into Togetic before too long. But we don’t love Togepi for its power; we love it for its adorable design and our many memories of it in the anime, and we’re happy to see it rank so highly as a result.

2. Xerneas

“Legends say it can share eternal life. It slept for a thousand years in the form of a tree before its revival.”
— Pokémon X

If it’s a powerful Fairy-Type combatant that you want on your team, on the other hand, look no further than the Legendary Life Pokémon Xerneas, one of the mascots of the sixth generation and the counterpart to the Destruction Pokémon Yveltal. Xerneas has the power to grant eternal life to others; when it reaches the end of its lifespan, it releases all the life energy it has stored up out into the world, revitalizing nature and other creatures in the process. Afterwards, Xerneas turns into a tree for a thousand years, sleeping as it slowly stores up enough energy to trigger its own revival.

As a Legendary Pokémon, Xerneas is quite powerful in a fight, and its mighty stats are enhanced even further by its signature Fairy-Type move Geomancy, a move which sharply increases its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed over the course of two turns. If may leave Xerneas open for a bit, but if the opponent can’t finish it off before the second turn is up, this move turns Xerneas into an unstoppable beast of a battler. Coupled with a number of strong Fairy-Type moves and some of the most powerful attacks of the game, this creature proves to be a perfect partner for utterly destroying your opponents.

Yet even with such a impressive Pokémon, it isn’t our favorite of the Fairy-Type. No, our team reached out and grabbed ahold of a different creature, a simple and lithe little Pokémon that we simply love to love:

1. Sylveon

“It wraps its ribbonlike feelers around the arm of its beloved Trainer and walks with him or her.”
— Pokémon Y

It’s been a running theme throughout these lists that we adore Eevee and its many evolutions, and so it seems rather fitting that we ended up giving the top slot of the Fairy-Types to the newest Eeveelution of them all: Sylveon, the Intertwining Pokémon. There’s a certain degree of elegance found in this brand new creature, with its fluttering ribbons and the soft coloration giving it a peaceful air—until, of course, you enter battle with Sylveon and learn that those aren’t ribbons, but rather feelers that it can control and shoot out at opponents to entangle or beat them into submission. It doesn’t do this a lot, instead preferring to use its ribbons to emit a calming aura that stops fights rather than starts them, but the potential to turn them into whips and lash out at its enemies is still there.

There’s a lot of things we love about Sylveon, but the biggest aspect is the strength of the bond you form with Eevee while preparing it for this evolution. It’s a very involved process, with several more requirements than usual: Eevee must know a Fairy-Type move, have reached the second level of affection with its trainer in Pokémon-Amie, and then it will evolve when it next levels up. That affection part is key, as it forces players to spend a lot of time caring for Eevee and playing with it, forging that bond while you get it to the point that it can evolve. Finally obtaining Sylveon is far more rewarding and memorable after all of that effort.

Following months of teasing, Sylveon became one of the very first Pokémon ever officially confirmed to be part of the new Fairy-Type, and as a result it seems like it’s almost become that Type’s chief representative. With its beautiful design masking its hidden potential, it’s certainly worthy of that role—just as it’s worthy of filling the number one slot in our favorite Fairy-Type Pokémon.


That does it for our Fairy-Type list, as well as for these Top Ten lists in general!
Pokémon Sun and Moon will be out in a matter of hours, giving us a whole slew of new creatures to collect and grow to love, and we can’t wait for the new Alola region any more than you guys can. But instead of just watching the clock for the rest of the day, why don’t you head to our comments and give us your own ranking of the Fairies? Or you could let us know what you liked or didn’t about these eighteen Top Ten lists, and tell us if you’d like to see more content like this in the future.

Until next time, Alola everyone!

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3DS DS Features Nintendo Retro

The Top 10 Dragon-Type Pokémon

Pokémon Sun and Moon are just two days from launch, and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that’s why, for the eighteen days leading up to the games’ release, we’ve been revealing our team’s Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! Today, it’s finally time to turn our attention to one of the series’ most powerful creatures: the Dragon-Types. There are ton of mighty Pokémon to choose from, including a number of Legendaries, but we’ve managed to go through them all and pick out the ten our group likes best.

So, without further ado, let’s get started with our Top Ten Dragon-Type Pokémon!

10. Latias

“It communicates using telepathy. Its body is covered in down that refracts light to make it invisible.”
— Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Version

One of the two Legendary Eon Pokémon from Generation III, Latias is a highly intelligent and emotional creature, able to understand human speech and sense people’s emotions. This member of the Eon Duo has the awesome ability to ruffle its feathers to refract light in specific ways, allowing it to effectively turn invisible or create illusions that alter its appearance; it even takes on a human appearance in several
Pokémon manga and movies. If all else fails, however, Latias can always fall back on its signature Mist Ball attack, as well as its brand new Mega Evolution from ORAS.

9. Altaria

“Altaria sings in a gorgeous soprano. Its wings are like cotton clouds. This Pokémon catches updrafts with its buoyant wings and soars way up into the wild blue yonder.”
— Pokémon Sapphire Version

With a body that resembles a light, fluffy cloud, Altaria is the evolution of little Swablu from the Hoenn region and is known as the Humming Pokémon, capable of singing melodies that enrapture people and Pokémon alike and make them feel like they’re dreaming. That lore seems to be its strong point, however, as Altaria has the lowest Attack and HP of any fully-evolved Dragon-Type—but Generation VI did provide it with a Mega Evolution that gives it a unique Dragon/Fairy-Typing. A Dragon that’s immune to Dragon-Type attacks is definitely worth looking into, especially if it’s as pleasant a creature as Altaria.

8. Zekrom

“This legendary Pokémon can scorch the world with lightning. It assists those who want to build an ideal world.”
— Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 Versions

One of the mighty Legendary creatures of the Unova region, Zekrom is Dragon/Electric-Type and is known as the Deep Black Pokémon. Its tail contains an electrical generator which not only powers its attacks but also creates an anti-gravity field, allowing Zekrom to fly and summon enormous lightning storms with which Zekrom hides itself while airborne. In addition to its awesome design and Typing, it also has two signature moves, Fusion Bolt and Bolt Strike, each of which deal out massive electrical damage and can be amped up even further when combined with one of Reshiram’s attacks.

7. Haxorus

“Their sturdy tusks will stay sharp even if used to cut steel beams. These Pokémon are covered in hard armor.”
— Pokémon White Version

Known as the Axe Jaw Pokémon, Haxorus is the final evolution of Gen V’s Axew. Its most prominent feature is, obviously, the twin axes that extend from either side of its mouth, each of which is strong enough to cut through steel beams without weakening; these are often put to good use in defending its territory from intruders. Its armored hide also serves it well in combat and gives it a pretty sweet-looking design, but attack is definitely Haxorus’ strong point. Combined with some of the powerful moves it can learn just through leveling, Haxorus is a mighty creature that no one would want to face off against in real life.

6. Kyurem

“It generates a powerful, freezing energy inside itself, but its body became frozen when the energy leaked out.”
— Pokémon Black Version

The mysterious Boundary Pokémon of Unovan legend, Kyurem is a Dragon- and Ice-Type beast and a counterpart to Reshiram and Zekrom—those two are said to represent Yin and Yang, while Kyurem takes after Wuji, a term in Taoism referring to the absence of both Yin and Yang. Its Ice-Typing may have been influenced by Wuji as well, given how ice forms from an absence of energy. It’s got some really deep lore, and Kyurem becomes all the more intriguing when the DNA Splicers are used on it, allowing it to merge with either Reshiram or Zekrom to assume different Formes. Each of these Formes has its own unique ability based on its other half’s powers over Fire and Electricity, but even when it lacks their help, Kyurem always has its signature move Glaciate to fall back on.

5. Latios

“A highly intelligent Pokémon. By folding back its wings in flight, it can overtake jet planes.”
— Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Versions

The second half of Gen III’s Eon Duo, Latios is the more aggressive of the Eon Pokémon, having a much better attack than Latias at the cost of some defense. I’m not entirely sure why Latias and Latios are so far apart on our lists, but perhaps our team was more drawn to the quickness and power of Latios, who is noted to be able to match speed with a jet when it folds its forelegs in. It also has its own signature attack, Luster Purge, which deals damage while lowering the target’s Special Defense. All that aside, though, Latios and Latias are pretty similar and serve as counterparts to one another, right down to Latios also obtaining a Mega Evolution in the
ORAS remakes.

4. Salamence

“It becomes uncontrollable if enraged. It destroys everything with shredding claws and fire.”
— Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen Versions

Salamence is the ultimate creature for showing just what dreams can do for you—its constant dreams of flying while a Bagon and Shelgon are said to have actually caused its cellular structure to shift for its final evolution, creating a pair of wings with which Salamence can at last take to the skies. But even though it’s living the dream, Salamence’s power can still go wild if it becomes angry, resulting in a massive degree of destruction. Come Gen VI, Salamence also received a Mega Evolution, granting it a new form that furthers its aerodynamic elements to let it go even faster and hit even harder than before. The Mega form seems a bit hit-or-miss with some of fans, and with some of our staff, but all of us still find Salamance to be an awesome creature overall.

3. Dragonite

“This marine Pokémon has an impressive build that lets it freely fly over raging seas without trouble.”
— Pokémon Silver Version

The original Dragon-Type hailing from the very first generation, Dragonite was the Pokémon so many of us worked so hard to obtain—or, at least, so hard to defeat, as it served as the signature partner of Elite Four member Lance. It was an especially powerful creature back then, essentially having a weakness to just Ice- and Rock-Type attacks thanks to Dragon-Type moves only consisting of the fixed-damage-dealer Dragon Rage at the time.

While it’s always been a fierce opponent, it is also a fairly kindhearted Pokémon, as evidenced by how its sprites almost always depict it with a smile on its face. As the evolved form of the water-loving Dratini and Dragonair, Dragonite is often found living out at sea, but even with its bulk and small wings it is able to fly so quickly that it can circumnavigate the globe in a mere sixteen hours. It’s definitely an impressive creature and one that we used to fear going to battle against, even if other Dragon-Type Pokémon and attacks have made the threat at little less daunting over time. Either way, we still adore this lovable Dragon.

2. Garchomp

“It is said that when one runs at high speed, its wings create blades of wind that can fell nearby trees.”
— Pokémon Platinum Version

Garchomp is known as the Mach Pokémon, and its design is an interesting one, apparently taking notes not only from dragons but also sharks. Its pre-evolutions, Gible and Gabite, also have this sort of inspiration, but Garchomp is where it becomes most pronounced, with the fin-shaped wings on its arms and back growing even larger than Gabite’s, while its tail now sports shark-like fins of its own; its head, too, takes on a resemblance to a Hammerhead shark’s. It’s a pretty interesting crossover, and one that certainly seems to have worked out well for this Pokémon.

While we see mostly shark attributes, the Pokédex is far quicker to point out Garchomp’s similarities to jet planes, claiming that this creature resembles one when it folds its body up and extends its wings. Doing this certainly allows it to travel quickly; as its classification attests, it is able to soar through the air at the speed of sound, ensuring that no prey can ever escape it. Being a pseudo-Legendary, Garchomp has tons of power at its disposal to take this prey down, and its Dragon/Ground-Typing gives it access to a number of strong moves for just that purpose. But if its regular level of power isn’t enough, Garchomp also has the ability to Mega Evolve, granting it a larger size, sharp claws or horns all over its body, and a pair of extra-sharp blades on its arms. It’s a mighty Pokémon, and one that should never be taken lightly.

But even with Garchomp’s fascinating design and high level of strength, it isn’t our favorite of the Dragon-Types. No, there was only one creature we could give that honor to:

1. Rayquaza

“Rayquaza is said to have lived for hundreds of millions of years. Legends remain of how it put to rest the clash between Kyogre and Groudon.”
— Pokémon Omega Ruby

The Legendary Sky High Pokémon of Generation III, Rayquaza is the mighty beast that rises up to defeat Kyogre and Groudon whenever they begin fighting. First receiving the spotlight in
Emerald Version, Rayquaza made a mighty return to everyone’s attention in the Delta Episode of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, where Rayquaza not only gained a Mega Evolution but became the only Pokémon that is not required to hold a Mega Stone to reach this new form. This drake must instead know Dragon Ascent, a Flying-Type move that deals massive amounts of damage and weakens opponents’ defenses, with no drawback save that only Rayquaza can learn it. Which is not much of a drawback at all. It’s no surprise that the competitive scene gave Rayquaza its own tier at the very top, as Mega Rayquaza can simply shatter any opposition with this level of strength.

Of course,
ORAS only renewed our love for this Legendary creature, as we’d already had a great deal of adoration and respect for it for some time. Its design is simple but still stands out—even more so after Mega Evolving, but I digress—sporting the emerald coloration of the game for which it served as mascot and helping it to soar through the skies without ever needing to rest. In fact, it flies so high and for so long that humanity was almost entirely unaware of its existence for centuries, with only legends of it informing them of what lived far above.

Rayquaza is a sheer powerhouse of a Pokémon, and when coupled with its fantastic role in the Hoenn games’ storylines, it’s no surprise that people have fallen in love with this beast. If any creature worthy of being named our favorite Dragon-Type Pokémon, this is definitely the one.


That does it for our list of Dragon-Types! Did you like our choices, or were we missing your favorite draconic creature? Let us know how you’d rank these and other Dragons in the comments! And don’t forget to drop in again tomorrow, when we’ll be finishing up our run through of Pokémon Types with the final and newest group, the Fairy-Types. We hope to see you then!

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3DS DS Features Nintendo Retro

The Top 10 Ice-Type Pokémon

Pokémon Sun and Moon are launching this Friday, and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that’s why, for the eighteen days leading up to the games’ launch, we’ve been revealing our team’s Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! As we enter the final few days before the seventh generation, we’re setting our sights on the frigid, cold-loving Ice-Types. We’ve gone through the list and had Delibird check it twice, and now we’re ready to present our ten favorites from this group.

So grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate or a warm bowl of soup, then let’s get started on our Top Ten Ice-Type Pokémon!

10. Avalugg

“Its ice-covered body is as hard as steel. Its cumbersome frame crushes anything that stands in its way.”
— Pokémon X

A new, pure Ice-Type introduced in Generation VI, Avalugg is the Iceberg Pokémon and the evolved form of Bergmite. Its form looks like a gigantic sheet of ice with a head and four legs, and the perfectly smooth top of its icy back often serves as a resting place for Bergmite; when several of them gather, it supposedly makes Avalugg resemble an aircraft carrier. It’s a pretty interesting design and a welcome new addition to the Ice-Types, who otherwise didn’t see much love in Kalos (save for Amaura and Auroras,
who we’ve already discussed).

9. Swinub

“It rubs its snout on the ground to find and dig up food. It sometimes discovers hot springs.”
— Pokémon Gold Version

Swinub, the tiny Pig Pokémon first seen in the Johto games, is the pre-evolution of Piloswine and Mamoswine, a evolutionary line which comprises the only Ice/Ground-Type Pokémon in the games. While its evolutions are far stronger and better in battle, Swinub is a simply adorable little guy that we can’t help but love. Its snout is sensitive to delicious aromas, and when it finds one it darts off in pursuit of the source of the smell; sometimes, as it rubs its nose on the ground, it even discovers hot springs instead. That sort of heat probably isn’t good for an Ice-Type, but it’s still a cute little piece of lore for little Swinub.

8. Froslass

“Legends in snowy regions say that a woman who was lost on an icy mountain was reborn as Froslass.”
— Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Version

When a female Snorunt is exposed to a Dawn Stone, it can forego its usually evolutionary lineup to instead transform into the mysterious Froslass, an Ice- and Ghost-Type Pokémon likely inspired by the
Yuki-onna of Japanese folklore. It can blow out icy winds that reach nearly 60 degrees F below zero, and rumor has it that any prey frozen solid by Froslass is then added to a secret display of its victims. The design behind Froslass is a fascinating one, with its hands extending from its head covering and the kimono-like outfit it wears actually being hollow on the inside, and the lore and inspiration is just as good.

7. Glalie

“Glalie has a body made of rock, which it hardens with an armor of ice. This Pokémon has the ability to freeze moisture in the atmosphere into any shape it desires.”
— Pokémon Ruby Version

Froslass may be a beautiful spirit born from a woman lost in the mountains, but Snorunt’s primary evolution of Glalie is a devilish beast that has taken on a shape reminiscent of hailstones. It’s known as the Face Pokémon, as there really isn’t much to it beyond its face, and the icy coverings seem to resemble a hockey mask. Those horns don’t help that image, though, and they give Glalie a far more menacing appearance—especially when it Mega Evolves and transforms into more of a big mouth ready to take a big bite out of its prey. The design is frightening, but Glalie’s power is real, as it can freeze both atmospheric moisture and its enemies solid in an instant.

6. Spheal

“It is completely covered with plushy fur. As a result, it never feels the cold even when it is rolling about on ice floes or diving in the sea.”
— Pokémon Emerald Version

A brand new seal-inspired Pokémon introduced in the Hoenn region, Spheal is the adorable first stage in the evolutionary line that includes Sealeo and Walrein, a trio of Ice/Water-Type creatures. Spheal in particular is known as the Clap Pokémon, as they are often seen clapping their fins when happy. It can’t swim too well yet, as its spherical shape doesn’t promote easy underwater movements, but it can roll around on the ground to quickly build up speed. Spheal may not have the power or speed of its evolutions, but we still love this cutie all the same.

5. Jynx

“It speaks a language similar to that of humans. However, it seems to use dancing to communicate.”
— Pokémon Silver Version

There were only a handful of Ice-Type Pokémon in the original
Red and Blue games, but Jynx quickly stole our hearts, not only for having access to those powerful Ice moves we needed to take down Dragon-Types, but also for being part of the powerful Psychic-Type. Categorized as the “Human Shape Pokémon” (Game Freak apparently wasn’t feeling their most creative that day), Jynx does indeed resemble a small woman in a crimson dress, and it loves to dance, which seems to be its main method of communicating despite having a vocal language of their own as well. Interestingly, its dancing seems to entice humans into joining in, often without them realizing that they’re doing so. That may sound great for dancing-enthusiasts, but we’re not sure we would enjoy such a fate.

4. Regice

“Its entire body is made of Antarctic ice. After extensive studies, researchers believe the ice was formed during an ice age.”
— Pokémon Emerald Version

One of the three Legendary Titans of Hoenn, Regice is the original Iceberg Pokémon and takes the form of numerous icy crystals all joined together in a humanoid form. It goes far beyond your normal Ice-Types, able to make temperatures plummet to a devastating -328 degrees F and freezing anything that comes near it—and absolutely nothing can melt it, not even molten lava. Sure, Fire-Type attacks will still be super-effective against it, but the games still reflect this lore by giving Regice the highest Special Defense stat of any creature in the game, its fellow Legendary and Mythical Pokémon included. It may not be the greatest attacker out there, but this creature can still become an insurmountable ice wall that its foes and would-be capturers must struggle fiercely to overcome.

3. Delibird

“It carries food rolled up in its tail. It has the habit of sharing food with people lost in mountains.”
— Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Versions

If any Pokémon was designed with a holiday in mind, it’s Delibird, and Game Freak did a fantastic job with this little guy. Dressed up like Santa, down to the red suit and the bag of goodies, and designed after penguins, Delibird is known as the Delivery Pokémon, and it plays out its role as the creature of Christmas through its signature move Present, an attack that can either deal damage or heal the target. This Present comes out of the bag on its back, which is actually no bag at all—it’s Delibird’s tail, which is designed in such a way that it can be used to carry food or other knickknacks. Delibird wanders icy mountains and brings this food to those lost in the frigid wastes, often saving their lives in the process.

We may not be too fond of Delibird’s Present ability in battle, as the randomness of it all doesn’t seem that appealing, but it definitely has a place in the game, being able to reach up to a mighty 120 attack power if you get lucky. If you’re willing to take the risk, it could very well pay off, and even if you aren’t, Delibird still has plenty of Ice- and Flying-Type attacks that it can fall back on. That design, though, is why we really adore this Pokémon as much as we do.

2. Glaceon

“By controlling its body heat, it can freeze the atmosphere around it to make a diamond-dust flurry.”
— Pokémon Platinum Version

The beautiful Eeveelution of Ice-Types, Glaceon is obtained when Eevee levels up in the vicinity of an Ice Rock in the overworld. First seen in Generation IV, this new, chilling form has the ability to regulate its body temperature and lower it substantially beyond what most creatures can bear, in the process turning the air around it into the ice that facilitates its attacks. Glaceon can also use this method to freeze its own fur, making its hairs into tiny, pointed needles that give its physical attacks an extra bit of pain and its physical defenses a little extra toughness.

Referred to as the Fresh Snow Pokémon, Glaceon’s design takes on the standard fox/dog/cat inspirations of all its relatives, mostly likely taking most of its own basis from the arctic fox. It also adds in a few geometric shapes throughout the design that could be referencing the geometry of snowflakes, as well as tassels dangling from its head much like one would see on a pair of earmuffs. We adore each and every member of the Eevee evolutionary family, as we’ve said several times before, and Glaceon is no exception to that.

But there is still one more Ice-Type that we believe rises above Glaceon, not to mention the other frigid Pokémon as well. One more snow-loving creature soars above them all:

1. Articuno

“One of the legendary bird Pokémon, it chills moisture in the atmosphere to create snow while flying.”
— Pokémon Silver Version

There are plenty of beautiful, elegant, and breathtaking creatures in the Pokémon world, but even twenty years after its original debut, the Legendary Bird Articuno remains one of our favorites. Dubbed the Freeze Pokémon, this legendary Ice-Type soars the skies above the frosty peaks of the world, reveling in the cold and creating ice and snow wherever it travels. Its wings are translucent, causing some to speculate that they are made of ice themselves, and its tail flows beautifully in the wind as it flies. It is said that Articuno appears before “doomed people who are lost in icy mountains,” which also gives it something of an ominous vibe, as the Pokédex never says that it helps such people. Even so, we like to hope that it does indeed guide those travelers safely out of the snowy wilderness.

As a Legendary Pokémon, Articuno has some impressive stats, particularly in the Defensive categories, and it can also form icy winds and even entire blizzards to launch at opponents at will. With powerful attacks like Blizzard and Hurricane at its disposal, it’s definitely not an easy Pokémon to beat and capture, and even finding it tends to be a challenge—we all remember that lengthy trek through the caves of the Seafoam Islands back in Kanto, a long and arduous journey that was capped off by a thrilling battle to try and catch the ice bird of legend. It took us many tries to finally add Articuno to our team, but I don’t think a single one of us would say that it wasn’t worth the effort.

This member of the Legendary Birds is a gorgeous creature that we’ve loved since the very start of the franchise. As such, we are thrilled to see Articuno take the top spot as number one favorite Ice-Type Pokémon.


That’s it for our Ice-Type choices (at least until
Sun and Moon launch and bring in some awesome new Ice-Type Pokémon and Alolan forms)! Is this a solid list in your opinion, or did we only see the tip of the iceberg? What Pokémon would you have rather seen take a spot or move even higher up on the list? Let us know down in the comments, and drop by again tomorrow for another Top Ten list of a different Pokémon type!

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3DS DS Features Nintendo Retro

The Top 10 Poison-Type Pokémon

Banner Image by: JA-punkster

Pokémon Sun and Moon are launching this Friday, and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that’s why, for the eighteen days leading up to the games’ launch, we’ve been revealing our team’s Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! Today’s subject of discussion is Poison-Types, and while they may all seem like noxious beasts you’d never want to be around, we still identified ten that we love to have on our teams.

So let’s get started! Here are our Top Ten Poison-Type Pokémon:

10. Skuntank

“It attacks by spraying a horribly smelly fluid from the tip of its tail. Attacks from above confound it.”
— Pokémon Platinum Version

A Poison/Dark-Type Pokémon from Gen IV, Skuntank is the evolved form of Stunky. Based obviously off of skunks, even going so far as to be called the Skunk Pokémon, this creature sprays out a liquid from its tail that smells horrendous and can hit targets up to fifty meters away—which is perhaps the inspiration for the “tank” part of its name. While its defenses aren’t the best, it has some high HP and solid attacking power, and its two Typings cancel out every weakness except Poison’s to Ground attacks, giving it some solid staying power in battle.

9. Drapion

“It has the power in its clawed arms to make scrap of a car. The tips of its claws release poison.”
— Pokémon Diamond Version

An oddly-shaped scorpion-esque creature with arms coming out the sides of its head, Drapion is the Ogre Scorpion Pokémon. Its arms may be placed in a strange location that seems pretty unnatural considering that the rest of its proportions appear pretty normal, but its arms are still strong enough to rip apart cars; even with its poison-filled claws, it is proud of its physical strength and prefers to finish opponents off with its own power. It’s an interesting stance for a part-Dark-Type to take, especially since its pre-evolution Skorupi seems very fond of using poison over power. Make of it what you will; either way, we still think Drapion is a pretty cool creature.

8. Toxicroak

“Swaying and dodging the attacks of its foes, it weaves its flexible body in close, then lunges out with its poisonous claws.”
— Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions

Toxicroak, like the Croagunk it evolves from, is a Poison/Fighting-Type from the Sinnoh region and is based off of the numerous frogs in our world which advertise their toxicity with their brightly colored skin and patterns. But unlike most of its real world counterparts, who only poison those who eat them, Toxicroak is happy to spread its poison while still alive and breathing, using the claw on its hand to do so. Interestingly, it does this in spite of being called the Toxic
Mouth Pokémon; this classification appears to come from how its poison is stored within its throat sac, which then is sent to its claws via a series of tubes running down its arms. It’s useless against Psychic attacks, but that doesn’t stop us from finding it rather awesome.

7. Weezing

“It lives and grows by absorbing dust, germs, and poison gases that are contained in toxic waste and garbage.”
— Pokémon Yellow Version

Perhaps known best as being the anime’s original partner Pokémon for Team Rocket’s James, Weezing is the evolved form of Koffing and is apparently formed when two Koffings come together, mixing their separate toxic gases over time as they slowly merge into this Poison Gas Pokémon. Each of these heads continue to contain their own type of gas, though they do continue to mix constantly, and it survives and grows larger by ingesting noxious fumes from rotting garbage and toxic waste. You’d think James would’ve gotten deathly ill from being around this Pokémon all that time, but maybe he built up a resistance to it after all their adventures together.

6. Seviper

“Seviper’s swordlike tail serves two purposes – it slashes foes and douses them with secreted poison. This Pokémon will not give up its long-running blood feud with Zangoose.”
— Pokémon Sapphire Version

The Fang Snake Pokémon from Generation III, Seviper is known both for its bladed tail and its generations-long feud with Zangoose, a relationship designed after the constant struggle between snakes and mongooses in the real world. Seviper is the only pure Poison-Type Pokémon that does not evolve from or into another creature, but that’s just fine with us, as it’s got a great design and plenty of power already. Between its fangs and its poisonous blade of a tail, Seviper just looks like a dangerous Pokémon and one we’d never want to cross, though we’d be quite happy to have one join our team.

5. Dragalge

“Tales are told of ships that wander into seas where Dragalge live, never to return.”
— Pokémon Y

Introduced in Generation VI as Kalos’ “Mock Kelp Pokémon,” Dragalge is a Poison/Dragon-Type which lives underwater and has camouflaged itself by taking on an appearance similar to the dried-up kelp found floating in the ocean. The poison it spits from its mouth is strong enough to burn a hole straight through the hull of a tanker, and it uses this against anything that enters its territory; as a result, tales abound of ships that enter Dragalge’s waters and are lost as a result. It’s got a really fascinating design and some cool lore, plus its Typing is a rather unique one, so Dragalge quickly became a standout Pokémon of the sixth generation for many of us.

4. Arbok

“The pattern on its belly appears to be a frightening face. Weak foes will flee just at the sight of the pattern.”
— Pokémon FireRed Version

You can’t have one of Team Rocket’s original partner Pokémon without the other, right? That’s what we think, and we rather prefer Jessie’s old friend Arbok to James’ odorous Weezing. The final form of the original serpent evolutionary line, Arbok is the Cobra Pokémon, and it uses long body to constrict its prey and the bright patterns on its belly to intimidate others or frighten them away. Interestingly enough, the early games mention that Arbok’s patterns change based on region, and with Gen II and III Arbok do indeed have a different pattern than all the others. It’s a neat little detail that most of us have overlooked all these years; even without realizing that, though, we adore this snake and all it has done, be that as a member of Team Rocket or of our own parties.

3. Crobat

“Having four wings allows it to fly more quickly and quietly so it can sneak up on prey without its noticing.”
— Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 Versions

First seen in Generation II, Crobat is the final evolutionary form of Golbat and Zubat, two Pokémon that we had already come to respect in the first few games—but Crobat kicked things up a notch and soon became a fan-favorite. Aside from losing the gaping maw that seems to define Golbat for a more standard sized orifice, Crobat’s biggest change is the addition of two new wings on its hind legs; these backups are still powerful enough to keep it aloft, and alternating between the pairs allows the Bat Pokémon to continue flying for a full day without rest if it needs to. It might be a bit more clumsy on the ground now, but in the air Crobat is a swift and silent stalker of prey.

We all wanted a Crobat when we first learned about it, seeing as it was an evolution to a creature we’d already thought of as strong back in Gen I, but Game Freak’s decision to base this evolution on the Friendship between Pokémon and Trainer ensured that we got really close to Golbat while waiting for it to reach its final form. We traveled with it constantly, doing whatever we could to raise its love for us, and in turn we came to really love this Pokémon as well. That made it all the more rewarding to finally obtain that Crobat we’d worked so hard for, and it became a lifelong love of our team’s as a result.

2. Grimer

“Born from polluted sludge in the sea, Grimer’s favorite food is anything filthy. They feed on wastewater pumped out from factories.”
— Pokémon Emerald Version

I’m just going to come right out and admit that our team is probably a bit biased towards Grimer; while I’m sure many would list it or Muk in their Top Ten Poison-Types, I don’t know if they’d rank it this highly. Our love for it mostly comes from how we’ve appropriated
Grimer’s Red and Blue sprite as a custom emoji for our staff chats—it serves as our team’s own personal shorthand for “hooray!”, “party time!”, “definitely!”, or any number of other messages depending on the context, so we’ve all come to adore this little guy.

That’s not to say that it isn’t a great Pokémon on its own, of course. Grimer is the Sludge Pokémon from the original titles, a creature formed of living sludge that sees toxic waste and garbage as a wonderful feast, and it is so full of poisons that plants die and never regrow in the areas where it travels. When it loses pieces of its body, they take on a life of their own as brand new Grimer, which would probably have some horrific consequences if Game Freak ever took it to its natural conclusion. It’s also getting an Alolan form in Generation VII, and while some of us find the new design a bit gaudy, we all agree that the addition of a Dark-Typing can only help Grimer become a stronger competitor.

But if our favorite Pokémon emoji was only ranked second, what toxic creature stands at the top? What could possibly rank above the image of a sludge-filled monster raising its hands in pure, uninhibited joy? Why, none other than a monarch of a Poison-Type Pokémon:

1. Nidoking

“Nidoking’s thick tail packs enormously destructive power. With one swing, it can topple a metal transmission tower. Once this Pokémon goes on a rampage, there is no stopping it.”
— Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire Versions

Over half of all Poison-Types originated in
Pokémon Red and Blue, so we expected from the start that one of them would probably take the top spot—and of all the poisonous beasts of the first six generations, none stood out to us as much as the great Nidoking. Serving as the final evolution to the male Nidoran and Nidorino, Nidoking’s form just screams of its power, its armored bulk mixing well with its clawed arms and horns to create a very mighty appearance. Its tail, however, seems to be the most dangerous part of it, as it can topple metal towers, snap telephone poles with one swing as if they were matchsticks, and “smash, constrict, then break the prey’s bones” when in battle. Its primary horn is also plenty strong, as this aspect of the Drill Pokémon is said to be able to pierce diamonds, but the tail appears to be its primary weapon.

It was never easy to get a Nidoking, as Moon Stones have always been in short supply, but getting such a powerful creature was certainly a good reward for that cost. Its hide is said to be like steel, and it is both a Poison- and Ground-Type Pokémon; this lets it easily switch between defeating opponents slowly with poison and pummeling them with powerful Ground-Type attacks at will, as well as wrecking foes with its own body when required. It can even expand its moveset further with other horn-based moves like Megahorn or via TMs like with Thunder or Fire Blast, giving it plenty of ways to fight back against its several weaknesses

Nidoking may not have gotten too much attention in recent years—we’d sure love to see it obtain a Mega Evolution or maybe a Regional Variant that takes full advantage of that “steel hide” comment—but it remains a mighty contender that we love to have on our own teams. Power, variety, and rarity: they’re all solid aspects of this impressively-designed Pokémon, and we are thrilled to see it taking our top slot among Poison-Types.


That concludes our rankings for Poison-Type Pokémon! Did you like our ten choices, or are we missing out on the majesty of a different toxic beast that you utterly adore? If you want to convince us of its worth, go ahead on down to the comments and let your voice be heard! And don’t forget to drop by again tomorrow for another Top Ten list of a different Pokémon type!

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NWC: Here’s How Nintendo Switch’s Virtual Console Could Make Retro Gaming Better than Ever

Nintendo’s Switch is on the horizon, and after the Wii U’s poor reception, there’s a lot fans are hoping they can improve upon for the new system. So we thought a recent episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia, was the a perfect way to rethink how Nintendo sees the Virtual Console (the online system by which they re-release their classic games) with Nintendo Switch. Check out the discussion video above for our full thoughts, or keep reading below for a brief, brief summary.

Early on I say the Switch’s Virtual Console should arrive on day one with all the titles currently available on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, letting users transfer the licenses they bought on Wii U and 3DS, as all other game companies have been doing for years. Ben says it’s crucial that they tie customers’ purchases to their Nintendo Accounts rather than the hardware they buy the title on, and Alex says they should introduce some kind of family sharing system so families can share their Switch games, including digital Virtual Console purchases, with each other.

Ben adds that Switch’s Virtual Console should finally make GameCube games digitally available, to which I add the entire Virtual Console, including older titles, should be compatible with the GameCube controller adapter Nintendo made for Wii U.

We further challenged what’s expected of the Virtual Console by suggesting that two major trends in the gaming market—digital storefronts making games’ price points more flexible, and nostalgia becoming an increasingly effective selling point for both new and old titles—can be moved forward into the physical retail space, whether they want to re-release their classic titles on cartridges, like they did with NES games in the GBA era, or compile “Greatest Hits” collections from various Nintendo franchises and re-release them as one package. The former strategy could work particularly well with GameCube games.

We cover tons more, including flash sales on the eShop, a visual interface themed after physical game collections, a stronger My Nintendo rewards program, cross-promoting free Virtual Console downloads with Amiibo and other physical goods, and tons more, so be sure to check out the discussion video above for our full thoughts on the idea beyond this brief write-up.

If you like the video, you can
subscribe to Nintendo Week on iTunes, where we release new episodes every Wednesday, or you could check out the full episode. If you don’t like long-form podcasts, you can subscribe to us on YouTube, where our discussion segments are uploaded on Thursdays, and these select snippets from the rest of the podcast—which we call NWC—are uploaded throughout the week. If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you leave us a review on iTunes, where you can find episodes covering tons of other subjects, or send us your feedback! We’d love to know what you think of the show, and how you think we can improve it.

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