Category Archives: Pokemon

Pokémon and prediction

In Season 3, Episode 24 of Pokémon the Series: Gold and Silver (“Wired for Battle!”), a top dojo student and Pokémon trainer battles protagonist Ash and loses. What the episode seems to impart is that experience tells the “real story” in a way that data analysis can’t. Ash’s competitor in this episode relies heavily on his database and predictive model for battling; Ash relies on his gut.

SPOILER:

Does Ash’s foe lose because his instincts are too poor? Is his machine learning lacking? Proper inference relies on the quality of both data and calculation using it. Perhaps the dojo fighter’s ML instincts (specifically, his “process”) need work!*

*I recognize this is not the central point of the episode: but, it still got into a data science mood… 🙂 As a former Pokémon simulator battler and user of many screens, this episode tugged me especially.

Pokémon and Shakespeare

Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet (Act II, Scene II): “…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Centuries later, the creators of the Pokémon: Indigo League anime series made an episode titled, “Island of the Giant Pokémon”. In this, Team Rocket’s Pokémon Ekans and Koffing defend their actions against Ash Ketchum’s partners, claiming that they are not bad–rather, their human trainers are.

These two scenes, despite being from distinct media and stories, are related. Both deal with morality, without explicit use of the term “evil”. Hamlet says to Rosencrantz that morality is merely relative to a given observer’s subjective perception and interpretation. Team Rocket’s Pokémon have a somewhat distinct take: they state that good and evil are determined by particular kinds of beings, i.e., authoritative humans.

It is we who have the power to attach ethical valence to actions (or even things, e.g. the atomic bomb); yet we also are characterized by said valences, ourselves. To quote Rafael from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 4 dub, speaking to the Pharaoh of Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle: “Are you good? Or, are you evil?” This becomes the question for each of us to wrestle with.

My review of Pokémon Sword

Where to begin? This was a game full of drama, battle-highs, and just classic Pokémon. This post summarizes my post-completion thoughts and feelings.

Eternatus: a Rayquaza-Naganadel hybrid (in terms of typing and appearance), but red. This is the first time players have caught the third member from the main legendary trio prior to getting through the title legend. Battling Eternatus looked like a Golden Sun final boss battle…

Speaking of Poké-firsts and title legends, this is the first time we got to battle and catch them post-game.

The open-world graphics were fantastic! The Wild Area is a real treat. Third-stage evolutions in the wild is rad (though, not entirely new for Pokémon GO players).

Just to make this post more personal, my final team consisted of Cinderace (so cool), Drednaw, Eldegoss, Boltund, Orbeetle, and Corviknight. Though I found myself curious about and intersted in other Pokémon – primarily, newer ones including formes – I stuck with this team for the game’s duration.

I caught a Timid Eternatus and Lonely Zacian on my first and only capture attempts. Not bad!

Hop was a natural step forward from Hau (Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon). Like Simon, he’s just a bit too…nice? I never cared for Oak’s line in Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee, which went that Simon was maybe too nice to win. Hop has even more spirit than past rivals, and he’s the first of ours to get his own main legendary!

I enjoyed the plot. Team Yell was the nicest team we’ve had in a core series Pokémon game, to date. Marnie was a nice upgrade from Lillie in terms of competitiveness. Macro Cosmos felt a bit underdeveloped, but was reminiscent of Lusamine’s Aether Foundation (again, from Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon).

My Charmander gift from Leon (Lance-like but nicer, anyone?) was Relaxed. Kind of want to train it to use Gigantamax Charizard…should have resetted for a better nature?…

I caught every new Pokémon that I encountered, plus a few old ones.

The reintroduction of the Battle Tower is cool. I feel more motivated to complete this Pokédex than in Generation 6… (For background, I last completed the Pokédex in Pokémon Black.)

May add more as it comes to me. Solid game, GAME FREAK! 5/5