My Next Countdown – Bob Dylan Albums

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There are far too many people that don’t know of this artist’s existence. Its always odd when I meet someone who blankly stares at me when I mention the name, even know the music they were just talking about was heavily influenced by Robert Zimmerman. His more common alias, Bob Dylan, has shaped music by turning the Beatles onto ‘their inspiration’ and turning the Hawks into the rock and roll icons, The Band. His singing is mocked, but copied even more. The unparalleled lyrics are what he’s most commonly sited for, and his words have become a part of society for the long term.

Bob Dylan has had his ups and downs in his career. Peaks and valleys ranging from being unwillingly stapled to the protest movement with Joan Baez, to being ridiculed for making some of the best music in history because he sold out. With a swelling of talent after a grueling end to a relationship with his wife, he later saw the light as a born-again Christian, and eventually became an 80’s washup. After a heart attack and a break from songwriting, he has indeed made a comeback over the past 2 decades, renewing that old rebel’s spirit.

Dylan has one of the largest musical portfolio’s in history, which continues to grow because of new studio albums, and old content surfacing because of the Bootleg Series. Besides the Man in Black and a few other exceptions, Dylan has some of the largest collections of music in history, with 75 or so albums.

I’m here to bring the studio and bootleg albums into the chair next to me, and dissect each one directly. For me to tackle the most influential man in 20th and 21st century music is something I’ve tried before, but come up short. I shall try to be as thorough as possible, and if you don’t agree, that’s fine. There are so many different combinations (I have 43 albums to write about after all) that I can’t be 100% right. It’s all a matter of opinion, as any list is.

So join me as I tackle the jew-fro himself, Bobby D.

I do not own that photo.

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Ten EASY Ways To Become a Better Pokemon Trainer!

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People have gotten into some bad habits when it comes to playing the Pokemon games we all know and love. For one reason or another, the community likes to agree upon things within the franchise that have no basis and are just accepted as truths for the longest time. If one doesn’t see what I mean, may I suggest ‘Mew is under the truck’ or ‘Hold down Up and B to catch Pokemon easier’. There are several examples like this that expand from simple rumors, to the ones covered here, horrible game strategies.

So I’m here to tell you how to make your Pokemon experience incredibly simpler, in ‘ Ten EASY Ways To Become a Better Pokemon Trainer!”.

#1 Use the Best Pokemon Available

Some will shrug this off as obvious, but to many trainers, their favorites are the ones they use, as some say it makes the game more fun to use those Pokemon that they like, even if outclassed by better Pokemon. I’m for having fun, as I believe we all are, but using one Pokemon over another because ‘it looks cooler’ is not only detrimental from a gameplay perspective, but the concept makes little sense when thought about. It is as if you are playing chess, and like the way the bishop looks, so you decide to use a third one instead of your queen.

This rule is also not followed when people set the imaginary line of ‘NO USE LEGENDARIES’. Legendaries are in the game for a reason, to be the best at fighting. This makes them apt additions for any team, but people refuse, as they say they’re cheap. Well this is not PED’s in baseball, nor having Harrison, Lennon and McCartney in the same band. These are Pokemon given away as prizes to be used to destroy the game. If you don’t use them for different reasons such as Experience Growth or similar reasons, that’s fine. Otherwise, they should not only be tolerated by players, but used. A lot.

#2 Well Balanced Teams of Six and Have Good Type Coverage

Having a wide variety of types, attacks and resistances exploit one of the games’ major flaws. Nearly all bosses in Pokemon history have had mono type teams, and duplicates of certain varieties of Pokemon. Rejoice however, because with this trick, you can surpass most of these bosses with ease!

Having teams of less than six Pokemon may seem like a cool idea, as you get to keep your HM slaves (covered later) on your team, and your Pokemon are of higher levels, but this is also bad strategy. Two main problems arise, as one, it is better to have six level 50 Pokemon than four level 53 Pokemon, which is about as many levels as your can expect to have different due to the experience growth formulas. If it was a bigger difference, it may not be a big deal, or maybe even recommended.

Except for the fact this also sacrifices your type coverage for super effective hits, which are your best friend in game. To be able to hit 12 types for super effective damage instead of 8 is incredibly useful and makes the game so much easier. By having two extra Pokemon be able to hit those types, you can do more damage than those few levels ever could of hoped to help with.

This also entails you don’t use four fire moves on your Charizard, or 3 Psychic moves on your Alakazam. This limits your coverage as well, not to mention, why would you ever use Ember if you have Flamethrower and Fire Blast (just for sake of example). Earthquake and Fly are much better options for all the utility it gives you. This is to say, use multiple types of moves, not just STAB moves.

#3 Use HM Slaves and Use Good Moves

HM’s are an annoying part of every Pokemon game, due to their necessity and their usual weakness, to the notable exception of Surf. Another popular strategy people use that falls under really bad strategy is putting those worthless HM’s on your party members.

As mentioned before, Surf (and for some early generation cases, Fly) remains the only move that could be good on one of your said party members. Otherwise, they’re outclassed, weak or just plain useless moves that shouldn’t be stapled on something you use all the time.

A quick recap on some of these:

Flash – Just lowers Accuracy. Not worth a moveslot, especially when it can’t be forgotten easily.
Strength – 80 power. Outclassed by several other Normal moves such as Return and Body Slam.
Cut – Outclassed by Strength and 2/3rds of the game’s moves.
Rock Smash – Use to be 20 power, still at a pathetic 40.

In other words, use those type coverage moves I was talking about to fill your movepools. Keep low level fodder Pokemon to learn HM’s like Krabby, Tropius, Tentacool or Furret. Put them in your party when you need them, and rotate your 6 party members for equal growth as necessary. If you’re unsure which you need, that’s what Bulbapedia is for.

#4 No Part – Time Team Members

Miltank. You know the one. It was owned by the crybaby in the metropolis of Johto.

You couldn’t beat it, no matter how you tried, and no matter how many times your Quilava got criticals, it would always eventually go down to the wicked livestock.

However, as you go shopping, you meet a foolish boy. One who will trade away his Machop, a Pokemon to slay the beefy opponent, for just a Drowzee, common on the prior route.

You use it, and you finally win…wasting all that experience on a Pokemon you soon forget about. This is the situation that seems really tempting, but is a big no-no.

Part time party members are a bad strategy. It sucks up the experience as mentioned before, which means you waste big experience pots, like trainers, on Pokemon that won’t help you with the final bosses of the game, making said bosses harder. It makes things harder in the long run, either by forcing you to grind (how to avoid that later) or just flat out be underleveled, another big no no.

So how to beat those big bosses?

#5 Fight Every Pokemon Trainer In the Game ASAP

There are some people who dodge trainer’s lines of sight. A lot. This is not recommended for a few reasons, but mostly for these two.

One, the obvious, your Solid Snake skills pass up valuable experience, which is essential for grindless runs and makes the Pokemon experience a hell of a lot easier.

The other negative is the skipping on a very useful feature exclusive to these games, currency. Currency allows incredible things like being able to buy items without bartering your Poliwhirl. When skipping trainers to get on with the story (such as skipping Gym trainers or avoiding Surfing dudes), you lose out on this bountiful bounty, as well as doing nothing but avoiding 50 seconds of mild annoyance. Well, that’s if Pokemon battling can even be considered that, because if that’s the case, you may be playing the wrong game.

This is to say, the trade is well worth the bonuses, to be sure.

#6 Fight Every Wild Pokemon

Oh that’s right. This is THE biggest one on the list that people are guilty of. Running away from Pokemon is the thing to do, as it saves you time. Except it doesn’t. You know those grinding sessions that seem to be necessary? They are not.

By running away from Pokemon, you are avoiding that icky experience just so you can do it later instead, wasting more time than if you just battled those Pokemon in the first place!

If everyone followed this tip alone, people would realize they’ve been wasting a lot of their time and money. How is this wasting money? You know those repels? Well come closer, because guess what’s next on the list my boy.

#7 Limited Item Usage

Repels, Potions, and every other type of temporary items are money wasters.

Did I just blow your mind? Well I shouldn’t have to be honest.

The fact is that repels are fundamentally flawed, as shown by my last tip, as its costing you money for you to throw away experience. Not a winning trade.

Using a Potion or Antidote when you could just go heal is another beginner’s trap. If on the borderline of losing, then of course use it. Until then however, don’t throw away free money at items that save you ten seconds of time.

What’s the exception to this temporary item rule? Well its recommended to sell all those useless items to get healing items and Revives for the Elite Four and Champion. These bosses are how you win the game, and its impossible to lose if you save your money then binge on Revives and Hyper Potions.

Also, not using up your resources on one and done items gives one the ability to buy much bigger quantities of Poke Balls of your choosing, which is far better use than saving time so you can go back to scratching your derriere.

Any other items to watch out for?

# 8 Save Rare Candies and Vitamins

These are the big money items that are warranted using…eventually.

Why save Rare Candies?

For sake of example, Wartortle takes a few hundred Exp. to grow into level 20, and you find a rare candy in Mt. Moon. If you were to use that then and there, you aren’t gaining much experience at all. However, if you wait until right before the Elite 4, then all of a sudden that Rare Candy is worth thousands upon thousands of experience.

A similar concept exists for Vitamins (such as Iron, Zinc, etc.). The rule is the player can use up to 10 of every vitamin on a Pokemon, resulting in up to 100 EV’s in each stat this way (or a few stats in newer games). However in order to not waste money, wait until the Elite Four. No longer do you have to use 9 Proteins, because Venusaur already had 200 Ev’s in attack. This saves 5 Proteins and a ton of money, not to mention they can be used on other Pokemon now.

If you’re fuzzy on what Ev’s are or how they work, Bulbapedia has a great article on the subject, just use that Google bar of yours.

#9 Horde, Horde, Horde

Explore each dungeon thoroughly. Make sure you collect everything. Collect phone numbers and make sure you get those items you don’t need. Do everything in your power to 100% everything.

Doing all this gets the player a ton of money, a ton of experience, a ton of extra stat points, a ton of extra useful items and a ton of new knowledge on a game they’ve been playing since childhood.

It’s a good strategy in any non-timed game, and it is especially useful in the second biggest video game franchise.

#10 Play Smart, Not Quick

I leave you with the summation of everything I’ve just written.

Take your time. It’s not a speed run (usually) so the time it takes isn’t an issue. You’re playing a really fun game, why not play it properly? Why not play it thorough and make it fun? Why not play the game without self implemented rules of Legendaries and grinding more than the average stripper?

This is what I leave you with. Play the game fun, but play it well.

I hope I have been of some use at both of those sentiments.

Also, I don’t own the photo.

Update – Feb. 17th, 2014

I’m not done posting, to the dismay of fan favorites, such as the likes of Farfetch’d and Ditto.

I’m currently working on a large post, that is actually longer than a 2 minute blurb.

After that? I dunno. I kinda like posting.

Bob Dylan records? Beatles albums? Music in general? Baseball posts?

I’m not sure, but there is one thing I know.

A lot of Pokemon.

Ditto – The Worst Red and Blue Pokemon

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NORMAL
– Transform
– N/A
– N/A
– N/A

Here we are, the worst Pokemon in the game. There is not one thing Ditto can do right. Its signature move isn’t exclusive to it, not to mention its a poorly designed move, all of its stats are below worthless, and it comes later than most good Pokemon.

First off, Mew gets Transform. And is Psychic type. And has better stats. And can learn other moves besides transform. Why would you choose to use a Ditto, when you get a better typing, 52 extra base stat points to every move, and can also hit with Earthquake and Swords Dance and Psychic and dozens of other, better moves?

This raises another point, is Transform a good move? No. In order to transform, you must first take a hit first, which is often a problem for the frail Ditto. Then you must retain your (often) worse Health. Which is followed by getting only 5 pp of moves that most likely are of the same type as the Pokemon you transformed into (or Normal moves), resulting in not very effective damage swapping in game.

Ditto has 48 for base stats across the board. This means it has less health than a Metapod, less attack than an Oddish, less defense than a Voltorb, less Special than a Pidgeotto and less Speed than a Weedle. This also means once you do transform (after being hit usually with your crappy defenses because of your crappy speed) you retain your horrible health, making an inferior copy usually.

Ditto is hands down the worst Pokemon in the game, and if you really need a Transform user for some reason, use Mew through the Mew glitch. Its not worth the pain, suffering, and (albeit amusing) glitches. Use anything else.

It’s been fun!

I do not own the photo.

Worst Red and Blue Pokemon – #2 – Farfetch’d

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NORMAL / FLYING
– HM Fly
– TM Body Slam / 39 Slash
– TM Swords Dance
– TM Toxic

I can just picture the board meeting about Farfetch’d Satoshi Tajeri must of had with the other designers. Describing how they needed to make a Pokemon so wonderful, that every person would use it, and not use any other Normal/ Flying type, even in the most drunken induced state. They needed to create something that offered so much new material for Pokemon, (by its movepool and its stats) that it would shine as the brightest star. This would be, in short, the best Pokemon they could come up with…

Farfetch’d has been blessed with an incredible stat spread, only slightly below the total of the mighty Koffing. The crushing 65 attack is its most lethal weapon, being able to hit those doomed opponents for incredibly decent damage! Stand back, as it is also a wall, perhaps that akin to Jericho, as 52/55/58 the defenses stand.

You may be wetting your pants in despair, hoping the movepool can stand up to such behemoth highs as its base stats. Calm down now, no need to worry, Farfetch’d brings Fly and Body Slam as huge options that make Drill Peck and physical type coverage moves weep in the corner, asking for their blankie! Swords Dance is its weapon to make those moves into even bloodier options, as if you will even need those boosts.

Overall, this Pokemon is among the…VERY WORST POKEMON IN HISTORY. What pipe dream were those guys on? Why was this okay? Why do I have to trade for it? Why is there only one in the game? Would the game break if it were more common than Snorlax? Why are the stats so pitiful? Why did they never evolve it? Why does it look so stupid? Why, why, why, why, WHY?

I do not own the photo.

Worst Red and Blue Pokemon – #3 – Weedle, Kakuna, Beedrill

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BUG / POISON
– TM Double Edge
– TM Hyper Beam
– 20 Twinneedle
– TM Swords Dance

How do you make Butterfree even worse? Take away its Sleep Move and any consistently strong attack to use! What a relief, I thought a Bee with 3 huge stingers would actually be a threat. Luckily however, it is not in the slightest. The base stats are similar to Butterfree, the typing has the same enormous amount of weaknesses, and both come really early.

Beedrill has 80 Attack and 75 Speed, similar to Butterfree’s 80 Special and 75 Speed, however Special also gave Butterfree one decent defense. Beedrill does not have this luxury as a defensive spread of 65/40/45 with those weaknesses ensures it as one of the frailest Pokemon in the game, if not the most so. To go back to the 80 attack, its decent, but not enough to pull a lot of offense out of the hat, and 75 speed is also just that, decent.

Well since Beedrill has the useful buffer Swords Dance, it could patch up that mediocre attack (if it could take hits to use it successfully) however the move set is just awful. 50 power on its STAB move is already low, but it has no recoil-less Normal move strong enough to matter. Double Edge means that you have to take damage on a very frail Pokemon, and Hyper Beam means you have to be bludgeoned over the head the next turn.

Beedrill is so very, very awful. There’s a dropoff from Butterfree, and Butterfree is already a mid-end “D” Pokemon. Never use it, and never be worried when faced with one. Hit it with any attack, that should do the trick.

I do not own the photo.

Worst Red and Blue Pokemon – #4 – Caterpie, Metapod, Butterfree

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BUG / FLYING
– 17 Sleep Powder
– TM Psychic
– TM Mega Drain
– 21 Supersonic

If Butterfree was given 20 more points in each base stat, it would be, by a large margin, the best Bug Pokemon in RBY, and perhaps actually made the type sort of decent. Why? Butterfree has an appropriate stat spread and good movepool, while being able to be obtained early. Unfortunately, Butterfree was made as a gimmick Pokemon (along with its ugly cousin Beedrill) for being able to evolve really early, and fool all the kiddies to using them. This costs it dearly, as one of my favorite Pokemon (the only guy in existence to say this perhaps) is cut out of the pantheon of good / okay Pokemon, and sent all the way down to ‘joke’ status.

As mentioned, Butterfree has an appropriate stat spread. What do I mean by this? Well, as a ‘Special Sweeping’ Pokemon (if that’s what you want to qualify it as) the stats that are the most important are the highest: namely Special and Speed. However 80 Special and 70 Speed are pretty unspectacular, and the rest are just worse. 60/50/80 would be pretty average defensively, but its the typing that turns it into a weak pane of glass. Weak to six types, Rock being 4x strong against it, makes it frail to 40% of the game. A big problem.

As stated before, Butterfree has a pretty good movepool by Red, Blue and Yellow’s standards. Psychic will hurt foes, but with its average Special, Mega Drain wont hurt enough. Sleep Powder is great, and the last move is filler.

Oh I wish this thing was useable, but around Vermilion, the thing is a legitimately negative Pokemon to have on a team. Avoid using because of those base stats.

I do not own the photo.