In the 90’s, the Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) took the world by storm. Little boys and girls from around the globe were collecting these pocket monsters and, instead of being in a big chunky GameBoy, they were actually in the kids pockets in the form of trading cards. From Pikachu up to Mewtwo – Then in the 00’s we went into Gen II. Later, it went into Gen III, then IV, V – And so on and so forth. The point is, it got bloody expensive. But what if you want to get into the hobby, but don’t want to pay a premium? The Pokemon Company have the solution for you.
While plenty of people seem to have gotten as far as they wanted to with Pokemon Go having caught as much as they could and thoroughly scratched their nostalgic itch, Niantic are still finding ways to keep the game engaging for those of us still enjoying themselves. This week marks the start of the first in-game event to celebrate Hallowe’en, embracing two of the best-known factors of the festival.
All the spookiest generation 1 pokemon will be more common until the first of November. However, the list Niantic advertised seems to have been added to somewhat; while the announcement tells us to look out for more ghost-types (Gastly, Haunter and, Gengar) along with Zubats, Golbats, Drowzees and Hypnos, I for one have spotted a couple of other well themed additions. These may be different depending on your location, if so tell us what you’ve seen on our Facebook:
Cubones and Marowaks seem as common as Rattata around here right now, the skull-wearing little ground-type seems to be running rampant. Coupled with it’s tragic pokedex entry and relation to the haunted Lavender Tower it’s the perfect fit for the Hallowe’en. I’ve also noticed a dramatic rise in the appearance of Meowths (although no Persians as I can see) which took me a few minutes to connect in my head, they may not be black cats but as a witch’s familiar it’s nicely in keeping with the theme.
It’s a great opportunity to fill up any gaps this handful might represent in your pokedex, or an easy way to ramp up that Gengar you’ve got sitting on a gym nearby. I think future Hallowe’ens could get even more interesting as new generations and even more eerie monsters start haunting our streets; Spinarak, Ariados, Murcrow, Misdreavus, Houndour and Houndoom could make for a more terrifying experience next year.
Candies aplenty! If you don’t need anything on the list above then you can still reap the spoils of the week by getting out there and catching a few extras. The candy return for catching and transferring a new catch has doubled, meaning any new pokemon you collect can yield up to eight making it so much easier to reach those difficult demanding final forms. If you’re harvesting Pidgeys and Weedles for some power levelling, you may want to expand your horizons this week because it’ll be easier than ever to use Rattatas and similar for their XP. It might also mean making some serious progress on that Garydos or that annoying final Eevee evolution you’ve been struggling for.
However, if you’re struggling to even find the pokemon you so desperately need, all is not lost. “Buddy” pokemon now gather candy four times faster! That means you can potentially gain six candy for your Bulbasaur before you can hatch a five-kilometre egg. I’m not saying you should be playing while you’re taking the kids out Trick-or-Treating, but it’ll make a trip into town a lot more productive…
In so far as procrastinating is productive.
This bodes well, and I’ve already been enjoying the game just that little bit more for having some accelerated pace to my progress, especially as my level gets ever closer to may age. Christmas may yet see an influx of ice-types that I sorely need, and may also include presents of some variety; and if Niantic are clever they’ll make it easier to hatch eggs over Easter, or maybe just give out some incubators to everyone.
I’d like to see a few graphical changes made over the event periods too, like maybe decorating stops as Christmas Trees, or covering the battle-screen with a layer of snow. I’d have liked to have seen some themed changes on the battle-screen over this event, maybe changing it to resemble the shadowy world surrounding Gengar in the current loading screen.
The Hallowe’en event ends on November the first, All Hallows itself, which means you can play through this weekend as well without missing out too much. If you’re still playing, happy Hallowe’en, and happy hunting.
Sometimes you just have to sit back and cuddle into a sweet fluff ball called a cat and say “N’aww, come here kitty kitty” whilst it rolls around and claws your hands and arms off. With its sharp, needle like teeth and its piercing eyes, it’s no wonder we’re obsessed with cats all over the world.
However, these games look to expose the truth and show you that cats are to be taken seriously in some way shape or form. This then is our special feline edition of Top 10. Don’t go anywhere, yarn-lovers, here comes the fuzzy list of the best cats in gaming!
10. Big the Cat – Sonic
Big almost didn’t make the cut.
See, the problem with Big is that it’s quite hard to recognise as a cat, which sadly I find to be true of a lot of the characters in the Sonic franchise. Please don’t hate me for saying that, Sonic lovers, as some of the characters make sense aesthetically, such as Sonic himself.
Never the less, Big the Cat is a relatively popular character within the Sonic multi-verse and heck: He was voiced by two legends in voice acting. He was first voiced by Jon St. John, also known as Duke Nukem (Amongst others). But to sweeten the deal further, he has also been voiced by Kyle Hebert, also known as Dragonball Z Narrator! “Will Sonic and his friends ever be reacquainted with the awesome vocals of Big the Cat? Find out next time…”, you get the picture.
9. Cait Sith – Final Fantasy VII
Make no bones about it, Cait Sith is a memorable character from the legendary Final Fantasy 7.
Be it that he’s a remote controlled plush-toy cat, or be it that in combat he rides a giant “fat Moogle” into battle, who cares? Honestly, the combination is both hilarious and amazing to see. Controlling the Moogle through the megaphone in its hand, but all the while being controlled by a man who’s not on the battlefield with you, the point is: this is a killer teddy cat!
We didn’t play Cait higher as he doesn’t do things for himself. He’s unfortunately remote controlled and as such, he doesn’t quite get there. At least he’s a playable character who added quite a bit of variety to the typical moody teenager roles that are customary for JRPG’s of its time!
8. Catfish – Castle Crashers
The flash sidescrolling hack and slash was filled with comedic moments, from the highly-strung trolls to the perpetually kidnapped princesses, but nothing beats a good pun. And just such a pun rises from the rapids in the form of the mighty Catfish!
As you pursue the enemies of the King and his abducted daughters along the river, a bear on the back of a freshwater-feline attacks with massive claws, frothing fangs and massive floating hairballs. It’s a tough baddie to beat, and a pretty disgusting one at that, but you get to enjoy it’s death-meows as it sinks back, and leaves you to go on your way.
7. Bubsy – Bubsy the Bobcat
Sega and SNES fans rejoice, as we couldn’t leave the furred kind out of this list!
From his snarky personality to his trademark exclamation point t-shirt, Bubsy resonates exactly what we’d expect of an anthropomorphic cat. To fight his enemies, he pounces on them and claws at them. He then talks with a very catty tongue and he really doesn’t like getting wet.
He puffs up when he shakes himself off, he can fall some heights but not too high a height (naturally). He can glide and he collects yarn balls. Ultimately then, Bubsy is a one of a kind feline. After all – cats aren’t supposed to fly, are they? At least Bubsy always lands on his feet!
6. Meowth – Pokemon
Meowth is an old favourite. In the anime, a unique talking Meowth was sidekick to the bungling Team Rocket agents Jessie and James, and delivered most of the comedy content that was worth a damn. But why was a Meowth picked for the life of crime?
Those who’ve played the games may be aware that the oval shape on Meowth’s head is actually a stolen coin, and that the pokemon itself has a magpie-like obsession with shiny objects, and gained powers like payday that allowed it to steal money from trainers that attacked it.
No cat pokemon has ever been all that powerful, but Meowth will go down forever as the best of a bad bunch, and a brilliantly memorable character.
5. Displacer Beast – Dungeons & Dragons
Yet another D&D staple creature makes the list. The Displacer Beast is an intelligent extra-planar panther with six legs and a pair of writhing tentacles emerging from its’ back. It’s a weird image for sure, but why does a mutant cat make the list?
Trying to look directly at a Displacer Beast is no small feat, as it possesses the simple magical ability to appear to be roughly a few feet from its’ actual location, making it impossible to land a hit against it. That annoying little feature has seen it appear in every edition in the first Monster Manual of each, including the next one (out in two weeks time, check back for my review).
4. Khajiit – The Elder Scrolls
Throughout the Elder Scrolls series there have been the pervasive, nomadic, and untrustworthy cat people, the Khajiit. Broadly known as pickpockets, skooma addicts and liars, the Khajiit, from the country of Elsweyr are actually fighting hard to find a place in a world that treats them with suspicion and hatred. They are, however, a crowd favourite, for their philosophies, distinctive accents, and the fact that they’re walking cat people.
To get a really good idea of what the Khajiit are all about, read the in-game book Ahziir Trajijazeri. It portrays the struggle of their rebellion against the empire, and shows exactly how cat-like these people are to their very core, but the book also features my favourite thing written about the Khajiit:
We confidently smile because we know our victory in the end is assured. And we know our smiles drive our enemies insane.
3. You – Catlateral Damage
So you basically are playing this game through the eyes of a cat. You are a cat and the whole purpose of this game is to be a cat… and cause as much destruction and mayhem in the house as possible.
With points to score for the best destruction, you’d better be quick and efficient as a clawed champion. Need to get through that door? No problem, just pounce at the handle. Need to strike a box down? That’s why you have paws! Swat, claw, scratch, pounce: Go mad! Destroy the house! Enjoy those satisfying swat sounds as your paw swishes away objects – just because you can.
2. Ajani Goldmane – Magic: The Gathering
The mighty lion, lord of the planes of the multiverse, and embodiment of the purifying power of white mana, Ajani is a planeswalker who has proven to be the strongest ally to many other planeswalkers, and holds a prominent place in MTG’s immense storyline. He holds many titles, The Vengeant, The Steadfast, Caller of the Pride and Mentor of Heroes, fighting to shed the title he was given as a cub, the White Death.
And Ajani just looks awesome. A massive white-furred lion capable of walking between worlds, wielding a massive double-axe, and his cards are a must-have for most white decks.
1. Cheshire Cat – American McGee’s Alice
Just listen to it!
The Cheshire Cat is one of the most important characters in American McGee’s Alice games. Sporting one of the creepiest voices in video gaming, Cheshire Cat acts as your narrator and guide throughout the game. He teaches you the ropes in your twisted, warped wonderland and he edges you on to do better.
You feel like you have to follow what this cat says, plus with his disease-like looks, it’s no wonder this Cheshire Cat gets the number 1 spot. We take this cat very seriously. His voice might be familiar to you, that’s because he voiced Mojo Jojo from the PowerPuff Girls!
You meet him very early in the games and you take him through to the end of the games. You become emotionally invested in this character, hoping to see his… Friendly/Fiendly face once more. Let’s not lie about it: This is a cat of nightmares that we’d not want to wake up from. No wonder Alice envisioned him to help her through her wonderland.
These cats were cool, but no matter how cool they are, they just couldn’t hang with the hippest cats around. We still like them though, so check our our two honourable mentions for cats in gaming. Let’s be honest: They deserve the mention!
Catz – Petz series
Yes, this is basically as “cat” as you can get in a video game. You literally are simulating looking after your very own pet cat. It doesn’t seem reasonable to put them in the Top 10 itself as there’s nothing particularly special about these pets of yours.
The problem the Petz series have is that it’s quite a serious pet simulator. Whilst Catlateral Damage came in at number 3 for its outright zany-ness, Catz is too serious and too normal. At least with Catz you can have your very own fuzz ball on screen. I will happily admit: It’s cute and it is a great time waster if you’re not looking to be a serious gamer!
Catwoman – Arkham City
Selina Kyle is certainly deserving of an honourable mention in this list. Her appearances in Arkham City make for a real change of pace and are some of the more entertaining moments in game. Although you really feel for her comparative lack of speed and combat prowess, set against playing as the man himself: she plays like a cat! Stealthy, nimble, capable of getting into unexpected places, there are even subtle cat noises when she pulls off certain combos and finds items in-game.
Many kudos to her voice-actor, Grey deLisle, her voice actually purrs. Her dialogue perfectly complements the sultry movements of the classic batman villainess.
Now that the cat’s out of the bag about who our favourite cats in gaming, why don’t you join in the fun and discussion?
Let us know what your favourite cats in gaming are! Did you agree with our choices, or do you feel we ordered them differently to how you’d order them? As always, come join in the conversation and join us again next time for another awesome edition of Top 10.