It’s a new day in Lockie’s Nuzlocke journey, and today she is in Hulbury, home of the Water Gym Leader, Nessa.
Before Lockie begins her challenge, we took some time to explore Hulbury and find some useful items, such as the TM for Electroweb, and a Magnet, both of which will help Gautier the Charjabug against the watery foes we will face.
And while Lockie was wandering down the streets, she came across a good spot to fish! So we tried our luck for our next new team member, and the result was Chester the Chinchou!
Other options were Arrokuda, Chewtle, Basculin and Wishiwashi. Chinchou absolutely would be my first choice out of these options, so that was a stroke of luck. With his Electric typing, that means we have another advantage against Nessa’s gym! I have chosen to swap Madeleine the Magikarp out for the time being, she can rejoin after we have claimed Nessa’s badge.
So into the gym we go, and the Gym Mission that awaits us is a fairly standard puzzle-solving maze, where water blocks Lockie’s path, and she must press different buttons to open different paths. Of course there are a number of trainers to defeat along the way, but they will be excellent practice for Chester!
After making it through the Gym Mission, and reaching the stadium field to face-off against Nessa, Lockie managed to secure an easy win! Lillian was the star of the show, with her Mega Drain and Shell Bell meaning that Nessa could barely leave a scratch!
So now it is time to think ahead to the next challenge, and this is where the difficulty starts to pick up! Kabu, the next Gym Leader, uses Fire type Pokemon, so Gaspar, Oberon and Gautier are going to take a break, while Gloria (Growlithe), Roland (Roggenrola) and Madeleine (Magikarp) come back for some training.
Our next stop is Galar Mine No. 2! As this is another case of no random encounters, I simply ran into the first Pokemon which spawned … a Wimpod. Not exactly a thrilling choice. While Golisopod is a good contender for the challenge, Wimpod is not especially useful himself. His stats are not good, and his ability means that if I take him below half health, he will run away! This Wimpod broke out of 10+ Pokeballs (all I had), my only 3 Great Balls, my 3 Nest Balls, and 3 Heal Balls … FINALLY, he was captured! Lockie named this pain in the .. *ahem*, Wilbur.
The other inhabitants of this cave are Shellos, Binacle, Croagunk, Shuckle, Chewtle and Noibat – I really wish I had found Croagunk or Noibat, but there we go!
Once again Lockie finds herself being challenged by Bede, the most insufferable character in this generation of Pokemon games. I predict Gloria will have no issue wiping his Psychic team with Bite — until, tragedy strikes!
Our first casualty! Gloria, who I had so much hope for! Taken down in one shot by Bede’s Solosis! If I disliked Bede before, you can be sure that the feeling is ten times stronger now! I was totally shocked, as I was not expecting to take any losses at this early stage. Even Esther had to make a hasty retreat after defeating his Gothorita! Chinchou had to make an early retreat whilst fighting his Ponyta, with both fighters confused and evenly matched, I just had to play it safe. Lillian is now the last Pokemon at a good level with enough health to take on his Hatenna. Thankfully Lillian’s Mega Drain kept her health where it needed to be for her to survive Hatenna’s attacks, as it was quite a hard hitter!
Lockie must press on through the cave in order to make it back to Motostoke, but it isn’t long before she runs into Team Yell. They seem to be causing more mischief, and Hop arrives just in time to provide Lockie with some backup for a double battle!
I’ll admit that the Thievul and Linoone looked slightly intimidating, as Lockie didn’t have an obvious counter in her team … But Lillian should be fine right?
WRONG! Tragedy strikes for a second time in Galar Mine No. 2! Linoone’s powerful Night Slash, followed up by a critical hit from Thievul’s Snarl sent Lillian on a one way trip to the Graveyard box!
This battle was heating up, as Linoone continually slashed away at my party members, forcing me to switch them out as no one could outspeed him! Finally Linoone was down, replaced with a Pancham … a Pancham who then one-shotted Roland!
Lockie is in serious trouble now, with 2 Pokemon sent to the Graveyard, and very few remaining choices left. With some luck, Esther was able to carry us through the rest of the battle with no more casualties. We must keep going though, and now that we have two gaps on the party, Gaspar and Rowena are joining us once more.
One last stop before the end of this episode, the Motostoke Outskirts. I first encounter was a Chewtle. We caught him and named him Cedric, and swapped him into the party, sending Gaspar back to the box. I could have found a Croagunk, Pawniard or Impidimp, but I think at this point I would be happy to take anything.
Finally Locke reaches Motostoke, and it is time for a rest before taking on Kabu’s Gym. And I think after what we have been through here today, we could probably do with a good rest. Let’s take a moment to remember our fallen friends today.
So here we are, at the first Gym Battle! Honestly, I’m not even remotely worried about this one. Milo is pretty small time, with only two Pokémon in his party, both of which are pure Grass types.
Rowena led the charge with the Gym Trainers in the mission (which I think is a really funny mission, herding Wooloo!). No problems encountered here as Lockie breezed through, and onto the actual battle itself!
Our safest option here was Oberon, with his Grass/Poison typing, he receives only a quarter of the damage from Grass attacks! And this plan worked perfectly, his health stayed firmly above half! It only took two shots of Max Ooze to send Milo’s Eldegoss packing!
Lockie graciously accepted the Grass Badge from Milo, and started planning the journey ahead. I put Gloria and Rowena in the box for a little rest, and took Lillian as we will need her Grass typing against the Water Gym Leader, Nessa. I also took Madeleine, hopefully she will evolve into Gyarados quite soon!
New areas mean new Pokémon to catch! First I took a quick trip back to the Wild Area to visit South Lake Miloch, as the intense sunshine meant there were some different Pokémon hanging around. I ended up catching a Nincanda, who I named Nancy! Baltoy and Roselia were the other possibilities, but I guess I can find a use for another Bug Pokémon … is Lockie a secret Bug Maniac?
Now we are back on track and heading to Route 5, where there are quite a few possibilities for our encounter! But the first to show herself was Espurr, who Lockie captured in one throw and named Esther! I’m pretty happy with this, Psychic is one of my favourite types so it’s always good to have another one on board.
It wasn’t long before she was showing us what she can do, as she took down an Applin two levels higher than herself with no worries at all! Esther easily took down the rest of the route trainers, including a couple of punks from Team Yell, and then Lockie ran into Hop once more, who of ocurse was waiting for another battle.
Esther was around half health, so I didn’t feel like risking her in this battle – Oberon was the way to go here! That is until Corvisquire came out. After a successful dose of Sleep Powder and then a direct hit from Oberon’s Acid attack, he soon woke up and quickly had Oberon down to very low yellow health … thankfully Gautier is beefy enough to take any amount of pecking, and his new Electric typing takes away the Super Effective status of Flying type moves.
With that victory, it wasn’t long before Lockie found herself in Hulbury, home to the Water Gym. Next time we will be taking on Nessa and hopefully claiming her badge!
Welcome back to Lockie’s Nuzlocke Challenge! Lockie has made it to Motostoke, and I spent a little bit of time polishing her team so that she doesn’t fall behind. During this, Lillian and Gaspar both evolved, and I’m feeling much more confident with the team and ready to press on.
Lockie and Hop got themselves registered to take part in the Gym Challenge, then went to the Budew Drop Inn to stay the night, in preparation for the opening ceremony which was due to take place the following day. It was in the lobby here that Lockie came across Team Yell for the first time, but they proved to be no threat at all – Beatrice’s Struggle Bug soon dispatched the Dark types that were sent out to oppose us!
After a bit of poking around the city, Lockie found a couple of useful items, Miracle Seed and Silk Scarf. These items boost the power of Grass type moves and Normal type moves, respectively. They will help certain members of the team pack an even bigger punch. Lockie also came across a quiet spot by the river where she could do a bit of fishing! Seemed like the perfect chance to catch a new Pokémon for this area – and the result was a Magikarp! Lockie captured the splashing fish and named her Madeleine. The other options from the fishing spot were Chewtle and Barboach, but ultimately I think Gyarados will be more helpful than the others. Madeleine is going to the box for now, but I’m sure she will come out later.
The next day Lockie headed to the stadium where she took part in the opening ceremony of the Gym Challenge, which means that we are finally on the road to the first Gym leader, Milo!
Before any of that though, as usual Hop wants to test his stuff against Lockie and her team. Thankfully we have Gloria now who can deal with Rookidee, the most worrisome member of his team! It wasn’t long before he conceded defeat and we moved on to Route 3, and our next capture – Rookidee! She was named Rowena, and put into the party in place of Lillian for now.
Beatrice is turning out to be a real asset to the team, which is a nice surprise for me (I hadn’t used the Blipbug evolution line until this point). Her typing means that she has the advantage over a good number of my opponents, and she has excellent defenses, so most attacks are practically bouncing off her!
Galar Mine was easy enough to traverse, I used it as a chance to level up Oberon by taking on the trainers with their Rock type Pokémon. As there are no random encounters in caves anymore, I ran into the first Pokémon I saw spwan, which was Roggenrola! Another easy catch, I soon found myself naming him Roland. I placed him in the box for now, as the first two gyms are Grass and Water … not exactly his strong points. The other Pokémon to find here were Rolycoly, Diglett, Drilbur, Woobat and Timburr, and frankly I’m just happy I didn’t encounter the last two on that list.
Lockie encountered Bede at the end of the mine. He didn’t stand a chance against Gautier, and was defeated with ease. Next up is Route 4, final stop before Turffield where we will face our first Gym Leader!
The golden fields of Route 4 were hiding many Pokémon, but Meowth was the one to jump out at Lockie! She was captured with no problem and named Martha. She has been boxed, but may make an appearance later.
Just before we stepped into Turffield, we got a double evolution from one match! Gautier and Oberon, who evolved into Charjabug and Gloom!
And then two battles later, Rowena also evolved into Corvisquire! Lockie’s team is looking much more intimidating with these latest changes, and we’re more than ready to take on Milo!
Next time Lockie will be entering Turffield Gym and hopefully claiming Milo’s Badge! Wish us luck!
So, after claiming her letter of endorsement, Lockie set out for Motostoke to start her Gym Challenge in earnest. Before that, she must first pass through the Wild Area, a huge open plain split into many different routes. That means that Lockie has the chance to catch several different Pokémon before progressing any further!
The Pokémon available do change depending on the weather, so there’s always the option to avoid the grass in some of these routes and find a different Pokémon later once that weather has changed.
So the first area we come to is Rolling Fields. Lockie wasted no time and jumped straight into the grassy wilds, and her encounter for this route was … Oddish! I am very pleased with this result, as I have a lot of familiarity with this old-timer. Lockie successfully caught the little weed and named him Oberon.
The other options on this route in the current weather (overcast) were Budew, Bunnelby and Metapod. The only one I would have perhaps preferred is Budew, simply because I would choose Roserade over Vileplume/Bellossom.
Next route to venture through was the Dappled Grove, which was suffering from quite the heavy thunderstorm at the time! Fully aware of my crippling weakness to Flying types, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to find a bit of balance with an electric type Pokémon hopefully! The first encounter Lockie came across was another Lotad, so the Duplicate Rule allowed us to shove him aside and look for someone else, at which point we found Grubbin!
Although Grubbin is a Bug type now, he will eventually take on the Electric type, so this is an investment for the future! Another capture in the bag, and Gautier the Grubbin has been added to the party! The other options here were Joltik and Budew … I am kind of disappointed I didn’t find the Joltik as he is super speedy, and I am a sucker for the fast hitters.
I suddenly found myself needing to do some levelling to catch up with the Pokémon around me – I suspect the game expects you to be catching lots of Pokémon and therefore gaining lots of Exp, which of course is not the case here! Gaspar got a nasty shock when a Tympole who was three levels higher than him spewed him with Acid! Our new friend Gautier came to his rescue and promptly wiped out the threat.
In the middle of this little level catch-up session, Beatrice evolved into Dottler! With this she gained the Psychic type, and also learned Confusion, Reflect and Light Screen, so not only does Lockie have slightly better type coverage, but also some good defensive moves!
Another close encounter for Gaspar as a critical hit from a Krabby with his Metal Claw deals serious damage! It was the perfect chance for Oberon to make his debut, and the near-killer Krabby never saw it coming. Oberon’s Absorb sent him packing!
The final area before reaching Motostoke was East Lake Axewell, and the weather here was intense sunshine (despite the fact that it was actually nighttime, so I guess … intense moonshine?). I crossed my fingers as Lockie dived into the grass, and rejoiced as Growlithe was the Pokémon who greeted us! A swift capture, and Lockie finds herself with a faithful pup, Gloria the Growlithe!
Mudbray, Minccino, Onix and Stufful were the other potential partners here, but Growlithe is by far the best of the bunch for me, so I am so happy with this result!
Lockie eventually made it to Motostoke, after an eventful journey through the Wild Area. We managed to capture three Pokémon here, and I’m quite happy with all of them! It seems like this is going great so far – there have been a few near misses, so I will have to exercise great caution in future, as I’m usually used to being several levels higher than the Pokémon around me.
And so Lockie sets out on her journey with Gaspar by her side. I predict that there will be plenty of close calls, and maybe even some tragedies, but only time will tell.
It wasn’t long before Lockie found herself in her first random encounter on Route 1, as a Blipbug jumped out at her! Luckily the Pokémon are at a very weak point at this stage, and Lockie was able to catch it straight away with her first throw. She named the female Blipbug, Beatrice.
The other random Pokémon that I could have encountered were Caterpie, Grubbin, Skwovet and Hoothoot. Perhaps I would have preferred these for the sake of familiarity, but using a Pokémon I haven’t had much to do with before should add to the challenge.
Upon reaching Wedgehurst, Lockie was introduced to Sonia, and then directed to Professor Magnolia’s house on Route 2. After healing up, she set off to meet the professor, and soon came to her first random encounter on the route, which was … a Blipbug. Thankfully I chose to use the No Duplicate rule, so this Blipbug was safe from my grasp. The next encounter was … a Lotad! Another easy capture by Lockie, and she soon found herself naming this little lady, Lillian.
The other possibilities would have been Rookidee, Hoothoot and Purrloin. I think Rookidee would have been my first choice here, but regardless, Lillian is a welcome addition to the party!
Lockie very nearly found herself facing her first tragedy, as a simple Level 7 Rookidee faced her down, and Gaspar was too slow to run away… Two pecks later and Gaspar is one hit away from an untimely end! Thankfully Lockie managed to escape on the third turn, and I suddenly realised how vulnerable my current team was to Flying Pokémon.
I decided to let Beatrice test her mettle against her first ever opponent, a Nickit belonging to Youngster Benjamin on Route 2 … and she did it! She managed to take the sly fox down, only losing 6HP in the process! I hoped she would be able to manage it as her Struggle Bug move is super effective, and she showed me that she’s got what it takes! Champion Leon, here we come!
Okay, perhaps I’m getting carried away here …
Once Lockie reached the professor’s house, a brief conversation between Magnolia, Leon and Hop led to Lockie being thrown into another battle with her rival! Not even our archnemesis, Rookidee, could slow Gaspar down! Hop just managed to get us into yellow health, but Gaspar powered through and swept his team of three, and grew to Level 11 in the process.
With this victory, Leon saw fit to offer Lockie a letter of endorsement, which will allow her entry to the Gym Challenge. So far, everything seems to be going our way for this Nuzlocke challenge. Next stop for Lockie is of course, the Wild Area. Many different routes await, as well as many strong Pokémon who could prove absolutely fatal to our team.
Come back next time to find out how Lockie’s Wild Area adventure panned out!
Hello everyone! So I have decided to do a Nuzlocke Challenge on the latest installment to the series, Pokémon Shield! First things first, I need to clarify what rules I will be following for this challenge.
All Pokémon that faint in battle shall be considered dead. They will be placed into a Graveyard Box on the PC.
Only the first Pokémon encountered on each named route/area may be caught. Due to the updated overworld mechanics of Sword/Shield, I have decided that where random encounters are possible, this must be considered the first Pokémon. Where random encounters are not available, I shall catch the first Pokémon I see that spawns.
I will be nicknaming all of my Pokémon.
If all Pokémon in the party faint, that shall be considered a Game Over.
I will not be trading Pokémon, using gift Pokémon, or capturing raid Pokémon.
I will be using the no duplicates rule – if my first encounter is a Pokémon that I have already caught, it will not count as the first encounter and must not be captured.
I will not be using healing items in battle.
I will not overlevel my Pokémon with intense grinding, Exp candies, Pokéjobs, or camp activities.
And now the trainer who will be taking on this dastardly challenge – Lockie! And her partner of choice for this challenge is none other than Grookey, who I have named Gaspar. Grookey was chosen on a dice roll, where 1-2 was Grookey, 3-4 was Scorbunny, and 5-6 was Sobble.
Wish me luck on my Nuzlocke adventure – I really would prefer not to have to bury anyone in the Graveyard Box!
I barely even know where to start with Sword and Shield, the latest installment to the Pokémon series. I have a lot to say about them, so I guess I should start somewhere!
First, let’s talk about the theme.Sword and Shield are set in the region of Galar, which is inspired by the UK! As a Brit, it means there are lots of little nods here and there that I find quite amusing to say the least, and other things that I just find very satisfying to see.
From the very beginning I could immediately feel a sense of English countryside, starting off in the sleepy village of Postwick, moving onto Wedgehurst, the aesthetic was captured perfectly with the fields of crops, and grazing Wooloo (the sheep Pokémon!), and the villages and towns themselves hold a certain charm which I think reflects that of the rural countryside villages we see here in the UK perfectly.
And this aesthetic just grows more and more the further into the region you go! We have a town which seems to have taken inspiration from our famous landmark, Stonehenge, and it also has a Geoglyph on the hillside (a large design/pattern on the ground usually formed by chalk, small stones or other such materials) which is something that can be found surprisingly often in England, usually in the shape of a horse!
The PokémonCentres also have their own English charm added to them. They have a quaint decorated exterior which seems to fit in just about wherever you would find one, but it’s the interior that impressed me the most. I was simply shocked to walk inside for the first time and see on the left hand side of the room … a pub! Every PokémonCentre has its own little pub, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the tiny pictures of the berries on the taps!
The town names are another thing which I feel have been perfectly captured – I genuinely could be at home looking around for nearby villages to visit! Postwick, Circhester, Hulbury, Stow-On-Side, Wyndon … all you need to do is have a look around the UK on Google Maps, and you’ll see just how well these fit the theme.
The next thing I would like to talk about is some of the new features that I have come across so far! First, let’s talk about the updated mechanics for wild Pokémon. It seems as though Game Freak have taken the classic mechanics of the main games, the new mechanics introduced in the Let’s Go titles, and put them together to make a fantastic combination. Wild Pokémon will pop up in the grass, and they also react to you in different ways. Some will walk up to you with curiosity, others will charge at you and commence battle! And more still will flee as soon as they see you, you’ll have to sneak up to these flighty fellows! And besides these, you’ll also see an exclamation mark followed by rustling in the grass as you pass through – if you run into that small patch, you’ll find yourself in a classic random battle! Furthermore, you can even whistle or sound your bicycle’s bell to attract the attention of Pokémon – even those who might be flying in the skies above you!
Next on the list is the Wild Area. My goodness … I can hardly pull myself away from this new area! This is the first time that us fans have experienced such an overwhelmingly large area in a Pokémon game. The Wild Area has plenty of Pokémon for you to track down and catch – with a hefty level range! You have to keep your wits about you, otherwise you could find yourself being wiped out by one of these powerhouses.
A big part of the Wild Area is the dens which are scattered across the plains. You will occasionally spot glowing beams of light piercing the sky – these are emitted from the previously mentioned dens, and if you journey to one of these, you will be able to enter a raid battle! I have to say, I really, really enjoy these. Four players will take one Pokémon into battle against an enormous wild Pokémon – a Dynamax Pokémon. It is possible for one trainer to dynamax their Pokémon, but this will only last for three turns. There are many things to gain from completing these – besides the chance to catch a Pokémon that you might not be able to find easily otherwise, you will also get a nice haul of items, including a TR or two, an item which is used to teach your Pokémon a new move, but it breaks after one use (a throwback to the old school games where TMs weren’t unlimited use).
The last feature I want to mention is the camping. While you’re travelling, you can set up camp and let your team run around for a bit of fresh air. While in camp, you can observe them as they plod along, occasionally interacting with each other, you can throw a ball about for them to either catch and bring back to you, or kick around, you can take a toy out which seems to encourage a bit of rough-house play, and finally you can get cooking to feed yourself and your team! This is something I really enjoy – it’s just so fun to watch as you and your lead Pokémon take that suspenseful first taste, and then react in awe at the taste of your concoction! One of the benefits of doing this is a nice experience boost for your party, as well as any fainted Pokémon being revitalised enough to carry on for another battle!
With this new generation comes a whole host of new Pokémon for fans to discover. So far, I have been totally bowled over by the designs of these Pokémon … for the most part at least.
There have been some incredibly solid designs, and so many of them fit the theme perfectly. From squirrels to foxes, sheep to ravens … We even have Pokémon that have been inspired by Welsh Corgis, Vikings, knights, and even tea pots! This is just a small number of examples though, there are so many more that I could mention!
Next thing on my list is the GymChallenge. In a Pokémon game there are usually two main goals. Catch as many Pokémon as you can to complete your Pokédex, and defeat all the Gym Leaders and then the Elite Four. Sun and Moon saw a brief switch-up from this regular format through the Island Challenge, but otherwise the format is largely the same throughout the main series games.
I don’t know how controversial this opinion will be, but here it is: this is the best Gym Challenge I have ever faced.
I love everything about it. It is introduced to us as a rather exclusive, but nationally adored event (a rather obvious parallel with real-world sports). In order to enter, you must be endorsed, and we receive our endorsement from the champion. Every challenger is to have their own number for their uniform, and yes, you will be wearing a uniform. The Gyms themselves are massive stadiums! They must be tackled in a specific and official order with no deviations, and each Gym has a Mission for you to complete before challenging the Leader.
The best thing is without a doubt the battles with the Gym Leaders. The battle takes place in the main stadium, with endless crowds watching and cheering – they even react to the battle! The soundtrack is just out of this world, I get so swept up in it. And then once the Gym Leader has one Pokémon left … time for Dynamax! Not only that, but the crowd goes wild with excitement, and the soundtrack actually changes as the crowd sings along! You can also Dynamax at any point in this battle, but it only lasts for three turns, so choose carefully!
The way that the challenge is set out makes me think of the anime and how the Pokémon League is usually depicted – I always felt that was how it should be presented and that the games sometimes fell short of that. I may not have completed my copy of Shield just yet, but so far I have not been disappointed.
There has been a fair amount of complaint amongst fans in the run up to release day. I have seen complaints about the choice to not include all Pokémon, about the lack of innovation in the graphics, the shortness of the routes and the story in general.
I have to admit that while I understand and respect these opinions, I can’t say that I share them. It is a shame that not all Pokémon have been included, but at the end of the day, there are 400 Pokémon available for us to catch and train. That’s more than enough for me, I know I will spend plenty of time hunting them down and training up my favourites. It will be sad to see that certain Pokes didn’t make the cut, but I can still appreciate what we have been given.
I really can’t find an issue with the graphics personally – I think the environment is absolutely gorgeous. I have seen mentions about how the trainers and Pokémon pop up onto the screen as you get close to them, so that they don’t need to be rendered the entire time, and it just doesn’t bug me. They appear on screen in a very smooth way, so as not to be too jarring.
I can see why people are annoyed at the length of the routes, some of them are admittedly short. This hasn’t stopped me from spending plenty of time in each one though – with so many different Pokémon to come across, particularly with the changing weather, there is plenty of reason to hang around, see what you can find, and even to return to places that you have already been to! I have literally spent hours in the Wild Area catching anything I hadn’t already found.
There are only two things that really bother me, the first being the battle background when you are indoors. The outside and the stadiums have fantastic backgrounds that make you feel as though you’re really battling out there! But if you battle inside a building, it is a strange, hazy background which does break the immersion. It’s somewhat disappointing to see, considering they were able to achieve this with Pokémon Coliseum on the Gamecube.
The other thing that bugs me is the lack of a feature that was done so well in Let’s Go, that I really hoped it would be a reoccurring feature. You can’t pick a Pokémon to follow you around anymore! It feels like the foundation was there, with the wild Pokémon roaming around the world, but the feature itself wasn’t implemented.
My final word is that while this may have been a disappointing entry for some Pokémon fans, it ticked all the right boxes for myself personally, so PokémonSword and Shield get my full recommendation.