Sunday Statistics!

Pokemon White Pokedex. SEEN 642 OBTAINED 640

Probably won't mean a lot to most people. The translation is, I've spent a shit load of time on this game and I've only got 8 more Pokemon left to get*, five of which have never been made available in Europe.

I spent a long time yesterday trying to get two more. Each generation of Pokemon games is normally released in two editions (possibly with a third remake). Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, Ruby and Sapphire, Diamond and Pearl and Black and White. The "genius" move is that some Pokemon are only available on one version and not the other requiring players to trade with each other or failing that buying both copies of the game to ahem, catch 'em all.

In the DS iterations of the games, trading has been made much easier with the Global Trade Station. You don't have to physically meet up with another player, you can go online and leave a Pokemon of your choice on the GTS, specify what you want in return and nine times out of ten after a week or so (as long as your terms are reasonable) you'll end up with what you want magically beamed to your DS from around the world by another player. However, the stupid thing about this system is that you can't request Pokemon that you haven't "seen" in the game. So for lone players like myself this meant you could never ask for those version specific Pokemon, sort of making the whole GTS a bit pointless. Fortunately, team TGAM normally coordinate which version of the game we're getting and do some trading at our yearly meet up except woops.

The problem of only being able to request Pokemon that you have seen in the games has been overcome in Black and White with a system called GTS Negotiations. The idea is that you hop online and then negotiate a trade with a player online in real time. The problem is that because, quite rightly, Nintendo don't encourage the kind of violently offensive communication that seems to pass for gamer chat, you can only communicate with the other player using four symbols; a happy smiley face, a sad smiley face, a <3 or an !. As you can imagine trying to communicate which two specific Pokemon out of 646 I need using those four emoticons is, let's say challenging. One player I met offered up virtually every single Pokemon and I had to show them that I already had them before they eventually quit out, frustrated by a seemingly pointless online show and tell. The process was even more painful because it seems that GTS negotiations users are up for just scamming each other making frankly, ridiculous requests. Fortunately, yesterday afternoon after about two hours of failed negotiations an Italian trainer, Juan, managed to suss out what it was I wanted and we made a perfectly reasonable and mutual beneficial trade. 640 down, nine to go......

*For those that care/know/got this far I need Deoxys and Darkrai from older generations and Tornadus, Landurus, Keldeo, Meleotto and Genesect. I've seen but don't have Reshiram and Archeops.

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