Tuesday, November 03, 2015

New music for the week of 11/2/1015

One new track this week:

-Vs. Kanto Trainer

This is a remix by Kamex, and you can check the track out here:

Happy Listening!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Daylight Savings Time Ends Today

Just reminding you that Daylight Savings Time ends today in the US, so the station has moved back one hour from -5 GMT to -6 GMT. If you don't have DST where you live, programming will be one hour later.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Unboxing Pokemon Music from Australia, Brazil, and Japan

After returning from a recent business trip, I found that I had gotten a trio of packages containing Pokemon music from various countries. First up, we have some CDs from Australia and Brazil:

Though the discs in the video above may not seem Pokemon-related at first, rest assured they are.

If that wasn't enough, the third package had some music from Japan, both from the TV show and adapted from the games:


Part 1:

Alright. Hi, folks. Steven here with another unboxing video. I was out for a little bit on a business trip. And, when I came back, I actually have a few things to open. They should all be Pokémon music-related, even though some of them may not seem so at first. And, we’ll take a look through each of them.

First of all, let’s take a look here. This one, you can see, is from Australia-AU Post. Like I said, came to me while I was out. Looks like a CD case, and I’m pretty sure it is. So, let’s see. Open this up.

Alright. So, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with Pokémon? Well, this is a single from, I guess, Australia for “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” by Aaron Carter. And, as you might have guessed, it has the song from the Pokémon: The First Movie soundtrack, “(Have Some) Fun with the Funk”. This was found on most of the foreign editions of his album, and also this single. The one project I have going on is that I’m trying to find how many of the songs from Pokémon: The First Movie I can get outside of that album. That’s sort of the little contest I have with myself. And, you may be seeing more of that. We’ll see what happens here.

But, in any case, not a lot else to see. This is just a slimline single, nothing too special here. The only thing I kind of wanted to note with this one is that one of the guys who did the PokéRAP does beatboxing on that song as well. Which, may explain why it’s on the soundtrack.

In any case, let’s move on to the next package. This one, if you take a look here, is from Brazil. This one is a little bit different. But, let’s go ahead and open it.

It’s got some stuff around it. Alright, give me a second here. This is a WEA promo disc. You’ll notice there’s a lot of names on here. There’s two you should notice near the center that seem kind of familiar. WEA is Warner’s music arm, at least it was back when this was published. And, back in the day, they would send CDs out to radio stations and stuff like that to promote their music as one big CD. That was how they got stuff out back in the day, sort of. But, in any case, these two names sure look familiar, don’t they? Well, as it turns out…another slimline case. This is not opening very cooperatively. Alright, taking a quick look through here.

So, on the back here you have-let’s see, where is-there’s M2M “Don’t Say You Love Me”. That, you can find in a lot of places. Warner sent out a ton of samplers. The rare one here is Billy Crawford “Pokémon Theme”. And, you notice under each of these it says, let’s see, something in Portuguese, I assume, since this came from Brazil. It’s either that or Spanish. It mentions Pokémon O Filme, the first Pokémon movie. So, it mentions that on there. As far as I know, this is the only other place besides the soundtrack that the Billy Crawford version of the Pokémon theme has been published. So, that makes this kind of interesting. I just spotted this on eBay and was like, “Oh, what the hey.”

Part 2:

One more. This one is from Japan. However, it is not from the place that I buy my CDs from when I get the stuff from Japan normally, the new releases, from there. This is another eBay seller. It just happened to go through the Japan post. So, let’s see here. Let’s open it up here.

I believe there’s two things in here-I think I bought two things from the same person.
Oh, and one of them is quite large. See, we’ve got some bubble wrap here.

That probably looks a little bit familiar. Then, I’ll get the other thing out. We’ll go over each of these. I’m debating with myself whether these are— it seems like the original packaging. Which, is pretty crazy. I know that Japan tends to keep stuff pretty good condition. So, when they send it-But, in any case.

So, let’s start off with this one since it’s smaller. Some of you will recognize the guy on there despite the doodle type drawing there. That’s Imakuni?, who you will recognize from a large number of early TCG and song stuff, and the TCG game for Game Boy. He’s in all of that. And, this is-let’s see. I need to open one more flap here. There we go.

This is “Can You Name All the Pokémon neo?” So, this is the second generation Pokémon-basically the Japanese equivalent to PokéRAP. So, I guess that would make it the equivalent of PokéRAP GS. But, this is the one that comes there. So, let’s see, what do we got here? Alright.

Got a little poster here with the lyrics and on the back side we have a bunch of different Pokemon. And, probably most if not all the Unown. So, we’ve got that. And, it came with this card, which was drawn, at least this picture-by Imakuni? himself. And, you know, I just noticed he’s leaping out of the picture. This could actually be the first example of a Pokémon card where the subject of the card picture actually leapt outside the boundaries. Not 100% sure on that, but maybe this could be it. In any case, this is obviously some sort of joke card with 2000 HP and stuff like that. Which, I guess, Imakuni? decided to put a little note on the card with there. But, it has the old school Pokémon Japanese card back, which looks different than the newer one. And then, you have this little itty bitty 3 inch CD. These never really took off. In Japan, they were popular for a while. But, anyway, that’s what you have in there.

Alright. Well, let’s move on to the other thing there. Looks like this has seen some use, but someone had resealed it. Bottom here. More tape. This is, I think, the translation is something like, “Can You Play Pokémon on Musical Instruments?” So, here’s the little thing that goes on top. Like I said, they never throw anything away in Japan. But, it comes with, let’s see, nothing inside of this. There’s a track list on the back that you can see there. It’s a spiral bound book, kind of like some notebooks you might have seen. Unfortunately, I cannot read Japanese worth much of anything. Nibi Gym over there, which of course is Pewter.

So, we’ve got actual sheet music. I guess it’s from the games. I assume as much. I’ll have to show my mom this some time. You may remember, you may have heard from mom in the Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions review. She’s an orchestra teacher. This would be kind of a neat thing to show her. I don’t remember if it comes with anything else. Oh, it does come with a CD. That’s what I thought. In the back here. And, it comes with this little card, which has some stickers that you can put down there. I don’t know if you’re supposed to practice everything and once you master it, you put everything in there.

And the Old Amber, a couple different Badges, Master Ball, some items. That looks like false teeth. I’m guessing that’s probably not what that is? Oh, I know what that is now. That’s the false teeth for the guy in the Safari Zone that you have to give to him to get the HM. That’s what that is! Okay. So, that makes sense. They have a sticker for the false teeth.

This is really neat. It’s kind of equivalent to the 2 B.A. Master sheet music book I have. I also have sheet music for “Don’t Say You Love Me” and there might be a few others you can find sheet music for. But, this is pretty neat. I wish they could make a digital version of this for sort of the modern era. I know it’s nice to have the actual thing here, but of course, getting it digital would get it in the hands of more people. Some of the pages actually fold out like this. This is pretty neat. Alright.

I think there’s got more of the gym leaders in here. Like I said, wish I could read more Japanese. But, that is a really neat bound book they have here for the sheet music. But, that’s what I’ve got there. I do, actually, have one other thing, which I kind of wanted to unbox. I just picked this up today. But, it looks like we’re running pretty long on the video anyway. I bought the Wii U version of Guitar Hero Live. But, I’m sure you can find another unboxing video of that somewhere.

Alright, folks. Thanks!

Transcript by GetTranscribed.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New music for the week of 10/19/2015

One new track this week:

-Normal Battle (Pokemon TCG)

This is an arrangement (created by Dr. Pez) of the song from Pokemon TCG for Game Boy. You can listen to this version here:

And on a side note, be sure to check out our latest installment of Pokemon Colosseum:

Happy Listening!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pokemon the Series XY volume 2 DVD set releases January 19th in US

Amazon US has recently out up a listing for the second volume of Pokemon the Series XY on DVD, to be released on January 19th, 2016. No cover art or number of discs is currently listed, but it is likely to be a four-disc set based on recent US releases.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New music for the week of 10/12/2015

One new song this week:

-Treasure Town

This is a jazz rendition of the town theme from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky. This version was done by Sab Irene, and you can see a video of it here:

Happy Listening!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

New music for the week of 10/5/2015

One new song this week:

-Pokemon DPPt - Route 216/217

This remix was created by A Cloud Called Klaus. You can check out the remix here:

Happy Listening!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

New Mewmore interview following tomorrow's Top 25

I recently had a chance to interview Mewmore, a prominent video game remixer (who happens to currently have two songs currently on the station).  That interview will debut following tomorrow's Top 25 Countdown, which starts at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central.

If you like, you can also listen here:

Editor's note: Mewmore and I had to kind of guess how to pronounce "Lisia", since we couldn't find an official listing.


Steven: Hi. I’m Steven Reich, here at the Poke Press studios in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m on the phone with Mewmore, who is a video game remixer, and does a variety of things. You may know that he has done a couple songs that are on the station currently. “I Wanna Say Goodbye” which is from the Mystery Dungeon games. And, Lisia’s theme from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Before we get to those, Mewmore, where are you from and how did you get into doing music?

Mewmore: Hello, guys. I’m Mewmore and I’m from Finland, North Europe. And, how I got into music, I think I was like got into it pretty late. I think I was like 12-13 years old. My dad used to be a professional drummer, playing in this one band. And, I think he tried to get me into music when I was little, but I wasn’t too interested back then. But, when I was like 12-13, I started to take piano lessons and then started to play guitar too. And, I understand that music, hey it’s pretty fun, it’s pretty interesting, I like it. And, from there on, music has taken my heart. And, besides guitar and piano, I also play drums and bass. But, for me, composing and producing music is more of my passion. I don’t like playing as much. Making what I want is more my thing.

Steven: How did you get into doing electronic music? How did that get started?

Mewmore: Well, I got into electronic music at the same time as I got into remixing. It was late 2010. I was at my friend, Dasgust’s place for the new year. And back then, he used to make these Pokémon remixes with this program called FL Studio. And, I thought it was pretty awesome. I mean, with electronic music, you could do quite a lot of things you couldn’t do with instruments. And, I decided to give it a try. I made this remix of Pokémon Gold and Silver’s song called Union Cave. From there on, I’ve been making this Pokémon remixes. But also, I’ve been branching out to make original electronic music, for example.

Steven: Alright. Yeah, that’s pretty neat. Now, you mentioned Pokémon there. You were actually a little late in coming to that. You had watched the TV show, but how did you actually get into the games?

Mewmore: That also was because of Dasgust. He used to have, I think it was Emerald on Game Boy. And each time I was in his place, like back in 2005-2006, I used to play it quite a lot. And, before that, was only like the TV show for me. But, then I realized that the games, they were awesome. And as soon as DS came out, I think I bought it and then I bought Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. From then on, I’ve been playing the games as well.

Steven: Alright. That’s neat as well. So, there’s two songs that we have, of yours, that are on the station right now. The first one is Lisia’s theme. Lisia is from the contest portion of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Can you kind of explain how you ended up remixing that song?

Mewmore: Yeah. I think it was back in December. Back then, I used my Alpha Sapphire and I was at the part when the contests were introduced the first time and you got to meet Lisia. And, I thought that her theme was quite good. It was a bit all over the place, but the main melody was pretty cool. And, I decided to remix it because there was something good in the song. I wanted to bring it out. It’s quite a quick remix. I made it in the same style as I made this Battle Hall remix from Platinum. Both have these kind of piano chords and crispy bass, house beats and vibraphone as a lead. I think it turned out pretty fine.

Steven: Yeah, it is pretty good. It’s definitely gotten some good feedback on the station. And then, the other one you have is actually a collaboration with Dasgust, which is the “I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye”, which is from the Mystery Dungeon game. How did that come about?

Mewmore: The demo of the song was made back in the beginning of this year, was Dasgust’s remix which he made before he went to Army. Then, on the summer time, me and Dasgust met. Usually, when we meet, we want to make music together, because we don’t meet as often. And, we were thinking what should we remix? Then, I said that you use to have that “I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye” remix which you made. We could maybe take that. And he was like yeah, let’s do that. And yeah, we changed quite a lot of instruments. And of course, produced it a bit better. The cooperation usually with us goes like [we] send the song to each other and we like work. And usually, we do it in turns. Like, Dasgust makes something then he says now it’s your turn. I’m done with this. Then, I do something. Then, I send it back to Dasgust and so on. And, I think Dasgust mixed it and mastered it, because it has better plug-ins for that. And, he’s a bit better, I think, in production-wise.

Steven: Alright. And, of course, these are just a few of the songs you’ve done. Some of them, Pokemon related. But, also some other stuff. Why don’t you talk about some of the other songs you’ve worked on that you really like over the last couple years?

Mewmore: First of all, I want to mention Driftveil City from Black & White, which I uploaded just a week ago. I think it’s, so far, my best work in terms of production. It’s pretty good, I think. Of course, it’s just a week old, and it’s Electro-house type of music. And, I think it’s the best kind of view of what I’m capable of doing right now.

Then, I’ve got also this remix, also from Pokémon Black 2 & White 2, called Virbank City. And, I think that is my best work, composition-wise. Of course, since it’s made in 2013, it’s production of the song’s not as good as most of my others. But, I think it’s just something in the song.

Steven: Yeah, definitely. In the games, they do a very good job of giving each city its own character with a theme song for it. Which, is a great feature there. What other games have you done remixes of that aren’t Pokémon related? You’ve done a few out there.

Mewmore: Yeah. Recently, I thought about keeping Mewmore just as a Pokemon channel, Pokemon remixes. But lately, I’ve gotten into remixing music from other series as well, such as Zelda, Mario, Professor Layton, Animal Crossing. I’ve also remixed a song from Castlevania. And, on this other channel of mine, which was before Mewmore, I used to have songs from Final Fantasy, Earthbound, as well. But, Pokémon has usually been the game in which I work on the most.

Steven: That’s really neat. Obviously, it’s good to branch out. But, really like to hear things like that. Alright. Well, you mentioned your YouTube channel. You have a few other social media outlets. Why don’t you go over those right now?

Mewmore: Okay. First of all, Twitter, it’s @mewmore. I use Twitter quite a lot, and I think that’s the best way to contact me if you want to. I usually update about my future remixes, other stuff I’m going to do, on there first. So, be sure to check it out. And I also have SoundCloud where I upload some other songs. Usually song ideas, remixes of other songs than video game songs. I’ve got about 90 songs there. If you want to check that out as well, go on SoundCloud and type ‘Mewmore’. I’ve also got Tumblr, which I don’t use as much. I usually just post links on my YouTube songs there. And, I also think I’ve got Ask.fm. That’s also under the name Mewmore. If you want to ask me a question there, just go ahead. I don’t get too many questions in the first place. But yeah, those are pretty much the social accounts I use.

Steven: Well, hopefully you’ll get some more feedback in the future, after this interview. But, alright. Thank you very much, Mewmore. This has been Steven Reich from the Poke Press studios in Madison, Wisconsin on the phone with Mewmore, a remixer of video game music.

Transcript by GetTranscribed.com

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Missed Pokemon Integration?-"Punch-Out!!" Wii

Would the 2009 "Punch-Out!!" game for Wii have been improved if it included a character from Pokemon? That's the topic we explore in this week's video:

If you're interested in learning more, you can read the Kotaku article mentioned in the video. It doesn't specifically address Pokemon, but it does mention the developers were trying to keep things closer the "Punch-Out!!" core cast of characters. Was that a good idea? Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pokémon World Championships 2015: Seniors VGC Winner

Mark McQuillan
The following is an interview with Mark McQuillan, winner of the VGC Seniors division in this year’s Pokémon World Championships.

Where are you from, and how did you get into playing the Pokémon video games competitively?
I’m from Edinburgh, Scotland, in the UK and I started playing competitive Pokémon in 2011. I saw something online about the UK National Championships in Birmingham and had managed to persuade my parents to take me there. I had been playing Pokémon casually since 2007 but I knew nothing about competitive Pokémon at that time (I didn’t even have a properly EV-trained team). Even so, I ended up reaching the top eight of that tournament, which got me an invite to the 2011 World Championships in San Diego. Between Nationals and Worlds I learned more about the game and I was able to build a much stronger team for Worlds, where I ended up getting tenth place. That tournament was a very enjoyable experience, so I’ve been playing Pokémon ever since and have now played in a total of five World Championships.

How did you end up with the team you did? Was there an overall strategy? 
The team idea came from a Korean player that I battled online. His team featured a Skill Swap Cresselia alongside a slow Charizard (designed for Trick Room), and he defeated me relatively easily. I took the team of six which I had faced and changed some of the moves as well as made some of my own original sets. One of the main changes was Toxic replacing Psychic on Cresselia-I did this to strengthen my matchup against Milotic and opposing Cresselia, as well to deal important chip damage to Pokémon such as Rotom-Heat (which gave my team a lot of trouble). I also had a hard choice between Conkeldurr and Machamp since the player I faced on Battle Spot never brought his own Machamp to our set and therefore I wasn’t sure what it did. I decided on Machamp because I found in practise that it makes it hard for opponents to switch due to the threat of a Dynamic Punch confusion. It also gave me a better matchup against Charizard with its 100% accurate Stone Edge. Landorus was important on the team since Intimidate support can be crucial at many points during a match, and it provided ways to hit common Pokémon such as Kangaskhan, Charizard and Heatran for at least a two-hit KO. Heatran was good as it could knock out Aegislash in one hit with Overheat and make use of Charizard’s sun with boosted Heat Waves. Sylveon was my least-used Pokémon on the team since I only brought it to one match, but that was mostly because I didn’t play against very many Mega Salamence at Worlds.

Using Skill Swap on Cresselia meant that you had to have a good knowledge of what your opponent’s Pokemon’s abilities are, despite the fact that many Pokémon have multiple possible Abilities. Did you have to prepare a lot?
Actually, there’s not much diversity in the abilities of most of the common Pokémon in VGC. For example, Heatran is guaranteed to have Flash Fire so it is perfectly safe to Skill Swap that ability away allowing Charizard to freely use Heat Wave or Flamethrower. There are barely any Pokémon which have two equally viable abilities; so Skill Swap was not usually a risky play to make.

What’s the most interesting Swap you got in the tournament?
My favourite Skill Swap was when I was able to predict my opponent’s switch into Tyranitar (in an attempt to remove my sun) and use Skill Swap on my own Mega Charizard Y. This meant that I could keep sun up (“switch in” abilities swap before they can activate) and hit the Tyranitar with a Solar Beam, knocking it out in one hit. Another interesting swap was when I was able to take away Flash Fire from a Heatran and give it to my Charizard. This meant that Heatran could not damage My Charizard since I was immune to all of its attacks. I then got a Flash Fire boost which meant I could knock out both Kangaskhan and Landorus-Therian in one hit before winning two vs. one against his Heatran.

What was your overall strategy for the finals? 
I knew in the finals that I needed to put Trick Room up in order to get momentum against my opponent’s faster team. I also knew that he had no reliable way to get rid of my Cresselia and so I could virtually freely set up Trick Room. The Pokémon I was most worried about were his Aegislash, which undersped a lot of the Pokémon on my team, and his Assault Vest Landorus which I had been told was very Specially Defensive. He did not bring his Aegislash to either of our games, possibly fearing my two fire-type Pokémon. I was able to inflict a lot of damage onto my opponent’s Landorus in game one when it switched in on my Cresselia’s Ice Beam and My Charizard’s Heat Wave. He decided not to bring his Landorus to the second match, a decision which helped me considerably as his Sylveon was not as threatening to my team.

You read your opponent extremely well in that match. Was there anything that helped you figure out what your opponent was going to do?
My friend, who had lost to my finals opponent in the Top Four, showed me a replay of the third game in their set. I noted that my finals opponent was very much inclined to double-targeting one of the opposing Pokémon when he felt a Protect may be coming from the other. This aggressive playstyle choice was the reason I opted not to use protect with my Charizard on the first turn of the first game. This paid off for me and I was able to hit his Zapdos with a Flamethrower and put up Trick Room on the same turn. I knew that on turn two he needed to preserve his Landorus since I was threatening it with an Ice Beam. I had played that situation many times when practising with the team and so I knew to Skill Swap and Heat Wave on the switch. If he had stayed in with Landorus then I still would have been in a good position as I would have been able to Skill Swap his intimidate putting him to minus one attack, meaning he would not be able to OHKO my Charizard with Rock Slide. In game two, when I went for Dynamic Punch on his Zapdos I knew he would probably have Kangaskhan and Heatran in the back so if he switched I would get a KO, and if he stayed in he may be confused. The lead matchups were very positive in both games, and therefore I was able to play very offensively, forcing my opponent to switch. This was good for me as one of the main objectives of the team was to punish my opponents’ switches.

Are there any improvements you might make to your team if you used it again?
If I had the opportunity to change my team, the only Pokémon I would consider swapping out would be Sylveon, since I only brought it to one match. However, it was definitely an important Pokémon in that match and it really strengthened my overall matchup against Mega Salamence (despite that particular Mega Evolution not being very popular at the World Championships).

What’s it like winning the world championship?
Winning the World Championships felt like I was redeeming myself after losing in the finals the previous year. Coming so close to winning in 2014 was exciting and felt like a great accomplishment, but falling at the last hurdle was heartbreaking and (slightly) hurt my confidence. I don’t feel that I played very well in that match and the heavy defeat did not make me look good, especially on-stream. Winning the World Championships has been a goal of mine since I began to drastically improve at the game (around 2013), and finally doing it this year, in my final year of seniors, felt like a lot of hard work finally paying off.

Did you do anything else interesting in Boston?
Despite not having very much time in Boston with the tournament taking up three days, I did thoroughly enjoy my time there. My parents and I went on a walking tour along part of the Freedom Trail which was quite interesting. We also went to Fenway Park to watch the Boston Red Sox. This was my first experience of baseball and the game was very exciting and fast paced. My family also spent a week in Cape Cod prior to the event which was really enjoyable: We went to Provincetown, saw the impressive Pilgrim’s Monument and cycled to the many beaches on the cape. Cape Cod was a nice, relaxing holiday but I still made sure to practise consistently during that time.